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Sam’s understanding of Islam in Bosnia
Posted: 04 February 2008 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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Arildno, this whole circumcision thing seems to be very personal to you.  If I remember correctly, you brought it up first, out of thin air.  I say these things because I wonder…is there something maybe in your past that makes you loathe circumcision on such a personal level.  Were you circumcised?  Or was there maybe an attempt to circumcise you that went awry shock and you’ve had to live with the consequences ever since…?

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Posted: 04 February 2008 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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matriculated01 - 04 February 2008 05:37 PM

I believe that the original topic, as the name of the thread would suggest, was Sam’s understanding of Islam in Bosnia.  I believe it’s unreliable.  That, by the way, kinda makes me question some of the other things that Sam says as well.  In contrast to that, Christopher Hitchens’ spot-on description of Bosnia makes me give him more credence in some of the other things he says, for example some of his positions on Iraq.

You make a good point regarding credibility, m01 if you know he misrepresented the case. I don’t know the facts or have read either Harris or Hitchens. Again, it appears that Harris is blaming the religion for all the atrocities he hears about, probably because of the extremism it seems to lead to so easily, and because I think he has mentioned before for which I agree, the perception that the moderates just don’t speak out loudly enough against the extremists. This was evident from the time of 9/11. Islam should be outraged to the point that we are tired of hearing it.

The thing that strikes me about your portrayal of Islam in Bosnia is the idea of the watered-down version. I for one have not been aware that Islam-lite exists. Even in the U.S. we keep hearing of court cases where a Moslem is challenging cultural norms and winning under freedom of religion. These cases usually involve customs of dress for sporting events, eg, head dress and long pants in uniformed sports such as basketball, swimming, etc., or for access to public places such as government buildings where security concerns would be better served by not obstructing identifiable features such as the face.

I’m not saying I agree with these issues, just that they seem to exist. When it comes down to the burning issues regarding Islam, I for one tend to think of the Middle East, not Bosnia.

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Posted: 04 February 2008 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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matriculated01 - 04 February 2008 06:16 PM

Arildno, this whole circumcision thing seems to be very personal to you.  If I remember correctly, you brought it up first, out of thin air.  I say these things because I wonder…is there something maybe in your past that makes you loathe circumcision on such a personal level.  Were you circumcised?  Or was there maybe an attempt to circumcise you that went awry shock and you’ve had to live with the consequences ever since…?

No.

But it is an archetypical example of the perversity of religiosity, and for that matter, unthinking herd mentality just following the “tradition”.

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Posted: 04 February 2008 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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goodgraydrab - 04 February 2008 06:26 PM

The thing that strikes me about your portrayal of Islam in Bosnia is the idea of the watered-down version.

Yes, it is watered down, and I would say that that has much more to do with the people than with Islam itself.  I personally think that Islam in its purest form is vile, just like all the other monotheisms.  But people just simply don’t observe any of the things that a true muslim is supposed to observe.  They call themselves muslims, but it has no real impact on their everyday life.  In fact, I would go as far as to say that Bosnian muslims, or at least a majority of them, are not true muslims.  And also, let’s not forget that even though muslims are the most numerous, it is not by a large margin at all.  Bosnia is a pluralistic society, with muslims, catholics and orthodox christians living side by side.  There are hundreds of both catholic and orthodox christian churches peppered throughout Bosnian cities (and no, they aren’t required to pay any taxes for being a non-muslim place of worship).

goodgraydrab - 04 February 2008 06:26 PM

I for one have not been aware that Islam-lite exists. Even in the U.S. we keep hearing of court cases where a Moslem is challenging cultural norms and winning under freedom of religion.

Exactly!  That’s all that people keep hearing about and they form their opinions based on that.  Thanks, mainstream media.  Look, I’m not against vilifying people who do those things.  In my opinion, when you move to a country you need to respect its laws and not try to challenge them based on your medieval understanding of morality.  BUT, the problem is that when these people are all that’s ever seen in the media, the general public gets a skewed understanding of the phenomenon. 

“All I c on my TeeVee is them bad muslim folks being retarded an’ stupid so anybody who calls hisself a darn muslim must be the same!”

Unfortunately, that’s the kind of attitude that’s widespread in the US. 

People must realize that, in some cases, “muslim” is nothing but a label.  My mom still calls herself muslim, even though she’s one of the least religious people I know.

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Posted: 04 February 2008 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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[quote author=“matriculated01” date=“1202185712]Unfortunately, that’s the kind of attitude that’s widespread in the US.

You’re right about the media. Also, the event of 9/11 has had a tremendous effect on the American psyche. It’s probably akin to the attitude of WWII towards the Japanese. It’s easier to label a class as the enemy, especially when we’re seen as the enemy by so many. I understand some of the reasons such as our policy towards Israel and lopsided support. But look at the real situation. In the middle east, do we see other Arab Moslem nations assisting in rooting out terrorism or helping their fellow Arabs in Palestine or Iraq? Pakistan is afraid to clamp down on extremists lest they turn on the government. Moslem nations should be in the forefront and on the battlefield in alliance with the U.S. But too many of the people hate us and children are being taught to hate us. Maybe when we get a new administration. It’s a big mess.

Atheists already see the problems of religion, this just cements the deal.

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Posted: 04 February 2008 09:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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I don’t think that a new administration is going to make much difference.  America was hated in the Middle East before Bush and will continue to be hated after Bush. 

My opinion on the Bush Middle East strategy is somewhat ambivalent.  It is of course true that he has created more enemies than friends and also that Al-Qaeda is stronger today than it was on 9-11, so the strategy has ben counter-productive, to say the least.  But I don’t think that he has malevolent reasons for pursuing this strategy.  I think that he actually wants to make Iraq a better place and jump-start the enlightenment of the Middle East.  The problem with that, of course, is that you can’t force these things.  The inhabitants of these regions are light years behind the West in moral and social development, and thrusting democracy upon them forcefully will never work.

With that said, my main objection to the Bush strategy is that it is going to bankrupt our country.  For an MBA president this guy really doesn’t know when to call it quits on a failed investment.

Also, and I hate to join the “Bush-is-an-idiot” club, but this guy really doesn’t seem to be too bright.  Decision after decision, sentence after sentence, word after word, Bush just seems to prove that he doesn’t quite get it.  No matter what you think about Bill Clinton, I think that the least we should all be able to agree on is that he is a much smarter man than George W. Bush.

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Posted: 06 February 2008 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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matriculated01 - 05 February 2008 02:32 AM

I don’t think that a new administration is going to make much difference.  America was hated in the Middle East before Bush and will continue to be hated after Bush.

Now we have a much harder task before us. Bush changed the entire complexity of the situation when he invaded Iraq. The one important approach Bush has resisted and, the democratic candidates are talking about as essential is the use of dialogue, diplomacy and assistance from America friendly mid-east nations.

But I don’t think that he has malevolent reasons for pursuing this strategy.  I think that he actually wants to make Iraq a better place and jump-start the enlightenment of the Middle East.

We sure differ here.

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Posted: 06 February 2008 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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I agree that Bush has complicated (that’s code for “fucked up”) things far beyond what anybody expected.

I’m just curious on this matter of intentions.  Do you believe that Bush has malevolent reasons for what he does and if so what are they, in your opinion?

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Posted: 07 February 2008 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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Yawn.
You have said it yourself:
Bosnians are perfectly decent people precisely because they do NOT behave as “true” Muslims.

But therefore, you cannot shield “Muslims” from moral criticisms by placing the example of Bosnians in front of them.

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Posted: 07 February 2008 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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Are you sleepy?

We’re in agreement here, for the most part.

But my problem with applying the blanket term “muslims” is that people make no distinctions based on nationality most of the time.  When I tell somebody that I’m from Bosnia, for example, they often think “uh-oh, muslim!”  I find myself having to prove to people that we’re not savages who burn american flags and theaten to behead people for drawing a cartoon of mohammed.

The misperceptions are wide-ranging.

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Posted: 07 February 2008 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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matriculated01 - 07 February 2008 09:39 AM

Are you sleepy?

We’re in agreement here, for the most part.

But my problem with applying the blanket term “muslims” is that people make no distinctions based on nationality most of the time.  When I tell somebody that I’m from Bosnia, for example, they often think “uh-oh, muslim!”  I find myself having to prove to people that we’re not savages who burn american flags and theaten to behead people for drawing a cartoon of mohammed.

The misperceptions are wide-ranging.

I know well that European “indigenous” Muslims, particularly those from earlier Yugoslavia have a more secular-minded approach to things.
There were some good things with the Communist regimes

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Posted: 07 February 2008 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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matriculated01 - 07 February 2008 03:11 AM

I agree that Bush has complicated (that’s code for “fucked up”) things far beyond what anybody expected.

I’m just curious on this matter of intentions.  Do you believe that Bush has malevolent reasons for what he does and if so what are they, in your opinion?

He is a self-serving hypocrite who wears god on his sleeve to gain support for his policies which represent corporate interests, especially oil.

The difference between Clinton and Bush’s motives for Bosnia and Iraq which I noted before is evident; it wasn’t misinformation, it was outright lies. Nearly all of Bush’s cabinet appointees were oilmen. He denied global warming until only recently (he held out til the end). Haliburton was given a no-bid singular contract for the war. IMO, Cheney’s secret energy meeting was to drill in the Gulf, drill in Alaska, and invade Iraq (implicit); those were the only policies being pushed re energy. He had unfinished business with Hussein in re his father; he neglected Afghanistan for Iraq (opportunistic). He wants to privatize everything. His policies favor the rich and creates a wider divide of classes, the middle class continues to erode. He has been criticized by people who worked for him that got on board for his so-called ‘compassionate conservatism’ which they say never materialized.

There are a lot more but I’m on meds right now. Basically, you couldn’t/can’t trust a word out of his mouth. So what if he thought it would be a cinch to ‘democratize’ Iraq and get the oil flowing but it backfired. Have a beer with him? I wouldn’t even shake his hand.

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Posted: 07 February 2008 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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Oh.

Thanks for reminding me.

Yea, he’s a douchebag.

I’m always reminded of an incident when he was talking to a single mother at some gathering and she told him that she has to work 3 jobs just to pay the bills and feed her kids and his response was:

“You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.”

How out-of-touch can a president get?

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