Islam, democracy and Norway

Dag Herbjørnsrud writes in Aftenposten that Islam's incompatibility with democracy has been exaggerated.

The fact is that half of the world's 1,4 billion Muslims - 700 million - live in countries with democratically elected governments. This according to Freedom House's global survey for 2004. Less than every fifth Muslim live in Arab countries, most live in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and India. ..

Also in Africa we find good examples of secular, Muslim democracies: Senegal held a close election in 2000, followed by a peaceful transfer of power. An Muslim Mali is as free and democratic as Mexico and Croatia, according to Freedom House, despite being one of the world's poorest countries. ..

If we look at comparable countries, it was Muslim Turkish-Cypriots who said yes this spring to the UN, the EU and a reunion with their Greek neighbours, while the Greek-Cypriots voted no. In Bosnia, it was multicultural Bosnian Muslims who in the 90's fought for tolerant European values, while Serbian and Croatian extremists did their best to kill them. The Muslim and ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan is no model state, but things are worse in the Christian Belarus, possible the worst dictatorship in greater Europe.

Muslim democracies are not as successful, of course, as European democracies. And wherever there are Muslims, there are also Islamists. But having a majority of Muslims in your country does not condemn you to any particular form of government. If totalitarianism somehow followed directly from the words of Allah, as a lot of people have been telling me lately, then all Muslim countries would be totalitarian, or moving in that direction. This is not so. We don't have the luxury of being able to test all our theories - but this theory has been tested, and it failed. The only honest thing to do is to revise or abandon it.

Herbjørnsrud also warns Norwegians not to get cocky about our own commitment to democracy and human rights:

Iran is the country where Islam is the most severely abused by an intolerant dictatorship. When Statoil and the Norwegian government pump billions of oil crowns every year into Iran, they must carry their share of the responsibility for the Mullah-dictatorship's ability to stay in power, despite peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi and the will of the Iranian people.

The American Center for Security Policy made a similar point last month. It lists Statoil among the dirty dozen out of 400 companies willing to do business with states that sponsor terrorism.

Statoil's activities place it on the "Dirty Dozen" list for the following reasons:
  • Geopolitical Motives: Statoil describes its investment in Iran as "in line with Norwegian foreign policy, which encourages increased trade relations with Iran." Not only was the company willing to ignore Iran’s position as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, but the company views its operations as directly supporting a government position that undermines the U.S. war on terrorism.
  • Revenues: Statoil is involved in projects totaling over $300 million in Iran. This translates into both increased revenue flows for an extremely dangerous, terrorist-sponsoring regime and serves as an engine for broader economic growth.
  • Moral and Political Cover: When leading global companies such as Statoil partner with terrorist-sponsoring states, it sends a clear message to these governments: Sponsoring terrorism is fine as long as our company makes a profit. This message undermines U.S. sanctions and international diplomatic efforts. This message is reinforced when a firm allegedly seeks to bribe leading Iranian officials for contracts in that country.

The accusations were dismissed in Norway as the rantings of neo-conservative extremists. Øystein Noreng, a professor of oil economy at the BI Norwegian School of Management, used language the Mullah's of Iran would approve of:

This is part of a political pressure campaign aimed to keep us from doing things American right-wing extremists don't like .. What they're doing is pure propaganda work .. Statoil's involvement in Iran provides the country with money and knowledge, and these people don't like that. They don't want European countries to act independently.

Wenche Skorge at Statoil denied that "there in any way has been presented evidence that Iran supports terrorism".

No evidence, at all? It's okay to be skeptical when American officials make claims about terrorism these days, but even if you believe that all the evidence linking Iran to Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad is wrong, that is not the same as believing that no evidence has been presented. And with Iran, there is a lot of evidence to disprove. Links to terrorism are everywhere. How about one of the few terrorist attacks on Norwegian soil: the 1993 assassination attempt on William Nygård, the Norwegian publisher of Rushdie's Satanic Verses. Iran may or may not have been directly involved, but they ordered Muslims around the world to kill anyone connected with the Satanic Verses, and the assassin acted on those orders.

Let's hear from Wenche Skorge at Statoil again: "We're not aware that there in any way has been presented evidence that Iran supports terrorism." Taste it. Contrast with the Center for Security Policy: "each of these European, Asian and U.S.-owned subsidiary companies provides moral and political cover to the governments of these countries, obscuring the fact that they are providing hard currency, weapons, technology and safe harbor to terrorists."

Hm? An American right-wing extremist neo-conservative think tank condemning the evil, corrupt behavior of a Norwegian multinational company? This is all wrong. Stop confusing me!

(Update: Hans Rustad is less impressed with Herbjørnsrud.)




Comments

Bjørn,

Its not confusing at all of course (and I know that was your point). Because to imply in the public discourse that there is even a single "reasonable" moral consideration that should apply on companies like Statoil, blows a chill wind on the entire faux-moral house of cards wherein the War Against Terror has been recast as an imperialist crusade by bloodthirsty neo-conservative Americans. It cannot POSSIBLY be such that there is a valid reason to stand firmly in opposition against certain regimes... merely because of where THEY stand. Indeed, such a concept is primitive and simplistic and probably racist! (Meanwhile it remains UNQUESTIONABLY morally "superior" to equivocate around genocide in Darfur, to claim conciliatory "dialogue" with Iran is the only way to address their nuclear program, to rubber stamp the idea that there is no "conclusive proof" that EU money goes to Terror via the PA, and of course, to condemn the US and Israel in all cases... it goes on and on and on.)

In fact, this odious moral double/non standard is why the true moral implications of the resistance among regimes on Europe to take a stand for freedom (or FOR anything at all other than vague and self satisfied protestations of a desire for "Peace" which indeed degraded that word)in the confrontation with Iraq, are NEVER considered in light of the years and years of morally repulsive and stunningly hypocritical political and economic dealings with regimes like Saddams Iraq and the Mullahcracy in Iran. Indeed the UN Oil for Food scandal (which still remains an elusive and ill defined "story" in the European discussion.. and even more so in Norway) is NEVER considered to be germane to this discussion, while a Haliburton overcharge for Hamburger meat is prima fascia evidence of an imperialist war.

This is how it works when image remains far from substance and the 'debate' is framed by the few. You may be right with your "Taboo" point (a well structured idea by the way), but there has still been little change in the very clear imbalances in power metaphysically, and there is no reason to suspect that balance will occur without tectonic repercussions. The only thing that's clear, is that this contrived disparity between image and substance is unsustainable in a free society... as it is now.

Cheers,

Kevin McDonnell


It is the arab muslims who are most concerning at this time, not the Turks or the Cypriots. Where are the arab democracies? I know, it's not politically correct to ask such questions.

This an interesting circle: muslims emigrate from their impoverished native lands to Europe. They get jobs or go on welfare, and send money back home to be used for terrorism. Eventually the home-sent money ends up back in Europe in the form of a suicide bomber or an airliner blown out of the sky. But at least Turkey is a democracy.


Sweden - an Islamic state?

A Letter to Mankind from the Ex-Muslim Movement


Dar: "It is the arab muslims who are most concerning at this time, not the Turks or the Cypriots. Where are the arab democracies?"

Yes, where are they? I agree, that's the interesting question. The Arab world has a real problem with democracy - one there is hope of solving. Islam as a whole doesn't seem to have that problem.

"I know, it's not politically correct to ask such questions."

Actually, it is. As I wrote yesterday, it is now okay to criticize Islam. In some circles it's even politically correct. Depends on where you live, though. That doesn't mean you're wrong, of course, just that appealing to the rebel instinct by adding "I know this isn't PC" to your views no longer makes sense.


I think it is a nice round circle, the west has companies in these poor countries that sends money back to Europe and US, and at the same time, they have people in the west sending the money back. On the other hand, the idea about money sent back for terrorism, sent from people(muslims?) in the west, just sounds to weird to me to swallow. No-one in their right mind will want terrorism in their own neighbourhood, not even the muslims. They come here and get jobs for money to feed their families, but additionally they give money so as to get terrorism where they are? Nah..


But I think Dar is most correct. Muslim workers in western nations send funds to "charities" in their impoverished home countries, which are often cover organizations for terrorism. These transplanted workers probably do not intend for their own neighborhoods to be bombed, although in the odd and ironic labyrinthine world of terrorism, that may occur regardless. In the workers' minds, they are supporting Islam.


Great post, Bjorn! I wasn't aware that Statoil actually had made statements like these. It really is interesting to learn more about how European corporations - especially the ones with some state ownership - wind up seeking advantages in political powerplays between America and Europe, even though they are still completely dependent on American markets.

Of course, American corporations do this also, but they tend to be more in the spotlight when they do so. When Euros fund dictatorships and circumvent UN resolutions, the media barely notices.



Very Interesting:

Islamic Democrats

''Somebody ought to tell President George Bush something he obviously doesn’t know. He keeps talking about wanting democracy in the Middle East and reform in general as an antidote to extremism.''

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/Sept_2004/0409015.html



To the Norwegian readers of this blog--

Do you think Norway could ever have an "Enron scandal" or a "Worldcomm scandal"? These scandals brought down two big companies, led to great distress in the U.S.stock market, but also led to new players in the market. (I.e. the self-correcting mechanism of the market, painful as it may be)

To the Swedish readers of this blog, and others who have an answer--

How is Sweden able to maintain a welfare state? From what I've read, socialism on a large scale seems to eventually drag down the productivity of the economy. Is this true? Does Sweden have some special reason for being a successful socialist state?

Thanks for your input.


Totoro, U.S: First off, both Norway and Sweden has welfare states. From what I know, they are quite equal. When it comes to Norway - I personally think some parts of it is a drag, other parts of it is very nice to have (health care springs to mind).

When it comes to the Enron scandal and the Worldcomm scandal, remember that those were financial scandals where there had been shady bookkeeping. That may of course occur in Norway too - but I'm pretty sure that the larger partly state owned companies keep to strict accounting rules.

One thing to remember in this area is that norwegian chief executives don't earn as much as chief executives of other countries. I think makes it less important to always show as much growth as american chief executives have to show. Not _entirely_ sure if it is relevant, but I it may be a key to it. There is less incentive to 'cheat' on the growth figures to grab bigger bonuses... I think. (Not entirely sure, but I think there may be a correlation there).


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On July 28, 2004, Bernard Lewis, perhaps the leading professor of Islam in the West gave a long interview to De Welt in which he forecast that Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century:

"Europa wird am Ende des Jahrhunderts islamisch sein"

WORLD: Will the European Union form a global counterweight to America? Lewis: No. Beside the United States in the future global players will be possibly China, India and a recovered Russia. Reliably nobody knows, which kind power will be in Moscow, but certainly not communist. Europe will be part of the Arab west, the Maghrebs. But migration and Demografie speak. Europeans do not marry late and have or only few children. But there is strong immigration: Turk in Germany, Arab in France and Pakistaner in England. These marry early and have many children. After the current trends Europe becomes at the latest end 21 Century have Muslim majorities in the population

DIE WELT: Wird die EU ein globales Gegengewicht zu Amerika bilden?
Lewis: Nein. Neben den Vereinigten Staaten werden künftig globale Spieler China, Indien und möglicherweise ein gesundetes Russland sein. Sicher weiß niemand, welcher Art die Macht in Moskau sein wird, aber gewiss nicht kommunistisch. Europa wird Teil des arabischen Westens sein, des Maghrebs. Dafür sprechen Migration und Demografie. Europäer heiraten spät und haben keine oder nur wenige Kinder. Aber es gibt die starke Immigration: Türken in Deutschland, Araber in Frankreich und Pakistaner in England. Diese heiraten früh und haben viele Kinder. Nach den aktuellen Trends wird Europa spätestens Ende des 21. Jahrhunderts muslimische Mehrheiten in der Bevölkerung haben.


Thank you Herbie for the ' great news ' may I advice you to prepare yourself for nice Burqa from now :)


Ex- C, I don't think so. While Burqas may become the choice for dressing in Europe given their failures to integrate Muslims and their refusal to have an honest debate because Muslims might be offended, in the US, Moslems have evolvled which is one reason that I have some hope in this area. see, e.g. http://freemuslims.org/


The trend Herbie points to is quite clear. Small countries such as Sweden and Norway will probably be taken over most quickly. This will signal a strong warning to Poland, Germany, Italy, and UK. They will take preventive action, when the reality is starkly displayed in the example countries.

But the trend is self-correcting, in that there are no successful muslim countries without either oil or a significant non-muslim population to supply intellectual weight. In other words, muslims tend to drag a country down.


But hey - Norway has oil! And quite a lot of non-Muslims, too. Hooray.

Actually - this is the same thing as many others, like the Christian right-wing newspaper editor Finn Jarle Sæle says:

The demography tells us that Islam will take control through Europe by immigration. To keep the current proportion between workers and retired, on 4,8 to 1, Europe must - according to one overview, have 1,4 billion immigrants from Africa and the Middle East in our century. The European Union is the second Roman Empire that will fall because of population decline.

Of course there's only one problem with it all. This is not what demography tells us.

The 1,4 billion immigrants Sæle talks about has to come from somewhere. In the real world, however, fertility rates (children per woman) is falling in most countries and have been falling rapidly in - you guessed it - Middle Eastern countries. We're all getting older.

In fact - as this article I found at the site of New America Foundation tells us - the demographic transition Sæle talks about in Europe is happening even faster elsewhere:

Yet the most rapidly aging areas of the world, according to the United Nations, the U.S. Census and virtually all other demographic forecasters, are the very places we today associate with destabilizing youth bulges - with the Middle East being among the most rapidly aging of all.

Iran, for example, is aging four times faster than the United States. It took 50 years for the United States to go from a median age of 30 to today's 35. It would take another 50 years for the median age here to reach 40. But while the median age in the United States will be increasing by just five years, the median age in Iran will be increasing by 20 years, reaching 40.2 by mid-century, according to U.N. projections. Similarly, Egypt is aging at three times the rate of the United States, and Iraq nearly 2 1/2 times faster. Virtually anywhere one looks in the developing world, the pattern is the same.

Some places the number of children per woman still is high, especially in the Arabian peninsula (Saudi-Arabia, Oman, Yemen),
sub-Saharan Africa (where AIDS is having and will have a serious demographic impact) and on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Now, there is a real challenge here, the population in many developing countries (including Middle Eastern ones) is - eventhough it's aging rapidly - still very young. That means we'll see an increase in population, some places a very rapid increase. It'll reach its top in about a generation. What we're experiencing is a major demographic revolution. Major.

Lewis tells us that Europe will have Muslim majorities in 2100 with the current trends. And there's the catch. It's an extremely unlikely scenario.

Øyvind


Allan and kjell

So I see you dont have any rational thing to say but ranting ! do you have any comments about the fact that the oil will run out in 30 years time ?

Or maybe you got shocked by this fact and you try to assemble some sort of ' rantings ' to counter this fact !


Lundgren

''But the trend is self-correcting, in that there are no successful muslim countries without either oil or a significant non-muslim population to supply intellectual weight. In other words, muslims tend to drag a country down.''

Your argument collapses once we realized that Muslim Malaysia is indeed one of the 15 most rich countries in the world.

try again.


"do you have any comments about the fact that the oil will run out in 30 years time ?"


I do. I find it rather amusing that a Muslim is happy that the ONLY significant source of income for the heartland of the Islamic world will soon disappear. Petrodollar is what is fuelling the current Jihad. Take away that, and your little Jihad will collapse. Muslims are alienating the entire planet, at the same time as they are running out of resources. And you don't even understand it.

That's why I am sure Islam will die soon.


"Your argument collapses once we realized that Muslim Malaysia is indeed one of the 15 most rich countries in the world.

try again."

Okay, the economy of Muslim Malaysia is overwhelmingly driven by non-Muslim ethnic Chinese. Muslim Malays basically treat them as second class citizens but the economy of Malaysia would surely flounder without them.

that was easy.


Statoil invests in Iran, Azerbaijan, etc. because of revenues. Their goal is to earn money. Maybe 'capitalism' is a keyword after all?


One of the points of the American Center for Security Policy is rather stupid though:

Not only was the company willing to ignore Iran’s position as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, but the company views its operations as directly supporting a government position that undermines the U.S. war on terrorism.

I think perhaps this is what Noreng describes as right-wing extremism. Statoil is in Iran, but they're not there because they think it's a good way to work against the U.S. war on terror.

The Norwegian government does not think that investments in Iran is okay because it promotes terrorism - and these politics are defended with the usual 'trade is good'-arguments. To claim that Statoil or Norway has anti-terror-war geopolitical motives smells a bit too coulterish...

Øyvind


Ex-C Well first Israelis have not offered to wipe Moslems from the face of the earth. Be that as it may, I have several questions for you so that I may better understand your interpretation of Islam. These are serious quewstions

As I understand Islam, it is forbidden to kill innocent civilians. If that is correct, do you believe that M. Atta and his cohorts have gone to or be admitted to heaven? If not should that be published. Assuming th attack on the World Trade Center was ordered by Bin Laden, do you believe that it is appropriate that a Fatwas be issued condemning his order and him?

With regard to the various beheadings of prisoners that have taken place in Iraq, do you believe that they violate the Koran?
If so, what in your view, is an acceptable response from the country’s that have had their citizens beheaded when and if they capture the persons that did it? Are they entitled to inflict the same punishment? If not why not?


Øyvind: Øystein Noreng is suspicious of the CSP because it is (supposedly) neo-conservative and pro-Bush, and Noreng is not. He seems to believe that the very fact of being a neo-conservative makes everything you do and say suspect - even though clearly it's Statoil here who represents financial interests and CSP who has a more idealistic outlook.

At least that's the impression I got from his response. I exchanged a few mails with him. Here's his last mail:

Let me clear up a few points:

- Statoil's behavior in this case has been wrong, stupid and clumsy, which I've stated in public: Statoil has a good reputation in Iran, and should not have to resort to corruption to position itself.
- After 1997 (the election of Khatami as president) it is doubtful whether Iran has been involved in terrorism, but the country has different, competing centers of power, which is often overlooked abroad.
- Hizbollah can not in a simple way be described as a terrorist organization, unless the definition of terrorism includes resistance against the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
- You clearly overlook that I through many years have been a critic of Statoil, in such areas as economy and foreign involvement, which has made me unpopular with the company.
- I've had opportunity to get to know the "neo-conservative" community in Washington through 30 years, and I believe I have reason for deep mistrust of its motives and methods.
- The community consist largely of people driven by ideology, where the answers are given beforehand, and are not to be weakened by facts, in addition to the influence of strong special interests such as the military-industrial complex and pro-Israeli and extreme right-wing Israeli groups.
- The community was central in the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1990's, and includes people who have been convicted of lying to Congress.
- The community has been a driving force behind the Iraq war, and has lead the US into a quagmire, partly with fraudulent claims and lies; the goal was to occupy Iraq, the problem was how to find a pretext.

Noreng then recommended that I read A Pretext for War by James Bamford, The Price of Loyalty by Ron Suskind, Against All Enemies by Richard A. Clarke, Imperial Hubris by Anonymous, Krigsdansen by Henrik Thune and Olje på bålet by himself.

Seems clear to me that he is generally distrustful of American neo-conservatives, regardless of the arguments they use.


Interesting survey:
http://www.insightmag.com/news/2004/09/06/World/Public.Attitudes.Towards.Islam-716011.shtml
Public Attitudes Towards Islam
By Uwe Siemon-Netto
PARIS –
* * *
A plurality of Americans (46 percent) believes that Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence among its believers, according to a new survey released by the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion and Pubic Life.

Yet more Americans take a positive than a negative view of Islam (39 vs. 37 percent). Meanwhile, European scholars interpret this result as a sign of "American naivitÈ" when it comes to judging the radical Muslim threat.
* * *
In formerly "liberal" Europe, a radical turnaround in the public, scholarly and theological perception of Islam is underway, according to Schirrmacher and other specialists.

"People over here have come to believe that Islam is not comparable with Christianity," said the Rev. Hans Voecking, key Islamic affairs adviser to the Brussels-based Commission of European Catholic Bishops' Conferences.
* * *
Schirrmacher went on. "Now I keep hearing: 'We must return to our Christian heritage.' You no longer hear the phrase, 'After all, aren't we all alike? Don't we all want the same?"
* * *
the Rev. Wolfgang Huber, bishop of Berlin, is taking an increasingly tougher stand. After Islamist terrorists had kidnapped 1,200 school children, teachers and parents in Russia and killed 335 of them, Huber demanded that Muslim organizations in Germany disassociate more clearly from such atrocities committed "in the name of God," causing strong protests from Muslim leaders.
* * *
The Netherlands, for example, was once considered the most liberal country on the continent, unabashedly selling disused Protestant churches to Islamic congregations. "Now the Dutch and the Scandinavians, who were equally liberal, are among the most hard-nosed participants in European conferences on Islam," Schirrmacher related.
* * *
Of course, the Pew poll was taken before the Beslan massacre. "I wonder how Americans felt after watching this bloodbath on television," Schirrmacher concluded.

UWE SIEMON-NETTO is Religious Affairs Editor for UPI, a sister news agency of Insight.


Ali

''I do. I find it rather amusing that a Muslim is happy that the ONLY significant source of income for the heartland of the Islamic world will soon disappear. Petrodollar is what is fuelling the current Jihad. Take away that, and your little Jihad will collapse. Muslims are alienating the entire planet, at the same time as they are running out of resources. And you don't even understand it.''

It is also interesting to note that only 4-6 muslim states enjoy the oil wealth while the rest dont depend on oil.

Also, arabs survived before the oil for thousands of years, certainly Islam reached as far as Indonesia in the east and Spain in the west not by the 'petrodollar' but by the great message of Islam, so you see Ali, your arrgument is flawed in its basis.

That is why Mr Ali, Islam is now the fastest growing religion in the world and will be religion no.1 in the world soon wether you like it or not.


Ex C: actually you can do anything you want with figures to get to the concept of fastest growing religion. If you measure by converts, then it appears that fundamentalist Christians are the fastest growing group. You really cannot measure converts TO Christianity FROM ISLAM since any such converts who do not renounce their conversion to Judaism or Christianity are subject to being put to death for apostasy-- talk about tolerance. If you measure it by birth rates then you do get to the fact that Moslems are the fastest growing. However, all that establishes is that Moslems have more children and not any view of a religon.


Herbie NY

''Ex-C Well first Israelis have not offered to wipe Moslems from the face of the earth.''

Oh yes, they did in many occasions.

'' Be that as it may, I have several questions for you so that I may better understand your interpretation of Islam. These are serious quewstions''

Sure, go ahead.

''As I understand Islam, it is forbidden to kill innocent civilians. If that is correct, do you believe that M. Atta and his cohorts have gone to or be admitted to heaven? ''

No, they are certainly in hell, Allah Almighty said in the noble quran:

''Fight in the Way of God against those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits. God does not love those who go beyond the limits. (The Noble Quran 2: 190)

Going beyong the limits includes killing innocent civilians as was the case in the WTC tragedy.

''If not should that be published. Assuming th attack on the World Trade Center was ordered by Bin Laden, do you believe that it is appropriate that a Fatwas be issued condemning his order and him? ''

Indeed, so many fatwas were issued against bin laden condeming 9/11 terrorist attacks, sadly, your media did not show these fatwas, your media always propogate the fallacy that Muslims dont speak out against terrorism which is of course pure lie.

Here are some fatawas from very famous muslim scholars and islamic organizations:

-Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi Condemns Attacks Against Civilians: Forbidden in Islam

Sheikh Al Qaradawi is the most famous in Sunni Islam:

http://www.answering-christianity.com/us_attack_not_allowed.htm

-BBC NEWS : Saudi clerics condemn terrorism

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3157493.stm

-Islamic scholars condemn terrorism in USA:

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?article=1080

-A Message from the Council on American-Islamic Relations:

http://www.cair-net.org/crisiscenter/html/cair_ad.html

-Muslim Americans Condemn Attack :

http://www.islamicity.com/articles/...?ref=AM0109-335

-Bin Laden's idea of 'jihad' is out of bounds, scholars say:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/natio...7_islam22.shtml

-British Muslims condemn the terrorist attacks:

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?article=1062

-Canadian Muslims condemn terrorist attacks:

http://muslim-canada.org/news09112001.html

- BBC: Islamic world deplores US losses:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1544955.stm

-Muslim Reactions to September 11th:

http://www.crescentlife.com/heal%20..._to_sept_11.htm

-NEW ZEALAND MUSLIMS CONDEMN TERRORISM:

http://www.angelfire.com/biz2/FIANZ...ssRelease1.html

-KUALA LUMPUR DECLARATION ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM:
In the name of Islamic solidarity, we, the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), have gathered in Kuala Lumpur to state our collective resolve to combat terrorism and to respond to developments affecting Muslims and Islamic countries in the aftermath of the 11th September attacks...

http://www.oic-oci.org/english/fm/1...declaration.htm

-Muslim World Condemns Attacks on U.S:

http://www.islam-online.net/English...article18.shtml

- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHY:Koran a Book of Peace, Not War, Scholars Say:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/...25_TVkoran.html

-BBC: UK Muslims condemn 'lunatic fringe':

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1554177.stm

-Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has strongly condemned the suicide terrorist attacks in New York and Washington:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/mi...ast/1549573.stm

http://www.islamdenouncesterrorism.com


''With regard to the various beheadings of prisoners that have taken place in Iraq, do you believe that they violate the Koran?''

Of course they do violate the message of the quran:

Muslim Scholars Denounce Berg's Beheading

http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2004-05/12/article08.shtml

Islam’s Stance on Prisoners of War

http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/english/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=55158

War Ethics in Islam

http://www.islamonline.net/fatwaapplication/english/display.asp?hFatwaID=79793

''If so, what in your view, is an acceptable response from the country’s that have had their citizens beheaded when and if they capture the persons that did it? Are they entitled to inflict the same punishment? If not why not?''

First if you are implying the americans who were beheaded in iraq, then you should not be there in the first place, you invade muslims, you kill them, you bomb them, you imprison and torture them and then you complain when some of you get beheaded !!!

More than 30,000 innocent Iraqi Muslims have been killed by the American terrorists since the illegal war against Muslim Iraq started, I think you guys have no right to complain about the mess taking place in Iraq now, you made it, so bear the consequences.


Herbie:

''You really cannot measure converts TO Christianity FROM ISLAM since any such converts who do not renounce their conversion to Judaism or Christianity are subject to being put to death for apostasy''

Herbie, I challenge you to show me ONE case from ''credible'' source of muslim who was killed for converting to other religion ?

Our distingushied Islamophobe here, Ali, always post links to ' supposedly' ex muslims who left Islam, why they were not put to death ???

Time to think Herbie.


Michael Farris

''Okay, the economy of Muslim Malaysia is overwhelmingly driven by non-Muslim ethnic Chinese. Muslim Malays basically treat them as second class citizens but the economy of Malaysia would surely flounder without them.

that was easy.''

Sure, can I argue then that the British Economy is driven by the Pakistani muslims ?

How about the American economy ? by the hispanics and the illegal immigrants ?

Be real Micheal, Malaysia is great Muslim success story, thanks to its great leader, the MUSLIM, Dr. Mahatir Muhammad who transfered it into one of the richest 15 on earth.


Ex C Well actually you are not being candid about apostasy -- in fact you are duplicitous:

Living in Fear in Falls Church
http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=15028

“The converts from Islam, according to a Washington Times report, spoke “only under fictitious names assumed for the occasion.”
The Times noted that “the convention kept the registration and entrance process under tight security to protect the participants, many of whom say they face death threats or ostracism from their families for leaving the Islamic faith.”
"Why did they have to take this extraordinary precaution in the land of the free? Because in traditional Islamic law, for a Muslim to convert to another faith brings a death sentence. This is not, mind you, “extremist” Islam. It is the Islamic mainstream, based on a statement of Muhammad: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.” It’s also based on a statement of the Qur’an: “But whoever of you recants and dies an unbeliever, his works shall come to nothing in this world and the next, and they are the companions of the fire for ever” (Sura 2:217). This has been widely interpreted by traditional Muslim commentators as giving sanction to the death penalty for apostates — which they derive from the verse’s assertion that the apostate’s work will “come to nothing in this world” as well as the next.
When converts are not killed, they are otherwise pressured. The organizer of the conference has felt the force of this firsthand: “I was called by my embassy and told I’d better repent or I could not go back home with my family.” Another convert reported that she had not yet told her family that she had become a Christian. “I know they’re going to disown me,” she said, “if they don’t kill me.” In America."
.


Ex C. I would appreciate answers to the questions I posted for you. They are not intended to be trick questions, but to betteer understand your position and allow me to form an opinion as to wheter the West can co-exist with Islam


Is Malaysia really one of the top 15 wealthiest countries in the world? Can you provide a source please?

But Malalysia does have a rich oil resource, and exports oil to several regional countries.

And Malysia's intellectual capital consists mainly of offshore Chinese, without whom the Malaysian economy would crumble. Muslims are generally economic dead weight, in whatever nation you might find them. This probably has something to do with the religion, but it may also reflect upon the type of people who are attracted to Islam in the first place.


Ex C Your economic analysis and attempted corrolations in response to Farris are so wide of the mark from a logical and emperical view that it mind boggling.


Ex C More to the point Malaysia is one of the more corrupt countries around. Indeed, when corruption is attempted to be exposed, it results in the the prosecution of the person doing the exposing for violations of an Offical Secrets Act. It is hardly a success story -- more like a farce.


Herbie, NY NY

''Ex C Well actually you are not being candid about apostasy -- in fact you are duplicitous:

Living in Fear in Falls Church
http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=15028''

Herbie, I asked you to give me ' credible ' source, not well-known anti muslim garbbage.

Do you have any ''credible'' source about Muslim who was killed for converting to other religion ?

I am still waiting.


Herbie:

I answered all your questions, if you care to scroll up you will find the answers very clearly.


Ex C The source quoted is reputable. You may not like, but the reference to the Koran and how it is interpreted is correct. Perhaps you might also look at various actons in Pakistan where Christians are being killed in churches. I really don't think that evasion of an issue is much of a response. Death for conversion from Islam is what Mohamed stated and what is followed. I assume that you are not attempting to say that only some of his rulings and some parts of the Koran are not authetic and not to be followed


Lundgren

''Is Malaysia really one of the top 15 wealthiest countries in the world? Can you provide a source please?''

Sure, here it is:

Exports of goods and services (% of GDP) (Top 3 Countries)

http://www.nationmaster.com/red/graph-T/eco_exp_of_goo_and_ser_of_gdp&int=3

Exports - commercial services

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/eco_exp_com_ser

Exports - high technology

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/eco_exp_hig_tec



Herbie:

''Ex C The source quoted is reputable. You may not like, but the reference to the Koran and how it is interpreted is correct.''

The source is certainly not reputable, it is well known islamophobic hate website, just look at the content of the site itself.

The reference to the Noble Quran is very misleading and the interpretation is even more misleading.

' Perhaps you might also look at various actons in Pakistan where Christians are being killed in churches. I really don't think that evasion of an issue is much of a response.''

I think you are diverting the topic of our discussion, first you talked about muslims being killed for changing their religion, when I challenged you to provide a single evidence from 'credible' source, you failed and instead you posted a well known hate site with article that is filled with lies and destortions, so who is realy diverting the issue here ????

'' Death for conversion from Islam is what Mohamed stated and what is followed. I assume that you are not attempting to say that only some of his rulings and some parts of the Koran are not authetic and not to be followed ''

Here is my next challenge, prove to me from the QURAN that death is the penalty for those who leave Islam !!!! remember, I asked you from the QURAN, the main source of law for Muslim.

take your time and seek help from the islamophobes in the various hate sites you frequent, I am sure no one will be able to help you :)


Ex c I did site to the Koran. Tthere are so many sites that talk about this issue. Try this as a general site http://www.igfm.de/religion/konvertE.htm

Peerhaps you might explain why thie site I gave was not coorect. As for FrontLine magazine being anti-Islamic that is a little like killing the messenger without dealing with the message


Herbie,

''Ex c I did site to the Koran. Tthere are so many sites that talk about this issue. Try this as a general site http://www.igfm.de/religion/konvertE.htm''

You still did not prove that a single muslim was killed for converting to another religion !!

''Peerhaps you might explain why thie site I gave was not coorect. As for FrontLine magazine being anti-Islamic that is a little like killing the messenger without dealing with the message''

they are not messengers, they are haters.


Ex C All the major schools of Islamic law (Shari’ah) agree that Muslim men who convert from Islam should be put to death, their marriages annulled, and their children and property taken away. This tradition is upheld and taught by many Muslim religious leaders around the world. In countries like Iran, Sudan and
Saudi Arabia the death sentence for leaving Islam is part of the law of the land. In other countries they may be arrested on various pretexts and often beaten, tortured or imprisoned.

Even under more moderate Muslim authorities, such as those in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq, converts may still face widespread hostility and aggression from their own families and communities. In several countries converts have been murdered by Islamic extremist groups, others have been killed by individual Muslims who believe they are doing the will of Allah by taking the law into their own hands.

http://www.domini.org/openbook/home.htm


Herbie:

For the third time, do you have any 'credible' proof of a muslim got killed for converting to other religion ???


No, Malaysia is not one of the top 20 wealthiest countries. It currently ranks 32nd (nationmaster.com GDP per capita), but its oil reserves are dropping. The future for Malaysia looks ominous, unless the growing threat of muslim militancy is dealt with decisively.
As at least two other posters mentioned above, the chinese businessmen in Malaysia are the real dynamic driving force in the Malaysian economy. Any move to further marginalize these chinese will lead to a crash in Malaysia's economy reminiscent of Idi Amin's Uganda after the Hindus were expelled, or Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe after the productive minority farmers were expelled.


Ex C well I had thought I cited it, but you don't agree and you refuse to say whether the quotations I offered are accurate. What can I say? Two months ago I tried a fraud case and the defendant had the same type of argument that you present. The jury awarded substantial daamges to my client. I leave it to readers of this blog to judge if I have accurately quoted your religous texts and their import. Your arguments strike as evading the central issue, but I may be wrong. However if I am it is curious that you have not said that I am with respect to these texts.


Herbie:

Let the readers judge.

have a nice day.


Sorry, Malaysia's worse off than I thought. It actually ranks 48th (not 32) on the GDP per capita list. It ranks 32 on the GDP PPP list at nationmaster.com. But its population cuts into the per capita ranking. And sadly, Malaysia's birthrate places its future firmly within the third world, particularly if the Islamic nature of the country is stressed, and the foreigners who are maintaining the economy are forced to leave.


Bjørn:

Of course, I am hardly qualified to know what Noreng thinks and not. It's also hard to judge his comments to you without knowing the whole discussion.

What I do know, however, is that he has been critical - and often rightly so -towards Statoil on several occasions. Furthermore I think he is right about his claim that this is part of a political pressure campaign aimed to keep us from doing things American right-wing extremists don't like.

Do you disagree with that? Or do you think the problem is that he likens it to propaganda?

Maybe he shouldn't have. But CSP at least shows us clearly that neither NRK nor Michael Moore are alone in implying things, in their point about Statoils geopolitical agenda they seem to be implying an awful lot.

This does not mean that the CPS are not idealists or that Statoil isn't in it for the money.

I also believe Noreng is right to distrust the American neo-concervatives and their motives, frankly there have been many examples making such distrust well-deserved.

For me this does certainly not mean that one should automatically disregard everything they say. Nor should one disregard Norengs comments because they could also have been said by the mullahs in Iran. Sometimes, Bjørn, mullahs make valid points.

This time the CPS also has points.

Through their presence in Iran Statoil does help out the current Iranian regime (and the much-publicized corruption case does not make it any better). That's not good, regardless of whether these guys support terrorism or not - and regardless of whether one defines Hezbollah as a terrorist group - or not.

Statoil will no doubt say - in short - that it would not get any better in Iran if the country was boycotted, and that foreign presence in Iran makes things better, more open to foreign impulses. That's the point they have been making about Angola.

Personally, I disagree.

Øyvind


Øyvind: "Furthermore I think he is right about his claim that this is part of a political pressure campaign aimed to keep us from doing things American right-wing extremists don't like."

Well, yes. I don't object to that as a statement of fact, but as an argument for dismissing CSP's criticism. Noreng's defense of Statoil is pure ad hominem. His first line of defense has been to question CSP's motives, and only when pressed does he offer any actual arguments that they are wrong.

"Maybe he shouldn't have. But CSP at least shows us clearly that neither NRK nor Michael Moore are alone in implying things, in their point about Statoils geopolitical agenda they seem to be implying an awful lot."

I didn't read a lot of implications into that. Norway's policy on oil cooperation with Iran does undermine American foreign policy. That, too, is a statement of fact.

"I also believe Noreng is right to distrust the American neo-concervatives and their motives, frankly there have been many examples making such distrust well-deserved."

Yes. To make that distrust your main defense, however, on no basis other than that you're generally distrustful of all neo-conservatives, is not much to be proud of.

"Personally, I disagree."

Yes, and that's another reason why ad hominem attacks against the CSP are a side track. Whatever their motives are for criticizing Statoil, the arguments they use transcend whatever neo-conservative agenda they're promoting. Those are good arguments that are not usually being raised in Norway. It's a shame we have to hear these things from an American think tank, and it's a further shame when people like Noreng uses that origin to dismiss the arguments. We need more debate on this, not less.


Øyvind,

You say that "I think he is right about his claim that this is part of a political pressure campaign aimed to keep us from doing things American right-wing extremists don't like."

Is it only right wing extremists who don't "like" the positions that are akin to what Statoil is doing... or indeed the often odiously twisted "moral" rationales for doing such things. I ask this because I think you're right about how Statoil will handle this (in that its "engagement" and "helps their people" and so on.)if they are seriously challenged. And I think that its obscene. But I in no way think of myself as a "right wing extremist"...and somewhat resent it... especially by someone who I think is quite possibly reticent about deploying the word terrorist for example, even in cases when it is sand thumpingly obvious that it should be.

Isn't right wing extremist a value loaded label with emotional overtones? For my part I know several people who can be described as on the policy "in" in the US who, like me, could not so readily be labeled as right wing extremists.

Regardless, we'll leave that, and assume that the neo-conservative cabal is a lockstep conformity inducing band of ideologues to which I am in thrall. Assuming that, I'm more curious about this:

Is it the case that the will of said right wing extremists being something that is bad... you advocate that doing the opposite is de facto good. You seem to imply that since this is something that said extremists don't like, that doing what Staoil is doing is at least to some extent, defensible... and I find that curious. You have in essence, allowed these extremists to utterly dictate your desired course of action. Are they your arch-enemies? Those naive fools, I don't think they are even aware of that!

Perhaps they can use reverse psychology on Norway then... since Norway seems to have no will of her own. I'll make a few phone calls. What a foreign policy coup for the "Chimp" administration!

Is it defensibly "right" or justifiably "good" in the real world to do in Iran what Statoil is doing?

If its not... then the right wingers in this case... are right.

Thats rather disturbing perhaps... but worth a passing thought over.


Cheers and G'nite,

Kevin McDonnell


Bjørn wrote: Noreng's defense of Statoil is pure ad hominem

Kevin wrote: Is it only right wing extremists who don't "like" the positions that are akin to what Statoil is doing...

Certainly not. And that was never my point. As I said I would disagree with a defence like the one I expect from Statoil - the one they have used regarding for instance Angola. This far, however, I have not seen any real defence from them - perhaps a proof that Bjørn is right about the fact that we need more debate around this.

I do not feel - however - think that Norengs points are dismissing such a debate. I think his points are valid. 'Right-wing extremists' and 'propaganda' are harsh words, indeed, and his statements could have gained more weight if he didn't use those words. Still, by Norwegian standards, several of the names connected to the CSP are indeed right-wing extremists.

And that's what I am saying - not that CSP is necessarily wrong (they're partly right) - but that the points Noreng make should also be a part of the debate.

Furthermore, Bjørns reference to Noreng smelled a bit like ad hominem itself. It does not really matter whether Noreng used language the mullahs of Iran would approve of or not. As mentioned - just as American neoconcervatives - Iranian mullahs aren't always wrong.

By the way, if what I've heard is correct, the Norwegian labour union magazine Petromagasinet will have several articles regarding ethics in their next edition. Might be worth checking out.

Øyvind


Øyvind: "Furthermore, Bjørns reference to Noreng smelled a bit like ad hominem itself. It does not really matter whether Noreng used language the mullahs of Iran would approve of or not."

You're right. Even Mullah dictators can be right on occasion.


I agree, Mullah Dictators can be right occasionally... invariably it will be when speaking the "truth" serves their agenda... not because speaking truth in itself has any impact whatsoever on what they might say.

"American Neoconservatives" can also be right and that's reassuring... but I think the record indicates that their compass for articulating issues is... at least somewhat more virtuous than the one I described above...

...unless of course they are not so much "American neo-Conservatives" as "Right-Wing Extremists"... in which case it would be something else.

The two are different right Øyvind?

Or is the latter an ad-hominem too?

Alas... at least someone is right sometimes... since that implies there is a rightness about something... somewhere.

KM


I think we will have to cope with a world where both Iranian mullahs and American neo-concervatives believe that they're on the good side. None of them are like Sauron - evil and proud of it.

Both groups - I'm sure - consider themselves virtuous enough.

I do not necessarily consider "neo-concervatives" as "right-wing extremists", mainly because the latter word is a word I like to reserve for nazists and their kinred. However, judging by Norwegian standards, people like Perle are both "right-wing" and "extreme".


Øyvind,

Not so fast. I agree heartily that noone wakes up in the morning revelling in their evilness. In fact, it becomes very VERY important for those deeply engaged in acts which ARE objectively evil, to recast the true nature of their propositions in artful, and often highly complex terms. They are called lies. No active Nazi ever engaged in an act, indeed no human being has ever engaged in an act no matter how heinous, to which he did not have a ready rationale. This is because, quite simply... there is good and evil. A fair though not perfect barometer of the true nature of a "cause" is in the level of rationalization that it needs in order to justify itself internally. The "best" of them, can weave hatred so tightly that reason falls by the wayside and hatred becomes a reflexive state in itself. It's interesting to consider the wide ranging rhetoric that Hitler engaged in for example. Emotive and interspersed with factoids ranging from slightly accurate to utterly contrived, presented as truth and justifying horror. Around him were propagandists who further acted as sophisticated apologists for hatred, even as they "liberated" the people from their own moral compass. Savagery became acceptable... it was noble. This all sounds familiar? If it sounds to you like President Bush, I suggest that you have been addled by the masturbatory equivalence that I speak of here.

Hitlers propositions could not have survived a free and open discourse. That's why free and open discourse is metaphysically essential to the Good. There has never been a better means for ensuring the good, then to having ALL OF US freely able to see... what IS.

That is indeed why Nazis did not have to address an open discourse once they had nuanced their way to the tipping point, since ruthlessness takes pains to eliminate that, in deference to conformity. Ideological conformity is its best customer.

You said "I think we will have to cope with a world where both Iranian mullahs and American neo-concervatives believe that they're on the good side." Is that it? Is that the end of the proposition? Is there a good that is simply good? Or is that idea simply a simplistic invitation to dogmatic conformity?

Question: Do you think that any former Nazis and apologists for Nazis, after the fact... came to a more "enlightened" state? One where they truly believed that what they had been enmeshed in was a web of nihilistic deceits and murderous hatred justifications that led them to freely abrogate their own moral compass and their own free will to become automotons to virtually pure evil.

I'm quite sure many did. And if they did... were they right in this state of illumination? If so was it the case that they were wrong when they were acting on behalf of the Master race previously?

Was the rightness and wrongness an objective fact, and one that binds to all of us as sentient beings acting in the universe?

Note here, that I never said that I or anyone else by themselves has a beeline on what Good and Evil is in all cases. That indeed is an evil tenet borne of arrogance (one of the really bad ones) that leads to the kind of justifications that we discussed above. What I said is that there IS right and wrong, good and evil... and they act on ones compass and in so saying I can declare that some things... like reltivism for example are evils in themselves. In relativism's case, it is because if one rejects the very IDEA... that there is no center... and that there is not at last a truth where Evil is exposed and expunged.... however difficult and/or distasteful it may be to peel away its facades... then I submit that Evil will triumph and the ruthless will rule.

Do the math. The nation you live in maintains its present "state", in a world where ruthlessness still holds sway... because of the resolve of some to preserve it with force from those who would break it with ruthless ambition.

We are not a world ready for pacifism, and will never get there without firm resolve to preserve... the Good.

Coonsider what you said:
"I do not necessarily consider "neo-concervatives" as "right-wing extremists", mainly because the latter word is a word I like to reserve for nazists and their kinred. However, judging by Norwegian standards, people like Perle are both "right-wing" and "extreme".

So then... is the standard in Norway... indeed the standard here As YOU see it... the one that that we apply here? How did that come to BE the standard? And what does this mean with regard to events, and actions taken in the world? Is it the "Nation-state" then... where standards form and reform like cloud formations passing meaninglessly across the mid afternnon sky? How convenient a philosophy for anyone who wishes to master the "art" of recasting what truly is... for the consumption of those around... or beneath him. You describe a place where freedom is meaningless and tyranny inevitable.

Or is it the "Culture" that completely informs us as to right and wrong... and Good and Evil? I suppose then that we can devise a relativistic measure of "value sets" across the world, and in our sophistication... imagine that this model supercedes core values, human nature and a moral center. Indeed... I imagine from what I know of the "nature" of "progressive" Academia that this kind of thing has probably been done. This should be intellectually easy since such primitive concepts as moral center are mere fictions anyway... no?

But I'm curious how proponents of these compelling tenets to which you obviously do subscribe (that is no ad hominem) also so often tend to be proponents, indeed guardians (but only for the emotive value to their Public Image in my opinion) of concepts like Universal Human Rights... and Social Justice. That seems extraordinarly counter-intuitive.

You say "Both groups - I'm sure - consider themselves virtuous enough."

Yes... but are they Øyvind? Is it the exclusive purview of those who consider all this talk of truth and lies, good and evil to be rather primitive and distasteful... to simply sniff disdainfully. I note with interest that it is those who adhere to this self indulgent ideology of mass solipsism (and I say again... it IS an ideology).. who presently dominate the discourse in the EU (where the recent decision on Darfur as being regrettable but not genocidal was, I'm sure, quite "right" in their minds) and the UN (which is busy calling the US an international war criminal while issuing similarly meaningless and anti-Life but faux morally superior proclamations on "Social Justice").

Ultimately, it has become my firm position that I don't know many things... because I'm just one mind in a sea of minds. But the little I can know, and the little will that I have... I will maintain sovereignty over.

And with that in mind... I'll take the simplisme of that cabal of neo conservatives... almost every time it seems.

KM


This debate is getting quite philosophical, Kevin. I'll try to put it short: I am not a relativist. I believe there are good and evil in the world.

Maybe your "tenets to which you obviously subscribe" was an ad hominem after all.

In my opinion you can find the standard in almost every religion and almost every society throughout the world. Killing people is evil. Stealing stuff is evil. Deceiving and lying is evil too.

Of course it's not that easy, breaking into a shop to get bandage to stop a man from bleeding to death is not evil. Still, I think you get an idea of what I mean.

Now - let's continue to the Sauron picture, shall we? My whole point was that neither the mullahs in Iran or the neo-concervatives or for that matter the Nazis are Saurons. Sometimes they're all being portrayed as that. Leftists like me have even added the One Ring to the finger of George W. Frodo failed.

(Personally I prefer the poster with Frodo where the Ring has been substituted with a dollar sign and the text: One system to bind us all)

As you said the Nazis had a "ready rationale" for every atrocity they were behind. Without time-travelling and mindreading abilities I can of course not say this for sure... but I think that Hitler didn't do what he did because he enjoyed so much being evil. I think he did it because he firmly believed he was doing good.

The problem here is of course that in my head not only the ideas of Nazism or of the corrupt theocrats in Iran are evil. In my head many of the ideas of the socalled neoconcervatives in America are also evil.

However, I do not throw labels like that about. First of all, I would hardly score many points in discussions that way. Secondly, even if I did it would hardly be fruitful discussions. Thirdly, good people can have evil ideas.

And lastly, well, I'm 100% sure there are people out there who find some of my ideas evil too. I'm a socialist after all.

Øyvind


Its odd, and frustrating, even exasperating... but also sadly typical.

Øyvind, you reply not to my message, but to the parsed pieces that you choose to, and ultimately to yourself. Read your own last post, and decide for yourself if that did much beyond adding to your previous with a few small adjustments for a sentece or two from what I wrote to you in between.

You say "Now - let's continue to the Sauron picture, shall we? My whole point was that neither the mullahs in Iran or the neo-concervatives or for that matter the Nazis are Saurons."

Yes... that was your point... and I answered it. Your reply does not address that. This is typical of someone who supscribes to ideas of which you say you reject.

Then you say: "Sometimes they're all being portrayed as that. Leftists like me have even added the One Ring to the finger of George W. Frodo failed."

Yes well... I'm quite certain you prove something there... perhaps you sould re-read the post I wrote for you again?

You wrote: "but I think that Hitler didn't do what he did because he enjoyed so much being evil. I think he did it because he firmly believed he was doing good."

I utterly disagree, and I believe it sits at the heart of our differences. I submit to you Øyvind, that the same Germans I spoke of before, who experienced true remorse after the fact, knew even when they were lving the madness... at some level... perhaps deeply buried beneath some of the horror of ther own continuing participation... that they were doing great wrongs. I think the same is true of Hitler himself. What he did though...was justify. He did this with an elaborate flavor of making an omellete will break a few eggs. Can you relate to this? It is always that way Øyvind... it comes down to the power of the few over the many... and it is always in deference to some, often vague or redefined daily, VISION of a greater "truth" that begins us on th path to tyranny.

Furthermore.... the only monsters that have ever been, were human. And Hitler was one of them.

Why?

Because he lied.

The rest... the hatred, murder, destruction, cruelty, madness and mayhem... followed from that. came from that

Then you say: "The problem here is of course that in my head not only the ideas of Nazism or of the corrupt theocrats in Iran are evil. In my head many of the ideas of the socalled neoconcervatives in America are also evil."

Yes... thats the problem.

Then: "And lastly, well, I'm 100% sure there are people out there who find some of my ideas evil too. I'm a socialist after all."

Indeed... but they are not your ideas Øyvind. Generally, they are not the kind of ideas that permit you sovereignty over them.

KM


Now there is the internet. And I really appreciate people like you who take their chance in such an excellent way to give an impression on certain topics. Thanks for having me here.

英国の湾カジノ


Bjørn,

I've never noticed that before. Spammers really are an insidious lot aren't they. (see above)

Is it really worth the effort for them to do this on a blog? Does anyone actually link?

Sheesh

KM


Sorry, Kevin. In your post you said - amongst other things:

Yes... but are they Øyvind? Is it the exclusive purview of those who consider all this talk of truth and lies, good and evil to be rather primitive and distasteful... to simply sniff disdainfully.

The answer, my dear Kevin, is that NO, I do not find any of those groups to be virtuous. That does not mean they are the same, or just as bad as each other. I'll spell it out clearly:

I do NOT consider ALL this talk of truth and lies, good and evil to be primitive or distasteful.

You also wrote: So then... is the standard in Norway... indeed the standard here As YOU see it... the one that that we apply here?

If you read my previous post carefully you'll discover that I like to reserve "right-wing extremists" for Nazists and their kinred. Although some people surely disagree with me, in my mind Perle and his kinred is not included there. However, I think one should consider that the American neo-concervatives by Norwegian standards are truly both right-wing and extreme when discussing Norengs statements.

Hidden amongst all your long digressions I catch that you do not like that. Fine. Argue against it, instead of writing about disdainful sniffs, the "nature" of "progressive" academia or about tenets I never knew I subscribed to, and still not fancy the idea of subscribing to.

Of course, Kevin, your usual digressions left me confused before I was halfway through your post, so I probably did not understand it at all.

Indeed... but they are not your ideas Øyvind. Generally, they are not the kind of ideas that permit you sovereignty over them.

Well, Kevin, what kind of ideas do permit such a sovereignty? And if it is not me - who is deciding what my ideas are? And what "kind" of ideas is it I'm having anyway?


And Kevin, since you're probably not happy without it - let me give you my answers to your questions:

Do you think that any former Nazis and apologists for Nazis, after the fact... came to a more "enlightened" state?

Yes.

And if they did... were they right in this state of illumination?

Yes.

If so was it the case that they were wrong when they were acting on behalf of the Master race previously?

Yes.

Was the rightness and wrongness an objective fact, and one that binds to all of us as sentient beings acting in the universe?

Yes.


Ok. You do not consider talk of good and evil to be distasteful. And you say you are not at all bound by relativism.

Then lets lay it all out there in terms of clarity with a few straightforward questions, of the kind that I claim are rarely if ever "discussed" in the Norwegian media... though they are often pronounced upon.

To wit:

Can Iraq become a free country with a stable Democracy ensuring the protection of peoples right to life and liberty?

If, so is this an unambiguously good thing or not?

Was Iraq "better off" in any way before the Hussein regime was overthrown?

Will a successful flowering of Liberty in Iraq, have an impact on the tyrannies that surround it?

Will it impact the capacity of global terroist groups to operate if more of the oppressive regimes of the Arab world are pressured or cast down by movements towards freedom (as could readily happen in Iran for example)?

Is Freedom a good thing?

Is there some other way to address global terror spreading its tendrils across the despotism that is the Arab world and elsewhere... than to affirm an alternative to tyranny?

If so what is it?

And moving on; what is it you think the US is attempting to achieve in Iraq, and why are you opposed to that?

And also, why do you think countries like France and China opposed the US in "siding" with the UN over enforcement of the resolutions, and do you think it had anything to do with the UN Oil for Food scandal?

And lastly, who are the Neo conservatives and what is their agenda?


Finally I would like to note Øyvind, that I don't think my last two posts were all that digressive. I think instead that you were selective in what you chose to address. Thats your loss, not my failure.

Cheers,

KM


We're a long way from the topic now, Kevin.

Can Iraq become a free country with a stable Democracy ensuring the protection of peoples right to life and liberty?

Of course. The question is, of course: How?

If, so is this an unambiguously good thing or not?

Of course.

Was Iraq "better off" in any way before the Hussein regime was overthrown?

Yes, it was. There were few terrorist attacks in Iraq before the Hussein regime fell, radical Islamists had little or no influence, unemployment was less of a problem (at least according to Iraqis I have discussed this with), etc. Then on the other hand, Iraq has a better shot at becoming a democracy now, there's much more freedom of speech, the country is less isolated, etc.

Will a successful flowering of Liberty in Iraq, have an impact on the tyrannies that surround it?

It can absolutely have such an impact on the countries around it.

This is why I repeatedly have stated that the anti-war movement now has to work to promote democracy in Iraq. If you read Norwegian, see my article here.

However, it will not automatically have such an impact and with continued Western support for the very tyrannies that surrounds Iraq (including US support to the Saudis and the Kuwaitis) it is not unlikely that democracy - if achieved at all - will not spread, and eventually degenerate. This has happened before.

Will it impact the capacity of global terroist groups to operate if more of the oppressive regimes of the Arab world are pressured or cast down by movements towards freedom (as could readily happen in Iran for example)?

Yes, it will. The oppressive regimes are often the very reason terrorist groups exist at all. Not because they support the terrorists, but because a violent political culture is created.

However, you must keep in mind that the Islamist movements in many countries are the only existing progressive alternative. In some countries the Islamists are the guys fighting for freedom.

Is Freedom a good thing?

Of course it is. But we can probably discuss for hours - or years - what freedom is and how it should be secured.

Is there some other way to address global terror spreading its tendrils across the despotism that is the Arab world and elsewhere... than to affirm an alternative to tyranny?

Yes, but creating such alternatives is perhaps the most viable method.

If so what is it?

One example is fighting poverty, unequality and injustice, i.e. not only fighting political tyranny, but also economical tyranny.

And moving on; what is it you think the US is attempting to achieve in Iraq, and why are you opposed to that?

I hope and believe the US is attempting to achieve democracy in Iraq. As you can read in the article I link to above I am not opposed to that. The Americans aren't exactly doing a swell job this far, the British do somewhat better, but all of that is another discussion.

I was opposed to the war not because I oppose democracy in Iraq but because I considered - and still consider - war as a ineffective, dangerous and morally doubtful way to achieve it.

Furthermore, I am not naive enough to rule out American geopolitical and economical interests in this. I do not think it was coincidental that they chose Iraq. I have (sadly) not heard to much talk of bringing democracy to tyrannies where the dictators support the United States. There are plenty of those, and the support is mostly both ways.

And also, why do you think countries like France and China opposed the US in "siding" with the UN over enforcement of the resolutions, and do you think it had anything to do with the UN Oil for Food scandal?

Quite possible. It also had to do with both moral choices, scepticism towards war as a solution and geopolitical and economical interests.

And lastly, who are the Neo conservatives and what is their agenda?

The neoconcervatives is a loose right-wing ideological movement and obviously not all of its members have exact the same political motivations or the same agenda. The ideology is also constantly shaped and reshaped.

Generally, though, there is a firm belief in the blessings of a "free market economy", strong support for traditional concervative ideas ("family values", pro-Life), often a Christian fundament and when it comes to foreign policy, an America-centered worldview combined with hopes for a New American Century and a willingness to deploy American troops in foreign countries around the world.

Øyvind


Ex-Christian, now Muslim wrote:
Herbie, I challenge you to show me ONE case from ''credible'' source of muslim who was killed for converting to other religion ?

A case:
http://www.asianews.it/view.php?l=en&art=1553
Christian Convert Doctor Killed By Suspected Militants


Overwhelming “multiculturalism” often makes us feel ignorant as we are confronted by new and exotic cultural expressions such as the “Rhamadan Festival”.
How many Westerns knows anything much about this “New Season” celebrated during this October month in Western Christian societies, the Muslim Ramadan, the Islamic month of so-called “fasting’?
Ramadan start on the evening of October 16th and will conclude on November 14th with the Id-ul-Fitr when there will be a lot of thanksgiving and manly merry making. What such “celebrations” will entail in Iraq during the few remaining days leading up to Christmas is too hideous even to contemplate!
We all live in the Islamic Year 1423, the tenth lunar revolution and the “holy” Muslim month of Rhamadan is about to get into full swing! This so-called “fasting-month” is not at all about “fasting” but the complete opposite! It is proven and of course all honest Muslims knows that most Islamic households consume more (not less!) food during Ramadan, so what is the explanation?
During the ancient pagan Arabian Rhamadan rite, originally devoted to the North African Sun-God Rhaa, the devotees only eat twice every 24 hours when the Sun-God can’t see what the sneaky little “Arabs” are up to during the dark hours! Unlike Christmas and its Goodwill Celebration of Jesus birth in Bethlehem, Ramadan does not celebrate any specific event in the life Muhammad (P.U.H.N.) or any historic Islamic event at all, its a "Pagan left-over". Read on!
There may be other “explanations” according to your local well-fed Imam, but the fact is that Ramadan is originally an ancient 5-6000 year old annexed and degraded Arabian pre-Muslim Kaaba Hindu idolater’s polytheistic rite that once was a lot more cheerful before the Muslims took over fourteen centuries ago.
Islam took possession of much local Hindu tradition including the crude box-like Kaaba shrine in Mecca. This stolen “Holy Hindu Cube” (Arabic: "kaaba" = Eng. "cube") is believed to be more then twice as old as Islam. This is really why today devoted Muslim “Believers” still spit their way through October/November Ramadan because during the sunshine/sun god hours it was decided that also Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink anything, including natural saliva!
Spitting and flatulence is considered "Halal" for the many Islamic “Fidel’s” trying to impress “come lately god Allah” now standing in once yearly for the original pagan idol Rhaa. It’s easy to sense that Rhaa had a hell of a lot more sexy panache then the dull Allah!
Rhamadan dictates an eating pattern similar to wild carnivorous animals. Dogs can quickly “wolf” huge amounts and then slowly digest a big food-bolus over many hours, and wild canines aren’t said to be constantly “fasting”, are they? Farting dogs, yes, but fasting? Not likely! Humans and Muslims have a different intestinal design, (strikingly similar to pigs) and we need a continuous and varied intake of nourishment for a healthy growth and development. The human “interior” in respect to absolute organ-sizes and proportions, are visibly identical to pigs and that may come to good medical use one day soon. Fortunately our exteriors differ more dramatically as we all know.
During Rhamadan women cop it worse as is the standard rule of Sharia Law in Arabic Islam. The females must rise well before all males (about 3am in summertime Australia) and cook for the pre-dawn Muslim Rhaa-wolfing! Same at night, they all sit and wait for the TV/radio to say OK and they stuff themselves again like the “little wolffi's” they are for one lunar month. That is the reason Muslims on average drink and eats much more during this surviving pagan “Rha-feasting”! Obviously the Muslims are totally dishonest when they boast how Rhamadan teach the Muslims understanding the lot of the poor and starving.
The sad truth is that genuinely needy people that’s actually starving drink a lot of water and whatever food they find frequently, even just some grass to kill the hunger-pain. Rhamadan strictly forbids the poor peoples usual drinking and necessary erratic hand-to-mouth eating-pattern so poor people suffer while wealthy Muslims gorge themselves from their luxuriously laden tables.
Islam often seeks to exploit ignorance and present an untrue self-image and you may ask why Muslims so often prove to be the deceitful “OPPOSITE-PEOPLE”. They say one thing and do the opposite!
When they say they love someone, they mutilate harm, beat and even kill them! Muslim women suffer this evil Islamic “love” by being held in life-long house arrest and only transported under strict supervision inside hideous “textile-cages” like female chain-gangs in hopeless lifelong Islamic detention.
Look at their Islamic education system that concentrates on long verbal recitals that deliberately designed to shut out and “blinker” all useful real knowledge.
Look at their entertainment and enjoyment! There is not much enjoyment at all really, not even harmonic music. Muslims in “performing art” usually look like pompous fools showing off some predictable repetitive rubbish with a all too familiar swagger..
When they say they fast” they are really acting gluttonous! It’s the “OPPOSITE PEOPLE”!
Muslims living in the dark wintry northern part of Europe have it much easier than their co-religionists in say Australia and New Zealand where November is a warm month with up to 18 hours daylight in southern New Zealand. Is almighty Allah stupid or what?
This voracious Ramadan feeding habit at peculiar hours frequently generates intestinal problems and flatulence requiring the “breaking of wind”. It is written in the Hadith that if a Muslim “break wind” during his prayers, he must start all over again and recite the Sura-verse from the beginning. Allah has got a sensitive nose and Christians too are well advised not to hang about down-wind from a Mosque during Rhamadan!
Also, many Muslims get little done because everybody is tired from early morning over-eating, and dizzy in the afternoon due to dehydration and spirited spitting.
Wealthy men have a relaxed time and blame their laziness on the “holy” Ramadan, but all women must soldier on as usual. Poor uneducated people suffer social dishonour since they cannot afford to spend all day at the Mosque or lie around with other men on soft pillows smoking, sleeping, spitting and breaking wind. The poor people must stay awake and work as usual despite health-hazards.
Many unnecessary work and car accidents happen during Ramada and now civilized countries like Australia also suffers these risks because of a large Muslim influx.
However, it is the innocent children in Muslim care suffer the worst because mothers will often deny their children breast or anything nutritious despite authorative advice regarding their baby’s natural needs.
Finally, this is one major reason why Muslims consider Christians “Dirty Rotten Infidels” because Christians love to eat and drink shamelessly under the gaze of a warm brilliant sun, as any really cultured humane God would wish. Non-Muslims see absolutely no reason to act afraid of the cruel pagan sun-king Rha-Rha-Ramadan.
SUMMARY: “Islamic fasting” is really about repetitive tenth-lunar PAGAN FEASTING during the dark hours deemed less annoying to the brilliant daytime gaze of the shining pagan Sun-God Rhaa!
How quaint and weird things often turn out to be when some religion gets involved. Just look at our Christian Christmas and the alien looking Santa! The Santa is really a pagan mountain Troll-King more likely to put YOU in his big rucksack rather then hand out gifts from it. Now he comes presented in spanking newly invented Christmas clothing. Christmas is really an adopted Old Norse tradition that originally helped people come together for merrymaking while making necessary survival-preparations for an inevitable long dark winter, quite the opposite of Ramadan. Muslims celebrate the-end of Ramadan, Christians celebrate the arrival of Christmas. God bless you all!


We will nuke Mecca. You started it. Now the only way
to dispell the images of your foul religion destroying the
WTC is turn your your precious city into a smoking hole
in the ground. This will happen. God will send one of our
Christian bomber pilots or submarine captians against your
foul religion of hate. You wouldn't leave us alone even though
we made you rich with oil money when you didn't have the
intelligence to get it out of the ground. All you ever did is
screw your camels and each other and make your women
go around in tents with a heater grill on the front. Afraid?
Good. Just one more mass attack on us and the majority'
of Americans will favor putting you all in camps where you
belong. This until your wotthless butts are sent to some
Muslim porgressive democracy. Oh yes there isn't one
on the face of the earth. Oh well then you can all go live
in your own fetid countries. You can't fool us forever.
So buy a lot of good hiking shoes cause your hadj is going
to involve a lot of hiking around that nuked hole in the ground.

Long live the Crusaders


A friend told me that the whole explanation about muslim and also christian fanatism has been written by a french writer of eighteenth century called Voltaire in a prophetical book called "Le Fanatisme ou Mahomet le Prophète" he read me some chapters of that book and i agree with him.
This is the link if you want to get the book :
http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/2951926405/qid=1108599753/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/171-4046948-4182656


Hello,

I hope you would not mind that I QUOTE your article with its references on http://talkaboutislam.com

(I would not pretend those are my words. I would say clearly that YOU wrote this, and would leave a reference on the forums http://talkaboutislam.com/forums/  to your blog in the article.)

If you do mind quoting your article, please email the webmaster at talkaboutislam.com and ask him to remove the article from the forums.


 


There is imperical evidence to suggest that Muhammad was a homosexual. His claim that Allah explained to him how men should pray can not be verified, but to insist that Allah said men must stick there rear ends up in the air would suggest that either Muhammed was gay or that Allah was gay, and it is doubtful that Allah is a sexual being. Disallowing women to pray in the mosque also supports this theory. It is also evident in the Muslim architecture, as all of their mosques use phallic symbology. The ornate details rendered in religious artifacts also suggest a strong degree of 'gayness'. The word 'head' is also hidden in the name of Muhammed. Also, by naming their most holy book the "Queer'an" one would be hard pressed to dis-associate these hard facts. Yes, indeed, Muhammad was gay.


First of all I disagree with the notion that Islam is a religion. At best Islam can be categorized as a CULT. The worlds Largest CULT. As most people would agree that CULTs and democracy don't go together it is futile to try bringing democracy to countries that follow and preach this CULT.


All said! there is just one point which stands as an index of any appropriate religious character and its closeness to god and human beings. Islam as such does no depict any integrity when its followers get mad at Mohammeds caricature and forget that it was in Bamiyan Afganistan in 2001 that they distroyed statues of buddha, no one heard of any protest from buddhist segment and actually no one cared. This all shows how juvenile Islam is and where will it direct its followers. If Hinduism, Christianity and many other religions do not heed lessons learned from Islams mistakes then there will be more suffering to come
in future. Look where Hinduism took India by becomming a class oriented and fanatic religion from its earlier times of vedic culture where science was developed. If we do not change and become humans again we would definitely push ourselves into some dark ages as suffered by old religions like Hinduism.


Perky Rhino, USA | 2006-02-07 00:51 | Link
There is imperical evidence to suggest that Muhammad was a homosexual.

Perky, what is your point? Are you implying that if Mohammad were a homosexual that would be synonymous with his being evil? If this is your intent than you have failed miserably. Islam is an intolerant cult that viciously persecutes homosexuals and warps the sexuality of straights by defining women as chattels and playthings of men.

Your post merely reflects your intolerance and ignorance of human sexuality and makes you into an islamist - bigoted and hateful.....how ironic the very thing I suspect you were trying to denigrate !

Sister Sook-Im


just for the record perky, i am not a homosexual...i love women, especially my young wife ayesha whom i have great pleasure showing off when i take her to school.
love and kisses,
mo (pbum)
may allah bless you all with a thousand camels


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Armies of Liberation: Muslim Democracies, September 14, 2004 02:21 AM

Bjorn quoting Dag: The fact is that half of the world's 1,4 billion Muslims - 700 million - live in countries with democratically elected governments. This according to Freedom House's global survey for 2004. Less than every fifth Muslim live in Arab...

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