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Seriously trying to understand the US-American concept of freedom

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ad MADARA: (...) ( strangely no one is accusing anyone for the Holocaust which took place in Palestine in (....)


I agree with some of the points you raised in your post but definitely not with this part. Yes, Palastinians suffer a lot in the Middle East conflict, but you would have to be quite ignorant about what was really going on in WWII to actually use the term "holocaust" the way you did. Do you see Palestinians rounded up and put in gas chambers? Are they being used for medical experiments by the Israelis?


Despite some really terrible things going on there, Palestinians can actually go to work and live in Israel, they can go and study there. And you call this situation "a holocaust"?

Just like some people arbitrarily use the term "nazi" and "fascist", you seem to be using the term "holocaust" in a very arbitrary way.

By your standards, you would have to call the ongoing killing between different factions of Muslims a "holocaust" too. Just think of how systematically Shiites are under attack by Sunnis in Iraq.

I don't agree with the settlement policy of the Israeli government and other measures but comparing their actions with the holocaust shows little understanding of the actual historical facts.

As for the term "the chosen ones", I guess almost all religious people, including Muslims, think they are special. I repeatedly heard Muslims say that they could never criticize another Muslim even if he had killed someone, because after all he is a Muslim, suggesting that the worst Muslim is still better than the best non-Muslim.

There are some videos on youtube about a so-called "Muslim patrol" in the UK. TV stations invited Muslim leaders to discuss this topic. After having watched Muslims harassing non-Muslims in London for no reason whatsoever (except for being non-Muslim) one of the religious leaders refused to even criticize his "brothers" for their behaviour.

Fortunately, other Muslim leaders challenged his position.

The problem with many "believers" is that they think they are on a mission and if that mission turns wrong, people end up getting killed.

The concept of "the chosen people" is definitely a complex one. I don't agree with it, just as I don't agree with almost anything else most religions try to promote.


@ MADARA

"I don't believe that people should be punished for not believing in God ( I am talking of course about this life )."

What about in the next life?

[edit: remember, us damned atheists don't believe in an afterlife, so telling us we will burn in hell, or something like that, should not upset us.]

ad Jorgis: I saw a few clips of Dieudonné's shows. I neither find him very entertaining nor witty. He is like a little kid trying to provoke his parents. He doesn't actually deny the holocaust for example but he makes fun of it. And the way he does so is quite distasteful.

As long as he does not tell people to go after Jews, I would not ban his shows. The gesture he "invented" certainly is based on the "Hitlergruß". Just another rather lame way of trying to create some attention - and he was successful. As an "artist" he doesn't have much to offer, I think.

I watched some of his interviews and he didn't strike me as a person worth listening to either. But people have different opinions.

(...) ...say that Arabs stink or that black people are monkeys (...)

Well, you can say these things here too but you can be fined for doing so, depending on the situation. People can sue you for slander, personal insult etc. If you can prove that they were attacking you based on the fact that you are a member of a specific ethnic group for example you can also sue them for discrimination.

(...) ...And the more sympathetic he seems to people. (...)

Every time they first cancel one of his shows and then allow them after all, the tickets are sold out in no time. Personally, I go by what a person has to say and not by what others say about that person. I'd rather spend my money on a nice meal than wasting it for any of his shows, but I think people should be allowed to watch it as long as he does not call for violent actions.

There isn't really any use in trying to forbid stupidity.

@Robert.at

"There are some videos on youtube about a so-called "Muslim patrol" in the UK."

I have not heard of this, but I have heard of some small areas in some British cities where muslims have put up signs saying that these areas are governed by sharia law, and apparently they have gangs of thugs enforcing this. I have not seen anything like this myself, so I can't say anything in more detail.

I grew up in the poor part of Pollokshields in Glasgow, at least until I was 8, and it was completely dominated by people from Pakistan. Other areas within Pollokshields were dominated by people from India. There were many tensions between these two groups, but as far as I remember, nothing between either of these groups and the native Scottish population. When I was about 8, I actually went to an organised fight between muslims and 'people who believed in more than one god'. The fight was pretty pathetic, and basically involved kids throwing rocks at each other from 10 feet apart until one kid got hit in the head, some adult came out and went mental, and everybody ran away. However, everybody was very clear about why they were fighting. They were fighting over how many gods there are (except me, I was just hanging out with my friends). Funnily enough, nobody seemed to care that I didn't think there are any gods.

@Colin

I think this is the kind of thing Robert is talking about:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dqwRJ6HSoU8

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FaIAnK75Wrc

ad Eugrus: (...) ....that many Wohnheime just rent out rooms only for students of certain confessions. For instance, what you would typically see here in Münster is "just for male Catholics". (....)

All of our Catholic dormitories are open to other confessions as well (at least they were when I was a student; I met many Muslims in the Catholic dormitories in Graz). I don't know what the situation is like in Germany.

You have dormitories that are only for women, but I don't find that discriminatory in the way the bill in Arizona would have been had it been passed as a law. I visited my female friends in their dormitories, no problem whatsoever. I only had to leave before 10 pm ;-)

Btw, I don't find it discriminatory either if I'm not allowed into restrooms for women.

I think the reason for women-only dormitories has to do with the fact that women sometimes don't feel that safe in mixed dormitories. That, however, says more about men than about women.

There are women-only cars in some subways (like in Tokyo for example). And there is a good reason for that. Groping is a serious problem there. Personally, I think it would be much better to really go after the perpetrators instead of having to create these "safe havens" for women.




ad Colin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9L_zEZflFQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYFzrEIzoHE

And that's the actual video with the discussion I mentioned above:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SukEnAQ_ebE

I'd like to emphasize that I'm sure that these people are a minority among the Muslim community but they need to be dealt with. We can't allow these things in our societies. Unfortunately, our own government is way too lenient with the Salafists spreading their propaganda in our cities.

I don't have anything against Muslims. They can build a mosque in front of my house if they want, no problem. As long as they abide by our laws.

But these people are dangerous and radicals that I don't want to see here (and I wish they would not terrorize people anywhere else).

EDIT: What struck me the most was what one of these vigilants said in the video: I have no respect whatsoever for the British law.....

Just for the record, as much as I disagree with MADARA on many topics, I would not put him into the same category as the people in that video.

@Colin: '' have not heard of this, but I have heard of some small areas in some British cities where muslims have put up signs saying that these areas are governed by sharia law, and apparently they have gangs of thugs enforcing this''

Well these brainless people cannot be considered Muslims( the only place where they can be considered Muslims in in their IDs) . The reason is that the majority of Britain's population is not composed out of Muslims so Sharia law cannot not even be thought as an alternative . Of course that I agree with the Sharia law ( with the REAL one not that in which the media tries to describe erroneously to the non-Muslims) but this can be possible only if the majority of people living in a certain state are Muslims. Also if one believes that his faith is the true one, he/she can't possibly force it upon others.

I also heard of some nincompoops who wanted to turn the Buckingham Palace into a mosque :))). These guys were either payed so as to increase the peoples' aversion towards Islam or they were a bunch of people with an utterly base education. There are plenty of mosques in Britain , I think, and even if they wanted to build more, the Brits who are known for their tolerance would've gladly sold them some land or some abandoned buildings to do so .

Oh and Colin , I don't believe that Atheists are necessarily damned( honestly I wish that all people will end up in Paradise though unfortunately this isn't possible ) nor do I hate them. Like I always say , people are free to choose to believe or not in God and if they don't this doesn't mean that I have the right to hold a grudge against them . As long is they behave as I would behave with them I think everything should be peachy . Of course I admit that I wish they will believe in God in order to claim victory in this life and the hereafter.


What I meant when I said ' the Holocaust in Palestine' I meant how so many have died without doing nothing besides residing peacefully in their own country. I just used that term having in mind that it refers to killing large groups of innocent people.

''Despite some really terrible things going on there, Palestinians can actually go to work and live in Israel, they can go and study there. And you call this situation "a holocaust"?''

I've heard a Romanian journalist saying that the occupied territories ( I don't agree with the 'Israel' term) form the most democratic state in the world. If they're so democratic how come Palestinians who live there can't vote ?
And there are dozens of reason for why I am against this pirate state ( I must mention that I'm not against Jews but Zionists are completely another story).

'As for the term "the chosen ones", I guess almost all religious people, including Muslims, think they are special. I repeatedly heard Muslims say that they could never criticize another Muslim even if he had killed someone, because after all he is a Muslim, suggesting that the worst Muslim is still better than the best non-Muslim.''

No we don't believe that we are superior to non-Muslims . We just believe that we have the right guidance which enables us to succeed in this life and the next one and who doesn't share this view is not inferior . I for one don't believe that it is correct for me or any other Muslim to think of himself/herself superior to anyone ( this isn't what the Qu'ran really teaches).

And the 'chosen ones' think of themselves like that because of their race not their religion ( the Torah doesn't teach its followers to be arrogant under any circumstance ). Of course that not all Jewish people think like that .

@madara

Your posts always sound like there´s some kind of global conspiracy against Islam. Who´s conspiring against it and why?

" I just used that term (holocaust) having in mind that it refers to killing large groups of innocent people."

Wikipedia says...."The Holocaust (from the Greek ὁλόκαυστος holókaustos: hólos, "whole" and kaustós, "burnt"...so I guess the meaning of the word is somewhere between "extermination" and "burning completely", which is pretty much what the nazis did. I feel sympathy for the palestinians, but the holocaust comparison doesn´t make sense.
It simply gives the impression that you don´t what "a/the holocaust" is.

I´m not "Pro-Israel" by the way. I think the Jews should just get some territory in northern America....that way they would be close to their best buddy 'murica and the Muslims in and around Palestine would benefit as well. I guess people´s delusions and holy books make that impossible though.

@Madara
What you say regarding occupation and democracy in Israel, Canaan, Palestine, or what ever you want to call it, is not 100% true.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_citizens_of_I...

"the Torah doesn't teach its followers to be arrogant under any circumstance"
In the sense of arrogance where it makes Jews think that they are the chosen ones, it sure does.

Paule89

"...'murica.." I'm fairly certain the origin of that joke is here in the US, making fun of ourselves, but sadly I'm fairly certain the rest of the world tends to view us as 'Muricans.

illovelanguageslll

I see this thread has gotten way off the original topic, as an American I wanted to respond when I first saw it, but decided not to. However, to answer ilovelanguages' original question concisely, my idea of freedom would be as follows: You should have the right to do what you want, unless those actions infringe upon the rights of others.

If you want further insight, I'd suggest looking at the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and read the works of John Locke (who was a major influence on the founding fathers and particularly Thomas Jefferson, the main author of the Declaration of Independence).

The proposed bill in question was vetoed, just as I knew it would be. People here in the United States have the right to express extreme views, however such extreme views have very few supporters.

"People here in the United States have the right to express extreme views, however such extreme views have very few supporters."

I often feel that this is something that foreigners, particularly Europeans, have a hard time grasping. They often seem blind to regional differences, as well. One example is how several states are just as secular as a western European nation. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/20...

I must say that I am rather pleased on how we succeeded in having an exchange of ideas without any tension (at least from my part and from others towards me ) . Honestly I was prepared to be 'butchered' for some of the things I said here on this thread .

@Paule: I could write for hours on why I believe(know) that there's a conspiracy against Islam so I will just limit myself on saying a few things.
Didn't you ever wander when a Muslim does an idiotic deed the media says :''and the Muslim terrorist or the Muslim murderer '' and when you have people that belong to another belief , they don't mention their religion ?

And look what's happening in Syria and what happened in Ukraine .After the government dogs killed 21 people (or more I'm not sure ) the whole European Union jumped in order to solve this problem. While in Syria things would've finished a long time ago if Obama would've given the no fly interdiction above the Syrian soil .
I don't want to play the victim or anything but there are facts that cannot be denied .

''I´m not "Pro-Israel" by the way. I think the Jews should just get some territory in northern America....''

I think that New York would fit the bill considering that there are more Jewish people there then in the Middle East .

"I think that New York would fit the bill considering that there are more Jewish people there then in the Middle East ."

Based on your logic, Romania should give some of its territory to the Roma people.

In any case, your facts are flawed. 1.5-2 million Jews reside in New York. 6 million of Israel's population of 8 million is Jewish.



You're partly right :http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/world-jewish-population.htm.

@Madara

Your link does not work for me.

I found a number of different numbers, and posted a rough mean. Apparently Jews are a difficult group to count for a number of reasons. One is that in polling Jews, many identify with the ethnicity but not the religion. Another is that Western Jews often own multiple homes, so they get counted in multiple regions.

@ MADARA

"Honestly I was prepared to be 'butchered' for some of the things I said here on this thread."

I am an expert trash talker and I can bust out some of my skillz if you feel it would make you more at home.

@MADARA: "...Didn't you ever wander when a Muslim does an idiotic deed the media says :''and the Muslim terrorist or the Muslim murderer '' and when you have people that belong to another belief , they don't mention their religion?..."
---

Well, as far as the BBC are concerned, they absolutely DON'T do this!

After the London tube bombings, the word "Muslim" was ruthlessly censored from almost all BBC news coverage - even though all of the bombers were Muslims and explicitly claimed to be motivated by Islam. Arguably the BBC were quite right to do this, because the killers didn't have any kind of mandate from the wider Muslim community, and were thus not representative of that community.

But just contrast their coverage of the Anders Breivik murders in Norway: the poisonous cretins repeatedly and disgracefully described him as a "Christian Terrorist" - even though he had absolutely no links to any kind of Christian church or organization, and didn't even himself claim to be acting in the name of Christianity / the Christian faith.

MADARA, if you want to be hated and discriminated against by leftist bigots, just come to Britain and convert to Christianity.

Jay: "...the poisonous cretins..."


I have been watching the BBC World Service since I moved to Norway in 1997 and felt that no broadcaster anywhere comes even close in terms of quality, balance and breath of reporting. Their documentaries are simply amazing. I don't know of any other broadcaster who would even look into the topics they cover. There are so many BBC documentaries I first watched on TV and which I then eventually ended up buying including the beautiful Michael Palin travel documentaries. Long live the BBC and God bless the British tax-payer!

I have been following the Anders Bering Breivik case really closely but I have never noticed the Christian angle that Jay mentioned. I am not even sure Breivik is a Christian. It is entirely possible that the BBC doesn't fit into your world view but I think it would be nice to back up your anti Christian agitation charges with some facts, at least if it is directed at the BBC.




@Friedemann

I'm not (entirely) surprised that you are an enthusiastic fan of the BBC :-) Of course, unlike me, you are not compelled to pay a TV license fee to fund the A-holes - but that is another matter...

I am referring to the coverage on BBC News 24 in the hours after Breivik's attack - coverage which I PERSONALLY WATCHED, okay. They described him repeatedly as a "Christian Terrorist".

"...I am not even sure Breivik is a Christian..."

The unspeakable b*****d is very obviously NOT a Christian - and that is precisely and exactly my point! His actions were clearly not something that the overwhelming majority of Christians would ever support, and there was no shred of proof that he had any kind of link to organized Christianity, so why would the BBC gleefully tell their viewers that he was a "Christian Terrorist", huh??

The BBC has some grotesque bias and double standards on a whole range of issues. There is no doubt in my mind that they have an anti-Christian bias. Mostly it is subtle (e.g. Christian characters in their dramas usually being depicted in a negative way.) Sometimes, as in News 24s Breivik coverage, the mask slips and it becomes more blatant.

ad MADARA: (...) No we don't believe that we are superior to non-Muslims . We just believe that we have the right guidance which enables us to succeed in this life and the next one and who doesn't share this view is not inferior (...)

I guess there are different types of people in all religious groups. Most of the Muslims I know would agree with what you wrote and I feel sorry for them every time they are put into the same category as those fanatics that make it into the news.

Some, like the thugs shown in the BBC videos (to me these people are criminals not based on their alleged belief but based on their actions), would most definitely speak out against you.

Despite the fact that we disagree on quite a few aspects I believe that you are the kind of believer most people would not have a problem with. We can disagree, even strongly so, but that should be no reason to be disrespectful in our dealings with each other.

I might be wrong, but I have had the impression that the discussions here on this forum have also made you consider the "other side" more openly.

I think Islam is not under any sort of attack nor is there widespread islamophobia. People are afraid of radicals such as the people slaughtering each other in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.

We should not forget that most Muslims are killed by other Muslims. Moderate Muslims even seem to be at a higher risk of being attacked than members of other religions.

I don't care for the labels some media are attaching to specific groups in our society. To me it is important what you, as an individual, say or do.

"Breivik is NOT a christian..."

According to Wikipedia, he´s a christian atheist - an atheist who feels connected to christian culture or something like that. He prayed that God would help him during his attacks though.

I won´t scream "He is NOT an atheist!" , by the way ;)

Jay,

"...I'm not (entirely) surprised that you are an enthusiastic fan of the BBC..."
And I am not surprised you are calling them "A-holes". We all have to pay taxes for a lot of things, here in Germany I have to pay for our state TV even though I don't watch it.

Being a Christian does not really prevent you from being violent. A lot of ethnic strife, civil wars have been fuelled by religious sentiments and Christianity is no exception to that. My whole point about the danger of religious beliefs is that you have an ideology and belief system that is not open to the same critical, eveidence based reasoning that science is.
So any dilusional message can be justified from within that belief system.

@Paule

You might feel differently if a publicly funded news channel had tried to present him to viewers as an "Atheist Terrorist"?

@Friedemann

You're missing the point entirely. What gets me is the crass double standards of these leftist swine: if a couple of Muslim guys kill dozens of people they will studiously avoid any mention of the religious aspect!

BTW
I'm not saying that YOU are a leftist swine. I think you are perhaps a sponge for their vile propaganda, but you are clearly not a bad guy.

"You might feel differently if a publicly funded news channel had tried to present him to viewers as an "Atheist Terrorist"?"

How do you think I feel about it? You said he´s not a christian and I agreed. Breivik called himself a crusader and claimed to be a christian though (I guess he can´t make up his mind)...so maybe that´s why they called him a "christian terrorist".

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