?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Bartender Geek [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Xiphias Gladius

[ website | My Website ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

By the way, I DO divide the world into "good guys" and "bad guys". [Aug. 19th, 2010|05:52 pm]
Xiphias Gladius
Just so you know: if you're against the building of an Islamic community center in Downtown Manhattan, you're one of the bad guys.

If you are saying, "well, sure, they have the LEGAL right to do it, but by putting it there, they're just being provocative," then you may not be particularly evil yourself, but you're intimidated by the evil people into being one of their henchmen. People doing completely normal things like building community centers aren't being provocative. The people who you are afraid they will provoke? Those are the bad guys. And if you are saying that they should modify their behaviors to do what the bad guys want, then you are saying that you support the bad guys.

And that means that you're one of the bad guys.

And THAT means that I find you a danger to me, personally. I'm Jewish. Right now, Jews are mostly considered more or less white. But that could change. And the second it does, people will start saying things like, "Well, sure, they COULD build a synagogue there, but wouldn't that just be asking for trouble?"

Everything that people are saying about the downtown Manhattan community center, I just automatically hear people saying that about something that I might want to do someday. If you're against them, then you're against me, and you're also against justice, freedom, and every ideal that this country stands for.

Just so we're clear on that.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: fibro_witch
2010-08-20 12:02 am (UTC)

I hope I can have a difference of opinion

I wish I could say I agree with you. I don't have a problem with a community center or even a massive mosque. Provided the people backing the Cordoba Project are not part of the project.

My reasons are as follows.

- Cordoba is a loaded word. For us it means an area of Europe (Spain mostly) that were ruled by an Islamic caliphate. For Muslims it is a word that means conquest. Conquest of the world. Now I know the myth of Cordoba is a strong one. That it was a time and place where all three major religions co-existed peacefully. It's wrong, a total and complete myth.

- I question where the funds to build this project are coming from. I am pretty certain there are no Jewish or Wiccan groups on the list of terrorist organizations. While the Catholic church does have some questionable issues, I do not believe the Pope has suggested a separate legal system be set up for Catholics.

- The Imam who is leading the project Feisal Abdul Rauf is on his way to the middle east to do an outreach tour. Paid for by the U.S. government. He claims to be for religious tolerance, when he is speaking English. Well except for the many times he has refused to attend interfaith events in Manhattan. He does not believe in interfaith. He wrote a book about Islam that suggests America should set up a separate court system for Muslims, a separate banking system and allow Muslims to live in areas that followed Muslim laws.

Laws like women wearing head veils, no dogs allowed, no religions other than Islam.

I hope we can have a dialogue about this, but I am more concerned you will end our friendship over this.

I am not against justice or freedom, I just want the truth to get out there.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sethg_prime
2010-08-20 12:34 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

I have not read the book in question (have you?), but...

He wrote a book about Islam that suggests America should set up a separate court system for Muslims

Under current US law, parties to a civil dispute can agree to take the case to arbitration, and they can use a religious court as an arbitrator. Many Jews use Jewish religious courts to settle their disputes, and the law protects their right to do so.

a separate banking system

If some people want to set up a bank that does not loan money at interest, and others want to deposit their money in that bank, why should I care?

Laws like women wearing head veils, no dogs allowed, no religions other than Islam.

Given that Imam Rauf’s wife herself does not wear a veil (see the second picture here), I find this assertion about his book hard to believe.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2010-08-20 12:38 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

If it's a myth that Cordoba was a time of co-existence, we need that myth, and naming a center after it is a GOOD thing.

If some of the donors have ties to unsavory things . . . it will be no different than any other good cause ever.

There may be no CURRENT Jewish terrorist organizations operating in the United States right now, but that doesn't mean that there haven't been some. The Haganah was listed as one by the British. The Germans listed a BUNCH of them during WWII. Me, I consider both of those to be examples of good guys -- but I would, wouldn't I?

As for Wiccans, I don't know of any Wiccan terror groups, but there are a bunch of Asatru ones.

Where are you getting your info about Rauf? I'd like to look into that.

No, this isn't going to end our friendship, but it does make me afraid of you.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: holzman
2010-08-20 12:46 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

I do not believe the Pope has suggested a separate legal system be set up for Catholics.

You're kidding, right? When not suggesting that the law should reflect Catholic teaching, the Church demands that it be exempt from the law. The notion of a separate law for Catholics is precisely why the Church is in such trouble regarding child molesting priests -- all this time, they've thought it a matter to handle themselves.

I can think of some Jewish organizations that really should be on the list of terrorist organizations if they're not.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ron_newman
2010-08-20 01:24 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

My sister-in-law wears a head scarf, as do most of her Orthodox Jewish friends. I would not live this way but I don't consider it any kind of un-American threat either.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: redbird
2010-08-20 01:36 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

He hasn't suggested a separate legal system be set up for Catholics because they already have one. You're discussing an organization that considers it a major policy statement that it's members/employees should be turned over to the secular authorities if they are accused of rape.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ailbhe
2010-08-20 08:27 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

Its members and employees should be turned over the to secular authorities *when that's appropriate* if they are accused of rape. I have no idea what Ratzi thinks "when its' appropriate" means, but the Irish are formally leaving the RCC in droves.

And no-one can say there aren't RC terrorists!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)
[User Picture]From: sethg_prime
2010-08-20 01:06 pm (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

The modern Irish republic is less than a century old, and the Catholic Church goes back at least fifteen. So of course leaders of the Church believe they get to decide how wayward priests get prosecuted. They have seniority.

:-|
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ceo
2010-08-20 01:41 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

I question where the funds to build this project are coming from.

Feisal Abdul al-Rauf is a Sufi, fercryinoutloud. That's like insinuating that a new Quaker meetinghouse is being secretly funded by the IRA, or something.

Edited at 2010-08-20 01:42 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nex0s
2010-08-20 02:27 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

I'm going to post on my LJ, because I don't want to bring my vitriol into someone else's journal. Let's just say as a lifelong NYer, and a Jew, I think your position is ridiculous.

That was me being temperate.

N.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: voltbang
2010-08-20 03:54 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

Islam did conquer Cordoba, and then there was the reality and the myth of the three faiths co-existing. After that, christians conquered cordoba again, and there isn't even a myth of co-existance. Even if the myth is false it's there, and that is what is being referenced. The Cordoba initiative has been around for quite a while, and has included interfaith members since it's inception.



You can believe what you want, but conservative pundits count on people like you. You should try reading his books, not what people with something to gain say his books say.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: rosefox
2010-08-20 03:54 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

While the Catholic church does have some questionable issues, I do not believe the Pope has suggested a separate legal system be set up for Catholics.

I... what? The only reason the Pope hasn't suggested a separate legal system is that the Catholic church already has one, just like any other organized religion; it's part of what "organized" means. And wars have been fought for centuries over the Catholic church wanting secular law to conform to Catholic doctrine, so those two systems can be condensed to one as long as the one is the one they decree. Just look at the legal/religious history of England and Ireland.

He does not believe in interfaith.

"On Islam, his main subject, Rauf’s views are clear: he routinely denounces all terrorism—as he did again last week, publicly. He speaks of the need for Muslims to live peacefully with all other religions. He emphasizes the commonalities among all faiths. He advocates equal rights for women, and argues against laws that in any way punish non-Muslims. His last book, What’s Right With Islam Is What’s Right With America, argues that the United States is actually the ideal Islamic society because it encourages diversity and promotes freedom for individuals and for all religions." [source]

allow Muslims to live in areas that followed Muslim laws

Right, because there are no insular communities of Americans who follow their own religious rules, many of which are more restrictive than secular law. Well, maybe just a few.

If you want the truth to get out there, I recommend seeking and verifying it with several independent sources.

Edited at 2010-08-20 03:55 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lilairen
2010-08-20 04:24 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

His last book, What’s Right With Islam Is What’s Right With America

THAT GUY? I HAVE THIS BOOK IT IS AWESOME.

EVEN BETTER.

Ahem. Please pardon my caps.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: paper_crystals
2010-08-20 04:28 am (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

(paper_crystals likes this.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dancing_kiralee
2010-08-20 02:38 pm (UTC)

Re: I hope I can have a difference of opinion

I believe The Church of All Worlds, operating as a Pagan, mostly Wiccan, church at the time, had ties to EarthFirst, an eco-terrorist organization, in the early nineties. How do I know this? I was, briefly, a church member... the scandal about EarthFirst broke a few years after I left; I left for a number of complex reasons - I can't say it was because of what I heard about EarthFirst, because at the time I didn't believe 'my' church could be involved in something like that.

Separating religion from terrorism is important; it's good to look at the details, and be sure that in supporting a good cause, one is not supporting the violent or inappropriate extremes that cause can be taken to. It's just as important that one doesn't deny or put down or interfere with a good cause which is *not* supporting violent or inappropriate extremes.

And you are right in pointing out that you can't determine those sorts of things based solely on the religion in question. Simply saying a church / group / community is Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Wiccan, Asatru, Moslem, Green, Hindu, or Buddhist, is neither a guarantee that they aren't terrorists, nor a guarantee that they are.

So, the details matter: it can't automatically be wrong to oppose a Moslem, or Church of All Worlds, or Jewish, community center, because it's possible that the specific group in question *is* behaving badly, even if the religion in question doesn't usually; and it can't automatically be right to oppose a Moslem, or Church of All Worlds, or Jewish, community center, because it's also possible, and even more likely, that they are perfectly normal and reasonable people.

The headlines aren't giving details; so anyone relying just on the headlines (like me) doesn't have enough information to form an opinion*. However that isn't what I see you doing. You've researched some of the details and formed an opinion based on those details. Given some of the responses below, you may be wrong about some of the facts you've gotten, or their interpretation; but as far as I can tell you're not opposing this Moslem community center just because it's Moslem and near ground zero, which would be wrong; instead, rightly or wrongly, you oppose it because you believe the specific group involved is connected to people advocating actions which you think are inappropriately extremes and / or violent.

As it happens, I don't agree with you; but I think you have the right to hold your opinion, and that you are neither a 'bad guy' nor someone to be afraid of for having this opinion, or for the way you formed it.

Kiralee

* There is a legitimate debate that can be abstracted from the headlines: given that we as a nation believe in freedom of expression and religious freedom, there will inevitably be groups who are diametrically opposed to each other in some way; emotions can become heated, and accidents happen if diametrically opposed groups are in close proximity. How much of a problem is this, and, if it is a problem, what steps can appropriately be taken to prevent violence, intentional or otherwise.


(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)