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9/11: Gathering at Islamic Center promotes understanding

Sunday, September 11, 2011 | 7:41 p.m. CDT; updated 8:04 p.m. CDT, Sunday, September 11, 2011
Dr. Rashed Nizam, chairman of the Shura Council, speaks at the Islamic Center of Central Missouri on Sunday afternoon. Different faith leaders from around Columbia came to speak to the community, encouraging peace and religious tolerance.

COLUMBIA — Community members of different faiths gathered in the Islamic Center of Central Missouri Sunday to memorialize the victims of 9/11. Religious leaders as well as Mayor Bob McDavid shared their perspectives on the 10th anniversary of the national tragedy.

The peace gathering had the theme: “No more victims: We declare peace.” 

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Before the 1:30 p.m. peace gathering, the mosque held an open house for people to learn about Islam. Various Qurans and explanatory leaflets were on a table, and the walls were decorated with posters that illustrated Islam.

Arwa Mohammad, a member of the Muslim Speakers Bureau of Columbia, volunteered to explain her religion to visitors. She was in sixth grade when the 9/11 occurred, and she sees a positive side to the tragedy.

“It was a great opportunity to answer questions about Islam,” Mohammad said. “It was a way for people to see who are Muslims.”

Gordon Rogers and his daughter, Emma, attended the open house.

“Whenever I come, I learn something new," Rogers said. "It’s good to talk to people outside my circle.”

At 1:30 p.m., men and women separated for several minutes of prayer before community religious leaders gathered at a table to share their perspectives on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Representatives of the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Baha’i and Hindu local communities were there along with McDavid.

Megan Orr, a member of the Baha'i faith, came to watch this discussion.

“I am here to help support their service today remembering the events of 9/11, not in a way that would bring revenge and vengeance but in a way to bring people to all faith together to say we stand for peace,” Orr said.

Rashed Nizam, the coordinator of the gathering, opened the discussion and said, “We stand here to show solidarity to each other. I call upon the faith community to cooperate together and to promote tolerance.”

Otto Steinhaus represented the Missouri United Methodist Church. Steinhaus was the first to reach out to the Islamic Center after 9/11 and at the time told the Muslim community “it will be a tough time, but we will support you.”

McDavid told his 9/11 story. His son was in Manhattan during the terrorist attack. Fortunately, the mayor learned that his son was OK but knew that not all families were so lucky.

“There were other 3,000 families that didn't get that news,” McDavid said. "Evil has many faces. No religion, nationality, culture is immune to evil."

After the meeting, Mark Haim, director of Peaceworks in Missouri, and the Rev. Maureen Dickmann led a procession from the mosque to the courthouse square, where people enjoyed music and readings such as testimonies from “Families for a peaceful tomorrow.” 

Each person carried a flower as a symbol of peace.  

At the gathering, McDavid told the audience that he visited ground zero two months ago. 

"I felt hope," McDavid said. "I sensed American optimism. America will rebuild."


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Comments

Ray Shapiro September 12, 2011 | 2:48 p.m.

"A group congregates at Courthouse Square off Walnut St. on Sunday afternoon after the peace procession from the Islamic Center of Central Missouri. The gathering included music and speeches from Mark Haim and Maureen Dickmann."
In Columbia, I can't ever remember an event Muslim/Islamic peace oriented or Mark Haim sponsored where American Flags were displayed in memory and in honor of 9-11-01 victims and in respect for their surviving families and friends.
Are they allergic or something?

(Report Comment)
frank christian September 12, 2011 | 6:16 p.m.

Have you noted the sympathetic thoughts of the sad anniversary expressed by renowned, award winning journalist, Dr. Paul Krugman? Another great American!

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle September 12, 2011 | 6:55 p.m.

@Ray: So a gathering of people. coming together in honor of the 11 Sept anniversary to reaffirm their commitment to peace, is somehow suspect because they didn't cart around a load of American flags?
.
Okay....

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance September 12, 2011 | 7:41 p.m.

@ Tim

You are not a true 'merican if you love guv'mint and don't fly flags. Because flying a flag makes you instantly patriotic.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 12, 2011 | 8:04 p.m.

You know I just checked and I noticed that the Second Freedom by Fashion show also lacked a flag. Frickin communists.

(Report Comment)
frank christian September 12, 2011 | 8:34 p.m.

In my opinion, only T. Trayle and those of our political left would refer to patriotic display of our Flag or the lack thereof as "they didn't cart around a load of American flags?"

In his last with me, he was deriding my lack of information on oil as a cause of the inflationary recession of the 70's. While wondering why our Congress would pass a COLA program for SS recipients in 1972 before most I would think had thought of embargo or unrest in ME that might cause 12 or 18% (House appropriations committee) inflation for our country, I noted this study by Federal Reserve.

http://www.frbsf.org/publications/econom...

I brought along this paragraph from "other explanations for the 70's"

"Others have argued that the recessions may have been caused by the Fed's reaction to the oil shocks. Bernanke, Gertler, and Watson (1997) show that postwar recessions have been preceded not only by rising oil prices but also by a tightening of monetary policy, which makes it difficult to distinguish between the effects of the two. According to them, the confusion between oil shocks and the response of monetary policy explains why oil shocks appear to have an effect that far exceeds what is expected based on a comparison of energy costs to total production costs. Their own analysis leads them to conclude that oil shocks have not played a major role in recessions and that endogenous monetary policy can account for a major portion (and sometimes all) of the effects attributed to oil shocks."

Of course T was only saying oil had some part in Carter's inflation of 70's. He is concerned with the accuracy of others in their posts, while leaving his own drumbeat of defense for anything liberal, unmatched in error.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle September 12, 2011 | 9:10 p.m.

FC: Oh dear, oh dear. First--*why* are you carrying this topic over into *this* thread? That's just annoying and disrespectful to others.
.
But you've done it, so I can't resist (you naughty boy).
.
Sorry, everyone.
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FC--it's reading comprehension time. Did you actually *read* the SF Reserve bank article, or simply home in on one section which you *thought* supported your efforts to deny oil-shock as a major cause of the 1970s inflationary surge?
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You might want to actually read the article, because the authors in citing that passage, are merely conducting a review of different interpretations. In paragraphs above where you cite, they note the other angles, *and* they do not dismiss oil shocks as a major cause. They only suggest that perhaps some modelling *overstates* the role, and that we need to be aware that these models may not suffice for explaining current situations.
.
There *was* a slow but sure inflationary trend right from the early 1960s, right across the West (not just U.S.). Part of it was brought on by Europe's postwar recovery, esp. from the mid-50s. It *was* certainly exacerbated by the Fed's printing money to stimulate demand, and to pay for the Vietnam war. (There's an explanation for the COLA legislation for you.) The oil shocks of the 1970s blew the lid off that pre-existing trend. In other words, nothing in that report changes what I've written before.
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I do think you might find Barsky and Killian worth reading (cited in the bibliography for the SF Fed paper you cite). It's really interesting work, but as a NBER working paper, we should note it hasn't been vetted through review processes (all of their "working papers" are that way. It's a method used to get the scholarship out there and get argument going.) (Oh, and good old Paul Krugman is a member of the bureau, so you'll be glad to note that an organization with him as member still might publish a paper questioning the role of the oil shocks re stagflation. Shades of grey?)
.
Anyhow, I have to say, tactics that rely on your "surprise" Google nuggets probably aren't going to get very far. Something more than Google is needed to conduct this argument. Still, it's good to see you looking at sources other than Fox News and the Heritage Foundation. A step towards open-mindedness!
.
Love,
TT, "unmatched in error"

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle September 12, 2011 | 9:15 p.m.

And now to more interesting and germane comments:
.
FC decries my phrase "cart around a load of flags."
.
Okay. Fine. I'll rephrase:
.
"@Ray: So a gathering of people. coming together in honor of the 11 Sept anniversary to reaffirm their commitment to peace, is somehow suspect because they didn't display American flags?"
.
Do please respond.

(Report Comment)
frank christian September 13, 2011 | 9:33 a.m.

t trayle - I accept "display American flags. Too bad we can't erase "cart around a load" which more honestly reflects your real feelings about our Flag.

From "Fed." "Our discussion suggests that the answer to the question posed in the title has two parts. First, looking only at the correlation between some measure of the price of oil and output tends to exaggerate the role that oil price shocks played in the recessions of the 1970s, at least partly because one ends up ignoring the other things that were going on at that time. Second, an increase in the price of oil that reflects higher demand will not have the same effect as a decrease in supply."

You seem to be reading "implications" into your searches for facts again, and give a long uninformative tirade in your inability to recognize the habit. I give you "Fox News and the Heritage Foundation", plus Google. You give us only- Tim Trayle. For information only, everyone around here wants a "link". I check Google to ascertain my facts are correct. An instance would be, to disprove your assertions about Reagan and Carters "stagflation", I looked up the action taken by Reagan to make good on the campaign promise to cure our "energy crisis". It was executive order #12287. "repeals price controls on oil and oil products and restrictions on oil imports". This brought down pump prices drastically, tho, beloved D' Senator Tom Eagleton proclaimed it would cause price to increase to 2.00 per gallon! An unheard of price at the time.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm September 14, 2011 | 7:23 a.m.

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. it works the same in any country."- Herman Goering

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking September 14, 2011 | 7:51 a.m.

"repeals price controls on oil and oil products and restrictions on oil imports".

Which set the stage for our crippling oil import dependency. Without demand side interventions (a fuel tax, and realistic fuel economy standards), that simply meant that more and more money would bleed from our economy for less and less return.

Probably the most shortsighted action any President has taken WRT energy.

DK

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle September 14, 2011 | 8:22 a.m.

...and it's not like we can do the same trick again, either. Prices are up without price controls this time.

(Report Comment)
frank christian September 14, 2011 | 8:57 a.m.

Mark F. - Everything must be directed to the government or it is wasted and when this is accomplished the people must be content to locate a cave on two wheel transportation and survive so they can continue to feed that government. The government that can never be controlled, only allowed to expand while telling the "children" only it knows the "way out". If your view of life in these United States differs from this description let us know.

"...and it's not like we can do the same trick again, either."

2012 is coming. Get out of the way and watch!

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 14, 2011 | 9:39 a.m.

Jack Hamm September 14, 2011 | 7:23 a.m.
"denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."
____________________________________________________________

Question for you Jack (or any of the other "peacemakers")...

How exactly do you go about making peace ?

See, making peace, implies that you can make someone else be peaceful. I am o.k. with your way of thinking as far as controlling your own actions, but you lose me when you imply that by simply setting a good example, you can control others. I want to know what your jedi mind trick is that allows you to control the hearts and minds of others by wearing a flower in your hair instead of waving a flag. I have heard the phrease, "flower power", but this brings new interest to it. Is the mind trick helped by the flower or interfered with by the flag? I really think it might help me in both business and personal life, so please share. I would be forever indebted...

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm September 14, 2011 | 10:50 a.m.

"How exactly do you go about making peace?”

You make peace by not starting the fight in the first place. This naive belief that the US is a victim is ridiculous. If you watched the Tea party Republican debate the other night you saw Ron Paul describe the situation very well (to a load of boos). Although I don't agree with Dr. Paul on a lot of issues but he has this one nailed down. The US is without a doubt the aggressor in the Iraq war (among many others). The only thing needed for peace in that situation was for the US to not invade a sovereign nation without just cause. Unfortunately too many Americans still buy the "threats" our government sells us hook, line, and sinker. Goering was a horrible human being but no one can deny that the man was highly intelligent and an expert on propaganda. His quote is quite a good summary of the current situation of American "defense".

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush September 14, 2011 | 11:14 a.m.

There's no Jedi mind trick, Mike. Nonviolence doesn't teach one to control or coerce - violence does those things.
If your request for education is sincere, then it far outstrips the capacities of a comment board for a local daily newspaper. Nevertheless, there are resources to educate oneself -
The Nonviolent Peaceforce uses the skills of nonviolence, in violent areas ( http://www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org/
) with demonstrable positive results.
Ceasefire Chicago ( http://ceasefirechicago.org/ ) is a group that uses the skills of nonviolence in Chicago's most violent neighborhoods. And these are just two examples.
It is impossible to rid the world, or humanity, of violence, just like it is futile to rid the world of schizophrenia. So the question is not about violence elimination. The question is about violence mitigation and an individual's response to violence.
So, I'm not going to spend any of my time answering "What if..." scenarios. I understand that you're on your journey of trying to understand the world around you - just like me. There are resources for you to learn about peacemaking or nonviolence, and the relevancy they have for the global and local community.
I salute your curiosity, your growth in empathy, and finding your way out of the despair that violence engenders.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle September 14, 2011 | 11:23 a.m.

@Frank: Perry is going to be the next president. Republicans will lock in solid, filibuster-proof majorities in both the House and Senate. This, I boldly predict. The writing on the wall has been indelibly etched by the acid of modern political discourse.

That has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that oil prices can't be brought down by removing price controls this time.

How much prices can be brought down by removing regulations, i.e. "Drill Baby Drill" is yet to be determined. But, we'll find out, won't we? Just don't confuse years of supply with barrels per day. Only the latter makes any difference. Don't expect me to trade in my bicycle for a hummer, either.

Only 10% of worldwide production is done under US regulations. Only 7% of known conventional reserves will be subject to the same. Any new drilling that does take place will be done by multinational corporations, for sale on the worldwide market. That includes a trip through the speculation inflation exchange. The only thing US citizens are guaranteed out of "drill baby drill" are some paltry mineral rights fees. Raising those fees or imposing domestic-only distribution requirements on those multinational corporations (who have no care at all for US citizens) is derided as "big government regulation."

As for a comment that has any relevancy at all to the article, I will make 2 statements:

1) Golden Rule
2) You cannot force a positive outcome

Call that hippy trash if you want. You're entitled to your opinion. But it works for me, whether or not anyone else understands it.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 14, 2011 | 11:33 a.m.

@Gregg Bush: One of the best postings I've read in a long time.
However, after reading all these comments, it is now obvious to me that no American Flags are displayed at these peace demonstrations because Tea Party members in attendance wouldn't want to embarrass or offend any of the other participants.
(Let's not kid ourselves, many of today's peace advocates are vestiges from the SDS movement of the 70's.)
I also notice that these kind of Muslim/sympathathizing marches don't denounce Sharia Law or address if we are firstly Americans, religious zealots or control freaks. (Hiding behind we're human beings first is of course helpful if you're a globalist, disguised as a human being.)
I guess, to some "peace" might mean Sharia Law, some form of communism, or the religion of progressive liberalism disguised as Christian preaching.
In reality, common enemies do unite.
Here's another march for peace where I see no American flags:
http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...

(Report Comment)
frank christian September 14, 2011 | 12:04 p.m.

D. Fogle - "That has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that oil prices can't be brought down by removing price controls this time.", has nothing to do with "Get out of the way and watch!"

"How much prices can be brought down by removing regulations, i.e. "Drill Baby Drill" is yet to be determined." absolutely does. And,"But, we'll find out, won't we?" is another accurate statement. Like Mark F., you believe your static numbers are the whole story. Not so. Ronald Reagan didn't believe the Federal Gov't with their tales of doom and gloom and neither do I.

I'm not sure you and Mark would even prefer lower energy prices, but toward that goal I have the greatest edge. You depend on government to achieve it, while I believe the American people, if ever again allowed the opportunity will suffice us just fine. If we can control our government and achieve fiscal responsibility, but prices still not be reduced, we will at least know the physical reasons why. We will not reduce our lively-hood and way of live so that the ultra-wealthy (so purportedly hated by the left) can confiscate our earnings.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm September 14, 2011 | 12:24 p.m.

Ray

I'm glad you brought up Sharia law. You are a prime example of this part of Goering's quote "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked". Fox News, or whoever it is talking into your ear, says that someone is out to attack us and you buy it without question or evidence. Gov. Chris Christie (NJ) said it best "This Sharia law business is crap, it’s just crazy and I’m tired of dealing with the crazies". Please join the rest of us in reality so that we can get stuff done instead of just lining the pockets of arms manufactures because you all get scared like children every time they invent a new boogy man.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle September 14, 2011 | 12:48 p.m.

Frank: What part of "bicycle" makes you think I'm relying on the government to reduce or control oil and gasoline prices?

Your accusation seems especially ridiculous, considering how many times you've insisted that putting Republicans in control of the government will solve all our problems.

Except for the broader context of conflict in general, this discussion has absolutely nothing to do with the article. I will not comment on energy policy here again.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 14, 2011 | 1:04 p.m.

Jack:
Boo!
("g. Is it fair to paint all Islamic schools of thought as violent?

Islamic apologists often point out that Islam is not a monolith and that there are differences of opinion among the different Islamic schools of thought. That is true, but, while there are differences, there are also common elements. Just as Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Christians differ on many aspects of Christianity, still they accept important common elements. So it is with Islam. One of the common elements to all Islamic schools of thought is jihad, understood as the obligation of the Ummah to conquer and subdue the world in the name of Allah and rule it under Sharia law. The four Sunni Madhhabs (schools of fiqh [Islamic religious jurisprudence]) -- Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali -- all agree that there is a collective obligation on Muslims to make war on the rest of the world. Furthermore, even the schools of thought outside Sunni orthodoxy, including Sufism and the Jafari (Shia) school, agree on the necessity of jihad. When it comes to matters of jihad, the different schools disagree on such questions as whether infidels must first be asked to convert to Islam before hostilities may begin (Osama bin Laden asked America to convert before Al-Qaeda's attacks); how plunder should be distributed among victorious jihadists; whether a long-term Fabian strategy against dar al-harb is preferable to an all-out frontal attack; etc.")
http://www.jihadwatch.org/islam-101.html...

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 14, 2011 | 1:22 p.m.

@gregg
Sounds like we agree that violence is here to stay and the best we can do is deal with it in a way that best protects our families and Nation while causing as little harm to others as possible.

However, I do find some issues with your examples of how you can inspire others to be as non violent as you and thinking that this would play out on the global stage just as it would within the confines of the US. Getting violent gangs to try and get along in Chicago may not work if the backdrop of the US government and it's authority and means via an armed police force were removed.

If you can show me some examples where peacemakers have made peace in places where no authority exists, say Darfur where hundreds of thousands have been killed in fighting between Arabs and Africans (no American flags over there to blame that fighting on...) for example, you might convert me.

Until then, I am not willing to let my family and my Nation become victims of violence by trading our position of authority that comes with might for a position of weakness that relies on the belief that every other nation will forever act in a peaceful way as long as we do. This "argument" was already prefaced by the agreement that there will always be violence on the planet, so really this "argument" was over before it started.

I am not going to say that we have behaved perfectly in our attempts to mitigate violence on the planet. However, I do wholeheartedly believe that the planet is better off with the US being the most powerful military and economic force on the planet (stop laughing, we still are for the time being...), than the vast majority of other governments. And when I say the vast majority, I mean all but a very few. The fact of the matter is that if we behaved like the majority of governments would have if they were blessed with our resources, the middle east would be a colony of ours filled with arab slaves working for us. If we had not taken our national defense seriously in the past, there is a strong liklihood that we would be reading and writing in a different language. War, genocide, and taking by force has been a way of life on this planet for thousands of years, yet America has only been flying her flag for a couple hundred and change and you want me to believe that the violence that exists today is our fault?

You have a long way to go towards making a believer out of me, but I have time to listen when the cause is a noble one...

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm September 14, 2011 | 1:33 p.m.

Ray

I am not an Islamic apologist, nor am a Christian apologist; who frankly have a lot more to apologize for throughout history than Muslims. I am a realist; please join me in reality. Why do you let Fox news and these crazy websites fill your head with this drivel and crap?

I served in Iraq. I can tell you from firsthand experience that the average guy in Iraq is like the average guy here. They want a job, family and stability. They want the few crazy Muslims to shut up and go away like the rest of us want the few crazy Christians to shut up and go away. They are normal and intelligent people that realize the Qur’an is just a book with make believe stories written centuries ago and should not be taken literally the same way that many people here realize the same thing about the Bible. From my experience Afghanistan was much the same they are just starting from a farther point back (thanks to us and the Russians).

Are there crazy Muslims who read the Qur'an verbatim? Sure there are; just like there are crazy Christians here who do the same thing. The problem is not Islam or Christianity, it is the people themselves. If they did not have the bible they would find something else to latch on too. Focusing on the religion instead of the person is unproductive.

The argument you have against Sharia law could more easily be made about Christianity. I have never once witnessed a Muslim in my life advocate for Sharia law in the US (in fact I believe most of them came here to get away from that type of thing). I have witnessed countless “Christians” try to get creationism taught to our children, prayer in schools, abortions illegal, crosses and the ten commandments in front of court houses and on and on. Who is really trying to put their laws and beliefs on to others? Take a step back and think instead of letting someone else tell you what to believe and who to hate.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 14, 2011 | 1:40 p.m.

@Jack
My next post was going to address the Sharia law issue, but I see that Ray did an outstanding job already. The apoligists seem to want to give the moral authority to the underdog Islamists no matter what. Well, in this case the underdog has not earned any moral authority over us. Their religion preaches imperialism and their human rights practices are atrocious. When Christie was quoted about Sharia law he was commenting on the liklihood of it being practiced in this country. It actually has popped up in some places, but I don't find this to be realistic concern either. However, I do have a serious issue with people that practice a law that supports public stoning of a woman that was the victim of rape. You should too, by the way !
We are talking about some of the worst places on the planet to be a woman as if they are the gardens of Eden. Football is back and so is one of my favorite segments on ESPN,
Come On Man !!!

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm September 14, 2011 | 2:01 p.m.

@ Mike,

Have you never read the bible? The Bible calls for me to stone my wife if she is wearing a cloth made of two fabrics. It also calls for the stoning of any man that handles the hide of swine; looks like you won’t be watching football this weekend because they should all be getting stoned right? After all this is a Christian nation is it not? There is not much in the Bible (Old Testament that is) that is not considered an abomination. The Bible has been used as a call for war on many occasions. The most famous being anyone of the multiple Crusades but I also recall GWB saying that “God was on our side” and that “Jesus spoke to him” before invading Iraq.

Yet so many Christians claim that you can look past that and focus on the New Testament (although they rarely seem to do this in real life practice). Why can we expect Christians to read the bible and not take it literally and not Muslims? Are Christians inherently better than Muslims in your opinion? Maybe it is because of the color of their skin that they cannot be trusted? What is it that allows you to differentiate between the two groups (I know it is not actions because Christians are just as bad as them). I believe it was Gandhi that said “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

All religions are insane when taken literally; Christianity and Islam included. As a said earlier it is not the fault of the Religion; it is the fault of the people who take it to extremes.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 14, 2011 | 2:12 p.m.

@Jack
You say, " I have never once witnessed a Muslim in my life advocate for Sharia law in the US (in fact I believe most of them came here to get away from that type of thing). "
____________________________________________________________

I grew up in St Louis and I have. In 1989 a palestinian girl named Tina was held down by her mother while her father repeatedly stabbed her ending her life. Tina actually had the nerve to go get a job. Yes, that's right. She was killed by her parents because she wanted to work. Her parents argued that it was their responsibility to do this under their religion and this should be recognized by us as their culture.

I realize this took place way back in 1989, so feel free to look elsewhere for evidence. Many Christians belive it is their duty to spread the word, but I don't know of any that belive it is their duty to kill or cleanse the earth of people that don't accept their beliefs. I am going to go out on a limb and suggest the fact that you are unaware of the atrocities of sharia law and those who want it practiced everywhere because you haven't interviewed the Ayatollah and don't spend much time in mosques and not because it doesn't exist...

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 14, 2011 | 2:21 p.m.

@Jack
To answer your post, see my above post. As soon as a Christian tries to practice some of the absurdities in the bible, I will be first in line to call them out. Nice try pulling the race card. Oldest trick in the book. We are not stoning anybody over here because of what they wear or how or where they pray and if we were I will be there with you...

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 14, 2011 | 2:33 p.m.

So Mike, did the courts in St. Louis let those folks off on the murder rap, or did state or federal law send them to jail? In other words, the fear of Sharia law in the US is just that - fear.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm September 14, 2011 | 2:50 p.m.

Mike,

"As soon as a Christian tries to practice some of the absurdities in the bible"

Open your eyes; it has been happening for centuries all over the world.

"Nice try pulling the race card"

I did not pull the race card. I asked if it was a reason among many other possibilities in an honest attempt to understand your distinction between the two groups. Are you more willing to believe and trust Christians because you are one? Because you don't understand Islam? Because of the color of their skin? etc. These are all valid questions for a person that has views like yours that so openly defy basic logic.

"We are not stoning anybody over here because of what they wear or how or where they pray and if we were I will be there with you..."

You are in denial. I can think of several instances of young men being stoned to death in this country for being in love with another man. In fact there was one a few months ago in Philly where a 70 year old gay man was stoned to death by a Christian fanatic. Christian fanatics attack abortion clinics, planned parenthood clinics, murder doctors, burn books and on and on. Again, what is it that allows you to ignore the actions of these Christians but condemn Muslims for the same thing?

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm September 14, 2011 | 2:58 p.m.

Gay man stoned to death in Philadelphia by Christian fanatic…

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/loca...

Google for more; there are countless stories out there like this one. If you think Christianity is any better than Islam or Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc you are a fool.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 14, 2011 | 3:04 p.m.

What would 70mg prozac say?

Wow. That guy sure is scary looking. I'd have to say he's dumber than a sock of rocks. Doesn't give a damn, just blam blam. Best cuff him and stuff him in the human zoo for a long time. Nuff said.

(Report Comment)
frank christian September 14, 2011 | 3:25 p.m.

Derrick Fogle - Thank you!

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 14, 2011 | 3:54 p.m.

@Jack
Fool, moi? Back off Jack... Sorry couldn't resist...

@John
Thankfully both parents were sentenced to death. The dad died waiting and mom's sentence was commuted to life. I already admitted, and agreed with Christies quote, about the fear of sharia law being practiced in the US being a somewhat irrational fear.

However, what you all seem to be missing is why we are talking about Sharia law in the first place.

I am not fearful that sharia law will be accepted in this country. I am fearful/untrusting of people that would practice these laws in their own countries as is done right now in many Islamic Countries. If there was a country full of Christians that currently stoned people to death for wearing the wrong clothes I wouldn't trust them either! So, here in lies the difference. A bible beater who kills a gay man because he is gay in this country is called a criminal. A Quran thumper who kills his daughter because she wore shorts in Iran is called a good father. Why is it so hard to wrap our heads around this major difference?

People that would advocate the honor killing of a female in the family because she was the victim of rape are not going to get a pass from me under the guise of cultural sensitivity. Sorry, not going to happen. Why would I trust someone who comes from this culture to behave like a peace loving flower child when dealing with me and my family and my countrymen when they are obviously not peace loving non-violent types within their own families? Again, I am not speaking about individuals, but countries. It has been suggested that we cause all of the violence that is brought upon us and if we lay down our arms and accept the girl killers as peacenik's that the violence will go away even though as I stated before that they have been fighting wars in that region for thousands of years and we have been flying our flag for a couple hundred. This blind trust seemingly given out of ignorance and naivety may win you popularity points at the coffee shop, but it doesn't make it reasonable or correct. I am certainly not making a case that Christians are better than Muslims, but I will absolutely shout from the mountain tops that the US is a better country to its own people and the rest of the worlds population than Iran is.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 14, 2011 | 4:24 p.m.

"A Quran thumper who kills his daughter because she wore shorts in Iran is called a good father."

Really? You know this because you have visited recently?

"Again, I am not speaking about individuals, but countries."

I could have swore that you just imagined some individuals.

"It has been suggested that we cause all of the violence that is brought upon us and if we lay down our arms and accept the girl killers as peacenik's that the violence will go away even though as I stated before that they have been fighting wars in that region for thousands of years and we have been flying our flag for a couple hundred."

You really need to avoid those run on sentences because they distort your thought process. But you are correct in that we have only had a couple of hundred years to be fighting wars so far. However, we have managed to spend an inordinate amount of time engaged in such activity and have repeatedly traversed the globe to do so. In fact, it was during one of those excursions where we introduced ourselves to Osama Bin Laden, financed him and facilitated his ability to commit acts of war. So, to say that have not been a factor in causing much of the problems that we complain of is shortsighted at best.

"This blind trust seemingly given out of ignorance and naivety may win you popularity points at the coffee shop, but it doesn't make it reasonable or correct."

Your blind trust seemingly given out of ignorance and naivety may win you popularity points wherever stupid people have had a little too much to drink, but it doesn't make it reasonable or correct.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm September 14, 2011 | 4:24 p.m.

Mike,

Have you already forgotten about the Bosnian genocide? A government slaughtered thousands of Muslims in an ethnic cleansing campaign and deported many thousands more. You also ignore the Muslim nations that do not have the systemic problems you mention.

Last, your views is Muslims is void of facts. You really believe the crap they feed you on Fox?

I spent almost 7 full years in various Muslim countries during my various tours in the army. I can say without a doubt that no country that I went to is anything like what you describe besides Yemen and Somalia and the problems there are shared by all religions.

I think most Americans like you would be blown away at how similar Iraq and its people are to the United States and Americans.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 14, 2011 | 4:33 p.m.

"I am certainly not making a case that Christians are better than Muslims, but I will absolutely shout from the mountain tops that the US is a better country to its own people and the rest of the worlds population than Iran is."

And if that is correct, please explain what that has to do with whether or not there could or should be peace between our nation and theirs. At this point I'm mainly viewing what I would have to describe as a bunch of emotionalism.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance September 14, 2011 | 4:33 p.m.

@Jack

Don't even try to actually give these folks any examples. they are the kind of people that cheer executions and proclaim uninsured people should die. These folks are the useful idiots of the greedy wealthy right wing. Hopefully more independents and progressives will be appalled of these dangerous and primal citizens of the electorate and will make sure they lose at the polls for our country's sake. Pathetic.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 14, 2011 | 5:17 p.m.

Christianity went through a reformation.
Jews went through theirs.
I feel so alone.
Where's my mahdi?
I want my mahdi.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 14, 2011 | 5:42 p.m.

Tim:
Just be prepared for buyers' remorse from Dems and Independents.
("The former mayor has repeatedly referenced the 2010 election of Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, where a Republican captured a long held Democratic seat, as a move that got Obama's attention. And he hopes to see the same effect happen in NY-9 come Election Day on Sept. 13.")
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/201...

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 14, 2011 | 6:40 p.m.

Jack Hamm September 14, 2011 | 4:24 p.m
"Have you already forgotten about the Bosnian genocide? A government slaughtered thousands of Muslims in an ethnic cleansing campaign and deported many thousands more. You also ignore the Muslim nations that do not have the systemic problems you mention.
______________________________________________________________

No, I have not forgotten all the muslims that have suffered oppression and genocide under other governements. I would treat slobo's Yugoslavia with equal disdain and distrust as present day Iran. The first "big meanie" I mentioned was Stalin. A white guy who probably has some of the same ancestors as me and Slobo. I "ignored" the countries that don't have systemic problems because they aren't of a concern to me when talking about how to ensure peace for peaceful people. See it is the actions of the people and their governments that concern me regarding world peace and not the color of their skin or who they pray to. This whole conversation started because I took issue with the supposition that the world is full of peaceful nations and all we have to do to ensure peace for the planet is to lay down our arms and pretend all is well. While I would enjoy this bedtime story beginning with once upon a time, I find it incredibly naive. It seems other folks on here want to turn this into a racial or religious issue. Maybe they have some problems that they are feeling guilty about...
Anyway, it is a fact that sharia law is being practiced today in some countries. It is a fact that in these countries boys and girls are killed for acting out in ways that are accepted here as part of growing up and finding yourself. (sexual preference, clothes, obtaining an education etc...) I will never trust a nation that tells me they want peace and are peaceful people while they are killing their own children for being gay or wearing revealing clothes or killing women for being the victim of rape, no matter what color the skin and regardless of religion. When their leaders say they want to rid the planet of other countries and people who practice other religions they lose any degree of trust from rational people. I can't state it any more clearly than that. Well, I guess I could, but if Paul thinks he deserves organized thoughts presented after writing outlines and first and second drafts for the Missourian comment section then he is going to have to pay me for my time. If you want free you get ramblings and run on's. Deal with it or don't read and go to Iraq...

Speaking of Paul... He asked, "what do the actions of a country as far as how they treat their own people and others on the planet have to do with whether or not there could or should be peace between our nation and theirs."

The fact that this was even asked presents a problem for me. I thought we were all adults here....

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson September 14, 2011 | 7:22 p.m.

I find Ayaan Hirsi Ali's story very compelling:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may...

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 14, 2011 | 7:45 p.m.

"Well, I guess I could, but if Paul thinks he deserves organized thoughts presented after writing outlines and first and second drafts for the Missourian comment section then he is going to have to pay me for my time. If you want free you get ramblings and run on's."

How much would it cost to have you write something intelligent?

"The fact that this was even asked presents a problem for me. I thought we were all adults here...."

I will admit an error here. I was so dumbstruck by the profound lack of integrity that was apparent in the earlier part of your posting that I accidentally glitched over the words "and the rest of the worlds population" in "the US is a better country to its own people and the rest of the worlds population than Iran is."

You see, I was not going to enter a debate over which government abused more of it's own citizens. However you wish to state that Iran is a better country to the rest of the world's population. I don't believe that Iran is much of anything to the rest of the world's population. In fact, over the course of time that we engaged in multiple wars, the only country that Iran has warred with is IRAQ!!! It would be hard to criticize them for this since we have been at war with the same county twice and are still occupying the same. I should also note that they share a border with that country which we do not and were attacked by that country while this country was not. We can also note that their leader, which you do not like, came into power largely because of backlash against the leader which your government installed in that country, much in the same manner that Saddam Hussein came into power. I might also note that this country aided Saddam Hussein in his military campaign against theirs, much in the same manner that this country empowered and enabled Osama Bin Laden when it was convenient. In fact, I can't think of one country in that region that your country has not had it's middle finger in for decades and you cannot convince me that any of this was in the interest of those who had to live in such countries. If Iran or Iraq had meddled in our politics as much or as disrespectfully and irresponsibly as we have theirs, I suppose we might be brothers in arms for a little while. However, this is not the case. You can pretend not to see this or you might really be so stupid that you can't. Either way, I would look forward to a day when we are all adults here. But I'm not overly optimistic.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm September 14, 2011 | 8:11 p.m.

Mike,

You make a valid point about absolute peace and America having groups to worry about. I voluntarily signed up to defend the United States because I believed, and still do, that the United States has the potential and ability to do great things and that we have legitimate enemies to defend against. I affirmed that commitment by seeing combat action and reaffirmed it several times over several tours. However, any person who does not understand that we are the largest aggressor on the planet is not paying attention. Anyone who does not understand that our aggression will invite blowback (see 9/11) is a fool or a fanatic.

Like I stated before, the U.S. has an amazing opportunity to shape the world in a positive and productive way. Unfortunately we are squandering that opportunity to fight manufactured wars to continue funneling money to the hands of a few.

(Report Comment)
frank christian September 14, 2011 | 9:25 p.m.

J. Hamm - I have read your multiple references to Herman Goering quotes. Have been waiting to read from you what you believe he meant as opposed to what you avidly repeated, that he said. He meant that all you have to do is LIE (remember the word?)to the people to get them to believe you. Hitler had another, J. Goebbles minister of propaganda to handle that end for him. He did so well that people all over conquered Europe risked their lives to listen to
Radio Free Europe sponsored and broadcast by the "aggressive" government of the U.S.A. We freed those people just as we have those of Iraq. In my opinion you, like most liberals are reciting the wrongs you believe or have been taught since your birth as the essence of our history. Why would you accuse us U.S.A. of being "aggressors" without ever mentioning that we were the recipient of a great aggression? Why not mention that S. Hussein, an aggressor of the worst kind, as well as killer and torturer of his own people would have most certainly harbored and protected any al Qaeda able to reach his country?

Never mind, I realize that now you believe that these truths are only something I heard on Fox News. You mentioned, I believe , denial and the real world? It seems you are in the former and out of the latter. Don't start, I and I'm sure we all sincerely appreciate your military service to our country, but to condemn our country as "aggressors" in this context is just wrong. You do have the liberal "U.N. forever" on your side. Enjoy.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson September 14, 2011 | 9:40 p.m.

Jack Hamm wrote - "Anyone who does not understand that our aggression will invite blowback (see 9/11) is a fool or a fanatic."

I want to make sure I am not misunderstanding you. Do you mean that the Sept 11 attacks were "blowback" against "our aggression"? If so, what are some examples of "our aggression" that invited the "blowback" of these attacks?

It seems to me that militant Islamists have not needed much of an excuse for "blowback". So much so, that their leadership has often reached back about a millenium, to trot out the Crusades as one.

That seems as rational and relevant as me trying to justify a violent act against a Brit because a thousand years ago, some Saxon dog sacked my ancestors' village.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance September 14, 2011 | 9:47 p.m.

conservative = dangerous, racist, bloodthirsty, inhumane, and greedy. The Republicans debates have been very telling and conservatives are showing their true evil side.

Liberal = 40 hour work weeks, overtime pay, social security, and universal health care. If you keep using "liberal" as a pejorative Frank, let's put forth some definitions. I would be ashamed to be of modest means and be conservative, kind of like begging the right wing elite to join their "club"

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson September 14, 2011 | 9:54 p.m.

Tim Dance: I liked Ayaan Hirsi Ali's definition (and embrace) of "classical liberalism", in the Guardian story I linked above. Of course, she works for those dangerous, racist, bloodthirsty, inhumane, greedy types at the American Enterprise Institute, though.

I am most definitely not ashamed to have come from modest means and be conservative. Or classical liberal, if you prefer. I reckon I am one of many. Very, very many.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance September 14, 2011 | 10:10 p.m.

@Tony

That's too bad. You are contributing to your own moral and economic destruction. Go ahead and use the word classical liberalism or maybe quote me some Ludwig Von Mises to make it sound more eloquent. Maybe some Milton Friedman or FA Hayek to make your point. I lived with libertarians/conservatives and know all their propaganda, including the term classical liberal. You live in a dream world, wake up, the world is a lot more complex than you realize.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson September 14, 2011 | 10:44 p.m.

@Tim Dance: Yeah, yeah, I know. I've heard all those cliches before ("Like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders", etc.). Insert generic class-warfare pablum here.

I appreciate your concern. I plan to email my buddy in graphic design, and see if he can print me up some "I Contribute to My Own Moral and Economic Destruction" bumper stickers and t-shirts. Shepard Fairey poster colors, perhaps. Maybe the sales of such will reverse my economic destruction. Of course, then the resulting greed will contribute to my moral destruction, so it's a vicious cycle.

Back on the topic at hand, understanding of Islam - what does an enlightened, proud-to-be-labeled liberal think of Ayaaan Hirsi Ali?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz September 14, 2011 | 11:54 p.m.

Tony, I would gladly buy at least one of those t-shirts, two if you somehow find a way to mock Che Guevara on it. Maybe add a couple other Tim-isms to the back of it as well, he's got quite the well of hatred to pull from.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith September 15, 2011 | 5:37 a.m.

Tony & John:

I'd also like one of those "I CONTRIBUTE TO MY OWN MORAL & ECONOMIC DESTRUCTION" bumper stickers. I think I can squeeze it between my vintage 1960s "I FIGHT POVERTY/I WORK" bumper sticker* and my bumper sticker from MS&T that says "PREVENT FOREST FIRES/STRIP MINE!"

*-Never allow a good bumper sticker to be removed!

______________________________________________________

I note that Paul asks someone in an above post whether they have been to a certain Muslim country. How many of our posters HAVE been in one of those countries, not as military or briefly passing through? I have (worked in Egypt). An interesting experience.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 15, 2011 | 9:11 a.m.

And of the right wing tools posting on here, how many have served in their nation's military? And I'm glad to know that you think since we were serving that our opinions and observations don't count. It really puts things in perspective.

(Report Comment)
frank christian September 15, 2011 | 9:34 a.m.

Tim Dance - "If you keep using "liberal" as a pejorative Frank, let's put forth some definitions." Sorry, Tim I just supposed "liberal" as a pejorative would preferable to "bolshevik malcontents".

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 15, 2011 | 10:49 a.m.

Sorry I didn't come back last night and join in the fun!

@Jack
First and foremost, thank you for your service! I mean that sincerely.

I appreciate the sharing of thoughts from people that have had different experiences and think differently than I. I guess the sticking point between us has been narrowed down to our foreign policy. You see it as agression and I see it as a responsiblity to be the worlds policeman that comes as baggage when you have the means. I would not stand by and watch someone being beaten, raped, robbed, etc if I had the means to stop it. This is the problematic situation we find ourselves in as a country. We do have the means to stop just about any country from doing anything to another country. Do we sit back and watch genocide or invasions take place? Or do we accept some moral obligation to step in and stop the madness. I will freely admit that we do not always make the best decisions and that sometimes things do not go as planned. However, while I can voice my opinions when we make mistakes as we are here, I have a hard time suggesting that we should just stay out of the worlds development. I do wish that we could, believe me!

You have made the sacrifice to volunteer to go places I have not. I am forever grateful to you and the many others like you. IF, we had to draft people in to our military, I would have a big issue with putting hundreds of thousands of our people in places that no one should have to go. But, as long as we have a "volunteer" military, I feel great pride that I live in a country where hundreds of thousands of people like you volunteer to be the worlds policeman and put their lives on the line to help people they don't even know as that is what you do when you wear the US uniform. I know we are not always perceived to be the good guys and we have some pr issues that need to be worked on. This point can be examined through a very common sentiment expressed by our detractors. People say, "we went to war in Iraq for their oil". We need to think about that for a sec. Did we go in and take their oil as ours? No. Did we sell their oil and keep the oil revenues for ourselves while we occupied their country? No. Did we get rid of a brutal dictator who had committed genocide and invaded their neighbors and at the same time try to provide stability in the governments in this region to keep the rest of the worlds economies, including ours, more stable with a more stable supply of oil? Yes. Is that a crime? I guess the answer is for each one of us to decide.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 15, 2011 | 11:58 a.m.

"I would not stand by and watch someone being beaten, raped, robbed, etc if I had the means to stop it. This is the problematic situation we find ourselves in as a country. We do have the means to stop just about any country from doing anything to another country. Do we sit back and watch genocide or invasions take place? Or do we accept some moral obligation to step in and stop the madness."

Lo and behold. The forked tongue seeks fresh meat.
In reference to the above, this country did exactly that - sat back and watched genocide and invasions take place. So quit pretending.

From Wikipedia:

After Khomeini gained power, skirmishes between Iraq and revolutionary Iran occurred for ten months over the sovereignty of the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway, which divides the two countries. During this period, Saddam Hussein publicly maintained that it was in Iraq's interest not to engage with Iran, and that it was in the interests of both nations to maintain peaceful relations. However, in a private meeting with Salah Omar Al-Ali, Iraq's permanent ambassador to the United Nations, he revealed that he intended to invade and occupy a large part of Iran within months. Later (probably to appeal for support from the United States and most Western nations), he would make toppling the Islamic government one of his intentions as well. Iraq invaded Iran, first attacking Mehrabad Airport of Tehran and then entering the oil-rich Iranian land of Khuzestan, which also has a sizable Arab minority, on 22 September 1980 and declared it a new province of Iraq. With the support of the Arab states, the United States, and Europe, and heavily financed by the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Saddam Hussein had become "the defender of the Arab world" against a revolutionary Iran. The only exception was The Soviet Union, who initially refused to supply Iraq on the basis of Neutrality in the conflict, although in his memoirs, Mikhail Gorbachev claimed that Leonid Brezhnev refused to aid Saddam over infuriation of Saddam's treatment of Iraqi Communists. Consequently, many viewed Iraq as "an agent of the civilized world".[53] The blatant disregard of international law and violations of international borders were ignored. Instead Iraq received economic and military support from its allies, who conveniently overlooked Saddam's use of chemical warfare against the Kurds and the Iranians and Iraq's efforts to develop nuclear weapons.[53]

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm September 15, 2011 | 12:03 p.m.

Mike Mentor

“I guess the sticking point between us has been narrowed down to our foreign policy. You see it as agression and I see it as a responsiblity to be the worlds policeman that comes as baggage when you have the means.”

I agree that we have a role to play as the world’s policemen. I think anyone who has the means and ability to help others who are less fortunate has a moral obligation to offer that help. However, that is not what we are doing now or what we have been doing in the recent past. We are fighting a series of manufactured wars to make arms manufactures and DoD contractors rich.

If we were really concerned about being the world’s policemen and helping those who most needed our help we would be in Darfur, Somalia, North Korea and similar places. Iraq was a developed country. Saddam was a tyrant but so are many other politicians all over the world. He was nowhere near the top of the list of guys we should be getting rid of (not to mention that his worst crimes were committed while being our close friend in the 80s). You say that he committed genocide and invaded his neighbors, which is correct. However, you ignore the fact that the United States has committed genocide many times and have invaded nations all across the globe without justification.

If I had even the slightest belief that the US military would actually be used to defend this country and to do good around the world I would be the first guy in line to sign up again. I can tell you unequivocally that the US does not currently use its military in that way at all. We are the world’s largest aggressor by a massive margin.

There are people around this world that loathe the US. Some for religious reasons and some for political reasons but the vast majority of the people who hate the US do so because we have directly inflicted pain into their lives. We have to start to understand that our actions will have reactions; far to many Americans live their lives in denial.

Last, anyone who wants to discuss or examine this situation needs to accept the FACT that the US has also committed crimes against other people and nations and we are more often than not the initial aggressor. We must accept the FACT that the CIA has done things across the globe that will create enemies. Whether these actions are justified or moral is meaningless. The only point that matters is that we have legitimate enemies (legitimate in the form that their hatred towards us is justified). These actions will in turn invite blowback against the US. The CIA came up with the term blow back for this very reason. Thus, anyone who does not realize that US foreign policy has a role to play in the blame game of 9/11 is not looking at the situation seriously. We cannot begin to deal with these issues until Americans start to examine them honestly.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm September 15, 2011 | 12:09 p.m.

Mike,

I assume you did not serve in any recent wars, or any war for that matter. You seem to have the perspective of many people who have never actually been to these places and I can't blame you for that because the US media does a horrible job in covering US military activities. Even most POGs share your point of view; it’s hard to understand it if you have not seen it.

What is going on in these places, how we actually fight these wars and who we are fighting would blow your mind. I have talked to so many people since coming back that have these ideas about what we are doing there and how we do it that are just complexly void of reality.

I think if people like you had an idea of what was actually going on there would be a revolution in this country.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson September 15, 2011 | 1:00 p.m.

What are some examples of how the US directly inflicted pain into the lives of Osama Bin Laden, or Mohammed Atta, or the other 18 (19 if you count Zacarias Moussai, sorry for the spelling)?

Does this apply to the UK, Spain, and Bali, also?

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 15, 2011 | 4:12 p.m.

@Jack
Thanks for your time. I have enjoyed hearing your perspectives. I am with you when you say that we will face some blow back due to our foreign policy. I guess the problem for me is how to mitigate that.

If I see a man beating a woman and I call the police and have that man arrested and sent to jail, I have done the right thing, correct? However, that man may have some children that have now lost their father to jail. They may have lost all or a large portion of their family income when dear old dad went away. Maybe this is the way this couple lived their lives and didn't want me butting in. Have I done the right thing? I think so. Will I face some possible anger or resentment from the players and the innocents involved? Yes.

So, what to do about the world issues. I don't think there is anything that we could do that would not have us facing some kind of resentment from sombody. We are the "rich guys" that have everything we could ever want and many out there resent it. Even if we stayed out of everything, we would face resentment for not helping those that need it because we do have the means. We did try to go to Somalia and that didn't work out so well. We can only do so much when everyone is fighting everyone. We have picked sides in conflicts just like I picked a side in my example above, but does that make us/me the aggressor? I don't think so. Will we face blow back. Yes. But, is the blow back our fault? Only in a sense that it is necessary baggage that comes from trying to do the right thing IMHO.

I don't think we are a bully for hire or a country that will go in and be an original aggressor. I don't think we are out there trying to pick fights. I know our foreign policy is not imperialistic in nature. So, while I agree that we are less than perfect in all of our planning and execution, I don't place the blame on us for all of the resentment we face the same way I would not place the blame on myself for calling the police on dear old dad...

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 15, 2011 | 4:21 p.m.

P.S.

If you guys add, "I voted for Obama" to the end of the, " I CONTRIBUTE TO MY OWN MORAL & ECONOMIC DESTRUCTION" bumper stickers you can count me in for at least two and my mom and brother will find new bumper stickers on their vehicles soon...

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 15, 2011 | 4:29 p.m.

"I don't think there is anything that we could do that would not have us facing some kind of resentment from sombody. We are the "rich guys" that have everything we could ever want and many out there resent it."

That is an abstract rationalization.

"I don't think we are a bully for hire or a country that will go in and be an original aggressor. I don't think we are out there trying to pick fights. I know our foreign policy is not imperialistic in nature."

You ignore history.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 15, 2011 | 4:49 p.m.

"We are the "rich guys" that have everything we could ever want and many out there resent it."

Actually, that statement is so stupid that it reminds me of what George Bush said.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info...

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 15, 2011 | 9:34 p.m.

@Tony
Thanks for the link. I didn't have time to read it before, but just finished. I especially enjoyed;

She says Islam is backward and the Qur'an is terrible. But Ayaan Hirsi Ali – whose provocative new book is extracted here – is not about to let a fatwa intimidate her.

She is aware of the liberal twitching she causes. "I'm not being rightwing," she says. "The people who believe themselves to be on the left, and who defend the agents of Islam in the name of tolerance and culture, are being rightwing. Not just rightwing. Extreme rightwing. I don't understand how you can be so upset about the Christian right and just ignore the Islamic right.

Her critique of Islam as a "moral framework not compatible with the modern westernised way of living" is rooted in a critique of her family. The phrasing she uses is startlingly direct. She writes that "violence is an integral part" of Islamic social discipline.

To say that we are simply not going to talk about Islam – which inspires in today's world the greatest possible danger to world peace – because a few people here and there get offended, I think is the wrong approach.

"If the theology they subscribe to requires you to perform jihad, I think we should engage them by saying, 'Hey, we want to talk about this with you'; that's not to insult you. It is right there in the Qur'an, it is right there in the Hadith, it's been put into practice and it is being preached. And the people who are preaching it are taking advantage of the full array of freedoms that a liberal democratic society has. And we are not going to shut up and call it something else just because you are saying you are offended. I don't even believe they are offended.

Although there is in Hirsi Ali an almost aristocratic bearing, it was not an easy upbringing; she was beaten by a religious teacher until a rib broke; was, at her grandmother's insistence and in her father's absence, subjected to genital mutilation; and in later years would watch as her sister crumbled into mental illness after a secret abortion – all acts that she believed to be sanctioned by her faith. When Muslim women in the Hague were found to have high instances of vitamin D deficiency, health workers put it down to poverty and not, as Hirsi Ali says came out in the interviews, to the fact they were deprived of sunlight because they didn't have permission to leave the house until their husbands came home at night. She calls this "the twist and turn to avoid Islam". When she had a platform to speak, she resolved, she would not pussyfoot around in the same manner.

(cont.)

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 15, 2011 | 9:36 p.m.

(cont.)
She reserves her greatest disapproval for intellectuals who she says have failed utterly in their responsibility towards non-white women. The decadence of western feminism is where Hirsi Ali is perhaps strongest. In the book, she attacks Germaine Greer for arguing that female genital mutilation needs to be considered "in context", as part of a "cultural identity" that western women don't understand. Why, she asks, are voices such as Greer's not speaking out against the subjugation of women in the Muslim world? She calls for a new feminism, "that is going to focus on issues faced by non-western women, because they are the biggest issues. To own your own sexuality, as an adult woman; to choose your own lifestyle; to have access to education [when] what we see in the Muslim world is girls being pulled out of school and married off before they've completed their education. These things, I think, are more basic than the stuff that current feminists are concerning themselves with – like shattering the glass ceiling or finding a balance between work and home life.

On that trip back to London to see her father for the last time, Hirsi Ali visited a cousin on a council estate in east London and saw, with horror, the life she might have led: "on welfare," she says, with hauteur, a virtual "prisoner", in need of her husband's permission to leave the house and then only if encased in a "black shroud". She says: "And I realized, oh my goodness, if I had done what my father wanted me to do in 1992, I would be leading a comparable life, but instead of Tower Hamlets, in Toronto."
Classic liberalism was about the individual; [I am talking about] a denial of rights to an individual within a community: a girl's genitals were being cut; a girl was being denied education, forced into marriage; a gay guy has to hide from his parents that he's gay otherwise they're going to do something to him. That is what liberalism was all about. It is offensive to me if a group of people deny rights to an individual human being in the name of their religion – and they want the rest of us to leave them alone? No way."

(Report Comment)
mike mentor September 15, 2011 | 9:38 p.m.

Has she been radicalised by her experiences? How can she live with death threats and not, at some level, lose perspective? If she did not have a point, Hirsi Ali says, "there would be no angry Muslims plotting to kill me… people would just be shrugging their shoulders." In any case, she says, living in Washington with security is still better than living as a woman in Saudi Arabia without it. "Even with protection, even with death threats, I can publish, I can travel and I can live the life that I want, and not the one my parents want, or some imam somewhere thinks I should live."

She is not interested in going back into politics and believes she has more influence on the outside. She is sceptical of Obama, who, she thinks, in his speech to the Muslim world in Egypt last year was optimistic to the point of delusion. She says: "The idea that if people are just friendly and demonstrate they want peace, that will be answered with good will – that is really naive. If you have organisations in the US that are lobbying him and Congress to allow sharia, then being nice to them is not enough." In terms of British politics, she is more impressed with Labour than the Conservatives, for their suggested ban on the group Islam4UK. The Archbishop of Canterbury may be surprised to know she considers him an "appeaser" of Islam for considering limited introduction of sharia law.

There is one thing, she says, that annoys her about the way her former faith is depicted. "There is this tendency to think that if you are a Muslim woman you are not strong." She repositions. "They," she says firmly, "are strong women."

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson September 15, 2011 | 10:19 p.m.

@Mike: Ali's is an amazing story. She does not pull any punches - nor should she. Being on the receiving end of a fatwa by such backward vestiges of the 7th Century should be considered a badge of honor. Even for Dave Letterman.

I still wonder what folks like Tim Dance think about Ms. Ali ending up with the "dangerous, racist, bloodthirsty, inhumane, and greedy" conservatives at AEI, rather than at some more erudite, benevolent, compassionate, selfless liberal think tank or institute.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking September 16, 2011 | 2:38 a.m.

How much of the abuses that Ali attributes to Islam are simply cultural abuses that have been associated with Islam? Genital mutilation is practiced throughout sub-Saharan Africa independent of Islam. Violence and disrespect toward women are practiced by people of many religions. These are cultural practices, not necessarily ones that are intrinsic parts of Islam.

Queen Noor of Jordan (originally an American) has been working toward empowerment of Muslim women for decades. Muslim women in the US have it much better than women in poorer, more traditional countries. I know several Muslim women, both single and married, that work, and a couple that don't even cover their hair. Like Christianity, there's a whole range of orthodoxy that adherents practice. The4 fact that there are Muslims in less developed countries that do things we in the West disapprove of, does not mean they have to because they're Muslim. They do it because they don't know any better.

DK

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson September 16, 2011 | 8:16 a.m.

@Mark: I agree with much of what you write here. The cultural aspect, in addition to the religious, may explain such treatment and customs in the remote villages of Somalia, for example. But I don't think it provides sufficient explanation for the abuses she discusses that occur / have occurred in Western societies. Her friend Theo Van Gogh learned that the hard way.

Many religions (and anti-religions) have fostered and promoted abuse and oppression. I guess I am puzzled, though, by the apparent hyper-sensitivity of much of Islam toward critical thinking.

Of course, even Midwest Lutherans have reacted irrationally toward cartoonish desecration of sacred figures:
http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/200...

(Report Comment)
frank christian September 16, 2011 | 8:39 a.m.

"Queen Noor of Jordan (originally an American) has been working toward empowerment of Muslim women for decades."
What is that supposed to mean in this context? If she (as have many)has worked on it for twenty years, I believe most would consider it quite a problem, much worse than "They do it because they don't know any better".

I have an older book, 1992, "Islam and Democracy: Fear of the Modern World, written by a Turkish woman. She asserts that Islam is used by those governments to control their people. The gov't speaks for Ali,so cannot be wrong.

In regard to those around the world that "hate" us (Americans), imo, it is not the people that even "dislike" us but, is the fascist or socialist gov't those people serve that hates us and anyone else that can upset their "cart". Neither do I agree with Madeleine Albright, B. Clinton's Sec of State who stated on TV that she believes "there should be more than one "super power".

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire September 16, 2011 | 9:41 a.m.

I suppose that you feel that the only solution to this problem is to eradicate this religion from the planet. Not exactly a jihad, but more of an anti-jihad. Would you stop at the most extreme fundamentalists or would you continue with the moderate fundamentalists also? Or would you rather nip the whole thing in the bud, so as to prevent more fundamentalists from blossoming. Would you burn the Koran? Would you punish those who choose to continue practicing the religion? Possibly you might bar it's adherents from holding political office? Would you do this under the auspices of atheism or would you do this as a christian? Possibly you might allow the religion to be practiced but only under the close supervision of your government? Should we intervene in other governments around the world in order to eliminate this religion that is so offensive? Should we use priests from other more benign religions to convert it's followers? Should we start censoring books and other written materials?

And on a similar note, what is your position regarding circumcision? Do you feel that parents should be allowed to spank their children? Should there be corporal punishment in school?

Also, since we seem to be on the same page regarding the problems caused by religion intruding into governments, should we eliminate laws which are rooted in religious bias? Should we allow and encourage, say, gay marriage? Abortion? Should we eliminate laws regarding statutory rape? Public exposure? Pornography? Prostitution? Should bars and liquor stores be allowed to open on Sunday? These are all legitimate questions.

Do we need to have a government agency edit the permissible passages in the bible, particularly the old testament, where violent punishment is either condoned or called for? Should we eliminate the tax exempt status of all churches so that no philosophy can have an upper hand?

And finally, should we quit trying to make laws regarding the funeral protesters or should we censor them also?

(Report Comment)
frank christian September 16, 2011 | 9:41 a.m.

Thinking about what I last wrote: those governments "speak" for Allah, not Ali, the former boxer. Just wait 'til you get old.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush September 18, 2011 | 12:01 a.m.

"Sounds like we agree that violence is here to stay and the best we can do is deal with it in a way that best protects our families and Nation while causing as little harm to others as possible."
No, we are not in agreement.
It seems you didn't bother to go to the links that I provided. Ceasefire Chicago isn't about street gangs, and the Nonviolent Peaceforce makes peace "in places where no authority exists" - the very claim you scorn. They are successful in the very places where the only authority is the person with the firearm in the immediate vicinity. The peacemakers are highly trained, unarmed, and have never had a casualty.
It seems I was mistaken when I thought you were really being curious. But that's okay. Violence and coercion by force is quick and easy - seductive, even. If I wanted to force you to believe "my way", I'd be no better than the violence peddlers - no matter what political side they are allied.
I still salute your (unsated) curiosity, and, unlike those who try to control you with fear and anger, I respect your journey toward peacemaking.
Maybe, you'll even write a haiku. I look forward to reading one you author.

(Report Comment)

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