Friday, October 06, 2006

The Pope

I promised here that my next post was going to be about his Excellency the Pope, and though I got sidetracked here there shall be no more stalling. Hope the wait was worth it .

Last month I was surprised at the news that there was some sort of controversy surrounding the Pope Benedict XVI and his alleged harsh criticism of the Muslim faith. I thought to myself , please God let's not have a re-run of the Danish cartoons , we were just beginning to forget all about that sorry episode.


I will not say that he was a card carrying Nazi, because that would be unfair . The past is the past and this is comparable to the Iraqis who have been forced to become members of the Baath party in Iraq to survive ( and so many emigrated abroad); so all must be given the benefit of the doubt. Nor will I comment that he has a history of apparent untolerance to other faiths . Or that he now seems to have made his peace with the Jews according to this "[..]Jewish-Catholic relations anyway are no longer based upon our view of the past but on the nature of relations in the present, and from that perspective Benedict XVI is as good as it gets." I don't even have to talk about Jihad or about proposed Islamic reformation. I don't need to get in the debate about the academic standard or lack of it of the Pope's speech since he apparently amazingly " bases a sweeping characterization of theological doctrine on just one footnote! "

I also read comments like the following on public forums (BBC) :

(1) "The Pope quoted one of the last Byzantine emperors, beleaguered in the remnant of his empire, about to be swallowed up by the Muslim Ottomans. He was hardly objective. In that period - the 14th century - Islam was more enlightened, scientifically and morally, than the Christian world. In Muslim Spain Christians and Jews flourished. In Christian Europe the Inquisition was torturing and burning people and resisting scientific development. The Pope's statement was both foolish and rash.[sic]"
Yael L. Hairston, Givatayim Israel

(2) "The pope made two major mistakes one after another. The first mistake was when he quoted on side of a conversation between two different sides that occurred some centuries ago. Academically that's wrong. Since that conversation was brought up then the world need to know the response of the other side as well. The second one is when he disrespected all Muslims and claimed that about a quarter of the world's population mis-understood him!! Muslims are not that ignorant.[sic]"
Awnar, St. Catharines

All the above while interesting are irrelevant and stray away from the real topic. So I chose to read on the controversy before jumping to conclusions.


The Pope's speech brought out the 'worms from the woodwork' in terms of showing the true personality of many individuals. Unknowingly people blurted out without even the pretense of political correctness what was lurking at the bottom of their hearts. The only winners from this event is Emperor Paleologus who is enjoying fame and notoriety probably more than he did when he was alive, and the terrorists who have more fuel for their oven by making a moutain out of a molehill.

But I was not satisfied , media, people and bloggers were simply quoting each other. To cut the Gordian knot of speculations I decided to download Pope Benedict's lecture "Faith, Reason and the University: Memories and Reflections", dated 12th of September and print out all 7 pages. I wanted to go to the source and see for myself what he said in context (that's what we were taught at school: check both sides and the facts). After all the guy maybe falsely accused.

I read the whole document and his only remarks about Islam (in the said lecture) are contained in page 2 and mainly concentrated in two paragraphs.The remaining 7 pages do not seem connected to these remarks and as far as I could figure out in my humble opinion and limited academic jargon did not even allude to Islam.

Thus I concluded that Pope Benedict XVI is a very clever fellow, he has not reached this eminent position with nothing in his brain. The Pope was hitting two birds with one stone. That is what I call pure genius, because while the whole world was busy analysing the now infamous words of the Byzantine Emperor revived for the occasion through the Pope's lips, and were getting sidetracked about how Islam was propagated, and whether it used reason or not . And while people were foaming at the mouth about Islam and Christianity and other religions, and was the Pope bashing Muslims or not? They let slip the main target of his diatribe which is buried under a lot of philosophy and academic speech.

I stand in awe before Pope Benedict XVI , I only have total admiration for the guy if he had not taken the vow of celibacy I would even marry him regardless of everything. We need people like him in the Arab world. I would vote for him as my benevolent dictator forever , time and over again. Chapeau !

So who or what is the main 'bird' that the Pope was attacking ? the arch-enemy of his Church! and NO that is not Islam, Islam was just a diversion he threw to the spectators :) . The bones we give to the beast in the gladiator arena
I'll let someone elses more capable words explain that to you in another post.

I also had an interesting discussion with a Libyan friend of mine ( thank you for your patience and wink at him). This is the gist of it below and is not intended to be offensive to any Christian.




"We are muslims right? if we are muslim we have a way of life and thinking
that dictates us to deal with issues in whatever that manner is in Islam. The
Pope is not Muslim ( in fact he is Catholic) and does not accept Islam as a
faith i.e rejects the divine revelation of the Qur'an and the coming of Prophet
Muhammad. If that is the case what matters what he says about Islam or our
Prophet? He sees it as natural to do that and that's what his teachings are
maybe telling him to do i.e. attacking in symbolism. On the other hand this has
another face, it could show his ignorance and bigotry, or racist motivations?
That is also his RIGHT to do since he is FREE to speak his own mind.

What matters would be our reaction as Muslims and it also helps for us
Muslims to know the method that we need to learn on how to deal with people of
this charachter when they speak like this in public. The West may have the same
ideas that the Pope has Professed to be accurate. We can say a majority of the
West have the idea that Islam is a faith that was spread by the sword. So if
they decided without previous knowledge or proof that what they say is accurate,
then they can be labelled, according to the dictionaries by a label of ignorance
and bigotry. I am only responsible for them to know only if they make the clear
decision to come and ask me for information . Since there
is no compulsion in Islam
, none what so ever as per what he [the Pope] said
it is his business and it is more propaganda for the average Joe in the West to
pick up the Qur'an and read it for himself. I am not going to go out of my way
to teach someone who has ulterior motives because that would be stupid on my
behalf if I am aware I know that he/she has a different aim and insincere
right ?

That's why the Creator made the statement 'shall be no compulsion in Islam,
the right is known and the false is known'.

For example , if some one comes and climbs to the biggest tower of the city and decides to unzip and urinate in front of every one. I have nothing to do but leave him alone and move on my business. He will still be on top of that tower doing what he sees is right no ? But let him do it. To make a big fuss about it is to give it
importance that it did not deserve and a waste of time
.
Time is the cure for such issues. "


What he said concurs more or less with what I have been thinking all along with regards to purported hostility to the ME or alleged statements aimed at Muslims.

Summa Summarum ( picked that from our own NBA ) :
It is the right of anyone to criticise Islam if they wish.
The smart thing to do in return is to not to swallow the bait hook, line and sinker,but rather keep calm, ignore, learn more social skills and use the same right they used to criticise back next time using the same strategy if I still feel like it :)

32 comments:

Nomad said...

marrying this pope, yeah, he was such a nice looking gui decades ago !

but you sure have felt soon bored with him

me, in a previous catholic country, cause now, not many are practicing or even beleave in roman church, say, that pope is an old scholar boy, he will not convinced new adherents, unless they fall in the unsecurity fear, a religion vs another religion ;
may-be all this mess is political : this pope has an agenda !

so did JP II,the declin of URSS power ! well done !

the evils, now ? guess on which side Benedict stand !

I don't care of religions, I made my mind with these stuffs, though I had a harsh catholic education ;

I'll expect people rather try to think about reasoning in philosophical ways, or may-be in a primitive way, where nature has the predominance, aren'we part of solar system ?

Highlander said...

Bien sur Nomad , on a deja compris que ce Pape a un agenda :)

He was cute as a young guy eh, but I'm attracted to his brains :P

Nomad said...

he only likes his piano and his nurse :lol:

what his has in his brain reminds me of the past, not a happy one !

Iam finnish with him, sorry to misorientate the discussion

programmer craig said...

So, how many comments did you have to moderate out already, Highlander? Maybe you should publish a tally so we can keep score :)

Angry Libyan American said...

GOD HIGHLANDER. YOU ARE THE GENIUS!

No Seriosly Dude. Amazing Analisis. I am starting to understand the way the game works more and more each day.
Infinate kudos!

Highlander said...

strangely enough Craig I only moderated 2 comments - one was spam and the other was linking to an off topic subject by an anonymous person . So I guess Highlander's readers are behaving all of a sudden eh ? are you guys intimidated :P It's good to see the efforts made at civil behaviour - hopefully this can be maintained and we get our blog back :)

Highlander said...

Agurzil , read and learn my dear friend - thanks for the compliment!

Maya M said...

Highlander, how could you hope not to have a re-run of the cartoon episode and forget about it? I don't think forgetting a relevant event is a good idea; and even if somebody tries, there will surely be re-runs as long as the war is ongoing, and these re-runs will remind him of what he tries to forget.
Your paragraph beginning with "I will not say that he was a... Nazi" is a masterpiece of rhetoric. I admire your brain at least as much as you admire the Pope's. You could very well consider a career in diplomacy or politics!
It is true that Emperor Paleologus wasn't and couldn't be objective, but this doesn't mean he was wrong. As far as I know, it is fairly true that "in that period - the 14th century - Islam was more enlightened, scientifically and morally, than the Christian world." So what? The fact that brucellosis is much more deadly than influenza is hardly comforting to a person who has survived brucellosis but is now dying of influenza. And this person (or anybody else) will NOT be wrong if he says, "Influenza kills".
About your remark that "the only winners is... and the terrorists" - it doesn't make me feel well that every time somebody says (or draws) something anti-Islamic, moderate Muslims say this will encourage terrorists. To me, this is a suggestion for global sumbission by non-Muslims to a dhimmi status and No. 68 proof that moderate Muslims are not at our side, but at the terrorists' side. However, I admit that we have only ourselves to blame for being in this situation because of (1) living in happy ignorance about Islam for too long and (2) easily making concessions to terrorists and other Islamic warriors because of cowardice.
About your friend's statements that Islam wasn't spread by the sword and there is no compulsion in Islam etc. - Highlander, I hope this is just deliberate posting of idiotic text? I remember, some time ago you translated an idiotic op-ed and when somebody protested, you said that readers had asked for a sample of idiotic Libyan newspaper material and therefore you have posted it. However, it was a pearl of wisdom, compared to this one! Of course I could cite the Koran and remind of the Afghan Abdulrahman and the kidnapped Fox News reporters and..., and..., but to try and disprove an idiotic claim with facts and rational arguments "is to give it importance that it did not deserve and a waste of time", so let's stop here for the moment.

Angry Libyan American said...

Hey H

Your welcome. Agurzil and LW are one in the same I am sure you already knew that.lol. I am just trying to promote my band, and what not. Libyan Warrior is my prefered alias.:)

The Moderation works. Most blogs have them. It really is for the best even though, I am sure it gets tiresome for you.

When you have your blog on moderation people will not even bother to go through the trouble of writing a off topic comment. Keep the moderation on, its the best way to have a civil conversation. As far as the Anonymous commenters go, disable the anonymous and other identities. Only bloggers should be able to comment. So you can keep track of who is who. It doesnt take more then a couple of min's to get a account.

As far as your comment is concerned. We do need more individuals like the pope in the Arab world. We need more people to use the brain that God gave them, instead of their hearts and their fists. :)

Its difficult, especially for me, but we all need to start training ourselves to not be so swayed by emotion. In my opinion the pope used us as our own enemies. He made the statement becuase he knew the way the Muslim world would react. He was hoping for a incident similar to the cartoon insanity to occur. By doing this the average westerner would take what his telivision say about Islam, instead of what the scriptures of Islam say about the faith. Actions speak much louder then words. Personally that is my take on the whole situation. The Pope was also attempting to unite and de-secularize his flock in many ways with his comment. He was hoping to awaken a inner hostility amongst the average secular Cathloic towards Islam. Many times even when a individual( born into Catholocism) proclaims himself a atheist or a secular beliver, when a Muslim lashes out at the faith of Catholoicism, that Muslim awakens a inner passion within the Cathloic. To align himself with faith of his/her birth. To return to the ways of the faith.


The cartoons crisis did the same for many Muslims. Many Muslims are very secular and do not consider themselves Muslims beyond the name. "Muslim" to many people is a ethnic identity, not a spiritual one. When people saw their religion of birth being attacked or lashed out against, or offended, it awakens something deep inside them to fight back. it causes them to return to their roots, to re-discover their faith.

The Pope with his comments attempted to potray or better yet have Muslims themselves portray Islam negativly, and he was attempting to sway the passions of the average run in the Mill Western Secular humanist. Thats my take.

Curt from Houston said...

"It is the right of anyone to criticize Islam if they wish.
The smart thing to do in return is to not to swallow the bait hook, line and sinker, but rather keep calm, ignore, learn more social skills and use the same right they used to criticize back next time using the same strategy if I still feel like it :)"


Highlander, it's good to see that the moderation is working out well. As for criticizing Christianity, by all means, have at it. We in the West do it every day. The Moonbat left in America are currently having a field day with the Evangelicals. The problem I have with your commentary is that there really is a cancer growing on the Islamic faith and I'm afraid that it has metastasized. The vast majority of violence occurring around the world today is being perpetrated by Muslims persecuting people of other faiths. I direct you once again to http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

The West is not attacking Islam. Truth be told, we couldn't care less about what Muslims believe. It was only when Muslims started flying planes into our buildings that they got our undivided attention. The fanatical Muslims have got to go. If you good Muslims can't or won't do it yourselves, you force us to do it for you. It’s just that simple.

Curt from Houston said...

Here's another facinating article that touches on this topic:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;jsessionid=FDPUSDK4OTFIDQFIQMFCFFOAVCBQYIV0?xml=/opinion/2006/10/07/do0701.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/10/07/ixopinion.html

Curt from Houston said...

"The Pope with his comments attempted to potray or better yet have Muslims themselves portray Islam negativly, and he was attempting to sway the passions of the average run in the Mill Western Secular humanist. Thats my take."

Well who the Hell's fault is that Agurzil? If so many Muslims didn't respond to every percieved slight with an orgy of violence maybe us in the West wouldn't get the notion that Muslims are violent people or something. Here's another tip; The video taped head hackings don't help either.

By the way, neither Western Secular humanist nor pretty much anyone else in the West needs the Pope to get the impression that there might be a problem with Islam.

Libyan said...

“The vast majority of violence occurring around the world today is being perpetrated by Muslims persecuting people of other faiths.”

Really? Now tell me that’s not a biased view? I guess if you think that Muslims are responsible for Chinas prosecution of many ethnic groups in that country or Colombia’s on going civil unrest, or the Tamil tigers in Sirilnka, or the violence in the Congo that left some 3 million dead or may be its Muslims that are responsible for Americas occupation of Iraq ….etc…..
You can’t look at Islamophobic website and make such big generalizations of world affairs. and by giving us the link to that hate website you are only exposing were you get your information from. Its like telling a Jew your responsible for most of the conflicts in the world, and then giving them a Neo-Nazi website as proof. Doesn’t make sense dose it?

“The West is not attacking Islam. Truth be told, we couldn't care less about what Muslims believe. It was only when Muslims started flying planes into our buildings that they got our undivided attention.”

First of all in never really understand what the “West” is? But you have given me a clue there ‘its not attacking Islam’. So we can exclude Israel from the West, because it attacks Islam, in fact it has been created in a land cleared off Muslims just to make way for all those European Jews. The “West” must not include the U.S. because its been supplying all those weapons to Israel. The west must also not include France and the U.K. because the have been attacking Muslims, including that war they had with Israel against Egypt to capture the Suez Canal. You get the idea, the West has been attacking Muslims.


“If so many Muslims didn't respond to every percieved slight with an orgy of violence maybe us in the West wouldn't get the notion that Muslims are violent people or something. Here's another tip; The video taped head hackings don't help either.”
So it’s the West’s fault that many Muslims see it as violent. I mean if they would stop bombing every country they have a diplomatic problem then we might not have this attitude towards the West. Also photos of torture by tropes, excution of civilins by troops, and rape of little girls by troops that I am sure you support, doesn’t help.

Angry Libyan American said...

Highlander. I am deeply offended by the Islamophobic, culturally insensitive, biased, and inaccurate remarks made by craig from houston. I ask that we stay true to the topic off this post. His comments are very provocative. The Religion of Peace website, is labeled as a HATE SPEECH website. Which promotes intolerance, and discrimination against mulsims. It also provides inaccurate protrayals of the Islamic faith. I am deeply hurt, and offended by these remarks and ask that they be removed at once. Many individuals who have made equally offensive remarks towards the Christian Faith have been censored on this blog, for our religiouse insensitivity. As we should have been. I ask that you be fair to all readers of all faiths, and apply a equal policy of censorship towards all hate speech.

Thank you, and God Bless.

-THE LIBYAN WARRIOR

Maya M said...

It's always amazing for me how the Muslims, in the face of the facts, manage to convince themselves that they are the good guys and the victims.

Angry Libyan American said...

"It's always amazing for me how the Muslims, in the face of the facts, manage to convince themselves that they are the good guys and the victims."



maya:)

People in Bulgeria must be amazed at everything which is straight forward and factual. When Muslims are faced with the facts that serbs killed 1,000,000 of them in bosnia and kosovo in the past 10 years, when the Muslims are faced with the fact that over 100,000 Indigonouse European Muslims where systamatically raped by forign forces in the name the Orthodox christian Religion, When Muslim are faced with the facts that Iraq, Afganistan, Chechnya, Palistine, are currently being occupied by groups of people who have no business being in those respected countries, when Muslims are faced with the facts that these occupying forces, are using chemical warfare, horrid inhuman tactics towards ,women and small children, and killing the inqigonous populations of those countries by the 100's of thousands, its quite natural that the MUSLIMS when faced with those FACTS, they feel they are being victimized. And what is worse then that is when they attempt to defend themselves with basic primative weaponary they are labeled "TERRORIST", and "OPPRESSORS". And what is even worse then that is the oppressors opf the Muslims claim they are LIBERATING them when they commit these horrid acts.

- THE LIBYAN WARRIOR


NOTE TO HIGHLANDER:

Once again highlander, another reader has strayed off topic. But since you have approved the comment, I am geussing you do not mind that I respond, to that comment.

programmer craig said...

Highlander. I am deeply offended by the Islamophobic, culturally insensitive, biased, and inaccurate remarks made by craig from houston.

I'm not from Houston, and I made my culturally insensitive, biased and islamophobic comments in another thread, not this one.

I ask that we stay true to the topic off this post.

I though the topic of this post was Islamophobic, culturally insensitive, biased, and inaccurate comments made by the Pope? No?

Libyan said...

It also amazes me how Maya M, can come up with her own facts.
you are from Eastern Europe, right? a place where Christians massacred over 200,000 Muslims, the worst massacres in Europe since World War 2. That’s a fact that you have to face, although I am sure you are amazed as to how those 200,000 dead are victims, after all they are only Muslims, right?

Face it, it’s the same hate that you harbor that leads to the spillage of blood like it did in Rwanda, the Congo, Bosnia and Kosovo. People that harbor the same Hate as you do have their hands soaked in blood of innocent people. Hate is a disease, don’t blame anyone else for having that disease. You’re responsible for it.
The people in hear will give me high blood pressure. This is probably the last time I will post anything hear. People who hate are ignorant, and debating with ignorant people is like debating with a wall. So Maya M have a great life, hopefully one that involves something other than Hate blogging, which is useless and will achieve you noting unless another massacre of Muslims is to happen in eastern Europe, which I am sure you will be amazed at how Muslim “convince themselves that they are the good guys and the victims.”

shlemazl said...

LIBYAN WARRIOR is accusing others of hate speech. Fascinating.

According to Sandmonkey, this kind of phenomenon is taking hold in Egypt as well:

"1) They hate the Jews, 2) They openly advocate the annihilation of Israel and the Jews , and 3) They admire Hitler and his book is sold on Egyptian streets and in Egyptian bookstores, however 4) The Israelis are NAZIS."

Highlander said...

Maya M , Thanks for the compliment. I believe that Paleologus was wrong and I'm not even discussing his objectivity. Why he is wrong is another storie too long to be posted.

"About your remark that "the only winners is... and the terrorists" - it doesn't make me feel well that every time somebody says (or draws) something anti-Islamic, moderate Muslims say this will encourage terrorists. To me, this is a suggestion for global sumbission by non-Muslims to a dhimmi status "

My remark was not about the behaviour of the Pope but about the Muslims making a mountain out of a molehill :P
Terrorists need very little encouragement as in their heads they already have all the reasons in the world.

You say you have been living in 'happy ignorance about Islam', I'm not sure how could you after all it was not such a long time ago that you were part of the Ottoman Empire.

I was also thinking that the fact that the Bulgarian population exists today is a clear neon sign that Muslims did not commit genocide in you region or killed your ancestors. The fact that you can speak you language is also a sign that your ancestors had the right to practice this language freely. I've travelled to Bulgaria and it is a beautiful country,and though modern it is full of one thousand year old ancient churches still INTACT.

Under Zhivkov the very civilised people of Bulgaria, decided to make every Muslim change his/her name to a slavic one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todor_Zhivkov

Zhivkov though a communist was Bulgarian right? He acted the way his internal instinct was dictating to him by exercising the very right that you claim is the best solution for the whole world i.e. to become a western civilisation. In other words he discriminated against peaceful Bulgarians because it is better for them to sound more European hence western. I'm guessing his bulgarianization http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarianisation campaign must not have been benign to result in a mass exodus of Bulgarian (ethnic Turkish) minorities back in 1985.
So I'm wondering where was that great civilisation when thousands of innocent Bulgarian families or human beings were displaced because they were Muslim or belonged to a culture that is different than that of the majority ? I was too young to remmember if there was an outcry in the media or not?
But this guy was in office from 1954 till 1989.
So he was only out off office after the fall of communism I guess, and when he was arrested and convicted it was for embezzlement, not human rights abuse.

So Maya good and bad is not a characteristic of either the Orient or Occident it is a universal trait.That's why I feel disappointed and loose hope when I see the negativity you are experiencing. You must see the brighter side of life which is to be a universal human being .

Highlander, I hope this is just deliberate posting of idiotic text? I

Nope Maya even if you cite the Koran I would still disagree because citations need to be made in context. I know you are a thorough academic and you said you read the Koran, so I expect a more convincing argument . Look at how Craig quickly sprang to explain one quote Redneck made in the other thread?
Just as I listen and accept that; I long for similar undertstanding from the other side.

Muslims are not victims Maya but many predominantly Muslim Arab countries have been on the receiving end of pain in the past century.On the other hand I realise that many in the West are hurt as well nowadays and have been hurt too and that also is unacceptable. Another human trait shared by ALL is the ability to portray oneself as the good guys.


Curt from Houston

The West is not attacking Islam. Truth be told, we couldn't care less about what Muslims believe.

Problem Curt is there is a big lumping of Muslim, Islam, Islamists, and Arabs toghether by the West and stereotyping and generalising. Things are so tangled because some people ARE Muslim,Islamists and Arabs.


Libyan :) yislam famek ! I wish you would not leave and that you would register a blogger name and participate more


Libyan Warrior it's Curt from houston , Craig is the other guy Programmer_Craig :) I agree that the website is an islamophobic one but I left it to demonstrage where many people go for apparently accurate information.
I'm not sure if the numbers you stated in 8.13.AM are accurate.
Yes I let your comment through because I let the other comments also :)


Programmer_Craig :)I think LW realised his error that you are not Curt.

Shlemazl :) that was a cute quote from Sandmonkey , however 1)to 4) are mirror images of what many (not all ) Westerners are thinking about Muslims/Arabs. There is no smoke without fire says an old proverb which I'm sure you heard about
There are haters on both sides it's not an isolated phenomenon that sprang up suddenly after 9/11 though that fateful day helped to crystallise it and iconise it further.


The topic of this thread was my advice to Arabs/Muslim to ignore whatever anyone be he or she in a position of eminence/power or not (even if it is the Pope) says if you deem it offending towards your religion, culture , country, ethnicity etc.... but rather try to lead by example,learn, be good and mind your own business because only God is eternal.

The next proverb is to be taken with a pinch of salt and is not meant as an offense( so no one dare attack me ;) ), but the Turks really had some eloquent stuff. Using elements from their own environment/culture perhaps? they used to say:
It urur, kervan yurur. -(Dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.)
Basically it is equivalent to :"Sticks and stones may break my bones ,but words will never hurt me".

Maya M said...

Libyan Warrior (you don't mind me calling you LW as I'm used to, do you?), of course I remember very well the wars and genocides of collapsing Jugoslavia.
Serbia first attacked Slovenia, then waged a bloody war in Croatia, both Christian states. So I have never regarded the conflict as Christians-vs-Muslims. Rape as weapon of war was widely used by Serbs in Croatia before the Bosnian war had even begun.
Remember who intervened to save the Bosnian and later the Kosovar Muslims, what happened to that country in 2001 and what kind names most Muslims call it today.
Bulgaria sent humanitarian aid to Bosnian Muslims and sheltered some of their refugees. Later, we provided airspace to the NATO planes bombing Serbia and didn't make fuss when some missiles fell onto our soil.
At the same time, what did Muslims do for their suffering brothers in Bosnia and Kosovo? They sent a handful of holy warriors who only stained the cause by beheading captured Serbs and playing soccer with their heads on video. I don't remember any outrage expressed either by governments or by the masses in Muslim countries. Highlander even included Serbia in the list of countries - victims of US aggression.
So I don't buy retrospective stories of how much the Umma cared about the Bosnian and Kosovar victims more than I buy the Serbs' attempts to portray themselves as early fighters against terror.
LW, I also disagree, as usual :), with your earlier comment about Muslims "being used as their own enemies" after being provoked to show violent behaviour. Why should Muslims behave nicely? One of them recently wrote, "I do not want to be feared; I want to be respected, accepted and loved" (http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=24790). But he is a strange bird willing just to live and let live, while many (most?) other Muslims want world domination. Will they achieve it by being nice? Never. But they may achieve it by instilling terror in the hearts of unbelievers. So killing nuns and Assyrians, making violent rallies and issuing death threats is the right thing to do. I of course dislike these people, but don't think they are fools.

Maya M said...

Highlander, I still disagree about the theological thing, but it's better not to dig further into it. It will take all the night and, besides, will be offensive, coming from a person who has never been a Muslim. Enough Islamophobia on a Muslim's blog :).
I hadn't the right to generalize that all Muslims portray themselves as victims and good guys - I admit "Libyan" is getting under my skin. You are right that thinking about yourself as the good guy/girl is universal.
About "making a mountain out of a molehill" - the Muslims we are talking about are trying to build and expand a totalitarian state, and all totalitarian states make mountains out of molehills. The moment they stop making this, they start to disintegrate. It is why they are totalitarian - even a molehill of opposition is dangerous, if left unattacked and undestroyed. But is this a reason for the opponents to stop making molehills? I just regret they are not mountains.
About how I could be ignorant about Islam, knowing Bulgarian history - I didn't blame the Ottomans' atrocities on Islam. And it was not only Muslims who were doing atrocities in past ages - Christians did a lot and I'm sure so did people of other religions whose history I don't know well. In short, everybody who had the opportunity. And unfortunately, if we look at today's world, being good doesn't seem to be a useful strategy.
Thank you for calling Bulgaria a modern country - it is, if we, eh, somewhat broaden the meaning of the term :).
Todor Zhivkov indeed was a Bulgarian, I cannot lay him on any other nation. But why do you blame the Western civilization for his deeds? The Sofiet bloc was the arch-enemy of the West for nearly half a century, and now you are blaming the West for the crimes of its enemy!
During the 1984/5 renaming campaign, the concentration camp in Belene was reopened to imprison resisting Turks. A few (Christian) Bulgarians were also sent there for offenses such as expressed pro-Western, anti-Communist sentiments and even for too extensive listening to Western music. One of them after 1989 said, "They claim now that the Belene camp is closed, but I don't believe, because when they sent me there, it was also said to be closed." So much for the pro-Western feelings in Communist Bulgaria.
You ask whether there was outcry in the (Bulgarian) media - are you joking? We are talking about a totalitarian state! The regime even censored a 1930s classic Soviet novel to avoid the word "Turkish" (see my comment about "The Golden Calf" at http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=25206081&postID=115939627298666164).
After 1989, Todor Zhivkov and Interior Minister Dimitar Stoyanov were put to trial for the renaming (case No. 1/1991). However, the process was protracted and got nowhere. It is closed now, because both defendants are deceased. When a dictatorship is dismantled not by a popular revolution or an external invader but by a coup d'etat, you cannot hope that the former dictator and his cronies will be punished for their crimes.

shlemazl said...

My point was specifically aimed at LW, who spews nothing but hateful speech. Amazingly he had cheek to point his fingure to others.

"There are haters on both sides" - True. On "our side" we don't allow our churches or synagogues to be used for shouting "death to XYZ". On "our side" people who target pizzerias or hijack planes are not very popular. On "our side" calls for violence against any ethnic or religious group are illegal. On "our side" there is freedom of religion.

When will normal people on "your side" ensure a similar treatment for "our side"?

programmer craig said...

Highlander, you moderated me :P

Please don't moderate this one! If anybody feels I am quotiong out of context, I will be glad to fill in the blanks myself!

[Quran 2:136] Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed to us and that which was revealed to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered. [Arabic "Muslimoon"]

A second explicit validation of the teachings of Jesus, LibyanWarrior and Redneck. That's at least two places that I know of where the Christian scriptures you two love to ridicule are explicitly endorsed as being truth, in the Quran.

Do you guys have a reading comprehension problem? Or are you athesits, posing as muslims?

Angry Libyan American said...

"So I don't buy retrospective stories of how much the Umma cared about the Bosnian and Kosovar victims "

Well you dont buy anything Maya no matter how much the facts state otherwise. You are what we call here in America "DILUSIONAL".


As far as the Ummah not caring about The Bosnians, and the kosovars. Well that their just shows your ignorance of the meaning of the UMMAH. The UMMMAh consists of every breeding muslim, man, women, and child on this earth. INCLUDING THE BOSNIANS, and THE KOSOVARS!


My Parents personally helped many Bosnian families settle here in America, as did the majority of the Muslim community. be it with grocceries, housing, cloathing, medical care, ect..

Many of these famalies where without male leadership. Becuase the Christian Facist killed a great deal of the earners of these families. The whole Muslim Community pitched in including myself, even though i was a child, I remeber it quite vividly. Muslims who owned complexs housed bosnians for free. Muslims who owned grocery stores helped the families, Muslim Doctors saw patients, we had cloathing drives, toy drives for the children. Famalies, who wanted children to be in a Islamic School enviornment recived free tuition. I went to Islamic School as a child and i rember making tons of Bosnian friends. Every pitched in to help. As far as on a larger scale. individual men who left their famalies, the comfort of their own homes to fight rugged harsh wars in Europe is the only type of Physical action this ummah, can provide. Most bosnians and albanians tell you that they are greatful for this.

We sent our boys our flesh and blood to help our brothers in Europe who we also consider our flesh and blood becuase we dont care about them?


Iran and Saudi arabia gave as much humanitarian aid as they could, but you see when you have countries like the US pointing nuclear weapons at you, and telling you that if you move they will bomb your country to the stone age, you tend to have to do things from the back. We muslims are a simple and oppressed peoples.

We can not modilize a military, to defend our fellow muslims and our countries becuase you see you call that terrorism.

You have to understand that this Ummah on the other side of the sea, is also oppressed. We cant even help Palistine, which boarders most of our countries, non the less, crossing the meditteranian sea, and a large chunck of southern Europe. We did what we could. Every Muslim charity organization raised money for the victims in Kosovo and Bosnia. We care deeply. Ever time I mention the atrocities commited against the muslim peoples the first Autrocity I mention is always, bosnia, Kosovo. This is becuase I have met the people who have been afected by this, this is becuase everyday i break my fast with people who have been affected by this, I have friends, who are orphans because of these autrocities. I have friends whose older siblings have either been killed or raped by the serbian pigs. DONT YOU DARE ACCUSE ME OR ANY MEMBER OF THIS UMMAH FOR NOT CARING!




" But he is a strange bird willing just to live and let live, while many (most?) other Muslims want world domination."

World domination. Funny coming from someone whose fellow peoples have conquered, africa, asia, and the americas, enslaved and in many cases commited acts of genocide agaisnt their indigonouse populations, stole all of their natural resources, and claimed they where doing it for God. very funny indeed.

I have had enough of this. I can not continue to waste my preciouse time, intelectual prowle's on conversations with un-educated, and Irrational people who's hatred for Islam, and Muslims, have blinded them from having any realistic outlook on the worlds current situation. I suggest that the next time you wish to have a civil, RATIONAL, AND REALISTIC conversation. you leave your historical inaccuracies and biases at home.

- THE LIBYAN WARRIOR

Anonymous said...

I would like an answer to the allegations I have just read.

Where did I ridicule the teachings of Christianity?... and where did I attack the whole of christianity as claimed in another post?

I hope we do not have a comprehension problem over here?

Redneck

programmer craig said...

Redneck, you ridiculed the teachings of Jesus... specifically. The hate site you linked used a sermon Jesus gave to his 12 disciples to attempt to defame Christianity. You not only pointed us to that site, you copy/pasted the "worst" verse here for us to read. Why do you deny what you were about? Stop playing games, your intent was clear. You went out LOOKING for material do ridicule Christianity, it didn't just present itself in your browser. You really do have a low opinion of other people's intelligence, don't you?

Your contempt for Christianity and for Jesus is clear. And it's fine. Just don't pretend that you respect any Prophet besides Mohamed, because you don't.

Libyan Warrior( KING OF AL-ANDLUS) said...

There are haters on both sides" - True. On "our side" we don't allow our churches or synagogues to be used for shouting "death to XYZ".


PAT ROBERTSON. JERRY FALWELL.

"DEATH TO HUGO" angered me.

Since that day I stoped watching 700 club. As far as synagogues, was it not in a synagoue that the Great Rabbi in Israel gave the edict allowing the killing or Women and Children?

shlemazl said...

There are problems with your point:

1. Pat Robertson did not say it in a church and he was forced to apologize.

2. Great rabbi did not say anything like this.

3. Had you been right (which you are not), it wouldn't be the same as preaching hate in most Mosques every Friday and crowds regularly screaming "death to..."

Anonymous said...

PC, you really need to take a chill pill over here...All I hear is whinging and whining...Bla Bla Bla...hate...Bla Bla Bla...contempt...You are just acting like a little kid whose toys have been taken off him.

Your more than hateful reply got nothing to do with why I posted the quote in the first place... You simply have been baited, and rose to the occasion as expected, and went about the "context", which as an argument you totally dismiss when it comes to the Quran. You showed your true face and double standards.
Anyway, I was not expecting much from an apologist who went and felt offended because a peadophile protector has been exposed, and went on to urge the host of this blog to delete the comments. So much for freedom of speech and all that Jazz you seem to be in support of.. (Yes, I did read the comment you mysteriuosly deleted later on).

And by the way, just to let you know, Christianity runs through my family's blood way before any ancestor of yours discovered who Jesus was. Fortunately, they do not subscribe to the hateful christian values you adhere to.

Redneck

programmer craig said...

Redneck,

PC, you really need to take a chill pill over here...All I hear is whinging and whining...Bla Bla Bla...hate...Bla Bla Bla...contempt...You are just acting like a little kid whose toys have been taken off him.

Don't flatter yourself. I'm aware it was your intent to provoke this response, but claiming success doesn't make it true :)

I don't care enough about your opinions to react in the way you ascribe to me. You've never said anything on this blog or any other (that I've seen) that wasn't an attempt to start trouble with the blogger or other commenters. That's your deal. The only reason I respond to you and LibyanWarrior at all, is that I don't want your BS to go unchallenged. Not because I have any interest or any hope of changing your mind. You're a closeminded person, there would be no point.

And by the way, just to let you know, Christianity runs through my family's blood

But not yours?

way before any ancestor of yours discovered who Jesus was.

Point? You think tht makes you more Christian than me? Your arrogance is astounding.

Fortunately, they do not subscribe to the hateful christian values you adhere to.

Then where did you get your twisted ideas about Christianity? Not from me.

And after that remark you left for Maya on her blog, your credentials for calling anyone else "hateful" have been revoked.

Maya M said...

Highlander, you tempt me to write a comment about my view on the recent history of Islam.
Let me begin with what you wrote about Bulgarian history (BTW I am interested when you were in Bulgaria, for how long and which parts of the country you visited).
Indeed, Bulgarians were generally allowed to practise their religion and speak their language under the Ottoman rule. However, the tolerance of the empire to the Bulgarian nation had no humanistic basis. The Bulgarian "flock" was needed to work and pay taxes. When it became clear that the time of nation states with equal rights for all citizens was coming, Turkey rushed to cleanse itself of non-Turks and especially non-Muslims. Why tolerate The Other if you cannot exploit him? Most Bulgarians were rescued by Russia in time in 1878. However, nobody rescued the Armenians and they suffered one of the worst genocides in history. Those Bulgarians who remained in Turkey were also expelled or slaughtered before the end of WWI. So now Turkey can blame us for not being nice enough to our ethnic Turks and we cannot answer with counter-accusations because Turkey took care not to have any Bulgarian minority. Modernization, instead of making the Turkish state more tolerant, made it more murderous.
Analogous changes were brought about in other Muslim communities by economic development, literacy and oil exploration. In earlier times, imams and other Muslim leaders were indeed leaders, responsible and wise. They knew how explosive some of the texts in the Koran were and were careful what and how to preach (as Leilouta wrote in her last post at http://leilouta.blogspot.com/2006/10/condemned-to-hell-with-carmen.html, she was taught to do good deeds, fast, give to the poor). They were open-minded; if under colonial rule, they cooperated with leaders of other local communities for joined action against the colonizers.
Then, time came when every fool could afford a Koran and was literate enough to read it. These people had affinity for a new type of leaders, with infantile personalities, bad in trouble-shooting but good in explaining how troubles come from (1) Muslims not adhering to Islam's pillars and (2) Israel, USA and other enemies. To cap it all, many Muslim countries turned out to have vast oil resources, which prevented development of true market economy and democracy.
In short, too many Muslims, instead of following philosopher Hobbes's advice to swallow the religion without chewing (see the end of the text at http://www.thomas-hobbes.com/works/religion/33.html), began to chew it and so Islamic fundamentalism was on the rise. After Sept. 11, as Curt already mentioned, many non-Muslims also began chewing Islam and so developed hate problems. I'm afraid that some point of no return has been passed and a return to the good old days (when Islam was regarded by many Muslims and most non-Muslims as just another religion) is impossible.