?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
04 August 2005 @ 08:11 am
Islam  
Suicide Bombers are Cowards.

A real soldier does not kill unarmed civilians.

Islam has a few mandates. One of them is if you ask a Muslim about what they believe, they must tell you. Most of them are very pleased to do so. It's like doing a Mitzvah in Judaism, or engaging in charity in Catholicism. If you are becoming afraid of Muslims because of what a bunch of Cowards tainting Islam are doing, please find your nearest Muslim and engage in conversation with them.

When I was in Kansas, I heard firsthand of a Jehovah's Witness religious leader who sanctioned a husband beating his wife because she was "not obedient enough". This action is horrible, and Jehovah's Witnesses call themselves Christians, but that leader's actions do not define Christianity. I hope that they do not even define JW, but I've not had much opportunity for interaction with the JW believers.

I would not repeat this story saying, "The Christians sanction beating their wives." It is unfair and untrue.

I consider this to be as ridiculous as associating Muslims with these violent cowards.

If everyone in the world began a campaign today repeating "Suicide Bombers are Cowards" in thousands of languages and places, would it be preventative maintenance for future generations? What takes the wind from the sails of self-righteous cowards?
Tags:
 
 
Current Mood: sadsad
 
 
 
VAXhackervaxhacker on August 4th, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC)
All very good points. I don't know a lot about JWs but I can't believe such a thing would be generally indicative of their religion, and would probably be condemned by the majority of them. Or at least I hope so. From what I know about Muslims, the terrorist attacks seem likewise to be done in the name of a religion which would, if it were being practiced and taught true to its founder's principles, reject such actions. But I'm not an expert on Islam. If I want to learn more about Islam, however, I'll do it by asking Muslims, not by asking people already prepared to badmouth their beliefs (whether deserved or not). I've already found plenty of those :)

And I've seen enough questionable things done by members of my own faith that I know full well would be denounced by the religion and church leadership, that I'd not at all want to be seen as what we're all like, so I can sympathize completely.

Kburgunder on August 4th, 2005 05:59 pm (UTC)
Y'know, I'm glad after all these years that I'm finally getting to know you :)
VAXhackervaxhacker on August 4th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
Me, too. It was good at least to meet briefly in person at Pips' wedding, so at least we have a real face to match up with the online personality :)
VAXhackervaxhacker on August 25th, 2005 11:27 am (UTC)
You're welcome to friend me if you want to get to know me even better... :)
(Deleted comment)
Stray Cat: fierceocicat on August 4th, 2005 07:24 pm (UTC)
as someone else who has family in the JW... I fear I have to agree. I don't actually know if they offically condone beating their children, but I have seen incredible cruelty from my JW cousins twoards their children. Eventually one of their kids refused to be JW, and they threw him out on the street. The rest of the family eventually found out that he died. When confronted, they apparently didn't know about his fate, and furthermore, didn't appear to care.
(Deleted comment)
VAXhackervaxhacker on August 4th, 2005 08:10 pm (UTC)
Gaaaaaaah. scary. There's enough going on to rob kids of their childhood without that.

Anyway, I don't want to turn burgunder's journal page into a JW-bashing session (and I'm not bashing them myself at all, really), but while I know you get jerks in any group, I hope the group as a whole's not like that... and if it is, that's tragic. I don't have the background to make that judgement, so I won't, but even in the individual cases where abuse has happened, that's a travesty.

Of course, my wife could kick my butt if I ever tried that, so... well, yeah. I can't imagine being inclined to beat up anybody, though.

VAXhackervaxhacker on August 4th, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC)
Well... that's just unbelievably sad and amazing. I'm a bit of an optimist by nature, and willing to give a lot of benefit of the doubt. I really, truly hope that these are tragic anomalies and not the typical case... but I don't know, either... a lot of strange stuff happens, too. How anyone can be cruel like that to their own children (well, to anyone, but especially your own family) is just completely beyond my comprehension.

My kids can push the limits of my patience, be exasperating, defiant, disobedient, and all of that... but I would die a thousand times before letting anyone harm them in any way. I just... I just can't fathom abuse like that.

Kburgunder on August 10th, 2005 12:30 am (UTC)
This kind of thing seriously challenges my notion that I'm tolerant of all religions and all peoples' rights to chose their religion and act accordingly.

As with the thinly-veiled Christian Scientist episode of B5, I feel a strong over-protective urge to make rules that protect kids from decisions that their parents make which can hurt or kill them. At the same time, though, I believe that is the very argument the religious right is making for being anti-choice. They're protecting what they perceive to be a child from the parent(s)' decisions.

No matter how hard I try, I can't make this grey world fit into my little black and white jars, damnit.

I think I've just developed a desire to read more about how child protection laws work.
(Anonymous) on August 10th, 2005 12:20 am (UTC)
Ungh. I'm sorry, and I'm glad you didn't have to be a part of that!
King Ratgkr on August 4th, 2005 05:56 pm (UTC)
Not all suicide bombers target civilians.

Think of the Japanese kamikaze pilots in WW2. Many of the Iraqi suicide bombers are targetting Iraqi army installations.
Kburgunder on August 4th, 2005 06:01 pm (UTC)
And recruiting centers. I understand the agenda where that's concerned.

What really lights my candle is the civilian targets and al Qaeda's recent BS statement that such targets "bring it on themselves". The sad thing is, I might not at all disagree with some of the foreign policies that these cowards object to. How they are handling it is not OK thought.
VAXhackervaxhacker on August 4th, 2005 08:15 pm (UTC)
You might be interested in this essay by bradhicks, someone on my FL...:
Brettwakko on August 4th, 2005 09:13 pm (UTC)
My one quibble is that the Bible explicitly espouses violence and cruelty towards others. It does so repeatedly, and profusely. So, in essence, evil IS a very Christian thing to perpetuate.

Examples:

Deuteronomy:

12:27 And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.

Blood sacrifices and eating of flesh.

12:30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

Kill those of other faiths. Reject their beliefs and do not learn about them.

Psalms:

2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

Murder and slavery of heathens.

110:6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.

More judgement and murder of heathens.

Proverbs:

22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Beat your children.

Isaiah:

13:3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.
13:4 The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.
13:5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.

God's followers are out to destroy everything.

Matthew:

13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Jesus will gather up the offensive people and burn them.
VAXhackervaxhacker on August 4th, 2005 10:42 pm (UTC)
The main problem with the Bible, or Koran, or any other similar writing, is how it's interpreted and put into practice by its adherents. The truth is that you can justify practically anything, even wildly opposing points of view by selecting just the right quotes and giving your own particular interpretation of what they mean, particularly if you remove them from the original textual context where they appear, let alone the historical and cultural context from when they were written. In some cases, what would seem barbaric to our culture might represent a philosophy which was remarkably better than the prevailing climate at the time, and perhaps a step toward improving things... but now would be unthinkable to go back to that level.

I would hazard that all but a tiny minority of Christian religions would read those passages and decide to go on a killing rampage or beat their children mercilessly.

I would judge, for example, the evil or good of Christianity based on what the churches are actually teaching and doing, how they are interpreting and implementing those writings, and how the majority respond to the actions of the radical fundamentalist factions which would be inclined to do what you're describing--do they sit by and agree that those things are right, or do they denounce them saying that they stand for peace, love and forgiveness?

VAXhackervaxhacker on August 5th, 2005 01:45 am (UTC)
Whoops.

I would hazard that all but a tiny minority of Christian religions would read those passages and decide to go on a killing rampage or beat their children mercilessly.

Make that none but a tiny minority would do that.

Brettwakko on August 5th, 2005 02:10 am (UTC)
That's all well and good up until those same exact Christians that preach peach, love and understanding in the same breath say "Read the Bible, it will show you the path to God."

Now, I certainly could be wrong here, but the claim that the Christian god is a god of love and mercy most certainly does NOT jive with the claim that it's the same god as described in the Bible or the claim that the Bible espouses a doctrine of tolerance and peace.

This isn't about selecting specific quotes to support a viewpoint, this is about reading the book cover-to-cover and looking at the *whole* message, which is part historical record, and part mythology.

After having done exactly this, I can honestly say that the whole message is most certainly NOT one of good will toward all humans.

The most consistent message the Bible has to offer is that only believers in this one, true god provides salvation from the hell-fire and wrath and damnation of both the god AND the followers.

So, if the message in the Bible is not the message Christians want to use as documentation of their beliefs and guidebook to their spirituality, then maybe it's time they selected or wrote a work that's more in keeping with their current world view.
AsterothX: crossasterothx on August 5th, 2005 05:20 am (UTC)
As tacky as it is to double post, I think its important to clarify here also:
this is about reading the book cover-to-cover and looking at the *whole* message
Your comments are missing some of the "cover-to-cover" message.

What's missing in your analysis here of "the Christian god is a god of love and mercy" is "for who love him and follow his commandments" (the whole "be excellent to each other" thing again).

I can honestly say that the whole message is most certainly NOT one of good will toward all humans
In general, I agree, there's a lot of ill will toward humans, because humans historically and presently are above average beastly toward each other which was absolutely against what God wanted. And yet there is always the promise of hope if we will try to put our selfishness down and follow his wisdom.

The most consistent message the Bible has to offer is that only believers in this one, true god provides salvation from the hell-fire and wrath and damnation of both the god AND the followers.
Is it not logical that a one true God would care for those who love him, and need nothing to do with those who have nothing to do with him, especially after many efforts are made to invite them to turn around and come along?

I get the feeling there's a lot of anger here, which I suspect is mostly accrued due to poor followers of Christ (and that's most of us at least some of the time). I wish there were an opportunity to sit down and talk with you in person, to discover the places people went wrong around you to convey this image of Christianity.
Brettwakko on August 5th, 2005 10:56 am (UTC)
What's missing in your analysis here of "the Christian god 
is a god of love and mercy" is "for who love him and follow his 
commandments"


Nope. I mentioned that. You even commented on my mentinoning it.


Is it not logical that a one true God would care for those 
who love him, and need nothing to do with those who have nothing 
to do with him, especially after many efforts are made to invite 
them to turn around and come along?


It's exceptionally petty, mean-spirited, and downright cruel for an "all-powerful" being to grant creatures free will, and then turn around and say, "but if you choose to do anything I don't like, I'm gonna punish you *eternally* for it."

Eternal punishment for singular actions on a limited time span is not at all logical.


I wish there were an opportunity to sit down and talk with 
you in person, to discover the places people went wrong around 
you to convey this image of Christianity.


The image Christianity is well-cemented in history. From the persecution of Copernicus and Gallileo, to the Spanish Inquisition, to modern day idiocy such as selfishly attempting to trump up Creationism in the trappings of science and sell it off as "Intelligent Design".
AsterothXasterothx on August 5th, 2005 05:04 am (UTC)
With appologies to burgunder
If you were quoting the above to show how a religion can be misquoted and taken out of context, and how that happens to Islam perhaps, I'd have found that appropriate. In that such was not the spirit of the note, and knowing something about Christianity myself, I think a few things need to be said in regard to your quotations.

First, it is important to understand that Christians have to look at the Old Testament carefully, as it was a specific message to a specific people for a specific purpose of God. As we see in the issues surrounding Matthew 19:8 Jesus says:
He saith unto them, Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so.

The things God instructs through Moses aren't neccesarily the way he'd like things to be, but how he intended to work with the Israelites to make them into a sort of testimony of him. Remeber, he's taking a people who did not know him and shaping them.

Some specific points:
Deuteronomy 12:27 Blood sacrifices and eating of flesh
Make sure to understand this is regarding animals not humans. The act is a mark of unselfishness toward God.

Deuteronomy 12:30 Kill those of other faiths. Reject their beliefs and do not learn about them.
No translation I have of this passage says "Kill those of other faiths."
When it says: after that they are destroyed from before you this refers to the work of God and the consequences of the works of those who reject him, not the Isrealites. And of course God is not going to encourage his people to learn about what to him are nonsense/human made faiths.

The passages above are interpreted with a deliberately hostile heart that looks to see things that are not there. So be it, that's any person's choice.

The New Testament quotation has an important nuance that was missed:
Jesus will gather up the offensive people and burn them
The term offensive isn't quite specific enough. We aren't talking about people that anyone who calls them self a Christian is offended by. The book speaks about creations of God, rejecting their creator, spurning his wisdom and exhortations to "be excellent to each other" and pursuing selfish ends. If the Christian is to accept the premise of God as creator of the entire universe, why should any part of his creation that rejects him and hates him be allowed any favor at all? In fact God is quite patient with the rebellious monkeysMadeFromDirt, all things considered.

In the end, and I suspect Burg might agree, we need to know each person around us for who they are and what they believe, and not lay prejudices upon them as the quotes above lean toward.

If we approach each other with a hostile heart there is no understanding.
Brettwakko on August 5th, 2005 11:31 am (UTC)
Re: With appologies to burgunder
First, it is important to understand that Christians 
have to look at the Old Testament carefully, as it was a 
specific message to a specific people for a specific purpose 
of God.


Why do they have to look at it any differently than they do the New Testament?

Is it perhaps that Christians find the message of the Old Testament distasteful?

If the message is no longer relevant, why not just discard it?


The things God instructs through Moses aren't neccesarily 
the way he'd like things to be


Are you saying that God, the all-powerful, is incapable of sending a clear message?

Remeber, he's taking a people who did not know him and shaping them.


He's God, the all-powerful. Are you implying that he can't simply make it happen? That, perhaps, God is not actually all-powerful?


Make sure to understand this is regarding animals not humans.


The Bible is non-specific on that point. If God demanded Job to make a sacrifice of his own sons, then perhaps they were deliberately non-specific about the source of the flesh.

Either way, blood sacrifices aren't exactly all the rage in Christian churches these days, are they? This being closer to my point: the Bible says to make blood sacrifices, and modern Christians don't.

this refers to the work of God


And the people involved in destroying other faiths are said to be doing God's work. Missionaries did this all across North and South America back when these continents were the New World. Missionaries continue to this day less violent methods of destroying other faiths by converting people to Christianity.

The passages above are interpreted with
 a deliberately hostile heart that looks to 
see things that are not there.


I quoted the exact text from a copy of the King James Bible. There is no hostility involved in reading the words exactly as they appear.

The text in Proverbs is rather clear about beating children. Psalms is rather explicit in it's directions to enslave heathens.

The term offensive isn't quite specific enough.


"All things that offend" is the exact phrase used by the Bible. How is that any different than "offensive"? Or are you implying that the Bible is wrong?

We aren't talking about people that anyone 
who calls them self a Christian is offended by.


No, I believe the implication was that they are all things that offend Jesus and/or God. At least, that was my interpretation of the sentence.

exhortations to "be excellent to each other" 
and pursuing selfish ends.


I've never seen the phrase "be excellent to each other" used in the Bible. I believe you're confusing the Bible for Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

If the Christian is to accept the premise of 
God as creator of the entire universe, why should 
any part of his creation that rejects him and hates 
him be allowed any favor at all? In fact God is quite 
patient with the rebellious monkeysMadeFromDirt, 
all things considered.



That's all well and good, except for the part where God is supposed to have created all things. Therefore, if certain things hate and reject God, it must be by God's own choice and design that they do this.

Therefore, it makes absolutely no sense why God would punish certain creatures simply because they're doing what they've been created to do.

we need to know each person around us for 
who they are and what they believe


I agree and support this idea.
Kburgunder on August 10th, 2005 12:48 am (UTC)
Re: With appologies to burgunder
we need to know each person around us for
who they are and what they believe



I agree and support this idea.


Amen!

Also, wow, I actually didn't realize until today that Religious Debate 2005 was happening in my LiveJournal. vaxhacker - I greatly appreciate what (paraphrasing here) you said about how any organization is handling the implementations and doings. My significant other is a conservative Jew. I get pretty upset in the Torah/Old Testament and equally outraged by a lot of what Paul had to say in the New Testament. I personally can't reconcile many of those writings with my own ideals and the relative equality and tolerance of the society I am so fortunate to live in.

What allows me to have respect for Judaism is, while they still read through the Torah (I remember being at Synagogue during the part where a woman's hands will be cut off if she grabs her husband by the balls while he's in a fight), I find that their actions are far removed from the often xenophobic and/or women-oppressing elements of the Torah. I find the average actions of Synagogues and Jewish organizations everywhere to be incredibly welcoming to me (I am not Jewish), and to often have as part of their mission statement the requirement to challenge and fight genocide everywhere. God specifically condones genocide a few times among His non-believers in the Torah/Old Testament, but I'm not going to keep throwing the Torah quotes at the Jews as a justification for devaluing their religion or their god as long as they chose the higher ground (in my eyes; who knows what Baal or God would say!) in their actions concerning genocide.

I do agree with wakko's challenge ... of course, it's easy for me to because I'm an atheist and don't face any concerns of smiting while meddling with holy scriptures O:> I tolerate the Jews who still read about God condoning genocide and cutting off women's hands but who champion anti-genocide and pro-women movements all over the world today. I would respect the religion far more if choices were made to archive some of the archaic quotes that are often grossly incongruous to our modern standards and continue forward with a less xenophobic, less oppressive, less smiting-oriented Torah that better reflects that attitudes of nearly all Jews I've known. I appreciate the midrash of reinterpreting the Torah and Talmud to be relative to our modern world, but it's kind of hard to reinterpret the intention of "cut off her hands if she grabs your testicles because you're being a puffed up testosterone head".

And on that note, before this LJ post becomes a lifelong hobby, I think I'll get back to studying Ancient Sumerian...
Kburgunder on August 10th, 2005 12:50 am (UTC)
Re: With appologies to burgunder
Feh, that was only semi-coherent. I skipped to genocide with no segue because the genocide stuff in the Torah is by biggest beef with the Bible.
Brettwakko on August 10th, 2005 01:29 am (UTC)
Re: With appologies to burgunder
No worries. I think we see things fairly similarly.

I tend to be much less critical of the Jews than I am of the Christians on this issue, they tend to be a lot less hypocritical and more willing to examine things that may challenge their faith.
AsterothXasterothx on August 5th, 2005 05:22 am (UTC)
Agree, discussion to understanding is critical, with each person individually around us.
indie: catindiefic on August 5th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC)
I do not believe that suicide bombers are cowards.

I believe they are ignorant impressionable people who are used to a most horrible end. I don't think it takes too much to convince a 15 year old boy with absolutely no education, who is most likely illiterate and so very impressionable that dying and going to a paradise afterlife is better than the deplorable existence he is currently living.

There are, of course, the exceptions. Educated, entitled zealots, who I agree, yes, are cowards. But on the whole, I think the bombers tend to be exploited by people who have absolutely no intention of dying for what they preach.
Kburgunder on August 10th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC)
That is a damn good point.

I guess the impetus behind the post is two fold:

1. In my opinion, those responsible for violently targetting any undefended civilian are cowards - and I actually include in that grotesquely long list parents who beat their defenseless kids/animals/etc. and soldiers (including our own) who rape, bomb, torture, etc. civilians.
2. What on Earth can be done to deflate this notion that suicide bombing = paradise afterlife? My first thought was to insist that it was cowardly, but I think that was a 2nd grade knee jerk reaction to being bullied or something like that.
(Anonymous) on August 10th, 2005 01:19 am (UTC)
I don't know that it's something that can really be approached on an individual level. Yes, it definitely manifests at the individual level, but it's a mark of the society. If you create a society wherein the most honorable thing someone can do for their family is to die a martyr then how do you combat that?

I read this quote the other day and while Ithink it's offensively simplistic, I still think it has some validity. The violence will stop when arab mothers love their sons more than they hate jews.

As I said, I think it's a gross oversimplificiation and generalization, but at the same time, I think it has a point.
indieindiefic on August 10th, 2005 01:19 am (UTC)
and that last post shouldn't have been anonymous. It's me.
kensal on August 6th, 2005 03:42 am (UTC)
carpet bombing a city of an enemy country in the middle of the night (tokyo and london during WWII to cite the most popular example) kills many innocent civilians, and is just as bad as suicide bombing. While we do not consider the "terrorists" (and they are not terrorists - thats just the pop culture word we use to group them) They consider it a war larger than any they ever faced. The Japanese resorted to it - they were just focused upon what was close to harming them (the ships) The Muslim and whatever suicide attacks in Iraq *tend* to hit only military oriented targets.

The suicide attacks in LONDON are on par with the ridiculous attacks at Dance Clubs in ISRAEL. Childish, ignorant, helps nothing, solves nothing, proves nothing. Anyone fighting the "good fight" against whatever western power they hate deplores these attacks because they only enrage their enemies.

at least thats what I would think they would feel. It sure doesn't make any sense to me that killing 50 people on a bus in a country a hemisphere away helps their cause in any sort.

The US in the early stages of WWII took off from Midway island (I believe) with a squadron of bombers, hit the japanese mainland with their payload and crashlanded into China losing most of their planes, and not doing an incredible amount of damage. *but* they did show that Japan was NOT out of their reach.

Perhaps AL Queida (european edition) is trying to do the same thing?

Kburgunder on August 10th, 2005 12:57 am (UTC)
I totally agree that carpet bombing is just as bad.

And I think Tom Clancy said it best....

What's the different between a patriot and a terrorist?
Who's side you're on.