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Passions in Poetry

Age Rage and the Innocence of Muslims

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moonbeam
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50 posted 09-20-2012 04:15 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:

The events of 9/11 have nothing to do with religion, no matter how many times they scream Allah akbar! . The murder, sodomy and rape of the ambassador has nothing to do with religion. To delve into religion as a possible reason to justify the actions is silly, in my opinion. It is only an excuse, not a reason.


Well said Mike.  Killers will use any excuse to kill.

You are right, we should say “in the name of religion”.  No “real” religion would advocate the atrocities that are often committed in its name – surely?

But then wait a minute, what did the Lionheart think as he slaughtered the thousands of Muslims that got in his way.  Wasn’t he the best of all Christians?

Oh, this is so confusing

The truth is that, like in politics, in religion there is no single Truth.  And while I totally agree that terrorists abuse religions for their own purposes, the line between what is and isn’t abuse is very fuzzy.
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51 posted 09-20-2012 04:43 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"And while I totally agree that terrorists abuse religions for their own purposes, the line between what is and isn’t abuse is very fuzzy."


They die in the act; there's no money
in a Swiss bank account waiting for them
when they get back . . .  It's reward
in the next world that plays a role.


.
moonbeam
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52 posted 09-20-2012 05:01 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Hi Huan

I'm losing the plot here (bedtime).  I'll have to come back on that in the morning.

I'd like to know what you were meaning with the Nat Review quote though.  Are you saying that it would be a bad thing for international law to "trump" the First Amendment?  In this case I think we are talking about free speech.
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53 posted 09-20-2012 05:09 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


" Are you saying that it would be a bad thing for international law to "trump" the First Amendment?  In this case I think we are talking about free speech. "


Show the limit to "trump" and I'll tell you,
(it's a matter of law that one can't falsely
yell "Fire" in a theatre . . .).  If a
crucifix in urine is considered offensive
can that be banned or does someone have
to die first?


.


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54 posted 09-20-2012 07:27 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Lionheart was the best of all Christians???That's news to me. Never heard that one before. In my view, the crusades had nothing to do with religion, either.

The line is fuzzy? Not to a murdered ambassador.
moonbeam
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55 posted 09-21-2012 03:02 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Lionheart! Of course he wasn't a "good christian" Mike (that was the point I was making, see below), not by the standards and judgements and interpretations of our age at any rate.  I was trying to point out to you that it's not as simple as saying "something is or isn't about religion" like there's a clear line between the two.

That let's religion off the hook far too lightly in my view. It depends who you are when you are etc etc.  Recognised religious leaders of their time have often turned a blind eye to atrocities committed in the name of religion even if they haven't committed them directly.

I agree with Huan to some extent on this - "religion" is not innocent when it is a mix of original message and subsequent human interpretation - which it seems to be generally.

.......

On "The best of all Christians" I was trying to borrow a bit of Voltairian sarcasm/irony "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candide

[This message has been edited by moonbeam (09-21-2012 03:38 AM).]

moonbeam
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56 posted 09-21-2012 04:22 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
" Are you saying that it would be a bad thing for international law to "trump" the First Amendment?  In this case I think we are talking about free speech. "


Show the limit to "trump" and I'll tell you,
(it's a matter of law that one can't falsely
yell "Fire" in a theatre . . .).  If a
crucifix in urine is considered offensive
can that be banned or does someone have
to die first?

I don’t know Huan, you tell me?  It’s an area I’ve always had problems with deciding what to think.  Intuitively I rebel against tampering with the right to free speech – but that “right” implies a responsibility which some people seem to have forgotten.

But you posted the Nat Review article.  I thought you were agreeing with Taylor that Koh was dangerous, and that the idea of any modification to the First Amendment in line with international law was out of the question, per se?  Personally, I think that Taylor’s apparent position is the dangerous one, not Koh.  

But then I may have misunderstood?

................


quote:
"And while I totally agree that terrorists abuse religions for their own purposes, the line between what is and isn’t abuse is very fuzzy."


They die in the act; there's no money
in a Swiss bank account waiting for them
when they get back . . .  It's reward
in the next world that plays a role.

Again Huan, I hope I’m interpreting what you said correctly, in assuming that you are emphasising that it is in fact a religious belief and message rather than money (for instance) that is driving these people to commit these atrocities.

I agree totally, and to that extent I must modify what I said earlier when I implied that people who do this stuff are simply “people who like killing”.  That’s not necessarily true on reflection.  I think basically good people (especially young good people) can be mesmerised and manipulated to the point where their minds are so warped that they can be compelled to kill, as you say, for a spiritual reward.

I’m thinking here particularly of Hasan-i Sabbah and Alamut “The Garden of Earthly Delights”.  I suppose the ultimate deception where young men having been drugged would actually experience the delights of the afterlife (virgins and all) only to have it snatched from them with the promise that it would be restored if they would die for the cause.

I wrote a couple of poems a while back, prompted by what was going on and having read about this guy:

Subway

He spoke, and passed the key
to where I have been, to what I felt and breathed.
Now it lies strapped
across my heart and lungs: the power
to blow me back
to the garden of the four rivers.

And why should I not do this thing
that Hasan-i Sabbah asks?
For after all,
I wish it,
I wish it.


Bomb

In that pin prick of silence the blonde
on the advert hoarding a Belisha beacon top
two wing mirrors cat parts flash
her retina with frost. Rush to

.........

I keep coming back to what seems to me the obvious point, that the solution is to attack the Hasan’s, not the entire belief system and not his victims or potential victims.
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57 posted 09-21-2012 08:35 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/327849/middle-east-madness-victor-davis-hanson


Victor has suggestions as to solution . . .


.
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58 posted 09-21-2012 12:51 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
One way we do that, by the way, is not allowing this nonsense that somehow this is about an oppression of Muslims by the west because it isn’t true and each time you make that argument you kind of fuel that sense of grievance which itself is part of a narrative that is wrong."


This kind of mentality is very faulty though. It is another way of trying to keep things one-sided and suggest only the narrative of westerners gets to count, that only foreigners coming to the land bringing their agenda, interfering, manipulating, funding and arming certain dictators, and eventually leading devestating military campaigns, get to have a narrative that counts, but certainly not the people living there that were actually on the receiving end of those things.

The political sphere of Islam didn't get the chance to evolve naturally into a compromise with our version of "a modern world" because its world has continuously been disrupted and debilitated by those trying to inject, manipulate and force their agenda in the region from the outside, something which has turned much of it into resistance/revolutionary groups determined only to remove  the modernist secularist dictators and/or remove the presence of western power in the region, even the notion of modifying the culture in a western way, even almost anything western now, after the experience of the West befalling them in such a way.   Such a reaction doesn't come from a pleasant experience given to them from the West.  

"Islamism" is rising and dictators are (eventually) falling.  In my opinion we ought to support Islamist governments like those in Egypt and Tunis, for governments like that have a chance to give good examples of "model" governents for the political sphere of Islam evolving naturally in a modern world, examples that the politics can follow in other regions, something that works for the people unlike the modernist secularist dictatorships that only worked for the dictators and the West.  I think those kind of governments are the future for most of the Arab world and they don't care if the West doesn't like the fact that Islam is part of the political equation.   They are trying to get back to going where they were going before strange people came to them and tried to force-feed them their version of a "modern world", one where religion eventually wasn't supposed to be important but capitalist materialism was.    If we let them evolve naturally they will evolve naturally.  But if the West continues to try to manipulate them and treat "Islamist" governments as if they don't or shouldn't belong because they are "Islamist" and tries to force its own agenda on them, they will only turn into more resistance movements trying to prove what they have a much stronger case for making than we do for theirs: that it is probably our agenda that doesn't belong there.
 
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59 posted 09-21-2012 01:02 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“To say that Islam is a religion of peace is to say something based entirely on hope.”

Douglas Murray


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW4xlg-XdzA&feature=related


Douglas keeps bringing the debate back to a central point . . .

Let me ask something:  Can someone not accept the Qur’an in its entirety as the literal word of God
and be considered a valid authentic Muslim?  If the answer is yes, how so?



.
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60 posted 09-23-2012 12:39 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.
"I will pay whoever kills the makers of this video $100,000," the minister said. "If someone else makes other similar blasphemous material in the future, I will also pay his killers $100,000.

"I call upon these countries and say: Yes, freedom of expression is there, but you should make laws regarding people insulting our Prophet. And if you don't, then the future will be extremely dangerous."

At one point, he even called for the help of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in killing the filmmaker.

His ANP party, which is part of the governing coalition, told the BBC this was a personal statement, not party policy, but added that it would not be taking any action against him.

Mr Jalil said: "He is not a member of the (ruling) PPP (Pakistan People's Party), he is an ANP politician and therefore the prime minister will speak to the head of the ANP to decide the next step. They are not ruling out action against him but say he will stay in his post for now."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19690210
.
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61 posted 09-23-2012 05:01 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Yes I read that about the minister.  It kind of makes my point doesn't it?

I'll be back on your earlier posts later very interesting article from the Nat Rev.
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62 posted 09-23-2012 02:05 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
Can someone not accept the Qur’an in its entirety as the literal word of God
and be considered a valid authentic Muslim?  If the answer is yes, how so?



Yes. Humans can have doubts about anything and everything, even things they believe are from God.   I've never heard of someone not being considered Muslim for not believing in or having doubt about something in the Quran. Most Muslims' religiousness is judged the same way as peoples of other faiths - based on whether they show belief in/share/practice the main pillars and "essence" of their religion rather than on an "all or nothing" standard of believing in the Quran.

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63 posted 09-23-2012 09:24 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Defending the Prophet: Attacking others?

By : Sheikh Ali Gomaa


It goes without saying that violence of any sort, whether inspired by religious sentiment or secular interests, must be condemned unequivocally and in the strongest terms possible. This is in keeping with the best of Muslim tradition, which abhors sectarian rife, inter-ethnic conflict, and interreligious violence. This lesson is best contained in the example of the Prophet Mohammed himself, who was repeatedly subjected to the worst treatment by his enemies, only to consistently disregard these insults and instead take the path of forgiveness, mercy and compassion. This is why he is known to Muslims as “the Mercy to all worlds.” Indeed, this example is most succinctly summarized in the Quran itself, which instructs believers as follows: “The good deed and the evil deed are not alike. Repel the evil deed with one which is better.”

The world is sorely in need of such lessons, which represent the authentic teachings of the Quran and the Prophet of Islam. It is important to separate these noble messages from those that are bandied about by those who have no competencies in religious interpretation, Quranic hermeneutics or the history of Islamic thought. Unfortunately, the current state of the Muslim world is such that institutions and structures of legitimate authority have been weakened to such an extent that inflammatory rhetoric has taken the place of thoughtful analysis as a motivator of action and a guide for religious sentiment.

We are today in desperate need of serious religious leaders who engage the reality of the modern world – complete with its challenges and difficulties – in order to create an environment in which people can coexist. This must be a joint effort from members of all faith groups and cultures.

A necessary part of any such effort must be a sincere desire to understand what is behind the Muslims’ reverence for the Prophet. For more than a billion Muslims around the world, the Prophet Mohammed is their ultimate example. He is their reference point and, as the Quran explains: “dearer to them than their own selves.”

Prophets are the means, in the Islamic worldview, through which people have been taught about God. This is no less true for the succession of Prophets that preceded Islam – including Abraham, Moses and Jesus – than it is for the Prophet Mohammed himself. They are revered teachers who taught us the very nature of reality, the purpose of our existence, and how to connect with God Himself.

As a result, Muslims strive to emulate the example of the Prophet in every aspect of their lives. They seek to inculcate the values in a deep and profound manner. These include, among other things, the ability to confront evil provocations with patience, tolerance and mercy. These are, for Muslims, spiritual values of the utmost importance, and they are best exemplified in the life of the Prophet Mohammed himself.

A famous story from his life is known to Muslims around the world. One of his enemies was a woman who lived above a street he used to pass daily, and would litter the streets with garbage as he walked past. One morning, when the Prophet was walking by, he noticed no such provocation. His response to this sudden reprieve was to ask after the woman’s health, concerned that she had strayed from her daily routine, as painful as it might have been for himself. The stories of the Prophet’s praying for his enemies, and exhibiting enormous steadfastness in the face of insults and provocations, are legion in Islamic literature.

This should be the Muslim ideal, there is no doubt. Unfortunately, it is not possible that everyone can live up to the ideal. What is clear is that people’s attachment to the personage of the Prophet is undiminished, even when they are unable for their own reasons to live up to the lessons he has taught. Insults against the Prophet are taken as more serious than insults against one’s own parents and family, indeed than one’s own self. The Prophet is a sacred figure, who taught Muslims how to live in this world, and whose appearance in the world was a gift from the divine.

As such, inflammatory materials that are clearly designed to offend the deeply-held sensibilities of over a billion people around the world only contribute to the escalation of tensions with no observable benefit.

Muslims should either ignore such provocations, or respond non-violently, as per the limits laid down by their religion. Such limits have been obviously transgressed in recent days, and the broader Muslim religious establishment as well as the Coptic Church in Egypt all joined in calling for calm and not allowing this to further escalate."


(Ali Gomaa is the Grand Mufti of Egypt)


[http://www.ali-gomaa.com/?page=scholary-output&so_details=136]
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64 posted 09-24-2012 10:19 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:< But rather than addressing the real causes of their present misery — tribalism, misogyny, statism, corruption, authoritarianism, fundamentalism, and religious intolerance — amid rich natural resources, Islamists scapegoat.

Sometimes they fume at American support for Israel, at other times at an obscure video, cartoon, or rumor of a torched Koran.

We only feed these adolescent tantrums when America wrongly apologizes for the occasional insensitivity of a few of our citizens, who enjoy free speech under the U.S. Constitution.

Nothing is more dangerous in regard to the contemporary Middle East than misunderstanding the source of Islamist rage. Speaking loudly while carrying a small stick only makes that confusion worse.

What can we do?

Start developing vast new oil and gas finds on public lands here at home. Get our financial house in order. Quietly cut back aid to hostile Middle East governments. Put travel off-limits. Restrict visas and call home ambassadors — at least until Arab governments control their own street mobs.
Develop a consistent policy on the so-called Arab Spring that applies the same criticism of illiberal dictators to the theocrats who depose them.

Keep quiet and keep our military strong. Don’t apologize for a few Americans who have a right to be crude. Instead, condemn those pre-modern zealots who would murder anyone of whom they don’t approve.





I’ve only quoted the last portion of Victor’s article because most of the rest is simply concerned with reciting the wrongs of the Obama administration.  I’ve also removed the anti-Obama rhetoric from the above quote.  

The remainder is an interesting example of why perhaps America, or, to be more accurate, Americans like Victor are too, uh, “adolescent”, to use his own word, to be able to engage effectively with problems like that in the Middle East.

The key to why this is such a misguided position lies in three words:

Misery
Adolescence
Rage

Victor’s simplistic view, suggesting internal misery produces external rage is just plain wrong.  

Of course he is correct in saying that “— tribalism, misogyny, statism, corruption, authoritarianism, fundamentalism, and religious intolerance” have made many people’s lives a misery.  But to then move on from that and conclude that that misery is the cause of the “rage” against some in the west is, yes, adolescent.  Most sensible moderate Arabs, know they have internal problems with extremism and tribalism, and they are doing their best to address those problems; they do not blame America for them.  What they DO blame America for is the ham fisted way in which the west often handles its response to the minority of extremist Muslims.

Secondly, Victor is doing the usual “we don’t do no apologies, we’re the greatest nation on the face of the earth routine” – coupled with the “our values are right and everyone else’s wrong” it’s a fatal mix.  It’s really not the rest of the world that’s adolescent, it’s Victor and his ilk, unable to grasp that though they might be the biggest in the playground that doesn’t make them the wisest or right!

As for disengaging and retreating into fortress America, well that’s just great isn’t it.  The classic move of the stupid oaf who hasn’t got the intellect to deal with a complex situation.  I don’t believe for one minute that the US is either an oaf or stupid, and fortunately there are plenty of Victors who won’t run away from this situation, and who know that they can make a positive contribution.

On the other hand if the Tea Party get anywhere near power then on second thoughts Victor’s idea might be by far the best to avoid the inevitable spilled milk.
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65 posted 09-24-2012 02:04 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


   "I've never heard of someone not being considered Muslim for not believing in or having doubt about something in the Quran."


Have you heard anyone Muslim openly do it
in a Muslim majority country?


.
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66 posted 09-24-2012 07:44 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

http://honeyfortheheart.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/hadith-11-leave-that-which-makes-     you-doubt/


“Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.” - Muhammad


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67 posted 09-24-2012 11:19 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"If we only carry out acts that we are certain are permissible then our hearts will be free from doubt. "


Guess what and who decides that.


And it didn't answer my question . . .
.
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68 posted 09-25-2012 12:10 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The point I was trying to express by that hadith is that that Muslims are more likely to focus on what they don't find doubt in, and leave out or put off the things in which they do.  Therefore, indeed, in a Muslim majority you would probably be less likely to find people wasting time on things they may have some personal doubts about.   This is in contrast to many people in Western culture, who seem to go out of their way to make doubt itself a religion.  

I think the hadith is good advice for anyone. If you don't find truth in something, what is the point of wallowing in doubt about it?  Move on to what you do find truth in,  unless you think life is long enough or better spent being surrounded with things that leave one confused and doubtful, rather than certain and content?  If you want to seek doubt and pessimism instead, that is your choice.


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69 posted 09-25-2012 07:54 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

...assuming the person is qualified to name truth.

I'm glad the the earth being flat or blood not circulating through the body is not still regarded as truth today.

Personally, I prefer people who challenge "truth". If it is actually true, it can withstand the doubt.
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70 posted 09-25-2012 06:39 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"Therefore, indeed, in a Muslim majority you would probably be less likely to find people wasting time on things they may have some personal doubts about."  


Somewhere else I made the point
about stupidity being not the absence
but the neglect of intelligence.
I had not considered the possibility
of it being a social or cultural ideal.


And the fact remains that in a Muslim majority
country you're more apt to find those ready
and willing to kill those who create doubt
by their mere existence.


.
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71 posted 09-26-2012 02:07 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

What is your evidence to back up that so called "fact"?  Why don't you look up the evidence and statistics for crime rates in your own country?   The US doesn't have any dictators and foreign invasions.  Nevertheless, how does it rank as far as crime-rates when compared to Muslim countries, and to the rest of the world in general?   Was James Holmes in a Muslim country?  Was Jared Lee Loughner, or Wade Michael Page?


[This message has been edited by Essorant (09-26-2012 04:19 AM).]

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72 posted 09-26-2012 08:15 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


There aren't a lot of people blowing
themselves up to kill others for the sake
of religion here . . .


.
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73 posted 09-26-2012 10:36 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Using that "logic" then it goes the other way too; you must acknowledge that people are committing massacres and gang-violence in your country for non-religion or secularism instead.   Violence-mongers that live in your country don't even try to justify their acts of violence with anything that would be called some kind of deep reason, a feeling of injustice, defending a cause, oppression, to overthrow a dictator, to resist foreign occupation, etc. in many cases. To them secular cheap thrills and addictions to money, drugs, sex, or violence itself are good enough to commit some of the worst and sickening crimes the world has known.  

It would be interesting if you answered the questions I asked about crime-rates in your country compared to Muslim countries, and to the rest of the world in general.  I have a suspicion it is not something to be proud about  
  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (09-26-2012 11:10 AM).]

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74 posted 09-26-2012 11:22 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


In Muslim countries they are into hangings, beheadings
and taking off limbs for crimes.  Are you suggesting the US is too lax?   In Muslim
countries the citizens understand you step
out of line you disappear.


"Yes that is true. Take Saudi Arabia for example. Saudi Arabia practices Shariah Law. In Shariah Law a rapist, killer, homosexual, kidnapper, drug smuggler gets their head chopped off in public. Adulterers are stoned to death. Thieves get their hand or foot chopped off on the third offense. Women and men who commit fornication are whipped 100 times in public since virginity is important for both men and women until marriage in Islam. This deters crime because of the severe penalties for certain crimes and scares the entire citizens of the country making it safe to live in. . .

If the USA implemented Shariah Law the USA would be a lot safer.”

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071004090243AA0eVPd
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