Atheism and religion in the news.III
I have decided to try a different direction for a while with my blog posts.
Instead of several individual posts, I'll be collecting them into a single, daily post.
If anyone has any comments, plz let me know. I appreciate feedback.
I would like to make one point clear, I don’t agree with everything that every author quoted here has to say about the world. I like contrasting opinions from many different sources. Just FYI.
Cradles, Car Bombs and the Communal Soul
An interesting blogger talks about “modern” islam.
It would be easy to say that the terrorists are produced out of frustration when a community implodes from neglect or indifference. We often feel sorry for people who are overwhelmed with poverty and despotic governments that have social systems stacked against them. The Palestinians are a classic example of that mythology- a mythology that is carefully nursed. Of course, nothing is further from the truth. Sadly, corrupt regimes and failed social systems are found the world over. Nevertheless, it is clear that very few of those societies produce suicide bombers. There are no Cubans lining up to be ‘martyrs.’
Why is that? Because in truth, terror is not brought on by poverty. Hostages are not taken and held, to be traded for economic aid. Planes aren’t flown into buildings in response to GDP of the free markets of the western world versus the GDP of the many tyrannies of the Muslim world. In fact, the terrorists aims are deliberately misrepresented. The terrorists don’t want to see western values and successes brought into the Muslim world. Indeed, that is what they are fighting against. Religious freedoms, abortion rights, gay rights and human rights are anathema to radical Islamist ideologies. That ideology demands the murder of those whose behavior they find offensive- usually administered in a cruel and brutal fashion. These are truths many manage to forget.
The motivation of suicide bombers.
There have been several studies on why suicide bombers do what they do, started by Robert Pape a few years ago. There is a war of ideas going on in the blog-sphere about it. The central question seems to be wether or not Islamic suicide bombers are motivated by their religion, many have said its because of poverty or something similary stupid. Here is one rebuttal and you can find several links to other blogs about it on this page.
When Robert Pape's study of suicide bombings came out a few years ago, many people saw its flaws immediately. Michael Gordon eviscerates Pape's study expertly here. But of course the mainstream media and the learned experts all took Pape's central finding -- that suicide bombings had no connection with Islam and were more common among non-Muslims -- as absolute truth. Many, many time Pape's study has been thrown up to me, as if it somehow negates the jihadist attempt to recruit suicide bombers on the basis of the promise of Paradise to those who "kill and are killed" for Allah (Qur'an 9:111).
But now here is a new piece that shows how Pape cooked his data, in ways that minimized the Islamic aspects of suicide terror.
Scared of Huckabee yet? You damn well should be.
Here is a quote by him.
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”
Can an American president be a muslim apostate?
I have to admit it, I’m something of a bastard. I love a good machiavellian ploy and American politics is full of them come election season. Here we have a news story that casts doubt on whether or not Obama should be elected because hes a former muslim apparently.
But, as Islamic scholar Daniel Pipes points out in his recent article, Confirmed: Barack Obama Practiced Islam, Barack Obama did in fact practice Islam as a child. True, most of us, as children, are guided by our parents in the ways of religion, taking up the faiths of our mothers and fathers, but a choice later in life to deviate from their religious beliefs does not nullify the fact that we once attended the churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. sanctioned by our parents. To this extent, Barack Obama did practice Islam and was subjected to the fundamental tenets of the ideology.
This fundamental truth is important for at least a few different reasons. Fundamentalist Islamists, radical Islamists, Wahhabists, believe, among other things, that :
▪ When one is born of Muslim parents they are Muslim
▪ Everyone who does not embrace Islam is a non-believer and thus, is an enemy to Allah, his Prophet and believers
▪ Should one leave the faith of Islam they are considered an apostate, a denier of the Koran, and should be killed
The issue of Obama´s apostasy is also valid for the governments of Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and especially Iran, and the plethora of countries in Indonesia and Africa who either see their government´s mired in conflict with radical Islam or adhering to the tenets of Islamic dogma.
The fundies are up to their old tricks once again.
In the state that nominated Christian fundamentalist Mike Huckabee, a groundswell of homophobia is afoot. Though Iowa already passed a law outlawing same-sex marriage a few years back (wasn't that enough intolerance?), supporters of the proposed amendment say that 'activist' judges (the far-right keyword for educated, fair judges) could possibly overturn the old law. Hardcore Christians, encouraged by the 48 Iowan lawmakers currently supporting the constitutional amendment, held a prayer vigil for 'traditional marriage'. Hundreds of anti-gay 'faithful' were bussed from all over the state to hold the vigil against gay marriage, instead of spending efforts and time holding vigils for REAL issues such as famine, war, poverty and corruption which are actually AFFECTING the world-over.
Lawmakers will introduce the bill proposing the amendment in a future session and hope to have it before Iowan voters by 2010, when, considering the radical evolution they afforded evangelical Huckabee, it very possibly could be passed. It would be one of the first times in modern history that inequality is enshrined in a document declaring citizens of a state free people.
The history of Turkey, not the bird btw.
Anyone wanting to understand a bit of Turkish history and gain an insight into its current situation might find this article illuminating.
Perhaps more to the point, 2007 was one of the more turbulent years in Turkish history, with secular Turks standing off against the rising power of a pious class of politicians, and people may have been reaching back to what was familiar. A political crisis over the selection of a president paralyzed the government and prompted an early election. The military seemed on the verge of carrying out its fifth coup. And the religious politicians now control the Parliament, the government and the presidency.
Plz note the above link may require you to login or register at the NYTimes online site
Israel on Huckabee and the apocalypse.
Once again, I like to show you all news from outside of north america, this one is from Jerusalem. If this doesn`t scare you about huckabee, nothing will. The entire article is worth a read.
But the Huckabee Cole has known and loved for decades contrasts sharply with the sunny figure the media’s leading lights have conjured up. According to Cole, Huckabee has connected with voters–specifically, evangelical voters–not simply because he is a charismatic speaker, but also because he shares their apocalyptic world view. As Cole told me, “To date there’s well over 139 prophecies that have come to pass exactly as the Lord says. Mike believes those things. Anyone with any Bible knowledge would have to say that this looks like the time. We’re so close to the Lord’s return.”
During the period when Huckabee rose through the ranks of the Arkansas Republican Party to the governor’s mansion, Cole became one of the state’s most popular right-wing radio personalities. Cole volunteered to me the sectarian views that made his radio show a favorite of Arkansas’s far-right fringe. Taking a potshot at Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon, Cole compared the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to the Ku Klux Klan. “As you know from history, their original intent–[Mormon founding fathers Joseph] Smith and Brigham Young–was to take over the United States of America,” he said. “They weren’t just far behind the KKK in their efforts.”
Huckabee’s advocacy of forcibly transferring the Palestinians to other Arab nations reflects his close association with some of America’s most prominent End Times theological proponents. Among Huckabee’s leading evangelical backers is Pastor John Hagee, head of a Pentecostal congregation in San Antonio, Texas, with 18,000 members, and the executive director of Christians United for Israel, a national lobbying group that organizes against a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine crisis and in favor of a military strike on Iran.
Hagee’s zealous support for Israel is kindled by his belief that Jesus will one day return to “biblical Israel” to usher in a kingdom of Heaven on Earth. “As soon as Jesus sits on his throne he’s gonna rule the world with a rod of iron,” Hagee told his congregation in a sermon this December. “That means he’s gonna make the ACLU do what he wants them to. That means you’re not gonna have to ask if you can pray in public school…. We will live by the law of God and no other law.”