Monday, October 02, 2006

Welcome back, NB!

And nice to see you jumped straight on your horse, which I might add, seems nice and high.

I really shouldn't be getting into this, simply because I don't have time and this is going to bite me in the ass later on in the week. But onwards we march.

First of all, let's keep the blog about the blog. If we're going to bring up issues, which as you mention, you, Alien Panda and I "have debated for years", well, I might as well drop out of school right now. So I'll only tackle the substantive issues you and no. 5 have brought up, and not go into what you think of my methods of argument, which was a cheap-shot by the way. If you think I'm given to hyperbole, then please provide examples on fiverupees. Our endless bullshit arguments over the last 5 years don't count.

Secondly , I didn't bully anyone, at least on fiverupees. Bullying would be "Shut up xyz, you're talking crap, and I'm not talking about this anymore." That's Bill O'Reilly. I, on the other hand, spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing the post you mention, and dismantled each of no.5's arguments. I literally went sentence by sentence, and backed up each of my assetions with valid and veriable facts, rather than generalized statements, which no.5 often used. You're welcome to re-read my post and tell me if you disagree.

Let's talk about the nitty-gritty of both the posts. Allow me to paraphrase, because I'm short on time. No.5 and you say, it's unreasonable to expect Christians to protest acts by unaffiliated Christians and therefore, it is unreasonable to expect Muslims to protest acts by unaffiliated Muslims. That would be fair enough, except it completely misses point. The point is, Muslim terrorists act in the name of Islam. "Christian" terrorists (like the IRA) or overly aggressive governments, such as those of Bush and Blair, do NOT act in the name of Christianity. They act either in the name of a Western identity or their nationality. Therefore, other people who share their nationalities or Western identities (such as those in London, New York and Melbourne) feel the need to protest their actions and distance themselves from it. So, Bush says, "America feels this way about Iraq, and that's why we're going in." A number of Americans in response say, "No, America does not feel this way, he does not speak for us." On the other hand, Muslim terrorists, who blow things up in the name of Islam (I really can't emphasize this enough), are met with silence by all but a few people. Of course, not all Muslims agree with OBL and the Zarqawi types. But then they should say so, instead of sitting at home, especially when they are acting violent in our name.

It's funny that neither you nor no.5 dealt with the crux of my original post, which was hypocrisy. I'm going to lay this all out very simply, and hope you don't mistake it for my being condescending. But I feel I need to speak this way because clearly I am not getting through to you or no.5. So, here goes: Bad America and Bad Israel kill Good Muslims. People come out on ths street. Destroy houses and petrol stations. Write letters to newspapers. Organize marches and protests. Everyone in a generate state of pissed-offedness. Why? "Because they killed innocent Muslims". Ok, fine.

Now, Muslims kill other Muslims. Blow up mosques on the first day of Ramazan. Please re-read that sentence. Blow up mosques on the first day of Ramazan. Kill innocent Muslims. Kill more innocent Muslims than America or Israel have ever done. Please re-read that sentence as well. In the last 25 years, more Muslims have died at the hands of other Muslims than at the hands of any Western power. As Kevin Bacon said in A Few Good Men, these are the facts, and they are indisputable. Now, if innocent Muslims being killed is such a bad thing, then why aren't more protests and marches and angry letters seen? Could it be that Muslims killing other Muslims is ok, but white people killing Muslims is not? If this is not the explanation, then please provide me with one, because I truly wish to understand this.

You and no. 5 are right about the misquoting. But it was an error of punctuation marks, rather than any diabolical attempt to malign the argument. In other words, my only mistake was putting quotation marks around the two quotes because I didn't quote no.5; I paraphrased him/her. Let's see how off the mark I was, shall we?
No.5's statements:

It's like Christians being expected to protest against the imperial actions of Bush and his government and Blair and his government based on the fact that both presidents identify themselves as Christian...


and

Forget all those years of indoctrination- the reason why you're living on a dollar a day isn't because of corporations exploiting your labour (because did you know, you're sub-human?)


My paraphrasing:


"Christians don't protest murders by other Christians"

and


"Muslims live on $1 a day because of evil Western corporations"

Now, you tell me, NB, that I misquoted no.5. Fine, I agree. But did I misrepresent him/her? I don't think so.

By the way, great end note. Telling me I lack humility and respect for others' opinions, is, as I said, a cheap-shot. I'm not going to respect someone's opinion just because you think I should. I will respect someone's opinion if it is worthy of respect, and by that I mean, backed by valid and veriable facts and not generalized statements. For instance, if someone came to you, and said "Hi, NB, the world is flat", would you respect that opinion? No, you would not. Yes, that's somewhat of an extreme example, but I honestly can't respect an opinion which tells me that Muslim people are poor because corporations want them to be poor. It's funny that no.5 either chose to ignore or did not read the part about the universitiy numbers and standards which as I said, is the infinitely more likely explanation for Muslim countries, in general, not being among the world's largest economies.

So in the future, (a) attack my arguments with the harshest language you deem fit, but stay away from personal shots, like "you lack humility" and "you are an arrogant jackass"; and (b) keep our discussions fixed on things that happen on fiverupees.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

this:
It's like Christians being expected to protest against the imperial actions of Bush and his government and Blair and his government based on the fact that both presidents identify themselves as Christian...

does not equal:
"Christians don't protest murders by other Christians"

These two statments are saying vastly different things. You've clearly mis-represented No. 5. You're accusing No. 5 of saying that Christians don't protest actions by other christians. What No. 5 actualy said was that it would be weird to EXPECT christians to protest the actions of unrepresentative groups around the world who claim without any basis to be acting in their name.

In my opinion...

Anonymous said...

I think I was identified as Reader 3 at some point in this blog - am too lazy to create an account (I just mentioned the above to differentiate myself from all the anonymouses (anonymi?) that have come before).
Anyway, my only point is this:
I dont think the Bush example stands (paraphrased or not) simply because it isn't correct. One could argue that 5 stated an extreme example to prove a point, and I would disagree solely on the basis that there's a difference between using the above technique and what 5 has done, i.e. list something entirely incomparable. The "imperial actions" of Bush and co. were never in the name of (nor were they driven by) religion. These Muslim groups on the other hand, while they may well be unrepresentative, are still claiming to act in the name of Islam. I don't think too many people feel that the attacks on Iraq or Afghanistan could be classified as a religious crusade. It doesn't matter if Bush / Blair represent a Christian populace or are Christian themselves, they are not acting in the name of Christ. Oil isn't quite a religion...yet.

Anonymous said...

THank you Anonymous 1.

Anonymous Reader 3- thank you for your comments. (Hmm... but i said "imperial actions of Bush and his government and Blair and his government based on the fact that both presidents identify themselves as Christian..." I am not saying that they are acting in the name of any religion, I was talking ypothetically. Also, just because terrorists claim to act in the name of Islam does not (a) make it true (b) make it the same Islam that other Muslims who are not terrorists believe in. Why must we be headline readers and take the "terrorists" word for it- that they are acting in the name of Islam and on behalf of all Muslims and therefore are representative of all Muslims and all Muslims must take responsibility? That isn't fair at all. A closer look will show that their political ends are easily identifiable.)

Anonymous said...

You misunderstand me - I never disagreed with your point (although I will now). I just said that your comparison, in my humble opinion, was and still is, incorrect. Bush / Blair never CLAIMED to be driven by religion, therefore it is incorrect to bring christianity into the argument. If however, in your fantasy hypothetical world - Bush and Blair invaded Iraq in the name of Christ and all that is holy, you think those Christians who disagree with Bush / Blair and feel that the actions of Bush / Blair don't represent their viewpoint should not be EXPECTED to stand up and say something about it?

terrorists claim that they are conducting their actions in the name of islam, therefore, if muslims feel that they are not being accurately represented by these deranged, evil motherfckers, then they should stand up and say something about that, no? silence on the matter can only represent two things: apathy, or acceptance. you be the judge of which is worse.
and similarly, americans should stand up to the shit Bush is doing...and they should be expected to stand up to him even more so, because they elected him. christians the world over shouldn't be held accountable though, because Bush is acting in what he claims to be America's best interests and not Christianity's. terrorists believe or claim that they are acting in the best interests of islam, therefore, even though the world's muslim community didn't elect these terrorists to represent them and should therefore not be held accountable for their actions (unlike the americans, who should be held accountable for Bush's), shouldn't the muslims of the world at least strongly condemn them, or do their absolute best to stop them?

Also, you said, "Why are Muslims expected to protest against murders?" I hope, that in hindsight, you want to take this back.

Any decent human being should be expected to protest against murders.