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BS: Teenager stoned: A Story, which beggars belief

CarolC 05 Nov 08 - 03:36 PM
SINSULL 05 Nov 08 - 03:37 PM
katlaughing 05 Nov 08 - 03:41 PM
Wesley S 05 Nov 08 - 03:44 PM
CarolC 05 Nov 08 - 03:57 PM
alanabit 05 Nov 08 - 04:02 PM
alanabit 05 Nov 08 - 04:05 PM
paula t 05 Nov 08 - 04:11 PM
beardedbruce 05 Nov 08 - 04:14 PM
alanabit 05 Nov 08 - 04:17 PM
heric 05 Nov 08 - 04:30 PM
CarolC 05 Nov 08 - 04:37 PM
CarolC 05 Nov 08 - 04:38 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 05 Nov 08 - 04:38 PM
Maryrrf 05 Nov 08 - 04:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Nov 08 - 05:14 PM
Joybell 05 Nov 08 - 05:17 PM
M.Ted 05 Nov 08 - 11:49 PM
M.Ted 06 Nov 08 - 12:04 AM
GUEST,heric 06 Nov 08 - 12:25 AM
alanabit 06 Nov 08 - 12:54 AM
George Papavgeris 06 Nov 08 - 04:35 AM
Jean(eanjay) 06 Nov 08 - 05:14 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 06 Nov 08 - 05:16 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Nov 08 - 05:29 AM
CarolC 06 Nov 08 - 06:37 AM
CarolC 06 Nov 08 - 06:53 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 06 Nov 08 - 08:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Nov 08 - 11:32 AM
CarolC 06 Nov 08 - 02:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Nov 08 - 04:08 PM
PoppaGator 06 Nov 08 - 05:02 PM
jimmyt 06 Nov 08 - 07:43 PM
alanabit 07 Nov 08 - 12:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 Nov 08 - 03:55 AM
CarolC 07 Nov 08 - 06:25 AM
CarolC 07 Nov 08 - 06:34 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Nov 08 - 07:50 AM
CarolC 07 Nov 08 - 07:52 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 Nov 08 - 08:02 AM
jacqui.c 07 Nov 08 - 08:05 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Nov 08 - 08:59 AM
CarolC 07 Nov 08 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,TIA 07 Nov 08 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,TIA 07 Nov 08 - 11:23 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Nov 08 - 01:32 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 07 Nov 08 - 02:38 PM
M.Ted 07 Nov 08 - 09:13 PM
GUEST,heric 07 Nov 08 - 10:26 PM
alanabit 08 Nov 08 - 03:54 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 03:36 PM

I've been here even longer than the person who posted those PMs, so I am very familiar with their history. I used to hold this person in very high regard. This person has proven to me that my regard was entirely misplaced. I don't regard the person who is sticking up for this individual as any kind of authority figure, so what they have to say about me goes in the circular file where it belongs.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: SINSULL
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 03:37 PM

"This is the point I was addressing. It is a horrendous libel so say things like that because it is simply not true. "

It is Bee's opinion. Yours that the West is Muslim-hating,in my opinion, is also a libel. But I and others here do not choose to rant, rave, accuse, and in short, make a scene. To my knowledge no one else has felt the need to send angry PMs.

Why not simply discuss the issue rather than resort to high drama and name calling?


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 03:41 PM

Never pays to generalise, does it folks?


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Wesley S
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 03:44 PM

Does anyone want to get back to the topic of the thread or are we past that now?


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 03:57 PM

It's not a generalization to say that there is an entrenched and institutionalized hatred of Muslims in the West. That is simply a statement of reality. The fact that the Western media refuses to report when Muslims speak out against atrocities committed by other Muslims is more than ample proof of this. As is the fact that a large percentage of the people in the US regard all Muslims as being terrorists. This is an image of Muslims that has been carefully nurtured by the US government to make it easier for them to sell their preemptive war agenda to the people of this country. Governments of other Western countries (not all of them) have been cultivating the same image among their own populations.

The fact that people in the West would make death threats against Barack Obama because they believe he is a Muslim, and therefore a terrorist is a direct outgrowth of this institutionalized hatred. It's there, it's real, and it's something that has been deliberately nurtured by authorities for the purpose of promoting their agenda in the Middle East.

It may be someone's opinion that Muslim leaders don't speak out against things like this stoning, but it happens to not be the truth. And it's a libel. Some people have the opinion that all Black people are shiftless, or that all Jews are greedy. When we see people expressing those opinions, we should speak out about it. It's no different with the stereotype that Muslims don't speak out about bad things done by other Muslims. None of these stereotypes is right and none of them should be allowed to pass by without being challenged.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: alanabit
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:02 PM

I would like to do that and say that I am trying to understand this catastrophe. I don't believe any of us here begrudge Carol a platform for her views, but I would be happier if the issues she has raised could be discussed on another thread (perhaps linked to this one) from now on.

Peter K. has stated as eloquently as ever what I did not quite manage to put into words:

"It's not unreasonable for some of us, at least, to dwell a little bit on how such atrocities are possible in the 21st century. And sweeping condemnations of people en masse, 1,000 at a time, really does not help. I do accept that most of those who attended the stoning were there to see what in their view was justice being done, notwithstanding that a protest was violently supressed. The question is, how do entire communities of people descend to such levels of depravity?"

That's a question worth answering.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: alanabit
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:05 PM

I should also add that my previous post was a response to the one before Carol's last post. It would also appear that my desire to return to the original topic has been determinedly thwarted...


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: paula t
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:11 PM

As the mother of a lovely 13 year old girl , I find this absolutely unbearable.Every time I think about it I see my daughter's face and it fills me with a physical, painful grief.
This has nothing to do with Islam. This is a regime ruling by fear - and similar things are happening all over the world . The thought of the pain and fear suffered by that little girl -first by being raped by those "men" and then the "trial" by those criminals is something I can't put out of my mind.

Rest in peace sweetheart.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: beardedbruce
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:14 PM

CarolC,
I will presume you have no problem with the following statemnets, then:




Hatred of the West has become institutionalized in Moslim countries, and that is what I mean when I say "the West-hating Moslims".

It's not a generalization to say that there is an entrenched and institutionalized hatred of the West in Moslim Countries. That is simply a statement of reality. The fact that the Islamic media refuses to report when the Western nations speak out against atrocities committed by other Western countries is more than ample proof of this. As is the fact that a large percentage of the people in the Moslim countries regard all Westerners as being terrorists. This is an image of the West that has been carefully nurtured by the Islamic governments to make it easier for them to sell their preemptive war agenda to the people of their countries. Governments of other Moslim countries (not all of them) have been cultivating the same image among their own populations.



NOTHING stated above is any more general, or more hate-spewing than your comments.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: alanabit
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:17 PM

I can see that a punch up is in the offing here. Could you please do it through PMs or on another thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: heric
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:30 PM

Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, a child.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:37 PM

I will, however respond to that last one, so it can be done with. Yes, there is institutionalized hatred of the West in some Muslim countries (not all of them). They come by it honestly, though. We've been interfering in their lives and their countries for a long time. They didn't have such an institutionalized hatred of the West before we started doing that.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:38 PM

And now, if people are finished attacking me, I hope the thread will get back to its subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:38 PM

Well yes, I'm afraid so, alanabit. I am simply amazed that a perfectly fair point made by Carol C could have generated such animosity. Clearly the reaction is based on something outside this thread and therefore amounts to prejudice in its most literal sense.

Sinsull blithely assures us that "no one on this thread is holding the Muslim religion responsible for this atrocity" and this is allowed to slide by without challenge. For those such as Sinsull who either cannot read or who turn a blind eye when convenient, here is the statement to which Carol C was responding (and yes, it's from this very thread, Sinsull): "But Islam bears some of the blame here, because Islamic religious leaders do not speak out and condemn it."

Whether Sinsull and some of the other Carol C bashers like it or not, some Islamic leaders DO condemn outrages such as the one in Somalia. And because Carol C said so, there is an immediate assumption in some quarters that she condones such outrages. Has Mudcat really sunk this low?


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Maryrrf
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 04:43 PM

This thread is a prime example of why it is so difficult to have a thoughtful, amicable discussion on Mudcat. Yes I think some people are using this thread as a platform because views are being stated, restated, belabored, and rehashed to the point where it's difficult to follow, comment and respond to some of the valid and thought provokng views that have been expressed by some of the posters. I don't think this thread as it has developed was what Alanabit had in mind when he posted, and it's a shame so many threads seem to deteriorate on Mudcat. There are some great intellects on this forum, and some posters who invariably throw a welcome dose of common sense into any discussion. Some of these people have posted on this thread. It just takes too much patience to wade through all the arguing and posturing, so I'm sure many have decided not to participate.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 05:14 PM

"I do accept that most of those who attended the stoning were there to see what in their view was justice being done."

That may be true or it may not be true in this case, we just do not have the information to know.

However it is also true is that there are indeed times when there is a social acceptance and approval of atrocities, whether on the local scale of lynchings in ordinary American towns at one time, or on the national scale of Nazi Germany, or in societies where public executions of "moral offenders" are carried out with official approval.

And there are many many examples of those kind of things happening in all kinds of societies around the world, throughout the course of history.

The question in such cases is the one Peter K asked - "how do entire communities of people descend to such levels of depravity?" And it is one about which I too would like to see a serious discussion here.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Joybell
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 05:17 PM

And so says one of the many, Maryrrf. Thank you.
Joy


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: M.Ted
Date: 05 Nov 08 - 11:49 PM

Here is Another Version of the Story that gives more of a sense of what might have happened.

Sharia Law requires either three eye witnesses, or three consecutive confessions before adultery can be established. Generally, it's pretty hard to prove, and no one really wants to--as you can see from the article, they tried pretty hard to get her to "review", or recant her confession.

We don't know what really happened, apart from these two articles, but between the two, they tell a terrible story--

A young girl is raped, which has e even worse social stigma attached to it in a tribal/fundamentalist society than in our own.

She goes to make a complaint with the Militia, who don't want to hear it. In despair/anger/desperation, she demands to be heard by the Sharia Court, where she demands that her "confession" that she had sexual relations with the rapists.

In spite of repeated entreaties, she repeats her "confession" until the requirements for conviction are satisfied, at which point, as repulsive as it may be, the law must be followed, and the seldom administered punishment must be carried out.

As required by law, the stoning is to be carried out before witnesses in the public square.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: M.Ted
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 12:04 AM

The stoners lack the skill to kill the child on their first attempt, and are compelled to try again. Some in the crowd are so horrified by what transpires that they attempt to stop it, and the militia are forced to fire upon them to restore order, killing a witness, and likely wounding others.

In the end a horrible miscarriage of justice that violates all who are involved.

It is easy, and tempting, to believe that this terrible event was the product of an exotic, primitive culture and religion. We blame it on the weaknesses of a society that is seemingly alien to our own, and don't to see that the the failings that caused it are really inherent in all societies.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 12:25 AM

here's another:

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LS38222.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: alanabit
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 12:54 AM

Thank-you Ted for a worthy response, which has added both information and ideas to the discussion. I will be back to check out your links when I return from teaching later.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 04:35 AM

Fully agree with M.Ted in response to Kevin's last question. I have always maintained that the veneer of civilisation is only skin deep, and the animal in all of us lives just below the surface. In times of stress or serious risk of losing advantage, position, wealth or life, the animal surface pretty quickly. It did so in the old Yugoslavia asit started breaking up. It did so in Iraq time and again. It did in Greece in 1945-47 (civil war). It did in Northern Ireland and Britain (though in this case involving individuals rather than crowds). And before that in so many places, Germany, France, Turkey (ask the Armenians), the US in the 60s... And it did in Georgia & South Ossetia.

We are capable of reaching great heights, and at the same time easily led to the most bestial behaviour. I cannot rationalise or explain it, it seems to be part of the human makeup.

And I believe that anyone who thinks themselves impervious to all this and above such behaviour in all circumstances, are simply fooling themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 05:14 AM

I read an article yesterday which explained why some people watch stonings but I just cannot find it again to post a link. I won't try to remember everything that was said but there were several reasons given. Some people are actually forced to watch and some people do so out of fear.

Like heric I find that I cannot stop thinking about this. Imagine if you were forced to watch it. In some cases the children of the person being stoned are forced to watch it.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 05:16 AM

And I believe that anyone who thinks themselves impervious to all this and above such behaviour in all circumstances, are simply fooling themselves.

Exactly so, George Papavgeris - troubling though that truth is.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 05:29 AM

'there is institutionalized hatred of the West in some Muslim countries (not all of them). They come by it honestly, though'.

Great to know that all those people dancing in the street, having a knees up on the strength of 9/11 came upon their harmless sense of fun 'by honest means'.

You know that schtick about 'blessed are the peacemakers' - I think Jesus realised it was rare talent. And Carol, I think you'd better try for being the meek, or maybe being the children of god. Your attempts at laying the foundations for a peace process and greater understanding between cultures - well they're quite incendiary in character! You could start a fight in an empty house.

best wishes (and failing to suppress a smile)

al


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 06:37 AM

I notice someone has decided to not discuss the subject of the thread.

I guess their sense of fun was equally matched (or perhaps exceeded) by all of the people I heard or read in the West who gleefully said about Afghanistan and Iraq (and also Iran), "turn the country into a parking lot", and "nuke them back into the stone age". The thing about those people who were supposedly celebrating on 9/11 is that the people who we are told were celebrating had been living under military occupation for several generations. On the other hand, there is some evidence that that never really happened.

Sometimes the truth is incendiary. But that's no reason to try to hide it or pretend it doesn't exist.

The thing about being meek is that it doesn't suppose it self to be more human than other people. So I would turn that one around and say it to those who think that Muslims are inherently less human than other people, or inherently more evil.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 06:53 AM

Forgot part of what I was going to say...

"The thing about those people who were supposedly celebrating on 9/11 is that the people who we are told were celebrating had been living under military occupation for several generations."

A military occupation, incidentally, that was paid for by the US, and enforced by the US in the UN. Those people, of all people, come by their anger and hatred honestly.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 08:25 AM

WLD, I remember meeting some old folk in Bethnal Green who admitted they had cheered when Bomber Command reduced Dresden to a fireball, against which 9/11 would barely have registered on the catastrophe scale. It took them several years to see it differently.

I remember the former US attorney general Ramsay Clark recalling some Americans who had reacted similarly to the nuking of Hiroshima. It was only after publication of John Hersey's famous account, run across a whole issue of the New Yorker in August 1946, that they could see the carnage from a victim perspective. (Even so someone responded to the New Yorker with a letter saying "Great, now let's drop 20 more on Moscow.")

Incidentally, those here who think a public wringing of hands in anguish is a prerequisite for saying anything in this thread should read Hersey's account. He reports the experiences of six survivors in clinical detail without once displaying the slightest hint of his own emotions. It was not necessary. And maybe that is why what he did stands as just about the most effective piece of journalism published in the states in a hundred years.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 11:32 AM

Well of course you're absolutely right Carol and Peter.

However I just don't feel you have the lightness of touch and gentleness of disposition to stand up as the arbiter in these matters.

You don't know who these people are that you are railing at. You don't know the circumstances of their lives and how it may effect them

All you know is that they did not attack you first. They did not shout your faults in shrill language.

I think you could have expressed reservations about their point of view in a nicer manner.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 02:28 PM

It's pretty dishonest to characterize my initial post in the terms described above. I will post it again, to refresh someone's memory...

Subject: RE: BS: A Story That Beggars Belief
From: CarolC - PM
Date: 03 Nov 08 - 09:26 AM

How do we know that Islamic leaders do not speak out and condemn it? One thing I've definitely noticed about claims like that one is that they are usually not true. Usually Islamic leaders have spoken and continue to speak out against it, but nobody has bothered to notice that they have.



As we can clearly see, I did not attack anyone or shout all of anyone's faults in shrill language. I did respond to quite a few attacks on me later on, however. And it appears that I am still responding to attacks from someone who would apparently rather discuss me than the subject of this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 04:08 PM

I agree with George that people who think themselves "impervious to all this and above such behaviour in all circumstances, are simply fooling themselves".

We have no right to assume that somehow we will be among the brave minority that stands out against this kind of thing, and that ought to be reflected in the way we react. In what is in this case the sadly appropriate language of the Gospels, we shouldn't feel entitled to cast the first stone. That doesn't in any way mean we shouldn't feel and express our detestation of what has been done. But when we see those photos of lynch-mobs, or cheering Nazis, for example, or read a story like this one, we should recognise ourselves as possible members of the crowd.

But nor should we ever forget that there are people who do stand out against the descent into inhumanity, even in the most desperate circumstances, as seems to have been the case here as well.

It occurs me that I'd like to know more about whether there are common factors in the previous lives of the people who make up that "saving minority" in the times when the community goes insane. Any pointers to studies about that kind of thing?

I think that one of the ways in which we risk reducing the hope that we might be such a person, if we find ourselves in this kind of situation, is when we go in for the kind of fantasy violence and hate that Carol quoted there - "turn the country into a parking lot", and "nuke them back into the stone age".


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 05:02 PM

Look, I've never had the slightest problem with jimmyt, but I think we need to consider something he wrote:

"if you find yourself trying to defend the people and if necessary, the culture that performed this heinous act, may God forgive you for your insensitivity."

The very assumption that a "culture" committed this crime is exactly the attitude that had earlier set Carol off, and I don't blame her. If many of us are automatically assuming that such an assertion makes any sense at all, we need to stop and think about ourselves and our unconscious assumptions and prejudices.

After all, the primary victim here, as well as the boy who died trying to defend her, the other bystanders who were injured and killed, and all the horified citizens who were forced to watch ~ they were very probably all Muslims, too. Right?

Actually, there probably is some reason to find fault with the culture of certain areas of the globe ~ more justifiably than blaming the Muslim religion.

The murderously misogynist bent of some tribal/national groups is ancient and deeply ingrained, and certainly predates the birth of Mohammed; if the history of Islam includes a tolerance for stonings and other such abominations, it's because the people who founded Islam, and those who were among its first adherents, were already throroughly conditioned to accept such acts and attitudes as a matter of course.

It was individuals who carried out this horrendous act; members of a gang or ruling clique, not representatives of an entire religion or nationality. If anyone needs to assign blame to a group or class of people, blame it on "power-hungry bloodthirsty warlords," not on "Muslims" or "Africans" or "Somalis."

If anyone is offended that I've been moved to discuss the secondary issue into which this discussion has devolved, and not limited myself to commiserating with the victim, please don't dismiss my thoughts as irrelvant just because you judge me as somehow not as sensitive as you are. Of course, I'm horrified and I condemn this brutal murder; I just find it more interesting and more necessary to weigh in on this other issue.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: jimmyt
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 07:43 PM

Point taken, poppa gator I, as others, had gottne myself into a state of emotion and sometimes at least for me, it is hard to be absolutely objective when emotion is driving the bus. I appreciate your gentle nudge.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 12:42 AM

I have no problem with that either, because it is directly related to this thread's main subject. The subject of how the West relates to Islam in general - although worthy - is what I wanted to see discussed elsewhere. A post like PoppaGator's - or the posts from McGrath and Peter K are throwing some light onto this episode for me - and others I hope.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 03:55 AM

Some people tried to express their horror a terrible incident.

They chose ill advised words.

In turn they were accused of insincere 'hand wringing', and abuse of all Muslims.

I think you have to make allowances for when people are upset - they don't say the right things. We got used to all kinds of bitter things being said about us, the English; when the crisis in Northern Ireland was at its height. And we got used to bitter words condemning both Unionist and Republican positions.

Bitter words aren't helpful - that simple.

They're always part of the problem and nothing to do with the solution. And worst of all bitter words are fatally easy rhetoric.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 06:25 AM

I did not accuse anyone of insincere hand wringing (although I expected that I would be). I was accused of being heartless because I didn't participate in the public display of emotion. I was pressed by several people on this. I gave my reason for not participating in that. I was the one who was being judged. I did not judge anyone else. If other people want to participate in public displays of emotion, that's their business, but don't judge me if I don't do it that way.

My entire point was that people shouldn't assume that Muslims haven't spoken out about what happened to this girl. But other people needed to project their own garbage on me and they made this thread about me instead of the actual subject of the thread. I did not judge anyone. I pointed out that we shouldn't assume that Muslims don't speak out, and I was viciously attacked by several people.


I see that what the thread originator had in mind was for people to discuss how the West relates to Islam in general. I find that ironic seeing as how that's precisely what my posts in this thread have been about, and yet my posts have been deemed unacceptable.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 06:34 AM

It should be pointed out that one of my early posts in this thread was a response to things that were said in a post that was deleted by the person who made the post after I posted my rebuttal. It was a personal attack and a very judgemental one. My post should be understood in that light.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 07:50 AM

I see that what the thread originator had in mind was for people to discuss how the West relates to Islam in general.

Read what he said again, Carol - which is that that wasn't what he had in mind for this thread, but rather saw it as something to talk about outside the immediate context of this particular killing. Not that the person starting a thread owns it - discussions go where they will - but I agree with alanabit's feeling that this terrible episode can help us explore the wider issue of societies losing their humanity.

The way this thread has gone at times rather reinforces that. Too much heat, not enough light.
...........................

I think there are four key elements that contribute of collective breakdown of humanity, and to people who may be basically decent enough as individuals colluding in, or taking an active part in terrible events.

One is a thing which in many ways is a good thing - when we find ourselves part of a community with a common purpose and a common understanding of the world, that is an exhilarating experience. This week we have observed that and many of us have experienced that, in the context of Barack Obama's victory. But like any good thing it can be twisted into bad uses. A joyful crowd can turn into a vengeful mob so easily.

A second key element is when a group of people - a family, a neighbourhood, a nation - feels itself somehow collectively threatened in some way. Sometime that threat can be a real threat and a collective response is appropriate - but once again it can become twisted, and give rise to terrible things.

And a third key element is personal fear - the fear of being out of step with those around us, ranging from fear of embarrassment up to fear of physical danger. And that can lead people to go along with things that they know are wrong.

And a fourth element is our ability to persuade ourselves that what we do is the right thing to do. We can suppress our revulsion at what we are doing. and even throw ourselves into it more actively as a reaction.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 07:52 AM

My mistake.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:02 AM

Does society lose humanity?

Or is it part and parcel of the human condition to be cruel, sadistic even?

Personally I think maybe it is, although it is something we need to suppress.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: jacqui.c
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:05 AM

Nicely put Kevin - in every day life it is possible to see this. It is so much easier to go along with the crowd. I've seen cases where a manager in the office was openly derisive of one of his staff and the majority of the rest took his lead. Standing up to that is frightening, and there was no physical threat involved in those situations.

I was always on the outside because I wasn't interested in sport or the TV soaps and said so. That can occasionally be a lonely place and not too comfortable. Think how it would be in a situation such as a dictatorship or a fundamentalist society, where swimming against the stream could endanger your and your family's life.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 08:59 AM

My mistake.

Not really - the diversion started with "But Islam bears some of the blame here, because Islamic religious leaders do not speak out and condemn it." Which prompted Carol, reasonably enough, to question that assumption.
..........................
Sometimes its harder to stand out against small things than against big things. Outright bigotry or brutality has to be built up to in order to be accepted as the norm. Jokes about "PC" can be a good way of doing that.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 09:23 AM

I meant 'my mistake' about misreading what thread originator said - the part about this thread not being about how the West relates to Islam. I don't for a minute think there was anything wrong with my pointing out what I did about the idea that Muslims don't speak out against these kinds of things, I have no regrets for having posted what I did about that, and I will continue to point out those kinds of things when I see them.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:18 AM

FWIW, Muslim leaders have spoken out quite publically just yesterday. Perhaps (unfortunately) not directly about this horrific incident in Somalia, but certainly about human rights and dignity, protection of minorities, and a host of other issues. The joint Catholic-Muslim Declaration that follows a three day meeting between Catholic and Muslim leaders at the Vatican, can be read here:

http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=13687&theme=2&size=A

This historic meeting has gotten just about zero mention in the USA press that I typically read. Note where you must go to read anything about it.

I did hear a snippet (on NPR) of a statment by one of the Imams who attended, which specifically denounced "terrorism" and "oppression of women". I would love to find a transcript or audio of the whole bit.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 11:23 AM

Got it. Audio link is here:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96735197

Specifically addresses terrorism and violence in the name of God.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 01:32 PM

Here is the text of "The Catholic-Muslim Joint Declaration."

Here is the website of A Common Word, a document put together by "138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals (who) have unanimously come together for the first time since the days of the Prophet to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam." This was part of the preparation for the Catholic-Muslim Joint Declaration.

And here is the official website of "The Amman Message" which addresses a range of issues, and helped prepare the way for A Common Word.

Long complicated documents. But before making of the cuff accusations about how Muslims have failed to speak up when they should it would be advisabkle to read them attentively.

This is all drifting away from wider questions about humanity and inhumanity, but it seemed to me this would be a good place to stash the links for any discussion about Islam as such.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 02:38 PM

Thanks TIA. As someone who was a virulent critic of Ratzinger during his many years in charge of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (successor body to the inquisition) I have to say he has surprised me several times since becoming the boss - not least in this initiative to improve relations with Islam.

It's a difficult thing to do, because there is no central authority on the muslim side that can speak for the whole of that religion. In this case the Vatican has been in discussion with the 138 muslim scholars who challenged him some time ago. But at least when mighty religions like these come face to face there is the always the possibility that they will begin to see merit in opposing positions and that the zealots on both sides will be undermined by consensus and compromise.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 09:13 PM

I have on occasion, looked into the eyes of some of my fellow "Westerners", and, also on occasion, have seen a brutal, simmering rage. In a few instances, I have seen it explode, and have heard of it exploding in many more instances.

For this reason, I am not surprised when I hear that a man has been dragged to death behind a truck because of his sexual orientation. I am not surprised when a teenage girl lures a boy to a secluded place by promising to have sex with him, then watches while her friends beat him to death with hammers and a hatchet. And I am not surprised when I read the our history of brutal lynchings, some more horrible than the stoning in question here.

I tend to cry when I hear about suffering. As a scrupulous student of history, I have shed tears, at one time or another, for people in every historical age, and in every part of the world. And will likely continue to do so.

I wonder about those of you who seem to angered, shocked, outraged, though, because, as literate, educated adults, none of this should be new to you--


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 10:26 PM

A good percentage of people above are blurring rage with the philosophy of law, when the two concepts should be separated by a wide chasm.


Rage may be endemic to the human condition, but legal philosophy is highly reflective of a culture.


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Subject: RE: BS: A Story, which beggars belief
From: alanabit
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 03:54 AM

Your point is taken Ted. But surely it is necessary is to ask ourselves: "In what conditions are these outbreaks of simmering rage less likely to explode?" We are all opponents of war, cruelty, violence, rape and injustice etc. We also know that these things have been around for as long as there have been humans. However, at certain times and under certain conditions, they have become the norm. Under others, they have become the exception. We should at least be trying to identify what makes these catastrophes less likely.
I don't think it is wildly inaccurate to suggest that we hear of these sort of outbreaks less frequently from Norway than we do from Somalia. There must be a reason for that.


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