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webranger View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Sad Warning
    Posted: 11 November 2006 at 2:25pm

At the top of this Forum page is a Warning.

Unfortunately some of it is couched in terms which highlight the problem that many believe makes discussion and dialogue between Moslems and non-Moslems so difficult.It gives ammunition to those who want no dialogue but only the opportunity to hurl abuse, and it distresses those of us who do want proper dialogue.

The central issue is, of course, free speech and honest discussion. In asking for respect and courtesy, the moderators are correct, of course. In asking members not to be inflamatory, they seem to be reasonable, but that raises questions because non-Moslems have been astonished over recent years at the things which some Moslems have claimed to find inflamatory. So much so that many believe that the indignation was contrived by trouble-makers looking for things they could get inflamed about - and get other Moslems worked up about.

A case in point was the cartoons of the Prophet. The prohibition on images of him applies only to Moslems, as I understand it, indeed how could he possibly have given to his followers an instruction that no-one in the world should draw a picture of him? so the fury was based  on misrepresentation from the start. Some of the cartoons were certainly insulting, but others made a fair political point. But the greatest hypocrisy came about when imams from Denmark toured the Middle East showing Moslems these cartoons which it was supposed to be a bad thing to see. The whole world saw these cartoons because of what the imams did, not because of what an insignificant newspaper in an insignificant country did.

That newspaper was certainly provocative, and even more so the European (not British) newpapers who also published them once the international row had started. But that row was whipped into flames by the imams - a case of equal hypocrisy all round.

So back to the Warning here. Having called for respect, why add a warning against inflamatory statements? In my mind something said with respect cannot really be inflamatory. I might disagree very strongly but I cannot reasonably be inflamed where there is no disrespect.

Then comes the example - and it gives the game away. "To say that the US forces in Iraq are doing a great job is inflamatory!" It is a very st**id thing to say, yes, it shows an extraordinary ability to believe what you want to believe in defiance of all the facts, yes, but it is an opinion that some hold without any intention of being inflamatory.

To say that the expression of such an opinion is so insulting that it must be removed from a forum displays exactly the thinking that is making dialogue so difficult and conflict so likely. How can there ever be dialogue and increased understanding if anyone who disagrees with you is silenced and accused of being insulting? How can you persuade people that their opinion and viewpoint are incorrect if you refuse to discuss?

One complaint often made in Britain is that Moslems want to make good use of our tolerance and practice of free speech - even calling for some people to be killed, which is going too far - but want to deny free speech to their critics.

That's not the case with all Moslems, of course, but we don't hear from the quiet ones, only from the trouble-makers.

So I'm sad to see that this Forum takes such a touchy "you can't say that" view. Maybe the moderators will think that this post is "inflamatory," which will be even sadder, for a call to honest and open discussion can only inflame those who are bent on conflict.

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peacemaker View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2006 at 7:57am

You should not have posted here ( Current Events ). It should be in the Comment Section.

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
Qur'an 55:13
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 November 2006 at 8:29am

(webranger): "A case in point was the cartoons of the Prophet. The prohibition on images of him applies only to Moslems, as I understand it, indeed how could he possibly have given to his followers an instruction that no-one in the world should draw a picture of him? so the fury was based on misrepresentation from the start. Some of the cartoons were certainly insulting, but others made a fair political point. But the greatest hypocrisy came about when imams from Denmark toured the Middle East showing Moslems these cartoons which it was supposed to be a bad thing to see."

You say that others ( cartoons ) made a fair political point. What point did they make except humiliating the feelings of more than 1.5 billion Muslims?

And placing blame on Imams? What about Danish Prime Minister who refused to listen to several requests made by Muslim leaders and Scholars in that nation well before the issue became internationalized.

"But that row was whipped into flames by the imams - a case of equal hypocrisy all round."

It was not imams, it was hypocritical stand of Danish government and the media.

"Then comes the example - and it gives the game away. "To say that the US forces in Iraq are doing a great job is inflammatory!" It is a very st**id thing to say, yes, it shows an extraordinary ability to believe what you want to believe in defiance of all the facts, yes, but it is an opinion that some hold without any intention of being inflammatory".

Yes, after killings of more than half million people in that nation, someone comes here to tell us that we are helping that country, that we are promoting peace there etc will be inflammatory. Muslims consider that they are our Brothers and Sisters.

This is Islamic discussion board. Free speech doesn’t mean that you can speak your mind as you like here without any respect to Islamic faith or any other faith for that matter and their followers.

There are many members here who come here to learn and share while following the guidelines, that means it is possible to discuss and engage in dialogue while being respectful.

Peace

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
Qur'an 55:13
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 November 2006 at 3:42pm

You see, you are discussing and debating, which is good.

Actually, much as I deplore the US attack on Iraq and the disgusting behaviour of many US soldiers, to treat it as an attack on Islam and any defence of the attack as anti-Islamic, is not reasonable or logical.

The war was launched for a number of reasons. An attempt to control the supply and price of oil was obviously a main one, but another was the desire to have major military bases there from which to control the Middle East. Soon after the apparent success in Iraq, the US announced that it would be leaving some of its Saudi bases - thinking it would be safer to move them to Iraq (fools!)

Another reason was the enormous business that could be given to US companies like Haliburton for "rebuilding" Iraq - we'll smash your country to bits and then you and the US taxpayer can hand us a fortune to rebuild it.

But the war was not intended as an attack on Islam, I know that Bush mentioned a Crusade, but he's too dim to realise the implications of that. Yes, Bush and especially Bliar have whipped up anti-Islamic feeling, at the same time as denying it, but that is to create fear among their own electorates because fearful people are easier to manipulate and control.

And now in Iraq most of the deaths of Moslems are caused by other Moslems. How can you say that when an American soldier kills a Moslem that is an attack on Islam in general but when a Moslem kills another Moslem, that is something different? That doesn't make sense.

When you say, "Free speech doesn’t mean that you can speak your mind as you like here without any respect to Islamic faith or any other faith for that matter and their followers," I would agree with you in general, but if someone were daft enough to say here that the US in Iraq were doing a good job, then that is showing disrespect to the Islamic faith, I would disagree with you. It would have nothing to do with the Islamic faith.

My real point is that this sort of thinking actually damages your cause with non-Moslems, many of whom are appalled at the hostility which has grown up on both sides in the West. It encourages the view that Moslems cannot separate their political opinions from their religious beliefs and they are not prepared to discuss but only want to suppress opposing opinions. Perhaps that is why Shias and Sunnis are murdering each other in Iraq? (Just like Orthodox and Roman Catholics murdered each other in the Balkans, I know).

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 November 2006 at 5:41am

(Webranger): "And now in Iraq most of the deaths of Moslems are caused by other Moslems. How can you say that when an American soldier kills a Moslem that is an attack on Islam in general but when a Moslem kills another Moslem, that is something different? That doesn't make sense."

Attack on Islam or not, the point is that such mass scale killings of Shias and Sunnis didn’t exist prior to invasion and occupation of Iraq. Therefore, you have to look what is the cause behind what is happening there.

"When you say, "Free speech doesn’t mean that you can speak your mind as you like here without any respect to Islamic faith or any other faith for that matter and their followers," I would agree with you in general, but if someone were daft enough to say here that the US in Iraq were doing a good job, then that is showing disrespect to the Islamic faith, I would disagree with you. It would have nothing to do with the Islamic faith."

Yes, we explain our position and rules in the guidelines. Normally, a user is warned 3 times prior to his/her ban.

As I said before, it is higly inflammatory that someone kills my Brothers and Sisters and tells me that all he is doing is promoting "peace". Wouldn’t you consider it inflammatory if someone invades your country and becomes responsible for death and destruction of millions of people (God forbid ), while claiming that it was all for promoting "peace", "freedom", and "democracy"? By the way, if that happens to your country ( that is not a Muslim country ), I will be equally hurt and offended regardless of who is the oppressor. Another example: if someone says that Hitler was promoting "peace" by killing Jews, as a Muslim, I will equally be offended.

"My real point is that this sort of thinking actually damages your cause with non-Moslems, many of whom are appalled at the hostility which has grown up on both sides in the West. It encourages the view that Moslems cannot separate their political opinions from their religious beliefs and they are not prepared to discuss but only want to suppress opposing opinions. Perhaps that is why Shias and Sunnis are murdering each other in Iraq? (Just like Orthodox and Roman Catholics murdered each other in the Balkans, I know)."

There are many sections here where non-Muslims take part, learn and share about Islam. As I said before, the root cause of conflict in Iraq is invasion and occupation against all international norms.

Peace



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Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2006 at 5:39am

i think webranger is on the right track here the original post. everyone should show respect and courtesy. not to be inflamatory is a reasonable request. but he is right. something said with respect cannot really be inflamatory. I might disagree very strongly but I cannot reasonably be inflamed where there is no disrespect. but "To say that the US forces in Iraq are doing a great job is inflamatory!", that it a very questionable example on what is inflamatory. i do not think he's arguing that inflamatory posts shouldn't be banned. i think what he's getting at is what should be considered inflamatory in the context of the message being made. the example given on the warning is a bad one.

if i said, "the U.S. forces in Iraq are doing a great job. nobody understands Muslims anyway. they are all terrorists and i'm glad U.S. forces are destroying Islam and the people the practice it." - that is an inflamatory statement. it is obviously disrespectful and made to goad you into a reaction. I should be banned.

but if i said, "the U.S. forces in Iraq are doing a great job. the Iraqi people now have refurbished schools and medical centers. the roads have been repaved. neighborhoods are being rebuilt. families are being reunited. they now have more constitutionally protected freedoms. none of this would've been possible without the U.S." - that is not inflamatory. you do not have to agree with it, but i have in no way been disrepectful of you or Islam in making it.

yet according to this warning, just because i said the U.S. is doing a great job, i made an inflamatory statement. argue with me, debate me, show me why my statement is wrong. but to delete it and ban me only makes Islam look bad. it could be construed that Muslims are offended by anything they do not agree with, even if that anything isn't intentionally disrepectful. i think you should take the context of the remark, the topic it is on, and the reputation of the poster into account in these situations. i think you should also give a better example of what could be inflamatory.

some of this is part of the problem in the first place. how can Islam be taught and understood and not feared by non-Muslims if all they see is Muslims reacting in violent ways to cartoons or statements? i have yet to see this cartoon, but i understand it was political satire. the Popes statement was taken out of context. yet some Islamic leaders instead took this statement and whipped the Muslims world into a frenzy. the aftermath is that, more than ever Islam was seen as a violent religion and Muslims are not to be trusted. i know this is not the case, but many people don't. if you say that "the U.S. forces in Iraq are doing a great job." is an offensive statement, you will turn people away from because no one will want to learn from anyone that will somehow get offended by a clearly unoffensive remark.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2006 at 5:48am
Originally posted by Organized Chaos Organized Chaos wrote:

i think webranger is on the right track here the original post. everyone should show respect and courtesy. not to be inflamatory is a reasonable request. but he is right. something said with respect cannot really be inflamatory. I might disagree very strongly but I cannot reasonably be inflamed where there is no disrespect. but "To say that the US forces in Iraq are doing a great job is inflamatory!", that it a very questionable example on what is inflamatory. i do not think he's arguing that inflamatory posts shouldn't be banned. i think what he's getting at is what should be considered inflamatory in the context of the message being made. the example given on the warning is a bad one.

if i said, "the U.S. forces in Iraq are doing a great job. nobody understands Muslims anyway. they are all terrorists and i'm glad U.S. forces are destroying Islam and the people the practice it." - that is an inflamatory statement. it is obviously disrespectful and made to goad you into a reaction. I should be banned.

but if i said, "the U.S. forces in Iraq are doing a great job. the Iraqi people now have refurbished schools and medical centers. the roads have been repaved. neighborhoods are being rebuilt. families are being reunited. they now have more constitutionally protected freedoms. none of this would've been possible without the U.S." - that is not inflamatory. you do not have to agree with it, but i have in no way been disrepectful of you or Islam in making it.

yet according to this warning, just because i said the U.S. is doing a great job, i made an inflamatory statement. argue with me, debate me, show me why my statement is wrong. but to delete it and ban me only makes Islam look bad. it could be construed that Muslims are offended by anything they do not agree with, even if that anything isn't intentionally disrepectful. i think you should take the context of the remark, the topic it is on, and the reputation of the poster into account in these situations. i think you should also give a better example of what could be inflamatory.

some of this is part of the problem in the first place. how can Islam be taught and understood and not feared by non-Muslims if all they see is Muslims reacting in violent ways to cartoons or statements? i have yet to see this cartoon, but i understand it was political satire. the Popes statement was taken out of context. yet some Islamic leaders instead took this statement and whipped the Muslims world into a frenzy. the aftermath is that, more than ever Islam was seen as a violent religion and Muslims are not to be trusted. i know this is not the case, but many people don't. if you say that "the U.S. forces in Iraq are doing a great job." is an offensive statement, you will turn people away from because no one will want to learn from anyone that will somehow get offended by a clearly unoffensive remark.

You are entitled to your opinion, and we respect that. But, rules are made after a collective thought and discussion process.

I will give some examples: What may appear to you inflammatory, may not appear to others; and what may not appear to you inflammatory may appear to others. Let us see the effect of the statement, "US forces are doing a great job in Iraq", on muslim world particularly those who are directly the victims of ongoing war and resulting violence.  Many Muslims, as part of their faith, feel and share the pain of fellow Muslims regardless of their geographical locations. Now, those people, who have lost their loved ones, direct blood relations or otherwise, simply because of this illegal invasion and occupation, visit this forum to learn and share. Shouldn’t they have the right not to be exposed to such statements that will only make them hurt even further? 

 Regarding cartoon crisis and Pope’s statement, ask those Muslims, who dearly love Prophet ( SAW ) and Islam, at the level they were offended. Okay, I was hurt by both, but never took part in any violence, nor did I condone the act of violence in any way. There were majority of Muslims who behaved the way I did, and only a minority with violent acts was brought to headline news coverage as it happens so often in the main stream media. Our concerns so far have not been heard because many media outlets consider that as "freedom of expression" or "freedom of press." Let us proceed further. I ( and many others ) come here ( Islamic discussion board ) to learn and share, and do you mean that I ( and many others ) should still see here cartoons of Prophet ( SAW )? ( Shouldn’t we allow them here as many people don’t see that inflammatory? ). What about rights of people like me?

Individual opinions are welcome, but rules are made for the overall interest of the broader segment of the society that visits this site and the forum to learn and share. And while rules are there to protect the major segment, open discussion on Islam is still allowed in many sections here.

Peace

( I think, I have already made the point about the warning thread in "Current Events", and therefore, it appears to me that there is no need to discuss further on the issue. )

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2006 at 3:54pm

There obviously is a need for more discussion because the attitude you are displaying is the antidose to discussion, and what is the point of a forum if discussion is forbidden or curtailed?

I set up the Independent BBC Today Forum (http://bbctodayforum.co.uk) precisely because the BBC chose to change the format of their Message Boards so that members could no longer initiate Topics, they can only discuss the two or three Topics a day the Moderators initiate. That plus the excessive enthusiasm of the mods in deleting messages for inane reasons has driven away most of its members.

By contrast the Independent Today Forum has no ongoing moderation (although profanity is automatically changed to [expletive deleted])and although a message could be removed in extremis, the necessity is unlikely.

To return to the original subject, you have so many different threads muddled up that it is difficult to untangle them., but I will try.

I abhor the invasion and destruction of Iraq as much as anyone. I said before the invasion that no WMD would be found and that the result would be that Iraq would descend into chaos. I have been proved right, and I am equally right in saying that this was not an attack on Islam.

Iraq was, and is, a secular state, not an Islamic state. Saddam Hussein was responsible for the deaths of thousands - thousands of Muslims. Although the welcome to US and British troops was vastly exaggerated, nevertheless there were some Iraqi Muslims who did welcome them; indeed those who told lies to western intelligence in order to encourage the invasion were also Muslims.

That's why the example you give is so inappropriate, and your failure to see that so worrying. The invasion and occupation is simply not an Islamic issue, any more that Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 was an Islamic issue, or his earlier invasion of Iran.

"Attack on Islam or not, the point is that such mass scale killings of Shias and Sunnis didn’t exist prior to invasion and occupation of Iraq. Therefore, you have to look what is the cause behind what is happening there."

You are avoiding the issue. Yes, the chaos has come about as a result of the invasion, but the main feature of that chaos now is Muslims killing Muslims, and that makes treating the occupation as anti-Islamic rather ridiculous. I would have thought that as an Islamic Peacemaker you would be concerned that many Muslims in Iraq are showing the world such a ferocious side of Islam. You write of your brothers and sisters being slaughtered, but right now they are mainly being slaughtered by other brothers and sisters. (Well maybe not sisters).

"Let us proceed further. I ( and many others ) come here ( Islamic discussion board ) to learn and share, and do you mean that I ( and many others ) should still see here cartoons of Prophet ( SAW )? ( Shouldn’t we allow them here as many people don’t see that inflammatory? ). What about rights of people like me? "

Of course not, that is a far better example. To attempt to post such things here would be clearly intentioned to provoke.

"And placing blame on Imams? What about Danish Prime Minister who refused to listen to several requests made by Muslim leaders and Scholars in that nation well before the issue became internationalized."

Now this is just the sort of comment that makes others believe that Muslims have no real desire to discuss and find ways to live in peace with other faiths. You must know that the Danish Prime Minister has no legal or constitutional means of censoring or even influencing the newspapers. Nor should he have. In fact, by suggesting that he could you are suggesting the end of free speech in that country.

I wish that those cartoons had not been published, but far rather that than give politicians the power to censor the press.

The cartoons had already been published, what on earth were the imams asking the PM to do? Why did they provoke other European newspapers who did not even know about them in the first place, to republish them. Why did they take them all over the Muslim world and show them to people whom they knew would be offended? The issue did not "become internationalised" all by itself, the imams MADE it an international issue.

Many Danes were deeply offended, they felt that the Moslem immigrants who had been welcomed and treated as equal under the law and in all other respects, had betrayed hospitality with hostility. That isn't a Muslim virtue, is it?

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