Brilliant reply, Susan - deserves also an ironing out.
Submitted by Michel (United States), Jan 16, 2007 at 18:59
To : Submitted by susan, Jan 15, 2007 at 17:28
Susan – I could not help it to respond, one more time, as your post was brilliant.(Heartfelt Compliment).
You referenced in your last response a lot of material, I can work with and can try to respond to.
Grazie Mille, for respecting my viewpoint by putting in so much work to refute it –
Do you realize, how far we actually progressed from exchanging borderline insulting personal comments towards a debate with a chance for compromise, if we were two parties negotiating a contract or so?
Believe it or not – as mentioned in my post to Noah – I actually agree with many of your facts. I feel that the difference in our opinion lays mainly in the conclusions we draw from them and the pragmatic strategies we want to derive.
Allow me please to go ahead and lay a foundation for the above first.
1.) I feel that any individual opinions and perspectives regarding any topic are shaped by age, cultural and political background, personal experiences, knowledge, education and even gender at times. Kind of a mix of the aforementioned which makes you Susan or me Michel, truly unique Individuals.. Not two people are 100% congruent. Agreed?
2.) In light of the above and in my line of business as top exec who negotiates almost on a daily basis, I, Michel, must always look for common ground and find win-win resolutions. Oftentimes I am finding myself having to mediate between departments and/or individual associates. Due to grave long term potential consequences, I oftentimes can not afford to do the "right (radical) thing", even though I may deep down feel compelled to do so.
3)The willingness to find grey in between black and white is key – Heck - I ( personally and individually) believe that a resolution to an almost impossible dead end such as the current Palestine Conflict, could be found, if all parties were willing to give an inch, and would honestly be willing to depart from their bunkers, where they have dug in for so many years..It would take a gigantic effort to break the vicious circle of action and reaction (enormously charismatic, visionary, revolutionary leaders on both sides with new ideas), but most of all - and that is the core point I am trying to make in our debate here : We would have to migrate away from depicting the shortcomings of the other side, mount huge mountains of factual evidenced to that, but would have to focus on even the slightest entry point towards constructive dialogue.
4) And here is the dilemma we face between your position and mine: You brilliantly offer evidence as to why ISLAM is bad, how their teachings are not prone to dialogue, evidence that with many examples I can not refute. ( That's where my nodding happens.) You attack basically, where I try to find an opening. You point outwards in a very compelling manner, where I try to reach the "other side".
5) To use my own analogy – I am to the opinion that this "department" can not be "fired" for the greater good of human kind and hence, even though I am at times appalled myself by the many qualities you or Noah evidenced, and deep down instinctively and instantly find similar instinctive, vegetative, reflexive emotions, which do indeed scare me, I for my own personal reasons try to remain open-minded.
6) To use another simplistic approach to outline our difference in Modus Operandi: Take a standard situation of conflict between two domestic partners. You may agree that, when the fight breaks out, it never ends in peace, when solely accusing the other (pointing outwards) - mostly so, when using pauschal statements such as :" you always do, you always don't. Even though at times the actual statement may be true, the other side will be pushed into a defensive mode responding with: " and you? You always do that.. and so on". As daily life so often demonstrates, such debates usually end up with slammed doors and no resolution. In the case of conflicts between countries or deeply penetrated culture and religion - that has led to a lot of horrific blood shed and misery. Agreed?
7) The above lays my individual foundation for my individual, personal philosophy that I try to abstain from " who did what (first)" and move towards conciliation. I will honor your effort towards that in your last response with a deeply personal experience I want to share with you.
Years back, for a variety of reasons I do not want to get into, I found myself in a state of mind, where I continuously woke up thinking about ways to kill myself. I did not see colors anymore. I needed 3 glasses of wine a night to fall asleep and yet never managed to sleep through, waking up with terrible nightmares.
Many (healthy, intelligent, wonderful) people talked to me and tried to evidence, that I was obviously suffering from depression in the purest definition of a mental sickness. As a member of an intelligent, proud, medical family I sure got angry, when somebody tried to "talk down to me, patronize me" and "tell" me, that I, Michel, needed to see a Psychiatrist? Who the hell are you to tell me, what I needed to do, who the hell are you to tell me, how I feel - you are not in my shoes, you do not know how I feel - was my standard reaction to even well intended critique by family and friends.
So I denied and progressed into a terrible downwards spiral of depression, until I ended up in fact in a hospital…….
Shortly after that – still no healing - and here comes the analogy for our gap in between positions, Susan - I ended up on a walk on the beach with yet another friend.
This guy out of the blue started to speak about himself, that he since childhood was suffering from chronic depression and needed anti-depressants for the rest of his life. He told my about his symptoms, yet never once even mentioned me, or how he saw the same in me. He just described what he himself was going through and………. All of a sudden…… I found myself in his story…"darn – I feel that too, that's exactly what I experience….. was a sudden self-realization..
He did not point out my shortcomings, he pointed out his own, thus, not feeling patronized and pushed into a defensive mode, I had the space to come to acceptance with the fact that I needed help. Dozens of people (closest friends and family) yelled at me, begged me, patronized me, kicked me, educated me in any way, to achieve my self-realization and motivate me to take action about my sickness – yet it took one single guy who talked about nothing but his own experiences, looking inwards, to make me understand, that I needed to pull myself out of the misery. Needed to "reform".
Result: I did go to therapy, was 3 months on Anti-depressants and never looked back since.
Susan – while that example may not be workable or representative to the topic "ISLAM", this guy with this approach saved my individual life. It is why I try at least to apply the very same introspective approach to this issue.
It is not that I hate Christianity – I try to be a worthy representative –
All I try is to not judge, but try to find even the slightest bit of common ground, the lowest common denominator in a sense. Simply because I strongly believe that ISLAM as a culture or religion is here to stay and can not by any means be "removed or eradicated". ( I know, Noah – you think it could be done J)
The simple difference between you and Noah or myself is, that I accept them as a fact of life, like the weather and am convinced that fundamentally a western style democracy is so much superior to any other form of regime that leading by example alone may prove to be sufficient to "convert" radicals of any origin.
The taste of true freedom is a dangerous drug. Once experienced, you'll never wanna give it up. One challenge however, the middle east for instance considered, is that millions of people do not know, what they so fanatically despise. The demonisation of all Infidels is to my opinion mostly pure ignorance.
They simply do not know better. But Ideas do not stop at borders and the truth has a nasty habit – it can not be suppressed over time – it always comes out eventually. China (slowly) has migrated more and more towards a capitalist mentality, The Sovjets collapsed, North Korea will implode, while democracy country by country slowly penetrates. Yes - sometimes in a two steps forward, one step back motion, but nevertheless.
Do such countries have a long way to go? Absolutely
In conclusion of my effort to explain to you my personal philosophy, I feel that we have a lot of opportunities for self-critique and hence maybe, just maybe offer the patient a chance for "healing". I do not compare ISLAM to Christianity, their short comings to ours, their history vs. ours, as it is to no avail, is a mute point.
As mentioned in many of my posts, I dare to offer that we must explore on our own end all ways to ensure co-existence and cooperation and allow them, assist them, to reform from within. In a way yes - it is the moral high ground, but I call it, as opposed to you not weakness, but self-confidence and inner strength.
Not only both of them are aiming to the same goal, but when the time will come, the ones that seems to you "indifferent" or "moderate", won't move a finger to defend the last piece of freedom remained. There won't be any Shindler's List the muslim way. They will join with the "tiny minority of extremists" that will rule.No doubt - a distinctive possibility. In my mind one of many possible futures.
Think about it. Have you ever read that a muslim was praising sincerely something west-made? Reinassiance, Enlightment, Art, Culture, Literature.
No- but I consider the fact that almost all conquerors eventually took credit for achievements of the conquered as a fact of life and basic human behavior. I'd love to hear a Muslim talk about the achivements you mention. The silence is indeed deplorable.They cannot see the beauty of Venus by Botticelli, they just see a dirty, naked, western kaffir.
We are talking about people who thinks themselves superior.Muslims – do you concur? If yes – we are back at ground zero indeed/
Talk to a muslim, he will tell you that the muslim world is PERFECT, no matter how many people die of starvation, honor killing, terrorism, unjustice etc.
If true – and I haven't seen much to the contrary indeed - you are right again.
"If God wills it." A Palestinian friend of mine explained to me that even the weather forecaster will qualify his prediction, "It will rain tomorrow. Inshallah." Or, "I will meet you tomorrow, inshallah." (But God understands that I am a very unreliable person.)
I remember giving a pep talk to my students before a crucial exam, "You are all going to pass the exam, right?" "Inshallah teacher." "No, no!" I shouted, "No inshallah. Study!"
Good one – even though the mindset is now really not hurting me in any way or form. "So God will" is something not too unfamiliar with us either…. Godspeed, when the Astronauts took of for the moon was used too.
Doesn't work that way for them, God's Truth is laid out in some detail in the Koran, and not to believe it is a sin.
Also, unlike what you say, this is NOT absolutely the right time to strike. In their tribalistic mentality they are scared that a big guy (USA) will nuke them into sand. It's not that far fetched.
Evident Strikes will be absolutely counterproductive. We still have nukes, we still have the power to restrain them. They know us too well, they know that we could seriously restrain them.
A bit too simplistic for my taste – Using nukes on a large scale? We'd be destroying the very world we live in as well. Conventional means to suppressing even 25% of the World population across the globe? Not feasible.
To cut it short, muslims blab about they love peace, they want to live peacefully bla bla, but ask them if they consider you equal, with equal rights, equal capabilities. If they are sincere and they are not lying, they will tell you that they consider themselves superior and more deserving.
Which is, by historical reference exactly why, if you are right, it will be their demise. No regime, culture or government has survived in the long run with that mindset. (Luckily)
This pathology is commonly seen also in people who always blame someone else for their problems. Have you noticed that when a muslim talks he never takes the blame for everything? I also read that some turks are convinced that they practice genocide on armenians because armenians attacked first! can you believe that? Armenians are 6 millions (including children, elders and women), the turkish army at that time was powerful. Can you believe that?
I wonder, why milosevich was severely restrained when he talked of the GREAT SERBIA, why hitler was severely restrained when he talked of aryan race, and ataturk was NEVER RESTRAINED even VERBALLY when he did the VERY SAME THINGS?
Why do we have to say Cortez was a bloodlusting criminal that he is a very FAR person from our times while they have to praise ataturk as a semi god?
Look, ataturk was something worse than the italian dictator mussolini (Mussolini never practice genocide and never talked so clearly of the superior italian race) but while mussolini was brutally murdered and considered the second worse european personality after Hitler, Ataturk is a SEMI-GOD, the attachment of the turks to this genocidal is very close to they insane love for the pedo-prophet.
Once again - You make a ( to my opinion futile) effort to compare numbers and atrocities. It is mute to condemn Ataturk from our end - all we can do is condemn Mussolini and hopefully some Muslims will follow suit and look at their own a bit more critically.
If you insult ataturk in turkey you take your life at great risk, if you insult mussolini or hitler I bet people are patting you on the shoulders.
Quite actually not necessarily true. Even though I deem Bush as one of the worst presidents we ever had, I get incredibly angry, when he is insulted by Europeans for instance. I never have that feeling, when the media here does the same. Hence, if an outsider, let's say a Swiss, goes to Germany and hammers them continuously on their past and the NAZIS, he may well end up beaten up. My point again and again" critique must come from within.
This is NEGATIVE. Muslims are arrogant by nature.
The above statement is a wonderful example for my analogy above, a fight between husband and wife.
The west don't need to over-breed. It's a fact that the richest countries are the ones less populated, Denmark, Finland. Few population of course means that everybody stays better. As for paying elders pensions there are thousands other ways to resolve the problem than wild immigration and force western women to breed.
That is not, what I promote. But just urely social economical reasons (baby boomer move towards pension age, we better start building a foundation and have children again.
There is no need to increase western demographics. We have an average of 1.2-1.4, let's just take it to 1.6-1.8. We don't need to reach 3.5-4.
That stands in opposition to any sources I read: Western Europe is shrinking, not growing. The US is stagnant at best, as far, as children are concerned. In 50 years, real estate in Pisa will be cheap.
Something as absurd as pedo-parties can democratically express themselves and even risk to present themselves at elections. Why not sharia?
UK cannot outlaw forced marriages, cannot outlaw muslim halal food, cannot outlaw, cannot outlaw poligamy that is widely practiced because the muslims associations are taking them literally by the balls for fear to be called racists. You don't call that "slow implementation of little parts of sharia"?
I see the same uncomfortable tendencies here too. The catering to minorities goes way too far indeed. I just do not see it as solely Islamophobic phenomenon, but across cultures and religion.
We have enormous difficulties in banning the burqa which is outrageously against the law! try to walk around with a mask, you are stopped and questioned. Burqad women can still walk freely in many eu countries. There is a specific law in italy that's 70 years old that forbids going around masked but the muslim women are getting a free pass not to hurt their sensibilities!!!
I agree with you again. Our laws are not enforced and minorities are given freedoms in our own countries to the extent of erosion of our own core values.
France has got cambodian immigrants too having been colonial power in former indochina, yet you don't see peaceful buddist cambodians shouting "buddah is great" when they set a car on fire.
that's because their abuse of our legal system hasn't been properly punished. When they call us apes and pigs and call for holocaust on us and another 9-11 they should be taken like nazi delirium and sent to jail.
I agree again - but in my book, anyone who calls for violence should be prosecuted. We have here the beginnings of a hate crime legislature a la Germany and the Nazis. Needs massive development. As far as the imprisoned are concerned, the common criminal, not religious fanatics are a vast majority. Not just in the USA, but throughout Europe as well. Hate crime statistics across the western world have not demonstrated significant increased either way.
no matter what you try to say about it. Nowadays no person would be ostacized, banned or killed for being pagan. Throughout the muslim history you are ostracised, banned or killed for being non muslim.
You are not able to dismiss this fact. Christianity had the seeds of tolerance, no matter how it was misused for political reasons. Islam has the seeds of inequality, suprematism.
Certainly true again. I am not arguing the fact.
why we bombed dresda knowing that there were peaceful germans that had nothing to do with the nazis? why we dropped hiroshima when we knew that there were peaceful japaneses?
Conventional War, different enemy, different magnitude, different political environment and a unified world against one evil force. Choice of the lesser of two evils as mentioned above.
lack of will. What we do with nazi associations preaching anti semitism? JAIL What we do with muslims doing the same stuff in their mosques? NOTHING
I agree again, insofar as the west was aware of some radical imams and specific mosques, yet passively watched.
"Timothy McVeigh was according to all media with a shredd of legitmacy , a homegrown right wing supremacist with a grudge against our domestic administration"so why you call him a "christian terrorist"?
It's obvious that we are not equal before the law, some people are more equal than others.See OJ Simpson or any rich in the USA who gets a better defense than the normal gang banger in LA.
you are not aware of the voices around yuo, by the way , i don't consider racist to be an insult, while you just proved me that our immobility is due to how we are scared to be called racists. It's a well know fact that the german swiss look down on french swiss that look down on italian swiss, but it's all good. Every country is like that and only hipocriticals and politically correct idiots deny it.
Okay – fair enough – My definition of racist is declaring one self as master race or better.Actual Discrimination of other cultures and religion. In that interpretation I resent racism coming from ISLAM or any direction so ever.
Also, immigrants from italy (but I could tell you many other places too) referred to the treatment given to them as that, we always joke that the italian swiss call us italians 3rd worlders. But we are not offended, we just understand and WE AGREE.
I once went to Zurich in 2004 and saw posters of a politician openly saying "we oppose immigrants", that's why admire this courage to be "racists" which as I told you, is not an offence, but it's telling it like it is.
You probably saw Blocher – indeed a rep of what I would call here the right wing. Yep - we got a lot of those too.
probably it was forced because the EU is posing import tax on products coming from switzerland, so you have to give up a bit. Our most famous millionaire Berlusconi had to use a far relative to buy a house in switzerland, so I guess your law is VERY RECENT
Of course, Susan, any reformation – if you will call it so – is usually also motivated by some form of outside pressure or frame conditions. Sarcastic side remark - Berlusconi is now really not one of the shining lights of the achievements of western democracy.
Native swiss still have the power and the number is controlled, that alone is a strange fact in EU. No other country is so small, rich and controlled.
Allow any other country to refuse locally muslims and nobody would have a problem with muslims anymore. Switzerland kicks out anybody that they don't like, you cannot expect the other countries to be that happy with muslims if you don't grant them the same luxury. Your immigrants are cherry picked. Something that's a dream for other countries.
Not quite true, as we – if they do not commit crimes - do not deport them, but prolong their "Green Card".
switzerland hosts the family of Bin Laden and probably much of his money, I wouldn't call that something to be proud of.
Terrible fact indeed – that CH has been perverted too at times as safe haven for criminals. Massive skeletons in the bank closets of my home country - I definitely am not proud of that part of our history.
Like the old Chinese proverb says 'If one sits on the bank of the river long enough they will see the body of their enemy floating by!
I counter with another one: You can be part of the solution - or you can be part of the problem. You can either passively rest on the bank of the river and simply see life floating by or can board the ship of progress and control your direction.
lebanon was a decent democracies until the muslims outbreed the christians. OOOPS my theories are proven right once again
" Chineses and russians have different day celebrations for new years eve, do you think their plea for days off school will be obeyed as quickly like the muslims festivity?
I see everyday the rights of people being denied to please the muslims. You are too blind and too ignorant of news to realize it. We non-muslims are already discriminated. Democracy is not here anymore. I cannot defend what's not here anymore. A child intolerant to hazelnut that DIED at school because she couldn't notice there was hazelnut in a cake. Her mother warned the teachers but our nature is so willing to respect the freedom of others and not ask for the ban of hazelnut in the whole school. For the mother's respect, her child died. No muslim is restraining himself for asking for halal food and impose their ways on others. In the UK the whole school ordered halal food for ALL KIDS, knowing that non-muslim kids possibly didn't want to eat stuff killed the muslim ways.
In france a judge ordered a charity org not to serve PORK in the soup, not to offend muslims.
Again facts I can not deny. Tragic – Idiotic - demonstrates undue influence of religion and church across the board on our political life. I just see this happen across the board.
NOah's personal experiences are MORE and MORE REAL. HAve you engaged to your friendly muslims with talks of jews and gays and women rights? I don't have any problems in talking with others about the crimes of the church or of my civilization or of the roman empire. Do you think they would start telling you about the "problems " of islam and/or islamic countries? I bet NO
I actually did and had interesting debates. But then again, that was only my personal experience.
I deal with muslims too, it's just that my observation is limited to my working hours because I would never befrend any of them, I don't talk to who calls me dirty beast.
ok relativism at its finest, history is all a fairy tale, why do we study it? It's all right or all wrong, it doesn't matter. SO when are you converting to the religion that gave more to human civilization, islam?
No, please – that's not it. I advocate just a tiny bit of caution when using History. Nothing more and nothing less. I allow myself to question any source, even history books. Inasmuch as you do not feel Racist being an insult, I do not feel insulted being called a relativist. It is accepting ALL things and any statement always with a grain of salt. Why is that so bad?
"First of all, if memory serves me right, Allahu Akhbar means God is great. "
NO it means GOD (their god) is GREATEST, GREATER (than any other god)
If you don't know islamic scriptures, restrain from giving wrong explanations/translations.
Calm down, Susan and read above: I put in a disclaimer " If memory serves me right"…..So I did not claim to know the exact meaning.
"Such enclaves are a socio-demographic powder keg and it should be outlawed to have stores with merchandise not labeled in English, street signs in Vietnamese or city blocks which feel like a countryside in China."
this is a proof that you treat non-muslim immigrants worse than muslim immigrants. Why we are criminalizing chinatown when chinese people don't want to overthrown the government? they don't want to even import their communism.
You twist my meaning again – I advocated to refrain from allowing ANY minority so ever to live in an enclave of their own home countries within the US., because its ramifications on a peaceful co-existence can be severe. We have seen it here in my direct "neighborhood". All it takes is one stupid police beating of either a black, muslim or Hispanic person and the whole place erupts in racial riots. I f we allow for instance that all versa teller machines, all groceries, even street signs are in two languages (Spanish and English), we set a terribly dangerous legal precedence. As soon, as such is being implemented in a legislature, in our current climate the attorneys for another minority will come along and expect the very same special treatment.
That is why all of a sudden burkas are being discussed, Happy Hannukah must be on greeting cards, hell, they want to even revise our Pledge of Allegiance nowadays by removing the passus….one nation under God. The insanity goes inand comes from all directions and, As opposed to you I see the danger much more fundamentally – undue influence of various religions and cultures on the day to day life in the western world. Not just Islam.
Separation of Church and state is being eroded as we speak. In a way - we do not disagree again. Can you see that?
I bet if it was Noah telling the very same stuff you'd be... ok. If there is someone writing the same stuff as myself is noah. Yet you are ... agreeing, could it be that you are misogynist at best? ...
I respect your position.
ALBEIT – I invite any Muslim or Christian, Buddhist or Taoist, Agnostic or bloody Alien, who wants to engage in an educational, constructive dialogue to contact me directly. In the sense of analyzing his/her own culture but not point fingers at mine. I heard enough Westerners qualifying ISLAM. I saw some Propaganda in return. I am tired of it.
If you wish - send me your stats to
Other than that – I extend my respect - and this time.. that's it.
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