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1 Bob Levin  Apr 1, 2012 2:56:04pm

This has been going on for years. I suspect it’s one of the reasons that Tom Friedman no longer covers the Middle East from the Middle East. Strict, and I do mean strict, control of the press is the way that they control the narrative.

2 RoadWarrior  Apr 1, 2012 8:26:48pm

This is not a Palestinian problem. This is a problem throughout almost the entire Islamic world.

Those who believe in the Golden Age of Islam can go and buy the Brooklyn Bridge; these periods were brief, typically led by minorities and indigenous/pre-Islamic cultures not yet expunged, and not quite so tolerant as believed (Maimonides was made to flee in fear of his life from Spain to Morocco to across all northern Africa to Egypt during this Golden Age and found refuge in Egypt only because the king needed a good doctor).

When you glorify a tyrant theologically, when your greatest religious aspiration is military victory, you are naturally going to glorify tyrants in your own country. Ugly, fascistic populism.

This is NOT tyrants suppressing the people.

This IS tyrants reflecting the will of the people…the very definition of populism.

This is why the Arab Spring has ONE UNIFORM OUTCOME, no matter where it is fought.

This problem is not going anywhere.

It will get worse as the embers of Hindu culture are expunged in Malaysia and Indonesia and as Ataturk’s secular (read: anti-Islam) reforms are reversed and as the military rule of Syria and Libya and Iraq (and maybe of Egypt) are destroyed.

3 Bob Levin  Apr 2, 2012 1:56:36am

re: #2 RoadWarrior

On the upside, your explanation does account for the facts on the ground, and it may be predictive of future events. So it’s very sound on two important levels.

However, this is the sentence on which it all hinges:

This IS tyrants reflecting the will of the people…the very definition of populism.

Whose definition of will, or consciousness are we using? The most superficial definition makes this statement very problematic—who would will themselves into being oppressed? At this point your explanation has the problem. But if we take a definition of consciousness that is more complex, structured more like geology, multi-layered beneath the surface, then problem moves to those being oppressed—where the solution might be to break the mirror rather than look inside.

This would also assume a relationship between some inner or deeper layer of consciousness and the world as it appears. This is the first assumption of religion, and different religions have different reactions to this. However, if one is religious, then this relationship between consciousness and the world is a postulate—a postulate that will confirm itself daily, many times.

4 RoadWarrior  Apr 2, 2012 7:25:16am

Thank you, Bob, for your feedback.

I will try to re-state this assertion in another way which, hopefully, will make it more clear.

Islam offers its followers a basic trade.

Proclaim Mohammed as the final word of God and, in turn, you will be entitled to treat women and children and minorities in the same way that he did.

Only a tyrant would permit the restriction of the rights of women and minorities in this manner. Yes, Muslim men (who decide what happens in Muslim countries by allowing their chieftan to rule) prefer having a tyrant than giving up the right to act as little tyrants themselves over their women and minorities.

You are identifying that if only they knew a better world, they would change their mind. This is paternalistic and, in any event, too hypothetical to matter. Also, it may well be the case that they are happier with the trade detailed above. There is really no way for us to know that, even if we think it, since we have never tried living their way.

5 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 2, 2012 7:31:39am

re: #4 RoadWarrior

Making blanket statements about Islam, as though it doesn’t exist in a hundred different forms, is stupid as hell.

6 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 2, 2012 7:34:27am

re: #4 RoadWarrior

Do you think the leaders of the US prior to the Civil Rights Movement were tyrants?

7 Talking Point Detective  Apr 2, 2012 7:47:09am

re: #4 RoadWarrior

Proclaim Mohammed as the final word of God and, in turn, you will be entitled to treat women and children and minorities in the same way that he did.

How do you feel about Christians and Jews who believe in restricting the freedoms of woman and minorities as a precept of their religion?

8 The Mother Of All Pies  Apr 2, 2012 7:56:09am

re: #2 RoadWarrior

Maimonides was made to flee in fear of his life from Spain to Morocco to across all northern Africa to Egypt during this Golden Age and found refuge in Egypt only because the king needed a good doctor

Rambam was invited to become the personal physician of the King of England and yet turned down that invitation, preferring to remain in a Muslim-controlled land. Hmmm, why was that?

9 Bob Levin  Apr 2, 2012 8:52:59am

re: #8 Learned Mother of Zion

England sucked, Spain was quite beautiful and far more sanitary. Spain was on a different planet than Europe. Better planet.

10 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 2, 2012 9:08:35am

re: #9 Bob Levin

And Christians were persecuting the hell out of Jews and massacring them, too.

11 Bob Levin  Apr 2, 2012 9:10:40am

re: #4 RoadWarrior

You see what I meant by the argumentative problems rest with you if you take a superficial view of consciousness? Your argument won’t stand up.

However, if you take the complex view of who we are, then the question moves to what lies within us that leads to this tyranny—that Erich Fromm described as The Escape From Freedom. And this book was not written for Muslims.

You might be correct in terms of what will happen as a result of the Arab Spring, or what might happen in Turkey, Malaysia, Syria, etc. But reducing the populations to one-dimension will not explain world events.

You have a reasonable hypothesis—that these social movements will not end well. And so the question would be why? It is why, since we have enough history behind us to ask. I’m simply saying that to really explain this, one needs a complex view of consciousness, a deeper view of who we are. And examining this will not necessarily lead to pleasant answers.

However, working through this mountain of unpleasantness will lead to better things.

12 Bob Levin  Apr 2, 2012 9:11:56am

re: #10 Obdicut

The Crusaders were actually the criminal class on a joy gallop through the Middle East and Spain.

13 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 2, 2012 9:13:14am

re: #12 Bob Levin

Yeah, but it can’t be all blamed on them. Everywhere in Christendom, abuse of Jews was just absolutely standard practice. The nations that had different policies stood out as exceptions, and usually that only lasted a couple generations before it was back to confiscating Jewish possessions and kicking them out of the country.

14 Bob Levin  Apr 2, 2012 9:17:06am

re: #13 Obdicut

True. But the Crusaders accidentally brought Europe closer to civilization, as the vast amounts of Arab knowledge crept into the European—gosh, you can’t even call it scholarship they were so backwards. And this is caused many European nations to need the Jews, to help translate the Arab texts, with wild concepts, like ‘zero’.

15 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Apr 2, 2012 9:26:07am

re: #14 Bob Levin

The transmission of knowledge generally happened through conventional means, not the Crusaders sacking and pillaging.

16 Charles Johnson  Apr 2, 2012 10:02:40am

Oh for Pete’s sake. Not this again.


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