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zipperhead_cop

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Glorified Ape said:
I agree, though I think you might be hard pressed on the Buddhist thing.

Cases for Violence—Interpretation of Duããhagãmani and the Reception of a Pervasive Myth in History of Sri Lanka

Though Pãli canonical texts do not contain explicit textual evidence to support violence or remarks to justify violence, certain genre of post-canonical literature, for example, one of the Pãli chronicles, the Mahãvamsa of Mahãnãma composed in Sri Lanka in the fifth CE, unfortunately contains a narrative which disturbs the pacifist image of Theravãda Buddhism. Though the intention of this particular monastic author, Mahãnãma, is open for debate, this isolated reference is problematic when placed within the early Buddhist Pãli canonical textual corpus. This pervasive narrative gives the impression that in certain circumstances when the ultimate end is noble, the use of certain degree of violence is not going to harm the Buddha’s doctrine of non-violence and pacifist path.

To examine justifications of political violence in Sri Lanka and the growth of nationalism, a careful study of the myth of the battle between King Duããhagãmani and King Elãra is essential. What Steven Kemper has rightly put as that: “The Past inhabits the present in a variety of ways—in practices, things and memory”6 demonstrates the implications of this myth on both Sinhala and Tamil communities in modern Sri Lanka.

The Mahãvamsa narrative discusses the war between King Duããhagãmani and King Elãra. While Duããhagãmani was a Sinhala in origin, a native of Sri Lanka, Elãra was a Dravidian and an invader. As the text records, in this complex ethnic battle, Duããhagãmani presented his war as a measure to protect Buddhism from the foreign rule of Elãra:

When the king Duããhagãmani had had a relic put into his spear he marched to Tissamahãrãma, and had shown favour to the brotherhood he said: ‘I will go on to the land on the further side of river to bring glory to the doctrine. Give us, that we may treat them with honour, bhikkhus who shall go on with us, since the sight of the bhikkhus is blessing and protection for us.’ (Mahãvamsa 25.1-4)

In this Mahãvamsa passage, the reference to “bring glory to the doctrine” can be taken as providing safety and protection to the Buddhist teachings, practices and institutions in Sri Lanka. “Brotherhood” refers to the Buddhist monastic community collectively known as the sangha. Having a company of bhikkhus (monks) with him while marching for war is perceived as an act of securing protection for Duããhagãmani himself at the time of war. However, the monks’ marching with troops is perceived by monks themselves “as a penance” (25.4). Placing a relic in the spear is an apotropaic action intended to ward off evil forces at times of troubles as believed in many pre-modern societies.

Nevertheless, the task at hand for Duããhagãmani was a rather difficult one since the text represents Elãra as a righteous king. In a dual battle, Duããhagãmani killed Elãra (25:67-70). After Elãra’s death, Duããhagãmani honoured him by cremating him and marking the place with a monument and instituting a worship there.

The remorse that Duããhagãmani had after the battle was quite severe and similar to the one that Emperor Asoka had after his battle in Kãlinga. Like in the case of Emperor Asoka, a transformation occurs, though not so dramatic, in the life of Duããhagãmani through the intervention of Buddhist monastic community. Their intervention in removing Duããhagãmani’s remorse can be seen as a ‘rehabilitation strategy’ for an evil king who had executed a lot of suffering in pursuing a battle. In this case, the rehabilitation strategy is used to direct the king to Buddhist works. Though the ‘rehabilitation’ of the king is a noble one, the justifications that the monks provided in consoling the king are controversial and problematic. They bear serious implications on the issue whether there are justifications of violence within Theravãda Buddhism.

The Mahãvamsa states (25:104) that the arahants in Piyangudipa knowing Duããhagãmani’s remorse sent a group of eight holy monks to comfort him; when Duããhagãmani confessed that he had slaughtered millions, what they said to Duããhagãmani to eliminate his remorse is highly problematic:

From this deed arises no hindrance in thy way to heaven. Only one and a half human beings have been slain here by thee, O lord of men. The one had come unto the (three) refuges, the other had taken on himself the five precepts. Unbelievers and men of evil life were the rest, not more to be esteemed than beasts. But as for thee, thou wilt bring glory to the doctrine of the Buddha in manifold ways; therefore cast away care from thy heart, O ruler of men! Thus exhorted by them the great king took comfort” (Mahãvamsa 25:109-112).

As this Mahãvamsa passage demonstrates, Duããhagãmani’s remorse is eliminated by telling him that killing ‘evil unbelievers’ carries no more weight than killing animals. As practitioners of ‘loving kindness’ (mettã), Buddhists have an obligation to protect all forms of life. It is important to note that not only human beings but killing even animals is not encouraged in Buddhism.7 When contrasted with canonical doctrines and early Buddhist practices, this fifth century chronicle position is rather controversial. This passage in the Mahãvamsa seems to suggest that certain forms of violence such as killings during war can be allowed in certain circumstances such as in the case of threats to the survival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka during the time of Duããhagãmani.


Deliberately taken out of context ;D  (Gotta love those Google guys)
 

Kirkhill

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More out of context Buddhism.  ;)

CBC Interview with the Dalai Lama

Hana Gartner: I'll work on it. I know that you believe that people are essentially benevolent and peaceful. You do. But then help me, as a parent, how do I explain to my children about 9/11, Madrid, Iraq, the Middle East, the horrible examples of anti-Semitism that we're experiencing right here?

Dalai Lama: Some crisis or violence here and there, it will always happen, always happen to human beings on this planet. This is a problem, all this happens. But then we have to look at whole picture. I think if you look at whole picture, I think today's world compared to early period 20th century, I think today much better, because I think awareness, I think, and because I think human way of thinking more widened.

Hana Gartner: But isn't it hard to tell somebody who is suffering who is in pain, be patient, it's going to get better? That's very hard.

Dalai Lama: Now two levels to come to these things. One, yes, we need immediate help to these people. Of course. On another level, we have to think how to prevent this in future. These two things are very important. Now, in some cases – now, for example – in the condemnation for terrorists, some using some violence. Yes, in particular circumstances, under particular circumstances, yes, it could be justified. However, this is not the full answer for long run.

Hana Gartner: But this is extraordinary. The Dalai Lama said violence under certain circumstances you could see as justified?

Dalai Lama: Possible. Look, First World War, Second World War. I think Second World War, at least, although millions of people killed, suffer, immense, but really I was against war because war is some kind of legalized maximum violence. I'm always against. However, and like Second World War and Korean War, at least to protect the rest of the democratic civilization, and Korea, South Korea protected. As a result, more prosperity and democracy, freedom, these things. So sometimes... But then I think the difficult thing is when violence is started, eventually there's always a danger the situation become out of control, chain reaction, chain violence like Vietnam. All those same motivations, same strategy, same goal, but fail. Therefore, I always believe right from the beginning, must avoid violence.

Hana Gartner: But while you can concede that sometimes it's necessary, there are those in Tibet who believe there is justification that if you do not stand up, if you just are a pacifist, you empower the person who is oppressing you.

Dalai Lama: Individual case? For example, if mad dog coming, almost certain now bite you. Then if you say, non-violence, non-violence and compassion…

Hana Gartner: You get bitten!

Dalai Lama: That's kind of foolish! You have to take use of self-defence. But without harming, without serious harming another, I think that's the way I feel. If someone try to shoot on you, then there is no possibility to run away, then you have to hit back. Then possibly not on head, but leg or something like that. So that's not serious hit back, but more lenient way, more gentle way.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/dalailama/interview.html

Violence isn't always unjustified.  Doctrine of minimum force, least harm.
 

zipperhead_cop

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"Uncle Dali WANTS YOU! For the First Tactical Fast Attack (but minimal controled damage) Tibetan Expeditionary Force".

I want to see how they make saffron into a camo pattern. :warstory:
 

zipperhead_cop

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Kirkhill said:
Would they march to Mantras?
Man, and I thought the Highland Regiments has a slow cadence! ;D.  Who would lead it, the guy with the little drum on a handle with the balls on a string?  I love those things!

BTW, of course some other dink needs to be a headline grabber:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cpress/20060208/ca_pr_on_na/ns_prophet_drawings

That is, like, soooo last January...anyway, gawd!
 

winchable

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Do those drums actually make a noise? I heard they were just for show!

I know Peter March and I've sat in on his classes.

The Muslims students who initially confronted him had a valid reason, they fell under the "don't shout fire" category I believe.
The ones who said "remove the drawings or face the consequences" should not be in university and I'm actually going to see if I can find them. Not for violent reasons, for reasons of discourse.

Being brought up in the Muslim tradition or any religious tradition really, I've always had serious issues with people who say they refuse to qualify/quantify God becuase that would degrade the concept yet go out and say things they've heard about God and not consider this somehow qualifying or quantifying God.
 

zipperhead_cop

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Che said:
The ones who said "remove the drawings or face the consequences" should not be in university and I'm actually going to see if I can find them. Not for violent reasons, for reasons of discourse.

And after you have a hearty "discourse" please forward their info to your local RCMP or police station.  Best case scenario, they are religious bullies, heady with the ever-threat of jihadist random violence and could use a good sorting out from an officer about the consequences of making death threats. 
Worst case scenario, they are actually in a cell, and are zealots who would do something.  There are far too many stories of people who got killed by whackjobs who gave off lots of readable signs, but others failed to realize them, or take them seriously. 

These cartoons have got to be the dumbest rallying point for free speech ever.
 

a_majoor

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The cartoons are only an excuse to try and trump our values in our own lands, and our own homes. Two perspectives:

Losing Civilization
Are we going to tolerate the downfall of Western ideals?

The great wealth and leisure created by modern technology have confused some in the modern age into thinking that history is linear. We expect that each generation will inevitably improve upon the last, as if we, the blessed of the 21st century, would never chase out Anaxagoras or execute Socrates — or allow others to do so — in our modern polis.

Often such material and moral advancement proves true — look at the status of brain surgery now and 100 years ago, or the notion of equality under the law in 1860 and in 2006.

But just as often civilization can regress. Indeed, it can be nearly lost in a generation, especially so now, with technology acting as an afterburner of sorts which warps the rate of change, both good and bad.

Who would have thought, after the Enlightenment and the advance of humanism, that a 20th-century Holocaust would redefine the 500-year-old Inquisition as minor in comparison?

Did we envision that, little more than 60 years after Dachau, a head-of-state would boast openly about wiping out the remaining Jews? Or did we ever believe in the time of the United Nations and religious tolerance that radical Muslims would still be seriously promising to undo the Reconquista of the 15th century?

Did any sane observer dream, in the era of UNESCO and sophisticated global cultural heritage preservation, that the primitive Taliban would blow up and destroy, with impunity, the iconic Buddhist statues chiseled into the sandstone cliffs of Bamiyan that had survived 1,700 years of war, earthquakes, conquests, and weather?

Surely those who damned the inadvertent laxity of the Americans in not stopping others from looting the Baghdad museum should have expressed far greater outrage at the far greater, and intentional, destruction inflicted by the Taliban. Unless, that is, the issue of artistic freedom and preservation was never really the principle after all, but only the realistic calculation that, while George Bush's immensely powerful military would not touch a finger of its loudest critic, a motley bunch of radical Islamic fascists might well blow someone up or lop off his head for a tasteless caricature in far off Denmark.

The latest Islamic outrage over the Danish cartoons represents an erosion in the very notion of Western tolerance. Years ago, the death sentence handed down to Salman Rushdie was the dead canary in the mine. It should have warned us that the Western idea of free and unbridled expression, so difficultly won, can be so easily lost.

While listening to the obfuscations of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw about the Danish cartoons, I thought that next he was going to call for a bowdlerization of Dante's Inferno, where Dante and Virgil in the eighth rung of Hell gaze on the mutilated specters of Mahomet and his son Ali, along with the other Sowers of Discord. I grew up reading the text with the gruesome illustrations of Gustave Doré. Can Straw now damn that artist's judgment as well, when the next imam threatens global jihad, more terrorism, an oil cut-off, or to make things worse for Anglo-American troops who are trying to bring democracy to Iraq?

Surely he can apologize that the cross of the Union Jack offends British Muslims? Or perhaps the memory of what Lord Kitchener did in 1898 to the tomb of the Great Mahdi needs contemporary atonement — once one starts down the road of self-censorship, there is never an end to it.

Since Bill Clinton mentioned nothing about free speech and expression or the rights of a newspaper to be offensive and tasteless, but lectured only about cultural insensitivity and the responsibility of the media not to be mean to Muslims, why did he stop with the Danish cartoonists? Surely someone who has apologized for everyone from General Sherman to the Shah could have lamented the work of every Western artist, from Rodin to Dali, who has rendered the Prophet in a bad light.

Like the appeasement of the 1930s, we are in the great age now of ethical retrenchment. So much has been lost even since 1960; then the very idea that a Dutch cartoonist whose work had offended radical Muslims would be in hiding for fear of his life would have been dismissed as fanciful.

Insidiously, the censorship only accelerates. It is dressed up in multicultural gobbledygook about hurtfulness and insensitivity, when the real issue is whether we in the West are going to be blown up or beheaded if we dare come out and support the right of an artist or newspaper to be occasionally crass.

In the post-Osama bin Laden and suicide-belt world of our own, we shudder at these fanatical riots, convincing ourselves that perhaps the Salman Rushdies, Theo Van Goghs, and Danish cartoonists of the world had it coming. All the while, we think to ourselves about the fact that we do not threaten to kill Muslims when they promulgate daily streams of hate and racism in sermons and papers, and much less would we go about promising death to the creator of "Piss Christ" or the Da Vinci Code. How ironic that we now find politically-correct Westerners — those who formerly claimed they would defend to the last the right of an Andres Serrano or Dan Brown to offend Christians — turning on the far milder artists who rile Muslims.

The radical Islamists are our generation's book burners who search for secular Galileos and Newtons. They are the new Nazi censors who sniff out anything favorable to the Jews. These fundamentalists are akin to the Soviet commissars who once decreed all art must serve political struggle — or else.

If we give in to these 8th-century clerics, shortly we will be living in an 8th century ourselves, where we may say, hear, and do nothing that might offend a fundamentalist Muslim — and, to assuage our treachery to freedom and liberalism, we'll always be equipped with the new rationale of multiculturalism and cultural equivalence which so poorly cloaks our abject fear.

There are three final considerations. First, millions of brave reformers in the Muslim world are trying each day to create a tolerant culture and a consensual society. What those in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Egypt want from us is not appeasement that emboldens the radicals in their midst, but patient, careful, and firm explanations that freedom is precious and worth the struggle — even though its use can sometimes bother us. Surely the lesson from Eastern Europe applies: the oppressed there did not appreciate the realpolitik and appeasement of many in the West, but most often preferred a stalwart Reagan to an equivocating Carter.

Second, we, not the Islamists, are secure; our dependency on oil has masked a greater reality: that the Muslim Middle East, as in the days of the Ottomans, is parasitic on the West for advancements of all sorts, from heart surgery to computers. Most of the hatred expressed over the cartoons was beamed on television, through the Internet, or communicated over cell phones that would not exist in Pakistan, Syria, or Iran without imported technology.

The Islamists are also sad bullies, who hunt out causes for offense in the most obscure places, but would recoil at the first sign of Western defiance. Turkey may say little to the Islamists now, but they would say lots if the European Union decided to pass on its inclusion into the union. Local imams sound fiery, but if the West is too debauched a place for any pure Muslim to endure, why then do they not lead, Moses-like, an exodus of the devout away from the rising flood of decadence, and back to the paradise of a purer Syria or Algeria?

Third, the bogus notion of multiculturalism has blinded us to a simple truth: we in the West can live according to our own values and should not allow those radicals who embrace or condone polygamy, gender apartheid, religious intolerance, political autocracy, homosexual persecution, honor killings, female circumcision, and a host of other unmentionables to threaten our citizens within our own countries.

The deluded here might believe that the divide is a moral one, between a supposedly decadent secular West and a pious Middle East, rather than an existential one that is fueled by envy, jealousy, self-pity, and victimization. But to believe the cartoons represent the genuine anguish of an aggrieved puritanical society tainted by Western decadence, one would have to ignore that Turkey is the global nexus for the sex-slave market, that Afghanistan is the world's opium farm, that the Saudi Royals have redefined casino junketeering, and that the repository of Hitlerian imagery is in the West Bank and Iran.

The entire controversy over the cartoons is ludicrous, but often in history the trivial and ludicrous can wake a people up before the significant and tragic follow.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is the author, most recently, of A War Like No Other. How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.
 
  http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200602100920.asp
     

A follower of Islam has this to say, these would be good talking points for dealing with the slightly unhinged or those who would opress us by denying freedom of speach, assembly, religion etc:

Dreams & Realities
Cartoon problems.

By M. Zuhdi Jasser

It seems the issue of cartoons is much in the news these days. As a devout moderate Muslim, I was just recently portrayed in the local Muslim newspaper, Arizona Muslim Voice, as a ravenous dog — on the leash of our state newspaper, and devouring an imam.

Despite the fact that being portrayed as a dog is profoundly offensive if not downright hateful in our Middle Eastern culture, there was hardly a ripple of outrage in the local Muslim community. It seems that in the local Muslim community it's all right to make a vilifying cartoon of me, a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander and medical officer, but certainly not one of bin Laden or al-Zawahiri. I have yet to see them publish one cartoon against the enemies of America in this so-called Muslim newspaper.

Only a few weeks after my caricature, the riots around the Danish cartoons erupted across the globe. True to form, the eruption came months after their printing, only after many so-called imams acting as warlords took the cartoons to the Muslim mimbars (pulpits) of the Middle East.

As many this week have said, this is not about cartoons. This all got me thinking about what drives people. I was born in America, raised a Muslim and a conservative. I have long struggled with what it is that makes my own reflexive passions, and my primary mission, so different from those of the mobs and even from so many of my Muslim neighbors in America. What is the fuse that, once ignited, turns normal people into a mob clamoring for Islam and often for blood?

This question leads me to the subject of our dreams. There are some in my faith who dream of a new Caliphate, a world ruled by and for Islam. It is a seductive call to many in my faith, as dreams always are. But it is anathema to me. I do not believe that we were meant to be one thing, because that, in itself, takes away our free will. My dream can only be real if it is only mine — if it is rooted in the individual success. Once the community or the so-called ummah takes it on as a communal success, it is no longer a dream but an imposition, a violation of freedom and liberty.

Dreams are a funny thing. For example, it is a dream for me that I may one day make the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. But the very thought of living there, makes me feel all hollow inside. Is that not a peculiar thing — that the holiest place for me to visit would not be a holy place for me to live.

That is because the hajj is a dream of mine, a pillar of my faith, but living there would be my reality. The difference between a dream that is fleeting and one that is real always comes down to the question of free will. If I would live there, I would not be free and no devotion that is coerced can ever be true.

That is why my first allegiance is to this country. Without its freedoms and protections, my faith would be something much smaller. That is also why my dream has always been one of a pluralistic, democratic society where all religions and people can feel welcome. Islamists, from the radical to the moderate, would argue that in their dream the will of the majority and the Islamic state become one. What instilled my intense love for the United States from a young age was that our democracy has a Bill of Rights that upholds minorities, prevents oppression by the majority, and keeps religious scripture out of government — the antithesis of Islamism.

The Muslim mobs we see inflamed are not al-Qaeda, but they are enraged Islamists driven by a fear of losing the ideological world war to the West. They fear the West, which honors the individual first and the community second — put another way, America first, and the ummah second. They fear more than anything having to compete in a non-theological legislature by the legal merit of the logic of their principles, rather than from behind the corrupt cloak of their theological monopoly on sharia.

The next question flowing from all this is, "How can we create a new dream for people so driven towards rage?" Dreams are the product of our imagination. If we can visualize something, then we can imagine it becoming a reality.

And that is why I am so enthusiastic about the liberation of Iraq.

If I were to live in the Middle East, all I would see around me in government would be thugs, despots, oil monarchies, and radical theocrats ruling the people in a sea of corruption. How would I be able to imagine freedom where there is none to be found? That is what we are doing in Iraq. We are giving people in that region a sense of what could be. Without a reality in which liberty can thrive, the vacuum is filled by corruption. The reality is replaced by false dreams of a world in which no freedom-loving Jeffersonian Muslim would ever want to live.

I would like to end with my own cartoon. In it, I see all the compassionless theocrats and obscenely rich despots on a ship named al-Titanic leaving the Middle East forever — and, on the shore, the Muslims, Jews, Christians, and all people of faith joyously dancing in victory for the advent of a new Middle Eastern pluralism. Now, that would be a cartoon worth getting excited about.

— M. Zuhdi Jasser is the chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy based in Phoenix, Ariz.
   
  http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/jasser200602100930.asp
       

 

 

blueboy

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What ever happened to Edward Campbell on this thread. I found his insight refreshing, and the fact that Australia has a politician that has a backbone to stand up and say things that we all believe is also refreshing. Maybe if we are lucky, the ideal of a Politician speaking the truth in a clear and concise fashion without any Spin Doctoring  could catch on here in Canada. It would be a breath of fresh air, as usually the technocrat political babble that spews from Ottawa sounds like oh so many used car salesmen telling us that the Corvette we are looking at was only driven by an old lady to church on Sundays.
 

Edward Campbell

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blueboy said:
What ever happened to Edward Campbell on this thread. {?}

Kirkhill, citing Adam Ferguson (1767), spoke of the ”amicable collisions” which served to polish society and make our modern, enlightened, peaceful, secular, multicultural and mutually respectful society possible.  But, when two societies collide, if they have not both been polished to roughly the same level by their own series of amicable collisions then it may be that the requisite level of mutual respect and consequential peaceful intercourse is impossible.

But, consider: suppose the collision between two societies is not amicable at all.  Suppose, rather, that it is, more or less, tectonic – one society is (or is perceived to be) sliding over the other, burying the other, in effect.  The collision would be, as the current one is, anything but amicable; tectonic shifts produce earthquakes.

I noted that a now forgotten commentator suggested that the ongoing, maybe continuous Muslim rage is an acknowledgement that the ‘modern’ Arabic and Islamic nations failed their peoples – they are unable to provide the polished societies which can propel their peoples into the new global village.  Maybe she or he is right; maybe (most of) the Arab and even Islamic nations are already failed, maybe the people in them are, really, raging at fate and the failures of their ancestors – throwing their bombs at the only available targets: us.

 

a_majoor

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Ralph Peters has made many comments on this topic (read back issues of Parameters, for example), but the population is not throwing bombs at us because we are the only target; their rulers and elites explicitly support and encourage this behaviour in order to externalize the problem and divert people from coming after the real source of the problem: right at home.

This isn't unique to Islam, Argentina did it against the UK in the Falkland Islands war, Cuba and now Venezuela routinely blame all their shortcomings on the United States, and there are lots of other examples throughout history.
 

Kirkhill

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Edward:

Not sure - but it sounds like something that Irshad Manji might have referenced - (a young, female, moderate, Muslim that happens to be Canadian and also happens to be lesbian - I used to find lots of reason to critcise her positions before 9/11 but since then I can only admire her having the courage of her convictions).

With respect to your comment about muslims raging against themselves and their fates, perhaps it's worthwhile reviewing "the seven stages of grief".

1) Shock or Disbelief
2) Denial
3) Bargaining stage, the person attempts to reconcile the loss by making deals with other people, sometimes also with Deity.
4) Guilt is marked by statements of "if only I had done/been . . . ".
5) Anger is a natural stage everyone must pass. Anger may be directed toward the loss, the person lost, or even Deity.
6) Depression is a stage that comes and goes throughout the grief process. Resignation at the end of the depression indicates that the truth of the loss has been accepted and the person is ready to move on.
7) Acceptance and Hope means that you understand your life will never be the same but it will go on with meaning and hope.
http://www.snow.edu/~studentlife/griefloss.html

Assuming this to be a valid natural progression, and assuming events were left to naturally take their course, then Islam's collision with modernity in the 1920's could be expected to result at some time in a guilty, angry, depressed, resentful population making bargains with Allah to do better "next time". 

Eventually they would, in the process of time, accept their situation and decide to do things differently.

However, given their 1300 years of history at or near the "top of the heap", and the suddeness and steepness of the fall, it seems reasonable that the recovery period might be extended.  It is likely to further extended if there are people intent on fostering Anger to direct it for their own ends.

How do you deal with an angry, depressed, "anti-social" patient who is already being attended by a pop psychologist encouraging him to act on his urges?  Beyond separating "psychologist" from "patient"?

Bin Laden as Dr. Phil or Oprah?



 

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I recently had a good talk with a college of mine about "tolerance".  He was saying that just by the nature of the word, it suggests that we are tollerating something that we find distasteful.  As far as how the Arab nations run themselves, we are asked to tolerate them.  How about we just "ignore" them.  Not in the security/terrorism sense, but in the "take the cameras home and let them burn flags alone".  That is the only way to deal with a school yard pest.  Ignore them. 
Shore up our borders, give as much as is needed to the intelligence communities to do their jobs, go in and crush these tools when they get too big for their boots ie) nuclear weapons, and then just IGNORE THEM.  I agree with Edward in that the "leaders" of these countries/sects have done a great snow job on their people to distract them from the fact that a theocratically run country is no more viable than the communist ones of yesterday.  Let's leave them be as much as is safe, and let them unravel from within.
 

Kirkhill

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Unfortunately Zipperhead_Cop, as long as "Film at 11" is the order of the day, and private citizens keep offering themselves as hostages against government advice to travel to these countries, we won't be allowed to ignore them.  I don't think anyway.
 

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Edward Campbell said:
Kirkhill, citing Adam Ferguson (1767), spoke of the ”amicable collisions” which served to polish society and make our modern, enlightened, peaceful, secular, multicultural and mutually respectful society possible.  But, when two societies collide, if they have not both been polished to roughly the same level by their own series of amicable collisions then it may be that the requisite level of mutual respect and consequential peaceful intercourse is impossible.

But, consider: suppose the collision between two societies is not amicable at all.  Suppose, rather, that it is, more or less, tectonic – one society is (or is perceived to be) sliding over the other, burying the other, in effect.  The collision would be, as the current one is, anything but amicable; tectonic shifts produce earthquakes.

I noted that a now forgotten commentator suggested that the ongoing, maybe continuous Muslim rage is an acknowledgement that the ‘modern’ Arabic and Islamic nations failed their peoples – they are unable to provide the polished societies which can propel their peoples into the new global village.  Maybe she or he is right; maybe (most of) the Arab and even Islamic nations are already failed, maybe the people in them are, really, raging at fate and the failures of their ancestors – throwing their bombs at the only available targets: us.

This is incredibly opportunistic.  Islamic conflict is an effect of an ill-advised, and I suspect unthinking, policy of multiculturalism.  Islam is not that unique though, other than the amount of media coverage it gets.  It has been acknowledged that most ethnic minorities, outside of European peoples, are all but impossible to assimilate into the greater society as a whole.  For this reason, Even today, you see enclaves throughout cities and, in consequence, noticeable disproportionality --including dramatic moral differences-- with regards to the varying social groups.  It should be noted that this was known for a very long time. Governments of the past safeguarded against this kind of problematic immigration i.e., the USA's 1921 immigration quota act, or Canada instating a quota on Chinese immigration AFTER world war two.  Which is why they gave up on the "assimilation" ideal and came up with "multi-culturalism".  However, to me, this mandate was little more than a legitimizing of fifth columns, not to mention a policy that, in the end, will only amount to ethnocide.  I don't know how others feel about these radical changes and degeneration of Canadian culture that have been progressing oh-so rapidly since Trudeau.  Which is basically just a Globalist Americanization [which is rooted in American liberalist movments] that is the status quo for most all western countries.  I, for one, am not supportive of it in the least.  As it manifests, in essence, as an assault against the culture that made the country what it was in the first place.  Including, but not limited to in any sense, Islamic related social conflicts.
 

raymao

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I wasn't really going to involve myself with political debate on this forum since I am relatively new. But I can see you are as well.

In regards to multi-culturalism. Canada was built on this premise. Three groups of people who came together to form a federation. The Indians were left out of governance in 1867 and is why they are struggling for self-governance now. The French and the English (Europeans who really didn't assimilate well at all by the way, neither did the Spanish... all Europeans) formed the government for our country on the basis that their distinct societies could be protected from one another. That's why the French language needs protection even today.

As far as all this immigration. Well, this is capitalism at it's best. When we globalize our economy, we need to send our people to other places to acquire the best resources while opening our own doors in order to acquire labour and other specialized workers. Those Chinese you mentioned were responsible for building a lot of our railway systems, and the Japanese that so many people complained about earlier in the century are now responsible for employing a lot of Canadians while GM, Ford and Chrysler are employing people in other countries. Without getting into a full blown discussion on macroeconomics I simply want to remind everyone that the people that live in this country came here to adopt our values and beliefs but, they also carry values and beliefs that should be respected. A lot of what we 'tolerate' in this country are ideas, values, and beliefs that have been created or made popular by people born from the lineage that formed the country in the first place. We don't need to agree with it. But we do need to agree we live in a nation made up of different people. It started that way from the beginning. I'll agree to protect that.
 

a_majoor

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raymao said:
In regards to multi-culturalism. Canada was built on this premise. Three groups of people who came together to form a federation. The Indians were left out of governance in 1867 and is why they are struggling for self-governance now. The French and the English (Europeans who really didn't assimilate well at all by the way, neither did the Spanish... all Europeans) formed the government for our country on the basis that their distinct societies could be protected from one another. That's why the French language needs protection even today.

This is a wildly distorted view of history. The settlers of New France were determined to assimilate the native cultures through religious conversion and attaching their "political" and economic welfare to New France by taking sides in the various native conflicts and employing natives in the fur trade and the military. The British had many of the same motives, and in addition were determined to crush New France as well. The primary reason full assimilation did not take place after the Seven Year's War was the simple fact the British did not have the manpower to do so.

A bit more than one hundred years later, the Fathers of Confederation had to solve a tricky problem; join several disparate political units together and combine their strengths or risk assimilation by the growing United States. Given each colony was suspicious of the motives of the others, it is pretty miraculous that Canada even came into being.

The fundamental divide is do people share common values, beliefs, mythologies as citizens of a nation, or are they simply "tenants" occupying the same "state". Given the results of States where ethnic nationalism overtakes shared values (from relatively benign like former Czechoslovakia to violent disintegration like former Yugoslavia), I would say it would be in all of our best interests to concentrate on "civic nationalism", the instilling of a common set of values, beliefs and, yes, national myths which override and trump the old values which people bring over from the "old country".
 

raymao

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Ok, I see your view. I also agree with your sense of civic nationalism, but I struggle to come to terms with what these values and beliefs we should share?

Let me tell you a bit about myself first. I want to share this with you, because I am almost certain everything I believe in is part of the 'norm' except for how you define values and beliefs of a nation. Born in Montreal. Grew up in Niagara Falls. Speak English and barely any French. In regards to faith (notice I didn't say religion), I am definitely Christian supporting the theory of intelligent design, and I base a majority of personal values and beliefs in the Bible. I am heterosexual. Previously married. A single father with full custody of my little girl.

I don't think I have really noted anything too bad above. I know some people do not believe in divorce though... should I leave? Ok, let's talk about the values and beliefs that exist in our country without even discussing immigration. A lot of the values and beliefs that people have in this country that are descendants of the first 'English' settlers are polar opposites of the simple ones I mentioned of my own. Now what? The only thing I can really agree on, is that the citizens of this country be required to communicate with each other. In my part of Canada, the language is English. In other parts it is French. We've chosen to protect that language in Quebec.

Ok, let's introduce the immigrants... do they make it worse? I don't think so? Western countries have yet to come to terms with ethnic diversity, that's all. In regards to civic nationalism... on what grounds? No state, is truly civic, the United States supposedly has no official language, yet it is virtually impossible to function in American society with no knowledge of the English language, and it is a legal requirement for their children to learn English in school. So on what grounds do we base our values and beliefs. If you don't stand for the 'laws' in our land... well that's something entirely different than what we are debating. Canada has already empowered two ethnic/cultural groups at the expense of all others already by making English and French it's national languages. What more can there be?

I know I can't impose 'my personal' values on everyone else in this country. What values and beliefs are you suggesting? Some people will agree. Some people won't. The people that don't agree with your beliefs and values may not be immigrants at all. No better example of trying to impose values and beliefs can be said than looking at your own family. Can you honestly say everyone in your family share the same beliefs and values? I'm sure your family is no different than mine on those regards. Some think the same, some don't. And I tell ya, I'm not sure if I want to be in a group that shares the exact same beliefs and values. We'd have nothing to debate. What fun would that be?
 
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