Bigotry or profiling?


Michael Stuart Kelly

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Barbara,

Just to be clear, so there is no misunderstanding:

I have not suggested using force; I have stated clearly and often that I would not do so.

I didn't claim you did suggest using force. I asked, "But what do you want to do about the problem this poses?"

I mentioned force because it is the only alternative to persuasion available.

My method of thinking is identify, then judge. I was in identify mode, looking at alternatives. I was not judging your posts.

If I was judging anything, it was the total lack of effectiveness—in bringing about change—of condemning a billion people for keeping their peace.

Nor have I suggested that the solution to moderate-Muslim silence is to say I don't consider them good people.

No you didn't. Nor did I say you did. You didn't talk about the solution of how to convince them at all. But you did write that you don't consider them to be good people. At least I understood the following to mean that you do not consider moderate Muslims to be good people because they do not make public statements of protest against Islamist fanatics:

All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. And when they do nothing, it is my view that they can no longer expect to be considered good men.

Is my understanding of your words wrong?

At any rate, I am under the impression that you do not have much interest in dialog with Muslims. I have this impression because when I bring up the issue of persuading Muslims to adopt individual rights, you mostly mention your criticisms of them, often extremely harsh criticisms, and offer no positive suggestions. (I am talking about suggestions for realistic change through persuasion that can be worked on, not "they should do this or that" kind of opinion.) You often quote other authors who do the same at best, but who usually express even harsher condemnatory views. (Sometimes there are exceptions.) After several times reading posts like this, the impression comes that you are not interested in trying to get Muslims to adopt fundamental ideas by persuasion.

I would be delighted to be under the wrong impression. But if not, I respect your right to not be interested. I cannot adopt it, nor do I agree with some of the premises put forth so far, especially when generalizations get too broad and oversimplified, but I respect it.

Who is it you are addressing by your comments?

Anyone who is interested in doing something productive so we can brainstorm some ideas and get some efforts off the ground. (This is a little premature, but I fully intend to use the competence I have gained and am developing in Internet marketing towards this end. Muslims are great users of the Internet and there is an enormous online public hungry for ideas among them. But first money, then that.)

Do you expect me to defend positions I do not hold?

No.

Michael

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All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. And when they do nothing, it is my view that they can no longer expect to be considered good men.

Is my understanding of your words wrong?

At any rate, I am under the impression that you do not have much interest in dialog with Muslims. I have this impression because when I bring up the issue of persuading Muslims to adopt individual rights, you mostly mention your criticisms of them, often extremely harsh criticisms, and offer no positive suggestions. (I am talking about suggestions for realistic change through persuasion that can be worked on, not "they should do this or that" kind of opinion.) You often quote other authors who do the same at best, but who usually express even harsher condemnatory views. (Sometimes there are exceptions.) After several times reading posts like this, the impression comes that you are not interested in trying to get Muslims to adopt fundamental ideas by persuasion.

I would be delighted to be under the wrong impression. But if not, I respect your right to not be interested. I cannot adopt it, nor do I agree with some of the premises put forth so far, especially when generalizations get too broad and oversimplified, but I respect it.

Anyone who is interested in doing something productive so we can brainstorm some ideas and get some efforts off the ground. (This is a little premature, but I fully intend to use the competence I have gained and am developing in Internet marketing towards this end. Muslims are great users of the Internet and there is an enormous online public hungry for ideas among them. But first money, then that.)

They may be too scared to do anything. "Considered good men" doesn't necessarily mean they aren't good men, but that might get into too much subtlety. The primary context here is war, not dialogue. You can talk individual rights until you are blue in the face and not dissuade one Miami demonstrator. It is not the demonstrators that need talking to but evil people in their midst that want to kill and main innocents right here in the United States, but are discouraged by the thought of various legal actions and penalties, Maybe some of the demonstrators are covertly giving intelligence to the FBI in spite of their public personas. Others might be letting family and friends know that demonstrating is the beginning and end of what they should do, if that. But again, the primary context is war just as government fighting other types of criminals and criminal behavior is war.

--Brant

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The primary context here is war, not dialogue.

Brant,

It is not either-or. We need action in both force and ideas to deal with Islamist terrorism. I prefer to leave force to the military and law enforcement. My role is with ideas.

You can talk individual rights until you are blue in the face and not dissuade one Miami demonstrator.

I thought we were talking about moderate Muslims. And in addition to that, ones who do not speak out in public.

Michael

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Michael,

Well, how force is used is well within the bailiwick of ideas. I find your distinction artificial and arbitrary.

Frankly, I do not know what a "moderate" Muslim is unless it is a Muslim who publicly eschews force and violence. (But that's actually radical for he's likely to be killed and contradicts much of his religious text.) One or two religious leaders in the Middle East? I really don't know how many. In any case, the best education they can get is what they experience by examples set by other peoples and countries. Right now, we are hardly worthy examples, speaking generally not of specific individuals, even unto ourselves. The one thing that needs shoring up immediately is the example of the United States able and willing to defend itself, an example for European and some other countries as well as enemies. If this country cannot be respected it cannot efficaciously defend itself.

An ivory-tower approach to geopolitics is spinning your wheels in an armchair. Human relations are ruled by force and power. The power is primarily economic. A buck in the bank gives oneself personal power. This country is ruled by monopoly on physical force. My legal right to defend myself is derivative from that context. My natural, moral right to defend myself helps inform the legal right but doesn't count for much without that legal right.

--Brant

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Michal stated "It is not either-or. We need action in both force and ideas to deal with Islamist terrorism. I prefer to leave force to the military and law enforcement. My role is with ideas."

Well, the Muslim world entity has the force part understood and now here come the ideas broadcast in the US:

http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/al_jaze...omo_code=77CE-1

Adam

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Brant,

This isn't rocket science. Here's a quiz:

Question: How do you eat an elephant?

asian_elephant_01.jpg

Answer: One bite at a time.

No one man is going to solve the problem of Islamist terrorism. No one man can put out a forest fire. No one man can cure an epidemic. No one man can eat a whole elephant in one sitting.

You do what you can. Which is exactly what I intend to do. Like I said, my role is ideas, not employing force. Here's how it works.

One plan:

1. Find on the Internet where Muslims are discussing ideas.

2. Join the discussion.

3. Inject individual rights into the discussion and defend the concept in a form they can relate to.

Another plan:

1. Create a product like a comic book or story with a hero who appeals to the Muslim psyche. (This takes profiling, but it isn't all that difficult.)

2. Make the hero a proponent of individual rights.

3. Make the story exciting and relevant to Muslims.

4. Sell the product to them.

Another plan:

1. Make Internet marketing information products that teach how to make good money.

2. Include lots of references to free markets and individual rights within the product.

3. Sell the product to them.

Another plan:

1. Find moderate Muslim groups that support individual rights. (There are plenty of them if you look.)

2. Discover what their outreach plans are.

3. Team up with them and contribute to the efforts you believe will make a difference.

Another plan:

1. Make a story about how Satan came to earth in the garb of Nazism.

2. Emphasize how Satan wants the souls of Muslims and the connection to Islamists.

3. Put the story up on the Internet for free.

4. Join Internet discussions with Muslims and mention/link to the story.

Another plan:

1. Make provocative videos highlighting the common ground between the good parts of Islam and individual rights.

2. Make the issue relevant and challenging, not insulting, to moderate Muslims.

3. Post the video to YouTube and other video sharing sites.

4. Find moderate Muslim blogs and forums and mention/link to the videos.

Another plan:

Outsource a lot of the above and develop a team of contributors.

That's just for starters off the top of my head. And that's even without learning a foreign language.

There are plenty of links and information to get started in the Mideast section here on OL if anyone is interested. I haven't started yet because I haven't finished my Internet marketing project. Like I said, money first, then this. Internet marketing is my career change, so it has to take precedence for a little while longer.

There's even a famous intellectual in Egypt interested in Ayn Rand's works (Cy Gohary) I have communicated with and I have ignored for far too long. He is interested in developing other plans and he know where and how to place ideas within the Muslim world. (Once I start working with him on this, I know it will be an enormous time consumer, but one I look forward to. I have held off because cannot allow myself the detour right now.)

You might find all this "artificial and arbitrary" or "spinning your wheels in an armchair," but I assure you it will make a hell of a lot more difference to helping resolve Islamist terrorism than posting repeatedly about how rotten Muslims are or how rotten Islam is on Objectivist discussion forums.

Michael

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Don't put your life at risk.

Brant,

I don't know how to respond to that. According to what I keep reading in the complaints against the Islamic world, my life is already at risk.

I might as well do something about it.

I literally take Barbara's words to heart:

In today's world, no one has the luxury of refusing to stand up and be counted. Civilization is at stake.

Michael

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Don't put your life at risk.

Brant,

I don't know how to respond to that. According to what I keep reading in the complaints against the Islamic world, my life is already at risk.

I might as well do something about it.

I literally take Barbara's words to heart:

In today's world, no one has the luxury of refusing to stand up and be counted. Civilization is at stake.

Michael

Our new President-to-be seems determined to take the US State Dept. approach to these things. Talk. I'd give NYC seven years.

"Stand up and be counted" means taking a moral stance. This will put you in conflict. Not taking a moral stance and talking about things that don't involve such overtness means you may be tolerated, if not suspected of being an infiltrating agent, or not. But you'll have no gravitas. This conflict between the three great monotheistic religions has been going on for over a thousand years. Apostasy is the greatest sin. Educating Muslims means educating them to respect you because you will not be bullied, threatened or interfered with by purveyors of force and violence. If they want to learn more they can go to Wikipedia. I'll certainly not devote a significant part of my own life to it.

--Brant

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Brant,

We disagree on much on this issue. Life has taught me a lot and there is one thing I know. Matters are not as simple as you are outlining, starting with the fact that there is no single Islamic culture.

So I'm still going to do what I'm going to do because I know I'm going to make a difference, however small or large that may be. I know I'm right. And the more I study this thing, the more I am convinced of what has to be done. Anyway, it's my life.

Christianity got rid of the fanatics in the mainstream. Islam can too, especially if Muslims get rid of the pockets where Nazi ideology wedded to fundamentalism predominates.

Both force and ideas are needed. One without the other won't work.

On our side, how about a little common sense? For example, we have to stop doing business with nasty people like fundamentalist Nazi-Islamists. I don't care what anyone wants from them. They want to kill all Jews, then us, and they are practically wide-open about it. They certainly don't hide it. So we have to stop giving them money and guns for profit. (That's for starters.) And we should condemn those among us who do.

Michael

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Brant,

This isn't rocket science. Here's a quiz:

Question: How do you eat an elephant?

asian_elephant_01.jpg

Answer: One bite at a time.

No one man is going to solve the problem of Islamist terrorism. No one man can put out a forest fire. No one man can cure an epidemic. No one man can eat a whole elephant in one sitting.

You do what you can. Which is exactly what I intend to do. Like I said, my role is ideas, not employing force. Here's how it works.

One plan:

1. Find on the Internet where Muslims are discussing ideas.

2. Join the discussion.

3. Inject individual rights into the discussion and defend the concept in a form they can relate to.

Another plan:

1. Create a product like a comic book or story with a hero who appeals to the Muslim psyche. (This takes profiling, but it isn't all that difficult.)

2. Make the hero a proponent of individual rights.

3. Make the story exciting and relevant to Muslims.

4. Sell the product to them.

Another plan:

1. Make Internet marketing information products that teach how to make good money.

2. Include lots of references to free markets and individual rights within the product.

3. Sell the product to them.

Another plan:

1. Find moderate Muslim groups that support individual rights. (There are plenty of them if you look.)

2. Discover what their outreach plans are.

3. Team up with them and contribute to the efforts you believe will make a difference.

Another plan:

1. Make a story about how Satan came to earth in the garb of Nazism.

2. Emphasize how Satan wants the souls of Muslims and the connection to Islamists.

3. Put the story up on the Internet for free.

4. Join Internet discussions with Muslims and mention/link to the story.

Another plan:

1. Make provocative videos highlighting the common ground between the good parts of Islam and individual rights.

2. Make the issue relevant and challenging, not insulting, to moderate Muslims.

3. Post the video to YouTube and other video sharing sites.

4. Find moderate Muslim blogs and forums and mention/link to the videos.

Another plan:

Outsource a lot of the above and develop a team of contributors.

That's just for starters off the top of my head. And that's even without learning a foreign language.

There are plenty of links and information to get started in the Mideast section here on OL if anyone is interested. I haven't started yet because I haven't finished my Internet marketing project. Like I said, money first, then this. Internet marketing is my career change, so it has to take precedence for a little while longer.

There's even a famous intellectual in Egypt interested in Ayn Rand's works (Cy Gohary) I have communicated with and I have ignored for far too long. He is interested in developing other plans and he know where and how to place ideas within the Muslim world. (Once I start working with him on this, I know it will be an enormous time consumer, but one I look forward to. I have held off because cannot allow myself the detour right now.)

You might find all this "artificial and arbitrary" or "spinning your wheels in an armchair," but I assure you it will make a hell of a lot more difference to helping resolve Islamist terrorism than posting repeatedly about how rotten Muslims are or how rotten Islam is on Objectivist discussion forums.

I like your plans Michael. Add to that getting copies of Atlas Shrugged published in their language(s) and into the hands of as many muslims as possible, as quickly as possible. Ditto for The Fountainhead, especially for those of high school age.

Michael

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Brant,

We disagree on much on this issue. Life has taught me a lot and there is one thing I know. Matters are not as simple as you are outlining, starting with the fact that there is no single Islamic culture.

So I'm still going to do what I'm going to do because I know I'm going to make a difference, however small or large that may be. I know I'm right. And the more I study this thing, the more I am convinced of what has to be done. Anyway, it's my life.

Christianity got rid of the fanatics in the mainstream. Islam can too, especially if Muslims get rid of the pockets where Nazi ideology wedded to fundamentalism predominates.

Both force and ideas are needed. One without the other won't work.

On our side, how about a little common sense? For example, we have to stop doing business with nasty people like fundamentalist Nazi-Islamists. I don't care what anyone wants from them. They want to kill all Jews, then us, and they are practically wide-open about it. They certainly don't hide it. So we have to stop giving them money and guns for profit. (That's for starters.) And we should condemn those among us who do.

Michael

You'll be happy to know that Bangladesh election results have overwhelming rejected the jihadists by a ratio of about 9-1. We seem to have some semantical differences.

--Brant

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I like your plans Michael. Add to that getting copies of Atlas Shrugged published in their language(s) and into the hands of as many muslims as possible, as quickly as possible. Ditto for The Fountainhead, especially for those of high school age.

Las Vegas,

Those are excellent suggestions. I don't know the present status of the translations.

Those books were translated into Portuguese for Brazil, but they were not promoted correctly and did not take off. (Here's actually another project—getting them going in Brazil—and I might look into for Internet promotion later.)

When I get going, I will be sure to check up on getting Rand's works into the right languages and promoted if they are not.

Michael

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Michael, I find your ideas about how to effect a change in the philosophy and attitudes in the Muslim world refreshing. Change is very difficult as we (libertarian/objectivist oriented people) are learning over here, and what I like about your ideas is the sense that change has to be grown naturally, out of the natural habitat of the world in which people live if I may put it that way. For some reason I am reminded of the first time that I realized that we may not be looking at the situation objectively is during the Iranian takeover of the American Embassy. I saw a sign on TV (I'm showing my age!) that said that America isn't being rational or words to that effect. They had mis-spelled a lot of words, and logically it didn't mean that the Iranian students were being rational, but I remember thinking that reason might be important to people who weren't raised in the West.

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... what I like about your ideas is the sense that change has to be grown naturally, out of the natural habitat of the world in which people live if I may put it that way.

David,

I truly believe this has to be the starting point and the maintenance point. When violence is preached as the good among some of the prominent intellectuals on both sides, the only alternative to effecting change in a clash of cultures is war. Once influential intellectuals abandon reason and dialog as the proper form of persuasion, people will engage in violence. The good news is that not all intellectuals are preaching the virtue of violence qua violence against the other side. That is a situation I believe a principled intellectual can use to good advantage.

I do have one caveat. There is a limit to how much intellectual efforts can do. So if an intolerable limit of violence against your own culture is reached, you have to back up your defense of individual rights by efficient deadly force. If someone doesn't stop hitting you, you have to make him stop.

On another related issue, I have gone beyond being surprised that the Nazi element is practically ignored by those who regularly criticize Islamism (and Islam and Muslims), but I don't understand yet why they ignore it. The evidence is undeniable and very easy to point to. Once again, here are some links to some of the information for anyone interested:

Tell The Children The Truth

(YouTube)

The Middle East Library the documentation center about Nazislamism

Islamic Terrorism's Links To Nazi Fascism

I could go on and on. Evidence is easy to find, but people prefer to brush it aside in their arguments and efforts. It's funny because it seems that looking at the Nazi connection is an individual thing to do, not a collective one. When you look, you see one outraged individual popping up with public information once he sees it, then another, then another, then another, but it never becomes a movement and it never goes mainstream. Yet more and more individuals are popping up over time.

As the saying goes, not everyone can fail to notice the 800 pound gorilla in the room...

I believe that once I understand what makes people embrace Nazism on one side and ignore it on the other, all the while using a third element like Islam as a battle-ground, I will be able to give a rock-solid grounding to the efforts I intend.

Nazism, with its blatant bigotry, public duplicity, organized terrorism, manipulation of poor people into sacrificing themselves by brainwashing them (through their ideology and by other means), etc., which it has done ever since it first gained power, is so evil that I do not understand how a person can embrace it. And it is so evil I do not understand how anyone can ignore it when it is staring them in the face.

But people do both.

I sincerely believe that good moderate Muslims will reject the Nazi influence in Islam vehemently once it is clear to them where that brand of evil lies. And I sincerely believe that one does not beat a foe like Nazism by emulating it, or ignoring it while targeting an entire third people or culture, most of whom do not practice it. When I look through the eyes of the moderate Muslims I have known and the ones I read about, it is clear to me that this issue is not clear to them. Anyway, if we are ignoring it, I don't see how it could be clear to them.

I have decided to become one of the individuals pointing to the Nazi connection (and the fundamentalist stuff). But I am still working on trying to understand a few whys so I can cut to the core. I have an uneasy feeling that when I finally "get it," it will not be very pretty.

Michael

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It's not the Nazi element, but the gloom-on Muslim element that's important. Where are the storm-troopers? The Nazis were far worse. If the Jews just gave themselves over to the Palestinians--Hamas or what-have-you--I don't think their enemies would know what to do next. The Nazis did. You see--this is speculation--the more powerful the Jews are the more powerful comparatively their enemies, politically, culturally, economically, militarily. It takes a mighty man to stand up to a Jew. Israelis' enemies are only acknowledging and celebrating Jews and what Jews can do, but because they cannot do it too it must be expressed negatively. If the Jews were to ~give up~ the jihad against them would collapse. This is an expression of parasitism. When the Jews say: "We lose, you win," their enemies will lose. You cannot do this with the Nazis; they'll gas you and burn you and they did. Industrialized murder. The Muslim enemies of Israel, by and large, don't have the technological competence or the banal viciousness of an amoral capitalist. Where is the Muslim Krupp (sp)? Who makes the Zyklon B? Where is Hitler? But of course the Jews cannot do this nor should they, but the first order in protecting themselves from these poor folk also their enemies is understanding how desperately their enemies need them. No one lives to die unless they think they won't really--that a bunch of virgins wait for them in paradise. It's really all about living until you blow yourself up. Pitiful, gross, pseudo self-esteem.

--Brant

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Brant,

Did you look at the links I provided?

And did I understand you correctly in saying that Nazi influenced Islamist fundamentalists are not as evil or as dangerous to Jews as Nazis per se?

Well let's take a look.

If Jews turned themselves over the the Palestinian people as a whole, I agree with you that they would not know what to do with them. But if Jews turned themselves over to the Nazi-influenced Hamas, those folks would start stoking the ovens. And they would do it with glee. You can be sure of that. Watch Palestinian TV run by Hamas if you don't believe me. There's a link to it around somewhere. Here, I just found one:

Palestinian Media Watch

How about this particular nasty piece of work?

TV Archives - Video Library: Children as Combatants in PA Ideology

Or check this page out:

Hamas using children in combat support roles

Just so there is no ambiguity, here are some TV transcriptions from the last link above:

"Jews are the enemies of Allah," and therefore by definition are the enemies of all Muslims. This opinion is expressed by Dr. Walid Al-Rashudi, head of the Department of Islamic Studies at Saud University in Saudi Arabia, in a speech broadcast last week on Hamas TV. The religious scholar also prays for the extermination of all Jews: "Kill them one by one and don't leave even one."

. . .

"The Meccan [Quran] chapter entitled 'Jews' or 'Children of Israel' is remarkable... It's about today's Jews, those of our century, and speaks only of extermination and digging graves... This chapter sentences the Jews to extermination before a single Jew existed on earth... Palestine's blessing is linked to destruction of the center of global corruption [Jews of Israel], the snake's head. When the snake's head of [global] corruption is cut off, here in Palestine, and when the octopus's [Jew's] tentacles are cut off around the world, the real blessing will come with the destruction of the Jews, here in Palestine, and it is one of the splendid real blessings in Palestine." [Palestinian cleric ,Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), July 13, 2008]

. . .

"Regarding the Jews, our business with them is only through bombs and guns... the prophet [Muhammad] promised that we will fight you, with Allah's help, until the tree and stone say: "Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."

[Nizar Rayan, Hamas religious and military leader, Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), Jan. 1, 2009. Note: Rayan was killed on Jan. 2, 2009]

The examples go on and on.

As far as technology is concerned, there are scientists. What do you think the Islamist fundamentalists in Iran are doing in trying to get nuclear weapons?

Michael

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Michael,

Well, I'm glad we've got this discussion properly focused. Of course one never gives oneself over to one's enemies. That was a thought experiment and I didn't do it all that well. I certainly take back what I said about Hamas. I'll read the links this afternoon.

--Brant

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However the Jewish people moderated their religion and the Talmud is the central Book of Orthodox Judaism, not the Talmud.

?

--Brant

It should read the Talmud is the central Book of Orthodox Judaism, not the TNKH *(what you heathens call the Old Testament). Sorry about that typo

T = Torah

N = N'veim = The Prophet

KH = K'tuving = the writings, for example the Book of Ecclesiastes or Lamentations.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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