Better Representing Muslims: A Few Ideas

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

Therumancer:

At the end of the day, there is one basic metaculture present through "The Middle East" deriving from very similar interpetations of the Muslim faith.

This is kinda key to the entire argument here. This "basic metaculture" is impossible to define in any meaningful way. "The Middle East" is a region that means nothing in regards to making generalisations about the people that live in it. The fact that you believe otherwise is why the implementation of some of Rath's suggestions is so important.

For example, those links you posted? Two out of the four of them are from Al-Aqsa TV, from the same program no less. Produced by, you know, the state-television studio of Palestine, run by Hamas. A third is a news report about the exact same part of the world. Putting aside the ridiculousness of taking what is essentially war-time propaganda more intrinsic to the Israel-Palestine situation than anything and declaring it evidence of a widespread trend in Muslim society, you're taking very nearly all your evidence from one source, and one area. It's... kind of mind-boggling, honestly. The article talks about a problem in Western media of using Muslim as some kind of blanket term that infers an automatic predisposition towards certain stances, and your response is to say it's wrong by pointing to a single example of one small part of Muslim culture that acts in a certain way. Not to mention that coupled with the phrase:

Therumancer:

The source not being one network, program, or fringe videos distributed by some underground video house, but what passes for public education in the region.

It seems like you're actually unaware of this fact. To be clear, the videos you posted are mostly from one network, even one program. They do not infer a widespread hatred of the West, hatred of women, or hatred of non-Muslims within the Middle East. They show a hatred of Israel and its western supporters within the comparatively tiny geographical area of Palestine, presumably because... oh, I dunno, the whole history of the Palestinians vs Israel. But that is only a very small part of the Muslim world, which is the entire point of the article and this topic.

Honestly, the rest of your post doesn't have much to do with the topic at hand. You're citing a lot of events and locations and using it to make... some kind of point, I suppose, but it doesn't really seem linked to topic at hand. No offence intended, but your posts in this topic haven't actually done a very good job of tying your evidence to your argument against Rath's points (or even making it clear what your opposition to Rath's article actually is). Some of your arguments outright support Rath's idea that we need to foster more understanding of the variances of Muslim culture and the Muslim world. You mention the utter failure of propping up the Taliban as an example, but if anything that just proves that you really need to pay attention to the cultural and social tensions whenever you invade anywhere. The Muslim world has problems. No one has ever disagreed with you on this point. It's just that a lot of these "universal" problems are nowhere near universal, a lot of these universal attitudes are not universal, and the whole culture of the region is so much more complex and fractured than the media gives credence to.

On an unrelated note, could you link me some information on Iraq hiding troops in Iran during Operation Desert Storm? I've never made a study of the Gulf War (my study of the history of the region is much more focused on Lebanon/Israel/Palestine, and even more focused on the 50s-80s), and I've never heard of this happening. Sounds absolutely fascinating, and a brief google search turned up nothing.

This is probably the best approach that I've seen when it comes to dealing with any characters of a demographic that is subject to stereotype (whether Russians, Muslims, women, atheists, republicans, scientists or whatever)

Short version: The problem of stereotyping comes when we have a single character (or a single kind of character, like a character replicated many times, as is common in video games) that represents the only example of a given demographic. It becomes natural for the audience to jump to conclusions that any trait unique to that character is related to their other unique traits.

Ergo, if you only have fanatical terrorists representing Islam in your story, that will be how the audience will regard Muslims in your world. If you have a variety (even a mere handful) of Muslims each with different interests, motives, goals, attitudes and so on, this will demonstrate that Islam does not directly correlate with the traits that vary amongst them. (Though it will also reinforce those traits that are consistent amongst your Muslim characters, so you have to be careful.)

Similarly, when you have one woman in your ensemble, then all her unique traits will be associated with her sex. Having multiple women in your story allows the audience to see which of those traits are not necessarily related to their gender.

238U

You know there are a diffence between being from the Middleeast/being a "middle eastern" and being a muslim right? There are muslims here in Scandinavia where I live and not all of them are from the middleeast. One is a nationality/ethnicity and the other a religion. Nationality/ethnicity is not a choice (although nationality is later in life) but religion is a choice. Not the same thing. Just because I was born in Europe, am white it does not mean that I am a christian. What I am however is a caucasian and an european.

I read the article and the comments that followed and I can now honestly say that I know why nothing gets done in politics.

Wonder what kind of image people would get from USA if they only listened to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh?

Reading through these comments it's astounding the level of misguided hypocrisy.

First off my main problem with the article. Think about it just how many times in these games are these charters stated as Muslim, explicitly? Very rarely,the writer is placing a stereotype upon these characters himself by assuming all people of middle eastern and north African descent are Muslim, which as he rightly points out (but does not seem to have the self awareness to take in the information he is offering) not all are.

Another point, when the hell did criticizing Islam become a racial thing? A lot of the radicals that are being dealt with are western converts. I'm not sure if this is a divide between the US and Europe, but in the EU I think we have probably had a lot more exposure to Islam, if you live in a UK city for example, there will be at least a small Islamic community. People do make offhand comments, everyone does, not saying it's right. But I don't think the overriding prejudice here is by any means a racial thing.

The concern and the prejudice I would say is centered out of a fear and concern out of the ability Islam currently seems to have to be manipulated and convert Muslim and Non-Muslim alike, from good upbringings, into full on radicals bent on harming people. The vast Majority of UK terror attacks have been committed by our own citizens in recent years, the worst in recent memory the 7/7 bombings in London was carried out by homegrown terrorists. Is it not almost logical for people to fear something (even if it has been manipulated) that turned people we consider our own to attack and kill their fellow Britons?

In the article the Skyrim reference in my opinion is just pathetic, I never once viewed the Redgaurd in a negative light, my main thought on them was how epicaly cool every encounter I had with them was.

The fact is we have been and still are at War with radical Islamic Cells over the middle eastern and northern Africa regions, our media will reflect this, these people will not be shown in a good light, nobody want to sympathize with an enemy and to humanize them while we still have our own coming back in body bags, that's life. If you can't understand that you have probably lived a very sheltered life and have an over idealized view of the world. When you know it's your neighbors coming back to their family's without their legs who believed they were going to these countries to help the good people there build a better life separate from these radical monsters who would make their fellow Muslims suffer just as much as they would us if they had the power you can probably better understand.

The one comment I will make that could be a good shift is showing a better representation of the Muslims standing side by side with us to fight these oppressive and radical powers, the interpreters, guides, native armed forces and of course the Muslim men and women in our armed forces. I thought the film green zone did a good job of this, showing an native interpreter risking his life and that of his family essentially to try and help his country.

Quantum Glass:

...You do realize that Christians still worship that kind of God, right? Sure he might not advocate stoning rape victims /now/, but there was certainly a period where he was cool with it. Sends children to hell, too. And the Jews still have all of the crazier Hebrew Bible laws still technically canon, but nobody minds, because they don't actually hurt anybody. See, there's this fascinating new concept we just got from the Athenians--it's called the justice system. When somebody does something bad, they're punished for their actions. Conversely, when someone doesn't do something bad, they're not punished. We're still working out the kinks, but if everything goes right, we might be able to hold people accountable for their actions. Wonderful new idea, really. Judging individuals when they do something wrong...I tell ya, those Athenians come up with the wackiest forms of government.

You have kind of invalidated your whole point by using a topic you obviously only have popular culture references for, nobody is going to take you serious on as complex a topic as the 2000 year history of Christianity, it's development and interpretation by 100's of different sects. You have also made the mistake I see the vast majority of people making by taking the bible literally, I've made this point before, the bible is not written as a strait text, it is riddled with metaphors and symbolic stories, not all of it is meant to be taken literally, most forward thinking modern biblical scholars do not literally believe the story of Noah's ark, how thick do you think these people are? I don't think I have ever met a priest in fact that takes the stories like that literally. Any way back to the point it's a common misconception that Athens created the just kind of government we have today, they allowed people to vote, that's it. Also you had to be a Man, a Citizen and a Landowner.

- They also kept slaves (Who were beaten for crimes that would be a fine for a free man)
- Were undeniably Xenophobic for huge periods of their history with a few exceptions
- They had laws governing pederastic relationships (A romantic relationship between a Man and a boy restricted up to the point of sodomy)

They made a step forward in terms of the justice system but it was till far from fair by today's standards because of many of the laws they were enforcing.

When you produce some of the great classical heroes and Scholars people like to forget the legal pedophilia and slavery!

Azahul:
Snuh-Ip

Don't bother saying anything to therumancer, he's a renowned....I don't quite know what the word is, but he REALLY irks everyone on the board and seems to think that massed walls of bizarre text a good argument make.

My take on this whole thing is quite different compared to most people I know, mainly due to an ex-islamic uncle who was kicked out of Syria when there was all that stuff a while back.
I'm also quite disgusted by some people saying stuff along the lines of "Islam says some bad stuff, therefore all Islamic people are evil" as the amount of Eurocentric bias is staggering.

You cannot comprehend a entire smorgasbord of civilisations until you've actually had proper contact with all of them (something I haven't, but I'm planning to) and judging by the amount of silliness going on, I'm assuming most of of western civilisation has had little to none actual experience or even a conversation. It may shock some, but one cannot group an entire mass of cultures under 'designated evil villain' and expect that it's fine to make frankly daft statements about them without having ever met a member of that culture.
It's widely accepted racism...or religionism....or entiregoddamedlandmassism....
I don't know.

The only bit I'm critical about in the article is that Dorne is pretty much spain, with the Moors (the salty dornishmen) and the Spanish(the stony dornishmen) and according to most, it's the place where the least shit has hit the fan.

Robert Rath:
Better Representing Muslims: A Few Ideas

Muslims don't always have to be antagonist of the war game.

Read Full Article

You make some nice points, none of which I particularly want to contest, but let me just add something:

"the English, Scots, Irish, Americans, and Canadians", as well as South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders and a number of others I've surely forgotten to mention are lumped together solely because they speak English.

The term most commonly used is "Anglo-Saxon", which always got up my nose because the Anglo-Saxons have been buried for centuries, but I digress. We're lumped together like that all the time, and the worst thing is that the longer I spend overseas, the more I start using that term myself.

I'm not justifying lumping all Muslims, Arabs and Middle Eastern people together, I'm just saying that the idea is not so alien since it goes both ways.

Silentpony:
The problem comes from fanaticism. The Bible is a horrible book with terrible life lessons and even worse characters, and thankfully not many people follow it. Judaism and Christianity have been around long enough to have...mellowed...out some. They did their Crusades and Inquisitions and whatnot. Islam is the youngest of the three and still going through its difficult teenage years. And embracing a troubled teen doesn't make them any LESS a troubled teen.
I'm all for equality, but fanatic Muslims love to quote the Qur'an on how a truly devout Muslim won't allow other religions to exist.

Exactly, fanatics. But there are always fanatics in every belief system, even non-religious ones, and the concept that religions that have existed longer than others are more "mellowed" is just flat out wrong. The existence groups like the Hindu nationalist RSS or the various sectarian paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, or even lone nutters Anders Behring Breivik prove that.

And the idea that most Muslims aren't on board is...nice...but its the same idea that most Scientologists don't believe in aliens. Its what they say to outsiders. I'd bet that given a choice between a world of many religious beliefs, and one of ONLY Islam...most Muslims are going to choose the latter. Not that they aren't pleasant people, but in private they decry a lot of what people do.

Again, such bigotry and closed mindedness is not exclusive to Muslims. How many working-class Brits do you think talk about the "Pakis" taking their jobs, or how many southern Americans complain about the godless queers amongst their friends. The reason people keep those prejudices to themselves is because they want to fit in with a society that's long since deemed those views unacceptable. And fitting in is the last thing I'd expect a people who plot the destruction of said society to do.

randomrob:
And to all those saying "You can't judge Islam by the Qu'ran/hadith" You're basically saying you can't judge a religion by its fundamental ideological basis and are therefore a moron.

By it's nominal basis. Not necessarily the same thing.

...

Eh, no reason we can't have Islamic space marines getting eaten by bugs, as opposed to western space marines getting eaten by bugs.

zumbledum:

AldUK:
I really hope I don't get warned for this post, but I just have to say after reading this, that most of the stereotypes have some grounding in reality. But it's the same for everyone, no matter where you're from. Also, the muslim religion specifically states that followers should convert all non-muslims with refusal meaning death. There's no misinterpretation there, look in the Koran and you can read it for yourself. Should we really, truthfully be tolerant of a religion that wants to kill anyone who isn't a part of it?

The bible has its fair share of out of whack stuff.

Being gay = dead, women are possesions , slavery is fine , if a childs being unruly its acceptable to sell it, a woman who wears two different fabrics should be stoned to death , planting two crops side by side is a lethal transgression , working on the sabbath? get the town together and stone that heathen!

Please note that there is a reason why there are two listed covenants contained within the Bible. The first one was a covenant between the Jewish God and one nation. The second was a covenant between the Christian God and the entire world. Christians do not (or should not) adhere to the stipulations and laws of the first covenant because it is not their covenant. The book of Hebrews (New Covenant book) speaks of this, saying that in creating a new covenant, the old one is made obsolete and is ready to disappear.

So to point to a book that includes both listed covenants and claiming that old tenents are part of the new would be along of the lines as claiming that Christians still sacrifice spotless lambs every year in the temple. I'd say that Christianity is one of the very few religions that espouse being stoic while amongst those who would threaten the adherrent even to the point of death. Judaism, however, is a very violent religion, every bit as much as Islam. But it doesn't have a mandate to expand outside of Israel to give Judaism to the World like Islam does.

Regardless, even a peaceful religion can be used in the name of hate and oppression. Spain taught us that more than any other nation. If you look at cultures instead of the faith you'll often find beliefs that are even more harsh than the harshest tenents of the faith. Sunnis even killing Shi`ites and vice versa.

Robert Rath:
it's about as helpful as making generalizations about the English, Scots, Irish, Americans, and Canadians because they all speak English. Westerners

Wow, really? You complain about generalisations, then in the very next word make a far bigger generalisation than anything you actually complain about in the whole article. That's a pretty impressive way to undermine any point you may have been trying to make.

randomrob:

Quantum Glass:
Oh, please. When has demonizing a group of ethnically and religiously semitic people ever backfired on a large western nation going through a severe economic depression?

Pass the bratwurst.

You just affirmed Godwin's law, therefore you lose sir.

And to all those saying "You can't judge Islam by the Qu'ran/hadith" You're basically saying you can't judge a religion by its fundamental ideological basis and are therefore a moron.

A) The mention of similarities to Nazism in an argument does not instantly invalidate someone's point, especially when the majority expressing the opposing view openly admire Adolf Hitler, and
B) People aren't arguing that Islam can't be judged by it's Holy Books, they're arguing that Muslims can't be discriminated against solely because of their religion, something most people are born into, especially in a society tolerates believers in faiths whose tenets are no less perverse than Islamic ones, and indeed frequently commends them for those beliefs.

PS: Your habit of making a flimsy argument, then acting like you've won something is among the most irritating things I've seen on the internet so far, so congratulations on that.

It's tragic that an extremist minority can so sully an entire faith of ~1 billion followers. The vast majority are reasonable people but the militant and terrorist few don't do them any favours and they do themselves even less favours by not ostracising and criticising them.

Robert Rath:
I think it's pretty fair to say games haven't represented Muslims very well. Not only have the last ten years been a cavalcade of games about shooting Middle Eastern "terrorists,"

Well this isn't surprising. Terrorists are really really evil and are the perfect content to fill the idea bucket for the gaming industry. If you mean the gaming industry has done a poor job picturing Musilms, surely you must recognize that Muslim extremists and terrorists does a piss poor job at picturing Islam.

Perhaps the wrong focus for a industry who's only motive is to make money.

KingsGambit:
It's tragic that an extremist minority can so sully an entire faith of ~1 billion followers. The vast majority are reasonable people but the militant and terrorist few don't do them any favours and they do themselves even less favours by not ostracising and criticising them.

They don't necessarily make up a minority. I don't recall seeing official polls being done anywhere to determine actual beliefs. Extremist? Yes, certainly, but not necessarily some trivial number.

I'd say that the faith doesn't call for the slaughtering of innocents but it does call for militant expansion of the borders of the faith (literal conquering of land), outright abuse and subjugation of women, direct discrimination against all non-Muslims (usually in the form of a taxes on trade that is not imposed on Muslims, not outright murder like some believe), and even direct suppression of free speech in many forms such as art (that nose missing from the Sphynx was done by an angry Muslim who saw people giving offerings to it, not the myth that it was Napoleon. Look it up. This is also why they're regularly destroying age-old statues all over the world where they're able to). Add that to the fact that a 40-year old man marrying a 6-7 year old girl and consummating when she's 9 is viewed as a holy action and you've got nearly every demographic having something to fear.

Sooo... I don't think they're entirely unworthy of a sullied names. And by Sully, i'm of course talking about the male love interest in Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman...

I think people see the more extreme examples that evoke extreme hatred from people and then try to counteract that by speaking up for the religion as a whole in ways that may be just as off as the original prejudice. It's good to fight prejudice and to teach that there are very peaceful Muslims out there. But you really shouldn't ignore the downsides of Islam towards non-adherrents and even members of its own culture (women). Culturally there are a lot of very militant groups who even murder each other for not being a Sunni or a Shi`ite. Teach against prejudice but don't lie about a group just to try to make people like them.

When you're able to produce an actual army, you aren't an extreme minority. It's nice and hopeful to think of them as a miniscule number of people but you've got to understand that a lot of Islamic cultures truly hate other groups. Even to the point of breaking their own religious tenents of not harming others if they're not at war with you. That declaration of Jihad against the US, that was religious sanctioning of war on us. Declaring us as a combatant and not an innocent.

TakerFoxx:

Mahoshonen:
Once again, I hate myself for reading the comments on an interesting article. The Escapist really needs a paywall.

Oh well, at least I got a new book to read. Perhaps some of you on this thread should read it too.

My thoughts exactly. For such an "open-minded" forum, the religiphobia gets really bad sometimes.

Yup, make that the three of us. This site isn't really a great place to discuss religion, nor politics while we're at it.

ExileNZ:

Robert Rath:
Better Representing Muslims: A Few Ideas

Muslims don't always have to be antagonist of the war game.

Read Full Article

You make some nice points, none of which I particularly want to contest, but let me just add something:

"the English, Scots, Irish, Americans, and Canadians", as well as South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders and a number of others I've surely forgotten to mention are lumped together solely because they speak English.

The term most commonly used is "Anglo-Saxon", which always got up my nose because the Anglo-Saxons have been buried for centuries, but I digress. We're lumped together like that all the time, and the worst thing is that the longer I spend overseas, the more I start using that term myself.

I'm not justifying lumping all Muslims, Arabs and Middle Eastern people together, I'm just saying that the idea is not so alien since it goes both ways.

I personally find it hilarious that Rath states that people lump Middle Easterners together, but not English speakers, and then immediately starts using terms like 'the West' and 'Westerners'. Because clearly all 'the West' has the exact same culture and perception of Muslims (because there's TOTALLY no such thing as 'Westerners' who are Muslims). Does Rath consider Omid to be Western or Oriental (Edward Said's use of the term, not the more popular form)? If the answer is the latter then he's just reinforcing his own neocolonial bias as well.

Dirty Cop James funs:

TakerFoxx:

Mahoshonen:
Once again, I hate myself for reading the comments on an interesting article. The Escapist really needs a paywall.

Oh well, at least I got a new book to read. Perhaps some of you on this thread should read it too.

My thoughts exactly. For such an "open-minded" forum, the religiphobia gets really bad sometimes.

Yup, make that the three of us. This site isn't really a great place to discuss religion, nor politics while we're at it.

There is certainly some negativity regarding the issue that obstructs any legitimate pursuit of knowledge. But understand that it cuts both ways. The side that will not hear anything good about the topic as well as the side that will not hear anything bad. Both obstruct the path to truth. Real conversations are available to be had, you just have to discern which posters are putting forth a legitimate statement and which ones just want to hate/love on a topic that may deserve neither.

Lightknight:

KingsGambit:
It's tragic that an extremist minority can so sully an entire faith of ~1 billion followers. The vast majority are reasonable people but the militant and terrorist few don't do them any favours and they do themselves even less favours by not ostracising and criticising them.

They don't necessarily make up a minority. I don't recall seeing official polls being done anywhere to determine actual beliefs.

Did you look?

Dirty Cop James funs:

TakerFoxx:

Mahoshonen:
Once again, I hate myself for reading the comments on an interesting article. The Escapist really needs a paywall.

Oh well, at least I got a new book to read. Perhaps some of you on this thread should read it too.

My thoughts exactly. For such an "open-minded" forum, the religiphobia gets really bad sometimes.

Yup, make that the three of us. This site isn't really a great place to discuss religion, nor politics while we're at it.

Make that four, whenever it comes to Religion and Politics, the level of smugness, arrogance and at times, ignorance from some of the commenters is really off putting, so much for open mindedness I guess.

thisbymaster:
Fine, here is the deal Muslims stop bombing/shooting/killing us and each other then we can talk.
/Boston

Ok but first the USA should stop invading other countries and interfering in their internal affairs which makes the situation there much worse.
/The Middle East

I wasn't planning on commenting on this thread and from the looks of some of the comments here, I'd make better progress debating with a brick wall instead of wasting my time making an argument in favour of the article which would get ignored, but I'll only make a comment to you since your comment really rubbed me the wrong way, generalising much?

NeutralDrow:

Lightknight:

KingsGambit:
It's tragic that an extremist minority can so sully an entire faith of ~1 billion followers. The vast majority are reasonable people but the militant and terrorist few don't do them any favours and they do themselves even less favours by not ostracising and criticising them.

They don't necessarily make up a minority. I don't recall seeing official polls being done anywhere to determine actual beliefs.

Did you look?

Hmm, it occurs to me that there may be semantics here. I'm not talking about just the few that would attack innocent civilians as extreme. I'm talking about the nations that actively oppress/discriminate against individuals by gender or faith. The belief systems that lay the groundwork for all this tragedy. As I said, I do not believe that attacks on civilians is condoned by the Qur`an. The verses I've generally come across in my studies condemn that and so do the major hadiths I've studied. The exception would be regarding civilians who break Sharia law specifically (such as destroying a Qur`an or making an offensive image of the Prophet) but they don't see those as innocent civilians. But the comment was on terrorists AND militants. Those two terms are not the same group. If they were meant to be, then terrorist should have sufficed.

Regarding the video, the question on whether or not the attack of 9/11 was justified is startling. Holy crap. Only 55% said it was unjustified? A direct attack on civilians is considered to have some justification by around half the respondants of this study? Whoa... I... I thought it'd be better than that... The study focuses on how only 7% said it was completely warranted but it ignores the rest of the gray responses that said it did have merit AND the study had an 8% no response category... Remember, this is the area that I said is not condoned by the Qur`an. Killing non-combatants is literally a no-no and so that kind of response is... scary. I suppose with our siding with Israel and our refusal to pursue individuals who offend Islam we may be considered combatants but that still wouldn't warrant attacking civilians.

The study also did some weird things. They asked questions that didn't really relate to what they were talking about. For example, the question about whether or not women should have any job they're qualified for doesn't address the idea that women are legally disqualified for jobs like driving in some of these places. I mean, 82% of Saudi Arabian women can say all they want how they should be able to work in jobs they're qualified for but when the governmnet forbids their ability to drive under the guise of religion then they are severely limited.

They also brought up democracy which is a historically ignorant thing for people to say Islam is against. But their question about freedom of speech omitted a topic. They asked if people should be able to say whatever they want about social/political/economic issues. They forgot religion in that question. Let me make this clear. Islam doesn't forbid nations from having various social/political/economic policies. It's the religious issues that are set in stone. Again, Islam was generally kind to non-combatants when they invaded Spain. They were there from 711 to 1492 and allowed Christians and Jews who weren't combatants to thrive. They don't hate others just because they're not Muslim. They hate others who offend their religion and the US has done a lot along those lines. Islam is set up to be a hornet's nest. If you leave it alone it won't bother you. But if you strike it, it will f you up. In issues of war, or battle, that's a just way to go about things. But when you're imposing your religious tenents by convicting people as criminals when they offend your faith then that's not just.

But historically, Islam has been relatively peaceful towards foreignors who aren't at war with them. That trade route was as successful as it was because Islam has specific tenents regarding trading with non-Muslims.

The complaints I have with Islam are as follows:

1. Legal discrimination against women including scriptures encouraging husbands to beat their wives after two warnings, forced marriage, female circumcision, forced clothing, limited positions in government/workforce/home.
2. Legal permission to marry off and sleep with children under the age of ten. Post-puberty (such as 12) is acceptable in some cultures but pedophilia is not. It's the difference between statutory rape and child molestation.
3. Legal discrimination against members of other religions that impose a special tax against non-Muslims.
4. A direct mandate to expand Sharia law to other nations to impose it on the locals.
5. Legal discrimination against religious expression. Especially icons. They've destroyed significant human history all around the world.

I consider these elements and beliefs to be extreme (in relation to Western thinking). Would you disagree that a practice forbidding women from being able to drive cars is extreme? Would you disagree that taxing some people more based on their faith would be extreme? At the very least, oppressive and discriminatory would be the word. I fear the idea of being under Sharia law. It is exactly that.

Sorry if you thought I meant that people who would attack innocents are the norm. That wasn't the case. But what I would call extremists are numerous enough to rally armies to force Sharia law in areas and to go around bashing thousands of years of human history.

spunkgarglewiwi:

thisbymaster:
Fine, here is the deal Muslims stop bombing/shooting/killing us and each other then we can talk.
/Boston

Aaaand you nailed the entire topic down to the T with just a few simple words.

Ugh. This was one of the first things I saw when I started reading this.

I'm a Muslim, from Boston, living here, working here... and this is just... Tasteless.

OT: I think the original article is pretty on point. We're not senseless killing machines. There are 1 billion plus Muslims in the world, if we were all like that how long do you think something like this would last?

There are many different types of Islam and many different types of Muslims, same as any other demographic quality that you can attribute to anyone. A lot of religious doctrines have violent text, we can drudge up the same text in the Torah or the Bible. In fact, next time an abortion clinic gets bombed by a Christian fundamentalist, maybe it's time to thrown down unqualified condemnation of those people too.

Additionally (EDIT): I'm calling BS on not ostracizing or rejecting the extremists. The Boston bombers were ostracized and rejected from their local mosque for their extremist views, and I personally distance myself from anyone with that mindset (as I do for anyone with a fundamentalist Christian mindset) as well.

Silentpony:

Falterfire:

AldUK:
I really hope I don't get warned for this post, but I just have to say after reading this, that most of the stereotypes have some grounding in reality. But it's the same for everyone, no matter where you're from. Also, the muslim religion specifically states that followers should convert all non-muslims with refusal meaning death. There's no misinterpretation there, look in the Koran and you can read it for yourself. Should we really, truthfully be tolerant of a religion that wants to kill anyone who isn't a part of it?

Aaaand the Bible includes a line about stoning gays to death and several about slaves. Should we really, truthfully, be tolerant of a religion that encourages the death penalty for homosexuals and the ownership of slaves?

Most Muslims aren't exactly on board with the idea of murderizing anybody who isn't Muslim, no matter what their holy book says.

The problem comes from fanaticism. The Bible is a horrible book with terrible life lessons and even worse characters, and thankfully not many people follow it. Judaism and Christianity have been around long enough to have...mellowed...out some. They did their Crusades and Inquisitions and whatnot. Islam is the youngest of the three and still going through its difficult teenage years. And embracing a troubled teen doesn't make them any LESS a troubled teen.
I'm all for equality, but fanatic Muslims love to quote the Qur'an on how a truly devout Muslim won't allow other religions to exist.
And the idea that most Muslims aren't on board is...nice...but its the same idea that most Scientologists don't believe in aliens. Its what they say to outsiders. I'd bet that given a choice between a world of many religious beliefs, and one of ONLY Islam...most Muslims are going to choose the latter. Not that they aren't pleasant people, but in private they decry a lot of what people do.

This. The other 2 related religions had their troubles back in the middle ages, but they've grown up for the most part. The muslim religion is the one that's still stuck in the middle ages and doesn't show any signs of growing up- especially with everyone trying to empathize and be tolerant. Example- is it more dangerous for you to be in a predominantly christian country with a t-shirt that says "Jesus is fake" or a predominantly muslim country with a t-shirt that says "Allah is fake" (or, y'know, even shows an artist's depiction of a historical figure)? Hell, even in the same region, is it more dangerous for you to walk around Israel saying "Abraham was a terrible father " or Egypt with a "Mohammad the Molester" hat? Exactly. Real tolerance is being able to understand that other people's opinions in and of themselves DON'T MATTER. Stick 'n stones and whatnot. There's currently one very large group of people in the world who are a real danger who don't understand that.

Sharpiez:

spunkgarglewiwi:

thisbymaster:
Fine, here is the deal Muslims stop bombing/shooting/killing us and each other then we can talk.
/Boston

Aaaand you nailed the entire topic down to the T with just a few simple words.

Ugh. This was one of the first things I saw when I started reading this.

I'm a Muslim, from Boston, living here, working here... and this is just... Tasteless.

OT: I think the original article is pretty on point. We're not senseless killing machines. There are 1 billion plus Muslims in the world, if we were all like that how long do you think something like this would last?

There are many different types of Islam and many different types of Muslims, same as any other demographic quality that you can attribute to anyone. A lot of religious doctrines have violent text, we can drudge up the same text in the Torah or the Bible. In fact, next time an abortion clinic gets bombed by a Christian fundamentalist, maybe it's time to thrown down unqualified condemnation of those people too.

Additionally (EDIT): I'm calling BS on not ostracizing or rejecting the extremists. The Boston bombers were ostracized and rejected from their local mosque for their extremist views, and I personally distance myself from anyone with that mindset (as I do for anyone with a fundamentalist Christian mindset) as well.

I think what people expect in this regard (and I'll note that I myself don't necessarily agree with it) is for Muslims to be more 'pro-active' in rooting out zealotry and extremism (as you have noted, many of these same people don't expect the same of Christians and say, the Westboro Baptist Church, but I digress). They basically want to see both religious leaders and average Muslims rejecting Islamic principals that seem in conflict with Western values (namely things like the role of women in society, the depiction of Muhammad controversy, etc.) and actively trying to compel the religion as a whole towards a more secular state. Basically, a lot of them want a Muslim version of the Reformation.

My brief theory (using general terms, not saying this applies to everyone obviously): I think the reason why Islam scares so many people in the West is because of how rooted in politics and institutions it is. This flies in the face of the past several hundred years of history in the West, where the elimination of religious political control (the Pope's influence over Europe in the Dark and Middle Ages, for example) has been largely seen as positive and progressive. With Islam's current politicized nature in the Middle East it's easy for people to see it as a direct challenge or antithesis to secularism.

RoonMian][quote=:

TheKrigeron:

@RoonMian I'd really like to see examples of contradictions

All right, you challenged my Google-Fu.

Quran 8:61: "And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also] and rely upon Allah. Indeed, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing."

Quran 9:5: "Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."

And as I said, sura 9 takes precedence.

That Aya is taken out of context,this was in a very specific part of history and doesn't appply nowadays let me tell you how it goes:

After the Musllims gone into El-Madina, they made truce with the "idolaters" who are the people of Kuraich here and not all of them around the world, the truce implied that they will live together in peace and no one will atack no one during ten years (kee in mind that the Muslinms were already more powerful then Kuraich and could have killed them).
Amongst the muslims lived a tribe/village called khouza'a (don't know how to spell it in English) that had a long-time rivalery with another tribe called Ibn-Nakr, while the truce was still going, Khouza'a was weak since they weren't prepared for a war. Ibn-Nakr attacked Khouza'a (pillaged,killed children and innocents...) with the help of the Kuraich leaders themself. After the survivors of that massare came to Muhamed, they had the right to fight back, to go to war EVEN then god let the Kuraich people have a 4 month delay and gave them the chance to flee or join them during that time, the only ones that were killed were the ones who still oposed them after what they did, so it was a choice

Read the Coran and try to learn Arabic because there is some people that try to translate it badly just to make the Coran look bad, any more questions? if so MP me I don't to flood this comment section anymore

The number of completely ignorant jerks here is undeniable proof that we need to stop treating Muslims like complete crap in our media. Too many people have been hopelessly brainwashed. This is just sad.

My bible says A LOT of funky stuff, including "suffer not a witch to live." Reading the whole thing front to back, it would be easy to get the idea that Christians want everybody dead. But we don't. The ones who do are extremists using biblical verses out of context to support their hatred. Do you see our media covering this? This large number of Christians using really dark verses in the bible to justify murder? No, you don't. Did my household get any coverage when a Christian came to steal my baby because my husband is a druid? No. That was totally fine. So was the brick through my window. All fine.

But heaven forbid a SINGLE Muslim ever do anything wrong. They have far less extremists than we do, and yet they've been blown up into this incredibly gross stereotype. I've met plenty of Muslims, and let me tell you, they are good people. Honest, well-meaning folk with killer fashion sense. They deserve to be the protagonists of video games.

I personally want to play a game in which you are the member of an insurgency in the middle east trying to rid your land of the terrible Americans who have no business being there. It would be way more accurate than any of these games casting Muslims as the ultimate evil.

Okay, I find it odd that this particular conversation has within it the following pattern:
1.) Don't stereotype Muslims.
2.) We can totally stereotype Muslims - their holy book says a lot of bad things!
3.) So does the Bible.
4.) Let's stereotype Christians.

Now, I am in no way saying anything along the lines of "ehrmehrgehrd, Christians are teh porsecutd" or anything like that. I sit on a throne of comfortable WASP privilege, and understand that complaints against a group to which I happen to belong have been a long time coming.

I am, however, saying that the argument, as it is stated above, is an irrational one. The fact of the matter is that you can take any belief system and find people within it who are decent human beings, as well as colossal dickbags who will use the slightest pretense in order to exercise their dumb angry wills.

Such pretense may take the form of quoting a particular written work, conventional wisdom, or the back of cereal boxes, but the fact of the matter is that, for such people, religion acts as more of a justification rather than a motivation. I would say that the motivation is sheer dickbag-ness, and the religion is more of an excuse to indulge in aforementioned dickbaggery.

Christ, the console wars are a freaking monument to this phenomenon.

NeedsaBetterName22:
I think what people expect in this regard (and I'll note that I myself don't necessarily agree with it) is for Muslims to be more 'pro-active' in rooting out zealotry and extremism (as you have noted, many of these same people don't expect the same of Christians and say, the Westboro Baptist Church, but I digress). They basically want to see both religious leaders and average Muslims rejecting Islamic principals that seem in conflict with Western values (namely things like the role of women in society, the depiction of Muhammad controversy, etc.) and actively trying to compel the religion as a whole towards a more secular state. Basically, a lot of them want a Muslim version of the Reformation.

My brief theory (using general terms, not saying this applies to everyone obviously): I think the reason why Islam scares so many people in the West is because of how rooted in politics and institutions it is. This flies in the face of the past several hundred years of history in the West, where the elimination of religious political control (the Pope's influence over Europe in the Dark and Middle Ages, for example) has been largely seen as positive and progressive. With Islam's current politicized nature in the Middle East it's easy for people to see it as a direct challenge or antithesis to secularism.

I think I understand that in regards to Europe. But the U.S. can't decide whether or not we are a Christian nation, I don't know if it holds up. I think the stereotyped "other," now that Russians, Nazis, Japanese, Native Americans, etc. are no fun, is what is working against us here. Edward Said's "Orientalism" has a pretty good summation of this.

Malty Milk Whistle:
Don't bother saying anything to therumancer, he's a renowned....I don't quite know what the word is, but he REALLY irks everyone on the board and seems to think that massed walls of bizarre text a good argument make.

Infamous, I think is the word you're talking about. Don't worry, I've both read topics involving him before, and even replied to one or two of his posts in the past (I think). I'm aware of what is involved, but regardless of my personal views it's almost invariably interesting and thought provoking. I just wish he could stay on topic more.

I am genuinely interested in this whole Iraq hiding troops in Iran during Desert Storm deal though. Would love to read more about it and the politics around it.

Lightknight:

Regarding the video, the question on whether or not the attack of 9/11 was justified is startling. Holy crap. Only 55% said it was unjustified? A direct attack on civilians is considered to have some justification by around half the respondants of this study? Whoa... I... I thought it'd be better than that... The study focuses on how only 7% said it was completely warranted but it ignores the rest of the gray responses that said it did have merit AND the study had an 8% no response category... Remember, this is the area that I said is not condoned by the Qur`an. Killing non-combatants is literally a no-no and so that kind of response is... scary. I suppose with our siding with Israel and our refusal to pursue individuals who offend Islam we may be considered combatants but that still wouldn't warrant attacking civilians.

You're looking at this as if Muslims are going to have a universal religious justification for how they feel about 9/11. They're not, and this is part of Rath's article's point. There is a lot of bad feeling towards the United States in the Middle East, but very little of this is anything to do with religion directly. It's almost invariably down to political or cultural roots. The US's involvement in the Middle East has not been terribly positive for most people there, and you are much better off looking into the history of that involvement to find out why there's so much ill-feeling rather than trying to figure out how they justify it on a religious basis. A lot of Christian Americans thought killing Osama Bin Laden was a great thing, despite the fact that it hardly fulfills the principle of turning the other cheek. You'll note that only a small minority thought the attack was fully justified. Honestly, I can see, really very easily, how I myself would fall into that grey between fully justified and unjustified. It was a horrific act... the US, the UK, and so many other countries in the "civilised" West have undertaken horrific acts that similarly targeted civilians, but on a scale made so much larger thanks to their access to bigger and better weapons. Violence is never the correct action, but I can see how that act could be seen as an act of retaliation from one side, rather than an unprovoked act of terror as the US sees it.

Lightknight:

The study also did some weird things. They asked questions that didn't really relate to what they were talking about. For example, the question about whether or not women should have any job they're qualified for doesn't address the idea that women are legally disqualified for jobs like driving in some of these places. I mean, 82% of Saudi Arabian women can say all they want how they should be able to work in jobs they're qualified for but when the governmnet forbids their ability to drive under the guise of religion then they are severely limited.

Isn't that the way that question is normally phrased? "Should people be allowed to have any job they are qualified for?" I mean, you wouldn't want to make the interviewee to think you're asking them if people should be allowed to a job regardless of their qualifications. I very much doubt there was an intention to appeal to Saudi Arabian men with that question.

Lightknight:

The complaints I have with Islam are as follows:

1. Legal discrimination against women including scriptures encouraging husbands to beat their wives after two warnings, forced marriage, female circumcision, forced clothing, limited positions in government/workforce/home.
2. Legal permission to marry off and sleep with children under the age of ten. Post-puberty (such as 12) is acceptable in some cultures but pedophilia is not. It's the difference between statutory rape and child molestation.
3. Legal discrimination against members of other religions that impose a special tax against non-Muslims.
4. A direct mandate to expand Sharia law to other nations to impose it on the locals.
5. Legal discrimination against religious expression. Especially icons. They've destroyed significant human history all around the world.

I consider these elements and beliefs to be extreme (in relation to Western thinking). Would you disagree that a practice forbidding women from being able to drive cars is extreme? Would you disagree that taxing some people more based on their faith would be extreme? At the very least, oppressive and discriminatory would be the word. I fear the idea of being under Sharia law. It is exactly that.

Sorry if you thought I meant that people who would attack innocents are the norm. That wasn't the case. But what I would call extremists are numerous enough to rally armies to force Sharia law in areas and to go around bashing thousands of years of human history.

I refer you to Rath's very first point, "Stop lumping them all together". There is a huge spread of diversity within the Islamic faith, within the Middle East, within areas where those two overlap and where only one of them applies. The legal discrimination against women, particularly the legal beating, female circumcision, and limited positions, are hardly implemented universally. Iran has laws that require women to have a male guardian give them permission to work, but even they have several female members of parliament. I'm absolutely sure you do have problems with those aspects of Islam. I have issues with them. Everyone should have issues with them. But bringing it up is basically going off topic. No one is saying Islam has no issues. There are issues within Muslim communities across the world. The problem in this article is the portrayal of Muslims in the medium of video games. It's ok if you portray some parts of Islam as being distasteful, so long as you can also show that those distasteful parts are nowhere near the only reality.

Gah, it's far too late at night/early in the morning for me to be constructing a coherent argument. I'll sleep on it.

Maevine:
Honest, well-meaning folk with killer fashion sense.

I love you so much, just for that comment, and you've said everything I wanted to say better.
Thank you.

hornedcow:
The mention of similarities to Nazism in an argument does not instantly invalidate someone's point, especially when the majority expressing the opposing view openly admire Adolf Hitler,

Who admires Hitler? No-one I know who holds that Islam is fundamentally (in its pre-enlightenment form) incompatible with Western Secularism admires Hitler. At least not his espoused views on Ethnic cleansing or German/Aryan superiority.

People aren't arguing that Islam can't be judged by it's Holy Books, they're arguing that Muslims can't be discriminated against solely because of their religion, something most people are born into, especially in a society tolerates believers in faiths whose tenets are no less perverse than Islamic ones, and indeed frequently commends them for those beliefs.

Who's discriminating against Muslims? I'm talking about Islam and was making an irritated observation about the common and ultimately stupid argument that you "can't judge Islam by what it says in its holy book". There is a difference between an ideology and those who follow it. I know plenty of decent people who identify as Muslims, but they don't actually follow most of what the religion actually teaches, they follow what liberal apologists claim it teaches, which is fine, hence the (admittedly not explicitly stated) distinction between Islam and Muslims.

PS: Your habit of making a flimsy argument, then acting like you've won something is among the most irritating things I've seen on the internet so far, so congratulations on that.

Please give examples of this "habitual" behaviour you have observed in me in your long years on the forum.

Sharpiez:

NeedsaBetterName22:
I think what people expect in this regard (and I'll note that I myself don't necessarily agree with it) is for Muslims to be more 'pro-active' in rooting out zealotry and extremism (as you have noted, many of these same people don't expect the same of Christians and say, the Westboro Baptist Church, but I digress). They basically want to see both religious leaders and average Muslims rejecting Islamic principals that seem in conflict with Western values (namely things like the role of women in society, the depiction of Muhammad controversy, etc.) and actively trying to compel the religion as a whole towards a more secular state. Basically, a lot of them want a Muslim version of the Reformation.

My brief theory (using general terms, not saying this applies to everyone obviously): I think the reason why Islam scares so many people in the West is because of how rooted in politics and institutions it is. This flies in the face of the past several hundred years of history in the West, where the elimination of religious political control (the Pope's influence over Europe in the Dark and Middle Ages, for example) has been largely seen as positive and progressive. With Islam's current politicized nature in the Middle East it's easy for people to see it as a direct challenge or antithesis to secularism.

I think I understand that in regards to Europe. But the U.S. can't decide whether or not we are a Christian nation, I don't know if it holds up. I think the stereotyped "other," now that Russians, Nazis, Japanese, Native Americans, etc. are no fun, is what is working against us here. Edward Said's "Orientalism" has a pretty good summation of this.

Damn straight on Edward Said.

In regards to America as a Christian nation you do have a point, but I think it also comes down to the belief that many people would reject an overarching fundamentalist state in America. If the government were to, say, attempt to install creationism into the public school system there'd be massive resistance and public outcry. This isn't to say that within Muslim countries extremist religious attitudes within politics aren't resisted, but it ties into Said's 'other' concept. The Orient is the 'other': mysterious and strange, and our perceptions of them are largely based on media produced by people with clear agendas. From the information given many people see the Islamic world as untrustworthy (and the opposite is true as well).

Ultimately I'd argue that if the entire Middle East had a system similar to Turkey (not that I'm saying it's a perfect solution or even a good one) there'd be a lot less Islamophobia.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here