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  Topic: GoP defends his claim about muslim intergration, Rebuttal as appropriate< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 30 2006,11:56   

Quote
many moderate Muslims have a dreadful habit of "flipping" into hardcore militancy once they become citizens. This is not a prejudice -- it's a fact


Fact? I find extremely hard to establish such a fact, even if it were true. What way is there to know? And even if you can prove a previous moderate behavior, How can you dismiss the possibility of suppressed tendencies, or circumstances and events that ingited hatred, or even actual pretense to avoid detection, and blame the religion itself?

Any examples?

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 30 2006,12:12   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Aug. 30 2006,16:27)
D.Q.

     
Quote
Gop, I'm glad to have gotten your attention. Perhaps you would be so kind as to address a point Arden made a few days ago:

"My prediction is that GoP would be much happier with hardcore Christian fundamentalists immigrating to this country than he would be with the most moderate Muslims."

Would that be correct?


Arfin's just trolling; he'll respond with an irrelevant witticism no matter what I say. But to answer your question: I would prefer the hardcore fundy Christian (after all, I am one myself), but mostly because many moderate Muslims have a dreadful habit of "flipping" into hardcore militancy once they become citizens. This is not a prejudice -- it's a fact. Perhaps they were lying about their beliefs, or perhaps they were horrified by the moral laxity they saw when they settled in. But whatever the reason, it's a very real problem and no one has a clue on how to detect Western-friendly Muslims ahead of time.

So I predicted your reaction correctly: you'd prefer the looniest Christian to any Muslim, because, based on your deep experience, the Muslim will probably become an extremist. You're fine with Christian extremism.

Glad you're as intimately familiar with how Muslims think as you are with liberals.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 30 2006,12:26   

Quote
But whatever the reason, it's a very real problem and no one has a clue on how to detect Western-friendly Muslims ahead of time.

Ghost, I hope you understand this is an extremely xenophobic assertion.
It basically boils down to "You can never trust Muslims, even the most mild-mannered and friendly ones, because you never know when they might flip out and blow themselves and everyone else up. You just don't".

Not one of your best moments here.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 30 2006,14:17   

No comment on the Pew Center polling data I posted?

Here's something else, then, from last April:
Quote
A conference of Muslim prayer leaders, or imams, from all over Europe is due to open in Vienna on April 7. On the agenda at the three-day meeting is how to integrate Muslim communities into the European mainstream while maintaining European Muslims' identity. RFE/RL [Radio Free Europe] interviewed one participant, Dr. Abduljalil Sajid, the chairman of Britain's Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony, on Islam's place in Europe and the identity of European Muslims.
RFE/RL: Do you feel imams and preachers are adequately building bridges between Muslims and Christians? Or is this something that still must be done in places of worship around Europe?

Sajid: Well, I'll give you my own example. I started to work on building bridges between [Muslims and] various faiths, Jews, Christians 40 years ago. We all need to live in peace. Peace and coexistence will not come by talks. It will come by practice; it will come by how we respect each other, how we recognize our differences and accept those differences and value and appreciate our humanity together. When we come to respect our humanity, I think that common sense will prevail, and respect will come. Abiding the law of the land and the rule of law is paramount.

RFE/RL: Do you consider yourself a Muslim in Europe or a European Muslim?

Sajid: I'm both. I consider myself a European Muslim. My identity is in my geography, my area, but I myself also consider that my first and foremost duty is to the identity of my faith, believing in God. So I am a Muslim in Europe as well as a European Muslim. I do not see a contradiction in either of these two terms, and we should not be asked and forced to choose one against another. We can be both.

http://www.rferl.org/feature....dd.html

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 30 2006,14:47   

Faid:
   
Quote
Ghost, I hope you understand this is an extremely xenophobic assertion.
It basically boils down to "You can never trust Muslims, even the most mild-mannered and friendly ones, because you never know when they might flip out and blow themselves and everyone else up. You just don't".

Not one of your best moments here.


Well, the immigration officer can't tell, because how much can one learn about an individual through the naturalisation process? Fill out a form, meet for an interview, get photo'd and printed, then take the oath. Or sneak across the border. Boy, there's a loophole-free system for ya. I'm just being realistic.

Nine:

 
Quote
No comment on the Pew Center polling data I posted?


Since Louis has no answer for my cultural/historical arguments, now's as good a time as any, I guess. This response does not mean that I'm starting my presentation for point # 3, but it will give everyone a sample of what's coming.

Here's the link, so now let the fisking begin:

 
Quote
Study shows France leading in Muslim integration
Thirty-seven percent of French Muslims reported a bad experience due to their race, ethnicity, or religion, compared to 28 percent among British Muslims.


Hmmmm....already I'm astonished. For years and years, Europeans were telling us that their countries were racism-free Utopias that would seamlessly integrate both People of Color and religious minorities, unlike Amerikka. Things haven't turned out as planned, I see. So either Europeans were naive, lying, or both. Maybe this survey will help us choose among these options.

[since this software was designed by the Ancient Mariner, as it stoppeth one of three, I'll continue below]

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 30 2006,16:01   

Continuing from the last post:

         
Quote
A new analysis by the Washington-based Pew Research Center suggests that European countries with significant Muslim populations may be well advised to study the French model of integration. The Pew data shows that French Muslims are embracing assimilation more eagerly than their counterparts in other European countries.


Notice the subtle admission that Muslims, indeed, have trouble assimilating into Western Societies. I mean, I don't see this much fuss over Christian, Jewish, and Hindu immigrants. This says a lot, and probably more than the reporter intended.

And taking lessons from France? France? the largest and most useless collection of windbags ever assembled in one country? But let's carry on.....

         
Quote
After the riots in Parisian suburbs and other French cities by mainly Muslim youths late last year, few international and domestic analysts were touting the soundness of the French government's policies toward its Muslim population.


Which is quite understandable, since the French Muslim population has had problems for some time now. Let's start with this mysterious poll. Notice that roughly half the Muslims surveyed in the four countries worries about unemployment. This suggests that they're not contributing a great deal to the economy (which, of course, may not be their fault). People with marketable skills tend not to fret so much about unemployment, even in Arkansas. This isn't meant to be snide -- I've worked more than my share of low-paying, degrading jobs, but since unemployment rates hover around 10% for the Pew countries, it's depressing that Muslims are scuffling so much. This is not a good sign. This story quantifies the economic discrepancy:
     
Quote
There is growing fear of a new and virulent anti-Semitism taking hold in the dingy subsidized housing tracts where most Arab and West Africans immigrants live in isolation from the French mainstream, suffering from poverty, unemployment, and school dropout rates often more than double the national average.


The Cato Institute agrees:
   
Quote
French unemployment has hovered around 10 percent for years, but the unemployment rate for the rioting young people is well above 20 percent and in some immigrant neighborhoods tops 60 percent. Overall economic growth is less than half that of the United States.


And this has led to an interesting result:

     
Quote
But more recently, analysts say, anti-Semitism in France has taken an uglier turn as young Arabs and West Africans have adopted loud hatred of Jews as a proclamation of cool, an attitude powered more by rap music, ultraviolent jihadist videos, and radical Islamic rhetoric -- although with little or no adherence to Islamic religious practice -- than by any coherent stand on events in the Middle East. Equally alarming, the anti-Semitism appears to be spreading among non-Muslim Africans and Caribbean blacks in France, and even gaining ground among white immigrants from European backwaters who find it difficult gaining a place in French society.

Said Sammy Ghozlan, a retired police chief and activist against anti-Semitism: ''It's all mixed up: gang stuff, violence, and a glaze of ideology -- they hate Jews, they hate the West, they hate France. The Jews are the face they put on their generalized anger at the world."
[...]
France recorded 974 anti-Semitic incidents in 2004, a record high for the post-World War II era. But officials were proud that slurs spray-painted on synagogues, the trashing of Jewish cemeteries, and other incidents fell dramatically last year, to about 500 incidents.

But Jewish leaders say the decline is less a reflection of growing tolerance than of the heavy precautions that synagogues have felt obliged to adopt in recent years, including installation of high, heavy-gauge steel security fences, 24-hour surveillance cameras, and armed patrols.


But here's more from the Pew poll that inspired the article. Apparently, things are going well assimilation-wise:

 
Quote
when asked whether they consider themselves as a national citizen first or as a Muslim first, French Muslims split relatively evenly (42% vs. 46%) on the issue. Not only is this remarkably different from Muslims elsewhere in Europe (fully 81% of British Muslims self-identify with their religion rather than their nationality, for example) but it is remarkably close to the responses given by Americans when asked whether they identify first as national citizens or as Christians (48% vs. 42%). Perhaps in this, as in other things, Muslims living in France are indeed absorbing the secular ways of their countrymen, among whom fully 83% self-identify with their nationality, rather than their religion.
[...]
Nearly eight-in-ten French Muslims (78%) say they want to adopt French customs. Those under age 35 are equally as likely to say this as are their elders. This high preference for assimilation compares with that expressed by 53% of Muslims in Spain, 41% in Britain and 30% in Germany.
[...]
Most striking, however, is the difference between the views that French Muslims hold about people of other faiths and the views held by Muslims elsewhere in Europe and in predominantly Muslim countries. French Muslims even top the general publics in the United States and France in favorable ratings of Christians (91% of French Muslims vs. 88% of Americans and 87% of the French take that view).

But what most distinguishes French Muslims from their co-religionists not only in the Muslim world but in Europe, is their attitude toward Jews. Fully 71% of French Muslims express a positive view of people of the Jewish faith, compared with only 38% of German Muslims, 32% of British Muslims, 28% of Spanish Muslims and still lower numbers in the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed. In this, Muslims reflect the view of the larger French public among whom fully 86% express a favorable opinion of Jews, a higher proportion than even than among the American public.


Since time has run out, I'll finish this tomorrow. But let me just note that in a battle between evidence and cheerful self-reports, the evidence wins every time.

More later.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 30 2006,23:17   

Ghosty,

I'm not accusing anyone of quote mining per se, what's that saying "the devil can quote scripture to suit his needs"?

What I'm saying is that you are tarring "muslims" with the brush of literal adherence to the qu'ran, especially the naughty bits. Quoting the qu'ran (or the bible for that matter "thou shalt not suffer an unbeliever to live" remember that one) isn't sufficient to demonstrate "all muslims integrate worse than anyone else" because not all muslims have the same interpretations of the qu'ran, and I'm also saying that we should all be careful with this sort of thing (not just you).

I'm also saying it's irrelevant for good reasons. It doesn't matter what the qu'ran says, all you have to demonstrate is the original claim you made, i.e. that muslims integrate (that has yet to be defined) into western societies worse than all other groups. Wittering on about how evil the qu'ran is or how nasty and intemperate "muslims" are (when it's starkly clear that ALL "muslims" are not so nasty and intemperate, SOME are) doesn't do it.

Your "denials" 1, 2 and 3 are nonsense. No one is denying 1 and 2, mainly beacsue they're irrelevant to the discussion, and 3 is what you're trying to establish!

I haven't answered your "cultural and historical evidence" because you've yet to really bring any up, all we've had so far is appeals to high profile media cases and the nastier bits of iron age nonsense books.

This thread could be about 4 posts long. My original post, your response, my agreement, and a series of statistics showing that for your given definitions of "muslim" and "integration" that muslims do less well than say sikhs. Ok, there'd be a fifth post, me agreeing that you have proved your case.

The "look how nasty their naughty books are, and aren't some of them radical and terrorist material" is pointless, this applies to SOME of everybody. What you have to demonstrate is not that you THINK the make poor integration subjects, but that they HAVE made poor integration subjects, and demonstrably poorer than all other groups.

Ghosty, I am merely trying to get you to defend the claim you made, nothing more. When you defend that claim, and stop appealling to prejudice based on how mean and nasty some things that some muslims have done and said are, I'll post a proper reply. Until then I'm reduced to pointing out how irrelevant most of this is. Your argument thus far could be applied to pretty much any group at any point in history, it amounts to nothing more than your personal belief that the particular nastiness of some islamic people/works/deeds is compelling evidence that ALL muslims are poor integrators into western society. It's the equivalent of "ooooh isn't he black, wouldn't want him and his heathen ways living next to me.", granted with better references! Shorn of it's pseudoscholastic veneer it's nothing more than a rather wordy appeal to prejudice.

And before you go off on one, that's not necessarily a bad thing, it just doesn't establish the claim you are making. It's irrelevant. Is any of this getting through?

Oh and how can we measure this? Define what you mean by integration for a start. Then we could go anywhere: crime statistics, proportion of income returned to home state, stats about the f1 and f2 generations, stats on up take of host language, stats on
"ghettoisation", stats on mixed marriages etc etc etc.

This is why I am trying to get you to define integration in terms of how you mean it. Give us some hard and fast criteria to clearly demonstrate what you are saying is true. This is childishly simple to do and I wonder why you are avoiding it. Skip all this regurgiposting half the internet because it isn't supporting your claim. Start by defining what you mean by integration, and as you have gone some way to defining what you mean by muslim, we may well have a starting point for actual proof.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 30 2006,23:27   

P.S. Oh yeah, and that interesting "fact" about "many" moderate muslims flipping when they get over here needs a touch of.......evidence, that's the word! Proportionally how many? Where? When?

Louis

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Bye.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,04:49   

Louis:

     
Quote
Your "denials" 1, 2 and 3 are nonsense. No one is denying 1 and 2, mainly beacsue they're irrelevant to the discussion, and 3 is what you're trying to establish!

I haven't answered your "cultural and historical evidence" because you've yet to really bring any up, all we've had so far is appeals to high profile media cases and the nastier bits of iron age nonsense books.


But what's funny about this complaint is that Nine, by quoting articles discussing the efforts and surveys going on to measure and improve the extent of Muslim integration, has established that there is a problem with Muslim assimilation! Let's requote his latest link:

     
Quote
A conference of Muslim prayer leaders, or imams, from all over Europe is due to open in Vienna on April 7. On the agenda at the three-day meeting is how to integrate Muslim communities into the European mainstream while maintaining European Muslims' identity. RFE/RL interviewed one participant, Dr. Abduljalil Sajid, the chairman of Britain's Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony, on Islam's place in Europe and the identity of European Muslims.


Now think about this. If Muslims are assimilating as smoothly as other immigrants, then why the need for this conference of Muslim religious leaders? How can this not be a tacit admission of Muslim failure to integrate into Western society? Or do the imams just have nothing better to do with their time? Also notice the exact wording:

     
Quote
On the agenda at the three-day meeting is how to integrate Muslim communities into the European mainstream while maintaining European Muslims' identity.


In other words, Muslims haven't "integrated" yet as a group, and the prayer leaders think that there's a tension between "integrating into the European mainstream" and "maintaining European Muslims' identity". This is not what I say. This is what they say. But let's look at the interview:

   
Quote
RFE/RL: Dr. Sajid, what issues do you intend to bring up at the Vienna conference, and what is the message you are taking there?

Dr. Abduljalil Sajid: We should bring a common European imams' voice, because we are Europeans, so we need to create our [own] European Islamic jurisprudence specific to the areas where Islam is not an authority. How Muslims should behave and live in non-Muslim societies, what our rules and duties are, and what the duties of preachers and teachers are.

The message is very clear: we need to create a common platform on common, shared human values.All these issues will be discussed. I hope we'll create a permanent committee and this permanent committee will guide European Muslims in all daily issues, and also, dealing with authorities like the European Commission, European Council [comprising the heads of EU states], ministers, governments, because we are here to stay. Muslims are not going anywhere, so they need to play a positive role as citizens, and we have to educate our people so that the evil of extremism and racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism completely go away. The message is very clear: we need to create a common platform on common, shared human values.
[...]
Muslims will have to understand that in the Western world people are free to say whatever they like; it is in their custom to make jokes and fun about authority, even [about] queens, and kings and others. And they have to realize they [non-Muslims] are free to do so, but with some restraint and responsibility. And the Western world has to understand that, religiously, Muslims cannot tolerate that their deities, their respect for God, Prophet, and the [Holy] Book can be what we call 'insulted.' Freedom to insult and freedom to abuse is not there. Freedom to respect is there, freedom to create harmonization is there. They are free to criticize Islam and Muslims without any problem, but with respect. But what Muslims did [in terms of] overreaction, in terms of burning flags and burning embassies, that has to be condemned, too. That is not the Muslim way, that is not the Islamic way. Violence is not a part of Islam, it is contrary to Islam; I always say it is a betrayal of Islam. So that will be the message coming out from this conference.


Notice the not-so-subtle message....Muslims cannot tolerate religious "insults". And notice that the context of this answer involves the rather mild satirical cartoons, not some hate-filled propaganda. Also note that this imam has just told us that the freedom to "insult" and "abuse" (remember, we're talking about drawing mild satirical cartoons here) is "NOT THERE"!!! How much more obvious can it get? We have a guy coming to our nations, telling us what we may say in our nations! And this guy is the moderate who's supposed to be rebutting my argument!

Sorry for the bolding and all-caps, but do see why Americans and Europeans might consider this a little problematic? He's got his own Muslim countries to live in, but no, he wants to come to traditionally Christian countries and force us to "respect" his religion (on his terms, of course), even if that means a loss of liberty for us. Well, I've got some advice for this imam: if you don't like what you see in the newspapers or on the telly, then don't read or watch the offending material (or organise a boycott, or protest peacefully)! If that's too much, then sorry, but it's time to go back to your homeland, and don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

More later.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,05:08   

Quote
Sorry for the bolding and all-caps, but do see why Americans and Europeans might consider this a little problematic? He's got his own Muslim countries to live in, but no, he wants to come to traditionally Christian countries and force us to "respect" his religion (on his terms, of course), even if that means a loss of liberty for us. Well, I've got some advice for this imam: if you don't like what you see in the newspapers or on the telly, then don't read or watch the offending material (or organise a boycott, or protest peacefully)! If that's too much, then sorry, but it's time to go back to your homeland, and don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

Ghost, this was the most honest post from you yet.  :D

Now, before you go to "more later": For a change, try to reverse sides... imagine it's Christian leaders arguing for succesful integration in the Muslim world. In what way do you think their arguments would be different? What part of "Religious tolerance" don't you get?

Which brings us to that other point you haven't answered... Do you also think that Christians cannot assimilate well in Muslim countries, and therefore those countries would do well to kick them out for their safety? That pevious post of yours seemed to imply so.

And oh, also, about that "fact, not prejudice"... Whenever you're ready.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
stevestory



Posts: 12272
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,05:26   

"The first Muslim to be crowned Miss England" seems to agree with Paley somewhat.

Quote
"Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway. It will take a long time for communities to start mixing in more.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages....id=1770

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,05:37   

Ghosty,

This is getting pointless.

Whilst I'm grateful for the efforts you have put in, I REALLY think we need to return to the basics. Define what you mean by integration, or at least your criteria for "being integrated" or not. Draw the line you are trying to claim people are crossing or otherwise.

You're skipping over "conversations with black leaders" and "conversations with sikh leaders" etc, all of which occur with unfailing regularity (at least here), and make little headline news because of the current lack of terrorism on the part of some of the members of those groups.

Get to what you mean by integration first, establish a level playing field unambiguously. Otherwise it's obvious what you're trying to do is NOT provide a rational case for your claim.

Cheers

Louis

P.S. I am not accusing you of anything, or being hostile, it's just that you made a very specific claim which is open to proof/disproof very simply. Which is why I asked you to defend it. This way we can have an unambiguous conclusion that satisfies everyone, rather than the long drawn out pointless wrangle that this is turning out to be. Make with the stats that unambiguously prove your claim or admit that you cannot do so without bloviating on the verbal nastiness of the qu'ran and the ridiculous wankery of deluded imams (both of which were well understood by all concrened before you posted them).

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Bye.

  
Arden Chatfield



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,08:49   

Here's where GoP gets his feverish ideas, evidently.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,09:29   

Louis:

         
Quote
Ghosty,

This is getting pointless.

Whilst I'm grateful for the efforts you have put in, I REALLY think we need to return to the basics. Define what you mean by integration, or at least your criteria for "being integrated" or not. Draw the line you are trying to claim people are crossing or otherwise.


Personally, I don't understand the obsession with definitions -- after all, Nine's article used the term "integration" without assuming that the reader would be left in a semantic fog......but since you're a scientist, I'll humour you and assume this won't lead to a nitpicker's banquet. Don't disappoint me.

By "integration", I mean:

1) No more likely to commit violent crimes as a group than the population as a whole (15 % pts above national violent crime rates at maximum) ;

2) No cries for "affirmative action";

3) Roughly proportionate representation in the intellectual occupations (doctors, lawyers, and/or scientists) without relying on 2). Yes, this implies good scores on standardised scholastic tests;

4) A culture that tolerates Western norms.

Groups that satisfy all the above conditions:

Jews, N.E. Asians, S.E. Asians (I think), Indians.

Notice that it's OK if an immigrant group beats the native population in these areas -- I'm not afraid of hypercompetitive groups. Please notice the word "tolerates" in point 4).

   
Quote
You're skipping over "conversations with black leaders" and "conversations with sikh leaders" etc, all of which occur with unfailing regularity (at least here), and make little headline news because of the current lack of terrorism on the part of some of the members of those groups.

....and? You told me to stick with Muslims, so when I listen you suddenly don't like it. In any case, I never said the black and Sikh populations were model immigrants either, so comparing them to Muslims doesn't prove anything (most Sikhs live in the Punjab region of India anyway -- they're not a big part of the Indian population). And the reason the conversations with black leaders are occuring is because British blacks, as a group, commit disproportionate levels of crime, are mimicking African-American gangsta culture, and are at the bottom in test scores. Yes, I've proved these things before -- check some older threads. The Sikhs I don't know about, but from what you've been saying, they might not be fitting in either. So?

 
Quote
P.S. I am not accusing you of anything, or being hostile, it's just that you made a very specific claim which is open to proof/disproof very simply. Which is why I asked you to defend it. This way we can have an unambiguous conclusion that satisfies everyone, rather than the long drawn out pointless wrangle that this is turning out to be. Make with the stats that unambiguously prove your claim or admit that you cannot do so without bloviating on the verbal nastiness of the qu'ran and the ridiculous wankery of deluded imams (both of which were well understood by all concrened before you posted them).


Really? Nine thought the imam's interview was evidence against my position....but that's not an MP, that's a YP.  :D  :D  :D

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,10:12   

Quote
Nine thought the imam's interview was evidence against my position....but that's not an MP, that's a YP.

Did I? I don't recall addressing you in any way, GoP. I simply posted what I had found in a very cursory search to promote further discussion after not getting any comment from anyone on the Pew Data. As for your view that the Imam's statements are somehow indicative of entrenched resistance to integration, I'd say the mere fact that he addressed it is a positive sign. You viewing the fact that the Imams even held a meeting as "negative" is one side of a double-bind that you wanted to cast.

If there were no meetings of leaders, you'd say they are ignoring it, content in their isolation that foments mutual antagonism. If they have meetings, you say they are tacitly signalling agreement with your view...despite the fact that they appear to be saying they want to find mutual agreement and integration. In short, you want to have it both ways without presenting any actual hard current data of your own as of yet.

By the way, what are "western norms?"

Despite your view that the French are "the largest and most useless collection of windbags ever assembled in one country," I assume that you 'll say democracy is then a "norm" despite its relative youth here -- it wasn't ALL that long ago that this country and theirs underwent revolutions to rid themselves of monarchies, correct? Don't some "western" countries still have hereditary nobles?
You seem to conveniently forget that it was only a short time ago that the United States would tolerate no public insult to Jesus or Christianity. Try finding a cartoon of the '50's depicting Jesus disparagingly and distributed publicly in a newspaper. All of five decades ago. And how tolerant were americans of integration 5 decades ago? Did the national guard have to be called in to protect those fearsome little black girls? I could go on, but you'd just address THIS rather than deal with having to back your claims.

Do yourself a favor and just find the stats that you say support your contention. Don't try and use anecdote or pretending that I was setting out data "against" your view -- back your claims directly, without engaging in the shoddy blatant duplicity of your "geocentric" crap.

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deadman_932



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,10:56   

According to the Zogby polling organization, Muslims in the U.S. are in general more educated and affluent than the national average, with 59% of them holding at least an undergraduate college degree. Muslims tend to hold professional jobs, and one in three Muslims earn over $75,000 a year. They tend to be employed in professional fields, and most own stock, either personally or through 401(k) or pension plans.
In terms of civic participation, 82% are registered to vote, half of them as Democrats. Interestingly, however, the survey found that 65% of Muslim Americans favor lowering the income tax.
21% of Muslim Americans intermarry, according to the 2001 Religious Identification Survey of the City University of New York--close to the national rate of 22% of Americans who marry outside their religion. And because 64% of Muslim Americans are foreign born, there is reason to expect that figure to grow among second and third generations.
[A]ccording to Ishan Bagby, a professor at the University of Kentucky who recently made a study of mosque attendance in Detroit, the average mosque-goer is 34 years old, married with children, has at least a bachelor's degree, and earns about $74,000 a year.
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007151
******************************************************************
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the United States largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, originally established to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America. CAIR portrays itself as the voice of mainstream, moderate Islam on Capitol Hill and in political arenas throughout the United States. It has aggressively condemned all acts of terrorism, and has been working in collaboration with the White House in "issues of safety and foreign policy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_the_United_States
******************************************************************
http://allied-media.com/AM/default.htm gives some other figures on Muslims in America

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,11:20   

Nine:

       
Quote
Did I? I don't recall addressing you in any way, GoP. I simply posted what I had found in a very cursory search to promote further discussion after not getting any comment from anyone on the Pew Data.


Did you? I assumed that this comment:

       
Quote
No comment on the Pew Center polling data I posted?

Here's something else, then, from last April:


Was directed at me. If it wasn't, then I misread your intentions  -- sorry. In any case, I think I should be addressing points like these, so no harm was done.

     
Quote
As for your view that the Imam's statements are somehow indicative of entrenched resistance to integration, I'd say the mere fact that he addressed it is a positive sign. You viewing the fact that the Imams even held a meeting as "negative" is one side of a double-bind that you wanted to cast.


Not quite. I actually agree that the meeting itself was a positive sign. I was attempting to make two additional points, however:

1) The meeting won't be fruitful until the imams realise that it is their duty to obey the debating norms in their Western host countries. They were the ones who came here, after all; we didn't go to their countries. So they are free to protest political and cultural trends, organise boycotts, publish critiques of Western Civilisation, etc. What they should not do is demand that Westerners change their ways, or else. It just doesn't work like this.

2) The need for the meeting itself was evidence that Muslims, in fact, are having difficulty assimilating to Western societies. Certainly, it's not proof: perhaps the conference is just for combating stereotypes of non-assimilation, or maybe the organisers are just publicity hounds. The interview itself seemed to indicate that real problems need to be addressed. So I wasn't going to let anyone argue two contradictory positions:

1) There's no major problem, dude;

2) The Muslims are trying to fix it anyway.

Uh-uh. You may have one of these positions, but not both. One only seeks treatment when one has a disease.

 
Quote
If there were no meetings of leaders, you'd say they are ignoring it, content in their isolation that foments mutual antagonism. If they have meetings, you say they are tacitly signalling agreement with your view...despite the fact that they appear to be saying they want to find mutual agreement and integration. In short, you want to have it both ways without presenting any actual hard current data of your own as of yet.


<groan...> The meeting itself isn't the problem, it's the terms being dictated. He could have said, "Western newspapers must understand that our religion prohibits images of Mohammed, so if they want Muslim subscribers and journalists, they should rethink their policies. Respect for other people's religion is a hallmark of decent civilisation, and we expect nothing less from our media." But he didn't do that. He started off that way, but then forgot that he has no right to dictate the limits of our freedom. Get the point?

 
Quote
You seem to conveniently forget that it was only a short time ago that the United States would tolerate no public insult to Jesus or Christianity. Try finding a cartoon of the '50's depicting Jesus disparagingly and distributed publicly in a newspaper. All of five decades ago.


I don't know about cartoons, but I'll see your bet and raise you a curmudgeon.

Quote
And how tolerant were americans of integration 5 decades ago? Did the national guard have to be called in to protect those fearsome little black girls? I could go on, but you'd just address THIS rather than deal with having to back your claims.


Irrelevant. Move to strike.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,11:38   

Quote
I don't know about cartoons, but I'll see your bet and raise you a curmudgeon.


Then you can't "see" my bet. Pointing to critics of religion or Christianity through time doesn't match the criteria set down. There are critics of Islam all over the place, too. Big deal. I specified what I meant precisely.

How's about those American muslims that refuse to assimilate, eh?

If you'll look at the crime rates for muslim population centers in the US, do you think they'll be above or below national averages? Yeah, and they intermarry...and have good educations and high incomes according to what little data I found. I don't hear any cries for Muslim "affirmative action," and it would appear that they "tolerate" western norms, unless you want to try to weasel that one. Go for it.

Can you counter that with some stats of your own on Muslims in the (I presume) highly westernized U.S.??

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,13:17   

Ahhhh, the Ninester realises that his earlier sources were undercutting Louis's position, so now he brings in the real guns. This is good, because economic and crime data are what I take seriously anyhoo. So I'll abandon my fisking of his crap evidence and move on to the real stuff.

Nine:

[quote]According to the Zogby polling organization, Muslims in the U.S. are in general more educated and affluent than the national average, with 59% of them holding at least an undergraduate college degree. Muslims tend to hold professional jobs, and one in three Muslims earn over $75,000 a year. They tend to be employed in professional fields, and most own stock, either personally or through 401(k) or pension plans.
[/quote]

He cites this article.

First things first. The very same article says:

[quote]As it happens, Her Majesty's government was well clued on these questions before the bombers struck: A 2004 Home Office study showed, for example, that British Muslims are three times likelier to be unemployed than the wider population, that their rates of civic participation are low, and that as many as 26% do not feel loyal to Britain.[/quote]

So things are apparently not rosy all over. This counts. But let's talk about American Muslims for a second.

             
Quote
Information on American Muslims is sketchier. Thanks to a 2004 Zogby International survey, we know that a plurality of Muslim Americans--about one-third--are of South Asian descent; 26% are Arab and another 20% are American blacks. But until 2001 we had no idea how many Muslims lived in America, and even now the figure remains a matter of intense controversy. All major Muslim advocacy groups put the number at above six million, which, as Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum observes, has the convenience of being higher than the American Jewish population. Yet all independent surveys put the real figure at no more than three million, while the most credible study to date, by Tom Smith of the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center, estimates total Muslim population at 1,886,000. "[It] is hard to accept that Muslims are greater than one percent of the population," he writes.


A very small minority, in other words. The article continues:

             
Quote
Whatever the real figure, what's reasonably clear is that Muslim Americans, like Arab-Americans, have fared well in the U.S. The Zogby survey found that 59% of American Muslims have at least an undergraduate education, making them the most highly educated group in America. Muslim Americans are also the richest Muslim community in the world, with four in five earning more than $25,000 a year and one in three more than $75,000. They tend to be employed in professional fields, and most own stock, either personally or through 401(k) or pension plans. In terms of civic participation, 82% are registered to vote, half of them as Democrats. Interestingly, however, the survey found that 65% of Muslim Americans favor lowering the income tax.


A fine group of Americans. And a highly selective one:

             
Quote
In these respects, Muslim Americans differ from Muslim communities in Britain and Continental Europe, which tend to be poor and socially marginalized. Four other features set American Muslims apart.
First, unlike in Europe the overwhelming majority of Muslims arrived here legally, and many of those who didn't were deported after Sept. 11, 2001. Currently, according to Ali Al-Ahmed of the Washington-based Saudi Institute, there are probably no more than a few thousand Muslim illegal immigrants in the U.S.


If some of this sounds familiar, it should. It's the very same things that were said about the early African immigrants in the UK: solidly middle class, well-educated, very assimilated. Unfortunately, the cultural center did hold: after a generation or two, the immigrants's children regressed to the cultural mean of their parent's societies and sank to the bottom strata. Prediction: one major difference between America and Europe's Muslims is that Europe's Muslims have had time for cultural regression to occur. Let's see if this hypothesis pans out:

             
Quote
Hanging over all this is the question of the long-term trajectory of the American Muslim population. In Britain, as in Germany and France, a striking feature of the Islamist movement is that it has taken root among second-generation Muslims, whose disenchantment with their Western lives is matched by the romanticist appeals of ethnic authenticity and religious purity. America's mostly foreign-born Muslims are perhaps less susceptible to this. But that's no guarantee their children won't be seduced. Then, too, neither a first-rate Western education nor economic affluence offers any inoculation against extremism: Just look at the careers of 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta, educated at the Technical University of Hamburg, or Daniel Pearl killer Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who did undergraduate work at the London School of Economics.


Prediction met. While we're at it, let's peek at some crime statistics: [quotes are from the linked articles]:

     
Quote
PARIS, June 19, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) – French prisons are teeming with Muslims, a phenomenon chaplains and sociologists blame on marginalization and towering poverty and unemployment rates among the Muslim minority.

“It really harms the image of Islam and Muslims in France that prisons are teeming with Muslims,” Mamdo Sango, a Muslim chaplain, told IslamOnline.net.

Iranian-French researcher Farhad Khosrokhavar said in his recently published book Islam in Prisons that Muslims make up some 70 percent of a total of 60,775 prisoners in France.

As ethnicity-based censuses are banned in France, he said complexion, names and religious traditions like prohibition of pork indicate that Muslims constitute an overwhelming majority in prisons.


     
Quote
According to a new study from the Crime Prevention Council, Brå, it is four times more likely that a known rapist is born abroad, compared to persons born in Sweden. Resident aliens from Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group of rape suspects. According to these statistics, almost half of all perpetrators are immigrants. In Norway and Denmark, we know that non-Western immigrants, which frequently means Muslims, are grossly overrepresented on rape statistics. In Oslo, Norway, immigrants were involved in two out of three rape charges in 2001. The numbers in Denmark were the same, and even higher in the city of Copenhagen with three out of four rape charges. Sweden has a larger immigrant, including Muslim, population than any other country in northern Europe. The numbers there are likely to be at least as bad as with its Scandinavian neighbors. The actual number is thus probably even higher than what the authorities are reporting now, as it doesn't include second generation immigrants. Lawyer Ann Christine Hjelm, who has investigated violent crimes in Svea high court, found that 85 per cent of the convicted rapists were born on foreign soil or by foreign parents.


And dare we forget the Dutch:

   
Quote
But by 2002, Kok's Labor government, hard hit by rising crime rates associated with unintegrated Islamic immigrants and a weakening economy, was handed a stunning defeat. That election marked the dramatic rise of the gay activist and former Marxist Pim Fortuyn. It was the beginning of what promises to be an unsettling period in Holland's usually placid politics.

In the first political killing in the Netherlands since the 17th century, Fortuyn was assassinated by an animal rights activist. Then came the murder of anti-Muslim iconoclast Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who was offended by one of van Gogh's movies. These events clearly shook the normally calm and consensus-driven Dutch. Fortuyn's political heir, Geert Wilders, who rose to political prominence in the wake of the Van Gogh killing, was depicted by the American and British press as a one-issue politician. His sole aim, it seemed, was to expel radical Islamists from Holland. That was a misunderstanding of both Wilders and the Dutch situation.

Wilders, who lives under 24-hour guard and sleeps in a prison cell for his own protection, is indeed a strong critic of Islam, which he argues is "incompatible with democracy." But it quickly became clear that he was far more than a one-issue candidate. Moreover, his arguments about Islamic extremism and immigrant crime had already been laid out a decade earlier by the prominent Dutch politician Frits Bolkstein, who is now giving the French fits as a member of the European parliament by pushing for increased E.U. competition in business services.


Some stats:

   
Quote
What increasingly bothers the Dutch are freeloaders. Though the unemployment rate is just over 2 percent, 18 percent of the Dutch labor force is on the dole to some degree, with 11 percent receiving occupational-disability benefits under the widely abused system. Immigrants, who have a high unemployment rate, are another irritant. Eight percent of Holland's 16 million people are of foreign descent, with more than half of them Muslims, mostly from Turkey and Morocco. Holland's four largest cities — Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, and Utrecht — are home to the majority of immigrants. Almost half the population of Rotterdam, where Fortuyn launched his political career, is of foreign descent.

This has had unfortunate consequences. Earlier this month, the trade association representing Holland's supermarkets announced that it would be shutting down stores in the immigrant-heavy inner cities unless the government got serious about policing the areas. That's because young immigrant men from these neighborhoods are disproportionately represented in Dutch crime statistics. According to criminologist Chris Rutenfrans, a study in 2000 found that 33 percent of all criminal suspects are foreign-born, as are 55 percent of prison inmates. An astonishing 63 percent of those convicted of homicide are immigrants — Moroccans, Antilleans, and sub-Saharan Africans are the chief culprits. "The reason always given to explain these statistics is that they live in deprived circumstances," says Rutenfrans. "But other minorities are similarly deprived, and they aren't criminals."

Some Muslims bring with them a culture of religious extremism, encouraged in part by religious schools — at least one-third of which are funded by the Saudis, according to a government report. The report also revealed that 20 percent of Holland's Islamic schools receive funding from the radical Islamic organization Al-Waqf al-Islami, or have radical Muslims on their boards. The government warned that the country's Islamic schools showed very little commitment to preparing their students for integration into Dutch society.

More troubling, the government intelligence service warned as long as a decade ago that the Netherlands was becoming a center of Islamic terrorist recruitment and operations. Since September 11, terrorism experts have warned that violent Islamic extremists are conducting operations in Holland, in part because the country's deeply ingrained taboo against intolerance gives them relative freedom from scrutiny.


Worries about terrorism and crime manifest themselves as anxiety over immigration, yet Dutch voters also see the rising crime rate as part of a broader decline of civil society. It's common these days to hear the Dutch complaining that beneath the egalitarian surface, theirs has become an individualist culture, in which everyone thinks only of his rights, but not his obligations to the larger community. "People are fed up with the abuse of the welfare state, but they have yet to realize the problem is the welfare state itself," says Bart Jan Spruyt, political editor for Reformatorisch Dagblad, a Protestant-affiliated daily.

"The Dutch worry about what's happening to civil society, but they don't understand that the state cannot make you moral," says Livestro. "They fail to see that civil society starts with personal morality, and with the family." The social problems are connected to the decline of religion and the consequent loss of faith in traditional Judeo- Christian morality. Some 30 years ago, 60 percent of the population were at church on Sunday morning; today, it's between 8 and 13 percent. The media have relentlessly mocked religion.

To be a believing Christian in today's Holland, therefore, requires a countercultural courage that's hard for most Americans to imagine. But these people exist. I stumbled across a small congregation of Iranian Pentecostals, all converts from Islam, in a distant suburb of Amsterdam. The pastor, who asked not to be identified because of past violent threats from area Muslims, told me that he was shocked by the naivete the Dutch have about radical Islam. He thought Fortuyn was "a bit extremist," and didn't count himself a supporter — but he agreed with much of what Fortuyn said, and was glad somebody finally said it.

In this, the Iranian pastor was like most Dutch voters with whom I spoke, telling me that Fortuyn wasn't their cup of tea, politically, but he was invaluable as a catalyst for a long-overdue discussion of Islam and the limits of multiculturalism. Kinneging says Fortuyn struck a chord with voters sick of being taken for granted: "In the wake of the transformation of our big cities [by immigration] has come a lot of guns, violence, drugs, trading in women, and dirty streets. The political, intellectual, and journalistic elite who are in favor of this immigration do not live in these urban neighborhoods."


This one's for Cogzie.

Nine:

 
Quote
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the United States largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, originally established to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America. CAIR portrays itself as the voice of mainstream, moderate Islam on Capitol Hill and in political arenas throughout the United States. It has aggressively condemned all acts of terrorism, and has been working in collaboration with the White House in "issues of safety and foreign policy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_the_United_States


Don't be so sure:

 
Quote
As Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes points out, the Washington-based CAIR, founded in 1994, "presents itself as just another civil-rights group" - cultivating an image of moderation that enables it to garner "sizable donations, invitations to the White House, respectful media citations, and a serious hearing by corporations." The organization's goal, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper says benignly, is to promote "interest and understanding among the general public with regards to Islam and Muslims in North America."

But the reality is something not nearly so benevolent, and Americans ought to become aware of it. CAIR is a direct outgrowth of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP). According to Oliver Revell, the FBI's former associate director of Counter-Intelligence Operations, the IAP "is an organization that has directly supported [the Palestinian terror group] Hamas' military goals. It is a front organization for Hamas that engages in propaganda for Islamic militants. It has produced videotapes that are very hate-filled, full of vehement propaganda." Such roots can hardly be considered "moderate," and as we examine CAIR more closely, what we see only gets uglier.

CAIR's founder and executive director, Nihad Awad, was the IAP's public relations director with a long history of extremism. Awad openly praised Iran's notorious Ayatollah Khomeini. He blasted the trial and conviction of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers - against whom the evidence of guilt was overwhelming - as "a travesty of justice." At a 1994 Barry University forum, he candidly stated, "I am in support of the Hamas movement."

The IAP's current president, Rafeeq Jaber, was a founding director of CAIR. Mohammed Nimer, who directs CAIR's Research Center, was on the board of the United Association for Studies and Research, which is the strategic arm of Hamas in the US and was founded by Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook. The aforementioned Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR's Director of Communications, lso worked for the IAP. To this day, he refuses to publicly denounce Osama bin Laden. He euphemistically ascribed the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa to a "misunderstanding of both sides." He dismisses the Sudanese Islamic government's enslavement and torture of millions of black Christians and animists during the past two decades - to say nothing of its slaughter of some two million more - as mere "inter-tribal hostage-taking." He makes no secret of his desire to see America one day become a Muslim country. "I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future," he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "But I'm not going to do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it through education."

Such sentiments echo those of CAIR chairman Omar M. Ahmad, who in July 1998 told a crowd of California Muslims, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran . . . should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth." In a similar vein, CAIR board member Imam Siraj Wahaj calls for replacing the American government with a caliphate, and warns that America will crumble unless it "accepts the Islamic agenda." Wahaj, it should be noted, served as a character witness for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the Muslim cleric convicted for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; the same cleric who was busy devising plans to blow up American landmarks, buildings, and bridges; the same cleric whose conviction CAIR called a "hate crime" against Muslims. And even though Wahaj was listed as an un-indicted co-conspirator in Rahman's case, CAIR now permits him to sit on its advisory board, deeming him "one of the most respected Muslim leaders in America."

With regard to the war on terror, CAIR's anti-American loyalties are all too clear. In October 1998, for instance, the group demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard that dubbed Osama bin Laden "the sworn enemy," complaining that such a caption was "offensive to Muslims."
In the wake of 9/11, CAIR actually denied bin Laden's culpability, a position from which it would not budge until three months after the attacks, by which time the evidence against al-Qaeda's linchpin was irrefutable. The Website for CAIR's New York chapter - with which Mayor Bloomberg's appointee Omar Mohammedi has been affiliated - openly doubted that Islamic hijackers were responsible for the attacks, speculating that either the Bush administration or Israel orchestrated the nightmare.

CAIR has been the mouthpiece of some of the vilest anti-Semitism imaginable. For example, the organization co-sponsored a 1998 Brooklyn College rally at which a militant Egyptian Islamist led the attendees in chanting, "No to the Jews, descendents of the apes." Hussam Ayloush, who heads CAIR's Los Angeles office, contemptuously refers to Israelis as "Zionazis."

Over the years, a good portion of CAIR's funding came from a group called the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). Yet when President Bush closed the HLF in December 2001 upon learning that it was raising money to support Hamas terror attacks, CAIR reacted with its characteristic petulance and indifference to American interests. Calling Bush's move "unjust" and "disturbing," the group circulated a petition exhorting the government to unfreeze HLF assets - charging that "there has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam."


Nine:

           
Quote
Then you can't "see" my bet. Pointing to critics of religion or Christianity through time doesn't match the criteria set down.


Even very public critics, who published books and articles attacking all shades of Christianity, starting from the 1920's? Here's his Scopes coverage, which savages religious fundamentalists at every turn. Then read Treatise of the Gods. Here's a sample:
         
Quote
The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent -- slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church, as an organization, has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.


Oooh, I mispoke. Here's an article from 1917:

       
Quote
Starting from this double basis, Mark [Twain]undertakes an elaborate and extraordinarily penetrating examination of all the fine ideals and virtues that man boasts of, and reduces them, one after the other, to untenability and absurdity. There is no mere smartness in the thing. It is done, to be sure, with a sly and disarming humor, but at bottom it is done quite seriously and with the highest sort of argumentative skill. The parlor entertainer of Dr. Taft's eulogy completely disappears; in his place there arises a satirist with something of Rabelais's vast resourcefulness and dexterity in him, and all of Dean Swift's devastating ferocity. It is not only the most honest book that Mark ever did; it is, in some respects, the most artful and persuasive as a work of art. No wonder the pious critic of The New York Times, horrified by its doctrine, was forced to take refuge behind the theory that Mark intended it as a joke.

In The Mysterious Stranger there is a step further. What Is Man? analyzes the concept of man; The Mysterious Stranger boldly analyzes the concept of God. What, after all, is the actual character of this Being we are asked to reverence and obey? How is His mind revealed by His admitted acts? How does His observed conduct toward man square with those ideals of human conduct that He is said to prescribe, and whose violation He is said to punish with such appalling penalties?



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


These are the questions that Mark sets for himself. His answers are, in brief, a complete rejection of the whole Christian theory -- a rejection based upon a wholesale reductio ad absurdum. The thing is not mere mocking; it is not even irreverent; but the force of it is stupendous. I know of no agnostic document that shows a keener sense of essentials or a more deft hand for making use of the indubitable. A gigantic irony is in it. It glows with a profound conviction, almost a kind of passion. And the grotesque form of it -- a child's story -- only adds to the sardonic implacability of it.

As I say, there are more to come. Mark in his idle moments was forever at work upon some such riddling of the conventional philosophy, as he was forever railing at the conventional ethic in his private conversation. One of these pieces, highly characteristic, is described in Albert Bigelow Paine's biography. It is an elaborate history of the microbes inhabiting a man's veins. They divine a religion with the man as God; they perfect a dogma setting forth his desires as to their conduct; they engaged in a worship based upon the notion that he is immediately aware of their every act and jealous of their regard and enormously concerned about their welfare. In brief, a staggering satire upon the anthropocentric religion of man -- a typical return to the favorite theme of man's egoism and imbecility.

All this sort of thing, to be sure, has its dangers for Mark's fame.[snip]


Here's another guy:

       
Quote
Religions are conclusions for which the facts of nature supply no major premises.
-- Ambrose Bierce, Collected Works (1912)


       
Quote
Altar, n. The place whereon the priest formerly raveled out the small intestine of the sacrificial victim for purposes of divination and cooked its flesh for the gods. The word is now seldom used, except with reference to the sacrifice of their liberty and peace by a male and a female fool.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)


       
Quote
Christian, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)


       
Quote
Decalogue, n. A series of commandments, ten in number -- just enough to permit an intelligent selection for observance, but not enough to embarrass the choice. Following is the revised edition of the Decalogue, calculated for this meridian.
    Thou shalt no God but me adore:
         'Twere too expensive to have more.
    No images nor idols make
         For *Robert Ingersoll to break.
    Take not God's name in vain; select
         A time when it will have effect.
    Work not on Sabbath days at all,
         But go to see the teams play ball.
    Honor thy parents. That creates
         For life insurance lower rates.
    Kill not, abet not those who kill;
         Thou shalt not pay thy butcher's bill.
    Kiss not thy neighbor's wife, unless
         Thine own thy neighbor doth caress.
    Don't steal; thou'lt never thus compete
         Successfully in business. Cheat.
    Bear not false witness -- that is low --
         But "'hear 'tis rumored so and so."
    Covet thou naught that thou hast not
         By hook or crook, or somehow, got.
                                                           G.J.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911), some versions have "Roger Ingersoll" for our "Robert Ingersoll"; see also our "Which Ten Commandments?" handbill ††


       
Quote
Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Heathen, n. A benighted creature who has the folly to worship something he can see and feel.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)


       
Quote
Irreligion, n. The principal one of the great faiths of the world.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)


       
Quote
Reverence, n. The spiritual attitude of a man to a god and a dog to a man.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)
[...]
Trinity, n. In the multiplex theism of certain Christian churches, three entirely distinct deities consistent with only one. Subordinate deities of the polytheistic faith, such as devils and angels, are not dowered with the power of combination, and must urge individually their clames to adoration and propitiation. The Trinity is one of the most sublime mysteries of our holy religion. In rejecting it because it is incomprehensible, Unitarians betray their inadequate sense of theological fundamentals. In religion we believe only what we do not understand, except in the instance of an intelligible doctrine that contradicts an incomprehensible one. In that case we believe the former as a part of the latter.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)


More later.

--------------
Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,13:24   

Oh, and guys....



--------------
Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,14:19   

In your own mind, I'm sure you're a legend. As far as refuting the Zogby data, the best you could do was say " yeah, but you just wait." which simply doesn't address the facts TODAY, nor does it guarantee your conclusions of "cultural regression"  for tomorrow or the next century.

In simple terms, so you can understand it, GoP, you're  blowing hot air. Vapid unsubstantiated hot air that doesn't support your claim in the least for Muslims  in the U.S.

Invoking cultural determinism based on religion is simply unfounded as the current data in the U.S. shows. You lose.

By the way, Chinese immigrants working on the railways, mines, etc. in early California were also subjected to the notion of religiously-based cultural determinism. It didn't pan out there, either.

So...in lieu of actual data on American muslim assimilation, you turn to pasting reams of Ambrose Bierce as if that matches my stated criteria of :

"show me a denigrating cartoon of Jesus published in major newspapers in the 50's."

Just deal with the facts as they stand -- Muslims in america intermarry, hold good jobs, are well-educated and assimilate just fine, contrary to your claim. If the best you can do is say " yeah, but just you wait!," you have no case.

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deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,15:09   

Let's "FISK" GoP's "stats" that he claimed:

To "support" his claims that the US is due for a tidal wave of crime from the children of immigrant muslims, GoP cites "data" from *three* countries:

From France
A claim by a sociologist and a muslim chaplain actually from this site: http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2005-06/19/article04.shtml. The sociologist, Iranian-French researcher Farhad Khosrokhavar said in his recently published book Islam in Prisons that Muslims make up some 70 percent of a total of 60,775 prisoners in France. but ethnicity-based censuses are banned in France, so the "researcher" went by complexion, names and religious traditions like dietary habits... yet the same article says other non-muslim prisoners seem to prefer "halal" meals and are apparently claiming to be muslim to get them:  
Quote
Khosrokhavar also noted that Islam has become a sought-after religion in prisons with a Christian prisoner asking prison authorities to provide him with halal meat almost on a weekly basis.

Guesswork  =/= evidence
************************************************

Then some "stats" from Norway, allegedly: On the Oslo rape "stats" the link is http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article190268.ece
Here's the article referred to:  
Quote
Two out of three charged with rape in Norway's capital are immigrants with a non-western background according to a police study. The number of rape cases is also rising steadily.The study is the first where the crime statistics have been analyzed according to ethnic origin. Of the 111 charged with rape in Oslo last year, 72 were of non-western ethnic origin, 25 are classified as Norwegian or western and 14 are listed as unknown.
Rape charges in the capital are spiraling upwards, 40 percent higher from 1999 to 2000 and up 13 percent so far this year.
Nine out of ten cases do not make it to prosecution, most of them because police do not believe the evidence is sufficient to reach a conviction.
Police Inspector Gunnar Larsen of Oslo's Vice, Robbery and Violent crime division says the statistics are surprising - the rising number of rape cases and the link to ethnic background are both clear trends. But Larsen does not want to speculate on the reasons behind the worrying developments.
While 65 percent of those charged with rape are classed as coming from a non-western background, this segment makes up only 14.3 percent of Oslo's population. Norwegian women were the victims in 80 percent of the cases, with 20 percent being women of foreign background.

No mention of the religion of the perpetrators. Or anything identifying them as "muslim" at all. These are not "stats," supporting his claim, either
************************************************

GoP moves on to the Dutch. He cites an article http://www.ppionline.org/ppi_ci.....=253257 mentioning the assassination of gay activist and former Marxist Pim Fortuyn by an animal rights activist. Then  the murder of anti-Muslim iconoclast Theo van Gogh by an Islamist who was offended by one of van Gogh's movies. The article ties these events to the rise of  one Geert Wilders, who rose to political prominence in the wake of the Van Gogh killing. It then turns out that Wilders is "Far from a one-issue politician, it was clear that Wilders' attacks on Islamic extremism were tied into a larger critique of economic statism as practiced by the European Union and the elite-driven Dutch political system. The Dutch, he insisted, face "interconnected crises" in which the growing number of civil servants in both Brussels and the Hague extract unsustainable sums of money even as Europe is unprepared for the coming onslaught of Chinese competition and as rising crime rates send skilled Dutch professionals fleeing for New Zealand and Canada"
No mention of actual figures there. Nothing to support GoP's claims about "kids of immigrants reverting to 'cultural regression'"
Another Dutch article has Criminologist Chris Rutenfrans, saying " a study in 2000 found that 33 percent of all criminal suspects are foreign-born, as are 55 percent of prison inmates. An astonishing 63 percent of those convicted of homicide are immigrants — Moroccans, Antilleans, and sub-Saharan Africans are the chief culprits."
Well, this "study" alleges "Moroccans" ...but at what proportion? Antilleans are not muslim, nor are most sub-saharan africans. How many muslims perpetrated actual crimes there? No data.

************************************************
This means, for all the "cha-ching" whistles and bells, GoP had exactly WHAT to back his claim? Virtually NOTHING and certainly no *clear* valid statistical studies clearly identifying "children of muslim immigrants" as he claimed. As I said...all hot air and vacuous claims.

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,15:15   

I'm sure that what you'll do is avoid any U.S. data on muslim immigration and assimilation, GoP.

Instead, you'll pull more "stats" from European countries like the above and claim "victory" again, despite the evident shoddiness of the data you've tried to forward so far.

You lost on the U.S. data alone, GoP. Deal with it.

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Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,16:04   

Sorry Ghost. In your delusional world, posting long boring posts with irrelevant quotes may equal victory, but reality is much different.
Just a few things from the top of the heap:

The 'muslim leaders' do NOT say what you claim they say, and in fact argue in the very way you say they should- change "muslim" for " christian" in the quotes, and see if you disagree with their assertions then

Overall unemployment rates were not part of your integration criteria, and cannot be used

The size of the minority is also irrelevant, again according to your criteria

Comparisons between one minority in one country and a different minority in another country cannot be valid, unless you establish a connection- a connection other than the obvious (their marginalization in the community), which does not help your point

"Predictions" are not "met" with "you just wait" assertions

The fact that a second generation on muslim immigrants finds appeal in fundamentalism is actually an argument against your position, even if it is true, since it shows it is not inherrent in the culture, but a result, as your own quotes say, of social marginalization of the community (unless you think that for Muslims, terrorism is "in their blood" -hee hee)

Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce have little, if anything, to do with your case, since atheism is not debated here, religious intolerance is- and, in their atheistic beliefs, both remained spiritual outcasts until recently

And finally, you are repeatedly violating the rules you set by citing biased sites without mentioning it, but that was expected anyway.

In the meantime, Deadman has provided stats that apply directly to the criteria you set, and you failed to address them.
So, if "chaching" is the sound of you paying up, I gladly agree.




Oh and Ghost: We have all figured out you have a small AFDave inside, trying to get out- you don't have to be so obvious. It don't do no good for your image, believe it or not.

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A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,23:55   

Ghosty,

You've drifted into that wonderful world of hostility and bullshit you like so much. I'm not taking a contrary position to you, as I stated right at the start. It's a topic I know too little about to do that. What I DID say was that until I see good evidence to the contrary I am willing to grant everybody, muslims and you included, the benfit of the doubt. Regardless of what others are saying, I'm not hostile to your claim, it could very well be the case, this whole thread started because you said that no one had ever refuted one of your political claims, after a certain amount of to and fro we settled on the idea that you would defend one of your claims, and for the reasons stated previously, I offered this claim of yours for defense, and you took up it's defense freely. Thus far we have four pages of only tangential relevance. Like I said before, this thread could be 5 or 6 messages long, with me completely agreeing with you at the end. Or it could be 7 or 8 messages long with you saying "oh wait my stats we're wrong" or something similar. Get it yet?

BTW, I'm not asking you to provide data for sikhs, blacks etc being poor integrators, calm down son! You're seeing arguments where there are none! My point was very simple, many cultures/races have had these "conversations" because of their taking "offense" to something or other, thus the fact that "conversations" have happened and some twat on a radio has said that we must censor free speech is vastly less significant that is being made out. This is the tangential stuff, thankfully you get to the actual claim later on. Congratulations.

I'm glad that you have defined what you mean by integration, that way we can  deal with what is actually going on rather than the endless series of pointless quotations and bigotry from all quarters.

The reason I want you to define what you mean by integration clearly is so that we have something concrete to deal with as opposed to quoting nasty people/books and saying "see how unWestern they are???!!!111one11111!!!".

Quote
By "integration", I mean:

1) No more likely to commit violent crimes as a group than the population as a whole (15 % pts above national violent crime rates at maximum) ;

2) No cries for "affirmative action";

3) Roughly proportionate representation in the intellectual occupations (doctors, lawyers, and/or scientists) without relying on 2). Yes, this implies good scores on standardised scholastic tests;

4) A culture that tolerates Western norms.


The claim you are proving is this:

Quote
I claim that Muslims, as a group, do not assimilate as well as other groups, and in fact their culture often damages civil liberties.


And you have defined what you consider to be "muslims". I've included some broader descriptive quotes from which I'll attempt to make a summary description of your idea of what or who a muslim is.

Quote
I will focus on the Sunnis and Shi'ites (hereafter Shiites) because these two sects comprise 95 - 96% of the world's Muslim population. I


Quote
My hypothesis, however, is that all Sunni and Shiite Muslims, as a group, are incompatible with Western societies regardless of nationality. In order to become compatible, they must discard their religion, and nothing less will do.


Quote
For whatever reason, they don't fit in, and that's what matters in immigration policy


Quote
Here's what most Muslims countries want:

1) Death to Israel if not Israelis;

2) Dhimmitude for the rest of the Infidels;

3) Whatever else comes to mind, especially when they discover that 1) and 2) don't close the economic gap.


Quote
First of all, I don't hate Muslims; if it were up to me I'd leave Muslims alone to practice their religion to their heart's content. Problem is, they won't leave us alone. Do you really think that Muslim countries were a model of peace until THE NATION THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME was thrown into their midst?


So here is my precis of the "GoP majority muslim" (GMM hereafter), please feel free to correct any errors I make:

1) GMMs are of the sunni or shi'ite sects.
2) GMMs regardless of nationality are incompatible with western society (another phrase that needs definition) unless they abandon islam as described at length in many previous posts (GoPislam or GI hereafter).
3) GMMs desire Israel to be removed utterly, and possibly for Israelis themselves to be killed.
4) GMMs will "relegate" all other faiths they approve to some extent of to second class, i.e making the adherents of these faiths subject to dhimma.
5) GMMs are envious of the material success of the west and will alter their demands in order to garner the material items they desire.
6) GMMs will not leave the west alone, they will keep bombing, attacking etc until such time as they dominate.

Is that fair representation of the GMM?

So the claim has been defined by you Ghosty as the following:

GMMs do not integrate into western societies in such a way that they are no more likely to commit violent crimes as a group than the population as a whole, do not call for affirmative action, have a roughly proportionate representation in the intellectual occupations without relying on affirmative action, score well on standardised scholastic tests, and have a culture that tolerates Western norms. In fact GMMs are worse on all these integration criteria than any other group that has emigrated into western society.

Do you consider this to be accurate regarding your claim?

Well I can certainly agree that a GMM might not fit that last criterion well (i.e. tolerate western norms), but we've yet to see the evidence for the crime, affirmative action, professional and scholastic criteria.

Cheers

Louis

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Bye.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 02 2006,06:24   

Ok guys, I only have a few minutes so I'll be brief:

1) I've found some more stats on schooling, crime, etc. I'll try to post them tomorrow.

2) I forgot to add that I don't want my personal liberties diminished as a result of immigration. So if a minority group assimilates at the cost of my free speech/expression rights then I'm not as impressed as with one who assimilates without Big Brother carefully monitoring my luggage, internet searches, and library usage. This has always been a big theme with me; I can't believe I forgot to include it.

3) Your summary of my position is OK, Louis. However, I'm still irritated that you call me names without backing it up.

4) Deadman: I plan on rebutting your "evidence" but before I do, think of this: Is it really fair that pro-immigrationist governments deprive their citizens of the relevant data, and even fine/imprison them for criticising the open borders philosophy, and then turn around and say, "Where's your data and why don't you speak up if you don't like it?" Your side censors the evidence, and then taunts us for not producing it. Case in point: you can be arrested in France for compiling crime data by religion, so researchers have to use proxies. But when they do, they're accused of being unprofessional and the scare quotes come out: "researcher", etc. Notice that liberals rarely demand that govs produce the data so that stereotypes can be erased; that's strange behavior if they really believe that Muslims don't commit a disproportionate amount of crime. I'm just sayin'.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 02 2006,07:32   

Quote
I've found some more stats on schooling, crime, etc. I'll try to post them tomorrow.

As I noted above...you didn't POST any "stats" to begin with, just some guesswork in one case and and citations regarding "non-western" groups that contain no actual percentages/rates/etc. specifically referencing Muslims.
(1) I don't HAVE a "side" in this, GoP. I was merely interested in the topic and posted stuff that I found to advance the discussion. You then decided to talk shit, so that irritated me and I looked a little more...BUT, on a personal level, I mentioned on the first page of this thread that I thought that there  
Quote
is a greater degree of isolationism due to religion, modernism, prejudice, etc... Although I'm as socially liberal as anyone I know, I think large-scale (larger than now) conflict between Islam and the largely Xian west is near-inevitable.
I'll go even further to say that at this stage of history, I dislike/fear Islam more than I do Christianity. If I lived in the 12th Century, I would think the exact opposite. You'll also note that on the first page of the thread, I mentioned the LACK OF DATA on the subject, and told you "good luck."  
***********************************************
 
Quote
Your side censors the evidence, and then taunts us for not producing it. Case in point: you can be arrested in France for compiling crime data by religion, so researchers have to use proxies. But when they do, they're accused of being unprofessional

(2) Okay...let me get this straight.

You posted several claims about muslims not assimilating, causing increased crime, performing more "poorly" in multiple areas than "western" groups, etc. ... and NOW you realize there's little hard data on the subject?

This *seems* to indicate that your assertions hinged on either anecdotal or selective media references that have no substantive basis. In a word, you were simply talking out of your ass.
You seem to enjoy inflammatory statements that get you attention -- which I don't understand at all -- since you seem bright enough at times to actually hold an intelligent discussion -- without all this weird posturing and game-playing that makes you sound like a  dolt.

I view the problem between the west and Islam as enormously important--as important as ANY potential disaster we have facing the human species. IF global warming holds true, and populations are pushed further towards the poles, Islam has a huge birthrate, a potentially deadly ideology that could create an equally fanatical religious response, it sits on oil that the west wants desperately -- it has all the fixin's for one he11 of a brawl with a group that has about 2 billion adherents.

So, when you reduce this threat to some kind of stupid game that you want to play to massage your ego, I view THAT as annoying as well. Why not just try to discuss the actual issues without the inflammatory nonsense?

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Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 02 2006,12:50   

Ghosty,

Erm, sorry where did I call you names in this thread? I checked and I'm not sure I did. In fact I've bent over backwards to be conciliatory. Ah well.

Louis

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Bye.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 02 2006,16:40   

Is anyone here actually reading all of Ghosty's big long intolerant rants?

Or have we all concluded long ago that he's just a nutter and nothing he says is worth paying any serious attention to?

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 03 2006,11:16   

Fifth Amendment

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If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
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