Islam: Justified fear and hate?

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The American people are showing less and less tolerance for the Muslim faith and it’s people. Is this lack of tolerance justified? If so, why? If it isn’t, why not?

Discrimation and hate crimes do not solve problems, they breed discontent and create more discrimination and hate crimes.

The lack of tolerance towards Muslims is easily justified. People are able to convince themselves of nearly anything, so to justify a lack of tolerance or a downright hate crime is not so difficult. Is it right? No, I don’t believe so, no matter what the justification. I’m of the opinion that this mosque being built near the 9/11 site is kind of a tasteless act, a sort of slap in the face to the whole of the American public, but so far our country’s habit of shoving a boot up the ass of anyone who slaps us in the face has not worked out so well. The people who want to kill us are being handed all the justification they need to continue every time some asshole pastor decides to burn their holy book, or someone in a meat-packing plant throws blood on someone wearing a hijab.

Really? You know it’s hard for me to understand? Let’s look at the word “discrimination.”
There is discrimination in the sense that one is noting the difference between things, in order to tell them apart or solve a problem. This is the kind of discrimination you are referring to in your post.

Then there is the kind of discrimination we’re actually talking about here, the kind where you treat people differently because of their differences. This is not observation, this is a behavior - a behavior that leads to things such as hate crimes. Surely you, who are so much more wise than a simpleton like me (who has a hard time understanding such things), realize this.

Discrimination:

  1. a : the act of discriminating
    b : the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently
    2: the quality or power of finely distinguishing
    3 a : the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually
    b : prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment

Common sense. Anyone? Anyone?

Of course one is not going to treat a psychopathic criminal and a child the same way. Yes, differences do matter, and should. It’s important to acknowledge our differences. In this example, the psychopath and the child, you’re discriminating between two individuals – the psychopath who will kill, or rob, or commit some other heinous crime, and the innocent child. You take into consideration who these two people are when you discriminate. Will you do the same for the Muslims you meet? Or will you treat someone badly simply because they happen to be Muslim? What if you found out that a Muslim risked life and limb to save a Christian child? Is that Muslim then exempt from the hatred you would show the rest of their “kind”? Or would you have us all blindly hate Muslims, because they’re Muslim, and not give them the courtesy of considering whether they, as an individual, are a good or bad person? I have met Muslims who wish me no harm. They came to my country for various reasons, and they accepted me as I accepted them. I even went so far as to consider one or two of them friendly acquaintances. I may not have understood their culture, as they did not understand mine, but that lack of understanding was not a reason for me to fear them, nor they me. No, Churro, I would not label all Muslims as “those bad people who want to kill us.” I won’t deny that there are Muslims who want to kill us. I won’t deny that their religion teaches them this is right.

Have you ever read the Holy Bible?

It depends on what it means to be muslim, what their religious duties are, the status of different individuals, etc. If these are incompatible with American principles, then it shouldn’t be the American system that should yield. Honor killings for instance, an extreme example, but if it’s an integral part of being muslim, then that shit should not be tolerated or accommodated for. If being muslim means things that are incompatible with those enumerated and nonenumerated rights and duties in the constitution, then people’s fears are justified provided muslims choose to honor their religion’s tenets more than the laws of the land.

I don’t know anything about Islam. I’m just laying out the structure of the argument here. If this, then that. In that, if Islam’s tenets are at odds with American principles, then there’s reason for the American people to be at odds with Islam.

I agree that there is a certain amount of assimilation that must occur. Your example of honor killings is a good one, extreme though it may be. Of course then we’re asking people to pick and choose parts of their religion to follow, which can get messy. Having had some experience with this (being in the midst of a spiritual mini-crises myself), I can attest to the difficulty of this task, and am not able to offer up any definitive opinion or argument.

Right. A multiculturalist system can only work, ironically, if it discriminates against those aspects of a particular culture that discriminate. A multiculturalist country must necessarily censor parts of certain cultural practices. You can come to America and do your cultural practices in peace, but only if they don’t mean infringing on another individual’s rights…and who’s to say there are no cultures out there whose practices involve this very thing.

But again it boils down to versions of Islam. The fear and hate is obviously not justified for all muslims, but on the other hand Americans are not completely unjustified to fear and hate some self-proclaimed muslims. There probably are some versions of islam and muslims whose practices are at odds with American principles, and there’s no justifiable reason to say one man is a true muslim and the other isn’t…other than, you know, to keep up that facade of tolerance.

That post sums it up quite nicely. Regardless of whether or not Islam is the Religion in question, citizens of any particular country are often faced with a very fundamental choice that makes up this entire issue.

Essentially, there are three possibilities when it comes to confrontations between the tenets of a given Religion and the laws of the land:

-The first one is that there is no confrontation regarding that particular issue, in which event, a person should be allowed to believe and act in whatever manner they want without having to worry about any sort of prejudice or even the possiblity of prejudice. The Hare Krishnas that have their Palace of Gold near where I used to live in Moundsville, WV are an excellent example because they were either the most liked people in town or the most hated, depending on who you asked. For the most part, all they did was come to town to shop once in a while and they passed out either flowers or Boomi Bars (Something akin to a peanut caramel cluster bar) to everyone along with a little Hare Krishna prayer card:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Completely harmless stuff, but you’d hear this crazy bullshit from people that it was supposed to put a curse on white rednecks, or something like that. The most hilarious aspect about that is, these people have whites in their congregation, AND if any person goes up there and visits they are all extremely friendly and will offer you some fruits and vegetables to eat. The other thing is, they only passed out these cards, flowers and Boomi Bars either in the public forum or at their Palace of Gold and the rednecks hated them for it. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons come right to your door to bother you!!!

I don’t even mean that in a mean way. I invite the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons into my house and offer them some tea, I’ve even got Decaf tea for when the Mormons stop by, I just hope they arrive prepared for a Debate, because they had better be. I don’t typically discuss Religion very often, but anytime I can have a semi-intelligent face-to-face conversation, I’ll take it. Most of them do make their case quite well.

-The second one is choosing one’s own Religion over the laws of the land and speaking, acting, and behaving in support of same. I can certainly understand how this might instill fear in some people, and of course, fear breeds hatred, so it makes sense to me that many individuals of Religions with, “Extreme,” positions find themselves in a position of being both feared and hated. Of course, I don’t think that necessarily makes that particular form of prejudice right in any way whatsoever. As with many other things, this sort of thing should be taken on a case-by-case scenario because just because someone subscribes to a particular Religion (on the whole) does not necessarily mean that same person agrees with or defends every specific position of that Religion.

For example, I used to be a Catholic and Catholics do not believe in any form of birth control whatsoever. I strongly disagree with this assessment for Socio-Economical reasons, not least of which is the fact that we are already over-populated. There are other reasons that I disagree with this position as well, but they are neither here nor there.

The thing that one must understand about a Religion is that most Religions are based upon some kind of inflexible book. The members of that Religion will then hold that book above all other things and then they use that book to attempt to solve solutions that don’t directly pertain to anything in that book because the question posed didn’t exist when the book was written. Simply stated, people are attempting to solve new concepts with old concepts.

The same can be said for the U.S. Constitution. The goal of the Supreme Court (Assuming they accept a particular appeal) is to determine how the question raised in the appeal is to be constitutionally applied, but in many cases, the question raised on appeal doesn’t have anything to do with any concept that even conceivably existed when the Constitution was written. Essentially, the Supreme Court must attempt to interpret things that were never actually there to be interpreted to begin with, and for the most part, it ends up being a game of semantics not based upon what the Constitution actually does mean, but merely upon what it could mean.

-The final situation is the individual that chooses to abide by and defend the laws of the land over the tenets of a given Religion. While this person will typically gain acceptance amongst general society, they will often find themselves confronted with ill-will from the other Members of their faith, which also happen to be the people that many of them are closest to. It is at that point that peer pressure comes in, and the tenets of the faith are then not used to deliver a message of hope and inspiration, but to be forcefully (metaphorically speaking) re-indoctrinated into the person until either the person breaks and gives up the Religion altogether, or becomes an automaton that defaults to the second position (choosing Religious tenets over the laws of the land) as described above.

***In the end, it just ends up being a thoroughly emotionally trying position for many of these individuals to be in because they want to fit in with general society and live peacefully, but at the same time, they also want to satisfy the other Members of their Religion and act/believe in the way that they have been conditioned to act/believe. In addition to that, they are also faced with people that hate them simply because they subscribe to that Religion, in general, without even knowing what the individual’s viewpoints and opinions are regarding specific tenets of that Religion.

Naturally, one can understand how an individual may then become more indoctrinated into that Religion and hold Religion at a higher level than they do society at-large. With the Religion, provided they play by the Rules of that Religion, then they have the possiblity of finding acceptance within a smaller niche’, whereas, with society on the whole, some people are always very simply going to hate them. For that reason, it is the very society that wants them to act in a certain way that drives them away from acting that way while the Religion is trying to re-indoctrinate them and accepts them with open arms.

The only way the pattern of irrational fear and hatred can be broken is to speak with people on an individual basis and ask them what a particular tenet of their Religion means to them, whether or not they agree with it.

It should be noted that I’m only talking about people of other Religions that live in America, so I’m not really speaking of other countries here because I wouldn’t really know.

Blurred,
I think what Churro is trying to say is that people who feel that way have their reasons. Those who believe they should fear or hate muslims have reasons, the same way muslims have reasons for believing what they believe. I’m not saying that ,‘‘a reason = justification’’ , that is to say I don’t think that makes those beliefs right, because that’s cultural relativism and that’s idiotic, too. The thing is that if muslims, or any other subcultural group within a society, expect to have their beliefs, and the behaviors cause by those beliefs, accepted(justified) then by the same token or logic the beliefs, and thusly motivated behaviors of every other group have to be accepted, including the majority. I’m also not saying that if a muslim wants to pray during work, that they have to accept bigotry, I’m just saying that you have to come up with a better reason, for the nessecary cultural fluctuations that ensue when a subculture is intgrated, than saying that you have to accept their beliefs and behaviors. The best thing would be if the capitalist structure didn’t turn the vast majority of the populace into varying degrees of reactionary, and perpetuallly grazing, idiotic sheep, and didn’t take advantage of, or actively promote the worst characteristics of the human being in the servitude of an autocannibalistic system…but then again, I don’t belief in a God, let alone an interventionist one who could pull off such an impossibly miraculous task, so we’re all going to just have to accept the infuriatingly imperfect nature of life, our species, and the universe.

That’s no fun… let’s keep arguing.

IMO, people who fear, hate or discriminate against muslims, are idiots, because they misunderstand both islam, and the current situation in the world.

Agreed.

Highly possible.

Does a justified fear justify a lack of tolerance? What I mean is, there are people who are afraid of Muslims just because they heard some bad shit on the news. That fear causes them to turn around and do things like burn the Qur’an. Muslims are conspicuous because of their dress, and so they are easy to target for those who would let their fear turn to hatred and then act upon it. Is this justified?

Good.

The OP said, “The American people are showing less and less tolerance for the Muslim faith and it’s people. Is this lack of tolerance justified?”

You said, “Yeah, it’s justified.”

All I’m saying is, I think it’s ignorant to automatically fear Muslims because some of them are extremists who want to kill you. By all means, fear the people who want to kill you. Does that mean that anyone walking down the street in a hijab is daydreaming about slicing your throat or blasting you into a million tiny pieces as they walk past you? No, and it’s wrong to treat them so.

Lotsa differnet types:

Then there’s the Turkish version.

There are reasons to fear sects of the islamic faith, just as there are reasons to fear fanatic sects of any faith. But automatic, inconsidered fear is stupid, limiting, and generally creates the very conditions that will manifest that fear-object as reality.

Unfortunately, in many cases, this “justified” fear/lack of tolerance is manifested violently. People burn books. Competent employees lose their jobs because they are Muslim, even if they haven’t done anything anti-social. Muslims are harassed in the workplace, walking down the street, in restaurants, on buses, in airports, etc. etc. What do you think this intolerance says to the Muslim people who are being affected by it? That they should love America and strive to assimilate? You know, Tab said it right –

“…automatic, inconsidered fear is stupid, limiting, and generally creates the very conditions that will manifest that fear-object as reality.”

=D>

That’s pretty much exactly what I was saying, just far more concise.

In political science at least, Muslim states are divided into three categories…

Sharia Law traditionalists
Islamic
Islamist

Sharia Law are the “rogue” states by western standa…oh shit that article is talking about being afraid of Muslim individuals in our community!

No idea what that even means, although if there is one thing I do know, it is that idiots need to and love to hate other people. It’s easier to project these feelings on “outsiders” and people you’ll never have to confront or learn anything about so, meh, might as well hate Muslims.

Plus, “They” largely have a different culture, religion, and live on the other side of the world so it’s easy to distill a multitude down into a single hatable people. The genius part it is that Americans will never have to realize that they’re acutally bitter angry douches because anytime they happen to meet one they’ll be surrounded by 20 other bitter angry douches to confirm that the hate reflects on the Muslim individual rather than the douche himself.

Well, given Western civilization’s growing love affair with unrestrained democracy (read: tyrnanny of the majority), I suppose fear of Muslims in a community could stem from a contrasting of traditional Western values rooted in liberty and individual rights with Sharia Law and Muslim religious values that violate those cherished Western values. If Muslims populations in Western countries continue to grow along current trend/expectations - how do you see them voting on all kinds of subjects in the future?

If push comes to shove, do you suppose they’ll vote with their religious leaders or for individual rights? I’m not so sure.

Sure there are plenty of Muslims that integrate into Western society and drop the shackles of their oppressive homelands - but there appears to be an equal and growing number of Muslims that are specifically avoiding integration. You can see it all over the UK and France and if we look hard enough, probably the US.

I don’t believe “hate” is ever really justified - in any sense. But fear? I think the case can be made. How we act given that fear is what matters. Only a fool fears nothing.

You seem to be assuming, and let me know, that Muslims in America are trying to or even want to turn America into a caliphate or shariatize our laws. And also that the only two options are integration and support of liberal government, or retain culture and try for caliphate. I don’t buy either assumptions, and that was the point of the above. Countries in which the dominant group is Muslim have governments that vary from Sharia to Secular Islamist. Secular islamist is pretty close to the way America has historically placed religion within politics, only with Christianity.

Additionally, the countries in which Sharia Law is dominant seem to universally take hold in countries where a strong central authority already exists, and the citizens seem to generally try to reject it. Politically, like most ideologies and religions in underdeveloped countries, it is used by elites in order to justify policies that are actually designed to simply keep them in power. I, however, do not know the extent to which individuals under theses systems identify with their own oppression, but my intuition in conjunction with evidence like the Iranian demonstrations, the authoritarian precursors, and international politics forces me to place a GIANT caveat next to the relationship between sharia law countries and her citizens. Which is to say that what I know about Muslims, politics, humans, and life overwhelmingly suggests that the average citizen of a sharia law country would prefer a less restrictive government/legal system where the elites conception of Sharia and Islam is not imposed on everyone else in the form of political laws. Alas, I am an American, and have no access to the nuances of local politics in countries where sharia has been made official.

As for Muslim’s voting in liberal democracies…American’s have experience with it in the Christian right. It is fucking annoying, but not devastating. No worries though, First world countries have giant middle classes and they are the most stabilizing political force man has ever devised. There is this odd effect where the middle class tends to vote for it’s political/economic interests over its religious and moral interests. I guess once your a consumer your main political goal becomes to continue to be a consumer.

“Justified” is a funny word. I’d say fear and hate, in any context (not just with respect to Islam), are understandable. We can do better than that though.

Since I’m in the Christopher Hitchens/Sam Harris camp when it comes to religions, I have to really think about how a particular one deserves any more criticism than another or, if not more, then at least deserves criticism that pertains only to that specific religion. And I really can’t come up with a criticism that clearly applies to Islam and not to others in similar fashion. I think the problem with Islam in the west is that its fanatical versions that have been publicized tend to be stuck in the 2nd Century socially and culturally, and that’s not gonna fly here. Your average Joe Bob and Jenny Sue America aren’t generally interested in learning about other cultures or religions in any depth, so the fanatical behavior of Muslims that the popular media tends to focus on is what generally informs their opinions of the “others”. Frankly, if they studied what Judaism or Christianity were like in ancient times, they’d find as much barbarism and nasty behavior. But they live in a culture where those two religions are more normalized – and sanitized and modernized – so they don’t fear them. Even though they should fear the fanatical versions of any religion.

I guess one thing that specifically applies to Islam is how poorly woman are treated by the men in power, although it’s really just an extreme version of what exists to varying degrees within most organized religions. Anyway, when it comes to Islamist fundamentalist practices – and I’m a strong supporter of the First Amendment and freedom of religious expression – but I was thrilled and delighted when France banned the burqua (which is only worn by fundamentalists), because of what it violates culturally in that country. I would be a huge supporter of having the women who wear them shake off their Stockholm Syndrome, take charge of their own lives, and throw those things into a bonfire. But they won’t – or, more accurately, can’t without fear of beating, disfigurement, or death – so they need to be forced not to wear them in public. Or, more appropriately, the men who force them to wear the things need to be punished. The goal is to enforce the rule so that the practice dies out over time and there is, well, assimilation. At least when it comes to that particular aspect of the religion/culture.