Periodical Political Post *65

Before we dig into the last Periodical Political Post of the year I’d like to note something about the comments regarding the article about cross dressing in Qatar. I guess it was inevitable that some would use the chance to bash Islam over it but as much as I despise all the big religions and would love to see a world free of them I’d like you to read this: 5 ridiculous things you probably believe about Islam. So, to quote this very article: “All right. Now we look forward to a completely civil and logical group of article comments.” ;)

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42 thoughts on “Periodical Political Post *65”

  1. Josh, whatever you’ll do with this blog … never stop with the ppp. This here is starting to become my new spiegel online :-)
    Thank you

    P.S.: well then I guess never stop posting pics of cute swimmers with curly hair or … or … or … :-)

    1. Nope, let me explain why:

      1. It was all over the news anyway while I try to post the pieces of news here which didn’t make it to the mainstream media (with exceptions).

      2. DADT was about something that was granted in pretty much every other modern army for ages so it wasn’t exactly a breakthrough, no matter how nice it might be for the people affected by it that they get some basic rights now.

      3. and most important: this.

        1. MTE. Despicable.
          I didn’t think you would stoop so low as to approvingly link to something like this, Josh. :/

      1. Oh, of course you had to go and give FurryGirl more linkage? That’s seriously messed up, Josh. People don’t volunteer to be in the US Military to kill Arabs. People in the military don’t get to decide where they go serve. But hey, go ahead and continue to give gay and lesbian service members more hell, thankfully, they’ve proven they can take it over the last few decades under the sadly maligned DADT policy.

        While I’ve often had disagreements with you Josh, this kind of friendly fire is not kind.

        1. “People joining the military volunteer to kill people.”

          No. No they really don’t. In fact, they really would rather not be deployed ever.

          It’s absolutely naive of you to think otherwise, but I can understand how amusing it must be to throw off such pithy statements, perhaps for pageviews.

          1. I think it’s also kinda naive to think that no one does join the military to kill people. Most probably don’t but we have to accept the fact that humans are cruel and often sick creatures..

          2. Some do, most don’t. Thinking about or trying to discuss complicated issues in absolute terms such as this does no one any good, however.

      2. No. 3 is exactly why you should be linking the repeal of DADT. You say it’s not a breakthrough right now, but in the next ppp you’ll likely link to some news story about Americans being puritanical when it comes to gay rights. Now that is not a breakthrough. We get it, man. America is full of backward-thinking people. A lot of us live here and know it first hand. So to say the repeal of DADT is not a breakthrough when you know full well it’s finally a step in the right direction for gay rights in America just seems like a stubborn attempt to keep America in its place as the great Western scapegoat for everything Europe dislikes. You’re plenty patronizing to Americans when you think you need to be. Why not try on the happy hat for a change and rejoice with us for our victory — however small — over intolerance.

      3. Strongly disagree with #3. People join the US military for all sorts of reasons, some of which are deluded, some of which are reprehensible, and others of which relate to old-school liberal notions of citizenship and service. As someone who would like to see a return to mandatory military or civil engineer service for all young Americans (which would do more than anything else to discourage the reckless deployment of our military), I really can’t fault those who serve out of civic (which is NOT the same as patriotic) duty.

  2. Josh, you are a well-meaning and decent person, and I
    respect your opinion but I do have some food for thought for other
    people. Some seem to see a skepticism of radical Islam as being
    intolerant, whereas people such as yourself and other bloggers here
    would never see it as “intolerant” to be skeptical about
    Christianity. We can be skeptical of radical Christianity and
    everyone can agree, but the minute someone says, “but what about
    the problems in Islam?” everyone stays silent. My best friend is
    Muslim so obviously I understand that one has to differentiate
    between an individual person and a belief system, but it goes
    without saying that there are serious human rights abuses within
    the Islamic community that need addressing, and that by saying that
    you are “bashing” their community by calling question to those
    human rights abuses, you actually silence those who are oppressed
    within those communities. I’ve spent months working with
    ex-Muslims, and it is disappointing when the traditional Lefties
    who stand up for human rights and equality actually say that it
    comes down to respecting Islamic culture that means we have to
    respect the fact that gays and non-Muslims can be oppressed. It’s
    incredibly sad. I am skeptical of Islam just like I am skeptical of
    all religion, of all governments and all systems of thought. What
    is saddest of all is that Lefties have actually tried to forbid
    people from criticising human rights abuses in other religions out
    of respect. This is the most tragic thing of all, the silence of
    those who think they’re being “respectful” is the silence that
    kills those being oppressed. I’m also curious about how you seem to
    be so staunch in your criticism of Christianity or the Roman
    Catholic church (which is great that you are), but you don’t
    highlight the fact that six Islamic countries still kill gay
    people, or that not one in one thousand Muslims polled in London
    said that gays should be accepted, or that a Saudi-funded school in
    London taught kids the best methods of killing gays. In most or a
    lot of your political posts, you mention a church or a priest or
    how Christianity is intolerant, but there are so many stories from
    the Islamic world of violence (take the pictures of the hanging of
    two gay youth in Iran), why must you stay silent about this? Is it
    so that we don’t hurt the feelings of people who harbour these
    barbaric views? This creates a sadly ironic double-standard. Every
    religion deserves criticism, and nothing should be exempt from it.
    This is how Christianity and Judaism modernised themselves (or
    mainstream sects), and it is only through this process that Islam
    will do the same. I’ve lived in an Islamic country and worked with
    ex-Muslims, and it really does amaze me sometimes. It’s some food
    for thought next time someone says that we must respect a certain
    religion or set of beliefs. You respect the person as a human
    being, you do not need to respect their beliefs; beliefs are open
    to criticism. This is the best product of a free society. I would
    like to see the taboo broken, make a stand for human rights rather
    than trying to make accommodation for human rights abuses out of
    “respect” for a religion. I know you can. :) Much love.

      1. Here is an insightful documentary about what it means to be gay and Muslim, this is part 1 of 8. It’s very interesting, and it does show that mainstream Islam stinks of the same intolerance that many areas of Christianity also harbour. People who are told by their imams that being gay is punishable, people who got beat up for being gay…

        I think people just need to understand that it’s a scary notion, respecting a religion more than the humans who live under those religions and suffer through our silence. We are very lucky, others could hope for our freedoms…

  3. TSA vs. Al-Qaeda
    Who is worse?

    Personally I’m more afraid of getting raped in a airport that explode in a airplane.

  4. Wikileaks is such a successful troll.

    Maldita sea, España. Con Franco se vivía mejor :P

  5. I am glad we are able to have intelligent discourse on this site, therefore I will take the time to add my own perspective. Often it does not feel worth it because online discussions break down into simplistic name-calling.

    My family is Christian, I grew up in Iran and my partner is Jewish. I have lived in countries where Islam makes up the majority of the population (Iran), a significant minority (India) and a lesser and less vocal minority (USA).

    My friends and I who are from Muslim countries find plenty to be upset about. People of all sorts know what it is like to grow up in various Muslim societies and have a perspective on women’s rights, treatment of gay people, issues of democracy, and other human rights issues. We also know that there are people and organizations hard at work to change things. Finally, we also know the parts of our own cultures that are beautiful and nurturing and inspire us to be better humans.

    The hard part is having a reasonable discourse with people who only see part one: the problems. How to explain that my cultural background also feeds me, even with all the problems?

    I have had people ask me questions like? Why does anyone even live there, in reference to Afghanistan or Iran, or anywhere else . . .

    On the first level, are you offering to sponsor an immigrant to your country? It isn’t possible for everyone to just up and move out of there country.

    But on a deeper level, moving does not change everything. I cannot and do not want to strip all my culture out of my being.

    Finally, let us address the fundamentalist aspect of religion. The BJP does not represent all Hindus. The hate-spewing members of the Christian family do not represent all Christians. Those who use Islam to teach intolerance and violence do not represent all Muslims. Those who cut down olive trees on the West Bank and drop missiles from the air do not represent all Jews. It goes on.

    Best regards to all,

    1. As I’ve said before, the core values of most religions are essentially the same. You’d never know the religion of a “good” Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Atheist, etc just based on their actions.

      It’s the ones that feel the need to inflict their beliefs (which are NOT the same as values) on others or butcher their respective holy books in the name of greed and power that I have a problem with…. and there is a vocal minority in every religion that makes it look bad by doing just that.

  6. I had not seen that tweet but it just goes to show that there are ugly people everywhere.

    Of all the reports in this section you all take off (mostly) on Josh. Shoot the messenger… how odd.
    But honestly, hearing even the most evil rant is not something to hide. That is censorship. I thank Josh to show that we have a ways to go before all people will accept us. (Don’t hold your breath).

    Why do people think that because one is respectful of others’ beliefs that they accept the horrors that a minority spread? Look, I do not like the Koran or the Bible, or any group, institution or people who subjugate, harm, or torture anyone in any way, including my own. I can say I hate what they do. But I respect the good people have done in the name of those institutions. Are we to ignore the good and pitch the baby out with the bathwater? That is rather hypocritical, ne?

    I agree with Josh that all religions are more dangerous than positive in this modern age, but you can’t kill an idea, nor should you. Be angry at injustice and cruelty, but don’t become the very thing you despise in the effort to combat it.
    We’ve been down that road and it only leads to loss, pain and recrimination.
    Violence solves nothing. I will only use it in self-defense and even then cautiously.
    Im no angel, trust me, but if we do not raise our sights a little, then we will be nothing better than those who crawl in the muck of intolerance and hate.

    My holiday spirit post for the season.

  7. Oh, I didn’t mean anything negative about Josh at all. If there was a misunderstanding let me be clear: I have no problem with any of Josh’s postings! I was talking about how it is difficult to have a reasonable discussion about Islam.

    Thanks and best to everyone.


  8. Hey Josh I love how you idolise Paganism which in many ways was just as bad as the big religions.

    1. Stop being Paganophobic.

      See what I did there?

      Now you know just how laughable it is to try and protect or defend human rights abuses in other religions under the guise of tolerance.

      You can criticise Paganism or Christianity for its faults, why can’t you do the same with Islam or other world religions?

      1. It is not the RELIGION itself, it is the FOLLOWERS. Christianity and Islam DO NOT encourage violence, the FOLLOWERS just use the RELIGION as an excuse whilst ignoring the actual RELIGIONS teachings.

        I’m not protecting anybody who abuses human rights. I think it is as abominable as you do. But criticising EVERYBODY who follows Islam is Islamophobic, and it makes you sound like a right-wing nutjob.
        “All homosexuals have sex with animals!”

        “Every Muslim hates Jews, Christians and gays!”

        Not really much difference, is there?

        1. I never criticised everyone who followed Islam. Once again, I have Muslim relatives (my grandpa is from Asia) and friends. I understand that the vast majority of all religious people are peaceful.

          I called to question your idea that any rational criticism of a religion is instantly seen as being “phobic” whereas people should have every right to criticise human rights abuses, would you not agree?

          There is nothing right-wing about protecting human rights. My argument is that you cannot call justified criticism of belief systems or human rights abuses as having a phobia. You forget that the enlightened world with our concept of human rights and equality for gays and women only came through critical self-examination, Barky.

          1. I thought Islam did encourage violence? I was under the impression that the Qu’uran encouraged Muslims to lie to or attack unbelievers?

            Regardless, there are alot of Imams etc. who are encouraging violence, and the institution of a religion is as much as, if not more than, a part of a religion as the doctrines they follow.

            1. O rly?

              Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

              Quran (9:123) – “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.”

              Bukhari (52:256) – The Prophet… was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, “They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans).”

              Way to make blunt unsubstantiated statements. A dismissive attitude tends to work better when it isn’t coming out of your ass.

            2. This is what verse (8:12) means. Read this and you will understand. Islam never encouraged violence.!!!

              There is no doubt that the Qur’an has a number of belligerent verses, like 8:12, for example. Yet, as I have explained in the past, these verses have a context. Once the context is understood, the verses are clearly understood.

              This is important to understand when reading verse 8:12. This verse – along with several ahead of it – was revealed in reference to the Battle of Badr, the first major battle between the Muslims and the Meccan pagans around 625 C.E. A little background is in order.

              After the Prophet (pbuh) and his followers were expelled from Mecca and migrated to Yathrib (now known as Medina), a city 300 miles to the north, the Meccans seized all the property of the Muslims that was left in Mecca. This was an act of open war. When the Prophet learned that a large caravan of the Meccans was coming from Syria near Medina, he intended to attack it. Abu Sufyan, who was leading the caravan, learned of this planned attack and sent word to Mecca for protection. His fellow Meccans sent an army, and they met in battle at Badr. The Muslims handily defeated the Meccans, killing almost all of the most important leaders of Mecca.

              Now, verse 8:12 comes into clearer focus. The verse speaks about what God told the angels to say to the believers, in order to inspire them before the battle. The Muslims were very fearful, especially since the Meccans were thrice their number, battle hardened, and much better equipped. This becomes even clearer when the verse is read in context:

              [9]: Lo! You were praying unto your Sustainer for aid, whereupon He thus responded to you: “I shall, verily, aid you with a thousand angels following one upon another!”

              [10]: And God ordained this only as a glad tiding, and that your hearts should thereby be set at rest – since no succour can come from any save God: verily, God is almighty, wise!

              [11]: [Remember how it was] when He caused inner calm to enfold you, as an assurance from Him, and sent down upon you water from the skies, so that He might purify you thereby and free you from Satan’s unclean whisperings and strengthen your hearts and thus make firm your steps.

              [12]: Lo! Thy Sustainer inspired the angels [to convey this His message to the believers]: “I am with you! [And He commanded the angels:] “And give firmness unto those who have attained to faith (with these words from Me:) ‘I shall cast terror into the hearts of those who are bent on denying the truth; strike, then, their necks, and strike off every one of their finger-tips.’” [emphasis added]

              See? The verse is clearly speaking about the events surrounding the Battle of Badr. It is not a general command to “strike at the necks of the infidels.” Anyone with an understanding of the history of Islam knows this. When I read these verses, I know that they refer to the Battle of Badr. No where in my mind is there even an inkling of a thought to “strike at the necks of the infidels.”

              Do you understand?


  9. I believe Lithuania was the last European Pagan state that survived up until 1387? And all the nice surrounding Christian States doing the merciful Christian practise of beheading, burning and hanging these same pagans at every chance. Being a Christian gives you no more a monopoly of values than being Muslim, Jewish or Hindu.


  10. If you enlist in the military in your country you are consenting to be an instrument of its foreign policy. Why else do countries have standing armies? They are not just giant job creation schemes. I understand the economic pressures which lead to many Americans enlisting, but don’t kid yourself. If you join up, be prepared to kill Afghanis.

    I’m conflicted by radical Islam. I am an atheist who hates how religions, in particular monotheistic religions, attempt to impose their moral and political beliefs on their societies. But radical Islam has become the vehicle for the legitimate ambitions of many people to live peaceful lives free from foreign domination. Iran got the Ayatollahs after the US kept the Pahlavis in power. Palestine and long term support for the House of Saud has given us Al Qaeda. Not to mention why we went to war in Iraq. I’d hate to be a Pashtun Afghani forced to choose between an incompetent, corrupt government dominated by warlords and the Taliban.

  11. Not a fan of how everything America does wrong is instantly criticized but the one time it does something right it gets no mention.

  12. Also, I swear Iceland is ruled by Leftist Idealist who don’t have a clue how the world works.

    Didn’t really work out for their economy, huh.

  13. Some do, most don’t. Thinking about or trying to discuss complicated issues in absolute terms such as this does no one any good, however.

    On a completely unrelated topic….. where’d the log-in fields go to?

  14. Sorry Josh, but you should definitelly choose your sources more carefully.
    That article about fallometric measuring of imigrants in The Czech Republic is partly half true and partly complete LIE!
    First, they say that after criticism it will be FROM NOW ON voluntary. Bullshit! It has ALWAYS been only voluntary! Also it wasnt standart procedure as this article is trying to imply. It really was just 10 people in seweral years when it was inconclusive whether they really were gay or they were just faking it to get assylum.
    Also it claims that this method is idiotic because it basicly consists of measuring whether you get a hard-on when watching straight porn. This is as accurate as saing that heart surgery is basicaly stabbing someone to their chest with a scalpel! They write about something they know nothing about and that MAKES THEM IDIOTIC! Or liers in case they know the truth!
    Its also bullshit that its used only in Czech rep. Its highly respected method used world-wide including US and Canada, only not for imigration purposes. But its quite commonly used e.g. on sex-crime suspects etc.

  15. these news articles are totally disturbing and nasty to say the least i dont like people as it is and this makes me hate civilization even more josh cant you post something more jolly i mean its chrismass i know i dont want to hear all this mess especially when its the holidays oh im not finished yet the internet bill in the US is going to F*** everybody over if it gets passed we are screwed and thats not the least of our worries josh goverments are taking away our rights!!!!!!!!!!!! i get soo mad when i hear this stuff i want to punch someone in the face i understand thats not going to solve anything but still idgaf!!!!!

    people make me sick but josh merry chrismass and have a happy new year and i hope the new year starts out good for a change :/

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