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Extremists Warn South Park Creators Over Muhammad In a Bear Suit 1131

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the religion-is-wonderful dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A radical Islamic website is warning the creators of South Park that they could face violent retribution for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit during an episode broadcast on Comedy Central last week. RevolutionMuslim.com posted the warning following the 200th episode of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's South Park."
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Extremists Warn South Park Creators Over Muhammad In a Bear Suit

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  • by Brett Buck (811747) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:58AM (#31924294)

    "Modern Religion"? Answered your own question there, sport.

  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @10:58AM (#31924296) Homepage

    They could have put him in a pedobear costume.

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:00AM (#31924322)

    ...is to increase the number of targets by several orders of magnitude. No, really, I'm quite serious. If everyone posts or publishes a cartoon simultaneously mocking Mohammed, Jesus, and Moses, there will be no practical way for religious extremists to respond. (Yes, I know there are other religions, but it's the big three monotheist camps that are making most of the trouble.)

  • by ZSpade (812879) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:02AM (#31924370) Homepage
    The reverse is also true though, this is getting Al Amrikee much more attention than he deserves.
  • Gotta love... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:02AM (#31924382) Homepage Journal
    ...those peace loving muslims, eh?

    I mean, so far, South Park has lampooned Christ, Budda, etc....and yet none of these groups have threatened them with anything more dangerous than possibly a boycott.

    Seriously, what the fuck is with these people? Isn't it time to move into the 21st century with the rest of us?

  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:02AM (#31924388)

    It's even more ironic that the prohibition against depicting Mohammed was originally (IIRC) to prevent him from being idolized and treated like a deity.

  • by Aurisor (932566) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:06AM (#31924480) Homepage

    "Extremists Warn South Park Creators Over Muhammad in a Bear Suit"

    What a total wimp-out of a headline. A 'warning' is when the weatherman says 'it looks icy out today, drive slow.' When someone calls upon the nut-jobs of the world to murder you because you pissed off their bronze-age sky fairy, that's inciting violence, an explicit threat. I'm willing to go pretty far in support of free speech, but this is definitely "fire in a crowded theater" material.

  • by tophermeyer (1573841) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:08AM (#31924532)

    That said, have they ever refused to parody or ridicule someone or something? Is there anything that is "sacred" to them?

    I seem to remember that they were close to backing off of Scientologists, mainly because of Isaac Hayes (voice of Chef) is one. But then they went ahead and did it anyway, so he quit, and they made a big deal about Chef leaving town to join some evil cultish adventure club.

    IMO, nothing is sacred to them. They ridicule pretty much everything, which is one of the reasons I love the show. Like you, I don't really agree with all of the offensive things they have portrayed, but at the same time I did laugh at a lot of things that many people would find offensive. I think that a show like that has some cultural value, at the very least to let us see how ridiculous some of our prejudices and sensitivities are.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:08AM (#31924546)

    I'd put even money on them having been sent threatening mail from otherwise respectable Christians in the past. It just happens so often that no one really makes a big deal out of it. As an example, the guy who started FSM has a collection of threatening, angry letters posted on his site.

  • by butterflysrage (1066514) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:09AM (#31924560)

    Islam, true Islam, is extremely peaceful. However like any large faith, it is often perverted by those who seek to use it to gain political power. A perfect example of this is Paul from the Christian faith. A simple skim over the books he wrote even leaves the most ignorant aware of the fact that he did not follow the teachings of Jesus. His books have been altered even more in the centuries since then to suit the political pressures at the time.. some parts were cut out, some were added in.

    Any faith can be abused by those who want to get more money, land, power, opposite (or same) sex... Looking at Muslims who would threaten people with death over their depictions of Mohammad and taking that as the width and breadth of Islam is no more absurd then looking at the actions of Westboro Baptist and their "Got hates Gays" protests at fallen soldiers and thinking they are representative of all Christians.

  • by Georules (655379) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:12AM (#31924604)
    To be specific, they did not mock Muhammad. Muhammad didn't do anything controversial in the episode. They were mocking people's fear over showing the image and the reaction by some to that image.
  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:12AM (#31924628)

    Too be fair, the terrorists are no more about Islam then Pat Robertson is about Christianity.

  • by b4upoo (166390) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:13AM (#31924632)

    I see no reason why Mohammed should not be portrayed as a complete ass hole.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:13AM (#31924644) Journal

    "How dare you portray Muhammad as violent! We shall kill you for that!"

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:14AM (#31924662) Homepage

    Honestly, these Muslim extremists are weakling ladylike pussies compared to the Buddhists.

    Call me when you Muslim extremists have the balls to pour gasoline all over yourself, light yourself on fire and sit there and pray.

    I really don't understand why the Muslim community is not publicly outraged at these people that give their faith a bad name.

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:14AM (#31924684) Journal

    Not to mention that the KKK are all radical Christians, but we wouldn't want them speaking on behalf of the entire faith, now would we?

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:16AM (#31924732)

    Because a couple of assholes on a website represent the entirety of the Muslim world?

  • by PowerVegetable (725053) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:17AM (#31924754) Homepage
    The one constant truth of all zealots is that obedience to the rules they fight for is far more important to them than the reason for the rules' existence.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:19AM (#31924774)

    Same ep with Tom Cruise trapped in the closet. Are you suggesting you watched that episode without realizing scientology was being mocked?

  • Extremist my butt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArhcAngel (247594) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:21AM (#31924826)

    If they're such extremists what are they doing watching South Park?

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:23AM (#31924878) Homepage

    I really don't understand why the Muslim community is not publicly outraged at these people that give their faith a bad name.

    You don't understand why moderates aren't outraged?

    Hint: they laugh off these hilariously pathetic whackos, then have a bacon sandwich and a beer, same as the rest of us.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:25AM (#31924916)

    Pat Robertson never flew an airplane into a building or blew up a bus full of women and children. The terrorists may not believe what the majority of Muslims believe, but we're still talking about a large number of sects within Islam with millions of completely faithful followers ready, willing, and thrilled to do violence in the name of their god as their belief structure requires.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:25AM (#31924922)

    However, with the Muslims...c'mon, it seems the crazies are almost in the majority over there. I doubt you've seen that much news footage with radical christians out in the the street burning someone in effigy, changing death to _______.

    Sure it may seem that way if the only exposure you have ever had with Muslims is from news clips.

  • by thijsh (910751) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:26AM (#31924940) Journal
    I'd say you've never even heard of a little country called Ireland...
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by e2d2 (115622) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:26AM (#31924944)

    You can't blame religion for idiots any more than you can blame politics for idiots. Some people will use any excuse to force control on others - religion, politics, science; It's a power thing and it drives every human being on the planet. Most of us just wrangle it in to something reasonable.

    The problem with attacking religion is it's not the problem. So down the road when religion is destroyed the people will use another excuse to kill or control. The shit is never ending. But everywhere it appears we must fight it. Giving in to assholes that want to control you unreasonably is never an option. Death is more pleasing IMHO. I'll obey rules for the good of society, but not ones that are simply insane.

    On a related note - why do HUMANS think they need to defend GOD? What is he the most nit picky SOB ever?

    Those fuckers insulted me in a cartoon! I'll show all of them!..

    What kind of God is that? If that is God then I'll take hell.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:26AM (#31924954)

    It's like with skin color: The genetic differences within a human "race" are bigger than the genetic differences which differentiate them from other "races". The differences within a religious group are bigger than the differences between religious groups. A moderate Christian has more in common with a moderate Muslim than a with a radical Christian. The problems we're seeing are caused by fundamentalist religious nutjobs, not by a particular religion. In poor environments, the teachings and ideologies of these people are more successful and elicit more violent action. That makes it look like Islam is a more violent religion, but trust me, you do not want to be ruled by fanatic Christians either.

  • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:27AM (#31924980)

    And Jesus went 33 years without having a wife, probably without having sex with a woman (extramarital sex) despite hanging out with a prostitute (Mary Magdalene). Instead he opted to hang out with 12 sailors, even though he knew he'd be thrown in jail the next day and killed a few days later. Obviously he was gay.

    I'm not pointing fingers, but isn't it strange that you have people idolizing Jesus, when at the same time they run around screaming bloody murder at gay people?

  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:28AM (#31925010) Journal
    Why would we not want someone around who isn't afraid to mock things even if it means that they will be threatened with violence?
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:28AM (#31925014) Homepage Journal

    Neither the summary nor the headline suggest this represents the entire Muslim world. Both make it clear this is a select group of extremists.

    Why are you inventing fictions?

  • by sunnytzu (629976) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:29AM (#31925028)

    From watching the episode, the entire point of it seemed to be to show the absurdity of a prohibition on any depiction of someone. By making a depiction of Muhammed (PBUH) that involved no image that was recognizably of him, they showed that the prohibition was ridiculous, because it is then a blanket prohibition on any image. I could say that the category icon for this story was a depiction of the Prophet disguised as a white man in glasses with a black rectangle over his mouth - suddenly that would be a prohibited image.
    CAVEAT: This line of argument also means that prohibitions on depictions of things that _we_ think shouldn't be allowed are also absurd.
    Finally, this is not to say that I think that any image is acceptable, but it must have to do with the objective content (or at least consensus agreement of what the objective content is), rather than what the artist intended it to depict, or what it may have been interpreted as depicting.

  • Always remember when the media portrays this sort of threat it is the extremists. There is nothing wrong with 95% of Islam followers - just like there is nothing wrong with 95% of Christianity, its the 5% of Christians/Muslims that blow up buildings. Just like its the 5% of Atheists, 5% of NRA members, etc.. that blow up buildings! Its got little to do with the religion, and more about the people

    Without remembering they are extremists we end up with huge societal prejudices (in times past; slavery, racism) and the death of what makes America great - in effect turning America from an open, freedom-loving-country, into exactly what you despise about the Muslims!
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:34AM (#31925144) Journal
    Is that Islam has not undergone a process analogous to the Enlightenment.

    Pre-Enlightenment, much of Europe was basically a mass of warring theocracies, split between the Catholic ones and the Protestant ones. Separation of church and state were basically nonexistent, blasphemy laws were on the books(and had real teeth, with limited exceptions[thanks a whole fucking lot Ireland] the ones that remain are just relics at this point). You easily could be, and people were, killed for having the wrong doctrinal positions. Censorship was rampant. Things pretty much sucked.

    Thanks to the dedicated(and at times heroic, not a few faced jail, or worse) efforts of various Enlightenment figures, along with a number of political occurrences(the French Revolution had its minuses; but it did have the salubrious effect of annihilating a schlerotic and corrupt divine-right absolutism and replacing it with a secular nation-state. The Glorious Revolution in England was less dramatic; but went rather better. Then, of course, you had the American Revolution, which was absolutely dripping with Enlightenment sentiment[much to the displeasure of today's crop of "America is a Christian Nation founded on the Bible!!! Dominionist nutjobs]).

    The Enlightenment was not an easy process. Much blood, sweat, and ink were spilled; but the results helped make the modern west the more-or-less pleasant place it is today. It was basically the death-knell of absolutist theocracy in the west, and the impetus behind the broad introduction of fun concepts like "human rights" and "freedom of religion"(also coffeehouses and atheism, what's not to love?).

    The relatively benign forms of Christianity that we think of today are basically creations of the Enlightenment(even among the zealous, things like persecution and warfare between Catholics, protestants, and various sects thereof are basically off the table). It wasn't always that way. Even today, there are reactionary hardliners who would really prefer to roll things back(Rushdooney and the "Reconstructionists", for instance, "Dominionists" more generally, are the main thrust of that in the US, where the hardcore are predominantly fundamentalist protestants. On the European stage, we still have the Catholic church pretending that its "canon law", rather than being simply a set of rules for a private club, somehow takes precedence over Civil Law. Without substantial moderating influences, Abrahamic monotheisms are mean, ugly, primitive, and brutal.

    Unfortunately, Islam has not, historically, experienced an analogous process. This doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of more-or-less modern people who are nominally "muslim" in the same way that much of the west is still nominally "christian"; but it does mean that none of the major strains of Islam have been subjected to the radical reduction in power that all the various flavors of Christianity have. For instance, a Christian advocate of theocratic government qualifies as a right-wing nutjob(they exist in surprisingly large numbers, unfortunately; but they still qualify as a fringe position). In large areas of the world, Islamic theocracy(either as a matter of law, or in the form of a state so heavily subservient to religious enthusiasts and Sharia courts that it might as well be) is simply the local form of government.

    This is not to say that there is anything intrinsically superior about Christianity. It fought progress tooth-and-nail, every step of the way, during the Enlightenment. To this day, it harbors downright nasty reactionary elements. And, despite protestations to the contrary, most of the noblest aspects of our society exist in spite of rather than because of it. (Fun stuff like "Civil law" and "freedom of conscience" are either classical, or modern derivations from the classical philosophical tradition). However, because Islam has not been subjected to the moderating(some would say "neutering") influence of an Enlightenment, it retains many of the ugly elements that Christianity no longer has the political power or cultural clout to employ.
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:35AM (#31925170)

    is because they've had considerably less time to modernize.

    Bullshit. Up until the 16th century, they were more modern than the mighty European tribes. Then the European church stopped killing people who asked interesting questions, and they didn't.

    Unless they were travelling considerably faster across the universe than Europe, I'd say they had the same amount of time.

  • by repka (1102731) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:35AM (#31925172)

    To be fair a good percentage of those being brought up as Muslims are being taught that it'd be an honor to kill a few infidels like Matt and Trey.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:36AM (#31925192)

    When the media depictions of Muslims are people screaming for murder, the zeitgeist will tend towards the belief that all Muslims are violent, which is a sad thing. I know many, many decent, hardworking Muslims, and not a single one of them has a violent bone in their body. They've roundly condemned the actions of the fundamentalists, and yet they get treated like a fundamentalist.

    The problem with being a moderate Muslim is that you are often asked to condemn the actions of the fundamentalists. After having done so, the vast majority of people still lump you in with the fundamentalists that you have condemned. See, for example, the movement to ban burqas, the hijab, or minarets. These things won't change the viewpoint of the fundamentalists for the better; it will embolden them. It will, however, drive the moderates towards the fringes and to fundamentalism as you criminalize or exterminate their religion. This is the thanks that the moderate Muslims get: speak out and label yourself as a Muslim and have your religion attacked and be lumped in with the fundamentalists or do nothing and be lumped in with the fundamentalists.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary&yahoo,com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:37AM (#31925210) Journal

    If you scream while immolating yourself, you aren't doing it right. The Vietnamese Buddhist who torched himself sat peacefully in the lotus pose with a beatific smile on his face while he burned. And that, kids, is what inner peace is really all about. If it is possible to train your mind so that you can calmly burn yourself to death without moving a muscle, nothing anyone can do to you can possibly affect you. Nobody can have any amount of power over you if you've got that kind of self control.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dishevel (1105119) * on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:39AM (#31925274)
    A minority of Muslims may be extremist, but a majority of Muslims sit back and say nothing about the extremists. They are just as bad.
  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:42AM (#31925348) Journal

    All that is required to be "Christian" is to believe in Jesus Christ.

    Everything else about following his lessons and teachings is entirely open to interpretation. They would argue that They are true christians while others are not, just how others argue they are true christians while the kkk are not.

    In the case of technicalities, Just because they say they are Christian, DOES make them Christian.

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:42AM (#31925356) Journal

    <sarcasm>Yes, because we all know that Christians have NEVER tried to hurt anyone for believing differently than them.</sarcasm>

    The problem is humans tend to want to kill/remove/banish anyone who doesn't agree with the local groupthink. Be it religion, science (global warming, for instance) or just cultural. The problem is that "beliefs" are held up high while "ideas" are not. Most religions amplify this tendency. Try being a non-Christian in the US today, it is a pain in the ass because of the sheer stupidity of others. Every time someone hears that I am not a Christian, the first thing they say is "oh, are you an atheist?" as if that is the only other option. When I tell them that 80% of the entire planet is not Christian, their response is "Well, everyone is in America", which is obviously not true and obviously saying that no one outside of America matters anyway.

    I was raised in the Catholic church, so don't preach to me how Christianity is about "love". It is yet another flavor of control whereby you follow the rules, or "burn in hell", and anyone who believes different than you is automatically suspicious. Christians are not better than Muslims. Both have extremists even if the vast majority of believers are rational persons. Both believe their view of God is right and everyone else is wrong. Even their God is the same, the God of Abraham. And here in the southeastern USA, not being a Christian can still prevent you from having employment and make life difficult, which isn't very Christian of those folks, is it?

  • by Normal_Deviate (807129) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:47AM (#31925450)
    The IRA were, and are, Marxists in all but name. If you doubt, read the Sinn Fein manifesto, available online now. What, you never heard that on the news? How could that be? The rule, "All terrorists are collectivists or Muslims" is only rarely violated.
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phantomcircuit (938963) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:48AM (#31925476) Homepage

    Not exactly recent history.

  • by spidercoz (947220) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:48AM (#31925480) Journal
    And that somehow makes it better? They're ALL fucking idiotic barbarian cretins, no matter what they do or say to try and disguise that fact.
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:49AM (#31925532) Journal
    Right... [wikipedia.org]
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bakkster (1529253) <Bakkster...man@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:52AM (#31925620)

    The 'Muslim world', for the most part, didn't have the scale of change as the 'western world' did during the Industrial Revolution. They basically missed it. Now in the last several decades, we have countries trying to go from the Industrial Revolution to the Information age (and we hope skipping the Nuclear Age) all at once.

    In other words, they had the same amount of time since OUR modernization started, but they only recently started their process. Thus, they get what was 2 centuries-worth of growing pains for us, packed into just a few decades.

  • by russotto (537200) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:53AM (#31925636) Journal

    Maybe the Muslim community supports them more than you think.

    What I've found talking with moderate Muslims from Muslim-majority countries is that they are all for tolerance in principle, but in specific instances they'll say "Yeah but why do they want to say THAT about Muhammed? What does that contribute to free speech?" and so on.

    That's not a disease specific to Islam, though. There are plenty of people -- possibly a majority -- in the US, other Western countries, and on Slashdot who support freedom "X" in principle but are opposed to any specific use of freedom "X". When pressed they either react just like those Muslims, or babble about how liberty is not license, or talk about how rights have to be balanced with responsibilities, or whatever. There are few who actually support freedom in practice.

  • by zero_out (1705074) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:54AM (#31925658)
    Catholicism != Christianity. Catholicism is based on Christianity, but is far more "Roman Empire" than Christian.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:54AM (#31925666)

    That's not _really_ a religious conflict, though it is divided on religious lines.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:55AM (#31925698)

    I disagree. Naming rights go to the ones who shout the loudest. It's up to other muslims/christians to retake the name if they want it. As a non-muslim, it's not my problem who is/is not a *real* muslim.

    It may not be ideal, but that is how it works in practice. I mean, most communist states we've seen in the past 100 years would probably have had Marx and Engels rolling in their graves.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by plague3106 (71849) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @11:57AM (#31925742)

    Funny you mention the "move into the 21st century with the rest of us" bit. I've been taking a seminar on terrorism and one (of the many) reasons the middle east and (some of) the Muslims that inhabit it are so prone to violence is because they've had considerably less time to modernize. Europe and America had hundreds of years to turn from an agrarian society into a modern one. The middle eastern world has had considerably less time

    Excuse me? The birthplace of civilization, the first known farming areas, have had LESS time to modernize?

    That's a pretty stupid thing to believe.

  • by andy1307 (656570) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:00PM (#31925818)
    Apples and Oranges. Ireland was a nationalist thing, not a Christian thing. Call us when Spanish Catholics blow up subways in London because of what they perceive as British atrocities against their fellow Catholics.

    British born muslims of Pakistani heritage blowing up the London subway because of British involvement in the war = Religious.

    Irish terrorists blowing up shit in the UK and the rest of the catholic world not really giving a shit about it = Nationalist.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:01PM (#31925846)

    There are many more words, but just assume I can rattle off at a dozen Christian terrorist attacks against abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood offices without resorting to Wikipedia.

    Not to downplay the harm that Christianity causes .... but for every one of your dozen Christian terrorist attacks, I can point to a hundred that were conducted by Muslims. The casualty count is even more disproportionate than that. And then there's little things like ... oh, I dunno ... how about the fact that the Saudis just recently sentenced a man to death for the crime of SORCERY, because he was "predicting the future" on his television show. Yep, you read that right. Sending magical beams through the air to a box that displays your image ... that's fine ... but pretending to predict the future, now that's going too far! And the fact that this is happening in the year 2010 .... it really makes you want to cry.

    So yeah, pick on the Christians all you like, I really don't give a damn. But let's not draw any stupid equivalences. The Christians may be stuck a hundred years in the past, but the Muslims insist on beating that record by an order of magnitude.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:09PM (#31925982)
    ...because murdering babies (sorry late-term fetuses) is clearly equivalent to drawing a cartoon of a guy in a bear suit and just as likely to trigger a violent response from extremest religious activists.
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jer (18391) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:17PM (#31926190) Homepage

    ...because murdering babies (sorry late-term fetuses) is clearly equivalent to drawing a cartoon of a guy in a bear suit and just as likely to trigger a violent response from extremest religious activists.

    If you don't understand the equivalence, you might just be a religious extremist.

    Your religion might say killing a doctor who performs abortions is acceptable. Their religion might say killing a cartoonist who mocks their prophet is acceptable. In both cases you're saying murder is acceptable because your religion says so. That's pretty much textbook religious extremist.

  • by thijsh (910751) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:18PM (#31926214) Journal

    Call us when multiple Western nations blow up basically everything in Afghanistan and Iraq because of what they perceive as Muslim terrorist atrocities against their fellow Western Christians.

    Fixed that for you...

    I have to admit it's not quite the same, but you have to see that it's also not that different... especially not in the eyes of the 'insurgents/terrorists/whatever'.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joggle (594025) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:22PM (#31926306) Homepage Journal

    So? China had to make the same rapid transition and yet there's nary a Chinese terrorist to be found. Their most polluted city today didn't even have a single coal factory plant 30 years ago.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SirGarlon (845873) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:22PM (#31926310)

    It's the right-wingers in general that, apparently, are far more likely to get violent...

    There have been plenty of left-wing extremists as well: the Black Panthers, Simbionese Liberation Army, Weathermen Underground, etc. Tendency toward violence is not a left/right thing, it's an asshat/non-asshat thing.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by stdarg (456557) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:28PM (#31926468)

    Murder has a scale of morality. On one end you have self defense, which is almost universally accepted as okay. Murdering over a speech issue where there is no possibility of physical harm is way on the other end -- almost universally (in the West) not condoned. Murdering on the behalf of someone else's self defense is somewhere in the middle.

    I'd say the two situations are not as equivalent as you claim because the actions are indeed on a different part of the spectrum (in Western culture).

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:29PM (#31926498) Homepage

    Tendency toward violence is not a left/right thing

    Absolutely. Really, I should've said "In today's political climate, it's the right-wingers in general that...". I certainly didn't mean to cast aspersions upon *all* right-wingers. But they are *currently* housing (and, I would argue, encouraging) a kernel of extremism within their ranks.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by martyros (588782) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:36PM (#31926676)

    As a moderate Christian, I'm glad I don't live in a Christian theocracy as well.

    That said, there is a significant difference between the foundation of the two religions. Jesus said "...love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and unjust alike." (From Matthew's biography of Jesus) And Peter, one of his disciples, and a leader in early Christianity, wrote: "God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly." (Letter from Peter, one of Jesus' disciples, to early Christians). For a "Christian" nutjob to make the same kind of violent threat, they'd have to completely ignore most of the New Testament.

    I've read much of the Koran, I haven't found the same kinds of sentiments or statements in Islam. Mohammed was a political power, in charge of an army, who promised his followers lavish rewards if they died fighting for their faith, and had no objection in spreading Islam by military means. Although there will always be a certain percentage of people prone to be "nutjobs", I can't help but think that the Christian history and scriptures at least tend to make nutjobs less violent, while the Muslim history and scriptures don't.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:38PM (#31926718) Journal
    That's the kicker, though, I don't care whether they "respect" my beliefs or not. They are perfectly welcome to return my open scorn in kind.

    However, I do care if, and they are not welcome, if they decide to respond to hurt feelings with violence.
  • by stdarg (456557) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:38PM (#31926728)

    Part of the problem with the Western understanding and handling of Islam is that Islam is inherently political as well as religious. Like the Old Testament, Islam dictates many of the laws that a society is supposed to have in order to please Allah. Christians get around that by saying the Old Testament was for another time, but many Muslim-majority societies do not. Even Muslim communities within non-Muslim host societies want to have Islamic "law" to the extent possible, such as in England by taking advantage of contract law and arbitration and using Islamic law as a basis for contracts in civil issues like marriage, inheritance, etc.

    People like you try to say the same thing about Christianity. The IRA are Christian terrorists because they are terrorists who are Christian and want to kick out rulers of another sect of Christianity. Okay, that's true, but are they kicking out those rulers so that they can set up a certain Christian *society* as well? Are they going to not allow freedom of religion? Have special rules and laws for people of other religions?

    I don't think the IRA ever claimed to want any of those things, but that's exactly what Muslim groups like the Taliban and Al Qaeda want. That's why people like me don't understand or agree with those kinds of comparisons. Sure there are groups-that-are-composed-of-Christians who do bad things, but there are very few organized Christian groups that are pushing for actual Christian rule.

  • by mayberry42 (1604077) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:45PM (#31926872)

    I'd say you've never even heard of a little country called Ireland...

    Actually, it's an even littler country called Northern Ireland

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:52PM (#31927064)

    It shows exactly how wacko the muslim community is.

    Imagine this:
    Muslims invade your country just for profit, kill some of your relatives, control your country natural sources, and in general disrespect you as a person and nation. Control your life with physical power IN your country. And they live WAY better than you and your people. Christ trasforms to a different think than just a metaphysical/religious being. Its a symbol. Your people symbol. The only thing that you feel is anger and you live for revenge and justice. You look for enemies, and you find what? Muslims. And they also make fun with your symbol. You take it as an offend. You are an extremist. You are a wacko...maybe...i don't know...

    I am against terrorism/war, im not a religious person at all, just try to think how this people think.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chrisG23 (812077) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:53PM (#31927072)
    Why do you automatically doubt that? There is a video that you can probably find on youtube if not somewhere else, it is actually quite well known. (I am at work and do not have access to youtube). You can see a wikipedia article on the man at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%ADch_Qu%E1%BA%A3ng_%C4%90%E1%BB%A9c [wikipedia.org]

    It is apparently inconceivable to you that the mind can be conquered and made subservient to the **fill in the word for whatever would go here, common ones are soul, spirit, consciousness, "I"** and that a person could do that. Well, there are religious/spiritual practices and traditions that have been around for a very long time whose goal it is to bring people to states like this. Perhaps the followers become mindless zombies, perhaps they attain a sort of enlightenment, but to assume that the man was on serious drugs is an ignorant statement.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NormalVisual (565491) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:53PM (#31927084)
    For Muslims Mohammad isn't "a guy", he is their most sacred prophet

    Big deal. That doesn't give them the right to murder someone just because they took offense at what he said.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @12:53PM (#31927086)

    If you think the troubles were really related to religion you are sadly ill-informed

  • by WesternActor (300755) * on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @01:00PM (#31927254) Homepage

    Bingo. This is the most important thing to understand. In the "Cartoon Wars" episode, he just showed up at the door at the end holding a hat—and that was considered so incendiary that Comedy Central had to black it out. And in "Super Best Friends," he was actually a major force for good, proving instrumental in the defeat of the giant stone Abraham Lincoln that had been animated by Blainetology.

    South Park has never to my knowledge portrayed Muhammad in a negative light. But the extremists don't care. That's the worst part about all of this—and why it's so incredibly important that someone do it. It doesn't surprise me at all that it's Parker and Stone. Hopefully they won't be the last. The extremists want to rule us by fear—we cannot let them.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TooManyNames (711346) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @01:09PM (#31927488)
    How about two groups with very similar kinds of growing pains... say India and Pakistan. They both started in relatively the same state following India's independence, have a similar geography, similar governance, and have both experienced the same pressures for modernization that you're asserting. Seems that the big difference between the two comes down to religion and the culture that results. Which one has the stronger presence and tolerance of terrorists?
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rysc (136391) * <sorpigal@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @01:14PM (#31927574) Homepage Journal

    For Muslims degrading Mohammad is more akin to desecrating a grave or religious building

    I'm pretty sure I can depict the vatican burning to the ground in a cartoon and get no more serious reaction than angry letters. Desecrating a grave might get you a picket line and some verbal insults. Even if others reacted just as extremely to this 'analogous' situations, where does it say that doing so is right?

    I'm not agreeing with their tactics, but really, a little respect for someone's religion might not be too much to ask.

    I respect islam as much as I respect any religion (not much). Respecting and treating it as sacred are two very different things. I am *more* inclined toward 'blasphemous' behavior by people like you who ask that I "show some respect"--No! I will however pee on a bible and send you some pictures of jesus and buddha having hot gay sex. If you don't likeit show some respect by not asking me to 'show respect' which is just code for "adhere to the dictates of my religion even if you don't believe them."

    If someone defiled a child's grave how would you feel about that?
    I'd laugh my ass off. If it were the grave of a loved one I'd probably be a little angry and want to catch the guy, maybe even beat him up. But, I'd rather have him punished by the law. If what he did was *talk* about defiling my child's grave, as opposed to actually doing it, I would feel a little bad but *would not seek any kind of retribution, because I don't believe he did anything wrong.*

    Three two one hypocrite, right? Applying my sense of right and wrong to the situation and then complaining that I don't like what Muslims are doing because they are applying their sense of right and wrong. I'm expecting them to live up to my standards but saying that I shouldn't live up to theirs, right? Right. The principle I apply here is: My house, my rules. In America, where the South Park creators live, it is in no way illegal or shameful to do what they did, therefore they ought to be under no duress as a result.

    Respect is a two way street, if you want someone to respect you and your beliefs you have to be willing to respect them and their belief.

    See the above. Everybody *cannot* respect everybody, where "respect" is "follow my code of morality whether I believe it or not" which is what you really mean anyway (no, really, think about it). What I want is to not have my life be in jeopardy unless I'm violating a law in the country where I reside, even if I am violating a law elsewhere. Religious law? If you want it to apply to me write it in to my country's legal code. I think that's as fair and 'respectful' as we can get.

  • by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @01:18PM (#31927684) Journal
    Honestly, I think this guy "Al Amrikee" has violated the first rule of a public argument... Never pick a fight with someone who buys their ink by the barrel.

    What his miscalculation is going to be is that South Park has a HUGE bully pulpit and they are NOT afraid to use it. They'll look America in the face and say "These people are wrong and this is why." South Park will do is do an episode detailing the stupidity of this explaining how they've made fun of every other religious figure and that fair is fair.

    But they won't stop there. South Park will do an episode of him getting butt raped by a guy named "Mohammad" in a bear suit. They'll call him out by name and make fun of him.

    In short, they will publicly fuck him up bad.
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shotgun (30919) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @01:23PM (#31927824)

    I don't give a damn if they respect me or my beliefs. Really, I don't. However, I learned early in life that the response to violence is overwhelming violence...right up to the point that the other side is either incapable of responding or decides that a peaceful discussion actually IS the more useful approach.

  • by capnkr (1153623) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @01:24PM (#31927854)
    I live in the deep South East of the US, have my whole life, and in my 30+ years of employment both for others companies large and small and while working on my own as an independent, have never, ever, not even _once_ been asked whether or not I was a Christian (or any other religion), and certainly not within a framework of reference which would have determined whether or not I would get the job. I think you are ***WAY*** over the top with exaggerating this, propagating a stereotype that works great in movies, but has shit-all to do with real life.

    Like yourself, I was raised in a Christ-based church (Lutheran, my father was a minister and deeply religious, as are most of the rest of my family), and also like you, have grown and 'intellectualized' myself (for good or for bad) out of the church/religious belief system in which I was raised. Not surprisingly, I too feel that there are some large parts of religion, especially historically, that are pretty simply just about 'control', for whatever reason. But what you will not find in the recent history of religion by-and-large are numbers of religious fanatics other than Islamists who are ready and willing to go out and kill other people who have a different religious belief system. Who, if I am to believe what I have read, are to some degree *encouraged* to do so - and not only by ancient/old writings, but by clerical leaders within that religions framework even this very day. Worldwide.

    No other religion in our day and age regularly has public call-outs for the death of 'unbelievers' like this particular religion does. Period. *That* is what makes it different, and to my mind, a throwback and dangerous. I would really, really, REALLY like to see some ACTION from the moderates I always hear about 2nd or 3rd hand who claim that this religion is of peace and love, but IME I have yet to see any public, noteworthy call for a cessation of the hostility and barbarity, as well as a condemnation of those who would encourage these acts of senseless cruelty.

    Where is the big leader in this religion who will risk fatwa and jihad against himself to try and put an end to the attitudes which prevent the ability to live side by side with others who think differently in their personal choice of religions?

    I don't see them, not in any significant way. That, to me, says that there may well be something of merit to what those who call them "islamofascists" have to say.

    I do have an open mind, and would love to see harmony instead of strife over these things. I bear no ill will against anyone who is a PEACEFUL Muslim and/or otherwise named follower of the precepts of Islam/Mohamed (or any other religious figure, include L Ron, if I have to ;) ). But until the Muslim religion can show us a _worldwide known and recognized leader_ speaking out regularly and vociferously against the violence perpetuated against non-Muslims, then I have a very hard time believing that all they really are is only about peace and love and just plain old gettin' along...

    So maybe now, having written this, I'd better pack my bags and go live with the boys in their Colorado mansion... ;)
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Phrogman (80473) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @01:27PM (#31927916) Homepage
    Yep, Christians are just as capable of being cold blooded murderers and terrorists as fanatical members of Islam are. The problem isn't Islam, its religious extremism, period. Sure, Islam is in the news the most right now - and doing the most harm, no question, but there are fanatical Christian Extremists out there who are just as dangerous and deserve the same treatment. The problem is that some of those fanatical religious extremists (or at least their supporters) are in Government here in North America, and in the Media. I am far more afraid of Rightwing Fanatical Christians and what they can do to affect my life than I am of radical muslim extremists.
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @01:32PM (#31928048) Homepage Journal
    "But that doesn't make mocking the religious beliefs of Muslims right either, there are plenty of Muslims who would NEVER engage in violence, why don't they deserve respect?"

    No...they do not deserve any more respect than any other religion in the world. They get lampooned all the time....

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bemopolis (698691) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @01:42PM (#31928298)

    for every one of your dozen Christian terrorist attacks, I can point to a hundred that were conducted by Muslims.

    I doubt that, especially as I include (without fear of contradiction) the Klan as Christian terrorists. The bombed, burnt, hung, and shot Americans who were doing nothing but attempting to exercise their rights as citizens, all while dancing around a flaming symbol of their dear Savior Christ in their long robes. I'll take the empty threats of Internet punks over the very real danger of Voting While Black in the South before the end of the 1960s; that is to say, in my lifetime.

    Oh, but there is one major difference between the Christian terrorists of that age and the Muslim terrorists today: some of those Christian terrorists had their hands firmly on the levers of power in America. Even today former members of the Klan sit in the Congress, albeit after varying degrees of penance. At least today I have the advantage of reporting threats of Christian or Muslim terrorism to the authorities and expect reasonable equivalence in response, if not equal in rhetoric.

  • by johncadengo (940343) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @01:47PM (#31928458) Homepage

    Reminds me of a quote from Life of Pi [wikipedia.org]:

    There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if the Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, "Business as usual." But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening.

    These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defence, not God's, that the self-righteous should rush.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @01:59PM (#31928748) Journal

    Most Christians and most Muslism are better than this. Please don't equate extremist Islam to all of Islam. You don't hear people accusing all Christians of acting like the westboro baptist church now do you?

    It's hard not to notice that acceptance of the local varieties of Westboro Baptist Church are much higher among Muslims than they are among Christians. With Muslims, while many don't directly participate in acts of terror, when you ask around whether they support or condone it (and I mean not just anecdotal, but various polls etc), a lot show quiet support.

    Then there are people like this guy [nzherald.co.nz], who try to project the "progressive Muslim" image to fit into their society, but, again, don't find anything wrong with various barbaric practices associated with Islam as such - only in the context of the (westernized, humanistic) culture they're stranded in.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bemopolis (698691) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @02:05PM (#31928906)

    They didn't go out to hang Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, or Muslims; they set out specifically to kill BLACKS.

    I'm sure it greatly comforts the families of Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner that when they were killed the Klan was SPECIFICALLY murdering James Chaney. And then I'm sure that the Klan did not burn a cross that night, in deference to REAL Christians unlike themselves.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DriedClexler (814907) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @02:17PM (#31929142)

    Funny you mention the "move into the 21st century with the rest of us" bit. I've been taking a seminar on terrorism and one (of the many) reasons the middle east and (some of) the Muslims that inhabit it are so prone to violence is because they've had considerably less time to modernize.

    Uh huh. And so did South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and Ireland.

    Next excuse?

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by coniferous (1058330) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @02:22PM (#31929252) Homepage

    Ack.

    I hate to refute this because you seem like a type of person that practices religion because it's important to *you*. I respect that.

    But, quite frankly, both sides can pull random quotes of scripture out of a book and say that they are all about love and togetherness. At the end of day I'm still told that I should be put to death because I’m gay. (Leviticus 20:13). That's just as extremist.

    It's blind faith that’s the problem. Not a particular religion.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @02:31PM (#31929506) Journal

    Always remember when the media portrays this sort of threat it is the extremists. There is nothing wrong with 95% of Islam followers - just like there is nothing wrong with 95% of Christianity, its the 5% of Christians/Muslims that blow up buildings. Just like its the 5% of Atheists, 5% of NRA members, etc.. that blow up buildings! Its got little to do with the religion, and more about the people

    Will you stand by your claim that proportionally as many (self-proclamed) Christians and atheists engage in acts of religious terrorism as Muslims? Can you provide a reference to back this claim?

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @02:45PM (#31929792) Journal

    Your seminar is based on a solid piece of stupid. Time to assimilate is not strongly correlated with violent reactions to criticism.

    As a counterexample: Hawaiians had nearly zero time to "modernize," and they aren't preternatural terrorists (despite the nutjob secessionists).

    But they also don't have a book like the Quran that tells them to kill unbelievers and blasphemers (and that not being a believer is being a blasphemer, leaving only one "logical" conclusion).

    Further, the Mideast has had just as long to modernize as the West has. They've merely refused to, or rather, not been allowed to because of the tight grip their feudal lords keep on power (aided, again, by the Quran).

    The problem is the illogic of the Quran and the number of people who accept it unquestioningly, not any pop-sociology.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary&yahoo,com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @03:05PM (#31930132) Journal

    I've watched it. Do you see him open his mouth? No. My point stands. But I ask you: why so cynical? You'd made up your mind what must have happened, before you'd even seen any evidence. Why? Does the story contradict some deep seated belief you hold about human nature?

  • by operagost (62405) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @03:30PM (#31930540) Homepage Journal

    And that somehow makes it better?

    No, but it makes it irrelevant to a discussion about religious intolerance.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @03:31PM (#31930568)
    Uh, no. If you sincerely believe that abortion is murder, then killing an abortionist is ethically justified: one murder to prevent many murders is a net good, independent of whether or not "God" is offended by abortion. Killing somebody for mocking The Prophet (peace be upon him) is making a moral equivalence between making fun of a prophet and murder. From what little I understand of Muhammad, he was a great and wise man, far too enlightened to be bothered by some petty little men making fun of him. In other words, I'm pretty sure he personally would not have called for retribution, but would have recommended ignoring those who make light of him. That doesn't change the fact that mocking other people's religion is never constructive but does cause real harm to those that are angered by it. In other words, from an ethical standpoint, mocking the great prophet is never justified, because it almost certainly does more harm than good. Please note that great Muslim writers also regard Jesus as a prophet, and urge that he be treated with respect as well. The least good Christians could do is to return the favor. (I believe Jesus has also been written into the Hindu pantheon, so presumably Hindus are expected to treat him with respect as well. Buddhist are taught to respect all other religions.)
  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @03:53PM (#31931022) Journal

    You might want to watch this [youtube.com] before you say it is simply "extremists". Notice how once you get to a tipping point of around 35-45% Muslim you start getting into such lovely subjects as ethnic cleansing?

    You can pretend it ain't so but Muslims simply don't play nice with anyone else. hell they don't play nice with other Muslims, see Shia VS Sunni for an example. When you need to have womens groups [wikipedia.org] to speak out against such wonderful customs as the gang rape of women who dare not to wear the burka or follow Islam (they even have a nice euphemism for it la tournante [wikipedia.org]) I would say that Islam does NOT need be treated as "just another religion".

    And considering we WILL be pretty much on our own in less than 60 years (as Europe will be predominately Muslim thanks to much higher birthrates than the west) I feel we really should be putting a screeching halt to this PC crap that labels Islam as no different than Christians or Jews. Sure if you compare them to Christians and Jews in the middle ages that might be correct, but we aren't in the middle ages anymore, while the Islamic religion still very much IS.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @04:50PM (#31932028)

    WTF, did I say I cared about you attacking christianity?

    I'm an atheist, you retarded moron. Fuck you and the "moral equivalence" horse you rode in on that makes you think bad behavior anywhere is justifiable.

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @05:34PM (#31932634) Homepage Journal

    Rubbish. Fire is physically dangerous, and fear of that danger can cause panic - which is itself dangerous. Insults are not - and don't try to make out that the reactions to them are the same thing.

    So it's really more like shouting "you're all poopy-heads" in a crowded theater.

  • Re:Gotta love... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Omestes (471991) <omestes @ g m a il.com> on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @06:45PM (#31933500) Homepage Journal

    Why? I insult Christ, the Buddha, and any other deity you want to throw at me. And often I don't do this to be mean, but to illustrate how silly their followers are. I've even known a Catholic priest who would sit around making fun of the Church all day, and telling pretty damn good Jesus jokes ("what is Jesus' number one fear? ... Beavers.")

    The second you take your self seriously, you deserve all the ridicule in the world.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @01:19PM (#31943060) Journal
    Oh no! Power hungry politicians might use appeals to "progress" in order to dominate and control us! Quick, lets establish a class of politicians(yes, a religious leader is nothing but a politician in a funny hat) who already have absolute power, and thus don't need to promise anything, aside from an afterlife, which is a very cheap promise indeed, in order to dominate and control us. Problem solved!

    In the same, contradictory, vein, you mention "In the US, the President can wage his own private war; in Iran, only the Ayatollah can." as though that were some sort of advantage. Yes, the US executive has too much ability to do whatever the fuck he wants, with the only real penalty being losing office after 4 years. The alternative proposed, though, is even worse. (Incidentally, the idea that the Pope would be a moderating influence is largely only true because of the Enlightenment. Wasn't so long ago that Popes had their own standing armies, and called crusades[in a manner rather similar to today's more militant "fatwa" declarations]. Nor were all of these crusades external. The reason that the "cathar" variant of Christianity is mentioned only historically is because of the thoroughness of the Albigensian crusades[best line of that particular conflict: "Kill them all, God will know his own"].)

    Yes, it must, undeniably, be admitted that the Enlightenment didn't live up to the highest hopes of its backers. That much is undeniable. However, it was an improvement over what came before, and subsequent reactions against it have, unequivocally, been steps backwards.

    Fascism and Communism in Europe, and Fundamentalism in the Middle East, have preserved most of the vices, and destroyed most of the virtues, of Enlightenment. If you think that religious authoritarianism manages to create "rules that apply to rich and poor alike", where secular rule of law has not, you are dreaming.

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