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Iran Slows Internet Access Before Student Protests 289

RiffRafff writes "Iran is at it again, pre-emptively slowing or cutting Internet access before anticipated student protests." From the article: "Seeking to deny the protesters a chance to reassert their voice, authorities slowed Internet connections to a crawl in the capital, Tehran. For some periods on Sunday, Web access was completely shut down — a tactic that was also used before last month's demonstration. The government has not publicly acknowledged it is behind the outages, but Iran's Internet service providers say the problem is not on their end and is not a technical glitch."
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Iran Slows Internet Access Before Student Protests

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  • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:01PM (#30347318) Homepage Journal
    I hope the protest succeeds for many reasons, one of which is to show that regime change can be beneficial and effective without overt American influence. The Iranians are tough people with long memories, and they will be as resistant to American meddling as they are to the Ayatollah.

    They're one of the few countries without McDonald's' and I'd like to see them stay that way.
  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:02PM (#30347330) Homepage
    Well, that really doesn't leave much. I give the Iranian government credit though, this is a much more subtle way of handling things and potentially more effective than more blatant crackdowns. However, I don't think this will matter much for certain types of channels. A lot of the channels used in previous protests to communicate (such as Twitter and text messages) have extremely low bandwiths. So slowing down the internet shouldn't do much. And large scale cutting will lose the more subtle element. Of course, this sort of repeated behavior should make it clear to anyone in doubt that the current Iranian government really isn't popular with the people. If they were genuinely popular, they'd have little need to try to control communication like this. The government probably remembers that the last time there was an extremely unpopular government was the Shah's regime and that was brought down by what started as student protests.
  • Re:Slow? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:07PM (#30347364)

    depends on how many advertisements are on the pages of the sites they goto. they are generally the biggest parts of most webpages and the slowest to load anyhow.

  • by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:13PM (#30347412) Homepage

    Your sentimentalism sickens me.
    How can your anti-globalization sentiment outweigh the fact that Iran is a highly oppressive, human rights abusing theocracy?

    You wouldn't be able to set foot there to enjoy the McDonalds free streets, before being tortured, and used as a political bargaining chip.

  • by Tezcat ( 927703 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:15PM (#30347436)
    If the regime controls the media well enough, any problems or threats can be described as American-sponsered.

    And if any change does occur, it'd not stop sympathetic conspiracists from blaming the downfall of an Islamic state on whoever they damn well wish: The US, the UK, or a sinister cabal of Zionists.

    Of course, this is discounting the major problem the anti-government Iranian students are facing; that those they oppose were revolutionary students once, ruthless ones at that, and know a few of the tricks.
  • Re:Proxification? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ickleberry ( 864871 ) <web@pineapple.vg> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:27PM (#30347536) Homepage
    Has anyone ever got into trouble for running a tor node? Also, not everyone lives in the US, with the level of 'freedom' over there it seems like you guys should be the ones using the tor nodes, not running them
  • by bram ( 490 ) <bram-slashdot@@@grmbl...net> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:27PM (#30347538) Journal

    The problem is that it doesn't matter how it looks.

  • Re:Proxification? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:35PM (#30347604) Homepage
    And how do you think this is going to help in the slightest? If all Internet traffic in and out of Iran is being slowed down, running through a proxy outside of Iran won't help because traffic to and from it will be affected just as much as everything else.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:36PM (#30347614)

    Well, that really doesn't leave much. I give the Iranian government credit though, this is a much more subtle way of handling things and potentially more effective than more blatant crackdowns. However, I don't think this will matter much for certain types of channels. A lot of the channels used in previous protests to communicate (such as Twitter and text messages) have extremely low bandwiths. So slowing down the internet shouldn't do much. And large scale cutting will lose the more subtle element. Of course, this sort of repeated behavior should make it clear to anyone in doubt that the current Iranian government really isn't popular with the people. If they were genuinely popular, they'd have little need to try to control communication like this. The government probably remembers that the last time there was an extremely unpopular government was the Shah's regime and that was brought down by what started as student protests.

    Been there, done that with the so-called 'revolutions'.

    The last time they got themselves a real progressive force (Mr Mohammed Mossadeq), the CIA killed him and installed their guy, the Shah. It's what come to be known as the 'Roosevelt doct

    Then we got another revolt after that (the Islamic Revolution), with Zibgniew Brzezinski selling guns to the Iranians under Khomeini's watch (AKA what people think Iran-Contra was all about) and playing them against Iraq.

    I'm getting sick of the naive childlike view portrayed on this forum and others. In your 'analysis', you exclude the fact that the US government and its alphabet soup HAS, and never ceased to meddle in foreign governments' affairs. This is part of the historical record, yet it always conveniently gets 'omitted'.

    Just more war propaganda, just more apologists from an 'empire' that ironically is very much in its death throes itself. But what I'm really sick of is this American naval-gazing - this apathetic, moral righteousness where none is due.

  • by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @09:00PM (#30347848)
    Yeah, if they're willing to gun down citizens in the street for protesting a bogus election, then I don't see how anyone could think they'd care at all about how they look for restricting bandwidth on the internet.
  • by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @09:01PM (#30347866)
    I got modded a troll yesterday (which I probably deserved for my dismissive tone) making a point similar to this.

    The revolution will not be tweeted.

    The "twitter revolution" that many people cheered about went no where, and the Iranian government used those tweets to put people in jail. If the Iranians are going to have a revolution, it isn't going to happen on social networking sites. They aren't even good to organize with, because the government can easily put out disinformation, and see where, and when, people are planning to demonstrate.
  • by easyTree ( 1042254 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @09:05PM (#30347904)

    If the regime controls the media well enough, any problems or threats can be described as ...

    Most don't seem to comprehend that this is exactly what happens in the US.

  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @09:14PM (#30347980)

    "I feel for those affected, but at some point the people inside the Matrix need to do more to help themselves."

    They are too comfortable for violent revolt, or they would violently revolt.
    They aren't fighting Islam, which is the root source of all their problems, they are merely wanting their piece of the Iranian pie.

    I'll be impressed when they have the balls to fight like the Jihadists they face, and wear IEDs into Republican Guard facilities.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @09:33PM (#30348118)

    For fuck's sake - stop reading your government-controlled propaganda - New York Times etc and start controlling your 'leaders'.

    Yes, by all means... let's start reading your propaganda instead.

  • Re:Proxification? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @09:47PM (#30348228)
    And which country was he a party member from? Oh I'm sorry, didn't mean to get in the way of partisan bullshit.
  • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) * on Sunday December 06, 2009 @10:19PM (#30348456) Homepage

    Actually, the Iranian regime is Shia, not mainstream Muslim. Shia represent a minority (estimates vary from 5% to 15%) of the worldwide Muslim population that the Western media lumps together. Mainstream Islam (Sunni, counting for between 805 to 90%) is hugely different from Shia, although the Shia people are allowed into Sunni countries freely and without incident (roughly 100,000 enter Saudi Arabia annually to perform the Hajj to Mecca, without incident).

    In Iran, Shia are a majority, the only country in which this is the case. They are going after the traditional Muslims, who are contending that the brutality of the regime is not consistent with Sharia law, which has very clear principles. Ironically, the Western media is pointing to the Iranian regime and blaming its adherence to Sharia as the cause for the unrest there.

    Sharia law is not counter to human rights, Sharia law resulted in a 1,400 year long reign over the middle east which was described by Jewish historian Bernard Lewis as the only time man has achieved true social harmony. It's a pity that the Western media has absolutely no idea what Sharia is, but bashes it based on a few clips from some village of some woman being whipped, regardless of the fact that Sharia had no part in such instances and does not condone violence against anyone, man, woman, Muslim or otherwise. Sharia law worked for 1,400 years in the middle east, and only fell when World War 1, a European war, spilled over into the region.

    Sharia law causing global instability indeed.

  • by easyTree ( 1042254 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @10:25PM (#30348504)

    That said, I'm still free to publish views that directly conflict with those in government without fear of being locked up. That is not the case in Iran.

    You make this sound like a good thing.

    There's no need to prevent someone from saying or printing anything they think - most of their thoughts are already under control - if not, their readership interprets any unrecognised opinion within the framework set by big media.

  • by easyTree ( 1042254 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @10:28PM (#30348516)

    I frankly don't think it's any of our business that their citizens have to live like that

    Whilst it's of course only human (the good side :) to care about fellow humans living in oppression in foreign lands, does it not seem strange that your government (and mine) will happily provide weapons used to kill these same individuals but as soon as there a more pressing need than immediate profit, their former business colleagues from abroad are denounced for anti-American behaviour?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @10:36PM (#30348550)

    But that gets me thinking about The Moon is a harsh Mistress and the cell of three rule. Keep the mesh but allow each client to only talk to two other phones. Only one phone in the cell has the address of another cell. In effect, cells are members of cells but nobody had more then three IP addresses in memory.

    This avoids having big vulnerable databases which the cops can grab. It will be called MYCROFTXXX of course.

    Mycroft's solution presumed that the network itself wasn't monitored, which would instantly expose the entire network. No Such Agency could do that sort of thing in the States, of course.

    Any government worth its salt has comparable boxen logging comparable data at its internal routers/chokepoints. Individual goons don't need to grab a big database off a single compromised phone; they just need someone with a God's-eye view of the social network to tell them whom to target. It remains to be seen whether the Iranian government has the capability to gather the data (or to analyze it fast enough) to direct the goon squads it'll use to keep its people in check. I hope the Iranian government falls, but either way, it'll be an interesting experiment.

  • he was an exile, an expatriot. he gathered financial support and philosophical encouragement from ideas outside china. he spent a lot of time in hawaii, finding inspiration in things like lincoln's gettysburg address. then he went home to china, and helped overthrow the backwards qing dynasty. he is revered by both the mainland communists and the nationalists on taiwan as the father of modern china

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Yat-sen [wikipedia.org]

    my point?

    national borders are artificial constructs, and the seeds of revolution often come from outside a country, not from within it. ideology is ideology ideology: if it works in one country, it can work in another. its not like you go over the border of china or iran and suddenly you are in a magical land where human nature is fundamentally different. no: human beings are human beings. an idea that inspires someone in rio de janiero can just as easily inspire someone in hamburg. you give far too much power to something as flimsy as a tribal, arbitrary dividing line

    my point is: there is very much we can do to help an angry and energized rich iranian expat community to give birth to the iranian sun yat-sen

    its not just people outside the country whining and complaining. that's not all they are doing, you can be sure of that. and the iranian government knows this: they jail relatives of iranian expats they perceive as being active in fighting the illegitimate iranian military dictatorship (the ayatollah is only a pawn now):

    http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/12/05/2044243 [slashdot.org]

    the iranian government certainly recognizes what you do not: its not the cia, or mi-6 that is there most potent foreign enemy. it is the iranian diaspora: raising funds, keeping alive hope, influencing opinion at home

    the iranian regime has heard of sun yat-sen, and they are on guard against the iranian one

  • by alfoolio ( 1385603 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:28PM (#30348870)

    I disagree: The longer they can delay it the less fresh it becomes, the less people care about what actually happened, and the more easily can history be changed. They look their worst when they initially do it.

  • by copponex ( 13876 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:35PM (#30348908) Homepage

    And those of us with memories don't need a reminder.

    Remember when we sent weapons to Iraq and trained their army to fight Iran? I mean, remember when we allowed them to gas the Kurds and Saddam Hussein was a secular Islamic leader stemming the tide against the Iranian Revolution and their Russian backers?

    Wait, I forgot. Iraq is Evil and Saddam Hussein is Evil. They let Kuwaiti babies die in the floor in the hospital! Well, that turned out to by a lie by a diplomat's daughter. But anyway, we never did anything like that to Iraqi babies, I mean, besides starve them with an embargo for 10 years.

    Remember when we invaded Iraq because they helped al Qaeda with plotting 9/11? I mean, remember when we invaded Iraq because they had WMD? I mean, remember when we invaded Iraq to liberate it's people?

    Wait, what's the story again?

  • Re:Proxification? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wellingj ( 1030460 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:42PM (#30348936)
    Or a Semi-Auto rifle banned because it look mean...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:47PM (#30348962)

    He probably knows more than you. Sure islam itself means peace, or more precisely peace through submission. At least in the modern world when the christians come-a-knockin, if u tell them to bugger off they do, they don't strap bombs to their kids, and send them in.

  • Re:Slow? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:47PM (#30348968)
    It's enough to stop people from arranging protests and letting each other know where and what time to show up. Using phones for that purpose is not really safe because they are quite easy to tap. The speeds are low enough that even messenger services (Yahoo, MSN and GTalk) are not working as it takes forever to connect.
    They have also ordered foreign journalists to stop reporting and stay home for a few days, to prevent the beating of protesters showing up live for the world to see.
  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @11:50PM (#30348990) Journal

    I hope the protest succeeds for many reasons, one of which is to show that regime change can be beneficial and effective without overt American influence.

    Overt, covert, what's the difference?
    Considering America's past, without proof to the contrary, I'm going to assume that we are and have been messing around with Iran's internal politics.

  • by lastgoodnickname ( 1438821 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @12:07AM (#30349078)
    After all, when you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.
  • Re:Proxification? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @12:10AM (#30349094) Homepage

    Freedom of speech? You can hardly show tits on TV.

    Even politically you impose self-censorship, at the least. What were doing your news outlets when the ones in the rest of world were casting serious doubts at, say, "Iraq has WMDs"?

  • by lwsimon ( 724555 ) <lyndsy@lyndsysimon.com> on Monday December 07, 2009 @12:30AM (#30349228) Homepage Journal

    Wow, living in the US, I don't see a parallel there at all.

  • by KingAlanI ( 1270538 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @12:31AM (#30349230) Homepage Journal

    I have a feeling that people like the parent post are criticizing the splinter in their own eye rather than the log in their neighbor's.

  • Re:Proxification? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Is0m0rph ( 819726 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @12:31AM (#30349232)
    Guess who started it? The US or Japan? Whom was also warned what was going to happen and they didn't believe us. They were wrong. We should drop a couple more and let the world know we aren't a bunch of tree hugging pussies.
  • by m.ducharme ( 1082683 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @12:58AM (#30349368)

    Wait, what's the story again?

    We're at war with Iran, we've always been at war with Iran. We've never been at war with Iraq.

  • by Kierthos ( 225954 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @01:35AM (#30349586) Homepage

    *nod* Generally speaking, the instances of Sharia law that get the Western world into a tizzy are either ones that have been blended with local or tribal customs OR have been applied by fundamentalist Muslims, and therefore give as true a representation of Sharia law as the WBC gives of Christian principles. (Here's a hint... that means "not at all".)

  • by GreatBunzinni ( 642500 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @04:50AM (#30350510)

    But you have both direct responsibility for the splinter in your own eyes and the power to personally do anything meaningful about it. Your neighbour, on the other hand, is half a world away and, in practical terms, it may be so distant to you that it could as well be a fabricated country that only exists in the media. And as if that wasn't enough, this isn't an "either/or" thing. If you feel compelled to criticize and complain about something half a world away then you should also feel the need to fight that exact same issue in your own home, even though in your own eyes it may be simply a "splinter" instead of a "log".

  • by OeLeWaPpErKe ( 412765 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @05:15AM (#30350642) Homepage

    You know, if you assume that there is zero critical thinking in people, then yes, you're right of course.

    But of course that would make you a parrot for ... what ? MSNBC ? BBC ? Or perhaps you're a blog reader : a parrot for Cory Doctorrow ? After all if you assume no-one has critical thinking skills, that would probably mostly mean that you do not see a need for critical thinking yourself.

    And about viewing fox news : an extra perspective never hurts. I like to read the BBC frontpage, and to compensate for the (rather pronounced and obvious) leftist/progressive bias they have I watch fox news. And I listen to the radio on the way to and from work, but the station tends to be whoever's playing whatever I'm in the mood for.

  • by thijsh ( 910751 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @06:48AM (#30351072) Journal
    Thank you for this intriguing and informative post. Sadly my first thought is that you are most likely not an American... More and more of the people who live in the 'real' world are starting to see the Americans as the most brain-washed fundamentalists in the world. It's so ironic that everything America accuses 'the enemy' of doing is something they do best themselves.

    What goes for people on a personal level also counts for a country as a whole. Change starts by looking at yourself and trying to better yourself, not by yelling at others that they are wrong and need to change. Especially when you accuse the others of things you do best yourself it makes you look like a puppet and hypocrite. I wish more Americans would put as much effort into changing their own as they are wasting in trying to change the rest of the world... it would be a better world for it.

    People who try to think for themselves can fight in this 'war' of disinformation by doing exactly what the parent poster does: counter the disinformation with factual information. To the parent poster, and anyone else who is about 'the truth and nothing else but the truth': Thank you for doing this (at the risk of being labeled with 'teh terrorists' by the aforementioned puppets) and trying to make people think for themselves.
  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @07:22AM (#30351178)

    People judge Islam by current practice, not ancient times.

    Ancient times, it bears repeating, are over, past, kaput, done, no longer applicable.

    There are zero Muslim countries where one has the freedoms we expect in the secular West. Not even Turkey, praise be to Kemal Ataturk for trying, qualifies.

    I've seen the best Islam can do with an unlimited budget while deployed there (before GWoT) on a friendly basis. KSA, Turkey (limited budget but more Euro influence) Kuwait, and Abu Dhabi are all places no freedom-loving person would go unless deployed or making fat contractor money. The locals are friendly (bring social skills and a smile), but Islam sucks. Imagine the US taken over by Evangelical Christians of the Fred Phelps variety. If you are like them they like you. If not...

  • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @07:42AM (#30351288)

    The Iranians are responsible for their current regime, trying to blame that on the U.S. is great rhetoric but wrong. Islam has always groped for power. The tyrants who now run Iran have finally gotten their chance to show Islam's true colors. Read about what they did to the Ba'Hai after the revolution.

    Current Iran does start wars, the last Israeli-Lebanon war started because their dogs in Lebanon decided to listen to their Iranian masters.

    Bringing up the the fact the U.S. used nukes is entirely out of context. The result of not using them would have been many more thousands of American and Japanese deaths. The U.S. has never used them since nor has threatened to use them. On the other hand, the current Iranian regime has threatened that if they get them, they will nuke Israel.

    Whitewashing the Iranian regime is nice academic play, but that is all it is.

  • Re:Proxification? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by easyTree ( 1042254 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @08:32AM (#30351480)

    but it seems like the US is the scapegoat/boogieman of choice when...

    The whole world has deep concerns over American lack of respect for international law and aggression not to mention hypocrisy.

    Why not try spreading democracy to the US or the UK before taking it to the middle east?

    No, you don't have a democracy before you come back whining that it is so. When's the last time you had *any* say over anything happening within your country?

    justify their own regime or blame their problems on, however crazy the case may be (oh noes, we're ruled by an iron fisted dictator, our economy and human development index lag despite the fact that we're sitting on a huge pile of the most valuable substance on the planet...

    You've got the worst healthcare system of any developed nation (certainly measured by infant mortality [wikipedia.org], as a minimum) for the greatest cost - one more side-effect of living in a non-democratic business-run dictatorship where business makes government policy, information is controlled - apparently without the knowledge of the people.

    You act as if the US stole freedom from someone...

    The US has been providing attack helicopters and more to Israel so that they can kill civilians in the occupied territories for decades, continually blocking the otherwise earth-wide desire for peace in this area. Does that count?

  • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @09:17AM (#30351720) Journal

    The log "in your own eye" is pretty big. Witness the near constant half-accusations in the media about Iran at the moment. The repeated "some people think the elections were rigged" claim even when the US's own research suggests Ahmadinejad won the election because he really is very popular in Iran. A sudden rush of "look at the Iranian totalitarianism" stories. The constant exaggeration and air-brushing of the protests in the media. Mousavi supporters setting fire to cars? Nothing. Police arresting people? All over the news. Ahmadinejad does something questionable? Everywhere. Any questionable behaviour by Mousavi? Never reported. Ahmadinejad blames outside forces for formenting unrest - mockery. Mentioning that the US Congress has allocated millions to supporting opposition groups within the country and that two years ago the CIA were given approval by Bush to carry out destabalisation operations in Iran (both matters of public record) - most people don't know that.

    You can only have an effective democracy if the populace is informed. That's true of Iran, and it's also true of the USA. If you want to know why we're suddenly seeing news stories about Iran everywhere and outraged people appearing online everywhere, the reason is simple and very scary. The USA thinks it might get dragged into a war with Iran by Israel and wants to get pre-emptive approval by its populace. Whether or not people think the USA should go to war or not, they should at least grant or withold their approval based on the actual situation. Not "someone was censored but no, we're not giving specifics" sort of stories.

    I'm going to try and outline why I think the US is doing a media war on Iran. Apologies for length, but I could write triple this quite easily.

    It's news all of a sudden mostly because there's a crisis with Iran at the moment. Iran may or may not be working towards nuclear weapons. We don't know for certain. They're working toward nuclear power which they have every right to and, in fact, if they have sense, really need to develop for a number of good reasons. But there are suspicions that they are also trying to gain nuclear weapons capability. Which given the threats to them from other powers, also makes good sense for them, but they deny that they are doing this. A lot of the intelligence comes from the Israeli intelligence communities who seem pretty confident that their is a nuclear weapons program and that, although nuclear capability isn't imminent, is on the roadmap (I've heard figures like ten years passed around, but also a couple of lower estimates). Anyway, say what you like about the Israeli's ethics, they have a Hellishly effective black ops^H^H^H^H^H intelligence community. If anyone knows what the Iranian government is up to other than the Iranians themselves, it's the Israelies.

    Now we don't know that they're developing nuclear weapons. But Israel is serious enough about this that they're talking about military action. Now this bit is personal opinion, but I don't think a nuclear-capable Iran would attack Israel. Why would they? It would only invite similar retribution in kind. Plus Iran hasn't initiated a war of aggression in forever. Plus they have nothing to gain in material terms. Not even in political capital as even the Palestinians don't want to see Israel suffer nuclear strikes (they just want their own state and bit less bombing, please). If Israel went to war, the Palestinians would suffer more than anyone. But what a nuclear capable Iran would mean would be that the Palestinians suddenly had a big brother that couldn't be threatened and it would change the regional power balance quite heavily. It looks like Israel wont countenance that possibility, hence the talk of pre-emptive strikes.

    Now sorry for having been so long-winded in all this, and that much of it has been about Israel, but it really is the elephant in the room. The nice thing here however, is that the USA is in some ways, finally back in the roll of the good guy (which is exactly what the r
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 07, 2009 @09:48AM (#30352098)

    "Non-believers have are not equal to believers, women are not equal to men."

    On the first part, under shariah law, allbelievers are citizens of the state, by default, just like Israel gives citizenship by default to all Jewish people. Under Shariah law, non-Muslims pay a tax, which is actually precisely equal to the required zakat paid by Muslims.

    Aside from that, non-Muslims are afforded the same rights as Muslims in the state.

    There are churches in Saudi Arabia, I was there not a year ago and visited a few.

    Raping does not require 4 witnesses, adultery does, and it's 3, not 4, before any punishment of either party can occur. Criminal and civil justice is very similar under Sharia law as to the western system; rape, as with all crimes, has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt in a court. Not, perhaps, under the idiotic concoction that autocratic governments of the middle east have invented to entrench themselves in power.

    As for stealing requiring a hand and adulterers being stoned, you obviously have no idea what you're talking about. Up until the end of Sharia law (which ended in WW1), over the 1,400 years there were a handful of cases in which the crime was deemed severe enough to warrant those punishments. That's right, it happened somewhere in the neighbourhood of once every two hundred years. Now you may jump up and down on your high horse, but I suggest you take a look at the justice system the West has managed to produce, and see if you'd consider the past 200 years to be flawless expanse of justice and fairness.

    I left this bit for last:

    "Wherever Islam comes up against the outside world, there is almost always trouble: Sudan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Somalia, Yeman, Iran."

    Which of those countries currently has an army occupying another? None. Now, which of those countries has been heavily interfered with by Western powers? Almost all.

    I'm sorry, try again, who is the trouble maker?

  • by wmac ( 1107843 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @11:36AM (#30353508) Homepage

    Wrong. There were maybe a handful of Americans within Iran during the revolution. The Iranians did all that to each other.

    Did what to each other during the revolution? Khomeini was not known by 95% of the people in Iran 2 years before revolution until he went to France and western media started to cover him and bring his voice to Iranian. When the airports during the revolution were closed it was France government which allowed Khomeini to embark the airplane and forced Shah's regime to allow it to land in Tehran airport. In my opinion, shah was replaced by Khomeini because it was believed islam can counter communism better than Shah. The same strategy was used in Afghanistan. Taliban was trained by the US to counter communists in Afghanistan.

    Did you opposed the overthrow of Saddam? Which presidents did all this? Did you know that the US changes presidents from time to time?

    No I didn't. I know the president changes but I also know it does not remove the wrong doings of previous presidents.

    Wrong. The US hasn't started ANY wars in living memory. Not one. We've joined two after being attacked. But we didn't start either of those and we tried to stay out of them. Since then we learned that isolationism and cruel indifference don't work.

    World believes you!

    Don't worry, i'll tell the girl at the campus bookstore how multiculti you are. She'll be impressed.

    Girls in the Campus already know. Both those in my lectures and outside. You do not need to bother yourself. And you are not as funny as you think.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.