# The U.S. has gone soft

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## Main Question or Discussion Point

EDIT: I should be clear that I have NOOOOO anti-Muslim tendencies. Simple minded people will make this into an "us vs. them" post. If Obama told me not to burn a Bible, I would burn a Bible.

Imam fears moving NYC mosque could inflame tension

This is incredible. This is literally the definition of terrorism. "Terrorism: the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear" (Source: http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=terrorism)

Our friendly neighborhood Imam is telling us that if we speak out as a nation (or as factional divisions of a nation as per our 1st amendment righs) that he "can't be held responsible for the consequences." This is no better than 1930s era mobsters threatening to rough up a store clerk if he doesn't pay his protection money.

Obama wants Koran burning cancelled

Furthermore, our own president is advocating the abridgment of our freedom to demonstrate.
I am not religious in the slightest, and I had no inclination to support this event, but now that it's a statement about my freedoms as an American I'm forced to support it. This is disgusting. I have a really nice edition of the Koran that I'm tempted to burn now. Maybe I'll take out a few of the books in my Bible collection, too. Surely, someone will burn a copy of the "Origins of Species" just to make a point.

This is getting ridiculous. And people wonder why Obama is so adamantly loathed. Buddy, it's got nothing to do with your birth certificate, your skin color, or your suspected religious leanings. Honestly! It has to do with the fact that you're a jerk. A jerk that can't leave the people of your country alone for a week without asking for more money, limiting our freedoms just a little more, and proposing some other crazy-*** scheme that involves penalizing hardworking people.

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Couldn't agree more (and I'm from the UK - where it's exactly the same!).

lisab
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
EDIT: I should be clear that I have NOOOOO anti-Muslim tendencies. Simple minded people will make this into an "us vs. them" post. If Obama told me not to burn a Bible, I would burn a Bible.

Imam fears moving NYC mosque could inflame tension

This is incredible. This is literally the definition of terrorism. "Terrorism: the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear" (Source: http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=terrorism)

Our friendly neighborhood Imam is telling us that if we speak out as a nation (or as factional divisions of a nation as per our 1st amendment righs) that he "can't be held responsible for the consequences." This is no better than 1930s era mobsters threatening to rough up a store clerk if he doesn't pay his protection money.

Obama wants Koran burning cancelled

Furthermore, our own president is advocating the abridgment of our freedom to demonstrate.
I am not religious in the slightest, and I had no inclination to support this event, but now that it's a statement about my freedoms as an American I'm forced to support it. This is disgusting. I have a really nice edition of the Koran that I'm tempted to burn now. Maybe I'll take out a few of the books in my Bible collection, too. Surely, someone will burn a copy of the "Origins of Species" just to make a point.

This is getting ridiculous. And people wonder why Obama is so adamantly loathed. Buddy, it's got nothing to do with your birth certificate, your skin color, or your suspected religious leanings. Honestly! It has to do with the fact that you're a jerk. A jerk that can't leave the people of your country alone for a week without asking for more money, limiting our freedoms just a little more, and proposing some other crazy-*** scheme that involves penalizing hardworking people.
The statements I bolded and enlarged indicate to me you are not thinking for yourself, but your thoughts are simply reflexes against __________ (fill in the blank, doesn't matter what goes there).

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Gold Member
The statements I bolded and enlarged indicate to me you are not thinking for yourself, but your thoughts are simply reflexes against __________ (fill in the blank, doesn't matter what goes there).
To be fair, yes, I have a tendency to rebel against oppression. In the same way that when someone tried to tie you up you struggle. It should be reflex. When someone tries to stifle your cries for help, you should yell out louder.

Do you disagree?

Keep in mind, these are freedoms we had only weeks ago. We've just barely lost them. Are we scheduled to get them back later?

EDIT: Furthermore, the U.S. used to be the signal-light for the entire free world. Demonstrating at every turn that individual freedoms were necessary to create the the strongest, most powerful nation on earth. Now what are we? The poster boy for "playing it safe."

lisab, I have do disagree, purely on the grounds that if people attack our cultures, our way of life and claim it's "freedom of speech (and possibly religion)", it's fine, but we try and speak out and defend what we believe in and it's suddenly wrong and frowned upon. A very one sided system.

edit: by 'we' I am not trying to be racist or anything, I'm speaking about the general population who do not fall under any specific group (religious etc), as an example, there are a lot of schools in the uk which fall under religious rules, not the state, meaning they can discriminate against anyone not part of their religion being accepted by them, despite the whole population paying for them through taxes. If you try creating a non-religious school, and imposing said rules, you would be prosecuted for being anti-religious.

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DaveC426913
Gold Member
Our friendly neighborhood Imam is telling us that if we speak out as a nation
You are not "speaking out as a nation". Some people are sensitive about the issue; most keep a rational head on their shoulders. It is disingenuous for you to suggest that anyone is speaking for anyone but themselves.

(or as factional divisions of a nation as per our 1st amendment righs) that he "can't be held responsible for the consequences." This is no better than 1930s era mobsters threatening to rough up a store clerk if he doesn't pay his protection money.
Moving the mosque is wrong, pure and simple.

It is not an Islam thing; it is a human rights thing. People who are mourning for lost loved ones in 9/11 are transferring their anger away from an act of terrorism and towards a belief system that is not responsible for their grief. They have no right to associate 9/11 with Islam, nor do they have any right to associate a mosque with direspect of 9/11. To allow them to express themselves by the moving of the mosque is to allow religious persecution back into the nation.

In a nutshell: Islam did not bring down the towers, terrorists did.

Gold Member
You are not "speaking out as a nation". Some people are sensitive about the issue; most keep a rational head on their shoulders. It is disingenuous for you to suggest that anyone is speaking for anyone but themselves.
I agree. Sorry. You're right about that.

Moving the mosque is wrong, pure and simple.

It is not an Islam thing; it is a human rights thing. People who are mourning for lost loved ones in 9/11 are transferring their anger away from an act of terrorism and towards a belief system that is not responsible for their grief. They have no right to associate 9/11 with Islam, nor do they have any right to associate a mosque with direspect of 9/11. To allow them to express themselves by the moving of the mosque is to allow religious persecution back into the nation.

In a nutshell: Islam did not bring down the towers, terrorists did.
I appreciate the fact that you're trying to be "mature" and "level-headed" about this, but don't you think that this is one area where political correctness is doled out a little too heavily?

Sam Harris made a great point about the 9/11 terrorists: here we have, for the first time, a clear cut reason. So often we are forced, after a tragic event, to guess at the motives; to theorize. Not this time. They told us who they are. We have videos. We have documents and records. This act was done in the name of Islam by Muslims. 9/11 was an Islamic initiative supported by a minority of Muslims. It's okay to say that; it doesn't make you racist, or anything. It's a fact. There were no atheists, or secular humanists involved this time.

Consider a counter example. And consider it seriously. What if we (the U.S. military) had destroyed the Dome of the Rock, and then a private company (unrelated to the military) set up a large investment bank right near where it used to be. Those Muslims have no right to associate investment banking with the bombing of their site. But do you think they would? I bet they would. What do you think?

OH GIANT EDIT!!!! I totally forgot this part. I agree that there's no reason to move the mosque. Seriously. If they have the money to purchase the land and the money to construct there, then they have every American right to be there. Absolutely. No question. If you carefully review my original post, I made no stance on the matter at all. I was only speaking out against the clear use of extortion.

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DaveC426913
Gold Member
They told us who they are. We have videos. We have documents and records. This act was done in the name of Islam by Muslims.
They can say that all they want. They do not represent Islam or Muslims.

If Terry Jones claimed he was burning the Qur'an "in the name of Christianity", is he representing Christianity? Does he speak for them? Is it right and fair for the nation to decide that Christianity as a group is to be held accountable for his actions?

Nope.

Neither Islam nor Muslims are accountable for the actions of a bunch of terrorists.

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DaveC426913
Gold Member
no right to associate investment banking with the bombing of their site
Lousy example. "Investment banking" is not a personal human right at the core of how people define themelves.

If a bunch of people decided they didn't like investment banking and wanted to abolish it, whose basic human rights - written in the Constitution - would be trampled on?

No one's.

I was only speaking out against the clear use of extortion.
As a simplistic example: if you told me you were going to steal my car, and I told you I will defend my property, with force if I must, you would crying foul because I threatened you with force? You don't have any problem with the threat to steal the car in the first place?

Muslims have a right to be free from religious persecution. They are the ones wronged here.

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Gold Member
They can say that all they want. They do not represent Islam or Muslims.

If Terry Jones claimed he was burning the Qur'an "in the name of Christianity", is it right and fair for the nation to decide that Christianity is to blame? No, he can not claim to "represent Christianity", any more than he can claim to "represent males" or "represent brown-eyed blacks over 40".
Fair point. I concede it to you. But I would clarify, that Terry Jones is telling us clearly why he's doing it. So, no one can come back later and ascribe it to "impoverished conditions." Although, there does seem to be evidence that he's trying to make money on the whole thing.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the remainder of my post. Quoted here to clarify.

Consider a counter example. And consider it seriously. What if we (the U.S. military) had destroyed the Dome of the Rock, and then a private company (unrelated to the military) set up a large investment bank right near where it used to be. Those Muslims have no right to associate investment banking with the bombing of their site. But do you think they would? I bet they would. What do you think?

Gold Member
As a simplistic example: if you told me you were going to steal my car, and I told you I will defend my property, with force if I must, you would crying foul because I threatened you with force? You don't have any problem with the threat to steal the car in the first place?

These people have a right to be free from religious persecution. They are the ones wronged here.
Let me finish my quote for you. I would appreciate if you refrained from selective quoting.

I totally forgot this part. I agree that there's no reason to move the mosque. Seriously. If they have the money to purchase the land and the money to construct there, then they have every American right to be there. Absolutely. No question. If you carefully review my original post, I made no stance on the matter at all. I was only speaking out against the clear use of extortion.
So, obviously, in your example, you are the owner of your car. You have every right to defend your property through any legal channel. I suggest you call the police before physically assaulting me though... I would win that court case.

You do realize that Muslims aren't a homogeneous group, right? What you're doing is like blaming the Catholic church for IRA bombings. "They're both Christian!"

Gold Member
You do realize that Muslims aren't a homogeneous group, right? What you're doing is like blaming the Catholic church for IRA bombings. "They're both Christian!"
Are you talking to me? I never made a claim such that "one Muslim's action represents all."

DaveC426913
Gold Member
...Terry Jones is telling us clearly why he's doing it...
My only point is that he does get to decide who he represents, any more than terrorists do. The terrorists have no claim to be doing it "in the name of Islam".

More importantly, regardless of what the terrorists wish us to think, the entire world (including those injured by 9/11) must put the blame where it belongs.

So, obviously, in your example, you are the owner of your car. You have every right to defend your property through any legal channel. I suggest you call the police before physically assaulting me though... I would win that court case.
[light-hearted sarcasm]
Look who's making the rules! The criminal is telling the innocent victim how this whole car-stealing thing should go down!

"I'm going to steal your car now. Don't be doing anything foolish that might get me hurt. That'd be, you know, illegal..."
[/light-hearted sarcasm]

Where do you think the world should be concentrating its attention and derision? On controlling the victim's ability to prevent the crime? Or on the initial crime itself?

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Are you talking to me? I never made a claim such that "one Muslim's action represents all."
It's implicit in your arguments. You don't need to make the claim when you say things like:

Not this time. They told us who they are. We have videos. We have documents and records. This act was done in the name of Islam by Muslims.
That is completely irrelevant to Sufis building the equivalent of a YMCA. It's a completely different branch of Islam, and they don't particularly like one another. In that way, it's even a little more separation between groups than my IRA example, which I admit, isn't as good of an example as I would like to use.

Additionally, I'd like to comment on the second part of your post, about the Quran burning. The government is NOT trying to forbid the burning. They are NOT using force to stop anybody. They are NOT stepping on anybody's right to burn the Quran. They are simply expressing their disapproval. Any other interpretation is pure fantasy on your part.

Perspicacity
Additionally, I'd like to comment on the second part of your post, about the Quran burning. The government is NOT trying to forbid the burning. They are NOT using force to stop anybody. They are NOT stepping on anybody's right to burn the Quran. They are simply expressing their disapproval. Any other interpretation is pure fantasy on your part.

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That's a very poor article. The headline has little to do with the body of the article, save a brief mention near the bottom. It provides no details as to WHY the fire department wouldn't issue a permit, and it appears there is no effort to actually stop them from setting an unauthorized fire.

Additionally, the OP was talking about Obama. Obama has nothing to do with the local fire department.

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jgens
Gold Member
Keep in mind, these are freedoms we had only weeks ago. We've just barely lost them. Are we scheduled to get them back later?
Out of curiosity, what freedoms do you think that we've lost?

Perspicacity
That's a very poor article. The headline has little to do with the body of the article, save a brief mention near the bottom. It provides no details as to WHY the fire department wouldn't issue a permit, and it appears there is no effort to actually stop them from setting an unauthorized fire.

Additionally, the OP was talking about Obama. Obama has nothing to do with the local fire department.
I agree with you on the quality of the article-I was trying to find a source for something on NPR. If what NPr reported was correct, the only penalty will be a fine, but even a $50 fine would be unacceptable in my opinion. When I first heard the story, I felt that this Pastor was an idiot, but then I recalled how I felt about the Danish cartoons and the aftermath. Now I fully support this pastor, even if it risks the life of our troops overseas. Our military's purpose is to protect our way of life, which includes both hatred and free speech. DaveC426913 Gold Member Out of curiosity, what freedoms do you think that we've lost? I think he feels his freedom to persecute on the basis of religion is being taken away... DaveC426913 Gold Member Now I fully support this pastor Do you fully suport this method for getting a message across? Through provocation and hateful stunts? Do you think that's the example we want to set for the coming remainder of the 21st century? Gold Member Where do you think the world should be concentrating its attention and derision? On controlling the victim's ability to prevent the crime? Or on the initial crime itself? Okay, we got way off topic. I'm defending a straw man which is silly. Obviously I don't personally hold any grudge with Muslims, I hope that was well understood. I tried to state it clearly in my original post. I hope you'll take the time to address my counter-example though: Consider a counter example. And consider it seriously. What if we (the U.S. military) had destroyed the Dome of the Rock, and then a private company (unrelated to the military) set up a large investment bank right near where it used to be. Those Muslims have no right to associate investment banking with the bombing of their site. But do you think they would? I bet they would. What do you think? drankin I think he feels his freedom to persecute on the basis of religion is being taken away... Obviously the right is not taken away. Does anyone think this man should be forcibly prevented from burning the Quran? Gokul43201 Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member This act was done in the name of Islam by Muslims. It was also an act done in the name of honor by human beings. Should we prevent honorable human beings from moving into lower Manhattan? Use a sufficiently generic label, and you will catch all the fish you want (and more, but who cares about that?). Want to list out all the atrocities committed by Americans in the name of patriotism? Why doesn't your "freedom" bell ring out in rebellion when Obama said that the decision to build a mosque in Manhattan was misguided? Why then, did you not make your own donation to the mosque-building cause as an act of protest? What does that statement not make Obama a jerk who's limiting our freedoms just a little more? Could it be that your reflexes are stimulated more by the who, and less by the why? I agree with you on the quality of the article-I was trying to find a source for something on NPR. If what NPr reported was correct, the only penalty will be a fine, but even a$50 fine would be unacceptable in my opinion.
Unacceptable based on what? If the fire department is creating code violations out of thin air to suppress religious or political speech, I agree with you. If the fire department denied the permit because of actual dangers in the pastor's plan, I disagree with you.

Based on the information we have, I cannot make that determination.

When I first heard the story, I felt that this Pastor was an idiot, but then I recalled how I felt about the Danish cartoons and the aftermath. Now I fully support this pastor, even if it risks the life of our troops overseas. Our military's purpose is to protect our way of life, which includes both hatred and free speech.
It must be nice to live in such a binary world, with no shades of grey. In my world, I think the pastor is an idiot AND I support his right to be an idiot. I think he's being needlessly provocative for his own personal gain, but I have no particular love for any religious text. I think it's a bad PR move to provoke Muslim extremists, but I also think the Muslim extremists are foolish for taking their fairy tales so seriously.

It's possible to have a nuanced view on things. It's not necessary to be either "for" or "against" something.