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February 01, 2006


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hi Brian,I must thank you for your cogent writings...so often they mirror my own thoughts. I'm still reading Return to the One and I must tell you that 12 years of study of A Course in Miracles has prepared the ground well to receive the Plotininan message. Ken Wapnick wrote a book called Love Does Not Condemn in which he compared the two. So-love your work! Best to you-David

"Most of humanity, I’m confident, doesn’t want to live in a repressive culture where every action is judged against the dictates of a holy book. Those who do want to live that way, go ahead. Just don’t impose your beliefs on the rest of us."

Indeed!!!... and well said.

Criticising religious beliefs are one thing, but viciously lampooning or ridiculing someones Prophet,Master or Messiah and hurting the feelings of their followers is going too far(I make an exception though for L. Ron Hubbard though) Can you imagine mobs of enraged Scientologists marching thru the streets? Bring on the water cannons!

To Church of the Churchless readers:

I would just like to add my thoughts to this sadly insane matter of
enraged religious believers doing physically violent and destructive
acts, simply because other people in another part of the world have
excercised their own right to free speech by poking humour at a
founder of a religion (cartoon images of Mohammed).

No matter how anyone tries to justify, argue, or defend about it,
this matter boils down to one simple thing:

Religion (including Islam) is a matter of personal belief. No one has
the right to expect other people to believe in, respect, honor,
or "be sensitive" towards their chosen religion or its founder.

People can believe whatever religion they wish, but they have no
right to expect anyone else to respect and honor those same beliefs.
If religious believers hold something or someone sacred, then that is
their own personal choice and business. But the same believers have
no right to expect others who do not hold that belief sacred, to do
so. Others right to free speech is none of their business.

Religion is a matter of personal choice. It does not extend to
expecting others to honor that same religion. People who wish to
force their religious beliefs upon others, are crossing the line.

Everyone has a right to their opinions, beliefs, and views. Just
because some people who have a certain religion (in this case Islam),
they have no right to expect others to follow the dictates of that
religion. They only have a right to follow their religion and its
dictates themselves. They have no right to attack others with
violence simply because those others do not subscribe to the same
religion and its beliefs.

Now on the other hand, all people should have the right to free
speech and expression, even including that of making humor about
other religions and their leaders, as long as their excercise of free
expression does not do physical harm or violence upon others.

Finally, let us us get some real perspective. I would like to point
out that, in the past few years when radical Islamics were conducting
their grusome and heinous murders by the be-heading of innocent
people and video-recording it, very few of the world's Moslems said
anything. There was no outrage. There was no protest. There was no
rioting. There was no violence and destruction. There was little said
by most of the Moslems of the world to condem the terrible evil
horror of the pre-meditated beheading of innocent people. Most of the
Moslem world just stood by and said little or nothing.

Living human beings were being kidnapped and beheaded. These people
were alive, they had families and friends. They had a "sacred" right
to live. Heartlessly, their throats were cut and their heads were
severed while they were alive, conscious, and begging for mercy, with
sharp knives by evil demonic monsters, who were hiding under the
umbrella of Islamic religion. These poor living souls were
infinitely more important than some stupid insignificant cartoons.

Yet these very same Moslems around the world who stood by and said
not a word about such heinous acts committed by their
fellow "believers", now come out "enraged" in violent destructive
protest. And all just because some cartoonists made humor towards a
long dead religious prophet of a religion that some other people
think is so sacred. Bullshit.

What is sacred....is LIFE. Living human beings are sacred, not some
stupid dead religious idol. I don't care if it is Jesus, Mohammed,
Buddha, Krishna, or Mickey Mouse, no stinking image or cartoon is
more important than the lives of living human beings.

The people who are now doing acts of violence and destruction upon
other humans and buildings etc., simply because other people have a
right to their free speech, are absolute hypocrites. They are
violent, crazy, and demonic, and they are doing infinitely more to
violate and defile and dis-honor Mohammed and the religion of Islam,
than a million cartoons ever could. They are showing that they, as
Moslems, have no respect for the lives and the property of others.

Cartoons are simply insignificant cartoons.

Murder, death, and destruction perpetrated by mobs of religious
fanatics is another thing altogether. To hell with the damn cartoons
of Mohammed, where the hell is the Moslem world's """sensitivity"""
towards the lives of living human beings ? .... I'll tell you
where.... nowhere.

Anyone, I don't give a damn if they are Moslem, Christian, Jewish,
Hindu, Sant Mat or whatever, who stands by and defends and/or supports the
murder and beheading of innocent human beings, and then makes a big
fuss over some stupid cartoons, deserves whatever Hell is coming
their way.

Many Islamic Middle Eastern newspapers have frequently published cartoons with anti-Semitic themes, or those created or inspired by Nazi-style propaganda. Some examples:

On June 6, 2002, Akhbar al-Khalij from Bahrain published a cartoon showing a Jew piercing a baby with a spear.

On July 24, 2002 Al Watan from Qatar published a cartoon of Sharon drinking from a cup of Palestinian children's blood.

On December 17, 2001, Keyhan published a cartoon showing a Jew in front of a Holocaust scenery, killing Arabs.

Almost all Israeli prime ministers in the last 15 years (Shamir, Peres, Rabin, Barak, Sharon) have been depicted as Nazis. Jews are regularly depicted as spiders, octopuses, scorpions, snakes, thieves or other menacing-looking persons with exaggerated "Jewish" characteristics.

Jewish religious symbols, notably the Star of David are displayed in derogatory fashion, such as being composed of a menacing snake.

On May 17, 2001 the Palestinian Al Quds published a cartoon depicting Sharon eating Palestinian children.

None of those depictions caused the Muslim world any problems. But make fun of THEM? Suddenly, there's a problem.

Muslims: Before you point your finger at the mote in the Western eye, remove the beam that's in yours.

Every comment above speaks of reaction of the muslims. In the first place no one has the right to comment on the religious founders of any religion. Has there been any insult by the muslims, of any of the prophets - Jesus, Moses etc? We muslims believe in all of them and respect all of them. We are so tolerant that in islam we are forbidden to revoke on the gods of the non believers lest they do so for Allah in retaliation. You people in the name of freedom of speech have crossed all the limits of decency and humanity.

To Assim:

You have your pathetic pin-head so far up your holey-ass Assim, that you have not got any clue at all about "the right to comment" or freedom of speech.

The founders of ALL religions can kiss my ass, Assim. If your muslims are supposedly so respectful, then why is that they oppress and violently beat women, kill their other fellow muslims, and blow-up totally innocent people and children in public with suicide bombs?

I will tell you why: Because you muslims are rotten hypocrites and despicable religious fanatics. You are hateful people, who in the name of "Allah", have crossed all the limits of decency and humanity.

Take yourselves, and all your phony religious crap, and all your dumb-ass prophets, and go burn in hell where yiou belong.

Yo, Tao! woaHH, man, I live among Moslims. Everyday. that is because I dont make enough money and so have to live in the 'bad' neighborehoods' , lots of Sikhs and where-ever they come from people... I tell you this about my neighbores. most of them are much friendlier then my dutchies further downtown. We 'western christian dogs, are not much beter. blowing up people is terrible and anyone who thinks this is the good work of Allah is a nutcase;what do I say? He is asshole number one; but bombing in the name of democratie; Yeah right....

You do not believe what a believe and i ll never believe what you believe. Your believe is for you, and my believe is for me. Respect one another. We are living in one world. We need to get along with harmony so we can live peacefully. Its a simple rule. Break it. It will be an eye for an eye. I dont need your shallow oppinions. People of the Books' understand how important to respect and show love to others. Justice will prevail.

To "bugger":

It appears that you don't even have a clue about the issue discussed in Brian's article. You said: "I dont need your shallow opinions". That means that you do not respect the opinions of others (unless they be judeo-christian and moslem believers).

But yet then you also say: "Respect one another", and "We need to get along with harmony so we can live peacefully". You obviously are a flaming hypocrite.

If moslems have so much "respect" and "harmony" and "love", and they act so "peacefully", then just why did they burn other countries buildings and injure and kill people over some trivial cartoon?

I will tell you why: Because they do NOT respect the rights and the freedom of speech of others, and they want to shove their religion and their beliefs and their hatred down everyone's throat.

Religion is the cause of most deaths. Learn religious tolerence. ALL of you.

Ah, blast from the past.

In fact, a past that I was never part of, but only consumed much later on. But I remember this thread.

I'd got the timelines mixed up. The Danish cartoons were much, much earlier than Charlie Hebdo (which latter is what I'd been referring to). I'd somehow been imagining, vaguely, while reading the current article (in Jan 2023), misremembering basically, that those two were roughly contemporaneous, which of course they were not.

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