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Evangelist Franklin Graham, stands by his statements
November 19, 2001 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Evangelist Franklin Graham, stands by his statements that Islam is "wicked, violent".

"It wasn't Methodists flying into those buildings, it wasn't Lutherans," Graham told NBC. "It was an attack on this country by people of the Islamic faith."

Is it strange that the son of the popular and eloquent Billy Graham hasn’t come under much fire for his anti-Islamic statements while the goofy duo of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are still being roasted for their own inflammatory 9.11 statements against liberals and gays?
posted by wfrgms (47 comments total)

 
wfrgms: Why give these bigots the attention they crave?
posted by Carol Anne at 4:36 PM on November 19, 2001


this threatens to take the thread down a detour, but, Carol Anne, a quote from an article in today's SF Chronicle, thinking of Bin Laden and McCarthy but perhaps relevant:

The most damage you can inflict upon a dangerous zealot who has the power to terrorize is to report fully what the zealot says.
posted by mattpfeff at 4:43 PM on November 19, 2001


Carol, I think the best way of dealing with the religious right is to expose what they say and do to the populace at large...
posted by wfrgms at 4:45 PM on November 19, 2001


Carol, I think the best way of dealing with the religious right is to expose what they say and do to the populace at large...

wfrgms, who do you represent when you use the word "they"? You are pointing out individuals (Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell), not an organization, church, denomination, or religious body. Anybody can find an outspoken wisecrack in any particular group, yet that does not depict the opinion of the rest of the group. If you intend to say that either of these men represent Christianity or the "religious right," you are no different than Franklin Graham who makes the claim that this was an attack by the Islamic faith. We know better.
posted by crog at 5:11 PM on November 19, 2001


Well, it is significant, in that the Graham Ministry has historically avoided the kind of name calling and baiting behavior that Falwell and Robertson have exhibited, both before and after the attacks. While Billy, and later Franklin, have never been shy about proclaiming their favorite deity as the One True God, they've generally exhibited a more tolerant public image than is on display in this case.

I don't know why Franklin would but his foot in his mouth like that. The Graham organization does a great deal of tangible good through its' charitable foundations and outreach programs. (Full disclosure: Two of my brothers work for the charitable arms of his ministry, one administratively, and one as a missionary.)

He must know that statements like these will likely lead to a reduction in the amount of funds that will be raised for his ministry, and to a reduction in the general esteem in which the ministry is held. It's a bafflingly stupid statement, both from a moral and from a practical perspective. This does not bode well with regards to him becoming the faceman for the organization after Billy finally dies.
posted by Optamystic at 5:26 PM on November 19, 2001


Fascist Islam is the religious right.

The unique problem with Islam is that it was founded by a warrior and contains both peaceful and bloodthirsty admonitions regarding treatment of "non-believers". Consequently, it is a religion susceptible to variable interpretations by unaccountable clerics who render it unsafe for communities in which it abides.
posted by Real9 at 5:29 PM on November 19, 2001


Mr. Graham is not in error when he points out that the Qu'ran is full of violent imagery, but it's quite disingenuous for him to ignore the fact that the Bible is full of the same sort of stomach-churning stuff. Here's one example:

Psalm 137:8-9 (KJV): O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:32 PM on November 19, 2001


Oddly enough it wasn't Muslims that parked an explosives-laden truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City... I wonder what Mr. Graham concluded from that dark chapter in American history.

As for his statements leading to "a reduction in the amount of funds that will be raised for his ministry", think again. There are a lot of astonishingly stupid and bigoted people out there, and it's quite obvious what constituency Mr. Graham is gunning for.
posted by clevershark at 5:34 PM on November 19, 2001


The unique problem with Christanity is that it was founded by warriors and contains both peaceful and bloodthirsty admonitions regarding treatment of "non-believers". Consequently, it is a religion susceptible to variable interpretations by unaccountable clerics who render it unsafe for communities in which it abides.
posted by fuq at 6:27 PM on November 19, 2001


My reflex is to think Mr. Graham is ignorant regarding Islam. But whatever the texts of the world's major religions say, is it beyond the pale (pun intended, I guess) to point out that there is only one largely Muslim democracy in the world (Turkey)? Maybe Islam isn't bad, but it seems a majority of the world's Muslim's take on it is very problematic.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:32 PM on November 19, 2001


fuq: Nice attempt at being a wise ass. But wrong. How was Christianity started by warriors? Paul? Christ? Who are you talking about here?
posted by raysmj at 6:47 PM on November 19, 2001


Paris: How about Bangladesh?
posted by raysmj at 6:56 PM on November 19, 2001


Ever read the bible raysmj? The old testament?
posted by fuq at 6:57 PM on November 19, 2001


Paris: How about Bangladesh?

If true, OK.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:02 PM on November 19, 2001


fuq: Oh boy. Christianity wasn't started by anyone in the Old Testament, although its major figures (including Jehovah) are of course revered by those practicing the religion.
posted by raysmj at 7:08 PM on November 19, 2001


Christianity wasn't started by anyone in the Old Testament,

You know, it's not the text, its the take; the current take on the text. Christianity having Crusades in the 11th Century, or pilaging the Americas in the 16th doesn't mean Christians can't criticize Islam in the 20th or 21st for treating women like fourth class citizens.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:14 PM on November 19, 2001


fuq: please point to the passages in the New Testament that support your statement that it was started by warriors.
posted by Real9 at 7:16 PM on November 19, 2001


The unique problem with Christanity is that it was founded by warriors and contains both peaceful and bloodthirsty admonitions regarding treatment of "non-believers".

...

Ever read the bible raysmj? The old testament?

The Old Testament predates Christ. It is the shadow of the reality of the New Testament. Would you explain how Christianity was founded by warriors? Would you just as well shed some light on Christianity's bloodthirsty admonitions regarding the treatment of "non-believers"?
posted by crog at 7:17 PM on November 19, 2001


"Strongest among men in enmity to the Believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans." - The Koran, Sura 5, verse 85

"Then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them. And seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them, in every strategem [of war]." - Sura 9, verse 5

Then nations, however mighty, the Koran insists, must be fought "until they embrace Islam."

Please someone point to comparable passages in the New Testament.
posted by Real9 at 7:23 PM on November 19, 2001


Paris: (Just one more, at the risk of sounding chat-roomy, which I aplogize for in advance): True, and that's what I find bothersome about attempts to link religion to political culture and thus to democracy and economic development. I'm not sure if religion's the major factor here. Heck, Turkey has managed to become a very quickly developing nation, a real, functioning democracy. And how might that be? Because it has strong ties to Europe, is in NATO, had a good founding (democratic) leaders and so forth? Bangladesh, Turkey, Indonesia and Pakistan (when it was still democratic) have all elected national female executives, which has never occurred in the United States. For various reasons, this makes me think of Max Weber thinking that capitalism could only have succeeded in Protestant nations - not because it was superior, but was a good match. He didn't think it could succeed in East Asia. He was, of course, incredibly off-target there.
posted by raysmj at 7:27 PM on November 19, 2001


I'm not sure if religion's the major factor here. Heck, Turkey has managed to become a very quickly developing nation, a real, functioning democracy. And how might that be? Because it has strong ties to Europe, is in NATO, had a good founding (democratic) leaders and so forth?

Except that Europe is Christian (I would argue that most of what makes Europe and the West modern is actually more Jewish than Christian, but...), and there's really no unifying principle (to the extent it is unifying.... than that.

He didn't think it could succeed in East Asia. He was, of course, incredibly off-target there.

But isn't East Asia significantly Christian as well?
posted by ParisParamus at 7:34 PM on November 19, 2001


Well, there's always:
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "`a man against his father, a daughter against her mother... Site

Assuming that Jesus or his disciples were even real people, some biblical scholars suspect that Jesus spent a bit of time with the Essenes. They have been described as warriors although again, it's a designation that is open to a great deal of debate.

Also, Jesus tells his disciples that if they don't have a sword they should sell their cloaks to buy one.
posted by willnot at 7:34 PM on November 19, 2001


Of course islam is wicked, but then, so is christianity. You might as well get a more modern translation of that text. More clear


Psalm 137
8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us--
9 he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

As much as I don't like these monothestic Religions I have to say, anyone with a basic understanding of the history of christianity wouldn't claim that it was founded by wariors. Quite the opposite really, untill you get constantanople co-opting christianity to take over rome (He himself worshiped the god Mercury)

but bla, they still suck. The world would be such a better place if people could just think clearly.
posted by delmoi at 7:39 PM on November 19, 2001


fwiw, there was an article in slate today about the demonization of sunni now shiite islam.

(The Sunni-Shiite exchange has even infected Capitol Hill culture. A few years ago, liberals would call Christian conservatives "the Shiite wing of the Republican party." These days, lefties refer to Christian conservatives as "The American Taliban.")
posted by kliuless at 7:44 PM on November 19, 2001


lots of fine biblical picking here! A difference is this: Islam is a brotherhood that transcends nations and is mostly honored in this fashion. The Muslim states in Arab areas are all tries with flags--newly created states that had not really existed till about WWI. Many outspoken Islamists , midnful of their history, want a return to one mighty Musim empire, and one way to achieve this sort of thing is to create states that are theocratically run--as in Iran.
In the West, by contrast, we strongly believe in separation of church and state.
Turky,here often cited as democracy,is moving toward the chaos that might bring them around to a theocracy, with "the street" continuing to gain power. as is also, Kuwait,where increasingly the nation is having to yield to the power of the clerical folks.
Muslim belief still maintains a clear distinction between Believers and non-believers, and when Islam runs things, there is often a modicum of decency accorded non-believers; when they are not in charge, though, there is little tolerance.
Not by chance that you get so little in the way of outspokenness about 911. In fact, over and over I have heard it said: we hate America for what it is doing to Iraq. Yes, Iraq did bad things. But that is a family affair and not the business of the West.
In sum: identification of all Muslims with one another takes precedence over divisions based on national statehood, and though there is chaos in the Gulf area, there is still the desire to unite as one huge theocratic organization. The problem? simple: no core state to be incharge that is acceptable to other potent states.
posted by Postroad at 7:50 PM on November 19, 2001



I would argue that most of what makes Europe and the West modern is actually more Jewish than Christian, but.

Um, What? The Jews have never had significant power in Europe. Before Christians took over, it was all run by the Romans.

Why don't you go ahead and argue

And then there's this dozy:

But isn't East Asia significantly Christian as well?


I don't know what you mean by 'significant' but I don't think any of the major east Asian countries (china, Taiwan, japan, Korea) could be called Christian at all. Most of those nations are predominantly budist. There may be a few Christians here and there, but I doubt you'd find many in power.
posted by delmoi at 8:09 PM on November 19, 2001


well there are the jews of china.

Archeological evidence points to a Jewish presence in China as early as the eighth century, the Jews having arrived, most likely, from Persia along the Silk Road.
posted by kliuless at 8:14 PM on November 19, 2001


Paris...Unless you're counting a few pacific islands, I can't think of any majorly Christian area anywhere in East Asia.
posted by Kevs at 8:19 PM on November 19, 2001


Um, What? The Jews have never had significant power in Europe. Before Christians took over, it was all run by the Romans.

True, but christianity, came from Judaism (more directly than many people are taught), and such precepts as equality amongst men and due process are from the Jews. Also environmentalism (at least in the West). Actually, this is a tangent for another time.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:32 PM on November 19, 2001


Well, there's always:
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "`a man against his father, a daughter against her mother...


What is this verse talking about? Is it literally or figuratively using the word of the sword? It reads that Christ did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Then it goes on to mention how he has brought division as well. In this passage, Christ is giving instructions to the twelve before he sends them out. With the verse that you have pointed out, he points out that he did not come to bring peace on earth. While he promises peace in Heaven and peace of conscience and peace with God, he does not promise his followers weatlh or power, but suffering and division on earth.

Also, Jesus tells his disciples that if they don't have a sword they should sell their cloaks to buy one.

Read a few verses after the verse that you have mentioned here. Luke 22:36-38. After Christ talks with his disciples, they told him, "See, Lord, here are two swords." Yet Christ responded saying, "That is enough." Did the disciples take Christ too literally here? He ended the conversation with a curt response. Then moments after the discussion, Peter was rebuked by Christ for using a sword. So, what did Christ mean when he told them to sell their cloaks and go by a sword if they did not have one?

Psalm 137
8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us--
9 he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.


How does this show the wickedness of Christianity? Its talking about the end of the Babylonians. It talks about how the children were not spared during war. War was just as terrible then as it is now.
posted by crog at 10:10 PM on November 19, 2001


War was just as terrible then as it is now.

And generally, fought for the same stupid-assed reasons. Umpteen thousand years later, and we're still killing each other over simplistic myths. This species is so incredibly fucked.
posted by Optamystic at 10:56 PM on November 19, 2001


(optamystic: I think if you go back through history you'll find that, whatever the overlay, people fight wars for territory and resources. even in the Bible.)
posted by rebeccablood at 10:59 PM on November 19, 2001


Thomas Friedman has an interesting column (filled with his usual bits of corniness) today on Muslims in two democratic socities, one of them Bangledesh. The other, India, has the largest number of Muslims (nearly 150 million) of any democratic society on Earth.
posted by raysmj at 11:50 PM on November 19, 2001


Excuse me, Bangl*a*desh.
posted by raysmj at 12:04 AM on November 20, 2001


I think one of my favourite Dilbert quotes is applicable here:
OUT! DEMONS OF STUPIDITY!
posted by salmacis at 2:06 AM on November 20, 2001


I'm sure many will be overjoyed to find out that Turkey has been declared a "functioning" democracy. Damn, they fixed those human rights problems real quick. How many political parties have they got now? Let's see one,... Guess they'll become part of the EEC real soon now... That's nice.

HRW &
"While the government of Turkey has always been a curious hybrid -- a secular, parliamentary democracy in uneasy partnership with an enormously powerful military -- that balance was changed forever in the summer of 1980 when, amid economic turmoil and increasingly violent battles between left and right, the military overthrew the civilian government in a bloodless coup. As well as muzzling the press and temporarily banning all political parties, the military set about arresting anyone it deemed a threat -- some 200,000 people. Most pernicious was what came later; before returning Turkey to civilian rule in 1983, the generals rewrote the constitution to give the military and security forces sweeping new powers to maintain national unity and to make themselves the hidden force behind any elected head of state."
posted by mmarcos at 5:17 AM on November 20, 2001


I commented yesterday, "Why give these bigots the attention they crave?"

The original linked-to article makes it clear that Franklin Graham gets plenty of media attention, without Metafilter's help ("Graham initially made the remarks in an interview at the October dedication of a chapel in Wilkesboro, N.C.; the remarks were broadcast by NBC News Nov. 16.") That goes for Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Laura Schlessinger, and Fred Phelps, in my opinion. I'm just plain tired of them!

In the NY Times today, Muslim Group Seeks to Meet Billy Graham's Son.
I hope he is courageous enough to break bread with them.
posted by Carol Anne at 7:28 AM on November 20, 2001


mmcarcos: Turkey most certainly has more than one party. It also has long been the *European Union* now, and not the European Economic Community. Your info sounds very dated.
posted by raysmj at 8:04 AM on November 20, 2001


It's a sad day when we have to mention the Graham name in the same sentence with Falwell and Robertson. We expect this sort of thing from Pat & Jerry and their sorry ilk. But for decades now Billy Graham has represented a strange dichotomy among American Christians - one of unequivocal devoutness yet still permitting compassion and modern sensibilities. It's a formula that has endeared him and his ministry to moderate American Christians. If this sort of attitude continues sensible Christians risk being impaired in the same way that Falwell, Robertson and the Southern Baptists Convention have tarnished more conservative Christians.
posted by wfrgms at 8:27 AM on November 20, 2001


Apparently, there are a lot of people who really, really want to have a holy war. That is terrifying.

But we should be honest about something important. Lots of people of different faiths proclaim to be "tolerant" of other religions. They espouse a loose ecumenicalism, yet have their fingers crossed behind their backs. While paying verbal homage to a "community of faiths," each believes that their own religion is "the truth."

True ecumenicalism requires a kind of healthy agnosticism that says, "this is what I believe, but there is a chance that I am wrong." Anyone who is convinced of the veracity of their own religion must, by logical necessity, believe that all other religions are in error.

Basically, you have either healthy agnosticism or devout conviction. Mr. Graham is at least being honest about his devout conviction.

However, devout conviction is really intellectually indefensible. Whatever means by which you claim to "prove" your religion correct, that same proof method can be used to justify some logically contradictory belief (and most likely is used by some adherent of that contrary belief). Historical precedent, divine revelation, personal experience, doctrine of signs - all are used by adherents of different faiths.

So on one level, it is commendable that Mr. Graham is honest, but on a deeper level, that honesty betrays a serious lack of reasoned intelligence.

I do think that it is possible for a person to be a devout religionist while maintaining the healthy agnosticism I described above. And such people are the only religious folks worthy of respect.
posted by yesster at 9:10 AM on November 20, 2001


I will link to a few stuff that are all rather long and boring. For context and convenience I'll quote here the appropriate parts.


Optamystic:
While Billy, and later Franklin, have never been shy about proclaiming their favorite deity as the One True God, they've generally exhibited a more tolerant public image than is on display in this case.
Billy Graham, once the "best Fuller Brush salesman in North Carolina,"1 has charmed his followers and the world with his usually carefully measured speeches. World leaders have flocked to him when they needed their personal spiritual void addressed. The British royal family invited him for overnight stay in no less than eleven occasions.2 He has supported Republican presidents as Nixon and Bush, while still being a registered Democrat.1 His son, on the other hand, would gladly point out that he is nothing like the father.

The literally high-flying (he owns his own airstrip3 and a 20-year-old Sabreliner2) Franklin Graham (or William Franklin Graham III) "was a hell raising, whisky-toting biker whose only mission in life was to have a good time"2 and "enjoyed baiting the local police into chasing him along country lanes."3 He also once 'chopped down' his neighbors tree by firing "more than 750 rounds"3 from his machine gun.

Just like Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush, he spent his youth exploring less-than-Godly things of life:
"I wanted to party. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to enjoy life. If I give my life to Jesus Christ . . . the fun's gonna stop."4
The Graham family understands the business value of Jesus Christ.3
"There's this teaching today [that] we have to put our families first, our kids first. No. That's wrong. That's false teaching. We put Jesus Christ first and trust him for our families."5
Franklin has run Samaritan's Purse for 25 years. As the heir apparent for the family's $100+ million dollar ministry business3 he is paid $150,000 a year.2 While he was not too fond of it4, for the sake of the business, have taken up Evangelical Crusading as well.3

While not living his life completely in God's way, the youngest of Graham sons, Ned Graham, too has thrived in the family business even though he was kicked out of one Southern Baptist church:
Grace Community Church, Southern Baptist Convention, in Auburn, Washington--which counted Ned Graham, his wife, and their two sons as members established the fact that Ned Graham was an adulterer, alcoholic, wife abuser, and drug user and revoked Graham's ministerial credentials. It directed Graham to stop using the title reverend. Yet in a style reminiscent of Jimmy Swaggart, who refused to be defrocked by the Assembly of God denomination, Ned Graham left that congregation for another church.6
and had to withdraw from Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability for employing family members in his church, East Gates International's board:
Ned replaced the board members with his sister Ruth Graham McIntyre, brother-in-law Stephan Tchividjian, and business leader Peter Lowe.

Graham's sister Gigi Tchividjian has joined the office staff and Ned Graham continues as East Gates president. The ECFA requires that a majority of board members not be related by blood or marriage, which is no longer the case for East Gates ....6
While Franklin Graham has now become a vocal force for sexual morality, criticizing President Clinton for his indiscretions,2 he was once was 'kicked out of a Christian college in Texas for keeping a female classmate out overnight on a weekend trip to Atlanta.'4 He was not virgin at the time of his first marriage.2 He now thinks sex is sacred and should only be performed by persons of opposite gender married to each other.
"A lie is a sin, and sex outside marriage is a sin. It doesn't matter if you're the President of the United States or Franklin Graham or a busboy in a hotel."5

"God has given sex to be used between a man and a woman in marriage, not between two women, not between two men. If you deviate sooner or later it is going to destroy your health. It could end your life."2
He thinks AIDS and other STDs are a punishment from God to those who deviate from his explanation of God's view of sex:
"I'm not God, but it's a consequence of sin, it's a result of sexual misbehaviour."2
While he may say negative things about Islam, some of his actions seems to be in complete compliance of Islamic scriptures.
... like every other man in the organisation, he never allows himself to sit alone in a room with a woman other than his wife, Jane Austin, whom he married soon after he was "born again". Hillary Clinton once invited Billy Graham to a private lunch but he declined until she booked a table in the middle of a hotel dining-room. It makes it sound as though they think all women are predisposed to lead them astray.2
Which can be found in Islamic scriptures:
The Prophet said, "Whenever a man is alone with a woman the Devil makes a third." (Hadith - Al-Tirmidhi 3118, Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab.)
Talk about irony!


Franklin has not always shied away from speaking his mind. He has played the race-card against the Blacks:
Franklin Graham is more politically outspoken than his father, ... deriding the hypocrisy of politicians who fought to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol while saying nothing about ongoing slavery around the world.4
and pitting them against the Arabs:
"Black brothers in Africa are being annihilated by the Muslims, who are Arabs, [so] it is a race war as well as a religious war. But Jesse Jackson is silent. Why is that?"5
and often time sending mixed messages by supporting Saddam Hussain:
"Kuwait is part of Iraq. It is."5
For what it's worth, he has even taken on McDonald's.
Hell, he says, is like a McDonald's apple pie. "People say "Is it real fire in hell?' I think so. The Bible talks about consuming flames. I ate an apple pie at McDonald's and the middle of that thing was hot and when I bit it some of that jelly fell and burned my thumb. ..."2
Notes:
1. The New York Times Magazine. 1997.
2. The Sydney Morning Herald. August 2000.
3. The Sydney Morning Herald. January 2000.
4. The Florida Times-Union. October 2000.
5. Christianity Today Magazine. April 1999.
6. Nevada Baptist Convention Message Boards: Prayer Requests. May 2001.


---------------

ParisParamus:
there is only one largely Muslim democracy in the world (Turkey)? Maybe Islam isn't bad, but it seems a majority of the world's Muslim's take on it is very problematic.
raysmj:
Paris: How about Bangladesh?I

Muslims in two democratic socities, one of them Bangledesh. The other, India, has the largest number of Muslims (nearly 150 million) of any democratic society on Earth.II
From The National Review:
Bangladesh is the second-largest Muslim democracy. As a democratic people in the Islamic world, the Bangladeshis show that Islam, democracy, and moderation can coexist.

. . . .

The last free and fair elections, on October 1, 2001, stood as a sign opposing fanatical regimes and boasted a 75 percent voter turnout. That 52 percent of those voters were women is a very tangible rejection of the influence of the mullahs in that country's rural areas.
The article goes on to say that Bangladesh has been a "staunch ally" of America, yet the Bush administration has blocked its "fair access to U.S. markets" by giving "72 countries in Africa and the Caribbean a 20 to 22 percent price advantage over Bangladesh by allowing them duty-free access to the U.S. market." Brown makes a great case: "Democratic institutions cannot survive such fragile economic realities on a prayer."
posted by tamim at 12:08 PM on November 20, 2001


raysmj, go tell the European Union that Turkey is a member and report back to me. The information I posted is dated as of 15 Oct and 21 Oct respectively.

Sure there's more than one party. The ones that appeal to the military.

Please read the "2001 REGULAR REPORT ON TURKEY’S PROGRESS TOWARDS ACCESSION" (dated 13 Nov):
- "However, there are still several problems to be tackled to ensure fair trial in the State Security Courts, for example with respect to access to lawyers, as well as the competence of these courts vis-à-vis civilians."
- "As regards judgements of the European Court of Human Rights, measures need to be incorporated into Turkey's legislation to make reparation for the consequences of convictions that have been found contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)."
- "Since the last Regular Report no progress has been made in acceding to a number of other
major human rights instruments such as the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Statute of the International Criminal Court, the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights."

It goes on and on. It's not me saying this, it's the European Union. Is that good enough?
posted by mmarcos at 12:39 PM on November 20, 2001


I'm sorry tamim, could you repeat that?
posted by Summer at 2:16 PM on November 20, 2001


mmcarcos: You screwed up on your post with the bit about the parties, which was included quite prominently there. No getting around it, and a decent acknowledgement would be nice. And no, Turkey's human rights record is most certainly nothing to write home about, as it were, and reason enough to keep it out of the EU. But there are a multitude of oft-discussed reasons for its leaving Turkey out that aren't on paper, including cultural differences and variance in per capita income and development with the rest of the union, etc. And you didn't leave your criticism at human rights to begin with.

By the way, the EU's not very freakin' democratic, really, if you really want get serious here, 'cept for the European Parliament, which is relatively weak. Look up the term "democratic deficit" along with "EU" in any academic research database. The EU has shown no particular commitment to democracy, except for encouraging it within potential member states. It's human rights record, on the other hand, is stellar, even in comparison with many surrounding governments.
posted by raysmj at 3:33 PM on November 20, 2001


Tamim: Post of the Year, 2001, HTML Division.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:44 PM on November 20, 2001


Bangladesh is the second-largest Muslim democracy.

In Bangladesh Fears of Talibanization

...according to Dhiman Chowdhury, president of the Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities, tolerance for religious minorities has been on a downward slide in Bangladesh. In 1947, some 35 percent of the population was Hindu. Today it is a mere 10 percent and dropping. "These attacks are designed to displace minorities and evict them out of Bangladesh. It is a systematic and planned annihilation," Chowdhury said.

Things are not quite so rosy in Bangladesh.
posted by y2karl at 11:13 PM on November 20, 2001


raysmj, I am pleased to satisfy your need; here's my acknowledgement: Turkey *is* a multi-political party state (Cough, cough...)

Please make sure that the party (according to the Constitution of Turkey):
- respects "Turkish national interests". (""The recognition that no protection shall be afforded to thoughts or opinions contrary to Turkish national interests,"
- is "loyal to the nationalism of Atatürk"
- accepts that "Fundamental rights and freedoms may be restricted by law"
- allows that "The term forced labour does not include work required of an individual while serving a court sentence or under detention"

If you really think that, with its consititution, Turkey is a democratic state where multiple parties of freely differing ideologies are freely allowed to participate in a democratic political process, ah, forget it.

I can agree on is that Turkey has done far more consititutionally than other Islamic nations but don't try to call it democratic, please.

btw, Turkey is still not in the EU.
posted by mmarcos at 12:03 AM on November 21, 2001


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