Terror At Home
September 29, 2008 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Chemical irritant empties Islamic Society of Greater Dayton's mosque. This after Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West appeared as a paid advertising insert in the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun, Hamilton JournalNews and Middletown Journal, all owned by Cox Ohio Publishing, on Monday, Sept. 22.

Obsession has been discussed previously.
posted by effwerd (71 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
If they find the people who did this, they should be sent to Guantanamo and sequestered away in a cell for 6 years without legal representation. What's that? A couple of white Republicans from a swing state? Oh, okay, 5 years in the Mansfield lock-up, then.
posted by billysumday at 10:33 AM on September 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


This after Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West appeared as a paid advertising insert in the Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun, Hamilton JournalNews and Middletown Journal, all owned by Cox Ohio Publishing, on Monday, Sept. 22.

now, i see the correlation you're seeing, but is there a causal relationship there? or would it be equally as true to point out that this event happened an advertisement for the Macy's appeared in the paper?
posted by shmegegge at 10:37 AM on September 29, 2008


Were any Somali Pirates involved? I heard they just got a shipment of chemical irritant in.

Seriously, I hate people sometimes. No, not the ones who choose to have certain religious beliefs or who don't, the ones that find it offensive that someone else should decide to do so.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:38 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh and thanks for linking Obsession again . Maybe we should link Stormfront's reaction to the story too?

Can we not propogate this bigoted shit any more than we have already, please? Please?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:40 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


This would be a terrorist act using chemical weapons, right?
posted by Artw at 10:41 AM on September 29, 2008 [11 favorites]


I got that mess and threw it into the trash instantly.
posted by cashman at 10:41 AM on September 29, 2008


Apparently the style book for the Dayton Daily News assumes that readers do not know the definition of the verb to fast. That's what, a sixth grade reading level?
posted by mr_roboto at 10:43 AM on September 29, 2008


now, i see the correlation you're seeing, but is there a causal relationship there? or would it be equally as true to point out that this event happened an advertisement for the Macy's appeared in the paper?

Pretty sure that Macy's advertisement didn't demonize Islam, but, hey, whatever your underlying causal model is...
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:43 AM on September 29, 2008


now, i see the correlation you're seeing, but is there a causal relationship there?

I just wanted to present the gist of the reporting. The correlation was brought up by Doug Page in the update on the Dayton Daily News site where I got most of that last sentence.
posted by effwerd at 10:44 AM on September 29, 2008


I'm skeptical. If this was a deliberate attack on the congregation, then yes, it was a terrorist act and needs to be treated as such. However, Occam's Razor makes me wonder if there was a maintenance crew spraying the grounds with insecticide or herbicide, and they didn't know that the windows were open.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:50 AM on September 29, 2008


Occam's Razor makes me wonder if there was a maintenance crew spraying the grounds with insecticide or herbicide, and they didn't know that the windows were open.

So what does Occam's Razor tell you about no one in the congregation knowing about maintenance men scheduled to be spraying herbicide during services? One would think that someone in the administration would have arranged for such a service, no? Why was there no chemical outside the Mosque rather than inside then? I think Occam needs to read the article again.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:54 AM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, assuming that this was a malicious attack (and it sounds like that is pretty likely), when they catch the people responsible, they better be held to the exact same standards that two Muslim men spraying chemical irritants into a Baptist church would be.

I didn't agree with a lot of the propaganda of the film, but I'll give some small credit to Obsession for opening with a statement like: 'Muslims are are peaceful, law abiding people and that this isn't a movie about them.' (or something to that effect).

I would argue that children at a prayer service would probably fall into this category and the perpetrators should be made to understand that when you attack a defenseless group of people for the purposes of causing them fear over something that they can't easily control (race, religion, sex preference, etc) then you are a terrorist.
posted by quin at 10:54 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


He said his daughter called and told him to stay away because of the possibility of remaining fumes. Sabagh arrived shortly after and watched from the mosque's steps as members were allowed back inside about 11 p.m. to collect belongings.
Doesn't listen very well.
Sabagh said members moved to a Beavercreek school to finish their prayer session as police continued to investigate.
Whatever happened to separation of church and state?

And I will reserve judgment until they find out who did it. Could end up being a kid from the church. And second link is trash.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:59 AM on September 29, 2008


Ack, that should read Most Muslims are peaceful...
posted by quin at 11:00 AM on September 29, 2008


Obsession, indeed.
posted by DU at 11:04 AM on September 29, 2008


So what does Occam's Razor tell you about no one in the congregation knowing about maintenance men scheduled to be spraying herbicide during services? One would think that someone in the administration would have arranged for such a service, no? Why was there no chemical outside the Mosque rather than inside then? I think Occam needs to read the article again.

the article doesn't really discuss the possibility at all, whether anyone in the congregation knows anything about maintenance going on or not is not mentioned. also, the followup article effwerd just linked to in his latest comment says that no chemical irritants were discovered anywhere at all, either inside or out. Occam's razor or otherwise, I think it's safe to say that there a lot of possibilities for what happened there. The only real evidence are the reactions of the people in the mosque and the evidence of a child who says he saw two men spraying a can at the window.
posted by shmegegge at 11:04 AM on September 29, 2008


the evidence of a child should read "the testimony of a child."
posted by shmegegge at 11:05 AM on September 29, 2008


shmegege wonders: "...is there a causal relationship there? or would it be equally as true to point out that this event happened an advertisement for the Macy's appeared in the paper?"

To bring the second question above into coherence, it's necessary to assume there's something like "...in response to..." missing between "happened" & "an," an exercise producing a grimace of disbelief, followed by a snort of disgust at such wit applied to the possible deliberate gassing of children.
posted by Forrest Greene at 11:05 AM on September 29, 2008


hey, while I appreciate you pointing out my typos, I wasn't trying to be witty. I was asking a question about how this post was framed. as effwerd pointed out, the correlation was made by a journalist (and as far as I'm concerned, this fpp is fine. not that that matters.) but in an article which was not linked so I had no way of knowing effwerd was simply presenting the gist of the reporting. I appreciate the rush to judgment, though.
posted by shmegegge at 11:09 AM on September 29, 2008


No need to get testy, Pollomacho. You're right; there are a few eyebrow-raising details, not the least of which is the fact that not a lot of lawn chemicals get sprayed after 9 PM. All I'm saying is that we should take the time to find out what the spray was before we start on a witch hunt. (And again, if this was malicious, I'll join the mob with everyone else.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:13 AM on September 29, 2008


cjorgensen: "
Sabagh said members moved to a Beavercreek school to finish their prayer session as police continued to investigate.
Whatever happened to separation of church and state?
"

What does this have to do with the separation of church and state? Did I miss a part where the state declared an official religion? This is members of the community being allowed to use community property to carry out their personal non-state sponsored religious ceremony after their private property was criminally damaged. Making it temporarily unusable.
posted by MrBobaFett at 11:17 AM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sorry, it's just pretty clear that this wasn't an accident. I mean, who schedules law mantenance for ate Friday evenings and then forgets to tell cops that, "oh yeah I told Larry the lawn guy to be sure to spray the windowsills to keep the ants out, it must have slipped my mind because I didn't think it was relevant."
posted by Pollomacho at 11:20 AM on September 29, 2008


1. This gassing of the mosque is intolerable and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

2. Wake up, there is an active war against the west. As for the Obsession movie, Please keep your correlation and causation to yourself. Use that open mind and Actually watch the film, it is quite accurate in it's airing of Muslim hate speech and indoctrination. Of course, it does have it's weak points, such as:

1. Israel is the victim, always
2. Muslim extremists = Nazis
3. Overbearing b-movie soundtrack

For a much better film about this current war, watch The Power of Nightmares
posted by limited slip at 11:42 AM on September 29, 2008


We should give those 9/11 truth DVDs a fair hearing too.
posted by Artw at 12:02 PM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I was able to use the film as a prop in one of my classes this week - incidentally, I was teaching the Center for Progressive Christianity's point 4 and the distribution of this film by our town paper presented us with an excellent illustration of institutionalized racism. I.e., if the local chapter of the Klan had distributed their "advertisements" in the GR Press, there would be people marching in the streets.

When discussing this film, please also keep in mind the people responsible for its production.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:14 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


"What does this have to do with the separation of church and state? Did I miss a part where the state declared an official religion? This is members of the community being allowed to use community property to carry out their personal non-state sponsored religious ceremony after their private property was criminally damaged. Making it temporarily unusable."

I was mostly joking, but since you asked, I don't really care if any religious organization can meet. Finding suitable accommodations isn't up to the tax payer. And for the record, I would have raised the objection had it been Catholics, Lutherans, Scientologists, Mormons, or little old lady quilters. The school was built to educate students, not to be a meeting place for anyone who wants to meet there.

If they were meeting in a community center that was open to anyone in the community then I'd be totally cool with it, but they are meeting in a public school. It's really not the place for it. At least that's my opinion (and the opinion of my tax dollars). All too often you read about how one organization is allowed to meet in a school while another is refused, which establishes your de facto state sponsored official religions. If it's not a student activity or organization it doesn't belong in a school. Allowing space is an endorsement (unless you allow everyone to meet there, then you get the kooks).

That said, I'm not bent out of shape, since people get so hung up on rules they refuse to accommodate others in need. I'd rather see the latter than the former.

But it can honestly be a slippery slope. You let let the Muslims in the schools, then soon you have to allow Boy Scouts.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:21 PM on September 29, 2008


Wake up, there is an active war against the west.

"We've always been at war with Eastasia"
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:21 PM on September 29, 2008


This was clearly a false flag attack by Iranian Islamists to incite instability in the US. The powerful homosexual lobby served as an accomplice, because members of the congregation refused to turn gay. The attackers were financed by high-ranking Democrats in Washington.

What, it doesn't sound as good if it's not your brand of unsubstantiated accusations?
posted by Krrrlson at 12:29 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


I didn't really think it was witty.

Wasn't trying to bust shmeggege by correcting a typo. I was trying to explain that, due to what may have been his or her rush to post, I had to make an assumption in order to make the question addressable. I wanted to indicate what my assumption was, & why I had to make it, in order to apologize &/or explain in case my assumption was incorrect.

Communicators who require their readers to translate, assume, or otherwise fill in gaps do run the risk of being misunderstood.

Best wishes.
posted by Forrest Greene at 12:33 PM on September 29, 2008


1984 quotes? Seriously, get your weight up, and speak your mind.

The west, evil white men, europe, colonialism, etc, for all it's faults, got you where you are today. And we all carry the mantle of the Enlightenment, for better or worse. We can do better, and part of that is looking at the truth of those who are out to to destroy our way of life.
posted by limited slip at 12:40 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


What, it doesn't sound as good if it's not your brand of unsubstantiated accusations?

Where have there been any accusations other than that somebody gassed some muslims at the same time a shitty bigot film got distributed around town. Oh, and I've Actually watched that shitty bigot film and I find it to be shitty and bigoted.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:57 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


cjorgensen: "I was mostly joking, but since you asked, I don't really care if any religious organization can meet. Finding suitable accommodations isn't up to the tax payer."

No one is asking the tax payers to find permanent accommodations for a religious group. We are talking about tax payers temporarily helping out other tax payers while the permanent accommodations they have paid for were temporarily rendered unusable by criminals. They have a right to practice their religion as long as they do not interfere with others rights. Some individual or individuals tried to impair that right. It is only sensible that we should seek to accommodate them and allow them this temporary sanctuary to safeguard their rights .

And for the record, I would have raised the objection had it been Catholics, Lutherans, Scientologists, Mormons, or little old lady quilters. The school was built to educate students, not to be a meeting place for anyone who wants to meet there.

If they were meeting in a community center that was open to anyone in the community then I'd be totally cool with it, but they are meeting in a public school. It's really not the place for it. At least that's my opinion (and the opinion of my tax dollars). All too often you read about how one organization is allowed to meet in a school while another is refused, which establishes your de facto state sponsored official religions. If it's not a student activity or organization it doesn't belong in a school. Allowing space is an endorsement (unless you allow everyone to meet there, then you get the kooks).
"

It is a building, a structure and it is publicly owned. This action does not interfere with it's standard operations since it was happening well outside of normal school hours. These people being there do not violate fire code, they do not put an undue burden on the maintenance and upkeep of the building, their actions in there do not violate other citizens rights, and they are not violating any of the grounds rules, (i.e. no fire arms, explosives, smoking, drugs, etc...) This is no more offensive of a use for a school building than when they are used as temporary shelters after natural disasters, or setup as a base for a blood drive, or any other community meetings.

As for kooks, which ones are you worried about? The ones who think aliens are abducting people? Let them meet there, why not? Or are you worried about the KKK? We do address them when we ask, are their actions violation other peoples rights? Since they do they are counted out of contention for using the space.

I would be very disappointed in any community where this did happen an the community did not immediately move to help these members of their community.
posted by MrBobaFett at 1:32 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


cjorgensen said: If it's not a student activity or organization it doesn't belong in a school. Allowing space is an endorsement (unless you allow everyone to meet there, then you get the kooks).

The Islamic Society haven't been given permission to meet in the school indefinitely (or at least, I doubt it); they were given permission to meet in the school one time only (or however long clean-up takes?) because of an emergency situation. Communities "deputize" public buildings for handling large groups of people in communal emergency situations, but that doesn't have much to do with their policies for non-emergencies.

It's called "being nice."
posted by bettafish at 1:37 PM on September 29, 2008


Oh, nevermind, MrBobaFett did it better, and more nicely too.
posted by bettafish at 1:37 PM on September 29, 2008


Wake up, there is an active war against the west. As for the Obsession movie, Please keep your correlation and causation to yourself. Use that open mind and Actually watch the film, it is quite accurate in it's airing of Muslim hate speech and indoctrination.

Are you qualified to judge the accuracy of this depiction and the context in which the film places it? What an honour to have such a distinguished scholar here among us.

Seriously, there is nothing more tedious than blowhards who've watched a few propaganda flicks and read a blog or two and are now Experts.
Can you even read Arabic? (NB if the answer is no, I will crush your testicles with a jumper cable for polluting metafilter with your uninformed swill)

The west, evil white men, europe, colonialism, etc, for all it's faults, got you where you are today. And we all carry the mantle of the Enlightenment, for better or worse.

Please. I actually happen to believe in the superiority of my own (West European) culture, but bores like you make me doubt it.

We can do better, and part of that is looking at the truth of those who are out to to destroy our way of life.

We can do better at what?
Anyway, this "Active War" of yours has killed fewer than 10,000 European and American civilians. Why the fuck should we even care that there are people "out to destroy our way of life" (I would be shocked if you could back up this statement) when the idea that they could do so is so patently ridiculous?
posted by atrazine at 1:50 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


MyBobaFett: "Or are you worried about the KKK? We do address them when we ask, are their actions violation other peoples rights? Since they do they are counted out of contention for using the space."

I think we agree more than not. I was being flippant, but that doesn't mean there isn't a point to be made. I do agree in suspending a rule in times of crisis, but I could question whether or not a prayer getting finished approaches the crisis level.

I didn't want to invoke the KKK since they don't have a large presence in most communities, and they are always the boogieman argument.

But Boy Scouts are often cited as well (why I picked them). They discriminate against gays, have a Christian agenda, etc. (I am not saying they do, just these are often the reason cited to deny them access).

Most religions have some basis of discrimination inherently built in. Some are more blatant about it than others. Last I checked Southern Baptists and Catholics aren't the friendliest organizations toward gays and discriminate against women. One can most likely dump Muslims in there as well.

And as to not being a burden to the schools resources. Not sure how this even matters to the argument, but there is going to be some economic impact. Electricity, janitorial services, paying the guy who locks and unlocks the building. I could probably go on. Admittedly, these may be negligible, and the school may even charge to cover this, but I don't exactly see how this does anything to make the pro-use side of the argument, but does bolster mine. My property is taxed to support the building, by allowing any group to use it other than students means that by extension I am supporting that group.

And getting into the business of deciding who gets to use it and who doesn't isn't a business I want my school administrators to be in.

I'm still of the opinion that religious groups, military groups, corporations, and pretty much any non-educational group has no place even using a school's space. That's just my opinion. I've worked for a school district, my father's a pastor, and I have done military service, and this is still my belief. And again, I don't have a problem with suspending a rule.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:57 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The west, evil white men, europe, colonialism, etc, for all it's faults, got you where you are today. And we all carry the mantle of the Enlightenment, for better or worse. We can do better, and part of that is looking at the truth of those who are out to to destroy our way of life.
posted by limited slip at 3:40 PM


How, precisely, are these elements going to "destroy our way of life" without our active consent? Does a coordinated day of terror across our country usher in Sharia law in the US? How about a week? Do the "those" to which you're referring have the logistical capability to coordinate a week of terror attacks?

No one has been able to adequately explain to me how "radical Islam" is the existential threat you're insinuating it is. Aside from our descent into the security/police state (which is under the mantle of "active consent," as far as I'm concerned), how exactly is "radical Islam" going to "destroy our way of life?"

Be specific. What you're assuming they want is fundamentally different from the answer to the question I'm asking.
posted by GamblingBlues at 4:17 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Generally I would agree that I don't want school administrators deciding who gets to use and who does not get to use this public space. Mostly because I think they should be administering a school (an institution) not the school (a building). The building belongs to the public and can be used for many things. We give first priority to the institution it was built for or designated for. However when they are not using it, why not make use of this public building for other things? Public space is a very mutable thing. Generally speaking as long as it is not being used in a way that hurts the community or violates peoples rights or the law and it does not put undue burden on the community in ways of costs pertaining to upkeep and maintenance there isn't a really good reason to not allow a public space to be used by members of the public.

I do agree in suspending a rule in times of crisis, but I could question whether or not a prayer getting finished approaches the crisis level.

Cost-benefit. The cost to the community opening up a public space (any space school, city hall, town hall, etc..) to the members of the community for a couple hours this one time is negligible. The benefit is defending the basic right of freedom to worship (or not) that was infringed upon by criminals.

I'm still of the opinion that religious groups, military groups, corporations, and pretty much any non-educational group has no place even using a school's space.

I could mostly agree with this if you added on the schools time as a qualifier. If the military wants to pay the rental fee and/or fill out the paper work to schedule time to use the cafeteria for recruitment purposes off of school time, that's fine by me. Because I don't see how it disrupts the function of the school.
posted by MrBobaFett at 4:30 PM on September 29, 2008


part of that is looking at the truth of those who are out to to destroy our way of life.

Should I then take the following at face value?: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." - Ann Coulter Or would that be overreacting to political rhetoric?
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:29 PM on September 29, 2008


I lived in Dayton when 9/11 happened. That day, the grocery store owned by brown people in my neighborhood had its front window smashed. A Sikh man wearing a turban was surrounded by rednecks and harassed in a grocery store parking lot. Immigrant business owners hung American flags in their windows in the hope of not being mistaken for terrorists.

So yeah, while I agree that the correlation is quiestionable on the article's part, it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that this was a crime deliberately aimed at Muslims.
posted by Rykey at 5:32 PM on September 29, 2008


The west, evil white men, europe, colonialism, etc, for all it's faults, got you where you are today.

That makes about as much sense as saying, "Slavery: it's all fine and dandy, because it got us where we are today."

Things can be morally wrong (like colonialism) while still providing material benefit to those on top. And colonialism had just as many losers as it did winners - actually, consider the balance of the world's population, it had more losers than winners. Colonialism involved a hell of a lot of wealth tranferral as well as just sheer economic, political and social disruption, much of which continues to play out today.
posted by jb at 6:33 PM on September 29, 2008


atrazine: (NB if the answer is no, I will crush your testicles with a jumper cable for polluting metafilter with your uninformed swill)

Please, save the Internet Tough Guy Talk for Fark, come on, use your head.

Anyway, this "Active War" of yours has killed fewer than 10,000 European and American civilians. Why the fuck should we even care that there are people "out to destroy our way of life" (I would be shocked if you could back up this statement) when the idea that they could do so is so patently ridiculous?

Why should we care? Are you fucking kidding? So the thousands of civilian deaths since 9/11 don't concern you? These innocent American victims 'had it coming'? Muslim terrorist attacks such as 9/11, London, Madrid, Beslan and others say to me, "we are out to destroy your way of life"


How, precisely, are these elements going to "destroy our way of life" without our active consent? Does a coordinated day of terror across our country usher in Sharia law in the US? How about a week? Do the "those" to which you're referring have the logistical capability to coordinate a week of terror attacks?


LOL, Logistics, that's cute, what do you imagine? Little Toyota pickups loaded with Jihadis rollng through London? When the Archibishop of Canturbury gives Sharia Law a shred of respect, that's how the advances are made. "Many, including the European Court of Human Rights, consider the punishments prescribed by Sharia as being barbaric and cruel" - wiki

That makes about as much sense as saying, "Slavery: it's all fine and dandy, because it got us where we are today."

Nope, it's not that easy, the point is to look our own white/european history in the eye and take stock of how far we've come. Today I saw something as simple as a public and Catholic elementary schools existing on opposite sides of the street. No car bombs exploded, no children died, but just a few hundred years ago our Christian factions were murdering each other by the thousands for much lesser reasons, just like the extremists in the middle east are today. We've been through hell, and all Obsession does is show this hatred toward the west and toward other Muslims.
posted by limited slip at 7:29 PM on September 29, 2008


limited slip:

I'm very familiar with my white/European history - I'm a historian, and I teach history and I specialise in Britain. And I'm very familiar with the fact that the Enlightenment is the same period in which racism became legally reified in the British colonies - just as we were "discovering" religious tolerance, we were coming up with laws to justify slavery and racial hierarchies.

Just a few hundred years ago Christian factions murdering each other? How about in 1998 in Omagh? Or are the Irish not white or not European?

Everytime someone goes on about how Christians/Europeans have come so far, how they've never heard of a Christian terrorist - I get so pissed off. Brits and Northern Irish have had the threat of terrorism over them for decades, and peace is still precarious. No, the IRA never killed as many as Al Qaeda - but that doesn't mean they didn't kill and they didn't terrorize.

But maybe the old joke is true - "How do you get an American to donate to Al Qaeda? Ask in an Irish accent."*

But how far we have come? Just within the 20th century, European and Western societies have promoted democracy and fascism, racial tolerance and genocide, have produced some greatest improvemets in living standards and some of the most horrific living conditions (think trench warfare, concentration camps) our planet has ever seen. This is how far we have come.

As for the development of our economies - which is the true source of our richness - that is not a European or white story. The United States was not built just by white settlers, but also by black slaves and the stolen lands of Native Americans. In the 19th century, the British industrial revolution spun American slave-grown cotton and British banks made fortunes financing railroads to South African mines worked by Africans while British workers ate wheat grown by Indians and exported from India during horrific famines there.

In fact, I would say that there has been no such thing as a "European civilization" since 1492 - and even before it wasn't really a European civilization, but a Eurasian one, since all the major cultures througout Asia, Europe and North Africa were in contact and trade with each other before that. The technological development of Europe is as much an Asian, Middle Eastern and North African story as it is European. Our science, our medicine, our technology wouldn't be where it is today without those interactions and contributions - and after 1492, really it is a world story of development. People, plants, animals, technologies - all crossing and criss-crossing and exchanging and building and growing - and yes, some were more powerful and so have been able to claim all of the credit. But if we are to be serious about history, we have to actually learn to understand what did happen, and not just what some people claimed they did.

*NB: this isn't to centre out Irish terrorism - it's just the religious conflict I'm most familiar with in the European context.
posted by jb at 9:36 PM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Basically - history is not progressive, it does not steadily get "better", and anyone who claims otherwise hasn't studied enough history.

Yes, in regions which have transitioned from agrarian to industrial societies, the economic production has significantly increased and living standards have risen -- notably, this divergence in living standards between Europe (and her white colonies) and Asia only started about 1800.

But in terms of tolerance and morality - no, there has been no steady increase. Even as Europe gained more religious tolerance, it gained less racial tolerance (at the same time recasting Jewish people from a different religion to a different race) - and eventually became the home to some of the worst genocides in our planet's history. (I would include the Armenian Genocide in Turkey as a European genocide - Turkey is a limnal country, both European and Asian, but in this case the genocide was promoted by the very Europeanised Young Turks faction, whose nationalism had been inspired by the European revolutions of 1848).

Maybe in the future we will begin a progressive phase of history where things just keep getting better. I'm enough of an optimist to think that. But I'm enough of a historian to know that any claims for innate "white/European" cultural superiority in tolerance is a white washing of that continent's own history.
posted by jb at 9:50 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Please, save the Internet Tough Guy Talk for Fark, come on, use your head.
Fine, fine. That was excessive and lame. But your faux didactic tone is equally better suited to fark, especially when you're not actually qualified to take it.

Why should we care? Are you fucking kidding? So the thousands of civilian deaths since 9/11 don't concern you? These innocent American victims 'had it coming'? Muslim terrorist attacks such as 9/11, London, Madrid, Beslan and others say to me, "we are out to destroy your way of life"


I care about the bombings.
I had a friend killed in a suicide car bombing in the middle east and I could easily have been on one of the buses that exploded in London.
However, a few thousand deaths since 1994 (WTC bombing #1) is not an existential threat, obviously the chances of our way of life being destroyed are exactly zero.
A nuclear war would have been a threat to the continued existence of our civilisation, the German invasion of my country in WWII was an existential threat. A few bozos with rucksack bombs? Not a threat.

It's like saying that lung cancer is a threat to our civilisation because it kills a bunch of people every year. Tragic though those deaths are, they don't constitute a threat to our way of life.
posted by atrazine at 2:24 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


LOL, Logistics, that's cute, what do you imagine? Little Toyota pickups loaded with Jihadis rollng through London? When the Archibishop of Canturbury gives Sharia Law a shred of respect, that's how the advances are made. "Many, including the European Court of Human Rights, consider the punishments prescribed by Sharia as being barbaric and cruel" - wiki

So, by that logic, is it not "radical Islam" but the Archbishop of Canterbury who is the next latest great Hitler? Or, I guess he'd be Chamberlain on your Existential Foreign Threat Decoder Ring?

I always enjoy being called naive without receiving an answer to my question. If I'm following your flow:

1. Archbishop of Canterbury gives Sharia law a "shred of respect"
2. ....
3. Burkha sales at Dress Barn in Des Moines?
posted by GamblingBlues at 3:55 AM on September 30, 2008


I can't help but be disgusted at the way the Islamophobes have managed to completely sidetrack the discussion.

What started as a discussion of a reprehensible terrorist act committed against American Muslims, and specifically against *CHILDREN* has turned, somehow, into how the Evil Brown People will Destroy Our Way of Life.

I'm not merely atheist, I'm anti-religious in general and as a radical feminist I've got some fairly major gripes against Islam in specific. But when I hear about American terrorists attacking American kids [1] [2] my first reaction isn't "Hell yes! Let's go kill the sand niggers before they destroy our way of life!"

In short, to those who have successfully turned this from a thread condemning the evil terrorists who attacked American children and into a thread about the secret Muslim threat to Our Way of Life, I can only say that you are some evil motherfuckers and I loathe and despise both your ideology and you personally.

[1] Who happen to have Muslim parents. Muslim children, like Christian children, don't exist.

[2] Following a call to arms from a racist/rightwing anti-Muslim group. I can't prove a causal relationship, of course, but if you don't suspect that there likely is one you're either an idiot or an apologist for the terrorists.
posted by sotonohito at 4:22 AM on September 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Nope, it's not that easy, the point is to look our own white/european history in the eye and take stock of how far we've come. Today I saw something as simple as a public and Catholic elementary schools existing on opposite sides of the street. No car bombs exploded, no children died, but just a few hundred years ago our Christian factions were murdering each other by the thousands for much lesser reasons, just like the extremists in the middle east are today. We've been through hell, and all Obsession does is show this hatred toward the west and toward other Muslims.
posted by limited slip at 7:29 PM on September 29


The post you are commenting in right now is about a chemical attack on a mosque. So I guess we haven't really come too fucking far, genius.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:40 AM on September 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


atrazine: I had a friend killed in a suicide car bombing in the middle east and I could easily have been on one of the buses that exploded in London.
However, a few thousand deaths since 1994 (WTC bombing #1) is not an existential threat, obviously the chances of our way of life being destroyed are exactly zero.


I'm sorrry for your loss. Do you really think that the terrorists will get to a point where they say "okay, we've killed enough, let's go back to dirt farming" This would be the same as Dell computer announcing "We've made enough money, we're closing up shop" not a chance in hell for either event to happen. Also, Lung cancer does not equal murder, no matter how justified you think your motives to be. Terrorist attacks are murder, not an acquired terminal illness.


Gambling Blues: So, by that logic, is it not "radical Islam" but the Archbishop of Canterbury who is the next latest great Hitler? Or, I guess he'd be Chamberlain on your Existential Foreign Threat Decoder Ring?


Congratulations, you just Godwinned a metafilter thread. and missed my point in the process. The Archbischop is no Hitler, but his comments praised a barbaric law above the fair and democratic law of the England. It's anti-democratic and dangerous for someone of his stature to say such things.

sotonohitoIn short, to those who have successfully turned this from a thread condemning the evil terrorists who attacked American children and into a thread about the secret Muslim threat to Our Way of Life, I can only say that you are some evil motherfuckers and I loathe and despise both your ideology and you personally.


Let me clear this thread up for you
1. The attack on American Muslims = BAD
a. however, the OP saying this happened BECAUSE OF Obsession is irresponsible
2. Some, like me, said that the Obsession movie isn't all that bad, despite is faults, it does show some truths about Muslim extremism. That's all.
3. Re-read your comments, who's the extremist now?
posted by limited slip at 7:49 AM on September 30, 2008


The Archbischop is no Hitler, but his comments praised a barbaric law above the fair and democratic law of the England. It's anti-democratic and dangerous for someone of his stature to say such things.

Still doesn't mean "radical Islam" is an existential threat.
posted by GamblingBlues at 7:54 AM on September 30, 2008


limited slip I'm an extremist, and proud of it.

I'm a radical feminist, radical liberal/libertarian, radical atheist, etc. I think that the moment Islam is abandoned the world will be a vastly better place; mind you I also think that the moment Christianity, Hinduism, Jainsm, Buddhism, etc are abandoned the world will be a vastly better place. I'm not merely atheist, I'm actively anti-religious, and quite unfortunately that is very much an extreme position.

The Obsession movie, however, is borderline psychopathic, rabidly racist and xenophobic, and crap of the highest order. Legitimate concerns about the dangers of radical Islam are being used as a cover for old fashioned racism by most of the American right, in exactly the same way that legitimate concerns about illegal immigration are being used as cover for racism by the same group.

While it cannot be proven, yet, that the movie prompted the terrorist attack to deny that it seems likely is evidence of insanity, right wing loonery, or simply racism. If the perpetrators are ever caught (which seems increasingly unlikely given the apparent disinterest in actually investigating the crime all of our so-called "law enforcement" agencies are exhibiting) it may well turn out that they haven't been exposed to Obsession. Coulter and her ilk have certainly done enough to promote violence against Muslims that its more than possible for the anti-Muslim terrorists to have been indoctrinated by other means. But there's no denying that the timing seems suspect.

And, I'll also back up all the people pointing out that Islam is not an existential threat. Radical Christianity is threatening America's basic fabric and "Our Way of Life", radical Islam is not. If we were talking about, say, Turkey, I'd agree that radical Islam is an existential threat, but we're talking about the USA, not Turkey.
posted by sotonohito at 8:21 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Let's get this straight, did you mean to false quote me or state your position? Don't put words in my mouth.

How is all this radicalism working out for you? I'm with you on religion being the driving cause behind our wars and genocides, but what does the secular world offer to replace religion?

There is much to be learned from religions in regards to meditation and contemplation, St. Augustine for example, so don't write it all off less you become the extremist you hate. Religious fundamentalists on both sides of have more power than ever, and fear is used by both sides to control the populations.


Legitimate concerns about the dangers of radical Islam are being used as a cover for old fashioned racism by most of the American right, in exactly the same way that legitimate concerns about illegal immigration are being used as cover for racism by the same group.


So, in your opinion, who accurately represents the threat of radical Islam?
posted by limited slip at 8:54 AM on September 30, 2008


Religious fundamentalists on both sides of have more power than ever, and fear is used by both sides to control the populations.

What both sides? You speak as if there is a dualistic fight going on here. Who is the counter to radical islam? Radical Christianity?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:13 AM on September 30, 2008


Do you really think that the terrorists will get to a point where they say "okay, we've killed enough, let's go back to dirt farming"

I don't know. Even if they keep killing at roughly the same rate that they are now, they'll never threaten the fundamentals of our civilisation. The IRA carried out a low level bombing campaign for decades without really changing how people in England lived.
posted by atrazine at 9:15 AM on September 30, 2008


What both sides? You speak as if there is a dualistic fight going on here. Who is the counter to radical islam? Radical Christianity?

Yes, there are three sides to every story, but the main players are radical Islam and radical Christianity. Yes, radical fundamentalist Christianity. Currently I would include McCain's involvement with John Hagee, an very influential Christian leader who's organization actively promotes conflicts/war in the middle east to bring about Armageddon and the return of Jesus. This is very dangerous. What angers me is that the moderates on both sides refuse to condemn their fellow believers. The moderates allow this extremism to happen. My moderate Presbyterian minister would never dare condemn Hagee in a sermon, but instead urge the congregation to 'lead by example'.
posted by limited slip at 9:34 AM on September 30, 2008


atrazine: The IRA carried out a low level bombing campaign for decades without really changing how people in England lived.

Then that makes killing acceptable? The IRA was smart and instead switched tactics from killing civilians to destroying infrastructure and bombing the London financial district.
posted by limited slip at 9:50 AM on September 30, 2008


redn3ckz t3rr0r sux0rz! lol

I'm not sure how anyone can specifically conclude that Obsession influenced this. You've got many many Christian whack jobs screaming about muslims, gays, jews, atheists, etc. They also don't know who did it, or why they did it, nor have even identified the chemical. If they catch the guys, then they may also find evidence for hate crimes charges.

You shouldn't link stuff like Obsession from the front page, just put that part inside the extended description or the first comment, or ideally link only the previous article.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:46 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


2. Some, like me, said that the Obsession movie isn't all that bad, despite is faults, it does show some truths about Muslim extremism. That's all.

As I understand it, Nazi anti-semitic propaganda had a few facts mixed in, too, so let me be the first to praise it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:57 AM on September 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Any actual real updates on this? Or did it just disolve into undetectable non-story?
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on September 30, 2008


What angers me is that the moderates on both sides refuse to condemn their fellow believers. The moderates allow this extremism to happen. My moderate Presbyterian minister would never dare condemn Hagee in a sermon, but instead urge the congregation to 'lead by example'.

Perhaps your concept that there are two sides to the issue is the problem? Wouldn't moderates, by definition, not really be on a side? They are moderates, they choose not to argue with radicalism. By placing them on opposing sides you assume common ground. Radical christians have little in common with moderates, they are not on the same team in a battle against team Islam, regardless of what Hagee or Bush will tell you.

Why does it have to be the job of the majority to condemn the minority anyway? The majority doesn't have to justify its existance, it just is. Is is the job of radicals and outlayers to define themselves. Terrorists and whack-o's seek to polarize and drive people out of the center. They do this by provoking the center into choosing sides or defining uncrossable boundaries.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:48 AM on September 30, 2008


atrazine: The IRA carried out a low level bombing campaign for decades without really changing how people in England lived.

Then that makes killing acceptable?


No, but it doesn't make it anything more than what it is - brutal murderous criminality. It's not likely to end up with Brits forced to eat haggis and drink Guinness or whatever the end of British civilization at the hands of Irish terrorists looks like in a fevered imagination. You're poking at strawmen.
posted by GamblingBlues at 11:50 AM on September 30, 2008


limited slip False quote? The only quotation marks I put into my post were scare quotes around "Our Way of Life", wasn't intending at all to attribute that phrase to you.
but what does the secular world offer to replace religion?
??? To me that's a bit like asking "well, what does the medical world offer to replace the hernia its taking out?" Its a problem, we don't need to replace problems, we get rid of them and heave a sigh of relief that the problem is gone.

Contemplation, self examination, even meditation, aren't religious. Why would I need to muck up myself with theistic nonsense in order to consider my place in the universe?
So, in your opinion, who accurately represents the threat of radical Islam?
A few academics, military analysts, etc. The Republicans are all about exaggerating the threat to justify "emergency" and "temporary" suspension of basic civil rights, and, of course, using the puffed up threat to puff up their faux macho national defense nonsense. The Democrats are all about being cowed and intimidated by the Republicans so they also exaggerate the threat in a pathetic and shameful attempt to pretend to be as faux macho as the Republicans.

Radical Islam is a direct threat to a) people with the misfortune to live in nations run by radical Islamists, b) secular nations with large Islamic populations (eg Turkey).

The Turks aren't worried about Pat Robertson and I'm not worried about Mullah whoever. Here in the US we've got our own, homegrown, theocratic threat. The most Islamic radicals can do to us is a few minor acts of terrorism.

Terrorism, however, is not an existential threat. Islamic radicals with bombs can't change America's way of life, threaten our core values, or anything of the sort. Christian radicals, however, can because they are quite numerous here in the USA, and the so-called "moderates" can never be bothered to actually oppose, or even speak out against, the radicals. Most moderates, in my experience, look up the radicals even if they disagree with them or their tactics. "Well, you've got to admit he has faith!" they say....

George W. Bush and the cowardly Democrats in Congress have done more to harm America than Al Qaeda can ever dream of doing. Thanks to them we have become a nation that openly and gleefully tortures confessions out of suspects held without warrants, without charges, and without evidence. Thanks to our homegrown fundies we have religious symbology on our currency, basic science is viewed with disdain and mistrust by a majority of the population, etc.

You tell me which represents a genuine existential threat to the USA....
posted by sotonohito at 11:57 AM on September 30, 2008


As I said before, conservatives want some cold war with Islam, but they are totally incapable of even the most basic "cultural weapons" required.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:35 PM on September 30, 2008


Radical Islam is a direct threat to a) people with the misfortune to live in nations run by radical Islamists, b) secular nations with large Islamic populations (eg Turkey).

wait, you forgot, the attacks in London, Spain, Beslan, NYC, and others. What about the murder of Theo Van Gogh? Western Europe caters to this growing Muslim population, almost bending over backwards. Now, hopefully, they will all get good middle class jobs and realize that democracy and women driving cars really isn't all that bad. But until then it's best to take a stand a demonstrate what it means to live in a democratic society. Which brings me too..

George W. Bush and the cowardly Democrats in Congress have done more to harm America than Al Qaeda can ever dream of doing. Thanks to them we have become a nation that openly and gleefully tortures confessions out of suspects held without warrants, without charges, and without evidence. Thanks to our homegrown fundies we have religious symbology on our currency, basic science is viewed with disdain and mistrust by a majority of the population, etc.


Good point, I agree totally.

If 'Obsession' angers you so, then try watching The Power of Nightmares for a much better overview of the threat without fear mongering.
posted by limited slip at 8:21 PM on September 30, 2008


George W. Bush and the cowardly Democrats in Congress

You're giving the other Republicans a pass? John McCain could have done more than any other elected official to stop torture and didn't.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:07 PM on September 30, 2008


Mental Wimp I include them when I say "Bush". Despite their claims to the contrary now [1] Bush had the Republican party marching in lockstep with him for the past 8 years. He and they are, to my mind, a single unit.

limited slip My point was not that radical Islam is benign, but that its impact on the West is limited to occasional terrorist acts. Not that we could or should tolerate such attacks, but their threat is overblown at best. More people die in car accidents every year than have been killed in all terrorist attacks on the USA combined. Yet I don't see any panic mongers claiming that cars are a fundamental threat to America, or that we should immediately round up all drivers and send them to concentration camps. More people die as a result of armed robbery than die from terrorist attacks (on average) every year. In an average year (that is, not 2001) more Americans are murdered by radical Christianist homobigots than are killed by radical Islamic terrorists. Yet I don't see anyone calling for a War on Gay Bashing.

Again, I'm not suggesting that we say "ho hum a terrorist attack, so what", but simply that we put the attacks into perspective. They are *NOT* a threat to our way of life. They are *NOT* even particularly a threat to anyone's individual life. If you are an American your odds of being killed or wounded in a terrorist attack make winning the lottery look like a dead certainty.

We should, of course, pursue terrorists, attempt to capture them and try them for their crimes, and take other reasonable steps to prevent terrorist attacks. But they, and radical Islam, aren't a threat to America and treating either as if they were is quite dangerous.

Therefore any claim that radical Islam is a threat to America must either be made from pants wetting panicked ignorance or from a desire to manipulate those who believe that the Evil Brown People will Threaten Our Way of Life. Any movie, person, magazine, or political party claiming that Islam, radical or otherwise, represents a threat to America is simply lying.

[1] And isn't if funny how when conservatism is demonstrated to be a complete and irrevocable failure, somehow, like magic, the conservatives who brought us the favor become not real conservatives? I've already had three different Republican friends tell me that Bush was really a crypto-liberal.
posted by sotonohito at 4:03 AM on October 1, 2008


sotonohito, thanks for the clarification. I agree with your characterization of radical Islam as being a threat, but not all that big. The problem with the right and limited slip's view is that it conflates several things, Islamic anger at western hegemony, states like Iran that want to be big shots in the global community, states like Iraq that were governed by dictatorial but westerninzed Muslims (and now are chaotic), and states like Afghanistan that are chaotic and incubators for radical Islam. By lumping them all together, BushCo managed to produce folks like limited slip who hyperventilate about the "existential" (that word doesn't mean what they think it means) threat this mishmash poses, while ignoring the real underlying problems we face in the Muslim world. So sad.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:30 AM on October 1, 2008


Mental Wimp, so far you've lived up to your name, and instead of engaging me directly you instead hide behind misused quotes and character assassination. Let's look at your contributions so far.

1. A quote from Ann Coulter
2. A quote from 1984
3. You Godwinned my comment about there being some truth to 'Obession', oddly enough, the movie very weakly compares Radical Islam to Hitler, congratulations on the double-Godwin.
4. You've snuggled up to sotonohito, (who seems like an nice guy) while attacking me indirectly

If you want to know what I think, then we can speak more on this issue. If you want to contribute, then speak to you mind.
posted by limited slip at 10:16 AM on October 1, 2008


If you want to know what I think, then we can speak more on this issue.

So far you've repeated GWT talking points. If you've got something else, let me know.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:13 AM on October 1, 2008


Look, radical RELIGION is a threat. Whether that religion worships Allah, or Jesus or the Cosmic Blueberry Muffin doesn't matter. Radical extremists of any denomination are dangerous.

Speaking as a brown skinned person who has had many a flag planted on her yard since 9/11, I can guaran-gawddamn-tee you that the Baptists around here think that I'm a radical something...they just don't know what. (Yes, I've tried to explain secularism...that just makes me a radical atheist apparently.)

limited slip, I don't know if you're just trolling to get a reaction, which is what I suspect, or if you're truly so delusional as to believe that all people from the Middle East are 1.) Muslim, 2.) Extremists, 3.) out to get you.

For the record; Christianity has been a factor of the Middle East since Paul stepped onto the rocks of Biblos. There have been Christians since almost the time of Christ, wandering around the same desert that he Himself was purported to wander. The Sumarian basin has given the world more dusty prophets and religion starters than you can shake a stick at. (I'm betting on the mushrooms, really.) If everyone would stop picking sides, and listen to the messages that the prophets brought from the desert, you'd see that the messages are pretty much the same. It is, as Bill Hicks said, all of us experiencing one consciousness, together.

All Middle Eastern folks are not Arabs. All Arabs are not Muslim. All Muslims are not out to get you.
posted by dejah420 at 1:59 PM on October 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


limited slip, I don't know if you're just trolling to get a reaction, which is what I suspect, or if you're truly so delusional as to believe that all people from the Middle East are 1.) Muslim, 2.) Extremists, 3.) out to get you.

No, not a troll, just speaking my mind, you know that if I'm taking my time to post on these pages it is because my liberal blue jeans are darker than the background on this page. If you want to battle with that 'out to get me' mentality go post on freerepublic.com. My point for the entire discussion is that a radical base exists, and yes, is encouraged with our military actions, but the radical base exists and hatred of Jews and 'the west' is encouraged by Arab media, even to the level of children's programming. Some of what 'Obession' does it show this media, and yes, most of the rest of the movie is crap.

If everyone would stop picking sides, and listen to the messages that the prophets brought from the desert, you'd see that the messages are pretty much the same. It is, as Bill Hicks said, all of us experiencing one consciousness, together.

+1 for the Bill Hicks reference, thanks for the reminder, what a rare person.
posted by limited slip at 6:38 PM on October 1, 2008


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