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Old 08-10-2013, 02:15 PM   #346
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But i'm not defending Islam as a religious philosophy, I find it pretty distasteful in general. It's just got very little to do with why the middle east is the way it is. Unless you address the actual reasons for why it's a hell hole then your doing nothing at all to be useful. You think if they were suddenly all atheists or Christians or whatever that the area would be any better?
I get what you're saying. I probably agree with you more than not. I just might give Islam a bit more weight in the argument than you would. There's not a single situation in the world you could boil down into one causation
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:25 PM   #347
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during the middle ages while Christianity was wallowing in its own shit,
Not entirely true -

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Wikipedia

They started a new infrastructure which was needed for scientific communities.This period also saw the birth of medieval universities, which benefited materially from the translated texts and provided a new infrastructure for scientific communities. Some of these new universities were registered as an institution of international excellence by the Holy Roman Empire, receiving the title of Studium Generale. Most of the early Studia Generali were found in Italy, France, England, and Spain, and these were considered the most prestigious places of learning in Europe. This list quickly grew as new universities were founded throughout Europe. As early as the 13th century, scholars from a Studium Generale were encouraged to give lecture courses at other institutes across Europe and to share documents, and this led to the current academic culture seen in modern European universities.

The rediscovery of the works of Aristotle allowed the full development of the new Christian philosophy and the method of scholasticism. By 1200 there were reasonably accurate Latin translations of the main works of Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, Archimedes, and Galen—that is, of all the intellectually crucial ancient authors except Plato. Also, many of the medieval Arabic and Jewish key texts, such as the main works of Avicenna, Averroes and Maimonides now became available in Latin. During the 13th century, scholastics expanded the natural philosophy of these texts by commentaries (associated with teaching in the universities) and independent treatises. Notable among these were the works of Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, John of Sacrobosco, Albertus Magnus, and Duns Scotus.

Scholastics believed in empiricism and supporting Roman Catholic doctrines through secular study, reason, and logic. The most famous was Thomas Aquinas (later declared a "Doctor of the Church"), who led the move away from the Platonic and Augustinian and towards Aristotelianism (although natural philosophy was not his main concern). Meanwhile, precursors of the modern scientific method can be seen already in Grosseteste's emphasis on mathematics as a way to understand nature and in the empirical approach admired by Roger Bacon.

Grosseteste was the founder of the famous Oxford franciscan school. He built his work on Aristotle's vision of the dual path of scientific reasoning. Concluding from particular observations into a universal law, and then back again: from universal laws to prediction of particulars. Grosseteste called this "resolution and composition". Further, Grosseteste said that both paths should be verified through experimentation in order to verify the principals. These ideas established a tradition that carried forward to Padua and Galileo Galilei in the 17th century.
Another good link: Science owes much to both Christianity and the Middle Ages
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:26 PM   #348
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My point is just, there is more than enough money in circles of the middle east (not all the countries are poor shit holes) that the "they're all poor, that's why there's no scientific innovation" claim doesn't hold. Am I saying Islam is solely to blame? No. But it doesn't help and is probably one of a small handful of reasons.

You're right, the terrorism caused by fanatics is given undue weight in the grand scheme of things. But there's more to it than just the occasional bombing or beheading (if that reads as facetious, it wasn't intended). There are other ways in which much larger populations of hard core muslims are trying to subvert the system.

But even aside from all the domestic problems, we should still care about issues on the world scale. If not just for humanitarian reasons, then because we don't live in a bubble

There is enough money in the wrong hands in the Middle East, where there leaders aren't interested in educating their populations. While many of the states are wealthy, again this does not mean it is going to the right places where it is needed to allow for scientific innovation. Plus you don't seem to be allowing places the time to develop. The UAE while not great on humans rights has developed very quickly over the past couple of decades. But it has only existed as a number of emirs since the 60s (I think)...how long is appropriate to develop that culture of scientific innovation? The western world has had centuries to develop it, with relatively settled national identities. The middle east has been in constant flux for generations.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:29 PM   #349
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Why is it that people (mostly middle class whites, since we're playing that game) are more than happy to point out Islam carried the torch of knowledge during the middle ages while Christianity was wallowing in its own shit, but suddenly get all defensive if it's even suggested that Islam might be playing a role in the Middle East's current regression into their own dark ages?

You realize that many southern states are passing anti-Sharia Law laws. As if its already some sort if imminent threat.

I don't think broadly Islam gets the benefit of the doubt like it may in here.

Muslims in America (and Canada) are generally prosperous and law abiding and exemplary citizens.

And, yes, it's a handful of Saudis who control all the money in Saudi Arabia.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:30 PM   #350
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I think we have had this argument before...wasn't there a thread on civilisation and religion fueling most wars or what not? I think we heavily got into the Byzantines and the like.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:46 PM   #351
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You realize that many southern states are passing anti-Sharia Law laws. As if its already some sort if imminent threat.

I don't think broadly Islam gets the benefit of the doubt like it may in here.

Muslims in America (and Canada) are generally prosperous and law abiding and exemplary citizens.

And, yes, it's a handful of Saudis who control all the money in Saudi Arabia.
But I don't see how any of this answers my question.

The prosperous and law abiding Muslims aren't following the shitty bits of their religion. The same can be said for forward thinking Christians. We're talking about an ideology. If you're pointing to people who aren't fully following the ideology in a world where a huge number of people are, you're avoiding the issue
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:09 PM   #352
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Well, here's some good news:

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A Danish Muslim leader who seven years ago traveled the Muslim world fueling the uproar over newspaper caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad is back in the headlines in Denmark after doing an about-face on the issue.

Once a leading critic of the Danish cartoons, which sparked fiery protests in Muslim countries, Lebanese-born Ahmad Akkari now says the Jyllands-Posten newspaper had the right to print them.

His unexpected change of heart has received praise from pundits and politicians in recent weeks, though some question his sincerity. It has also disappointed some in the country's Muslim minority who were deeply offended by the cartoons.

Akkari, now 35, was the spokesman for a group of imams who led the protests against the drawings in Denmark. They traveled to Lebanon, Egypt and Syria to elicit support, saying the Danish government wouldn't listen to their concerns.

Their journeys helped turn the dispute into an international crisis. Dozens were killed in weeks of protests that included violent attacks against Danish missions in Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Tiny Denmark found itself on a collision course with the Muslim world – something Akkari now regrets.

"I want to be clear today about the trip: It was totally wrong," Akkari told The Associated Press this week. "At that time, I was so fascinated with this logical force in the Islamic mindset that I could not see the greater picture. I was convinced it was a fight for my faith, Islam."

He said he's still a practicing Muslim but started doubting his fundamentalist beliefs after a 2007 trip to Lebanon, where he met Islamist leaders.

"I was shocked. I realized what an oppressive mentality they have," Akkari said.

A year later, he moved to Greenland, the desolate Danish Arctic island, where he worked in a school for two years.

"I had plenty of time to read and write. And think," said Akkari, who has shaved off the patchy beard he used to wear.

Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable ones, for fear it could lead to idolatry. Arguing that such religious sensitivities should not limit the freedom of speech, Jyllands-Posten in 2005 invited Danish cartoonists to draw the prophet.

At the time, Akkari joined Muslim hardliners demanding an apology from the paper and action against it by the government. He appeared to advocate violence against a more moderate Danish Muslim in a secret TV recording, but later said it was just a joke.

Akkari now says printing the drawings was OK and that his reaction at the time was wrong. Last week he even apologized in person to one of the cartoonists, Kurt Westergaard, who has faced multiple death threats and murder attempts from extremists. Many Muslims consider Westergaard's drawing, which depicts Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban, as the most offensive.

"I met a man who has converted from being an Islamist to become a humanist who understands the values of our society," Westergaard said of Akkari. "To me, he is really sincere, convincing and strong in his views."

Akkari's former colleagues in the Islamic Society of Denmark are not impressed, and have reportedly accused him of being an attention-seeker trying to get back into the limelight.

Group spokesman Bilal H. Assaad declined to comment on Akkari on Thursday but said "it is still not OK to publish drawings of Muhammad. We have not changed our position."

The group is believed to represent about 10 percent of Denmark's estimated 200,000 Muslims.

Michael Ulveman, who was an adviser to then-Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Ramussen during the cartoon crisis, also expressed doubts about Akkari's sincerity.

"I think Ahmad Akkari should go on al-Jazeera and tell the Arabic world about his new realization," Ulveman wrote on his Facebook page. "That would have real value for Denmark and the freedom of speech. And convince many of us about the depth and reach of his reorientation."
Ahmad Akkari, Danish Muslim Leader In Cartoon Rage Regrets Role, Apologizes To Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard

I'm not so sure if he is sincere, though I really hope he is. Hence why I said some good news.

It takes a very strong person to admit they were wrong and they hurt others, or encouraged others to harm others. But I think Akkari needs to make more amends to heal the damage he caused.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:15 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by Jive Turkey View Post
Why is it that people (mostly middle class whites, since we're playing that game) are more than happy to point out Islam carried the torch of knowledge during the middle ages while Christianity was wallowing in its own shit, but suddenly get all defensive if it's even suggested that Islam might be playing a role in the Middle East's current regression into their own dark ages?
The medieval argument always bothers me for this reason: religion in terms of doctrine, worship structure etc. had little if anything to do with the relative scientific and economic situations in Europe and the Middle East/North Africa during the Middle Ages. The root cause there is localization vs. cosmopolitanism. The complete breakdown of Europe's infrastructure after the fall of the Roman Empire meant that it was nigh impossible to share ideas and research. The economy localized and cities, traditionally the bastion of scientific advancement, fell into disrepair. Conversely, in the Middle East and North Africa, there was a stable, prosperous state that facilitated the arts and sciences across a broad spectrum of urban environments. It just so happens that the state facilitating it sponsored Islam.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:18 PM   #354
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A Danish Muslim leader who seven years ago traveled the Muslim world fueling the uproar over newspaper caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad is back in the headlines in Denmark after doing an about-face on the issue.

...

Akkari, now 35, was the spokesman for a group of imams who led the protests against the drawings in Denmark. They traveled to Lebanon, Egypt and Syria to elicit support, saying the Danish government wouldn't listen to their concerns.

Their journeys helped turn the dispute into an international crisis. Dozens were killed in weeks of protests that included violent attacks against Danish missions in Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Tiny Denmark found itself on a collision course with the Muslim world – something Akkari now regrets.
These paragraphs shouldn't exist. What do the people defending Islam in here think of this? This isn't a fringe group of fundamentalists. These are huge swaths of the Muslim population. It's fucking ridiculous
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:25 PM   #355
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The medieval argument always bothers me for this reason: religion in terms of doctrine, worship structure etc. had little if anything to do with the relative scientific and economic situations in Europe and the Middle East/North Africa during the Middle Ages. The root cause there is localization vs. cosmopolitanism. The complete breakdown of Europe's infrastructure after the fall of the Roman Empire meant that it was nigh impossible to share ideas and research. The economy localized and cities, traditionally the bastion of scientific advancement, fell into disrepair. Conversely, in the Middle East and North Africa, there was a stable, prosperous state that facilitated the arts and sciences across a broad spectrum of urban environments. It just so happens that the state facilitating it sponsored Islam.
It was more the hypocrisy of the statements - often made by the same people - that I was addressing.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:33 PM   #356
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These paragraphs shouldn't exist. What do the people defending Islam in here think of this? This isn't a fringe group of fundamentalists. These are huge swaths of the Muslim population. It's fucking ridiculous
I'm sure the vast majority of Muslims were offended, but how many committed violence and wished death on the cartoonist is debatable, as well as how many weren't bothered by the violence and death threats - which contradicts the insistence that Islam is all about peace.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:26 PM   #357
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It was more the hypocrisy of the statements - often made by the same people - that I was addressing.
Right, I know. This was more of a general rant against those who imply that because religion was around, it must be the root cause of all manner of historical phenomena.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:53 PM   #358
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Right, I know. This was more of a general rant against those who imply that because religion was around, it must be the root cause of all manner of historical phenomena.
gotcha.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:12 PM   #359
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Things are worsening in Myanmar:

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Members of a 1,000-strong Buddhist mob torched dozens of homes and shops in northwestern Myanmar following rumors that a Muslim man tried to sexually assault a young woman, officials and witnesses said Sunday, as the country was once again gripped by sectarian violence.
Buddhists in Myanmar Torch Muslim Homes and Shops - ABC News
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