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Old 09-25-2006, 01:53 AM   #31
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We are a religion of peace....until you mother f'ers draw a cartoon about us and then you'll see us get 7th century on your sorry ass!

Religion is scary
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:53 PM   #32
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Originally posted by dietcokeofevil

Religion is scary
Which one?
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:55 PM   #33
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Originally posted by verte76
Yeah, Pakistian scares the out of me.
Some of the people, yes.

But I consider Musharraf to be one of the most pro-Western leaders in the Middle East.
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:01 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
Which one?


every single religion has the potential for destructive violence unlike anything else man has created.

in the US, i am far more scared of Christianist fundamentalists (and whatever other qualifying adjectives i need in order not to upset FYM) than i am of Islamist fundamentalists. much more scared. the Christians present much more of a threat to my life and livelihood than "the terrorists" -- despite the fact that i live in one of the top 2 cities targeted for anti-US terrorism.
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:09 PM   #35
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Originally posted by Irvine511




every single religion has the potential for destructive violence unlike anything else man has created.

in the US, i am far more scared of Christianist fundamentalists (and whatever other qualifying adjectives i need in order not to upset FYM) than i am of Islamist fundamentalists. much more scared. the Christians present much more of a threat to my life and livelihood than "the terrorists" -- despite the fact that i live in one of the top 2 cities targeted for anti-US terrorism.
Irvine, I think I have you seen you post this comment before. I am still not quite sure how you feel endangered by the Christian fundamentalists.
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:18 PM   #36
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Irvine, I think I have you seen you post this comment before. I am still not quite sure how you feel endangered by the Christian fundamentalists.


it could make for a very long post -- but you don't think that the fact that a large portion of Christians in this country (no, not all) have positioned themselves as being "against" gay people -- and not just gay marriage, not just the right to visit your partner in a hospital room, not just to adopt children, not just to enter into legal contracts (as is the case in Virginia), not just the constant stream of anti-gay religiosity that causes many gay people from religious backgrounds to confront feelings of utter worthlessness that can manifest as drug or alcohol addiction, reckless behavior, and suicide, not just the gay teenagers who kill themselves at three times the rate of their straight peers, not just the homophobia that flows from black churches that causes many men to remain in the closet and live lives of secrecy and denial that contribute to the down-low phenomenon that is linked to the explosion of HIV in the African-American community ... it's for all these reasons, at which anti-gay Christianity is at the very heart of, that i feel threatened.

and i ride the Metro every day in DC. i live 2 miles north of the white house. and my personal safety is still more jeapordized by both these specific Christians themselves, as well as the poisonous climate they breed.

(ugh, didn't express myself so well, sorry, haven't had time for lunch yet)
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:54 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
But I consider Musharraf to be one of the most pro-Western leaders in the Middle East.
"Middle East"??
Quote:
In Pakistan, the delicate dance of a key US ally

By David Montero
Christian Science Monitor, Sep 26


ISLAMABAD -- His autobiography, In the Line of Fire, went on sale Monday and is aptly titled. Since Sept. 11, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has survived three assassination attempts by Muslim extremists. Later this week, Mr. Musharraf meets with the US and Afghan presidents in Washington to discuss the war on terror.

When the US surveys the world, there are few more pivotal players in that war than Musharraf. But at home, Pakistan's moderate leader is embattled. To strengthen his position, he's recently struck deals with a hard-line Islamic political party that, analysts say, could undermine counterterrorism efforts. A controversial peace accord with Taliban militants in early September effectively gives the fighters open mobility in areas bordering Afghanistan. While he defends it, Musharraf doesn't mention that the accord is also paying political dividends to him and a peculiar, relatively unmentioned bedfellow: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), or the Council of Islamic Clerics. This hard-line Islamist party controls North Waziristan, a province bordering Afghanistan, and brokered the deal. JUI, which runs most of Pakistan's religious schools or madrassahs, helped educate and indoctrinate the Taliban throughout the 1980s and '90s. But today they are emerging as Musharraf's new political weapon.

JUI officials deny any direct link with the Taliban, but say they support them ideologically. "There is no question of sympathies," says Sahizada Khaled Ahmed Banoori, chief patron of JUI in NWFP. "JUI is a part of parliament. It means they are also part of the government. They are going to assist completely those things which are good for the country." As elections loom, JUI has become a trusted ally at a time when the president finds himself increasingly alienated from other parties. But there are potential costs to such an alliance, both for Pakistan and the international community. The concern is that as JUI becomes more important to Musharraf's political survival, it will make him less effective against the Taliban.

"His ability [to take on the Taliban] is compromised as long as he's got an alliance with the JUI," says Samina Ahmed, South Asia project director of the International Crisis Group. But he adds: "Who else is going to be there to keep Musharraf's political house in order in Balochistan besides JUI." And Musharraf's road to political survival runs through the province of Balochistan and North Western Frontier Provinces (NWFP), two of the largest in Pakistan. Analysts predict that Musharraf will need JUI to bring in votes in those regions during the presidential election of 2007, and their support for any government he forms should he win.

JUI won't say openly if it plans to side with Musharraf. "Everything that is good for the country, we will support that," says Mr. Banoori, adding that where Musharraf's policies are sound, JUI will support him. But currently, Balochistan and NWFP are the provinces least likely to side with him. In August, Musharraf's army assassinated revered tribal leader Nawab Mohammed Akbar Khan Bugti, sparking riots in Balochistan and calls for secession. Few, if any, Baloch politicians support Musharraf now. The case is the same in NWFP, where the Pakistani military's hunt for Al Qaeda and the Taliban has left hundreds of civilians dead and a rising tide of resentment against the government.

When Musharraf looked for a way out of both quagmires, he turned to JUI. In North Waziristan, JUI leaders responded by flexing their political muscles: they brought local Pakistani Taliban to the table and negotiated a cease-fire. For now, a delicate peace seems to be restored. But for many, relying on JUI as the middle man between the government and the Taliban is a Faustian deal, and it underscores Musharraf's political weakness at home. In the deal, JUI also won concessions for the local Taliban, resulting in the release from prison of hundreds of their fighters. JUI members defend the deal as a practical solution for peace. "The North Waziristan deal is a good for the people, so we supported it," says Mr. Banoori.

Similarly, JUI has emerged as the key intermediary in Balochistan. For most of the summer the province has teetered on the brink of political conflagration following Bugti's death. Baloch nationalist parties have threatened to resign from the provincial assembly, a move the Islamic parties in Pakistan's parliament in Islamabad have endorsed. With a potential bloc building against him, Musharraf faced a crisis. But then JUI stepped in. Of all the Islamic political parties, only JUI holds any seats in Balochistan. JUI's leaders didn't support the resignation threat, effectively destroying its momentum and incurring the wrath of their conservative colleagues.

Ironically, one of the central gatekeepers of Musharraf's political fortunes today are those who once paved the way for the Taliban. Despite JUI's ideological roots, or perhaps because of them, JUI is now a power to be contended with in the delicate puzzle of Pakistani politics. In national elections held in 2002, JUI emerged as the main political force in Balochistan and the North Western Frontier Province - thanks to new heights of Islamic resentment stoked by Washington's attack on Afghanistan. JUI and its Muslim coalition partners, the Muttahida Majlis-e Amal (MMA) or the United Action Front, also managed to secure 63 seats in the National Assembly. "JUI was never able to win that many seats in the past," says Ramiullah Yusufzai, a longtime Pakistani journalist based in Peshawar. "But now, after the last election, its fortunes have gone sky high. It controls [Balochistan and NWFP]."

Musharraf has always relied on deals with the Islamic political parties to maintain political control. But in recent years most Islamists have turned against him, issuing scathing attacks on his relationship with Washington and his efforts to induce moderation. Whenever there is a political crisis, the Islamists are among the most vociferous calling for Musharraf's resignation. But not the JUI, analysts say. Although hardline, they are more pragmatic and less ideological in their political decisions, because, like Musharraf, they have a lot to lose. It was in February 2005 that JUI first broke ranks with the other religious parties and began supporting Musharraf, causing strains in the MMA alliance. "JUI has a huge stake in the continuation of this system, unlike other religious parties," argues Ershad Mahmud, an analyst with the Institute of Policy Studies, an Islamabad think tank. "It is the intent of the JUI to continue with this government."

Today JUI and Musharraf enjoy a mutually beneficial marriage of convenience. Musharraf, analysts say, needs them as much as they do him for his presidency bid in 2007. "Musharraf doesn't want that all opposition parties will get together against him. If he can keep JUI slightly to his side, then he can prevent a movement," says Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi, a political analyst in Lahore.
Quote:
Karzai, Musharraf Arguing Ahead Of Talks With Bush

By BARRY SCHWEID
Associated Press, Sept 26



WASHINGTON -- Afghanistan's president is calling on Pakistan to close extremist schools and looking for support from President Bush in his campaign against "places that teach terror." "There will not be an end to terrorism unless we remove the sources of hatred in madrassas and the training grounds," Hamid Karzai said before Tuesday's White House meeting.

Rising Taliban violence and an unprecedented narcotics trade were also on the agenda - possibly along with a request for more U.S. money to stabilize Afghanistan. Karzai said Sunday his country would be "heaven in less than a year" if it received the $300 billion the United States had spent in Iraq. As it is, Karzai said at a news conference Monday that Afghanistan has $1.9 billion in reserves, up from $180 million in 2002.

In a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars he expressed concern - without elaboration - with "radical neighbors who have very dangerous ideas" and said narcotics had supplanted the growing of grapes, raisins, pomegranates, almonds and other crops.

His meeting with Bush sets the stage for a three-way dinner meeting Bush plans Wednesday with Karzai and Musharraf. Here last week to see Bush, Musharraf said extremist schools accounted for only about 5% of the schools in Pakistan. He acknowledged that "we are moving slowly" against them.

Karzai said he had no objection to madrassas that teach Islam to young people. "We need preachers in our religion," he said. But he said it was up to Musharraf to deal with the problem of teaching hatred to young children. "Those places have to be closed down," he said.

Musharraf, speaking in New York City on Monday night, said Pakistan was being blamed unfairly for the Taliban's resurgence. He suggested that Karzai was partially at fault for disenfranchising the majority Pashtun ethnic group and warned that the Taliban cannot be defeated by military might alone. Musharraf praised Karzai, calling him clearly the best choice to lead Afghanistan as it rebuilds after decades of war, but he also slammed Karzai for suggesting that much of the recent violence in Afghanistan was the result of cross-border attacks from militants hiding in Pakistan's tribal areas. "The sooner that President Karzai understands his own country, the better," Musharraf told the Council on Foreign Relations, referring to alleged favoritism toward ethnic minorities in the Northern Alliance that fought against the largely Pashtun Taliban. "We have a problem with Pashtuns feeling alienated."
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