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Old 09-28-2004, 03:44 AM   #1
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Zapatero funding mosques...

Thought I'd start a different thread so as not to derail NB's.

A_Wanderer said:
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Zapatero is funding Mosques while cutting funding for the Catholic church - I think that he is to far gone feeding the crocodile to ever ally with the Great Satan.
You make it sound as if the two are related, funding Islam vs. funding Christianity.

The cut in funding to churches is part of a wider program of secularization. As it stands there is still religious education in public schools and the Catholic church has special status within the state. They are aiming for a firm separation of church and state. I am all for Zapatero's program. However, I hope they don't go as far as France in banning religious symbols.

Your post was the first I heard about funding mosques. It seems the idea is for the state to help fund mosques instead of having them seek funds from abroad, which could include terrorist organisations. I haven't decided if this is a good or bad idea, I don't know enough about it. Madrid also wants to regulate the Imams, though to what extent I don't know. I have read that it could mean in terms of qualifications for the job, to as far as the regulating the sermons they preach, although I doubt Madrid could or would do that. They could offer money in exchange for a degree of control, but I doubt Muslims here would be happy with that.

There may be another level to funding mosques as well. This is just through conversations I have had on street, but from what I understand it has been very difficult to nearly impossible for Muslims to get permission to build a proper mosque. For example, I live in an area of Barcelona with a large Muslim population, the mosques around here are just commercial spaces on the street. It could be discrimination, perhaps on the part of the Church and the former PP government. Of course Muslims here are 1st generation immigrants and don't have enough money to erect a great mosque, that would also be a factor.

I don't know how much funding mosques contradicts the idea goal of religious state/separation. However the idea behind funding the mosques is not to bring Islam up to the level of influence the Catholic church has.

I have been on holiday for a while (I am a teacher and live in Spain, imagine!), so I have been very lazy at following the news. I'll keep an eye out for more on this.

*Edited for spelling!
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:06 AM   #2
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double post. please delete this one.
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:10 AM   #3
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Statement was strong, a bit (read way - there was a context to the Great Satan bit. it was NOT saying that the Zapatero government was in league with such groups) too strong.

I never suggested that the concept was to increase the level of influence of Islam within Spain - with such an overwhelming Catholic majority that is unlikely. It seems that he is embarking on a secular agenda (which is good) but doing it unevenly (which is bad). There may be an element of appeasement in this decision.

What I think is that the government is not being equal in its moves towards fuller secularisation. It may be argued that by increasing funding for Islamic education the influence of extremists is reduced but that overlooks the fact that the outside groups can still fund extremist clerics - only difference is that now the government has the illusion that it can control what is being taught.

If you want to secular government fully, great. But it is dangerous to cut down funding involving the Catholic church while not cutting funding that is going towards Islamic education. Full secularism is good, but attempting to encourage cultural understanding and tollerance by funding religion is bad. There should be no illusion, religion cannot be controlled by government. Islam will never by reliant on western governments for survival - the money flows from the oil states and ensures radicalisation will be able to occur. I would rather see a government that cracks down on extremists fully and maintains a properly secular system than one the tries to take a problem into its own hands.

It is a dangerous path to spread. If the entire plan is based on phasing out religious symbolism from state insituations while seperately pursuing a goal of integrating the second generation Muslim immigrants into society it is acceptable, but these programs have failed before and have radicalised many who were not taken in.

The original article is here
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...5/ixworld.html

Creating a Cultural Alliance between the Western and Arab world - very much in the vein of the Euro-Arab Dialogue.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3679336.stm

Interesting interview here with Time Europe, provides some insight. I love it where he calls feminism better than millitary strength when dealing with terrorism.
http://www.time.com/time/europe/maga...699350,00.html

An analysis of the Islamists by Tashbih Sayyed - Highly Recomended
http://www.muslimworldtoday.com/tashbih.htm

This thread could explode. Can it be directed towards the question of funding religion in the name of state harmony and tollerance.
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Old 09-28-2004, 05:14 AM   #4
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I suppose the idea is to control the Islamic community in some way, and thereby eliminate the risk of terrorism? Has the government explicitly said that? What reasons are they giving?
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Old 09-28-2004, 05:19 AM   #5
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From what I have gathered it is in the name of encouraging cultural tollerance and harmony. So they will pay money to certain mosques if they behave and will fund education in regards to Islam to foster understanding. A cynic they could say that it is like paying protection money to the mob.
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Old 09-28-2004, 05:56 AM   #6
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It's probably a good idea. The government is telling their Muslim citizens that "yes, we know you're there, thank you very much". Generally the Spanish have done a hell of a job building and keeping their democracy. I'm a huge fan of their royal family. They've done all sorts of cool things like introducing special education in Spain.
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Old 09-28-2004, 06:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Statement was strong, a bit (read way - there was a context to the Great Satan bit. it was NOT saying that the Zapatero government was in league with such groups) too strong.

I never suggested that the concept was to increase the level of influence of Islam within Spain - with such an overwhelming Catholic majority that is unlikely. It seems that he is embarking on a secular agenda (which is good) but doing it unevenly (which is bad). There may be an element of appeasement in this decision.

What I think is that the government is not being equal in its moves towards fuller secularisation. It may be argued that by increasing funding for Islamic education the influence of extremists is reduced but that overlooks the fact that the outside groups can still fund extremist clerics - only difference is that now the government has the illusion that it can control what is being taught.

If you want to secular government fully, great. But it is dangerous to cut down funding involving the Catholic church while not cutting funding that is going towards Islamic education. Full secularism is good, but attempting to encourage cultural understanding and tollerance by funding religion is bad. There should be no illusion, religion cannot be controlled by government. Islam will never by reliant on western governments for survival - the money flows from the oil states and ensures radicalisation will be able to occur. I would rather see a government that cracks down on extremists fully and maintains a properly secular system than one the tries to take a problem into its own hands.

It is a dangerous path to spread. If the entire plan is based on phasing out religious symbolism from state insituations while seperately pursuing a goal of integrating the second generation Muslim immigrants into society it is acceptable, but these programs have failed before and have radicalised many who were not taken in.

This thread could explode. Can it be directed towards the question of funding religion in the name of state harmony and tollerance.
We have to be very careful with the "appeasement" word because for some anything but force is "appeasement". I had this out on another thread and don't wish to rehash it.

I think the funding does overlook the fact that extremist clerics will still be funded by outside groups. If the government is reaching out to the Muslim population, as Verte suggested, then hopefully it will dull the message of extremist clerics, take away their audience. I doubt the government will try and control what is taught, they are probably trying to promote education and understanding and Muslim groups that engage in this. Fair play.

I don't know that any funding for mosques existed before. Even if there was, I would bet the funding was not even close to that of the Catholic church.

I think saying that Islam will never rely on western governments for survival is a bit off. Does Islam in Canada and the US rely on oil money? I think in these 2 countries there are excellent examples of Islam and secular culture co-existing. I imagine that is Zapatero's goal.

I am not convinced force is the only way. Yes, perhaps against Islamists, as you have argued. But against a Muslim populace that may be complacent, whose opinion can be swayed, I think education, understanding and dialogue can lead to peaceful co-existence.

The government here seems to be following both routes. Arrests are still being made. Arabs in my neighbourhood are constantly and randomly stopped by the police for ID checks (this I find incredibly disturbing, it never happens to me because I am white).

As for Zapatero's feminism remark, I think that was an allusion to his belief that education can solve many problems. I doubt he meant it literally.
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Old 09-28-2004, 06:50 AM   #8
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Quite, I was getting pretty scared that this thread could turn into a round of A_Wanderer bashing (due to my own loose hands) but it has steered back on topic.

Secular culture and Islam are very difficult. To initiate any real change in the Moslem world one must reshape the religion. Right now (in the eyes of the conservatives) there are Muslims and there are Apostates. If you believe in Jihad and the worst parts of Islamic culture then you are a Moslem and if you believe in the principles of secularism and liberty then you are an apostate - a very difficult situation.
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Old 09-28-2004, 07:10 AM   #9
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Neither Islam is a synonyme for violence nor Christianity or Judaism is a synonyme for peace.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3695390.stm

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Roman Catholic and Orthodox clerics have exchanged blows inside Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of Christianity's holiest sites.

The punch-up began after Greek and Russian Orthodox believers took offence at a door left open by members of the Franciscan order during a service.
Mankind is verry complex
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Old 09-28-2004, 08:00 AM   #10
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These fights are so stupid. They're acting like a bunch of medieval fanatics. Show some maturity, guys.
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Old 09-28-2004, 08:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
From what I have gathered it is in the name of encouraging cultural tollerance and harmony. So they will pay money to certain mosques if they behave and will fund education in regards to Islam to foster understanding.
If this is the motivation, it suggest that terrorism works and implies that Muslims will resort to violence to get their way.


The image of the peaceful Muslim must come from within the Islamic community, not from government funding.
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Old 09-28-2004, 11:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


If this is the motivation, it suggest that terrorism works and implies that Muslims will resort to violence to get their way.


The image of the peaceful Muslim must come from within the Islamic community, not from government funding.
On the first point, I think the idea would be to help promote moderate voices against radical elements. I am not sure how that implies terrorism works.

On the second point, you are absolutely right. However, all relationships are two way streets.
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