Random Thoughts (Political Edition)

nomix

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The veil has become, during the centuries, an obligation. But there are several types of veil in the islamic cultures, the majority of them don't involve covering the face at all, just the hair and maybe the shoulders, and all islam refers to the same Quran. Even in Syria the use of less covering veils is so widespread that niqab and more covering veils are used only by minorities.

What that lady is telling is, therefore, wrong, and judging by the fact that she IS syrian, so she knows the country she live is, she told a plain lie. I can't stand people lying and I can't stand religious nonsense.

That woman telling that this is her obligation is probably both of those things. And this is the least offensive statement I can make, because if she isn't either of the two, she would just be a sorry woman who hasn't got a clue about her own religion, which would make not her, but her entire culture quite a bit plunged in desperately senseless times. But I surely am not racist, so I think this is more of a personal problem than a cultural one.

This woman appears to me as the Mormons telling you what undergarments you should be using (if you were a mormon). It's not written in the Bible (provided it is the same book as I have, even vaguely) and the vast majority of christians around the world behave differently.

The problem, after all, is bigger than we perceive. We are used to think that everybody should be free to do whatever they please to do and whatever their religion might tell them, as long as they don't do harm to anyone else. It seems fine, but it is not, it's much more complicated than this. Many times what someone considers part of his/her own heritage and traditions brings on problems after problems. We can start with the "traditional" female circumcision (whose issue is not really what is being done, but the free will of the woman involved), we can continue with chinese "traditional" medicine involving a massacre of rhinoceros and tigers and who else knows what, to the "traditional" japanese whale-based dishes, to the "traditional" women have no right to do anything without the consent of men, which is typical of many more countries than you can think of (including old-times sicily), to the "traditional" friend-of-a-friend-recomandation to find a job (to the detriment of those worth of it) that I can experience in some part of my country to the "traditional" let's-drink-ourselves-to-unconsciousness so typical in so many countries and that is, for some reasons, being regulated in countries like sweden, for example (drink and drive?). Or we can even think of the mass suicidal sects in rural USA. I'm provoking here, but how is it that we find it right to stop them when it is their own decision and their own beliefs that bring them to do such things?

I've purposedly done a list of the first things I had in mind, but what is clear is that relgious heritage often brings about things we don't accept and that some traditions that seem unharmful actually do damage in other ways.

The thing is we can not (unfortunately, to be honest) allow every nutter to do whatever he/she pleases, because that would mean allowing for senseless and potentailly destructive behaviours. The anarchist dream for total freedom of action (provided it doesn't harm) is an illusion. Not that we can not push ourselves in that direction and pusrsue that utopia, but we should not let ourselves be fooled by our own tolerance.

I have already said this elsewhere: covering one's entire face brings lots of problems in real life and disrupt the idea itself of equal rights for men and women. Your culture may tell you to do that, but the bad consequences don't change, even if that's your culture. It would be like me going around in a Darth Vader's mask and refusing to get it off telling that I'm a jedi and I'm not allowed to take it off because of my religion. I would be considered crazy, and emarginated and I would sustain heavy damage to my social life, even if that would really be a free choice.

Yet, because of a healthy tolerance gone a little bit fanatic, people prefere to allow for women to lose part of their rights than to renounce to a useless piece of clothing (useless in a very wide number of ways). A piece of clothing that can, moreover, be replaced, for all and every religious purposes, by different, and equally traditional, clothing that don't have the same drawbacks.
My point still is that something doesn't have to have a basis in scripture to be a very important part of ones religious beliefs. Just looking at how differently christianity is interpreted by different sects, groups, not to mention the bigger fractions like lutheranism, catholisism and orthodox christianity. Even in much smaller religious groups, like jews, there are several different groups who interprit scripture very differently.

To say that ie. confession isn't a religious duty for a devot catholic is obviously a too technical view, as it is, in fact, a religious duty to a devot catholic. I'm not saying it's the same as the hijab, the burka and the niqab, but it's the same basis for a religious belief. And if we're to be very serious, we could say that there are passages in the Koran that supports it as a religious duty (there's a passage that talks about dressing properly), which are obviously open to interpretation. So while there is no direct basis in islamic scripture to support the idea that the hijab, the niqab or the burka are religious obligations, there are no reason to say that it can't be a religious obligation to the individual religious, muslim woman.

As for the tolerance argument, I have a big issue with forcing women to wear ie. a hijab. I think that's opressive and despickable. But if the woman wants to wear it, I think it's just as moronic and despickable to force her to take it off. And however you look at it, that will be the result in a large number of cases. And in that context, I don't give a rats about wether or not other people think it's a useless piece of clothing (and I don't give a rats about the fact that I think it's a useless piece of cloth as well, I actually do), but I just won't stand for the argument that it can't be a religious duty because it's not written plainly in the Koran, and I don't see how we can take the liberty of forcing women to take it off. If they don't want to, it's not our business, just like it's not our business if a mormon woman wants to dress in a way that conforms to her religious beliefs. I despise religion, and I hate dogmatic ideas like it, but it's not for me to decide.

That's my point.
 

nomix

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Yeah. I guess so. Personally, I do think the whole idea is silly, and I think it would seem like a too fundamental, exagerated interpretation of the actual text, but I don't believe in any of it anyway, so it is, obviously, hard for me to imagine how strong of a religious duty it obviously is to many women.
 

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My point still is that something doesn't have to have a basis in scripture to be a very important part of ones religious beliefs.
I thnk the most important point here is she obviously says to be a muslim, except that the vast majority of muslim women DOESN'T wear niqab (or burqa, which are the ones Syria is against here), so it is not a "rule", and therefore can be changed without interfering with religion itself. She should stop hiding behind a much bigger veil, religion, otherwise she should say what she really is, which is clearly not "muslim".

To be more specific, it is just like a sect of christians that would say that transplant is evil and get you damned. The thing has nothing to do with christianity and telling they refuse transplants because of Christ is clearly a nonsense. If this nonsense has implication on someone else or on social life, or is in strict contrast with what we call people's rights, then problems are bound to appear constantly.

Just looking at how differently christianity is interpreted by different sects, groups, not to mention the bigger fractions like lutheranism, catholisism and orthodox christianity. Even in much smaller religious groups, like jews, there are several different groups who interprit scripture very differently.

To say that ie. confession isn't a religious duty for a devot catholic is obviously a too technical view, as it is, in fact, a religious duty to a devot catholic. I'm not saying it's the same as the hijab, the burka and the niqab, but it's the same basis for a religious belief.
Just because something is "religious" doesn't mean it's good thing. If religion is not really involved, but is just a mask behind which cover to avoid discussing the thing, then, that simple fact gets even clearer. I understand your point, but I really could stretch the thing to a limit and call in again the female circumcision. It's someone's religious belief, how can you speak for a ban of that practice? But at the same time, how can you feel yourself a man and NOT ask for a ban of such practice?

Again, problems arise when the practice discussed clashes with something else, from the extreme of health and dignity of a person to something like a sharp reduction in social life and rights of women and the security issues due to the complete veil. At that point, you necessarily have to choose what to support.

Moreover, sometimes we just need to interfere with someone else's life, even if his behaviours is not endangering anyone else. What about someone who wants to kill himself by jumping down a building? Wouldn't youtry to convince him to CHANGE his intended behaviour?

We sometimes need to get into other people's life. How often and to what extent is the tricky part that we must figure out and we can mess up with.

, and I don't see how we can take the liberty of forcing women to take it off.
Actually, I have difficulties too, but then I think that letting women wear niqabs and worse means force them to renounce to several things that I think should be granted, like entering certain public places and do certain activities (driving, for example), plus a lot of security-related issues. I don't mean that they will renounce to those activities, I mean that the presence of niqab will force other people to deny them activities in which facial recognition is crucial.

Again, sometimes we are just going to interfere with someone else's life, then we must decide if we prefere to grant some people a traditional right or maybe a more fundamental right, like going into a post office or attend to a test in university, or drive a car, or vote. Or, in the case of some christian sects, to have their life saved if they are not in condition of deciding for themselves (transplant and blood exchanges).

I understand perfectly your point, but I see that total freedom is utopia, we have to face the hard reality that we need to live together and that there are more important values than others. As much freedom as we can, but not so much that we mess everything up.

EDIT

To be completely specific, I don't want to -ban- the niqab or burqa, even if I'd like to, I just want to make it needed for the woman to make herself recognizable wherever, whenever and to whomever is needed. I think this is fair; the fact that this negates the entire assumption behing those kind of veils is at this point not relevant at all.
 
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nomix

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I thnk the most important point here is she obviously says to be a muslim, except that the vast majority of muslim women DOESN'T wear niqab (or burqa, which are the ones Syria is against here), so it is not a "rule", and therefore can be changed without interfering with religion itself. She should stop hiding behind a much bigger veil, religion, otherwise she should say what she really is, which is clearly not "muslim".
We agree on that. While it can be a religious duty to the individual, it's a completely moot point to say that it's a religious duty for all muslim women, on the idea that it's a clear mandate from God.

To be more specific, it is just like a sect of christians that would say that transplant is evil and get you damned. The thing has nothing to do with christianity and telling they refuse transplants because of Christ is clearly a nonsense. If this nonsense has implication on someone else or on social life, or is in strict contrast with what we call people's rights, then problems are bound to appear constantly.
It has something to do with their christianity, while it is moronic, I do think it's at least strange to believe in a God anyway, so I'm possibly a bit biased. If it's part of your religion, as you see it, then it's part of your religion.

Just because something is "religious" doesn't mean it's good thing. If religion is not really involved, but is just a mask behind which cover to avoid discussing the thing, then, that simple fact gets even clearer. I understand your point, but I really could stretch the thing to a limit and call in again the female circumcision. It's someone's religious belief, how can you speak for a ban of that practice? But at the same time, how can you feel yourself a man and NOT ask for a ban of such practice?
I never said it was. I pity the muslims and jews who can't try a good pork chop, I pity the muslims who can't taste a Caol Ila, I pity the Hindus who can't taste a medium-rare steak. But it's not my business, and I don't think it's yours either.

Again, problems arise when the practice discussed clashes with something else, from the extreme of health and dignity of a person to something like a sharp reduction in social life and rights of women and the security issues due to the complete veil. At that point, you necessarily have to choose what to support.
I get that. But I still think it's a bit of a moral no-no to justify forcing one woman to take off heir niqab because it will let another woman take off her. They're both injustices, and I can't justify forcing the hand of either of them.

Moreover, sometimes we just need to interfere with someone else's life, even if his behaviours is not endangering anyone else. What about someone who wants to kill himself by jumping down a building? Wouldn't youtry to convince him to CHANGE his intended behaviour?
Yeah, I would. But there's a reason there's no law against suicide anymore.

We sometimes need to get into other people's life. How often and to what extent is the tricky part that we must figure out and we can mess up with.
True, but we need to be very careful doing it.

Actually, I have difficulties too, but then I think that letting women wear niqabs and worse means force them to renounce to several things that I think should be granted, like entering certain public places and do certain activities (driving, for example), plus a lot of security-related issues. I don't mean that they will renounce to those activities, I mean that the presence of niqab will force other people to deny them activities in which facial recognition is crucial.
True enough. But I still think it's their choice.

Again, sometimes we are just going to interfere with someone else's life, then we must decide if we prefere to grant some people a traditional right or maybe a more fundamental right, like going into a post office or attend to a test in university, or drive a car, or vote. Or, in the case of some christian sects, to have their life saved if they are not in condition of deciding for themselves (transplant and blood exchanges).

I understand perfectly your point, but I see that total freedom is utopia, we have to face the hard reality that we need to live together and that there are more important values than others. As much freedom as we can, but not so much that we mess everything up.

EDIT

To be completely specific, I don't want to -ban- the niqab or burqa, even if I'd like to, I just want to make it needed for the woman to make herself recognizable wherever, whenever and to whomever is needed. I think this is fair; the fact that this negates the entire assumption behing those kind of veils is at this point not relevant at all.
On that last part, I agree. When it's needed, they have to show their face.
 

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Sometimes I hate being a Wisconsinite...

Madison ? State elections officials narrowly rejected a Milwaukee Assembly candidate's attempt to run with the slogan "NOT the 'whiteman's bitch' " under her name on the ballot.

Ieshuh Griffin, a Milwaukee independent running to replace retiring Rep. Annette "Polly" Williams (D-Milwaukee), said in response she would sue the Government Accountability Board for infringing on her freedom of speech.

"I'm not making a derogatory statement toward an ethnic group. I'm stating what I'm not," Griffin told board members. "It's my constitutional right to freedom of speech."

In other action, the state elections agency Wednesday knocked three state Assembly candidates and one congressional candidate off this fall's ballot but kept U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) on it.

Unlike candidates from the established Democratic and Republican parties, independents are allowed a five-word statement of purpose on the ballot to explain to voters what their candidacy is about.

Shane Falk, a staff attorney for the Accountability Board, said that the board had the ability to restrict obscene or derogatory candidate statements from the ballot.

The board staff ruled that the statement should not be allowed. With one member absent, the board voted 3-2 in favor of reversing that ruling and allowing the wording. Under board rules, however, four votes are needed to overturn a staff decision.

As a result, Griffin will be on the ballot with "independent" by her name and nothing else.

Board member Thomas Barland, who voted to allow Griffin to make the statement, said he thought it was not obscene and "not racial." But Roxanne Dunlap of Sussex, a citizen attending the meeting, told the board that she found the statement offensive and believed that a white person making the opposite statement - "not the black man's bitch" - would be sharply criticized.

Griffin, who describes herself as a "30-ish" community activist, said she had attempted unsuccessfully in the past to run for a position as a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge. She said she will appeal the board's decision in federal court.
http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/98941309.html
 

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It has something to do with their christianity, while it is moronic, I do think it's at least strange to believe in a God anyway, so I'm possibly a bit biased. If it's part of your religion, as you see it, then it's part of your religion.
What I see is that we should learn to take religion away from the reasons why something can be tolerated or not. Many people use religion to avoid a confrontation on what they do, and many people (even atheists) tolerate despicable behaviours from other people just because of the "religious value" of the thing. I think the "my religion told me" should be abolished as a reason for doing things. If it's something intelligent, it doesn't need religious justification, if it's stupid, it remains stupid.

I think this has to do with what I've seen being done and thought by religious people in my life; like that woman, they weren't saying "this thing is stupid, and my religion tells me to do it, so I must rethink a bit of concepts or figure out a more intelligent way of following my beliefs", they were saying "this thing CAN NOT be stupid, BECAUSE my religion told me, and if my religion told me, then it must be intelligent".

This is why this point is so important to me, because it happens all the times even with minor things. This is coupled with the fact that many people who favour freedom of action tend to be overly tolerant of stupid things just because saying the truth (not forcing a behaviour, just saying the truth) is a source of frictions and of mad reactions. It's just like thinking that doing something that might upset someone is wrong because someone might get upset. Again, exagerating, one way or another, is all too easy, but sometimes there is a need for standing ground against foolishness.

And this, I think, is exactly your thought: you would tolerate female circumcision but you would try to help a suicidal person.

I get that. But I still think it's a bit of a moral no-no to justify forcing one woman to take off heir niqab because it will let another woman take off her. They're both injustices, and I can't justify forcing the hand of either of them.
I understand your point of view, but I think you are somehow projecting your way of thinking on other people. Unfortunately many selfdeclaring religious people are not really thinking on what they do. Just like they think what they do is undoubtedly right because "god" said it, they will do things that "god" said not because they understand them or anything, but because "god" said it. This is often coupled with tradition and habit, so what has been done for an entire life will continue to be done without even trying anything else, just because people get accustomed (even to the worst idiocies). This happens everywhere, in every culture, in every time, always, but when it comes to religion, since it is -undoubtedly- right, the process is even stronger. What I'm saying is that many of those women have never tried or experienced anything else than being fully veiled; it's not a choice, it's something they were born with. This happens here too. I wear trousers and not large gowns for exactly the same reason, because that's what I grew up with. The difference is this is not menacing my social rights, so it's not important whether it is a true choice or a simple habit, a thoughtless tradition.

Another difference is I won't defende this freedom I have by saying it's my tradition (or religious duty), but saying it doesn't pose any threat to anyone ever. That is the fundamental difference between me and that woman that claimed (falsely) the Quran (when it is actually her set of traditional habits) ordered her to wear niqab.

On that last part, I agree. When it's needed, they have to show their face.
Exactly. But given the fact that the right to wear niqab is not defended because they fancy it, but because it's a religious duty, chance are very high that they will refuse to show their face whenever needed, or to a male police officer, or to a male clerk, or to someone who is not a relative, and so on. And then you'll have to decide whether to deny them some of their social rights or come up with double officers (male and female), double recreational places, double rules, double standards, not because of a serious claim or problem, but because someone refused to admit that their rigid traditional duty is nothing more than a randomly appeared long-term habit they were taught during childhood.
 

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What I see is that we should learn to take religion away from the reasons why something can be tolerated or not. Many people use religion to avoid a confrontation on what they do, and many people (even atheists) tolerate despicable behaviours from other people just because of the "religious value" of the thing. I think the "my religion told me" should be abolished as a reason for doing things. If it's something intelligent, it doesn't need religious justification, if it's stupid, it remains stupid.

I think this has to do with what I've seen being done and thought by religious people in my life; like that woman, they weren't saying "this thing is stupid, and my religion tells me to do it, so I must rethink a bit of concepts or figure out a more intelligent way of following my beliefs", they were saying "this thing CAN NOT be stupid, BECAUSE my religion told me, and if my religion told me, then it must be intelligent".

This is why this point is so important to me, because it happens all the times even with minor things. This is coupled with the fact that many people who favour freedom of action tend to be overly tolerant of stupid things just because saying the truth (not forcing a behaviour, just saying the truth) is a source of frictions and of mad reactions. It's just like thinking that doing something that might upset someone is wrong because someone might get upset. Again, exagerating, one way or another, is all too easy, but sometimes there is a need for standing ground against foolishness.

And this, I think, is exactly your thought: you would tolerate female circumcision but you would try to help a suicidal person.
No. I wouldn't. In fact, I think it's one of those special things that are easily a sexual assault.

You put forward a interesting argument on how we should "learn to take religion away from the reasons why something can be tolerated or not". Good point. Let's take it further.

Do you think it's right that parents indoctrinate their kids in religion? It's part of their religion to teach their kids about their religion, but it still is indoctrination. And while we're at it, I think the indoctrination of religion into the entire life of a child is a much more basic, fundamental and crucial injustice than ie. a hijab or a burka.

So, how do we do this? Prohibit parents from teaching their kids about their religion?

We need to stop this argument that just because it is religion, it's okay to start bullying people over it. And it's become more and more of an issue since Islam started to become more of an influence in the west. In Norway, the Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet) supported blasphemy laws for a couple of decades. Because before, they were (loosly) used to the advantage of their own religious fundamenalist minority voters; conservative christians. Then they realized that blasphemy laws actually protect muslim minorities as well. They did a very quick u-turn, and today, they're the strongest oponents of blasphemy laws.

What's my point? That I support blashpemy laws? Not at all, they are stupid. But I can't say I appreciate that people change their principles just because they realize they want to join the marxists on religion when they realize Islam's in the picture.

Let me first say that I don't think you're just going for Islam. I've gotten pretty good reading between the lines in debates like this, so no, I'm not accusing you of that. I'm talking about the general development in most societies in Europe these days.

I just think it's a problem to force someone to take something off because we think it's stupid. The only real argument for forcing their hand is security. Other than that, it's their choice.
 

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No. I wouldn't. In fact, I think it's one of those special things that are easily a sexual assault.

You put forward a interesting argument on how we should "learn to take religion away from the reasons why something can be tolerated or not". Good point. Let's take it further.

Do you think it's right that parents indoctrinate their kids in religion?
I don't like children being indoctrinated with wrong ideas, not only religion.

It's part of their religion to teach their kids about their religion, but it still is indoctrination. And while we're at it, I think the indoctrination of religion into the entire life of a child is a much more basic, fundamental and crucial injustice than ie. a hijab or a burka.
Yes. But I'm still a human being, I can make mistakes, so it's really really hard to arrive at a point when limitation of other's freedom on my part can be acceptable. am I willing to bear all the consequences of that? I try to stick on very simple things.

So, how do we do this? Prohibit parents from teaching their kids about their religion?
I most surely wish I could do that without doing wrong to anyone. I can't. But I still say loudly that many religious habits are insane in the form they are taught today (or are insane at all).

We need to stop this argument that just because it is religion, it's okay to start bullying people over it. And it's become more and more of an issue since Islam started to become more of an influence in the west.
I see the opposite way. Since it is religion, we accept what we wouldn't accept normally. The jedi religion follower walking around in a mask of Darth Vader and refusing to take it off is just a silly idiot, a muslim woman with niqab is following her deepest and unquestionable beliefs. But they are in practice doing the same thing. How is it that one of them is a crazy idiot and another is a person who rightfully chose her way? Just because George Lucas is still alive, is less than 1.400 year-old and has not 1 billion followers who think he is the prophet of god?

Mind you (I feel I need to remind this even more than it's needed) The problem is not that the jedi-wannabe is walking with the Darth Vader mask, the problem is he refuses to take it off (though he would remain silly anyway).

Let me first say that I don't think you're just going for Islam. I've gotten pretty good reading between the lines in debates like this, so no, I'm not accusing you of that. I'm talking about the general development in most societies in Europe these days.

I just think it's a problem to force someone to take something off because we think it's stupid. The only real argument for forcing their hand is security. Other than that, it's their choice.
Exactly. Security. I am not allowed to walk the streets with a hemet on my head. I can be fined. For exactly the same security issues. But when it comes to religion, people go crazy and fall either in the ?bertolerance or in easy hate mode, not because of real motives but because of this fake totemic supernal scarecrow wrongly called "religion".

EDIT

Unfortunately, with islamic full veil the problem is not the permission to wear it, but the requirement to take it off as needed. The idea itself of taking it off is against her beliefs, otherwise she wouldn't wear that kind of veil at all, so imposing a need for recognition is like imposing a ban on the veil itself.
 
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nomix

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I don't like children being indoctrinated with wrong ideas, not only religion.

Yes. But I'm still a human being, I can make mistakes, so it's really really hard to arrive at a point when limitation of other's freedom on my part can be acceptable. am I willing to bear all the consequences of that? I try to stick on very simple things.

I most surely wish I could do that without doing wrong to anyone. I can't. But I still say loudly that many religious habits are insane in the form they are taught today (or are insane at all).
While I agree that religion is a silly idea (for me, and I'm too rational at times), I do find it a little culture centrist to say that the ideas are wrong, as a general rule. Violence is wrong, intolerance is wrong. Forcing people into shit is wrong. That's as far as I get.


I see the opposite way. Since it is religion, we accept what we wouldn't accept normally. The jedi religion follower walking around in a mask of Darth Vader and refusing to take it off is just a silly idiot, a muslim woman with niqab is following her deepest and unquestionable beliefs. But they are in practice doing the same thing. How is it that one of them is a crazy idiot and another is a person who rightfully chose her way? Just because George Lucas is still alive, is less than 1.400 year-old and has not 1 billion followers who think he is the prophet of god?

Mind you (I feel I need to remind this even more than it's needed) The problem is not that the jedi-wannabe is walking with the Darth Vader mask, the problem is he refuses to take it off (though he would remain silly anyway).
While I see the principal equality, the actual truth is that the muslim woman's belief probably is stronger than the kid in the Vader mask. While I'm saying that, I don't see the problem of someone walking around in a Darth Vader mask in public either, as long as he or she takes it off when needed.

For me, this is more a question of avoiding forcing the hands of people when we don't really need to.

Exactly. Security. I am not allowed to walk the streets with a hemet on my head. I can be fined. For exactly the same security issues. But when it comes to religion, people go crazy and fall either in the ?bertolerance or in easy hate mode, not because of real motives but because of this fake totemic supernal scarecrow wrongly called "religion".
I think the problem is that you'd get a fine, not that the muslim woman don't get one. I think the same about wearing a cap in class. If a student gets detention if he won't take off his cap in class, and a muslim girl don't get detention for refusing to take of her hijab, the problem isn't that the muslim girl gets away with it, it is that the student gets penalized for having his cap on.

Unfortunately, with islamic full veil the problem is not the permission to wear it, but the requirement to take it off as needed. The idea itself of taking it off is against her beliefs, otherwise she wouldn't wear that kind of veil at all, so imposing a need for recognition is like imposing a ban on the veil itself.
We all have to make sacrifices when we need to. In some circumstances, they have to take it off. But let's limit that intrusion to when we really need to..

:)
 

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http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/arab-man-who-posed-as-jew-to-seduce-woman-convicted-of-rape-1.302895

Is this, or is this not fucked up?

"In the verdict, deputy president of the Jerusalem district court Tzvi Segal, along with fellow judges Moshe Drori and Yoram Noam, wrote that although this wasn't "a classical rape by force," and the sex was consensual, the consent itself was obtained through deception and under false pretenses."

Agreed. So, if a man says he's rich, and he isn't, is that RAPE?

I don't know, seems very silly..
 

Heathrow

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BBC News scuttlebutt has it that former PM Tony Bliar has been invited to the US Senate hearings over the release of the Pan Am 103 Lockerbie bomber (al-Megrahi) and the alleged links to BP.
I suspect the Tony will be busy until further notice, if not longer. :lol:

The Scottish Justice Secretary and other officials north of the border, have already declined. BBC News link
 

nomix

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Or at the very least some sort of abuse, like a 45yo having consentual sex with a 14yo.
 

jetsetter

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At the time when Antiochus approached Ptolemy and meant to occupy Pelusium, Caius Popilius Laenas, the Roman commander, on Antiochus greeting him from a distance and then holding out his hand, handed to the king, as he had it by him, the copy of the senatus-consultum, and told him to read it first, not thinking it proper, as it seems to me, to make the conventional sign of friendship before he knew if the intentions of him who was greeting him were friendly or hostile. But when the king, after reading it, said he would like to communicate with his friends about this intelligence, Popilius acted in a manner which was thought to be offensive and exceedingly arrogant. He was carrying a stick cut from a vine, and with this he drew a circle round Antiochus and told him he must remain inside this circle until he gave his decision about the contents of the letter. The king was astonished at this authoritative proceeding, but, after a few moments' hesitation, said he would do all that the Romans demanded. Upon this Popilius and his suite all grasped him by the hand and greeted him warmly. The letter ordered him to put an end at once to the war with Ptolemy. So, as a fixed number of days were allowed to him, he led his army back to Syria, deeply hurt and complaining indeed, but yielding to circumstances for the present. Popilius? after arranging matters in Alexandria and exhorting the two kings there to act in common, ordering them also to send Polyaratus to Rome, sailed for Cyprus, wishing to lose no time in expelling the Syrian troops that were in the island. When they arrived, finding that Ptolemy's generals had been defeated and that the affairs of Cyprus were generally in a topsy-turvy state, they soon made the Syrian army retire from the country, and waited until the troops took ship for Syria. In this way the Romans saved the kingdom of Ptolemy, which had almost been crushed out of existence: Fortune having so directed the matter of Perseus and Macedonia that when the position of Alexandria and the whole of Egypt was almost desperate, all was again set right simply owing to the fact that the fate of Perseus had been decided. For had this not been so, and had not Antiochus been certain of it, he would never, I think, have obeyed the Roman behests.

The Histories, Polybius 29.27.4-13
Power.
 

nomix

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When it comes to power, I think the best quote is one of Bismarcks.

"He who has power does as he pleases"

He'd just proven it, of course, by fixing the tricky problem of how to get the Preussan national assembly to finance the modernisation of the Preussan army. What he did? He just decided to ignore the assembly, and took the money. Otto von Bismarck was, for all intents and purposes, a realist. And that's what I like about him.

When he felt the social democrats growing in the Reichtag, he did the obvious thing. He introduced social democratic reforms. Stroke of genius, really. Many have tried to follow in his foot steps, Gorbatsjov (-chev, I think you angle-saxans write) hoped people would vote for him because he gave them the right to vote. It didn't turn out that way, as we know today.

It never seeses to amaze me how much there is to be learned from history. Nice quote, jetsetter.
 

jetsetter

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Venezuela severs ties with Colombia
By CHRISTOPHER TOOTHAKER
The Associated Press
Thursday, July 22, 2010; 10:07 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela -- President Hugo Chavez severed Venezuela's diplomatic relations with Colombia on Thursday over claims he harbors guerrillas, and he charged that his neighbor's leader could attempt to provoke a war.

Chavez said he was forced to break off all relations because Colombian officials claim he has failed to move against leftist rebels who allegedly have taken shelter in Venezuelan territory.

Chavez acted moments after Colombian Ambassador Luis Alfonso Hoyos presented a meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington with photos, videos, witness testimony and maps of what he said were rebel camps inside Venezuela and challenged Venezuelan officials to let independent observers visit them.

Neither Chavez nor his OAS ambassador directly responded to the Colombian challenge to let people visit the alleged site of the camps.

In Washington, Hoyos said that roughly 1,500 rebels are hiding out in Venezuela and he showed fellow diplomats numerous aerial photographs of what he identified as rebel camps on Venezuelan territory.

Hoyos said that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's government has repeatedly asked for Venezuela's cooperation to prevent guerrillas from slipping over the 1,400-mile (2,300-kilometer) border that separates the two countries. He insisted that several rebel leaders are hiding out in Venezuela.

"We have the right to demand that Venezuela doesn't hide those wanted by Colombia," Hoyos said, urging the OAS to investigate Colombia's claims.

OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza told reporters after the four-hour session that his organization couldn't mount an inspection mission without Venezuela's consent.

On another front, Colombia announced it would file a complaint with the International Criminal Court against members of Venzuela's government alleging collaboration with Colombian guerrilla groups and providing refuge to terrorists.

The charges would fall under war crimes and crimes against humanity, Chief Prosecutor Guillermo Mendoza told reporters after a meeting with Uribe and Cabinet members.

These are crimes, he said, "committed by armed groups that have attacked our citizens, carried out kidnappings, attacked our armed forces and, according to our hypothesis, have taken refuge in Venezuela."

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro announced that Chavez's government had closed its embassy in Bogota and demanded that Colombia's ambassador in Caracas leave the country within 72 hours.

Maduro said Colombia had forced Venezuela's hand, accusing Uribe of blatantly lying about the rebel presence in Venezuela.

Uribe "has put political and economic relations into a hole," Maduro said.

Venezuela is considering other possible measures to protest "Colombia's aggressions against our country," Maduro told state television without elaborating. He hinted the military might take steps to guarantee the sovereignty of Venezuela's airspace.

Chavez's envoy to the OAS, Roy Chaderton, said the photographs that Hoyos showed diplomats didn't provide any solid evidence of a guerrilla presence in Venezuela.

Chavez suggested the photographs could be bogus, saying Uribe "is capable of anything."

The Venezuelan leader, a former paratrooper, contended Uribe could seek to spur an armed conflict with Venezuela before he leaves office next month.

"Uribe is even capable of setting up a fake camp in one of the jungles on the Venezuelan side to attack it, bomb it and bring about a war between Colombia and Venezuela," Chavez said.

The socialist leader has argued in the past that U.S. officials are using Colombia as part of a broader plan to portray him as a supporter of terrorist groups to provide justification for U.S. military intervention in Venezuela.

Chavez, who appeared alongside Argentine football star Diego Maradona, said the United States is using Colombia to undermine Venezuela's efforts toward regional integration. He said he has doubts that Colombia's president-elect, Juan Manuel Santos, will stray from Uribe's U.S.-backed military policies.

"Hopefully he'll understand that leftist and right-wing governments can live together," Chavez said of Santos.

During a visit to Mexico, Santos declined to comment on Venezuela's action, saying he felt it was best for the current government of Uribe to handle the situation.

Laura Gil, a political analyst and columnist for the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, said she didn't expect the conflict to last very long because Chavez appeared to direct his comments at Uribe while raising the possibility that relations could be restored under Santos.

"Santos will have the opportunity to think about dialogue," she said.

Gil suggested Santos may be able to repair damage and "reach some type of Venezuelan cooperation" if he respectfully expresses Colombia's guerrilla-related concerns in private rather than making them public.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hopes Venezuela and Colombia will work out their difference through dialogue, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said in New York.

"He calls for restraint by all involved so that the situation can be resolved in a peaceful manner," Nesirky said in a statement.

Chavez insisted Venezuela is doing everything possible to prevent members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the smaller National Liberation Army from crossing into Venezuelan territory.

"We pursue them," he said.

Venezuela's opposition echoed Colombia's accusations.

"We have a government that shelters and protects Colombian guerrillas," said Luis Carlos Solorzano of the Copei opposition party.

Solorzano said rebels have taken shelter in various states, leaving behind their camouflage fatigues and hiding out in sparsely populated rural areas where the military and other state security forces don't bother them.

Another opposition politician, Julio Borges, accused Chavez of trying to turn the public's attention away from Venezuela's problems, including soaring inflation, rampant crime and a scandal involving the decomposition of more than 22,000 tons (20,000 metric tons) of food at a state-run seaport.

"It's another attempt by the government to try to redirect attention" as Venezuelans head into legislative elections in September, Borges said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/22/AR2010072203653.html
The humorous bit is that Colombia's accusations are probably true.
 
Last edited:

brydie76

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http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/arab-man-who-posed-as-jew-to-seduce-woman-convicted-of-rape-1.302895

Is this, or is this not fucked up?

"In the verdict, deputy president of the Jerusalem district court Tzvi Segal, along with fellow judges Moshe Drori and Yoram Noam, wrote that although this wasn't "a classical rape by force," and the sex was consensual, the consent itself was obtained through deception and under false pretenses."

Agreed. So, if a man says he's rich, and he isn't, is that RAPE?

I don't know, seems very silly..
I think when it is something (i.e. a value) you hold so fundamentally close to yourself that having it abused by somebody else makes you severely physically/mentally worse off, it is sexual assault. But probably not rape. They've opened up a bit of a dangerous loophole there.
 

DanRoM

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In that logic, everyone who tries to appear in a better light in order to get laid is a rapist. That would probably make about 100% of sexually active humans (including women) rapists. In fact, most consensual sex (at least in the early stages of a relationship) would be mutual rape...
 

nomix

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Yeah. And while I think the biggest issue here is that an innocent man just got assraped by the courts, the presedent set here is so moronicly stupid I can't even begin...
 
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