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Quite a powerful video. Well worth your time and worth sharing.
The West’s policies and actions in the Middle East have set the stage for tragedy. The destruction and destabilization of states and the creation of a new Cold War flash-point in Syrian (and one upcoming in the Ukraine) are spreading chaos in the world. The mass murder in Nice, France is an example, par excellence, of what Chalmers Johnson describes as Blowback. What is ‘Blowback’?
Blowback – is a term invented by the CIA, refers to the unintended consequences of American policies that are predicated on projecting its military power to every corner of the earth and using American capital and markets to force global economic integration on its own terms.
So this is what happened in Nice [from cbc.ca]:
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for the truck attack on the French city of Nice on Saturday as French police arrested three people there in connection with the carnage that claimed the lives of at least 84 people.
“The person who carried out the operation in Nice, France, to run down people was one of the soldiers of Islamic State,” the news agency Amaq, which supports ISIS, said via its Telegram account.
“He carried out the operation in response to calls to target nationals of states that are part of the coalition fighting Islamic State,” the statement said.
We in North America tend to think (unless you happen to not to be white) of terrorism and war as something that happens ‘over there’. We sit with a manufactured placidity behind our oceans and vicariously experience the horror visited on people in foreign lands and, if moved enough, make a post about it on some social media platform (irony noted). What is difficult for North Americans is the teasing out the questions of “How, if at all(?), does this relate to us?”, while wading though the media slideshow of human misery and death. Our media is failing us by not providing context to the images we see, so we don’t know how to respond.
Blowback is coming. Through the direct result of our use of military and economic power we are fracturing countries and immiserating their people for our Geo-poltical gain. The people of North America are subject to a severe disconnect between the foreign policy goals stated at home and what those goals look like when actualized in reality. I am fairly confident that most of the policy initiatives that involve displacing people and murdering them wouldn’t get much popular support.
However, call it (murder et cetera) bringing “stability’ to a region, it sounds palatable to the citizenry, and thus their consent is ensured. How many lives hang in the balance or have been sacrificed because of word/not-words like ‘precision bombing’ and ‘democracy promotion’? Our use of opaque sanitized language cuts people off from the empathy we all possess and allows for the most pernicious of behaviours.
We in the West feel connected only when the chickens of violence come home to roost and vengeance is delivered to our innocent populations. The sympathetic news coverage begins immediately, more so if the victims happen to be Caucasian (because #whitelivesmattermore), and we can connect with the sorrow and horror being visited on the people in question.
Did believe in Islam play a role in the mass-murder in Nice. Almost certainly. Even traumatized desperate people need persuading to enable them to commit murderous acts. The ISIS brand of Islam is tailor made to undermine empathetic thoughts and feelings, to numb the fundamental kindness we feel toward each other (this applies to almost all organized religions, of course) and make atrocities such as what happened in Nice possible.
Fervent belief in ideology – religious or otherwise – helps make disastrous events possible, because as soon as we can start people as the ‘enemy’ and the ‘other’ it becomes so much easier to destroy their lives.
So, did Allah take the wheel and instigate vehicular homicide on a grand scale? Probably not, but he certainly put gas in the tank and keys in hand.
Some beliefs are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them. – Sam Harris.
This is a dangerous quote from Mr.Harris because it muddles the line between action and intent. How can there be any sort of dialogue when one faction can be singled out for death for nothing that they have done, but their beliefs.
Consider how easy it would be for opponents of US policy to follow this same doctrine – would they too be taking ethical action?
Harris, in this context, is not adding clarity to the complex problem of the interaction of secular and religious ideals.
The title of this video is “what if you’re wrong” and yes atheist friends DM2525 does touch on that venerated old chestnut of Pascal’s Wager, but like M. Night – Can’tmakeagoodmovietosafehislife- with a twist – there are questions and consequences that the deluded must face.
If your god happens to be the right one, how is it merciful to condemn some 5 million other people to hell? How do you know your god is the “right” one, given the sectarian nature of the christian and muslim faiths you might be on the right team, but sitting in the wrong seats; so off to hell you go.
Did you ever get the feeling that religious people don’t stop to question their faith? Because a serious examination of the just the numbers presented here would indicate a pretty good chance of being FUBAR’ed right from get go. Even contemplating stuff like this makes the faithful bust out their jesus approved cotton balls ready to jammed down auditory canals served up with a side of “LALLLALALALA I CANT HEAR YOU!!!!”. But then again, reality is a fraught with anxiety, existential and otherwise and who wants to be staring down the barrel of that gun 24/7 (other than us hell bound atheists, of course).
I have done a few ‘Hero of the Day’ posts and I have a few more on the way. The recipients have done great work spreading important information, rallying against injustice, educating us masses, and have been generally awesome. But today’s hero is special. On top of those usual achievements, she’s done it all while personally facing off against one of the leading threats to civilization as we know it. Oh, and she’s only 15.
The Taliban, with its “all powerful god”, is threatened by literate females. So much so, it will use brutal violence, murder, torture, and arson to enforce its view that girls should not be allowed in schools. What else would you expect from the “religion of peace”?
Malala Yousafzai, from the Swat district of Pakistan, however, does not agree. With aspirations of becoming a doctor or a politician, Malala is a strong advocate for gender equality, especially for equal access to education. Like many other girls in Swat, Malala has risked her life to attend classes against the wishes of the Taliban. At the same time, she was also doing something extraordinary. Malala, using a pseudonym, started blogging for the BBC, reporting to the world what it was like to be an ordinary child under the Taliban as it destroyed schools and forbade girls from attending the ones they hadn’t destroyed yet.
Adam B. Ellick from the New York Times made a documentary called Class Dismissed profiling Malala, her activism, and the difficulties and dangers for girls wanting to go to school.
Since the documentary, Malala’s has kept on advocating for girl’s education, growing in influence and visibility. This earned her and her father numerous death threats from the Taliban. Undeterred, Malala kept working for equal education opportunities.
On October 9th, 2012, the Taliban tried to make good on its threats. To preserve the glory of Islam an Allah, Malala was shot in the head.
Tarek Fatah, from Toronto, started a petition on change.org to nominate Malala for a Nobel Peace Prize. The response has been tremendous. The Prime Minister and the leaders of all of our major parties have unanimously endorsed this petition. If you haven’t done so already, please sign as well.
In the west we’ve had huge media organizations cower and retreat when islamist extremists raised their hate filled voices. In Swat, a 15 year old girl stood directly against the guns, bombs, soldiers, and machetes wielded by the worst of brutal zealots, just outside her door.
This just in the from insano-delusional land (credit CBC.ca):
“Many Muslims find it offensive to depict the Prophet Muhammad in any fashion, much less in an insulting way.
This week’s attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Egypt and Libya, the latter of which claimed the lives of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three others on Tuesday, erupted after a 14-minute trailer of an obscure movie by a California real-estate developer. The film was posted on YouTube in English and later in Egyptian Arabic.
Ultraconservative Islamists were suspected of being behind the attack in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. Advocating a strict interpretation of Islam, they have bulldozed Sufi shrines and mosques that house tombs in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and other cities, including ancient sites dating back to 5,000 years ago.”
So, like the danish cartoons, the publishing of this film somehow gives people the right to flip out the buttered insane fuck-crumpets and burn shit up and kill people? This is part of the trailer that has incensed the reality challenged.
Wow. This film ranks below Poolboy:Drowning out the Fury on my list of awful movies.
So, full marks for beating out PoolBoy, but not really a honour one should be striving toward. Let’s recap so far, some dude makes a crumby, ass-pustule of a flick and because it makes fun of your godhead of choice *you* get to kill people.
“The movie trailer depicts Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman in an overtly ridiculing way, showing him having sex and calling for massacres. An amateur cast performs a wooden dialogue of insults disguised as revelations about Muhammad, whose obedient followers are presented as a cadre of goons. The film was being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the United States, and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors according to Sam Bacile, who wrote and directed it.”
Yep. I can totally see how shedding innocent blood is called for in cases like this. Chris Stevens and three others were destined to give their lives to fanatics hepped up on righteous god-juice over a D-list movie.
Let me reiterate, religion is harmful to people and society if it is not kept in check by a strong secular state the kind of irrational bullshite that our muslim friends demonstrated in Libya happens. Believing in magic and mythology for the nth time, has no place in the modern world. We commit plenty of atrocities without the help of those who lose their shit when you depict their ooga-booga of choice.
Indeed, religion does poison everything it touches and creates the nightmare world which we striving to leave behind us.
The Disservice takes a dim view of most religions with a few notable exceptions (sock-gnome worship is encouraged). Islam takes centre stage many Sundays for no other reason that it promotes ugly, horrible things. Today’s little gem is the proper way to beat your wife and stay on the down-low with allah all at the same time.
Apparently, as long as you are not beating her about the face or breaking bones, its a WIN all the way around. Folks, I realize this theme may be getting old, but the sad fact is that unless we continue to bring the injustices to light, keep the evil firmly in the spotlight, it won’t go away.
We are working toward equality and freedom for women in the West, despite the cancerous religious dogma that conspires against them (thank you religious-right wingnuts).