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Zuiko
14th November 2015, 04:51 PM
The shocking events in Paris have left us reeling and it will take many days to realise the true enormity of what has happened. However, as I struggle to take stock of these appalling atrocities I do feel even closer to Europe, with a stronger empathy for the citizens of the countries that share our continent. Countries with whom we have not only been at peace for the last 70 years, in contrast to the many previous centuries of war, but with whom we have grown ever stronger bonds of friendship and cooperation. An attack on France or any of our neighbours is an attack on us. This really is a situation where we are all in it together and it’s a sobering reminder that next time it could be London or elsewhere in the UK.

So what should our response be? We can certainly step up air strikes against IS in Iraq and Syria; we could also put boots on the ground. However, experiences in Afghanistan teach us that this is neither an easy nor an effective way to combat terrorism, principally because we are fighting an ideology and a concept rather than a tangible enemy.

We can also modify our behaviour in our everyday lives. We can take sensible extra precautions, such as avoiding busy pubs and restaurants, not attending concerts or sporting events, and limiting the use of public transport to only essential journeys.

We can also isolate the Muslim community and place them under greater scrutiny. We can grant new powers to our security agencies to arrest and detain indefinitely people of whom they are suspicious but don’t have any proof, certainly not enough proof to satisfy a court of law, rather like the USA has done at Guantanamo Bay.

IS and other terrorist organisations would be hugely encouraged if they managed to provoke any or all of these reactions. They would welcome armed combat with our forces, the opportunity for Jihad against Western infidels and the chance of martyrdom (or at least martyrdom for the lower ranks that have been indoctrinated to the cause). They would love to paralyse us with fear to the extent that we fundamentally change the way we live our everyday lives. They would regard it as their greatest triumph if they succeeded in driving a wedge between our ethnic groups and caused conflict within our multicultural society. They would derive great satisfaction from panicking us into betraying our heritage of tolerance, fairness and justice, with the right of a fair trial for everyone. They want a response; they want to force us to change.

The best response, but probably the hardest, is to do nothing that we would not normally do. Hunt the perpetrators as we would with any major criminal investigation, of course, with the objective of bringing them to trial for their crimes. Also step up preventative security and intelligence gathering, which is what our security services do rather well behind the scenes anyway. There are bound to be occasions when they are thwarted by the terrorists but that, unfortunately, seems to be the price we have to pay to maintain our freedom, our culture and our way of life. Returning to normal as soon as possible after a major incident and sending a clear message to the terrorists that we will not be broken is probably the best way to ultimately defeat them.

Most important, when horrific acts like this happen we must do the very best that we can for the victims and their families, providing every resource necessary for recovery, coping with grief and coming to terms with such a devastating situation.

Above all, we must stand resolute with our European friends against this evil and I am sure you will all want to join me in expressing our heartfelt sympathy for all those affected by this latest atrocity.

Otto
14th November 2015, 04:57 PM
Hear hear.

Naughty Nigel
14th November 2015, 05:18 PM
Hear hear John.

Once again ordinary Asians of all creeds will suffer the backlash from these events, and I suppose, will feel even more marginalised as a result, and may even be at greater risk of radicalisation.

These appalling incidents raise so many questions. Did we (Europe and the 'West') bring this on ourselves by meddling in the Middle East? Why do these people hate us so much? And if they don't like it here why come in the first place?

JonSchick
14th November 2015, 06:17 PM
Hear hear John - I can't imagine what it must have been like to wake up in Paris this morning, or to not know if a family member or someone you know might have been caught up in these awful events. I also worry about the likely backlash against refugees escaping from atrocities in the region, who I suspect are now going to find it increasingly hard to be accepted in the EU because fearful people won't want to trust them.

Phill D
14th November 2015, 06:18 PM
Very well put John.

Zuiko
14th November 2015, 06:36 PM
Hear hear John.

Once again ordinary Asians of all creeds will suffer the backlash from these events, and I suppose, will feel even more marginalised as a result, and may even be at greater risk of radicalisation.

These appalling incidents raise so many questions. Did we (Europe and the 'West') bring this on ourselves by meddling in the Middle East? Why do these people hate us so much? And if they don't like it here why come in the first place?

I very much share your concerns about ordinary Asians becoming marginalised and the knock-on effects that might have. We might be a multicultural society but how integrated are we? I must admit I don't know any Asians (or people from other ethnic groups for that matter) and I think that is rather sad. I wonder how many members of this forum are not white middle-aged men? There are a few white middle-aged women, but how many others break the mould in terms of age or ethnicity? How can we achieve a more balanced, truly integrated society? that's a huge question for another time, maybe.

I don't think we should blame ourselves too much for the existence of IS, it's a brand of religious extremism that needs no encouragement and poses just as great a threat to Arab nations as it does to Western nations. What we have done through our meddling is create a situation in Iraq in particular, where a power vacuum has made it possible for IS to rise to prominence far quicker than it would have done, if at all, if we had not intervened. It seems that we might have been misled into a war on very flimsy and unconvincing evidence of the possible existence of weapons of mass destruction that may have posed a legitimate threat to our security. It will be interesting to see what Chilcot eventually has to say (if I live that long:rolleyes:) before forming an opinion about whether or not Tony Blair may have acted illegally.

The really worrying thing is that many terrorists, or potential terrorists, appear to be "home grown," coming from ordinary, respectable families that have lived in Britain for generations. The burning question is why are they so vulnerable to radicalisation and how can we prevent it?

Zuiko
14th November 2015, 06:49 PM
Hear hear John - I can't imagine what it must have been like to wake up in Paris this morning, or to not know if a family member or someone you know might have been caught up in these awful events. I also worry about the likely backlash against refugees escaping from atrocities in the region, who I suspect are now going to find it increasingly hard to be accepted in the EU because fearful people won't want to trust them.

I share your concern about a possible backlash against Syrian refugees. The irony is that it is the terror caused by IS and Assad in equal measure that is driving them from their homeland and they are the least likely of people to abuse our generosity.

Graham_of_Rainham
14th November 2015, 06:54 PM
As if things are not bad enough, France now has 10 dead in a TGV crash.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34822666

Zuiko
14th November 2015, 06:59 PM
As if things are not bad enough, France now has 10 dead in a TGV crash.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34822666

Oh no, as if the French haven't got enough grief to cope with at the moment. Coincidence can be very cruel indeed. :(

Zuiko
14th November 2015, 07:10 PM
To include a photography perspective in this thread, I wonder if any mobile phone pictures or video will emerge that might contain images of the perpetrators or any other clues that might be of help to the police?

Jim Ford
14th November 2015, 08:38 PM
I very much share your concerns about ordinary Asians becoming marginalised and the knock-on effects that might have.

It's not Asians - it's Muslims! (I worry that non muslim Asians will be tarred with the terrorist brush and suffer abuse and discrimination.)

At the deepest level, Islam is inherently incompatible with our society. A recent survey of muslims in the UK agreed with this.

'Moderate' muslims (though there is no such thing*) will state that 'Islam is the religion of peace' leaving out the qualification 'for those that submit to the will of Allah'.

*Unlike most other religions, The Koran is not written merely by wise men. It is the word of God/Allah as revealed to Muhammad. The Koran cannot be interpreted and remain as the Koran. If you're reading an english translation, you're not reading the Koran. It has to be read in arabic and because Allah isn't vague and inexact, the Koran has to be obeyed to the letter and without question. Unless you do this, you are not a muslim. If the Koran states that you should strike the heads off of your enemies, then you just do that without question. There are no 'fundamental muslims" - all muslims are fundamental, otherwise they're not muslims!

Jim (an atheist)

peak4
14th November 2015, 08:43 PM
I
I don't think we should blame ourselves too much for the existence of IS, it's a brand of religious extremism that needs no encouragement and poses just as great a threat to Arab nations as it does to Western nations. What we have done through our meddling is create a situation in Iraq in particular, where a power vacuum has made it possible for IS to rise to prominence far quicker than it would have done, if at all, if we had not intervened. I

I'm pretty much in agreement with you John, particularly in view of the atrocities in Beirut, which seems to have been rather overshadowed (in the western media at least) by the killings in Paris.
Over 40 people were killed there too, primarily Shia Muslims, by IS Sunni bombers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-34805466

Zuiko
14th November 2015, 09:49 PM
I'm pretty much in agreement with you John, particularly in view of the atrocities in Beirut, which seems to have been rather overshadowed (in the western media at least) by the killings in Paris.
Over 40 people were killed there too, primarily Shia Muslims, by IS Sunni bombers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-34805466

Exactly, Bill. It is understandable that Paris should overshadow Beirut in our media reportage but it is still a devastating atrocity with an appalling loss of innocent lives.

Zuiko
14th November 2015, 10:02 PM
It's not Asians - it's Muslims! (I worry that non muslim Asians will be tarred with the terrorist brush and suffer abuse and discrimination.)

At the deepest level, Islam is inherently incompatible with our society. A recent survey of muslims in the UK agreed with this.

'Moderate' muslims (though there is no such thing*) will state that 'Islam is the religion of peace' leaving out the qualification 'for those that submit to the will of Allah'.

*Unlike most other religions, The Koran is not written merely by wise men. It is the word of God/Allah as revealed to Muhammad. The Koran cannot be interpreted and remain as the Koran. If you're reading an english translation, you're not reading the Koran. It has to be read in arabic and because Allah isn't vague and inexact, the Koran has to be obeyed to the letter and without question. Unless you do this, you are not a muslim. If the Koran states that you should strike the heads off of your enemies, then you just do that without question. There are no 'fundamental muslims" - all muslims are fundamental, otherwise they're not muslims!

Jim (an atheist)

You may have a point, Jim, but the fact is that millions of Muslims worldwide manage to reconcile their religion with a peaceful existence and tolerance of other faiths. Like you I am an atheist but I try hard to respect the beliefs of those who have them. Nevertheless, I often wish the whole world was atheist; it would be one less thing to fight over and one less excuse for atrocities committed in the name of this or that. If we all believed that this was the only life, maybe we would have more respect for it and work together to make it better than it is for many people. That said, people should be free to believe what they want, unless it is extreme enough to cause harm to other people at which point it becomes totally unacceptable.

Graham_of_Rainham
14th November 2015, 10:24 PM
If we all believed that this was the only life, maybe we would have more respect for it and work together to make it better than it is for many people.

Your words echo my thoughts too.

There have been many things that have shaped my beliefs, and this is one:

Imagine - John Lennon (Lyrics) - YouTube

Naughty Nigel
14th November 2015, 10:26 PM
It's not Asians - it's Muslims! (I worry that non muslim Asians will be tarred with the terrorist brush and suffer abuse and discrimination.)

That is exactly what I was trying to say Jim, but wanted to avoid using the 'M' word as it seems too dangerous to utter these days. :(


I very much share your concerns about ordinary Asians becoming marginalised and the knock-on effects that might have. We might be a multicultural society but how integrated are we? I must admit I don't know any Asians (or people from other ethnic groups for that matter) and I think that is rather sad. I wonder how many members of this forum are not white middle-aged men?

I believe the majority of Moslems in the UK are very well integrated into our society, learning, living and working alongside everyone else who lives here, 'British' or not; although taking Jim's argument, I suspect many of these people would not be regarded as 'true Moslems' by those who take the word of the Quran literally.

Where I believe there is a problem is those areas where the Moslem community has taken over large areas of some old mill towns 'up north', where Sharia Law is practiced in full sight of the authorities, who seem terrified of intervening in case they spark trouble, or simply have the 'race card' pulled on them.

I don't think it helps that the PC brigade in this country fall over themselves to apologise for traditional Christian and British traditions; so for example many town halls now insist on "Happy Holiday" greetings rather than Merry Christmas, etc. just in case it causes offence to somebody. Not only should it not cause offence, but most migrants from other cultures want and expect Britons to carry on being British.

However, what I find so sad is that many of the people whose families come from foreign lands are 'just like us' in so many ways. Our daughter has several Moslem friends at sixth form college, and they all talk quite openly about things. However, our daughter posted a 'selfie' on Facebook with one of these friends a week or two ago, and to look at them they could easily be twin sisters, they look so alike; which for me makes this dreadful tragedy even harder to understand.

Jim Ford
14th November 2015, 10:34 PM
You may have a point, Jim, but the fact is that millions of Muslims worldwide manage to reconcile their religion with a peaceful existence and tolerance of other faiths.

Intolerance is 'built in' to Islam. There is only one God - Allah is his name and Muhammad is his prophet. If you're not intolerant of other faiths, then you're not a muslim! You can't pick and chose the easy or nice bits from the Koran - it's all, without question, or nothing. I met a couple of Indonesians many years ago that stated that there were muslims, but they ate pork and drank alcohol. Thus, there weren't muslims because pork and alcohol are 'haram' - forbidden by Allah.

When an IS fighter beheads a hostage, he is not doing it because he is inherently 'brutal' or 'savage', he is doing it because it is 'the will of Allah' (though he may find the act distasteful, the will of Allah is of paramount importance on this Earth).

Jim

Zuiko
14th November 2015, 10:51 PM
Your words echo my thoughts too.

There have been many things that have shaped my beliefs, and this is one:

Imagine - John Lennon (Lyrics) - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_YXSHkAahE&feature=share)

Glad to see that I'm not the only one. This should be the only prayer we need.

How ironic that such a peaceful man should be so violently murdered.

Zuiko
14th November 2015, 11:14 PM
Intolerance is 'built in' to Islam. There is only one God - Allah is his name and Muhammad is his prophet. If you're not intolerant of other faiths, then you're not a muslim! You can't pick and chose the easy or nice bits from the Koran - it's all, without question, or nothing. I met a couple of Indonesians many years ago that stated that there were muslims, but they ate pork and drank alcohol. Thus, there weren't muslims because pork and alcohol are 'haram' - forbidden by Allah.

When an IS fighter beheads a hostage, he is not doing it because he is inherently 'brutal' or 'savage', he is doing it because it is 'the will of Allah' (though he may find the act distasteful, the will of Allah is of paramount importance on this Earth).

Jim

This may all be true but nevertheless most Muslims do manage to put a modern interpretation on their religion, just as the majority of Christians no longer believe in the literal content of the Old Testament. Despite what you say there clearly is a distinction between Muslims as evidenced by regular atrocities committed by extremists on fellow Muslims, the awful attack in Beirut being a prime example.

Zuiko
15th November 2015, 02:20 AM
I see that on the X Factor two of the contestants changed their song choices at the last minute, on account of the events in Paris. The songs were "Licence to Kill" and "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down.)"

I can see why they decided not to perform these songs but it is yet another small example of allowing terrorism to change our lives and dictate what we do. Obviously we wouldn't want to cause further distress to the victims or their families but I very much doubt any of these would be watching the X Factor and the rest of us need to stand firm against these evil factions. Don't give them the satisfaction of changing us, they deserve our contempt rather than any deference. I think the performance of these songs should have gone ahead.

Jim Ford
15th November 2015, 10:29 AM
This may all be true but nevertheless most Muslims do manage to put a modern interpretation on their religion, just as the majority of Christians no longer believe in the literal content of the Old Testament.

In no way can you compare the Old Testament to the Koran.

The Old Testament is merely a collection of folk tales and cultural wisdom. The Koran is the Word of God as revealed to Muhammad. It's very important to understand the distinction. As God is perfect he does not 'speak' in ambiguities, vagueness or inexactitudes - he states exactly what is required of a follower - there can be no "modern interpretation". It is what it is. If you accept that the Koran is immoderate in many respects, then it follows that that those that accept the will of Allah and abide by the book's instructions should be expected to behave in what we would consider immoderately (but not themselves - there can be no more perfect way to live than by accepting the will of Allah.).

I believe that many so-called 'moderate' muslims have woken up or are waking up to the fact that they have strayed from their religion, and either guided by their preachers or by self-realisation are going back to the 'true path'. This explains why 'nice quiet' kids can grow up and turn to become jihadis.

I also believe that things are going to get a lot worse. Mosques torched maybe even 'kristallnachts' and beatings in the streets.

Jim (A reminder - I'm an atheist!)

pdk42
15th November 2015, 11:47 AM
John - thanks for starting this thread and thanks to you and others for the "voices of reason" posts. I'm also a member of a car forum (Mainly to get access to DIY projects) and the difference between posts here and there is very stark. Many there are focused on wild right-wing "solutions" ranging from concerted invasion of Syria and Iraq by a consortium of Western powers, forced deportation of Muslims and even through to using nuclear weapons on Raqqah!

It depresses me that humans are so stupid. Violence begets violence and knee-jerk solutions of any sort will not fix the problem. As an atheist and strong supporter of Humanism, I too struggle with organised religion of any sort. It's a terrible cancer of the mind that causes only pain and suffering to humanity as a whole. If we could live our lives in the belief that this life is the only life we have and that everyone has a right to live it well with respect and dignity, we'd all be in a much better situation. If I could wave a wand, I'd eradicate religion overnight - but it's clear that belief is a part of being human and the only long-term solution is enlightenment and tolerance.

As to the intractable nature of Islam and the literal interpretation of the Koran, I sort of see where Jim's coming from - but Christianity has gone through similar phases (most of the Middle Ages in fact) where terrible acts were committed in religion's name - usually due to some literal interpretation of some sacred work. It's all a question of religious leadership and interpretation mixed with general education and prosperity levels in the populace.

There are no easy answers, but I totally agree with John - we need to keep our cool and keep our open society.

Ricoh
15th November 2015, 01:33 PM
If not religion it would be something else. Humans have great difficulty living side by side, in peace, at a local level, let alone on a global scale. Thinking ahead 100 years with the effects of global warming, there's a distinct possibility of conflicts over the ever decreasing basic needs of food and water. Religion could be a mere side issue.
In hind sight some may say it was a bit of a knee jerk reaction by the U.S., supported by the UK, to have invaded Afganistan and IRAQ. With a different administration at the time of 9/11, the outcome we're experiencing today could have been quite different.

Jim Ford
15th November 2015, 01:46 PM
As to the intractable nature of Islam and the literal interpretation of the Koran, I sort of see where Jim's coming from - but Christianity has gone through similar phases (most of the Middle Ages in fact) where terrible acts were committed in religion's name - usually due to some literal interpretation of some sacred work. It's all a question of religious leadership and interpretation mixed with general education and prosperity levels in the populace.


I keep saying - there's no interpretation of the Koran! It is purely as it states because it is the literal Word of Allah and has to be taken literally.

Because Christian texts are derived from simply the teachings of 'wise men', there is room for interpretation and questioning what they meant, which may result in conflict. The Koran is totally different to any other religious text I know of and is accepted without question by followers.

Jim (Still an atheist!)

pdk42
15th November 2015, 02:02 PM
I keep saying - there's no interpretation of the Koran! It is purely as it states because it is the literal Word of Allah and has to be taken literally.

Because Christian texts are derived from simply the teachings of 'wise men', there is room for interpretation and questioning what they meant, which may result in conflict. The Koran is totally different to any other religious text I know of and is accepted without question by followers.

Jim (Still an atheist!)

But Jim, the belief that the Koran is the literal word of God, is in itself an interpretation. You have to believe that Muhammad really was able to remember what God told him in the cave and then recite it word-perfect in a trance to someone else who transcribed it. Then of course the text itself is very poetic and requires interpretation. Us atheists of course will see it, and the Bible etc etc, as works of humans and their contents as being representative of the people and beliefs of the time.

jeremyc
15th November 2015, 02:54 PM
[QUOTE=Ricoh;366244]If not religion it would be something else./QUOTE]
Absolutely. Indeed, much of what's going on now isn't really about religion. Religion is a potent way of mobilising all sorts of discontent about racism, the power imbalances in the world, western exploitation of and intervention in the middle east (that's how they see it), historic injustice, the actions of Israel etc etc etc. Add to that the way some middle eastern states and their rulers can use religious differences (especially within Islam) to pursue their own national/economic/personal interest and you have an incredibly complex mass of antagonisms. "Extreme Islam versus the rest" is a very simplistic shorthand.

KeithL
15th November 2015, 03:53 PM
Interesting to read all your comments. One point though that hasn't been mentioned is that IS came out of not so much our bombing, but because we (and/or the Americans) were stupid enough to back one Islamic sect against another (Shia against Sunni). The fighting in Syria is another example: al-Assad is a member of the Alawite sect yet he (or his family) is ruling a largely Shia/Sunni country. IS is exclusively Sunni, and to them the Shia, and every one of the other 16 or 17 Islamic sects are heretics who should be exterminated.

To be honest, it is Northern Ireland again, on a much bigger and more dangerous scale.

Sure, we can go in and bomb the hell out IS, but it won't solve the basic issue: Islam is as riven by sectarian divisions as Christianity. And on top of the sectarian divisions, there are also tribal loyalties to consider. Did we or the French consider any of this when we drew up the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and imposed a "solution" on the Middle East in the wake of World War 1? No, we didn't, and we are now paying the price. We need to leave them all to sort it out themselves, by their own internal wars if necessary. And then accept the ultimate borders that they finally decide on. Only then is there any chance of anything like peace in the area.

If we can't bring ourselves to do this, then maybe we should collaborate with Putin, and let him unleash his thermobaric weapons. Desperate situations call for either desperate solutions, or else leave well alone.

For those who wish to offer their condolences to the people of Paris, you can send messages and add to a communal message from the 38 Degrees website.

Jim Ford
15th November 2015, 04:34 PM
But Jim, the belief that the Koran is the literal word of God, is in itself an interpretation. You have to believe that Muhammad really was able to remember what God told him in the cave and then recite it word-perfect in a trance to someone else who transcribed it.

Muhammad was perfect, which was why Allah chose him for the job!

Jim

Kiwi Paul
15th November 2015, 04:37 PM
I was curious to learn about ISIS and why they do what they do and what they actually want, I found this very enlightening article online, it's very long and goes into detail but as you read it it sort of unfolds, it's a very complex thing and there is no easy fix.
If you have the time and inclination I recommend you read it as it has mede me understand at least partly what the ISIS stand for and do what they do, it does make you realise how very difficult it will be to stop them doing what they do.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

Jim Ford
15th November 2015, 04:42 PM
Interesting to read all your comments. One point though that hasn't been mentioned is that IS came out of not so much our bombing, but because we (and/or the Americans) were stupid enough to back one Islamic sect against another (Shia against Sunni).

The seeds of fundamentalism have always been there.

I was a delegate to the Watford Council for Racial Equality in the 80's. The full time official was a Hindu. There was a meeting in a local hall and when the official arrived in his car he was bombarded with eggs and flour by young local muslims. I asked one what they wanted and the reply was "a theocracy" in the U.K..

Jim

Naughty Nigel
15th November 2015, 05:09 PM
Interesting to read all your comments. One point though that hasn't been mentioned is that IS came out of not so much our bombing, but because we (and/or the Americans) were stupid enough to back one Islamic sect against another (Shia against Sunni). The fighting in Syria is another example: al-Assad is a member of the Alawite sect yet he (or his family) is ruling a largely Shia/Sunni country. IS is exclusively Sunni, and to them the Shia, and every one of the other 16 or 17 Islamic sects are heretics who should be exterminated.

To be honest, it is Northern Ireland again, on a much bigger and more dangerous scale.

Sure, we can go in and bomb the hell out IS, but it won't solve the basic issue: Islam is as riven by sectarian divisions as Christianity. And on top of the sectarian divisions, there are also tribal loyalties to consider. Did we or the French consider any of this when we drew up the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and imposed a "solution" on the Middle East in the wake of World War 1? No, we didn't, and we are now paying the price. We need to leave them all to sort it out themselves, by their own internal wars if necessary. And then accept the ultimate borders that they finally decide on. Only then is there any chance of anything like peace in the area.

If we can't bring ourselves to do this, then maybe we should collaborate with Putin, and let him unleash his thermobaric weapons. Desperate situations call for either desperate solutions, or else leave well alone.

For those who wish to offer their condolences to the people of Paris, you can send messages and add to a communal message from the 38 Degrees website.


The 'West' is very keen to remove despots and other rulers that it doesn't like, and to impose Western democracy on populations they do not understand, and who are simply not ready for democratic rule.

We waded into Iraq and Libya and removed the leaders there, but without understanding that it was the iron rule of these despots who stopped the rival factions from killing each other. We are now reaping the consequences.

Given the chance we would do the same with Putin, which would put us in an even bigger mess.

It is time we and the Americans learned to keep our noses out of conflicts that we don't understand, and which don't really concern us anyway.


Because Christian texts are derived from simply the teachings of 'wise men', there is room for interpretation and questioning what they meant, which may result in conflict. The Koran is totally different to any other religious text I know of and is accepted without question by followers.

Jim (Still an atheist!)

It is interesting that in some Christian traditions (principally the Lutherans I believe), there is no sermon after the Gospel reading; instead organ music is played, which is where the many chorales originate from.

The logic is that human words are fallible and unclean whereas music is pure and incontrovertible.

peak4
15th November 2015, 05:24 PM
I was curious to learn about ISIS and why they do what they do and what they actually want, I found this very enlightening article online, it's very long and goes into detail but as you read it it sort of unfolds, it's a very complex thing and there is no easy fix.
If you have the time and inclination I recommend you read it as it has mede me understand at least partly what the ISIS stand for and do what they do, it does make you realise how very difficult it will be to stop them doing what they do.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

That's a link that I pass on from time to time as well. No criticism of you at all from me for posting it, but the only reason I refrained this time was that I could see the potential for the thread getting out of hand.
Fortunately it's remaining reasonable so far, particularly as John's contributing and it could get messy if he ends up having to moderate on his own thread.
For that reason alone, I'd ask future contributors to think carefully on how their replies could be taken before hitting the "submit reply" button.

Despite the atrocities in Paris and elsewhere, we should remember that many/most of the victims of ISIS are Muslims themselves; it's clear, to me at least, that there can be various interpretations of different passages within The Koran.
Surely that's the purpose of of Imams and Madrassas.

Just to add a link of my own to finish off these ramblings

Muslims Launch Powerful Social Media Campaign Against ISIS With #NotInMyName (http://mashable.com/2014/09/22/notinmyname-muslims-anti-isis-social-media-campaign/?utm_campaign=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=dlvr.it#3kleUqpTgiqL)

These folks seem to think they have an alternative interpretation.

jeremyc
15th November 2015, 06:18 PM
Above all, we must stand resolute with our European friends against this evil and I am sure you will all want to join me in expressing our heartfelt sympathy for all those affected by this latest atrocity.

Agreed with all your points except the last one (although of course I feel sympathy with the Paris victims). We should show that we stand resolute with all victims of IS and other terrorists, whatever their nationality, which ever continent they happen to be on. Limiting our sympathy to "our European friends" just antagonises young muslims in Europe who already feel disenfranchised and ignored - could just help push them towards the worst extremism. Note that at least some of the Paris attackers were French!

Grumpy Hec
15th November 2015, 07:42 PM
There are some excellent points put forward in this thread which show a level of understanding and tolerance that make this forum stand out.

I could easily write a massive post to add to this but you would all black out barely half way through.

What I will say, nailing my atheist colours firmly to the mast, is that this shows yet again how religious and/or ideological intolerance so often leads to mindless violence. In this case, no doubt, it's "gods will" which of course is just an abdication of personal responsibility and a way of avoiding those inner voices which may ask the question "why am I doing this".

We should all rise above the tendency to knee jerk violent reaction. The general tone of this thread has been admirable and we should continue in this way as a small example of how humans can behave if they cast aside blind faith in religion or an ideology at the expense of tolerance and the simple common sense rules of living in our increasingly crowded world.

I do despair at the world our children and grand children will be forced to live in as I see this type of polarisation only likely to get worse.

Hec

Zuiko
16th November 2015, 01:37 AM
Agreed with all your points except the last one (although of course I feel sympathy with the Paris victims). We should show that we stand resolute with all victims of IS and other terrorists, whatever their nationality, which ever continent they happen to be on. Limiting our sympathy to "our European friends" just antagonises young muslims in Europe who already feel disenfranchised and ignored - could just help push them towards the worst extremism. Note that at least some of the Paris attackers were French!

Thank you Jeremy, that's an excellent point. I was, of course, keen to express my support and sympathy for our French neighbours in the wake of this terrible event, but you are correct to point out that my comments could be construed as limiting my concern to Europe only. In fact, I do feel equally bad about the recent Beirut suicide bombings and the suspected bomb on board the plane that crashed in Egypt.

My heart also goes out to the people of parts of Iraq and Syria who are now under IS rule, which must be one of the worst possible scenarios. Appalling atrocities are being committed every day; there was a report on the news this evening about the discovery in Iraq of a mass grave of elderly Yazidi women slaughtered by IS because they refused to convert to Islam. Apparently the younger women were taken captive to be used as sex slaves. I am no expert but I am sure that Islam does not permit rape and, if some of the women are married, forcing them into adultery. This reinforces why I believe that IS are not following the Koran and they do not in any way represent the millions of peaceful Muslims.

Now the populations of these regions have the additional fear of increased air strikes by the West on suspected IS strongholds. The problem is that bombing is still largely indiscriminate, despite sophisticated technology designed to pinpoint targets with clinical accuracy. There will be "collateral damage" in the form of civilian casualties and I cannot think of a more effective way to radicalise a young boy than to kill his parents and siblings in a bombing accident.

Naughty Nigel
16th November 2015, 10:22 AM
What I will say, nailing my atheist colours firmly to the mast, is that this shows yet again how religious and/or ideological intolerance so often leads to mindless violence.

I do despair at the world our children and grand children will be forced to live in as I see this type of polarisation only likely to get worse.

Hec
May I also nail my own colours to the mast?

In my view the problem is not faith, but blind faith, which in the grand scheme of things only applies to a comparatively small number of people in most cultures.

There are many millions of people around the world who are devout in their faith, and many more who are perhaps not as devout but regularly attend acts of worship. These people don't see any need to attack those of different faiths or none. Equally there are many people with no faith whatsoever who feel the need to indulge in mindless acts of violence, vandalism and other criminality. So religion, per se, is not the problem.

Let us also remember that the laws of this country and most of the 'western' world are based upon the Ten Commandments, without which we would live in a violent, immoral, and disorganised society.

Indeed, I would argue that it is the lack of religious observance that is responsible for many of the problems in today's society, where '4 x 4 families' and immoral behaviour seem to be the accepted norm.

With regard to the recent atrocities in Paris, Beirut, Turkey and elsewhere, the real problem is that impressionable people are being brainwashed into committing unspeakable acts of violence on others in the name of their deity; which in today's world is just as unacceptable as child sacrifice, which was common practice in ancient Israel and other ancient cultures.

Jim's comments on the Quran are especially interesting, and bring a chilling perspective to this debate; but if we are to live at peace with one another there really is no choice but for the Imams and Moslem schools to now teach the Quran in its modern context, and not to use it as a reason for barbarism. The alternatives are unthinkable.

MargaretR
16th November 2015, 03:48 PM
Let us also remember that the laws of this country and most of the 'western' world are based upon the Ten Commandments, without which we would live in a violent, immoral, and disorganised society.

Indeed, I would argue that it is the lack of religious observance that is responsible for many of the problems in today's society, where '4 x 4 families' and immoral behaviour seem to be the accepted norm.



I get what you're saying, Nigel, but as another firm atheist, I don't believe that 'morality' is the sole preserve of the religious. I don't believe in a god, or subscribe to any church, but nonetheless, I like to believe I live a 'moral' life in the sense of knowing 'Right' from 'Wrong' and behaving accordingly, am a law-abiding citizen, and have compassion for those in need, etc. I don't need to be religious to do any of that.

That said, maybe a lot of people did use the guidance of a religion to understand all those things, and it is arguable that the increasing secularization of our own society in the last 30-40 years has led to a lesser understanding of 'acceptable' behaviours, and perhaps a return to more 'religious' (i.e. 'moral') values might not be a bad thing in some respects.

On the third hand, maybe I'm just getting old, and as we all know, things are never what they used to be in our rosier pasts!

Jim Ford
16th November 2015, 04:31 PM
Jim's comments on the Quran are especially interesting, and bring a chilling perspective to this debate; but if we are to live at peace with one another there really is no choice but for the Imams and Moslem schools to now teach the Quran in its modern context, and not to use it as a reason for barbarism. The alternatives are unthinkable.

There is no, nor can there be, a "modern context" in teaching the Quran. The context of the Quran is unchangeable and eternal - indeed it could be argued that it has always existed since the beginning of time, and maybe before. This of course leads to the oddity that the arabic language existed before the arabs and even before the Earth was created!

Jim (A lifelong atheist)

Naughty Nigel
16th November 2015, 04:34 PM
I get what you're saying, Nigel, but as another firm atheist, I don't believe that 'morality' is the sole preserve of the religious. I don't believe in a god, or subscribe to any church, but nonetheless, I like to believe I live a 'moral' life in the sense of knowing 'Right' from 'Wrong' and behaving accordingly, am a law-abiding citizen, and have compassion for those in need, etc. I don't need to be religious to do any of that.

That said, maybe a lot of people did use the guidance of a religion to understand all those things, and it is arguable that the increasing secularization of our own society in the last 30-40 years has led to a lesser understanding of 'acceptable' behaviours, and perhaps a return to more 'religious' (i.e. 'moral') values might not be a bad thing in some respects.

On the third hand, maybe I'm just getting old, and as we all know, things are never what they used to be in our rosier pasts!



Nostalgia is never as good as it used to be Margaret! :)

I daresay many people today believe they are too clever or too sophisticated for any form of religion, or just 'don't have time for that sort of thing'. You are right that morality is not the sole preserve of the religious; but equally there are many people who are searching for a meaning in their lives beyond work, money, possessions and retail therapy.

Most of us today are well aware of the laws of the land; especially those that apply to speeding, parking, drink driving, theft, fraud, deception and so forth. What we don't know or understand we can easily Google for as there are Wiki pages covering most legislation. However, it is easy to forget that until comparatively recently few people had access to such information, so the only way they learned right from wrong was from their parents, from schools (many of which were run by the church), from the pulpit on a Sunday morning, and maybe even from Sunday School.

In hindsight we might now question whether some clergy should have been preaching on matters such as law and morality, but the fact is that many children don't receive moral guidance from anyone these nowadays, and we can now see how much damage this has caused to our society.

Kiwi Paul
16th November 2015, 04:37 PM
There is no, nor can there be, a "modern context" in teaching the Quran. The context of the Quran is unchangeable and eternal - indeed it could be argued that it has always existed since the beginning of time, and maybe before. This of course leads to the oddity that the arabic language existed before the arabs and even before the Earth was created!

Jim (A lifelong atheist)

The article I posted a link to says exactly that, if fact the ISIS are possibly the only "true" Muslims in a sense according to the article as they are been true to the Quran and the Caliphate without compromise.
That's why it is so difficult to know how to deal with them as there is no compromise with them, they can't compromise by the premise of their beliefs.

Paul

KeithL
16th November 2015, 04:39 PM
Folks, you may find this enlightening, from a Turkish online newspaper, "Today's Zaman":

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/omer-taspinar/isils-strategy-is-to-lure-west-to-invade-syria_404347.html

It certainly shows clearly the folly of the West in how they are reacting to radical Islam.

KeithL
16th November 2015, 04:48 PM
Nostalgia is never as good as it used to be Margaret! :)

I daresay many people today believe they are too clever or too sophisticated for any form of religion, or just 'don't have time for that sort of thing'. You are right that morality is not the sole preserve of the religious; but equally there are many people who are searching for a meaning in their lives beyond work, money, possessions and retail therapy.

Most of us today are well aware of the laws of the land; especially those that apply to speeding, parking, drink driving, theft, fraud, deception and so forth. What we don't know or understand we can easily Google for as there are Wiki pages covering most legislation. However, it is easy to forget that until comparatively recently few people had access to such information, so the only way they learned right from wrong was from their parents, from schools (many of which were run by the church), from the pulpit on a Sunday morning, and maybe even from Sunday School.

In hindsight we might now question whether some clergy should have been preaching on matters such as law and morality, but the fact is that many children don't receive moral guidance from anyone these nowadays, and we can now see how much damage this has caused to our society.

I think there is an even more fundamental reason for th rise of religions - well, two reasons.
1. Fear of death, especially in an age when life was short and brutal.
2. A total lack of understanding of the world around oneself. Churches / religions professed to give people that understanding, so they appeared all-knowing and powerful. Today we know and understand differently, however, radical Islam probably a different basis anyway; a basis even more dependent on "Knowledge is Power", and that power is in a tribal sense, in an area where the average quality of life is quite low. It is significant that many of the people sucked into IS initially were from disaffected peasant stock; once the 'war' was underway, it became much easier to indoctrinate and suck in young impressionable people, educated or not.

So far as no 1 is concerned above, remember the Anglo Saxon monk who wrote: "Perhaps the greatest cruelty is the perception of the passing of time"? As true today as ever; and radical Islam offers a solution to the gullible - even though we believe/know that the solution is a false one.

Naughty Nigel
16th November 2015, 04:51 PM
There is no, nor can there be, a "modern context" in teaching the Quran. The context of the Quran is unchangeable and eternal - indeed it could be argued that it has always existed since the beginning of time, and maybe before. This of course leads to the oddity that the arabic language existed before the arabs and even before the Earth was created!

Jim (A lifelong atheist)

I understand what you are saying Jim.

But if the interpretation of the Quran really is unchangeable and eternal, and if it cannot be reinterpreted for the 21st century then surely the book and its followers will always be a danger to the Western world?

If this really is the case then surely the whole purpose of mosques, imams and Moslem schools should be questioned?

Equally though, the majority of Muslins in Europe would be regarded as 'infidels' by the faithful as they don't abide by the strict teachings of the Quran, and even allow women to go to school and to work, so where do they stand in all of this?

It is a fascinating subject all round.

KeithL
16th November 2015, 05:04 PM
I understand what you are saying Jim.

But if the interpretation of the Quran really is unchangeable and eternal, and if it cannot be reinterpreted for the 21st century then surely the book and its followers will always be a danger to the Western world?

If this really is the case then surely the whole purpose of mosques, imams and Moslem schools should be questioned?

Equally though, the majority of Muslins in Europe would be regarded as 'infidels' by the faithful as they don't abide by the strict teachings of the Quran, and even allow women to go to school and to work, so where do they stand in all of this?

It is a fascinating subject all round.

What Jim is saying surely is that there is NO interpretation of the Qran? But the Sunnis are regarded by the more fundamental Shia as the Sunni Heresy (pretty much like the Cathars 7 or 8 centuries ago.) Since IS are exclusively Sunni, where does that leave the rest of Islam? In fact, there must be interpretations of the Qran - interpretation is always the basis of schism, whether Islam or Christian.

It is a fact that - as said on the link that I posted earlier - IS wasn't interested in the West, until the West started attacking it. Unfortunately, though, IS showed the world maps of its "caliphate" which included Spain, so the West could hardly stand aside and let it happen. It's very hard to see where we go from here, but if we are honest, Corbyn's view that we must talk to terrorists at some point is a valid one - like it or not. No-one can bomb someone else into their way of thinking, nor can democracy be created by a rain of bombs.

Naughty Nigel
16th November 2015, 05:04 PM
1. Fear of death, especially in an age when life was short and brutal.


Yes indeed. In fact almost everyone lived by fear; fear of parents and elders, fear of the law, fear of diseases (which we did not understand and many thought were sent by God); fear of poverty and starvation if there was no work, and ultimately the fear of death.

Thankfully most of those fears have now gone, so all we have to fear now is those who have no fear of the above! :)

Jim Ford
16th November 2015, 05:07 PM
I understand what you are saying Jim.

But if the interpretation of the Quran really is unchangeable and eternal, and if it cannot be reinterpreted for the 21st century then surely the book and its followers will always be a danger to the Western world?

If this really is the case then surely the whole purpose of mosques, imams and Moslem schools should be questioned?

Equally though, the majority of Muslins in Europe would be regarded as 'infidels' by the faithful as they don't abide by the strict teachings of the Quran, and even allow women to go to school and to work, so where do they stand in all of this?

It is a fascinating subject all round.

Exactly!

I believe the growth of fundamental/authentic Islam poses a huge danger to the West. I also think that our politicians are playing it down to avoid the massive civil unrest that would result from exposing the real threat posed to our non-Islamic population. We have a 'viper in our bosom' and I see a very grim future!

Jim

Jim Ford
16th November 2015, 05:12 PM
What Jim is saying surely is that there is NO interpretation of the Qran? But the Sunnis are regarded by the more fundamental Shia as the Sunni Heresy (pretty much like the Cathars 7 or 8 centuries ago.) Since IS are exclusively Sunni, where does that leave the rest of Islam? In fact, there must be interpretations of the Qran - interpretation is always the basis of schism, whether Islam or Christian.

I understand that the conflict between the the Shia's and Sunnis is not over the Quran, but what line of succession from Muhammad is authentic.

Jim

KeithL
16th November 2015, 05:13 PM
Exactly!

I believe the growth of fundamental/authentic Islam poses a huge danger to the West. I also think that our politicians are playing it down to avoid the massive civil unrest that would result from exposing the real threat posed to our non-Islamic population. We have a 'viper in our bosom' and I see a very grim future!

Jim

It wouldn't have done, Jim, if we'd had the sense to leave them to sort themselves out, instead of thinking that we knew better.

BTW, when I said that you can't create democracy under a rain of bombs, it is hard to destroy it under a rain of bombs too, which IS should perhaps also realise.

Naughty Nigel
16th November 2015, 05:16 PM
Exactly!

I believe the growth of fundamental/authentic Islam poses a huge danger to the West. I also think that our politicians are playing it down to avoid the massive civil unrest that would result from exposing the real threat posed to our non-Islamic population. We have a 'viper in our bosom' and I see a very grim future!

Jim

Added to which, the birth rate amongst European Moslems is about three times that of our indigenous populations.

KeithL
16th November 2015, 07:22 PM
Added to which, the birth rate amongst European Moslems is about three times that of our indigenous populations.

It's interesting to read about migrants into Sweden in Wikipedia. Migrants make up 27% of Sweden's population. Sweden threw open its borders in the 1960s or 70s, because of its very low birth rate, and ageing population. Indeed, the high levels of migration have led to the swathe of crime novelists - fertile ground for them.

For instance, Malmo has the highest rape rate in Europe, and most are stated to be by recently arrived Muslim migrants - which of course immediately drives a wedge between the migrants and the indigenous population. Also makes it harder for them to get work - as if the language were not enough - and the result is a surprisingly high crime rate. Of course, there are many other migrants too: Russians, people from the Baltic states, Poland, Finland, Latin America, Africa, so on, and so on. You may have noticed that Sweden recently reinstated border controls in the face of the current mass migration. Also interesting is that in 2010, only 12% of migrants entering Sweden were classed as refugees - and Sweden has one of the highest per capita inward migration of refugees in Europe.

You might think this has no relevance - but it does for various reasons, not least regarding integration of Muslim migrants into European societies. One of the very worrying consequences is a big upsurge of the far Right in Sweden and violence against migrants. The big problem is that big influxes of migrants destabilises countries that they settle in.

The consequences that could arise from the Paris shootings are deeply worrying; the last thing that Europe needs is resurgence of the far Right and alienation of the migrant population (whoever they are). This is a time when much bigger and more effective efforts need to be made to improve the integration of migrants and especially Muslim migrants; it would also be wise of Muslim migrants to make greater efforts to integrate with their host countries. In this context, we know that many young Muslims feel sufficiently alienated already to be easy prey to the extremists' propaganda; what I feel that we do not know is WHY. What makes them feel so alienated, particularly when many are second or third generation of residents here, or in France, etc? Is it because they don't try to integrate? Do non-Muslims actively try to stop them integrating? or passively, perhaps? Yet, teenagers recruited by IS have been educated here (or France, etc), have often achieved the means to a good life in the host country - yet they still feel alienated enough to become radicalised. There must be a reason.

I think our leaders have been too ready to make pronouncements, and too unready to listen and learn, about what makes the Islamic world tick. It isn't too difficult for us to see the problem. What is difficult is firstly to understand why it is a problem, and secondly what to do about it. But we must do, if things are to improve.

Naughty Nigel
16th November 2015, 07:49 PM
.............it would also be wise of Muslim migrants to make greater efforts to integrate with their host countries.

It would indeed; but it would also help if the PC brigade didn't antagonise the indigenous population by banning 'Merry Christmas' greetings and suchlike.

If the incomers are really so offended by the celebration of Christmas (in all its retail glory) then perhaps they should choose another country to live in. I cannot imagine that many people are offended, but that doesn't stop local council officials from trying to score PC Brownie Points. :)

Zuiko
16th November 2015, 08:12 PM
I understand Jim's explanation of the Koran, that it must be taken word for word by Muslims and is not open to interpretation or modern update and I think I have learnt something.

However, the de facto situation is that the vast majority of Muslims worldwide do follow a peaceful path and have adopted a modern interpretation of their religion. I feel that I can safely state this despite very little knowledge of the religion by the fact that only a tiny proportion are supporting ISIS. Do we see millions of Muslims rising up in support of ISIS to destroy other faiths and other cultures? No, in fact quite the opposite. Condemnation of the latest atrocities have been unequivocal from the Muslim world and it is clear that they have just as much to fear about ISIS as we do. The fanatics may not like it, but Islam has evolved whether it was meant to or not.

Zuiko
16th November 2015, 08:37 PM
It would indeed; but it would also help if the PC brigade didn't antagonise the indigenous population by banning 'Merry Christmas' greetings and suchlike.

If the incomers are really so offended by the celebration of Christmas (in all its retail glory) then perhaps they should choose another country to live in. I cannot imagine that many people are offended, but that doesn't stop local council officials from trying to score PC Brownie Points. :)

This is a classic example of well-meaning but misguided people making assumptions about what ethnic groups want, without any knowledge of those groups or any effort to engage with them. It is more than likely that the very people they think they are trying to protect actually feel insulted that they are prejudged as wanting to suppress other cultures and spoil their festivals. A multicultural society is what it says on the tin, a society that embraces all cultures equally.

I will always celebrate Christmas (in my case because it is a British tradition rather than out of any religious significance) but I am happy, indeed eager, for Ramadan, Diwali and any other festival to be celebrated by those who wish to participate.

Naughty Nigel
16th November 2015, 08:48 PM
............... but I am happy, indeed eager, for Ramadan, Diwali and any other festival to be celebrated by those who wish to participate.

Celebrating such events would be a great opportunity to learn about other cultures, and the foods that go with them. :)

Zuiko
16th November 2015, 09:09 PM
Celebrating such events would be a great opportunity to learn about other cultures, and the foods that go with them. :)

I'm all for that! *chr

Zuiko
17th November 2015, 04:18 PM
Just spotted this reader's comment on MSN news:-

"The only way to take back our country is to vote in the EDF, However there is little chance of that. So next in line is the BNP. Hardly likely. As in both cases people will have to fight for their countries freedom. This leaves UKIP.Only when we get a party in power that is prepared to remove the law which say's you must treat everyone equal regardless of race creed and ethnicity, can the English start regaining control of England."

It fills me with horror and dread that anyone can even think like that. :(

It worries me even more that there are so many similar comments. :mad:

Jim Ford
17th November 2015, 04:30 PM
It fills me with horror and dread that anyone can even think like that. :(

It worries me even more that there are so many similar comments. :mad:

I agree - I can see the U.K. will lurch to the right.

I think we could be at a tipping point, and when (not if!) we get a similar attack in the U.K. there will be mosque burnings and kristallnach's!

Jim

Naughty Nigel
17th November 2015, 04:53 PM
Just spotted this reader's comment on MSN news:-

"The only way to take back our country is to vote in the EDF, However there is little chance of that. So next in line is the BNP. Hardly likely. As in both cases people will have to fight for their countries freedom. This leaves UKIP.Only when we get a party in power that is prepared to remove the law which say's you must treat everyone equal regardless of race creed and ethnicity, can the English start regaining control of England."

It fills me with horror and dread that anyone can even think like that. :(

It worries me even more that there are so many similar comments. :mad:

I think it depends where you live John, and what your experience of our 'diverse culture' is.

An elderly relative who lives in the east end of Newcastle is too terrified to leave her home because of migrants (mainly Lithuanians) who have been housed in the area by the local authority. There have been two murders in recent months; one in a house and a second on the platform of Wallsend Metro station.

Few of them work so they spend all day loitering in the streets and menacing the local population. The police seem reluctant to become involved.

I broadly agree with your views, but then it is easy for us to take a libertarian view from the safety of our leafy suburbs. However, some people suffer a life of hell owing to foreign migrants, and I think it is easy to see why they may have a rather less tolerant viewpoint than we do.

Jim Ford
17th November 2015, 05:07 PM
Few of them work so they spend all day loitering in the streets and menacing the local population. The police seem reluctant to become involved.

Police? Ah, yes - I remember them! Didn't they used to patrol our streets ensuring law and order was kept? I guess with knifings and shootings in our streets on a daily basis, they consider it too dangerous nowadays to step outside their stations or patrol cars!

Don't get me started on our police!

Jim (A policeman's son, as well as being an atheist!)

Zuiko
17th November 2015, 05:27 PM
I think it depends where you live John, and what your experience of our 'diverse culture' is.

An elderly relative who lives in the east end of Newcastle is too terrified to leave her home because of migrants (mainly Lithuanians) who have been housed in the area by the local authority. There have been two murders in recent months; one in a house and a second on the platform of Wallsend Metro station.

Few of them work so they spend all day loitering in the streets and menacing the local population. The police seem reluctant to become involved.

I broadly agree with your views, but then it is easy for us to take a libertarian view from the safety of our leafy suburbs. However, some people suffer a life of hell owing to foreign migrants, and I think it is easy to see why they may have a rather less tolerant viewpoint than we do.

I certainly don't condone criminal or anti-social behaviour by immigrants (we've had East Europeans steal from our boot sale stall) and they should be subject to the same laws as anyone else. I have no problem with deporting immigrant criminals once they have served any sentence, or immediately following conviction if they are just fined. However, the concept of removing rights from law abiding citizens and discriminating against them solely on grounds of race, creed or ethnicity fills me with dread.

Naughty Nigel
17th November 2015, 05:31 PM
Police? Ah, yes - I remember them! Didn't they used to patrol our streets ensuring law and order was kept? I guess with knifings and shootings in our streets on a daily basis, they consider it too dangerous nowadays to step outside their stations or patrol cars!

Don't get me started on our police!

Jim (A policeman's son, as well as being an atheist!)

It doesn't help that the lady concerned is a police widow, but I suppose that means nothing these days. :(

I can remember being terrified when a friend and I were caught riding our bikes over a footbridge - in clear contravention of a big wooden sign warning of a 40/- fine for cycling (by order of the Town Clerk)! :D

Worse still, the Copper threatened to tell our parents and our Head Teacher. It was the end of life as we knew it! :eek:

Whatever happened to fear of the law, parents and teachers? I guess that is what libertarianism has done for us? :(

Naughty Nigel
17th November 2015, 05:39 PM
................. However, the concept of removing rights from law abiding citizens and discriminating against them solely on grounds of race, creed or ethnicity fills me with dread.

I agree. Unfortunately some Eastern Europeans have something of a track record when it comes to criminality, and I guess this is what some people are afraid of.

The perception that these people are somehow 'untouchable' by the authorities, and that the police show little interest in pursuing them (except perhaps in patrol cars) doesn't make the situation any easier for those living in the areas concerned.

Naughty Nigel
17th November 2015, 07:09 PM
I see the York Evening Post has dropped a bollock too! :)



https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CT_4n4kXIAArHkB.jpg:large

Zuiko
17th November 2015, 11:21 PM
I see the York Evening Post has dropped a bollock too! :)



https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CT_4n4kXIAArHkB.jpg:large

That's a dreadful faux pas and I'm ashamed of myself for laughing.

Naughty Nigel
17th November 2015, 11:25 PM
That's a dreadful faux pas and I'm ashamed of myself for laughing.

Me too, but as we said earlier, we cannot let terrorists change the way we live, and a good sense of humour is sacrosanct as far as I am concerned. :D

Zuiko
18th November 2015, 01:11 AM
Me too, but as we said earlier, we cannot let terrorists change the way we live, and a good sense of humour is sacrosanct as far as I am concerned. :D

It's what we do best! :D

Naughty Nigel
18th November 2015, 01:33 PM
It's what we do best! :D

With a good dose of cynicism mixed in.

Perhaps now would be a good time to reflect on what an amazing job Tony Blair did as Middle East Peace Envoy. :(

Zuiko
18th November 2015, 04:34 PM
Perhaps now would be a good time to reflect on what an amazing job Tony Blair did as Middle East Peace Envoy. :(

Yes, we can do sarcasm too. :)

Jim Ford
18th November 2015, 06:37 PM
That Assad Ahmed on BBC News is a lad! I don't know where he gets them from - he's probably got a comedy scriptwriter!

He was reporting on increased police presence on our streets. Increased from what in our area - from zero to one? Hilarious!

Jim

Ivor
19th November 2015, 06:39 AM
What bothers me are the stupid, stupid narrow-minded bigots foolishly play into the hands of the terrorists. They apply their prejudices to an entire religion which is exactly what terrorists want. The more hate that is aimed an entire religion or culture the more those who control the terrorists can justify their cause to fight.

The terrorists are made stronger by a "them and us" attitude and stupid people are happy to deliver that gift to them.

When people spread hatred by posting a racist joke online, or making a demeaning comment about another faith or nationality and tarring them with the same brush, or when they support organisations like Britain First, remember it's the terrorists they are working for.

As for our country's reaction, Frankie Boyle came out with a beauty: "It's important for Britain to defend itself by bombing IS, in the same way you defend yourselves from a wasps nest by hitting it with a stick."

Zuiko
19th November 2015, 09:17 AM
What bothers me are the stupid, stupid narrow-minded bigots foolishly play into the hands of the terrorists. They apply their prejudices to an entire religion which is exactly what terrorists want. The more hate that is aimed an entire religion or culture the more those who control the terrorists can justify their cause to fight.

The terrorists are made stronger by a "them and us" attitude and stupid people are happy to deliver that gift to them.

When people spread hatred by posting a racist joke online, or making a demeaning comment about another faith or nationality and tarring them with the same brush, or when they support organisations like Britain First, remember it's the terrorists they are working for.

As for our country's reaction, Frankie Boyle came out with a beauty: "It's important for Britain to defend itself by bombing IS, in the same way you defend yourselves from a wasps nest by hitting it with a stick."

Very true Ivor. Sadly, I think there are a fair number of bigoted racists who use terrible events as an excuse for an outpouring of their venomous hatred
and, although they wouldn't recognise it, they actually have much in common with the terrorists in that they want violent conflict on our streets between different ethnic groups. It's up to the vast majority of tolerant, peaceful people on both sides to ensures that never happens.

Zuiko
20th November 2015, 07:04 PM
Today there has been a terrorist attack on a hotel in Mali, leaving at least 27 people dead. :mad:

It appears to have been perpetrated by Al Qaeda; I do hope this is not the start of deadly rivalry by the two terrorist organisations, each trying to upstage the other by causing terrible atrocities. :mad:

KeithL
20th November 2015, 07:19 PM
Today there has been a terrorist attack on a hotel in Mali, leaving at least 27 people dead. :mad:

It appears to have been perpetrated by Al Qaeda; I do hope this is not the start of deadly rivalry by the two terrorist organisations, each trying to upstage the other by causing terrible atrocities. :mad:

This is what Wikipedia says about al-Qaida: "Among the beliefs ascribed to al-Qaeda members is the conviction that a Christian–Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam.[36] As Salafist jihadists, they believe that the killing of non-combatants is religiously sanctioned, but they ignore any aspect of religious scripture which might be interpreted as forbidding the murder of non-combatants and internecine fighting.[1][37] Al-Qaeda also opposes what it regards as man-made laws, and wants to replace them with a strict form of sharia law.[38]

Al-Qaeda is also responsible for instigating sectarian violence among Muslims.[39] Al-Qaeda leaders regard liberal Muslims, Shias, Sufis and other sects as heretics and have attacked their mosques and gatherings.[40]Examples of sectarian attacks include the Yazidi community bombings, the Sadr City bombings, the Ashoura massacre and the April 2007 Baghdad bombings.[41]"

As the Turkish journalist commented in the link that I posted, IS want to get us and others to reach by sending ground troops into Syria, so that we hand them - and al-Qaida - a propaganda coup with many more Muslims. And Cameron wants to wade in, just as Blair did before him. H'mmm. Do as I say, not as I do, and stuff the consequences?

Zuiko
20th November 2015, 07:42 PM
This is what Wikipedia says about al-Qaida: "Among the beliefs ascribed to al-Qaeda members is the conviction that a Christian–Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam.[36] As Salafist jihadists, they believe that the killing of non-combatants is religiously sanctioned, but they ignore any aspect of religious scripture which might be interpreted as forbidding the murder of non-combatants and internecine fighting.[1][37] Al-Qaeda also opposes what it regards as man-made laws, and wants to replace them with a strict form of sharia law.[38]

Al-Qaeda is also responsible for instigating sectarian violence among Muslims.[39] Al-Qaeda leaders regard liberal Muslims, Shias, Sufis and other sects as heretics and have attacked their mosques and gatherings.[40]Examples of sectarian attacks include the Yazidi community bombings, the Sadr City bombings, the Ashoura massacre and the April 2007 Baghdad bombings.[41]"

As the Turkish journalist commented in the link that I posted, IS want to get us and others to reach by sending ground troops into Syria, so that we hand them - and al-Qaida - a propaganda coup with many more Muslims. And Cameron wants to wade in, just as Blair did before him. H'mmm. Do as I say, not as I do, and stuff the consequences?

Cameron certainly wants to start bombing ÍS positions in Syria, but I think we are a long way from sending ground troops. I don't think we should, given the obvious sensitivity of Infidels attacking Muslims, especially in Islamic countries. By now it is obvious that IS and al-Qaeda are just as much a threat to Islamic countries as they are to the West and I believe it is time for countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran to commit their own forces into combat.

Ulfric M Douglas
20th November 2015, 08:17 PM
... I believe it is time for countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran to commit their own forces into combat.
Iran is already fighting in Syria.
Saudi is fighting in Yemen.

Naughty Nigel
20th November 2015, 10:30 PM
As the Turkish journalist commented in the link that I posted, IS want to get us and others to reach by sending ground troops into Syria, so that we hand them - and al-Qaida - a propaganda coup with many more Muslims. And Cameron wants to wade in, just as Blair did before him. H'mmm. Do as I say, not as I do, and stuff the consequences?

So what should we do, (or not do)? :confused:

Do we ask Jeremy Corby to write a nice letter to the terrorists? Do we invite them round for tea and cakes?

My first instinct would be to leave well alone, as we can be sure it won't end well whatever we do, or however well intentioned our actions. But is doing nothing an option when there are millions of Syrians and others from the Middle East being displaced?

Being nice to terrorists doesn't work. ISIS, Al-Qaida et al have already proved their ability to bring bloodshed to streets of Europe, Russia and the USA wherever and whenever they want, and with frightening regularity. What next? Dirty bombs, biological or nuclear attacks?

Even if we handed them the keys to No 10 and accepted Sharia Law they wouldn't be happy until Britain was reduced to a pile of rubble like the hell-holes that we see on our television screens every day. Do we really want that?

Given that the Paris terrorists came to Europe via Greece as refugees I think it is understandable that many people will be concerned that thousands of refugees are heading to the UK, even though we are assured that they have been vetted before being flown here.

jdal
20th November 2015, 11:04 PM
I don't really want to get drawn too deeply into peoples opinions on this thread, but it seems to me that the strategic solution to this extreme middle eastern/N African terrorism will be political. Attacking Syria is likely to be as negative as was attacking Afghanistan and Iraq, political hubris which cost lives of civilians and western soldiers and achieved nothing whatsoever.

I haven't forgotten the 3331 people killed in the UK by terrorism in the last 30 years of the previous century, terrorism which spread to the continent and killed many more there. Can you imagine how much worse it may have been if we'd attacked Eire? How many more 'patriots' would have enrolled? That was finally ended by some smart and humble politics.

We need some smart politics now, some humility and a cessation of hypocritical middle eastern foreign policy. It's going to be long haul, meanwhile lets hope the security services can keep us safe.

Naughty Nigel
20th November 2015, 11:25 PM
I don't really have an opinion on what we should do (or not do) as I really don't know. As I said, it won't end well whatever we do.

I take your point about Eire and political settlements, but the IRA and the Loyalists had readily identifiable leaders who were prepared to sit around a table without suicide vests on where they agreed to a ceasefire. It was a long, slow process, and many people still believe the British government made too many concessions; but we did get the peace that everyone other than the terrorists wanted.

But what are the chances of reaching a Good Friday settlement in the Middle East?

Ricoh
21st November 2015, 12:08 AM
This could esculate. Are we heading towards WW3?

Zuiko
21st November 2015, 12:46 AM
This could esculate. Are we heading towards WW3?

I don't think so. Europe, the USA, Russia and most Islamic nations have condemned IS and seem to agree that something must be done about them. The important thing is to use diplomacy (with other countries, not IS) before escalating military action in Syria and Iraq to get a consensus over the scale and scope of that action. It will no doubt be a difficult and frustrating process requiring great patience and in the meantime we might have to be content with containing IS within the areas they already control and limiting their capabilities, rather than going all-out to destroy them. If any good could possibly come out of this desperate situation, in the long term it is likely to be progress towards agreement on a clear international policy to achieve a political solution in Syria. It is probably too optimistic to hope for an eventual solution that includes Israel, to the wider Middle East problem.

jdal
21st November 2015, 04:38 AM
...

But what are the chances of reaching a Good Friday settlement in the Middle East?
Well yes, I agree that this is a hugely more difficult situation, many countries under attack and totally impossible demands by the terrorists, with whom negotiation is impossible.

But I think it's a useful comparison for a couple of reasons. First, it makes it pretty obvious to see to see how a military attack on a persons homeland, killing innocent civilians, would act as a recruiting agent. Secondly it puts the actual dreadful events into perspective. As a country we have been here before and we didn't start sending every person with an Irish accent back to Eire and we didn't clamour for an attack on Eire.

It took 30 years to sort out The Troubles. I suspect it'll take longer to sort this out. Killing off ISIS isn't a solution, they'll just morph into something else just like Al Queda morphed into ISIS.

As Zuiko says it needs a wider solution involving the UN and with the support of the major Islamic states.

And it needs a resolution to the Israeli problem, which is the root cause of much of this.

Ivor
21st November 2015, 06:18 AM
What's not well remembered in the West is that we have a long history of interfering in the Middle East going back centuries. Britain and other western and Eastern states supported tyrannical regimes because of our own interests, whether those interests were strategic, religious or petrochemical.

I absolutely condemn ISIS and all their actions. I do wonder what we would do if the game were reversed.

Imagine living in a truly oppressive and chaotic state. When you were young your father had been taken in the night and never seen again. Your children were starving but died when your end of town was hit with an attack of mustard gas.

Not only does the rest of the world sit back and watch this happen, your president has modern weaponry sold to them by rich nations, weapons that are heavily subsidised by those foreign governments because they want your nation's oil.

200,000 civilian have been killed. Millions are fleeing their homes. The dead were your family and your friends. You are devastated.

Then, into town comes another force with charismatic leaders who are fighting against this injustice. You have heard about them because the word has been spreading about the significant battles they have won against your oppressors. They are uncompromising and daunting, but they are fighting for you and promise freedom from colonialism and a better life for those who follow them.

They tell you that they are the winning side. Their leaders are skilled in the use of language. They tell harrowing tales of the rich nations bombing their cities, killing their children. Their towns have been gassed by your president too, but this small army of freedom fighters are fighting back and winning. You think that they follow in the footsteps of Abdel Nasser.

You might tell yourself that if you were in that situation then you would not get drawn into supporting thugs like Isis, but it was not that long ago when the entirety of Germany was swept along by the charismatic Nazis promising a better life free from the shackles of oppression. Look at how many people in Britain support the BNP, Britain First and other extremist organisations of hate, sucked in by their propaganda. What would Britain be like if they were in power.

We vote for successive governments that support the oppressive regimes, that sell arms to despots. We know it happens and do nothing. We sit by and watch while our state kills children in other lands. We cry out when they hit back and call on our leaders to hit back even harder.

We believe the lies told by our mainstream politicians ("we won't cut tax credits.") so why would we not be taken in if we were experiencing the horrors of war. Look at the number of people who vote for our government despite the suffering they are causing. A million people visiting foodbanks! Our ruling elite burn £50 notes in the faces of the homeless and still we vote for them. They claim excessive expenses and work for their personal interests and still we put an X against their name. (Actually, most of us didn't, but that is down to our perverse electoral system that's skewed to maintaining the status quo.)

The gap between rich and the rest of society is widening and the poorest, disenfranchised people look for some way to fight back against the injustice being done to them. They relate to the oppressed people of Syria and follow their leaders.

Yes, what they do is wrong, horribly wrong. But, we have to take some responsibility for the situation that gave us ISIS.

paullus
21st November 2015, 08:39 AM
Police? Ah, yes - I remember them! Didn't they used to patrol our streets ensuring law and order was kept? I guess with knifings and shootings in our streets on a daily basis, they consider it too dangerous nowadays to step outside their stations or patrol cars!

Don't get me started on our police!

Jim (A policeman's son, as well as being an atheist!)

Really Jim what police stations, they're being sold off around here. Where there used to be bobbies patrolling it's done by PCSO's because there aren't any police officers. They're not hiding as you suggest. When the government and the newspaper's say crime figures are down this might be so. However there are now different demands on police as the service of last resort, anti-social behaviour, neighbour disputes, mental health, violent and sex offender management for example and all at a time when police officer numbers are lower now than they were thirty years ago.
I'm guessing your father would probably agree that policing used to be 10% knowledge of the law and 90% common sense. Now its run by clueless politicians and ambitious business managers who might once have been policemen and women, while the increasingly thinner blue line is desperately trying to keep a lid on things.
Don't get me started on how the police service has evolved under the successive governments of the past thirty years.
Paris was an atrocity carried out by savages who have struck again in Mali. Savages who have a perverse view of their religion and have no fear of death but in fact relish the prospect. Unfortunately there are untold numbers of such people living and hiding in plain sight in our country who hate us and our British way of life.
Further cuts to policing budgets are due soon and with our ever increasing diverse population I don't think ours is going to be a safer future by any means.


***Steve***

jdal
21st November 2015, 12:03 PM
This (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-in-a-borderless-world-the-days-when-we-could-fight-foreign-wars-and-be-safe-at-home-may-be-long-a6741146.html)is a good read on the background. Reaping what we sowed.

Naughty Nigel
23rd November 2015, 09:49 PM
This could esculate. Are we heading towards WW3?

Well if Donald Trump gets his own way by introducing religion specific ID cards in the USA, and "looking at mosques very carefully" then who knows. :(

If you thought George W was an idiot to trump all idiots you were wrong. Trump has just trumped himself! God help us all if he gets into power. :(


BBC News Link (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-34902694)

Zuiko
23rd November 2015, 10:17 PM
Well if Donald Trump gets his own way by introducing religion specific ID cards in the USA, and "looking at mosques very carefully" then who knows. :(

If you thought George W was an idiot to trump all idiots you were wrong. Trump has just trumped himself! God help us all if he gets into power. :(


BBC News Link (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-34902694)

Actually, it is the possibility of an irrational, trigger-happy, right-wing zealot one day becoming President of the USA that makes me pause when advocating nuclear disarmament for the UK. Just because America has been our friend for a long time doesn't guarantee they will always be our friend in the future and there are enough dangerous people with extreme views in US politics to make this a real concern.

Jim Ford
23rd November 2015, 10:17 PM
But suppose it comes down to Trump or the box of frogs Carson!

Jim

Naughty Nigel
23rd November 2015, 10:29 PM
Actually, it is the possibility of an irrational, trigger-happy, right-wing zealot one day becoming President of the USA that makes me pause when advocating nuclear disarmament for the UK. Just because America has been our friend for a long time doesn't guarantee they will always be our friend in the future and there are enough dangerous people with extreme views in US politics to make this a real concern.

The Americans have not always been the first to rush to our defence in times of need, especially when there is a conflict with American interests.

America likes to think of itself as the world's policeman, but it certainly doesn't make the world a safer place.

Edit. And now the Turks have shot down a Russian fighter jet, claiming it was violating Turkish airspace. The term 'playing with fire' comes to mind. :(