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جوري
10-17-2010, 03:55 PM
Europe's Identity Crisis Fuels Rising Anti-Muslim Sentiment




AOL News



LONDON (Oct. 16) -- Since the end of World War II Germany has prided itself on being a beacon of tolerance, removed from the petty hatreds that once tore Europe apart. But according to a national survey released this week, a new form of ugly xenophobia -- this time focused on Muslims, who make up around 5.5 percent of the population -- is gaining mass acceptance. More than 55 percent of those polled by researchers from the University of Leipzig declared that Arabs weren't pleasant people -- up from 44 percent in 2003 -- and 58 percent said the practice of Islam should be "considerably restricted."

Islamophobia isn't only on the rise in Germany. A powerful and populist strain of anti-Muslim sentiment is now taking hold across Europe -- boosting support for far-right groups, and putting mainstream politicians on the defensive.

Of course, parties with an anti-race bent aren't anything new in Europe. The anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant National Front has been a force in France for decades, and in 2000, Austria's Nazi-sympathizing Freedom Party temporarily became part of the coalition government. What is new is that the anti-outsider groups now attracting high-levels of support don't define their foes by skin color or geographic origin, but by religion.
Fred Dufour, AFP / Getty Images
Islamophobia is on the rise across Europe and far right wing groups are gaining more support for their anti-Muslim views.


The Sweden Democrats party -- which started out as a neo-Nazi movement -- last month entered parliament for the first time, winning 5.7 percent of the vote on the back of campaign ads that featured burqa-clad Muslim women knocking aside white Swedish pensioners and grabbing their state benefits. In the Netherlands, the anti-Islam Freedom Party of Geert Wilders -- who believes the "fascist" Koran should be banned, along with immigration from Muslim countries -- gained a record 24 seats in the June elections. And in Britain, thousands of hooligans from the English Defence League -- which claims to be against extremist Islam, and boasts that its membership includes Jews and Sikhs -- regularly stages marches in largely Muslim urban areas, shouting anti-Islamic slogans and intimidating local residents.

This stricter focus on Islam has helped these groups win over voters who don't consider themselves racist, but -- in the wake of 9/11 and the bomb attacks in London and Madrid -- are concerned about the perceived threat of radical Islam. "It's no longer politically acceptable to be openly racist," Jonathan Githens-Mazer, co-director of the European Muslim Research Centre at England's Exeter University, told AOL News. "But in secular Europe, it is politically acceptable to be anti-Muslim. For many far-right movements, this is a very convenient schtick that ensures they're no longer accused of being fascists, and allows them to turn their intolerant views into a more electorally palatable form."

By targeting Islam, these groups are also able to tap into wider worries over the slow demise of old national identities in the face of increasing multiculturalism and globalization. "Immigration from outside Europe, as well as internal migration from East to West, is changing societies right across the continent," says Chris Allen, a research fellow at England's University of Birmingham and author of the upcoming book "Islamophobia." "That means it's increasingly difficult for British people, for example, to define themselves around skin color because we're such a diverse society. These changes challenge us all to find out who we are and what our national identities are really about." Watch more free documentaries

H.A. Hellyer -- fellow at the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations at Britain's University of Warwick and author of "Muslims of Europe: The Other Europeans" -- notes that this identity crisis is reflected in the way that the debate over Islam in Europe has transformed over the past four years from being predominately about concerns of security, to worries over whether Western civilization itself is under threat. "People are now not so afraid that our civilization will be destroyed from outside by al-Qaida, but from inside by Muslim communities," he says.

That fear took hold in Switzerland last November, where 57.5 percent of people backed a proposal by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) to ban the building of minarets on mosques. At the time, Switzerland -- home to a tiny, law-abiding Muslim minority -- only had four mosques with minarets, but voters appeared to support the SVP's claims that the towers would soon be springing up across the country, marking the beginning of a takeover by Sharia-supporting extremists.

Hellyer says these misconceptions over Europe's Muslims have spread because of failures in many quarters -- including the media. But he singles out mainstream politicians, who he says, "haven't been brave enough to come up with imaginative and inspirational solutions" to the legitimate concerns many Europeans hold over their rapidly changing societies.

Sadly, European politicians have not only failed to enter into a much-needed debate on national identity, but have attempted to claw back votes by pandering to the same fears whipped up by far-right groups. In Germany this week, Bavarian premier Horst Seehofer -- whose conservative Christian Social Union party is currently faring poorly in the polls -- announced that Turks and Arabs should no longer be allowed to move to the country as they struggled to integrate into German society. And France's President Nicolas Sarkozy has recently attempted to stem the rising popularity of the National Front by banning the burqa -- the full head and body covering garment worn by some Muslim women -- even though fewer than 1 percent of France's five million Muslims wear the dress.


The key danger is that by mimicking the rhetoric of the far right, and portraying Muslims as people who cannot integrate into mainstream society, politicians are in fact creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. "By turning Muslims into this dangerous 'other,' they are segregating them and reinforcing the idea of an exclusive Muslim community," says Riem Spielhaus, a research fellow at the University of Copenhagen's Center for European Islamic Thought. "And so now even Muslims who drink alcohol or eat pork are identifying themselves more as Muslims, and feeling greater solidarity with other members of the community, because of how people and politicians describe them."

Such a development, Spielhaus adds, can only prevent "future integration and communal harmony."

http://www.aolnews.com/world/article...iment/19670466
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جوري
10-17-2010, 03:58 PM
I love how the fellow comments that drinking alcohol and eating pork to describe integrated Muslims (now feeling a solidarity with observant Muslims) there must be alot of air in the space between their two ears!
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Junon
10-17-2010, 10:05 PM
Salaam

This debate ties in with this

Merkel says German multicultural society has failed

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11559451

Interesting article, seems europe is taking a xenophobic turn (again), with Muslims being the primary target for 'intergration' :hmm:

What are they going to do? Loyalty tests? Tebbits 'cricket' test? Thats what worries me. Hope the UK has the sense not to go down this road.

I personally think it has more to do with the economic problems that europe is facing, so you need a scapegoat, muslims are an easy target. Having said that I do think they have concerns and should be addressed if its reasonable.
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aadil77
10-17-2010, 10:47 PM
soon every country will have a problem with muslims, as we become greater in number and more and more practising

nothin they can do about it
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Zafran
10-18-2010, 02:13 AM
Originally Posted by aadil77
soon every country will have a problem with muslims, as we become greater in number and more and more practising

nothin they can do about it
They could try to exterminate the Muslims. Or start to exile them.
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جوري
10-18-2010, 02:15 AM
Originally Posted by Zafran
exterminate the Muslims.
aren't they already working on that all throughout Islamic regions?.. they'll in fact come after us under every flag, but insha'Allah we'll be triumphant...

:w:
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DavidK565
10-18-2010, 04:06 AM
Its probably a little too early for an "us against them" mentality. That won't help the situation.

I don't know for certain, but it seems that fearing a religion or a group of people because of their religion is impractical and silly.

This is just my perception of things, but I think the vast majority of people who are labeled as Islamophobic are more concerned about potential changes in government. European governments are secular, and I doubt that the people would be pleased with living under Sharia law, and I think that's what the people are most concerned about. They feel that an influx of practicing Muslims will lead to a change in government that they would not be in favor of.

While I'm sure there are some out there, I don't think the majority of people would have a problem with Muslims practicing Islam privately and doing their thing like the other religious people who live there.
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almahdali
10-18-2010, 06:15 AM
You have bad thinking to others than you'll paranoid all of your life, it's plain simple :)
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جوري
10-18-2010, 09:56 AM
Originally Posted by DavidK565
This is just my perception of things,

That is correct.. and your perception does little to ward legislative laws meant to make Muslim lives miserable.. isn't it best to simply declare war on Islam than all these pretenses?
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DavidK565
10-18-2010, 02:58 PM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ
That is correct.. and your perception does little to ward legislative laws meant to make Muslim lives miserable.. isn't it best to simply declare war on Islam than all these pretenses?
If you're referring to the "burqa law" in France, I agree that it was over the top. However, that does not represent a "war on Islam". Its a misguided law that is probably short-lived, and while governments might be into the whole Islam-hating rhetoric, the citizenry isn't concerned about people coming in to live in peace and pray. They just don't want the rules of law to turn away from a secular standard.


Originally Posted by almahdali
You have bad thinking to others than you'll paranoid all of your life, it's plain simple
What?
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Zafran
10-18-2010, 03:21 PM
If you're referring to the "burqa law" in France, I agree that it was over the top. However, that does not represent a "war on Islam". Its a misguided law that is probably short-lived, and while governments might be into the whole Islam-hating rhetoric, the citizenry isn't concerned about people coming in to live in peace and pray. They just don't want the rules of law to turn away from a secular standard.
Its not just that

You have the minerat ban is Switzerland
You have burkha ban in France (as you said)
You have Merkel in Germany saying that multi culturalism has failed focusing specifically on Muslim turks in Germany
You have the issue of Turkey and the EU
You have EDL anti Islam demos in the UK

These are the only ones I can remember

If we go out of europe to the US the ground zero and the community center contreversy


Theres no denying that some people hate Islam and will do anything to create a "war" against it.
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DavidK565
10-18-2010, 03:39 PM
Originally Posted by Zafran
Its not just that

You have the minerat ban is Switzerland
You have burkha ban in France (as you said)
You have Merkel in Germany saying that multi culturalism has failed focusing specifically on Muslim turks in Germany
You have the issue of Turkey and the EU
You have EDL anti Islam demos in the UK

These are the only ones I can remember

If we go out of europe to the US the ground zero and the community center contreversy


Theres no denying that some people hate Islam and will do anything to create a "war" against it.
I agree that there are some people who simply hate Islam. I said as much, but many of the things you listed deal with a very vocal minority (which is usually what happens, unfortunately). Merkel in Germany is someone who has been pushing for a more christian Germany since she's been in the public eye. And her anti-Islamic comments have been met with much criticism from the citizenry. Anti-Islam demonstrations in the UK are a vocal minority. There has been a large population of Muslims living in England for a long time, with little issue. And regarding the Turkey and EU thing, its complicated. I think it has to do more with social and economic arrangements than religion. Before joining the EU, there are certain standards that countries have to meet. I don't know the specifics of the situation, but I do know that the EU is waiting on another economic report, and could potentially allow Turkey into the EU by 2013.

The US is separate from this issue. Some Americans have issues with Muslims. Some are justified, some are not. But this is about Europe. (And the US is more "religious" than Europe).
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جوري
10-18-2010, 10:32 PM
Originally Posted by DavidK565
If you're referring to the "burqa law" in France, I agree that it was over the top. However, that does not represent a "war on Islam". Its a misguided law that is probably short-lived, and while governments might be into the whole Islam-hating rhetoric, the citizenry isn't concerned about people coming in to live in peace and pray. They just don't want the rules of law to turn away from a secular standard.
Secularism is a philosophical school all its own that is at odds with religion in fact by its very definition. This isn't some 'misguided law'-- It is for the long haul and liable to get worse.. It is indeed a war on Islam and I'd prefer if it were labeled as such, so that the rest of the dormant Muslims would wake from their long hibernation!

all the best
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DavidK565
10-18-2010, 11:37 PM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ

Secularism is a philosophical school all its own that is at odds with religion in fact by its very definition. This isn't some 'misguided law'-- It is for the long haul and liable to get worse.. It is indeed a war on Islam and I'd prefer if it were labeled as such, so that the rest of the dormant Muslims would wake from their long hibernation!

all the best
I have to disagree with you here slightly. A secular lifestyle may be at odds with a religious lifestyle, but a secular government is not at odds with religion. Secular governments allow for the practicing of any and all religion. Things like the burqa law in France have tarnished that, to a degree. But religion is still free to flourish in the private sector. However, religion can not, or should not, interfere with the executive or legislative duties of a country.
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جوري
10-18-2010, 11:53 PM
Originally Posted by DavidK565
I have to disagree with you here slightly. A secular lifestyle may be at odds with a religious lifestyle, but a secular government is not at odds with religion. Secular governments allow for the practicing of any and all religion. Things like the burqa law in France have tarnished that, to a degree. But religion is still free to flourish in the private sector. However, religion can not, or should not, interfere with the executive or legislative duties of a country.
secularism= A doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations

wordweb.com definition.

so again, your opinion/your feelings, your inclinations, your hopes, your views, your neighborhood, your spouse, your poker buddies from Thursday night have little to contribute on the matter..
I agree the right religion will flourish .. if it is a schools of thought are at war, then surely truth has come and falsehood shall perish (it always does) for falsehood by its very nature is perishable!

all the best
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DavidK565
10-19-2010, 12:01 AM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ

secularism= A doctrine that rejects religion and religious considerations

wordweb.com definition.

so again, your opinion/your feelings, your inclinations, your hopes, your views, your neighborhood, your spouse, your poker buddies from Thursday night have little to contribute on the matter..
I agree the right religion will flourish .. if it is a schools of thought are at war, then surely truth has come and falsehood shall perish (it always does) for falsehood by its very nature is perishable!

all the best
And speaking of contributing little..... see above.

Your rudeness knows no bounds. I'm sure that wherever you got your religious education, that was a class you did not miss.

And congratulations on looking up a word in the dictionary. However it doesn't prove anything. Look at practical application of those forms of government on society. Again, a secular government is not the same as "secularism". A secular government is neutral in the matter of religion; it is not "anti-religion". Secular government does not proclaim a state religion, nor do they prevent the practice of religion.
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Junon
10-19-2010, 12:01 AM
Salaam

Actually plenty examples of secular governments at odd with the religious. Soviet Union being the obvious example, Turkey, Tunisia and Iran secularism was used as a weapon to undermine Islam and it culture.

In France which is pretty 'hardcore' in the secular front has pretty much marginalised Christianity out of public life. In the UK its better but there are problems. Only time Ive ever agreed with Tony Blair is when he said he had to keep his faith under wraps lest he offends the secularists. The Pope himself warned of the dangers of an 'aggressive secularism' (You only have to look at atheist campaign sites, how they want to ban this religious expression, clothing, or to use the education system to secularise pupils, students).

Christianity is on the way out in europe and no doubt secularism played its role.

However in the USA secularism seems to mean something different, more like neutrality.

As a muslim our beliefs will always play a role in our lives wherever we go to varying degrees, afterall whats the point of being a Muslim in name only

So no I dont entirely buy this idea that secularism is 'benign' to the religious believer. We have different way of doing things.
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DavidK565
10-19-2010, 12:07 AM
Public life, such as in public schools, courthouses, sporting events, all sorts of crap like that are not supposed to be subjected to religious bombardment.

Religion is practiced privately by individuals (or private groups) of faith who get together and do their thing. It isn't meant to be shared with the public, which constitutes a wide variety of people, ranging from people of the same faith to people wildly different faiths, to having no faith at all.

And as a response to Russia.... Dictatorships don't work so well either. When you take away people's rights to choose, obviously their religious freedom will be removed. Secular democracy then. This thread was initially about Europe anyway, and those nations are secular democracies, of different types.
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جوري
10-19-2010, 12:08 AM
Originally Posted by DavidK565
And speaking of contributing little..... see above.

Your rudeness knows no bounds. I'm sure that wherever you got your religious education, that was a class you did not miss.

And congratulations on looking up a word in the dictionary. However it doesn't prove anything. Look at practical application of those forms of government on society. Again, a secular government is not the same as "secularism". A secular government is neutral in the matter of religion; it is not "anti-religion". Secular government does not proclaim a state religion, nor do they prevent the practice of religion.
I find that when you are unable to support your statements with facts or definitions that you expect some gracious accommodation because well you deserve it?
Let's not try to derail the thread, if you are unable to handle the topic or don't understand content even when offered a direct explanation from a tertiary source then simply sit this one out and let another who is better versed and better savvied to the topic answer on your behalf and will you can come like ''me too' for support of his/her statement!

all the best
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greenshirt
10-19-2010, 12:16 AM
Here's an idea! If they don't like us then why do they keep allowing so many of us in! They could certainly divert new immigration from Latin America or southern Africa if they really feel Islam is the problem. But they will see that any minority group will be a "problem" and it does not have to deal with religion as much as it does culture and intolerance.

No one to blame but themselves now! :p
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DavidK565
10-19-2010, 12:16 AM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ

I find that when you are unable to support your statements with facts or definitions that you expect some gracious accommodation because well you deserve it?
Let's not try to derail the thread, if you are unable to handle the topic or don't understand content even when offered a direct explanation from a tertiary source then simply sit this one out and let another who is better versed and better savvied to the topic answer on your behalf and will you can come like ''me too' for support of his/her statement!

all the best
I'm not derailing the thread. I'm pointing out your mistake. You just made a post that doesn't refute what I said (because you can't), and use it as another opportunity to make another snarky remark.

I will tell you this though: Its evident that posting in your threads is a waste of my time. Attempting to assuage your "EVERYONE IS ATTACKING ISLAM UNFAIRLY!!!" fears is a pointless endeavor. You want to be panicked. You want to play the victim. You want the world to be an "us against them" world in which your belief system triumphs. And no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary, that is how you're going to feel. No matter how ridiculous or unfounded those feelings are, you're going to find a way to justify them.

So go ahead. I won't stop you. I'm done with these foolish ideas that you relentlessly propagate.
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جوري
10-19-2010, 12:43 AM
Originally Posted by DavidK565
I'm not derailing the thread. I'm pointing out your mistake. You just made a post that doesn't refute what I said (because you can't), and use it as another opportunity to make another snarky remark.
But unfortunately the only thing you are adapt at doing is a very public display of how so very under-educated you are, not only of current events but of the English language!
I will tell you this though: Its evident that posting in your threads is a waste of my time. Attempting to assuage your "EVERYONE IS ATTACKING ISLAM UNFAIRLY!!!" fears is a pointless endeavor. You want to be panicked. You want to play the victim. You want the world to be an "us against them" world in which your belief system triumphs. And no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary, that is how you're going to feel. No matter how ridiculous or unfounded those feelings are, you're going to find a way to justify them.

So go ahead. I won't stop you. I'm done with these foolish ideas that you relentlessly propagate.
There are no ideas here, there are only facts, and you are derailing the thread on nonsense, you and that other freak can't seem to stick to a topic or at least agree definitions of terms as a basic platform! I am not sure what you stand to gain to water down current events to suit your personal feelings all the while projecting, but I don't think the members here need me to rally for one cause or another, surely they too are staying on top of world events and have basic understanding of the English language..
Perhaps this isn't the forum for you? you throw a tantrum whenever things don't go in the direction of your steering, and quite frankly you are not much of a driver..

all the best
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Zafran
10-19-2010, 01:12 AM
Originally Posted by DavidK565
I agree that there are some people who simply hate Islam. I said as much, but many of the things you listed deal with a very vocal minority (which is usually what happens, unfortunately). Merkel in Germany is someone who has been pushing for a more christian Germany since she's been in the public eye. And her anti-Islamic comments have been met with much criticism from the citizenry. Anti-Islam demonstrations in the UK are a vocal minority. There has been a large population of Muslims living in England for a long time, with little issue. And regarding the Turkey and EU thing, its complicated. I think it has to do more with social and economic arrangements than religion. Before joining the EU, there are certain standards that countries have to meet. I don't know the specifics of the situation, but I do know that the EU is waiting on another economic report, and could potentially allow Turkey into the EU by 2013.

The US is separate from this issue. Some Americans have issues with Muslims. Some are justified, some are not. But this is about Europe. (And the US is more "religious" than Europe).
so the burkha ban represents a minority opinion? so does the swiss minerat ban so does the German prime ministers remarks? These are not minority opnions but have been put in action and even voted upon.

Muslims living in england have been going up and down - I'm a muslin living in the UK I know how its like here in certain areas of the UK.

There are many reasons why Turkey has not joined the EU - Islam is definitly one of them.
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DavidK565
10-19-2010, 01:18 AM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ
But unfortunately the only thing you are adapt at doing is a very public display of how so very under-educated you are, not only of current events but of the English language!
Read this part again, and then let me know if you really want to attack my use of the English language. I understand its a last resort for you, so I'm willing to let it slide.

You're all bravado, and no brains. (You should look those words up in the dictionary as well).
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جوري
10-19-2010, 01:23 AM
Originally Posted by DavidK565
Read this part again, and then let me know if you really want to attack my use of the English language. I understand its a last resort for you, so I'm willing to let it slide.

You're all bravado, and no brains. (You should look those words up in the dictionary as well).
I don't consider you a worthy contender to 'attack' anything about you-- we merely highlight the obvious, although admittedly it is rather insulting to most members here to point out what is self-evident given the response you are getting from most everyone..

By the way I thought you were all
Originally Posted by DavidK565
done with these foolish
or are we looking at another shortcoming to add to your list of laurels?
If you have nothing to contribute to the topic outside of your apparent dislike of the members here, then take a hike to a more suitable environment?

all the best
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DavidK565
10-19-2010, 01:31 AM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ
By the way I thought you were all Quote Originally Posted by DavidK565 View Post done with these foolish or are we looking at another shortcoming to add to your list of laurels? If you have nothing to contribute to the topic outside of your apparent dislike of the members here, then take a hike to a more suitable environment? all the best

From what I understand, what we have here is a reading comprehension problem. If you'd read the post properly, or at least quoted it properly, you would have seen that I'm done with your foolish ideas. However, by no means am I content with allowing your childish insults to continue unanswered.

Generally speaking, I have little concern for those who share your ideals. Religious fanaticism by any measure lends itself to a closed-minded, irrational approach to the world.
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جوري
10-19-2010, 01:37 AM
Originally Posted by DavidK565
From what I understand, what we have here is a reading comprehension problem. If you'd read the post properly, or at least quoted it properly, you would have seen that I'm done with your foolish ideas. However, by no means am I content with allowing your childish insults to continue unanswered.
We have already established that your brand of understanding has positively nothing to do with current events, the real world or even the appropriate definition of terms. Should we really take offense because you find us with a 'reading comprehension problem' coming from you I think that would be nothing less than a compliment!
Also what questions has your lordship posed that went unanswered?

Generally speaking, I have little concern for those who share your ideals. Religious fanaticism by any measure lends itself to a closed-minded, irrational approach to the world.
We are all fanatics here, so by all means join another forum and buzz off!

all the best
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DavidK565
10-19-2010, 01:47 AM
Originally Posted by τhε ṿαlε'ṡ lïlÿ
We have already established that your brand of understanding has positively nothing to do with current events, the real world or even the appropriate definition of terms. Should we really take offense because you find us with a 'reading comprehension problem' coming from you I think that would be nothing less than a compliment!
Also what questions has your lordship posed that went unanswered?

We are all fanatics here, so by all means join another forum and buzz off!

all the best
Congratulations, Vale's Lily, you're finally correct about something. There is nothing more that I can glean from having conversations with you or people like you. By all means, I don't want you to have to cower behind your obnoxious exterior any longer, so I will take my leave. Meanwhile, you can go on and continue to have conversations with people who will give you the responses that you prefer, as it would feed into your narrow-minded, victimized view of society.

I hope you enjoy. (There may be a few more words in there that you need to look up in the dictionary. My apologies. Take your time.)
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جوري
10-19-2010, 01:55 AM
Originally Posted by DavidK565
Congratulations, Vale's Lily, you're finally correct about something. There is nothing more that I can glean from having conversations with you or people like you. By all means, I don't want you to have to cower behind your obnoxious exterior any longer, so I will take my leave. Meanwhile, you can go on and continue to have conversations with people who will give you the responses that you prefer, as it would feed into your narrow-minded, victimized view of society. I hope you enjoy. (There may be a few more words in there that you need to look up in the dictionary. My apologies. Take your time.)

To the contrary we never feel like victims .. a Muslim is always a victor in ease and in hardship:
(13).Abu Yahya Suhaib b. Sinan said that Rasulullah saw said : " Wondrous are the believer's affairs. For him there is good in all his affairs, and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him; and when something displeasing happens to him, he is enduring (sabar), and that is good for him " ( Muslim )

.. of course given your cognitive conservatism we have no hopes that you'd actually reach that conclusion, but you describe yourself surprisingly with such alacrity-- perhaps you got one thing right as you do live with yourself and seem to both adequately live and display your own traits and shortcomings. ..

we must thank you for taking a hike and we'll definitely enjoy your lack of how should we say unpleasant stench ...

so long :)
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