An Expensive Dominos Set
I Never Thought I Would Say This ...


Cafe Alpha

I got a letter on Youtube for commenting on Ezra's videos:
"Ezra wasn't taken to the HRC for offending a human being, he was taken to the HRC for "insulting the Prophet Mohammad," ie. heresy!"

For this some Muslim from God knows where called me a bigot and told me that I should be respectful.

I made the mistake of assuming that a man commenting on a Canadian video was probably in Canada and capable of handling an argument in English and replied with a compendium of arguments about freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion as well as on the lack of those in Muslim countries...

I called him on bullshit about Israel by sending him a copy of the Hamas charter section 11, to explain that the fighting was to take Israel back in the whole and was due to Islam's insistence on holding Muslim "waqf" etc.

We went back and forth, with him probably understanding not a single thing I wrote nor of the context, and with me defending my right to have freedom and not act Islamic, and with me responding to a threat by explaining why the Middle east can't win a war against the US when a single 15 warhead MIRV could probably kill most of Iran...

So anyway, the result wasn't wisdom, but him telling me that Americans are going to get our heads cut off and that we deserve it.

I feel like a complete failure. I didn't manage to impart a single sane idea to the guy, and he ended up more hostile then when he started.

Cafe Alpha

I got a letter from another one, that I can't even imagine where to start with.

I had said that freedom of speech has to include the freedom to insult the prophet - that there has to be a right to criticize and even insult religion, a right to heresy, for there to be freedom of thought, religion, secular education that includes rational thought, and even debate and secular democracy.

And she responded by laughing at me, saying that there can't be anything more absurd than a "freedom to insult". She talked about people getting along (as did the first guy, and insults and didn't even mention the prophet, but I can see that she hasn't even the first inkling of the concept of freedom of speech. None at all, it doesn't even register as an idea, just as something that completely fails the laugh test.

I would have to explain not only what freedom is, but why anyone would want it.

And to her, maybe she just thinks that insults always lead to people killing each other - so why should the be a right to unpleasant speech, it just doesn't make sense. What can I tell her, that this means that her society is made up of barbarians? That they should change their thinking completely, even if that would mean repudiating the very attitudes of the Prophet?

It's hopeless.

Cafe Alpha

What can you do when people really believe that it's absolutely right to kill anyone who says what you don't like?

Cafe Alpha

Oh Jesus, wtf?

It's not just that 4 Lebanese were jailed for insulting a girl's singing on Myspace, it's this comment on Beirut Spring blog:

"cant agree with you on that"
"lebanese people must learn about their real rights. insulting a woman in a matter related to her feminity is sexual offense, something that seems to be acceptable in lebanese masculine society, but its god damn illegal in human rights respecting countries."

Insulting a woman "in a matter related to her femininity is sexual offense ... it's God damn illegal in human rights respecting countries?"

So, if I say that Yoko Ono can't sing worth shit, I should be arrested - on a sexual offense?

My God these people are unclear on the concept!

Cafe Alpha

Oh wait, I bet that you-tube guy started talking about cutting our heads off because I let him know a little bit of what I thought of Mohammad.

I've seen that reaction before when (in an Israeli forum) I told some online Jihadi that Sharia sucked - he went nuts and started saying that he dreams of an army of Nigerians invading Israel and cutting everyone's heads off with machetes.

I had told the youtube dude that I wasn't disrespecting him, but that there was no way I could respect Mohammad etc. ...

Cafe Alpha

Looking back over our correspondence I see it differently once again.

I think:

1) he understood more than I thought at first
2) he was trying to educate me as I was him, in a way.
3) We're both right as far as it goes. Westerners having the gall to speak openly do "incite" Arabs to commit violence against us - that's what he wanted me to know / and in the context of Islamic culture there's some truth to that. And of course there's nothing he can really do about it whether he supports that violence or not. The rest of what he said was that he was trying to find lies (or any excuse) that would make this the west's fault - he started by blaming us for supporting Jews "in their wars", then added the Iran-Iraq war (he assumed that it was American weapons Saddam used to gas the Kurds and Iranians - not sure about that), then the Iraq wars, and Americans being in the gulf etc.
4) He responded to my point that the middle east will lose any wars they make on us by saying "God will win" - fucking fatalistic, suicidal nonsense.
5) Well I guess, whether he really understood or not, I made my point that I'm not willing to give up my freedoms, even if those freedoms enrage the Arabs to the point of suicide-by-cop. They should grow the fuck up.

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