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Author: maniladad Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 22562  
Subject: Re: Why blame anti-Islam film on Jews? Date: 9/28/2012 4:08 PM
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Hi Elan, 
  "Have you ever seen Jews or Christians enraged by similar depictions against their religions?" First response: Some, but the majority aren't committed enough to do more than grumble. But Christians do bomb women's health clinics and kill health care providers because they believe on religious grounds that abortions are murder. Second: I think that there is another element than religion behind the rage. I'm not knowledgeable enough about the Middle East to know the reasons but I suspect it involves the perception of having been neglected and ignored, discriminated against and cheated by foreigners and foreign governments who, among other things, support oppressive regimes because of self-interest. Why else, they might reason, do the foreigners have so much when they have so little? Third, enraged and outraged are very different although not mutually exclusive states of mind. 
"Was the British embassy attacked and set on fire in response to this film which mocks Jesus?" (Life of Brian) First response: Guess I'm not a very good Christian. I thought Life of Brian was funny. Second: 'Brian' was about a man who specifically says he's not the Messiah. "Innocence of Muslims" shows a man who is specifically identified as Mohammed giving cunnilingus, making a donkey Muslim, abetting or committing sexual abuse of children and homosexual acts (I'm not sure about that last part; I just watched a few trailers.), and generally portrayed as a lecher, a coward and a buffoon. It is not a parody, it is deliberately insulting. I was personally outraged by it and I'm not Muslim. (Candidly, I admit that if it were not such a tawdry piece of crap and funny I might have been less offended.) I can understand why Muslims are offended, especially those who are uneducated, unsophisticated and/or committed to their faith as it has been taught to them. It's something of a curse that I have, being able to see things from other people's viewpoints. If you really get into it, you begin to see the justification for any number of absolutely reprehensible actions and beliefs.
"Was Bill Maher sent to prison for producing this anti-religious film?" (Religuous) First response: No, through our courts we have made 'freedom of expression' a higher principle than morality, decency, and other virtues espoused by most religions, as well as more social considerations such as good taste. Second: Jesus was anti-religious, based on his view of the status of the religion in his time and area. He was in direct, confrontational opposition to the religious leaders, to the way in which religion was applied and to the effects of both. I think that He might have appreciated Bill Maher's pointing out some of the absurdities that have become associated with modern Christianity. Jesus's teachings were pretty basic, simple, practical and possible and if (a really big IF) they were practiced by all men we might see the Kingdom of God here on earth. The things that Bill Maher ridicules have been added on; many aspects of most if not all religions deserve to be ridiculed.
"... the countless antisemitic cartoons..." Look, I was born a WASP male  heterosexual and I admit that I am almost oblivious to the prejudice that affects members of other ethnic, religious, gender, sexual preference or economic groups. No one ever attempted to wipe out my entire race. (Some Muslims are advocating the annihilation of my entire race and religious cohorts but at present it seems unlikely that they will succeed and that makes a big difference.) I can understand to some extent how Jews must feel but there are some things that you have to experience to fully understand, and I can't make myself feel that way. And yes, of course, persecution of and discrimination against any group is wrong.
"... the regular sermons by Imams quoting the Koran in portraying Jews as sons of monkeys and pigs..." I made a sincere effort to read the Koran but without the cultural and religious background I couldn't get through it on my own. I don't really know what the Koran says or doesn't say. I remember that in the Old Testament God is displeased when the Jews don't obey his instructions to kill all the captured women, children and livestock of the conquered non-Jews. New Testament Christianity is about love, not hate, tolerance, not discrimination. My bias is that love will prevail through either the extinction of doctrines and religions that preach hatred or, as with Christianity, through the cessation of the emphasis on those aspects of the religions. I hope that my bias in this is more accurate than my bias in the stock market has been.
"Millions of Muslims came out in violent demonstrations all over the world because they have been educated that savage behavior is an acceptable norm." I doubt that there were millions. Maybe hundreds of thousands but not millions. The violent minority always gets the majority of the attention. As I noted above, I think the reasons behind the demonstrations and the violence are more complex than that.
"No, I don't think it's understandable." Understanding is very different from condoning. Overall, I agree with you.
 D
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