27 July, 2007

Islamic Nation

This popped up a week back. Supposedly the reason why we can't discuss delicate issues [like sex, pornography...etc], the reason why Orkut [& various other sites] was blocked in the UAE is because its a Islamic nation. What Islamic nation are we talking about....we have so many amenities in this supposed Islamic nation that are against the Basic Islamic guidelines. So this isn't an Islamic nation, not even Sharjah is a Islamic city. Yes we know the various rules enforced by Sharjah, but that's just a single step...Its does not make it an Islamic city or whatever you want to call it.

If Islam was the reason for such restrictions, a simple Children's book called Harry Potter should be banned cause it promotes various thoughts, ideas that are not appropriate.

Now this isn't a post against Harry Potter[I've read them all] nor am I promoting the idea of restricting freedom of speech[I had made a post on Orkut some time back against it getting blocked]. I'm just saying, stop blaming Islam [the religion] for various restrictions laid down by this country we live in. Its the lawmakers personal choices/opinion not the religion.....they choose what to stop & what not to......

Some of you might not agree so argue if you must, but keep it clean of any offensive content.

82 comments:

The Stranger said...

Perhaps you're a bit more specific in your understanding of the word "Islamic Nation" than those who used the term. It might not be an Islamic nation in the sense that it doesn't apply Islamic law.

But at the end of the day, the country is a Muslim one and even if many things are against the Basic Islamic Guidelines, that doesn't mean that it shouldn't do anything at all to stop what the country (as a Muslim one) deems as sin.

So people stop what they can, the conservative people of this society complain whenever they can about the free reign of things unIslamic or culturally immoral.

Perhaps it is about the choice/opinion of the lawmaker, but these choices and opinions are derived from the religious morals of the country, doesn't it?

Kyle said...

Its the lawmakers personal choices/opinion not the religion.....they choose what to stop & what not to......

So, what you’re saying is that everything done here is based on a ‘matter of convenience’?

In other words, if it generates cash, it’s not taboo. If it doesn’t, it should be banned.

fellow atheist said...

I think you are confusing things. Reasons why something is banned or censored in the UAE are not only based on religion. There are cultural values as well.

Now, whether we share those values or not.. or agree that they should be enforced in this manner is a whole other issue. It isn't my place to say, as it isn't my country. Quite frankly, they can do whatever the hell they want to do with their laws. It's their business.

f said...

i told u!

SevenSummits said...

Very interesting and timely subject! You certainly have a valid point, especially when it comes to Western misconception and the pragmatic tendency to blame Islam for everything. The political significance of Islam has certainly ignited an enhanced global interest in your part of the world at the outset of this century. Various experts in the region and abroad were swift to underscore the development “deficits” in Arab societies which have been linked to everything from structural economic imbalances to deficient political systems as well as culture and RELIGION. Undeniable is the fact that development in Arab countries is slower than in most other regions despite an abundance of natural resources in many of theses nations. The gigantic gap that divides today’s reality and what some in the region hope for, is certainly a source of widespread frustration and despair about their countries’ predictions for a peaceful transition to societies enjoying freedom and good governance. Yet the term "freedom" in its comprehensive sense, incorporates not only civil and political freedom, but the liberation from all aspects that are inconsistent with human dignity. However without doubt, to be sustained and guaranteed, freedom requires a system of good governance that rests upon effective popular representation, is accountable to the citizens, that upholds the rule of law and ensures that an independent judiciary applies the law impartially. Moreover the emphasis that justice forms the foundation of all human societies is particularly pivotal in divine religions, including Islam.

Obviously this does not apply to the UAE and I fully agree with you that there is just simply no way that this setup can be classified as an Islamic country. The simple fact that alcohol consumption is not prohibited in the UAE basically says it all and KYLE has already made the correct statement to describe the situation. In strong disagreement with THE STRANGER, I would have to say that whatever he describes as the “religious morals” has long been substituted by a materialistic attitude as a direct result of a rentier mentality. In short, the development of the rentier state has led to the emergence of an unhealthy attitude towards the acquisition and exercise of authority, towards duty and obligation, fairness and equity, work and effort, responsibility and freedom. In other words the government essentially 'bribes' their populace with extensive social welfare programs and as we all can see – it works really well. Generally there is absolutely nothing “Muslim” or all the values Islam stand for in this attitude.

Nevertheless FELLOW ATHEIST also has an important point. This is not our country and their truly internal affairs (for instance political reform) should not be our concern and only they can make the changes they would like to see. If they prefer to live with unislamic values in exchange for a comfortable welfare system, instead of protesting against these issues – well, tough luck. We however can continue to make fun of this system and congratulate the government for having such submissive citizens. I really mean this - not sarcastic in any way – I would do the same in their place and enjoy my life. Nobody is starving in this country and freedom is a question of choice - so why should we complain!
However when it comes to topics such as environmental issues or HR violations against foreigners, it certainly should be of global concern and it is time for everyone to start making some noise.

Cheers from Germany

B said...

There is no identity more confused than the Islamic identity and the Islamic religion, simply because it is hybridised and bastardised with so many different cultural values, nevermind the actions of individuals who freely interpret its tenets as they wish and accept damnation for some of their sins, but not others (much like some Christians may not immediately think they're going to hell for premarital sex, while others would insist they would). Take this confused identity, with a religion which is often more strictly observed by and enforced on women than men, and pit it against encroaching Western values -- which are simultaneously welcomed and abhorred. I'm surprised any sense can be made out of it.

It seems singularly useless and silly to protest bans. I do not want to make the 'if you don't like it, leave the country!' argument at all. But I seriously wonder what changes people can affect, and who actually bothers with reading these petitions, nevermind feeling threatened by them. I congratulate anyone who has made progress on any of the sites chosen for banning.

Raising a hue and cry about hypocrisy is another instance of silliness. What country does not have hypocrisy within its laws and their enforcement? What human being doesn't have some instance of hypocrisy within their lives? This is inevitable.

I suppose one must express an opinion, though, in order to feel free. Freedom is always an illusion, however, in any civilised country.

Change is gradual and the UAE is very Westernised for an Islamic country, especially Dubai. Strong reaction to this is not surprising at all. But it is becoming freer and freer, according to my beliefs. It is a country that is too militarily weak and too focused on economy not to do otherwise.

Lirun said...

fascinating topic.. as an outsider dubai is the last arab nation on earth i would associate with an islamic rule notwithstanding the religion and culture of its natives..

i think the emirates in general have done an amazing job at global PR and have achieved a fantastic reputation as a haven for cultural economic and certainly architectural creativity..

i have never been there.. i do plan to visit sometime soon now that friends of mine have clarified to me that despite my nationality its not a problem.. and i think that while every country has its imperfect laws.. the UAE needs to be congratulated for being so open to reform and change..

the only other place i can think of is maybe morrocco.. but then again i make no secret of the fact that i speak based on my impression as a media consumer alone..

Stained said...

Hmm...
Well I did care about ORKUT when it got banned....I cursed the lawmakers/government for making such a decision but that is another story....

I know the confusion that lies around the religion Islam. But that does not make any restriction placed by this government Islamic. That is what I'm saying.

This country stopped being Islamic when [as SevenSummits said] the consumption of alcohol was made legal.

So I just want, who ever has a issue with the restrictions placed by this government, to stop blaming the religion. Cultures are usually based on religion, but in todays UAE....there is no culture that is followed unless you count those short burst of thought among the lawmakers when they remember there OLD culture.

& yes kyle...Dubai for example..anything that helps make money, i.e tourism is legal & allowed.

Almulhama said...

When a person is free to express their views without insulting others and without fear of being ostracized, then and only then will opinions be frank.

So, let sleeping dogs lie...

if_u_dont_like_it said...

Leave

Anonymous said...

so what's ur point? Does the UAE have to explain itself when it does anything to you? The UAE is an Islamic and an Arabic country according to our constitution and only because the sharia is not implemented properly doesn't make the country un-islamic.

I don't understand why some of those non-muslims try to prove that the UAE is not Islamic? This is not ur concern.

btw, over 85% of the UAE's law is derived and come in parallel with the Sharia law.

@Lirun, u cannot come to the UAE with an Israeli nationality

Anonymous said...

Miss UAE was banned for a reason?
You can go to jail for kissing in public for a reason?
You can go to jail for drinking in public for a reason?
You can go to jail for wearing indecently for a reason?

secretdubai said...

The UAE's laws are based on Islamic law. Obviously there are different interpretations of lslam.

But the lawmakers base their opinion/choices on their interpretation of Islam.

So the UAE is an Islamic nation. It doesn't mean that all Islamic nations are the same, or that one is "more" or less Islamic than another, but a nation which has shariah law - law based on Islamic doctrine - must surely be an Islamic nation.

I don't "blame" Islam. I blame people who believe that people must be forced to abide by a personal moral code (whether the qu'ran or the Bible or whatever) for behaviour that does not "harm" others.

Just because something is written down as a guide for moral behaviour does not mean, in my opinion, that we should force others to act that way.

I believe that murder, theft, rape, dangerous driving (ie drink driving), fraud - these are acts that harm other people, and should rightly be considered crimes and should be prosecuted.

But sex between consenting adults, homosexuality between consenting adults, adult men and women meeting and dating, people drinking or smoking in their own homes, people choosing to end their own lives - I don't believe these should be crimes in any nation. But they are crimes in many nations, and not just Islamic ones. They were crimes in most European countries until mid-last century.

The point, I think, is that the countries that now reject criminalising personal moral choices are countries that believe that people have the individual right to make their own moral choices. If what they do is wrong, then they will presumably personally answer to their god when they die.

But as I see it, lawmakers in this country interpret Islam as saying that people do not have the right to make their own personal moral choices. Therefore they will face punishment from human judges as well as their god when they die.

localexpat said...

hmmm very interesting.... though I dare not comment :-)

SevenSummits said...

B,
I must congratulate you for your first paragraph – extremely well said :- ) You are correct in saying “I'm surprised any sense can be made out of it” and for those of us who have to, it becomes more difficult on a daily basis. The obvious correlation between Islam and human insecurity as well as underdevelopment on a worldwide scale, makes it extremely hard for those who are aware that all this has nothing to do with the religion itself, to convince those that mix up the cultural /religious misconception. When it comes to the UAE your last sentence “It is a country that is too militarily weak and too focused on economy not to do otherwise” just puts it all to the point and it is within these words where the real issue of concern is hidden. To actually start talking about the ongoing tribal and ethnic bickering, lack of unity and social justice, inadequate educational systems and the near-absence of civil societies as major characteristics of the region, the inability of the Arab nations to trust each other and the dysfunctional GCC in general would certainly be outside the scope of this blog, but the mere fact that a country is so absolutely dependent on foreigners as a result of misguided policies that it needs to trade off both its cultural and religious identity, gives those concerned with the sustainable future and hence the human well being of the Emirati society a serious headache.

Unfortunately when it comes to HYPOCRISY, I have to oppose you. There is empirical evidence that the tendency for hypocrisy is extremely strong in the Arab world. (Careful I did not say Arab/Islamic world) and from my own experience I have frequently observed this unpleasant characteristic within the GCC countries. (Let us just pray that there is no sociologist reading our blog :- ) – we will be punished) When it comes to hypocrisy within a nations laws and their enforcement, I would like to remind you that after all, some of us live in states based on the rule of law and most certainly we are very proud of this achievement. Moreover, since I enjoy freedom, there is no need for any hypocrisy in my life :- ) – If I make a mistake, I will admit it and there is absolutely no reason to pretend. What would be the purpose? Besides “lying” is forbidden in any religion and it would be a little tough to plead that it was “unintentional”.

In regards to your notion on civil protest, I certainly do not agree on a global scale. Yet you have a valid point in regards to censorship within the UAE and while it gives the country a bad reputation at an international scale, it should not be our (foreigners) concern to write petitions. Change needs to be endemic and outside pressure will often result in dissonance.

LIRUN,
With only an Israeli passport, you will not be able to travel to the UAE.
(If however you have a second passport (US?), you can visit the place!) On the other hand why would you first of all want to visit a place, where people will obviously discriminate you (it is really bad - honestly) and secondly you will not miss anything at all by not going. There are so many beautiful places on this earth and if you are interested in architecture, there are far better destinations for you. :- )

Actually the UAE is not open to reforms and what you see is merely cosmetic. (with lots of PR) Certainly in view of increased regional stability, to avoid intra-communal conflict or to benefit from globalization little steps towards introducing political reforms, albeit at a varied speed, have been made, but that it is the elites themselves who are emerging as the greatest agents for change. In the absence of domestic pressure, reform movements in the UAE will just as in numerous other developing countries be based on an objective analysis of the aspirations and desires of an influential faction in the ruling family, supported by the merchant class and powerful individuals who want to maintain a status quo that serves their interests and enables them to achieve their political and economic goals. So in other words there is nothing much happening and in the absence of the necessary social capital, we will hardly see any real changes in the near future. However when actually looking at the “real development level” of the country (do not confuse it with the foreigners, since about everything in Dubai is actually done by foreigners – for instance none of this architecture that you admire has been designed or build by an Emirati) this form of government is the best option and at least they can enjoy a solid welfare system. (at least for now!)

ANON @ 28 July, 2007 23:39

I will make an effort to answer your question, but I have some doubts that you will actually comprehend. The UAE, just as any other country is enjoying the right to “self-determination” and certainly does not need to explain its internal affairs to a certain degree to anyone. Yet there is also something called International Law and the UAE as a signatory of several international Conventions is therefore obligated to answer a few questions in regards to certain topics. This paradox often results in an ongoing debate between sovereignty-centric policies versus a human rights centric approach. Ok, maybe not within your scope, so I will try a different approach:

The Almighty created all of us humans and so while every single day thousands of Muslims are dying all over the world from poverty or crisis, it should be normal for everyone to be concerned. This is called compassion and it should reach beyond race or religion! BTW this is in the Holy Quran and that is why we are saying that the UAE is not an Islamic country – there is above all no “compassion”!

Anon (same Anon?) @ 28 July, 2007 23:41

Tourists are allowed to go topless and wear next to nothing in public for a reason?
Thousands of prostitutes are offering their services to Emirati males for a reason?
Laborers are not being paid for a reason?
The most perverted video clips are on Emirati males (don’t know about females) mobile phones and passed around via Bluetooth in the afternoon in a public café for a reason?
Your respected leader is having a second (foreign) wife, who is uncovered in public for a reason?
And so on ….
Why are you in living in such denial? Actually “Dubai” is an insult to the Islamic world – which I respect very much! and certainly sooner or later this fact will lead to its instability.

SD:
There are several states that have adapted Sharia law (usually as part of legal plurality), that cannot be considered Islamic nations – how can we derive a clear definition?

Sharia law is usually not applied properly in Dubai – for instance people will be prosecuted for adultery in the absence of four male! witnesses (let us just assume they did not do it in City Center :- ) ) or even worse the legal system only applies to part of the population, while the rest will be spared? Unless this bizarre justice is Islamic (which it is certainly not), there is just no way that the UAE can be considered in my opinion an “Islamic country”.

D said...

Anon @ 23:39
I don't understand why some of those non-muslims try to prove that the UAE is not Islamic? This is not ur concern.
Stained is a Muslim so it does concern him. Stop jumping to conclusions about the religious beliefs of people who post or comment here.

fellow atheist said...

SD,

Wrong. The UAE is not an 'Islamic Nation', as its laws are not governed by Islamic law. Where did you get that idea from?

Example: I am Muslim (at least as far as the law is concerned), married to a Budhist (no, she did not convert, not even on paper). In the eyes of UAE law, we are legally married. In the eyes of Islamic law, this is simply not legal.

So, the UAE implements part-of Islamic law, not the whole. Then, there are interpretations of that 'part', which is fine (everyone has their own interpretation of things).

An 'Islamic Nation' would be something like Saudi, Iran and Sudan. Now, whether Muslims agree that their respective interpreations are true Islamic laws or not are a different story.

Stained said...

very well said SevenSummits, I could not have put it any better.. :)
And Thank you d for clarifying that....

joyzy said...

Whether or not a country can be considered an "Islamic country" is unfortunately not based on whether you (any particular individual)think so; it has more to do with whether the government of that country has declared it to be one.

Inasmuch as the government of a country claim in their decrees and publications and in the country's constitution (if one exists) that it is an Islamic country, then the nationals and residents of that country, as well as the rest of the world, have no choice, I repeat: no choice, but to accept that as being so. There are no two ways about it, especially not: "In my opinion, if such and such happens in a country then it is not an Islamic country..."

So if the ruling authoities in a country declare and claim that it is an Islamic country, then it doesn't matter if the country is full of prostitutes, homosexuals, adulterers and drunkards roaming around and inddulging freely in their vices...it still is an Islamic ocuntry.

Remember, being (claimimg to be) an Islamic country doesn't automatically mean it is completely devoid of bad people.

I trust I am being simple enough.

SevenSummits said...

Oh Joyzy ....
and we started so simple, now you have induced a political discourse and conceptual debate :- )(Which by the way is consistant with modern Islamic thought!)
(However I will adopt to the UAE and blame it all on you! :- ) )

Undeniably the Federal Constitution of the UAE designates Islam as the official religion, but does that really translate into being an Islamic state? Is there no a lot of other debatable issues in that Constitution?

I will get back to the question “What constitutes an Islamic nation”?
It is merely a symbol of cultural identity (which culture in the UAE and for which part of the populace?), is it a particular theocratic form of government or does the “Islamic state” simply refer to groups that have adopted Islam as their primary faith. (as in your constitutional approach?)

So how about Turkey? A secular state full of Muslims – can it be defined as an Islamic nation?

For clarification a paragraph from “The Purpose of the Islamic State” at
http://www.islamonline.net/English/introducingislam/politics/Politics/article02.shtml
“The Qur’an clearly states that the aim and purpose of the Islamic state is the establishment, maintenance and development of those virtues which the Creator wishes human life to be enriched by and the prevention and eradication of those evils in human life which He finds abhorrent. The ISLAMIC STATE is intended neither solely as an instrument of political administration nor for the fulfillment of the collective will of any particular set of people. Rather, Islam places a high ideal before the state, which it must use all the means at its disposal to achieve.
This ideal is that the qualities of purity, beauty, goodness, virtue, success and prosperity which Allah wants to flourish in the life of humankind should be engendered and developed and that all kinds of exploitation, injustice and disorder which, in the sight of Allah, are ruinous for the world and detrimental to the life of His creatures, should be suppressed and prevented. Islam gives us a clear outline of its moral system by stating positively the desired virtues and the undesired evils.” ….
____________________

How does this correlate with anything that is going on in the UAE?
As far as I am concerned the Holy Quran clearly spells out that freedom (religious, political and economic) should be the foundation for any society that claims to be Islamic and we are back at the original question.

Modern Islamic thought will use the term “Ummah” to refer to all the people residing in a country with Muslim predominance. Generally that will include non-Muslim minorities, for instance in Saudi Arabia and therefore Shariah (Islamic law) would apply to all the citizens of the state.
However in reference to Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi (and no Al Rep just in case – this is a neutral citation with no value system applied) an “Islamic State is essentually an ideological state, and is thus radically different from a national state." (Ideology as an instrument of social reproduction)

This statement sets the basic foundation for the political, economical, social, and religious system of all Islamic countries which impose the Islamic law and also considers that this ideological system intentionally discriminates between people according to their religious affiliations to a certain degree.

Regardless of which definition you will adopt, there is a lot of controversy when it comes to the UAE and Dubai in particular.

UAE ALIAS said...

UAE is a Muslim Arab Country, UAE original citizens are ok with these rules and they want them. We actually want even more Islamic conservative rules and we blame the lawmakers for not banning nudity on beaches, night clubs and many other things that are only allowed to make expats happy. So the law makers are trying to make everybody happy! BUT they can't.
By the end of the day you are just an expat if you don't like our rules then bye bye … After all I don't think you came here coz you like it better in your country. I'm really sick of some expats who come and criticize our religion, traditions and rules! Man nobody make you come here!! You don't like it? Then LEAVE!
Oh I forgot in your country you'll have to deal with even lousier laws, less wages, more taxes and lies BUT YaaaY you'll get to talk about sex online, good for you! I recommend that you respect this great country my friend we are already allowing you to do things that may hurt the feelings of the real Muslim Arab local citizens.

Anonymous said...

Finally the moral policeman discovers light & finds his way out of the dark cave.

Welcome.

But you see the world has changed so please go back to your cave.

UAE Alias, it's people like you with your stupid & provocative comments that give Arabs & Muslims a bad name.

Anonymous said...

Well said joyzy and UAE ALIAS

secretdubai said...

We actually want even more Islamic conservative rules

Well not all of you, judging by the approaches I have personally received from some of your kind.

Ibn Battuta said...

a very interesting discussion with lots more that can be said and probably lots that shouldn't be said as well!

i do find a bit of confusion though in the interchaning of the terms "nation," "country," and "state." these are in fact very different concepts with different implications, particularly when we attempt to evaluate them based on some vague criteria, such as being "islamic."

i would also add that there is a difference between being "islamic" and being "muslim." the uae is certainly a muslim country, but "islamic"? does the difference really matter or is it pedantic?

muslims can be secular, drink and go whoring, or be quite religious, pray regularly, etc. (just like people of any other religious orientation). defining a country as being muslim is merely a statement of general identity of a people, defining it as "islamic" implies a more conscious effort to encode and enforce particular interpretations, and let me emphasize interpretations, of what it means to be muslim in the modern world.

as for the state being islamic - a state is much more than a judicial code. all legal systems are based on some moral system, often derived from religion. but does that make the whole state islamic? given the current/modern system of states is based on discreetly demarcated nation-states, the idea of an islamic nation-state is in fact quite contradictory (of course the rulers of iran, saudi arabia, and the taliban would argue otherwise). islam is not unique to any one nation-state, it is not particularistic, it is universalistic, and thus any true islamic state would have to be based on such principles. but no nation-state is universal (except u.s. attempts at empire).

thus what one ends up with are men's failed attempts to enforce their power in different countries in the cloak of islam. thus much confusion between the labels and the realities on the ground.

as for certain moral laws being the base of judging any country as Islamic or not (anonymous july 28 23:41), one has to look at other countries too. the hindu fundamentalists in india also protested miss india/world, want to ban kissing, etc. in tibet, a buddhist nation, mostly in exile, miss tibet/world was hotly contested and held only for the first time this past year. you can go to jail in most of the u.s. for drinking in public too....

SevenSummits said...

IBN BATTUTA,
Guilty as charged :- ) You got me there and I was hoping that nobody would notice – so much for that :- ) The problem is that STAINED [Thanks for the compliment Stained! :- ) ] used his title “Islamic Nation” in reference to the UAE and while his profile said that he is a student and I assume that it is not anthropology, international law or political science, I did not find it necessary to go into such details. Personally I would not refer to the UAE as a nation (certainly that will depend on the definition – for me it is missing the ideology of nationalism) and therefore silently tried to move to “state” instead. Can we just agree that the UAE clearly fits into Max Weber's definition of a neo-patrimonial state?

The rest was extremely interesting and I never thought of differentiating between
"Islamic" and "Muslim" the way you did. Generally I would stick to Islam as the religion and Muslim (as a person practicing Islam)? However some argue that there is some imprecision in the English usage of these terms. (at least according to a Blog from the World Association of International Studies - Stanford University)

Certainly there must be a small fraction of Emiratis that are truly religious, just as we have such social groups in any other country. ( I actually encountered one of those rare individuals in Al Ain, but he was Palestinian - thou I really respect such a modest approach to life.

Yet, I concur with SDs statement when it comes to the majority of the male UAE population. Even if sometimes they do not have the courage to admit it, but their actions speak louder than words. :- )

nick said...

Ibn Battuta,

"muslims can be secular, drink and go whoring, or be quite religious, pray regularly, etc. (just like people of any other religious orientation). defining a country as being muslim is merely a statement of general identity of a people, defining it as "islamic" implies a more conscious effort to encode and enforce particular interpretations, and let me emphasize interpretations, of what it means to be muslim in the modern world."

I am afraid that is only wishful thinking on your part. Unfortunately it is doubly untrue.

Firstly, there is only one Muslim country with a written constitution that has a secular/laizist civil society, and that’s Turkey.
All other countries of the Islamic lands have no concept of secularism. The laws in all Muslim countries are based on Shari’a, although amplified and expanded on by “secular” legal provisions and regulations. In theory and practice Muslims are required to obey Shari’a law first and foremost, wherever they may be. Hence occurrences like honour killings etc. in the UK etc. Islam and its directives and instructions encompasses everything. There is no division into secular and religious. Those who put secular civic law before Islamic law are deemed to be apostates.

Secondly, and that’s the crux (pun intended) with Stained’s baseless outrage, there has always been within Shari’a law in Islamic lands a proviso for dhimmis to exercise their beliefs and cultural habits.
For example, in constrast to Muslims, Jews in the 16th century Maghrib were allowed to operate the first printing press to publish their books, but the use of Arabic script was expressly prohibited (in order not to demean the value of handwritten scriptures of the Koran, hadith and sira etc. and also in order to limit dissipation of potentially dangerous modern western (Judeo-Christan) ideas).

Conclusion:

1) In Islamic lands there have always been exceptions for dhimmis with regard to their rights. It is acceptable for dhimmis to drink alcohol, in their own houses and hotels (which are deemed to be ‘inns’ for travelers of non Islamic lands and therefore to some degree exempted), or eat pork products (since we, the infidels are apparently filthy anyway – so it doesn’t defile us any more.), or whore around.

2) Publicly however, none of the above allowed. The moment any display of “western” behaviour becomes apparent it produces an evident discrepancy with Islamic values and is no longer acceptable. Websites are obviously public.

3) Islamic countries are not secular, with the sole exception of Turkey. There is, in principle no formal, constitutional separation between government and ulema. Everything is governed according to compliance with Islamic law, despite some civic regulations. The difference is that in “the West”, civic law and government are totally separate from any expression of religion. This is called laizism, and although only France and the USA have it written in their constitutions, all western countries follow this principle.

Here in the ‘Islamic Village’, the leader or ruler is in theory also the head of the Islamic doctrine. Stained’s argument that we should not blame every restriction in this dictatorship of ours (UAE) on Islam is fundamentally flawed, because there is nothing else but the Islamic foundations of state. There is simply no secular government. Any offence against Islam is an offence against the ruler, and vice versa, everything that could hurt the government is perceived and interpreted to be an attack on Islam.

This, in short, is the reason for the backwardness of Islamic societies – the inability to separate state from religion. The inability to put religion in its place where it should be, the heads, hearts and homes of the private individual.

Sugar-Free Sweetie said...

All I have to say is that Islam is perfect unfotunately the people who practice it are not....

Hell Even Suadi Arabia has its issues keeping up with the Islamic laws, and therefore we're not claiming to be a perfect society or a perfect country...like any other nation we have our flows too, but the thing is people just don't seem to get that...

SevenSummits said...

Nick,
Very interesting contribution :- ) and very candid …. “Dictatorship”??? Heavens, be careful, please. (we would not want to miss a humorous chauvi :-))
I somewhat do not concur with your last point, however would not dare to claim that I had a better conclusion. First of all, I would not consider all Islamic societies as “backward” – for instance Iran, as much controversy as there may be, cannot be considered a backward country; at least not in terms of R&D and several other indicators of human development. Malaysia (as per Constitution having Islam as the official religion, but in contradiction officially claims not to be an Islamic state?!) serves as another example of a country that is certainly not doing all that bad. (depending on the definition of development, but I have seen a lot worse) Maybe it would be easier to associate “backwardness” with Arab societies, instead of condemning Islamic societies in general? Yet, on second thought in mixed societies, it is generally the Islamic part that is either in trouble or less developed – can’t think of an example right now where this happens not to be true.
Well, the lack of development in the Arab World is nothing we need to discuss (even worse than Africa and that should be embarrassing enough) and consequently as you will certainly be aware of the UNDP decided to focus with the introduction of the Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) for the first time on a specific region, which till date remains the most significant pan-Arab index on the quality of life in the Arab countries. (and I wish the amount of independent research coming out of the region would not be so miniscule, so that it could be compared to something – grrr!) In the meantime, several editions of this publication have given us enough reasons for the backwardness of the region – despite Islam.
Personally I would say that when looking at the current state of research on politics and development in the Arabic World, which is still mainly still characterized by explicit or implicit recourse to realist theoretical assumptions as well as strongly influenced by Euro-American imperialism and its distorting influence on the writings of Western scholars about non-Western cultures, a new constructivist approach could foster our understanding of current political developments in this region. To analyze findings and putting them up for reconsideration without factoring in a systematic and theoretically articulated understanding of Islam can be a dangerous undertaking when looking at the urgency of this issue, since it increases the potential for intra-societal conflicts within individual Arab countries. In this light, it is not only important to look at the entire region, but also to look at specific countries within their own contexts. Intended reform policies and recommendations should be considered in a holistic framework that will include geo-political, diplomatic, socio-cultural and economic issues.
A common misconception when dealing with the contemporary world of political Islam is the tendency to concentrate entirely on its most radical extreme rather then to focus on the mainstream of the phenomenon. Nevertheless while the dominant Islamist point of view is that Islam is not incompatible with democracy, there still remain a portion of Islamists who view democracy as being antithetical to Islam. For them relentless secularization and a strict separation of religion and politics is understood to be integral aspects of the democratic experiment. However democracy as a concept is amenable to multiple, competing definitions. Numerous Arabic scholars are pointing out the flexibility and diversity within Islamic thought that had in the past been and would continue in the present to be accommodating socio-political changes. According to some researchers the fear of political Islam, real or contrived, continues to provide a pretext for non-implementation of respect for human rights principles in many Arabic states. However the emancipation of the Arabic world from the burden of authoritarianism will only be achieved if the common Muslim is enlightened about the relationship between Islam and democracy that is based on a dispassionate and objective synthesis of Islamic and social sciences.

The democracy the world is trying to impose onto the Arab World is entirely based on Western values and that concept will most likely fail. It should by now be obvious that change has to be endemic and it is certainly not the business of the West to meddle in this process, it is however incumbent upon Arabs to take ownership of these reforms and to proceed without undue delay.
Conclusion:
The emergence of democratic model for the Arab World cannot be envisioned without containing a special role for Islam.

ninjacamel said...

secularism is not simply a piece of paper, a legal ruling, or a cluase in the econstitution; it's also the social, poliitcal and cultural reality of a nation. To ignore that many Muslims (even outside of Turkey) are actually living a secular life and that many westrners (even in the heart of the secularist West) are religious fundamentalists, occasioanlly in powerful government offices, is a terrible failure of perception and anlysis.

nick said...

Any society that treats half its population as unequal cannot by definition be democratic.
Suffrage is not enough. Democracy must to be representative. Women are not represented. Period. Islam, as political judicial system as well as religious, is not compatible with democracy.

Ninjacamel,
To paraphrase what you said; to ignore that many Muslims are actually living a secular life [within the realm of Islamic law which takes precedence over the state they are living in], and that many westerners (even in the heart of the secularist West) are religious fundamentalists, occasioanlly in powerful government offices, [although they are always bound, curtailed even, by secular civil law which restricts application of religious beliefs to the private realm], is a terrible case of left wing do-goodying perception through the pink tinted glasses.

So, Ninja; please then would you tell me about the religious fundamentalists, OTHER than Muslims, who are in the habit of flying planes into buildings and blowing themselves up in pizzerias? I would really like to know what crimes are being perpetrated, today, in the name of Christianity, Judaism etc. in the Western world.

Go, on, Mr. Apologist, make my day. I need a laugh, desperately.

Islam is one religion of many; none of which should matter a jot to adherents of other beliefs. It doesn’t matter what the Koran says, or the hadith or what is narrated in the sira, word for word, because these are historic fables / historiography/ hagiography, and as such man made and biased and contradictory.

To put the famous tolerance of Islam, the so-called religion of peace to the test, I should be able to go down to Baniyas Square to proclaim my support for Israel, or denounce the group of Muslim idiots in the UK who in the name of Islam demanded the closure of a pub near their place of worship!

What matters is how believers of religion interpret and apply those beliefs today.

What matters is that I would be probably be stone by the mob for stating my opinion.

It doesn’t matter that in the name of Christianity many thousands were killed, burned alive even.
What matters today is that this is impossible to happen in the name of Christianity because religion is rightfully shackled and contained within civil law.

In Islamic countries, this is simply not the case.

Ninja, looking the other way and to pretend that because in Egypt women go around unveiled, with makeup to make any stucco artist blush, and boobs oozing out of eighties style knitwear, it is not an Islamic country is just totally ill-informed, or ignorant.
Copts are being denied the most basic rights in Egypt and forced to convert to Islam. How “secular” is that?
You believe that Syria and Iraq are secular because a man can buy beer? Try that as a woman. Or better still, try running for parliament in Syria with a policy of free trade with Israel and free speech.
Try running an opposition newspaper in Egypt, or Algeria.


Sevensummits,

You say Iran is less backward than Arab Muslim countries? That’s just a marble of stupidity!

Backwardness is not only defined by absence of scientific endeavour, and the number of international patents registered per year.
Oh no.
Ask the girls there how 'advanced' it feels to cover up like a sack of potatoes. Ask that nine year girl that was executed last year for having been raped by a relative.
Ask her about backwardness and religion!

D said...

Sugar-Free Sweetie said: All I have to say is that Islam is perfect
No religion is perfect... in my opinion, all of them have flaws which no one bothers correcting simply because that is the way it always has been.
@ Nick ... I agree with this: What matters is how believers of religion interpret and apply those beliefs today.
However, just because there are some Muslims who feel violence is the answer, doesn't mean Islam is at fault... again, you're right, it depends how people interpret it.

Sugar-Free Sweetie said...

No religion is perfect... in my opinion, all of them have flaws which no one bothers correcting simply because that is the way it always has been.

I respect your opinion...But as someone who has studied religions I can say that it is the most tolerating religion...but again today it is not represented in the way that it should, thanx to the international media and some Muslims who are doing the most amount of damage to what they practice...

D said...

I agree with you that Islam is highly misrepresented nowadays... and I honestly don't know which religion is the most tolerant or can we truly measure tolerance amongst religions so I cannot comment there.
I respect your opinion and you respect mine... both are happy! :)

nick said...

d,

However, just because there are some Muslims who feel violence is the answer, doesn't mean Islam is at fault... again, you're right, it depends how people interpret it.

Noone blames religion per se.

We blame Muslims, not Islam.
We blame Muslims for allowing their co-religionists to twist their religion to their demented violent purposes.
We blame Muslims for not keeping religion and state separate as it should be.

We blame you for not curtailing your extremist "brothers".

Don't be fooled for one second by apologists who seek the blame in western behaviour and presence in the Middle East.

It's a home made problem. Sort it out yourself of bear the consequences, whatever they may be:

Blow back, ostracism, never ending interventionism, wars, sectarian violence, oppression of women and dhimmia.

Ibn Battuta said...

it is so good to see that mindless bigotry is alive and well! to make such sweeping and litterally gross generalizations is disturbing and fortunately not even worth responding to.

as for your earlier post, here are a few responses:

Nick,

I’m not sure what you are arguing against. There is a difference between “Muslim” and “Islam”, though murky at times, and nothing you write really counters that, though I don’t think that is really what your concern is and what you are arguing about.

1) what do you mean by secular? Secular comes in a variety of forms – in India secularism is radically different than in the US, which is quite different than most European countries.

2), many Muslim countries have secular constitutions, including Lebanon, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Kyrgystan, and Uzbekistan. As well, most are in fact secular, even though they also have legal systems that employ Islamic law. Jordan, Syria, Tunisia, Algeria have very weak “Islamic” credentials, as do most of Central Asia, Africa, and Iraq under Sadam.

3) again, as per my earlier post, there is more to a “state” than the judicial system. All legal systems draw upon religious codes (where I live, in the “bible belt”, sodomy and adultery are crimes, being based on Christian codes). As well, what defines an Islamic state? Is it parliamentary democracy (Bangladesh, Indonesia)? Monarchy (Jordan, Morocco)? Military-based dictatorship (Pakistan, Egypt)? Authoritarian dictatorship (Syria, Libya)? Tribal dictatorship (Saudi Arabia, UAE)? Which of these is Islamic?

4) in no country does the ulema rule, except Iran. The “Islamist” group in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, is not made up of ulema, but rather white-collar, urban professionals – doctors, engineers, lawyers.

5) “honor killings” are not Islamic. No Shari’a law proclaims honor killings as legal and acceptable. In addition, such practices are pretty universal, sad to say. Honor killings are encoded by patriarchy, not religion. In China, in India, much of Latin America (in fact in many Christian countries) such heinous crimes occur (according to one friend who works in South America, such crimes are rampant). Unfortunately, the media seems to only report such cases when carried out by Muslims. Yes, many very horrendous acts are carried out in the name of Islam, but does that mean they are “Islamic”?

6) as a footnote, Judaism was never considered “western” until after the end of WWII. In fact, the reason Jews were in the Maghrib in the 16th century is because they were expelled from Christian Europe. The “Judeo-Christian” tradition is a late 20th century construct, an idea which many Christians still reject.

7) As for dhimmis, this is an interesting point and contribution to the discussion. Even in Pakistan, non-Muslims can buy alcohol once they obtain a permit, though Muslims, in theory, cannot. Thus, the presence of such practices is not a sign of secularism, but in fact of the “Islamic” claims of the state to morally police and control the population. However, in Saudi Arabia dhimmis don’t have such rights, meaning it is not Islamic???

Stained said...

I would love to reply to various verbal attacks made by various people on Islam [who by what they have said don't understand Islam] but would just like to say that you just missed the whole point of my post.

I should have specified what Islamic nation means to me. A nation that follows ONLY the rules laid down by The Holy Quran[not the Shari'a or anything else] to the best possible way while staying in tune to this modern society. Now by staying in tune to modern society I don't mean by legalising same sex marriages or making prostitution legal. Those are sins & should never be made legal & should be eradicate from the society completely. By staying true I mean letting technology like the Internet open to all[letting proxy being a choice for example], letting other non-Muslim to come stay here[even Israel passport holders] but not letting them bring there social habits here that will be called a sin in Islam, by giving more opportunities to women but making sure they are kept safe & so on.

Islam might not be perfect for a ideal western world but I am not a westerner so I don't care about that world. I'm Muslim from the east & for me Islam is not just a religion but its a way of living, more perfect that you think it is. Now don't jump to a conclusion that I hate western people & I'll crash a plane in some building. Those people aren't Muslims, they are terrorists who used to be Muslims when they were born. Yes the word JIHAD is used everywhere by the media & several terrorist organisations, but they are not Muslims cause they don't follow Islam even though it might seem like they are. Killing innocent people, carrying weapons with the ideas to kill, bombing etc is not Islam. So don't mix Islam & these terrorists.

Now coming to the UAE. Yes the UAE follows the Shari'a [where the laws/rules specified are adapted from The Holy Quran] but how often do they take a path around those laws/rules when it comes to all the amenities we all enjoy here. Yes they are in tune with the modern society but they have either legalised or have turned away from so many Issues that for me could have been avoided. So for me UAE is not a Islamic nation.

Now coming to the world. No country is an Islamic Nation in my opinion. Not even Saudi. We being imperfect creatures create these imperfect nations[supposedly Islamic] based on a perfect religion; Islam [In my opinion].

About secularism, I don't want a secular state. I would prefer a Islamic state & not a Secular or a Democratic one so I don't care about these human efforts for a flawed society[now don't tell me they are perfect].

My basic point behind this post was for people to stop blaming Islam in a country like UAE where these restrictions might be based on Islam but this base has become thin. Not cause Islam as a religion is weak but because the people following it have switched to something where they choose to follow only those parts of Islam that they want to follow & just ignore the rest.

Blame the government, blame the incompetent telecommunication company, but don't blame the religion.

Now I know lots of you will have a go at my comment but you will never understand the line that 'Islam is not a religion but a way of life' for me. That is how strong my belief is....so that.....

D said...

Would just like to disagree on your opinion on same sex marriages. It's perfectly normal and it's ridiculous that it's still not legal.

I still think religion and politics don't mix well btw...hmmm...

nick said...

@ Ibn,

I’m not sure what you are arguing against.

Against the idea as formulated by Stained in the original post that the UAE are not an Islamic state and that therefore restrictions of individual freedoms, like the blocking of website access, should not be blamed on Islam. (on what then, one would ask?)

My point being that yes, bloody well it should be blamed on Islam, because there is no distinction between civilian / secular and religious in Islam, which is the state religion and basis of legislation and constitutional fabric of the UAE.

Further on I explained that being able to consume alcohol etc. in an Islamic country is no sign of secularity and an Islamic state that permits it for some residents should not be mistaken for a secularized state. The main premise of secularity / laizism is the separation of state and religion by constitution. In a secular state a Muslim should be able to drink alcohol if he so wished, and if 'under the influence'he did something against the law, be judged as citizen violating the civil law, and nothing else, and not as Muslim having violated against Islam as well.
The fact that Shari’a law takes precedence in jurisdiction here or any Islamic state (and it does, regardless the PR stunt of exempting of dhimmis from lashing in the UAE) is a proof that there is no separation.

1) what do you mean by secular? Secular comes in a variety of forms

No it doesn't. It is quite clear what it means, see above. And read Bernard Lewis’ “What went wrong”. Or wiki laicism.


2) many Muslim countries have secular constitutions

A contradiction in se.
You are missing the point of Islam. The moment a country declares itself secular by constitution (written or by affording rights by precedent), it ceases to be Islamic. There either is a Muslim country, i.e. Islamic country that adheres to the all-encompassing assertion of Islam to regulate all activities, including and foremost jurisdiction according to Islam, or there is not.

Turkey is not a Muslim country. Neither is the Lebanon. Neither are the six former USSR states who have a majority Muslim population.

3) again, as per my earlier post, there is more to a “state” than the judicial system.
Yes. As I have said a hundred times, it is the clear separation of state (legislative, executive, juridical) from anything pertaining to religion, any religion.

4) in no country does the ulema rule, except Iran. The “Islamist” group in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, is not made up of ulema, but rather white-collar, urban professionals – doctors, engineers, lawyers.

This is a misconception again. The theocracy in Iran is a fairly new concept, the title ayatollah stems only from the twentieth century. And, this equivalent of clergy is not the same as ulema. Correct me if I am wrong but the ulema does not deal with strictly religious matters – no, they are the doctors of the law / knowledge, ‘ilm’, i.e. the interpretation of applicability of Islam on pretty much anything and everything in life.

You cannot escape Islam in an Islamic state, i.e. one that does not separate religion from state, such as Turkey.

“honor killings” are not Islamic

A beautiful example of apologism. Just because they are honour killings in other parts of the world, it does not follow that those honour killings committed in the name and under the umbrage of Islamic law and demented interpretations of Islam are not Islamic! Of course they are.

Don’t you understand that, since no Muslim can leave his religion, ‘step out of it’, unless at the pain of death as apostate, i.e. since no Muslim cannot not be a Muslim, everything he does or says is by deduction necessarily Islamic. That’s the whole point of Islam, as propagated by Muslims themselves, that Islam determines, guides and regulates everything they do.

6) as a footnote, Judaism was never considered “western” until after the end of WWII.

This doesn’t matter today. Christianity also comes from the same region, and suffered persecution for more than three centuries, before it became the western (roman) religion of choice. It certainly doesn’t or didn’t make a difference to the level of discrimination afforded to both Jews and Christians under Muslim rule. In fact the opposite is true. Jews were ranked under the Ottoman rule after the Women, Greeks and Armenians, and slaves. Only agnostic or atheists were, and are considered worse than the Jews. That’s dhimmia for you and me.

7) …However, in Saudi Arabia dhimmis don’t have such rights, meaning it is not Islamic???

No, it just means Saudi Arabia is a fucking wahhabi shithole. It is fitting to note that in Saudi slavery was legal until 1962.


@ Stained,

I should have specified what Islamic nation means to me.

I am sure you have your personal views, but it doesn’t actually matter what you think Islamic means for /to you, because you are not free to chose the ‘lite’ version even if you wanted: Try wearing a tanktop and have a beer with your Dad and see what happens. It's not like you are killing someone.
Try bringing home a Jewish boyfriend and see what happens. It's not like you commit a crime against Mohammed, or is it maybe?

Islamic means the choice is being made for you.
So for you, in your own thinking, the UAE is not an Islamic state because the Shari’a law doesn’t get really applied that much, right? That doesn’t change the facts though. It does not do away with lashing, blood money, shari’a compliant banking, unequal rights of women in most parts of life, inequality of non Muslims before the court, death penalty as possible maximum penalty for drug possession etc. etc.

Well, dream on then, I hope you don’t have a rude awakening one day.

Ibn Battuta said...

Stained, while I sympathize with your need to clarify, I am still unsure what you are trying to argue. On one hand you say that countries that proclaim to be Islamic are not, because they are ruled by men who are inherently fallible, and thus fail to fulfill the Islamic ideal (which I fully agree with - just look at the clowns who rule Saudi Arabia). On the other hand, you support the idea of wanting an Islamic nation....

Any Islamic country is going to be ruled by men who impose their interpretations of Islam upon others - whose interpretations are you going to follow? what about those who have different interpretations? who is going to decide which interpretation is ideal for the nation? how will they be debated? once inscribed will they be able to change? how so?

Is it really so simple of a difference between what is "western" and what is "Islamic"? You are naturalizing the same logic of Samuel Huntington and George Bush of a clear demarcation between the two - one that has absolutely no historical basis and certainly counters all reasonably accepted theories of culture and civilization.

Culture is not a bounded object, including Islamic cultures (and I emphasize cultures in the plural). Culture is a dynamic force that is constantly being reconstituted, interacting with others, borrowing, debating, rejecting, accepting, changing, continuing.

Culture is a flow, a way of being, not an object to be had, possessed, or imposed.

The bigots who see nothing but evil and backwardness in Islam and the Muslim world see culture as a fixed object and can then judge it based on a superficial understanding - they don't have to scratch below the surface, as what they "see" is Islam (so they assume). However, you seem to be adopting a similar approach, only your position is different, seeing it from the inside rather than the outside....

Ibn Battuta said...

my last comment, Nick we at least agree on one thing - that Saudi Arabia is a "wahhabi shithole"!

unfortunately, your bigotry is so deeply rooted that it doesn't even allow you to study history and politics in any rational manner...

Stained said...

@ nick...I will not reply to anything you say cause to me you have insulted Islam so I shall ignore an ignorant like you.

@ Ibn...well I can WISH to be part of a Islamic nation though it is my thinking that none can exist in today world. I can't say anything about the future.

about other peoples point of view, well I am here just stating my point of view. Agreed other people also have point of views so that is why I say an Islamic nation is not possible. Cause today different people intepret a religion differently. Only a few people try to stick to the original guidelines, that in case of Islam is The Holy Quran. Maybe I should have kept this to my personal blog as a personal blog post.

Yes, culture is a flow, but a flow should be kept in check or else it will lose its path & go the wrong way. Just like the locals SD was talking about.

About me being a bigot. Well I disagree, I'm not trying to promote a 'hate people of other religion' propaganda here nor am I basing my Opinion on superficial understanding.

@ d....same sex marraige/intimacy is a sin & is not perfectly normal, i.e should not be legalised.

Islam is a way of life that defines everything a person is required to do. Its only the incapabilities of human that he/she are not able to follow.

secretdubai said...

Further on I explained that being able to consume alcohol etc. in an Islamic country is no sign of secularity

Also bear in mind that it remains illegal for muslims to drink alcohol in the UAE. Many do, but they face penalties if arrested, and they cannot obtain alcohol licenses.

nick said...

Ibn,

I don't know how much you really know about Islam, or life in an Islamic country, apart from your 'oriental travels'.
I have spent a substantial amount of time in Turkey and over six years here in the UAE - and I can tell the difference between a secular state and an Islamic state when I see one.
If if looks like Islam, and it sounds like islam it probably is Islam.

If I was a bigoted 'Islamophobe' as you want to portray me I guess I wouldn't have spent that many years of my live in this part of the world.
I would welcome a secularisation of Islamic countries, to put religion in its place where it should be.
But I recognize that many Muslims may not want that:
Ok, but then I have to tell them that they shouldn't be surprised if their countries are judged for what they want them to be, Muslim first and foremost.

It is one thing to knowlingly highlight shortcomings; to willfully seek out only the good and ignore the bad or wish it away is quite another; we call that
an agenda.

nick said...

Stained,

"@ nick...I will not reply to anything you say cause to me you have insulted Islam so I shall ignore an ignorant like you."

Thank you for making a point in case. That being the inability of Muslims to inquire freely and discuss their religion and accept criticism. You cannot engage in a debate because someone criticises Islam???

How the hell would you then be able to meaninful engage in a political debate about, well, any subject at all that touches on anything Islam states??? About same-sex marriage you don't want to know or talk because it "is a sin".
With me you dopn't want to talk because, apparently, I "insulted" Islam.
This is so fucking childish it takes my breath away everytime I hear it. Are you going to burn the flag of my country now, because I said "something against Islam".

Grow up. Learn to accept that somebody may disagree with you, criticise you, offend you, hate you. because you have to live with them, you have to deal with it - or else, stay in the Middle ages where you are now.

I don't blame you; I pity you and your ilk.

Ibn Battuta said...

ok, the last, last comment....

1) nick you are equally rigid and quite irrational in your argumentive style, quashing anyone who disagrees with you, as much as stained is (though i would argue more).

2) as a non-muslim the share arrogance of your pronouncements are frightening and a sad statement about the "west's" inability to engage people different from themselves. just as in france, as in saudi arabia, you can only accept people if they behave like you and you believe you have the power to dictate those terms to them.

3) ever heard of secular fundamentalist? fundamentalists of every yoke are undermining any sense of humanity and civilization....

Stained said...

I am not going burn your flag whatever country you may belong to. I don't argue with idiots like you who can't respect other people's belief. You want argue, I don't mind but there is something called an healthy argument that you can make without insulting ones religion.

Again you don't understand what Islam means to muslims like me & I will not try to make you understand cause I have tried before but some people just seem to turn there backs to people like us fow whom religion is more important than anything else. So I CHOOSE not to argue with you....

I don't need to talk about same sex marraiges cause it is a SIN & thats all I need to say about that topic. It starts & ends for me there.

I repeat....Islam is a way of life for people like me...something you will never understand. So nothing, not a secular state or democracy can change that. It rightfully belongs as a guideline to how every aspect of our life should me perform/executed & it shall remain there forever.

This will be my last comment on this topic, I had thought I would enlighten some people here about what an Islamic state really is but all I end up finding are dead ends...lost causes...deprived souls...

ninjacamel said...

nick, judging from your comments, I must say you are a master demagogue. I was trying to have a civil debate, making a very specific point that you seem to have missed completely and turned this into a pointless duel. It is depressing and tiring to read your disjointed and runaway responses. As far as I’m concerned, you've left no bridges for a good discussion; not even a floating bridge!

Kyle said...

Nick, chill-out dude!

And before you go gung-ho on me, let it be known that I’m on your side.

Man, just be! So what if they don’t follow what you & I deem right, it’s their way of life. Let them follow their book and we follow ours.

At the end of the day what you and I know is that we’re all one, if caught at the right moment per se!

So ease off Man, resolving this issue will take a lot longer than infinity.

Peace to you Bro :)

P.S.: Like your temperament!

Kyle said...

As far as I’m concerned, you've left no bridges for a good discussion; not even a floating bridge!

I've been floored with laughter & now my head hurts - LOL

nick said...

The floating bridge was a good one, I admit.

But no false diddlydoo mellowness here -

I was hoping for a good discussion, too.
That means one with no holds barred - but is this possible if the other party rejects any notion of criticism that their religion, perhaps somehow could be the root of their own misery and backwardness, caused by the iron grip it has on the states they live in, on their minds and on daily lives ?

Fat chance.

People like Stained have been brainwashed by Islam to kneejerkingly reject anything that faintly resembles a critique of its own selfaggrandising arrogant notion of being the be it and and end it all perfect 'Religion - version 3.0'


When in fact it is actually 'Politics -version 0.0'

nick said...

And Ninjacamel,

the one point you made about religious fundamentalists in the West and Ibn just jumped at that as well although regarding secular fundamentalists - I already addressed in my earlier post:

"So, Ninja; please then would you tell me about the religious (Ibn: replace with 'secular' at will) fundamentalists, OTHER than Muslims, who are in the habit of flying planes into buildings and blowing themselves up in pizzerias? I would really like to know what crimes are being perpetrated, today, in the name of Christianity, Judaism etc. in the Western world."

You left that unanswered.
I wonder why.

nick said...

And in case -and it looks just like that- you don't geddit, here's an analogy.

When some years ago violence by football hooligans escalated at matches between certain European clubs, the clubs were severly punished for the behaviour of their 'fans'.

Together with FIFA and the police (read 'international law' for that), the clubs in no time curbed the violence in and around stadia, and made this kind of behaviour unacceptable.

Geddit?

--------------------

Each religion is responsible for the villains it breeds, the crimes that are perpetrated in its name. It's called R-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-y.

If this twisting, usurption and abuse of the true meaning is indeed possible, then it is clear that the message is ambiguous, to say the least.

How about REFORMATION ? How about secularisation? How about an effort of all you nice, decent, tolerant and peaceloving Muslims to stand up to your hooligans?

Where is the peer pressure now?
Where is the sensibility down at the mosque when the imam calls for jihad, ya'know not the wrigglingstrugglingstriving-one but the 'other one'?
Where is the voice of reason and moderation when your neighbours' son in fucking Gaza prepares for 'martyrdom', on a multicoloured poster?
What are YOU doing about the extremist's abuse of your own religion I demand to know?!!!

Ibn Battuta said...

as your bigotry so blinds you to the complex realities of the world, let me just point out a few facts - though we know you are not interested in facts, just mindless propaganda....

1) hindu fundamentalists have slaughtered 1000s, literally 1000s, more muslims than muslim terrorists have killed christians and jews combined;
2) until the u.s. occupation of iraq about 90% of all suicide bombings occured in what country? sri lanka;
3) at least until 2000, 70%-80% of all anti-u.s. terrorist activity occured in what region of the world, according to the cia?
latin america

why do westerners generally insist on ignorning such facts and continue to construct islam as the greatest evil doer in the world? is it oil? a long history of orientalist bigotry? global production of the u.s. culture of fear? nothing else better to do than bash others they know nothing about? probably a bit of all of the above....

of course i realize you (nick) don't really care about facts, but as others are probably reading this i think it is important that your false claims and ideologically driven depictions be properly exposed for what they are - tainted bigotry.

rosh said...

I am a Christian, and grew up in the UAE. I have friends who are Muslims, Christians & Hindus. I see my friends as friends first and I respect the respective religions as much as I respect them.

The beauty of UAE is that nobody thrusts another religion on you. You are free to practice your religion, respect other religions, and learn to co-exist better.

nick said...

Ibn,

Thanks for that; goes nicely with my nightcap.

I am interested in facts. So let's examine yours, although we have to ignore for a minute that you missed the point completely
Remember that we compared fundamentalists of the three monotheistic religions and their real or ficticious acts, in the West - because that's what was insinuated; that Musllim terrorists are not really all that big a deal because others also do it.

Nonsense argument of course (which I didn't start but had to throw right back at where it came from), because even a single Muslim terrorrist who blows in the name of his religion is one too many.

So let's fisk your 'facts' then:


1) hindu fundamentalists have slaughtered 1000s, literally 1000s, more muslims than muslim terrorists have killed christians and jews combined

Really? where are these statistics. And surely you mean NOT during a war. because, you know Ibn, in wars, people die. You are talking about thousands and thousands again, after the separation and establishment of India and Pakistan and after independence of Bangladesh?
In India, not J&K which is a war zone?
Show me these stats. I don't believe it.

2) until the u.s. occupation of iraq about 90% of all suicide bombings occured in what country? sri lanka;

By whom. How many, and how many against CIVILANS???- NOT military targets and not in the context of civil war. Hezbollah 'invented' the modern Islamic suicide bomber, against the Lebanese military.
What we we are talking about is terrorism against civilians (as in World trade Center, as in Pizzerias!!), not suicide bombings during war!!

3) at least until 2000, 70%-80% of all anti-u.s. terrorist activity occured in what region of the world, according to the cia? latin america

??? So what are you suggesting - Let's forget 9/11? Let's forget the Sbarro pizzeria 'incident' etc? Let's not mention 07/07 London? Let's not talk about Glasgow airport?

Are you completely out of your mind and intent on making a complete fool of yourself??? In this part of the comment thread we were talking about Muslim terrorism as opposed to Christian or Jewish terrorism, in the West, today.

Sorry, your facts don't have legs.

Must have been blown away.

nick said...

Good night, and good luck.

i*maginate said...

"The floating bridge was a good one, I admit."

Whoah, nick, sweetheart, did I miss anything?

SevenSummits said...

Wow – thank God for time difference!

STAINED,
first of all a few lines to you. This topic was an excellent initiative and you should not even think about leaving something so valuable to the global community hidden in your personal blog. Of course the subject will stir a controversial debate and you did an excellent job integrating your views into the discussion. Certainly I noticed in between your lines, that you were getting really upset about some of the comments and would like to remind you about something that a very good Saudi friend told me about 15 years ago: “You cannot fight ignorance!” (and you are not the one being ignorant here!) Please do me a favor and read some of the comments carefully, once you have cooled down and I am pretty sure that some of us would like to discuss them with you in a respectful manner. Finally please don’t ever be tempted adopting this extremely rude terminology, it is simply not worth it.

___________________

@ Nick,
wow …… what on earth happened to you? Under the influence ….?
Was this really necessary????? Please accept my apologies, but I honestly I have to agree with Ibn Battuta on this one and am glad that he took the time to respond to your radical, discriminating and generalizing allegations. This is what you define as a debate? Extremely tragic is the fact that after spending several years in Islamic countries you obviously never managed to distinguish between Islam and the cultural/political environment. Your statement “Thank you for making a point in case. That being the inability of Muslims to inquire freely and discuss their religion and accept criticism” clearly shows that you are practicing the mindless propaganda that IBN Battuta accused you of.

The inability to have a critical argument is a result of an insufficient educational system, which again is absolutely necessary for the government to uphold the bargain in which access to the states' goods and services is exchanged for the political submission of its citizenry. (Critical minds would cause instability and question the system!) If you take a look at the facts, the ADHR contains this harsh criticism of Arab education (Chapter 2). "The curricula taught in Arab countries seem to encourage submission, obedience, subordination and compliance, rather than critical thinking" (p. 53). "Communication in education is didactic, supported by set books containing indisputable texts and by an examination process that only tests memorization." (p. 54). All this has nothing to do with religion, but is merely a political power game. If you take a closer look, you will notice that there is no other religion that promotes the appropriation of knowledge as much as Islam. Maybe it would be a good idea for you to have a discussion with a real Islamic scholar? So in this case it is traditional culture vs politics vs religion (and the last one will loose this equation) In other words they are brainwashed by a socio-political system, not by religion.

The problem seems to be that you like to talk (and there is absolutely no problem with that), but do not care to listen to an opposing view or maybe in general not at all.

Apart from this, you really expect an answer to the question what crimes are being perpetrated, today, in the name of Christianity, Judaism etc. in the Western world." How long would you like this blog to be? Nick, please mate, this is somewhat naïve …. Just to give you some food for thought: The Pope (ok, you will blame it on him being German, I suppose), has his concern with sexual morality: contraception, abortion, divorce and homosexuality. In the name of Christianity he rejects for instance the usage of condoms in Africa (or elsewhere), which eventually will cost more victims than any Islamic fundamentalism. Keywords here are: HIV/Aids, numerous other deadly diseases and worse of all “overpopulation”. (In comparison Islam has no objections to contraception)

You are mentioning a tragic incidence Iran and do not even notice your own flaws in your argumentation. The mere reason why both of us can actually discuss this incidence (and a documentary exists), is because it was brought to international attention by Iranians. Another death of another girl (Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi - she was released in January) was actually prevented by a petition. Please compare this to the existence (or lack of) a functioning civil society in the Arab world. Do you really know what is going on in the UAE? I honestly doubt it, because some things are still hidden from the general public. Have you ever been to Iran to judge the country? Well, I have and I was surprised!

@ IBN BATTUTA,
“Tribal dictatorship” ??? – yeah …. must integrate this new English vocab into my work :- ) Hope you are not planning to visit the UAE? They do not react to well to such a descriptive form of address – you will be able to get their “special treat” instantly. :- ( What exactly is your problem with Saudi? Keep up the good comments :- )

Ibn Battuta said...

thanks for your summarizing comments sevensummits. one of the interesting things with internet communications is that often we say things we would never really believe in just for the sake of debate, let's hope nick was more inspired by a need to be a "devil's advocate" than speaking from his own heart.

as for the "tribal dictatorship" - admittedly a spur of the moment construct. i guess the Gulf states are essentially monarchies, though they seem different to me. let's see about getting back to the uae in january, and there goes my shot of going on hajj! lol

what's wrong with saudi arabia - wahhabism. period. they've destroyed islam. not to promote my own blog but here are my thoughts on the subject: http://rihla-journey.blogspot.com/2007/05/wahabism-is-not-islam.html

interestingly, and perhaps it is time for a new thread, but in many respects it is easier to be a muslim in the u.s. than in most of the muslim world.... the diversity of muslims here is the true ummah, one that "Islamic nations" seem to forget when they attempt to construct themselves at the top of the pecking order.

i*maginate said...

SS, will you please go to sleep.

Me, ibn battuta & nick have some shopping to do.

Can you please, while scanning this post (& its comments) word for word, refrain from posting mile-long words: your essays might distract us from our shopping: CHEERS from Dubai, you...... :)

i*maginate said...

*nick, you might need a strong coffee, preferably not in my company, nor in ss's. Wait, would you prefer the company of SS or me?

Dying to know your answer, when you have the time

P.S. My riddles would be miles shorter, if your choice would be in my favour...if you chose SS, the story would never end...

Now, would you choose me? State your answer, I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks, love you too.

Stained said...

@ sevensummits... Yes you have read well between the lines.....I have had the misfortune of dealing with people who have made insulting comments about Islam unasked...It really is disturbing cause I for one has never insulted someone's religion/beliefs...agreed I don't really care either cause well its there personal choice.

@ ninjacamel...the floating bridge thing earned me a few stares from other people working in the office...nice one ;)

@ rosh... I would disagree a little...other people have thrusted there religion when it comes to celebrations like christmas, diwali, holi etc...not that I'm complaining...I like having the sweets... :D

@ i*maginate...am I missing something or is it a inside joke :|

one last thing...thanks sevensummits for making me come back & comment again.

D said...

Stained:

@ rosh... I would disagree a little...other people have thrusted there religion when it comes to celebrations like christmas, diwali, holi etc...not that I'm complaining...I like having the sweets... :D

I remember learning in Sociology in school ... religion is split into the rituals pertaining to the faith followed by the adherents of the faith, and the cultural aspect which is what you are talking about where people from other faiths also partake in the festivities.
Which is why I love it when ALL the festivals of ALL religions come around...sweets, food and FUN. :D

D said...

Oh I forgot,
Nick... no one's asking you to forget those incidents such as 9/11 etc... I think what everyone is trying to say is that people from mostly all religions twist the peaceful meaning of their scripts etc to make their own agenda... Right now, the terrorists who, well, terrorize in the name of Islam are the most publicized, but as far as I know, Islam has never propagated killing people in its name. Neither has any other religion. That interpretation is made by people who, as I said, have their own personal, and more often than not, political agenda.

nick said...

Sevensummits,

You are talking shite, mate – or, I give you the benefit of doubt, your reading comprehension is beyond the pale.

Firstly, we all know the facts listed in the Arab nations Human development reports, and if someone doesn’t then they should look it up. I have just returned from a meeting with a highranking technical development officer in a ministry in Abu Dhabi which was conducted mostly by pointing fingers, smiling, drinking stained water from small cups, Ohing and Ahing, many Inshallahs and Bukras, and no problems.

Emiratisation -1: Progress - 0

Sevensummits & also ‘d’:

1) We are NOT talking about the shortcomings and limitations of Halakha or Canon law versus Islamic law(s), because we are NOT comparing religions.
That’s the whole point of the thread.

I do not mean to attack or insult Islam as a religion and IF I did, I apologize.

I did however mean to attack Islam as ‘Politics Version 0.0’, which it is, and I stand by that.

What I was arguing for was the fact that religions in the “western” world (and Turkey), whatever they may be, are separate from the state, and that this is a good thing because it enables and fosters a climate of free inquiry and unrestricted and critical debate, also ABOUT religion and its moral underpinning of political concepts.
This can only happen if religion is NOT party to a discussion, and in fact it does not happen in an Islamic state where Islamic law and the religion itself pervade politics, and every discussion.

One example was same sex marriage:

It’s a no-go area for Islam. That’s it?? Khallas? No debate, no inquiry into biology, psychology, sociocultural benefits, tax benefits even?? No nothing???

Just because as written or revelead, whatever, 1400 years ago, or as per current interpretation it may be irreconcilable with the predominant religion in this region??
Personally, I do not have an opinion about it, but I am not against it a priori, because I do not have a religion. I would refrain from voting in a referendum for instance until I made up my mind, through informing myself in private and public debate.
But I know many people in the “West” have strong opinions about it, often fuelled by a set of religious morality. They discuss, grumble, rant, lobby, demonstrate, affiliate, join the section of the political spectrum that best supports their opinion, and take it from there to parliament.

THIS IS SECULARISM / LAICISM.

It does NOT prevent you from acting according to your morals / religion.

(That is why I understand Ibn’s comment about Muslims in America. There was a very good recent study on, I think, www.pewforum.org, which showed that most Muslims in the USA are very content there, being able to practice their religion in practice without restriction, whilst being able to drink, smoke or marry Jews if they chose to.)

Now I ask you again – is this possible in Islamic countries?? To talk about Israel without burning flags, or to talk about fags without “burning Israel”? My foot it is!!!

2) Iran. Sevensummits brought it up as an example for advancement of Islamic countries and I am still ROFL after two days. No argument in the world can save him now. A real marble!!!


i*maginate,

Coffee with none of you all. BAH. Or ALL of you.

You pay.

Stained said...

What makes you so sure that those muslims in America are more content than muslims here. Just cause some survey/report says so does not mean anything.

Hasn't anything that I have said got into your thick brain. I have repeated this over & over again that 'Islam is a way of life' for me and many others. Doesn't that mean I am content with life even though there are restrictions placed. I am more content than those muslims in America cause:

For one, I know I live in a country that atleast compared to the US is based more on Islam.

Second, I can freely practice my religion without being treated at like I am a terrorist.

Third, I live in a city where I can hear the Azan everyday, for every prayer, in every part of the city.

Fourth, I can freely eat HALAL food without a second thought.

I can state more reasons but that would be a waste of time on a ignorant like you. But one think I can say, I am more content with life with the restrictions that in my opinion are necessary.

Same sex marriage is a SIN. Don't you get it. Thats all we muslims need to know. Yes The Holy Quran was gifted to mankind 1400 years back but that does not mean we should stop following what is said in it. Its gives us the path to enlightment for a better life. What it says is right & nothing this modern world can do to change this fact.

Politics is a part of ones life. Islam is way of life, The Holy Quran is our guideline that shows us the way. So mixing politics & Islam is inevitable & we muslims have no Issues with that. If other people have, well there are many Secular/Democratic countries you can move to or you could just accept this fact and live on like you've been doing quite *spectacularly* for a few years now...

The Arab nations Human development reports is full of...well let me put it in a non-offensive way....loose facts.

I've lived here for 21years and I have seen this place change from a land of sand dunes to the glistering beauty it is now. I know this place waaaay better than some report who has not lived in the shoes of people like me who call the gulf our home and to be honest we'd prefer being here instead of anywhere else (unless you count the Himalayas, would love to live there for a few years in my case, its so beautiful).

Yes women don't have as much freedom here as in lets say India, but aren't the oppurtunities increasing. Aren't various doors of freedom opening to women in the Gulf. Things change, and that change usually takes time. Access to knowledge, heard of the Knowledge Village or Academic City in Dubai. Heard about the Silicon city, Dubai land. They are trying to do provide knowledge to its population, isn't that a path to development.

Yes we don't have a elected government here. Yes its a monopoly in politics where they make the rules and the others have to accept it. But hasn't that kept most of this regions population happy. Aren't the expats still living here after things like salik. What does that mean, they're better off here than they were back home so they choose to stay. If a person was better off somewhere else, he can leave, there are NO homeland security policy here that a person gets arrested for buying a one-way ticket home assuming he's a terrorist on the run.

Emiratisation, is that a problem. Isn't it THEIR country, they can run naked in the street if they want [not that they would]. I don't see you leaving, so stop complaining....

Stained said...

EDIT^^^
**'Yes women don't have as much freedom here as compared to lets say in India'

Anonymous said...

Nick
you are a teacher of nothing...
stop talking about things that you don´t know ....you can´t talk about Islam whithout taking any gramm of religion in your heart.. if your self steam depends on arguin and insulting others profound feelings ... go to the shrink and get a life.....

al-republican said...

Dropped in after reading Sevensummits entry on SD's blog. Good debate and really interesting points made by everyone.

The winner? NICK! Hands down! If there ever was a case of comparing apples to oranges this would have to be it! Well done, Nick, for being at a perfect 90 degree tangent to everyone else here!

Ibn Batuta: I am impressed with your views on this and even more impressed with the way you have conducted yourself. I am dying to read your wahhabi post on your blog, hehe. I shall do that ASAP.

Even though I am not in favor of the Wahhabi doctrine, I can admit that the suicide bombings rampant in the Islamic World today and the intolerance as such is not a gift of the Wahhabis. As a Shafi'i by madhhab, I can tell you that the orthodox schools of thought have their fair share of intolerants that would even make the Wahhabis blush.

I will leave my other comments on Wahhabism on your blog once I read your take on it. But, please, akhi, let's move ahead from this hate for our own. Yes Wahhabis have a problem, but so do deobandis, barelwis, sufis etc. If there was EVER a time for us to unite and transcend our differences, it is NOW. If we can't unite now, we never will.

If you do go for Hajj, please do make dua for all of us :)

Best comment on this thread goes to the person who joked about the "floating bridge" hahaha. Can't recall who it was, but well done!

al-republican said...

Ibn Batuta-

I have left my comments on your posting on Wahhabism. I will wait to hear back from you on that.

was-salam alaykum!

nick said...

Stained,

…muslims in America are more content than muslims here. Just cause some survey/report says so does not mean anything.

??Huh??
It means that the majority of Muslims are content in the US for the reasons I cited, and they said so themselves.
Stained, it means exactly what is says on the tin. It’s called a survey.


Yes we don't have a elected government here. Yes its a monopoly in politics where they make the rules and the others have to accept it. But hasn't that kept most of this regions population happy.

So you are happy without voting rights. You are happy in a tribal dictatorship.

Well, double mabrook to you, you’ve hit it big in the lottery of live.

And if you want to get experience abroad one day when you grow up – there are plenty of countries in the world where you will be much happier than in Europe or the US.

*drum roll*

Take your pick. Here’s a list of countries where NO thinking for one’s own is required and where submissive obedience to rulers is perfectly acceptable:

Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, North Korea…..

(Iraq no longer I am afraid. Sorry to disappoint you)

SevenSummits said...

Heavens, Nick?
In all honesty, what exactly is your problem? (I would have send you this by e-mail instead of putting it on the blog, but sadly you do not have established a profile yet – but neither have I, so …. ;-)

After being my own exploited construction worker all day, I am just wondering what drives you into such actions? I have been observing this blogosphere for some time, (before actually deciding to join in) and noticed many really interesting comments from you. For instance, your insides on the Emiratization experiment, the construction industry, etc. makes extremely interesting reading, because it is the combined experience from someone on the ground. I prefer to share my sleeping place with rats and roaches, ignore the odor of dead bodies in an advanced state of decay and constantly having someone pointing a gun in my direction, than to swap with you and the responsibility you have for just a single day. No chance on earth – I could not even endure it! My work requires patience, thus I have a lot of it and my “extremely hot temper well under control”, accept when I have to get something done in the UAE. It drives me nuts - the incompetence, the unbelievable arrogance, you name it – five day max and KLM puts me down as being a “difficult passenger”. Actually, if I have to stay longer, I have to run up and down “Jebel Hafeet” (from that last roundabout in Al-Ain) just to get rid of an evolving “killer instinct”. However that is a lot better than taking out my frustration and insulting people for having a different opinion online. Actually I certainly agree with most of what you are trying to say, but still also know that and I am repeating myself “policy impositions from Western nations have often been a failure when they are insensible to the cultural, religious and historical peculiarities of the recipient countries.”
Of course just like you said, the notion of "good governance" (basically the buzz summery of what you said) as a necessity for sustainable development has gained widespread currency and certainly that is the stuff I am telling the roaches at night. (since nobody else cares to listen – are we surprised ) However we are looking at a distorted policy approach, which can be witnessed when looking at the situation in the GCC and a paradigm change in this respect seems to be improbable. “Distorted policy approach” because just about everything we come up with as advice (for instance in regards to environmental issues) is conceptualized around the assumption that Western-derived standards of conduct, in other words the normative concept of "good governance" and "democracy", be adopted in non-Western politico-cultural contexts. To conclude, the short term expectation for political reform is totally unfounded and therefore there is an urgent need for the global community to adapt their recommendations to the given political reality, instead on producing scenarios that will never be feasible in this region. Harsh words and insults will however not do the trick either and nobody will benefit from it.
Just imagine for an instance, if IBN and I would come along and tell you how to run the construction business? Besides that we would be the victims of all the dirty stuff going on in the place, we would obviously never get anything build up. :-) In other words, I am imagining that we both highly respect your expertise and maybe just for a second you should give us the benefit of the doubt that we also know something about our respective jobs. Since logical deduction does not seem to work in this particular case, there is little hope in pointing out to you that first of all you did not answer my question about ever being to Iran (you accused others not to answer your questions, so how about setting a good example) and while you describe Iran as a country where “no thinking for one’s own is required and where submissive obedience to rulers is perfectly acceptable” I would like to point out to you that there are alone 700,000 blogs in Persian out there (a figure out of 2005 which doesn't include those hosted on international servers such as Wordpress, Google, etc. ) – strange for a nation that does not require any critical thought. For UAE nationals that comment certainly has some valid truth and nobody even cares about counting how many serious blogs from Emiratis there are actually in existence??? Will I need more than my 10 fingers?

But your opinion is just so influenced by frustration and hatred that there seems no point in trying to reason with you. Only this one should give you some room for thought: To claim that you know it all (and I am not implying that you are not extremely well-read) in just about every field of expertise, is presumptuous and you are unnecessarily embarrassing yourself.

Somehow I have a feeling where this aggressive behavior is coming from, but in case you are simply getting your kicks out of abusing folks, I will not advice you to get a life and see a shrink, but to get yourself at least two juicy Lebanese and bunch of blue pills and get rid of it – once and for all! But in case even this does not have the expected result, than PLEASE STICK TO INSULTING ME ONLY and not those that could easily be your children. I can handle you Nick and besides am used to people that enjoy making my life look like hell.

The paradox in all this is that in all your anger, you did not even realize that STAINED has made the first move toward(s)? critical thought and opened up this sensitive topic for debate.

Well, if I should ever be mindless enough to start my own blog (just to find out how long it will take to get banned), I am certainly looking forward to hearing your comments on political/development issues.

_________________

Finally, and this is not meant to upset or lecture you – please, please be careful with what you are writing in regards to the government on this blog. You are not as anonymous as you may think and if someone just has a bad day or didn’t get to roll over his [insert what you like] you might end up facing some extremely unpleasant fellows in your office. (who will deprive you of any rights within a second and just forget about your call to the embassy!) There is another, dark side of Dubai – very dark and very unpleasant – so Nick, while you are actually working in that country, be very cautious. (On this one you better believe my experience and I am still planning on having that coffee with you sometime in the future)

nick said...

Sevensummits,

Let me guess – you work for either the UN or some other so-called humanitarian NGO?

Because you certainly imbibed the hot air policy of talking much without saying anything at all. In fact, you are brilliant at it.

I have to hand it you and other self serving navel gazing bleeding heart apologist humanitarian “liberal” time wasting “social workers” and “activists”, you have found a niche in the market and went for it and now enjoy a nice life talking a great shop at (Western) taxpayers’ expense.
And to absolutely NIL effect.

You have managed to infiltrate the MSM and governmental bodies by stealth and political correctness which effectively deflects any reasonable criticism of your fatuous policies and existence. And all that whilst realistic practical reasonable folks like I were working our socks off all over the world with real work and paid for your salaries with our taxes.

Well done to you, mate!! You screwed us over twice and we didn’t notice until it was too late.

I despise people like you and their unwarranted uncalled-for wellmeaning and reconciliatory advice. Shove it up yours and keep it in there and stop the fuck LECTURING me and others on this blog.

Good. I got that off my chest and you now know where I stand WRT to moonbats like Ibn and yourself.

And then you have the cheek to bring up the fact that there –apparently –are 700,000 blogs in Persian out there
and you deduct that this is
strange for a nation that does not require any critical thought.

The fact that there are thousands of blogs is for you an indication of the state of democracy in Iran and the encouragement of critical thought??
Are you completely off your rocker or just plain stupid??
The contrary is true, you dimwit. Iran’s public realm is so oppressive that people only have the cyberspace to engage in debate and inquiry.

Mindboggling!

al-republican said...

Sevensummits, I dont feel sorry for "Nick". I feel sorry for you! What kind of a person are you, SS?You wasted all your time and efforts on this useless piece of turd and look how he returns the compliments! I hope you have learned your lesson? :P

And Sevensummits, please dont worry about us being too disturbed about his derogatory attitude. We are pretty used to this American arrogance and just about everyone else in the World is. Don't you worry, though, when empires come tumbling down, they are often preceded by such arrogant outbursts.

I will ask you to just sit back and relax and watch him talk big. If you are laughing at his comments and feel bad for laughing at him, just be assured that we all are laughing with you :P

Kyle said...

I would like to point out to you that there are alone 700,000 blogs in Persian out there ....!

700K or 7 Mill at the end of the day doesn't amount to anything if they don't influence a critical thought process.

It's just a voice trying to echo without any significant effect.

Stained said...

@ Sevensummit.... we could just keep this discussion on while ignoring the ignorant fool. And if he tries to remove crap from his mouth, I could always delete his comment...

I kinda agree with Kyle. The number of bloggers does not really matter if there voices cannot be heard. Though it is quite nice to know that soo many people are sharing their thoughts with the world.

i*maginate said...

"Supposedly the reason why we can't discuss delicate issues [like sex, pornography...etc], the reason why Orkut [& various other sites] was blocked in the UAE is because its a Islamic nation."

Where is the evidence for your "supposition", please?

I am awaiting your answer.

nick said...

I*maginate,

Now we know what you did all day yesterday -

you discovered html tags??!!

Stained said...

well lets see...some fellow bloggers were making these claims at a recent interview we had with CNN arabia.

Some collegues at my work & a few of my friends.

shlemazl said...

Yes!!! Loved the exchange.

Particularly when Al-republican called Nick "American": We are pretty used to this American arrogance

Take that Nick, you middle-aged European sissy!

Also, what's up with the word "bigot"*? Is it a new term meaning "You got me, but I am not going to admit it"?

*Note: considering all those that disagree with you to be bigots isn't arrogant, unless it comes from an American.

nick said...

Shlemazl, welcome back - you missed most of the fun but I'll keep you posted on other marbles of wisdom from Al-rep. He is quite a piece of work. You couldn't make him up.

(Yes, I am still laughing about being called an American. It seems to be the ultimate insult Al-rep can think of.)

Post a Comment

NOTE: By making a post/comment on this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for its content and that you are up to date on the laws of the country you are posting from and that your post/comment abides by them.

To read the rules click here

If you would like to post content on this blog click here