Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eyes Should Be on Egypt

Apparently these guys aren't so
tolerant . . .
Religious tensions have been a big part of modern Egyptian society, and it doesn’t look like it will get any better.  Or will it?

Honestly, how the fuck should I know?  I’m no expert on religious tension and sectarian violence in Egypt, so I am pretty much just speculating out of my ass at the moment.  This article in Time raises an interesting point about how the recent revolutionary crap has shaped the whole religion thing.

I guess while Mubarak was in power, the state imam that led prayer gave boring sermons about how great the government was.  Now, the imam chosen by the people talks about how he wants to cut off Shi’ite and Jew heads.  We thought the revolution would portend brighter days ahead, but this seems like a big “oops,” moment.

I got shit on a bit for supporting the revolution, chiefly because it was being spear-headed by the Muslim Brotherhood.  I don’t know much about them, except that they are now fracturing in Egypt.  They seem to be fracturing because of the very thing they fought for: religious freedom.

I think that somehow they didn’t get the memo that explains that religious freedom means that everyone gets to decide for themselves what the hell it is they believe.  That means you can’t forcibly coerce people into following a state religion, and to be honest you can’t get mad when people who once followed your shit tell you to fuck off.  I mean, you can be mad that they choose the life of an infidel, heathen, heretic or whatever, but ultimately you have to respect their decision.

So why should we give a shit about Egypt being all ridiculous?  Well, Egypt is an experiment and an example for the rest of the Middle East.

It’s not like it’s impossible for various religious groups in Middle Eastern countries to somewhat get along.  Although there are insurgent douchebags blowing shit up in Iraq, the government is actually somewhat coming together and being democratic despite the deep divisions between some of the sects.  They may still hate each other, but the majority are willing to settle their disputes politically instead of through a perpetual civil war.

Why can't Egypt just go back to being like this?
Something tells me Yule Brenner would not
stand for this bullshit.
In Egypt there’s been a lot of dialogue between religious leaders, and it seems to be a positive thing.  For one, they’ve come to the conclusion that they’re not always going to agree on everything, but that disagreement doesn’t mean they have to start blowing up school busses.

Yes, there are some serious nut-jobs there, but as time goes on, I think the nut-jobs will be properly marginalized.  I know some of you might say that radical Islam is a Middle Eastern societal ill that cannot be cured, but we have to look at radical Muslim countries before we make such arguments.  How many Middle Eastern countries that we would consider to nationally practice radical Islam are democratic societies in which religious freedom is a reality?  What happens if you’re a Saudi national and you try to convert to a religion other than Islam?  Well, I rightly don’t know, because my guess is that trying to leave Islam in Saudi Arabia is akin to suicide.

Radical Muslim nations are despotic in nature, so the people have no choice but to be as radical as the government says they need to be.  It could be that with religious freedom they may all fracture into a bunch of little groups that hate America and everything not-Muslim, but it’s certainly their prerogative to be that way, isn’t it?  So long as they’re not hurting anyone, they’re allowed to hate whomever they wish.

So we’ll have to see how this pans out.  Could religious freedom make them realize that it’s better to just get along, or will it just increase the violence?  We should all be watching to see what happens when a Middle Eastern country undergoes a revolt by the people and starts to dabble in religious freedom.

36 comments:

William McCullough said...

Not to worry, Hillary and Barack are treating with the 'Brotherhood,' peace is at hand - or is it? Probably not given the historical context of Islam which is nothing more than a bastardized version of the Old Testament and Orthodox Judiasm.The reaction of Islam towards the Orthodox Jews, might be theorized like that of a child who hates his parents and refuses to realize he is their product - and not much different in many ways. I'll probably catch hell for that analogy but you know what I mean. JUst my opinion.

Harrison said...

The Brotherhood didn't fight for religious freedom they fought to control the country.

All of this was known before it is simply coming to fruition now.

Good thing Obama supported it. Yes we can!

Jack Camwell said...

Well Harrison, they're sort of like the Pilgrims. They didn't come to America to establish freedom of religion, they simply wanted freedom to practice their religion, others be damned.

What they're now realizing, I'm sure, is that what once worked for them is now working against them.

We'll have to see how it all pans out.

Silverfiddle said...

The concept of religious freedom is foreign to the religion of submission.

I am very skeptical,and I base my skepticism on empirical evidence. Anyone would be hard-pressed to name a muslim country where various religions coexist and enjoy equal rights as in Israel.

Damien said...

The complexities of this should not be forgotten as it is to easy to generalize.

The main factors to consider is that the Brotherhood, if we like their politics of not, was never given a chance or a voice and repression breeds violence and a sympathy element. Also, that religios communal violence is a recent thing and often exagerated when occuring. The reality is that life in Egypt for Copts is not as bad as they said unless you lived in certain areas. Also that the bulk of the people do not give a damn if your Christian or not, the country was more proud of its Egyptian identity than a religous or an Arab one. Remember, Egypt was happy before to deal with Israel.

There is no denying that over the last 30 plus years (from the Iranian revolution onwards) there has been that ugly mix between radical religous believe and radical militancy, which allowed every radical cleric to modify his faith to suit his political goals including finding thugs to push it.

That is why we end up with views by Silverfiddle that assume that the entire faith is represented by these thugs and radicals. I guess he has no idea that the lives of the vast majority of Muslims in the world is not like Afghanistan, Saudi, Pakistan or in Iran.

Yes we should keep an eye on Egypt and the Brotherhood and to see how they can get out of the mess of being democratic and fair but handle the issue of the abused whom in turn would also abuse.

Silverfiddle said...

Damien: Religious communal violence is not a recent thing. Study your history. Christianity didn't just die out in the Muslim world, it was snuffed out.

I was in Egypt years ago, before 9/11 and even then everyday Christians kept their faith under wraps.

"Egypt" was not happy to make a deal with Israel, the regime was, and the price tag was billions a year. Ordinary Egyptians hated that deal.


I don't assume anything. I use my observations and powers of reason to draw inferences. I am not optimistic, but I would love to be pleasantly surprised.

You need to get out more.

Damien said...

Comunal violence was always a low-level regular occurances that was akin to family fueds, racial tension and political factionalism.

I do more than my homework and I am involved in the legal monitoring of activities in countries including Egypt.

There has NEVER been officially sanctioned oppression or demands the Copts to hide thier faith, keep it low or discrete, the violance that has occured or in certain areas is the result of radicals forcing the situation and they were rather few and far between. Also, the fact is, that the Christian community was not wiped out, it exists and it is not disapearing, those that pedal that rumour usually have agendas to push, rather like the Jews in Morocco. The Copts have a high dispreportionately large number in the Egyptian civil service, their foreign service and even as government Ministers.

What people should be aware of is that there are Copt communities outside of Egypt mostly based in the US that for their own strange reasoning wish to either exagerate or in fact make-up events and they are in fact not appreciated by the actual Copts in Egypt. I should add that I am in very close terms with a friend of 23 years who is a Copt Lawyer in Alexandria who feeds me regular information or shows me when I visit.

Example, a major Assyrian website that I will not name but is often cited on anti-Jihadists sites, made a claim that became viral. They showed a photo of a man being burned a live because he, a Copt, dared want to date a Muslim girl. They named him and the village and showed a photo. The photo showed paved streets which do not exist in that village or most of Egypt, the camera was somehow nice and ready and the name or event never appeared in any records and contrary to the website's claims, such an event would have been national news in that country. The Copt community tried a dozen times to get acknowledgemnet of the bosus item and that website basically blocks their posts.

My point is that it is a very wrong asusmption that there is a constant overwhelming struggle for Copts. There has been events, they are disturbing but the wide sweeping assumption of this being a long standing and almost conflict level issue is simply false.

Lastly, no the peace deal with Israel was hated by certain noisy groups that in the end were even happy to kill Sadat but the population in general actually did not give a damn and profited from it via tourism, trade and opening of business with the US and other countries. Yes, I suggest some homework, it does wonders.

Damien said...

correction: " push, rather like the Jews in Morocco"

Should have read push, rather like discussing the situation of the Jews in Morocco".

Silverfiddle said...

The state does not need to sanction anti-christian activities. It occurs naturally where there is religious bigotry.

I hope you are not pretending to deny Christianity has decreased in now-Muslim countries since the advent of Islam? That's a historical fact.

Jack Camwell said...

I do believe, Silver, that there is a difference between government sanctioned violence and community violence.

We could say that the government implicitly sanctioned it by doing little to nothing to stop it, but it wasn't as if there was a call by the Egyptian government to kill the Copts. I think, perhaps, that was Damien's point.

Silverfiddle said...

And it's a valid point, as far as it goes. But Damien seemed to employ it as a way of dismissing violence against non-Muslims, and lack of official sanction doesn't do the trick.

The only violence dictators like is that which they control for their own purposes. Hence big fascist regimes like Mubarak's Egypt and Saddam's Iraq keeping the violence in check, allowing infidels to live, but just as second and third class citizens.

I do not doubt that there are provocateurs on all sides, but I get my back up at westerners who apologize for the Muslim world's misogyny, dysfunction, bigotry and violence.

Islam (submission) is not a tolerant religion, by definition and history is stuffed full with examples.

Damien said...

Get your back up as much as you like Silver, but it is rather pointless if it is based on your own assumptions and especially so when it is baseless. Just because I correct points does not make me some "apologist" which I should remind you is a term almost exclusively used in bigotry and not in academia.

I am a barrister and a former Crown Prosecutor, thus I always look at direct identifiable facts and I am a skeptic when sweeping generalisations are made, of which frankly you made and continue to do so.

As for Islam, I study the faith first because I tend to have a lot of Muslim clients, I am a co-chairman of an international forum that is based in Kuala Lumpur and of course with lots of Muslims and also because I have a pet hatred for radicalism - both Islamic and the equally pathetic anti-Islam version.

There is a huge difference between State-sanctioned and otherwise and I have never attempted to deny or in lower the serious of anti-Christian violence which obvously I condemn without question. What I pointed out, and re-reading my posts, and I clearly spelt out was that there has been a recent increase, in the past they were less frequent and that there is the problem of both press-exageraton and agenda-based targetting to imply that it is worse than it is. I also pointed out that the majority of the Copt community in fact is unhappy with the incorrect press given which in turn is abused by the violent Islamists who wish to perpetuate such violence.

Saying that the type of Government that Mubarak had suppressed a natural bigory in Islam is not only unwarrented but frankly just an example of the clearly bigoted ignorance that is pushed by the agenda groups, in particular the blog-based self-proclaimed anti-Jihad movement. I gave the example of the fabricated burning of a Copt in the AINA.org hate-site that was instantly spread on that particular group of hate-blogs and currently they are pushing another one about two abducted girls. I mentioned that I am having this discussion with my Copt Lawyer friend in Alexandria and he pointed out that "here was another example of pure make-believe" and you can guess it is being spread like wild-fire in the same group yet again.

....

Damien said...

....

Silver, you have of course your right to believe as you like, but I have that equal right to point out the errors and the garbage.

We all know the history of the conflict between Christians and Muslims, Muslims and Hindus and visa versa, but there is a great saying by Winston Churchill who gets quoted out of context. He said that "if one opens the pages of history, then one is obliged to open the entire book". As a proud Catholic I have to accept the sins of our faith to overcome human baseness. Yes Christianity and Islam was at war, yes Christians suffered at the hands of Muslims, but we must not forget that Muslims suffered under the hands of Christianity as well. We must also not foget that the First Holy Crusade by Pope Urban II resulted in the first year the armies of Germanic Princes did not leave Europe but killed something around 28,000 jews first.

I noticed that you used the word Infidel, that is actually a Crusader word in origin. That on the landing of the Cruaders, the first "convert or die" and the first "kill them all" was done by the Crusaders as the Muslims refused to do so as the people of the book could not be touched.

When you talk about thousands of examples, there will be thousands of equal examples that can be thrown back at us and probably thousands of example that are not overtly there of both of our peoples simply living their normal life that would throw back your argument in your face.

We must accept the fact that there fingers are pointing towards the Muslim world for the actions of radicalism over the last 30 to 40 years. That the poltics over Israel has exagerated these issues and brought the mix of politics into the issue of faith in Islam and yes there are radical Islamists that are in fact claiming to be the only representatives of Islam AND hypocritically, there are self-proclaimed anti-Jihadists that are cleverly supporting that argument to prove their point.

Cheers and God bless.

Damien Charles QC
Barrister
Gibraltar

Silverfiddle said...

Well Damien, you talk much better than I do, but the facts still stand. The Muslim world is a much more violent, intolerant and superstitious place than the Western world is.

I notice few Westerners who defend those benighted lands from overgeneralizing bigots like myself actually go live there, which is telling.

God bless you also.

Damien said...

Yes the Muslim world is currently "much more violent, intolerant and superstitious place than the Western world".

I am pleased that you use the term western world, rather than the developed world, considering that the developing nations are also similarly violent, supersitious and intolerant. They, of course, are in fact only half, if not more than half not Muslim. It is like the argument that Muslim nations are poor, intolerant, corrupt and in the state they are in because of Islam, which really then makes you wonder why the other developing nations are also the same? Or how that argument that modern day slavery and wife beating is a Muslim thing yet Hindu India has the most slaves, Hindu Nepal the highest rate of wife bashing. Or that the Muslim world is the rapests yet South Africa, Congo and Papua New Guinea are the rape capitals of this world.

I am not going to rub it in, Silver, but the scam and ignorance is over except for the closed-shop, delete any doubt self-perpetuating blogosphere. Srebrenica, Rawanda, Pol Pot, the Holocaust and every other major hiddeous modern abuse were all not Muslim and yet simply because of 9/11 somehow they are the cause of every ugly event.

I learnt early in School in London that above all truth matters and that for no matter what "cause", if it is false it is false.

My "beef" with arguments such as yours is that in the end, it actually confuses the subject and thus focus on radical and violent Islamists, terrorists and abusive practices by Muslims diminishes because you make the cause look stupid and bigoted.

Damien said...

Yes the Muslim world is currently "much more violent, intolerant and superstitious place than the Western world".

I am pleased that you use the term western world, rather than the developed world, considering that the developing nations are also similarly violent, supersitious and intolerant. They, of course, are in fact only half, if not more than half not Muslim. It is like the argument that Muslim nations are poor, intolerant, corrupt and in the state they are in because of Islam, which really then makes you wonder why the other developing nations are also the same? Or how that argument that modern day slavery and wife beating is a Muslim thing yet Hindu India has the most slaves, Hindu Nepal the highest rate of wife bashing. Or that the Muslim world is the rapests yet South Africa, Congo and Papua New Guinea are the rape capitals of this world.

I am not going to rub it in, Silver, but the scam and ignorance is over except for the closed-shop, delete any doubt self-perpetuating blogosphere. Srebrenica, Rawanda, Pol Pot, the Holocaust and every other major hiddeous modern abuse were all not Muslim and yet simply because of 9/11 somehow they are the cause of every ugly event.

I learnt early in School in London that above all truth matters and that for no matter what "cause", if it is false it is false.

My "beef" with arguments such as yours is that in the end, it actually confuses the subject and thus focus on radical and violent Islamists, terrorists and abusive practices by Muslims diminishes because you make the cause look stupid and bigoted.

Silverfiddle said...

Damien: I don't know what you think you are rubbing in. You are engaging in diversionary tactics. Hindus are not germane to this discussion; militant Islam is.

Here is the statement you made that set me off, Damien:

That is why we end up with views by Silverfiddle that assume that the entire faith is represented by these thugs and radicals.

I made no such statement, and never even intimated such a thing. Talk about dealing in generalities...

I'll tell you something else, Damien Charles QC, if that is your real name, I don't believe you are who you claim you are. My gut tells me you are a Muslim dressed up in a so veddy veddy British disguise.

Why would a distinguished British cosmopolitan muck around in the fever swamps of American Right Blogistan? It doesn't add up.

Jack Camwell said...

Silver please tell me you're joking . . .

Silverfiddle said...

There is no mention of this man in the Gibralter press.

I've already got an inquiry in to a buddy of mine I served with in Afghanistan. He's a British Warrant Officer and his sister is some kind of lawyer in England.

So far, she has drawn a blank, but a search of the registry should put this all to rest.

Damien said...

I will agree with you Silver that I put something out of left-field, it has to do with other posts of yours that places general sweeping lines but yes here you did not and thus you are correct.

My motives are well explained, particularly my disgust for radicals of any faith.

Though I appreciate your calling me distinguished I am around 3 years off compulsary retirement (unless the pension age changes) and my time for any chance of being in the limelight passed many, many years ago. The only thing that I claim is being the co-chair of an Asian-Europan legal forum that is EU/ASEAN funded.

Muslim, no. A proud Catholic, conservative but also a slow-reformer and I do my bit for the Church. I do my bit for inter-faith in my region (Southern Spain) and do not hide that fact at all.

Rather than turn this thread into some form of bickering, I wll simply repeat my goal. Argue cases based on clear facts and evidence, not hearsay, assumptions or contextual abuse and I may very well support it. I have even had some views altered due to good arguments.

As for why am I on this blog? That is easy, I occassionaly browse the web just checking on how politicians, pundits, the media and bloggers perceive issues and if I find a statement or a view interesting I will read it. I viewed two items by Jack on another site and then with a link responded to two items here, one was "The Decline of the Classic American Epic" and the other was "All Religion is Inherently Flawed". In fact Jack and I seemed to agree on many things (and obviously not on others). I partricularly like his honest direct style.

As long as there are items of interest, as with other blogs I look at, I will possibly make my view heard. I do not do on everything, the item on Australia and banning headcoverings I do not have to comment and I agree with you to a degree. For me hijabs are religous and should not be banned but burkas and face coverings should be).

You would be suprised when one starts winding down a busy life how much time you are free and I cannot sail my boat (my new hobby and life's passion) all the time - well my wife will not let me.....

DC
Gibraltar

Jack Camwell said...

Thank you for the magnanimous response Damien. I was actually going to make the point that you and I have agreed quite a bit on our views of Islam in the modern world.

And Silver, so what if it's not his real name? Jack Camwell isn't my real name. Surely you wouldn't begrudge him a pen-name or internet handle.

Silverfiddle said...

Damien,

Please give us the link to this organization you co-chair.

For a British conservative, you seem to have an inordinate interest in America politics.

http://theuglyfringe.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/hating-obama-the-ugly-fringe-way/

Damien said...

The one thing I have learnt over my relatively short time on the net is to avoid giving personal details.

Damien Charles is certainly not my real name though it has links to it. I give some details of my personal life so that people understand from what angle I come from. Thus, my legal experience is real, my dual British-Spanish nationality and legal acreditation is certainly real as is my pending retirement and new-found-love for sailing (I own a 21 foot Morgan-Class sailing boat that is small but very agile).

The forum is also very much real but I will not give the links because of privacy as it has my contact details direct on it.

The link you give stands, I was floating the idea of starting a blog but have as yet not decided as now my time is full and I have realised that you must be constant or not. As for interest in US politics, I find it fascinating because of the ugly and frankly stupid partisanship, how the media is involved and laps it up and how the agenda groups - legitimate and those self-engrossed mostly from the far-right have played it. There is no denying that the examples of what happens, can occur and the failures of American politics has an impact even over here. If the partisan politics and those that do not return to the Centre continues, the US will fall in a heap and unfortunately, it has a knock-on affect over here.

Cheers

D Charles QC
Gibraltar

Damien said...

Jack, thanks.

Silverfiddle said...

Jack: "Magnanimous response?"

Sir Charles is a barrister, so putting up with an unwashed radial rightwing hick from the wilds of America is nothing to him.

Damien:

Of course the link stands. You made it and posted your anti-tea party blatherings there.

Consensus in the phony "center" is what is sinking us here in the US. Have fun on your boat.

Jack Camwell said...

Silver you think the center is what's screwing everything up? Since when has an extreme of any political theory ever worked?

We have the Gilded Age to look to for extreme Conservative climate, and we have many countries in Europe to see the extreme Liberal climate.

It's all about balance, and swinging all one way or the other is not balance.

Silverfiddle said...

Jack: Do you realize how much was accomplished during the "gilded age?"

Thanks to the railroad barons and oil tycoon John D. Rockerfeller, poor people were able to cheaply light their homes at night.

Anytime politicians start talking about "compromise" or being "centrist," watch out! The socialists of all parties are drunkenly writing checks We The Taxpayer will end up having to redeem.

Consensus in US politics means the worst of both worlds. A little bit of Keynesian government stimulus just drives us to penury a little slower and chokes the economy at a slower rate.

Jack Camwell said...

Well thank god all those poor people during the Gilded Age who could barely afford to feed their families, living in tenement apartments with 3 other families, and who constantly had to wonder if their children were going to lose fingers and limbs in the factories had cheap lighting!

Much may have been accomplished during the Gilded Age, but it came at a fairly large human cost. There's a reason that unions came about, and it's not because the people running the unions were greedy. The common worker got shit on pretty badly, and it was immoral the way Rockafellar and co. treated those that worked for them.

Only crackpot historians, few as they are, would argue that the Gilded Age was a "good" period in American history with all the suffering wrought in the name of industry and "progress."

Silverfiddle said...

Jack: Here's further food for thought a historical-minded man such as yourself would appreciate.

It won't settle the debate, but it does offer a side of things our progressive education system remains uninterested in:

http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/witch-hunting-for-robber-barons-the-standard-oil-story/

http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/article.asp?article=1658

http://www.freedompolitics.com/articles/people-2384-rockefeller-rich.html

America's progressive intelligentsia has always been enamored of the Mussolinis and the Chinese politburos who can make the trains run on time, while sneering at our own home-grown Fords and Rockefellers who actually did it, and without the coercion.

Silverfiddle said...

And I bring up communists and fascists not to tie you to them, but as a comparison.

How is it that the land of robber barons turned out better than the much lauded workers paradises?

Jack Camwell said...

What bothers me about your first article, the one about Standard Oil, is that it applies the definition of monopoly to standard Oil during a time when there were no legal constraints in America to a monopoly.

Standard Oil existed before anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws, and although it was probably the most efficient game in town, it certainly became the ONLY game in town through it's own coercive methods.

The Gilded Age was a time of extreme conservatism that was not a very pleasant time for people whose last names were not Rockefeller or Carnegie.

The land of the robber barons, or captains of industry depending on how you look at it, turned out better than those workers' paradise because we actually said that there must be a minimum standard rather than an equal standard. THey did use coercion to achieve their goals, and the only difference is that it was later determined that their coercion was illegal. THe difference with the totalitarians is that their brand of coercion was being perpetrated by the government itself, and the government said their coercion was legal.

That's why we didn't end up like the communist countries.

Silverfiddle said...

Jack: The problem I have with such criticisms is that first of all they spring from a progressive curriculum that is unbalanced and historically one-sided. Secondly, such narratives implicitly compare these "fiends" against a mythical ideal that has never existed.

For this reason I do not hate on the labor movement, although it was sprung from international communism.

Damien said...

I will throw in my two-cents worth here.

Firstly, it is my view that not being centre is flawed right from the beginning. The far right and the far left by definitioin are "far" which means that they have no capacity or flexibility to be anything other than "theory" and the examples of political history globally has been failure without that capacity to move. All successful governments that have stood the test of time have been ultimately centrist. Remember also that the definition of what is right or left today is nothing like even half a century ago and what is considered standard Conservatism is blasted in far-right American Conservatism as being RINO.

Secondly, the examples of the past given here (the building of the nation through the great industrial tycoons and barons) only shows you know your history, but sadly has little to do with today. We should always open the entire book of history and then consider how and what it has to do with today. Remember, for instance, that the regular citing of the US Constitution and the Founding Father is nice, you should be proud of that achievement and the symbolism, but never also forget that it enshrined slavery, took one hundred years to abolish it legally, and another one hundred years to enact.

Jack Camwell said...

Silver,
It's not a one-sided argument, it's simply part of history. I completely understand that the Captains of Industry achieved good things in terms of our technological and industrial advancement, but we simply can't ignore the human cost just because we think it sounds "progressive." Is giving a shit about the human condition progressive? I thought that was just called being a decent human being.

And Damien, these historical examples are absolutely relevant to what's going on today. The Tea Partiers seem to want to go back to the Gilded Age laissez-faire style economics, and that clearly didn't work in terms of overall quality of life and individual prosperity. Sure, there were SOME individuals that saw a lot of the profit, but most people were completely screwed.

It might not be directly correlative to the whole radical Islam thing, but it's an example of how radical ideologies often create a lot of unintended consequences. They also serve to show us those who cannot be considered radicals. Most Muslims on the planet are not radicals. They're peace-loving people who just want to live a life devoted to God or whatever.

That was my poor attempt at bringing this conversation back on topic, lol.

Silverfiddle said...

Nowhere did I ignore the human cost. I'm just arguing for a balanced view, and you've articulated it in subsequent comments.

There is always a cost, always. Sometimes human, sometimes money, sometimes social.

We are now seeing the gigantic cost of the progressive social programs and they've taken their toll on all the levels I've just mentioned.

The centrist approach to fixing this would be to have some tax hikes and some budget cuts, which is the wrong approach. Government is consuming almost 25% of GDP which is too much. If our government were efficient like Germany, we could possibly get by with it.

What's called for is for the government to again trust the people and relinquish control of things not listed in the enumerated powers.

That is radical, not right or left.

Damien said...

Jack, thanks for pointing out how we have gone off-topic.

Yes I agree, the vast majority of Muslims are simple people wanting just to have a normal life, get on with things and have a chance of improving it.

Having said that, the average peace-loving Muslims in Europe, the UK (I still separate the two), the US have a responsibility that they are avoiding and that needs to be worked on. They avoid speaking out against the radicalism that is growing in the countries that they have immigrated to (or their parents have) and thus the only people who speak up against it is other radicals and thus polarizing the matter even further. These Western Muslims by their tacit silence are allowing the radicals to speak on their behalf and thus they must bare some of the blame.