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29 September 2008 @ 05:22 pm
Film at 11: Terrorists Target Children At Worship Service  
I've been trying to compose a response to this story all day: a Ramadan prayer service in Dayton, Ohio was interrupted on Friday when local thugs sprayed a chemical irritant into the mosque, specifically targeting the room where children and infant were being cared for while their parents were praying.

The DailyKos points out that this occurred shortly after a fear-mongering anti-Muslim propaganda DVD was distributed in newspapers and free mailings across several swing states, including Ohio.

I cannot consider that a coincidence.

There are those saying that comparisons to Kristallnacht are alarmist and exaggerated. Perhaps comparisons to Birmingham are more appropriate?

No, no one was killed in this cowardly assault on innocents. This is certainly a step beyond cross-burning and graffiti, however. Does someone actually have to die before Dayton police will recognize it as a hate crime?



scarfman provided this:

*<*div align="center"*>**<*a href="http://tinyurl.com/3gag6m"*>**<*img src="http://www.the-principle.net/images/freedom-of-religion.gif"*>**<*/a*>**<*/div*>*

Copy the code above and remove all the asterisks to link to the image.



 
 
I feel: angryangry
 
 
 
Starblade Enkaistarblade_enkai on September 30th, 2008 12:45 am (UTC)
As much as I think people are stupid and can be swayed by anything, isn't this thinking along the line of reasoning that the Columbine Shooters were into heavy metal, violent video games, and the like, and so that's what caused the shootings?

PS: As much as freedom of religion is good, I strongly support freedom FROM religion. I may have swayed one way and the other on the whole God issue, I do not generally accept organized religion.

That doesn't make me unpatriotic, does it? :P

Edited at 2008-09-30 12:48 am (UTC)
Hafochafoc on September 30th, 2008 01:27 am (UTC)
I can't help but think that the heavy metal and violent video games did, in fact, contribute to Columbine. If only by reaffirming a destructive attitude and making it seem normal.

So what? If you want to list the crimes of freedom of speech, you'd have to include organized religion with its inquisitions, crusades, and massacres-- the religions spread at first by the free speech they were so eager to deny to others, after all. You'd have to include communism and fascism, wars, and revolutions that killed untold millions. All due to free speech. And also due to free speech are all the forms of artistic expression, all scientific and technical discoveries (including the discovery of the scientific method and technology itself), all the truth, all the facts, all the creativity and beauty, "I Have a Dream," everything good that human hearts have achieved.

Freedom of Speech has killed millions. Stopping Freedom of Speech has killed far more millions. And I'd go so far as to say that if we are denied freedom of speech, if we are denied the ability to speak the truth as we know it, we're all as good as dead anyway.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on September 30th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
I think one of the big differences is that heavy metal has never, ever started huge multigenerational wars. Religion is sorta into that kind of thing.

Music is . . . music. It is taught as being, largely, a kind of fiction. No one encourages people to take their morals or whatever from songs, by and large. Brittany Spears is not held up as being a moral exemplar or anything. Metallica is not saying that they're preaching some perfect, absolutely true message. They do not claim to have supernatural powers, or divine blessing.

There's, in general, a huge difference between music and religion. You're sorta comparing apples to ducks.
Starblade Enkaistarblade_enkai on September 30th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Yet just because Metallica does not explicitly encourage people to do violent things, their music conveys a sense of life that is only compatible with anarchy.

Not saying that Metallica caused the shootings. It could've been something said on a forum or during a gathering. There may have been other Metallica lovers out there who basically said "To hell with elites and minorities! They're the cause of the suffering of the average person!" and, well, you know where it goes from there.

The point is that any idea can be taken to the extreme. It's a slippery slope, but it (that any idea or other intellectual representation can be taken to said extreme) is fairly consistent in enacting itself. Even if it is more like the butterfly effect than some solid line of reasoning.

Edited at 2008-09-30 01:58 am (UTC)
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on September 30th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)
Sure, any idea can be taken to an extreme - but religion is way more prone to that because of religion's social importance and divine authority.

And lots of religious people do take things to extremes - so often that I'd argue whether or not using violence in the name of religion is extreme to religious people. Almost all wars have a fairly explicit religious character to them - y'know, people praying for victory, asking their gods for victory, casting the enemy as some sort of pagan or heretic or infidel.

No one I know has ever asked Metallica to bless their war, hehe. No one takes them that seriously, and they don't even ask to be taken that seriously. Religions usually claim divine guidance and perfect wisdom, so, I just have to say I find the comparison invalid.
Starblade Enkaistarblade_enkai on September 30th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
It's not invalid. People get pretty serious about music, just as they do about any part of culture that tends to create emotion. Sure, Metallica doesn't care about how it appears to others, but in that it has sure generated a lot of people who don't care about, well, anything.

Just because you've isolated a cause of religion being bad doesn't mean you have a monopoly on knowing which things cause bad things. Not caring at all about anything leads to nihilism. Which then leads to anarchy. And don't tell me that anarchy doesn't lead to violence. I'm not that naive.

Actually, you can take pretty much anything and turn it into violence. There's a reason Power Rangers is more popular to children than that stupid singing dinosaur.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on September 30th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
Y'know, I like Metallica. Or, at least, I liked the albums up to the Black Album, hehe. I'm not sure I know where you're getting this idea that Metallica fans are nihilist or whatever. And I don't know a single metal fan who "doesn't care about anything". So, I think you need to stop saying that Metallica fans are somehow "don't care". I think this is an idea you've got in your head that is at utter variance with actual Metallica fans, almost all of whom are normal joes and janes.

And the difference is STILL the difference between something bad coincidental happening (kids who like Metallica kill someone) and something a lot more intentional (religious nutjobs saying that they're divinely inspired with perfect wisdom exorting people to kill someone). You CAN take anything and turn it into violence - but with most things the violence is coincidental to what caused it. Like with Power Rangers. With religion, it's very often quite intentional. Just like Our Obedient Servant was trying to suggest.
Kreggankreggan on September 30th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'd have to say that free speech is free speech; arrest the people who take action based on it.
Hafochafoc on September 30th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
Freedom of Speech isn't a free pass, though. We or the government shouldn't punish it. But if someone says, in a public forum, something deserving of scorn, they should get scorn. If it's ridiculous, they should get mockery. If it's a lie, they should be called on the lie.

Just as much as if what they say is right and true, we should believe, whether we like it or not. Truth matters.
Hafochafoc on September 30th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
Nor, in a world of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Savage, Beck et al do I think it's a coincidence that some brane-ded Dittohead walked into a Unitarian Church and started killing people because he hated them there lib'ruls.

The only hope I see in all of this (and it is so thin as to be just about invisible) is that perhaps these whack jobs are crawling out from under their rocks because they think they've already lost.

As indeed they have. The 14th Century is over, guys-- whether you follow a greasy televangelist or a louse-ridden mullah.
Tephratephralynn on September 30th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)
Those DVDs are up here in Michigan too, I pitched one in the trash last week. :P
Starblade Enkaistarblade_enkai on September 30th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
Ah, yes. The AOL effect. :P
Wywy on September 30th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
They should be arrested as terrorists and dragged off to guantanamo.

=) =) =)
Starblade Enkaistarblade_enkai on September 30th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
Guantanamo is only for foreign terrorists. No American citizen has ever been brought there.
Wywy on October 1st, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
Well, that's patently untrue.

Also, there was a teeny bit of sarcasm in my statement.
McGuffinhitchkitty on October 1st, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
Not entirely.

Once they're taken to Guantanamo, they become uncitizens.
Iridium Wolfiridium_wolf on October 1st, 2008 12:37 am (UTC)
No, American Citizens are taken to South Carolina where they undergo sensory deprivation, sleep denial and other assorted 'enhanced interrogation' techniques. Just look what happened to Jose Padilla.