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The Forum > Article Comments > Tribal minds and bigotry > Comments

Tribal minds and bigotry : Comments

By Alice Aslan, published 23/9/2010

Pluralism encourages us all to create a more ethical world based on respecting differences.

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Muslims are the last people to complain about non-Muslims burning or threatening to burn copies of the Koran. TV news is full of scenes of Muslims burning or wrecking something they donít like.

Alex Stewart was right. The Koran, like the Bible, is only a book! Both are no different from pulp fiction, and not as entertaining. The fact that anyone sees any significance in the burning of religious books just demonstrates how off the planet they are.

This author mentions Ďtribalismí. Well, thatís just what we have now in Australia and most of the Western world, thanks to multiculturalism and the naÔve belief that all cultures are equal.

The very thing Alice Asian decries is exactly what has come about as the result of the madness of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration. There is no need to go into the rights and wrongs of our Western culture or Muslim culture. The two are so very different and completely unacceptable to each other.
Posted by Leigh, Thursday, 23 September 2010 10:18:06 AM
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Alice,

You are mixing up your personal abhorrence for certain acts with human rights.

Would I burn a book? NEVER! Neither would I burn the US flag.

What do I think of people who burn books or flags? I think they are nasty minded little twerps. I have no respect for them.

But both are legitimate expressions of free speech. The right that Muslims have to tell Christians that their holy books are corrupted, the right that you have to be an atheist and the right that Terry Jonesí church has to burn its OWN PROPERTY are all indivisible. Impair one and you impair the other.

Peopleís rights cannot depend on whether you or I find their actions repulsive.

Many people find homosexuality disgusting*. That includes many Muslims. Should we therefore criminalise homosexuality. Should we ban the gay Mardi Gras because Christians and Muslims find it offensive?

Guess what? The right of homosexuals to parade in public is indivisible from the right of Terry Jonesí church to Ė let me say it again Ė BURN ITS OWN PROPERTY.

You either have freedom of expression of you donít.

By all means feel free to heap scorn upon Terry Jones and his ilk. But donít deny that they have as much right to burn their own property as you have to express your opinion about them and their actions.

*Full disclosure. I donít give a damn what consenting adults do in private.
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Thursday, 23 September 2010 1:17:31 PM
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stevenlmeyer beat me to it. Burning books may be an expression of tribalism and bigotry. However, we have a right to express tribalism and bigotry. We don't have a right to physically hurt people, but that's another matter. We don't have a right to discriminate in employment or education on ethnic or religious grounds, but we have a right to decide who we will choose to associate with in our personal right on any grounds we choose.

We pay too much attention to worrying about the destruction of symbols as it is.

Cultured and refined people can express their bigotry in more subtle ways than in burning books. I find bigotry at all levels distressing. However, I do not regard any religious idea as sacred. I think the idea that a human female was impregnated by a supernatural agency absolute rubbish. I think patriotism is generally an abomination which has the underlying notion that efficiency in destroying other human beings wearing different uniforms is to be applauded.

If I want to have the right to express the above ideas I have to allow others the right to express their bigotry and other ideas I find objectionable.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 23 September 2010 1:55:53 PM
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Alice Aslan,

"But Islamic bigotry has received the greatest attention",and the attention is indeed completely justified. Who did Pastor Jones, murder, threaten to murder or force to convert to Christianity? Did he take part in a riot that cost lives? No, he threatened to burn a book.

You really don't understand the principle at the heart of Western liberal democracy, we have a right to ridicule the cherished beliefs of others. Acknowledging the right to religious belief is not the same as respecting the superstition itself.

JS Mills 'On Liberty' should be recommended reading for all High School students and many adults.
Posted by mac, Thursday, 23 September 2010 3:18:51 PM
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"In a plural society people can challenge the harmful aspects of religion, and at the same time acknowledge and respect the value and meaning of all religions for their followers."

But for most believers religion only has 'value and meaning' because it gives them a licence to impose their own moral systems on others. Remove the moral imperatives from religion and you have a pleasant but powerless fantasy. How many people will follow a religion that doesn't allow them to feel morally superior or meddle in other people's business? What's the point of believing something stupid if it doesn't allow you to condemn those wicked heathens/atheists/last week's breakaway cult?

Apart from the tax benefits, that is...
Posted by Jon J, Thursday, 23 September 2010 4:09:45 PM
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"Belief in god", or faith [a cognitive detriment, predicated upon psychological abuse of children, women, vulnerable and the gullible] and "organised religion" [a political, power and wealth creating tool placing human rights in the sewer & most often void of any faith or belief] quite rightly deserve "contempt". And ridicule, disgust and the glare of truth. Religiosity is a gold card to privilege - not a "holy" pursuit.

Our species has suffered enough under the yolk of these archaic and bumbling attempts to control populations and shrink the universe, that also bring out the very worst primitive traits. We have major challenges to face - over population being primary amongst them. Yet, the religious elite insist on crushing human potential, women's rights and escape from poverty lest family planning be seen as hypocrisy.

Tribalism? The Bible, Koran and Torah are instruction manuals in intra and inter-tribal retributive altruism. Civilisation and modern economies exist only due to secular notions such as reciprocal altruism.

From hand waving money grabbing new age christians, to rapture ready loons to L. Ron Hubbard's scam, we have our blueprint from which the monotheistic abuse of our natural world arose.
Posted by Firesnake, Friday, 24 September 2010 7:01:04 AM
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