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Can't we all just get along?

Posted Sunday, July 22, 2007, at 4:53 PM

I was told by one blogger to tread lightly with this subject because it was a slippery slope. Of that I have no doubts, but I do feel that it's serious enough to warrant some discussion.

With the attention given to terrorism in this modern era, I have but one simple question to ask…why do these people, specifically Muslims, have such hatred for our nation.

I know not all Muslims hate America. I know several personally who are great people so I don't want to give the wrong idea. But the fact is, they are the ones who sparked all of th concern.

I'm sure the majority of Muslims wouldn't want to be represented by these people anymore than Christians consider the K.K.K. (a very Christianity based organization) representative of Christian beliefs.

Frankly, I think the hatred for America lies in the one thing we cherish most: our freedoms. In America we are free to do things that these sectarian societies find repulsive.

The right to vote, serve our military by choice and choose our own religious or sexual preference are only a few of the many things we do that go against their way of life.

I recall seeing Jerry Fallwell on FoxNews shortly after Sept. 11 and I remember him basically blaming the attacks on the gays and lesbians. Think what you will, but I think Fallwell was off his rocker anyhow, regardless of this statement.

I'm sure that's one of many things this culture hates about us, but it is hardly the basis for a worldwide movement against America.

I often hear the argument that it has to do with our nation's role in the Middle East. I agree with it to an extent, but I don't believe that is the full reason.

I know our support of Israel has created tension, but shy of the Iraq war, we haven't been in the Middle East for years and the hatred obviously stems WAY farther back.

What's your take on this? Can you really fight a religious idea? How do you fight an enemy you can't see or identify?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Uh Oh, you did it. You shouldn't have, but for now I will just say that the one main thing that protects us now and will be hard for the islamic fundamentalist to overcome is our adherance to separation of church and state. The more we comply with that principle, the less likely we are to have religious police on the streets beating women for showing an ankle. You are right that freedom is what causes the problem. Not only freedom of religion, but freedom from religion if I so desire.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 22, 2007, at 5:41 PM
Corey Noles' response:
Very well spoken. That is also why we have such difficulty even working with these theocratic governments. When the basic fundamentals that formed your culture disagree, it's hard to get beyond that for the good of everyone involved.

I read lately why they dislike us, because this country has been trying for 100 years to get involved in all of country's of the world goverment's and will do any thing , give money,advice or any other under handed way to sway them to do things our way, how would you like some one to come to your house and try to sway your way of life.

-- Posted by bent nail on Tue, Jul 24, 2007, at 8:39 PM
Corey Noles' response:
In some cases I believe that to an extent, but I think that as a whole we do a lot of good in the world. I do think we should be more involved in some areas (like Darfur) and less in others (Iraq). While America does sometimes stick it's nose where it doesn't belong, I feel like we do more good than many people think.

The amount of aid money we pump throughout the world is astonishing. Even while we're paying hundreds of billions for this war.

The reason why many muslims hate us is because the Quran does call for jihad against those the Quran calls infidels. According to the 2007 World Almanac, 15% of Muslims are Shiites, the smaller of the two divisions. It is the Shiites who really hate everyone who belongs to a "Western" religion.

On another note in reference to Jerry Falwell, I believe that the promotion of sin in our society and the acceptance of it will bring God's displeasure. I don't have Bible or concordance handy, but there is a verse of scripture that says, "Woe unto those who call evil good and good evil".

-- Posted by swift on Wed, Jul 25, 2007, at 11:30 AM

Interesting.My great grandparents were Shiite,and we always felt picked on for being a minority as kids.

I'd like to see your empirical evidence that Shiites hate EVERYONE who belongs to a Western religion.(not true)

Oops,I see you referenced your authority-Jerry Falwell.

How many Shiites do you personally know,(99% of our area Muslims are Sunni). Do you only know what you read and see from media?

I guess I could imply all Lutherans are like Dennis Rader-the BTK killer,all catholic priests are closeted gay pedophiles,the Mormon Ted Bundy,etc.etc.But I'd be condemning whole groups of good hearted decent people based only on what I've read and heard about the most evil members of their group!

I would hardly compare the works of Mother Teresa with another famous Catholic-Albert DiSalvo (the Boston Strangler)

There are freaks,haters killers,sickos,pervs in all religions, but blanket condemnation of a group is what the rank and file would like to change about the present theocratic governments they toil under. Yes, the Government and the politically active mullahs do hate you-your good buddies the Saudi's encourage it.

But wait, the Saudi's are Sunni, who despise the Shiites, so wassup with encouraging the world to hate the Shia?

Oh, yeah,maybe YOU will forget the 9-11 hijackers were which religion? Not Shiite.

All hate is wrong and unworthy of humans who were created in God's image.

Sorry Haters- My God is the God of Love-Creator of the Universe and there are no other Gods before him-not even Santa Claus!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Wed, Jul 25, 2007, at 12:11 PM

I know this, from spending almost a year in Kuwait. The beliefs fundamentally oppose the foundations of our democracy. I know that at the University in Kuwait you can not be a member of the Student Council unless you are of the Muslim belief. The country is ruled by an Emir and would probably be considered a moderate Muslim country as far as religious tolerance goes, but the true power lies in the religious leaders. At the time I was there in 94 there was only one chapel or church in the country which was of the christian persuasion. There may be more now, I do not know, but at the time I was told that they were not allowed to repair or make improvements to facility.

It is obvious that the fundamentalist believe in a government by Muslim religion, of Muslim religion and for Muslim religion. Is this directed by the Quran? I don't know, but I seen that it is how the majority felt in Kuwait. Every major decision was made based upon the Quran.

This is a true conflict with the constitutional right to freedom of religion.

Does this mean that those of the Muslim religion hate me because I am not. I don't think so and didn't feel that way in Kuwait.

I made some friends there that I would like to see again that I will probably never get to. One young man that I worked with and talked to daily had been taken prisoner by Iraqi forces when he was 16 years old. He was tortured while being held captive and was stabbed and shot while he was under the control of the Iraqi forces. He was released as a result of the intervention of the U.S. forces. He was a true joy to be around. Knowing him leads me to believe that general hate is not the source of the conflict. As the majority of the residents of the United States wish for peace, so do the majority of those in the country of Kuwait.

Our only difference that I observed was a religious difference in how we worship the same God.

Can this difference be resolved? Looking at history leads me to belive not.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Thu, Jul 26, 2007, at 1:09 AM

I know that there is only GOD and he is the father of all the creator of all, but the world is like a family and I am sorry to say all familes do not get along and some hate one another because some try to dominate or have power over others if we could find middle ground and agree on most things, if our goverment would only talk to the leaders in the middle East I am sure they could find some solution for this conflict and stop killing one another.

-- Posted by bent nail on Thu, Jul 26, 2007, at 11:18 AM

I think you are right, but who do you talk to as a leader of the Middle East? Religious leaders or political leaders. They are not necessarily one and the same.

Who really is in the leadership position? Right now it appears that the fundamental religious leaders are in charge. They are the ones who are dispatching suicide bombers.

How can you talk with the leadership of Al Quaeda? Osama holds huge influence over the Muslims in the Middle East. Can you talk with a man who directed the death of nearly 3000 innocent people? A few were, but most were not members of the armed forces. If you don't make a deal with him, have you accomplished anything. I doubt that. But who in the world would want to?

You can't make a deal or talk with a government because no govermment has control of Osama that I am aware of.

Remember the Taliban were given the opportunity to turn over Osama and they wouldn't. Who will or who can without risking overthrow by angry mobs?

I am afraid that we may be beyond talk.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Thu, Jul 26, 2007, at 5:12 PM

I'm reading and learning... Fascinating stuff, guys!

You realize that, ordinarily, Corey would pop in here, add his input, and keep the discussion going... Do we miss him, or what?

Yellow Rose, your great grandparents were Shiite? I never fail to be amazed at the unexpected diversity in the Heartland! Who'd have thought? Essex! There's a story there.......

I know that I.B. warned Corey to be careful with this blog, but all the contributors are being very measured and reasonable in their responses, so I hope it can continue......

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Jul 27, 2007, at 6:51 AM

I am sneaking on while my co"workers" are at their smoke break.Yep, it's very true and I used to be ashamed because I thought it was pronounced another way as a kid-lol. Like when I refused to say Nigeria in grade school because I thought I being tricked into saying a bad word! My family is very open minded on religion-every one of us kids has a different belief,just as our parents.

We were allowed to make our own choices,but we are forbidden to uphold any faith greater than another-hippie parents you know!

I don't like to jump on others that hard,but it it would be like someone telling you you're raising your goats wrong if they have never raised any,never seen yours and the only goats they've seen have been mean old Billy Goat Gruff on cartoons!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Fri, Jul 27, 2007, at 9:41 AM

One of the greatest things about the U.S. is that you can worship as you please or not please without fear of persecution. Well, I don't think any type of organized persecution would be promoted or allowed, hopefully. A lot of countries you can't say that about. Thank God for our constitution.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Jul 27, 2007, at 5:20 PM

I think we need to hear the other point of view from the people who know it. We hear from the radicals on both sides, but we never seem to hear the reasonable moderates on either side. I can't tell you how many really scarey emails I'm forwarded each day about how Middle Eastern radicals are gonna destroy the world.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Jul 28, 2007, at 6:55 AM

I think we need to hear the other point of view from the people who know it. We hear from the radicals on both sides, but we never seem to hear the reasonable moderates on either side. I can't tell you how many really scarey emails I'm forwarded each day about how Middle Eastern radicals are gonna destroy the world.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Jul 28, 2007, at 6:57 AM

Regarding Swifts: "On another note in reference to Jerry Falwell, I believe that the promotion of sin in our society and the acceptance of it will bring God's displeasure. I don't have Bible or concordance handy, but there is a verse of scripture that says, "Woe unto those who call evil good and good evil"."

I tend to agree. Several times in the bible God "poured out his wrath" onto wicked cities and people, and etc. Can't help but wonder?

That said, I don't know why other countries hate America. Yes, I'm sure it's because of the freedoms we're allowed- but why? We believe differently, live differently, but I for one, don't hate people that are different. I agree to disagree, sometimes strongly. Wish we could all do that. World would be a better place if we live and let live. And agreed to disagree.

-- Posted by vambfly on Sat, Jul 28, 2007, at 9:46 AM

I don't know whether to mention this, since it's not politically correct, but it's so INTERESTING... I just read somewhere that the reason there are so many Islamic suicide bombers can be traced back to polygamy -- the practice of one man having many wives!

How, you ask? Well, (according to this psychologist) in a polygamist society, there aren't enough acceptable women to go around (I find that hard to believe); therefore, many men never have a chance to marry.

And, (this is really controversial, but this is what I read)...since the Quoran promises a man 72 virgins in heaven if he dies in a Jihad........the suicide bomber feels he has nothing to lose!

Of course, I'm pretty sure I've read of suicide bombers who had wives and families........Haven't I?? Or are they all single??

Please don't jump my case for this!! It's what I read!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 29, 2007, at 9:14 AM
Corey Noles' response:
I have to give you credit for not being afraid to say this. While it does sound a bit far-fetched, that doesn't necessarily mean it's not true.

I'm curious to see what some others have to say on this one.

I don't know that God pours out his wrath on what we would consider wicked or evil cities. When a tragedy happens now we are intelligent enough to somewhat understand the causes. We don't have to look to or blame God as the cause. I heard comments like that after Katrina and I think that if God were punishing cities for evil, I doubt that New Orleans would have been first on the list.

I had seen the report also about polygamy contributing to the cause of suicide bombers. Maybe most suicide bombers are single, but I have seen interviews with the wives of some suicide bombers. In fact some suicide bombers come from countries that do not practice polygamy and some suicide bombers have actually been female. I tend to think they are acting out of a deep and misguided religious belief. Their beliefs are something that most of us, including myself can not understand.

Did you know that in some countries under Sharia law conversion to christianity can be punishable by the death penalty? In countries that follow sharia law you can understand why the U.S. with our constitutional separation of church and state would be considered the great satan.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 29, 2007, at 2:53 PM

The promises of paradise depends on where you live. If you live in Rubbletown, Palestine,you are promised a beautiful home that will never be destroyed,in Islamic countries where premarital sex/or pda amongst young unmarrieds is taboo you get 72,70 or as low as 50 virgins!

This is not in the Quran,but the Hadith 2562 (correct me if that is the wrong verse). The Hadith is a book of traditional sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad with VARYING degrees of credibility!

The Quran promises an eternal life in hell for suicide. It very plainspoken,but just as the Bible is twisted to excuse evil, from the Crusades to these crazy Westboro Baptists so is the Quran and the Hadith!

Thank you for at least asking questions.

Are we not the Show Me state?

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Sun, Jul 29, 2007, at 8:36 PM
Corey Noles' response:
That was a very interesting response. It's nice to have people in here who are educated on both sides of this subject.

You hit the nail on the head with your line about being twisted to excuse evil. It's a shame, but that happens in faith of all types. Christians and Muslims just make the news more often.

It's nice to have a voice here who actually knows the Quran. I have had very little exposure to it. Maybe a little more with the Bible. I do understand that both can be corrupted and can be used to influence people in the wrong direction and both have been. How people can believe in the same God and the difference in how they worship that God cause them to kill one another is not understandable to me. In fact it is unforgiveable as far as I am concerned.

Because of history I will always keep one eye on the messenger, no matter the religion. The problem is that a whole lot of people believe these things as fact when they are uttered by religious leadership.

It appears that disagreeing publicly with these leaders will result in your untimely death.

I have read the court documents where one of my ancestors was brought to trial during the early development years of this country for desparaging the pope. The only two people in the carriage with him during this supposed transgression were his wife and best friend. I am proud to say that I now live in a country where an act such as this is constitutionally forbidden and I will always support that right of my freedom of religion and yours.

We do live in the "Show Me State" and I have seen enough. Enough dieing and killing in support of one religious belief over another. It is totally absurd.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 29, 2007, at 11:18 PM

I don't think you can fight against religion or beliefs. People are raised in this religion- it's pounded into their heads from birth. These are their deep core beliefs- right or wrong. How, short of brainwashing, can you get them to change their mind? They will die for what they believe is right and true. Just as I would die for what I believe in. You can't win a war on religion. However I can't comprehend a religion that instructs people to kill themselves and others?

Agree with Vampfly.

People like to put God in a box. Ever heeard the song, "He's got the whole world in his hands"? Well, it's true. NOTHING happens without God's consent- period. If you're a Christian, you have no choice but to believe that. You can't believe the parts of the bible that please you, or support your beliefs. You have to believe it all. Or believe nothing. No one knows God's reason. No one. No one could even begin to comprehend. I'm not saying that every tragic thing that happens in our country is God "punishing" people. For me to say that would indicate that I'm on the same level as God- knowing his master plans. But you cannot say that it ISN'T either for the same reason. We simply don't know. There are numerous things in the Bible, the flood, Sodom and Gommorah, etc. etc. Look at Job. God allowed Satan to test him. Period. One shouldn't close their mind to things such as these.

I recently got into an argument with a very close friend about this- sparked by a recent sermon at church. We simply agree to disagree and are still the best of friends. That said, it really irritates me to hear people, that claim to be Christians, put God in a box.

One can only be sure of what is in his/her own heart. And I know I'm right. Just as many of you know that you're right. And I say that with a smile on my face- not out of sarcasm as one might take it not knowing me.

God bless you all. God bless the USA.

-- Posted by Darth on Mon, Jul 30, 2007, at 11:14 AM

"All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time."

"We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do we do to ourselves"

"That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind."

Quotes from The Five People You Meet In Heaven.

-- Posted by Jose on Mon, Jul 30, 2007, at 12:03 PM

Yellow Rose, I appologize for my lack of knowledge and insight! I had only used the information I had read and heard. Since Shiites are 15% of Muslims according to the 2007 World Almanac, it is good to know that in reality hatemongers are even less in the minority. At any rate, we as Christians can learn the positive aspects of the Muslim religion as a whole. The devotion of Dr. Jalal and his family is a very good lesson for us Christians. In fact, I posted a comment to that news story. Be patient with us Christians.

-- Posted by swift on Mon, Jul 30, 2007, at 12:23 PM

It's okay, because none of us know everything here on this Earth. We are purposefully distracted by evildoers, to keep all this hate going.If we who profess sincere beliefs worked as hard living up to our beliefs as others work for the Devil,spewing hatred,lies and just being intolerable,intolerant jerks,the world would be sweet!

I appreciate you trying to better educate yourself.I briefly worked at a place where the staff was having a rude conversation regarding Mormons.

When I was cornered about them,I stated I never met any,or read the Book of Mormon and until I did I couldn't make any intelligent or truthful statements about Mormons. Yeah, I never made any of their Christmas card lists-lol, but I didn't lose any sleep.Didn't change their intolerant minds either,not everybody is as nice as you Swift.

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Mon, Jul 30, 2007, at 6:52 PM

It appears to me that God has given his consent to all mankind to do as we see fit. We will receive our just rewards or punishment later. He has left us free to make our own decisions.

Right or wrong interpretation of the Bible or Quran, things are happening that I am sure God never gave a specific consent to. Religious leaders are not only condoning, but they are promoting these actions.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Mon, Jul 30, 2007, at 8:17 PM

I just reread this entire blog from the beginning, and I have to say that this is absolutely the most fascinating of all the blogs we've ever had on this Statesman site! What a wonderful exchange of ideas and sharing of cultures and religions!

If only more of this type of communication could be possible both in America and in the Middle East!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jul 31, 2007, at 7:31 AM

Learning, for sure. Don't know that it will change how I feel or think, but it does give you an idea of what other people think and I like this blog thing. It keeps me from just letting things fly out of the mouth without thinking about the impact it may have on other people. Get a chance to think about what you really feel and a chance to say it without being offensive, hopefully.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Tue, Jul 31, 2007, at 5:00 PM
Corey Noles' response:
And that's what the idea is. I don't want to change anyones ideas, I just want to see people educated on the ideas they have and to help understand the opposing views.

Things can never get better without a respect and at least minimal understanding of one another. I'm really pleased with how civil everyone has been so far.

Yesterday I got another one of those hate emails, which shows a group of middle-easterners in London (supposedly) holding signs which say, "Kill those who mock Mohammed!" "Great Britain, your 911 is coming!" and other equally frightening slogans. The funny thing is, the paper and the lettering on the signs is all alike, as if they were all made by the same person or persons.

I don't know how many times I've received this email, which is being circulated all over the country.

It is SO inflammatory!! What do you think this is all about?

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 1, 2007, at 9:37 PM
Corey Noles' response:
My guess is that it's the same same thing that 99-percent of the emails I receive are: crap. The amount of junk that comes through my inbox in a day is simply disturbing.

How do people have so much time to create all that crap? And what do they get out of it if it's circulated to millions of recipients? If they were spreading a virus, I could see why they would be so pleased to have it circulated. But what other kick can they get out of flooding our computers with the stuff?

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 8, 2007, at 9:26 PM

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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