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my thoughts on the current political situation

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I just had a really interesting night...

i was in the cafe getting some coffee and i see someone from my

islamic philosophy class, he always smiles at me and is a nice guy but

we never spoke before. we started speaking and instantly i could tell

that he was very open minded and that we would have a good discussion.

turns out his family is from soviet union, i forgot specifically where

some sort of 'stan, but he himeself was born in jordan and came here

when he was 5. so we had that in common since i came from the soviet

union as well. we talked about mysticism and religion and went off

onto really deep tangents it was great. we sat down and started

talking. he agreed with me completely when i told him how ridiculous i

find the fact that judaism, christianity, and islam all believe in the

same god yet are squabbling and fighting over who's prophet was first

or last. pretty ridiculous. he seems to hold a very high respect for

all religions and when i told him i'm jewish he was very astounded

that i'm studying eastern religion because he feels judaism has

everything i need. he called it a mountain of truth.


i asked him about the koran and about the specific war passages and he

spoke about the context of the koran when it was written, there was a

lot of tribal warfare back then and that it was made to be less of a

mystical religion but more of a sociological and personal dictum for

survival. but there are very beautiful mystical passages in the koran

and thats what draws him to study it and feel a connection to it.

he believes the war passages were justified then and even now they

serve a purpose. he talked about 'martial law' and the protection of

your family. that is where it all comes from. we talked about

fanaticism and bin ladin and his skewing of the koran, but it can also

be viewed similiarly when looked at bush and his skewing of the

constitution. who is right and who is wrong? it's all about

perspective and this idea was really established because of what

happened next.


we were sitting and talking about war and he was very emotional about

the topic because of all the women and children who have died in iraq

and the lack of remorse on our part towards the 655,000+ that have

died, a guy walks over and joins our discussion, hes a lieutenant

commander in the US Army and the two got into a pretty heated

discussion. both of course coming from completely opposite

perspectives on the matter. this went on for 20 minutes as i sat idly

watching and listening objectively. they were both very emotionally

invested in their respective positions, the soldier coming from the

army's perspective that civilian deaths do occur and that the soldiers

are not responsible while my friend was talking about the lack of

honor in the soldiers killing innocent people, families, women and

children. my friend talked about blindly following orders and the

soldier said that since vietnam a lot has changed in the army and that

you are now allowed to question your orders if they are questionable.

here were two young college kids both raised in america who are

arguing over which side was justified. my friend was very emotionally

charged and his hand was literally shaking because he just could not

understand all the deaths and violence and lack of compassion. he was

putting all the blame from all the bad news he's heard on this one

soldier, and i knew i had to step in.


so i told them both to calm down, and told them how i'm not muslim,

nor am i in the army so i have a pretty objective take. they were both

squabbling over little details and i told them to take a step back and

look at it more of a big picture. our response was wrong, the soldier

even admitted himself that its hard not to kill civilians since its

not an open battlefield, so i told him it should have been a police

matter, not a military matter. how do you fight a war with soldiers

against a differing ideology? an ideology that is further augmented by

you killing? the soldier admitted this, and the fact that we were lied

to about WMDs and everything, but his reasoning for going back (he's

on break but going back to Iraq soon) is that we made a mistake and

it's our responsibility to go there and fix what we did. this seemed

to appease my friend a bit and he calmed down. the two ended up

having a good conversation after that and shaking hands.


it seems that once you get people out of their passionate 'tribal'

mentality of good guys bad guys, they can recognize that the only

enemy is ignorance. not each other. most muslims in the middle east

have such a terrible opinion about us but can you really blame them?

all they've seen is war, bloodshed, death, soldiers, attacks against

their religion which they hold very dear. so they have this opinion

about us based on this limited scope, while we have a bad opinion

based on our limited view of them. most people only look at the koran

for the 100 verses that talk about war when there are 6346 total

verses in the koran, likewise we think all muslims are fanatical

suicidebombers who threaten our "freedom" just like they think all

americans hate them, their religion and want to take over the middle

east. is there a difference? both viewpoints stem from fear and



mainly what i learned from tonight is that the enemy is not each

other, but ignorance. and that its not a war on terror because terror

is subjective but rather a war of ideologies and the best battle we

can pursue is a battle of words and knowledge not killing more people

which will only result in more suicide bombers and death and



we in the west have luckily had the intellectual freedom to get over

questionable passages both in the Bible and in the Torah (old

testament) A passage on war Numbers 31:17 "Now therefore kill every

male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man

by lying with him". A passage talking about the taking of slaves:

Leviticus 25:44 "Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou

shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them

shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids". you can find more here it includes both New

and Old testament

the point though, is that every religion has questionable passages in

their holy text depicting a violent side, but this was necessary at

the time for sociological progress. in the West with our intellectual

freedom we had the opportunity to overcome these passages, for the

most part, and most don't even know they exist and see only the the

good aspects. in the Middle East that isn't possible since all they

see is war and still rely on the violent passages to guide them and

give them allowance to fight back.


Do not blame the Qu'ran, do not blame Islam, do not blame Muhammad and

certainly do not blame the people. Blame the ignorance and tribal

mentality that we have developed, the lack of compassion, and blindly

following a leader who has caused over half a million HUMAN deaths on

the whim of "false intelligence" it's time that we start questioning

our morals and beliefs. if you hate muslims just because they are

muslim and want them dead and have no compassion, are you any better

than the muslim fundementalists?

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I grew up in a family that is half Muslim(middle eastern/Iranian)and half Christian(English).


My take.


It's ALL conditioning.


My favorite class in college was Sociology.


The teacher was very wise.


The first day of class he walks in and asks the class "What is the fastest way to become stupid?"


No one answered.


Finally he said "Hang around with stupid people".


Then he said "What's the fastest way to become smart?"


No one answered.


He said "Hang around smart people".


The rest to me are the details.

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One day after class I talked to my teacher about family stuff and culture and some the things you mentioned.


He told me, "You will probably be the first person in your family to take it up to the next level".


It all starts with YOU mikaelz. Be an example to those around you.



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I guess I will chime in on this one,


I am a SGT in the US ARMY Reserves and have been overseas and I have seen a lot. I am looking from both perspectives, and I want to say this. In training, the Drill Sergeants will call the Middle Eastern people "hodgies" to give them a "non human" name. Some people buy into it, but the majority don't. Some people are blinded by their own ignorance and end up killing innocent people while they are overseas. A few bad apples should not describe a whole majority of people, although it can happen... The majority of soldiers I've had experiences with, just want to either help the people there, or go home to their families and get out of this stupid war. Most of the soldiers don't even realize what is going on, and are just regular people, confused, not wanting to injure anyone. Do not blame the soldiers for this madness, because, just like in any population, there are the ones who do harm, and the ones who want to just help others. I would like us to get out of there, but who knows what will happen then, will there be increased civilian deaths? Who knows? But I do know, that the Iraqi government needs to take back their country from the murderers. They have to make their country safe.


Take it easy,



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