UK Politics

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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby James » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:58 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:Pfft. Tigger, please.

I don't have enough time to participate in this discussion as much as I would like, but I would at least encourage you to take his points seriously enough for careful consideration and evaluation of your current beliefs. After all, you can only gain from doing so, right? Never underestimate the ability of a relatively small but dedicated group to effect national change.
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:15 am

James wrote:I don't have enough time to participate in this discussion as much as I would like, but I would at least encourage you to take his points seriously enough for careful consideration and evaluation of your current beliefs. After all, you can only gain from doing so, right? Never underestimate the ability of a relatively small but dedicated group to effect national change.


I am not underestimating the ability of small but dedicated groups to effect social change, but at the same time, I'm not about to go looking for extremism where it doesn't exist, merely because one or two professors and clerics have said goofy and wrong things (because, in all fairness, so many Anglo-American scholars have said things which are goofy and wrong and have gotten away with it without all of Anglo-American culture coming under attack). Much less am I going to write off an entire ethno-religious demographic as irredeemably violent, backwards and 'oppressive' when I know otherwise, from experience.
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby James » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:47 am

WeiWenDi wrote: Much less am I going to write off an entire ethno-religious demographic as irredeemably violent, backwards and 'oppressive' when I know otherwise, from experience.

I agree on the other points, but I don't think anyone is talking about the entirety of the Muslim faith. The concern is relative to the portion which has consistently demonstrated a problem through actions and documented activities.
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Duncan » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:30 pm

James wrote:I don't think anyone is talking about the entirety of the Muslim faith. The concern is relative to the portion which has consistently demonstrated a problem through actions and documented activities.

This is not how you come across in your own posts James. It sounded like you wanted to give a slap to anyone expressing even the faintest whiff of accomodation between the British legal system and sharia law. If it is to the relative portion demonstrating a problem lets get them relatively into proportion (unlike those who despise religion and the religious and see cultural terrorists behind every beard :roll: ).

My own experience of Muslims in my country is that they want to be here not as a fifth column intent on revolution but to live prosperously in a free country. Where disaffection exists it is a lack of prosperity that is as much the issue as culture, religion or ethnicity. A few loud-mouthed radicals will not change the law of this country when they don't even hold sway within their own community, let alone the community at large. However, people engaged in a reasonable interfaith dialogue about genuine issues might make a bit of progress, and the more progress they make, the more influence (within their own communities) they should have.

For instance, why should a marriage by a vicar be handled any differently than a marriage by an imam? Devout Muslims would rather be married under joint sharia/civil jurisdiction than to have a religious ceremony (meaningless under the law) and then a civil ceremony (meaningless to their beliefs).

To Ranbir:
PM Questions - Brown is awesome in the debating chamber, and would probably have held his own in the old days when speeches went on for hours. Cameron couldn't cope. However it is sound-bite culture where Cameron has the advantage - even his voice is more media-friendly in tone and timbre. That is one of Brown's electoral issues.

I'm also wondering about Stansted. Where is the money going to come from? Surely not the banks because they couldn't afford to lend it, as they can't afford to lend for the development of the Olympics site. So if building of the airport extension goes ahead soon, someone had better have deep pockets.
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Ranbir » Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:43 pm

I imagine they will have to wait a long time before starting any work. Maybe the taxpayer? Let's increase our national debt!

I want to put a stop to all internal flights. Replace them with airships. Sure, they'll be slightly slower but should help the problem of heavy plane traffic and cut down on noise and air pollution!
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby James » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:19 pm

Duncan wrote:My own experience of Muslims in my country is that they want to be here not as a fifth column intent on revolution but to live prosperously in a free country. Where disaffection exists it is a lack of prosperity that is as much the issue as culture, religion or ethnicity. A few loud-mouthed radicals will not change the law of this country when they don't even hold sway within their own community, let alone the community at large. However, people engaged in a reasonable interfaith dialogue about genuine issues might make a bit of progress, and the more progress they make, the more influence (within their own communities) they should have.

Then you've misinterpreted me, but it seems like that is common in this thread. I do not mind religious accommodations as long as they do not grant special privileges, or trample the rights of citizens. I'm happy to see a Mormon married in a Mormon church, a Catholic married by Catholic tradition. I would be completely opposed to it, though, if any part of this process differed legally from the rest of us. Similarly, I have absolutely no tolerance for, nor any interest in validating, a legal system which prays upon females simply because they are female (among other things).

Especially when that culture forces, through social circumstance, people to participate inside it despite the fact they are not going to be treated equally or justly.
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Duncan » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:06 pm

I love the idea of airships! The CGI on Doctor Who looked great! Would we have to put up with the Cybermen too? :lol:

James wrote:I'm happy to see a Mormon married in a Mormon church, a Catholic married by Catholic tradition. I would be completely opposed to it, though, if any part of this process differed legally from the rest of us.

Well good, we are on the same wavelength. Any change to our laws that allow Muslims to be treated equally to Christians, or Jews, etc, etc has to be good.

James wrote:Similarly, I have absolutely no tolerance for, nor any interest in validating, a legal system which prays upon females simply because they are female (among other things).

Especially when that culture forces, through social circumstance, people to participate inside it despite the fact they are not going to be treated equally or justly.

Well thats just it. Our problem is that our own legal systems already fail to treat people equally or justly. Much as we might think they try to do so, by accident or design our law discriminates. Against minorities and women. Half of us are women and we have a lot of minorities, so maybe we should do something about it. I certainly think so.

Accomodating what we can of sharia within the UK legal system(s) depends on convergences and easy wins. British law is unlikely ever to accomodate stoning as a punishment for instance, but we might make life in the UK easier for devout Muslims by not discriminating against them. Maybe dialogue with Muslim scholars (and Muslim women) would allow us to deliver better law.
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby James » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:30 pm

Duncan wrote:Well good, we are on the same wavelength. Any change to our laws that allow Muslims to be treated equally to Christians, or Jews, etc, etc has to be good.

Well... that's a loaded statement right there.
A change is good as long as it doesn't take away someone's rights. ;)

Duncan wrote:Well thats just it. Our problem is that our own legal systems already fail to treat people equally or justly. Much as we might think they try to do so, by accident or design our law discriminates. Against minorities and women. Half of us are women and we have a lot of minorities, so maybe we should do something about it. I certainly think so.

Existing problems to not excuse the inclusion of knew problems.
Especially when there is such a drastic imbalance.

Duncan wrote:Accomodating what we can of sharia within the UK legal system(s) depends on convergences and easy wins. British law is unlikely ever to accomodate stoning as a punishment for instance, but we might make life in the UK easier for devout Muslims by not discriminating against them. Maybe dialogue with Muslim scholars (and Muslim women) would allow us to deliver better law.

Accommodation of sharia law is an extremely dangerous thing to do. There is absolutely no reason why any of it needs to be accommodated at all. Sure, let them conduct marriages, but do not let them determine how property is divided when that marriage is void. They have their laws in their country, and you have your laws in yours, and given some massive differences between the two, and very well known thoroughly documented problems (e.g. the extent to which people are punished, the reasons why people are punished, and the criteria used to determine who receives what punishment) I am astonished that anyone would lower their guard against such a threat to equality.
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:42 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:
Sun Fin wrote:I'm not going to comment on most of whats been said as its out of my knowledge sphere but what I will say is, we are a Christian country. There are Muslim countrys to and as a Christian country I feel we should be more hospital to Christians as Muslims as would a Muslim contry really be tolerant of a Christian society?


Wouldn't you say that such an attitude betrays the Christian ideal? Rather than taking this attitude toward minorities, would it not be better to invite them to the table? What was Christ's behaviour toward the religious dissenters of his day (the Samaritan woman at the well, for example)? Who in Christ's parable was commended the most: the priest, the Levite, or the heretic who stopped to help a wounded man on the side of the road?

As a Christian (that is, as one who tries to follow Christ), I think that it would be better to support the good Muslims who value their own customs but would still stop to help the wounded man on the side of the road, than the ones who would rather pass them by or kick them out of the country.


But if you read the rest of my post you would of seen that my problem comes when they want to change laws that are there to promote tolerance, like 'Gay rules', which is afterall what they want from us. Also when there laws will conflict with Christian beliefs. Also as you notice Jesus helped the 'sinners' of the day and then encouraged them to follow the rules he was setting down. Which is in effect what I'm supporting here. He promoted tolerance but not at the expence of our morals which as I just said is what I'm against.
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Re: UK Politics

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:03 pm

James wrote:Accommodation of sharia law is an extremely dangerous thing to do. There is absolutely no reason why any of it needs to be accommodated at all. Sure, let them conduct marriages, but do not let them determine how property is divided when that marriage is void. They have their laws in their country, and you have your laws in yours, and given some massive differences between the two, and very well known thoroughly documented problems (e.g. the extent to which people are punished, the reasons why people are punished, and the criteria used to determine who receives what punishment) I am astonished that anyone would lower their guard against such a threat to equality.


Perhaps there is some confusion as to what actually constitutes sharia. Sharia is not a body of law, and the way it is administered in regions wracked by tribal warfare and ethnic strife is going to be very different from the way it would be administered in Britain. (There is an unfortunate tendency for us Westerners to associate sharia with what appears so often in the horror stories disseminated in mainstream media: honour killings, female circumcision, poor treatment of widows, stonings of apostates, &c., but though these things have taken place under certain - many Islamic scholars would say wrong - interpretations of sharia, this is not representative of what sharia actually is.) Sharia is a method of law that draws upon the Qur'an and the body of commentary accompanying it, just as rabbinical laws and Halocho are methods of law based on the Tanakh and the Talmudic commentaries.

Accommodation of sharia would ideally be little different than accommodation of the civil powers of synagogues and churches to conduct weddings and bless food products fit for consumption. The problem is, since sharia is observed mostly under civil power structures which are indistinguishable from 'the mosque', as it were, the relevant discussion would be how Muslims observing sharia are going to adapt that practice to positive civil society under civil power structures which do not officially observe sharia. Surely there has to be some ground other than 'all or nothing' - and I actually support somewhat what Duncan says about first concentrating on the convergences and easy wins, and definitely support opening dialogue with Muslim scholars on the issue (those who want to discuss it, that is).

Sun Fin wrote:But if you read the rest of my post you would of seen that my problem comes when they want to change laws that are there to promote tolerance, like 'Gay rules', which is afterall what they want from us. Also when there laws will conflict with Christian beliefs. Also as you notice Jesus helped the 'sinners' of the day and then encouraged them to follow the rules he was setting down. Which is in effect what I'm supporting here. He promoted tolerance but not at the expence of our morals which as I just said is what I'm against.


Yes, but when Jesus urged repentance, he did it Socratically through parables and through analogies. Jesus not only bent the rules, he broke them - he dined with people who were considered 'unclean', his followers did not wash their hands or their utensils, and he overturned the moneychangers' tables at the temple when people could not pay to get in. Also, Jesus never 'set down' any rules, but rather embodied the completion of the spirit of the rules that were already there. He never demanded of anyone that they change who they are, only that they in humility and love take up their own crosses and follow, and he never spoke of damnation to the sinners. Interestingly enough, the only people to whom Jesus ever spoke of damnation were those who were so convinced of their rightness that they would not bend their 'morals' (such as working on the Sabbath or observing cleanliness laws and Temple protocol) to recognise the intrinsic worth of other human beings.
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