The Crusades/Current Violence in the world - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:07 PM
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Default The Crusades/Current Violence in the world

If this thread gets out of control we will shut it down, period end.

Things you don't talk about at work or social gatherings: Politics & Religion.
Political discussions get out of control way to easy, thus the sticky. Religion... well... Being respectful to others opinions and following general forum etiquette.


After just having watched a documentary about The Crusades recently and reading today's newspaper I am very seriously asking a few questions about the state of the world and mankind. Or at least one part of mankind anyway.

The first 4 pages of the paper contained the following:

-Pakistan - Drone strike kills 12 militants. Apparently we put strikes on pause at Pakistan's request while they tried negotiating peace but that failed and violence erupted, so their military is hitting the Northern region now and strikes have resumed.

-Afghanistan - Worries about pulling our troops out too quickly as fears of the country falling apart if we do (see next heading)

-Iraq - Country is falling apart as Sunnis fight Shiites and anyone standing in the way. Violence spilling into Syria as well.

-Nigeria - Boko Haran kills another 100 people. This is in addition to the hundreds already killed. Remember this is where the school girls were kidnapped because they were learning at a school.

-Syria - More violence among government supporters and rebels

-Israel - Ground assault in Gaza is in its 3rd day. Hamas tried attacking a village in Israel but was repelled. Lebanon is also harboring more militants and rocket attacks still coming from here.

The common factor among all of this - Muslims/Islam. How many times do we hear from Muslims about how peaceful their religion is and how the claim is that "just a few" make it look bad for the rest of their peaceful religion? With the Crusades if you practiced the wrong religion, you were killed. With modern Islam it looks like if you're the wrong sect of the same religion with the same holy book, you're killed.


Oh, page 5 mentions the downed airliner and pro-Russian rebels. This is very recent though and it is more an anti-government/pro Russia thing as opposed to a war on religion.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:23 PM
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Is the common thread Islam or organized religion in general? If one looks at recorded history, there are no shortage of events and times when a particular religion or religions committed violence. The mindset that this type of behavior is unique to Muslims is shortsighted, and potentially suggests a lack an understanding of history as it relates to religion(s). For example and with respect to your comment about Sunni/Shia violence, in the process of transforming Christianity into the state religion of the Roman Empire, countless Christian sects were obliterated because they didn't conform to the "true" version of that religion. That is just one example, but there has been no shortage of Christians doing bad things to fellow Christians.

Last edited by Sagat; 07-22-2014 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:03 PM
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So it's not just Muslims but rather religious extremism in general that wreaks havoc on society?

BTW, if it's OK now to discuss politics and religion here (since a mod opened a thread discussing both topics), then maybe it's time to unsticky those warning threads.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:00 PM
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Bruce, good point, if this thread gets out of control we will of course shut it down, period end. I will edit the first message with this warning. And threads of this nature got a sticky for a reason. Perhaps the reason why it took several days for a responder.

Having read the sticky and the message of not disallowing such threads, I am trying to get a better understanding of the whole situation. Sometimes when you read and see enough of it for years on end, you wonder if you're becoming biased or if there is cause or reason. I think my reference to The Crusades does put an older perspective to a current situation. If you're not my religion, or even my branch of it, slice, you're dead. I do find it a bit ironic that in the late 70's(ish) the Shia were the U.S.' sworn enemies, now it seems quite the opposite.

I thought my opener was not tasteless and not bashing anyone in particular.
Is it the media pushing hard or is it really coming to be a problem.

Even excluding religion, look at street gangs. To quote a cop (voiced by Samuel L Jackson) from a popular video game - "We like when all you dumb bastards kill each other, it makes our jobs a hell of a lot easier" - I guess he wasn't expanding the scope to include collateral damage.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:50 PM
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Relevant to the topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj9oB4zpHww
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm082e View Post
Relevant to the topic:
This video (have seen it a few years ago), had the pleasure of hearing speakers like this one many a times when I worked in the film & video industry.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krawk View Post
The common factor among all of this - Muslims/Islam. How many times do we hear from Muslims about how peaceful their religion is and how the claim is that "just a few" make it look bad for the rest of their peaceful religion? With the Crusades if you practiced the wrong religion, you were killed. With modern Islam it looks like if you're the wrong sect of the same religion with the same holy book, you're killed.
I do not think that Islam is the cause of the violence, nor do I think that Christianity was the cause of the violence of the Crusades. I think the violence happens (and happened) for reasons of greed, hatred, selfishness, envy, pride, etc. and that religion was simply used as a sort of rallying call.

For example, which sentence is more persuasive:
"I want to be king because I love power! Help me kill everyone who opposes me!"
vs.
"Those people do not believe as we do and therefore surely they are deserving of death!"

The first justification for violence usually doesn't persuade the masses (it sometimes happens, but not extremely often). The second justification for violence attempts to use a shared belief or identity to build support for an otherwise unsupportable cause.

The advocates of violence don't bother discussing the content of the religion (generally) because the content is not part of their purpose. They just want the support building characteristic of a shared belief/identity. The trick is get the support of the claimed shared belief without disclosing that the purposes are actually quite contrary to what those beliefs are.

We see this all the time in our society. Two examples might be a school pep rally or alumni fund raiser. Both use a shared identity to get you to go to a football game or donate money. While of course the ends are quite different than those of a violent organization, the technique is the same.

Of course once a few killings happen on either side of the conflict the justification for escalation becomes very easy. Soon it can escalate beyond "just a few bad eggs" to include an entire country, race, or civilization. History is replete with such examples.

Unfortunately co-opting religion in order to gain support for a violent purpose has the result that very often the religion gets blamed as the cause of the violence, even though the content of the religion is absolutely the opposite. Those that claim to follow the religion are actually doing so in name only for purposes that have nothing to do with the content of the religion. Sometimes some piece of scripture or religious instruction is taken and exaggerated to mean something entirely opposed to the primary messages of the religion.

Recognizing the sensitive nature of religious discussions, let me share my personal thoughts in a way that I hope is agreeable to both this thread and the chat rules. I firmly believe that organized religion is a good thing - a wonderful thing. Where else do you hear things like "love your spouse and children", "be humble and patient", "serve others selflessly", and "do good to others, even those that hurt you". As far as I am aware, all major religions have teachings similar to these. We need more people whose day to day activities and habits are in harmony with the religion they profess. I hope to improve in that area myself.
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:58 PM
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As much as I'd like to blame it all on Islam, and sometimes it seems obvious to want to, I think that's actually a simple distraction from what is more likely the (unsatisfying) truth. That being, that context is important to everything and instead of a simple easy culprit and answer, it's just the combination of a lot of things.

I think for starters, we're fortunate to live where we do - in a rather stable country with a rigid system in place supporting law and order. We have local police forces, state police forces, county/parish sheriff policing forces, and federal police forces. In general, we have comparatively low rates of corruption and our system tends to "work" to keep the peace and enforce the safety and general rights of others. We also have a decent comparative level of education. In general, people are smart enough to respect one another and know that they should obey the law and that intolerance isn't tolerated. Also, like Europe, our rates of religion or strict adherence to religion are falling.

Many of the places/countries in question are in places near the equator or between the tropics; many of these countries have the following related items in common: domestic poverty and squalor, few natural resources, high rates of religion and low rates of education.

Comparatively, I think this is a recipe for ruckus / violence in general -- and this is seen all over the world where similar conditions exist, but we don't always associate the violence with religion. In our hemisphere, the violence is usually in the name of juntas, drug warlords and political struggle. In northern Africa, the middle east and parts of western Asia, it's also about power and resources, and the divisions often happen to be drawn along the line of religious sects (whether sunni vs shia, or jew vs muslim, or any other combination).

In general, poverty and lack of education breed violence.
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiberius View Post
I hope to improve in that area myself.
I clipped the post short, but excellent, excellent post.
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:48 PM
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Let's also remember that in the last couple of weeks, Isreal has killed more than 650 civilians in Gaza - many of them innocent children; Kids who's only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the Isreali Army decided "collateral damage" was justified...

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