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Facebook Postings Lead To Arrest for Heresy In the West Bank

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the not-better-or-worse-just-different dept.

Censorship 496

forand writes "Using screen shots of a customer's Facebook profile, owners of a West Bank internet cafe helped Palestinian intelligence forces capture a man accused of heresy." According to sources quoted in the story, residents of both Gaza and the West Bank face ongoing scrutiny of their online activities; in Gaza, "Internet cafe owners are forced to monitor customers' online activity and alert intelligence officials if they see anything critical of the militant group or that violates Hamas' stern interpretation of Islam."

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496 comments

Not like cowardly Westerners (1, Flamebait)

CaptainMongles (1869042) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213856)

Some people aren't afraid to defend their culture and way of life.

Re:Not like cowardly Westerners (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34213948)

I agree.. if western cultures defended freedom with the same vigilance (not the same methods) as hamas, hamas wouldn't exist..

Re:Not like cowardly Westerners (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214086)

Well...hamas would exist but be known as hamas

Re:Not like cowardly Westerners (0)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214090)

if western cultures defended freedom with the same vigilance (not the same methods)

In our Western culture, vigilance [salon.com] is synonymous with those methods.

Re:Not like cowardly Westerners (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214116)

I'm not sure what you mean.. I just meant that we need more testicular fortitude when dealing with wannabe tyrants like hamas...whether they live inside or outside our borders is immaterial. I'm a fan of individual liberty.

Re:Not like cowardly Westerners (3, Interesting)

Smiths (460216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214248)

well if you're a stateless refugee than you have no individual liberty...if objectively looked at who Hamas are and what they are fighting for, you'd see they have everything in common with people who want freedom.

try doing it sometime. Imagine you come from another planet, look at the worlds conflicts from an outsiders perspective...you'll see things arent as clean cut as what the TV tells you.

Re:Not like cowardly Westerners (5, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214330)

From the article:

The media in the Palestinian Authority, as in the Arab world in general, are largely government-controlled, driving dissenting voices to the relative freedom of the Internet. The blogger's arrest showed a willingness on the part of the Palestinian government to clamp down on freedom of speech on the Web as well. He now faces a potential life prison sentence on heresy charges for "insulting the divine essence."

Many in this conservative Muslim town say that isn't enough, and suggested he should be killed for renouncing Islam. Even family members say he should remain behind bars for life.

"He should be burned to death," said Abdul-Latif Dahoud, a 35-year-old Qalqiliya resident. The execution should take place in public "to be an example to others," he added.

Few have come forward to defend him. One was Zainab Rashid, a liberal Palestinian commentator, who wrote in an online opinion piece that Husayin had made the important point that "criticizing religious texts for their (intellectual) weakness can only be combatted by ... oppression, prison and execution." ...

Gaza's Hamas rulers also stalk Facebook pages for suspected dissenters, said Palestinian rights activist Mustafa Ibrahim. He said Internet cafe owners are forced to monitor customers' online activity and alert intelligence officials if they see anything critical of the militant group or that violates Hamas' stern interpretation of Islam.

Freedom. I do not think this word means what you think it means.

Re:Not like cowardly Westerners (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214284)

Western ways of dealing with groups like Hamas have their own tyrannical tendencies. Maybe it's wiser to figure out non-tyrannical ways of dealing with our local wannabe-tyrants before we try to export our tyranny.

In any case... (2, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214272)

Westerners did "defend" their values (such as they were) several hundred years ago, like this [wikipedia.org] and it wasn't any prettier than Hamas' attempt.

So let's not claim that Islam has a monopoly on repression.

Re:Not like cowardly Westerners (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214038)

Yeah, playing (relatively) clean against people who are willing to play hardball does not help us.

Re:Not like cowardly Westerners (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214158)

"I want you to stay out in the cold a little longer." Leamus said nothing, so Control went on: "The ethic of our work, as I understand it, is based on a single assumption. That is, we are never going to be the aggressors. Do you think that's fair?"

Leamus nodded. Anything to avoid talking.

"Thus we do disagreeable things, but we are defensive. That, I think, is still fair. We do disagreeable things so that ordinary people here and elsewhere can sleep safely in their beds at night. Is that too romantic? Of course, we occasionally do very wicked things": he grinned like a schoolboy. "And in weighing up the moralities, we rather go in for dishonest comparisons; after all, you can't compare the ideals of one side with the methods of the other, can you, now?"

Leamus was lost. He'd heard the man talked a lot of drivel before getting the knife in, but he'd never heard anything like this before.

"I mean you've got to compare method with method, and ideal with ideal. I would say that since the war, our methods -ours and those of the opposition - have become much the same. I mean you can't be less ruthless than the opposition simply because your government's policy is benevolent, can you now?" He laughed quietly to himself: "That would never do," he said.

Re:Not like cowardly Westerners (3, Interesting)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214208)

It helps us in the long run. Sure, in the short run, supplanting a monster with a bigger, more atrocious one helps. But where does that get us?

If there is anything to the claim that we represent the "free world", we have to play relatively clean, lest it becomes nothing but shallow rhetoric.

Damn (1)

PiAndWhippedCream (1566727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213860)

And encryption won't help.

Re:Damn (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34213932)

Not now. But low cost handheld devices using encryption over public networks will go a step in the right direction.

Re:Damn (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213972)

Not using Facebook will.

I am shocked. (4, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213874)

A mysterious blogger who set off an uproar in the Arab world by claiming he was God and hurling insults at the Prophet Muhammad is now behind bars — caught in a sting that used Facebook to track him down.

I found myself surprised that Palestine is so easy to troll. Then I was even more surprised that I was surprised even for a second.

Many in this conservative Muslim town say that isn't enough, and suggested he should be killed for renouncing Islam. Even family members say he should remain behind bars for life.

I have never respected trolls before, but I guess there's a first time for everything. If he does get executed, someone should really saint him. Pastafarians maybe.

Re:I am shocked. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214046)

Solution: Slaughter all brown people.

If we don't, they'll be stringing us up in 50 years due to how they outnumbered us through their barbaric practices.

Solution for pathetic 'christians' who don't like killing people: Deport all muslims to Iran.

When the twin towers fell, muslims everywhere worshipped the heroes who hijacked the planes. Women everywhere wore the jihad with pride and put forth the effort to jide at any non-muslims.

It didn't matter where they were; Australia, Canada, Europe, even in America.

If they want to slaughter us for their religious views, then I say we slaughter THEM for their religious views. It's only fair, right?

Re:I am shocked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214164)

I have never respected trolls before, but I guess there's a first time for everything. If he does get executed, someone should really saint him. Pastafarians maybe.

That is a truly excellent idea! Pastafarians should automatically grant sainthood to anyone who has been persecuted by organized religion.

Barbarians... (5, Insightful)

VirginMary (123020) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213878)

...is what they are! This shows how dangerously crazy these people are. They are the enemies of freedom like all religious fanatics! Anybody who thinks people should be locked up for life or even murdered because of antireligious religious statements are people that are enemies of western values. The problem is that we have no good way of dealing with these lunatics when large parts of entire societies are thinking like this. It's like the West in the Middle Ages.

Re:Barbarians... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34213896)

I agree, Mary. By the way, you doing anything for dinner tonight?

Sincerely,
God

Re:Barbarians... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34213926)

+1, good trolling.

The problem is that we have no good way of dealing with these lunatics

are you kidding me? let the pope announce a crusade, and let someone provide free weaponry and logistics, kinda like the Jews did for the Japanese in the first Japanese-Russian war, and I'm going.

if i can shoot brown people for free, i'm up and there in no time.

who's paying?

Re:Barbarians... (0, Flamebait)

kixome (1636329) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213936)

...is what they are! This shows how dangerously crazy these people are. They are the enemies of freedom like all religious fanatics! Anybody who thinks people should be locked up for life or even murdered because of antireligious religious statements are people that are enemies of western values. The problem is that we have no good way of dealing with these lunatics when large parts of entire societies are thinking like this. It's like the West in the Middle Ages.

Worship your iphone like most americans. Western values my left butt cheek.

Re:Barbarians... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214000)

The problem is that we have no good way of dealing with these lunatics when large parts of entire societies are thinking like this.

Why should we "deal" with them? Sounds like a waste of time to me. If they go to war they will lose and until then they're just sitting in their own country, making themselves miserable. Who cares what these masochists do to get off?

Re:Barbarians... (4, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214004)

The problem is that we have no good way of dealing with these lunatics when large parts of entire societies are thinking like this.

Sure there is: separation. If you happen to live in a western democracy, don't let your freedoms slip away. Make sure your democracy stays one (as in eternal vigilance). Don't vote for people who want to remove personal freedoms or democratic rights. If you vote for someone & they do, don't vote for them again. Ever. Period.

If people in other countries want to subject themselves to religious law, let them. If that makes them 'lose contact' with the rest of the world, and economic consequences puts them back in the middle ages, that's mostly their problem. If they do want to join the rest of us: shape up in the personal freedoms / democratic department first. In the mean while, they can take the freedoms that my ancestors fought for, from my cold, dead hands.

Re:Barbarians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214034)

Oh but we do have separation. We're split up into nations. The problem is, one nation may think that other nations should follow a certain set of beliefs and is willing to cross national borders to impose their beliefs through military force.

Re:Barbarians... (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214176)

If you vote for someone & they do, don't vote for them again.

Those lying politicians are expendable like ammo rounds in a belt-fed machine gun, and just as plentiful. Sure, you won't vote for that one any more, but there are twenty more waiting to replace him. And each politician chips another speck of freedom away. Give them time and nothing will remain.

If they do want to join the rest of us: shape up in the personal freedoms / democratic department first.

The most modern theory of political correctness, maintaned by those lying politicians, says that its not "them" who should shape up but it's "you" who has to shape down. Otherwise it would be unfair, or something [go.com] .

they can take the freedoms that my ancestors fought for, from my cold, dead hands.

They don't care about the temperature of your hands. You probably will be more convenient to them dead. Not that I reject your choice [midwayusa.com] , of course.

Re:Barbarians... (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214020)

It's like the West in the Middle Ages.

An amazing reversal, no?

LK

Re:Barbarians... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214028)

"... antireligious religious statements are people that are enemies of western values. ..."

Are you so sure that "western values" are that much better? There are far too many people in "western culture" promoting "western values" who sincerely believe that "western values" dictate an implicit Judeo-Christian underpinning to government and law, and that everyone else deserves to die, or at least be subjugated.

I think we need to coin the phrase "MODERN values" as something which goes beyond "western", "eastern", "southern" or "northern" values (notice how some of those don't really evoke any specific meaning?). This new phrase would embody the implicit expectation of freedom FROM religion -- more than the current standard freedom OF religion. It's a fallacy that everyone has to choose sides amongst the various bronze-age sky-god belief systems.

Re:Barbarians... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214104)

The reason why we call them "Western values" is because, like it or not, but humanism (which is a foundation of them) as a coherent philosophy is a Western development. It does not necessarily imply choosing sides etc.

Re:Barbarians... (3, Insightful)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214240)

I think "western values" are too loaded, as you say, it often implies Judeo-Christian underpinnings. Question is, can we define universal human values, and if so, what rights and wrongs should we include. Years back I read a book by Emmanuel Levinas. The most difficult book I ever read in my life. He tried to define the very basics of ethics, that is, the desire to do good (the desire to do good is a simple definition of ethics, but it's harder to define the specifics).

One thing that Levinas defines as universally bad is "causing suffering and humiliation" (unwanted of course, BDSM folks are obvious exceptions). But in this case, this is not enough. One might claim that the offending facebook post caused him undue mental torment. Levinas also has a positive definition of ethics. As I said, "Totality and Infinity" is one of the most difficult books I ever read, so this short summary doesn't do justice for its complexitiy and richness. However, I'll try.

Basically, he says that we have to have an infinite desire for the Other - which includes the desire for the Other's otherness as well. Sounds redundant, I know, but bear with me for a moment. This desire has two components, one is the desire to know (that is, basic human curiousity) and the other is the desire to preserve the otherness of the Other. An opposing movement is what he calls a totalizing movement. He defines it by the presumption that we can have total knowledge of the Other, that is, we can strip the Other of all it's secrets, achieving a total knowledge of the other (therefore robbing it from it's very otherness: once we believe that our knowledge of the other is Total, the image we have and It becomes the same). At this point he introduces the metaphor of the Face of the Other, and the movement towards the other as communication (we question the other to know more). In fact, he says that this otherness is the very basis of communication - once the Other has no secrets, there isn't much to talk about. Therefore we question the Other to know more (curiousity) but also question the totality of our knowledge at every point, simultaneously possessing the desire to preserve some measure of otherness.

I know all this seems far fetched, but the point, I believe, is that curiousity is one leg on which ethical behaviour stands on, the other being not only a respect for the otherness of the Other, but even love for this otherness, that feeds back to our own curiosity, keeping the discourse on going. The first step of every authoritarian entity is to deny the possiblity of discourse, to forbid language so to speak, the very means by which otherness can be expressed, approached, and cherished.

Levinas himself was religious (jew) - but interestingly, according to his own tenets, one can deduce that religions in general are totalizing - they do not allow for an infinite universe. Well, of course I don't know all religions, but let's just say that all religions that pose an entity that possesses a totality of knowledge, an All Knowing God are by nature totalizing. In an infinite universe, such totality is impossible. In fact, the very definition of infinity is something beyond (+1), something that is not part of the totality of any system. The Other's secret that must be preserved as well as approached via discourse.

Anyway, I'm not sure this all makes sense to anybody, but if you want to read an intellectually challenging book, I highly recommend Totality and Infinity. As far as I know, it's one of the very few attempts to define ethics in absolute terms... most of what we consider "western values" are relativistic, their truth(s) easily traced back to a very specific context, to an ontology.

Re:Barbarians... (1, Troll)

Pharago (1197161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214052)

The only deals we need from those people are natural gas and oil, sooner or later we may not need those either, let them rot in their own religion, it's their worst enemy. Incidents like this one are the kind of thing that makes me despise their culture altogether.

Re:Barbarians... (5, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214222)

It is not that simple, I am afraid. Religion is but a tool of control here. Get those guys off religion and they will act like before, just basing their crap on "racial supremacy", "manifest destiny" or some other bullshit along this lines.

We, ourselves, are not free from this. Look at the amount of "kill brown people" posts that topics like this brings up every time on slashdot. The true root of barbarism is an unreflected "We are different, therefore you are inferior". This mechanism exists entirely independent of religion, though I agree that religion mostly does not help.

Re:Barbarians... (4, Insightful)

Smiths (460216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214282)

Western values?

  haha.

Like the West in the Middle Ages? Not now?

I love how apparently the West now has a peaceful culture. The past 500 years of genoicde and slavery apparently dont count ..those 2 countries we're occupying now, you know us peaceful Westerns with the nuclear weapons, who have 700 miltary bases and who spend a trillion dollars on weapons were peaceful...its those muslims...they're the ones trying to take over the world!

really? Do you actually believe what you're saying? Please a read a world history. Try RM Roberts...read it from cover to cover, get some perspective

Isn't freedom great? (5, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213898)

I'm glad to know that this is the kind of freedom the brave Palestinian fighters are fighting Israel for. To have a Taliban lifestyle imposed on themselves.

Re:Isn't freedom great? (-1, Troll)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213982)

Blasphemy is illegal in Israel as well.

Re:Isn't freedom great? (1)

katz (36161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214002)

You gonna offer up evidence for that accusation? Last I heard, Israel has free speech.

Re:Isn't freedom great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214256)

That was supposed to be funny , yes? :D

Yes, Israel (specially the Ghaza) is the most free part of the world.

Re:Isn't freedom great? (3, Informative)

Smiths (460216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214308)

haha.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=251&year=2009

Israel trails Kuwait (ranked 60th), Lebanon (ranked 61st) and UAE (ranked 86th) in its region. Overall Israel was ranked one behind Guinea-Bissau and right before Qatar.

Recently they made a law requiring non-Jewish citizens to take loyalty oath to "Jewish state of Israel"

http://www.thejewishweek.com/blogs/political_insider/israels_loyalty_oath_time_bomb

Both groups have their share of religious fantics, the difference is the Palestenians were the indigenous people who were violently pushed out of their homes to make way for this new group of religious fanatics. And if you say...but it was theirs according to the bible, I'm afraid that makes you a religious fanatic.

Re:Isn't freedom great? (4, Informative)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214066)

As an Israeli I have no goddamned fucking idea what you're talking about.

Re:Isn't freedom great? (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214088)

So if I go around saying judaism is fake and yahweh is a made up imaginary friend, perhaps with some anti-star of david propaganda I won't have a problem? Wrong.

Re:Isn't freedom great? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214140)

You actually arguing with someone from Israel over Israeli laws? Does the pit of arrogant ignorance of Slashdotters even *have* a bottom?

#declare "metrix007" = "complete shithead"

Re:Isn't freedom great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214250)

Is every Israeli an expert in Israeli law? A better expert than all experts that aren't Israeli? Interesting, how did yo come to this conclusion.

Re:Isn't freedom great? (5, Informative)

Frodo (1221) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214180)

Yes, exactly, If you go around saying judaism is fake, absolutely nothing is going to happen to you. Well, some people may be pissed off, but that's it. Nobody is going to arrest you, send Mossad after you, have black helicopters take you to secret prison. Some people may yell at you, that's about it.
Yes, I am Israeli and lived in Israel for 13 years, and I know what I am talking about. Looks like you do not.

Re:Isn't freedom great? (1)

Sun (104778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214072)

I second Katz above me in the request for any substantiation to that claim. Not only am I not familiar with any anti-blasphemy laws, anti-religious public commentators have actually moved on to become members of parliament in the past.

As for criticizing the government, not only is that not forbidden by law, it is being actively practiced, including going as far as advocating boycotts on Israel, including by people whose paycheck is largely funded by the Israeli tax payer (government backed academic institutes, for example).

Shachar

Re:Isn't freedom great? (1)

Smiths (460216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214350)

Thats just hasbra for goy who don't know about Israel.

Israel is hardly free. Not a lick if you're Palestenian, and even the peace loving jewish Israelis arent safe there.

Take for example

Mordechai Vanunu, a former Israeli nuclear technician who, citing his opposition to weapons of mass destruction, revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986. He was subsequently lured to Italy by a Mossad spy, where he was drugged and kidnapped by Israeli intelligence agents. He was transported to Israel and ultimately convicted in a trial that was held behind closed doors

Vanunu spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 years in solitary confinement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordechai_Vanunu

And while the Boycott Divesment movement is growing...they are going to make ILLEGAL for Israelis to particpate.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=194370

Or what about the weekly peaceful protests in Bil’in that are broken up by police?

heres a story about a nice young jewish American girl who had her eye shot out cause she was holding a...Turkish flag!
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2010/08/emily_henochowi.php

Re:Isn't freedom great? (3, Informative)

DSS11Q13 (1853164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213998)

Having lived in the West Bank, I can tell you this is a Hamas thing, in the Gaza Strip. Probably exercised by very low tech protocols of literally having the netcafe owner tell the police. The West Bank leadership is also completely different, and I am extremely skeptical that there is any kind of internet monitoring there. There isn't enough organization to get internet to many places, let alone have technology and infrastructure sophisticated enough to monitor it. Now the Israelis on the other hand...

Re:Isn't freedom great? (1)

OnePumpChump (1560417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214014)

Thing is, they get that whether they're economically and militarily oppressed or not. Actually, if they weren't, they might not have voted Hamas in in the first place. So maybe they wouldn't.

Re:Isn't freedom great? (5, Interesting)

Sun (104778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214102)

Actually, if they weren't, they might not have voted Hamas in in the first place.

A common misconception. Hamas was voted in not because of the anti-Israel agenda, but because they promised to fight the extremely corrupt Fatah regime that preceded it. That was the focus of their election campaign, and that was what actually got them the votes. That would have happened whether they were oppressed (with or without quotes) or not.

Shachar

Re:Isn't freedom great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214120)

The freedom to be batshit crazy and burn alive people who disagree with you is still a freedom...

Re:Isn't freedom great? (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214142)

The freedom to be batshit crazy and burn alive people who disagree with you is still a freedom

Er... not so much for the ones burning...

Re:Isn't freedom great? (4, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214136)

I am reminded of a passage from the Principia Discordia:

A SERMON ON ETHICS AND LOVE

One day Mal-2 asked the messenger spirit Saint Gulik to approach the Goddess and request Her presence for some desperate advice. Shortly afterwards the radio came on by itself, and an ethereal female Voice said YES?

"O! Eris! Blessed Mother of Man! Queen of Chaos! Daughter of Discord! Concubine of Confusion! O! Exquisite Lady, I beseech You to lift a heavy burden from my heart!"

WHAT BOTHERS YOU, MAL? YOU DON'T SOUND WELL.

"I am filled with fear and tormented with terrible visions of pain. Everywhere people are hurting one another, the planet is rampant with injustices, whole societies plunder groups of their own people, mothers imprison sons, children perish while brothers war. O, woe."

WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THAT, IF IT IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?

"But nobody Wants it! Everybody hates it."

OH. WELL, THEN STOP.

At which moment She turned herself into an aspirin commercial and left The Polyfather stranded alone with his species.

Re:Isn't freedom great? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214244)

Stoned and batshit crazy as it is, the Principia Discordia do offer an amazing amount of insight. Then again, it depicts the ultimate cynical god. What this passage says is just "You are deeply flawed, that's your nature. Fuck off and deal with it." Probably the only way, but I rather go with the subgenius interpretation of discordianism. Slightly more humane. Slack, brother, slack.

No religious freedom is hard over there... (0)

kixome (1636329) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213904)

Oh wait, I forgot we don't have religious freedom in aMERICa, as evident by all the recent protests against Mosques being built here. This issue affects my home town of Murfreesboro, TN. I am agnostic, so the religious freedoms don't affect me, however we will soon be just as closed of a society if we allow them to keep removing our freedoms. When will gays be allowed to be gay without any persecution. The same goes for Muslims. When will they be allowed to be themselves in any country?

Re:No religious freedom is hard over there... (2, Insightful)

iceperson (582205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213946)

Wait, so you're saying there's no religious freedom here because religious people are free protest other religions?

Re:No religious freedom is hard over there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34213962)

Don't read too much into it...he's really just ranting.

Re:No religious freedom is hard over there... (1)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213978)

Protests are part of our right to free speech - if all Hamas was doing was protesting other religions, we wouldn't be having a problem.

Religious freedom is still strong in America, and, thankfully, tolerance is starting to be a part of our children's upbringing. Openly gay people walk down the street now, where thirty years ago they wouldn't have dared to admit their orientation. Racism today is nothing compared to what it was for the previous generation, and the internet's beginning to help bring us all together in a global climate of mutual understanding.

However, religious freedom doesn't mean you're free to infringe upon other people's rights. This affects the strict practice of Islam - Sharia law is completely at odds with personal freedom and our country's legal system, as is the murder or forced conversion of those they consider to be infidels. If Muslims can live without Sharia law or violence towards others, then of course they can be themselves in our country. Something tells me they're not going to do that.

Re:No religious freedom is hard over there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214178)

Religious freedom is still strong in America, and, thankfully, tolerance is starting to be a part of our children's upbringing. Openly gay people walk down the street now, where thirty years ago they wouldn't have dared to admit their orientation. Racism today is nothing compared to what it was for the previous generation, and the internet's beginning to help bring us all together in a global climate of mutual understanding.

Sorry, we still have a long way to go concerning what most would call 'reverse discrimination.' The activist groups that have gained political acceptance don't seem to care much for equality for those on the otherside of their fences. I will leave it to you to decide which groups. It shouldnt be hard to figure out.

However, religious freedom doesn't mean you're free to infringe upon other people's rights.

Agreed, except for the fact that people nowadays think one of their freedoms is to not be insulted/challenged by someone with differing views. People like this vote...usually for left and right wing candidates that support government encroachment for the sake of their feelings.

Re:No religious freedom is hard over there... (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213980)

I am agnostic, so the religious freedoms don't affect me

how so? shouldn't you have the right not to be forced to believe whatever religion is the fad? the freedom to worship also means the freedom not to be forced to do so.

Re:No religious freedom is hard over there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214036)

When will gays be allowed to be gay without any persecution. The same goes for Muslims. When will they be allowed to be themselves in any country?

If you let some of the Muslims be Muslims the way that they want to be Muslims then gays won't be able to to be gay without being persecuted.

Re:No religious freedom is hard over there... (0)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214160)

If you let some of the Muslims be Muslims the way that they want to be Muslims then gays won't be able to to be gay without being persecuted.

That's true of a rather higher percentage of Christians, though. If you let even a handful of the Christians be Christians the way that they want to be, then no-one will be able to anything without being persecuted. Extremist Christians are even scarier than Extremist Muslims. For one thing, they have better guns, and more of them.

Re:No religious freedom is hard over there... (1)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214048)

I am agnostic, so the religious freedoms don't affect me

Oh, but they do. If the white Christian lunatics (the very same ones who protest about mosques) in the US got their way you wouldn't be allowed to be agnostic. Don't think for a minute that an explicitly noted right to religious freedom doesn't affect you; it is the very underpinning of your being allowed to be agnostic (undecided - since, in the context of your post it sounded like you meant atheist).

hooray! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34213928)

Once again Islam has proven itself to be a religion of peace that teaches tolerance and acceptance.

And they have the audacity to question the ridicule at their expense in the civilized west.

Re:hooray! (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213986)

any ideology that ties its self to government will screw the people. it doesn't matter if it is islam or christianity or batshit political ideologies... the results are generally the same.

It's not just in the Palestinian territories (3, Informative)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213974)

This is not an issue specific to PA territories: in any islamic country you would be screwed if you logged in to Facebook as God and criticized islam. The same would have happened in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey etc. Sadly, the problem is with islamism (and maybe with islam).

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34213988)

Screwed by whom? Is this where that part about the 72 virgins comes in?

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (4, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34213992)

Sadly, the problem is with islamism (and maybe with islam).

The problem is with theocratic governments, it doesn't matter in the least what the actual religion is.

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214112)

The problem is with theocratic governments, it doesn't matter in the least what the actual religion is.

Sure it does. When the religion has a set of laws that are supposed to be divine and therefore immutable, and said laws prescribe various gruesome forms of corporal punishment and execution, the problem is with the religion. Spain under Franco also had a very real state church, but they didn't stone people to death for adultery.

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (4, Informative)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214196)

The problem is with theocratic governments, it doesn't matter in the least what the actual religion is.

You know that Islam doesn't recognize the separation of church and state, don't you? In the early years, the entire domain of Islam was ruled by a caliphate, which is essentially the pope and king rolled into one. I'm afraid that Islamic areas are always going to run into this problem because of the bad precedent set early in Islam's history - when church and state were one entity, and presumably, that's the way "God wanted it". The only hope is that people become so modernized that they stop caring about trying to recreate the imaginary golden-age of Islam.

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214008)

It's not the particular religion that's the issue, it's the development level of the countries. I'm too lazy to elucidate the whole argument right now, but in a nutshell: look at the extreme forms of Christianity practised by some in Africa.

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214060)

Exactly -- it's not the religion itself, they're all potentially (eventually? inevitably?) counterproductive. The problem is with the uneducated, dogmatic interpretations of religious beliefs in general. Religion got us through some rough times as a species way in the past, but its time is -done-. No need for it any more. If you don't think so, consider for a moment that the Dark Ages lasted about -400 years-. Imagine where we'd be today if we hadn't thrown out all of Greek thought on science and nature and kept building, uninterrupted, from where they left off! Half of us would probably be typing this from Mars right now, to the old colonies on Earth...

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214094)

Imagine where we'd be today if we hadn't thrown out all of Greek thought on science and nature and kept building, uninterrupted, from where they left off, instead of relying on the Muslims to preserve it for us while we went round burning alive anyone who expressed original thinking! Half of us would probably be typing this from Mars right now, to the old colonies on Earth... And kids would never have to study "algebra" in school...

TFTFY.

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214126)

It's not the particular religion that's the issue, it's the development level of the countries. I'm too lazy to elucidate the whole argument right now, but in a nutshell: look at the extreme forms of Christianity practised by some in Africa.

And yet the development level of Saudi Arabia - one of the strictest practitioners of Sharia in its most extreme, literalist forms - is way above many Latin American countries, for example; and yet the latter do not stone people to death for homosexuality, or amputate hands and feet for theft. Ditto for Iran.

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214184)

I believe 'development level' should be extended to encompass such barbaric practices as stoning and amputations. Those Latin American countries are way more 'developed' than the extreme Muslim states -- which should, to my mind, be accorded a 'development level' of less than zero.

These theocracies are truly utterly despicable and should be opposed with any and all means at our disposal.

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214326)

I believe 'development level' should be extended to encompass such barbaric practices as stoning and amputations.

Then the proposed chain of cause and effect is in fact circular, since GGP claimed that the "barbaric practices" are the outcome of development level.

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (5, Interesting)

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214150)

Apparently you're also too lazy to educate yourself on Christianity in Africa as well. I live in Mozambique, have lived in Botswana, Angola, Namibia and South Africa and traveled extensively to all of their neighbors. I can tell you that nowhere in (at least southern and east) Africa is there Christian oppression like this. There are many many people who are critical of Christianity in all of those southern African countries and there are no consequences like this in the least. Sure all of these countries have their problems but nothing in this vein.
Honestly, the only time you'll run into religious oppression like this is from muslim communities. Mozambique has a large muslim population (especially the north of the country) and there are many people who are oppressed because of their decisions to leave islam there.
I think islam has specific tendencies that lead to specific abuses. I think christianity has specific tendencies that lead to specific abuses. They often overlap but in this area they don't. At the core of each religion, neither promotes these tendencies or abuses. Yet because people get corrupt and are power-hungry you get wild derivations from central ideas in a religion. For example, for some reason, christian leaders who get large followings, often end up taking advantage financially of their followers who come looking for a blessing of some kind (healing, personal financial blessing, etc.) and I've never seen that in islam. Islam, by contrast, when embraced at a government level tends to overbear followers and suppress voluntary belief or non-belief. Neither religion teaches these things in their basics yet men (usually not women) who end up in religious leadership often abuse those they lead.

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214214)

I'm guessing he was talking about "The Lord's Resistance Army" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_Resistance_Army) and the current oppression of homosexuals in Uganda:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uganda_Anti-Homosexuality_Bill [wikipedia.org]
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/10/20/ugandan-embassy-defends-equal-rights-gay-list-appears-newspaper/ [foxnews.com]

The current furor over homosexuality has been fueled by talks given by American Evangelicals there: "The bill was introduced several months after a visit by several American evangelicals, who spoke at a conference called the "Seminar on Exposing the Homosexual Agenda." One of them was Scott Lively, a pastor from Springfield, MA, who believes that countries like Uganda can still protect themselves from what he sees as the scourge of the gay agenda. "These are good Christians; better Christians than there are here in the states," says Lively. "They care about each other. And I think the reason they're pushing so hard on this law is that they don't want to see what happened to our country happen over there."
http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/anti-homosexuality-bill-uganda-global-uproar/story?id=10045436 [go.com]

There's also the continuing problem of naming witches:
"African Children Denounced As "Witches" By Christian Pastors"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/18/african-children-denounce_n_324943.html [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214338)

you are mistaken, the koran specifically encourages this kind of behaviour, if you ever bother to read the koran, dont, its a boring read, even by the standard of religious texts. anyway, it clear states that anyone that knows the teachings of god and turns their back on it, should be killed, its in the first book of the koran

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214100)

The same would have happened in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey etc.

Turkey, no; Turkey's government is officially secular. Indonesia, quite possibly, depending on the province. Syria, probably, although it matters whether the person saying it is Islamic, and there are multiple court systems. Saudi Arabia, definitely yes.

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (1)

nystire (871449) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214332)

Actually Turkey's government is starting to become far more openly religious, as seen in the results of their latest referendums. The people there are voting more and more to allow religion to affect the rulings of the government.

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214108)

Do you really think that the secular democracies in Indonesia and Turkey are in the same extremist basket as the Saudi kingdom and Syrian dictatorship?

Re:It's not just in the Palestinian territories (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214156)

Sadly, the problem is with islamism (and maybe with islam).

No, the problem is with god botherers in general.

You forgot to include Ireland up there in your list. You can be fined 25,000 euros if you renounce the Sacraments, etc.

Here in the States, there are people clamoring to bring our country into some sort of religious theocratic throwback to the 12'th century. Some of them even sponsor "prayer breakfasts" for our esteemed legislators.

Google "Dominionism" and "The Family" (The so-called "Christian" group that incited Uganda to kill gays), Focus on the Family, Christian Coalition, etc.

Talibanistic fundamentalism is only just below the surface just about everywhere. It only takes a little bit of tipping the table to have it spring full force to the surface.

--
BMO

There's a saying... (1)

katz (36161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214010)

Those who want peace with others must first make peace with themselves.

Re:There's a saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214098)

I guess America's out this round.

Re:There's a saying... (0, Troll)

Smiths (460216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214224)

Really? Where did you get that standard?

So International laws only apply after you make peace with yourself? Israel doesnt have to define its borders, can control 4 million refugees lives in every respect without giving them any rights, though they have to obey the Israeli (thats called aparthied btw) all because the Palestenians haven't according to you made peace with themselves?

I can assure you have a lot to learn about Palestine. Seriously, start here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDgiE9aRmBo

Re:There's a saying... (4, Interesting)

katz (36161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214294)

Dude, honestly? Given that kids there grow up watching a rabbit puppet wax enthusiastic about eating Jews[1] and a Mickey Mouse-alike raving about martyrdom on the phone with kids[2], then it's quite obvious Palestinians do not give a crap about their children.

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm8w7_P8wZ0&feature=related [youtube.com]
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi-c6lbFGC4&feature=related [youtube.com]

Re:There's a saying... (1)

katz (36161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214318)

Palestinians can't even handle interactions among themselves peacefully when they're busy throwing rival politicians off roofs[1] in Gaza and viciously beating their own civilians[2].

1. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=c67_1188887407 [liveleak.com] (Not safe for work.)
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND9CDzsxzTk [youtube.com]

This is Israel's fault... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214050)

...somehow.

It seems strange that so many Western liberals identify with the Palestinian activist movement, given how illiberal Hamas (and Islam in general) is. Israel has done some reprehensible things, too, of course (cf. Mordechai Vanunu), but their track record is still an awful lot better.

Oh hey... (1)

blackdew (1161277) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214058)

Supporting terrorists as our government might have been a bad idea after all... who could have known?

Re:Oh hey... (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214122)

Supporting terrorists as our government might have been a bad idea after all... who could have known?

Bad idea? The locals seem to be quite rejoiced at the thought of this little witch hunt. From TFA:

Many in this conservative Muslim town say that isn't enough, and suggested he should be killed for renouncing Islam. Even family members say he should remain behind bars for life.
"He should be burned to death," said Abdul-Latif Dahoud, a 35-year-old Qalqiliya resident. The execution should take place in public "to be an example to others," he added.

When these folks elected Hamas, they knew full well what they were getting into. Keep that in mind next time Israeli steamrolls over the place after a bunch more missiles launched from there land in Israeli towns.

Re:Oh hey... (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214190)

Of course... the locals aren't allowed to say otherwise, now are they?

Re:Oh hey... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214306)

Of course... the locals aren't allowed to say otherwise, now are they?

No, the locals are not required to form a torch wielding mob and demand burning the guy alive instead of imprisoning him as is already done.

Re:Oh hey... (1)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214212)

It says right there on top of the FA - QALQILIYA, West Bank. They did not elect Hamas, that was in Gaza, in fact the whole point of the FA is how far the supposedly secular PA will go to prosecute the man.

Re:Oh hey... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214320)

Well, on Slashdot, only old people RTFA, and I don't qualify. I apologize for misinformation.

But thanks for clarifying. I'm glad that it's not that Islamist group which is imprisoning people for not believing in their superstitions, but rather the other one (Fatah, secular? haha).

well i guess..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214138)

he should have been an anonymous coward

Palestinian Intelligence? (1)

dwave (701156) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214186)

Oxymoron!

Another example of US myopia (4, Insightful)

Smiths (460216) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214202)

Meanwhile a family was evacuated from his house in Jerusalem where he lived for 30 years to make way for a settler family last week. A peaceful protest was broken up in Bil’in by tear gas and riot police.
Extremist settlers burned a Jerusalem church
Settlers spray graffiti on mosque in Nablus,
run over a man in Qalqiliya,
attack a teenager in Hebron
and the IDF assasinates two people in Gaza last week

but what do we read about that in the US? No, of course not. That would be too much reality for Americans. Instead we get a story about how those Hamas fiends are cracking down on the internet cafes. We get stories about bad the Iranians are to their women. Its as if they only perspective we get is one that shows us that these 'people' have a archaic, violent culture....ignore the 60 year occupation, ignore the two wars that US just launched over there, lets pick apart and find fault in THEIR culture. They're the violent people! Yeah right...

Theres a great film on You Tube called 'Planet of the Arab', check it out sometime.

http://mondoweiss.net/

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34214204)

There are no Homas on East bank nowadays. The story is a low profile disinformation. What a naive people they are so they think that we will believe them? This is propaganda and FUD profiled for a lowly minded crowds! A lie that blantly cotradict facts!

doesn't seem much different then in the USA (0, Troll)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214298)

Of course, we don't really worry to much with "heresy", but damn they want us to narc on our neighbors, report any "suspious" activity we see.

That's the start, of course. Soon we'll be just like them.

I read wrong (1)

Xentan (1089097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214304)

I was puzzled when i first read the title. Why is hearsay illeagal inside a bank? Then i re-read and got it right, i guess i just cant believe its 2010 and people still can get arrested for heresy.

Fanaticism is the problem (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34214322)

On both sides, large swathes of the population have been persuaded to throw a monkey wrench into the gears of their reasoning, and so are able to justify any actions at all. I started this headline with "religious fanaticism" but the communists under Stalin were no better. It's the laziness of people who would rather be willfully stupid and lie to themselves in order to be psychologically comfortable that leads down the path to these atrocities. Fundamentalists of every ilk. Feh.

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