Maybe one of the teddy bears...
... was named Mohammed?
Geographically mixed-up Algerian hackers made themselves look rather silly by defacing the website of an English stately home instead of Belvoir Fortress in Israel, their intended target. Cyber-jihadis from a previously unknown group called Dz-SeC commandeered the website of Belvoir Castle to post an anti-Zionist rant along …
Teddy bear execution video to follow this...
"Please My Cameron, my Teddy bear life hangs by a thread, please tell Hamleys not to sell Teddy Bears to Israe..ARGHHHAHHAhuuuurrgrgrg [HACK, SAW, HACK,SAW., HACK...Teddy Bear severed head placed carefully on lifeless teddy body...]".
Nothing to do with bombs. nothing about extremists. no political discussion.
@Titus, just don't generalise! It's obvious you don't like to be lumped in with our own idiots, so why would anyone who happens to go to a Mosque instead of the pub enjoy being lumped in with theirs? It just rolled off as a bit of a DMail thing to say...
I personally hold Christians responsible for the hate that is spouted in the name of their god. Muslims are no different.
If someone wants to distance themselves from the actions of "extremists" committed in the name of a religion then they should make a stand and become an atheist like many of us supposedly Christian westerners have done.
Blame the God botherers all of them, this whole 'mine is better than yours' thing is so freaking childish.
And according to Stephen Hawking they are all barking up the wrong tree... I know I've never seen proof of a god or gods (or goddesses my pagan friends).
Anon? Well if you pissed off someone who hears voices wouldn't you?
"I know I've never seen proof of a god or gods (or goddesses my pagan friends)."
Hence you're not religious. Religious people *have* seen proof. But of course, what you're demanding is 'objective, empirical evidence' - meaning evidence that *you* would accept - and of course there isn't any. Just as there isn't any objective, empirical evidence for so many of the other things we take for granted in the world. Ultimately, we all just have to decide what we perceive in the world, and how we respond to it. Extremists, religious and otherwise, respond by trying to make everyone see things the way they do.
...that religious people *believe* that they have seen proof, rather than actually having anything that would stand up to a rigorous level of proof.
I prefer to only be sure about something that has a rigorous standard of proof about it, and the current attempts to complete the Standard Model of Physics seem pretty rigorous to me. If the end result of that is that there is no term in the equation for gods of any kind then I'd say that is pretty much it for belief based on anything other than scientific rigour. Of course, there's plenty I'm unsure about as a result, but it seems to me that's just a normal consequence of being alive.
But I can still marvel at the beauty of the mathematics that sprang into existence because it had to and doesn't deal in shades of grey.
"In hoc signo vinces", a victory guarantee to Constantine by Jebus' crowd, 312 C.E.
The hegira, the beginning of Mohammed's preaching and the founding of Islam: 622 C.E.
The followers of jebus started at least 310 years before muslims EXISTED.
And what if a radical atheist hate group sprouts up, wishing to expunge the world of the folly that is religion? Will you distance yourself by becoming a Budhist?
People believe what they believe, you can't change that just because you don't like what others are doing. Normal pacifist muslims love their God and their religion and they won't stop believing in them just because some terrorist decides to blow up a bus/train/building.
Btw, I'm an atheist, I just hate small mindedness.
"I personally hold Christians responsible for the hate that is spouted in the name of their god. Muslims are no different."
...much in the same way that the Madrid train bombers and the London bus and underground bombers held all Spanish and British people for the violence visited by their countries in Afghanistan and Iraq.
What's good for the goose is good for the gander....
I agree all of these disputes have a geopolitical aspect. In fact at the risk of oversimplifying all of the disputes are to do with either territory or influence therein. As a pure aside I have a lot of sympathy for the Palestinian position, I mean, if I lived somewhere and a bunch of people turned up and claimed that 2000 or so years ago God gave them my country I would be a tad hacked off myself.
What I cannot agree with is the medieval attitude that religion has anything to do with this at all? Why don’t the church’s, mosques, synagogues etc just excommunicate (or the religious equivalent) anybody who is involved with any act of violence. Where they don’t compensation as suggested by Bunglebear would seem very appropriate.
Disagree that the church is always responsible for those claiming to be acting on it's behalf - as much as I disagree with much of religion I can't hold the church responsible for Waco...Likewise 'Islam' (which is many thousands of groups) cannot be held responsible for some hackers who misread DNS records.
On the other hand, I'll be rioting right beside you when the pope comes to visit.
Jobs because the new religions have prettier toys.
"....As a pure aside I have a lot of sympathy for the Palestinian position, I mean, if I lived somewhere and a bunch of people turned up and claimed that 2000 or so years ago God gave them my country I would be a tad hacked off myself...." So which "Palestinian" people would that be? There is no such racial group as "Palestinians", there has never been a country called "Palestine", it was a moniker given to an area by the occupying Romans who were intent on breaking up the then Jewish kingdom. In the old days prior to WW1, even Jews that left the area referred to themselves as Jewish Palestinians. Old Saint George was more than likely a Christian Palestinian. The area covered by the Manadate under British control between WW1 and WW2 range as far as Iraq (another artificial, colonial, boundary creation) and included a number of ethnic groups including several Jewish tribes, Bedouin, Syrians Arabs, Christian Arabs, Christian Maronites and the Druze. Historically, the land of Israel has changed hands many times (Egyptian, Babylonian, Turkish, Jewish, Roman and Persian dynasties have conquered it at one time or another), so who is the "rightful" owner? The Muslim "Palestinian" Arabs you sympathise with (out of historical ignorance, it seems) were themselves invaders from the Saudi area. So, if you're willing to accept one people's claim simply by right of historical conquest then you can't argue if the Christians go on another crusade or the Israelis conquer all of the West Bank and claim back all of their old kingdom. Of course, if the "Palestinians" had just accepted the original UN partition plan back in 1947 then they would have had a state called Palestine and would probably be a lot better of right now, but I'm sure you wouldn't criticise them for throwing away that chance and every one since to negotiate a Palestinain state.
"....Why don’t the church’s, mosques, synagogues etc just excommunicate (or the religious equivalent) anybody who is involved with any act of violence...." In the case of Islam, there is no such concept as excommunication. Even if you are condemned to the Msulim equivalent of Hell you do so as a condemned Muslim. To leave Islam is a crime against Allah punishable by death, even in so-called moderate Muslim countries like Egypt. Just Yahoogle for Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan for an insight into what leaving Islam can entail.
By your logic all atrocities committed by atheists are your responsibility, if you don't believe in a god then Darwinist survival of the fittest is the only correct (can't be right or wrong as this is a moral judgment) stance, and therefore all atrocities are just the right of the strongest.
interesting viewpoint, are you stonger than me?
@AC - are you distancing yourself from "extrememist atheists"? If we are all a bunch of indefinable entities experiencing unconnected, unintelligable, bare facts that therefore negate the possibility of any kind of interconnection, be that any kind of communication or relationship as true atheism must conclude then actions such as those atrocities committed by extremists are no more "wrong" or "right" than any other action. A car-bombing in Iraq is just as praiseworthy as volunteering to take an elderly neighbour to the shops (and just as despicable). Not what you were agreeing with? That's where a philosophy devoid of input from an external entity naturally leads.
If you go for a "collective conciousness", make yourself god or any other fudge you [a] were in a cave without the last 100 years of philosophical thought (post-structuralism/post-modernism anyone) and [b] just make theory this your god instead. There's still an external entity and/or yourself which can just as validly be called a god though, hence no "atheism" just your own self-serving version of theism
"they should make a stand and become an atheist like many of us supposedly Christian westerners have done."
Really? Made a stand, eh? Look at the newspapers/magazines/web. People have plenty of gods still; money, fame, ecology, sex, influence, power. Take your pick, just don't pretend the west is a place without as many gods.
(and yes, before you even ask, I'm a fully-paid-up, card-carrying, evangelical christian and no, I don't mind people knowing).
Point 1: Being an atheist does not mean you don't have morals. While you may think that morality is instilled in us by the belief that is we do something wrong we'll be punished in an afterlife, most atheist believe that if we do something wrong, it's wrong. For me, hurting people is not on the cards, not because I think that if I do I'll be punished, but because I don't want to.
Point 2: You can twist words as much as you want but we both know that atheism is the non-believe in a deity, a supernatural being which may or may not be all seeing, all powerful, all guiding or all anything. You can call money, fame etc Gods if you wish but don't pretend that you don't know and we don't know that you're twisting the meanings of words.
what has believe in a deity got to to do with attributes ? Abrahamic religions infer or believe in a deity with all powerful abilities, but this is unusual. Most supernaturalist beliefs are about locally limited spirits, whatever a spirit may be. Vikings had their gods eventually destroyed by the giants.
As for non-theists, I note that many of the current south Asian Islamic leadership were atheists, trained by russians, armed by yanks. They converted to one of the varieties of Islam, with the localities mountain tribe attitudes.
Finally, _you _ may have beliefs in some moral standard, which were trained into you from where ? Most likely a relic of the christian twilight. When the cultural darkness is complete, there will still be recognisable moral people, but no power to influence. See Seneca, Burrus and Nero history or read the Meditations of Marcus Auralius and note his behaviour in the real world against those who largely agreed with him.
Plenty of precedent for non-theists doing the darwinian thing, as anyone who recalls the full title of that book will know. Stalins statement on the death of one man a tragedy, death of a million a statistic is an excellent example.
Now back to Paris or something interesting. IT anyone ?
"If someone wants to distance themselves from the actions of "extremists" committed in the name of a religion then they should make a stand and become an atheist like many of us supposedly Christian westerners have done."
That's ridiculous. So if I were Muslim, you'd argue that because some barbarian idiot with a political axe to grind uses my religion as his excuse (and a pretty transparent excuse at that) you believe that I have no right to practice my religion which, as far as *I'm* concerned, doesn't involve blowing anyone up at all?
For that matter, your phrasing suggests that if a person uses *someone else's religion* as an excuse for violence, then I - as a believer in *another* religion - am responsible for the said violence because I don't swear off *my* religion and believe as you dictate I should?
I'm constantly told that atheism is the sign of a more rational mind...
Ah, this could go round and round, couldn't it?
My point was that being an atheist -- even if you concede it means you're a more rational person (which I'd dispute) -- doesn't necessarily make you immune to those exact same *human* tendencies of which religion is so often accused of being the exclusive cause. Too often a person's atheism is offered, and accepted, as a sort of intellectual "get-out-of-jail-free" card: an excuse for narrow-mindedness, prejudice and hatred (or in this case straightforward generalisation) on the basis that this sort of thing is okay in that direction, because the person doing it is 'more rational'.
Yeah, I know - I was just pointing out that you have to be careful when pointing fingers at people for tarring everyone belonging to a specific group with same brush, if you'll excuse the mixed metaphor. Not that you were - it's just very easily done.
Atheists aren't really a group as such, anyway - they're only defined by something that they're not. Which makes it er, a broad church...
'sfunny how everyone seems to assume that the 72 virgins are female, would a female jihadist/whack-job suicide bomber be met by 72 male virgins?
Does the jihadist /whack-job suicide bomber have to marry the 72 virgins, otherwise they'd both have to be stoned, and I don't mean on the whacky-bacy, for committing adultery.... well the women will be stoned for committing adultery.
And why do people refer to them as religious wars? Most "religious" wars are not between different religions but between sects of the same religion, the Iran-Iraq war was essentially between Sunnis and Shiites, Catholics and Protestants in northern Ireland have been fighting each other for about 600 years. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all refereed to as the faiths of Abraham. they all worship the same god!
So whoever made the "your imaginary friend is better that your imaginary friend" type posting should have said "my version of our imaginary friend is better than your version of our imaginary friend"
All I can say is thank the flying spaghetti monster that I'm an agnostic.
"'sfunny how everyone seems to assume that the 72 virgins are female...." Actually, male shaheeds (martyrs or Islamic warriors that die for the cause of Islam) are supposed to get 72 "clean" girls and 28 boys - don't ask what the boys are for, I'm told it's a hang over from the days when the Greeks conquered most of what is now the Muslim states, the Greeks of the day being prone to a bit of young man on the side. Please, no jokes about Greek girls and monobrows, I happen to have met some very tasty Greek ladies.
".....would a female jihadist/whack-job suicide bomber be met by 72 male virgins?...." Just to show equal pay and rights has obviously been an issue for a lot longer than we thought, female shaheedss are promised "one faithful husband" - apparently, finding a faithful Arab husband was a bit of a challange in olden times!
"male shaheeds (martyrs or Islamic warriors that die for the cause of Islam)"
Actually that's something I've wondered from time to time. This word you mention, 'shaheed', presumably it has some sort of authority in Islamic scripture? If so, can it literally be translated as 'martyr'? I've always wondered exactly when and how fanatical jihadists came to misinterpret the word 'martyr' so as to be able to apply it to people who *murder* for their religion (supposedly), rather than people who simply die for it.
To me, a maniac exploding a bomb in a crowded city street and killing dozens or hundreds of people can't legitimately label himself a 'martyr' just because he happens to die - by his own hand - in the act. Whether I agree with their religion or not, I'll recognise someone who is killed for their beliefs as a martyr - but not someone who chooses to die in the process of killing others. They're just a dead murderer.
So, as someone who knows the word you may know the story behind it. Is Islamic scripture really this hazy on the definition of 'martyr'?
As I understand it, shaheed and martyr are not quite the same thing, just close enough equivalents to make for an easy translation. As regards whether the suicidal act of blowing up "infidels" counts as a fitting thing for a "warrior" to be doing, it all comes down to your values system. Having lived and worked in the Mid-East, I soon realised that the ethnic group we refer to as "Arabs" have a different set of core values to what we consider the norm in the West, whether in business practices, family values or war. That's not to say their values are worse or better than ours, just different. The common mistake Western people make is assuming that Arabs will act or think in the way we would in a similar situation. If you are an extremist Islamist, then you may take the view that all non-Muslims are infidels and are the enemies of Islam, and that any act that kills them in preparation for the spreading the influence of Islam is a good thing, even if that means sacrificing your own life (and suicide is normally not a good thing in the eyes of Islam).
The Arabs aren't the only ones with a different mindset. The Allies were shocked at what the Japanese did to prisoners of war in WW2, they just didn't understand that the traditional Japanese considered any soldier taken prisoner as losing all honour. We were also shocked by the Kamikaze, but didn't know at the time that it had been official Japanese military policy NOT to endorse Kamikaze missions, it wasn't until the War was almost over that the official Kamikaze campaign was approved. Even today, people tell me that doing business in Japan is completely different to Europe or the US. But then we don't even have to go as far as Japan, we use such terms as "vive la difference" to point out the cultural differences between the UK and France.
In the meantime, we're off on another round of doomed Mid-East peace talks, all because the politicians assume that both sides (Israeli and "Palestinian") will act like Westerners and want peace. Sorry if I sound pessimistic, but I can't see either side being willing to make the concessions the other demands, even with Obama's big and cheesy grin being used on them. So we'll probably have more than a few similar threads to come here, more arguments over who is "right", and more confused Westerners wondering how the Heck it got to such a mess.
Anyone who wants to blow himself up so that he can spend eternity with seventy-two perpetual virgins ... and thinks that he won't get bored, thinks that he'll still think he's in heaven after the first million years .... or billion ... or googleplex ....
Personally I hope that these people get what they are expecting. In the fullness of eternity, they will come to realise that they are in HELL.
Not as angry as it makes me when inncocent people get blown up all in the Name of Islam. Just in case you wish to accuse me of facist sympathies I would also add that watching Palestinians getting beaten up by the Israeli army, hearing of the devastation caused by IRA bombs, and/or the UFF made me just as angry. None of these things are good.
We live in a secular society and I can see no reason for any of these religions to take these actions.
None of the cited examples can be boiled down to purely religious sources. They all have geopolitical aspects.
It would be nice if we could simply point to a single source for a problem and excise it, but it turns it is a complicated world in which we live. Oversimplifying its complexities merely complicates things.
Their reasoning being that for once the west is actually providing effective aid that is visibly helping a few million muslims (rather than our slightly more traditional approach of shooting them).
Obviously this can't be allowed to continue, people might stop hating us, so they're threatening to target aid workers to discourage us helping.
And if that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about the mindset of these lunatics, nothing will.
Actually I just discovered this when dealing with someone with the surname 'Belvoir': apparently British people have pronounced it 'Beaver' since the time of the Anglo-Saxons. It seems the Anglo-Saxons couldn't pronounce the complicated Norman-French word and simplified it.
Personally, it's news to me. I've lived in the UK all my life and I've never known anyone -- up until the said surname-bearer -- pronounce it as anything other than 'belv-WAHR'. Of all the French words we've imported, this has got to be one of the easier ones.
'Croissant', on the other hand -- now *that's* tricky. 'Krwah-'? Madness, I tell you.
Anyway, why do extremists blame the Brits for the Crusades? The Crusades were campaigns by the Normans (basically French-domiciled Vikings) who had also conquered and brutally oppressed Anglo-Saxon England. So let's blame the Danes, and we all know how well their flag burns:-)
All this would be lost on these particular cyber-jihadists, who clearly couldn't find their own arses with both hands and a torch.
They are supposed to miraculously "re-virginate" every morning. Sort of like "Goundhog Day" meets "The Prisoner", only there's no escape.
And don't blame the Christians, it was the Romans' fault for re-structuring Christianity for their own imperial ends, until then it was fairly benign.
So speculating on the Virgins where do they come from?
Given that they have been assigned the onerous task of servicing the succesful Jihadist presumably they are formed from minor sinners in a previous life? Your veneal rather than mortal sinners, and then they are 're-virginated' and get a pass through the pearly gates.
So anyways thats OK, with luck this shouldn't be a problem for me, it is you women out there that needs to make sure you die in a state of grace. The again what about that gay suicide bomber ........ where does his 72 come from, whoops, oh s*i*........ 'Hail Mary for I have sinn.......'
".... smallest reward for the people of Heaven is an abode where there are eighty thousand servants and seventy-two houri, ........"
Panic over for indeed the inestimable Sarah is correct.....
"........Iḥūr or ḥūrīyah (Arabic: حورية) are described as "(splendid) companions of equal age (well-matched)", "lovely eyed", of "modest gaze", "voluptuous women", "pure beings" or "companions pure" of paradise, denoting humans and jinn who enter paradise after being recreated anew in the hereafter. ......."
Reading through this stuff it looks like 'Houri' are largely women (there is some confusion with gender and the translation from Arabic), but in any event 'attractive' (counts me out!). Whoah whoah, whoah should I inadvertantly make it to heaven I won't be spending eternity doing 'business' services for some pimple covered Jihadist brown hat hacker. WTG FPTY TFFT
Feel a bit sorry for the girls, oh and the attractive people. But then again they get all the breaks down here..... do I really care that Arnie, Jordan, or MLF have to spend an eternity ..... nah lets get on with the morning after all it's their career choice?
So you go to all that trouble, make the suicide video, blow yourself up...
...and when you get to heaven they tell you "Sorry - translation error. Turns out you're actually spending eternity with 72 perpetual celebrities."
(On a cruder note, if you've exploded yourself it's no wonder the virgins stay that way, since your bits are dispersed all over the street.)
It's not about religions really, is it? It's about belief. Specifically, it's about UNREASONABLE belief.
People who are prone, for whatever reason, to believe what they are told and fail to question it are easy to manipulate. Religion, therefore, is a tool used for political advancement. It's not the religion that fails, specifically, its merely that it acts as a vehicle for the machinations of those who have the intellect and will to make use of it.
The same goes for other motivating factors; Patriotism springs to mind as an example (My country right or wrong. Isn't that the cry of patriotic Americans in some cases?).
Atheism too sometimes teeters on the brink of being an 'unquestioning faith' and the only thing that sends it spiralling into the same status as religion is that it retains the readiness to be questioned; to allow for reasoned examination. Indeed, it encourages such, unlike religions which hold the converse; unquestioning faith; as a virtue.
it is, I believe, therefore that we must guard against two thing; extremism and unquestioning obedience. Whether it is religion, science or patriotism we must be encouraged to question, to understand and to deliberate in a civilised manner and to respect the views of others. Only then might we see an end to conflict, as each soldier, suicide bomber or fundamentalist stops for a second, considers what they've just been told is "right", "true" or "their duty" and says....
....hang on just one bloody minute.....!?
in the image of their believers: some are quite benign, others are homicidal lunatics (just like people, really). The problem is the different ones to often go by the same name. This gives rise to confusion, evidence of which abounds above ;-)
Big brother because he is the nearest thing to the big beard in the sky many believe in.