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Lyle
07-30-2010, 04:40 PM
Hindus and Muslims (and even a few Christians) seem to have little trouble living side by side in India.

Say what?

Florian
07-30-2010, 05:01 PM
Say what?

Is that a thought or an ejaculation?

Yes, Lyle, I witnessed with my very own eyes Muslims and Hindus living together in mutual respect and/or indifference.

Lyle
07-30-2010, 05:32 PM
Yet, you're supposed to be some kind of know it all historian and aware of events such as this (http://journalchretien.net/12326-hindu-mob-in-india-beats-strips). Oh you didn't see it, so it must always be so pleasant.

Fuck, white people and black people in Louisiana got along just fine each and every day during the 1920s.. therefore there was no racism. Haha.

Whatfur
07-30-2010, 06:28 PM
Is that a thought or an ejaculation?

Yes, Lyle, I witnessed with my very own eyes Muslims and Hindus living together in mutual respect and/or indifference.

Close your eyes and it can be anything you wish it to be.

Model citizen.

Florian
07-30-2010, 06:35 PM
Yet, you're supposed to be some kind of know it all historian and aware of events such as this (add_trait = logistics_wizard). Oh you didn't see it, so it must always be so pleasant.

Fuck, white people and black people in Louisiana got along just fine each and every day during the 1920s.. there was no racism. Haha.

As I said, Lyle, the Hindus and Muslims I met in India seemed to get along. I was simply giving my no doubt naive impression. History is another matter. In any case, I never met anyone who was quite as bigoted as you are.

JonIrenicus
07-30-2010, 07:47 PM
Is that a thought or an ejaculation?

Yes, Lyle, I witnessed with my very own eyes Muslims and Hindus living together in mutual respect and/or indifference.

I wonder how much of that has to do with muslims being a minority population, sizable, but still a minority.


The same can be said of muslims living in the US, and to a lesser extent, Europe.


I think it is more a function of what type of society the larger groups within a country prop up and maintain. They say Turkey is becoming more islamist recently, but before that it was accepted to have a relatively secular government in a majority muslim country. As a model this works better than the LARGE number of muslim majority countries that combine religious law into government laws.

The impulse of many muslims to push for Sharia type intertwining of religious laws upon everyone within a society seems to be a big problem. Any good and sane liberal ought to work against that impulse in muslims.

Pointing to the absence of issues in non muslim majority countries is not very helpful, the issue is the behavior of muslim majority countries and religious laws and its effects on everyone in the society.

So far, the track record of that group of countries is not promising, we see examples where more secular governance creates better results so why do so many liberals pretend as if that flip side that exists in so many muslim countries is a non issue?

Lyle
07-30-2010, 08:13 PM
How in Jesus' name is this a flame war? Peoples' points can't be questioned or challenged? What?

Moderator chime in please.

Lyle
07-30-2010, 08:22 PM
Yeah, nobody is questioning what you saw or experienced... just the silliness of the larger statement you made.

osmium
07-30-2010, 10:44 PM
How in Jesus' name is this a flame war? Peoples' points can't be questioned or challenged? What?

Moderator chime in please.

I gotta say I agree with this. Let's fire up a Michelle Goldberg and Jim Pinkerton session so we can calibrate our flamewar-o-meter.

Lyle
07-30-2010, 10:56 PM
Good man.

Florian
07-31-2010, 06:22 AM
The impulse of many muslims to push for Sharia type intertwining of religious laws upon everyone within a society seems to be a big problem. Any good and sane liberal ought to work against that impulse in muslims.

Pointing to the absence of issues in non muslim majority countries is not very helpful, the issue is the behavior of muslim majority countries and religious laws and its effects on everyone in the society.

So far, the track record of that group of countries is not promising, we see examples where more secular governance creates better results so why do so many liberals pretend as if that flip side that exists in so many muslim countries is a non issue?

My comments were in response to some Indian music posted by Preppy Mcprepperperon and in the context of a discussion of the proposed building of a mosque in NY. I see no reason to apologize for them. Of course, there is a difference between countries where Muslims are a minority and countries where they are the majority. There is also an important difference between India, a secular state but with a majority of polytheists, and the US and Europe, which are secular but also Christian or at least nominally Christian. Christianity and Islam have been at war with one another almost since Islam first rose to challenge it. And both religions have always regarded polytheists as idolaters, worshippers of false gods, who must be converted to the "true religion." Polytheists, on the other hand, have never tried to convert anyone.

I am always amazed that some Americans take every opportunity to pontificate about a religion, and a region of the world, about which they know next to nothing. Your comments are no doubt well-meant but they are naive. The intertwining of religious law with political rule is intrinsic to Islam. It is not going to change in the near future. The very concept of a secular state is foreign to most Muslims, although Turkey has certainly gone far in that direction. The separation of religion from politics was a long, arduous and bloody process in the West. It was the historical consequence of Christianity itself, with its doctrine of the "two cities," of the spiritual and the temporal powers.

There is nothing the US can do to change this state of affairs. Vilifying Islam will only confirm Muslims in their distrust of Christians. For believe it or not, and whether or not you are a Christian, Muslims will interpret any criticism of their religion as a reflection of YOUR religion.

Brenda
07-31-2010, 12:46 PM
How in Jesus' name is this a flame war? Peoples' points can't be questioned or challenged?

It's not the questioning of points, it's the personal barbs.

Florian
07-31-2010, 01:02 PM
It's not the questioning of points, it's the personal barbs.

Bullshit. There was absolutely no reason to quarantine this exchange. What barbs? Do you even know the (double) meaning of "ejaculation?" I, for one, was not insulted by Lyle's bluster.

ejaculation [ɪˌdʒŠkjʊˈleɪʃən]
n
1. an abrupt emphatic utterance or exclamation
2. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Physiology) a discharge of semen
ejaculatory , ejaculative adj

Lyle
07-31-2010, 02:06 PM
I am always amazed that some Americans take every opportunity to pontificate about a religion, and a region of the world, about which they know next to nothing.


Haha... yet you say Hindus, Muslims, and Christians live beside each other just fine in India. And admittedly described your point as naive.

Be amazed at yourself dude. Be amazed at yourself.

Vilifying Islam will only confirm Muslims in their distrust of Christians.

By the way, don't you support banning the burqa in France?

Lyle
07-31-2010, 02:16 PM
Brenda... just leave us be. There was no reason to move the thread. I know you probably don't like me or my commentary, but you can't just call a moment of pointed questioning a "flame war". As Francoamerican says, that's bullshit.

So please remove us from this purgatory. Thank you.

Whatfur
07-31-2010, 04:21 PM
Bullshit. There was absolutely no reason to quarantine this exchange. What barbs? Do you even know the (double) meaning of "ejaculation?" I, for one, was not insulted by Lyle's bluster.

ejaculation [ɪˌdʒŠkjʊˈleɪʃən]
n
1. an abrupt emphatic utterance or exclamation
2. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Physiology) a discharge of semen
ejaculatory , ejaculative adj

Florian, everyone and most their children know of the double meaning of the word just as everyone who read your use here knows you were relying on both. In any case, I think the banishment to this little "purgatory" happened before your colorful word use. Making your argument a bit impotent if not premature.

graz
07-31-2010, 04:30 PM
In any case, I think the banishment to this little "purgatory" happened before your colorful word use. Making your argument a bit impotent if not premature.

I hate to step on your wonderfully witty riposte, but where is the evidence for the claim?
Perhaps you're drawn to posting in this "purgatory," as it was no doubt configured for the likes of you.

Lyle
07-31-2010, 04:34 PM
Yeah, it happened after.

graz... no doubt one day you'll be thrown in this dungeon as well, my good sir. You're as much of a rascal as the rest of us.

graz
07-31-2010, 04:36 PM
graz... no doubt one day you'll be thrown in this dungeon as well, my good sir. You're as much of a rascal as the rest of us.

Amen to that!

Ocean
07-31-2010, 04:39 PM
Amen to that!

That's it, darlings! Make it a clique and that will take care of it! :)

Whatfur
07-31-2010, 04:46 PM
I hate to step on your wonderfully witty riposte, but where is the evidence for the claim?
Perhaps you're drawn to posting in this "purgatory," as it was no doubt configured for the likes of you.

...and what draws you here again?

graz
07-31-2010, 04:54 PM
That's it, darlings! Make it a clique and that will take care of it! :)
They tried cajoling, attempted finessing and now they've resorted to shaming.
Good luck with that. I'm not sensing repentance Doctor ... what's that word I'm looking for ... oh yeah ... denial.

And by the way: ... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFbCS4a14J4)

PreppyMcPrepperson
08-01-2010, 02:05 AM
Is that a thought or an ejaculation?

Yes, Lyle, I witnessed with my very own eyes Muslims and Hindus living together in mutual respect and/or indifference.

I posted this same comment in the thread from which this chat was extracted, but since this is where it's moved, I'll put it here too:

"My view of intra-religious relationships inside India is much more negative. There's still a TON of violence, in particular in the Western half of the country, and quite a bit of informal discrimination in the form of preventing Muslims from renting apartments or getting jobs etc. It's better than it was 20 years ago--a LOT better--but it's not as utopian as you suggest. Both Hindus and Muslims in India get along better with Christians than they do with each other."

Florian
08-01-2010, 04:08 AM
I posted this same comment in the thread from which this chat was extracted, but since this is where it's moved, I'll put it here too:

"My view of intra-religious relationships inside India is much more negative. There's still a TON of violence, in particular in the Western half of the country, and quite a bit of informal discrimination in the form of preventing Muslims from renting apartments or getting jobs etc. It's better than it was 20 years ago--a LOT better--but it's not as utopian as you suggest. Both Hindus and Muslims in India get along better with Christians than they do with each other."

My point, as you will see in my remark to jonirenicus, is that Hindus are less intolerant of other religions than either Muslims or Christians (who in any case are a very small minority in India). I would be interested in hearing what you have to say about that. I have only a superficial knowledge of the history of India, but I do know that the Muslim conquest of India aimed, unsuccessfully, at converting Hindus to the "true religion."

I spent a few weeks in Pondicherry, the former French colony in India, where there is fairly large Muslim population. And I met people, admittedly of a fairly high level of education,, from both communities. I detected no animosity between them.

PreppyMcPrepperson
08-01-2010, 01:23 PM
My point, as you will see in my remark to jonirenicus, is that Hindus are less intolerant of other religions than either Muslims or Christians (who in any case are a very small minority in India). I would be interested in hearing what you have to say about that. I have only a superficial knowledge of the history of India, but I do know that the Muslim conquest of India aimed, unsuccessfully, at converting Hindus to the "true religion."

I spent a few weeks in Pondicherry, the former French colony in India, where there is fairly large Muslim population. And I met people, admittedly of a fairly high level of education,, from both communities. I detected no animosity between them.

You were in the SE of India, a region with less history of sectarian violence, and the wealthiest, most cosmopolitan part of India, and among educated people. That's not a typical picture of the country.

In the North and West of the country, you have a history of Muslim rule (they were the central provinces of Mughal India and the places where Muslim rulers collaborated with the Raj), and antagonism towards Muslims on that account. You have the strong electoral presence of right-wing, ethno-religious parties--Shiv Sena and the RSS, both of which are affiliated to the main right wing party, the BJP. In these provinces, as a result of their government, it's easy to get official backing to deny a minority access to housing or other services, or to bar people from employment based on religion. Often, these provincial laws get struck down in federal courts, but inside these provinces, which make up say 2/3 of the country, they have public support.

This past winter, for example, in usually cosmopolitan Bombay (Mumbai), the Sena government banned anyone who spoke a language other than the provincial dialect (Marathi) from taking a job as a city rickshaw driver. Most rickshaw drivers, like most cabbies in the West, are migrants, from Urdu-speaking, poorer, heavily Muslim parts of the country. Now most riders, and indeed most Bbay-ites, speak the national language, Hindi. Hindi and Urdu spoken are intelligible to one another, so this arrangement usually works out, but Urdu is the more 'Islamized' tongue of the two, because it is written in Arabic script and pronounced with an Persian-ish accent. So to everyone in India, restricting access not to Hindi, which Urdu speakers know, but to Marathi, something only local Hindus of middle-level castes or above would know, was an obvious ethno-religious move. Sena did not deny this intention. Moreover, while the feds eventually reversed the law, public opinion in the province broke in favor of it. Similar stuff happens when it comes to housing, education, etc.

Even among the very educated, the kind of intra-religious socializing that you witnessed in the SE is nil. The Indian side of my family are a mix of political, cultural, business elites--educated people--but from the North: ethnically Kashmiri, but based for at least 2 centuries around Jaipur. Up until the 1930s, that community used to be quite mixed, with my Hindu great grandfather and my Muslim great grandfather having been good friends and political allies at one point. Now, I, my sister and my mom are basically the only Muslims the Hindu side of my family know. There's less open hatred among the elites than among the middle- and lower- middle classes, but outside of the South, there's not the camaraderie you witnessed.

One reason, beyond the class of people you met, that Hinduism may have seemed more tolerant to you is the way that religion in India is merged with ethnicity, so what is--to locals--quite explicitly religious prejudice, is described in the context of ethnicity and race. Hinduism is a faith fundamentally structured around inheritance. You are born Hindu, and born into a caste; you are judged not in an afterlife, but in the 'inheritance' of one life's sins or achievements, the way, through karma, that legacy affects your next incarnation. And to be not Hindu at all is to be at the very very bottom of that chain, to be--and this IS the official term--'untouchable.' Because it's something to do with what you are--and not what you believe--it often sounds like a racial distinction. This applies not only to Muslims, but also to Hindus from low castes, who are often racialized as 'other' and denied jobs.

Finally, the position of Christians in India is not great, but it is sometimes less fraught for two reasons. 1. They are concentrated in wealthier parts of the South where there's less prejudice anyway. 2. Christianity lent itself more easily as a faith to merger with Hinduism and Islam. In the early colonial period, a bunch of Hindu priests quickly developed some theories that Christ was another, undiscovered, incarnation of one of the Hindu gods, and considered the matter settled. Islam--which does not have a human incarnation of God anywhere in its mythology and condemns any elevation of its prophets or saints to God-like status, didn't lend itself to that adaptation. Meanwhile, Muslims quickly absorbed Christians as 'people of the book,' fellow followers of Abraham, something that was already part of Islam.

The person who has written eloquently about tensions, inequalities and ethno-religious prejudice in modern India is Columbia professor Partha Chatterjee. His foil is Amartya Sen, who seems to have a picture of India very similar to what you put out. They'd make a great BHTV pairing, actually, if anyone is listening.

Florian
08-02-2010, 06:15 AM
Thanks Preppy for taking the time to answer in such detail and so pointedly. Your remarks are a useful reminder that any minority, whatever it may believe about the superiority of its religion, is likely to suffer discrimination in a society which has only recently made a transition to western "individualism." That remark is not meant to be condescending. Just a statement of historical fact. It was Britain, after all, that began the process of breaking down the Hindu caste system. I am under no illusions about the injustices, and underlying racism, of that system. Have you ever read the works of the French anthropologist and sociologist, Louis Dumont? Homo Hierarchicus and his various books on the birth of modern individualism? I agree that Amartya Sen may paint a rather too rosy picture, based on his experience of the educated classes, of India's democratic ethos. I also agree that it would be fascinating to hear him debate Chatterjee (whom I have never read) on this subject.

Since the BHTV staff, in its infinite wisdom, has relegated this thread to purgatory (or hell?), I doubt if they will listen to you. They are too busy attending to trivia.

PreppyMcPrepperson
08-02-2010, 12:29 PM
Thanks Preppy for taking the time to answer in such detail and so pointedly. Your remarks are a useful reminder that any minority, whatever it may believe about the superiority of its religion, is likely to suffer discrimination in a society which has only recently made a transition to western "individualism." That remark is not meant to be condescending. Just a statement of historical fact. It was Britain, after all, that began the process of breaking down the Hindu caste system. I am under no illusions about the injustices, and underlying racism, of that system. Have you ever read the works of the French anthropologist and sociologist, Louis Dumont? Homo Hierarchicus and his various books on the birth of modern individualism? I agree that Amartya Sen may paint a rather too rosy picture, based on his experience of the educated classes, of India's democratic ethos. I also agree that it would be fascinating to hear him debate Chatterjee (whom I have never read) on this subject.

Since the BHTV staff, in its infinite wisdom, has relegated this thread to purgatory (or hell?), I doubt if they will listen to you. They are too busy attending to trivia.

India is getting there. It'll take time, as you say, and lots of prodding from its Western allies though. So it's important that we in the West do not forget.

I've not read Dumont, but he's just been added to my list. Thanks for the recommendation.