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I'm Being Followed By A Goon Shadow, Goon Shadow Goon Shadow…

By - September 21, 2004

catstevensjpgLook, I couldn’t resist. This is pretty orthogonal to search, but…I do have more than a passing interest in how we are tracking and searching folks we consider to be potential terrorists, and in the Patriot Act in particular. But this item from BoingBoing was too funny not to note: Cat Stevens, who pretty much defined high school lovesick treacle for me, forced a plane to divert from the US to London when US Customs decided he was a terrorist threat (he converted to Islam some time ago.) I just had to make the pun.


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49 thoughts on “I'm Being Followed By A Goon Shadow, Goon Shadow Goon Shadow…

  1. hornsofthedevil says:

    Cat Stevens wrote a check to the terrorist organization Hamas. thats why he’s on the list – he funded murderers.

  2. bunny says:

    Funding murderers? Half of Boston should be kicked out of the country.

  3. Psychomike says:

    Whoa there!
    There was this fellow named Salman Rushdie. He wrote a book about Allah and Islam as humor. A death sentence was passed on him.

    The artist now terrorist formerly known as Cat called for his death and said he would do it if he could.

    We need to have a public discussion on the need for internment camps until this war is over. As far as I am concerned, advocating murdering an author puts him in the top 100 of the list. He should not under any circumstances be allowed to fly.

    We are at war on our land. They will attack us again here. Yet we still don’t get it.

    The press and coffee and quiche crowd like to ask which person running for President would Laden support. Cute. Two years ago I read on al Qaeda websites rumors of an attack on inauguration day. There are still sites running this. Two years ago they didn’t know who the Democrats would pick. They didn’t care who won. When the election is over no matter who wins we are going to have to begin asking the difficult questions and trying to find a middle ground.

    No matter how difficult the question.

  4. hornsofdevil'sbitch says:

    no doubt horn’s of devil gave to the RNC…maybe horns should be given over to the international criminal court, with the rest of those nutters cramming this terrorism bs down our throats.

  5. kaptain hook says:

    John, stick to search and technology – politics brings the wackos out (on all sides).

  6. Planethalder says:

    hahaha those lyrics are gold! I do recognise that the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens is an ambivalent threat to the US gov, though, due to his previous extreme comments and his (purported?) funding of certain extremist groups.

  7. Simonf says:

    snip… ‘ambivalent threat to the US gov, though, due to his previous extreme comments’

    ROTFLLAMF.

  8. Gary Potter says:

    Hey, there’s more. Back in July the TSA said the updated passenger screening system was dead but might re-surface under another name. Well, it did and it’s being called Secure Flight and the airlines have been ordered to give passenger data on everyone that flew in June so they (the TSA) can test their new system. It’s just the beginning.

  9. Anser says:

    The No-Fly list (regardless of its name) must not be abused for political purposes. If there is somebody that the US deems a threat, they should turn him away or arrest him at the border, just as they would if he drove up to El Paso.

    Steve Georgiou/Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam may be a tragically misguided SOB but he is not going to hijack a plane and he is not a threat to fly, period.

    We should be intolerant of punitive harrassment in any form, because if we’re not, it will get worse and worse.

  10. James says:

    I have to agree with PsychoMiko up there, we need internment camps for all the crazy xenophobic white guys in this country until they realize that just like any other group of people, 99 percent of muslims want to live peaceful, happy lives.

    Why didn’t we start a “War on Terror” and drop bombs on the midwest after the Oklahoma City bombings? I think Protestants should be sequestered at airports until we figure out which ones might be crazy. Starting with Psychomike.

  11. burris says:

    Every April 15 I write a check out to the terrorist organization U.S. Federal Government. Am I on the list for funding murderers?

  12. Scott says:

    “The artist now terrorist formerly known as Cat called for his death and said he would do it if he could.”

    I cannot possibly roll my eyes hard enough to respond to that, so I’ll just provide this URL instead: http://catstevens.com/articles/00236/index.html

    The site seems to be pretty slow right now, so you might want to use the Google cache at http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:GUo6sko4AycJ:catstevens.com/articles/00236/

  13. I think I will stick to search, but…search touches politics, and just about everything else as well. When our lives become digital and searchable, then the horse is outta the barn.

  14. crenz says:

    Say what you will about the Yusuf Islam’s politics, but leave the music out of it! First of all, unlike most popular music, very very few of his songs (most of which he wrote) dealt with the notion of romantic love, including his big hits. Although I didn’t notice it at the time the songs came out, it should have been a hint that other things were on his mind. Like Muhammad Ali before him, Stevens was willing to sacrifice his own career in favor of larger principles and beliefs. Those principles, together with a very remote connection to undesirable connections, now get you kicked off a plane. Welcome to the new USA, where we’ve let the terrorists win by letting our government take away our hard-fought liberties.

    Anyway, it’s bad enough that the guy has to be hauled off a plane. Let’s not mischaracterize his old music, which was pretty good singer/songwriter stuff. There were zillions of things out at the time that deserve the moniker of “lovesick treacle.” His was not among them.

  15. Crenz – I’m characterizing how his music made me feel and act. I am still a fan of the song I was parodying, just as I am a fan of the foolish, treacly kid I was in high school. But I can poke fun at both.

  16. Search touches politics?

    And vice-versa, perhaps.

    I’m so glad you said that, John. Five years ago, I ditched a PhD in political science to enter my current World O’ Search.

    Just for starters, to people in repressed societies, information and freedom go hand in hand. Likely that is part of the explanation of why people in our relatively free society get worked up about all of the issues surrounding the search industry. Why the notion that Microsoft will “take over” search gets more than a few hearts pounding nervously.

    And to veer wildly off topic perhaps, it is a dark day for media and politics in our relatively free society when a major news organization is shamed in a weird scandal involving the authenticity of documents, in the eleventh hour of a pivotal election. All partisanship aside, time and again, the “blogosphere” and the eminent searchability of the Web are shaping fast-moving political events.

    In so many ways it feels like we are living through a dark time. Maybe that’s why I like search: it’s like a light you can’t shut off. And the big search/portal companies are the magic birthday candles you can’t blow out.

  17. illovich says:

    We need to have a public discussion on the need for internment camps until this war is over.

    But the war will never be over. We have always been at war with Terror.

  18. sherrylynn says:

    You know I once did an on-line course, called E-Pro, in order to gain a designation to add to my broker sales-person status. Each module of the course had a List-serve, that was mandatory to receive. You could receive the communications individually or as a journal. I could not believe how many people sat at their computers and wrote in to this List-serve on any number of real estate related issues. Needless to say, I am no longer in real estate…reading all those emails took me away from my customers.

    Would someone please tell me what the purpose of this blog phenomenon is all about? Again, I am amazed at the time people have to write about basically nothing.

  19. bob ross says:

    As George Orwell imagined we would, we are now entering a state of perpetual war, an ongoing conflict with an ill-defined enemy that will serve nothing and nobody so much as those who make the bombs and bullets.

  20. Cowboy says:

    Andrew:

    Americans do have more liberty in the form of access to diverse sources of information than lets say someone living in Saudi Arabia or Iran. Yet when you look at what we, as Americans, choose to do with that privilege it becomes apparent that we don’t take fully advantage of it.

    For example; look at the national meadia particularly the broadcast news media and how on cable large corporate icons like Fox News uses the airwaves to further the culture war launched by minions like Dick Simon who were aligned with Reagan extremism and conservative fanaticism of the 1980’s.

    Hence today, we have Rush Limbau, Bill O’Reilly, Shaun Hanity, Charley Sykes, Richard Ailes and Rupert Murdock all telling us that a dispicable administration like that of George W. Bush is to be trusted with the furture of America. Mind you, that in the case of Dan Rather and CBS News, no one is asking the real question, which is where are the real and authentic military documents concerning Bush’s service in the Texas & Alabama ANG Units he supposedly fullfilled his military obligation in?

    The corrupt national cable broadcast media isn’t asking or questioning; how nonclassified military information from that erra [1973] that is supposed to be stored in Air Force and Department of Defense Personnel Archives [in addition to Texas Air Guard Personnel Records Dvision] could all be missing on what President Bush was doing for nearly a year after being grounded for not taking his required flight physical and fitness classification/certification?

    I served in the Air Force and feel that the Commander and Chief’s charcater of military service is important and relevant to how he will act as Commander and Chief. Every discharged veteran of any branch can tell you that what’s on your discharge papers DD-214 and another Air Force Form in Bush’s case; that reveals under what Air Force Manual Regulation his release came. That will tell the true nature of Mr. Bush’s service in the Air Guard. It is no coincidence that it is one of the missing documents that the Department of Defense has not handed over under the guise of not being able to locate it.

    I personally find all this monkey business surrounding Bush’s missing ANG Records very troubling. It is troubling, because it proves that first and foremost, some one disposed of the original Air Foce/DOD Records and that some one had to be a person with access to stored documents. Second; just by the fact that this one former guard members records revealing his fitness and performance levels while on duty with the Guard are indeed indicative that some out of the ordinary is a foot and something here is very wrong.

    Granted, CBS and Dan Rather were duped by David Burkett but the real question is, where are the President’s factual military records?

  21. Cowboy says:

    Andrew:

    Americans do have more liberty in the form of access to diverse sources of information than lets say someone living in Saudi Arabia or Iran. Yet when you look at what we, as Americans, choose to do with that privilege it becomes apparent that we don’t take full advantage of it.

    For example; look at the national media, particularly the broadcast news media, and how on cable large corporate icons like Fox News information is used on the airwaves to further the culture war launched by minions like Dick Simon who were aligned with Reagan extremism and the conservative fanaticism of the 1980’s.

    Hence today, we have Rush Limbau, Bill O’Reilly, Shaun Hanity, Charley Sykes, Richard Ailes and Rupert Murdock all telling us that a dispicable administration like that of George W. Bush is to be trusted with the furture of America. Mind you, that in the case of Dan Rather and CBS News, no one is asking the real relevant question, which is where are the real and authentic military documents concerning President Bush’s service in the Texas & Alabama ANG Units he supposedly fullfilled his military obligation in?

    The corrupt national cable broadcast media isn’t asking or questioning how nonclassified military information from that erra [1973], and is supposed to be stored in Air Force and Department of Defense Personnel Archives as well as in Texas Air Guard Personnel Records, could all be missing on what President Bush was doing for nearly a year after being grounded for not taking his required flight physical and fitness classification/certification?

    I served in the Air Force and feel that the Commander and Chief’s charcater of military service is important and relevant to how he will act as Commander and Chief. Further, every discharged veteran of any branch of the military can tell you that what’s on your discharge papers DD-214 and another Air Force Form in Bush’s case; will reveal under what Air Force Manual Regulation his release came which may be highly relevant and important in the debate.

    That is so, because the documents will reveal the true nature of Mr. Bush’s service in the Air Guard including his character of service. That is why, it is no coincidence that these are among the documents currently missing and now being included with those that the Department of Defense has not handed over under the guise of not being able to locate them.

    I personally find all this monkey business surrounding Bush’s missing ANG Records very troubling. It is troubling, because it tends to prove that first and foremost, some one trusted with government records disposed of the original Air Foce/DOD Records and that specific person had to have access to said stored government documents.

    Secondly; just by the fact that this one former guard member’s records [Bush's] that will reveal his fitness and performance levels while on duty with the Guard are missing is indeed indicative that something out of the ordinary is a foot and something here is very wrong.

    Granted, CBS and Dan Rather were duped by David Burkett but the real question here is, where are the President’s factual military records and what will they tell us about concerning the accuracy of the purported forgeries?

    May be that is what everyone is afraid of here especially the proright media and the Bush Campaign!

  22. hornsofthedevil says:

    back on topic “2-post-cowboy”, apparently Cat Stevens/Yusef Islam also gave money to the son of convicted terror mastermind Omar Abdel Rahman. a lad in his twenties, Abdullah Omar Abdel Rahman, is at the same facility that his father was at and preaches the same hatred.

    “Sheikh Omar declared that we should have sharia law on this earth and he said that (on Judgment Day) God will ask him why he didn’t tell people about sharia and the correct path. I have never met Osama bin Laden or taken money from him. There are people like Osama bin Laden or Rifayie Taha who loved Omar Abdel Rahman and I love the people who loved Omar Abdel Rahman,”

    thats why his visa isn’t valid in this country

  23. Donating to Hamas is funding terrorism, so I stand by the govt’s no-fly decision. Ever since Carter helped Khomeni displace the Shah of Iran we’ve been dealing with state-sponsored & Islamic terrorism because we’ve been too weak in the knees to deal with the problem straight on.

    If 99% of Muslims are peace-loving, why don’t they act to stop their fascist brothers? I’ll tell you why – because Islam ties the church too closely to the state and doesn’t give enough power to the individual. That’s why modern democracy, imperfect as it is, is still BY FAR the best social contract and one worth dying for.

    God bless those who’ve been murdered recently in Iraq, and God bless our soldiers. And for you Bush-bashers and liberals, you will go down in history as having voted for the loser – I guarantee it.

  24. jeff says:

    The No-Fly list (regardless of its name) must not be abused for political purposes. If there is somebody that the US deems a threat, they should turn him away or arrest him at the border, just as they would if he drove up to El Paso.

    seems that is what happened here, Islam was denied entry to the U.S. and has been put on a flight back to the U.K. Why they didn’t detect this before he boarded is something that deserves investigation.

    Steve Georgiou/Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam may be a tragically misguided SOB but he is not going to hijack a plane and he is not a threat to fly, period.

    the list identifies people who are a threat to the U.S., either through violent terrorist actions or by supporting those who advocate terrorism. If you are attempting to enter the U.S. and on this list you will be denied entry, while if you are in the U.S. and suspected of supporting terrorist organizations you will be arrested because there are a number of federal laws that make this an illegal activity.

    We should be intolerant of punitive harrassment in any form, because if we’re not, it will get worse and worse.

    if someone supports terrorist organizations, I don’t think it’s fair to say that denying them entry to the U.S. is “punitive harrassment”.

  25. Mark says:

    Politics aside, if he was determined by authorities to be a persona non grata, I don’t undertand why he either wasn’t stopped from getting on the plane in the first place, or just hauled off the plane after it landed in D.C. as scheduled. Why did they have to divert the flight? Nowhere have I seen anything to indicate he was thought to be an imminent threat to anyone or the plane itself. Seems rather a bit of an overreaction, to me.

  26. howard says:

    In response to Chris Zaharias:

    Re Iran: The United States helped overthrow M. Mossadegh in the 1950s. Mossadegh was democratically elected by Iranians, but was disliked by the U.S. and England for his policies on nationalizing Iranian oil interests. The CIA helped to overthrow him and to replace him with the Shah. The rest is history. The U.S. has major problems with defining long-term strategies when deposing foreign rulers. The problem in Iran now is directled related to our meddling in their affairs. Most of our decisions has come back to bite us on the ass.

    Re Islam and state-church ties: No country that invokes religious ideology as a premise for nationhood will ever have successful separation of church and state. Asking why 99% of Muslims don’t stop their ‘fascist brothers’ is like asking why 99% of Israeli Jews don’t protest Israel actions against Palestinians; or why 99% of Catholics and Protestants don’t protest the actions of the respective factions in Ireland. These types of questions don’t lead anywhere.

    No one political system can work for all nations. In my opinion, modern democracy will never flourish, unforunately, in Muslim majority countries. And just because it cannot, does not mean that the type of government they choose is any less ‘liberating’ than democracy. It’s a matter of perspective.

    Thirdly: “God bless those who’ve been murdered recently in Iraq, and God bless our soldiers.” Leave religion out of politics. It’s what this mess in Iraq and Afghanistan is all about in the first place. No need to bless those who’ve been murdered or our soldiers. You’re no better that those who espouse realpolitik cloaked in religious fundamentalism.

    Lastly: “And for you Bush-bashers and liberals, you will go down in history as having voted for the loser – I guarantee it.” So what? Oh yeah, ‘America will be safer with Republicans in power’. If Bush loses, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another ‘terrorist’ attack on our American soil.

  27. Rich says:

    Catstevens.com has been shut down. Anyone claiming that Cat Stevens is or has been funding terrorists is an ignorant moron sucking on the FOXnews teet. Why has catstevens.com website been shut down? Because on that site you will find open letters from Yusuf that speak out against terrorism, 9/11, the russian school seige etc. This is the cherry on the sunday. Cat Stevens a terrorist. What fucking load of shit. He donate’s 80 + percent of his earnings to charities like UNICEF and has done so for years. Is Unicef a terrorist organization? He NEVER called for Schizo Rushdie the fucking clown shoe to be killed. He was interviewed at the time of the “scandal” and gave information about the KORAN. The original taped interview is available on the internet. Why not watch it? This interview was twisted into a story for morons who want to believe in the bogeyman.

    Wake up people.. This has GOT TO BE THE MOST IDIOTIC story i have EVER heard. If you are from the US stop supporting and believing this crap. When the shit hits the fan make sure people know you never supported this shit.. You’ll all be like the nazi supporters waving the white flag on D-DAY.

    Someone needs to shut Bush up. He is a fucking retard. Seriously.. and everything being expressed through him and his puppet masters is sickening.. What a sad reality they have created and you are all blindly supporting. I can’t wait till they all have their 60th heart attack and die so i can stop thinking and hearing about them. It’s so painfully fucking stupid i can’t stand it. Maybe they should execute Cat Stevens and Sharon Lois and Bram live on the FOX network to show us all how dirty the heathen’s are. And then we can watch Bush pound off in a dead American GI’s ass so as to summon an extra power pellet for his own personal enjoyment. It’s disgusting. Bring on the real war because i can tell you who will pay in the end. You want to see savagery? and pain and suffering? Keep your moron in the lead and the real people with nothing to lose will do the taking. How long can this go on?

    Oh well.. I guess we are all terrorist when it comes down to it. And hopefully bush and the united dump can eliminate evil thereby killing us all. I hate evil and if Bush can actually achieve his promise of good triumphing evil.. well wouldn’t that be super? No more evil. Jesus couldn’t do it.. or Buddha.. or Muhammad.. But i think George has a really good shot at getting rid of pesky evil. We should all support him. Because evil is bad.

    CAT STEVENS NUMBER ONE! Thank god he doesn’t have defile himself anymore by coming to the states.

  28. In response to Howard:

    Nice try at infinite moral relativism, but that dog won’t hunt:

    1) Mossadegh – 95%+ of Iranian national wealth comes from oil that Western countries/companies exploited and created a market for. Intrinsic in that is the notion that Western powers would have some control over that exploitation, hence our involvement in their politics. And before you try to say we’re no better for having a hand in the political process there, remember that our end game is global economic development and the rising of all boats while both Mossadegh and Khomeni brought far, far less to their people.

    And don’t say our decisions bite us in the ass, that’s ignorant. Is the fact that global living standards, death rates from war/poverty/disease and democratic governance are in great shape DUE TO OIL-BASED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT a sign that Western policies have come back to bite us in the ass? I don’t think so.

    2) Muslim vs Israeli – the notion that the Israeli state is no better in its form of governance and democratic principles than Muslim states is laughable:
    a) Israel has Muslim, Christian, Jewish, atheist and agnostic citizens, which Muslim states allow only for Muslim citizens
    b) The Israeli army is actively governed by the Israeli Supreme Court, while the armies and funded terrorist groups answer only to the religious establishment
    c) Israel accepts and encourages the establishment of a Palestinian state, while virtually *every* Arab state denies the right of Israel to exist.

    3) Agree with you that democracy as we know it may never flourish in Muslim areas, but that doesn’t mean democracy isn’t a fundamentally better form of government that what’s in place; nor does it mean that we shouldn’t push states who’s societies don’t value basic human rights and individual liberties to do so. We should, we must, and you can’t say no to that UNLESS YOU HAVE A BETTER ALTERNATIVE, which you don’t.

    4) Perhaps you’re right, I shouldn’t invoke religion; it does seem to me, however, that since a vast majority of Americans are Christian and believe our country was founded on Christian principles, that the majority view – namely, that God will bless those who sacrifice for him and their country – outweighs relativist, nihilist atheism.

    5) American safety – yes, America is and will continue to be far safer with Bush as president than with Kerry. Carter’s weakness (espoused by Kerry) unleashed state-sponsored Islamic fundamentalism on the Western world, and Clinton’s lack of attention to it set the stage for 9/11. I, for one, would say that America is infinitely safer than it would otherwise be. Since islamic fundamentalists’ goal is to exterminate and/or subjugate all non-Muslims, the only long-term strategy than can ensure safety is the deployment of effective military strength. Don’t be naive – pacificsm is escapism, our system is the best by the measures of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  29. Rich, you hereby qualify for Negative Human of the Month. In my neck of the woods we call people like you spineless jellyfish, whining
    b(&*$es. Propose a meaningful alternative and set of concrete steps to deal with state-sponsored Islamic terrorism that wants nothing less than extermination of the Western way of life. Or, kindly go silent.

  30. Mike says:

    I saw the beheading murder video today.

    Armstrong cried out for almost 30 seconds while the knife sawed his head off.

    This is not a time to give the Country over to a party that lacks of principles or fortitude necessary to confront this evil entity.

    The liberal Hollywood/academia sect will continue to espouse their view of the way things should be and the rest of us will support the party and President who has the will to do something about the reality of the way things are.

  31. White Feather says:

    Fire fire with fire – I don’t think so.
    Better make peace with the world, so they don’t grow up to be terroristic.
    War on Terror make more terror recruits – sons + daughters of bombed out cities.
    Better to invest, give people material goods, place worth living, security, own home, schooling, medicine. Then suicide won’t be a good option.
    Most people want a quiet life.
    Terror people are opressed, make life good, terror go away.
    Make peace with terror. War is terror.
    I think Bush like war, give him + Haliburton Pals Money + Fearful people give up hard won liberties easily.
    War not end, liberties never come back, always be fear til suck it in, sit down, sort it out – Ireland has a little time of peace now, longtime terror, have to be big man to make peace.
    Just read Project for New American Century website – Rumsfeld et al. they really crazy, not friend of people, not good for business.
    Absolute Power corrupts absolutely.

  32. White Feather –
    War brought on us, not by us. We finish war they start.

  33. TM says:

    Rich,
    take your meds.

  34. Howard says:

    Chris:

    My try at infinite moral relativism: eh, it was worth a shot.

  35. pkk says:

    Chris Zaharias, re yr comment
    “a) Israel has Muslim, Christian, Jewish, atheist and agnostic citizens, which Muslim states allow only for Muslim citizens”

    are you serious?

    i’m not going to extrapolate on yr statement, but i beg you, please,please go back to whatever you’re reading, or if you’re a neophyte, please read Karen Armstrong’s stuffs.

  36. emmett says:

    Tangentially – my friend and I rewrote Cat’s Moon Shadow in an earily similar way to the headline. Goon shadow in this case was refering to 4 litre bags of ‘wine’ known commonly as goons in australia.

    It was a love song.

  37. Rupert says:

    Better to invest, give people material goods, place worth living, security, own home, schooling, medicine. Then suicide won’t be a good option.

    All of which the September 11th hijackers had. There are other motivations for suicide bombings than lack of material goods, which a study of human history easily reveals. Ideology is just as destructive as poverty.

    I’m always sadly amused at people’s posts of ‘Mad Dog Bush’ or the ‘Crazy Amerikans’ or the ‘Israeli Puppeteer’. It shows, imo, a complete lack of both history and human nature.

    Cat Stevens is an Islamic Fundamentalist. He would prefer the world to be run under Islamic priciples and guided by the Koran. He has, regardless of his explanations otherwise, clearly stated that the death of Salman Rushdie is Islamicaly justified. If you read the article that Scott posted to, Yusef says that he doesn’t support the murder of Rushdie beacuse it is contrary to British law. I suspect that if Britain were ruled by the Sharia, the it would be A-ok.

    And this is, imo, the most important point. Most Westerners have no conception of what it means to be Muslim. When someone says ‘99%’ of all muslims want to live in peace, i have to laugh. Because while that statement may be true, it leaves many things left unsaid. I’m sure most Muslims want to live in peace, but I also beleive that most Muslims would rather the world be Islamic and only then would peace be an option. In fact, that is the fundamental ethos of Islam. Submission to Islam. House of War, House of Islam.

    Westerners, especially the liberal type, tend to extrapolate their arrogant worldview to everyone else, regardeless of where they come from. They can’t fathom that the above stated mindset could be true, or if it is then it’s a ‘small minority’. From what i’ve studied and read, that is sadly untrue. So if Cat Stevens is banned from the US, that’s fine by me. Until the Islamic world is a more liberal and healthy place, they can all stay at home.

    PS. It’s not ironic that this blog entry was linked to by Xeni Jardin at BoingBoing, who epitomizes the ignorance and moral relativism of the left these days.

    Peace,
    Rupert

  38. PKK,

    Yes, Israel has Arab, Jewish, Christian, atheist and agnostic citizens, and the only restriction on Muslims is that they can’t serve in the military; other than that, though, they share all the same rights as Jews. I know that to be true because I read ALL the different viewpoints, not just the ones that please me.

    Israel’s not perfect, but it gives FAR more rights to all religions than Muslim countries. Please don’t try and dispute that – it’s utterly common knowledge, even for us neophytes.

    It never ceases to amaze me how often people’s tone belies their obnoxious surety, especially people who are on the left. That the absolute moral superiority of Israel over its neighbors is not clear to many Americans amazes me; you are the neophyte and not understanding Karen Armstrong’s huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge errors in thought is the best proof.

    I could tell you a hundred factual errors and omissions in Armstrong’s thought. A few:

    1) She says Islam is the most inclusive religion, but neglects to reflect on the fact that it is only inclusive of Muslims = non-Muslims do not enjoy equal status. Either that’s bad, or equality is bad; now which is it PKK?

    2) She doesn’t acknowledge that the majority of the land of Israel was either BOUGHT from absentee landlords or allotted by the UN. Now tell me PKK, when you BUY land, don’t you typically OWN it after that? Likewise, the Arabs fought on the losing side of several wars; isn’t it right that they not be treated as equals at the negotiating table after WWII? C’mon, free your mind of Arab-American propaganda and even your dumb-ass will follow.

    3) Oh yeah, almost forgot. Did Karen Armstrong talk about how the majority of Arab leaders in WWII actively aided Hitler in trying to exterminate the Jews? Small oversight on her part, but perhaps, juuuuust perhaps, it justifies Israel’s right to exist.

    You can have your ignoramus opinion on the Middle East, but don’t think there aren’t people out there who will fight you tooth and nail.

  39. rich says:

    Bush family happily funded Nazis.

  40. TM says:

    Rich,
    Seriously, take your meds.

  41. hornsofthedevil says:

    Chris is the most articulate and intelligent poster in here.

  42. Simon says:

    Chris is talking nonsense:

    “a) Israel has Muslim, Christian, Jewish, atheist and agnostic citizens, which Muslim states allow only for Muslim citizens”

    Not true. There are Jews in Iraq. There are large Christian communities in Turkey, in Palestine, in Lebanon, in Nigeria, probably in every Muslim country.

    “c) Israel accepts and encourages the establishment of a Palestinian state”

    You are joking, right?

    “Likewise, the Arabs fought on the losing side of several wars; isn’t it right that they not be treated as equals at the negotiating table after WWII?”

    What on earth are you talking about? They were on OUR side in WW2. Egypt loaned huge amounts of money to the British government, as well as fighting with the Brits against the Germans. Iran and Iraq were founder members of the UN – in order to join the UN at the time (during WW2) you had to declare war on Germany.

    “that the majority of the land of Israel was either BOUGHT from absentee landlords or allotted by the UN.”

    Oh, the majority was bought? So you’re saying that the rest of the land was stolen?

    Rupert wrote:

    “In fact, that is the fundamental ethos of Islam. Submission to Islam. “

    No. No it isn’t. The fundamental ethos of Islam is submission to God. Slight difference there. Historically Islam was a far more tolerant religion than Christianity (go read what happened in Jerusalem after the Crusaders conquered it, compared to what happened earlier when Muslims conquered it).

    “Cat Stevens is an Islamic Fundamentalist. He would prefer the world to be run under Islamic priciples and guided by the Koran”

    I’m sure he would prefer this. But he’s clearly stated that he’s respecting everyone else’s opinion to choose different paths.

    Sheesh guys. Keep the tinfoil hats ready. Keep living in a world where freaking Cat Stevens is a major threat to US security.

  43. Rupert says:

    No. No it isn’t. The fundamental ethos of Islam is submission to God. Slight difference there. Historically Islam was a far more tolerant religion than Christianity (go read what happened in Jerusalem after the Crusaders conquered it, compared to what happened earlier when Muslims conquered it).

    Islam literally translates into ‘Submission’. Where it’s to God or Islam is irrelevant. As for your historical assertion of tolerance, you’ve offered no proof. All cultures have tolerant/intolerant periods. To say that Islam has been ‘more’ tolerant that Christendom in a historical sense is absurd. Islam is a conquering culture. Tolerance is paid for through the Jizya, or tax that all non-Muslims paid in Muslim countries. If you have ever bothered to read Islamic texts, it would be obvious that Islam is not tolerant. How could it be?

    I’m sure he would prefer this. But he’s clearly stated that he’s respecting everyone else’s opinion to choose different paths.

    Show me where he states this. He is saying that because Britain is not Islamic, that muslims should obey British law. But don’t confuse that with respect. If Britain should become 51% Islamic, all bets are off.

    Not true. There are Jews in Iraq. There are large Christian communities in Turkey, in Palestine, in Lebanon, in Nigeria, probably in every Muslim country.

    A quick check of the CIA factbook reveals that there is a 99.8% Muslim majority in Turkey. Both Palestine and Lebanon have seen the flight of their Christian minorities in the last 20 years. And Nigeria is not a Muslim country, but evenly split amongst Christains and Muslims. You need to check your facts.

  44. OK Simon, on the few points of yours where Rupert didn’t set you straight, here’s a couple more bits of ‘sense’ in response to your nonsense:

    c) No, I’m not joking – Israel wants a Palestinian state, while the majority of the Muslim world won’t accept Israel’s existence. Poll after poll after poll after poll after poll has shown both sides of what I’m saying, so to try and argue the point is crazy. No one less than the King of Jordan told Arafat that *HE*(Arafat) was solely responsible for turning down a great offer from Israel (and brokered by Clinton) for Palestinian statehood.

    Arabs fought against us in WWII – you probably don’t know who Haj Amin al-Husseini was, do you? He was the British-appointed grand mufti of Jerusalem, and became a close ally and adviser to Hitler, as well as a supporter of Hitler’s “final solution”.

    Simon, I suggest you read Alan Dershowitz’ book “The Case for Israel”, which utterly, utterly destroys the notion you seem to be peddling that Israel is not in the right vis-a-vis the Muslim world.

    Thanks Rupert, for helping me out on this one.

  45. Rupert says:

    Iran and Iraq were founder members of the UN – in order to join the UN at the time (during WW2) you had to declare war on Germany.

    The UN was founded after WW2. So your statement is nonsensical. If your referring to the League of Nations, there was no such requirement to join. If I thought you didn’t know what you were talking about before, now I’m sure of it.

  46. shiv says:

    This exchange is typical of current debate.. all facts, point scoring and logical fallacies rather than what’s really going on. It boils down to simple tenants… 1. we view everything from a standpoint of ‘scarcity’ rather than abundance, 2. despite technological and phillosophical advances on the whole we’re a tribal species and understand our world through ‘difference’ rather than similarities. 3. Fear of loosing territory, power, control is what drives the underlying argument from both East and west and fuels the fundamentalists on both sides.

    American superiority and belief that the US is still a democracy (last election, weighting of states, movement from secularism, commercialisation of media, political cronism oh and a detention centre that is internationally illegal and has made no any impact on stemming terrorism…)is just as frightening as the Islamic terrorists. How can America (apologies for generalising) regard itself as a moral superiority? Haven’t we seen the trumpet blowing in previous world engagements (btw the Vatican’s record on the Nazis isn’t great either). The real question that should be asked is what makes people so desperate that they feel the only way to resolve their problems is to kidnap, to suicide bomb, to behead, that they continue to place their hope in their martyrs? Or to change conscript laws, erode civil liberties, lie to the people that elected them and invade contries on false evidence in direct oppostiion to the world community.
    As for the question about the blogging.. maybe this provides an opportunhity to discussion, thought and getting informed.

  47. erik says:

    9/11 was an inside job, a psy-op designed to suppress dissent and drum up support for imperialist wars. Get the facts and get the word out, demand real investigations by Congress and the media, but as they’ve been covering up the really big corruption for decades, it’s obvious We the People cannot rely on them; “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance”

    http://www.911truth.org

  48. muhabbet says:

    thanks friends good

  49. Londynek says:

    Thank you! Very nice and interesting article.