Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Nation Building In Europe

Since we all agree that George W Bush was a dingledork for invading Iraq because you can't do nation building in a nation that doesn't want it and Middle Eastern Muslims are a proud and noble tribe of warriors who lived in harmony with nature until the rapacious white man came along* and weren't interested in our infidel ways because they had their own, perfectly valid culture ...

Hmm. Where was I going with that enormous sentence? Let's try this again, simplified.

If you can't do nation-building in a majority-Muslim country in the Middle East and produce a liberal democracy, what makes you think you'll be able to do it when a European country becomes majority-Muslim?

Come to think of it, we've got a perfect chance to try it out right now in England.
An Islamic judge "laughed" at a domestic violence victim who had gone to him seeking help and asked her "Why did you marry such a man?", it has been claimed.

The shocking allegations have been revealed in a report into the use of sharia councils in the UK which also claims men only need to say "I divorce you" three times to separate from their wives while women need the sanction of clerics.

Dutch scholar Machteld Zee managed to get unparalleled access to a number of the religious courts currently operating in the UK - thought to number around 30.
I wonder if this has any implications for nations on the Continent who are importing more and more of these chaps.

You don't always need bombs and guns to conquer, you know. Sometimes all you need are enough votes in a given locality.

On the plus side, the Euro men won't have to wait for their wives to pick out what they're going to wear.
* - I may have this a bit muddled. Not sure if that's the approved description for Arabs, American Indians, Filipinos, Mexicans or some randomly selected group of indigenous peoples.


tim eisele said...

A question: are "islamic courts" really that big of a deal? I understand that there are a huge number of religious "courts" for pretty much any religion you care to mention, including the Catholic Church, and nobody seems to be much bothered about them.


Foxfier said...

Difference in kind; the Catholic "courts" you mention are the ones that do annulments-- their questions, and the results of them, are strictly religious. (Or there wouldn't be such a thing as a remarried Catholic who is seeking an annulment.)

The Islamic Sharia Council, on the other hand, is explicitly pursuing Sharia law for Muslims including all penalties.

"Religious groups that do dispute mediation" and "answering religious questions" =/= "enforce their own law."

K T Cat said...

Tim, as Foxie says, the penalties and scope of Sharia Law is much, much larger than Canon Law. Sharia Law can and has resulted in stonings and amputations. There is no analog in Canon Law. As for scope, an example: Canon Law doesn't seek to punish people for marrying outside of the faith with anything more than a class or two if they want to get married in the Church. If you leave the Church for another faith, Canon Law doesn't call for your execution.

K T Cat said...

Shorter version: In Islam, there are no boundaries at all between politics, law and religion.

tim eisele said...

I know that we are told that there is a "qualitative difference" between "Sharia courts" and the various "courts" created by other religions, but taking the Islamic Sharia Council as an example, both the Wikipedia page and their own web page make it sound like their primary focus is on marriage issues and (occasionally) contractual disputes between Muslims. Taking those pages at face value, the "Sharia courts" that are outside of Islamic countries really do sound like they are the same sort of thing as other religions do. And the ones that are in Islamic countries are actually part of the government there, and such a theocratic arrangement is a completely different kettle of fish.

So, how do we separate what these courts are actually doing, from the slander about them spread by their enemies? I'm reminded of what the Catholics had to go through at least up until the time Kennedy was elected. Have you read the anti-Catholic libels that were rampant in the US almost continuously from the Revolutionary War up until the 1960s? The Catholics were supposed to be the advance army that the Pope was going to use to reconquer the US, so that he could re-install the European aristocracy and lord it over all of us, crushing us back down into the mud of serfdom. They talked about the Catholics, then, pretty much the same way that slanderous blowhards like Trump are talking about the Muslims, now.

It was pretty much all lies when it was said about the Catholics. Why should I believe that it suddenly all becomes the truth when it is said about Muslims?

Ilíon said...

^ Yet, the truth remains that there is a significant strain within American Catholicism that desires to do pretty much that.

Then, if it weren't bad enough that many individual Catholics hate the fact of the American Republic, the Catholic hierarchy, including most of the American bishops, is *actively* working to undermine the USA.

"slanderous blowhards like Trump are talking about the Muslims"

If 1400 years can't teach you anything, then you deserve what you will get should your ilk get your way on this.

K T Cat said...

Because they say it about themselves all the time, particularly in recruiting videos? I mean, it's not like there isn't truckloads of material out there where they explicitly state their goals, motivations and founding principles. I'm not sure you could find even a personal letter from the Pope indicating that if he had an extra Catholic or two, he'd see to it that an army was formed to reconquer much of anything.

Ilíon said...

No, no, no! What the Moslems "explicitly state their [own] goals, motivations and founding principles" can't be it.

Anonymous said...

Judaism has religious courts, a bet din. They are generally convened by special request and deal with personal issues like conversion, marriage, divorce (religious divorce), etc. And one of the differences between a bet din and a sharia court has to do with a difference between the two religions: Judaism recognizes the concept of the binding laws of the land, Dina d'malkhuta dina. Wikipedia explains it pretty well briefly: The law of the land is the law "is the halakhic rule that the law of the country is binding, and, in certain cases, is to be preferred to Jewish law. The concept of dina de-malkhuta dina is similar to the concept of conflict of laws in other legal systems."

In Islam, Sharia ALWAYS is supposed to trump the law of the land, especially if there is a conflict.

Ilíon said...

Anonymous, you're such a H8ER!!1!1 On;y a H8Y H8FuL MCH8Y would mention these things!

tim eisele said...

KT: Thats pretty much my point, though - you should be basing it on what specific islamic groups say about themselves (and noting which specific islamic groups those are), not what other people tell you they say about themselves. Yes, I'm aware of the jihadist literature, and that there is more of it out there than there is from Christians of various stripes, and some of it is pretty nasty. But there is still plenty of ammunition from the Christian side if somebody wants to take a nugget of actual publication from, say, the Lord's Resistance Army and whip it up into the base of a slanderous smear campaign against Christianity as a whole. Out of any group of nearly a billion people, it is trivially easy to round up a few thousand nasty pieces of work and then claim that they are representative of the entire group. That doesn't make the generalization true.

What I'm seeing is an attempt by people who want power very badly, to use a combination of hypocrisy and cowardice to make the public so scared of a group that, in the US, is a politically negligible minority, that they can ride the wave of fear into office. I for one don't particularly appreciate being pushed around like that, and I'm hoping to persuade you to not cooperate with the fear-mongers, either.

And Ilion, I am not entirely sure what point you are trying to make, other than stepping in as a prime example of a hypocritical fear-monger, but if that was what you intended, then well done.

K T Cat said...

Tim, you left a comment a short while ago saying that after looking at a terrorist attack stats site that things looked like a low-grade world war or something to that effect. I think that's right on the money. What we're seeing is a multi-sided civil war within Islam where each side can make rational claims to being the true version of Islam. Since there are well over a billion of them and some of the things they're fighting over is how to interact with the infidels, we're all getting sucked into the thing.

Hmm, the Lord's Resistance Army. Something having to do with African child soldiers, right? Not sure how they compare in size, scope and impact to ISIS, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood or the Taliban, just to pick 4. In any case, I don't know how they can trace their theology in a rational way. I do know the Muslim splinter groups have a pretty solid basis.

Question: If a group of psychotics in Indonesia called themselves the Michigan Resistance Army, but had no real ties to Michigan, would you call them representative of that state?

K T Cat said...

Broader thought re: Lord's Resistance Army. To me, to say the LRA is Christian is to put such a low bar on reason and fact when evaluating a claim that you find yourself allowing almost anyone to claim they are almost anything and having to accept it at face value.

tim eisele said...

KT: I am in violent agreement with you about the LRA. And that is my point. I do not think that the crimes of the LRA are in any way an excuse for speaking harshly about Christians in general. Any reasonable person who actually looks into it would agree that the LRA is a horrible excuse for a Christian organization.

But, anyone who was trying to demonize Christians, to people who themselves were not very familiar with Christians, would find them to be an extremely convenient demon.

And I think that exact thing is going on with Islam: we have a number of indisputably nasty groups who call themselves Islamic, and actually justify themselves with some specific bits of the Koran (which itself does have a lot of appalling bits, which I do not at all want to minimize). However, as you note above, they are actually a minority that is actively fighting with their own supposed co-religionists, and so lumping them together with the people they are fighting strikes me as a pretty clear baby-and-bathwater situation. But that doesn't stop the people who make political hay out of spreading fear from using the worst elements to demonize all the rest.

Foxfier said...

However, as you note above, they are actually a minority that is actively fighting with their own supposed co-religionists,

Do you mean the Sunni/Shia divide? Because homicidal attacks on different sects are quite different from homicidal attacks on your own sect, when one is trying to show that a group has theology different from others identifying as part of that group.

If you mean their habit of doing things that involves the death of those who have been insufficiently enthusiastic members of the same sub-group, then there are a huge number of surveys about how much support they get that do not support your theory. Both vocal support and actual, physical support.

That there's only a minority involved in actual fighting doesn't mean much; rather famously, only about 7% of the US population that has ever served.