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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

ginmar on respect:

 I saw lots of propaganda in Iraq. Not one piece of it mocked Jesus Christ. For me, the notion that Muslims would protect my(in theory, at least) prophet as well as their own puts a whole different spin on it. They extended to us a courtesy we didn't even appreciate or know about. Kind of like, when the guy in the marketplace averted their eyes from my unveiled self. They were being courteous, because their prophet told them that the veil of modesty should be on their eyes. I didn't know that: at first I thought they were being rude.

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Good for them, although the fact that she was probably heavily armed might have had something to do with it.

I've lived in an Islamic country (Kazakhstan) and they were, in the main, highly respectful of other people's religions and gender. However, I got very tired, in Egypt, of being asked by complete strangers, 'So, can we fuck now?', when I'd taken some trouble to cover up. I'm also not impressed by the person in Saudi who was put to death for having a book on witchcraft, or the people here who have called for the death of Jews and homosexuals, or those in the Islamic press who have published cartoons likening Jews to Hitler.

Sorry to rant. It's not the religion, in any example you care to take. It's the handful of nutters within it. But I'm sick of these people being given airtime.
It's not the religion, in any example you care to take. It's the handful of nutters within it.

Yep.

We even have them in paganland.
In that entry, she mentions that she knows that Muslims regard Jesus as a prophet, so I don't understand what significance she thinks there is in Muslims' not mocking him. (I can't ask her because I've been banned from commenting in her LJ.)

I wonder if Iraqi propaganda was equally respectful of Judaism.
I wonder if Iraqi propaganda was equally respectful of Judaism.

Short answer: no. We didn't get the burn-and-shoot rampage memo, tho.



The fact that Iraq is secular and moderate had a lot to do with it.
Ok, here goes an incredibly unpopular statement. When The Last Temptation of Christ came out, I don't remember any Christians anywhere burning American embassies. Or Greek embassies. Plenty of Christian groups, especially fundamentalists, were outraged at major parts of the movie. Protests? Check. Inflated rhetoric? Check. Burning buildings? Nope.

I think ginmar's got a big ol' chip on her shoulder about Christians and is being a desperate apologist for Islamic fundamentalists. Take that for what you will.
I'm at a loss to see how this relates to the points made in the linked post.

It makes no sense to respond to an assertion that people ought to be respectful and temperate by grandstanding about how well Christians respond to disrespect and insults. Nobody here is defending the use of violence to respond to crude and bigoted insults. So why use the fact of the resulting violence to justify them? Why should the potential reaction be a factor in our decisions to behave decently or offensively? Islamic fundamentalists don't control my speech; they can't make me or anybody else a rude and offensive person unless we choose to be. And I think we should choose not to. We're free, after all.


But that isn't the kind of courtesy I want. I don't think it's the kind of courtesy many other Western folks want, either. I'm a Christian, and I'd rather live in a world where Jesus, Muhammad, and everybody else can be publicly questioned, satirized, and even ridiculed, than in one where "courtesy" seals the lips of free speech.

I'm a woman, too, and I'd rather a man looked me in the eyes, no matter what I'm wearing. The thing is, the reason behind the "modesty" is nothing but an excuse for sexism, for treating women as Other. I am a person, you are a person; look me in the eye!

In both cases, courtesy is just an excuse for oppression.
In my not as humble as it perhaps should be opinion.
I agree... but cultural mores differ. The trick is to respect the law of the land while you're there, as best you can. Eve if you disagree with it.

The trick is also, of course, not to go on a bloody rampage when you feel you've been dissed, no matter where you are. That's neither respectful nor good ambassadorship for your own beliefs. In my own borderline-Libertarian opinion, anyway.
I agree... but cultural mores differ. The trick is to respect the law of the land while you're there, as best you can. Eve if you disagree with it.

I have to disagree. Cultural mores do differ, but obeying the law of the land at various points in history (including now, in certain places) has you slaughtering minorities, keeping slaves, stoning adulterers, and executing journalists. I really wish I could be more of a relativist, because then I could demand the same from other people, but I'm never ok with a lot of this stuff, no matter where it's legal. I assume that Muslim fundamentalists feel the same about my own beliefs. Hence the impasse.
But that isn't the kind of courtesy I want.

Fine, but that doesn't mean that others are obliged to give you the kind of courtesy you want. The concept of courtesy differs from culture to culture, and if you are not willing to accept another's version, they too are under no obligation to pander to your version.

In both cases, courtesy is just an excuse for oppression.

I disagree. There are those for whom that is true, there are many others for whom that is not true. For the latter, it really is an honest attempt to be polite and respectful.

LEt's take the second example you mention, this issue of looking people in the eye. In a lot of cultures, mine included, looking people in the eye was traditionally considered to be a sign of disrespect. So people didn't look their elders in the eye, they didn't make eye contact with the opposite gender. The only people with whom you did make eye contact were people your own age and sex, and your spouse once you were married. Those were the social norms those people grew up with, and those are the norms that they are the most comfortable with.

Things have changed today, and my generation and kids younger than me, don't really follow that pattern, at least not in cities and metros. But our parents and grandparents do. That doesn't make them oppressive, that doesn't mean that they take our wishes and opinions less seriously, and that certainly doesn't mean that they think we are the Other, or less than a person. And returning the favour, we don't label them as regressive and opressive simply because of the habits that were ingrained in them in their infancy and childhood.

And as for insisting that they look me in the eye when we talk just so that *I* am more comfortable, well, I'm afraid that I'd find that too rude to ever attempt it. I see no reason in the world for insisting that people change themselves to make me more comfortable.

Y'know, people, even in western societies, avoid eye contact for a variety of reasons. Anyone is free to assume that any such action is always rooted in negative reasons, but that doesn't mean that there aren't many harmless reasons for doing the same.
Thank you.

I think this boils down to acculturation. This whole communication thing works best when both sides attempt to respect each other's culture and taboos.
Oh, I absolutely agree! But. I think it is also important to recognize when this is the case: because the appropriate reaction to "you are deliberately trying to hurt and insult me" is different than the appropriate reaction to "you are trying to be courteous to me but your methods are wildly counterproductive." In the first case it makes perfect sense to bring out the knives. In the second it makes way more sense to try & explain your point of view, and what you would take as politeness.
The thought that occurs to me about the riots (which I have heard are being stoked by individuals whose agendas are more political than religious) is: I wonder if the people who are protesting the insult to Islam realize the impression that they may be leaving on many Christians who don't know much about Islam.

After all, in Christianity, Jesus is held to be God, and there are images of him everywhere. Images of his father are common, too. But here are Muslims rioting because a picture was drawn of Muhammed.

It wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility for many Christians out in the great American/European heartlands to conclude that Muslims worship Muhammed.

Which, considering the nature of Islam, is deeply ironic.