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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 345
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
Prejudice is often a good thing. As a parent, I certainly tried to show my children they should, in some instances, pre-judge. Often, we codify prejudices by making them into laws. In this particular discussion, I admit to being prejudiced. But, in my mind, the prejudgement I've made has nothing to do with any specific religion, regardless what it is. I am prejudiced, as I think my opening post suggested, against acting unsympathetically or unempathetically, one human to another. No law, constitutional or otherwise, can replace fellow-feeling.

I believe that, if those who wish to build the mosque were to say "We would like to act with sympathy to your feelings, but we don't have the money or can't find another place," they would find a great many of those who oppose them willing to donate or help.


I disagree. Prejudice is "pre-judging" before you have all of the facts or ascribing certain characteristics to a group without regard to individual behavior. I taught my children to judge each person on their own merits. The kid with the goth outfit and nose ring might be a much better person than the kid with clean-cut looks but bad behavior (Joran Van der sloot looked like a good guy from his appearance and his family history). When my kids were young, one of their Sunday School teachers scared the "hell" out of them by harping on them burning in hell's fires. A 2nd grader really doesn't need to be bombarded with scary images of death and hell IMO. I pulled them out of church, bought a Bible curriculum and "home churched" them. The fundamentalist Christians at their schools were horrific in judging my kids because they did not go to an organized church. I had to work VERY hard to convince my kids that all people who went to church were not bullies and mean spirited.

You keep discussing empathy. Where was the Christian empathy when Arabs were the victims of profiling and hate crimes after 911? How do you think THEY felt with hate crimes almost quadrupling in the four years after the World Trade Center attacks. How many Christians reached out to the mosque that was piped bombed in Ohio or the pregnant woman who was assaulted in Virginia? Sensitivity goes both ways. If you want Muslims to have sympathy for the victims of 911, then Americans need to express sympathy for the cruelty they either encouraged or overlooked that was generated toward Muslims.
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1409

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This makes me ashamed and very upset to say, but I haven't heard of either of these incidents--the pipe bomb (which I then looked up) OR the woman assaulted. Can you tell us about the second?

It was my impression that after 9-11, there were A LOT more reaching out to mosques than there were attacks, and that the attacks were very few. Is this the Muslim community's perception too? I think almost everyone was scared that people would be victimized.

I have thought A LOT about this issue, and just for the US's self-protection, I hope that the mosque is built. If it isn't, it will sour Muslims in the US and we will be open to the charge of hypocrisy. Given the million ways that I alone can think of terrorists attacking us, we can't keep ourselves safe alone. We need everybody's help and diligence. The US depends on Muslims, more than any other group, to keep us safe because they are more likely to hear about a planned attack than any one else--except the Christian, Nazi, anti-government, and a million other groups who also endanger our country with their past willingness to commit violence. So sad, but true.
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 345
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynda X wrote:
This makes me ashamed and very upset to say, but I haven't heard of either of these incidents--the pipe bomb (which I then looked up) OR the woman assaulted. Can you tell us about the second?

It was my impression that after 9-11, there were A LOT more reaching out to mosques than there were attacks, and that the attacks were very few. Is this the Muslim community's perception too? I think almost everyone was scared that people would be victimized.

I have thought A LOT about this issue, and just for the US's self-protection, I hope that the mosque is built. If it isn't, it will sour Muslims in the US and we will be open to the charge of hypocrisy. Given the million ways that I alone can think of terrorists attacking us, we can't keep ourselves safe alone. We need everybody's help and diligence. The US depends on Muslims, more than any other group, to keep us safe because they are more likely to hear about a planned attack than any one else--except the Christian, Nazi, anti-government, and a million other groups who also endanger our country with their past willingness to commit violence. So sad, but true.


Here are some links:

http://www.justice.gov/crt/legalinfo/discrimupdate.php

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=127fe2880e48951b564ac2f3e171242e

http://articles.sfgate.com/2002-11-26/news/17570762_1_crime-incidents-crime-victims-african-americans

and we forget that Muslim's numbered among the dead at the World Trade Center:
"But Arabs and Muslims were also among the nearly 3,000 people who died in the World Trade Center buildings when they collapsed.

They include: Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old laboratory technician from Bayside near Queens left home September 11th to work at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, at the Rockefeller Center, in Manhattan. He never returned.

He was trained in emergency medical assistance. Relatives believe he climbed aboard an ambulance headed for the World Trade Center after the first of the planes hit. He never even got to his office. Salman was a Muslim born in Karachi, Pakistan who came to America at the age of one.

Other World Trade Center victims include Samad Afridi, Omar Namoos, Asad Samir, Yusuf Saad, Talat Hussain, Azam Ahsan, Qasim Ali Khan, Naseema Simjee, Ashraf Ahmad Babu, Mohammad Chaudhury, Jumma Haque." http://www.themediaoasis.com/hatevictims.html
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2475

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@marylski:

I disagree. Although prejudice has come to have a negative connotation, at base it means pre-judging, and we all do it. We all have ethical, moral, religious, social, and personal rules upon which we base our actions and our opinions. On the basis of those rules, we pre-judge some actions and events such as theft, infidelity, lying, drug abuse as harmful. What are laws forbidding certain activities except pre-judgements that those activities are in some way harmful?

You have a tendency to shift the argument, I think. You did not ask what I meant when I stated that prejudice is sometimes a good thing. You inferred, incorrectly, that I meant I taught my children to be prejudiced against other people--at least that's what your reply implied--when, in fact, the tenor of my post had to do with prejudice in favor of acting toward other humans with sympathy and understanding. Your last sentence suggests that reciprocity is needed; exactly.
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1409

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am always interested in your take on things, Dick, but when you are deliberately provocative, as I assume you meant to be, you cannot be surprised when someone does not understand what you so abstractly wrote and instead, takes umbrage at your defense of a word that is universally pejorative. You are right: everybody prejudges and we rightfully teach our children to be so. If pre-judge means to "judge before," then the mother who doesn't want her daughter to marry the man who beat his previous wife to death is prejudiced. All children and teenagers find out that the friend who is cruel to another turns around and inflicts cruelty on them. That is the way of the world.

However, you know, Dick, that our discussion of prejudice does not focus on THAT hardly-used meaning of the word. If, in my previous e-mail, when I had worried about being prejudiced, if I had gone on to discuss the merits of prejudice, it would have wandered from the important point I was trying to make. I should not, then, be surprised if people are confused. We depend on a common understanding of words.

After having read so much of what you have written, Dick, it is clear that you like a rousing debate and that you enjoy discussing ideas. However, when you defend prejudice, surely you anticipated misplaced outrage, didn't you? If you then say, "But I defined what I meant by the word and was pointing out that we all rightfully judge others on what they have done in the past, " what was your purpose? If you say you are proud of being condescending, (but you mean it as it originally meant: as someone of a higher class who was kind to one of a lower), you can hardly then reprimand someone for calling you a snob.
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1409

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am always interested in your take on things, Dick, but when you are deliberately provocative, as I assume you meant to be, you cannot be surprised when someone does not understand what you so abstractly wrote and instead, takes umbrage at your defense of a word that is universally pejorative. You are right: everybody prejudges and we rightfully teach our children to be so. If pre-judge means to "judge before," then the mother who doesn't want her daughter to marry the man who beat his previous wife to death is prejudiced. All children and teenagers find out that the friend who is cruel to another turns around and inflicts cruelty on them. That is the way of the world.

However, you know, Dick, that our discussion of prejudice does not focus on THAT hardly-used meaning of the word. If, in my previous e-mail, when I had worried about being prejudiced, if I had gone on to discuss the merits of prejudice, it would have wandered from the important point I was trying to make. I should not, then, be surprised if people are confused. We depend on a common understanding of words.

After having read so much of what you have written, Dick, it is clear that you like a rousing debate and that you enjoy discussing ideas. However, when you defend prejudice, surely you anticipated misplaced outrage, didn't you? If you then say, "But I defined what I meant by the word and was pointing out that we all rightfully judge others on what they have done in the past, " what was your purpose? If you say you are proud of being condescending, (but you mean it as it originally meant: as someone of a higher class who was kind to one of a lower), you can hardly then reprimand someone for calling you a snob.
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TMS



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been following this thread.

Looking at the objective ability of each person to express and explain his and her respective stance (irrespective of what it is), Dick's argument is tighter and stays on point.

Maryskl shifts the issue and uses a lot of sophistry.

My 2 cents.
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TMS



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh. Though I agree Dick often likes to spark discussion by being provocative, I think in this instance he is unfairly accused of ulterior motives.

When he specifically said he taught his children to pre-judge, I perfectly understood how he was using the word prejudice and did not think he was being intentionally abstruse. I thought it added an interesting element to the discussion.

Now that's 4 cents.
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Lee



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem I am having with this whole issue is that many of the people opposed to the mosque "just because of its location" are talking code. They latch onto the location excuse when in reality they don't trust Muslims. I don't mean the people on this board, but does anyone here think that every single person saying it's just the location mean just that? Many people in the US, and other countries too (the Swiss and the minaret ban and the French and the burqa ban come to mind), are simply afraid of/don't like Muslims. The location excuse is a good one, but it doesn't explain why 2 strip clubs, a trashy lingerie store, and an off track betting station are all tolerated within 3 blocks of the WTC site. Are those respectful of the victims? Having a community center, which includes a mosque, a theater, a basketball court, etc., open to all New Yorkers, which is what is proposed here, might help to form a bridge between peace-loving Muslims (the majority of Muslims) and those that fear them. That is the only way to stop terrorists. Teach them our ways and listen to theirs and find common ground.
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JaneO



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 783

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The problem I am having with this whole issue is that many of the people opposed to the mosque "just because of its location" are talking code.


I don't think you mean it to be, but that's really kind of insulting. There are many people who find the location objectionable and they are not all bigots.
Strip clubs and OTB outlets aren't objectionable because they have absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. They, or their even more tawdry equivalents, have always been down there. (I speak from experience. I used to live down there.)
Nor is the proposed Islamic center "open to all New Yorkers" the way something secular, like Lincoln Center, is. The same thing is true of the parish center at a Catholic church or the hall at a Jewish synagogue. Other members of the community only come for some special event of general interest like a concert or a play.
The problem with the mosque is that it is a reminder that those who perpetrated the horror of 9/11 were believing Muslims who took their religion seriously, even if there are other Muslims who thought their actions a perversion of their faith.
There is no question that the Imam and his followers have a perfect right to build a mosque there. But if their goal is to build bridges, I don't understand why they are so determined to ignore those who find their choice of location insulting.
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Lee



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 215

PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry you're insulted. I further qualified that statement by saying I don't think it applies to anyone on this board, who have all defended their positions eloquently and honestly. I further qualified it by asking the question of whether anyone here thinks Every Single Person protesting the "mosque," even those carrying signs stating "I want my country back" are really just angry about the location. Some of the protesters undoubtedly are just concerned with the location. But you cannot say all are. Are you saying that fear and distrust of Muslims is not real in this and other countries?

Conflating all Muslims with the 9/11 terrorists is a mandatory part of the location excuse argument, which is blatantly wrong, not to mention unfair and, yes, insulting to the majority of Muslims. That makes all Muslims official second class citizens, not because they have done anything wrong personally, but because they follow the Muslim faith. Not allowing them to build in one section of a city is a form of segregation based on nothing but their religion. What is the respectful distance for a mosque to be built in lower Manhattan anyway? Or should they be banned entirely?

The religious nuts who flew the planes on 9/11 were Muslim extremists, recruited by bin Laden not to spread Islam, but for bin Laden's political gain. Anyone who thinks bin Laden is acting from religious fervor rather than for gaining political power is naive. He recruits extemists, but he does not respect them for their religious faith, but rather views them as a means to his end: power on the world stage. It has nothing to do with Allah or God and everything to do with his own personal power base.
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 345
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
@marylski:

I disagree. Although prejudice has come to have a negative connotation, at base it means pre-judging, and we all do it. We all have ethical, moral, religious, social, and personal rules upon which we base our actions and our opinions. On the basis of those rules, we pre-judge some actions and events such as theft, infidelity, lying, drug abuse as harmful. What are laws forbidding certain activities except pre-judgements that those activities are in some way harmful?

You have a tendency to shift the argument, I think. You did not ask what I meant when I stated that prejudice is sometimes a good thing. You inferred, incorrectly, that I meant I taught my children to be prejudiced against other people--at least that's what your reply implied--when, in fact, the tenor of my post had to do with prejudice in favor of acting toward other humans with sympathy and understanding. Your last sentence suggests that reciprocity is needed; exactly.


I do not have to ask what you meant when you said "prejudice." Prejudice means to "pre-judge." Pre-judging means making a judgment prematurely or without enough evidence to make an informed judgment. Your examples do not fall within the realm of pre-judging. With theft, infidelity, lying, drug abuse, etc. you have FACTS in evidence on which to base your judgment. Teaching your children that lying, using drugs, etc. is bad is not prejudicial. There is evidence to support your teaching. Teaching that all black people are bad when you could never KNOW all black people to ascertain the truth of that sentiment is prejudicial. Saying that the black family that lives down the street is a family you do not want them to associate with because their garbage can is filled with whiskey bottles and used syringes would not be a prejudicial statement because you have some facts to support your judgment. Telling your children that the men who flew into the World Trade Center were bad men is not prejudicial. You have facts to support that because their actions murdered 3000 people. Stating that ALL Muslims are bad or all imams preach hate against America is prejudicial because unless you have some knowledge that that is a true statement, you are making a judgment without the evidence to back it up.


Last edited by maryskl on Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 345
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee wrote:
Sorry you're insulted. I further qualified that statement by saying I don't think it applies to anyone on this board, who have all defended their positions eloquently and honestly. I further qualified it by asking the question of whether anyone here thinks Every Single Person protesting the "mosque," even those carrying signs stating "I want my country back" are really just angry about the location. Some of the protesters undoubtedly are just concerned with the location. But you cannot say all are. Are you saying that fear and distrust of Muslims is not real in this and other countries?

Conflating all Muslims with the 9/11 terrorists is a mandatory part of the location excuse argument, which is blatantly wrong, not to mention unfair and, yes, insulting to the majority of Muslims. That makes all Muslims official second class citizens, not because they have done anything wrong personally, but because they follow the Muslim faith. Not allowing them to build in one section of a city is a form of segregation based on nothing but their religion. What is the respectful distance for a mosque to be built in lower Manhattan anyway? Or should they be banned entirely?

The religious nuts who flew the planes on 9/11 were Muslim extremists, recruited by bin Laden not to spread Islam, but for bin Laden's political gain. Anyone who thinks bin Laden is acting from religious fervor rather than for gaining political power is naive. He recruits extemists, but he does not respect them for their religious faith, but rather views them as a means to his end: power on the world stage. It has nothing to do with Allah or God and everything to do with his own personal power base.


Well said!
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maryskl



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 345
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TMS wrote:
I have been following this thread.

Looking at the objective ability of each person to express and explain his and her respective stance (irrespective of what it is), Dick's argument is tighter and stays on point.

Maryskl shifts the issue and uses a lot of sophistry.

My 2 cents.


...and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. Just as I am entitled to mine. I am sorry you find my arguments false or misleading. My intention is not necessarily to always stay on point, but to create new points/issues to consider. I suspect you like Dick's arguments better because you agree with him Very Happy And that is perfectly fine with me. In a forum that is geared toward debate, I never expect everyone or even most people to agree with me. My hope is that in the process maybe I will learn something new or look at an issue in a different light.

I enjoy the back and forth with Dick. Obviously he likes to debate or he would not originate so many of the topics on this forum. I am thankful for his assertiveness so that we all have something interesting to discuss.
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Donna Lea Simpson



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 249
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maryskl wrote:
I do not have to ask what you meant when you said "prejudice." Prejudice means to "pre-judge." Pre-judging means making a judgment prematurely or without enough evidence to make an informed judgment. Your examples do not fall within the realm of pre-judging. With theft, infidelity, lying, drug abuse, etc. you have FACTS in evidence on which to base your judgment. Teaching your children that lying, using drugs, etc. is bad is not prejudicial. There is evidence to support your teaching. Teaching that all black people are bad when you could never KNOW all black people to ascertain the truth of that sentiment is prejudicial. Saying that the black family that lives down the street is a family you do not want them to associate with because their garbage can is filled with whiskey bottles and used syringes would not be a prejudicial statement because you have some facts to support your judgment. Telling your children that the men who flew into the World Trade Center were bad men is not prejudicial. You have facts to support that because their actions murdered 3000 people. Stating that ALL Muslims are bad or all imams preach hate against America is prejudicial because unless you have some knowledge that that is a true statement, you are making a judgment without the evidence to back it up.


Thank you, maryskl, that is exactly what I was thinking. I was surprised that the normally precise dick was talking about 'prejudice' when his examples were all of judging based on factual evidence and prior behaviors. 'Prejudging' implies exactly the opposite, judging before facts or evidence to support a hypothesis.
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