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Libya consulate attack

   
Ben, here is my original quote, in context, with bold text added for emphasis of the relevant words:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peruhain
The Logan Act prohibits someone who is not an official of the U.S. government to enter diplomatic relations with a foreign country on behalf of the nation (or some part thereof, such as a state). Unless we're accusing the filmmaker of being an agent-provocateur, actually working with/for the extremists stirring up the mobs in Egypt, etc., it doesn't really apply here. Nor does it apply in any direct way to "trying to start a war" with some foreign country or group.
As you can see, I was making a conditional statement. I was not saying that "the filmmaker is an agent-provocateur," I was saying that the Logan Act does not apply to this situation unless we buy into the very dubious notion that Nakoula is actually in the pay of some foreign entity.

Not sure why those other guys glommed onto that conditional statement and thought I was asserting that Nakoula is a Muslim agent-provocateur. We went from me addressing your attempt to apply the Logan Act to the situation, to pure speculation based on a misreading of what I said.

To be clear, I wasn't attempting to say the Logan Act applies to this particular situation, it was a general reply to the "At what point does it cross the line from being free speech and become a threat to national security or our representatives overseas?" question or direction of conversation. The closest thing I can find for otherwise legal speech to be illegal when it affects National Security would be the Logan Act. So while it doesn't apply here because he wasn't negotiating with a foreign government it does answer the "when do we limit it?" line of thought somewhat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peruhain View Post
Taqqiya=concealing one's faith in Islam and identity as a Muslim when under duress or in a life threatening situation--basically trying to pass as something acceptable to enemies of the faith when enemies of the faith are singling Islam out for persecution. It would only apply to this situation in a very twisted sort of way--I doubt even Osama bin Laden would have sent agents pretending to be Coptic Christians to the U.S. to make a blasphemous film about Muhammad to stir up anti-Western furor in the Muslim world.
And killing fellow Muslims in the name of Allah for not killing infidels isn't twisted? 'Cause I've seen 'em do that one. They're in an asymmetrical war against us. There's practically nothing they won't do. It's like a child fighting an adult. The child is so hugely outclassed that they must do anything and everything they can, no matter how heinous, to win. The adult is restricted - and there's really no winning that situation, as he'll have some serious social repercussions afterwards.

Like I said, though, I don't think that Muslim agent provocateurs is what's going on in this situation. As a possibility it bears examining, but barring any real evidence I'm going with the situation is more or less as it appears to be.

I heard an interesting interview this morning with the NY Times' Cairo Bureau Chief, in which he stated that what is happening in these protests is a clash between two definitions of freedom: a) the West's sensibility of individual freedoms, and b) the Middle East's sensibility of cultural freedom.

The protesters he's spoken with are, to a man (according to him), well-expressed in advocating for peoples of all three major regional religions (Islam, Christian, and Judaism) to be free of cultural attacks upon their beliefs, and they don't understand how the West can value individual freedoms to take precedence over that.

It's an interesting argument (this one of two definitions of freedom colliding).

You mean aside from the fact that while using the word freedom what they express isn't actually about freedom, but about promoting the three major religions to an official status while denying the same protections to everyone else. I they wan't to extend freedom from cultural attacks to all peoples instead of just teh three sets then they will begin to understand just how restrictive their definition of freedom is. When they decide that Hindus, wiccans, satanists, atheists, agnostics, UFO abductees, Scientologists and the church of LSD are all protected from 'cultural attacks' then they can see just how much they are restraining some people's behavior to protect others.

If you grant 1 person the 'freedom' to kill others at will, then you have restricted everyone else's freedom to remain alive, and created an inequality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silveroak View Post
You mean aside from the fact that while using the word freedom what they express isn't actually about freedom, but about promoting the three major religions to an official status while denying the same protections to everyone else. I they wan't to extend freedom from cultural attacks to all peoples instead of just teh three sets then they will begin to understand just how restrictive their definition of freedom is. When they decide that Hindus, wiccans, satanists, atheists, agnostics, UFO abductees, Scientologists and the church of LSD are all protected from 'cultural attacks' then they can see just how much they are restraining some people's behavior to protect others.

If you grant 1 person the 'freedom' to kill others at will, then you have restricted everyone else's freedom to remain alive, and created an inequality.
Yeah, +1. It seems they're just relabeling tyranny and oppression as cultural freedom. "Oh, it's our culture to hang people who insult our religion so by giving him free speech you're interfering with our oppressive theocracy cultural freedom."

I'm also skeptical of claims of 'advocating for peoples of all three major regional religions (Islam, Christian, and Judaism) to be free of cultural attacks upon their beliefs' from these protesters, however well-expressed they allegedly are. It certainly sounds good as a sound bite to Western audiences and no doubt why it was said that way to a Times reporter. But the truth is being Christian or Jewish in Muslim dominated lands often equals 2nd class citizens whose expression of their own religions is tightly constricted. These protests are primarily about how Islam is reacting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Ben View Post
Yeah, +1. It seems they're just relabeling tyranny and oppression as cultural freedom. "Oh, it's our culture to hang people who insult our religion so by giving him free speech you're interfering with our oppressive theocracy cultural freedom."
I studied cultural relativism as the most liberal college in the USA, and even I agree with this post.

So, the bottom line is that Muslims want face for their faith, and we want face for our government and our notion of individual rights.

In any event, just because you are exercising your freedoms under our law doesn't make what you do right. Or negate other people's right to protest (peacefully) if you are offending them.

And I think y'all may be underestimating the desire on the part of several of the filmmaker's supporters to create an oppressive "Christian" theocracy in this country. It's a lot less likely to happen here, but the intolerance implicit in Terry Jones' Quran-burning shenanigan and Steve Klein's twisted intertwining of militant conservative Christianity with building a militia outfit and an insistence that our Second Amendment rights are ordained not just by the Constitution but by God would very much lead us in that direction if they had a chance to implement their vision.

I don't like the kind of Islam that incites violence or uses an obscure film put together by an ex-convict as an excuse for engaging in terrorist acts any more than the rest of you do. However, I can certainly understand people being upset by a disrespectful portrayal of their faith's founding prophet, especially since the film really has no basis in fact at all. And given the asymmetrical relationship (to re-package Solaris' useful word) between the West and the Muslim World over the past two centuries, Muslims are particularly sensitive to being trampled upon and insulted.

This business is not just about individual rights--it is also about the rights of sovereign nations and of religious communities, and about negotiating the best balance between these different kinds of rights. And the fact of the matter is that different cultures and religions have different ways of thinking about this balance. It is possible to have respect for religion without theocracy and without abrogating the individual's right to choose his own beliefs and criticize unjust practices that are accepted or perpetuated by other religious groups. We need to look for ways to encourage this on all sides, and the key to that is dialogue.

I think we also need to recognize here that not all Muslims are stirred up about this, and many who are are expressing themselves peacefully. We are seeing the most violent ones in the TV news, but the fact that the Cairo bureau chief for the NY Times can have a rational conversation about it with an acquaintance in Cairo ought to remind us that plenty of other people are willing to talk about it before they throw rocks. If we just dismiss the sensibilities of all Muslims out of hand, which seems to be the sentiment of the last several posters, then the extremists on both sides have won, because we've effectively joined them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vox Clamantis View Post
I studied cultural relativism as the most liberal college in the USA, and even I agree with this post.
Hmmm. The phrasing of this post, and my previous exchanges with you on these boards, lead me to believe that you didn't absorb much "cultural relativism" (as you call it) in your university education. It seems a bit disingenuous to posture as a representative of "liberalism" to create the illusion of a consensus across the political spectrum here.

You're welcome to your views, and to take sides in the argument, but your rhetorical strategy seems an attempt to paint anyone who is anywhere to the left of you as an unreasonable extremist, and that is likely to rub people who are to the left of you yet consider themselves reasonable centrists the wrong way.





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