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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Silas last won the day on April 26 2018

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  1. Latest news from the US indicates Trump is getting fed up with his hawkish advisers (Bolton and others), and does not want any kind of military action in regards to Iran The US stock market is up considerably in the last couple of days--if war were really a possibility, we would be seeing a major sell-off, and all kinds of investor anxiety I suspect Trump will dismiss Bolton soon
  2. I don't know anyone in the US who believes this attack originated from Iran. Everyone knows this is some false-flag/Mossad operation.
  3. I haven't heard about Israelis pretending to be Palestinians while celebrating in the streets. While some of it might have been staged, the films I saw looked authentic (as in real Palestinians celebrating). Hard to say. I have generally sympathized with the plight of the Palestinians, even though some of them are problematic. They are an oppressed people for sure. CAIR has received criticism for ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. They also receive money from the Saudis and other Arab governments. On the surface, their goals seem to involve making sure Muslim civil rights are protected in the US (which is fine), but many believe they have other motivations and objectives.
  4. This episode was all over the news in the states, especially the "conservative" channels, which typically means very pro-Israel. I think there is a golden opportunity for Shia Muslims, especially those of Iranian descent, to make it clear to the public that they are different from these Salafist Arabs The problem is, radical Sunni elements in the US pretty much control the dialogue here, and attempt to "speak for all Muslims". Groups like CAIR, and the AAAN (Arab American Action Network --basically violent leftist Arabs and former Hussein supporters). When the press seeks a comment from the "Muslim community" they often go to CAIR, which has a very specific agenda. Now most mosques in the US are not radical. I have a Sunni one a few blocks from my house that is very moderate and reasonable, and have have spoken to the Imam numerous times. He is a nice guy. But there are "problem mosques" as well, especially in places like Boston, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia. I wonder if Americans know that the only public demonstrations among Muslims of grief and outrage over 911 happened in Shia communities? (one demonstration was in Tehran if I remember correctly) --none came from Sunni. Palestinians celebrated in the streets when the towers fell, and Americans still remember that. So I think there needs to be better outreach, a more concerted effort to express the Shia viewpoint in the US, and more media coverage. It can't come from the Iranian government obviously, --groups need to be set up in the US and Europe. Shia Muslims cannot allow themselves to be grouped in with Wahhabists who want a global Caliphate and are willing to butcher anyone who gets in their way (I have spoken to Sunni Muslims on message boards who openly say this is their objective)
  5. Biden will be 78 years old just after election night. If he is even in good enough physical condition to remain in the race, I don't see Americans putting a guy that old into the Whitehouse. Likewise, Sanders will be 79
  6. Tulsi Gabbard recently co-sponsored a Slavery Reparations bill (HR 40) By doing that, she eliminated herself from any chance of winning the general election. 76% of Americans are strongly opposed to monetary reparations for slavery, especially if it means special taxes on white people. Even Bernie Sanders came out a few years ago and said it was a terrible idea that was divisive (now he too supports it). She is now getting like 1-2% in the polls. As I mentioned earlier, if she maintained a moderate foreign policy, she had a chance. Instead, she went radical left. Of all the Democrats, Yang probably impresses me the most. I disagree with him on a number of issues, but he is intelligent and honest, and doesn't practice identity politics.
  7. This scene from "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee" perfectly describes the situation between Native Americans and white settlers and soldiers in the 18th & 19th century. The idea that "Native Americans" are one unified ethnic group, or even a large tribe, is absurd. North America is a huge place, and some tribes were violent and bent on conquest. They were killing each other for centuries before Europeans arrived. Many tribes sided with the British during the War of Independence, and then suffered the consequences when the colonists won. The "noble savage" myth involving an innocent people genocided through conquest and deliberate spread of disease (the small-pox blanket story is a 20th century fabrication--we did not even have the germ model of disease in the mid 19th century) is a recent narrative used for political purposes. Were Native Americans treated harshly in some circumstances? Certainly, but the truth is a lot more complicated.
  8. I don't think the US will go to war with Iran. There is virtually no popular support for such a move, save among a minority of Jews. Some of these Jews are powerful and have influence, but war would be the end of Trump's presidency, riots in the streets, and international outrage. I don't see it happening
  9. I sometimes chat with the Sunnis on their board After the Sri Lanka bombings, there was only one post about the incident, and it looked almost celebratory. No words of condemnation, concern, or outrage. Simply "look how many people were killed!" naturally, that same board was filled with outage for days over New Zealand, and even included calls for violence. Now there are moderates over there who obviously don't support any of this, but they remain quiet while the hateful extremists spout out their propaganda. This is the problem within Sunni Islam right now--the bad guys get all the press, while the good guys remain quiet out of fear. One guy made a remark that was basically "doesn't the west know that we're not allowed to copy the enemy in their evil"? To which I replied "what do you mean by 'we'"? a subtle thing here, but just one word tells you everything you need to know. The guy was basically saying the barbarians who blew up churches in Sri Lanka were "our guys". I can tell you that as a westerner, the psycho who shot women and children in New Zealand was not one of "our guys" --only criminals or racists would identify with that guy. Another guy on the Sunni board remarked "I don't entertain the idea of repeating the same naiveity of the Native Americans with the whole "Kind, polite" behaviour nonsense with Europeans" Which is basically a way of saying all Europeans are genocidal imperialists who deserve violence against them. It is alarming to see the Wahhabist/Jihadist mindset so entrenched in the minds of some of these people. The "us vs. them" narrative. I don't see any of that here.
  10. I will not defend the show, but I will point out a couple things It is a comedy, and the classical definition of comedy involves people who are worse than ourselves (tragedy usually depicts people who are better than us). Clearly, the focus of the show is one guy's struggles with modern life and temptation vs. the obligations of his faith. Where this guy ultimately ends up will determine if the story is of any value. If he redeems himself, embraces his faith and identity, abandons hedonism, etc. then it will have some value If he goes the other direction, the show will be nihilist trash that should be avoided. I certainly wouldn't recommend any women watch the show
  11. I think it would be great if a Shia ran for office here in the US The only problem is, for which political party? (I, too am in Illinois, and live in an area with a lot of Muslims) The problem we have had with Muslim candidates for office, up until now, is that they tend to be radicals. For instance, Omar supports abolishing immigration enforcement agencies, and wants to simply open the nation's borders--that is an extremist position. She is also very pro-LGBT, which seems to contradict her faith. Other Muslim politicians tend to take an "us vs. them" approach, and simply cater to their constituency. I'd like to see a moderate, principled candidate, with a strong moral compass. Jews would likely object to any Muslim candidate, but their influence is starting to wane in the US (and certainly in places like Britain). A majority of Americans want major changes in foreign policy, are tired of unwavering support for Israel, and sympathize with the Palestinians, at least to a point. Many Americans also understand the big difference between a Iranian Shia and a Salafist Arab --the idea that Muslims are somehow dangerous or beholden to Saudi Arabian interests really only holds when speaking of the Arabs. Obviously, a lot of Americans are still ignorant on the differences here, but that is changing by the day. Christianity is dying in the west, and Islam is the future. This isn't simply because westerners are losing faith, are having less children, etc. It is because the Muslim faith is more coherent and rational than the Christian. For almost 2000 years, Christian clerics, kings, and emperors have bickered and argued about the basic tenants of the faith (monophysitism vs. duality of Christ, Nestorianism vs. orthodoxy, schism between eastern and western sects, the authority of clergy, etc.), without any kind of resolution. The Catholic church has fallen into scandal and outright heresy (Mariolatry). Meanwhile, Islam offers an almost unified message and clear guidance, even though differences exist on the sociological or political level between its followers. The "problem" of the immediate successors to the Prophet is unlike the problem of defining the actual nature of God and His message. This is to say that the average person can understand and appreciate Islam, while failing to comprehend things like the Trinity, or the contradictions inherent in the faith. I would even venture to say that Jesus' message was for the Jews of Israel (as he stated), and his Apostles symbolized the 12 tribes of Israel. How does a European or westerner wrap his head around this? Contrast that with Islam, which is clearly meant to be universal and intended for everyone everywhere. Americans still cling to their crosses to some degree, and church is a social thing, especially in the south, but as I said, Christianity is on the decline. The sense of community, common-purpose, and depth of faith is much higher in the mosques of my neighborhood (Sunni and Shia) than within the churches, where people simply show up out of obligation. So in closing, I would say that a Shia Muslim has a better chance at high political office than a Sunni, and that this will be even more evident as time goes on
  12. As an outsider, I can only offer my general impressions on this I don't see anything wrong with the structure, or design of the Iranian government/state. Some westerners might object to the theocratic elements, but if this is what the Iranian people want, they should have it. We do hear about "human rights abuses" and other problems, but how much of this is propaganda vs. reality is difficult to say. When I lived in Germany when I was younger, I went to a boarding school that had some Iranian students. They had fled the revolution and were very pro-Shah. They frequently claimed that the US engineered the overthrow of the Shah because Iran was becoming too powerful, and was beginning to look like a western super-power in the Middle-East. There is probably some truth to this But the Shah was heavy-handed and at times brutal, that much we know
  13. Even in places like Korea, light-skin is valued because of the connection between dark/tanned skin and "working in the fields" The women there also have surgeries to widen their eyes and make them more "western"
  14. From my readings and experience, these problematic passages are found in the Hadiths, not the Qur'an. Let us not forget that there are even more violent passages in the Torah -considerably more violent. The issue with the Salafists also seems to be pronouncements made by their politically-motivated clerics, not insights made by their theologians.
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