Religious persecution

For discussions about religion, but not specifically Christianity.
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For discussions about religion, but not specifically Christianity. Christians and members of any faith or of no faith are welcome, provided they treat others with respect at all times. Remember that detailed discussion about the beliefs of a particular faith will be difficult if no member of that faith is available to take part.

Re: Religious persecution

Postby Pondero » June 14th, 2012, 10:46 am

moved to Religious Persecution in Canada.
Last edited by Pondero on June 15th, 2012, 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby different glory » June 14th, 2012, 11:11 pm

hat is religious persecution and what is simply war or land-grabbing or psychopathy, with a "religious" cloak?


Further to this question -- news this week of "religious persecution" by Buddhists in Burma of Muslims. (Too many ignorant westerners have bought the self-promotion of Buddhism as a religious of peace etc etc -- so it is, properly practised, but that doesn't mean that Buddhists are by nature or in their lives necessarily peaceable, nor that Buddhist states are necessarily peaceable places. This is one case in point.) The persecution is primarily ethnically based, since the persecuted group are stateless residents in Burma; the enighbouring (Muslim) state of Bangladesh is refusing to accept any more refugees from Burma. But it is playing out and justified (in popular Burmese culture) as religious persecution. It will also, very probably, be used by Muslims elsewhere as an "argument" that they, being persecuted, have the "right" to persecute. :(
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby different glory » June 15th, 2012, 12:49 am

Pondy -- you offered to drop the domestic issue on this thread, since it is NOT persecution as understood in a world sense. I think it would be helpful if you took it to a new thread.

Sprocket -- while I agree with you about Ship of Fools and its heavy and capricious moderation, this sort of thing, the derailing of threads, is one result of the non-moderation on Thads. Another is that personal abuse and constant harping on divisive topics, without any intention other than to pick a fight, drives people away and so the place gets smaller and smaller. Can those who carry the title of "host" and "mentor", responsible for "smooth running" and for "encouraging discussions", please take note?
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby GregB » June 15th, 2012, 7:26 am

DG,
Though off-topic, I really must respond to this:
Another is that personal abuse and constant harping on divisive topics, without any intention other than to pick a fight, drives people away and so the place gets smaller and smaller

The fact is that there is very little of what you allege here. There is sometimes a strong exchange of views but rarely, if at all, personal abuse (though do please quote examples, if you can find any) and - especially compared with some forums I've seen - there is a refreshing degree of tolerance of others' views and opinions here. As for 'constant harping on divisive topics', I really don't see any evidence for that, either. In fact, most of the regulars here are clearly fed up with some of the old warhorses, such as homosexuality, and a recent revival of a thread on Israel, another hoary old topic, was met with a clear lack of any inclination to pursue it. The place has got smaller and smaller, I'd say, for other reasons (eg. over familiarity with other members' views; busy lives - not everyone can spare time every day to follow and contribute to ongoing discussions; posting on various forums thereby limiting the time spent on each one; sheer forum burn-out and weariness after some years, etc.) but there is still a solid core of old-timers who keep things ticking over and who would more than happy to see greater participation with not a fight in sight.

Getting back on track, I'm glad you raised the question of Buddhist persecution of Muslims, though that must be one of the few cases where it is the Muslims who are the persecuted rather than the persecutors. Of course, being persecuted can never be justification for persecuting others in turn and one would hope such spurious reasoning would not fool anybody, though it would certainly be in line with Muslim 'victim culture', a card they play time after time.
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby Pondero » June 15th, 2012, 10:07 am

I was only tying up loose ends different glory.I think I will open a thread entitled Religious Persecution in Canada-if I have anything further to add-and as the lunatics are running the asylum in Ontario,I am sure there will be.
The old warhorse, of homosexuality (as Greg calls it) is unfortunately bound to raise its ugly head especially with the passage of Bill 33 in Ontario yesterday,but I am not going to discuss it now, and certainly not on this thread.
We do very well without moderators so far different glory.Long may it continue that way.
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby different glory » June 17th, 2012, 11:07 pm

the question of Buddhist persecution of Muslims, though that must be one of the few cases where it is the Muslims who are the persecuted rather than the persecutors.


In terms of Muslims being targeted, there was also the horrific Srebenica massacres, where over eight thousand Muslims were killed. "The vast majority of those killed were adult men and teenage boys but the victims included boys aged under 15, men over the age of 65, women and reportedly even several babies." [Wikipedia].

The current Burmese situation also is a demonstration of religious-linked persecution by Buddhists. Buddhism is almost universally seen in the West as a religion of peace, but Buddhist states are just as prone to persecution, or to setting up the mechanism for persecution, as others. In Bhutan, for example, Buddhism is the state religion, and construction of non-Buddhist places of worship is blocked, public meetings of non-Buddhist religions are prohibited (other than small meetingsin private homes), and proselytism is forbidden, to the extent that a missionary showing a film in a private home was arrested; religious organisations are required to register, and to date (I believe) no Christian organisation has been allowed to register, on bureaucratic rather than legal grounds. It is hampering, but not what would be defined as persecution -- the point I am making is that the mechanism for persecution is there.

It is important that we don't imagine (and I don't think anyone here does imagine) that Muslims are the only source of religious persecution, despite the fact that Islamic states and organisations are currently enacting and claiming to justify in religious terms, systematic and horrific persecution.

(On the matter of how discussions unfold here --- well, quod scripsi, scripsi, and I'll leave it there.)
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby GregB » June 18th, 2012, 7:24 am

DG wrote:
In terms of Muslims being targeted, there was also the horrific Srebenica massacres, where over eight thousand Muslims were killed. "The vast majority of those killed were adult men and teenage boys but the victims included boys aged under 15, men over the age of 65, women and reportedly even several babies." [Wikipedia].

The whole post-Yugoslavia conflict in its various manifestations, including that massacre, was horrific in so many respects and in its ethnic tangle quite complicated. However, I'm not sure those 8000 Bosnians were killed precisely because of their religion but largely for other, mainly political and ethnic, reasons (let's recall that the term used extensively at the time was 'ethnic cleansing', not 'religious persecution'.) Many Croats and Serbs died in smaller-scale massacres during the conflict but it's never said that this was about Orthodox persecuting Catholics or vice versa. Let's face it, the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians, Albanians, Kossovars and Macedonians had been at each other's throats for centuries, held in check latterly only by Tito's dictatorship.

It's also interesting to go back a few decades before that conflict. The Muslim Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian Arab (and mentor of PLO leader Yasser Arafat and his associates, such as Abbas, the current non-elected president of the PA), was a fervent supporter of Adolf Hitler and helped recruit an SS division consisting entirely of Bosnian Muslims, which was employed against the Jews in WWII Yugoslavia. During a broadcast on Radio Berlin, he declared, "Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor. God is with you." In this photo, he is seen with Hitler:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bunde ... Hitler.jpg
And here with members of the Bosnian SS division:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bunde ... lligen.jpg
Does this excuse the Srebenica Massacre? Of course not - heaven forbid - but it does throw more historical light on the Bosnian Muslims of a couple of generations earlier and the willingness of many of them to participate in the extermination of the Jews. (Again, it could be argued that was more an ethnic than a religious question.)
It is important that we don't imagine (and I don't think anyone here does imagine) that Muslims are the only source of religious persecution, despite the fact that Islamic states and organisations are currently enacting and claiming to justify in religious terms, systematic and horrific persecution.

No, not the only source, DG, but as I've pointed out before, the vast majority of cases of religious persecution in the world today are committed by Muslims, and mainly against Christians. This is not least because it is a systematic tenet of Islam that the 'kuffurs', or non-faithful (ie. non-Muslims) are inferior and should be persecuted, even killed, if they do not accept the true faith*. This is now happening on an increasing scale in Muslim lands where there is little or no check (eg. as in our societies) on such activities by the authorities. Though certainly worthy of mention here (that's what the thread is for, after all), especially if individual cases can be cited for our help and prayers, the fact is that the incidence of such cases pales in comparison to the sheer scale of what is happening in the Muslim world.

[* Odd, localised exceptions such as those Buddhists you mention apart, I know of no other major religion which holds to such beliefs and practices.]
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby different glory » June 18th, 2012, 1:14 pm

I'm not sure those 8000 Bosnians were killed precisely because of their religion but largely for other, mainly political and ethnic, reasons


Absolutely -- a point I was making a few posts back, when I said
For instance, when Serbian Orthodox massacred Bosnian Muslims ... was it a religious persecution? ("No", is the answer I'm suggesting.)
.

Part of the reason I wanted to keep a thread open to look at religious persecution generally is precisely because it is useful (I think) to try to disentangle the threads of complex motives which go under the guise of religious conflict. Nigeria is a case in point -- more churches burned yesterday (Sunday) and this seems to be settling into a pattern. Retaliation from Christian groups is expected. Does anyone know of the ethnic/political/land-related elements in this conflict?

Another aspect is the case of Aasia Bibi, which I have often referred to here. She was imprisoned under the mechanism of laws concerning religion, but I believe that these laws were being used as a cloak for more personal (land-grabbing?) motives; her vulnerability to local enemies was because of a generalised acceptance that petty persecution of Christians was acceptable. (This case also illustrates why it is important to look at the legal mechanisms for persecution, as in Bhutan, as well as at current hotspots.)

Yes, the most sickening, cruel and jubilant religious persecution today is carried out by Islamic groups and regimes. :( Lord, have mercy. (Sorry, usually try to keep that for the prayer thread.)
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby GregB » June 18th, 2012, 2:39 pm

Part of the reason I wanted to keep a thread open to look at religious persecution generally is precisely because it is useful (I think) to try to disentangle the threads of complex motives which go under the guise of religious conflict. Nigeria is a case in point -- more churches burned yesterday (Sunday) and this seems to be settling into a pattern. Retaliation from Christian groups is expected. Does anyone know of the ethnic/political/land-related elements in this conflict?

I think such secondary considerations are a red herring or smokescreen. Many in the West try to locate the conflict in such elements through the prism of their own political vision (which would be mocked by hard-nosed Islamists whose primary motivation and raison d'être is religious) but the driving force behind the violent activities of the Nigerian jihadist group Boko Haram (remember it means 'Western - or Christian - education is wicked') is purely Islamist extremism against Christians. Of course, if territory owned by Christians should fall into their laps in the process, they won't be complaining. (And, according to Islamic custom, it will be forever part of the Ummah, or Islamic territory.*)

[* They've never renounced their claim to Andalusia in this respect.]
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Re: Religious persecution

Postby different glory » June 21st, 2012, 3:40 am

Interesting about Andalusia! :)

Obviously, I don't think it's a smokescreen to try to disentangle the reasons for persecutions; if we take an over-simple view of the case we run the risk of not understanding when Christian groups are or appear to be the persecutors, or of not understanding when an apparently unrelated savagery is in fact related to religious hatred. (I just heard this morning that the man under trial for making the bombs in the Bali Bombing had a previous history of bombing churches.)

But unhappily, there is enough religious persecution to fill more than two threads, and I think we are all here united in our fundamental response to what we see.
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