The importance of moderates

October 6th, 2010 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Reuters reports:

Jewish settlers on Tuesday gave new copies of the Koran to Palestinians in a West Bank village whose mosque was burnt in an attack blamed by Palestinians on militants in the settler movement.

Several copies of Islam’s holy book were scorched in the arson attack and threats in Hebrew were scrawled on the wall of the mosque of Beit Fajjar early on Monday.

The village sits on the edge of the sprawling Jewish settlement bloc of Gush Etzion.

Suspicion immediately fell on settler militants opposed to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, in which some settlements would be turned over to a Palestinian state.

“This visit is to say that although there are people who oppose peace, he who opposes peace is opposed to God,” said Rabbi Menachem Froman, a well-known peace activist and one of a handful of settlers who went to Beit Fajjar to show solidarity with their Muslim neighbours.

This is a nice story, and something it would be good to see more of. All religions have extremists (some have more than others), but they also have moderates. And when extremists do something in the name of your religion, it helps if others in that religion decry them, or as in this case show in a practical sense your disgust.

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47 Responses to “The importance of moderates”

  1. MyNameIsJack (2,414 comments) says:

    Well, it would be a nice story, except for the fact that neither side will ever get over their god complex.

    For an excellent summation, see here.

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  2. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    It is a nice story, despite MySurnameIsPiesse’s crusade

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  3. PaulL (5,449 comments) says:

    It’s a nice symbol, but if someone burns down my mosque, getting some copies of the Koran isn’t really filling the gap. A new mosque would be a better symbol!!

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  4. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    PaulL
    tell that to the Christians who lost their homes and businesses and churches in the boxing day tsunami.
    Some of them are still waiting for permission to rebuild but the Sharia compliant laws allow the local govt to refuse.
    You could also ask the non-Muslims how much of the aid we all sent was given to them. don’t be surprised if they say nothing.
    or you could go to http://www.barnabusfund.org.uk and read about the issue.

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  5. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Jacks happy if Jews are dying krazy. Nothing else need be known.

    Paul what about drestoying a commerical complex and then building a mosque to celebrate. how are you with that?

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  6. MyNameIsJack (2,414 comments) says:

    You have me wrong, Muzza. I don’t want to see Jews die, but I would like to see them repatriated to Europe. Since Europe was the cause, why did Palestine have to be the solution?

    Just why did Europe work so hard to rid itself of Jews after WW2?

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  7. Inky_the_Red (764 comments) says:

    In reality the whole world would better offer if all religions were confined to the history books.

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  8. Rufus (735 comments) says:

    Grrnffff……. lol

    what, Inky, including the “religion of no religion”?!

    Get real, man. Won’t happen. Ever. Better we find a way to live in a civil manner with each other.

    Stopping the bombing, raping, murdering of others would be a good start.

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  9. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “In reality the whole world would better offer if all religions were confined to the history books.”

    Yeah, like they were when Stalin and Mao were busy killing about a 100 million people. You ignorant of history half educated loons deserve everything that you vote for. True religious faith has never been the problem big powerful government has been, and that’s your damn religion.

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  10. Pete George (23,798 comments) says:

    Why doesn’t someone start a non-godly religion, with first commandments:

    1. Religion is not a competition with winner takes all
    2. Thou shall not get hissy if other people have other beliefs
    3. Thou shall always remember the importance of moderates

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  11. MyNameIsJack (2,414 comments) says:

    True religious faith has never been the problem …

    Try telling that to the victims of the Crusades, the 100 years war, the conquistadors, or in more recent times, say Bosnia, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and so it goes.

    If religiousd faith is not the problem then you are asking the wrong question.

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  12. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Like all commies Piesseofexcrement, you clutter this forum with messages that are nothing more than boring illustrations of the fact that you have zero comprehension skills, instanced in this case by your failure to understand the significance of the word “true”. Just go away. You’re as predictable as the sun rise.

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  13. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    MNIJ, I would be far happier if the world were free of religion, because it has historically been largely an oppressive influence on humanity and has (by its definition) no evidential basis.

    However, there are people who claim a religious motivation for doing good for humanity in combating oppression, and if they do good, I am happy to support them.

    On the other hand there are the Islamic fundie nutjobs in Iran and the Christian fundie nutjobs in the US, who speak nothing but hate.

    I feel we need to be united in condemning the hate-filled fundies, but extend some tolerance to those who try to do good for humanity through and in their religion

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  14. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    Just why did Europe work so hard to rid itself of Jews after WW2?

    Two reasons:

    1- Because there existed anti-Semitic animals who resented not having wiped them all out. (just asking the question above helps us identify if you belong in that category)

    2- Those that survived couldn’t wait to escape the centuries of persecution and get back to what they hoped would be safe ancestral homelands.

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  15. MyNameIsJack (2,414 comments) says:

    wussty wussty wussty, cwal back to the bunny hole. YOU don’t get to define “true religion”, that is done by the believers, by the ignorers of fact and reason and by those who would enslave us with their desert myths.

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  16. Rufus (735 comments) says:

    Sure Jack. And let’s not forget atheism’s contribution in making the 20th century arguable the bloodiest in human history.

    There is no such thing as a neutral position when it comes to “religion” – we all have some sort of belief system

    The notion that “the world would a happier place if there was no religion” is nonsense, devoid of any basis in reality, as even without the “god” religions, people would still hold beliefs of some sort and shape their lives around those – and there would still be some who’d hate and kill others who don’t agree with them.

    So why not allow for religious freedom, and try to live in a civil manner with each other.

    The example of the moderates in replacing some Korans is a nice gesture. Nice in a civil, we recognize-you-as-the-people-who-live-next-door type of way.

    You could do that and still disagree with everything your neighbour believed and stood for.

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  17. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “those who would enslave us with their desert myths.”

    Oh yeah that’s right- your buddies Stalin Mao and Castro have never enslaved anyone. Smirk.

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  18. MyNameIsJack (2,414 comments) says:

    What is it with posters with the initials KK that make them such ignorant fucking morons?

    The end of WW2 saw the largest “ethnic cleanse” in human history as the various ethnicities, once spread throughout Europe returned to their European homelands or the homelands of their ancestors. But nobody wanted the Jews, it wasn’t just the Nazis, it wasn’t just the Germans. Go read some fucking history.

    PS – to continue your education – that’s the main reason European nations such as Holland gained their reputation for inclusiveness and tolerance. Its easy when EVERYONE’s Dutch!

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  19. Pete George (23,798 comments) says:

    So why not allow for religious freedom, and try to live in a civil manner with each other.

    Why not indeed. One of the strengths of NZ is that most people will allow that, we more fortunate that way than most countries.

    The end of WW2 saw the largest “ethnic cleanse” in human history as the various ethnicities, once spread throughout Europe returned to their European homelands or the homelands of their ancestors.

    Yes, even ethnic Germans were “cleansed’ from their home lands.

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  20. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Toad don’t show up here expounding upon the evils of religion. Your own damn political position is entirely based upon faith. Misplaced to a far greater extent than any Christian, and so bizarre in its foundations its probably on about the same scale as black magic. Ask Fitzy how you keep possums away.

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  21. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    MNIAJ – as a moderate atheist I think you’re an embarrassment. why do you have such a big chip on your shoulder?

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  22. Rufus (735 comments) says:

    MyNameIsHijack

    I’m Dutch.

    I know of strong, vibrant Jewish communities in our cities.

    You’re a dick.

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  23. Rufus (735 comments) says:

    RightNow – thank you. I often wonder what the kid’s problem is myself.

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  24. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    Here is a list of 20th century genocides. I submit that secular/socalist ideology and lust for power are the source of most death. Anyone who tries to point the finger at Christianity (or Islam for that matter) is talking complete nonsense.

    60m, Mao Ze-Dong (China, 1958-61 and 1966-69, Tibet 1949-50)
    23m, Jozef Stalin (USSR, 1932-39) the purges plus Ukraine’s famine
    12m, Adolf Hitler (Germany, 1939-1945) concentration camps and civilians WWII
    8m, Leopold II of Belgium, Congo, 1886-1908
    5m, Hideki Tojo (Japan, 1941-44), civilians in WWII
    1.2m; Ismail Enver (Turkey, 1915-20) 1,200,000 Armenians (1915) + 350,000 Greek Pontians and 480,000 Anatolian Greeks (1916-22) + 500,000 Assyrians (1915-20)
    1.7m; Pol Pot (Cambodia, 1975-79)
    1.6m, Kim Il Sung (North Korea, 1948-94), purges and concentration camps
    1.5m, Menghistu (Ethiopia, 1975-78)
    1.0m, Yakubu Gowon (Biafra, 1967-1970)
    900k, Leonid Brezhnev (Afghanistan, 1979-1982)
    800k, Jean Kambanda (Rwanda, 1994)
    800k, Suharto (East Timor, West Papua, Communists, 1966-98)
    600k, Saddam Hussein (Iran 1980-1990 and Kurdistan 1987-88)
    570k, Tito (Yugoslavia, 1945-1987)
    500k, Fumimaro Konoe (Japan, 1937-39)
    400k, Jonas Savimbi (Angola, 1975-2002)
    400k, Mullah Omar – Taliban (Afghanistan, 1986-2001)
    300k, Idi Amin (Uganda, 1969-1979)
    300k, Yahya Khan (Pakistan, 1970-71)
    300k, Benito Mussolini (Ethiopia, 1936; Libya, 1934-45; Yugoslavia, WWII)
    220k, Charles Taylor (Liberia, 1989-1996)
    200k, Foday Sankoh (Sierra Leone, 1991-2000)
    150k, Michel Micombero (Burundi, 1972)
    100k, Slobodan Milosevic (Yugoslavia, 1992-99)
    100k, Hassan Turabi (Sudan, 1989-1999)

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  25. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @ ‘baiter 8:10 pm

    Crap. Mine is based on science.

    And before you get into another rant about homoeopathy, I agree with you there is no evidence to support it.

    In fact, that is the same amount of evidence that neo-cons you snuggle up to have to support the existence of a Christian deity.

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  26. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “Crap. Mine is based on science.”

    Of course. There was nothing, and then somehow from nothing came this big bang, and then we had planets. Marvelously scientific. About as believable as man made climate change.

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  27. Rufus (735 comments) says:

    Toad

    Oh, so now science can provide the definitive answer on the supernatural? Try again.

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  28. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @ ‘baiter

    Obviously you can’t get your head around physics. The interchangeability of energy and matter is irrefutable. Einstein, who first postulated the theory and provided a proof of it, was a religious man himself (admittedly, he spent the latter years of his life attempting in futility to develop a unified field theory, because he couldn’t get his head around the quantum physics that postulated everything about the behaviour of matter was based on probability rather than certainty, and that a God would have wanted things to be certain).

    @ Rufus: What do you classify as the “supernatural”, and why don’t you accept that whatever you mean by that is subject to scientific scrutiny?

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  29. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    Shrug, it you think a big bang singularity is “nothing”, try lifting something smaller. Like a black-hole singularity.
    Let me know how that works for you.

    Only a mouth-dribbling cretin of the highest level of delusion, goes around claiming the universe started from “nothing”

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  30. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    Hmm, Hitler: a theist, of the Xtian species. Stalin: church-indoctrinated, restablished the Russian Orthodox Church, part of its ruling council. Pol Pot, Buddhist.

    Not seeing a lot of secular humanists in that list.

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  31. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    Only a mouth-dribbling cretin of the highest level of delusion, goes around claiming the universe started from “nothing”

    Pass me a hankie :)

    Chthoniid, if one believes that the totality of the universe can be empirically measured and classified then your statement is correct. If one doesn’t, then it isn’t.

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  32. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    Chthoniid – so you’re saying Hitler killed because he was a ‘Christian’.. and that Pol Pot killed because he was a Buddhist? Have I got that right?

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  33. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    “I believe in one thing only, the power of human will.”
    — Josef Stalin

    Looks like the “chuch indoctrination” failed.

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  34. Pete George (23,798 comments) says:

    Looks like science class was a failure for RB too.

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  35. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “Have I got that right?”

    Just another demented Progressive intent on re-writing history to suit his own faith. Don’t waste your time on such loons. In terms of the complete political picture, you might as well go shoot ants with a 44 magnum.

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  36. reid (16,700 comments) says:

    “Hmm, Hitler: a theist, of the Xtian species.”

    That’s a pretty long bow to draw Chthoniid.

    Why do you think that?

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  37. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    Mein Kampf, speeches, support from Church leaders in Germany.

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  38. Repton (769 comments) says:

    “Hmm, Hitler: a theist, of the Xtian species.”

    That’s a pretty long bow to draw Chthoniid.

    Why do you think that?

    Wikipedia quotes from Mein Kampf:

    The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God’s will, and actually fulfill God’s will, and not let God’s word be desecrated. For God’s will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord’s creation, the divine will.[16]

    Although the wiki article points out that it is far from clear cut exactly what he believed.

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  39. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    reid asked:

    That’s a pretty long bow to draw Chthoniid. Why do you think that?

    I’m guessing that like many (not all) atheists, finding an angle which allows human suffering to be pinned, however tentatively or speculatively, on religion somehow bolsters their belief that the entire universe can be empirically measured and classified (ie that nothing supernatural exists).

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  40. PaulL (5,449 comments) says:

    Coming back to this thread late….but hey, I’ll reply to the questions anyway.

    MikeNZ@5:06pm: I think there’s a difference between someone from my religion burning down someone else’s church, and that same church being destroyed in a natural disaster. I don’t agree with what is going on there, but presumably it is in accordance with the laws of that country. And, leaving that all aside, two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Murray@5:19pm: I don’t agree with destroying a commercial building. Nor building a mosque to celebrate destroying that building, particularly on the site of said destruction. Building a community centre 3 New York blocks away, however, I’m not so uncomfortable with. Especially when getting all bent out of shape about it is a complete waste of time, and just giving those people what they wanted in the first place. Seems like lose lose to me – the law says you can’t stop it, and also you gave them the satisfaction of proving that your country isn’t half so tolerant and free as you pretend to be. Whereas letting them build it and just not giving a shit would probably have been a much more astute move.

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  41. reid (16,700 comments) says:

    “Mein Kampf, speeches, support from Church leaders in Germany.”

    So because someone claims to act in the name of…?

    There’s lots of explanations as to why and how one of the most cultured European nations got drawn into what it did. Hitler, Stalin, Mao all of them justified their actions. If you were them, how could you not.

    How come their bullshit is taken as read?

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  42. Angus (536 comments) says:

    “…the only way of getting rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.”

    “The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity. Christianity is a prototype of Bolshevism: the mobilization by the Jew of the masses of slaves with the object of undermining society. Thus one understands that the healthy elements of the Roman world were proof against this doctrine.”

    “Christianity is the worst of the regressions that mankind can ever have undergone, and it’s the Jew who, thanks to this diabolic invention, has thrown him back fifteen centuries.”

    “This terrorism in religion is the product, to put it briefly, of a Jewish dogma, which Christianity has universalized and whose effect is to sow trouble and confusion in men’s minds.”

    “Had Charles Martel not been victorious at Poitiers—already, you see, the world had fallen into the hands of the Jews, so gutless a thing was Christianity!—then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies heroism and which opens the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic races would have conquered the world. Christianity alone prevented them from doing so.”

    Adolf Hitler

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  43. Angus (536 comments) says:

    “Mein Kampf, speeches, support from Church leaders in Germany.”
    “Not seeing a lot of secular humanists in that list.”

    You are such a dumb fuck . . no idea of history.

    Q – What is the common denominator in that list of 20th century mega-tyrants ?

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  44. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    Angus,

    Do you mean other than an all consuming lust for absolute power and domination over everyone and end everything (coupled, of course, with a psychopathic, almost sexual, desire for the shedding of blood – which is different from doing or even watching)?

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  45. Lance (2,713 comments) says:

    @toad
    Yes physics details the actions and interactions of energy and matter………… but it doesn’t answer why

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  46. Lance (2,713 comments) says:

    @Robinsod
    Read the intro did you?

    It’s about the hope that the few people of moderation bring.

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