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Finding some way to be useful in the current crisis 
16th-Nov-2015 03:43 pm
important, lives
Since the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, I have been gripped with the vague feeling that I ought to Do Something. The question is, "What?" There is a school of thought that seems to think that it is very important that we should go out and Fight Terrorism. I am bothered by the extent to which this seems to translate into "bomb civilians" and also I am not the sort of person you would send to fight anything. The last thing I fought was a house fly - we went three rounds and then negotiated a settlement whereby I waved it out the front door and it left me in peace. This does not seem applicable to the current geopolitical situation.

And then I thought about changing my Facebook picture, but really what the situation seems to call for is an icon of Marianne in an Eagles of Death Metal t-shirt, and I don't have the Photoshop skills for that.

And there is a strain of thought that says that We Must Not Let the Terrorists win by continuing to be unafraid as we go around living in cities, and drinking in bars, and going to rock concerts. I can do this with great gusto, but it's hard to feel virtuous about it since it's exactly what I was doing before the Paris attacks. And as much as it entertains me to imagine little terrorist cells exchanging urgent communiques along the lines of, "Wendy is going to see Behemoth again! Will nothing stop this woman!" I cannot really imagine that they are that bothered.

But then I was looking at the news about all these state governors saying that they don't want their state to accept Syrian refugees. And I'm glad that California is not among them. I want California to accept Syrian refugees. I want California to *welcome* Syrian refugees.

So, I made a donation to the Northern California chapter of the International Rescue Committee. The IRC helps refugees all over the world, but the Northern California chapter is helping refugees find housing, education, health care right here in my own community. I can't really think of a better way to Not Let the Terrorists Win than to help the people that they've driven out of their homes makes new homes here.

(If you want to see if IRC has a chapter in your city, go to their website, click on "Where We Work", and select your location.)
17th-Nov-2015 12:21 am (UTC)
I want to heart this post, but instead I will not let the terrorists win by making a contribution to Doctors Without Borders. Same theme.
17th-Nov-2015 12:26 am (UTC)
Doctors Without Borders or the Red Cross/Red Crescent are both excellent options for Not Letting the Terrorists Win.
17th-Nov-2015 12:31 am (UTC)
A fine choice and one I share.
17th-Nov-2015 02:43 am (UTC)
(Here via LJ Home Page)

I want California to accept Syrian refugees. I want California to *welcome* Syrian refugees.

So you want to let in people who are unscreened (and mostly unable to be screened). You want to let in people who follow an ideology that demands you convert, submit, or die.

You want to let in people who follow the exact same ideology - the same book, the same "prophet" - as the ones who just slaughtered 100+ innocent civilians in the most brutal, ugly way possible.

You *want* this?!

There was a time where I gave people the benefit of the doubt. They just didn't know anything about Islam. (I didn't know very much either.) But we're long past that. There's *no excuse* as to why you haven't read the Quran and about the life of Mohammad. There is no excuse for you to not know what this ideology teaches. NONE.

How about one thing you could do is to *educate yourself*, and then others, about this ideology so you will no longer say suicidally stupid things like this in public?

Know that I hold people like you indirectly responsible for every drop of blood spilled by these followers of the warlord, terrorist, sex slave owner and child rapist, Mohammad.

As I said, I once gave people like you the benefit of the doubt. But it's not that you don't have the capacity to know what Islam is all about. The fact that you typed this post means you have internet access. That's all you need, as the Quran as well as other Islamic texts are easily found online, and for free.

You just choose not to educate yourself about it. Why? Because you know that once you *do* know what it teaches, you can't use ignorance as an excuse any longer.

17th-Nov-2015 02:59 am (UTC)
I have read the Quran. I've also read the Bible. Both contain messages exhorting people to kill unbelievers. Both also contain messages of peace and tolerance. And both Muslims and Christians have to read their holy books and figure out how to interpret and contextualize those messages and square up those contradictions. Somehow, the vast majority of Christians and Muslims don't end up as mass murderers.

I'd wager that you've never met an actual Muslim or talked to one about what their faith means to them. That is inexcusable ignorance.
17th-Nov-2015 03:42 am (UTC)
I have read the Quran. I've also read the Bible. Both contain messages exhorting people to kill unbelievers.

Now I know you are a liar.

There are ZERO open ended commands in the Bible for either Jews or Christians to commit violence against unbelievers. That is why there are no Jews or Christians committing such acts, all over the world, on a regular basis, in obedience to those open ended commands.

You're a liar.

Edited at 2015-11-17 03:43 am (UTC)
17th-Nov-2015 05:30 am (UTC)
Well, I don't have time for an exhaustive search, but here's the first thing I stumbled across. How about a little Deuteronomy, Chapter 13?

7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

11 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.

12 If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,

13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;

14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;

15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.

16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the Lord thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.

Not to mention the centuries of Christian history of oppression, genocide, and forced conversion of the Jews; genocide and forced conversion of colonized peoples; and slaughter and persecution of other *Christians* for holding slightly different doctrinal beliefs. If Christians are relatively peaceful now, that's a product as much of culture, politics, and circumstance as of faith.
17th-Nov-2015 08:32 am (UTC)
You have read enough of the recent news on the internet to know that what these refugees are running away from is mass violence by the same terrorist organizations that attacked Paris, yes?

So, if the terrorists and the refugees are following the same ideology, why do you think it is that the refugees are trying so hard to get away from the terrorists, and the terrorists are killing so many of them? Perhaps it could be that they don't actually believe the same things?

You do realize, do you not, that if we don't take in the refugees, we are quite literally helping the terrorists win?
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