05 May 2006

Even A&M has its moonbats.

Jason Deuterman of the Battalion reviews United 93:
The only drawback is the placing of Muslims, or perhaps even the Islamic faith as a whole, in a bad light. It in no way instills patriotism within the viewer's heart, and instead places a shroud of anger over the viewer, worthy of a Michael Moore documentary, in turn blinding one from the true themes of the film - heroism and sacrifice. One scene features Muslim prayers being trumped by the passengers praying "The Lord's Prayer." Greengrass is blatantly taking a stab at the Islamic faith, as there is no disclaimer at the end of the film mentioning that the terrorists were religious zealots and that Islam does not teach the murdering of thousands through martyrdom.
Really? Islam doesn't teach that? Could have fooled me.

MEMO TO ISLAMISTS: If you want to be called the "Religion of Peace" without a sarcastic "(TM)" following, then maybe you should stop fucking murdering people in the name of your religion.
The tone set by the film created the wrong effect in the audience. Viewers hollered and clapped as the passengers of the flight began savagely assaulting the terrorists. One can only beg the question as to whether or not this is the emotion that the American public should leave the theater with.
One can only wonder just where you learned the definition of "begging the question." Dumbass. I'll let your opinion regarding the inhumanity of "savagely assaulting" people who were in the process of murdering an entire airplaneful of innocents speak for itself.
To put it simply, "United 93" serves as salt in a re-opened wound. If you want to be entertained, do not go see this film. But if you wish to see a well-crafted masterpiece exhibiting all the elements of human chaos combined with experiencing the raw emotion and heroism as demonstrated by all those involved in the 9/11 tragedy, you will not be let down.
What was that? The "heroism as demonstrated by all those involved"?

"All those"?

So now it's heroic to murder three thousand innocent people?

Suddenly I'm reevaluating just what you meant by saying the "true themes of the film" are "heroism and sacrifice."

You sick bastard. There are no words to describe the level of contempt and disgust I have for you.

And September 11th was an atrocity, not a tragedy.

Thanks to blamecandida for pointing out the article.


Blogger Chestertonian Rambler said...

Just so you know...

...Christians have been traditionally very good at murdering people. Even in recent times, we've had a number of abortion-clinic bombings.

And obviously the article-writer didn't mean to imply that the terrorists were included in "all those," who showed "heroism." Only a lunatic or a pathological anti-American would consider the action of flying a plane full of innocent people into a tower full of innocent people "heroic."

Also, generally speaking, atrocities are tragedies. In the case of the WTC bombings, I just don't see how you can say that they aren't an example of "a disastrous event, especially one involving distressing loss or injury to life."

On the other hand, I can't help but entirely agree with you about the "beg the question" paragraph. Which I guess may somewhat undercut the rest of my criticisms. What else does one do to someone with a weapon who is hijacking a plane and trying to fly it into a building? Would he prefer the passengers to have politely discussed religion and politics with the terrorists? To have tickled them into submission?

I'm not saying I agree with the article. I didn't hear anyone complain about the lack of a disclaimer at the end of Kingdom of Heaven stating that Christianity is a religion of peace and that the crusaders aren't representative of Christianity. But that doesn't mean that there doesn't exist Muslims or friends of Islam who are peaceful and good citizens, even patriotic Americans. And I think there were Americans who gave in to the terrorists in the wake of the WTC bombings by assaulting Muslims, or even general Middle Easterners. It's just a good thing none of those were crazy enough and patient enough to seize an airplane.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

The difference between an atrocity and a tragedy is that the term "tragedy" implies culpability on the part of the victim. We have none.

Also, there is a distinction between terrorists and abortion clinic bombers (who are also terrorists, yes). One group is recognized and honored by adherents of its professed religion; the other is vilified and rejected by adherents of its professed religion. I'll leave it to you to determine which is which.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chester's argument is so intellectually dishonest and intellectually immature that it does not deserve a response.

It's the same old utterly ridiculous argument used by people who either hate all religions or hate all religions especially Christianity.

Chester, the Crusades were 800 years ago. We're concerned about the here and now. Using your logic, we should dismiss everything that the Germans do for the next 740 years because of what they did 60 years ago.


12:25 PM  
Anonymous geoff said...

Also, generally speaking, atrocities are tragedies.

An ill-considered attempt at semantic claptrap. All atrocities are tragedies, but not all tragedies are atrocities. Using the term "tragedy" without defining the cause obscures the very deliberate, heinous nature of this act. And it helps us to forget that Al Qaeda's only two regrets are: 1) they couldn't kill more; and 2) they haven't been able to do it again (at least here).

And I think there were Americans who gave in to the terrorists in the wake of the WTC bombings by assaulting Muslims

I've heard this canard before from libs, apparently unaware that the total number of "assaults" is trivial, and that by 6 weeks after 9/11 the hate crime rates had returned to their normal levels. Here are the FBI stats on the number of hate crime incidents against Muslims (~0.5% of population, although the number of Middle Easterners (i.e., likely targets) is greater):

1999 32
2000 28
2001 481
2002 155
2003 149
2004 156

This can be compared to the number of hate crime incidents against Jews (about 1.3% of the population):

1999 1109
2000 1119
2001 1047
2002 931
2003 927
2004 954

In most cases, crimes against people account for 2/3 of the offenses, and of these, approximately 1/2 are "intimidation." About 30% are "assaults." If you try to guess how many extra assaults against Muslims occurred as a result of 9/11, ratioing the data gives us 160 extra assaults, or about 27/week for the 6 weeks after 9/11.

These assaults are nothing to be proud of, but I'd say the reaction was pretty mild (160 out of 300,000,000 Americans) and not worth making an example of.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the most simplistic description of the crusades I've ever seen, and brother I've seen a few.

Is this what they teach in history classes at A&M now? I'm about ready to devalue those grad/applicants.

-- Torquemada

10:35 PM  
Blogger Chestertonian Rambler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:19 AM  
Blogger Chestertonian Rambler said...

Just to clear up some confusion:

I chose my screenname in honor of my favorite author, the Roman Catholic G.K. Chesterton.

I consider myself a firmly committed Christian, meaning that I believe Christianity to be true and by definition other religions false.

I believe that many people have hidden behind the mask of Christianity and being right, villainized others by portraying them as inhuman monsters, and used such a mindset to advocate any of a number of degrees of human rights abuses. The reason I'm concerned about the Crusades so much is because I'm a Christian--if people professing to hold the true religion can be that violent, it gives one pause before drawing a caricature of others.

I apologize if I sounded like I was saying something other than I was. I value intellectual honesty above most all else. There are Muslims who consider themselves quite devout, and yet consider the idea of killing thousands of innocent people a monstrous sin. I think that was the main point I wanted to make.

And I'm sorry. The word "tragedy" does NOT imply culpability on the part of the victim. Although it's a moot point, because in the issue of the WTC bombings I'll agree that we cannot be blamed. Even if we did give maniacs like Bin-Laden weapons, money and power in the first place.

Btw, Al Queda is a group of criminals and murderers, however they may choose to view themselves. Whatever existence they have is a threat to national security. I'm not and never would challenge any of those facts. Al Queda just doesn't comprise the entirety of Islam.

So, to conclude, I had two central arguments, and don't want to be mistaken for saying something I didn't.

1) Don't warp words. I hate the phrase "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," because a terrorist is a terrorist no matter WHO he is fighting. The same issue applies to the phrase "this isn't a tragedy, it's an atrocity" when it's used to imply that anyone who looks for a moment at the tragic rather than the millitant side of the WTC bombings is a friend to terrorists.

2) The crusades demonstrate the power of self-righteousness even among those who claim the religion of Christ. This was true for many of the crusades' participants. I'm not meaning to say that such was the only cause, or to demonstrate the economic incentive, or the self-defensive purposes, or any of the other hundreds of reasons for the crusades (some of which I have learned and some of which I may be ignorant of) didn't play a significant role. I'm just saying that in the name of Christ, Christian armies slaughtered many innocent Muslims in Jerusalem during one particular moment in one particular crusade. It seems reasonable to suppose that many good-hearted Islamic rhetoricians cried out that such events prove Christianity to be Satanic. I wish that they'd put more impartial thought into practice and tried to understand and evaluate the claims of Christianity for themselves. My sense of intellectual honesty requires me to combat any similar mistakes in my own thought--or even the thoughts of bloggers I read who have open forums for comments.

2:25 AM  
Blogger Chestertonian Rambler said...

One more thing--

Geoff has a rather good point regarding the assault statistics. I will cease to use those statistics as an argument.

2:29 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

I admit to being surprised that an English major doesn't think the word "tragedy" implies culpability, but that implication is not really the salient point. It's just a pedantic difference. The salient point is that, as geoff said, using the term "tragedy" disassociates the authors of said tragedy from their actions. Obviously, there is a tragic element to 9/11, but referring to the attacks as an atrocity reminds us that there was a culprit and that it does want to destroy us.

(By the way, another pedantic point: the WTC "bombing" was in 1991. I know you meant 9/11, but I wouldn't describe flying an airplane into a building as a "bombing.")

I jumped on the use of "tragedy" in this context because I do think Deuterman was including the terrorists in his reference to "all those involved" and his mention of the themes of "heroism and sacrifice." I may be mistaken. I tend to assume that others choose their words with as much care as I do, and with an eye to connotations and implications. Given the apparent carelessness of Deuterman's writing, my assumption may be invalid in this case. Regardless, I still find his wording suspicious.

I won't disagree that Muslims consider killing innocent people to be wrong. However, they don't consider us to be people. We are infidels, less than human.

My sense of intellectual honesty requires me to combat any similar mistakes in my own thought--or even the thoughts of bloggers I read who have open forums for comments.

So, in other words, you think I need to try to "understand and evaluate the claims of" Islam, and it hasn't occurred to you that I might have spent a significant portion of the last four and a half years doing just that, because someone who doesn't agree with you obviously hasn't given the issue any serious thought. Is that about it?

2:38 PM  
Blogger Chestertonian Rambler said...

If you seriously believe, based on studies of the religion Islam itself, that most major sects propose that all non-Islamic people (including Christian and Jewish "people of the Book") are non-persons and worthy of killing, then we have a disagreement. At the same time, unless you want to present all that information to me (something that may take more effort and time than its worth, considering my current direct encounters with Islam is about none) I'm going to remain convinced that Islam is a false religion but one which generally doesn't endorse the modern anti-American version of Jihad.

I'll accept your "pedantic" point that I shouldn't have called 9/11 a "bombing." I still stick to my own pedantry at claiming that "tragedy" doesn't involve victim culpability.

Btw, just so you know, I don't use words anywhere near as carefully as you. I'd really like to, but it's kind of a personal psychosis--I'm such a perfectionist that if I proofread what I write too carefully I'll never finish it and no one will ever read it. (So "if we spirits have offended, think on this and all is mended"?)

Also, something else I don't think I've pointed out--part of the reason I enjoy posting on you is that I get attacked from the right. It's nice to have to consider the claims from those more conservative than I, as many of the most political blogs I read tend to be a bit left-leaning.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous geoff said...

To get you started, kufr, this is a summary from Jihad Watch (an alarmist site, but with good references to the fundamental texts):

Because the West is facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy the West and bring it forcibly into the Islamic world -- and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach. That effort goes under the general rubric of jihad.

Jihad (in Arabic, "struggle") is a central duty of every Muslim. Modern Muslim theologians have spoken of many things as jihads: the struggle within the soul, defending the faith from critics, supporting its growth and defense financially, even migrating to non-Muslim lands for the purpose of spreading Islam. But violent jihad is a constant of Islamic history. Many passages of the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad are used by jihad warriors today to justify their actions and gain new recruits. No major Muslim group has ever repudiated the doctrines of armed jihad. The theology of jihad, which denies unbelievers equality of human rights and dignity, is available today for anyone with the will and means to bring it to life.

You can find more at Dhimmitude and at Muslihoon's site. You might also enjoy the rather intimidating list of jihads at History of Jihad.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

Thanks, geoff. I actually am thinking of studying Islam along with my other summer reading...I was going to start with Musli's reading list on his sidebar.

Thanks CR. You know how much I enjoy a good debate :-) Don't ever feel like I don't want you to post comments here.


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