Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

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RajeshA
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Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby RajeshA » 24 Sep 2010 18:30

Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad

Principally this thread is to discuss how Islam is shaping the politics in Europe and America. Considering how Islam is impacting the politics of the world, I thought it was high-time to have a thread for that.

Before Pointing out what this thread is all about, it is necessary to point out what it is not. The Key Word here is ABROAD.

This thread is NOT for
  1. Discussing Indian Muslims
  2. Discussing any Islamism on the Indian Subcontinent
  3. Discussing any Islamophobia from an Indic Experience.
  4. Discussing Islamic Theology
  5. Discussing Islamic Terrorism in India
  6. Talking disparagingly about personalities and symbols of Islam and about Muslims, from poster's PoV

Furthermore there are issues that would be more appropriate for other threads and forums, and these ought to discussed there. Please use your judgment.

This thread is for discussing the following category of issues:
  1. Muslims in non-Muslim majority countries (West, Russia, East Asia, etc), demanding special rights for Muslims
  2. Political Organizations and Movements based on Islam in Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries.
  3. Treatment of religious minorities in Muslim majority countries.
  4. Anti-Muslim sentiment, movements and politics in non-Muslim majority countries (e.g. in Europe, USA, Australia, Canada, Russia).
  5. History of Islam, theological basis for Political Islam
  6. Immigration of Muslims to non-Muslim majority countries.
  7. Muslim Society in non-Muslim majority countries.

Some of the issues that would have belonged to this thread would have been:
  • Fatwa on Salman Rushdie
  • Controversy over Danish Cartoons
  • Work and Assassination of Theo Van Gogh, the Dutch Filmmaker and the Life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • "Mohammed Cartoon Day" Facebook Event
  • "Burn a Koran Day" Event organized by the Pastor Terry Jones
  • The Plans for Building the Cordoba Mosque near Ground Zero
  • The Emergence of Anti-Muslim Parties in Europe
  • Muslim Protests against British soldiers coming from Afghanistan
  • Special Privileges for Muslims in Britain
  • Headscarf ban in French public schools
  • Burqa ban in France

Again this is neither a whine thread nor a hate thread. Both non-Muslims and Muslims should feel comfortable reading this thread. So let's try to strive for some moderation in our expressions and some objectivity in our analysis.

Again I hope, the thread does not get shot down by the moderators. I hope to be posting some news from Europe. Much is happening.

Thank you all.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 24 Sep 2010 18:39

Let's start with this from New Mexico, USA.
Image

From here:
http://capitalistimperialistpig.blogspo ... teria.html

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby anandsgh » 24 Sep 2010 18:55

I should mention Geert Wilders... Though he goes to extreme levels but he is one of the main drivers for this cause in Netherlands at least!!
His channel is good. and specifically this video is very well made.
http://www.youtube.com/user/wilderssupp ... uxipzVtqz0

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby RajeshA » 24 Sep 2010 19:59

Published on Sep. 14, 2010
By Noah Barkin
Anti-immigrant wave spreads across Europe: Reuters
Few people outside of Germany paid much attention when a little-known Berlin politician named Rene Stadtkewitz convened a news conference last week and announced the formation of a new "Freedom" party.

But in the German capital, the founding of a movement modelled on the anti-immigrant party of Dutch populist Geert Wilders was a small political earthquake, whose tremors resonated in Chancellor Angela Merkel's office across town.

"Right now we are focussed on building up this new party in Berlin, but if we have success here, I certainly can't rule out extending it nationwide," Stadtkewitz, who was kicked out of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) for his views, told Reuters.

The 45-year-old from the east Berlin district of Pankow, who wants headscarves banned, mosques shuttered and state welfare payments to Muslims cut, is the newest face of a powerful anti-immigrant strain in European politics that is winning over voters and throwing mainstream politicians onto the defensive.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Mauli » 24 Sep 2010 20:06

Extremists force Mecca club to change its name

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/841181-extr ... e-its-name

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Mauli » 24 Sep 2010 20:12

Islamophobia or Clear Thinking?
by Isaac Kohn

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Artic ... .aspx/9686

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby arun » 25 Sep 2010 21:11

John T Bennet is skeptical about terming Mohammedanism as a “Religion of Peace”. Found the use of the theater analogy to Buddhism and Christianism besides Mohhamedanism amusing:

September 23, 2010

Shouting 'Fire' in a Crowded Globe

By John T. Bennett

Can we stop calling Islam a religion of peace now? The fairy tale has been tarnished by Islamic violence, and it's undignified for children of the Enlightenment to go on repeating falsehoods.

If Islam were a religion of peace, no one would be worried about violence resulting from the burning of Korans. If Islam were a religion of peace, then a Supreme Court justice would not have compared burning a Koran to shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. …………………..


Burning a Buddhist sutra would be like yelling "fire" when you are alone in a theater; no Buddhist would kill and riot over the burning. Burning a Bible would be like passing gas in crowded theater; it would earn you contempt and not much more. But burning a Koran -- that's more like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. We simply take for granted that a significant number of the faithful will erupt in violence -- as they did in Afghanistan and Iran at the mention of burning a book across the ocean. ………..

American Thinker

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Carl_T » 25 Sep 2010 23:05

Can we start by defining "Islamism" ? If no one has a definition, shall we use the term "Islam" instead?

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Sadler » 25 Sep 2010 23:13

Carl_T wrote:Can we start by defining "Islamism" ? If no one has a definition, shall we use the term "Islam" instead?


I sincerely dont think there is a difference between the two.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby RajeshA » 25 Sep 2010 23:18

Carl_T wrote:Can we start by defining "Islamism" ? If no one has a definition, shall we use the term "Islam" instead?


Islam, I would consider, is the religion with many aspects
  • Man-God Relationship
  • Religious Rituals
  • Societal Doctrines
  • Laws
  • Political Aspects

Islamism, I consider, to be confined to Political aspects of Islam. It is political expression of Islam.

This is just my definition. I'm sure learned maulanas could define it better. But this is what I meant in the Thread Heading.

I would urge everybody to not bring in aspects of Islam, which are not political or otherwise not 'sanctioned' in the first post. There is a big danger that this thread could then turn into a very unsavory direction, which would be difficult to control.

I thank everybody for their consideration.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Carl_T » 25 Sep 2010 23:50

Sadler wrote:I sincerely dont think there is a difference between the two.


Possible.

The reason I said that was because we shouldn't throw around "Islamism" as a euphenism for "Islam" if one believes there are no differences. If one believes there are differences, then we should be able to come up with a concrete definition. I think a working definition of Islamism (if there is one) will keep the thread firmly on track.

RajeshA wrote:Islam, I would consider, is the religion with many aspects
...

Islamism, I consider, to be confined to Political aspects of Islam. It is political expression of Islam.

This is just my definition. I'm sure learned maulanas could define it better. But this is what I meant in the Thread Heading.

I would urge everybody to not bring in aspects of Islam, which are not political or otherwise not 'sanctioned' in the first post. There is a big danger that this thread could then turn into a very unsavory direction, which would be difficult to control.


But what does political expression of Islam mean? Islamic views of the state? Islamic views of citizens' role in the state? Islamic views of the role of clergy in politics?

I think it can be characterized broadly as the set of Islamic revival movements primarily directed at the West. It is a reaction to western domination and an anger at the decline, backwardness and infighting seen in Muslim nations along with anger at the loss of power to the West. The goal is to re-establish Islamic superiority, and reconstruct an imagined golden age. Islamism wants western technology but opposes western cultural values. It tends to be led by lay Muslims rather than the clergy. It is centered around an absolute infallibility of Islamic values, and it can be either violent or non violent. I don't feel implementation of Sharia is that important as it is made out to be.

JMT

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby RajeshA » 26 Sep 2010 00:05

Carl_T wrote:
RajeshA wrote:Islam, I would consider, is the religion with many aspects
...

Islamism, I consider, to be confined to Political aspects of Islam. It is political expression of Islam.

This is just my definition. I'm sure learned maulanas could define it better. But this is what I meant in the Thread Heading.

I would urge everybody to not bring in aspects of Islam, which are not political or otherwise not 'sanctioned' in the first post. There is a big danger that this thread could then turn into a very unsavory direction, which would be difficult to control.


But what does political expression of Islam mean? Islamic views of the state? Islamic views of citizens' role in the state? Islamic views of the role of clergy in politics?


Well there would be theologists looking into the issues. So there would theoretical analysis of the fore-mentioned both in theological as well as social science circles.

Carl_T wrote:I think it can be characterized broadly as the set of Islamic revival movements primarily directed at the West. It is a reaction to western domination and an anger at the decline, backwardness and infighting seen in Muslim nations along with anger at the loss of power to the West. The goal is to re-establish Islamic superiority, and reconstruct an imagined golden age. Islamism wants western technology but opposes western cultural values. It tends to be led by lay Muslims rather than the clergy. It is centered around an absolute infallibility of Islamic values, and it can be either violent or non violent. I don't feel implementation of Sharia is that important as it is made out to be.

JMT


I find the description quite appropriate.

Basically I would say, that the part of Islamism that is of interest to non-Muslims is perhaps less the theoretical deliberations with the Muslim community (which can still be of interest), but in the context of this thread, I meant, where those theological views of the Muslims clash with other societies, and efforts are made to increase political space for Muslims in other societies.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby brihaspati » 26 Sep 2010 00:10

I think it can be characterized broadly as an Islamic revival movement primarily directed at the West. It is a reaction to western domination and an anger at the decline, backwardness and infighting seen in Muslim nations along with anger at the loss of power to the West. The goal is to re-establish Islamic superiority, and reconstruct an imagined golden age. Islamism wants western technology but opposes western cultural values. It tends to be led by lay Muslims rather than the clergy. It is centered around an absolute infallibility of Islamic values, and it can be either violent or non violent. I don't feel implementation of Sharia is that important as it is made out to be.

JMT


All of these supposed characterizations are anecdotal and can be equally challenged by contradicting anecdotes. There is no concrete data based statistically tested set of characterization that can be attributed to "Islamism". It is a term coined in academic sociological research in the political arena where researchers face tremendous state and other-sources sponsored pressure to protect the image of particular religions. None of the researchers who use it will be able to justify the so-called distinctions based on any concrete and substantial data. It is sort of given as an axiomatic abstract category where everything found in current Islamic communities which the communities themselves claim as based on their faith is clubbed together for safety of analysis. Researchers can hide behind the fact that if they write or say something that is deemed offensive by anyone, was not intended to be directed at the faith itself.

RajeshA ji, may I request you to consider not trying to define "Islamism" or be drawn into the "difference" debate? Let posters use their good sense and judgment as to what they deem is relevant as per your formulation given in your starting post. If anyone oversteps the bounds mods can do the needful.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 26 Sep 2010 00:13

Islamism is essentially the political-legal-constitutional aspect of Islam. As a legal system, or underpinning of the constitutional system, it would force itself on every non-Muslim in the state. The religious-spiritual aspect of Islam is (a) not the topic of this thread (b) practiced like Judaism and Christianity would not be problematic in most cases (except, e.g., in the evangelist/missionary posture :) ).

As an example of an Islamist, I present Imam Faisal Rauf, (of Cordoba/Park51/Ground Zero mosque fame). In his book "What's right with Islam" he wants the US to have separate religious courts for each religion, and he wants panels of religious jurists to review and even be able to change decisions of secular courts. So despite all his so-called moderation, that makes him an Islamist. As an example of the non-Islamist Muslim, I present Tarek Fatah of Canada, who is quoted in Wiki as saying that human rights take precedence over religious values.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby RajeshA » 26 Sep 2010 00:14

brihaspati wrote:RajeshA ji, may I request you to consider not trying to define "Islamism" or be drawn into the "difference" debate? Let posters use their good sense and judgment as to what they deem is relevant as per your formulation given in your starting post. If anyone oversteps the bounds mods can do the needful.


brihaspati garu,

I am not trying to define Islamism, as would be clear from a couple of posts earlier. I just commented on what I consider to also constitute the phenomenon. I did not claim any sort of completeness of definition.

I think many people would have a better handle on these issues than I.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby jagga » 26 Sep 2010 00:48

A roundup of events from the UK:YOU TUBE
This video shows the protest by muslims in favor of Sharia Law in UK, against the war in Afganistan and against the laws which they think are non-Islamic e.g ban on hijab/burkha

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Chinmayanand » 26 Sep 2010 02:33

Islamism : is the right to build mosques in Moscow but deny the right to build churches in Mecca.
Islamism : is the right to ask for palestine for muslims but deny entire arabia to the jews.
Islamism : is the right to ask for shariah compliant courts in non-muslim countries but deny non-shariah courts in muslim countries.
Islamism : is the right to blow worship places and symbols of non-muslims and build mosques there.
Islamism : is the right to restore the world order to the last islamic victory.
Islamism : is the right to enforce islamic values on non-believers.

Others can add their own.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby brihaspati » 26 Sep 2010 02:55

RajeshA wrote:
brihaspati wrote:RajeshA ji, may I request you to consider not trying to define "Islamism" or be drawn into the "difference" debate? Let posters use their good sense and judgment as to what they deem is relevant as per your formulation given in your starting post. If anyone oversteps the bounds mods can do the needful.


brihaspati garu,

I am not trying to define Islamism, as would be clear from a couple of posts earlier. I just commented on what I consider to also constitute the phenomenon. I did not claim any sort of completeness of definition.

I think many people would have a better handle on these issues than I.


No, no, just trying to give you indirect support in your efforts. I don't see concrete logic anywhere differentiating the two, but saying that I "see them as one and same" will immediately be pounced on by defenders of the faith. Net result a gag-order. Don't misunderstand please! :P

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby vera_k » 26 Sep 2010 03:06

Texas SBOE passes resolution to limit Islam in textbooks

The Texas Board of Education passed a resolution seven to six Friday afternoon that will curtail references to Islam in Texas.

The plan warns of a creeping Middle Eastern influence in the nation's publishing industry. It calls on textbook publishers to limit what they print about Islam in world history books.

Critics say the resolution is another example of the board trying to politicize public education in the Lone Star State.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 26 Sep 2010 18:04

I think this admonition to Pakistani expatriates qualifies for this thread:
http://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2010/0 ... ng-abroad/

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby arun » 26 Sep 2010 19:01

Chinmayanand wrote:Islamism : is the right to blow worship places and symbols of non-muslims and build mosques there.


Islamism is also about the right to blow worship places and symbols of Muslims.

Here one could start with the seizure of the Grand Mosque at Mecca on November 20, 1979 led by Muhammad bin abd Allah al-Qahtani who claimed to be the Mahdi.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby brihaspati » 26 Sep 2010 20:07

A_Gupta wrote

Islamism is essentially the political-legal-constitutional aspect of Islam. As a legal system, or underpinning of the constitutional system, it would force itself on every non-Muslim in the state. The religious-spiritual aspect of Islam is (a) not the topic of this thread (b) practiced like Judaism and Christianity would not be problematic in most cases (except, e.g., in the evangelist/missionary posture :) ).


The theology itself does not make any such separation, none of the legal-political-constitutional aspect of the theology ever makes any statements that endorse such separations. In fact there are explicit statements exactly to the opposite. In spite of many apparent contradictions or confusions, the things that remain consistent and insisted on as inimmutable do contain this injunction against separation.

We are trying to understand the action of the hand by the Galvanic experiment - some mysterious electric current is making the hand move on its own. There is no brain or head behind the movements of the hand. Which means the hand movement cannot be explained or predicted and seems without purpose or motivation and totally random. the simpler model of seeing the head or brain behind all this cannot be used - because someone somewhere feels it important to protect this image of separation and inexplicability or assign all causes other than the real ones. Now who feels this overwhelming need to maintain such myths could be the next important step to understand the phenomenon.

In Germany, counter-protests to protests against the building of a mosque, were led by Leftists and fully supported by Christian "conservatives". Any protest against any aspect of "islamism" or Islamic activity is typically denounced as being motivated by neo-Nazi sentiments and as "racism".

The role of religious bodies in intervention in such opinion formation, the role of specific sections of political parties, would be most interesting to follow. The "establishment" everywhere, except in current France, is trying to use all its authority to protect the theology and its theologians and all its institutions. This is increasingly alienating large sections of commoners - and is increasingly exposing that the "free society" is really all about "manufacture of consent".

It i snot difficult to understand the possible calculations and drives behind the establishment wanting to protect the theology [for perhaps many in the elite - it is the next necessary tool required to control their people and that they no longer have the imperialist power to tackle the theology in its home turf] but am puzzled at seeing that the brilliant controller minds in the establishment are failing to realize how the general masses are increasingly getting alienated from them over this issue.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Singha » 26 Sep 2010 20:22

reading about the takeover of the mecca mosque by saudi 'radicals' , one learns its always the faithful dogs - Paki SSG who were doing the dirty work under direct orders from prince turki. three french GIGN kommandoes converted to islam to be allowed to enter mecca and save the saudi-pak combine from their inept
handling
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Mosque_Seizure

another surprise - around *twenty* people through the ages have claimed to be the Mahdi !
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_cla ... _the_Mahdi

two of them went on to found the ahmediya and bahai.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Sanjay M » 28 Sep 2010 04:54

(NYT)Chechnya Coerces Women on Dress, Activists Say

Women in Chechnya are under pressure to adopt Islamic dress, according to human rights activists.

Image

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Mauli » 28 Sep 2010 10:41

Rajesh Wrote:
Islam, I would consider, is the religion with many aspects
Man-God Relationship
Religious Rituals
Societal Doctrines
Laws
Political Aspects


I would like to go into detail about "societal doctrines" point mentioned above. Further, it is important one from Kafir perspective as well. Let me quote Rajiv Malhotra on this one.

All religions have two dimensions: theological beliefs that pertain to one's relationship with a Supreme Reality of whatever kind; and sociological beliefs that pertain to dealings with human society. Often, people compare only the theologies, finding common ground across many diverse religions, and declare them all be the 'same' or 'equivalent'. Hence, they naively conclude that the present global problems are not about religion.

However, one must pay special attention to the second dimension of religions, namely, the social theories mandated by different religions. It is here where the root of much conflict is to be located.

Furthermore, sociological mandates of a religion are also of two kinds: internal ones, such as the varna system, marriage customs, gender relations, and so forth, that only impact the internal society within a particular religion; and external ones, such as the requirement to proselytize or to kill or ill-treat outsiders, that impact those who are outsiders to a given faith.

In my view the theological and internal, sociological, aspects of a religion are not the primary causes of global conflict. Rather, the external, sociological, aspects of religion are the direct causes of global conflict.

It logically follows that it is the business of the world at large to interpret, question, and challenge those aspects of a religion that take a position concerning outsiders. If I am the subject of some other religion's doctrine, and such a doctrine states how I am to be treated, what is to be done to me, what I may or may not do freely, then, even though I am not a member of that religion, it does become my business to probe these doctrines and even to demand a change. On the other hand, if a religion minds its own business, and has little to say pertaining to me as an outsider, then I should respect its right to be left alone.

In other words, a given religion's right to be left alone by outsiders should be reciprocal and contingent upon its responsibility to leave outsiders alone.

http://rajivmalhotra.com/index.php?opti ... &Itemid=28


Just to add that out of 6000 plus "Aayats" of Quran more than 4000 talks about Kafirs. Islamism comes straight from Quran and it is divine in nature not some Mulla and Ulema creation.
Last edited by Mauli on 28 Sep 2010 11:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Mauli » 28 Sep 2010 11:01

Immigrant on the run after murdering Belgian judge and legal assistant in courthouse

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldne ... z10nisqmDA

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby brihaspati » 28 Sep 2010 21:08

I am not sure I agree with Rajiv Malhotra on this entirely. Even the internal aspects may determine how external aspects are shaped up - which happens in fact with this particular theology quite obviously.

We tend to have this compartmentalized modelling of systems - which should be done for ease of analysis only with the clarification that behind it may lie deeper connections to other parts of the same system we are not looking at at the moment. The more the history, social experience, politics and external interactions are studied more it becomes how obviously interconnected and inseparable is the external from the internal.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 29 Sep 2010 01:54

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archiv ... _redux.php
This is so rich it might deserve a modern-day Inherit The Wind to really do it justice: Neocon rabble-rouser Frank Gaffney testified as an expert witness yesterday in the lawsuit locals have filed to try to stop the mosque in Murfreesboro, TN, from constructing a new building. Gaffney testified about the threat the local Muslims pose to the community and the larger threat of Sharia law being imposed on America -- even though Gaffney admitted: "I don't hold myself out as an expert on Sharia Law. But I have talked a lot about that as a threat."


Also see:
http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.c ... hp?ref=fpb

The controversy is over the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, a mosque and community center that's been in the area for several years and is now building a larger community center, which will include a mosque, classrooms and recreational space, outside the city.

The three suing the county allege that officials failed to notify the public about the planning meeting at which the construction plan was approved. In fact, the county did put out a public notice about the meeting -- but did not include the agenda. County officials argue that the notice was in compliance with open meeting laws.

There were several other public hearings on the mosque site, where opponents loudly voiced their objections.

The construction site is also the subject of an arson and potential hate crime investigation, after construction equipment was set on fire in the middle of the night. The sign announcing the project has also been vandalized.



http://www.allgov.com/Controversies/Vie ... ery_100928

New York Town Orders Muslims to Dig Up Bodies from Cemetery
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
New York Town Orders Muslims to Dig Up Bodies from Cemetery

Officials in Sidney, New York, want the local Muslim religious community to remove its small cemetery, claiming bodies have been buried illegally in the upstate locale. But when pressed on the matter, town leaders were unable to cite the laws broken. That’s because no local or state ordinances currently exist addressing the issue of cemeteries on private land. “Islamophobia” may be the real reason behind the push to force Muslims to dig up their dead, an effort that could result in a discrimination lawsuit for the small town of 6,000 in Delaware County.

The deceased Muslims in question were members of a Sufi group, Osmanlı Nakş-ı'bendi Hakkani Tarikat, which has a center in Passaic, New Jersey, and opened a second center in Sidney in order to benefit from the peaceful countryside.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 29 Sep 2010 01:59

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.c ... n_with.php

Adrian Morgan, the editor of Family Security Matters, wrote a long post last week about "The 99" -- a popular comic book series featuring Muslims superheroes who embody the 99 attributes of Allah, like mercy and generosity.

The comic books have been widely praised. As their creator, Naif Al-Mutawa, describes, the books are meant to teach a moderate, peaceful, loving Islam.
...
The comics have become so popular that President Obama, speaking at a summit for Muslim entrepreneurs in April, lauded the work, saying "His comic books have captured the imagination of so many young people, with superheroes who embody the teachings and tolerance of Islam."
....
That's a bit nefarious for the taste of Family Security Matters -- one of whose contributors, you may recall, called for a "backlash against the Muslim community." Morgan wrote while the comics are "well-intentioned" and may be "edifying" for "Muslim families," the president's interest in the comics is much darker.

"It is bizarre to see the President of the United States endorsing such religiously-inspired products, because they upheld the 'teachings and tolerance of Islam,'" Morgan wrote. "The POTUS should normally be upholding the Establishment Clause of the Bill of Rights, and not be promoting a particular faith, but this president seems to think his desire to create good feelings in Muslims over-rides his need to abide by the First Amendment."

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby ramana » 29 Sep 2010 02:00

Is there a plan to have thread which focusses on Islamists phobia of others?

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby shyamd » 29 Sep 2010 05:42

Mossad at the Door?
The anniversary of 9/11 and the furor over the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero have put Muslims and Arab Americans on edge. On TV and in the streets, their loyalty to America is questioned; their faith is attacked. Some community members have even expressed fears for their safety.

When afraid, people are more easily manipulated. So Aramica was alarmed to hear of an unexpected outside party that may be operating amid this tense climate.

A former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer claims that Mossad (Israel’s secret service) agents have been visiting Arabs and Muslims in New York and New Jersey, posing as U.S. intelligence agents to gain their cooperation.

Citing unnamed “sources in the counterintelligence community,” Philip Giraldi made the claims in an article in The American Conservative magazine published on August 23, 2010.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a major Arab American civil rights group, warned that the illegal practice, if true, could make it very hard for bona fide U.S. federal agents to win the trust of Muslims and Arab Americans.

That could undermine years of efforts by the FBI and other federal agencies to develop sources among Muslims and Arab Americans, whom it considers important allies in the fight against terrorism in the U.S. and abroad.

The Israeli embassy has in the past denied Mossad activities on U.S. soil. An Israeli Embassy spokesman, who did not wash to be identified, told Aramica the Embassy had no comment.

Giraldi is now an intelligence analyst with the firm Cannistraro Associates. He also heads the Council for the National Interest, a pro-Palestine lobby group, and he was foreign policy advisor to Congressman Ron Paul (D-TX) during his failed run for the U.S. presidency in 2008.

“Clumsily” handled

According to Giraldi’s article, Israeli agents have ratcheted up their investigating of U.S. Muslims and Arabs due to the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran.

“There have been a number of cases reported to the FBI about Mossad officers who have approached leaders in Arab American communities and have falsely represented themselves as ‘U.S. intelligence,’” wrote Giraldi.

“Because few Muslims would assist an Israeli, this is done to increase the likelihood that the target will cooperate,” he explained.

Giraldi did not say when the exchanges took place or how many. Aramica’s calls to Giraldi at the Council for the National Interest were not returned.

According to Giraldi, the Mossad posers handled the exchanges “clumsily,” raising the suspicions of the approached Arab Americans, who reported the incidents to the FBI.

“All over the place”

FBI agents traced two of the Mossad back to the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in New York, where they were working under cover as consular officers, Giraldi wrote.

The Israeli Mission did not respond to requests for comment.

Bill Carter, an FBI spokesman, told Aramica: “We don’t comment on intelligence-related issues.” He deferred to the State Department, where a spokesman said he had no information on the matter.

The Washington Post journalist Jeff Stein, in the September 2 posting of his ‘SpyTalk’ column, quoted a second former CIA official who supported Giraldi’s account.

“Oh, sure, they do that,” Stein quoted the unnamed official as saying, “They’re all over the place.”

“Grave Concern”

The ADC, the civil rights group, expressed “grave concern” over the claims.

“Such activity will have a negative impact on the trust between Arab and Muslim Americans with the U.S. Federal Government,” ADC leaders said.

Asked by Aramica if the ADC had received calls from Arab Americans about the problem, group legal director Abed A. Ayoub said: “We’ve had reports about FBI agents acting out of hand. Can we collate that with this? It’s hard to know.”

The group called on the U.S. federal government to investigate “any instances of individuals, including foreign nationals, falsely identifying themselves as a U.S. government official.”

Department of Justice spokesman Dean Boyd said it is the department’s policy not to comment on “whether an investigation may or may not be underway into a particular individual or entity.”

Israeli intelligence agents have been prosecuted by the U.S. before. Many readers will be familiar, for example, with the stories of convicted spies Jonathan Pollard, the Texas native jailed for life in 1987; and Ben Ami Kadish, the New Jersey resident sentenced in 2008 for spying in the 1980s.

The ADC also reminded people of their rights if approached for questioning (see sidebar). Among them: You have the right to remain silent; to have an attorney present; and to demand to see a warrant before agents enter your home.

Mr. Carter, the FBI spokesman, added that genuine FBI agents should identify themselves and show their credentials.

“If you suspect someone is posing as an FBI agent, call the FBI field office to verify their ID,” he said. The number for the New York field office is (212) 384 1000; the New Jersey field office can be reached at (973) 792 3000.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby shiv » 29 Sep 2010 07:01

Rajiv Malhotra writes
Furthermore, sociological mandates of a religion are also of two kinds: internal ones, such as the varna system, marriage customs, gender relations, and so forth, that only impact the internal society within a particular religion; and external ones, such as the requirement to proselytize or to kill or ill-treat outsiders, that impact those who are outsiders to a given faith.

In my view the theological and internal, sociological, aspects of a religion are not the primary causes of global conflict. Rather, the external, sociological, aspects of religion are the direct causes of global conflict.


I would like to explain my objection to this with an analogy.

If you catch a thief - you can take the attitude that it was his right hand that did the stealing and cut off his right hand. This is a lovely-sharia like half solution that ignores that fact that the thief is "whole" and as long as he remains unreformed and at large he can still commit some crime, using someone's help for example.

Viewing religions as consisting of parts like "internal" (like liver, heart) and "external" (like arms, legs, eyes) ignores the the reality that the religion itself is a problem. It is a problem to have a leader who is unaccountable. When people kill others in the name of Hitler or Pol Pot - we blame Hitler/Pol Pot. But when people kill in the name of god - that god goes without blame. The simple trick of conjuring up a "leader" who cannot be caught or blamed (and called "god") suffices to allow murderers to escape, and even be praised. "Not my fault. My god has ordered me to kill you" Religion is the problem, not aspects of religion.

Religion must stay out of affairs of society. Of course that means saying the bad baad word - "secularism"

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby PrasadZ » 29 Sep 2010 08:46

Has Nicolai Sennels been mentioned here before? Am hoping not and putting up a brief summary.

His potted life story is in an interview here - note this is a translation from the original danish
http://hommaforum.org/index.php?PHPSESSID=irdpijhnoqe139g9tj2ghh9cf4&topic=19459.msg271993#msg271993

I was born in 1976 and grew up far out in the countryside in Denmark. During my studies in Copenhagen I worked as a social worker with teenagers. I also worked as a semi-professional rock musician for a couple of years while studying psychology at the university. I have worked with troubled youngsters all my adult life. It has always been very easy for me to like them, connect to them and help them. I have developed new kinds of therapies, especially for Muslims, and my methods have been mentioned positively in several professional magazines, newspapers and on the radio.


From the same interview about how he started in this study
Being passive while women are treated bad and failed integration threatens to drag down our cultural values and welfare societies is failing to live up to our responsibility as humans. Especially men should take their role as protector of women very seriously.

Anyway, as most other Danish, I was shocked about the rape story. Both the brutality and the fact that nobody helped that poor woman was devastating to me. Before this incident my ears were closed to those who critizised Islam and Muslim immigration but from then on I started listening with a more serious attitude. At that time I was still sure that successful integration was just a matter of time and that social injustice was the main responsible for the ethnic tensions. I was also too nervous about getting criticized to share my worries with others. Today things are different: I no longer vote for the Social Democrats. I also no longer care what people think of my opinions about Muslim culture etc. I am also no longer passive - I feel a responsibility for defending suppressed Muslim women, our freedoms and for showing people that we can say exactly what we think about Islam and Muslim immigration.

By the way, just as a footnote: it accidentally turned out that three of these four Muslim boys were sentenced to live for a period at the institution where I worked at that time. Confused, insecure young men with the too typical Muslim male chauvanistic attitude and strong victim mentality and no real values in life except getting as much as they could with as little effort as possible.


About his experience with government
As a psychologist with special knowledge about criminality and foreigners I was invited by Copenhagen’s mayor of integration to participate in a conference on integration at the city hall. The discussion was about criminal foreigners, foreigners and integration, foreigners and terror, foreigners and parallel societies, etc. I got irritated about the way the discussion went, because everybody generalized all foreigners as if they came from the same culture. I argued that the main part of the problematic foreigners have Muslim background and that we should discuss the meaning of culture when trying to find causes and solutions. This was far too strong for both the mayor and most of the people attending the conference. Another discussion at the conference was that we should try to help criminal foreigners find peace in their life by inviting them to become more religious. Here I reminded the mayor and the others about the many passages in the Quran that actually bid Muslims to do criminal acts – and that several Mosques in Copenhagen are known to be very extremistic. Again this was more than the politicians could handle.

I have later debated with the mayor of Copenhagen on my blog ”The Cultural Cleft” on Jyllands-Posten. I started the debate because he promised to pay the Muslims’ religious festivals if they helped him get reelected at the local elections on November 17th. He – by the way – did not get reelected. The new mayor, Klaus Bondam, is unfortunately an even worse choice. Since he is a homosexual and wears makeup, I guess he will have a hard time communicating with the Muslim society.


About why he thinks its difficult to discuss the issue
The reason has to do with cultural psychology. In Muslim culture people see their lives mainly as controlled by outside factors – Islam, Allah, the imam, the father of the family, cultural norms and traditions, society, and - when the experience problems - especially non-Muslims and non-Muslim authorities. In our Western culture, it is in many ways the opposite. Here we see ourselves as being in control of our own life. We see our motivation, view on things, way of thinking, communicating and acting as the most important factors deciding our lives. This is why we have so many psychologists and therapists, a great number of social sciences, tons of self help books, etc. – all of which are aimed at our inner life and build on the view that we create and change our own life ourselves. You do not have all these things and also not this view in Muslim culture. If you have a problem as a Muslim, you are not raised to think, ”What am I doing wrong since I always end up in trouble?” In the Muslim culture you look outside yourself: ”Who did this to me or my life?”

With this way of thinking you always see ourself as the victim and somebody or something outside yourself as the cause of your problems. Bernard Lewis, the famous professor in Islamic history, has observed the same cultural difference. In his words Westerners asks themselves, ”What did I do wrong?” and Muslims asks, ”Who did this to me?”

Therefore many Muslims do not think that they create the problems. And talking about a person’s problems with somebody who thinks that everything is everybody else’s fault is not easy.


Some recent news he is making
http://europenews.dk/en/node/21789
http://europenews.dk/en/node/20695
http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2009/02/youths-crime-and-islam.html

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Arjun » 29 Sep 2010 09:50

I thought you were going somewhere with this thought...
shiv wrote:Viewing religions as consisting of parts like "internal" (like liver, heart) and "external" (like arms, legs, eyes) ignores the the reality that the religion itself is a problem. It is a problem to have a leader who is unaccountable. When people kill others in the name of Hitler or Pol Pot - we blame Hitler/Pol Pot. But when people kill in the name of god - that god goes without blame.

So clearly from the above, you are talking about religions being accountable for the actions of their followers. If I understand you right you are saying that if Hitler is to be blamed for the action of the Nazis, what follows is that the religion is to be accountable for the actions of followers who rationalize their actions in the name of the religion.

However your last part and inference seems to have no connection with the statement above.
shiv wrote:Religion must stay out of affairs of society. Of course that means saying the bad baad word - "secularism"

How does your second part follow from the first? Where in secularism is the concept of accountability of the religion for actions of its followers, that you have stressed upon in your opening statement?

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby shiv » 29 Sep 2010 11:05

Arjun wrote:So clearly from the above, you are talking about religions being accountable for the actions of their followers. If I understand you right you are saying that if Hitler is to be blamed for the action of the Nazis, what follows is that the religion is to be accountable for the actions of followers who rationalize their actions in the name of the religion.


No. You have not understood me right.

When the Nuremberg trials took place a whole lot of Nazi foot soldiers who pushed people into trains and into gas chambers were "let off" because the leaders were blamed. That was IMO a mistake. In my view you cannot let off Kasab because Hafiz Saeed ordered him.

When it comes to religion "god" is to blame. Now please don't get me wrong. Most humans say "god is above blame". Balls. God cannot be above blame, nor can his followers. I say this because I believe that "god" is the figment of a fertile imagination. God has been designed and used by humans to escape responsibility for their actions. Neither the god, nor his followers are above blame. Chasing after a guilty god is a useless pursuit, but the followers can be made accountable without paying attention to feeble excuses that it is god's will that something should be done. God's will my left foot.

Any religious doctrine that insists that god's word should be taken as final is bluffing because "god" is a bluff.

However I concede hat humans sometimes need that god for their personal comfort. So fine. There you have it. Let humans keep their god for personal comfort, but the minute that cooked up entity "god" is utilised by some followers to try to amend society in the mould of what this cooked up entity "god" is supposed to have said - we should have none of that.

This is what secularism means. If it means something else to you, please say what you think and allow me to accept it or reject it. I promise not to grill you like there was an inquisition on.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Arjun » 29 Sep 2010 12:37

Ok, so you are saying the religion's followers should be held accountable for their actions and not be allowed to take refuge under any religious injunction. Yes, this is certainly standard Western-style secularism - where civil and criminal law does not differentiate on the basis of religion.

I was under the impression you were talking about a somewhat more radical concept - where the religion itself is held accountable for the actions of followers. Secularism as defined in the first paragraph is a good concept, but does not go far enough to address some of the challenges the world faces today....eg. when a religion acts as a dogma, what western style secularism does is to address the symptoms - i.e. when the followers, based on the dogma, start contravening laws- then the justice system swings into action. But a dogma, by its very nature - is a factory that will produce more and more automatons who are imbibed in that dogma. Therefore, the world has a right to address the problem at the source rather than the symptoms. Religious dogma is taught to its followers in religious schools, and in temples / mosques /churches, and maybe in other places. When a certain dogma impinges on and creates problems for non-followers of that dogma, non-followers of that dogma have a right to verify that the way the dogma is taught and passed on is not likely to create problems for themselves. Therefore, what is taught in madrassas, schools, mosques etc in Pakistan / Yemen / Saudi Arabia etc is just as much the right of the rest of the world to certify as appropriate - and can no longer remain the domain of that particular nation or religion. I think this in effect is also what Rajiv Malhotra is saying.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby shiv » 29 Sep 2010 14:04

Arjun wrote:I was under the impression you were talking about a somewhat more radical concept - where the religion itself is held accountable for the actions of followers.


I have views on this.

1) Religions are virtual, inanimate entities which are not amenable to being "held accountable". To me, trying to punish or hold an entire religion to account is somewhat like assuming an entire tribe is guilty and meting out collective punishment. It is possible only if you are willing to be ruthlessly genocidal. You cannot wag a finger at religions and say "tut tut, change yourself." Religions have the advantage of having had a free run for too long and in fact they have done exactly that - genocidal runs eliminating whole populations of opponents.

2) Trying to hold a religion to account, or trying to change an entire religion is not a new idea. It is, in fact one of the oldest ideas in existence and it's called "religious war". In fact religions are so old that they have learned to adapt by having encoded within their own rules inbuilt opposition to anything that remotely starts opposing them. The minute things start going in that direction, religious indoctrination ensures that people start howling "You are against meeeee! You are against my religioooon. This means waaaaaar!!"

3) The problem with religion is that it is like a bottle containing 10% piss and 90% water. You might drink it and not know you are drinking piss. If you are thirsty it gives you 90% of what you want. For that reason religions have built up a big following. You follow any religion - you find that 90% is good for you. What is bad is often bad for some other guy. No skin off my nose. If the other guy wants it good he should join my religion no? Individual (personal) morality does not need religion, but religions claim that they are the fount of morality. And religions are the worst offenders when it comes to imposing discriminatory rules against groups of "others".

Religious dogma is taught to its followers in religious schools, and in temples / mosques /churches, and maybe in other places.


I have some objections to this sentence, but i will stop with a parting shot that is OT for this thread. What are the religions?

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Arjun » 29 Sep 2010 14:44

I am not the one saying religions should be held accountable - please read what I posted, your earlier post gave me the impression that you were suggesting this. What I find merit in is in the idea that where religious instruction impinges on treatment of non-followers - then that education about the treatment of non-followers is something the rest of the world has a stake in understanding and controlling. We need less of hate-factories churning out rage-boys...The US has certainly realized this, which is why it is starting to take an interest in madrassa and school curriculums in Pakistan. Anyway, my last post on this since I presume this conversation is OT.

PS- Not sure what you mean by which religions. It would apply to any instuction or education anywhere that talks about how followers of another religion are to be viewed or dealt with. If Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Christian seminaries / schools / temples deal with the aspect of treatment of non-followers or have an opinion on non-followers - then the rest of the non-follower world have a right to understand and take a call on whether what is instructed is appropriate.

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby Pratyush » 29 Sep 2010 15:29

The religious practice that instructs its followers how to handle / interact with those who don't follow it must be held accountable for the actions of its followers who are interacting with the non believers. As it is a part of the religions basic belief system it self. This IMO is not a targetting of the religion. As this religion has opened it self to the question and bringing to account through the instruction passed on to its followers and their subsequent actions in compliance of those instructions.

So I don't see how we can discuss Islamism & Islamophobia without honestly discussing the core value / beliefes system of Islam it self.

Admis please give your opinion if this is possible in this thread.

JMT

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Re: Islamism & Islamophobia Abroad - News & Analysis

Postby A_Gupta » 29 Sep 2010 17:11

Certainly how the adherents of a religion treat (or believe how they should treat) non-co-religionists or dissenting fellow religionists is driven from the core values of the adherents of the religion. The thing to note is that the core values are also malleable. Otherwise, e.g., Europe could not have gone through the Enlightenment. It is precisely secularism that says, believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster in your heart if you want to, but there are limits to how you express this in public. In particular, these beliefs should not enter law or politics.

If some constantly transgress these boundaries then it is for the rest of us to put pressure on them to stay within those boundaries. It is not for us, however, to tell them what their core values should be. It is upto them to reconcile the secular boundaries and their core values in whatever way they can.

Reminder of what this thread is about:
This thread is for discussing the following category of issues:

1. Muslims in non-Muslim majority countries (West, Russia, East Asia, etc), demanding special rights for Muslims
2. Political Organizations and Movements based on Islam in Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries.
3. Treatment of religious minorities in Muslim majority countries.
4. Anti-Muslim sentiment, movements and politics in non-Muslim majority countries (e.g. in Europe, USA, Australia, Canada, Russia).
5. History of Islam, theological basis for Political Islam
6. Immigration of Muslims to non-Muslim majority countries.
7. Muslim Society in non-Muslim majority countries.


Some of the issues that would have belonged to this thread would have been:

* Fatwa on Salman Rushdie
* Controversy over Danish Cartoons
* Work and Assassination of Theo Van Gogh, the Dutch Filmmaker and the Life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali
* "Mohammed Cartoon Day" Facebook Event
* "Burn a Koran Day" Event organized by the Pastor Terry Jones
* The Plans for Building the Cordoba Mosque near Ground Zero
* The Emergence of Anti-Muslim Parties in Europe
* Muslim Protests against British soldiers coming from Afghanistan
* Special Privileges for Muslims in Britain
* Headscarf ban in French public schools
* Burqa ban in France


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