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Old Nov 14, 2012, 08:19 AM   #26
Dagless
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Already? Maybe the week of Thanksgiving, but it's just to early for decorations, IMO. But what do I know, I never put up Christmas lights. Do love to see a well decorated house, though!
When I saw "we" I mean our town. It's what you expect in Britain - a big public "lights on" ceremony in mid November, and a tree if you're lucky.

Houses won't start till December. Thems the rules!
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 08:51 AM   #27
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When I saw "we" I mean our town. It's what you expect in Britain - a big public "lights on" ceremony in mid November, and a tree if you're lucky.

Houses won't start till December. Thems the rules!
Ahhhh. I did think you meant the house, not the town. My towns got some decorations and the tree up, too. The tree lights won't turn on until an official ceremony the Saturday after Thanksgiving (11/24). Usually the houses light up that weekend as well.

I keep mentioning Thanksgiving, for those outside the US, what's your cue to start the festivities? Turkey day is always a convenient measuring stick for me. Gotta get thru one holiday to start celebrating another. The day after Thanksgiving is considered Black Friday followed by Small Biz Saturday and then Cyber Monday. Nothing to kick off the celebration of Christ's B-Day like three days of capitalistic binging!
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 09:19 AM   #28
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Where do I state this, all I asked was if the poster really believed what he had written.

I do notice that both UK and US citizens are very touchy if any foreigner dares to question any aspect of the status quo in either country.

Are you serious? Take a loook through your post history. It reads like a broken record.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 09:21 AM   #29
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'Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy' having never read the book or seen the film.


I think someone has just switched on the improbability drive... Look out for a falling whale over Holland...
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 09:53 AM   #30
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It's about claiming the role of self-appointed world police. It's about American troops treating foreign people in places like Japan, Vietnam or Iraq like disposable animals that can be wiped out by the millions with a shrug, but if another nation attacks a military base on a tiny strip of land over 2000 miles off the US coast, it's an epic disaster that will "live in infamy" (after the earthquake in Japan, many Americans expressed great joy and satisfaction on facebook etc, along the lines of 'serves'em right for Pearl Harbor!' Yeah... because two atomic bombs that killed XXX.XXX civilians wasn't enough... they must die over and over again b/c of Pearl Harbor.)
It's about the unbridled patriotism, the flag waving and the chanting, behavior that sends chills down European spines because the last time they saw people that fired up over their own flag, it had a swastika on it. It's about this notion of monopoly on "freedom" as if people in other first world countries are shackled slaves. It's about renaming french fries to 'freedom fries' because the country that donated the Statue of Liberty wouldn't go along with attacking Iraq based on a little more than a gut feeling about WMDs. It's the fact that someone will probably report me for "trolling" for simply conveying these observations.
Wait what? Who do you have as friends that were saying "serves them right for Pearl Harbor!"? That happened 70 years ago and most people wouldn't even link the 2 events. My facebook is probably 90% Americans and everyone I know was horrified by the earthquake in Japan. Many people I know raised money for organizations that provide relief, I myself donated hundreds of dollars to relief organizations outside of whatever monthly contributions I provide. Most people agree that dropping atomic bombs on Japan had horrific consequences and yes there are discussions in schools whether it was the right thing to do (ending war early vs horrific consequences).

And you know what my observance are as an American, "Boy other countries are really flag waving 'patriotic' people who get into fights if their country loses a soccer match". Average people in the US don't go around waving huge ass flags but I've seen other countries do this on tv for various reasons, seems sporting events is pretty popular.

Anyway, America is a large country and our politics aren't perfect, especially when it comes to international issues but from the inside looking out, I don't see us more xenophobic than other countries. But we are 260+ million people who don't all have different experiences and different thoughts. To categorize us as you have is incorrect.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:51 AM   #31
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...
And you know what my observance are as an American, "Boy other countries are really flag waving 'patriotic' people who get into fights if their country loses a soccer match". Average people in the US don't go around waving huge ass flags but I've seen other countries do this on tv for various reasons, seems sporting events is pretty popular...
Frankly, most of the time when I see an American flag on the UK news, it seems to be in the process of being burnt by extremist nut cases. I have never seen that kind of disrespectful behaviour toward a foreign flag in the US. Think about it - when was the last time you saw a burning Soviet, North Korean, Vietnamese, Iranian, Iraqi, PLO etc. flag in the US. In fact, only time I have ever seen in the US that kind of blind hatred was during the hostage crisis under Carter (e.g., stupid t-shirts with 'Nuke Iran' on them). Just an observation... I suppose it is possible that foreign flag-burning in the US just doesn't make the news.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:04 AM   #32
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This recent phenomenon of Protestants going ballistic over any reduction in commercial Christmas hype still seems very strange to me. Time was, a lot of Protestants were very critical of commercial Xmas, Easter being the real Christian holiday anyway, and Xmas being coopted and hyped for commercial purposes. I've known Protestants who said "We are not doing Christmas this year." etc. Now, for some reason, some of the same groups get agitated every time someone says "Seasons Greetings". It all goes to show that when someone is looking for a fight, it really doesn't matter what the fight is about.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 12:44 PM   #33
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Er, source?
Afghans are currently the top group of asylum seekers in Europe

in Austria 2011: ~4600 (up from ~1900 the year before)
next on the List: Iraq, Iran, Syria,Chechenia(Russia)

from legal standpoint the first country somebody seeking asylum in EU, enters is actually supposed to handle the process ( Austria is landlocked and has zero direct flights to Kabul and somehow they arrive here 'first' after leaving their country)

Countries like Malta,Sweden, Belgium,Netherlands and Austria's asylum systems are heavily taxed compared to the bigger countries, especially when numbers are calculated per capita
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:26 PM   #34
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I do notice that both UK and US citizens are very touchy if any foreigner dares to question any aspect of the status quo in either country.
Frankly I couldn't give a **** if you criticise the British. It is our national hobby after all.

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in Austria 2011: ~4600 (up from ~1900 the year before)
4600, jesus. ****ing, Austria probably has more people than that.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 04:50 PM   #35
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Yeah, thanks a lot for accelerating that process by x1000 by invading Iraq, which led to Europe being flooded with refugees. A few hanging chads in Florida and whammo, we got Bush instead of Gore, and blammo, invasion of Iraq based on vague info about WMDs. Now there's a town in Sweden that has more Iraqi refugees than the entire USA has accepted. And after them came the avalanche of Afghans. We'd gladly take Mexicans any day over Somalis, out of which 70% are illiterate and 75% are unemployed (or rather, unemployable).
My grass didn't come in well this year. I think it is Bush's fault. My car isn't running well...it has to Bush who caused this.

Just having a little fun. I know you bring up some valid points, but I admit even if some of it is true it does get tiresome hearing the "its Bush's fault" all the time.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 05:04 PM   #36
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Why is it hard for the Muslim immigrants to integrate in Europe unlike here in the States or in Canada?

I don't see any Muslims here complain or talk about Christmas trees, why is it different in Europe?
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 05:47 PM   #37
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Why is it hard for the Muslim immigrants to integrate in Europe unlike here in the States or in Canada?

I don't see any Muslims here complain or talk about Christmas trees, why is it different in Europe?
In Europe, almost without exception, muslim immigrants are 'ghettoized'. They're also provided with the bare minimum of benefits which allows them to exist. Not comfortably, mind you, but a lot more than they would get in the USA. Also, it's important to remember that Muslim immigrants to Europe could conceivably walk there. To get to N. America, they need to fly which is a lot more expensive. Even if they could afford a ticket to Mexico, or elsewhere in South America, it's doubtful they'd get a visa. Most importantly is the strong ethnic identity in most European countries that tends to exclude many immigrants.

Certainly, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, San Francisco and other large N. American cities have ethnic ghettoes but they're seen as transitional places and the people are seen more or less as just one more wave of immigrants.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:50 PM   #38
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Why is it hard for the Muslim immigrants to integrate in Europe unlike here in the States or in Canada?
Europe and North America attract different portions of the muslim population. They're as different as white Americans are different. Which do you think would integrate better in Europe, middle class New Yorkers or Alabama Militia types?

In places like Canada, immigration is mostly about import of skilled labor. Immigrants apply and are hand picked according to some sort of point system (education level, language skills etc). So they're immigrants with ambitions and a desire to integrate and make careers... they slide into society without much friction. They come voluntarily.

In Europe, the vast majority are asylum seekers who came involuntarily. They didn't come here to study, work, make careers, they just fled here. Many have no desire to integrate at all, little to no education, no money, and often came here based on some rumor that in Europe you can live a life in luxury without working, the government will just give you everything.
Also, the US and Canada are English speaking countries (with large Spanish and French speaking populations, respectively). Those are the three main world languages, so chances are that immigrants at least know enough words to make themselves understood -- but the chances of any immigrants knowing a few words of Greek, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish or Czech are non-existent.
Right now, many who come are Somalis. They come from a country that's been an anarchy for 20 years, they are unfamiliar with (and adverse to) the concept of loyalty to a nation or a government, all they care about is their own clan. 70% are illiterate, most have no working skills, and due to cultural/religious reasons they feel that their women should not have to work at all.

Efforts have been made to discourage 'ghettofication' and formation of enclaves, here in Sweden for example the asylum seekers are spread across the entire country. Many are sent to small towns where no "ghettos" exist. But it turned out that as soon as they were awarded citizenship, they immediately packed their bags and moved to the ghettos because they WANT to live in enclaves where they only mingle with their own kind, with no native Swedes in sight. Even if it means moving from a nice roomy apartment to moving into someone's kitchen and sleeping on a mattress in one of the overpopulated ghettos. Then they go on TV and cry and complain about their crappy living conditions and call out the government for not doing anything for them.

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My grass didn't come in well this year. I think it is Bush's fault. My car isn't running well...it has to Bush who caused this.

Just having a little fun. I know you bring up some valid points, but I admit even if some of it is true it does get tiresome hearing the "its Bush's fault" all the time.
Sure, there's a tendency to use him as a scapegoat for everything that ever went wrong. But this particular issue is hardly rocket science. 4 years of Bush I, bomb bomb bomb Iraq. 8 years of Clinton, nothing. 8 years of Bush II, bomb bomb bomb Iraq. Show daeddy I can get that Saddam Hooseyn fella. Fool me once, shame on... shame on you... uh... fulmuh can't get fooled again. Gore would've done something after 9/11 I'm sure, but Iraq... no.

Last edited by Anuba; Nov 15, 2012 at 12:58 AM.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 03:22 AM   #39
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Live from Brussels:


Nice to know the majority of non-Muslim citizens of Brussels apparently don't get much of a say in the matter.



Rather effective to only have been on the job for a month.
I grew up in N Ireland so this tiptoeing is tame to me. Ultimately though, ridiculous. And it'll feed the extreme right, they love this *****. It's marketing to them.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 05:35 AM   #40
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In Europe, almost without exception, muslim immigrants are 'ghettoized'.
Eh? Insofar as that applies to the UK that's nonsense. (I assume you're not from Cornwall and that there's another Penryn somewhere )

There are some areas in the industrial north here - the old mill towns, where large numbers of Pakistani workers were 'imported' during the dying days of the empire that you could describe as ghetto's. The fact these areas still exist is more to do with Pakistani culture, families and conservatism as opposed to any policy. These areas are visible and make great copy for visiting journalists - as the streets can resemble downtown Islamabad. Most of the people there are second or third generation immigrants though.

However, you would be surprised at the number of less visible more recent muslim immigrants. My partner is a teacher - I'd say a fifth of her current class are recent immigrants from a muslim places like Bosnia, Turkey, Somalia etc but they identify not as Muslim but as a nationality.

We've got some things wrong here from the best of intentions - most of the fuss about offending people has it roots in white, left wing, middle class empire type guilt from the politics of the 60's, 70's and 80's. It's still with us and is used by both side as a stick to beat the other with. The muslims I meet tend not to give a monkey's about it all.

Last edited by jeremy h; Nov 15, 2012 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 06:32 AM   #41
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Anyone, anywhere in the free world, vowing to convert a free and secular state into a religious state of any kind ought to be summarily thrown out of office, preferably right into a jail cell. Freedom to religion inherently necessitates freedom from religion.
Throwing them in a prison cell due to their beliefs instantly negates the freedom to religion, and the decomcratic foundation the government is built on in belgium

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Eh? As that applies to the UK that's nonsense. (I assume you're not from Cornwall and that there's another Penryn somewhere )
Totally agreed, i think the poster misunderstands what a 'ghetto' really is, and its certainly not choosing living in a community with your own creed or colour.

I live a 2 min walk from a mosque in the south of england. I wouldnt be able to tell you where the muslim community is that the particular mosque serves, which implicates that there is clearly no 'muslim ghetto'.

I even asked my best mate who is muslim and lives less than a 20 second walk from the mosque, and he didnt know either. The only other people of asian decent (in our local area/comunity) he could think of were the chinese christians who run the chippy, the hindu family who live a couple of doors down from me and the sikh family who run the post office.

I like the fact I live in what is becoming a very multicultural area, polish beer, tasty yams and khat are all available down my shops now, all of which were nowhere to be seen a few years ago when I first moved there
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 08:36 AM   #42
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Throwing them in a prison cell due to their beliefs instantly negates the freedom to religion, and the decomcratic foundation the government is built on in belgium [COLOR="#808080"]
Spare me you sarcastic smiley. I am talking elected officials whose stated goal is to impose their beliefs upon the entirety of a country. Jailing somebody for wanting to use their political power to end the religious freedom of an entire nation is a far cry from throwing somebody in jail "for their beliefs".
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 09:27 AM   #43
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Spare me you sarcastic smiley. I am talking elected officials whose stated goal is to impose their beliefs upon the entirety of a country. Jailing somebody for wanting to use their political power to end the religious freedom of an entire nation is a far cry from throwing somebody in jail "for their beliefs".
Well unless they're doing it by violent means, they're doing nothing more wrong than a left wing liberal official trying to encourage their views, or (god forbid) a right wing nationalist trying to do the same with their views. You're clearly either naive or didn't think through what you stated.

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Old Nov 15, 2012, 11:09 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
Frankly I couldn't give a **** if you criticise the British. It is our national hobby after all.

----------



4600, jesus. ****ing, Austria probably has more people than that.
Austria (2011): 20.000 asylum seekers total
UK (2009): 30.000 asylum seekers total
Sweden (2009): 24.000

see why many smaller countries have a problem currently: they have to handle disproportionally more refugees
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:00 PM   #45
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Eh? Insofar as that applies to the UK that's nonsense. (I assume you're not from Cornwall and that there's another Penryn somewhere )

There are some areas in the industrial north here - the old mill towns, where large numbers of Pakistani workers were 'imported' during the dying days of the empire that you could describe as ghetto's. The fact these areas still exist is more to do with Pakistani culture, families and conservatism as opposed to any policy. These areas are visible and make great copy for visiting journalists - as the streets can resemble downtown Islamabad. Most of the people there are second or third generation immigrants though.

However, you would be surprised at the number of less visible more recent muslim immigrants. My partner is a teacher - I'd say a fifth of her current class are recent immigrants from a muslim places like Bosnia, Turkey, Somalia etc but they identify not as Muslim but as a nationality.

We've got some things wrong here from the best of intentions - most of the fuss about offending people has it roots in white, left wing, middle class empire type guilt from the politics of the 60's, 70's and 80's. It's still with us and is used by both side as a stick to beat the other with. The muslims I meet tend not to give a monkey's about it all.
When the tin ran out, the miners moved to California to mine gold!

I don't think it's total nonsense as ghettos most certainly exist in England. Perhaps to a smaller extent than in France or Germany but they do exist.

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Originally Posted by sim667 View Post
Throwing them in a prison cell due to their beliefs instantly negates the freedom to religion, and the decomcratic foundation the government is built on in belgium

----------



Totally agreed, i think the poster misunderstands what a 'ghetto' really is, and its certainly not choosing living in a community with your own creed or colour.

I live a 2 min walk from a mosque in the south of england. I wouldnt be able to tell you where the muslim community is that the particular mosque serves, which implicates that there is clearly no 'muslim ghetto'.

I even asked my best mate who is muslim and lives less than a 20 second walk from the mosque, and he didnt know either. The only other people of asian decent (in our local area/comunity) he could think of were the chinese christians who run the chippy, the hindu family who live a couple of doors down from me and the sikh family who run the post office.

I like the fact I live in what is becoming a very multicultural area, polish beer, tasty yams and khat are all available down my shops now, all of which were nowhere to be seen a few years ago when I first moved there
Sometimes people 'choose' to live together simply because the alternatives are too awkward, difficult or even dangerous.

In much of the US, housing is much less dense and concentrated and tends towards single family housing. Within a hundred miles of where I live are very large communities with Hmong, Sikh and Russian populations and of course since it's California, a lot of Mexicans. They have transformed some communities but you'd be hard pressed to find any ghettoes. The choice is totally theirs, whether they came here illegally, as refugees or with a green card.

The major difference between the US and Europe is the US takes more of a 'sink or swim' approach. Assistance is provided to refugees for a certain amount of time and after that, they are on their own.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:05 PM   #46
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Are you saying there are no ghettos in California? I can point some out for you if you'd like
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 01:04 PM   #47
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Ha - so there's a Penryn in sunny California? Are they experimenting with sushi and citrus fruit pasty fillings..?

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I don't think it's total nonsense as ghettos most certainly exist in England. Perhaps to a smaller extent than in France or Germany but they do exist.
I suspect we might be discussing different definitions of the word ghetto. If we mean an area with lots of poor people who are struggling - many of whom are from various racial minorities then I'd agree that there are quite a few areas like that.

My definition of ghetto though, is an area with lots of poor people who are overwhelmingly from one (homogenous) racial group. (eg Hispanic, Polish, Afro-American etc etc). On that basis there are only a couple of areas in the entire country that might qualify and even that is disputed.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 01:44 PM   #48
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Well unless they're doing it by violent means, they're doing nothing more wrong than a left wing liberal official trying to encourage their views, or (god forbid) a right wing nationalist trying to do the same with their views. You're clearly either naive or didn't think through what you stated.

It's exceeding different, because we're talking about changing the judicial system of a democratic nation from one that exists to ensure fair and due process for and by the people to one that rigidly and dogmatically adheres to religious beliefs laid down a thousand years ago. You can continue to use what you assume to be harsh language to criticize my position, but you will still be comparing apples to rocket ships. There is and always will be a marked difference between an elected official acting on deeply held moral beliefs or in the interest of their constituents and an elected official pushing a religious agenda. I suggest you reread my original statement; my position is very clear and very well supported.

Last edited by Iscariot; Nov 15, 2012 at 05:42 PM.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 06:36 AM   #49
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It's exceeding different, because we're talking about changing the judicial system of a democratic nation from one that exists to ensure fair and due process for and by the people to one that rigidly and dogmatically adheres to religious beliefs laid down a thousand years ago. You can continue to use what you assume to be harsh language to criticize my position, but you will still be comparing apples to rocket ships. There is and always will be a marked difference between an elected official acting on deeply held moral beliefs or in the interest of their constituents and an elected official pushing a religious agenda. I suggest you reread my original statement; my position is very clear and very well supported.
Sorry if your comparing sharia law, which is fundamentally based on religion, and westernised law, which is fundamentally based on the ten commandments, then there's no difference. In both cases regardless of whether a muslim pushes for a change toward sharia law, or a westerner pushes for a commandment based law, they're both working in their own interest to further the oppurtunity of laws that are both fundamentally grounded in religious thinking. The only reason I can think of that you're saying a muslim non violent official pushing for sharia law should be locked up compared to a christian non violent official pushing to further the cause of commandment based law should be allowed to continue can only really boil down to a typically western belief of christian = good, muslim = bad, which to me is abhorrent.

Personally I think both ways of rule are simply flawed, and would argue that we should embrace a 'moral guide' based on humanism and scientific understanding. However as it stands, would I want a sharia law over christian law? No, because fundamentally I disagree with the punishments set out under sharia. Do i feel that people who asked for sharia law in a non violent manner should be discredited and locked up? No, because then you have to question whether your state has become totalitarian and represses the freedom of speech, and at what point do they start doing that to a "native" who also happens to disagree with the state rules. Simply put what you're arguing should be the ongoing effort toward democracy, is to be undemocratic toward those who propose a difference toward the supposedly 'democratic' line.
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