"Dude, I just saw some really weird,"
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Thread: "Dude, I just saw some really weird,"

  1. #1
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    "Dude, I just saw some really weird,"

    "Dude, I just saw some really weird," the clerk told a colleague, though he hesitated before speaking up. As the New York Post reported May 13, he said: "I don't know what to do. Should I call someone, or is that being racist?"
    http://washtimes.com/commentary/2007...1018-9028r.htm

    Says it all..
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  2. #2
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcgreen
    Says it all..
    I'm not so sure. I've known a lot of Muslims through the years. Some became close friends (though moved on) and we shared some good times.

    The Islamic world is much larger, and more diverse, than most Westerners realize. In many ways, it is a divided community, and not just the highly-publicized Shia-Sunni split. Years ago, long before 9/11, I made the rounds for a time at some local mosques in a large American city. There was a small masjid (mosque) that had been started by some African-Americans converts that had a quite distinct feel about it than the more mainstream masjid in town, which was run by foreign-born Muslims. In fact, I can remember sitting in that first masjid one Juma (Friday) when two Egyptians came to visit and pray. They were quite condescending and chiding towards the converts. I was rather surprised and taken aback at the arrogance of those two.

    Last year, I fell into two rather revealing conversations with a couple of Arabs I'd met. The first was with a Jordanian who is a friend of a friend. My friend teased Majj, introducing him as "our house Bedouin". I asked Majj where he was from, to which he replied, "Jordan." I chuckled and told my friend he's not a Bedouin, he's a Hashemite (the royal bloodline there). Majj got excited and laughed, "Yes, I'm royalty" and we became engaged in a conversation about Islam, about which he was rather pleased that here's an American familiar with Islam. At one point, I mentioned that most everything I knew about Islam I learned from the Sufis, and Majj's reaction was startling. His whole expression changed. He then emphatically stated that the Sufis and the Shias are ruining Islam. At that point I started backing out of the conversation, begging off that I had to go. Majj wanted to carry on and suggested, in a friendly way, we go outside and discuss politics some more. I thought to myself, "We're talking about religion, and he thinks we're talking politics." Ugh. Just a few months later, I heard that same framing of a conversation I was having with a Moroccan woman while working onsite for Dell. I thought I was discussing religion with her, and she commented towards the end of the conversation perhaps we would meet again to discuss politics.

    Now, having said all that, I think the cat at Circuit City did the right thing. It's interesting to note that the more serious terror attacks against the US came from Sunni citizens of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan. We got a real problem in this country. These countries are our Arab allies in the ME. This one gets real deep. I do not think it is so simple...
    Last edited by brokencrow; May 20th, 2007 at 05:20 PM.
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  3. #3
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    The Islamic world is much larger, and more diverse, than most Westerners realize.
    We also tend to lump all Muslims into Arabs. Arabs are a minority.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadClosed
    We also tend to lump all Muslims into Arabs. Arabs are a minority.
    A: I don't understand why caucasians in this country (yet alone the world) would bother calling others a minority.

    And B: That was very random. What did it have to do with this thread?
    Last edited by rlt; May 30th, 2007 at 11:27 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    A: I don't understand why caucasians in this country (yet alone the world) would bother calling others a minority.
    The answer to that is very simple, it is because we believe in democracy. In a democratic society, government is by the majority but minority rights are preserved. If you don't identify minorities you cannot hope to achieve that.

    And B: That was very random. What did it have to do with this thread?
    No, it followed on from the post immediately prior to it. The thread is about America (Washington Post?) and the first three posters are American residents. They were discussing local attitudes.

    In the UK we do not consider followers of Islam to be "arabs" as most of the ones we encounter come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Some of us are also aware that the republic of Indonesia has more than twice the number of Muslims than there are arabs in the entire World.

    brokencrow's comments were interesting, as he has obviously encountered the problem that a lot of Islamic people have in distinguishing between religion and politics. This is because they basically do not believe in a secular state.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    A: I don't understand why caucasians in this country (yet alone the world) would bother calling others a minority.
    And B: That was very random. What did it have to do with this thread?
    A: How The F you know I am Caucasian, you psychic? In my world, perhaps mostly white, perhaps mostly insignificant; minority means of being or related to a smaller number of two or more parts. For example the neocons have a minority position in congress with the leader of the party being referred to (appropriately) as the "minority" leader. Another example is that the Arabs make up a minority group within the Islamic or Muslim community as a whole. Which leads to B.

    B: It is not random considering I quoted the post above mine with this:

    "The Islamic world is much larger, and more diverse, than most Westerners realize."

    Perhaps my short post didn't clarify. I tend to agree and I make an assumption that many Americans do not understand the diversity in the "Muslim world". We tend to associate Muslims and Islam with the Arabs of the Middle East when in FACT the middle east and the Arab population make up a MINORITY of the entire world's population of Muslims. I think that is an appropriate comment. Indonesia and Pakistan have more Muslims than the middle east. Are they Arabs? No. In fact even close to home many Iranians I have met consider themselves Persian vs. Arab. Same with Turkey. There are more Muslims in India and Bangladesh than there are Arabs by far. Yet it seems as if Americans picture or automatically accociate the Arab population and the middle east with Islam and nothing else. Thus affirmation to a percieved lack of world view. When they are in fact a minority, even though the birth of Islam is smack dab in the middle of it all. That's my point. Caucasian sarcasm and all.
    Last edited by RoadClosed; May 31st, 2007 at 01:17 AM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Well RC~ that is pretty much how I understood you. The American public misconception is possibly explained by the association of early oilfield development in the region with the arab states?

    As for a few figures, I dug these out for number of Muslims:

    Indonesia 213M
    Pakistan 161M
    Bangladesh 130M (remember that used to be West Pakistan)
    India 175M

    Sudan 26M
    Ethiopia 36M
    Nigeria 64M
    Turkey 69M
    Afghanistan 31M

    Iran 67M (but they are Persians)
    Egypt 73M (arabs don't build pyramids )

    Saudi Arabia 26M
    Syria 16 M

    Jordan and Libya only have 12M between them.

    Actually, the whole concept of "arab" is pretty vague. Strictly speaking you should be a member of the Semitic ethnic grouping. However it seems to include Semitic people, arab speaking people and citizens of countries that belong to the political grouping called the Arab League.

    There is a misconception amongst some folks in the UK that the nomadic tribes of the Middle East and North Africa are "arabs". This is not true, notable exceptions being the Berbers and the Kurds.
    Last edited by nihil; May 31st, 2007 at 02:04 AM.

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