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Rob.

Blasphemy laws in Turkey

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Heads up - Istanbul is not in the Middle East. Qatar is, so I'm not sure how that is relevant.

I actaully made that clear. My comment was about the presence of laws that don’t fit with the rest of what the free world follow, especially in the host country of the 2022 WC. Istanbul is not the host of the 2022 WC so my comment was not directed at that city. Having said that, the notion that Blasphemy Laws are the “law of the land and should be respected” completely contradicts the free speech rights. Blasphemy Laws are simply wrong and having them is very “Middle Eastern” actually. All countries in that part of the world, plus Pakistan and Afghanistan have them. It seems that Middle Eastern law is still valid in Istanbul so far.

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Of course NOT! It is TOTALLY relevant to the topic. Y r u so defensive about those muslims? They sow nothing but death and destruction on this planet. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, smells like a duck -- then it MUST be a terrorist!!

Definitely one of the most racist comments I've read on these forums....How can you label 1 billion people as terrorists?...."Y r u so defensive about those muslims"....What are Muslims?... monsters?...you hate an entire religion..because of a minority for not being tolerant, for abusing human rights..for preventing freedom of speech.....However that comment of yours has "hate" written all over it...and Im sure youd fit right in...with all the far-right extremist parties of Europe...you are no different from those "terrorists" who blame the entire West for their problems...

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From RobH.. having issues with posting replies, sorry for the odd format.

I'm afraid that Baron does make one good point....

"is their cult so weak that it cannot withstand criticism from others?"

Ignoring the word cult, it's the most relevant a question I've seen in this thread so far. The case I opened this thread with is a case of very recently enacted laws at their worst. It begs exactly the question Baron asked. Why should some jokes about Islam leave you with a suspended prison sentence or worse? Why should "the second largest religion in the world" feel threatened by a pianist on Twitter? Is it that weak - it's a question that's definitely worth asking isn't it? It's a complete joke and Turkey cannot call itself secular, even if it has a secular constitution, if it's enacting medieval laws that protect a majority religion from jokes.

Turkey's secular status relates to the absence of Islam (or any religion) from the 1923 Constitution, and the explicit right to 'Freedom of Religion.' While Islam is the dominant religion, with a minority Other population, they can and do still exist, legally. Istanbul itself is testament to this. For this alone, Turkey as a State can call itself secular. However, within this, there are political parties that have religious affiliation, and the current AK Party holds Islam as part of its core values - but that is, in essence, no different to any other centre-right party around the world, like Britain's Tories, or Australia's Coalition, or the US Republicans with their respective leanings towards Christianity in guiding their policies.

That aside, I agree the uses of power are excessive, and the jailing of someone for inflammatory remarks against Islam is absurd - but it is absurd because it is in Turkey where you'd this not to happen -given their EU aspirations. Frankly, it is more a reflection of the integrity of the AKP than a question Turkey's secular status itself - where the Constitution's Freedom of Religion clause itself is probably the root of this problem, as far as your concerns are. This is part of Turkey's crossroads between Thailand/Russian style authoritarianism vs. heading for a greater expansion of its current democracy with the EU as an ultimate goal. Again, the Olympics hopefully be a positive catalyst for a country like Turkey. It is not China.

Talking about "other lands" - please read the last bit of my post #14 in this thread. This is, at the moment, a domestic issue for Turkey (albeit one that's in the international spotlight). But Erdogan is pushing for similar laws to be enacted internationally, at UN level. Criminalisation of religious defamation, as it would be known, is - in all but name - a rehash of the law certain Islamic nations tried to push through a decade ago; a law that was intended solely to protect Islam! They widened it to "protect" (read 'silence critics of') all religions when their Islam-specific effort garnered little support. Zeke's point - "Oh, you don't like our country's laws? Well fuckyou" - isn't an argument here. Turkey, with other countries (though Turkey is the most Western of these), is trying to influence how everyone is able to speak and write about Islam!

I don't know enough about this issue to go too much into it, but from what I gather this is a powerful UN lobby group, backed by countries more conservative than Turkey. Being a majority Islamic country, and Erdogan being the leader of the conservative AK party, this is no surprising. I don't agree with it, at all, but it is not exactly surprising.. and by definition doesn't undermine the secularity of the Turkish state.

Lastly, yes, nearly all potential hosts have baggage. That's kind of an obvious point. But we've had threads on Rio's crime, on London's riots, on the war in Iraq, on Korean relations, on Chinese Human Rights. And there are people who wouldn't and didn't support bids from these countries because of these issues. And now we've got a thread on Turkey's medieval blasphemy law. Let's just say I didn't want them to feel left out! :P

Of course, that is fair enough. However, I don't think that any of what is discussed in this thread undermines Turkey's eligibility or credibility to claim the 2020 Olympics. Quite frankly Russia, the 2014 host, is far more worrying.

Edited by runningrings

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Definitely one of the most racist comments I've read on these forums....How can you label 1 billion people as terrorists?...."Y r u so defensive about those muslims"....What are Muslims?... monsters?...you hate an entire religion..because of a minority for not being tolerant, for abusing human rights..for preventing freedom of speech.....However that comment of yours has "hate" written all over it...and Im sure youd fit right in...with all the far-right extremist parties of Europe...you are no different from those "terrorists" who blame the entire West for their problems...

Ah, that ol' chestnut: the race card. When in doubt, call whatever is being said 'racism' and hopes it prevents critical debate.

What race are muslims exactly? I thought Islam was a religion and not a race? Learn the difference between a race and a religion.And where in Baron's comment did he mention anyone's ethnicity?

The only thing with 'hate' written all over it is that 'holy' book called the Koran -- you know, the book which teaches jihad against infidels and talks about how Jews originated from pigs etc.And guess what, EVERY Koran in the world says the same stuff -- there isn't an extremist Koran that terrorists use and a moderate one so spare me the not all muslims are terrorists speech.

When Muslims purge every hateful reference from their religion, reform their religion and subsequently stop producing over 90% of the world's terrorists then people will stop speaking out against barabaric Islamic culture. In the meantime, it's an objective fact that Islam produces terrorists like no other religion/cult. Stop apologizing for it because all you're doing is allowing it to legitimize its hate.

Oh, and this is @runningwild, recent poster boys of terrorism, Tamerlane & Dzohbar Tsarnaev are muslims. Why is that so familiar again?

The liberal media has been trying to downplay the Islamic connection. They're "Russian" as opposed to who they really are: Chechnyian muslims. But hey, not all terrorists are muslims so that denigrates any criticism of the majority of world terrorists who come from Islam. I'll be honest, when the bombs went off, I thought to myself "gee, those Church of Scientology crackpots have sturck again.......NOT."

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Ah, that ol' chestnut: the race card. When in doubt, call whatever is being said 'racism' and hopes it prevents critical debate.

Firstly, re: racism/religion; consider that you are engaging with someone whose first language might not be English. Secondly, consider that there have been some ridiculous and hot headed comments made in this thread regarding Turkey and Islam - don't just expect this to pass unnoticed and for people to ignore this type of commentary. People are naturally emotionally connected to their home, and all the trimmings that comes with.

What race are muslims exactly? I thought Islam was a religion and not a race? Learn the difference between a race and a religion.And where in Baron's comment did he mention anyone's ethnicity?

This is probably a question you should be asking Baron, who seems to not understand the sheer diversity of cultures and races Islam covers.

The only thing with 'hate' written all over it is that 'holy' book called the Koran -- you know, the book which teaches jihad against infidels and talks about how Jews originated from pigs etc.And guess what, EVERY Koran in the world says the same stuff -- there isn't an extremist Koran that terrorists use and a moderate one so spare me the not all muslims are terrorists speech.

You need to learn the actual definition of 'jihad', as it appears Qur'an, in its actual context... not the more common (and technically incorrect) use of the word by fundamentalist Islamist extremists over the past few decades, and thus by tabloid news. A jihad is self struggle for spiritual improvement - it actually has nothing to do with a 'holy war'. If anything, the actual concept of jihad is similar to using the Bible's teachings of sin, and how to improve oneself, spiritually, without sin.

Also, the Qur'an says nothing about Jews originating from pigs. There is a text referring to a group of Musa followers about turning into apes for some kind of sin. Remember, this is a religious text from a millennium long gone. As an Athiest, I have no interest in interpreting it or defending it. However, if you're willing to dish this out against Islam, then be willing to critically engage with the Bible too - its origins are DEEPLY rooted in some serious anti-semitism, you only need to consider the roots of the Catholic Church, right up to an entrenched culture in Europe that culminated in the Holocaust. Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...

When Muslims purge every hateful reference from their religion, reform their religion and subsequently stop producing over 90% of the world's terrorists then people will stop speaking out against barabaric Islamic culture. In the meantime, it's an objective fact that Islam produces terrorists like no other religion/cult. Stop apologizing for it because all you're doing is allowing it to legitimize its hate.

This is a very limited picture of the bigger picture. Yes, Islam has been hijacked by extremists as a vessel for making loud and violent statements regarding the global status quo. However, look at the countries where much of this extremism emanates from, and consider the social and economic issues often faced by these places. We're talking about the Middle East, Northern Africa and Central Asia - regions that have been pillaged by European and Asian empires for thousands of years for their own self interests - this has culminated in leaving these regions in pretty dire economic situations. The final straw was the collapse of the USSR, which directly lead onto the current circumstances. Its no wonder that when you have dozens of countries, of similar faith, collectively screwed over by wealthy, foreign nations, of course this will be a breeding ground for resentment. Whats something these different ethnic groups have in common? Religion. Religion has always been used by organisations as a manipulation mechanism - go ask the Catholic Church during Europe's darkest centuries.

The liberal media has been trying to downplay the Islamic connection. They're "Russian" as opposed to who they really are: Chechnyian muslims. But hey, not all terrorists are muslims so that denigrates any criticism of the majority of world terrorists who come from Islam. I'll be honest, when the bombs went off, I thought to myself "gee, those Church of Scientology crackpots have sturck again.......NOT."

lol at the predictable "liberal media" comment. Hows about some of that Fox News or NoTW?

Edited by runningrings
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This is probably a question you should be asking Baron, who seems to not understand the sheer diversity of cultures and races Islam covers.

Irrelevant. That's NO EXCUSE for a sinister, murderous cult. Wherever u have muslims...regardless of stripes...you have trouble and innocent people getting killed. They are murderers, plain and simple. How u bleeding heart liberals can't see that is beyond me.

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Irrelevant. That's NO EXCUSE for a sinister, murderous cult. Wherever u have muslims...regardless of stripes...you have trouble and innocent people getting killed. They are murderers, plain and simple. How u bleeding heart liberals can't see that is beyond me.

It is astounding, and very sad, that such sheer animosity, ignorance and hatred is so alive in well on a forum about the Olympic Movement.

Your total inability to engage in any kind of educated or critical thought is sad.

PS - I'd rather be a 'bleeding heart liberal' than uphold the type of callous ignorance you show that has given birth to the likes of Nazism and Anders Brevik.

Edited by runningrings

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Firstly, re: racism/religion; consider that you are engaging with someone whose first language might not be English. Secondly, consider that there have been some ridiculous and hot headed comments made in this thread regarding Turkey and Islam - don't just expect this to pass unnoticed and for people to ignore this type of commentary. People are naturally emotionally connected to their home, and all the trimmings that comes with.

This is probably a question you should be asking Baron, who seems to not understand the sheer diversity of cultures and races Islam covers.

You need to learn the actual definition of 'jihad', as it appears Qur'an, in its actual context... not the more common (and technically incorrect) use of the word by fundamentalist Islamist extremists over the past few decades, and thus by tabloid news. A jihad is self struggle for spiritual improvement - it actually has nothing to do with a 'holy war'. If anything, the actual concept of jihad is similar to using the Bible's teachings of sin, and how to improve oneself, spiritually, without sin.

This is a very limited picture of the bigger picture. Yes, Islam has been hijacked by extremists as a vessel for making loud and violent statements regarding the global status quo. However, look at the countries where much of this extremism emanates from, and consider the social and economic issues often faced by these places. We're talking about the Middle East, Northern Africa and Central Asia - regions that have been pillaged by European and Asian empires for thousands of years for their own self interests - this has culminated in leaving these regions in pretty dire economic situations. The final straw was the collapse of the USSR, which directly lead onto the current circumstances. Its no wonder that when you have dozens of countries, of similar faith, collectively screwed over by wealthy, foreign nations, of course this will be a breeding ground for resentment. Whats something these different ethnic groups have in common? Religion. Religion has always been used by organisations as a manipulation mechanism - go ask the Catholic Church during Europe's darkest centuries.

lol at the predictable "liberal media" comment. Hows about some of that Fox News or NOTW

So many words so little substance.

You're another jihad apologist who thinks that by miscontruing what jihad is (holy war against the infidel) it will someone make jihad go away. I don't have to do anything mate -- I'm not a liberal apologist like yourself. I know the score. I know what Jihad is. So spare me the whole claptrap about what you and your cronies are pretending it to be.

Jihad is not about spiritual development. That's what they want you to think. Funny how all this jihad manifests itself by way of violence, huh? Oh right, those muslims are a minority who hijacked a religion which tells them to wage war on the infidel but when the infidel points this evil out people like yourself make up B.S that jihad is about spiritual development. Yep, you keep drinkin' the kool-aid mate.In other news, the Auschwitz Nazis hijacked Nazism which really wasn't all that bad.........

Why does Islam exponentially produce so many terrorists compared to other religions? Where are all the buddhist, Sikh and Jehovah's Witness bombers? Could Islam produce so many terrorists because em, terrorism is part of the jihad prescribed in the holy book -- the Koran -- on which ALL muslims in ALL countries read?

Some quotes from the Koran that runningrings says are about self struggle or spiritual development:

Quran (8:12) -"I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

Quran (8:39) - "And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah"

Quran (9:14) - "Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace..."

Quran (9:30) - "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!"

Quran (9:123) - "O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."

Quran (25:52) - "Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness..."

Quran (2:216) - "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."

It is astounding, and very sad, that such sheer animosity, ignorance and hatred is so alive in well on a forum about the Olympic Movement.

Your total inability to engage in any kind of educated or critical thought is sad.

PS - I'd rather be a 'bleeding heart liberal' than uphold the type of callous ignorance you show that has given birth to the likes of Nazism and Anders Brevik.

Hun, you wouldn't get the chance to be a liberal in a Muslim country. That's the whole point -- get it? Good luck with being gay in Saudi Arabia or engaging in any liberal activities which are offensive to Islam.

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It is astounding, and very sad, that such sheer animosity, ignorance and hatred is so alive in well on a forum about the Olympic Movement.

Your total inability to engage in any kind of educated or critical thought is sad.

PS - I'd rather be a 'bleeding heart liberal' than uphold the type of callous ignorance you show that has given birth to the likes of Nazism and Anders Brevik.

Oh please, get off your high, self-righteous horse. What's to discuss? If they blew your right arm off, you'd probably wake up. You are sadder. :P

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.

Irrelevant. That's NO EXCUSE for a sinister, murderous cult. Wherever u have muslims...regardless of stripes...you have trouble and innocent people getting killed. They are murderers, plain and simple. How u bleeding heart liberals can't see that is beyond me.

Indeed.

If a skin-head started killing black people the police would look at where he got his education from. If his religion was based on 'Mein Kampf' the police wouldn't say "oh, that's just a co-incidence this guy murders non-white people". They'd look into the whole cause and effect of it all.

Jihad is not about spiritual development which is a crude, vague abstract defense that is unprovable. Jihad is seen in this world and experienced in this world by people as ana ct of war. Bombs are not spiritual. Saying that Jews descended from pigs in the Koran is not spiritual.

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It's the obvious question: do you judge a religion by its book or by its followers? Because, let's face it, most religious people pick and choose which bits of their books to believe in and which bits to take metaphorically or else completely ignore! It's one of the daft things about religion generally, which is why I don't normally have much time for it. I think it's daft people "interpret" (i.e. ignore certain bits of) apparently sacred texts to suit a moral framework that's evolved in their society, yet I'm actually quite thankful very few people in any religion - certainly in the developed world - actually get their morals from millennia old texts.

Islam has a massive problem right now with a minority when it comes to terrorism (and considering the number of followers it has, it is a minority). But when Islam becomes a dominant political force - as opposed to being a private belief - it causes many more problems particularly when you look at women's rights. It's demonstrably not the basis for any kind of law! That's basically what the thrust of this thread is about. People can believe any old daft things they like as long as their belief doesn't lead them to break the law. But the law should be SEPERATE from ANY belief system and capable of criticising it if it is the motive for crime. It should not be, as Turkey is doing right now, there to protect the words in its books from ridicule.

Edited by RobH

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But when Islam becomes a dominant political force - as opposed to being a private belief - it causes many more problems particularly when you look at women's rights.

Indeed! When religion becomes the main and sometimes the only source of laws, the society will always be trapped in a specific time period with no chances of progress. What baffles me is that "dreamy" voice by some people in the West who totally reject the presence of religion in their own societies yet they call the same thing in ours a "cultural issue" or "we have to respect their religion". They actually give a powerful voice to the radicals and backward thinkers in these countries.

For the post-colonialists and other hypocrites out there, the catastrophes women deal with in these countries are "cultural"! It’s their culture... those poor indigenous people and we should respect it. Yet, think of how they would react if women in their own societies face a small fraction of the discrimination our women deal with. They use “women’s rights” all the time to garner votes and political power, but somehow women in other places around the world are not real enough to have the same rights.

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Wonderful

Firstly, re: racism/religion; consider that you are engaging with someone whose first language might not be English. Secondly, consider that there have been some ridiculous and hot headed comments made in this thread regarding Turkey and Islam - don't just expect this to pass unnoticed and for people to ignore this type of commentary. People are naturally emotionally connected to their home, and all the trimmings that comes with.


This is probably a question you should be asking Baron, who seems to not understand the sheer diversity of cultures and races Islam covers.


You need to learn the actual definition of 'jihad', as it appears Qur'an, in its actual context... not the more common (and technically incorrect) use of the word by fundamentalist Islamist extremists over the past few decades, and thus by tabloid news. A jihad is self struggle for spiritual improvement - it actually has nothing to do with a 'holy war'. If anything, the actual concept of jihad is similar to using the Bible's teachings of sin, and how to improve oneself, spiritually, without sin.

Also, the Qur'an says nothing about Jews originating from pigs. There is a text referring to a group of Musa followers about turning into apes for some kind of sin. Remember, this is a religious text from a millennium long gone. As an Athiest, I have no interest in interpreting it or defending it. However, if you're willing to dish this out against Islam, then be willing to critically engage with the Bible too - its origins are DEEPLY rooted in some serious anti-semitism, you only need to consider the roots of the Catholic Church, right up to an entrenched culture in Europe that culminated in the Holocaust. Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...


This is a very limited picture of the bigger picture. Yes, Islam has been hijacked by extremists as a vessel for making loud and violent statements regarding the global status quo. However, look at the countries where much of this extremism emanates from, and consider the social and economic issues often faced by these places. We're talking about the Middle East, Northern Africa and Central Asia - regions that have been pillaged by European and Asian empires for thousands of years for their own self interests - this has culminated in leaving these regions in pretty dire economic situations. The final straw was the collapse of the USSR, which directly lead onto the current circumstances. Its no wonder that when you have dozens of countries, of similar faith, collectively screwed over by wealthy, foreign nations, of course this will be a breeding ground for resentment. Whats something these different ethnic groups have in common? Religion. Religion has always been used by organisations as a manipulation mechanism - go ask the Catholic Church during Europe's darkest centuries.




lol at the predictable "liberal media" comment. Hows about some of that Fox News or NoTW?

Fantastic post runningrings!

Great to see there is some intelligence left on these forums...

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How ironic..here on the forums Turkey is being blasted for curbing freedom of speech. On these very forums after my last comment a certain premium member blocked me from making any further comments on this topic. My crime was to only defend Muslims against "hate"..you don't believe in freedom of speech Mr hypocrite..and i was unblocked because he probably realised what he was doing..so will you block me again I wonder?

How ironic..here on the forums Turkey is being blasted for curbing freedom of speech. On these very forums after my last comment a certain premium member blocked me from making any further comments on this topic. My crime was to only defend Muslims against "hate"..you don't believe in freedom of speech Mr hypocrite..and i was unblocked because he probably realised what he was doing..so will you block me again I wonder?

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It's the obvious question: do you judge a religion by its book or by its followers? Because, let's face it, most religious people pick and choose which bits of their books to believe in and which bits to take metaphorically or else completely ignore! It's one of the daft things about religion generally, which is why I don't normally have much time for it. I think it's daft people "interpret" (i.e. ignore certain bits of) apparently sacred texts to suit a moral framework that's evolved in their society, yet I'm actually quite thankful very few people in any religion - certainly in the developed world - actually get their morals from millennia old texts.

Islam has a massive problem right now with a minority when it comes to terrorism (and considering the number of followers it has, it is a minority). But when Islam becomes a dominant political force - as opposed to being a private belief - it causes many more problems particularly when you look at women's rights. It's demonstrably not the basis for any kind of law! That's basically what the thrust of this thread is about. People can believe any old daft things they like as long as their belief doesn't lead them to break the law. But the law should be SEPERATE from ANY belief system and capable of criticising it if it is the motive for crime. It should not be, as Turkey is doing right now, there to protect the words in its books from ridicule.

As an addendum to this post, a really detailed survey was carried out about Muslim's beliefs and the law, the results have been published this week:

http://www.pewforum.org/Muslim/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-exec.aspx

I think this shows that, like any huge religion, Muslims believe what fits their society rather than swallowing their religious texts wholesale, so I don't know how useful picking and choosing the worst quotes from the Koran is when dealing with the problems Islam poses. There are undoubtedly some who'd take such sections seriously and some who wouldn't. Knotty stuff, basically, which is why I think it's important the law remains neutral and why, back to the topic at hand, the latest news from Turkey is so depressing.

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You can't legislate morality and you really can't legislate faith. All that should be legislated is protection.

For true believers of any faith, their religion is not a human construct, but a truth that originates outside themselves. Non-believers argue that faith is purely a man-made invention.

I don't believe anyone should be compelled to follow the tenets if a given belief system, but I do believe that courteous co-existence is in order. It's one thing to condemn hate speech, but quite another to overreact to a harmless light-hearted quip.

The law should protect and preserve not oppress and muzzle.

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