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bachelorofbullets
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« Reply #450 on: February 01, 2017, 12:49:59 PM »

I didn't vote for Trump and I'm no supporter, but the ban on immigration does not bother me as much as it seems to bother everybody else.  I'd like to hear your take on the following:

Muslims, Sharia Law and the West.

My question is...a large part of the world's Muslim population (estimated around 50%) prefer religious law (Sharia) over constitutional law.  Isn't this is in direct conflict with our most fundamental beliefs?  Shouldn't this be a factor in our attitude towards Muslim immigration?     




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« Reply #451 on: February 01, 2017, 12:51:46 PM »

I wonder how many Republicans put God before the constitution.

Can we kick them out?
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the captain
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« Reply #452 on: February 01, 2017, 01:44:23 PM »

I didn't vote for Trump and I'm no supporter, but the ban on immigration does not bother me as much as it seems to bother everybody else.  I'd like to hear your take on the following:

Muslims, Sharia Law and the West.

My question is...a large part of the world's Muslim population (estimated around 50%) prefer religious law (Sharia) over constitutional law.  Isn't this is in direct conflict with our most fundamental beliefs?  Shouldn't this be a factor in our attitude towards Muslim immigration?     





Great points/questions, and I'm going to respond when I'm home from the office--it'll be maybe two hours.
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« Reply #453 on: February 01, 2017, 03:29:24 PM »

I didn't vote for Trump and I'm no supporter, but the ban on immigration does not bother me as much as it seems to bother everybody else.  I'd like to hear your take on the following:

Muslims, Sharia Law and the West.

My question is...a large part of the world's Muslim population (estimated around 50%) prefer religious law (Sharia) over constitutional law.  Isn't this is in direct conflict with our most fundamental beliefs?  Shouldn't this be a factor in our attitude towards Muslim immigration?    





To me, this is pretty straightforward: in the US, you have freedom to practice your religion as you wish as long as you don't violate the laws of your jurisdiction. It's been asked and answered in court multiple times with Mormons, Christian Scientists, and many other religions and sects, both Christian and non Christian. It applies to Muslims already in the US. Jews in the US use Jewish courts to settle civil questions, as they have the right to do; but for criminal law, the criminal judicial process applies.
There have been Muslims in the US for at least two centuries. This is a settled question and is just being thrown up now to scare people.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 03:30:15 PM by Emily » Logged
the captain
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« Reply #454 on: February 01, 2017, 04:27:50 PM »

I didn't vote for Trump and I'm no supporter, but the ban on immigration does not bother me as much as it seems to bother everybody else.  I'd like to hear your take on the following:

Muslims, Sharia Law and the West.

My question is...a large part of the world's Muslim population (estimated around 50%) prefer religious law (Sharia) over constitutional law.  Isn't this is in direct conflict with our most fundamental beliefs?  Shouldn't this be a factor in our attitude towards Muslim immigration?     
Great points/questions, and I'm going to respond when I'm home from the office--it'll be maybe two hours.

I think this is hard to understand about Muslims from a Western perspective, especially a predominantly Christian perspective—or at least I often speak to and hear people who I think struggle with the nuances, based mostly on limited or one-dimensional exposure to actual Muslims. I’m going to make some imperfect analogies that I hope help, but I promise nothing!

First, let’s consider what Sharia law actually is. Or rather, what it is not. Sharia law is not a codified series of laws, rules, etc. It is theoretically the compiled teachings or laws of the Quran, the Hadith, and—you guessed it!—debate, precedent, etc. What this ends up meaning is Sharia law is about as concrete a thing as “Christian law” is, which is to say, it isn’t. And there isn’t a single nation on earth—not Saudi Arabia, not Iran—that operates under Sharia law. Think about that: Iran is an officially Islamic republic; Saudi Arabia is an officially Islamic monarchy. Even they have constitutions.

Second, let’s think about what it would mean for a Muslim to be asked, “which is more important, a country’s constitution or Sharia law?” That is very much like asking a Christian, “which is more important, a country’s constitution or Biblical law?” I’d be shocked if a good number of Christians would say constitution … even though they know damn well they don’t mean it. When people think about God’s law, they think about ultimate goodness, about ultimate right, about peace and love, and about justice. They tend to forget the parts about—to use Biblical law—priestly mildew inspections, assorted livestock sacrifices, not wearing clothes made from more than one fiber, etc. They ignore the parts about committing genocide, taking enemies’ virgins for your sex slaves. But wait, didn’t Christianity dump that nonsense? There’s plenty of nastiness in the NT as well, though in the interest of semi-brevity I’ll skip it for now.

Third, aren’t Muslims just different than “we” are? Well… Nah. I mean, Middle Easterners are different than Westerners. But how much of it is actually religion, versus other factors? Let’s look at the 2015 Pew Research information about religion, dealing with Americans of various religions.

On the importance of religion: Very / somewhat / not too much / not at all
Muslims: 64% / 24% / 8% / 2%
Christians: 68% / 25% / 5% / 2%
Jews: 35% / 36% / 20% / 9%

Religion’s guidance on right and wrong: religion / common sense / science
Muslims: 37% / 36% / 13%
Christians: 43% / 41% / 6%
Jews: 17% / 50% / 14%

Interpretation of scripture: literal word of god / not literal, but WoG / IDK/not WoG
Muslims: 42% / 31% / 27%
Christians: 39% / 33% / 28%
Jews: 11% / 24% / 65%

I don’t want to belabor this, but there are plenty of other interesting categories. Explore: http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/

My point is, American Christians seem to take their religion at least as seriously and literally as American Muslims. Terrifyingly they seem to value science less.

Now, obviously, we’re by definition not talking about American Muslims when we’re talking about refugees, immigrants, etc. … yet. But what this information does show is, by being in America, people become Americanized. They hang on to cultural and religious traditions to some extent, but they tend to neuter them until there isn’t much left beyond niche restaurants and some words that make their way into the broader public’s consciousness.

So no, I don’t think that Muslims’ belief in Sharia law is especially important or meaningful, much less scary—at least not more scary than Christians’ belief in Biblical law. There are broad spectrums of the beliefs of subgroups in each bigger group, and most people here in America want to be here in America so they can just live their lives relatively freely, without fear of civil war, beheading, or drone-bombing. And here, most Muslims disregard the nastier parts of their scriptures in the same way most Christians do, and seem to have similar levels, manifestations, and degrees of faith as Christians.

As for the immigration EO itself, I described my thoughts about it above. I think it’s idiotic on many levels, and I think it will be ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst. (Reasoning above.) And also, just to be painfully obvious I don’t minimize in any way the reality of Islamic terrorism / jihadism / whatever you prefer to call it. There is obviously a problem within Islam that is currently just hideous. But that doesn’t make every step taken in the name of combatting the problem a positive step.

Hopefully that is a relatively coherent answer to your question. I realize I’m rambling somewhat but don’t want to go on indefinitely… If you have specific questions, points to debate, etc., I’d be happy to engage on them without getting into similar novels as this one.

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« Reply #455 on: February 01, 2017, 08:13:40 PM »

This is not a slam on you, Bachelor, but a thought that popped into my head just now - it seems like the last 100 or so times that I've seen reference to 'the west' or 'western civilization' it's been in tandem with positing that we should be illiberal because something is threatening to our westernness. That seems ironic to me as the whole basis of the historical notion of a 'western civilization' as a good thing was liberalism.
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bluesno1fann
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« Reply #456 on: February 01, 2017, 11:46:55 PM »

Now the orange bastard's berated and hung up on Malcolm Turnbull. I mean, I have no respect for Turnbull - spineless and will go down in history as inconsequential - but he still represents Australia, and Trump is incapable of showing any respect to even his allies
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/this-is-the-worst-deal-ever-donald-trump-badgers-and-brags-in-call-with-malcolm-turnbull-20170202-gu3r6u.html
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« Reply #457 on: February 02, 2017, 03:13:21 AM »

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« Reply #458 on: February 02, 2017, 05:24:31 AM »

...we should be illiberal because something is threatening to our westernness. That seems ironic to me as the whole basis of the historical notion of a 'western civilization' as a good thing was liberalism.

I posted on psf this weekend a link to a panel discussion re combatting ISIS and its ilk that included a former director of Mossad, who had a great line, the thrust of which I wish more people subscribed to. It was along the lines of "it's better to suffer the occasional terrorist attack as free people than to become unfree." Balancing liberty with security is a challenge, but if we surrender too much liberty, what are we securing?
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« Reply #459 on: February 02, 2017, 07:39:21 AM »

Captain, have you ever shared a workplace with Muslims?  I don't mean the ones that have been Americanized, I mean the Muslims here less than 10 years, not American citizens.  I want to know what exposure you've had before I share my experiences.
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the captain
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« Reply #460 on: February 02, 2017, 08:23:50 AM »

Captain, have you ever shared a workplace with Muslims?  I don't mean the ones that have been Americanized, I mean the Muslims here less than 10 years, not American citizens.  I want to know what exposure you've had before I share my experiences.

Yes. We've had everything at my current (longtime) employer from brand-new East African immigrants (big Somalian population here) to new Pakistanis and Muslim (and Hindu) Indians with only basic grasps of English and America in entry level jobs (call center, mail processing) to well educated Muslims who are newish to America but can easily step in to mid/high level professional positions, as well as American citizens who have been here longer or their whole lives. Diverse groups, diverse experiences, and I've had diverse experiences with them. Very few take advantage of the space we have for their prayers, and I've never noticed rhyme or reason to which do (in terms of national origin, time here, position). Ditto for things like attending happy hours, smoking, etc. some are really conservative and seemingly pious, some not.

I also used to hang out a lot in the area of heaviest concentration of new Somalian and Ethiopian immigrants here, in the West Bank/Cedar Riverside areas (where Sen Cruz ludicrously said we were basically under sharia law and should send in troops). In my younger, heavier-bar-drinking days, I'd be there 3-4 nights a week either to play shows or just hang out and drink. Weather permitting, there are always dozens to hundreds of these purported terrorists-in-waiting on the sidewalks and patios amidst U of MN students and bar crowds. I've never seen anything remotely like Islamic terror or even anti-western crime or hate. I have been hit up by newly arrived Muslim immigrants drinks, though. Somehow I doubt sharia law is on their minds, at least.

I'd like to hear your experiences.
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« Reply #461 on: February 02, 2017, 09:41:26 AM »

"Mr. Captain goes to Washington" to explain that to Trump...
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« Reply #462 on: February 02, 2017, 01:20:42 PM »

The Daily Donald:

Everything is still f***ed and only getting f*cker, but at least they withdrew from plans to begin drilling on public lands.

How are they seriously considering removing white supremacists from the list of extremist groups?
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« Reply #463 on: February 02, 2017, 03:42:23 PM »

I'm not particularly fond of the idea of the president's vow to "totally destroy" the so-called Johnson Amendment, which threatens religious institutions' tax-free status if they openly endorse or campaign for candidates during religious services / from the pulpit (as opposed to as private citizens, which they're allowed to do already).

I think it's bad for politics. I think it's bad for religion. I think it will simply add money and corruption to an environment already overflowing with both. And I think ignorant, innocent congregants are going to be forking over cash they think is helping do the Lord's work. And the Lord? He works in mysterious ways. Obviously.

So much for the wall separating church and state. Oh well, that wasn't such a big deal anyway, was it?
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« Reply #464 on: February 02, 2017, 04:48:36 PM »

We're moving the wall somewhere else
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« Reply #465 on: February 02, 2017, 05:03:09 PM »

This is an interesting quote:

"Lenin,” [Steve Bannon] answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
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« Reply #466 on: February 02, 2017, 11:58:10 PM »

We're moving the wall somewhere else

I'm less concerned about the wall now.  I'm more concerned about how he wants to move push people around.
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« Reply #467 on: February 03, 2017, 12:09:34 AM »


Let's hope we have the power to change this.  I watched a Chris Mathews Town Hall tonight.  Did any of you guys see it?  There was a senator from Connecticut, Chris Murphy, who had some good ideas where to start.
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« Reply #468 on: February 03, 2017, 06:24:06 AM »

Not a big fan of the dual-board posts, but: A few unexpected things coming from the Trump administration. (There’s a sentence we may as well get used to.) These drew something almost like approval from NYT (though it seemed to credit the arrival of Tillerson and Mattis to their roles more than the president), though awfully tepid approval.
 
-       For the first time, the administration seemed to caution Israel against building new settlements (Israel having announced construction of 5,500 new homes in the West Bank, including the first new West Bank settlement in “many years” per NYT). “While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal,” Press Sec. Spicer said in a statement. NYT says the announcement may have been based on a sideline conversation the president had with Jordan’s King Abdullah at the prayer breakfast.
 
-       Nikki Haley, in her first remarks to the UN Security Council, said “the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions,” and said they would not lift sanctions until they stopped destabilizing Ukraine and pulled troops out of Crimea.
 
-       Per NYT, “the administration is planning economic sanctions on Iran “similar to those the Obama administration imposed just over a year ago” and “the White House has shown no indication that it plans to rip up Mr. Obama’s landmark nuclear deal.” This makes sense considering both Sec. Mattis and Sec. Tillerson have indicated support for the deal (or at least not bailing on the deal).
 
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/world/middleeast/iran-missile-test-trump.html?hp&_r=0
 
We all know my overall thoughts on the president, but all three of these points are generally positive, in my opinion. (I’m not certain about new economic sanctions on Iran, actually. Not opposed, not in favor. Just not certain.)
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bachelorofbullets
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« Reply #469 on: February 03, 2017, 08:47:38 AM »

Quote
And there isn’t a single nation on earth—not Saudi Arabia, not Iran—that operates under Sharia law. Think about that: Iran is an officially Islamic republic; Saudi Arabia is an officially Islamic monarchy. Even they have constitutions.

You need to do some research before making such claims.  A simple wiki search will show you what countries apply Sharia to all aspects of society.  Saudi Arabia and Iran apply Sharia fully.  These countries are theocracies, their government charter basically exists to make sure religious leaders have ultimate authority.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_of_Islamic_law_by_country

Anyway, back to what I was getting at.  Religion is pervasive in a Muslim's life, there is no comparison to how most American's worship (if they worship at all).  The two are actually closer to being completely opposite than mostly similar.  Islam imposes so many restrictions while Christians live virtually restriction free (at least most people I know).  I'll just give you a list of the crazy things I have witnessed regarding Muslims.

-Alcohol is forbidden.  You won't see them at a company Christmas party, at least I never have.
-They will only eat "Halal" meat.  Which basically means they cannot eat any of the things Americans eat (hamburger, cold cuts, etc, dinner at a restaurant).
-Ramadan.  For a full month of every year, they will travel back to their home country and celebrate their religion by fasting from sunrise to sunset.  They won't even brush their teeth during the day because some water or toothpaste might get in their stomach.  The Christian version is a 2 day meat fasting.
-Arranged marriages.  I believe their job choice is "generally arranged" too but I am not sure about this.  All of the Muslims I know had arranged marriages.
-Hygiene.  This is another big difference.  One employee had to be disciplined because he smelled so bad (every time he walked past me I would hold my breath).  This person claimed to shower once a week (which I don't believe) and he bathed by rubbing his body with olive oil.  The same problems continue today with most of the Muslims in the office.  I think it's a religion-based issue but I'm not sure.
-Jew hatred.  It's conditioned but it's real.  It's also eye-opening scary.
-Another fellow I know...his front teeth are falling out because of gum disease and bone loss.  He went to a dentist who recommended implants, but he refused because the implant uses cow bone.  He chose to suffer instead.
-Language. This is the one that irks me.  It may not be a Muslim thing, but they seem to have no interest in learning how to speak English.  They speak their native language at home and whenever speaking to friends/family, and their command of it never improves.  I would say first-grade level at best.  All I know is, if I moved to foreign country, I would learn to speak the language out of respect.

Anyway there is more but I can't remember it all.  All I'm trying to say is that even though the Muslims I have met are generally nice people (non-threatening, easy to talk to), we live in a free society and they don't.

   








 
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the captain
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« Reply #470 on: February 03, 2017, 09:45:48 AM »

I'll get back to the sharia thing later, it's too nuanced to get into on a phone at work. I know your point but take some issue. I'll get to it later.

But as for the rest, that may be your experience but it's not mine--certainly not broadly anyway. As I said, my experience with Muslim immigrants  is really diverse, but the vast majority of people I've known and worked with don't fit into those behaviors, beliefs, or practices you mentioned.

Overall I think assimilation takes care of most issues such as those you've mentioned. And while some people say modern Muslim immigrants assimilate more slowly than previous waves of immigrants, I'm not sure that's true. For one, if we're talking about 1st generation, there's no way to tell yet, since historically all immigrants take more than the initial generation. Second, looking back, settled Americans always tend to say that "this new wave" (whatever it may be) isn't assimilating the way prior ones did, whether German, Irish, Jewish, Vietnamese, Hmong, Laotian. My suspicion is that people are just always unnerved by the newcomers until they're no longer new. Third, GOP Rep. Tom Emmer said--though I can't confirm--that there's evidence showing they're actually assimilating faster than previous groups. (Again, I can't verify, just an interesting assertion.)

 
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« Reply #471 on: February 03, 2017, 10:09:12 AM »

There was a story in our local paper today about just this topic, focused on a small city about 45 minutes south of the Twin Cities metro. It is closer to your perspective than mine. Thought you might enjoy it.

http://m.startribune.com/some-in-faribault-see-sense-not-bias-in-an-immigration-timeout/412636983/
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« Reply #472 on: February 03, 2017, 11:22:18 AM »

Quote
And there isn’t a single nation on earth—not Saudi Arabia, not Iran—that operates under Sharia law. Think about that: Iran is an officially Islamic republic; Saudi Arabia is an officially Islamic monarchy. Even they have constitutions.

You need to do some research before making such claims.  A simple wiki search will show you what countries apply Sharia to all aspects of society.  Saudi Arabia and Iran apply Sharia fully.  These countries are theocracies, their government charter basically exists to make sure religious leaders have ultimate authority.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_of_Islamic_law_by_country

Anyway, back to what I was getting at.  Religion is pervasive in a Muslim's life, there is no comparison to how most American's worship (if they worship at all).  The two are actually closer to being completely opposite than mostly similar.  Islam imposes so many restrictions while Christians live virtually restriction free (at least most people I know).  I'll just give you a list of the crazy things I have witnessed regarding Muslims.

-Alcohol is forbidden.  You won't see them at a company Christmas party, at least I never have.
-They will only eat "Halal" meat.  Which basically means they cannot eat any of the things Americans eat (hamburger, cold cuts, etc, dinner at a restaurant).
-Ramadan.  For a full month of every year, they will travel back to their home country and celebrate their religion by fasting from sunrise to sunset.  They won't even brush their teeth during the day because some water or toothpaste might get in their stomach.  The Christian version is a 2 day meat fasting.
-Arranged marriages.  I believe their job choice is "generally arranged" too but I am not sure about this.  All of the Muslims I know had arranged marriages.
-Hygiene.  This is another big difference.  One employee had to be disciplined because he smelled so bad (every time he walked past me I would hold my breath).  This person claimed to shower once a week (which I don't believe) and he bathed by rubbing his body with olive oil.  The same problems continue today with most of the Muslims in the office.  I think it's a religion-based issue but I'm not sure.
-Jew hatred.  It's conditioned but it's real.  It's also eye-opening scary.
-Another fellow I know...his front teeth are falling out because of gum disease and bone loss.  He went to a dentist who recommended implants, but he refused because the implant uses cow bone.  He chose to suffer instead.
-Language. This is the one that irks me.  It may not be a Muslim thing, but they seem to have no interest in learning how to speak English.  They speak their native language at home and whenever speaking to friends/family, and their command of it never improves.  I would say first-grade level at best.  All I know is, if I moved to foreign country, I would learn to speak the language out of respect.

Anyway there is more but I can't remember it all.  All I'm trying to say is that even though the Muslims I have met are generally nice people (non-threatening, easy to talk to), we live in a free society and they don't.

 
All those same things apply to many Christians. Don't make the mistake of comparing immigrants from one culture to non immigrants from another, or one socio-economic class to another and call it comparing religions. Compare Christian and Muslim Syrian immigrants from the same economic class and region and level of religiosity. You'll find that there's a very small gap. Compare Eastern European Jewish and Christian immigrants from similar economic classes and levels of religiosity in the 1910s-30s and you'll find great similarity. Compare American 5th generation Muslims and Christians from the same economic class and level of religiosity and you'll find great similarities.
Look at fundamentalist Christian Central African groups and you'll find great similarity to fundamentalist Muslim Central African groups.
And, as the Captain says, look at media about waves of immigrants in the past: what were Americans saying about Germans, Chinese, Irish, French, Japanese and Vietnamese immigrants?
Also, I don't see how any of the listed issues have anything to do with a free society, rule-of-secular-law vs religious law, etc. Basically, that list of issues amounts to "I think they're icky and weird" which doesn't have wide philosophical support as a basis for discrimination.
The more things change, the more they're the same.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 01:04:40 PM by Emily » Logged
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« Reply #473 on: February 03, 2017, 11:32:25 AM »

Not a big fan of the dual-board posts, but: A few unexpected things coming from the Trump administration. (There’s a sentence we may as well get used to.) These drew something almost like approval from NYT (though it seemed to credit the arrival of Tillerson and Mattis to their roles more than the president), though awfully tepid approval.
 
-       For the first time, the administration seemed to caution Israel against building new settlements (Israel having announced construction of 5,500 new homes in the West Bank, including the first new West Bank settlement in “many years” per NYT). “While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal,” Press Sec. Spicer said in a statement. NYT says the announcement may have been based on a sideline conversation the president had with Jordan’s King Abdullah at the prayer breakfast.
 
-       Nikki Haley, in her first remarks to the UN Security Council, said “the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions,” and said they would not lift sanctions until they stopped destabilizing Ukraine and pulled troops out of Crimea.
 
-       Per NYT, “the administration is planning economic sanctions on Iran “similar to those the Obama administration imposed just over a year ago” and “the White House has shown no indication that it plans to rip up Mr. Obama’s landmark nuclear deal.” This makes sense considering both Sec. Mattis and Sec. Tillerson have indicated support for the deal (or at least not bailing on the deal).
 
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/world/middleeast/iran-missile-test-trump.html?hp&_r=0
 
We all know my overall thoughts on the president, but all three of these points are generally positive, in my opinion. (I’m not certain about new economic sanctions on Iran, actually. Not opposed, not in favor. Just not certain.)
I'm happy to take the latter two at face value.
The first seems to be another mismanagement walkback in response to a Jerusalem Post report that an unnamed Executive Branch official "told" the Netanyahu administration to stop expanding settlements during an as-yet unstarted Trump-led peace process. The leak, if it was one, led Spicer to soften that by saying that additional settlements "may not be helpful. " It's a waffle.
Curious - does anyone still believe that Trump has those much-vaunted executive skills?
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« Reply #474 on: February 03, 2017, 03:57:40 PM »

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And there isn’t a single nation on earth—not Saudi Arabia, not Iran—that operates under Sharia law. Think about that: Iran is an officially Islamic republic; Saudi Arabia is an officially Islamic monarchy. Even they have constitutions.

You need to do some research before making such claims.  A simple wiki search will show you what countries apply Sharia to all aspects of society.  Saudi Arabia and Iran apply Sharia fully.  These countries are theocracies, their government charter basically exists to make sure religious leaders have ultimate authority.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Application_of_Islamic_law_by_country

My point, which I might have done a poor job of sharing in my previous post, is that because there is no codified "Sharia law," its application is laughable and (for practical purposes) nonexistent. The two major poles of the Middle Eastern Islamic world--Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran--both are dictatorships that claim Islamic authority and Sharia. But Sharia, as I noted, is not just Quran and Haddith (which are already prone to interpretation) but eventually the teaching of the authorities. Convince a Saudi official that the Supreme Leader of Iran is ruling under Sharia law, or vice versa. Because it is so substantially based on the rulings of religious leaders--diverse religious leaders--there is no such thing. Analogously, give me a list of Christian doctrine. Odds are, I can provide examples of self-described Christians who reject whatever you tell me. The 10 commandments aren't even codified across denominations. Sharia Law? Ha. Far, far less so.

Anyway, back to what I was getting at.  Religion is pervasive in a Muslim's life, there is no comparison to how most American's worship (if they worship at all).  The two are actually closer to being completely opposite than mostly similar.  Islam imposes so many restrictions while Christians live virtually restriction free (at least most people I know).  I'll just give you a list of the crazy things I have witnessed regarding Muslims.

-Alcohol is forbidden.  You won't see them at a company Christmas party, at least I never have.
-They will only eat "Halal" meat.  Which basically means they cannot eat any of the things Americans eat (hamburger, cold cuts, etc, dinner at a restaurant).
-Ramadan.  For a full month of every year, they will travel back to their home country and celebrate their religion by fasting from sunrise to sunset.  They won't even brush their teeth during the day because some water or toothpaste might get in their stomach.  The Christian version is a 2 day meat fasting.
-Arranged marriages.  I believe their job choice is "generally arranged" too but I am not sure about this.  All of the Muslims I know had arranged marriages.
-Hygiene.  This is another big difference.  One employee had to be disciplined because he smelled so bad (every time he walked past me I would hold my breath).  This person claimed to shower once a week (which I don't believe) and he bathed by rubbing his body with olive oil.  The same problems continue today with most of the Muslims in the office.  I think it's a religion-based issue but I'm not sure.
-Jew hatred.  It's conditioned but it's real.  It's also eye-opening scary.
-Another fellow I know...his front teeth are falling out because of gum disease and bone loss.  He went to a dentist who recommended implants, but he refused because the implant uses cow bone.  He chose to suffer instead.
-Language. This is the one that irks me.  It may not be a Muslim thing, but they seem to have no interest in learning how to speak English.  They speak their native language at home and whenever speaking to friends/family, and their command of it never improves.  I would say first-grade level at best.  All I know is, if I moved to foreign country, I would learn to speak the language out of respect.

Anyway there is more but I can't remember it all.  All I'm trying to say is that even though the Muslims I have met are generally nice people (non-threatening, easy to talk to), we live in a free society and they don't.

Emily covered this, but this is overwhelmingly irrelevant to immigration, as I see it. Specifically, point by point:

- Alcohol. I'm a drunk. I'm drunk right now. But the fact that the Muslims you've encountered don't drink ... who cares? Some of my (Lutheran) family avoid alcohol, as do many Christians on a very formal, doctrinal basis. And as do others for non-religious purposes. What does this have to do with allowing immigrants?
- Halal meat. So what? Jews don't eat pork or shellfish. Vegetarians don't eat meat. Vegans don't eat animal products. Not sure the relevance.
- Ramadan. Travel back to their home country? I acknowledge the existence of Ramadan, but don't know about the travel part... Regardless, again, so what? What does that have to do with allowing immigrants?
- Arranged marriages. I think these are bullshit. Absurd. Yet ... this isn't reserved for Muslims. It is more about nation than religion, from what I know. And the only people I know personally who were parties to arranged marriages weren't Muslims, they were Hindus. Professionals. Educated. Totally assimilated ... except the arranged marriages. Again, not sure how it's relevant to immigration. (Historically you had marriage brokers in other groups as well: read some Isaac Bashevis Singer.)
- Hygiene. No doubt, I've experienced at work some immigrants who don't comply with American standards. Some were Muslim. Others were Eastern European Christians. Others were homegrown. Most were homegrown.
- Jew hatred. Can't speak to that. No experience about it.
- Choices about falling-out teeth. No experience on the subject, but can't imagine why you'd care, much less how it should affect immigration policy.
- Language - I think I covered this somewhat in my previous posts. First generations rarely become conversant. Second do. Third, assimilated.
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