Just some graphic designer who's passionate about radical politics, video games, and dumb internet humor. Don't be afraid to send a message, I like new internet friends. I run another blog (descentintotyranny) where I repost important news stories I find.
Our holy book has over 100 verses that instruct us to care for the poor. These verses don’t say to care for the poor and complain about it the whole time. They don’t say care about the poor people whose morals and values match ours. Our Bible doesn’t tell us that we should care for the poor when they’re ready to see the world the way we do, or do certain jobs, or stop being addicted to drugs, or stop suffering from mental illness that prevents them from holding down a job, or raise their IQ, or move to a town with better schools so they can be around people who are better role models, or go to college even though they don’t have the money for it, or not have sex but also don’t have an abortion if you do have sex but also don’t have too many kids you can’t afford.
My friend is making a documentary on the 1,400 year old Muslim call to prayer, and they’re in desperate need of money. Here’s their kickstarter, please consider backing it if you can. Thank you very much, and sorry for the spam.
Voices and Faces of the Adhan: Cairo is a feature-length documentary film examining the 1,400-year-old oral tradition of the Muslim call to prayer.
Adhan: the Muslim call to prayer
Muezzin: one who recites the adhan, calling believers to prayer five times daily
There are over 30,000 paid and volunteer muezzins in Cairo
The film follows the muezzins of Cairo — the voices of the city — as the tradition of the adhan, and Egypt itself, undergo crucial changes.
We believe everyone can connect with the very human stories of our individual muezzins. In this way we see the film as an opportunity for intercultural dialogue between the West and the Middle East, at a time when it’s greatly needed.
Help us make the world a smaller place. Help us bridge these gaps between imaginary cultural divides. Help us make magic happen!
A few years ago, my wife and I visited a Sikh gurdwara. While I may not follow any religion or theism, I have a lot of respect for those who have faith and belong to a religious community, save for those whom encourage intolerance. Through my life I’ve tried to engage with various religious communities as opportunities have presented themselves, and of all the groups I have met, the Sikh’s at the gurdwara in Charlotte, North Carolina the kindest and most open-minded religious communities I have interacted with.
The property was lined with a heavy duty fence and entrance was through an electronic gate and past a number of cameras. The members were initially wary of us - polite and kind - but distant. These safeguards seemed intimidating at the time. Today, they seem insufficient. After that initial meeting, they invited us back for full services, which we were eager to attend. The official religious service was exactly what one might expect, but at the meal afterward we had the opportunity to really interact with the members. Someone would show us around, someone else would introduce us to the members, another sat with us while we ate and described the faith to us, while giving a brief history into the culture. All of our questions and comments were received not only with acceptance, but with delight. After our sincerity was assured, the community treated us with such kindness it hurt to leave. Not once was there a mention of conversion or judgment of either of our beliefs. As a matter of fact, they informed us they never seek converts, although they are quite accepting of them (proven by the two converts we met that day).
The kindness of that entire community on those meetings is what is likely causing the tragedy in Wisconsin to cause such pain in my heart. The thought of people similar to those I met being attacked in such a way tears at me in a way I have never been affected before by any national tragedy. The fires in Colorado, Katrina, Andrew, and Hugo are natural. There is no enmity there, only nature (and, at times, poorly handled responses). Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Aurora are all the results of mentally disturbed people, and are mostly random attacks. September 11th was an attack on our country, an act of war in a way. All the racist, homophobic, and bigoted attacks against individuals come closest to this massacre, so once again I can only assume it is my personal interactions with the Sikh’s of that gurdwara that result in this causing me so much pain. This attack, one of pure hate against this religious group that has shown such kindness, breaks my heart.
I hope everyone can find love right now, with their deity, those close to them, or within themselves.
Note: I do not mean to minimize any of the other tragedies listed; I am only speaking about their effect on me.
The local Sikh community in Milwaukee had been raising concerns about racial harassment, targeting, and violence for at least the past year. The Sikh Coalition has reported more than 700 incidents of anti-Sikh hate crimes in the U.S. since 9/11. One of those was 49-year-old Balbir Singh Sodhi, the first post 9/11 hate-crime fatality. He was shot five times on September 15, 2001 in Mesa, AZ and his murderer Frank Silva Roque admitted that he killed Sodhi because he was dark, bearded, and wore a turban. White supremacy is fostered, cultivated, condoned, and supported–in the education system and mainstream corporate media, from military missions to the prison industrial complex.
The crimes of white supremacists are not exceptions and do not and cannot exist in isolation from more systemic forms of racism. People of colour face legislated racism from immigration laws to policies governing Indigenous reserves; are discriminated and excluded from equitable access to healthcare, housing, childcare, and education; are disproportionately victims of police killings and child apprehensions; fill the floors of sweatshops and factories; are over-represented in heads counts on poverty rates, incarceration rates, unemployment rates, and high school dropout rates. Colonialism has and continues to be shaped by the counters of white men’s civilizing missions. The occupation of Turtle Island is based on the white supremacist crime of colonization, where Indigenous lands were believed to be barren and Indigenous people believed to be inferior. The occupation of Afghanistan has been justified on the racist idea of liberating Muslim women from Muslim men. Racialized violence has also always targeted places of worship–the spiritual heart of a community. In Iraq, for example, the US Army accelerated bombings of mosques from 2003-2007 with targeted attacks on the Abdul-Aziz al-Samarrai mosque, Abu Hanifa shrine, Khulafah Al Rashid mosque and many others. And so I repeat: the patterns of hate crimes have a sense, have a logic, have a structure – they are part of a broader system of white supremacy.
Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, notes that the 40-year Army veteran and gunman Wade Michael Page was the leader of a racist white-power band End Apathy. Potok further details Page’s involvement in a number of other white power bands and his attempts to purchase good from neo-Nazi websites. Media reports also note that Page was a psychological operations specialist in the Army, responsible for developing and analyzing intelligence that would have a “psychological impact on foreign populations.” While racialized cultures and religions are consistently held to task, the culture and system of white supremacy is never scrutinized by the state or media. What breeds white power movements? Who funds white power groups? How are people recruited into neo-Nazi groups? What is the connection between white supremacist groups and state institutions like the Army? These are the questions that will never be interrogated because whiteness is too central, too foundational to the state and to this society to unsettle.
White supremacy, as a dominant and dominating structuring, actually necessitates and relies on a discourse that suggests that hate crimes are random. Otherwise, whites might just have to start racially profiling all other young and middle-aged white men at airports or who are walking while white. Whites might have to analyze what young white children are being taught about in schools and in their homes about privilege and entitlement. Whites might have to own up to and seek to repair the legacy of racialized empire, imperialism, and settler-colonialism that has devastated and continues to destroy the lives and lands of millions of people across the globe.
Whites might actually have to start distancing themselves from white supremacy.
At least seven people, including the suspected gunman, have been killed and three others wounded in a shooting at a Sikh temple in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek in Wisconsin, police officials say.
Greenfield Police Chief Brad Wentlandt told reporters on Sunday that emergency medical personnel have reported seven people dead, four inside the temple and three outside, including the alleged attacker.
Wentlandt said that the first reports of the shooting came in about 10:30 a.m. local time (1530 GMT) and a police officer arrived at the scene and “engaged an active shooter.”
The shooter is “down at the scene and is presumed deceased,” he said, adding that the law enforcement agent was also shot multiple times during the confrontation and was undergoing surgery.
Witnesses described the shooter as a white male.
A spokeswoman for Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee said that the facility was treating three patients with gunshot wounds, noting that they were in critical condition.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as many as 30 people were shot, including the president of the temple, Satwant Kaleka.
Those present at the temple were preparing for a special children’s service, with a featured guest from India. The attack happened an hour before the service was to start.
Police cordoned off the street where the temple is located and asked the media to refrain from reporting on or transmitting images of police operations in the area until the situation is resolved.
Sikh rights groups have reported a rise in bias attacks since the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Washington-based Sikh Coalition has reported more than 700 incidents in the US since 9/11.
CNN reported the shooter to be an “extremist”, carefully avoiding the term “terrorist” while other reports simply used the word “shooter” because, you know, white men full of racist, xenophobic rage can never be terrorists. They just have mental issues and should be empathized with. Etc etc.
Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
Do not harm little children.
Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
satan does not approve of the harming of little kids
satan disproves of rape
satan wants you to treat others the way you want to be treated
Satan is my motor.
What’s all this “lair” and “destroy him” and “without mercy” crap? This is just as cruel and useless as the regular bible
I’m really sensitive to what I call “Christian exceptionalism.” There are those within Christianity that honestly believe America is God’s second Zion, the new Israel, and that we Americans are God’s new chosen people. This, in turn, helps justify everything from flags in worship spaces to the Ten Commandments in the public square, and even pre-emptive acts of aggression against perceived threats around the world. Basically, when you hold yourself up as somehow favored in the eyes of God, it’s easy to hold those you deem as less favored to be somehow “less than,” and to dehumanize all who do not conform to your custom-built ideal of what it means to be “American.” For me, though, such sentiments not only are un-American in the sense that they don’t ascribe to the “liberty and justice for all” ethos; it’s also patently un-Christian.
I asked an old friend once if she thought that Jesus was an American. When she finally said no, I then asked her why she thinks that America is God’s favorite place. She had no answer. Then I (gently) asked, “Could it be because it’s where you live?” She was so insulted at the idea that geography might have something to do with shaping her convictions.
When you create an exceptional “us,” you also create an inferior “them.” How many steps from that power differential until we are righteously killing & plundering in far-off lands?
Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein famously did not believe in a supernatural God, and neither do some scientists today. It now appears there may be a good reason for this: thinking analytically dims supernatural beliefs, apparently by opposing the intuitive thought processes that underpin them.
The vast majority of people believe in a supernatural god or gods, says social psychologist Ara Norenzayan of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Yet there are hundreds of thousands of atheists and agnostics who do not. While scientists have begun to study the psychology of belief, we know little about what causes disbelief.
Humans use two separate cognitive systems for processing information: one that is fast, emotional and intuitive, and another that is slower and more analytical.
The first system innately imputes purpose, personality or mental states to objects, leading to supernatural beliefs. People who rely more on intuitive thinking are more likely to be believers, while the more analytical are less likely. This doesn’t necessarily mean analytical thinking causes disbelief, but activating analytical thinking can override the intuitive system – and vice versa. Norenzayan used this to test the causal relationship.
Gallup notes the relationship between religious intensity and American voting patterns, with the most religious states generally skewing Republican and the least religious trending Democrat. Our own analysis bears this out. We found a substantial positive correlation between religiosity and the percent of state residents that voted for McCain (.67) and consider themselves conservative (.78), and a substantial negative one between religiosity and the percent of residents who voted for Obama (-.64) and consider themselves liberal (-.75).
Religion also conforms to the faultiness of socio-economic class across U.S, states, hewing closely to its three key dimensions — income, education and occupation.
Religiosity is higher in lower income states where poverty is prevalent. The share of state residents who say religion is very important to their daily lives is correlated with the poverty rate (.60) and negatively associated with state income levels (-.56).
Education plays a role. Religiosity is higher in less educated states, and negatively associated with the share of state residents that are college grads (-.55).
Religion is also associated with the types of work people do. Religiosity is positively associated with the share of working class jobs (.61) and negatively associated with the share of workers doing knowledge, profession and creative work (-.38).
Religious believers distrust atheists more than members of other religious groups, gays and feminists, according to a new study by University of B.C. researchers.
The only group the study’s participants distrusted as much as atheists was rapists, said doctoral student Will Gervais, lead author of the study published online in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
That prejudice had a significant impact on what kinds of jobs people said they would hire atheists to do.
“People are willing to hire an atheist for a job that is perceived as low-trust, for instance as a waitress,” said Gervais. “But when hiring for a high-trust job like daycare worker, they were like, nope, not going to hire an atheist for that job.”
The antipathy does not seem to run both ways, though. Atheists are indifferent to religious belief when it comes to deciding who is trustworthy.
“Atheists don’t necessarily favour other atheists over Christians or anyone else,” he said. “They seem to think that religion is not an important signal for who you can trust.”
The researchers found that religious believers thought that descriptions of untrustworthy people — people who steal or cheat — were more likely to be atheists than Christians, Muslims, Jews, gays or feminists.
Gervais was surprised that people harbour such strong feelings about a group that is hard to see or identify. He opines that religious believers are just more comfortable with other people who believe a deity with the power to reward and punish is watching them.
“If you believe your behaviour is being watched [by God] you are going to be on your best behaviour,” said Gervais. “But that wouldn’t apply for an atheist. That would allow people to use religious belief as a signal for how trustworthy a person is.”
Religious belief is known to have a variety of social functions. Past research has found that common religious beliefs can promote cooperation within groups.
Gervais started his line of inquiry about the exclusion of atheists after seeing a Gallup poll that suggested the majority of Americans would not vote for an atheist presidential candidate. Gervais and his colleagues conducted a series of six studies on a group of 350 American adults and a group 420 UBC students.
But even in more secular Canada, distrust of atheists ran high.
“We see consistently strong effects,” he said. “Even here in Vancouver, our student participants still say atheists are really untrustworthy.”
"Gervais was surprised that people harbour such strong feelings about a group that is hard to see or identify."
Really? I’m not even a sociologist, and I know people are going to have the strongest feelings about things they don’t understand.
“Although investigators found the Washington state couple adhered to a harsh child-rearing regimen prescribed by a controversial Christian parenting book, the prosecutor said Thursday that religion was not relevant to the criminal case.
Larry and Carri Williams, of Sedro-Woolley — a town about halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia — were arrested September 29, more than four months after their daughter, Hana, died of hypothermia in their backyard.
A Skagit County Superior Court judge reduced their bail from $500,000 to $150,000 each on Thursday, and barred them from contact with their eight remaining children, who were placed into foster care in July, or with each other.
Each is charged with homicide by abuse in connection with their daughter’s death, and first-degree assault of a child stemming from mistreatment of her adopted 10-year-old brother from Ethiopia.
If convicted each faces a prison term of between 20 and 29 years, according to state sentencing guidelines.”