Response to “Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians?”

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Re: Response to “Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians

Postby CougarClaw » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:10 am

Ddawg wrote:
Tell me the last time Israel had a suicide bomber walk into a coffee shop in the Gaza Strip, or Lebanon and blow up Muslims while they were socializing.


again. Let me re-iterate. I don't disagree with anything you've written about Palestinian attacks or atrocities. They're awful. Israel is constantly under-siege. But why do you ignore the Palestinian side? Israel is just. as. guilty and your arguments focus on only one side. Israel doesn't NEED to use suicide bombers because they have US tanks, US helicopters, and US rockets. Palestinians are so desperate with their Israeli neighbors that their ONLY recourse is suicide attacks. If you wanted to stop suicide bombings, just arm the Palestinians with the same weapons we do Israel (not my recommendation mind you)

Ddawg wrote:Please share the last time an Israeli blew up a school bus, or public transportation bus, or a bus full of Muslims on vacation? It has not happened.


Palestinians have great difficulty going anywhere on vacation. Israel severely restricts their travel in and out of Palestine. Most of the Palestinians living in Jordan arrived illegally as refugees. "Vacations" also implies the disposable income and luxuries as paid time off that are currently enjoyed by high GDP countries like the US and Israel. Palestinian GDP has been so incredibly stifled and destroyed by Israel that a 'vacation' is beyond most of them. Many are incredibly destitute, poor, and angry.

Ddawg wrote:Or, please tell me the last time Israel launched rockets into the Gaza strip - that were not retaliation for terrorist rocket attacks aimed at Jewish civilians. Do you know how many rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel between 2001-2009? 8,600 rockets. Now, that is from just Gaza. We are not including the rockets from Southern Lebanon.

that's quite a lot of rockets. Most of which are inaccurate, poorly aimed, and manage to hit a building somewhere. Why don't you quote Israeli "rockets"? Why can't you look at two sides of an issue? I have a better statistic than rockets fired. How about deaths. Between 2000 and 2010, Israel lost 1,096 people in the conflict with Palestine. That's deplorable. How about Palestinians? 6,568. That's nearly six times as many. (btw that doesn't include the many sick Palestinians who died trying to get to hospitals because of Israeli roadblocks within Palestine). Is an Israeli life worth more than a Palestinian?

Ddawg wrote:Now, imagine terrorists had fired 8,600 rockets from Mexico into San Diego, Ca. What do you think our response would be? I assure you, we would not be as reserved and measured as has been Israel's response. No way. The public, the Mayor, the Governor, Congress and the President would not tolerate such a condition to exist.

Interesting example by trying to make rocket attacks against Israel seem more potent by supposing they were made against some place patriotic and familiar. You've studied Islam so you know how tribal the entire region is. San Diego is a city in my country but I don't have family there. Do you think it would be harder having a local city bombed or having your family attacked by a foreign government? Imagine if Mexico killed a member of your family. let's say your sister because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now she's dead due to a retaliatory strike for rockets you never fired. If you had no resources except rocks to throw, no weapons, no army, no vote, no hope. perhaps could you understand an anger that could make you mad enough to blow yourself up? I could.

the example also helps illustrate Palestinian desperation. Mexico would never launch rockets because they can have any International disputes taken to the WTO, the UN, and has large bargaining power as a major US trade partner. They have ambassadors and diplomacy, tarrif power and millions of Mexicans living in the US. Mexico as a sovereign nation could do a lot more to hurt the US (and itself) by simply closing its border to trade. Mexico also has a large standing army. None of these options exist for Palestine. And sad as it is, rockets are all they have! Do you see? Palestine has NO options.

Ddawg wrote:Your effort to draw a comparison between the terrorist attacks from Gaza and Southern Lebanon into Israel vs. Israel's measured, retaliatory, military responses - it is like comparing apples to an elephant.


yes it is. That's the problem. Israel is the elephant and the apple is trying to survive under the elephants feet. Apparently exploding is the only option that still gets the elephants attention.

Ddawg wrote:The Israeli's would love to end hostilities with the radical Islamic Jihadi's. They would love to live in peace, with security, and no fear for themselves and their children. But - Hamas, the PLO, Iran, Syria, etc. They refuse to end the terrorist activities.


Except compare the standard of living of Israel with Palestine -- It's not a difference of night and day, it's a difference of say an elephant and an apple. a dried and rotten apple. Israel has all the money, military, power, and quality of life -- of course they're going to want to walk away from the table. They've already 'won' but that sucess comes at the very large expense of the Palestinian people.

You say that Israel would love to end hostilities, but that wish doesn't include most of the reasons Israel is attacked in the first place namely releasing the Palestinian territories, Letting Palestine self-govern, removing all military presence and claim for those territories as well as removing settlements the UN has declared illegal. No, Israel just wants Palestine to stop wiggling while they continue to sit on him.

Ddawg wrote:So, it continues - and will continue. The radical Islamic terrorists do not want peace. They want the complete annihilation of Israel and all the Jewish inhabitants. No other outcome is acceptable.

Seriously - if you do not believe that - then I now fully understand the nature of this discussion.


Yes I do believe that Muslims want the full extermination of Israel. I don't doubt that at all. I've attended rallies where little children spoke of their hatred for Israel and desire for its extermination. They were young enough that I doubt they even knew what it meant.

But the 'why' is where we disagree. I hear you arguing primarily that it's simply a violence inherent in a religion or is based on religious philosophy. While that certainly plays a role, i think it's a small one. I've yet to hear you mention, even once, that Israel's disproportionate violence, they're suppression,killing, and brutality of a people the entire region views as brothers, might have anything to do with the mountain of hate they bring on themselves.
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Re: Response to “Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians

Postby CougarClaw » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:14 am

hawkwing wrote:I've taught Muslims on my mission. Did you know before they get baptized they have to promise the church they will never visit a Muslim country again? Not even the non-extremist countries, because the church knows that a converted Muslim going to any Muslim country is a death sentence.

I'm 100% sure that a Mormon that converted to Islam would have no fears visiting Utah.


The Kingdom of Jordan has several LDS branches with many former Muslims as members. They meet in buildigns with the name of the church on the exterior on Fridays. It's not hidden. BYU and the church are very well known in Israel and in Jordan.
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Re: Response to “Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians

Postby BoiseBYU » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:27 pm

CougarClaw wrote:
hawkwing wrote:I've taught Muslims on my mission. Did you know before they get baptized they have to promise the church they will never visit a Muslim country again? Not even the non-extremist countries, because the church knows that a converted Muslim going to any Muslim country is a death sentence.

I'm 100% sure that a Mormon that converted to Islam would have no fears visiting Utah.


The Kingdom of Jordan has several LDS branches with many former Muslims as members. They meet in buildigns with the name of the church on the exterior on Fridays. It's not hidden. BYU and the church are very well known in Israel and in Jordan.

It is my understanding that at present there are LDS congregations in the following Middle Eastern countries, all of which I think we could label as "Muslim."
Bahrain (it has a Stake!), Israel ,Jordan , Kuwait , Lebanon , Oman , Qatar , Syria , United Arab of Emirates
It is possible if not likely that most of the members are foreigners and not former Muslims, but I thought it interesting to consider.
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Re: Response to “Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians

Postby hawkwing » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:43 pm

BoiseBYU wrote:
CougarClaw wrote:
hawkwing wrote:I've taught Muslims on my mission. Did you know before they get baptized they have to promise the church they will never visit a Muslim country again? Not even the non-extremist countries, because the church knows that a converted Muslim going to any Muslim country is a death sentence.

I'm 100% sure that a Mormon that converted to Islam would have no fears visiting Utah.


The Kingdom of Jordan has several LDS branches with many former Muslims as members. They meet in buildigns with the name of the church on the exterior on Fridays. It's not hidden. BYU and the church are very well known in Israel and in Jordan.

It is my understanding that at present there are LDS congregations in the following Middle Eastern countries, all of which I think we could label as "Muslim."
Bahrain (it has a Stake!), Israel ,Jordan , Kuwait , Lebanon , Oman , Qatar , Syria , United Arab of Emirates
It is possible if not likely that most of the members are foreigners and not former Muslims, but I thought it interesting to consider.


I'd be very interested to know how many former followers of Islam are in those wards, if any. I don't believe there are any proselytizing missions in the middle east, just service missions. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

All I can say is that my mission president said he was told by the first presidency (at the time) that the family we were teaching would have to agree not to ever visit any countries that are predominately Muslim. They even had to get special permission to get a Book of Mormon in Arabic.

My mission was over 10 years ago though, and things do change, so I'm possibly out of date.
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Re: Response to “Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians

Postby SpiffCoug » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:45 pm

CougarClaw wrote:
Ddawg wrote:
Tell me the last time Israel had a suicide bomber walk into a coffee shop in the Gaza Strip, or Lebanon and blow up Muslims while they were socializing.


again. Let me re-iterate. I don't disagree with anything you've written about Palestinian attacks or atrocities. They're awful. Israel is constantly under-siege. But why do you ignore the Palestinian side? Israel is just. as. guilty and your arguments focus on only one side. Israel doesn't NEED to use suicide bombers because they have US tanks, US helicopters, and US rockets. Palestinians are so desperate with their Israeli neighbors that their ONLY recourse is suicide attacks. If you wanted to stop suicide bombings, just arm the Palestinians with the same weapons we do Israel (not my recommendation mind you)

Ah, yes, the great argument of moral relativism. Suicide bombers are the same as simply having weapons from the US. Is Israel routinely using these weapons against the Palestinians?
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Re: Response to “Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians

Postby CougarClaw » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:05 pm

hawkwing wrote:I'd be very interested to know how many former followers of Islam are in those wards, if any. I don't believe there are any proselytizing missions in the middle east, just service missions. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

All I can say is that my mission president said he was told by the first presidency (at the time) that the family we were teaching would have to agree not to ever visit any countries that are predominately Muslim. They even had to get special permission to get a Book of Mormon in Arabic.

My mission was over 10 years ago though, and things do change, so I'm possibly out of date.


I was in Jordan during the summer of 2011 and attended the ward there for several months, but I never made it to the second Jordanian ward/branch in the north part of the country.

My second to last Sunday there, they announced an arabic-only sacrament meeting that was going to be presided over by arabic leadership. It wasn't quite its own branch, more like a hybrid arrangement. Of the 80 people that came each Friday probably about half were ex-pat families and the other half were converts. It seems to me that they did have the BOM in Arabic. They didn't have arabic hymnals though. Just binders full of translated music and words.

The church was also looking to expand its presence in Jordan since their current Jerusalem center in Israel clearly causes political problems when they want to do anything in neighboring countries. They need a counter-balance. For a while, it was looking like Jordan may be it but like Hawkwing said, it's been a while and things change.
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Re: Response to “Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians

Postby CougarClaw » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:30 pm

SpiffCoug wrote:Ah, yes, the great argument of moral relativism. Suicide bombers are the same as simply having weapons from the US. Is Israel routinely using these weapons against the Palestinians?


we certainly don't hear much about Israeli attacks in this country and I don't actually know how Israeli's routine use of weapons compares to the Palestinians but I do know that from 2000 to 2010 Palestinians killed 1,096 Israelis while Israel killed 6,568 Palestinians. Regardless of actual weapon-use, Israel is clearly the more deadly of the two.

and given the drastic economic, and geopolitical differences between the two nations (groups?), moral relativism does seem like a legitimate way to view the conflict. Israel has all the options and all the power. Palestine has nothing, the only way they can get attention of the atrocities occuring there is to change and break some of the rules. Again, I'm not trying to excuse anyone's behavior in a no-win situation, but I feel like I do understand legitimate reasons for their desperation.

Here's another question, how much is morality on the forefront of your mind when you're forced to eke out an existence at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy? It's easy for us to condemn their violence in our comfortable houses while they live behind 15ft concrete barriers, barbed wire and US built tanks, but then I guess we're back to moral relativism again.
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Re: Response to “Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians

Postby SpiffCoug » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:15 pm

CougarClaw wrote: Here's another question, how much is morality on the forefront of your mind when you're forced to eke out an existence at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy? It's easy for us to condemn their violence in our comfortable houses while they live behind 15ft concrete barriers, barbed wire and US built tanks, but then I guess we're back to moral relativism again.

And this is why Mitt Romney spoke about the importance of culture when he went to Israel. Maybe the Palestinians need to look internally and figure out that what they're doing is keeping them behind this 15ft concrete barriers. Maybe a change in the culture would allow for more of these walls to come down.

The Palestinians have been given a great disservice by their leaders that have created the situations where the Israelis have felt constructing these walls was a good thing.
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