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Moslems, Christians, and Schoolyard Bullies

An analogy
Imagine there are three groups of kids in the schoolyard:

There's a group of little kids who are younger and have been singled out as marks for bullying by the oldest kids, the bullies.

There a smaller group of middle grade kids, trying to get in the graces of of the biggest bullies among the highest grade kids.

Then there's the oldest kids in the high grades, from whose ranks all the big bullies come.

The little kids are walking around sullen and angry a lot of the time, because of all the abuse they are suffering from the big bullies in the upper grades. And so far, the principle hasn't stepped in to help them at all. So they're getting angrier and angrier.

Some of the middle grade kids see this and decide to exploit the situation. They will take the "brave move" to taunt the little kids who are being bullied, relying on the protections of "free speech" (of course, they would never dare taunt the big bullies, especially since they are brownnosers whose biggest ambition in life is to get in the good graces of those same bullies).

This makes the little kids furious, and pretty soon they posse up on the asses of those middle grade kids who have started to taunt them.

The middle grade kids get scared when all the little kids start threatening to wail on their asses, and pull out their pre-planned defense to the principle: "I'm just exercising free speech!! Look at these little kids, how mean, angry, irrational and hateful they are against little ol' me!"

So what now? What should the principle do?

In our case, "the principle" is world public opinion. And unfortunately, it doesn't really have the power to actually do anything directly to the big bully kids. Because the big bullies have gone out and purchased lots of bombs and guns and planted them all over the school. And anytime anyone tries to rein them in, the bullies turn around and accuse THEM of plotting to use bombs and guns!

But they can't really kill the principle. And even though the principle can't control them, they are still fearful of him, and try to convince him they are in the right, no matter what they do or how deplorable it is.

So should the principle come to the defense of the little kids against the middle graders? And what about their admittedly unruly behavior?
gb, You Missed a Good One 09.Feb.2006 00:53


First, gb, it is "principal," not "principle.' You could make the argument that you were making a play on words, yet that argument is unsupported by your use of "him" to describe "principle." Secondly, a post at < http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/02/333603.shtml> far exceeds whatever wisdom you possess. Read and learn. Be Well, and Trip Safely...

not a good analogy 09.Feb.2006 08:27

where are

the parents in all of this? The older brothers and sisters? The teachers? And let's not leave out the security guards.

To treble 09.Feb.2006 08:32

Play nice, kids

>Secondly, a post at <  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/02/333603.shtml> far exceeds whatever wisdom you possess. Read and learn.

Speaking of learning -- how do you expect anyone to listen to you if this is the tone you take with them? Perhaps you should be less condescending next time. Besides, in the hurry to dash off a post, people make typing mistakes on the internet all the time. I'm sure you've done it, and I've done it as well. If you want people to listen to you, setting an example by listening yourself is a good start.

*Yawn* Onto breakfast...

I don't know the situation but I know how I feel about speech 09.Feb.2006 08:44

especially regarding religion

I only know that I want the freedom to depict any "messiah" in any way I feel like. If the Muhammad is so weak that he needs defending from a cartoon, then how real is he? Buddha, Jesus, Swami Beyondanand: they all are fair game for cartoons. I bet a lot of people living in "muslim" countries feel the same way. "Muslim" countries are a lot more secular than we are led to believe, in the same way that the U.S. is.

fatuous "free speech" argument 09.Feb.2006 13:22


This is not an argument about religious doctrines. Think logically for at least a fraction of a second about the implications of portraying the Prophet Mohamed as a "terrorist" in the current political climate. The ruler of the world's most powerful empire has explicitly declared a policy of kidnapping, torture, and summary execution of those labelled by himself and his henchmen as "terrorists."

Now, given this, it doesn't take a very bold leap of imagination to understand what is implied by someone who labels the very founder of an entire religion of a billion people to be a "terrorist." And it doesn't take an overactive imagination on the part of any of those billion people to see such a cartoon as a pretty explicit effort or desire to put the whole lot of them in the same category of subhumans without any rights, and subject to being kidnapped, tortured, and summarily executed at will as the imperial rulers have decreed.

As a matter of fact, you have to be quite daft indeed to fail to appreciate any such implications. And when people think that they are not only being mocked, but even worse, being made marks for a sinister campaign of hate that would gladly see them subjected to such heinous treatment, then it isn't hard to predict a violent response by some of the more easily alarmed among them, who are unwilling to "go gently into that night," as they see it.