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Just yesterday I finally stopped ignoring the Middle East and looked up a few things. Like who is Shia and who is Sunni. And who has nukes and where. And what exactly an Islamist is. It was....a useful exercise. Anyone else out there taking an interest in this juncture of history? I'm ready to be educated.

It just seems to me, after one *ok a fraction of one* day of looking into it, that the majority Sunnis in most of the Middle East have been supremely frustrated trying to deal with their less conservative, more secular Shia neighbors. And it seems clear to me that America has at least attempted to enact a separation of church and state, even though those words do not appear in the constitution. It was in the First Amendment to the US Constitution that Congress was to "make no law respecting respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". As wikipedia points out, lots of nations have this idea in their code, and there is a great range of shades of gray in its execution. Here in America we do fairly well, but nowhere near a perfect score. For one thing, the constitution has no control over the states and what local laws might be passed. Which may be how we have gigantic crosses along Interstate 5 in Washington State. Not so different from other places, where religion is supposed to guide personal and political life. Here we seem only able to elect Christian presidents. We like to think that we are above it, but we are surely not.

So I know I am rambling and I will call it quits. If you have an opinion about what is the crux of what is going on--in Syria, Turkey, Kurdistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia or any other involved party, feel free to comment and tell me! I'm building a mind map.

**Created Syria tag.

Comments

liveonearth
Jun. 7th, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
Yep. Well to tell the truth, that title was really just a test to see if anyone was listening. I guess you were the only one. =-]
ford_prefect42
Jun. 8th, 2013 06:34 am (UTC)
It's possible that others were frightened into silence.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2013/05/doj-social-media-posts-trashing-muslims-may-violate-civil-rights/

Be aware that you and I may be committing actual prosecutable crimes by having this conversation.

"The area’s top federal prosecutor, Bill Killian, will address a topic that most Americans are likely unfamiliar with, even those well versed on the Constitution; that federal civil rights laws can actually be violated by those who post inflammatory documents aimed at Muslims on social media. “This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian says in the local news story. “This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”"


In combination with a bunch of other things that have recently come to light, like this,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/

TL:DR, the government is secretly datamining all the major websites, including google, facebook, etcetera for.... Well, something. They're not clear about what exactly. Not exactly surprising, but one could have hoped we weren't *really* living a scarier version of 1984.

And this:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57586763/whats-going-on-between-the-irs-and-true-the-vote/

Tl:DR, the government, not just one agency, but several different agencies in several departments has been systematically targeting conservative leaning organizations in an incredibly widespread and destructive abuse of power.

And... And... And... I could go on virtually indefinitely.

I think it's just possible that the augered effect of these attacks may indeed be having a chilling effect on the speech of those.... more sensible than myself. Things are really quite scary at the moment.
liveonearth
Jun. 8th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
Goodness. If we can't talk about stuff like race, religion, politics, culture to try to gain understanding, we will never find any solutions. I can only hope that the powers that be have some integrity left, to make reasonable compassionate decisions instead of being cogs in a grinding machine.

Oh well. I appreciate your willingness to educate me as obviously I need it. =-]

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