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Author Topic: A Muslim Witch Hunt Begins
Alcon
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New York Times Article

quote:
The conflict tapped into a well of post-9/11 anxieties. But Ms. Almontaser’s downfall was not merely the result of a spontaneous outcry by concerned parents and neighborhood activists. It was also the work of a growing and organized movement to stop Muslim citizens who are seeking an expanded role in American public life. The fight against the school, participants in the effort say, was only an early skirmish in a broader, national struggle.

“It’s a battle that’s really just begun,” said Daniel Pipes, who directs a conservative research group, the Middle East Forum, and helped lead the charge against Ms. Almontaser and the school.

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, critics of radical Islam focused largely on terrorism, scrutinizing Muslim-American charities or asserting links between Muslim organizations and violent groups like Hamas. But as the authorities have stepped up the war on terror, those critics have shifted their gaze to a new frontier, what they describe as law-abiding Muslim-Americans who are imposing their religious values in the public domain.

It's not really clear whats going on here in the first few pages. It's a witch hunt for radical Muslims. But it becomes obvious after reading the whole article. I'm speechless.

The real irony here is that even as she was essentially being burned as a witch (radical Muslim) she had succeeded in alienating a portion of the Muslim community by making an extreme effort to not appear as a radical Muslim.

[ May 01, 2008, 12:08 PM: Message edited by: Alcon ]

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Sterling
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That's awful. Given how urgently the United States needs Arabic translators and people who understand Arab cultures, it also amounts to shooting ourselves in the foot...
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Itsame
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I don't think you understand... the US wants Arab translators who aren't Muslim.
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pooka
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But the question at issue with the school was whether you can learn Arabic without Islam. It sounds like a dumb enough question, and it's pretty infuriating how the whole thing turned on one stupid choice to label it a madrassa.

Not like anyone should be freakin' ashamed of a madrassa either. Man. I couldn't even read the whole thing.

But then, there is rarely an article concerning language and linguistics that doesn't bother me to pieces.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
I don't think you understand... the US wants Arab translators who aren't Muslim.

This is true.
They've thrown quite a bit of money at the issue, trying to create translators that can never be too native or "go native."
link
That example gave my former bosses, quite a bit of money [Wink]

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Tarrsk
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This was the most disturbing part of the article, to me:

quote:
The danger, Mr. Pipes says, is that the United States stands to become another England or France, a place where Muslims are balkanized and ultimately threaten to impose sharia.

“It is hard to see how violence, how terrorism will lead to the implementation of sharia,” Mr. Pipes said. “It is much easier to see how, working through the system — the school system, the media, the religious organizations, the government, businesses and the like — you can promote radical Islam.”

Mr. Pipes refers to this new enemy as the “lawful Islamists.”

They are carrying out a “soft jihad,” said Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a trustee of the City University of New York and a vocal opponent of the Khalil Gibran school.

Basically, what Pipes and Wiesenfeld are saying is that a Muslim's attempt to build something within the system, in an entirely lawful fashion, should be considered tantamount to terrorism. Because, y'know, all Muslims are jihadists. If one of them is trying to do something legally, that just means they're trying to destroy America from within. It's not possible that she could actually mean what she is saying about fostering peace and intercultural dialogue. [Roll Eyes]

What is most pathetic of all is that I would bet money that the same folks who brought Debbie Almontaser down would love nothing more than to institute theocratic control of education by evangelical Christianity. The hypocrisy is sickening.

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pooka
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quote:
"It's sort of trial and error guided by intuitions and some knowledge," BBN's Schwartz said.

Though that's not how it gets described in computer scientists' meetings. "Rewrote the forward pass of the decoder algorithm to be a recursive transversal over the hypergraph, rather than a loop over spans," one BBN programmer assured his team in a May presentation.

:dies of the hotness:
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Basically, what Pipes and Wiesenfeld are saying is that a Muslim's attempt to build something within the system, in an entirely lawful fashion, should be considered tantamount to terrorism.
Without speculating on whether or not Muslims will impose sharia on Great Britain or France, say Muslims through heavy immigration manage to vote sharia into law and after doing so appoint only Muslims to positions of leadership and then pass legislation that consistently benefits Muslims?

I guess what I mean to ask is if a group intends to work within the system until they are able to transform that system, is it always wrong for the native population to attempt to prevent such a transformation while they still have the ability to do so?

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pooka
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Yes, because we are a democracy. If they have the numbers, they can have the say. The argument is that if they have the numbers, they will undo the democracy so it can't come back. So be it. I don't think it would be "worse" in the cosmic sense, than what has become of America already -- if you're a person who believes abortion and divorce are generally wrong, for instance.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Without speculating on whether or not Muslims will impose sharia on Great Britain or France, say Muslims through heavy immigration manage to vote sharia into law and after doing so appoint only Muslims to positions of leadership and then pass legislation that consistently benefits Muslims?
Your hypothetical is that enough Muslims will immigrate so that they make up a majority of the population large enough that they can freely ammend the constitution, yes?

I'm not sure how that highly improbable situation is all that relevant here.

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prolixshore
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For the record, I have problems with abortion and divorce, yet I still think undoing democracy so it can't come back would be worse.

In other news, the folks in this article frustrate me to no end. Stupidity will always abound.

--ApostleRadio

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Tarrsk:
What is most pathetic of all is that I would bet money that the same folks who brought Debbie Almontaser down would love nothing more than to institute theocratic control of education by evangelical Christianity.

Several of whom (at least those quoted in the article) are assimilated Jews? Unlikely.
quote:
Originally posted by prolixshore:
In other news, the folks in this article frustrate me to no end. Stupidity will always abound.

Sadly true.
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Sterling
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
I don't think you understand... the US wants Arab translators who aren't Muslim.

Since the school described in the article is quite intentionally and determinedly secular in nature, I rather think that's irrelevant.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
Without speculating on whether or not Muslims will impose sharia on Great Britain or France, say Muslims through heavy immigration manage to vote sharia into law and after doing so appoint only Muslims to positions of leadership and then pass legislation that consistently benefits Muslims?
Your hypothetical is that enough Muslims will immigrate so that they make up a majority of the population large enough that they can freely ammend the constitution, yes?

I'm not sure how that highly improbable situation is all that relevant here.

It's not very improbable to folks in France and especially Great Britain. Just because I don't think it is going to happen here does not mean there is no point in discussing what a correct course for Europeans might be. Right now in Great Britain Muslims represent about 3% of the total population. In London they represent about 17% of the population. Muslim fertility rates are approximately 3 times that of non-Muslims and in about 30 years the total Muslim population of Europe will likely double while the non-Muslim population shrinks by 3.5%

But we're discussing a hypothetical anyway. Suppose a group could garner the votes to modify the fundamentals of our constitution based on mass immigration. What would be the ethical response IYO?

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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
Yes, because we are a democracy. If they have the numbers, they can have the say. The argument is that if they have the numbers, they will undo the democracy so it can't come back. So be it. I don't think it would be "worse" in the cosmic sense, than what has become of America already -- if you're a person who believes abortion and divorce are generally wrong, for instance.

You could always move to a fundamental Muslim state, if you actually think that would be "better" than America today.

I really don't think, when it comes down to it, that you actually believe that.

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Darth_Mauve
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So let me get this straight...

Because of a fear, that a group of people may at some point in the future, possibly be able to legally do something that you fear they will want to do, its OK to cut them out of all political and legal channels right now.

I remember the same argument a few decades ago. Imagine if we let just any black man vote. Why in no time at all they will vote a black man to president, re-institute slavery, except this time it will be the white men in chains, and the white women serving them in the big houses.

You know, if we send all those illegal aliens back to Mexico, they might get mad, get guns, and be a big enough army to invade Texas. I think we need to just shoot them all now, while their here.

You know, them Russians are getting mighty uppity again. They still have a bunch of nukes. This could be the cold war all over again. Lets nuke em now while they aren't expecting it.

I can make up ten thousand "What if" fear scenarios. Don't panic because of any of them.

Its like the guy who comes to your house with a tube full of termites he says he's found on your sidewalk. Do you buy the $2,000 Termite control program he's selling, or do you figure he's just a conman and threaten to call the cops?

He'll always say, "But what if I'm right about the termites?"

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Without speculating on whether or not Muslims will impose sharia on Great Britain or France, say Muslims through heavy immigration manage to vote sharia into law and after doing so appoint only Muslims to positions of leadership and then pass legislation that consistently benefits Muslims?

I guess what I mean to ask is if a group intends to work within the system until they are able to transform that system, is it always wrong for the native population to attempt to prevent such a transformation while they still have the ability to do so?

In that case it would be the duty and the right of constitution supporting Americans to revolt, violently if necessary.

But in the meantime, the resistance to a muslim dominated government would be expressed through the election of representatives who upheld our traditions. If there came a time when our government's fundamental mission was undermined, it would be because people didn't care enough to vote for better representatives. At that point, if the non-muslim peoples of America were persecuted they would at some point, I think, revolt against oppression. I don't think we're headed that direction though– the rise of fundamentalist islam in places like Afghanistan was part of a reaction to the opression of foreign powers and foreign influence from Russia, Europe and America. It's not in fundamentalist Islam to effectively govern a large working nation- the plurality of our society would soften such a government before it arose.

Edit: Remember that fascist rule was new to Afghanistan when the communists pulled out and stopped raping the country of her resources. And it took less than four years of taliban rule before it gave NATO a reason to remove it from power by force.

So exactly what precedent is there for fundamentalist islamic government actually ever ruling effectively or for very long in the modern world? They were hated in Afghanistan just like they would be hated by any people. But look at societies that many Americans have roots in- France, Germany, England. All of these countries had periods of dictatorial rule that were considerably more violent than that of the Taliban. Our own government and the English before it effected the destruction of whole native American civilizations. But the devil you know doesn't seem so bad- the necessity of living as a working society forced us to stop killing each other, enslaving each other, and soon it will stop us from thinking that we have the right to invade other countries full of people who just don't think like us.

[ April 29, 2008, 03:30 AM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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Occasional
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I don't know what is more hypocritical in the denounciations; the secularists who often try to block religious people from holding political positions and therefore protect "democracy" or those who are trying to block Muslims because they often are trying to achieve the same results with their own version of "moral religious" laws.

Also, this kind of fear of outside influence has been going on since the start of the United States. It goes beyond blacks, as one poster pointed out, and has included Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Chinese, Italians, Irish, etc.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
So let me get this straight...

Because of a fear, that a group of people may at some point in the future, possibly be able to legally do something that you fear they will want to do, its OK to cut them out of all political and legal channels right now.

I remember the same argument a few decades ago. Imagine if we let just any black man vote. Why in no time at all they will vote a black man to president, re-institute slavery, except this time it will be the white men in chains, and the white women serving them in the big houses.

You know, if we send all those illegal aliens back to Mexico, they might get mad, get guns, and be a big enough army to invade Texas. I think we need to just shoot them all now, while their here.

You know, them Russians are getting mighty uppity again. They still have a bunch of nukes. This could be the cold war all over again. Lets nuke em now while they aren't expecting it.

I can make up ten thousand "What if" fear scenarios. Don't panic because of any of them.

Its like the guy who comes to your house with a tube full of termites he says he's found on your sidewalk. Do you buy the $2,000 Termite control program he's selling, or do you figure he's just a conman and threaten to call the cops?

He'll always say, "But what if I'm right about the termites?"

Are you directing these statements at me? If so, you have not gotten my comments straight, I myself have not proposed a solution. I would not be in favor of disenfranchising, deporting, enslaving, or otherwise molesting any minority population regardless of their legal agenda. But beyond trying to prevent the conversion of our government into a theocracy through persuasion, and discussion, I am not sure what else could rightly be done; assuming of course the destruction of our democracy was inevitable.

[ April 29, 2008, 09:39 AM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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Tarrsk
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quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
I don't know what is more hypocritical in the denounciations; the secularists who often try to block religious people from holding political positions and therefore protect "democracy" or those who are trying to block Muslims because they often are trying to achieve the same results with their own version of "moral religious" laws.

Uh huh. Except that we're not talking about Muslims trying to get sharia written into legislation. We're not even talking about a Muslim private school. We're talking about a secular school that teaches Arabic and caters to Arab-born students (although it pointedly does not prevent non-Arabs from enrolling). The only link to Islam was that it would be "touched upon" in a religious studies course, which is no different from religious studies sections in most schools.

Oh, wait- the principal is Muslim. That clearly makes it nothing more than a madrassa in disguise. I mean, it's not like we have secular schools run by Christian principals or anything. [Roll Eyes]

To be clear, I'm also dismayed at the Muslim groups who interpreted Ms. Almontaser's cordial relationship with Jewish groups as "selling out" to "the Zionists." Although they have little power or public support compared to the conservative group led by Pipes, they still could have, and should have, supported a member of their community who was attempting to reach out to members of other religions, rather than treating her like dirt.

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twinky
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Apparently, putting the word "intifada" on a t-shirt makes you persona non grata in NYC.
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Mucus
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BlackBlade: Well, without commenting on the morality of the following actions, there are still a couple things (with a couple variations) that can be done since Muslims are not a majority of the population yet.

* Restricting immigration as a whole or in part (equitably or not)
* Encouraging immigration from countries that have fewer Muslims (either through non-discriminatory skill/economic background tests or blatantly based on country)

In Canada, we restrict immigration by selecting based on a point system for reuniting families, humanitarian concerns, and the economic impact. Quebec has some additional controls
This probably skews immigration somewhat from just picking immigrants randomly, although I do not know the details aside from a few obvious ones (ex: Quebec prefers French-speaking immigrants, boosting numbers of immigrants from former French colonies, but lowering the number of immigrants in total.)

I am unfamiliar with United States immigration law as it exists today, but I suspect that it is also not completely random or FIFO ... and in your theoretical, people may very well change the law to a very different form anyways.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Suppose a group could garner the votes to modify the fundamentals of our constitution based on mass immigration. What would be the ethical response IYO?
I'd probably start with not allowing over 300,000,000 people to immigrate. You're talking about moving from 1% of the population to enough people of the same mind so that they can freely ammend the U.S. Constitution. It's a preposterous suggestion at best.

If we were in a situation where this was going to happen, there is just about nothing we could do. If you have a monolithic group of people in a country that makes up such a vast majority of the population and has a focused will on acheiving an effect like this, it's pretty much either going to happen or everything will be thrown into chaos.

---

edit: If there are legitimate concerns about growing Muslim populations, they should be discussed. I just can't see "But what if they get enough numbers to impose sharia law." as a legitimate concern.

And, it should be noted, Irish, Polish, Italian, etc. Catholic immigration spawned the same sort of absurd fear mongering with people raising the specter of the immigrants imposing Catholicism and subservience to the Pope into the law of the land.

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Dagonee
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The following is meant to explore the minimum requirements for amending the Constitution, not to suggest it's likely.

To propose an amendment, one needs 2/3 of each house of Congress or 2/3 of the state legislatures. If we assume that a bare majority could compel action in any legislative body, then we the way that requires the least population is 2/3 of the state legislatures.

Using this chart, it appears that the 34 lowest population states have 94.7 million people, or about 31.7% of the population. Assuming each state has 1 extra person of the immigrant group to gain the majority, we would need 47.4 million, or about 15.9% of the population to propose a new amendment.

You need 38 states to approve an amendment. The 38 lowest population states have 40.2% of the population (120 million), so you would need about 20.1% of the population (about 60 million) strategically placed throughout 38 states to pass an amendment. Such an amendment could change anything but the number of senators per state.

The numbers are obviously different if one considers that the immigration involved. This is just to lay out the scenario.

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Mucus
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I think BlackBlade is just implying the US as a base, since he is most familiar with it. But in reality, he specifically noted that the scenario is more applicable to European countries. Perhaps, he's even thinking about it as an interesting thought experiment.

I do not get the impression that he is particularly worried about about the specific application to the US situation.

That is, IMHO, it seems like he is more interested in how a theoretical secular liberal democracy should handle an influx of a large number of conservative religious Muslims in general and in theory, rather than in the US and in specific.

(my interpretation of what he said anyways, YMMV)

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Xavier
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quote:
Apparently, putting the word "intifada" on a t-shirt makes you persona non grata in NYC.
Not sure what you mean by this Raja. The article is quite clear that she had absolutely nothing to do with the T-shirts.

Do you not believe this part of the article, or have a source that contradicts the article? Either of those seem reasonable to me, but its not clear (to me anyway) from your statement.

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Dan_raven
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It seems to me that with 200 years of history without the Christians in America turning the country into a Theocracy, there is little chance of it happening with an emerging small % Islamic population.

In fact, I hear scare stories like this coming mostly from the same people who proclaim the US is a "Christian Country" and work to promote their Christian Values as default for the nation.

Could it be that those who are seeking to turn this country into a Theocracy see in others reflections of themselves, and just don't like the competition?

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MrSquicky
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quote:
But in reality, he specifically noted that the scenario is more applicable to European countries.
I honestly don't see Muslims who are committed to imposing sharia having enough numbers to change the constitutions in the European countries we're talking about as any more plausible.

There are obviously issues, as evidenced by the riots in France, etc. I just feel that adding non-existent threats to the conversation only makes things more intractable.

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the_Somalian
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Daniel Pipes and his crowd are rabid Zionists. This is where the most vocal opposition to the school came from.
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twinky
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
quote:
Apparently, putting the word "intifada" on a t-shirt makes you persona non grata in NYC.
Not sure what you mean by this Raja. The article is quite clear that she had absolutely nothing to do with the T-shirts.

Do you not believe this part of the article, or have a source that contradicts the article? Either of those seem reasonable to me, but its not clear (to me anyway) from your statement.

Sorry, my post was really sloppy. I meant three things:
  • If people think you are associated with the putting of the word "intifada" on a t-shirt in NYC, you become persona non grata, as happened to Ms. Almontaser
  • If you did put the word "intifada" on a t-shirt in NYC, you become persona non grata (Ms. Almontaser did not do this)
  • I think both of the first two things are absurd

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
BlackBlade: Well, without commenting on the morality of the following actions, there are still a couple things (with a couple variations) that can be done since Muslims are not a majority of the population yet.

* Restricting immigration as a whole or in part (equitably or not)
* Encouraging immigration from countries that have fewer Muslims (either through non-discriminatory skill/economic background tests or blatantly based on country)

In Canada, we restrict immigration by selecting based on a point system for reuniting families, humanitarian concerns, and the economic impact. Quebec has some additional controls
This probably skews immigration somewhat from just picking immigrants randomly, although I do not know the details aside from a few obvious ones (ex: Quebec prefers French-speaking immigrants, boosting numbers of immigrants from former French colonies, but lowering the number of immigrants in total.)

I am unfamiliar with United States immigration law as it exists today, but I suspect that it is also not completely random or FIFO ... and in your theoretical, people may very well change the law to a very different form anyways.

Oooo! I know this one! (Okay, I happen to have this information right in front of me.)
If somebody really wanted to they could crunch these numbers of available visas with Dag's numbers of how many votes it would take to amend the Constitution. And remember that to apply to become a citizen (and thus able to vote) you have to have had legal permanent resident status for 5 years.


These are for permanent resident/work status, not short term visas. Numbers from the Immigrant Policy Center, Washington DC.

An adult US citizen can apply for a visa for his or her spouse, unmarried child under 21, or parent. These are not numerically limited.

The annual limits on other family categories are:
23,400 visas for unmarried adult sons and daughters of US citizens
87,900 visas for unmarried adult sons and daughters of Legal Permanent Residents
23,400 visas for married sons and daughters of US citizens
65,000 visas for brothers and sisters of US citizens

Permanent employment visas (must be apply for by the employer):
40,000 for persons of “extraordinary ability” in the arts, science, education, businesss, or athletics; outstanding professors and researches; multinational executives and managers
40,000 for persons holding advanced degrees or persons of “exceptional ability” in the arts, science, or business.
5,000 for skilled shortage workers with at least 2 years of training or experience and professionals with college degrees.
10,000 for ministers, religious workers, and former US government employees
10,000 for persons who invest $500,000 to $3 million in job creating enterprises and employ at least 10 US workers.

Refugees: number set annually by the President

Diversity Lottery:
55,000 visas available each year awarded by computer-generated random drawing. To apply for the lottery you have to have a high school education or equivalent or two years experience within the last 5 years working at a job that requires at least 2 years training or experience. Visas are distributed among the 6 geographical regions with the greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration. No visa from this category goes to nationals of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the US over the last 5 years. No one country within any geographical region may receive more than 7% of the available visas for that region.

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twinky
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Is there also a limit to TN class non-permanent work visas?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
I think BlackBlade is just implying the US as a base, since he is most familiar with it. But in reality, he specifically noted that the scenario is more applicable to European countries. Perhaps, he's even thinking about it as an interesting thought experiment.

I do not get the impression that he is particularly worried about about the specific application to the US situation.

That is, IMHO, it seems like he is more interested in how a theoretical secular liberal democracy should handle an influx of a large number of conservative religious Muslims in general and in theory, rather than in the US and in specific.

(my interpretation of what he said anyways, YMMV)

Precisely my sentiments.

Mr S:
quote:
I honestly don't see Muslims who are committed to imposing sharia having enough numbers to change the constitutions in the European countries we're talking about as any more plausible.

There are obviously issues, as evidenced by the riots in France, etc. I just feel that adding non-existent threats to the conversation only makes things more intractable.

Why do you think it's implausible? Do you mean that nobody is seriously considering voting Sharia into law in any European country? Or are you saying that some factor will prevent Muslims from ever obtaining majority status? Or is there something I am missing?

quote:
If we were in a situation where this was going to happen, there is just about nothing we could do. If you have a monolithic group of people in a country that makes up such a vast majority of the population and has a focused will on acheiving an effect like this, it's pretty much either going to happen or everything will be thrown into chaos.

OK so would you ever attempt to prevent such a change? If such a change took place do you think there is anything ethical that could be done?

I personally think that I would probably try to prevent such legislation from getting enough votes by discussing it and networking. If it did happen, I would probably leave the country and go somewhere more hospitable, assuming of course the laws were intolerable.

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by twinky:
Is there also a limit to TN class non-permanent work visas?

From a cursory skimming of the relevant law (which means I may have missed something, since trying to read outline-format on a poorly designed website is hard) there seems to be no numerical limit on that particular type of visa for citizens of Canada, but there is a limit for citizens of Mexico. There is, however, a total limit on the number of non-immigrant visas that can be issued each year, which would presumably come into play.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Why do you think it's implausible? Do you mean that nobody is seriously considering voting Sharia into law in any European country? Or are you saying that some factor will prevent Muslims from ever obtaining majority status? Or is there something I am missing?
I think it is implausible because I can't come up with a way for this to happen that comes close to plausible to me. Can you?
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Dan_raven
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Many European countries, in there bid for Empire, controlled a lot of Muslim countries. However colonization is a two way street and many Muslim people headed to different parts of Europe where they thought prosperity came from.

These were followed in later decades by migrant workers and poor African and Mid-Eastern people seeking to find a profitable place in the global market.

So it is that most European countries have a minority of Islamic people. In fact Europe has a faster growing Islamic Community than many Islamic countries, and the Islamic extremists know it. They are demanding that Sharia law be put in place, and some European politicians, looking at those votes, are considering it.

So yes, if the population of Islamic people continue to increase while the populations of Jews, Christians, and Secularists decreases, then sometime in the future the Islamicists will have a majority.

What can we do to disallow this from happening? Certainly not make Islam illegal, or persecute those who believe in it.

What you do is 1) Procreate. (I believe that the LDS has the same plans for the US--Out procreate the liberals, secularists, and others until you have a majority. Good luck with that.) 2) Show that you are not a threat. Once someone thinks you are a threat, they will work hard to remove you. Showing you are not a threat won't stop them from removing you, but it will put that job lower on the todo list. 3) Seduce them away from their Islamic Fundamentalist ways with our secular capitalistic materialism. Wii is the answer.

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twinky
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Hmmmmm. Thanks, dkw. [Smile]
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
Why do you think it's implausible? Do you mean that nobody is seriously considering voting Sharia into law in any European country? Or are you saying that some factor will prevent Muslims from ever obtaining majority status? Or is there something I am missing?
I think it is implausible because I can't come up with a way for this to happen that comes close to plausible to me. Can you?
Sure. Muslims already have a foothold in both Great Britain and France. Religious orientation encourages them to have many children, which is why their fertility rate is 3 times that of non-Muslims. As their numbers increase their power as a voting bloc increases. As when any new minority gains prominence, blocs with different agendas attempt to band together to suppress what the new strong Muslim bloc can accomplish, as well as discouraging new Muslim immigrants from moving in. An US v Them mentality is created.

Say this coalition goes too far and starts actively discriminating against Muslims. Based on how far they go different outcomes are plausible. If they hurt Muslims economically but allow Muslims to vote, this forces Muslims to band ever more tightly together and as they continue to reproduce faster then their opponents eventually the math adds up in their favor. Non-Muslims are seen as obstacles to be overcome by religious zeal.

If the opposition coalition goes beyond economics and starts persecuting Muslims politically, then it's possible for there to be a violent revolt eventually that either side could win depending on when it happens and who the players are.

IMO I think I agree that it's unlikely such outcomes will take place as there are myriad occurrences that could prevent it, but I still think it's plausible.

We can already see an alienation of the Muslim population in France, and Denmark.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
they continue to reproduce faster then their opponents eventually the math adds up in their favor
That's the part I don't think is plausible. We're talking about enormous numbers of people here, who are all going to want to impose sharia and hold a consistent desire for this across many generations.

As I've said, you're repeating the same fear mongering that was done for Catholic immigrants. I don't see it as any more plausible in this case as it was then.

quote:
We can already see an alienation of the Muslim population in France, and Denmark.
I agree, which is why I think giving consideration to this demographic overthrow fantasy can be actively harmful. There are real issues to be addressed that turning Muslim people into single-minded monolithic threats who are all nesting in these liberal societies like malevolent cuckoo eggs, just waiting to overthrow them through some dubious astounding increase, are going to hinder.
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Mucus
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*shrug* He's noted that its unlikely, as long as we keep that in mind, I don't see why speculation about the mere possibility would be harmful. After all, we're on a science fiction forum where the hosting author has speculated about a civil war between the democrats and republicans in the near future with mechs [Wink]
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MrSquicky
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We're on a thread that was started related to an incident that shows exactly why I think it is something to take seriously.
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Nato
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The value of free speech paired with democracy is that it is assumed that intelligent viewpoints will percolate to the surface, that we wouldn't kill a modern Gallileo. If you believe in free speech and democracy, you have to trust that this process will work and fight to make it work as well as possible. (I don't want to argue that the US is Democratic, of course, but we should fight to make it responsive to what the people want)... I don't believe that America will ever nominally adopt a system that doesn't have free speech as one of its core tenets, even if it's not free in practice. Are any of you going to let a majority of your friends use democratic power to cut off free speech?
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Human
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I've heard it expressed in relation to this that it was a stupid idea to try this in New York at all, because the memory of 9/11 is far too strong and close at hand. Is that a valid argument? I mean, should we really tolerate New York being less tolerant of Muslims simply because of 9/11?
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Mucus
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MrSquicky:
I have a tough time self-censoring, even worse, encouraging others that a topic is verboten, simply because of ... what?

I'm not even sure what you're suggesting.

Are you suggesting that our speculation might be taken seriously as both a probable event and something that could somehow be misconstrued as encouraging events against secular Muslims (or rather Arabic culture?) like those depicted in that article?

If only our posts on a forum *really* had that kind of accidental power.

Personally, I think a detailed academic discussion about the possibility, what could happen, and exactly how likely it is to happen (i.e. not very) is more likely to be, well, ignored by the kind of people that would actively rally against a school that teaches Arabic.

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BlackBlade
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Mr S:
quote:
That's the part I don't think is plausible. We're talking about enormous numbers of people here, who are all going to want to impose sharia and hold a consistent desire for this across many generations.
Do you think large numbers of people are unable to have at least one similar goal? I have suggested that in the face of persecution Sharia might become more vocalized as something necessary.

quote:
As I've said, you're repeating the same fear mongering that was done for Catholic immigrants. I don't see it as any more plausible in this case as it was then.
It be nice if you said why not, rather then simply saying that talking about all this causes harm.

quote:
I agree, which is why I think giving consideration to this demographic overthrow fantasy can be actively harmful. There are real issues to be addressed that turning Muslim people into single-minded monolithic threats who are all nesting in these liberal societies like malevolent cuckoo eggs, just waiting to overthrow them through some dubious astounding increase, are going to hinder.
I am not trying to prove that in the case of Islam this fear is warranted. I was originally interested in discussing what a people could ethically do to protect their government and society so that it is not intolerably altered by a minority that is poised to become the majority one day. You have said there is nothing to be done, and that discussion of this topic causes real harm. Very well, clearly we won't be having this discussion.
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Blayne Bradley
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ethnic cleansing.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
It be nice if you said why not,
I've said why not several times. The numbers that you are talking about that they would need to achieve don't appear at all plausible to me.

If you got the impression that I was saying that just talking about this causes harm, that was not my intent. I was tryign to say that treating this as any sort of credible threat has the potential to cause harm.

---

If we're talking about hypotheticals, we surely can entertain this. Although, I think that Mormons constitute a greater hypothetical threat, at least in America. They're the worlds fastest growing religion, they are centered here, and they are aggressively seeking converts. As such, I'd prefer to talk about the hypothetical threat of Mromons instituting a polygamous theocracy, as that seems more of a danger to me.

How does the majority protect itself from Mormons establishing the numbers to insitute a theocracy?

Well, I think the answer in the early stages is assimilation. As happened with all immigrant groups, I expect that Mormons who came to this country would come to adopt some of the values and ways of doing things that has been established. This would especially be true across populations. The children of immigrants generally come to embrace the new culture more strongly than their parents. As time goes on, I imagine that the Mormon populations' drive towards establishing their theocracy would be greatly blunted.

Ultimately, the principles (and yes, lower attractions) of liberal democratic societies hold up pretty well in winning people over, but only over time.

If we're looking at a a huge spike in the Mormon population in a given place where they are generally self-isolating, we can't really count on them giving up their drive towards a theocracy where non-Mormons are treated as second class citizens.

In that case, I'm not entirely sure what we should do. There are some ways mainly consistent with our country's principles to limit their growth, such as by limiting immigration. However, they are soft obstacles at best. If we're dealing with a Mormon population that only views the workings of democracy as something that they can use in a demographic might makes right situation in order to destroy the laws and principles of the country that they are settling in, it may actually become a choice between actions not consistent with our principles and surrender to a Mormon enemy bent on conquering us.

Hypothetically speaking.

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Mucus
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While I agree that the threat of Muslim growth to dominance in the States is relatively minor, I think the threat of Mormon growth to dominance would be even less likely.

First, I cannot find independent corroboration of your claim that Mormonism is the fastest growing religion, either in the States or worldwide. Doing some quick googling, it seems that usually either due to the birth-rates in India or elsewhere in the third-world that either Islam or Hinduism or some such end up on top in absolute measures while in percentage terms there are usually some wacky groups that would manage to outpace Mormonism, like Jedi [Wink]

As for the States specifically, this is what I managed to find:
quote:

In 1997, the US Society and Values magazine published an overview of religion in the U.S., using data from the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. 3,4 They reported:
...
* Islam is numerically the fastest growing organized religion in the U.S., in terms of numbers of adherents.
* The most rapidly growing religious/spiritual/ethics grouping in the US is not an organized religion; it consists of non-believers (Atheists, Agnostics, etc.).

http://www.religioustolerance.org/us_rel1.htm

quote:

Polling data from the 2001 ARIS study, described below, indicate that:
...
The fastest growing religion (in terms of percentage) is Wicca -- a Neopagan religion that is sometimes referred to as Witchcraft. Numbers of adherents went from 8,000 in 1990 to 134,000 in 2001. Their numbers of adherents are doubling about every 30 months. 4,5 Wiccans in Australia have a very similar growth pattern, from fewer than 2,000 in 1996 to 9,000 in 2001. 10 In Canada, Wiccans and other Neopagans showed the greatest percentage growth of any faith group. They totaled 21,080 members in 1991, an increase of 281% from 1990.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_prac2.htm

As for the actual percentage changes in number in the States, we can consider the 'Self-Described Religious Identification of U.S. Adult Population: 1990 and 2001'
While the numerical growth of Mormons in relation to themselves was 12.1%, there are still a lot of religious groups with a faster growth rate. Even more heartening the numbers of 'No religion/Atheist/Agnostic' are at 105.7% even with a higher starting population.

The numbers are even less attractive (in terms of a Mormon growth to dominance) in terms of total % changes. Mormons actually dropped -0.1% while a number of the others I mentioned had growth rates of 0.4% and +6.6% for the non-religious.

Comparing directly with Muslims, Muslims grew as a percentage +0.3% while Mormons dropped -0.1% and Muslims grew at an absolute rate of +109.5% while Mormons grew at 12.1% Thus, while a Muslim growth to dominance seems unlikely, a Mormon one would seem even less likely.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Religious_affiliation

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MrSquicky
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Right, but I'm assumming a hypothetical mass migration to the U.S. by all the worldwide Mormon communities.

---

The "world's fastest growing religion" is something that I've heard LDS on Hatrack say, so I figured it was accurate. I didn't try to verify it myself.

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BlackBlade
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Coincidentally Mr S, I almost used the example of Mormonism as another alternative we could discuss, but it ended up getting too convoluted. I'll try to get to some of your points later.
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