Politics

‘Refugees Welcome’ Signs Pop Up Throughout The Neighborhood

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Photo by walnutwordsalad
Photo by walnutwordsalad

If you’ve walked around the neighborhood recently you may have noticed green posters in several shop windows saying, “Refugees Are Welcome Here.”

The posters are part of a campaign by the organization Jews Against Islamophobia, which is a collaboration between Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No that has been organizing around fighting Islamophobia.
“We think it is especially important to show our solidarity with the Muslim community at this moment, when there is rampant surveillance and profiling of Muslims, and Muslims are being stereotyped and stigmatized in the media and by prominent politicians,” says Emily Hoffman, one of the canvassers who helped put up the posters.
“We are hoping they will contribute to a neighborhood culture that is welcoming to all refugees, but particularly Muslim refugees, since they are met with so much fear and discrimination. These refugees are not terrorists; they are fleeing ISIS, which has destroyed their homeland.”
Emily says Jewish Voice for Peace members also put posters up on the Upper West Side and in Crown Heights, as well as across the county. She says the response by the community was generally positive as the canvassers put up posters. However, some businesses told them they were worried the posters would be too political and some of the posters have since been taken down.
“We hope that the several remaining posters and our conversations with both the businesses that put up the posters and those who did not or who took them down later will spark important conversations about how to create a neighborhood that is welcoming to and stands in solidarity with refugees and all people persecuted because of their ethnicity or religion,” says Emily.
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Comment policy

210 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sure the US will do a more thorough job of background checks on them and police will have them under surveillance. The government has a lot more freedom to monitor people here than they do in most European countries that don’t yet have the Patriot Act

  2. No reason to think the US will do any better conducting background checks than any Western European country. The personal info on each migrant is barely existent, and many are using aliases with fake passports.

  3. Tell that to the 90 women who were sexually assaulted in Cologne on NYE. I guess they’re “racist” for describing their attackers as “middle eastern”.

  4. America is for all refugees that flee persecution and there are many religious minorities suffering at the hands of terror. May we only recall the Yadzidis that had to be rescued off of a hilltop. Many a time throughout our history our hand was not so outstrectched to others fleeing tyrants. And as any country must do when there is a demand for such an exodus of refugees there must be a commensurate program to provide housing, schooling, medical care, police , fire, etc. so that having a short supply is not followed by a drive sendining all these personal costs skyrocketting upward. As with any conflict, there will always be the unsavory who see those countries who accept refugees as their adversaries. Does America suffer from Islamophobia? When we see a community center in the neighborhood that is named after a person who denounced political divisions within and amongst Muslim nations, and frequently alluded to and spoke in terms of the global Muslim community or the Ummah — does a person get fearful? A person that rejected the political attitudes and conduct of Muslim politicians, whom he saw as morally misguided, attached to power and without any standing with Muslim masses –does a person get fearful?. A person who emphasized that Islam came with “legal concepts” with “civic significance,” with its “religious ideals” considered as inseparable from social order: “therefore, the construction of a policy on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a Muslim” — does a person get fearful? A person who stressed not only the need for the political unity of Muslim communities, but the undesirability of blending the Muslim population into a wider society not based on Islamic principles — does a person get fearful? When it is professed that their Prophet is the true and final messenger — does a person get fearful? When a person speaks a differnt language that you do not understand do you not wonder what is being said? When you to speak to a Muslim school student and they tell you, after you offer them to shake their hand, they are so gleeful that they cannot believe that they shook the hand of a Jew, that their friends will be so amazed. So does it not all begin with dialogue and understanding of refugees who come to our shores?

  5. YOUR women? Sorry to break it to you, but rape and sexual assaults are committed by just as many white, American men as they are by men of other races and ethnicities in this country. Gender-based violence is a huge problem that spans all countries, cultures, and classes. Don’t use the assault on women’s human rights everywhere as an excuse to deny the victims of war the right to asylum. The hate-filled speech of Trump and his ilk is a complete and utter disgrace.

  6. This is such an important and good message to be putting out in our wonderfully diverse neighborhood. That neighbors canvassed with these posters and shop keepers display them makes me proud to live and shop here.

  7. How does a local pastor like yourself respond to the above questions of not being fearful of others who follow the beliefs of a man so described above?

  8. Sexual assault, rape, honor killings, female genital mutilation, misogyny – generally treating women as sub-human chattel – are as common here as it is in Raqqah? I dare you to tell Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai that American men in Ditmas Park are as dangerous as those where she comes from.

  9. Not sure what this rambling, incoherent pablum is, but we can definitely agree on this:

    We’re happy to have immigrants, so long as they accept Western liberal values, acclimate, and get to work.

  10. Pat yourself on the back, hero. When this happens to your kid walking home from school, wipe his tears with those posters:

  11. Probably you have not seen that community center and even if you did you would not know who they were named after. When you found out you would be raising Holy Hell. We can only agree that you are unaware of your surroundings and how your surroundings effect you. How about you happily housing an immigrant, teaching them Western liberal values, acclimate them and getting them a job. Stop raising Hell and ascend to Heaven.

  12. And I dare YOU to treat women as sub-human chattel by claiming they belong to you while in the same breath claiming that an entire population of refugees (including women and girls and children and mothers) all view women as sub-human chattel. And also simultaneously invoke one of today’s most ardent champions for compassion and human rights as part of your “argument.” Oh wait.

    http://time.com/4027099/malala-refugee-crisis-angela-merkel/

    Oops.

  13. I support efforts to aid refugees 100%. However, I don’t see why migration is the answer. Why can’t monied, Western powers provide neighboring, culturally similar nations with money and other resources that they need to feed, clothe and house these refugees? Wouldn’t this ultimately be in the best interest of everyone, including the refugees themselves? Yes, I know this would have to go on for a long time and would no doubt be expensive, but it would allow the refugees to eventually return to their homes and resume the lives that were interrupted by war. I just find it odd that this situation is represented as having two, and only two resolutions: either permanently resettling millions of people all over the earth or callously leaving them to die. I just don’t buy it.

    Just my two cents. Flame away.

  14. Frankly, as a woman, I don’t really think I appreciate you speaking for me. All men are threatening and I don’t appreciate you using my supposed safety as an excuse to exercise your racism.

    I doubt you are all up in arms around the white LDS communities in Utah where child marriage and abuse run rampant. (Also, in contrast, just because that happens, I don’t think every LDS does is a child abuser.. See how that works?)

  15. Homegrown terrorists who blow up buildings, shot school children, and occupy bird sanctuaries are more of a terrorist risk than people fleeing ISIS. We should welcome the refugees into our community.

  16. When did I say women belong to me? When did I say an “entire population”? Don’t put words in my mouth.

    And I’m certainly more open to allowing women and children. Young men, far more skeptical.

  17. How do you know I’m not a woman?

    Second, “all men are threatening”? So you never leave your house? That’s an absurd statement.

    Third, living in the parts of Northern Africa and Middle East where these migrants come from, even before it was war-ravaged, would not be a fate you would ever wish for your daughters. Stop being a hypocrite.

    And, yes, I’m up in arms against child abuse, wherever it occurs, including the LDS community.

  18. I did live in the middle east (I am female) with two sisters, a mother, a grandmother, for over a decade and I will forever treasure the experience! You have no idea what you’re talking about!!

  19. Ditto. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a binary argument. But these people don’t actually want to see Ditmas Park turn into refugee camp. They just want to throw up posters, and pat themselves on the back at dinner parties for having politically correct opinions. If/when our neighborhood begins to resemble Calais, they will be singing a very different tune.

  20. Well, any number is greater than zero, so yes, not as many as the Federal Bldg. Which is less is than 9/11. Nobody is saying other types of terrorism aren’t abhorrent. Let’s minimize it all where we can.

  21. “Sure, if you want our women raped in the streets.”

    our = relating to or belonging to us – http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/our

    “generally treating women as sub-human chattel – are as common here as it is in Raqqah?”

    generally = in a general way : in a way that is not detailed or specific
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/generally

    common = occurring or appearing frequently : not rare; done by many people
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/COMMON

    So, no, not an entire population. Apologies. But you sure are making some sweeping generalizations about what’s more common where and how that should play into our country’s decision to accept refugees of a civil war, regardless of gender.

    If you (or anyone) is interested, take a look at the extremely rigorous U.S. refugee process: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/11/20/infographic-screening-process-refugee-entry-united-states

    How common is misogyny in Ditmas Park incidentally?

    Don’t bother answering. I’m done engaging with you.

  22. So what are you personally doing to win the hearts, minds and souls of these refugee immigrants. If you cannot put up, then you should shut up. You talk the talk but do not walk the walk.

  23. “Our”, meaning, women, collectively in our community. Again, I’ll ask, when did I say “women belong to me”? You’re being intellectually dishonest.

    Again, if you’re claiming there’s structural and societal misogyny in Ditmas Park is on par with what’s going on in Islamofascist societies, you’re nuts. Or just being intellectually dishonest, once again.

  24. He’s making generalizations because decision making requires one to make generalizations based on data and probabilities. It’d be great if we never had to generalize or think in general terms (well, it would put a lot of scientists out of work, but nevermind that for now…), and sometimes people really suck at it because they have poor data or because they aren’t very good at assigning relative probabilities. But that’s a separate (and much more interesting) issue. There’s nothing inherently objectionable about “generalization”. We do it all the time, usually because circumstances require it.

  25. Comparing the migrant crisis in Calais and people who are brought here on refugee status are not at all the same situation and neither is there any risk of that occurring unless the Quebec secedes from Canada and has a civil war (half joke but you know they want to). Then maybe we’ll have a migrant crisis of Canadians looking to avoid the strife in their own home country with illegal entering another country.

    The point stated that as Americans, to offer people who are actual refugees of conflict a legal path to the United States and our way of life. This is not so entirely different to the Jews after Word War II, as many American’s responded to not allow them to migrate to the United States after the atrocities they experienced and the complete displacement after the war. Thankfully, enough people who understood the principals of being an American and human being allowed some migration, but with certain reservations. Its not easy for us and most certainly not easy for them, but we don’t ignore these challenges for its challenges.

    Too many Americans forget that at some point they’re family was a migrant. My family was and I happen to be an American immigrant, so my perspective is likely more cognisant the some.

  26. Well, you are obligated to pay your income taxes. Which of course will provide funding to bring them here, house them, provide education that will bring them up to speed and acclimate. So you’ll play your part in this.

  27. You’re just a regular old Fox News outlet that considers refugees from groups like ISIS and the Taliban to the actual perpetrators of those crimes. These people were running for their lives from them and many are not even Muslim. You know there is a term for this kind of thinking and you might even know it. Fascism.

  28. We are significantly more capable than all of the Western European intelligence services. Certainly not perfect, but far better equipped. Now if we could only control dumb behavior, we might get some excellent value out if it.

  29. Man these comments coming from people from this neighborhood. I could post stupid videos of racist Americans to put my point across or remind people the racism in these neighborhoods few decades back. To deny refugees which the american govt caused for their migration is wrong. USA is all immigrants unless you have native american blood. We have no right to choose who we want in this country or who we don’t. This is why we have federal agencies checking on their background and not people like Holy Hell. The funny part this neighborhood has many immigrants that have been living here for a long time. They make Ditmas Park special.

  30. And you’re just a cliche, pseudo-leftist who spouts vapidly about “Fox News”. Anyone who has any concern for liberal values, such as gender equality and gay rights, should be very concerned about importing a culture that doesn’t share those values.

  31. Muslims who accept Western liberal values, as our ancestors and Jewish refugees did, are welcome.

    Unfortunately, according to any number of polls of people in Northern Africa and the Middle East, there is a frightening number of Muslims in that region who do not recognize those values. Not welcome.

  32. Many of the refugees have no religion and many are not even Muslim. Also, I loathe either the hard right or left as both produce fountains of idiocy. Fox news just happens to one of those fountains as apparently are you. There is little doubt that Islamic fundamentalists have no business even visiting the United States due to their extreme intolerance. Let’s not reciprocate, mmmKay.

  33. We have every right to choose who we let in this country and who we don’t. In fact, the Constitution allows the USG to allow or disallow migrants for any reason, or no reason whatsoever.

    Secondly, you’re right. Bigotry was bad here, and many parts of Brooklyn. I don’t want to set the clock back, and see an influx of people who don’t share our values of gender equality, gay rights and secular government.

  34. Even you can’t possibly believe that a substantial portion of the migrants have no religion or are Christians. To those whom that applies – welcome.

    To those who acknowledge secular democracy, gay rights, and gender equality – welcome.

  35. There is a significant number of Syrian Christians that had resided there before the civil war broke out. Just like many others in various religions, many are not observant and Syria in particular is a complex melange of belief systems. Its a highly diverse area.

    I find it funny bringing up the point of gay rights acknowledgment. It’s not like the United States of America acknowledges those rights across the union. We have plenty of growing up still to do.

  36. Christians made up 10% of the Syrian population. If 1 in 10 migrants is Christian, I’m not sure I would call that significant. But, to those who are – welcome.

    And, you’re going to embarrass yourself if you try to compare the plights of gays in the US to those in Muslim countries.

  37. I’m not comparing them at all and redirecting as you apparently are doing. I’m just stating that your requesting something of them that we haven’t accepted ourselves entirely. Which is an embarrassment for any of us.

    Also, you don’t call 2.2 million Christians significant? That would surpass a majority of US cities in population. Also, stop comparing us to any of these Muslim countries. If people there decide to reside in that system, so be it and issues that come along with it. It’s certainly not our cup of tea and there are many people who will have to abandon their homes due to it. I don’t agree with it, but neither does it mater if I do or not.

    Don’t take this as an acceptance of crimes against humanity that groups like ISIS present. Attempts at genocide should never be accepted globally.

  38. We could debate semantics over whether 10% is significant. It’s not really relevant to the debate, anyway. We want migrants who acknowledge and accept values of tolerance, irrespective of their religion. That’s all I’m saying.

  39. If I read you right, you are saying that Muslims are more likely to commit crimes related to women than any other group. Syrian Christians are less safer than agnostic, secular, or orthodox Muslim, for example. Better check the recent spate of priests and rabbis who have been found to be diddling small children. You also might want to stop migration from Hindu India where rape has recently become a public discussion.

  40. Why should Muslim immigrants singled out to denounce their own backgrounds when Russians, Mexicans, Chinese are not?

  41. The US accepted dismally few refugees so your fear of bomb-throwing rapists running amok in front of the Cortelyou Road subway station are largely unfounded. The posters were meant to tell pedestrians that our neighborhood is welcoming and refuses to continence hatred of strangers, particularly Muslims. I guess they were wrong.

  42. To answer both your posts, I don’t particularly care what religion or ethnicity a migrant is. I care whether or not they came from a culture that shares our Western values. If not, not interested in them joining our community.

    I feel I’ve been pretty clear on this.

  43. No, racism is assuming a particular race is more likely to rape women than other races. Describing the visual appearance of specific individual and accusing that specific individual (or individuals when SPECIFIC individuals have acted together) is the opposite of racist.

  44. Anyone who wants to immigrate here probably wants to live as most Americans do. As far as “basic values”- are you referring to capitalism, the role of women, abortion, capital punishment, religion, what constitutes racism, the interpretation of the Constitution, or the role of the federal government in bird sanctuaries?

  45. Ok. Nobody said a particular race is more likely to rape. However, polling shows that Middle Eastern culture hold women in lower regard than is acceptable by Western standards. This leads to abuse and misogyny.

  46. Yes – secular governance, gender equality, gay rights, and ideological tolerance.

    Women being free to drive, associate freely with whomever they please, dress as they please, etc.

    Gays having the right to exist without being executed.

    You know, the simple things in life.

  47. I asked the question and you provide the answer if you feel any obligation to keep your country safe and if you would do anything specifically. I can only ask you the question, but I cannot provide your answer. Only you can do that for yourself. For example, what is your reaction to a community center that is named after a person of such political ideology when it goes against your hard and fast rule that migrants must accept Western liberal values and acclimate? How specifically would you react?

  48. I’m not a soldier or a cop. As a taxpayer, I leave it up to those jobs to keep us safe. As far as your community center, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  49. Finally, we get to your foundation. Why do go against migrants who do not accept your values when your safety as a taxpayer provides jobs to keep you safe? The common thread throughout all your comments is that you feel unsafe with migrants who do not acclimate to your Western values. The bottom line is that you feel unsafe in your own country and you are in an intellectual quandry. As for the community center reread the original comment if it was not clear to you in your first reading.

  50. I’m not sure I follow. Wanting cops to protect us from criminals does not contradict not wanting people in the neighborhood who think gays should die for being gay.

    As for your original post, it’s unreadable, so I’ll just grant you whatever convoluted point you were making about the community center.

  51. I have to say that is a weird logic. What it sounds like you are saying is, “we have police/military paid for by taxes to keep us safe, let’s give them something to do”.

    I would hope that the US is better equipped to screen these migrants so that we don’t have any issues with the ones we bring in versus saying bring them all and if anything happens we can just raise more taxes to have the police/military take care of it. I’m sure there are a lot of good people there, let’s bring them in temporarily and weed out the bad.

  52. I did not say there was a contradiction. Thoughts are not criminal but become criminal if it turns into criminal behavior. So you want to control other’s thoughts? This you cannot do. This is not your Western liberal values. You want to have Western values but deny those Western values to others. You want to be the “thought and morality police.” That is inconsistent with liberal Western values. This is your intellectual quandry. Rest assured that any criminal behavior, even by migrants will not be tolerated by those that your taxpayer dollars go to safeguard you. Have a healthy, happy and safe 2016.

  53. This was not my logic. Instead, it is the weird logic that was introduced by Holy Hell who said let them in if they accept liberal Western values. Once migrants say yes and are let in, then our taxpayer dollars will work to safeguard us. Thank God Holy Hell is not part of our Homeland Security team. We have high hopes that we can better screen these migrants. Did not stop such tragedies in the past. All it takes is just one failure in our screening process and we will all be saying “Holy Hell.” Holy Hell is in an intellectual quandary and must find their way out of it.

  54. Lol, I love that you jumped on that one.

    My mistake, I meant to write “All KINDS OF men are threatening” but was typing too fast. I can admit mistakes, see how that works?

    I’m not talking about sending daughters to places that can be oppressive to women. I’m talking about accepting those who are running from oppression.

    Also, that’s a minimzing perspective of that country. Half my relatives won’t visit me here because they think they’ll get shot because that’s all they hear about America.

    Finally, regardless if you are a woman or not, I still don’t appreciate, as a woman, my safety being used as an excuse for racism.

  55. “Western liberal values, as our ancestors and Jewish refugees did”

    You mean our ancestors accepted gay rights and gender equality, which you mentioned above as a criteria for accepting refugees? By your criteria even Americans ten or fifty years ago wouldn’t be accepted as refugees now.

  56. Holy Hell you just do not get it. We may be able to ask immigrants to sign a declaration that they abide by our Constitution, but cannot ask immigrants if they are for gay rights, gender equality, abortion, etc. The only value that can be shared is a respect to follow our Constitution. As you say, we can always deny disallow migrants without any reason. But once a decision has been made to allow migrants into our country we can only ask them if they have an allegiance to a foreign power, if they do not support enemies both foreign and domestic and if they support the Constitution of the United States.. We cannot control what their opinions are or if they support abortion, gender equality, gay rights,or same same sex marriages, That would make us no different from the tyrants that they fled from. You adoption of Western liberal values is equivalent to the “morality police” from tyrants from where they left. Is that want you want for this country?

  57. I never said all men are threatening. I said the opposite. It was the troll, Musket Tucker, who said that all men are threatening. I suppose she believes that only female refugees should be welcomed.

  58. Perhaps you could explain about this “polling” and “Middle Eastern Culture” to the dead women and children on Greek beaches escaping a brutal regime. I’m sure they’d be willing to listen to a wonderful humanitarian like yourself.

  59. I used to point this out to people all of the time, but eventually gave up. It’s completely and utterly lost on most.

  60. Dude. We’re Americans. We can’t entertain more than two courses of action at the same time. We have to choose between extreme and irrational solution no 1 or extreme and irrational solution no 2. It’s just in our DNA.

  61. Also, I just want to point out that all current republican nominees for the US presidency do not share these ‘liberal values’…..ie, in some ways, their opinions re: women’s equality (and the right to contraception, abortion, etc.) and gay rights really aren’t too different from those of fundamentalist Muslims.

  62. Just as I suspected. The posters are vapid, masturbatory signaling for residents who would never in a million years actually be comfortable hosting any significant number of “refugees”.

  63. I respectfully disagree when you “point out out that all current republican nominees for the US presidency do not share these ‘liberal values’…..ie, in some ways, their opinions re: women’s equality (and the right to contraception, abortion, etc.) and gay rights really aren’t too different from those of fundamentalist Muslims.” Let me point out that fundamentalist opinion regarding the examples that you cited.is to “cleanse” their societies from people who hold those ideologies. None of the all current Republican nominees for the U,.S. presidency share that extremist view. This is a major difference and it should not be played down as sugggesting that the Republican nominees opinions are not too different from Islamic fundamentalists. I challenge you to name any candidate who holds those same Islamic fundamentalist ideologies.

  64. My point was that, similar to Muslim fundamentalists, Christian fundamentalists (and most Republican nominees) also oppose a woman’s human right to abortion (and in many cases contraception) and the equal rights of gay people (e.g., to marriage). Since Holy Hell kept indicating that we shouldn’t let people migrate to this country if they do not hold our ‘same liberal values,’ I thought it relevant to point out that half of our own country’s leaders favor policies that oppress women and gay people. Of course you are correct that there is a difference in magnitude — using violence vs. simple laws to oppress people….

  65. prove it. The federal government makes a grievous decision which you then dump at the feet of the few who dare question it.

    “Masturbatory signaling” is a great phrase. I have no idea you mean by it, but it evokes an interesting picture.

  66. The whole point of American Multiculturalism is that people can come here and not adapt to anything. All they have to do is find their particular cultural niche and then forget about the rest of America.

  67. Thank you. It means the neighborhood is signaling to itself how smugly progressive it is for the sake of self-gratification. Like a group of attractive women sitting around talking about how hot they are.

    You could also call it a preening stroke-fest, but I quite like my original phrase.

  68. I’m not even necessarily saying they’re criminals. I don’t want homophobic, jew-hating misogynists (all common sentiments in Middle Eastern culture) in the neighborhood. Even if they don’t physically attack anyone.

    Although, the Pakistanis on my block eyeballing my girlfriend because she’s wearing pants as she walks down the sidewalk is unnerving enough. Don’t need any more of that either.

  69. Whoops. Sorry about that. Although, I’m kind of partial to the idea of only female migrants (or families).

  70. If I might bring us back to the original topic. It was about posters being put up that were are part of a campaign by the organization Jews Against Islamophobia, which is a collaboration between Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No that has been organizing around fighting Islamophobia. Interestingly enough I have seen Muslim run business place decorated Christmas trees outside their place of businesses, but I have not seen any Muslim run business place a Jewish menorah at their businesses for Hanukah. So, It begs to ask the question if Muslim businesses have a Jewishphobia. Do they?

  71. LOL – the Puritans accepted secular governance? In any case, many Syrian refugees are fleeing ISIS and jihadi militias, suggesting they don’t particularly like religious governance.

  72. We women in the west encounter rape far more frequently than in the middle east. Look at our campuses today, even pop culture icons putting out music videos about it, warning women. We have an epidemic of rape in our country (ask google if you don’t believe me!). What is the White House task force recommendation for reducing rape? Women should not go out alone. Hey! That sounds like what they tell women in the middle east! For whatever reason, men worldwide choose to rape. Maybe you can lead a men’s initiative to curb this behavior.

    Have you seen what it’s been like for women in India recently? How about the boko haram captives in Africa? How about girls being trafficked in sex slavery worldwide (not just in Thailand, folks, but here in the US!). All not middle eastern, but still sucks for women!

    As for us in the great ‘ol U.S. of A.— we are the *only* developed nation without any paid maternity leave at all. Even Yemen has paid maternity leave!

    Interestingly, when I studied middle east culture and society in college, they did not have the unequal pay for equal work in their culture. And they had women at the head of investment banks. OK, not many, but some. If only we had that here! Tell me about your workplace, are the women equal players? Equally paid?

    It amazes me that we could point to some “other” culture as “inferior” in an area we in the US are nowhere near being successful in.

    Looking forward to your reply.

  73. You should stop posting and do some research.

    Syria has been a secular country for eons. Syrians are of many faiths, and not just of the monotheistic kind. Religious fanaticism was never an issue in Syria. The crazy “muslims” who make up qaeda and isis were not a Syrian thing before Assad started releasing crazy terrorists they had in their jails and easing the border with Iraq. Assad was calling the rebels “terrorists” as he released all these crazies from his prisons, in order to regain western favor – basically encouraging their rise. Please consult google. Patrick Cockburn is also a good source of information.

  74. Very interesting. Thanks for this post.

    I assume you’ll be moving to rebel-controlled Afghanistan soon? I didn’t realize how progressive the Taliban is until I read your post. Thanks for setting the record straight.

  75. Afghanistan is another great example of a non-middle eastern country where it got much worse for women very recently (last ~20 years)!

    What is the Middle East?

    The Middle East is a loose term, not always used to describe the same territory. It usually includes the Arab countries from Egypt east to the Persian Gulf, plus Israel and Iran. Turkey is sometimes considered part of the Middle East, sometimes part of Europe. Sometimes the Middle East includes North Africa as well. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh are usually described as South Asia.

    Hope this is helpful:

    http://www.middleeastpdx.org/resources/original/geography-of-the-modern-middle-east-and-north-africa/

  76. We’re liberals, We don’t love our children. After all, they’re no better than anyone else’s children.

    Come to think of it, they’re kind of spoiled and privileged. You know what, I hope this does happen to my children! Would serve them right!

  77. Point taken, but you must at least agree that women were much better off under the Taliban than they are right now in the US.

  78. From reading Afghan feminists, I would say they would prefer to be here as they can at least go to school as their mothers did.

    The backlash against women’s rights and freedoms by the Taliban since 1996 mirrors the same theme here over the last 20 years (in the middle east for example). Women are faring worse than they did 20 years ago. Not just on the rape front. Look at the debate over abortion in the supreme court for instance. Why is female control of women’s bodies a question now?

    The Taliban are an extreme example of a bunch of crazies taking control that unfortunately probably would not have without the long arm and support of the US. You do realize that our influence in that region has been to promote religious extremism, right? Without us, it would be much more secular, as it used to be in the 50s and 60s. Interestingly, our politics were much more secular back then too. See a trend?

    This should help: http://www.salon.com/2015/11/17/we_created_islamic_extremism_those_blaming_islam_for_isis_would_have_supported_osama_bin_laden_in_the_80s/

  79. I don’t know what prompted this attack by the young turk (I am assuming he is turkish because it sounds like that is the language in the video), or if the attacker is even a migrant, much less whether the two boys knew each other. Do you? What is this video?

    I do see that we in the US are having a problem with violence against Muslims and am ashamed of our conduct — how do you feel about our racism and bigotry towards muslims in the US?

    http://www.salon.com/2015/12/17/a_shame_on_america_hate_attacks_on_u_s_muslims_are_spiking_and_wheres_the_outrage/

  80. It sounds to me like you’re straining to whitewash America’s treatment of women by making flattering comparisons with Afghanistan, though you do grudgingly admit that we created the Taliban and are responsible for women’s plight there.

  81. Hey Supa you clicked through to the definition I posted of he middle east, that’s great! Yes, I could have added quotes, instead I just added the link below.

  82. Haha gg, you sound like you’re in a coney island sideshow sound machine that twists all words to the opposite. Clever!

  83. The link is fine, but if you’re literally quoting a large chunk of someone else’s text, just treating it like a “source” is inadequate.

  84. Too funny! You perfectly twisted my words to the opposite of their meaning. Reading your posts I am imaging some ai machine which does this automatically — maybe you are a troll bot!

  85. The “rape epidemic” is a myth, as exemplified by “mattress girl”, UVA, Duke Lacrosse, etc. Campuses today are the safest places on Earth for women.

    The real rape epidemic exists outside of the Western world, like the places you mentioned – Northern Africa and India.

    As for paid maternity leave, it doesn’t need to be federally mandated because most companies offer it anyway.

    Funny, though, you mentioning of the gender wage gap myth, and also complain about no paid maternity leave. Perhaps there’s a correlation?

  86. “Backlash against women’s rights by the Taliban mirrors the same theme here of the last 20 years”.

    I hope you’re kidding, but I’m afraid you’re not.

    I’ve yet to hear of girl’s schools in the US being shot up, burned down, acid thrown in girls’ faces for attending school, stonings for rumors of infidelity, noses cut off, honor killings, female genital mutilation.

    You’re a disgrace to feminism.

  87. Syria is roughly 90% Muslim, with the remaining population Christian or Jewish. There is nothing secular or polytheistic about Syrian culture.

    The fact that ISIS and other terrorist factions are an international group is true, though I’m not sure how that’s relevant to the discussion pertaining the article.

    In fact, I’m not sure how any of your posts are relevant to the article.

  88. Linking to Salon tells us all we need to know about you. Which is to say, you’re thoughts aren’t to be taken seriously.

    It’s true there is an uptick in attacks on Muslims as a response to Jihadi violence on Western culture. I guess that’s human nature.

    Either way, the FBI tracks hate crime stats. Anti-semitic attacks account for 62% of hate crimes; Anti-Islamic attacks account for 11%. I’ll worry more about anti-Islamic attacks when the number of casualties reach anything near statistical significance.

  89. Here in Canada, our governments are vetting the refugees quite thoroughly, and incidentally, we plan on taking in more than the States, if that’s a good thing. We are generally not taking in any of the ones who treked into Europe. We are choicing refugee families who have spent at least 3 years in the refugee camps in Lebanon, and Jordon, etc. These families have had no connection with Syria for a number of years. This should make them less prone to get into trouble — particularly since they have young children to look after. Looking after families is making it a little more expensive for our government or the many churches that are sponsoring them. We estimate it will cost about $30,000 (C) per year until they get settled.

  90. Why not send that money to Lebanon (or Jordan, or wherever) so that the refugees’ needs can be met THERE? Why should the refugees have to be resettled all over the world? Seems to me they’ve had enough trauma to deal with without now having to acclimate themselves to a place that’s completely alien. Address their needs without resettling them so they can eventually rebuild a better, stronger Syria.

  91. As with all religions are there not religious differences within their religion? Are those of Islam who do not accept secular governance and find it an anathema to accepting Western liberal values — should refugees of that persuasion be resettled in vast numbers in Western societies? Do the building blocks of Islam. said to have been created when the universe was created, espousing their belief in one God by their Prophet as the final messenger who built upon previous prophets such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. impart secular intolerance? Did the Prophet of Islam, who by all accounts left Saudi Arabia and came back and destroyed all of the idols that were worshiped by the tribes within Saudi Arabia thus creating a Saudi Arabia which became a cohesive entity, disallow for others to practice their tribal beliefs? Was not beliefs imposed upon the defeated tribes of Saudi Arabia?. If one may argue that the Prophet instituted compassionate rules of battle or governance, can one deny the demolishing of idols from people who believed in many Gods?. Was it just that the moral justification for this, was that the Prophet was the final messenger of God? Did Islam in its origins and foundations accept to allow others to worship as they so pleased? Did Islam in its origins allow secular governance which was tolerant of others beliefs? Do religious leaders of any religion, including Islam, find it difficult if not impossible to accept secular governance.and will fight tooth and nail to replace secular governance with religious governance.? Do Islamic refugees or their religious leaders seek refuge in Western countries to enjoy religious freedom or to impart religious intolerance in those countries they seek refuge? Can it be said that after all is said and done, people love to be free? Can it be said by accepting refugees, is how all Western liberal countries over time win the hearts and minds of those who fled from intolerance? Can it be said that those refugees.who are accepted in countries of secular governance and Western values will follow in that same path of Western values and secular governance that allowed them to be free from death, torture, rape. enslavement, starvation, etc? Is that not the purpose of the signing, “Refugees Welcome?”

  92. In my opinion, a lot of their problems stem from a difference in religious beliefs, which has been ongoing for centuries. If Syria was big enough, and affluent enough, they could split it up between the various factions, but they would probably be at each other’s throats anyway. We know where the problem lies and where it started in 1947 or even before. That “problem” will not go away until all of the Persian Gulf area, from Egypt to the Euphrates is in “their” hands.
    Many of the refugee camps, from what I have read, have now become small cities — in population — but without the infrastructure, the water, the electrical power needed to become commercially stable. Nor do countries like Saudia Arabia or Jordon wish to take in these refugees as citizens.

  93. We have to make it worth their while to accept refugees by giving them boatloads of money and/or other goods. Make it easy for these countries. Hell, make it profitable for them. If the refugees get the help they need without having to be resettled all over the planet, it will be a big “win” for everyone. Hopefully the refugees can one day (preferably in the not-too-distant future) return to Syria and make it a better place.

  94. Now we’re so off topic we’re not even close to the subject of the middle east or refugees.

    So let’s talk about feminism and this theme of backlash against women worldwide over the past 20 years (during which the Taliban came to power and during which we have seen an organized attack from the far right against women’s rights in the US).

    Let’s start with a timeline showing the progression of women’s rights here in the US:

    http://www.annenbergclassroom.org/Files/Documents/Timelines/WomensRightstimeline.pdf

    Look! One thing achieved since 1978, thank god! The fair pay act. Thank you Obama. Unfortunately, the first unenforceable fair pay act was passed in 1868 and just like the current one, isn’t panning out in court. While it’s great that women can now sue after the 180 day period when a wage discrimination event occurs, that doesn’t mean that we have the data or reporting mechanism for this to have a meaningful impact. So what have we “achieved” in the last 20 years? Not much.

    Still underpaid:
    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/10/ten-things-you-should-know-about-the-gender-pay-gap

    Meanwhile — our elected leaders (mostly men), are working steadily to repeal prior advances — for access to contraception, abortion, and health care for women. Violence against women is skyrocketing worldwide and the political right has a focus on reversing women’s rights. So yes, the “theme” of what has happened in Afghanistan has happened here too. We have sustained a focused deliberate effort to undo our gains. And that effort is seeing results not just against women’s rights but against civil rights for non whites. Read about it here:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/un-twenty-years-backlash-womens-rights-are-human-rights/

    Btw, it’s not just women’s rights gains being reversed, it’s black rights too.

    Read about it here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/magazine/voting-rights-act-dream-undone.html?_r=0

    And read the new book “The New Jim Crow” in its entirety.

    Enjoy!

  95. I bet you’re still a fan of Bill Cosby. Not me!

    Here’s the report from the 2014 white house task force on rape and sexual assault on our campuses — check your facts: https://www.notalone.gov/assets/report.pdf

    Here’s an article that talks about the rising rates of documented rape in Brooklyn & NYC:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2016/0111/Four-Brooklyn-rape-suspects-caught-Does-NYC-have-a-rape-problem

    The CDC says 18.3 percent of all US women have been raped:http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_executive_summary-a.pdf)

    And here’s the department of labor report on the percentage of paid family leave: 12%:
    http://www.dol.gov/wb/PaidLeave/PaidLeave.htm

    Here’s a non governmental source:
    http://huff.to/TwmIk9
    “Of all companies in the U.S., only 16 percent offer paid maternity leave. That leaves new moms at 84 percent of all companies on the have-not side of this issue. Of all states in the union, only a handful, including California and New Jersey, mandate paid leave for moms.”

    Good luck proving your suggestion that there is more rape outside the US and that “most” companies offer paid maternity leave.

  96. There have always been people opposed to social justice, for women, minorities or whomever. There’s nothing magical about the past 20 years. It was happening 21, 25, 50, 500 and 5000 years ago. Nothing new here.

  97. Dept of Justice: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvsv9410.pdf

    “From 1995 to 2005, the total rate of sexual violence committed against U.S. female residents age 12 or older declined 64% from a peak of 5.0 per 1,000 females in 1995 to 1.8 per 1,000 females in 2005 (figure 1,
    appendix table 1). It then remained unchanged from 2005 to 2010. ”

    The only thing that has changed with sexual assault since 2010 is that there has been a movement to broaden the definition of “sexual assault” so wide so as to include drunken consensual sex. So yes, if you define the problem broadly enough, there will be an uptick. But this too shall pass.

    As far as paid maternity leave, perhaps I spoke out of turn. In my industry, it’s commonplace. But don’t be surprised when you demand additional, gender-specific benefits, and wages decrease on average for that gender. That’s how markets work.

  98. I hope you *read* the report you cite some day 🙂

    This is from the executive summary:

    “Overall, the survey finds that most Muslims see no inherent tension between being religiously devout and living in a modern society. Nor do they see any conflict between religion and science. Many favor democracy over authoritarian rule, believe that humans and other living
    things have evolved over time and say they personally enjoy Western movies, music and television – even though most think Western popular culture undermines public morality.

    The new survey also allows some comparisons with prior Pew Research Center surveys of Muslims in the United States. Like most Muslims worldwide, U.S. Muslims generally express strong commitment to their faith and tend not to see an inherent conflict between being
    devout and living in a modern society.”

    It also highlights the tolerance of other religions in islam and the belief among those who favor sharia (muslim law) that they would only want sharia to apply to muslims.

    What is the problem you see?

    You may be surprised to know that we already have religious courts here in the US for Christians and Jews. You can read it about in your pewforum here:

    http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/08/applying-gods-law-religious-courts-and-mediation-in-the-us/

    I am borrowing a quote from a commenter on the notorious american islamophobe daniel pipe’s site which is relevant here:

    “In democracies, religious courts are consensual, functioning for the benefit of the communities they serve, mostly in matters of family status, marriage, divorce etc. They may not, of course, submit judgments that violate state or federal law. Like some Sharia courts in the Middle East, there was a time when Jewish Courts would issue draconian rulings for such ‘crimes’ as violating the Sabbath. In Israel they still have the power to fine or imprison people for certain violations of religious law. In Israel religious courts also have absolute Jurisdiction in many matters. However in Europe and the USA, these courts have to also abide by local laws, as does Sharia institutions.

    There are many other communities in the USA that have unusual, religious-based rules for their members. The Mormons and the Amish are good examples. They often reject the American court system in favor of their own ‘Godly’ method of resolving many disputes and infractions of religious dictates.

    No-one wants a return to the Christian-Catholic Religious courts of the middle ages that tortured and executed people for behavior that is not even considered a crime today, such as heresy. But Catholics can still be excommunicated from the church in a judicial-style process.

    Religious criteria, whether Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, should not be a factor in decisions of US state or Federal courts. However these separate courts have been traditional in many religious communities and seem to operate fairly well in democracies based on past experience.

    Sharia will never become ‘the law of the land’, neither will Halakha or Catholic Religious dogma, but for observant Catholics, Muslims and Jews their institutions are an important part of religious practice. Providing that state and federal laws are observed, and participation is voluntary, their function is one of mediation, community cohesion, and of course the enforcement of religious rules on people who choose to be part of their community.”

    Enjoy!

  99. BRK, the point is there has been a focused organized effort to undermine our progress in the realm of women’s rights and we are losing ground. Both here and in Afghanistan. The mothers of all these girls today in Afghanistan went to school and not because they were fighting for that right but because it was considered normal. Now there are no schools. Look at us in the US with contraception, health care (planned parenthood) and abortion. It is the successes of the last 20 years that are coming out of this backlash against women’s rights that I am highlighting.

  100. Did you just write that you do not consider rape to be “true” rape if the woman has been drinking alcohol?

  101. My posts to you are in response to the most outrageous things you have said on this article. Nothing more. I am not afraid of refugees, or Arabs, or Muslims and welcome efforts to help these people who have been so devastated by our wars abroad. We owe them bigtime.

    To your polytheistic point, let’s look at the breakdown of syria’s religious groups

    Syria has both Sunni and Shia Muslims, including some significantly unique “sects”:

    Alawis – defined only recently under Bashar Al-Assad as Shia when he sought an alliance with Iran (prior to Bashar they were widely considered non-muslims) – questionable to consider them muslims even today.

    Ismailis (ARE SO DIFFERENT FROM SUNNIS!!!) you just cannot lump these guys in the same bucket as the sunnis, start here to understand more: http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-sunni-and-ismaili/)

    Don’t forget that Palestinian and Iraqi refugees are mostly Sunni and recent arrivals, and their numbers cloud the polytheism that is indigenous to Syria.

    Syrian Christians include:

    Christian Orthodox
    Uniate
    Nestorian

    Syrian Druze (Not Muslim, Jewish or Christian)

    Syrian Jews (many left in the 90s when Bashar granted them exit visas, more left after Israel was established but historically this was a big community)

    Then let’s look at other multi-cultural aspects like languages spoken:
    Arabic
    French
    Kurdish
    Armenian
    Aramaic
    Circassian

    And now let’s look at the government: 100% secular. Makes sense for such a diverse country. Their courts allowed you to be tried under your own religious rules as long as those rules do not interfere with state laws.
    Syrian refugees of today come from this very diverse country that had little to no religious extremism before this war attracted the crazies from all over the world.
    Hope this helps!

  102. I’m glad you welcome refugees. I hope you will take one or more of them into your home, should the opportunity present itself.

  103. Crimes are not always logged as hate crimes when they should be. Especially when they are perpetrated against muslims. Here’s an example of a high profile murder of 3 muslims that was never categorized as a hate crime. Imagine this happening to 3 jews. It would be reported immediately as a hate crime, full stop.

    And here you have a hate crime reported against jews that was not even related to the people reporting it – they were just so fearful they assumed it was a hate crime directed at them:

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/muslim-vendor-was-target-of-nyc-attack-not-yeshiva-students/

    There is a reason why *reporting* of hate crimes against jews is so much higher and I am not convinced it has to do with the crimes themselves. I believe it has more to do with the level of fear jews feel after having been raised on stories of the holocaust.

    Let’s keep this in perspective – FBI crime stats are just stats – what is not included is all the behind closed doors deliberations on what crimes will be classified as hate crimes (and assigned more resources). Nothing can erase the problems we face today with chilling bigotry and hate crimes against muslim americans.

  104. Syria is a monotheistic, Muslim culture. Claiming otherwise is ludicrous.

    And we’re not talking about the government. We’re talking about importing a culture. A culture that has zero respect for women. Which is why Western European countries are now having to offer classes to migrants to explain to them that women are not their property, and that it’s not ok to beat and rape them.

  105. No, dummy. I’m pushing back against the idea that consensual sex among drunk college kids is rape, as psychotic pseudo-feminists have been claiming lately. Do you know what “consensual” means?

  106. The problem that I see is that these statements have to be qualified with “most”. That’s utterly insane. Imagine if I said, “Actually, most people think it’s abhorrent to throw acid in little girls’ faces for trying to attend school.” The fact they even felt the need to study this, and qualify any of these statements with “most” is horrifying.

    The only acceptable result should be “none, or a statistically insignificant fraction” of the Muslims surveyed have deplorable beliefs. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

  107. You don’t know what the words monotheistic and polytheistic mean, do you?

    “There is nothing secular or polytheistic about Syrian culture.”

    “Syria is a monotheistic, Muslim culture.”

  108. In fact, the cultures these migrants bring with them are so awful, Western Europe has to offer classes with manuals that say things like the following:

    “A course manual sets out a simple rule that all asylum seekers need to learn and follow: “To force someone into sex is not permitted in Norway, even when you are married to that person.”

    ‘Many refugees “come from cultures that are not gender equal and where women are the property of men,” Mr. Isdal said. “We have to help them adapt to their new culture.”’

    Good luck with that.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/20/world/europe/norway-offers-migrants-a-lesson-in-how-to-treat-women.html?_r=0

  109. Ha, you mean just like “most” people think its deplorable (and illegal) to do what Bill Cosby did, and yet he had all kinds of co-conspirators and apologists along the way helping him? Would you call him an anomaly or just ahead of his time in this world where slipping pills into women’s drinks in order to rape them is so common now we have music videos about it? What “most” do you consider a normal part of any people anywhere?

    Personally I like to think “most” state of the union addresses don’t have to resort to sermon-like strategies of calling on americans to uphold our values and not be racist and inflammatory (and to stop calling for carpet bombing civilians since it doesn’t help us in the long run)? But not all.

    And what specifically are you calling “deplorable”? Anger towards the west?

    I wish I could find a serious study of sheer numbers of muslim civilians killed, maimed, exposed to bio weapons that deform their offspring, imprisoned without access to due process or evidence of wrongdoing, tortured, having their property and/or cultural heritage bombed or looted, basic physical security and safety at home gone, economy, or country destroyed by our senseless wars and ill-targeted drone bombings while our continued arms sales, intelligence sharing and logistical support to aggressors against those same civilians pursue the same end as we have? Do you have figures of the amount of money these people, families, nations have lost? How many generations will reel from these losses and not be able to recover? How do you think those Afghan women who are denied education and have acid thrown in their faces feel about US support for the craziest of Taliban warriors who impose their insanity on all of Afghanis? Deplorable beliefs? What are you talking about? Like “Americans suck”?

  110. When you cited Salon, I thought you might be nuts.

    When you started comparing the plight of women in Islamofascist cultures to women in our culture, I was almost certain you were nuts.

    Now that you’re rambling incoherently about Bill Cosby and carpet bombing, I know your nuts.

    The fact is, Western European countries are now having to mandate classes for migrants to inform them that women are not their property, and raping them is bad. And, unsurprisingly, when you import Islamofascist rape culture, rapes will spike, as is happening in asylum towns and cities across Europe.

    There is no rape epidemic in the West, except for the one being created by migrants.

  111. Are you referring to the new legal definition of consensual sex which requires “affirmed consent” aka ‘Yes means yes’. That was created to protect us from horrific cases like the maryville one. It shifts the burden of proof to the accused, making it very difficult for a man to get away with non-consensual sex. It is a tough fit for our ‘innocent until proven guilty’ core principal, but until we move away from our ‘rape culture’ and victim bashing, this is probably the best strategy out there. I would be afraid if I were a college girl these days.

  112. I have only gone as far as getting the name of an immigration lawyer and contacting the state dept about sponsoring a visa. Is there a less bureaucracy filled way to make it happen?

  113. You mean just like US college campuses are holding classes to educate men about what constitutes rape?

    On Syria, you are misinformed.

  114. I rescued a couple of refugees myself and brought them back to the US on the down low. They’re adjusting quite nicely thus far. No red tape at all.

  115. So tell me about this monolithic culture you think migrants come from. Africans, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Atheists. What do you know about the culture “they” came from? What exactly do you think they value and prioritize that is different from our culture? I realize you refuse to acknowledge the problems we have in our own culture, so let’s understand what exactly your beef is and how much evidence, if any, you can find to support your claims. What makes you think Syria, for example, has a homogenous culture? What led you to that idea?

  116. Polytheistic does not mean “religiously diverse” and monotheistic does not mean “religiously uniform.” Polytheistic means worshipping more than one God, like in Hinduism. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all monotheistic, worshipping one (and the same) God.

  117. No, I’m not. You can’t make Syrian demography something it’s not to fit your political narrative.

    I’m surrounded my male college interns right now, asking them if they were mandated to take classes to teach them that rape is bad. They all say no. Because they don’t need to be taught that. Migrants do.

  118. You would be afraid because you’re nuts. You want there to be a rape culture to match your political narrative, so you invent one. Rape is down substantially over the last couple decades, so you had to broaden the definition of rape to create more instances to keep your pseudo-feminist narrative alive.

  119. Interesting! So your NYC interns (kids from good schools no doubt) don’t get training. That’s too bad. I wish they’d had training for that kid who was convicted of rape at that boarding school, the one who got his harvard admission revoked. A shame all that had to go down, a little training would have gone a long way.

  120. Define ‘islamofascist.’ If what you mean is someone who favors a saudi style regime, you have a very small subset of the mass of people you just blindly labeled — the saudi royal family and the crazy radical islamists of isis and al qaeda (and the 40 countries internationally who back them, US included). Tell me, do you really feel this minority represents *all* middle easterners? If so, you are woefully misinformed. And I am not sure how much longer the saudi family will hold on to power honestly. Then it will get really interesting.

  121. The Syrian demography I shared with you is straight out of the CIA factbook, with a bit of explanation for the various peoples that are represented (since I don’t expect you’d know of the myriad types of people, religions, ethnicities and languages that are native to Syria. That said, I did not mention the huge numbers of Syrian Christians that emigrated to the US before and during the Syrian war, far outnumbering Syrian Muslim emigrees mostly because of our bias in granting visas to Christians. That and the large influx of Iraqi and Palestinian refugees fursther skewed the population, So yes the *current* population is estimated to be 10 million Christians but historically it was 15%+. And again, being an incredibly diverse place, those Christians were of many different religious sects, ethnicities, even of different native tongues.

    Enjoy your newfound knowledge! Do some research, try to prove me wrong, you won’t be able to!

  122. That’s right, because the root cause of rape is “lack of training”. You should be ashamed to call yourself a feminist.

  123. Please reread the sentences of yours that I quoted. Your use of monotheistic and polytheistic make no sense in the context. Either you’re incapable of owning up to a mistake or you’re just trolling.

  124. What are you talking about, chowderhead?

    “Syria is a monotheistic, Muslim Culture”

    “there is nothing polytheistic or secular about Syria”

    What don’t you get?

  125. My claim is that Syrian culture is vastly Muslim, and hardly diverse. As evidenced by 92% of the population being Muslim. Unless you call a tiny of fraction of other groups that are statistically insignificant, “diverse”.

    But thanks for letting the world know there are sects of Islam and non-muslims in Syria, Captain Obvious.

  126. Wow, I wouldn’t have expected false reports to be so low. Painful to imagine how much rape there is when so little gets reported and so much of what is reported is true.

  127. This chat board has strange placement and groupings of messages. The above was in response to your comments about the training germans were giving to immigrants, i.e., about not forcing women to have sex. Seems so basic, and so does this very reasonable response to those pamphlets — training guide for how the west should behave in the Middle East: https://www.facebook.com/Karlremarks/photos/a.401607333254173.93233.395292190552354/941808882567346/?type=3&theater

  128. You’re quoting an obscure crackpot in India and claiming he represents the beliefs of a full quarter of the world’s population (though I acknowledge women in India haven’t had it easy, things have really gotten worse for them over the last 20 years — see a pattern yet?)

    Your statements are laughable. How about I say this obscure crackpot represents all Christians :

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/03/01/christian-pastor-women-should-have-no-say-in-how-our-country-is-run/

    would you take me seriously?

  129. If you think so badly of immigrant culture, what do you think of ours? after all we have done in the middle east? Absolutely deplorable! Blood on our hands, rape and torture of prisoners, on and on….. https://www.facebook.com/Karlremarks/photos/a.401607333254173.93233.395292190552354/941808882567346/?type=3&theater

    And sadder still that we would feel so bold to judge others’ cultures (especially when so ignorant of them) when our own is so sick — read The New Jim Crow. Look at how we treat our own citizens. Shameful!

  130. That’s racist and ignorant. Rape and sexual assault is pervasive in Germany regardless of the recent immigration. It is pervasive in the US too.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2016/01/21/tamara-micner/what-happened-in-cologne/

    Since New Year’s Eve, public debate has veered away from the problem of violence against women to arguments against letting refugees into Europe. Now that some asylum-seekers have attacked (white European) women, all kinds of unlikely people are suddenly concerned with women’s rights.

    Sexual violence – rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, unwanted sexual contact – is perpetrated every day by people of all races, religions and ethnicities. A recent EU study, interviewing 42,000 women across all member states, found that one in 10 women has experienced sexual violence before the age of 15. Half of women have been sexually harassed, one in 20 has been raped, and more than one in five has experienced violence from a partner.

    In Germany, the federal police count more than 7300 reported rapes and sexual assaults every year (that’s more than 20 a day). Many more incidents go unreported. Across the EU, fewer than 15 per cent of women report sexual violence to the police. Every Oktoberfest, there is a dedicatedsecurity point for women to report violence, and hundreds of (mainly white German) men are arrested. But where is the magazine cover of a man in Lederhosen, one hand holding a stein, the other groping a breast?

    The outraged response to the events in Cologne on New Year’s Eve has emboldened more women to come forward: from an initial 80 reports, the total has surpassed 550. But that doesn’t mean more women will start reporting violence in other circumstances. Like the #EverydaySexism movement in Britain, the #aufschrei (‘outcry’) Twitter campaign in 2013 highlighted normalised acts of sexism and helped legitimate women’s complaints, shifting the shame from victims to perpetrators. Many of those activists are now behind the group #ausnahmslos (‘no excuses’), demanding that society address sexual violence as a problem in its own right, not because it feeds into arguments about immigration.

    It remains unclear exactly what did happen in Cologne – and Stuttgart and Hamburg – on New Year’s Eve. If most of the men were drunk, could they have been practising Muslims? Can all 550 victims have been white German women? What we do know is that hundreds of women have reported being raped, assaulted or robbed, and police have charged more than 30 men in response. Some of them have been identified as asylum-seekers; others are German.

    The German government is now proceeding with legislation making it easier to deport asylum-seekers who are charged with committing crimes – in the name of protecting women – yet both female and male migrants will face the consequences of living in a more hostile country. And such measures will do nothing to address the violence that women experience every day, on the streets and public transport, at work and at home.

  131. Rape is a distinctly Western phenomenon. It is virtually unheard of in the Third World, especially the Middle East.

  132. Um, no. I mentioned India because rape has been in the news there lately, disproving your claim that “Rape is a distinctly Western phenomenon.” I’m not denying that it’s a frequent occurrence in the US. I don’t know which country has the highest incident of rapes, but I do know that it is not limited to any one nation, culture, or ethnicity as you seem to think. It is certainly not anything remotely like “unheard of” in the Middle East.

  133. “Unheard of in the Third World” is a vast overgeneralization, and “distinctly Western” is just ludicrous. Rape has been a problem across cultures and places for a very long time and is inexcusable no matter where or when it occurs.

  134. A 15-year-old asylum seeker stabbed a refugee center worker to death Monday in Sweden, police say. The incident happened at a home for asylum seekers . The victim, a 22-year-old woman Most incidents involve the refugees “starting fights with each other” and do not involve the local Swedish population, he said. German authorities have identified 18 asylum-seekers, A 23-year-old Syrian citizen was arrested in the city’s Old Town section on New Year’s Eve after sending fireworks in the direction of a 17-year-old student, police said. She was slightly injured in her abdomen. Further investigation revealed he allegedly had sexually abused a 20-year-old from Bayern in the inner city before the fireworks incident, police said. suspects in mob sex attacks and muggings in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.and police chief fired. Police in Kalmar, Sweden, said Friday they had arrested two men described as refugees who only spoke Arabic or Kurdish.
    A 28-year-old Afghan allegedly sexually abused a 58-year-old woman in the early hours of January 1, A 24-year-old Afghan man was arrested and accused of molesting a 26-year-old January 6 at a downtown Salzburg pub, police said.

  135. its hilarious and deeply ironic how these signs are appearing at expensive craft beer stores and brunch spots. Idiotic liberal scum can’t even realize how deep the irony is.

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