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← Palestinian officials foresee secular, pluralistic state

Palestinian officials foresee secular, pluralistic state - Comments

MotherLodeBeth's Avatar Comment 1 by MotherLodeBeth

Call me a skeptic but tell me just how tolerant do you think they have been toward atheists, gays/lesbians and others up to now?

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 02:49:21 UTC | #872143

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 2 by Atheist Mike

Seems all very well and good but it could be just PR...again. Groups in that part of the world, including Israelis, are not above using such tactics to achieve whatever goals they have. Plus, if it's going to be a democracy then there's nothing preventing the muslim brotherhood, which has much support in the middle east, from getting to power and I'm sure their ideas of equality will be quite different.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 02:53:58 UTC | #872144

lightfantastic's Avatar Comment 3 by lightfantastic

I don't want them to have a state at all (they never wanted one before Israel had one), but to be absorbed by the 'Muslim Brotherhood' around them. There is no such thing as moderate Islam. Look at the supposedly secular Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, currently riding a self created wave of Caliphate sentimentalism and polemically encouraging Muslims to rise up against... well, anyone who isn't a heterosexual Muslim male, I guess.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 02:55:06 UTC | #872145

kraut's Avatar Comment 4 by kraut

BlockquoteThere is no such thing as moderate Islam.

But there are believers who are moderate in their beliefs, i.e. not following the most inhumane demands of their unholy book. The same can be said about Judaism and Christianity and the bible.

they never wanted one before Israel had one

pretty simplistic view of a historic mess that was /is the middle eastern region.

.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 03:14:41 UTC | #872148

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 5 by Red Dog

Comment 3 by lightfantastic :

There is no such thing as moderate Islam.

That's just false. Did you watch any of the videos of the Egyptian uprising? They were mostly Muslim but the vast majority of them were moderate and for a democratic government. I'm reading an excellent book right now by Robin Wright called "Rock the Casbah Rage and Revolution in the Islamic World" its filled with examples of how young people throughout the Islamic world are working for democracy and fightng against both the existing autocratic rules and the theocrats. I recommend it to anyone who has an open mind about the true state of the Islamic world.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 03:34:31 UTC | #872151

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 6 by Neodarwinian

" Secular " Palestine?

I will keep the quotes around secular for the time being and hope against the evidence to the contrary presented by a pre-state Palestine.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 03:43:46 UTC | #872153

coolegg's Avatar Comment 7 by coolegg

I've read the quran. And something tells me this official is not thinking of accommodating polytheists, pagans and atheists.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 04:02:29 UTC | #872158

martwek's Avatar Comment 8 by martwek

LOL! I love this joke, and especially the way the western media accepts every rubbish being said or published by "Palestinian" officials, as if we're talking about an ordinary-thinking people. It all starts with education, I recommend you to read some of their books the use to teach their young. You won't find tolerance there.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 06:00:26 UTC | #872166

Dirty Kuffar's Avatar Comment 10 by Dirty Kuffar

One wonders about the fate of other minority lifestyles in a Palestinian state, I recall a couple of years or so back, a married Palestinian couple who had appeared in a porn film were the subject of assasination attempts, death threats etc and in the end had to seek refuge in Israel.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 08:37:25 UTC | #872188

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 11 by justinesaracen

Amazing all the non-sequitur arguments that can be drummed up against this wretched people finally having autonomy. The knee-jerk reaction that all Palestinians are Hamas supporters is something I'd expect in the New York Daily News and not here.

Consider the history of the founding of Israel, the forced seizure of part of Palestine by Partition and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of countless Arab villages to create the modern Israeli state. Thousands of Palestinians were driven from their homes into the neighboring countries, and those areas left to them were and are constantly encroached upon by Jewish settlements. As a people, the Palestinians are slowly being strangled.

All the arguments against Palestinian statehood are based on myths and fears that are, frankly, irrelevant. So what if Palestinians are not gay-friendly. So what if they're not going to elect a Jewish mayor of Ramallah in the first year. What kind of crap arguments are those? Take a look at a map of the occupied territories, one that includes all the illegal settlements, and imagine the desperation of the Palestinians who see them on every hillside, growing.

As for the fear of an Islamic Palestine, I was in Palestine with a group of Jewish doctors and I can speak from experience that, in the West Bank, there is a substantial educated westernized middle class, doctors, lawyers, engineers. I walked around in Ramallah and spoke to shopkeepers who had either lived in the west or had relatives there. One man said his brother drove a bus in Long Island. They are not women-hating, Jew-hating, queer-hating fanatics in khaffias, despite what myths Israel has managed to create about them. People must stop thinking of Israel - Palestine in cartoon terms.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 09:03:40 UTC | #872192

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 12 by justinesaracen

It is also important not to confuse Palestine with little tiny Gaza. In Gaza, Hamas was democratically elected out of disgust with the apparent paralysis of Fatah with respect to standing up to Israel. Let me emphasize the 'democracy' part. We in the west are supposed to be supporting that, n'est pas? But Hamas does not control the West Bank, which is far larger.

The West Bank is also far more secular and radical Islam has not raised its ugly head there. As for the attitude toward atheists, hmm, I'd say it's about the same as in the United States.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 09:09:07 UTC | #872196

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 13 by justinesaracen

Here is a good history of Palestine in video. In a nutshell, of course, but it gives a good outline, and goes a long way toward dispelling the cartoon version so many in the west have of the Israel/Palestinian conflict.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3bxj1uvDXU

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 09:21:34 UTC | #872200

Jay G's Avatar Comment 14 by Jay G

Israel is supposed to be a secular state which, in practice, is greatly influenced by religious people. Do we have any reason to think that a secular State of Palestine will not suffer a similar fate?

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 10:08:37 UTC | #872208

William33's Avatar Comment 15 by William33

I doubt Palestine will become secular. It will become secular in the same sense Egypt, Tunisia and Libya will become secular. Islam will continue to play a major role (which goes against the idea of secularism) and nothing will be in place to protect the rights of woman, gays or non-believers.

It would not suprise me in the slightest to see Palestine see an end to Isreali bullying and then launch their own bullying against their own people based on sexuality or beliefs. They will continue to play the victims card when Isreal commits horrible acts but see no contradiction when it comes to their own treatment of their citizens.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 11:02:58 UTC | #872222

Glaedr's Avatar Comment 16 by Glaedr

I am, quite frankly, disappointed to see here the sort of Israeli-propagandist comments found on other sites. Of course Palestine isn't going to be a secular state that is also tolerant of homosexuals and atheist. It is ridiculous to even expect that. But that does not, in any way, mean that they should be denied their right to self-determination.

Aren't we, as atheists, supposed to be the ones who are willing to look at the world from others' perspectives. Do you guys not realize that Israel's policies and actions are the very cause of religious extremism - the very reason that Hamas exists? Has it never occurred to you that the Gazans see Hamas as freedom-fighters; as their only hope? They wouldn't be firing rockets if they had hope for peace or a better future, and if Israel wasn't bombing there city every few days or expanding settlements on occupied territory or giving combat-training to the settlers.

Aren't we, as critical thinkers, supposed to be looking for solutions rather than accepting false dilemas (i.e. Oh so the Palestinians want a state, but not an ideally secular one, like the one that the West has recently achieved? Too bad, that's unacceptable; let them remain at the mercy of Israeli hawks.)

Atheism and secularism are grounded in reason. To arrive at them, people need education and some extent of intellectual freedom. Do you think these are available to the oh-so-terrible-maniacs-who-support-Hamas?

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 11:28:35 UTC | #872226

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 17 by Atheist Mike

@comment 16

Do you guys not realize that Israel's policies and actions are the very cause of religious extremism - the very reason that Hamas exists?

Sorry but the Talibans aren't affected by Israel in the least and they're still islamic extremists, same with 60% of the Pakistani population. I agree that being oppressed certainly makes people turn towards extremism more but we shouldn't rule out other factors.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 11:41:10 UTC | #872230

Xor's Avatar Comment 18 by Xor

Comment 16 by Glaedr :

I am, quite frankly, disappointed to see here the sort of Israeli-propagandist comments found on other sites. Of course Palestine isn't going to be a secular state that is also tolerant of homosexuals and atheist. It is ridiculous to even expect that. But that does not, in any way, mean that they should be denied their right to self-determination.

Aren't we, as atheists, supposed to be the ones who are willing to look at the world from others' perspectives. Do you guys not realize that Israel's policies and actions are the very cause of religious extremism - the very reason that Hamas exists? Has it never occurred to you that the Gazans see Hamas as freedom-fighters; as their only hope? They wouldn't be firing rockets if they had hope for peace or a better future, and if Israel wasn't bombing there city every few days or expanding settlements on occupied territory or giving combat-training to the settlers.

Aren't we, as critical thinkers, supposed to be looking for solutions rather than accepting false dilemas (i.e. Oh so the Palestinians want a state, but not an ideally secular one, like the one that the West has recently achieved? Too bad, that's unacceptable; let them remain at the mercy of Israeli hawks.)

Atheism and secularism are grounded in reason. To arrive at them, people need education and some extent of intellectual freedom. Do you think these are available to the oh-so-terrible-maniacs-who-support-Hamas?

Exactly... But I don't dream, Palestinians will not have their state. And for those who think that moderate Islam doesn't exist, I would think that they are true, but there are moderate Muslims, who, like Jews, make stupid interpretations to make their book saying the opposite of what it says. The Qu'ran isn't worse than the Old Testament. When Europe was touched by obscurantism during the Middle Ages, it was actually the Muslims who were the best in Science (and the Christians who were unable to be moderated).

(Please correct me if I make mistakes of expression, I am french).

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 11:56:25 UTC | #872233

Glaedr's Avatar Comment 19 by Glaedr

Comment 3 by lightfantastic :

I don't want them to have a state at all (they never wanted one before Israel had one), but to be absorbed by the 'Muslim Brotherhood' around them.

Ok, so they don't get a state and the status-quo is maintained. What then? Is that it? That's your solution? You trust the Israeli hardliners to come up with an acceptable peace deal?

There is no such thing as moderate Islam. Look at the supposedly secular Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, currently riding a self created wave of Caliphate sentimentalism and polemically encouraging Muslims to rise up against... well, anyone who isn't a heterosexual Muslim male, I guess.

'Caliphate sentimentalism'? Er, no, he is just asking Israel to apologize for their actions. 'anyone who isn't a heterosexual male' er... you are talking about the President of Turkey here, not an al Qaeda leader or Irani cleric, so this is just a ridiculous thing to say.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 11:56:36 UTC | #872234

ANTIcarrot's Avatar Comment 20 by ANTIcarrot

Comment 9 by Fouad Boussetta : Palestinian Ambassador Won't Say if Homosexuals Would Be Tolerated by a Palestinian State. And says all Jews would be removed from a Palestinian state.

So? Israel is founded upon ethnic cleansing too. (From a certain point of view.) And has continued that policy by shrinking the area where Palestinians are allowed to live ever since. This is the same nation that decided that because terrorists have easy access to sophisticated rockets, that they must prevent any possibility of a Palestinian nail bomb. Which also prevents reconstruction. Speaking of which they also deny adequate food and medical aid. All this in a region under their defacto control where the population isn't allowed to vote in national elections.

Can you spell apartheid?

Would this be a good policy? Hell no. Can I blame them for considering it? Not really...

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 11:57:30 UTC | #872236

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 21 by drumdaddy

Religion spoils everything.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 12:03:40 UTC | #872239

Xor's Avatar Comment 22 by Xor

About gays, that's not sure that they won't tolerate them. In Lebanon, there is actually a law against them, but it's simply not applied.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 12:03:55 UTC | #872240

Glaedr's Avatar Comment 23 by Glaedr

Comment 17 by Atheist Mike :

@comment 16

Do you guys not realize that Israel's policies and actions are the very cause of religious extremism - the very reason that Hamas exists?

Sorry but the Talibans aren't affected by Israel in the least and they're still islamic extremists, same with 60% of the Pakistani population. I agree that being oppressed certainly makes people turn towards extremism more but we shouldn't rule out other factors.

The Taliban have their own set of problems. :)

But don't get me wrong. I'm no extremist apologist. It's just that I believe in a deterministic universe, and don't categorize people as 'evil', therefore I try to understand why people do what they do, and was just offering a very likely explanation.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 12:07:16 UTC | #872241

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 24 by aquilacane

Palestinian leaders say a future Palestinian state would be secular and open to all religions — even Jews — if they are willing to follow their laws as Palestinian citizens.

I would say the same for my secular state. All religions welcome. And the only law they have to follow is the disclaimer of bullshit posted on the front door and lawn of every religious building in the state. Like a pack of cigs. This religion can cause delusion. None of the claims of this religion are proven. So on and such...

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 12:51:14 UTC | #872248

danconquer's Avatar Comment 25 by danconquer

link text

Comment 22 by Xor :

About gays, that's not sure that they won't tolerate them. In Lebanon, there is actually a law against them, but it's simply not applied.

In Turkey homosexuality is legal. Go to Istanbul, and you will find Gay Pride marches and rainbow flag bedecked bars and clubs to rival the offerings of many other European nations and certainly at least on a par with what you will find in Tel Aviv. http://www.petergreenberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/istanbul-gay-pride.jpg

That is not to say it is perfect; far from it. But the situation for gays there is more favourable than it was for gays in, say, Britain or the United States just a few decades ago. This should therefore be a source for optimism, not pessimism, for the future of young (nominally muslim) citizens living on that area around the Mediterranean who do actually share more in common culturally with us Europeans than they do with their totalitarian neighbours in places like Saudi.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 13:57:45 UTC | #872262

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 26 by Schrodinger's Cat

I find one of the biggest hypocrisies in all this to be........that more often than not those shouting loudest for a Palestinian state are the same people shouting down 'nationalism' if anyone dares profess any pride in their English ( or Scottish, or Welsh ) heritage and culture.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 14:07:46 UTC | #872265

Xor's Avatar Comment 27 by Xor

Comment 26 by Schrodinger's Cat :

I find one of the biggest hypocrisies in all this to be........that more often than not those shouting loudest for a Palestinian state are the same people shouting down 'nationalism' if anyone dares profess any pride in their English ( or Scottish, or Welsh ) heritage and culture.

Surely because those who want a Palestinan state do not want it because of any form of patriotism, but because it is the only way to prevent Israel from colonizing and violating the Geneva Conventions...

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 14:31:54 UTC | #872268

Marc Country's Avatar Comment 28 by Marc Country

Wow, I'm with Esuther, Glaedr, et al... there sure is more outright bigotry on THIS page than the usual RDF fare... Of course, these mostly aren't the usual commenters, I see, but likely just a bunch of drive-by nutbar zionists.

one question, Jay G... Israel "is supposed to be a secular state"? Supposed, by whom, exactly? Martians? Unicorns? Israel is clearly a Jewish state, and that's just the way they want it: a theocratic "democracy" (like the US, but worse)... I'll take secular pluralism over that, any day.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 14:46:22 UTC | #872272

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 29 by Red Dog

Comment 16 by Glaedr :

I am, quite frankly, disappointed to see here the sort of Israeli-propagandist comments found on other sites. Of course Palestine isn't going to be a secular state that is also tolerant of homosexuals and atheist. It is ridiculous to even expect that. But that does not, in any way, mean that they should be denied their right to self-determination.

Well said. Thank you for that comment. I feel the same way, not just Israeli-propagandist but frankly racist comments such as that there are no moderate Muslims.

Aren't we, as atheists, supposed to be the ones who are willing to look at the world from others' perspectives. Do you guys not realize that Israel's policies and actions are the very cause of religious extremism - the very reason that Hamas exists? Has it never occurred to you that the Gazans see Hamas as freedom-fighters; as their only hope? They wouldn't be firing rockets if they had hope for peace or a better future, and if Israel wasn't bombing there city every few days or expanding settlements on occupied territory or giving combat-training to the settlers.

The only thing I would add is that rather than just being cynical to the statement about a secular Palestine we as people of reason should be supportive of the idea. As I said in an earlier comment this is one example of a very positive trend in the Muslim world. In places like Egypt, Iran, Tunisia, and Libya people (mostly young people) are standing up for democracy and moderate Islam or even secularism. And they are usually risking their physical well being if not their very lives in doing so. We should be supporting these trends not sneering at them.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 15:16:11 UTC | #872282

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 30 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 27 by Xor

Surely because those who want a Palestinan state do not want it because of any form of patriotism, but because it is the only way to prevent Israel from colonizing and violating the Geneva Conventions...

But the very act of defining a 'Palestinian' is an ethnic and religious one. One cannot create a new nation without nationalism.....or without some means of identifying who it's members are. You cannot say 'this land belongs to these people', without defining who 'these people' actually are.

Personally I don't see any difference between a non-Jewish Israeli ( not all Israelis are Jews ) and a Palestinian.....in cases where ethnicity is the same, and often it is. So the only basis for Palestine is, and always has been, Islam.

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 15:24:04 UTC | #872287