Dick Cheney Not Speaking at UNC.

There are reports that Dick Cheney will be speaking on the UNC Chapel Hill campus the day after the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

According to an article in the Greensboro News and Record he will be speaking at Memorial Hall on September 12th at 7:00 p.m.

I hope there are protestors. But I believe any such protest should not question the right of Cheney to speak on campus. (True liberals, in my view, support freedom of speech, even for people like him. There should not be a repeat of the mistakes made in the case of Tom Tancredo.) I'd like to be there with a sign that reads, on one side "I am not here to protest Cheney's freedom of speech," and on the other "I'm here to protest Cheney." I wish he had been impeached.

I also think people should be reminded of all the confident statements he made about WMD in Iraq. It does not matter that it happened years ago. His lies sent so many to their deaths. The thought of him speaking on campus turns my stomach.

James Coley



From the UNC news service and an article in the Herald-Sun of Durham.A visit to UNC by former Vice President Dick Cheney to speak on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 Islamic terror attacks on the U.S. has been canceled. Anthony Dent, a UNC senior economics major from Lumberton and CEO of the Carolina Liberty Foundation, which was sponsoring Cheney's visit, said the group learned July 14 that Cheney could not attend the event.James Coley

 "Islamic terror attacks?" where to begin...  

I'd like to ask James if he would be willing to consider rephrasing his announcement to simply say "terror attacks".  I think we've had more than enough labeling or "mis-labeling" of political or religious philosophies to last us for awhile.  I for one do not believe the terrorists of 9/11 were true representatives of Islam.

What makes you confident that they aren't true representatives of Islam?Ever tried to read the Bible in Saudi Arabia? Practice Christianity in a Muslim country? How many Christians have fled Lebanon? Ethiopia? Egypt? Iraq? Malaysia?

Although it's not clear unless you follow the link in his post, James was simply quoting the Herald-Sun story.  Amazingly, it was the Herald-Sun which used the "Islamic terror attacks" phrase.http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/14743084/article-Cheney-speech-canceled 

As was pointed out by rexmercer, the use of the term was not mine. I wish that George C had taken a closer look at the post before reacting. It is not hard to tell my post from a newspaper article. I provided a link to that article, in which the term was used.I have to say, however, that the post by B Roberts makes a good point. Most of the world's largest religions include violent and xenophobic teachings, and Islam is no exception. It is a misguided pseudo-liberalism that tries so hard to avoid offending Muslims that this is not recognized, and reason is short-circuited. Religions include both good things and bad thingsI say this as an atheist and as a liberal. It is sheer nonsense when people say that, for example, the 9/11 attacks were merely "done in the name of Islam" and reflect no part of Islam itself. No one says that when a religion does something good that it was not really part of the religion. For example, no one says that charitable work for the poor is done only "in the name of Catholicism." In our culture religion is supposed to be privileged, and ultimately above criticism. Although I should not have to say these things, and pseudo-liberal reactionaries will not believe me anyway, of course I believe that many Muslims around the world are peaceful, and of course targeting people because of their religion to get revenge for 9/11 is deplorable.I remember that immediately after the 9/11 attacks I heard a lot of my fellow liberals say that the owners of the Mediterranean Deli on West Franklin Street had been threatened. I was outraged, and I went down to that business to speak to the owners, to convey my anger and in a show of solidarity with them. But they told me that there were no such threats. This was a groundless rumor that no one in my circle of friends and acquaintances (myself included) questioned. This is a good example of how this reactionary tendency among us liberals short-circuits reason. James Coley

The thing is, for Christianity the same word (Christian) refers to the religion and to an adherent of the religion.  But for Islam, one word refers to the religion (Islamic) and another to an adherent (Muslim).As far as "true Christianity" or "true Islam," you can talk all day about it but in the end it is subjective.  "True Christianity" or "true Islam" at any point in time is just the sum total of those who proclaim themselves "Christian" or "Islam."  So is there "Islamic terrorism?"  At times when some Muslims are terrorists, yes there is, but that is subject to change.  Calling it "Islamic terrorism" implies there is something inherent about the religion that generates terrorism.  (The degree to which a religions holy book encourages a behavior is another question but regardless of that it's the adherents that interpret the words however they deem best.)Saying "Muslim terrorists," however, is accurate.  The question is whether the word "Muslim" adds information or instead whether "Muslim" is implied and the use of the word is just gratuitious.  It some circumstances I think it the word "Muslim" can be informative but in a sentence involving 9/11, which is what was in the article, I don't think it's necessary.  Nobody at this point reads about terrorists and 9/11 and thinks "Who were the terrorists?"

is a great book about the history of anti-Western Islamic terrorist thought that led to the 9/11 attacks, which includes much perversion of Islam by the terrorist leaders. Those people were crazy as hell and used Islam in much the same way that bat-shit crazy Christians like Michelle Bachman and Randall Terry use Christianity.Another amazing aspect of the book is the revealing look at the ineptitude and arrogance of the U.S. intelligence peopel in the FBI and the CIA. It's a thrilling and informative read that gets beyond the politically simplistic "Islamic terrorist" idea.

I note that this post by Mark also uses the phrase "Islamic terrorist." I ask svaraj and George C to consider my longer post in reply above. It seems to me to be counter-productive political correctness to object to the phrase "Islamic terrorist" used in reference to terrorists who are Islamic. At the same time, I do object when some feminists use the phrase "male violence" because the suggestion seems to be that all men are somehow collectively responsible for the violent acts of some men, which is sexist. I suppose one might say that the phrase "Islamic terrorist" carries a parallel implication: that somehow all Muslims are collectively responsible for the violent acts of some Muslims. Certainly this is wrong and deplorable.At the very least, we should try to be consistent. But how many of us in the progressive community are concerned about the implications of both types of phrases? If we are going to be careful not to appear to overgeneralize about Islam, shouldn't we be equally concerned about overgeneralizing when it comes to men, women, and all other groups of people?James Coley

Also, the media never refers to terrorist acts by (self-proclaimed) Christians as Christian Terrorism.  But for those of you who happen not to know James Coley, I assure you that you are mostly preaching to the choir as to your underlying point.

To both James and Mark let me say that I did not mean to suggest that James was using the phrase Islamic Terrorists with any intent to tie Islam with terrorism.  As James has pointed out he was only quoting a news headline.  My intent was simply to make the point that it is sometimes relatively easy to use phrases that, while seemingly benign to us, may not seem so to others but nonetheless have found their way into common use.  No disrespect intended.

Thanks. I must say, however, that Islam, as well as Christianity (as, I would say, Mark points out) is tied to terrorism. Where I'm coming from is not xenophobia about Muslims. As an atheist I think progressives should not fail to recognize that most of the world's major religions include ideas that sanction terrorism and aggressive war. Look at the Old Testament.A related issue is homophobia. Liberal Christians like to say that hatred of gay people is not really Christian. But look up Leviticus 18:22. It means what it says taken out of context, and when it is left in context. Where do you think so much of the homophobia in our culture comes from?My point is that religions generally have good and evil teachings, but there is a tendency among my fellow liberals to bury this under standards of political correctness that seem motivated by an irrational fear of offending religious people.We will never come to grips with terrorism and war until we recognize their real religious roots. It is not that these things are done only "in the name of" religion. They come from what is a genuine aspect of most religions. The reason the 9/11 hijackers were willing to kill themselves is that they were under the delusion that they were not really going to die.James Coley

The suspect in the Oslo terrorism incidents is Anders Behring Breivik. CNN reports that "Official sources and social media indicate that Breivik might be a right-wing Christian fundamentalist who may have had an issue with Norway's multi-cultural society. The attack may have been politically motivated, one official said." One might also say "religiously motivated."http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/07/23/norway.explosion/index.html James Coley

From an article in today's Washington Post:"Breivik, a 32-year-old who contends he is waging a Christian crusade against multiculturalism in Europe, believes the killings were “gruesome” but “necessary,” said his attorney, Geir Lippestad. "His diary is part of a 1,500-page manifesto that Breivik admits posting on the Internet, Lippestad says. Part history, part commentary, part how-to manual, it lays out his loathing of Islam and his determination to preserve a Christian Europe."James Coley


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