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Swedish, Nature conservation freak, Passionate about Africa, Loving Peace, Politically neutral

Friday, 15 August 2008

End to tribal wars in Europe?

Apparently Georgia has signed a peace treaty in order to end the conflict with Russia over South Ossetia (and Abkhazian?). I hope that the conflicts in the Caucasus will end soon as it have been a turmoil there for far too long now.

It hits me, although I am just an ignorant observer, that this/these conflicts are very much about different “groupings” of people being aggregated into one country. We have seen more examples in Europe of groups unwilling to live side by side with each other. We have seen it in Spain/Basque country, former Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland/Great Britain to mention a few. But we also see it in Africa, where the old colonial ruling created boarder lines with no respect or concern to the different people living in the areas.

When one thinks of it, it is maybe not that surprising that Africa is so under developed and unwilling to make the “big leap”. If there are no foreign interest and no international concern the “multiple-groups-in-one-country”-conflicts goes on forever. Perhaps the solution is to let every single tribe, in Africa or in Europe, gain independence? But on the other hand that would lead to a relative gain in power to countries like Russia and USA.

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35 comments:

Anonymous said...

but Russia is a federation with many sort of cultures!

Geoffrey Goines said...

>anonymous

Yeah you got that right. And it is probably just a question of time before Russia starts to fall apart (more than it already does). But at the moment it controls its "satellites" quite well.

Anonymous said...

So tell me, with those insights in mind. What do you think the future prospects are for the ever more multicultural and diverse Europe will be ?

Anonymous said...

"If there are no foreign interest and no international concern the “multiple-groups-in-one-country”-conflicts goes on forever."
You got this wrong, it should be:"If there are foreign interest and international concern the “multiple-groups-in-one-country”-conflicts goes on forever."

Geoffrey Goines said...

>anonymous 1

The prospects are not too bright, in my opinion.
I might be wrong, but i think the fall apart of countries into smaller and smaller fractions is only going inhibit Europe.


>anonymous 2

""You got this wrong, it should be:"If there are foreign interest and international concern the “multiple-groups-in-one-country”-conflicts goes on forever."""

Yes you are right. I should furthermore probably not have mixed together foreign interest and international concern.

mark said...

So what you are saying is that mixing multiple groups of different ethnicities and cultures within a country will inevitably eventually lead to civil war or at least it will not be a peaceful society?

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

Yes, that seems to be what I am saying... But of course the situation is not that simple and straight forward, and my hopes lies elsewhere...

mark said...

so where do you stand when it comes to mass immigration from foreign cultures, particularly islamic culture, to sweden or other scandinavian countries? Do you believe this will eventually lead to cultural conflicts as well? maybe even armed conflicts or vigilante style urban warfare as response to the incompatibility of the different cultures?

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

I really like the mixture of cultures. It enriches my life many times over. But sadly there are "elements" in society that are intolerante to other cultures (that goes for individuals from all kinds of groupings), and with them being stubborn as they are, we will have some serious issues on our hand quite soon.

mark said...

there are also aspects of other cultures that are especially intolerant to or incompatible with the typical western culture and lifestyle. For example certain groups wants to introduce islamic sharia laws into our western society. The problem arises when supporters of this incomaptible culture gets so numerous and strong that it threatens the established and original culture. This is in the process of happening. In the future one might see islamic political parties in western countries with an islamic agenda that has the potential to bring down our western culture and democratic rights. The point is any group that comes from the outside and gradually builds their subculture with ideals that are in conflict with the established culture will inevitably cause conflict, especially when these ideals are so radically different from the established culture as is the case with radical islamists. The western socities has no duty to show tolerance to intolerance, and are not the source of intolerance and conflict.

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

All muslims I know are the best kind of people.

Mark said...

Good 4 you and them, but I'm not talking about the people you know or any individual people in specific. I'm talking about a culture built on ideals that violates what we consider to be essential human rights in our western society. If supporters of these ideals becomes to numerous it's obviously a threat to our free society. You pretty much say it yourself,that conflict is inevitable when incompatible cultures collide, why is this suddenly not applicable when it comes to the future situation in sweden? (Just a note: I'm not a bad person,I'm not racist and I don't think your muslim friends are not the best of people,I'm "enriched" by cultural diversity as well, when it comes to arts music and people, but when it comes to human rigths many cultures are in conflict with our western ideals, as you say yourself conflict is then inevitable)

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

I know what you are saying. But I have a significant experience of people being against muslim/islam without actually knowing any muslims.
As I said, all the muslims I know are the best of people, and none of them support sharia-laws, so how can I then fear/dislike these people and their culture?

Mark said...

Again, I'm not talking about the people you know or any individuals in particualr and I'm not asking you to dislike their culture. However, it's just naive to think that certain elements of islamic culture don't exist simply because you don't personally know anyone that supports sharia laws. How likely are you to make friends with such people? A fairly large part of Islamic culture has a very different and sometimes directly opposing view on things that are closely related to human rights. Things like sexuality, the position of women in society,marriage,individual freedom,freedom of religion, the practice of death penalty, etc..

Many swedish people will have a problem with those opposing viewpoints, and they are a source of conflict now and in the future, hence your example concerning different groupings of people within limited geographical areas. This will lead to conflict also in sweden and for good reason because it's in reality a cultural threat to the established culture.

Tolerance for intolerance is just naive.

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark
No, my expereience from muslims and islam tells me that the picture media and other "elements" of society paints of this culture is not correct.

Mark said...

Yet again, I'm not talking about the picture media paints or your muslim friends. I'm talking about the culture and elements within the culture itself. Nothing else! No matter what the media or anybody else say, you can't get away from the fact that certain elements of islamic culture are incompatible with human rights and western democracy. I'm not saying it's all bad or that muslims are all bad people, i'm saying that elements within the islamic culure has the potential to cause harm to our culture and these specific elements is the source of the cultural (and potentially violent) conflict as swedes will eventually feel forced to protect their own cultural values.

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

And were do you get that information from, that the islamic culture does is incompatible with western culture...?
The interpretation of holy scriptures is quite diverse you know.

I would say that most elements in our world have the potential to harm us. One just have to look out for the extremists.

Mark said...

"I would say that most elements in our world have the potential to harm us. One just have to look out for the extremists"

Sure, but som have more potential to be harmful than others , including islam. That is using our western culture as the baseline. Extremism and fundamentalism is never good but some forms of fundamentalism is more ill willed than others. There's for example a difference between a fundamentalist communist in a free western country and an islamic fundamentalist. Which has the potential to do more harm?

I think you know as well as I do that certain aspects of Islamic culture is incompatible with western culture. but I'll give you some keywords

forced marriage
womens rights
view on western women
hymen reconstruction
hijab
sharia
the inferiority of nonbelievers
capital punishment (by stoning)
freedom of speech (lack of)
family honor being more important than the health and well being of individuals..... etc

these are not necessarily aspects of islam the religion but they are part of islamic culture, although not all muslims are defenders or practioneers of these things it is a significant element of the culture and these are in direct conflict with "our" culture

you choose to close your eyes in the name of tolerance yet you accept and actually clearly express the opinion that "different groupings within a country" will lead to conflict, thus confirming the incompatibility of certain groups of people.

You have yet to explain why this will not be the case with sweden in the future. Therefore I'm asking again. Do you think immigration from different cultures will cause conflicts in Sweden in the future? and what can be done to avoid this? more specifically, who primarily needs to adjust their ways to avoid this? (the last one was a rethorical question so you don't need to answer that)

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

I hear what you are saying, but that is not the picture I have received of islam or muslims. And between you and me, I trust myself much more...

Mark said...

Good for you, however it's not about trust it's about facts! These things exists wether you like it or not. and you still haven't answered any questions. Do you actually have any opinions on the matter or are you just safebetting and avoiding troublesome issues?

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

I can only trust the world I know, and it is not the same as media and you paint.

My answer to all your questions is that we should avoid extremists.

Mark said...

Your talking like a cult member... but OK... and of course one should avoid extremism, that is given,most people will not disagree with that. But how?
you know on AA meetings and such you learn that the first step to recovery is to accept that the problem exists. Good luck with your recovery.

Geoffrey Goines said...

>Mark

You know that recent studies show that the 12 step program at AA meetings have no effect on whether you get well or not...

I just saying it as i see it, and I have no problem with muslims or islam whatsoever. The extremists I want to avoid, but they are not just aggregated to people of arabic descent, as some would claim.

Mark said...

"You know that recent studies show that the 12 step program at AA meetings have no effect on whether you get well or not..."

Oh yeah? I don't trust you I can only trust the world I know! Very versatile reply you came up with there so I apply it right back at you.

"The extremists I want to avoid, but they are not just aggregated to people of arabic descent, as some would claim"

As some would claim? but I didn't make this claim, did I? Once again you are avoiding issues. You said somewhere along here that your hope lies elsewhere? where does your hope lie? You show concern for different groupings of people within one country as a cause of conflict, but when it comes to different groups of people within sweden you choose to ignore this very same problem. A problem you put on the agenda right here on your blog. sometimes it's easy to observe a problem from the outside yet you cannot see the same thing happening in front of your nose. Forest for the trees etc.. so.. tell me where does your hopes lie? Do you hope you are wrong in your simplified base assumption? (gtoupings of people within a country leading to conflict)

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

Yeah, and have you seen in the real world that the 12 step program works better than other way to get well...?
That is the core issue. I have met lots and lots of muslims and never encountered the problems that others talk about.

I dont really get you, I say that it seems that Europe and Africa needs to be split up into small autonomous states, in order to avoid civil unrest. True, this is a very simple analysis of the situation, but I have no where claimed that I feel this is the solution i want. I like the multicultural mix you get nowadays out in the world (or in Sweden for that matter), and I really cant understand why one grouping see another grouping as a problem. (And that was basically the message I wanted to put forward).

Mark said...

"That is the core issue. I have met lots and lots of muslims and never encountered the problems that others talk about"

And that automatically means the problems don't exist?

"and I really cant understand why one grouping see another grouping as a problem"

I understand that you can't understand this, but in part this is because of the problems you refuse to accept the existence of. namely incomaptible cultural values and foundations. To me it is perfectly understandable that conflicts arise due to conflicts of interests and values, however, it's not a preferrable situation. Like with all problems there are solutions but one can't even begin to find the solution to a problem unless one aknowledge its existence. What I don't get about you is that you aknowledge the fact that there will be problems but you don't aknowledge the fact that certain aspects of islamic culture are ALSO part of the problem. I'm not then talking about oppositons as polarized as neonazis and islamic fundamentalists. I'm talking about aspects of Islamic and Western culture that are much more part of the mainstream and that are in direct conflict with eachother. You refuse to accept that there are problematic aspects of islamic culture but you aknowledge the conflict that will arise from the mixing of cultures, the message you are sending then is that all the responsibility for that conflict lies with the western culture.
Is this your honest opinion? That there are absolutely no problems whatsoever linked to islamic culture and it's incompatibleness with western culture and that all the blame for the potential conflicts lies with western culture?


Do you refuse the existence of forced/arranged marriages? Do you refuse the nonexistence of womens rights in the islamic world? etc..

check out these links

http://www.cisr-irb.gc.ca/en/research/rir/?action=record.viewrec&gotorec=444461

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA33/010/2002/en/dom-ASA330102002en.html

A bit biased but he raises som good points

http://www.bu.edu/partisanreview/archive/2002/3/bawer.html

A solution needs to be found to these problems and it's not first and foremost the western culture that needs to adapt.

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

But you have to understand that none of the muslims i know support any of those things you bring up. Therefore I clearly state that islam is not a problem in my world. This is a reaction to all the negative things that is said/written about islam.

Moreover, from my experience there exist very few incomparability between western world and the muslim world.
Hence, when you ask me if I feel we need to be careful with cultural mixing I have to respond as I did; Why? The problems along a "mixed society" is mostly in people's (i.e. politicians' and extremists') mind. I would think that the Georgia - Russia crisis is a good example of that.

Mark said...

"Therefore I clearly state that islam is not a problem in my world"

So if it's not a problem in "your world", that means it's not a problem? That's ignorant. I have no problem with you being ignorant , but I've seen you show great concern for human rights and such in other posts here on your blog, yet these specific violations of human rights you choose to ignore because they are not a problem in your world. Is the situation in Tibet a problem in your world?? Maybe the athetes you blame for ignorance in one of your other posts don't have a problem with Tibet in their world??
I'm just trying to illustrate that the problems exists and that there's a reason negative things are written about islam. You write what can be perceived as negative things about China, don't you?

"The problems along a "mixed society" is mostly in people's (i.e. politicians' and extremists') mind"


When something exists in people's minds it's very easily transferred to the physical world. There are very physical human rights abuses going on within the islamic culture some of these abuses are enforced by the religion and some are enforced by tradition. some involves individuals some groups of people. The problems also exists in the minds of the perpetrators no doubt about it? Now tell me, who's minds does these problems exist in? who are the perpetrators of human rights abuses from a western viewpoint?


Why not the same passion for these human rights abuses as what you show of the China vs Tibet issue? Is it not quite hip?

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

As maybe you have noticed I am playing a bit with you to raise a debate.
However, I feel the need to be overly positive to Islam and muslims to compenstate for the overly negative attitude that is often displayed out in the world.

Muslims in general are really not of those kind that people in general see them as. Maybe all the muslims I know are one of a kind, or they hid there true nature when they are with me. But I have to say honestly that I fear more (but not that much) when being with a group of Christians than with a group of Muslims. The tolerance to other views and standpoints are so much higher inte the latter group.

mark said...

"As maybe you have noticed I am playing a bit with you to raise a debate"

Suuure... if you willingly want to make yourself look narrowminded and lost for words in order to raise the debate that's fine by me. That basically means you agree with me. (although it has been more an exercise of repetition than a rise in the debate)

"But I have to say honestly that I fear more (but not that much) when being with a group of Christians than with a group of Muslims"

Why do you suddenly bring fear into this debate? and why bring christians into this? Are we suddenly comparing who's worst? does 2 wrongs make a right? again you're distracting attention away from the topic over on another completely separate group of people thus potentially contributing to an escalation of conflicts between these groups.

an interesting experiment would be to challenge your muslim friends a little. Ask their opinion on matters related to homosexuality,infidelity,womans rights, sexual promiscuity marriage to a swedish person etc. you might discover something new about your muslim friends. This doesnt make them bad people (unless they act on some of the more extreme viewpoints, like honour killings in cases of infidelity etc..)it's just part of a different culture. I have spoken to several muslim women and limitation of their rights and freedom is more common then one might think. These are aspects of the culture that should not be allowed to thrive in our society and it is the muslims who are required to adjust these things to avoid conflict.

"I feel the need to be overly positive to Islam and muslims to compenstate for the overly negative attitude that is often displayed out in the world."

There's alot of negativity floating around concerning the china olympics also why did you not feel the need to take the same stand here?

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

I have done that "experiment", both with muslim and christian friends (the reason for these to "groupings" is that they are the groups i "hang around" with most).
And my conlusion from this "study" is that the muslim grouping is much more tolerant to those thing you bring up, that the christian ditto. Have you done any similair experiment yourself? What are you results?

I have been discussing China and the olympics a bit more outside the blog. But my knowledge about this part of the world and the chinese people is much more limited compared to my knowledge and experience of muslims and christians.

Mark said...

"And my conlusion from this "study" is that the muslim grouping is much more tolerant to those thing you bring up, that the christian ditto"

more tolerant but yet intolerant.. finally you admit that muslims are intolerant when it comes to these issues. that's basically what you're saying but you also say christians are worse. you hate mongerer! you had to bring in another group to stigmatize in order to even things out, equality above all right?(sarcasm)

"Have you done any similair experiment yourself? What are you results?"

Yes I have, I have mostly spoken to girls and women and they tell a very different story,when confronting muslim men with what the women are saying they usually laugh it off or deny that what they are saying is the actual state of things. They are not women so it's understandable they have problems with putting themselves in their position. however, the girls i've spoken to have been telling me that they don't enjoy the same freedom as the men in the household, some are not even allowed to go outside without escort when they are not in school. A few have been threatened with the consequences of not obeying the will of the family. I know of one girl that had a hymen reconstruction to be a "virgin" at the wedding night. apparently if you don't bleed when the groom get's his trophy it's a shame beyond shame and major fuzz.( The idea of the virtue of virginity is very strong in Islam, virgins are actually considered rewards for being a good muslim)

from the quran
“We have created mates for them and made them virgins, matched in age, for the companions of the right hand.” (56:35-38)

there's also seems to be more acceptance of a muslim man marrying a western woman than the other way around. I hear from both sexes about the conflict between older generations and the young about issues of morality, honour and the level of influence the family should have in what we in the west consider personal choices. Like choice of marriage partner. I also hear muslim girls complain routinely about the very traditional view on women that seems to come from parents and grandparents. basically there seems to be a huge difference between the general freedoms enjoyed between siblings of opposite sex in favor of the male sibling.

I also lived in amsterdam for a couple of years and talked to homosexuals there that where systematically harassed and (often violently) by gangs with roots in muslim communities, they were also harassed by neo-nazis but that's not the point here.

If you dont trust me but only the world you know, you could take a look at amnesty's reports on the state of human rights in the arabic countries. The offences are not just commited by or on behalf of the governments, they are an integrated part of the culture and are committed by individuals.

I'm sure you have the best intentions with regards to China I don't think you hate chineese people although you criticize their culture and actions in Tibet. Likewise I don't have any cruel intentions when it comes to muslims but I won't tolerate the human rigths abuses and other intolerant principles that is directly oppsoing my own views and I certainly won't tolerate such intolerant cultural elements getting a foothold in europe. All of the above (including the contents of my other comments) is why I think it's primarily the muslim community that should take a closer look at themselves and make an effort to adjust their own practices to be more compliant with human rights and western culture.

Geoffrey Goines said...

>mark

No, i didnt say that they are intolerant. And the reason i compare with christians is that they are the people I have in my social life AND that there is such a big difference in tolerance, to e.g. homosexuality, where the muslims have much higher respect for other ways of living than christians.

Sad to hear about the women. But none of the muslim women I know can identify with the stories you are putting forward.

Mark said...

Good for them but I can assure you that these and other human rights abuses does occur more frequently within the islamic culture and the only ones who can really do something about these problems are the muslims themselves.
It is said that a large percentage of western europeans don't know any muslims personally and that this is the cause of conflicts and misunderstandings but this most also mean that an equally large percentage of muslims don't know any weterners personally. Which side is more reluctant to initiate personal relations? As an infidel and an unbeliever I'll leave that question open and leave you with some interesting links.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing#In_Muslim_majority_countries

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_and_Islam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayaan_Hirsi_Ali

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maHSOB2RFm4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocU5x_03MDM&feature=related

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA33/010/2002/en/dom-ASA330102002en.html

http://www.bu.edu/partisanreview/archive/2002/3/bawer.html

Geoffrey Goines said...

Ok thanks