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Ancient site destruction thread

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msduncan
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Ancient site destruction thread

Post by msduncan »

Islamic Extremists have once again destroyed an ancient site. Every time I see something like this happen, it saddens me as a lover of history and historical places.

The Taliban destroyed a ton of ancient Buddhist sites. About a month or so ago there was the tombs in Timbuktu. Now this.... so I figured we needed a dedicated thread.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

It saddens me as well but in the case of Mali, it's kind of a footnote. The GDP per capita in Mali is $1,100. They have 30% unemployment and had a military coup earlier this year. The Asnar Dine is hacking off limbs when they're not chipping away at tombs of Muslim saints.

I'm not sure anything can be done without fixing their host of other problems first.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Octavious »

In former Yugoslavia the Serbs ruined tons of historical sites. This was all related to driving out the muslims in Bosnia. So everyone just sucks.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Fitzy »

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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Octavious »

Maybe we're both just assuming this is directed only at Islam? There's nothing in the first post to say otherwise so I guess he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Oh and if Poltergeist had been released much sooner maybe we wouldn't of stole anything from the Indians? :lol:
Last edited by Octavious on Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by silverjon »

Oh hey look, it's my job.
wot?

To be fair, adolescent power fantasy tripe is way easier to write than absurd existential horror, and every community has got to start somewhere... right?

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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by noxiousdog »

So, you're saying it's ok?
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Fitzy »

noxiousdog wrote:
So, you're saying it's ok?
Yep, that's what I'm saying.

Or, I get tired of seeing one culture denigrated for doing exactly what another does. Maybe we in the U.S. would have a much easier time taking the moral high ground if we actually had it.

Or, maybe I took the title of the thread literally.

Or I broke my lurking policy and quickly responded to something that irritated me without thinking it through fully.

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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by msduncan »

I certainly don't limit my distaste of destruction of important historical sites to only those sites that Islamic extremists destroy. Destruction of such sites by western cultures are almost always due to enterprise. Islamic extremists destroy in order to erase any non-Islamic culture, belief, or site from the pages of history.

I donated to that drive to raise money to save Tesla's lab, for instance.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by silverjon »

Fitzy wrote:Sorry for stealing Silverjon's job. It's a rough economy.
Although all the stuff you mention could be viewed as a role I play on OO (except lurking), my literal job that I get paid for is preservation of historical sites in the province where I live.

Protecting them from the ravages of "enterprise", dontcha know?

MSD, when it comes to historic sites, destroyed is destroyed. It doesn't matter why. This is a non-renewable resource, and when such a thing is gone, it's gone forever.

My department tries to keep a good working relationship with industry, but development isn't everything. The economy isn't everything.
wot?

To be fair, adolescent power fantasy tripe is way easier to write than absurd existential horror, and every community has got to start somewhere... right?

Unless one loses a precious thing, he will never know its true value. A little light finally scratches the darkness; it lets the exhausted one face his shattered dream and realize his path cannot be walked. Can man live happily without embracing his wounded heart?
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Octavious »

Whew I thought the Serbs rounded up people and burned down their homes to wipe them out. Glad to see it was just enterprise. Holy f in a hand basket. Sigh
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by msduncan »

silverjon wrote:
Fitzy wrote:Sorry for stealing Silverjon's job. It's a rough economy.
Although all the stuff you mention could be viewed as a role I play on OO (except lurking), my literal job that I get paid for is preservation of historical sites in the province where I live.

Protecting them from the ravages of "enterprise", dontcha know?

MSD, when it comes to historic sites, destroyed is destroyed. It doesn't matter why. This is a non-renewable resource, and when such a thing is gone, it's gone forever.

My department tries to keep a good working relationship with industry, but development isn't everything. The economy isn't everything.
I didn't say it was. I just pointed out that two vastly different motivations are driving the same end result: destruction of sites that we can never get back. It's a real shame.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

msduncan wrote: Islamic extremists destroy in order to erase any non-Islamic culture, belief, or site from the pages of history.
In the OP example, they destroyed an Islamic site.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by msduncan »

LawBeefaroni wrote:
msduncan wrote: Islamic extremists destroy in order to erase any non-Islamic culture, belief, or site from the pages of history.
In the OP example, they destroyed an Islamic site.
I didn't read that at all.

Declaring the ancient Muslim shrines "haram", or forbidden in Islam, Ansar Dine set about destroying seven of Timbuktu's 16 mausolea of ancient Muslim saints.
Muslim does not necessarily equal Islamic. This was an ancient muslim shrine - could predate Islam.

Either way it doesn't really matter -- the shrine is lost to humanity now.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

msduncan wrote:
Declaring the ancient Muslim shrines "haram", or forbidden in Islam, Ansar Dine set about destroying seven of Timbuktu's 16 mausolea of ancient Muslim saints.
Muslim does not necessarily equal Islamic. This was an ancient muslim shrine - could predate Islam.
:?
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by GreenGoo »

silverjon wrote:
Fitzy wrote:Sorry for stealing Silverjon's job. It's a rough economy.
Although all the stuff you mention could be viewed as a role I play on OO (except lurking), my literal job...
Yeah, I was going to post a clarification that it is literally your job, but you beat me to it.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Isgrimnur »

Wiki
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam
I think the idea here is one akin to some of the more anti-Catholic Protestant denominations going after the destruction of the items and places that are consecrated to various saints.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by geezer »

silverjon wrote: The economy isn't everything.
Heresy! :wink:
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by GreenGoo »

Isgrimnur wrote:Wiki
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam
I think the idea here is one akin to some of the more anti-Catholic Protestant denominations going after the destruction of the items and places that are consecrated to various saints.
Pretty much what I remember reading. Islam has its saints, just as Christianity does. Some believers feel that it is idolatry (perhaps not exactly this) to have saints. Some extremists have decided to destroy their resting grounds. I guess that somehow stops them from being viewed as saints by others? I have no idea.

Anyway, that's pretty much what I read the last time muslims were destroying muslim religious sites.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Carpet_pissr »

This is the one that killed me...still makes me cringe when I see the video of the dynamiting.

Third, fucking century statues:

Image
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by silverjon »

Here's one we're trying to deal with right now. Vandalism, not development.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/18 ... sher-acid/" target="_blank
wot?

To be fair, adolescent power fantasy tripe is way easier to write than absurd existential horror, and every community has got to start somewhere... right?

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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Carpet_pissr wrote:This is the one that killed me...still makes me cringe when I see the video of the dynamiting.

Third, fucking century statues:
Mostly OT, but if you think that's bad, how about this guy?
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by msduncan »

Dear God. We had a summer student issue a kill command without disconnecting the database from the SAN one time -- took down 300 applications and caused a 3 day emergency.

If I could find that guy, I'd forward him the story of Prometheus to make him feel better. That's dreadful.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by stessier »

OT - LB's post made me start looking at trees and I found this - the world's most solitary tree - not another one for 250 miles - was hit by a truck and killed.

Scroll to the bottom - it's bonus tree #2.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by msduncan »

stessier wrote:OT - LB's post made me start looking at trees and I found this - the world's most solitary tree - not another one for 250 miles - was hit by a truck and killed.

Scroll to the bottom - it's bonus tree #2.
How does that happen?
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by stessier »

msduncan wrote:
stessier wrote:OT - LB's post made me start looking at trees and I found this - the world's most solitary tree - not another one for 250 miles - was hit by a truck and killed.

Scroll to the bottom - it's bonus tree #2.
How does that happen?
Are you sitting down?


They say alcohol was involved.

Edit: unless you mean how does one tree grow in the middle of nowhere - in which case the answer is it used to be part of a large stand that the desert surrounded and killed off everything else. It's roots go down more than 120 feet...past the water table - so it's a survivor. Or was.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Kraken »

stessier wrote:
msduncan wrote:
stessier wrote:OT - LB's post made me start looking at trees and I found this - the world's most solitary tree - not another one for 250 miles - was hit by a truck and killed.

Scroll to the bottom - it's bonus tree #2.
How does that happen?
Are you sitting down?


They say alcohol was involved.
I'd guess that people driving around a featureless plain quickly stop watching for obstructions. That would make a collision with the sole obstruction inevitable, sooner or later.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Daehawk »

Wait I dont understand this..the article linked to says Islamists destroy shrine of Mulsim Saint. Ummm aren't Islam and Muslim the same thing?

And to those that would do this..you reap what you sow.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by msduncan »

stessier wrote:
msduncan wrote:
stessier wrote:OT - LB's post made me start looking at trees and I found this - the world's most solitary tree - not another one for 250 miles - was hit by a truck and killed.

Scroll to the bottom - it's bonus tree #2.
How does that happen?
Are you sitting down?


They say alcohol was involved.

Edit: unless you mean how does one tree grow in the middle of nowhere - in which case the answer is it used to be part of a large stand that the desert surrounded and killed off everything else. It's roots go down more than 120 feet...past the water table - so it's a survivor. Or was.
Yeah I meant how does the only tree for 250 miles get hit by a car.

Alcohol makes sense + a healthy dose of Murphy's law.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Isgrimnur »

Aleppo under fire:
Hundreds of shops were burning in the ancient covered market in Aleppo on Saturday as fighting between rebels and state forces in Syria's largest city threatened to destroy a UNESCO world heritage site.
...
[M]any of Syria's historic treasures have also fallen victim to an 18-month-old conflict that has reduced parts of some cities to ruins.
...
In Aleppo, activists speaking via Skype said army snipers were making it difficult to approach the Souk al-Madina, the medieval market of vaulted stone alleyways and carved wooden facades in the Old City, once a major tourist attraction.
...
Aleppo's Old City is one of several locations in Syria declared world heritage sites by UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency, that are now at risk from the fighting.

UNESCO believes five of Syria's six heritage sites - which also include the ancient desert city of Palmyra, the Crac des Chevaliers crusader fortress and parts of old Damascus - have been affected.
...
Fighting was also reported outside Bab Antakya, a stone gateway to Aleppo's Old City, which sits on ancient trade routes and survived a parade of rulers throughout its construction between the 12th and 17th century.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Holman »

Daehawk wrote:Wait I dont understand this..the article linked to says Islamists destroy shrine of Mulsim Saint. Ummm aren't Islam and Muslim the same thing?
Probably sectarian differences over doctrine. I just read about incidents of one Muslim group destroying the mosques of another Muslim group because they contained the remains of saints. (The first group believes that human remains profane a holy site.)

It's nothing new, though. A lot of gorgeous Christian art was destroyed in the Reformation due to Protestants' distrust of ornamentation.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Mr. Fed »

The much-maligned Wikipedia is a decent place to start on how prevalent this has been and for how long.

Silly Muslims. This isn't the century that we destroy ancient religious art of other cultures. This is the century that we find ways to monetize it, then tax it to pay for Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Congressional salaries and drone strikes and stuff.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Grundbegriff »

Isgrimnur wrote:Aleppo under fire:
Apalling
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Isgrimnur »

Error.
Last edited by Isgrimnur on Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Daehawk »

Starting to wonder if stuff like this along with things like serials killers are a in built way to keep populations thinned. It seems to be in our nature to destroy after a time . What they blame it on is whatever seems useful at the time.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by GreenGoo »

Mr. Fed wrote:The much-maligned Wikipedia is a decent place to start on how prevalent this has been and for how long.

Silly Muslims. This isn't the century that we destroy ancient religious art of other cultures. This is the century that we find ways to monetize it, then tax it to pay for Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Congressional salaries and drone strikes and stuff.
The american public (and some canadians too, no doubt) are more than happy to fund Honey Boo Boo privately. I seriously doubt any public coffers were raided to fund this art.

Just so there are no misunderstandings about how the taxes from monetized cultural works will be spent.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by silverjon »

silverjon wrote:Here's one we're trying to deal with right now. Vandalism, not development.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/18 ... sher-acid/" target="_blank
Been meaning to post the follow-up to this story.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/21 ... sted-rcmp/" target="_blank

Turns out, the first "expert" on the scene totally misinterpreted or misrepresented it, and made us all look like jackasses. Basically.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Gavin »

Fitzy wrote:Yep, that's what I'm saying.

Or, I get tired of seeing one culture denigrated for doing exactly what another does. Maybe we in the U.S. would have a much easier time taking the moral high ground if we actually had it.

Or, maybe I took the title of the thread literally.

Or I broke my lurking policy and quickly responded to something that irritated me without thinking it through fully.

Sorry for stealing Silverjon's job. It's a rough economy.
Islam can usually be legitimately singled out due to their strong iconoclastic tradition. Americans do this for greed but other Americans also try to stop it and both groups are within their legal rights for trying. For most examples you can produce in America, there's usually a group of people also trying to stop it and the ones doing it aren't usually doing it because their faith tells them to do so. This is a poor comparison when there's no mandate either legally or historically for Americans to destroy things of significance. Islam does include both. Well, particularly the Sunnis (who account for 75-90% of all Muslims) since their Sunnah (where their name comes from)/hadiths are held at a similar level to scripture and their particular hadiths discourage even the depiction of animals, let alone any idolatry.

That being said, I'm not sure exactly what their justification would be in declaring these sites forbidden even under Islamic law/beliefs. Were the sites used for worship, were they associated with incorrect beliefs, were living images depicting on them? If there's no "legitimate" or sharia/legal reason, then it's just a group of guys being dicks in the name of religion, something most religions see from time to time. The idea that these are deemed as sacred or shrines does lend to the idea that they had "justification" though, and that's unfortunate. I was particularly upset by Timbuktu's loss.

Side note: Interestingly enough, the next largest group of Muslims, the Shiites (10-20% of Islam) not only aren't as strict about images but have even been known to depict Muhammad.
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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Combustible Lemur »

Would that have been different if more native Americans had survived or had more substantial permanent settlements? How much was lost that we never even knew about?

How much desecration happened in those first 200 yrs. Some and yes I see the difference in first two hundred years vs. Ongoing, however Islam maintained lots
t of ancient knowledge and sites during the dark ages while European s were pillaging each other.

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Re: Ancient site destruction thread

Post by Gavin »

Combustible Lemur wrote:Would that have been different if more native Americans had survived or had more substantial permanent settlements? How much was lost that we never even knew about?
Of Native American Settlements? The things we've likely lost without knowing are things they made to look like natural formations (like some "Indian Mounds", I wonder if we're supposed to call them Native American Mounds now... :P ) that no one realized was man-made. Fortunately, it looks like a lot of these have been saved. Unfortunately, many of them are just piles of dirt and ancient garbage so the point is unclear as to exactly what we're preserving for some of these. As for what if they'd survived and had more substantial permanent settlements, I guess they'd be in charge or the substantial settlements would be better preserved than dirt mounds.
How much desecration happened in those first 200 yrs. Some and yes I see the difference in first two hundred years vs. Ongoing,
Of what exactly? I'm sure some desecration went on but many Native Americans were nomadic and the ones that weren't are known for making the equivalent of huts that are still made in South America (aka, not long lasting). Structures were made to be carried or easily replaced. We can still see many of the permanent structures where Native Americans made it out of stuff like rock (Pueblos) but I can't think of any of the establishments they made out of things other than stone that could possibly have survived till today.

http://www.native-languages.org/houses.htm" target="_blank

Look at those houses and you'll see that only two are really viable to have survived to this day. The pueblos and the Earthen Houses (underground/under hill houses, think hobbit homes) are the ones that I'd think would have the best chances. The Pueblos have not only survived, but there are still entire Native American towns living in them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoma_Pueblo" target="_blank

Even then, we're talking about homes and not desecration of monuments. The things we hear most about that could be comparable are the desecration of their burial sites. These also aren't monuments, they're places people have been buried. They're also largely unmarked. Most of the time people (including Native Americans) don't even know it exists until someone buys the land and tries to develop on it only to find bones when they dig. The reason why people try to build anyways is because of all the time, money, effort already tied into that land and hopefully the situation can be solved peacefully but not always. Saying that this happens does point out some occurances of it but it does NOT make it OK that Muslims go and actively/willingly/knowingly destroy monuments of historical and cultural significance. Some thousands of years old. Burial grounds are often accidentally found and most of Americans would disagree with the desecration of them. That being said, what do you do with that land? There's no monument (usually), there's no history to it other than what can be found by desecrating it. Do the dead own the land for all eternity?
however Islam maintained lots
t of ancient knowledge and sites during the dark ages while European s were pillaging each other.
Which ones are you talking about? Muslims have been fantastic and preserving and encouraging the advancement of knowledge, but they were destroying some icons for nearly the whole religion. Muslim Iconoclasm started when the Prophet Muhamad invaded Mecca in 630 c.e. and he destroyed all the idols (aka monuments) in the Ka`ba except for depictions of Jesus and Mary. This tolerance of Christian imagery was tolerated until the Edict of Yazid, one of the Caliphate (think Pope) in Sunni tradition in 722 c.e. that ordered the destruction of Christian idols too and it was carried out. Traditionally though, Islam has allowed Christians and Jews to survive unmolested during their occupation and there is significant Qur`anic reasons for why they are sympathetic to just those two. But iconoclasm has reared its head all over.

The missing nose of the Sphinx? According to a reliable historian, a Sufi Muslim (Sufism refers to the belief that one may experience the divine and can actually be a Sunni or Shi`ite or whatever else in Islam as well) is believed to be responsible for this when he caught people making sacrifices to it (the Napoleon/British troops stuff is just a perpetuated rumor; We have paintings of the sphinx well before those wars already missing a nose and the historian is was alive during the event in 1378). The person was then hanged for vandalism.

The Hagia Sophia was dedicated in 360 c.e. and survived until 1453 c.e. when a Muslim Sultan invaded Constantinople (over a thousand years as a Christian church with monuments and icons that we'll never see again, fortunately some are being restored and have been restored). This Sultan is a fairly extreme example of Islam at its worst as he invaded partially with the desire to convert the city to Islam and became one of the rare examples of spreading faith by the sword which is by no typical of Muslim tradition which has historically been kind to non-combative Christians. They not only murdered or enslaved the clergy and refugees they found there, but they desecrated everything inside there and covered anything else in plaster to hide it.

India and China likewise have their own horror stories that would make any archaeologist stay awake at night.

If any group of Muslims were responsible for protecting these things during the Middle Ages, it'd likely be the Shi`ites (again, only 10-20% of all the Muslim faith ableit the second largest denomination when compared to the 75-90% Sunni group that is responsible for most of these acts) because they don't follow the same hadiths that the Sunnis do. What likely happened is that the Sunni's allowed them to exist because they were Christian in origin just like Muhammad spared Chrsitian artifacts in Mecca.

I know it sounds like I covered two very different topics, both of which I shouldn't be familiar with but Native American religions were part of my Religion degree (a side degree I got to learn about cultures and beliefs alongside what I call my money-making degree). I understand the desire to show us that these actions can be found in other societies, including our own, but none of them are this fierce or this blatant. I get that a lot of hate has been directed at Muslims after 9/11 and war and I am by no means saying that they're bad people or that there isn't tolerance. Just that their (the Sunni faith in particular) religion supports if not mandates these kinds of actions and this is something we need to recognize and not be willing to accept or we will lose so much of human history.
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