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I must admit, upon seeing protests in Sudan calling for the shooting of the teacher who named a teddy-bear after the Prophet, I was a little angry..

The woman's only sin was mis-understanding the reaction that devoutly religious types would have to her giving to a teddy-bear the same name that parents in the country often give to their children. It's not exactly an obvious crime - not in the same league as offensive cartoons, certainly.

So when you watch the news, and see that large mobs of people want to see her shot dead for her 'crime', it leads one down an angry path. One might consider that if the country was indiscriminately bombed, it might not be such a bad thing. Suddenly you're in the realm of extremist thought, as a response to what you perceive to be unreasonable behaviour.

And that's kind of the whole point. We ask why they respond so negatively, and assume that it's because of some cultural difference, or inherent extremism in their religion. At no point do we consider that actually, we're capable of extreme reactions given sufficient provocation. Fortunately our culture suppresses any external signs of those reactions, so we just channel them into general discrimination, thus fuelling the issue but not really dealing with it. Great..

Of course, it's not necessarily our fault in the first place. It's so easy to give offense without meaning to do so, but that's not to say that it's automatically the person who reacts that is in the wrong.

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Being offended and calling for death are different manners entirely.

What would offend you so much that you would call for someone's death, and to make it more challenging, that didn't involve any death or physical harm in the first place?

I'm sure they are, but the number of people I've seen who responded to peaceful protests with calls to bomb an entire nation would suggest that fault can be found on both sides. Each of those people were calling for death - not for a specific individual, but I don't think it matters whether you're specific or not.

Perhaps. I don't believe I've personally ever called to bomb an entire nation. Or to bomb anyone, really. But my world view isn't everyone elses. :)

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I don't think Fred Phelps should be bombed either; but I do think what they're doing is wrong.

As I said, I don't think that the fact that such sentiment isn't public in the western world necessarily makes anything better. Just because society is set up in such a way as to condemn extremist views that are made public, it's fairly obvious that an awful lot of people still hold such views, and still make decisions based on them regardless. It's the attitude, not the protesting, that is the real problem.

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I find it interesting that you're willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the westerners who would apparently not press the big red button, but assume that the protesters in the Sudan would willingly shoot the teacher themselves. I see no reason to assume things would go down that way..

All very good but it was in fact the children that chose the name for the teddy and not the teacher. She merely presented them with a naming game for a stuffed toy.

Base instincts would lead one to think that the protests should then call for the shooting of all those children who chose the name - but thats surely not an option! Perhaps it is this embarassing fact that is causing the finger pointers to waggle so vociferously?

See what happens when you give some people choice. I say bomb them - its trendy to be extremist these days isn't it? Or does the fact I was born a christian preclude me from that trendy form of extremism?

You'll get no argument from me there - I think the response was completely uncalled for, and you're right, they should shoot the kids.. :o)

I was thinking more that their over-reaction led to me feeling quite angry with them, an anger which might lead me to similar over-reaction myself.

As for being a Christian, I believe the correct method is to use your "freedom" and "democracy" to bring to power people who will do extremist things, but tell you they're okay. It's not quite as hands-on I'm afraid, but people still get to die :o)

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