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This morning I stop to get gas at the usual place, I always make smalltalk with the Owner (who's of Middle Eastern decent) who always has my usual requested items waiting for me before I get to the counter. Before going in I take notice of the people around me I saw a uniformed USAF SSgt pumping his gas adjacent to me. Mindful of always appreciating servicepeople, when we make glancing eye contact I acknowledge him with a quick smile and nod of the head. He returns it.

I set the pump trigger and head inside for a bottle of water, retrieve it and head for the counter. In front of me is the SSgt. making his transaction with the cashier, who is also of Middle Eastern decent. I never heard them speak a word to each other, not a thank you, f**k you, nothing. SSgt took his change, placed his cover and was gone. The cashier had a look of fire in his eyes and mumbled something low to himself. Then turned to me, and I gave him my usual smile and "Good morning my friend." His smile returned and we exchanged pleasantries. Made change and I was off.

On the walk back to the truck I wondered if the SSgt had insulted the cashier, or vice versa, directly or indirectly. Maybe I misread the situation but it seemed like you could've cut the tension between them with a knife. I've never known the cashier to be anything but very friendly and gracious though I can't help but wonder what was running through their minds.
 

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having been deployed, it can change how you look at others. i know a lot of my good friends that were out "walking the line" came home with a skewed view on people of middle eastern decent.

i went to the airport to pick up a friend a couple of weeks ago and saw a family in traditional Afghan clothing and my mind started racing. i kind freaked out a little bit, but snapped back after a couple of seconds, remembering where i was - as i walked in to the baggage claim area i passed them, smiled, and said hello to them. that caught them off guard and the eldest man there returned the greeting, waved, and placed his right hand over his heart (a cultural custom of showing respect).

Kev, this thread really got me thinking about things... whether that USAF SSGt was deployed or not isn't really that important. the fact of the matter is, that people will always have prejudices towards other cultures/ethnicities because of either ignorance or hate. i can't see hating an entire culture or ethnic group because a few bad people did terrible things.

even though America is a melting pot, there are some "ingredients" that others aren't gonna like in their dish.
 

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Human nature it is going to happen. Culture clash is a reality and its happening in Europe vs Islam , the Danish ran a cartoon with a Mullah who wore a turban with a fire cracker. Muslims rioted.
Roadside bombs go off daily in Iraq, US Servicemen are severely injured, an association issue takes over, stuff happens, no easy answers.
John Lennon and the Beatles and give peace a chance is a real tough nut to crack.
 

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MY first response was slightly in jest...

If you have ever spent time with a WW2, or even a Vietnam vet they talk with distain about their enemy. "Gooks, Japs", etc... they seriously hated them. Back then it was a different war where the opponent was more visual and was shooting at you, not trying to blow you up from a hidden vantage point. Well, not always! It was maybe, easier to hate the enemy simply because you knew who they were.

Todays war... well, not so easy. Yes they are all muslim. But thats a religion isnt it? Are they all Iranian? No... are they all Persian? No... not sure what they are... so much of the area is going to get lumped in to the enemy category and I certainly would expect a serviceman to have a little hate in his heart right now. For all you know, this guy just lost a good amount of freinds over there... who knows. I'd be a bit disgrunttled too.

You never know the circumstances.

What kills me though is the local afgan people here who oppose the war and think the US should just leave well enough alone. My wife works with a Doc who is from the area, and still has family there. At every occasion I have been with the wife where this lady is present, the war is a topic. Finally I asked her, If the US left... dont you think the place would tear itself apart right now? And if it is so nice there, which is her claim, why on earth is she here practicing medicine? Why is she not vacationing there with her kids in tow? Her answer was after the War she will return for vacations if it is safe... BUT when I asked when the last time she was 'home'... its been like 20+yrs...

Odd... I didn't know we were fighting the war for that long.... she was speachless...
 

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Human nature it is going to happen. Culture clash is a reality and its happening in Europe vs Islam , the Danish ran a cartoon with a Mullah who wore a turban with a fire cracker. Muslims rioted.
They're rioting again today. Its all over the news.
 
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Crap, i normally don't get these topics but....so, some of you know i'm from Lebenon, a small netural contry about 50% Christian and 50% Moslum; i'm on the Christian side. We moved to the USA in the 70's, there was war then and there still is. Regardless of how "nice" it is, America is the land of oppertunity and offers its people more freedoms than any other country...thus people will continue to come.

For me there seems to be too many issues with why poeple don't get along, go to war, and think they are better than others. World politics are too big to fully understand and every culture has its problems. The media will report anything that makes them money, and the truth will never be known...pride the greed seems to rule our world.

I believe you can make the world a better place, or at least the world you live in, by respecting other people. How you treat an individual is more important than what you feel about a culture. Actions like they say are stronger than words, and common bonds are more important than petty differances.

Anybody on this forum from the same culture? Does it matter when your helmet comes off? "Can't we just all get along?" (i know you guys were waiting for that one!)
 

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Imad, didn't take ya long to come aboard. Excellent!

My 2cents............We are at war with primarily Muslim hardliners. There are Muslims calling for death to a whole country because of a cartoon. There is gonna be a bunch of media skew, albeit. I am not surprised at the reaction that you saw in the least bit. Our uniformed in action service people are amonst middle easterners, at war, 24-7, so like I said, a meeting like you experienced just does not surprise me. To come to a conclusion does require a bit more information, I agree.
 

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Why is it that people let religion guide their life so much? Is their faith that strong? Or is it all they have?

I mean... I am somewhat religious... actually not really at all compared to most... but I can not fathom killing someone else, or even simply persecuting another simply based because another person has differing religious beliefs...

I'll put a bullet in your mellon for being an idiot before I would for being Jewish, Muslim, or whatever... whats the big hangup on religion... I don't see it.
 

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midwest said:
Why is it that people let religion guide their life so much? Is their faith that strong? Or is it all they have?

I mean... I am somewhat religious... actually not really at all compared to most... but I can not fathom killing someone else, or even simply persecuting another simply based because another person has differing religious beliefs...

I'll put a bullet in your mellon for being an idiot before I would for being Jewish, Muslim, or whatever... whats the big hangup on religion... I don't see it.
Whether we like it or not religious persecution and ethnic cleansing have been a sad facet of humanity throughout time. I don't think I would be too far out on a limb to say that probably 90% of all wars started have some form of religion based bias built in before the first stone is cast.
 

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midwest said:
Why is it that people let religion guide their life so much? Is their faith that strong? Or is it all they have?

I try to base the way I live my life on my personal belief/relationship with God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit (Yes I am one of those that does not like the word "Religion") It is part of my foundation of who I am so it is impossible for me to not let it guide my life. Yes my faith is that strong but it doesn’t mean I don’t often fall short.

The big difference between my beliefs and others is I believe in free will. I.e. God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit gives you free will to choose what you want to believe in and/or decide in your own life. It is not for me to decide what is right or wrong for another person. I only intend to share my beliefs with others not by telling them they are wrong or how they will go to hell for not being like me, or... pick any one of a number of stereo types, but by sharing my experiences with them. No more no less.

Other religions do not teach this. They teach one way and one way only, no acceptance. When there is no acceptance, you create hatred, hatred creates violence and so on.

We must keep our eyes open and not lump all beliefs, religions, ideas into one and say we are all over zealous nuts.
 

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Religion is crowd control with miminal use of force. (well, at least it is supposed to be?)

Government is crowd control with constant use of force.

Simple...;)
 

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Now I have a question...and its not intended to start a flaming war here, so just let me ask this and really think about it.

They are rioting because of a wrong depiction of the muslim leader with a turbin on that looked like a bomb right?

Whats the first thing they did after this came out?

Went into the streets with rocket launchers and guns, and burned the danish embassy.

So my question is...was this a wrong depiction or not?

Now dont get me wrong, I'm not saying all of them are like this. I also dont believe that war is going to solve any problems. I believe that if people followed bible principals (notice I didnt say a religion) since most religions dont follow the bible, the world would be a nice place to live and everyone would get along, no matter the race, color, ethnic background. There would be no wars, no hate crimes. My .02
 

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Face it. There is a monumental East West conflict just a brewing away as we speak. It's in our generation and our kids generation. I don't like the dark clouds on the horizon, and the damn storm is just gonna get everyone wet.
I don't want it...you don't want it.

I look at it as "How do I protect my family"
Then I think, "How can I protect my country"
As long as I can do and think along those lines, I feel I'm doing right.

"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"

We now return you back to everyday living.
 

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Bigdaa said:
Face it. There is a monumental East West conflict just a brewing away as we speak. It's in our generation and our kids generation. I don't like the dark clouds on the horizon, and the damn storm is just gonna get everyone wet.
I don't want it...you don't want it.

I look at it as "How do I protect my family"
Then I think, "How can I protect my country"
As long as I can do and think along those lines, I feel I'm doing right.

"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"

We now return you back to everyday living.

Agreed BigDaa but as for myself working in the Big Apple I feel as if this city has the worlds largest cross hairs painted on it. I'd like to see my children grow up and prosper in the world, possibly making it a better place for future generations.

I only hope and pray that if something were to happen that they can forgive me for leaving them at a young age. Scary thoughts rambling through my head as I went to a funeral yesterday and the mortality bug has once again bitten....
 

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I think one of the most frightening things about people letting religion guide their lives is the difference in interpretation from one person to the next. I mean, seriously, taking a book that was written hundreds of years ago literally seems a little...crazy.

I just try to be a good person. Make life better for others and, if you can't, at least try not to make others' lives harder. If some need moral guidelines written out for them, fine, but I'll stick to my own personal moral compass.

I would agree that the East-West conflict is a ticking bomb, but I don't think the cartoon will trigger it. I do worry that something more drastic will happen and throw us into another absurd conflict.
 
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