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Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Old 07-08-2010, 04:49 PM   #61
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Given that a motivation for terrorism arises from a felt loss of heritage (read the books of Georgetown Univ.'s John Esposito if you don't believe me), helping Muslims feel good about their historical contributions to mathematics actually is a terror-fighting tool. Plus it helps us to recruit bright minds from places like Egypt, Jordan, etc., to contribute to space advancements.
Nice try at spin, but no cigar. Esposito is wrong. Muslims who are motivated to terrorism are motivated by religious zealotry and extremism, nothing more, nothing less. NASA reaching out to help make Muslims "feel good" as a tool to "fight terrorism" is a HUGE reach.

Any Muslim who doesn't have extremist views and is one of the "best and brightest" in that region certainly doesn't need NASA or anyone else in the U.S. to tell him/her about Muslim contributions to math/science.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:57 PM   #62
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Nice try at spin, but no cigar. Esposito is wrong. Muslims who are motivated to terrorism are motivated by religious zealotry and extremism, nothing more, nothing less. NASA reaching out to help make Muslims "feel good" as a tool to "fight terrorism" is a HUGE reach.

Any Muslim who doesn't have extremist views and is one of the "best and brightest" in that region certainly doesn't need NASA or anyone else in the U.S. to tell him/her about Muslim contributions to math/science.
No spin. Esposito is a professor of Muslim studies who is recognized around the world as an expert on Islam. What makes you more of an expert on Islam than he is?

Your "spin" doesn't work. It begs the question of where that "religious zealotry" comes from. I've already provided one answer to that question.

Please try reading one of Esposito's books on Muslim extremism before you judge his books by their covers. Or try reading Rohan Gunaratna, who is considered perhaps the world's best scholar of al-Qaeda.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:06 PM   #63
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Actually Reagan asked for NASA outreach to the Russians during the Cold War. The idea of mixing space exploration and diplomacy is not as weird as you make it sound.
Good article here on NASA history with the USSR.

NASA - United States-Soviet Space Cooperation during the Cold War

But outreach to the USSR was never deemed by the head of NASA to be one of his top three priorities under Reagan. Any outreach was very low key and was only done if there was a direct benefit to the U.S.

To be blunt, folks who have issue with Bolden's statement understand there's no major funding for any Muslim outreach initiatives in the NASA budget. This is a PR blunder by Bolden and many feel it illustrates where Obama's philosophical priorities lie.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:17 PM   #64
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

Well sense Obama isn't closing Gitmo (another broken promise to his loyal followers) he could just have NASA work with the guys there. They could start with the basics of rocket building. Then work up to guiding a rocket with satellite systems (we know they have them because SS provided links). We could allow them to fire off a few testers over Israel because that would really make them like use.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:21 PM   #65
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Actually Reagan asked for NASA outreach to the Russians during the Cold War. The idea of mixing space exploration and diplomacy is not as weird as you make it sound.

In terms of a specific outreach to Muslims, Muslims invented the concept of zero in operative mathematics (that is, not just a placeholder). The Maya did too, independently, but Western mathematics got the concept of zero from Muslim mathematicians. Muslims also developed algebra. Given that a motivation for terrorism arises from a felt loss of heritage (read the books of Georgetown Univ.'s John Esposito if you don't believe me), helping Muslims feel good about their historical contributions to mathematics actually is a terror-fighting tool. Plus it helps us to recruit bright minds from places like Egypt, Jordan, etc., to contribute to space advancements.
Why not just give them a trophy for inventing zero like 10000 years ago. We do that with kids in sports now days so it must work.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:21 PM   #66
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

SS33, you're toiling on top of the toilet bowl. You missed a spot.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:29 PM   #67
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

Saudi Aramco World : A Prince in Space

Eight Muslims in Space and Counting - IslamOnline.net - Health & Science
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:01 PM   #68
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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if your boss tells you to do something, do you do it? do you understand what happens if you don't? just ask the general what happens if you bad mouth your boss
Sooo, reading between the lines................it makes no sense to you either.....employer/employee hierarchy notwithstanding?
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:15 PM   #69
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Actually Reagan asked for NASA outreach to the Russians during the Cold War. The idea of mixing space exploration and diplomacy is not as weird as you make it sound.

In terms of a specific outreach to Muslims, Muslims invented the concept of zero in operative mathematics (that is, not just a placeholder). The Maya did too, independently, but Western mathematics got the concept of zero from Muslim mathematicians. Muslims also developed algebra. Given that a motivation for terrorism arises from a felt loss of heritage (read the books of Georgetown Univ.'s John Esposito if you don't believe me), helping Muslims feel good about their historical contributions to mathematics actually is a terror-fighting tool. Plus it helps us to recruit bright minds from places like Egypt, Jordan, etc., to contribute to space advancements.
While I am not much of a proponent of feel good nonsense for the sake of it, where nobody keeps score so nobody loses and....feels bad and the whole juice boxes for evereybody mentality, that is not the issue.
The issue is....Why is a space agency doing diplomatic work?
BTW, John Esposito has an opinion. The truth can be more elusive...
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:44 PM   #70
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Please try reading one of Esposito's books on Muslim extremism before you judge his books by their covers. Or try reading Rohan Gunaratna, who is considered perhaps the world's best scholar of al-Qaeda.
I'm no expert on Muslim studies, but there are plenty of folks that are experts in this field that have an opinion similar to mine.

So without going down the whole Islamic extremist hole and completely hijacking the thread, maybe you should read the Koran itself, or books from Robert Spencer (Spencer is a weekly columnist for Human Events and FrontPage Magazine, and has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. intelligence community). I'd say if the folks that fight terrorism for a living are listening to him, his opinion carries a lot more weight than the opinion of an academic.

Maybe you could ask yourself why sharia law allows for stoning to death of women. People have killed over extreme religious views for thousands of years, I don't recall any evidence of people killing because they felt slighted over acknowledgment of their contirbutions to the world-wide math/science community.

I'm thankful that here we can have this debate, in countries ruled by sharia law I'd be executed. Or I could be just full of $hit and "toiling on top of the toilet bowl".
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:46 PM   #71
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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SS33, you're toiling on top of the toilet bowl. You missed a spot.
Bring something better than that or don't bother.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:33 PM   #72
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Well sense Obama isn't closing Gitmo (another broken promise to his loyal followers) he could just have NASA work with the guys there. They could start with the basics of rocket building. Then work up to guiding a rocket with satellite systems (we know they have them because SS provided links). We could allow them to fire off a few testers over Israel because that would really make them like use.
PolitiFact | The Obameter: Tracking Barack Obama's Campaign Promises
119 kept
245 in the works
19 broken
pretty good ratio to me
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:36 PM   #73
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

and...
Obama said after the inauguration that he hoped to close Guantanamo within one year, and administration officials admit they won't make that deadline. During the campaign, Obama gave himself no such deadline, and we're judging him here on his campaign promises. He said he would close Guantanamo Bay, and concrete steps are being taken to do so. The promise remains In the Works.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:55 PM   #74
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Bring something better than that or don't bother.
You are all over the place. I don't know whether you think NASA shouldn't be involved in outreach, we shouldn't do outreach at all or limit our outreach? Or perhaps you really think NASA's new primary mission is to appeal to the Muslim World.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:24 PM   #75
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by Slingin Sammy 33 View Post
I'm no expert on Muslim studies, but there are plenty of folks that are experts in this field that have an opinion similar to mine.

So without going down the whole Islamic extremist hole and completely hijacking the thread, maybe you should read the Koran itself, or books from Robert Spencer (Spencer is a weekly columnist for Human Events and FrontPage Magazine, and has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the United States Central Command, United States Army Command and General Staff College, the U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. intelligence community). I'd say if the folks that fight terrorism for a living are listening to him, his opinion carries a lot more weight than the opinion of an academic.

Maybe you could ask yourself why sharia law allows for stoning to death of women. People have killed over extreme religious views for thousands of years, I don't recall any evidence of people killing because they felt slighted over acknowledgment of their contirbutions to the world-wide math/science community.

I'm thankful that here we can have this debate, in countries ruled by sharia law I'd be executed. Or I could be just full of $hit and "toiling on top of the toilet bowl".
I have read the Koran, several times actually, just as I have read the Bible several times. I read a lot of literature about religion.

You seem to be confused in terms of experts. Robert Spencer is a consultant regarding how to militarily engage Muslims. John Esposito is an expert on Islamic culture. The two are not the same. And, considering my original point was about Islamic culture, experts on Islamic culture like Esposito and Rohan Gunaratna are the relevant experts for this argument.

We can't beat an enemy that we don't understand. The people who study Islamic cultures know Islamic cultures best. I have indicated some of these people already. Now I am reminded of the saying, "You can lead a horse to water..."

As for your statement about Sharia law, you vastly oversimplify a complex issue. You seem unaware that through most of the Muslim world, those injunctions remain unenforced, just as injunctions to stone people in the Bible are not enforced here. Also, those Americans who use the Bible to support capital punishment are doing a similar thing. Thus the situation regarding Sharia law is much more complex than you indicate. Perhaps you should read someone like John Esposito or Rohan Gunaratna.

As for your statement, "I don't recall any evidence of people killing because they felt slighted over acknowledgment of their contirbutions to the world-wide math/science community," I gave you one example already, although the "slight" is not just over math, it is a holistic felt loss of heritage. And your claim that people don't go to war because they feel that they have been slighted doesn't hold up in the light of history. In other words, I offered you an aspect of a complicated situation and you dumbed it down so that you could dismiss it.

Again, we can't beat an enemy that we don't understand. Educating ourselves about Islam helps to fight terror.
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Last edited by Lotus; 07-09-2010 at 12:06 AM.
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