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Thread: A community in denial

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    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
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    Default A community in denial

    I read this article the other day and I didn't think too much of it. I didn't think - to be honest - it was that accurate and the bud of the problem, so dismissed it. But this evening talking at work to a couple of the muslim men who I work with, the first thing that one of them came out with when he was flicking through todays paper was: 'It is all a conspiracy, I bet the government is doing it to themselves'. I was pretty much taken aback, I had never really heard anyone state that before, muslim or otherwise - I then remembered this article. It might be that Shiv does have a valid point and if so it will make the response from those in the police force and elsewhere about the 'muslim community standing up against the terrorists', in a bit of trouble. It also highlights the problem, if the muslim community is not likely to speak out anyway and then we act like we have been in the middle east, I suspect it will be a long time until the muslim community feels it right to 'stand up' to the extremists.

    I wondered whether I should post this as I am quite aware certain members might turn the thread into yet another attack on muslims - that is not the purpose of the thread. I am simply trying to work out how we can actively solve the problem if the article is correct and what we can do to counter terrorism at home, by unknowns, if the popular thought of 'moderate' muslims ousting the radicals proves futile.

    A community in denial
    Shiv Malik
    Monday 25th July 2005
    Terror in the UK - Reporting from Leeds and Bradford, Shiv Malik finds a worrying willingness among ordinary Muslims to believe conspiracy theories, and to close ranks against outside investigation

    Two weeks after the London bombing, the conspiracy theories had gone mainstream outside the Leeds Grand Mosque. "Even if it was how they say it was, you've got to think, who benefited most from this? It goes all the way to the top. It's a battle against Islam." This wasn't some devout al-Muhajiroun fanatic or old-timer implying that George Bush and Tony Blair had a hand in plotting the London bombings - but a woman in her early twenties. She is a student reading chemistry at Leeds University, my alma mater. And she certainly wasn't the only one saying such things.

    Naveed, 27 years old and clean-shaven, told me while he sat getting his hair cut in "Bobby's" on the Leeds Road, Bradford, that 9/11 was a conspiracy created by the west against Islam and that "maybe this was the same thing". Added to this were the floods of whispers from dozens of other ordinary Muslims I have spoken to in Leeds and Bradford since the bombings. "Why did they buy pay-and-display tickets?" "Why did they buy return train tickets?" "They must have been set up, tricked." "By whom?" "Who do you think?"

    A worrying dynamic of denial seems to be quickly taking root in the Muslim communities of the north. Far from London and the "rightly guided" spokesmen, it's not just about externalising blame, but about repositioning it on to the very people whom it is easiest and most politically correct to hate - America's president and Britain's prime minister. British Muslims have been told by Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, that the real detective work will have to come from them. "We have to seize a moment in which the Muslim community of Britain changes from . . . a position of shock and disbelief into active engagement in counter-terrorism," he said recently. But even if Pakistani Muslims in the north manage to accept that these bombers were regarded as real members of their communities and at the same time were prepared to blow themselves up, what success will Sir Ian have in getting them to police themselves?

    External factors such as institutional racism, cultural ignorance and Islamophobia have placed great strains on community/ police relationships, but there are also factors internal to Britain's northern Pakistani Muslim community that aren't so obvious from London. Of these, the issue of honour is perhaps the most sensitive.

    This concept goes to the heart of the conflict of values that affects almost all second- and third-generation Pakistani immigrants. It is also an issue that has been reinvented by these generations to maintain a sense of identity.

    Marilyn Mornington, a district judge who chairs the Northern Circuit Domestic Violence Group, which is funded by the Home Office, has spoken publicly about the problems of carrying out investigations into so-called honour killings in these communities. "The difficulty we have is akin to the problems in Northern Ireland, of getting people to come forward and, in effect, shame their community. The difficulty that the police, Crown Prosecution Service and the judicial authorities have is that people will not give evidence against perpetrators, sometimes because they support what they're doing . . . and, even if they don't support it, they feel it would be against the honour of their community to stand out against it, or to speak out, or to give evidence . . . The communities are extremely insular."



    She says that this insularity is not just a problem of racism, Islamophobia, poverty and lack of education, but also a result of the baradari system, a system of brotherhood or closed families that is particular to the Mirpuri people. In the main, British Mirpuris come from the very rural and conservative parts of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. The Mirpuri Development Project has estimated that Mirpuris make up around 70 per cent of the British Muslim population: the biggest concen- trations are in northern towns such as Bradford, Leeds, Derby and Huddersfield. The baradari system is integral to Mirpuri culture. A family unit will stick together, largely marry only close relations and will refuse to allow outsiders into the village. In Pakistan, it ensures that in very poor rural areas where little or no state provision exists, the villagers can provide themselves with the basic structures of a community, such as health, justice, childcare and security. But when Mirpuris have migrated, the system has migrated, too.

    There's nothing sinister about this. It's just that in Britain the state provides health, justice and security services. Once the benefits of the baradari system are largely taken away, you are left with a lot of downsides, such as the code of honour and extreme social insularity.

    This insularity has led such communities to permit the Islamists to twist their young people's sense of identity to such an extent that a boy from Leeds has more empathy with the dead and dying Muslims of Palestine than the dead and dying Muslims of London.When the four Yorkshire lads blew themselves up in London, they were also declaring a civil war between Britain's two versions of multiculturalism: that of the ghettoised north and that of integrated London.

    Sir Ian Blair can suggest that shock and disbelief should be used to motivate Britain's northern Muslim communities into "active engagement" against terrorism, but shock and disbelief might not be enough.
    This article first appeared in the New Statesman. For the latest in current and cultural affairs subscribe to the New Statesman print edition.
    GARCIN: I "dreamt," you say. It was no dream. When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be.
    INEZ: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It's what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one's made of.
    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
    INEZ: One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.

    Jean Paul Sartre - No Exit 1944

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    Default Re: A community in denial

    JAG,
    thank you very much, I found that very interesting.

  3. #3
    Member Member Alexander the Pretty Good's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    Funny how that's the reaction certain elements of the American political spectrum had after 9-11...

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    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    Clearly not politically charged enough, this article.
    GARCIN: I "dreamt," you say. It was no dream. When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be.
    INEZ: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It's what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one's made of.
    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
    INEZ: One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.

    Jean Paul Sartre - No Exit 1944

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    You want some charge
    Well hate to tell you I told you so but........


    If these people think like that imagine how middle eastern muslims feel.
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    Alienated Senior Member Member Red Harvest's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    No real surprise, unfortunately. Reminds me of the conspiracy theories I've heard from various islamic nations for every terrorist event. The Mossad or CIA was behind them all...yeah, righhhhhhhhhhht. Also reminds me of various Russian conspiracy theories I've heard on other matters as well--scary part there was that the absurdities were reported as if they were fact by the mainstream press.

    Same thing happened in the U.S. during the OJ trial where a fairly high percentage of blacks could not believe he killed her. Or Al Sharpton and Tawanna. Same thing has been done by extreme conservatives in the U.S. blaming Clinton for everything and the supposed Clinton murders lunacy. Pretty funny, until you realize the crazy fools are serious.

    All seem to be examples of communities that only believe their own. They don't want to hear independent analysis. Instead, it is just pore through more of the same that reinforces their own beliefs. I went to pentacostal churches as a kid--they were very close to being a cult at times, very circular thinking.
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    Same thing has been done by extreme conservatives in the U.S. blaming Clinton for everything and the supposed Clinton murders lunacy. Pretty funny, until you realize the crazy fools are serious.

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    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    *Quotes himself*

    I wondered whether I should post this as I am quite aware certain members might turn the thread into yet another attack on muslims - that is not the purpose of the thread. I am simply trying to work out how we can actively solve the problem if the article is correct and what we can do to counter terrorism at home, by unknowns, if the popular thought of 'moderate' muslims ousting the radicals proves futile.
    So... How do we actively counter the 'hidden' muslim extremists, like those of the bombings in London. Most of them were British born / citizens, without any extremist behavior before and most without other convictions. Only one of the 8 was looked into by MI5 and he was thought not dangerous.

    What is the answer, it seems thinking 'moderate' muslims will oust them all, is not.
    GARCIN: I "dreamt," you say. It was no dream. When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be.
    INEZ: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It's what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one's made of.
    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
    INEZ: One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.

    Jean Paul Sartre - No Exit 1944

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    So... How do we actively counter the 'hidden' muslim extremists, like those of the bombings in London. Most of them were British born / citizens, without any extremist behavior before and most without other convictions. Only one of the 8 was looked into by MI5 and he was thought not dangerous.

    What is the answer, it seems thinking 'moderate' muslims will oust them all, is not..

    Thats easy.Either you all become conservatives or let me and Panzer do the job for you.
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    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    ....?
    GARCIN: I "dreamt," you say. It was no dream. When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be.
    INEZ: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It's what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one's made of.
    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
    INEZ: One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.

    Jean Paul Sartre - No Exit 1944

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    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    Well, that is certaintly very disurbing to me... JAG as a conservative. :shudders:
    How do we do it? No idea. How about the liberal Muslims? Everyone always talks about the moderates, and if they won't put out, how about the very liberal Muslims? Probably too few in numbers. Hmm.

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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    ....?
    Sometimes you have to get tough and face reality no matter how terrible it is. I would love it if the world were as liberals dream of it being. Utopia is a very nice place.
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    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    Quote Originally Posted by Gawain of Orkeny
    Sometimes you have to get tough and face reality no matter how terrible it is. I would love it if the world were as liberals dream of it being. Utopia is a very nice place.
    I might be missing something, but I have literally no idea wtf your on about. Where does this fit in with the thread?

    ... Anyway, it was the Conservatives over here who are the most ardent supporters of 'getting the moderate muslims in with 'em!'.

    Reading your post again, I still fail to see the sense or relevance.
    GARCIN: I "dreamt," you say. It was no dream. When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be.
    INEZ: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It's what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one's made of.
    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
    INEZ: One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.

    Jean Paul Sartre - No Exit 1944

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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    Jag, bully on you for posting this. I know how hard it is to post things that contradict your frequently stated views firsthand, and I salute you for doing it

    That being said, first and foremost, it's pretty poor form for people to 'sour grapes' Jag. This is why people are so damned stubborn in positions they begin to suspect might not be correct. Who wants to be told how stupid they are...

    Second, unfortunately, no hints at a solution are offered. I don't see how you address the problem of muslims growing up in America or Britain hating and mistrusting their fellow citizens. All I can say is thank God it seems to be limited to something of a fringe element, and I hope & pray that mainstream Islam sees how dangerous it is to indulge these crackpots.

    Third, it actually reminds me a lot of the shock that white America felt in 1992 (during Rodney King) to learn that black America didnt' trust the police and assumed each and every time a white officer arrested a black man or woman, it was racially motivated and the black suspect was probablly innocent. I think what we as a culture learned out of that was not to insularize... black America came to learn to trust the police a little more and white America came to learn that the police weren't angels.... This transcends just race so it's more complicated, but dialogue, dialogue, dialogue...... Stupid ideas don't hold up in the light of intelligent challenge, but they become deeply held matters of faith in the face of arrogant dismissal or antagonism.
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
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    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    Cheers, Don. I never stay on a stance I can't honestly keep with myself anyway, So I don't mind stating I have been wrong with ideas before, or that people give the old 'I told you do attitude', I am only interested in finding out what I think is the best approach. If it turns out someone else was right and wants to rub it in, I don't really mind, it is just slightly irritating.

    Anyway, I don't see how Conservatives here or elsewhere are actually correct with things they have stated on this subject, like those on the left we know have a situation where the only response is that which I have outlined in this thread and as the thread shows it seems to be rubbish. I am just lost as to what to do, apart from throwing everyone who isn't white out of the country how can you solve the problem?

    It still seems you might not be able to, we can say 'better intelligence', but it has already proven to not be able to get everyone so what next?

    By the way this was from a socialist political magazine, maybe you guys should start reading 'em eh? They aren't all hails to Marx, see.
    GARCIN: I "dreamt," you say. It was no dream. When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be.
    INEZ: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It's what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one's made of.
    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
    INEZ: One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.

    Jean Paul Sartre - No Exit 1944

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    Alienated Senior Member Member Red Harvest's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone
    Third, it actually reminds me a lot of the shock that white America felt in 1992 (during Rodney King) to learn that black America didnt' trust the police and assumed each and every time a white officer arrested a black man or woman, it was racially motivated and the black suspect was probablly innocent. I think what we as a culture learned out of that was not to insularize... black America came to learn to trust the police a little more and white America came to learn that the police weren't angels.... This transcends just race so it's more complicated, but dialogue, dialogue, dialogue...... Stupid ideas don't hold up in the light of intelligent challenge, but they become deeply held matters of faith in the face of arrogant dismissal or antagonism.
    Not trying to derail, but I'm a bit confused by this statement, particularly, "black America came to learn to trust the police a little more." Quite the opposite seemed to be the case. I saw the King tapes and that beating went beyond all reason. I didn't doubt King was up to no good and needed to be subdued, but that doesn't justify trying to beat him to death AFTER he no longer poses a threat. I've been in some serious fights that put people down for the count...but this was so far beyond that as to be ridiculous. After the acquittal which I myself as a white anglo considered racist BS, I couldn't blame folks for reacting violently. What made no sense was the wanton nature of the rioting and destroying their own neighborhoods and going after Asian grocers and such. Had they targeted the local police or burned the acquitted officers homes, I would have cheered them for going after the guilty parties to mete out justice that the courts could not. That is part of my view of having the right to oppose tyranny and consent of the governed, etc.

    If anything, the King verdict led to the OJ verdict, yet another travesty of justice.
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    Alienated Senior Member Member Red Harvest's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    Back to topic: solutions for people believing what they want to believe in an open society, no matter how obviously delusional? That's a tough one. I think the only way is time, and keep putting the truth back out there in front of them. You can't change cultural mindsets overnight. You have to keep chipping away at them. I also think you have to aggressively go after the extremist clerics/teachers and remove them from the equation. Of course, immigrant communities usually are somewhat insular to begin with, and provide their own support. That makes for an uphill battle.

    Comparisons with insular aspects of black America is true to a degree, but the comparison is badly compromised by a century of institutionalized racism AFTER emancipation. It wasn't until the last 30 or 40 years that last major portions were dismantled. It's going to take some time and convincing (and waiting for more of the old racists to die off--and pehaps one or two generations of their descendants) before those demons can be fully excorcised.
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    Member Member bmolsson's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    All muslism goes through a identity crisis. The "brother" concept doesn't work anymore and that puts the religious power structure at the edge....

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    Jillian & Allison's Daddy Senior Member Don Corleone's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    I don't know, I might be looking with too optimistic an eye, but I thought some of the reforms after the whole Rodney King beating, such as citizens review boards and the like had helped re-engage black America in the process. I could be wrong, but it just doesn't seem that there's the anger & rage and mistrust that there was.

    And this is a real question, not a rhetorical one... but do you think that in going after the extremist imams, and shutting them up, you feed the extremist paranoia? "See... he was speaking the truth so they had to silence him..." How do you deal with that...
    "A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man."
    Don Vito Corleone: The Godfather, Part 1.

    "Then wait for them and swear to God in heaven that if they spew that bull to you or your family again you will cave there heads in with a sledgehammer"
    Strike for the South

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    Alienated Senior Member Member Red Harvest's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Corleone
    I don't know, I might be looking with too optimistic an eye, but I thought some of the reforms after the whole Rodney King beating, such as citizens review boards and the like had helped re-engage black America in the process. I could be wrong, but it just doesn't seem that there's the anger & rage and mistrust that there was.
    I was looking a bit shorter term, you could be right over the long haul. We as a nation have dealt with the problem, I think. Of course, that also leaves me to wonder whether the King case did more to damage the trust in what would have otherwise been a long term positive trend. Yes, a bit of fence straddling there... If things would slowly improve on their own (and I think that is the case) did the King case just provide a negative disruption in the trend--or perhaps positive?

    And this is a real question, not a rhetorical one... but do you think that in going after the extremist imams, and shutting them up, you feed the extremist paranoia? "See... he was speaking the truth so they had to silence him..." How do you deal with that...
    Wish I knew, I think you have to go after the problem, but you need to do it carefully. How fairly they are dealt with, and the care taken to safeguard those who are not teaching hate from unjust prosecution will most likely set the tone and degree of "martyr" association. (For example, you can't afford to create more Abu Ghraib's through sloppy management and vague/conflicting legal instructions.) Let's face it, in any society some percent are always going to take the extremist view (like those still defending David Koresh here...and those that blew up the OK Federal building.) However, I think you have to remove the "cancer" to keep it from spreading to the mainstream thought. The mainstream community can moderate the paranoid types...as long as they don't agree with them.

    As an example of something similar in the U.S. I would point to the support that Eric Rudolph had (the Olympics and abortion clinic bomber.) He was clearly an extremist that few would personally identify with or want to emulate, yet he had a lot of general support in the areas he was hiding--and indiciations are that he had help as a result. The extremist ministers and the like who hailed the murderer/terrorist as a hero are cut from the same cloth as the imams I'm thinking of.
    Last edited by Red Harvest; 07-29-2005 at 18:12.
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    probably bored Member BDC's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    These people are adults. If they can't cope with change, and support terrorism directly or indirectly, the only person whose fault it is is theirs. It's racist to treat them any other way.

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    Intifadah Member Drish's Avatar
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    Default Re: A community in denial

    I am not surprised. Various conspiracy theories are popular among the, hmm, true believers. You should hear some of the theories regarding suicide bombing in Iraq, ludicrous nonsense.
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