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Answering one Moslem

Our recent discussions about Islam and the whole cartoon-Mohammed mess has prompted some rather profound and insightful observations. It also drew the attention of "Kashif Ahmad," a self-proclaimed Muslim who repeatedly presented his side of the argument most cogently and reasonably. I have to respect him for that.

In fact, I respect it so much, I'm going to take one of his comments and look at it most carefully.

I for one would never be an apologist for the actions of any Saudi or Egyptian terrorist. Reason is simply I have almost as much in common with a person from Saudi/Egypt as an American would have with someone from Yugoslavia. Nothing.

Actually, America has quite a few ties with the former Yugoslavia. For one, a lot of Americans can trace their ancestry to Yugoslavia. For another, several thousand Americans have served in the former Yugoslavia over the last decade -- most notably protecting Muslims there from being slaughtered. Many bled and died there. Perhaps you ought to choose another nation? Good luck -- Americans come from all over the world, and we have ties to nearly every nation. Much like we often hear cries about the 1 billion Muslims who are all insulted by these cartoons.

OnDrummer on the note why you are not allowed to prostelize in countries like SA. Prostelizing is not an in-alienable human right. If we expect others to respect us we must respect them, and the surest way to kill any conversation with a person is to say you are going to enternal damnation if you don't believe in Christ. It is their law and their country we must respect that.

Yes, Kashif. You must respect "their law and their country." In the West, we enshrine the right to speak freely as one of the most sacred precepts of freedom. There is no law against blasphemy in Denmark, or the United States. It is our principle that the government should stay out of matters of faith. But that hasn't stopped the riots and open acts of war against Denmark, has it? So much for having respect for others' countries and others' laws.

The same way no one will give a damn about a fatwa passed in Iran in any western country, we cannot reverse it around either.

Tell that to Salman Rushdie, still under a death sentence. Or Theo Van Gogh -- but you'll have to dig him up, and I don't think his corpse will be persuaded by your arguments. They know full well the power of fatwas issued in Iran, and how much effect they can be outside their borders.

Kashif also brings up the Crusades. Yeah, it can be argued that the Crusades were Christianity run amok. Hell, for the sake of argument, I'll even grant every single point he made about it.

But Kashif, the Crusades ended well over 700 years ago. People looking for more recent examples of Christian extremism find themselves citing the Nazis (who co-opted a few elements of Christianity, blended with strong Paganist elements, to push their race-based, tyrannical ideology) or the Ku Klux Klan (who were also far more interested in race than religion, except in how they could use Christianity to support their feeble ideology).

But back to the Crusades. As I noted above, they ended over 700 years ago. Christianity grew up.

Judaism also had its imperialist, expansionist, conquering era. It ended once they possessed the Holy Land.

It seems that major religions (at least the Big Three, that all come from the Middle East) have their "adolescence," But Judaism and Christianity outgrew those, and matured into the faiths that they are today.

Some people say we need to give Islam its chance to grow and mature as well. They say that it, too, will outgrow this phase, and truly become a religion of peace.

Personally, I'm tired of waiting. The "patience" and "tolerance" people call for is being measured in dead bodies. Dead Danes, dead Netherlanders, dead Londoners, dead Americans, dead Parisians, dead Israelis.

And most of all, dead Muslims. I think it's fair to say that radical Islam has killed more of its own than any other group.

So before we all long like I said outside the window, lets all of us look at the mirrors.

Perhaps, Kashif. But instead of gazing narcissistically at yourself, perhaps you ought to look around at your fellow Muslims. Those who are currently wreaking havoc around the globe over some CARTOONS, and those who sit silently and let those radicals claim to be the voice of Islam. The loudest voice often prevails, and there is a severe dearth of those who would challenge them.


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Comments (117)

Good post Jay. It is way pa... (Below threshold)
EXDemocrat:

Good post Jay. It is way past time for the "moderate muslims" to grow a spine. If they are truly opposed to the radical elements that have highjacked their religion, they need to prove it, now.

Too bad muslims can't read.... (Below threshold)
JAT:

Too bad muslims can't read. Good post!

Hmmm.The Crusades ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

The Crusades were in *response* to muslim aggression. Many of the cities and areas of the Holy Lands were entirely in the hands of the Christians from the Roman times. The Crusades didn't happen until muslim armies tried to take over all of the Holy Lands on their march to Constantinople.

Today that's called Istanbul and yes it too was once Christian.

Excellent points, Jay Tea a... (Below threshold)

Excellent points, Jay Tea and EXDemocrat! Bravi!

Hmmmm.One curious ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

One curious thing I've noticed is that muslims trying to defend some of the more indefensible things that muslims have done over the centuries often have a two-faced approach to history. If it's something terrible done by muslims then "that's so 500 years ago!". If it's something done by Christians then "that's terrible and a horrible reflection on you nasty ass people!".

The simple fact is that muslims have been kidnapping, raping, murdering and robbing Christians for the past 1,400 years without a single break in that time period.

That says more about the "Religion of Peace" than anything else. Frankly I for one have had enough of the bullcrap. If muslims are unwilling to face reality then that's their problem.

Personally I don't think Islam can be reformed. It's structure simply doesn't allow for it. Such "reform" as has happened in the past was due to the utter slaughter en masse of militants. Frankly I think what's needed to "reform" Islam today might be the same medicine, i.e. slaughter. I have yet to see one instance of violent militants being "reformed" at all. This says quite a bit that many people would rather ignore, but there you go.

The one thing that is inescapable is the possibility, that we all hope won't happen, is the necessity of destroying Islam and killing every single muslim on Earth. Sounds excessive doesn't it? The issue is that Islam is never fully reformed and never *stays* reformed. Such reformations that have happened are always temporary. What issues we solve today will happen again and again and again. The history of Islam shows this to be the only reality.

Our children and grandchildren might not have to deal with these issues yet again. But you can be absolutely certain that within a century or so, or less, the issue of Islamic militants detonating bombs and killing infidels will come up yet again.

To add to what Ed said, how... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

To add to what Ed said, how many of those towns and cities that were Christian prior to the Muslim invasion became Christian by force? The Romans, before Christ came along, did the conquest thing in the holy land, but the Christians? Not so much.

ed: Istanbul was Constantin... (Below threshold)

ed: Istanbul was Constantinople, if you had a date in Constantinople, she'll be waiting in Istanbul. (At this point, I break out into song, thanks to They Might Be Giants.)

But seriously, from what I know, your version of events is roughly correct. However, there are some who feel the Muslim agression towards the Byzantines, who were Christian, was used as an "excuse" for the Crusades. I think it was more a case of Christians coming to the aid of Christians; but let's just say, it's not quite a cut and dried anlysis of the situation.

Jowever, looking at ed's 2n... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Jowever, looking at ed's 2nd post...
I do think Islam can reform. It is a basic tennant of my faith that all of mankind has it within them to rise above our base desires and resist temptations. BUt there is a difference between what one can do, and what one does. Hopefully Islam will live up to human potential before the rest of the world loses their tolerance.

Hmmmm.To ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

To add to what Ed said, how many of those towns and cities that were Christian prior to the Muslim invasion became Christian by force? The Romans, before Christ came along, did the conquest thing in the holy land, but the Christians? Not so much.

It takes a special kind of ignorance to not understand that the Holy Lands converted to Christianity when the *rest of the Roman Empire converted to Christianity*.

Numbnuts.

Hmmm.But ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

But seriously, from what I know, your version of events is roughly correct. However, there are some who feel the Muslim agression towards the Byzantines, who were Christian, was used as an "excuse" for the Crusades.

Completely wrong. The First Crusades was in response to muslim aggression against, I believe, Acre, not Constantinople. The campaign against Constantinople didn't happen for a couple centuries later once the Holy Lands were conquered.

OK, I realize that WikiPedi... (Below threshold)

OK, I realize that WikiPedia is not a great source for facts, but it's easy to access, and here's what they have to say about the First Crusade:

After Byzantine emperor Alexius I called for help with defending his empire against the Seljuk Turks, in 1095 at the Council of Clermont Pope Urban II called upon all Christians to join a war against the Turks, a war which would count as full penance. Crusader armies marched to Jerusalem, sacking several cities on their way. In 1099, they took Jerusalem and massacred the population. As a result of the First Crusade, several small Crusader states were created, notably the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Note that I did not say the first Crusade involved Constantinope, rather I was pointing out that that's what Istanbul was called when it was Christian. I said that the Crusades were started, at least partially, in support of the Byzantine Empire which was under attack by Muslim invaders.

Also according to Wikipedia, Acre was taken in 638, well before the First Crusade, and not recaptured until the Second Crusade in 1104.

While we're disagreeing on the exact occurrences, I'm not disagreeing with you fundamentally. The Crusades were, AT LEAST in part, a reaction to Muslim aggression. I just don't know if that was the ONLY cause of the Crusades. I think you can make a good case arguing the Crusades would not have happened if Muslim groups were not expanding their territories into the Middle East and Europe at the time.

My curiosity piqued ... Wik... (Below threshold)
Matt:

My curiosity piqued ... Wikipedia has a very in-depth entry on the subject. There were many crusades with different motivations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

I have not digested it yet.

News reports show that scor... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

News reports show that scores of relatives of those drowned on the Red Sea ferry protested at the ferry owners' offices. As we have seen before, the crowd became violent and was throwing the company's furniture into the street and burning its signboard. Be it cartoons or tragic accidents, the response is violence in the street, threats and retaliation.

There are two root causes of the violence in the middle east, the Bedouin culture and Islam. The values of which make them incompatible with civilized nations with secular laws. As such, all such nations should stop all immigration of people who hold such incompatible ideas. Let them visit and let them attend our universities, but send them back.

As Demark has discovered too late, such immigrants have no desire to reform themselves to fit into their new home, but rather what to reform the host nation to fit their culture and religion and then impose both on the native population.

If the West is too stupid to see what's going on and change immigration policy, then we risk losing our most basic freedoms.

Moderate Muslim is almost b... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Moderate Muslim is almost becoming an Oxymoron. I honestly have not seen any moderate Muslim protest the violence going on in response to the cartoon riots, the riots in France or protesting the violent actions of Al Queda. Give me some examples....please!!!!

Actually the Romans really ... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Actually the Romans really did not need to conquer Israel. It sort of fell into the Romans lap during the Civil War of the later Maccabeans. Antipater was essentially made Governor during the Roman Civil Wars, he was assassinated and Herod took over in 36 bce and had his position secure by his patronage relationship with Augustus and his marriage into the Maccabean Family. When the Persians invaded Herod used his resources plus Roman Auxiliary to take the area back and Augustus duly rewarded him for his efforts.

Nicholas, the Crusades bega... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Nicholas, the Crusades began when Alexius sought two things from the Pope. First, a way to end the Schism of 1054 when the Eastern and Western Churches were excommunicated from each other. Both Pope Urban and Emperor Alexius worked hard to try to heal that breech. Secondly, Emperor Alexius was trying to stablize the Eastern Roman Empire (I loathe the term Byzantine) after the battle of Manizkert by rebuilding the Byzantine Armies and taking back some of the territories that the Selijuk Turks overwhelmed in Antolia during the years following 1071. Emperor Alexius, according to Norwich, asked for knights to supplement his army. Instead he received one of the largest armies fielded by Europe at the time. It was an absolute shock to the Emperor. And the distrust that developed reached a climax at the 4th Crusade.

The only reason "Moderate M... (Below threshold)
Steve H.:

The only reason "Moderate Muslims" refuse to stand up to their psychotic brethren, is that they do not want a fatwah coming down on their heads. Face it, Islam is a religion of Hate and Intolerance. They will always find or make up a justification for the poison crap they pull around the globe. Time to break out the Big Rat Traps.....

It takes a special kind ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

It takes a special kind of ignorance to not understand that the Holy Lands converted to Christianity when the *rest of the Roman Empire converted to Christianity*.
Numbnuts.

I believe that was the point.... :)

Mac Lorry,One majo... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

Mac Lorry,

One major point. You can see the same reactions in the US when an atrocity/accident happens involving the poor and/or uneducated. Look at New Orleans and LA (after Rodney King), etc. Those that have little or no education immediately result to violence, because it is the easiest way to express themselves.

One of the best things the US is doing in Afgan and Iraq is building schools to educate the poor. It is easy for an Imam to say the Koran or Allah says so, if the followers can't read and must take the holy man's word (and of course a Holy man would never lie).

Oh, and for those who say, but many of the leaders of AQ are the rich and well-educated:
A few points:
1) There are a few who are easily brain washed and are just looking for something to give their life meaning. Patti Davis anyone?

2) Look at the liberal left in the US. You can't tell me that the majority of actors/actresses have any understanding of world economics, but they voice their opinions as experts. Bill Ford supports every liberal organization, even those that are anti-capitalist, but he makes all his money (by inheritance, truthfully) by capitalism.

3) And some of the rich have nothing better to do and will never affect their worlds in a major way, unless they become cult leaders. (I'm the 45th child by the 7th wife, in line for the royal throne, daddy has never shown me any love, he thinks I can't accomplish anything, What can I do to get attention?) And then some "radical" muslim scholar or maid or gardener takes the royal brat under their wing and TADA our next martyr or super rich leader.

Islams major stumbling block to becoming the "Religion of Peace" it claims to be is the ignorance of the masses. Christians and Catholics had the same problems until the public education got rolling.

Robert,I imagine t... (Below threshold)
Brass:

Robert,

I imagine that your average "moderate muslim" is a lot like your average Republican. We see the loony left protesting this and that and making outrageous statements and then we shake our heads and go back to work. Some small groups (i.e. Protest Warrior, and uh..... see what I mean) come out and counter protest against NOW and ANSWER but you hardly (never) see them on TV. I have seen small groups of muslims protest against the terrorists, but once again, they don't get a lot of airtime. The moderate muslim exists, he is just busy raising his family and providing for them.

cstmbld, great points. But ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

cstmbld, great points. But could you possibly mean not Patti Davis (daughter of Ronald Reagan), but Patty Hearst, the newspaper heiress kidnapped and brainwashed by the Symbionese Liberation Army?

It's real easy for me to pick up on oopsies like this -- I make 'em myself all the time. Just ask around.

J.

Your definition of "moderat... (Below threshold)
Aamir Ali:

Your definition of "moderate Muslim" is a lackey of Washington who will not mind being insulted and attacked. Such people are few in the world.
Muslims are not collectively guilty neither do they have to answer for what autonomous loonies like AlQaeda etc do. Track down Qaeda and ask them your questions.

No, Robert. You're not goi... (Below threshold)
solo:

No, Robert. You're not going to get many (if any) examples of Muslims protesting the murder and butchery of innocents.
What you might get instead is a headline in the local paper stating: "Local clerics call for calm and warn against retribution towards all the peace loving Muslims following tomorrow morning's attacks".

There will be no 'reformation' of Islam. It's a 7th century warrior religion. To 'reform' it to conform to modern civilization's sensibilities would be to completely gut it of all of its meaning. And that is the real root of the problem.
"A religion of tolerance and peace"? Yeah, for fellow muslims it is but not for 'the infidels' (that would be you and me). You see, there are two sets of rules in the Qu'ran. One set for muslims and one set for everyone else. Its perfectly acceptable to lie, cheat, steal or murder....just not against another muslim. Convenient, huh?

Why do you suppose there was outrage in the Arab world when Zarquawi's merry band of head hackers blew up that muslim wedding in Jordon? And yet, when they blew up the WTC and murdered 3000 innocents they were dancing in the streets! And the outrage amoung American muslims....? (cue the crickets).

American muslims aren't exactly strapping bombs to themselves and walking into Disneyland..this is true. But I find their erie silence and apparent lack of outrage regarding muslim atrocities around the globe disturbing. Not suprising...but disturbing.

I would encourage each of you (every American) to go to the local bookstore and (for $12 bucks) buy a copy of the Qu'ran and give it quick read. But, be warned! You won't sleep so well at night!

"Prostelizing is not an in-... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

"Prostelizing is not an in-alienable human right. If we expect others to respect us we must respect them, and the surest way to kill any conversation with a person is to say you are going to enternal damnation if you don't believe in Christ. It is their law and their country we must respect that."

The hypocrisy in this statement is mind-boggling. Muslims are rioting, burning, and threatening to kill because somebody violated a tenent of their religion, which they believe trumps the civil laws of Denmark.

Yet, Christians must place the civil law of Saudi Arabia over a central tenent of THEIR religion and refrain from proselytizing*.

(*) A note about Christian proseltyzing and "The Great Commission": yes, we Christians believe that the only way to be saved is through faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who died on the cross for the sins of all men, was buried, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven. I realize that many Christians emphasize the negative in this, and attempt to use the fear of hell to frighten people into believing. I prefer to look at the positive side: God so LOVED the world that He gave His only begotton Son. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news of love, mercy, and salvation.

At its core, Christian proselytizing seeks not to force people to accept Christ, but to earnestly testify to all men so that they may know and accept Him and share in the precious gift of forgiveness and eternal life that He paid for with His own body and blood.

cstmbuild,Your com... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

cstmbuild,

Your comparisons are weak at best. The violence in New Orleans and LA (after Rodney King) were caused by a population that feels disenfranchised and feels that way with some justification. These are also relatively rare events, unlike the Middle East where street violence is a common event, and not by a disenfranchised minority.

Islams major stumbling block to becoming the "Religion of Peace" it claims to be is the ignorance of the masses. Christians and Catholics had the same problems until the public education got rolling.

For your comparison to be valid you have to show two factors, first that the Muslim masses we see rioting in the streets are illiterate and second that the Koran is not available to them. Both were factors in religious based violence between Protestant and Catholic groups (both groups are Christian) prior to when "the public education got rolling" as you claim. I doubt you can show either factor is valid for the Muslim masses we see rioting in the streets let along both factors.

I believe the cause of the Middle East violence are rooted in the Bedouin culture and Islam. It seems that Islam doesn't teach that God is well able to deal with people who openly disrespect Him and that believers should not take it upon themselves to act. If Islam does have such teachings, then the violence is caused by a lack of faith on the part of the believers. That lack of faith shows far greater disrespect of God than any of the cartoons that have inciting the violence. Islam is being insulted by the disbelief of it's own followers who think God depends on their puny power to defend Him.

cstmbuild,Ignore p... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

cstmbuild,

Ignore prior post, I goofed up the blockquote. Here's the way it should look.

Your comparisons are weak at best. The violence in New Orleans and LA (after Rodney King were caused by a population that feels disenfranchised and with some justification. These are also relatively rare events, unlike the Middle East where street violence is a common event, and not by a disenfranchised minority.

Islams major stumbling block to becoming the "Religion of Peace" it claims to be is the ignorance of the masses. Christians and Catholics had the same problems until the public education got rolling.

For your comparison to be valid you have to show two factors, first that the Muslim masses we see rioting in the streets are illiterate and second that the Koran is not available to them. Both were factors in religious based violence between Protestant and Catholic groups (both groups are Christian) prior to when "the public education got rolling" as you claim. I doubt you can show either factor is valid for the Muslim masses we see rioting in the streets let along both factors.

I believe the cause of the Middle East violence are rooted in the Bedouin culture and Islam. It seems that Islam doesn't teach that God is well able to deal with people who openly disrespect Him and that believers should not take it upon themselves to act. If Islam does have such teachings, then the violence is caused by a lack of faith on the part of the believers. That lack of faith shows far greater disrespect of God than any of the cartoons that have inciting the violence. Islam is being insulted by the disbelief of it's own followers who think God depends on their puny power to defend Him.

Ok, here's a little quiz fo... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Ok, here's a little quiz for all of you insightful political analysts, who think that Islam, or the "Bedouin Culture" are the main problem here:

Name the major difference between the nation of Turkey on the one hand, and Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Pakistan on the other.

Anyone?

They all have plenty of Muslims, so the practice of Islam isnt the major difference. Hmmm. Oh yes, thats right, Turkey actually has a representative government.

Now, go look and see how people in that country reacted to the recent cartoon absurdities. Interesting.

It's not Islam kids. The lack of democracy and the prevalence of oppressive regimes is the problem in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein, one of the more recent problems there, was a SECULAR leader.

ryan,You need to r... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

ryan,

You need to read the news. There was also street violence in Turkey over the cartoons. That behavior should help those who oppose Turkey joining the EU. The common denominator is the Bedouin culture and Islam.

Amazing how Saudis (in part... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

Amazing how Saudis (in particular) demand the right to pour huge amounts of money into nations worldwide to spread THEIR religion, but try and hold an Easter service somewhere in Saudi Arabia and you'll be lucky if you leave alive.

What a weak religion that must ban all competition and can only be spread by billions in petrodollars.

"Actually, America... (Below threshold)
"Actually, America has quite a few ties with the former Yugoslavia. For one, a lot of Americans can trace their ancestry to Yugoslavia. For another, several thousand Americans have served in the former Yugoslavia over the last decade -- most notably protecting Muslims there from being slaughtered. Many bled and died there. Perhaps you ought to choose another nation? Good luck --"

Thank you for a brilliant post Jay. Clarifying America's relationship with the former Yugoslavia brings you straight onto my Christmas Card List (the one that has Merry Christmas on it, and not Happy Atheist Day)

Ryan, your wrong. Nearly ... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Ryan, your wrong. Nearly every Muslim state, and even countries that have predominately Muslim minorities are rioting. They are definately rioting in Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and even India! It simple does not matter if the country has a representative democracy (Hence Europe, India and Turkey) or is under a dictatorship. Your hypothesis fails.

Bottom line: Muslims suck--... (Below threshold)
Fed Up:

Bottom line: Muslims suck--all problem areas of the globe have Muslims involved. By and large their culture is stupid, dangerously immature, and doesn't contribute anything to the betterment of the world. Lunatics.

Jay,For the sake o... (Below threshold)
TheRealSwede:

Jay,

For the sake of argument you accepted Kashif's points about the Crusades. I won't. Perhaps Kashif is unaware that the Crusades were undertaken largely as a response to a militant, expansionist, and hostile Islam. An Islam that had been at war amongst themselves and against anyone that stood in their way, for hundreds of years before the fisrt Crusade.

ryan wrote (February 6, 200... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

ryan wrote (February 6, 2006 11:21 AM)

"It's not Islam kids. The lack of democracy and the prevalence of oppressive regimes is the problem in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein, one of the more recent problems there, was a SECULAR leader."

I think ryan's got a good point. Oppressive regimes, whether ba'athist, nazi, islamist, communist, etc. build upon a foundation of fear and hatred for some "other" as a form of political control. In the case of these muslim countries, the "other" is non-muslims in general and Jews in particular, though we Americans have come into their crosshairs over the past few decades.

Consider:

"A Party member is expected to have no private emotions and no respites from enthusiasm. He is supposed to live in a continuous frenzy of hatred of foreign enemies and internal traitors, triumph over victories, and self-abasement before the power and wisdom of the Party. The discontents produced by his bare, unsatisfying life are deliberately turned outwards and dissipated by such devices as the Two Minutes Hate, and the speculations which might possibly induce a sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by his early acquired inner discipline."

George Orwell, 1984, ch.17

Substitute "believer" for "member of the party" and "apostates" for "traitors" and I think it becomes apparent that Islam as it exists in many parts of the world is not fundamentally different than naziism, communism, or any other political system that uses hatred to direct the grievances of its people away from their own government. Orwell's Oceania had the Thought Police; the Soviet Union had the KGB and its predecessors; Saudi Arabia has its religious police.

Education can go a long way toward mitigating the more bloodthirsty aspects of modern Islam, but let's not forget that naziism was born and nurtured in a country of VERY well-educated people.

Bottom line: Muslims suc... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

Bottom line: Muslims suck--all problem areas of the globe have Muslims involved. By and large their culture is stupid, dangerously immature, and doesn't contribute anything to the betterment of the world. Lunatics.

I'm guessing that the poster of this message is now posting on some liberal message board and pointing to his handiwork as evidence of intolerance on the right.

docjim505,Ryan has... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

docjim505,

Ryan has written in similar topics on Wizbang to the effect that Islam is just an idea from a book. As such he likely believes Islam can be reformed through education, tolerance and other liberal thinking. In your prior post on this topic you wrote the phrase "...we Christians believe...", so I assume you are a Christian and believe in the spiritual realm. If so, then you probably can accept that Islam did not originate in human power or by human will. The mature Christian recognizes the true nature of that power and knows that it's still at work in the world today. As such, you should understand why Islam is different than political ideas like communism or nazism, and why it's beyond human power to reform.

One practical step is to recognize the incompatibility of Islam with very nature of democracies founded on secular laws and stop the immigration of Muslims into such nations. That won't solve the problem, but it will keep it at arms length for a time.

Prostelizing is no... (Below threshold)
Prostelizing is not an in-alienable human right.
Actually, it is and guaranteed by Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Mac Lorry,Thanks f... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

Mac Lorry,

Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Frankly, I have my doubts about where Islam originated. I sometimes tend toward the horrifying belief that it is an invention of satan, intended to draw a substantial part of humanity away from God.

No matter when it comes from, I would argue that any idea, no matter how noble, can be perverted. Terrible things have been done in the name of democracy ("Civilize 'em with a Krag!") and even in the name of Christ.

I agree with you that Islam does not appear to be compatible with democracy, or really any other type of government other than a harsh theocracy. This is not because Islam requires its adherents to devote their lives solely to the service and will of Allah; the Jewish and Christian faiths make similar demands on their adherents. Rather, it is because the muslim faith appears to demand that its followers kill non-believers, or at least drive them into slavery.

There is only one solution ... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

There is only one solution to the muslim problem.

It is the final solution. We must act now before
their population reaches 2 billion (est 2007)
and they have enough critical mass from the 2 billion human bombs they wish to
deploy in each western town, city and church.

We can't wait. We must act now before each of us
is either blown up or has our throats slit as we
sleep.

Each octogenarian, toddler and expectant mother
must be herded along with all able bodied adult
muslims and exterminated before they reach that
critcal number of 2 billion. After that, it will
be too expensive for us to accomplish. The logistics are still attainable before that event.

Contact all your elected representatives and force
a vote on the floor of the House and Senate while
we still have control. Do it before it's too late.
The swarthy horde is already at our gates.

Exterminate the Beasts!!!!

Just for the record: Semant... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Just for the record: Semanticleo is a regular over at Oliver Willis' site, and is here to do a little "Mobying" -- spouting some extremist bullshit to make the rest of the forum look bad.

Go back to Oliver's page, Leo. Your IQ must be at least close to your body temperature to fit in around here, and you fail miserably.

J.

Jay;You give me to... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

Jay;

You give me too much credit if you think I can make
you look worse.

My point, although satircial, seems to be the
unpoken suggestion of the "Red Crescent Peril"
advocates (Glenn, Alexandra et al) that there is
some merit in painting more than the extremists
as an inherent threat to us all. I am only saying
what they (and possibly, you) may be thinking.

BTW;You are welcom... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

BTW;

You are welcome to drop your nonsequiturds in
your cameo appearances at OW anytime. It
doesn't take much time sweeping them up.

I'll give you more credit t... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

I'll give you more credit than you're worth, Leo, and ask of you a simple thing:

Cite counterexamples. Show ways that large groups of Muslims are doing things considered beneficial to the world, making contributions towards freedom and advancement, and fighting against the extremist elements who are perverting their faith.

You won't. You won't because you can't. And you can't for two reasons: first, you are simply constitutionally incapable of constructing a cogent argument, which is why you spend all your effort on assailing others' efforts. Secondly, such examples simply don't exist.

J.

Jay;Are you saying... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

Jay;

Are you saying that muslims need to justify their
existence by the contributions that culture has
made in the betterment of the world?

I know that is not the answer you seek. You want
me to say modern arab culture has made little or
no contribtution. If ancient arab cultures were
the subject, it would be a different story. But
I am sure you prefer the modern contributions.
To your point, I would say you are correct.

How does that justify their extermination?

You say I am assailing your efforts.

What efforts would those be? If the inference
I draw from you is correct on this subject, I
would say the above is a crudely frank version
of those ideas, or efforts. Am I wrong in
assuming you think all muslims are a threat to
the world? Or are you limiting your rhetoric
to the extremists? What say you?

Exterminating Muslims is no... (Below threshold)

Exterminating Muslims is not the answer. Educating them is.

Muslims are fond of quoting Muhammad, who supposedly said that Muslims must seek knowledge, even if means going to China (which back then was very, very far away; well, it's still very, vey far away). And yet Muslims are mired in such illiteracy and mind-numbing propaganda.

Leo, you do a bad enough jo... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Leo, you do a bad enough job expressing your own words. Don't try speaking for me, too.

I did not call for extermination. I never have. What I said was that Islam is NOT a religion of peace, but of conquest. That to treat it as the moral and ethical peer of Christianity and Judaism is wrong. That we must judge Islam not on what some wish it was, or what people say it is, but on its own actions and statements and deeds.

I also pointed out that Islam's most frequent victims are other Muslims.

If you are interpreting that as a call for genocide, that's your bias or your stupidity talking. But that's par for the course for you, I've noticed.

J.

That's good to know. Would... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

That's good to know. Would that your
contemporaries be so explicit.

BTW;

Your attempted insulting speech is clear
but ineffective. I suggest a community
college creative writing course. It may
help you exceed a pedestrian narrative.

Leo, I don't recall ever cl... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Leo, I don't recall ever claiming to speak for anyone but myself. Your attempt to ascribe to me others' statements and beliefs, let alone hold me responsible for them, betrays your own shallow thinking.

Alternately, your inability to distinguish between what I wrote and what others have written could simply be a sign of your poor reading comprehension.

And THAT'S how to insult, Leo. Citing specific examples, not just generic denigrations.

J.

"What I said was that Islam... (Below threshold)

"What I said was that Islam is NOT a religion of peace, but of conquest. That to treat it as the moral and ethical peer of Christianity and Judaism is wrong. That we must judge Islam not on what some wish it was, or what people say it is, but on its own actions and statements and deeds."

Very well said. Very, very well said.

Jay;Insults aside,... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

Jay;

Insults aside, I prefer clear and unambiguous
words on this issue, which you have provided.
Thanks. I only hope others will speak as clearly.

Well, "Semanticleo", I'll b... (Below threshold)
solo:

Well, "Semanticleo", I'll be your huckleberry.

First of all, no one on this site suggested the extermination of muslims (except you, of course). But, that's not particularly suprising given that you've revealed yourself as a dyed in the wool lefty. You are a lefty aren't you, Semantic? Yes, of course you are. As a leftist, you can only think in absolutist terms and name calling.

If someone questions quotas, they're a racist. Question the radical feminist movement, they're a sexist. Question the viability and implications of homosexual marriage on our culture and, they're a homophobe. Etc, etc, etc. Oh yeah....wonder about the compatibility between Islam and western culture and...they're Nazis bent on extermination.
Oh, and George Bush. He's a Nazi too , huh? (you seem to have forgotten the FISA meme so I thought I'd help you out)

The really curious thing about this line of accusation from a leftist is that; all the major exterminations in recent history have come from your fellow leftists. Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, and yes, old Uncle Adolf himself! Between them, they're responsible for the extermination of about a half billion people in the 20th century alone. And, yes. That's right. N.a.z.i. is a German acronym for National Socialist Workers Party. Hitler was a socialist. A largely secular socialist who dabbled in the occult. They all believed in the centralization of power with The State, seizing the means of production (by force)under the guise of empowering the proletariat and...central to this was the extermination of all religion. Particularly Christianity and Judeism. This is necessary because the Judeo/christian ethic preaches and encourages devotion between the individual and God rather than between the individual and The State. It indentifies and assigns its allegence to a power beyond the reach of The State (and this is dangerous- to the lefties) Actually, all these characteristics; centralization of power with the State, control of the means of production, disolution of private property rights, persecution of religion- are not very disimilar from America's modern democrat party. Its the same platform just under a different name.

At first, it seems strange that the lefties get themselves all riled up when someone is perceived to attack Islam. Particularly given the seething hatred and disgust the left demonstrates for all things religious. But..all one has to understand is that the left knows as well as anyone else that Islam presents a problem for the west- particularly America and Judaism and Christianity.

Yep! Gonna get those hated Jews for ya, huh? And those nasty Christians and hell, it might even knock that evil empire that is America down a notch or two in the process. Oh! And the oil companies! Be still my fleeting heart! How sweet would that be? Let the radicals take over the Middle East and really show those oil companies and those capitalists with their big SUV's a thing or two, huh?

That's what explains the left's curious defense of Islam. And...that's what explains Semanticleo's breathless defense and his attempt to accuse Christians (of all people) of wanting extermination of another religion.

Now, crawl on back to that mutual adoration society that is the Willis site and rejoin the circle jerk, you imbecilic little troll!

solo;is there a pr... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

solo;

is there a problem?

Docjim,You made the ... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

Docjim,
You made the point more eloquently than I did to Kashif. My point was that regardless of what I actually believe as a Christian, he has a choice to make - no one forces him to accept Christ, not me, not you, no one. He may not like me telling him what I believe regarding his eternal life, but it's my opinion.

And Kashif STILL did not answer the underlying question, why are the nation states of Islam so afraid of the free speech of Christians within their own borders? Of course, the corollary being that anyone in America has the ability to speak their mind regarding religion without being thrown in jail. Not so in the Muslim world....

Semanticleo,Exterm... (Below threshold)
EXDemocrat:

Semanticleo,

Extermination huh? To me, that would seem rather hypocritical of us, wouldn't you say? Considering it is mostly us that are celebrating the Freedom of Iraq and asking for the freedom of the oppressed and terrorised in the ME. Yep, a lot of those that have been made free in Iraq are Muslim. We are not asking for, nor wishing extermination Semanticleo. We are asking for solutions and demanding the "moderate Muslims" assistance in that solution. The old saying goes, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Which side are you on?

Solo,If someone... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Solo,

If someone questions quotas, they're a racist. Question the radical feminist movement, they're a sexist. Question the viability and implications of homosexual marriage on our culture and, they're a homophobe.

If you happen to disagree with foreign policy based on neoconservatism, you're a jew hater. If you think invading Iraq was a bad idea, you love Saddam. If you are pro-choice, you're a baby killer. Want restrictions on pollution? You're anti-business. Don't want the ten commandments shoved down your throat? You hate religion.

Oh wait, nevermind, you covered all that in your screed. Plus you called all liberals Nazis too. Kudos, you tool.

This is what I'd like to se... (Below threshold)
starboardhelm:

This is what I'd like to see: Islamo-sheep believe that anyone who denigrates or defiles Islam must die. This flock of moronic cartoon rioters are truly defiling and debasing Islam like a pack of pigs running through a mosque. Therefore, they must die, and other eager tools of the mullahs should kill them. And so on. All we have to do is step back and watch.

Mantis, Solo's post must ha... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Mantis, Solo's post must have hit a raw nerve? I am sure his post was not directed at you, but at the person who sparked it. Both of you have made valid points. I honestly do not think Islam is compatible with our 21st century society. I admit my biases, I am a Jew who cannot travel to approximately 25% of the globe without fear of having my head chopped off by Muslims who feel the need to eradicate me off the face of the Earth.

Now there are quite a few bloggers who are getting death threats via email and phone calls because of their speaking out against Muslims. Lair and Aaron CC are just two of the many examples.

Jay Tea:You know w... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jay Tea:

You know what dude? This whole fucking post is sad, period, end of story. I understand the fact that you might disagree with what that guy Kashif was saying, and arguing against that is fine.

But why write an entire post challenging him like this? Why not bring up some or ANY of his constructive points?

If you read through what the guy wrote, you might have seen that he was by no means supporting or defending radical Islam. He was advocating the idea that we all need to fucking listen to one another, and work together in this whole thing. That was one of his main points.

Ya, we can get all bogged down in arguing about history, but maybe at times we should at least try to see the big picture.

You're always asking where the moderates are, and why nobody hears from them. This guy Kashif comes on here and posts to a conservative blog that has a, to say the least, pretty opinionated view of the entirety of Muslims.

He was on here to communicate and to discuss.

You reply, first of all, by attacking a minor point regarding Yugoslavia, which if you're not an idiot you might realize that he probably pulled that one out of the air randomly. His point was basically that he has more in common with YOU than with someone from Saudi Arabia or Egypt. Go read that again. And you had to take Yugoslavia and run, while missing the overall point. Way to go.

His final point was not narcissistic, as you suggest, but was intended to mean that people (like Muslims) should look at what they are doing in life before they go around blaming everyone else. It's something we all need to do.

The guy had plenty of criticism for Islam, and for many Middle Eastern countries. But of course, you ignored that.

In effect, the guy was driven away> Bravo. One more instance where someone who could have been a potential ally for you was lost because of your shortsightedness.

Honestly I really used to have quite a bit of respect for you and your writing, since I thought that you presented your views in a reasoned and intelligent manner. With this whole Muslim thing you have really lowered the bar a number of notches, and ultimately, its pretty sad.

Go ahead and flame away, or call me names...do what makes you feel good. Do what you have to do in order to satisfy your audience. In all honesty, I hope that you might consider some of this and MAYBE rethink some of your methods. I hope so.

J.,Yep, I meant He... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

J.,

Yep, I meant Hearst...felt I had it wrong but figured ya'll would get the point.

BTW, Mac, I am about as conservative Republican as you can get and at times I have thought nuking the ME would be a good idea, but you drive a religion underground and they come back stronger and meaner. Educate the people, give them something to strive for and the ability to improve their lot in life and they become a whole let less likely to blow themselves up for 72 virgins and $1000 for their families. If your "good" enough you might get the 72 virgins while still alive and able to enjoy it. (That's a joke, so relax.)

First of all, there will be generalizations in this post. I, for one, don't have the time nor the inclination to apologize to anyone I might unintentionally offend or spend hours tweaking the wording to be PC.

I would guess that many of the rioting Muslims are disinfranchised. They are poor, uneducated and have no where to go in their life. I, as an American, could become President if I truly desired it (and could get enough idiots to vote for me). If you are not of Royal blood- you are screwed. You can probably improve your overall lot in life, but become rich and famous/royalty? Not gonna happen to the average Muslim.

These people have TVs. They somewhat understand how "rich" the rest of the world is and that the rest of the world, in general, has a better chance at personal advancement.

Was rioting in the streets (think public stoning and witch buring) so uncommon before mass education? Before I could look at the Bible and truly understand the words....and it helped when it was translated for the masses, ie into modern writing.

So what if the Koran is available. Can you interpret it? Can you interpret the Bible? Does someone (preacher, friend, enemy) interpret the Bible differently from you?
Maybe they can read, but there are different levels of illiteracy. And allowing someone else to tell you what is wrong/against your religion is one of them.

How hard would it be for you to go to a high school in a ghetto and start a riot? A few quotes about the "man", a few rumors, and one or two paid agitators that push the group over the line and what do you have? A riot of illiterates? By my definition, YES. The rioters have no idea and cannot understand (because they don't have the information) what has happened or why it happened.
And for those who think I am picking on blacks.....Last years Superbowl celebration? The "celebration" of the losing team? Burning cars, robberies, beating, assaulting the police, etc... Someone fired them up and then egged them on and oops...it got out of hand. And these are educated Americans (drunk and drugged) but educated none the less.

I honestly have no idea if Islam will ever mature, but it will not mature under its current leadership. Something that could encourage the maturation process would be the rise of "moderate muslims", if there truly are any. What little moderation I have seen has been mostly lip service.

Or we can all just sit here... (Below threshold)
JD:

Or we can all just sit here and bask in the Glory And Righteousness That Is Ryan, and appreciate how he protects the downtrodden commenter whom Jay Tea has inappropiately picked upon, bully that he is.

Pass the Kleenex.

A capitalist society is one... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

A capitalist society is one of the best changes that could be made in the ME. How many of those countries are nothing more than massive welfare states? Gas, food, medicine, etc free or extremely cheap. How many countries can you live on what $2000 or $3000 per year? Isn't the average income around $9000 per YEAR? If everything, okay enough to get by on, is given to you why bust your ass?

Any similarities to our current welfare system? Have another kid get more money, get a job and lose all assistance. Work 40+ hrs a week or get close to the same money watching TV all day. HMMMM, tough choice for some.

Mantis/Semanticleo..<... (Below threshold)
solo:

Mantis/Semanticleo..

First, I was admittedly a bit too vituperative in my response. Frankly, I sometimes becomes weary of the false narrative coming from the left- particularly the implication of an association between "the right" and Nazism. More to the point, I did not call "liberals" Nazis. I'm a liberal. The founding fathers of this nation were liberals. Most of those who read and participate on this board are liberals. Of course, all of those I just described would be people who you would no doubt regard as "right-wing nut jobs" (yet another example of the false narrative).

My main purpose was to point out the irony of some lefty popping onto this board with the purpose of implying that "we" were advocating extermination of another people.

The truth is; if Semanticleo is concerned about extermination, then history clearly indicates that he's trolling on the wrong side of the Blogisphere.

Have a nice day.

cstmbuild,<blockquote... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

cstmbuild,

BTW, Mac, I am about as conservative Republican as you can get and at times I have thought nuking the ME would be a good idea, but you drive a religion underground and they come back stronger and meaner. Educate the people, give them something to strive for and the ability to improve their lot in life and they become a whole let less likely to blow themselves up for 72 virgins and $1000 for their families. If your "good" enough you might get the 72 virgins while still alive and able to enjoy it. (That's a joke, so relax.)

I don't advocate blowing anyone up or driving any religion underground. In the same token, I don't want my religion driven underground. My point is that the Bedouin culture and Islam are incompatible with civilized nations based on secular laws. As such, all such nations should stop all immigration of people who hold such incompatible ideas.

The U.S. used to turn away European immigrants at Ellis Island after they had crossed the Atlantic for nothing more than being unskilled with no family already on U.S. soil. There's simply no reason why civilized nations based on secular laws need to tolerate those who are intolerant of those laws.

Muslims hold their lands sacred and suppress all other religions within them. Why then should they feel they have the right to religious freedom in other nations when they refuse the same in theirs?

Newspapers in Egypt and Jordan often run cartoons denigrating to Jews and Christians, but when Newspapers in other nations run cartoons denigrating to Islam, they riot in the streets, boycott products from those nations, and issue threats of all kinds. What a bunch of cry-baby hypocrites. Where's their faith that God is well able to deal justly and mercifully with people who disrespect Him. Their lack of faith says a lot about their relationship with God and is far more denigrating to Islam than a bunch of cartoons.

solo;You and Jay w... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

solo;

You and Jay were honest and clear about your position. I find in these discussions that
sometimes I over-administer the colonic in the
hope of smoking out real feelings that are
suggested but not expressed. It is a confront-
ational style and provokes emotions that
are revealing. I am not apologizing for it in
general, but in the specifics of this discussion,
I am.

Mac:My point is... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Mac:

My point is that the Bedouin culture and Islam are incompatible with civilized nations based on secular laws.

Where does Turkey fit into that scheme? That's a democratic nation which is 99 percent Muslim. How about the 14 percent of Israel that is Muslim? What about the 3 million Muslims in the US?

I agree that the rioting over cartoons is bullshit, and a complete over reaction. But I also think that people on this side of the fence are over reacting as well.

If all Muslims are evil, or incompatible with "civilization," then why are we trying to befriend as many Iraqis as possible? Why does Bush call Islam a "noble faith"? Is he just full of shit?

And you conveniently forget that during the dark ages of Europe, the ones who were kicking ass were the Muslim civilizations in the Middle East. Those civilizations controlled the trade routes from north Africa to China, and were the part of the reason why Europeans wanted to find another route to the Indies. Now, I'm not going to come on here and pretend that the 14th century Muslims were a bunch of peace loving hippies, because they werent. But then, neither were the 15th century Europeans who started heading into Africa and the Americas. All of them were intent on conquering.

Islam isnt the cause of the problems in the Middle East. Dictators and autocracies, in my opinion, are by far the greater contributors to the problems that we see in the middle east. Oppression breeds radicalism. If more people there had a say in what their goverments do, I think we would see a dramatic difference.

Or we can all just sit h... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Or we can all just sit here and bask in the Glory And Righteousness That Is Ryan

It is useless to try to reason someone out of something that he has not been reasoned into.

For what it's worth, I'm no... (Below threshold)
Fed Up:

For what it's worth, I'm not some lib poster putting up stuff to turn and accuse of intolerance as someone opined above. I stand by it: seems to me there's only one country in the world which has a sizeable Muslim population that isn't in near-constant turmoil, crazy as shit, or severely oppressive and that's the United States. And that says far more good about the U.S. than it does Islam. And that's the hope for Iraq.

I mean, honestly, what is there in the world that makes one stop and think, "thank goodness for the Muslims"?

It's not outrageous to be entirely fed up with the lot of them.

ryan,Wher... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

ryan,

Where does Turkey fit into that scheme? That's a democratic nation which is 99 percent Muslim. How about the 14 percent of Israel that is Muslim? What about the 3 million Muslims in the US?

Turkey has been having sever cartoon riots the past few days, so I must be missing your point or you're missing mine. Nations like the U.S. can tolerate a small minority of Muslims, but it would be a terrible mistake to allow mass immigration of Muslims like Denmark has done only to realize too late what a stupid mistake that was.

I'm not concerned with assigning blame for atrocities done centuries ago, my concern is with current immigration policy. Lets avoid a showdown with Islam on U.S. soil.

From prior comments you have made, I assume you don't give any weight to the spiritual forces at work within Islam. So it's not surprising you feel the schism can be bridged with the usual tools of compromise and education. I wish you were right on this one, but it's that naivete that has gotten Denmark into a fix they have no good means for getting out of.

Ryan,Is Turkey a Bed... (Below threshold)

Ryan,
Is Turkey a Bedioun nation?

Also, poor Kashif. When confronted with surahs (as he demanded) he ran off.

mac:Turkey has ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

mac:

Turkey has been having sever cartoon riots the past few days, so I must be missing your point or you're missing mine.

I know, and I think it's as asinine as all the other rioting. But you wrote that Islam is incompatible with "civilization" based upon secular laws. Last time I checked, Turkey was doing a pretty decent job. You gotta admit they're quite a bit better than Iran. So my point is that Turkey might be indicative of future posibilities. By no means do I pretend that Turkey is some kind of peaceful Eden, by it seems that democracy does make quite a difference.

From prior comments you have made, I assume you don't give any weight to the spiritual forces at work within Islam.

I do give weight to the psychopaths who seem to exert way too much influence and power...the radical clerics. I do give weight to the oppressive governments that rule by Islamic law, and are basically insane. I give that weight, and think that yes, they represent huge problems.

I do not assume, however, that the Muslim masses are comprised of people who are of the same mindset as the above mentioned. I hope not. Like the Soviet Union, which was filled with a bunch of brutally oppressed people, I refuse to assume that the populations of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan are all evil. I think that they are living is shitholes, under atrocious leaders, and that if things improved for them, we would, possibly, see some then in a different way.

Remember, 14th century Europe wasnt exactly the most peaceful of all places, and those were Christians over there murdering one another in many cases. It was pretty bad...which I find amazing, considering the things that Jesus said that all those people were supposed to adhere to. I'm not bashing Christianity by any means, I'm just suggesting that religious ideology may not always account for everything, including violence and radicalism. The Feudal system in Europe, among other things, fueled quite a bit of violence. Christianity was invoked by all sides, but I would NEVER say that it was the CAUSE. I would say that the cause was the wealthy lords screwing the peasant classes, and the fact that the peasants had few, if any, rights or protection. Bad times.

In a sense, the Middle East is ruled by feudalistic lords, or dictators, that are screwing large amounts of people, fueling radicalism, violence, and conflict. Honestly, I know that Islam has some pretty wacky 7th century language and beliefs, but I really think that putting all the blame there is severely misguided.

Thats my point Mac.

So it's not surprising you feel the schism can be bridged with the usual tools of compromise and education.

Thats what GW seems to be implying as well. Apparently you disagree. I would say that the right to self determination and rule would go a long way for many of those people, and the to not be ruled by the likes of Musharref and the Saudi Royal Family.

Dont misread me as some polyanna fool who thinks that the radical leaders in places like Iran just need a hug. I think that those insane clerics are massive problems, as well as those brutal dictators. One of my major points is that I refuse to throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak, and assume that the majority of Muslims are these evil beings. I doubt it. I have a feeling that if the horrid leaders were gone, things would be very different.

Remember, there was a big difference in how we viewed the German people when they were ruled by a Fascist psychopath. Things are looking quite a bit different these days, hmmm? A little freedom goes a long way me thinks.

Call me an optimist...

ryan,You have some... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

ryan,

You have some very good points and I really hope your analysis is correct. Where we disagree is that I believe there's a power behind Islam that secularly society doesn't understand and can't cope with.

To have any hope of peace we need to keep Islam at arms length. Here's a website with lots of information about the problems Denmark is having. The newer information is at the bottom of the page:

Something Rotten in Denmark

More information on <a href... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

More information on PowerLine on what's being called Islamofascism.

SCSIwuzzy:Is Tu... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

SCSIwuzzy:

Is Turkey a Bedioun nation?

Is there such a thing as "Bedouin nation"? I know that there are a few states in which Bedouin people live, but I am not sure that there is such a thing as a Bedouin nation, per se.

As far as I know, Turkey is a remnant of the former Ottoman Empire, which was defeated in WWI. By around 1950 it became a democracy, although a somewhat tenuous one. Admittedly, Turkey aint no USA as far as secular rule goes, but they have had democratic rule going since 1950, with some problematic times here and there. But, it's sure a great deal better than Iran, for example.

Thats the point about Turkey. They sure arent perfect, but we also dont hear the same things coming from them that we do from Iran, Syria, Jordan and those types.

Democratic rule: bad for autocrats.

Also, poor Kashif. When confronted with surahs (as he demanded) he ran off.

Ya, I know...he got challenged by muslihoon on specific points, and really didnt come back. Those were good points that he was faced with, and its too bad that he didnt either dicuss his side or admit his errors.

The main thing about him, to me, is that he was arguing for the idea that people need to listen to one another to get through this. He also wasnt defending radical Islam, and seemed to have a pretty good grasp upon the problems that the Middle East faced. He was also saying that he wouldnt hesitate to fight for the US, which I think many people missed or ignored. The guy certainly wasnt AGAINST Americans, since he IS an American.

But people lit into him because they disagreed with certain points of his. Which is fine, but I also think that more people should have tried to understand his other points, which were, I think, pretty right on the mark.

See, this whole debate/discussion thing isnt always about winning, and it isnt always about humiliating anyone who you disagree with. It isnt for me. I think that he had a pretty respectable take on this whole thing, and it would have been nice to have the guy stick around here. But since he ruffled some feathers, well, people jumped all over him.

I dont feel bad for Kashif; I feel bad for people who cant hear another side of an argument without freaking out.

Ryan- Just a note,... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Ryan-
Just a note, are you referring to the other blog "f-them". If you are I'm the other person arguing Kashif's point. Just so you all know, Kashif did not "run off", he simply chose to discontinue his paricipation in a conversation which NEVER listened to him. I don't care what sura anyone tried to throw at him, he was speaking from the point of a moderate moslem which there are plenty of. Let me pose an analogy, If you came here to America and your first encounter was with a KluKlux clan member who claimed to be burning a black church according to the laws of Christianity, would you say to the rational and moderate Presbyterian "your beliefs are a bunch of crap and I'm not going to give you the time of day". No, I don't think you would. Ryan is trying to tell you that he left because he was getting no where with any of you. Any one could take the Bible and claim Christians are a buch of self righteous zealots if they choose the right passages. No, Kashif was pointing out the good that he has learned from his religion and there are plenty of them out there. He did not "run off" because you won the arguement. Let's hope not at least because his message was one of peace and if you won the arguement, what then was the outcome? (Ryan, I cannot believe that a whole blog is being dedicated to destroying such a kind person)

robin:I think that... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

robin:

I think that you have misread me. read my long post up above; i was one of the people that was arguing with Kashif. and i was telling all those people to try to hear his point of view, which i think was balanced and respectful.

but tons of people just freaked out on him, which i think is pretty sad.

so. just wanted to say that. i can see how you might have misunderstood that last one i wrote though.

Ryan, maybe my language was... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Ryan, maybe my language was misleading. No I absolutely know your were telling all these people that Kashif had some good points. Where I mixed up was sending a message to others when I adressed the message to you. Sorry if there was a misunderstanding. I witnessed your discussion with him and it was respectful on both sides. Thanks for being willing to listen to a voice of moderation. And on another note it really IS sad that no one is listening and that's what I was trying to say in my last message. This site really scares me except for your voice of reason so I won't be coming back. Good Luck!

Folks I haven't ran off in ... (Below threshold)
Kashif Ahmad:

Folks I haven't ran off in the least bit. There is nothing for me to run off about. I just decided that the discussion was taking a turn for the worse, where I began to feel that in order to reinforce their faith people felt they needed to put down mine. There was no point to such a conversation and I thought it best to depart before I said something I regretted.

Also with respect to the Quranic surah's I thought I addressed that in detail as to why I would not go down that route. I think in the multitude of the long responses in the previous BLOG people missed that one.

Look folks, weakness of faith becomes obvious when one needs to put other's down. Your harsh and cruel words regarding Islam and Muslims don't reflect on me or muslims for that matter but yourself and God will judge you for it, not me nor the bloggers here.

I learnt a life lesson many many years ago from a "Christian" friend of mine. Though Christianity or religion had nothing to do with that episode in my life (work related) it reinforced a sense in me that I needed to look within for answers not outside. That the challange to our problems start within us. When I prescribe blame I must look in a mirror and when I assess credit I must look out of a window to others. What good will this do in life, I don't know, just have this nagging belief that this is the way to lead my life, and that in the end things might just turn out right.

Look I am muslim there is no shame in my heart for that. I do squirm when I see the craziness in this world and especially in the Islamic world, and I think I know the reasons (I might be dead wrong). But that is a geo-political and social discussion to have, not a religious one in my estimation.

As the second largest religious minority I also happen to be an American. I love my country and the ideals it represents (though I hate prefacing my arguments with the above statement everytime I state my religion). I have multiple generations of family members here living and working productively trying to pay that next mortgage just like any one of you. My patriotism however is entirely pegged on those ideals (foundational premise), nothing else. No personalities, no individuals, no political party (though I was a Republican before I became an independent). The constitution and what it represents is my social contract that I have with each one of you. I will live by that contract, and I hope you all do too.

Look if we are in this game to put the other down just so we can prove something about ourselves then I become a skeptic for our collective future. I have travelled the world, and though at home (here) I argue and question some of the issues and directions we find ourselves in, I find myself often feeling a weird sense of protectiveness about the US when I travel. Finding myself often in public forums and dinners in these foreign countries defending each and every one of you. Perhaps not each of you, but our citizenry in general, when people opine about the obtuseness of Americans. And this is not Muslims, this includes Latin Americans, Orientals, and believe it or not Brits (some of the fiercest critics) as well. Then I often look over my shoulder to make sure I wasn't too loud endangering my safety.

I am going to say something very simple and I hope you understand.

Islam of today has morphed into Political/Reactive Islam, purely on the basis that the human mass of as some say 1.4-1.5 Billion people, in this world have absolutely no other vehicle to express their sentiments. I have seen this palpable progression bordering on an explosive pent up frustration, happen in front of my eyes in the course of, I would say the last 25 years. Why and where does the blame lie?

Well there is enough blame for us all to share, though given my biases I would prescribe most of the contemporary blame on the two super powers and their tier one allies during the cold war.

You see I absolutely adore the Western culture in its fierce desire to learn, to acquire knowledge, to excel in every aspect of human development. I marvel at the works of Wagner, Mozrat, Paganinni as much as I adore walking through the MET or Louvre, and seeing the Western societies mass of culturalism (I am myself a product of western culture). However having seen the world and touching the poverty with my own eyes and ears I have had to think a lot about why a part of the world that had so much yesterday has absolutely nothing today. I could walk away with the simpleton view of Islam being the cause, but it would not explain the Christian sub-saharah, the Christian Latin America, the Christian Eastern Europe, the Orient before the post-colonial boom, along with the Muslim cresent.

So let me attempt to give you my sense of the world view (simplified - to avoid writing a thesis) that I prescribe to:

All people in this world are the same. We seek to provide for our families. We all seek the same resources, under the economic fact, that resources are limited (ECON 101).

A few hundred years ago a few aspiring powers Spain, Germany, France and Britian decided to venture outside of their neighbourhood and carve out the world as their own. Fundamentally there was no moral constituency behind this effort. It was all about money as most geo-political ventures are. However to make this a reality the populace of these countries (note: contemporary linkage exists), along with diverging interests had to line up in unison. Hence for the poor slobs in Europe it was sold as a righteous effort to spread universal human rights. For the Church and religious group it was an effort to spread the word of our "lord", for capitalists it was an enterprise both in terms of the financial component to build these powers (military ships/bases) but also be able to open up export bases in these massive population centers.

Bottomline different interests aligned to enable the colonial campaigns. No lands were spared in this effort, and this effort continued for many years, decades and centuries.

If any of you ever studied colonial policies you would understand what happened in these local geographies. Rule #1: Divide and Rule. So divisions that were minute were made more stark. Sects, ethinicities, religions, etc., all implements or tools to divide were applied artfully. Results were that millions fell to the enslavement of colonial times at the hands of a few.

Now these very colonial countries and their small populations (in comparison) to the colonies had a parasitic relationship. Local industries were wiped out, and instead goods were imported into colonial lands. Local colonial raw materials were purchased in non-open markets sent back to the colonial "master" country only to be re-processed and brought back to the colonized masses for consumption. Local taxes on production of locally consumed goods. Taxes being returned to the coffers of the Imperial powers. This also BTW fueled the industrial revolution.

Imperial powers locked in markets for their products through their colonial conquests. All the while local divisions were made more pronounced, and entities, like tribal elders, and mullahs, and divisive characters were enhanced in their stature as the primary ruling class seized to exist (kings (who fought) - were assasinated, murdered, as were their children (case: Bahadur-Shah-Zafar (last Mughal) emperor, lost both his sons, their heads were presented to him by the British thereby ending his lineage and that of the Indian Mughal Empire.) Cruel at the least won't you say for a somewhat contemporary quasi-democratic country? You all need to know what has happened and is happening in the world today under our name.

Capitalism often has a sanitizing effect on most cultures, however during the imperial times this was avoided with great precision. It was easier to manage millions of people through a religious cleric, or a fuedal lord, than through representatives of the locals. Hence wherein European societies' feudals either morphed into Industrialist or were passed into history (though incubated natural progressive evolution), colonial policies made certain to maintain the status quo in order to keep societies compliant and not convulse at being essentially enslaved.

Societies in these colonized nations stopped evolving (inherent evolution - which is different from externally forced shifting), stopped addressing concerns of locals, and essentially seized to function properly for decades if not centuries. Great civilizations like the Incas, the Moghuls, the Ottomons, the Chinese simply seized to exist (though they were more or less waning as well). All the while divisions both in terms of wealth and societal advances in thought (soical and political) between the colonies and the colonized became stark. Therein began this wide chasm that today seems unbelievable, this cultural seperation. Think about it guys as in the West the societies were slowly thinking in terms of universal rights and ideals that exemplified those concepts, the masses in the colonized world were still enslaved (by the same west), and bereft of these concepts. Why would you teach your slave that he has any in-alienable rights to self-rule?

So WWI came along and the Ottomons were totally done in, specific to the Islamic world the khalafat seized to exist. In its stead an alien concept of nationhood came into being. This is a very important point. For those of us who take for granted this concept of nationhood need to understand that in the pre-colonial era it simply did not exist in the Islamic world. Therefore post WWI and WWII swaths of land were arbitrailly divided into countries. Nationalism was force fed and it was hoped that the imperial powers could essentially maintain the same level of control through compliant small nations, running often under colonial code of law, managed and operated by colonial institutions now fully manned and overseen by locals.

So essentially the same class that complied (where the conversion from overt colonization to what I call implicit colonization) with the colonist now used the same implements left over by the Imperial powers to rule over their masses. Countries that should have reverted to the rule of law and democracies became police states and military dictatorships in this weird symbiotic relationship with the western powers.

Now I am not of the ilk to think this happened because some sinister Christians wanted it that way. I think the reasons were pegged in RealPolitik, and often other interests are brought into alignment. The day the second world war ended the Cold War began, and everyone scrambled the school yard picking out their team members. Thus there was no impetus to revert and convert these societies into true democracies. In its stead we in the West and for that matter Russia during the cold war, bought favors by permitting brutal dictatorships and kingdoms to rule, so as long as they paid up to their masters the two super powers and their Tier one allies.

Thus began a sad chapter of nearly half a century, where we in the West, supplanted corrupt and brutal rulers over their populations so as to control those countries in their entirety. Resources like oil came into play as western economies became more intertwined with this resource. Hence our policies became pigeonholed. As an overt subscriber to human rights, we went around the world subverting it, just so that you and I here on home side could live our lives the way we do.

Hence that journey returns back to us. To ourselves, where we begin to look at ourselves and question and wonder what we do and what is done in our name, is it right by justice, is it right by morality, and is it right as co-inhabitants of this world.

I have only covered a small portion and over-simplified many concepts here. There are other causal imperitives ((1)Islamic doctrine and its opposition to any secural system given purely on the fact that it provides through its form not just faith but a societal code of conduct and law (note for Islamic societies not for societies where Muslims happen to live (they are obliged as Muslims to follow all laws of the land they live in), (2)The ending of contextual and contemporary based interpretation of the Quran (essentially seizing further legal and moral qualifications) by Islamic scholars around 1500AD (might be wrong with the date) - Locking the code) that result in the situations we have today. The significane of the point is two folds, one don't fall in the trap that the colonial Joe fell in centuries ago (as one of those tangential interests that are being brought under alignment in order to further another great global experiment), and two macro-politics cannot be perceived as uni-dimensional. There are many many components and linkages and interests to a story. Don't prescibe to simple answers to incredibly complex problems. We the citizens of the West are the educated ones and it is our obligation and responsibility to not accept simple "black vs white", "good vs evil", explanations.

"Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."-Thomas Jefferson (Notes on Virginia, 1782)

and finally why I love to be an American:

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.-Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

Two additional points of in... (Below threshold)
Kashif Ahmad:

Two additional points of incredible import that I haven't mentioned, but have incredible impact on contemporary politics.

One, the natural oppositive reaction of Muslims in muslim countries to everything western (good or bad), as an unprocessed reactive effect due to their preceived and real oppression, that they rightfully or wrongly assess as being driven by Western greed (not religion). This unfortunately freezes them out of the positive elements of Western culture that they need in order to evolve from their dysfunctional state.

Finally the artfully machination of local Muslim dictators, kings, and military autocrats that balances their complete repressive control over their populations with the controlled and stage-managed release of latent social and political energy through religious expression as opposed to political and societal expression that can potentially encompass them as well, thereby holding their local policies accountable to their plundering ways.

Herein lies the conundrum. We push too hard to open up Islamic societies and the first natural reaction will be opposed to Western interests. Perhaps even rightfully based upon our past policies, people simply put are pissed. However I am convinced that over time these early democracies will come together to align with western democracies.

We in the US have a very small duration of window where we can take this risk, before the powers of China and India begin to assert their domain of control, and we fall back into the zero-sum game mentality. And if we don't we will have a world violently opposed to us, under the dominative contorl of the ill-perceived benign powers of China and India.

This is all about the next century. Will we keep our stars bright and burning for the next century.

There is a school of thought that is arguing an overt control over people and resources harking us back to the colonial past. As I wrote in a previous entry, that is a doomed policy. Today's world is entirely different than that where Imperial Britian operated.

Kashif :) Please... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Kashif :)
Please respond because the other site is gone. My alltime favorite movie is the Wizard of Oz. I relate to the Lion most of all. After all, we all have an antomical brain, our God created us in his image with a heart to use for good, but courage is elusive and must come from deep inside one's soul (by the way, NICE job posting over here!)
Ma'salama my dear friend.

Kashif:) first s... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Kashif:)
first site gone, this one hanging on, another on wizbang R-E-S-P-E-C-T with a different agenda. Check it out 'cause I think you could make a good arguement. There are literally dozens of blogs out there discussing this matter, even blogs other than wizbang discussing us. My proverbial needle in a haystack, I hope you pop up!

Kashif,I read your... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Kashif,

I read your post carefully and essentially agree with how the middle east became the mess it is today. Where I depart with you is why it's the mess it is today.

Humankind is on a path of increasing knowledge and the technology that comes with it. Unfortunately, human wisdom generally lags well behind technology. The industrial revolution made colonization and the world wars possible, and I believe inevitable. Muslim groups like the moors practices conquest and subjugation of indigenous peoples in lands they conquered. Had the industrial revolution occurred in the middle east, then the middle east would have been the source of colonization and the focal point of the world wars. The cold war was the result of the invention of the atomic bomb. It was inevitable that at some point on the path of increasing knowledge the atomic bomb would have been discovered and built, and given the lagging wisdom, the cold war or worse would have followed.

It's this path of increasing knowledge and technology Humankind is on that is the driving factor. It's not all bad, but it's an irresistible force. The problem for the Muslim world is that they have combined their religion with their form of government, or at least the laws under which Muslim societies live. Parts of Islamic law are at odds with Humankind's path of progress, such as religious intolerance, subjugation of women, and inequality of individuals in the site of the law. When and if the center of power shifts to Indian and China, Muslim societies will find even less tolerance of their backward ways. Please don't be offended by my use of the term backward ways, as you correctly stated the following:

(2)The ending of contextual and contemporary based interpretation of the Quran (essentially seizing further legal and moral qualifications) by Islamic scholars around 1500AD (might be wrong with the date) - Locking the code) that result in the situations we have today.

Oil money is the life-blood of middle-east economies, but the largest known petroleum reserve in the world is in the oil sands and shales of North America, with production now coming up to speed in Canada. Breakthroughs in genetic engineering will soon make production of biodiesel and ethanol possible from abundant biomass sources such as grass and wood, rather than from food crops like soybeans and corn. There's growing support for nuclear power with China building the first meltdown-proof pebble bed reactor. Fusion could come on-line by mid-century. The higher the price of oil and the less stable the middle-east the quicker other energy sources will be developed. Once middle-east oil is obsolete, and that's inevitable, Muslim societies that fail to modernize will be relegated to obscurity and beneath the concern of the rest of the world, just like many nations in Africa today. Live in peace with each other or slaughter each other, no one will care enough to intervene.

What's happening in Iraq right now holds the fate of large parts of the Muslim world. If Muslim's can form a government with modern laws of religious freedom and equality of all individuals under the law, with the structure of a modern economy then the future is bright. If Muslim's accept the notion that democracy and equality are at odds with Islam, then it will be a hard road ahead for them.

Mac Lorry, I jus... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry,
I just posted a long article from today's Dallas Morning news on a parallel BLOG site on wizbang called R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Please take the time to read it.
Let me just make a note to you that there are literally thousands of Saudis who have taken advantage of U.S. and European educations and are taking both their PHD's and moderate views with them back to the Middle East. In fact, the entire Middle East has an echelon of highly educated individuals (both male AND female) who in no way ascribe to Radical Islam's middle ages view of their world. How do I know these people exist, because I actually know them through having been married to one of them. My ex-sister in law's 18 year old-daughter (Saudi) is currently attending Harvard. Every single member of my ex-inlaws family has received their degrees, from their BAs to in many cases their PHD's But guess what, quietly, underneath all the pointing of fingers at the Moslems, they themselves have their OWN educated class who is attempting to pull their
OWN people out of the mess their OWN world is in. There is plenty of information out there and there is much going on. Kashif was trying to explain how we got to where we are and you said, "Hey if it was the Moslem world who claimed the Industrial Revolution, it would have been them doing the colonizing" Well guess what, it WASN"T them and it does not make for a rational arguement to use what ifs when speaking in historical dialog because it cannot be verifued what you purport as the ensuing outcome.
Just a little banter, no offenses meant.

Mac Lorry, Using... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry,
Using your rationale of "what if's", what would it be like if the shoe was on the other foot as you proposed. Would we not be then the victims of colonization and have our own disdain? Just for the sake of the arguement, there are ALWAYS two sides to every disagreement and usually a winner and a looser. But in all actuality, for the sake of world peace, as individuals, we can reach out to others and start anew with empathy in our hearts and a hope of peace and mutural respect in the future.
Again, no offense made, just an attempt to say, "What now?"

Robin,it ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Robin,

it WASN"T them and it does not make for a rational arguement to use what ifs when speaking in historical dialog because it cannot be verifued what you purport as the ensuing outcome.

You may be amazed to learn that I agree. I wasn't trying to deflect or assign blame as doing so never solved any cultural conflict. My point, and I hope you didn't miss it, is that the driving force behind much of history is the accusation of knowledge and the technology that flows from it. The colonial days are over, but the driving force behind that history is still in operation.

According to Kashif, Islam is locked into a set of principles from around 1500AD that define, not just the religion, but the laws that govern Muslim societies. As the rest of the world continues to acquire knowledge and technology the schism between fundamental Islam and the modern world will increase. The wonderfully educate Muslims you talk about will actually add to that schism, not reduce it. Will the modern "world" culture win against fundamental Islam in Muslim societies even if driven from within? Probably not without the shedding of blood.

Mac Lorry, Thank... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry,
Thanks for your response. I really don't think that is at all what Kashif was saying. Being an American-born Moslem of several generations of American citizenship, he is speaking as a moderate Moslem. Believe me, there are MANY of them.
The problem as I see it (since I have a well-grounded background in this arena). Started as Kashif alluded to about 25 years ago. That was the time I lived in Saudi Arabia (1975-1980). In 1978 the Iranian Revolution took place and the secular Shah was thrown out and replaced with the fundamentalist Ayotola. Remember that old rule:
For every action there is a reaction. The Shah had ruled his country for many years as a Western puppet and was held in the lowest reguard by his people. Those who might have wanted to replace him with a more suitable leader were unable to do so because of US support. Now remember, every action has a reaction. Instead of moderation, the pendulum swung directly to the opposite extreme and Iran welcomed home a leader (the Ayotolla) who had been in exile in France for years.
I bring this up because it was the Iranian revolution which I believe was the catalyst for Moslem extremism in the Middle East. But you must factor in the Palestinian debate as well, because the refugee problem had been fomenting for years. How best to confront an ememy? resort to your own deepest of values (witness our own Twin Towers response). During the years I lived in Saudi Arabia, the Mutawa (religious police) were basically a laughing stock to the educated class. My own mother-in-law who is a devout Moslem did not wear an habaya except while going out in public. After the Iranian revolution, the powers of the religious were strenghthened in Saudi Arabia by their neighbor Iran's victory, and they too grew in power. But this was juxtaposed against a ruling family (the Al-Sauds) who were able to use their oil wealth outside their country to make fools of themselves as bacchanistic oil-sheiks. I can't begin to tell you how many people thought I was married to that kind of person because this was the face of Saudis that most westerners knew.
If you read the article I posted on the R-E-S-P-E-C-T site you might see that Saudi Arabia is undergoing a change, albeit a deliberate and slow one. It is that very "blood" that you refer to that the new king is trying to avoid. I might go so far as to propose that Islam has been experiencing its own dark ages and will have to collectively work out their OWN renaissance. I am personally very familiar with the educated class of this country because that was my experience. Remember though that it is a Bedouin culture and that they look to their King for guidance. I find this development should be most welcomed by both the West and the moderate class of this Kingdom.

Mac Lorry, One m... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry,
One more thing, the colonial days are NOT over. The west is attempting to control Middle East politics in the quest for oil. Remember, the colonists exported resources from the colonies back home. Now I agree that the Mid-East is not a "colony" of the West, but we are using colonial tactics in order to control an area that just so happens to have the very most important resource we need. Just a note, my grandmother (god bless her soul) was hooked on the prophesies of Nostradamus that portended the last war of the world would be fought over "black gold". I'm not personally a subscriber but eerily enough, it is frightingly coming to pass

Mac Lorry, (just... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry,
(just reread your response to Kashif and want to add something else)
You were not privey to a site that has since disappeared called "F--them if they can't take a joke". In this sight was a whole lot of mud-slinging against Moslems but fortunatley it ended on a more pleasant note.
Above you state something to the effect that Islam is incompatible with cultural advancement and that the problem is that they have mixed up religion and politics (hope you agree with my paraphrase) I could NOT agree with you more that politics and religion should be kept separate, but this is not the case in Islam because the Koran has its legal counterpart in the Sharia which gives a law for just about anything you might encounter. It is however best noted that even with this combination, Islam was able to conquuer Spain and bring it OUT of the Christian dark ages into an age of splendour best exemplified in the great universities of that time which were founded by Moslems. Kashif gave a most eloquent defense of Islam's esteem for education. It is that very esteem which drives those of the educated class in the Moslem countries around the world to further techology and international business ventures. You see, it really IS complicated. But just like within all major faiths, there are different factions who view their faiths in different ways. Take for instance the Catholics who by papal decree support evolutions' compatibility with church doctrine and those other Christians who think the world was created only 6000 years ago and Adam and Eve lived alongside dinosaurs.
The point I am trying to make in the end, is that is this particular fundamentalist form of Islam that is at odds with modernity, not those of a more moderate persuasion.

Robin,I r... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Robin,

I really don't think that is at all what Kashif was saying.

Only Kashif can know for sure, but his words reinforced what I already knew, or thought I knew. The same is likely true for you as our individual experiences color how we interpret the statements of others.

If Islamic fundamentalism is something people take-up and put-down in response to changing political conditions, then you are probably correct. However, if there's a significant minority who hold strongly to the tenets of Islamic fundamentalism, then your analysis is likely wrong. It only takes a few people willing to die for what they believe to cower a much larger group of moderates. This is why suicide bombings are as effective as they are. You are familiar with moderate Muslims, but how familiar are you with the radicals? You wouldn't be the first person of good will to be blindsided by extremism.

I did read your post on the R-E-S-P-E-C-T topic, and while it's encouraging, the new king is an old man and there's no way of knowing what changes will take hold strong enough to survive him and which will be buried with him. The point is that it takes a strong majority to make changes opposed by the religious segment of the population.

One more thing, the colonial days are NOT over.

I think you're missing my point. The driving force behind the colonial days, over or not, is very much at work in the world today. Any culture that ties itself to laws from the middle-ages is going to have a hard time in the modern world. In that regard, it matters not if the U.S., India, or China is the superpower of the 21st century.

Mac Lorry, I was... (Below threshold)
robin:

Mac Lorry,
I was certainly not trying to "speak for Kashif"I was only giving you my take on his post as you were giving yours.
I am going to respond to you in the same manner I responded to Muslihoon over at the other blog. I WAS married to a REAL Moslem and a REAL Saudi. Am I to understand that you don't think I'm the first person of good will to get blindsided? Believe me, I am not a polyana. I lived through the Lebanese Civil war for six months in Beirut an have had first hand experience with these nuts. I am fully cognizent of their existance and am well informed of their threat. While living in Saudi there were rumblings of this faction, but even then was put down by the much tamer Wahabi's. You have to understand that their very most important target is the Al-Saud royal family so they do NOT have free reign in their country.
In the end, I can only offer my own experiences which I have given you. I might go further though in telling you that it was not just with the educated class, but with the ministers of the Kingdom (NOT Al-Sauds) through my husbands uncle who is currently an ambassador. I knew these people very well and can tell you that most were Western educated with their PHd's as well as their wives, several of whom were doctors. See Mac, these are the things that most people don't know about because it is not reported in the Western press and the Kingdom is a very closed society. It is these people I put my faith in, and along WITH leaders such as the new king might bring about change. Moslem radicals are much more a threat to these people than to us, and that is where my maternal instinct kicks in. Your "what ifs" are not applicable here either. What is applicable is to become totally aware of the complexities of the problem and pray to God that the moderates, who ARE the majority, prevail

Just a note to the above: ... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Just a note to the above: No the Moslems who were shooting at eachother in front of my very own eyes in Beirut were not the same extremists we are talking about here. They were however Moslems, shooting at Christians shooting at Moslems all in the name of God and for their OWN political reasons ( which is a whole different subject matter). I was simply trying to tell you that I HAVE personally encountered this Holy War between the two faiths in a different arena, road-side bombs, suicide attacks and all.

robin,I don't thin... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

robin,

I don't think we disagree on the fundamentals. I'm not sure either what "what ifs" I expressed other than to demonstrate the inevitability of the forces at work in recent human history. Forces that are indisputably at work in the world today as they have been since the end of the dark ages. I hope the moderates who you say are the majority, do prevail.

Nevertheless, the rest of the world needs to be prepared for a different outcome, not only in Saudi Arabia, but anywhere in the middle-east and beyond. Part of that preparedness is to develop new energy sources such as I have written about. As it is now, any serious disruption of oil would necessitate intervention in the region and that only plays into the hands of the extremists. In response, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the middle-east need to develop their economies so that they are not dependent on oil revenue. The full effect the energy shift may not be felt for 40 or 50 years, but the world is starting down that road.

Mac Lorry. I cou... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry.
I couldn't agree with you more as to the necessity to develop alternative fuel sources, both for our own benefit and the Middle Easts'.
Oil ANYWHERE in the world is not an infinite commodity.
The very suggestion that you are making as to the need to diversify their econonomies is taking place, albeit at different rates in the different countries of the ME. Some countries such as Dubai are choosing to become a tourism mecca (no pun intended) and home to international banking. Bahrain, which has had little oil to worry about anyway, has always been an international banking center. As for Saudi Arabia, the country is expanding RAPIDLY in the field of industry and the information age. Are you aware that for many years, Saudi Arabia has been the single largest owner of US treasury bonds? Also, the citizens of Saudi Arabia do not own the oil, Aramco controls the oil at the behest of the royal family which distributes the wealth thereof to support various endeavors such as desalinization plants, irrigation projects, hospitals, yada yada, all the things a government should do for its people.
But as you so correctly point out, the oil revenue will come to an end. Yes, the MidEast has been riding high on it's oil for many years and depending which analyst you listen to, the future has yet to be seen. I DO know that the country, and others in the Gulf Region have a well-educated ruling elite (both ministers and business) who are fully aware of the problem and are diversifying to otber investments outside the ME. Shoot, Mercedes Benz is half owned by Kuwaitis.
I only think that the instigator in riling up the extremists is the West's policies and our insistance on supporting inmoral regimes in the area.
VERY VERY VERY complicated. I appreciate the thoughtful conversation with you. And although I am not literally "one of them", this is just my take on it coming from the last 31 years of my own experience and trying to share that with others.

Kashif:) IF you ... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Kashif:)
IF you are reading, and IF you are interested and need a breath of fresh air, check out wizbang bomb squad "do you support religious intolerance as long as it's against moslems" Its a gal Gina Cobb's blog which refers to a guy Danny Carlton. His is the most logical voice out there and I thought you might like it.
Mac Lorry: same goes for you. Different take, but one I totally agree with.

one thing no one has addres... (Below threshold)

one thing no one has addressed is that the reason political islam has become so combustible is because it is doing what europe did in the beginning of the last century.

buy into nihilism.

i put up a post on the subject on my blog.

Suicide Intellect

http://eteraz.wordpress.com/2006/02/14/suicide-intellect-who-legitimized-suicide-in-islam-by-ali-eteraz/

eteraz,I followed ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

eteraz,

I followed your links and read your article. In it I found this statement

...murder of Hussein has made for the biggest culture of mourning a dead man this side of Christianity...

I'm not sure who your audience is, but your statement seems to indicate you have no understanding of Christianity. Without that understanding you can't really understand the West, at least not the U.S.

The term "nihilism" describes the atheist philosophy, but is often used to say that some other religion of movement is without God. I assume you mean that Islam is buying into the idea that it's the one true religion. Of course, fundamentalist Jews and Christians believe their religion is the one true religion. In fact, if a person doesn't feel their religion is the truth, what would be the point in practicing it?

The only means of avoiding a clash is to acknowledge that people have a fundamental right to believe and practice their religion as they see fit and for governments to neither favor or oppose religion. Obviously, there are limits such as not allowing human sacrifice and other criminal actions. The West arrived at that place a long time ago and we are waiting for the middle-east to catch up.


MacLorry:) (Can ... (Below threshold)
Robin:

MacLorry:)
(Can you believe I'm sending happy face modicoms to a conservative? Just kidding but don't know if there is a modicom for that because I am totally new at this).
Couldn't agree more (and that's coming from a Moslem sympathizer, liberal Catholic, had both experiences point of view. Over on F--them if they can't take a joke, Kashif put up a wonderful defense of Islam and I attempted to inform the readers of the links between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Unfortunately it fell on mostly deaf ears, Kashif signed off, and I continued to argue (much to my own disgust) with a fundamentalist Christian who refused to state his precise religious affiliation. It was a useless battle, because I like you, believe that "people have a fundamental right to practice their religion as they see fit". Darn, there we go agreeing again and there's no holiday to wish you a "Happy" so just a "Good Point" will have to do.

As to the description of my... (Below threshold)
Robin:

As to the description of myself in the post prior to this a "Moslem sympathizer", I emphatically correct myself to read: "Moderate Moslem sypathizer" so that any one reader does not mistake me in any way shape or form as someone who supports the violence of the jihadists. If you are familiar with me from prior posts, you are aware of my outlook and I would truly appreciate it if you do not try to twist my words.
Thanks for accepting my clarification.

Robin,Just so you ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Robin,

Just so you know, I'm a fundamentalist Christian and while Christians are called upon to witness to the Gospel message, we believe it's up to individuals to accept or reject that message. The concept of allowing each person to practice their religion as they see fit is not (or shouldn't be) difficult for Christians. Where there's a clash within Western cultures, particularly in the U.S. is in how much influence Christian teachings have over secular law. As a Christian I'm entitled to vote my beliefs just as any other person is. That means certain movements, such as homosexual marriage, run up against a block of voters who's beliefs are founded in their religion. That's why the U.S. has constitutional amendments to protect certain freedoms, such as religion and speech, from such voting blocks.

I've learned on this topic that the Islamic religion and Islamic law are not the same thing and that one can be Muslim without wanting to live under or impose Islamic law on others. Is that true?. It's the threat of non-Muslims being forced to live under Islamic law that people in the West find objectionable, rather than the religion of Islam. We hear little about the religion of Islam, but a lot about how women, Jews and Christians are treated under Islamic law. We also hear that Islam is or at least was spread through conquest rather than through persuasion. This all feeds the strong feelings westerners have toward Islam. I don't know how much I stated about Islam is true, so maybe you could enlighten me.

Mac Lorry:) Am I... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry:)
Am I dreaming? Have I actually found a fundamentalist Christian conservative who actually makes sense to ME? All kidding aside Mac, and absolutely no offense, because MANY of my friends are fundamentalists and as long as we avoid the "heaven" subject we get along quite well. I just avoid the fire breathing types just as I prefer to get out of Dodge when ever a jihadist is in the neighborhood.
You have posed some very good questions, most of which I can only address anecdotedly.
Up until the Taliban came on the scene and Iran had their Islamic revolution, most modern Islamic nations have themselves been secular. The obvious exception to that generalization is Saudi Arabia. (This is where MY expertise comes in) Saudi Arabia is not only the home to Mecca and Medina but also the birthplaceof "fundamentalist" wahabiism that we have heard about so much in the West. Saudi Arabia IS a theocracy, but you have to realize, that until Ibn Saud united the country in the 1930's the wahabi sect was mainly centered in Riyadh, the Kingdom's modern day capital. It was Ibn Saud, along with the wahabi sect and the financing of certain individuals (my ex-inlaws being one of them) who united a ragtag bunch of bedouins into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was due to the wahabis alliegiance that they were given so much power. Oil was discovered shortly after but the riches did not come to great fruition until the late 60'-70's. It was sometime (don't know exact date" that ARAMCO was nationalized and the Kingdom began enjoying the windfall as opposed to the foreign oil companies
(Fast forward to 1975-1980 when I was there) At this time, and for many years prior, the Kingdom did not offer good schooling. It was then that the business elite began sending their children abroad to boarding schools and universities to be educated. As I said before, all my ex's siblings were educated abroad (my sister-in-law even had her master's in public health from BERKLEY) But ultimately, these people had to go home and participate either in private business or government. THESE are the people in power in Saudi but they MUST live by Islamic Sharia law while in the country, just like you would if you went there. THESE are educated people who wish to carry on their daily lives, make a living, and all within the rule of law. They for the most part though are secular moslems. That is NOT to say they don't live by the values of their faith, it is only to say that they do not ascribe to "fundamentalist" beliefs
Just like here in the US, some believe in science and some believe in creationism (ABSOLUTELY no offense if this is your belief).
Now to your question about being an Islamic nation without implementing Sharia. My answer to you is that the proof is in the pudding. Most nations are secular, those that are not, well, they're like Saudi Arabia.
Now to your question about how Moslems treat Christians and Jews. No matter what bunk you might read taken out of context, Moslems MUST treat Christians and Jews as "People of the Book". Over on F-em if they can't take a joke there was a guy who told me I wasn't married to a "real moslem". I asked him if he was suggesting that my Moslem marriage, resided over by a Saudi Imam and all my friends co-religious marriages were fakes and that Saudi Arabia was allowing this to happen even though they are the home to Islam and live by ABSOLUTE Sharia law. Needless to say, he did not comment back. As for Moslems treatment of Jews, this is a loaded political question. I do know that in 1948 prior to the creation of the state of Israel, MANY Jews lived within moslem nations. My husband's grandfather was a pearl merchant in Bahrain and his two business partners were Jewish. The question of the hatred now is REALLY a political one based on the fact that in order to create an exclusively Jewish state, all those others had to leave. Unfortunately, the same occured in the Moslem areas of the Mideast and the Jews were chased out. (But that really is a whole nother issue)
Mac, what I bring to this discussion is my own experience. It was a cultural exchange that made me grow as a person. I am here to tell you that if you were to go into a moderate Moslem's home as a Christian (non-fire-breathing) fundamentalist, you WOULD be welcome and receive hospitality. I am also trying to tell EVERYBODY, that these people exist and that they are in the majority. All must remember that it is the moderate Moslem who is the number ONE target to the jihadist because they feel they are not living by exactly their 15th century ideals of the religion.
I have gone on a tangent here, I hope I answered some of your questions. 'Really appreciate the discussion.
P>S> As for the marriages, they were really pretty much the same as ours. The educated do NOT marry more than one wife because their educated wives would kick the b-jeez-us out of them!

Mac Lorry:) I wa... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry:)
I want to thank you for instigating me to look up more facts. I came upon something very interesting, it's a book called "The Wahabi Myth"
I looked it up and found (of course), pros and cons. What struck me as interesting though relates to my own experience with Wahabiism. While I was in Saudi, the Mutawa (religious police) were pretty much the laughing stock of the educated elite. There were rumblings though of something sinister called "Islamic Brotherhood". I know about it because my younger brother-in-law dabbled in it and was quickly put in his place. This book tries to say that it is not the Wahabi faith that Bin Ladin adheres to but rather a much more radical form of Islam called Qtub (Arabic for by the book). You see, except for being hit on the legs if you walked down the street with your ankles showing, I did not EVER experience any religious intolerance toward myself. In fact, the opposite was true. This other brand of Islam though is pretty darn scary and REALLY promotes jihad. The book suggests that it is not Wahabiism at the base of radical Islam, but rather this lesser known fringe group. It sort of makes sense to me because why would the Wahabis be attacking their own people within the Kingdom? Why would road blocks and police barracades be set up and manned by the military all over the Kingdom if it were Wahabi's who were doing all the damage. No, the way I see it, it is probably this other sect who are the trouble makers because they see the Wahabis as the supporters of the Al-Sauds. Yes, no doubt the Wahabi's are VERY fundamentalist, but as an analogy, I think this other group might be the abortion clinic bombers.
Just an interesting thought because God only knows we don't get it straight from the powers that be.
See Ya! Happy--!!

Mac Lorry:) BINGO... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry:)
BINGO!!!. Look up this sight http://wwwnmhschool,or/thornton/sayyid_qutb.htm
My theory is right on.
Thanks again for piquing my interest by asking me the above questions. It really is enjoyable to engage in this banter.

Robin,Much of the ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Robin,

Much of the cordial nature of our exchange is due to your own respectful comments. When disrespectful, insulting or arrogant posts are directed at me individually or by association, I'm known to respond in the same way. Just as you expressed "I would truly appreciate it if you do not try to twist my words.", which I don't believe you intended for me, I too respond strongly when someone recasts my words into a meaning I didn't intend, and then argues against that recast statement. I just didn't want to mislead you into thinking I'm always nice, as others I have spared with don't feel that way.

Back on topic. I read your posts and much of what you linked to (your link needed a bit of editing to get to the page). Here's something Sayyid Qutb said that got my attention.

It is necessary for the new leadership to preserve and develop the material fruits of the creative genius of Europe, and also to provide mankind with such high ideals and values as have so far remained undiscovered by mankind, and which will also acquaint humanity with a way of life which is harmonious with human nature, which positive and constructive, and which is practicable.

Islam is the only system which possesses these values and this way of life.

The phrase "to provide mankind with such high ideals and values as have so far remained undiscovered by mankind" as something only Islam possesses seems absurd to my western way of thinking. Obviously, we can't debate ideals and values not yet discovered by mankind, but it seems Islam is ill suited to adopt any new ideals or values being it's frozen forever in the past.

The phrase "with a way of life which is harmonious with human nature" may be true for fundamentalist Islam given my view of human nature. As a Christian I view human nature as the base behavior that has the world in the mess it's in. Christians are called to transcend human nature and strive to be more like what God calls us to be, not what our fallen nature produces.

One of the questions you see asked when there's another terrorist attach in the name of Islam, is why don't the moderate Muslims speak out strongly against this perversion of their religion? From what you said, the answer seems to be that moderate Muslims are more of a target than anyone else. That's an awesome statement given that the only reason moderate Muslims are a target is because of their brand of Islam. That makes the terrorists religious bigots in addition to all their other failings. In places like Iraq, the terrorists can only survive by hiding among the very people they hate. Little wonder they don't care when they set off a bomb that kills other Muslims. The press has missed the fact that there's a religious war going on between moderate and fundamentalist Muslims.

Mac Lorry:) Hope... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry:)
Hope you don't mind me continuing to use that icon because I want to make it clear why I think you are a "nice guy." It is simply because you have been willing to engage in a respectful dialog and I truly appreciate it. Just like you, I'm not such a nice person either when my toes get stepped on so I can relate. On the other hand, I REALLY do appreciate your thirst for knowledge concerning this matter and that's the crux of my take on you.
I have no idea how to put little boxes around things, so let me just say that your last paragraph was YOUR Bingo moment. You said what I am trying to say and that is truly a good point in any dialog which will segway into the following:
(Just a note to you, I am a former high school government/history teacher but it's been quite a while since I'm a stay at home mom)
You so correctly stated in a prior post that the West has advanced as far as it has because we do not have a marriage of church and state. I might also add that although we have inculcated Judeo/Christian values into our OWN constitution, a those with opposing views are protected. This is PRECISELY what makes our country so wonderful and on that we very much agree.
Saudi Arabia (which I continue to refer to for the reason that the Western media always points to the hijackers being Saudi) has not been afforded this luxury. Referring to my prior history lesson above, Saudi Arabia was united by a triad of Al-Saud/Wahabi/business. What has happened to this most fragile of alliance was the advent of the riches accrued from oil. Up until the seventies, the Kingdom was very much a backwater third country. When ARAMCO was natioalized, the profits were the catalyst for the dispute amongst the three parties. The Al-Sauds recruited those from the educated business elte to run their country while they accrued riches and began living a very un-wahabi type existance. The business elite too began accruing great wealth, traveling, spending money abroad and acting abroad in a very un-wahabi type manner. The Wahabis were being edged out of the alliance and were PISSED. As I said before, this was the point I was there. So what were the Wahabis to do? Enter the ideas of the Islamic Brotherhood. Remember me saying that my own brother-in-law dabbled with it, got real nutty, and was quickly debriefed by the family. What I am not mentioning here are those parties who were no part of the triangle of power who had always been disinfranchized. Who better for them to turn to than the rebel jihadists who were against the other two?
I have to add in here a point on the conjecture that radical Islam has been funded by the Saudis in their support for the madrasas in Pakistan. This is VERY possible because one of the tenets of Islam is to give Zakat, a portion of your wealth to the mosque. This is not the same as our own Christianity where we can give to the denomination of our choice. In this case, ALL the mosques are Wahabi. Imagine, it's a rule to give your tithe, but you have NO say in where it goes.
More history: In the early eighties and into the nineties, there were several uprisings by the minority Shiia in the Eastern province. These were quickly put down and the imams inprisoned. But think about what was going on next door in Iran. These religios zealots in Saudi were impowered by the success of the Ayotolla. When I was there NO females in my family covered their faces. Within five years of the Iranian revolution this was no longer the case. They didn't start doing so because they thought it was fashionable, but rather because the religious police were being bought off by the Al-Sauds and were given much more power
YOUR Bingo statement came in your very last statement, "There's a religious war going on between moderate and fundamentalist Muslims".
I can tell you that now the Kingdom looks very much like a country undersiege. My ex is remarried (Austrian this time) and has two daughters. He has moved them to Bahrain for their own safety and travels the causeway back and forth to work. When he travels in Europe he NEVER anounces even to a cab driver that he is Saudi because he is so paranoid of these nuts.
This is really the whole point that I have been trying to get across to anyone reading here.
Yes, there is a schism going on right now and the war is over the very essence of Islam. Do I think it is backward? Well, I can only say that my own experience was with a
highly educated, warm and accepting group of people and they happen to be Moslems. Do I think Islam is backward if you judge it by these crazies take on their religion, ABSOLUTELY.
Thank you Mac again for listening. I hope you take what I have shared with you with the intention it was given, with complete sincerity and appreciation.

Mac Lorry:) just some addit... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry:) just some additions---
You're correct in saying the above "twisting of words" statement was NOT meant for you. It was meant for anyone else who is a witness to this very public albeit niche dialog.
I think you are correct in feeling that Islam is absurd to claim the only means by which to reach this enlightenment, I think that the statement is indicative of most religions, as well as our own Christianity. But I don't really want to get into a "I'm right, you're wrong arguement" because I believe most religions are geocentric. Suffice it to say, what you are exposed to is what you espouse to.
It's interesting that you incapsulated that quote because it makes this movement seem quite reasonable. But don't be fooled, it's these nuts of the Islamic Brotherhood who were responsible for Abdul Nasser's and Sadat's assassinations. They have been at work in Egypt for MANY years and are Egypt's more secular government FLY IN THE OINTMENT. These are VERY VERY VERY BAD people who advocate violence through their interpretation of the Koran. But just like any major religion, there are major differences of belief which can fall to the generalism of the overall umbrella discription. It is this very generalization of Islam as a violent religion that I am opposing. Again, the proof is in the pudding that MOST Moslems are NOT violent. Otherwise we'd have a much bigger problem on our hands than we do now since their percentage of the world population is increasing. The problem may come though if more and more marginal moderate Moslems are pushed over the edge by the bigotry targeted at them. That is exactly what I am fighting against because this truly is a fight within Islam itself and we need to know which one's are our sworn enemies and which one's are not

Mac Lorry, pleas... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry,
please exchange above statement "movement seem quite reasonable" to: movement quite peaceful. I think where the problem comes in with any religious disagreement is when one religion espouses superiority. They then take that superiority stance and use it as an ends that justifies the means. No, don't get me wrong, I don't think every religion uses violence ALL the time. But when it is necessary to fall back on the old reliability of being superior to your enemy, it is used as a wedge that I don't think the God I know would ever intend. As a student of history myself, I cannot think of any religion that was not hooked up to evil at one time or another. But then that's just the academic in me speaking.
Darn, I wish I could go back and edit once I post because my busy little brain keeps working

Robin,Thanks for y... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Robin,

Thanks for your detailed answers. I wonder what the difference is between fundamentalists Islam and the Islam of moderates? Is it just in the interpretation of the Koran or are there other writings only one group believes are sacred?

I've heard that the reward in the hereafter for male Muslims is 70 virgins, but what's the reward for female Muslims?

Finally, what's the difference between the terms Moslem and Muslim?

Just so I have something to offer here, you mentioned you didn't know how to put quotes in boxes.

To put text in boxes use (blockquote) at the start of the text and (/blockquote) at the end. However, substitute the less than character (it won't print) for "(" and substitute ">" for ")" Also make sure you put the slash / at the beginning of the ending blockquote. Use the Preview button when you try this so you can see if it's correct before posting. It can be a real mess if you get it wrong. If you do it right it looks as follows:

I like to do my posts off-line in a word processor and then copy and paste them into the edit box before hitting the Post button. That way I get to proof read and spell check before posting. I still make errors, but much fewer than otherwise.
Mac Lorry:) Ther... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry:)
There you go making me WORK my little brain again, thanks for the exercise. I'm going to be quick on this one though.

Islamic Fundamentalism: The best definition of this that I found is here: http://www.religiousintolerance.org/reac_ter9.htm
If you have a problem with the sight, refer to article on the site called Religious Terminology: "Fundamentalism" in Christianity & Islam. You're a really quick read (compliment) and after you read it I'll give you my prime example of my defense that not all fundamentalists are terrorists.

Heaven: Now you DONE it (kidding) by bringing up the "heaven" thing. I can tell you that the very definition of fundamentalism means that one takes their religion literally. I do know though that there are scholars within Islam who believe that the passages in the Koran should be taken metaphorically rather than literally. The best example I could give you is my own Catholic faith which does NOT take the Bible literally. With an offer to you and no offense taken, I officially became Catholic two three years ago BECAUSE I could hang with this. My ex, even though schooled in fundamentalism and abroad in Alexandria from age seven, also took a metaphorical approach to Islam. Like I said, I avoid the "heaven" subject but I must let you know that my own priest told us that the Catholic faith believes that other non-believers can enter heaven by their deeds. This I can also hang with because I PERSONALLY think the judgement of heaven is God's alone. PLEASE PLEASE don't take this as a challenge, but rather an offer of a trepidicious answer to the one question I really prefer to avoid due to my respect for others beliefs.

Muslim vs. Moslem: That's a good question. I think it has something more to do with pronounciation. Moslems themselves pronounce the word "Mooslim" with the oo sounding similar to the oo in book. Since all Moslems worldwide read the Koran in Arabic, despite thier given language, I think it is probably a better spelling.

Little boxes and such: Thanks so much for the tip but I just couldn't figure it out without an actual human body here to walk me through. My neighbor is a computer GENIUS and I'm going to have him show me. It would be very nice to be able to post in a better format than I am for sure.

Note: When you read the above site I referred to, pay special heed to Karen Armstrong's definition of fundamentalism. I do NOT think hers is a derogatory definition and I'll tell you why if you disagree later.

With that, have a wonderful day and notice the time of this post, I've got a long one ahead of me but looking forward to your reply

Bye!

Mac Lorry:) Forg... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry:)
Forgot about the time difference on this thing. It's three hours earlier for me!

Mac Lorry, Haven... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry,
Haven't heard from you yet but I have another assignment :) for you. I found a great site that gives alot of information in a concise and easily readable format. Here goes:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/said/cron. If you have a problem navigating it's titled Chronology, the House of Saud. I'll give you a hint at my perspective that you should look for if you read this article: the day I departed the US for Lebanon to meet my then future husband was March 25, 1975. If you connect the dots you will see what I walked into a long time ago as a 20 year old very naive American looking for a "magic carpet ride".

Mac Lorry, Here ... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry,
Here I go bugging you again, but if you scan the above Saudi article you will notice (I think 1992) a picture of some Saudi women driving. My ex's first cousin was one of them and was under house arrest for many years thereafter. Again, a hint at where I come from.

Robin,I was able t... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Robin,

I was able to locate the pages even though the URLs you provided are incorrect. You must be typing them in rather than copying the URL from the browser and pasting it in. Just for anyone else who would like this information here are the correct links:

RELIGIOUS TERMINOLOGY

Chronology, the House of Saud

I see what you mean that, while Islamic terrorists are fundamentalists, not all Islamic fundamentalists are terrorists, and I agree.

Just a bit about fundamentalism. As a fundamentalist born again Christian I believe the books that make up the Protestant Bible as they were originally written and in the context of the time they were written, are the true and inerrant word of God. Errors in understanding occur when these books are translated into other languages and read within the context of our times. The Bible can only be correctly interpreted with a comprehensive understanding of the entire Bible and the times and languages in which it was written. A quick example is that ancient Hebrew didn't divide verbs into permissive and causative forms. Where a passage in English says God caused something it's just as accurate to read it as God permitted something. Knowing just that one rule puts the Old Testament in a whole different light.

I take the whole Bible as God's Word simply because to do otherwise you have to decide for yourself which parts are God's word and which are not. If you don't like a passage about something you can just ignore it. The problem is that your guide as to what is or is not God's Word is likely your own fallen nature. How then can God's Word impart wisdom to one who's guide is their own foolishness.

Nevertheless, salvation is a treasure of limitless value that no descendent of Adam can hope to afford, yet by the riches of God's mercy it's offered freely as a gift, paid for in full and for all eternity by the shed Blood of God's Holy Son. All that's required is for a person to affirmatively receive it; it's so simple only the proud of heart can't grasp it. Just make sure you don't leave this life without it because it's not offered in the age to come.

Just a little of that fire breathing you referred to.

Peace!

Mac!!!!! I gave ... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac!!!!!
I gave you the wrong address above. It's

http://www.religioustolerance.org/reac_ter9.htm

I wonder if slipping in the "in" was a freaudian slip!!!!

Mac!!!!! I gave ... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac!!!!!
I gave you the wrong address above. It's

http://www.religioustolerance.org/reac_ter9.htm

I wonder if slipping in the "in" was a freaudian slip!!!!

Mac Lorry:) Can ... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry:)
Can I add "smart and helpful" to my beforementioned superlatives concerning you? It took me many years, 48 to be precise, to take a leap of faith and come to much the same conclusion and accept the words of the Bible into my heart. I have attended several Bible studies and know about the differences in translations as well as the importance of relating them to time and audience addressed. You didn't mention if you read the Saudi article, but let me explain why I offered it. In the following, I will share with you a part of me that has changed my life forever.
March 25, 1975. My friends, family, and future brother-in-law took me to the airport to fly to Lebanon to meet my fiancee. Back then, you could not make a direct overseas call to Saudi without placing it and waiting for hours.
My flight in LA was postponed, which meant that I had to spend the night at a Heathrow hotel. I was absolutely scared crazy because I had never been overseas, let alone by myself. When I arrived in London I went to the hotel and then down to the coffee shop. It was there that I heard King Faisal had been shot and that all Saudi Airline flights out of Saudi had been cancelled. What was I to do? I had to call my brother-in-law in LA and he said to continue on and his mother and sisters would me in Beirut.
My husband flew in by private plane the next day and we were married April 1 (don't laugh, it's true) He left back to Saudi eight days later without me to get my visa in order.
It was on the 10th of April that the first incident of the Lebanese Civil War occured. A schoolbus was blown up by Moslem extremists. Now the problems in Lebanon stem from the inbalance of power, Moslems being in the majority, but the constitution stating that the President must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni and the next guy down a Shiia. (I'm just telling you this so you get the background, not that ANY reason in the world should be a cause of such violence)
As the months wore on, the war increased in violence. The shops were open during the day, but it was still very dangerous to venture out. One time we were walking down the street and had to dive under a car to avoid being killed. Another time the supermarket across the street was bombed and all our windows blew out. Yet another time from the balcony we saw a jeep with a machine-gun on top chase a group of individuals and murder them all. The days were fairly calm, but the nights were spent in terror.
I was young, very young, only 20. There was no way to call home and very little mail. And I had to be taken care of by my Moslem family, fundamentalists that they were. I had to learn Arabic in quick fashion, learn to eat new foods, and all this with absolute chaos going on around me. I was SCARED!
In July of that year we had to leave because of my mother-in-laws' mother died in Bahrain. The problem was getting to the airport. This was a VERY risky venture because the airport was opened, closed, and opened all the time. We lived in a Moslem area, but would have to go through a Christian area, another Moslem area, then another Christian area to get there. We were five women, one 2-year old child, and a driver. We had to make a plan to get there safely and this is the way we did it. OUr family driver was a Christian and somehow, we would get there alive he assured us. The first checkpoint that we came to was Moslem. No problem, my mother-in-law spoke to the rag-tag soldier pointing a gun at us. The Next checkpoint was Christian. Here a teen-aged boy held his machine gun inside the car and let us through. Next check point, Moslem, again no problem. Last checkpoint is where the BIG SCARY thing happened.
The Christian militia we encountered made us all get out of the car. Our driver was speaking for us but the soldier knew he was lying. I thought surely this is NOT happening. For what seemed like an eternity they talked. A sum of money was agreed upon and we again were safely on our way.
Why am I telling you this? Because it is a metaphor I am offering for what I wish all the world could have. Seven of us in a car, all of different faiths, all risking our lives to reach a destiny, protecting eachother, against the hatred we encountered.
Mac, there are a lot of people who can read this, and I feel kind of "naked" putting this out there. At the end of the day though, all of the good and kind people in the world of whatever faith have to endure life's hardships. Some are much easier than others. Some in the areas of the world that are ravaged by this have to put up with it on a daily basis. The above story and my entire experience is WHY I rage against the intolerance of Islam and the bigotry targeted at them. Every time I hear "rag-head", "Camel-jockey" or worse, I cry. I am but one person, but there are so many more like me out there who have had these same experiences.
If I have gone on too long, please forgive me. This has been a wonderful and fulfilling conversation with you. But I feel like I'm getting way too emotional and I hope you can understand.

Don't know quite what to sa... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Don't know quite what to say, but here it is:

The above story I didicate to Mac Lorry, Kashif, Ryan, and all those with the willingness of heart and ear to have listened to my message.

Thank you, Peace and Ma'Salama

Robin,I did follow... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Robin,

I did follow the links you gave and read them. I thank you for sharing your feelings in such a public forum, and I know that's not an easy thing to do. You have not only earned my respect, but your honest account of the things you lived through with the help of people of all faiths is a compelling argument for greater tolerance and the quest for peace in the world. I know I can't fully appreciate the nightmare you lived through, but I can empathize with you and all the millions upon millions of people who have been subjected to the terrors of war for several millennium. Most of the population of the U.S. has been spared that terror in living memory and perhaps that makes us too quick to support war.

You have given me much to ponder and I'll ask no more of you on this topic.

Peace!

Mac Lorry, Thank ... (Below threshold)
Robin:

Mac Lorry,
Thank you. Ours has been a deep and inspiring discussion for me. You gave me the respect that allowed me to share this with you and for that I am truly greatful. You said that others didn't think you were so nice, but maybe they just never "got in the car" with you for a ride, even if it was just for a short while. You are definitely a man of integrity and speak from your heart and well-honed brain. I acknowledge fully that I too have much to ponder from this exchange and that could only have come from your sharing of your own values which you hold dear.
And for Kashif, who this blog was created in the first place, I hope that he might read this and see that we BOTH honored him with a good debate. I wish him, and all those living with the hatred spewed at them, of WHATEVER faith, peace, harmony and understanding found through seeking those values ourselves and living them in our own daily lives.
Thank you Mac, I found you a very gentle dragon.




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