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The moderate Muslim: Unicorn, coelacanth, or ivory-billed woodpecker?

(Note: the following is an expansion of a comment I left over at The World Wide Rant. Click here for the full context.)

The War On Terror could be more accurately called "The War Against Militant Islam," but that's a bit too on-the-nose for most people. Our enemies are often described as "Muslim extremists," but is that really a fair characterization?

I'm not so sure. At some point, it becomes necessary to re-define what exactly constitutes an "extremist." When the vast majority of a group subscribes to a set of beliefs, then the "extreme" is the mainstream, and the "moderates" become the extremists. We're seeing signs of that among the Democratic party here in the US, for example.

But is that the case with Islam? I'm starting to suspect it is.

Let me make a prediction: the next time we have some atrocity committed by men shouting "Allahu Akbar!," there will be soft words of condemnation from Muslim organizations, followed immediately by rationalizations and justifications and citations of other "offenses" done to Muslims. (Citing the Israeli "occupation" of Palestine is a perennial favorite, but now the aforementioned "Koran desecration" is rising fast. They used to have "Western troops in Saudi Arabia, home of the two holiest sites in Islam" to kick around, but Bush pulled the rug out from under that one.) And if there is an anti-terrorism rally that denounces the deed as un-Islamic, it'll be sparsely attended and vastly outnumbered by those rallying to say "you can't blame us in any way for their actions" and citing a long laundry list of alleged "anti-Muslim" offenses committed in the wake of 9/11. (This is based on the actual events in DC a couple of weeks ago.)

It's becoming clearer and clearer to me that while the actual number of extremists in Islam might be a minority, they have the support of a large element within Islam. It is the moderate elements that really deserve the term "extremist," as they are the ones that are far from the mainstream of contemporary Islam. (I can't bring myself to use the term "modern," as they seem hopelessly trapped in the First Millenium.)

I'm not much of a Biblical student or Jewish scholar or Christian historian to fully explain what caused the "maturity" in Judaism or Christianity that ended their conquest phases, but I have a few theories:

1) Judaism was very aggressive in its early stages in conquering and settling the Promised Land, but their goal was clearly defined and met. They had no desire to "bring the Word of God" to the world; they simply wanted their place, and the rest of the world could go hang. The idea of an "evangelical Jew" is an oxymoron, and they make converting to Judaism a real effort.

2) Christianity's greatest age of conquest was when it was monolithic, under the Catholic Church. When the Church grew too concerned with worldly matters, it grew so corrupt that it prompted the Protestant Schism and permanently shattered much of the Church's temporal power. The rise of individual freedoms and the notion of separation of Church and State (formalized here, but common to various degrees in most Western states), along with the fragmenting of Christianity, has kept the Church from regaining anything resembling the power it held in Medieval times.

Islam has yet to have a similar experience. They have no clearly limited goal -- the world is divided into Dar Al-Islam, the House of Islam (the Islamic world) and Dar Al-Harb, the House of War (the rest of the world), and Dar Al-Islam must defeat and conquer Dar Al-Harb. And the schisms within Islam (Sunni, Shia, and the like) have not prompted a separation of Church and State, but instead a bitter rivalry that seems to promote atrocities against each other that rival those committed against us infidels. They've never learned how to "agree to disagree" as the major denominations of Christianity have to a large degree.

I don't know how to bring about this "Reformation" of Islam, but judging by history, two solutions work: 1) let them achieve their goals, and then move on, or 2) shatter their temporal power and force them to work on achieving their goals in a non-violent, non-conquering fashion. The former worked for the Jews, but Islam's stated goal is to bring their Faith to the whole world, and that's too high a price to pay. Pending a credible third notion, that leaves only the latter choice.

And that seems to be pretty much in line with what the Bush administration's current policies seem to be doing.




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Comments (32)

There's some room for diffe... (Below threshold)

There's some room for differences of opinion about Christianity's "age of conquest" and the actual motivations and forces that drove the Lutheran / Protestant Revolt. The Protestant schismatics, Luther and Calvin in particular, appear to have been much more avid for temporal power than the Church they claimed to want to reform. In this connection, you might find Harry W. Crocker's layman's history TRIUMPH: The Power And The Glory Of The Catholic Church to be of interest.

Excellent, Jay, but one sma... (Below threshold)

Excellent, Jay, but one small quibble

but Islam's stated goal is to bring their Faith to the whole world

That is a phrase in which Christianity operates, spreading the Faith through word and good works. One doesn't want to be Christian or Christian no longer? Oh well.

refusal to be moslem and to leave the faith carries with it a death sentence

It is NOT a coincidence that the TV show 24 hrs shied away from it's story line with moslem terrorists, or that TV/Hollywood has refused to make any contemporary fiction films with moslem bad guys (compare WWII films of the era) or Ridley Scott produced a whitewash of moslems as "epic" ... from Van Gogh to Rushdie to Fallaci, Islamists have demonstrated their ideology follows the demonstrated history of their founder ... usurp other cultures' achievements as your own, then slaughter all who will not sumit or convert.

It is not "bringing their Faith to the world", it is about violently subjugating the world to their Faith.

I, for one, will not have it.

The militant Islamists are ... (Below threshold)

The militant Islamists are not following the Qu'ran. See http://donsingleton.blogspot.com/2005/06/koran-versus-bible.html

"I, for one, will not have ... (Below threshold)

"I, for one, will not have it."

Darleen, cleary an unreconstructed old school Christian: "You want a Holy War? Bring it on!"

Ever wondered how many musl... (Below threshold)

Ever wondered how many muslims support suicide bombing? I estimate it at roughly 270 million of them.

I shouldn't speak for the r... (Below threshold)

I shouldn't speak for the rest of humanity but killing people because of alleged book abuse 10,000 miles away is not winning me over the idea that Islam is peace. Is book burnings moral grounds for war?

Personally, I can't get past the women are worth half of a man, polygamy, wife beating, and slave owning is okay. Where are the feminists on this issue? Pro-choicers really should say something.

Frame, are you capable of b... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Frame, are you capable of being anything BUT an idiot? One does not have to be an "unreconstructed old school Christian" to not want to be forced to convert to Islam.

But I forgot you think only in binary. "If you support the military, you must enlist immediately." "If the president was not 100% accurate on everything I think I remember him saying, he lied." "If you don't want to be forced to convert to Islam, you must be a Jesus freak."

My, what a simple world you live in. And what a small one. Pity it seems so separate from the real one.


frameoneI am not a... (Below threshold)


I am not a member of a church and my family background is decidely religiously mixed ... Mormon, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Jewish.

I am NOT an anonymous blogger such as you, "Click" is my family name and you are welcome to try and figure out which "unreconstructed" Christian sect it belongs to. Knock yerself out.

I am, however, decidely commited to Western Civilization in which Judaeo-Christian values are the artesian spring from which it sprung; most decidedly that sovereignty lies with the individual. Islamists find that as anathema to their collective-sovereignty ideology. Such is the superiority of the collective that individual lives are worth less than the "honor" of a family or the pages of a book "defiled" by kaffir touching.

But that collective mentality is what has made apologizing for Islamists so seductive to the Left.

Like is attracted to like.

I do not relish saying this... (Below threshold)

I do not relish saying this, but it will be adding some gasoline to this fire:

I've said it before on lots of other blogs (including my own) and I'll say it again: If Islam is to survive, it MUST have its own Reformation. If it does not, millions of our people (from Western Civilization) will inevitably die...and take all of Islam's 1.2 billion+ people with them!

Grendellthe word "... (Below threshold)


the word "islam" does not translate as "peace."

The translation of islAm is "submission."

Mohammed started with the sword... and by the video evidence, his followers use steak knives.

<a href="http://www.jpost.c... (Below threshold)
<a href="http://www.jpost.c... (Below threshold)
Okay, the comment system fu... (Below threshold)

Okay, the comment system fucked up for me three times. Sorry for the double sparse.

I think most discussion of ... (Below threshold)
Bill Massey:

I think most discussion of Moslem "terrorism" is a convoluted dance around reality. Forget theology and all the social and religious minutiae. 50+ years ago the Palestinians were forced to accept Zionists immigrants who took Palestine to form Israel with U.S. help. More than 20,000 Palestinians died in this process and almost a million were made refugees. Many of them and their descendents remain refugees 50 years later. Why wouldn't the Palestiniansand their co-religionists hate us? I favored the founding of Israel but in retrospect this looks like another of the disastrous decisions I have made. If I were a Moslem I would probably think a nuclear war wiping Israel and the U.S. off the face of the earth would be a very good thing. Knowing this and knowing that the U.S. and I have knowingly chosen to be enemies of the Moslems I reluctantly accept that a nuclear war with the Moslems is almost inevitable. I think our chances of surviving such a war would be much greater if we faced reality and prepared for it. I am afraid that "winning a nuclear war" may be an oxymoron and is too much to hope for.

yeah, BillNo jew e... (Below threshold)

yeah, Bill

No jew ever existed in "Palestine" before those damned Zionist immigrants. Indeed, there was no such thing as Jews anywhere in the whole of the ME prior to the Ashkenazi Jews "kicking" those Saracens...er Palestinians out.

that's the ticket.

Christianity in its beginin... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Christianity in its begining never intended to win converts through force, but through the work of the Holy Spirit living in them. As a matter of fact Paul counseled early Christians to obey the Roman government.

What corrupted Christianity was the intermingling of Church and State-during the dark and middle ages the Church welded great power, and was easily corruptable. The reformation did a lot to weaken that power, and while Christians had and still have a missionary zeal, they believe that conversion should be a free will decision, not one of force. Even the Crusades weren't about forcing the Muslims to become Christians, it was about retaking the Holy Land.

Islam on the other hand has long believed in conversion by force and I agree with Macker Islam is in the beginings of their own reformation.

Well said, Just Me. Any tim... (Below threshold)
Red Five:

Well said, Just Me. Any time man tries to mess around with God-given religion, especially when combining it with government, it ends up rather badly conceived (severe understatement, I know.)

I would add, about the original Jewish conquest of the land of Canaan 3500 years ago: Jay's comment about Jewish agression was essentially correct. I would just add that many of the Jews didn't even want to be there. They wanted to be back in Egypt as slaves, hence the 40 years of wandering in the Sinai Peninsula (an area smaller than many US states, I might note). God wanted His people to get rid of the pagan Canaanites so that their idols and religion would not negatively affect the Jews' worshipping of God. However, most of the northern tribes did not completely wipe out the indigenous population, which is why the northern 10 tribes had all but disappeared before Babylon invaded the south.

Jewish converts did exist in ancient times, but they were few and far between. God did allow for it in the additional laws He handed to Moses (outlined in Deuteronomy). There certainly was no "convert or die" mantra like there is in Islam. Christianity does not condone the practice; in fact, it is revolting. However, it is well-known that certain figures in the Church's past have had such a policy, unfortunate as it was. All mainstream sects of Christianity know now, of course, just how wrong that idea really is, and therefore have not practiced it for centuries.

What's wrong with you peopl... (Below threshold)

What's wrong with you people??? Convert or die???? Though Christains send millions of missionaries around the world, though they invest billions of dollars in trying to convert the world to christianity, muslim conversion is at a much higher rate. But I guess all those converts were "forced".

Fundamental Christians hate this reality, they fear it, so they try to fight back. But their only hope is to create half truths and lies to make any kind of arguement. It's ashame that many of you make these false statements as if they were "facts".

I hope God will guide us all to do what is right.


"The War against Jihadists"... (Below threshold)

"The War against Jihadists"

1) Fits.
2) Does not include too many people.
3) Doesn't include the word 'Submission' for those who insist on exercising a 'right to be offended'.
4) Includes all takers.
5) Has a discernible (if daunting) endpoint. It may even shift as more people believe the NYT's propaganda. The ultimate test of whether the pen truly is mightier than the sword.

So Real, you said:</... (Below threshold)

So Real, you said:

"Fundamental Christians hate this reality, they fear it, so they try to fight back. But their only hope is to create half truths and lies to make any kind of argument. It's ashame that many of you make these false statements as if they were "facts"."

Where's your proof for this accusation-or is it just more bigotry and prejudice on your part?

So RealI guess the... (Below threshold)

So Real

I guess the Hamas Convenant and its talk of Waqf is a Western plot? Osama's (along with Islamic Jihad) fatwa against the West and Jews is a Rovian Conspiracy? That it was not Islamists but Xtian/Zionst men in black who videotaped the beheadings of Danny Pearl, Nick Berg et al while screaming "Allah Akbar"?

Not to mention, I suppose, the whole historial event of "dhimmitude" is just a bit of propaganda from....eh, no one really expects the Spanish Inquisition??

"half truths" my ass.

Back under your burka, Real.

Separation of Church and St... (Below threshold)

Separation of Church and State is nothing more than a form of heresy, called 'Americanism', and explicitly condemned by the Pope.

Heresy is a mortal sin, meaning you will go straight to Hell if you believe in that.


I'm perfectly willing to ro... (Below threshold)

I'm perfectly willing to rot in Hell for supporting secular government, so long as Jefferson's with me and Hitler and Pat Robertson aren't.

I know, minnie, you're such... (Below threshold)

I know, minnie, you're such a twit you think no one will really read your link

which says nothing you claim

go snivel in your hovel.

Wow Darleen. Glad to know y... (Below threshold)

Wow Darleen. Glad to know you are "decidely commited" to Western Civilization. Welcome aboard. After all who could resist a dip in the cool, clear "artesian springs" of Judeo-Christian morality. Are these the same springs that you use for your "post-coitus douche" whenyou;re out of Islamic cola? You're a classy broad, Darleen. Western Civilization is in great hands.

And J, thanks for the clarification.

So you don't have to be Christian to fear being forced to convert to Islam? Fascinating. Let's step back a bit from this observation to get a better look at the brink.

Do you seriously believe that America is in danger of being "forced to convert to Islam" any time soon or, well, ever? Do you honestly believe that this is what is at stake in this age, the defense of Western Civilization against Islam rising up to convert the Western world?

Do you both imagine yourselves strident righteous defenders of Western Civlization itself as you blog endlessly about the evils of Islam and its savage inhuman followers, ancient cults, secret covenants and sinister protocols? Are their vast armies of swarthy dark people rising up to subjugate our good, clean, bright, righteous artesian springs unless we blog, blog, blog until the world hears our warning?

This sounds like reality to you? And I'm the one that thinks in binaries?

I may be an idiot but you're batshit crazy.

With regards to Judaism, yo... (Below threshold)

With regards to Judaism, you are wrong when you state that "They had no desire to "bring the Word of God" to the world." In fact, this is the whole mission of the Jewish people. The term "chosen people" does not refer to any notion of perceived superiority, but rather the mission of the Jew, which is to "bring the Word of God" to the world.

The difference is that practicing Jews believe the way to do this is to lead by example, by following the Torah, and not by forcing the religion down other people's throats. This is because Judaism is not an exclusionary religion, in the sense that we don't believe that you have to be Jewish in order to lead moral lives.

Sweet Jesus, frameone, what... (Below threshold)

Sweet Jesus, frameone, what is it about your Leftist/collectist world view that demands that Western Civ advocates like me cannot engage in sarcastic humor?

Wow, frameone, you really a... (Below threshold)

Wow, frameone, you really are quite the black belt at straw-man bashing, aren't you?

So you don't have to be Christian to fear being forced to convert to Islam? Fascinating.

Well, no, you don't. And actually, it's not so much fear of the conversion, as the fear of being slaughtered if I refuse to convert. (See, I'm not really worried about some goober with a long beard and a nightshirt blathering on about the evils of miniskirts. It's his crazed followers with IEDs that frighten me.) But of course, it's not like Muslims have a history of slaughtering us infidels, or anything. Where do we get such crazy ideas?

Do you seriously believe that America is in danger of being "forced to convert to Islam" any time soon or, well, ever?

No, meaning that I don't think Islamist attempts to do so will succeed. That's not really the problem. The problem is that they will try, because they consider it their "sacred duty," and because to them, non-Muslims (or even Muslim "apostates") are not full-fledged people: they are chattel, if not cattle, who can be killed at will or taken as property. They are quite proud of this, as you would learn from even a cursory examination of their own rhetoric. And they don't need to conquer or convert us entirely, in order to slaughter us in large numbers. (Nor would such a putative conversion stop the slaughter, as we keep learning in Pakistan.)

Do you honestly believe that this is what is at stake in this age, the defense of Western Civilization against Islam rising up to convert the Western world?

Define "this age." Certainly, a few hundred years ago, we had the epic struggle of Christianity and Islam. Islam largely lost, and Christianity moved on, eventually turned more ecumenical and tolerant, and became known simply as "the West." Has Islam? Well, we still have bin Laden calling for a reversal of "the tragedy of Andalusia," and he is allegedly "a hero" to much of the Ummah. We still have rhetoric of "infidels." We have Saudi Arabia prohibiting the Bible, Jordan with laws mandating death for openly practicing any religion not Islam, the Taliban destroying the Bamiyan Buddhas, and the entire Muslim world -- from Tunisia to Indonesia -- with its abaya in a twist over the fact that Jews dare live on a few square miles of the Levant, or that a microscopic quantity of infidel urine might hit issue #1592510325 of the "holy Qu'ran." So you tell us -- is there still an epic conflict between dar-ul-Islam and dar-ul-Harb? Or are you under the impression that the whole world thinks the way you do?

Do you both imagine yourselves strident righteous defenders of Western Civlization itself as you blog endlessly about the evils of Islam

I don't know what Jay imagines himself as, but I think it's worthwhile to keep reminding people that Islam is not "a religion of peace" or anything else its apologists try to sell it as. I think it's important to remember that there is a conflict, and that one side of it thinks nothing of driving planes into skyscrapers or killing their own female offspring for the crime of walking next to a member of the opposite sex, while some on the other side apparently can't bear the thought that we might offend their tender Islamic sensibilities, thus prompting them to, say, kill 17 of their own co-religionists over a rumor of their "holy" book meeting that ugly western infidel concept of indoor plumbing. That seems important somehow. It'd be nice if we saw this on the BBC, the NYT, or at least in the occasional movie, but apparently those are all too busy getting outraged over the inhuman practice of making terrorists wear panties for a hat. So that leaves Jay, LGF, and the other bloggers.

Are their vast armies of swarthy dark people rising up to subjugate our good, clean, bright, righteous artesian springs unless we blog, blog, blog until the world hears our warning?

This sounds like reality to you? And I'm the one that thinks in binaries?

"Subjugate our ...righteous artesian springs"? Is there some kind of Geneva Convention about the torture of metaphors? And have I complimented you recently on your straw-man bashing skills?

Guess what: the Islamist threat is real. It is made up of many people whose religious beliefs make them murderous and, for lack of a better term, vile. Whether you admit it or not. Whether you like talking about it or not, it is a much more pressing concern than phantom prisoner "abuse" at Guantanamo.

That's reality. How sad that you can't seem to handle it without juvenile whining. Sad, but unsurprising.

Here is my two cents<... (Below threshold)

Here is my two cents

just like you have Republicans in Name Only, you have Catholic Jews and yes even Muslims in Name Only

the reality is that with any religious document you can emphasize and deemphasize those parts of the religion as the historical context changes and as circumstances demand -after all most major religions condoned slavery but they changed their tune as the times changed.......

because hey, the Muslims got the stoning idea from the Jews though even the Jews were rarely stoning adulterers at the time of Islam's inception....

a Muslim has just written a new book which I think will be worth a read, his name is Reza Aslan I believe and he argues, just like the Iranian professor who was sentenced to death by the Mullahs for blasphemy, that much in the Koran has to be taken in historical context and that Muslims need to view the Koran within the times they now live.......he also points out all the ways the Wahabbis get it wrong even considering the correct context......

like the killing of Jews and Christians sections, which were spoken in the context of a specific period in time anyway.......the Wahabbis have distorted this, taking everything in the Koran as well as the hadith, the latter being terribly suspect in the first place, as quite literal

Islam has already splintered off into many sects and the experts will tell you that most Muslims are now Asians and with the exception of Pakistan, which seems to be moving towards Wahabi style Islam each and every day, that the Islam practiced by most Asians isn't the pure form preferred by the Islamists but a melding of Islam and Asian religious and cultural traditions, which has made it a milder form of Islam, which is why you have Islamists and Al Queda waging war in Indonesia, trying to force their brand of Islam on Indonesians as well as the Phillipines and elsewhere - if the majority of Muslims reject the Wahabbis, for a variety of reasons, that is a good thing IMO

there are other sects of Islam like Ishmailis Muslims, a sect deriving out of Iran, which is very liberal, they are accepting of gays etc, they use the Koran as a guide not as something set in stone

look at all the different sects of Christianity - you make a religion what you want of it, ultimately and that depends on cultural context as well

even the Catholic Church, despite protestations to the contrary has had to change and has changed over the course of its history, even if in very minor ways, and if you were Martin Luther you'd consider the Catholic Church an abomination of the Christian Church in the first place - the theory being that the Catholic Church was a merging of Roman and Christian rituals just as Islam is a merging of Judaism, Christianity and Arab cultural and pagan traditions.....because hey, ultimately recruitment is the goal of most religions except Judaism......

for example what would happen if Muslims actually had to study the Torah and the Gospel, as really they should if you accept that the Koran accepts the Torah and the Gospel as part of the word of Allah, what if Muslism actually had to study the preachings of Jesus Christ and then how do you reconcile the teachings of Jesus Christ and many of the other Jewish prophets with the teachings of Mohammad etc.....certainly give one pause for thought......there is another sect of Islam, called the Sufis who are like the rabbinical scholars of Judaism, and I have spoken to someone who claims to be a Sufi, someone who has studied Islam in a specific way, intensely, for a long time, and he will tell you that the Wahabbis have it so far wrong it is sad he says, [he laments that most Muslims do not practice nor understand Islam properly] but then I am also aware that he could be stringing me along because that's another principal of Islam, lull the infidel into a false sense of security, and I've lost contact with him, I'd have liked to have broached that whole subject with him.....

lastly yes Christianity urges spreading the word of God all over the world but Christianity has never used the sword to spread their religion, as noted above, the Crusades was about getting the Muslims, who came uninvited, out of the Holy Lands not about making Muslims Christians though that certainly wasn't the case with the Muslims in the first place, and the nice thing about Christians, if you want to leave the church, that's OK.....

E. Nough -- I'll give you t... (Below threshold)

E. Nough -- I'll give you the tortured metaphor zing. That should have been "defiled." As for the artesian springs reference scroll back up to the Mother of All Western Civ, Darleen.

What I don't get, and I'm not really sure why my confusion consitutes whining, is how "many people" consitutes such an intense threat to the existence of both the United States and Western Civilization.

I'm sure that the Islamist threat is real and I'm equally sure it is made up of "many people" and that those people have some pretty strong religious views that they use to rationalize some pretty vile things.

But how many is "many"? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions? If its millions, yeah we might have problem. But I'd venture to guess that the problem isn't that big -- unless we want to make it that big by radically overstating our response to terrorism. Sadly, there will always be suicide bombers, their numbers of willing fanatics may fluctuate up and down but it'll never reach a level where millions or even the mid six figures are willing to kill themselves at any one time to destory Western Civilization. Like most Americans, I wajor the vast, vast majority of Muslims around the world juts want be left alone to earn their daily bread. Now there's a real easy way to turn this vast majority of "leave me alone" folks into the "Death to America" folks. It's called unending war in their backyards. No doubt 9-11 radicalized a shitload of Americans, many of those so radicalized, post comments here. But notice how the vast majority of Americans just want know that their safety is being looked after, that the guilty brought to justice and that we just get back to earning our daily bread. They don't want to turn this thing into a freaking Holy War. Many people here seem to want to do just that by quietly turning "many people" into Islam itself. That's just crazy.

Frameone, I realize where t... (Below threshold)

Frameone, I realize where the Artesian Springs reference came from. I thought Darleen used it capably and correctly. My straw-man comment referred to your nightmare scenario of "swarthy men" -- a clear implication that this is really about race. It isn't. I don't care about the skin tone of the men who carry out atrocities in the name of their religion. I don't even care about which religion they belong to. I just want them stopped.

You ask a good question about the numbers. It's really the key to the problem, isn't it: how many people are we talking about? Is it a few, a few thousand, a few million? Well -- you know what? -- it really is a few million. Maybe a few thousand are willing to do the actual killing, but a lot more support them.

How do I know? Have a look at the reaction to the "flushed Koran" story: worldwide riots, baying for blood, 17 killed. Clearly, it doesn't take much to get Muslims angry enough to start some serious grade-A rioting. Now compare it to the reaction to the Beslan story. ...Or, you know, the total lack of reaction. Not one protest. Not much in the way of condemnation. Certainly no riots. First-graders gunned down in a school gym? Hey, just another day in the conflict with the infidels.

I wrote some more about this on my own blog a while back. Basically, it seems that Muslims are more offended at trivial damage to a book, than in unspeakable crimes done in their name. Not just a select few: most of them. Or, at least, those that seem to have any voice. So what conclusion shall we draw?

I'm trying to keep this brief, so if you want a more substantive argument, you can have a look at some comments I left back in March at Jeff Jarvis's blog. (Look for a comment in my name, left on March 22, 2005, at 4:44 PM.) It doesn't talk about conquest per se, but rather at how we non-Muslims should judge Muslim societies.

I'm willing to accept that "most" Muslims are peaceful and don't support conflict with us infidels. I'd just like to see some evidence. Because so far, all I see is glaring evidence to the contrary.

I may have lost my point in... (Below threshold)

I may have lost my point in my last post since I was angered by the ridiculous statements such as "Islam says convert or die".

You ask for proof that fundamentalist Christians lie or give half truths to make an arguement, we don't have all day, but I'll give a quick example of each.

Example of a Lie:

Pat Robertson says Muslims don't follow the 10 commendments because they don't worship God/Jehova, they worship Allah. But in the arabic bible the word "Allah" appears thousands of times. Allah, is the same God of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Noah, Jesus, etc.

Example of Half Truth:

Jerry Falwell calls the prophet Muhammad a pedophile for marrying a 9 year old. Actually the prophet did marry Aishe at 12. But in those times this was common and normal. Not just in Asia, but in Europe too...
for example: Shakespere's Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is 13 years old, and when Capulet tells Paris the Juliett is too young to get married. Paris replies, "Younger than she are happy mothers made", The commentary of the play claims that in Shakesperes time it was very common for 12 year old girls to be married and even have children.

.... I can give more examples but I'll stop there

Yes, there are Muslim criminals who claim their acts is based on islam, I don't claim this is a conspiricy. But one must look at the whole picture to assess a problem, it's far more complicated and generalizing can be dangerous. Also, sometimes you have to look in the mirror to see what you might have contributed, and what you can change.

Again, I wasn't attacking Christianity. I apologize if I offended anyone.






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