Does Islam bear any blame?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Does Islam bear any blame?

    It appears the suspects were motivated by religious teachings from Islamic doctrine.  

     

    With so much terrorism done in the name of Islam as compared to other faiths should we be asking why so many people find justification for terrorism in the teachings, and why so many others cheer or are complicit in acts of terrorism.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from mef429. Show mef429's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    In response to shenanigan's comment:

    It appears the suspects were motivated by religious teachings from Islamic doctrine.  

     

    With so much terrorism done in the name of Islam as compared to other faiths should we be asking why so many people find justification for terrorism in the teachings, and why so many others cheer or are complicit in acts of terrorism.

    what about the millions of people slaughtered because they wouldn't convert to Christianity??

    If you're going to bash Islam don't be hypocritical about it and ignore the history of your own religion using the same avenues.

    Christianity = Islam in so many ways, in both mythology and history.

    and the fraction of Muslims who are violent and intollerant of other religions don't speak for the entirety of the religion. How would you like it if your religion was defined by the actions of the whackos at the Westborro baptist church?

    don't be ignorant..

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    I'm an Atheist.  Millions of people have not been slaughtered for failing to convert to Christianity. 

    Fact is, the Quran, Hadith, and Sura call for death to unbelievers many times and many other laws that are in juxtaposition to our modern interpretation of human rights.

     

    While there are always those who murder in the name some faith or even in the name of atheism those people are few and far between.  There are only a handful of terrorist acts committed in the name of Christianity or Buddhism, or Hinduism the last ten years and those acts have always been openly condemned by those around the world of the same faith.  There are terrorist bombings around the world almost daily from radical Islamic followers and the acts are often openly supported by people in Islamic countries.  

    I think it's a fair question to ask whether the doctrine of Islam actually calls for terrorism.  If not, why do so many people interpret that way?

    Pretending radical Islamic terrorism is not a more prevalent threat than other beliefs does not make it true.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    Hot button topic, to be sure. I know two Muslims who I consider good friends, and they are peaceful, terrific people. They went through hell after 9/11, and I'm sure they'll  hear a lot of crap now.

    The KKK has murdered hundreds if not thousands in the name of Christianity. Timothy McVeigh was raised a Catholic.

     

     

     
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  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    In response to LloydDobler's comment:

     

    Hot button topic, to be sure. I know two Muslims who I consider good friends, and they are peaceful, terrific people. They went through hell after 9/11, and I'm sure they'll  hear a lot of crap now.

    The KKK has murdered hundreds if not thousands in the name of Christianity. Timothy McVeigh was raised a Catholic.

     

     

     



    People are murdered around the world for all sorts of reasons but I'm talking about those specifically motivated by religion.  McVeigh was not motivated by Christianity.  

     

    I'm not sure I would consider the KKK a Christian organization, it is a white supremacist organization.  Their crimes were racially motivated and it was not open to all Christians.  Today, the KKK ideology is recognized as hateful doctrine, and criticized by the vast majority of people.  You could not walk around and say you are a KKK member without people judging you as a bigot (fairly).  

    The same is not true for someone who says they are Muslim.  While Islam has critics most people simply think it is a religion like any other religion and assume it shares a similar ideology to other religions.  

    Should we judge the Islamic ideology the way we judge the KKK ideology, as a hateful doctrine?  Muslims are as varied as any other group and can choose to focus on certain parts or ignore other parts of Islamic teachings.  Many Muslims are good people, and do charitable things.  But are they following Islamic Doctrine?  Why are a disproportionate amount of terrorists finding justification in the Quran compared to other religions?

    Islamic doctrine either does, or doesn't teach killing in the name of Islam.  It can't be both, I think it's reasonable to look at the doctrine for answers.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    In response to shenanigan's comment:

    People are murdered around the world for all sorts of reasons but I'm talking about those specifically motivated by religion.  McVeigh was not motivated by Christianity.  

    I'm not sure I would consider the KKK a Christian organization, it is a white supremacist organization.  Their crimes were racially motivated and it was not open to all Christians.  Today, the KKK ideology is recognized as hateful doctrine, and criticized by the vast majority of people.  You could not walk around and say you are a KKK member without people judging you as a bigot (fairly).  

    The same is not true for someone who says they are Muslim.  While Islam has critics most people simply think it is a religion like any other religion and assume it shares a similar ideology to other religions.  

    Should we judge the Islamic ideology the way we judge the KKK ideology, as a hateful doctrine?  Muslims are as varied as any other group and can choose to focus on certain parts or ignore other parts of Islamic teachings.  Many Muslims are good people, and do charitable things.  But are they following Islamic Doctrine?  Why are a disproportionate amount of terrorists finding justification in the Quran compared to other religions?

    Islamic doctrine either does, or doesn't teach killing in the name of Islam.  It can't be both, I think it's reasonable to look at the doctrine for answers.


    Oh no, I wasn't calling the KKK a Christian organization. However, it considers itself a Christian organization, hence the buring cross. I don't consider the KKK a Christian organization any more than I consider Al Qaeda is a Muslim organization.

     

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from mef429. Show mef429's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    In response to LloydDobler's comment:

    In response to shenanigan's comment:

     

    People are murdered around the world for all sorts of reasons but I'm talking about those specifically motivated by religion.  McVeigh was not motivated by Christianity.  

    I'm not sure I would consider the KKK a Christian organization, it is a white supremacist organization.  Their crimes were racially motivated and it was not open to all Christians.  Today, the KKK ideology is recognized as hateful doctrine, and criticized by the vast majority of people.  You could not walk around and say you are a KKK member without people judging you as a bigot (fairly).  

    The same is not true for someone who says they are Muslim.  While Islam has critics most people simply think it is a religion like any other religion and assume it shares a similar ideology to other religions.  

    Should we judge the Islamic ideology the way we judge the KKK ideology, as a hateful doctrine?  Muslims are as varied as any other group and can choose to focus on certain parts or ignore other parts of Islamic teachings.  Many Muslims are good people, and do charitable things.  But are they following Islamic Doctrine?  Why are a disproportionate amount of terrorists finding justification in the Quran compared to other religions?

    Islamic doctrine either does, or doesn't teach killing in the name of Islam.  It can't be both, I think it's reasonable to look at the doctrine for answers.

     


    Oh no, I wasn't calling the KKK a Christian organization. However, it considers itself a Christian organization, hence the buring cross. I don't consider the KKK a Christian organization any more than I consider Al Qaeda is a Muslim organization.

     

     



    +1

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    In response to LloydDobler's comment:

    In response to shenanigan's comment:

     

    People are murdered around the world for all sorts of reasons but I'm talking about those specifically motivated by religion.  McVeigh was not motivated by Christianity.  

    I'm not sure I would consider the KKK a Christian organization, it is a white supremacist organization.  Their crimes were racially motivated and it was not open to all Christians.  Today, the KKK ideology is recognized as hateful doctrine, and criticized by the vast majority of people.  You could not walk around and say you are a KKK member without people judging you as a bigot (fairly).  

    The same is not true for someone who says they are Muslim.  While Islam has critics most people simply think it is a religion like any other religion and assume it shares a similar ideology to other religions.  

    Should we judge the Islamic ideology the way we judge the KKK ideology, as a hateful doctrine?  Muslims are as varied as any other group and can choose to focus on certain parts or ignore other parts of Islamic teachings.  Many Muslims are good people, and do charitable things.  But are they following Islamic Doctrine?  Why are a disproportionate amount of terrorists finding justification in the Quran compared to other religions?

    Islamic doctrine either does, or doesn't teach killing in the name of Islam.  It can't be both, I think it's reasonable to look at the doctrine for answers.

     


    Oh no, I wasn't calling the KKK a Christian organization. However, it considers itself a Christian organization, hence the buring cross. I don't consider the KKK a Christian organization any more than I consider Al Qaeda is a Muslim organization.

     

     



    Ok, I'm still not sure I would consider them a Christian terrorist organization because it was never my impression that they were justifying their actions with the bible as much as their race, certainly not the way Al Quada affiliates itself with Islam.  KKK was also anti- Catholic but let's just say they are Christian terrorists.  

    That still leaves us with an organization in the KKK who has very few members nearly non-existent support from the vast majority of Christians and whites.  I would say that their support would be something less than fraction of a percent around the world.  Al Quada on the other hand has support from nearly 1/3 of American Muslims according to polls and 20 to 30 percent of people in many Islamic countries.  I can buy that a small fringe element of any group will always find ways to justify violence but I have a hard time understanding how millions of people keep misinterpreting Islamic teachings in the same way, and a disproportionate amount not only support but act on those "misinterpretations".

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    In response to shenanigan's comment:

    Ok, I'm still not sure I would consider them a Christian terrorist organization because it was never my impression that they were justifying their actions with the bible as much as their race, certainly not the way Al Quada affiliates itself with Islam.  KKK was also anti- Catholic but let's just say they are Christian terrorists.  

    That still leaves us with an organization in the KKK who has very few members nearly non-existent support from the vast majority of Christians and whites.  I would say that their support would be something less than fraction of a percent around the world.  Al Quada on the other hand has support from nearly 1/3 of American Muslims according to polls and 20 to 30 percent of people in many Islamic countries.  I can buy that a small fringe element of any group will always find ways to justify violence but I have a hard time understanding how millions of people keep misinterpreting Islamic teachings in the same way, and a disproportionate amount not only support but act on those "misinterpretations".



    Can you tell  me where you saw that data? One-thirds of American Muslims supporting Al Qaeda would really surprise me. You're right, the KKK's numbers are significantly down now, but in its prime it had as many as 6 million members nationwide.

    My point is this: I don't blame Islam as a religion for the terrorist activity of these knuckleheads any more than I blame Christianity for the action of the Klan (or the Westboro Baptist Church,  etc.) You raise an excellent point, however, on how the Quran can inspire its followers in vastly different ways.

     

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    In and of itself..? No it does not. Radical and extreme interpretation of anything..particularly religious doctrine often runs very counter to the true message of said religion.  The only people who bear blame in this are the people who perpetrated the crime or who knew about it and said nothing.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    Consider the following story.

    I'm a Muslim American raised by Muslim parents who always taught me Islam is peaceful and to love others.  I received the same message at the mosque.  I was never a leader in the mosque but I believed that if I did good things and love my wife and kids than I am a good Muslim.  Like all Muslims I was taught that the Quran was the direct word of god as told by the Angel Gabriel to Mohommad.  The words were memorized by Mohommad's followers and are literally unchanged over 1400 years.  It is forbidden to question commands from the Quran.

    Now one day I decide I will read the Quran myself and I find the following passages-

     

    "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them." Quran 2:191 

    "Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood." Quran 9:123

    "When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them." Quran 9:5

    "Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable." Quran 3:85 

    "The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them."... Quran 9:30 

    "Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam" Quran 5:33 

    "Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies." Koran 22:19

    "The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them." Quran 8:65

    "Muslims must not take the infidels as friends." Quran 3:28

    "Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur'an." Quran 8:12

    "Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels." Quran 8:60

     

    Now these passages do not seem to represent the Islam I know.  I think to myself, "am I misunderstanding the passages?"  "Is there a context I don't understand here?"  Maybe I go to my Mosque for clarification.

    What if I'm not well adjusted.  What if I'm in a life crisis?  Or just someone naturally prone to violence?  What if when I go to the mosque for an explanation I find a Imam like the one the brothers were listening to?

    These are real passages.  Now you can say I have a bad translation or that I don't understand the context and your probably right.  But if I can find these anyone can.  And there is a not insignificant amount of people who do believe these are commands to kill.

    So I say we need to stop pretending these passages don't exist and stop equivocating.

    We need to have a public debate about these passages, not for my sake because I don't believe any of it anyway.  But for the guy out there with a Quran and questions.  Obviously most Muslims are peaceful, and most Muslims have a justification for these verses.  Lets hear them, people need to hear them so they can understand.  Why didn't the brothers hear the reasons?  Because we just don't talk about it.

    That is my solution for radical Islam, if you have a better one I'm happy to hear it.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    In response to LloydDobler's comment:

     

    In response to shenanigan's comment:

     

    Ok, I'm still not sure I would consider them a Christian terrorist organization because it was never my impression that they were justifying their actions with the bible as much as their race, certainly not the way Al Quada affiliates itself with Islam.  KKK was also anti- Catholic but let's just say they are Christian terrorists.  

    That still leaves us with an organization in the KKK who has very few members nearly non-existent support from the vast majority of Christians and whites.  I would say that their support would be something less than fraction of a percent around the world.  Al Quada on the other hand has support from nearly 1/3 of American Muslims according to polls and 20 to 30 percent of people in many Islamic countries.  I can buy that a small fringe element of any group will always find ways to justify violence but I have a hard time understanding how millions of people keep misinterpreting Islamic teachings in the same way, and a disproportionate amount not only support but act on those "misinterpretations".

     



    Can you tell  me where you saw that data? One-thirds of American Muslims supporting Al Qaeda would really surprise me. You're right, the KKK's numbers are significantly down now, but in its prime it had as many as 6 million members nationwide.

     

    My point is this: I don't blame Islam as a religion for the terrorist activity of these knuckleheads any more than I blame Christianity for the action of the Klan (or the Westboro Baptist Church,  etc.) You raise an excellent point, however, on how the Quran can inspire its followers in vastly different ways.

     

     



    I am incorrect sir, I read the headline which said that statement based on only 70% of US Muslims finding Al Qaeda very unfavorable.  When I went back and read the entire report it showed that 5% view it favorably, and 11 percent somewhat unfavorable.  I find the numbers higher than I would like but they are nowhere near what I said.  I apologize for the error.

    the numbers for other countries were correct.

     

    http://people-press.org/files/2011/08/muslim-american-report.pdf

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    shenanigan, you are right to bring this discussion here rather than in the Patriots forum where it began.  I posted one more response for you there. 

    I'll just reiterate here my basic point from the other discussion. 

    There are many reasons why extremism has grown in the Middle East.  In my opinion, the primary reason has to do with economic and political decline in the region stimulated in large part by economic competition and damaging political interactions between the Middle East and the West. Islam, like any major religion, is a highly complex and multi-faceted phenomenon, which can be used for good or evil.  Many extremists have cloaked their violent ideologies in religious language.  This doesn't however make the whole religion "hateful" (a term you used earlier).  Religion has always been used by ideologues (especially violent ones) to make their views seem divinely ordained and absolutely right.  This isn't anything peculiar to Islam. 

    Real progress ending extremism in the Middle East will come through economic and political reform.  This will require counter arguments to the extreme Islamic ideology of groups like Al Qeda and the Taliban, but there is plenty to work with, both in the good side of Islam and in the increasing interest among Middle Easterners in more secular ideas of human rights and democracy. 

     

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    Shenanigan makes a good point...but you will find these same types of statements in some books of the Bible..especially in the Old Testament. Again...it is an extremist view. I don't take anything in the old testament literally. You simply can't. If the argument is that perhaps the person is already susceptible to such suggestions..well that is still not the fault of Islam. Islam is the biggest religion existing in the world today. The number of extremists is a tiny fraction..but sadly one that gets the most attention.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

     

    shenanigan, you are right to bring this discussion here rather than in the Patriots forum where it began.  I posted one more response for you there. 

    I'll just reiterate here my basic point from the other discussion. 

    There are many reasons why extremism has grown in the Middle East.  In my opinion, the primary reason has to do with economic and political decline in the region stimulated in large part by economic competition and damaging political interactions between the Middle East and the West.

    This does not pass the logic test.  The Middle East is its most prosperous in centuries due oil reserves from the last 50 years.  Extremism has risen at the same time as prosperity.  A more logical narrative would be one related to the rise of Wahhabiism in the early 20th century which calls for a return to the fundamental principles outlined in the Quran.  These followers interpret violent Quran passages like Mohommad's followers did in his day (violently).  Saudi Arabia (which is of course Mecca) has reportedly spent 87 billion to export their fundamentalist (Wahaabi) brand of Islam. In short, the rise of extremism is more related to prosperity (more of it) creating an ability to transport fundamentalism through modern transportation.

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

     

    Islam, like any major religion, is a highly complex and multi-faceted phenomenon, which can be used for good or evil.  

    This is simply moral relativism, judge Islam based on its merits, don't just say "It's complex and multifaceted" because that's just a cover meaning "I really don't know jack about Islam so I'm going to assume its like every other religion."  It clearly is not like every other religion today, perhaps we should ask why (or maybe even crack open the Quran and ask questions) instead of judging it for what we want it to be.

    Many extremists have cloaked their violent ideologies in religious language. 

    This doesn't however make the whole religion "hateful" (a term you used earlier).  

    Did I say the whole religion was hateful?  No, I did not.  Now I would like to keep the conversation honest so please do not lie.  This sentence was clearly meant to discredit me to anyone reading by suggesting I called a whole religion hateful.  I said we need to address the Islam publically because a large part is hateful.  I would consider movements like Hezbollah, Al Quaeda, the Islamic brotherhood, etc a large part because they comprise millions of people and clearly have worldwide influence.

    Religion has always been used by ideologues (especially violent ones) to make their views seem divinely ordained and absolutely right.  This isn't anything peculiar to Islam. 

    We live in the present.  The only religion with a terrorist problem on a large scale is Islam.  To deny this is like denying the sky is blue.  Lets address the problems of today, I'll worry about the problems in Christianity from 500 years ago at a later date.

    Real progress ending extremism in the Middle East will come through economic and political reform.  This will require counter arguments to the extreme Islamic ideology of groups like Al Qeda and the Taliban, but there is plenty to work with, both in the good side of Islam and in the increasing interest among Middle Easterners in more secular ideas of human rights and democracy. 

    I've already addressed the economic and political reform.  Which you seem to think political reform is not related to Islam in areas of the world under Sharia law that are literally Islamic theocracies.  How exactly do you intend to address the political situation of a theocracy with addressing the religous situation?  Earlier you told me I was wrong about bringing debate and criticism about Islam for change, now it's part of your solution.  You appear to be throwing out buzzwords like "political and economic change" in some absurdly vague attempt at a response.  

     

     




     

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    Oil wealth is hardly evenly distributed across the Middle East, and except for Arabs in the oil rich Gulf States, the vast majority of the people are poor.  Even in the oil rich states, the great wealth has produced an odd society of many wealthy people with little to do.  I'm not sure that's a fully healthy situation either. Bored rich kids looking for meaning in their lives can be as dangerous as the radicalized poor.  Combine the two and you get a wealthy bin Laden leading a terrorist militia recruited from impoverished backwaters in Afghanistan.

    But let's cut to the chase here.  I'm willing to look at Islam and the Middle East as a complex place with many different currents, some good some bad, that we can influence positively only if we recognize and respect what is good and focus on that at least as much as we focus on what's bad.  You seem to be unable to find much at all good in Islam or the Middle East and view Islam with great skepticism as an "ideology" that has an inherent and apparently dominant violent streak.

    Let's assume for a moment that you are right and Islam is a failed and corrupt religion that is more in line with ideologies like Nazism then with other religions.  What then?  How do you propose we change it? Do you think Westerners preaching to Muslims about the flaws of their religion and culture will work? Do you think you can convert them? Or is your approach to consider them enemies and use force to contain or subdue them? I just don't know where you can go from where you are unless you want to go to war. 

     

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Muzwell. Show Muzwell's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    Oh you guys again. I venture out of the Patriots board so infrequently and here you are... What did Michael Corleone say, "just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in"...something like that.

    This moral relativism that shenanigan refers to is going to kill us, literally. Why can't we realize that, for whatever reason, a certain very significant portion of Muslims want to kill us and our children? We're infidels and that's that. There are a billion Muslims and an awful lot of them support terrorism. That's just a fact.

    This nonsense about Christianity being just as bad and Timothy McVeigh and the KKK and blah, blah, blah, is just claptrap. McVeigh was an anti-government wacko (who happened to be Christian) and the KKK, whatever their motives, has been a non-entity for 50 years. There is no connection or relation to Islamic jihad. 

    There are no credible threats anywhere in the world, of Christian terrorists. There are violent people who are Christian, just as there are violent people who are Buddhist or Hindu or atheist.

    But there is only one faith of which a significant number of its adherents either actively kill and maim, or who materially or otherwise support killing and maiming, in the name of their religion.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:

    Oil wealth is hardly evenly distributed across the Middle East, and except for Arabs in the oil rich Gulf States, the vast majority of the people are poor.  Even in the oil rich states, the great wealth has produced an odd society of many wealthy people with little to do.  I'm not sure that's a fully healthy situation either. Bored rich kids looking for meaning in their lives can be as dangerous as the radicalized poor.  Combine the two and you get a wealthy bin Laden leading a terrorist militia recruited from impoverished backwaters in Afghanistan.

    Then what about other poor countries?  Where are the suicide bombers from other poor countries that aren't Islamic?  Or I guess your also saying being rich is the problem now.  Easily disprovable statement made by you and backed with no evidence again.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=murdercide

    "The belief that suicide bombers are poor, uneducated, disaffected or disturbed is contradicted by science. Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, found in a study of 400 Al Qaeda members that three quarters of his sample came from the upper or middle class."

    So now it's the middle class also.  Yes, we will solve this problem by getting rid of the poor, middle class and rich people.

     

    But let's cut to the chase here.  I'm willing to look at Islam and the Middle East as a complex place with many different currents, some good some bad, that we can influence positively only if we recognize and respect what is good and focus on that at least as much as we focus on whats bad.

    You are not focusing on what's bad, you are denying it, which contradicts this statement.

     You seem to be unable to find much at all good in Islam or the Middle East and view Islam with great skepticism as an "ideology" that has an inherent and apparently dominant violent streak.

    We keep going in circles.  To say "Islam today is an ideology that has a large part that is violent" is frankly just plain common sense.  But that statement makes you uncomfortable so you say "No, that's not Islam."  So I show you the Quran passages that are violent and are followed by Al Quada and Hezbollah and the Muslim brotherhood to preach violence (which are huge groups with many followers) you get uncomfortable so you tell me Bible passages are just as violent so you don't have to admit those are parts of Islam.  When I point out to you that there is no equivalent in Christianity or any other religion to the violence commited by extremist Muslims today you talk about Christians from hundreds of years ago.  When I tell you we are addressing problems of the present you go into some malarkey about "complex socio-economic situations and poverty" which is already disproven.

    Let's assume for a moment that you are right and Islam is a failed and corrupt religion that is more in line with ideologies like Nazism then with other religions.  What then?  How do you propose we change it? Do you think Westerners preaching to Muslims about the flaws of their religion and culture will work?

    Yes, I think it will work.

    Do you think you can convert them?

    Convert them to what?  Non-extremists, yeah.  That's the point, spread the peaceful message because a great deal of time and money and effort is being spent to spread the hateful one and it is working.

    Or is your approach to consider them enemies and use force to contain or subdue them?

    Lets ignore the fact that I have repeatedly said the solution is a public conversation and suggest I'm advocating war.

    I just don't know where you can go from where you are unless you want to go to war. 

    Then you are not very creative.  Heck, I even gave you an example of how we defeated the KKK by winning a war of ideas through peace, but for some reason you think this couldn't work for Islamic extremism.  

    Did we iradicate (essentially) the KKK by saying, "only a few are committing violence."?  Did we say "It's a poverty issue, it's a political issue, we need to focus on what's good and not criticize them."?  Did we say "Only a few hundred years ago my ancestors were also racist, so who am I to judge"?  No, we confronted it, we said "Your ideology is hateful."  When they replied "This bible passage says I'm right" we brought in our own Bible scholars to show they were wrong.  And it worked, people believed the peace message (I like to think because people are inherently peaceful).  But we didn't just leave their message out there, leave them to be the ones to teach their own versions of hate, we put another message out.  That is what we do with extremist Islam.

    What you seem hesitant to do is to label this a problem within Islam.  I guess you feel it sounds bigoted.  I don't know when criticizing an ideology became bigoted, perhaps it's because it's a religion (though people don't seem to have trouble criticizing other religions), most likely it's because many people associate Islam with a race even though it is not.  

    If you came to my house and I told my wife she could not work, could not leave my house without my permission would you confront me?  What of I beat my wife, what if I said "The people in the world trade centers got what they had coming."  Would you confront me?  Of course you would (I hope).  And if I told you it's my religious belief and showed you my book for evidence what would you say?  You'd say, "I don't care, your wrong and your belief is wrong."  If you knew others who shared my religion peacefully, you'd get them to tell me why I'm wrong.  You wouldn't make excuses for my behavior and leave saying hopefully the socio-political climate changes in that house one day.  It's not your problem, heck the bible says the same thing.

    But when I ask you to make the same statement about women in Saudi Arabia, you won't.  "No, you say, I believe in women's rights but we can't judge an entire culture, we need to focus on the good to bring about change."  Let's not talk about the doctrine they use to justify oppression, that's irrelevant.  Lets not tell them they're wrong.

    So I believe the difference is that you are worried about what people will think of you.  I believe you would tell someone they were wrong in their house, but add witnesses and  "people might say I'm a bigot if I say Islam is used to opresses women in Saudi Arabia" (and many other places) even though we all know its true.  So lets dance around it, excuse it, equivocate it.  

    Why don't we tell them they're wrong, tell them that it's not acceptable, get peaceful Muslims to specifically refute their claims in the Quran justifying women's oppression.  I think it's because your afraid of what people will think and say.  And you should be, because people like yourself will do that.  You will try to paint me as a racist or bigot and twist my words despite my clearly sane reasoned responses.  I'm asking that you stop.  Stop denying reality, and stand up for human rights.  




     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    In response to shenanigan's comment:

     

    In response to LloydDobler's comment:

    I am incorrect sir, I read the headline which said that statement based on only 70% of US Muslims finding Al Qaeda very unfavorable.  When I went back and read the entire report it showed that 5% view it favorably, and 11 percent somewhat unfavorable.  I find the numbers higher than I would like but they are nowhere near what I said.  I apologize for the error.

    the numbers for other countries were correct.

    http://people-press.org/files/2011/08/muslim-american-report.pdf

     



    No problem at all. This has been a very enlightening discussion. It's a pleasure having these with reasonable people like you who don't get personal  and start hurling insults when someone disagrees.

     

     

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    Shenanigan, I don't think you'll have much success changing Muslim views if you think you're going to start off by telling them what's wrong with their religion without bothering to understand in great detail what's good about it.  See, Islam is not really like Naziism or white supremacy.  It has many more redeeming qualities then either of those two ideologies. If you want to win people over you've got to start your dialogue with a level of respect and a sincere desire to understand their point of view.  If you just preach at them about what you think is wrong about their beliefs without listening open mindedly to their own thoughts and also acknowledging the good in a fair, balanced, and respectful way, you're only going to alienate them.

    We didn't solve our problems with Naziism or white supremacy through persuasion by the way.  We did it through military force and force of law.  Ultimately, I think that's where your approach would lead--an attempt to force people to change.  Muzwell is more honest, I think, about his contempt for Islam and more direct about the solution he'd advocate.  As he said on another thread, we should kill them before they kill us.  I don't agree, but I commend Muzwell for not pulling his punches and just coming out and saying what he believes.  

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    I once believed what you did.  All this terrorism must be the result of American Imperialism.  We must atone for our sins, and reach out to the Middle East.  Find common ground.

     

    But things didn't add up, I kept having questions.

     

    Why do we keep seeing attacks in non-western countries and those that have little global impact if terrorism is a reaction to imperialism?  Thailand, Nigeria, Scotland?   What did they do?  China, India?  In fact most Islamic terrorism takes place outside of the US, most actually takes place in the Middle East.

     

    Why don't non Islamic countries that have been imperialist victims have a terrorism problem.  Couldn't South Korea or Vietnam or countless others have just as much reason to bomb us?  They don't. 

     

    So I did some research, I read the Quran (very short book, highly recommend).  I read some of the Hadiths, and Sura (parts, not all I admit).  That doesn't sound very nice I thought, but you could say the same about any religion.  But any religion isn't blowing things up all over the globe.  Why not?

     

    So I looked at history.  Concerning, this stuff didn't start in 2001 it started with Mohommad.  Not many, if any religions have a prophet who was a warlord and began conquests in the name of religion that lasted hundreds of years.  But, violence in the name of religion was certainly not invented by Mohommad so I can't judge today's Islam by 7th century Islam.

     

    So I looked around the world where today some of the last theocracies on earth stand.  And I see countries that are among the worst violaters of human rights living under Sharia law.  So I ask, why is it like this?  Why haven't modern human rights principles been adopted by many Islamic countries?  Why has it not cast off its barbaric roots like other religions?

     

    So I look at the Wahaabi movement.  A movement that swept the Islamic world in the early part of this century for Islam to return to its 7th century roots and take a very literal interpretation of the doctrine.  

     

    And I look at many Middle Eastern countries using their considerable wealth to spread the Wahaabi Islam through the world.  And now it makes sense why much the Islamic world is trapped in a 7th century interpretation of religion.  

     

    And the fact is, the ones you want to protect here - the Muslims, they are the biggest victims.  They have been overwhelmed by a force of ideas backed by money that makes them the victims in the human rights problem more than anyone else.

     

    And when I say we need to confront it, you disagree.  You say you have a Muslim friend who is believes in equal women's rights and dismisses Jihadi rhetoric?  Would he not want a change in the Middle East?  Would he not want a battle of ideas with Islamic militants?  Who do you help with your silence?  Not Muslims.

     

    Response to the above.  We did not go to war with the KKK and won.  You seem to be suggesting we defeated the KKK by arresting them all.  Simply not true, we won with ideas.  Their children rejected those ideas, their childrens children and so on until it all but disappeared.  

    We did go to war with Nazis and also won.  I would also point out we did not defeat Nazis by understanding them and praising them or flat out denying which is your suggestion.  Regardless, we still had to win a war of ideas or we would just have a country defeated militarily but still filled with Nazis which is not the case at all in Germany.

    You end by suggesting I secretly want a war with Islam again and the rhetoric is starting to get old.  

     

    I will specifically address why I think your approach of understanding radical Islam has not worked in another post

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    It is good that you have gone back and read original sources, but it sounds to me like you've read them with a bias toward finding only the violence.  What do you know for instance of the role of charity in Islam and how it plays out? Much of what I know about the good parts of Islam comes from observing Muslims I know serving in the community and practicing charity. Charity, after all, is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with belief in God, prayer, fasting, and the Haj. 

    A few quick points:

    • There are plenty of violent verses in the Bible too.  (Read Deuteronomy for some really archaic rules).  If the simple fact that there are violent passages in scripture made a religion violent, Judaism and Christianity would be violent too.  
    • Mohammed was a warrior.  So were many of the old testament heros. You paint the history of the Muslim conquests completely negatively.  But really, conquest is a part of all cultures, and the Islamic expansion isn't anything peculiar or different from what we see whenever a growing empire expands. I'm not saying conquest is good--I'm just saying that I don't think there's anything peculiar about Islam that makes it any worse than say, Rome, or British Imperialism.  
    • I don't know what history you read, but again I recommend Ira Lapidus's work.  It gives a balanced portrait of how Islamic civilization spread to many areas of the world.  As with Christianity, conquest was part of that spread, but the image of Muslims viciously forcing conquered people to convert under the sword is an unbalanced one. While that forced conversion certainly happened at times, you also have to look at the other side of Islam, which was actually fairly tolerant of people of other faiths, with Jews, Christians, and Hindus often elevated to important roles in the Muslim states.  The Muslim world is not monolithic.  It has a long history and different Muslim empires and states had different policies, practices, and subcultures.  You can't look at the history of the West as monolithic--there are centuries of history and scores of different states and subcultures in the West, all of which are very different.  The same is true of the Islamic world.  If you want to really understand Islam, you need to understand its diversity.  You seem to be approaching history with a reductionist viewpoint, as if one aspect of the culture was its entirety. 
    • The current spate of violence among Muslim communities is, in my opinion, an outcome of political oppression and economic breakdown.  You seem to want to attribute the violence to something inherent in their religion, as if Islam or a "large part of it" is in its essence a religion of violence.  I don't think this is true, but all I can do is appeal to you to read even more with an open mind and particularly to get to know Muslims personally.  There are many (the vast majority) who are not the violent individuals you see on TV when a terrorist attack occurs or when the press visits a war zone. 
    • I also suggest you carefully read the history of the Islamic world over the past two centuries or so.  It has undergone a tremendous amount of change during that time and has been in turmoil for many reasons.  Understanding the political and economic factors that have destabilized the region and created resentments against the West might be helpful to see factors other than religion that lead to a sense that the West is an enemy.  
    • There is, of course, a version of Islamic fundamentalism that has arisen over the past 30 or 40 years that is extremely militant and that offers justification for violence.  In some ways, it reminds me of militant socialism, which also was used to justify violence by those who were discontent with their societies or the existing power structures. This type of Islamic extremist ideology is dangerous and can be seductive, especially to disaffected youth. We need to be vigilant against that, but it is a mistake to look at this phenomenon and condemn all of Islam as largely violent.  Instead, look at it like other ideologies adopted by those who feel alienated that may or may not be religious ideologies, but that give people a sense of a just cause for which they can fight.  This one happens to be Islamic in nature, but if Islam weren't there, some other ideology would be created to fill the void for these types of disaffected individuals. Maybe they'd be Goths like Dylan Klebold. 
    • The repressive nature of current Middle Eastern states is well known.  Again, religion is often used to justify various forms of repression, but that doesn't mean that the religion has some kind of "flaw" in it that makes repression more likely if one is Muslim.  There are many, many political factors that explain much of what is happening in the Middle East.  There also is a yearning for more democracy and freedom.  Don't discount the fact that the people in Tahrir square demanding democracy are Muslim too.  (One of my relatives through a sibling's marriage, by the way, was there and was shot in the leg by one of Mubarak's forces while demonstrating in favour of democracy.)

    I'll just finish by one story.  Just this morning the RCMP arrested two alleged Muslim terroists here in Ontario (accused of plotting to bomb a train).  How did the police find them?  The imam of their mosque tipped off the police that he felt these individuals were becoming radicalized.  The Muslim community here is for the most part peaceful and proud to be Canadian.  They have the same fears of terrorists as everyone else.  And they understand that there are radical Islamic extremists that they need to fight and be vigilant for even in their mosques.  They are good citizens, just like you and me--and they resent their religion being twisted for evil purposes.  If you, however, were to go to them and preach that their religion (or a large part of it) is inherently violent you would just alienate them.  They don't see their religion as violent or practice it that way.  In fact, your portrayal of Islam seems to accept the terrorist version of Islam as the real version.  I think most Muslims would find this offensive and because of that, they would dismiss you as either ignorant or a bigot.  If you can't understand and truly respect all the other things that Islam is besides what the extremists portray it as, you have no hope of influencing Muslims in any positive way. 

     

     

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    One other thing I want to address is your accusation that I'm some kind of coward who stays silent in the face of injustce or who is worried about the perceptions of others.  Funny in a way, because the point of view I'm expressing here isn't exactly popular in the US and yet I'm not shy about stating what I believe.

    My objection to the way you say you want to "talk" to Muslims is that it appears to me not to be true dialogue, but rather a lecture.  You have described their religion as having a large element of violence, repressiveness, and barbarism in it and seem to think that those alledged characteristics have manifested themselves right from the beginning and have been among the most dominant elements of Islam all through its history.  What you seem to want to do is stand before Muslims and point a damning finger: J'accuse!

    My approach is to look at Islam far more broadly and I'd argue more fairly and, more important, to look at the breadth of factors--most of them having little to do with religion--that have led to the situation in the Islamic world--and address those.  Rather than advocating against Islam, I advocate for democracy, justice, and human rights.  That to me is a far more productive approach than standing on a soapbox and, as an outsider, preaching to the Muslim community about what you see as the flaws of their religion--a religion of which, judging by your comments, you have a very limited and I'd argue one-sided understanding.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    Re: Does Islam bear any blame?

    The real question is why so many people embraced organized (as opposed to personal) religion when organized religion has been the single most effective tool for motivating and/for justifying violence against groups of others.

    Perhaps for the same reasons that many people still embrace Socialism despite its more virulent forms having killed tens of millions of people in its relatively short history.

     

     

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