Stop alienating Muslim good guys

18Feb15

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Last week I attended an “ISIS in America” presentation. It was hosted by a local university for a law enforcement audience, but was open to the public. Making the event a free-for-all was a bad idea; a few people on personal crusades showed up just to pitch their causes. For example, at one point a woman stood up to tell the crowd, for no apparent reason, about her quest to change Texas textbooks.

The event organizer was a retired army officer turned college professor. Most of his talk was a litany of right-wing talking points, delivered to an extremely receptive audience. I found myself annoyed. I actually agreed with many of his comments, but like to think I have a deeper understanding of the reasoning behind them. His speech was more “We need to bomb ISIS!” followed by cheers, rather than in-depth explanations of how incredibly difficult this problem is to solve.

Then the first guest speaker arrived. He was an American Muslim who converted in the 1960s, now a professor of Muslim history. He gave a very interesting, insightful presentation about Islam’s history, and some of the factors that led to ISIS’s creation. He emphatically condemned ISIS, clearly stated the Muslim world needed to defeat ISIS, and joked “Islam would be perfect, except for Muslims.” He mentioned the recent execution of the Jordanian pilot and pointed out Islam does not condone burning prisoners.

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I was very impressed with his speech. So were the people I was with. The police officers in the room stayed quiet. But, of course, someone had to make a show of challenging the professor.

A tall older man in a suit, apparently not a cop, stood and walked to the professor with a book in hand. He asked in a loud, bombastic voice, “Professor, are you familiar with this book? This is a biography of the Prophet Mohammed, written hundreds of years ago!”

The professor said he had heard of the book. The man asked, again in a loud voice, “Would you agree, professor, that this is an accurate representation of Mohammed’s life?”

The professor said he hadn’t read it.

The man announced, “Allow me to point out this passage!” And he told a story of Mohammed setting a fire on a Jewish prisoner’s chest to make him reveal where he’d hidden valuables.

The professor calmly explained that not all Muslims accept the biography as true, and that it’s not a source of religious law. He said that even if the story was true, that didn’t mean Islam condoned burning prisoners. The professor badly stepped on his crank at one point – “If Mohammed did that, he didn’t do it often,” which drew laughter from the audience – but he clearly explained that despite the biography’s claim, Islam does have rules governing treatment of prisoners.

After the grandstanding man finally sat back down, an elderly woman confronted the professor about Islam’s treatment of women and non-Muslims. The professor, of course, defended Islam’s racial inclusiveness. But he also admitted it has problems. “Islam does have a room for improvement when it comes to equality.”

The woman made a comment about crimes committed by radical Muslims. Then she turned to the audience and sneered, “The ‘religion of peace.’”

When the host shut down questions, another man actually put an “infidel” t-shirt on, over his long-sleeve button-down collared shirt, and tried to approach the professor. He didn’t get a chance, because someone else was already there asking why “all the different sects like Sunni, Shiites and Kurds” – not understanding Kurds aren’t a sect – “are killing each other.”

I listened with growing disgust. Yes, I despise radical Islam. I’d personally napalm every ISIS fighter if I could. And I’m agnostic, no fan of religion in general. But I’ve lived and worked with Muslims in Kosovo. I’ve fought beside Muslim soldiers in Afghanistan. I’ve helped a Muslim friend write a novel. I’ve taken a Muslim friend from Libya to the shooting range. Two months ago I attended a murder mystery party hosted by a friend originally from Lebanon; my wife and I mingled with white, black and Arab guests all dressed in 1920’s flapper and gangster costumes (and at any party hosted by an Arab, the food is awesome).

With two Afghan Army officers in Kapisa province, 2009. The soldier in green coveralls was thirty-five then, and had been fighting continuously since age fifteen. I went on many mission with him.

With two Afghan Army officers in Kapisa province, 2009. The soldier in green coveralls was thirty-five then, and had been fighting continuously since age fifteen. I went on many mission with him.

The Muslims I’ve known and served with had nothing in common with ISIS, despite the fact that they share the same religion. Just like my Christian parents have nothing in common with the Westboro Baptist Church. I can hate the WBC without hating all Christians. And I can hate radical Islam without hating all Muslims.

ISIS is in fact Islamic, as The Atlantic explained in a fantastic recent article (http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/). So were the Afghan troops I served beside. So were my Albanian friends in Kosovo. So are many of my American friends. ISIS wants a return to the caliphate of Mohammed’s time, and believe in following every Islamic law to the letter. The Muslims I’ve known have been, to say the least, different.

Many Afghan soldiers really liked American girly magazines, and alcohol. An Albanian friend in Kosovo explained, “Yeah, I’m Muslim and all that. But if you follow all the Muslim rules you can’t drink, can’t smoke, can’t have sex, can’t do anything. I’m not going to live like that.” A Muslim fellow police officer in Texas echoed that sentiment. “You know Catholics who go to church twice a year, on Christmas and Easter? That’s how Muslim I am.” A former Afghan translator I served with in Afghanistan, who now lives in Texas, is so incensed by ISIS’ acts in the name of his religion he wants to join the Peshmerga and kill them. I know Muslims who are devout and observant, and still have nothing in common with ISIS.

I might also mention that the Kurds, who are heroically resisting ISIS, are Muslim. So are the Muslim Jordanians. I’d venture to say Jordan’s King Abdullah commands more respect among soldiers and marines than our own president.

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I can hate ISIS without hating all Muslims. I can acknowledge the blindingly obvious – ISIS is Islamic – without believing all Muslims are like them. While there is obviously something in Islam which convinces far too many of its followers they’re justified in committing the most inhuman acts imaginable, far larger numbers of Muslims reject ISIS’ actions.

We in the west often say the Muslim world needs to strongly condemn ISIS. Then we have Muslims who do condemn them, like the professor. And they’re willing to do so out loud, in public, to an audience of non-Muslims. They should be applauded for that. Instead, some are challenged and ridiculed by morons using their ignorance to prove a flawed point.

Plenty of Muslims are good guys. We’re fighting on the same side, against a common enemy. When Muslim good guys condemn Muslim bad guys, let them. Support them. Stand with them. Don’t insult and berate them, simply because you can’t tell the difference between good ones and bad ones.

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for BreachBangClear.com and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).

http://www.amazon.com/Line-Valley-Chris-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B00HW1MA2G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=09XSSHABSWPC3FM8K6P4
http://www.amazon.com/Proof-Our-Resolve-Chris-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B0099XMR1E/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0S6AGHBTJZ6JH99D56X7

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85 Responses to “Stop alienating Muslim good guys”

  1. 1 Old AF Sarge

    An excellent and insightful post Chris. Much food for thought here.

  2. Seriously good post. I’m sharing this on Facebook.

  3. The best comparison I have ever heard was from a TV show (the west wing) “Islamic extremist is to Islam as _______ is to Christianity.” … with the answer being the KKK.

    • Emily,

      That’s a good comparison, as long as the person saying that acknowledges that Muslim extremists are in fact Muslim, as racist Christian organizations are in fact Christian.

      • The difference here being that the KKK and their ilk are roundly reviled by mainstream Christianity, shunned by mainstream American society, actively suppressed by law enforcement/government in the U.S. and is limited pretty much to operating/existing within our own borders. Islamic fundamentalism…not so much.

        • 8 Vendetta

          Unfortunately, many Muslim countries that do ruthlessly go after their extremists end up being condemned for human rights violations and in recent years are having their governments overthrown.

          • 9 Shell

            Well done, V. A facet of the matter that is seldom brought up.

  4. 10 Vendetta

    An excellent post, Chris. Quite a struggle finding the sensible position. Fact: ISIS is Islamic (“NOOO!!!” scream the people on your left). Fact: lot of Muslims are decent people, and most do not support ISIS (“NOOO!!!” scream the people on your right).

    Then, deaf in both ears, it can be hard to hear all those people out there who use their reasoning rather than their ideology to think for them, and have come to the same conclusion as you have.

    Death to ISIS and to Hell with their supporters, cheerleaders, and apologists, but respect to all decent Muslims and especially to those who go out on a limb like this professor and expose themselves to the ignorance and hostility of a loud minority among both Americans and their fellow Muslims.

  5. As usual Chris, you are on point. I was talking to a Marine buddy the other day about the complications inherent with fighting an idea, and how seemingly futile just stacking bodies can be. I’m glad that you posted this, perhaps you’ll help some people pull their heads out of their 4th point of contact.

    • Zach,

      I’m all for stacking bodies, while simultaneously understanding it’s basically impossible to kill an ideology. We do have to keep in mind though, any group of people will quit acting up once a certain percentage of them have been killed. Imperial Japan was, in my opinion, far more fanatical and dangerous than ISIS. We stomped that ideology out, by killing so many Japanese they decided to change.

  6. 16 aboland2544

    Great post, Chris. I shared it with my Facebook crowd. AB

  7. I find myself torn in half.

    On one hand, I agree with you; we shouldn’t regard all Muslims as potential terrorists/traitors/etc.

    On the other hand, how much do these ‘moderate’ Muslims do to deal with the monsters who profane their religion?

    It’s extremely difficult for outsiders to pick out the guilty from the innocent and, of course, many innocents get hurt when outsiders try to do just that. (Basically, the counter-insurgency problem of recruiting enough people on the ground to isolate the bad from the good.) This gives the moderates a certain responsibility to stop the extremists before the extremists gourd everyone else into just hitting back at random.

    By acting so not to ‘alienate’ moderate Muslims politicians run the risk of alienating non-Muslims who increasingly start to see all Muslims as dangerous and the governments as weak/politically correct/traitors/etc. This pushes the voters towards parties that promise tougher measures on immigration and suchlike, which will be very bad for the moderate Muslims.

    Many of the problems we have today stem, I think, from the failure of the Islamic world (insofar as such a thing can be reasonably deemed to exist) to come to terms with its own lunatics and rethink its approach to the world.

    Chris

    • 19 thefoolserrand

      “Many of the problems we have today stem, I think, from the failure of the Islamic world (insofar as such a thing can be reasonably deemed to exist) to come to terms with its own lunatics and rethink its approach to the world.”

      Chris, I agree with your assessment. We are beginning to see some traction in that area as of late. Egypt’s president strongly indicted orthodox Muslims such as ISIS and placed the blame clearly on the top clerics that through their silence in the past have allowed orthodox Islamic armies to metastasize in the global Islamic community. The problem is that our president supported the enemy of Egypt’s current administration and has turned a cold shoulder to them leaving them no choice but to court Russia and Iran.

      For the life of me, I fail to see any resemblance of a cohesive US foreign policy because I suspect we have no foreign policy. God help our allies that we have abandoned while we chum up to Iran and Cuba.

    • Chris,

      It definitely is a delicate question and balance. And I agree, the Muslim world has far more responsibility to bring this under control than anyone else. How do we in the west encourage that, while simultaneously not alienating those we should keep on our side? I don’t know.

      • 21 thefoolserrand

        Good honest answer. The challenge now is to develop a rational and balanced response. I have ideas regarding the challenge you noted. The problem with them is when I turn them around in my head while considering if it is even ultimately possible to separate the good from bad when they drink from the same source. The clerics that HAVE spoken out against the violent forms of orthodox Islam are in a small minority among the authoritative Islamic scholars (the ones that Egypt’s president called out).

  8. 22 Lance H

    It is natural to want peace and avoid conflict especially when one has fought in a war as a result of the failure of diplomacy.

    Many Muslim engineers that I have asked a specific question to in our company are no longer talking to me because of the question. The question is:

    “What is commanded regarding conquered non-believers that refuse to convert or be subjugated?”.

    Some tried to answer by misrepresenting what is actually instructed by the Qu’ran and became frustrated when I asked them for the Surah or Hadith they are referring to and showed them in my own copy of the Qu’ran that the penalty is death. There is no other option.

    Some were immediately aware of the question and refused to engage.

    To this day, the closest answer I have received was not really an answer and was told that there are many more Surah and Hadith that call for mercy and not death. I asked them to show me and I come to find out that it is not my understanding that is out of context, it is theirs.

    That being said, there are MANY peaceful Muslims that do not believe in the judgement for non-believers. The Qu’ran addresses these moderate Muslims by stating clearly that they are apostate for rejecting ANY portion of the Qu’ran. They are similar to progressive Christians that will contort the bible painfully to arrive at an understanding that supports their unrepentant sin. Moderate Muslims are progressive and liberal only in regards to their Islamic beliefs. Orthodox conservative Muslims follow the Qu’ran in it’s entirety. It is the orthodox Muslims that are murdering on a grand scale.

    Do we not have battles between leaders withing the Christian faith regarding progressive and conservative Christian beliefs? Yes we do. How does a conservative orthodox Christian compare to a conservative orthodox Muslim? The latter is engaged in an active war against us and is motivated by their faith.

    ISIS stated that they have a mission to establish the Caliphate and phase one of this mission is an internal purge of moderate Muslims as they encounter them through conquest. It is this form of Islam that is growing much faster than progressive moderate Islam.

    Do I consider moderate Muslims my enemy? No. Because by the Qu’ran’s definition, they are not Muslim and are apostate. They have bigger things to worry about such as what orthodox Muslims will do to them in the future if not stopped. I see the Qu’ran as the orthodox Muslims see it and therefore state we are at war with Islam but we just do not know it yet or do know it, but choose to ignore the elephant in the room.

    A simple solution regarding the question of where US Muslim’s loyalties are would be to draft every able bodied US citizen Muslim into a Muslim combat division and send them over to fight ISIS and Al Queda so they can clean up the filth they have ignored for over ten years. The time for half measures is over. During WWII we had MANY Americans of Japanese descent that volunteered to fight. The only difference is it should be mandatory as the volunteers have already joined. Our military’s current fatal problem is that they are blinded by political correctness as evidenced by how they intentionally ignored the threat of Maj Nidal Hassan. It is this example of thinking that if not addressed, will get us massacred.

    There is only one Islam. There is no such thing as extremist Islam or moderate Islam as there is only one cup that they both drink from. They do not suffer from new revised editions of the Qu’ran like we Christians do. There is no chance for conflicting doctrine because of this. Islam is a death cult.

    I recommend folks that disagree with my comment read the Qu’ran and all Hadiths. For an issue this important, it is critical that we know what motivates our enemy. Reading the Qu’ran and the Hadith commentaries will be quite the eye opener. I also highly recommend that one reads the history of Islam from several sources as accounts are currently hotly debated.

    If there are any Muslims reading this, I still pose the same question:

    “What is commanded regarding conquered non-believers that refuse to convert or be subjugated?”.

    There is one main difference between a conservative evangelical Christian and a conservative orthodox Muslim: The latter is commanded to conquer you and either convert of subjugate you or death. That is all.

  9. 23 thefoolserrand

    “Islam does have a room for improvement when it comes to equality.”.

    This is blasphemy to a true Muslim. What he just admitted would get him sentenced to death in a Sharia court. He has just stated the Qu’ran is not perfect and this is a direct insult to Mohammed, it’s author.

    • 24 Vendetta

      Maybe that’s why he chooses to live in America outside the jurisdiction of sharia law. True Muslim Al-Ful, tell us about your own experiences with Sharia law. Have you been to a Sharia court, presided over one?

      The thing is, al-Ful, I’m not exactly sure how many of the billion Muslims out there are true Muslims like you. It’s a hard standard to live up to. What’s the ratio between the number of Muslims worldwide who travel to the Middle East on the hajj vs. the number who travel to the Middle East to join ISIS? 1000 to 1? 10,000 to 1?

      The thing is, al-Ful, I’m not really sure what your point is. This guy is the kind of Muslim we’d like to have more of in the world. We’d be better off with more like him and less stone-throwing fanatics.

      Why go out of your way to insult the heritage of a decent person?

      I don’t like sharia law either. I don’t like stone-throwing fanatics. I don’t think we should pretend it’s a good way to run a society.

      On the other hand, I don’t like our country’s trashy pop culture, any of its political parties, or our own dysfunctional legal system. But if people start slagging off on how much they hate Americans or what a terrible country America is, I get insulted. This is my home and my nation.

      Don’t you think, al-Ful, that the recent Muslims out there might get insulted the same way when you jump in about what an evil religion Islam is?

      • 25 thefoolserrand

        You read do much into my comment that is not there and it seems to me that you let your emotion get the best of you when you start name calling. If you would like to discuss this, we do not need to resort to emotional name calling.

        Of course there are “good” Muslims be your definition. They choose peaceful harmony over bloody jihad, It is in our best interest to ally with them and not alienate them. Just as we should support Jordan’s king and Egypt’s president that have taken bold and courageous action against orthodox Muslims that are waging and active war against moderate Islam, Jews, Christians, and western modern civilization.

        The point of my comment was that the opinion of this presenter is in my opinion condemned by THE top Islamic clerics. Why was this gentleman or any other moderate Islamic leader not part of the 3 day summit just held? Look at the list of attendees that were invited and tell me what’s wrong with this picture. We are negotiating and looking for solutions by partnering with known supporters of the most radical forms of Islam while turning our backs on well known moderate Islamic leadership. Our president’s lack of engagement has driven Egypt to seek support for Iran and Russia who are ecstatic to fill the foreign policy vacuum we have left.

        Here is my main problem with the moderate Islamic community: They are full of rhetoric but no action. The disturbing trend is that orthodox Islam is growing much faster than moderate Islam.

        Goober, have you read the New Testament? Are you aware that because of this and Christ’s sacrifice we have a new covenant? What was Christ’s response to the adulteress that was to be stoned under Judaic law?

        Let’s set aside religious faiths for a second and consider the threat with no reference to what motivates them. Hmmmm….guess I hit a wall there because it makes no logical sense to partially assess the threat.

        Here is the difference between Christian and Islamic faith:

        False comparisons are made in Christianity regarding the old and new testament, the later which we are bound by in a new covenant which clearly releases us from the laws of the old testament. Leviticus is therefore of nothing more than historical value and non binding to Christians, but is binding to Jews.

        What false comparisons are being made regarding the Qu’ran? The majority consensus of Islamic scholars and clerics is that the later part of the Qu’ran abrogates the earlier Surahs. This is supported by the commentary Hadiths of Sahih al-Bukhari who is considered the most enlightened after Mohammed. Considering this, moderate Muslims are at odds with the top regarded Islamic schools which Egypt’s president boldly called out as the SOURCE enablers that incubated and helped metastasize the current orthodox Islamic threat.

        In order to understand the threat fully, one must understand the conflict within Islam between the “moderate” form of Islam, the top Islamic schools of thought, and the orthodoxy that is on a bloody path of jihad in the middle east, Asia, and Africa. I invite you to consider the historical evolution of Islam to include the sectarian rifts as it applies to the current threat. In all cases, the moderate practitioners of Islam have been entirely irrelevant. This is also the case among many secular violent movements throughout history: The violent minority prevailed initially and the peaceful majority were irrelevant until external nations and forces intervened but not before they murdered millions.

        The disconnect is that we are disregarding what the Qu’ran clearly states, which is the common cup that both moderate and orthodox Muslims drink from. There is NO command by God under the new covenant to wage holy war and convert non-believers. We are only commanded to spread God’s word and understand some will listen, others will not, and some will kill the messenger. Compare this with Islam that demands establishment of a global Caliphate through jihad with the ONLY options for the conquered non-believer being to convert, be subjugated, or death.

        Consider that the TOP Islamic scholars and clerics, the ones that Egypt’s president addressed, have already weighed in on this and stated without reservation, the establishment of the Caliphate through jihad is commanded by the Qu’ran and that the disposition for conquered non-believers is as I stated above. You see the dangerous disconnect between moderate and orthodox Islam? As history has proven time and again, the peaceful moderates will most likely be irrelevant regarding the future of Islam. We are stuck in the middle of this internal battle within the Deen (religion) as we want to support a moderate interpretation of Islam that is completely unsupported by the mainstream top Islamic authorities. It is because of this that we have hobbled ourselves and how we can actually engage the threat. The hope is that the momentum built by Jordan’s king and Egypt’s president will be leveraged by the US. Unfortunately, we are off to a bad start and have turned our back on both Jordan and Egypt, weakening our influence and strengthening the the influence of Iran and Russia to fill the gap.

        I hope this clarifies my position for you. This is an emotional hot button issue. We cannot be blinded by the emotion and consider the logical evidence and facts. Currently, the administration has no cohesive foreign policy. The foreign policy they DO have is driving dangerous actions and decisions for the sake of being consistent with it’s failed narrative.

        If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, as the saying goes. The problem is our leadership must state that they will convene a three day summit, and after several months the summit is held, and they have concluded “we can agree we need to schedule additional focus groups and summits to conclude that this actually a duck and not just an instance of intolerant duckaphobia.”.

        • Errand,

          Nobody can argue with you about the letter of Islamic law. And I agree that those laws are diametrically opposed to our values. Should anyone ever try to implement Islamic law here, I would happily help destroy them. However, not all Muslims believe the letter of Islamic law applies, or simply choose not to pay attention. Consider most of Turkey, the former seat of the Caliphate. It’s not a mostly secular country where the majority of the population simply disregards the rules they don’t like.

          As Goober pointed out, religions and their followers can evolve.

          • 27 Kirk

            Islam has had nearly 1400 years to “evolve”. The only reason they even partially modernized and gave up slavery and all the other things like demanding jizhya from infidels living within their territories was the pressure put on them by the West. Saudi Arabia only did away with slavery in the 1960s, as an example, and that only under US pressure. Those mythical, “long-ago days of the middle-ages” are really not that far away, in Islamic terms–The majority of the so-called “reforms” were forced on them by Western powers in the 18th and 19th Centuries, with some things not being changed well into the 20th.

            ISIS, I am afraid, represents Islam as it wants to be, free from constraint. Everything that is barbaric and cruel that they have done is backed up by the Koran, and the Hadiths, in complete consonance with the teachings of leading modern Islamic scholars. How long ago was it that a female member of the Kuwaiti Parliament was advocating the taking of infidel women, so that good Muslim men, her husbands and sons, could relieve themselves sexually and in accordance with the tenets of the faith? That’s who you’re dealing with here–That woman, in today’s world, is advocating that “Good Muslims” come to your home, take your wife and daughters, and turn them into sex slaves. And, they did that, in Iraq. Moderate Muslims.

            Analysis of history shows that living in peace with Islam is impossible. Every nation conquered by the Islamics and kept by them has started out with a thin veneer of Islamic believers spread out on top of the indigenous population. Through canny manipulation of things like the jizhya taxes on unbelievers, and outright brutality, the majority of those nations are now almost completely Islamic. Examine the histories of Iran and Syria, for example–Syria was once the rock of the Eastern Orthodox faith, under the Byzantines. As was Egypt. We’re witnessing the end game, the final extirpation of all faiths besides Islam in Syria as we speak. It has taken centuries, but the process has been inexorable.

            When you get down to it, Islam is not a religious faith as understood by most Westerners. It is a full-service, all-things-to-all-men-at-all-times movement, incompatible with the traditional dichotomy of religion and secular life that has become the Western norm. There are no such things as “moderates” in Islam–Either you believe, or you don’t believe, and if you don’t believe, a true believer will be along to encourage you to start acting on the tenets of your faith, which outlaw such things as tolerance for others, apostasy, or even telling the truth to unbelievers. Remember always that the mandate to lie to the non-Islamic is built into the religion in both text and practice. Witness the facile lies told when they discuss issues with the idiot West when they feel the need to “negotiate”, which they never do in good faith. Once you familiarize yourself with the cant that they use in dealing with us, go find and read the translations of what they tell each other at MEMRI. Notice a slight difference, there?

            Islam is not a religion as most Westerners understand such things: It is a total package for every aspect of your life, from prayer to sex to how to manage your daily business. Every aspect of life is impinged upon by the faith, and there is nothing separate allowed. Under actual Islamic doctrine, there can be no secular life to share with anyone else who doesn’t believe as the Islamic do–Those unbelievers must acknowledge Islam as superior, and themselves as subservient to the faithful, without exception. That’s the major problem the Islamic true believers have with Israel, which is that the Jews living there refuse to bow down before Islam and pay the Jizya. Like as not, were the Turks still running the place and the Jews still paying taxes like good little infidels, there wouldn’t be any problems whatsoever with them being therer in Israel. The root problem is, the Jews of Israel demand equality with Islam, and that cannot be allowed. Jews lived peacefully all across the lands of Islam for centuries, so long as they paid their taxes and kept quietly to themselves. That’s the future your church will have, if Islam is triumphant–A gradual decline into meaninglessness. Note well that they don’t even allow new churches to be built in places like Egypt, after their “radicals” get done knocking them down or blowing them up. All while 90% of the “moderates” look on, approvingly.

            Everywhere that Islam is, there is conflict with the non-Islamic. Whether its Thailand and the Buddhists, India and the Hindus, or Iran and the Zoroastrians, there is conflict. The Islamic faith cannot live peacefully with others, because no matter how “moderate” your Islamic neighbors are today, there will be some “radical” along to incite them, and then they’ll be cutting off the heads of your daughters the way they do in Indonesia. This is the insidious nature of the movement we call Islam–Once they reach a certain level of power in an area, they immediately move to make themselves lords over all, and justify it with religion. They arrive as missionaries, and end as conquerors, assuming they don’t arrive that way in the first place. There isn’t anywhere in the world where Islam sleeps peacefully with other religions, unless its in a graveyard somewhere. Don’t believe me? Ask any one of the various minority faiths that were once majorities in their nations, and had the experience of Islam overrunning them. Ba’hai, Zoroastrian, Christian, you name it–The experiences are all the same, and all have the same end-state.

            You can speak all you like of “moderate” Islam. In the end, it doesn’t matter, because those “moderates” will be activated like dry yeast encountering water, and when they feel sufficiently powerful, they will act. If ISIS could do what they wanted to, the nightmare that was visited upon the Yazidi would be visited upon your streets. And, not a damn one of those “moderate” Islamic friends of yours would lift a finger to warn you, or help you. Instead, just like the Yazidi, they’ll be along for the ride, robbing your house and raping your wife and daughter. It’s what they do. What they signally don’t do is lift an effective finger to stop the “radicals”. Sure, most will wring their hands, and bemoan how the “radicals” have hijacked their religion, but meanwhile, the donations to things like al Qaeda keep right on rolling in. Somewhere I’ve got pictures of donation jars for al Qaeda that were still in place in Saudi Arabian mini-marts after 9/11, which I got from a Tamil expat whose job was to manage the things for the Saudi prince who owned them. I didn’t believe him when he said that the jars were for al Qaeda, but then I showed the pictures to an Arabic linguist, and she confirmed it for me. Dates on the stuff in the picture along with the jars confirmed that it was well past 9/11, and from around 2003. He’d snuck those out of Saudi in a thumb drive that I think he was trying to tell me he’d had to shove up his ass, because if he’d been caught with them, he’d have been in a lot of trouble.

            The most apt thing about the relationship between Islam and the Western fools that apologize for them is the old Aesop about the frog and the scorpion–The Islamic believer can’t help himself, because what they do is in their nature. It’s right there in the damn book, if anyone bothers to read it. It’s like Mein Kampf, in a way: Hitler told the world what he was going to do, and nobody believed him. You want to know what the world will look like with Islam running things, read what they write, and understand that they really, truly, mean all of that insanity. All of it, including that bit about making sex slaves out of your wife and daughters.

            Any time you hear words of sweet reason coming out of a Muslim mouth, you’d better be careful to remember that this is a person whose basic religious text mandates that they lie to you, and that those textual references are backed up by volumes of other background material and analysis telling them the same thing. Don’t believe me? Read their books. It’s a damn religious mandate, that they lie to you in service of spreading their faith. There’s another mandate in there, too, that virtually requires them to negotiate in bad faith, and break any covenants that they may make with you by treaty or negotiation.

            So, consider that: All your positive contacts that you’ve had with anyone who espouses the Islamic faith have probably been based on them telling you lies, in order to manipulate you. That is what the tenets of their faith tell them to do, with unbelievers. Does that put a little different light on your “positive experiences”? It should, or you’re someone who shouldn’t be let out alone at night.

            Or, to put it more succinctly, your rose-colored glasses are blocking out a whole lot of history and practical experience with this so-called “culture”. You want peace, and to raise your children without having to worry about some random Muslim whack-job beheading them because they’re not Islamic? Simple answer, to that–Don’t let the bastards in to settle near you. And, if they come by force, kill them. Anything else, and you or your great-grandchildren will regret playing by “nice guy rules”. That is the plain lesson of history, taught by the Muslims themselves. You would be wise not to pay attention to what they tell you, but to observe what they do, when they can. There is not one single example of anywhere that Islam has managed to live peacefully with another religion for any significant length of time, unless the other faith was so strong and numerous that their position in their society was unassailable. That’s a demonstrated historical fact, I’m afraid. The idea that you can trust anyone professing to Islam, and live with them? That’s the unproven thesis, here. There isn’t a whole lot of evidence for that idea, anywhere.

          • Kirk,

            You’re an intelligent man, and speak from experience. But you totally bit the dust with this:

            “You can speak all you like of ‘moderate’ Islam. In the end, it doesn’t matter, because those “moderates” will be activated like dry yeast encountering water, and when they feel sufficiently powerful, they will act. If ISIS could do what they wanted to, the nightmare that was visited upon the Yazidi would be visited upon your streets. And, not a damn one of those ‘moderate’ Islamic friends of yours would lift a finger to warn you, or help you. Instead, just like the Yazidi, they’ll be along for the ride, robbing your house and raping your wife and daughter. It’s what they do. What they signally don’t do is lift an effective finger to stop the ‘radicals’.”

            That’s patently false. If all Muslims will embrace the radicalism, why are any fighting ISIS? Why are the Kurds, who have had a secular society for years, fighting ISIS? Why did any Afghans fight the Taliban, if all Muslims want what they have to offer? Why hasn’t Turkish society embraced ISIS?

            I can only guess you haven’t been to Kosovo. Approximately 90% of Albanians are Muslim, 10% Catholic. The Albanians are very proud of their Catholic monastery in the city of Peja. Mother Teresa, who Albanians are also very proud of, was a Macedonian Albanian (the majority of Macedonian Albanians are also Muslim). There is no conflict between Albanian Catholics and Albanian Muslims, unless things have drastically changed since I was there last.

            In Kosovo women go where they want, don’t cover their heads, and dress in a manner that would get them stoned in Saudi Arabia. Premarital sex and pregnancies are pretty common. Albanians like clubs and parties. You think they’re going to welcome ISIS? You’ve already been proven wrong. Some Albanian Muslims joined ISIS. The Kosovo Police service made 40 arrests on ISIS fighters who went to Syria and Iraq and then returned to Kosovo. Why would they do that, if they so love radical Islam?

            One of the people I mentioned in my essay has lived in Texas for about 30 years. She’s happily married to a non-Muslim and has three children with him. I don’t know what religion her kids are, but they certainly show no signs of being observant Muslims. When ISIS is murdering people in the streets, you think she’s going to join them?

            I didn’t say Islam is moderate. I said many Muslims are. I don’t know how you can claim no Muslims are resisting the radicals, when you see it on the news every day. And I don’t know how you can claim they’ll all happily embrace the radicals, when so many aren’t.

          • 29 Kirk

            Just tell me one thing, Chris: How do you tell a “moderate”
            Muslim from a radical one? Can you identify them, and can you guarantee that they’ll always think like that, and won’t be swayed by some “Road to Damascus” moment, and decide to radicalize their views and actions?

            You guys that have fallen for this whole “moderate Muslim” facade just don’t get it, because you refuse to look at the facts and then follow them through to the unfortunate implications. There isn’t anywhere in the world where the Muslims live peacefully with anyone.

            Kosovo is a perfect ‘effing example. How long has that former province of Serbia been Muslim-majority? Care to guess? Try out the fact that in 1945, there weren’t any “Kosovar Muslims”, who are really Albanians, in Kosovo. Tito let them in, and resettled them as refugees from Hoxha’s insanity in a region of Serbia that had essentially been depopulated by the war. Now, flash forward thirty years, and the Serbians are now a minority in their own bloody province, thanks to the Communists, and the “ethnic tensions” begin. I’m not going to even make the case that the Serbians were saints, or anything that stupid, but the fact remains: The “Kosovar Muslim” population is purely an artifact of Tito’s regime, and they’re actually Albanian Muslims. And, whether or not they’re practicing Muslims isn’t the point–They still don’t belong there, and have basically done to Kosovo what the Germans did to Czechoslovakia before WWII. And, it doesn’t mean jack-diddly squat about how “lapsed” those Muslims are, either–Some of the worst examples of Muslim extremists come from social soil just like that, the Chechens. Lapsed or non-practicing, the seeds for the potential are taken up with their mother’s milk. It’s baked into the culture, and it’s heard every time they go to prayer at the mosque.

            Listening to you here, it sounds exactly like I’m hearing that numbnuts dipshit neighbor of mine who was constantly bleating about how the Crips and the Bloods were just “…boys looking for a place in life…”, or some of the other people I’ve heard talk about how the motorcycle gangs are just harmless weekend fun. You need to step back, and carefully evaluate the entire Islamic faith package, and look at it as though you were evaluating a new gang moving in on your territory–Because, that’s precisely what it is. The only difference is, you’ve fallen for the siren song of the “innocent supporter” of the club, and you’re making believe that they don’t have just as much to to with the drugs, the enforcement, and the prostitution. Those “moderate Muslims” you fantasize about? They’re merely providing cover for the rest of the gang, just like those idiots who hang around wearing colors. While you’re looking at them, the criminal element of the gang are taking over your town, right underneath your eyes.

            This pernicious, foolish belief that there can be any such thing as a “moderate Muslim” is going to be the death of our society. For the love of God, read the damn books, learn the history. This has happened before, and it will happen again, unless we wise up and put a stop to it. Islam is completely incompatible with a modern Western society. There is no equivalent to the Christian dicta that one should render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is his. For the Muslim, it’s all Allah’s, all the time. To say otherwise is to be a forsworn apostate, and to be killed by your fellow Muslims. This isn’t a religion so much as it’s a damn street gang with good PR, and you need to recognize that fact. Look at the tenets and practices of this so-called “faith”, and then tell me otherwise–You’ve got every damn feature of an organized crime organization going here, and the only difference is that they’ve dressed it up as religion.

            And, again: You need to reevaluate every single interaction you’ve ever had with any Muslim with the consideration that they have been enjoined by their holy books, their imams, and tradition that they are to lie to you, the unbeliever. It’s not just a “Well, OK, you can lie if you need to…” thing, it’s a positive enjoinder that they are to lie to you as a tenet of the faith, in order to further it. Nothing, absolutely nothing you’ve heard can be taken at face value. Do not listen to what they say, watch what they do. ISIS is very instructional, in that regard: What did these self-described, very carefully religious men do, once they took power: Did they establish a society of enlightenment and virtue, or did they give vent to every monstrous impulse an evil man can have? The men running ISIS are merely enacting what the rest of the Islamic world would, if they could get away with it. Disbelieve me? Watch Libya. Watch Tunisia. Witness the creation of hell on earth. That’s the true face of Islam, not that nice guy you did watch with somewhere in Afghanistan.

            Seriously–Read the history of the conquests. Compare to what is going on inside Islam, today. Is there any serious repudiation of what they did? Any real movement towards saying “That was the act of primitives, and inappropriate to a civilized world…”. I’ve looked, hoping for some sign they’re going to join the modern world, and all I find are opinions about whether or not it’s permissible under the Koran to rape little girls who haven’t had their periods, yet. That’s where you ought to be looking, if you want to form an honest assessment of what Islam is, I’m afraid. And, good luck finding any real condemnation of what they’re doing to any women they find who aren’t “good Muslims”. I’ve seen very little real outrage, and a lot of interest in whether or not some of those slaves might be available down in Bahrain or Kuwait.

          • Kirk, you say “You guys that have fallen for this whole ‘moderate Muslim’ facade just don’t get it, because you refuse to look at the facts and then follow them through to the unfortunate implications. There isn’t anywhere in the world where the Muslims live peacefully with anyone.”

            This generalization, to the extent it can be proven true, is unfortunately true not just of Muslims but of all peoples. This is part of the difficulty of being human and living in communities that protect their own and look on outsiders of any kind with suspicion. It didn’t start with Muslims and doesn’t end with Muslims. It includes us too. Look at our own bloody history as a country. Look at the history of any country.

            It is the problem of humankind – how to get along.

            The other problem I have with the views of folks like you is how isolationist they are. You offer only mistrust, fear, suspicion, and ultimately violence as seemingly the only “sensible” or “realistic” responses to persons who seem other than yourself. In refusing to believe that people can change or evolve, or that other cultures might be more ambiguous than your personal reading of history suggests, you are closing the door on peace and cooperation. By virtue of your fear, you are creating the very situation you deplore.

            South Africa did not get made into a (somewhat) better place by persons who believed as you do that the “other side” can “never change.” Ireland, same thing. Peace never comes from people who operate out of suspicion as their first response, who believe that peace and trust can never be built if they are not already present. Peace comes from those willing to forge new bonds and change history, not from those who believe history can never change.

            If you don’t want to trust any Muslim because of your fear that they are ruled by a rigid ideology, then welcome to the world of fear that you have helped create.

          • Kirk,

            You’re drastically oversimplifying Kosovo’s history. Both the Serbs and Albanians claimed Kosovo as their ancestral homeland. Religion was NOT the issue, ethnicity was. There are Muslim Serbs in a small pocket in Serbia. And as I said before, there are Catholic Albanians, many of whom fought alongside Muslims in the Kosovo war. If your contention was true, and Muslims never live in peace with other religions, then the Muslim Albanians would be fighting Catholic Albanians. That’s not happening.

            The “how do you tell a moderate Muslim” question is pretty laughable. Let’s take the woman I described earlier. She’s been living here for decades. She has no outward appearance of being Muslim. She married a non-Muslim. She had kids with the non-Muslim. She routinely breaks religious rules. Do you think she’s actually an agent of Muslim conquest, just waiting to be switched on by her “true” rulers? Or is she the exception? Did I just happen to meet the only Muslim who doesn’t desire world domination, and is actually pretty damn happy living a secular life in a non-Muslim society?

            You keep coming to incorrect conclusions. Do I believe huge numbers of Muslims are a threat, because of their religious beliefs? Yes. Do I believe in letting Islam force its way into our legal system? No. Do I believe Muslims who claim to be moderate, like CAIR members, are actually trying to force Islam upon American society with the aim of conquest? Yes. Am I willing to fight Muslim extremism? Already did.

            That doesn’t mean every last Muslim is a threat, or wants what others want. As I said, I don’t know if moderate Islam exists. But I know moderate Muslims do.

          • 32 thefoolserrand

            The foundational beliefs of religions don’t evolve in my opinion. Those adherents with opposing beliefs break off into other branches or sects while the main body remains intact. The same will hold true for Islam. The sectarian differences are significant and complicate the issue. The Kurds are an excellent example of a mainly Islamic sect we can ally with. Their history indicates they live in peaceful coexistence with other minority religions to include Judaism, Christians, and Yazidism, The only allies we should partner with in Syria should fit this definition otherwise we will end up at odds with them in the future if we arm the wrong sect and they use those weapons for terror in the future as we learned when we supported the Mujahedin in Afghanistan during their war with the Soviets.

          • 33 Kirk

            Chris, the point that you miss is that there can be no such thing as a “moderate Muslim”. Your Muslima acquaintance is merely an apostate awaiting her fate, which more than likely will be delivered by a relative. I’ve watched the syndrome take place, over the years–The extended family applies pressure, and while that young woman may be an exception to the rule, large numbers of her sisters succumb to the pressure, and return to following the faith more closely.

            A truly moderate Muslim is automatically an apostate, according to the doctrine of the faith. That apostasy gets them an automatic death sentence, if they refuse to reform and return to the faith. And, their relatives/fellow believers have a way of pulling them back in, either through blackmail, or outright threats on their lives. I’ve lost track of the numbers of “liberalized” Muslims, whether Bosniaks or Turks, who’ve been pulled back to more orthodox Islam by their families. The threat of radicalization is always there; I grew up around a cluster of Turks who were “just like you and I”, and it has been very educational to watch what happened with the third generation who “went back to their roots”.

            I also have to take exception to your description of the history of Kosovo. The facts you relate are simply inaccurate, and the product of revisionist modern historians who have sought justification for the presence of Albanian Muslims in Kosovo. There were tiny, very minor settlements up in the hills around the border regions, but until the post-WWII era, significant numbers of Albanians did not exist in Kosovo. Numbers I have seen show that pre-1945, the population of Kosovo was predominantly Serbian, of Orthodox faith, with single-digit numbers in terms of other ethnic minorities. If I remember correctly, there were less than three percent Muslims. The mass migration of refugees from Hoxha’s regime was where the huge influx came from, and the reason Tito allowed it was because the majority of the Serbs wanted off the farm, and were moving into the urban industrial areas. The Albanians didn’t mind staying on the farms, which was the justification used by the regime.

            I’m constantly amused by people who tell me what “real Islam” is, and who haven’t even read the Koran or the Hadiths. The few that have refuse to recognize that those books really say what they do, or that the people who follow them really believe what is in them. Of course, the same set of idiots looked at Mein Kampf, and thought Hitler wouldn’t really do what he said he would, either. I’ve spent a lot of time reading their religious texts, their philosophies, and their commentaries. I’ve also read the histories, from the first years they came boiling out of the Arabian peninsula. The amazing thing to me is how completely misread most of that stuff is, by well-meaning “modern” men and women. The consistency is there, from the time of Mohammed onwards, and if you don’t start from the beginning and follow the the thread through to the modern era, you simply cannot grasp how thoroughly all of this “barbaric behavior” is ingrained and institutionalized within Islamic culture and religion. It’s not ISIS that is the aberrant thing, here–It’s men like KIng Abdullah. And, he’s more than likely to wind up dead at their hands, just like the rest of us. And, I can guarantee you this much–When he’s killed, it will likely be by a traitor among his staff, someone who hid in plain sight as a “moderate Muslim”.

            Never ceases to amaze me how many people there are who will flatly refuse to look at facts and history, in order to maintain treasured beliefs. I remember meeting some of the Yazidi interpreters we had working for us, up in MND-North. They were all proud of their history, having helped their neighbors hide from Saddam’s Tikriti thugs, when there were problems. I still wonder what the hell happened to a couple of them, and whether or not they were some of the ones who’d been run down and turned over to ISIS by the Muslim Arab neighbors they helped hide from Saddam. You want the true face of Islam, that’s it, right there–Men who will come to you for help, when they need it, but when the shoe is on the other foot, they’ll be coming for you and your women. If you’re lucky, they’ll kill you first, before you watch the wife and daughters hauled off to the slave markets. I’m pretty sure that I saw faces and family names that I recognized from the group of interpreters we had, over the last few months of watching the train wreck happen in Northern Iraq. I don’t think I need to tell you what was happening in those pictures, either.

            Ah, well–Disagree with me if you must. We’re all about to learn a rather poignant lesson, here in the next few years. Do keep an eye on the news, for all these “moderates” you guys keep fantasizing about, though–I think there were a bunch who turned up for the funeral of the latest “lone wolf Muslim” in Copenhagen. Hopefully, the Danes did the smart thing, and had their gang crimes unit there to take pictures, so they can at least identify the next moderate Muslim who decides to take up Allah’s sword and go kill some infidels.

        • Kirk,

          I don’t know where you’re getting your “facts” about Kosovo. This is from Wikipedia:

          “A study in 1838 by an Austrian physician, dr. Joseph Müller found Metohija to be mostly ‘Slavic’ in character.[23] Müller gives data for the three counties (Bezirke) of Prizren, Peć and Gjakova which roughly covered Metohija, the portion adjacent to Albania and most affected by Albanian settlers. Out of 195,000 inhabitants in this region, Müller found:

          114,000 Muslims (58%):
          38,000 are Serbs (19%)
          86,000 are Albanians (39%)

          Christians:
          73,572 Eastern Orthodox Serbs (38%)
          5,120 Roman Catholic Albanians (3%)”

          This backs up what I said earlier about Some Serbs being Muslim and some Albanians being Catholic.

          “A study done in 1871 by Austrian colonel Peter Kukulj[25] for the internal use of the Austro-Hungarian army showed that the mutesarifluk of Prizren (corresponding largely to present-day Kosovo) had some 500,000 inhabitants, of which:

          318,000 Serbs (64%),
          161,000 Albanians (32%),
          10,000 Roma (Gypsies) and Circassians
          2,000 Turks”

          This shows population fluctuations, which are to be expected in an area which has traded hands repeatedly throughout history.

          “Maps published by German historian Kiepert[24] in 1876, J. Hahn[24] and Austrian consul K. Sax,[24] show that Albanians live on most of the territory of what is now Kosovo, however they don’t show which population is larger. According to these, the regions of Kosovska Mitrovica and Kosovo Polje were settled mostly by Serbs, whereas most of the territory of western and eastern parts of today’s province was settled by Muslim Albanians.

          An Austrian statistics[27] published in 1899 estimated:

          182,650 Albanians (47.88%)
          166,700 Serbs (43.7%)”

          Albanians were at least a substantial population in Kosovo in the 19th century.

          20th century demographics:

          “British journalist H. Brailsford estimated in 1906[28] that two-thirds of the population of Kosovo was Albanian and one-third Serbian. The most populous western districts of Gjakova and Peć were said to have between 20,000 and 25,000 Albanian households, as against some 5,000 Serbian ones. A map of Alfred Stead,[29] published in 1909, shows that similar numbers of Serbs and Albanians were living in the territory.

          German scholar Gustav Weigand gave the following statistical data about the population of Kosovo,[30] based on the pre-war situation in Kosovo in 1912:

          Pristina District: 67% Albanians, 30% Serbs
          Prizren District: 63% Albanians, 36% Serbs
          Vučitrn District: 90% Albanians, 10% Serbs
          Ferizaj District: 70% Albanians, 30% Serbs
          Gnjilane District: 75% Albanians, 23% Serbs
          Mitrovica District: 60% Serbs, 40% Albanians

          Metohija with the town of Gjakova is furthermore defined as almost exclusively Albanian by Weigand.[30]

          Citing Serbian sources, Noel Malcolm also states that in 1912 when Kosovo came under Serbian control, ‘the Orthodox Serb population [was] at less than 25%” of Kosovo’s entire population.[31]'”

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

          I lived in Kosovo for a year and a half. During that time I read several books on its history. I learned to disregard books from Serb or Albanian sources, as each side would claim they’ve always been the majority and always claim perpetual sainthood and victimhood. Kosovo Albanians claim Kosovo as their ancestral homeland, since it was populated by Illyrians (who Albanians believe are their ancestors; they’re proud of the fact that Alexander the Great’s mother was Illyrian). Serbs claim the Serb Orthodox Church was founded in Kosovo, and are proud of the ancient city of Novo Brio, which some claim was exclusively Serb. Novo Brdo was, at one time, bigger than medieval Paris and London. A Serb politician once told me Skenderbeu, the Albanian people’s most important hero, was actually a Serb who converted to Islam.

          But anyway, now let’s discuss your contention that the moderate Muslims I’m talking about are all either secret jihad agents, apostates marked for death, or destined to be forced back into fundamentalism. I call bullshit. You’re talking about, at least, tens of millions of people. I don’t know any group of tens of millions of people, whether religious, political, ethnic or other, who can all be so clearly categorized.

          Yes, the Muslims I’m talking about are likely apostates in someone’s eyes. That applies to almost the entire population of Turkey as well, and Kosovo. Turkey has been “a nation of apostates” (my term) since Mustafa Kemal abolished the caliphate almost a hundred years ago. I agree that far too much of Islam is driven toward fundamentalism, and far too many individual Muslims embrace it. That doesn’t mean they all do; the friend I described isn’t a unicorn. You can’t explain her away. She exists, despite your insistence she’s an impossibility. And my experience tells me she’s one of many.

    • And by levitical law, you are in trouble for shaving your beard, putting on an 80/20 cotton polyester shirt, eating lobster, looking at a woman who is on her period, and a whole litany of other things that no one in Christianity generally give two hot shits about.

      What’s your point?

      That religions cannot change or evolve with the times? Because I just proved you wrong.

      That Muslims follow sharia law? Some do, the vast majority do not. Again, what’s your point,

      I am not against homosexuality. Does that make me a Christian apostate, as you claim this guy’s claims for equality make him?

      Why do we read their book and assume it’s still taken 100% literally by all, when we do not do this with our own?

      Do we assume that Islam cannot evolve (or that it has not?)

      Because such an assumption is based on ignorance, not fact.

    • I agree. It would be considered blasphemy, and the fact that he publicly stated it proves to me that he’s like most Muslims; he embraces what he feels is just, and rejects what he feels isn’t. In his case, he’s black and found Islam’s inclusiveness appealing. It would be illogical for him to embrace Islam for its lack of racial discrimination, then embrace its gender and religious discrimination. I think Muslims, for the most part, are just like adherents of any other religion. They aren’t going to practice what they feel is wrong. Just like so many Catholics enthusiastically practice birth control and fornicate, even though they’re kinda against the rules.

      • 38 thefoolserrand

        So true. Recent headlines show the racist tendencies within parts of Islam. ISIS will not support Boko Haram because they are black. Race trumps shared beliefs in this case.

  10. 39 RandyGC

    The folks that you discussed at that meeting remind of some of the more, “forceful”, of the Open Carry crowd. You want to scream “Stop Helping Me!!!” in their faces at the top of your lungs.

    • 40 thefoolserrand

      What are you doing to educate them? If they have irrational beliefs, you have a couple of options: Support why they are categorically wrong in the form of a rational and critically logical argument, or just label them and end the discussion. Which option do you think would be more effective and add value to the discussion?

      I would not intend to alarm folks intentionally to support an open carry crusade, but I DO understand their push for open carry. The infighting amongst pro gun rights folks is laughable as I have not seen an attempt to find common ground and strategy to address the valid issue of open carry. This is not an open carry discussion here but I use your example to show the disconnect.

      • 41 RandyGC

        I do try, probably not as successfully as I would hope, to engage them, when they are willing to engage in actual discussion. And, again in the open carry example, to have the conversation out of earshot of the “mundanes” so as to keep the disagreements “within the family”. (Have not had the occasion to discuss the situation with Islam with people as, adamant, as Chris described).

        At the very least I try to get across that we agree on the ends but disagree on the proper strategy and tactics to achieve those ends, and lets see what we can work out on that.

        Unfortunately, at the edges of the bell curve of any group there are those that are not interested in compromise or discussion, and consider anyone that disagrees with them as either enemies or traitors. A small percentage to be sure, but often make more noise that everyone else put together. Those I “label and end the discussion” as I am too old and tired to spend energy beating my head against brick walls.

        The trick, of course, is to ID which is which in order to expend my limited time and energy on those that where it will have some impact.

      • 42 RandyGC

        Oh, please not I wrote “…want to scream..”, not “do scream”. Stress is often the gap between what you want to do, and what civility, professionalism and maturity allow you to do.

  11. 43 mjolnira havoc

    So this quote …“Yeah, I’m Muslim and all that. But if you follow all the Muslim rules you can’t drink, can’t smoke, can’t have sex, can’t do anything. I’m not going to live like that.”

    Ummm…Those are pretty much most religious requirements, Mormons and Greek Orthodox Jews are even more strict. Besides, why label yourself after or follow an ideology you don’t believe in? For one, that is honorless and meaningless, you either have a belief system or you don’t. What’s the perk to calling yourself a Muslim? free camel rides??? An exemption from Isis beheadings??

    The Teachings of Muhammad can be summed up in the following:
    Tabari 9:69 “Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us” The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam

    The Quran and the Hadith are filled, FILLED with violence and a call for mayhem on those that are infidels, which is everybody not a Muslim.
    Islam is not a peaceful, tolerant religion if it was it would be Buddhism not Islam. You can call a banana a carrot all day long but in the end when you eat it it is still tastes like a fucking banana!

    The Muslim religion does not recognize tolerance…
    Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”

    Well guess what? I have no desire to become a Muslim but by that paragraph personal choice is not really respected…you can’t politely decline and say “naw, I prefer Hermeticism myself but thank you though!”

    The real kicker for me though is that I was born a woman, and trust me when I say that I would have no qualms at all shooting holes into anyone that wanted to visit me backwoods with the idea of dominating me when I am not asking for it! I got my deer last November at 60 yards, head shot…a towel is a much bigger target.

    On a final note–I don’t care what anyone believes, you can love or hate what ever you want that’s what freedom is all about but don’t try and force me to believe as you do or violate my belief system. There is a reason why nobody says EVER …”but there were some good Nazis.” Why? because the ideology was shitty, the same goes for the Muslim ideology.

    • The problem I have with your comment is the large number of assumptions you seem to be making.

      For example, you seem to assume that the behavior of not just some but all persons who are born into a religion is governed by a very small number of selected passages in whatever religious text is identified as the ‘key’ text for that religion. More than that, you seem to assume that it is your own personal selection of which passages are relevant for a given religious text that is what matters to members of that religion. In this case, you seem to believe that it is your personal selection of a handful of passages from the Quran that is what actually guides the behavior of not just a few Muslims, but all Muslims.

      These are some pretty big assumptions. What would happen to your theory if it turned out these assumptions are incorrect?

      For example, what if we interviewed actual mainstream Muslims – families, workers, ordinary persons – rather than taking your word for it? And what if it turned out that these ordinary persons who happened to be Muslims did not share your assessment of the Quran as promoting violence in the way you assume it does?

      Because really, if your assumptions were correct, wouldn’t we see all Muslims behaving in a violent manner, rather than just a few? And wouldn’t we see all Muslims we interviewed quoting pretty much the same passages you quote, and doing so in an approving way? This is pretty much the only way that your theory could be justified. I don’t think we’re going to see the average Muslim talking in the way you describe any time soon. Which would seem to point to the gap between your private theories & the reality of most actual Muslim persons out in the world.

      And even with Nazis, you make a statement that seems to incorporate some alarmingly broad assumptions. You make it seem like there could never have been a young German soldier who was drafted into the Nazi army who might, due to his youth & his normal human desire to do what society around him tells him is the right thing, have believed that joining the army and fighting under Hitler was the right thing to do; who might not have been a terrible person; who might in fact in some ways have been a good person caught in a bad situation. Who might actually during his life have done some kind things. Or was absolutely every young man who served in the German army in World War II a bad person?

      Lastly, you seem to assume that by definition, people are either all bad or all good, and that most people should be assumed “bad” unless proven otherwise. I have never met someone who was all bad, nor for that matter someone who was all good. People seem a bit more complicated than that. And I think I do better if I assume that even people who are different than me, and who at first I am inclined to feel threatened by, have some potential for good unless proven otherwise.

      • 45 mjolnira havoc

        This is what is annoying to me about everything that you wrote… I am addressing an IDEOLOGY! You are the one that is deliberately misinterpreting what I have said and putting words in my mouth .I also have assumed nothing because ideologies are pretty straightforward, whereas individual people are not. I am not nor was I ever addressing individuals.
        People who are Buddhists (and from every other belief system or religion) have committed atrocities for whatever agenda they wanted to promote. I am also familiar with and educated in history and various world religions,the Buddhist philosophy though does not promote violence while the Islam teachings do…I selected 2 passages out of hundreds that do support violence in the name of Allah. I did not feel it necessary to quote the entire Quran or Hadith teachings to sufficiently prove my point and in any case just one passage supporting the harm of another based on what they believe IS WRONG. I will also restate that there is no Buddhist doctrine promoting violence against others. The Buddha condemned all forms of violence, and said that even if bandits were sawing you limb from limb, you should have compassion for your torturers.
        I also mentioned the reason people do not ever say there was good Nazis to illustrate a point on ideologies that evidently shot way over your head. Of course not all Nazis committed atrocities but to quote Edmund Burke “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Again I will state I was addressing an IDEOLOGY and I will restate that people will not defend Nazism because to do so implies that they approve of that ideology. DO YOU UNDERSTAND????
        When the unibomber wrote his manifesto do you really think he was like ‘err…I don’t really believe or follow half this shit’? Just what do you think an ideology is??? Would you hang out and drink beer with members of the KKK? I personally can think of a thousand less repugnant ways to spend an evening. I will tell you this though, I am not a coward nor will I bend to pretending to be politically correct and support an ideology that denies women or any group of people their basic rights. I remember when the Shah of Iran was disposed, look at pictures of women in Iran then and then look at them now.
        Finally, when you label or align yourself with an ideology you are in fact saying that this is something that you FOR THE MOST PART believe in. I will never condone nor support an ideology that subjugates or treats a group of people with inequality. You can whitewash the Islam ideology all day long but in the end it is what it is and as a woman I will fight any belief system that challenges MY RIGHT to equality and to be treated as a human being!

        • Hmm, I’m afraid I don’t understand you, to be honest. You say you are “addressing an ideology,” But ideologies don’t do things – only people cn do things.

          In other words, an ideology can’t be bad in a vacuum. It can’t be “theoretically” bad. It can only be bad if it actually leads people to do bad things. Yes? So as far as I can see, what you are trying to argue is that the Muslim ideology is a bad one because it is prone to leading Muslims to do bad things. Unfortunately, however, your only evidence so far is your own quoting of a few isolated scripture passages. I don’t think that’s adequate. To me, you’d first need to be able to show that Muslims are more likely to engage in inappropriate violence than non-Muslims. Which in fact statistically is not the case – it’s mostly just extremists such as those in ISIS. So I don’t believe you have a solid argument.

          What you do have, and what I think many people (including me) would agree with, is a dislike of the passages you are quoting. If you look back on Chris’s post, the Muslims he is quoting & talking about are people who probably also don’t like these passages from the Quran. So you & they might actually have something in common! Where these folks would differ from you is, they wouldn’t agree that these passages actually define what it is to be a Muslim. At least, not for them. And offhand I’d say they are more informed than you – given that they are Muslim & you are not!

          But anyway good luck to you – I fully support your right to be treated as a human being, just as I fully support the right of Muslims and non-Muslims alike to also be treated as human beings.

          • 47 thefoolserrand

            Here is a question for you:

            Which Islamic interpretation of the Qu’ran is supported by the top Islamic scholars and authorities (They are recognized by the majority of Muslims as the legitimate arbiter of Islamic teachings in the same way the Pope is the final authority for Catholics): The moderate peaceful interpretation or the orthodox interpretation? If you do not know, I would look to the president of Egypt’s indictment of these scholars. There is minor disagreement among the authorities but one thing of which they do not disagree: The goals of Islam and how it will be made manifest globally.

            I ask you: What supporting authoritative evidence do you have that outweighs the declarations of Islams most respected scholars?

            My argument is you prop up the irrelevant that has no power over the relevant threat that is exercising their power.

            The disconnect caused by Islam’s most respected authorities’ support of the violent extremists is being ignored. The moderate Muslim majority is NOT supported ideologically by these authorities. Egypt’s president recognized this fact and publicly condemned them for fueling the bloody jihad being waged by ISIS.

          • 48 thefoolserrand

            “In other words, an ideology can’t be bad in a vacuum. It can’t be “theoretically” bad.”

            If I am to understand this correctly, one could assume that ideas have no power in a vacuum. Show me an ideology that can be isolated in a vacuum. By definition, it had to be conceived by someone with the possibility that it may escape ones brain and be communicated, thus propagating it to the world. Is what you are saying that until it is propagated, there is no way to rationally predict the impact, good or bad?

            My point is that NO revolutionary idea exists in a vacuum unless the the one that conceives it has no means to communicate. There is one exception: Chuck Norris is suspected of having the cure for cancer in his tears. The problem is he never cries.

        • 49 Vendetta

          People never say there were good Nazis (Albert Speer is the only one people will be venture close to that for).

          You know what people say all the time?
          There were good Germans. There were. A lot of them. A lot of Germans also who weren’t Nazis but were still nasty people.

          But a lot of good Germans.

          No one is saying there are good ISIS members or even good jihadists in general (I might make an exception for Ahmad Shah Massoud there).

          They are saying there are good Muslims out there. And there are.

          No one says you have to like Islam (some overzealous members of the far-left Multicultural Joy & Tolerance Brigade aside). No one you should listen to, at any rate. But there are a lot of Muslims out there that you can and would be better off getting along with.

          If Muslims in America ever tried to push sharia law onto non-Muslims in America, I’d be right there with you standing against it. But they’re not.

          There are an awful lot of shopping malls, rock concerts, and Western influences making their way into Muslim countries, though. It is their traditional culture that is far more at risk of changing than ours. I suspect that’s why there are so many of them who are angry and lashing out with violence.

          But again: millions of Muslims going on the Hajj and then back home, only a few tens of thousands going to join ISIS or some other jihad group. I think it’s actually sort of remarkable how few Muslims are really dedicated to this jihad cause. Tells me that most of them have other things they care about more than their religion.

          • 50 thefoolserrand

            Moderate Muslims are irrelevant. If they were relevant, we would see more action on their part, but they are powerless. It is the orthodox violent Muslims that are relevant and have all of the power. They are backed by the leading Islamic authorities and scholars. These are the very same authorities that Egypt’s president boldly indicted as the primary source of ideology that is driving ISIS.

            I say again, the majority of Muslims are moderate and are irrelevant. They have taken NO action beyond rhetoric and I see no reason that they will in the future unless Jordan’s king and Egypt’s president get some support real soon in order to build momentum to effectively destroy ISIS. Once that is done, the world still has violent orthodox Muslims in Africa and Asia to address.

            What does “millions of Muslims going on the Hajj” have to do with the threat when they are entirely irrelevant?

          • 51 thefoolserrand

            Here is another video of an Islamic scholar that is in the minority unfortunately:

            I hope he gains traction.

          • 52 Vendetta

            RE: What does “millions of Muslims going on the Hajj” have to do with the threat when they are entirely irrelevant?

            I count it as millions of Muslims who clearly have the means to travel to the Middle East and join the jihad but choose not to. Reassuring when you consider that the flood of jihadists might be ten or a hundred times what it is now if these ideas really were so widespread.

            I’ll agree with you that the leading ranks of clerics tend to be rotten. I have no problems conceding that. That still doesn’t mean the majority of Muslims are on board with their ideology. I would like to see this silent majority wake up and do something about it. I’m not sure how much they can do, however. I am a Catholic – what means do I have to censure the Pope or affect who gets into the College of Cardinals?

            Secular government has my support and should have our country’s support as well in Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, regardless of how democratic they are(n’t). The alternative, the opposition in all these places is Sunni Islamist sectarianism.

          • 53 mjolnira havoc

            Ok Vendetta…to follow your lead and then actually take it where it needs to go. Like “good” Germans during WWII there are good Iranians, good Pakistanis, good Saudis and etc…Unfortunately though, IMO the Islam religion (like Nazism) is a boil on the butt of the world. I have a good friend who immigrated here from Iran, he told me once that he was forced to be Muslim when he lived in Iran. I asked how they could do that. He said “they would kill me if I wasn’t”. He is most definitely not a Muslim now or he would not be my friend because a Muslim man will never consider a woman his equal. PERIOD.

            Here’s the deal…most Americans today are indoctrinated in school and college to believe that people have the right to worship whatever they want and follow whatever lifestyle strikes their fancy and if someone is denouncing it or going against the flow then that is just not right, ermagawd SMH! You have to be PC yo! Add to this to the notion that the average American today (especially the youth) don’t really feel that passionately about an ideology or anything outside their phone and internet connection. Overall, this is an incredibly naive outlook and potentially dangerous…and this is why…

            Most “good” or so-called moderate Muslims don’t want to hear any flack about their religion, they obviously don’t want to die for it or sit out the rest of their natural life in Guantanamo for enforcing it but don’t think for a second that they don’t believe every single line or passage of their scripture 100%, there is no such thing as a non-practicing Muslim or Christian for that matter. You are either one or you aren’t, it is all the WORD or it isn’t. You can not liken either to Catholics, where you can be one and not practice (which frankly is ridiculous) This mis-belief has given rise to the fallacy that moderate Muslims are like non-practicing Catholics. WRONG!
            I grew up in a Fundamental Baptist community and household, I know what fanatics taste like and how orthodoxy can result in being “hoist with one’s own petard”. Also there are far more Muslims dedicated to fighting the good fight than my comfort zone likes. There are also many factions causing havoc besides Isis…the Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram just to name a few (the actual list is HUGE!) The Boko Haram are some real bastards and LARGE…they wiped out 25 villages and over 3000 people last month in Africa. Poor farmers and their families…massacred

            Also in regards to your comment about Western influences making their way into Muslim countries it is less so than you would think…the clerics heavily censor everything. Look at Iran in 1970s when the Shah was in charge prior to the Islamic Revolution, they were like us. They have devolved.

            Side note–Shariah law is not for infidels (non-muslims) and yes, Muslims want it in the states and in any country in which they are living. It is their own set of laws and it is a threat to women’s rights

      • 54 thefoolserrand

        I have links to MANY sermons in as many Mosques in Europe, Egypt, and the the United States that would undermine your assertions.

        Here is one from Denmark just before the recent attacks:

        Here is an Egyptian cleric:

        A Libyan official:

        Kuwaiti Islamic scholar:

        Here is a message from the Muslim Brotherhood that Obama supported during the “Arab Spring”. Recall that Obama recently invited Muslim Brotherhood supporters to the summit he held:

        Honest admissions of a New York cleric, but too bad his opinion is in the minority among clerics:

        From a Saudi Arabian cleric:

        British Islamist Anjem Choudary:

        Muslim cleric in India:

        Another Egyptian cleric:

        Please note that I included a video of a cleric in New York that is critical of the violence sweeping Islam. If you were to diligently search, the message of the majority of Islamic scholars and clerics clearly do not agree with your assessment. I can also paste every one of their clear pronouncements regarding support for terrorism and the destruction of Israel with NO mention of any two state solution because that is unacceptable to them.

        “For example, you seem to assume that the behavior of not just some but all persons who are born into a religion is governed by a very small number of selected passages”

        Speaking for myself, I will state and have shown evidence that according to the VAST majority of Islamic scholars and the undisputed Islamic authorities are all in agreement on the core issues that are the most contentious such as the establishment of the global Caliphate, that all Muslims are called to jihad against ALL non-believers who must then be converted, subjugated, limbs removed, imprisoned, or killed, There is only one option regarding any captured Jews: Death. This has been upheld by the highest Islamic authorities and clerics. It is not hard to find their pronouncements as they are very public and plastered all over the internet if you search for them, to include their unedited videos.

        Yes there are moderates that have a distaste for acting out violently, but recent studies have shown that even amongst these moderates, the vast majority support terrorism as a legitimate tactic and they call for the complete destruction of Israel. Judge for yourself. I want to be wrong about this and would appreciate you presenting a superior argument that supports the peaceful intent of Islam IN GENERAL. My contention is that the vast majority of moderate Muslims are not a threat but do support the destruction of Israel and terrorism as a means to that end even though they themselves would not take violent action. As the New York cleric states in his video, even he is convinced that MANY Muslims are ticking time bombs.

        I do agree with the author that it is easy to become close friends with Muslims and they will return the favor. I would say that they are the westernized moderate Muslims or the Muslims that will join you in fighting other Muslims they are at odds with. Just as a few bad apples do not represent the entire bunch, neither do just a few good ones.

    • P.S. Another point that works against your assumption that the nature of religious texts governs the behavior of members of those religions: You assert that Buddhists are inherently peaceful. This is simply untrue, as a peek into history and a reading of recent news articles reveals. Buddhists are quite capable of going on murderous rampages – it’s happened recently in Burma and Sri Lanka, for example. And the history of Buddhism in Japan was interwoven for centuries with that country’s violent conflicts prior to its surrender to Western powers at the end of WWII. So again, I don’t think it’s possible to prejudge millions of people based on your analysis of a fundamental religious text. I appreciate that you don’t want your own liberty abridged, but I don’t think the average Muslim is any more threatening to your liberty than the average Buddhist.

      • 57 thefoolserrand

        Your comment seems to be apologetic. I am interested in your definition of what you believe the threat to be, if you even believe an Islam motivated threat exists.

        I will state that I believe the majority of Muslims are moderate and peaceful. The problem is that they are irrelevant because the ones with the power are doing all the killing and also are supported by Islam’s most authoritative clerics and scholars. Egypt’s president recognized this FACT when he boldly indicted these Islamic authorities. Moral equivalency is worthless and can rarely be compared apples to apples and is a gross oversimplification of a complex and very critical issue.

        One can completely fall on their sword to protect the good name of Islam because the majority of adherents are peaceful for the good it will do one if the relevant violent minority has it’s knife to your throat.

        Your indictment folks pick and choose the Surahs and Hadiths to support the claim that the Qu’ran supports death is clearly misguided. Talk to an apostate Muslim some time that has left the faith and ask them why. I worked with a former Muslim from Lebanon whose father is an Imam. He was raised to be intimately familiar with the Qu’ran. I wish you could speak with him as I could not do him justice. He has a very real and rational fear that Muslim engineers that we work with may discover he is an apostate. Is he just crazy or is he justified in his fear? I asked him why he was so fearful as the Muslim engineers seemed to all be moderate in their beliefs and he told me that those are the ones he feared the most because he is not sure where they stand as opposed to an orthodox Muslim whose beliefs you can take to the bank.

    • You cannot focus on the violent passages in a holy text, and then assume that the followers of that text follow those passages with a blind obedience, without presenting proof.

      Some do, sure. I can’t disagree with the statement that some do.

      But to claim that all do, or, to commit the “no true scotsman” fallacy and claim that “no true Muslim” can choose to not follow the violent part and still claim to be a Muslim is just silliness.

      I made the point above, and I’ll make it again here – the Bible is a horribly violent book that contains a rule of law that requires the death penalty for trifling things that we consider routine today. No Christians that I’m aware of follow that law. Therefore, to read the bible and claim that Christians will execute you for, say, sowing your fields with many types of seeds, is just ignorance of the most profound type.

      To say “no true Christian” would choose to not follow those laws is likewise Ignorant.

      To say likewise that “no true Muslim” can possibly be non-violent is just simply not true. Religions can and do change with the times. They must.

      Or are you willing to claim that the Catholic church still requires all Bibles to be written in Latin, and all services to be given in Latin?

      or that they routinely burn witches…

      Or, get this, that they don’t believe in the theory of Evolution (a theory which the Cathotlic church has actually accepted as fact?)

      Religions evolve. YOu cannot read the Koran and use that as a way to judge the mindset of every Muslim on Earth.

  12. Thank you for writing this! I shared it on my Facebook page.

  13. OK, one more comment and I’ll shut up. I think this piece by Chris is hugely important because his account is personal yet factual; highly specific; and highly targeted in terms of relevance to our concerns as U.S. citizens. He is arguing for tolerance as well as vigilance & for knowing who our friends really are and treating them with respect. It’s important for our own survival as individuals & a society. In other words it’s not just a theoretical argument. It’s massive.

    Along these lines, I invite anyone who has serious reservations about particular religions, or even just a general concern about the relationship between religious affiliation & violence of any kind, to visit the Pew Research Center’s mini-site on “Religion & Public Life.” Yes it can seem boring because it’s full of studies which are crammed full of facts . . . but now & then a visit with facts can really inform us. I’m not sure if a link can be put into a comment – I will try below – but in any case you can Google and find Pew easy enough.

    http://www.pewforum.org

  14. We shouldn’t just not alienate Muslims who openly oppose radical Islam, we should support them. At best, they’re risking alienation from their own. At worst, they’re risking their lives to show the world that radical Islam doesn’t speak for all Muslims.

    • 62 thefoolserrand

      I fully support them but I also acknowledge they have taken no action to effectively out the extremists within their own ranks. Much of this is out of fear. Fear within their own Mosques that they will be targeted by the orthodoxy if they do. I always wondered why do the “good” moderate Muslims NOT report the extremists within their religion and this is the real and rational reason why. Fear for one’s life is an effective silencer. This is why the moderates are irrelevant in my opinion.

      • 63 Vendetta

        Rotherham in England actually exposed another phenomenon…there were Pakistanis who went and reported the operations of the rape gangs there to the British authorities. It was the British authorities who refused to act on this information out of fear of being slammed as racists.

        Goes to show that the extreme progressivists who condemn any reproach of a minority group really do their own share of damage as well.

        • 64 thefoolserrand

          I read that as well. It is shocking and odd. Hell of an indictment of the dangerous dysfunctions that creep into multiculturalism.

  15. 65 Stuart the Viking

    I think that America has been largely accepting of our fellow Americans who also happen to be Muslims. Sure, we have a certain percent of Americans who just hate, but even that percent has largely limited itself to being insulting and crude (rather than murderous).

    Islam seems to have it’s percent of assholes too. That percent has moved far beyond just being insulting and crude, and have taken to chopping people’s heads off, lighting people on fire, shooting people, and generally violating rights of everyone around them. They have also, helpfully, congregated themselves in a nice, easily targeted group (ISIS). Why are we not just dealing with these bastards and having done? Mostly, it’s because our leadership is weak, and is unable or unwilling to recognize evil. Perhaps, after the 2016 election, the new administration will have the courage to stand up and do what needs to be done. I kinda doubt it though.

    s

    • I never relate much to all the Europeans who complain about their Muslim immigrants because American Muslims for the most part seem nothing like the ones they get over there. Lot of them in the colleges here and I lived down the street and around the corner from the local mosque (just a big house they’d removed the interior walls of, really).

      Only problem I ever had with them was the weekly traffic jam every Friday. Their lot had about eight spaces so they’d fill out the entire street on both sides form end to end.

      The Muslims I have known have generally all seemed pretty quiet, studious, and middle class. There was one college kid from my girlfriend’s school who was arrested after trying to go join ISIS – but that happened because his parents phoned ahead to the police.

      I understand that there are radicals out there in our country but we don’t seem to face anything like the level of risk or societal burden a lot of European countries are facing.

  16. 67 thefoolserrand

    Some questions regarding this article and an invitation to honest discussion:

    Preface
    I believe that a significant narrative is trending that you illustrated in the article: An ever expanding and increasingly popular demographic in society that is outraged by the actions of the relevant and violent orthodox Muslims and the acknowledgment that the majority of Muslims are peaceful moderates, but they muddle them together as one threat.

    The question is are the moderate peaceful Muslims relevant and is their peaceful interpretation supported by the top Islamic authorities that were recently called out by Egypt’s president?

    Just as it is counterproductive to lump all Muslims into a single category, Is it not counterproductive to cherry pick the ignorant among those outraged by the actions of orthodox Muslims as examples of “ignorant redneck Islamaphobes” that our administration paints as representative of the majority narrative of this group?

    Why are the examples in your story “Outraged”? Will illustrating that one of them included the Kurds in the same class of orthodox Muslim jihadists discount any credibility in his beliefs? Does this not throw the baby out with the bathwater by giving his one inconsistency too much weight?

    Let’s accept that there is ignorance in all schools of thought and quit nitpicking and dwell on what IS of value. We cannot have an honest discussion without first being able to shed the emotional rhetoric and consider all data, no matter how offensive it may be to any one group. Until then, we are perpetuating ignorance by willfully ignoring relevant information because it may offend. The only way to address disinformation and ignorance is through honest and critical argument without fear of being labeled an Islamaphobe, apologist, etc.without first establishing the indictment in fact.

    The challenge as I see it is that we would be fortunate to get folks from all camps to weigh in on this debate in this forum. The best one could hope for is to retrieve reference from other sources to discuss.The weight and value of this information will develop as the discussion proceeds.

    Here is the danger area: Any casual reader that identifies with any of the groups discussed that happens upon this article and reads the comments may, and most likely will, become outraged and offended, This will happen.

    The objective would be to identify the non existent bogeymen that folks believe to be a real threat and to identify and define what IS the actual threat.

  17. 68 Ken

    I like how you imply those who challenged the professor as having an agenda, while acting as if a muslim would give a completely objective overview of the history of Islam. Made me smile to see such blatant disrespect for the intelligence of your readers.

    I also thought it hilarious to see your comparison claiming many muslims have nothing in common with ISIS, “[j]ust like my Christian parents have nothing in common with the Westboro Baptist Church.” Let me know when the people of Westboro Baptist church kill thousands of people in a year. Otherwise, your comparison is morally bankrupt. You may not like what the people of Westboro Baptist Church believe and say, but you cannot in any meaningful sense claim they are in any way the Christian equivolence of ISIS. If there is no meaninful equivolence, your comparison is empty rhetoric.

    far larger numbers of Muslims reject ISIS’ actions.

    False. Recent worldwide polls (google is your friend on this point; you can see Pew’s and Gallup’s polls) showed that a large majority of all muslim believe terrorist attacks, are at least sometimes morally justified. It’s true that some groups, such as al Qaeda, are unpopular among muslims, but when asked about some of those groups’ actions, suddenly, they are sympathetic and justifiable. A significant minority of muslims worldwide (between 25% – 35%; that translates to, on the low end, more muslims than there are Americans, as 25% of 1.6 billion is 400 million) sympathize with or believe justifiable the 7/7 bombings and the 9/11 attacks.

    It’s nice to hear that there are some moderate muslims. I’ve even known a couple. But it’s pathetic to try to make it look as if the levels of awfulness in Christianity is somehow on par with the level awfulness of Islam. It isn’t. A quick glance around the world confirms this. The best countries in the world in which to live are largely Christian countries. The countries with the largest muslim populations are in the middle east and north Africa, i.e., countries that are largely terrible, violent, and impoverished. Islam isn’t like Christianity in that it’s largely good with some bad parts. The reality is that Islam is largely bad with some good parts. There is a reason for the saying “You shall know the tree by its fruits”.

    • 69 thefoolserrand

      A very good former Muslim friend, I will call him Rob, told me, he can see and knows the intention of the orthodox jihadi Muslims and can avoid them. It is the moderate Muslims that he must constantly be aware of because one never knows when they will have an ah-ha moment and become a threat if they learned of his status as an apostate Muslim.

      I am an engineering consultant and became very good friends with him. One afternoon, one of the employees overheard Rob telling me that he was a FORMER Muslim. This employee was sarcastically stated rather loudly “Well you better watch out for the other Muslim engineers cause they will kill you.”. Unbeknownst to us, word did get back to some fellow Muslim employees and then the threats began. One of the Muslim engineers bought a burner cell phone but failed to throw it away after use which led to his arrest and conviction for calling my friend and threatening the lives of he and his family. The strange thing about the caller was that he thought since he was using a burner phone, it could not be traced to him so he talked freely and could be kept on the call for several minutes. The police used this to track him down after several calls.

      In another incident, a few of us would gather for lunch on the patio and conduct a bible study. The Muslim employees, not to be out faithed, immediately began Islamic studies in one of the conference rooms and had the gall to anonymously complain that our bible study on the patio off the company’s property was offensive to them. Note that no one complained of their having Islamic studies on company property,a clear violation of company policy. We never complained nor brought the issue up as a violation. No manager dared challenge them regarding the misuse of company property but they quickly asked us to go elsewhere. Although we were asked if we could move the bible study out of view of company property, we had no legal obligation to comply and refused the request. This incident happened well before Rob was threatened for being apostate. Did I state that these Muslim engineers were contractors on H1B visa’s and risked their job to complain about us employees?

      The threat is real. Just as a CCW permit holder carries and most likely will never need to engage, it could some day happen. Speak out against Islam in an unflattering way that goes viral and you can expect a visit someday from an angry jihadi. There are now a few that did say insulting things about Islam and they are now dead. The disturbing sentiment among some is that they deserved it because they provoked them. Insult the prophet and one of his followers that was otherwise peaceful may go postal and take them out. I guess we better watch what we say and think because the fatal heckler’s veto is alive and well.

      It is easy to sit back comfortably and pronounce judgement and categorical assignment of “Islamaphobe!” label at the slightest disagreement with Islam and some of it’s adherents demands on those around them as I illustrated in my examples. I have personally witnessed it. I have seen company directors and senior managers run for cover when it comes to this. It is this same attitude that enabled Maj Nidal Hassan to commit his crimes even though the command knew of his red flags. Question motivations that have anything to do with Islam and you can bet your career will soon be over.

      • Those are good observations, but I’m not defending Muslim intolerance or suggesting we turn a blind eye to Muslim extremism. I’m just saying we should embrace the moderates.

        • 71 thefoolserrand

          I agree. The moderates I would embrace have a history of peaceful coexistence with other religions even when their religion is the majority. The Kurds are an excellent example that should be the model for how we define partners if we are to arm them.

    • “I like how you imply those who challenged the professor as having an agenda, while acting as if a muslim would give a completely objective overview of the history of Islam. Made me smile to see such blatant disrespect for the intelligence of your readers.”

      The point of my post was that not all Muslims are the same. And now you claim you know what “a Muslim” would say about Islam’s history. Are they all the same? Do they all think the exact same thing?

      “I also thought it hilarious to see your comparison claiming many muslims have nothing in common with ISIS, ‘[j]ust like my Christian parents have nothing in common with the Westboro Baptist Church.’ Let me know when the people of Westboro Baptist church kill thousands of people in a year.”

      You went to great lengths to write a long comment about something I didn’t say. Please point out where I said the WBC and ISIS are equivalent. You obviously didn’t pay any attention to what I actually wrote, but if you had you might have noticed I said I’d happily napalm every ISIS fighter. I didn’t say the same thing about the WBC, or claim they’re doing anything violent.

      “Otherwise, your comparison is morally bankrupt. You may not like what the people of Westboro Baptist Church believe and say, but you cannot in any meaningful sense claim they are in any way the Christian equivolence of ISIS. If there is no meaninful equivolence, your comparison is empty rhetoric.”

      Please quote where I said the WBC is the equivalent of ISIS (here’s a hint: I didn’t). I said I can hate the WBC without hating all Christians. That’s a huge difference.

      “far larger numbers of Muslims reject ISIS’ actions.

      False. Recent worldwide polls (google is your friend on this point; you can see Pew’s and Gallup’s polls) showed that a large majority of all muslim believe terrorist attacks, are at least sometimes morally justified. It’s true that some groups, such as al Qaeda, are unpopular among muslims, but when asked about some of those groups’ actions, suddenly, they are sympathetic and justifiable. A significant minority of muslims worldwide (between 25% – 35%; that translates to, on the low end, more muslims than there are Americans, as 25% of 1.6 billion is 400 million) sympathize with or believe justifiable the 7/7 bombings and the 9/11 attacks.”

      The numbers you just cited don’t dispute my claim you cited above. I have heard of surveys in Egypt that show the majority of their population supports terrorism; however, there isn’t an equivalent survey for the entire Muslim world. As evidenced by the differences between Egypt, Kosovo and Turkey, obviously not every Muslim population is the same. And again, as I said in my essay, there is something in Islam that convinces far too many of its followers that they’re justified in committing horrible crimes. Muslim extremism needs to be destroyed, and in case you weren’t aware of my bio I actually have tried to destroy some of it. I’m not saying there is no threat. I’m saying not all Muslims are the same.

      “It’s nice to hear that there are some moderate muslims. I’ve even known a couple. But it’s pathetic to try to make it look as if the levels of awfulness in Christianity is somehow on par with the level awfulness of Islam. It isn’t. A quick glance around the world confirms this.”

      I agree it’s pathetic. That’s why I didn’t say it. Look back at my essay. Quote where I allegedly said Muslim extremism is on par with anything Christian.

      “The best countries in the world in which to live are largely Christian countries. The countries with the largest muslim populations are in the middle east and north Africa, i.e., countries that are largely terrible, violent, and impoverished. Islam isn’t like Christianity in that it’s largely good with some bad parts. The reality is that Islam is largely bad with some good parts. There is a reason for the saying ‘You shall know the tree by its fruits’.”

      I agree that the Muslim world, in general, is far worse off than the Christian world. And it’s not the west’s fault, despite academia’s desperate quest to blame all the world’s evils on us. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t moderate Muslims who we should embrace. Which was the entire point of my essay.

    • Ken – that whooshing sound you just heard was Chris’s point, going right over your head at about Mach 2…

  18. Reblogged this on The Bartelists and commented:
    Adding some perspective to my ProgLeftie-Islam Update. I agree with the content – and spirit – of this post. Neither the issue nor Islam is completely binary – but our problem isn’t as “nuanced” as making sure ISIS members have jobs.

  19. Very insightful, Chris. I think the death of intelligent discussion begins with generalizations. I’ve always felt that making a sweeping statement about one group of people is unfair to the many who do not fit the mold. I was taught to regard people as individuals.

    The “we need to bomb ISIS” statement seems akin to saying, “we need to bomb Catholics!” Surely there are places where you will find concentrated numbers from a group, but it seems to me many are dispersed among the general population. Do I have that right?

    • 76 thefoolserrand

      “The “we need to bomb ISIS” statement seems akin to saying, “we need to bomb Catholics!” ”

      I must strongly disagree with your statement. Comparing Catholics to a violent extremist death cult that is ISIS is insulting. Catholics have not declared war on us. What do you know of ISIS and it’s stated goals?

      No, you do not have that right and could not be more wrong. It is OK to be wrong in a forum, There is nothing at all redeeming or innocent about the intent of ISIS. Please research them. This is truly a case of a black and white issue with absolutely no hint of gray.

      • You know, I was raised Catholic and still am a Catholic at heart. My mother is Catholic. I was not at all trying to equate Muslim extremism with Catholicism. My analogy was an attempt to address the geographic nature of the group. Definitely there are strongholds which I wholeheartedly agree should be wiped out. But outside of those strongholds are thousands of others laying in wait.

        Further, I will state that I am quite aware of their murderous, torturing, and raping ways, and would very much like for every one of them to die.

        Please know that as soon as I hit send on that comment, I wished that I had said, “we need to bomb racists”, as a better analogy. Or maybe there is no good analogy. But I simply think that a good bombing will not take care of the problem, and that a more prolonged effort will need to be in place.

  20. As a general comment on this very interesting thread that has developed – one side effect of this post is that we’ve talked mostly about Muslims and the possible threat that a rigid Muslim ideology represents. But if we were really to try & understand the issue we’d have to look at not just Muslims but all religions – and not in the rather crude way we normally do, when for example we assume that the world has perhaps only 3 or 4 major religions and that we know how these are manifested through our own rather narrow experience of them living in the U.S.

    The entire picture is far more complex than that. Chris has gestured toward that complexity in one of his comments (in reply to Kirk) when he brought up the fact that ethnicity is at least as important, and probably more important, than religion; this was in regards to Kosovo. Yet in our comments here we haven’t talked much at all about ethnicity.

    So again I suggest at least glancing at a few of the studies or pages on the Pew web site that I mentioned before – for example below is a page about religious persecution and violence around the world that is staggering & surprising in its diversity. You don’t have to read the whole thing – just glance at some of the factoids or figures & graphs presented. It ought to suggest that we are talking here about a very small slice of a very large pie. And too often we are mistaking the slice for the pie.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2014/01/14/religious-hostilities-reach-six-year-high/

    • 79 thefoolserrand

      I must respectfully disagree. If we do as suggested we will waste resources chasing non threats. It would not be prudent to engage every evil that we find that is not threatening our interests. There will be evil and we cannot engage it all. Race and culture has proven to trump even religious belief as evidenced by reports that ISIS refuses to support Boko Haram because of race.

      Because of the clear and immediate threat of orthodox Islamic terrorists, they are dealt with first. Your analysis is in alignment with our president’s recent declarations and insistence that all religions are guilty. My problem with this is we do not have Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc attacking us so why spend even a second dwelling on this? The threat is Islamic based and I am in full support in assisting properly vetted moderate Islamic partners to clean up their house of extremists. The challenge is vetting what we consider moderates.

    • 80 thefoolserrand

      I should mention as well that there is a common motivator among both Christian and Islamic faiths that contribute to the escalation of religious violence and that is the belief in the end of days. This theme runs very thick among the militant Islamist groups.

      The difference is that as Christians, we are not commanded to fulfill the end of days prophecy as that is God’s domain. The militant Islamist sects see it as a duty.

      It is very interesting how current events are meshing with these prophecies. Some will say that it is these beliefs that create a self fulfilling prophecy. I do not subscribe to this idea.

  21. 81 Michmike

    Chris,

    I have written before and not always agreed with your points but I whole heartedly do here.

    Many people make sweeping generalizations about things and are ignorant of the facts and the question is why? Because it is easier to have things that are black and white and not have to deal with the messy grey areas and thus admit things are often more complicated than they seem.

    Look at the stupid things Sarah Palin or the other not so very bright republican female politician (cannot remember her name is) has said.
    That is like making generalizations about gun owners or republicans etc.

    There are always shades of grey but then sometimes you get the crazies like Isis or westboro wing nuts. They have to be treated accordingly but hey That is what makes life so interesting.

  22. 82 Shell

    Most excellent post and comments, Chris. I, too, put this on Facebook, to wide acclaim.

    All of this percolating around the brain gave birth to an idea, one that maybe one day I can put to use. At that presentation, I wonder what the response would have been to someone stepping up to the mike and asking the crowd these three questions (after appropriate disclaimers currently required in public discourse):

    1. How many of you are Christian, of any denomination or sect?

    2. How many of you support in any way the activities – for that matter, the very existence – of the Westboro Baptist Church?

    3. Now do you get it?

    • I would not use point 3. It is heavy in arrogance and sarcasm.

      IMHO, you are comparing apples to oranges. We do not see the congregation of Westboro expanding, yet ISIS and other etreme Islam groups are gaining massive popularity. Westboro is insignificant, period.

      • 84 Shell

        True about #3. I get that way sometimes. Gotta dial it back.

        I know it’s a difference in degree that makes it look like apples and oranges, I’m trying to simplify in order to get the concept across. #3 could then be, “Imagine if Westboro began acting in a manner akin to ISIS, and gaining a like following.”

  23. 85 thefoolserrand

    themselves: Who is alienating who? What good is moral equivalence?

    Westboro congregation numbers are insignificant when compared to extremist Islamic adherents. It is an apples to oranges comparison.

    Could these students be our future “moderate muslims”?:

    The message on campus is one sided in my rational opinion.
    They will be the future face of Islam and have drug along with them, weak minded non-Muslim students that which the message of deception resonates. Anti semitic attacks are at an all time high here in the US and globally. We as a nation will soon turn our backs on Israel in my opion as the hate grows unchecked due to only one narrative being allowed in the debate.

    This is the root of the problem, not our attitudes towrd moderate Muslims, which in my opinion is a dangerous distraction from the real threat. I have already stated in other comments that history supports the theory that the peaceful majority have always been insignificant when it came to atrocities. The violent minority always controlled the message and wielded the power through horrific acts that effectively silenced the sheeple.

    Control the minds of the youth, and you control the future. Considering this fact, the future is one of horrific acts like none before.

    It really is that simple.


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