RevolutionMuslim.com…and evolution

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By now everyone has heard how the pro-terrorism group Revolution Muslim threatened South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker by stating “they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh,” posting a picture of the murdered film director, and helpfully including their addresses at South Park studios, and the address of Comedy Central’s offices. The threat was issued after South Park’s episode “200” in which all the people that South Park ever made fun of, led by Tom Cruise, teamed up to get back at the town. To protect themselves from the ridicule of South Park citizens, they plotted to capture Muhammad and steal his secret ability to not be made fun of. To avoid breaking the rule against depicting the prophet Muhammad, Stone & Parker dressed Muhammad up in a bear suit.

(Never mind that Muhammad had co-starred sans censorship in the 2001 episode “Super-Best Friends”, since played as a rerun hundreds of times without controversy, and that Muhammad appeared hundreds of more times amongst the other Super-Best Friends in post-2001 intro graphics for the show.)

After the threat was issued, and after Comedy Central began to kowtow to the terrorists by increasing the censorship of the show, the sequel episode “201” revealed that it had not been Muhammad in a bear suit after all, but Santa Claus. Despite the complete non-depiction of Muhammad in the show (in the non-bear-costume shots, Muhammad had been hidden behind a CENSORED box), Comedy Central has now taken even the censored version of episode 201, and the old Super-Best Friends episode, off its website.

Anyway, what’s the connection to evolution? Well, I was watching a CNN discussion which featured a clip scrolling through RevolutionMuslim.com’s blogposts. Here’s the cowardly “kill people who disagree” (I’m paraphrasing, obviously) post…

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…and, guess what the very next post is? That’s right…

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I’ll quote the evolution post in full for historical archiving purposes (italics original)…

Evolution - Fact or Fiction?

Monday, 19 April 2010 17:52 | Written by Abu Juhayman | PDF | E-mail

To claim London was built by coincidence (by rainfall and storms) is ridiculous. Just like to claim the cell was created by accident is ridiculous. The cell is the most complex structure in the world.

Human species contain more than 200,000 protein molecules. The emergence of one protein with 500 ammo acids by coincidence is the odds of 1 in 10950.

Biogenesis entails the fact that life can only come from life. Who created the first life?

[52:35] “Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators?”

A tornado ripping through the jungle could not form a Boeing 747. Then how can an explosion such as the big bang cause the effect of such a perfectly formed Universe?

Likewise, how can an explosive occurrence such as the big bang result in the perfect formation existing today? Usually an explosion causes destruction and chaos, however today we find following the big bang; advanced life structures made up of complex cells have resulted from it.

[30:27] “And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it (after it has been perished); and this is easier for Him. His is the highest description (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but But, and there is nothing comparable unto Him) in the heavens and in the earth. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.”

Natural selection cannot produce new DNA

Mutation to DNA can only be negative and harmful, so how could we evolve in DNA positively? If DNA is broken, and mutilated, you could grow an arm on your back, etc. There are only negative mutations.

[22:73] “O mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it (carefully): Verily, those on whom you call besides Allaah, cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought.”

There are no fossils for “transitional forms”. There are over 100 million fossils today, but not a single fossil is of a transitional form.

The fossils show species appear in their unique form. There is no gradualism.

All phyla appeared all of a sudden. There is no evidence (fossils) for ancestral forms. They are complex.

[2:117] “The Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it: “Be!” - and it is.”

Fish breathe by their gills, how would they turn into lungs? How would fins turn into feet?

Amphibians were always amphibians.

They say the original flight happened by dinosaurs chasing flies. Where did the ancestors of those flies get their wings?

3.5 billion years old bacteria fossil found in Australia is exactly the same as present-day bacteria fossils.

Fossils of ants 100 million years ago are the same as today.

You cannot underestimate the soft-tissues, the reconstruction of half-man/half-ape is down to the imagination of the sculptor.

The sculptors mould the plaster replication of a human onto the skull of an ape, make it appear to have human eyes and call it “the ancestor of man”.

[17:81] “And say: “Truth (i.e. Islamic Monotheism or this Qur’aan or Jihaad against polytheists) has come and Baatil (falsehood, i.e. Satan or polytheism) has vanished. Surely, Baatil is ever bound to vanish.”

Evolution in itself does not necessitate the non-existence of a Creator because:

[25:2] “He to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Who has begotten no son (children or offspring) and for Whom there is no partner in the dominion. He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements.”

[25:3] “Yet they have taken besides Him other aleehaah (gods) who created nothing but are themselves created, and possess neither harm nor benefit for themselves; and possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.”

[56:57] “We created you, 0 then why do you believe not?”

Googling shows that the text is identical to this text posted March 23 on another Islamic website. And the claims are presumably taken straight from Harun Yahya materials, which are known for an extra-strong fixation on the idea that the fossil record shows no evidence of change (and for confusing fishing lures with the real insect). And of course the Stephen Meyer DNA/information argument, the Fred Hoyle Boeing 747 argument, etc., have been copied by the Muslim creationists from the Christian ID/creationist movement.

Anyway, it’s utterly standard antievolution silliness. I wouldn’t draw any particular guilt-by-association conclusions about Christian fundamentalist creationism/ID from this – after all, no one can control what kooks will take up one’s ideas. But I do find it entertaining to ponder what RevolutionMuslim would think if it knew the agenda and political associations of the folks who manufactured the antievolution arguments they use, and vice versa.

70 Comments

ps…”ammo acids”…wow…

[25:3] “Yet they have taken besides Him other aleehaah (gods) who created nothing but are themselves created, and possess neither harm nor benefit for themselves; and possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.”

The beginning of critical thinking! They just need to take this passage one step further and consider what is the basis for belief and disbelief.

Just another terrorist group, I suppose.

Dale Husband said:

Just another terrorist group, I suppose.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. However, narrow-minded fundamentalism is the same the world over.

It’s not just evolution - astronomy is also wrong, according to the Koran. The earth is flat (15:19); the sky is a roof(21:32); the sun is in orbit around the earth (21:33 and 36:40).

God created man from clay (6:1, 15:26, 23:12) - or from water (21:30, 25:54) - or from dust (3:59, 30:20, 35:11) - or from the earth (11:61) - or from wet earth from a germ (16:4), from nothing (19:67), from a drop of ejaculated semen (75:37), from gushing fluid (86:5), from a little germ (80:18), from clots of blood (96:1), from dust and germ (18:37), dust, germ, then clot of blood (22:5), (40:67). (per http://home.vicnet.net.au/~atheist/[…]OfDarwin.htm) Those conflicting versions cannot all be correct.

It’s easy to pick on Muslims, but what we see here is the impact of intolerance and bigoted fundamentalism. It doesn’t matter whether the “official” ideology behind it is a twisted version of Islam, Christianity, some other religion, communism, ethnic supremecism, whatever. It always has the same impact. The dogmatic, authoritarian mind has narcissistic characteristics - delusions of grandeur but brittle insecurity at the same time. Criticism - including the implied “criticism” of just living another way - provokes rage and violence.

Paul Burnett -

FYI, I am no theologian of any sort and would not last a day in a seminary. However, my understanding is that Islam has a way of dealing with contradictions in the Koran. Supposedly, if there is a contradiction, whatever was written later is the correct stance. Of course, all reasonable people, whether religious or not, agree that the Bible and Koran cannot be interpreted literally.

One cannot understand the Muslim response to public criticism of Muhammed, nor their support of Creationsim, without undestanding two things about Islam.

1) The Koran is the literal word of god, even the quotes of Muhammed’s. Absolutely. There is no questioning of the Koran. Death is the prescribed reaction to such blasphemy, at home and now abraod.

2) There is no freedom of speech in Muslim countries. There is no separation of church and state in Muslim countries. There are virtually no Muslim countries with any separtion, Turkey, Jordan a Egypt come to mind.

It is perfectly consistent with the disregard for free speech and the belief in the absolute truth of the Koran, that questioning, much criticism, much makin gfun of Muhammed would be severely responded to.

It is perfectly consistent with the absolute authority of, and literal interpretation of, the Koran, that the same bad Evolution/Creationist arguements find favor with Muslims. A pew study of this is most unlikely to be tolerated in a Muslim country.

This is not the workings of a fringe group, as would be hoped.

Bernard Kirzner MD -

Your claims about to an accurate description of fundamentalism/dogmatism, coupled with a completely false insinuation that all Muslims are fundamentalist, and also possibly an insinuation that dogmatism/fundamentalism is unique to Islam.

Some bigots are more sophisticated than other bigots.

The repulsive output of “revolutionmuslim” is unsophisticated bigotry.

Intensely obnoxious acts of terrorism by Muslims have been in the news a great deal for the last thirty-five or forty years. All of these acts are repugnant to anyone who values human life. Many of them are completely unrelated to religion and more or less purely “political” in motivation. Yet even if we count them all and add them all up, the toll of suffering pales compared to that inflicted by Nazis, Stalinists, Maoists, the Inquisition, and numerous other incidents of ideology-driven violence in human history.

Authoritarian dogma is authoritarian dogma, hatred is hatred, disrespect for the humanity of others is disrespect for the humanity of others. It is all the same thing.

The actions of Islamic terrorists in no way whatsoever justify any ill-treatment or stereotyping of other people who happen to be of Muslim heritage.

By that way, in my reply to Dr Bernard Kirzner there is a typo; it should read “amount to” rather than “about to”.

Sorry harold, but Dr. Bernard Kirzner’s analysis is not just succinct, but also a valid description as to what millions of Muslims, especially those “inspired” by Salafi Sunni Muslim extremists, accept. Do not think for an instance that I am a Muslim bigot, because I have Muslim friends and respect their religious views (But they also tend to be more secularized, than for example, a Palestinian cousin-in-law I met once. Her husband, a younger first cousin, is someone I have mentioned here in the past, and all I will say of him is that he has very “moderate” friends who have advocated the extinction of the “Zionist entity” (Israel) and other statements that are closer in substance and tone to Muslim Revolution’s than what they might be willing to admit.).

John Kwok said:

Sorry harold, but Dr. Bernard Kirzner’s analysis is not just succinct, but also a valid description as to what millions of Muslims, especially those “inspired” by Salafi Sunni Muslim extremists, accept. Do not think for an instance that I am a Muslim bigot, because I have Muslim friends and respect their religious views (But they also tend to be more secularized, than for example, a Palestinian cousin-in-law I met once. Her husband, a younger first cousin, is someone I have mentioned here in the past, and all I will say of him is that he has very “moderate” friends who have advocated the extinction of the “Zionist entity” (Israel) and other statements that are closer in substance and tone to Muslim Revolution’s than what they might be willing to admit.).

Well, it would help if moderate Muslims were much more aggressive and more flamboyant in combating the bigots, and the tyrants, and the terrorists and the murderers who have hijacked Islam.

Depends by what you mean as a “moderate” Muslim:

Stanton said:

John Kwok said:

Sorry harold, but Dr. Bernard Kirzner’s analysis is not just succinct, but also a valid description as to what millions of Muslims, especially those “inspired” by Salafi Sunni Muslim extremists, accept. Do not think for an instance that I am a Muslim bigot, because I have Muslim friends and respect their religious views (But they also tend to be more secularized, than for example, a Palestinian cousin-in-law I met once. Her husband, a younger first cousin, is someone I have mentioned here in the past, and all I will say of him is that he has very “moderate” friends who have advocated the extinction of the “Zionist entity” (Israel) and other statements that are closer in substance and tone to Muslim Revolution’s than what they might be willing to admit.).

Well, it would help if moderate Muslims were much more aggressive and more flamboyant in combating the bigots, and the tyrants, and the terrorists and the murderers who have hijacked Islam.

One friend who is half British, half Indian, once confided in me by saying that he and other moderates didn’t want to speak out merely out of self-preservation (They were afraid that the Salafi extremists and other jihadi sympathizers would not only verbally criticize but commit other, far worse, acts.).

And then of course there is my cousin, who claims to be a “moderate”, but toes the party line of CAIR each and every time (Maybe not a surprise, since CAIR was his biggest supporter when my cousin, a former US military chaplain, was falsely accused of treason approximately six years ago.).

Stanton said:

Well, it would help if moderate Muslims were much more aggressive and more flamboyant in combating the bigots, and the tyrants, and the terrorists and the murderers who have hijacked Islam.

Just as it would help for moderate and progressive Christians to more aggressively repudiate the silliness of their fundamentalist brethren.

While I don’t wish to condone the intellectual stupidity of fundamentalist Christians, there is one important distinction:

RWard said:

Stanton said:

Well, it would help if moderate Muslims were much more aggressive and more flamboyant in combating the bigots, and the tyrants, and the terrorists and the murderers who have hijacked Islam.

Just as it would help for moderate and progressive Christians to more aggressively repudiate the silliness of their fundamentalist brethren.

At least most fundamentalist Christians aren’t interested in committing acts of terror, ritual killing of wives, and other acts which we, as civilized 21st Century members of Western Civilization would find as quite abhorent.

RWard said:

Stanton said:

Well, it would help if moderate Muslims were much more aggressive and more flamboyant in combating the bigots, and the tyrants, and the terrorists and the murderers who have hijacked Islam.

Just as it would help for moderate and progressive Christians to more aggressively repudiate the silliness of their fundamentalist brethren.

Exactly.

John Kwok -

Sorry harold, but Dr. Bernard Kirzner’s analysis is not just succinct, but also a valid description as to what millions of Muslims, especially those “inspired” by Salafi Sunni Muslim extremists, accept.

First of all, you have restated Dr Kirzner’s analysis in a way that makes it more logical. Nevertheless…

This is utterly irrelevant with regard to the point I made. I did not deny terrorism or obnoxious beliefs by Muslims; quite the opposite.

I will repeat and clarify my point - 1) ideology driven violence against innocent people is not unique to Muslims; in fact, as I noted above, atrocities by Muslims are not even necessarily more numerous than other atrocities 2) even if we make the highly suspect claim the Muslims are statistically more likely to commit ideology-driven violence, the vast majority of the world’s over a billion Muslims are in no way involved with this and should not be unfairly judged or mistreated.

I will also add that plenty of Muslims have religious and cultural beliefs that I profoundly disagree with, but that this is not my business unless they mess with me. In the US, Muslims must obey US law like everyone else (as indeed the vast majority do, as US Muslims have a low crime rate and high levels of income and education, on average). In other countries, the laws of those particular countries applies, and if I don’t like how they run the country, I won’t move there.

Do not think for an instance that I am a Muslim bigot, because I have Muslim friends and respect their religious views (But they also tend to be more secularized, than for example, a Palestinian cousin-in-law I met once. Her husband, a younger first cousin, is someone I have mentioned here in the past, and all I will say of him is that he has very “moderate” friends who have advocated the extinction of the “Zionist entity” (Israel) and other statements that are closer in substance and tone to Muslim Revolution’s than what they might be willing to admit.).

I have no reason to think that you are an anti-Muslim bigot.

I vehemently oppose the outrageously inhumane idea that the nation of Israel should be “destroyed”. I will say exactly one thing about my opinions on Israeli politics - millions of Jewish Israelis agree with me, and as for the ones who don’t, unlike Americans, they are usually able to discuss things with me in a logical way and find points of agreement. That is my only statement on this subject.

Stanton said -

Well, it would help if moderate Muslims were much more aggressive and more flamboyant in combating the bigots, and the tyrants, and the terrorists and the murderers who have hijacked Islam.

True indeed, but I suggest that this is true of humans in general. It would help if more people were courageous, principled, and able to restrain their tribalistic impulses.

For example, imagine if, when one person showed up at a “tea party” rally with a hideously racist sign depicting President Obama as a “primitive medicine man”, or worse yet, something implying support for assassination, others at the rally confronted them and condemned the implied association of their movement with racism, or indeed, outright treason and first degree murder. I use this only as an example; other examples are welcomed as long as they are truly equivalent. Imagine what that would do for the level of discourse in the US. Sadly, the human race doesn’t seem to be there yet.

John Kwok -

At least most fundamentalist Christians aren’t interested in committing acts of terror, ritual killing of wives, and other acts which we, as civilized 21st Century members of Western Civilization would find as quite abhorent.

You’re kidding, right?

No, I am dead serious about this:

harold said:

John Kwok -

At least most fundamentalist Christians aren’t interested in committing acts of terror, ritual killing of wives, and other acts which we, as civilized 21st Century members of Western Civilization would find as quite abhorent.

You’re kidding, right?

While I am well aware that this is a fringe “Christian” Aryan Nation movement within Fundamentalist Christians, I do know, from past discussions with Fundamentalist Christians - including those who are evolution denialists - that they are not as extreme as fanatical Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims (I stress “fanatical” in the sense that I am aware that most Sunnis and Shi’a tend to be moderate, not extreme, in their views.). And if I would forget that, then I must remind myself not only of my first cousin Jimmy, but also of the other many Muslims and Muslim - Americans I have known over the years.

John Kwok and others:

I see Middle Eastern Islam as being stuck in the kind of mentality that European Christianity was in 1000 years ago. The actions of the Church back then (Crusades, witch hunts, supporting absolute monarchies, anti-Semitism, oppression of women) seem to be strikingly simular to what Islam is doing today.

Today, we are free to slam the Catholic Church for harboring child molesters among its clergy. I wonder how much child abuse was going on with it in the Middle Ages. One may also wonder how much child abuse occurs in Islam. After all, we do have cases of child MARRIAGE, including girls as young as ten or eleven being forced to marry much older men. And that’s what has been reported.

Dale, that’s the traditional view:

Dale Husband said:

John Kwok and others:

I see Middle Eastern Islam as being stuck in the kind of mentality that European Christianity was in 1000 years ago. The actions of the Church back then (Crusades, witch hunts, supporting absolute monarchies, anti-Semitism, oppression of women) seem to be strikingly simular to what Islam is doing today.

Today, we are free to slam the Catholic Church for harboring child molesters among its clergy. I wonder how much child abuse was going on with it in the Middle Ages. One may also wonder how much child abuse occurs in Islam. After all, we do have cases of child MARRIAGE, including girls as young as ten or eleven being forced to marry much older men. And that’s what has been reported.

It’s one I am especially troubled by since I do recall reading how refined and well educated some of the Crusaders and their Muslim opponents were. Have heard of a newly published revisionist history of the Crusades which may do a great job in altering our percptions of it, showing that, among things, Richard the Lionhearted was both a skilled diplomat and warrior, fluent in many languages, who had the utmost respect for his Musilm opponents. Similarly, Saladin, the great Kurdish warrior, was himself, of similar mind as Richard.

If anything else, both Muslims and the West need to recognize that, in some respects, both Muslims and Christians were suprisingly far more tolerant of each other than most might wish to accept.

Having some Muslim relatives in my family has forced me to become a bit more educated about Islam and to realize that it is a great faith, and one that, regrettably, has been hijacked in the service of Salafi Sunni and Shi’a Fundamentalist zealots.

Dale Husband -

As above, the logical flaw in your comment is not the criticisms of bad behavior by Muslims, which are largely valid, but the implications that these behaviors are unique to, or universal among, Muslims.

I see Middle Eastern Islam as being stuck in the kind of mentality that European Christianity was in 1000 years ago.

Really? “Middle Eastern Islam”? All of it? At least you’re not generalizing about all of Indonesian or Malaysian Islam.

The actions of the Church back then (Crusades, witch hunts, supporting absolute monarchies, anti-Semitism, oppression of women)

Witch hunts were exceptionally rare before the fifteenth century, and from a pragmatic point of view, absolute monarchies were not very common between the collapse of the Carolignian empire and the sixteenth century. However, your point is basically correct. You conveniently forgot to mention that Islam was much LESS associated with this type of thing one thousand years ago.

seem to be strikingly simular to what Islam is doing today.

Except that 1) the Catholic church was then and still is a unified denomination with a single head, and “Islam” isn’t and never was. You are taking the worst actions of Muslim - which no-one is denying or failing to condemn - and both generalizing them to all Muslims, and implying that they are currently unique to Muslims, which is just silly. I could note the atrocities committed by Cambodians (who are traditionally Buddhist), Serbs, Basque terrorists, Rwandans, Latin American death squads, American racist/right wing/fundamentalist nuts like Timothy McVeigh or Roeder, and and innumerable others who are not Muslim during the same time period which is associated with Muslim terrorism. In fact, I think I just did.

Today, we are free to slam the Catholic Church for harboring child molesters among its clergy.

And we should indeed condemn this behavior, and the response of the church hierarchy to it.

I wonder how much child abuse was going on with it in the Middle Ages.

By modern standards, plenty.

One may also wonder how much child abuse occurs in Islam. After all, we do have cases of child MARRIAGE, including girls as young as ten or eleven being forced to marry much older men. And that’s what has been reported.

I have circumstantial reason to think that there is plenty of child abuse in certain Muslim religious contexts. That doesn’t lead me to tar Muslims who don’t commit child abuse with the same brush.

For full disclosure, I have a disproportionate number of Jewish and Muslim friends, as well as a disproportionate number of friends from a variety of other “ethnic” or religious groups. This is simply due to the fact that I live in New York City.

Stop the presses! Read THIS:

http://willyloman.wordpress.com/201[…]e-west-bank/

All of a sudden last week a group called “Revolution Muslim” threatened violence against Comedy Central if they aired an image of Muhammad which forced Comedy Central to censor the show and now you have even liberals talking about those “radical Muslims” and their threats of violence. Karl Rove couldn’t have done it any better.

Problem is, Revolution Muslim was started and run by a “converted” Israeli settler who studied at an orthodox rabbinical school in Israel before becoming a settler in the occupied territories.

You can count on “Revolution Muslim” to say the wrong thing at the right moment to get Americans to hate all those “radical” Muslims.

But the only thing is… “Revolution Muslim” (his creative fake “Scary American Terrorist” website) was started and ran by a man named Yousef al-Khattab. Yousef al-Khattab was born Joseph Cohen, in Brooklyn, New York. He was jewish. But not just jewish, he was a settler who went to Palestine to live on the illegal Israeli settlements.

Joseph Cohen isn’t alone though. There is another “radical Muslim” convert from Judaism (the original fake “scary American Terrorist“) who makes sure that “radical” Muslims are hated in America, his name is Adam Pearlman and he went by the “radicalized” Muslim name “Adam Gadahn“. Adam Pearlman is actually the grandson of a member of the board of directors of the Anti-Defamation League (at least he was on the board… Dr. Carl Pearlman died in 1998).

In short, this blog claims it was all a Zionist scam from the start!

Creationism among muslims has very little to do with fundamentalist vs. moderate, educated vs. illiterate, or any of the other issues that may be involved in the propensity for creationism in other religions. A secular beer-drinking physician in America is only marginally more likely to accept evolution than some functionally illiterate jihadi living in the mountains of Pakistan. It is because muslims are taught from the cradle that the Qur’an is unquestionably true in every regard, and if anyone or anything disagrees it is because they, not the Qur’an, are wrong. This makes it very difficult for otherwise reasonable, intelligent people to even begin to consider that evolution could be factual.

This is not to say that all muslims are creationists, but even among those that accept evolution in principle the belief in the special creation of humans is almost universal.

I, myself, had a neighbor who was working on his Ph.D. in Maths. He was very smart and kind, and we visited often with one another. While talking we occasionally debated about evolution, but no amount of explanation or fact could get him to entertain even the possibility that I was correct because the Qur’an says otherwise.

That, really, is the crux of the problem. Until someone finds a way to re-interpret the Qur’an to agree with evolution, as has been done with other branches of science, it is unlikely there will ever be widespread acceptance of its factuality among muslims of any stripe.

harold said:

The actions of the Church back then (Crusades, witch hunts, supporting absolute monarchies, anti-Semitism, oppression of women)

Witch hunts were exceptionally rare before the fifteenth century, and from a pragmatic point of view, absolute monarchies were not very common between the collapse of the Carolignian empire and the sixteenth century. However, your point is basically correct. You conveniently forgot to mention that Islam was much LESS associated with this type of thing one thousand years ago.

Four things that concern me about Islam:

1. Like it or not, the Qur’an does encourage jihad. It might be interpreted in a non-violent way, but it can also be a menu for very violent action.

2. Moderate Muslims say privately and individually that their religion is being hijacked by the extremists, but aren’t doing so as large groups. How are non-Muslims to believe that all Muslims, or even the majority of them, are not extremists unless this is done?

3. Islam is theocratic. We see this in most Muslim countries, and in Europe, especially Britain, where Muslims want to be able to have their own law courts. Until Islam undergoes (re-undergoes, actually) its own version of the Englightenment, and realizes that separation of mosque and state is a good thing, it will remain a threat to democratic states.

4. Related to the last one, there are certain things about Islam, as it is practiced in many countries, that I believe violate fundamental human rights. Child marriage is one, and female genital mutilation is another. Yes, I understand that some of these are more cultural than based on Islam, but Islam is used to justify them, just as the bible was used to justify slavery. Again, until groups of Muslims speak out against these practices I will be suspicious of their intentions to live as members of modern society.

I am myself a member of a minority religion, and hate the idea of any sort of prejudice against a religion. I have to consider the fact, however, that in most countries in which Muslims are the majority they have little or no respect for minority religions, even imposing the death sentence for converting from Islam to one of them.

Islam as it is currently practiced has some serious flaws.

David Fickett-Wilbar said: Moderate Muslims say privately and individually that their religion is being hijacked by the extremists, but aren’t doing so as large groups. How are non-Muslims to believe that all Muslims, or even the majority of them, are not extremists unless this is done?

And if you don’t condemn communists, we’ll suspect you of being one? Your approach towards muslims sounds a lot like McCarthyism to me. Its not a crime to not speak out on some issue. Think of all the various worldwide evils you haven’t condemned lately - hmmm, maybe that means you’re in on them.

And while your question was probably meant to be rhetorical, the answer is: you judge individuals by their actions. Extremist is as extremist does.

According to my cousin Jimmy (To those of you who don’t know whom I am referring to, you will, since he was that United States Army Muslim chaplain at Gitmo.), “jihad” means one’s personal struggle in accepting both faith and wisdom from Allah. Unfortunately, I agree with you that many Muslims - including my cousin - tend to gloss over the fact that jihad is often invoked in waging war against the infidels:

David Fickett-Wilbar said:

harold said:

The actions of the Church back then (Crusades, witch hunts, supporting absolute monarchies, anti-Semitism, oppression of women)

Witch hunts were exceptionally rare before the fifteenth century, and from a pragmatic point of view, absolute monarchies were not very common between the collapse of the Carolignian empire and the sixteenth century. However, your point is basically correct. You conveniently forgot to mention that Islam was much LESS associated with this type of thing one thousand years ago.

Four things that concern me about Islam:

1. Like it or not, the Qur’an does encourage jihad. It might be interpreted in a non-violent way, but it can also be a menu for very violent action.

2. Moderate Muslims say privately and individually that their religion is being hijacked by the extremists, but aren’t doing so as large groups. How are non-Muslims to believe that all Muslims, or even the majority of them, are not extremists unless this is done?

3. Islam is theocratic. We see this in most Muslim countries, and in Europe, especially Britain, where Muslims want to be able to have their own law courts. Until Islam undergoes (re-undergoes, actually) its own version of the Englightenment, and realizes that separation of mosque and state is a good thing, it will remain a threat to democratic states.

4. Related to the last one, there are certain things about Islam, as it is practiced in many countries, that I believe violate fundamental human rights. Child marriage is one, and female genital mutilation is another. Yes, I understand that some of these are more cultural than based on Islam, but Islam is used to justify them, just as the bible was used to justify slavery. Again, until groups of Muslims speak out against these practices I will be suspicious of their intentions to live as members of modern society.

I am myself a member of a minority religion, and hate the idea of any sort of prejudice against a religion. I have to consider the fact, however, that in most countries in which Muslims are the majority they have little or no respect for minority religions, even imposing the death sentence for converting from Islam to one of them.

Islam as it is currently practiced has some serious flaws.

There are no Christian churches in Saudi Arabia - none whatsoever. Until Islam has its Enlightenment, and there are proportionately as many non-Islamic centers of worship in Islamic countries as there are Islamic centers of worship in non-Islamic countries, the United Nations and other organizations should condemn those Islamic countries for religious discrimination. See http://www.pewsitter.com/view_news_id_7306.php

Paul Burnett said:

There are no Christian churches in Saudi Arabia - none whatsoever. Until Islam has its Enlightenment, and there are proportionately as many non-Islamic centers of worship in Islamic countries as there are Islamic centers of worship in non-Islamic countries, the United Nations and other organizations should condemn those Islamic countries for religious discrimination. See http://www.pewsitter.com/view_news_id_7306.php

Actually the Muslim World had at least two Enlightenments, but both were nipped in the bud by infighting, the Mongols under Genghis Khan, and the Spanish.

No, not quite, Stanton:

Stanton said:

Paul Burnett said:

There are no Christian churches in Saudi Arabia - none whatsoever. Until Islam has its Enlightenment, and there are proportionately as many non-Islamic centers of worship in Islamic countries as there are Islamic centers of worship in non-Islamic countries, the United Nations and other organizations should condemn those Islamic countries for religious discrimination. See http://www.pewsitter.com/view_news_id_7306.php

Actually the Muslim World had at least two Enlightenments, but both were nipped in the bud by infighting, the Mongols under Genghis Khan, and the Spanish.

A more likely culprit was a retutn to Fundamentalist orthodoxy, since, even as late as the late thirteen and early fourteen centuries in Spain, Muslims were able to coexist peacefully with their Jewish and Christian neighbors, forging one of the most ecumenical civilizations during the Middle Ages. As for the Mongols, many later became Muslims, so one can’t necessarily blame Genghis Khan or his immediate descendants.

My ‘b. That was in response to this from Butler:

Pierce R. Butler said:

Imagine that the United States, Britain, and some other major “1st world” nations were brutally invaded and illegally occupied by a merciless coalition of [fill in the blank] resource thieves who laughed as they tortured and massacred, year after year - and that the only way to fight back was through suicide missions.

How many American men in their twenties would approve of such resistance? Or even those in (hypothetically unoccupied) Canada?

Anyone who thinks this is strictly a matter of religion has their head up their ass in a Mobius loop.

FWIW, the “five fundamentals” that (theoretically) for the basis for current Christian fundamentalism were originally adopted by the General Assembly of the PCUSA in 1910. The fundamentals are, in brief form: (1) scriptural inerrancy, (2) the virgin birth of Christ, (3) the necessity of atonement through Christ’s death, (4) the bodily resurrection of Christ, and (5) the physical reality of the miracles ascribed to Christ. I doubt you’ll find, in the present day, a Christian fundamentalist who disagrees with any of these points, regardless of any political superstructure that’s been built on this foundation.

All of the polling that I have seen on Muslims shows that the ones who have immigrated to the US are pretty moderate. Probably more moderate than your average fundamentalist Christian. I suspect that there’s a reason why they picked the US. The ones who were born here take a more extreme stance. Go figure. I wonder if it is an act of rebellion against their parents?

Muslims in the Middle East are a different story. Regarding the countries for which there is data, that data makes a pretty good argument against letting religion rule government. My personal opinion is that the religious right in this country would morph into something not unlike Muslim extremists were they allowed free reign over the laws of this country. I could see something like Sharia Law - Christian Edition - being implemented.

I wish I could see the views of places like Saudi and Iran broken down by age. I suspect that the younger Iranians would be pretty moderate and that the Saudis would be pretty extreme. Afghanistan would be interesting too.

Some of them have been radicalized enough to support Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, including some at CAIR, and some who claim to be devoted friends of my cousin, the West Point alumnus who was that US Army Muslim chaplain at Camp Gitmo:

Jesse said:

All of the polling that I have seen on Muslims shows that the ones who have immigrated to the US are pretty moderate. Probably more moderate than your average fundamentalist Christian. I suspect that there’s a reason why they picked the US. The ones who were born here take a more extreme stance. Go figure. I wonder if it is an act of rebellion against their parents?

Muslims in the Middle East are a different story. Regarding the countries for which there is data, that data makes a pretty good argument against letting religion rule government. My personal opinion is that the religious right in this country would morph into something not unlike Muslim extremists were they allowed free reign over the laws of this country. I could see something like Sharia Law - Christian Edition - being implemented.

I wish I could see the views of places like Saudi and Iran broken down by age. I suspect that the younger Iranians would be pretty moderate and that the Saudis would be pretty extreme. Afghanistan would be interesting too.

And I am of course including those who were born here, such as the US Army psychiatrist who went beserk at Fort Hood last year:

John Kwok said:

Some of them have been radicalized enough to support Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, including some at CAIR, and some who claim to be devoted friends of my cousin, the West Point alumnus who was that US Army Muslim chaplain at Camp Gitmo:

Jesse said:

All of the polling that I have seen on Muslims shows that the ones who have immigrated to the US are pretty moderate. Probably more moderate than your average fundamentalist Christian. I suspect that there’s a reason why they picked the US. The ones who were born here take a more extreme stance. Go figure. I wonder if it is an act of rebellion against their parents?

Muslims in the Middle East are a different story. Regarding the countries for which there is data, that data makes a pretty good argument against letting religion rule government. My personal opinion is that the religious right in this country would morph into something not unlike Muslim extremists were they allowed free reign over the laws of this country. I could see something like Sharia Law - Christian Edition - being implemented.

I wish I could see the views of places like Saudi and Iran broken down by age. I suspect that the younger Iranians would be pretty moderate and that the Saudis would be pretty extreme. Afghanistan would be interesting too.

The Pew Report makes for some interesting reading.

Summary: http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=1035 Full report: http://tinyurl.com/23u9ja7

There you will find that: “Very few Muslim Americans – just 1% – say that suicide bombings against civilian targets are often justified to defend Islam; an additional 7% say suicide bombings are sometimes justified in these circumstances.” And remember, this finding has no control group. If you were to ask a random sample of Americans if suicide bombing could ever be justified in defence of Christianity, I bet you’d find similar answers.

There has been misreporting that only 40% of American Muslims believe that Arabs were behind 9/11, implying they are in the minority. In fact, the full data shows 40% believe Arabs flew the planes, 28% do not believe Arabs flew the planes, and 32% did not offer an opinion. So, OF THOSE WHO OFFERED AN OPINION, a sizeable majority of 59% believe that Arabs were responsible for 9/11. Meanwhile, a 2006 Scripps survey (http://www.scrippsnews.com/911poll) showed 36% of Americans thought it very or somewhat likely that federal officials either took part in or refused to stop 9/11. So 36% of Americans had similar views to 40% of American Muslims.

Also according to the Pew Report, in America, Muslims are MORE politically moderate than Christians. “About half of Muslim Americans (49%) say mosques should keep out of political matters, while 43% believe that mosques should express their views on social and political questions. In a Pew survey in 2006, 54% of Christians said churches and other houses of worship should express their political and social views, while 43% disagreed.”

As for domestic terrorists in recent US history, there are some Muslims among them (e.g. the Beltway Sniper), but there’s a whole grab bag of other ideologies including Army of God, the Black Liberation Army, the Jewish Defence League, the KKK, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Earth Liberation Front, and so on.

This is not to deny the serious dangers posed by Islamic terrorism, but really, it’s important to confine one’s criticisms to actual terrorists and not to misstate the Pew Group’s 2-year old phone survey in a way that casts suspicion on Muslims as a whole.

While I don’t wish to be dismissive of your comments, Chris, the fact remains that those who have committed - or have tried to commmit - acts of terrorism here in the USA tend to be either Muslim aliens or Muslim - Americans. Regrettably yet another instance of that is in the breaking news category, with the seizure of a Pakistani - American (who finally obtained US citizenship last year) from Bridgeport, CT, aboard an outward bound airliner flight to Dubai from JFK airport. The suspect was apparently the one responsible for the attempted terror bombing in Times Square, here in New York City, this past weekend.

Chris

There are several Pew reports on these issues. Here is another:

http://pewglobal.org/reports/displa[…]p?PageID=814

John Kwok said:

While I don’t wish to be dismissive of your comments, Chris, the fact remains that those who have committed - or have tried to commmit - acts of terrorism here in the USA tend to be either Muslim aliens or Muslim - Americans.

Yeah. I suppose.

Except, of course, for the previous record holder, Timothy McVeigh.

Except, of course, for the perpetrators of the two dozen or so murders and bombings tied to abortion clinics over the last decade.

And (probably) the guy who sent the anthrax letters in 2002.

And Eric Rudolph, who bombed the Atlanta Olympics.

Or the tragedy/comedy of the Branch Dividians.

The issue probably isn’t Islam, per say, it’s “crazy religious zealot”.

Sadly, too many “leaders” in the Muslim world find it convenient to whip up the masses in the name of God. Nothing is quite so useful, it seems, as an angry mob. Especially when it comes to distracting said mob from the fact that you aren’t really doing much for them.

But it should be noted that, while the politicians/religious leaders/self interested autocrats - and they are often one in the same - in the Middle East are especially adept at the game, they are by no means alone, as witnessed regularly by watching idiots like the “Church of God-Hates-Fags” protest military funerals.

Those are isolated cases:

stevaroni said:

John Kwok said:

While I don’t wish to be dismissive of your comments, Chris, the fact remains that those who have committed - or have tried to commmit - acts of terrorism here in the USA tend to be either Muslim aliens or Muslim - Americans.

Yeah. I suppose.

Except, of course, for the previous record holder, Timothy McVeigh.

Except, of course, for the perpetrators of the two dozen or so murders and bombings tied to abortion clinics over the last decade.

And (probably) the guy who sent the anthrax letters in 2002.

And Eric Rudolph, who bombed the Atlanta Olympics.

Or the tragedy/comedy of the Branch Dividians.

The issue probably isn’t Islam, per say, it’s “crazy religious zealot”.

Sadly, too many “leaders” in the Muslim world find it convenient to whip up the masses in the name of God. Nothing is quite so useful, it seems, as an angry mob. Especially when it comes to distracting said mob from the fact that you aren’t really doing much for them.

But it should be noted that, while the politicians/religious leaders/self interested autocrats - and they are often one in the same - in the Middle East are especially adept at the game, they are by no means alone, as witnessed regularly by watching idiots like the “Church of God-Hates-Fags” protest military funerals.

No matter how repugnant I regard Fundamentalist Protestant Xians and their ilk, only a mere few have even tried to attempt the very acts you’ve cited. Unfortunately, on the other hand, there seems to be a credible report about Muslim and Muslim-American terrorist activity here in the United States virtually every month. We’ve been lucky that there hasn’t been anything remotely like 9/11, but I wouldn’t hold my breath thinking that it won’t happen again, especially given the political motivations of my fellow high school alumni, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod, and of course, their “prize pupil”, the current POTUS.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on April 25, 2010 3:44 AM.

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