“Have yourself….a Muslim little Christmas….”

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Maryam's Purity And [mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. (Surat 'Āli `Imrān 3:42, Quran.com)

Maryam’s Purity
And [mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. (Surat ‘Āli `Imrān 3:42, Quran.com)

Christmas. It’s not just for Christians, anymore.

I recognize that Christmas is a Christian, religious holiday- I love that it is! That the “Christ” in “Christmas” belongs there, unmolested. But as a non-Christian who has grown up celebrating the rituals and trappings- Christmas tree, gift-giving and receiving, Christmas card writing, carols, etc.- I also regard the holiday as universally accessible and not exclusive; and deeply embedded in American cultural tradition (at least of the last 60-100 years). I may not have accepted Jesus as my savior; but I don’t disrespect those who have; nor do I fear exposure to biblical stories (as a child, I enjoyed the Little Drummer Boy claymation, because it was so dark; and I enjoyed the Charlie Brown Christmas special- both of which are very religiously oriented). I also recognize that Christmas has an evolving history of traditions that reaches back into pagan practices. I think most reasonable Christians (I know Christians who don’t celebrate Christmas, because it’s not “pure” in its Christianity) are fine with this.

There is no reason why a Jew can’t have a Christmas tree in the home. There’s no reason why an avowed atheist needs to use the occasion to mock religion in general and spite Christianity in particular. And of course, there’s no reason why anyone should be forced to celebrate Christmas, either.

What I do believe, is that Christmas has enough religious and secularized aspects that it should be accessible and inoffensive to everyone. That it is a time to celebrate the universal message of “Peace on Earth and good will toward all men [i.e., “mankind”]”. As everyone knows, Christians who celebrate Christmas have embraced traditions that have their roots in pagan religions and traditions, and made it their own. Why not the reverse?

It’s common knowledge that Jesus figures as a prophet and a messenger of God in the Muslim faith; and his mother, Mary, is highly respected and figures more often in the Quran than in the New Testament.

Muslims believe that Jesus was born through an immaculate conception and that he performed miracles.

So there is no reason why Muslims shouldn’t feel excluded from participation in the Christian celebration of Jesus’ birth; or at least participate in the secular celebrations of the Season. Of course the salafists and wahhabis and hardline, puritanical Islamists would have a problem with this; but I’m not talking about them.

I was thinking about this when I saw a Facebook post from a college friend who lives in Singapore and had converted to Islam, on account of his wife. And his post showed a a beautiful traditional Christmas tree in their Singapore home, complete with presents.

I had also come across this Daily Beast article which had prompted me to post, as I found it interesting:

Many mentioned having Christmas dinner at the house of Christian friends. Even more spoke of putting up a Christmas tree each year (and sent me photos of their tree.) Many told me they exchanged Christmas gifts, while others shared that they put up Christmas lights on the outside of their house. A few even noted that they attend Christmas mass with Christian friends.

Are we just being nice? Trying to fit in more in America? Or is this a part of our dastardly plot to destroy Christianity and impose sharia law in America?

In reality, from a theological point of view, Jesus is extremely important to Muslims. The Koran states: ‘The angels said, ‘O Mary, indeed God gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, who will be a man of honor in this life and the life to come, and who will be one of the ones nearest to God.”

As New York City based Imam Shamsi Ali explained by way of email, “To Muslims, Jesus is considered one of ‘mighty’ prophets along with Moses, Abraham, Noah, and Mohammed.” Ali added, “Remembering Jesus’ birth and the teachings of Jesus is an important part of our Muslim faith.”

Linda Sarsour, one of the leaders of New York City’s Muslim community, echoed the Imam’s sentiment, saying, “Jesus is very central to Islam and is someone I take great inspiration from.”

Although I share in some of the criticism about Islam- and all of the criticism over political Islam and wahhabism, salafism, and jihadism- I think those who see a problem in this are simply misguided Islamaphobes:

Just look at the backlash Wal-Mart endured this year for selling a Muslim themed star for Christmas trees, which features a crescent moon and star. If you Google “Muslim Christmas tree star” you will see a list of right-wing websites wetting their pants over this. To be honest though, I can’t even put into words the joy I feel when these bigots get angry over this type of stuff. It’s like Christmas for me any day they get pissed.

Note that the author of the article is Muslim; and probably a liberal multiculturalist one, at that.

Muslim_Christmas

There are very few things that I agree with the political correctness police on; but if this is one of those things being pushed by the “Coexist” crowd, I say more power to them.

Iraqi Musings London:

I left England 1987 when I tuned 8. I haven’t been here since I moved to London earlier this year. Back then there weren’t as many Arabs and other ‘ethnic’ people like myself where I lived. Most people were too friendly, a few were too rude and either way we didn’t fit in. My mother devised a genius plan to fit us in. Christmas.

Once a year we wore the Christmas jumpers and made cardboard cuts of the nativity scene with all the other kids at school. We went overboard with red, green and golden tinsel, lights and paper snow flake cuttings hanging on the windows and walls of our house. Every year we had a Christmas tree gleaming with decoration and fluffed cotton balls to mimic snow. We believed santa actually existed because my mother left us gifts under the tree.

We sent photos to my grandparents in Baghdad. In them we had wide grins on our faces, in our brand new pajamas, covered in Christmas prints and standing in front of the festively decorated tree. So my grandparents started to send us bright orange wool socks knitted from scratch. They were a little confused about what constituted Christmas theme colors.

When we went back to Baghdad we kept the Christmas tradition going. It was a time to be festive and optimistic of the year ahead. Most importantly it was just plain good fun. Once again, my siblings and I, became the odd ones outs.

Our neighbours would stare at us panting and sweating as we pulled a large log of pine tree and ask what on earth we were doing. ‘It’s a Christmas tree’ we’d explain. ‘But you’re Muslim?!’

We were too excited about planning our Christmas party to be bothered. We were done trying to fit in.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Muslim Christmas Celebrations Gain Footing In America
:

A generation or two ago, when America’s Muslims were new immigrants who made up an even smaller minority of Americans than they do today, the lights, trees, carols, gifts and festive spirit of Christmas were viewed by many Muslims as a threat to their children’s Islamic faith.

But these days, a growing number of Muslims celebrate Christmas, or at least partake in some ways, even if they don’t decorate their homes with trees and a light show. Indeed, many Muslim families have created their own unique Christmas traditions.

“I teach my three children, who attend public school and happen to be born into an interfaith Christian-Muslim family, that we absolutely do celebrate Christmas because we are Muslim,” Hannah Hawk of Houston wrote in an email. Rather than putting up a tree or lights, “we celebrate the reason for the season, Jesus, by studying all that is written about him in the Quran and by examining historical theories.”

The Hawks also give to charity, bake treats for neighbors, invite them to dinner, and wish friends, colleagues and teachers “Merry Christmas” with cards and phone calls. Hawk’s kids get together with Christian friends to perform various good deeds. This year, they will play songs (violins, viola, trumpet, cellos, bells) at a local community hospital for patients recovering from surgery.


~~~

But others see a new generation of Muslims born or reared in the United States who feel secure enough to view Christmas as another tradition they can relate to, and to celebrate it in a wide variety of ways — as do their Christian neighbors.

“Muslims should join their Christian neighbors to celebrate Christmas,” said Rizwan Kadir, a financial adviser who is active in his Muslim community in suburban Chicago. “We also believe in Isa,” Kadir added, using the Arabic name for Jesus, “and he has a very special place in Islam.”

Christmas time is a perfect end-of-the-year opportunity to celebrate things we share in common; even if we have shared differences in the details. There’s no reason why Santa Claus can’t deliver Christmas presents to good little Muslim boys and girls all over the world. All it takes is a willingness to believe and embrace. It’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon and hitch up your own cultural beliefs to enrich a pre-existing tradition further:

“I think there are a lot of Muslims that celebrate Christmas, but they do it quietly. We believe in not leading that double life,” says Zonneveld, 49. “Celebrating Christmas is not really a contradiction to Islam because Jesus is our prophet, too.”

As the most-commercialized religious holiday in the United States, Christmas can be a difficult time for Muslim families with kids who grow up surrounded by the holiday’s traditions, from Santa and songs to Christmas trees and gifts. It’s not uncommon for Muslim parents to take on some cultural aspects of the holiday to help their children feel included. Yet, Muslims such as Zonneveld are taking it further and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

This is the fourth year that Zonneveld — a singer-songwriter who was born in Malaysia and co-founded a national network called Muslims for Progressive Values — has hosted such a Christmas get-together for her 13-year-old daughter and family friends.

At her party, she says parents talked with their kids about the “similarities and differences between the Islamic and Christian Jesus,” to teach them that Islam is “not all about Muhammad.”

The comparisons and contrasts include Muslims believing in Jesus as a prophet and in his miraculous birth, but not seeing him as divine or the son of God. The Quran, in which Jesus is referred to in Arabic as “Isa,” also says that Jesus was not killed or crucified, but that God raised him to heaven. Similar to the Christian doctrine of the Second Coming, Islamic teaching also says that Jesus will return to earth near the end of time.

“It would be typical of mosques to have a sermon on Jesus at this time of year, praising him as one of the great prophets but distinguishing Muslim belief from Christian belief, as Muslims must believe and love Jesus Christ as a prophet and Messiah,” says Ihsan Bagby, an Islamic Studies professor at the University of Kentucky who researches American mosques. “But in terms of practice and observation of Christmas, that’s an on-going debate among Muslims.”

For Muslims such as Shireen Ahmed, a 34-year-old social worker and mother of four who lives in the Toronto suburbs, the holiday is a time to teach her kids about their religion and how to respect other religions. While Ahmed does not celebrate Christmas at home, she says she is “open and interested” in the idea. In recent years, she has observed Christmas by attending Catholic Midnight Mass at the invitation of friends.

“I love the Mass, I find it inspiring and uplifting,” says Ahmed, who doesn’t have a Christmas tree or decorations but does let her young children take photos with Santa. “I’m not accepting of Jesus as the Son of God, I don’t take communion, but I will attend, I will respect, and I will kneel when they kneel.”

“I look at it from a cultural tolerance perspective. We live in a society that’s diverse,” she says, adding that she recently used the Christmas season as a chance to talk about Jesus to her 7-year-old. “I explained the Holy Trinity, and my son said ‘What do you mean? Allah doesn’t have a father or son.’ I said “that’s what we believe, but others don’t and you have to respect that.”

Respect. Tolerance. Acceptance. Be a part of the beautiful American (and “universal”) celebration of a federally recognized holiday and have a Merry Christmas, whether you are Christian or not! If you’re a multiculturalist, embrace the culture of Christmas and not feel threatened by it.

39 Responses to ““Have yourself….a Muslim little Christmas….””

  1. 26

    gainny

    ‘Who do you prefer to define Islam? The good “apostate” moderates who do need reform? Or the puritanical Islamists and the global jihad movement? Who do you wish to marginalize? It’s always entertaining to read outsiders who have read one too many anti-Islam polemic tell Muslims themselves what they are supposed to believe in rather than allow Muslims themselves to interpret and define their religion.’

    As a Westerner, my preference counts for nothing. The four major Islamic schools of thought are in basic agreement on the Koran, sunna, and hadiths. They define Islam. See “The Reliance of the Traveler” for details. Allah wrote the Koran, Mohammed was the perfect man, and there will be no questions. And death to apostates.

    Those are the rules.

  2. 27

    Smorgasbord

    @Redteam: #12
    Thanks for the spelling correction.

    I was referring to things like where I live. We have wolves and bear in our mountains. A lot of times, someone will move into an area like mine, and find out about the wolves and bears (or whatever might be in that area) that they didn’t know were there, and want them destroyed, or, developers will bulldoze hundreds of acres of land to build a housing development, instead of building the houses in the trees, because it is cheaper to bulldoze, and start from scratch, than plan around the trees and the lay of the land.

    Laws should be written that make it MANDATORY for sellers of property to tell the negative things around them, like animals, noises, smells, if the property is in a flood plain, etc. I know some communities have such laws, but it should be national.

    My perfect house would be in the trees, with just enough trees removed to build the house, if any needed removing, and the house on stilts, so that the land under it can still be used by the animals, and I could watch them as they go under my house.

    Another alternative would be to have underground communities. They wouldn’t have to be dug into the ground. They could be built above ground, then covered with dirt. I remember many years ago about the possibility of even building a mall underground, with parking on the top, so it wouldn’t take up as much space.

  3. 28

    Smorgasbord

    @Wordsmith: #13
    FYI
    A lot of times, if commenters are going back-and-forth over the same subject, I usually don’t read the comments any more, unless my name is mentioned. The comments caught my attention, or I wouldn’t have seen your reply to me. I suggest listing all the ones you are replying to at the beginning.

    Why would you expect conservative blogs to highlight that, anyway, smorg? Any positive stories on Muslims that counters the anti-Islam establishment are essentially ignored by conservative blogs. Any negative stories are constantly regurgitated and championed.

    I admit that I am not a blogger, and don’t even like to read for very long, so I’m not on the computer for hours like some are. I grew up listing to and watching the propaganda media when I didn’t know it was the propaganda media. I started listening to conservative talk radio as I drove across the country. That was the first time I heard, as Paul Harvey would say, “Theeeeeeeeeeeeeee rest of the story.”

    You were reading conservative blogs back in 2001? Wow. I didn’t start reading political blogs until 2004. What blogs were around way back then, smorg?

    I stand corrected. I was still driving the country then, and it must have been a radio show host, or several, that made the comment about no muslim cleric condemning 9/11 until some time afterward. I’m lousy at remember names and dates.

    I thought you said you haven’t read the Quran?

    I haven’t, but I have listened to, or read stories from some who have, and I haven’t heard any muslim deny what most others say it says, so I think it is save to say that those particular comments are accurate.

    Well, I suppose the majority of the 1.5 billion Muslims are actually apostates, huh? Only the jihadis and Islamists are the true adherence to Islam (Um…..Sunni? Shia? Sufi?….)

    Unless you can show where the koran does not demand that a muslim must convert people, and that it does not say that they must convert the world, and that it does not say that if they can’t convert the people, they are supposed to kill them, and that it does not say that if a person leaves the muslim religion, they must be killed, yes. That is what the instructions say.

    Er…..don’t we have them? Some call them “moderates”. Oh, but taqiyyah!

    But, they are still following the Koran, not separating themselves from it, and forming a separate branch of the islamic religion. Several Christian denominations have split into one or more sects, and have their own rules. Even the Amish religion has two separate sects. One company I drove for had an Amish driver driving his semi around the country.

    Isn’t Muslim on Muslim violence (i.e., the jihad movement and Islamists) ranking up there with black on black violence?

    Two completely SEPARATE issues.

    W

    ell, back in the day, wasn’t it acceptable in a number of cultures to marry ‘em young?

    Even the Old Testament made it plain that a woman was a piece of property, and the father decided who his daughter would marry. I’m guessing for some fathers that age wasn’t much of an issue. Just because something was permitted a long time ago, still doesn’t make it OK in my mind. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now.

  4. 29

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @retire05:

    @Wordsmith:

    Again, you seem to suffer from chronic assholeitis. Perhaps it is environmental? You do live in California, right?

    Why, yes. Could that be it? Something in the air or water? Whatever do you recommend?

    Please elaborate on how-so the Chamberlain comparison?

    You do seem to want to assume the position of FA’s Islamic defender.

    Well, what I want to do is draw a distinction between

    1) Global jihadists
    2) Regional jihadist groups
    3) Islamists, some who support violent jihad and others who do not
    4) Differing branches of Islam (Sunnis, Shiites, Sufis, and other minor denominations)
    5) moderates and those who embrace modernity, reform
    6) American Muslims distinct from European, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, African

    My primary concern is the 1st two- jihad movements that threaten civilization and are often engaged in terrorism.

    2nd are the Islamist fundamentalists (wahhabis, salafists, Taliban) who either support them and are ideologically aligned.

    3rd would be those Islamists who don’t believe in violent means to achieve their goals; but who share similar ideological religious beliefs and interpretation as their violent brethren.

    If they aren’t out to kill me, I’m less concerned. Starting with #3, it’s about a war of ideas and they should be fought and defeated ideologically. It’s somewhat similar to disagreement with liberals over ideas and policy.

    There are a number of Muslims who are atrocious on women’s rights issues, gay issues (you’d probably find some common ground allies here); and then there is the geo-political-religious beliefs regarding Israel, the decadent, imperialism of the West, and oppressiveness and meddling of U.S. foreign policy in the Arabian peninsula. Some of the latter would still be present, independent of religion. This is apart from the issue of Islamic terrorism, which earns not only ideological condemnation, but must also be fought militarily.

    Seems, according to Pew Research, that Muslims in Islamic countries disagree with you and agree, to a large extent, with the doctrines of the Islamists.

    Nope. I thought you regarded Pew as a liberal propaganda spew? Much of my current beliefs regarding Muslims comes from Pew research polls. It’s more than just “majority want Sharia” or a belief shared by liberals and Ron Paul Bearers regarding American adventurism abroad. Read the details. It’s far more complex and nuanced than the Islamophobes to the right of me and the Islamic apologists to the left of me.

    If you want to prattle on about Islam, perhaps you should be ringing the alarm bell that it is not moderate Islam that is gaining influence here in the United States, but rather those who are associated with the radical purists.

    2007 Pew Research: American Muslims middle class and mostly mainstream. You’ll find stuff that confirms your bias and stuff that doesn’t jive with it.

    Has there been a more recent study conducted I missed or have forgotten about?

    When has anyone like Dr. Jasser been invited to the White House? It is not Dr. Jasser, and those like him, that have the ear of the most powerful man in the world.

    When has President Obama “invited” Thomas Sowell and Dinesh DeSouza to the WH, or those like them? Dr. Jasser doesn’t “have the ear of the most powerful man in the world” because he’s politically a conservative.

    But I suspect that you will just continue with your apology posts,

    Please describe your definition of “apologist”. I make a distinction between Islamic jihadists, Islamists, and moderates. Who are you at war with? Do you wish what Zawahiri and OBL wish: To broaden the war and rally 1.5 billion Muslims against civilization? To buy into the “kill or convert” belief that Spencerian (oops, sorry, Pipeian) conservative fearmongers wish to impose upon Muslims who don’t hold to that Quranic verse? Should Christians and Jews be held accountable to everything writ in their little golden books by outsiders of their faith?

    and continue suffering from your chronic assholeitis

    I suspect that it’s a condition that will stay with me so long as your ghostly condescensions and tiresomeness haunt FA.

    and ignoring what is happening not only in our government but in our schools as the left rails on about separation of State and religion but has no problem with the Muslim influence that is taking hold in our educational systems.

    Creeping Sharia?

    I noticed that in one of your links you even quote John Esposito, a consummate Islamic apologist who supported Sami al Arian and who likes to infer that the actions of 19 highjackers on September 11, 2001 was really the fault of the United States. Esposito is also a student of Said.

    Hey, Esposito’s not perfect. 🙂 Is anyone ever right on all issues? After all, I recall you not too long ago disagreeing with Thomas Sowell on an issue.

    For those anti-Islam conservatives such as yourself, everyone’s 5th cousin removed has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and wishes ill-will on us, and operate under the cloak of taqiyya.

    You seem to migrate to those who blame the U.S. for 9-11 as well as apologize for radical Islam, not to mention your far left references like Huffington Post and Daily Beast. Seems you would be more at home blogging there than here.

    I’ve seen what you’ve become, and it’s a lesson in warning on what happens when one decides to become a frog in a well.

    Shall we bicker for another 200 comments here? It seems to be your primary hobby in your retirement.

  5. 30

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @Smorgasbord:

    FYI
    A lot of times, if commenters are going back-and-forth over the same subject, I usually don’t read the comments any more, unless my name is mentioned. The comments caught my attention, or I wouldn’t have seen your reply to me. I suggest listing all the ones you are replying to at the beginning.

    Got it. Will try to keep that in mind, as sometimes I do address multiple comments in one post.

    I grew up listing to and watching the propaganda media when I didn’t know it was the propaganda media. I started listening to conservative talk radio as I drove across the country. That was the first time I heard, as Paul Harvey would say, “Theeeeeeeeeeeeeee rest of the story.”

    That happened to me, a bit. Started listening to talk radio after 9/11 rather than music in the car. Then I grew out of it and narrow my listen to only a couple of talk show hosts who I think are better than most of the bloviators on the air.

    I stand corrected. I was still driving the country then, and it must have been a radio show host, or several, that made the comment about no muslim cleric condemning 9/11 until some time afterward. I’m lousy at remember names and dates.

    Yeah, sounds likely to that effect; or, rather than “no muslim condeming”, it’s more likely they were making mention of Palestinians who danced in the streets (that’s what I recall, at any rate).

    I thought you said you haven’t read the Quran?

    I haven’t, but I have listened to, or read stories from some who have, and I haven’t heard any muslim deny what most others say it says, so I think it is save to say that those particular comments are accurate.

    smorg, what you have are Muslims who make excuses and delude themselves; and then you have those who do practice their interpretation of Islam peaceably. It may not jive with abrogations and what may be writ in the hadith; but that’s for them to decide. Not outsiders or Islamists telling them “no, you’re practicing it all wrong; you’re an apostate”. If you only ever read anti-Islam polemics, that is what you will find. If you only read “Islam is a religion of peace”, you’ll also come to believe that. Best thing to do is read all sides of an issue and not leave any stone unturned, to avoid being misinformed.

    Unless you can show where the koran does not demand that a muslim must convert people, and that it does not say that they must convert the world, and that it does not say that if they can’t convert the people, they are supposed to kill them, and that it does not say that if a person leaves the muslim religion, they must be killed, yes. That is what the instructions say.

    What do “moderates” tell you in regards to those charges? Check out “The Muslim Next Door” for some answers (some of which I do not agree with; but you’ll find me hard pressed to believe she’s out to kill or convert and conceal through taqiyya).

    But, they are still following the Koran, not separating themselves from it, and forming a separate branch of the islamic religion.

    Do you fear Dr Zuhdi Jasser? He still “follows” from the Quran.

    Several Christian denominations have split into one or more sects, and have their own rules. Even the Amish religion has two separate sects. One company I drove for had an Amish driver driving his semi around the country.

    What’s your opinion of Sufi Islam? Is Muhammed Ali out to kill or convert you? I hope you can fly like a butterfly (well, he’s slower these days) and sting back like a bee.

  6. 31

    retire05

    @Wordsmith:

    Why, yes. Could that be it? Something in the air or water?

    Air and water are not the only environmental climates. I would think it would be more like an over exposure to the progressive mindset that seems to have worked out so well for California (as it falls deeper into debt dumped on the backs of those who actually contribute to the tax base).

    Well, what I want to do is draw a distinction between

    1) Global jihadists
    2) Regional jihadist groups

    Not much difference. While ISIS is still currently regional, you can take it to the bank that they have global ambitions.

    3) Islamists, some who support violent jihad and others who do not

    All Islamists support violent jihad. Not all Muslims do.

    4) Differing branches of Islam (Sunnis, Shiites, Sufis, and other minor denominations)

    All accept the Qur’an as their “word.” The major difference is in who was the rightful heir to Mohammed.

    5) moderates and those who embrace modernity, reform

    Apostates, to most Muslims everywhere but in the United States.

    6) American Muslims distinct from European, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, African

    There are factions of the American Muslim community that also hold the same beliefs at those of Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. If there are only 20% that hold to violent (radical) dogma, that is over 200,000 potentially dangerous Muslims in the United States.

    The difference between violent Islamists and moderate Muslims is that violent Islamists want to convert, or kill you. Moderate Muslims want the violent Islamists to convert or kill you.

    If they aren’t out to kill me, I’m less concerned.

    Do you think those that worked with Nidal Hassan were concerned he would kill them? Yet, kill them he did.

    There are a number of Muslims who are atrocious on women’s rights issues, gay issues (you’d probably find some common ground allies here);

    Are you trying to show that you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground or just making an uninformed judgment?

    I thought you regarded Pew as a liberal propaganda spew?

    Where have I ever said that Pew was nothing more than “liberal propaganda spew?” Are you now resorting to making things up? Anyone with two grey cells bumping together understands that Pew leans left, especially their Hispanic research. But they are one of the less offensive left leaning sites, unlike Huffington Post and Daily Beast, which you seem to like. Also, Pew has more recent research on American Muslims than 2007. Seems you do not stay current, although you claim to have gleaned part of your opinion from them. Do try to stay current, Word.

    To buy into the “kill or convert” belief that Spencerian (oops, sorry, Pipeian) conservative fearmongers wish to impose upon Muslims who don’t hold to that Quranic verse?

    Is there an Islamic expert that you do subscribe to? Or are they just not as smart as the All Knowing Word?

    and continue suffering from your chronic assholeitis

    I suspect that it’s a condition that will stay with me so long as your ghostly condescensions and tiresomeness haunt FA.

    What? Did you get your widdle feeling hurt?

    Creeping Sharia?

    Frank Gaffney?

    Hey, Esposito’s not perfect. 🙂 Is anyone ever right on all issues?

    OK, so now you are apologizing for an Islamist apologist? Got it.

    After all, I recall you not too long ago disagreeing with Thomas Sowell on an issue.

    I believe you have me confused with one of your progressive/liberal friends. Dr. Sowell pretty much hits the mark with every article and book.

    For those anti-Islam conservatives such as yourself, everyone’s 5th cousin removed has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and wishes ill-will on us, and operate under the cloak of taqiyya.

    Once again you let your mouth write a check your ass can’t cash. I am not anti-Islam. I am anti-jihadist. Perhaps you have some magic crystal ball that allows you to separate the two, in spite of taqqiya, but I do not. And although I know little about the nature of snakes, I know enough to not stick my hand in their mouth or trust them not to bite me if I get careless.

    I’ve seen what you’ve become, and it’s a lesson in warning on what happens when one decides to become a frog in a well.

    Shall we bicker for another 200 comments here? It seems to be your primary hobby in your retirement.

    And you have become what? A man who cannot debate an issue with someone who has an opposing opinion without taking cheap shots. I know you like to don the mantilla of the Libertarian, but you are just a foolish man who seems to have not been taught any manners. Odd, nothing you say angers me, but you seem to anger quite easily, hence your lobbing insults at me. So be it. I know not what you have become, but rather what you are. And it fascinates me how you managed to wander into what is basically a conservative blog site.

  7. 32

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @retire05:

    Air and water are not the only environmental climates. I would think it would be more like an over exposure to the progressive mindset that seems to have worked out so well for California (as it falls deeper into debt dumped on the backs of those who actually contribute to the tax base).

    Yes, I am saturated in liberalism out here on the left coast. Maybe if I move to NYC? Isn’t that almost about as far to the right as you can travel?

    1) Global jihadists
    2) Regional jihadist groups

    Not much difference. While ISIS is still currently regional, you can take it to the bank that they have global ambitions.

    Absolutely.

    3) Islamists, some who support violent jihad and others who do not

    All Islamists support violent jihad. Not all Muslims do.

    Ah, I respectfully disagree.

    I can’t remember the specific clerics and source- might be articles, might be a book; but have a look at my links here, including mention of Dr. Fadl.

    There are Islamists who support the political and ideological goals of the jihad movement. They want Islam to spread all across the globe; but some of these Islamists have come to believe that the Islamic violence has been counterproductive to the cause and has set them back. So they seek peaceful means to obtain the same ends. (Part of what rightwingers like to call “creeping” Sharia).

    4) Differing branches of Islam (Sunnis, Shiites, Sufis, and other minor denominations)

    All accept the Qur’an as their “word.” The major difference is in who was the rightful heir to Mohammed.

    But there are differences in interpretation of Quranic passages and relevance of hadiths that abrogate them. Then there are those influential Islamic scholars like Sayyid Qutb and ibn Taymiyyah who are responsible for al Qaeda theology and inspiration for violence that is not found in the Quran (such as suicide for their cause and takfirism in order to kill fellow Muslims).

    5) moderates and those who embrace modernity, reform

    Apostates, to most Muslims everywhere but in the United States.

    You don’t believe that most Muslims are so-called “apostates”? So peaceful moderates are the minority?

    6) American Muslims distinct from European, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, African

    There are factions of the American Muslim community that also hold the same beliefs at those of Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. If there are only 20% that hold to violent (radical) dogma, that is over 200,000 potentially dangerous Muslims in the United States.

    Islamists in general are a vocal, sizable minority.

    The difference between violent Islamists and moderate Muslims is that violent Islamists want to convert, or kill you. Moderate Muslims want the violent Islamists to convert or kill you.

    That is your definition of a moderate. Mine is defined by Muslim friends of mine who attend mosque, consider themselves practitioners of Islam, but who reject violent Islamic extremism; nor do they want the U.S. to live under Sharia. Nor do they hate dogs and have a vampiric allergic reaction to pigs. One is critical of Israel, but that’s because she’s a big liberal. If you wish to tell my college friend hes’ not a true Muslim but an apostate for having a Christmas tree in his home, I’ll pass along the good word from you and the suggestion that he knocks it off with the tolerance for other cultures and religions BS. He ain’t foolin’ us! No sirree. Just one word: Taqiyyah. (PS. A few years ago I asked him about it and he had to look it up and asked me how it was spelled).

    If they aren’t out to kill me, I’m less concerned.

    Do you think those that worked with Nidal Hassan were concerned he would kill them? Yet, kill them he did.

    Let me clarify my point:

    There are Islamist practices (Not universally Islamic let alone universally Islamist practices, btw)- whether they originally stemmed from the Quran and hadiths; or advocated by influential Islamic scholars/thinkers; or are tribal and cultural traditions that predate Islam- which I consider abhorrent- honor killings, enslavement, and so on. But like genocide in Rwanda, should we commit our military might to stopping those things? Surely that would be a noble endeavor. Or oppose by other measures and resources?

    So long as we are not being directly threatened with Islamic terror attacks and violence, “creeping Islamism” can be dealt with by means other than military; and are less of a concern- lump them in with the threat that liberalism and scientology poses civilization.

    That was the point of my statement.

    There are a number of Muslims who are atrocious on women’s rights issues, gay issues (you’d probably find some common ground allies here);

    Are you trying to show that you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground or just making an uninformed judgment?

    This is a trick question, isn’t it? 😀

    I thought you regarded Pew as a liberal propaganda spew?

    Where have I ever said that Pew was nothing more than “liberal propaganda spew?” Are you now resorting to making things up?

    Well, let’s just see what you chose to write in the next sentence:

    Anyone with two grey cells bumping together understands that Pew leans left, especially their Hispanic research.

    Oops, there it is. 😀

    But they are one of the less offensive left leaning sites, unlike Huffington Post and Daily Beast, which you seem to like.

    I love those sites about as much as I love World Nut Daily.

    Also, Pew has more recent research on American Muslims than 2007. Seems you do not stay current, although you claim to have gleaned part of your opinion from them. Do try to stay current, Word.

    Yes, ma’am. Didn’t I say as much? I asked you for other more recent Pew studies ’cause I was feeling too lazy to Google. I thought you could do the homework for me. The 2007 study isn’t the only one I’ve seen; but is emblematic of the different nuances that paints a more complicated picture than simply cherry-picking what confirms your bias while ignoring what doesn’t (it leans left, after all- lol).

    To buy into the “kill or convert” belief that Spencerian (oops, sorry, Pipeian) conservative fearmongers wish to impose upon Muslims who don’t hold to that Quranic verse?

    Is there an Islamic expert that you do subscribe to? Or are they just not as smart as the All Knowing Word?

    Oh my….the sarcasm spittle got me good.

    Actually, I’ve learned quite a bit from Robert Spencer/Jihad Watch over the years; have occasionally used Daniel Pipe; not so much Pam Geller. Find the Religion of Peace website a useful resource. Read up on Sayyid Qutb and ibn Taymiyyah; enjoyed Graham Fuller’s book A World without Islam; have books by apologists- and yes they are indeed apologists- Reza Aslan and Esposito. Have the al Qaeda reader; have a couple of Robert Spencer books and Andrew McCarthy; Trifkovic’s The Sword of the Prophet; articles here and there.

    I’m far from an Islamic scholar. But what I do is balance out my reading and research. Early on after 9/11, I picked up a Quran; then looked to guys like Robert Spencer to help me out with it, translate and contextualize. Then I sorta grew out of that phase and looked at a broader picture. Just reading from anti-Islam sources and conservative sources is just as limiting as getting all your news and propaganda filtered through liberal sources.

    and continue suffering from your chronic assholeitis

    I suspect that it’s a condition that will stay with me so long as your ghostly condescensions and tiresomeness haunt FA.

    What? Did you get your widdle feeling hurt?

    Hey, I’m a sensitive soul. 🙂

    Creeping Sharia?

    Frank Gaffney?

    Period, dot, Bingo!

    Hey, Esposito’s not perfect. 🙂 Is anyone ever right on all issues?

    OK, so now you are apologizing for an Islamist apologist? Got it.

    Good! 🙂

    After all, I recall you not too long ago disagreeing with Thomas Sowell on an issue.

    I believe you have me confused with one of your progressive/liberal friends. Dr. Sowell pretty much hits the mark with every article and book.

    Well, hello my progressive/liberal “friend” (comment #2 in case you have trouble finding it):

    I have great respect for Dr. Sowell, but on this issue, he is solidly wrong.

    It stood out in my memory because, like you, Sowell is one of my favorite conservative-libertarian thinkers. But as was my point, it’s okay to disagree with allies and occasionally agree with the opposition.

    For those anti-Islam conservatives such as yourself, everyone’s 5th cousin removed has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and wishes ill-will on us, and operate under the cloak of taqiyya.

    Once again you let your mouth write a check your ass can’t cash.

    Is my cash good at the bar? 😀

    I am not anti-Islam. I am anti-jihadist.

    Really?!

    Really!?

    I’ve seen what you’ve become, and it’s a lesson in warning on what happens when one decides to become a frog in a well.

    Shall we bicker for another 200 comments here? It seems to be your primary hobby in your retirement.

    And you have become what? A man who cannot debate an issue with someone who has an opposing opinion without taking cheap shots.

    Oh, retire….why so serious? I’m only matching the tone and tenor you yourself set. I show you the same level of courtesy and respect with which you choose to afford me with when you comment.

    I know you like to don the mantilla of the Libertarian, but you are just a foolish man who seems to have not been taught any manners.

    You’re right. I should show more respect to my elders.

    How shall I make penitence?

    Odd, nothing you say angers me, but you seem to anger quite easily, hence your lobbing insults at me. So be it.

    Wha-? 🙂

    Sorry if I angered you. I thought I was giving tat for your tit.

    I know not what you have become, but rather what you are. And it fascinates me how you managed to wander into what is basically a conservative blog site.

    Perplexing ain’t it? Must be my assholeitis. 😀 Maybe take it up with Curt?

    In seriousness though, and for the sake of the spirit of the Christmas Season, I apologize for disrespecting you.

  8. 33

    Smorgasbord

    @Wordsmith: #30

    Started listening to talk radio after 9/11 rather than music in the car. Then I grew out of it and narrow my listen to only a couple of talk show hosts who I think are better than most of the bloviators on the air.

    Even though I agree with most of what the conservative talk show hosts say, I can’t stand to listen to most of them very long. When a caller calls in, I want to hear what the CALLER has to say, especially if the caller disagrees with the host, but the hosts always do at least 3/4 of the talking. When I would get irritated enough with one host, I would hit the SCAN button to find another show. Sometimes I gave up on the talk shows and scanned for the old time rock music.

    I have always had a problem listening to Rush, because he takes so long to say what he wants to say, and I have a short attention span. Different times I would be driving down the highway, and realize I had the radio on. My mind had wondered off, and I have no idea how long it was before I got back to Rush.

    If you only ever read anti-Islam polemics, that is what you will find. If you only read “Islam is a religion of peace”, you’ll also come to believe that. Best thing to do is read all sides of an issue and not leave any stone unturned, to avoid being misinformed.

    I’m going to say an expression I heard somewhere, or I made it up myself. I don’t know which it is: “If I’m going to be wrong, I want to be wrong in the right way.” I constantly think of our soldiers who have muslims in their ranks. If I were there, I would be very wary of them, because we have heard too many stories of muslims killing their fellow soldiers. How do you tell a “peaceful” muslim from a “terrorist” muslim? The “peaceful” muslim could be a “terrorist” muslim infiltrating the military, and waiting for the right moment.

    As I have mentioned before, the USA has, and still is trying to, infiltrate other countries to turn them into more peaceful countries. Others are doing it to us. I believer the muslims have infiltrated both political parties, and the white house. I will let each person make up their own mind, but look how BOTH PARTIES are letting the muslim laws decide things around the country, and how the Christian and Jewish religions are being fazed out, especially in the military.

    Is Muhammed Ali out to kill or convert you? I hope you can fly like a butterfly (well, he’s slower these days) and sting back like a bee.

    You forgot to mention that Cassius Clay joined the muslim religion so he could claim a “conscientious objector” status for the draft board so he wouldn’t be drafted.

    This brings up a subject that I had never thought about before: Why do muslims take a different name when they become a muslim? I had never thought about that before. Any comment on why this is?

    As I mentioned earlier, if two or more people are going on about the same thing, I usually don’t read the comments any more. If I disagree with someone, and I see that the other person isn’t going to change their mind, and that I’m not going to change mine, I would rather not talk about THAT subject any more, and change the subject. I have stated my opinion, and you have stated yours, but I don’t want to talk about it any more.

    I believe the muslim religion was created to take over the world, just like the koran says, and that it is a CONVERT OR KILL religion. I also believer there are “peaceful” muslim followers, but that the religion was created with the intent of taking over the world, and that it is taking over more of the world all the time, and that when a territory is taken over by muslims, the people have the choice of converting or being killed. This is going on as I am typing this. How many times have you heard of someone leaving the muslim religion, then there is the cry that they MUST BE KILLED.

    Remember the killings when the Muhammad turban bomb cartoon was published? I’m guessing that it wasn’t the “peaceful” muslims that did the killing? I read a story that said that none of the countries that had the murders, printed the image.

    IF I’M GOING TO BE WRONG, I WANT TO BE WRONG IN THE RIGHT WAY.

  9. 34

    retire05

    @Wordsmith:

    Yes, I am saturated in liberalism out here on the left coast. Maybe if I move to NYC? Isn’t that almost about as far to the right as you can travel?

    Well, might not be a bad idea. You and Warren Wilhelm, Jr. do seem to have some things in common.

    You don’t believe that most Muslims are so-called “apostates”? So peaceful moderates are the minority?

    All Muslim are peaceful; until they’re not. And yes, on a world scale, I believe that peaceful Muslims are a minority.

    Anyone with two grey cells bumping together understands that Pew leans left, especially their Hispanic research.

    Hardly makes them guilty of “liberal propaganda spew.” They are not headed by John Podesta, after all.

    Is my cash good at the bar?

    I wouldn’t know. I don’t drink therefor have no reason to go to a bar.

    Oh, retire….why so serious? I’m only matching the tone and tenor you yourself set. I show you the same level of courtesy and respect with which you choose to afford me with when you comment.

    What ever makes you feel better about yourself.

    Sorry if I angered you.

    What is it about “nothing you say angers me” that you don’t understand? Do you really think that you hold so much power or influence over someone that you can generate anger in them? I am never angered by arrogant know-it-alls who think they are the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    I, too, have read Sword of the Prophet. Have corresponded directly with Dr. Daniel Pipes; have read Bernard Lewis, especially his later works; have read the writings of former Muslims as well as having conversations with them; have little use for Robert Spencer and none for Pamela Geller, and am not the uninformed LIV that you seem to think I am. I heartily disagree with your concept that one can be a good American AND a devout Muslim without being considered an apostate by all Islamic (Qur’anic) dictates.

    I am frankly tired of hearing that Islam is a religion of peace, and fault George W. Bush for that little bit of propaganda. It is not. Nor was it ever. And when you refer to those like John Esposito, using him as a positive resource, it makes me want to hurl. And I also understand the symbolism behind the date September 11th.

    We, the West, are in a religious war with Islam that is in its third phase. We were not attacked on September 11, 2001 because the Islamists hate our way of life, our representative republic or any of the other pablum that has been regurgitated so many times. We were attacked because we are considered a Christian nation and Islamists have declared war on Christian nations.

    I apologize for disrespecting you

    Apology accepted, although I believe it to be quite shallow and possessing an extremely short shelf life.

  10. 35

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @Smorgasbord:

    You forgot to mention that Cassius Clay joined the muslim religion so he could claim a “conscientious objector” status for the draft board so he wouldn’t be drafted.

    I didn’t forget; didn’t think it was relevant to the question. Are you doubting his sincerity in his faith?

    When he initially converted in relation to the draft, wasn’t it to the Nation of Islam? Which is kind of a pseudo-Islam and shouldn’t be regarded as an actual “legitimate” branch of Islam?

    He’s long since been a devout practitioner of Sufi Islam.

    This brings up a subject that I had never thought about before: Why do muslims take a different name when they become a muslim? I had never thought about that before. Any comment on why this is?

    Well, as it relates to Nation of Islam converts, doesn’t it have something to do with a grudge against retaining a “slave name”?

    As for other Muslim converts, maybe this’ll help.

  11. 36

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @retire05:

    Well, might not be a bad idea. You and Warren Wilhelm, Jr. do seem to have some things in common.

    Oh, do say? Please elaborate the connection. This should be good.

    Is my cash good at the bar?

    I wouldn’t know. I don’t drink therefor have no reason to go to a bar.

    Figuratively, I do; literally, I don’t drink either. :p

    Sorry if I angered you.

    What is it about “nothing you say angers me” that you don’t understand?

    Oops. Are you getting angry again?

    Do you really think that you hold so much power or influence over someone that you can generate anger in them?

    Well only you know the answer to that one. 🙂

    I am never angered by arrogant know-it-alls who think they are the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    “Arrogant”? Moi?! Oh my, no. Whatever on earth gave you the impression that I thought of myself in this way? To paraphrase a certain FA reader here, “Quit putting words in my thoughts.” 🙂

    am not the uninformed LIV that you seem to think I am.

    To paraphrase a certain FA reader, “Where have I ever accused you of being uninformed?”

    I heartily disagree with your concept that one can be a good American AND a devout Muslim without being considered an apostate by all Islamic (Qur’anic) dictates.

    That’s fine. And a legitimate point.

    I am frankly tired of hearing that Islam is a religion of peace, and fault George W. Bush for that little bit of propaganda. It is not. Nor was it ever. And when you refer to those like John Esposito, using him as a positive resource, it makes me want to hurl.

    I get tired of it, too, retire. But there are Muslims who do practice it, as a religion of peace. Now, what I might be persuaded to agree with you on is that these Muslims would be considered apostates, ignorant of the actual tenets of their faith. “Might” is the operative word, here. It all depends. 🙂

    We, the West, are in a religious war with Islam that is in its third phase.

    Yet you are not anti-Islam. You are anti-Jihad? Just trying to be clear on your position.

    So OBL and Zawahiri, who failed to rally 1.5 billion Muslims to stand up and wage jihad against the west and all infidels are not failing in rallying those infidels who do perceive themselves in a war of civilizations and religion?

    I apologize for disrespecting you

    Apology accepted, although I believe it to be quite shallow and possessing an extremely short shelf life.

    Nevertheless, thank you for being generous and gracious enough to accept.

    I will do my best to be less obnoxious after this.

  12. 37

    retire05

    @Wordsmith:

    So OBL and Zawahiri, who failed to rally 1.5 billion Muslims to stand up and wage jihad against the west and all infidels are not failing in rallying those infidels who do perceive themselves in a war of civilizations and religion?

    Certainly you’re not saying that because ObL and Zawahiri failed to rally all 1.5 billion Muslims to their cause, that means we are not in a war, again, against Islam? When has the people of any nation, or religion, gone to war in total? That 1.5 billion includes women and children, and although the Palestinians love to shove AK-47s into the hands of their 8 year old children, most women of all faiths are not willing to allow that or willing to allow someone to strap bombs around the waist of their children. Can you say, with any degree of certainty, that those who do not pick up the warrior’s sword do not agree with those who do?

    There were Italians who did not fight for Stalin, yet they agreed with him. There were Germans who did not fight for the Nazis, yet agreed with them. Same can be said about any military movement. Not all believers pick up the sword.

    Forty years ago I became interested in Islam. A friend married a Muslim from Syria (which broke her orthodox Jewish father’s heart). Over the years, the Syrian and I had many conversations about Islam. Little by little, I saw that under the auspices of his religion, he treated his wife badly. He also controlled all the income, although he worked very little and she worked long hours. Much of their money was saved until he could bring family, one member at a time, to the United States. He also, 20 years ago, established, through his brother, ties to other Muslims in Hamburg, Germany, claiming to have an import business. Once he complained that he had purchased 3 Mercedes in Germany, only to have them tied up in New York because they did not meet the U.S. vehicle standards. There were other things that triggered suspicion in his actions. My friend eventually divorced him when she learned that he had married another woman (not in a civil action but in an Islamic ceremony) and had children by the other woman.

    When 9-11 happened, I called a friend who worked for the FBI in Louisiana. I talked about my concerns about the Syrian Muslim who lived in the mid-west. I also learned, months later, the Syrian, and a number of his family members, had been deported. Seems he was high on the FBI watch list. Was it a coincidence that just a few years before 9-11 he started taking flight school instructions? I guess I will never know, and his ex-wife, my friend, refuses to talk about it.

    So my introduction to, and curiosity about, Islam came long before 9-11. And I tell you my story only because most people never gave Islam a single though prior to 9-11-2001. I did.

    We are fighting a new kind of war, Word. No longer are we fighting any enemy that will take to the battlefield against us. One infidel death at a time, or 20 at a time, has become the battle tactic. We can no longer say that when Muslims learn our ways of personal freedom, they will not want to kill us. Islam means submission, totally. There is no permission for individual thought, as the exact words of Mohammed must be followed. Even the direction a man stands when urinating is mandated by Islam. And the peace that is talked about does not apply to the infidel who will not be submissive to Islam. Ask your Islamic friend if he believes that a man’s sperm cells generate from the spine. For if he is a true follower of Islam, he will not challenge what is written as he believes it is the word of God and the word of God is absolute.

    No, Word, you do not make me angry. And your being less obnoxious toward those that disagree with you will be a welcome addition to your posts for you are a smart fellow and could be an enjoyable sparing partner.

  13. 38

    Redteam

    @retire05: Retire, I don’t really think there are peacful Muslims because they have made a conscious decision that that is what God wants. Those that are ‘active’ want Jihad. All of them fit within the spectrum from Jihad to doing nothing. If they are forced to choose, they will go with the more radical side toward jihad.
    I also feel that Muslims have infiltrated the entire government, including the White House.

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