For quite some time now, I’ve been feeling more and more like a radical center-right extremist, alienated from my hard-lined rightwing militant allies. Whether it’s over John McCain’s apostasy, Barack Obama’s middle name, or on Islam, I feel like those who navigate through the blogosphere are sailing through a world of hyberbole and emotional venting; and of militant partisanship. I used to see it all the time coming from the left- Daily Kos, DU, Think Progress, Air America. But now I am acutely aware of the vitriol that comes from my side of the spectrum. And ultimately, I think it harms the conservative movement and in our credibility.
I’ve been criticized for my approach in dealing with radical Islam; in trying to differentiate Islam from Islamists; in wanting to promote the term “hirab” over the use of “jihad”, to take the language of legitimacy out of the hands of those Islamic terrorists who wish to refer to themselves as “jihadists”.What baffles me the most, are those arm-chair Koranic and Hadith-watchers who study every anti-Islamic text on the market, then ask, “Where are the moderate Muslims? They don’t exist! It is antithetical to Islam.” When moderates are pointed out, they are patronizingly dismissed as “not true followers of Islam” but apostates because “the Koran says this“, the “hadith tells them that”. These arm-chair Koran scholars apparently have the authority to tell Muslims what is and isn’t their faith of worship because they’ve delved into every Robert Spencer book and politically incorrect guides to Islam, Trifkovic’s The Sword of the Prophet, Nonie Darwish, Brigitte Gabriel, etc. “So long as you’re bashing Islam, we’ll listen to you.” is the message I get from many readers of these books- which, make no mistake about it, are extremely valuable information and resources, vital to the war we find ourselves in. But say something positive about Islam, and we’re just not interested in reading about it. Instead, we’ll be suspicious that any book on Islam that isn’t anti-Islamic must be written by Muslim apologists who want to trick and deceive us through smoke and mirrors.
Apparently, if you aren’t an Islamic fundamentalist adhering to strict constructionist interpretation of the written word of God, you are not a true Muslim practitioner of Islam. At the same time, the critics wail away about how Islam needs reform and departure from barbaric, 7th century practices (and I would agree here); yet some of those same critics disavow that a person is Islamic, should that person embrace modernity and separation of mosque and state and a disinterest in subjugating non-Muslims at the point of a sword and dhimmifying those who do not convert to Islam. These critics demand Islam reform for the 21st century and yet when examples of such Muslims are presented, they are rejected as “Oh, he’s not a true Muslim”. They believe that there is no such thing as “radical Islam”. That Islam itself by nature is “radicalized”, and the norm. Any departure from it is apostasy and to be dismissed; not respected and nurtured.
One of the very few talk radio hosts I admire and whose opinions I can usually respect even if I should disagree with them, is Michael Medved. He coined the usage “Islamo-nazism” as more accurate than “Islamo-fascism”. I agree in “labeling” and “identifying” the enemy; but I still believe that using “hirabah” is a more enlightened approach, and the next step up in winning the propaganda war for hearts and minds. Nevertheless, I understand where Medved is coming from, and that he differentiates those who are peaceful, non-threatening practioners of the religion of peace, and those who are sympathizers, enablers, and participants in Islamic terror and in the religion of submission of others.I am reprinting in its entirety, a post from Michael Medved last week (also penned as article). I think it is well-worth reading and reflecting upon.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Posted by: Michael Medved at 3:34 PM Is America’s “war on terror” in reality a war on Islam itself?
Most Muslim radicals insist that it is – as do many patriotic conservatives in this country who believe that any attempts to woo Islamic moderates, or to whitewash the violent and menacing essence of the Koran, distort the true nature of the current conflict.
Some of those who see Islam in all of its manifestations as our ultimate, implacable foe took me to task (in e-mail and phone calls to my radio show) for my recent support for U.S. recognition of the newly independent Muslim-majority state of Kosovo.
To these zealots, it hardly matters that the leading European powers (Britain, France, Germany) strongly support Kosovo’s separation from Serbia, or that the most outspoken opposition to Kosovar independence comes from the increasingly anti-American Putin regime in Russia. To some observers, it’s also irrelevant that ethnic Albanians (mostly non-religious, secularized Muslims) comprise more than 90% of Kosovo’s population and this overwhelming majority ardently desires its own democratic nation state. Though Orthodox Christian Serbs make up only 5% of the populace in Kosovo, critics of Bush administration Balkan policy insist that this embattled minority deserves U.S. protection and support. They discount fervent Kosovar promises that the new nation will guarantee the rights and security of its Christian residents; skeptics believe that such assurances mean nothing when provided by Muslim leaders, no matter how secular or pro-American.
“You of all people should recognize that there is no such thing as a ‘moderate Muslim,’” one correspondent scolded me. “Moderation and Islam contradict one another. Anyone who denies that contradiction is either a fool or a dupe. The tragedy in Kosovo represents just the latest example of state department mistakes based on the consistent denial that Islam, wherever it exists, is the eternal enemy of democratic values and Western Civilization.”
This increasingly popular absolutist position – whatever its historical, theological or anthropological basis – represents a threat to our short-term security and our long-term success in the very real battle against Islamism. If we accept, let alone embrace, the proposition that Islam itself is our enemy, then all of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims become enemies of the United States, and doom us to unending and un-winnable conflict.
It’s true that some serious scholars both inside and outside the Muslim world (or “Umma”) have pointed to Koranic passages and interpretations that seem to command perpetual jihad against non-believers, but other authorities (again, including Muslims and outsiders alike) emphasize more tolerant, less bloodthirsty strains in the teachings of Mohammed. The defenders of Islam point to a few peaceful and surprisingly diverse Muslim societies (Medieval Spain, or al-Andaluz, represents perhaps the most celebrated example) that contrast with the aggressive, convert-or-die approach that appears repeatedly in Islamic history. Islamic apologists point to similar contradictions in Christian history, with literally millions of heathens forcibly converted, enslaved or put to death, not to mention the appalling blood-letting between Catholics and Protestants who slaughtered one another for centuries despite their similar proclamations of loyalty to Jesus.
For Christianity, however, the worst excesses of violent fanaticism in the name of faith occurred four hundred years ago while for Islam they took place yesterday – with suicide bombings, riots, mutilations and tyrannical theocracies in every corner of the globe. No fair-minded person can look at the role played by Muslim faith in contemporary politics, economics, culture, or human rights without questioning the frequently dysfunctional nature of Islamic ideas.
Nevertheless, any public proclamation of overall enmity toward Islam would harm America’s cause in the world at large and undermine our security at home. This approach damages our interest in five ways–
1) It confirms the anti-American propaganda of terrorist leaders. Osama bin Laden, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and their associates have argued for years that the United States, “the Great Satan,” is the leader of a global conspiracy to destroy Islam and oppress Muslims. Any statement of hostility to Muslim faith would confirm the claims of our most dangerous enemies, enhancing their prestige and credibility. We also harm ourselves greatly if we declare that the idea of a “moderate Muslim” is a contradiction in terms: this echoes the al-Qaeda line almost precisely, as we agree with our deadliest enemies that anyone who chooses to help us or to oppose terrorism is somehow inauthentic in his Koranic commitment.
2) It alienates our allies. Most Islamic societies fall far short of democratic norms or even civilized standards, but several of them provide crucial assistance in the war against radicalism. Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations may be far from perfect as allies, but they would each be profoundly dangerous as adversaries. Our economic and military interests around the world depend to a great extent on some cooperation with Muslim nations and official condemnation of the faith they cherish would make such cooperation vastly more difficult if not altogether impossible. No one’s entirely comfortable with the idea of more than sixty nuclear warheads in the hands of President Musharraf of Pakistan, but imagine those nukes controlled by Islamist leaders of the future with reason to believe that the U.S. wanted to wipe out Muslim belief.
3) It puts the societies of Western Europe at profound risk. With growing and powerful Muslim populations in France, the United Kingdom, Germany and most other European powers, an American declaration of hostility to Islam would force those societies into an impossible choice: either disassociate yourself completely from your necessary American ally, or prepare to suppress the well-established Islamic communities in your midst. Of course, it would be better for our European friends if their Muslim millions simply packed up and went home, but since there’s no chance they will do so any attempt to officially disparage Islam, or even to force instantaneous assimilation and secularization, becomes dangerous and destabilizing.
4) It destroys our tradition of religious pluralism. If we proclaim Islam (or any other religion) as an “enemy of the state,” then we’ve clearly abandoned our cherished First Amendment tradition of neutrality among religious faiths. Constitutional scholars may argue as to whether government may encourage a generalized sense of religiosity or reverence, but no student of the First Amendment suggests that government may select one specific faith for either promotion or persecution. Studies suggest that American Muslims represent a mostly prosperous and assimilated segment of the population, but public hostility to Islam would encourage a disturbing tend toward radicalization already apparent among some young Muslims. If Islam is our enemy, should Homeland Security start closing down mosques? The very idea represents an obvious violation of the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause.
5) It pushes us toward a never-ending war with no exit strategy. Even those of us who have always supported the Iraq and Afghanistan wars wish that the government had learned one of the key lessons of Vietnam which once comprised a key element of the “Powell Doctrine”: never go to war without a clear, practical plan for victory and a reliable exit strategy. If we define Islam as our enemy, then what, exactly, is our feasible strategy for wiping out a resilient religious faith that’s proven disturbingly durable for more than 1,400 years? Even if we succeed in reducing the numbers and influence of the world’s Muslims we’ll still face at the very least, say, ten-percent of the current population: or more than 130 million believers. If that formidable Islamic remnant sees America as responsible for the elimination (either physically or spiritually) of most of their brothers and sisters in faith, the terrorist threat we face may actually intensify, rather than recede.
In all areas of human conflict or competition, the divide-and-conquer strategy works. In warfare, politics, international relations, business or all other contests, you win by uniting those on your side of the battle lines and dividing your adversaries.
Pushing the idea that Islam is our enemy does exactly the opposite: dividing the United States from allied states, and dividing those states at home, while instantly uniting our enemies.
Recognizing that we simply can’t succeed in “a war against Islam” isn’t to say that the followers of Mohammed have built “a religion of peace,” or even that Islam deserves identical respect to other great religions. In truth, even fair-minded Muslims must recognize that Islam today inspires unique concern with its well-documented propensity toward violence, radicalism and authoritarianism. We should encourage any and all Muslim voices against such extremism, rather than insisting that they don’t exist or can’t exist.
The statement that “Islam itself is the enemy” may deliver thrills and satisfaction with its tough, uncompromising, provocative ring, but the advance of that that idea among American conservatives and others constitutes a far more dire threat to U.S. interests than to the power or influence of the terrorists.
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.
Well, I can imagine you’re going to alienate several anti-jihad blogs on this one.
My personal opinion:
I believe there are some modernized Muslims who do want to embrace freedom, democracy and seperation of Mosque and State. Just look at those who are making a concerted effort to do so.
The whole reformist movement has been really hurt by groups like CAIR and others. The problem right now is that there is a huge movement of ani-Jihad blogs who lump good Muslims in with other so-called good Muslims like CAIR in with the rest of the Islamic reform movement. Anti-jihadists honestly believe that Taqiyya is present in most “moderate” Muslims, but since groups like CAIR claim to be moderate (but are clearly not) many anti-jihadist blogs just don’t believe it.
I for one have gone back and forth. I see some good Muslims who genuinely want peace, and genuinely do not want Islamic Sharia to rule America. But then I see those (majority) who try to defend Islam without one word about the problem within their own religion. The latter seem to be more prevalent at this point. These “moderates” claim to be moderate but do nothing but condemn us for being critical of Islam, and try and defend their own in the most non-sensical manner that makes us not believe one bit of their rhetoric…and so enter Taqiyya for the so-called “moderate”.
I think ultimately, if Islamic reformists (We cannot call them moderates anymore), really want to reform the religion, it needs to be a grass roots effort of “nothing but condemnation” of their own and to stop attacking those anti-Jihadists who are only pointing out the obvious. Anti-jihadists should not be blamed for having a pessimistic opinion about a reformed Islam. When ISlamic groups start attacking their own and stop ignoring/defending the obvious, I think most of the anti-jihad blogs will come around.
Right now it’s difficult to believe the goodness in Islam because the voice is so small. Ultimately, though, anti-jihadists want to be proven wrong, but until then, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing. Exposing radical Islam for what it is, and where it comes from. Studying and exposing the life of Mohammed and the teachings of the Koran/Hadiths. Call me an arm-chair critic, but hey, I don’t need to know arabic to understand what Islam teaches.
I get constant emails from one group called “Muslims against Sharia” (www.reformislam.com), who will do nothing but condemn the ecil in their own religion. They don’t try and attack me for pointing out the daily Jihad against the West. They recognize, that the only way to win over the anti-jihadists is by their actions. The second they try and defend the roots of Islam is the second we start questioning their true “moderate” motives.
Until islam has its “reformation”, nothing will change and they will continue to spread their vile hatred across the planet like a plague. The devotees of the religion will not compromise their beliefs because in their arrogance, we are beneath them. Look at the crap at the MN airport with the muslim cap drivers. What other group has ever literally manhandled a handicapped person simply because they, the cap drivers, hate dogs and gotten away with it? Look at the number of mosques springing up around this country which preach hatred to the west and the annihilation of Jews. Look at the madrass’s funded by saudi oil money which teaches that Jews and Christians are descendents of pigs. We have curriculum in PUBLIC SCHOOLS teaching students about islam. What the hell happened to the separation of church and state? Where is the outrage from liberals who want the Pledge of Allegiance banned from schools because it references God? Sorry, but the enemy is islam and the zealots which follow it. We need to stop all immigration from muslim countries, refuse student visas to same, and start holding muslims to the same standards of behavior as any other religious group. Groups like CAIR are nothing more than front groups for the muslim brotherhood. Yet, they continue to spew their bigoted alarmist “oh, the muslim are being targeted bullshit”. The highest number of “hate” crimes is against JEWS. Who is doing the hating? Christians? I would hazard a guess NO. They will continue to push and push and push. Its only when they are the “minority” that they are peaceful. When they become the majority it then becomes a constant push for their beliefs and laws to be held above those of the host country. They will never accept true religious tolerance or that the Constitution is the supreme law of this land. If we need to fight them indefinitely so be it. Better to die on my feet than on my knees wrapped in a shroud because barbaric islamic scum think women are evil and worth less than a goat.
A muslim is someone who follows Islam. Period. I know I’m simple minded but when it comes to good and evil there are no shades of grey. Can you hold to your beliefs and still act? Last night I found one who did.
Doss was the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. CPL DOSS is buried in the Chattanooga National Cemetery.Also Awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart 3 times.
That’s a great and thoughtful comment.
Your comment is good too, but one that makes me realize that some people, no matter how hard I try, there is just no getting through the thick layer of firewall. Did you really read through the whole post? Click on links? Examined some of the articles by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser?
Theresa, the people you are against and whom you describe, are the ones I am against, as well.
The ones who are merely anti-American/anti-West….fine. I may disagree with their cultural practices and will criticize their beliefs. But unless they are engaged in terrorism, I perceive them as a threat, only a step above how I perceive other people a threat when they exercise their anti-American opinions and engage in activities that I deem abhorrent.
The ones we should be at war with, militarily, are the ones actively engaged in violence against us. The homicide bombers and terrorists. Merely being anti-American is not enough. I run across some of those around here, walking down Melrose and Hollywood Blvd; and I’m sure I can find a few more up in Berkeley. Thought-crime against my country is not worth spilling blood over.
Not the Muslims I know. You do not describe them. You describe the enemy.
That’s not representative of all Muslims. ACLU lawyers who defend them aren’t representative of all lawyers. Americans crammed full of political correctness and multiculturalist notions don’t speak for all Americans, do they?
Wahhabism is a danger, and anti-Israel propaganda is a problem. But that same anti-Semitic hatred isn’t unique to Muslims; nor is it shared by all Muslims. Not all Mosques are the Saudi-funded caricature you portray them to be, promoting political Islam and anti-American rhetoric.
Given how centerstage it’s become since 9/11, I’d say good for the schools. There’s nothing alarming at all about following current events. If they’re proselytizing, I’m against it; if they’re politically-correcting it in the name of multiculturalist blather, I’m against it. If they’re teaching your brand of “Islam is bad”, I’m against that, too.
When I was growing up, I dressed as a Pilgrim (picture an Asian kid of 7 in a buckled-bucket hat) while others dressed up as Indians, and we celebrated Thanksgiving history from our Euro-centric perspective of history. Not a problem. I’m appalled when our Judeo-Christian heritage is being eradicated by the ACLU-minded multiculturalists.
When we had Japanese culture week, our lives were enriched, learning about another culture. We weren’t being brainwashed. It’s called education and exposure. Learning respect and tolerance and appreciation is not the same as being politically correct and multicultural.
I suppose learning about Islam in public school depends on who’s doing the teaching, and how it is being taught. I would not want CAIR to set the curriculum anymore than I would want you to teach your views on Islam.
I am all for religious expression in the public square. What I do not appreciate is the minimization of the cultural significance of our Judeo-Christian roots and heritage as a nation, and the promotion of other religio-cultural history in the name of multiculturalism and in making people feel good about themselves, based upon their ethnic/religious heritage. Not all cultures are created equal when it comes to shaping our 200+ year history.
But in our pluralistic melting pot society, change is a natural evolution. And although I do want to preserve a Judeo-Christian-centric history and values and traditions, I feel that it is only natural that as other cultures play a greater significant role in American life, over time, those things should be integrated, absorbed, and assimilated. That includes aspects of Islamic culture. Not force-fed down our throats by the multiculturalists; but naturally, over time. You can see this cross-pollination of cultures how Japanese culture influences our pop culture…in Hollywood, in food, in video games, in animations….etc. And it is not just unique to Japanese influence, but the influence of all cultures upon American society. And that evolution of cultural cross-pollination can only strengthen, not dilute our society and enrich our history. To fear it, is to fear what is natural change and evolution. Such clinging to tradition leads to cultural stagnation. Other cultures express these same fears, as they rail away against the overbearing influence of American culture upon the younger generation who love our movies, our music, etc. They find some of it a corrupting influence that is destroying their native traditions.
I know plenty of Democrats who do not want the Pledge of Allegiance banned, nor the “Under God” and “In God We Trust” references taken out. Just like I know Muslims who are not out to get you, Theresa.
So you recommend we alienate 1.3 billion Muslims?
So you do not support our efforts in either Iraq or Afghanistan? That the Sunni and Shia Muslims who see al-Qaeda as mutual enemies as well as enemies of Islam….you want to tell them that al-Qaeda is right in that you represent America, in viewing their religion as the enemy? How does that help us win the war against Islamic terror?
That gives our political enemies in the Democratic Party ammunition for calling us out on religious bigotry. And they’d be right. What next? We “clean house” and round-up everyone who identifies themselves as Muslim?
I agree that there should be no special, preferential treatment.
And you certainly don’t give them any validity (ammo), by your tolerant rhetoric toward Islam, do you?
Definitely a good percentage of Muslims; but there is a lot of anti-Semitic sentiment amongst all people of all background. You can find traces of it in both political parties as well.
What you’re describing, in a hyperbolic manner, is not Islam-specific but can be said about any group of people.
The greatest damage to our country is from those who proselytize multiculturalism over assimilation and integration and the adoption of the host-country’s cultural practices, over one’s “birth” culture.
It’s fun to have “Little Tokyo”, “Korea Town”, “China Town”, etc. It’s nice to share a common bond with people, over a shared ancestry/culture/religion/interest. But it must never replace one’s greater loyalty to the larger family- the United States. Support groups are fine; but don’t set up a nation within a nation.
I don’t want Los Angeles to be so over-run by Mexican culture, that English becomes the second language, here. It could one day happen. Assimilation and control of the immigration flow is extremely important to me.
We need immigrants who want to become American and who love this country.
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser believes in this country, in the Constitution, and in the separation of mosque and state….and he is Muslim:
Here’a another American Muslim… Sgt. Abdelhalim is an Avionics Technician:
Will you tell him he’s wasting his time fighting for a country that’s rejected him because of his religious beliefs?
I differentiate against those who practice Islam and could give a rat’s ass about what you and I practice for religious faith; those Islamists whose anti-Americanism and cultural anachronism and backwardness deserve criticism and ridicule, but not violent resistance; and those Islamic salafi, wahhabi fundamentalism and Qtubist worldview who are out murdering and butchering, carbombing and suicide bombing innocents, in the name of their religion.
Aah….John Adams: “We ought
not to fight them at all,
we determine to fight themforever.”
Amen, to that!
I guess you don’t subscribe to this view then: The Fallacy of Shared Values
(For the record, I agree with the message of the article to which I linked)
I see it like this. There are some self-described “Catholics” who are in favor of abortion, homosexual activity, promiscuous sex and birth control. Catholicism is in opposition to all of those things. From what you are saying, the people I describe are “moderate Catholics”. For me, I simply state they are not Catholics whatsoever, because they don’t believe in some of the basic stances of Catholicism. They are therefore not Catholics.
Same thing with Muslims and Islam. What you call “moderate Muslims” are not really Muslims at all. If they are not following the basic tenets of their religion and the teachings of Mohammad, then they simply are not Muslims. One doesn’t get to pick and choose which things they want to follow in a religion. You either follow the rules and are an adherent of that religion or you don’t and you are not an adherent of that religion. Pretty simple.
Like me, for instance. I was raised Catholic, but have had pre-marital sex and have used birth control when doing so. I really don’t see anything wrong with birth control used within a marriage to control when they have children. But if I am not following the rules of a religion, then I cannot say that I am an adherent of that religion. Now, I simply say that I am Christian, since I believe in God and Jesus and the Bible, among other basic tenets of the Christian faith.
I think “reformist Muslims” is a better term for the “moderates”. Christianity has been reformed in history and there are many branches of Christianity from which to choose now. The same thing needs to happen with Islam. Not “radical Islam” or “Islamo-nazism” or “Islamofascism”, but Islam itself.
Islam is not just a religion, but also a way of life and a political Ideology. There is no separating them. There is no separation of Mosque and State, because Islam itself is a political way of life, as well as an individual way of life and a worldwide religion.
Medved presented some reasons why we cannot call Islam the enemy, mainly stating that it would be too hard and we would piss off too many people. Therefore, instead of dealing with the facts about Islam itself, we need to do something else and not call a spade a spade. I completely disagree with this strategy. The facts need to come out and people need to deal with what is Islam: a dangerous, oppressive totalitarian religion and political ideology intent spreading throughout the entire world.
Wordsmith – After reading your response to Theresa, I have to wonder if you are paying attention to the Islamization that is happening in Europe, specifically in Britain/UK/London. Those are not al Qaeda types who are working to Islamize the UK and have Islamic Sharia Law there, those are average young Muslims.
If you wonder why there are those of us who have the opinions that we do, such as Theresa and myself, it is because we follow what is going on there and in Canada to our North and see what Muslims do when they start to gain numbers in the population enough to affect their host countries. Arguing over “jihad” and “hirab” is not going to stop the Islamization of Europe and Canada and eventually the United States. But a complete reform of Islam is necessary.
A prime example non-al Qaeda mentality among Muslims is the “offense” they take to the Mohammad Cartoons and the compete capitulation of the West to that situation. Not to mention the fact that Mark Steyn has been taken before the “Human Rights Commission” in Canada over what he wrote in his book, quoting a Muslim Leader. These are the kinds of things that are happening all over the West. Let’s not forget the Australia Imam and the “uncovered meat” comment. This creeping Islamic Sharia law is being pushed little by little. Kinda like what the ACLU founder said that America will accept socialism little by little until one day they wake up and have Communism.
There have always been terrorists in the region. The Koran even has a special punishment just for them.
In the U.S., there are more Muslims than Afganistan and more Jews than Israel. Has anybody seen a holy war in the U.S. between the two? The fighting has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with politics.
The way women are treated is a regional one, not much of a religious one. Just look at the number of domestic abuse cases in the U.S. abuse against women and the elderly happen everywhere.
Most areas where the terrorists are is where there is a high illiteracy rate. If they can’t read the Koran, they can’t follow it. They can only follow people that claim to have read the Koran. That could be anybody. Even if they can read the Koran, they are mesmerized by their clerics and false teachings that they see on TV or read. That’s nothing new and has been used by imperialists everywhere. The U.S. had it’s own form of imperialism called Manifest Destiny.
The Muslims did have a golden age where science and knowledge was more important than religion.
Islam is both a religion and a political system. It is well and good that the United States guearantees freedom of religion, but the political aspects of Islam are totally incompatible with the American political system and should be banned. For example, Islam does not separate religion and government, and absolutely does not permit freedom of religion in that in Islamic nations those who are not Muslims are not equal under the law. In addition, women are not equal to men. Until Islam can make changes in its fundamental doctrine it is incompatible with democracy, and with the west.
Um….I do read Flopping Aces, you know. I get my daily allowance mostly from right-wing blogs, so…yeah. I’m saturated in it.
Michael, this is what I find exasperating. I feel like I have addressed this; the Medved article itself addresses this.
These Muslims you describe are a huge problem. Allowing imams to preach violence against the West and the host-country of Britain should be taken very seriously, at face-value. These are the fundamentalist extremists who I view as a danger, who are capable of metasticizing into suicide bombers and terrorists.
Encouraging them in their misguided notion that the West is persecuting Muslims by saying “Islam is the enemy”….uh, yeah. That’s the right strategy. That’ll be sure to pacify these Muslim youths who are being influenced by the radical voices.
Great Britain is beginning to find that out, as are other European countries, that they have done a piss-poor job of assimilating Muslims into becoming patriotic citizens, and not just squatters and ungrateful advantage-takers.
France can take a lot of the blame for some of its policies that have alienated Muslim Algerians from feeling like French citizens. It can sometimes work both ways.
America, more than any other country, has done a much better job at assimilating Muslim immigrants. Not in all cases, certainly.
Which is why I stated immigration flow has to be controlled, in order to sift out those who do not seek assimilation; who have no interest in the hard work of learning our language and established customs and heritage (I’m not Christian, yet I I regard having a Christmas tree in the home a part of American heritage- not a requirement, certainly; but it definitely enriches the neighborhood to have light decorations and celebrate the tradition).
Yes, and reform will more likely to be expedited if we encourage sideline Muslims, who are being influenced by “the bad angel on the shoulder”, that Americans like Theresa view their faith as filth; when “jihad” has positive connotations in the minds of modern Muslims who do not equate it with “holy war”, calling the terrorists “hirabahists” or some term other than what they wish to be referred to as, strips them of the language of legitimacy.
We have Sunni Sheikhs who have called al-Qaeda the apostates, claiming they don’t speak for Islam. By not calling the terrorists “jihadists” but “hirabahists”, don’t you think that in the minds of Sunni Muslims, it encourages recognition that we are not at war with Islam itself?
Al-Qaeda and Qtub Islamists wants to convince all Muslims that the West is at war with the whole of Islam. Do you really want to fall into that trap?
Yes, and that’s a problem! I don’t know how many times I have to say it over, and over again!
In the same breath, I will add, though, that most of those protesters are not going to engage in carbombings and put on a homicide vest; nor do they wish to convert you or kill you. So let them protest their offense.
It will be a sign of reformation and maturity when Islam can take criticism and not go haywire over the slightest offense. I think there should be a balanced approach between showing respect and not intentionally pushing buttons, and “thickening their skin”, by pushing buttons and saying, “Hey, its’ the 21st century! Relax and grow up, already! Lighten up!”
Nor the nun who expressed true Christian charity in forgiving her killers– Islamic extremists- in Somalia; nor about Gillian Gibbons, the teacher who allowed her students to name a stuffed teddy “Muhammed”, with Sudanese Muslims calling for her head.
*sigh*….I keep thinking I’m just talking to brick walls (no offense, meant). It’s just tiresome to be told stuff as if, “wow….never heard that before”. Forget that it’s probably been posted on FA in the first place.
I agree with James Williams, comment #8.
Reformation is sorely needed. But pissing on every Muslim is not the smartest way to go about it. Some Muslims- the ones who are already “reformed” can take the criticism, because they themselves have embraced modernity, and are risking their lives, “fighting for the soul of their faith”, as Dr. Jasser put it, by being outspokenly critical of the fundamentalists and political Islam.
You don’t mention the honor killings last year of 2 teenage girls by their father in Texas, I believe. Nor the killing of Jewish women at building a year or two ago in the Northwest. Nor the killings at the El Al counter in LA a few years back. How many sudden-jihad-syndrome killings have been downplayed or not mentioned at all? Do you trust the liberal MSM to tell you the facts? Do you have an alternative word for taqqiyah?
To paraphrase a line from a great western, when it comes down to my head being chopped off or my death I’m downright bigoted. As for Islam, talk, talk, talk only seems to lead people getting killed, killed, killed.
I don’t have time to run down the list, Tom. Again, I think what I have been saying is lost amidst the anti-Islam rage.
What was the opening lines to that movie, “Obsession”? “This post isn’t about them” [in reference to the violent Islamists]. This is about the reformist/moderates/modern peaceful Muslims.
Expressing my Islam-criticism will be on some other day.
The Muslims I personally know are just as horrified and disgusted as I am by honor killings. But you’ll probably dismiss them as engaging in taqqiyah or Muslim apostates.
When there’s an epidemic of honor killings going on in this country and not the occasional “school-shooting” style media story that makes it seem like we have an epidemic gun control problem in the U.S., then get back to me.
I’m in agreement with you Word. Its just not realistic to be at war with all of Islam, because it will never end. More realistic is doing our best to help cultivate reform from within their religion. There are most definitely moderate Muslims, I’ve met some and you can read some of them in the blogosphere. From that Medved article:
So while we fight the good fight against fanatical Islam we should at the same time try to strengthen the moderates, and that includes recognizing that yes…they do exist.
“He is one of the moderate, anti-Islamist Muslims” The comment makes no sense. If he is anti-Islamist then he can not be a muslim.
“Islam – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 An adherent of Islam is known as a Muslim, ”
I have read the article, I have read the comments of John, MSgt Theresa and others that agree with them. I stand with them 100%.
“When there’s an epidemic of honor killings going on in this country and not the occasional “school-shooting” style media story that makes it seem like we have an epidemic gun control problem in the U.S., then get back to me.”
This is the argument I have had used against me when I argue in favor of the The Long War (on terror) effort in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many people have told me that 9/11 was just one attack, similar to the occasional “school-shooting” style media story and there was no reason to turn this into a war effort.
“*sigh*….I keep thinking I’m just talking to brick walls (no offense, meant). It’s just tiresome to be told stuff as if, “wow….never heard that before”.”
Okay, well I will return the “no offense” courtesy to you as well and say that I feel the same way when I read this sort of reasoning that you have about Islam.
When I read this “get back to me when this is an epidemic” comment from you Wordsmith, it strikes me as the same thing I go through with those who oppose The Long War and they say “yeah, get back to me when anyone can actually nuke a US city”. You seem to be of the opinion that “pre-emption” is not a good thing when it comes to reforming Islam and dealing with the honor killings and creeping Islamic sharia law here in America. You want to wait until it is as bad as it is now in Europe, Britain/UK/London and Canada, before we actually raise any awareness and fight back against this nonsense.
People keep commenting about “radical Islam”, “extremist Islam”, etc. I don’t understand that rationale. Islam is Islam. The tenets are what they are. Mohammad is what he is. What needs to be done is a reformation of Islam. There is no need to put qualifying descriptions in front of Islam. Islam itself is extremist and radical. That is why it needs to be reformed in the first place. Terrorists are not misinterpreting passages and misinterpreting the teachings of Mohammad. What they are doing IS Islam. The reform part is about getting rid of those things from Islam.
This is completely different than Christianity since Jesus was nothing like Mohammad. What needed to be reformed about Christianity was people’s interpretation of the Scriptures and Jesus’ message. With Islam, whole parts of the texts and whole teachings of their own “prophet” need to be expunged.
These 1.3 Billion Muslims you seem to be afraid of pissing off by stating the fact that Islam needs to be reformed because it is a totalitarian extremist ideology are not all really Muslims. Some are actually like so-called “Catholics” who go around supporting abortion, having promiscuous sex and using birth control. Those are all things which are in opposition to Catholicism. Therefore, they are not Catholics, since they are not practicing what Catholicism calls for. Same thing with some of the 1.3 Billion so-called “Muslims”. They are not practicing all that Mohammad and the Koran and Hadiths teach.
I really don’t get this debate at all. There are definitions for things, just like there are definitions for political ideologies like Conservatism. If a person is not living according to the definition of the ideology, then they cannot consider themselves adherents to that ideology. It is that simple.
When you say you feel like you are talking to a wall, that is how I feel right now too. I don’t understand how there is a definition for Islam, some people are not following it and yet you still want to call THEM Muslims and call the terrorists who are actually following Islam, “extremists”. If I go around having promiscuous sex, using birth control, encouraging my girlfriend/wife to have abortions, I cannot call myself Catholic. But let’s say that I did. Let’s say then that I told a friend that I did all that. And he asked me, “but I thought you were Catholic?” And I tell him that I am. Is he then to say that since I am Catholic and do these things, that Catholicism now is pro-abortion, pro-promiscuous sex and pro-birth control? No. It means that I am going against the beliefs of the religion to which I claim to belong and still call myself an adherent to that religion.
Why is it that when “moderates” don’t follow the teachings of Mohammad and the teachings of the Koran and Hadiths which encourage violence and oppression and murdering non-Muslims, they are calling Muslims, but those who follow those teachings are called “extremists”?
Are “Catholics” who have promiscuous sex, using birth control and have abortions true Catholics and those who actually follow those beliefs of Catholicism now “extremists”? I’m really at a loss.
The terrorists and radicals don’t function in a vacuum.
We have our versions of those radicals, but when they step out of line we jail them promptly. They are not accepted. The rest learn to keep in line.
The the countries full of these non-extremist Muslims, the extremists seem to exist just fine relatively speaking. Stepping out of line is drawn at assassinating the host country’s leadership, but that’s about it.
It’s never been the extremists that makes the West different from theirs. Its how the extremists are treated.
Also, be sure to check this out to see what average Muslims are teaching Muslims here in America about how to “assimilate”: In this article, we will try to clear up many of the misconceptions that are prevalent about Islam. Before jumping into the list of misconceptions directly, it is important to give a little interesting background about the source of Islam.
We avoid the word religion because in many non-Islamic societies, there is a separation of “religion and state.” This separation is not recognized at all in Islam: the Creator is very much concerned with all that we do, including the political, social, economic, and other aspects of our society. Hence, Islam is a complete way of life.
As I said, this is Islam. Not “radical Islam”, not “extremist Islam”, but Islam itself. It is not compatible with Western civilization and must be reformed. Islam itself must be reformed. And if that offends 1.3 Billions Muslims, well that just too damn bad. Better they are offended than we allow them to institute sharia law. If they don’t like Western civilization and Democracy, they are free to leave and go live under Islamic sharia law in the Middle East. But, while they are here, they will NOT institute it here in America.
This is not so complicated as it is being made. A few simple principles can be your guide:
1) Sharia is incompatible with human rights. It must be globally outlawed. We don’t cut off hands or flog or brand or gouge out eyes in the civilized world. Anywhere that is done in the name of “law,” no law in fact exists.
2) The conscience of the individual should not be suppressed because it “offends” someone else. There is no right to never be offended. If a woman doesn’t want to wear a burqua or I don’t want to be beaten for not wearing a beard, that comes ahead of 7th century “sensibilities.”
3) Freedom of speech shall not be proscribed AT ALL. See #2.
4) No slavery. NONE. Large swathes of the middles east aren’t there yet. Conversely, there have been people convicted in America of practicing de-facto slavery. These people have not turned out to be Baptists or Bhuddists.
5) NO HUMAN BEING is the offspring of monkeys and pigs. No need to even qualify that one.
There are other points to consider, but just do this thought experiment: If the UN declared #s 1-4 to be global writ tomorrow (and no, I don’t want them having that authority) Where (and from whom) would the screaming and threats and violence come from? Who would it be directed towards? #5 conflicts with #3, but the presence of a paradox does not invalidate #s 1-4, nor #5. If there is freedom of speech, the individuals who mouth the epithet in #5 are letting us all know who and what they are.
The problem with the overall war, is that we were not successful (initially) in propagandizing it as a war against Islamic terrorism, and making a clear case for the Iraq battle. Iraq is related (as a battle in the long war) and distinct (as a continuation of the original Gulf War). Unfortunately, our military excursion did create more terrorists. Much of it fueled by enemy propaganda and a media that highlights the abu Ghraib stories, underscores the Haditha Marines smear, and otherwise paints the U.S. as warmongering for oil, Jews, and imperialism.
I just saw this coming, and feel that commenters, with their preconceived views on Islam, are reading past me, and not truly understanding where I am coming from. Maybe it’s arrogant of me, but I feel like I already know where you guys are coming from. Been there, thought that. Now I feel like I evolved, in my thinking, from where I was before reading Amy Proctor’s post, from a year ago. To me, it makes sense. Even if it’s purely from a propaganda standpoint, and nothing more in regards to one’s personal opinion of Islam. Since then, I began reassessing my views on Islam, and how to win the long war.
My personal experience with Muslims- mostly American Muslims, though some first generation immigrants- is that they are grateful to be in this country. To be American citizens and to have the freedoms to express their views, to practice their faith (most are Muslim), to be more…liberal. Some may express dissatisfaction with Iraq, worry over being persecuted and discriminated (I’m beginning to think they have ample concerns, given the way Islam is regarded on so many conservative blogs), complain about the cost of health care, about American foreign policy…but these criticisms aren’t much different than those of Democrat whiners, on any given day. I had one friend who didn’t approve of American foreign policy; but that’s because she studied poly sci from liberal professors; not because of her religious beliefs. Her parents were very pro-American, pro-Reagan conservative. With the exception of one Pakistani in my dorms when I was in college during the first Gulf War, my personal experience with Muslims in this country has been positive. Well, except for Persian customers when I worked loss prevention in retail- a number of them were a pain, always looking for bargains.
Anyway, I feel like my opinions on Islam were shaped after 9/11 by ONLY listening to the criticism of Islam. I devoured every anti-Islamic book that came out in hardback. And I believed by doing this, I was “educating myself”. The problem is only compounded by what John pointed out, regarding CAIR setting itself up as representative of the moderate voice- kind of like how Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition represents “the black voice”.
I don’t think that analogy fits like a glove to my comment; but I made it mostly to be dismissive, and move on. I knew what I was stepping into, when I wrote the post and was prepared to just bite my lip and let people express their opinions, and not debate; I have other things to do than spend extra time on the computer. But, this is what I get, for blogging the “contrarian” point of view, here.
Not at all. But how, in your rhetoric, is it pre-emptive medicine to fighting Islamic terrorism, if one wants to paint the whole of Islam in language that many Muslims may feel persecuted and alienated by? Some, such as Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, may be “reformed” enough, to not take harsh criticism of his faith, personally, as he himself expounds upon those criticisms against his own religion. That is the sign of religious maturity: When Christians can express outrage over Piss Christ, without flying off the handle and calling for a Christian fatwa against the artist, Serrano.
How do you preempt honor killings, Michael? What are your suggestions? I’d love to see those end, as well.
How many of these Kurdish protesters of an honor killing, do you suppose are Muslims? Do you think crapping on their religion will get them to “see the light”?
This is why I think you fail to understand me. The difference between your approach and mine, is that you risk alienating all Muslims, whereas I seek to encourage our Muslim allies to see Islamic terrorism as the enemy of all of us.
I absolutely understand what you are saying. But it is important to draw distinctions. You want to paint the radicals as the norm- the true adherents to Islamic scripture; the reformists/moderates as the apostates to true Islamic practice.
That could be one approach; but I think we stand a far better chance of propagandizing the war by painting the fundamentalists and militants as the apostates and extremists; not the other way around.
CAIR and their ilk are the ones who want to portray good Muslims like Jasser, as the radical extremist. Maybe he is. But it’s also true that Jasser represents everything you would want in a reformed Islam. And to quibble over “there’s no such thing as reformed Islam, because then it’s no longer Islam” is ridiculous and not helpful to the long war. Somehow the terrorists are able to define themselves as the standard bearers of Islam; yet when someone who also says he practices Islam does not fit our neat little definition of what a Muslim is, we reject his naming of himself as a devout practitioner of Islam.
Agreed! And it is the same reformation that has happened to Christianity; somehow, it missed the growing pains discussion about “reformed Christians” are not “true Christians”. (Actually, the discussion was probably had, debated, and argued over, ad nauseam).
Michael, I actually agree here. The problem I see, is that not all Muslims are practicing fundamentalist interpretations; yet we are not doing a good job of encouraging reformation. When:
Are you going to be the one to tell our Iraqi ally that these terrorists are practicing true Islam?
What is your COIN strategy? How do we ultimately win the long war?
I mostly agree, here; and there are modern Muslims who have been doing just that, for quite sometime before Islam came to the forefront of our consciousness, one Tuesday morning. In college, in the early 90’s, not one Persian and Arabic friend of mine wore anything remotely resembling a head-scarf, nor the males behave in a manner that were any less respectful than the locker room talk that good ol’ American boys like to participate in. None that I am still in contact with have participated in, nor been a victim of honor killings. Some retain varying aspects of their culture and heritage, and to varying degrees; the rest of them is as American as apple pie. A few are pretty devout, in the manner in which they choose to express their faith; others are more secularized, as far as I can tell (not really into prayer rugs, mosques, etc).
I’m not prepared to bomb Mecca and Medina; are you?
1.3 billion human beings. Innocent blood. I’m not afraid of them. I think it’s wrong to malign all of them and it is not helpful to winning the long war.
And then you have Catholics who aren’t as promiscuous but who are somewhat “liberated” and not strict adherents. But they are good people, nevertheless. Same with Muslims.
Describe back to me why I favor the use of the term “hirabah” over “jihad”. I am all for naming the enemy. I just wonder if you truly get my point.
They, too, are Muslim, Michael. But who’s hijacking whose religion? I know the answer you’d give. But what view would be more beneficial to the long war? Who should be marginalized as the apostates of a powerful world religion? Who should be told they are “the radicals”?
Muslims who burn things and kill people are no more real Muslims than David Koresh was a real Christian. I wrote this entry called terrorism is backfiring in Iraq. In it, I write the main points as being:
*Terrorism is backfiring in Iraq
*Terrorists are “taqfari” or false Muslims. They are operating outside Islam to kill innocent people and taqfari are being criminalized. This is a major tactic to win the overall global war on terrorism.
*When asked what they need most, Iraqi Security say they want the Marines to stay to help ensure al-Qaeda does not return.
Nouri al-Maliki spoke in the summer of 2006 to Congress and said this:
know that some of you here question whether Iraq is part of the war on terror. Let me be very clear: This is a battle between true Islam, for which a person’s liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak; in reality, waging a war on Islam and Muslims and values.
The truth is that terrorism has no religion. Our faith says that who kills an innocent, as if they have killed all mankind.
It’s hard for us to get that Islam in and of itself is not a religion of hate. Where we get our preconceived ideas from is usually the media.. the same media who highlights sensational car bombings in Iraq. But does that mean all Iraq is touched by that car bombing?
There are apostates in any religion. I truly commend wordsmith for opening his mind and getting it, because the “religon of hate” mantra complicates the war.
What’s really odd is that the right loves GEN Petraeus.. and Petraeus agrees with wordsmith! So how can so many conservatives and Republicans praise Petraeus while blasting his strategy?
Petraeus has been clear that there are reconcilables and irreconcilables (taqfari). Listen, a big program being run out of the Abu Ghraib prison and others in Iraq is reaching the detainees, who are usually uneducated people sucked into false Islam. They are taught by clerics who partner with Coalition Forces that violence is incompatible with their religion. . Here are some examples:
COIN: Iraqi Detainees Reject al-Qaeda
Winning Hearts and Minds in Iraqi Jails
Moderate Muslim Clerics Teach Iraqi Detainees to Resist False Teachings of Extremists
The point is that calling Islam a religion of hate is completely counterproductive and inaccurate. When we call acts of violence terrorism or hirabah rather than jihad, we alienate terrorists like al-Qaeda from the Muslim population and marginalize their efforts. In doing so, we show consideration for the Muslim religion, no matter what our personal opinions may be on the religion itself, and persuade good Muslims to support the effort against apostates like Osama bin Laden and the rest.
Calling terrorists “jihadists” may be more en vogue than referring to it as hirabah, but it is terrorism not true Islam and we risk legitimizing the likes of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah in the Islamic world if we refer to their terror as jihad. It’s murder, terrorism and hirabah. This is why the war on terror can be won; Muslims want to stop the assault on their religion as much as the rest of us do.
Killing innocent civilians in the name of Allah is not Jihad and Muslims know it… they’re simply waiting for us to understand this as well.
I particularly agree with wordsmith’s first paragraph. There is a vile movement among many conservatives to be bigoted against Islam because a minority are apostates. No one has to theologically endorse Islam because you differentiate between true and false Muslims. It does mean that when more people give good Muslims the courtesy of not being lumped into the same category as terrorists like bin Laden, we have a better chance of winning the war on terror. If you care about soldiers at all, you really need to keep an open mind about this.
I cringe everytime I see some of the bigotted posts in the blogosphere, particularly on blogs like Michelle Malkin and Hot Air, because they damage the war effort.
I also think the finer points of Islam should be left up to Muslims. Talking about a virgin birth or assumption into heaven seems as ludicrious to a non-Christian as Muslim beliefs do to us.
You might also take a stroll through the Old Testament if you want to see some hair-curling edicts from God himself, down to killing women, children and animals.
I am active duty US Army. I am a senior noncommissioned officer in the Chaplain Corps and have been working for the last 4 years since returning from OIF on establishing a body of knowledge that will equip commanders in OIF with operationally actionable cultural intelligence.
I was at the MNF-I HQs one week ago. Hopefully my remarks will be afforded a modicum of credibility commensurate with my experience.
1. The greatest buttress against radicalized Islam is support for orthodox expressions of it. Forget an all-out war with Islam; that is as absurd as it is impracticable. I recommend in your pilgrimage towards correct syntax, that you dump the demeaning expression “moderate Muslims”. As a lapsed Catholic posted above, he is Catholic in self-description but admittedly a ‘moderate’ Catholic as described by decisive violation of basic tenets of the orthodox faith. Such ‘moderates’ add nothing to the Church’s mission; in fact, they are scandalizers and stumbling blocks to others seeking the way of salvation. Likewise, “moderate Islam” is inherently troublesome and should be rejected as a creation of the MSM.
2. The next greatest weapon against radicalized Islam is building deep and sincere relations with Muslims. This occurs between neighbors over the backyard fence as much as it does between states. It is difficult to hate the completely humanized “other”; in Iraq, we have achieved monumental inroads simply by sticking by our word and committments with our Muslim friends. Believe me, they know we have to find ways to get along. They were the ones who had bombs dropped on them by concerned Americans. They want to get along at least as much as we say we do. As a Soldier, I can tell you the desire for friendship on both sides is palpable.
3. In American politics, polemical rhetoric is often based on obtuse abstractions and not real relations. If it is a requisite of the right to disown Islam, force the arguments into the concrete as quickly as possible. Ask, does that mean I should hate Abbas or Achmed or Fatima who work downstairs in sales? How exactly should I live out this denunciation of Islam in my own hometown? Realistically, we are bound by the Golden Rule to seek out what is best for the Other, even if he/she is a Muslim. That is best concretized by emplary behavior of our own.
4. The majority of the world’s Christians and Muslims concur that both traditions worship the One true God. The Pope prayed in a Mosque recently. 138 Islamic scholars recently reached out to the Roman See. Muslims in Baghdad are pleading for their fellow Arabs who are Christians to return from refuge. Deep and scholarly discussions between the communities of faith are underway all over the world. This is the way that has worked over the centuries. Men of sincere prayer find it difficult to use violence and coercion to persuade a fellow religionist.
5. I would venture that when you peel back the layers from those who advocate denunciation of Islam, you may find either those with no actual religious affiliation or active practice of their own, or, a radicalized Christian sect without a mature position on relations to religionists of non-Christian faiths.
As a Roman Catholic and a member of a professional clergy team, I cannot embrace the tenets of Islam that disagree with Christianity; I CAN, however, embrace my Muslim friends as sincere seekers of God. I can purge the hatred from my own thinking and model the religion that I believe in. At the end of the day, we have no option but to learn to live together in this increasingly flatter, smaller global community.
Master Sergeant John Proctor
Wordsmith wrote: 1.3 billion human beings. Innocent blood. I’m not afraid of them. I think it’s wrong to malign all of them and it is not helpful to winning the long war.
I think there’s a place for you on the MNF-I staff!
What mischaracterizing Muslims does ultimately is makes heroes of bin Laden, etc and raises their status to a much higher level among the uneducated Muslims who don’t really know their religion. Al-Qaeda preys on these people. This kills more soldiers because the west ends up being an enemy rather than a friend to Muslims. We want peace with all people and this won’t happen with the anti-Muslim mindset.
Would you call Charles Manson a Christian and compare all Christians to him as the measuring stick? That’d be stupid.
“Muslims who burn things and kill people are no more real Muslims than David Koresh was a real Christian.”
So, I guess you are saying that Mohammad was not a real Muslim?
Was Jesus a real Christian?
I’m frankly not an expert on Mohammed, but I’m talking about Muslims. Your argument makes David Koresh out to be Jesus. As Johnny said, we don’t espouse Islamic theology but do “embrace Muslims as sincere seekers of God”. Johnny says this having been in Iraq for a year and having just gotten back from working in Baghdad.
Wordsmith, this is a case in point. Michelle Malkin’s lead story has this as one of the first sentences:
As I noted at Hot Air last month, the Religion of Perpetual Outrage is gearing up for the debut of Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam mini-documentary, “Fitna”–which is reportedly set for completion sometime today.
Religion of Perpetual Outrage? Isn’t that cute. That may have cost one soldier his life.
Good point, wordsmith!
The point here isn’t validating Islam’s founder or theology, but finding a way to LIVE IN PEACE with other religions, especially when the taqfaris are so incredibly violent. As a Christian obviously I don’t endorse Islam’s theology, but there’s no need to condemn all Muslims.
Islam is very specific and very clear on the following subject: he who does not submit to Islam is guilty of making “mischief in the land” and is, therefore, never innocent and is therefore, specifically excluded from the admonishment from Mohammad that “to kill an innocent is to kill the whole world”.
That Muslims do not kill every Westerner or Christian that they meet is not due to kindness nor religious tolerance nor for a shared value in the respect for human life. It is due to their fear of retaliation against their family/tribe (using tribe in the sense of extended family).
In places with an overwhelming Muslim majority, where retaliation is numerically impossible, the life of Christians is a living hell of forced conversions, kidnapping, rape, murder, theft, looting, and ethnic cleansing: India, Pakistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, to name a few. Places like Turkey and Lebanon, no longer have the Christian populations they had following WWII or even from the 1900s or the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The Christians have been ethnically cleansed from areas they lived in for 19 centuries due to modern Islamic genocide.
Obviously genocide works as these Muslim populations are now seen as the legitimate peoples of the Christian (and Hindu and Buddhist) countries they depopulated.
I see no need to find a way to “LIVE IN PEACE” with Muslims, any more than I see a need for learning to “LIVE IN PEACE” with Ted Bundy. The fact that Ted once had friends and co-workers whom he did not kill, did not make him any less dangerous to the people he did.
Likewise, many Muslims will not try and kill me because they have other things to do with their lives, but as I have no interest in converting to Islam, all Muslims are excused by the both their religion and their co-religionists in my murder. In fact for many Muslims, my murder is an act of worship. I have no need to “LIVE IN PEACE” with such people, only to “LIVE VIGILANTLY”.
Moral Equivalence. Nice. Not just this retort, but the whole piece. Makes it easier to sleep at night to blame a few bad actors because the alternative risks getting messy.
I’ve seen no response to how groups like Al Queda can survive based in the Middle East and not in the West.
Take the specific case of Pakistan. Bin Laden is able to survive in Pakistan because actually arresting him or killing him would cost Musharraf his regime. Musharraf keeps him suppressed at best and to do even that he is making it clear to his people its due to US pressure.
The moral equivelance that was misquided was comparing Mohammed as a real Muslim to David Koresh as a real Christian.
You people are getting lost in the weeds here. It isn’t about condoning theology. Catholic theology teaches that birth control is a sin. And? Most people don’t agree with that. The issues are:
1) do we want to win the war on terror?
2) do we really want peace in the world?
If so, the blanket “religion of hate” talk has to stop. It’s that simple.
>But say something positive about Islam, and we’re just not interested in reading about it.
I’m not interested in anything good about Islam. Islam’s murderous rampage through history (270 Million in 1,400 years) far outweight anything “good” about it.
As long as Muslims permit Political/Military Islam to remain in thier texts and laws, then what is there to talk about ? The moderates who attack critics who attack Islam are attacking the wrong people. 10-20 years ago, no one cared about Islam. As Islam has revived itself and we in America have learned more about it , we of course speak out against it.
Were these moderates trying to reform Islam in the past.. as it was reviving? I dont think so.
Were the moderates warning us that something really bad was sweeping the Islamic world and that we should pay attention? Was CAIR trying to alert the FBI to the threat of Al Qaida?
The moderates are like neutrons in an atom.. they take up space but dont effect the direction of the charge..
>4. The majority of the world’s Christians and Muslims concur that both traditions worship the One true God. The Pope prayed in a Mosque recently. 138 Islamic scholars recently reached out to the Roman See
Lord help us if you’re educating our military.
The letter of 138 Islamic scholars was basically a Dawa letter and veilled ultimatum.
Read this response to the letter
This is an excerpt of two sections:
Expression of Islamic mission (da`wa)
Although presented as interfaith dialogue, the letter can equally be viewed as a classical example of Islamic da`wa (mission). It is a call to accept the Muslim concept of the unity of God (tawhid) and therefore to reject the incompatible Christian views of the Trinity and the deity of Christ.
In their stress on monotheism and the unity of God, the Muslim leaders quote a number of verses from the Qur`an which express the Muslim concept of a God with no associates and no partners – verses which have always traditionally been interpreted as a direct attack on the basic Christian doctrines of the Trinity and of Christ`s deity. For instance, Q3:64, quoted numerous times in the letter, calls the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to agree not to ascribe partners to God and not to take other lords beside him.
This Qur`anic verse has always been understood as a call to deny the Trinity and the deity of Christ. In the Saudi-sponsored English Qur`an of Hilali and Khan (Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Qur`an in the English Language, published in Riyadh by Darussalam) this verse has a footnote which quotes the letter Muhammad sent to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, calling upon him and his people to embrace Islam and including the threat that the rejection of this call would lead to severe consequences. It may be that a similar frame of mind lies behind the letter in which this verse is so often quoted.
Other Qur`anic quotations in the letter have a similar message about the unity of God: [emphasis added]
Hadith traditions are quoted to support the same theme:
A hidden message for Muslims?
It is unusual to see Islamic scholars basing their presentation of Islamic doctrines only on the Qur`an. Usually the scholars seek to understand the Qur`an by reference to the hadith (traditions recording the sunna, that is the words and deeds of Muhammad and his Companions) and through tafsir (the Islamic science of interpreting the Qur`an) and other Islamic academic disciplines. There are few quotations from the hadith in the main body of the letter (though there are several more in the footnotes). However, all the Qur`anic verses quoted have interpretations in hadith and tafsir, interpretations which are well known to Muslims and which are usually much more aggressive towards Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims than represented by this letter. Therefore many Muslim readers would detect in the very act of selectively quoting from the Qur`an a hidden message that this is not a letter of appeasement, but a call to Islam in the tradition of Muhammad and his Companions and of the early Caliphs. There the call is always to submit to Islam and to accept Islamic dominance.
For instance, the fatiha (sura 1 of the Qur`an) is quoted and presented as the greatest chapter in the Qur`an, reminding humans of their duty of praise and gratitude to God for his mercy and goodness. Included are verses 6 and 7:
In Muslim interpretations and commentaries on these verses, it is explained that those who deserve God`s anger are the Jews, while those who are astray are the Christians. Indeed, the Saudi-sponsored English translation of the Qur`an by Hilali and Khan explicitly incorporates this interpretation in the very text of the Qur`an:
Most Westerners, reading the verse as quoted in the letter, simply do not realise what it means. But for Muslims reading the letter, the meaning is clear: a call to Christians and Jews to avoid God`s anger and judgement by accepting Islam.
Thank you, word, for such a well-written and well-intentioned piece but, as many of the comments would appear to indicate, hatred-for-hatred is all too alive and well and, oddly, those espousing their virulent hatred of Islam in general don’t see the hypocrisy in their rhetoric.
I believe it is highly unlikely that Jesus could walk among many self-proclaimed Christians of today and recognize the values he taught at work.
Most religions call for the conversion of the unbeliever. Christianity isn’t without it’s darker episodes of forced coercion into belief despite what many may want to believe. I personally believe that Christianity reaped the benefit of a more “global” early expansion and without the Middle Eastern tribal complications. This is a region that has been fighting essentially the same fight for-practically-ever! Militant imams feed off those who feel trapped and want a shorter road to salvation. They aren’t completely unlike our own brand of snake oil salesman here in the States that use fear, fear and more fear as their own hook.
While I can appreciate the call for respecting our “Judeo-American” heritage I’ll take the opportunity to say there are few religions that aren’t dangerous to the concept of individual freedoms. It would seem that many of our forefathers realized the which is why we’re guaranteed religious freedom.
Unfortunately, there are always zealots that are willing to use one’s spiritualism for personal gain or, occasionally, as a true expression of their faith — and usually under the guise of being what God wants.
Adriane #29 wrote:
Yes, and so all my Muslim friends are out to kill me. 1.3 billion Muslims are our natural enemies. The Muslims fighting alongside us in the global war against Islamic terrorism will kill us because some cherry-picked quotes say they must do so.
Nothing new under the sun. I have a file full of quotations cherry-picked from the Koran and Hadith that can paint a very evil picture. In a sense, you’re still preaching to the choir and not hearing what I’m singing back at’cha.
Not all 1.3 billion Muslims are cut from the same cloth. You are engaged in gross stereotyping.
Muslims aren’t the problem, where you’re concerned. It’s your attitude toward them that makes it impossible for you to “live in peace” with peaceful Muslims that’s the problem.
Yes, of course you are right. God forbid, that a Muslim boogeyman should cross your path at the supermarket. He might mistake your look of vigilance for open hostility and try and kill you.
Or then again….he might just walk on by, wondering “What’s up with her? Is my turban on crooked or something?”
jpm100 comment #30 wrote:
It’s pretty easy to bandy about words like “moral equivalence” and “political correctness”. It’s a knee-jerk response, allowing one to disengage from actual thinking and dialogue, and resort to stale thinking and talking points about “Islam is bad…mmmkay?”
al-Qaeda is surviving really well in Iraq, right now, isn’t it? Sunni Muslims really appreciated how al-Qaeda baked their children in ovens, then served them up on platters. But let’s not seek to encourage Muslims to turn against terror groups like al-Qaeda; nor, let’s make it clear to all Muslims that their paranoia that the West is out to persecute those who practice Islam is indeed true. Let’s let this Iraqi man know that he sacrificed his life for infidels. Let’s let Iraqi Muslims know that this is not allowed, because they are not being good Muslims, and peaceful coexistence between Islam and Christianity is impossible:
Vince P. in comment #32 wrote:
Well, there you go. Debate over. Thinking off.
Islam’s current murderous rampage is a problem. Not it’s “1400” year history. Otherwise, Christian atrocities of the past centuries becomes fair game, as well.
Reformation. An acknowledgement that not all Muslims follow political Islamic militancy and fundamentalism.
If it were true, we’d be feeling Islamic militancy in far greater numbers and threat than we actually do.
Are you paying attention to the arguments that came before your comment? We’re not talking about the CAIR brand of moderates who act as Muslim apologists preaching victimhood and excusing Muslim violence as “blowback” against the West. If some of you would actually bother to read what DEVOUT Muslims like Dr. Jasser are saying, he is criticizing much of Islam itself; all the while considering himself spiritually faithful to the teachings of Islam, as he practices it. He represents the reform we are asking for, within Islam if it is to survive into the 21st century, and not be stuck on 7th century thinking.
Dr. Jasser in NRO:
I think reformation was naturally taking place, albeit at a slower pace than it’s taken place with other religions. One can see Arabs who were pro-American at one time, before Israel became a State. The secularization of governments within Muslim countries, all the while its citizens still considered themselves to be Muslims. But perceived persecutions and conspiracy theories, propaganda of past Islamic grandeur have retarded reformation and increased the power and influence of Islamic clerics who preach militant fundementalism.
Modern terrorism can find some of its roots in the teachings of Sayyid Qutb and a few others; with the Khomeinites representing a separate rise in Islamic militancy, thanks to the fall of the Shah in Iran.
CAIR is not part of the solution, nor the definition of what I consider “moderate”. Muslims like Jasser are the “positive charge” you seek. Yet some of you who wish for Muslims to stand up and speak out vociferously, to lead the charge against radical Islam, reject the very notion of “Islam reformation” and are in denial when Muslims like him do speak out, at risk to their own lives by the violent Islamists.
There are problems here that are not being considered.
First, the concept of taqiyyah. How do you differentiate between the muslim who believes in freedom and wants to live in peace (the “moderate” you name) and the muslim who is here to undermine the values of the US and who assumes the coloration of his environment while working his effort to convert other muslims to his view of change? Are you familiar with the concept of dar el harb, and the Mecca and Medina periods? Again, how do you get around taqiyyah? I find it an extraordinarily destructive concept.
Second, you have the problem of the muslim in his homeland and the muslim in a foreign land. In his homeland, sharia is the underlying basis for law, just as the Judeo-Christian law is the underlying basis for US law. There is little or no conflict between religion and law in either case. When the muslim enters a foreign land, however, they may be conflict. There _certainly_ will be conflict if the muslim intends to replace or substitute sharia law for the Judeo-Christian law. Mohammed told muslims to obey the local law when they went to foreign lands, but we see in europe that they are not doing that – they are making every effort to replace the foreign law with sharia law. If they succeed, they will have succeeded in making islam the law of the land, and will have made dhimmis of the europeans. Will you allow that in the US? If not, then you _must_ resist the effort to place the restrictions of sharia – which includes the concept of any criticism against islam as blasphemy. Even now, there are efforts to make this a UN “law”. They mask it as blasphemy against _any_ religion, but only islam is specifically mentioned.
As for physical threat – I agree that it isn’t a problem in the US yet. You can live in the blissful peace that such a threat is just a boogeyman. Percentages matter – if we don’t resist – even if the resistance is just a limitation on immigration and extremist preaching – when the percentages of muslims become high enough, you _will_ find that the boogeyman is real, not imaginary.
What it comes down to is who will convert the “moderates” to their way of thinking/acting. You think there is no reason to fear – you assume that reason will prevail, and that those who want to live in peace will outweigh those who want to force islam on an unwilling population. I ask you – which is more powerful…kindness or terror? I think people prefer kindness and will respond to it – until terror walks in the door. When terror walks in, they will do what they need to do to avoid pain, suffering and death. A _good_ life is just icing on the cake of life itself.
We don’t know what is being preached in the mosques. They speak in arabic, and we don’t have enough arabic speakers. Those we do have usually don’t merge into the muslim population easily enough to be trusted. How can you keep track of what is being taught in the mosques without people who can go and listen? How do you identify the “moderates”? And we’re back to taqiyyah.
The short answer is, I did touch upon that.
I see them similar to race profiteers, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton. They are sharks, feeding upon feelings of perceived and sometimes actual slights and persecutions. They preach a message of victimization. That is similar to what the theological leaders within Islam are preaching.
That route brings you to paranoia and conspiracy, suek. Again, going by my personal experience, the Muslims I have met, I trust my life with. They are not much different than you or I, aside from listing Islam as their religion when they have to check the box asking for religious affiliation. Are they tricking me? Do they conceal some devious ulterior motive? Muwahahaha….sure, anything’s possible. But only if one gives into dark paranoia and conspiracy-thinking.
I’ve heard various things said regarding “taqqiyah” and it’s actual purpose and significance in Shia Muslim life. Some say it doesn’t actually mean “to lie”; that it is Sunni slander. That the purpose of taqqiya is to conceal one’s faith when one feels threatened, because of it.
Again, I feel like the concept of taqqiyah is another one of those whose actual significance in Muslim life is not as great as people imagine (depends on which branch), and is merely cherry-picked for political “oohs” and “aahs”. Taqqiyah is merely saving ones own life when it is at risk, by saying what is necessary to escape harm.
Then I expect you to be vigilante, to insure that any movement to allow Sharia Law to supplant U.S. law, or for American Muslims to run a parallel society within American society, to be stopped.
Certainly not. I value our Judeo-Christian heritage as the foundation of our society. Assimilation is important to the preservation of our established culture.
There’s a balance between imagined and actual threats. Between vigilance and bringing about a self-fulfilling prophecy of “us vs. them” because we refuse to acknowledge and encourage the good Muslims amongst us, and any honest attempts at reformation.
Of course there is reason. Just keep it in proportion and not paranoia.
You know what’s funny? The only friends of mine who have tried to convert me, are Christian evangelicals.
Which is why al-Qaeda in Iraq were so successful…..up to a point.
This is why securing the safety of innocent Iraqis from the violence is vital.
Speaking about McCain, listening to all this posterior olfactory output emanating from somebody that was allegedly elected without procedural “irregularities”, it’s obvious except to maybe that claimed 25% that drug enhanced paranoia is a part of the systematic paradigm. I am always fascinated how isolated we become after our teenage years, and it would appear that this particular individual has been isolated at least that long. What happens is a process of faulty thinking being confirmed because we don’t present our ideas to a critical public or a trusted medical professional. Rather we hold these ideas to the little rodent of our psyches, which runs the mobius strip wheel of our egos. You know, one of the most common statements mentioned by neighbors after they pull the bullet riddled body of the sniper from the top of the local water tower, “He was a good neighbor, though I never talked to him, he seemed to keep to himself. He kept his lawn mowed. He put a flag out on 4th of July, and wore a flag button in his lapel.”
Comment #31 deserves reiteration:
Thanks to Johnny, Curt, and KrisD for not making me feel so isolated.
If we see fit not to condemn a theology which calls for the murder of those than refuse to convert, we must also NOT condemn the KKK for calling for the murder of uppity blacks.
After all, we want peace in our community. Why everyday black people and KKK families walk past each other in the supermarket and check whether their turbans are too tight.
Wordsmith, #35, you argue in bad faith.
“So all of my Muslim friends are trying to kill me …” is argumentum ad absurdum which specifically ignores my conclusion of comment of #29 “Likewise, many Muslims will not try and kill me because they have other things to do with their lives” …
So your Muslim Friends have other things to do with their lives. Most white people I know have better things to do with their lives than lynch black people, but that does not make the KKK any less dangerous for the people that are lynched or dragged to death behind a truck for the crime of being black.
Islam not only permits the killing, rape, and enslavement of kaffirs, it demands it as acts pleasing to God.
Since religious persons are motivated to please God, there are over a billion people to whom my death, terror, ritual humiliation, or rape are not seen as a human tragedy but seen as the proper and righteous order of things until I convert to their religion.
I, strangely enough, take offense to that.
Since you wish to “LIVE IN PEACE” and I am also a person on this planet that you wish to “LIVE IN PEACE” with, will you condemn me for organizing a religion that states all children born with a clef palette shall be killed? God is pleased when these children die. When all clef palette children are finally killed, a new utopia of perfect justice shall reign over this earth. Doctors that perform clef palette surgery are guilty of apostasy and shall also be killed. Parents that hide their children with clef palettes shall be dragged forth and stoned.
And what do you care? Why everyday we shall pass each other in the supermarket and adjust our turbans and “LIVE IN PEACE”. Until you and your wife have a child with a clef palette …
The murderous intent of Islam would be nothing if their were not Muslims who carry out the murder, rape, and terrorization of kaffirs as their religious duty. In the same way that the murderous intent of clef palette killing would be a tale as told by an idiot (i.e. me) until I get a group of people together who agree with me and we actually start killing children with clef palettes.
If there were no history of Muslims actually carrying out the murderous intent of Islam, then you would have a historical or sociological argument in your favor.
But Muslim motivated by their religion have killed not only a few individuals, and why should we feel sorry for mere bundles of flesh with clef palettes, but Muslims motivated by their religion have killed and are currently killing entire families, tribes/clans, and ethnicities.
How does the fact that you have Muslim friends take away the pain of the Hindu refugees of Kashmir who have acid thrown in their face for not wearing Muslim veils?
How does the fact that you have Muslim friends take away the pain of the Bali bombing victims?
How does the fact that you have Muslim friends take away the pain of Copic Christians who have not seen their daughter in 6 months because she was kidnapped by Muslims, threatened with rape until she converted, and is now married to a Muslim who will not allow her to see her own infidel parents?
As long as Islam maintains that murder, rape, extortion, and terror are the proper and righteous order of the world, than both Islam and its enablers are to be condemned.
As should be Murderous Racism (a belief) and its enablers (KKK, and many, many others).
As should Communism (with its belief in the righteous killing of ‘class oppressors’) and its enablers.
As should a religion that demands the killing of clef palette babies (a belief) and its enablers (fortunately, absolutely no one that I know).
And if you would like to help children born with clef palettes there are many charities that provide free surgeries for poor families around the world: http://www.smiletrain.org, is one such example.
For those of you who keep saying Islam is the enemy, do you truly advocate the killing of every single Muslim, world-wide, man, woman, or child? If so, why are we trying to save Iraq. We ought to just turn it into a giant parking lot, get rid of all them enemies. Do we really want to go after Muhammad Ali?
I can’t believe this post hasn’t been Godwinned yet. You’re fighting the good fight, Word, but you’re up against some of the hardest heads the internet has to offer.
This blog post is excellent and takes us closer to truth and peace Wordsmith you are forcing people to move out of the black and white world and into the complicated reality that we live in. Keep it up and we will solve these problems
>>Taqqiyah is merely saving ones own life when it is at risk, by saying what is necessary to escape harm.>>
I don’t think so…
>>That route brings you to paranoia and conspiracy, suek.>>
I understand the dilemna – but to ignore the reality of it is folly.
>>If so, the blanket “religion of hate” talk has to stop. It’s that simple.>>
When muslims stop calling islam the “religion of peace”…OK??
Word, I think you are doing a fine job of trying to capture not only the theoretically best but the most practicible position in the interest of peace. I have spent a great deal of time with Iraq’s beleagured Christians and they do not feel that Islam is the problem. The actions of individuals and terrorist cults should be laid at the feet of the world’s predominantly peaceful Muslims.
I do not believe in Islam as revealed religion, but I sure do believe that God will hold me accountable for the way I lived with and treated all people to include those that practice Islam.
I am not so sure that those who are not experts in Islam and yet are fond of exegeting Koranic texts realize that they may be excerbating Islamic/Christian relations. I understand their fear – as Canon Andrew White, an Anglican Bishop leading reconcilation efforts in Baghdad has put it, “when religion goes wrong, it goes very wrong.”
It is also a gross oversimplification of real facts to ascribe conversion-by-the-sword as a real, contemporary motive to any but the Taliban and AQ as the legitimate practice of Islam.
As far as Sharia courts in the UK, the decline of religion in European life has created a gnawing vacuum for God – and nature abhors a vacuum. Perhaps if the Europeans hadn’t abandoned their own religious faith tradition we would not even be having this discussion.
What most Islamic clerics fear is the exact same thing that I do: fanatical secularists bent on epunging every vestige of religious faith from public life in order to create a society where sin is celebrated and religion is ghettoized. We’re on the fast track to that destination right now.
Oops. Two typos above:
1. Should NOT be laid at the feet of the world’s Muslims…
2. expunge, not epunge…
…sorry! I’m used to having an edit feature!
I’ve done plenty of thinking about this and over 10 years of research. I’ve come to my view after much thought, thank you very much.
Talk about “thinking off”… The history plays a critical role , especially to the Muslims. Have you ever read anything produced by Al Qaida? It’s steeped in history. Sorry, you can’t discount history… or maybe you don’t know it?
And the false comparasion to Christianity doens’t fly. There was no Biblical basis for the Christian abuses of the past… whereas with Islam, there was plenty of textual justification for Muslims to commit their violence in the name of Allah.
Wahabbism is the Reformation. Salafist Islam is the Reformation. All the Christian Reformation was was the shaking off of the cultural baggage that the Catholic church accrusted onto the writings of the Bible.
Wahabbism did the same thing.
This jsut shows your basic ignorance of Islamic law. In Islam, only the lawful pure Islamic State (ie: The Caliphate) has the authority to declare an offensive war. That’s why many Muslims think that Al Qaeda made a mistake… not because they’re killing people… but because they’re killing people with out the lawful authority of the Caliph.
My my are you condensending or what… I consider Jasser to be a reformer not a moderate. The reformers have my best wishes. I don’t give them much chance of making a dent against the Jihadists/Caliphatists.
“The moral equivelance that was misquided was comparing Mohammed as a real Muslim to David Koresh as a real Christian.”
You missed my point completely. No surprise.
You have stated that Muslims who kill and commit violence are not true Muslims. Mohammad himself, who is said to be the perfect man, one which Muslim men should emulate, committed violence and killed people. What you are saying is that Muslims who emulate Mohammad are not true Muslims.
Now, explain to me how you, a non-Muslim, are going to explain to Muslims that emulating the “Prophet” Mohammad means that they are not true Muslims.