Islam, Pishlam


In both the atheism community and the wider culture there is a stream of thought that Islam is the worst existential threat to Western Civilization, since, well, ever.

While this video is representative of the genre, it is not the best, or even the most over the top, there is probably someone more shrill on Fox news at this very moment, but he does pretty much hit the high points and happened to be in my feed the other day.

For me, the most hilarious part of the video is when he says that Islam is more dangerous to the West than the Nazis or the Communists.  This is completely laughable.  ISIS is certainly reprehensible, but as powerful and dangerous as Nazi Germany?  As scary as the Soviet Union with its nuclear arsenal?  Get real please.

Don’t get me wrong, ideas can certainly be dangerous, but ultimately it isn’t really ideas that kill people.  Murderous regimes have come about under all kinds of guises and ideologies.  People have killed in the name of Jesus, Mohammed, Odin; for communism, socialism and capitalism.  I sometimes wonder if the desire to kill comes first and the ideology comes later as cover or explanation for what people wanted to do in the first place.  As of yet, Islam has not captured the full power of modern industrial state to carry out some program of world conquest, like the Nazis did in Germany.

Nazism is certainly a dangerous idea, but without the power of a state behind it you get Charlottesville, not the Holocaust.  Islam is not going to “destroy the West” any time soon.

I would agree that Islam is more on the radar right now, but I don’t think there is something unique about the religion that creates terrorists.  When you look around at the world at the moment the areas of the world that have failed states or people with extreme grievances fall into areas with Muslim populations.  Whatever religion Pakistan, Afghanistan and Lebanon harbored would be a problem in today’s world.

In the same way, I disagree very strongly with Sam Harris (and others like him) that say that Islam poses some kind of unique threat to the world.

There are billions of Muslims in the world and most of them are like most of the Christians in the world, in that religion is but a small part of the make up of their lives.  They spend most of their time just trying to feed their families with and occasional nod toward the mosque.

Are Muslims getting more conservative, literal and public with their religion?  Yes, I think they are.  Even here in small town Wisconsin I have seen women wearing headscarves.

But the exact same thing can be said about Christians as well, large numbers seem to be getting more conservative, literal and public with their religious observances as well.  For the last 50 years they have been trying to force their religious views into public policy on abortion, contraception and gay rights.

I am also pretty sick and tired of the “Islam, religion of peace my ass” memes that go around.  Again billions of Muslims go about their business not being a threat to anyone.  I am no expert on the Koran, but I really do find it hard believe that it has any more violent or stupid laws or incidents than the Bible does.  And even if it does, most Muslims in most countries ignore that stuff just as easily as most Christians ignore the need to be stoning people for various “offenses.”

Some of the Islamic Alarmists point to the fact that Muslims will probably outnumber Christians in the next 50 years or so.  OMG they are converting the world!  Well, actually no.  Being that Muslim countries tend to be poor (and Asian, believe it or not) they are simply out reproducing Christians at the moment.  Oh and the largest populations of Muslims are going to be in Indonesia and India.  Countries we worry about all the time, right?

Now, it is certainly understandable that Fox news is going to continue to demonize and overhype the Muslim threat to “Western Civilization.”  That’s what they do.

I wish though, that actual smart people, like Sam Harris, would get off the idea that Islam poses some kind of unique threat.  It doesn’t.  It is the same as pretty much any other religion.  The really ironic thing is that conservative Christians and Muslims agree much more than they disagree.

Both oppose evolution, reproductive rights, women’s rights and secularism.  Both feel that they understand exactly what is in the mind of god and that it is their duty to impose the “will of god” on everyone through a theocratic government.

All of that is dangerous and needs to be opposed, no matter which god or “holy book” is behind it.

Comments

  1. jazzlet says

    I sometimes wonder if the desire to kill comes first and the ideology comes later as cover or explanation for what people wanted to do in the first place.

    Indeed, you only have to look at what the radical Bhuddists are doing to the Muslim Rohinga in Myanmar to have this confirmed for a religion many will insist is entirely peaceful and some will insist isn’t even a religion.

  2. Tillerman says

    With all due respect, I really don’t think you know much about Islam. You may wish to read Ibn Warraq’s Why I’m Not a Muslim, for starters, which might go some distance to rectifying that. You might also note the review of it by the late Anthony Flew [1], particularly this passage:

    Why I am not a Muslim gives readers abundant excellent reasons for not becoming or remaining Muslims and also makes a compelling case for the conclusion that Islam is flatly incompatible with the establishment and maintenance of the equal individual rights and liberties of a liberal, democratic, secular state.

    And you may also wish to take a look at a post [2] by Anjuli Pandavar – she lately of the FTB site Autonomous individual until she was summarily and shamefully “dismissed” therefrom for actually exhibiting commendable levels of free thought – on the topic of the differences between Western conceptions of human rights and those of Muslim countries. A notable excerpt:

    It is one of the enduring myths of the great liberal delusion that all people aspire to the same values as the values of the Enlightenment. Our ideals, flowing from the Enlightenment, include universal Human Rights and equality for all. So firmly is this ideal built into our psyche that we measure our societal worth by our insistence on pursuing this ideal without exception (barring exceptions, of course). It should not be necessary to point out that these are my ideals, too. I may further add that I hold these ideals to be superior to anything else humanity has hitherto devised.

    It is, however, inescapable that Human Rights and equality for all are not ideals that all people share. What is more, significant sections of humanity are actively opposed to them. Indeed, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the ideal of equality for all human beings are so strongly opposed by so many, that no fewer than 45 states signed the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI), adopted in 1990, expressly to challenge the universality of the UDHR, and specifically its applicability to Muslims, and to instead safeguard the pre-mediaeval and inhuman Shari’a as the framework for human relations and interactions. It is neither a slight nor an insult to say that Muslims do not hold to the UDHR as an ideal, on the contrary, it is an affirmation.

    Pretty difficult to see a favourable prognosis for Muslims integrating into Western cultures given those rather profound philosophical and moral differences. As all of Islamic terror attacks, the creation of no-go zones, and the calls for Sharia law in European countries underlines – and generally in blood and horror.

    Aged Reasoner: … there is a stream of thought that Islam is the worst existential threat to Western Civilization ….

    Apropos of which, you might take a look at Arab-American Psychiatrist Wafa Sultan: There Is No Clash Of Civilizations But A Clash Between The Mentality Of The Middle Ages And That Of The 21st Century [3] And then there’s these particularly damning points from Why the Arabic World Turned Away from Science [4] which underlines Sultan’s point:

    Muslim countries have nine scientists, engineers, and technicians per thousand people, compared with a world average of forty-one. In these nations, there are approximately 1,800 universities, but only 312 of those universities have scholars who have published journal articles. ….

    Forty-six Muslim countries combined contribute just 1 percent of the world’s scientific literature; Spain and India each contribute more of the world’s scientific literature than those countries taken together. In fact, although Spain is hardly an intellectual superpower, it translates more books in a single year than the entire Arab world has in the past thousand years. ….

    There is a final reason why it makes little sense to exhort Muslims to their own past: while there are many things that the Islamic world lacks, pride in heritage is not one of them. What is needed in Islam is less self-pride and more self-criticism. Today, self-criticism in Islam is valued only insofar as it is made as an appeal to be more pious and less spiritually corrupt. And yet most criticism in the Muslim world is directed outward, at the West. This prejudice — what Fouad Ajami has called (referring to the Arab world) “a political tradition of belligerent self-pity” — is undoubtedly one of Islam’s biggest obstacles. It makes information that contradicts orthodox belief irrelevant, and it closes off debate about the nature and history of Islam.

    You really think all of that is going to be at all conducive to Muslims integrating into Western cultures? That allowing unrestricted immigration of Muslims isn’t tantamount to clasping the proverbial vipers to our breasts, isn’t tantamount to allowing the creation of endlessly problematic no-go zones [5] and fifth-columns?

    —–
    1) “_https://web.archive.org/web/20160529034626/http://www.bharatvani.org/books/tfst/chiv3.htm”;
    2) “_https://web.archive.org/web/20170401125121/http://freethoughtblogs.com/anjuli/2017/04/01/the-udhr-and-the-cdhri-their-ideals-and-ours/”;
    3) “_https://www.memri.org/tv/arab-american-psychiatrist-wafa-sultan-there-no-clash-civilizations-clash-between-mentality”;
    4) “_http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/why-the-arabic-world-turned-away-from-science”;
    5) “_http://nationalpost.com/opinion/europes-no-go-zones-inside-the-lawless-ghettos-that-breed-and-harbour-terrorists”;

    • says

      Thank you for your extensive and well thought out comment. I certainly can see where you are coming from, but I hope you will understand that I disagree. Pretty much entirely, in fact.

      Several things in your comment struck me and I want to reply to them.

      The quote from Anjuli Pandavar that you provided, that not everyone agrees with the goals of the Enlightenment caught my attention. This is, of course an opinion, and a debatable one at that. But even if it is true, I am pretty sure that everyone, pretty much universally, does aspire to at least the minimal economic advances of “Western Civilization.” Everyone on the planet wants clean drinking water; secure housing; a varied and accessible food supply; a place for their children to play in safety; reliable medical care and so on. And while we can nit pick on how well any one country in the west has delivered on these types of things, it is certainly true that modern societies do deliver those things. Any society that in the long term takes an anti-scientific viewpoint is going to have trouble delivering clean water. In the long run pragmatism wins out over ideology.

      But beyond that, your comment seems to pre-suppose that Muslims somehow have a fixed mindset, that can never be changed. You provide quotes like this:

      This prejudice — what Fouad Ajami has called (referring to the Arab world) “a political tradition of belligerent self-pity” — is undoubtedly one of Islam’s biggest obstacles.

      This may be true to some Muslims at the current time, but according to a Pew Research report, less than 20% of the world Muslim population lives in the Middle East. It is hard to see how this mindset applies to the billion Muslims who live in Asia, some 60% of the population. Are they also wallowing in Arabic self-pity?

      You also quote statistics that seem to show that Muslims are less interested in things like education and science. Again, I am not sure if this is really a “mindset” issue, as much of the world’s Muslim population lives in Third World countries. Now it maybe, that it is some kind of Muslim mindset that keeps those countries in poverty, but the opposite can also be true, people in poverty are less thrilled with the “progress” of the modern world because they are not sharing in it. We have seen that economic stagnation in places like the rural south in the United States leads to extreme religious views combined with anti-science thought. This is not unique to Muslims.

      Finally, you ask:

      You really think all of that is going to be at all conducive to Muslims integrating into Western cultures? That allowing unrestricted immigration of Muslims isn’t tantamount to clasping the proverbial vipers to our breasts, isn’t tantamount to allowing the creation of endlessly problematic no-go zones [5] and fifth-columns?

      Again, I have to point the Pew Research report. There are 43 million Muslims in Europe (and another 3 million in the US). Most of them manage to live in Western Society just fine. One of the interesting things about many of the terrorist acts carried out in Europe is that they are done by new immigrants, but rather second or even third or fourth generation. Much like our own Neo-Nazis, a few Muslims in Europe are absorbing some kind of rage at their surroundings from sources such as the Internet. They carry out actions that mystify and repulse their parents and grandparents. Further, though, if a minority group does not “assimilate” into their new surroundings is it the fault of the immigrants or that of the majority who rejects the new comers (as they often do)? Read

      Kenan Malik for a much more nuanced view of what is going on with European Muslims.

      I will never say that there are not problems and issues with the Muslim world currently. Obviously something like ISIS is a real thing and results from many factors in the Muslim world.

      But I do not believe for a moment that Islam somehow permanently warps peoples minds any more than any religious viewpoint would. Yes, I am no expert in Islam, but from what I have seen, pretty much any ideas that Islam as a religion has, Christianity as a religion has a well. Anti-woman — check. Anti-science — check. Anti-gay — check. And so on. The difference is that most Christians living in the west have been secularized out of those views. For example, compare the views of Catholics in Africa versus the American Bishops conference.

      More Muslims happen to live in places where there has been less secularization, but they are not uniquely (among religious groups) opposed to secularization, nor somehow innoculated against it. Muslims will secularize just as Christians have.

      • Tillerman says

        Thanks; sorry for the delay in responding which was due, in part, to the scope of your comment. But I hope that you can understand that I too largely disagree with most of your objections. 🙂 Though I do wonder if you bothered to read any of my links or quotes, as I doubt you would have seriously made many of your subsequent arguments if you had. But, more specifically:

        Aged Reasoner (AR): The quote from Anjuli Pandavar that you provided, that not everyone agrees with the goals of the Enlightenment caught my attention. This is, of course an opinion, and a debatable one at that.

        Not at all just an opinion, not in the slightest. Wonder if you even bothered to check the Wikipedia articles on the UHDR & the CDHRI [1], particularly the latter of which states:

        Wikipedia: The CDHRI has been criticized for being implemented by a set of states with widely disparate religious policies and practices who had “a shared interest in disarming international criticism of their domestic human rights record.”[1] ….

        In September 2008, in an article to the United Nations, the Center for Inquiry writes that the CDHRI “undermines equality of persons and freedom of expression and religion by imposing restrictions on nearly every human right based on Islamic Sharia law.” ….

        You might also note that Sharia law [2, 3, 4, 5, 6] essentially condones the killing of people for apostasy, blasphemy, and adultery though the latter seems only to target women – wonder why that might be? Can you seriously think that all of that is in any way consistent with “the goals of the Enlightenment”, that theocracy is in any way compatible with democracy?

        AR: In the long run pragmatism wins out over ideology.

        Kind of a pollyannish viewpoint. I’m a bit of an “aged reasoner” myself so I rather doubt that I have anything close to the “long run” of four or six hundred years left that it took for scientific pragmatism to win out over Christian ideology to do likewise with that of Islam. You might note this tweet [7] by the UKIP candidate Anne Marie Waters who quite sensibly argued:

        Waters: Reformers of Islam – we’ll close our borders until you’ve completed your reform. When Islam looks like secular democracy, we’ll talk. Deal?

        Indeed. You might note some of the subsequent tweets which quote the Quran itself anathematizing any changes to it.

        AR: But beyond that, your comment seems to pre-suppose that Muslims somehow have a fixed mindset, that can never be changed. ….

        No doubt some Muslims are more or less capable of abandoning that “fixed mindset”, although most of those turn out to be exMuslims – “may their tribe increase”. But you might re-read that “Arab science” paper [8] again – or read closely for a first time – and note this passage in particular:

        New Atlantis: In its place arose the anti-rationalist Ash’ari school whose increasing dominance is linked to the decline of Arabic science. …. Ash’arites believed that God is the only cause, so that the world is a series of discrete physical events each willed by God. ….

        As Robert R. Reilly argues in The Closing of the Muslim Mind (2010), “the fatal disconnect between the creator and the mind of his creature is the source of Sunni Islam’s most profound woes.”

        A bedrock premise – and one that was largely foreign to Christianity – that more or less precludes any rapproachement between Islam and Science – which the article illustrates in more or less exhaustive if not depressing detail.

        AR: Now it maybe, that it is some kind of Muslim mindset that keeps those countries in poverty, but the opposite can also be true, people in poverty are less thrilled with the “progress” of the modern world because they are not sharing in it.

        Don’t see that you’ve given any evidence to justify the suggestion that “people in poverty” – particularly those in Muslim countries – are not “thrilled with the ‘progress’ of the modern world”. All of the literally millions of Muslims rather desperately trying to immigrate into Europe would suggest otherwise.

        But seems that that “Arab science” article illustrates one aspect of that “Muslim mindset that keeps those countries in poverty”. The scope of which is largely summarized and delineated in this Arab Human Development Report (2002) [9] from the UN which starts off with:

        AHDR: Nevertheless, the predominant characteristic of the current Arab reality seems to be the existence of deeply rooted shortcomings in the Arab institutional structure. These shortcomings are an obstacle to building human development. The report summarises them as three deficits relating to freedom, empowerment of women, and knowledge. These deficits constitute weighty constraints on human capability that must be lifted.

        Unfortunately though, the evidence even from that Report is that neither the UN nor the Arab world is willing to face the rather brute fact that the Quran itself, although the Hadiths, Sharia Law, and the Fatwa system [10] themselves are more or less equally implicated, generally precludes the “empowerment of women”, any freedoms approaching those enjoyed by democracies, and the increase in knowledge that both of those other items are dependent on.

        AR: Again, I have to point the Pew Research report. There are 43 million Muslims in Europe (and another 3 million in the US). Most of them manage to live in Western Society just fine.

        Actually, no, they most certainly don’t, or at least a rather large percentage don’t. As the reference I cited above [10] puts it:

        Express: Dr Taj Hargey, Imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation, has launched an astonishing attack on Muslims who contribute to the infection of the faith by adhering to cultural interpretations of Islam, rather than the Koran. ….

        [Dr Hargey said,] “We need to be forthright and robust about this. If immigrants are not prepared to fully integrate into British society, arguing that it means sacrificing their religious identity, they can head to places such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Sudan.”

        Indeed. Although I think he’s doing an egregious whitewash of the Quran as there is no end of barbarisms and savagery in it that motivates no end of terrorism. For instances, you might first look at this quote of the Muslim Glasgow killer, Tanveer Ahmed (TA), in another post [11] by Anjuli Pandavar:

        TA: This all happened for one reason and no other issues and no other intentions. …. When 1400 years ago the Prophet of Islam Muhammad peace be upon him has clearly said that, “I am the final messenger of Allah there is no more prophets or messengers from God Allah after me. I am leaving you the final Quran. There is no changes. It is the final book of Allah and this is the final completion of Islam.” There is no more changes to it and no one has the right to claim to be a prophet or to change the Quran or change Islam.

        And that’s hardly atypical as that belief is central to the preaching of Islam in innumerable mosques and madrasas, even in Western countries. And it is also part and parcel of both calls for Sharia and antiblasphemy laws in Western countries, and the murderous savagery and the barbarisms of ISIS and their odious ilk outside of them. And for a second instance, consider something from another Pandavar post [12]:

        AP: Moderate Western Muslims, if they are unable to insulate the Qur’an from scrutiny, will perform the most extraordinary linguistic and conceptual acrobatics to sanitise the Qur’an for 21st-century sensibilities, their sensibilities.

        And it takes a remarkable degree of blindness, bordering on the suicidal, for society to ignore what is written in black and white there in the Quran, and to ignore its odious consequences such as that murder by Tanveer Ahmed. A third Pandavar post [13] on the same theme:

        AP: How many more deaths before we get real?

        “No, it is not Islam,” “Islam is not responsible,” “This has nothing to do with Islam,” etc., etc. Apologists fall over themselves to make sure we all know what the problem is not. They tend to be more reticent these days on what the problem is. …. My God, quiet family man with two lovely kids and a PhD from a major Western university massacres thirty people in cold blood, how is one to explain that? Well, don’t explain it, because if you try, it becomes increasingly undeniable that the only thing these killers have in common is a determination to carry out the Qur’an’s commandments [to] kill. So let’s not go there. ….

        You simply cannot absolve Islam itself, and the Quran in particular, when those “commandments to kill”, and all of the egregious hate speech that undergirds them, are so common within Islam, and are promoted by so many clerics and mullahs even in Western countries [14]. And that’s hardly just Pandavar’s opinion either. For instance, you might take a look at this recent article [15] in Time Magazine which interviews a well-regarded “moderate” Muslim scholar in Indonesia who says this:

        Yahya Cholil Staquf: Western politicians should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot gain victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam.

        I wish him well in his reform efforts, but the problem, as Ahmed’s quote underlines, is that most Muslims believe the Quran to be perfect and immutable, beyond any attempts to moderate its barbarisms and savagery, to bring it out of the 6th century. Which any number of people – including Pandavar, all well-versed in the Quran and Islamic “culture”, have been pointing out for ages. For instance, this post [16] over at Patheos, which had been on Facebook and deleted because of “community [Islamic?] standards”, by a noted and well-regarded ex-Muslim American doctor, Simi Rahman, argues:

        Rahman: And sure, there were efforts made to modernize Islam, but they were only superficial. We couldn’t do it. We couldn’t do it because there is a logical dilemma at the core of Islam. And that is, that the Quran is the last word of God, that it is perfect and unchangeable. And to even suggest such a thing [as changing it] is blasphemy and apostasy.

        No doubt most “moderate” Muslims aren’t actively engaged in acts of terror. But it’s not particularly unreasonable, untenable, or unjustified by a virtual surfeit of facts to lay a substantial degree of blame at their doorsteps for aiding and abetting those who do [17], for engaging in what is virtually “stochastic terrorism” [18].

        AR: But I do not believe for a moment that Islam somehow permanently warps peoples minds any more than any religious viewpoint would. Yes, I am no expert in Islam, but from what I have seen, pretty much any ideas that Islam as a religion has, Christianity as a religion has a well.

        Except Christianity and Islam are not at all – in any way, shape, or form – the same kettles of fish; what you believe seems rather clearly refuted, in spades, by the facts, by New Atlantis, by Simi Rahman, by innumerable others. But, for another instance – if any are needed, there’s this quote of a review of Shadi Hamid’s Islamic Exceptionalism: How the struggle over Islam is reshaping the world in a fourth Pandavar post [19]:

        Review: Anyone assuming that Islam will necessarily follow the path of Christianity — that is, that it will undergo a reformation that channels the faith into the private realm — is likely to be disappointed. “Islam is, in fact, distinctive in how it relates to politics,” Hamid writes, simply and provocatively. “Islam is different.”

        And, on the same topic, in an interview in a Slate article [20] – Can Islam and Liberalism Coexist? [no, they can’t], Hamid elaborates on the roots of that difference:

        Hamid: I’m essentially arguing that Islam is fundamentally different from other religions in a very specific way: its relationship to law and politics and governance. …. That’s the idea of the title, and what that means in practice is that Islam has proven to be resistant to secularism, and I would argue will continue to be resistant to secularism and secularization really for the rest of our lives.

        …. and that leads to the other factor that I talk about in the book in regards to exceptionalism: Muslims don’t just believe that the Quran is the word of God; they believe it is God’s actual speech. That might sound like a semantic difference, but I think it’s actually really important.

        And it is that belief, that insistence on a coupling of a totalitarian and theocratic political ideology joined to a rather barbaric if not psychotic “religion”, is what “warps the Muslim mind [?] more than any other religion does”. Apropos of “psychotic”, of your “warps peoples’ minds”, and of political Islam, you may wish to consider something else [21] from the Arab-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan:

        Sultan: When I examined the Koran, the hadith, and the Islamic books under a microscope, I came to the absolute conviction that it is impossible – impossible! – for any human being to read the biography of Muhammad and believe in it, and yet emerge a psychologically and mentally healthy person. ….

        The language of Islam is a negative, dead language, replete with violence, anger, hatred, and racism. Man is the product of language, the outcome of the negative and positive language to which he is exposed in this lifetime. ….

        I do not view Islam as a religion – according to my notion of religion. Islam is a political doctrine, which imposes itself by force. Any doctrine whatsoever that calls to kill those who do not believe in it is not a religion. It is a totalitarian doctrine that imposes itself by force. ….

        The problem with the Muslims is that they do not distinguish between their prophet and their own noses. When you criticize Muhammad, his actions, and his life, it is as if you chopped off their noses.

        All of which makes Islam, and most Muslims, more or less hermetically sealed against and intrinsically “opposed to secularism”. Which tends to make it and them antithetical to democracy and to the West’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Can you at all seriously think there’s any justification at all for even allowing Muslims into Western countries, much less that they be allowed to peddle and promote their barbarisms and savagery therein?

        In any case, and to close, you may wish to take a real close look at my linked articles and see how they buttress and support Anthony Flew’s argument that, as I noted above, “Islam is flatly incompatible with the establishment and maintenance of the equal individual rights and liberties of a liberal, democratic, secular state”. And you might then give some thought to what might reasonably follow in terms of policy if that is a tenable argument. But, for some additional cases-in-point if not a damning indictment of Islam, you may also wish to take a close look at some additional posts by Pandavar from a fairly complete archive of her posts [22] on the sadly misnamed “Freethought Blogs” before she was shamefully “dismissed” therefrom.

        ——
        1) “_https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairo_Declaration_on_Human_Rights_in_Islam#Criticism”;
        2) “_https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/pragna-patel/sharia-debate-who-will-listen-to-us”;
        3) “_https://www.theguardian.com/law/2010/jul/05/sharia-law-religious-courts”;
        4) “_http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-sharia/news-story/9e6efee3160373ccf9cf4dda8c6daf33”;
        5) “_http://internethindu.in/see-the-ugly-mindset-of-pakistanis-calling-for-death-to-a-blogger-for-blasphemy/”;
        6) “_http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/29/which-countries-still-outlaw-apostasy-and-blasphemy/”;
        7) “_https://twitter.com/AMDWaters/status/779307155715489792”;
        8) “_http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/why-the-arabic-world-turned-away-from-science”;
        9) “_http://www.arab-hdr.org/reports/2002/english/ahdr2002e.pdf”;
        10) “_http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/740484/Hadith-Sharia-law-Fatawas-Toxic-trio-infected-Islam-Imam”;
        11) “_https://web.archive.org/web/20170307090919/http://freethoughtblogs.com/anjuli/2016/04/07/regular-muslim-who-loves-muhammad-and-jesus-murders-fellow-muslim/”;
        12) “_https://web.archive.org/web/20170307111322/http://freethoughtblogs.com/anjuli/2016/04/05/non-muslims-must-read-the-quran-to-save-muslims-from-themselves/”;
        13) “_https://web.archive.org/web/20170307111629/http://freethoughtblogs.com/anjuli/2016/06/15/how-many-more-deaths-before-we-get-real/”;
        14) “_https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undercover_Mosque”;
        15) “_http://time.com/4930742/islam-terrorism-islamophobia-violence/”;
        16) “_http://www.patheos.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/2015/12/moderate-muslims-have-hit-their-wall/”;
        17) “_https://twitter.com/aliamjadrizvi/status/529484177809604608”;
        18) “_https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2011/01/11/934890/-Stochastic-Terrorism-160-Triggering-the-shooters#”;
        19) “_https://web.archive.org/web/20170307111633/http://freethoughtblogs.com/anjuli/2016/06/21/my-next-big-read-is-islamic-exceptionalism-how-the-struggle-over-islam-is-reshaping-the-world-by-shadi-hamid/”;
        20) “_http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2016/08/shadi_hamid_on_islamic_exceptionalism.html”;
        21) “_https://www.memri.org/tv/arab-american-psychiatrist-wafa-sultan-blasts-islam-prophet-muhammad-and-sheik-al-qaradhawi-and/transcript”;
        22) “_https://web.archive.org/web/20170307090921/http://freethoughtblogs.com/anjuli/page/2/”;

  3. says

    I am sorry, but I just don’t have time to go through your comment point by point, but I will say that I disagree 100%.

    The same things were said of Catholics in the United states for years, essentially that their undemocratic allegiance to the Pope means they could never be good citizens.

    And the same things could have been said about Christian ideology for over a thousand years in Europe. Undemocratic, violent, close-minded, etc.

    Are there problems in the Muslim world — of course yes. Do fundamentalist types spew all kinds of anti-Western, anti-science positions — course yes (but so do many fundamentalist Christians.) But do 100s of millions of Muslims live in peace, accept “Western values” such as democracy, science, tolerance, etc? Yes, they do.

    The problem is religion, especially fundamentalism in religion, not Islam in particular.

    • Tillerman says

      Bit much for you to “disagree 100%” when you won’t bother to see if there’s any factual justification for my argument in all of my citations.

      But one thing in particular you might note is the interview and quote of Shadi Hamid [links 19 & 20 above] in which he – a fairly well regarded Muslim commentator and published author – argues, with no shortage of justification, that Islam is not at all like other religions, Christianity in particular. Remarkably dogmatic and narrow-mined, if not criminally negligent bordering on the suicidal, to refuse to consider that perspective.

      Yes, religion is a serious problem, although one might reasonably argue that there are elements of it that may be worth keeping. However, while Christianity has more or less evolved, Islam is still stuck in the 6th century, and its barbarisms and savageries threaten the Enlightenment that we’ve attained at not inconsiderable cost. You may wish to listen to the first MEMRI video by Wafa Sultan [link 3, my first post] that underlines that wide disparity.

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