12 September 2006

Islamophilia v. Islamophobia

As per my conversation with the Anonymous guy about why we do or do not need to fear the rise of aggressive, militant Islamism (what many call, and I think justifiably so, Islamofascism), here's an article by a diehard old leftist explaining why radical Muslims are actually rather cuddly and certainly much nicer than mean old George Bush and Tony Blair. The author is editor of the Socialist Worker, which, if you're not familiar with it, is that tabloid-looking newspaper with the bright red headlines that the sad-looking people with the haunted eyes are always trying to sell at demonstrations and outside various "youth culture" events.

Also, on the subject of "Islamophobia," which is supposedly running rampant in both Britain and the US, it's interesting to see that according to the New York Times, the USA is seeing a new wave of Muslim immigration. And of course Muslims continue to flock to the UK even as one of their self-appointed "leaders," Muhammad Abdul Bari warns that they are being "demonised." So much so, Dr Bari threatens, that Britain faces the prospect of two million homegrown suicide bombers.

A garden variety nutcase, you suggest? Not exactly; Bari, as head of Britain's Muslim Council, is what passes for a "moderate" these days, so much so that he has the ear of the Prime Minister and, I would be pretty certain, is the recipient of generous government grants.

Rhetoric aside, perhaps some logic would be of use here: if conditions are so bad for Muslims in Britain and the US, if those countries are, as they're frequently accused of doing, waging "war on Islam," why on earth would Muslims be immigrating en masse to such places? It would be like Jews lining up to move into Nazi Germany. Conversely, why do we so seldom hear of Muslims leaving the horrible oppression of the West and returning to one of the many countries partially or wholly dominated by Islam? Apart, of course, from the fact that it mostly sucks there?

And lastly, let's just try reversing the scenario: large numbers of immigrants of the Jewish or Christian persuasion emigrate into, say Iran or Saudi Arabia (as if they'd ever be allowed in the first place), then immediately start complaining that they're being "demonised" because of their religion and demanding that local laws and customs be changed to suit their beliefs. Can you see any other outcome apart from mass beheadings? Or maybe firing squads for greater efficiency.



37 comments:

Anonymous said...

They move to America because America offers great economic opportunity, and the most technologically and culturally advanced lifestyle on Earth.

They simultaneously hate American policy in the Middle East because, despite the rules of civil society and fair play practiced at home, American and British policy in the Middle East is one of murder and terror.

It's like a black person moving to the South in the 1950's for the weather, or for a better job, but hating the racial bias and political policies of the region's leaders.

It makes perfect sense, and you would do the same if in their shoes.

Would you rather mop floors at McDonalds or get bombed in Lebanon, or Iraq, or Afghanistan?

Larry Livermore said...

Actually, if you will study your demographic history, it was very rare for black people to move to the South in the 1950s or 60s. The movement was almost entirely to the north, lousy weather notwithstanding.

And by making this analogy, aren't you yourself driving home the point that life in most Islamic countries, even those (the vast majority) not involved in the war, mostly sucks? And it sucks for the same reason that life in the American South sucked during the Jim Crow days: because the place was being run by backward, corrupt and racist people.

Anonymous said...

By the way, you are woefully ignorant of the geographic and demographic reality of Middle East today.

Several million Christians and Jews DO live in the Muslim countries of the Middle East.

Voluntarily!

America, by the highest estimates, is 1-2% Muslim.

Lebanon is 40% Christian. Syria is 10% Christian.

Iran has the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside Israel itself.

As a matter of fact, Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians are OVER-represented in the Iranian parliament on a per capita basis.

Name me one Muslim U.S. Senator or Congressman.

If Muslims move to the U.S. for the same reasons as Mexicans - for economic well being. They do not despise their own countries and they do not forfeit the right to oppose U.S. foreign policy in their home regions just because they moved here.

Larry Livermore said...

Being born there is not the same as "voluntarily," any more than black people "voluntarily chose to be born in the Jim Crow South. Lebanon is - or, rather was, until civil war virtually demolished it - one of the most liberal and tolerant countries in the Middle East (still not saying much, but it's something). Of course if its population is 40% Christian (and was at one time higher than that), it could hardly be called an "Islamic" country, could it?

I don't suppose you've noticed the numerous cases in recent years where people were threatened with flogging, imprisonment or execution for preaching and/or converting to Christianity in Islamic countries? Funny we haven't heard of any similar cases being prosecuted against Christians who choose to become Muslims in the USA or Europe.

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe Muslim immigration to America is proof that all Muslim countries "suck?".

If so, then surely you must also believe that England, Ireland, and Germany suck even more, since much more people have left those places to settle in America, than have left places like Iran or Turkey.

Anonymous said...

Immigration is mostly a function of economics. The Middle East has less immigration than the West because it pales economically compared to the West.

Notwithstanding this fact, in Middle Eastern countries that have been economically successful, such as Dubai, tens of thousands of Christians from poorer countries have migrated and settled there.

Do some research on large Christian Filipino population in the Middle East, centered in Dubai.

As far as those who are born there, ff the Middle East is so bad for Christians and Jews, then why do millions of wealthy Christians and Jews, who have the legal and financial resources to leave, actively chose to stay?

Anonymous said...

There you go lumping all Muslim groups and individuals in again.

I thought you said you don't do that?

You mention "flogging, imprisonment or execution for preaching and/or converting to Christianity" and imply that this happens on numerous occasions in "Islamic countries."

Name me once incident of "flogging, imprisonment or execution for preaching and/or converting to Christianity" in Syria.

There are none.

Nor are there any in Turkey. Or Iraq. Or Algeria. Or Azerbaijan. Or Egypt. Or India. Or Indonesia. Or Jordan.

That's 80% of the Islamic world right there, folks.

Sure, there are token radical regimes like in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, but those people there live under a foreign-imposed dictatorship and cannot control the policy of their government.

It was the British Foreign Office, not the people of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, who appointed the Al-Saud family as dictators for life in "Saudi" Arabia and who appointed the Al-Sabah family as dictators for life in Kuwait.

Patrick said...

You're investing a lot into this argument for someone who cannot even be bothered to sign their name, Mr/Ms. Anonymous!

Anonymous said...

Patrick,

Indeed. All of the work, none of the glory!

But I consider it my duty to call a spade a spade and confront racist slander. If you ever see an article with inflammatory, bigoted terms like "jihadi" or "Islamofascist," you can bet your last dollar that it is based on lies, half-truths, and racism, and is intended for no other purpose than to drum up support for attacking a Muslim country, or deporting/imprisoning people of Middle Eastern descent in the West.

The truth is that these people, the Middle Easterners (Muslim or not), are not more evil than Americans or Europeans. They are not more violent than Americans or Europeans.

And most importantly, they do not deserve to die in scores every day at the hands of Western bombs, or be tortured in Anglo-Israeli gulags. Their lives are worth exactly the same as English or American lives.

Anyone who says otherwise must be confronted and attacked for what they are: paranoid, ignorant, racist, or a pathetic combination of all three.

Larry Livermore said...

"These people..."?

JAB Seattle said...

Pardon me for piling on Mr. Anonymous but you comments regarding the representation in Iran's parliament are not correct. The Jewish community is represented by one Mr. Maurice Motamed. His primary role you ask... advocating for an end to Iran's discrimination against the Jewish, Christian and Zoroastrian communities. For such a large Jewish community 1 representative seems a bit small no? Likewise, his documented advocacy record on equal protection for minority communities does little to bolser your argument

Likwise, you mention Indonesia (the world's most populous Muslim Nation) as an example of a lack of persecution in the Muslim world. Funding of Muslim para-militaries which attack the Christian minority seem to dispute that (a situation not dis-similar to Darfur and the role of the Sudanese government in the genocide there). Likewise, in Egypt double standards exist in the funding of mosques vesus other places of worship and many Coptic Christians are marginalized in their careers as well as their ability to marry, in their salaries and in other subtle ways.


Finally, no one is saying that all Muslims or Middle Easerners are evil or fascists. What many are saying is that the minority who cling to the vicious blend of tribalims and Islam know as Whabbism are dangerous and that they are fascists. If you care to explain who Whabbist philosophy is on intrinsicaly fascist I am all ears (or eyes as they case may be)

JAB Seattle said...

apologies for my terrible spelling

Anonymous said...

Jab,

So by using the term "Islamofascists," no one is attempting to say Muslims are facsists?

There's old Texas saying: Don't piss on my boots and tell me it's raining.


As for your statement regarding the Iranian parliament, my statement stands.

Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and all other religious minorities in Iran constitute less than a fraction of 1% of Iran's total population.

Yet they constitute approximately 3% of Iran's member's of parliament, and this minimum level of representation has been enshrined in Iranian law since the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906.

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

In addition to the one Jewish member of parliament in Iran, there are two Christian Armenians, a Christian Assyrian and a Zoroastrian, out of 290 total members of parliament.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Muslims constitutes at least 2-4% of the population.

Despite there being a larger population percentage of Muslims in the U.S. than Christians and Jews combined in Iran, out of 535 U.S. Congressional seats, not one single solitary seat has ever been occupied by a Muslim.

So if any minority group has a case for unfair political representation, it would appear that American Muslims have the superior claim.

Larry Livermore said...

"Islamofascists" doesn't imply that all Muslims are fascists any more than "German fascists" or "white fascists" or "red-haired fascists" implies that all Germans, white people, or redheads are fascists. It simply describes a group of people who happen to be both fascist and Islamic. Or is it your contention that Islamic people, unlike people of any other religion, race, or ethnicity, are somehow incapable of being fascists?

Anonymous said...

If the term "Islamofascist" is only used to describe Muslims who are literally fascists, then why is it, in practice, that the term "Islamofascist" is almost universally used to describe Muslims who are decidedly NOT fascists?

In the Western political discourse, especially in right-wing English language media, the term "Islamofascist" is routinely used to describe:

1. The Government of Iran

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/terrorism.php?id=92513

2. The Government of Syria

www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060122-111620-8570r.htm

3. Hezbollah, the organization

www.theconservativevoice.com/article/16237.html

4. Hamas, the organization

www.israpundit.com/archives/2006/02/does_hamas_put.php

5. Palestinians, to the extent they defend themselves against Israel

worldthreats.com/middle_east/iranhezbollah.html -

So your claim that this term is only used to describe literal fascists is just plain wrong.

Why is it that they call Iran an "Islamofascist" country?

Or that they put Iran in the "Axis" of evil?

Or that media articles constantly repeat identical diction discussing the pitfalls of "appeasement" of Muslims?

It is in order to fraudulently attempt to conflate the religion of Islam, along with any Muslim resistance to Western imperialism, with the universally discredit and rightfully hated political ideology of fascism.

Fascism is viewed as grave threat that worth going to war against. If Muslim resistance to imperialism can be related to fascism in some obtuse way, then Islam, too, will be viewed as a grave threat worth going to war against.

That is the idea.

JAB Seattle said...

Anonymous,

I concede your figures regarding the make up of Iran's parliament, but do find it interesting you gave no commentary toward the role of many of these politicians in advocating against a society which codifies bias against these groups. In either regard, your citations are much appreciated.

As regards your commentary on the term Islamo-fascist, I think you are right to dispute the right's claim that Hezbollah or the government of Syria fall underneath this umbrella. I wonder if you might willingly concede that the various Islamist groups, from the Taliban, to the Islamic Brotherhood and the various amalgms of Al Queda do meet this definition? If not, why not?

Anonymous said...

Jab, this is from a previous post that you might have missed:

The answer is that the real guerilla groups, with real memberships, like those which defend their people from Israeli attacks (e.g., Lebanon's Hezbollah) are anti-imperialist freedom fighters.

Phoney guerilla groups, such as those which attack commuter stations in Europe, and such as those who park cars packed with explosives in crowded cities and churches in Iraq which kill everybody but American and British troops (e.g. Al Qaeda), are constructs of Western intelligence services. (If you think this is not possible, read more history.)

They are literally agents of and/or front organizations for Anglo-Israeli intelligence services. They are designed to discredit and sabotage Muslim causes and interests, and to advance Western interests.

Nobody credible in the Middle East, including all of its governments, supports Al Qaeda, because they are universally regarded as agents of British or Israeli intelligence whose purpose is to utterly discredit any form of Muslim resistance to imperialism.

On the other hand, practically everyone one in the Middle East, including Lebanese Christians, supports Hezbollah, because they are regarded as a heroic anti-imperialist guerilla group.

JAB Seattle said...

Anonymous,

Thank you for your reply, I take it to mean that you feel that these organizations, external to the formal governments in the Middle East, are constructs of Western intelligence agencies?

I will wait for you reply before I continue.

thanks.

Anonymous said...

Jab,

Yes. Anglo-Israeli intelligence agencies create fake "Islamic terrorist" organizations. They, especially the British, have done so for a very long time - well before September 11, 2001.

They make up fake names.

They make up phoney biographies of phoney terrorist leaders.

They make fake websites.

They make fake videos.

They attempt to recruit unsuspecting foot soldiers.

And then they conduct very real terrorist operations under the auspices of their front organizations and identities as Muslim terrorists, in order to advance their own interests.

All paid for by your hard earned tax dollars, and, at least in the United States, very little of which is legally approved by Congress or the Federal Courts.

Here are just some recent examples, where they have gotten caught red-handed. But for every time they have gotten caught, how many times have they been successful?

-----------------------
British SAS agents posing as Arab insurgants in Iraq are caught in the middle of an attempted bombing:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/424614.stm

Israeli agents caught recruiting for Al-Qaeda in Palestine

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=3544

Philippine National Police (PNP) operatives apprehend an Israeli member of the al-Qaeda terror network .

http://www.mb.com.ph/PROV2004061411759.html http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/qaeda_philippines.html

JAB Seattle said...

Thanks once again for the citations, I've placed a bit more weight in the BBC reports but did manage to read all of them. Do you feel that Al Queda exists at all (i.e. the orginal organization under OBL) or is that too a construct? I certainly concede that Western governments, as well as Israel, are capable of using their intelligence services and population's fears to expediate their own agendas. That said, I'm curious as to whether or not you feel that any of these Whabbist extremists actually exists.

jb. said...

Anonymous, though I am an old friend of Larry's, I do also agree with some of the things that you're saying. Unfortunately, I find it shameful that you're not willing to sign your name what you're posting, particularly after having been called on your remaining anonymous in a long debate. I generally don't believe in responding to people who know my name but won't identify themselves, and while I'm not sure what it is that motivates you to remain anonymous, I am sure your doing so is to the great detriment of your argument.

-jesse staniforth, montreal

Anonymous said...

Wahhabism exists, but it is confined mostly to Saudi Arabia, where it was invented.

Armed gangs of Muslim fundamentalist thugs - the Taliban - once ran Afghanistan. But they had no more strength than the Russian mob or Columbia cocaine cartels.

Make no mistake: Extremists do exist in the Middle East.

But the KKK, the Aryan Brotherhood, the American Nazi Party, and at least 45 other armed, extremist, racist organizations also exist - in the United States. Not to mention millions of quite insane Christian fundamentalists, who actually have money and political power.

While both Saudi Arabian Wahhabis and Alabaman KKK members are horrible idiots with very dangerous views, they certainly do not pose a threat to civilization on Earth as we know it.

And that is precisely the lie that is being told when it comes to marketing the "War on [Muslim] Terror." The lie is not that the certain elements exist, it's that they exist in sufficient numbers and have sufficient power to do a damn thing to the civilized world, in the big picture. The truth is that they don't.

To market the threat, they take a kernal of truth about extremists, exaggerate it, and combine it with their own fabrications and provocations. Then they repeat the lie over and over and over again, citing each other back and forth, until everyone believes the lie is true.

Once they sell the public on the (false) threat, then they go after their real targets - countries that have oil, which pose a threat to Israel, or are too uppity in their anti-imperialist stances - in that order.

Anonymous said...

JB,

I'd rather remain anonymous for a number of personal reasons. But if you have particular questions about my background or expertise, I'm willing to answer those.

Larry Livermore said...

Can you say disingenuous? The combined membership of the KKK, Aryan Brotherhood and American Nazi Party could probably be enclosed in a small to mid-sized state prison, and in the case of the Aryan Brotherhood, probably already is. To compare the threat of such fringe groups, widely and correctly regarded by the American public as trailer-trash nutcases, with the Taliban or the Wahabbi, who've controlled and brutally oppresed whole countries, makes a mockery of your attempts to portray yourself, à la Fox News, as fair and balanced.

That's not to say that the KKK never had power and didn't genuinely oppress people, but that was quite a long time ago now, and if we're to trawl through history looking for examples of who was more beastly to whom, I guess we'd have to examine how most of those Muslim countries became Muslim in the first place, i.e., at swordpoint and through aggressive imperial conquest. Even if one accepts the narrative of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan being a war against Islam (a bit of a stretch, considering that millions of Muslim immigrants live and freely practice their religion in the countries allegedly waging that war against Islam), historically it would only even up the score: two Islamic invasions of the West (8th and 14th-17th centuries) and two Western assaults against the Islamic world (the Crusades and the present business, dating back to the 19th century imperial incursions if you prefer).

But I digress, of course. To conflate, as you've done, the Taliban with right-wing fundamentalist Christians in the USA is dishonest to say the least. Yes, the latter can be annoying, and yes, they do pose a certain threat to the American way of life, but as of yet they've operated entirely at the ballot box and accomplished little more than limiting a woman's right to abortion in some of the more backward states and making it more difficult to swear on television. Contrast that with the Taliban, who are waging a full-on guerrilla war for the right to resume treating women like chattel, ban music, education (for women, anyway), football, shaving, and routinely conduct executions in the national stadium? I don't think so.

You are right to point out that Islamic-dominated countries vary widely in the degree of freedom permitted their citizens, and it's intellectually lazy, if not dishonest, to lump them all together as a single entity.

But to pooh-pooh the potential threat of, say, Iran, just because its level of internal oppression is not as bad as in some other Muslim countries, is similarly dishonest. Very few Westerners, including millions of Muslims who have fled the Islamic world, would like to live under the religious totalitarianism that's been in effect (albeit enforced with varying degrees of strictness) since the revolution of 1979. Police stopping, arresting, even beating women for wearing makeup or showing a bit of skin? Christianity hasn't wielded that kind of political power since the Inquisition.

And as long as I mention said Inquisition, it's interesting to note that this most egregious example of Christian fascism, petered out several centuries ago, whereas similar enterprises still thrive in many Islamic societies. What can we infer from this? Well, since Islam is six centuries younger than Christianity, would it be that unreasonable to conclude that it's still in its censorious, late medieval phase, and just about due for its own version of the Reformation that will transform it into a modern religion capable of adapting to the modern world? It's a thought. A hopeful one at that.

Anonymous said...

Larry,

Fine, you think the atrocities of the KKK, who lynch black people, and the insane views of Christian fundamentalists, who bomb abortion clinics, are not evenly matched against the attrocities and insane views of the Taliban?

The only difference here is that civil society has not broken down to the point that these groups can grasp the reigns of power, and there are no foreign superpowers arming the Aryan Brotherhood with military style weapons.

In Afghanistan, which has been at war for 30 consecuative years, all government and civil society broke down. It was anarchy. And foreign powers, such as the United States, were arming any group of extremists willing to fight, including the Taliban, to acheive the greater strategic victory of expelling the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. They did so without contemplating how perversely it would alter Afghanistan's domestic affairs.

Now if you want to compare, tit for tat, every single detail between the Aryan Brotherhood or Christian fundamentalists and the Taliban, don't you think you need to keep those facts in mind?

But rather than to debate this point with you, let me draw an even better comparison.

Go do a little reading on The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a fundamentalist paramilitary group in Uganda. It is led by Joseph Kony, who proclaims himself a spirit medium, and wishes to establish a state based on his unique interpretation of Biblical millenarianism. The LRA have been accused of widespread human rights violations, including mutilation, torture, rape, the abduction of civilians, the use of child soldiers and a number of massacres.

Now you tell me how this example of violent, backwards, Christian warlordism occuring in some Third War boondock, is any different than violent, backwards, Muslim warlordism occuring in some Third World boondock.

You would object to using the Lord's Resistance Army as the standard upon which all Christian countries and the whole of Christian civilization were judged, would you not?

In the same way, Muslims and secular people in the Middle East object to the West's propaganda, which is using groups like Taliban as the standard upon which it judges the Muslim society.

Larry Livermore said...

It has been decades since the KKK lynched anybody, and even the abortion clinic-bombings have pretty much ceased (though as I noted the other day, the Christian right has succeeded in greatly limiting women's right to abortion by legislative means in many states).

But that's not meant to downplay the awfulness of some things done by some putative Christians, any more than I'm trying to suggest, despite your constant hysterics to the contrary, that all Muslims are raving fanatics and fascists. As it happens, I live next door to Muslims. I live in a building that is 30 to 40% Muslim. There is scarcely a day that goes by where I don't interact with Muslims on some level or another, and as far as I can see, most of my neighbours are perfectly decent and pleasant people (although it's only fair to note that one of the suspects in last year's London bombings was arrested in the building next door; nobody I knew, however).

I don't say this to suggest the "some of my best friends..." ploy - in any event, they're neighbours and acquaintances, not friends - but rather to point out that I'm perfectly aware that not all Muslims are fascists or terrorists or terrorist sympathisers. Similarly, I'm perfectly willing to acknowledge it when members of other religions engage in sociopathic behaviour, and your point about the Ugandan rebels is well-taken, with the exception that I've never heard of a single mainstream Christian organisation that has the slightest bit of sympathy for them, or even acknowledges them as Christians.

Contrast this with recent polls showing that fully 40% of British Muslims want sharia law introduced into at least some parts of the country, or that 20% felt sympathy with the motives of the 7/7 suicide bombers. Yes, there are nutters in every religion, but when you've got that many nutters in one particular religion, I think it bears some serious examination.

Anonymous said...

Don't you suppose most mainstream Muslims oppose Al Qaeda and the Taliban like I presume most mainstream Christians would oppose the Uganda's Lord Resistance Army?

So, again, what's the difference?

As far as polls indicating that there's a percentage of Muslims who have incredibly stupid views, well, have you seen any polls on the views of white, American, Christians lately?

White evangelical Christians comprise 24% of the U.S. population.

Six-in-ten white evangelical Christians in the United States say that the Bible should be the guiding principle in making laws, even when it conflicts with the will of the people.

Seven-in-ten white evangelicals (69%) believe God gave Israel to the Jewish people and a solid majority (59%) believes that Israel is the fulfilment of biblical prophecy.

On matters of faith, fully 62% of white evangelicals say the Bible is the actual word of God, to be taken literally.

Overall 20% of all Christians expect Christ to return to earth in their lifetime; among those who say that the Bible is the literal word of God, 37% expect Christ to return to earth in their lifetime.


http://pewresearch.org/reports/?ReportID=43

Touche.

Larry Livermore said...

And the number of suicide bombings and beheadings carried out by these particular Christian nuts is: ?

Larry Livermore said...

P.S. Your survey of wacky Christian views looked mainly at "white evangelical Christians," i.e., fundamentalists. The British survey was aimed at all Muslims, including, presumably, "normal," mainstream and liberal ones.

If I hadn't already assumed you're being deliberately obtuse, I might be more inclined to point out that the issue is not whether there are extremists in any religion (there are), but a) whether there is a disproportionate number of extremists in certain religions; and b) whether those extremists pose a clear and present danger to the health, safety and freedom of others.

Sorry, buddy, but Islam qualifies on both of those counts.

caliibre said...

Islamophobia Questions – if the answers are YES and the ‘phobia’ will go away!

Will Muslims confirm that the expressed desire of some of the faithful for a worldwide caliphate is to be purged from their teachings (and their websites) and will Muslim leaders publicly renounce all those that support this worldview?

Will Moslems actively seek to broaden their junior schools’ curriculum and ensure that only students, that have reached the age of reason, attend institutions that are dedicated exclusively to studying the Qur’an?

Will Muslims actively and constantly rebuke, loudly and publicly, those that undertake violent jihad and denounce the concept as being defunct and belonging to another time (much as the Christians have done with their revolting concepts of the crusades)?

Will Muslims actively return to the now practically abandoned practice of broad spectrum “ijtihad” and as a world religion start a process of enlightenment in a similar way the Christians did with their period of reformation?

Will Muslim scholars and clerics actively endorse a program of democratization and work conscientiously and consistently seek to remove dictatorial governments?

Will Muslims walk away from the concept of a theocratic state and acknowledge that civil law must always out way sharia law?

Will Muslims do something positive toward the radical elements within their own ranks by purging Mosques of radical clerics an hold them legally accountable for those that act on their instructions?

Will Muslims publicly rebuke governments and organisations that fund violent Islamic movements in foreign lands, such as the one that has existed in Thailand for some years?

Will Islamic religious leaders publicly denounce brutal regimes that are involved in ethnic cleansing such as Somalia and Sudan and volunteer armed forces to United Nations missions involved in attempts to install democratic governments in failed states?

Will Muslims, through a process ijtihad suppress and deny the sura and hadith that are highly offensive to non-Muslims by insisting that their followers acknowledge and accept that they refer to specific historical times and events that no longer exist and therefore render them void?

Will Muslims allow those that wish to leave the faith to do so without retribution?

caliibre

Anonymous said...

Larry,

1. About the "suicide bombings" directed against Israel, I have already explained that the actions of Hezbollah and Hamas are more than justified.

2. About the bombings in Iraq which kill Iraqis themselves, about certain European bombings that take place before important elections, and about certain cheaply made videos of alleged beheadings, I have already explained my view that those have been conducted by Western intelligence.

So let's not repeat ourselves here.

3. Finally, about the poll, it is not just polling crazy fundamentalists. It is polling mainstream Americans.

If you read the very first statistic, it said that WHITE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS COMPRISE 24% OF THE U.S. POPULATION.

That's 24% of 300,000,000 people - not just some band of whackos.

Do these extremists pose a danger to the safety of others? You bet, when they make the difference between George W. Bush being elected and not being elected.

More innocent people have died at the command of George W. Bush than they have by Islamic beheadings, have they not?

Larry Livermore said...

24% of 300,000,000 people is a lot of people. But it's nowhere near a representative sample of all American Christians, who constitute about 85% of the population.

The British survey, as I clearly indicated, covered all Muslims, not just the wacky fundamentalists. You're intelligent enough to understand the distinction. The fact that you pretend not to is why I called you obtuse.

But never mind the petty insults: you've just revealed your true colours by unequivocally stating that suicide bombings are "more than justified." Let's make that perfectly clear: you're in favour of suicide bombings. No wonder you post as "Anonymous."

Anonymous said...

The British survey you quoted does NOT cover "all Muslims." It covered all covered all *British* Muslims.

There are only 1.8 British Muslims in the entire U.K.

Meanwhile, the American survey I cite covered all white, evangelical Christians, who are 24% of the United States, or 72,000,000 people!

Now who's poll conveys the views of more people?

As for your cheap shot regarding "suicide bombings," let's not represent what I said.

I said any attacks against any target *in Israel*, including Israeli civilians, is more than justified so long as Israel does the same exact thing to Palestine and Lebanon. I stand by that and make no apologies.

And before you pontificate about the moral indefensibility of deliberately causing the deaths of civilians during wartime, perhaps you can first tell me your views on Israel's deliberate flattening of residential blocks in Beirut, or on the British fire-bombing of Dresden, or on the United States' nuclear homicide bombings against Hiroshima and Nagasaki when America's security was at risk.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander, is it not?

Larry Livermore said...

Keep digging.

Anonymous said...

What's that supposed to mean?

Larry Livermore said...

The opposite of what you're supposed to do when you find yourself in a hole.

By the way, now that you've outed yourself as pro-suicide bombing, perhaps you'd like to let the internet know your feelings about beheadings? Should they be televised, or kept as a strictly private affair?

Anonymous said...

Actually, I don't just support suicide bombings against Israel, I support ANY violent attack against Israel that will deter them from commiting deliberate killings of many more civilians.

I declare it openly, Larry.

Like Imperial Japan, Israel is an intensely racist and ideological state. It cannot be appeased and must be fought and stopped by force before its too late.

Israel has had its unacknowledged nuclear weapons targeted on every major city in the Middle East since you were a small boy. Even if Iran were eventually to get some too, it could not realistically hope to catch
up with Israel's hundreds of weapons and sophisticated delivery vehicles. (Israel can strike Iran with aircraft, with ballistic missiles, and possibly with Harpoon missiles fired from its German-built Dolphin-class
submarines and refitted to carry nuclear warheads.)

And Israel is crazy enough to use these weapons. They are not afraid to use disproportionate force on anybody.

Understand that, and you understand the remarkable savagery of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon. Of course they are a "disproportionate use of
force", as Jacques Chirac called them the other day. That
is the whole point.

Israel's "deterrent power" lies in its demonstrated will to kill and destroy on a vastly greater scale than anybody attacking it can manage. Its enemies must know that if one Israeli is killed, a
dozen or even a hundred Arabs will die.


Therefore, all countries under this threat must act in any way possible to deter Israel from acting out further organised cruelty and destruction. No less than the lives of billions is at stake.