Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mad Rant: Modern Book Burnings

There are riots and killings going on in the Muslim world in response to a trashy preacher in Florida burning a copy of the Quran. As most of you know, and I have attracted some criticism for this position, but I was against this from the very beginning. I have never been for Quran burnings or Mohammed cartoons. I maintain that position. It is insulting, provocative and it accomplishes nothing. It is not something anyone *needs* to do in order to live their lives and pursue life, liberty and happiness. That being said, I have been disgusted by the reaction to this, playing right into the hands of the media-whore preacher, by both the Muslim radicals AND the Obama administration. I understand the whole argument that ‘sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’ (I really do) but come at it from the opposite direction. This fundamentalist Christian is doing no more to Islam than what many others have done to Christianity for many, many years.

What outraged me the most was the commanding general in Afganistan, echoed by the administration saying that the burning of the Quran was an act of “extreme intolerance and bigotry”. Now, that may be completely true, but where were the liberals condemning as intolerant and bigoted the producers of “The Last Temptation of Christ” or the “artist” who smeared dung on the Virgin Mary or that Irish lesbian who tore up a picture of the Pope? How blatant and hypocritical does the double-standard need to get before people wake up?! I know it shouldn’t, but it simply astounds me. I agree that burning the Quran is juvenile, hateful and needlessly provocative but why is it that the desecration of Christian symbols is not seen in the same way? Of course, the overreaction to the fundamentalist Bible-thumper in Florida does Muslims no favors either. And, yes, I would say murdering innocent people *is* an overreaction.

This only makes Muslims look violent and irrational because the people doing these things *are* behaving violently and irrationally. This makes all those trying to argue that Islam is a religion of peace simply look ridiculous. Again, urine-covered crucifixes, portrayals of Jesus as a sexual deviant or movies like the “Da Vinci Code” has not prompted murderous rage from Christians. Even the ardent atheist Bill Maher has admitted that while he thinks all religions are wrong, he does not consider all of them equal. Insults against Islam bring death threats, riots and even murders while, as Maher said, he can insult Christians without the Pope sending one of his Swiss Guards over to stick a pike in his guts. This foolishness does absolutely no one any favors. It enrages Muslims, lowers their reputation in the eyes of the world, costs innocent people their lives and brings down calls for censorship and limitations to freedom of speech in the United States.

However, let me also say, while on that subject, that this fundamentalist jerk in Florida is not the only villain here. The people who whipped up the crowds into a murderous frenzy are, let us be honest, not the most sophisticated people in the world. The media had to first give this nut what he wanted and plaster his plan all over the TV’s of the world, but even then, you cannot tell me that everyone in the remote corners of Pakistan and Afghanistan were watching U.S. cable news to hear about this. They were reacting to what their own leaders told them, and here is the key point, they could have told them the same thing and provoked the same reaction even if the fuzz-face in Florida never laid one finger on the Quran. That is why, ultimately, trying to make any law against this sort of thing would be futile. A Quran did not have to actually be burned for rabble rousers to tell people that one had been. There is simply no logical reason why one white trash preacher in Florida burning a book should ever have even been heard about in the mountains of Afghanistan. The people there were being set up and were simply too ignorant or hateful themselves to realize it. The fact that after all this time people are still so easy to manipulate make me a very … Mad Monarchist


  1. This comment doesn't really address the main point of your post, but...while I disagree with public book burnings, I also believe in the right of private property, sir, and I have no regrets for what I did to my copy of Quran when I was through reading it. Sometimes things just don't need to be re-circulated because of the poison with which they will infect others. Ergo, I don't feel bad for what my friends and I do when we take a little trip to the country to enjoy a fragrant fire--the only sort that error should ever ignite....and ok when we've had some old clothes that would be of no use whatsoever to the poor, we've had the occasional effigy, too.

    I only ask, what is wrong with a little, private emotional catharsis? It's good for one's mental health.

    1. How could you burn a Qur'an? That is horrible! What exactly is so horrible: its call for tolerance of Christians and Jews, or it's message of universal truth? Don't like the Qur'an? Fine: give it away, or leave it on a table somewhere, but burning a revelation of God? That is horrible. Perhaps you simply do not understand it: I invite you to read the works of Sufi-mystics and to visit any non-Wahhabi mosque. I am sure my Muslim brothers will forgive you for your actions.

  2. Nothing. Though I doubt my problem is that I need to start setting things on fire. People can desecrate any religious symbol in private and no one is the wiser, if, however, the media takes it up and broadcasts it all over the world it can result in what happened here: the deaths of innocent people. Not a few lost their lives because this preacher wanted a publicity stunt.

    In general though, it's just not something I have ever understood. I doubt anyone was ever converted away from Islam by burning a Quran, it causes no actual harm to terrorists or those wishing to kill Christians, it simply enrages them further or is used as a propaganda tool. I'm not a softy on this, I'd say forget the Quran and burn the terrorists but I've just never understood what is accomplished or what satisfaction one can get from taking a bundle of ink and paper and setting it on fire.

  3. I'm with you on this one, MM. Book burning is just stupid and provacative. The same as wearing orange on St. Patty's Day or any other sign of protest against another's faith. It is sheer provocation and serves no good purpose.

  4. I agree completely as well. It makes no sense to do something that provocative and anathema to another's religion. The concept of respect comes to mind. True religious respect, I find, was far more present in monarchical Europe. Okay, so they weren't the most tolerant religious societies, but they definitely didn't condemn with nearly the same vitriol people in their own lands following their own religions.
    Napoleon, for example, while he personally found Islam a silly religion (although to be fair he wasn't exactly a proper Christian at this point either), he did ensure that all Islamic religious customs were met by his soldiers in Egypt, so long as it didn't interfere with their own.
    As you may take your shows off when entering a Japanese household, for example (I think that's the custom), you don't burn someone's Holy Book.

  5. I don't even mind the "intolerance" of the past -at least back then things were simple and you knew where you stood. There was the Christian world, the Muslim world etc and you picked a side. Today we (in the west) are being torn apart because we are historically Christian but now largely secular, though the faithful remain, while being anti-religion and inclusive of all religions, able to tolerate all but wishing to insult all and so on and so on all at the same time.

    I think it was Mark Steyn who said that in the modern liberal west, with the way multi-culturalism has gone, our only "value" is that we have no values and that's not a recipe for success.

  6. People don't worry about showing intolerance toward Christians because the latter are not threatening to cut off people's heads.

    I don't think a mass produced Korans deserves to be respected under the threat of death - what a horrible state for civilization to be threatened by such rabble. There is nothing more annoying than being forced to show respect toward what shouldn't be respected - it's a kind of tyranny. Of course, I would prefer that the text of the Koran be examined and critiqued intellectually and with no mercy.

  7. A) Exactly. B) No one is being forced to show respect to anything, the issue is the "need" some have to show disrespect rather than simply ignoring or refuting. I certainly am not and will not show undue respect toward any religion other than my own but I have yet to see anything about why it would be *necessary* to antagonize another religion by purposely showing disrespect.

    I suppose anytime I see someone claiming to have the "right" to do anything or arguing that they should have the "right" to do something I ask myself; why? Why is that something essential to your life?

  8. Where is the line? I can agree that burning a Koran is needlessly provocative, but beheading people and becoming a maniac about it almost makes you want to provoke them for that. However, let's remember that this red neck preacher did this in Florida. Should such a thing be allowed to have global repercussions and is the murder of innocent people a just or appropriate reaction? If a religion demands such a reaction, it is not worthy of any respect and damages the body and soul of the people who follow it.

    You mentioned that satire (e.g., the cartoons) were inappropriate. What about works of literature like Rushdie's "Satanic Verses"? For that he received a Fatwa and is in fear for his life. I'm definitely on the side of the people who do satire as opposed to the rabble who want to kill them for it. I suppose there is nothing you can do about them enforcing their view of sacrilege in the God-forsaken places where they dominate, but keep it out of Europe and the US.

  9. Show me anywhere in which I said I was on the side of the murderous rabble. Definitely not so. I pointed out the very thing you just did in fact that this murderous demonstrations runs quite contrary to all the people saying that "Islam is a religion of peace". It is, as you say, for "us" to keep it out of the US and Europe but "we" have not done that and the reaction of the general was over the danger this places US troops in. If we are going to go into a Muslim country with the (absurd in my view) goal of winning their sympathies it runs contrary to the mission to needlessly provoke the religious sensibilities of that country. And again, what I want to know, is why do we *need* to insult Islam or any other religion? What purpose is served by it? I am simply presenting the absurd position that "we" have placed ourselves in: trying to put together a devoutly, even fanatically in some cases, religious society with a society that holds nothing sacred and wears as a badge of honor and a sacred right things like pornography, slander, mocking religious symbols and burning religious texts. The two cannot be reconciled.

  10. I did not mean that you support the rabble in the Middle East who are killing people over cartoons, but that you did criticize the cartoons. That is not the same, of course and I did not mean it to be taken that way. I think, however, a Dane or an American should be able to make a cartoon, which might violate the ridiculous rule that Mohommad can't be represented. They can keep that rule for themselves, but it should have no jurisdiction over those who are non-Muslims and who consider Mohommad... [I first said something more harsh, but thought, in the spirit of this exchange, it would be better to say "creative"]. Why should someone "insult" this "religion" or their opinions, you ask. Well satire typically always targets things that are thought to be stupid, bad, and false. That in itself is considered a good.

    Frankly I don't think there is much truth to that "religion" we are talking about. As far as I'm concerned, it's an ideology like communism. I don't have a problem criticizing or mocking communism. There are some other absurd thought systems like Scientology that would like to be called a "religion" as if this would give it some special protection from scrutiny and demand a certain kind of respect. So the "religion" we are talking about has been around for awhile and has duped many people - it's called a "religion" instead of an "ideology" or "cult."

    I can understand the pragmatic concern about insulting that "religion" while we have military troops over there, which I am increasingly thinking is a bad idea. However, what the rabble over there needs to understand, which I think is impossible, is that what a private individual, like the red neck in Florida does, is not the official view of the government or the country. They can't understand that distinction - it's simply impossible because in the Muslim Middle East, there is no distinction between public or private and there is no difference between one man's opinion and the community's. It's all group think over there.

    The other issue that you raise about the secularization of the West and not holding anything to be sacred, I agree is a problem.

  11. I did criticize the cartoons, just as I would cartoons that insult Jesus, Moses, Buddha or the Queen of Denmark for that matter. Some things, I think, should be off-limits. That is something no one *needs* to do and that accomplishes nothing besides causing outrage. That does NOT mean that the results of that outrage are justified. However, just like the girl who wears thigh-highs and a miniskirt in the wrong part of town and gets raped, just because you can do something and just because you are not at fault if things go bad does not mean you do not exercise a little good judgment.

    You cannot say we tolerate and respect all faiths on one hand and then mock them on the other and expect no reaction. And the part about the rabble not being able to understand is very much part of the very point I was making, which is why I said that making a law against insulting Islam would be stupid and pointless because anyone can "say" someone in a place no one over there probably ever heard of burned a Quran whether it happened or not.

    Our problem today is that we have nothing to unite on. The west is no longer Christian, it is simply chaotic. The Middle East, however, is still largely Muslim and we are sending major mixed signals because we don't agree on very much ourselves anymore. I cannot fault the Muslims for being a little bewildered on that point -it confuses even me. In their world it is more clear-cut.

    If I had my way the world would be a more simple place. Countries would be one religion or another, have that culture which is their own and no other, would either be at war or at peace with no grey areas, religion and royalty would not be subjects for mockery and religion would be clearly defined. However, we don't live in that sort of world, by "our" own choosing and if we are going to try to be everyone's best pal we cannot pat them on the back with one hand and twist their nose with the other -and the very fact that the rabble "can't understand the distinction" should be taken into account.

    In case you missed it in the actual post, I am, as I said before, OPPOSED to there being any limits placed on freedom of speech because of this nor do I think the Bible-thumper should be sued or arrested or anything like that. I am simply using my freedom of speech to state that I think he is a moron who did a stupid thing. He should not have done it, the media should not have covered it and no one should have been killed over it.

  12. I agree with you, MM. The Hypocrisy though, stems form our Cultural History, and I’ve harped on this a lot. If you look at modern day Atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, or even on the net such as Internet Infidels, you soon discover, I you track the History of their claims, that the bulk of he Arguments come from the 19th and early 20th Century Freethought Movement, which itself inherited its argument base from the Enlightenment, but added a few of its own.

    Dawkins Pricilla cuts-and-pastes the Draper-White Conflict Thesis of 1870 and ignores the fact that Modern Historians reject the Science VS Religion oversimplification, and while I’m not sure Dawkins says this, there are Still Atheists out there who claim the Medieval Period was the Dark Ages, and people believed the Earth was Flat.

    The only Religion that the Enlightenment attacked was Christianity. The only Religion in the Western world of any note was Christianity in the 18th Century too. Plus, Christianity stood between the Enlightenments Goals of a New Society, New Moral Codes, and New Government. (Which itself is Ironic as today’s American Conservatives think that Monarchism is the opposite of Christian Governance and Republicanism was the Result of good Christians reading their bibles…)

    Most of the Antipathy towards Religion is not really Antipathy towards Religion, it is Antipathy towards Christianity. Some take it farther and make it Antipathy towards Theism, but even then Theism is not Religion. (And I have always maintained that today Secularism is its own Religion, not a lack of it.) Over the last 200 years we’ve had a steady stream of attacks on Christianity, and a Revisionist history regarding things like he Inquisition and Crusades are now so heavily steeped in the Minds of the General Public that even Christians accept that Christianity killed Pagans in Massive numbers if they refused to Convert and took Europe by Force, Created a Dreaded Theocracy (And Theocracy is always bad, look at Iran!) and thus ended any social progress, personal freedom, or Scientific Advancement. The Churhc created the Dark Ages.

    That’s why Separation of Church and State is so important; When you mix Religion with Politics people are oppressed. it’s a Common Mantra anyway, and commonly believed.

    Never mind how Secular Governments are more responsible for loss of rights or outright Genocide… oh wait they weren’t… Christians killed and killed and killed…that blood-soaked History again…

  13. People don’t learn the Real History, they learn the above. But the claims you hear were mainly Manufactured, Ironically enough, by Protestants. To justify the Reformation and separation of Rome, loads of Protestant writers wrote of how the Catholic Church adopted Pagan Customs, and committed atrocities. While the original Claims made it clear that the Protestants had a Pure Doctrine, the arguments were adopted by the Enlightenments thinkers and turned on them. Or later the Freethinkers. (Alexander Hislop is a source for a lot of today’s Anti-Christian arguments, and he was a Presbyterian who condemned Catholicism. He helped in the Pagan Origins of Christianity argument.)

    Sill, these arguments are more Emotional Fluster than Reason, no matter how often the word “Reason” is used, and the underlying feeling, he ghostlike Sentiment, is to be Distrustful of the Christian Church as an Institution ( And to ignore that its several Churches now) and to think of the Christian Faith as one soaked in Blood and built on Violence and Conquest. Even some Christians have this in mind and apologise for the Violence of their Faith and admit all these evils happened.

    Its sort of a Pavlovian Reaction. We are conditioned to really distrust Christianity, and are told repeatedly that Challenging Christianity is Heroic. Meanwhile, Islam is a Minority Religion, whose followers are mainly Brown Skinned. Neon of the Arguments are base don Islam, few have any popular notions its actual History, and it is just exotic. Liberals naturally defend this, in Theory, Though ignore hat Muslims really believe in and as we already know the Christians are the Bad Guys Christians are just seen as Vile.

    The accepted Narrative is the Conflict between Christianity and Freedom, with Blank Eyed, Crazed Fundamentalists Screaming Blasphemy at each new Scientific Achievement and trying to suppress us, and the need for Secularism to prevent the Return of the Dark Ages. So we let insults to Christianity go, as even Christians are use to it and to challenge them is to invoke the images of the Inquisition and claims that Christians are trying to once ageism crush all who do not believe as they do! Muslims, meanwhile, are a Protected Minority.

    Besides, wile Christians are accused of being Murderous and Psychotic, everyone knows they aren’t. Everyone knows to mock Islam means ot risk being beheaded.

    Still, the reason we give Jones a format on TV is because we want to perpetuate the narrative. Christians are intolerant Fundamentalists who disregard the Rights of others. If we allow Religion into Government, we will end up in an oppressive world, and a Return of the Dark Ages.

    The Narrative only applies to Christians, though, And people like to have the Narratives Society is based on Confirmed. That’s why this happens. We want to confirm outré Stereotypes.

  14. Its no different from when Jews were Demonised. Not all Jews were greedy, self centred cheats, but if one had been found guilty of War Profiteering or Scamming people, it’d be splashed all over the News, as it confirms what the Society at the time believes about the Jews. Jews can’t be Trusted in Business, and will rob you blind.

    Well, what we know about Christians is that they are Anti-Intellectual Christians who are intolerant of anyone whose Religion differs form their own, and who want to impose a Theocratic Rule in which only Christians have Rights. Christians oppose Science, Reason, and Learning and want to destroy our Advancement and return us to the Dark Ages.

    Anything that confirms this Stereotype will get time in the Press.

    One last thing… you are right. The Supreme irony is, everyone Blames Jones only on this, but had the News not bothered to report what he did in the First Place, there would be no outcry. Who cares what Terry Jones in Florida did? He runs a small Church far form most people, and I’d not even know his name if not for the News.

    But, as I said above, Terry Jones is a Useful idiot, a Christian who fit’s the Stereotype of what Christians are in our modern society. He is bigoted and intolerant, a crazy, Anti-Intellectual Fundamentalist. So, obviously the News will report him. They want to depict Christians in general as horrible people and fan the flames of Ante-Christian sentiment.

    Still, a lot of its unconscious, ad they just select the Stories based on their own biases, and whatever confirms the Narrative they have in their own minds is what’s used.

  15. To begin with, Mad One, I have posted a full reply to your point. Fundamentally, I agree with you, but I felt it important to go into a bit more detail and, as it were, to point out that we're actually offending Muslims simply by refusing to be ruled by Sharia.

    Zarove - an excellent point. I had not even thought of the historical meta-narrative in that light, and Pastor Jones as confirmation of what was going on. I recommend you look at the video on my blog post on the subject.

    Ponocrates - like I said, it is exactly the point you raised in your last post that so enrages the Muslims. Because we don't follow their laws, they get into a huffy, righteous indignation that leaves people dead.

    In all of this, I think it is ironic that a hundred copies of the Quran have been destroyed in Afghanistan due to the fires from the riots. I guess irony is truly lost on the Muslims.

  16. I don't think anyone needs to burn a Quran for Islamic terrorists to hate us, however I would not go so far as to say that all this murderous rage is because we will not submit to Sharia. Western troops in so many Islamic countries, western non-culture seeping into their societies (which is their fault and not our own) and other such matters probably have something to do with it.

    In short, with apologies to the George W. Bush fans, I've never bought the line that, 'they hate us for our freedom'.

    I also heard today that France is considering a ban on wearing ANY religious symbols of any kind, be it a crucifix or a headscarf. Which side do you think will take that and which side do you think will not?

  17. I don’t buy it either. “They hate us because of our Freedom” is hollow when you consider three things.

    1: The western world says we are Free, but like the Atheists claiming to be all about Reason and Logic whilst pushing Polemic and Ideology, its just words. We aren’t really free. We can’t refuse to do business with people if we don’t like them, can’t alter our property without State permission, can’t really say anything we like as there are Hate Speech laws now, can’t show moral opposition to Homosexuality and Abortion in loads of places, can’t pray on Pubic property, ect…

    All our Talk of Freedom rings Hollow. I met a woman from Russia one who said America is no more Free than Russia. Americans talk of freedom but don’t really have it like they say. This was about a year or two ago. And, at least in contemporary America and contemporary Russia, she is right.

    If France bans all religious Symbols, how is that Freedom? Just as an example. It’s an imposed secularism.

    2: I haven’t even seen any real Evidence that the Human Race Yurns to be free. More often than not we prefer Strong leadership and solidarity. While I think Freedom is best, I think that the natural inclination for Humanity is to follow the Strong Leader and social trends, not to be truly personally independent. That nature seems not to be overridden even with 200 years of Republicanism saying the opposite.

    3: if they wanted “Freedom’, meaning a Liberal Western Secular Culture, they’d make one themselves. The have shown themselves capable of Governmental reform, and clearly don’t want to take their nations in the same direction Europe and America has gone.

  18. As to France, that doesn’t’ surprise me. They grow more and more like the Soviets, in fact all of Europe, even the UK, do. This is why I never give in, and constantly say, that there is no such thing as someone who has no Religion. The idea that Secularism is neutrality towards religion, and the often-toted claim that only in a Secular Society can all Religions truly Thrive, is barmy nonsense. Secularism kills other Religious beliefs, and not because the society becomes prosperous and educated and the people all on their own abandon religion in the interest of Reason, either. They abandon religion because they are repeatedly told that Religion is a primitive, outdated, cruel, superstitious, and outright evil thing, and that a truly Modern person must be Secular.

    The whole society outs pressure on you to conform to Secularism, and forces you to live under the dictates of a Secular worldview. It imposes a Secular moral code on you, and judges your actions by this moral code.

    How is today’s Secularism really different from a religion? It tells you where we come from, and how we got here. It informs you about the nature of our existence, and the way our world works. It tells you how to relate to the world around you and to other people. It is the source of a come of morals and ethics.

    How does that differ In function to a religion?

    I mean, they basically want us all to embrace the tenets outlined in the Humanist Manifesto, and especially in Europe they talk about things like the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, or various other documents obviously inspired by the same Secular Humanism.

    Why should I trust the Human Rights Charter over the Bible, though? Why should I trust the men who wrote it over the men who wrote the Bible? Or the Koran? Or the Vedas?

    The truth is, it’s not really that they lack religion, they have a new Religion called Humanism, which they refer to as Secularism. While they insist this is not really a religion, it has all the hallmarks of one.

    Its even worse, they claim that they don’t want to change a religious persons beliefs, but then force them to act like a Secularist in Public under the pretext of Social Cohesion or Equality. They bombard you with Secularism, force you to behave in a Secular manner, and want to close down faith Schools so Children are only Taught form a Secular perspective. In short, the lied. They want you to change your beliefs.

    Of course they say that have no Religion, so instead if converting you to a new religion, they just want to you to abandon all Religion. But what it means to be not Religious is also defined by them, and, I have tested this, they aren’t happy with an Atheist who doesn’t agree with them either. No, you can’t be a Randian Objectivist, or a notching who believes in the Will to Power. No. You must be a Humanist.

    Not being Religious means being a Secular Humanist. It means believing in Equality. It means believing in Democracy. It means Socialism. It means Libertine Sexual Ethics, belief Abortion is Ok, belief that we live in a materialistic world, and that the good of the society is more important than the individual. You must, absolutely must, believe in the Humanist tenets, and nothing else.

    They have defined themselves as not religious, and it’s not just that they don’t believe in gods and supernatural Powers, they do believe on a set of Ideals and a particular belief about our world, and anyone who is not Religious must agree with that specifically outlined Philosophy.

    If they don’t, they are just as oppressed.

    The whole intent of modern European governments like France is to force people into compliance with religious Rules and to convert as many as possible to the New Faith. Its not about anything else.

    The claim that this is not Religion is just a Smokescreen.

  19. As for the France, I feel that I should protest that, myself. France isn't overtly antagonistic towards religions, and Sarkozy himself has numerous times credited Catholicism as the foundation for French culture. However, there is an obsession with laicite,to the point that people in government aren't going out of their way to persecute religion, but are rather just so afraid of mentioning it they don't even take surveys on it. They consider it a form of differentiation to the idea of equality. Doesn't makle much sense, but even I can sort of understand what they are aiming for, even if I disagree.
    It's the idea that if you bring any private differences into the public sphere, it will jeopardize equality. Considerably more moderate than the original revolutionaries, but I think it's steadily improving.

  20. We can quibble as much as we like over whether we are free - the point is that we do not follow Sharia. Whether we live in authoritarian China, or the bureaucratic EU, it doesn't matter. We do not follow every letter of Sharia, and are therefore not submitting to Sharia as Allah demands.

    Ergo, because we do not submit, we are part of Dar al Harb, the House of War. Any and every person part of this world is a legitimate target (and hence, a Muslim can deplore the killing of "innocents" while the butchering of civilians goes on around them. No infidel, especially those in Dar al Harb, are innocent by Islamic definition/law).

    We are beginning to enforce Sharia by proxy, though it's still early days yet. We are still, therefore, considered Dar al Harb, and our existence must be hated by pious Muslims.

  21. Mr. Wells, Allah is the same God Christians and Jews worship. The word Allah means “The God” and is not the name of a specific deity.

    Plus, as I’ve aid before, there is no actual singular Sharia agreed upon by all Muslims. You have plenty of Muslim Nations that practice Sharia Law and still end up very different in what there actual laws are because they come from a different Islamic School of thought on the matter.

    Not all Muslims consider Christians or Jews enemies, or that they are in the House of War for example. Some see them as mistaken but also as fellow Travellers who worship the True God, and is with a measure of Peace, if incorrect Doctrine.

    It is also known that many see the House of War as simply a metaphor for the Chaos brought on by not following Gods Will, and not something that makes them enemies to be Killed.

    While I am not trying to overprotect Islam, I do think that we should be fair in its treatment. Not all Muslims are alike in these matters.

    Besides, as I said, the real enemy in the West is the Humanism, not Islam. Humanism causes us to not have Children and Humanism is the core Philosophy we use that makes us failures.

  22. Zarove - I've been reading the Quran. If Allah is the God of Israel, then I'm Krishna.

    Seriously, the Quran states that Allah is the greatest of all deceivers (Father of Lies), that he forgives whom he wills and punishes whom he pleases (rather than forgiving the just/meek/merciful and punishing the wicked/proud), that he is Arabic (rather odd that the God of Israel would not be an Arab), and I could go on.

    And considering that there are no signficant Jewish diasporas in any Muslim country today, and that the Christians in Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and the rest of the Muslim world are routinely abused (for example, Coptic women in Egypt are forcibly abducted, raped, made to convert to Islam and marry their rapists).

    The "moderate" Muslims you so desperately wish to see will remain hidden. They are cowards. They won't stand up to injustice. And that's because they don't follow God's will. They expect Allah to act on his own, without the need for humans (whereas Christians and Jews accept that we are God's instruments). Thus, they say "Leave it to Allah", and the injustices perpetrated in their name continue.

    And I haven't even gotten to the fact that what a Muslim means by an "innocent person" is hardly what we actually understand the term as meaning.

    However, Islam itself would be of no threat to the West, and thus of little concern to me, were it not for, as you rightly point out, the present PC MC secular-humanist order that dominates our society. We're literally throwing away the keys to our castle, and we're going to get a rude awakening when we are finally locked out.

  23. Mr., Wells, using the word Allah as the name of the Muslim god is still bad grammar, and in fact implicated Christians and Jews as Idolaters. There is no god Allah, as Allah is not a name. Its useful for those who hate Islam and wish to say that the Muslims worship a different god to say Allah, as it is a word associated with Islam, but Linguistically its unsupportable. Allah still simply mean “the God”, so its “the Muslim god The God”. Christians also call God “Allah’, so do Jews, if they speak Arabic. If Allah is the name of another deity, why do they do this?

    That said, you forgot a few places, like Kazakhstan, or Jordan, where Christians aren’t routinely abused. (Though Jordan does have some odd Anti-Jewish laws.) That is a mighty large hole in your argument. Are there any reports of abused Christians in those places?

    There is also the fact that Muslims do, in fact, stand up to Terrorism or abuse. The idea that no Muslims ever do, and those who do oppose are Cowards, is simply folly. One can do a simple Google search and find lists of Muslim Organisations denouncing Terror or oppression of Christians and Jews.

    The reason that those things are common in the Middle East is due to a Unique Cultural development, and is no more proof that all Muslims are thus, or must be, than when Jews were persecuted routinely by Christians in the Middle Ages. Forced to live in Ghettos, forced conversions, abduction of women, all happened to Jews when Christians were in Charge. But, other than the most persistent Anti-Missionaries or Militant Atheists, this is not used as a club to beat Christians with for all time.

    And if you go back far enough and look in the right places, Jews have done the same thing to Christians.

    The problem is that you tie yourself too much to an Anti-Islamic ideal, and ignore these things.

  24. Its even worse since you also ignore the Church Fathers. The Patristic Age ended when Islam began, and the last Fathers like John Chrystom described the rise of Islam. But he never once said Islam was Pagan, or that they worshipped a different god named Allah.

    To John Chrystom, the Prophet Muhammad was a False Prophet, but no different form other False Prophets like Montanus, and Valintinus. In other words, they weren’t real Prophets not were their words really messages from God. However, they were talking about the real God.

    If you truly have read the Koran you will also observe that a lot of it is simply retellings of Biblical Stories, only altered to reflect Muhammad’s agenda. Such as how Ishmael was sacrificed rather than Isaac. Mary and Jesus also feature prominently.

    If we accept that when Muhammad mentions Abraham it is the same Abraham, or Mary and Jesus it is the same Mary and the same Jesus, why should we assume it’s a different God? The explanation for the differences between the Biblical narratives and the Koran is that Muhammad simply changed the story to reflect his own needs or desires, and the same is what the Church Fathers said of his words placed into Gods mouth. Is not so much that it’s a different god all together, its simply that Muhammad lied about what the True God said.

    He is thus not really any different from Joseph Smith from the point fo view of Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant Christianity. He changed some things in the Bible, reinterpreted others, and wrote new material, all of which contain things that would be seen as Heretical from a Christian perspective. But, he is still talking about the same God.

    Heck, in a way its not really any different from Arius, or, today, Martin Luther and Protestantism VS Catholicism. One says God saves us by Faith alone, the other says we need to also obey certain commandments as well, and be active in our Salvation. They both can’t be right, can they? So the protestants and Catholics must worship a different God!

    Or look at the Jews. They reject the Trinity. Obviously if the Christian God is Triune, Jews must worship a different one. Plus they reject Jesus as Messiah, which God in Christianity sent. So, different God.

    If you are consistent in these complaints that’s where this leads. If the Muslims can’t be simply mistaken and mislead as to who and what God is, and must be worshipping a different God, then any variance in Theology produces a different God.

    I am going to stick to the Church Fathers, not this Johnny Come Lately belief that it’s a different god, motivated by political considerations.

  25. Zarove, since it obviously wasn't clear enoughin my previous post, let me make a full comparison between the God of Israel, and the God of Mohammed (God and Allah respectively). God can see into the hearts of men and frustrates the plans of the proud. Allah can see into the hearts of men, and then decieves them. God wants all of mankind to be restored to Eden. Allah will purposly mislead people so that they will be damned. God rewards the just, etc, and punishes the wicked, etc. Allah punishes as he wills and forgives as he pleases. God demands that those who bear his messages are paragons of His laws and obedience to Him. Allah gave Mohammed leave to violate any and every statute that was revealed to him (hence, his eleven wives). God is honest, truthful, if perhaps a bit obscure (Revelations, anyone?). Allah is called the "greatest of decievers" (a title Christians reserve for Satan). And perhaps most egregiously, God regards Israel and the Jews as His beloved chosen people, and those baptised in Jesus as Jesus' bride. Allah declares that the last day will only come when the Jews have been completely exterminated.

    I could go on, but I feel I've made my point. On grounds of character and action, one cannot imagine that the God of Israel has much to do with the God of Mohammed.

    While the Bible and the Torah preceded the Quran, and gave rise to the Quran, the Muslims have no scriptural basis to go off. By declaring the Bible to be corrupt, they deny themselves the ability to use it to justify themselves. Thus, much as they claim successrship, they deny what has come before.

    In truth, Islam fits the modern atheistic charicature of religion - stupid laws and customs, a divinity that is uncaring and unpitying, and so on.

    Regarding internal Christian problems, we recite the same creed, and that is enough to say we worship the same God (heresy is in the details). As for Jews, Christianity just says "There's a bit more there to be seen about God than just the Father". In short, Christians claim a fuller understanding of God's nature, much like one can see a star, and know its an exploding ball of gas.

  26. Mr. Wells, I will repeat myself. When you say there are differences between God and Allah, you are speaking linguistically Gibberish. Allah is not the Proper name of the god of Islam, Allah is simply Arabic for The God. Christians and Jews who speak Arabic use the same word for the God they worship. It is not the distinctive name of the god of Islam as opposed tot e God of Christianity.

    Please stop acting as if Allah is a name.

    That said, all of the differences between the God of the Bible and of the Koran you make are just standardised lists, and Atheists make most of the am claims about the God of the Bible. Others are either the Standard misunderstandings of Islamic Teaching, or simply out of context.

    As I said, I don’t want to defend Islam overmuch but Truth also matters.

    For instance, you say God doesn’t lie but God in the Koran does. ( You make the distinction between God and Allah, but again, that is linguistic nonsense, and really irritating. Allah is simply an Arabic form of Eloah, he Hebrew word for God.)

    Well, guess what? Atheists websites deride the God of the Bible by saying he is a liar, and those pats that say he doesn’t lie contradict the parts that say he does. Atheists have used passages like 1 Kings 22 or Jeremiah 4:10 in the Bible for years to say God is a liar, and can’t be Trusted. While I have pointed out that the Atheist websites are wrong in what those passages actually mean or are telling us, and thus do not want to promote their claim that God is a liar, it is important to note that such a case has been made against God in the Bible. Its this reason that whenever I hear these standardised Anti-Islamic claims I don’t believe them right off.

    Its all too easy to cherry pick the Bible itself to depict God as a treacherous, cruel, vindictive monster who narcissistically wants us to worship him but who doesn’t really care about us. Who wants all of Humanity to be his pathetic slaves and who chains us up and forces us to worship him on the Threat of Hell

  27. If God in the Bible can be seen to be A Dictator and tyrant who does as he pleases, all thanks to a few well placed quotations and a selective understanding of them, while not really reflecting the reality of what the Bible teaches us, why shouldn’t I be Sceptical of similar claims made in the Koran? After all, those who want to attack Muhammad’s God have their own biases and personal interests in this, and use the same tactics. Its not like they ever do in depth analysis of the Religion of Islam or the Koran itself, its just an attempt to depict all of Islam in a certain way.

    So like I said, while as a Christian I see Muhammad as a False Prophet, I don’t see him as any different form Ancient Prophets before him, like Montanus, or later Prophets like Joseph Smith Jr.. They all teach something contrary to the Christian understanding of God, and each is rejected as heretical, but none are understood to be referring to a totally different god all together. In Smith we even see the same pattern. Smith was able to marry other men’s wives, for example, or break Gods commandments when it suited him, all with Divine Sanction, of course.

    The latter-Day Saint understanding of Theology is even more incompatible with Christianity than is Islam’s. Islam is strictly Monotheistic, to the point of rejecting the Trinity, placing its understanding in approximately the same arena as Jewish Thought. The Mormons are Henotheistic, worshipping only one God but acknowledging a plurality of gods. God also has a body of Flesh and Bone, can copulate to sire literal offspring, of which we are all part, and has all the parts and Passions as a man has. God himself is an Exhaled man who once lived in Mortality before becoming he God of his own worlds. God has many Spirit Wives, and lives as a sort of Immortal man. This places God as Mormons understand him in a closer relationship to the Greek gods of Olympus.

    Yet, if I said that, while I reject the prophet hood of Joseph Smith Junior, and reject the Mormon Theology regarding God, I still recognise the Mormons as an offshoot of Christianity and he God they worship as the same one I worship, simply misunderstood in light of a False Prophets teachings, I doubt you’d try that hard to convince me otherwise.

    I see Muhammad like I do Joseph Smith. He was a False Prophet who simply produced his own Theology according to what made sense to him, and yes used some of the Revelations he received for personal gain or to break what he told others they could not do. But this makes him o different than a host of others before and since. Its just that his was more successful than anyone else till Smith came along.

    Still, it’s the same God, and as Christians it is wise we see this for what it is and what the Fathers told us it was. Like I said, I agree with the Church Fathers, not this theory based on the same nonsense Atheists use to mock the Bible.

  28. The last half of my post went hog but not the first. To recap it.
    1: To say there is a difference between God and Allah is Linguistically nonsense. Allah is not the name of the Muslim god, Allah is Arabic for "The God" . Its actual roots are in Hebrew, in the word Eloah. Eloah also simply means God.

    Christians and Jews use the word Allah for God when they speak Arabic. It is not a Unwise name for the Muslim god.

    In fact, its redundant and inaccurate to say things like “The Muslim god Allah”, as this is “The Muslim god The God”.

    2: This is the most important part.

    People use the same selective readings and cherry pickings from the Bible in order to depict it as a Violent book fuelled with Contradictions and atrocities and absurdities.

    As I have learned not to listen to those who present snippets of the Bible in order to defame it, I can’t in good conscience allow the same tactics to be used on the Koran.

    While I do not accept Muhammad as a Prophet, I don’t think that such tactics really are helpful and just don’t trust assessments from people who want to find fault with something.

  29. Zarove, it sounds like we're arguing over degrees rather than actual points, so I'm happy to let this drop.

    But I do want to answer your point about a "selective reading of the Bible". The Bible contains a lot of stuff. The stories of the Torah are considered myth, and when I say myth, I mean "Their happening is irrelevant", not "They never happened". The story of Job is a consideration of why bad things happen to good people. There's going to be plenty of historical embellishment in the historical books, and those areas are the ones where God is most often quoted to be seen as a tyrant and a generally nasty person (it seems not to ccur to these people that good doesn't always mean nice, so that's one way to answer them).

    With regards to the Quran, however, you don't need to be too selective, because context can often have little bearing. For example, Sura 2: 106, where abrogation comes from (replacing one verse with another "better" command, and thus permitting contradiction without sacrificing interpretive logic), is surrounded by verses about keeping the faith.

    Ultimately, I can't say that Islam is even a bastardised form of Christianity (yes, there is a limit to the term heresy). But for me t fully justify myself would take a lot more effort than I can put in, and knowledge to effectively refute counter-arguments of consistency that I don't have right now.

    So, let us not belabour this point. Suffice it to say, it's not our inconsistency, or theirs, but that of the liberals in charge here in the West that is the issue at hand, in that a Bible burning would hardly get you a raised eyebrow, but a Quran burning sets of riots and slaughter.

    After all, the best generals keep their eye on their objectives, so let us not indulge in minor matters of ideological degrees at the expense of the wider goal of restoring the West to glory.

  30. I'm with MM on this one. I myself am not Muslim, but I can still see the inherit beauty of the Qur'an, and I can't stand to see a beautiful Abrahamic religion being mocked by some backwards "Pastor" from BFN Florida. Personally, I believe ALL Monotheistic worship is valid in the eyes of God, so this little crusade against Muslims is pointless and backwards. It also further divides Christians and Muslims. The Qur'an calls for tolerance of other monotheists, and even says that all monotheists have a chance at salvation (Sura 22 verse 17). 73:10, 109:6, 29:46, 60:8, and 2:256 all call or tolerance and PEACE.
    Perhaps I'm more liberal than most on this matter, but as far as I'm concerned, Muslims embrace the truth of Monotheism, they have historically tolerated Christians and Jews, and they are generally very pro-authority, just like me. So not only am I against these Qur'an burning, I think the burners should be fined.
    Here is a link to a page about the tolerance Muslims have towards Christians: http://www.interfaithdialog.org/reading-room-main2menu-27/139-islams-tolerance-toward-christians .
    And here is a great little quote by a Jewish historian Jacob Minkin, who said that Muslim Spain was "...the only land of freedom the Jews knew in nearly 1,000 years of dispersion..."
    To sum up: Muslims embrace the truth of monotheism, they have historically been tolerant of Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, and are not our enemy: they are our brothers.


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