September 1, 2010

"What Is Moderate Islam?" — a symposium.

In the Wall Street Journal. Excerpts from the 6 participants:

Anwar Ibrahim ("The Ball Is in Our Court"):
... Muslims must do more than just talk about their great intellectual and cultural heritage. We must be at the forefront of those who reject violence and terrorism. And our activism must not end there. The tyrants and oppressive regimes that have been the real impediment to peace and progress in the Muslim world must hear our unanimous condemnation.
Bernard Lewis ("A History of Tolerance"):
For the moment, there does not seem to be much prospect of a moderate Islam in the Muslim world. This is partly because in the prevailing atmosphere the expression of moderate ideas can be dangerous—even life-threatening....

But for Muslims who seek it, the roots are there, both in the theory and practice of their faith and in their early sacred history.
Ed Husain ("Don't Call Me Moderate, Call Me Normal"):
Normative Islam, from its early history to the present, is defined by its commitment to protecting religion, life, progeny, wealth and the human mind. In the religious language of Muslim scholars, this is known as maqasid, or aims. This is the heart of Islam.

I am fully Muslim and fully Western. Don't call me moderate—call me a normal Muslim.
Reuel Marc Gerecht ("Putting Up With Infidels Like Me"):
Tolerance among traditional Muslims is defined as Christian Europe first defined the idea: A superior creed agrees not to harass an inferior creed, so long as the practitioners of the latter don't become too uppity. Tolerance emphatically does not mean equality of belief, as it now does in the West.
Tawfik Hamid ("Don't Gloss Over The Violent Texts"):
Radical Islam is not limited to the act of terrorism; it also includes the embrace of teachings within the religion that promote hatred and ultimately breed terrorism. Those who limit the definition of radical Islam to terrorism are ignoring—and indirectly approving of—the Shariah teachings that permit killing apostates, violence against women and gays, and anti-Semitism.

Moderate Islam should be defined as a form of Islam that rejects these violent and discriminatory edicts....
Moderate Islam must not be passive. It needs to actively reinterpret the violent parts of the religious text rather than simply cherry-picking the peaceful ones....
Akbar Ahmed ("Mystics, Modernists and Literalists"):
Having studied the practices of Muslims around the world today, I've come up with three broad categories: mystic, modernist and literalist....

Muslims in the mystic category reflect universal humanism, believing in "peace with all."...

The second category is the modernist Muslim who believes in trying to balance tradition and modernity....
The literalists believe that Muslim behavior must approximate that of the Prophet in seventh-century Arabia. Their belief that Islam is under attack forces many of them to adopt a defensive posture. And while not all literalists advocate violence, many do. Movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the Taliban belong to this category.
Ahmed says he wants accurate categories and indicates that "moderate" isn't such a category. I'd need to hear more about that to understand, because it seems to me that there are ways of being moderate or extreme in all 3 categories. Do you really want to say that it's taking texts literally that is the problem? Would that extend to other religions (and to other texts, such as, for example, Constitutions)? And aren't there also ways of being "modernist" that can lead to trouble? Didn't history's worst fascists meld tradition and some concept of modernity? I don't mean to say that there's no insight to be gained in Ahmed's 3 categories, only that their existence doesn't convince me to stop caring about moderation.

122 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

Normal Islam does make sense. The vast majority (I mean like virtually all Muslims I know) are normal. And that is not true just here, I lived in Egypt for years and have traveled thoughout most of the Islamic world and it was true there too.

Does that mean I take Islamic extremism for granted? Hell no. It is around, and it is not challenged by other muslims. And with Saudi funding, the poision is spreading.

Joe said...

Ahmed:

Silence, or I will Keeeeeel you!

Sorry, had to be said, please return to your normal, learned discourse(s).

Fred4Pres said...

As usual, Bernard Lewis is spot on.

Jason said...

If Islamic extremism is not challenged by "normal Muslims," then "normal Muslims" then "normal" is a problem, too.

LarsPorsena said...

"...I lived in Egypt for years...

..and just how are those Coptic Christians treated in Egypt?

ricpic said...

Get back to me when muslims stop dancing in the streets to celebrate the murder of infidels

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Might as well be spending time and money discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

What a moderate muslim is has no meaning until moderate muslims actually do something that shows they are against the radical elements of their religion and culture.

Until then, it is a total waste of time and energy and an exercise in mental masterbation.

You can talk the talk (and make westerners feel hopeful) but until you walk the walk I won't believe it.

Lincolntf said...

The problem (as has been noted many times before) is that Islam is not just a Religion. It's a political and legal system as well. I'm an American who happens to be Catholic and nobody from the Vatican ever comes to my house and forces me to do anything. But in a place like Britain, where Sharia law is embraced by the establishment and encouraged in Muslim communities, Muslims trying to flee the insanity of the Islamic leadership in the Middle East find themselves still bound by the 7th Century ignorance that guides Islamic behavior and law. If your "Religion" treats women as property and you expect to practice that Religion, you don't belong in a pluralistic society. Changing the Western way of life to accommodate the Bin Ladens of the world may seem like a viable option to the shortsighted pacifists on the Left, but nobody with any sense of history (or appreciation of human dignity and freedom) would encourage the spread of Islam.

Lem said...

Pig roasts can get immoderate at times ;)

Sixty Grit said...
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Quayle said...

As I understand it, from the earliest times in Islam, there has been a debate about what it means to be Muslim.

And apparently that debate continues today. Many Muslims simply consider the terrorists to not be Muslim, and don't feel the need to answer for them.

But anyone with eyes can see that there is a peaceful Islam. If there weren't, we'd be up against 1B killers, and we just aren't.

My daughter lived peacefully as a lone westerner in Jordan and Morocco for months on end. Nobody ever tried to kill her.

And what's more, my daughter's full Burqa wearing college friend from Jordan remembered my daughter's birthday yesterday and wrote her a gracious email congratulating her and sending best wishes, and blessings and honor to her family.

In my opinion this Jordanian woman is a much nicer and more compelling person that many, perhaps most, of my daughter's supposedly cosmopolitan, but definitely self-absorbed American college 'friends'.

Scott M said...

Pig roasts can get immoderate at times ;)

Pigs are considered unclean, aren't they? Just like puppies? For the kafir, they lead to "evil outcomes".

Didn't Iran ban pet ads?

GMay said...

"Normative Islam, from its early history to the present, is defined by its commitment to protecting religion, life, progeny, wealth and the human mind."

[Emphasis mine.]

Riiiiiight.

Fen said...

/bump

Lincoln: The problem (as has been noted many times before) is that Islam is not just a Religion. It's a political and legal system as well.

Lincoln aptly points out the elephant in the room.

exhelodrvr1 said...

If a pattern of activity continues for an extended period of time, then it is "normal." So what we see today - the terrorism, shariah, hate for Israel, and the unwillingness of most Muslims to take action against the above (whether out of fear or because they actually support the basic concepts), combined with a relatively few Muslims who actively oppose the above - is "normal" Islam.

Bob Ellison said...

A thinking liberal friend of mine once said something like "religion is the source of all evil". We argued on that; I said religion often motivates great good, and he said the evil out-weighed the good. It's a tough discussion.

Aside from that, Bernard Lewis is not not not spot on. "A History of Tolerance" ?! Nice history, professor. Try to keep up with (1) Muslim ideology, which belies tolerance, and (2) current events, which disprove it.

traditionalguy said...

Sure, muslims want to get along in peace with us. Yet their leaders are all afraid of a meaner muslim leader having them replaced by murder if they preach stopping murdering of infidels and apostates in order to extend muslim rule over the earth. So the problem is that muslims have no free speech around other muslims. Let's see how long Abbas lasts among the living if he makes a peace treaty with Israel like Anwar Sadat of Egypt did. The greatest fear in a legalistic cult is always the fear of other cult members turning all suspected Law Violations among members into death sentences... honor killing they call it. I say we set the Wasilla Warrior lose on them.

Pastafarian said...

I'm a little surprised by the negativity in these comments.

It's people like this, moderate Muslims, that are our one best hope to avoid having to annihilate about 100 million non-moderate Muslims over the next ten years or so.

Scott M said...

A thinking liberal friend of mine once said something like "religion is the source of all evil". We argued on that; I said religion often motivates great good, and he said the evil out-weighed the good. It's a tough discussion.

In order to make that claim (religion is the source of all evil) you have to believe that the alternate, no religion, is better. The atheistic dictators of the 20th century should prove ample counterbalance to that argument.

Fen said...

In my opinion this Jordanian woman is a much nicer and more compelling person that many, perhaps most, of my daughter's supposedly cosmopolitan, but definitely self-absorbed American college 'friends'.

American girls would be much more respectful and demure if their peers were gangraped and torched for showing too much ankle.


"A Jordanian man confessed to stabbing to death his pregnant sister and mutilating her body to protect the family honor, said Jordanian authorities on Sunday.

The 28-year-old married woman was five months pregnant and stabbed repeatedly in the face, neck, abdomen and back as well as being hacked up with a meat cleaver,

Police familiar with the case said the woman had moved back in with her family after an argument with her husband six months earlier. The brother believed that she had then started seeing other men."


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/12/jordan-honor-killing-man-_n_185977.html

AND

"the perpetrators included a 19-year-old man, Hussein Suleiman, who was accused of driving three times over his six-month-pregnant unmarried sister in a pick-up truck, despite her denials of immoral behaviour and pleas for help.)"

http://www.gendercide.org/case_honour.html

AND

"In Jordan, honour killings are sanctioned by law. According to Article 340 of the criminal code, "A husband or a close blood relative who kills a woman caught in a situation highly suspicious of adultery will be totally exempt from sentence." Article 98, meanwhile, guarantees a lighter sentence for male killers of female relatives who have committed an "act which is illicit in the eyes of the perpetrator." Julian Borger notes that "in practice, once a murder has been judged an 'honour killing,' the usual sentence is from three months to one year."

AND

"A Jordanian judicial official says the country's state prosecutor has charged a man with premeditated murder who is suspected of drowning his 22-year-old sister for having an extramarital affair.

The official says the unidentified woman's brother beat her with the help of his family Saturday and then took her to the Dead Sea, where he drowned her.

He says they carried out their suspected actions after seeing an unidentified man leaving the slain woman's house."

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2008/05/another-honor-killing-in-jordan-man-drowns-sister-in-dead-sea.html

There's more, but you get the idea.

Sixty Grit said...
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Pogo said...

Islam has been pushing for Sharia wherever it plants its flag, as evidenced by efforts in Canada and England. By terrorism, stealth, and abuse of 'multiculturalism', the conquest is furthered.

Sharia is antithetical to the US Constitution. Moderate Islam can only be evidenced by the abandonment of sharia in the West. Actions (not words) to that effect will be proof. All else is mere propaganda.

roesch-voltaire said...

Like Voltaire, I think the dogmatic theology of any institutional religion is a problem,and trying to reason with its followers is almost impossible. That said, to some extent the Enlightenment has humanized Christian theology, but no so with Islam. I think what Ahmed means by modernist is accepting more equality for women,and working to advance science and technology within Islam and whether this embraces the necessary reason and skepticism in open to question.

GMay said...

But anyone with eyes can see that there is a peaceful Islam. If there weren't, we'd be up against 1B killers, and we just aren't.

My daughter lived peacefully as a lone westerner in Jordan and Morocco for months on end. Nobody ever tried to kill her."


Unfortunately this doesn't exist on the boundaries of the traditional Islamic world.

Look at the violence in the Phillipines, Indonesia/SE Asia, the Caucasus, the Balkans, central Asia, India, East Africa, around Israel (of course) and now civil unrest in France and Germany.

Europe is beginning to wake up again. (See also: French attitudes toward religious garb and Swiss minarets)

As someone else already stated, Islam is a theo-political ideology and as a result it just does not mesh well with the West.

Hopefully symposia like this will be the beginning of a reformation in Islam. The world could use it.

rhhardin said...

Muslims don't understand America.

Thuggery doesn't work here.

I mean, it works on them, but not on us.

lemondog said...

...commitment to protecting religion...

How does one accomplish protecting religion without breaking bones?

Humans seem to have difficulty appreciating 'balance' in all things, the Aristotelian precept of moderation.

While the US has its extremes in the religious, political, cultural realms, we are fortunate in that the mainstream is the ballast that keeps us from, for any prolonged period, tilting heavily in any single direction.

It seems to me that ballast is nurtured by a combination of the First Amendment, having a free and open society, religious roots benefiting from the Reformation, a strong two party system, and limited government such as it currently is.

While we currently have an apologist leadership, the US, infidel dog though it is, continues to have much wisdom to offer.

pm317 said...

Moderation or normal is reflected in Muslim populations when they live in mixed and pluralistic societies. It breaks down when they mix their religion with politics and governing and live in Muslim countries. Religion misused by moneyed and powerful interests is what is behind the absence of normal. If you ask why the masses in those countries go along with that, maybe it is that half of them think it is to their advantage and the other half thinks it is helpless and both are cowed by their Imams and Kings and corrupt politicians and their military. Add terror groups to that list.

Then again, I am not saying anything you don't already know.

Brad said...

Jason & DBQ are spot on.

Lars brings a crucial point to the table, one too many are quick to gloss over (or ignore completely).

Lincoln's second post identifies "the" issue.

The political correctness evidenced by the "Pro-GZM" crowd is an impediment to the "radicals" (or whatever you may want to call them) losing their influence within Islam. They cannot be accommodated; they have to be defeated, which won't happen if the West continues its misguided "tolerance" for their program.

Sixty Grit said...
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Quayle said...

Lincoln: The problem (as has been noted many times before) is that Islam is not just a Religion. It's a political and legal system as well.

Lincoln aptly points out the elephant in the room.


And when a Catholic prays at mass, "thy kingdom come", do you think it will be within the constraints of the American or western constitutional systems?

Before there was an America, or freedom of religion, there was religion.

Lincolntf said...

And when a Catholic prays at mass, "thy kingdom come", do you think it will be within the constraints of the American or western constitutional systems?


I don't conflate my faith with secular laws. The last thing anyone will care about when His "kingdom comes" is a list of secular laws. This is why the vast majority of Religious Americans (outside of Dearborn, MI) exist perfectly well with other faiths.

Joe said...

(The Crypto-Jew)

And when a Catholic prays at mass, "thy kingdom come", do you think it will be within the constraints of the American or western constitutional systems?I

Short answer, Uh-Yes………..

edutcher said...

Interesting views. Anwar Ibrahim, Tawfif Hamid, Akbar Ahmed, and Bernard Lewis (as Fred notes) state the realities of the situation. For anyone who is Moslem who is not willing to speak out against the bloodshed cannot claim to be moderate or anything else, but an abettor.

Gerecht states the historical context and where it may lead.

Ed Husain, I think, is kidding himself or trying to fool everyone else. Or both.

Good post, Ann. A little insight from people who really know what they're talking about, as opposed to the Lefties who merely want to look down on the Althouse Hillbillies.

PS Agree with Fen on Lincoln. If Islam were merely a religion, there would be no danger to Western Civilization. As it is, Islam represents as great a Great Leap Backward as fascism or communism.

Quayle said...

Fen said, "There's more, but you get the idea."

Yeah, I get the idea that some Muslims kill and rape.

Am I supposed to extrapolate that into a view or realization that all Muslims do it?

Are you saying there are a half a billion rapists and murders within Islam?

Yeah, 'I get the idea' that you are cherry picking evidence to support your prejudices.

Paddy O said...

"I think the dogmatic theology of any institutional religion is a problem,and trying to reason with its followers is almost impossible."

I think you haven't really engaged too much dogmatic theology then. Especially since you seem to refer to the Enlightenment as some kind of quasi-historical Force that "surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."

The Enlightenment didn't act on people, people participated and contributed to the Enlightenment and a great deal of them were theologians and ministers, with the theological arguments being waged intensely that helped bring about certain expressions of Christian theology in our era.

I think there is a similar ability in Islam. Indeed, I'd say that the vast majority of Islam in America is moderate. Likely because Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment Christian theologians and other thinkers helped provide a context where religion could be both accepted and moderated. Despite the notions of 20th century "futurists" most of humanity does need to have a religious connection of some kind, and by banishing it or ignoring it we can foster alienating extremism. By embracing it, and thinking through it, we can develop contexts it can properly flourish.

But, that's not the trouble with so much of global Islam. The trouble is that there is an immense, vast, inconceivable amount of wealth being held by a relatively small number of families who live in lavish displays of wealth, which creates guilt and religious uncertainty. Unwilling to forgo their pleasures, they pay off their religious interests by funding the most extreme expressions. Which creates the curious blend of societal-crumbling corruption and intense religious fervor. People who are rich get bolstered by seeing other people fighting for their faith. People who are poor see a path of funding and opportunity in becoming religious extremists (especially since it seems very little of the funding goes towards native Islamic industry). The people in the middle lose, but since they have neither money nor extremist passions, it is much easier to play the game as it is now ordered.

Moderate Islam will gain a foothold when oil money no longer flows, and when there's no financial incentive to either funding or being funded for religious extremism.

Until then, we encourage who we can and resist all who see us as targets to sate their own egos.

Fen said...

And when a Catholic prays at mass, "thy kingdom come", do you think it will be within the constraints of the American or western constitutional systems?

I'm sorry but can you speak up? I cant hear you over the wails of women being beat to death for suspicion of adultery... by Islamic Moderate Extremists.

Were you commenting that even Catholic-American candidates must reassure the public that they dont report to the Pope?

Yah, thats equivalent to drowning your sister because you think she's cheating on her boyfriend, and having it sanctioned by Sharia.

Fen said...

Quale: Yeah, I get the idea that some Muslims kill and rape.
Am I supposed to extrapolate that into a view or realization that all Muslims do it? Yeah, 'I get the idea' that you are cherry picking evidence to support your prejudices.


Cherry pick? You're the one who brought up "moderate" Jordon.

"In Jordan, honour killings are sanctioned by law. According to Article 340 of the criminal code, "A husband or a close blood relative who kills a woman caught in a situation highly suspicious of adultery will be totally exempt from sentence."

And its bullshit for you to even use the word "prejudice". Go fuck yourself.

Joe said...

It's been said before, but compare and contrast:

Westboro Baptist Church and Fred Phelps, or the Mountain Kirke and it's "minister"-all repudiated by mainstream Christians, Protestant and Catholic.

Shari'a, honour killings, jihad, terrorism, and the like-lots of weasel words, the equivalent of "Yeah, but..." "I'm against Terrorism, yeah, but the Israelis/Jews/Zionists/United States...."

Scott M said...

This is why the vast majority of Religious Americans (outside of Dearborn, MI) exist perfectly well with other faiths.

A very liberal friend of my mother-in-law's just moved back from "Dearbornistan". She's always been part and parcel with the multi-culti crowd, but admits that things are getting bad up there.

GMay said...

Just when I think I have a good handle on things. What's up with Dearborn?

Joe said...

(The Crypto-Jew)

@ ScottM, anecdotally I’ve heard the same in Re: Dearborn. Lots of barred windows on basements to keep the daughters chaste and protect the “honour” of the family.

Quayle said...

"And when a Catholic prays at mass, "thy kingdom come", do you think it will be within the constraints of the American or western constitutional systems?

Short answer, Uh-Yes……….."


And so we see that the affluence and stability of the western constitutional and commercial systems has blinded us to the fact that they were founded and operated on the shared values derived from a religion (mostly the moral code of Christianity).

The ascendancy of the purely secular (mostly left) in the west is a anomaly sustained only by the wealth and interests of the 20th century commercial alliances.

But the problem with building on commercial alliances are that they are only as stable as commerce, as the present time is revealing.

Looking ahead, I have to wonder how the western secular left plans on fighting a religious group that does not necessarily agree or care about the separation of church and state, but believes that the only good government is God's government.

Pacifists that the western left are or claim to be, they'll probably first attempt to win by deploying teach-ins, symposiums, and New York Times editorials.

But my bet is that when the going gets tough, the western left will resort to bombs every much as would the 'fascist right' they so vociferously hate and condemn.

Joseph said...

I think any religion or political system will overreach in a way that oppresses people if it can. What makes Western society moderate is not that our religions are somehow more inherently moderate, but rather that there are multiple legitimate sources of power competing for influence in our society--religion(s), the state (and competing political parties controlling the state), private industry, etc. Each has a more radical agenda that it might impose on us if it were allowed to but each is constrained by other powerful forces. I think what makes Islam today immoderate is that it often exists in conjunction with or in opposition to illegitimate dictatorial power or in power vacuums that allow it to assume too much power.

Fen said...

BTW Qualye, Bernard Lewis accuses you of bigotry and prejudice:

There is some justice in one charge that is frequently leveled against the United States, and more generally against the West: Middle Easterners frequently complain that the West judges them by different and lower standards than it does Europeans and Americans, both in what is expected of them and what they may expect, in terms of their economic well-being and their political freedom.

They assert that Western spokesmen repeatedly overlook or even defend actions and support rulers that they would not tolerate in their own countries.


[thats you Qualye, minimizing honor killings]

...there is nevertheless a widespread [Western] perception that there are significant differences between the advanced Western world and the rest, notably the peoples of Islam, and that these latter are in some ways different, with the tacit assumption that they are inferior.

The most flagrant violations of civil rights, political freedom, and even human decency are disregarded or glossed over,


[keep glossing Quayle]

and crimes against humanity, which in a European or American country would evoke a storm of outrage, are seen as normal and even acceptable.


...The underlying assumption in all this is that these people are incapable of running a democratic society and have neither concern nor capacity for human decency.

The Crisis of Islam, Bernard Lewis, p104

Does that sum you up Qualye? Its no biggie that little brown people are disposable under Sharia?

george said...

I would divide Muslims into those who feel it is OK to act as their prophet did and those who do not take his examples or teachings seriously. That is, the best Muslims are those that take their religion least seriously.

By the way, just the other day the Palestinians were handing out candy to celebrate the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of a pregnant woman and other civilians.

Yet almost all Muslims support the Palestinians and condemn Israel. Islam is simply not compatible with civilization. I will reassess that view when they start allowing other religions to peacefully coexist in Islamic countries and they stop wiping their asses on their women.

Until then, every effort must be made to marginalize and convert Islam's adherents. Convert them to pagans, or satanists or Catholics for all I care just convert them to something less malevolent and more rational. If you can find a branch of Islam that will throw out 80% of its teachings then you might have some luck "reforming" it but Islam itself explicitly outlaws such a thing.

shoutingthomas said...

Unspoken and, apparently, unspeakable.

The ascendance of Christian cultures in the real world probably means that Christian theology, philosophy and liturgy probably offer something better than the competition.

The values of Anglo/American law and Judeo/Christian theology have triumphed.

Probably because these systems are more rational, provide for a better foundation for moral and economic life, etc.

I'm just observing the reality in front of my face. Feel free to pretend that reality doesn't matter.

Likewise, I'm assuming there is a reason why the Muslim world is neck deep in poverty, failure, widespread violence, horrible treatment of women, etc. Must have something to do with the reality that Muslim theology and Sharia law suck.

Sure looks that way to me.

Must be some reason why the massed armies of the Muslim world keep getting their asses kicked by tiny little Israel.

traditionalguy said...

Scot M...IMO religion is not the source of all evil, but religion is the source of all murders. Whenever a loving and godly person appears, the proud religious law keepers are ashamed of exposure by that other person's recieving approval from God and men that they don't recieve. Their reaction is usually anger and a quick murder. That is why societies have had to restrain murder with laws of retribution. This knee jerk anger reaction and desire to murder has been shown in current reactions to Sarah Palin and to Tim Tebow. Both of those public figures have drawn out that religious anger and desire to kill.

TMink said...

As a radical Christian, I am confused. Being a radical Christian has led me to try to be more loving, kind, and accepting of God's children. Is the core of Islam this violent, or are people using and distorting Islam to further their own aims, or both?

Christians who bomb buildings or shoot abortion doctors are nuts, not radical. Why aren't the terrorists nuts? Why are they an acceptable part of the Muslim community?

Trey

Ironclad said...

The problem with many of these panels is that the words have to be translated - such as the assertion "Normative Islam, from its early history to the present, is defined by its commitment to protecting religion, life, progeny, wealth and the human mind." reads in reality as FOR MUSLIMS ONLY. People of the book (Christians and Jews) become Dhimmis (subject to tax) and other, non-classified groups get the shaft.

The two fundamental problems with Islam for the West to deal with are that there is no "Render onto Caesar" type verse in the Koran that separates religion and state and the fact that the Koran is one piece - you cannot "ignore" sections of it since it purports to be direct wisdom from God. (and the fact that Mohammad in his last days, incorporated the Hadith into the same level of priority as the Koran).

So the balance is shifting as the West tries to figure out how to absorb something that is totally at odds with its nature. But the real gasoline on the pile is the money flowing from the middle east that is being used to establish many mosques that tow the Salafist line (Wahhabi- type belief). That pipeline is going to have to be shut off if the moderates are ever going to have a chance of doing anything.

TMink said...

And why do the Muslims want to impose Sharia on non-Muslims? I can't follow the 10 commandments with God's help, why would I expect someone who does not have access to the Holy Spirit to be able to? I don't. Why do they?

Sure, I want people to accept Christ. Deeply! But it is something very different to threaten people to get them to do so isn't it.

Trey

Sixty Grit said...
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Richard Dolan said...

"I'd need to hear more about that to understand, because it seems to me that there are ways of being moderate or extreme in all 3 categories. Do you really want to say that it's taking texts literally that is the problem?"

So, the idea is that the "problem" lies in an 'original meaning' textualism? Al Qaeda and the Taliban are really Scalia in different robes? Bizarre.

The relevant texts are too varied and inconsistent, too impacted by long and contradictory history and too riven by ancient sectarian disputes for any kind of textualism to provide a useful vector in understanding radical Islamism today. Instead, the texts are used to explain and advance a political agenda, and sometimes to motivate hapless, suicidal cannon fodder, but they aren't the explanation for why that agenda has been adopted. A more useful comparison would be to ancient Israel or medieval Christianity, where religious texts were used to explain, justify and advance expansionist states, where expansionism was the primary phenomenon giving rise to the textualism, not the other way around.

Of the six authors, Bernard Lewis's take strikes me as the most true to the current reality. Moderation will not come about through textual criticism; instead, the extreme message being drawn from the texts will cease to have any power over the crowds when hard realities (of the Shermanesque defeat and destruction variety) force a change.

traditionalguy said...

Roeschi...Good point.Thank God for Thomas Aquinas.Thinking and using skepticism with our God given minds makes all the difference. It keeps our dangerous legalistic pride in our religions humble.

lemondog said...

Sixty Grit said...
Lemonsqueeze - you conveniently forgot our second amendment.

Why conveniently?

The Bill of Rights including the First Amendment, the Second Amendment and all other amendments.

ken in sc said...

Islam has already had its reformation. The Christian Reformation was an attempt to return to the original texts of the New Testament and remove all the accretions that had accumulated since then. Islam already did that and that is where Wahabism, The Muslim Brotherhood ,and Al Qaeda come from. When Christians engage it violent barbarian behavior, they are not following the teachings of Christ. When Muslims do the same, they ARE following the teachings of their Prophet.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

"Why aren't the terrorists nuts? Why are they an acceptable part of the Muslim community?"

How do you know they aren't?

Do you speak Arabic to know what they are saying to each other at the cafes and smoke shops?

Joe said...

(The Crypto-Jew)

@ KeninSC, Well not so true….it’s only recently that the Papists have forgiven the Jews for their role in the Crucifixion and rejected the “Blood Libel”. The difference is that, by-and-large, Christians stopped running pogroms over 100-150 years ago, and the Muslims haven’t stopped running pogroms, yet. I don’t blame “Christians” for the Holocaust, I blame Nazi’s-lest someone note the most radical “pogrom” of all. For me it’s not that Christians have behaved perfectly or even well, and that this “bad behavior” was supported by other Christians AND the Scriptures, but that within the last 100-200 years they have begun to re-examine their behavior and its justifications and reject them. Muslims, not so much, yet.

Kirby Olson said...

There was a panel on THE IMAGE OF ISLAM IN THE MEDIA last night on C-Span. There were two men, and one woman, someone named Aziza Al Hibri, who is a constitutional law professor in Virginia.

Aziza Al Hibri said that Sharia Law was all about peace and democracy, and that NO PRACTICING MUSLIM COUNTRY IS IN ALIGNMENT with what she sees as a rather Jeffersonian Koran. It was funny as heck. It was like listening to a Marxist say, but what the USSR does isn't Marxism!

You can see the whole panel online if you want a few laughs. Spinmeisters of Islam unite!

http://wwww.c-spanvideo.org/program/id/232041

Not once does the brave panel discuss clitorectomy, multiple marriage, enforced illiteracy for girls, etc. And yet they talk around the topic of Islam for an hour and a half!

Quayle said...

"Does that sum you up Qualye? Its no biggie that little brown people are disposable under Sharia?"

I'm not glossing over the atrocities. I condemn them.

But I am call you out for reckless and gross over generalizations and for cherry picking evidence.

You are utterly blind that there is a struggle going on inside of Islam for its heart and soul.

Rather, you lump one billion people into one large group, and write them all off.

And even if it was 1/2 of Islam that acted and believed as you claim they do, are you willing to write of the other 1/2 of them, five hundred thousand people, because others who claim the title Muslim act in such a way?

My positions is that there is and should be a path the west can show Muslims, and Muslim women, to a better, more prosperous and secure life, without forcing them to have to agree with or adopt dissolute western mores?

For example, how exactly are American feminists really going to help the plight of the Muslim women, when in the very next breath they are going to preach lesbian rights and abortion rights to them, which may be abhorrent to Muslims?

You're answer, I guess, is that the Muslims should just 'get over it.' They should be just like you. Or they should be just like the Christians in the west that have lost their religion, and are totally reliant on the security of wealth and bombs.

(And if you are a Jew, as you seemed to mention, I would point you to Isaiah 30:1-7 and Isaiah 31:1-5, and remind you that Egypt is allegorical of any secure place other than God.)

Well I don't agree that they should be just like us. I'm support any effort to build bridges to the Muslims that want a better life, that don't kill and rape, but I don't believe that they necessarily have to accept all the west has to 'offer.'

Lincolntf said...

Islam without conquest is not Islam. If these "moderates" are puzzled over what constitutes a "normative" Muslim, then they should probably set some standards to go by.
If your (American) mosque preaches anti-semitism, you are not "normal". If beating women is a sacrament of your faith, then you are not normal. If you seek to replace the Constitution with a Koran, you are not normal.
As to the components of Islam that have no impact on other Americans (like the hatred of dogs) who cares? Nobody.

Joseph said...

I think commenters are way overestimating how much ordinary adherents to any religion understand, appreciate, and are motivated by theology.

c3 said...

I'd say that the vast majority of Islam in America is moderate.

Per surveys by Pew regarding what we Americans would consider "moderate views" regarding democracy, law etc. muslims in america are probably the best example of moderate Muslims.

Unfortunately, they:
1) have little influence over the world of Islam
2) IMO spend too much time talking to Americans about how we "need to be tolerant" and not enough time speaking to the Muslim world at large.

And it should be pointed out that Islam has no central authority so change will be slow and spasmodic.

traditionalguy said...

Ken in SC...The Reformation in John Knox's Scotland contained within it a warrior spirit that was willing to defend its faith to the extent of helping in the beheading of the English King Charles I. Maybe we just need to fight this clash of reformed civilizations to a standstill. But for now they have captured our King/Presidency.

Quayle said...

Oh, and while we're all busy here praising the skepticism and rationality introduced by St. Thomas (which by implication denigrates the pure irrational revelation of Peter and John) and basking in the apparent full material and political fruits in the west of advanced rational Christianity,

Let's take a moment to remember World War I and World War II in which the advanced Christian nations slaughtered themselves over blood lines and slights.

I know, I know, you apologists and useful idiots of the west will no doubt say we were just working out a few minor internal problems, but now that we have them all solved we are fully able and ready to lecture the Muslims about how they should live and organize.

Quayle said...

"five hundred thousand people"

Should be five hundred million.

Sheesh, I need an editor.

(waiting now for the forehand smash.)

Alex said...

No doubt Ritmo will regale us with how moderate Islam is and how horrible Christians can really be!

Quayle said...

"but rather that [in the west] there are multiple legitimate sources of power competing for influence in our society--religion(s), the state (and competing political parties controlling the state), private industry, etc"

bingo.

Scott M said...

Let's take a moment to remember World War I and World War II in which the advanced Christian nations slaughtered themselves over blood lines and slights.

I know, I know, you apologists and useful idiots of the west will no doubt say we were just working out a few minor internal problems, but now that we have them all solved we are fully able and ready to lecture the Muslims about how they should live and organize.


You had been making decent points up until this shark jump, Quayle. This is a singularly ridiculous point to make in light of this debate. If you want to make a point about how we fight wars so we can't tell anyone else how to act, history is replete with Muslim conflict.

WWI was the last gasp of European aristocracy. WWII was started by Atheists and emperor-worshipers.

Lincolntf said...

"Let's take a moment to remember World War I and World War II in which the advanced Christian nations slaughtered themselves over blood lines and slights."

This nonsensical attempted parallel presumes that WWI and WW2 were Religious wars. They were not. The war that Islam is waging against the West IS a Religious war, which is why they're having this symposium.

Joe said...

(The Crypto-Jew)

I know, I know, you apologists and useful idiots of the west will no doubt say we were just working out a few minor internal problems, but now that we have them all solved we are fully able and ready to lecture the Muslims about how they should live and organize.

Ok you just crossed the line into “IDIOCY.” Yeah, Quayle I think the West has the right to lecture Muslims on how to live, don’t you? Are Europeans fleeing Europe for the Maghreb? No it’s Maghrebi’s fleeing the Maghreb to Europe! It would seem that Europe offers a more tolerant, peaceful and economically viable milieu for them than their homelands. Geeeee, why is that do you think Quayle? Because Europe has worked a lot of things out in its history, and now offers a BETTER PLACE TO LIVE!

So yeah I think the West CAN lecture Muslims on how to live and organize, and apparently MUSLIMS AGREE!

shoutingthomas said...

Let's take a moment to remember World War I and World War II in which the advanced Christian nations slaughtered themselves over blood lines and slights.

The "advanced Christian nations" won World War I and World War II, which is more to the point.

Whether "blood lines and slights" were the critical issues is a matter of opinion.

Must be some completely hidden, absolutely unthinkable... something... in the Judeo/Christian tradition, as well as the Anglo/American business and judicial model that always results in the "advanced Christian nations" leaving the Muslim world in the dust.

Or, maybe it's all just an accident?

Fred4Pres said...

LarsPorsena said...
"...I lived in Egypt for years...

..and just how are those Coptic Christians treated in Egypt?

9/1/10 9:50 AM


For the most part, better in some places, very poorly in others. Prejudice against Copts in Cairo is more subtle. Yeah, Muslims favor Muslims. But Copts do okay economically. And while there is definite tension, there is a effort by government to try to be fair (granted that is completely compromised by endemic corruption, but that is a different issue).

In the rural south, things are very bad for Copts. To the point that they are being driven out of the south.

Most Muslims (and for that matter most Copts) are decent folks. The tensions in that country are bizzare and complex. Yes there is a general mistrust between Copts and Muslims, but that is just a small part of what is going on there. People of the delta hate Cairenes. Alexandria hates Cairenes. The vast majority in Lower Egypt (the North) thinks everyone in Upper Egypt are hicks and idiots. The vast majority of Upper Egypt thinks Lower Egyptians are stuck up and arrogant. Bedouin in Sinai and the western desert despise "Nile people". The radicals are few, but they are definitely dangerous and influencial in some areas. Most Egyptiasns overwhelmingly anti Israeli, but will privately tell you they actually find Palestinians far more annoying than Israeli Jews.

Most Egyptians have negative feelings toward Libya, Chad and especially Sudan. They like to make jokes about Jordanians and Iraqis that involve the buggering of goats and donkeys (and they mean it when they speak of Libyans and Sudanese).

Fen said...

I'm not glossing over the atrocities. I condemn them.

You said "some" Muslims approve of honor killings. You gloss over the fact that honor killings are sanctioned by sharia law in Jordon.

But I am call you out for reckless and gross over generalizations and for cherry picking evidence.

How is it cherry-picking? You compared one respectful Jordanian woman to all your daughter's shallow American friends. I pointed out that most girls would learn to be respectful if their punishment is death, as it is in Jordon. I then listed several examples of honor killings in Jordon, and even the fact that honor killings are sanctioned under Jordanian Law.

Is there another "moderate" Islamic country you would rather talk about?

you lump one billion people into one large group, and write them all off.

Thats such a bullshit fallacy. You can always use a number that huge as a blanket to excuse whatever atrocity Muslims around the world are committing in the name of Islam.

And it contradicts your greater point. A few hundred thousand "extremists" could not hijack the religion of one billion "moderates" without their explicit permission.

And I gotta ask, since you've become our resident apologist, are you Muslim? What country are you posting from? Yemen?

Fred4Pres said...

Pastafarian makes a lot of sense.

Egyptians also have a dish you might like (I typically have it with out the tomatoes and cook the lentils and pasta in chicken stock, but this is something you can experiment with). The combination of mulitple starches and carbs make some dieters go nuts, but it is actually really good:


Ingredients:
Rice -- 1 cup
Macaroni pasta -- 1 cup
Lentils -- 1 cup
Oil -- 2 tablespoons
Onion, chopped finely -- 1
Garlic, minced -- 2 to 3 cloves
Tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes -- 2 cups
Pepper flakes -- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
Salt and pepper -- to taste
Oil for frying
Onion, sliced thinly -- 1
Salt and pepper -- to taste

1.Cook the rice and 2 cups of water in a covered pot until done, about 20 minutes. Cook the macaroni according to package directions, or until al dente. Simmer the lentils and 2 cups of water in a covered pot until tender, 30-45 minutes.

2.While the rice, pasta and lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent and wilted, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and pepper flakes, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, add a little water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

3.Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a heavy skillet. Add the sliced onions and fry until they turn brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels.

4.Place the rice, macaroni and lentils in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and stir together gently with a fork. Portion the mixture into individual bowls and spoon some tomato sauce over each portion. Top with crispy fried onions and serve hot or at room temperature.

Fred4Pres said...

I leave out the tomatoes because I prefer that dish more aglio-olio in style. Basil works very well with it, as does fennel.

edutcher said...

Lincolntf said...

Islam without conquest is not Islam. If these "moderates" are puzzled over what constitutes a "normative" Muslim, then they should probably set some standards to go by.

Try this on for size with respect to your position (with which I agree). Islam only seems to assert itself when Western Civilization is weak or appears so. There probably would have been no spread of Islam beyond Arabia if the Roman Empire hadn't collapsed within the previous century and today's aggression is largely because they perceive weakness in the multi-culti welfare states that have been in vogue.

Quayle said...

...

Let's take a moment to remember World War I and World War II in which the advanced Christian nations slaughtered themselves over blood lines and slights.

You may have a point about WWI (although the Turks are a hard sell and Kaiser Bill was looking for a fight), but WWII was started as an aggressive war by Shintoists and Socialists - who all used a cult of personality to supplant Christianity.

sunsong said...

Muslims in the mystic category reflect universal humanism, believing in "peace with all."...

The second category is the modernist Muslim who believes in trying to balance tradition and modernity....

The literalists believe that Muslim behavior must approximate that of the Prophet in seventh-century Arabia. Their belief that Islam is under attack forces many of them to adopt a defensive posture. And while not all literalists advocate violence, many do. Movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the Taliban belong to this category.



That's interesting. I think there is a lot to it. It seems to me that fundamentalists - of whatever stripe - tend to be more literal. The mysticism - the mystery - does not interest them. It may even bother them. They don't want any uncertainty - they want clearly defined, *literal* dogma.

Fundamentalists also tend to feel justified in dominating others because they believe they have *the* Truth - with a capital *T*. They believe that since their *Truth* is superior they are justified in imposing it - either through law or oppression or killing.

I think that a number of posters here who brag about the separation of church and state in America - are also the same posters who on other threads will argue that America is a *Christian* nation and that is perfectly fine for them to use the force of government to impose their values on others.

But, that is a side note :-) There seems , to me, to be more a difference of degree - than of direction.

Fen said...

I think that a number of posters here who brag about the separation of church and state in America - are also the same posters who on other threads will argue that America is a *Christian* nation and that is perfectly fine for them to use the force of government to impose their values on others.

No. I'll point to the fact that our laws are based on judeo-christian law. And I'll point to the fact that society has an interest in protecting itself, resulting in the codification of morality.

But I dont think "its perfectly fine for the government to impose Christian values on others". And I dont think you'll find any here demanding "Convert or Die!"

Just because you advocate the need for morality and ethics doesn't mean you are pushing your religion on others.

Paddy O said...

"that is perfectly fine for them to use the force of government to impose their values on others."

Is this limited to one side or the other? It seems like government these days is all about forcing people's values on others. Wasn't this the whole point of "hope and change"?

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lincolntf said...

The Left uses the force of law to tell me what I can eat, what I can build, and, increasingly, what I can say. If Christianity was half as oppressive as "secular humanism" is, I'd have left the faith a long time ago.

Quayle said...

"This nonsensical attempted parallel presumes that WWI and WW2 were Religious wars. They were not. The war that Islam is waging against the West IS a Religious war, which is why they're having this symposium"

6 Million Jews killed, but you're arguing that it wasn't religious.

Sure, in your highly refined internal view of the west, you can see the distinction between when you go to church and when you go to your bank.

But do you expect a Muslim outsider to have any of a more nuanced view of the internals of the west than you all seem to have (not) of Islam?

If an outsider were to give the Christian west the same broad-brush as is being used against Muslims here, they would be forced to conclude that ever since the middle ages all the Christians have done is kill each other, from the 100 Years war to Waterloo to Gettysburg to the fields of Belgium to the Ardene.

Go visit the church in the center of Waterloo and see the monuments to the brave, god-fearing soldiers who prayed and died for their god fearing side.

The point is that the west can claim that they weren't religious wars only because they gave themselves a waiver from Christ's edict to love your enemy, on the grounds that their enemy was political and not religious.

And to a Muslim it might very well seem like is Christians mercilessly killing Christians.

Or do you expect them to have a more insightful view of the west than you do of them?

Michael said...

I have read a dozen or so books on Islam including the Koran (or any of its various and changing spellings) and have followed and argued the GZM matter and watched Muslims talk about themselves and their religion for hours on television>

I am over it. I think I find myself bored with Islam which requires so much talk, so much listening, so much tolerance, so much understanding, so much willingness to be vilified.

Lincolntf said...

I'm not "arguing" that WW2 wasn't a Religious war, I'm stating it as empirical fact.

Scott M said...

6 Million Jews killed, but you're arguing that it wasn't religious.

Oh for the love of God, Quayle. How many Russians (military and otherwise) died that weren't Jews? How many Germans? Weaksauce, my friend...not even the good honey-mustard kind.

If an outsider were to give the Christian west the same broad-brush as is being used against Muslims here, they would be forced to conclude that ever since the middle ages all the Christians have done is kill each other, from the 100 Years war to Waterloo to Gettysburg to the fields of Belgium to the Ardene.

So...our Civil War was a religious war too?

You were doing fine up until the WW1/WW2 thing. You should have stopped there.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Am I supposed to extrapolate that into a view or realization that all Muslims do it?.
I think it’s worth considering that Fen’s ‘cherry picked’ examples combined with daily news reports of a suicide bomber here, X number of people gunned down there, memri.org listings of the most despicable news commentaries coming out of the ME , don’t exactly paint a picture of a ‘moderates’ that supposedly reside in this billion member religion. I’m sorry I keep hearing about the ‘tiny minority’ of radicals but the evidence doesn’t seem to support it. Maybe it’s a ‘tiny minority’ that are actually picking up the AK-47 and suicide belt but it certainly seems the ‘vast majority’ is either (vocally) supportive or at best, indifferent. Either way they aren’t part of the solution which means they’re part of the problem and the first step in solving the problem is admitting that there is one. Certainly there are some Muslims who want to modernize, don’t’ see Western civilization as an evil or Jews to be exterminated but I’m not seeing any mass support for that in the broader Muslim community.

It’s been said before that Islam is not compatible with Western values and I think that is true with respect to Islam in its present form. Christianity wasn’t compatible with our contemporary values either 3-400 years ago but societal evolution won out and Wiccans, atheists and pagans are tolerated (or ignored) rather than imprisoned or burned at the stake. The problem is that Islam doesn’t seem to be the least bit interested in any kind of reformation and the various cultures in which the religion is predominate aren’t exactly the garden spots of democracy, civil liberties or tolerance. Whether that is a bug or feature of the religion I’ll leave up for discussion.

Scott M said...

. Christianity wasn’t compatible with our contemporary values either 3-400 years ago but societal evolution won out and Wiccans, atheists and pagans are tolerated (or ignored) rather than imprisoned or burned at the stake.

Excellent point and worth remembering every time this topic comes up. Well crafted, sir.

LarsPorsena said...

.the Sudan, Northern Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Southern Philippines. The borders of Islam are always marked by blood.

sunsong said...

Is this limited to one side or the other? It seems like government these days is all about forcing people's values on others. Wasn't this the whole point of "hope and change"?

That's right - the fundamentalists - of whatever stripe - whether the hard left or the hard right - are perfectly fine with imposing their values on the rest of us. It's not the idea of forcing others to live by their *religion* (their values) that bothers them about fundamentalist Muslims - it's that fundamentalist Muslims are barbaric about it. As I mentioned - it seems to me that it is a matter of degree - but not of difference.

Almost Ali said...

Sounds like another "moderate" is on the loose, this time at the Discovery channel.

Hoosier Daddy said...

6 Million Jews killed, but you're arguing that it wasn't religious.

I don’t see the need to argue that the Earth is round either. If you truly think that the Final Solution was based upon some religious dogma or that it was about Judaism then you are either completely misinformed or just displayed the most monumental example of ignorance I have seen in some time.

If an outsider were to give the Christian west the same broad-brush as is being used against Muslims here, they would be forced to conclude that ever since the middle ages all the Christians have done is kill each other, from the 100 Years war to Waterloo to Gettysburg to the fields of Belgium to the Ardene.

Well the last truly religious war Christians fought was the 30 years war which ended in 1648 so if your attempt is to stretch that out the Battle of the Bulge then you’re doing a bang up job of showing your lack of intelligence.

Or do you expect them to have a more insightful view of the west than you do of them?

I’d prefer them to have a more insightful view of their own destructive behavior. However, to your point, it would have more credibility if the Muslim terrorists weren’t constantly invoking Allah and defeating the enemies of Islam every time they go on a rampage. On the contrary, at Gettysburg we were invoking Old Glory and preserving the Union or making the world safe for democracy at the Somme or fighting totalitarianism at the Ardennes and Iwo. When you can start pointing to when Churchill and FDR were calling on God’s Righteous Fury to smite the enemies of…of wait.

Quayle said...

And it contradicts your greater point. A few hundred thousand "extremists" could not hijack the religion of one billion "moderates" without their explicit permission.

As I said, they themselves are in the midst of an internal conflict on what it means to be a Muslim. My daughter reports that many say to her that the killers aren't really Muslim because they are killing.

Don't you recognize that they have no central religious authority to definitively draw the line? Is it self evidence that the loudest and worst actors always get all the attention but may not be representative of the group.

And how does Jordanian law have anything to do with a Muslim living in Tajikistan?

Are Jordanian honor killings universally sanctioned by Muslims in Jordan, or only by a minority of Imams?

But more importantly, how is a simple humble Muslim in Bhopal supposed to counter the statement of a bomber in Casablanca? Tell me? How exactly? Does the fact that he doesn't have the ability to spew his opinions on CNN or at the New York Times mean he is giving is explicit permission for terrorism? He lives his live as he lives it and hurts no one. That should be enough for us to know.

And I gotta ask, since you've become our resident apologist, are you Muslim? What country are you posting from? Yemen?

The Republic of Texas.

I'm just not ready to write off a billion Muslims in one fell swoop because there are some, a very small minority, that are running amok and claiming that it is their religion.

They are not representative of the whole, and it is indisputable.

Fen said...

Are Jordanian honor killings universally sanctioned by Muslims in Jordan, or only by a minority of Imams?

By the Jordanian GOVERNMENT. Its in their LAW.

Article 340 of the criminal code: "A husband or a close blood relative who kills a woman caught in a situation highly suspicious of adultery will be totally exempt from sentence."

Article 98 guarantees a lighter sentence for male killers of female relatives who have committed an "act which is illicit in the eyes of the perpetrator."

Quayle said...

With all your protestations and points, you are all proving my point precisely.

You have and can articulate all the distinctions on why this or that intra-Christian war was or was not religious, or political, or to save the union or whatever.

BUT YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO GIVE ONE BILLION MUSLIMS THE SAME BREADTH AND LATITUDE TO HAVE THEIR OWN INTERNAL SIDES, CAMPS, OBJECTIVES, DESIRES, MOTIVES OR REASONS.

To you it is all one big lump of "them" and "their screwy religion."

Joe said...


I'm just not ready to write off a billion Muslims in one fell swoop because there are some, a very small minority, that are running amok and claiming that it is their religion.


Well if THE VAST MAJORITY OF MUSLIMS, told them to "Knock it off" or shot them themselves...I'd be a little more supportive of your position.

So your point is, only a few "bad" Muslims are mis-behaving, but that vast, vast 95% or more can't control those "bad" Muslims?

Occam's Razor would suggest that instead the vast, vast majority either approve of or don't wish to offend that tiny minority, making them not really very "moderate."

And I can't speak to JORDANIAN LAW, pleas it's not "JorDON" it's "JorDAN," but IF Honour killings are legally sancioned who cares how many Imams support it? It would still be LEGAL in Jordan.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Quayle,
If it was, in fact, just a "very small few," and the vast majority of Muslims actually abhorred the honor killings, sharia law, terrorism, etc., how much longer will it take the vast majority to overpower that "very small few?"

It's already been 1300+ years. Is that one of those events that is supposed to happen in 2012?

Joe said...


BUT YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO GIVE ONE BILLION MUSLIMS THE SAME BREADTH AND LATITUDE TO HAVE THEIR OWN INTERNAL SIDES, CAMPS, OBJECTIVES, DESIRES, MOTIVES OR REASONS.


This isn't difficult...1840's "Remember the Alamo"

1860's "...Of the People, by the People, and FOR the People..."

1890's "Remember the Maine...."

1917 "Remember the Rape of Belgium."

1941 "Remember Pearl Harbor"

2001 "Remember 9/11"


Usama..."ALLAHU AKHBAR!" (God is Great!)

Tell me Quayle can you spot the differences in motivation?

I think I see one.....

Hoosier Daddy said...

With all your protestations and points, you are all proving my point precisely.

Then you need some remedial reading and history.

BUT YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO GIVE ONE BILLION MUSLIMS THE SAME BREADTH AND LATITUDE TO HAVE THEIR OWN INTERNAL SIDES, CAMPS, OBJECTIVES, DESIRES, MOTIVES OR REASONS.

Ok so when the next band say, Somali gunmen take out a bushel of bystanders its not about 'driving out the infidel invaders' and creating an Islamic state its really just political disagreement with the ruling establishment.

To you it is all one big lump of "them" and "their screwy religion."

All religions are screwy. It's when that screwiness becomes homicidal I get a bit testy. But that's just me.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Don't you recognize that they have no central religious authority to definitively draw the line?

Neither do Luthrens or Baptists and I don't see them out and about blowing people up.

Perhaps you need to recognize that there is an inherent problem within that particular religion that for some odd reason isn't an issue with Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism etc. Take that cute, ubiquitous COEXIST bumpersticker and tell me which symbol has problems getting along with others.

When I see mass marches in Cairo, Amman, Ridyah and Algiers condemning jihadism then I'll start paying attention.

Joe said...


Neither do Luthrens or Baptists and I don't see them out and about blowing people up.


Yes they do it's Glenn Beck! EVERYONE knows that

Class factotum said...

Tolerance emphatically does not mean equality of belief, as it now does in the West.

That is not what tolerance means (at least to me). Tolerance means I might think your beliefs are stupid but as long as you don't bother me, I don't care what crazy ideas you have.

c3 said...

Quayle;
But do you expect a Muslim outsider to have any of a more nuanced view of the internals of the west than you all seem to have (not) of Islam?

I understand your point about perspective but lets be fair. Adolf Hitler did not public or privately, in any memo official or otherwise, declare that the Final Solution was to fulfill his or his nation's obligation under Christianity.

In distinction, many of the atrocities we've seen from the Taliban have been clearly and publically stated as done to met obligations of Islam. In a similar manner, OBL clearly feels he is fulfilling God's will.

Allah Akbar is decidedly different than Heil Hitler

c3 said...

It's been said before, but compare and contrast:

Westboro Baptist Church and Fred Phelps,..


And can we once and for all stop using a congregation of no more than 50 (per their own website) that is NOT a member of any recognized denomination as an example of "how Christians can be hateful too" when discussing radical Islam.

Joe said...


And can we once and for all stop using a congregation of no more than 50 (per their own website) that is NOT a member of any recognized denomination as an example of "how Christians can be hateful too" when discussing radical Islam.


Dood can we once and for all READ the posting for what it says!?!

NOT that Christians can be hateful too, but that when SOME Christians are, the VAST MAJORITY OF MODERATE CHRISTIANS CONDEMN THEM...in apparent contradistinction to "Moderate Muslims."

Thank you very much for your future cooperation and complete reading.

Quayle said...

Hi Hoosier, happy to take you on today, and see how I do:

Ok so when the next band say, Somali gunmen take out a bushel of bystanders its not about 'driving out the infidel invaders' and creating an Islamic state its really just political disagreement with the ruling establishment.

How do you account for all the Muslims they also kill? And with all the outcry against the Saudis as being behind wahibism (and yes they are and it is a virulent strain of thought) how do you account for the Saudis kicking OBL out and keeping a pretty close watch on Muslim Brotherhood influences?

Neither do Luthrens or Baptists and I don't see them out and about blowing people up.

Perhaps you need to recognize that there is an inherent problem within that particular religion that for some odd reason isn't an issue with Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism etc.


I recognize Islam has problems. But you have to admit that so did Christianity. Let's take Tyndale, for an example. He was imprisoned in a dungeon outside of Brussels for 1 and 1/2 years. Then he was fastened to a post, strangled, and later his body was burned at the stake. All for the horrible crime of publishing the Bible in English.

I hate the aloof co-exist bumper sticker. It is condescending at the very least.

Ankur said...

I do think it is fair to say that Christianity is further along its evolutionary path than Islam is. I don't think saying that is Islamophobic in any way. In fact, a number of my Muslim friends in from India and Pakistan would agree with that statement, so I feel comfortable making that statement.

The question then is - why are two religions who ostensibly share so much history and parallel evolution - have such divergent paths in the 20th and 21st century?

As many commentators have astutely observed above, christian-ist theocractic involvement in state were quite prevalent not so long ago (i.e. 200-300 years ago - and I use the word theocratic somewhat loosely, as defined by having religious influence on day to day laws, stuff like witch burnings, banning of homosexuality etc). Also, I recognize that for some of you 200-300 years ago might be ancient history, but from my perspective (I am a Hindu, born in India), it seems somewhat like a blink of an eye.

So, why did change come to Christian/western communities/countries and not to Islamic communities/countries? There might be a number of reasons:

1) The violence of World Wars I and II and the Atom Bomb was a jolt to the western consciousness such that people began looking at violence in general as something negative, something terrible. And that is a creditable realization. Thus, liberalization of the christian world has largely been a force for good.

2) 60-70 years ago, as most of the Islamic nations were regaining their independence, there was quite a huge push towards westernization. Recognize that despite oil wealth, there was terribly inequity in those countries. So, the people often leaned towards socialism/communism as in the case of 1950s Iran. The western response to this, in the cold war context, was an understandable desire to bolster the anti-communists, and to try to install easier to control despots. Of course, these despots were....despotic. And the next response, often, was an uprise in Islamic theocracy as a way of bringing people together to revolt against these despots. Never underestimate the power of religion to start a revolution. Running a government after the revolution is over - well, that's a different story. Basically, what I am trying to say is - in the 1950s and 60s, Islam seemed to be on a path to liberalization as well, but the cold war, and crazy amounts of oil wealth that the sheiks were raking in made that inconvenient. (I realize I am speaking in generalities here, but I am trying to convey an idea rather than write a historical treatise).

3) Another reason that I sometimes toss around - worth consideratiion maybe? - is that Winners have the space to be bigger than themselves. Islamic society (the people, not the sheiks) have been at the losing end of colonialism, the cold war, and general wealth distribution. The efficient capitalism of the west helped wealth trickle throughout the nations. The oil wealth in the middle east didn't trickle anywhere. Some of it went to infrastructure development. The rest of it went to swiss deposit boxes. As anyone well versed in economics can tell you - the most ineffective form of wealth is wealth that isn't spent. So, a set of societies that showed promise in the middle of the 20th century started sputtering and stuttering, and an inefficient economic system combined with anti colonial resentments were rich fodder for radicalization. A wealthy, comfortable population is not a radical population. Its the economy, smartypants.

4) Israel - I put this as an afterthought because I believe Israel is the lightning rod, rather than the high voltages causing the lightning in the first place. Israel is where it should be, and Israel needs to exist just as it is. But try telling that to people who have been radicalized by opportunistic mullahs.

Ankur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ankur said...

I guess I did go into a bit of a treatise there - but one thing I have discovered having lived in India (second highest muslim population in the world), in the middle east, and in the west is that when people have full bellies, television sets, good roads, air conditioning, clean water - they are much too comfortable to get TOO angry about whether someone is homosexual, or whether someone lost their virginity before getting married, or whether someone had their hijab worn the right way. You won the cold war the same way, remember? By continually demonstrating how comfortable western society was compared to russian life?

Full disclosure: I am Hindu.

Scott M said...

Quayle, have we at least gotten back to a point where WWII wasn't a religious war?

Quayle said...

"Quayle, have we at least gotten back to a point where WWII wasn't a religious war?"

Well, it was Christians fighting against Christians. We invoked God for victory, and had a day of prayer when we obtained it.

But yes, I get your point, and the usual way of looking at things in our secular society is with you.

But do you get my point as well?

Joe said...


Let's take Tyndale, for an example. He was imprisoned in a dungeon outside of Brussels for 1 and 1/2 years. Then he was fastened to a post, strangled, and later his body was burned at the stake. All for the horrible crime of publishing the Bible in English.
and this happened WHEN?

To be compared to Theo Van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or Salman Rushdie, you know who are under threat of dead or actually DEAD, in the last 20 years. You keep tryin’

Scott M said...

Well, it was Christians fighting against Christians. We invoked God for victory, and had a day of prayer when we obtained it.

But yes, I get your point, and the usual way of looking at things in our secular society is with you.

But do you get my point as well?


Ah. Passive-aggressiveness on parade. No. I don't see your point if you try to portray WWII as a religious war couched in the same context of the jihad the radical Muslims are waging against us.

WWII was a war for survival, not religious conquest.

Quayle said...

I know I've been writing in an inflammatory way, and those that know me understand that, but here are my essential points:

1. I reject the claim that Islam is a religion that inherently causes its adherents to commit violence and murder.

Let's just take one example: Saudi Air, Royal Jordanian, Emirates, EgyptAir all fly daily into the United States and Europe, and none of their pilots have flown into buildings (only hijackers) even though it would be hard to stop them if they suddenly diverted, especially the eastern approach to Chicago O'Hair.

(I'm conveniently ignoring EgyptAir flight 990 -OK so some are induced to wild acts of murder - but even there the captain clearly appeared to not be complicit with the nut-job copilot.)

(But are we sure that kind of behavior isn't merely a middle eastern camel-dagger culture thing, and not attributable to Islam itself?)

2. I reject the claim that the other Muslims (the majority) are complicit because they don't stop the violent ones.

They do try to stop the violent ones. Staying in the above vein, why do you suppose security screening exists at all international airports in the middle east. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Dubai all have security screening at the airport. It aint there to protect from western businessmen.

Quayle said...

Scott M

My understanding of passive-aggressive means using passive means to carry out an aggressive objective.

I'm not doing that. I've been plenty aggressive.

I think you mean push-pull. Yes, I am doing that.

Paddy O said...

"BUT YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO GIVE ONE BILLION MUSLIMS THE SAME BREADTH AND LATITUDE"

What's interesting is that someone can make an argument about NUANCE! but not at all perceive nuance in what are, in essence, considered the more present 'enemies'.

Your rhetorical bombast is all well and good but you miss the really key point that we're not the ones making this about religion. The issue at hand is specifically a radicalized, well-funded, militaristic, imperialistic attitude that is based on religion.

Not all events in the Middle East are this way. Our military was in the Middle East prior to 9/11 due to what were, in essence, border disputes and attempts at conquest by Saddam Hussein directed against Kuwait, and surrounding nations. Prior to this, Hussein and Iran got into a bit of a scrap, causing massive societal damage, all over a little bit of gulf access and oil control.

But now, the global terrorist movement is specifically a religious attempt to overthrow or transform secularized countries and at the same time undermine non-Muslim influence from Western nations.

In other words, it's religious because it's religious. The instigators of the global terrorism make it explicitly about religion.

Christianity certainly had its own religious wars. But the 20th century wasn't about religion, it was about politics and government. There was a clash between mutually exclusive ideologies that each sought control either through trade or through military domination.

You can't just sweep that reality away because its inconvenient for your primary goal of undermining your own political foes. Your rhetoric falls flat. Even if you use all caps.

If we were living in 17th England, you'd have a much better equivalence.

c3 said...

Joe;
NOT that Christians can be hateful too, but that when SOME Christians are, the VAST MAJORITY OF MODERATE CHRISTIANS CONDEMN THEM...in apparent contradistinction to "Moderate Muslims."


Yeah, I agree with that .

I guess I got tired of once again reading anything related to Mr. Phelps. He uses Christian words but is uniformly rejected by christianity except for his band of followers.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I see you've given the experts something to opine about.

former law student said...

If Islamic extremism is not challenged by "normal Muslims," then "normal Muslims" then "normal" is a problem, too.

I wonder how many Catholics here challenged the IRA during "The Troubles," and how many Calvinists here challenged the Ulster Volunteer Force, the Ulster Defence Association, etc.

Christians have come a long way from the Crusades, when "God Wills It" (The English for Mā šāʾ Allāh ) was our motto.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I86MRpska0M

JAL said...

Quayle -- you haven't responded:

You asked --

Are Jordanian honor killings universally sanctioned by Muslims in Jordan, or only by a minority of Imams?

It was answered a couple times.

Honor killings are legal murders or minor crimes in Jordan.


In the presentations I liked this: accepting more equality for women

Must be something like being a little pregnant?

Hoosier Daddy said...

How do you account for all the Muslims they also kill?

It's a conundrum to be sure but again, it isn't helping your argument that Islam is a 'peaceful religion.'

And with all the outcry against the Saudis as being behind wahibism (and yes they are and it is a virulent strain of thought) how do you account for the Saudis kicking OBL out and keeping a pretty close watch on Muslim Brotherhood influences?

How do I account for it? Easy. The House of Saud doesn't want to lose power. The fact that they both share the same radical belief system is irrelevant. Hitler had Rohm eliminated and the SA disbanded because it was a threat to his power despite sharing the same ideological goals.


I recognize Islam has problems. But you have to admit that so did Christianity. Let's take Tyndale, for an example. He was imprisoned in a dungeon outside of Brussels for 1 and 1/2 years. Then he was fastened to a post, strangled, and later his body was burned at the stake. All for the horrible crime of publishing the Bible in English.

I admitted way up thread that Christianity had its problems and wasn't compatible with contemporary democracy. However, its the 21st century and Tyndale was executed 500 years ago. Making these kind of equivalencies are smacks of desperation when you have to go back half a millenium to show that Christianity had its problems. Is it too much to ask for Islam to try and catch up with the rest of the major religions in terms of tolerance?

Jason said...

I wonder how many Catholics here challenged the IRA during "The Troubles," and how many Calvinists here challenged the Ulster Volunteer Force, the Ulster Defence Association, etc.

That's some world class stupid, right there. The IRA wasn't a religious organization, but a nationalist one. The IRA didn't raise money in the US from Catholics, but from Irish-Americans who happened to be Catholic. I think if you traced the money down, you wouldn't find much Italian or Mexican money in the IRA. And I doubt the Ulster Defense Force raised a red cent from Dutch Reformed churches in Iowa.

Are you really so thick you can't tell the difference between a religious conflict and a nationalist one?