June 5, 2014

On Egyptian TV, 2 women debate Islam, calmly at first...

... and it becomes a heated argument.
In a reversal of roles, the apparently liberal host [Riham Sahid] interviews the hijab-clad doctor [Noha Mahmoud Salem], but it turns into a shouting match about what “real” Muslims believe, with the host taking the Islamic hard line: Allah and not Muhummad wrote the Qur’an, sharia law should be implemented everywhere, and Allah answers all prayers. (Sahid claims that Allah would give her a million pounds if she prayed for it, which makes me wonder why she doesn’t.) It’s quite startling to hear Sahid, seemingly a modern woman clad in Western dress, espousing chopping off the hands of thieves and stoning adultresses to death (of course she doesn’t mention the male partner).

It turns out that Dr. Salem wore the hijab to hide her identity, for she says things that brand her as an apostate under sharia law....

102 comments:

Alexander said...

Why is this startling? This is what they believe, this is what they have always believed, this is what they say they believe. Those of us who oppose Muslims migrating into the west aren't just blindly racist - we recognize that their society is built on a foundation that is impossible to reconcile with our own, and we would prefer what it is they want to do over in their own part of the globe.

The fact that this shocks you, despite the enormous amount of evidence to the contrary, is in itself shocking.

You can of course find any number of individuals to point to and shout, "Not all like that!" But show me one place in the world - one place at all - where a sizable Islamic population doesn't make trouble for the non-Islamic host.

Robert Cook said...

The host is a female,Egyptian Bill O'Reilly.

Jupiter said...

It is better not to argue with women.

rhhardin said...

Islam is organized crime.

The most ruthless enforcer has the last word on doctrine.

Jane the Actuary said...

So I'm at work and I can't watch the video (but hey, I'm waiting for a file to load so I'm not just completely wasting time), but this is something that troubles me a lot about Islam. Lots of Westerners like to attach themselves to the idea that "true" Islam is tolerant.

A while back, I tried to blog on this (http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2014/05/religion-of-peace.html ) though I didn't get very far, because I started reading a book on the history of Christians' treatment of the Jews, thinking I could neatly pull together some ideas afterwards about how this compares to Islamic tolerance or lack thereof, but then was stuck with the fact that I now had a ton of information on the former, but not the latter, subject.

But I've read repeatedly that the large majority of Muslims, even in so-called "moderate" countries, when polled, e.g., by Pew, still espouse pretty "non-moderate" positions, such as punishing apostates.

What do you do with such information? Is Islam "fixable"?

Greg Hlatky said...

In the US if you mouth the right progressive line you can get away with anything else. Same idea here. So long as the host takes the Islamic hard line the Western dress is all right.

The Drill SGT said...

Religion of Peace

Can anybody doubt that?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

It's better not to argue with women.

EDH said...

Sahid is what you might call a "lipstick Islamist"?

I was hoping Noha would tear-off her veil and they'd eventually kiss.

"Yeye, catfight."

Drago said...

And voila! Along comes cookie to deflect attention away from the transparent dangers of radical islam.

Just for grins he throws in OReilly for a stab at moral equivalence.

The left simply cant bring themselves to criticize their most cherished religion: islam

The Drill SGT said...

Alexander said...
Those of us who oppose Muslims migrating into the west aren't just blindly racist


Migrating is an interesting usage.

Most folks use immigrating, but in the case of Muslims moving to the West, colonizing is a clearer term.

immigrants move to a new country and assimilate into the host culture, some faster than others, depending on both the immigrants and the host.

colonists seek to insert their culture into the host country and maintain the old country/culture values while expanding.

Muslims are colonists. It's in the Koran, Allah's final and perfect word. The House of Peace (Dar al-Islam) shall conquer the House of War (Dar al-Harb e.g. The West) by Jihad

The Crack Emcee said...

Whites believe blacks deserve to live in ghettos and have everything stolen from them.

I don't see the diff,...

Bob Boyd said...

Staged.

traditionalguy said...

The poverty of Egypt is the power behind this desperate need to have faith in allah. That's all they have to stay alive another day.

But at least under that hourly total oppression by priests of a legalistic and angry god, all men are equal. That is Islam's basic appeal: equality of total guilt and and crushing poverty. the only God allah hates everybody equally...well maybe Christians and Jews a little bit more.

Which are also Obama's two muslim goals for his re-designed America.

Muslim Obama really wants Americans to experience theses blessings of allah by re-distributing any financial assets to create poverty and at the same time surrendering all hope of a life of abundance that comes through a stable dollar and cheap electrical energy.

Michael said...

Hey, this can be fixed by boycotting hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Easy. Nice hotels to stand in front of. Fuck the people who work there.

Michael said...

Hey, this can be fixed by boycotting hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Easy. Nice hotels to stand in front of. Fuck the people who work there.

YoungHegelian said...

The interview brings up a point of Islamic theology that is not well understood in the West: the Koran, in standard Sunni theology, is not written by Mohamed under God's inspiration, as would be the analogy with Christian Scripture. The Koran was written by God before all time. The Koran is co-eternal with God. Every word, jot, & tittle in the Koran was put there by God.

This is why only the original Arabic Koran is considered scripture by Sunni** Muslims, and translations are not considered "inspired". It also makes Koranic history & hermeneutics well-nigh impossible, since, hey, who are you to argue with the eternal Words of God Himself.

** I say "Sunni" & not "Muslim" because, while both the Sunnis & the Shia may share these beliefs in the nature of the Koranic revelation, I don't know the Shia sources well enough to say.

Ann Althouse said...

@Alexander Did you watch the video? Your comment seems entirely off-point.

Ann Althouse said...

"It is better not to argue with women."

When you are a woman, every argument you have includes at least one woman.

Cog said...

The academic was thoroughly ineffective. She would have done much better to try to plant a seed of doubt to the believers watching on Egyptian TV. Instead, she simply declared her own correctness and agitated the host, who then voiced the shared outraged reactions of her audience. If the academic had provided specific examples of passages of the Koran that clearly were not written directly by almighty God--such as ideas that are confusing or simply poorly expressed--she could have used this opportunity to make a real impact.

The Drill SGT said...

Ann Althouse said...
@Alexander Did you watch the video? Your comment seems entirely off-point.


Althouse, I watched the video and I think his point is consistent with what the interviewer said.

The Koran was given from Allah, it is perfect. Sharia should be implemented everywhere. hands cut off and women stoned. And of course since Koran is the perfect word of Allah, nothing and body can change those rules.

and so that world view can't be reconciled when Muslims migrate to the West.

Aught Severn said...

"It is better not to argue with women."

When you are a woman, every argument you have includes at least one woman.


Never thought of it that way, but it opens up a somewhat interesting (unintended?) interpretation of the original statement: that women should stop arguing, period. Going a little further down that line of thinking, it's easy to see how a radical feminist could now claim that Putin's statement objectifies women. A sentiment I doubt he would lose any sleep over.

Illuninati said...

Althouse said:

"It’s quite startling to hear Sahid, seemingly a modern woman clad in Western dress, espousing chopping off the hands of thieves and stoning adultresses to death (of course she doesn’t mention the male partner)."

Actually the host is following the Koran and hadiths exactly. There is nothing in the Koran or hadiths to force a woman to cover up. Western Muslim women who cover up are deliberately flaunting their allegiance to the Muslim Ummah and announcing their refusal to assimilate in any way to Western culture. A woman who covers up is announcing that she is here to conquer not to join Western civilization.

Muslims are eager to proselytize and will gladly explain their beliefs to anyone who wishes to learn. In my experience Muslims are very courteous and open about what they believe. There is no excuse for Westerners to misunderstand Islam.

Many of the lefty leaders are very smart, some are among the most intelligent people around. Since that is the case, lefties are either intentionally ignorant of Islamic law or they know what Muslims believe and embrace it for the masses. Because some lefties are among the intellectual elite, I can not believe they act out of ignorance. I am convinced they support Islam because the totalitarian teachings in Islam resonate with the lefties own totalitarian hearts.

traditionalguy said...

OK, I watched the video. The two women were both going along to get along in a place where Sharia Law hover as a a constant threat of death and dismemberment at the hand on insane people called muslim priests, especially a threat to women.

The enlightened Doctor got her points across and the TV Show host got to keep her Show for another week by acting angry at blasphemy. A win, win for the ladies.

Free speech worked.

On CNN the moderator of a panel will also interrupt and filibuster if the sole enlightened guest starts to make points. On MSNBC no enlightened guests get on air.

Amy said...

I watched the video and Alexander's comment ties in perfectly, IMO.

I often argue with family members who parrot the Religion of Peace line.
When I point to the actions and words of so many Muslims, Muslim governments, imams and Muslim communities, they turn a blind eye, and cling instead to their cherished ideals.

They also believe that MEMRI mistranslates videos for propaganda purposes.

BDNYC said...

It surprises me that more intelligent Muslims don't completely reject Islam as a fraud for the reason mentioned by the doctor. Islam professes that Muhammad was an illiterate who received the word of God directly, and whose hand was guided to write the words that God told him. The important of believing in Muhammad's illiteracy is obvious.

When the religious text contains the literal word of God, there can be no deviating from the text. There is no room for interpretation. Everything written is a literal commandment, including the stoning of adultresses and the chopping off of thieves' hands.

It is easier to be rational and skeptical but to remain a Christian or a Jew. There is no claim to divine authorship. The books of the Bible were written by men. In the Bible there is vagueness, inconsistency, conflicting accounts of the same stories - in other words, there's a huge need for interpretation, historical and linguistic analysis, and reasoned debate. It's the sort of ambiguity you have to comfortable with as a Christian or Jew, and in fact it encourages you to be respectful of others with somewhat differing views and interpretations. Because with some things you never REALLY know the answer. Mankind is flawed.

Islam, on the other hand, provides an absolute answer from God for nearly anything, and dissent cannot be tolerated.

Curious George said...

Chopping of hands and stoning? Huh.

Wait, no free birth control?

WAR ON WOMEN!!!!

exhelodrvr1 said...

"It’s quite startling to hear Sahid ..."

Actually, no it's not, but I bet that 99+% of the people that do find it startling voted for Obama.

Hagar said...

Allah is Arabic for God, Dieu, Gud, Deus, Dios, etc.(and El in old Hebrew?, and as far as I can tell, most of what I read about the contents of shariah appears to have been fished out of the Old Testament.

Some folks need to study up on their own history. It is not that long ago that our ancestors visited similarly bloodcurdling punishments on each other for what to us today seems rather minor infractions of "the Law," never mind religious doctrine.

Alexander said...

Allah is not the Christian God, any more than I calling myself Harry Potter makes me a wizard.

Islam contents that Allah made the world perfect. As such, Christ's sacrifice for all mankind is not only false and unnecessary, it is blasphemous to Muslims to suggest it.

Quaestor said...

Is Islam "fixable"?

No religion is fixable. What a perfect sentence -- to think I almost discarded it -- it's short, to the point, and devoid of ambiguity.*

Any religion you care to name, but especially Islam, is beyond repair because the repairs must start with the foundational principles. In Islam these are known as the five pillars of faith. All of them are non-falsifiable propositions. Dispose of any one of them, such as the proposition that the insane, bloodthirsty, war-mongering, murderous text known as the Koran is the unalterable word of god, and the whole structure falls into irrelevance, and becomes merely inferior literature and absurd traditions. Fix a religion and it ceases to be a religion and becomes an outmoded mythology, valuable only as a relic of history and in the most rare cases as literature. The Koran is not the Illiad, after all.

Some weeks ago I was engaged in a dinner-table debate with some dear friends who are casual church-goers. The wife bristled when I said all religions are sources of evil, some more than others at different points in history. This lady is nominally Christian, but the religion she chose to defend was Buddhism.

"Buddhism," she said, "has never been the inspiration for bloodshed and tyranny like the Thirty Years War or what's going on now."

I told her to look into Imperial Way Buddhism, which dominated the politics of Japan and the the whole of East Asia from 1900 to 1945. I had to admit, however, that historically Buddhism has been less offensive than Islam.

*Why is my sentence perfectly unambiguous? Because it can be paraphrased two ways - both are logically valid and neither contradicts the other. One paraphrase is all religions are unfixable, which is valid and true. The other paraphrase is atheism (i.e. no religion) is fixable which is also valid and true.

tim maguire said...

Jane the Actuary said...Lots of Westerners like to attach themselves to the idea that "true" Islam is tolerant.

Those of us who are not Islamic don't get to have an opinion about "true" Islam. We can only go with what we see before us.

What I see is a Middle East roiled by violence and tribalism, unrelentingly hostile to every values of the West, education, human rights, respect for other cultures, etc. Such was not always the case, but that has been the case for centuries.

What I see in the U.S. is a large Muslim population living peacefully with the larger non-Muslim population. They desire to be, and usually are, upstanding members of their communities, but infuriatingly uninterested in opposing the violence done in the name of their religion.

When it comes to moderate Muslims, there's the rub as I see it. Islamic Fundamentalism is engaged in a battle over what is true Islam, but it's a battle in which you and I are only bystanders. This fight belongs to the moderate Muslims, who, with a few courageous exceptions, are failing miserably to hold up their side of the fight.

Illuninati said...

Hagar said...

"Allah is Arabic for God, Dieu, Gud, Deus, Dios, etc.(and El in old Hebrew?, and as far as I can tell, most of what I read about the contents of shariah appears to have been fished out of the Old Testament."

Hagar there are major differences between the Old Testament and the Koran. Perhaps you need to read both of them again.

Some folks need to study up on their own history. It is not that long ago that our ancestors visited similarly bloodcurdling punishments on each other for what to us today seems rather minor infractions of "the Law," never mind religious doctrine.

What's your point, that there is no difference between Islam and Christianity or Judaism? That answer might be plausible for someone who thinks all religions are fables and therefore doesn't concern himself/herself with the actual contents of the holy books.

Jason said...

"The only people we hate more than the Romans is the f***ing "Judean Peoples' Front."

Alexander said...

You see that now, because there are so few of them. If you go to parts of Michigan, you will see Islam going one step further.

Then cross the ocean, and go to the bonlieus in France, and you will see it taken quite a bit further than that. You can see the same thing in London, and in the north.

Grow a still more, and you get nonsense like you see in India. Still further and you reach the Islamic paradise of Albania.

They will live in peace... until they no longer are forced to do so. Which is exactly what they've been promising to do ever since the time of Mohammed.

You can't blame people for following through on exactly what they've promised. And frankly, I say they have every right to arrange whatever social contract they wish to live under. But if we don't want to live under it, the only solution is not to let them in. As the Arab proverb goes, let the camel get his nose in the tent, and the rest of the camel will follow.

Ann acts surprised that an educated, professional, woman could hold the standard positions in Islam: she, like many others, have denied or forgotten everything Europe learned over a millenia (before throwing away) about how Islam works. It's not an oppressed people who if only they were free would support bikinis and pride parades; it's a people who are very serious (and more so the peasant class than the aristocracy) about what they consider the decree of Allah.

Live and let live - fine. But our own elite, under such buzzwords of tolerance and inclusiveness, are creating a situation where open, absolute conflict are inevitable.

Crack, go fuck yourself. If white people were half as bad as you like to mouth off they are, you'd long be either dead in a gutter or have fled to Nairobi. You are quite literally the worst possible caricature for race relations and any sympathy towards the historical record. We all think you're a monkey and it has nothing to do with the color of your skin; but the way you beat your chest, bellow incoherently regardless of the topic, and sling your feces all over the room without any rhyme or reason.

Quaestor said...

Althouse wrote: @Alexander Did you watch the video? Your comment seems entirely off-point.

On the contrary, Alexander's comment was entirely on-point, assuming the point is non-trival.

I watched that clip weeks ago, and what struck me was the fact that the Riham Said, an unveiled, apparently westernized woman -- the very picture of the non-threatening non-bigoted moderate Muslim the apologists for Islam hope to paint -- holds religious opinions the most foam-flecked kaftaned mullah could hardly fault, especially about Sharia, the tenet of Islam most deadly to liberal democracy. This video, which Bob Boyd dismisses without evidence as "staged," is devastating to the notion that a liberal democracy can endure Islam in its midst.

So you think Alexander's comment is off-point, do you? Perhaps you could explain what the real point is, some of us are evidently slow on the uptake.

Don M said...

Mohamet did not write the Koran guided by Allah. it was written after his death, in the time of the third Caliph. The 4th Caliph, Mohamet's son-in-law, had his own records of Mohamet's teachings, and did not use the 3rd Caliph's record of them. After the 4th Caliph, alternate records were ruthlessly suppressed.

The Koran was written by a clerk, from testimony. The likely purpose was to justify the islamic invasions that had already occurred.

Strelnikov said...

"It’s quite startling to hear Sahid, seemingly a modern woman clad in Western dress, espousing chopping off the hands of thieves and stoning adultresses to death (of course she doesn’t mention the male partner)."

Why this continues to surprise people, I do not know.

St. George said...

91 percent of Egyptian women have suffered FGM, female genital mutilation, according to UNICEF.

As for Islamic theology, there's reason to think that a military political state arose in the Arabian peninsula that then added on theological underpinnings based on peculiar interpretations of Christian and Jewish theology. For more, read "Did Muhammad Exist?" by Robert Spencer

Hagar said...

Allah is indeed the God of the Jews and the Christians, and Islam agrees that Moses and Christ were indeed great prophets, just not as great as the one true and greatest prophet of them all, Mohammed.

And there are any number of "fundamentalist" Christians who will insist that every word of the Bible - especially the King James Version - is absolutely true and infallible; the "inconsistencies," etc. are all in your head, and not having found salvation, you just do not understand.

Steven said...

Is Islam "fixable"?

No.

See, Aquinas and Maimonides became tradition-hallowed orthodoxy centuries ago. So the validity of logic and the idea that one could examine facts about the natural world to understand God became Catholic and Jewish religious dogmas. For all that faith and reason have come to be perceived as opposites, Western religion is too steeped in reason to reject it outright without rejecting itself.

Had Islam (like Aquinas and Maimonides) followed the lead of Ibn Roschd (Averroes) in the 12th Century, then it might well have been "fixed" along with Christianity and Judaism, or at least fixable now. But Islam rejected Ibn Roschd as a heretic and burned his books then. Now that the incompatibility of faith and reason seems to have been proven by the death of religious fervor in the West, it's going to be impossible to make Islam accept the validity of human reason.

And without accepting reasoned argument as valid in discussions of religion, how do you change anything? The moment someone starts arguing that it's unreasonable to kill apostates, he's identifying himself as an outsider or an apostate. The only appeal is to the words of the Koran and the Hadiths, and they say put the apostates to death.

Ironclad said...

You saw the true face of a "believer" there when the announcer said that if only sharia was implemented, there would be no crime or bad things. Based on what I saw in Saudi Arabia (which takes these things much more seriously) the opposite is true - you breed people that do everything they can to break the rules in private, while appearing pious in public. The key thing is that religion is a whip in those places that is used to keep people in line - and the rulers in power (in Islam, it is a sin to criticize the leader)

The Koran is a total crib work - all of the liturgical terms in it are direct cognates of Aramaic religious words, even "Koran" means a religious guide synopsis. Arabic didn't have any of these words before - even "Mohammed" was a unusual name then - it means "praised one". A large portion of the text in Arabic is virtually untranslatable too - unless you use the Aramaic cognate of the word in question. But even saying that is heresy of the highest order - the Koran was supposed to have been reveled in Arabic alone. (In reality it wasn't even written down until long after "Mohammed" died.

The historical ignorance of the Arabs about their own religion is astronomical. But any attempt to look at that usually ends in death or threats to the researcher - look at the BBC series on the origins that got cancelled quickly. The narrator, a muslim convert, had the integrity to say that there is virtually no evidence that Mohammed even existed and that writing and inscriptions of the time don't mention him.

Islam is the most perfect self replicating religion ever conceived - like the Borg, it only seeks to conquer and grow. And it destroys whatever was good where it takes over.

Anonymous said...

"It’s quite startling to hear Sahid, seemingly a modern woman clad in Western dress, espousing chopping off the hands of thieves and stoning adultresses to death (of course she doesn’t mention the male partner)."

What is quit startling is that the so called progressives moral posers, who find fault in anything in the west, are in love with islam.
I find it quit startling that there is such an enormous disconnect between what the "good-thinkers" claim to be, and what they actually support.

Zedediah Grimm said...

Althouse: @Alexander Did you watch the video? Your comment seems entirely off-point.

Crack: Whites believe blacks deserve to live in ghettos and have everything stolen from them.

I don't see the diff,...

Zed: ???????????????????

SJ said...

The cultures of European Christianity went through a phase of violent internecine war after the Reformation. Then those cultures went through parts of an "Enlightenment", that changed the many cultural attitudes about religion.

One significant effect of this was that most branches of Christianity now frown on conversion by force. Laws and policies are set up to ge generally-tolerant of many variations of most religions.

This attitude is also held by many Agnostics, Secular-humanists, and Atheists.

The world of Islam never went through that transition. It has always included some approval of conversion-by-force, and use of government power to push a specific moral code.

When the Islamic Caliphate was a minority religion ruling a newly-conquered empire, the Muslim rulers were somewhat tolerant of the conquered religious majority.

When the culture of the Caliphate was wealthy, there was lots of room for the Muslims to congratulate themselves for success, and give some tolerance to the subject dhimmis.

However, the forces of culture and government eroded those other religions and replaced them with Islam.

In the 20th Century, the standard dress for women went from face-and-head-exposed to the hijab. Probably in concert with the realization in the Islamic world that they were no long culturally or economically dominant.

Perhaps they think that returning to that tradition is part of gaining Allah's favor, and becoming dominant again. Or perhaps the two things are unrelated.

Anyway, the Islamic world is foreign to Americans, because it has had no cultural equivalent to the Enlightenment era as experienced in Europe and North America.

Anonymous said...

"total oppression by priests"
"insane people called muslim priests"

They are called "imam"s, dear anti-cc bigot.

Peter said...

"show me one place in the world - one place at all - where a sizable Islamic population doesn't make trouble for the non-Islamic host.

"Islam has bloody borders" -- Samuel P Huntington

It is easier to live with bloody external borders than bloody internal ones.

Anglelyne said...

Hagar: Some folks need to study up on their own history.

Maybe if you identified the "some folks" comments you're responding to, your point(s?) would be clearer. As it stands, I'm not seeing anything that indicates that posters thus far must surely be less studied-up on their own history than Hagar.

Allah is Arabic for God, Dieu, Gud, Deus, Dios, etc.(and El in old Hebrew?,...

Oh, I take that back. I see I underestimated the depth of your erudition in comparative religion, at least.

Michael said...

Crack:

"Whites believe blacks deserve to live in ghettos and have everything stolen from them.

I don't see the diff,…"

You probably don't. You have descended to buffoonery, to an entirely new level of the ridiculous. You could use some help from the mental health community, dude.

Anglelyne said...

Drago: And voila! Along comes cookie to deflect attention away from the transparent dangers of radical islam.

Just for grins he throws in OReilly for a stab at moral equivalence.


I must have been in charitable mood when I skimmed past that comment. I took "[t]he host is a female,Egyptian Bill O'Reilly" as "hey, how about that - they've got hysterical braying obnoxious talk show hosts who pander to morons, just like us!"

But I see how it could be taken as "People who want to impose shari'a are no different than Bill O'Reilly!" It is Cookie, after all.

Alex said...

Religion in a nutshell. Christians are the same except for the power to implement their hideous ideas.

Robert Cook said...

And voila! Along comes cookie to deflect attention away from the transparent dangers of radical islam.

"Just for grins he throws in OReilly for a stab at moral equivalence."


As usual, Drago, you don't read for comprehension. (Perhaps a remedial reading class is in order?)

I was alluding to and making a comparison with the host's dismissing the guest from the interview--telling her to leave and take her microphone off outside--with one of O'Reilly's favorite gimmicks: shutting down guests and cutting their mics. (Also, this host's yahoo-like point of view--whether genuine or an act--is another point of similarity with Mr. Bill.)

You're so busy looking for the devious meaning you're blind to the obvious.

Quaestor said...

Althouse wrote: It’s quite startling to hear Sahid, seemingly a modern woman clad in Western dress, espousing chopping off the hands of thieves and stoning adultresses to death.

You don't get it, do you? Being a law professor may have given you a blinkered concept of law that makes it difficult to comprehend Sharia. Bad as they are the problem with Sharia is not the barbaric punishments or the misogyny. The problem is this: Sharia is divinely decreed. Islam is totally hostile to the proposition that Man belongs to himself, and is both able and entitled to create and dissolve the authority that governs his life and his transactions with his fellow beings. The governing principle of Islam is slavery. The infidel and all females are the slaves of the Muslims, and the Muslims are in turn the slaves of Allah. In Islam the creature Man is no more entitled to self-government than is any captive beast. Get this clear in your brain and nothing like this video will surprise you.

A few Islamic societies have attempted secular democracy, notably post-caliphate Turkey, Pakistan under Benazir Bhutto, and Lebanon. All are either utter failures or trending that way. The problem is democracies are fatally vulnerable to the machinations of violent factions. If history teaches any lessons it is that secularism can survive in a Muslim culture only when enforced by dictatorial authority willing to use whatever means necessary to survive in power.

Benazir's father Ali Bhutto kept Pakistan a relatively open society for many years by use of his internal security forces against fundamentalist preachers. When his daughter tried to have a secular society without the thuggery her party got booted from power in the polls, and then she got booted from this world by the Islamists.

Turkey is nominally a democracy, but it's a sausage democracy; the subject is distasteful to examine too closely. Turkey is only a coup away from institutional Sharia, which is why the civil war in Syria is so important, in spite of the indifference of the Obama administration. If Bashir Assad is overthrown the winner will be Al Qaeda. Once they have converted Syria into an Islamic state, Iraq and Turkey will fall to the salafists as well. As for Lebanon, the only free people there are those who defend their freedom with superior firepower, the secular civil authority being powerless to defend its own citizens against the Party of God.

Sorry for the pedantic tone, but everybody need a schooling now and then. BTW the woman in the video is Rahim Said, not Sahid.

Quaestor said...

Cookie wrote: I was alluding to and making a comparison with the host's dismissing the guest from the interview--telling her to leave and take her microphone off outside--with one of O'Reilly's favorite gimmicks: shutting down guests and cutting their mics.

Are you able to site an example of this that we may all share? Or are you just repeating a comforting "progressive" myth.

(I always put that word within quotes because the inevitable result of "progressives" in power is regress.)

Quaestor said...

Cookie wrote: You're so busy looking for the devious meaning you're blind to the obvious.

Self flattery, Cookie, for shame. (Cheap blandishments are better than none, eh?)

Don't look now, but after Crack and Garage you are the least subtle and most obvious commenter here.

Original Mike said...

I don't think I'll be downloading the MEMRI App anytime soon.

Drago said...

Cookie: "You're so busy looking for the devious meaning you're blind to the obvious."

LOL

Rich indeed coming from our very own "October Surprise" and 9-11 Truther!

Now do prattle on.

It's always fun to see what the unenlightened yet self-appointed intellectual superiors are thinking.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Sexy

Drago said...

Quaestor: "Don't look now, but after Crack and Garage you are the least subtle and most obvious commenter here."

Ouch!

Cookie lacking in "subtlety"?

Them's fighting words to a "reality-based" and "nuanced, able to see every facet of an issue" lefty.

Quaestor said...

I don't think I'll be downloading the MEMRI App anytime soon.

Why is that, Mike? Is it too depressing, or do you doubt the evidence of your eyes and ears?

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse said..."

That was a quote, not me.

Ann Althouse said...

"You saw the true face of a "believer" there when the announcer said that if only sharia was implemented, there would be no crime or bad things. "

To me, it sounds like a pragmatist.

A true believer would say this is what we must do because God said we must.

The good-results argument works on disbelievers.

It's just a very hard line deterrence position.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse wrote: It’s quite startling to hear Sahid, seemingly a modern woman clad in Western dress, espousing chopping off the hands of thieves and stoning adultresses to death."

No I didn't write that.

Quit being "startled" by my saying something I haven't said.

Quaestor said...

The good-results argument works on disbelievers.

Malarkey.

Disbelievers fall into one of three camps: 1) Believers in another divine mandate. 2) Skeptics. 3) Idiots.

Those in Camp One will reject the good results argument because they already true believers of another "this is what we must do because god said so" system and therefore must reject the "good results" argument.

Those in Camp Two need much more than a good-results argument to be persuaded since everybody peddling a new legislation, a new social principle, a new laundry product, what have you, makes the "good results" claim, therefore the claim itself is not persuasive.

Those in the Idiot's camp will do what idiots do.

Anonymous said...

In my limited experience, this is a daring position for the veiled Dr. Noha to take.

A lot of people in the West don't get that the non-negotiable aspect of Islamic laws. It's not up to you if you want to drink, sleep around or for the ladies, don a bikini. The punishments can be severe. No Enlightenment and individual choice there to find your own relationship with God or disbelieve.

Men and women are usually separated in public and in the mosque very early on.

The words of the Prophet are divine in themselves, occupying a kind of transcendent space, which is why there's such outrage at any insulting the Prophet at all.

There's a serious honor based-system going on and warrior ethos in Islam as well, which I'm guessing has desert tribal roots. Belief is non-negotiable.

Civic life in the public square revolves around the mosque and the Koran, the rituals and calls to prayer, the imams and wisest in the traditions they are interpreting. They often get 'em young and keep 'em there. There's no central authority like Rome.

You can see some of the nomadic, tribal cultural roots beneath in the emphasis on a woman's chastity and purity (a rose in the desert), the harsh punishments and the way in which Islam spreads, and the dramatic rhetoric.

There's been a large wave of Islamic resurgence and sentiment these past generations, partly due to the relative failure of the Muslim world to the West, the high birth-rates, Islamist and radical edges, the anti-modern and anti-Western impulses.

There's a lot to respect and admire in Islam, a lot of wisdom and practical understanding and a lot from which to recoil.

A lot, including basket-case economies, tribal and autocratic leadership and backwards societies.

The multiculturalists and Left-liberal humanists are missing too much with their claim to universal human rights. They are mostly fighting for power over Western culture and institutions to enshrine what many see as universal secular ideals, just as traditionalists, social and religious conservatives, are among those who argue for revelation over reason, or at least against the supremacy of reason, rationalism, scientism and the ideologies that come with it.

There's also a long history, with the West, a lot of it inglorious on both sides, and it's going to go on for a lot longer.

My two cents. Stay tuned.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...
"You saw the true face of a "believer" there when the announcer said that if only sharia was implemented, there would be no crime or bad things. "
To me, it sounds like a pragmatist.
A true believer would say this is what we must do because God said we must.
The good-results argument works on disbelievers.
It's just a very hard line deterrence position.


That's a pretty credulous read, Professor--do you think only non-true-believers can use instrumental arguments? I doubt you extend that generous-verging-on-naive point of view to most arguments. For example, when people opposed to, say, gay marriage focus mainly on claims that gay marriage will be bad for children, do you accept that a concern for the wellbeing of minors is their actual guiding priciple and on that basis accord the argument respect? Or instead do you surmise that arguments of that kind might be used to put a good face on irrational bigotry, hatred, etc, and dismiss them as cover for bigots you aren't under any obligation to respect?

Quaestor said...

Althouse wrote: Quit being "startled" by my saying something I haven't said.

Fair enough, however you did lift a whole paragraph and then some from Jerry Coyne's article without clear attribution, nor with any original commentary of your own. (Yes, I know you use the indented form, but without text of your own for the quoted text to be indent from, it's hard to tell.)

If one of your students did that you'd be miffed, I think.

That clip is old news to most of us so the link wasn't tempting. And since you didn't offer critique of your own can we be faulted for assuming you found nothing to criticize? Since you jumped on Alexander for being "off-point" one assumes you had a made point. Sorry for the error.

The point was made by Dr. Coyne, and Alexander's reply was simply amplification, I think, and hardly off-point. Coyne's point is that the skepticism of Dr. Salem makes "her seem only a hairsbreadth away from being an atheist," and that her kind of fearless rationality is the only means by which Islam can be a "religion of peace." Coyne, for the record is a Roman Catholic, and not an atheist. However, Islam doesn't permit any deviation (ergo the bloody history of Shi'ites living amidst Sunnis) so Salem might as well be an atheist -- it's the old bull in the ring or steer in the slaughterhouse dilemma.

Personally, my reading of Islam makes me much less hopeful than Dr. Coyne. Islam punishes reason because it cannot endure reason.

I think Professor Coyne would appreciate a by-name attribution on your site. Something like Jerry A. Coyne wrote: (make that the link)
That would prevent idiots like me from flogging the wrong back.

Steven said...

Religion in a nutshell. Christians are the same except for the power to implement their hideous ideas.

No, they aren't, or else when they had the power the Christians would have strangled the tolerance that allowed the West to flourish. Islam (for example) has no true equivalent of Saint Thomas Aquinas declaring that secular rulers should allow legal prostitution in their cities even though whoring is so thoroughly denounced by the Bible.

Ann Althouse said...

The cite is the link. Standard form. Trying to portray that as failure to attribute is as lame as your resistance to apologizing for your own mistake.

Quaestor said...

Your failure to attribute is pretty lame too, Prof.

Ann Althouse said...

@HoodlumDoodlum You are making a logic error.

I said the statement was not a statement that demonstrates belief, as someone else had asserted.

I did not say the statement was inconsistent with belief.

The Crack Emcee said...

Quaestor,

"This video,...is devastating to the notion that a liberal democracy can endure Islam in its midst."

Yeah, it's a reminder alright - of why 97% of blacks won't vote with whites.

Sitting there, looking all modern and shit, but scratch the surface and out comes the craziest eugenics-based nonsense the world has ever heard - with brutal penalties if you don't go along with it, or are all those prisons packed to the gills just a mistake? No - because whites don't make mistakes. You're no more moved by evidence than this woman. Ta-Nahisi Coates can scream "We have the maps" all day long and you can't even fake interest, so who are you questioning? What did Alexander say?

"This is what they believe, this is what they have always believed, this is what they say they believe."

It's called white supremacy.

I don't know if the two sides are evenly matched or not but POPCORN!

Alexander said...

Ms. Althouse, if I may then:

What, exactly, was it about my initial comment that you thought was entirely off-point?

Robert Cook said...

"Don't look now, but after Crack and Garage you are the least subtle and most obvious commenter here."

Hahahahaha!

I wasn't being subtle; but apparently too subtle for Drago!

Tarrou said...

There is, it should be noted, a "moderate" muslim sector. However, it is not the center majority of a political moderate group. Rather, what we think of in the West as "moderate" muslims are the tail tenth of a percent of the most liberal theologically. The vast, overwhelming, >98% in most muslim nations majority believes in executing apostates, stoning women for being rape victims, and in the moral rightness of banging six year old girls. This is because this is the plain, true meaning of their holy book. And unlike christians, who wouldn't dream of following more than a page or two total out of the bible, they actually believe the whole thing.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

@Ann Althouse: I was addressing your point that the statement sounded like one of a pragmatist and not of a true believer. My point is that true believers can intentionally adopt pragmatic arguments to advance their causes.

Ann Althouse said...

@hoodlum

Look at everything you wrote, such as calling me credulous.

That is what I'm saying is a logical error. Your more recent comment scrubs out the error and does so by not disagreeing with me. Is that your new position?

Ann Althouse said...

@Alexander You seemed to be airing generic dislike of Islam, not addressing the interesting dynamic between the two women in the video. I pushed back because I thought it was a bad beginning to the thread, which in fact did proceed to a lot of low-level Islamophobia.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

@Ann Alehouse:

When you say "a true believer would say" x and also say this speaker said not-x I took you to imply that on that basis you did not categorize the speaker as a true believer. I called that a credulous interpretation since it didn't account for the possibility of a true believer using the same type of argument a non-true believer would.

If you were only pointing out that the particular statement was a pragmatic one and were not using that as evidence that the speaker is not in fact a true believer then we may agree--I pointed out that one should acknowledge the rhetorical strategies used (by true believers) and not accept a speaker as a non-tb only on the basis of the form of argument they use at the time (for a given audience).

Possibly I misinterpreted what you meant by "sounds like a pragmatist." If you are saying only that the statement is made in the way a pragmatist would and are not saying that fact makes the person a non-true believer (or more likely to actually be a pragmatist than a tb) then we agree.
If that was a misinterpretation it was likely driven by the strength of your sentence "A true believer would..." as this seemed to indicate a true believer would not argue in that way (when my contention is a tb would likely use arguments in both forms precisely because as you say one form is more likely to be more persuasive to a different (non-tb) audience).
In other words I took you to mean both that the statement wasn't one of belief and that since a true believer wouldn't have made the statement (would have argued in a different way) then the speaker was not a true believer. If you were only saying the former then we do not disagree.

Alexander said...

I must then respectfully disagree, on two points:

1) I think it's highly relevant that a well educated, professional female unabashedly holds such a view of Islam. As has been stated elsewhere in the thread, the general view pushed by the talking heads is that Islam is a moderate religion and that the 'extreme' elements are the result of ignorance, poverty, anger at the lack of opportunity, and propaganda. This is not the case and has never been the case: this is fundamental philosophy of Islam. If every male Muslim over the age of 10 were to disappear tomorrow, one generation from now the culture would be exactly the same as it is today, because that is how the women would raise their children. This is not something that can be 'fixed' (and isn't that, really, the real racism... fixing someone else's culture?) Much better to draw a line and insist both sides stick to their own.

2) I have no Islamaphobia. I have no qualm with individuals practicing it, and subscribing to its tenants as a way of life. It is perfectly fine for the denizens of Saudi Arabia or Iran or Egypt to live however they like, and we ought to leave them to it. However, it is not wrong to say that I do not wish to be subjected to it myself, and to note that any sizable Islamic influence within a country forces the issue of either eliminating the Islamic presence or submitting to Shariah. The historical record supports this statement. It is unfair and untrue to simply dismiss these concerns as irrational fear or hatred of Islam. I simply have no desire to see the physical artifacts of my own culture and history blown up - as we see in South Asia, have large parts of my country inaccessible to me as we are now seeing in cities across Europe, be reduced to a dhimmi, as is the case in the Levant, or simply wiped out, as in the Darfur.

Nothing irrational about that.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

@Ann Althouse:
I think you took me to be affirming the consequent if the argument was in the form:

Persons who argue for sharia because god wants it are true believers
This person does not argue for sharia on the basis of god wanting it
Therefore this person is not a true believer

I agree that would be a logical error.
I
My initial comment was taking exception to what I thought was your first premise in the example (namely that true believers would only argue for sharia on that basis). If that was not in fact your position I withdraw my accusation of credulousness!

jr565 said...

Crack Emcee wrote:
Yeah, it's a reminder alright - of why 97% of blacks won't vote with whites.

um! last I heard dems are largely white. Thus, whether you vote republican or democrat you're going to be voting with the whities...

Illuninati said...

" I pushed back because I thought it was a bad beginning to the thread, which in fact did proceed to a lot of low-level Islamophobia."

Thank-you for the clarification. Incidentally the term Islamophobia is a tell.

Sorry.

Ann Althouse said...

@Hoodlum

I was pointing out the incorrectness of thinking that a particular statement was what true belief sounds like, and this is a very important point about religion to me.

If someone wants to say: This is the voice of true religion; this is what sincere belief sounds like — I take notice and ask whether that is indeed the case.

In this case, I think the TV host felt threatened and desperately mouthed statements she wanted to establish, statements that are key to the religion, most notably that God dictated the Koran to Muhammad.

The other woman used a questioning technique that is easy and familiar: Do you really believe God would say [insert various drastic things found in the Koran]? (The same technique is used against Bible believers: Do you really think God cares if you eat shrimp?!]

What I thought was revealing was the pragmatic argument, the very argument that you saw as reflecting belief. She's trying to answer the question and salvage the most unbelievable parts, e.g. the hand-cutting-off business, by giving a reason why a decent, sensible God might lay down that law.

Frankly, I don't see a religious extremist popping out. I see a woman who knows her limitations in an un-free society.

Which brings me back to the part I quoted in the post: I don't like much of that. It does not represent my point of view. I only quoted it to provide some context so that people might watch the video.

Ann Althouse said...

Let me be clear: I am pervasively skeptical that people actually believe the religion they profess to believe.

Reading the Gospels, I see Jesus as challenging people about their beliefs, perceiving that they do not truly believe, and holding them to a much higher standard of what real belief is.

When I look at what purportedly religious people say and do, I question whether they are what they claim to be. Religion is used to serve human interests on earth, and all of that is pragmatic and social.

Show me the true believer. What would the true believer do and say?

Illuninati said...

Althouse said:

"What I thought was revealing was the pragmatic argument, the very argument that you saw as reflecting belief. She's trying to answer the question and salvage the most unbelievable parts, e.g. the hand-cutting-off business, by giving a reason why a decent, sensible God might lay down that law.

Frankly, I don't see a religious extremist popping out. I see a woman who knows her limitations in an un-free society."

I agree, she is not a religious extremist. She is just a standard devout Muslim affirming what devout all devout Muslims must believe. Other than that the woman was not wearing a hijab what else is there in the video to convince anyone that she was just pretending to believe those things?

In my studies, I have seen nothing in the Koran or Hadiths which command the hijab or burka. If anyone thinks I'm wrong I welcome them to produce the texts to support their contention. Wearing those things are cultural accoutrements not a religious duty. Therefore, the fact that a woman is not dressed in a hijab or a burka says nothing about her devotion to Islam or about her commitment to the inerrancy of the Koran.

I wonder why Westerners have so much trouble taking Muslims at their word? Is it a sign of Western condescension in which they don't think that anyone with intelligence would be so ignorant to believe those things? But couldn't Muslims turn around and argue that Westerners are the ones who are ignorant because they don't believe? Indeed, they do.



Illuninati said...

Althouse said:

"When I look at what purportedly religious people say and do, I question whether they are what they claim to be. Religion is used to serve human interests on earth, and all of that is pragmatic and social.

Show me the true believer. What would the true believer do and say?"

When someone is willing to blow himself/herself up for his/her faith either that person must have received intense social pressure which makes his/her life unlivable - something which apparently happens with female suicide bombers quite frequently - or if they are not coerced they must really really believe. So there is an example of someone who is a true believer - suicide bombers. Of course that is just an extreme example. Many people die in jihad who believe just as intensely.

I asked a Muslim once how Muslims handled atheists in their group. He told me that as long as the atheist didn't try to share his unbeliefs he was OK but if he began to undermine Islam he would rightfully be executed as a traitor. In that sense Islam is indeed a "pragmatic and social" arrangement. The fact that it includes loyalty to the ummah shows that it is indeed a "pragmatic and social" group but that fact does not in any sense indicate that most Muslims doubt their religion.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

@Ann Althouse:

I understand your view, thank you for the dialog.

I think we may still disagree on what a true believer might say/sound like. To me there is a difference between an extremist or true believer who isn't interested in convincing others/winning converts and one who is actively trying to persuade (including persuading non-believers). If by true believer you mean someone in the former category, who wants to impose their viewpoint only by force and not try to persuade others, then we agree a true believer wouldn't be likely to argue along pragmatic lines. If you think (as I do) that even true believers might try to persuade non-believers then the fact that somoene used a pragmatic argument wouldn't necessarily mean they aren't a tb.

When you say the pragmatic argument is the very argument that you saw as reflecting belief that's not quite right--my point was that it doesn't preclude true believer status/doesn't rule out the person actually being a (disguised?) true beliver. Just on the basis of the speaker framing their arguement in that way I wouldn't rule out the person still being a true believer. But I understand your point; we may disagree on the definition of true believer and/or on how a true believer would act.

Ann Althouse said...

"When someone is willing to blow himself/herself up for his/her faith either that person must have received intense social pressure which makes his/her life unlivable - something which apparently happens with female suicide bombers quite frequently - or if they are not coerced they must really really believe. So there is an example of someone who is a true believer - suicide bombers. Of course that is just an extreme example. Many people die in jihad who believe just as intensely."

Ridiculous! You yourself admitted that it's easy to see the nonreligious basis for being a suicide bomber. I would add that it's much harder to see this behavior as genuinely religious. People commit suicide all the time, and it's mostly an indication that they DON'T believe God will judge them in the afterlife. You're taking a big chance that you'll go to hell (if you believe in hell) by killing civilians as you kill yourself. If you really believed, you wouldn't do it. These are hopeless people who are ready to check out, or they conceive of themselves as military combatants in a war they support, or they are brainwashed by others. True belief isn't the result of brainwashing, but the result of a free mind, thinking and feeling.

"I asked a Muslim once how Muslims handled atheists in their group. He told me that as long as the atheist didn't try to share his unbeliefs he was OK but if he began to undermine Islam he would rightfully be executed as a traitor. In that sense Islam is indeed a "pragmatic and social" arrangement. The fact that it includes loyalty to the ummah shows that it is indeed a "pragmatic and social" group but that fact does not in any sense indicate that most Muslims doubt their religion."

Outward professions of belief without belief in the metaphysical substance and belief in the worldly value of the outward adherence to the religion do not constitute true belief in religion as I have defined it in what I am saying. Much purported religious belief comes in this form. It's hardly something special about Muslims.

My understanding of what religion is and the importance of genuine belief that occurs within a free human mind is informed by my experience with Christianity (including rereading the Gospels many times and memorizing the Sermon on the Mount), but many people who identify as Christians do not meet the standards expressed by Jesus.

I think the old hymn, sung in church: "Lord, I want to be a Christian, in my heart…" You could be going to church as still aware that you fall short. The outward manifestations are insufficient, and participating respectfully in the culture of a religion without true belief is extremely common, which is why that hymn is profound and moving.

Illuninati said...

Althouse said:

" People commit suicide all the time, and it's mostly an indication that they DON'T believe God will judge them in the afterlife. You're taking a big chance that you'll go to hell (if you believe in hell) by killing civilians as you kill yourself. If you really believed, you wouldn't do it."

I appreciate Ms. Althouse for helping me to better understand the nonchalance of Western intellectuals when confronted with Islam. I tend to attribute that nonchalance to a common lust for power which is certainly in play among the left but some of the nonchalance arises because many Westerners just don't understand where Muslims are coming from.


The chasm between Islamic culture and Western culture is so large that it seems many Westerners have difficulty viewing the world from a Muslim perspective. Even after intense theological discussions with a Muslim for about a year I still don't presume to fully understand their culture. To begin with Muslims are not raised with a skeptical attitude towards their religion like Westerners are.

What is true from the Judeo-Christian culture is often not true in Islamic culture and indeed it is often the direct opposite. Adjusting to Muslim culture is somewhat like learning to drive in English territory where everyone drives on the left side of the road. The familiar reflexes are often wrong and can lead to fatal mistakes.

Because suicide bombers do not come from the Judeo-Christian culture they do not necessarily fear going to hell. In Islamic culture when someone dies in jihad killing kaffirs he/she is guaranteed a place in paradise. In fact the best way to avoid hell and be guaranteed paradise is to die in jihad since otherwise Muslims don't have assurance of salvation. Everlasting hell is a powerful incentive. The only issue for a devout Muslim is whether suicide bombers qualify for instant salvation in the same way as other jihadists. I don't believe the Koran or Hadiths address that issue directly. I know that there are fatwas which do grant suicide bombers who die in legitimate jihad automatic entrance to paradise but I'm not sure where the majority of Islamic scholars stand. I need to research that topic.

Another question is whether people like Ben Laden believe that stuff or if they are manipulating gullible members of their own religion? That is hard to know for sure. People like Mohammad Atta, people who are well educated by Western standards, do give every appearance that they believe.

Gahrie said...

Althouse:

Your fundamental mistake is judging the actions and beliefs of Muslims based on the actions and beliefs of Christians.

Strelnikov said...

" a lot of low-level Islamophobia."

I do not fear Islam, I despise it.

I despise it for it's slavish adherence to it's core beliefs.

I despise it for sponsoring and condoning the murder of innocent women and children for perceived slights to its "prophet".

I despise it for its treatment of woman as chattel.

I despise it for summarily executing gays for their mere existence.

I despise it for its official hatred and opposition to Western Civilization and the Judeo/Christian Ethic that underlies it.

I despise it for its aggressive need to take over the world and force submission to it.

Do not call me a an "Islamaphobe".

Gahrie said...

People commit suicide all the time, and it's mostly an indication that they DON'T believe God will judge them in the afterlife. You're taking a big chance that you'll go to hell (if you believe in hell) by killing civilians as you kill yourself. If you really believed, you wouldn't do it.

Are you really this ignorant of Islam and the Koran? Muslims believe that suicide bombers will be rewarded by their God, because they Koran and Islam explicitly says they will. They commit their suicides precisely because they truly believe.

jimbino said...

It seems appropriate for atheists, humanists, agnostics and other secularists to declare war on Islam, just as war against the Roman Catholic church was warranted during the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

Or are we secularists supposed to just register with the gummint and wait for our holocaust? I think not.

chillblaine said...

"These are hopeless people ready to check out..."

Very true! In Islamic societies, hopelessness is a feature, not a bug.

It's fine to consider me an Islamophobe, a person suffering from an irrational sickness. However, I think of it more as a logical response to conditioning.

Ironclad said...

In the debate between the 2 women, you saw how Islam is used to silence opponents. The moderator, who in appearance was the last person one would considered "faithful in an Islamic sense", was losing the argument and went for the trump card - The explicit requirement to confirm and accept that every word in the Koran (and Hadith) is the word of Allah and must be obeyed. Just trot that line out and you win if the other person disagrees. Never mind that half the verses are abrogated or that 10-20% doesn't make sense, it's all true.

This is why when Muslims take over an area, the number of non-muslims quickly drops to zero or near zero. Disagree and die - no debate, you lose.

This is the precise reason that Islamic countries have never really been able to advance more than the technology they can buy or steal. There is a point in science where you can't go, there is a point in civil life where "normal" behavior is forbidden. That isn't being prejudiced - it's just observational facts.

And it isn't prejudice to assert that this religion caused the Dark ages in Europe when they took North Africa - no papyrus to write on, no sea trade in the middle sea and constant slave raids on Europe

Countries like Egypt will drown in their own population soon, because they cannot reform from within. Until they throw off their religious chains, it can't change - maybe the old Gods there need a comeback.

Unknown said...

"I am pervasively skeptical that people actually believe the religion they profess to believe."

How about dedication to the notion that black people are being repressed by the GOP? (This transcends "white supremacy.") Although Dem programs have decimated the black community and promoted an environment that could not do a better job of making sure blacks do not thrive than anything since jim crow, although abortion is disproportionally killing black children, although the dems do not stand for anything useful, helpful, or supporting of the black community, someone once said 97% of all blacks vote dem.

It's a if the Jews and the Muslims formed a political party.

R. Chatt said...

I am hardly an expert in Islam, however I understand that no one is guaranteed entrance to paradise by Allah except for those who die (who spill blood and whose blood is spilled) for Allah. See Koran 9:111

Suicide is forbidden in Islam. Those we call suicide bombers are called jihadis or martyrs in Islamic terminology. Most are not suffering from poverty or ignorance; most are well educated and from affluent families. They chose freely to commit murder and sacrifice themselves in order to advance the cause of Islam and guarantee their entrance into eternal paradise.

I don't see any distinction between pragmatism and true belief in this case.

R. Chatt said...

The term for martyr is shahid. People genuinely believe this but (fortunately) few are this committed or devout. Those who are the true Muslims as you would describe the true Christians as those who practice what Jesus taught in his sermon on the mount. The difference between Islam and Christianity is that Jesus promised eternal life to all who accept him. Islam requires certain actions and behaviors but does not guarantee anything except the chance you will avoid hell fire.

Shahid or Shaheed (Arabic: شهيد,‎ šahīd, plural: شُهَدَاء šuhadāʾ ) originates from the Qur'anic Arabic word meaning "witness" and is also used to denote a "martyr." It is used as an honorific for Muslims who have laid down their life fulfilling a religious commandment, or have died fighting defending their faith or family.
A shahid is considered one whose place in Paradise is promised according to these verses in the Qur'an:
وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ أَمْوَاتًا بَلْ أَحْيَاء عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ
Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah: And with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the Shuhada's [martyrs'] glory is in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve.
—Qur'an, Sura 3 (Al-i-Imran), Ayat 169 – 170[2]
The Prophet said, "Nobody who enters Paradise likes to go back to the world even if he got everything on the Earth, except a Mujahid who wishes to return to the world so that he may be martyred ten times because of the dignity he receives (from Allah).
—Collected by Muhammad al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari[7]
Several Hadith also indicate the nature of a Shahid's life in Paradise. Shahids are thought to attain the highest level of Paradise, the Paradise of al-Firdous.
Haritha was martyred on the day (of the battle) of Badr, and he was a young boy then. His mother came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle! You know how dear Haritha is to me. If he is in Paradise, I shall remain patient, and hope for reward from Allah, but if it is not so, then you shall see what I do?" He said, "May Allah be merciful to you! Have you lost your senses? Do you think there is only one Paradise? There are many Paradises and your son is in the (most superior) Paradise of Al-Firdaus.
—Collected by Muhammad al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari[8]

wiki

Jupiter said...

"which in fact did proceed to a lot of low-level Islamophobia."

Althouse, a lot of people, myself among them, are deeply concerned about the threat Islam poses to ourselves and, more importantly, to our children. While American academics babble fatuously about "rape culture", Muslims in Europe are practicing rape culture - against European women who dare to behave like -- well, like American women. American political culture is based on religious tolerance, and for that reason is uniquely vulnerable to intolerant religions. We have no defenses against a gangster cult like Islam, except the fact that there aren't many of them here. Yet. Fear of Muslims is entirely rational and quite firmly based in observation of current, deeply disturbing trends in Europe and Africa, as well as certain fairly recent events in NYC. People who are concerned about gang activity in their communities are not "Cripophobics".

In light of the above, I will ask you to retract your casual dismissal of these concerns as "Islamophobia". Failing that, perhaps you would like to explain to us what you mean by "Islamophobia", and why you think commenters on this thread have been guilty of it.

Michael K said...

The thread was most interesting as an example of an educated Western woman trying to rationalize an ignorance of what Islam means.

"Let me be clear: I am pervasively skeptical that people actually believe the religion they profess to believe. "

And you are willing to bet your life that you are correct. I'm not.

Nichevo said...

What Jupiter said.