'The Trouble Is the West'

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Islam, immigration, civil liberties, and the fate of the West.

It was a heinous murder that made the best-selling memoirist Ayaan Hirsi Ali internationally famous, but she was neither the victim nor the perpetrator. The corpse was that of Theo van Gogh, a writer and filmmaker who in November 2004 was stabbed, slashed, and shot on an Amsterdam street by a Dutch-born Muslim extremist of Moroccan descent.

The assassin, driven to rage by Submission, a short film Van Gogh had made about the poor treatment of women under Islam, left no doubt about his motives. A letter he pinned to his victim’s chest with a knife was a call to jihad. It was also a death threat against Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament. She had persuaded Van Gogh to make Submission and had written the movie’s script.

Then 35, Hirsi Ali had already seen plenty of turmoil. She had endured a heavily religious upbringing in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, including a brutal circumcision to keep her “pure.” She chafed under the yoke of an embittered and sometimes violent mother and longed for a father who was perennially absent—often imprisoned or in hiding, due to his opposition to the Somali dictator Siad Barré.

In July 1992, Hirsi Ali defied her family’s wishes, refusing to marry the man to whom her father had betrothed her. She fled Kenya for the Netherlands, gaining refugee status and finding employment as a cleaning woman and a factory worker. She assimilated quickly, learning perfect Dutch and studying political science, a choice that led to a job as an analyst at the Labor Party’s think tank. There, to the consternation of her bosses, who had been courting the Muslim vote, Hirsi Ali worried out loud about Holland’s ever-burgeoning immigrant community and the rising tensions between Muslims and the native Dutch.

In Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ second-largest city, immigrants—mostly Muslims from Morocco and Turkey—had become a majority, with Amsterdam well on its way to a similar demographic sea change. That might not have been a problem, Hirsi Ali argued publicly, if the Dutch had only encouraged the newcomers to embrace the country’s culture the way she had. But the country’s multiculturalist mind-set, paired with the national inclination to tolerate almost any form of behavior, had led to minorities’ ghettoization and to a certain lawlessness. Dutch Muslims were largely content to stay in the neighborhoods they formed together, Hirsi Ali observed. Raised on a steady diet of Islamic preaching and Middle Eastern and North African satellite TV channels, many of them rejected the Dutch way of life as hedonistic, even sinful.

Hirsi Ali wasn’t shy about mentioning the Muslim community’s self-imposed insularity, or the crime wave involving disproportionate numbers of second- and third-generation Dutch Moroccans. But mostly she agitated against the oppression of local Muslim women by male family members: forced marriages, denial of education opportunities, domestic slave labor, and, in some horrific cases, honor killings. By extension, she criticized the native Dutch for turning a blind eye to the injustices in their midst, and for tolerating those who themselves refused to tolerate alternative lifestyles.

It was a shock and a revelation to see a young, black, Muslim woman championing causes previously associated with middle-aged white male pundits who had often been dismissed as racists or Islamophobes. Hirsi Ali’s star rose quickly, especially after she accepted an offer from the VVD, Holland’s pro-market party, to run for parliament. By then, she was receiving a stream of death threats from radical Dutch Muslims and their sympathizers. Once she won her parliamentary seat, the hate mail intensified. A security detail shadowed her everywhere. Van Gogh’s murder proved the threat was all too real.

Throughout her parliamentary career, which lasted from 2003 to 2006, Hirsi Ali reaped both praise and controversy. She continued writing and speaking out in favor of free speech and the right to offend. 2004 was an especially turbulent year both privately and publicly. In May she swore off Islam and all religion. Van Gogh’s assassination made her internationally famous, and she garnered a spot on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world and a European of the Year Award from the European editors of Reader’s Digest. Even the readers of De Volkskrant, a newspaper that had long embraced unfettered multiculturalism, were enthralled: They chose Hirsi Ali as their Dutch Person of the Year at the end of 2004.

In May and June of last year, a tempest in a teacup erupted over her alleged truth-twisting at the time of her Dutch asylum application. (She allegedly used false biographical data.) Hirsi Ali had already decided to move on. The publication of her autobiography, Infidel, was imminent. Early whispers about a resident fellow position with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., turned out to be correct. Hirsi Ali moved to America, and she joined the institute in the fall of last year.

In June, Hirsi Ali talked with the Dutch-born journalist Rogier van Bakel in Washington, D.C. Comments can be sent to letters@reason.com.

Reason: Tell me how you came to the United States and the American Enterprise Institute.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I was a member of parliament back in the Netherlands, and my party asked if I wanted to run for the next elections, in 2007. I declined. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende’s cabinet was very precarious anyway; every two or three weeks we thought the government would fall, which would mean elections, which would force all of us members of parliament to think about what we were going to do next. So I had already decided I didn’t want to run for elections, and wanted instead to go back to being a scholar. Cynthia Schneider, who was then the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, said she’d be delighted to take me around in the United States and introduce me—to the Brookings Institution, the Johns Hopkins Institute, Georgetown University, the RAND Corporation. I balked at paying a visit to the American Enterprise Institute, though.

Reason: Why the initial aversion?

Hirsi Ali: Because I thought they would be religious, and I had become an atheist. And I don’t consider myself a conservative. I consider myself a classical liberal.

Anyway, the Brookings Institution did not react. Johns Hopkins said they didn’t have enough money. The RAND Corporation wants its people to spend their days and nights in libraries figuring out statistics, and I’m very bad at statistics. But at AEI they were enthusiastic. It turns out that I have complete freedom of thought, freedom of expression. No one here imposed their religion on me, and I don’t impose my atheism on them.

Reason: Do you see eye to eye with high-profile AEI hawks such as former Bush speechwriter David Frum and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton?

Hirsi Ali: Most of the time I do. For instance, I completely and utterly agree with John Bolton that talking to Iran is a sheer waste of time.

When I was with the Labor Party, I’d get into trouble because the party bosses determined that some of what I wrote, or proposed to write about, wasn’t conducive to their policies or to electoral success. But at AEI there are no such restraints. As long you can argue it with some intelligence, no one interferes.

Reason: Religion is hardly inconsequential in European politics, but it’s virtually a prerequisite for electability here: If you’re not devout, forget about it; you won’t be elected to public office.

Hirsi Ali: I’m not going to become president, and I’m not going to run for Congress. Your Constitution doesn’t allow it. [Laughs.]

Reason: But do you feel at all uncomfortable with that heavy emphasis on religion in American public life?

Hirsi Ali: Yes. And the good thing is—and that’s what I’ve tried to tell all my European friends—I’m allowed to say so.

I think that it’s a great mistake for this country to reject a very good atheist. I mean, when you have two candidates, and one is an atheist and the other is a religious person and the atheist would make the better public official, it’s a great loss not to elect him. Anyway, atheists here can forward their agenda and fight back safely without risking violence.

I accept that there are multitudes seeking God, seeking meaning, and so on, but if they reject atheism, I would rather they became modern-day Catholics or Jews than that they became Muslims. Because my Catholic and Jewish colleagues are fine. The concept of God in Jewish orthodoxy is one where you’re having constant quarrels with God. Where I come from, in Islam, the only concept of God is you submit to Him and you obey His commands, no quarreling allowed. Quarreling or even asking questions means you raise yourself to the same level as Him, and in Islam that’s the worst sin you can commit. Jews should be proselytizing about a God that you can quarrel with. Catholics should be proselytizing about a God who is love, who represents a hereafter where there’s no hell, who wants you to lead a life where you can confess your sins and feel much better afterwards. Those are lovely concepts of God. They can’t compare to the fire-breathing Allah who inspires jihadism and totalitarianism.

Reason: In Infidel, you point out many positive religious experiences you had as a Muslim. For instance, you describe Mecca’s Grand Mosque as a place of vastness and beauty. You praise the kindness that you experienced there, a sense of community, a lack of prejudice. Are there times when you miss that aspect of being a practicing believer?

Hirsi Ali: I’d love to go and visit the Mosque in Mecca again, just for the sheer beauty of it, not for God—much the way a non-Catholic might go to Vatican City because of the beauty of the buildings and the artifacts. There’s a sense of calm in such places that’s wonderful, and there’s the awe you feel because of what humanity can accomplish.

But do I miss the religious experience? The feelings of belonging and family and community were powerful, but the price in terms of freedom was too high. In order to be able to live free, I’ve accepted living with the pain of missing my family. As for community, I experienced a very deep sense of community with my friends in Holland.

Reason: Should we acknowledge that organized religion has sometimes sparked precisely the kinds of emancipation movements that could lift Islam into modern times? Slavery in the United States ended in part because of opposition by prominent church members and the communities they galvanized. The Polish Catholic Church helped defeat the Jaruzelski puppet regime. Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes?

Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.

Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?

Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.

Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?

Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

Reason: Militarily?

Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.

Reason: Are we really heading toward anything so ominous?

Hirsi Ali: I think that’s where we’re heading. We’re heading there because the West has been in denial for a long time. It did not respond to the signals that were smaller and easier to take care of. Now we have some choices to make. This is a dilemma: Western civilization is a celebration of life—everybody’s life, even your enemy’s life. So how can you be true to that morality and at the same time defend yourself against a very powerful enemy that seeks to destroy you?

Reason: George Bush, not the most conciliatory person in the world, has said on plenty of occasions that we are not at war with Islam.

Hirsi Ali: If the most powerful man in the West talks like that, then, without intending to, he’s making radical Muslims think they’ve already won. There is no moderate Islam. There are Muslims who are passive, who don’t all follow the rules of Islam, but there’s really only one Islam, defined as submission to the will of God. There’s nothing moderate about it.

Reason: So when even a hard-line critic of Islam such as Daniel Pipes says, “Radical Islam is the problem, but moderate Islam is the solution,” he’s wrong?

Hirsi Ali: He’s wrong. Sorry about that.

Reason: Explain to me what you mean when you say we have to stop the burning of our flags and effigies in Muslim countries. Why should we care?

Hirsi Ali: We can make fun of George Bush. He’s our president. We elected him. And the queen of England, they can make fun of her within Britain and so on. But on an international level, this has gone too far. You know, the Russians, they don’t burn American flags. The Chinese don’t burn American flags. Have you noticed that? They don’t defile the symbols of other civilizations. The Japanese don’t do it. That never happens.

Reason: Isn’t that a double standard? You want us to be able to say about Islam whatever we want—and I certainly agree with that. But then you add that people in Muslim countries should under all circumstances respect our symbols, or else.

Hirsi Ali: No, no, no.

Reason: We should be able to piss on a copy of the Koran or lampoon Muhammad, but they shouldn’t be able to burn the queen in effigy. That’s not a double standard?

Hirsi Ali: No, that’s not what I’m saying. In Iran a nongovernmental organization has collected money, up to 150,000 British pounds, to kill Salman Rushdie. That’s a criminal act, but we are silent about that.

Reason: We are?

Hirsi Ali: Yes. What happened? Have you seen any political response to it?

Reason: The fatwa against Rushdie has been the subject of repeated official anger and protests since 1989.

Hirsi Ali: I don’t know. The British sailors who were kidnapped this year—what happened? Nothing happened. The West keeps giving the impression that it’s OK, so the extremists will get away with it. Saudi Arabia is an economic partner, a partner in defense. On the other hand, they—Saudi Arabia, wealthy Saudi people—spread Islam. They have a sword on their flag. That’s the double standard.

Reason: I want my government to protest the Rushdie fatwa. I’m not so sure they ought to diplomatically engage some idiots burning a piece of cloth or a straw figure in the streets of Islamabad. Isn’t there a huge difference between the two?

Hirsi Ali: It’s not just a piece of cloth. It’s a symbol. In a tribal mind-set, if I’m allowed to take something and get away with it, I’ll come back and take some more. In fact, I’ll come and take the whole place, especially since it’s my holy obligation to spread Islam to the outskirts of the earth and I know I’ll be rewarded in heaven. At that point, I’ve only done my religious obligation while you’re still sitting there rationalizing that your own flag is a piece of cloth.

We have to get serious about this. The Egyptian dictatorship would not allow many radical imams to preach in Cairo, but they’re free to preach in giant mosques in London. Why do we allow it?

Reason: You’re in favor of civil liberties, but applied selectively?

Hirsi Ali: No. Asking whether radical preachers ought to be allowed to operate is not hostile to the idea of civil liberties; it’s an attempt to save civil liberties. A nation like this one is based on civil liberties, and we shouldn’t allow any serious threat to them. So Muslim schools in the West, some of which are institutions of fascism that teach innocent kids that Jews are pigs and monkeys—I would say in order to preserve civil liberties, don’t allow such schools.

Reason: In Holland, you wanted to introduce a special permit system for Islamic schools, correct?

Hirsi Ali: I wanted to get rid of them. I wanted to have them all closed, but my party said it wouldn’t fly. Top people in the party privately expressed that they agreed with me, but said, “We won’t get a majority to do that,” so it never went anywhere.

Reason: Well, your proposal went against Article 23 of the Dutch Constitution, which guarantees that religious movements may teach children in religious schools and says the government must pay for this if minimum standards are met. So it couldn’t be done. Would you in fact advocate that again?

Hirsi Ali: Oh, yeah.

Reason: Here in the United States, you’d advocate the abolition of—

Hirsi Ali: All Muslim schools. Close them down. Yeah, that sounds absolutist. I think 10 years ago things were different, but now the jihadi genie is out of the bottle. I’ve been saying this in Australia and in the U.K. and so on, and I get exactly the same arguments: The Constitution doesn’t allow it. But we need to ask where these constitutions came from to start with—what’s the history of Article 23 in the Netherlands, for instance? There were no Muslim schools when the constitution was written. There were no jihadists. They had no idea.

Reason: Do you believe that the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights—documents from more than 200 ago—ought to change?

Hirsi Ali: They’re not infallible. These Western constitutions are products of the Enlightenment. They’re products of reason, and reason dictates that you can only progress when you can analyze the circumstances and act accordingly. So now that we live under different conditions, the threat is different. Constitutions can be adapted, and they are, sometimes. The American Constitution has been amended a number of times. With the Dutch Constitution, I think the latest adaptation was in 1989. Constitutions are not like the Koran—nonnegotiable, never-changing.

Look, in a democracy, it’s like this: I suggest, “Let’s close Muslim schools.” You say, “No, we can’t do it.” The problem that I’m pointing out to you gets bigger and bigger. Then you say, “OK, let’s somehow discourage them,” and still the problem keeps on growing, and in another few years it gets so bad that I belatedly get what I wanted in the first place.

I respect that it needs to happen this way, but there’s a price for the fact that you and I didn’t share these insights earlier, and the longer we wait, the higher the price. In itself the whole process is not a bad thing. People and communities and societies learn through experience. The drawback is, in this case, that “let’s learn from experience” means other people’s lives will be taken.

Reason: When I read Ian Buruma’s review of your book in The New York Times, I felt he wasn’t being fair to you when he wrote that you “espouse an absolutist way of a perfectly enlightened west at war with the demonic world of Islam.” But maybe that’s a pretty apt description of what you believe.
Hirsi Ali: No, that’s not fair. I don’t think that the West is perfect, and I think that standing up and defending modern society from going back to the law of the jungle is not being absolutist.

I don’t know what Buruma saw when he went to Holland [to research Theo van Gogh’s assassination for his book Murder in Amsterdam], but Theo rode to work on his bicycle one morning, and a man armed with knives and guns took Theo’s life in the name of his God—and that same man, Mohammed Bouyeri, wasn’t born believing that. The people who introduced this mind-set to Bouyeri took advantage of the notion of freedom of religion and other civil liberties.

Samir Azouz, another young man in Holland convicted of terrorist plotting, attended a fundamentalist Muslim school in Amsterdam which is still open. He had maps of the Dutch parliament. He wanted to kill me and other politicians. He wanted to cause murder and mayhem congruent with the set of beliefs that he was taught in school using Dutch taxpayers’ money. Now go back in time a little. Isn’t it extremely cruel when you put yourself in the shoes of that little boy? He was just going to an officially recognized school in a multicultural society. Everyone approved—and now he’s being punished for it. He’s in jail.

Reason: One of the things in your book that struck me was that many of the women in the book made religious choices that seemed entirely free. Your childhood teacher, Sister Aziza, chose to cover herself “to seek a deeper satisfaction of pleasing God.” You described dressing in an ankle-length black cloak yourself, and how it made you feel sensuous and feminine and desirable and like an individual. There’s also the scene where many women in your own Somali neighborhood, including your mother, began dressing in burkas and jilbabs after encountering a preacher named Boqol Sawm. You and they apparently did so of their free will, without any obvious coercion. So what’s the problem with that?

Hirsi Ali: I really thought Sister Aziza was convincing, and I wanted to be like her. And she talked about God and hell and heaven in a way I hadn’t heard before. My mother would only scream, “Pray, it’s time to pray!” without ever explaining why. Sister Aziza wasn’t doing that.

But she did teach us to hate Jews. I must confess to a deep emotional hatred I felt for Jews as a 15-, 16-, 17-year-old living in Kenya. You almost can’t help it; you become part of something bigger. I think that’s how totalitarian movements function and that’s what’s wrong with them. You lose your faculty of reason. You’re told, “Don’t think for yourself. Just follow the leader.”

“Hate people.” OK. “Kill people.” OK, fine.

Reason: But I don’t think that you, at the time, would have said that you had lost your faculty of reason. Nor would your mother have copped to that. You and the other women believed you were all making a perfectly free, rational choice to dress religiously. And why not?

Hirsi Ali: Boqol Sawm is a Somali man who was offered a scholarship to go to Medina to learn true Islam. He was indoctrinated in Medina, and then he was sent with a message to go out and be a missionary, and that’s what he was doing and he did it voluntarily. No one kidnapped him. And he convinced a lot of people.

Reason: Isn’t it all in the eye of the beholder? When you say he was indoctrinated, he would say, “I was enlightened. I was gaining knowledge of my one true faith.”

Hirsi Ali: I agree with you. When I was with Sister Aziza I thought I was being enlightened. I wasn’t aware of all the terms that we are using now: fundamentalism, radical Islam, jihadism, and so on. We were simply true and pure Muslims. We were seeking to live as true Muslims, practicing true Islam, which you find in the Koran. But it’s a problematic ideology because it demands subservience to Allah, not just from believers but from everyone.

Reason: Having lived in the United States for about a year now, do you find that Muslims in the United States have by and large integrated better here than they have in Europe?

Hirsi Ali: Since I moved here, I’ve spent most of my time in airports, in airplanes, in waiting rooms, in hotels, doing promotion for Infidel all over the world, so the amount of time I’ve actually lived in the U.S. is very small. But yes, I have the impression that Muslims in the United States are far more integrated than Muslims in Europe. Of course, being assimilated doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be a jihadist, but the likelihood of Muslims turning radical here seems lower than in Europe.

For one thing, America doesn’t really have a welfare system. Mohammed Bouyeri had all day long to plot the murder of Theo van Gogh. American Muslims have to get a job. What pushes people who come to America to assimilate is that it’s expected of them. And people are not mollycoddled by the government.

There’s a lot of white guilt in America, but it’s directed toward black Americans and native Indians, not toward Muslims and other immigrants. People come from China, Vietnam, and all kinds of Muslim countries. To the average American, they’re all fellow immigrants.

The white guilt in Germany and Holland and the U.K. is very different. It has to do with colonialism. It has to do with Dutch emigrants having spread apartheid in South Africa. It has to do with the Holocaust. So the mind-set toward immigrants in Europe is far more complex than here. Europeans are more reticent about saying no to immigrants.

And by and large, Muslim immigrants in Europe do not come with the intention to assimilate. They come with the intention to work, earn some money, and go back. That’s how the first wave of immigrants in the Netherlands was perceived: They would just come to work and then they’d go away. The newer generations that have followed are coming not so much to work and more to reap the benefits of the welfare state. Again, assimilation is not really on their minds.

Also, in order to get official status here in the U.S., you have to have an employer, so it’s the employable who are coming. The Arabs who live here came as businessmen, and a lot of them come from wealthy backgrounds. There are also large communities of Indian and Pakistani Muslims, who tend to be very liberal. Compare that to the Turks in Germany, who mostly come from the poor villages of Anatolia. Or compare it to the Moroccans in the Netherlands, who are for the most part Berbers with a similar socio-economic background. It’s a completely different set of people.

And finally, there’s the matter of borders. In America, Muslim immigrants typically pass through an airport, which means the Americans have a better way of controlling who comes in—a far cry from Europe’s open borders. Forty years ago, when Europe began talking about lifting borders between countries to facilitate the free traffic of goods and labor, they weren’t thinking about waves of immigrants. They thought of Europe as a place people left. America, on the other hand, has always been an immigration nation, with border controls that have been in place for a long time. I know the southern border is difficult to monitor, but for Arab Muslims and Pakistanis coming to America, it’s very hard to enter illegally.

Without passing any moral judgment, those are the differences between the two places.

Reason: Are you concerned about the efficacy of your message? Do you worry that, at least in the short term, you have exacerbated the miserable treatment of women under much of mainstream Islam by prompting moderate Muslims to turn inward to their religion because they really don’t want to follow the path of the apostate Hirsi Ali?

Hirsi Ali: Young men now want to become terrorists in response to something I’ve written, that sort of thing? I don’t think that is the case. If we continue that reasoning, we’ll never scrutinize anything. Can we ever write? Can we ever criticize anything?

Reason: You write in your book that you would never have voted for Pim Fortuyn, the murdered leader of an anti-immigration party who had been considered a candidate for the Dutch prime ministership. I wonder what ideological differences you had with him.

Hirsi Ali: It wasn’t an ideological difference I had with Pim Fortuyn. In the Netherlands, new parties provoke change; they’re shock parties. They don’t carry out policies. Also, Fortuyn had no experience and had an explosive temper. Don’t get me wrong; he would have been a wonderful addition to the Dutch parliament, because rhetorically he was far stronger than all the other candidates. But I don’t think he really wanted to become prime minister. He was only joking.

Reason: He was?

Hirsi Ali: I think he was. He was a flamboyant hedonist. To be a prime minister, you sleep about four hours a night. So anyway, I wouldn’t have voted for him. I’ve always voted for the establishment.

Reason: You don’t sound like an establishment-supporting kind of person. You’re supposed to be a big rebel.

Hirsi Ali: Yeah, but there are rebels and rebels. There are rebels who are always against something, like the Socialist Party in the Netherlands. To them, rebelling itself is the aim. That’s where they get their thrill from. But I’m rebelling for something. I want something to be established.

Reason: Tolerance is probably the most powerful word there is in the Netherlands. No other word encapsulates better what the Dutch believe really defines them. That makes it very easy for people to say that when they’re being criticized, they’re not being tolerated—and from there it’s only a small step to saying they’re being discriminated against or they’re the victims of Islamophobia or racism or what have you.

Hirsi Ali: We have to revert to the original meaning of the term tolerance. It meant you agreed to disagree without violence. It meant critical self-reflection. It meant not tolerating the intolerant. It also came to mean a very high level of personal freedom.

Then the Muslims arrived, and they hadn’t grown up with that understanding of tolerance. In short order, tolerance was now defined by multiculturalism, the idea that all cultures and religions are equal. Expectations were created among the Muslim population. They were told they could preserve their own culture, their own religion. The vocabulary was quickly established that if you criticize someone of color, you’re a racist, and if you criticize Islam, you’re an Islamophobe.

Reason: The international corollary to the word tolerance is probably respect. The alleged lack of respect has become a perennial sore spot in relations between the West and Islam. Salman Rushdie receiving a British knighthood supposedly signified such a lack of respect, as did the Danish cartoons last year, and many other things. Do you believe this is what Muslims genuinely crave—respect?

Hirsi Ali: It’s not about respect. It’s about power, and Islam is a political movement.

Reason: Uniquely so?

Hirsi Ali: Well, it hasn’t been tamed like Christianity. See, the Christian powers have accepted the separation of the worldly and the divine. We don’t interfere with their religion, and they don’t interfere with the state. That hasn’t happened in Islam.

But I don’t even think that the trouble is Islam. The trouble is the West, because in the West there’s this notion that we are invincible and that everyone will modernize anyway, and that what we are seeing now in Muslim countries is a craving for respect. Or it’s poverty, or it’s caused by colonization.

The Western mind-set—that if we respect them, they’re going to respect us, that if we indulge and appease and condone and so on, the problem will go away—is delusional. The problem is not going to go away. Confront it, or it’s only going to get bigger.

Rogier van Bakel is a freelance journalist and runs the blog Nobody's Business.

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  • shecky||

    Is it just me, or does she come off as a little bit unhinged?

  • ||

    There is no moderate Islam. There are Muslims who are passive, who don't all follow the rules of Islam, but there's really only one Islam, defined as submission to the will of God.

    The problem with this argument is that it I think it assumes (and correct me if I am wrong) what one might call "Platonic ideal" of Islam. I agree with Heidegger that such ideals don't exist; "being" is holistic and relational. So yeah, there are moderate forms of Islam and their are radical forms of Islam.

  • ||

  • iih||

    Finally, the article is now online. I think I have highlighted pretty much why libertarians should have trouble with some of what she says here. Though the overall discussion was quite interesting.

    Syloson: I am a practicing Muslims, but OBL and the version of Islam that he and his ilk preach truly disturbs. I think that the majority of the 3,000,000+ American Muslims (not counting Canadian Muslims as well) are overwhelmingly against Ali's view of Islam. So they are all living proof that she is dead wrong.

    My concern with Ali can be summarized as: She's a collectivist, and because of her (horrible and terrible) personal experience, she has decided to lash out at everything Islamic. Of course, her neocon friends would not mind that.

  • ||

    iih,

    I think statement encapsulated her views pretty well:

    Of course, being assimilated doesn't necessarily mean that you won't be a jihadist, but the likelihood of Muslims turning radical here seems lower than in Europe.

  • ||

    Ayaan is a very smart woman. She is just cashing-in on the anti-islam hysteria in the west. If it was not for her extreme views and her anti-islam blather, she would have never been this popular.

  • GamerFromJump||

    Apparently testifying against one's assailants is "cashing-in" in libistan.

  • ||

    Wow, I'm surprised there isn't more traffic - perhaps folks are still digesting the article.

  • ||

    Of course, being assimilated doesn't necessarily mean that you won't be a jihadist, but the likelihood of Muslims turning radical here seems lower than in Europe.

    Of course, being born and raised here doesn't mean that you won't adopt psychpatic views either.

  • ||

    Very interesting interview. Ali has some very honestly acquired opinions and some of them I really agree with. I think you can make moral calls on which religions are better, but I don't like that she calls for force as a means of dealing with people who believe ideas that require using force on other people. I can understand her frustration and from a practical standpoint, I don't know what other solution she could come up with to combat the problems of Islam. I still disagree strongly with the idea of selective rights for everybody but Muslims.

    In some ways she's got the whole Ayn Rand coming to America motivations. Country where she comes from is awful, where she goes allows her the freedom to go way overboard on a good idea.

  • ||

    megs,

    The Netherlands is awful?

  • ||

    She's got some definite and strongly-held opinions - big surprise - and she certainly says enough that's debatable and with which a reasonable person might disagree, sure. But she didn't come off as "unhinged" to me, no.

  • ||

    She had endured a heavily religious upbringing in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, including a brutal circumcision to keep her "pure."

    Female circumcision has more to do with traditions than religion. Many non-muslim African women are circumcized.

  • JMR||

    Is it just me, or does she come off as a little bit unhinged?

    It's just you.

  • ||

    This is another quality interview. I have complained and wondered about why this magazine allows the Michael Young type article, but nearly every interview is interesting and informative with some questions that I rarely get to see put to statist.

    So forgive me Reason, maybe you are not part of the pro-war CFR front....now did anyone at reason see the Vicente Fox interview from last night....i guess vicente is a tinfoil hat conspiracy nut now huh?

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58052

  • ||

    I agree with iih. My wife and I had a discussion about the article when we recieved the magazine, and what iih has been saying pretty much mirrors what we concluded.

    She's dealt with a particular strain of Islam, and assumes all of Islam must be like that. I don't think it is, judging from the lack of suicide bombings and beheadings in L.A. and Chicago. It's like wanting to bulldoze Christian churches -- Methodist and Pentacostal alike -- because sometimes a Christian will bomb an abortion clinic.

    Does not compute.

  • ||

    I mean come on if you kill 7 milion jews your pretty bad, but if you kill 1.5 billion muslims your just protecting our freedoms.

    well if you define unhinged as eliminating 1.5 billion people because they call themselves muslim then yes I guess she is unhinged.

  • ||

    wait a sec...i just learned they are big on mutilating their children's genitalia...what kind of animals are these people? of course we should kill all of them.

  • ||

    Yes. It's like Americans mutilating their baby boys genitalia.

  • ||

    isn't it in the bible somewhere that we should only mutilate male genitalia...man those muslims are backward.

  • ||

    I don't think one has to go into discussing her mental state. It is whether she is right or wrong which is the question. Personally, I do not agree with her.

  • ||

    "I think that the majority of the 3,000,000+ American Muslims (not counting Canadian Muslims as well) are overwhelmingly against Ali's view of Islam. So they are all living proof that she is dead wrong."

    iih, no doubt believers don't like to be told they are not TRUE believers, but the fact millions, if not billions, of religious people treat their religion like a lunch buffet does not make her assertion wrong. She may be wrong, but the quantity of people that were "raised Muslim" vs. being Muslim does not prove anything. Look at all the "Christians" in prison for real crimes. I might suggest they are not Christians. (Maybe that's a bad example, as getting caught living your life according to various parts of the Christian bible will likely send you to prison)

    Was her "horrible and terrible" treatment in line with the teachings of Islam? If it is then wouldn't that make Islam horrible and terrible. If her treatment was not in accordance with Islam then can we assume the people who did that to her were not true Muslims or were otherwise acting outside their faith? Maybe they are interpreting the words wrong?

    I don't think there is a correct answer, for anything...

  • thoreau||

    You know, she's experienced some pretty bad things first hand. I get that.

    But to insist that moderation is fundamentally impossible for anybody who calls himself or herself a Muslim is to cast one's lot with the Bin Ladens of the world. She might as well go to peaceful, assimilated American Muslims and say "No, don't you get it? You're supposed to attack me! Please, attack me! Prove that I'm right!"

    She lashes out against a collectivist ideology by painting with broad brush, and thus becomes the thing that she hates.

    I feel sorry for what she's experienced, but that doesn't excuse her collectivist mindset. It may explain it, but it certainly doesn't excuse it. She may deserve sympathy, but most of her prescriptions should not be taken seriously.

  • ||

    Did anyone else think it was wierd that she thinks christians don't believe there is a hell? and our god of love is much different than their god of hate.

    as a person who was indoctrinated in Tennessee crazy "church of christ" religion as a 1-5 year old and was later indoctrinated in catholicism as a 6-14 year old (my dad fled his "crazy" childhood religion) and finally turned athiest....I think she should go talk to some middle religous folks, because they do believe that people go to hell...especially the people who say jesus was not a son of god.

  • ||


    I am a practicing Muslims, but OBL and the version of Islam that he and his ilk preach truly disturbs.


    Why? It's exactly the same version of Islam that Muhammad preached and practiced. Authentic hadith (Bukhari, Muslim) record that Muhammad committed mass murder, assassinated his critics, broke his promises to unbelievers not to kill them when killing them became convenient, and preached that it's the duty of Muslims to conquer the world and eliminate all competing faiths. OBL merely follows in his footsteps, which is why there is no theological foundation within Islam to reject him.

    You cannot say Muslims should not do these things, because to do so is to say Muslims should reject the example of Muhammad, whom the Koran repeatedly states is an "excellent model of conduct". Once you're done rejecting both the example of Muhammad and the word of Allah, as recorded in the Koran, that you should seek to emulate him, there isn't much left. I'm not even sure you should call the resulting religion "Islam".

  • ||

    bigbigslacker,

    This gets back to the point I made earlier about Platonic ideals.

  • ||

    This is the type of Anti-Statist content that Reason should be putting on thier website.

    She is for the fighting of all Statism and for the free market mindset of the US. She supports war on Islamofacism and wants to keep its ideology out of muslim schools! This would be the equivalent of shutting down Communist schools in the US if Communism was a religion.

    In her Country, Muslim schools were government funded and the welfare state allowed people to plot murder and not assymilate into the local culture. This is important for us in the US to allow religion, but to keep it out of politics.

    Because Christianity often fights within itself and Islam does not, we don't really worry about it too much. Islam is a religion of Statism and Opression of freedom. As she has said it requires full submission of yourself to Islam.

  • ||

    Bob Smith,

    As with the Bible, the Qu'ran and the Hadiths are fairly plastic texts.

  • tomd||

    "See, the Christian powers have accepted the separation of the worldly and the divine... and they don't interfere with the state."

    Not true.

  • ||

    The odd thing of course is that there are particular schools of islamic interpretation that we can describe, etc. Yet somehow there is some "ideal" type of Islam.

  • iih||

    anon:

    Ayaan is a very smart woman. She is just cashing-in on the anti-islam hysteria in the west. If it was not for her extreme views and her anti-islam blather, she would have never been this popular.

    Agreed! We agree on something! :-)

  • ||

    But to insist that moderation is fundamentally impossible for anybody who calls himself or herself a Muslim is to cast one's lot with the Bin Ladens of the world. She might as well go to peaceful, assimilated American Muslims and say "No, don't you get it? You're supposed to attack me! Please, attack me! Prove that I'm right!"

    I think that misreads what Ms. Ali is saying. I read her comments as saying that moderation is possible only after Islam as an ideology of power and conquest is defeated, militarily or otherwise. In other words, Islam must become something other than what it is today, since power and conquest are "baked into" the religion, so to speak. And she sees that as being completely independent of what assimilated, relatively non-observant Muslims in the USA believe or do.

    Is she right? I have no idea.

  • ||

    As long you can argue it with some intelligence, no one interferes.

    Yeah right. Try to criticize one of their sacred cows and tell us what happens.

    You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning

    Wow, what was that talk about freedom of expression again?

    Western civilization is a celebration of life-everybody's life, even your enemy's life

    I guess world-war 2 didn't happen in the West in her world view.

    The British sailors who were kidnapped this year

    Where those sailors kidnapped from London? Did I miss that?

    See, the Christian powers have accepted the separation of the worldly and the divine. We don't interfere with their religion, and they don't interfere with the state.

    I guess she need to listen to the Reupublican debates.

  • ||

    Bob Smith,

    As with the Bible, the Qu'ran and the Hadiths are fairly plastic texts.


    I'd use contradictory, inconsistent, or doubtfully accurate, instead of plastic. But yeah, the Bible is replete with horrid stuff as well as the good stuff.

  • iih||

    anon:

    Female circumcision has more to do with traditions than religion. Many non-muslim African women are circumcized.

    True. As far as the Muslim world is concerned, it is only practiced in Somalia, Ethiopia (partially Muslim), Kenya (partially Muslim as well), and the Egyptian country side (not Metropolitan areas like Cairo and Alexandria). Elsewhere in the Muslim world, it is almost nonexistent.

  • iih||

    Jake Boone:

    She's dealt with a particular strain of Islam, and assumes all of Islam must be like that. I don't think it is, judging from the lack of suicide bombings and beheadings in L.A. and Chicago.

    You are right, but I am also one of those Muslims who realize that the problems with extremist Muslims is big and needs to be attended to. Sometimes, force is the only way (e.g., Taleban), but I am of the view that force should always be a last resort. Extremism is an ideology best fought using ideas. Fighting it with force will give the extremists more propaganda opportunity to grow in numbers.

  • ||

    She is a Somalie and a lot of what she experienced has more to do with culture than Islam. Islam is practiced in places like Indonesia and is very tolerent. When it is practiced in places like the Sudan, Somalia parts of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia it is downright horrible. But, those places had oppressive cultures to begin with. It is not like Arabia was a tolerant place before Islam.

  • ||

    She may deserve sympathy, but most of her prescriptions should not be taken seriously.


    It's the enthusiasm of a convert. More catholic than the pope, so to speak.

  • thoreau||

    It's the enthusiasm of a convert. More catholic than the pope, so to speak.

    She should join with the evangelical atheists, and denounce the agnostics who are unwilling to come out and completely reject theism.

    Yeah, she'd fit right in.

  • iih||

    bigbigslacker:

    Was her "horrible and terrible" treatment in line with the teachings of Islam? If it is then wouldn't that make Islam horrible and terrible. If her treatment was not in accordance with Islam then can we assume the people who did that to her were not true Muslims or were otherwise acting outside their faith?

    FGM is not mandated by Quran. There is one saying of the Prophet where he suggests that, since the parents of a local girl at the time were going to do it anyway, that FGM be performed minimally. (This I found after a quick Google). In any case, FGM is not Islamic. Outrageously, last year Ali was interviewed on NPR's On Point (if my memory does not fail me), and I was outraged when she said that FGM is an Islamic practice. Callers called in to object to that statement. Sometimes, Ali spews these things hoping that Muslims, or those who know, would note notice.

    As far as judging whether those who perform FGM are to be considered Muslim or not, most likely the answer is yes as long as the people do not practice something that goes against the 5 basic criteria that determine whether a person is Muslim or not (prayer, fasting, alms-giving, Hajj, "witnessing"). But that is a different question. By the "mainstream" Muslim community, they'd be considered Muslim of course. There is a lot of debate in Egypt right now regarding the practice of FGM in the countryside and in poorer, more traditional neighborhoods of the capital.

  • ||

    Because Christianity often fights within itself and Islam does not

    Do the words Sunni and Shia mean anything to you? Islam has been struggling within itself almost since its inception.

  • iih||

    gabe:

    Did anyone else think it was wierd that she thinks christians don't believe there is a hell? and our god of love is much different than their god of hate.

    Colbert made mild fun of her on the Question of Christianity's tolerance here.

  • iih||

    dcpotts:

    Good point! There are also the 4 big schools of thought.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    Would you consider your last statement trolling?

    ________________________

    Anyway, on the business of the Constitution, freedom of religion, etc. the dangers associated with shutting down Muslim schools, etc. are I think obvious.

  • Joshua Holmes||

    She's Ann Coulter with an inspiring personal story.

  • shecky||

    I just re read it, and still get the feeling she's a little unhinged. Perfectly understandable, given her upbringing. But still, it seems perhaps something in her is broken, from long ago. Her ideas seem somewhat contradictory. Do we really have to destroy freedom in order to save it?

    Her role in the AEI certainly seems at odds with much of the line of thinking around this forum. The more cynical view is her "cashing-in on the anti-islam hysteria in the west", which seems to follow.

    Hitchens wrote recently about her security woes.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2175458/fr/rss/

    After the obligatory Europe bashing, he goes on to scold the Netherlands for discontinuing her bodyguards while she lives in the US, and the US for not stepping up to the plate. Interesting article.

  • iih||

    Bob Smith:

    OBL merely follows in his footsteps, which is why there is no theological foundation within Islam to reject him.

    No. There is. You clearly need to do a lot of reading. May I ask where you get your assertions from?

  • thoreau||

    She's Ann Coulter with an inspiring personal story.

    Bingo!

  • ||

    gabe,

    This is what she stated on the issue of hell:

    Catholics should be proselytizing about a God who is love, who represents a hereafter where there's no hell, who wants you to lead a life where you can confess your sins and feel much better afterwards.


    I think she is saying what she would like Catholics to be like. Is this correct?

  • ||

    What she is saying is that Christianity in the West unlike Islam in the Muslim world, does not overwhemingly control policy or base all of thier laws on the Bible. Christians have left a lot of the Old Testament laws out of our laws. This was due to reason and Deist beliefs of our founding fathers. Not saying that they wouldn't if they could, it is just that people in America for the most part will not allow this ideology to happen. She wants this type of practice to occur in Europe as well. Just as any sane person would have wanted a dangerous religious cult stopped if they were known to be terrorists (Timmothy Mcveigh Christianity, if it ever established itself) In the US we don't have as big of a problem with racist hate organizations that they have in the Muslim world (Anti-Semitism and laws based on a persons religion or race). She is doing what any former born again Christian turned aitheist would want to do, get backwards ass religion out of politics. You may not agree that we need to defeat ideologies that support Statism. But when you look at the Muslim world, there are few places that support real freedom. Most of the Muslim world is oppressed, and she simply want to destroy the ideology thatis aflicting and poisoning the minds of her country's immigrants.

  • iih||

    Ben Rushing:

    As she has said it requires full submission of yourself to Islam.

    Not true. I give a response to a similar question here. You'd be surprised. While Islam is not libertopia, it is not the diametrical opposite either. There is away, with some work and specific interpretations, where libertarianism and Islam can be practiced in society. This view of mine, and people like Zuhdi Jasser is that of a minority right now, but it is not that far away from mainstream Muslim views in North America. See the point raised by Neu Mejican here and the discussion that followed (including my response).

  • ||

    Ben Rushing,

    Whatever one wants to say about Europe, in much of it religion plays little part in political decision making.

  • ||

    There is no moderate Islam. There are Muslims who are passive

    I think what she's getting at here is that there seem to be relatively few Muslims who stand up to the radicals and actively push for a more tolerant, nuanced, liberal (in the old sense) version of their faith.

    The great mass of Muslims aren't radical, I'm sure, but they don't seem to be doing much to marginalize and defeat the radicals in their midst, either.

  • thoreau||

    but they don't seem to be doing much to marginalize and defeat the radicals in their midst, either.

    How should a moderate guy defeat and marginalize the radicals? He's busy raising his kids, doing his job, living his life, being a good neighbor. If he happens to have knowledge of violent activities by a radical, sure, he can report that guy. But it's not like violent radicals give the details of their plans to every Tariq, Daoud, and Hari.

    Otherwise, all he can do is raise his kids well, attend and support mosques with moderate teachers, and generally live a good life. He can't really go out and "defeat" radicals.

  • iih||

    ChrisO:

    since power and conquest are "baked into" the religion, so to speak.

    Islam did expand in many parts of the world by means of conquest, but not everywhere. Not a single Muslim soldier set foot in Indonesia (the most populous Muslim country), Malaysia, Western China, and Africa (south of the north African modern-day "Arab" countries).

    And she sees that as being completely independent of what assimilated, relatively non-observant Muslims in the USA believe or do.

    I have problems with the "non-observant" part. It is Ramadan now, if you have a mosque near you, why don't you pay a visit and see how many "non-observant" Muslims there praying as part of the Ramadan "ritual".

  • ||

    R.C. Dean,

    What are you doing at this moment to defeat radical Islam?

    I think what she's getting at here is that there seem to be relatively few Muslims who stand up to the radicals and actively push for a more tolerant, nuanced, liberal (in the old sense) version of their faith.

    Or it might be that a lot of these moderate Muslims aren't getting much air time. I can think of at least a half a dozen examples of Muslims who have written books which are critical of radical Islam, of Islamic practices like FGM, etc. Go down to the local bookstore and they are easy enough to find.

  • iih||

    shecky:

    In Hitchen's and Applebaum's articles, some of the responses from Dutch citizens were quite interesting to read. It seems that the American audience was just fed sensationalized version (surprise, surprise!) of the actions of the Dutch government.

  • ||

    She's Ann Coulter with an inspiring personal story.

    Ann Coulter? No. Ann Coulter's so over the top it's hard to believe even she believes the rubbish she spouts. Like iih said at some point, for Ann Islamophobia is a job. Hirsi Ali means what she says.

    Norman Finkelstein, perhaps. Whatever the motives of Finkelstein and Hirsi Ali might be, they've been most useful to those convinced that the Elders of Zion/Mecca are one step away from taking over the world. After all, why would an actual Jew/Muslim criticize their own people like this if it weren't all true?

  • iih||

    Ben Rushing:

    Most of the Muslim world is oppressed, and she simply want to destroy the ideology thatis aflicting and poisoning the minds of her country's immigrants.

    You do realize that most of the oppressive dictators of the ME are secular, don't you? This includes: Tunisia (where the head scarf is banned), Egypt, Syria (baathist, fringe religious group for leaders -- the Alawites), Saddam's Iraq (secular baathist), Musharaf's Pakistan? Is it possible that if Muslims and the practice of Islam was given a little bit more leeway, is it all possible that Islamists would not have gone underground, which resulted in the breeding of all the hate, darkness, and closed-mindedness that we see today among the Islamists?

    KSA is an interesting case. The wahabis were the "puritans" and Saud wanted to have more a religious leverage over the country to be able to establish the kingdom. Hence, it was a twisted political arrangement from the outset, which resulted in, eventually, the fundamentalist wahabis taking over the religious discourse in KSA.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    But to insist that moderation is fundamentally impossible for anybody who calls himself or herself a Muslim is to cast one's lot with the Bin Ladens of the world.

    She seems to blur the line between true muslims and muslims by name. You can see what she's saying "submission" and "passive", but that's only true of practitioners of the faith. There are plenty of "muslims", especially in this country. "Muslims" that drink, eat whatever and only fast for the opening day of Ramadan.

  • ||

    When you consider the fact that Pro-American Immams are given death threats, kidnapped, and murdered in Iraq, you can see that the powers that control Islam don't want to give thier people freedom. They seek to oppress and keep people from the choosing another religion (an act which is punnishable by death).

    Mecca may notbe pure tyranny but it is only a few steps away from it. The taliban destroyed any remmanence of Buddism in Afgahnastan and kept people oppressed. Iran kills homosexuals. The Islamic world has few places which a homosexual man can live freely. To think that the Islamic world chooses this for themselves is lunacy.

    The followers of Islam are not fanatical unless they are brainwashed. When a muslim goes to a place where other ideologies exist they tend to follow thier religion less. This is the way it is here on a US military base in Iraq where numerous Pakistani, Iraqi, Turkish Muslims are not fanatical, because the rule of law here does not allow it. They are treated just as well if not better here than they are in thier own countries.

    Islamic Statism does not seek freedom for its followers it preaches a fundamental rule of law that does not allow descent. Because of this, millions are killed in wars started by the actions of religious leaders who say that thier people can not have a free choice in religious matters (such as Darfur, Rawanda, Taliban controlled Afgahnistan, and other places where Islam becomes the norm).

    No one should be incited to kill others for thier beliefs, rather they should be allowed to chose for themselves what to believe. Religions should promote peace and tollerance. For the most part Islamic leaders as well as most religion's leaders, even Christianity's, do not do this.

  • ||

    iih,

    You do realize that most of the oppressive dictators of the ME are secular, don't you?

    I think that is an important thing to point out. of course one could ask what popularly elected governments in the middle east might look like.

  • iih||

    How should a moderate guy defeat and marginalize the radicals? He's busy raising his kids, doing his job, living his life, being a good neighbor. If he happens to have knowledge of violent activities by a radical, sure, he can report that guy. But it's not like violent radicals give the details of their plans to every Tariq, Daoud, and Hari.

    Otherwise, all he can do is raise his kids well, attend and support mosques with moderate teachers, and generally live a good life. He can't really go out and "defeat" radicals.


    I would add to that this. How many years did it take the Europeans to get to the Enlightenment? Right now, this is the Islamic "Dark Ages". It has been like that for some 200 years, and now seems to be the peak. These things do not happen overnight. It is a process. The roots of reform are starting to take shape.

    And, quite honestly, while I disagree with Ali on almost everything, I think that she is inadvertently playing a major role in the reform. I'd be for protecting her (from private funds though), of course. But I also see that her rhetoric is very very dangerous if taken seriously by enough people in the West.

  • iih||

    An Ottawa Reader:

    Right on mark.

    P.S. The Sens are doing great so far. But Les Canadiens sont sur la marche!

  • iih||

    Syoloson:

    I think that is an important thing to point out. of course one could ask what popularly elected governments in the middle east might look like.

    I personally would not trust today's Islamists in any government. It has to be a process, a slow one, as in Turkey and somewhat Egypt, to have parties with Islamic agendas re-evaluate their positions as they get to experience the realities of the world we live in. Any fixing should have happened a long time ago, before the political discourse in the ME becomes so poisoned and oppressive. Any un-calculated changes now could be dangerous, so lets leave it to due process.

  • ||

    Islam did expand in many parts of the world by means of conquest, but not everywhere. Not a single Muslim soldier set foot in Indonesia (the most populous Muslim country), Malaysia, Western China, and Africa (south of the north African modern-day "Arab" countries).

    But the problem is that Muhammad himself and the early "rightly guided" caliphs were the big conquerers, and the religion exists due largely to their efforts. In order to renounce the power/conquest aspects of Islam, much of Muhammad's own life and actions would have to be repudiated. Are you willing to do that?

    I have problems with the "non-observant" part. It is Ramadan now, if you have a mosque near you, why don't you pay a visit and see how many "non-observant" Muslims there praying as part of the Ramadan "ritual".

    I went overboard with that.

  • ||

    ChrisO,

    Much of what might be called Christendom came to be so via bloody conquest. Indeed, killing apostates, heathens, etc. is a long and at one time highly praised tradition in that religion. If that tradition no longer for the most part hinders Christianity then I don't see why such a tradition in Islam should necessarily hinder it.

  • iih||

    Ben Rushing:

    I appreciate what you say, but you still haven't told me what your sources are.

    To make my point, you mention Rwanda. Rwanda is 4.6% Muslim. But you are right, the Taliban, the Wahabis, the Pakistani tribal areas are very radicalized and extreme. But who said that these are the norms accepted in Egypt, Morocco, Malaysia, or Indonesia.

    But it seems to me that your are projecting the snippets of angry, violent Muslims that Fox, CNN, MSNBC spews (if you look closely, you'll find the O'Riely recycles his angry Muslim videos a lot) on to the over all global Muslim community. Why don't you pay a visit to, say, Egypt sometime. It'll be fun and you'll be surprised.

  • ||

    Ben Rushing,

    To be blunt, in Rwanda it was Christians who were involved in the genocide there, not Muslims. Indeed, since that event the Muslim faith has seen singificant growth in that nation in part because Muslims did not involve themselves in the genocide.

    Check out this article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53018-2002Sep22.html

  • ||

    I have visited Dubai and liked it very much. The deal with Dubai is that they have a high level of economic freedom and the government there seeks to allow as much development as possible and does not try to have protectionist philosophy.

    Dubai has started to allow more personal freedom as well. My beleif is that personal freedom will follow economic freedom. THe UAE has already allowed women to be the head of Universities there. Times are changing.

    I fault other Islamic Countries that refuse to give thier people both Personal and Economic Freedom based on some dusty old book that was invented because Muhamed was jelous of the success of Judism and Christianity (two other false religions that Islam borrows from).

    Egypt has been a tourist spot for years, but they have a lot of trouble with big government getting into thier business (such as buildings not being completed due to the tax required of them, but remain in use). I am not really against Islam when the leaders of it are not advocating terrorism or the submission to old and foolish laws. But to act like there is an enlightenment period in the religion is false. It is in the minority and hopefully will change places like Saudi Arabia (where religious police beat women that are alone in thier cars).

  • ||

    Much of what might be called Christendom came to be so via bloody conquest. Indeed, killing apostates, heathens, etc. is a long and at one time highly praised tradition in that religion. If that tradition no longer for the most part hinders Christianity then I don't see why such a tradition in Islam should necessarily hinder it.

    The founding figure of Christianity did not engage in or advocate such action. The founding figure of Islam did.

    And that, I believe, is a large part of why Christians were able to change their religion and why Muslims have not despite a couple of centuries worth of contact with Enlightenment ideas. The Carolingian "convert or die" ethos directly contradicts the entire New Testament and the words ascribed to Jesus. I can't claim to be Mr. Expert on Islamic texts, but it's well known that the Koran supports both violent and pacifist interpretations. The life of Muhammad and his early successors, however, makes things a lot more difficult for Muslims who would renounce violence.

  • heyjustasec||

    Not that I agree with male circumcision, either, but there is a HUGE difference between male and female "circumcision." I've never heard of a male circumcision where the actual organ is removed. In some cultures, the entire clitoris is removed. Then, in a super-freaky twist, some of the cultures sew up the women so that there is only one hole for both urinating and for sex. MUCH bigger deal than just removing the foreskin, IMHO. As you can well imagine, it leads to HORRIFIC ongoing medical problems and is very very painful. At least with male circumcision you would heal from it telatively quickly.

  • iih||

    ChrisO:

    In order to renounce the power/conquest aspects of Islam, much of Muhammad's own life and actions would have to be repudiated. Are you willing to do that?

    I have a problem with the first part of this statement. Before and after Islam, civilizations have decided that the best way to protect yourself is to be aggressive. One has to carefully study the history of these times. Many neighboring civilization felt endangered by this new religious movement (think Rome and early Christianity), especially the Byzantines and the Persians. They were on the march to crush the Arabs. It is simply how things worked back then. Should not be evaluated on today's scale.

    So when I say I "follow Muhamad", if by that I mean I will blindly follow the literal word of Hadith I'd be an idiot and I'd be wrong. No, I follow the moral value of his experience. At this point, people would mention "pedophilia". The least one can say is that Muhamed's actions are highly shaped in the West by the writings, translations, and interpretations of 18th and 19th century Orientalists (sometimes a dirty word to many scholars of Islam), who mixed Dark Ages myths with poor and twisted translations of Islamic text and scripture. As for the pedophelia charge, the age of the girl in question (Aisha -- most highly respect Islamic reference, who also was madly in love with the Prophet) is highly debateable, and most Muslim (non-Western) scholars say that marriage happened after Aisha reached puberty (the legal equivalent of being an "adult" in modern Western terms).

    But you see, Muhamad is not only about war and a marrying young girl. He is whole lote more than that to many Muslims. The West is just so hung up on those two things: "Jihad" and pedophilia (both widely controversial -- surely you've heard of "the greatest jihad is the jihad against one's evil desires"?) To Muslims it is a whole lot more.

    In any case, let me just explain this. What infuriates me is not that my religion is being attacked on an intellectual level (I am fine with the intellect part). What I think sucks is when people attribute stupidly wrong things to (1) the religion, (2) to an entire group of people and to portray them as monolith. Even worse is when some portray them as a monolith using lies and half truths. Liars are disgusting. Some do not lie, but they just ignorantly propagate these lies.

    Should Islam not be criticized? Absolutely not! It is one of the ways that Muslims will start to have to think about what their belief mean to them. They will have to come up with answers. They have to re-evaluate themselves and this re-evaluation came from such things as the Cartoon Crisis, Irshad Manji's views, Hirsi Ali's views, and so on. As I mentioned on previous threads, I prefer a civilized discussion (especially by the West) more than an insult-based approach (e.g., the Danish cartoons, which I found stupidly insulting and not the best way to have discourse).

  • ||

    ChrisO,

    The founding figure of Christianity did not engage in or advocate such action. The founding figure of Islam did.

    I honestly don't think that matters much at all. Then again, one can debate who really started Christianity. Was it Jesus? Paul? Constantine?

    And that, I believe, is a large part of why Christians were able to change their religion ...

    If it wasn't part of the founding then why did they have to change their religion?

    The Carolingian "convert or die" ethos directly contradicts the entire New Testament and the words ascribed to Jesus.

    Actually they don't. Jesus did preach a lot about the sort of things that would be visited (and quite quickly) on those he disapproved of. Indeed, the early gospels are suffused with the notion of Jesus as an apocalypticist. Well, guess what happens when the world is turned upside following that apocalypse? Guess who gets the shaft as it were?

  • ||

    Anyway, it doesn't take much of a leap of logic to go from Jesus' statements on the coming kingdom and who would profit and not profit by its arrival to discrimination by state which is officially Christian.

  • iih||

    I fault other Islamic Countries that refuse to give thier people both Personal and Economic Freedom based on some dusty old book that was invented because Muhamed was jelous of the success of Judism and Christianity (two other false religions that Islam borrows from).

    Ben, I thin this statement is patently false as I explain above. Most of these oppressive regimes are primarily secular. That is not to excuse governments like the Taliban, KSA's wahabis. The King of Morocco for example is a direct descendant of the Prophet. He is a decent guy, and while Morocco still has to do a lot work on the democracy front, they are a very tolerant Muslim nation , with a quasi-religious quasi-secular government.

  • iih||

    ChrisO:

    The life of Muhammad and his early successors, however, makes things a lot more difficult for Muslims who would renounce violence.

    See my response at 3:34.

  • iih||

    heyjustasec: FGM is brutal, yes.

  • ||


    OBL merely follows in his footsteps, which is why there is no theological foundation within Islam to reject him.


    No. There is. You clearly need to do a lot of reading.


    Ok, what do I need to read?

    OBL stands for a number of things:

    1) The dominance of Islam over all
    2) The permanent subjugation of non-Muslims as second-class citizens (dhimmis).
    3) The installation of Sharia as the supreme law of the world
    4) A permanent state of war, whether prosecuted by combat, propaganda, proselytizing, or money, between Muslims and non-Muslims until the non-Muslims submit to Islamic rule or are killed
    5) The rejection of existing, on a permanent non-repudiable basis, as equals with infidels
    6) The subverting and corruption of infidel governments and institutions in order to accomplish these aims

    You have a big job ahead if you want to convince me there is a specifically Islamic theological basis to reject these things. Please refrain from resorting to unreliable hadith or abrogated verses. Further explain how a Muslim can reject these goals without rejecting Muhammad himself, who did exactly these things.

    There are plenty of Muslims who aren't actively working to kill me. Unfortunately, most of them believe that 1-3 would make an ideal world, which is why they don't stop the "radicals". In fact they support them with money and shelter. The difference is not in their goals, merely the means which they will employ. Plenty of Muslims would love to see Sharia be installed in the US by non-violent means, but "non-violent" will be no consolation to the guy who got his hand chopped off for stealing a bag of potato chips.

  • ||

    She gets it! When will the rest of us get it!
    I authored a proposal to ban Islam in the US, see it at http://pedestrianinfidel.blogspot.com/2007/02/proposed-constitutional-amendment.html

    Here is the whole thing -

    Thursday, February 08, 2007
    A Proposed Constitutional Amendment
    Background and justification to Amendment 28

    Whereas Religion is defined as an institution dedicated to improving social conscience and promoting individual and societal spiritual growth in a way that is harmless to others not participating in or practicing the same;

    Whereas the United States of America was founded on the ideals of individual rights, including the individual right to practice one's religion of choice, or no religion, and that there would be no compulsion of religion, nor state sanctioned religion, nor a "religious test" for participation in the body politic;

    Whereas Islam includes a complete political and social structure, encompassed by its religious law, Sharia, that supersedes any civil law and that Islam mandates that no secular or democratic institutions are to be superior to Islamic law;

    Whereas Islam preaches that it and it alone is the true religion and that Islam will dominate the world and supplant all other religions and democratic institutions;

    Whereas Saudi Arabia, the spiritual home of Islam does not permit the practice of any other religion on its soil and even "moderate" Muslims states such as Turkey and Malaysia actively suppress other religions;

    Whereas Islam includes as its basic tenet the spread of the faith by any and all means necessary, including violent conquest of non-believers, and demands of its followers that they implement violent jihad (holy war) against those un-willing to convert or submit to Islam, including by deception and subversion of existing institutions;

    Whereas on 9/11/2001 19 Muslim hijackers acting in the name of Islam killed 3,000 Americans, and numerous other acts of terrorism have been directed at the American people around the world;

    Whereas representatives of Islam around the world including Osama Bin Laden (architect of 9/11), the government of Iran including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, HAMAS, Hezbollah, and other Islamic groups have declared jihad (war) on America, and regularly declare that America should cease to exist;

    Whereas there is no organized Islamic opposition to violent proponents of Islam;

    Therefore: Islam is not a religion, but a political ideology more akin to Fascism and totally in opposition to the ideals of freedom as described in the United States Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights.

    Be it resolved that the following Amendment to the Constitution be adopted:

    Article I

    The social/political/ideological system known around the world as Islam is not recognized in the United States as a religion.

    The practice of Islam is therefore not protected under the 1st Amendment as to freedom of religion and speech.

    Article II

    As representatives of Islam around the world have declared war, and committed acts of war, against the United States and its democratic allies around the world, Islam is hereby declared an enemy of the United States and its practice within the United States is now prohibited.

    Article III

    Immediately upon passage of this Amendment all Mosques, schools and Muslim places of worship and religious training are to be closed, converted to other uses, or destroyed. Proceeds from sales of such properties may be distributed to congregations of said places but full disclosure of all proceeds shall be made to an appropriate agency as determined by Congress. No compensation is to be offered by Federal or State agencies for losses on such properties however Federal funding is to be available for the demolishing of said structures if other disposition cannot be made.

    The preaching of Islam in Mosques, Schools, and other venues is prohibited. The subject of Islam may be taught in a post high school academic environment provided that instruction include discussion of Islam's history of violence, conquest, and its ongoing war on democratic and other non-Islamic values.

    The preaching or advocating of Islamic ideals of world domination, destruction of America and democratic institutions, jihad against Judaism, Christianity and other religions, and advocating the implementation of Sharia law shall in all cases be punishable by fines, imprisonment, deportation, and death as prescribed by Congress. Violent expressions of these and other Muslim goals, or the material support of those both in the United States and around the world who seek to advance these Islamic goals shall be punishable by death.

    Muslims will be denied the opportunity to immigrate to the United States.

    Article IV

    Nothing in this amendment shall be construed as authorizing the discrimination against, of violence upon, nor repudiation of the individual rights of those Americans professing to be Muslim. The individual right of conscience is sacrosanct and the practice of Islam within the privacy of home and self is strictly protected to the extent that such individuals do not violate the prohibitions described in Article III.

  • ||

    I'm surprised at the level of hostility here. Hirsi Ali is an eloquent, nuanced writer squarely in the classical liberal tradition. Comparing her to an authoritarian theocratic blowhard like Ann Coulter is a contemptible cheapshot.

    Hirsi Ali's comments on how a tolerant, open society should fight a totalitarian enemy remind me of Goldwater's chapter on fighting communism in "Conscience of a Conservative". I don't agree 100% with either, but saying "Hirsi Ali is an intolerant fanatic just like Osama" makes as much sense as "Goldwater was just like Stalin".

  • ||

    The idea that they are secular or islamic does not matter. There is no real freedom in the Arab world except in small parts of it. (like Dubai where the Arab population is low)

    So what are you saying that if a real muslim was put into power there would be freedom? That is like Saying Pat Robertson (of the Christian TBN TV show the 700 club) would allow gay rights, gay adoption, and would allow the free worship of religions other than Christianity if he were President of the United States.

  • ||

    I mean come on if you kill 7 milion jews your pretty bad, but if you kill 1.5 billion muslims your just protecting our freedoms.

    Where did Hirsi Ali advocate genocide against muslims?

  • iih||

    Regarding Christianity and "violence". Where did things the DoD come from? Can we say that Christianity lacked an innate "right to bear arms" (pun intended)! Didn't Christians have to protect themselves later. It is not like the crusades did not happen!

  • iih||

    Ben:

    So what are you saying that if a real muslim was put into power there would be freedom?

    No.

    Please at least read my comments. I spend time (I really do have other things to do, oo) to respond to you. In fact I responded to this very statement above at 2:48 and at 3:00.

  • ||

    Amazing and thought provoking. Ali is a voice we in the West need to heed. We are at war whether we admit as much or not.

  • ||

    Daze,

    For the most part it seems to me that people just disagree with her.

  • dhex||

    Hirsi Ali is an eloquent, nuanced writer squarely in the classical liberal tradition.

    she certainly doesn't come off as such in the interview.

    Reason: We have to crush the world's 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, "defeat Islam"?

    Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there's no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they're the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, "This is a warning. We won't accept this anymore." There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.


    now do i totally understand why she would feel this way? you fuckin' bet.

    but it's not particularly levelheaded.

  • iih||

    Bob Smith @ 3:51:

    Many of your statements are collectivist in nature.

    Ok, what do I need to read?

    Well there is plenty. Stop watching FOX or reading michellemalkin.com would be a good start. Visit a bookstore near you. Borders or B&N would do. I can not tell you what to read, do you have to be told?

    Well, read this or this for example.

  • ||

    iih: I understand your conviction to defend the right to practice your religion, but to say that it doesn't promote Statism or the ability for secular governments to come into power and cause a loss of freedom is incredible.

    I work with muslims who are moderate, or liberal depending on what words you use, who have stopped caring about their religion since
    working over here. I and my American co-workers don't actively stress it.

    They enjoy watching videos with scantly clad women and they will sometimes eat pork when told that it is beef (I didn't do this someone before me did).

    They have found out that Americans are not the evil people that they are portrayed to be, but that we are more prone to use science as a way to stop diseases while Muslim countries will not talk about condoms (just like Evangelicals in the US) but they will sell them in the stores.

    I have met incredible self educated muslims from Pakistan that have learned English on thier own and have done some amazing things when they have stopped listening to the crazyness of thier religion and have opened thier eyes to science.

    One of my guys has told me about how ignorant people are in Pakistan because the religion calls science a plot of the infidels to subvert Islam! It is incredible that anyone would actively defend Muslim nations! They have not yet contributed to the advancement of society, merely kept it 300-400 years back.

  • iih||

    Stop watching FOX or reading michellemalkin.com would be a good start.

    I did not mean that literally of course. It was a figure speech implying that you should not rely on either one of them solely, if you did. I can not tell you what to watch and what not to watch. Sorry.

    regarding dhex: Good luck. While you crush them make sure to look the other way, so that you do not feel the guilt.

  • Thomas Paine\'s Goiter||

    she certainly doesn't come off as such in the interview.

    I'm SHOCKED! SHOCKED I SAY that an eloquent writer would come off less than eloquent in a spoken interview.

    SHOCKED!

  • Mark||

    Amazing. If Ms Ali said that Christian churches needed to be razed, I bet half or more of the atheists on here would applaud and nod. Since she's attacking islam, she gets called unhinged. Very telling.

  • ||

    What are you doing at this moment to defeat radical Islam?

    I'm not a Muslim, so I'm not sure what your point is, since my observation was that there seem to be a lot of passive Muslims.

    Unlike, say Christians. You don't have any trouble finding Christians who vocally condemn and actively oppose abortion-clinic bombers.

    Now, with Muslims, I am the first to admit that I am relying on what I read and see on the media, so this is all very impressionistic, and who knows what's going on in the big world.

    Even in the US, though, the "public" face of Islam is the likes of CAIR, which seems to operate under the maxim "No enemies in the Dar al Islam".

    It seems to me that, given the obviously overwhelming desire of the MSM to normalize Muslims, it is odd that we don't see (in the MSM) more Muslims taking public issue with their radical and violent brethren.

  • iih||

    Ben,

    From your description, I guarantee you that I am probably more like your colleagues. I have trouble with what happens back in Muslim countries, but:

    it doesn't promote Statism or the ability for secular governments to come into power and cause a loss of freedom is incredible.

    Yes, it has been used to do that before. But I am one of those Muslims ("reformers" if you will) who see a version (an "interpretation") of Islam that does not translate into promoting statism , or the ability of a secular government to come into power. There does exist such an interpretation. It is a very small minority interpretation, but it does exist in theory. It only takes legal craftsmen, and hard work. This I call reform, which I thought what people in the West would like to see. The naive idea that Islam needs to be eliminated or will be elliminated is simply unpractical. One has to work with what one has.

  • ||

    R.C. Dean,

    ...given the obviously overwhelming desire of the MSM to normalize Muslims...

    That doesn't seem particularly obvious to me.

    Mark,

    I bet none or very few would.

  • ||

    She characterizes radical Islamism as some kind of a mind virus that spreads itself.

    There is a core of radical Islam that has always been there and will always be there, just as there is a core of radical white supremacists that have always been there and will always be there.

    Radical Islamists that kill themselves in battle can no longer recruit new radical Islamists. At best they are referred to as martyrs by other recruiters.

    But where are the new recruits coming from? Why the sudden rise of recruits to radical Islam in the last 50 years?

    I submit that radical Islam recruitment is not a mind virus, but an opportunity driven by the lack of economic opportunity that US foreign policy has left young people in Islamic countries; and by the anger that the deaths of millions of their family members due to US foreign policy produces.

    Fix the US foreign policy that is guaranteeing a dead end for young people, and you end recruitment. Why? Because making money and enjoying life are more important than any religion, judging by the number of people in the US who are Christians in name only but really practice a religion of materialism instead.

    It's impossible to live in Iraq and make money and enjoy life today, so it's impossible for material comfort to divert young people away from the message of radical Islam. Why wouldn't young people listen to Islamic zealots who offer them paradise? They've got nothing to lose because our foreign policy has taken any hope at opportunity away from them.

    When recruitment is ended, then you're left with a core of neutered blowhards just like any other marginalized religion. And just like radical Islam pre-1950 before our foreign policy started feeding their recruitment prospects.

    Radical Islamists are like hornets. You can't kill 'em all because there's another nest somewhere you can't see or reach. You can't exterminate a hornet problem by killing the nests that are within reach. The only way to reduce them to a manageable or undetectable level is to get rid of whatever is feeding them.

    In the case of the Middle East, it's our foreign policy of sanctions, aid, coups, alliances, bombs, and selectively implementing UN resolutions that is feeding the hornet population in radical Islam.

    600,000 to 1.2 million dead Iraqis, on an expedition that had nothing to do with addressing radical Islam in the first place, probably guarantees a matching number of new radical Islam recruits.

    When are we going to stop making the problem worse, beef up our defense, take our licks for this round of recruitment, and let radical Islamism suffer an eventual collapse upon its fundamental flaws compared to a market society?

    Instead, we continue to exacerbate the problem, using the problem itself as justification for the continued exacerbation. Not logical...

  • ||

    One has to work with what one has.

    Well true, but you will be accused of plotting to help the jews and the kaufers. I am sure the leaders of Islam would likely have you killed. Just as the Catholics sought with thier reformers. Would it not be easier to confess that you are a human and say:

    "There is no god who activly influences our lives, nor scientifically reveals himself/herself/itself, and therefor does not deem himself/herself/itself worthy of being praised, feared, or worshiped. I shall not live my life perscribing to a belief system that has caused more division, racism, sexism, and bigotry to all of the people of the world. I will be who I am and will allow the free worship of a religion and will only criticize the leaders and defenders of which who make it possible to legally harm someone either physically or financially using thier religion." ?

  • iih||

    R.C. Dean:

    I think what she's getting at here is that there seem to be relatively few Muslims who stand up to the radicals and actively push for a more tolerant, nuanced, liberal (in the old sense) version of their faith.

    You have one right here. There are a lot of progressive (some are Muslim, non--secular) movements in the Muslim world working to change things. But it takes time. Again, how many years to take Europe from the Dark Ages to the Enlightenment?

  • ||

    Well, this is certainly not surprising. That dog Ayaan is now given free rein to spew her hate, on American soil no less, and by what you would normally like to think of as moderate and freedom loving American Institutions. She wants to 'go at war with Islam' and use 'whatever means' to 'remove' it, shut down schools, curb expression thereof in clear violation of the Constitution I took an oath to, and yet still be on the payrolls of those institutions.

    It says a lot about American institutions, and Americans who support them. I continue to be completely side swiped and surprised by the degree of hypocrisy exhibited by Americans in this country. Each day I wake up and tell myself that its ok, they would never go that low, but they still manage to.

    And as usual I am being asked my complete strangers to 'denounce out loud' the actions of other complete strangers simply because we happen to beleive in the same God.

    Sometimes I wonder... sometimes, I really do...

  • Ben||

    "It's impossible to live in Iraq and make money and enjoy life today, so it's impossible for material comfort to divert young people away from the message of radical Islam. Why wouldn't young people listen to Islamic zealots who offer them paradise? They've got nothing to lose because our foreign policy has taken any hope at opportunity away from them"

    Uh actually it is not. What is impossible is to live here and not at some point face threats from foriegn supplied Arab Terorists (usually Iran or Syria). US troops supply what are known as haji shops on the base (this is how they are refered to by the Iraqi shop owners as well). So I would say that while Iraq is hurting, they are also improving themselves. In Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) they build thier buildings with glass and not concrete and are extreamly pro-American. Visit www.theotheriraq.com to find out more.

  • iih||

    Ben:

    but you will be accused of plotting to help the jews and the kaufers

    Yes, by those that the MSM keeps talking about 24/7. Most Muslims and many Muslim leaders are not like that.

    Would it not be easier to confess that you are a human and say:...

    Trust me, no. Plus, I do believe in a God and Islam seems pretty good to me (not the one preached by OBL, or what the MSM wishes the general public to beieve Islam is -- simply put, Islam is not, has not, and will not be a monolith.)

  • iih||

    Finally, I really have to go, let me just put on the table some of what Ali has to say and ask yourself if, as libertarians, you agree with these statements (taken from a previous post):

    And you really have to read about her views in reason to see why even peaceful Muslims are alarmed by her propositions.

    For example:

    "we are at war with Islam."

    When asked about defeating radical Islam, she answers "[n]o. Islam, period."

    She says: "There comes a moment when you crush your enemy." (Referring to Islam, not radical Islam). Bakel then asks: "Militarily?", she responds: "In all forms, and if you don't do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed."

    Then there is her proposition to close all Muslim schools.

    She suggests that the Bill of Rights and Constitution are not infallible in defense of asking for closing all Muslim schools.

    When asked if she met any American Muslims while here, she simply says that she did not have time to meet any. But still she's for closing all Muslim schools.

    I have a lot of trouble with her views (and still believe she has every right to her free speech). She should also be protected, because if a radical Muslim hurts her, it is the ordinary peaceful Muslims who end up having to live with the consequences in the public discourse. But I think that she should be protected by contributions from private donors (and I'd be more than happy to contribute, as I am sure her AEI friends would want to do, too).

  • ||

    I have a problem with the first part of this statement. Before and after Islam, civilizations have decided that the best way to protect yourself is to be aggressive. One has to carefully study the history of these times. Many neighboring civilization felt endangered by this new religious movement (think Rome and early Christianity), especially the Byzantines and the Persians. They were on the march to crush the Arabs. It is simply how things worked back then. Should not be evaluated on today's scale.

    That does not follow any understanding I have of early Muslim history. The Rashidun Caliphs invaded and conquered Persia and southeastern Byzantium, starting in the 630s. There was no Persian or Byzantine invasion of the Arabian peninsula, which was to them an insignificant backwater. Persia and Byzantium had fought a crushing war against each other a decade earlier that led to a high degree of military exhaustion and vulnerability, particularly on the Persian side.

    So when I say I "follow Muhamad", if by that I mean I will blindly follow the literal word of Hadith I'd be an idiot and I'd be wrong. No, I follow the moral value of his experience. At this point, people would mention "pedophilia". The least one can say is that Muhamed's actions are highly shaped in the West by the writings, translations, and interpretations of 18th and 19th century Orientalists (sometimes a dirty word to many scholars of Islam), who mixed Dark Ages myths with poor and twisted translations of Islamic text and scripture. As for the pedophelia charge, the age of the girl in question (Aisha -- most highly respect Islamic reference, who also was madly in love with the Prophet) is highly debateable, and most Muslim (non-Western) scholars say that marriage happened after Aisha reached puberty (the legal equivalent of being an "adult" in modern Western terms).

    The pedophilia stuff is silly, and "child brides" are certainly not unique to Islam. However, there is simply no getting around the fact that Muhammad was a conquerer, and a ruthless one. Obviously there was more to his message than that, but that's not the point in this discussion, when dealing with Salafists and their ideas.

    BTW, iih, I'm on your side on this one, really. A reinterpretation of Islam that fits with the modern world benefits everyone. I hope you and your cohorts are successful.

    I honestly don't think that matters much at all. Then again, one can debate who really started Christianity. Was it Jesus? Paul? Constantine?

    Syloson, I think you are stretching greatly on this. Doctrinally, the words ascribed to Jesus do not invite any form of conquest or violence. And to reformers, it is that which matters, not what Christian emperors/kings had done in the name of the religion centuries earlier. I'm a devout atheist, and I can see this quite clearly.

    This is all academic, I suppose. People are going to see in any religion what they wish to see.

  • megs||

    Syloson of Samos - if you get this far down the comments to a question you asked at the top:

    No, the Netherlands is awful. I meant Kenya/Somalia.

  • megs||

    yikes. I mean NOT awful. Hooray for the Netherlands et all.

  • Ben Rushing||

    Well most muslims don't want the Quran translated the same was true about the Bible (which wasn't always available in Engrish)
    And look at what Christian reformation brought us: weak Christianity that was open to criticism followed by a growth of: deism, agnosticism, and atheism. Is this what you really want for Islam? Protestant Islam followed by Atheism? If so, then good luck. I hope the Saudis don't find you, because if you look at Christianity's reformation, there is going to be a huge tribulation period before all is well.

  • iih||

    That does not follow any understanding I have of early Muslim history. The Rashidun Caliphs invaded and conquered Persia and southeastern Byzantium, starting in the 630s.

    Shall we call it, to use an often used term in recent years, a preemptive strike? The spread of Islam at the time was certainly noticed and the Persians and Byzantines were worried and were preparing for the assault. Simply, it all boils down to war tactics. Does this justify terrorism? Absolutely not. Terrorism is criminal and goes against Islam (named in Arabic by "heraba", and is prohibited).

    What also goes unmentioned is the fact that many locals did see in the incoming new forces as a change for the oppressive status quo. For example, the Copts in Egypt were fed up with the Byzantines and were in fact supportive of the oncoming Muslims. They reached an agreement by which all Coptic churches remained open, and Egyptians pretty much kept their self rule (except for the Arabian Emir who was appointed by the Caliph). This policy led to many conversions.

    Much later, as in India, some Muslim rulers were brutal in their conquests (e.g., Akbar, who was Mongol -- Mongols were known for their brutality). Is he a mainstream Muslim figure? No. Salah El Din (Saladin), on the other hand is loved by all Muslims, and is a very respected figure in the West.

    So yes, some Muslim invaders were brutal in their methods, but that was more imperialism, than being Islamically motivated. And as with any religious text, yes you can find something in there to justify your brutal actions. I can find many other things that do not justify these kinds of actions.

    One can also talk of "Dhimitude". As recently as the 20th century, Canada, for example, had a head tax. So it is not an entirely foreign concept. Yes it is discriminatory, that is why you won't find many Muslims, or Muslim nations even applying the concept today (in fact since the 17th and 18th century). I do not know about KSA. I think they'd still impose it.

    However, here is the explanation I know of: it is a tax paid by non-Muslims so that they are exempt from joining the army. That is why it was imposed on male non-Muslims only. It is the cost of having the Muslim state defend and protect the non-Muslim in the state, from foreign invasion. On today's standards, is it right? Is it applicable? No.

    People are going to see in any religion what they wish to see.

    So, then, evaluate people as individuals, each based on his/her actions, and not in a collectivist approach as Ali suggests.

    And I am glad that we do agree on something.

  • iih||

    I hope the Saudis don't find you, because if you look at Christianity's reformation, there is going to be a huge tribulation period before all is well.

    Who said it is going to be easy?

  • iih||

    OK... I am off.

  • ||

    I realize there is no obligation for anyone to denounce anyone else's views just because they worship the same god, but I have to say, I personally am very careful to distance myself from people who claim to be speaking for me.

  • SuprKufr||

    Mark | October 10, 2007, 4:21pm | #

    Amazing. If Ms Ali said that Christian churches needed to be razed, I bet half or more of the atheists on here would applaud and nod. Since she's attacking islam, she gets called unhinged. Very telling.


    Very telling indeed.

    Islam delenda est.

  • ||

    For example, I have over the past few years come to question whether Islam in practice is reconcilable with liberal traditions that are the basis of modern civilization. I have come to question whether iih's very reasonable views form only the extreme fringe of current Islamic thought, with the bulk of practioners being essentially hostile to notions of rights and liberty.

    In those concerns, I may be seen as similar to Ali. Let me distance myself now. I would never agree to the public persecution of a religion as a whole. I would never support and would indeed stridently oppose any plan to close schools founded on religious teaching. I don't know what she means when she talks about crushing your enemy, but it can't mean anything good.

    I simply wonder if her assessment of the state of Islam as essentially hostile to liberty is correct. From my perspective, were this to be true, it would mean more conflicts in the future and not fewer (as is implied by the notion that violent Islam is withering in the face of a modernized version).

  • SuprKufr||

    What I found most interesting in the interview were the assumptions which the interviewer wore on his sleeve and was passionately stubborn to renounce. For instance:

    In Infidel, you point out many positive religious experiences you had as a Muslim. For instance, you describe Mecca's Grand Mosque as a place of vastness and beauty. You praise the kindness that you experienced there, a sense of community, a lack of prejudice. Are there times when you miss that aspect of being a practicing believer?

    He asks this because he is desperate to find some good things in Islam to balance out the many horrible, horrible things in Islam that are blatantly obvious (Farfour the Mouse, for example) yet, for the sake of multiculturalism, impossible to denounce.

    Don't you mean defeating radical Islam?

    Borne from the idea that the horrible things we see in Islam are actually part of a fringe and radical movement as opposed to being integral to and inextricable from of the Shari'a (Islamic Law) and Sunnah (ways of the Islamic prophet Mohammed). It's very hard for a multicultural liberal to accept that A) Islam teaches that everything the Islamic prophet Mohammed did was right and perfect and should be emulated by everyone, and B) Mohammed practiced murder, offensive war, torture, slavery, and pedophilia.

    I'm not so sure they ought to diplomatically engage some idiots burning a piece of cloth or a straw figure in the streets of Islamabad.

    He calls them "idiots" to minimize the threat. Muajhedin who chant "Death to America!" and "Allahu Akhbar!" are much easier to accept when you call them "idiots" or "clowns". It's a way of telling yourself, "They're harmless." After all, if they meant what they said and actually had a means of making good on the threat they pose, then that means we might have to do something. For a black-and-white-thinking liberal, anything that makes the Evil George W. Bush look right is unthinkable. To them, beating one's wife is a lesser sin than agreeing with Bush. That's part of the problem we have in dealing with Islam.

    One of the things in your book that struck me was that many of the women in the book made religious choices that seemed entirely free.

    This "struck" the author because he is dying, desperate to find something good in Islam. "Look, these women who are forced to cover up their evil female bodies *chose* to do it! That looks something like freedom!"

    I also thought that the most insightful thing that Ali wrote was this:

    Look, in a democracy, it's like this: I suggest, "Let's close Muslim schools." You say, "No, we can't do it." The problem that I'm pointing out to you gets bigger and bigger. Then you say, "OK, let's somehow discourage them," and still the problem keeps on growing, and in another few years it gets so bad that I belatedly get what I wanted in the first place.

    She's so right. Ask yourself: is the problem with Islam going to get better or worse in the next few years? Though you might have to understand what "the problem with Islam" actually *is*, first. That will come with the swallowing of the incredibly bitter pill: there is NOTHING un-Islamic about initiating deadly force in order to impose Islamic law on the entire world. The Islamic prophet, the "perfect model of conduct" to the Muslims, did precisely that, and that law is still in effect today because it can never be changed. That's why Muslim reformers (that's you, iih) have a very hard time coming up with an purely Islamic justification for repudiating OBL and his ilk. Instead, they have to divert the discussion to Bush or the Crusades or Ann Coulter. That, and also that shirk (disbelief) and ijtihad (apostacy) are punishable by death under Shari'a. iih, was it not your prophet who said, "He who changes his religion, kill him"?

    Islam delenda est.

  • ||

    SuprKufr: Awsome commentary. I think a lot of people who come here are not true champions of liberty, rather they seem to be hacks for the left or the right and choose only one type of freedom or turn Centrist and don't know what to think.

    Most atheists in America have come from a christian background (like myself) and therefore just deride thier Christian upbringing. This woman is doing the same, but this time to Islam. The Liberal-Statist who make up the Democratic party often find a hard time when critisizing Islam. Thier choice to blame America first happens I think because they lose the debate to facts and don't want to offend potential voters. They were Socialists in economics, but now choose to be Nanny staters by taxing behavior that they don't like (along with the Christian right). So they are stuck on election day in most places.

    I tend to think that the Libertarian party and libertarians in general have a hard time dealing with this anti-Islam woman, because they genrally dissagree with the war in Iraq. This is due to the fact that most Libertarians seek to return to the good ol' days of Isolationism (1776, forgetting the Marines that were sent to Tripoli to save Americans that were captured by pirates and Americas other involvements at the time). To me this has allowed them to become soft on Statism. Thier willingness to allow it to exist has caused likable guys like Ron Paul to lose valuable endorsements. Rush Limbaugh would have been all over this guy to win had he simply said that he wants to win this war and keep Iran from developing nuclear weopons. Because we do not champion liberty world wide we allow millions upon millions of people to suffer the affects of Statism. This is an issue beyond political beliefs and therefore I think this is why it is controversial. To some it gets down to the basic idea of if it doesn't make money, then it doesn't make sence.

  • iih||

    I simply wonder if her assessment of the state of Islam as essentially hostile to liberty is correct. From my perspective, were this to be true, it would mean more conflicts in the future and not fewer (as is implied by the notion that violent Islam is withering in the face of a modernized version).

    I honestly believe that she is wrong on that. To use GWB's words, the West should be attempting to win Muslim hearts and minds. Certainly not by escalation of more wars, unless in clear self defense (as what happened with Afghanistan). Why am I right? This whole "America is Satan" thing and terrorism are modern phenomena -- only in the last 30-40 years or so. Where in Islam does it say go blow yourself up? Has suicide bombing been practiced by Muslims before Palestinian militants started employing it? In fact suicide bombing was first practiced by the Tamil Tigers, and before them has been practiced in history.

    Humans, all humans, love and want liberty from tyranny. It is a matter of time. And it could just be me, but I do not think that that means entirely abolishing Islam by Muslims. Liberty and Islam can co-exist. It is just a matter of time. But if the West follows Ali, it is truly going to be disastrous.

  • ||

    Humans, all humans, love and want liberty from tyranny. It is a matter of time. And it could just be me, but I do not think that that means entirely abolishing Islam by Muslims. Liberty and Islam can co-exist. It is just a matter of time. But if the West follows Ali, it is truly going to be disastrous.

    True but this would mean that Islamic countries (Iran, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and others) would have to give up investing in the sabatoge of the West's attempt to bring liberty and Democracy to Iraq (It has suceeded in that, now we are attempting to keep the peace so that the government can govern itself.)

    The Palestinians along with the rest of the Muslim world will also have to allow Isreal to coexist peacefully.

    This is a lot easier said then done when you consider what the thugs routinely say that run these Muslim countries.

  • Paul||

    The Netherlands is awful?

    S of S, she isn't from the Netherlands.

    Now, in retrospect, I've never been to the Netherlands, so...

  • iih||

    West's attempt to bring liberty and Democracy to Iraq

    Do you truly believe that democracy can be spread by the use of force, even if well intentioned? It took Americans 200 years before the revolution to develop American Democracy and to decide to get rid of the Brits. Sure there are thugs in the ME. But blame the thugs, not an entire group of people who belong to a specific religion. Last time I checked, these very people hate their leaders, and not they do not trust the Islamists to govern the respective countries. Again, you really need to read more than the right-wing neocon crap. And no, I do not believe that reason or libertarianism is right wing. So may be you are in the wrong place.

  • iih||

    I have been to Amsterdam, and loved it. Not so sure if I had felt comfortable in the Red Light District. But it was freedom and liberty taken to the limit (or as close to them limit as I have ever seen).

  • ||

    Paul,

    Her last place of residence was the Netherlands, and she has lived there from 1992.

    ChrisO,

    I am not stretching anything in the least. Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher (like many in his day) with all the entails.

  • UsorThem||

    Ben Rushing says:

    "Most atheists in America have come from a christian background (like myself) and therefore just deride thier Christian upbringing. This woman is doing the same, but this time to Islam."

    Use of the word "deride" is the what I am curious about. Tell us Ben, is their any fact or interpetation of Islam that Ms Hirsi Ali states that is incorrect? For example, when she says :

    "Where I come from, in Islam, the only concept of God is you submit to Him and you obey His commands, no quarreling allowed. Quarreling or even asking questions means you raise yourself to the same level as Him, and in Islam that's the worst sin you can commit."

    Is she deriding Islam by saying this or is she stating something that is critical, but, nonetheless true?

    To the muslims on this board, tell us please if Islam allows you to quarrel with Allah, and if so, please provide some examples how you have questioned the word of Allah, in public, preferably. Perhaps a posting, or a blog entry you have composed. Tell us please what teachings of the prophet mohammed that you reject and the reasons you reject same? Tell us whether, in the 1,350+ years of islamic history whether any muslims scholars were ever ,successfully ( and without being killed for blaphemy, no Irshad Manji's either) ever quarreled with the word of Allah or the teachings of Mohammed? And while you're at it, point to one fact about Islam that Hirsi Ali states that is not true?

    I don't think you can or you will.

    Hirsi Ali's evaluation of Islam is 100% correct, her motivations notwithstanding. It is simply to fantastic an idea for most people to grasp, particularly those who have not bothered to learn of the origins of the Koran , the history of Islamic jihad, and the life of mohammed. You can't fathom the possibility that Hirsi Ali may be correct because of the implications to the West.


    iih

    Read some Islamic history. Read a not too friendly critique of the Koran and what it says about muslims' duty to spread the word of Allah by holy war. The Koran does not limit the means or the tools that can be used to spread Islam. That is why Hirsi Ali points to Islamic schools in the west (the dawa tool) as well as violent jihadist. If bombs were available in the time of Mohammed you better believe he would have used them. (if he had them, he would never have had to leave Mecca for Medina). Do you think that beuuase the Koran doesn't mention nuclear weapons that we ought not worry about Ahmedinejad because they are not mentioned in the Koran?

    Please, whatever else you do, do NOT use GWB as any type of authority on Islam. He is an ignorant fool when it comes to knowing what Islam is all about. His nonsense about Islam being a religion of peace does more harm to our country than than a thousand Nancy Pelosi's.

  • ||

    Sounds like she's still a tribalist. She's just changed her tribe.

    She's also got a wicked case of pessimism bias.

  • USorThem||

    iih says we can bring democracy to Iraq.

    ".. blame the thugs, not an entire group of people who belong to a specific religion. Last time I checked, these very people hate their leaders, and not they do not trust the Islamists to govern the respective countries. Again, you really need to read more than the right-wing neocon crap."

    The neo-cons ( Bush, Rice, Cheney, Hughes, Rumsfield, Perle, Wolfowitz, et all) DO BLAME THE THUGS. That is of course, if those extremists and radicals and fundamentalist or whatever else you want to mislabel them as, are the thugs referred to. That is what makes them neo-cons.

    Islam and liberal democracy cannot exist in the same polity. Islam requires adherence to Sharia law. Sharia Law prohibits freedom of speech, freedom or religion and allows blatent discrimination of jews and women. The common Iraqi, those "ordinary moms and dads" Bush refers to, may want to exercise all those freedoms, but they cannot practice liberal democracy and Islam simultaneously. If you can explain how Sharia law and liberal democracy are compatible (I presume you are aware that Sharia law is made an integral part of Iraq and Afhganistan consitution).

    That is not "right-wing neo-con crap".

  • ||

    Well not every Iraqi is Muslim or Arab. That is why the Kurds are sucessful, they lived in oppression for far too long. The Christian Iraqis that I have talked to have told me that they are scared of being kidnapped by Iranians or Foriegn Arabs when they leave the base to go get more stuff. The Muslim Iraqis have started to reject the crazyness of thier faith in order to justify helping America. Some will go so far as to violate the Koran and say that Women should be treated as equals in the new Iraq. What we are seeing is a religion weakening. This will eventually lead to an increase of Atheism in Iraq. I am not right wing, just anti-statist. As I said this war is not on the political map but on the ideological map of how we should deal with statism. Fight it, or let millions suffer.
    I am not happy to know that the world has major problems that the US has solved years ago that remain unsolved in the third world, when we know that the cause of it is bad government.

    There was a very non-socialistic approach to solving problems that Jesus has said and that is: If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for life.

    I feel that our training and equiping of Iraqi troops teaches them to be reliant on theirselves. Eventually we will only be in Iraq for positioning reasons, just like we are in Germany, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Korea (even though the war with the North is at a ceasefire) our presence there will allow the world to see what a nation like Iraq can become with democracy. Hopefully Iraqis will elect free market civil libertarian thinkers to govern themselves on the comming elections.

    If this happens I can definitly say that Iraq will be better off in the next 10 years, than they would have in 30 years without us. Liberty creates wealth this is not an accident.

  • iih||

    UsorThem:

    I'll only respond by giving you two quick examples: Al-Ghazali. His critical thinking led him to disbelief in God and, ultimately, through reason reworked his way back to mainstream Islam. Despite this huge excursion from the norm, he is today considered as one the greatest thinkers. In that link I give, check who he's influenced by. Many of his contemporary Muslim thinkers where equally critical of everything Islamic and otherwise. And, yes, this kind of discourse and critical thinking is missing in the Muslim world. Does this mean we have to get rid of the whole thing by naively believe that the religion of 1.2 Billion people can simply be eradicated?

    Ibn al-Arabi is another philosopher whom the Islamists today would hate to see speak. But he is widely accepted despite his statements and beliefs.

    Given the website you link to, I think my breath will be wasted on you. But, yes, there are statements in the Quran that limits the use of force in wars (e.g., surat Baqara a verse essentially says something to the effect: "Fight (in self-defense), but do not transgress". Transgression (beyond self defense) is mentioned frequently in the Quran -- just go read it, but read it properly and not superficially. There is also the famous verse "There is no compulsion in religion" and "To you your religion, and to me mine" [Surah 109]). You see there is room here for something. But people like you wish to just crush any such possibilities of reconciliation, multiple interpretations, or giving moderate Muslims a chance to say that there is a leeway here that can get us all out of this apocalyptic vision of the world (in Islam there is no apocalypse, BTW).

    Whatever you want to do, please just don't tread on me. Yes, I am Muslim, but I am peaceful and so are most of the several million Muslims in this country. I respect what the US stands for. I love the liberty and freedoms I am offered here. And, please, do not seek to change the constitution or get rid of the Bill of Rights while you are on your "crusade", for Ali seems to suggest something like that.

  • Joshua Holmes||

    Where I come from, in Islam, the only concept of God is you submit to Him and you obey His commands, no quarreling allowed.

    "Where I come from". Okay, her sect of Islam was pretty intolerant. Is that all Muslims everywhere?

    No. Islam, period. Once it's defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It's very difficult to even talk about peace now. They're not interested in peace.

    No. Islam, period. Once it's defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It's very difficult to even talk about peace now. They're not interested in peace.

    I think that we are at war with Islam. And there's no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they're the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, "This is a warning. We won't accept this anymore." There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

    There is no moderate Islam. There are Muslims who are passive, who don't all follow the rules of Islam, but there's really only one Islam, defined as submission to the will of God. There's nothing moderate about it.

    I stand by my analysis: this is Ann Coulter with an uplifting personal story.

  • Ben Rushing||

    de·ride (d-rd)
    tr.v. de·rid·ed, de·rid·ing, de·rides
    To speak of or treat with contemptuous mirth. See Synonyms at ridicule.


    Ok ok bad choice of words. Sometimes former Christians do this with thier belief. I think that she is doing this because of all of the harm dealt to her. She might be accurate, but i don't think that she is lying at all. I mean I understand that a religion can weaken this is what I see with Christianity. But in Islam this does not happen too often they go with the Koran too often. If christians did this there would be rich men with 6 or 7 wives in America because the Bible has no specific law forbiding it I mean King David had how many wives and concubines yet still managed to find time to commit adultry!?

  • iih||

    And UsorThem:

    How do you feel about these Muslims? Or, these?

  • iih||

    And, one last thing, again, as long as I and other Muslims in this country abide by the law, please do not tread on us. As for those that you are crusading against, if they happen to be the Islamist terrorists, I'd be more than happy to stand by you and your organization. Unfortunately, what you are proposing will harm many many innocent standbiers simply because they happen to be Muslim.

  • Ben Rushing||

    "And, one last thing, again, as long as I and other Muslims in this country abide by the law, please do not tread on us... Unfortunately, what you are proposing will harm many many innocent standbiers simply because they happen to be Muslim."

    US Or Them Is simply going off on Pure Islam. Just like Pure Christianity (taking all of the bible in a literal sence, and saying that it is the perfect word of god) is easy to do. I understand what you are saying, but you are sounding like the christians when you say that we shouldn't want to destroy your ideology. We don't want to keep you out of your Mosque, but if the Mosque is supporting Terrorism or advocating financial harm or personal harm, then the police and law should go after it and bring people inciting the riot to justice using the legal system.

    All ideas are subject to criticism. I, as an moral agnostic (morals preventing physical and financial harm), can see the falicy of all religion. Yours is not above criticism. Taken in a litteral sence Islam is foolish and dangerous (so is the Old Testament). If you are offended when someone asserts that someone with a litteral interpretation of Islam (or even the Old Testament) cannot accept democracy or Libertarian ideals of allowing people to live freely, then you are foolish.

    What you are advocating is a less devoted following of your faith, which is fine. But just like with Christian leaders, some Immam out there will say that you can not believe what you believe and be Muslim. It is just the truth. Just as some Christians will say that about other sects of thier faith. But your idea of Islam would be unlike what most of the Islamic world has already seen, and if sucessful will lead (just like protostant christianity did) to a a weaker view of Islam and/or Atheism. That is why Pro-American Immams are getting killed, because the fundamentalists need the faith to control people. This was true of the Vatican and is true of the black house in Mecca.

  • ||

    In truth, I have a great deal of internal conflict about what she says in the interview, and about this debate in general.

    First of all, let me provide some context. I was born in the Soviet Union, and have a gut-level hatred of government control of individuals "for their own good", or for "the good of society". I was also educated at the University of Chicago, and have a strong belief in the power of markets. I also hold the firm conviction that people who commit themselves to the effort and sacrifice of coming to this country (and if you don't know what it's like to be uprooted - lose all connection to everything you have ever known and loved - please don't minimize how serious a decision that is) tend to contribute to this society far more than the average American born and raised to expect a comfortable life. Also, I think it's clear (as the Cold War showed us) that open societies outproduce autocratic societies so drastically that in the medium-to-long run a democratic society will always win.

    What I am most uncertain about in the article itself is Hirsi Ali's statements about shutting down Islamic schools. The classical liberal in me really buys into the idea of "I may disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" (sorry, at the moment the attribution of this [?mis]quotation is escaping me).

    In the larger picture, there is something that I would like to believe - that fundamentalist Islam is doomed in any society like the US, no matter how quickly they immigrate or breed. Let me explain first, and then I would love to hear y'all's opinions (yeah, I spent many years in Texas... you got a problem with the way I talk? :)

    There is a classic book called "Coup d'Etat - A Practical Handbook", by Edward Luttwak, written in 1968. It outlines what sort of societies are susceptible to violent overthrow, and backs up the reasoning with many and diverse examples from the history of the 19th and 20th centuries. In order for a country to be a good setting for a coup, most of the population has to be almost completely removed from political life. The USA is a textbook example of a place that is NOT susceptible to a coup. The population here is absolutely not content to receive governmental edicts and accept them quietly. No matter how autocratic and ideologically inflexible our current president may be, it's a far cry from Middle Eastern societies. Also, the organs of power (the military, police, etc.) are definitely not under the direct and firm control of a few individuals, or even a single power group. The military does answer to civilian/political control here, and is not going to become an instrument of broad domestic political repression, but can certainly take out groups of wackos (even well organized ones - remember Waco).

    Now, let's accept the premise that there are millions of Muslims infiltrating our country. Let's also accept the premise (and I do) that they want complete power. No, these are not nice guys - they want to enslave or kill everyone who does not agree with them.

    How could they do this? If they commit terrorist acts here, they will bring down upon themselves an enormous storm of vindictive power, enforced by the most advanced intelligence and military force ever assembled. If they want to take over politically... what happens then? Do you believe for a moment that they will be able to coordinate their political agendas well enough to make a single political masterstroke that lands them in power? I don't. I think that in order to gain any ground and make their influence felt, they'll have to form political parties. As soon as they do that, they effectively buy into our political system. They will HAVE TO compromise, negotiate, wheedle, sell out, run focus groups, campaign, etc. etc.

    What I am saying is that to have any power in our society, they will have to become part of the society, and then they will inevitably lose the monolithic fundamentalism that makes them such a threat to the ideals of a (classical) liberal society.

    So, why not let them in and let them talk? It's just talk, and our ideas are better than theirs, in a very concretely demonstrable way. What's more recognizable worldwide, the star and crescent, or the Coca-Cola sign?

    OK, I know that there are lots of logical holes in the argument I have made. It's not a tightly written position paper. I hope that through debate and argument, some parts will be weakened, and others strengthened.

  • iih||

    but if the Mosque is supporting Terrorism or advocating financial harm or personal harm, then the police and law should go after it and bring people inciting the riot to justice using the legal system.

    And trust me that I'd be the first one to report it.

    All ideas are subject to criticism.

    Of course! When I say "don't tread on me" I mean physically. Ideas can be fought or argued by other ideas. As I said earlier above, and in the previous post regarding Ali, I'd pay from my own money to protect her (for reasons mentioned in the previous thread on Ali). I have numerous times spoken out against the violent reactions by some Muslims. But I would also speak out against collectivists like "UsorThem". You simply can't lump all Muslims in the terrorism basket.

    If you are offended when someone asserts that someone with a litteral interpretation of Islam (or even the Old Testament) cannot accept democracy or Libertarian ideals of allowing people to live freely, then you are foolish.

    I would be foolish indeed. As others on H&R know of my opinions, I am for responsible free speech (as George Bernard Shaw once said: "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.") But I am most certainly not against unrestricted freedom of speech. I only think that one is smarter than the other.

    some Immam out there will say that you can not believe what you believe and be Muslim.

    That imam would indeed be dead wrong. But most imams I have seen in the US, Canada, and abroad would not accuse me of such a thing. We may have lengthy arguments, but not to the level of accusing me of not being Muslim. All the ones I have seen in the US (all have been affluent parts of the country, so I do not know about all imams, of course) would not accuse me or other liberals of not being Muslim. The imams in Mecca, BTW, would probably be very tolerant of America (simply because they are appointed by Bush's friends in the KSA Royal Family). I have heard them (on TV) speak extensively in favor of toleration and rejection of violence. But there is speech is considered mostly PC since they are watched by many around the world.

  • iih||

    Grisha G:

    I, for one, wholeheartedly agree with you, despite the porousness of the arguments (but which can be fixed in a full paper) ;-)

  • Ben Rushing||

    (simply because they are appointed by Bush's friends in the KSA Royal Family).

    You mention the worst country in terms of spreading wahabism and then actually believe that you are safe. Tell that to any of the Iraqi families who are victims of Muslim Terorism started shortly after the Baath party fell. The Saudis (royal family) put on a false front to keep thier oil flowing, they don't teach thier people about it and depend on foriegn employees to run thier rigs. The Saudi Royal Family has befriended every American President for the longest time, they needed to. They distribute as little oil money as possible and use it to fund all kinds of activities. They commit public beheadings and punishments for all kinds of crimes. They supply money for elaborate mosques in the western world where the Muslim population is few and poor, and knowingly support Terorism. If that is not bad enough they do not allow any liberty for common women in thier country. They allow a montly crew of religious police to beat people publicly (especially women) for violation of the "holy" muslim law. Tollerant? Yeah right. If you would have mentioned the Immams in Dubai who turn a blind eye to the prostitution and dress of the foriegn women there, you might have had a chance. But Jumpin Jimmney Jesus H. Christ man! Saudi Arabia Immams as "tollerent"? You have got to be kidding me!

  • USorThem||

    iih says:

    Yes, I am Muslim, but I am peaceful and so are most of the several million Muslims in this country. I respect what the US stands for. I love the liberty and freedoms I am offered here. And, please, do not seek to change the constitution or get rid of the Bill of Rights while you are on your "crusade", for Ali seems to suggest something like that.

    A few questions for you as a Moderate peaceful muslim:

    Does the Islam not teach muslims to look at the world as between only two types of humans, believers and non-believers?

    Does not the Koran and the teachings of Mohammed direct you spread Islam until it dominates the world? (I am not asking if you do this, I ask if that is what Islam teaches) and that where it is dominant, the sharia law should apply?

    Do not all 5 schools of Islamic jurisprudence hold that jihad (not the "peaceful inner struggle" nonsense) is the duty of every muslim?

    Would you like to see Sharia law become dominant in the U.S.?

    Do you think you could maintain your peaceful, free and liberated lifestyle here in the U.S. if Islam was the dominant religion? or if Sharia law applied instead of the constitution?

  • ||

    Grisha G: "What I am saying is that to have any power in our society, they will have to become part of the society, and then they will inevitably lose the monolithic fundamentalism that makes them such a threat to the ideals of a (classical) liberal society."

    Have a think about what happened in Lebanon.

    She makes the same point as you - that the trouble is with us. Islam is not a strong enemy provided we have our house in order. But we don't. That is her point.

    As Walid Shoebat (ex PLO) says to those such as (most of) the commentators here: "What part of 'kill the unbeliever' don't you understand?"

  • iih||

    Ben: You missed my point. Read my sentence again. At some point you referred to the imams in Mecca. I was just pointing out that they do not usually sound like the extremist types because they are appointed specifically to be PC towards the West (i.e., for propaganda purposes). I was not defending them, the general imams in KSA, and certainly not the Royal Family or Bush for that matter.

  • Ben Rushing||

    My goodness even Micheal Liberal Statist Moore went off on Saudi Arabia! How nuts is that? I don't think that you live in reality. No one could possibly take you seriously.Have you been on a haj? I know that the company I work for does work in Saudi Arabia and they have a major major zero tollerence policy for that area. It is the same for Dubai. It all involves personal behavior, that is legal in the US. To be totally respectful we were told durring ramadan not to drink, eat, or smoke in the daytime in public view. We went so far as to move the resturaunt in the hotel to a spot where we couldn't even be seen, and this is Dubai! Saudi Arabia? Give me a break!

  • Ben||

    Islamic leaders put on a fascad when speaking to the west and often say different things when in public. This occurs all of the time in the Muslim world. Lebenon is a great example. So to are the traitor Palestinians in Kuwait in 1991 when they were invaded by Iraq. The Palestinians showed the Iraqis where everything was and gave aid and comfort to them.

  • ||

    UsOrThem: Good questions indeed. But one minor correction: Islam commands that the Good Muslim work to spread Sharia over the world, not Islam.

  • USorThem||

    Grisha G

    I think you can find answers to all of your issues by looking at Europe today.

    There is no "coup" occurring in the sense you refer yet muslims are slowly taking control over many institutions in Europe.

    In Europe muslims are immigrating in astounding amounts. They refuse to assimilate since that would mean abandonement of their religion. It is forecast that a muslim majority will prevail in at least 1 european country within 25 years. (Holland or Belgium?) Amsterdam and Rotterdam will become muslim majority cities within 10 years.

    Muslim conquest of europe is not an organized coup in the sense that there is one central authority that controls all european muslims and that there is an accpeted leader of such coup.

    But it is common knowledge among the ummah that conquest will occur over the long term and they need not do much more about it as long as a. immigration continues ,and, b. muslim birthrates continue to exceed those of native europeans. Demographic conquest is every bit as effective as violent jihad. But what is going on in europe is still jihad, that is, spreading Islam by whatever means available.

    Ali is trying to bring what is occuring in europe to our attention here in the U.S. She is trying to tell us that it could happen here as it is happening in europe. As long as our laws, particularly the constitution, treats Islam as ONLY a religion, it is a possibility that it becomes the dominant religion. That is what Ali is talking about when she says we in the U.S. are eventually going to have to change the constitution so that Islam is treated not just as a religion, but as a political organization, just as every bit threatening to liberty and freedom as communism.

  • Ben||

    So does the Royal KSA Family have no control of thier country? Who is really in charge there?

  • iih||

    Does the Islam not teach muslims to look at the world as between only two types of humans, believers and non-believers?

    Not my version. Mine also talks about the sinners, the hypocrites, the good Christians, and even non-believers. I personally have many good Jewish, Christian, atheist friends at work and on-line (including here on H&R).

    You still have not responded to any of my comments above. What do you think of the Muslims mentioned in my comment at 9:24pm? Aren't these Muslims

    Does not the Koran and the teachings of Mohammed direct you spread Islam until it dominates the world? (I am not asking if you do this, I ask if that is what Islam teaches) and that where it is dominant, the sharia law should apply?

    No. According to the interpretation I follow (which I learned in my country of origin before coming here), this is not true. I by the way went to a British school for K-12 and an American school for college, before continuing my education here.

    Do not all 5 schools of Islamic jurisprudence hold that jihad (not the "peaceful inner struggle" nonsense) is the duty of every muslim?

    "peaceful inner struggle" is not nonsense. It is the "major" jihad. The "minor" jihad, according to my personal belief, can only be done in a matter of self defense. If there has been Muslims and Muslim leaders who have abused that definition, as I mention in a comment above in some detail, then they have abused then they, not me, should be blamed for it.

    Would you like to see Sharia law become dominant in the U.S.?

    Call me a liar, but NO.

    Do you think you could maintain your peaceful, free and liberated lifestyle here in the U.S. if Islam was the dominant religion? or if Sharia law applied instead of the constitution?

    Call me a liar, but NO.

    There you go. Why don't you answer my single question:

    How do you think these Muslims, and these other Muslims would respond to your questions?

  • iih||

    So does the Royal KSA Family have no control of thier country? Who is really in charge there?

    The wahabis, but when it comes to the imams of Mecca and Medina, these are selected by the Royal Family to be as PC vis-a-vis the west as possible.

  • ||

    I am reading her book now. It is awesome. She was in the belly of the beast and knows what the dealth cult of islam is all about. We need to destroy it. Completely. She is correct. The big shooting war is coming. If iran has its way it will be nuclear war. Kill the troubled ones, men, women and little shahids. They will kill us.

  • ||

    It seems to me that bin Laden and company are "good Muslims." They embrace the Quran and Hadith totally. They don't pick and choose. So when they're told by the Quran to compel people to submit to God (Sura 9:29), they believe and they act on it.

    Many Muslims don't believe totally in the Quran and Hadith -- thank goodness.

    So isn't Hirsi Ali is correct after all? In other words, Islam is a problem to the extent that people actually believe in it?

  • USorThem||

    iih

    I read your referenced wikipedia links to Al-Ghazali. I do not find any mention of how he quarelled with Allah or Mohammed.

    I did read about his love for sharia law. Is there something about him I cannot locate and that you can explain makes him any different from a modern day so-called Islamic scholar? What did he quarrel about?

    re: Ibn Arabi- instaed of me reading a bunch of pages that may lead nowhere- why don't you tell me how he quaralled with Allah and Mohammed?

    Re: the no compulsion in religion. You write like an intelligent person. yet, you attempt to persuade by citation to this verse, as most muslim apologists do, as if to indicate that Islam teaches NOTHING about the blatent and explicit directions for how muslims are to treat kaffir.

    You know about abrogation I bet , yet you fail to mention how the later verses abrogate the earlier ones. Right there, by doing that, you instantly lose credibility as to your agenda.

    Yes, like many muslims, you have non-muslim friends, but we know what the Koran says about NOT having non-belivers as friends.

    So you, don't want sharia law, (do you defend a persons right to flush a koran down the toilet?- not do you approve of it- do you recognize a persons right to do this?) you have non-muslim friends despite the Koran's clear prohibition in keeping non-believers as friends,...you are willing to challenge the word of Allah and of Mohammed teachings...

    So what is left for you in Islam to call yourself a muslim? You basically reject most, if not all, of what Islam teaches, why even continue to call yourself muslim? family pressure? peer pressure? what is it about islam that makes you proud to remain a muslim? what redeeming features are there that I should know about?

  • USorThem||

    iih

    re muslims in the military.

    EVERY muslim in the military should be asked to take the following oath, and, if ever found doing ANYTHING contrary to the promises and statements made therein, should be immidiately dishonorable discharged from service:


    We are secular Muslims, and secular persons of Muslim societies. We are believers, doubters, and unbelievers, brought together by a great struggle, not between the West and Islam, but between the free and the unfree.

    We affirm the inviolable freedom of the individual conscience. We believe in the equality of all human persons.

    We insist upon the separation of religion from state and the observance of universal human rights.

    We find traditions of liberty, rationality, and tolerance in the rich histories of pre-Islamic and Islamic societies. These values do not belong to the West or the East; they are the common moral heritage of humankind.

    We see no colonialism, racism, or so-called "Islamaphobia" in submitting Islamic practices to criticism or condemnation when they violate human reason or rights.

    We call on the governments of the world to

    reject Sharia law, fatwa courts, clerical rule, and state-sanctioned religion in all their forms; oppose all penalties for blasphemy and apostacy, in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights;

    eliminate practices, such as female circumcision, honor killing, forced veiling, and forced marriage, that further the oppression of women; protect sexual and gender minorities from persecution and violence;

    reform sectarian education that teaches intolerance and bigotry towards non-Muslims;

    and foster an open public sphere in which all matters may be discussed without coercion or intimidation.

    We demand the release of Islam from its captivity to the totalitarian ambitions of power-hungry men and the rigid strictures of orthodoxy.

    We enjoin academics and thinkers everywhere to embark on a fearless examination of the origins and sources of Islam, and to promulgate the ideals of free scientific and spiritual inquiry through cross-cultural translation, publishing, and the mass media.

    We say to Muslim believers: there is a noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine;

    to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha'is, and all members of non-Muslim faith communities: we stand with you as free and equal citizens;

    and to nonbelievers: we defend your unqualified liberty to question and dissent.

    Before any of us is a member of the Umma, the Body of Christ, or the Chosen People, we are all members of the community of conscience, the people who must chose for themselves.


    This is the St. petersburg declaration. I belive Hirsi Ali helped draft it. What do you think? Would you sign such a declaration?

  • iih||

    Even though it presumes that Muslims are traitors by definition, I would if it makes everyone feel safer.

    P.S., I have never felt any offense when asked to be "randomly searched" at airports.

  • ||

    I would not sign this.

    I would not because the premises with which it is based on are false on a grand scale.

    Furthermore, the very fact that Muslims are asked to sign this in contrast to anyone else of any other faith implies that there is an implicit anti-freedom streak in 'default' Islam.

    Hypocrisy at its peak.

  • ||

    iih,

    Even though it presumes that Muslims are traitors by definition, I would if it makes everyone feel safer

    ... You sadden me with this statement my sister. Dont appease those fools.

  • iih||

    UsorThem:

    Referring to your post before the last one:

    You see, you are trying to define what kind of Muslim I am. I think we are playing around terms here (intentionally or unintentionally). I think I do understand your concerns. I do get concerned, too. You may feel like undermining my loyalty. I really do not know what to tell you. But may be this will help:

    1. Yes, Ali should be protected. Her freedom of speech allows discussions like the one we had above. I think that was useful. Same goes for all ex-Muslims and all critics of Islam, including Manji, Shoebat, and others.

    2. You may not trust my or other Muslims' intentions. You have every right to do so. But that is why there is the law of the country. If a Muslim is shown to intend to harm the country, then that person should prosecuted and sent to jail. But without that, no one has the right to assume that a person is guilty until proven otherwise. That is exactly how I feel about your questioning my own intentions.

    If it is worth anything to you. On 9/11 I was with a Gulf War I veteran AF pilot. i was there for him to secure a land line to call his wife. He was there for me to give me a sense of security -- me being a Muslim and possibly endangered on that very sad day. I will never forget that from him. I am grateful.

    I believe that all the wannabee and actual terrorists caught here and abroad deserve what they get for intending to harm others using terrorism.

    The 6 imamns deserved what they got for their stupidity. I think the whole public foot baths thing in Minneapolis stupid and should not allowed (they actually cause more harm than any good, plus there are substitute solutions -- I know that).

    And the list can go on.

    So please call me what you want. But, just don't tread on me or other peaceful/passive/fake Muslims (whatever you want to call them) in this country. We do not deserve that treatment. Among these Muslims are those who are in Iraq right now, translators, marines, etc (see above links to the two articles about the Muslims in the Military), serving this very country, and freedoms and liberties that we all have here. Is it possible that I, too, serve this country in my own capacity?

    And, yes, if it makes you feel safer, I'd take that oath (though I think I did something similar when I first landed here).

  • iih||

    Actually, USorThem, re-reading it very carefully, I have no problem with the oath (with all its postulations) at all. The only problem I have with your proposition is that it singles out Muslims.

  • Jews don\'t kill over cartoons||

    Unfuckingbelievable. She had to flee the Netherlands because her friend Theo van Gogh was mudered by a muslim who also threatened to kill her, all for daring to participate in a movie criticizing the treatment of women by muslims and she is the one being called unhinged? I guess it was Salman Rushdie's fault that he had a contract placed on his head.


    "Furthermore, the very fact that Muslims are asked to sign this in contrast to anyone else of any other faith implies that there is an implicit anti-freedom streak in 'default' Islam. "

    This should be no mere implication, rather it should be an explicit statement of fact.
    It is no coincidence that the majority of the most regressive, anti-democratic regimes on earth are in countries with muslim majorities. I will defend Islam from anti-democratic criticism when the pillars of its faith, as expressed by the koran, do not call for the forced conversion or subjugation of non-muslims. And please do not waste my time and yours trying to convince me that the Koran does not advocate this. Furthermore, when muslims admit that the founder of their religion was a war-mongering pedophile, I will perhaps listen to what they say. The history of Islam is almost entirely (I am probably being to charitable in including the word almost) one of conversion by the sword; a vast amount of its adherents still follow this principle. Until Islam is honest about its past and until more than a handful (this is probably too generous of an estimate)of "moderate" muslims protest the actions of their murderous brothers, I will call Islam and the koran what they really are: blueprints for the most violent, misogynistic, backward-thinking, perpetually-stuck-in-the-dark-ages
    societies in existence.

  • iih||

    Regarding your request:

    I read your referenced wikipedia links to Al-Ghazali. I do not find any mention of how he quarelled with Allah or Mohammed. His philosophy led him to deny the existence in God. He was not killed or anything of the sort. Later in his life, he "found his way back to Islam". But the fact remains that he did at some point become an atheist without being killed.

    Ibn al-Arabi, like many sufis said and believed many things counter to basic Islamic belief (e.g., among them wine drinking) but was not killed. Same can be said of sufis in general. Sufism flourished, declined, and flourished over time. Read Rumi's poems for example and you will understand the level of "blasphemy".

    Muslims saved, kept and studied Greek philosophy, why weren't there mass killings of those who saved, kept and studied these texts (which obviously was Helenic, with the obvious implications vis-a-vis Islamic beliefs in God, etc)?

  • ||

    Mr Jews-Dont-Kill-People-Over-Cartoons-but-
    will-kill-them-over-land-thats-not-theirs-anyway,

    This should be no mere implication, rather it should be an explicit statement of fact.
    It is no coincidence that the majority of the most regressive, anti-democratic regimes on earth are in countries with muslim majorities.


    Let me be blunt: I dont give a flying f**k over what other Muslims are doing, any more than a give a flying f**k over how often people in Uganda receive blowjobs.

    This isnt a statement about THEM. Its really, a statement about US. Me. Her. Other muslims. About your average Muslim signing such a document, implicitly assuming that he is in fact guilty of being violent 'by default'.

    If you subscribe to that, then you assume that WE are guilty until proven innocent. Coming from what appears to be a Zionist anyway, I shouldnt be surprised, you Zionist Jews are all crypto-Facsists anyway. I thought all the Germans were doing were cooking you in those camps, I didnt realise they had Fascist seminars too.

    Either way, touche.

  • RuyDiaz||

    Ryan, you wrote;

    "Fix the US foreign policy that is guaranteeing a dead end for young people, and you end recruitment. Why? Because making money and enjoying life are more important than any religion, judging by the number of people in the US who are Christians in name only but really practice a religion of materialism instead."

    How exactly does US foreign policy leads to a dead end to young people? Care to elaborate?

  • RuyDiaz||

    'An Arab' writes:

    "You Zionist Jews are all crypto-Fascists anyway?"

    Behold, the face of moderate Islam.

  • ||

    RuyDiaz,

    Oh I forgot, now we Muslims have no right to call people Fascists. You do of course. How silly of me.

    I tell you what all this talk about what rights we Muslims have, dont have, what we are guilty of by default and stuff me making me very confused. Is there a brochure we can look over telling us what we statements we are and arent allowed to say, and what political parties we are supposed to submit too?

    Gladly awaiting. :)

  • RuyDiaz||

    "An Arab";

    You are missing my point. I'm just glad you show your true colors; by bringing your "fascistic" nonsense, you are undermining the Taqiyya/Kitman your correligionaries practice.

  • RuyDiaz||

    By the way, did somebody censor my first post? I think my initial post lambasting Muhammad was erased, but, er, I may have simply pressed the wrong button somewhere.

  • TheExpatriate||

    I thought all the Germans were doing were cooking you in those camps, I didnt realise they had Fascist seminars too.

    Wow! It only took one comment to get "An Arab" into a frothing-at-the-mouth fit of hysterical rage and bigoted hate.

    I'd hate to see how he drives on a busy Interstate.

  • ||

    RuyDiaz,

    You are missing my point. I'm just glad you show your true colors; by bringing your "fascistic" nonsense, you are undermining the Taqiyya/Kitman your correligionaries practice.

    Did I sign a paper somewhere stating I was supreme ambassador of all Muslims, or are you just telepathic?

    What did I have for lunch yesterday? Ha! Trick question. I didnt have lunch.

    In all seriousness though, this is interesting:

    Somehow, you just know that my 'co-religiouaries' are hiding their 'true colors' through taqiyya. If they say something you like, you assume they are hiding. If I say something you dont like, you say 'Aha! You WERE in fact hiding! ALL of you!'

    Games. What silly games. My god man youre worse than my ex-girlfriend.

    Tell you what: Prove your telepathic powers to me - you already know that I consider Jewish Zionism Fasicsm as some promiment Israelis will tell you themselves, (they add thats its necessary), but please, based on this, tell this forum what this Muslim's political views are. Deduce my own political views for me. You seem to know what goes on inside my head. Go for it.

  • ||

    Wow! It only took one comment to get "An Arab" into a frothing-at-the-mouth fit of hysterical rage and bigoted hate.

    Ahh this is hate right?

    But this is not:

    This should be no mere implication, rather it should be an explicit statement of fact. (that muslims are guilty by default).

    Wow.

  • TheExpatriate||

    Re: "An Arab"

    I'm talking about you, not him. What he has to say is irrelevant concerning my criticisms of you. Stop playing silly tu quoque games.

    My religion, Buddhism, teaches that hate cannot counter hate; only loving-kindness can counter hate. With your tasteless comments on the Holocaust, you are only proving the stereotype that your religion counters everything by drawing your "trusty skibouk/with a cry of 'Allah! Il Allah! Al-lah!'"

  • USorThem||

    An Arab

    Your vitriol for zionist confirms everything Hirsi Ali has to say about the danger Islam poses to the free world.

    You say:

    "About your average Muslim signing such a document, implicitly assuming that he is in fact guilty of being violent 'by default'.

    The Koran, supported by hadith, and scores of Islamic scholars throughout Islam's 1350 year history confirm that the Islam teaches that death to apostates is appropriate; so is death to homsexuals and adulterers, and to those who blaspheme the Allah or mohammed. There are many books available to infidels to detail the 1,350 history of violent Islamic jihad that resulted in the death of millions of people in the world from Algeria to Indonesia for the simple fact that they were not muslim.

    Mohammed, the perfect Man, the role model for all devout and true muslims, uswa hasana, al-insan al kamil, lived a life of violence and taught his followers the proper use of violence.

    So yes,An Arab, there is REASON to presume any person who calls themself a devout muslim, has an inclination of towards violence in the name of religion. Islam as a supposed "religion" explicitly sanctions that violence. It is written in the holy books for all, including apostates such as Hirsi Ali and her infidel admirerers (such as myself), to examine. So asking a muslim who claims to be devout and pious, and therefore holy and spiritual, and who seeks to enter the military, where a muslim's allegiance to Allah supercedes allegiance to country, can lead to much harm to that country, is a most REASONABLE request.

  • SuprKufr||

    iih wrote,

    There is also the famous verse "There is no compulsion in religion" and "To you your religion, and to me mine" [Surah 109])

    This is an example of Taqiyya, or Islamic lying. Surah 109 is one of the earlier Suras, called the "Meccan" Surahs because they were "revealed" when the Islamic prophet Mohammed had not yet been thrown out of Mecca.

    What most non-Muslims fail to realize is that later suras abrogate earlier suras. This way, the Koran doesn't contradict itself when sura 9:5 states, "Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (The "poor-due" mentioned here is the jizyah.)

    How can one reconcile 9:5 with "no compulsion in religion"? It's unnecessary, because 9:5 abrogates it.

    Tell me, iih, does 9:5 govern the way that Muslims are supposed to treat non-Muslims? Is it binding? Many Muslims say that it is. What is your Islamic way of repudiating their claim? (Perhaps you'll bring up the Crusades?)

  • SuprKufr||

    In Europe muslims are immigrating in astounding amounts. They refuse to assimilate since that would mean abandonement of their religion. It is forecast that a muslim majority will prevail in at least 1 european country within 25 years. (Holland or Belgium?) Amsterdam and Rotterdam will become muslim majority cities within 10 years.

    Muslim conquest of europe is not an organized coup in the sense that there is one central authority that controls all european muslims and that there is an accpeted leader of such coup.


    There is a term for this. It is: Demographic Conquest.

    It's a shame that we have to continually define and explain this term to people in this day and age. But let me give everyone a few more examples of Demographic Conquest.

    1. "Manifest Destiny" was a euphemism for it.

    2. When Israelis were doing it in Gaza and the West Bank, it was called "settlements".

    3. Mexicans are presently doing it in several cities in the USA.

    And so on, and so forth. It's happened many, many times in human history. Armies and declarations of war are not always necessary to conquer another land. It's possible to do it with civilians and history proves me right. It's how this country (the USA) was created, after all.

    Islam delenda est.

  • SuprKufr||

    The Koran, supported by hadith, and scores of Islamic scholars throughout Islam's 1350 year history confirm that the Islam teaches that death to apostates is appropriate;

    It depends.

    The "People of the Book" (Jews and Christians) were given three options:

    1. Convert to Islam

    2. Become a dhimmi and pay the jizyah

    3. Fight

    The "Polytheists" (in practice, Hindus) were not given option #2. They had to convert or die. But some Muslims later included them in "dhimmifyable" peoples. I imagine that counts as a "controversial issue" in Islamic culture.

    Islam delenda est.

  • ||

    This discussion has taken a wrong turn a while back, and I'm afraid some legitimate issues are being obfuscated. No offense, but the argument over doctrine and original text doesn't mean much here. Such arguments carry the assumption that muslims all agree on which parts of their text to live by. Clearly they don't. Just as clearly, religions in practice in almost every case deviate wildly from whatever doctrines have been laid out historically.

    To me, what is of concern is the extent to which Islam in practice in 2007 is hostile to liberal ideologies. Is there an inevitable war of values because most muslims in 2007 hold views, for whatever reason, that are inconsistent with western notions of a free society?

    Framed another way, the appropriate response to a withering fringe movement is to ignore them in large part. The response to a majoritarian movement of people who hold that it is good to silence cartoonists may be entirely different.

  • ||

    Somehow, I find the term 'conquest' as applied to hispanic immigration hilarious. Do you get to use that word to describe any demographic shift? Nevermind the Mexican conquest, we are facing a much more substantial Old Fart conquest in these here United States.

  • ||

    USorThem :

    "EVERY muslim in the military should be asked to take the following oath, and, if ever found doing ANYTHING contrary to the promises and statements made therein, should be immidiately dishonorable discharged from service:"

    I agree completely that an oath along the lines of what you posted should be required, but not only of muslims. If we could make it apply to all religions, I'd support such an idea.

    I know the founding of our country was a long time ago, but oddly enough, the founders seem to have anticipated this. What an excellent principle: "Practice your religion in private, but don't push it into my government (extended to any exercise of government power)."

  • SuprKufr||

    Do you get to use that word to describe any demographic shift?

    I can tell you're not taking this seriously, but I'll answer you anyway.

    No. If Mexicans emigrate to the USA, then that's not necessarily demographic invasion. It's when they start flying Mexican flags over US flags, start putting up billboards that read "Los Angeles, Mexico", and start aggressively marching in the streets that it takes a "We Mexicans are TAKING OVER!" flavor. I know, it's kind of fuzzy, but since when are a conquering culture supposed to be overt and clear about their desires? If they wanted to be overt and clear, then they'd use the army and then it wouldn't be demographic invasion any more, it'd be just regular ol' invasion.

    What did you think of my other examples of demographic invasion?

    Who rightly rules Alcase and Lorraine?

  • SuprKufr||

    JasonL,

    No offense, but the argument over doctrine and original text doesn't mean much here.

    No offense taken, and you're dead wrong. The argument over doctrine (Shari'a) and original text (Koran and Hadith, and, to some extent, Sira) are what this discussion is about, as those things are what Islam *IS*.

    What some Muslims practice is what doesn't mean much here, because the "pure" Muslims will tell them that they are not practicing "pure Islam" and will exhort them to participate in or support jihad (those are the two choices Muslims have: if you can't fight, then pay for someone else to fight).

    What kind of response will the so-called "moderate" (in truth, LAX) Muslims have that is grounded in Islam? How will they Islamically say that they do not have to wage or support jihad?

    And what should the non-Muslim response be?

    Your words:

    Framed another way, the appropriate response to a withering fringe movement is to ignore them in large part.

    "Ignore it and it will go away!"

    Time will tell, dhimmi.

  • ||

    Manifest Destiny was a policy of just plain (no pun intended) conquest. Soldiers were used to drive the conquered from their lands.

    Broadly, I think the idea that a culture is a monolithic thing seeking expansion is a improbable. It seems like taking a multi-variable problem, identifying a marker of some sort (whether it be skin color, language, or a flag), and reducing the whole problem to that symbol.

    Concerning Islam, for example, my concern is one of values and not imperialism. I don't perceive Islamic culture as an engine of conquest. I don't care about language or customs or dress or color, and in fact believe that more variety is better. What I worry about is whether one of the defining characteristics of present day Islam is opposition to liberal society.

  • ||

    "What kind of response will the so-called "moderate" (in truth, LAX) Muslims have that is grounded in Islam? How will they Islamically say that they do not have to wage or support jihad?"

    Religions of all stripes have faced modernization of exactly this sort. It can be done because people always choose the parts of doctrine they like and discard the rest. The doctrine is not the religion because people aren't robots.

  • ||

    Mr Expat,

    I'm talking about you, not him. What he has to say is irrelevant concerning my criticisms of you. Stop playing silly tu quoque games.

    You are critisizing my response to him. Ergo, his response is relevant and not independant. I can respect your love-counters-hate argument, but often in real life, I find that it cannot be that useful. Although I like to think it can be.

    With your tasteless comments on the Holocaust, you are only proving the stereotype that your religion counters everything by drawing your "trusty skibouk/with a cry of 'Allah! Il Allah! Al-lah!'"

    Quite simply sir, my off-color holocaust remark is in response to his off-color damnation of us all. Tit for tat. As simple as that.

    Furthermore, why do you assume, that my remarks on Zionism and the holocast have ANYTHING to do with my religion?

    Furthermore still, you say that those remarks reflect badly on my religion - my response is that if you are to take anything 'bad' I do and equate it to my religion, then you will always think my religion is bad. Its like telling me that you shouldnt come to a rolling stop at a stop sign because if you do, you will be reflecting bad on your religion. One has nothing to do with the other, and yet you assume they are intertwined.

    In other words, damned if you do, and damned if you dont.

    My critisizms of Zionism are based on its actions and goals as chartered within itself. Its actions, players, and ideals are, after you see them on my side of the planet, Fasicst. Simple as that.

    Now if you are going to say "Oh, yet another violent Muslim" - even though there is no correlation between this statement and my abstract faith, then you are the one making a false connection. Its almost like argumentative-blackmail (is there a latin for that?). Someone says 'if you slurp when you drink coffee ans are muslim, you reflect badly on your religion'. That is the equivalent.

    Either way I dont expect you, or anyone else of those Zionists on here to understand this. (Im not calling you a Zionist).

    But I do say it because what I see today, is Western Civilization slowly lose the Civilization part of it - it slowly and slowly erodes. Western Civ we are told is based on the enlightenment and reason, but all I see when engaging people like Mr Jews-dont-blah is fanaticism, hysteria, and guilty-until-proven-innocent sentiments.

  • ||

    "Western Civ we are told is based on the enlightenment and reason, but all I see when engaging people like Mr Jews-dont-blah is fanaticism, hysteria, and guilty-until-proven-innocent sentiments."

    Western Civ lives as long as people get to say what they want and not be threatened for it. Western Civ is not in danger because someone said some extreme things on an internet forum. These places attract activists rather than the majority of participants in Civlilization (tm). Never forget that you are likely speaking to an activist and not the guy across the street. At least, I find that thought generally comforting.

  • ||

    JasonL,

    Western Civ is not in danger because someone said some extreme things on an internet forum.

    This is true, just as its true that I have not made such an implication.

    Your point is well taken, and I see where you are coming from...

    But by the same token, one activist here, one activist there, a couple newspaper endorsements, etc etc, it all adds up. Pretty much you have a sizable category of Westerners preaching 'non-Western' values. (As I notice). This is the issue/irony I am referring to.

  • SuprKufr||

    JasonL,

    Manifest Destiny was a policy of just plain (no pun intended) conquest. Soldiers were used to drive the conquered from their lands.

    You are partially correct. Soldiers were used once the indigenous people starting resisting the demographic invasion. Read about the Homestead Act or the history of Texas.

    Broadly, I think the idea that a culture is a monolithic thing seeking expansion is a improbable.

    That's an ignorant thing to say. Read about the Commonwealth. Why do people in India play cricket?

    Concerning Islam, for example, my concern is one of values and not imperialism. I don't perceive Islamic culture as an engine of conquest.

    That is a profoundly ignorant thing to write. I think your statement comes from willing, deliberate ignorance. Why was the Spanish Reconquista called a REconquista?

    I don't care about language or customs or dress or color, and in fact believe that more variety is better. What I worry about is whether one of the defining characteristics of present day Islam is opposition to liberal society.

    We first have to agree as to what "present day Islam" is and whether or not it is "true" Islam. The Muslim Enemy (you know, the so-called "fringe") says that their Islam is the "true" Islam and they have the Koran and Hadith and Sira and Sunnah and Shari'a to back them up. Their view of Islam is spreading among lax Muslims. How will lax Muslims repudiate their message Islamically?

    And if we ignore that problem will it just go away?

    Time will tell, dhimmi.

    Islam delenda est.

  • SuprKufr||

    JasonL,

    Religions of all stripes have faced modernization of exactly this sort. It can be done because people always choose the parts of doctrine they like and discard the rest. The doctrine is not the religion because people aren't robots.

    Yes, people can say that.

    And then other Muslims call it "kufr" (disbelief) and kill the kafir (unbelievers) which is keeping in Islamic traditions. The Islamic prophet Mohammed said, "He who changes his religion, kill him." In other words, the response you propose is NOT Islamic, and I asked you for an Islamic response.

    Were you trying to show me that there is no way a Muslim can refuse to engage in or support jihad and be Islamic? You succeeded.

    Islam delenda est.

  • iih||

    And I think this is relevant to this discussion (from FoxNews.com).

  • SuprKufr||

    An Arab,

    Furthermore, why do you assume, that my remarks on Zionism and the holocast have ANYTHING to do with my religion?

    We can read the Koran and we know what it says about the Jews. Your religion teaches you to hate them. That's why it's very Islamic of you to teach Muslim children to hate Jews. Have you seen Farfour the Mouse and Nahoul the Bee? Islamic schools = child abuse.

    Islam delenda est.

  • SuprKufr||

    iih,

    I think you should forsake Islam completely. If you absolutely must be superstitious, then you may choose any other religion in the world, for none of them are as bad as Islam.

    Of course, if you take my advice, then some Muslims (perhaps An Arab?) will try to kill you, and that is Islamic.

    Islam delenda est.

  • ||

    I stand by my analysis: this is Ann Coulter with an uplifting personal story.

    Oh yeah, well you're Noam Chomsky without the tweed. Whee, this game is fun.

  • ||

    No. If Mexicans emigrate to the USA, then that's not necessarily demographic invasion. It's when they start flying Mexican flags over US flags, start putting up billboards that read "Los Angeles, Mexico", and start aggressively marching in the streets that it takes a "We Mexicans are TAKING OVER!" flavor. I know, it's kind of fuzzy, but since when are a conquering culture supposed to be overt and clear about their desires? If they wanted to be overt and clear, then they'd use the army and then it wouldn't be demographic invasion any more, it'd be just regular ol' invasion.

    This is not "conquest" or "invasion" by any reasonable definition. There's no evidence that Mexican immigrants resist assimilation more than past immigrant groups. The USA survived the Irish invasion, the Italian invasion, the Chinese invasion, the Jewish invasion, etc, just fine, and Mexican immigration is no different.

  • SuprKufr||

    I do think that those of us who follow reason should exhort Muslims to abandon their faith and do so openly, pointedly, and frequently.

    If that statement offends you, then re-read it replacing "Muslims" with "Christians". If the revised sentence offends you less than the original, then there is something horribly wrong with you.

  • SuprKufr||

    Daze,

    This is not "conquest" or "invasion" by any reasonable definition.

    The "Los Angeles, Mexico" billboard (with "CA" crossed out) begs to differ. There are plenty of Mexicans who feel like they're taking over and they like that very much. Not all Mexicans feel that way. It's only a percentage (how large?) of the several million illegal aliens living here presently.

    There's no evidence that Mexican immigrants resist assimilation more than past immigrant groups.

    Por que puedo leer espannol, he leido muchos opiniones de inmigrantes en el periodico hispanoamericano "Mundo Hispanico". Eses eran opiniones que dicen que no hay mucho ...

    Oh, you don't speak Spanish? Well then. Because I can read Spanish, I recently read in the local spanish-lanugage newspaper "Mundo Hispanico" several opinions from many different immigrants in which was stated that a latino can live in the USA for *years* (even as much as ten years) without any need to learn English. This is because there are so many illegal aliens here now that they form large communities in which Spanish can be spoken in totality and the culture can be completely separate. Furthermore, my good friend and co-worker's wife is Mexican and he also has lived in Mexico for several years, so he has a keen insight into the lives of Mexicans who live in the United States. It was he who told me that Mexicans who come here illegally aren't "resisting" assimilation. Instead, they aren't even trying because they do NOT want to be American. But I suppose you in your lily-white cordoned enclave would know nothing about this.

    The USA survived the Irish invasion, the Italian invasion, the Chinese invasion, the Jewish invasion, etc, just fine, and Mexican immigration is no different.

    No different...

    ...except for the SCALE of the immigration.

    And the sense of grievance. Remember the Mexican-American war? The one that happened right before the War between the States? Do you remember when our troops marched into Mexico City, lowered the Mexican Flag, and raised the American flag? Do you remember when we were given half of their country as a result of completely conquering them?

    Do you think they might feel a little bit bitter about that?

  • ||

    JasonL wrote: "Is there an inevitable war of values because most muslims in 2007 hold views, for whatever reason, that are inconsistent with western notions of a free society?"
    Yes.
    Islam as practiced today (since its inception, really) is completely incompatable with western ideas of freedom and tolerance. Which is why I've said from the onset that what I view a a "noble experiment" in Iraq was doomed.
    Western nations with Constitutions requiring freedom of religion- definately and immiediately including my own USA- should draft amendments that in effect define Islam as the intolerant, sexist, homophobic, violent hate group it is.
    Islam: pervert it, kill it, or surrender to it; you cannot just co-exist with it as a free man.

  • ||

    Islam: pervert it, kill it, or surrender to it; you cannot just co-exist with it as a free man.

    How do you kill Islam?

  • Ben||

    read christopher hitchen's God is not great. You can't kill a religion, you can put in translated rouge brodcasts of Penn and Teller's Bull Shit! And Libertarian Propoganda that shows the failure of Islam and Dictatorships, Statism, Communism, and Socialism. Islam will only meet the same fate that Christianity met when you show them that they can live better without Sharia law.

  • ||

    Islam will only meet the same fate that Christianity met when you show them that they can live better without Sharia law.

    Who is currently living under Sharia? Emperical evidence suggests that its not as popular as you imagine it to be, save for a few loud mouths.

    Either way, the problems in the Middle East are political and territorial - you are barking up the wrong tree imagining that if everyone left Islam the ME would be a better place. The middle east has more glutony than Vegas. Although ill tell you, a world without Israel would solve a lot.

  • SuprKufr||

    An Arab,

    you are barking up the wrong tree imagining that if everyone left Islam the ME would be a better place.

    That's true only if the ex-Muslims pick an ideology which is worse than Islam. They'd probably have to invent one, because I cannot think of any of the world's religions which is worse than Islam. Islam is rock bottom when it comes to world religions.

    Although ill tell you, a world without Israel would solve a lot.

    Yes, we get it! You hate the Jews! Very, very Islamic of you!

    Islam delenda est.

  • ||

    Yes, we get it! You hate the Jews! Very, very Islamic of you!

    hahahaha! I actually mentor a Jew in maths (for free) and have many of them as close friends.

    So I dont hate Jews, I hate Zionists, (a subset of Jews). Those are the ones that need to be eradicated one way or another. (From Israel). In USA we have to let them speak because I support freedom of speech as Ben Franklin said I dont agree with you, but I will fight for your right to say it. So in USA, we must engage Zionists in debates to make them see the error of their ways.

    But in Israel, where Zionists have engaged in action, that deserves action, implies Israel needs to be wiped out!

  • ||

    Islamofascism vs. Christian Fundamentalism: Which is the Greater Threat?

    I view the contemporary Islamofascist memeset as currently more globally dangerous to freedom and tolerance than the Fundamentalist Christian one, for a number of reasons.

    1) Recent History

    The lion's share of mass-killing terror attacks in the past quarter-century have been perpetrated by these people, and not Fundamentalist Christians (although they, too, are on my "Danger, Will Robinson!" list). 9/11, London, Beslan, Bali, Madrid, the USS Cole, the Kenyan and Tanzanian embassies, the Khobar Towers...the list could go on and on.

    2) Fundamentalist Literalism

    Christians believe that the Bible was written by human beings, under Holy inspiration, while the official position of Islam is that the Qu'ran (literally, the Recitation) was dictated to Muhammed, from Allah (God) by the Archangel Gabriel, and is word-for-word accurate and correct for all time. Thus, while there is a reasonable split between Fundamentalist Christians, who take the Bible literally, and the rest of Christians, who see parable, poetry, metaphor, simile, era-linked human prejudices, contradictions and inaccuracies in the Bible, no such split is officially possible within Islam. All observant Muslims are expected to submit to the literalist stance; in fact, Islam translates as Submission.

    3) More Violent Character

    While there are a half-dozen or so peace-and-tolerance passages contained within the Qu'ran, there are also more than a hundred vicious and violent passages to be found there. People say, well, the Old Testament is indeed itself to a significant degree a 'testament' to divinely sanctioned brutality, and this is true. However, most of that brutality was superseded by the pronouncements in the more peaceful and tolerant New Testament, while the Qu'ran is divided into the Meccan and the Medinan sections. The Meccan section, which came first, when Muhammed was militarily weak and was forced to placate his enemies, contains all of the peace-and-tolerance passages, while the Medinan section, which contains many (although not all) of the brutal and violent passages, was written later, and supercedes the more moderate Meccan section. It is as if, in the Bible, the Old Testament came later and superceded the New; if this were so, the majority of Christianity would most likely be much more brutal and intolerant than small sections of it (see the former Yugoslavia) are now.

    In fact, there is no such thing as enduring peace with infidel nations in the Muslim lexicon; instead, they employ truces (hudnas). These are, according to the Qu'ran, supposed to be offered when the Faithful are militarily weak vis-à-vis their adversaries, to give them time to increase their military numbers and augment their armaments. When the weak faithful become militarily strong compared to their adversaries, the hudna is to be unilaterally broken by the faithful, and jihad is to resume. Once one understands the conceptual character of the hudna, it becomes obvious that it is never in a nation's interest to accept one.

    4) The Examples of the Respective Primary Protagonists

    Jesus only once became violent in the Bible, when he whipped the moneychangers. Mainly, he preached faith, love of one's neighbors, and nonviolence. When one of his disciples raised a sword against and cut the ear off of one of the people sent to arrest him, he supposedly put it back on. Muhammed, on the other hand, was historically a warrior and guerilla fighter. His life was circumscribed by military conquest. The hadiths, which are records of occurrences in and commentaries on the life of Muhammed and records of his words (when they were not supposed to be dictated by the Archangel Gabriel), are nearly as important as the Qu'ran itself to them.

    5) The Confrontation with Modernity

    Christianity began to behaviorally moderate and domesticate itself around 500 years ago, due to the effects that the Reformation and the Enlightenment had upon it. Islam has yet to go through this confrontation; it is only now just beginning for them. However, in the present era, with the advent of global anonymous communications and travel, and with easy access available to both the materials needed to construct WMD's and the knowledge needed to properly employ these materials, this is a particularly dangerous time for fanatics to lash out from the growing pains. Giordano Bruno conceived of relativity 350 years before Einstein and was burned as a heretic for it, and rockets (fireworks) were already known to Europe by then, due to Marco Polo's sojourn in China; think of what it would have been like if the medieval world had had the option of ballistic thermonuclear conflagration (not to mention genetically engineered plagues and mass-produce-able deadly chemical compounds). There is the added factor that one of the Muslim death-penalty heresies (or shirks) translates as 'innovation' (Islamists are quite willing to appropriate death-dealing technology while rejecting the science behind it - a Pakistani 'scientist' actually wrote a paper that advocated solving his country's energy problems by harnessing djinn (genie) power!); thus it can be dangerous for Muslims to publicly embrace novel concepts - and this will only make it more difficult for Muslim adaptation of include accommodation to other perspectives rather than to simply be comprised solely of the Borgian assimilation, subjugation or elimination of all of their vectors.

    6) The Evolution of Universality and Intolerance in Totalizing Memeplexes

    Mind viruses are unlike the viruses that plague our bodies. If a physically infectious disease kills its host too quickly, that host cannot serve as an infection vector (which is why AIDS is so much more of a global threat than the Ebola virus - the long, symptom-free yet contagious incubation period). This is also why deadly diseases demonstrate the historical propensity to become slower killers as time goes on. However, a different survival strategy presents itself for totalizing mind-viruses, which MUST be cognitively rather than physically communicated, and thus, if they are elaborate and/or involve significant behavioral changes, difficult to contract under the radar of one's attention: to kill and/or enslave all those who RECOGNIZE the attempted dissemination (proselytizing) and REFUSE to be infected (part of these memesets is invariably the inculcation of the desire and/or duty to infect others - this is how they propagate). This eliminates competition for cognitive residence from alternative memeplexes (the dead cannot communicate their competing vectors). Unlike physical diseases, where people may be infected with multiple differing phages simultaneously (like measles AND the flu), a totalizing memeplex must have SOLE possession of its niche, or it cannot be said to possess it at all. And in fact, to reject conversion to Islam is considered by Islamofascists to be an insult and attack upon it, punishable by death.

    Now, remembering that the historical function of tribal religion has been to enhance group cooperation and cohesion, thus giving religious tribes an advantage in warfare against tribes with less mutual commitment and more individualism (and most likely the pre-historical function, too - thus setting up a group selection which would tend to reproductively favor those who were increasingly susceptible to infection by religious memeplexes), let's take a quick look at the evolution of universality and intolerance in Patriarchal Monotheism.

    The memeplex of Judaism originally involved a divine gift of a particular parcel of land to a particular chosen people - Israel for the Jews (although, lately, converts to Judaism, although not sought, are accepted from every racial and ethnic classification). Thus the parameters for the growth of the Jewish memeplex were set by the nature of the memeplex itself - only within ethnic Jews, who were only promised dominion over historical Israel (most Zionists still think this way).

    However, with the evolution of Christianity from Judaism, the ethnic imperative and the geographical rootedness were pruned off, and all one had to do was to accept the memeplex. This allowed Christianity to spread to all sorts of ethnicities, and for them to take control of previously non-Christian lands, as their demographics grew to majority within them. It also had the advantage of spreading the genetic sacrifice idea beyond a tribe, so that multiple tribes sharing the same memeplex could band together and both protect each other and cooperate in the confrontation of common enemies (a feature that the Roman Empire put to conscous use when they adopted Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire). However, Christianity was written so it could be disseminated via persuasion - the Great Charter, which comprises the Christian memeplex's infection module, reads: "Go ye therefore and TEACH all nations". Of course, the construction of this module implies the conviction that the vector is offering a gift of knowledge to the ignorant, and for this reason many have been historically forced to adopt Christianity 'for their own good', even when they were too (willfully or otherwise) ignorant to recognize what their own good was, and sometimes at the cost of their mortal bodies, if in the process their immortal souls were saved.

    Still, the language of Christianity's proselytization module is persuasional rather than coercive, and this left room for the development of tolerance for other faiths, even while missionaries continue to be perpetually funded to 'spread the Good Word'.

    This is a weakness that the evolution into Islam has exploited. The Muslim memeplex explicitly substitutes coercion for persuasion. It is quite precise in what may and may not be done: all 'People of the Book' - that is, Jews and Christians (and I suppose Zoroastrians - they have a single holy book called the Zend Avestra of Zarathustra)- have the option to a) convert to Islam, b) be put to death, or c) live in Dhimmitude, a serfic, subservient state somewhere between slavery and second-class citizenship, characterized by less civil rights, the fact that any Muslim's word will always be legally favored over theirs in courts of Shari'a law, and the payment of perpetual monetary tribute known as the jizya. For all the rest - Buddhist, Taoists, Hindus, Pagans and Atheists - the options are only two: convert or die.

    Islam officially divides the globe into two camps; Dar-el-Islam (the World of Islam) and Dar-el-Harb (the World of War). This stance entails the conviction that the only means by which final global peace may be attained is the total elimination of the Dar el Harb, and the establishment of a Global Muslim Caliphate ruled by Shari'a law. Those who choose to embark upon Jihad (actually, it is described in the Qu'ran as a duty rather than as a choice just like Christian witnessing is in the Bible) and are killed (martyred) while engaging in it, are Qu'ranically assured of a Paradise in which they may perpetually and guiltlessly enjoy practically all of the pleasures that are religiously forbidden to living Muslims; those who live are Qu'ranically permitted to take possession of the spoils of war, be they the property or the women of the conquered and/or slain infidels. This stance is, of course, patently hegemonistic and militantly imperialistic, and becomes even more appealing to poor male Muslim youth, when they see their chances of having their own (appealing) wife as negligible (since the more wealthy Muslims are religiously free to marry as many as four of them each - as long as they can financially support them all). When one takes a look at the historical spread of Islam, primarily by coercion and conflict, from its inception in the Arabian Peninsula some 1300 years ago to its reach from Spain to the Philippines today, and one discovers that, of the forty-five military conflicts extant in the world today, Muslims are fighting on one or both sides of them all, it would appear that this particular module possesses great expansionistic efficacy.

    Supporting this memetic module are some others, such as the doctrine that all humans are naturally born as Muslims, and that those who profess other beliefs have fallen into apostasy (and thus must be rescued from their error or suffer the dire consequences), and the dictum that people are free to convert TO Islam - in fact, as we have seen, the 'inducements' are quite formidable - but that to convert FROM Islam to anything else (or, in the case of atheists and agnostics, to nothing) is a religious crime for which the punishment of death is prescribed. It is also better for one's assimilational purposes if one's infidel target is kept in the dark. Thus, Muslims are religiously free to both deceive infidels as to their intentions regarding them (taqiyya) and to misdirect their attention from those intentions (kitman), in the interests if the greater good - that is, in the interests of the expansion of the Ummah (the fellowship of the true believers).

    Now, I'm not saying that all Muslims, or even a majority of them, are inexorably drawn from live-and-let-live tolerance to Mujaheddin Jihadism in the service of the annihilation of the Dar el Harb and the establishment of the Global Caliphate (Daniel Pipes estimates the number at around 15%), but the vast majority those who are not so drawn are very quiet, because the message contained in the memeplex of Islam supports not them, but the militants, and they are quite reasonably frightened of suffering the Righteous Retribution of the Violent Faithful should they dare to attempt to speak out in dissent (Some exceptions are Salman Rushdie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji, Taslima Naslim, and Ibn Warraq; these brave souls continue to suffer for their courage and integrity, and many of their outspoken brethren have been killed).

    Next, let us take a brief look at the particular strain that is presently so globally troubling.

    Imaam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab was born in and lived in eighteenth century Arabia (1703-1792), and promulgated the idea that Islam had fallen away from its seventh century roots, the Edenic era when Muhammed and the Four Great Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali) succeeded each other, and needed to return to them. This involved a Puritanical purging of all non-Muslim influences, the return of draconian enforcement of religious edicts against infidels, and the toughening of restrictions upon women. Wahhabism subsequently spread throughout most of the Arabian Peninsula and gained significant footholds beyond, but concentrated itself primarily upon the peninsula itself, as the defender of the purity of the faith in Muhammed's birth land, the Land of the Two Mosques. In the early 20th century, the House of Saud brokered a deal with the Wahhabists, and Saudi Arabia was born.

    Sayyid Qutb was a Wahhabist born in Egypt (1906-1966). He traveled to the US, and sojourned there between 1948 and 1950. This experience shocked and disgusted him. He was horrified by the presence of uppity and voting women, freedom of religion and thought, widespread substance use and rampant sexual licentiousness. He then put forth the idea that the US was the fount of Jahiliyya (a word roughly translatable as pre-Musim Paganism), and, as such, was a danger to Islam and must be forcibly subjected to Shari'a rule. He did not view the US as a military threat, since he believed that life in such a dissipative culture had weakened and softened its citizenry, but rather contended that its various freedoms and vices were slatternly temptations that could seduce the faithful away from the true path. Thus, for the good of both the faith and of all humankind, the US as it was must be destroyed, and Muslim piousness enforced there. He later generalized this view to include, first European, and later all non-Muslim societies.

    Notice that, without Qutb, Wahhabism would have remained directed inwards, and without Wahhabism, Qutb would not have had a pious and puritanical Islam with which to compare and contrast the US culture that he encountered. Together, their contributions combine to create the present Al Qaedan stance that the entire globe must be subjugated to a religious regimen that consciously holds itself in the seventh century. Interestingly enough, the head of Al Qaeda, Usama Bin Laden, came from Saudi Arabia (like Wahhab), while Al Qaeda's chief ideologue, Zawahiri, came from Egypt (like Qutb).

    Considering all of these points taken together, it is surpassingly obvious that, in the present era, Radical Islamism is a far greater threat to the continued existence of the secular, nonsectarian governance of open and constitutionally democratic societies than is Fundamentalist Christianity.

    How do we, as free, democratic and tolerant societies, deal with the aggressive encroachments of this virulent memeplex? I believe that we're already on the path to doing so, and this is why:

    The primordial form of government, one that long predated the advent of the written word, is monarchial, composed of royal masters, typically from a single family lineage that served as a simulacrum of the genetic heritage of the tribe, and ruled slaves, who owed the masters familial bonds of fealty. However, this form of government often entailed power struggles and intrigues by the royal relatives to either lay claim to or to seize the reins of succession during the authority change when the king, czar, pharoah or emperor would die, and this was not conducive to smooth and orderly transition and the smooth continuation of civil order.

    Spoken religious myths had most likely been invoked to legitimize royal rule for as long as humans spoke and gathered in tribes. However, with the creation of written language, it was possible to create a form of leadership that would not change or die like rulers did; blueprints - that is, sets of ideas - that could codify the regal rule as divinely sanctioned, serve as abstract monarchs with which to supplement the concrete yet generationally changing kings, provide a common glue which smoothed transitions and soothed the populace while transition happened, and, via the inclusion of explicit tribal history, the encoding of symbolic abstractions of important past tribal decisions within the religious myth, or the insertion of purportedly divinely communicated rules, provide both guidance as to how such transitions should be effectuated, and within what parameters a particular king should circumscribe his decisional alternatives. These blueprints are the holy texts of written religions.

    As time passed, certain written religions spread across several kingdoms each, and the kings themselves became in their turn ruled by their ecclesiastical authorities, who held sway over multiple kingdoms; as religion mattered more, royalty mattered less. In such a manner, genetic monarchies gradually evolved into, or were superseded and supplanted by, ideological monarchies, whose rulers were chosen from within the membership of the religion itself, the successor being decided, whenever a ruler died, via the consensus of the most influential members remaining.

    Where religious government was itself supposedly superseded, in most cases, its supersession was apparent rather than real. Thus with communism and fascism, the god of matter and labor, and the god of the spirit (geist) of the people and its will to power, replaced the transcendent god of heaven, mind and prayer. Still, however, the master and the slave remained; the divinely granted or prescriptively composed sets of ideas and rules were the acknowledged rulers, but the actual rulers were those who mandated to the general populaces what those rules meant. Hegel was the philosopher who first explicitly described this structure.

    The Hegelian master-slave dialectic was composed of Masters (who were willing to risk death in order to rule) and Slaves (who were not willing to risk death in order to not be ruled), and Hegel did not present any manner by which governmental form could evolve past this basic inequity. However, in the past couple of hundred years, a synthetic new level has emerged, that of Free and Independent Individuals, who refuse to rule others, but who are willing to kill and die in order not to be ruled by others - that is, they are willing to, in fact, even desirous of, letting others rule themselves, and will even take pains to free enslaved others, but in return they insist upon the right to rule themselves also, via representatives who are neither divinely chosen nor doctrinally imposed by exclusive vote from within an ideological apparatus, be they priests or commissars, but are instead popularly elected by the populace at large, in accordance with a constitution that, in addition to codifying those ethical precepts contained within both holy and secular precursors which are genuinely ethical, mandates the existence, frequency, and structure of such a process. In a way, the principle of ecclesiastical or commissar vote was generalized to encompass the entire citizenry (just as, in prior times, the Gutenberg printing press wrested the holy texts away from their elite cadres and made them available for perusal and judgment to all literate citizens), and a new memeplex has thus evolved; the constitutional democracy memeplex

    In fact, evolution is an explicit module of this memeplex; whereas holy texts were forever frozen in their revealed forms, constitutions could be amended or modified by elected representatives responding to popular consensus in the face of changing circumstances, like species evolve in response to natural selection acting via changing environments. This capacity for evolution from within relieves pressure for revolution, as popular changes can be made to the established order without the need to overthrow that order in its entirety. However, so that the rights of minority citizens are protected from any oppressive 'tyranny of the majority', basic guaranteed civil and political rights for all are also included as a submodule qualification of the popular evolution module. This submodule grants and guarantees all of the memeplex's citizens equal rights and freedoms to individually pursue their own personal and economic well being. The interpreters of this constitution (the written and codified template of this memeplex) are appointed by the popularly elected representatives of the citizens, and those who amend it via legislation are separated from those who execute its enforcement and from those who interpret its meaning, as a barrier against groups of representatives collaborating in order to create and implement mutually self-serving rather than citizenry-benefitting changes, or issuing and enforcing self-serving interpretations, and to prevent the executors from authoring self-serving provisions which they then may enforce to their own benefit, or from interpreting existing provisions in self-serving ways. Of course, the concrete personal and political reality of a citizenry as codified in their constitution can never completely catch up to their abstract ideal, as this ideal is itself a moving target, in constant evolution in response to evolving and expanding potential rights, responsibilities, opportunities and choices, but, as noted before, their constitution can be continuously modified to progressively approach it.

    Competition between the governments and peoples of countries that embrace this principle, that is, competition between constitutional democracies, is removed from the politico-military sphere (democracies generally do not war with one another - it's counterproductive) and relocated in the economic sphere, comprised of international trade and the competition between producers for consumers via the manufacture of better and/or less expensive products. This competition of course financially and materially benefits the consuming citizenry, at the same time that it furnishes them with gainful productive employment by means of which they may self-support (self-support and self-responsibility being a necessary corollary of freedom and self-rule). Thus, the constitutional democracy memeplex is likely to appeal to a significant percentage of those who presently suffer political and personal oppression and economic privation under theocratic and totalitarian systems, and are prevented by such systems from having an electoral voice in their government's conduct, making personally benefitting economic decisions, exercising personal choice, or changing (or even advocating the changing of) the nature or rules of the system in order to permit themselves to do these things. This appeal renders it likely that the constitutional democracy memeplex can, by offering people the opportunity to achieve concrete and actual this-world economic benefits, expanded ranges of personal choice, and genuine political empowerment, successfully compete for their cognitive memespace with the abstract and hypothetical next-world paradisiacal promises and infernal threats proferred to them by the Wahhab/Qutb memeplex. The hope for the future of secular and tolerant civilization could well lie in this constitutional-democratic memeplex synthesis proliferating through the populations of the globe, siphoning a large enough percentage of their potential members away from the enslaving embrace of the Wahhab/Qutb memeplex that they are unable, after membership attrition via natural and jihad-related causes, to increase or maintain their acolyte population, and finally ridding the world, via democratic revolution (assisted where possible and necessary), of the remaining totalitarian and theocratic enclaves which continue to employ the oppressive master-slave dialectic, and maintain their citizenries in its stifling thrall.

    PS: Do not think that this is a racist stance which I am taking; I am expressing dismay at the propagation of a violent, virulent memeset that may cognitively infect any racial or ethnic classification, and trying to figure out what can be said and/or done to persuade Muslims to refuse to embrace it. In fact, there are quite a few non-Muslim Arabs, and the majority of Muslims are themselves not Arabs - the most populous Muslim nations are Malaysia and Indonesia, and their populations are East Asian, not Arab). Likewise, I am not criticizing Islam alone or in its entirety; the problem we face and the task set before us is to gain enough understanding of the workings of the Islamofascist memeplex to be able to memetically counter the propensity, a propensity particularly inherent in the Islamic memeplex but also present in the memeplexes of the other Patriarchal Monotheisms, to facilitate the spawning of intolerant and murderous mutational variants, such as, in the case of Islam, the Wahhab/Qutb Al Qaedan strain.

    Also do not think that I have written this analysis from the standpoint of a hidden Christian or Jewish agenda. Putting aside the fact that attacking the racial or ethnic membership or the religious affiliation of the author of a position, rather than critiquing the merits of the position itself by assessing the evidence presented and checking the logical links in the chain of reasoning by means of which the items of evidence are connected, is a 2500 year old Greek logical fallacy known as ad hominem, I am neither Christian nor a Jew, either ethnically or as a religious stance; I am English, Irish, Dutch and Native American, and consider myself to be a secular humanist with pagan overtones (I tend towards sympathy with both the gender egalitarianism and the ecologically friendly stance embraced by many pagan faiths and their adherents, as well as their typically tolerant and positive attitude towards the freedom of all to make uncoerced and unfettered personal choices for themselves in matters both political and religious, and their opposition to such matters being dictated by some for others). I am not a fundamentalist of any stripe. Philosophically, I favor existential and hermeneutic phenomenology, Jean Piaget's genetic epistemology, semiotics, and memetics (my BA is in philosophy) and my graduate studies have been in interdisciplinary humanities, including philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, and comparative religion.

    I do, however, believe that the one thing that tolerant people cannot tolerate is the coercive intolerance of others. Once people begin to tolerate such a thing, it is a short and slippery step for them to begin to share those others' intolerances, as well as the coercive manner by means of which they endeavor to force such stances upon people who would not freely embrace them (Tolerance: Between Intolerance and the Intolerable by Paul Ricoeur).

  • ||

    John Quincy Adams wrote:

    In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar [i.e., Muhammad], the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE (Adams's capital letters)… Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant… While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and goodwill towards men."

    Lord Tebbit wrote:

    "The Muslim religion is so unreformed since it was created that nowhere in the Muslim world has there been any real advance in science, or art or literature, or technology in the last 500 years"

    Vernon Richards wrote:

    "The true Islamic concept of peace goes something like this: "Peace comes through submission to Muhammad and his concept of Allah" (i.e. Islam). As such the Islamic concept of peace, meaning making the whole world Muslim, is actually a mandate for war. It was inevitable and unavoidable that the conflict would eventually reach our borders, and so it has."

    Andre Servier, 1922 wrote:

    "Islam was not a torch, as has been claimed, but an extinguisher. Conceived in a barbarous brain for the use of a barbarous people, it was - and it remains - incapable of adapting itself to civilization. Wherever it has dominated, it has broken the impulse towards progress and checked the evolution of society."



    Theodore Roosevelt wrote:

    "The Greeks who triumphed at Marathon and Salamis did a work without which the world would have been deprived of the social value of Plato and Aristotle, of Aeschylus, Herodotus, and Thucydides. The civilization of Europe, America, and Australia exists today at all only because of the victories of civilized man over the enemies of civilization, because the victories stretching through the centuries from the days of Miltiades and Themistocles to those of Charles Martel in the eighth century and those of John Sobieski in the seventeenth century."

    "During the thousand years that included the careers of the Frankish soldier and the Polish king, the Christians of Asia and Africa proved unable to wage successful war with the Moslem conquerors; and in consequence Christianity practically vanished from the two continents; and today nobody can find in them any "social values" whatever, in the sense in which we use the words, so far as the sphere of Mohammedan influence. There are such "social values" today in Europe, America, and Australia only because during those thousand years the Christians of Europe possessed the warlike power to do what the Christians of Asia and Africa had failed to do - that is, to beat back the Moslem invader."

    David Selbourne - The Losing Battle with Islam:

    "Of course, there are distinguished precedents even for the bleakest and coarsest of these judgements. To Montesquieu in 1748, Islam's 'destructive spirit' spoke 'only by the sword'; to Schopenhauer in 1819, the Koran was a 'wretched book' in which he had 'not been able to discover one single idea of value'; to De Tocqueville in 1843, Islam was 'deadly', 'to be feared' and a 'form of decadence'". -

    Winston Churchill, wrote in 1899:

    "The religion of Islam above all others was founded upon the sword … Moreover it provides incentives to slaughter, and in three continents has produced fighting breeds of men - filled with a wild and merciless fanaticism".

    John Quincy Adams who wrote in 1829:

    "The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force".

    John Wesley (1703-91) who wrote,

    "Ever since the religion of Islam appeared in the world, the espousers of it...have been as wolves and tigers to all other nations, rending and tearing all that fell into their merciless paws, and grinding them with their iron teeth; that numberless cities are raised from the foundation, and only their name remaining; that many countries, which were once as the garden of God, are now a desolate wilderness; and that so many once numerous and powerful nations are vanished from the earth! Such was, and is at this day, the rage, the fury, the revenge, of these destroyers of human kind".

    Hilaire Belloc who wrote in 1938:

    "Will not perhaps the temporal power of Islam return and with it the menace of an armed Mohammedan world, which will shake off the domination of Europeans -- still nominally Christian -- and reappear as the prime enemy of our civilization? The future always comes as a surprise, but political wisdom consists in attempting at least some partial judgment of what that surprise may be. And for my part I cannot but believe that a main unexpected thing of the future is the return of Islam".

    Bishop Fulton J Sheen who wrote in 1950:

    "Today (1950), the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world Power".

    Patriarch Cyrus of Alexandria, while negotiating the surrender of Alexandria to the Muslims, 640 AD:

    "I am afraid that God has sent these men to lay waste the world".

    Gregory Palamus of Thessalonica, 1354:

    "For these impious people, hated by God and infamous, boast of having got the better of the Romans by their love of God…they live by the bow, the sword and debauchery, finding pleasure in taking slaves, devoting themselves to murder, pillage, spoil…and not only do they commit these crimes, but even - what an aberration - they believe that God approves of them. This is what I think of them, now that I know precisely about their way of life.".

    William Eaton, US Consul to Tunis, wrote in 1799:

    "Considered as a nation, they are deplorably wretched, because they have no property in the soil to inspire an ambition to cultivate it. They are abject slaves to the despotism of their government, and they are humiliated by tyranny, the worst of all tyrannies, the despotism of priestcraft. They live in more solemn fear of the frowns of a bigot who has been dead and rotten above a thousand years, than of the living despot whose frown would cost them their lives…The ignorance, superstitious tradition and civil and religious tyranny, which depress the human mind here, exclude improvement of every kind…"


    And how about this quote from Ayatollah Khomeini from 1942:

    "Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world. But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world…. Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers] Islam says Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us Islam says Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender to the enemy Islam says Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Koranic] verses and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim." - Ayatollah Khomeini

    In defense of the UK, Winston Churchill 1941:

    You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period - I am addressing myself to the School - surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated

  • SuprKufr||

    hahahaha! I actually mentor a Jew in maths (for free) and have many of them as close friends.

    What lovely Taqiyya!

    "War is deceit." -- The Muslim prophet Mohammed.

    So I dont hate Jews, I hate Zionists, (a subset of Jews).

    Again, lovely, gorgeous Taqiyya.

    Is is Islamic to hate the Jews? Of course it is. I've read the Koran. Do you pine for the days in which the rocks and trees will call out to you, saying, "Oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come kill him!"

    But in Israel, where Zionists have engaged in action, that deserves action, implies Israel needs to be wiped out!

    Very Islamic of you.

    I personally think that the ideology of Islam should be eradicated, much like the ideology Nazism and the ideology of political Shintoism were eradicated. I suggest that you abandon Islam completely. It's the worst religion.

    Islam delenda est.

  • ||

    "Hirsi Ali: Yeah, but there are rebels and rebels. There are rebels who are always against something, like the Socialist Party in the Netherlands. To them, rebelling itself is the aim. That's where they get their thrill from. But I'm rebelling for something. I want something to be established."

    A lot of the old hippies in western universities railing against the establishment don't realize that they are the establishment.

  • ||

    Isn't this stupid woman a serial liar? Didn't she lie in the Netherlands and got caught and was forced to resign over her lies? Didn't she get eaten alive on The BBC about her lying?

    She is stuck on stupid.

  • ||

    She was stuck on survival and escape.

    Falsifiying some items on her admissions form was the only way that she could gain admission to the Netherlands, and leave her past horrors behind. Remember, she had her clit cut off as a child, and was running away from a forced marriage to a stranger.

  • ||

    What lovely Taqiyya!

    Ahh, I get it.

    If a muslim says something 'bad', hes just being a true muslim.

    I a muslim doesnt say something 'bad', he is actually lying and did in fact do something bad.

    Two points:
    1) Muslims arent robots.
    2) You cant prove a negative.
    3) You arent a Westerner in the ideological sense. More like a fasicst. No wonder you cozy up to those Zionists. You are cut from the same cloth afterall.

  • digamma||

    I hate this vague rhetoric about "facing down the threat". Name the policy. It sounds to me like she is advocating war with every country in which Muslims denounce the United States. If not that, then what?

  • TheExpatriate||

    Re: "An Arab"

    "Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance." - Qur'an 16:125 - (Yusuf Ali translation)

    You fail at being a Muslim.

    /end argument

  • ||

    It is always fascinating to listen to people who have absolutely no experience of a circumstance talk down to someone who has spent a lifetime living the circumstance. Let's not patronize the native chappies, shall we?

  • ||

    You fail at being a Muslim.

    How right you are. Our faith is lost everytime one of us flies off the handle in an argument.

    All this is very entertaining. I have one guy telling me im a 'very real' Muslim because I dont like Israel. I have another guy telling me im not really a Muslim because I am not soft and nice when argueing my point.

    It makes me laugh! haha! Who ... who do you all think you are anyway? hahahaha! Stupid Americans.

  • ||

    I am somewhat amazed by the facts presented in this article. It seems to be written quite recently. However, last year it became clear that AHA lied through her teeth to gain entrance to the netherlands. Eg, the "heavy religious upbringing" was a lie. It turns out she had rather enlightened parents, who let het study etc, travel abroad and were no fan of the regime. Furhermore she implies that she was forced to marry a man her parents had chosen for her and that it was a great insult to the family honour to defie her parents. In fact, the country she was brought up in, doenst have "forced: marriage as most of the islamic countries do. It is just not part of their culture. Let alone that she had to flee from her parents. Though this is true for countries like Turkey, where rampant daughters do have to be carefull not to get murdered to satisfy the hurt pride of the family, it again is something unformiliar in the country she was brought up in.
    Howcome the writer of this article seems totally oblivious of these facts. Most peculiar.

  • ||

    >How right you are. Our faith is lost everytime one of us flies off the handle in an argument.

    Damn! With the number of times that happens on any given day how in the world does anyone find it? You would think it would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

    >All this is very entertaining. I have one guy telling me im a 'very real' Muslim because I dont like Israel. I have another guy telling me im not really a Muslim because I am not soft and nice when argueing my point.

    Well we all know the first guy is right and not the second guy.

  • ||

    Vince,

    Damn! With the number of times that happens on any given day how in the world does anyone find it? You would think it would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

    Exporting armed foreign Jews into our lands has that effect ya know? You guys are already throwing a shit fit about unarmed Mexican workers crossing your border.

    Maybe us Arabs should encourage them to declare California the new Mexican province and provide them with the occasional AK47 and see how 'nice' you become in arguments after that.

    Oh and if you become meanies in arguments after that its.. its.. oh i know! Its because of your faith! yeah!

    lol

    Such simpletons! hahahahha
    I

  • ||

    >Maybe us Arabs should encourage them to declare California the new Mexican province and provide them with the occasional AK47 and see how 'nice' you become in arguments after

    Go ahead and try it. Wouldn't be the first time that happened and we took care (went to war with and defeated) of the country that had that idea.

  • ||

    ...(went to war with and defeated)...

    War? Defeat? ... Ahh! I see! Because your religion is violent right?

    LOL

  • ||

    Religion had nothing to do with it. I know that's a hard concept for you since you're a slave of the pagan moon god, but you should know the rest of the world.. the world that invented electricity and toliet paper .. don't live like or think like you do.

    What country do you live in, anyway?

  • ||

    Oh my god, this is too easy.

    Religion had nothing to do with it.

    Why! Thanks for making my point for me! :)

    I hate Israel on my territory not because of my religion, just as you would hate a new Mexican province on your territory not because of your religion.

    Maybe next time we wont have to go through that roller coaster ride to show that you do in fact agree with me.

    Wait! Ooo! ooo! You agree with a Muslim!? Ack! The horror! Quick! Check your blood pressure! Look in the mirror - do you see a turban?? Oh my god is that your carpet levitating all the sudden?!? ahhhh!!

    hahahahaha!

    the world that invented electricity and toliet paper .. don't live like or think like you do.


    And how do I live exactly? Hey speaking of which are you guys gonna use a former Nazi again for putting men on Mars? Just curious.

    As far as which country I live in, ill give you a hint: The president here has no regard for the constitution. ;)

  • ||

    >And how do I live exactly? Hey speaking of which are you guys gonna use a former Nazi again for putting men on Mars? Just curious.

    Considering how much the Muslims were throwing themselves at Hitler to be his friend, I'm surprised you would speak of NAZIs with such a negative tone.

    After all, in the 1930s, Muslims loved Hitler so much that some of you thought he was the 12th Imam.

    Quote:
    "Radio Zeesen was a success not only in Cairo; it made an impact in Tehran as well. One of its regular listeners was a certain Ruhollah Khomeini. When in the winter of 1938 the 36-year-old Khomeini returned to the Iranian city of Qom from Iraq he "had brought with him a radio receiver set made by the British company Pye … The radio proved a good buy… Many mullahs would gather at his home, often on the terrace, in the evenings to listen to Radio Berlin and the BBC", writes his biographer Amir Taheri. Even the German consulate in Tehran was surprised by the success of this propaganda. "Throughout the country spiritual leaders are coming out and saying 'that the twelfth Imam has been sent into the world by God in the form of Adolf Hitler'" we learn from a report to Berlin in February 1941"

    Of course you hate Jews so much, that's what the pagan moon demon wants.

  • ||

    Salamantis,

    "Falsifiying some items on her admissions form was the only way that she could gain admission to the Netherlands, and leave her past horrors behind. Remember, she had her clit cut off as a child, and was running away from a forced marriage to a stranger."

    I dont know if you know this but if you are a person who is truly seeking asylum you go to the closest and safest country you can get to. The point is to be away from harm. After that you cant just go from country to country trying to find the best place to live. You cease being an asylum seeker and become an oppurtunity seeker. Lots of asylium seekers are denied access to countries like the UK, France, or the Scandinavian countries because it wasnt their first stop when they left their native country. You cant falsify claims on your asylum application. Those are legal documents and are grounds to have your application denied. Its happens to so many people so often who too are seeking asylum.

  • ||

    An Arab,


    Fascism is a Western ideology. Being Western and Fascist arent mutually exclusive.

  • ||

    Suprkufr,

    What is Taqqiyah (from the Islamic texts please and not your opinion) and how can you prove that it is being used.

    Kufr delenda est. (Youre not the only one who can wiki latin bullshit)

  • ||

    Fascism is a Western ideology. Being Western and Fascist arent mutually exclusive.

    So it would seem, from comments I am seeing here Bikhair.

    Oh, let me save you the trouble: Apparently if Muslims say 'We hate Israel' they are being 'real true Muslims', but if we say 'We have nothing against Jews' then we are in fact hiding our true motivations to slaughter Jews.

    In other words Bikhair, we're guilty until proven innocent.

    Which is ok, because such circular logic entertains me - I am currently handing Vince his own ass so its ok. :)

    -----------------------------

    Vince,

    Hey if Americans used Nazis to put men on the moon and give them technology honed from genecide, I suppose you guys didnt think they were all that bad either eh?

  • ||

    Bikhair aka Taqqiyah , I'll answer your question to suprkufr with this:

    Question:
    When is deliberate ambiguity valid? If that is in cases of necessity only, then what is the definition of necessity in this case?.

    Answer:
    Praise be to Allaah.

    The Arabic word tawriyah [translated here as deliberate ambiguity] means to conceal something.

    Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

    "Then Allaah sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him how to hide [yuwaari] the dead body of his brother. He (the murderer) said: "Woe to me! Am I not even able to be as this crow and to hide the dead body of my brother?" Then he became one of those who regretted"

    [al-Maa'idah 5:31]

    "O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts - yuwaari saw'aatikum) and as an adornment; and the raiment of righteousness, that is better. Such are among the Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allaah, that they may remember (i.e. leave falsehood and follow truth)"

    [al-A'raaf 7:26]

    With regard to the meaning in sharee'ah terminology, it refers to someone who says something that may appear to have one meaning to the listener but the speaker intends something different that may be understood from these words. For example, he says, "I do not have a dirham in my pocket," and that is understood to mean that he does not have any money at all, when what he means is that he does not have a dirham but he may have a dinar, for example. This is called ambiguity or dissembling.

    Deliberate ambiguity is regarded as a legitimate solution for avoiding difficult situations that a person may find himself in when someone asks him about something, and he does not want to tell the truth on the one hand, and does not want to lie, on the other.

    Deliberate ambiguity is permissible if it is necessary or if it serves a shar'i interest, but it is not appropriate to do it a great deal so that it becomes a habit, or to use it to gain something wrongfully or to deprive someone of his rights.

    Al-Nawawi said:

    The scholars said: If that is needed to serve some legitimate shar'i interest that outweighs the concern about misleading the person to whom you are speaking, or it is needed for a reason that cannot be achieved without lying, then there is nothing wrong with using deliberate ambiguity as an acceptable alternative. But if there is no interest to be served and no pressing need, then it is makrooh, but is not haraam. If it is a means of taking something wrongfully or depriving someone of their rights, then it is haraam in that case. This is the guideline in this matter.

    Al-Adhkaar, p. 380

    Some scholars were of the view that it is haraam to resort to deliberate ambiguity if there is no reason or need to do so. This was the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him). See al-Ikhtiyaaraat, p. 563.

    There are situations in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught that we may use deliberate ambiguity, for example:

    If a man loses his wudoo' whilst praying in congregation, what should he do in this embarrassing situation?

    The answer is that he should place his hand over his nose and leave.

    The evidence for that is the report narrated from 'Aa'ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "If anyone of you breaks his wudoo' whilst praying, let him hold his nose and leave." Sunan Abi Dawood, 1114. See also Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 985.

    Al-Teebi said: The command to hold his nose is so that it will look as if he has a nosebleed. This is not a lie, rather it is a kind of ambiguity. This concession is granted so that the Shaytaan will not trick him into staying put because of feeling embarrassed in front of people.

    Mirqaah al-Mafaateeh Sharh Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/18
    This is a kind of ambiguity that is permitted, so as to avoid any embarrassment and so that whoever sees him leaving will think that he has a nosebleed.

    Similarly If a Muslim faces a difficult situation where he needs to say what is against the truth in order to protect himself or someone who is innocent, or to save himself from serious trouble, is there a way for him to escape the situation without lying or falling into sin?

    Yes, there is a legal way and a permissible escape that one can make use of if necessary. It is equivocation or indirectness in speech. Imaam al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) entitled a chapter of his Saheeh: "Indirect speech is a safe way to avoid a lie". (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Adab (Book of Manners), chapter 116).

    Equivocation means saying something which has a closer meaning that the hearer will understand, but it also has a remote meaning which what is actually meant and is linguistically correct. The condition for this is that whatever is said should not present a truth as falsity and vice versa. The following are examples of such statements used by the salaf and early imaams, and collected by Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim in his book Ighaathat al-Lahfaan:

    It was reported about Hammaad (may Allaah have mercy on him), if someone came that he did not want to sit with, he would say as if in pain: "My tooth, my tooth!" Then the boring person whom he did not like would leave him alone.

    Imaam Sufyaan Al-Thawri was brought to the khaleefah al-Mahdi, who liked him, but when he wanted to leave, the khaleefah told him he had to stay. Al-Thawri swore that he would come back. He then went out, leaving his shoes at the door. After some time he came back, took his shoes and went away. The khaleefah asked about him, and was told that he had sworn to come back, so he had come back and taken his shoes.

    Imaam Ahmad was in his house, and some of his students, including al-Mirwadhi, were with him. Someone came along, asking for al-Mirwadhi from outside the house, but Imaam Ahmad did not want him to go out, so he said: "Al-Mirwadhi is not here, what would he be doing here?" whilst putting his finger in the palm of his other hand, and the person outside could not see what he was doing.

    Other examples of equivocation or indirectness in speech include the following:

    If someone asks you whether you have seen so-and-so, and you are afraid that if you tell the questioner about him this would lead to harm, you can say "ma ra'aytuhu", meaning that you have not cut his lung, because this is a correct meaning in Arabic ["ma ra'aytuhu" usually means "I have not seen him," but can also mean "I have not cut his lung"]; or you could deny having seen him, referring in your heart to a specific time and place where you have not seen him. If someone asks you to swear an oath that you will never speak to so-and-so, you could say, "Wallaahi lan ukallumahu", meaning that you will not wound him, because "kalam" can also mean "wound" in Arabic [as well as "speech"]. Similarly, if a person is forced to utter words of kufr and is told to deny Allaah, it is permissible for him to say "Kafartu bi'l-laahi", meaning "I denounce the playboy" [which sounds the same as the phrase meaning "I deny Allaah."]

    (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan by Ibn al-Qayyim, 1/381 ff., 2/106-107. See also the section on equivocation (ma'aareed) in Al-Adaab al-Shar'iyyah by Ibn Muflih, 1/14).

    However, one should be cautious that the use of such statements is restricted only to situations of great difficulty, otherwise:

    Excessive use of it may lead to lying.

    One may lose good friends, because they would always be in doubt as to what is meant.

    If the person to whom such a statement is given comes to know that the reality was different from what he was told, and he was not aware that the person was engaging in deliberate ambiguity or equivocation, he would consider that person to be a liar. This goes against the principle of protecting one's honour by not giving people cause to doubt one's integrity..

    The person who uses such a technique frequently may become proud of his ability to take advantage of people.

    End quote. From Madha taf'al fi'l-haalaat al-aatiyah (What to do in the following situations)?

    And Allaah knows best.

  • ||

    Wow. This is the first time ive heard of this. (Taqiyyah above).

    Even so, we are speaking in English, not Arabic, thereby automatically invalidating the linguistic ambiguity.

    So the question stands - how does X know that Y is engaging in 'evasion', (or as you refer to it, in taqiyyah?)

    In other words, the onus of proof lies on the accuser, to prove that someone else is indeed lying.

  • ||

    >So the question stands - how does X know that Y is engaging in 'evasion', (or as you refer to it, in taqiyyah?)
    In other words, the onus of proof lies on the accuser, to prove that someone else is indeed lying.

    Since Muslims are in perpetual war against Non-Muslims and since deception is an allowable war tactic (especially in Dar Al Haarb), a Non-Muslim should take the Islam religion seriously and understand that he should never believe anything a Muslim tells him.

  • MD||

    Undeniable truth there Vince.

    Bottom line: Why is there greatness and prosperity where judeo-christian culture is dominant, and mostly death and suffering in islamic controlled states ?

    Right! Exactly! It IS the jooooos fault.

  • ||

    Vince,

    What you just posted to me doesnt make any sense at all. You probably didnt bother to read what you copied and pasted. Youre such a lazy bum. Please tell me where you got that stuff from so I can do the research myself. This is ridiculous.

  • ||

    MD,

    "Bottom line: Why is there greatness and prosperity where judeo-christian culture is dominant, and mostly death and suffering in islamic controlled states ?"

    Actually, it would be more precise to say that where judeo-Christian white culture is dominant, there is prosperity. Also Japanese, and Tawianese. Capitalism and open markets? Eastern Europe is after all Judeo Christian but because they were communist, an ideology created from a Judeo-Christian cultural milleu, it tends to be vastly poorer.

    Riddle me this: Western Europe has been Judeo-Christian for hundreds, close to two thousand years but has just recently, within the past 200 years, been prosperous. What changed?

    Also if you consider Central and South America, also Judeo-Christian, for the most part, though not white/European, tends not to be as wealth. The Carribean which is also Judeo-christian, but is black and mestizo is even poorer. Do you think there maybe a correlation between not only being Judeo-Christian but being Caucasian also? Just throwing some ideas out there.

    "Right! Exactly! It IS the jooooos fault."

    Because blaming the joooos is such a time honored Christian tradition, Muslims dont much engage in it.

  • MD||

    Bikhair aka Taqqiyah
    I was about to answer you and then you said this: "Because blaming the joooos is such a time honored Christian tradition, Muslims dont much engage in it."

    As smart alecky as I am, you sir are just rediculous. I reject the premise that, unlike Medved/Hannity etc., simply for your stating of an argument, that you automatically have validity. You're a joke man! "Muslims dont much engage in (blaming the jooooos)"? No one is that stupid. You are a willing tool. What the jihadis would call "a useful infidel". An empty vessel. It's no use pal, you're a lost cause. Your brain has been utterly scrubbed of any semblance of reason, and yet you argue HERE. Too ironic.

  • MD||

    Bikhair aka Taqqiyah,

    p.s. NonWhitey-AMERICANS are doing fine thank you. At least when they subscribe to the western M/O for success: work hard, follow your dreams, live and let live

  • ||

    >Because blaming the joooos is such a time honored Christian tradition, Muslims dont much engage in it.

    http://www.matthiaskuentzel.de/contents/hitlers-legacy-islamic-antisemitism-and-the-impact-of-the-muslim-brotherhood

    An especially striking example is the charter adopted in 1988 by the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, better known as Hamas. In this charter-which "sounds as if it were copied from the pages of Der Stürmer," as Sari Nusseibeh, former PLO representative in Jerusalem, has written -Hamas defines itself as "the spearhead and the avant-garde" of the struggle against "world Zionism."

    In the Charter, the Jews are accused of being behind all the shocks of modernity: "They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam. (They are) behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion." In addition, they are held responsible for every major catastrophic event in modern history: The Jews "were behind the French Revolution [and] the Communist Revolution. . . . They were behind World War I . . . they were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. . . . There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it. . . . Their plan," states Article 32 of the charter, "is embodied in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying." How can it be that ardent supporters of Hamas such as Azzam Tamini, who is a regular guest of the BBC and Channel 4, is never seriously challenged about the antisemitic content of the charter?

    As in the 1930s and 1940s, the sheer absurdity of such claims makes it difficult for educated people to believe that anyone could take them seriously. Such claims, nonetheless, triggered Pogroms in Russia, were used as the textbook for the Holocaust in Germany and motivated the perpetrators of 9/11. Islamic antisemitism is the reason why Hamas prioritise weapons and war rather than peace and welfare. Islamic antisemitism is the reason why Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah recently warned Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries "not to normalize relations with Israel". Islamic Antisemitism is the only reason why Iran - a county that has neither a territorial dispute with Israel nor a Palestinian refugee problem - calls for the destruction of Israel again and again.

  • KafirPagan||

    i think people here are mostly hanging on to 2 of the phrases in the interview to slam hirsi ali.
    1.
    "Don't you mean defeating radical Islam?
    Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period."
    well, this may sound extremist among the deafening cries of 'Islamophobia' in the MSM, but there's nothing wrong against declaring war against a cult that's threatening your way of life and liberty, no matter how many people swear loyalty to that cult and even if some of them happen to be peaceful.

    If someone who has a christian heritage wants to defeat christianity, i doubt anyone here would find anything wrong with that stand (and i'm definitely certain no one in the islamic world will complain). Similarly since she's a muslim (or technically, has islamic heritage), it's natural she feels compelled to challenge her religion in a strong manner.

    then some may raise the point that it's okay to smash christianity in america, cuz it's the dominant religion, but we shouldn't criticize a minority religion. but then you're refusing to ask yourself the question, can a muslim(or anyone) criticize their religion in any muslim country with the impunity that we enjoy to tear apart christianity (actually, all religions except islam) in the West.
    2.
    "We have to crush the world's 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, "defeat Islam"?
    ......
    Reason: Militarily?
    Hirsi Ali: In all forms, ...."

    Stupid question from the interviewer. we did not CRUSH the, what 200 million or so, soviet people to defeat communism. we fought it ideologically -keeping military option alive- until the threat from it was more or less neutralized.

    She never advocated any sort of killing of people just to eradicate them. but 'arab' did say he wanted to eradicate all zionists, 'by any means'. and the ones who were disturbed by hirsi ali's statement about defeating an intolerant ideology which less than likely to reform, do not seem to have a problem with this wish. I wonder what's the parameter for deciding whether advocating killing a people is wrong or right? that they shouldn't number above 1 billion? or that they should number below 10 million, which would i guess qualify the zionists to be fair game for 'eradication'?

    True, early islam was similar to christianity and judaism. they changed, Islam didn't - or, perhaps, started moving back in time to 7th century, before it changed enough.
    It's pretty obvious to anyone who's judgement isn't clouded with western guilt or the stupid phrase that all religions are peaceful by default, that present day islam is more akin to nazism than any other present religion.
    It is supremacist, it is expansionist, it is totalitarian, and most importantly, it is underestimated just like Nazism was before it reached its peak. We did defeat Nazism without killing every german (or 'aryan')who espoused the Nazi ideology. How?
    Supremacism is a very strong common element in these two and, along with perceptual grievances ,is the driver of agression in both.
    But once it's defeated categorically and humiliated, the supremacist perception takes a big beating. that's how we solved the nazi problem. that will be what it takes to solve the Islamist problem. and just the same way, the longer we wait, the enemy will get stronger and the bigger will be the price to pay for both sides.

    iih: "Much later, as in India, some Muslim rulers were brutal in their conquests (e.g., Akbar, who was Mongol)."
    clearly this IIH guy isn't very informed, cuz Akbar is considered the greatest Mughal emperor. In fact, he is called 'Akbar the Great' by indians. And i think he was, becuz he practiced tolerance toward other religions, repealed jizya tax on Hindus, and even tried to launch a new religion 'Din Elahi', a mix of islam and hinduism and more.

    and about Islamic countries being secular:
    their are about 50 islamic countries in the world. none of them are secular by western standards. even the ones that are formally secular like turkey or tunisia, it's not easy being a non-muslim. their non-muslim population continues to dwindle and languish. most of these countries, even the 'modern' malaysia and indonesia, practice institutionalized discrimination toward minorities- shariah courts overruling secular courts for non-muslims, nonmuslims not being allowed to marry muslims etc. and almost all have their constitutions based on the koran.
    they do not debate whether something is right or wrong before they pass a law. they debate whether it's islamic or not. so when some reformers in the pakistan tried to repeal the hudud ordinance (an islamic law that allows a woman to be prosecuted for adultery, if her accusation of rape is not proven in a sharia court!!), it just didn't fly with peaceful muslims there. Opponents claimed that without the law, the society will degenerate into sexual depravity, decadence, blah-blah.

    And dont call me a stupid american, cuz i am from India (another one of the countries that muslims peacefully invaded) and a true hindu heathen who worships rocks and drinks cow urine. but still somehow we don't use micky mouse imitations teach our children children to hate muslims even though islam cut apart our country in half compared to the arabs who lost a tiny chunk of desert to the jews they attacked around the same time. being in india, I have considerable first-hand knowledge of muslims and even have a number of close friends. and i can tell you that the average muslim is much more religious (or his religion is much more involved in worldly life) than the average non-muslim. these guys believe in everything that's said in the koran, LITERALLY!! But despite that they do not know mohammed raped a 6-year-old girl, massacred an entire jewish tribe, and a lot of the horrible stuff about their religion. for a non-Muslim, if he finds something in his religion conflicting with his conscience, he will make a choice. but a muslim guy, it's hard for him to make a choice, cuz he 'knows' he has to follow the will of allah as written in the koran, he has no will of his own cuz that's the first thing he will submit to allah as a muslim. that's why you can piss on the crucifix and consider yourself a smart ass, but if you ever criticize islam, you have to watch out for the jihadi who will put you in your place.

  • ||

    Vince,

    Since Muslims are in perpetual war against Non-Muslims

    Prove that all Muslims are in perpetual war against Non-Muslims.

    By your statements, if a Muslim says 'we are at war with X', and 'X' is a non-Muslim, its because he is an Islamic terrorist.

    If a Muslim says 'we dont want war with X', and 'X' is a non-Muslim entity, then the Muslim is actually lying and actually is secretly planning a war.

    In effect, you are immune to emperical evidence regarding all Muslims - when they fight, they do for Islam, when they dont fight... well, they are secretly planning to fight.

    It is attitudes like this (conspiratorial) that led to the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis - the real argument was that no matter what the Jews did, no matter what evidence was brought to bear, they were guilty because of some perceived evil, with often quotations from the Old testament brought to bear on their 'evil and wicked' ways.

    Like I said before, we dont fight the Jews for being Jews. We fight the Zionists who happen to be Jews, for stealing our land. Just as you said before that you would fight for your land if Mexicans invaded California.

    The heart of the USA, the heart of its great ideals, is that one is innocent until proven guilty. You subscribe to the reverse of this, because you simply dont LIKE Muslims. And to this end, you are ready to apply a policy that is the reverse of the Constitution of this land.

    To that end Vince, you are definately, by all measures, objective and subjective, without any reasonable doubt, a Fasicst, in the purest terms.

    You are a dispicable human being, whos opinions and formations of those opinions follow methods used by Nazis themselves. You would damn 1 billion Muslims simply because the Quran contains verses that are by todays standards ludicrous, even though every holy book has questionable stances in its own right.

    You refuse to judge those contents in context of the time it was written, and in the context of today's geo-politcal landscape, where territorial and ethnic conflicts in the middle east abound, most of the time uncorrelated with religion. In fact it was Islam that sought to unite the various ethnic and tribal entities of Arabia to stop them from constant bickering over who killed whose goat.

    But you refuse to judge this in context - and here you are ready to damn any Muslim whom you assume to be some sort of automatons or robots - as if reading some obscure violent verse will download software into their brains and make them a zonbies.

    You are ignorant of how human psychology works - neigh - you are actually very capable of understanding how it works, and for sure you know very well that rarely if ever, do human beings fight for purely existential terms, and that most fights weather religious or otherwise, ALWAYS stem from some concrete Earthly matters.

    You refuse to see the Israeli-Conflict as a territorial one, even though the leader of Hamas himself has said repeatedly, that 'We do not hate the Jews for their culture or their religion - but for their Zionism'. You conveniently ignore this, and surrender your reason and ears to thinking that this conflict is something 'Islamic'.

    Because of all this Vince, you sir are an e.v.i.l. h.u.m.a.n b.e.i.n.g. No, you are in fact, a monster.

    You dare blame innocent folks you dont even know, and accuse them of things they would never do, because it fits your narrow and disgusting world view. People you have never seen, never met, somehow, against all odds and against all reason, are secretly plotting your death and destruction. Such is a level of paranoia that if was not associated with such vile accusations, would qualify you for entrance into the nearest mental ward. Although with this association you make, qualifies you to be a criminal at the very least.

    You my friend, are what mass-murderers are made of, and I am simply disgusted to my stomach, that I have had this exchange with you, knowing that somewhere out there, on some computer, a person who does not deserve to breathe the same oxygen as us, lives.

    You deserve to burn in the 7th layer of Hell.

    The hour was black when you were conceived, and even God cannot forgive himself for this.

  • iih||

    KP:

    I meant Timur. That was an unintentional mistake. I first learned about him as well as Akbar from two Indian (non-Muslim) colleagues of mine. I simply juxtaposed the names.

    Others:

    A lot of interesting stuff and views. But reason participants don't usually copy/paste or go on very long "monologs" without a discourse if KF, USorThem, and others can afford to actually have a discourse as opposed to lengthy rants.

  • ||

    iih,

    without a discourse if KF, USorThem, and others can afford to actually have a discourse as opposed to lengthy rants.

    I hope you didnt lump me in with those people.

  • ||

    With the sidenote that I'm pretty much in agreement with what I didn't comment on, there is at least one thing I downright disagree with Hirshi Ali on. Things are not fine and dandy as long as people only picture god to embody values that secular humansists could identify with.

    If I believe that God is love, that's a small step removed from wondering "who on earth would reject the love of love incarnate?", leading me to believe that atheists are cold and heartless. Many Americans, for instance, have a very negative kneejerkreaction to the word atheist, because they see it as not just a rejection of the idea that there's a supernatural being who's the embodyment of values like compassion and justice, but as an outright rejection of the values themselves. Even with a cudly teddybear god, the potential for bigotry remains.

    Hirchi Ali has come a long way, but I think she still naively underestimates how sinister a phenomeneon theism is.

    M.A.Rombouts. Den Helder, the Netherlands

  • iih||

    I hope you didnt lump me in with those people.

    I think there is room for improving your debating methods. I think many of the above posters you were debating with are not regular reason commenters.

  • ||

    I think there is room for improving your debating methods. I think many of the above posters you were debating with are not regular reason commenters.

    Appreciate the sentiment. I always try to improve my style.

    I am baffled as to why regular reason posters have not some to condemn those lunatics here.

  • iih||

    Some have indeed at a later post ;-) -- don't get distracted by the distracters though, they will be ignored as long as one argues with reason. Just try to keep the responses pointed, brief and polite, i.e., civil, and discussions are usually fruitful.

  • ||

    Thank you iih,

    One can always depend on a lady to bring elegance and grace to any craft. :)

  • Regular Reason Poster||

    What's with all the islamo-nazi symps ?

  • ||

    "LIONESS OF THE WEST"

  • BrooksImp||

    The length of a post comment is proportionate to the degree the author is committed to a cult. It takes far more language to disguise fallacies and immitate reasonable arguments than it does to mereley speak the truth.

  • No Dhimmi||

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a sheer genius. Period.

    If you want an education on the subject of Islam, check out this site:

    The Truth About Islam

  • ||

    The introduction refers to the face that Hirsi Ali had "allegedly" lied on her asylum application. There is no "allegedly" about it - she says in her memoir that she lied (claiming to be fleeing war-torn Somalia, rather than to have lived legally in Kenya for many years). The issue is whether the "lie" was justified. She says that it was, because she was fleeing a forced marriage (although the pressure by her own description was emotional rather than physical, the power of emotional pressure should not be underrated). The issue then is one of moral consistancy - as a member of the Dutch parliament, she belonged to a political party that was deporting other asylum seekers for "lies" no worse than hers.

  • ||

    I was really shocked by her comments. She makes no distinction between radical Islamists and the religion of Islam. She ignores countries like Indonesia and India (the states with the highest Muslim populations) that do not, by and large, have a terrorist problem. Unfortunately, Ali's words are great for the radical right in this country who love to smear whole groups: Muslims, Mexicans, gays.

  • BrooksImp||

    If a Christian dressed liked Jesus and placed demands upon public services and institutions to accommodate special dietary, hygiene, and prayer scheduling requirements, most western people would think the person nuts. Yet westerners line up to kowtow to Muslims making these same demands. Pointing out inconsistencies like this will get one labeled as "radical" or some flavor of "con" these days. Give me a break. Libertarians were more interesting before the leftys and anarchists moved in, before they quit caring about moral value.

  • No Dhimmi||

    Hirsi Ali makes no distinction between "radical Islam" and plain old Islam because there IS no distinction - and that's something EVERYONE needs to get through their heads. If you actually study ISLAM, as laid out by the Quran, Hadith, Sunnah, etc., what the so-called radicals are practicing IS ISLAM. What the so-called moderates do is something different - and the true, devout Muslims vehemently disagree that the moderates are Muslims. The "moderate" Muslims are almost as much at risk from the REAL Muslims as are the dirty kaffirs.

    Grow up already. It's ideology, period. And Hirsi Ali is right.

    The Truth About Islam

  • Jenna Anderson||

    Human rights are more important than any religious or culture rights.

    Islam is the problem in the world today.

  • ||

    Check out An Arab's posts, especially the one on 10/13/07, 1:55 AM to note the true Muslim sentiment: "you should (wind up) in the 7th layer of Hell" and "It was a black day when you were born, God (was sorry) He created you." and all of this aimed at someone who simply upset him by disagreeing with his views. Note how in his earlier posts, he keeps trying to sound cool, calm, modern and moderate. Then, somebody gets under his thin, sensitive Muslim skin and there is a sudden, rather violent burst of emotion. And as a former Muslim, I can attest that Muslims hate Jews as much as any Nazi. They think all Jews are Zionists, by the way. You may not hear this from Muslims if you are not Muslim yourself. But if you are among Muslims, act like you are a Muslim or are eager to convert. Then, make a casual remark about Jews or any Jewish person. Watch the polite social masks of these Muslims drop and you will hear their boundless hate for Jews. After all, the Quran assures Muslims that Jews will be turned into apes and pigs by Allah! The best part of An Arab's fit of rage against the other poster (Vince) was this: " ...knowing that somewhere out there, on some computer, A PERSON WHO DOES NOT DESERVE TO BREATHE THE SAME OXYGEN AS US, lives." Just another peaceful, moderate, thoughtful Muslim.

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  • Stay in Salzburg||

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