Who Is the Real Enemy?

Terrorism, Islam, and the true threat to America

"Our real enemy is not Islam or Muslims. The enemy is extremism and radicalism and radical ideology."

So says Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam for the planned Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center. So says the Obama administration, too. So said George W. Bush the week after 9/11, when he declared, "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace." The sentiment has become a shibboleth.

Nevertheless, yesterday Rep. Peter King gaveled into session hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims and the extent of Islamic complicity in terrorism. Some have noted with a touch of asperity that King is a fine one to talk, given his former support for the Irish Republican Army. (He once termed that terrorist group a "legitimate force" and compared the leader of its political wing to George Washington.)

King's personal history aside, are the questions worth asking?

First things first: Let's stipulate that even though most terrorists who target Americans are Muslim, the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists. Muslims are not the enemy. At least 1.3 million Muslims live in the United States (according to the American Religious Identification Survey) and perhaps many more. If even 1 percent were inclined to terrorism, then no mall in America would be safe. Rauf is surely right on the first point.

But is he right on the second? Are extremism, radicalism, and radical ideology the real enemy?

A raft of studies and reports have examined the terrorist threat confronting the United States. So far, not one has identified the Amish as Public Enemy No. 1. (Heck, they're not even in the top 10.) And yet the Amish embrace a strain of Christianity that the typical Protestant or Catholic would consider extreme, in asceticism and by mathematical definition. Out of 2.2 billion Christians, about 250,000—one one-hundredth of 1 percent—are Amish.

The Buddhist monks of Tibet have as much cause for grievance against the government of Red China as the IRA had against Britain. Yet one does not read about Buddhist terrorists addressing mail bombs to government offices in Beijing, or Buddhist monks urging holy war against non-Buddhist infidels. Islamic Rage Boy is everywhere on the Internet. Buddhist Rage Boy is nowhere to be found. Does this tell us anything?

Here in the U.S., domestic political extremism has produced terrorists on the left (e.g., the Weather Underground), and on the right (e.g., the Ku Klux Klan). But it has not produced terrorists of a libertarian bent, even though the libertarian view of society and the state is in some ways radically different from the views of the traditional left and right.

Amish, Buddhists, and libertarians do not share many fundamental beliefs. But all three adhere to some principle of nonviolence, noninterference, or nonaggression. No matter how strict their asceticism or how small their cohort, they seem unlikely candidates to start building car bombs. But this should not be a blinding insight: To say that people who believe in nonviolence will not be violent is tautological.

Is there a principle common to all terrorist groups? Probably not an explicit one, although their actions uniformly demonstrate a belief in consequentialism, the idea that the ends justify the means. Not even terrorists would argue that the indiscriminate butchering of innocent people is desirable as an end in itself. Beyond that, it's hard to nail down a single doctrine shared by every bomb-thrower from the IRA to the Klan to the Maoists of the Shining Path. Terrorism is a tactic, after all, not a tenet.

Now it is true that some of the greatest crimes against humanity in the 20th century—the Great Terror, the gas chambers, the gulag, and the laogai—were driven by a utopian vision. As others have pointed out, if you have embarked upon a glorious revolution that will bring about heaven on Earth for millions of unhappy people, then it is not only desirable but imperative that everyone get on board your agenda immediately—and that anyone who tries to slow you down should be summarily liquidated. Your goal is that important.

Is utopianism necessary, though? It wasn't for the IRA. Nor was it for the Klan—which was not trying to usher in a radical transformation of Southern society but to bar the door against it. It employed terror in service of the status quo.

Where does this leave us? In a muddle—caught between the stunningly obvious (pacifists aren't terrorists) and the generally unhelpful (utopianism is conducive to terror but not necessary for it; radicalism has little to do with it one way or the other). Any discussion of terrorism that starts with "The real enemy is X," it seems, is probably doomed to frustration. At the risk of sounding overly pacifist and utopian, perhaps the real enemy is the apparently incessant, and nearly universal, need to find the enemy—any enemy—in the first place.

A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This article originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  • jtuf||

    on the right (e.g., the Ku Klux Klan)

    The KKK belongs to the Left. It was founded by Democrats who did not want to accept defeat after the Civil War and boasted Robert Byrd (D-WV) as a member.

  • Esteban||

    Yeah, I was going to say something similar. What is 'rightwing' about the KKK? Racism is not a value of the 'right' any more than it of the 'left'

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Esteban,

    What is 'rightwing' about the KKK?


    What? For you, the leftwing's say-so is not enough?

    Heathen!

  • Wargames83||

    The origin of the terms left wing and right wing come from the 1789 National French assembly. The Third Estate, which was made out of peasants, later became revolutionaries and were on the left. The Nobles were on the right. The Nobles were collectivist in nature, therefore the right wing is collectivist in origin.

  • ||

    It's more accurate to say: "The... peasants... were seated on the left. The Nobles were seated on the right of the assembly." I just thought that needed clarification.

    But to answer the question asked:

    Violence is the real enemy; the only way to address it is by addressing the frustrations underlying it.

    I believe Buddhist Rage Boy would agree with me on that.

  • ||

    Those who resort to violence are admitting that they have no other solutions for the rage, resentment, and frustrations they experience.
    What allows one individual to cope and overcome frustrations; while another individual, experiencing a very similar set of frustrations becomes violently asocial and amoral as a way of dealing with unacceptable matters in their life?
    I look at "violence" as the undisciplined expression of rage.
    One individual has learned to master their frustrations while the other has simply given in to them.
    Violence is an enemy and it must be dealt with quickly; but there are reasons why people resort to it.
    A lack of tolerance, hope, patience and yes, no fears of swift reprisal for their behavior, become combined in a human being already lacking rudimentary respect for others (not to mention a total abandonment of self-respect!), when they act out their rages and resentments upon others.
    In my opinion, virtually all terrorism finds its' root in the premise of "I'm okay, but you are not". A sort of "My moral high ground trumps any of your rights" type of mindset.
    Unlike your appraisal, I believe that a collective "we" cannot begin to comprehend and address all the nuances
    of individual frustrations.
    What we can do, however, is to continually reinforce the reality to those less balanced, that their behavior is NOT acceptable, will not be tolerated, and that there will be nasty consequences if and when they cross the line.
    Frustrations will always exist. We cannot address them all as a society; that is why self-restraint is so necessary, even imperative.

  • cynical||

    To the extent that right is associated with conservatism, the KKK was attempting to maintain a social status quo that whites on top, blacks on the bottom.

    Of course, if protecting the social status quo makes you right wing, then the protesters in Wisconsin are all righties, so I imagine it's just based on assuming that everything you find immortal must be supported by the other side.

  • ||

    so u think the KKK voted for obama?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OhioOrrin,

    so u think the KKK voted for obama?


    Nitwit here believes collectivists have to vote for his favorite collectivist in order to be called "leftists"

    ALL collectivism is LEFTIST, OO.

  • ||

    good dodge. did the kkk vote for obama?

  • ||

    oh yea, along w the hutaree & the militia movement.

  • President Obama||

    Votes are votes. I'll take them where ecer I can.

  • Wargames||

    "ALL collectivism is LEFTIST, OO."

    Why do you think that? While collectivism is at the core of the far left collectivism is not synonymous with left-wing because the far right is collectivist too.

  • Esteban||

    This is why the left/right scale is silly. What do you mean by far-right?

  • ||

    I agree, trying to mark every view on every issue on a one dimensional scale is silly.

  • ||

    No. far right is individualism/anarchy.

  • ||

    No, the far right is not ancharist or individulist. The far right is facist and Nationalistic. Those are philosophies that are collectivist to the core. I think you are getting the terms "far right" mixed up with "radical right".

  • Esteban||

    And a racism not voting for a black person proves they are right wing? Do you think a racist would vote for Herman Cain or Allen West?

  • ||

    think the kkk has a common agenda w say the naacp? or say the hispanic pride orgs?

  • ||

    think the kkk has a common agenda w say the naacp? or say the hispanic pride orgs?

    NAACP, Nope. With a lot of the hispanic pride groups, absolutely. They are both searching for segregation of the races. The KKK through forcefully removing blacks, Jews, Catholics, Hispanics, etc from their lands. Some of the Hispanic groups advocate the same clearing of the former Mexican territories (esp California) of whites who defeated them and took their land.

    Both are despicable yet one is applauded and the other is not. The NAACP is more about confiscating wealth through intimidation and keeping their membership roles "in need" of their services by perpetually force-feeding them propaganda about what keeps them from reaching their potential...namely whitey.

  • Wargames||

    There was nothing leftwing about the kkk. They saw themselves as protecting Anglo Saxon Christian values in America. The second iteration of the KKK was anti-Catholic because Catholics in America were mostly newer immigrants, and the second and third iteration were very anti-communist.

  • ||

    wingnuts peddle this nonsense on other RW sites too & they always get their asses handed to them.

  • Wargames83||

    How is this a rightwing site? It is against royalists, fascists,
    traditionalists, militarists, ad theocrats

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Please explain what makes something "right wing". Sounds like everone agrees that communism is to the far left but no one agrees what specific attribute puts it there and no one seems to agree what sits to the far right or which specific attribute makes it Communism's opposite. You cannot base a political spectrum on the fact that Fascists and Communists hated eachother. You have to commit to some characteristic instead of just a grab bag of things you like on one side and things you hate on the other. One side has to be an extreme of something specific and the other side has to be an opposite extreme of that specific something and when you move toward one you're moving away from the other.

  • ||

    Please explain what makes something "right wing"

    Goodness, has nobody heard of the Nolan Chart?

    The KKK and similar groups were in favor of severe government restrictions on personal freedoms of individuals whose skin color was "incorrect" based on their ideology. For such people, their freedom of movement, right to own property, right to vote, right to establish and maintain their own consensual family arrangements, and right to participate in civic life were constrained by Jim Crow and other laws.

    Such restraints on social freedoms are considered "right wing," and such activities by the KKK would fall either in the "right wing/conservative" quadrant of the Nolan chart, or in the solid right hand portion of the "Authoritarian" quadrant of the Nolan chart depending on the KKK's degree of economic collectivism.

  • ||

    Politics and economics are not the same. Communism is an economic plan like Capitalism. Far left and communism are synonymous because communist means of production are owned by the state or all the people collectively. In capitalism, the means of production are owned by individuals.

  • Wargames83||

    Traditionally The right wing was in favor of centralizing political power in the hands of the leaders of government, and the left-wing was in favor of distributing political power to the people. Obviously capitalist libertarians fit in neither of those categories.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Lifting the Klan mask revealed a chaotic multitude of antiblack vigilante groups, disgruntled poor white farmers, wartime guerrilla bands, displaced Democratic politicians, illegal whiskey distillers, coercive moral reformers, sadists, rapists, white workmen fearful of black competition, employers trying to enforce labor discipline, common thieves, neighbors with decades-old grudges, and even a few freedmen and white Republicans who allied with Democratic whites or had criminal agendas of their own. Indeed, all they had in common, besides being overwhelmingly white, southern, and Democratic, was that they called themselves, or were called, Klansmen.

    -Cincinati Commercial, August 28, 1868

    In other words a collection of fools, frauds, and felons with a taste for terror and murder.

  • affenkopf||

    The terms left- and right-wing are meaningless anyways.

  • Tao||

    By jtuf's logic Lincoln would then be right wing.

  • jtuf||

    I think Lincoln was right wing. His signature policy was ending slavery, which puts him on the economic freedom side. He isn't famous for doing anything to advance social freedoms. It's not like he pushed for gay marriage or legalizing birth control pamphlets.

  • ||

    "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.."

    -Abraham Lincoln, December 1, 1862, Message to Congress, James Ford Rhodes

  • Jim||

    The dems were not what would be considered "leftist" when the KKK was founded; they were very conservative, as dixiecrats continued to be until a few decades ago.

    On this site, we use the terms more in the sense of classical liberalism; everything individualist is on the right, everything collectivist is on the left. But that is NOT the current definitions of those words (and yes, definitions do change over time with mass usage).

    Neocons, who believe in national greatness and a collective "culture" that we should all adhere to in the interests of patriotism, would not be considered "right" by most of us, yet that's exactly where they themselves, along with the vast majority of people, would place them. We have to make sure we're able to clearly communicate what we mean, because if all we say is "everything right is good, everything left is bad", then what a curious, general public reader would take from that comment is that we're saying, "George Bush = great, Obama = evil". When, of course, in fact they're both evil.

  • Tao||

    So seeing as how I fervently support individual rights (guns, drugs, hookers, all that shit) and the tolerance of lifestyle choices while simultaneously aligning with the geolibertarian theory of property and a general support of certain welfare programs along with preferring some type of national currency, what would that make me? A dirty collectivist?

    Oh, and I'm also very skeptical of democracy, how the fuck am I supposed to be a collectivist now?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "I fervently support individual rights... and a general support of certain welfare programs...what would that make me? A dirty collectivist?"

    No, it makes you a holder of contradictions. There is no individual right to be given stuff which was taken from others, the identical individual rights of those others whose stuff would have to be taken forbids it.

  • ||

    what would that make me? A dirty collectivist?

    YES.

    Based on your statement..support of individual rights, but also welfare... you are not supporting rights on the basis of individual ownership of self. If you did you would not support welfare, which is force being applied to those who owning themselves have used their labor to provide for themselves, while the others have not.

    The term geolibertarian is an oxymoron, or contradictory term. It really places authority in the community/collective and makes the individual dependent on them.

    It would imply that the community precedes the individual which is not true.

    It also claims to be inspired by Locke among others, but he contradicts himself a bit. Either a government is supposed to protect property or not, and when it begins to decide what is appropriate, then it makes itself illegitimate as it then begins to conduct war on the people it is supposed to protect.

  • Tao||

    "you are not supporting rights on the basis of individual ownership of self"

    Because I don't contend that individual rights arise from self-ownership. That was an idea put forth by Rothbard and is a corruption of the traditional theory of natural law.

    "The term geolibertarian is an oxymoron, or contradictory term. It really places authority in the community/collective and makes the individual dependent on them."

    No it simply holds that contrary to popular libertarian belief that undeveloped land/resources is unowned, it is in fact owned in common.

    You're letting your ideology blind you to reality. And the reality is that welfare is necessity in the current state of things (not to mention explicitly permitted within the constitution). There's no question about it, people in this country would starve without it. And (arguing from a pro-life libertarian perspective here)doesn't the right to life supersede the right to property (ie a woman's body)?

  • ||

    not to mention explicitly permitted within the constitution..WOWSERS!

    Where? The US constitution is an instrument giving a few listed powers, and all else not given is prohibited. Please take you lunacy somewhere else.

    As for owning in common. HUH?? How do you won something you haven't worked? Can I and bunch of people just go claim ownership of what we want, and wait until someone comes along who is willing to, and make him pay protection money?

    As even Locke said, an individual can withdraw from society, he just has no expectation to the benefits.

  • Tao||

    Sorry it's taken me so long to respond, I was working.

    "Where? The US constitution is an instrument giving a few listed powers, and all else not given is prohibited. Please take you lunacy somewhere else."

    In the preamble, you know like the first sentence.

    "As for owning in common. HUH?? How do you won something you haven't worked?"

    How about you read wikipedia before asking asinine questions.

  • ||

    Um..
    Preamble says "promote the general Welfare.."

    If you're pulling a "commerce clause, bitches!", to justify individual welfare to select individuals, you're not a fucking libertarian. Sorry, buddy.

  • Devil's Advocate||

    The Preamble to the Constitution is not a grant of power. It is an aspirational statement explaining why the Constitution was structured in the way that it was.

  • Wargames83||

    True, but doesn't make sense to use the preamble as lens to interpreting the Constitution?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Jim, how about you abandon the much-abused and inaccurate left-right political spectrum in favor of the two-axes chart?

    Life will be so much better. Individualism-Collectivism on one axis, Free Market Economy-Command Economy on the other axis.

  • Tao||

    replacing the individualist-collectivist axis with one that measured positive and negative liberty would be better IMO.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Any particular reason why?

  • Britt||

    He wants to call socialism "positive liberties" because it sounds better.

  • St. V||

    You don't know what he means by 'positive/negative liberties,' do you?

  • Jim||

    While I agree with you completely on that spectrum regard, I'm one of the "practical" libertarians who is always trying to find a way to reach and spread our views. And unfortunately since the public is completely sold on the left / right axis as-is, disabusing them of that usually comes later. I find it easier to engage in conversations with non-libertarians if I can structure my arguments in ways they can more easily understand.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    How many statists have you converted to libertarianism with your strategy?

  • Jim||

    Two, so far. Since I've only been into this for about a year, it's a start. Unless my methods don't meet with your approval, as (I'm presuming) a purist?

    The practical / purist debate seems to rage a lot on here. Stephan Kinsella makes a pretty good argument that a purist, if he was logically consistent, would have to be an anarchist. I don't think that's the way to grab most people. It's my opinion. Since none of us has converted an army to lead the libertarian revolution, I don't think any of us can throw stones (we're all living in the same glass house).

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Good for you. I'm not a member of the One True Way™ so I don't know how "pure" my libertarianism is.

    I don't proselytize. I prefer to rhetorically whip Statists into impotent, hyperventilating, irrational fury. What does it accomplish you might wonder? It makes me smile, like a small child on Christmas morning, or Elin Nordegren when she saw her final divorce decree from Tiger Woods.

    And anarchy would be wonderful if we could just get everyone to not violate anyone else's natural rights and mind their own damn business.

  • Wargames83||

    And a big, liberal government would be wonderful if we could get it not to violate anyone's natural rights. They are both pie in the sky dream espoused by those ignorant about the human condition.

  • Linear Actuator||

    Is utopianism necessary, though? It wasn't for the IRA. Nor was it for the Klan—which was not trying to usher in a radical transformation of Southern society but to bar the door against it. It employed terror in service of the status quo.

  • Old Mexican||

    "Our real enemy is not Islam or Muslims. The enemy is extremism and radicalism and radical ideology."

    So says Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam for the planned Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center.


    Sounds disingenuous to me, when jihad (the struggle to further Islam through warfare, dhimmitude and threat of death) is doctrinal, not radical.

    http://www.dhimmitude.org/d_today.html

  • Old Mexican||

  • Esteban||

    You're really using Robert Spencer as a source here? The same Robert Spencer that teamed up with the awful Pamela Geller to found Stop the Islamization of America group? Robert Spencer is also one of the leaders of the protest against Park51.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Esteban,

    You're really using Robert Spencer as a source here?


    And the very same that wrote The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam, and is currently in hiding - God knows why...

    http://www.amazon.com/Politica.....0895260131

  • affenkopf||

    The very same Spencer who is good friends with pleny collectivist European white supremacists.

    Also since when is he hiding? Any soure for this?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: affenkopf,

    The very same Spencer who is good friends with pleny collectivist European white supremacists.


    http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/person.html

  • jacob||

    Hey Pam Geller is a rational liberterian! After all, she named her website Atlas Shrugs.

  • Esteban||

    I'm sure you know that there are two types of Jihad: the internal and the external. While the internal struggle is how most Muslims view the concept, aggressive (not defensive) external Jihad is not the belief of most of the world's muslims. The violent salafists (and similar groups), who by the way, often use dubious imams/sheiks to justify offensive jihad, are the ones who have propagated their views, and have killed many less radical Muslims who do not agree with their worldview.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Esteban,

    I'm sure you know that there are two types of Jihad: the internal and the external. While the internal struggle is how most Muslims view the concept, aggressive (not defensive) external Jihad is not the belief of most of the world's muslims.


    Sorry, Esteban, but tribal people would not have conquered half the known world and submitted Christians, Zoroastrians, Buddhists and Hindus to incalculable misery and humiliation if jihad was this touchy-feely concept. No way.

  • Esteban||

    If only it was a near-universal occurrence for powerful kingdoms/states/countries/fiefdoms to attack and attempt to accumulate more land and power. If only...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Esteban,

    If only it was a near-universal occurrence for powerful kingdoms/states/countries/fiefdoms to attack and attempt to accumulate more land and power.


    Empires did not systematically destroy entire people's beliefs like Muslims have been doing for Centuries. Not the Persians, not the Egyptians, not even the Romans (they were killing early Roman Christians for not showing fealty to the god-Caesar, but it was not out of doctrine.)

    You may want to hide from reality, but reality is that Islam is no friend of freedom or human rights. I could not be a libertarian and agnostic if this were a Islamic nation.

  • RyanXXX||

    How did Medieval Christians tolerate "alternative" faiths?

    Where do you think Arabic numerals come from? Why do most stars have Arabic names? Muslims have contributed a lot.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RyanXXX,

    How did Medieval Christians tolerate "alternative" faiths?


    I made no such argument. The fact is, many European pagan societies were converted to Christianity mostly through the efforts of missionaries and not wars. The same cannot be said about Islam, except maybe Indonesia.

    Where do you think Arabic numerals come from?


    They're Hindu in origin, Ryan, not Arabic and certainly NOT Muslim. Islam is, in fact, a very regressive ideology.

    "Spain alone translates more learning material and literature into Spanish each year than the entire Arab world has translated into Arabic since the 9th century. As the Saudi Grand Mufti bluntly put it in 2010, 'The Quran with its stories and knowledge are sufficient for us... we don't need the Torah, or Gospels, or any other book'"

    http://www.thereligionofpeace......tm#science

  • Jim||

    Not to mention that during the Middle Ages, most of those people weren't "miserable", so much as they were actually much better off than they would have been under Catholic rulers (if the positions were reversed).

    Islam was, centuries ago, MUCH more tolerant of minorities; all they did was tax them and put restrictions on them, whereas catholics torturned and killed religious dissenters. That does NOT excuse anything that happens now, or refute the obviousness that Islam is a much more restrictive religion than Western christianity these days. But it is NOT a historical fact that Islam has always been the way it is now, and that everything they did was terrible.

    I can provide links to information if desired.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Jim,

    Islam was, centuries ago, MUCH more tolerant of minorities


    This was never the case, it's a myth, a lie - just ask the Assyrian Christians.

    Oh, sorry - there are almost NONE left. Funny that.

  • Jim||

    Shall we have the same conversation with any of the pagans in northern Europe? Charlemagne waged a brutal war against the Saxons and a few other tribes over adopting christianity, as crusaders later did in the Baltic, and in southern France against supposed heretics. Just accept it: christianity was every bit as islam currently is.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Jim,

    Shall we have the same conversation with any of the pagans in northern Europe? Charlemagne waged a brutal war against the Saxons and a few other tribes over adopting christianity[...]


    Jim, Charlemagne was not fighting the Saxons just to "convert" them, he was fighting them because they were fierce warriors that were nipping at the borders of his Empire. Converting them was a convenient afterthought. The vikings were also paganistic but they converted themselves to Christianity, so how does that jive with your "Christianity = Islam" canard?

    MOST CHRISTIANS were converted by missionary work, not by conquest. That is a fact.

    And I tell you this as a non-believer.

  • Jim||

    Alright, what about the Baltic crusades? What about the Albigensian crusade? Those people were already chrstian, and the pope blessed the butcher of tens of thousands of them. How does that fit in with your "tolerant" catholic canard?!

    I guarantee you, if we're talking about the Dark - Middle Ages, I can meet you point for point with catholic atrocities v. muslim ones.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Jim,

    Alright, what about the Baltic crusades? What about the Albigensian crusade?


    What about the Armenian massacres, Jim? Those are modern.

    How about the massacre of Greeks and Assyrians? Those are modern - and something else: These populations weren't Muslim.

    Convince yourself of the tender mercies of Islam. I am not - I read.

  • Jim||

    We aren't talking about what's modern, but rather about the Middle Ages history, as I specifically stated elsewhere. Way to try and slip the subject though.

  • Jim||

    Also I noticed that you specifically did NOT address my points. Where is your tolerant catholicism, that butchers it's own people?

    One wrong act does NOT excuse another, as I stated earlier. I do NOT make excuses for modern terrorist behavior. I am specifically refuting your fantasy that christian lands were so much more tolerant and merciful than muslim ones were, in the Middle Ages. That is what I am arguing. Please stick to the subject.

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    almost

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Jim,

    Not to mention that during the Middle Ages, most of those people weren't "miserable", so much as they were actually much better off than they would have been under Catholic rulers (if the positions were reversed).


    Another clumsy lie. In fact, the Middle Ages were a time of prosperity in Europe precisely because the Catholic Church was more tolerant of philosphy and rational thought than Islam.

    Those great "scientific" advances everybody talks about? They came about not because of Islam but because Muslims had conquered territories that included great thinkers. However, Islam is 100% hostile to science (clarification: not that all Muslims are hostile, only Islam itself)

    http://www.thereligionofpeace......tm#science

    I may have no great regard for belief itself, but I have to hold Islam as being way below contempt when it comes to irrational beliefs - Islam takes the cake.

  • Jim||

    I'm sorry, but you're just wrong. In the case of the jews in Spain, they were not equals, but they WERE treater better by the muslims than by the later catholic dynasties, who forced them to convert, flee, or die.

    http://www.sephardicstudies.org/islam.html

  • Jim||

    Sorry, I meant to add this to my comment above. After being tolerated in islamic Spain, this is what happened:

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall.....pain1.html

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Jim,

    Sorry, I meant to add this to my comment above. After being tolerated in islamic Spain, this is what happened:


    "In Spain" the Christians had been fighting a crusade for 500 fucking years, and many Catholics felt the Jews were allies of the Muslims (they were not).

    Why don't you widen your scope and ask yourself why was Europe SO FILLED with Jews if they were originally from Palestine?

  • Jim||

    "In Spain" the Christians had been fighting a crusade for 500 fucking years, and many Catholics felt the Jews were allies of the Muslims (they were not)."

    Ok, so are you conceding that in the case of islamic Spain, the religious minorities, particularly jews, were better off under islam than christianity?

    And the reason there were so many jews moving to Europe, was because the fucking Roman Empire smashed an uprising, threw down their temple, and caused a lot of them to scatter to the four winds. The Empire had a firmer grip in the east (part of why Byzantium continued to last) than they did in the much more sparsely populated west, so many jews looked west for freedom.

    How much time have you spent in temple reading primary source documents in Hebrew? You claim to know an awful lot about us, and yet don't have even basic historical facts correct (I was born & raised jewish).

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Jim,

    And the reason there were so many jews moving to Europe, was because the fucking Roman Empire smashed an uprising, threw down their temple, and caused a lot of them to scatter to the four winds.


    Yes, Jim - in 78 AD, and I mentioned this somewhere else. And only after a HUGE revolt, not as a result of a doctrine of cultural extermination.

    Also, you seem to forget that many Jews had to migrate from the oh-so-tolerant Middle East and Almohad lands to Europe because of dhimmitude and doctrinal discrimination.

  • Jim||

    So they just woke up one day and decided to revolt because they were being treated so well under the Empire?

    Or...maybe...were there underlying causes of discontent with Roman rule, which caused the revolt? Bullying a people until they rise up is NOT the same thing as their initiating force against you, which is the implication of excusing the Roman crack-down, as you appear to have done above.

  • jtuf||

    Jim, Maimonides had to flee Spain, because the Muslims there gave Christians and Jews the choice of converting or dying.


    Maimonides's full name was Moses ben Maimon; in Hebrew he is known by the acronym of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, Rambam. He was born in Spain shortly before the fanatical Muslim Almohades came to power there. To avoid persecution by the Muslim sect — which was wont to offer Jews and Christians the choice of conversion to Islam or death — Maimonides fled with his family, first to Morocco, later to Israel, and finally to Egypt.

    The myth of tolerant Muslim Spain is useful, because most people associate Christian Spain with the Spanish Inquisition, but Muslim rulers started the religious warfare long before Christians gained power in Spain. Muslim Egypt was better in that generation. The Sultan of Egypt hired Maimonides to be the court physician. Unfortunately, other generations of Egyptian Muslims were not as tolerant towards Jews and Christians.

  • jtuf||

    Here is the source for the information on Maimonides.

  • DNS||

    Islam is 100% hostile to science

    And the visual fine arts as well.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: DNS,

    That, too. And wine.

  • ||

    They're hostile to figurative art. They excel in design (probably because of their wacky worldview)

  • DNS||

    They excel in design (probably because of their wacky worldview)

    After assimilating Greek and Byzantine methods of architecture.

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    Even worse than objectivists?

  • RyanXXX||

    There are also two types of external Jihad: the defensive and the offensive.

    Al Qaeda and its allies are clearly engaged in defensive Jihad - getting infidels out of Muslim lands and overthrowing the current Islamic governments.

    Conquering the West is not part of Al Qaeda's manifesto or motivation

  • DDavis||

    "getting infidels out of Muslim lands"

    I never knew dirt was religious. Silly me.

  • ||

    DDavis said:
    "I never knew dirt was religious. Silly me."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R....._Jerusalem

    dropping, and doing 20 push-ups for feeding troll?

  • Amateur Sociologist||

    Their interpretation of what constitutes "Muslim Land" is also highly questionable.

  • Britt||

    No it's not. It's all Muslim lands, God said so, it's just some of it still has infidels on it. Something that the jihadis are trying to correct.

    I see a lot of libertarians who confuse non-interventionism for willful blindness to reality. Just because Democracy World Tour headlined by W and the Liberators is a stupid idea doesn't mean there isn't a seriously large number of Muslims who would love to see us all at their feet. They lack the means because their culture (particularly the Arab parts) are suboptimal for actually accomplishing things like building weapons systems and training good soldiers doesn't mean there isn't the desire to conquer and enslave. They have the desire, but not the ability. That is to say, they don't have the ability yet. Interesting times ahead.

  • Amateur Sociologist||

    Do not misunderatand me, I was taking exception to Ryan XXX's claim that: "Al Qaeda and its allies are clearly engaged in defensive Jihad - getting infidels out of Muslim lands and overthrowing the current Islamic governments."

    Bin Laden rants about the "tragedy of Andalucia" and Al Qaeda supports operations by radicals in the Phillipines-but I suspect they consider all of that justified regardless of what we percieve as their motivation.

    I think we see eye to eye, but I felt like I needed to calrify for anyone else who might stumble upon this thread.

  • Tao||

    Oh yippie lets turn this into one of those threads were we talk about all of the crazy shit they used to put in the bible.

  • Reverend Lovejoy||

    "Marge, Have you actually read this thing? Technically..? We're not even supposed to go to the bathroom."

  • confused||

    I watched most of the hearing yesterday and while the title of the hearing might be misguided, at no point did it seem they were going after Muslims(despite the cries of many dems). They were attempting to have a discussion about the political radicalization of a small population of them.
    This seems an important issue, perhaps not one for the US legislature but a conversation that should be had. I'd add that any radicalization that leads to violence should be on the table for discussion.
    Maybe I just don't get it.

  • ||

    I tend to agree with you on this. It's really a shame Peter King is the face of the conversation since he's such a fucking asshole. It's also a shame that liberal news orgs tend to parrot the nitwits like Sheila Jackson Lee's talking points just to oppose King and the conservative news orgs parrot King just to oppoes Lee.

    It's not about the content of the hearings. It's about choosing sides, plugging your ears and going "lalalalala" whenever someone who disagrees with you is speaking. This latest hearing is just the most recent example of the polarization the two party system perpetuates.

  • ||

    I submit that the real enemy is the politicians.

  • Old Mexican||

    No argument there.

  • DNS||

    I submit that the real enemy is the politicians.

    Not quite. They are worse because they enable the enemy while conveniently extricating themselves from results of what the enemy has done. Any antithesis to freedom is the enemy.

  • ||

    Who is "the enemy"? There will always be crazies out there, from Loughner to Islamic terrorists. They're "the enemy" the same way an earthquake is "the enemy": they just happen sometimes.

    The politicians use those happenings to control us more and curtail our rights more. That makes them the real enemy.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Episiarch,

    Who is "the enemy"?


    I argue that Islamist jihadists are not my enemy. That may change later, when government takes our hunting rifles and leave us defenseless but, in the meantime, my biggest enemy are the termites eating the apartment.

  • Jim||

    While I offered a rebuttal somewhat to a post you made earlier, I spot on agree with you here, OM. I have never, in my life, had anything but peaceable commercial relationships with the muslims in my area. If any one of them ever threatens me, that person will be my enemy. Until then, not being a nationalist, I don't consider it my business who they pick a fight with elsewhere.

  • Sudden||

    I think OM's central point, and one with which I largely agree, is that although not all muslims are violent extremists, the vast majority of violent extremists willing to act on those impulses in creative and showy ways are muslims. There is clearly some text within the Koran, as well as a tradition of literal interpretation of the Koran, that facilitates and encourages this. And with a billion practitioners of Islam in the world, if even 1% subscribe to this hardline view, it is a significant number.

    That said, as Epi points out, there is and always will be some crazy in the world (hell half the world is female). We shouldn't go around killing every brown person for their particular version of the flying spaghetti monster, but we shouldn't bury our heads in the sand and pretend that violence, or at least some people's justification for it, is completely random.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Sudden,

    We shouldn't go around killing every brown person for their particular version of the flying spaghetti monster, but we shouldn't bury our heads in the sand and pretend that violence, or at least some people's justification for it, is completely random.


    Agree on both things, and I make that point further down the thread: I am under NO moral obligation to like Islam or to even tolerate it, but I am 100% sure I respect people's right to life, liberty and property, and I find it outrageous when governments bomb and seize Muslim lands all for oil or whatever.

    Yet I am also 100% ready to defend MY life and liberty and property from Islamic religious ideologues.

  • Jeffersonian||

    It's not like Albert Jay Nock didn't warn us...

  • ||

    We do not "need to find the enemy." The enemy has found us. It is either a coincidence or it is not a coincidence that thousands of terrorist attacks in the last decade have been perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Islam just like it is either a coincidence or not when I hit the accelerator pedal in my car that the car goes faster. They are either coincidences or not. In my opinion, neither case is a coincidence and it seems to belie the obvious to ignore the inextricable link between Islam and terrorism- it is also willful ignorance in the name of political correctness.

  • RyanXXX||

    Watch out, there's a....

    -Muslim
    -Satanic Cult Member
    -Right-Wing Militiamen
    -Communist

    under your bed

  • ||

    Well, at least Heavy Metal Musician has been removed from that list.

  • Ironic||

    There is an ongoing debate about whether this is a problem caused by US / Western foreign policy or whether it is inherent to Islam.

    PART of the problem is, indeed, caused by foreign policy - it certainly would not be as bad were it not for this problem. But there is another element as well - perhaps not inherent it Islam itself - but to certain interpretations of it that is also at fault. It is not the fault of U.S. foreign policy that women and girls are killed in honor killings. It is not the fault of U.S. foreign policy that many Muslims rioted over Danish cartoons or South Park. It is not the fault of U.S. Foreign policy that gays are hanged in many Muslim countries.
    The Ahmadiyya Muslims prove that Islam CAN be interpreted in a tolerant way, so this may not be inherent to Islam itself, but nonetheless there is an ideological problem within many strains of Islam.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Ironic,

    There is an ongoing debate about whether this is a problem caused by US / Western foreign policy or whether it is inherent to Islam.


    No question about it: Foreign policy exacerbated the problem.

    But there is another element as well - perhaps not inherent it Islam itself - but to certain interpretations of it that is also at fault.


    It's not a problem of "interpretation", Ironic - the so-called radical aspects of Islam are actually doctrinal.

    In the same way as belief in transubstantiation is doctrinal for orthodox Catholics, jihad and submission of populations is doctrinal in orthodox Islam. The so-called "moderate" Muslims are more akin to "liberal" Christians, in that they understand very little their own faith.

  • Ironic||

    "In the same way as belief in transubstantiation is doctrinal for orthodox Catholics"

    You are actually helping me make my case here. It is NOT doctrinal for all Christians. Methodists and Quakers prove this need not be inherent to Christianity. Likewise, Ahmadiyya Muslims prove that intolerant behavior need not be inherent to Islam

  • Ironic||

    "The so-called "moderate" Muslims are more akin to "liberal" Christians, in that they understand very little their own faith"

    "Their" faith does not require a belief in transubstantiation. Much of that the RCC and even mainline protestant churches believe is NOT found in the Bible.

  • Esteban||

    It's nice of you to define what it means to be of a certain religion.

  • Ironic||

    By "Thier" I refer to the people "Old Mexican" was insulting by claiming they did not understand their own faith. I mean no disrespect to the RCC.

  • Esteban||

    Woops, sorry, confused your quote of OM for a statement by you. I believe we agree then.

  • Ironic||

    No prob. I have made that kind of mistake before.

  • ||

    Old Mex was very specific in identifying Catholicism, not Christianity in general. He's right in that jihad is central to the nature of Islam (which means "submission"). A devout Muslim (one who submits) is expected to lie if needed to non-Muslims in defense of the religion and the golden rule only applies to other Muslims. Intolerance of other religions is at the heart of their religion. I don't think we'll see too many of them become libertarians.

  • Ironic||

    "and the golden rule only applies to other Muslims."

    I would like to know where in the actual Koran it says this.

  • DNS||

    I would like to know where in the actual Koran it says this.

    It is specified in The Hadith of Mohammed and is regarded as canonical.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Ironic,
    http://skepticsannotatedbible....../long.html

    Only took me 1 second to find it.

  • Old Mexican||

    Here:
    http://skepticsannotatedbible......ex.htm#193

    http://skepticsannotatedbible......dex.htm#87

    2:109 Many of the people of the Scripture long to make you disbelievers after your belief, through envy on their own account, after the truth hath become manifest unto them. Forgive and be indulgent (toward them) until Allah give command. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.

    2:191 And slay them wherever ye find them [disbelievers], and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.

    This is not simply old rah-rah stuff like you find in the Old Testament where God commands the Israelites of David or somethhing; this is supposed to come from The Prophet of prophets himself and it's NOT SUBJECT TO QUESTIONING OR INTERPRETATION.

  • Wargames83||

    I noticed it said not to fight them [disbelievers] until they attack you first. Hmmm....

  • Ironic||

    "I don't think we'll see too many of them become libertarians."

    You might be surprised.

    http://www.minaret.org/

  • pmains||

    This is a misunderstanding of the Roman Catholic Church. The Church's position (and, of course, mine) is that the Bible was compiled by the Church. The Bible derives its authority from the authority of the Church, which derives its authority from Christ. Therefore, if the Church says that transubstantiation is doctrinal, it does not matter if it the belief is Biblical.

    This is not understood by many (perhaps most) Catholics and even fewer Protestants. Nevertheless, it is a doctrinal belief of the Catholic Church.

  • Ironic||

    The Bible used by most protestants is not exactly the same as the one used by the RCC. The RCC Bible includes books that are not recognized as canonical by most Protestant churches. The Coptic Bible and the Eastern / Greek Orthodox churches are different still.

  • pmains||

    You are partially correct. The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches take a very loose interpretation of what is canon. Catholics use the Old Testament canon that was in use at the time of Christ. Protestants use the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible canon that modern Jews use.

    None of this relates to transubstantiation, as Judith and Maccabees are typically not used as proof texts to support the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

  • Jim||

    This is something I really have a problem with. If this violence towards others is such a vital part of their religion, why did they build tolerant societies in the Middle Ages, while the catholics murdered non-believers?

    The modern interpretation of jihad is just that...modern. It is ALSO in their faith, if you would read the Koran, that other monotheists be treated well in conquered lands. Christianity doesn't say anything specific about that in the new testament, but the track record in practice wasn't very good until more recent times.

  • DNS||

    The modern interpretation of jihad is just that...modern. It is ALSO in their faith, if you would read the Koran, that other monotheists be treated well in conquered lands.

    Also read The Hadith of Mohammed, the written history of Mohammed and how he himself lived and implemented his notion of Allah's revelations. He himself did not treat infidels well. Historically, those of dhimmi status were not "treated well" at all. It is to be stressed that The Hadith is regarded with every bit of canon as The Koran, and is every bit as antithetical to freedom, especially women's freedom, as The Koran.

  • Jim||

    The area of personal expertise I have is in studying Islamic Spain, so that's what I turn to. But I tell you, most primary source document that the jews have indicates they were treater better under the muslims than under the catholic rulers who came after them. I consider "well" to be, they are tolerated in the community, as opposed to murdered or forced to flee, which was the catholic answer.

    http://www.sephardicstudies.org/islam.html

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Jim,

    But I tell you, most primary source document that the jews have indicates they were treater better under the muslims than under the catholic rulers who came after them.


    Can you please widen your scope and ask yourself why there were SO MANY Jews in Eastern Europe and Russia, if they supposedly originated in Palestine and were under a supposedly mild and tolerant Muslim regime?

  • Old Mexican||

    And, even though many had been dispersed by the Romans after the Great Revolt, Palestine and Persia still had a great number of Jews living there under the umbrella of the Persian and the Bizantine Empire. Suddenly, not much after the Islamic expansion, they were gone. From Persia. From Egypt. From almost everywhere in the Middle East EXCEPT Eastern/Mediterranean Europe.

  • jtuf||

    Good Point, Old Mexican. The Persian/Babylonian Jewish community goes back to the Babylonian Exile. It was still strong enough in Roman times to create the Babylonian Talmud. That community was the global center of Jewish learning for a millennium starting with the Roman exile. What happened to that community? Why did it diminish under Muslim rule?

  • ||

    The claim that Jews were treated better by Muslims than Christians is sort of silly. It's like saying it was better because a dog's owner only beat him three times, rather than four. Islam had codified second-class status for Jews that was remarkably similar throughout the Muslim world. Christians had a more ad hoc relationship with local Jewish populations. So if you're going to say it was worse under Christian rulers, you need to be specific as to under who and where, because treatment varied remarkably. To the point that the general comment about treatment is ultimately pointless.

  • Jim||

    I pretty much agree with you, that specificity is key. My area of study is Islamic Spain, so that's the reference I'm going off of, specifically the brutality of the jewish conversions and expulsions under the catholic monarchs of united Spain, compared with the (relatively) more tolerant life they had under the caliphs.

  • jtuf||

    Jim, for a self-professed expert of Muslim Spain, you're very oblivious to the Almohades.

    In the 12th Century, the Muslim Almohades, who had come to power in North Africa, gained control of Spain. Suddenly, the prosperous and successful Jewish community found itself confronted with three unpalatable alternatives: conversion to Islam, exile, or death. There were subsequent improvements in the conditions of Spanish Jewry, but the process that would culminate with the expulsion of Spanish Jews in 1492 had already begun.

    Jewish Literacy by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

  • pmains||

    I would ask, then, that you please update the Wikipedia entry on the Almohad Caliphate, which included southern Spain.

  • Old Mexican||

    You mean because of this?

    "The Almohads, who had taken control of the Almoravids' Maghribi and Andalusian territories by 1147,[5] far surpassed the Almoravids in fundamentalist outlook, and they treated the dhimmis (non-Muslims) harshly. Faced with the choice of either death or conversion, most Jews and Christians emigrated.[6] A few, like the family of Maimonides, eventually fled east to more tolerant Muslim lands,[7] while most of them went northward to settle in the growing Christian kingdoms"

  • pmains||

    Ding ding ding. Old Mexican wins.

  • Jim||

    So, when someone posts something we don't agree with from Wikipedia on here, we dismiss it b/c it's from Wikipedia. When someone posts something from Wikipedia that we agree with, it's a "ding ding" and they win. Got it. The accuracy of information on Wikipedia correlates entirely with how much we agree with it.

    I've only been hanging out here a few months, and have seen SEVERAL instances where Wiki-based info was summarily dismissed precisely because anyone can update it.

  • jtuf||

    Jim, I agree that Wikipedia is a horrible source for anything related to Islam, Judaism, or the Middle East. However, I posted information about Spanish Muslims killing, forcibly converting, and expelling non-Muslims from two reliable sources. The most famous example is from Maimonides's life. Come on. You declare yourself an expert on Muslim Spain and you don't even know about Maimonides's fleeing it! Maimonides is the most famous Jewish scholar in the past 17 centuries. That's like saying you're an expert on the pre-Civil War American South while being unaware that Frederick Douglas had some difficulties there.

  • Jim||

    jtuf, I do know about Maimonides fleeing Spain, which is why I never brought him up.

    I think a major problem we're all having is, trying to ascribe specific attributes to a land and religion that covers a long period of time, and underwent several changes in behavior and outlook. In arguing that a tolerant muslim land never existed, like OM is doing, one has to IGNORE the fact that it was noteworthy that muslim spain BECAME intolerant. What were they for the hundreds of years previously?

  • jtuf||

    Jim, I'll repost from my source since it is also relevant to your 3:40 PM post.


    Maimonides's full name was Moses ben Maimon; in Hebrew he is known by the acronym of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, Rambam. He was born in Spain shortly before the fanatical Muslim Almohades came to power there. To avoid persecution by the Muslim sect — which was wont to offer Jews and Christians the choice of conversion to Islam or death — Maimonides fled with his family, first to Morocco, later to Israel, and finally to Egypt.

    From the Jewish Virtual Library

  • Wargames83||

    No, the Hadith is not regarded as every bit of canon as the Koran. To some Muslims it is, but it is not one of the fundamentals of Islamic belief like accepting the Koran as canon is.

  • Esteban||

    It's only doctrinal if you listen to the likes of Robert Spencer and assume the doctrines of the violent extremist muslims are shared by all Muslims. The problem with this viewpoint is that Al-Qaeda and similar groups have killed many more Muslims than they have non-Muslims because those Muslims were not suitably radical enough. Another problem is assuming that there is one understanding of Islam that many or most Muslims adhere to. Islam, and especially Sunni Islam, is so decentralized that it's impossible to ascribe the "typical" view of Muslims. There's no central authority (as much as al Azhar is a center of Sunni thought, it is not definitive) to lead a reformation, or to rally against, as there was in Christianity.

    Unfortunately, the extremist interpretation of Islam has too much influence, likely because of intimidation.

  • DNS||

    Unfortunately, the extremist interpretation of Islam has too much influence, likely because of intimidation.

    I don't see CAIR going out of its way to divorce itself from these extremist types either.

  • Ironic||

    "I don't see CAIR going out of its way to divorce itself from these extremist types either."

    Many have long suspected that CAIR is run by those very extremist types. I do not know for sure, but it would explain a lot if this turned out to be the case.

  • ||

    Are you looking? And what does it take to make a divorce?

    http://www.cair.com/AmericanMu.....orism.aspx

  • DNS||

    I have already read this, TV. What I want to see and hear is constant condemnation of every nutcase Imam and Mullah, Hizbollah, Hamas, MB, etc. when questioned on any televised, printed, and electronic media. States that wish to restrict or ban Sharia specifically should be allowed to do so in accordance with their state constitutions. I want specific and direct name-naming condemnation. And done three times, every time when asked. That would constitute a divorce.

  • Jim||

    I see. And did every christian pastor do this after every abortion clinic attack back in the day?

    Did you do that, after any Aryan Nation attack perpetrated by people who claimed to be acting on behalf of all whites (on the assumption you're white; if not, I'll find a nutcase of your race)?

  • DNS||

    I see. And did every christian pastor do this after every abortion clinic attack back in the day?

    Rep. King's inquiry was attempting to investigate prevalence of violence associated with radical Islam, not abortion clinic attacks. I hold the exact same standard of Christians with regard to clinic mischief as I do Muslims regarding terrorist activities. Finding near unilateral condemnation of such clinic mischief in public and popular print, broadcast, and electronic media is very easy.

    Did you do that, after any Aryan Nation attack perpetrated by people who claimed to be acting on behalf of all whites (on the assumption you're white; if not, I'll find a nutcase of your race)?

    As radical Islamics in particular, and adherents to Islam in general, are very quick to remind us, Islam is a religion, not a racial phylogeny. My racial phylogeny, as well as my gender, is irrelevant to this discussion. Your moral equivalency has failed.

  • Jim||

    My moral equivalency has failed because you say so? What if I say it hasn't? Uh-oh, now we have a problem.

    Your race IS relevant is you're making the argument that, if someone does something bad in the name of something else (for example, in the name of religion), then it is incumbent upon everyone else in that group to vocally condemn it every chance they get, in every media. The Aryan Nation example is relevant because someone is taking an action, and claiming it on behalf of a group you belong to (a race).

  • ||

    So nothing less than what you want will do?

  • DNS||

    So nothing less than what you want will do?

    I was asked what I wished to see. I answered the question. Granted, the standard is high, but not inconsistent with the tenets of Islam and its protestations that it is only a "a religion of peace." The point of Rep. King's inquiry was "Is radical, fundamental Islam a concern for the security of the US and its citizens?" The answer to that question is yes. I did not see CAIR, or any of its surrogates supporting this assertion nor did I see forceful and unilateral condemnation of terrorist activities. Any rebuke of such activities by such prominent organizations has been lukewarm at best.

  • jtuf||

    DNS has a point. If someone burned a cross on a lawn in my town, all the Christian clergy in town would speak out against it. There are praiseworthy Muslim groups who speak out against Muslim terrorism and for freedom, such as LibForAll, but CAIR has a history of hosting speakers who think Hamas and Hezbollah are great.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Esteban,

    It's only doctrinal if you listen to the likes of Robert Spencer and assume the doctrines of the violent extremist muslims are shared by all Muslims.


    You don't seem to understand. It's not doctrinal because Spencer says so. It's doctrinal because Islamic imams and thinkers have said so.

    I mean, really: Would you say "It's not doctrinal" when the Pope gives an encyclical? Please, be real.

  • Esteban||

    You seemed to have ignored the rest of my comment. It's very presumptive of you to define the beliefs of all muslims. Who is the muslim pope?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Esteban,

    It's very presumptive of you to define the beliefs of all Muslims.


    And you keep missing the point. Their belief is defined by the book which The Prophet of prophets wrote himself, just like Maoism is defined by Mao's Red Book. Whatever individuals choose to believe is their business, but the facts about A religion are set by its doctrines, whether you like it or not.

    Who is the muslim pope?


    Who is the Quaker pope? Yet quackers follow A doctrine, do they not? Please, don't ask stupid questions. There were Muslim Imams and thinkers that set the doctrine for centuries.

  • Esteban||

    My point was that the decentralization of Islam leads there to be many different interpretations, and beyond the Five pillars and several other basic things, there is no real agreement on interpretation. If you don't like the way one Imam teaches, you can find another you like better. Jihad as an aggressive holy war (which is not the proper translation) is not a settled upon doctrine that all or most Muslims follow.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Esteban,

    My point was that the decentralization of Islam leads there to be many different interpretations, and beyond the Five pillars and several other basic things, there is no real agreement on interpretation.


    It's not up to interpretation. The Q'aran is a perfect book. Just ask any Muslim.

    Jihad as an aggressive holy war (which is not the proper translation) is not a settled upon doctrine that all or most Muslims follow.


    That's a lie. The fact that many Muslims don't harbor a deathwish does not mean it is not part of their doctrine. Nuclear weapons and automatic rifles are enough to convince most to place their holy task on hold.

  • Jim||

    So you personally know most muslims, and know that they follow an aggressive, expansionist version of jihad? Because if you don't, then I'm not sure how you can call his statement a lie, anymore than he can make such a statement with any authority. You're making blanket statements about a billion + people, from many different cultures, in many different nations.

    However given that the vast majority of muslims do NOT seem to be engaging in terrorism, probably has more to do with their woldview (Esteban) than with not having a deathwish (OM).

    OM, strictly in my opinion based on the reading of your blanket "that's a lie" statement, if you go with that interpretation, you're saying that roughly 1/4 of the worlds population is ready and eager to kill us all due to their religion, if only they had boats and we didn't have nuclear weapons. Why don't some muslims blow up any mall? What city would we nuke if a home-grown muslim did that? What mall is defended with automatic weapons? So what's stopping them? You'd make the most paranoid Cold Warrior proud.

  • DNS||

    you're saying that roughly 1/4 of the worlds population is ready and eager to kill us all due to their religion, if only they had boats and we didn't have nuclear weapons.

    Statistically, that is not an inaccurate assertion.

  • Jim||

    Alright then, I think we've reached the central point of disagreement. I left my tinfoil hat at home today, so I'll have to excuse myself from responding to that.

  • jtuf||

    Jim, I think the rational egoist model explains behavior much better than any culture specific world view. I read a Pew research poll that showed a majority of Muslims in some Arab countries in favor of suicide bombings shortly before 9/11. Even so, only a few dozen terrorists became suicide bombers from those countries. Basically, they only liked the terrorist plot if someone else was wearing the vest. Approval of suicide bombing plummeted in those countries after the USA invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Once the fight was in their back yards, former hawks realized the value of peaceful coexistence.

    This tendency is not unique to Muslims. American support for the invasions was about 2/3 at the start. No where near 2/3 of the eligible American population signed up for the military. Popular support for the wars dropped to 1/3 as the toll grew.

  • Jim||

    jtuf, I get your point about what people profess to believe v. what they're actually willing to do, but that to me is the precise crux of the problem with making this argument.

    I should have been more clear earlier: the point is that most muslims clearly don't believe this nonsense enough to actually carry anything out. It's easy to voice support for something, but if you take no action, then really, it doesn't matter. What I was trying to say earlier, was that regardless of "surveys" (and we all know how reliable and non-question begging THOSE are), most muslims do not belive this to the point of taking action. I don't care what they believe when not taking action; it is immaterial, unless we're having a conversation about condemning people for their thoughts, which I believe would be quite un-libertarian.

  • jtuf||

    Reform Jews believe in the "Living Torah" that can be endlessly reinterpreted. They also say the "tradition has a vote, but not a veto", meaning they can override any doctrine they don't like. I am willing to believe that there are Muslims who are equally flexible with the Koran.

  • Stephen||

    The Islamic community is suspected of too much as a community.

    However, the reality is that the largest terrorist threat to the US comes from inside that community - not the community at large.

    The hearings I think have stressed that there should be an Islamic answer to the issue, something that couldn't be the case if the senators believed Islam itself to be the problem.

    A risk is a risk. Any risk that threatens (and in this case has successfully taken) the lives of citizens should be assessed by those who we voted for to protect us. A hearing presents all sides and opinions on a matter. Hearings are a good thing.

  • Stephen||

    representatives, not senators. oops.

  • ||

    "Terrorism is a tactic, not a tenet." Agreed. But, so what? Currently, the overwhelming majority of terrorist activity is related to radical Islam. Fight the tactic, not the tenet. Self-defense teaches us that you don't ask why the burglar is in your house. Until after you've shot him.

    Congressman King is a boob. It's part of the job description. But I don't remember people in the 60s questioning hearings about the KKK and how it operated and recruited. It's funny that those 60s liberals, who called for such investigations back then, are now the people decrying King's grandstanding.

  • Mike M.||

    But I don't remember people in the 60s questioning hearings about the KKK and how it operated and recruited.

    Excellent point. Nor did liberals in America go apeshit when the government decided to take down the Italian mafia in the 80s.

    Sadly, the hard left feels compelled to sympathize with Islamic terrorists, because they both despise western civilization.

  • Esteban||

    Glenn Beck is getting some converts, I see.

  • ||

    Get a grip Steve. Pointing out that liberal sob-sisters are hypocrites is not a Beck invention. A broken clock can be right twice a day, even your old, broken down McGovern in 72 clock.

  • Tao||

    If you wouldn't of voted for McGovern you're not a libertarian. And Beck is batshit insane, you should feel bad for listening to him.

    I remember the good old days when libertarians despised Beck like they despised Bush.

  • alan||

    I don't recall a time where libertarians backed down on a position just because a random liberal evoked a two minute hate boogeyman. That is what your adherents are suppose to do, kneel at every opportunity. Submit.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Re:Tao
    I remember the good old days when someone who did not believe in self ownership did not call himself a libertarian.

  • Tao||

    I remember the good old days when calling yourself a libertarian meant you were a communist.

  • Brett L||

    "Some of my best friends are Italian-American."

  • ||

    the avg citizen faces more of a threat fm criminals than terrorists. >ms13, the mexican mafia, & the cartels cause far more violence in america than aQ.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OhioOrrin,

    the avg citizen faces more of a threat fm criminals than terrorists.


    Actually they face more of a threat from Government than criminas... Oh, sorry, I repeated myself.

  • ||

    spoken like an isolationist

  • Old Mexican||

    Ha ha ha ha!!!!

  • ||

    Well you finally got something right.

  • Evil Red Scandi||

    The real enemy is people who raised money for and supported the IRA. What kind of joke of a world do we live in where we have an avowed supporter of terrorism in congress asking questions like this?

  • ||

    why the world of wingnuts of course!

  • ||

    One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

  • ||

    At the risk of sounding overly pacifist and utopian, perhaps the real enemy is the apparently incessant, and nearly universal, need to find the enemy—any enemy—in the first place.

    To place the issue within the broader philosophical case for libertarianism, we need to encourage people to resist the urge to seek to predict and control what cannot be predicted or controlled by mere mortals. This kind of intellectual humility can be difficult for people to embrace on scary subjects like terrorism, but it's what consistent libertarianism requires.

  • ||

    I resist that urge all the time. Nevertheless, I'm not turning my back to the fact that we can affect the unpredictable, even if we cannot control it. We can affect it by limiting the ability of terrorists to terrorize.

  • ||

    ""We can affect it by limiting the ability of terrorists to terrorize.""

    We can't come up with laws or tactics that work only on terrorists. The whole TSA thing should have made that obvious. We can create laws and tactics that are applied to all in the hopes of preventing terrorism. How far should we take that?

  • ||

    Anybody notice how the news networks covered the hearings? By focusing on the "emotional" responses of the various actors. Explaining the philosophical import of the event is way to hard.

  • ||

    Also too hard.

  • Virginia||

    Good job, Reason, for signing Hinkle.

  • ||

    Does that shithead Peter King actually know that the IRA killed a young american in London (the Harrods bombing)?

    How about all their links with islamic terror networks, Gaddafi's Libya, and the international illegal arms trade?

  • alan||

    The irony is certainly interesting. Someone I consider a terrorist, Peter King (only someone neck deep in IRA shit would defend them the way he does - like a Nevada senator on the Mafia payroll), leading the hearings regarding another cultures propensity towards political violence.

  • Gus||

    "Who Is the Real Enemy?"

    The Government.

  • MJ||

    Are we not spending too much time angsting over the shorthand terms we are using to describe this problem? Yes, referring to it as "muslim" does have the unfortunate suggestion that muslims who are not looking to violence to acheive their goals are included in that set. Yes, referring to abstractions like "terrorism" and "radicalism" are both overly broad and imprecise.

    Exactly how are we to satisfy the easily offended and the pedantic at the same time while keeping our chosen phraseology short and sweet?

  • MJ||

    "...perhaps the real enemy is the apparently incessant, and nearly universal, need to find the enemy—any enemy—in the first place."

    The problem is, we do have real enemies in islamic political groups. Willfully ignoring that such enemies exist does not make them cease to exist, nor does it prevent the violence and bloodshed they cause.

  • Blown Up Afghan Child||

    You know who the real terrorist is? Stephen King. He supports the massive funding of an organization that kills little children gathering firewood, and fire bombs wedding parties. Also, Peter King. All Irish are terrorist when sober. So is every person with the King last name a terrorist.

  • MJ||

    "To say that people who believe in nonviolence will not be violent is tautological."

    No, it is not. It should be, but the human capacity for cognitive dissonance and self-deception can make a person who believes in non-violence act violent in order to achieve his ends.

  • ||

    My undergrad Russian language prof said the same thing. He also said, repeatedly, that "peaceful" is not the same thing as "peace loving"; the former being the real deal whereas the latter was propaganda used by the Kremlin, other communist nations and by leftist revolutionaries.

  • ||

    This is such an exercise in false dichotomies.

    Yes, yes, the real enemy is radicalization and extremism.

    Which Islam seems to be particularly fertile ground for, institutionally and culturally. Not all Muslims, of course, but a disproportionate number of Muslims are radical extremists, and a disproportionate number of radical extremists are Muslim.

  • Esteban||

    Right, but should anything be done about it?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Esteban,

    Good question.

    From a libertarian standpoint, the best one can do is understand the religion, understand what it means, and be prepared to blow the fuckers' heads off if they even dare bring their laws over to Christian/Agnostic lands.

    And understand one very important thin, Esteban: I am under NO moral or ethical obligation to tolerate Muslims or understand them or anything, as I have freedom of association just like they do and you do and everybody else does. I do, however, respect 100% their right to liberty, life and property, and find umbrage in this government's efforts to go kill "Ayr-abs" for oil or for political points or whatever.

  • kbolino||

    "From a libertarian standpoint, the best one can do is understand the religion, understand what it means, and be prepared to blow the fuckers' heads off if they even dare bring their laws over to Christian/Agnostic lands."

    That would be an anarchist standpoint, just so we're clear. But please, continue smearing libertarianism with open-ended threats of violence.

  • Jim||

    What ever happened to "individuals act"? Now we're ascribing beliefs and motivations for large groups, even when the majority of that group doesn't engage in the specified behavior?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Jim,

    What ever happened to "individuals act"? Now we're ascribing beliefs and motivations for large groups, even when the majority of that group doesn't engage in the specified behavior?


    Ideas can kill, Jim. Just ask the German Jews.

  • ||

    Bullshit, ideas killed no one. Actions of people do. And sometimes animals.

  • Beezard||

    Exactly. France was notoriously anti-Semitic, but it never gave the police or state the power to seize and "relocate" people on mass.

    Antisemitism didn't cause the Nazi Holocaust, unlimited state power under the fog of total war did.

  • ||

    Rauf is right when he says that "the enemy is extremism and radicalism and radical ideology." He just conveniently forgets to say that the Islamic law always was extremist and radically ideologist. Each and every time Muslims established one of their empires, they institutionalized Jihad, hududs, dhimma, industrial slavery, because you can’t interpret the whole thing (Koran & Sunnah) any other way when you look at it seriously, calmly, reasonably.

  • Esteban||

    But what about Turkey? That country is 99% Muslim, and they do ok. Yes, they have enforced secularism, but if just being a Muslim country lead to fanaticism and extremism, how did Turkey manage to avoid it?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Esteban,

    how did Turkey manage to avoid it?


    Avoid what? Ask the Armenians, the Greeks, the Assyrians.

  • Jim||

    Man, I can't believe I let this slip my mind until just now, when I was thinking of more recent massacres, like the Armenians a hundred years ago.

    By the parameters we've been arguing in here, what is the American populace, who, despite some resistance and Indian-rights organizations, by and large supported our extermination of the native population of this continent?

  • ||

    If Americans had been Muslims, Indians would have been systematically slaughtered, the survivors held captive for a few days in front of the mess before being enslaved with their sole hope becoming Muslims one day. And today, no-one would remember them, save for vilifying them as the “people of the ignorance.”

  • ||

    As you say, they enforced secularism, militarily, forcefully, just after having been the heart of the last Muslim Empire. The notion that Islam is a bad source of law and politics held for quite a while. But Sharia is coming back by now.

  • ||

    It's silly to try to link the "enemy" to the right or left. Eric Voegelin noted back in the mid-20th the remarkable similarity between the "political religions" that led to totalitarianism in the first half of the century (on of which, Nazism, he barely escaped himself). The source of most of these violent movements is eschatological utopianism. Radical Islam clearly falls into this category. Other violent movements exist, to be sure, but they for a kind of second-order threat. It is the totalizing movements (like sharia-committed, Caliphate-loving Muslims) that present a first-order problem today. And while many muslims aren't terrorists, many are still sympathetic to that vision--and it's a problem. Certainly one worthy of a few hearings on the Hill.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "Any discussion of terrorism that starts with "The real enemy is X," it seems, is probably doomed to frustration."

    I guess we're all post-modernists now.

  • ||

    Can I just point out the argument that goes "Well, 800 years ago Christianity was militant and aggressive" does not really contribute anything to the discussion of the extent to which modern Islam, right here, today, seems to harbor militant radicals?

    Similarly, the argument that "500 years ago, Islam was tolerant" adds nothing to the discussion, etc.

  • Jim||

    I agree, and specifically said up above that "the way things were" is no excuse for the way they are now. I only ever bring that up when people state that things have ALWAYS been the way they are now (benevolent, loving christianity, opposing evil violent islam, which has an awful lot of overtones of the western white ubermensch opposing the vile brown hordes of Asia). It's more a itch of mine to correct factual errors, not really meant to address to the present dilema.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I agree. If it serves any purpose at all, it's the opposite purpose. To demonstrate how silly it would have been for people to pretend like the enemy was "strong ideological convictions" rather than the specific ideological movement that was doing all the killing.

  • Ryan||

    "Not even terrorists would argue that the indiscriminate butchering of innocent people is desirable as an end in itself."

    Two things; 1) eco-terrorists i.e. James Lee "Discovery Channel terrorist" might feel the indiscriminate butchering of Innocents a desirable end. 2) Any non-muslim is de facto not "innocent" in the eyes of radical Muslim terrorists.

  • ||

    At the risk of sounding overly pacifist and utopian, perhaps the real enemy is the apparently incessant, and nearly universal, need to find the enemy—any enemy—in the first place.

    But sometimes, the enemy finds you.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "it's hard to nail down a single doctrine shared by every bomb-thrower from the IRA to the Klan to the Maoists of the Shining Path. Terrorism is a tactic, after all, not a tenet."

    Sure it's hard, and it's not necessary. If nobody's throwing bombs at you, there's probably no reason to spend a bunch of time worrying about some unified theory of why some groups resort to terrorism. The question should be "why do some groups feel that such tactics will lead to their success rather than their destruction?" The answer is that they have *seen* it lead to success and they have seen a self-apologetic America wander into the wrong country shooting the wrong people while building schools and hospitals calling their enemies "global terrorists" rather than identifying the enemy and destroying them. If a bunch of people are throwing bombs at you and they are all inspired to do so by the same ideology, it is a good time to identify which ideology has declared war on you and fight until there as many people calling for global sharia law as there are people calling for an Aryan nation.

  • jtuf||

    Well said, Fiscal Meth. To borrow terms from my animal behavior class, the proximal cause of Islamic terrorism is Islamic teachings, and the ultimate cause of Islamic terrorism is Western capitulation. Very few people want to address the ultimate cause of Islamic terrorism, because it leads to the unpleasant conclusion that we have a difficult fight ahead.

  • cheaurelio||

    Historically, what major wars/conflicts/oppressions have *not* involved either Islam or Christianity? That's not a rhetorical question -- I really just can't think of any off the top of my head.

  • RyanXXX||

    World War 2? Sure, those religions were INVOLVED, since both Christians and Muslims fought, but religion was not responsible for the hostilities.

    Unless one considers Nazism, Stalinism, and Fascism religions. But still, Christianity and Islam had little role to play.

  • cheaurelio||

    My apologies -- I left out a word that was critical to the meaning of my question:

    Historically, what major *religious* wars/conflicts/oppressions have not involved either Islam or Christianity?

    Granted that the causes of wars are generally much more complex than a single factor, and religion can just be a cover for a war that's really driven by economics, race, land, etc. But what I'm getting at is that there seem to be a lot of wars in Western/Middle Eastern history that are motivated largely by religion (Islam & Christianity in particular) but I can't think of any great wars or conflicts between, say, Taoists & Confucians. This that because there aren't any or because I just don't know enough about Asian history?

    Perhaps more generally, is religious warfare a trait unique to proselytizing religions?

  • ||

    The American Revolution, The French Revolution, The Boer War, The Spanish-American War, The French and Indian War, The War of 1812, The Mexican-American War, The Civil War, WW I, Sino-Japanese Wars, Sino-Sikh War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Chinese Civil War, Russo-Japanese War, (ongoing) War in Waziristan, Falklands War, Taiping Rebellipn, Russian Civil War, Napoleonic Wars, First and Second Congo Wars to name a few.

    Though many of these involved Christians or Muslims, quite a few involve other religions, atheists or apolitical reasons for aggression.

    No offense, but you seem to have simplified the reason for quite a few conflicts as religious, where a simple read of this shows that the vast majority of wars, even Euro-centric wars, stemmed from secular reasons. Hell, and I left WWII off the list even though both of the main aggressors (Italy doesn't count because they were a fucking joke as a military)were other than Christian or Islamic.

  • ulape||

    Peter King's the ideal person to investigate terrorism since he's been sucking terrorist cock for decades. He knows one when he blows one...

  • ||

    That also explains why Tony can spot a statist from a mile away.

  • ||

    No libertarian terrorists? Maybe not, but around the turn of the last century there were plenty of terrorists that were anarchists, our doctrinal cousins.

  • ||

    "But it has not produced terrorists of a libertarian bent..."

    I wonder how accurate that statement is. Weren't some of the anarchist bombers of the early twentieth century believers in something close to libertarianism? And I'm pretty sure that some of the nut jobs in their compounds in Idaho, etc., would describe themselves as libertarians. Timothy McViegh bomber the Murrah Building becuase he felt that the Federal Government was tyrannical and no longer acting within the bounds of that great libertarian document, the U.S. Constitution. Now, I'm not saying that McVeigh himself was a libertarian, but many of his views were very similar to libertarian thought. I can see the possibility of libertarian terrorists emerging in the years ahead.

  • cynical||

    Freedom fighters, DJ, freedom fighters.

    But yeah, I don't see why it wouldn't. Presumably their attacks would be against the government, rather than the public.

    PS: Most anarchists of 19th and early 20th century were of a decidedly socialist bent (though they parted ways with the Marxists early on, as far as I know).

  • Beezard||

    But it has not produced terrorists of a libertarian bent, even though the libertarian view of society and the state is in some ways radically different from the views of the traditional left and right.

    McVeigh was a populist variety of libertarian. Read his manifesto in Gore Vidal's Perpetual War for Perpetual peace.

  • Reality||

    The reaction to the hearings from the Islamic groups (many with links to the Muslim Brotherhood which is the primary Sunni jihadist group in the world; almost like a holding corp. for Sunni jihadism) is telling.

    Ask yourselves these questions:
    -Why do Islamic groups and muslims in the west protest things like these hearings, profiling of muslims, law enforcement monitorings of mosques, etc... so much more strongly then the continual violence and intimidation practiced by muslims worldwide against other fellow muslims and non-muslims alike? Actually they pretty much don't protest the things above much if ever at all. Add to that list laws in Islamic countries mandating the death penalty of apostates,the treatment of women in Islamic countries, etc... The list could go on and on. You would think that muslims living in the west would be spending more energy trying to prevent other muslims in pakistan from blowing up mosques, promoting better treatment of muslim women in muslim countries, promoting better treatment of religous minorities (like the Copts in Egypt) in muslim lands, etc..
    -Why do jihadists continually attack fellow muslims at mosques? Why would muslims target these houses of peace, tolerance and respect? Muslims around the world would be besides themselves if a non-muslim attacked a mosque yet when fellow muslims attack a mosque...
    -How does following a religion that basically mandates deception and lying when dealing with non-believers impact ordinary muslims living in the west? Could some muslims be lying about how moderate they are?
    -What is life like in Islamic countries and other areas that are dominated by muslims? How are women, gays, religous minorities, atheists, agnostics and liberal reformers treated? What is freedom of religion and freedom of speech like?
    -What would the US be like if we had a muslim population of say, 10% or 15%?
    -What goes on in mosques in the US? Can people who are obviously non-muslims attend services? Are the services in English? What are these imams preaching? Does anyone know? How does this contrast with what goes on in christian churches in the US?
    -Remember this: there is no compulsion in religion in Islam but if you leave Islam the penalty is death. That is not a 'radical' position; that is the mainstream position. Even is supposedly moderate muslim nations there is widespread support for the death penaly for apostates. That should speak volumes about this ideaology or religion or whatever you want to call it.

  • jtuf||


    You would think that muslims living in the west would be spending more energy trying to prevent other muslims in pakistan from blowing up mosques ...


    Rational egoism. Profiling Muslims in the West has the potential to make life worse for Western Muslims. A string of terrorist attacks on Pakistani mosques won't affect Western Muslims much.

  • jtuf||


    Why do jihadists continually attack fellow muslims at mosques? Why would muslims target these houses of peace, tolerance and respect?


    Rational egoism. It's much easier to kill a neighbor to gain power than to try the same stunt in a foreign community.

  • jtuf||


    What is life like in Islamic countries and other areas that are dominated by muslims? How are women, gays, religous minorities, atheists, agnostics and liberal reformers treated? What is freedom of religion and freedom of speech like?


    Very oppressive in most, if not all, Muslim majority countries.

  • Just another observer||

    Lets start with the basic questions.

    About Islam as a whole:

    1) Has Islam ever integrated into a pre-existing society peacefully?
    2) If Islam has integrated into a pre-existing society has it maintained a peaceful existence as it grew in popularity?
    3) Does Islam have a doctrine that openly promotes violence against non-muslims and muslims that do not adhere to a doctrine of violence against non-muslims.
    4) Is Islam a simple religion or is it a political as well as philosophical way of life that is incompatible with the ideas and ideals set fourth in the Constitution.
    5) Withing the Doctrine of Islam does there exist a blueprint for the structure of society to promote Islam covering everything from Government to the open practice of religion?
    6) If there is such a blueprint is there a doctrine that calls for the implementation of such a blueprint as a final goal?

    About known Islamic terrorists:

    1) Have known terrorist achieved high ranking positions within the Islamic community in the United States?
    2) Have those known terrorists trained current leaders of Mosques within the US?
    3) Have those known terrorists continued to have contact with and encourage US Muslims to commit acts of violence against US citizens?

    About Islamic cooperation and openness with the surrounding community

    1) In cases of Terrorist activity in the US has the Muslim community openly worked with law enforcement?
    2) Has the US Muslim Community engaged in activities designed to silence either own followers or outsiders with regards to suspicious activities?
    3) What part/portion/percentage of the US Muslim community has openly been critical of or totally denounced Islamic terrorists and their activities?

    Financial/education

    1) In the US Muslim Community how many organizations have ties with known Terrorists to include current and/or past as well as un-indicted co-conspirators?
    2) Are there private schools (madrassas ) That refuse to allow public scrutiny of their text books?

    If we answer these questions with total honesty do any of the answers point to a need to look further into the community and what if anything is going on there?

    Do the answers to these questions point to a possible minority faction within the community that has the ability to form and carryout as well as a strong motivation for any terrorist activity?

    Do any of the answers point to a much larger portion of the community engaged in either collusion with or silence to the benefit of a violent faction within the community?

    I fully support freedom of religion and to be free from persecution, but that is for all religions and if to support the freedom of one religion would cause the rest to fall into peril then it would be to the one religion that an exception to this rule must be applied. If the religion also carries with it a strong political aspect that supports criminal activity then I can see no reason to not fully scrutinize every aspect of that religion.

  • ||

    tl;dr: If you've got nothing to hide...

  • ||

    You know, you could make the same points about Christianity (and indeed, most monotheistic religious beliefs).

    Christians certainly have not settled into any non-Christian community peacefully (just ask Native Americans or residents of any place colonized by Christian countries), they use the power of the state to force their religious beliefs on others (especially in the third world), they regularly engage in activities to silence their own followers who demand abandonment of these violent ways, many of their private schools refuse scrutiny of their textbooks and teaching methods, Christian leaders have regularly refused to work with law enforcement in prosecution of serious crimes (most notably, the Catholic Church's refusal to hand over records pertaining to the mass rape of children by its Christian priests), and violent terrorists who went on to threaten and murder non-preferred communities (abortion providers, gays, etc.) have often been senior in the Christian religious community as preachers.

    If the "committee" isn't willing to scrutinize Christians to the same standard as Muslims in your "list of dangerous activities," then it's clear this isn't about threat assessment, but rather something altogether more political.

  • Just another observer||

    I am sorry maybe I was not clear, we are not discussing this as some exercise in mental masturbation comparing every aspect of Christianity past and present to Islam. I thought we were asking if modern Islam poses a threat to a Constitutional Republic?

    As far as examples of Islam both past and present it would appear the claim of being a peaceful religion depends greatly on if we are willing to abandon all other religions and the Constitution in favor of Islam and the Caliphate. Even modern Indonesia with its religious freedom laws only works in theory while in practice it is very dangerous to be non-Muslim.

  • Original_Intent||

    While moderate muslims may not be the the ones strapping grenade laden vests to their chests or driving car bombs into markets, they do act as enablers for the extremists. Rather than discounting the entire religion as ridiculous, they say the extremists are too strictly interpreting these texts they feel are of divine origin. Moderates are not peaceful because of Islam, they are peaceful in spite of Islam.

    In the same vein, Christians who condemn homosexuals to hell and/or physically harm them are on completely firm ground in the biblical sense. The Bible is quite clear on this subject. Homosexuals should be killed. Most modern day Christians read these verses and simply cast them aside. In doing so, they are unknowingly proving that human morals and ethics do not come from religion.

    I do not suggest that the world will be perfect when religion is gone. Though I do think it will be noticeably better.

  • ||

    I thought Christ told Christians they can cast aside the Old Testament bullshit and find salvation through acceptance of Him. Those bullshit laws got cast aside, just like not eating pork. Only raving fundies like 7th Day Adventists adhere to the OT Laws, and they are regarded as somewhat of a cult by almost all other denominations.

    If religion were gone, I doubt the world would be a better place. Too many of the fundamentals for human rights developed from religion. If Coercive means for spreading religion were gone, however, then I would agree with that statement. And it seems like only one religion practices a form of coercion where death or dhimmitude are the alternatives to acceptance.

  • mgd||

    Indeed. Jesus hung out with whores and tax collectors. Everyone is a sinner, and everyone deserves death. It is not, however, for mankind to render that judgment. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone and all that.

    I'm not a believer myself, just saying that Christians that feel like they have God-given right (or mandate) to stone gays don't understand their own religion. Shock.

  • ||

    If we're going to have an inquiry on religious radicalism and the threat is poses, there are several brands of extreme Christianity that have called for violence against peaceful citizens (and several individuals have taken up the call). Why aren't the Congresscreatures having a "hearing" on that threat?

    And why hasn't there been a series of hearings on collectivist statism -- a religion that both the right and left have wholeheartedly embraced and which poses the greatest threat to us of any religion out there today?

  • Just another observer||

    So exactly how many acts of terrorism have been carried out by Christians this year (2011) Or even over the last 10 years? Shall we run down the list of Suicide bombings, executions for blasphemy, Church/Mosque Burnings, highjackings, piracy, kidnappings, honor killings, torture and imprisonment?

    While it may sooth your politically correct soul I doubt a case could be built showing systematic terror attacks by Christians that are even embraced by a few thousand let alone millions.

  • Lorne Marr||

    What is sure is that the Republican Party will lose many of its supporters among the representatives of the Muslim minority.

  • Mr. Mark||

    It was okay until the platitude used for a conclusion.

    I have enemies and I did not have to look very far to find them.

    The protesters hauled out of the Wisconsin state capitol are my enemies. Pretty much the whole of the Democrat party and everyone who firmly agrees with their platform is my enemy. These people believe that they have a right to take things from other people through the arm of government. That is an attack on me and other individualists. Therefore, such collectivists are my enemies.

    I have other enemies - al Qaida, for one. They have a bone to pick with me because I don't believe in their silly religion. I didn't have to go looking for them, they conveniently announced themselves - you may recall...

    There are things in the world that are worth fighting for. Getting the government to take things from others and pay them to you is not one of them. Forcing people to adopt a particular religious view is not one of them, either. However, fighting to protect against those kinds of things is worth fighting for.

    Certainly, the decision to call for hearings on radical Islam reflects poor word choice and reasoning. Who is to decide what is and what is not radical? However, if you get all wishy-washy about whether or not terrorist attacks and honor killings are radical, then you have completely lost contact with rationality.

    Another thing - from al Qaida to the Shining Path to the KKK, there is a common thread. I don't know how you could miss it. They are all run by control freaks who crave authority and have intense paranoia. As a result, they must constantly have enemies in their midst. They need them in order to maintain a climate of crisis - to focus the attentions of their followers on something other than the leadership's failure to fulfill unrealistic promises. Stalin had his purges and pogroms,Jim Jones had his "white nights" etc.

    In any case, this is the greatest threat from violent Islamists: Their attacks will trigger a public response that allows the government to aggressively expand its power. You can talk forever about how that is not the logical thing for people to do, but that doesn't matter - it was what they WILL do. So, the Islamists mus be stopped.

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    So - to sum up - the government must expand its power to stop islam to prevent the government from expanding its power.

    Your fellowship at the Ayn Rand Institute was well earned, my friend!

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    So - to sum up - the government must expand its power to stop islam to prevent the government from expanding its power.

    Your fellowship at the Ayn Rand Institute was well earned, my friend!

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    Worth mentioning twice!

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  • ty||

    Would the enemy not then be hate?

  • ||

    Unfortunately, my dear, that enemy seems to have found us first.

  • John MJ||

    I note that some posters here referred to the recension and interpretation of both the koran and the Bible.

    There are essential differences between the mainstream faithful muslim's view of the koran and the mainstream faithful Christian's view of the Bible.

    For the Mohammedan the koran is the infallible directly given word of allah accurately transcribed from the words that issued from Mohammed's mouth without any mistakes in his hearing and uttering of them - the words in the koran are, for a muslim, exactly and precisely allah's words and must therefore be obeyed.

    For a mainstream Christian (R. Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican etc.) the Bible is the Word of God transmitted to man through the fallible minds of the Prophets and Apostles who were only, after all, human and may have allowed their own prejudices to creep into what they thought God was saying to them, or they may have interpreted what they thought they heard from God through the filters of their own prejudices and preconceptions. For Christians, therefore, the Bible is not the infallible Word of God as the koran is for muslims the infallible word of allah, but is a text which must be carefully interpreted in accordance with the final commandment that Christ gave - to love one another.

    What is more, mainstream Christians know and acknowledge that the Bible was put together by the early Church and that some Books in it are of dubious value and accuracy, and, further, that some obviously great texts were arbitrarily left out of the compilation or were unknown at the time to those who first began to assemble the texts into the Bible we know. Many Christian theologians all down the ages, including the protestant ones such as Calvin, Zwingli and Luther, have harboured deep misgivings about some of the books included in the Bible. Mainstream Christians have to remember this when using the Bible.

    For muslims there are no dubious parts of the koran - the islamic doctrine of abrogation applies when there is a conflict. That is to say that the later verses abrogate the earlier verses, and on that all schools of islam are in complete agreement. Inconveniently, the later verses are the verses of violence whilst the earlier verses are those which preach peace so many muslims in the West choose not to mention the doctrine and may, indeed, not actually subscribe to the viewpoints encapsulated within its promulgation.

    Mainstream Christians also do not use the Old Testament to draw exemplars of behaviour from for Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament and they are now children of the New Testament with Christ's commandment to love adding to and completing their other ten commandments. In writing that, I am aware that some very odd Churches in the Bible belt do have recourse to the Old Testament as a guide to behaviour and do indeed believe that the Bible is the accurately transcribed, absolute Word of God - but that's just a rather silly, and downright wrong, minority view of the Bible which can safely be discounted as the eccentricity of a small group of rather childlike Christians who need fundamental rules in their lives because thought is too hard for them.

  • John||

    You say: "Where does this leave us? In a muddle"
    Might I humbly suggest you think about what you have written.

    "First things first: Let's stipulate that even though most terrorists who target Americans are Muslim, the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists. Muslims are not the enemy. "
    Okay consider this: WWII: 'The vast majority of Germans are not engaged in active bombing, shooting etc. of allies. Germans are not the enemy.'
    In other words you need to justify your logic is valid for this situation

    "If even 1 percent were inclined to terrorism, then no mall in America would be safe."
    You don't need to engage in terrorism in order to support it.

    "But is he right on the second? Are extremism, radicalism, and radical ideology the real enemy?"
    AND
    "the Amish embrace a strain of Christianity that the typical Protestant or Catholic would consider extreme,"

    Oh dear you have really lost the plot haven't you? In relation to Islam "extremism, radicalism, and radical ideology" are Western defined terms. An "Islamic extremist" takes the naughty, killy passages from The Koran & Hadiths and interprets then literally (exercise: use your friend Google find out what the source is of the naughty, killy words the "Islamic extremist" are using.

    If you conflate extreme (God tells me I must not use only motor car's powered by lemon juice) with extreme (Allah tells me to go and kill the Jew) I think you might get your knickers in a twist.

    I guess because this is an "intellectual" site you get yourself into a mess by trying to use long soundy words in the article and: "Where does this leave us? In a muddle"

    Let me help you:
    killing one person: Bad. killing two persons: Badder, killing lots: really bad.
    Shopping terrorist: very good, knowing one but doing nothing about it: Very bad.
    Targeting: doctors carrying out abortions/ Jews / Gingerheads: Bad & really scary if you are one.
    Targeting everyone: Bad & really scary if you are one.

  • sophie||

    Film is a different medium than print. Rather than characters making speeches, Rand's philosophy ought to be shown via the characters doing something interesting.

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