The Nation's Broad Definition of "Islamophobia"

As Islam navigates shoals of extremism, the left lumps legitimate criticism with bigotry.

Which is the more serious problem today: Islamic extremism or anti-Islamic bigotry?

The latest contribution to this debate comes from The Nation, the leading magazine of America's left, in its current special edition on "Islamophobia: Anatomy of an American Panic." Its articles address a real and serious issue -- but they also illustrate the pitfalls of ignoring its other side.

There's no doubt that virulent rhetoric depicting all Islam as inherently evil and violent, and virtually all Muslims as potential jihadists, has gained alarming currency on the right. Such Muslim-bashing is not simply demeaning but can lead to violence, harassment and infringements on the fundamental liberties of Muslim Americans. The New York Police Department has been criticized for overly broad surveillance of ordinary Muslims. Recent years have seen a wave of attempts to block construction of mosques and Islamic centers across the country. Bills seeking to outlaw the use of Shariah law in American courts -- already illegal if it infringes on citizens' constitutional rights -- could interfere with private contracts rooted in religious law.

Yet nowhere in The Nation will one find recognition that extremism in Islam is a particularly serious problem. One author dismisses the issue by stating that "every group has its loonies." Another writes that while misogyny and religious repression in some Muslim countries should be denounced, it can be done without generalizing about Islam.

Of course all religions have fringe groups and ideas. But for complex historical and cultural reasons, radicalism in Islam is far closer to the mainstream than in other major religions right now. There is no country today where a Christian government executes people for blasphemy, apostasy or illicit sex; several Muslim states do, including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Some supposedly moderate Muslim clerics, such as Qatar-born Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, defend executions of gays, sanction "light" wife-beating and peddle hatred of Jews.

Most American Muslims do not share such repugnant views; the Muslim community here is far more integrated into the mainstream than it is in Europe. Yet the problem of radicalization is real. Freedom House, an esteemed human rights organization, reports that many U.S. mosques carry extremist literature. Supposedly moderate Muslim groups such as the Islamic Circle of North America have hosted speakers with extreme ideas. A 2007 Pew poll [pdf] found that 27 percent of American Muslim men younger than 30 believe suicide terrorism in defense of Islam is at least sometimes justified.

Many American Muslims stress the importance of combating not only anti-Muslim bigotry but extremism in Muslim ranks. The modernization of Islam is an essential priority for the world. Right-wing Islamophobes such as bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are hostile to this effort, insisting that Islam is beyond reform and any talk of moderation is a deceptive smoke screen.

But where do left-wing defenders of Muslims' civil rights stand? One of The Nation's articles attacks philanthropist Nina Rosenwald for bankrolling supposedly Islamophobic causes. Some groups Rosenwald has funded deserve the criticism, but the article also singles out her support for the work of "dissident" Muslims such as Irshad Manji, an openly gay Canadian journalist who argues that Islam must overcome the still-powerful legacy of sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism. When a progressive leftist magazine goes after a gay Muslim feminist because she is too outspoken against religious reactionaries, something's wrong.

Concerns about bigotry are justified. But they should not deter legitimate debate about problems in modern Islam.

Contributing Editor Cathy Young is a columnist at Newsday, where this article originally appeared.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Libertardian||

    "nowhere in The Nation will one find recognition that extremism in Islam is a particularly serious problem"

    So if I find an example of someone in some issue of the entire backlog of The Nation recognizing that extremism is Islam is a problem, will Cathy apologize?

    Be a good writer. Don't express generalities you can't support.

  • sticks||

    Find an example...

  • NotSure||

    So do I get an apology from you for expressing all those generalities about libertarians you made in the previous article here ? I won't hold my breath.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It won't, NotSure. It is incapable of intellectual honesty.

  • Libertardian||

    http://www.thenation.com/searc.....ch/islamic extremism

    Was that so hard, Cathy Young?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Ooooo! It can do searches!

  • The Fatman||

    I didn't see anything at the links that says what you think it says. Perhaps you should put on your water wings and go back to the kiddie pool?

  • Libertardian||

    Fine, I'll hold your hand and help you:

    http://www.thenation.com/artic.....-extremism

    7th paragraph down: "Some Muslim extremist groups are indeed a threat"

    I get that Cathy's an ideologue and is basically writing a screed, but it doesn't have to make her a shit writer. You're welcome, Cate.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Oh wow! A single token sentence.

  • Libertardian||

    Seems appropriate, considering Cathy's single token sentence. U mad?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Nope. U stupid.

  • The Fatman||

    That's great, but read the rest of the paragraph where they go on to blame Bush for Muslim Extremist Violence. One sentence at the beginning and the rest of the paragraph is excusing violence by Muslims. It really doesn't make your point. Try again.

  • Michael Hihn||

    The retard says: "So if I find an example of someone in some issue of the entire backlog of The Nation recognizing that extremism is Islam is a problem, will Cathy apologize?"

    Then the retard posts a link which is ummmmmmmm five years old!

    For the thinking impaired (there are a lot of them here!)Here's what she's writing about: "the current special edition on 'Islamophobia: Anatomy of an American Panic."'

    For the VERY stoopid, she goes on to quote several writers FROM THAT ISSUE -- an issue about "Islamaphobia" --which never says that extremism INSIDE Islam is a threat. DUH.

    Anyone else believe she was quoting writers from A DIFFERENT ISSUE? (that was your clue -- if you needed one)

    But the issue is about the Christian Taliban who don't know the Koran has nothing as barbaric as ... the Old Testament?

    Is the issue about a Birther-type mentality which accepts anonymous hate mails as equal in truth to the Holy Bible?

    Does the issue conclude that Islamaphobes are the New Klansmen, just wearing different robes? That the Christian Taliban would be just as big a threat as the Muslim fundamentalists -- if anyone believed the Christian one?

    Hmm, I wonder how many Islamaphobes are the same wackos who say the words "wall of separation" are not in the Constitution -- and actually believe they have to be in the Constitution -- or does the American right have TWO groups as mindless as New Dealers on the left?

    As Christ weeps in silent shame ....

  • Crazyotto||

    Unfortunately the rest of the article is an attack on negative terms used to describe a fanatical branch of a religion that is by its nature cruel and barbaric. There is no defense for a religion that practices stoning, female genitalia mutilation, executions for adultery, executions for sexual preferences between adults, misogyny, suicide bombing of innocents. This religion as it is now being practiced is truly a gutter religion. It is not evolving. Granted in the past the teachings of the Sufis are to be praised and followed.. But this brand of fundamentalism being practiced by both Shia and Sunni is disgraceful.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You are indeed crazy. And gullible. A pawn. And a bigot. Birther?

  • NotSure||

    I am still waiting for an apology.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You won't get one, NS. It is incapable of such niceties.

  • NotSure||

    You really are a retard, here I was thinking you had something, but all you are doing is confirming what Cathy is claiming here. I don't like using the whole lol thing, but this one really made me laugh.

  • ||

    You fucking pathetic piece of cowardly shit. You run away to this thread?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hey, now, Epi... why so kind? Be meaner to it!

  • Libertardian||

    That's interesting. The "it" thing is usually something that conservatives do: depersonalize and demonize people in order to dehumanize them - but it's nice to see that libertarians can be evil, too. Thanks!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You get what you give, 'tard.

  • The Fatman||

    Yeah, Conservative like Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Min, Fidel, Che, etc. I'll
    even give you Hitler, although he as a Socialist. It seems that history shows it is the left that dehumanizes it's opponents most often, not the right. Try again.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The Left views people only as Sims in their SimCity.

  • The Fatman||

    Yeah, it's not like Che or Fidel are STILL heroes of the left. How many Che shirts at an Occu-protest? And all but Hitler were lefties you disengenuous turd. Try Again!

  • Michael Hihn||

    Mussolini. But thanks for sharing.

    Ever hear of Stalin? (snicker)

  • Sevo||

    Libertardian|6.24.12 @ 3:11PM|#
    "The urge for violence (oops, "self-defense") is a right-wing one, not a left-wing one."

    So Stalin and Mao were 'right wing'?
    Do you have a degree in...
    Oh, the hell with it; you're an ignoramus.

  • Pi Guy||

    You think the Obama DoJ raiding legal, state-sanctioned MMJ dispensaries isn't meant to depersonalize and demonize the people who sell and use it?

  • Anacreon||

    OT: Dumbest news article of the day, even for the Sunday paper:

    NY Times story about how unfair it is that Apple is a rich company but the clerks in the Apple store only make $11.25 an hour:

    http://www.contracostatimes.co.....atimes.com

    Next up, no doubt: ChevronTexaco is a rich company, but people who pump gas are underpaid.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wealth envy: It's what's for dinner.

  • NotSure||

    They still earn more than most people in the entire world earn, they are closer to the top 10% than the bottom 10% globally, so shouldn't they ask why these apple clerks earn such an unfair high salary.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That's why liberalism is as much a failure as social conservativism. But we knew that already.

  • DarrenM||

    top 10% than the bottom 10% globally

    I wonder what the cutoff would be the the top 1% globally.

  • Azathoth!!||

    $34,000. As of 2010

  • PapayaSF||

    What do the people who deliver the NY Times make?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Such Muslim-bashing is not simply demeaning but can lead to violence, harassment and infringements on the fundamental liberties of Muslim Americans.

    It can also lead to serious misconceptions about what the purpose of our foreign policy should be.

    Want to talk about dangerous people? Some dangerous islamophobic Americans seriously believe that the purpose of our foreign policy should be to wage war against Islam.

    Some of them take it so far as to believe that we should continue to support military dictatorships, financially and with weapon sales, if the alternative is democratically elected politicians who are especially Muslim.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Muslim-bashing can lead to violence"

    Sounds like a self-control problem.

    [no, I'm not condoning Muslim-bashing.]

  • Cytotoxic||

    Generalizing Islam as violent could make some Muslims angry and violent, so just shut up already.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Still sounds like a lack of self-control on the part of overly-sensitive Muslims.

    "We are NOT angry, violent barbarians! If you don't stop calling us that, we'll get mad and blow shit up!"

  • Cytotoxic||

    Exactly.

  • Suki||

    Want to talk about dangerous people? Some dangerous islamophobic Americans seriously believe that the purpose of our foreign policy should be to wage war against Islam.

    When you find someone who wants to carpet bomb Indonesia let me know so I can believe that this is a serious accusation.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Most American Muslims do not share such repugnant views; the Muslim community here is far more integrated into the mainstream than it is in Europe.

    Oh, boy! Finally we're gonna get some reasonableness and fairness--thanks, Cathy!

    Yet the problem of radicalization is real. Freedom House, an esteemed human rights organization, reports that many U.S. mosques carry extremist literature.

    Oh, for cryin' out loud!

    Libertarians scared of what people are reading? Maybe the government should start getting involved in monitoring what people are reading?

    Incidentally, at any gathering of libertarians, you can find them selling some extremist literature.

    "Supposedly moderate Muslim groups such as the Islamic Circle of North America have hosted speakers with extreme ideas.

    Unlike us libertarians, who never host anybody with extreme ideas? For cryin' out loud, again! Why are we libertarians supposed to be afraid of extremist ideas?

  • The Fatman||

    Because unline Libertarians, the Muslim Extremist WANTS to convert you by the sword. It is what their Holy Book tells them to do. Find a Libertarian, anywhere, anywhen, that supports forcing people to accept our ideas or die.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony believes that, Fatman...

  • The Fatman||

    But Tony is a disengenous statist piece of shit and no one takes him seriously. At least not here.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Communists used to want to force themselves on us, too.

    I used to argue with American self-identified communists all the time!

    I'm not scared of communist Americans one bit! And I think people who are afraid of communists are pretty silly.

    I think people who are afraid of Muslims are even more ridiculous--especially since all the American Muslims I've met and known and discussed these issues with?

    Don't want to force anything on anybody. They don't even proselytize!

  • The Fatman||

    Communists are not Libertarians Ken. They are however very much like many Muslims. Especially in other countries. I'll agree that most of the Muslims in the U.S. just want a better life for themselves. However, the problem is that in many instances, even when they know of someone that is a radical, and possibly dangerous, they won't speak up because he is a Muslim. I also have discussed this with Muslims. Several of whom I had to pull my gun on because they didn't want to talk about what is in the Koran with a non-muslim. Oh, and these were college educated American Muslims. Anecdotes aren't evidence Ken.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Surveys are evidence.

    And being afraid of ideas is especially cowardly.

    One of the best reasons to despise the Bush Administration--they tried to make a virtue of cowardice and largely succeeded with some Americans.

    Few times before 9/11 have Americans bought into cowardice as manly. I'll never forget the spectacle of Americans being so proud of their cowardice--why I'm so scared, I'm even afraid of Muslims!

    They should all be ashamed of themselves and their cowardice. Any American who's afraid of Muslims should be ashamed of himself--and if they aren't? I'll be happy to help them.

    The word is "coward". My fellow Americans should learn to use the word more often.

    "Oh, I'm so afraid of Muslims--they might hurt me!" I've seen men say essentially that and then turn around and make fun of gay people for being effeminate.

  • The Fatman||

    I am not afraid of Muslims. I am afraid of SOME Muslims because they think it is OK to kill me to make me beleive what they want. I have the same feeling for the government in general It doesn't make me a coward Ken. It makes me a cautious realist. Some Muslims want to kill me. I can't know which ones until they act. Too bad, so sad for the rest.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Some Muslims want to kill me. I can't know which ones until they act. Too bad, so sad for the rest.

    Are there any other groups of people you're afraid of, or are Muslims the only one?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Some Muslims want to kill me. I can't know which ones until they act. Too bad, so sad for the rest.

    Out of curiosity, your fear of Muslims justifies what, exactly?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Criticism of Islamic fundamentalism and a suspicion of Islamic organizations.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Criticism of Islamic fundamentalism and a suspicion of Islamic organizations.

    That's pretty sorry.

    You know what's even worse? I've seen politicians--right here in the United States of America--advocate trashing our constitutional rights...out of fear of extremist Muslims.

    Hell, I saw the President of the United States tell us, essentially, that if we weren't ready to let him trash our constitutional rights? Then we weren't sufficiently frightened yet.

    Just for the record, the terrorists are gonna have to do a lot more than 9/11 before I'll be willing to give up one inch of my constitutional rights, and anybody who would betray the constitution out of fear of Muslim extremists?

    Is a coward.

    And that goes all the way to the White House.

  • The Fatman||

    Did I not state that I feel the same way about the govt Ken? There are lots of groups I avoid because it is just good sense. Cops, Klansman, Gubmint Stooges and Religious Fundamentalists of all stripes. They all have stupid and dangerous beliefs that give them the self-righteous go-ahead to kill those they disagree with. If you can't grasp that I feel sorry for you.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Some Muslims want to kill me. I can't know which ones until they act. Too bad, so sad for the rest.

    They make pills for people who think everyone's trying to kill them.

  • The Fatman||

    The questions isn't whether or not you're paranoid. It's whether you're paranoid enough!

  • The Fatman||

    Please note this difference, IDEAS and BELIEFS. I don't fear ideas. They are harmles. Beleifs however, have been that cause of more savagery and stupidity in human history than any other cause.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Are there any other groups of people you're afraid of, or are Muslims the only one?

    Yes.
    Cops.
    I'm afraid of cops.

    And bureaucrats.
    I'm afraid of bureaucrats.

    And tax collectors.

    I guess you could say that I'm afraid of organized groups that believed using violence against me, for no good reason, is somehow virtuous.

    And yes, that includes some Moslems.

  • Pi Guy||

    Some black people want to kill you too. Just throw 'em all under the same bus - no?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    In your mind, is there a difference between ideology and race?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Are we talking about ideology or religion?

    Do you imagine it's okay to throw Baptists under the same bus?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Either one. Is there a difference between ideology/religion and race or do you just lump them together?

  • Suki||

    I'm not scared of communist Americans one bit!

    Then go ahead and vote for Maobama again.

  • Ken Shultz||

    People having the political power to inflict their stupid ideas on us bothers the hell out of me.

    Stupid ideas, on the other hand? I'm not really worried about that.

    It isn't the stupid ideas that are the problem--it's giving people political power to inflict their stupid ideas on the rest of us...

    For instance, if someone tried to use the government to stamp out the legacy of Obama's stupid ideas? That would be really stupid. The government has no business trying to stamp out people's ideas.

    You know what else would be stupid? Trying to make stamping out somebody's ideas the purpose of our foreign policy; I'm trying to think of something stupider than that, and I'm drawing a blank.

  • ||

    If you aren't afraid of radical ideas that advocate death and destruction and are shared by enough people that they have the official endorsement and support of nation states, whether secular or religious, you are a moron. Willful ignorance is not chest-thumping bravery. There's certain ideas worth being afraid of. Like, for instance, "We're going to steal all of your personal property, enslave you to the state, and starve you death in a labor camp" or "If you don't acknowledge the supremacy of our God, we're going to saw your head off with a katana". Anything similar on a group/national level to "I'm going to rape your wife" or "I'm going to shoot you" or "I'm going to steal your property".

    Wallowing in the fact that you're too stupid to come in out of the rain doesn't make people with sense enough to know better cowardly. Petty or not, sometimes it's wise to look suspiciously upon people who belong to a group that not only doesn't share your ideology, but has shown a willingness to threaten or commit violence because of it.

  • The Fatman||

    ^^This^^ Thanks PM, Said better than I could.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If you aren't afraid of radical ideas that advocate death and destruction and are shared by enough people that they have the official endorsement and support of nation states

    Who here in America is advocating that?

    There's certain ideas worth being afraid of..."If you don't acknowledge the supremacy of our God, we're going to saw your head off with a katana".

    Are you one of those people who thinks the Muslims are about to take over the United States and make Suki wear a burka?

    'cause the likelihood of that happening is pretty slim, and the threat of American Muslims trying to do such a thing is so remote as to be ridiculous.

    Petty or not, sometimes it's wise to look suspiciously upon people who belong to a group that not only doesn't share your ideology, but has shown a willingness to threaten or commit violence because of it.

    Muslims are less of a threat to you than your neighborhood street gang. Seriously, just because you're scared--doesn't make your prejudice okay.

    And that's what you're trying to do by projecting this nightmare in your head on whatever Muslim individual. It's just a pathetic attempt to rationalize your prejudice--using your fear.

    People's IQ's drop precipitously when they're scared. ...it's frightening to think what some people might try to justify--because they're scared.

    You know what the solution to your fear is? It isn't hating on Muslims.

    It's being a man!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Listening to some people talk about the threat Muslims pose to Americans, you'd think they had thousands of nuclear warheads pointed at us--like the Soviet Union did back during the Cold War.

    Do you imagine that Muslims present a bigger threat to us now than the Russians did during the Cold War?

    Believe me, people weren't as scared of Russia back in the '80s as you are of Muslims now.

    It's ridiculous.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Maybe because communist states were deterable. Hell, the leaders of those states believed their own ideology, and thought that a stalemate was to their strategic advantage because eventual the class conflict inherent in capatilism would cause it's downfall.

    That is no way transferable to an ideology that believes thermo nuclear war will lead to so form of millennial paradise

  • Ken Shultz||

    That is no way transferable to an ideology that believes thermo nuclear war will lead to so form of millennial paradise

    Who thinks thermo-nuclear war will lead to some form of millennial paradise?

    You mean the Baptists?!

  • ||

    You mean the Baptists?!

    Yep, pretty sure this guy's a Baptist alright: http://youtu.be/txxZv9uA6YQ

    Again, WTF is wrong you this evening? Why are you hell bent on defending indefensible behavior and ideology? Acknowledging that there are Muslim religious fanatics blowing shit up and running countries that are enriching nuclear fuel is nothing more than a hat tip to reality. What the fuck do you have this compulsive need to deny it and make excuses for?

  • ||

    Who here in America is advocating that?

    Allow me to introduce you to the Occupy movement, white supremacy, the New Black Panther Party, the Westboro Baptist Church, AFL-CIO... FFS, there's about 50 million active ideologies in the United States advocating violence and destruction.

    And there are extremist Muslims in this country also advocating violence and destruction. If you want to be put in touch with some of them, I believe Nidal Hasan's email contact list is now a matter of public record.

    Are you one of those people who thinks the Muslims are about to take over the United States

    You're just incapable of answering a question honestly tonight.

    In short, no. I'm also not afraid that skinheads are going to overtake the government and send the blacks and Jews off to American concentration camps, but it doesn't mean I don't lock my doors and check my bear spray if I see some asshole with swastika tats all over his face ranting and raving at the bus stop while I'm in my car. I'm not afraid Muslims are going to storm the shores of the District, overtake the capital, and install a theocratic state either. Doesn't mean I'm not going to watch my back when I'm on the subway and somebody of middle eastern or north African heritage is rummaging in his backpack or trying to light his shoes on fire.

  • ||

    It's being a man!

    If "being a man" entails shoving one's head firmly up one's ass, divorcing oneself from reality, and becoming an apologist for extremist assholes who support violence, then no thanks. You can have manhood all to yourself. I'll be happy to make sure your epitaph notes what enormous, meaty, manly, hulking balls you had while you were alive.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Fatman:

    It is what their Holy Book tells them to do.

    Do you also believe in the Easter Bunny? Global warming? Santa Claus? Do you know you're just another manipulated pawn? Also a Birther, right? (snicker)

  • The Fatman||

    Concern troll is concerned? No I am not a birther. I don't like Obaman because of his policies and the complete lack of reporting on him in the MSM. The Koran does tell them to convert the non-believer by the sword so...suck it ass monkey. (snicker)

  • Jennifer O||

    Jesus said something quite similar:

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)"

    His dad was very fond of smiting non-followers too, if I recall.

    I don't see much difference between the Bible and the Koran in this regard.

  • DarrenM||

    You apparently don't see much at all.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Wacky as a Birther!!!

    1) You lied about the Koran, just another pawn of the Christian Taliban.

    2) Don't forget the mass genocide of the Phoenicians, to steal their land, and ...

    ... some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. ... If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. (Deut 13:13-19 NLT)

    3) Wipe the egg off your face; see Deut 13

    If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods ... do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. (Deut 13:7-12 NAB)

    Even your own wife!

    ... and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chron 15:12-13 NAB)

    Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

    ...everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chron 15:12-13 NAB)

    I'm out of space. Nothing in the Koran is as barbaric as the Bible -- and you are totally ignorant of both. (snicker)

  • Cytotoxic||

    Holy shit Ken you cannot be this retarded so I am going to assume you are being incredibly obtuse and dishonest. Jesus Christ man. Yes, libertarians SHOULD be afraid of extremist ideas if those ideas are anti-freedom, such as radical Islam.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Ask Nick Gillespie if he's afraid of ideas.

    Ask Matt Welch if he's afraid of ideas.

    Ask Tim Cavanaugh if he's afraid of ideas.

    I bet the verdict is unanimously "retarded", as you put it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is on the same level as a Shriek post I exaggerate not a bit.

  • Suki||

    +100

  • BoscoH||

    Have you been listening to the kids lately? "Retarded" means "really good" now. Like my buddy visited the Nike campus recently and he said it was "beyond retarded". I said, "dude, everyone that visits that place says it's better than Disneyland," and he said, "yeah, retarded means great, I hated to have to leave."

  • Michael Hihn||

    Cytotoxic sez (emphasis added for the integrity impaired

    Ken you cannot be this retarded so I am going to assume you are being incredibly obtuse and dishonest ... Yes, libertarians SHOULD be afraid of extremist ideas if those ideas are anti-freedom, such as radical Islam.

    Ken Shultz immediately shows himself to be dishonest, retarded and obviously obtuse!!!!

    Ken: Ask Nick Gillespie if he's afraid of ideas.

    How about extremists ideas, Sparky? Anti-freedom ideas? Hello? Hello? Anybody home?

    Ken: "Ask Matt Welch if he's afraid of ideas."

    How about extremists ideas, Sparky? Anti-freedom ideas?

    Ken: Ask Tim Cavanaugh if he's afraid of ideas.

    How about extremists ideas, Sparky? Anti-freedom ideas?

    Ken: I bet the verdict is unanimously "retarded", as you put it.

    It's generally unwise to use sarcasm ... when one is in the process of making a public fool of one's self. A retarded, dishonest and incredibly obtuse fool.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm not afraid of anybody's ideas.

    Ideas are just ideas. People can talk about 'em all they want.

    Ideas don't scare me a bit.

    Libertarians traditionally promote a free market of ideas. Ideas we like, and ideas that are unpopular, too. The ideas of skinheads, for example, don't scare me because the more people hear what the skinheads have to say, the more they marginalize themselves from mainstream society.

    People can think what they want. I'm not afraid of what they think.

    Actually, if there's anything scary about this at all? It's people who try to control other people's ideas. That's the best distinction between authoritarianism and totalitarianism I've ever seen...

    Authoritarians are mostly just concerned with controlling what you do, but in totalitarian societies, like the one in North Korea, that isn't enough. Totalitarians don't just want to control what you do; they want to control what you think, too.

    I'd like to persuade people to see things my way, but I'm not afraid of people's ideas--just because they disagree with me. If you are, congratulations! You somehow landed halfway down the intellectual road to totalitarianism--in the pursuit of freedom?

    You should get some kind of lifetime achievement award for that kind of...

    Ideas aren't scary. People being given the political power to inflict their ideas on those who disagree with them, on the other hand, that's terrifying.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Now Ken bullies me! One more time for the thinking impaired.

    Cytotoxic sez (emphasis added)

    Yes, libertarians SHOULD be afraid of extremist ideas if those ideas are anti-freedom, such as radical Islam.

    Retard's first response dishonestly ignores "extremist" and "anti-freedom"

    Ask Nick Gillespie if he's afraid of ideas. Ask Matt Welch if he's afraid of ideas. Ask Tim Cavanaugh if he's afraid of ideas.

    Ken is not sure if Gillespie, Welch and Cavanaugh are afraid of anti-freedom ideas!!! The 2nd response is even daffier!

    Ideas aren't scary. People being given the political power to inflict their ideas on those who disagree with them, on the other hand, that's terrifying.

    Ummmm, might dictators be following anti-freedom ideas? Extremism? Still confused?

    1) In all of human history, name a single despot or dictator -- just one -- who had no followers?

    2) Which comes first, anti-freedom ideas among enough people, or dictators? Have you taken World History yet?

    Hitler and Pol Pot were elected. Mussolini was Prime Minister. Still daffier:

    You somehow landed halfway down the intellectual road to totalitarianism--in the pursuit of freedom?

    And you've moved all the way from bullshit to intimidation, because we disagree???

    Go bully somebody else. You're way over your head.

  • The Fatman||

    Right Ken, as I stated above, ideas are not dangerous. Beliefs will get a motherfucker killed but quick.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Ideas, beliefs...definitions are important.

    Speaking of which, have you seen Michael Hihn's idea of a "comment"?

  • ||

    "It's okay to kill people who disagree with us" is both an idea and a belief, and if you don't reach for the nearest personal protection device when you encounter someone who holds that idea/belief, you're a goddamned idiot.

    We libertarians are suspicious of government bureaucrats whose soft power is underwritten by an implicit threat of violence. Yet we should bury our heads in the sand to prove our openness and machismo in regards to people who explicitly commit and threaten violence? Makes a lot of sense.

  • The Fatman||

    ^^This again^^ You are, apparently, the man PM.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yeah, Michael documented you as a total wackjob!!

    You lied. You got caught. Twice. Not for your ideas; but for a total lack of honesty.

    When you get to high school you'll have the opportunity to learn the difference between a documented argument and ... a mere assertion. Pay attention; you need it.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yeah, Michael documented you as a total wackjob!!

    You lied. You got caught. Twice. Not for your ideas; but for a total lack of honesty.

    When you get to high school you'll have the opportunity to learn the difference between a documented argument and ... a mere assertion. Pay attention; you need it.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yeah, Michael documented you as a total wackjob!!

    You lied. You got caught. Twice. Not for your ideas; but for a total lack of honesty.

    When you get to high school you'll have the opportunity to learn the difference between a documented argument and ... a mere assertion. Pay attention; you need it.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yeah, Michael documented you as a total wackjob!!

    You lied. You got caught. Twice. Not for your ideas; but for a total lack of honesty.

    When you get to high school you'll have the opportunity to learn the difference between a documented argument and ... a mere assertion. Pay attention; you need it.

    Please go bully somebody else. You're way over your head.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Sorry, I have no idea how all those got posted. At least I'm not a wackjob and a bully. :-)

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh noes!

    Name calling!

    How will I cope?

    LOL

  • Michael Hihn||

    Pay attention, Sparky. I'll try again.

    Name-calling is when YOU make false accusations as mere assertions.

    It's not name-calling to say you're a liar ... or a hopeless wackjob ... if it is documented. Here's a definition for ya

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ad hominem

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Ideas are behind every atrocity in the history of the humans. They have also been behind every great thing that humans have done including writing the constitution. You should be terrified of bad ideas as long as people hold them and act on them. You should promote good ideas not come to the defense of bad ones.

  • CockGobbla||

    My problem with Islam is that it's the Return of the Jedi of the Abrahamic religions.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    With few ewoks.. Unless you count Arafat.

  • CockGobbla||

    By the way,

    Who's the new troll?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Some prick who thinks "libertaridan" is a word one can find in Webster's.

  • CockGobbla||

    Blowback from Gillespie appearance on Maher?

    By the way, if I had four bullets and Maher, Maddow, and Maher's audience, I'd shoot Maher's audience twice.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wise use of ammunition there.

  • CockGobbla||

    Believe me, I've been desperately trying to find something redeemable about either Maher or Maddow so I that can have extra ammunition to shoot at the audience.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Well, Maher USED to have a good show... a LONG time ago, on ABC.

    Before he turned into a dick.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Maher's just an idiot progressive that tries to distract from his ideology's blatant failure.

    MadCow is a blatant and evil liar.

  • Libertardian||

    Is Gillespie the one that looks like a shaved monkey? Then, yes.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You really miss the Ed Schultz message boards, don't you?

  • Libertardian||

    Ugh, I can't stand Ed Schultz. Anyone who emulates Limbaugh, even if his politics are reciprocal, needs to go.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Uh-huh. Sure you can't.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "needs to go"

    As in "yanked off 'the public airwaves' by government force"?

  • Libertardian||

    Awww, did I destwoy your widdle notions of what a liberal is? There, there.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Do you, or do you not, want Limbaugh and Schultz forcibly removed from the airwaves?

  • Libertardian||

    Of course not. (Limbaugh and Schultz are failing just fine on their own.) I am truly amazed at the breadth of your paranoia, sir. Anything else you want to attribute to me without evidence?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What, then, does "needs to go" mean, if not "needs to be removed from the public sphere"?

  • Libertardian||

    Wow. Is there anything I say that you can't twist into something else? No wonder you're so fucked up.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Explain what you meant, then. Otherwise, I'll take it at face value, exactly as it sounds.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Retard: "Anything else you want to attribute to me without evidence?

    How's this?

    Retard "So if I find an example of someone in some issue of the entire backlog of The Nation recognizing that extremism is Islam is a problem, will Cathy apologize?"

    Later, Retard posts a link which is five years old! For the thinking impaired, here's what she's writing about: "the current special edition on 'Islamophobia: Anatomy of an American Panic."'

    Then she quotes writers from that issue -- an issue about Islamaphobia, which never says that extremism INSIDE Islam is a threat. That was your clue, if you needed one. DUH Anyone else believe she was quoting writers from a different issue?

    Is the issue is about the Christian Taliban who don't know the Koran has nothing as barbaric as ... the Old Testament?

    Is the issue about a Birther-type mentality which accepts anonymous hate mails as equal in truth to the Holy Bible?

    Does the issue conclude that Islamaphobes are the New Klan, wearing different robes? That the Christian Taliban would be just as big a threat as the Muslim fundamentalists -- if anyone believed in the Christian one?

    Hmm, how many Islamaphobes are the same wackos who say the words "wall of separation" are not in the Constitution -- and actually believe they have to be in the Constitution -- or does the American right have TWO groups as mindless as New Dealers on the left?

  • The Fatman||

    Not at all. I read "needs to go" as being sent to a re-education camp for "proessing". That is exactly what I think of modern "liberals".

  • Michael Hihn||

    I'll give you credit for publicly admitting your bigotry -- which now runs rampant on both the left and right.

    Self-righteous bigotry.

  • ||

    Oh, Mary, why are you so obsessed? Why are you such a pathetic piece of psychopathic shit?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • ||

    Most crazy people would have gone to find another place to eat the furniture by now. But Mary, our Mary? No sir, not her!

  • Libertardian||

    I know you won't believe this, but I'm not "Mary". Sorry. Thank you, drive thru.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Mary probably wasn't really Mary, either. Might have been a guy instead.

  • Ken Shultz||

    A guy that took botox way too seriously.

  • Ice Nine||

    Of course all religions have fringe groups and ideas...
    A 2007 Pew poll [pdf] found that 27 percent of American Muslim men younger than 30 believe suicide terrorism in defense of Islam is at least sometimes justified.

    27%!. And, any guesses as to the percentage of non-American Muslim men that believe that? I think Cathy Young might want to reconsider her choice of the word "fringe".

  • Mr. FIFY||

    To be fair, how many Jehovah's Witness terrorist cells are there?

  • Ice Nine||

    Red herring. To be fair, you need to ask what percentage of American Jehovah's Witness men younger than 30 believe suicide terrorism in defense of Jehovah's Witness(ing?) is at least sometimes justified.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd bet both figures are "zero", I9.

    Which was my point.

  • NotSure||

    She did not state its only a fringe group in her article, she is attacking both sides of the argument, the one that says all Muslims are a problem and the other that says is all islamaphobia.

  • Ken Shultz||

    A 2007 Pew poll [pdf] found that 27 percent of American Muslim men younger than 30 believe suicide terrorism in defense of Islam is at least sometimes justified.

    Did you add the term "terroristm" in there? I'm looking at the PDF, and here's what I see...

    Suicide bombing
    can be justified...

    Often/Sometimes 8

    Rarely/Never 83

    DK/Refused 9

    ----page 5

    83% say suicide bombing is "rarely/never" justified, but let's look at your wording when you wrote that, "suicide terrorism in defense of Islam is at least sometimes justified".

    Is that what the question says? The question was not whether "suicide terrorism" is justified--the question was whether suicide is justified. What that tiny percentage of U.S. Muslims are saying there may be that Palestinians committing suicide in attacks on Israeli military forces is justified.

    If the word "terrorism" wasn't in the question, then maybe you should correct that, Ms. Young.

    Furthermore, from the chart on page 6, it does not appear that 27% of Muslims under 30 say that suicide can sometimes be justified--the correct number according to page 6 is 15%, not 27%.

  • dreamsandanguish||

    Ms. Young mistyped, it seems. The correct percentage is 26, not 27.

    Anyway, the chart is on page 60 going by the file's numbering or page 54 going by the page number in the footer.

    And the question is in the appendix, on page 97 (file) or 91 (footer):

    -
    Some people think that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies. Other people believe that, no matter what the reason, this kind of violence is never justified. Do you personally feel that this kind of violence is often justified to defend Islam, sometimes justified, rarely justified, or never justified?
    -

  • Ken Shultz||

    I can't say I'd condone using suicide bombers for anything. Maybe it's a cultural thing; we seem to have projected the same sort of stereotypes on Japanese people by way of the suicidal kamikazes we experienced during World War II.

    I'd like to think I would put myself in harm's way to defend my freedom, and I respect all the Americans in the past who put themselves in harm's way.

    I don't condone making civilians a military target. If the firebombing of Tokyo was justifiable, it was only justifiable insofar as it served specific military goals.

    I can understand how some Muslims who are especially frustrated with the plight of Palestinians might think that suicide bombings targeting the military could be justifiable under certain circumstances.

    Doesn't mean I agree with them. I can understand why some people commit armed robbery. Doesn't mean I condone it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It also seems like a tricky question for a survey of Muslims, specifically, because they have stronger theological objections to suicide than other traditions do. Their opinion of suicide is that it's one of the worst crimes against God's will imaginable.

    In other words, some of the responders may have answered the question as if it were a hypothetical rather than as if they were giving a thumbs up to recent suicide bombings we've seen in the news.

    The surveyor may have meant the question to be, "Do you approve of the suicide bombings we've seen in the news recently?", but the responder may have been answering the question, "Hypothetically speaking, are there situations in which suicide isn't necessarily a sin?"

  • ||

    The question wasn't really that vague, was it?

  • Cyto||

    I think it is very vague. "Suicide bombing can be justified: ...Sometimes". I could certainly make an argument for sometimes - particularly if "rarely" is directly tied to "Never". Although I'd probably pick "rarely" over "sometimes", I wouldn't put "rarely" and "never" in the same bin.

    Taking a briefcase bomb into Hitler's bunker - could you make a case for "justified"? If so, you are in the "rarely" camp. The distinction between "rarely" and "sometimes" is pretty squishy - unlike "never", which clearly excludes even Hitler and taking out Idi Amin's reviewing stand with a backpack bomb. How many hypotheticals does it take to move from "rarely" to "sometimes".

    Yeah, that question is vague. They should have specified "Suicide bombing of civilians for the purpose of terrorism" if they wanted to measure that sentiment. Probably a different number from "is suicide bombing ever justified", which includes Kamikaze bombing and perhaps even sending a PFC up a hill with a bandolier of grenades to take out a bunker when there's a very low probability of surviving the assault.

  • Cyto||

    Unless the question is the one you quote below... rather than the one Ken quotes.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I hadn't seen the question before; I was just quoting the question from the results on page 5 and asking myself--was the word "terrorism" in the question?

    It wasn't.

    Having seen the question now, I still think there would have been a lower rate of people saying suicide was justified sometimes if the word "terrorism" had been included in the question.

    My definition of terrorism always includes (among other things) using military tactics to target civilians, but not everyone's does.

    This survey was taken more than five years ago in the wake of the Second Intifada, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if 8% of the respondents, at that point in time, thought that what those Palestinian suicide bombers were doing was fighting back in the only way they could.

    Doesn't justify it in my mind, but they may not have thought of it as "terrorism" specifically the way I think of it as "terrorism". I can imagine some of them thinking that while "terrorism", specifically, is never okay, the suicide bombers during the Second Intifada weren't merely terrorists.

    ...even if that's not the way I see it at all.

    I'd add, furthermore, that just because 8% of them thought suicide might sometimes be justified under the circumstances of the Second Intifada--if that's what they thought--this doesn't necessarily mean they're a threat to the American way of life.

    ...and anyone pointing to this survey to show that Muslims are a threat to our way of life needs to account for all of that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Incidentally, I'd like to see a survey of fundamentalist protestants. What percentage think that violence in defense of the unborn in justified? I suspect that percentage is even higher among 18-29 year-olds, too.

    Come to think of it? I think rather highly myself of Americans who have given their lives in defense of the USA. Yeah, I think giving ones life in the name of patriotism can be justified. I even think Nathan Hale was a cool guy...

    I hope nobody calls the FBI on me!

  • Cytotoxic||

    Because giving one's life in defense of America is just the same as wanting to murder cartoon illustrators.

    All of my respect for you is dead.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Point is that people thinking dying in the defense of something can be justified--doesn't mean they should be enemies of the state.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You have some straw still in your hair.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Are you accusing me of making a straw man? Nitpicking?

    I don't get it.

    Fact is that thinking that some things are worth dying for doesn't necessarily make someone a threat.

  • ||

    The fucking question is right there in pretty goddamn simple English:

    Some people think that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies. Other people believe that, no matter what the reason, this kind of violence is never justified. Do you personally feel that this kind of violence is often justified to defend Islam, sometimes justified, rarely justified, or never justified?

    You are substituting a completely different question:

    Are some things worth dying for?

    You're either employing the strawman fallacy or you're incomprehensibly stupid, or possibly illiterate. It'd be nice to think you were just being disingenuous.

  • jasno||

    What part of that survey covered the murder of cartoonists? I seem to have missed that part.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It didn't, and it was missing that point, sadly.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It should be noted that all sorts of activity provokes death threats. There are fundamentalist Christians who have bombed abortion clinics and murdered doctors--had nothing to do with Islam, I assure you.

    It should also be noted that peacefully protesting a newspaper for printing something you find offensive (like 99% of those protesting Muslims did) is a perfectly libertarian activity.

    Although no libertarian wants the government to start censoring newspapers, there's nothing unlibertarian about protesting the printing of cartoons you find offensive.

    ...whether you find them offensive because they ridicule the Prophet, white people, Christians, or Nick Gillespie. You can protest anything you want.

    It's a free country.

  • ||

    It should also be noted that peacefully protesting a newspaper for printing something you find offensive (like 99% of those protesting Muslims did) is a perfectly libertarian activity.

    The deaths caused by the protests during the Danish cartoon controversy were the specific item under discussion, you disingenuous cunt.

  • ||

    Note the actual number of deaths - not death threats:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.....ontroversy

  • ||

    WTF is up with you today, anyway? You're just being obstinate for its own sake at this point.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The 100 dead your wikipedia reference refers to--is taken from this website:

    http://web.archive.org/web/200.....count.com/

    From what I can tell, 11 of the deaths occurred in Libya, and the rest of the deaths all apparently happened in Nigeria. But check yourself!

    Surely, you're not suggesting that American Muslims are a threat to the American way of life because of what some Muslims in war torn Nigeria were doing at the time.

    Fact remains, more than 99% of the Muslims who were protesting those cartoons did so peacefully.

    100% of the protests here in the United States appear to have been peaceful.

    Oh, and peacefully protesting something a newspaper prints? Remains a 100% pure libertarian practice--whether you like it or not.

  • ||

    Surely, you're not suggesting that American Muslims are a threat to the American way of life because of what some Muslims in war torn Nigeria were doing at the time.

    Way to completely change topics and move the goal posts again.

    If you bothered reading past the introductory paragraph of the wiki page or checked the timeline section, violence occurred in several places. Most of the actual deaths were in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan, including a terrorist bombing of the Danish embassy in Islamabad. Even where there were no deaths though, there was property destroyed and violence threatened.

    Wouldn't make much sense for there to have been a lot of violence here in America since the cartoons never appeared in most American newspapers for fear they would incite the same type of violence and destruction seen overseas.

    Oh, and peacefully protesting something a newspaper prints? Remains a 100% pure libertarian practice--whether you like it or not.

    No one said or suggested otherwise. You went off on a tangent about how peaceful all Muslims are in response to someone pointing out the murders over Danish cartoons. But thanks for continuing to be a disingenuous cunt.

  • Ken Shultz||

    No one said or suggested otherwise. You went off on a tangent about how peaceful all Muslims are in response to someone pointing out the murders over Danish cartoons. But thanks for continuing to be a disingenuous cunt.

    99% of the protestors were peaceful.

    If some al Qaeda/Taliban people set off a bomb in Pakistan, targeting the Danish because of what that newspaper printed, I don't see why that would suggest that Muslims here in the U.S. are a threat to you, a free press, or anything else.

    Incidentally, 11 of the killings you cited happened in Libya during a riot, but according to your link, all the rest happened in Nigeria within the context of what amounts to an ongoing, low level civil war, the Nigerian Sharia conflict.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N.....a_conflict

    If anyone is being disingenuous, it's someone who's suggesting that Muslims are a threat to the American way of life because of something that happened within the context of an ongoing civil war in Nigeria.

    The facts do not support your bizarre and irrational fear of Muslims.

    I know acknowledging your fear can be embarrassing. It makes you feel like a coward. But being ashamed of your fear is actually a good thing--especially when your fear is both irrational and directed at other people.

    Fear just isn't something to be proud of. Try to be a man about it.

  • ||

    Oh, and peacefully protesting something a newspaper prints? Remains a 100% pure libertarian practice--whether you like it or not.

    Are you sure of that? As long as those newspapers aren't the mouthpieces of the govt., I don't see why is protesting them a libertarian practice.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, not being allowed to complain--That would be ridiculous.

    It's just like complaining about the service at a restaurant. It's like coming here to Hit Run and complaining about whatever some Reason staff member wrote.

    If you want to complain and protest about what other people are doing--that's what freedom of speech is all about. Our right to complain and protest what other people are doing is perfectly libertarian.

    Advocating using the government to stop people from printing cartoons I find offensive may be indefensible from a libertarian standpoint, but complaining about it and protesting it yourself with other like-minded people?

    There's nothing wrong with that from a libertarian standpoint. Feel free to call up whatever news outlet you don't like and tell them so. If they don't change, feel free to stand in front of their business (off their property, mind you), with a sign calling them a bunch of jerks for making fun of you, your religion, your race or anything else you care about...

    Just because a newspaper has a right to print something doesn't mean I don't have a right to complain about it.

  • ||

    I guess I make a distinction between complaining and protesting, and between protesting a private entity and the govt.

    Writing letters to the editor, publishing essays etc. is indeed a perfectly fine way of arguing one's case. But that case can't be "don't publish something which goes against rules of my religion": for one, that religion isn't shared by everyone, for another that's advocating for a (nominally self-imposed) restraint on the other's free speech rights.

    Sure I have a right to stand front of your house with a sign which says "Ken Shultz is full of shit and shouldn't be allowed to post on Hit and Run"... but I don't think it would be a "100% pure libertarian practice".

  • Ken Shultz||

    If you think I shouldn't be allowed to post on Hit Run, I'm not sure that's necessarily unconscionable from a libertarian perspective either--so long as you're directing that claim at the people who own Hit Run rather than the government.

    Protesting the government because they let me print something wouldn't be very libertarian. But protesting a private entity, in my mind, is a step better.

  • The Fatman||

    No, not Fundamentalist Protestants, but just Protestants. The survey wasn't among Fundmentalis Muslims, just muslims. I am sure that the number of Protestants that think suicide bombing is OK is less than thant number Ken. Try to compare Apples to Apples.

  • BoscoH||

    Nathan Hale had a pretty long career, but all anyone remembers him for is Gilligan's Island. The only way he could have escaped that cage was to go gay like George Takei.

  • Libertardian||

    McVeigh? And I assume that guy who was blowing holes in Los Angeles on orders from Glenn Beck to get to the Tides Foundation was probably a goy.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Uh-huh. Glenn Beck has mental powers that forces people to commit violence.

    Was he behind all the Occutard violence and the violence at G8 summits?

  • Libertardian||

    Was there someone else I'm unaware of who was demonizing the Tides Foundation on a regular basis? (And Glenn Beck doesn't even have powers to control his own mind.)

  • Cytotoxic||

    Was there some point you were trying to make?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "on orders from Glenn Beck"

    Also, what's NOT to demonize about the Tides Foundation?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    As for those who commit violent acts:

    If you do such things, and claim you did them because "Glenn Beck told me to" or "the Earth Liberation Front made me do it", then the problem is not Glenn Beck OR the Earth Liberation Front... it's a lack of self-control.

    There's no excuses for violent behavior.

  • Libertardian||

    The point is, the guy would most likely never had heard about Tides if Beck hadn't turn them into the Devil Incarnate. Beck wasn't pulling the trigger, but he was loading the gun. (Metaphorically, before you start parsing words again.)

  • Libertardian||

    You don't get to call yourself an adult and "demonize" anybody. Also, you're doing the lame-o trick of parsing every single word I say, when the meaning is clear. Pretty sad debate technique you got there, pardner.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You know who else made people say "I was just following orders"...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Beck wasn't pulling the trigger"

    No, but the nutcase who DID pull the trigger, didn't do so because Beck talked him into it - he did it because he lacked self-control.

    Personal responsibility. Not a hard concept.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Oh it's IMPOSSIBLE for these assholes to get.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I know, but it's fun watching them twist and shout "EVUL REICH-WINGER AM RADIO MIND CONTROL HERP DERP", while totally dismissing the violence "caused" by left-wing ideology.

  • Libertardian||

    We think in language, chum. To believe that words cannot affect actions is ridiculous. Beck most certainly shares responsibility, though not nearly to the same extent as the shooter.

    The truly "hard concept" for conservatives and libertarians is to NOT think in black and white, to reject two-dimensional thinking. This is why liberals lose elections, because they rightly see the world in shades of gray. Black and white is an easier sell to an idiot.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Bullshit. As much bullshit as the "Twinkie defense".

    And don't fucking call me "chum", or any derivation thereof.

  • Libertardian||

    I'm not your buddy, friend!
    I'm not your friend, guy!
    I'm not your guy, buddy!
    I'm not your buddy, friend!
    I'm not your friend, guy!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "God told me to do it" is also a non-defense.

    Do you not see how logic works?

  • Libertardian||

    Glenn Beck is not God, thank goodness.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You're still missing the point, and you're doing it on purpose.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is why liberals lose elections, because they rightly see the world in shades of gray.

    Oh God. It's the perfect sad-sack liberal caricature. It's so perfect.

    We think in language, therefore your words are bullets. /derp

    But the Derp never ends.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "This is why liberals lose elections, because they rightly see the world in shades of gray."

    Even with your impressive and impeccable resume, this just may be the single dumbest, most ignorant thing you've said yet.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's using some Tonyisms now.

  • Mumu Bobby||

    If I were to draw hypocrisy I'd color it with grey pencil spotted with the sticky smug of trolls that lack self awareness.

  • LemonMender||

    This is why liberals lose elections, because they rightly see the world in shades of gray.

    You crack me up. That is the funniest bit in the thread. Liberals thinking in shades of gray? Let me calm down from laughing at that less hard than it deserves.

    By and large my liberal friends are the most inflexible and unyielding of ideologues...

  • Wlinden||

    The gang who beat me up for expressing disagreement called themselves "the peace movement". I spent all of my college years in constant fear of bodily harm from these "pacifists". But do I ever hear any "liberals" acknowledging that extremism on the left is a serious problem? Or even that what happened to me HAPPENED? Do I blazes.

  • Ken Shultz||

    What percentage of OWS kids, under the age of 30, think that violence in the fight against capitalism is sometimes justified?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I heard a rumor that Gabby Giffords was shot because the gunman listened to Limbaugh.

    /snark

  • Arash||

    As an Iranian who lost his homeland to Islamic fundamentalists, and who has watched that entire region disintegrate under said group's expansionism and financial support, let me just say that I'm extremely worried that my adopted country is also under threats it doesn't fully understand.

    For example, the current president seems to view as his mentor the ex-president who was instrumental in the loss of Iran and the domino effect that followed.

    I don't want to make a third country my home.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You won't have to. America is very good at integrating people. We're also semi-decent at toppling shitty regimes. Israel is better and together we're better still.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is very good article. I'd add that the only thing worse than the Left's habit of categorizing all criticism of Islam as phobic is the Right's seeming determination to justify that categorization.

    I don't like Islam, but I don't think it is the source of problems so much as the cultural degeneracy of Arabs and other places like Pakistan. These people think female circumcision is good and right. They're savages. That has been greatly exacerbated by America's failure to dismantle Jihad Inc aka Islamist Iran.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "You don't get to call yourself an adult and 'demonize' anybody... unless it's done by me, Libertardian.

    FIFY'd. No charge.

  • Libertardian||

    A sense of humor: find one. The fact that it irks you so means it's working. :)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Who told you to post here, 'tard? Beck, or Schultz?

  • Libertardian||

    Wow, you really are mentally ill, aren't you? That's how the Ron Paul movement always struck me: a group of the highly-functioning mentally ill. Everything's a conspiracy and everyone's paranoid. I wonder what would happen if you handed out lithium at a Ron Paul rally and told everyone it was Ron Paul candy. They'd probably all put their signs down and go home.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Who told Occutards to commit violent acts at some of their gatherings, 'tard?

    Who told the Unabomber it was okay for him to do what he did?

    Who told the nutcase to shoot Gabby Giffords?

    Who told McVeigh to blow shit up?

    This is really simple, 'tard:

    THEY TOLD THEMSELVES TO DO THOSE THINGS.

  • Libertardian||

    You're using examples that can't be traced back to an identifiable source. No one knew about the Tides Foundation until Beck started whinging about it. FACT.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "No one knew"

    Yeah, uh-huh.

    Beck - much as I despise him - still wasn't the *cause* of the violence, though.

    Of course, you'll still stick with your bullshit cause/effect theory.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    No one knew about the Tides Foundation until Beck started whinging about it. FACT.

    Yep, it was a double super secret organization.

    So secret that even it's members didn't kow about it.

  • Libertardian||

    http://www.examiner.com/articl.....violence-1

    When asked directly if he knew about the Tides Foundation before Beck mentioned it, Williams replied, “Yes, I already had all that information that he used on one or two of his programs. I already knew all of that stuff. And to me it was more of a confirmation of what I already knew. “

    When asked if it hadn’t been for Glenn Beck and Fox News, whether he still would have planned violence, Williams said that it was because Fox News didn’t do enough to pursue the political left that he became frustrated and felt like violence was the only answer.

    The freeway gunman said, “I’m actually mad at Fox. I’m mad at them because they go on to something else. It’s like they drop the issue and it lands on a shelf somewhere to collect dust. And that’s what’s happening to the truth. It’s going out and collecting dust. I say you’re not going to let these people get away with this stuff. You can’t let them get away with it. So this was my action because of Fox’s neglect.”

    My cock. Suck it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Then he's a candyass who had to blame someone else for his misdeeds, because he could not control himself.

    "I was just following orders..."

  • Libertardian||

    I'll take that as an apology. I accept.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No apology, because you're still blaming an outside source - in this case, a guy on the radio - for the actions of ANOTHER guy, who is and of himself solely to blame for his own violent acts.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Um. That entire contradicts what you've been saying you fucking imbecile.

    Reading comprehension. Get some.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wrong... I *also* blame social-conservatives, as they share at least half the blame.

    But do go on and tell us how violent people are never to blame for their violent acts... it amuses us.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I don't blame them for my personal actions, which is the point of this thread.

    I CAN, however, blame them both for ruining this country.

    Even you should be able to see that logic... or maybe not.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    *I* don't go out and commit violence based on political or religious ideology, or lack of either or both.

    Which is the difference between a civilized person, and religious extremists or Occutards or Klansmen.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hit a nerve, did I?

    Actually, it's a statement of fact; Occupiers were fools to do what they did.

    Should abortion-clinic bombers be able to explain away their actions based on what "God" told them to do? Or should they take personal responsibility for the wrongness of their violent acts?

    Which is it, 'tard? It cannot be both.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You're taking him at his word, that *his* lack of self-control was due to "Fox News".

    A rational person would blame HIM, not his poor choice of TV viewing.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    But shouldn't Beck get that same silly defense? "It's not his fault. Somebody said some words that 'caused' Beck to go into radio and say those things". That would just keep going and get silly real fast.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The fact that it irks you so means it's working. :)

    You mean the trolling?

    That means you know you're a troll.

    You do know you're a troll, right?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's still processing my post above, so it may not be self-aware enough to know it's a troll, Ken.

  • Libertardian||

    There's that dehumanization again. A few more steps, and you'll be oppressing and maybe injuring and killing people. Good luck with that!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm not capable of injuring or killing people. Nice try.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That's because I have self-control. No one tells me what to do, and I have the same built-in safeguards that ALL humans inherently have.

    But, like a midget going through a turnstile... it's over your head.

  • The Fatman||

    I hope you are capable of hurting/killing someone. Strictly in defense of course. I don't ever want to kill anyone, but I will if they make it necessary. The answer to the question me or them, is ALWAYS them.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That's where the 'tard loses it; in his mind, only right-wingers commit violent acts, and only right-wingers own guns.

  • The Fatman||

    Good. I was afraid we might lose you to some dickless ass hat.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Just quoting you, 'tard.

  • Libertardian||

    Yes, you are. Like I said, we think in language, and you dehumanize and threaten with it. I hope you don't have a gun in your house, because you're more likely to turn it on your love ones than a burglar.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    NOW you sound like a typical anti-gun liberal.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    BTW, "libertardian" is a dehumanizing term. So... what's your excuse?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yeah, that's what I thought... now you're scrambling to find another bullshit reason to let violent people scapegoat their own actions by blaming people they heard on the radio or read on a website.

  • Cytotoxic||

    It's the perfect liberal retard.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Almost perfect. It still has a ways to go.

  • The Fatman||

    That study has been debunked. Even the asshat the wrote has admitted that his method was skewed to get the outcome he wanted. Arthur Kellerman, World Class Ass-hat.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    1. He wasn't a doctor.
    2. What the fuck are you on about now, gun-hater?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wrong on both counts.

    Then again, you're the one who excuses the violent behavior some people commit based on what they read or watch on TV or hear on the radio.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    A juvenile prick, lecturing others about his perception of them.

    Fucking priceless.

    When violent Muslims commit acts of murder, is it because their religion told them to do it, or is it their lack of self-control?

    Continue to dance.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    For the record:

    1. I am not a Rand fan.
    2. I "do my part" by not supporting Team Red or Team Blue.
    3. You're a fool.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, and only liberals scoff at the concept of "bootstraps".

    They also use made-up words like "freedumb" and "libertardian".

    How big is your welfare footprint?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You don't understand the root of the word "freedumb". It's used by liberals who also think "Tenther" is a world-class insult because of their disdain for the Tenth Amendment.

    I'm surprised you don't know all this, given your worldview.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I believe the Tenth Amendment *means* something, yes.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You're insane.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That's way too kind, Cytotoxic.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I know. For these trolls, I really think we need a 'what would Ayn Rand say?' app that would create a wall of cutting battery-acid text that would kill or maim any statist reading it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You're on to something there, Cyto.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Who is responsible for the acts of an individual: Him/herself, or the words of other people?

    Answer the goddamned question.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Answer the question.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, and I'll repeat the question:

    When people commit violent acts, is it due to their lack of self-control, or is it due to them being "told" to commit them by Other People?

    Civilized people don't commit violent acts. That's a key point, if you can grasp it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "No man is an island"

    Shit, where have we heard that before?

    Oh, yes... liberals and so-cons use it to justify their actions.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Influence =/= 'responsible for'.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I've been trying to tell the 'tard that, but so far it's just been a string of "Beck told the guy to do it" and "people who own guns have small dicks".

    It's like arguing at DU.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Nothing is better than being told 'gun owners have small dicks' by people who are so scared of those gun owners and their guns that they think the government should Take Action. Any action.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Unfortunately, some of them work for the Brady organization.

  • Jennifer O||

    Can I butt in here?

    The individual is always responsible for their own actions, unless they are certifiably insane.

    However, we are all well aware of the fact that there are people walking around with limited self control. Knowing this, I think there is a small, limited responsibility for someone deliberately ginning those people up. But I think a person who is prone to commit violence to solve their problems will always find a way and an excuse.

    But as much as I hate to go Godwin, the comparison here is apt. Under the pure logic of personal responsibility, there was not much wrong with Hitler. He personally didn't kill anyone. He just told other people it was a good idea. And they listened. A LOT of them listened.

    So how do we indict Hitler under a rule of pure personal responsibility?

  • Sevo||

    "But as much as I hate to go Godwin, the comparison here is apt. Under the pure logic of personal responsibility, there was not much wrong with Hitler. He personally didn't kill anyone. He just told other people it was a good idea. And they listened. A LOT of them listened."

    Logic fail.

  • The Fatman||

    Hitler didn't just tell people it was a good idea. He ordered the govt stooges under his control to implement the "Final Solution" to the Jewish Problem. He was a head of state ordering the murder of his own citizens and citizens of other sovereign nations. See how that is a little bit different Jenny?

  • Sevo||

    Libertardian|6.24.12 @ 3:37PM|#
    "If you were really rationally self-interested (thanks, Ayn!),.."

    You don't have a clues as to what that means, dipshit.

  • The Fatman||

    Really, George Carlin has psychoanalyzed everyone that owns a gun? Now I may have a small dick, but that's got nothing to do with the guns. Or the martial arts training, or the Boy Scouts survival training, or the disaster preparedness training. That is all just called "being prepared". And since I tend to prefer small guns to bigguns, what does that say?

  • Jennifer O||

    It's OK, I don't have a dick at all, but I have a gun.

    I don't want a dick either. It looks like it's an awfully uncomfortable package to have to carry around.

  • Harvard||

    Yes, but it comes with a higher pay scale.

  • The Fatman||

    And we can sign our names in the snow.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Another writes that while misogyny and religious repression in some Muslim countries should be denounced, it can be done without generalizing about Islam."

    Replace that last word with "Muslims", and this would have been a valid point.

    All that ugliness is directly and inescapably ROOTED in Islam, it IS Islam. This is much the same way we've deluded ourselves into thinking the "True Christians" are the ones who DON'T practice what the Bible preaches.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    When arguing with a local version of a Feministing member, I asked if she'd rather live here, or in a country where women are forced to wear burkas and may, in some cases, be subject to genital mutilation.

    She told me I hated women, and that America is worse than those countries.

    Guess who she voted for.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    and that America is worse than those countries

    Then let her put her awrat where her mouth is and move.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    She also applauded Pelosi for wearing head coverings when she visited the Middle East, years ago; I asked her why she shouldn't have refused, if she's such a good example of a female liberal politician, and her response was pretty much a carbon-copy of the last one she gave.

  • Jennifer O||

    Can you imagine the horror in this country if a female foreign leader came to this country not wearing a bra?

    It's no different - it's just good manners.

    Having to wear a damned uncomfortable bra I have no need for is the reason I never went into politics :D

  • Sevo||

    Jennifer O|6.24.12 @ 10:36PM|#
    "Can you imagine the horror in this country if a female foreign leader came to this country not wearing a bra?"

    No.

  • The Fatman||

    Especially not if she was hot. I don't remember Carla Bruni getting anything but complements.

  • Jennifer O||

    Wearing a burka is only different in degree to the requirement in this country that women not only wear tops, but also wear bras. Wearing a bra may not be a law, but it is strictly enforced through society.

    A convention I flout, I might add.

  • Sevo||

    Jennifer O|6.24.12 @ 10:33PM|#
    "Wearing a bra may not be a law, but it is strictly enforced through society."

    Bull......................
    shit.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Not true,

    Thousands of women are murdered in America every year for refusing to wear bras.

    /sarcasm

  • ||

    Unless you've got saggy old lady boobs, most men (and don't forget lesbians) would applaud, rather than stone, a woman who walks around without a bra.

    Analogy fail.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "When a progressive leftist magazine goes after a gay Muslim feminist because she is too outspoken against religious reactionaries, something's wrong."

    Sounds like business-as-usual on that side of the room.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    She's not the right KIND of feminist.

  • Cytotoxic||

    OT: Paraguay ousts its local proto-Caudillo leftist asshole in Chief. There is hope for that region even if Paraguay is being criticised by all its neighbor even its conservative ones. The latter are just being weak and lame to be agreeable.

  • Dan Bongard||

    I'm an atheist living in America. Suffice it to say I've got a couple off issues with conservative Christians.

    That aside, I can live here safely while openly and publicly professing my views. There isn't a Muslim-majority nation on Earth for which that is true.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Exactly, though you should also watch out for Democrats who quote scripture in order to justify their welfare/vote-bribery pogroms.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Yet nowhere in The Nation will one find recognition that extremism in Islam is a particularly serious problem.

    Is it? It's certainly a problem in the middle east, but if I think of what I consider serious problems facing the US right now, I can't really think of any that are particularly related to the muslims living here.

  • Dan Bongard||

    It seems to me that religiously motivated Muslim-on-non-Muslim violence is more common than the reverse, even domestically.

    I wouldn't call it "a serious problem", but it is a more serious problem than anti-Muslim discrimination.

  • Harvard||

    [but if I think of what I consider serious problems facing the US right now, I can't really think of any that are particularly related to the muslims living here.]

    Come with me for an evening stroll through East Dearborn.

  • Brian from Texas||

    While I am critical of the Anti Defamation League on some issues they do offer a pretty fair and balanced analysis when it comes to the need to combat Islamic extremism and radicalization but at the same time respecting the religious and civil liberties of the majority of Muslims who have nothing to do with 9/11 or the murder of Israeli citizens. Although one of the biggest mouthpieces for the Israel Lobby, the ADL have at the same time stood up for the civil rights of American Muslims when nobody else would. That much I'll give them credit for.

  • Bruce Hall||

    Islamophobia is the incorrect term; the correct term is Islamaversion.

    http://hallofrecord.blogspot.c.....hobia.html

  • Sevo||

    OK, let's try this:
    The US and most of the 'west' is largely influenced by Judeo/Xian religions, or more importantly, influenced by a reaction to them (the Enlightenment).
    There is no analogy to the Enlightenment in Muslim nations, and those that most closely embrace that religion are, to put it mildly, anachronisms.
    Religions in general suck, but the Muslim religion lowers the bar beyond what the rest of the world tolerates.

  • ||

    There actually IS an analogue to the Enlightenment, it's just that it was thousands of years ago. It's called the Islamic Golden Age. From 750 CE to c. 1257 CE and was "a period of contribution to scientific knowledge, cultural arts, civilization and architecture, both by developing earlier traditions and by a period of relatively rapid and marked innovation."

    As for the reasons it ended:

    There is little agreement on the precise causes of the decline, but in addition to invasion by the Mongols and crusaders and the destruction of libraries and madrasahs, it has also been suggested that political mismanagement and the stifling of ijtihad (independent reasoning) in the 12th century in favor of institutionalised taqleed (imitation) thinking played a part. Ahmad Y Hassan has rejected the thesis that lack of creative thinking was a cause, arguing that science was always kept separate from religious argument; he instead analyses the decline in terms of economic and political factors, drawing on the work of the 14th Century writer Ibn Khaldun.
  • ||

    I want to emphasize that part of it was because of crusaders; the irony is amusing.

  • Keith3D||

    Not a great analogy since it lacked the philosophical/reformist aspect, which was the whole point of the above reference to the enlightenment.

    More like the typical good times enjoyed by a successful empire. Hence it ended as the empire's dominance faded, as usual.

    The actual irony here is how the behavior of Europeans in the middle ages is constantly used as a defense of the muslim world, when it should show the opposite. Islam existed in the middle ages too, and had a head start. And if Europe can grow up anyone should be able to.

  • ||

    Yet nowhere in The Nation will one find recognition that extremism in Islam is a particularly serious problem. One author dismisses the issue by stating that "every group http://www.lunettesporto.com/l.....-3_11.html has its loonies." Another writes that while misogyny and religious repression in some Muslim countries should be denounced, it can be done without generalizing about Islam.

  • Sevo||

    "Another writes that while misogyny and religious repression in some Muslim countries should be denounced, it can be done without generalizing about Islam."

    I'm sure that's possible, but real-world examples of such tolerance are thin on the ground.

  • JoshSN||

    What a dumbass you are, Sevo.

    sweeterjan is a spambot.

  • joy||

    Recent years have seen a wave of attempts to block construction of mosques and Islamic centers across the country. Bills seeking to outlaw the use of Shariah law in American courts -- already illegal if it infringes on citizens' constitutional rights -- could interfere with private contracts rooted in religious law.

  • jason||

    This is the hate crime against the islam its interesting to know how police react.

  • JoshSN||

    When a day doesn't go by without someone on the news media talking about violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Arab Spring regions, and describing that violence, or its perpetrators, as Muslim, then the Nation will need to have more balance in their presentation.

  • RantoYang||

    Thats what I am talking about wow.

    www.Dot-Anon.tk

  • GILMORE||

    Which is the more serious problem today, Cathy Young asks: Islamic extremism or anti-Islamic bigotry?

    The Irish.

    Next question?

  • terrymac||

    Legitimate debate is one thing, but it is insane to claim that Islamophobia "may lead to violence" when there is wholesale violence directed against Islam, on a scale not seen since the Crusades. Cathy Young, have you forgotten that the U.S. military is engaged in not one or two, but several wars of choice, and all the targets are Islamic countries?

    Might the Left be painting too broad a brush, rejecting honest criticism as "Islamophobia?" Most likely. Let the warhawks of both parties dial back not only their rhetoric, but the bombs and bullets, and clear the way for honest, peaceful dialogue.

  • nike air max mens||

    The New York Police Department has been criticized for overly broad surveillance of ordinary Muslims. Recent years have seen a wave of attempts to block construction of mosques and Islamic centers across the country. Bills seeking to outlaw the use of Shariah law in American courts -- already illegal if it infringes on citizens' constitutional rights -- could interfere with private contracts rooted in religious law.

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