Islam = Church of England + Blood

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Not sure how much, if any, of this I agree with, but I found Theodore Dalrymple's essay, "When Islam Breaks Down," in City Journal well worth reading, if only for its conclusion:

Islam in the modern world is weak and brittle, not strong: that accounts for its so frequent shrillness. The Shah will, sooner or later, triumph over the Ayatollah in Iran, because human nature decrees it, though meanwhile millions of lives will have been ruined and impoverished. The Iranian refugees who have flooded into the West are fleeing Islam, not seeking to extend its dominion, as I know from speaking to many in my city. To be sure, fundamentalist Islam will be very dangerous for some time to come, and all of us, after all, live only in the short term; but ultimately the fate of the Church of England awaits it. Its melancholy, withdrawing roar may well (unlike that of the Church of England) be not just long but bloody, but withdraw it will. The fanatics and the bombers do not represent a resurgence of unreformed, fundamentalist Islam, but its death rattle.

Whole thing here.

[Link via Arts & Letters Daily]

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  1. Well, that’s encouraging.

  2. it took a lot of fuckin’ blood to separate church from state in christendom. the author sort of glides past this.

  3. Does anyone else smell something burning?

  4. The people fleeing Islamic extremists
    are the people needed to remain and fight it.

  5. Paging Anne Boleyn!

  6. dj,
    Damn straight. My father would’ve been an ideal moderate to stay and try to improve the lot of the people’s lives. He was politically moderate, loved the West and came from a good family, which gives him extra legitimacy. However, he saw what happened to his uncle and father-in-law (both taken as political prisoners) and decided, “Fuck that, I’m going to America.” I respect that decision 100%.

  7. they’re stealing all the all the easy chicks from us horny ole headshrinkers. “Many of them also dot the city with their concubines?sluttish white working-class girls or exploitable young Muslims who have fled forced marriages…”

  8. Andy,
    When the profits from Oil dwindle Saudi Arabia will become a very big unhappy Yemen. But it will probably become more fundamentalist not less because of it. It could become another Taiwan, but that is not the direction it is headed.

    The funding of Wahabism will indeed dwindle, and that will be a good thing. But I doubt that the funding of Terrorism will dwindle that much.

  9. kwais-

    Good point. However, to the extent that warlords are more tolerant of opium (or at least interested in taxing it) than the (Western-backed) central gov’t, the opium trade strengthens the warlords and undermines the central gov’t.

    I don’t know that warlordism is a particularly good state of affairs. Sure, smaller political units have virtues compared with large centralized nation-states. But I’d prefer that political units of ANY size have representative governments based on the rule of law and respect for individual liberty rather than the rule of one strongman.

  10. Thoreau,
    I didn’t mean to seem like I endorse warlordism. I don’t, I much prefer the US form of government than any other I have seen. I like a system that is answerable to its citizens.

  11. Anybody want to accelerate conversion from religious nutcase to harmless pervert next door?
    I didn’t think so.

    But for that one in a million peruser of Hit & Run, the answer is so simple:

    Mr. President,
    Tear down this wall.

    (for the terminally dense, I’m referring to the fence between here an Mexico.)

  12. One of the things that the author brushed on but didn’t comment well enough on was the oil angle of fundamental Islam. The major fundamental Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran require the constant flow of petrodollars to prop up their little scheme. That money is then used to fund the spread of fundamental Islam. Once the need for oil is significanly decreased (hybrid vehicles, for example) then the impact these 2 countries (and their spread of fundamental Islam) have on the world scene will fall off. This also bodes badly for the terrorists as their money train will be derailed.

    While Iran can support itself with other resources, the real money will be gone. Saudi Arabia has nothing besides oil. Once the demand for oil starts to slide, so will Saudi Arabia.

    Afghanistan supported (and the production is back where it was pre-invasion) itself through poppy production. I have no idea how that one will play out as the legalization of opiates is not likley anytime soon.

  13. In Afghanistan the opium trade doesn’t so much support fundamentalism as warlordism. This is not to deny that many warlords are religious fundamentalists. But if you’re trying to build a state based on the rule of law, it’s hard to do that while the country’s major industry is on the black market.

    Hmm, I suppose the Afghan central gov’t could legalize opium, undermining the warlords and allowing it to assert power throughout the country. But since the Afghan gov’t is completely dependent on Western aid (both financial and military), I don’t really see that happening. And if a self-sufficient Afghan gov’t ever legalized opium I suspect that we’d invade that same day.

  14. I don’t know that much about any religion, but from what I do know about it the religion itself seems more reasonable than any of the various forms of christianity.

    Both Christianity have parts of their holy books that advocate peace, or war; that advocate murdering unbelievers, or simply preaching to them; that advocate love and peace, or hate and bloody warfare.

    In Christianity, the warm-and-fuzzy parts of the religion, generally speaking, came later than the nasty parts. In order to use Christianity to avocate the murder of unbelievers, you have to studiously ignore the fact that Jesus, God’s last and greatest prophet and teacher (who was actually God himself) said: don’t do that!

    In Islam, all those parts were written by the SAME GUY. Moreover, the “murder all the unbelievers” and “spread Islam through military conquest” portions of the religion were, generally speaking, written *after* the warm-and-fuzzy parts. Moreover, it is a historical fact, disputed by nobody I’m aware of, that Mohammed himself was a military leader who personally supervised the initial holy wars that began the spread of Islam through conquest. So when a Moslem says “kill the unbelievers”, he is advocating the policy that the greatest prophet God ever sent to Earth, the man who had a greater understanding of God’s will than anyone before or since, advocated and followed during the last years of his life.

    Islam is a much scarier religion than Christianity. Jesus preached that those who deny God shall not enter heaven; I don’t care, since I don’t believe in an afterlife. Mohammed preached that those who deny God must be murdered for their beliefs; I *do* care about that, because I don’t want to die.

  15. “Koran exhort Muslims to respect both Jews and Christians as “people of the book” and specifically says to leave them alone.”

    Great PR ! But oh, what happens to the 4 billion who are not “of the book” ? Your “friend”, who seems to have hit every apologia in one paragraph, might want to dig up some sura that works for the rest of Planet Earth.

    “religion as a logical belief system”
    So what exactly make Islam more “logical” than Xtianity ?

    “genuine military needs” … I’m sure your “friend” will understand why that Mosque in Iraq was bombed ?

  16. I think free will is largely an illusion. Your choices are the resulf of a combination of your genes, your experience, and your environment. None of which you have any control over.

  17. Dan,
    I forwarded your answers to the statements about the peacefullness of the Koran to the person that send me those comments.

    If this thread is still up when I get a response I will post the rebuttal. I don’t know enough to argue either of you myself, but I am mildly curious of the subject.

    ” “Strong” atheism holds precisely one belief: that there are no gods. How, exactly, can a single belief be “illogical”? You generally need at least two beliefs, along with some kind of relationship between them, in order to invoke logic.”

    You can have a weak belief about the existence or lack of existenc in God, or you can simply not care less to concern yourself with the problem.

    So when I compare atheism to another religion, I am assuming strong beliefs on both sides. If you are an Atheist you believe there is no God, then you believe there was a way that things have come to be without a God.

  18. Yes, sort of true, but it is not true that all the “warm fuzzy parts” of the Koran were written AFTER the bloodthirsty bits. The order of the suras of the Koran as printed is not the order they were “revealed”.

    I’m well aware that the suras aren’t ordered in the order they were written. That’s why the “warm and fuzzy” parts and “the blood and death” parts *appear* to be mixed up. It is when you order the suras chronologically that you see a steady progression away from “peace and love” talk towards “the streets will flow with the blood of the nonbelievers” talk. This is generally credited to the fact that Mohammed got increasingly pissed off when the world didn’t recognize the “truth” of this religion and adopt it voluntarily. This is the standard pattern that most cults follow.

    Also, the military bits answered genuine military needs at the time

    Certainly that is what Moslems believe, anyway. The point is that the use of war to spread Islam, and to destroy enemies of Islam, and to destroy people who have wronged Islam in the past, was condoned by Mohammed. That is one of the many reasons why Islam is a much scarier religion that Christianty is.

    When I was comparing the two religions in an earlier post I was refering to the religion as a logical belief system

    Regardless of whether it is logical or not to believe that atheists should be murdered, I disapprove of it. I am therefore not a big fan of Islam, and never have been.

  19. As per the arguments of Andrew vs Jennifer and Bart, I also believe that atheism is as logically flawed as any religion.

    “Weak” atheism has no beliefs, and therefore cannot be said to be either logically valid or invalid; weak atheism is simply a lack of belief in gods, which is no more or less illogical than a lack of belief in invisible miniature elephants.

    “Strong” atheism holds precisely one belief: that there are no gods. How, exactly, can a single belief be “illogical”? You generally need at least two beliefs, along with some kind of relationship between them, in order to invoke logic.

  20. “So what exactly make Islam more “logical” than Xtianity?”

    The way the book came about, and the whole son of God thing, and that he died for our sins. Now that I think about it, I don’t know if those things mentioned makes Christianity more illogical, or just that Christianity highlights the holes in logic of all religion.

    Why does God need humans to worship him?
    How can we get punished for commiting sins when God created us as we are with our urges and he also created our environment? If destiny exists how can we then be published or rewarded for what was always going to happen?

    Judaism: Seems kind of racist to me. How is a religion a race? Why are they the chosen people? What about me?

    Anything wrong with Judaism is also a flaw with the Islam and Christianity. It is the same God supposedly, so why did he start out wrong?

    Islam: Mohammed is supposedly the last prophet, how are we supposed to know that he was real and the dude from the Mormons isn’t? If there is only one God, why did he make three religions? Are we supposed to be going to war?

  21. “the streets will flow with the blood of the nonbelievers”

    This is neither here nor there, but the first time I heard that phrase that I can remember was on ‘Beavis and Buthead’. It was a pretty cool and funny phrase.

  22. kwais-
    good call with the determinism. You should join up with the Calvinists on that one.

    Free will vs. determinism (predestination for the gutsy) is a conversation most Christians don’t want to have since the logical ramifications of either one being true are generally more than people can handle. Of course, non-christians don’t like to go down that road either.

    Throw me in the Determinism camp.

    As for Christianity being evil and causing bloodshed… I would argue that the blood and death stuff is physically represented in the old testament. On the other hand, the New Testament is much much more difficult to take. While everyone says Christ was all about love and “warm fuzzies”, that simply is not true. He says either repent and believe in me or suffer a fate worse than death (i.e. eternal damnation). That message is undeniable as it is repeated over and over. That is also why people want to “convert” non-believers. It is the great commission given to believers by Christ. They are to love their fellow man like they love their self. Hence, if you don’t want to go to hell, then you don’t want your neighbor to go their either.

    As for Islam, I am too ignorant to comment on it and the warm fuzzy stuff.

  23. kwais, respect! Although I’ll happily say that free will is *completely* an illusion.

    The concept of “Free will” stems from the mind remembering the decision making process that led it to it’s current course of action and thinking “What if?” IMO.

  24. Andy,
    What do you mean “respect!”. Do you mean that I should be more carefull when discussing religion so as not to anger people for whom it is dear?

    Or were you saying you respect my ideas?

    Also what does IMO mean?

  25. kwais:

    I meant I respect what you’re saying, I’m a determinist too. IMO means In My Opinion; maybe I spend too much time on newsgroups… 🙂

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