Media

The Media, Islam, and Political Correctness

Is it a right-wing scare tactic to use the phrase Islamic extremism?

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Last week's arrest of four men in the Bronx, New York on charges of plotting to bomb two synagogues and shoot down a military aircraft with a missile has revived an ongoing debate about the connection between Islam and terrorism and the twin pitfalls of religious bigotry and willfully blind political correctness.

The New York Times has been assailed by conservative critics such as Dallas Morning News columnist and blogger Rod Dreher for downplaying a troubling aspect of the case: all the suspects are Muslims. (They had converted to Islam while in prison for drug offenses, theft, and other crimes.) The first Times report on May 20 mentioned this fact only in passing—despite a statement by New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at a press conference that the four had talked frankly about wanting to "commit jihad."

The next day, the Times ran a story on the secret FBI recordings in which the men discussed their hatred of Jews and their intent to kill U.S. soldiers in retaliation for killings of "Muslim brothers and sisters in Muslim countries." The article's lead paragraph focused on the men's criminal backgrounds; not until the fourth paragraph was there a reference to their jihadist motivation (they shouted "Allah Akbar!" as they brought their newly acquired stash of weapons to their warehouse).

In a particularly odd passage, the article noted that "law enforcement officials initially said the four men were Muslims, but their religious backgrounds remained uncertain Thursday" and that three had previously identified as Christian in prison records. This, despite ample evidence in the same article that the plot, set in motion with the help of an FBI informant, was motivated by Islamic fanaticism.

By contrast, the opening line of the New York Post story on the arrests referred to "four homegrown Muslim terrorists on a mission from hell"—inflammatory, to be sure, but arguably far more accurate.

Is the suspects' religion relevant? Given that they were driven by religion-based extremism and hate, common sense certainly suggests that it is.

To some on the left, any mention of Islamic extremism is a bigoted right-wing scare tactic. On his blog, Nation magazine columnist Robert Dreyfuss dismisses the New York terror plot as "bogus" and asserts that every alleged plot by Muslim terrorists on U.S. soil after the World Trade Center attack has been "nonsense" cooked up by the FBI: "Since 9/11 not a single American has even been punched in the nose by an angry Muslim, as far as I can tell." (Tell that to the victims of Mohammed Taheri-azar, who plowed a Jeep into a crowd of students at the University of North Carolina in 2006 and later told authorities that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and "avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world.") And while most of the plots uncovered by the authorities seem to have been the work of inept losers, one does not have to be a genius to inflict a lot of damage. If the September 11 hijackers had been caught, how many people would have scoffed at the plot to fly hijacked planes into buildings as absurdly improbable?

Yet anti-Muslim hysteria on the right is no myth, either. In February 2007, when a teenager named Sulejmen Talovic went on a shooting rampage at a Salt Lake City, Utah shopping mall, killing five people, some right-wing websites excoriated the media for ignoring the "Muslim connection"—the shooter's background as a Bosnian Muslim immigrant. Never mind that there was nothing to suggest that Talovic was a Muslim zealot or that religion had anything to do with his actions. (Shooting sprees by troubled young men of other religious backgrounds are not exactly unknown.)

And in 2005, a posse of conservative bloggers led by columnist Michelle Malkin relentlessly flogged the notion that the suicide of a disturbed young man who blew himself up with a homemade bomb on the Oklahoma University campus was actually a botched terrorist act by a Muslim convert. Their "evidence" included the fact that he had a Pakistani roommate and lived close to a mosque.

The "Muslims under the bed" rhetoric promotes hatred and paranoia. The vast majority of American Muslims are not radicals. But, leaving aside debates about whether there is something in the Muslim religion that inherently and uniquely lends itself to a violent, extremist interpretation, the reality is that an extremist and violent strain is present in modern-day Islam to a far greater extent than in other major religions.

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center two years ago found that about 13% of American Muslims—and a quarter of those under 30—felt that suicide bombings in defense of Islam were justified in at least some cases. The poll also found that in some ways, native-born African-American Muslims are more radicalized than immigrants. Radical Islamism may be an attractive ideology for those who feel disenfranchised.

To ignore or downplay these alarming facts is myopic. If the mainstream media continue to do so out of misguided sensitivity, it will only undermine their credibility when it comes to battling real bigotry.

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine. This article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.com.

NEXT: Sonia Sotomayor: "Left-wing in theory, right-wing in practice"

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  1. Why is it that when a couple of psycho rednecks get together and kill some poor black guy in Texas we have to have a national conversation on racial hate and a bunch of at best superfluous and at worst unconstitutional new hate crime laws. But when a group of fundementalist Muslims plot to kill a bunch of people we have to act like religion had nothing to do with it and motivations don’t matter.

  2. If the September 11 hijackers had been caught, how many people would have scoffed at the plot to fly hijacked planes into buildings as absurdly improbable?

    Hopefully not the drafters of the ignored memo that warned of exactly such an attack.

  3. These guys were stupid, but they were completely committed to carrying out this attack. They put what they thought was a bomb in the car, parked it at the target, and were waiting in another car when they were arrested.

    No one’s going to miss them for the next 30 years.

  4. How to manufactured terror busts:
    1.The FBI finds black, semi-retarded, ex- convicts.
    2.Ask the retards if they like the government killing brown people all over the world.

    3. When the semi-retarded person says “no”, then ask them to explain their hate for the government.

    4. When they think of some good stuff record it.

    5. Pay them $10,000 to go to a mosque, record the attendence.

    6. Pay retards to shout “jihad” and other islamic stuff. Record it

    7. Encourage them to get even with the man, then hand them bombs and guns(fake or real).

    8.Have them blow some shit up, or sometimes arrest them right before they blwo stuff up or right before they pretend to blow stuff up.

    9. Ask for more terror funding.
    10. start more wars
    11. tell Cathy Young to write a article taking fake terror attacks seriously.

  5. “commit jihad.”

    This phrase is bothering me…did the accuse use the verb “commit” or is that word coming from the government?

    It’s just that trying to imagine myself in a mindset appropriate to planning to kill a bunch of strangers for political ends, and I just can’t see using a verb that admits that the action is wrong…

    I know, dumb thing to worry about at a time like this, but there you are.

  6. Gabe,

    Most criminals are boderline retarded. Even the biggest most dangerous organized crime people are stupid. Look at Richard Reid. That guy looked like a derrannged clown. But he was one struck match away from killing 300+ people. The 9-11 highjackers killed thousands but would have been viewed as retarded losers had they been caught before the deed.

    Criminals are slick super geniuses in Bond movies. In reality, they are banile losers.

  7. Is Gabe for real?

    Occams razor here: A) Actual Islamic militants exist. B) It’s all an elaborate ruse! FBI concocts everything including paying people to act like Islamic militants!

    Why is it that when a couple of psycho rednecks get together and kill some poor black guy in Texas we have to have a national conversation on racial hate and a bunch of at best superfluous and at worst unconstitutional new hate crime laws. But when a group of fundementalist Muslims plot to kill a bunch of people we have to act like religion had nothing to do with it and motivations don’t matter.

    No kidding. If you actually look at what Islamists actually write, they’re ten times more racist and sexist than your typical southern redneck. Not just the anti-semitism, either. They really think that Black Africans are inferior too. It’s an utterly xenophoic racist culture over there. Teaching evolution is banned all over the region and rejected by almost all Muslims. Women are locked in their homes and not allowed to go out without a male relative. They’re like a fucking caricature of what liberals think Christian fundamentalists are like, but we’re not supposed to notice.

  8. I think Islam’s biggest problem is with branding. They need to make Islam sound exciting. I suggest they adopt the following slogan:

    Islam. It’ll take your breath away!

  9. “But when a group of fundementalist Muslims plot to kill a bunch of people we have to act like religion had nothing to do with it and motivations don’t matter.”

    No reason we can’t start here.

    1) Islam is a lie

    2) Islam is incompatible with democracy.

    3) Islam is a racist religion.

    4) Islam is a sexist religion.

    5) Islam is a homophobic religion.

    6) Islam is NOT a religion of peace.

    Discuss.

  10. “I think Islam’s biggest problem is with branding. They need to make Islam sound exciting. I suggest they adopt the following slogan:”

    How about “Islam: It is allahsome!!”

  11. It’s all an elaborate ruse! FBI concocts everything including paying people to act like Islamic militants!

    More than that Hazel! Islam itself is actually just an FBI plot! There’s no such thing!

  12. Most people who believe in invisible parent figures in the sky are dangerous in some way. Some try to blow things up, some go to Joel Osteen rallies, some take over the Republican party. All equally retarded, all equally dangerous.

  13. CH,

    You left off an E

  14. What the hell…


    1) Islam is a lie

    True. All religions are lies.

    2) Islam is incompatible with democracy.

    Depends on how you define democracy. In it’s fundamentalist form, Islam would require a theocracy.

    3) Islam is a racist religion.
    4) Islam is a sexist religion.
    5) Islam is a homophobic religion.

    It’s not the religion that’s racist and sexist, it’s the culture. But like right-wing Christians in the US, Islamists connect a lot of cultural racist, sexist, homophobic beliefs to their religious faith. Moreso in fact. MUCH moreso to an extreme degree. American religious fundies don’t call for gays to be pushed off of cliffs as punishment for their sins. American religious fundies don’t call for women to be stoned to death for adultery.
    American religious conservatives don’t endorse chattal slavery.

    6) Islam is NOT a religion of peace.

  15. Changing the spelling of fatwa to phatwa would go a long way towards changing Islam’s image.

    Also, I would suggest replacing the Koran with something more recent. Say, the January 1973 issue of National Lampoon, for example.

  16. >1) Islam is a lie

    2) Islam is incompatible with democracy.

    3) Islam is a racist religion.

    4) Islam is a sexist religion.

    5) Islam is a homophobic religion.

    6) Islam is NOT a religion of peace.

    True to some degree. I mean no one can really call any religion (except for Scientology) objectively a lie. Most religions are sexist and homophobic. There is more violence inherent to it than to other religions, and the main problem is that unlike Christianity for instance, Muhammad himself got power, and so there is little understanding of separation of church (mosque) and state.

  17. 6) Islam is NOT a religion of peace.

    It isn’t. Islam doesn’t mean “peace”, it means “submission”. It’s a religious that is, and has always been, about forced submission to the will of God. By the sword if necessary.

  18. If God really wanted total obedience, why didn’t he just make us totally obedient? If your answer is that he wanted to test the faithful, then why should men force other men to obey the purported word of God when God didn’t see fit to force obedience himself?

  19. I try not to be an obnoxiously smug atheist, ever, but I simply cannot resist:

    Instead of calling it ‘violent Islamic extremism,’ with all the potentially racist and xenophobic implications that carries…

    let’s just call it ‘violent religious extremism’ in all media from here on out. That would, I think, get closer to the truth of the problem.

  20. What does Allah need with a starship?

  21. “…to kill U.S. soldiers in retaliation for killings of “Muslim brothers and sisters in Muslim countries.”

    What, no rants against freedom, or scantily clad women at Jones Beach? That’s weird.

  22. For the 30 something set: “Islam: It’s allah that!”

  23. Why is it that when a couple of psycho rednecks get together and kill some poor black guy in Texas we have to have a national conversation on racial hate and a bunch of at best superfluous and at worst unconstitutional new hate crime laws. But when a group of fundementalist Muslims plot to kill a bunch of people we have to act like religion had nothing to do with it and motivations don’t matter.

    “Raaaaacist!”

  24. J.T.-

    L. Ron Hubbard sees and hears all. Don’t you know what happens to the scrivners of scandalous and scurrilous skewerings of scientology?

  25. If only we had tortured more people and jailed them indefinitey without habeas corpus, imagine how much freer America would be.

  26. I see a fair number of people comparing Islamic movements with Christian movements.

    I think it’s worth pointing out that “we” are in no position to compare the bible to the koran unless we have read and studied them to some extent. Haphazard analogies are insufficient. Read the Quaran. Know it. Recite it. Describing violence is not the same as commanding it… Even if that violence is purely metaphorical.

    We should familiarize ourselves with these texts and consider the imperatives they raise.

  27. Timothy, I concur.

    I thought this article was well-balanced. Blind Political Correctness is not compatible with responsible journalism, where a dispassionate emphasis on the facts is sourly needed these days (along with a spoonful of skepticism).

  28. The European press is just as PC and as cowardly as ours. If you ever read an article about “youths” rioting in a European city, you can bet your house that the “youths” are Muslim fanatics. Yet, Europe keeps letting them in.

  29. It is telling that Cathy conveniently fails to provide a comparison statistic for the number of non-Muslims who approve of political violence.

    Indeed, it is scary to know than a quarter of Muslims believe that suicide bombing is OK. But the number has little meaning until we compare it to how many non-Muslims approve of similar attacks on civilians.

    The numbers I have seen show that the average American is MORE likely to approve of killing civilians for a political cause than the average Muslim is.

    Surely this comparison takes few Reason readers by surprise. Most Libertarians are well aware that the fetishization of revenge and supreme moral superiority are dominant themes in America”s militarist subcultures, which, by some measures, account for as much as a quarter of adults. I wonder what the average is among, for example, non-Muslim Russians, or Indians or Israelis.

    Yet it does not even occur to the anti-Muslim commenters here to make such comparisons. Many apparently see nothing wrong with rendering judgment with no figures for context or comparison.

    Also missing from the Campaign of Hate against Muslims is any explanation of how the vast majority of the world”s billion plus Muslims manage to live peaceful, productive, hate-free lives — and have done so for centuries. If the Koran actually demands submission and submission to a violent, hateful lifestyle, why have so very many Muslims refused to submit? And if the majority refuse to submit, why insist on defining the religion by the minority who live by a more literal, if stilted, interpretation of the scripture?

    What we have here is classic bigotry: use the bad behavior of a radical minority to tarnish the image of the moderate majority, whose behavior is deemed, usually by omission, as irrelevant.

    The only difference is that the mainstream media is far more accepting of anti-Muslim bigotry than any other strain of bigotry.

    Want to end the rise of your journalism career in one fell swoop, Cathy? Trying writing about Judaism or Afro-America using the same sort of conveniently selective data points you have used to look at Islam, e.g. conflating the small radical minority with religion at large, and see what happens.

  30. Dark: When non-Muslim Russians, or Indians or Israelis start flying planes into buildings, bombing nightclubs, and killing people in riots because of published cartoons, then you’ll have a point.

  31. It isn’t bigotry to tell the truth about Islam. It is the world’s worst religion. The Muslim world is a craphole of poverty, violence, stupidity and injustice.

  32. There’s a problem with “the reality is that an extremist and violent strain is present in modern-day Islam to a far greater extent than in other major religions,” until you have a comparable survey for other religions.

    The article also misrepresents the Pew survey. The only significant percentages are for “native-born African-American Muslims under 30 years of age.” Absent those qualifiers, the asserted risk is almost random.

    I wonder how many of those in X religion think it heroic to go on a suicide military mission for God and country.

  33. “We should familiarize ourselves with these texts and consider the imperatives they raise.”

    You do it. I have better things to do with my time than to read poorly-written fairy tales. (Like read well-written ones; I highly recommend Richard Morgan’s ‘The Steel Remains’.)

  34. Discussion? Fine.

    1) Islam is a lie

    A Satanic lie, no less. But so is secular humanism and all other forms of atheism, which is why there are more alliances between Islamic and atheistic forces in our country than you might expect.

    2) Islam is incompatible with democracy.

    To the contrary, Islam is quite compatible with democracy. Democracy in its purest form is nothing but mob rule, which is why our founding fathers opposed having too much democracy in our USA; they remembered from their history books the catastrophic failure of the democracy of Athens, and wanted to avoid that this time around. Mob rule is very common to Islamic states, even if their elections come somewhat sporadically. When they do have elections, you’ll notice they tend to elect all the worst terrorists, anti-semites, and totalitarians they can find.

    3) Islam is a racist religion.

    Not really; there’s nothing specific in any of its Satanic verses about some race being elevated above any other. There’s plenty of quasi-racial stuff, though: the Koran advocates violence against Jews for their religion, but it’s not always easy for your lowly plain-spoken lay Muslim to understand and appreciate the distinction between Jews and Judaism. Most of the Islamic terrorists will gladly kill a Christian Jew or an atheist Jew as readily as any other Jew.

    4) Islam is a sexist religion.

    Yeah, it’s pretty cruel to women; they’re barely better off than blacks in the Old South’s chattel slavery system were. Of course, modern feminism and sexual libertinism are pretty cruel to them too, but they’re cruel to women more in the “soft bigotry of low expectations” sense we’ve come to expect of all politically correct busybodies. Given the choice between the two, I’m sure I know with which form of sexism those women would prefer to live.

    5) Islam is a homophobic religion.

    “Homophobia” is an Orwellian word made up by the same Molech-state-worshipping psycho-quacks who brought us “drapetomania” and other pseudo-scientific pejorative terms for dissenters from their totalitarian agendas. Therefore, anyone who refers to all opposition to sodomy as “homophobic” is just another idiot shill for the queer oppressors’ totalitarian agenda and is morally equivalent to the Soviets who locked up fellow Russians in mental wards because they obviously had to be insane if they weren’t grateful to be living in a Marxist paradise.

    Taken in its most literal sense, however, the word could legitimately refer to an irrational fear of queers. Islam, by this definition, is not the least bit homophobic: it’s hard to fear people whose very existence is illegal under the laws of your country when you have all the power to kill them and they have no power to defend themselves from you. There are plenty of queers in Islamic nations for all that, but it’s they who live in fear, not their would-be exterminators. (Some of their exterminators are queer too, but they’ve got nothing to fear from queers over whom they hold the power of life and death either.)

    6) Islam is NOT a religion of peace.

    It most certainly isn’t. Mohammed was very much in favor of spreading Islam by the sword in his time, and Muslims make no effort to hide the fact that they seek nothing less than world domination for Islam. All peace negotiations are merely a means of giving them breathing space to get organized for their next campaign. Muslims work hard to make people of other faiths (such as all you fool adherents to atheism on here) pacifists so that they can make war on them more effectively. That’s why pacifism never brings any peace: its real purpose, as shaped by Islam, is to slander and libel our defenders and scam us into throwing away our defenses, that Islam might conquer our lands unhindered.

    Libertarians and other useful idiots who believe in the inherent goodness of mankind and other poorly-written secularist fairy tales are thus working for the very devil they pretend to themselves and others they are opposing. You should not be surprised to find so many of your fellow God-hating fools united in hatred with Islam; you and they used to be united in your demonic hatred for Bush, and you helped sharpen the knives they used to stick in his back and are currently sticking in your back. They are likewise currently grinding the scimitars the Muslims will be using to behead them–and any of you who survive the purges they’ve got planned for anyone who isn’t as worshipful of the “secular” state as they are.

    I suggest you make out your will, if you hold out any hope that any of your betrayers will honor the last wishes of someone as thoroughly devoid of all loyalty and honor as a fool atheist. I also recommend abandoning this secularist folly of yours for the faith of our fathers, but if you don’t, well… let’s just say after seeing how cruel and evil all atheists truly are once you strip away their public facade of decency, I have no difficulty believing in Hell. No one is going there who doesn’t belong there; no amount of horror at seeing the results of your evil here was ever able to dislodge you from adhering to it, so it’s not as if any punishment you receive for your evil there will ever reform you of it either. Hell couldn’t happen to nicer people than you, really.

  35. Theist,

    I hope you didn’t pay more than five dollars for those two-dollar words you filled your post with.

    Protip: your wall-of-bullshit approach to posting means that nobody bothers to read what you have to say.

  36. isildur,

    What Theist has to say makes more sense than your atheistic scripture. More innocents have lost their lives at the hands of atheistic utopians than of any other religion.

  37. Theist has much in common with the followers of radical Islamists. He uses his religion as a framework for fomenting hatred of minority groups, while ignoring the central tenets of his purported faith.

    While theist sees the devil in atheism and is certain people like me will burn in hell, his religion demands: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” — Mark 4.24

    And while theist has obviously done time in an intellectual slow-pitch batting cage — thus his crisp line drives of the sloppy softball lobs The Equestrian threw up for “discussion” — he is probably helpless against a pitcher that is not on his side.

    That is why he has no response to the inconvenient fact that the vast majority of Muslims live peaceful lives bearing no bad will to anyone other than to the extent required for basic self-defense.

    For centuries, hundreds of millions of anonymous Muslims have built hospitals and schools, helped needy neighbors, donated to their mosques, cared for the sick, prayed for peace and love and lived honorable, dignified lives. What about them? If Islam is Satanic, or so violence-prone, why have so many living under it thrived in peace for such a long time?

    Unless and until theist, or anyone else, can answer that question persuasively, there is no point in debating classically bigoted assertions of moral superiority.

    ———

    Mike writes: “When non-Muslim Russians, or Indians or Israelis start flying planes into buildings, bombing nightclubs, and killing people in riots because of published cartoons, then you’ll have a point.”

    —————–

    Mike writes: “When non-Muslim Russians, or Indians or Israelis start flying planes into buildings, bombing nightclubs, and killing people in riots because of published cartoons, then you’ll have a point.”

    The Russians have a long, even storied, record of cruelty and mass murder. Remember Stalin? I’m surprised you are either not aware, or in denial, of the copious U.S. mass media reports accusing the Soviets of sponsoring all manner of terrorism. True or not, the reports were at least plausible, even the tales about how the Soviets would make their bombs in Afghanistan look like toys so kids would pick them up and blow their faces off.

    Interestingly, Bernard Lewis, a scholar of Islam and adviser to Reagan and both Bushes, just last year wrote about how Soviet secret police would deal with their enemies by threatening to kill their entire families and/or by severing body parts, including heads, and then have them delivered to what were deemed the parties responsible for whatever incursion. True enough, Lewis spoke admiringly of these tactics and recommended the U.S. adopt them (he is a Republican, after all) but it is nonetheless worth mentioning as yet another plausible, if unproven, example of atrocious cruelty by parties well outside the Muslim world.

    As for Israelis, didn’t they use the same kind of “cluster bombs” that “look like toys” in Lebanon? Arent there scores of children missing limbs and faces after encountering these Israeli bombs? And did not the Israelis rely on terrorism to help secure the independence of a Zionist state in Palestine in the first place?

    And then there are the Americans – us. Sure, we never mass murdered any Kurds in the mid-1980s, but we certainly did what we could to shield Saddam from any justice for committing the act. Similarly, back when the official line was that communism was the satanic evil to end all evils, we became double-jointed from patting ourselves on the back for aiding and abetting the Islamic terrorists – today”s new evil gang – against the Soviets.

    This isn’t to suggest that aiding and abetting is the exact moral equivalent of doing – but it is well along the way. Nor am I suggesting that the Israel, for example, is a moral equivalent to the fake religious gangster state that the Taliban were running in Afghanistan and now run in parts of Pakistan, or even to theocratic kleptocracy in Iran. The point is simply that terror and inhumanity is where you find it.

    The body count for non-Islamic states in the past 100 years alone is in the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. Islamic radicals count for a few thousands over all that time. That is only one data point, but one we need to answer for.

    Indeed, human rights matter more in industrialized democracies. But this pattern of atrocity holds across the developing world, from Myanmar to Zimbabwe to Chechnya, Venezuela and Cambodia. It is by no means unique to Islam – rather, it correlates directly with natural resource kleptocracies in which control of the oil or minerals enables a tiny elite to dominate far more thoroughly than in developing countries where the rulers cannot afford the layers of security required to maintain an absolute kleptocracy, so must allow more power and wealth to trickle down.

    Pattern recognition is a good thing, but a data point, or even a string of them, mean little outside the full context.

  38. Another refutation left out of the article: Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, who murdered two people at LAX on July 4th, 2002.

    Although since both of the people he murdered, Victoria Hen and Yakov Aminov, were Israeli citizens, I guess it could be argued that they don’t count in Dreyfuss’ tortured definition. But I won’t make it.

  39. Mister DNA,

    Your comment was the winner on my mention of this thread.

    That is one of my favorite National Lampoon covers!

  40. Isildur:

    ” . . . your wall-of-bullshit approach to posting means that nobody bothers to read what you have to say.”

    _______

    I read it, to the end.

    __________________

    As for our Salt Lake teenager . . . Maybe not “jihad” in the usual way, but there are several disturbing indicators. Seems he was wearing a miniature Quran around his neck at the time of the shooting (a detail that somehow escaped disclosure until recently) and shortly before the shootings he’d bragged about his grandfather being “part of the jihad.”

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/05/2.html

    If I’m not mistaken, his cousin “Omerovic” was also jailed for sending threatening jihadic letters to US officals. . . . “Death to US, death to Israel” stuff. Here’s the most complete run down I’ve seen. Mentions eveything except the miniature Quran, which was (apparently) DELIBERTATELY withheld from the media. Wonder why?

    http://islam-watch.org/Serbianna/Utah-shopping-mall-killing-jihad.htm

  41. “For centuries, hundreds of millions of anonymous Muslims have built hospitals and schools, helped needy neighbors, donated to their mosques, cared for the sick, prayed for peace and love and lived honorable, dignified lives. What about them? ”

    they live in your own personal echo chamber. While it is true that the only beneficiaries of muslim charities is muslim people only, I have yet to see in my continent (europe) on single act of mercy from the followers of your cult. Maybe the “honorable” way of life you talk about is when they perform their routine honor killings or beat up their wives, sisters, daughters for dressing up like western w***es.

    And earlier you said: “how the vast majority of the world”s billion plus Muslims manage to live peaceful, productive, hate-free lives — and have done so for centuries. ”

    there is not a single (read well, S-I-G-L-E) muslim majority country that allows any kind of proselitism (and I am being generous here because a large number of muslim country don’t even allow you to carry a bible or a cross) from any other religion other than islam. Anybody that converts from islam in a muslim country is subjected at least to harassment and ostracism, at worst, death.

    So be very careful when you lie about the “hate-free” and productive life carried by muslims. (productive? muslim countries are the bottom for literacy rate and productivity, a country with no oil like Egypt survives on western charity)

    It’s not clear if you are a muslim yourself or a simple muslim apologist (bleeing harted liberal) willing to write lies to advance your propaganda, anyway, you are not less dangerous than the suicide bombers.

    Did you know that a western non-muslim european in order to marry an immigrant muslim woman from north africa must convert and publicly declare at the embassy of morocco, egypt, jordan that christians are animals in order to have permission to marry?

    and before you ask, yes, it’s a true story documented by reports.

    So much for the hate-free, productive, peace loving muslims

    I suggest people to check facts instead of listening to cheap preachers. Even in the “modern” paradise of dubai you are forced to perform ramadan ( = not eat or drinking water during the day) even if you are not muslims.

    So much for the openess and modernity of islam.

    If being muslim is so much a paradise, why not a single one muslim country allows proselitism? what do you have to fear?

    Why muslims in thailand are beheading buddhists? it’s bush’s fault or the jooos?

  42. “let’s just call it ‘violent religious extremism’ in all media from here on out.”-isildur

    While we’re at it we can call violent Marxist movements “violent atheist movements”.

  43. “That is why he has no response to the inconvenient fact that the vast majority of Muslims live peaceful lives bearing no bad will to anyone other than to the extent required for basic self-defense.”

    I have, if you don’t mind.

    muslim immigrants are by far the biggest problem in every country of europe. If it wasn’t for spineless political correctness you would read about how muslims are effectively draining the welfare system with illegal multiple wives (I remark ILLEGAL) and creating no-go areas in many european suburbs.

    This does not match with the rest of immigrants (from other non-muslim part of asia or south america or easter europe) who for the most are more educated and hard working people.

    There are petitions all over europe to ban mosques, do you have an idea why nobody wants to ban buddhist temples?

    Probably nobody wants to hear from the loudspeaker that he is son of apes and pigs.

    Places like Amsterdam and Rotterdam once known for their tolerance towards gays are now subjected to the mob rule of moroccans, several homosexual organizations are finding out the hard way that voting liberal parties in favour of wild immigration is biting them from behind.

    Care to report some more lies?

  44. The DC sniper is another example of domestic attack by Muslim since 9-11.
    One of the attacks that has been foiled since 9-11 was an plot by some Bosnian Muslims to attack a US army base. Their motivation was anger at the US for NOT intervening to stop the massacre of Bosnians by Serbs in the 90s. If we intervene the jihadis are mad cause we intervene, if we don’t they’re mad anyway. My opinion is one more attack in the US on the scale of 9-11 and the gloves will come off. Radical Islam contains the seeds of its destruction.

  45. Back to the Islam slogans…
    “Islam, it’s a blast!”

  46. sorry to add

    “That is why he has no response to the inconvenient fact that the vast majority of Muslims live peaceful lives bearing no bad will to anyone”

    it’s really inconvenient that the vast majority of muslims is ok with living in areas where there is DE FACTO religious apartheid. Is there one single muslim org that is doing something to ban the laws that prevent christians and other religious group from living like second class citizen?

    If islam is to wonderful, why the only places where you have human rights, freedom of religion (or freedom from religion) are the christian based?

    Why all muslim countries signed a declaration of human rights that is extremely different from the one started by UN, that all western countries signed? Muslim countries signed the “cairo declaration of human rightes” where it’s written that all laws are subjected to sharia law (that states the permanent inequality between muslim and non muslim).

    I presume that the vast majority of muslims has no problem with considering non-muslims as inferior and women as inferior gender.

    What were you saying earlier about “hate free”?

  47. Oh boy! The “Wall of Text” battle royal. Who will boor the readers most? Strident atheists or Christians with a sophmoric grasp of their professed faith? Stay tuned to Hit & Run for the excitring conclusion of “Farting in a Whirlwind”.

  48. j sub d

    is sub short for subpar brain?

  49. All you have to do is check out John Stewart and the Daily Show’s trivializing the recent terrorist threats to understand that they do not take these threats remotely serious.

  50. ” . . . The body count for non-Islamic states in the past 100 years alone is in the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. Islamic radicals count for a few thousands over all that time. That is only one data point, but one we need to answer for. . . ”
    _________________

    I agree it’s a dismal record – though one might counter by saying that a significant part of the non-islamic death toll arose during the imposition and maintenance of communist (atheist) dictatorships – and your comparison figure of a “a few thousand” on the islamic side falls grossly short. In that column, I would add the elimination of greek/armenian christians from Turkey, the slaughter of around 3 million Hindus and corrupt/hinduized muslims in Bangladesh, the algeria genocide (explicitly islamist), the 500k Kashmiri pandits currently living as refugees in India after islamic assaults and threats (emanating from mosques) drove them out, and the Sudanese genocide which is ongoing (with the implied and often explicit consent of surrounding arab musim states). Oh! And the more than 20,000 Phillilpino Christians who were driven from their homes in the S. Phillipines just last year (I think thy’re back now, but probably scared sh*tless, just like the Buddhist in S. Thailand) . . . and the last 200 hundred or so Yemeni jews have about had it as well. Moreover, in each of these cases the impetus for the genocide/cleansing was often explicitly islamist/jihadic in nature.

    Along the same lines, it’s also worth noting that since partition the Hindu population in Pak and Bangladesh has fallen precipitously while the muslim population in India remains healthy, and the last christian communities in the ME, after years of harrassment and intimidation, are about done for as well.

    Maybe there’s a pattern there somewhere? Possibly even a “data point!” Who knows?

  51. Gabe (3rd comment), In all seriousness, is Obama part of this plan you speak of? If not, is he unaware of it or is he aware of it and does nothing to expose it?

    If not, how do you suppose you know about it and Obama does not?

  52. Terrorism should be more trivialized. It’s just about the last thing an average American should worry about.

  53. Who will boor the readers most?

    J sub D, was that RC’s law, or was it deliberate?

    Also: GO PENS!

  54. Dark Beergod writes:

    That is why he has no response to the inconvenient fact that the vast majority of Muslims live peaceful lives bearing no bad will to anyone other than to the extent required for basic self-defense.

    During the Jim Crow era, the vast majority of Southerners never took part in a lynching, never burned a black church, and only wanted to to live peaceful, prosperous lives. I guess this means the Jim Crow south was just fine the way it was… the culture and beliefs were the equal of anyone’s anywhere. They were just the victims of bad press caused by a “tiny minority” of their neighbors.

    During the Soviet era, the vast majority of the citizens of the USSR never built the gulag system, nor sent their neighbors off to die in Siberia. Therefore it must’ve been a perfectly fine sociopolitical system. Poor Russians were just more victims of the oppressive Western demonization system.

    At the risk of going all Godwin on you, not even the Axis powers of WWII would fail your test. The majority of the populations of those countries had no direct role in the execution of the war. The rest of the world should have just arrested the worst of the fascists; demonizing all of them would only create more.

    Get it? Your test is a false one. The worst cultures/movements/nations of the past few centuries would all pass it… it proves nothing. Its a dead end way of seeing the world.

  55. j sub d

    is sub short for subpar brain?

    It’s short for “substantially wittier than meg”.
    Thanks for backing up that claim.

  56. Sunburned Spheniscidaen –
    a) RC’s law.
    b) This year Hossa finally gets his name on the cup.

  57. It’s not an Islam problem.

    It’s a religion problem.

    When your invisible puppet-master in the sky gives you inarguable cover for whatever idiocy you want to commit you are a danger to the rest of us.

  58. It’s not the jihad so much as it’s the Sharia….Sharia Law that grows when muslims gain large numbers in a region, due to continued mass immigration.

    Bigot or not, I’m proud of my anti-Islam thoughts and feelings. I consider Islam to be anti-Western, anti-American and if not a complete enemy, a near enemy to be sure. Nothing new though, we’ve been enemies for centuries…..

    It all comes down to immigration…..It’s the immigration, stoopid!

  59. This year Hossa finally gets his name on the cup

    They’ve started adding the Finalist losers’ names to the Cup, too? More than that traitor deserves.

  60. “It’s short for “substantially wittier than meg”.
    Thanks for backing up that claim.”

    boo hoo little subby j, now go back to your sandbox, soon mommy will call you for your supper. The discussion is for adults so you’re not needed here.

  61. rssg said the magic words

    “It’s not the jihad so much as it’s the Sharia….Sharia Law that grows when muslims gain large numbers in a region, due to continued mass immigration.”

    There is not a single muslim majority country that developed any sort of basic human rights for whoever is not muslim. The pathetic defenders of this cult surely won’t be able to find a reason for this, unless they engage in their favourite sport, which is deception and lies.

    PS: children with fake emails don’t need to answer. Instead they should change their diapers ASAP

  62. meg,

    Tell me all about your experiences in the muslim nations you’ve visited. Tell me what Suras of the Quran you find more morally objectionable than Yahweh’s exhortations to murder, commit genocide, practice slavery, institutionalize misogyny and rape.

    I’ve little patience with small minded religious bigots like yourself. Just go visit Lonewacko. You’re kindred spirits.

  63. Thanks Meg…..I’m not an expert but I am quite knowledgable about Islam.

    Islam is not just “another religion”; it’s also very, VERY much a political ideology and one that has been antithetical to the Western tradition for centuries.

    I firmly believe that there should be some “separation” between such divergent cultures.

    I believe the USA should remain a Judeo-Christian based, yes even caucasian majority, English speaking country. Those potential immigrants who don’t agree with that should be come here (or even be allowed to come here).

    Culture, race, ethnicity matter. You see that in Comrade Chairman Obama and his Supreme Court pick Sotomayer. They both have “different” views on the rule of law, justice, immigration, economics and much of that “difference” is due to the fact that they are non-caucasian (although Barry-boy is really not black either, he’s of course, bi-racial).

  64. Ask yourself, if Islam is so great, why don’t they have indoor plumbing throughout the Middle East? Islam has reined supreme for some 1400 years and they still don’t have indoor toilets for everyone? Hmmm….

    Islam is a totalitarian ideology. Women are 3rd class citizens at best.

    So why are we letting them populate the West in such high numbers, building mosques and pushing for Sharia Law?

    You masturbating “intellectuals” couldn’t find your rear-end with both hands. Smart but no common sense. Don’t have the sense to identify your own enemy, instead you cry on and on about American Christians. What fools….

  65. J sub D:

    Meg may indeed be a small minded bigot, but it’s undeniably true that the punishment for a sane, male muslim apostate is death ( I can supply literally hundreds of example of threats and assaults in a variety of countries) and that those who practice their non-islamic faith too publically or exercise their freedom of speech and conscience by sharing their faith (proselyizing) in islamic countries are routinely attacked/persecuted/prosecuted, etc. in accordance with islamic law.

  66. silly subpar, what makes you think i am a religious bigot? or christian? or jew? I am merely stating facts.

    I told you already, your diapers need change, they smell bad. Call an adult or your nurse.

    You’re not mentally qualified to engage in a discussion.

    Enjoy when parts of sharia will be included in your local law to appease the muslims’ sensibilities in order not to burn down some night clubs or synagogue while you’ve been worrying and whining about Yahweh or Buddah like the idiot that looks at the finger when it points to the moon.

    Enjoy your religion of peace. And keep on screaming like an hysterical banshee about methodists and hare krishna.

  67. I firmly believe that there should be some “separation” between such divergent cultures.

    I believe the USA should remain a Judeo-Christian based, yes even caucasian majority, English speaking country.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …

    The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

    Perhaps you should seek some nation who’s laws are more in tune with your beliefs.

  68. meg,

    Sharia? You’re not fucking serious, are you?

    Engaging you in rational convesation is apparently fruitless. Go listen to Michael Savage and see if you’ve missed any new “OMG! The Muslims!” talking points.

  69. Baked Penguin,

    I propose a friendly wager on the Stanley Cup Finals.

    I’ll take the Red Wings, You take the Penguins.
    Loser has to spend the night with meg.

  70. Meg may indeed be a small minded bigot, but it’s undeniably true that the punishment for a sane, male muslim apostate is death ( I can supply literally hundreds of example of threats and assaults in a variety of countries) and that those who practice their non-islamic faith too publically or exercise their freedom of speech and conscience by sharing their faith (proselyizing) in islamic countries are routinely attacked/persecuted/prosecuted, etc. in accordance with islamic law.

    Those intolerant assholes!

    Exo 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

    Deut 21:18-21 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

    2 Chr 15:13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

    Lev 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

    Lev 24:16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.

    Exo 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

    Deuteronomy 22:21-24 “But if the thing is true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of the city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has wrought folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; so you shall purge this evil from Israel.”

    There’s a lot more evil bullshit where that came from.

  71. See meg,

    I can do a wall of text too.

  72. subpar mind

    still with your crapped diapers? no need to smell, you are full of it.

    Muslim taxi drivers in minneapolis almost succeed in their pursue of the right of NOT carrying people with alcohol or women or people with bacon. They are 60%, wait til they are 90%. Wait till in places like Dearborn they reach 10-20%. Wait till the public facilities like swimming pool and gym will be closed to westerners because muslim women must be free to uncover themselves without infidel men around.

    Count how many universities have a prayer room just for muslims (and zero praying facilities for anybody else?), count how many public places have built footbaths (for muslims only) financed with YOUR money, retard, so much for your separation of church and state. Or you probably don’t pay taxes since you are on welfare.

    Where is your freedom to criticize muhammed, where are the cartoons, you vile idiot? You have already submitted and you don’t even realize it because you’re simply too stupid.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

    Thanks to the useful idiots there won’t be an stablishment of religion (any religion) but a fascist totalitarian cult like islam

    When I read about stupid idiots like yourself, I think that you deserve it.

    Have you bought your prayer rug already, a$$wipe?

  73. “I’ll take the Red Wings, You take the Penguins.
    Loser has to spend the night with meg.”

    you are disqualified entirely, since it’s clear you are sexually impotent

    BOO HOO, the bible is EEEEVVVVILLLLL

    You probably like islam because you can beat up and rape a woman as much as you please.

    Half-men like yourself have this kind of mentality, that’s why all the losers of the world convert to islam.

  74. meg,

    Don’t ever change. Comic relief, even unintentional, is always needed.

    BTW, I lived in Dearborn (Henry Ford’s hometown, yea!) from ’96 – ’02. A hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism it isn’t. You see some hajibs, but hardly any burkas. In fact, it is a very pleasant city and the muslims make fine neighbors.

    When they’re firing Hamas issued AK-47s into the air screaming “Allah Akbar! Death to infidels!” it’s a little annoying. But you get used to it.

  75. Dark beergod: “The numbers I have seen show that the average American is MORE likely to approve of killing civilians for a political cause than the average Muslim is. ”

    Data, please.

  76. “A hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism it isn’t. You see some hajibs, but hardly any burkas. In fact, it is a very pleasant city and the muslims make fine neighbors. ”

    yeah, that’s probably the only time in your life when they gave you a woman (in exchange for a camel or something, or they gave you the camel and you didn’t notice the difference)

    We have already established that people without brain like youself desperately need a controlling cult that regulates every aspect of your life. Freedom is too complicated. Better being forced to pray with your ass in the air.

    That is for the loosers like yourself. The rest begs to differ.

    Intelligence is what share human from animals, but you are still ape-level, evidently.

  77. @ meg-

    that’ll do pig, that’ll do

  78. We have an Islamic radical president that “won” an election. That would not have been the case were it not for the useful idiots in the media would not report the very basics found in his background which include five generations of COMMUNISTS (including his parents) and mentors.

    He was not vetted and would not pass a security clearance necessary to even work at the White House!

    Trolls: Wait until the “African-Americans” discover that the ONE has roots back to the slave traders (black Arabs) that captured and sold other tribes into slavery! Imbeciles that are responsible for putting this traitor into office are pathetic. I can’t stand McCain but Obama, really? How stupid are you?

  79. Whoa. Did someone out in the wide world of the internet link this comment thread in such a way as to send this flood of douchebags our way?

    In a way, it’s entertaining to watch — religious goofballs wielding pretentious sophomore philosophy student verbiage is kind of like dogs riding bicycles. It’s not that they do it well; it’s that they do it at all.

    You keep on fighting the, uh… good fight. For whoever linked you here and told you that a libertarian blog was a good place to take a stand for Jesus.

  80. —-Hopefully not the drafters of the ignored memo that warned of exactly such an attack.—

    This is another liberal big lie. Keep repeating it until everybody believes it. The intelligence memo in question simply said that aircraft could be hijacked which until September 11th meant controlled and ransomed.

    In this case the ransom that would be sought was the release of ‘Blind Sheikh’ Omar Abdel Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists,” the memo says in part.

    ? An allegation that al Qaeda had been considering ways to hijack American planes to win the release of operatives who had been arrested in 1998 and 1999. ….

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/10/bush.briefing/

    Just a big lie. Someday I’ll hear a lefty tell the truth and I’ll be shocked.

  81. Hey Rush!!

    There’s a retard posting under your name at Reason Hit and Run!

    Rush Limbaugh | May 29, 2009, 8:44pm | #

    If only we had tortured more people and jailed them indefinitey without habeas corpus, imagine how much freer America would be.

  82. hi idiot, is it still possible to carry a bottle of vodka on cabs in minneapolis? Libertarian? Reading your post I’d say liber-retarded.

    What’s the taste of halal food, liber-retarded? I bet you already eat it without knowing it.

    I guess it’s a lib-retarded chic thing, being whipped by camel riders and complaining about jeeeeezuuuus.

    Have a nice day lib-retarded, sharia lovers will take your whinings into high consideration

  83. —–The numbers I have seen show that the average American is MORE likely to approve of killing civilians for a political cause than the average Muslim is. —

    Another made up fact from an self-loathing American lefty!

  84. —As for Israelis, didn’t they use the same kind of “cluster bombs” that “look like toys” in Lebanon? Arent there scores of children missing limbs and faces after encountering these Israeli bombs?—

    I call bull fecal material. Give a citation (one not from a drooling lefty site) or your former cellulose that smells bad.

  85. the only scores of children missing lambs and faces are the ones disfigured by muslims because they weren’t wearing a burka.

    So I’d say it’s a self inflicted problem, please lib-retardians, try not to import this problem in your neighbourhood only because you want to appear so “evolved”.

  86. @meg

    You’re wasting your time here. This site is frequented by libertine (definitely not libertarian!) asshats that think it’s the world’s responsibility to provide them with a playground for nihilists. The suggestion that the world and some of it’s people might be sufficiently dangerous to justify putting some restrictions on their entertainment will be discounted out of hand. These clowns could rationalize singing “What, me worry?” while a nuclear bomb was detonating in their backyards. Rule number #1: Never harsh the buzz!

  87. well you’re right, they succeed in the apparently impossible mission of sounding stupider than the leftists.

    if you stand for nothing, you fall for everything

  88. Loser has to spend the night with meg.

    Damn, J sub, you are confident. I was going to suggest pink slips to our cars or something.

  89. Also: Lonewacko, when people tell you to shut the fuck up, they don’t mean “post under a different handle”, they mean “shut the fuck up”.

    Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

  90. I can’t really be arsed to get into a rant about much how much I hate religion

    I will say that I was over in Turkey this week and its a refreshing country to visit
    Everyone was drinking beers, the chicks are uber hot and walk about wearing normal clothes.

    Basically all religion is retarded left-wing doo-gooder shite

    but trying to argue that one is worse than another is dumb

    Turkey’s not alot different than any other northern mediterrainian country and actually Spain France Italy portugal etc are uber-pink and won’t let business open on a Sunday,

    in Turkey business just closes when they do that god awful shouting from the mosques but that’s optional and not enforced by any law unlike other european countries that conduct religious persecution of business by law

  91. The fact that they were motivated by a an extremist Islamic faith to commit the acts makes the use of the term appropriate. The fact that we have to even discuss whether the use of the term is ‘okay’ is absurd. Silly stuff for a magazine called “Reason”.

  92. AHLAHYUU AKBAIRR!!!!

    GIUYZZ PLS DIE ALL THX

  93. Yeah, well, I don’t read the NYT much anymore.

    Too many other sources are available that don’t edit reality quite so arrogantly.

  94. Whoa. Did someone out in the wide world of the internet link this comment thread in such a way as to send this flood of douchebags our way?

    Somebody must be re-sodding the Little Green Football field, leaving a whole gang of emotionally stunted rageaholics temporarily homeless.

    Jesus F. Christ, you idiots are dull. Shouldn’t you be out picking fights with the 9/11 truthers?

  95. The problem with Islam is that, like Christianity during the dark and Middle Ages, it’s not just a religion. It’s an all-encompassing culture that lacks boundaries between religion and government.

    When we welcome Chinese refugees, we don’t expect them to bring their communist form of government with them. But Islamic fundamentalist immigrants do just that.

    Perhaps, generally speaking, Islam simply isn’t as evolved as modern Christianity. Maybe we are watching them work through their own dark ages.

  96. Jane: Muslims Americans are among the most integrated of immigrants we have. All but a tiny handful have no problem whatsoever keeping their religion separated from American laws.
    Perhaps you acknowledge this by noting that it is “fundamentalist” Muslims who decline to be separated from their putrid ideological baggage. That would certainly ring true and they are indeed troublesome minority, but one that only a bigot would attempt to use to define the majority.
    You make the comparison with Chinese. Indeed, they’ve got fundamentalists to. If you care to see what they think, check out some chinese american blogs and chat groups after the U.S. killed a few chinese by accidentally bombing their embassy in Serbia.

    and then there’s this:

    3-Chord Sloth writes:
    “During the Jim Crow era, the vast majority of Southerners never took part in a lynching, never burned a black church, and only wanted to to live peaceful, prosperous lives.”

    Exactly. Proves my point. While the Jim Crow advocates were 99.9 percent Christian, no one can rationally suggest that the religion of Jesus caused or, even, was philosophically pre-disposed to Jim Crow. Rather, it is far more rational to conclude that the imposition of Jim Crow — while often justified by convenient interpretations of Christian scripture — is in fact the work of hateful bigots using Christianity as a mask for their gangster-like methods of getting and keeping power.

    Same goes for the Russians, communism and the gulag.

    3CS writes: ”The vast majority of the citizens of the USSR never built the gulag system, nor sent their neighbors off to die in Siberia.”

    And no one sane ever claimed that Karl Marx’s economic program is a satanic command to mass murder. Stalin is guilty of Stalinism: communism was merely the ideological framework he used to impose a gangster state, hardly different — other than in scale — from the way the Taliban have used Islam as their excuse to rob, rape and amass power.
    If there was something intrinsically murderous about communism, we wouldn’t have so many examples of fruitful amalgamations.
    Western Europe got along with an adapted form Marxism just fine, and today is an amalgam of statist and capitalist economies — seeing through an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. Then there’s China. Still run exclusively by the Communist Party and formally committed to the philosophies of Marx and Lenin, yet, of late, owning almost a third of U.S. Treasury debt and major stakes in banks from Morgan Stanley to Bank of America.
    Indeed, not all Russians were mass murderers, even though so many were committed communists and schooled extensively in Marxist thinking.
    Turns out, it’s totalitarianism, not communism per se, that brings out the murderers. Remember the Nazis?

    Bigots always use the same dull tool: they take the worst behaviors of a minority within a group and insist ad nauseum that those behaviors define the group’s majority. In the process, they often stumble trip on the doo doo of their own thoughts, just as 3CS has here.

    The challenge stands: unless you can explain how and why so many Muslims have managed to live peaceful, hate-free lives for CENTURIES, you can’t claim their philosophy demands violence and hatred.

    I am not “defender” of Islam. Rather, my whole point is to simply allow the world’s Muslims to defend their own faith by their actions, not by someone else’s interpretation of their scripture, nor by the actions of a radical minority within.

    I do, however, stand with the world’s majority Muslims who are on the front lines in the war against the fake-religious gangsters who have used Islam in name only to camouflage their gangster, totalitarian power grabs.

    The only force that can defeat radical Islam is moderate Islam. And I am right behind anyone who is at the forefront of defeating radical Islam.

    For the record, I don’t like Islam and I even dislike it more than I dislike Christianity or Buddhism, to cite two other examples. But I have no beef with any of anyone group that chooses to practice these religions, given the abundance of evidence that they CAN do so fruitfully, even if not all followers do so.

  97. There is an error in Cathy Young’s interpretation of the orignal Pew Research Center study.

    From the original study: “Asked whether they think of themselves first as an American or first as a Muslim, a 47% plurality of U.S. Muslims say they consider themselves Muslims first; 28% say they think of themselves first as Americans…. The poll finds that one’s identification as Muslim or American also relates to opinions about Muslim extremism. For example, 13% of those who think of themselves primarily as Muslims believe that suicide bombing to defend Islam from its enemies can be often or sometimes justified, compared with 4% of those who say they are American first.”

    This indicates that the real percentage of American Muslims who “felt that suicide bombings in defense of Islam were justified in at least some cases” is over 4% but much less than 13%.

  98. The most interesting part of this article – which deserved far more attention – was the phrase “initiated with the help of an FBI informant.”

    Now, let me guess. An FBI informant, looking for Moslem terrorists, would recruit at A) the nearest Jewish synagogue. B) at the nearest Mormon temple, or C) at the nearest Muslim mosque? Which countries are our government dropping bombs on? A) the state of Utah, which has a large Mormon population; B) Spain, which is mostly Catholic; C) Buddhist/Shinto Japan, or D) primarily Moslem countries?

    The FBI is selecting the Politically-Correct Enemy du Jour. In an earlier generation, the FBI played similar games with “right wing terrorists”, to the point that anybody who supports the Constitution is lumped in with Timothy MacVeigh; prior to that, it was Black terrorists, and before that it was “dangerous anarchists.” It has become folk wisdom: if somebody in your group encourages violence, he works for the government. Isolate him for your own safety.

    Why do we play along with the FBI’s efforts to create a culture of fear?

    Why is our government not only not providing for but discouraging “a well-regulated militia, which is necessary to the security of a free state?” Are we more of a police state than a free state?

  99. I have a Muslim friend at school.

    He is one of the nicest people I know. He is practicing, but no more extreme than any weekly-service-attending Christian.

    He has often be disgusted by the hatred he sees. You want to kill all those freaky people who force women to wear veils, but you might hit closer to home.

    DONT KILL MY FRIEND!

  100. So is all the violence committed by Christian, Buddhist, atheist, etc. societies of the past and present motivated by their religious beliefs as well? That’s the part I don’t get.

  101. Zoltan;

    Some people use ideologies and religions to cultivate identification insecurity as a way to control people by encouraging them to support violence.

    If I can convince you, the Green man, that the Purple man is a threat to your identity, you are more likely to pay me taxes and more likely to avoid criticizing my misrule, since I am the defender of your identity.

    This has been true of Christianity and, indeed, atheist creeds such as Stalinism and Marxism. Buddhism, not so much.

    If you read the Bible, you will find any number of exhortations to violence, etc. in the name of “God.”

    At the same time, you will find many refutations of violence in the very same book, and most Christians choose peace. Because most Christians choose peace, we should know Christianity as a religion of peace, even though a there is a history of some Christians using their faith as a rallying point for violence, etc.

    Same applies to Islam, or any other religion.

    If you’re looking for a pattern to violence and mass murder, how about

  102. So is all the violence committed by Christian, Buddhist, atheist, etc. societies of the past and present motivated by their religious beliefs as well? That’s the part I don’t get.

    It’s very simple. Some people are evil assholes and will kill others for the most selfish and idiotic reasons imaginable. If you cloak your hatred or greed (evil) in a religion or a “great cause” (the proletariat, fatherland etc.) it is easier to convince simple minded folks like some posters upthread that judging folks by something other than their actions is acceptable.

    A wonderful quote from Steven Weinberg (with my minor additions for inclusiveness in italics) –

    I think that on the balance the moral influence of religion and moral crusades has been awful. With or without religion and moral crusades, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil. But for good people to do evil — that takes religion or a moral crusade

    The day after religion was invented some people were looking for a way to pervert it to advance their own evil, selfish or just banal desires.

  103. There is a relvant item in the NY Times today.

    Who thinks this is the work of an Islamic fundamentalist?

  104. The day after religion was invented some people were looking for a way to pervert it to advance their own evil, selfish or just banal desires.

    I’d say probably before it was invented. Religion just gave them the emotional strong-arm. Just like any other irrational ideology, like Marxism, of course.

  105. “Who thinks this is the work of an Islamic fundamentalist?”

    Dr Who performed abortions?

    I fought he was more concerned with time travel

  106. If God really wanted total obedience, why didn’t he just make us totally obedient? If your answer is that he wanted to test the faithful, then why should men force other men to obey the purported word of God when God didn’t see fit to force obedience himself?

    The Mormon answer is that the Devil wanted total obedience, and God wanted us to have free agency (or just “agency” to LDSers). And how we use that free agency is a test of the faithful, and determines which of the degrees of heavens we get into.

    Which is why Mormons tend to be extremely nice people — they want really badly to get into the best heaven, and that is in part contingent upon being really nice to others.

    Whereas the fundamentalist take on this is that we are supposed to surrender our agency and be obedient to Allah — with said obedience being defined by certain religious authorities.

    This tends to result in people who are less cordial to others who hold alternative views, and by “less cordial” I mean “sometimes flying planes into skyscrapers”.

    /Sunday theology lesson

  107. As for the Islam’s branding problem, how about “Free Blowjobs?” That will get ’em into the tent.

  108. 6:20 post should read:

    Whereas the fundamentalist Islamic take on this is that we are supposed to surrender our agency and be obedient to Allah — with said obedience being defined by certain religious authorities.

    ***

    Preview!

  109. As for the Islam’s branding problem, how about “Free Blowjobs?” That will get ’em into the tent.

    Presumably at least a few of the 72 virgins would be teachable in this regards.

    But making it more explicit would likely gather a few more gullible horny young men into the fold.

  110. As for the Islam’s branding problem, how about “Free Blowjobs?” That will get ’em into the tent.

    My take on this was more like
    Islam, the chicks are not too good looking, but they can’t say no

  111. Tony | May 30, 2009, 11:31am | #

    Terrorism should be more trivialized. It’s just about the last thing an average American should worry about.

    I agree.

  112. George Tiller doesn’t really strike me as your average American. Not that anyone’s death or injury from terrorism or otherwise should be trivialized in the slightest degree.

  113. Why is this not being recognized as yet another instance of FBI agents plotting terrorist acts against the people and government of the US, and then seeking operatives to carry it out? Why isn’t that the most significant story?

    Whatever the alleged motivation – isn’t that the reality? Isn’t it, in fact, what happened here, as it has been with numerous previous such “plots?”

    Do you really believe that anything the government does is meant to protect you? Why?

  114. Unfortunately, Islam is one of the misunderstood and highly targeted religion in the world right now. We can not forget that Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Buddhists all have extremist branches. Recently we just saw an act of religious terrorism with the execution of the abortion doctor over the weekend. Islam has been cornered with such persecution and disdain over the past thirty years, I don’t know if Islam can be peaceful when its back is up against the wall like this. Western media and Right Wing Christians have absolutely no clue about what Islam is, and if a Muslim in the West wants to speak up and defend his/her religion, then they will be branded a supporter of terrorism. They simply can not win and the media is not helping either. The media hurts marginalized groups by adhering to their political agenda.

  115. Victor,
    It seems that the Cathy Young supporters here do not read any of the facts related to the case. The people here worship the government and believe that they would never tell a lie. They think that the governemnt loves them and it is just trying to save us. They think what you are talking about is a “conspiracy theory”…this phrase makes their eyes roll into the back of their head and it completely freezes their brain proccesses.

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