Civil Liberties

"Moderate Muslim" Is Not an Oxymoron

Islamophobes believe there's something intrinsically incompatible about Muslims and free countries. They're wrong.


Lars Hedegaard is a Danish journalist who has made his name denouncing Islam, which he describes as "a totalitarian system of thought" whose adherents "rape their own children." Last month, someone showed up at his door with a gun and fired a shot that missed him.

It's just what you would expect of those crazy Muslims, isn't it? Except that in the aftermath, Hedegaard found Muslims across Denmark were conspicuously un-crazy. They did not applaud the assailant or excuse his motives. Instead, they condemned the attack and upheld Hedegaard's freedom to preach unhinged bigotry.

One group even rallied in Copenhagen to disavow such violence. A Dane whose family came from Afghanistan told The New York Times, "We don't defend Hedegaard's views but do defend his right to speak."

Oh, but consider what happened last year when a far-right group marched in front of Berlin mosques carrying signs with caricatures of Mohammed, which Muslims consider forbidden. Sure enough, a subsequent bombing was blamed on Muslims -- a bombing in Sudan. In Germany, however, imams asked the faithful to ignore the provocation, and they did.

quixotic54 / photo on flickr

These episodes raise the possibility that European (and American) Muslims are not as rabid as they are commonly portrayed by their most vehement critics. Remember the uproar in 2006 after a Danish newspaper published cartoons of Mohammed? There were riots by Muslims -- but in the Middle East and Africa, not Europe. When a German paper published the images, local Muslims responded with a shocking display of restraint.

This is the rule, not the exception. Muslim terrorism, which was expected to explode after 9/11, is slightly less common on the continent than kangaroos. In 2010, Europe had 249 documented terrorist attacks or plots, of which only three involved Muslims. In 2011, there were 174 such episodes -- with Muslims accounting for zero.

Same story on this side of the pond. A new report from the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and RTI International says, "For the second year in a row, there were no fatalities or injuries from Muslim-American terrorism." Since 9/11, it said, such terrorists have killed 33 people in the United States -- a poor showing compared to the 200-plus slain by right-wing extremists.

Of course, a group can be extreme and intolerant without engaging in outright slaughter of those it hates. Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, claims, "A vast number of Muslims, those living in Europe and the Americas no less than those elsewhere, harbor an intense hostility to the West."

You can reach that conclusion only if you pay no attention to what ordinary Muslims say. Most bear as much resemblance to Pipes' lurid portrait as they do to Dolly Parton.

Muslim immigrants in France say they have more in common with French people in general than with people of their own religion or national origin. American Muslims are more likely than their neighbors to express contentment with the state of the country and with their own lives. "Muslims appear to be among the least disenchanted and most satisfied people in the West," concludes journalist Doug Saunders in his 2012 book, "The Myth of the Muslim Tide."

"Intense hostility," you would think, would breed support for terrorism. But with intense hostility scarce, so is sympathy for militants. Among Muslims in Germany, only 1 percent say "attacks on civilians are morally justified." Same with those in France.

Some 8 percent of American Muslims approve of such attacks in some cases -- which sounds high until you recall that 24 percent of all Americans say such attacks are "often or sometimes justified."

If you hear someone in this country preaching violent resistance to the federal government or law enforcement, it's more likely to be a Texas secessionist than a fanatical follower of Islam. Across Western nations, writes Saunders, "support for violence and terrorism among Muslims is no higher than that of the general population, and in some cases it is lower."

The assumption among Islamophobes is that there is something intrinsically alien and incompatible about the presence of Muslims in free countries. In truth, they are not visibly different from other groups that have arrived with the mindset of the past and found themselves transformed into tolerant, loyal and law-abiding souls who value democracy and liberty.

Free societies have a way of doing that.

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  1. When a German paper published the images, local Muslims responded with a shocking display of restraint.

    So the standard for "moderate" is now not trying to murder anyone who draws a picture of Muhammad?

    1. Yes! That is the standard, obviously.

      And moderate Neo-Nazis are the ones who haven't killed any Jews recently, moderate Klansmen are the ones who just burn crosses but usually don't light families on fire.

      Get with the program!

      1. What century do you live in? Oh wait.....

    2. Yeah that's grading on a curve.

      1. But it's a legitimate question.

        We call social conservatives that are Christian who wish to impose their values through the democratic process "fundamentalists" or "extremists".

        So if a Muslim voting bloc organized behind a support for strict sharia law, passed in a democratic and peaceful fashion, would that make them extremists or moderates? Because if terrorists are extremists, and cartoon rioters are fundamentalists, then does that make the Muslim Jerry Falwell a moderate?

        1. No, that would make the Muslim Jerry Falwell an anarchist. But otherwise, good point...

          Democracy =/= Peaceful

          Force is force, and violence is violence. Violence at the behest of an orderly mob is no less violent.

          1. "Force is force, and violence is violence. Violence at the behest of an orderly mob is no less violent."
            10 Points!!
            I will DEFINITELY plagiarize that!

            1. I give it to you Voluntarily.

          2. Democracy DOES NOT = Peace. Ask that lamb surround by the Wolf Pack.

        2. "So if a Muslim voting bloc organized behind a support for strict sharia law, passed in a democratic and peaceful fashion, would that make them extremists or moderates?"

          Depends what everyone else is doing. But it mostly makes them assholes.

          I think that the words "moderate" or "extreme" are useless here. Are they hurting other people or forcing other people to do anything? If not, I don't care what they do or think or say.

          1. Democratic coercion hurts other people and exerts force on them, right?

            That's the point.

            1. Oh, absolutely. That's why it would make them assholes. Whether they are extreme or not depends on what else is happening and what other people do.

    3. "Moderate" is always relative. And that's a good start, I guess.

      1. Perhaps we should use better terminology.

        Maybe "lukewarm" like Evangelical Christians might call a "moderate" in their midst...

      2. Moderate/Independent means voting for the future of my country based on the latest NYT headlines.

  2. And it doesn't matter that most Muslims are moderate. Most Russians were not fanatical communists. Most Germans were not Nazis. The radicals don't need the support of the majority. They just need it to stand aside, which "moderate' Muslims appear to be doing.

    1. This is a point I've been making for years and I think it's a logical one. Part of the problem here relates to the nature of large collective humanity and its relationship to power which tends toward obedience and submission. If you analyze even the local society it is a bit stunning how 'proper' folks particularly within a family setting are easily ruled. I don't believe this means their conscience or logic is ruled but their actions are clearly dominated by those with the ability to mete out punitive results to insubordination.

      What we might be looking at is clear evidence that masses of humanity can be ruled with disturbing ease as long as the power base over them evokes a considerable level of fear. It is this fear that I'm also interested in. The fear that has to be evoked for mass crowd control MUST be in sharp contrast to that which is 'normal' in the 'proper' context.

      In the examples you provide one can notice the blindingly obvious divergence between normality and brutality. On one side we have the mass that is obedient which actually prospers while the few who deviate on any level suffer quickly and violently.

      Furthermore, I tend to believe that the recipe of divergence might contain a measure of predictability in regards to the evolution of open-ish societies to closed and dictated societies.

    2. Correct. A "Moderate" Muslim will not stand up to the radicals - no more than a moderate Nazi Party member would stand up to the SS.

      At times in the past, Muslims have proven able to live peaceably as minorities. Once they get up over a quarter of the population, the peace ends.

      1. Vehement anti-Nazis didn't generally stand up to the SS. What would the point have been?

        They might have joined the Underground, especially if they had no family that the Nazis could kill if they were caught. But "standing up" just meant a quick shot to the head.

  3. "moderate Muslim" is the new euphemism for silent majority? If so, then the group is useless. Outliers and radicals of most movements command the media spotlight; the so-called moderates acquiesce by saying nothing. After a while, silence becomes acceptance.

    1. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

      Most Baptists don't waltz around denouncing Fred Phelps, and that's because he has nothing whatever to do with them, in any way. Likewise, Kermit the Frog is not obliged to weigh in on the platform of the Green Party.

      I don't expect all Muslims to spend their time waltzing around denouncing Al Qaeda, because they have nothing to do with each other.

    2. That sounds...oddly...familiar. Almost like there's a country operating on that very same idea.

      1. Well, the difference is Fred Phelps is not recognized or supported by any mainstream Christian organization. His church is literally composed of family members.

        Muslim terrorism, on the other hand, has a not insignificant number of supporters around the world, including wealthy and powerful people.

        I don't expect Muslims to denounce terrorism in some ritualistic loyalty oath type fascism, but I've spoken to otherwise reasonable, intelligent, articulate, and friendly people who held beliefs that I would consider to be extreme and perhaps dangerous. It's very perplexing.

        1. " I've spoken to otherwise reasonable, intelligent, articulate, and friendly people who held beliefs that I would consider to be extreme and perhaps dangerous. "

          That's what "progressives" think about libertarians.

          Just sayin'.

          1. Well this guy was shocked and disgusted that we didn't execute homosexuals for their perversion.

            This was not some bearded turban wearing wild eyed fanatic. He was dressed like a normal college student. I think he went to the mosque once a week, and I know for a fact he missed prayers once a day at least.

            Now I know plenty of Christians, plenty of very conservative Christians. I've heard a lot of stupid things about gay people. I've heard a lot of suggestions for how to "fix" them, or even that it should be illegal. I've never heard someone tell me to my face that it should be a capital crime.

            Just my experiences.

            1. I've never heard someone tell me to my face that it should be a capital crime.

              Perhaps not, but there certainly are Christians who do think the same way.

              1. Didn't say there weren't, but I don't know of a Christian nation where homosexuality is a capital crime. Which it certainly is in many Muslim nations.

                There are similarities, but there are differences as well.

                1. Buggery was a capital crime in Canada. WAS, to be sure, not IS, but still.

                  Ditto for the UK.

                2. Christians in some African nations are agitating for it. Martin Ssempa in Uganda has been explicitly agitating for capital punishment for the gays, and he has quite a bit of support for it.

              2. I don't think any Xtians that think homosexuality should be a capital crime. If so, they would tell you. They don't seem to worried about public opinion, do they?

                1. In fact, the only political group I know of that supports executing innocent people are progressives, many of whom are open about their desire to see guillotine style executions of wealthy people.

            2. Wow. That IS scary.

              My experience was that Muslim college students in America (in this case a number of Turks who worked for me in San Diego, and a lot of their friends) were shocked and disgusted that bars closed at 2AM when they were just beginning to party.

              While some were quite curious about American gay culture that was unfamiliar to them, I never heard anything remotely like what you describe, expressed.

              1. Well he was a Saudi. I would imagine Turks would be a lot more relaxed.

                1. I would imagine Turks would be a lot more relaxed.

                  And much more curious about gay culture. Just saying...

                  1. Joey, have you ever been in a... in a Turkish prison?

            3. I've never heard someone tell me to my face that it should be a capital crime.

              You must have seen people here claim many times that B&E and theft should be capital crimes.

              1. I've seen people here claim they have the right to defend themselves with lethal force, and that they are not required to justify their thinking to anyone when they shoot someone who's on their property in the middle of the night.

                1. If the LAPD can shoot random people on a public street, surely I can shoot a teenager taking a shortcut across my front lawn, right?

                2. ^ Yep. Shooting somebody on your property that you perceive as a threat is a bit different from hunting them down after the fact and electrocuting them.

                3. I've seen people here claim they have the right to defend themselves with lethal force, and that they are not required to justify their thinking to anyone when they shoot someone who's on their property in the middle of the night.

                  I absolutely agree with the right to self-defense using lethal force. What I disagree with is killing someone who came into your home but is no threat or killing someone who is running away with something they stole from your house.

                  1. What are they running away with?

                    Your child?

                    1. What are they running away with?

                      Something that came from inside your home. It doesn't matter really, in ever case the stated penalty was death by gunshot.

                    2. If it's my child, and I have a clear shot at the kidnapper, I would shoot, and it would be legal. It DOES matter what he's running away with.

                      Caveat: I am a competitive shooter and I know my limits. I don't recommend doing that otherwise, even if it's moral to do it.

                    3. If it's my child, and I have a clear shot at the kidnapper, I would shoot, and it would be legal. It DOES matter what he's running away with.

                      It's an item, not a person. This argument has come up several times before and I've always been informed by the killers that it is perfectly libertarian to kill someone who stole from you and is not a threat to you. It is also perfectly libertarian to kill someone who broke into your house and is not a threat to you. In both cases, this is because the other person initiated force against you and it is perfectly acceptable to answer initiated force with disproportionate force.

                    4. Even Willie Nelson agrees with that -- you can't hang a man for shooting a woman who's trying to steal his horse.

                  2. "What I disagree with is killing someone who came into your home but is no threat or killing someone who is running away with something they stole from your house."

                    You often hear a whinier version of this argument from Regressive.

                    What adherents to this argument fail to grasp is that if someone is going to go through the trouble of breaking into your house, they're almost certainly going to be armed and willing to kill to avoid prison, assuming murder isn't what they're there for in the first place.

                    1. . . . course, the standard Leftist retort to this is some BS about the perpetrator being the real victim who's only acting out of desperation from being expolited by eeeeevil Capitalism, and that anyone willing to kill a person to defend property deserves to be raped and murdered anyway.

                    2. I don't think "almost certainly" means what you think it means. Based on the DOJ's National Crime Victimization Survey of 2010 "Thirty percent of individuals experiencing violence during a completed burglary faced an armed offender."

                      That's not to take away from your broader point that an intruder in your home is a significant threat to your safety that could easily justify pre-emptive force.

                      Still, it particularly bothers me when libertarians -- like so many others on both the Left and the Right -- make up facts to justify their emotional knee-jerk beliefs. For us it's like cheating in a basketball game against a bunch of five-year olds. It just isn't necessary and it makes us all look like assholes.

                  3. Um, if you shot someone in the back while they were trying to flee, you'd be brought up on charges. You can't under law shoot someone in the back if they are trying to flee or you're not in immediate danger. I dunno who lied to you, but you should think up another scenario, cause the law already has that one covered.

        2. I've spoken to otherwise reasonable, intelligent, articulate, and friendly people who held beliefs that I would consider to be extreme and perhaps dangerous. It's very perplexing.

          I'm sure a lot of people say the same after talking to libertarians.

          1. Ours do not involve forcing others to obey, killing them for not following a creed, etc.

            I met "Muslims" that wouldn't piss in a mullah's ear if his brain was on fire, and I met some that were ready to kill people for having alcohol.
            Hell of a range of positions out there. I guess "moderate" falls somewhere in between.

  4. BTW I figure that most of the billion-or-so Muslims in the world probably take their religion as seriously as most Catholics. I have known many secular Muslims. I'm not an Islamophobe because I don't see Islam as particularly different from any other mainstream religion, when it exists in secular societies, whether we're talking about America, or Turkey.

    However, I really don't think that straw men murdered any cartoonists in Europe, or that people like Salman Rushdie have been hiding from straw men, either, if you get my drift...

    1. No, they murdered film-makers.

      1. Them, too.

        And you're right, Kurt Westergaard actually survived the axe attack, so he wasn't actually axe-murdered for a cartoon. He was axe-attempted-murdered and axe-really-fucked-up for a cartoon.


          According to this he wasn't even scratched. Yes, a crazy bastard broke into his house with an axe and knife, but it was never used.

          I gotta say though, nothing makes your guys abandon the concept of the individual faster than MOOSLIMS. Who cares if some crazy fuckers call themselves Muslim?

          1. Read what I've posted before you spew your crap.

  5. Since some Muslims Christians belong to Al Qaeda the KKK, all Muslims Christians are terrorists racists.

    1. Not the moderate Klansmen. They just go to the picnics, for the great potato salad and those awesome snickerdoodles.

      1. The KKK "showed a shocking amount of restraint" when the media claimed Zimmerman was a white dude.

        1. Admittedly, they did get a bit agitated when they ran out of Doritos, but Zeb took a quick trip to Costco and tragedy was averted.

          1. But they almost lynched the store greeter. Then in a noble show of restraint, they merely hurled racial slurs at the guy. Most Klan members are moderates, see?

            1. Weekly lynchings have replaced daily ones, and experts consider this to be a sign that the Klan has been becoming more moderate. -NPR Reporter

              1. I just heard NPR compare Rand Paul's filibuster to when segregationists filibustering civil rights legislation.

                1. Source?

                2. OMG! I just read Reason's Hit & Run comparing Rand Paul's filibuster to when segregationists filibustering civil rights legislation!


                  1. Quick! to the Huffmoblie!


    2. Made all Southerners look racist though!

      1. White Southerners I mean.

        1. Many white Southerners did a fine job of this on their own.

          1. Definitely true for some; definitely not true for some others.

          2. Many Northerners did, as well.

  6. "Islamophobes", whatever that is, seem to be more worried about violent Islamists. No kidding the vast majority of Muslims are normal people who wake up in the morning and just want to have a nice day. No kidding minority immigrant groups adopt the ways of their new land since they purposefully immigrated to the new land.

    Doesn't change the fact that there are violent Islamists killing people across the majority Islamic Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa. "Islamophobes"... are they just to pretend this isn't true?

    Oh, and we shouldn't pretend the murder of Theo van Gogh wasn't religious related or the attacks on the Danish cartoonists weren't religious related.

    Then there were the London and Madrid bombings. What Texas secessionist has done something similar recently?

    1. We need to Texanize the terrorists!

      Lot more talkin', lot less killin'. That worked in Texas.

      How do we introduce Al Qaeda to barbecue and chili?

      1. Uh, BBQ is pork.

        1. And talk is beer.

          Like I wrote above, the Muslims I knew didn't care about stuff like that.

        2. Not Texas barbecue.

          1. You mean brisket? Because brisket is good, but barbecue is a pig, cooked whole, very slowly.

            It's like when Yankees invite you over for a barbecue and they're doing hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. Which is fine, but it's a cookout, not a barbecue.

            If there isn't a hole in the ground containing hot coals and a whole pig, it's not a barbecue.

            1. In Hawaii.

              Texas barbecue is generally beef, as Texas is a beef-producing region -- unless it's goat or sheep in heavily-Mexican-influenced regions.

            2. BBQ in Texas is generally Beef. Beef Ribs, Beef Brisket etc. And we don't put frigging cole slaw on any of it. If you want it, it goes on the side!

        3. Uh, BBQ is pork.

          Heresy! Barbecue is brisket, sausage, chicken or pork, anything that can be smoked or slow-cooked over a pit.

    2. A lot of those islamophobes, event the "libertarian" ones, want to ban Muslims from entering this country. They don't quibble about it either, they are quite explicit. Some even want to deport the ones that are here, even those who are native born citizens.

      They are simply unable to understand that the violent Islamists do not represent the whole of Islam any more than abortion clinic terrorists represent the whole of Christianity.

      1. Define 'a lot'. And you say 'A lot of those islamophobes', not 'a lot of people', so we're talking about some subset of people. How many people are islamophobes? Are there a lot of them? Or only a few? And if there are only a few, and only some of them want muslims deported/kept out, how does this affect anything?

        You refer to 'abortion clinic terrorists'. Are there as many of those as there are terrorists who are muslim? Do they have a higher bodycount? Do mainstream organisations praise them? Or are they an infinitessimally tiny number of people who are almost universally reviled in society who have a death toll that is less than negligible when compared to the bodycount of terrorists who are muslim?

        Why are you so concerned with what a portion of islamophobes thinks anyway? Is the rest of society acting on their recommendations?

      2. Pew research did a poll in the Muslim world. 80% of people in Pakistan wanted executions for blasphemy, apostasy, and adultery.

        I'm not real eager to add such people to the voting rolls or public streets.

    3. [No kidding the vast majority of Muslims are normal people who wake up in the morning and just want to have a nice day]

      I'm going to have to ask that you vacation in E. Dearborn for a week while shading the sun with your yamulke.

      Or perhaps attempt to drive past the mosque on Schaefer any Sept. 11 during the celebration revelry whilst displaying any Christian window sticker.

  7. "When a German paper published the images, local Muslims responded with a shocking display of restraint.This is the rule, not the exception. "_______ If a display of restraint is shocking, then how can you consider that be the rule and not the exception? Moderate Muslims may be the majority of Muslims, but being a moderate in an extremist religion isn't moderation.

    1. "If a display of restraint is shocking, then how can you consider that be the rule and not the exception?"

      With Straw, all things are possible!

      1. Steve Chapman puts out the most poorly thought out arguments you'll ever find in a libertarian magazine.

        1. Someone can be smart, thorough, and disingenuous at the same time.

          See Obama, Barack H.

          1. Would you characterize Steve Chapman as smart or thorough? I don't think he's disingenuous, I think he's an ignorant person with a keyboard. He's plenty sincere about his poorly thought-out beliefs.

            1. Well, we're lowering the bar, today.

              "Writes a complete sentences" is "smart and thorough" by the same standards as "doesn't immediately murder someone for a doodle" is "moderate".

              1. well played

  8. And shouldn't we praise Christians who didn't burn cars, riot, or attempt to murder writers, film makers, or politicians after the recent Saturday Night Live Jesus parody? And we're lucky the Hari-Krishnas didn't go on a rampage after that scene in the movie Airplane.



    I can criticize violence by belligerent Muslims all I want and it won't change much. Unless the Muslims who disagree with such behavior get loudly vocal about their disapproval of it - unless they challenge the violent sects in their religion - then nothing will change for the better.

    1. The religion itself is a violent sect. Moderation is relative. Lenin was a moderate if you stood him next to Stalin.

      1. And Stalin was a piker compared to Pol Pot. Per capita, anyway.

        1. It's weird to think I was alive while such a bizarre comic book dystopian caricature existed.

          Of course, North Korea is still around.

    2. Have you ever heard of the Amish Mafia? Not to be messed with. You could end up sleeping with the apple pies if you know what I mean.

  9. Personally, I haven't been able to get any of the Muslims I've spoken with to condemn violent acts against non-combatant civilians when that violence is carried out by other Muslims. That a few have been found is great, sure. It would be much better if it weren't just a few. A few isn't going to change much. Even if they could just reach the level of the Jordanians that would be great. The Jordanians could be considered true moderates. Although, most have a great hatred for the infidel, extremely few act on that hate, and it's the position of their government that such action will not be tolerated.

  10. If not rioting and killing people is a "shocking" display of "restraint", then obviously the normal, expected, behavior is rioting and killing people.

    What does that say?

    1. It's the normal expected behavior according to the islamophobes. I have been told ever since 9/11/2001 that it was only a matter of time until rioting and killing people would be the normal expected behavior of Muslims here in the US. Hell, they tell me it's already happening in Michigan. I was in Michigan a few months ago, during Devil's Night no less, and didn't see any of that.

      I know and work with several Muslims, and the idea of them going on a killing rampage over a cartoon is laughable. Perhaps you should read that "shocking display of restraint" phrase as the satire it is.

      1. Depends largely on where in Michigan you care to go. The larger point may be that your muslim coworkers will refrain from the rampage but would harbor, shelter, aid and abet the rampager who did rampage.
        Trust no further than can be thrown.

      2. Anecdote. Evidence. There is a subtle but important distinction.



          You're right of course.

  11. American Muslims are more likely than their neighbors to express contentment with the state of the country.


    Seriously - and I say this with all due respect - that they're content with the state of things here doesn't speak all that much better about American Muslims than if they were blowing shit up.

  12. The majority of Arabs follow the Muslim faith in order to obtain social acceptance and employment, but most are non-believers who are forced to call themselves moderate Muslims to avoid being beheaded. In less than a decade the charade will be over and the "Muslim Illusion" will be ended.

    1. Jack Muslims

    2. Where are you saying that's true?

      It sounds hopeful, but I'm doubtful.

  13. So which Muslim majority nation would Chapman be willing to move to? Culture matters.

  14. uptil I looked at the receipt ov $8137, I didn't believe neighbour woz like truly taking home money part time on their apple labtop.. there mums best friend started doing this for under 19 months and as of now cleared the debts on their mini mansion and bought a great Peugeot 205 GTi. this is where I went and go to home tab....

  15. ""Moderate Muslim" Is Not an Oxymoron"

    No, but "Islamophobe" sure as fuck is. There's no such thing as an "irrational" fear of religion.

    Funny how Islam seems to be the ONLY RELIGION IN THE ENTIRE WORLD which inspires any sort of phobia, and the only criteria for qualifying as phobic is to point out the shit that's spelled clear as day in the Quran.

    But then, a lot of folk seem to have this weird notion that the people actually adhering to the scripture of a religion aren't True Scotsmen. EG; The Westboro Baptists aren't "true Christians" despite the fact that they follow the written word of the Bible closer than most Christians in this country.

  16. Steve Chapman... I think you are pretty clear about the points you're trying to make, but you're not clear about some of the beliefs or feelings of some folks you tend to call "Islamophobes."

    To be more precise, I am NOT an "Islamophobe." I, however, DO have a very large fear of Radical Islamists. While it's obvious that not ALL Muslims go around trying to force their religion on others (any more than Christians could "all" be accused of trying to convert folks into new members...), it does seem painfully clear that there ARE a whole slew of Believers in Islam who are more than ready to kill or otherwise brutalize non-believers, converts and so on.

    And I believe therein lies The Difference. I'd strongly oppose the loons from the "Church" that goes around demonstrating against gays, because I think their lunatic extremism is annoying and stupid, but when the number of documented atrocities committed by Islamic Fundamentalists becomes as long as it is, I find that fear and opposition are completely warranted.

    Against radical Islamic Fundamentalists, or, for short, Islamists.

    Now, run that back through your article and try to understand why folks like me fear and oppose them.

  17. ps...

    And for the real Libertarians here, also consider what would happen to the entire legal system of the United States (or any other country) if the perpetrator OR the victim of a crime could get to choose which Legal System they want to be defended under or used to procecute?! Sharia versus US-Standard?

    When that happens, what's a "jury of your peers"? Which laws define the punishment or the guilt?

    What happens on appeal?

    THOSE are the real dangers of permitting Sharia law to be "acceptable" in the US. Think about it.


  18. Not to mention wiping your ass with your left hand whilst reserving the right to dip the pate'.

    Oddly that just came to mind.

  19. This is why Reason turns more people away from Libertarianism than towards it. Just when you think they might make sense, they run something like this.

    Only liberals use terms like "islamophobe" and "homophobe". There are NO phobias associated with those groups. Those are specifically created words by the left to SILENCE opposition.

    So according to Chapman, there were moderate Nazi's too. They met the same definition. They weren't in the war, they didn't like what was going on by the "extreme" side. But they were full on Party members. I guess it didn't matter WHAT the Party said in it's platform, as long as those people weren't actually violent?

    Oh wait, am I a Naziophobe????

    Grow up. Chapman, you're no journalist.

  20. The Quran says some crazy shit.

    The Bible says some crazy shit.

    Everyone should be judged by their INDIVIDUAL actions.

    End of thread.

  21. A lot of the anti-Islam propaganda you hear and read today is almost word-for-word identical to the anti-Catholic propaganda that was common in America 150 years ago. That Catholicism was incapatable with modern democracy and that Catholics were all universally to blame for the burning of Protestants and whatnot.

    1. That Catholicism was incapatable with modern democracy and that Catholics were all universally to blame for the burning of Protestants and whatnot.


      Uh, yeah, and thankfully none of that was true... Wasn't like the church ever held an inquisition or anything...

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  23. If you think Vincent`s story is impressive,, one week ago my brother's mom in law worked and got paid $7370 working fourty hours a month from their apartment and they're friend's ex-wife`s neighbour done this for 8-months and errned over $7370 part-time at there mac. applie the information here,

    1. I love to hear about the hijinks of Vince and his brother's mom , and the many similar stories that seem to appear in the comments on every story, but REASON EDITOR DON'T YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN BUY SOFTWARE TO REMOVE THIS SORT OF SPAM!!!!!!!!

  24. You are a blithering idiot.
    A oral copulating dhimmi of the highest degree.

    1. To be fair, I bet he knows when to use "an" vs "a."

  25. Islam is like all religion: it is peaceful only to the extent that it lacks power. It is peaceful only when it lacks the ability to use force. This is because the whole of religion is unreason.

    Religion is the delegation of thought to an illegitimate social network that is dominated by lying sociopaths who were too unintelligent to get elected to office. The fantastical claims of religious social networks have all been found to be philosophically, logically, and scientifically illegitimate. Their claims have no basis in fact, and therefore, their teachings are either nonsensical, evil, or both.

    At best, they can take a good teaching, such as a crude formulation of the non-aggression principle (the golden rule, the silver rule), and attach an irrational basis to it, in an attempt at discrediting it as an idea that stands on its own verifiable merits.

    Islam is a dangerous and destructive death cult, made more dangerous because some people are actually dumb enough to take it literally. Christianity, when it was taken literally, was every bit as destructive and stupid (the crusades, christian blessing of slavery, etc.). The bombings of abortion clinics, harassment of abortion doctors and gays, and the insane demands to deny Africa contracteptives, all attest to the fact that Christianity is also an insane death cult. Let's hope the influence of religious irrationality is soon ended.

    1. deny Africa contracteptives

      Failing to provide != denying. Americans and Africans would do well to understand that.

    2. I'm thinkin' Jake was caught once fondling his pee pee and mommy put soap on his fingies and made him suck.

  26. Moderate means one guy in the group tries to assassinate you, but another guy in the group grudgingly admits that's not quite right, and the rest pretty much think the first guy shouldn't have missed...

  27. "Since 9/11, it said, such terrorists have killed 33 people in the United States -- a poor showing compared to the 200-plus slain by right-wing extremists."

    200+ slain in the US since 9/11 by right-wing extremists??? Does Chapman work for Janet Napolitano now?

    Is Steve Chapman seriously supposed to be a libertarian? Criticizing Islam makes one an Islamophobe? This article reads like it was taken out of Slate or The New Republic.

    1. I would love to see the cite for that statistic and see just what the criteria for "right wing" and "terrorism" were in the tabulation.

      I'm sure Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Theo van Gogh will be delighted to learn that they are more likely to be murdered or mutilated by Islamic nutcases than to be blow'd up by "right wing terrorists" though.

      1. *are no more likely...

  28. We judge people by their actions not by how they identify themselves or how other people identify them. Stories of people like Salman Rushdie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Naslima Tasrin show us how intolerant a lot of muslims can be. While I'm not concerned at all or worried about muslim terrorism in the West, conservatism and the threat of the Sharia law is real. Out of the 56 muslim countries not one of them practice true democracy (don't tell me Turkey has democracy, it is a faux democracy since 2002)none of them has human rights and personal freedoms. I'd say Islam is still in its primitive stages and muslims need to have their enlightenment period just like Christians and jews had.

    A "phobia" is an irrational fear and there is nothing irrational about fearing religious pressure. I've been living in this religious pressure for a long time so I don't need to take tolerance lessons from people like Chapman who live in their cozy homes with their Macbooks enjoying the Western standards of living.

  29. Yes, there are moderate Muslims. Some of them have been killed by "immoderate" Muslims for not being Muslim enough.

  30. For decades the diplomatic policies of the West and the attitudes of the Western Intellectual Class punished societies Moderate muslim populations for not living up to Progressive Ideals while rewarding Islamic Radicals for their mastery of Revolutionary jargon. There are certainly moderate muslims, but we have taught them that the West cannot be counted on to protect them from the predations of their Radical and Reactionary co-religionists. Consequently, they spend a great deal of time keeping their heads down.

    To reverse this tree we would have to make clear that a smattering of Revolutionary double-talk and appeals to Social Justice do not legitimize a bunch of violent thugs, and the political Left would fight this every step of the way since it would expose their love affairs with such violent thugs as Che and the Shining Path to be the moral equivalent of joining the Silver Shirts circa 1938.

    I have no great hope for the future of this situation; the Liberal Lefty Twits are going to keep flirting with Radical Islam right up to the point that some bunch of Jihadist idiots manages another attack of some size, and then it will be too late to salvage much from the backlash. Lefty nitwits who spent the Bush years bitching about Imperialism will get an appreciation of the full reality, probably from inside jail cells, and the country will take generations to recover anything like real civil liberties, if it ever does.

  31. That author Steve Chapman decided to use the word "Islamophobe" destroyed the credibility of his whole article.

    Sorry, Steve, can't take you seriously at all on this one.

  32. What will kill more Americans in the next twenty years? Government-launched drone missiles or Muslim terrorism?

    1. The muslims massacred hundreds of millions during their invasion 'crusades'.

  33. This is simply wrong. They have no concept of freedom for the individual especially the female individual. Anyone believing this crap article needs some professional help.

    1. It ain't that simple. There was a time, I remember it personally, when a handful of middle eastern societies were approaching the level of women's rights common in, say, Victorian England. Now that wasn't up to the standards of the Western Intellectual class, it just Wouldn't Do. And so those societies caught en endless ration of sewage from the West, and mostly went under. Lebanon was allowed to dissolve into permanent (un)civil war, the Shah of Iran was thrown under the bus, and so forth. Meanwhile, as I mentioned above, various radical groups were given all kinds of encouragement because they were "edgy" or "authentic" or whatever the Radical Chic buzzword of the month might be.

      I seriously believe that at least a third of the venom that the Intellectual Class showered on Bush was due to their reasonable fear that if anyone looked into their associations with various Radical Islamic groups, they might be in serious trouble. That Bush had better things to do with his time than expose them as enablers of islamic idiocy wouldn't have occurred to them.

  34. God you freaking nutcases. There is a place near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia we used to call "Chop Chop Square". Actual observations by the expats. Yes, the "Moderate" Saudi did that, for very minor things. Care to loose a finger to a Bureaucrat (ha,like McCain?) in you fantasy worlds?

    Pathetic world view young people.

  35. Wish there was a edit button.

  36. I also know a few Muslims that are disgusted with the violence. However, I also know that they do not speak up. A significant majority of Muslims in the US and most of Western Europe think the violence is a bad thing, but very few are willing to speak up. As Christians are the people that are free of God's law, Muslims are about being submissive to the will of God. That basic difference is the basis of more than fifteen hundred years of opposition.

  37. Steve Chapman neglected the differences between Muslimology and Islamology, and he betrays about as much knowledge of the Koran as could be obtained by using it as a pillow for a night. It appears also that his thinking has fallen down the terrorism pigeonhole. If we thought like him we might suppose that Islamic terrorism of the stereotypical kind is the only serious threat posed by pious Muslims.

    Now, wouldn't it be too funny if an organization in the Chicago Tribune's own backyard has been working since at least 2005 to set up an "Islamic State"? Well, sure enough, there is such an organization in Chicagoland! The Council of [ahem] Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) published The Institution of Zakat" in 2005 through its Central Zakat Committee (CZC).

    The CZC "humbly presents" to the reader on p. ii helpful details such as this:

    The establishment of the institution of Zakat is a function of an Islamic State. In the absence of an Islamic State, various Islamic organizations have taken it upon themselves voluntarily to collect and disburse the Zakat in the communities. While these efforts deserve appreciation, the benefits of Zakat have not been fully realized due to a lack of centralization and coordination.

  38. The reader was informed on the same page that "Zakat is one of the five fundamental obligations of Islam", and just in case the reader (Steve Chapman?) is profoundly stupid, the CZC beats him over the head with a brief review of its effort to "INSTITUTIONALIZE [a function of an Islamic State]":

    The Central Zakat Committee is an effort to institutionalize Zakat

    - Organized promotion, collection, and distribution of Zakat,
    - Organized assistance to the poor and needy of the community.
    - Pooling of individual Zakat payments for major community
    - Supporting high priority community needs permissible
    through Zakat.

    So now do you understand CIOGC's annual preoccupation with "Muslim ACTION! Day"? Muslim ACTION! Day is basically a mixer in Springfield for politcians, bureaucrats, and useful young Islamists who are expected one day to arrange the machinery of an "Islamic State". It just so happens that Christian and Jewish theocrats have done already much of their work for them, as you can tell by reading the preamble of the state's constitution. Fortunately for the young Islamists, the wording about "God" is vague enough to be useful to Islamists, and the constitution makes clear that government should be like a tender, caring parent.

  39. Right about now is when some useful nitwit (Steve Chapman?) will be tempted to quote the Islamists' use of the word "voluntarily" as if that could in any change the fact that "Moderate" Islamic do-gooders are "voluntarily" striving to set up their precious "Islamic State" in Illinois.

    Send e-mail for The Institution of Zakat in PDF. This is "An Obligation and An Opporunity" for you, too, to become "aware of the significance, need, system, rules, and procedures of the duty of Zakat" and to make sure that the publication has a long life among anti-islamists.

    For example, you might learn that

    Sadaqah is an Arabic term widely used to cover all kinds of charity. Although Sadaqah and Zakat are often used interchangeably, Sadaqah implies voluntary charity. Zakat-ut-Tatawwu` is another name for voluntary or optional charity.

    The "Islamic State", however, will be neither voluntary nor optional, sort of like submission of nonmuslims to Muslims is not optional.

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