Charlie Hebdo Massacre

Does Islam Prohibit Images of Mohammed? Nope. Does It Command Death to Blasphemers? Nope.

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Over at On Faith, American-Iranian Muslim Omid Safi points out that the idea that Islam forbids depicting the prophet Mohammed is wrong.

That is actually not the case, and marks yet another example of what is at worst an acute sense of religious amnesia, and at best a distortion of the actual history of Islamic practices: Over the last thousand years, Muslims in India, Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia and Turkey did have a rich courtly tradition of depicting the various prophets, including Prophet Muhammad, in miniatures.

These miniatures were patronized by pious Muslim rulers, and were often richly illustrated with verses from the Qur'an, and the biography of the Prophet's life. Yet very few Muslims today, and even fewer non-Muslims, are aware of this rich heritage.

As the Washington Post pointed out in 2006, when the first controversy over the Danish "Mohammed cartoons" was building, "There are numerous examples in public institutions in Istanbul, Vienna, Edinburgh, London, Dublin, Los Angeles and New York. Four are here in Washington in the Smithsonian Institution on the Mall. Three are in the Freer Gallery of Art. The fourth is next door in the Freer's sister museum, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery."

The Mohammed Image archive has a robust archive of images depicting Islam's main prophet. Click on image for more examples.

Well, what about images of Mohammed that mock or deride the man and his religion? There's no question that many Islamic countries have laws mandating all sorts of punishments, including death, for blasphemy and apostasy. Writing in USA Today, Britain-based cleric Anjme Choudary flatly asserts

Muslims consider the honor of the Prophet Muhammad to be dearer to them than that of their parents or even themselves. To defend it is considered to be an obligation upon them. The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State. This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, "Whoever insults a Prophet kill him."

That interpretation of Islam is far from universal. Ro Waseem argues

Quite frankly, blasphemy and apostasy laws are themselves blasphemous to the teachings of the Qur'an. Not in the traditional sense, but because they violate the very instructions the scripture gives regarding freedom of belief.

Regarding apostasy, in Quran 2:256 God says, "There is no compulsion in matters of faith….

In a similar vein, verse 109:6 instructs adherents to end a debate by saying: "To you, your belief system. And to me, mine."…

When it comes to blasphemy, I often hear some version of, "Hold on. If someone mocks my religion, it prompts me to act violently. You see, it makes me very emotional."

But this statement only shows an ignorance of the Quran, which says in verse 6:68, "When you see them engaged in vain discourse about Our verses, turn away from them unless they engage in a different subject….

And, again, Quran 28:55 instructs, "Whenever they (believers) hear vain talk of ridicule, they withdraw from it decently and say, '"To us our deeds and to you yours; Peace be upon you, we do not seek to join the ignorant."

Waseem notes

The blasphemy and apostasy laws are found in the Hadeeth, sayings attributed to Prophet Mohammad, which were compiled two-three centuries after his death. Muslims know that no Hadeeth should contradict the Quran if they are to be accepted, given their subjective nature and reliance on the Quran for authenticity.

More here.

Well, if the history of Christian martyrdom teaches us anything, it's that explication de texte rarely carries the day in the face of violence and superior numbers. But the Catholic Church did eventually grow to accept co-existence with Protestant sects, and Protestant sects with other Protestant sects, and Europe and America allowed religious tolerance that included Jews, atheists, "Mohammedans," and others. There's no question that arguments about theology and the right on conscience made a huge difference over time. Ideas matter.

Especially as the radical elements of Islam become violent and desperate in their attempts to engender Ummah, it's important to stress that their interpretations are one among many and anything but universal. At least since the 9/11 attacks, an ongoing query in America and the West more broadly has been, "Where are the moderate Muslims?" They're out there, for sure, and we'd all be better off creating a dialogue in which the anti-modernity Islamists are recognized as a common enemy.

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  1. Damn it, they found that one. I always thought it was funny that they forced SP to censor Mohammed in the new episodes but yet you could go back to the Super Friends episode and there he was, NBD.

    1. …Super BEST Friends, you racist.

    2. I wonder if it is still on the DVDs

    3. And he appeared in the opening for years too, if I recall correctly.

      1. I’m pretty sure that was Osama.

  2. This is why it’s such an abominable shame and dereliction of duty on the part of the media to not have reported more widely on the speech that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gave at Al-Azhar University on New Year’s Day.

    He went out of his way to shame the extremists within Islam, and even went so far as to attend Christmas mass with Coptics on Christmas eve. But you wouldn’t know it since barely anyone reported on it.

    If we are relying on the media to help us defend blasphemy from extremists we are FUCKING DOOMED.

    1. It is because the media are leftists. And leftist see radical Muslims as a useful tool for oppressing their political enemies. The media is on the other side Tman.

      1. You’re insane.

        1. You are the pussy that is talked about in Team America.

        2. I agree with Tony. We should just kill all Republicans and right-wingers.

          1. Tall order, since most Islamonutters are way right-wing.

      2. John, this, Nick’s article, is a similar point to what I was making yesterday. Not excusing any atrocities but also no blaming the entire religion. My attempt to demonstrate what Nick points out with Christians as an example was, evidently, less effective than his. I guess thats was a PHP in Jacket gets you.

        Good on ya Nick.

        1. PHP lol…a johnesqe typo…PhD

        2. Folks like Nick and President Bush (a deeply unbigoted man whose decency in that area was as important to our country at that critical time as his grotesque incompetence in every other respect was disastrous) have their hearts in the right place. Ultimately, though, the task of condemning terrorism as “contrary to true Islam” can only fall to Muslims.

          Who, after all, are Imams Bush or Gillespie to judge what is and is not “true Islam”? What does such a judgment even mean in the mouths of men who consider the entire religion to be false? For the believer, there is one faction favored by God, with the others heresies. For the outsider, there are only factions differentiated by lesser or greater social, or at most historical, prominence…

          1. …I, personally, could not care less what a religion I don’t belong to teaches, and I’ve never understood those who do. I have no more or less affection for a “liberal” Islam than a “conservative” one. I care only that it (or any other religion) meet one criterion: compatibility with the principles of a free, individualist, secular society.

            So is “Islam” to be tolerated? Is it compatible with our values? Well, just as with Christianity or Judaism, some versions of it yes and others no. The “yes” factions do seem to be facing a bit more of an intramural demographic struggle than their counterparts in Judaism and Islam for the moment, but I don’t feel like a bigot for pointing that out. And ultimately, this is the spirit in which liberalism greets Islam. Not with some abstract, identity-politics notion of “tolerance,” but with a clear criterion for admission: If you are compatible with our political values, you are as welcome to compete for hearts and minds as the most milquetoast Unitarian. If not, you are not. And, ultimately, we will destroy you.

            1. *”…counterparts to Judaism and Christianity.”

              *”…the spirit in which liberalism greets Islam or any other faith…”

  3. The Koran doesn’t require women to wear Burkas either. It also considers suicide to be a mortal sin and prohibits the targeting of civilians in war. But you have to understand most Mulsims have never actually read the Koran and have no idea what it actually says other than what their Imams have told them.

    Muslims consider the Koran to be the actual word of God. With the exception of the few times God speaks to people, the The Ten Commandments, the actual sermon’s of Jesus, neither the Old nor the New Testament is considered to be the word of God. They are books written by people who had the truth revealed to them by God. That is different than what the Koran is. The Koran is to Muslims, literally God telling Muhammad to get a pen and start writing. For this reason it is illegal to translate the Koran from its original Arabic. Doing so is desecrating the word of God. The Koran is written in a very archaic form of Arabic. No modern Arab speaker is going to be able to read it without training and it is a completely foreign language to any non Arab speaker. So very few Muslims have read the Koran.

    So how is it that self professed Muslims end up killing themselves in suicide bombings and murdering people for drawing pictures of Muhammad? They do so because some idiot Imam told them to. They have no clue what the Koran actually says. Radical Islam is a political Islam fed to morons to get them to do the bidding of their political masters. That is it.

    1. neither the Old nor the New Testament is considered to be the word of God

      Don’t some Jews consider the Torah to be the word of God? And I’ve encountered Christians with varying views on the subject.

      1. No. They do not. They don’t think God wrote it in the same way Muslims think God wrote the Koran.

        1. No? Don’t some believe that God gave it to Moses to write down in much the same way that God gave the Koran to Mohammed (or the Book of Mormon to Smith)? I’m pretty sure at least some believe that. What are Kabbalists up to if that’s not the case?

          1. Only small parts Zeb. The ten commandants, sure. But not the rest of the book of Exodus. That is not the literal word of God. That is not God telling the world the story of the Jews leaving Egypt. That is the Jews telling us that.

      2. Zeb, you are correct. Some sects of Judaism consider the first 5 books of the old testament to be the literal word of god. Not all of them, though.

    2. Maybe they have not read the Koran, but if this is what imam’s are teaching, it has a looooong history. Check out the link, in the article, with the depictions of Mohammed and you’ll find marvelous little doozies, like: “Mohammed, along with Buraq and Gabriel, visit Hell, and see a demon punishing “shameless women” who had exposed their hair to strangers. For this crime of inciting lust in men, the women are strung up by their hair and burned for eternity. Persian, 15th century.”

      1. Sure it does. Just like iconoclasm does. But that doesn’t make it there. All it says is “women should dress modestly”. What modestly means is up to debate and is mostly defined by the culture of the person reading it. Women were not being covered up in public in the Middle East long before Islam.

      2. Guess what? Islam is what the goat fuckers today are saying, not the goat fuckers of the 8th century said.

    3. For this reason it is illegal to translate the Koran from its original Arabic. Doing so is desecrating the word of God.

      Um, no it’s not:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quran_translations

      1. Um, yes it is. It is illegal to translate the Koran from Arabic in a large part of the Muslim world. Indeed, one of t he biggest reasons why places like the US has very few radical Muslims is because it is legal to translate the Koran and thus most American Muslims have read it.

        In a place like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, where translating it can get you sent to prison for decades, few people have.

        1. You know, except for all the translations mentioned in the article I just pointed to that were written in Muslim countries. The mention of Saudi Arabia is particularly hilarious given that one of the the most common English translations (albeit not the most accurate translation it would seem) was financed by the Saudi government.

          1. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/2904…..ion-quran/

            Here is three Afghans facing death for it

            1. There is no law in Afghanistan prohibiting the translation of the Quran.

              1. And those guys are being killed for doing it. The reason is that sure you can “translate it” but if you so much as put a comma in the wrong place or translate one word that the court thinks is wrong, you are guilty of apostasy and are done.

                So it is effectively illegal.

              2. That is correct. However, the translation must appear side by side with the original Arabic. This is the general rule in most Muslim countries.

                If it is a free-standing translation, then they are not too keen on that. However, it’s not a violation of Afghan law, but the Mullah’s get a vote. The reason the guys who did free-standing translations in Afghanistan have not been executed is that the secular government is dragging their feet for an opportunity to commute the sentences that were handed down by religious courts.

          2. In order to translate the Koran you have to do it perfectly. If you translate it and the court finds that you did anything wrong, you can go to prison for apostasy for decades. So it effectively is never translated outside of a whenever the powers that be want it to be.

            No one in their right mind would do an independent translation of the Koran in a place like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

            1. So it effectively is never translated outside of a whenever the powers that be want it to be.

              Note the distinction between this and “For this reason it is illegal to translate the Koran from its original Arabic. Doing so is desecrating the word of God”.

              1. Yes. Sloppy language on my part. The reality is, it doesn’t get translated in a large areas of the world and a whole lot of Muslims have never actually read it.

              2. Note the distinction between this and “For this reason it is illegal to translate the Koran from its original Arabic. Doing so is desecrating the word of God”.

                Not really, because:

                1) Translating anything from an archaic 15 hundred year old language to a modern one will necessarily include some degree of creative interpretation.

                2) Fundamentalist Islam claims that god speaks Arabic; so any translation is a distorting the word of god.

                1. Everyone knows that God speaks English. Even space aliens speak English.

        2. Can you provide any source for this claim it’s illegal to translate the Koran?

    4. The Koran is to Muslims, literally God telling Muhammad to get a pen and start writing.

      In that case the joke is on God because Muhammad was illiterate.

      1. That’s actually part of the point ? Muslims like to point to that and ask how an illiterate merchant could write it.

        1. Mohammad didn’t physically write it, others did the recording as Mohammad channeled Allah.

          1. I’ve heard several stories how the Quran was created?

            Just on the writing down I’ve heard:

            God wrote through Muhammed.

            Gabriel taught Muhammed passages that he recited to others who wrote them down while Muhammed was still alive.

            Gabriel taught Muhammed passages and Muhammed taught some of his Companions those passages and they wrote them down after the Muhammed’s death.

            On the compilation:

            The Companions gathered the bits of paper and bone and such that had bits and pieces of the Quran written on them and compiled them into chapters.

            Muhammed taught or dictated to his Companions whole chapters.

            Gabriel taught Muhammed whole chapters when all of the verses were revealed.

            On the order:

            The Companions (or others, later) ordered them after Muhammed’s death.

            Gabriel taught Muhammed the current order shortly before his death and he (or his Companions acting on his instructions) reordered the Quran into the current order.

        2. Didn’t Mo have a magic hat he could get info from? What kind of cheapskate prophet was he?

    5. With the exception of the few times God speaks to people, the The Ten Commandments, the actual sermon’s of Jesus, neither the Old nor the New Testament is considered to be the word of God.

      I’ve known some fundamentalist evangelical Christians who do actually believe that the Bible, every word of it, is literally the word of God.

      My aunt and I once got into a debate because I pointed out that the Bible has been translated and re-translated into so many different languages that some passages have lost their original meaning. She then proceeded to claim that the Bible is the undisputed word of God and that the translators got every word correct. Because “God”.

      1. Your aunt is very confused.

        1. “Your aunt is very confused”

          Er, mister Pot, have you met Mrs. Kettle?

      2. Yes, my mother described it as “diving inspiration”. As in, whatever the people who wrote it wrote, God put it in their head.

        1. er divine

        2. 2 Timothy 3:16.
          2 Peter 3:14-16.

          Your mother has good Theology (in this regard, at least).

      3. She then proceeded to claim that the Bible is the undisputed word of God and that the translators got every word correct.

        There are plenty of fundamentalists in the US that believe the KJV is translated perfectly.

        My aunt and I once got into a debate because I pointed out that the Bible has been translated and re-translated into so many different languages that some passages have lost their original meaning.

        Not quite. This is certainly true of the Textus Receptus (TR) and thus the King James which uses the TR as its source ? when Erasmus was missing parts of the Greek NT, he translated the Vulgate which is actual a revision of Old Latin translations from the Greek New Testament and from the Septuagint (LXX) which is a Greek translation of the Old Testament.

        1. The new Greek New Testaments are based on a variety of texts that date back as far as the second century and we know how a lot of errors crept in (translators skipping lines, harmonizing similar but different texts, etc). As for the Old Testament, before the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest Hebrew texts were Aleppo and Leningrad Codices from the 10th and 11th century but we did have translations of the Hebrew like the LXX which date back to the 4th century in manuscripts and 2nd century BC in fragments. Coptic, Latin, and Syriac translations of the Hebrew are extant from the 3rd through 5th century. Additionally, we have writers who quote passages that we use to determine the state of the manuscript tradition at their time and place. Not only that, but they knew that the LXX and Hebrew differed in places and do note when they are different. Most famously, Jerome refused at first to translate the books in the LXX that weren’t extant in the Hebrew but was eventually persuaded to translate them because of the common use. With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we now have Hebrew originals of many LXX passages where they differ from the Masoretic Text ? the “modern” Hebrew text — and older manuscripts for the Masoretic Text.

          1. Anyway, it’s not so much translation of translations as the copying by hand and scribes making changes that lead to variants ? and not just in Biblical manuscripts. Even Chaucer and Shakespeare have several variants in their manuscripts. See An Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism for more information. The section “The Practice of Textual Criticism” has some good examples of how variants crept into the manuscripts.

    6. While I was in Afghanistan, I had many good long rousing discussions about the Qur’an with my interpreter/translator. We broached the topic about how few Muslims have actually read the Qur’an. He concurred with what you pointed out.

      When I asked him if he trusted the Mullah’s to explain the Qur’an to him, he answered with an emphatic “NO!” However, he pointed out that the poorer, illiterates don’t have any alternative source of information.

    7. The Quran DOES require women to wear burkas. I ran across this verse while researching the issue of blasphemy, for which the Quran does indeed require the death penalty, notwithstanding the title of this article or your assertion to the contrary.
      Quran 33:59 “O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.”

      See verses 57, 60 and 61 in the same chapter for the penalty for blasphemy (to be massacred completely, just like the editorial board and artists of Charlie Hebdo).

      1. Having read the cited verses, I don’t believe your interpretations are required by the text.

  4. Gee, its *almost* like these religious books are a set of documents, written by different people, collected together, that allow someone to find justification for their actions no matter what those actions are rather than a comprehensive and cohesive ‘received wisdom’ from a god.

    1. No. It is almost like the people who act on those books haven’t read them.

      1. Those imams presumably have.

        1. No. many of them haven’t. AGain, its a political Islam. That doesn’t make it any better. It fact it makes it worse. But that is what it is.

      2. Most people pick and choose from their holy books. Fortunately.

    2. Just like certain Christians are all about Old Testament prohibitions on homosexuality, but conveniently ignore OT prohibitions on pork and shrimp.

      1. No Tonio, they are all about Paul and his discussions of homosexuality. That is part of the New Testament in case you missed the memo.

      2. But, but, but . . . John says the OT holds no sway with Christians. Jesus swept all that away so there’s no way Christians would ever use, say, Leviticus as textual justification for the persecution of homosexuals in the west.

        1. A lot of Christians are morons. When exactly did I ever say otherwise. Beyond that, you don’t need the OT. Paul had really nasty things to say about homosexuality.

          Tonio and the idiots citing the OT must have been one hell of a battle of giants.

          1. Paul had really nasty things to say about homosexuality.

            Paul had really nasty things to say about heterosexuality too. 1 Corinthians makes it pretty clear he thinks it would be best of no one ever had sex with anybody ever.

            1. Pretty much.

              1. And yet evangelical christians aren’t all becoming Shakers.

            2. 1 Corinthians makes it pretty clear he thinks it would be best of no one ever had sex with anybody ever.

              I guess Paul wanted the human race to go extinct. What an asshole.

              1. The whole letter is basically “sex is the work of Satan and you should all never ever have sex, like me. However, I realize you’re all out of control horndogs so as a CONCESSION you may occasionally have sex with your spouse, but you better not enjoy it or you’re going to hell!”

              2. And I think it’s more he figured there would always be enough heathens to keep the human race going.

            3. “he thinks it would be best of no one ever had sex with anybody ever.”

              Unless money changes hands of course. Paul was the first one to state: “I don’t pay ’em to stay the night with me, I pay ’em to leave in the morning”

  5. In a high school religion class in 2003 we made a Behind the Music style documentary with figures from various religions making up the band. M-dawg was in the original lineup but the teacher told us we could use one of his wives but not the prophet himself. This was the first I had ever heard of the “do not depict” thing.

    Can’t even remember which wife we had in it. M-dawg got around.

    1. Should’ve brought in a 3rd grader to represent Aisha. That would have been hilarious.

    2. It is complete fucking nonsense. Note that that monkey in the UK says

      Muslims consider the honor of the Prophet Muhammad to be dearer to them than that of their parents or even themselves. To defend it is considered to be an obligation upon them. The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State. This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, “Whoever insults a Prophet kill him.”

      He never gives any citation to the Koran for that. That is because no such citation exists. I bet that ape can’t even read Koranic Arabic.

      1. Charles Napier must be rolling over in his grave.

    3. M-dawg was in the original lineup but the teacher told us we could use one of his wives but not the prophet himself.

      A blatant violation of current Establishment Clause doctrine.

  6. Death to the Koran! Oh wait.

  7. Religious believers selectively interpreting their holy book to conform to their personal feelings and to justify their actions? Whoda thunk it?

  8. Arguing with believers using their own texts is pretty useless. All of them pick and choose what suits them in the context of a delusion that reinforces itself. It’s like fighting fire with a bucket of crazy and expecting to get lobsters back as change.

    1. Fuck off. Seriously fuck off. There are Hindu and Hebrew and Biblical scholars out there that are a thousand times more lucid and erudite than you are Sugar Free. And that is not because you are dumb. It is because they are that smart.

      You do realize what a narrow minded dumb ass you make yourself look like when you say things like this? Your basically saying someone like NT Wright is just some crazy that is so unreasonable that they are beneath you. Are you such a dumb ass in this area that you don’t realize how stupid that makes you?

      1. Oh good. An belief/non-belief argument.

        I can never get enough of these.

        1. No. It is not even that interesting. It is a “Oh my God I am an atheist and everyone who ever saw things the other way is such an ignorant savage and should bow to my intellectual super powers” argument.

          You don’t have to be a theist to realize how laughably stupid Sugar Free’s statement is.

          1. Not everyone, John. Just kneelers like you.

          2. You could reverse your definition and make it a “Oh my God I am a Theist and everyone who ever saw things the other way is such an ignorant savage and should bow to my intellectual super powers” argument and my point is the same.

            Belief vs. Non-Belief. I could not possibly care any less who wins because honestly neither parties have a monopoly on the truth.

            1. No, you couldn’t Tman. I don’t have to believe in Hinduism to understand the Vedas are wildly interesting and make some very profound points and were written by very smart and erudite people.

              This debate has nothing to do with belief. This debate is about Sugar Free being an insecure philistine.

            2. What Tman said – people interpret the world differently and they make decisions based on personal experiences.

              And frankly, I think I would prefer people to “pick and choose” what they believe from religious texts because the alternative is that they are blindly following a belief system. If they’re picking and choosing, then at least they are thinking about what they picking instead of saying “well, it’s in the Bible, I guess I believe that…”

              As for the whole atheism vs. theism thing…you can’t prove the absence of something(God in this case). Scientific knowledge is based on falsification, and it’s been a huge help in making all kind of advancements. But there is no rule that says that all knowledge must be falsifiable.

              If you immediately assume that something can’t be true because it can’t be falsified, then you may be throwing away an entire realm of knowledge that you could possible benefit from.

              Regardless, I think that any ideology or worldview becomes dangerous when it’s politicized and forced on others whether it’s Christianity, atheism, progressivism, etc.

            3. Ah, Tman, this isn’t really about belief vs nonbelief, this is about intellectual honesty. Christians are notorious for picking and choosing the biblical verses/interpretations which suit their ends. Orthodox Jews do make a rigorous and consistent effort to follow their scriptures to the letter, and look at the type of lives they lead.

              1. I had 3 staying at my house 2 weeks ago. WAS NOT FUN.

      2. Go fuck yourself, John. It’s ignorance like yours that shoots up newspapers.

        You love your little delusion and get so worked up at the idea that everyone isn’t as fooled as you let yourself be.

        1. If you honestly believe that, you are a laughable moron. I am sorry but there is no sugar coating it. I am not a Jew but I sure as hell understand that there are some wildly smart people who are.

          Are you really so pathetic and insecure in your beliefs that you can’t bring yourself to think anyone who disagrees with you could be smart and reasonable? You do realize how insecure and sad that makes you look, don’t you?

          1. Insecure? You mean like someone who screams and yells at anyone who dares hold a mirror up to their nonsense?

            Beat your fists and cry more, John. That will convince us.

            1. I am not crying. I am laughing at how stupid you are. Your point is so stupid and self evident nonsense, there really is no way to argue it. People like Augustine and Acquinas are considered some of the greatest minds who ever lived and are giants of Western thinking. No one who knows anything about Western Philosophy would say otherwise.

              And you wouldn’t either. You just talked out of your ass and got called on it and now can’t bring yourself walk back off the limb. Just stop it. I know you. You are not this stupid.

              1. And they wasted those intellects on a delusion. It’s sad. That’s all I feel when I walk through the theological sections of a library, sad that so much thought has been wasted on something so utterly useless.

                They might as well wasted their lives arguing over the rules changes between Dungeons and Dragons editions.

                1. Then you are an idiot. I don’t know what to tell you. You clearly posses a very simple mind and very little imagination and lack the intellectual power to understand what those people are saying.

                  If you can read The Confessions and all you get out of it is “the guy wasted his time believing in God”, you are dumb. And that is not because you don’t believe in God. It is because you dumb and are apparently incapable of understanding the book and the issues it deals with.

                2. Who’s dumber, the person who claims an unfalsifiable claim must be true, or the person who claims it must be false?

              2. People like Augustine and Acquinas are considered some of the greatest minds who ever lived and are giants of Western thinking.

                Are those the same Augustine and Acquinas who lived in a time of, “Believe what the king believes or die”? Your point is lacking a little context.

                1. No Rex, your lacking understanding of what that context means. You don’t have to agree with everything they say to understand their influence and the wisdom of a lot of what they said.

                  1. The context is that the church was calling the shots. Their influence is derived from a sword, whether metaphorical or real. Hell, even a dipshit like Tony can spout “wisdom” if his backers are the only ones allowed to spread it.

                2. I haven’t read much Aquinas, but Augustine left me decidedly unimpressed with either his intellectual rigor or his apparent general intelligence.

                  “Idiot” might be a little too strong.

          2. “I am not a Jew but I sure as hell understand that there are some wildly smart people who are.

            If they believe the stories of the OT, then they aren’t smart (not even wildly smart, whatever that is).

          3. Smart folks are perfectly capable of self-delusion.

        2. “It’s ignorance like yours that shoots up newspapers.”

          Holy shit, dude. Really?

          Like, fucking really?

          I’m going to bookmark this page in case anyone ever pretends to take you seriously again.

          Holy SHIT.

      3. Are you kidding me, John? You think there’s one true interpretation of each holy book? That anybody who has read the book in earnest agrees?

        Wouldn’t that at a minimum require that each book is self-consistent?

        I’m honestly trying to understand what you’re claiming here.

        1. My point is very simple. There is more going on in religious writing than just religion. You don’t have to be a Catholic to understand the ethical dimensions and ideas in the Confessions or a Taoist to get a lot out of the Tao te Ching. Sugar free said that it is pointless to even argue with believers in any religion about their texts or the meaning of their religious works. And that is 100% wrong and completely stupid because that there is no value to be had from those works.

      4. There are very smart scholars of Tolkien but none of them believes that elves actually existed.

        1. I agree with Tony. We should just kill Republicans and right wingers.

        2. Tony,

          You are so stupid as to be beneath this conversation. Seriously, go fuck up some other thread. Your stupidity and general awfulness on this subject reaches the point of being painful.

          1. People who believe in the grownup equivalent of Santa Claus don’t get to call anyone else stupid.

            1. That’s rich considering that “grownup equivalent of Santa Claus” pretty accurately describes most of the progressive policies you vomit all over the comments every day.

            2. I hope you’re happy nutrisweet. You’re agreeing with Tony. That should be the first clue that you’re out in left field.

              1. I don’t know about anyone else’s motivations, but I believe in childish mocking of the religious. Maybe because in all the sincere grownup conversations I used to have with them there was always the implication or outright declaration that I was going to burn in hellfire for all eternity for not agreeing with them.

                1. “I don’t know about anyone else’s motivations, but I believe in childish mocking of the religious.”

                  How’s your French?

                  1. Pretty good actually. Unfortunately I’m a huge coward.

                2. [T]here was always the implication or outright declaration that I was going to burn in hellfire for all eternity for not agreeing with them.

                  Funny. A metaphorical equivalent appears every time some progressive loses a policy argument.

        3. And yet Elves do exist. It’s maddening I tell you.

      5. Oh, now.

        I’m not saying it is what all theologians do, but it does take smarts to do what SF says they do.

    2. For, verily, unto you I say, let it be, let it be, let it be – yeah, let it be.

      This is The Word? – rejoice and be glad in it. Amen

      /what?

      1. Wait. I thought the bird was the word. Now I’m confused.

    3. Your poetic commentary makes me moist.

      1. Go on…

    4. There are thousands and thousands of years of tradition and scholarship to demonstrate that’s simply not true.

      1. Wrong. Believers can argue among themselves just fine, because they have already bought into the game.

        It like if you wouldn’t be taken seriously in the argument of whether or not you should cut off your left hand until after you cut it off. At that point, who cares?

        1. Okay, now you are just trolling. Even Tony isn’t this fucking stupid.

          1. You have such loud opinions about things you refuse to understand. It’s cute most of the time.

        2. I’ve had well reasoned debates with atheists on many occasions. Maybe you just come off as a dick.

        3. You’re obviously a believer, too. A bit of a zealot, even. There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s silly to pretend it isn’t so.

          1. Yes, co-opt me into you delusion so you don’t have to argue with me.

    5. You also tend to get overreactions from actual believers who are rather upset that you’re questioning their sense of identity and the beliefs they insist are part of that identity.

      1. You need to find a better class of believers or find some other than the ones who live in your head.

        And there are hundreds of threads on here of atheists getting their panties in a wad because someone bothered to point out a few basic points made by actual smart atheists like Hume and Nietzsche that current dumb atheists don’t like to face.

        1. Yes John I’ll get right on finding the True Scotsmen.

          I really enjoy when you go into full freak-out mode and start talking about atheism like I should be offended by you insulting other atheists. Fuck other atheists.

          1. I don’t go into freak out mode. Atheists just think everyone should be intimidated from people arguing with them. It is funny, I have had atheists call me all kinds of names and insult me every way possible and they always end things with a smug statement like yours about how I go into freak out mode.

            Projection isn’t just something Progressives do.

            1. John, you started your argument in this thread with ‘Fuck off. Seriously fuck off.’ You then started calling people laughable morons. Sugarfree’s responses aren’t exactly a step-up, but your lack of self-awareness is stunning. Yes John, atheists call you mean names and insult you and you responding in the exact same way is in no way a freak-out. ‘Projection isn’t just something progressives do’ indeed.

              1. yes I did. Maybe you missed it John but I am an asshole on here. I start most arguments with fuck off. That is what I like to call Thursday.

                I treat atheists exactly like I treat everyone else I think is making a stupid point.

                1. So you act like an asshole and freak-out, but then when someone actually calls you on it you’re not freaking out at all?

                  1. No John. I just tell people they are stupid when they are and treat them with whatever intellectual respect their point deserves. The dumber the point, the harsher I am.

                    1. And that attitude is clearly, totally different that the smugness and shitty debate tactics of the atheists you’re complaining about.

                      Let he who is without sin cast the first stone John.

                2. ” I start most arguments with fuck off.”

                  Maybe that should be both your starting and ending argument. And then you should fuck off.

              2. John, you started your argument in this thread with ‘Fuck off. Seriously fuck off.’ You then started calling people laughable morons. Sugarfree’s responses aren’t exactly a step-up, but your lack of self-awareness is stunning.

                This. And it’s gotten worse in the past few months.

                1. maybe Fransisco, or maybe people have shown themselves to be laughable morons in the last few months. Maybe it is not me but you who is the one who lacks self awareness?

                  1. Maybe it is not me but you who is the one who lacks self awareness?

                    Yeah John…that’s it. Because half the comments on this thread are people telling ME, I’m off my rocker.

                    1. Fransisco the level of vitrol in my responses is in direct proportion to what I am responding too. if my responses here were nasty, it was because Sugar Free made a nasty and insulting post about all theists.

                      If you ever notice, the more reasonable the post, the more reasonable the response. The problem is some people, and you are one of the worst offenders in this, will write insulting shit and then act shocked when I give it right back and more. Maybe you don’t realize how insulting some of the things you post are. But they are. If you don’t believe me, just watch going forward.

                      I often admit when I am wrong and I am often more than reasonable. The only time I go after people is when they go after me first. This tends to happen in atheists threads a lot because the atheists on here seem to take it for granted that they can insult theists without getting the same in return. Sorry, that is not how I roll.

          2. And speaking of full freak out mode, imagine if I said “every writer who is not a Christian or monotheists writer is delusional and reading them is a waste of time”. That is what SF is saying about every single non atheistic writer and thinker. Who is freaking out here?

            If you don’t want to be insulted, get smarter. There used to be really smart atheists in the world. Why did they get so narrow minded and stupid?

            1. That’s not remotely what he said. You see funny things when you get this spun up.

              1. That is exactly what he said. And he backed it up later in the thread. He said

                And they wasted those intellects on a delusion. It’s sad. That’s all I feel when I walk through the theological sections of a library, sad that so much thought has been wasted on something so utterly useless.

                Come on Warty. That is retarded and you know it.

                1. He initially said that believers won’t accept criticism from nonbelievers, particularly when the nonbelievers use their holy texts. That seems so obvious to me as to be tautological.

                  As for that quote – well, duh. The world would be a vastly better place if Augustine had decided to be an astronomer.

                  1. He initially said that believers won’t accept criticism from nonbelievers

                    Which again is completely fucking retarded. There is about a 5000 year history of back and forth between people of nearly every metaphysical view. Sugar Free is dismissing most of the intellectual history of Western Civilization.

                  2. I bet if Newton weren’t religious we’d have flying cars by now.

                    1. Tony seems to be a believer in the chart. Which interestingly enough is a pretty good example of ‘stupid atheist’ concepts.

                    2. I’m just saying he had a long life and spent a lot of it on nonsense. Not to say a small fraction of Newton’s life isn’t more productive than ten million other full ones.

              2. Hence ‘freak out’. John’s actually really coherent when he uses his neocortex rather than his amygdala.

                1. I am coherent now. Which part of “only an idiot dismiss all religious writers and thinkers because you don’t believe in their metaphysics” is incoherent?

                  You are just using atheist Jedi mind trick number 5, “when confronted with a point you don’t like but can’t respond to, change the subject by pretending the person who said it is just being hysterical or freaking out”.

            2. That’s actually not what Sugarfree said. And there’s a pretty big difference between a lackluster generalist statement like that and immediately going into full-on ‘fuck off’ mode. One is a general statement that can be debated on its merits, the other is a freak-out.

              Also, again, not insulted, but you seem to be really focused on trying to get an emotional reaction out of me by trying to collectively insult atheists.

              1. That is exactly what he said. If you don’t think he meant that, read his follow on comments. It is not like he backed off. And yeah, I told him to fuck off because what he said was stupid. Why are you so bothered by that?

                1. He’s arguing that intellect is wasted on theological matters, not that everything written by a religious person is worthless.

                  I’m not really bothered by it, I just find it funny that you’re consistently saying that you’re not freaking out when that’s exactly what you’re doing when you engage in that behaviour. If you want to tell people fuck off, go for it, but don’t be surprised when people call you on it.

                  1. He’s arguing that intellect is wasted on theological matters, not that everything written by a religious person is worthless.

                    Yes he is. That is because he is stupid and doesn’t understand that there is more to those “matters” than just theology. There is a lot of philosophy and ethics going on in those books and only an idiot wouldn’t understand that.

                    And telling someone to fuck off is not freaking out. Do you read this board very much? That happens all of the time.

                    1. ^This. Theology is basically ethics. A person – believer or not – can glean some incredible information and access some complex questions via theological discussions.

                      Saying theology is pointless if you’re an unbeliever is comparable to saying failed scientific experiments are pointless to science.

                      I’m saying this a a person with some pretty indifferent religious views.

                    2. Thank you Lady Bartum. That is exactly what I am saying.

                    3. And note how she did that without calling people names or telling them to fuck off right from the bat. Seems a lot more coherent right?

                    4. No John it doesn’t. It is just politer. And you and SF are not polite, so why do I owe it back to you?

                    5. Also note how much easier it is to rebut than is a simple “fuck off”.

                      The assertion that “theology is basically ethics” is a gross oversimplification, to the point of violating Words Mean Things.

                      Theology certainly deals with ethics, and it might be arguable that the portions of theology which deal with ethics are valuable (or potentially so) to non-believers.

                      Of course, eschatology is just as important to many theologies as are ethics (seemingly far more so to, for instance, the sola fide camp of Christianity), and it’s frankly ludicrous to assert that eschatological debates are worthwhile to a non-believer.

                      As it stands I find NutraSweet more on the money than Lady Bertrum.

                    6. My humble opinion, as someone who possesses a piece of paper that says I’m something of a minor expert on these guys, is that Aquinas and Augustine, along with the other more theologically inclined philosophers, would lose very little of actual intellectual value if their works were given the Thomas Jefferson editorial treatment. Of course we’re talking about a period of history when the only people with the leisure time to do intellectual work were living in monasteries. Can’t condemn them for that. It seems to remain true, however, that time spent on trying to figure out what God thinks was time wasted. But I waste most of my time so who am I to judge.

                    7. I hate to agree with anything Tony says, but I think his is actually a fairer reaction to Augustine than was mine (I mention it earlier in the discussion).

                    8. “^This.”

                      Is wrong.

                      “Theology is basically ethics.”

                      Nope. Wrong again, ethics is ethics, theology is superfluous crap, and totally not necessary to the discussion or evolution of ideas on anything ever, including ethics.

                      “A person – believer or not – can glean some incredible information and access some complex questions via theological discussions.”

                      Yes, like who wastes their time believing in delusions and then constructing stupid rhetorical justifications for those delusions.

                      The idea that religion has ever uncovered any truth that is otherwise unavailable is patently ridiculous.

                    9. Yes, like who wastes their time believing in delusions and then constructing stupid rhetorical justifications for those delusions.

                      Almost as dumb as people who spend their lives begging questions and assuming they know what is a “delusion” and what is not.

                      Again, is it too much to ask that we get some smart atheists?

                    10. Clearly what Sugarfree actually wrote doesn’t matter, what you interpreted and extrapolated from it does.

                      And it’s not just ‘fuck off’, it’s the fact that you constantly insult your opponent and attempt to get emotional reactions from people. You’ve got decent arguments thrown in here and there but so much of it overwhelmed by blatant, emotional statements about how someone’s an idiot or stupid. You clearly have an emotional overreaction and yes, that is a freak-out.

                    11. No it is not an attempt to get a reaction John. It is me telling them to fuck off. And what SF said was stupid. Why can’t you admit that? If you are so unbothered by my criticizing him, why can’t you admit something that obvious?

                    12. You seemed to miss the whole ‘Sugarfree isn’t a step up’ comment.

                  2. And I don’t really care if you are bothered by it or not. When you say something interesting rather than just wallowing in your smugness, I might care then. But you have yet to do that.

                    1. Again, you seem to think I’m bothered by it. All I did was pointing out that you were having a freak-out. You proceeded to begin a long argument about how you weren’t. I pointed out how you were complaining about atheists calling you names and insulting you when that’s been half your debate tactics here. I really don’t care enough to be ‘bothered’ by it, I’m just calling you out on your behaviour.

                    2. I never complained about atheists calling me names John. They can call me names all they want. Fair is fair. Why do you think I am complaining?

                      And again, why do you feel the need to defend Sugar Free’s self evidently ridiculous claims?

                    3. It is funny, I have had atheists call me all kinds of names and insult me every way possible and they always end things with a smug statement like yours about how I go into freak out mode.

                      You presented that as a criticism of atheist argumentation, then proceeded to engage in the exact same tactics. Fair enough if you’re not complaining, but it’s juvenile to act like names, insults and ‘smug statements’ by atheists are any different from your behaviour.

                    4. Because you statement was smug. If you think that SF’s statement was right, defend it. Instead you gave thus smug anecdotal generalization. You said

                      You also tend to get overreactions from actual believers who are rather upset that you’re questioning their sense of identity and the beliefs they insist are part of that identity.

                      Can’t you see how insulting that is? You started the thread by insulting believers and then spent the rest of it in shock I would give it right back at you.

                      Atheists are so stepped in the own bullshit, they have often have no idea how insulting they actually are. Well, I am letting you know.

                    5. Serious ethical question, John has in the past said he was a government employee. He was also supposedly doxxed (although the accuracy is in question).

                      Is it ethically wrong to use the publicly available information about him to inform his employers that he is posting here on their time?

                    6. And by his employers, I mean the people who control him not us, the taxpayers, we know he’s stealing from us.

                    7. All of the information known about me or most of it, is wrong Tulpa, or whoever you are.

                      That being said, I imagine a fascist like you will some day hunt me down and show up at my doorstep. Such is the world we live in.

                    8. Leave it to John to ignore the actual question…

                      In addition, it’s accuracy was confirmed by you already, mostly by how loudly and continuously whined, threatened suit, and insisted it be scrubbed.

                      Try to convince someone else asshole.

                    9. Oh Mary, get help.

                    10. Get an attorney. A better one than you, because defrauding a government agency for as long as you have is a felony.

                      Also, the funniest part about all this is that everything that exists on your identity is from you. Your posts.

                      You’re so fucking stupid you did it to yourself then stupidly ran about trying to pretend it didn’t exist.

                      THAT is funny.

                    11. Why do you do this to yourself Mary?

                    12. Why are you talking to yourself freak?

                    13. Little late on this, but it’s not an insult, it’s a statement about the behaviour you tend to get. Your first response was to throw a hissy fit and name call, before I wrote anything down. Yes John, you’re totally ‘letting me know’ by completely validating my point.

                      Like I said, self awareness is not your strong suit. Perhaps you should look at how ‘steeped in your own bullshit’ you are.

    6. Nailed it, Sug.

    7. Perhaps it is useless for you because you do not have the depth and breath to understand their books.

      Do you really think that you are so smart that can best someone by taking a page or verse or two out of context and make a point they can’t refute?

      Have you ever considered that it is your ignorance that can’t understand their point ? So ignorant of the subject matter that it would be useless to try to explain it to you indepth ?

      Just because you can’t/don’t see the value of Lobster isn’t necessarily due to the value of Lobster.

      Once there were prison uprisings in the Northeast US because they were fed too much Lobster. Evidentially some people don’t appreciate Lobster.

    8. “It’s like fighting fire with a bucket of crazy and expecting to get lobsters back as change.”

      That’s one of the best things I’ve ever heard!

      That and “John’s a dick,” of course.

    9. I’m still waiting for someone to decide which is the definitive text, the Glorious Pasta of Italy or The Pasta Bible. Maybe I should discuss this with my neighbor, Guiseppe Smith.

  9. Where are the moderate Muslims?

    nailing copies of Charlie Hedbo to the mosque door

    1. +1 Martin Luther

    2. nailing copies of Charlie Hedbo to the mosque door

      Yeah (sigh) that’s not gonna happen is it?

      I can understand many may fear coming out as a moderate and just don’t want to draw attention to themselves.

      I hate, hate, hate the medias reaction to the slaughter, though.

      Some newspapers and media won’t even show the cartoons and covers of Charlie that brought about the murder. What a bunch of spineless scum the media is – almost to a man.

      1. A very astute example of this is Sheryl Atkinsons law suit against the Government.

        Her computers were hacked by the Federal Government, had classified files buried deep where only they were supposed to know where, left with spyware on them, and the rest of the media is silent.

        Compared to the media reaction to Watergate this is truly a shame.

  10. “They’re out there, for sure, and we’d all be better off creating a dialogue in which the anti-modernity Islamists are recognized as a common enemy.”

    And yet our politicians and our media feel compelled to repeat the blasphemy claims of the Islamists as though they are without dispute. And they proactively censor themselves even as they report on these murders.

    Why would they do this? Because they themselves do not believe that the tolerant, modern Muslims will defend them when the jihadists come ’round and ask for them by name.

    I think they’re wrong, but it’s not me you have to convince.

  11. The fourth is next door in the Freer’s sister museum, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

    Jews.

  12. Load of wishful thinking woo woo.

    1. No true Scotsman would do such a thing. Writ large.

    2. We’d all be better off creating a dialogue in which the anti-modernity Buddhists are recognized as a common enemy. Or is it the anti-modernity Amish are recognized as a common enemy? Or is it the anti-modernity animists? Or the anti-modernity Hindu? Or even the anti-modernity socialists? It isn’t the anti-modernity that’s the problem here. It’t the certainty of the Revealed Truth.

    1. No, the problem here is the killing. If they wanna go be certain of the revealed truth in a cave, I wouldn’t give a shit.

  13. We’ll just pretend that the Hadith don’t exist…

    You know, I find it amusing that we’re supposed to take Muslims at their word when they list American support of Israel and presence on the Arabian Peninsula as reasons for violence against the West, but when they source the religion itself, they’re just wrong or misinterpreting it.

    1. To be fair there’s been criticism of the hadith since the 9th century, but yeah, not mentioning it when discussing what Islamic texts say is pretty poor form.

      1. Waseem does mention it, and says that the Quran supersedes it. Nick isolated the quote, for crying out loud.

  14. Islamists… fuck them. The violent ones we kill.

    Fuck Obama and Bush for not making it more clear that Islamists are to Muslims like what white supremacists are to white Americans. Eternal shame on them.

    1. To be fair to Obama and Bush, they both have called the islamists extremist and not real Muslims.

      Unfortunately, too few Muslims are willing to voice that particular opinion.

      1. Umm… no they haven’t. They have called them extremists, but they have not called Islamists Islamists. Bush stupidly said that Islam means peace.

        They both have tip toed around truths. Obama openly supports Islamists in Turkey, Egypt, Libya, and Syria.

        1. Roughly translated, ‘Islam’ means FYTW

      2. And it is totally stupid and ignorant to say that Islamists aren’t real Muslims. Every single Islamist is in fact a Muslim. Not all Muslims are Islamists though. That is why it is important to distinguish the two by confronting Islamists honestly.

  15. So he’s saying that Muslims were more sane in the past. Well, yes. Didn’t we all know that? It’s not only the fault of the Mongols that Baghdad went from being the center of world learning to a glorified shantytown.

    1. They really weren’t more sane in the past. How do you think Islam grew so quickly? Enlightened discourse?

      1. Of course they were.

        There was a cleric at the end of the period, can’t remember his name. Abu-Jerka or something. Abu-Jerka preached, more or less, that thinking was a sin. That was the end of sanity in the Muslim world.

        1. Missed your point. It happens.

        2. Have some respect.

          His name was Abu Jerka-Derka.
          Friends just called him JD.

    2. That didn’t help. But Muslims were not generally crazy in the first half of the 20th Century. Lebanon used to be the Paris of the Middle East. Iran was very Western.

      What is calling itself “radical Islam” is just good old Western fascism wearing Islamic garb. The people who say “these guys are not real Muslims” actually have a point. But, what is a “real Muslim” is can change over time. And they seem to be wanting to change it such they are the real Muslims.

      1. To my point yesterday – those places were sane because they weren’t very Muslim. At least as we’d understand the term Muslim.

        I can’t remember the name of this Muslim preacher who helped ruin things a thousand years ago. It’s driving me nuts. Preached that revelation is the only way to truth, thinking and math were sins. Ring any bells?

        1. Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab is the guy you are thinking of. But Wahabiism never was shit outside of Arabia. What happened is the Saudis got rich from oil and started exporting the shit all over the world. Add in a good dose of Western anti-Imperialism and victimology and you get what we have today.

          1. No, Wahab was around 1700. The guy I’m thinking of is 700 years earlier.

            1. I can’t remember the name of this Muslim preacher who helped ruin things a thousand years ago. It’s driving me nuts. Preached that revelation is the only way to truth, thinking and math were sins. Ring any bells?

              Al-Ghazali taught that cause and effect didn’t exist and things only happen by will of God.

          2. Various Muslim jurists over the last 1200 or so years have argued very similar things.

            The fact is the bloom Islam saw was mostly due to the vibrant civilizations it absorbed in the early years, notably the Assyrians and Persians. It was headed downhill almost from the beginning. The seeds of its doom are planted in the religion itself.

            Once the Umayyad Caliphate reached its territorial zenith the “vibrancy” of Islam started fading, pretty rapidly. The Muslim world saw a brief dimmer bloom under the Ottomans until about the 15th Century (again, when the Ottoman Empire reached its territorial zenith), but the Muslim world has remained stagnant (at best) or backslid unabated for the last 500 years.

            1. This. Baghdad’s brilliant doctors and mathematicians weren’t Arabs from Medina and Mecca.

              1. Weren’t most of them Jews?

                1. jews and armenian christians

                  1. You guys are right about the whole “golden age of Islam” bullshit. I just wanna add that one of the main problems in Islam had to do with causality. The idea of natural law, at least in medieval Christianity, is that god “designed” the universe and it followed a certain consistency, was subjected to rules that man could understand with his use of reason and so on. The muslims, on the other hand, may have drawn the same conclusions as christians did but from a different analytical point of entry; namely that while they may have found some consistency in the natural world that was replicable this wasn’t due to some kind of “iron” law but instead was nothing more than one of allah’s idiosyncrasies that he could discontinue at anytime. This is why medieval islam, while it made some contributions, philosophically it was “stillborn” because of the theological constraints in the system.

        2. You may be thinking of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali:

          ” One of the main issues of theological debate was the relationship between God’s power and human acts. The Mu’tazilites, admitting the continuation of an accident (‘arad) of human power, asserted that human acts were decided and produced (or even created) by people themselves; thus they justified human responsibility for acts and maintained divine justice. In contrast, assuming that all the events in the world and human acts are caused by God’s knowledge, will and power, al-Ghazali admits two powers in human acts, God’s power and human power. Human power and act are both created by God, and so human action is God’s creation (khalq), but it is also human acquisition (kasb) of God’s action, which is reflected in human volition. Thus al-Ghazali tries to harmonize God’s omnipotence and our own responsibility for our actions (see Omnipotence).

          1. “As for God’s acts, the Mu’tazilites, emphasizing divine justice, assert that God cannot place any obligation on people that is beyond their ability; God must do what is best for humans and must give rewards and punishments according to their obedience and disobedience. They also assert that it is obligatory for people to know God through reason even before revelation. Al-Ghazali denies these views. God, he says, can place any obligations he wishes upon us; it is not incumbent on him to do what is best for us, nor to give rewards and punishments according to our obedience and disobedience. All this is unimaginable for God, since he is absolutely free and is under no obligation at all. Obligation (wujub), says al-Ghazali, means something that produces serious harm unless performed, but nothing does harm to God. Furthermore, good (hasan) and evil (qabih) mean respectively congruity and incongruity with a purpose, but God has no purpose at all. Therefore, God’s acts are beyond human ethical judgment. Besides, says al-Ghazali, injustice (zulm) means an encroachment on others’ rights, but all creatures belong to God; therefore, whatever he may do to his creatures, he cannot be considered unjust.”

            http://www.muslimphilosophy.co…..#H028SECT2

          2. I think you’re correct.

            1. There is a healthy thread of “anti-thinking” that runs through Chrisian philosophy.

              1. and *Christian too

        3. That’s ironic since the Arabs invented algebra (al-gebr) and distillation of alcohol (al-kohl).

      2. The only time Islam was peaceful is when they became irrelevant as the world modernized and they remained. From the Caliphate, to the Barbary wars to today nothing has changed. For a period when they had no claws they were mostly harmless, then they discovered oil and were able to continue.

  16. “Mohammedans,”

    I would have gone with “Musselmen”.

  17. That’s the thing–not only do religious texts motivate otherwise sane people to do ridiculous or even monstrous things, people will discover religious edicts that may not even exist and use them as an excuse to do monstrous things. The Bible and Quran are vile in places, but they don’t even need to be in order for adherents to their associated religions to believe not only in the value of tribalism and exclusion (to the point of murder), but that magic spirits are backing them up. Faith is the problem, not books.

    1. That’s the thing–not only do religious marxist texts motivate otherwise sane people to do ridiculous or even monstrous things, people will discover religious marxist edicts that may not even exist and use them as an excuse to do monstrous things.

      FIFY

      Human beings will use any excuse, religious or otherwise, to try to accumulate power and dominate others. It’s called part of human nature, dumbass.

      1. No I think religion is special in that way. Nobody was trying to accumulate power in shooting these magazine people, they were doing what they think their invisible friend in the sky wants them to do. There are plenty of false or irrational belief systems out there but only a certain type has omnipotent jealous power behind them.

        1. Millions of people have been murdered in non-religious fascist and communist states because people had irrational belief systems that were non-religious in nature. But religion is particularly special.

          Got it.

          1. Yeah, you’re talking about regimes that mirrored religious structures, with the dictator as a proxy for the “omnipotent jealous power” I referred to. These were not secular systems.

            1. I like how you get to define what is and is not secular.

              So, Nazi and Communist regimes were religious. That’s awfully convenient. With that statement leftists never need to take responsibility for the ideologies and atrocities they spawned. It was the RELIGION that done it!!!!!

              1. The Nazi regime was most certainly religious. The officially atheistic communist regimes you’re referring to nevertheless had religious structure–deity-like man at the top, thoughtcrime punished. You’re entitled to think they don’t count because they don’t have traditional religious texts and rituals, but as systems they arguably mirrored religion quite well. I am talking about a way of thinking, and those are examples of what are arguably recently invented religious systems.

                But speaking of Nazis–I think we must blame capitalism for that, since we’re playing guilt-by-association games. After all, not only was history’s capitalist par excellence, Henry Ford, a Nazi, he was so much of a Nazi he inspired Hitler rather than the other way around.

                1. Yeah. No. Saying they were religious systems because they embraced a strong man as a pseudo-deity illustrates an infantile and simplistic understanding of religion.

                  I do want to give you ample credit though, you sure are good at the guilt by association game.

                  Some religious people do immoral things —– religion causes immorality. Nice.

            2. “These were not secular systems.”

              She specifically referenced Marxism. Marxism is secular.

              So no, your wrong.

              1. Nazism was secular as well. Hitler considered Christianity an impediment.

                1. Nazism was secular as well. Hitler considered Christianity an impediment.

                  Not really, the inner circle had and promoted a sort of bizarre neo-paganism that never really caught on with the volk.

                  Hitler did hate Christians though, primarily because he thought they had weakened the German culture and people.

                  It should be noted that the Nordic movement in Scandinavia believes a lot of the same shit.

                  1. Hitler was Catholic!

      2. Saint Nabakov told me to fuck my neighbor’s twelve-year-old daughter, so it’s okay.

  18. So we have learned that the religious won’t accept religious arguments from the nonreligious. Right?

  19. This is the worst dating site ever.

    1. I can’t believe that they matched up SugarFree and John.

      1. Seems pretty standard for a Reality Show to me.

  20. “40. Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbor, does not yet understand them as he ought. If, on the other hand, a man draws a meaning from them that may be used for the building up of love, even though he does not happen upon the precise meaning which the author whom he reads intended to express in that place, his error is not pernicious, and he is wholly clear from the charge of deception….

    “41. Whoever takes another meaning out of Scripture than the writer intended, goes astray, but not through any falsehood in Scripture. Nevertheless, as I was going to say, if his mistaken interpretation tends to build up love, which is the end of the commandment, he goes astray in much the same way as a man who by mistake quits the high road, but yet reaches through the fields the same place to which the road leads. He is to be corrected, however, and to be shown how much better it is not to quit the straight road, lest, if he get into a habit of going astray, he may sometimes take cross roads, or even go in the wrong direction altogether.”

    St. Augustine

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/12021.htm

  21. OT: Here is a slow-motion vid of the Paris Police Officer being shot. Shouldn’t there be some splatter or some kind of body recoil?

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=44d_1420688937

    1. Back and to the right.

      Too soon?

    2. Oh my fucking god, fucking Charlie Hebdo fucking truther fucks.

      The answer is no. For one thing, FMJ rounds often don’t cause that big of an exit wound. You see the fucking puff of dust as it hits the concrete after it goes through the poor bastard’s head. And AKs don’t really have that much recoil, especially the ones in 5.45×39 caliber, which that might be, judging by the shape of the magazine.

      Yes, I think these are 5.56 or 5.45 caliber AKs.

      1. I was just asking. sheesh

        1. I’m not yelling at you, I’m just exasperated that there are idiots who want to believe that wasn’t a real murder. Some people never got the taintkickings they needed as children.

      2. They were probably 5.56 rounds with full metal jackets that just burned right through the guy.

        1. I wish I could find some better resolution pics of the shooters. You agree that those don’t look like 7.62 magazines?

          1. Yes. The weapons look like the 5.56 versions of the AK.

          2. They don’t look anything like the Circle-10s I’m looking at right now. Or 5.45mm mags.

            They look like 7.62mm mags to me. The forward sweep is far to extreme to be 5.56mm or 5.45mm.

    3. Oh my god the Daily Mail is stupid. I found this while looking for better pics of the weapons.

      An image of a police car riddled with bullets appears to support this, as nine holes in the windscreen are grouped into a space little more than a a few inches square.

      This shows an incredibly high level of precision as the AK-47 is notorious for its lack of accuracy.

      These guys had some basic marksmanship, which makes them pretty unusual for terrorists. But oh my god, it takes an incredible amount of precision to keep your rounds within 12 inches at, say, 50 yards? Get the fuck out of here, Daily Mail.

    4. No, bullets don’t cause “body recoil” (ever), and they generally don’t cause blood spatter either (that happens later, after the wound has had time to bleed). They’re moving fast enough to penetrate without pushing, and the body has mechanisms which (hopefully) delay bleeding in the instants following a catastrophic injury.

      There are plenty of verified real shootings to see on the internet if you really care about these things.

      (Granted, the blood can go either way. The real video of the kid shooting his dad at a wedding with a Browning Hi-Power shows immediate blood spatter, this likely accelerated by shock emanating from the point-blank discharge.)

  22. At least since the 9/11 attacks, an ongoing query in America and the West more broadly has been, “Where are the moderate Muslims?” They’re out there, for sure, and we’d all be better off creating a dialogue in which the anti-modernity Islamists are recognized as a common enemy.

    They’re out there and they’re even a majority (on most issues)! But they’re often barely a majority and quite often the “minority” of extremists are barely a minority. A far cry from what we’re told by Islam apologentsia.

    Pew Research (2013): Only 57% of Muslims worldwide disapprove of al-Qaeda. Only 51% disapprove of the Taliban. 13% support both groups and 1 in 4 refuse to say.
    http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/…..st-groups/
    ww w.pewglobal.org/2013/09/10/muslim-p ublics-share-concerns-about-extremist-groups/

    Pew Research (2007): 26% of younger Muslims in America believe suicide bombings are justified.
    35% of young Muslims in Britain believe suicide bombings are justified (24% overall).
    42% of young Muslims in France believe suicide bombings are justified (35% overall).
    22% of young Muslims in Germany believe suicide bombings are justified.(13% overall).
    29% of young Muslims in Spain believe suicide bombings are justified.(25% overall).
    http://pewresearch.org/assets/…..df#page=60

    1. “They’re out there and they’re even a majority (on most issues)! But they’re often barely a majority and quite often the “minority” of extremists are barely a minority. A far cry from what we’re told by Islam apologentsia.”

      And it’s an odds-on bet they really don’t give a crap if someone points out that the koran really doesn’t say what they think it says.

      1. I can empathize with Nick for writing this article. I know libertarians have an aversion to “intolerance”. I myself wrestled with it for no small amount of time. But there is no room to tolerate those who would destroy you, nor the ideology from which they draw their beliefs.

        The avowed enemies of civilization within Muslim population world-wide, are not an tiny minority of the total. The killers themselves may be a tiny a minority, but their supporters are large swathes of the population. That needs to change before we engage in multiculturalist political experiments.

    2. Wow. That many will just up and admit that murder is justified?

      1. I wonder what the response would be if you asked Americans “Are military attacks on civilans to disrupt terrorist operations often/sometimes/rarely/never justified”?

        1. I would venture to say that most would say often due to the way you posed the question. I am one of them.

          However a cartoon isn’t a “terrorist operation” and that is what we are dealing with here.

          apples do not equal oranges

          1. Once you realize that stormy is a prog concern troll then you learn to just ignore him

            1. Calling someone a concern troll is the H&R version of telling someone to “check their privilege”. It means the accuser can’t actually refute the argument so is going to avoid it by claiming the arguer only made it out of impure motives.

              1. “It means the accuser can’t actually refute the argument so is going to avoid it by claiming the arguer only made it out of impure motives.”

                Except in those cases where the “argument” was rebutted, such as here.
                You were told you made the classic screwup of “false equivalence”. Is that clear?

                1. Except his argument wasn’t “rebutted”.

                  This was posted: I would venture to say that most would say often due to the way you posed the question. I am one of them.

                  Which was, fairly obviously, his point to begin with: In what form was the Pew question posed such that it achieved the stated response?

                  Did it make explicit mention of “terrorism”? Did it make explicit stipulations of “unjust provocation”? Or were they left as vague and open-ended (therefore meaningless) as the provided link suggests?

                  Most importantly, could a different result be achieved by posing the question differently?

  23. Except it kinda does, at least the second part:

    Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”

    Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

    1. True, and people don’t understand the peaceful verses are abrogated by the violent ones in 2-105.

      Mohommad became violent at the end of his life, so those verses take precedence.

    2. One of my Arabic teachers at DLI said that in the beginning Mohammad was more peaceful and considered Christians and Jews like brothers to Muslims. But as time wore on, being subject derision from the other two faiths, he became more bitter towards them and advocated violence.

      1. In the beginning, he was too weak to hurt others. When he got the power, he became very intolerant.

  24. Okay, look all the research this dipshit did was ask some random Muslim if it’s true. Muslims are not too stupid to understand their religion. They understand it perfectly fine.

    The Quran says that Mohmmad was sent as an example. The Hadith tell them exactly what Mohommad did. And he definitely killed people that suited Islam. So in Islam if you condemn killing those that newly Islam then you are saying mohommad was not perfect, and if you are denying Mohomad’s perfection you are denying the truth of the Quran making you an apostate.

    They understand their religion, they’re not stupid. Gillespie doesn’t understand, he is stupid.

  25. 88% of Egyptians favor the death penalty for leaving Islam. Jordan 83%, Palestine 62%, Afghanistan 79%.

    In South Asia, support for applying
    religious law to family and property
    disputes is coupled with strong backing
    for severe criminal punishments, such as
    cutting off the hands of thieves (median
    of 81%) and the death penalty for
    Muslims who renounce their faith
    (76%).

    http://www.pewforum.org/files/…..report.pdf

  26. “Does Islam Prohibit Images of Mohammed? Nope. Does It Command Death to Blasphemers? Nope.”

    OK, You’ve convinced me. Now get busy and convince the militant head choppers and murderers of cartoonists, because doing that would really help improve things.

  27. The problem is, the Saudi version of Islam has take over.

    1. The problem is the Saudi’s have educated people in Islam, the bigger problem, is that they are teaching the correct and obvious interpretation of Islam. Mohommad was a warrior, and conquerer with many wives. Does anyone think he taught peace while he lead an Army? Did he say, as soon as I’m dead you start being peaceful?

  28. Here’s another one

    Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

  29. And the ever popular

    Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

    Which justifies the beheadings…

  30. As I commented earlier what these people are doing isn’t really retaliation for offensive speech, precisely. It is norm-enforcement. Islam has a taboo against depicting Mohammed, at least right now. And when people violate taboos, people often react with extreme condemnation.

    Moreover, some research has shown that punishments for taboo violations are especially extreme, when the taboos are threatened. In other words, when those who believe in the taboo, think that people might stop obeying the taboo, other that it might become generally accepted to violate the taboo, they get REALLY fucking crazy about it.

    What’s really going on here is that these people are afraid that other Muslims will stop taking Mohammed so seriously, and THAT is what cannot be tolerated.

  31. A Muslim’s interpretation of Islam should affect how we interact with him/her (let’s say him).

    If he thinks Islam requires him to kill me or people who share my nationality, he’s an enemy.

    If he thinks his religion requires honoring God and our neighbor and being a peaceable member of the community, then it’s hi there, buddy, good to see ya!

    1. Wanna pet my dog?

      Just kidding!

  32. Does It Command Death to Blasphemers?

    Yes, of course.

    http://corpus.quran.com/transl…..&verse=191
    “Slay them wherever you may catch them and expel them from the place from which they expelled you. The sin of disbelief in God is greater than committing murder. Do not fight them in the vicinity of the Sacred Mosque in Mecca unless they start to fight. Then slay them for it is the recompense that the disbelievers deserve.”

    Is Reason getting more and more uselessly PC and dishonest all the time?

    Better ask Ro Waseem, perhaps he’ll tell you what you want to hear.

  33. For those who might want to read a good translation with notes, I recommend:
    “The Holy Qur’an” with English Translation and Commentary
    by Maulana Muhammad Ali.

    If all Muslims interpreted the Qur’an the way he did, the world would be a more peaceful place.

    Oh hell, who am I kidding? We’d find other excuses to slaughter one another.

  34. This is a half-step up from Joe Biden trying to instruct Hirsi Ali on what is and isn’t Islamic. Nick is citing the Koran instead of pulling it out of his ass, but he still misses the fundamental distinction between orthodox Islam (the long established and not re-openable body of Islamic Sharia-law jurisprudence) and the variety of ways that Islam COULD be interpretted or practiced. Nick cites:

    Regarding apostasy, in Quran 2:256 God says, “There is no compulsion in matters of faith….

    In a similar vein, verse 109:6 instructs adherents to end a debate by saying: “To you, your belief system. And to me, mine.”…

    But the Koran also says (verse 4.89): “if they turn away [from Islam], then seize them and kill them wherever you find them.” So which is it?

    Here you have to know what the orthodox rule is for resolving apparent inconsistencies in the Koran. It is called the rule of abrogation and it says that whatever comes later is to “abrogate” (or expunge) what came earlier.

    The verse: “To you, your belief system. And to me, mine”? Officially expunged from the Koran according to orthodox jurisprudence. Another ruling of orthodox jurisprudence, handed down almost 1000 years ago, says that the basic rulings of Islamic jurisprudence handed down to that point cannot be revisited.

  35. A question for you all, why did they draw those nasty pictures of someone else’s religious figure? To prove a point? What’s the point? it was just to raise sales.
    If a guy constantly walked on thin ice to gain money and he fell once but then continued to walk on thin ice just to look humorous, if he fell again and died, would you blame the ice or the guy?
    What they did wasn’t racism, or islamophobia, it was public emotional abuse of more than a billion people, would you really be surprised of 3 lashing out?
    Violence doesn’t solve anything, but I can’t be surprised of what happened.. Can you?

    1. I am never surprised by the barbaric acts by Islamists. But does not mean that I condone them.

  36. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link,
    go to tech tab for work detail ???????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  37. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.paygazette.com

  38. Does Islam Command Death to Blasphemers? Yes!
    Qu’ran Chapter 33 verses 57, 60-61.
    33:57 “Indeed, those who abuse Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this world and the Hereafter and prepared for them a humiliating punishment…
    33:60 “If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is disease and those who spread rumors in al-Madinah do not cease, We will surely incite you against them; then they will not remain your neighbors therein except for a little.
    33:61 “Accursed wherever they are found, [being] seized and massacred completely.”

    Massacred completely. Want to try to re-interpret that? That’s exactly what befell the editorial board of Charlie Hebdo, in accordance with the dictates of the Quran.

  39. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are actually factions of the same Abrahamic religion, i.e., those with a religious background going back to Abraham of the biblical Book of Genesis. As I documented in another post here on this article, the answer to the question of whether the Quran commands death for blasphemy is a definite YES! (Quran 33:61). And that is actually based on the biblical book of Leviticus, which laid down the law for the Israelites after they were brought out of Egypt in the Exodus, as described in the biblical book of the same name. Leviticus chapter 24 goes into some detail about blasphemy, telling the story of the son of an “Israelitish” woman and an Egyptian man who blasphemed the name of the Lord and cursed.

    Leviticus 24:16 “And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death.”

    The book of Leviticus goes on to describe in verse 23 how the children of Israel brought that man out of their camp and stoned him to death, “as the Lord commanded Moses”.

    Moses is considered one of the greatest prophets of Islam. He is referred to as “Musa” in the Quran.

    So true believing Jews are by Jewish law also required to put to death anyone who commits the sin of blasphemy. The same goes for true believers in Islam, as their prophet Musa was commanded by Allah, as described in the book of Leviticus.

    1. Incidentally, the Book of Leviticus in chapter 25 also promotes the enslavement of captives taken from amongst “the heathen”, i.e., those who are not descendants of Abraham. The slave markets of Raqqa, where good Jihadists go to buy little Christian girls to be their very own sex slaves, are based on that as well.

      So they’re just practicing the tenets of the very book that we swear by in a court of law.

  40. Agreed that quoting scripture does no good against bullies. Part of the reason is that some Muslims say that parts of the Koran were disavowed by the author and are no longer valid. I haven’t been able to find out which.

  41. What do you mean by “does Islam…”? Which Islam? The Islam of Quran? A dusty book written by a child molesting defeated military leader with hallucinations? (As opposed to the Bible, a book based on oral transmissions from a schizophrenic, later rewritten by a powerful political group as propaganda material?)

    What the Quran or the Bible say doesn’t matter; those books are meaningless garbage anyway. What matters is what the followers of those religions actually believe and actually do. And a large number of Muslims (and a smaller number of Christians) believe that their religion justifies violence and killing.

  42. The article is misleading about blasphemy. Certain Hadiths, such as al-Bukhari’s, have widespread credibility and authority in Islam. Al-Bukhari clearly gives a couple of cases of Mohammed authorizing the assassination of those critical of him. Another point to note is that the Quran was “revealed” over a span of several years. The “revelations” when Mohammed was weak were more tolerant. But when he had the power to be tyrannical, then the revelations permitted him tyranny.

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