What Islamists and Islamaphobes don’t want you to know

By Alex Kronemerfilm producer The Fort Hood tragedy has become a renewed occasion for many self-appointed spokespersons, hostile critics, experts, … Continued

By Alex Kronemer
film producer

The Fort Hood tragedy has become a renewed occasion for many self-appointed spokespersons, hostile critics, experts, pseudo-experts, pundits, and politicians to assert their theories about what Muslims really think. In the past few two weeks, I’ve heard the Qur’an quoted more times on talk radio than in a mosque. Verses are thrown around either to argue that Islam is, as we often hear, “a religion of peace” or as Pat Robertson said a few days ago, not a religion at all, but a “political system” bent on destroying all the world’s governments.

Whichever side these arguments land, they all engage in the fallacy of essentialism. That is, they all insist that something as enormous, diverse and complex as a 1,400 year old, global religion like Islam is reducible to a simple sound bite or punchy talking point that defines what all the world’s Muslims think.

Like Christianity and Judaism, Islam is the intricate interplay of history and ideas, of different people, places, and cultures, always in flux, always evolving. Like them it has a scripture that was developed and compiled while under great persecution and threat. Its verse includes passionate entreaties for mercy and forgiveness, as well as descriptions of war and threats of hell. It mixes anachronistic situations in gender relationships from the ancient Near Eastern world with timeless ethical and spiritual principles.

And like the Bible, the Qur’an can provide ample fodder for those who seek war as well as peace. Like among Christians and Jews, there are enormous differences in thought and outlook among Muslims, similar to what existed between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1960’s leader of Mississippi’s Ku Klux Klan, both of whom were devout, church going, Bible quoting Christians.

Essentialism obfuscates that in religion people define what their faith is much more than their faith defines them. Therefore, it is a mistake to look to “Islam” or the Qur’an to argue about what Muslims think. Rather, we should look at Muslims themselves, and postulate from what we learn from them before we seeking to define Islam in essentialist terms.

The Gallup Company recently conducted a major world poll on what Muslims think about a number of issues. Soon to be updated, these results were published two years ago, and have become the subject of a book, “Who Speaks for Islam” and soon a documentary film called, “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think“, which will begin broadcast on select PBS stations in February.

What the data, book and film all show is that while the Muslim world is very diverse, there are large majorities who embrace gender equality, freedom of speech, and democracy. At the same time, large numbers were found to reject extremism and terror.

For example, while 7% of the world’s Muslims said in the poll that the attacks of 911 were completely justified, 55% answered the opposite, that they were completely unjustified. Keeping in mind that the poll was undertaken against the backdrop of the U.S. fighting two wars with many civilian casualties, and events like the outrages at Abu Ghraib, this by itself is an amazing result and speaks to the fact that the majority of the world’s Muslims are defining their faith in a peaceful way.

This is bad news to those Muslims who define Islam militantly and want more of their fellow Muslims to do so as well. But it is also bad news to those such as Pat Robertson who adopt the militant interpretation of Islam and want more of their constituency to do the same.

Hopefully, what the poll and the film will show to Muslims across the world is that their opinions about these issues are very much in the mainstream, and thereby strengthen their voices in opposing militancy.

At the same time, it should also remind Americans of the same, strengthening their voices in fighting the challenges to pluralism, freedom of religion, and civil rights that are again under threat for following the criminal actions of an individual. We should remember that the cherished principles of freedom and fairness are also ideas that we define by our actions and beliefs.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used to say, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.” I hope the world finds some light in what a billion Muslims really think.

Alex Kronemer is the co-executive producer of the documentary, “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think“. The DC screening was hosted by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), in cooperation with Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) and Karen Armstrong’s Charter for Compassion.

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  • bpai_99

    “It is necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” – Pope Boniface VIINo religion is more intolerant than Christianity.

  • Navin1

    I appreciate this article. I try to draw distinctions, though, between what a person believes and what a religion says. Good acts and bad acts are just that, regardless of religion, ethnicity, etc. But ideologies that say us v them, scriptures that say the devil is in them, etc are intolerance embodied. That is why man must judge his/her scriptures in part and in whole. Then we can say, we give up that stanza, we love this stanza, see how beautiful this expression is, see how horrific that expression is, etc. hariaum

  • acebojangles

    Maybe the real lesson to learn here is that there’s a serious flaw in any attempt to find absolute truth in a book written by ancient men.

  • Garak

    CCNL should consider the tens of thousands killed by Judaism. Palestine, 1948: 12,000 Palestinian dead, 600,000+ refugees due to Zio-fascist ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinian population.1st Intifada: 1100 Palestinians killed.2d Intifada: 4000 Palestinians killed.1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon: 17,000+ Lebanese killed, including 2400+ Palestinian refugees massacred at Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps on instigation of Ariel Sharon.1994: Jewish physician (sound familiar?) Baruch Kappel Goldstein shoots and kills (sound familiar?) 29 Muslims and wounds 150 (refresh my memory on how many were killed and wounded at Ft. Hood) at Cave of Patriarchs in illegally occupied Hebron as they prayed. Goldstein is buried in Jewish cemetery in illegally occupied West Bank. Grave becomes a Jewish shrine with Jewish pilgrims from world over. Plaque reads “To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah and the nation of Israel.”2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon: 1000+; 1 million cluster bombs dropped on civilian areas as truce talks progressed.Gazauschwitz, 2008: 1400+ Palestinians killed, 4000 Palestinian homes destroyed. 2009: Leading Israeli rabbi declares gentile babies can be killed because they might grow up to harm Israel. Rabbi’s yeshiva continues to receive funding from Israeli gov’t.2009: IDF Chief rabbi declares that Jews to who show mercy to gentiles will be “damned.”I sheer numbers of victims, especially considering murders committed compared to number of believers, Islam has a long, long way to go before it catches up with Judaism.And this doesn’t include the Jewish genocides of the Amorites and other gentile victims praised in the Old Testament.

  • halozcel1

    Dear Alex Kronemer,*there are large majorities who embrace gender equality,freedom of speech and democracy*1-Gender Equality;

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Garak should consider the billions killed by New Testifiers:The Americas: 100,000,000–conservative estimateThe Crusades: 500,000–conservative estimateThe pogroms–1.5 million–conservative estimateWorld War I–21,000,000–Conservative estimateWorld War II–57,000,000–Conservative estimateHolocaust–6,000,000———————–

  • ccnl1

    Tis all about operating manuals/doctrines- e.g. the NT vs. the OT vs. the koran vs. the Communist Manifesto vs. Mein Kampf vs. Sun-tzu’s Bingfa (c. fifth century B.C.E.).With respect to body counts and historical time periods. From this reliable source:Rank Death Toll Cause Centuries2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C 3 40 million Mongol Conquests 13C 4 36 million An Lushan Revolt 8C 5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C 6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C 7 20 million Annihilation of the South and North American Indians 15C-19C 8 20 million Iosif Stalin 20C 9 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C 10 18 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C12 17 million British India (mostly famine) 19C 13 15 million First World War 20C 14 9 million Russian Civil War 20C 15 8 million Fall of Rome 3C-5C 16 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C 17 7 million Thirty Years War 17C 18 5 million Russia’s Time of Troubles 16C-17C 19 4 million Napoleonic Wars 19C 20 3 million Chinese Civil War 20C 21 3 million French Wars of Religion 16CLooks like the Asians/Chinese win the body count up to and including the 20th century!! And their religions?? continued below:

  • mrdavidkolds

    bpai_99 If you define Christian culturally I suppose most people would call the US Christian. The US is the most tolerant country in history. If you define a Christian as someone who follows Christ and his ethics, Christianity is the most tolerant. If you define Islam by the majority Muslim countries Islam is by far the most intolerant religion. If you define Muslims as people who follow Mohammed and his ethics, then Islam is by far the most intolerant of the major religions. Look at the life of Christ – love, grace, kindness. Look at the life of Mohammed – misogamy, bigotry, legalism.

  • mrdavidkolds

    Christianity calls men to humility, peace and love.

  • zebra4

    Reform Jewish Leader Stands Behind Islam as a Great Religion of PeaceMark Pelavin, Director of the Commission on Interreligious Affairs of Reform Judaism and Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, sent a letter to Rev. Robertson to express disappointment and concern for his recent statements about Islam and the tragic shooting at Ft. Hood. Pelavin urged Rev. Robertson to evaluate the negative consequences for the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world of statements of bigotry such as those he made on the November 9th airing of The 700 Club: “Islam is not a religion, it’s a violent political system, bent on overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination…and I think we should treat its adherents as we would members of the Communist Party.” Pelavin responded with disappointment “to see a religious leader stoop to this level, attempting to delegitimize one of the world’s great faiths based on actions of someone who perverts its teachings.” Pelavin echoed a sentiment held by ISNA and many Muslims in N. America that, while the tragedy of Ft. Hood is inexcusable and horrendous, the man himself must be tried, not his religion.

  • abhab1

    Kronemer pontificates thus:“For example, while 7% of the world’s Muslims said in the poll that the attacks of 911 were completely justified, 55% answered the opposite, that they were completely unjustified.”Granted that this survey is representative, which I for one who lived a large part of my life amongst them, do not believe it is even close. But suppose it is representative, then that means that 45% believe that the 9-11 attacks were justified. That means that one of every two Muslims you know have no qualms about the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians, as long as they are, offcourse, “infidels”. If you and Ms Armstrong are happy with these odds don’t expect the rest of us to concur.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Zebra4 wrote:

  • yasseryousufi

    I can see this article and the subsequent documentary would be an anathema to the professional hate mongers and disciples of Evangelical hate preachers (I dont have to name anyone, they know who they are~!) of WaPo. It takes a lot of courage to say the right thing about Islam in a country half of which is now becoming virulently anti-islam (looking at their voting patterns). This unadulterated hatred evangelical christians have for the second biggest religion in the world (followed by 1.2 billion people) is the #1 threat to world peace. It has already resulted in 2 countries absolutely decimated with hundreds of thousands of casualties. So any baby step towards peace, as this article is attempting needs to take needs to be applauded. But America needs to do more and standup to its own Taliban nuts who cause so much death and destruction around the world. Charity as they say….begins at home~!

  • ccnl1

    “Zebra4” has returned yet again. Again be aware, this is an anonymous blog and imposters and strawmen abound.

  • ccnl1

    Yasseryousufi, Yasseryousufi, Yasseryousufi,Again you fail to see the problem with Islam. Its your operating manual aka the koran. Delete the words demanding death to all infidels and the passages degrading women and then get back to us. Until then, no Muslim can be trusted!!!!!!

  • ScottHollyHenry

    This is a very good article. Now if I can just ignore the essentialism pervasive in the comments…The Islamists goal is to set the world against them because they know that Muslims outnumber the rest of the world and would win in a straight-up fight. Plus the Islamists don’t care who gets hurt in the process. Let’s not give them what they want, ok?By the same token, let’s not overcompensate like we did with Hasan. When someone makes threatening posts and consorts regularly with known terrorists, don’t ignore it in the interests of an essentialist view of tolerance.

  • Deist1

    You are minimizing the importance of the written calls for violence in the “holy” books of all three Abrahamic “revealed” religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Wouldn’t it be much better if people left these ancient nonsensical calls for violence behind them in the ancient past and embraced a religious belief/philosophy based on God-given reason instead? If people would recognize these “holy” books were written by men living in the ancient past in the Middle East and go strongly against our God-given reason, most of them would chose to follow what God gave them instead of what ancient men wrote. This realization is what allowed me to leave Christianity behind and become a Deist.Progress! Bob Johnson

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Deist1 |

  • zebra4

    ccnl1: Do you identify yourself as an ISLAMOPHOBE, part of the title of this aricle?

  • staffsgt7

    While people have rattled off the deaths of Arabs who call themselves Palestinians after they forget to mention that the Muslims have been lobbing bombs from Lebanon and Gaza on a daily basis – we forget that since the 1970s over 50,000 Islamic terrorist attacks happen worldwide and since 9/11 over 14,410 Islamic terrorists attacks have taken place. Islam is at war with all non-Muslims not only Jews and Christians.And the author writes an article to show his own prejudices while showing us he knows ZERO about Islam, or any of the other religions he mentioned. Because if he did know something about them he would realize it is not in the base teachings of Judaism and Christianity to continually be at war with their neighbors while the base teachings of Islam is to be at war becuas they wrap the aura of holiness around hatred, violence, enslavement (that still is practiced in Islam),death and subjugation. And as for Christianity being the most intolerant I have to remind people that it is the Judeo-Christian nations that have taken in these immigrants, even Muslim immigrants while it is not practiced in reverse. People take their lives in their hands just going into some of the Muslim only areas of the UK, Europe, the Philippines, and even here in the USA – the over 35 compounds and such neighborhoods as in Dearborn. Overseas it is much more pronounced the violence against non-Muslims by Muslims and our news doesn’t cover it correctly to name the perps all the time.So, for a guy to write a lot of nothing except to show us how ignorant he is, and to provide a fertile ground for more Christian bashing while the Christians don’t want him dead, or subjugated, as Islam requires non-Muslims to be as their end goal, I applaud the author of this article.

  • staffsgt7

    Maybe the author should ask themself if he can answer No to any of the questions below, then he is an islamophobe:1. Do you believe that slavery is OK?

  • ccnl1

    “Zebra4” is more than likely an imposter posing as a strawman for another commentator. With respect to being an “Islamophobe”: Based on the following, YES!!!!!!! (We all should be “Islamophobes” based on this reality.)Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added “angels” and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers. This agenda continues as shown by the massacre in Mumbai, the assassinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, and the Filipino “koranics”.Current crises:The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

  • arminius3142

    Re Abrahamic Religions:At Oxford University, an excellent place of learning if there ever was one, a Jewish scholar with international standing, Professor Guy Stroumsa, has been recently appointed to the Professorship of the Study of the Abrahamic Religions. That’s

  • yasseryousufi

    The Response from a Muslim~!1. Do you believe that slavery is OK? Ans. Nope! I guess Christians and Jews never indulged in Slave trade??2. Do you believe that sex slavery is OK? Ans. All those hundreds of thousands of white girls working in the porn industry in Christian countries, God save them from these animals!3. Do you believe that polygamy is OK?Ans. Yes! Its better than all those extra marital affairs Christian men and women indulge in just coz they cannot satisfy their appetite for sex.4. Do you believe that domestic violence is OK? Ans. Nope! Whether done in USA or KSA, always wrong.5. Do you believe that it’s OK to kill if people change religions? Ans. Nope! No Muslim government has killed a person for changing religion for as long as I can remember. Some Christian Kings however killed people for apostasy.6. Do you believe that extortion is OK?Ans. Ofcourse Not! What response did you expect??7. Do you believe that it’s OK to call others pigs and apes?Ans. No! If you’re a disciple of Robert Spencer, he’s a hatemongering liar!8. Do you believe that it’s OK to kill gays? Ans. No! Whether at the hands of an evangelical christian fanatic or a muslim fanatic. However If you read the strories of Lot in Bible and Jewish Religous texts why the people of Sidom were cursed and punished with a great catastrophe you’d probably understand why a majority of humanity dislikes gays.9. Do you believe it’s OK to kill mothers, sisters, daughters, and women for “honor”? And. Nope! The country with most number of Honor Killings in the world is Brazil. Go Google it up! In Colombia until a few years ago it was legal to kill your wife if you saw her with another man.10. Do you believe it’s OK to kill others for insults, either real or perceived? Ans. Nope! Neither is it OK to attack a perfectly innocent nation on a pack of lies, kill them in thousands and absolutely destroy their country!Its obvious to any educated person who has read even a little bit history that Christianity is by far the most violent and brutal religion on the face of the earth. Its caused the most number of wars and killed an unprecedented number of non-combatants. But to the Idiots like the one who posted these question, we should ignore the violence of Christianity or any other faith and only focus on Islam. Hey kiddo! Dont try posting this blather where educated people blog again! You’d be called out for your ignorance. Try forming a Pat Robertson Fan club and exchange these kind of ideas with your like minded people!

  • EddietheInfidel

    Mr. Kronemer,Your attempt to equate the violent passages of the Bible with those of Koran are, in my view, invalid. The site Although I’m an atheist, even I can understand that the violent passages of the Old Testament are now viewed in a strictly historical context by Christians and Jews in the 21st century. Over time, both groups have adapted their their particular brand of dogma to address the needs of their members in current society.However, the “gates of ijtihad” are closed in Islam; no reinterpretation or reformation of the original texts have taken place since the 10th century, so modern interpretation of Islamic texts by the Imams and Mullahs remains mired in midieval social norms.John Esposito, author of the book “Who Speaks For Islam” you mention in your column can’t exactly be considered “unbiased” in his views.From Wikipedia: (maybe not an acceptable APA citation source, but close enough for my purposes) “Esposito founded the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and is its current director. The center has received a $20 million endowment from Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.”$20 million from a Wahhabi source buys a lot of favor and influence to overlook the more unsavory aspects of “conservative” Islam, don’t you think?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    The term “Abrahamic” was an invention of the former pope, a feel-good, self-legitimation strategy that is certainly not accepted by all scholars, theologians, and clergymen of the religions the former pope so designated.

  • arminius3142

    Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    From Wikipedia:It is a meaningless fiction, to which many who committed to accuracy rightly object.

  • arminius3142

    “It is a meaningless fiction, to which many who committed to accuracy rightly object.”Not generally accepted? References?Seems to me that if three major religions all trace their roots to Abraham, then the term Abrahamic Religion is logical and useful. If not a universal truth – are there any? – then it is useful, as are so many other such terms in language, whether everyday talk or learned essays.Also seems to me that the urge to deny something so blatantly obvious hints at a not-so-hidden bigotry.”Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Also seems to me that the urge to deny something so blatantly obvious hints at a not-so-hidden bigotry.One might as well say that all these religions are “wombic” since they originate with the birth of human. As for bigotry, it resides in the lumping of the religions together, rather than the willingness to see accept and honor their differences. Bigotry allows for the blurring of those distinctions that give these religions their individual lives. Bigots of one type find words like “Abrahamic” useful since on the basis of some knowledge of one religion, bigots can dismiss all ten or so of which they know nothing.Alternatively, bigots of another stripe claim superiority for their religions, argue that it supersedes others, that it is the last word, etc., again with little or no knowledge of the other ten over which they claim precedence.It is for this reason that many academics, theologians, and clergymen reject the “term” Abrahamic.

  • arminius3142

    The study of Abrahamic religions is meant to look at the similarities of these three major religions, which are there, and cannot be denied. The differences are “…fere libenter homines id quod velunt credunt.”

  • arminius3142

    Exactly “I really tire of your single-minded, pathetic jihad to discredit anyone who dares to differ with you. Life is too short to deal with such excrement.

  • ccnl1

    Yasseryousufi, Yasseryousufi, Yasseryousufi,Again and again your extreme suffering from the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Islam, oozes from every word you type. You then try to appease your neurons by noting how non-Islamics once violated a whole host of wrongs still approved by the dictates and passages of your current koran i.e. sex slavery/polygamy, domestic violence, killing apostates and infidels, extortions, honor killings, gay bashing, and assassinations of those who offend your illiterate, greed-lust driven and hallucinating founder.Contemporary , non-Islamics follow rules and laws established by the ancients e.g. Ten Commandments, Hammurabi’s code and the When you and your fellow Muslims rewrite the koran correcting/ deleting all of its obvious horror, get back to us.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Exactly what ad hominem attack? Please elaborate. I did no such thing,”[I]t is only in your fevered and paranoid imagination.Does this have any meaning to you, or do you continue to insist on your blanking out anything else but your own beliefs (beliefs? you?) and wishes?Also seems to me that the urge to deny something so blatantly obvious hints at a not-so-hidden bigotry.That makes perfect sense to many, many scholars of all three faiths, and to anyone not burdened by self-inflicted misconceptions.”

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Ad hominem attacks and name-calling continued:”I really tire of your single-minded, pathetic jihad to discredit anyone who dares to differ with you. Life is too short to deal with such excrement.”Posted by: arminius3142 | November 21, 2009 11:30 PM

  • yasseryousufi

    Aah CCNL! The Masochist of these blogs who enjoys the pleasure of being insulted and humiliated by any and every other poster! Forget it old man! You aint gonna get it from me! I wont even let you seek that pleasure by responding to your incessant garbage. You’re a gone case as far as Im concrned. Beyond repair……absolutely!

  • halozcel1

    UPF,Unity Production FoundationA madam in headscarf is speaking(it seems to me,she is not speaking,she is menacing the world)UPF says,Dear Madam in Video,

  • yasseryousufi

    Ok….a remider to all posters on the blog! CCNL1, ABHAB1, Halozcel1 are just bots. They aren’t programmed to respond when they are called out for their lies. They’ll always run away. Maybe they are all the same guy or organization! Atleast the relation in their monikers suggests that. So yea……dont waste your time arguing with these bots, they cant respond!

  • hitman2

    Dear Alex KronemerYou have presented your viewpoint in a precise and impressive manner. Thankyou for sharing with us your valuable opinion.

  • ccnl1

    Yasseryousufi, Yasseryousufi, Yasseryousufi, (assuming that you are not an “impostering” strawman)Again and again and again, your extreme suffering from the Three B Syndrome i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Islam, oozes from every word you type.We await your completion of the free and easy Five Step Method For Deprograming/Deflawing Islam followed by the deletion of the horror/terror passages of the koran.

  • asizk

    Alex,Your article is a commandable effort to understand Islam and Muslims.Pat Robertson is an idiot who insists on advertising his utter and remarkable ignorance. No group of people enjoys bashing Islam and Muslims on every occasion-incluidng the sad and unfortunate massacre at Ft Hood-than jews and right wing extrimist fundamentalist xtians.Hassan should be tried as an American who committed a horrendous crime-and not as a Muslim. His faith should not paraded and demonised on and by the media.

  • ccnl1

    Both Hassan and his koranic religion will be on trial at Hassan’s court-martial.Why?Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added “angels” and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers. This agenda continues as shown by the massacre in Mumbai, the assassinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Filipino “koranics” and the Ft. Hood murders. And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni “Wannabees” of Saudi Arabia.Current crises:The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    The racist Asizk writes:”No group of people enjoys bashing Islam and Muslims on every occasion-incluidng the sad and unfortunate massacre at Ft Hood-than jews and right wing extrimist fundamentalist xtians.”Unfortunately, there are racists like this Muslim among all religious groups, and when they read the racist rantings of the racist Asizk, they assume that he speaks for the majority who adhere to his religion.To make matters worse, in the years that the racist Asizk has posted, his co-religionists have never protested his racism, as the co-religionists of other groups speak out against the racists among them.Hasan is, indeed, fortunate that the majority of Americans, whether Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan, atheist, or other, are not racists like his co-religionist, Asizk.

  • ThomasBaum

    Alex Kronemer You wrote, “For example, while 7% of the world’s Muslims said in the poll that the attacks of 911 were completely justified, 55% answered the opposite, that they were completely unjustified. Keeping in mind that the poll was undertaken against the backdrop of the U.S. fighting two wars with many civilian casualties, and events like the outrages at Abu Ghraib, this by itself is an amazing result and speaks to the fact that the majority of the world’s Muslims are defining their faith in a peaceful way.”Since these are the “statistics” that you present: 7% completely justified, 55% completely unjustified, this leaves 38% that I suppose are either: no opinion or somewhere in between totally justified and totally unjustified.Since these are the statistics that you supplied and by looking at different sites, it seems as if the Muslim population of the world could be conservatively estimated at 1.5 billion than the percentages that you present come out to:7% – 105,000,000 peopleAccording to the statistics supplied by you this means that 825 million Muslims think the 9/11 attacks was completely unjustified and that 675 million Muslims think that the 9/11 attacks were either completely justified, somewhat justified or had no opinion, is that right?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    yasseryousufi You in response to question, “3. Do you believe that polygamy is OK?You answered, Ans. Yes! Its better than all those extra marital affairs Christian men and women indulge in just coz they cannot satisfy their appetite for sex.”This would include a woman married to more than one man and I suppose if you take it far enough than everybody would be married to everybody else, wouldn’t they?You then wrote, “8. Do you believe that it’s OK to kill gays? Did you ever notice that in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah that the people that were “cursed” were people that were forcing themselves on strangers rather than extending hospitality.As I have said, the True, Living, Triune, Triumphant God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof.It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.God looks at the person, not the “label”.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    Farnaz1Mansouri1You wrote, “The term “Abrahamic” was an invention of the former pope, a feel-good, self-legitimation strategy that is certainly not accepted by all scholars, theologians, and clergymen of the religions the former pope so designated.”Do you know ANYTHING that is “accepted by all scholars, theologians, and clergymen of the religions the former pope so designated”?Seems pretty obvious tho, that Abraham is mentioned in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, whether you like it or not.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    yasseryousufiYou wrote, “Aah CCNL! The Masochist of these blogs who enjoys the pleasure of being insulted and humiliated by any and every other poster! Forget it old man! You aint gonna get it from me! I wont even let you seek that pleasure by responding to your incessant garbage. You’re a gone case as far as Im concrned. Beyond repair……absolutely!”Not to worry, as Jesus, God-Incarnate, said, “With God All things are possible.”I thank God that God’s Plan is ultimately for ALL to be with God in God’s Kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • yasseryousufi

    TPMB (whats with that long name btw, you a new Prophet or something??),Its a question of perception! A woman has the sacred job of bearing child among other things. If she has several husbands at the same time it would not be possible to verify who fathered the baby. She can always seek a divorce if she isn’t happy with the person she’s living with and marry as many men as she like but only one at a time. With regards to people of Sodom and Gomorrah, its common knowledge that those people did indulge in homosexualty and the Prophet Lot (Lut in Arabic) did preach them to not stray away from the righteous path. There story is told in more detail in Holy Quran as well as Tanakh and as far as I know, the whole town faced this catastrophe since all the people there used to indulge in Homosexuality/Heterosexuality. Is there a new Bible you’re writing? Whats this cool new religion of yours called that promotes Homosexuality?

  • ThomasBaum

    yasseryousufiYou wrote, “TPMB (whats with that long name btw, you a new Prophet or something??),”Most people call me Tom or Mose or Moses but on here I use my full name.Thomas Paul Baum is my given name and also my baptismal name. Moses is my confirmation name.I have met God and God chose me to speak.You wrote, “Its a question of perception! A woman has the sacred job of bearing child among other things. If she has several husbands at the same time it would not be possible to verify who fathered the baby. She can always seek a divorce if she isn’t happy with the person she’s living with and marry as many men as she like but only one at a time.”Why? Why should it be okay for a man to have more than one wife and not be for a woman to have more than one husband?Polygamy is polygamy. You also wrote, “Is there a new Bible you’re writing?”No, read the story, I don’t know what it says in the Quran about it but in the bible, the people were not only homosexual but they were “forcing” themselves on others.You then wrote, “Whats this cool new religion of yours called that promotes Homosexuality?”First off, I have no “cool new religion”.Second, I am neither promoting homosexuality or heterosexuality, what I clearly tried to say was that anyone forcing themself on another either in a homosexual or heterosexual manner is wrong.The people in Sodom and Gomorrah were clearly trying to force themselves on the visitors, they were making no attempt whatsoever in offering hospitality to the visitors but to take advantage of them.As I have said many times, God is a searcher of hearts and minds, … ., seems as if quite a few of the “legalistic” types are in for a “rude awakening”.Not only don’t I have a “cool new religion” to offer, I am here to tell others that it is not even about “religion”, at least in the way many think of “religion”, but is about a “relationship” with God.I would like to mention two things:1. Many people have a “fine” relationship with God and don’t even believe in God whereas many have a “less than fine” relationship with God and yet do believe in God.2. “True Religion” is taking care of “widows and orphans”, so it is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.One can have “True Religion” and not even believe in God.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    yasser,

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hello yasser,hope you’re still out there… here’s the short version. (longer version to come…)islam motivates people to do violence to human rights. the rwanda genocide and our presence in iraq/afghanistan are not a “christian things”. in these cases violence is not motivated by religious beliefs. rwanda was/is a tribal thing. to call that religious is like calling the american civil war a christian war – because christians were involved….western rapists don’t “do it” for jesus. christian drug lords don’t dismember people for religious reasons – that’s just the drug business. no christian cleric has issued a fatwa urging christians to kill christopher hitchens. “suicide” bombers and sharia-enforcing vigilantes ARE motivated by their religion.western enlightened law IS NOT based on the bible or the 10 commandments, but rather it PROTECTS us FROM at least the first 4 commandments (1 god, idols, sabbath, lord’s name) and other religious texts.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    yasser,

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    test

  • Pamsm

    “Unfortunately, there are racists like this Muslim among all religious groups, and when they read the racist rantings of the racist Asizk, they assume that he speaks for the majority who adhere to his religion.”What was it you were saying to Arminius just a bit ago…? Oh, yes, something about ad hominem attacks being logical fallacies, wasn’t it?

  • yasseryousufi

    Hi Walter,Sorry I dint see your response earlier. Do you want to post your longer response or should I respond to your previous post.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    i’ll do the long answer. you can comment on whatever you like – the more comment the better, i think. to comment, you may have to post on another thread, as this one will expire soon. if so, go to susan’s latest thread and tell me where you’re responding.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hello yasser (and any other moderate muslims out there),***lashing as penalty for being raped for adultery:how crazy is it that we need to make that distinction? being raped was only part of her “crimes”… first, i think it probably is a correct interpretation of islamic principles. and there’s no doubt she was “guilty” of the charges. my point is it’s an anti-human rights, unenlightened law. she’s not that’s very big of him, but her human rights should not be subject to the whims of the king.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    yasser,and you said,i guess i’m not as funny as i think i am. i was not seriously suggesting destroying those 57 countries – though we DO have the arsenal to do it, many times over. my point was that we’re not at war with all muslims, just the ones who practice violent “lesser” jihad…***western media bias and bad things christians do:

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    yasser,stupid. stupid. stupid. rumsfeld et. al. TOTALLY BLEW IT. should have secured all the ministries (not just oil) and had hundreds of thousands more troops as peace keepers. rumsfeld wanted to “go light” so the public wouldn’t “feel any pain” from rumsfeld et. al.’s little escapade. he ignored long-standing off-the-shelf iraq war plans designed to deal with all the problems that occurred. stupid. stupid. stupid.in the beginning it WAS shock and awe. it WAS a totally awesome march to bagdad…and then nothing….like they didn’t even think about the aftermath. ugh… the worst part is they WERE greeted with candy as liberators etc…. it was a magic moment when that statue fell. even though the entire reason for the invasion was faked, once it had happened it was a great opportunity for america to show ourselves helping ordinary muslims living under oppression. those iraqis were truly glad to have saddam gone and were truly thankful. ugh…. everything we did after the statue fell was so stupid of us…. nonetheless, iraqis could have united instead of dividing.re george bush’s idiocy: i understand that it was only 2 months before going into iraq (while more as time permits. you can begin commenting, if you like. remember, if this thread “times out” we’ll meet up on susan’s newest and pick a new place. “see” ya.

  • yasseryousufi

    test

  • yasseryousufi

    Hi Walter~!The test worked so I guess we can continue to exchange posts for as long as it works on this thread~!***lashing as penalty for being raped for adultery:Walter, If you remember my post, I said that I wouldn’t defend the indefensible. The Saudi’s do a lot of things that are revolting to even me as a Muslim. I have expressed my disgust at them many a times in these blogs. But you are wrong in saying that the punishment was correct implementation of the Islamic Law. Islam does want to keep sexual relations between man and woman a sacred act reserved for only husband and wife. I think in this regard we aren’t much different from Christians or Jews. So to maintain that order, Islam does suggest some remedies on how to prevent muslims from straying from the righteous path. Yes there’s a severe punishment for indulging in extra-marital sex in Islam, but to say that Islam denies women the right to go out and drive or work or have a good time is plain falsehood. And to say that these ideas are followed by all Muslims is plain wrong. We elect women as our leaders. What bigger example can I give you? When was the last time USA elected a woman to be their leader? Switzerland has been in the news for some laws that they have made against muslims regarding us challenging their enlightened democratic way of life by building mosques, and I read an interesting information about this country which considers itself the birthplace of democracy. Women weren’t even allowed to vote till 1971! And yet when I look at the history of my country, forever getting bashed for our perceived attitudes towards women, we had a female Presidential Candidate (Fatima Jinnah, you can look her up on wiki) way back in the 60’s and she would have won that election hands down and become the first elected female head of state anywhere. She was such a revered figure and it was only through mass rigging that the incumbent military dictator was able turn the public opinion falsely in his favor. ***war on islam?:You’re pretty lax with your jokes Walter. And yes it wasn’t really funny. But it has been suggested in a serious manner many a times on Fox news by hatemongering tele evangelists and so called experts. And believe me having the arsenal doesn’t mean you can destroy your opponent. You had the arsenal to destroy Soviets and the Communist bloc as well. Why didn’t you destroy them? Yea you did destroy the two Japanese cities but you had comfort in the knowledge that they Japanese had no way of responding to such a vicious attack. And when you attack a country and indulge in wholesale murder of its populace through “Shock and Awe” the lines of moderate and fanatic muslims always get blurred.

  • yasseryousufi

    PART II***western media bias and bad things christians do:Can I suggest to you that you mostly employ double standards in all your posts regarding Islam? You attribute all the crimes muslims perpetrate to their religion calling them Islamic crimes even though they do not have anything to do with Islam. Yet when it comes to Christians and Jews perpetrating these crimes you would always detach their religion. Btw the Rwandan genocide did have a Christian connection. The Christian missionaries also contributed in riling up tensions between the two tribes. In order to win more converts the told the Tutsi’s they were a superior tribe to the Hutu’s. Some missionaries were also charged by the commission that was setup to investigate this genocide.With regards to the rape cases in US, I was responding to what you said in your post that you had never seen anyone except a muslim rape a girl for being on a date with him. I believe thats plain wrong. Most dates do end up with sex and there have been many cases in US of rape and gang rapes by boyfriends~! ***iraq:Thank you for your honest comment. Mistakes have been made on both sides. Hopefully the things are getting better as it seems to be. I can tell you, most muslims are ready to look beyond Iraq and co-exist with US and Europe if there’s a visible shift in Policy towards the occupied muslim countries and if you start dealing justly with regards to the other big issue in the ME i.e Israel/Palestine. We do have spoilers who only thrive when there’s a showdown between Islam and the West and they’ll attempt to create hurdles. Im sure you have those kinds in your country too. I am hoping they have been exposed enough in this disastrous decade we’ve had and that we’ll learn to ignore them.Its been good to hear from you after a while~! Hope to hear from you soon. If not here than maybe on another blog.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    yasser,agreed that stoning for apostasy is not LEGAL today, but MOST people in pakistan would impose some form of death penalty for apostasy if given the chance. stoning would be saved for adultery… and apparently, historically, islamic scholars have determined that beheading is the islamic way. i suppose that’s somehow more humane than stoning… but can you agree that “big city” laws don’t usually apply to “country muslims”? i.e., that justice is local? that “tribal elders” use Islamic laws to decide cases – whether or not that’s official government policy?the very fact that there have been TRIALS for apostasy recently in egypt, afghanistan and iran says enough. the very idea that there would be ANY laws about apostasy is references for egypt, afghanistan, iran, stabbings and exiled apostates…***religious freedom:and you said,if you add the populations of the countries designated “islamic” (iran etc…) and the countries with “islam” as the “national religion”, you get over 600,000,000 people living in countries with some degree of governmental religious favoritism.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    yasser,human rights should not be a majority-rules issue. are you saying if there were enough muslim countries that would make it moral to subject the rest of us to islamic laws? what if the majority wants something immoral like, say, lynching black people in alabama or banning books? a democracy needs a neutral human rights constitution to protects itself from itself… you know, tyranny of the majority and all that.you said,yes, tyranny of the majority. does this french decree ban “headscarves” or covering the face? i think there’s a big difference there.***america – the christian nation!?:well, if by “role” you mean our national holidays are christmas and easter, then, ok, there’s a christian influence on laws. if you mean that tolerance, individual rights (including freedom of religion) and democracy are “christian principles”, then i beg to differ. please don’t think of those enlightenment ideas as “christian” or “biblical”. you moderate muslims have to teach those crazy militants that embracing those ideas isn’t “unislamic”. they can’t think “separation of church and state” is a christian idea. and it’s not.where the bible imagines one god, the declaration of independence welcomes all gods. the u.s. constitution was the first constitution to PREVENT jesus (or any god) from making society’s rules. where the first amendment guarantees freedom of religion, the first commandment prohibits it. thomas jefferson et. al. fought hard to keep jesus (any god) out of the constitution. the fact that we ARE NOT a christian nation is what was revolutionary about america.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    ***islamabused women:you said,i don’t mean government-sanctioned scourging. i mean koran-sanctioned scourging in the privacy of one’s own home. we can talk about how hard a man is allowed to hit a woman (islamic scholars have…), but do we really want to go there? the fact is wife-beating is in the koran. edhi expends great energy housing, protecting and legally defending islamabused women. hopefully, most muslim men are nice about it, don’t exercise their god-given right to scourge, behave respectfully, and NEVER beat their wives. but, should they choose to scourge, they can point to v4:34. sure, women are beaten in “western culture”, but we can’t point to scripture for justification. and, how many husbands can a wife have in islam?again, i refer you to this poll for pakistani’s level of religious tolerance:

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    yasser,uh…sorry…no excuse. that’s like blaming the girl for rape because she was dressed sexily…abu gharaib was horrible. i apologize 1000 more times. (though i just heard news recently of some pakistani torture scandal…) there’s taking religion seriously, and there’s being childishly hyper-sensitive and obsessive about it. a rational person would say, “how is my god harmed by (a non-believer, no less!) flushing a piece of paper with ink on it down the toilet?” how fragile is your god that that bothers you? in the united states we have public funding for pictures of jesus soaked in urine… people complain about it, but that’s freedom of speech and separation of church and state in action.have you heard of “the onion”? it’s a sometimes-hilarious parody newspaper. they’ll have articles like an interview with post-9/11 muhammad atta, in hell. atta is “quoted” as being surprised to find himself in hell, and saying how he thought there’d be virgins etc…awaiting him in heaven. anyway, the muslim reaction to the Danish cartoons is straight out of the onion. the idea that cartoons depicting islam as a violent religion would be met with…well…violent muslim protests is just too funny. muslims proved the cartoons right! lighten up! it’s just a joke. and it’s only funny if there’s a grain of truth. the muslim reaction made those cartoons even funnier…