Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ellison Returns From Iraq

Rep. Keith Ellison returned from Iraq seemingly impressed by progress in Ramadi.

Rep. Keith Ellison made a weekend trip to Iraq, where a pair of sheiks urged Congress' only Muslim lawmaker to help in countering al-Qaeda's vision of Islam. Ellison, D-Minn., said he met in Ramadi in Anbar province with the two sheiks, who oversee several hundred thousand congregants.

"They were very upset and concerned that al-Qaeda is misrepresenting Islam," Ellison told reporters on a conference call Monday from Germany, on his way back to the U.S. "And they were talking to me about what I can possibly do to work with them to give a clearer, more accurate picture of what Islam is all about."...



"But there are 150,000 American soldiers there now, and I care very deeply about them," said Ellison, one of six members on the all-freshman trip led by Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif. "I also care about the Iraqi people. I don't want to see them suffer." ...

Ellison said that local leaders in Ramadi told him of how they partnered with U.S. and Iraqi military officials to virtually rid al-Qaeda from the city. Although the lawmakers had to travel in flak vests and helmets, "we did see people walking around the streets of Ramadi, going back and forth to the market."

There have been fewer anti-U.S. sermons as the violence has been reduced, Ellison said, and religious leaders meet regularly with U.S. military officials. "The success in Ramadi is not just because of bombs and bullets, but because the U.S. and Iraqi military and the Iraqi police are partnering with the tribal leadership and the religious leadership," he said. "So they're not trying to just bomb people into submission. What they're doing is respecting the people, giving the people some control over their own lives."

Ellison said he was particularly impressed watching Maj. Gen. Walter Gaskin, U.S. commander in the Anbar province, greeting people with "as-salama aleikum," meaning peace be upon you.

And they would respond back with smiles and waves," Ellison said. "I don't want to overplay it. There were no flowers. There was no clapping. There was no parade. But there was a general level of respect and calm that I thought was good."

Now let's see if I understand this. Al-Qaeda, nuts be unto them, has really hijacked Islam, according to Rep. Ellison. When did the world find this out? When did Ellison start worrying about this? Right after it attacked Manhattan? Maybe. But certainly when it started torturing people wholesale in Iraq. Started killing Muslims.

But not even then. Al-Qaeda has been killing Muslims in Iraq from at least the date of the attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra. This can't be news. But what is news is that al-Qaeda can be beaten. This is the something else; the elephant in the room that people are just starting to notice.

In any fight against terrorism, it is not enough for ordinary people to inwardly realize that terrorists are bad people. They know that already because the first goal of terrorism is to impress on the public mind -- and politicians -- that it is absolutely, positively, irremediably and mercilessly bad. That's why it's called terrorism, because it terrorizes. And the consequence of terror is that the average man praises it publicly or risks a visit from its representatives in the dead of night far from the protection of Amnesty International, far from the tender attentions of the International Criminal Court. Far from all the instruments of protection we are told to rely on. As long as terrorism is feared a large percentage of the public, many politicians and not a few media outlets will unendingly praise it. Many of the Ramadi sheiks must have secretly harbored reservations about whether al-Qaeda was fit representative of Islam before now. What made them blurt out their doubts now? Confidence that US and Iraqi forces in the neighborhood Joint Security Station down the street will drop ordnance down on al-Qaeda's sorry head if it shows up again, that's what.

It's a story that history tells again and again. Did you imagine that all those Frenchmen cheering LeClerc's Free French into Paris in 1944 were unaffected by the knowledge that behind the lead Free French Shermans there was a vast Allied Army? Everybody loves a winner. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.

Now we know that al-Qaeda doesn't represent Islam and how concerned Rep. Ellison is that people might believe that it does. Now that it's down and crawling in the dirt. I remember walking the tumultuous streets on the night in 1986 when Ferdinand Marcos was driven from his palace. The hated symbols of his government were being ripped down everywhere. Literally millions of people were celebrating where, ten days before you couldn't get a handful together to say a bad thing about him. And I thought of all the guys who had died fighting Marcos over the years and how few there were at their funerals. What did they feel if they were aware of that moment? I realized that if they felt anything at all it would be happiness. They lifted the fear because they were who they were. And they did it full willing. Say on, Congressman Ellison; it is not grudged.

35 Comments:

Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Except of course, Wretchard, most Americans at this point feel Al Qaeda DOES represent who and what Muslims are. Keith Ellison may be the only Muslim Congressman, but he's also likely to be the last.

In the US now we have CAIR suing the John Doe passengers on behalf of the Flying Imams, and a hate-crimes prosecution for blasphemy by dunking a Koran in a toilet aimed at a Jewish student at NYC's Pace University (arrested I might add by a Muslim NYPD officer, doubtless one who attended some terror-Mosque).

Americans have had over thirty years to process who and what Muslims are. And the answer they came up with is likely Osama bin Laden.

What Ellison is likely seeing is not the "victory" in Iraq which can be taken away at any time by a Tet-like offensive that will be portrayed in the Media in Aug-Sep when Petraeus reports as the great/grand victory of Al Qaeda.

Instead Ellison likely senses that Americans have decided that Muslims are the enemy, now and always, and when the next 9/11 style attack comes as it must, Americans will respond with an unrestrained fury. Even Obama is talking about taking on Pakistan, and while his specifics are profoundly stupid and indicative of the stupidity of Democratic pols: a half-baked special forces incursion to repeat Mogadishu, he's opened Pandora's box.

I'm sure others will take advantage, and the "winning" argument inside the US is to announce publicly that mass killings of Americans will result in wiping out the Muslim world without much distinction, internment/deportation of Muslims in the US. That Silverado moment.

If anything some of the more thoughtful foreign Muslims may have conveyed this to Ellison, that Americans have the capacity (like ex-gunfighter Kline) and lack only the resolve.

8/01/2007 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Agree absolutely with whiskey. I can't speak for Europe or Australia, but in America Muslim = terrorist. And we've seen nothing that contradicts that paradigm. The ongoing and continuing antics of CAIR to call everything "islamophobia" is not helping their cause one iota, nor is Mr. Bush's insistence that "Islam is a religion of peace." Bull hockey.

One thing about Ellisons interview that puzzles me though. In this sentence, who are the pronouns referring to: "And they were talking to me about what I can possibly do to work with them to give a clearer, more accurate picture of what Islam is all about."...

Who are the Iraqi sheiks trying to get Ellison to give a clearer picture of Islam to? The murderous monsters among them, their fellow Arabs just doing what the Koran bids them to do. Or is Ellison supposed to come back to the U.S. and give *us* a clearer image of Islam, according to what a bunch of goatherding misathropic sheiks thinks it is?

8/01/2007 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

I see this as a story of Ramadi sheikhs desperately trying to convince an anti-war (Muslim) Democrat to give the war against al-Qaeda a chance.

As it is, Rep. Ellison will have his hands full with the fallout from the epic Minneapolis bridge disaster going on right now.

And with all due respect to the blogs, it is the local television stations and newspapers in the Twin Cities that are carrying the coverage. CNN and MSNBC are relying on KARE and Fox News is relying on KMSP. All Pajamas has is a hyperlink to a Fox News story -- a third hand reference. And the blog Powerline refers readers to the Minneapolis Tribune for more details. Well, so much for the triumph of the blogosphere over local mainstream media...

8/01/2007 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Maybe one of the reasons Barack Obama has announced he will send two whole brigades into the Afghanistan/Pakistan theater is the realization that relying exclusively on a withdrawal strategy is politically unwise. He can read the polls as well as anyone and he has thrown them a bone.

But I think Obama has missed the whole point of the Iraq campaign. The fundamental reason for its recent success is that it has empowered local people to resist oppressors and to build their own lives. Any incursion into Pakistan will find itself in the middle of three competing forces. The Pakistani Army, the secular, maybe left of center democrats and the Islamists. Plus the tribes. It's an environment fully as complex as Iraq. It took about four years to gain the requisite language ability, cultural familiarity and to build the necessary intel networks to start matching the Arab fighters on their own ground. It will take at least that long in Pakistan. Until then it will be up the learning curve. If Obama knew what was involved I think he wouldn't talk about going into Pakistan because his party would almost certainly abjure him in any campaign of substantial duration or cost. So it doesn't look like he's thought it out. Maybe somebody told him he could do it on the cheap. Maybe somebody had a paper entitled "exit strategy" and he's clutching it like a talisman. Doesn't work that way.

But there's nothing wrong in principle with the idea of reforming Pakistan and going after al-Qaeda. But first the lessons of Iraq must be incorporated into any doctrine going in. And then the public must be apprised of the likely costs. It might be worth it but I don't think Obama has made the calculation.

8/01/2007 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ginny said...

I don't think Americans think Muslim = Terrorist; rather, they tend to think that Terrorist = Muslim. And they'd probably use "some" - even though they'd think it was pretty much all. It isn't like this kind of warfare wasn't waged earlier in other places we know well. That difference is huge in a syllogism.

8/01/2007 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Oh Ginny, I do indeed believe that most Americans, outside the elites, believe Muslims are terrorists.

The great tragedy of this whole thing is that Muslims in the US relied on grievance theater, guilt over interning the Nisei in WWII (which truth to tell, wasn't and isn't that much and the whole multi-culti PC manufacturing process which is nothing more than a way to get status for high-income elites (or wanna-bes).

Muslims after 9/11 took up grievance, Islamaphobia, demanded special treatment, demanded obeisance, and other things instead of actively putting the Nation before Islam. Putting America before their religion. Americans took note and while their "betters" may force them to say the words by rote they certainly know what they see with their own eyes: US flags burnt (in NYC, on the anniversary of 9/11) at home and abroad, countless Muslim terror plots, and the constant whining grievances against America that both CAIR and Osama share.

Look at how Jay Leno gets laughs on the Tonight Show (his staff writers have their behinds firmly in the middle of the road). Besides his go-to Clinton jokes he gets them with "Muslim terrorists" which most people just read as Muslim.

Wretchard -- I think you're right but I think also Obama has fallen prey to the "magic ninja" disease that Clinton had ... thinking that "black clad ninjas" roping out of helicopters would cause Osama to simply die of fright. When in truth Obama's proposal would cause just a bigger version of Mogadishu and Black Hawk Down.

Pakistan is a nation of 170 million people, who are to a man our sworn enemies, with nuclear weapons. In principal though there is nothing wrong with thinking about what to do if a coup is likely by Zawahari and company. Which it is.

What Obama has done is opened the door to this discussion. Now Republicans can talk about how THEY will nuke em first if there is a coup brewing, along with Waziristan to get Osama and Zawahari. That's a call that Obama and Dems can't match and one he'll live to regret. Dems also.

8/01/2007 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"And the consequence of terror is that the average man praises it publicly or risks a visit from its representatives in the dead of night far from the protection of Amnesty International, far from the tender attentions of the International Criminal Court."...upon neither of which the terrorists EVER visit their depredation. To invert a sophmorism that goes around regularly, the friend of my enemy is....

"Far from all the instruments of protection we are told to rely on."...and for which, increasingly, they are made to pay in a variety of manners.

"As long as terrorism is feared a large percentage of the public, many politicians and not a few media outlets will unendingly praise it."...again, the friend of my enemy is....


One of the chief tactics of the American Democrat party is to be on all sides of all issues by laying down statements of multiple varying sides on an issue. Ellison is just another example of this as is Obama and his "Invade Pakistan" drivel.

8/02/2007 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger R said...

Congressman Ellison is a clown who expects us, the voters to become or remain greater suckers than he demonstrates he is when he proclaims his beliefs as a Muslim. Soon, I would expect him to demand foot baths be installed in Congress, at taxpayer's expense. Perhaps, during one of those four or five times per day that he prostates himself facing east, he just might use this foot bath to wash off his clown makeup instead!

Obama wants to lead the charge into the living room of Al Qaeda, somewhere in Pakistan I suppose. Here's that old Illinois corn farmer out on the plains of America doing his best to harvest some votes. Jolly for him! Smart move for some American votes, dumb ass thinking for a wanna be Commander In Chief.

What, with Nancy Pelosi in a war with Hillary over who has the best and most daring "cleavage" what's a television viewer to do? Wait for Sean Penn to parade around down south with Hugo Chavez?

Even the Pope smiles, but nowhere do I see any pictures of those smiling Imans, Ayatollahs, or Mullahs. Always that menacing face with those clothes.

Most mass movements need good intellectuals too, along with those true believers, and this "religion of peace" sure does seem at the ready to supply true believers by the suicide bus load. Would any of this have to do with countries run by dictators, even those who try to hide behind some great lipstick? Show me that pig again, the one without the lipstick.

Marcos was a thug for all except his friends...those who helped him with his thuggery. Isn't that how the game always plays with these people? Wife needs shoes, so...I gotta do what a man's gotta do!

Do we really intend to coronate the Clintons? Will Bill's older brother, known as Newt, be able to crush thunder thighs, or will she use his game to get even with that rascal, that womanizer, Bill?

Stay tuned folks, there are many more clowns who want some stage time. Be careful though, a few just may have some weapons that could go way beyond scaring you, they could in fact just kill you and everyone you love.

That's the humor of just clowning around.

8/02/2007 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger tony8489 said...

r-funny as hell post. regarding ellison, I live in minneapolis, and have seen it all politically. but when the local jewish voters supported him I knew the end of the world is near

8/02/2007 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/02/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

8/02/2007 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

If the Koran and the Haidith are not "true" Islam then what is, and how could it be determined?

Ellison, and all other so called moderate Muslims, either don't know jack squat about Islam's founder and its wisdom documents or they're liars. Al Qaeda is Islam in all its glory.

8/02/2007 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Ginny:

I'm inclined to agree with you. Yet, as the war goes on and few Muslims take our side, al-Qaeda's strategy of proclaiming Islam as an evil religion is taking its toll upon public perceptions of Islam.

Two thousand years ago, the zealots didn't make the Jews popular and had their Gentile contemporaries thorougly convinced that they were the "true Jews". They probably were. On the other hand, although People's Temple was the most faithful group of followers of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, their mass suicide hasn't put a dent into Gandhi's reputation -- even though it should have!

One can quote the Quran and Hadith until one is blue in the face to prove how vile behavior is true to Islam. One can accurately quote Jewish, Christian, and Hindu scriptures to advocate vile behavior too; one can more easily use them to advocate suicide bombing than one can use the Quran! Need I go into detail on how the Nazis based their so-called "final solution" upon the theology of Martin Luther? The principal difference between Islam and other religions isn't in its belief system, but that a sufficient number of Muslims choose to selectively interpret their religion to maximize its evil nature.

Although criminal factions of Islam have not yet succeeded in completely defaming their religion, Wahhabi, Salafi, and Hezbollahi factions are making progress to ensure that future generations will regard Islam as a diabolical religion. As sadly, many of Islam's future converts will join precisely because they regard it as an evil religion.

8/02/2007 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Mannning said...

Two simple facts:

1. The basic documents of Islam promote evil and domination in the name of their God, which is NOT the same as the God of Christianity;

2. Down to this day, the news media and history are filled with the horrific and evil acts of Muslims in the name of Allah against both themselves and infidels like us.

This is all a sane person needs to conclude that Islam and Muslims are an existential evil and should be banned from America. How a Muslim got elected to the House is a terrifying mystery to me.

whiskey_199 is on target.

8/02/2007 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger tony8489 said...

manning-you have to understand the nature of politics in minnesota and minneapolis, in particular. people were tripping all over themselves to make sure that ellison was elected. I watched in bewilderment as he skated right by is previous CAIR affiliations. the media is so pc in this town that it never was an issue. people in this state take pride in the unusual(jesse ventura)and the wacky(eugene mccarthy)that they really don't care about the qualifications. I am very embarrassed to say I am from minnesota based on ellison alone.

8/02/2007 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger dla said...

alexis, displaying a general ignorance of multiple religions, wrote:
"One can quote the Quran and Hadith until one is blue in the face to prove how vile behavior is true to Islam. One can accurately quote Jewish, Christian, and Hindu scriptures to advocate vile behavior too; one can more easily use them to advocate suicide bombing than one can use the Quran! "

That is the PC "All religions are equal" doo-doo that permeates the left's thinking, and prevents meaningful discourse.

No alexis, they aren't all equal. Not even close.

8/02/2007 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger tony8489 said...

dla is right. the "all religions are created equal" nonsense has to stop. I will call people out on that every time. as we all know, not all muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are muslims.

8/02/2007 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Perhaps we need to give Alexis concrete examples of how Islam is different from Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity or Devil Worship. I'll throw out the first couple.

1. No religion other than Islam advocates killing people who are not of your faith.

2. No religion other than Islam advocates killing people if they want to stop being a Muslim.

3. No religion other than Islam says that it's alright to lie in protection of your faith, and especially that it's OK to lie to people who are not Muslims.

4. No religion other than Islam advocates pedophelia and having sex with children.

5. No religion other than Islam advocates NOT learning, and demands adherence to ancient customs and rituals which are demonstrably not beneficial to either the society nor its individual members (i.e., female genital mutilation).

8/02/2007 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

alexis

You would do well to read the Koran chronologically alongside the biographies of Mohammed. They must be read together in this way because you want to know what Mohammed was doing at the time that he "revealed" certain passages in the Koran. I suggest that you, as I have, may find Mohammed's revelations to be entirely self serving.

You are obviously unaware that the principle theme of the Koran/Haidith is a detailed description of 75 bandit raids carried out by Mohammed and his followers during which they executed the men (after surrender), took the women for sex or slavery, and stole all their victims' property. The Koranic revelations made this behavior a Muslim virtue. There are also some plagiarized Bible stories but even these are secondary.

While you do your comparison with the Old Testament keep in mind that the Hewbrew Bible narrative covers several thousand years and hundreds of principal actors. The Koran/Haidith covers a couple decades and only one main character who be doing 20 years to life in any civilized country on earth.

All religions are not the same. Islam is outside the Tao. A curse on humanity.

8/02/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

Any moment now the "we all worship the same god" line comes out.

It's sort of like telling someone "we're all hearing the same song" when you're convinced it's Frank Sinatra and the other listener swears it's Alvin and the Chipmunks. You're either wrong about it being the same song, or someone's got very bad hearing.

Ben

8/02/2007 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Alexis --

Muslims are human beings yes. But very different human beings.

Unlike Muslims, it is very unlikely you married your cousin in arranged marriage with a bride price. It's very unlikely that any other woman than a Muslim woman would be genitally mutilated. It's very unlikely that any other religion would practice polygamy (there are a few minor ones, but nothing major with billions of adherents). Unlike Muslims, your personal experience would not be of suppression of women and prohibition of participation of women in all areas of public life, down to voting, holding office, and driving.

Muslims are human beings, yes. But very different and alien human beings who's fundamental family formation and intrinsic values are not compatible with modern life.

The biggest problem with Liberals is stupidity: Obama the Messiah ruled out nuclear weapons against AQ in all circumstances, including I assume a nuked American city.

The lines in America are getting set: "let's surrender and roll over" versus "nuke em all" and there is no middle.

8/02/2007 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger R said...

I've got some B. F. Skinner books here. Some pellets too.

What if I put on a turban, or some other "religious of peace" headgear, did a little dance, say a few words, then throw out some pellets?

Bet me they would be picked up?

"Who are you going to believe; your lying eyes or me" is an old line.

It seems to work here..allah akbaristo to vous!

8/02/2007 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I think you all are misreading Alexis. I don't think she were saying "look! They are the same!" But rather, "one can justify evil in all religions, only Islam acts on it." Thereby implying that the faiths are completely different.

Her point wasn't the usual Multi-cultural nonsense in any meaningful way.

Or I could be misreading the whole thing. *shrug*

8/02/2007 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Her point wasn't the usual Multi-cultural nonsense in any meaningful way.

She's defending Muslims. I'm tired of listening to idiots defend Muslims, including Muslim idiots.

8/02/2007 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Whiskey-199:

"If anything some of the more thoughtful foreign Muslims may have conveyed this to Ellison, that Americans have the capacity (like ex-gunfighter Kline) and lack only the resolve."

America does not have the capacity to take on 1.3 billion people.

8/02/2007 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger R said...

unaha...America doesn't need to "take on" 1.3 million muslims.

All we need to do is convince the bad guys we will "wipe their ugly asses" off the face of this earth!

The rest, like sheep, will most certainly get our message, and find more productive things, like improving their living standards, and stop playing games with us...you remember, the peoples who live in Democracies.

We're called free people, both women and men.

8/02/2007 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Alexis said, "One can quote the Quran and Hadith until one is blue in the face to prove how vile behavior is true to Islam. One can accurately quote Jewish, Christian, and Hindu scriptures to advocate vile behavior too;"

Alexis is incorrect and in consequence has missed an essential point with this statement. It is undoubtably true that one can quote the Quran and Hadith until one is blue in the face to prove how vile behavior is true to Islam. It is not true, however, that one can accurately quote Jewish, Christian, and Hindu scriptures to advocate vile behavior too. The problem lies with the word "scripture." The Quran is certainly scripture and is, indeed, rife with commandments that contemporary Muslims commit violent acts against "unbelievers."

I cannot speak for Hindu scripture (if there is such a thing -- I must admit that I don't know even that.) However, I would be suprised if anyone can find a commandment for contemporary Jews or Christians in their respective scriptures to do violence to innocents. There is one technical exception to this statement. In Deuteronomy, Jewish Law states that Jews must kill Amelekites -- man, woman, or child, wherever they may be found until the end of time. Many permutations of this specific requirement to kill Amelekites can be found elsewhere in the Old Testement. Be that as it may, no livng Jew is under any compulsion to search out and murder Amelekites. They vanished from history sometime in the ninth century BC. Moreover, I have no doubt that modern, Rabbinic Judaism would find some reason not to kill Amalekites if one showed up tomorrow.

Muslims are not similarly relieved from the requirements to commit murder and mayhem that are found aplenty in the Quran and Haditha. The best that I can make of the situation that Muslims face is that one can be a bad (moderate)Muslim and a good person or a good (observant) Muslim and a bad person, at least by modern standards.

It would seem that Al Queda and its Shiite parallels are, indeed, the true face of Islam.

8/02/2007 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

I would like to make this clear to everyone. Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim except for the Tamil Tigers, the IRA, FARC, Sendero Luminoso, ETA, Interahamwe, and a whole host of other monsters.

Some people assert that Islam is what makes Muslims bad; I reply that it is Muslims that make Islam bad. Nowhere have I ever said Islam is equal to other religions; instead, I say that Islam is often interpreted in a diabolical manner to uphold backward tribal customs and oriental despotism.

It would be downright dishonest of me to assert that other religions are pristine while Islam is filthy. I think Islam can be redeemed, although I have my doubts that it ever will be.

Is the god of Islam the same as the god of Judaism and Christianity? I don’t know. And fundamentally, I don’t care. Allah could be Krishna or Odin or Baron Samedi for all I care, and it wouldn’t affect my opinion of the religion since there’s no chance I’m converting to it anyway. If the deity of Islam were the same, it wouldn’t change my opinion either because its rituals are still alien. And given how Osama bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are competing for the honor of being the Hubal of our time, it wouldn’t surprise me if Islam were derived from Hubal worship or Baal worship.

PeterBoston:

I suggest that you, as I have, may find Mohammed's revelations to be entirely self serving.

And the revelations of Joseph Smith Jr. weren’t self serving? Self-serving revelations are not unique to Islam.

For that matter, I am not convinced that the Quran and Hadith actually date from the time of Mohammed. They may have, but I know of no proof that they were written any time before 662 A.D. Over a year ago, I sponsored a contest for anyone who could prove the Quran was written within thirty years of Mohammed’s death. I have yet to find any takers.

Here's what I wrote on February 7, 2006:

The first person to conclusively prove that Mohammed existed as a man and not merely a myth, using contemporaneous written sources and/or archeological evidence dating from before 662 A.D., wins fifty million German marks printed by the Reichsbank in 1923.

http://cybersym.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_archive.html

8/02/2007 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Nahncee:

1. No religion other than Islam advocates killing people who are not of your faith.

Please read the Bible.

Deuteronomy 7:1-5 (KJV) When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.
But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.


Deuteronomy 25:17-19 (KJV) Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;
How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.


Aztec religion demanded regular sacrifices of non-Aztecs – on an industrial scale.

The Book of Revelation refers to Jews as “the synagogue of Satan” – twice. (Rev 2:9, 3:9)

Need I go on?

2. No religion other than Islam advocates killing people if they want to stop being a Muslim.

Unlike the medieval and counter-Reformation Catholic auto de fe within Christianity? What exactly do you think the Spanish and Roman Inquisitions were for?

3. No religion other than Islam says that it's alright to lie in protection of your faith, and especially that it's OK to lie to people who are not Muslims.

Unlike Shabbatean Judaism, where Jews were encouraged to falsely convert to other religions in order to become true Jews? Unlike Communism, which often used non-Communist fronts? Unlike Mormonism, where Joseph Smith Jr. not only lied but instructed his followers to lie about his teachings about polygamy?

4. No religion other than Islam advocates pedophelia and having sex with children.

Unlike the Children of God? Unlike the Branch Davidians? Unlike the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?

5. No religion other than Islam advocates NOT learning, and demands adherence to ancient customs and rituals which are demonstrably not beneficial to either the society nor its individual members (i.e., female genital mutilation).

Unlike Hasidic Jews, Christian Scientists, Mennonites, or the Amish? And am I supposed to accept advocacy of male genital mutilation?

Sorry, Nahncee, but nearly every bad characteristic of Islam you describe has its counterpart in some other religion. Please note, however, that Muslims often claim that Judaism and Christianity are corrupted from their origins. I suggest that it is a major strength of both Judaism and Christianity for them to have become Westernized, and while Muslims may call this process “corruption”, I call it progress. That which makes western civilization superior to other cultures is not superior scripture from Near Eastern antiquity but the power of western philosophy, science, and Enlightenment sensibility.

8/02/2007 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Whiskey:

Alexis --

Muslims are human beings yes. But very different human beings.

Unlike Muslims, it is very unlikely you married your cousin in arranged marriage with a bride price. It's very unlikely that any other woman than a Muslim woman would be genitally mutilated. It's very unlikely that any other religion would practice polygamy (there are a few minor ones, but nothing major with billions of adherents). Unlike Muslims, your personal experience would not be of suppression of women and prohibition of participation of women in all areas of public life, down to voting, holding office, and driving.


Although I would quibble that many aspects of the culture you describe are also shared by many Jews, Hindus, and African pagans, I largely agree with you.

That which makes Islamic society bad isn’t Islam per se, but a stultifying combination of backward Arab tribal customs and oriental despotism which is ingrained into Middle Eastern culture. I think Middle Eastern society, in and of itself, is sufficiently backward and tyrannical that it would necessarily gravitate toward the worst religion or political ideology available.

Muslims are human beings, yes. But very different and alien human beings who's fundamental family formation and intrinsic values are not compatible with modern life.

Exactly.

The biggest problem with Liberals is stupidity: Obama the Messiah ruled out nuclear weapons against AQ in all circumstances, including I assume a nuked American city.

Also agreed.

The lines in America are getting set: "let's surrender and roll over" versus "nuke em all" and there is no middle.

Unfortunately, that may be the case. I insist on standing in the middle anyway, because neither extreme will bring us victory. I am not convinced that nuclear weapons will win this war on either side. Are there circumstances under which I would favor the use of nuclear weapons? Yes! However, I refuse to advertise to our enemies exactly what those circumstances are and I hope you can understand why that would be.

8/02/2007 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

simon:

Impious Carthaginians would refuse to sacrifice their children, whereas pious Carthaginians would kill their children to appease Baal Hammon.

I resolutely oppose child sacrifice, and that includes vicarious child sacrifice and theology based upon child sacrifice. Please note that suicide bombing in Palestine is routinely presented as child sacrifice.

One wonderful thing about Judaism is that its rabbis have discovered Jewish mystical interpretation -- modern Judaism's lack of literalism has distinct advantages in promoting the common good. Likewise, while there may be scant biblical basis for St. Patrick's banning of slavery, it was a good deed for him to cloak this idea within religion.

The principal reason why Christianity no longer includes the Book of Enoch in its canon is because of relentless criticism by pagan philosophers such as Celsus. So let us be relentless in our criticism of Islam; let's be as relentless as Voltaire. Let's be honest as well.

8/02/2007 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Alexis,

I see nothing in your response to my comment that addresses my central point which is that Islamic law, as it is spelled out in Islamic scripture is unique. It requires murderous behavior by today's Muslims. If any school of Islamic law has found reason or basis to relax these requirements I am unaware of that fact and would love to be disabused of my misunderstanding. On the contrary, I understand the sad fact to be that if any ulema has had such a notion, they'd be too terrified to put it in writing. The Rushdie precedent weighs heavily.

What long dead Carthaginians or Aztecs or Israelites may have done at what they believed to be the behest of their respective gods has nothing to do with whether Muslims living in the modern world can be sufficiently housebroken to avoid the Nahncee solution. Islam itself seems to require that they not be.

I agree that relentless criticism of Islam is needed. Unfortunately, such criticism is found only in few places on the Web and a few books here and there. Relentless criticism must recognize Islam for what it is -- an evil anachronism that insists on the absolute truth of its scripture which in turn requires the murder or degrading domination of unbelievers. Relentless criticism requires recognition that Islam is decidedly not a religion of peace -- a position our wilfully ignorant chattering class is unlikely to accept until the Nahncee solution is inevitable.

8/02/2007 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

simon wrote:

I see nothing in your response to my comment that addresses my central point which is that Islamic law, as it is spelled out in Islamic scripture is unique. It requires murderous behavior by today's Muslims.


I don't like to stomp somebody via proxy, but alexis needs it.

The problem with casual critics of religions is that by definition they know very little about what they speak.

Do Christians use Deuteronomy as a moral blueprint for life today? No they don't. Actually Christians read Deut like a narative - how God interacted with a select group of people long ago.

All Muslims have the same Quran and textual criticism of the Quran results in the death penalty - just ask Mr. Rushdie. The Quran is literally "the recitation" - the very words of Allah and one of the strongest schools of Islamic theology (in Saudi Arabia of course) teaches the literal reading of the Quran. The Quran is rife with bloody directives against Jews, infidels, and people leaving the faith. Fatawahs are still issued condemming people to death for converting to Christianity. I'm speaking about Islam today, not 1300 years ago.

Islam hasn't developed a mechanism to evolve past the 9th century AD.

And it should be painfully obvious that Islamic nations largely represent the poorest of the poor in the world. Mostly because Sharia law locks Muslims into the distant past.

It is overly simplistic but true neverless: It wasn't the Methodist, Hari-Krishnas, Hindus, Budhists or Jews that flew the planes on 9/11 or applauded the aftermath.

8/03/2007 12:37:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Renico said...

alexis,

Have you actually read the Bible, or are you completely unaware that you picked only Old Testament verses from Deuteronomy to represent what you think is Christian doctrine, while completely ignoring the New Testament, which makes Christians what they are?

You didn't even get the Revelations quote correct: Rev 2:9 "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan." (emphasis mine)

Anyone with an 8th grade education can see that your interpretation is incorrect.

I'm heartily sick of people with no sense of scriptual perspective trying to cherry pick from the superceded section of the Christian Bible in a shoddy attempt to prove what they think is doctrine.

I'm also heartily sick of people with no sense of historical perspective trying to blame the evils of Europe on Christianity. Europe started as a barbaric place which worshipped pantheons of bellicose doom-gods. It was one a savage, warlike place which became the home of a race of conquerors. Jainism or Tibetan Buddhism could have made its way to Dark Ages Europe, and the people there would still have waged wars of conversion.

8/03/2007 03:07:00 AM  
Blogger tony8489 said...

I would like to make this clear to everyone. Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but every terrorist is a Muslim except for the Tamil Tigers, the IRA, FARC, Sendero Luminoso, ETA, Interahamwe, and a whole host of other monsters.

right-and the above mentioned terrorists are absolutely committed to the destruction of the west, and want to introduce shiria law.

alexis-pick a side, and stop splitting hairs. reason away all you want with your intellectual arguments, which, by the way, I enjoy. but understand this: the next major attack that happens in this country will make the patriot act look like a boy scout creed. that hand that was tied behind our back will now be available, and it is long overdue

8/03/2007 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

“Caedite eos! Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.”
– Arnaud Amaury, Abbot of Citeau, calling for the destruction of Beziers in 1209

Translation: “Kill them all! God knows His own.”

(For more information, check out this reference.)

“Caedite eos! Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.” This is the attitude of al-Qaeda and Hezbollah shows toward us. It ought not to be our attitude toward Muslims. This war may yet turn into a demolition derby of cities; it ought not to be that which we desire.

Concerning scriptural evidence, one should be careful about using an argument against “cherry picking”. It is also used against those who base their criticism of Islam upon verses they find in the Quran. Leftists also use the “cherry picking” argument to claim their worst apples are the exception rather than the rule.

If one shouldn’t refer to Deuteronomy concerning what Christians believe, Christians shouldn’t use that book either to argue about homosexuality or the Ten Commandments. Besides, there is plenty of scriptural authority in Paul’s letters to oppose homosexuality.

Should one use the Book of Revelation at all? Does anyone know what the Book of Revelation advocates for Babylon? Burning to death! And does Babylon refer to Babylon? Rome? Jerusalem? Constantinople? Islam? Thomas Friedman? Does it even matter? Well, the meaning of the word “Babylon” matters to many Christians.

There was a recent controversy over whether Mel Gibson should have included Matthew 27:25 within “The Passion of Christ”. Sadly, this reference has historically been interpreted by Christian theologians to promote the idea of Jewish blood guilt.

A central theological tenet of Christianity is that the salvation of humanity depends upon a blood sacrifice of a Jewish carpenter on or near (gospel versions differ on this) a day celebrating the deaths of Egyptian children. Although blood sacrifice was standard in antiquity and is still standard in Samaritanism and Islam, and although Christianity’s message convinced Celts and Mexicans to stop their blood ritual, let’s not gloss over the bloody essence of Christian theology and Christian practice.

Muslims practice the sacrifice of sheep as a substitution ritual during Eid-al-Adha in reference to the Kurban (the Muslim version of the Akedah). In Christianity, one is taught to believe the Son of God actually died for your sins, for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, KJV) This is child sacrifice, even if it is merely liturgical in nature.

One ought to base criticism of Islam upon Islamic history and how Muslims presently act in the name of Islam. For example, the Quran condemns idolatry, and yet Muslim tradition states that Mohammed kissed the Black Stone. Muslims to this day repeat the ritual of kissing the Black Stone, and it is considered a great honor to be a man who would commit this obvious form of idolatry. This Muslim practice runs directly counter to Muslim scripture. And more importantly, this idolatry runs counter to the message of Muslim missionary efforts.

Islam, as it presently exists, is a religion out of another era. In comparison to Odin worshippers, Baal worshippers, ancient Hebrews, ancient Aztecs, the Waffen SS, the Thuggee, ancient Carthaginians, and the Ku Klux Klan, Islam doesn’t come across all that badly. If this is praise for Islam, it is faint praise.

If Satanists can behave themselves, so can Muslims. Their good behavior may require an iron fist at times, but it can be done.

8/03/2007 10:04:00 AM  

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