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Friday, March 24, 2017

Recommended Reading

See How Islam Is Different from Other Religions by Shadi Hamdi, from the June 13, 2016 issue of Time Magazine. The essay is copied and pasted in its entirely below the fold in case you do not have a subscription to the magazine.
How Islam Is Different from Other Religions by Shadi Hamdi

We want to believe we’re all basically the same and want the same things, but what if we’re not?

Islam, in both theory and practice, is exceptional in how it relates to politics. Because of its outsize role in law and governance, Islam has been–and will continue to be–resistant to secularization.

I am a bit uncomfortable making this claim, especially now, with anti-Muslim bigotry on the rise. But Islamic exceptionalism is neither good nor bad. It just is, and we need to understand and respect that.

Two factors are worth emphasizing: First, the founding moment of Islam looms large. Unlike Jesus Christ, the Prophet Muhammad was a theologian, a preacher, a warrior and a politician, all at once. He was also the leader and builder of a new state, capturing, holding and governing new territory. Religious and political functions, at least for the believer, were no accident. They were meant to be intertwined in the leadership of one man.

Second, for Muslims the Quran is God’s direct and literal speech, more than merely the word of God. It is difficult to overstate the centrality of divine authorship. This does not mean Muslims are literalists; most are not. But it does mean the text cannot easily be dismissed as irrelevant.

What does this mean for everyone else? Western observers will need to do something uncomfortable and difficult. They will need to accept Islam’s vital and varied role in politics and formulate policies with that in mind, rather than hope for secularizing outcomes that are unlikely anytime soon, if ever.

Hamid, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, is the author of Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World.

This appears in the June 13, 2016 issue of TIME.
About Shadi Hamdi:
Shadi Hamid is a senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and the author of Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World (St. Martin's Press). His previous book Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East was named a Foreign Affairs Best Book of 2014. An expert on Islamist movements, Hamid served as director of research at the Brookings Doha Center until January 2014. Prior to joining Brookings, he was director of research at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and a Hewlett Fellow at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. He is currently vice-chair of POMED's board of directors and a contributing writer to The Atlantic. Hamid received his B.S. and M.A. from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and his Ph.D. in political science from Oxford University.

74 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. WIKI: ... Brookings states that its staff "represent diverse points of view" and describes itself as non-partisan, while the media sometimes describes Brookings as "liberal."

      An academic analysis of Congressional records from 1993 to 2002 found that Brookings was referenced by conservative politicians almost as frequently as liberal politicians, earning a score of 53 on a 1–100 scale with 100 representing the most liberal score. The same study found Brookings to be the most frequently cited think tank by the US media and politicians.


      That last sentence alone should send up a BIG red flag.

      Brookings may not be "Lliberal" in the modern-post-modern sense, which would make it "Avowedly, Unabashedly Marxist," but it sure ain't Conservative either.

      Also it's emphasis on International Concerns sends up another red flag. It appears to favor "Globalism" –– a concept we need to learn to abhor, denounce, and categorically reject.

      Globalism means Corporatism, coupled with Karl Marx's Dream of a world united under the banner of –– Communism, In other words DICTATORSHIP of OLIGRACHICAL ELITES with no Middle Class – i.e. we'd all be serfs.

      Delete
    2. Those details about Brookings make it all the more remarkable that Shadi Hamdi has written something so negative about Islam.

      Delete
  2. ISLAM is not a RELIGION, it is an INCURSION

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  3. ISLAM is not a RELIGION, it is a PERVERSION

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  4. ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION, it is a CONTAGION

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  5. ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION, it is an INVASION

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  6. ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION, it is a COERCION

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  7. ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION, it is an AGGRESSION

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  8. ISLAM is not a RELIGION, it is a DECEPTION.

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  9. ISLAM is not a RELIGION, it us a MALEDICTION

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    Replies
    1. Please, sir! That is excessive! Perhaps you could avail yourself of the ability to compact your manifold pronouncements into one comment, thereby not eventuating the artificial prolongation of the comment thread!

      Delete
    2. ISLAM is not a RELIGION, it is an INCURSION

      ISLAM is not a RELIGION, it is a PERVERSION

      ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION, it is a CONTAGION

      ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION, it is an INVASION

      ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION, it is a COERCION

      ISLAM is NOT a RELIGION, it is an AGGRESSION

      ISLAM is not a RELIGION, it is a DECEPTION.

      ISLAM is not a RELIGION, it us a MALEDICTION


      THERE! is that more to your liking? I think you should copy and paste it into a Word document, then stitch it into a sampler. I'm sure it would look lovely hanging right above your toliet.

      Better yet, why not Paste it into every blog on The Problem of Islam you can find? Spread the word!~ Hopefully it will cach on and start a movement.

      Hi HEY! Hi HO!
      Muslim Bastards have to GO!


      Use it as a MANTRA, why don't you?

      ];^}>

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    3. By the many arms of Vishnu, I swear your prolixity knows no satiety!

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  10. "Second, for Muslims the Quran is God’s direct and literal speech, more than merely the word of God." There you have it. The Infidels must die. There will be no moderation. Period. Then if we are to survive, THEY must be destroyed.

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    1. That matter about the Quran being God's direct and literal speech is the big barrier that reformist Muslims face. Reformist Muslims have multitudes of enemies among the ummah.

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    2. I have yet to hear exactly what it is they are "reforming." I would appreciate hearing from one of them as to what it is they hope to accomplish. It is a religion of death. The whole point is to get to the after life pronto.

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    3. Suicide cults do exist, but they tend not to persist for >1000 years, so there must be more to Islam as it is practised than "get to the after life pronto."

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    4. Christian Fundamentalists, of which I thankfully am not one, have a similar problem with their insistence that every word in the Bible was spoken BY God VERBATIM to the ancient Jewish tribal leaders, –– and you'd better believe it, or you'll surely wind up in Hell!

      Religious extremism of ANY kind is unwholesome and detrimental to human progress and development no matter what banner it parades under. However, in the world today –– barring any minor bizarre devil-worshiping cults and the like –– I hasten to add that ISLAM is far and away the WORST. It has replaced Naziism, and is running neck-and-neck now with Marxism to claim FIrst Prize in the Obloquy Sweepstakes.

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    5. Fundamentalists may have their particular belief system and make every effort to convert, but I have not heard of any beheading for a lack of believing. Rather, Islam has devolved from their hay day when they were an advanced culture with aided to a great degree in bringing much of Europe out of the dark ages. What religion returns to the stone age?

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    6. Bunkerville,
      Fundamentalists may have their particular belief system and make every effort to convert, but I have not heard of any beheading for a lack of believing.

      A crucial point.

      Oh, sure, we can look to terrible deeds committed by Christendom in the past -- and those deeds included beheadings. But in the past few centuries? Nope.

      When a headline today blares "Beheading!" do we not reasonably think, "Done in the name of Allah"?

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    7. "... beheadings. But in the past few centuries? Nope."

      I was surprised by how recently the Spanish Inquisition beheaded a heretic -- 1826, less than two centuries ago.

      Meanwhile, more obscure branches of Christianity continue to get up to all sorts of mischief, I think the UN recently accused "christians" in the CAR of burning witches.

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    8. Jez,
      I was surprised by how recently the Spanish Inquisition beheaded a heretic -- 1826, less than two centuries ago.

      See Decapitation at Wikipedia.

      In the section on Europe, we read this:

      In France, until the abolition of capital punishment in 1981, the main method of execution had been by beheading by means of the guillotine. Other than a small number of cases[which?] where a firing squad was used, the guillotine was the only legal method of execution from 1789, when it was introduced during the French Revolution, until 1981.

      Beheadings are still the method of capital punishment in Saudi Arabia.

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    9. Central African Republic.

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  11. Video: Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the topics of grieving, appeasement, and understanding, particularly after terrorist attacks. She says that an attitude of apology for Western civilization will serve only as promoting further attacks.

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  12. This does not mean Muslims are literalists; most are not. But it does mean the text cannot easily be dismissed as irrelevant.

    Most cogent sentence in the article. The text serves as the cover for terrorist actions, internal rationalization and propaganda outreach.

    And if we're talking strictly about religion intertwining with politics [acts of violence aside], Islam is not the only religion who has powerful adherents who seek likewise.

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    Replies
    1. Terpsichore O'Hanrahan said

      Please NAME at least ONE religion in the modern world other than Mohammedanism that advocates official policies of brute savagery towards non-adherents to the faith in question.

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    2. You didn't read what I wrote....but by all means, continue to SPAM AOW's blog, FT.

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    3. CI, FT can speak for himself, but the inevitable "Christians do it too" comments are tiresome. We're talking about Islam and Western Society.

      Western Society has its problems, but we have mechanisms in place to sort them out. Christianity no longer rules anything (and rightly so. When any religion runs government, both suffer).

      At times you sound like a paranoid leftings worrying the Dominionists are coming.

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    4. No more tiresome than the stale, regurgitated, unoriginal copy/paste blather from those who exhort genocide...then coyly claim they didn't.

      These uninspired folks rail on and on about adherents of a religion seeking to make it one with the political process. So, yes...we're talking about Islam - and - western society.

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    5. Then attack the coy suggestions of genocide. I think we'll all be on your side. Can you do it without the tired "christians do it too" chorus.

      I have the credibility to say this, since I have issued my own criticisms of religion--including Christianity--and its practitioners.

      I respect the rights of others--including you--to speak however you wish, but I'm just letting you know, it's lazy, unoriginal, and adds absolutely nothing to the conversation.

      I also do not join those who who issue insults against Islam (I believe it is a religion) and Muslims, but its their right to talk that way.

      Having said that, I've seen it up close, as have you (albeit in extremis) and I don't want that here. I served with Muslims, as did you, and as I've said before, we are fortunate as a nation to have some great Muslims here. My fear is our government has no way of sorting the good immigrants from the bad.

      Essays like this one brought to us by AOW are useful for examining this issue.

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    6. Essay's such as this are useful...but you're exaggerating a bit when you claim that I'm employing the "christians do it too" chorus" [when I didn't mention Christianity.....yet take much issue with the "Islam is a political ideology.....and unique".....at least in measurement of words posted.

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    7. Has "Islam" always been belligerent? Did they always use such awful military / terrorist tactics, or did they introduce eg. suicide bombing more recently -- I don't know of any cases prior to the 1982 war in Lebanon. (obviously the Japanese used it, but that's a different people).
      My history is not great, but have the muslims been a threat for only about 35 years? Has the religion itself changed at all in that time? If not, what did change?

      (scare quote around Islam, because I believe the religion itself is a bit of a red herring -- I use it to refer to the people, not to the philosophy.)

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    8. CI, You're a natural sheepdog, and it is an admirable trait to stand up for those being attacked, but not to worry, Ducky will be along shortly, and he's a great defender of the indefensible.

      Like a slimy, loathsome William Kunstler cum sneering America-despiser Howard Zinn, Ducky will swoop in and explain Islam has nothing to do with the global rash of attacks by its practitioners.

      That South Asian man in London was probably driven mad by the provocative church bells from Westminster Abbey or Winchester Cathedral.

      He probably felt alienated with no fellow Muslims around--oops, the mayor of London is a co-religionist!

      Maybe he just has a bad case of hemorrhoids and had to take it out on somebody...

      Look over there! Dylan Roof!

      I can't wait to hear what the Beantown Bolshie (100% halal!) has to say.

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    9. CI:

      This is your comment that sparked my response:

      "And if we're talking strictly about religion intertwining with politics [acts of violence aside], Islam is not the only religion who has powerful adherents who seek likewise."

      Delete
    10. Jez,

      That's a tough one to untangle. Pre-Pakistan India? Lebanon?

      Any example one presents could be explained not as extremist religious violence, but simply people all of one religion striving and yearning to be free.

      We do know Lebanon was a Muslim-minority tolerant, liberal "Paris of the Levant," taking in dissidents from all over. We all know what happened as Muslims gained the majority. Again, some smart professor can explain it all away, so it's a fruitless pursuit.

      Some survey time and space and see Muslim violence, while others engage in what some perceive as special pleading. So here we are.

      We can blame imperialism, prejudice, the United States, whatever, but people vote with their feet. Everybody wants to come to Europe and North America, but few clamor to enter any Muslim nation.

      We in the west enjoy prosperity and modernity and we enshrine human rights, including the rights of women and minorities. Slavery, misogyny and violent religious bigotry appear to be the hallmarks of many Muslim societies.

      Somebody can step in and explain it all away, but you cannot blame someone surveying the scene and drawing dark conclusions about the fruits of Islam.

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    11. We can blame imperialism, prejudice, the United States, whatever, but people vote with their feet. Everybody wants to come to Europe and North America, but few clamor to enter any Muslim nation.

      That's a great way to frame the problem we face.

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    12. I wish you had told Jez about the purpose of the Crusades and the dark deeds of Vlad the Impaler (1431-1476) –– an Eastern Orthodox Ruler who spent most of his life in conflict with the Ottoman Turks [Islam was the official religion of the Orroman Empire]. Brutal and barbaric as Vlad's methods were they DID succeed in deterring the Islamic Invasion of Europe at that time –– nearly SIX-HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

      So violent conflict between Islam and Christendom (i.e. The West) has being ongoing for a VERY long time.

      Tell him about the way Thomas Jefferson dealt with the Barbary Pirates too while you're at it,

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    13. CI, Thank you. And thank you for not taking my comments as an attack on you.

      We do need to face this issue with eyes wide open and with candor.

      Hurling insults at Muslims and their religion gets us nowhere. But bending over backwards to explain away Islam's many ugly features and rotten fruit is also an impediment, as is attacking anyone who utters any criticism of Islam, regardless of how polite or sincerely-held it is. (I am not saying you do this, just making the comment in general)

      Christianity could not have moderated itself and purged its bad aspects absent a free society with free speech.

      We should also point our that Christianity has cleaned itself up without sacrificing one jot or tittle of the central message of Christ. Although we swim in a sea of blasphemy and depravity, we still enjoy the freedom to live our Christian lives and practice our faith as our consciences guide us, and thank God for that.

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    14. FreeThinke,

      It's all in how you look at it. I've seen people explain all that, Gates of Vienna, etc, and an apologist will come along and explain it all away. I'll never understand western liberals making excuses for violent extremist religious ultra-conservatives.

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    15. By the way, SilverFiddle, banishing the presence of Islamic Filth from OUR country is NOT "Genocide."

      What I have said consistently –– and repeatedly –– since 9/12/2001 is that ISLAM must DIE in the West. I have never said that all Muslims must be killed, though THEY say that about US routinely.

      BANISHMENT or EXILE, if you prefer, is NOT the same thing as wholesale SLAUGHTER.

      However, IF we continue to let these barbarians –– and their dangerously demented teachings –– remain in our midst, sooner or later most of US will wake up dead with our heads hacked off.

      Nice, good-hearted, reasonable men like you, SilverFiddle,stll want to believe that bland sweet reasonableness will eventually persuade these demons to change their ways.

      I'm sorry, but I'M not willing to take that chance, and I deeply resent my goverment's unwillinginess to do everything possible to protect natural-born Caucasian-Christian Americans like me, whose roots in this countrty go all the way back to the early 1600's, from hostile foreign forces who have planted themselves in our midst effectively COLONIZING us.

      I thank God every day that I only have a few more years left at best. The future looks very grim, indeed. I am glad I never produced any children to suffer for the sins –– and incredible STUPIDITY –– of my father's and my generations.

      We've given away our birthright in exchange for a mess of Marxian Multiculturalist fantasies of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, ATHEISTIC man made Heaven on Earth.

      The harvest we are bound to reap from this jejune idiocy must be the Whirlwind. There will be no happy ending.

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    16. FT,
      Thank you for your comment @ 12:22 PM, in answer to Jez's question Has "Islam" always been belligerent?

      I was going to bring up those matters, but was trapped in the doctor's office, then the pharmacy. Those locations are not conducive to blogging.

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    17. SF,
      I've seen people explain all that, Gates of Vienna, etc, and an apologist will come along and explain it all away.

      Ultimately, a lot of people cannot wrap their minds around the terrible evidence in front of them.

      I used to believe that Islam had evolved. Then along came 9/11.

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    18. SF,
      Christianity could not have moderated itself and purged its bad aspects absent a free society with free speech.

      But the Left will not allow for criticism of Islam without screeching, "Islamophobia! Islamophobes!"

      Islam will continue to do what Islam does until there is a real reason for Islam not to continue doing so. The West seems unable to provide that reason.

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    19. ...I deeply resent my goverment's unwillinginess to do everything possible to protect natural-born Caucasian-Christian Americans like me, whose roots in this countrty go all the way back to the early 1600's..."

      ____

      FT, apparently "Caucasian Christian Americans" have been marginalized over the last century. Unless you are able to accept the status of submissive "goy" you are apt to be labeled a "White supremacist" by those ancient practitioners of divide and conquer—today's Sanhedrin.

      Delete
    20. FT, We are basically in agreement. As someone said below, I do not think Islam is compatible with Western Liberal Democracy. They are antithetical. It casts no aspersions on Islam to say that.

      Given that, I don't believe we should be importing Muslims.

      We have been way too sloppy in who we let in and we have carelessly abandoned even trying to help people assimilate.

      I'm tired of the "duty to refugees" blather. We should simply pay some other country to take our quota. That is what Australia does, and they have thrown up a naval cordon sanitaire to prevent Muslims from reaching their soil. Smart people.

      Forget all the talk of terrorism. I don't want foreigners with incompatible beliefs coming in here, making noisy demands and forcing us to change our society and walk on egg shells because they may be offended or fly into a fit of violent rage.

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    21. SF,
      Multiple up votes for that comment! Every last word of it!

      Delete
    22. Well said, SF....and I know you don't use personal attacks as rhetorical currency......all the kore reason we're sad to see your site shuttered. I absolutely agree that Christianity has come along way over the centuries......and one would hope that Islam would...or could...do the same. I admittedly have doubts that it can.

      What also gets us nowhere, writ large....the the proffering of the notion that we can eradicate a belief [Islam] from American Muslims. Those who do so, seem to ignore that their beliefs are as firmly held as other creeds among the faithful. Not too mention the sheer absurdity of thought control.

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    23. Well, FT, if we're going to go that far back, you should ask SF to tell you about what nominally Christian English kings and queens were getting up to over the same period. But, for the same reason that it would be mad for a country to base her foreign policy with Britain on their assessment of the Tudors, I'm interested in the more recent context.

      "I deeply resent my goverment's unwillinginess to do everything possible to protect natural-born Caucasian-Christian Americans"

      I recognise that our governments' duty towards its non-caucasian, non-christian and/or immigrant citizens is equal to their duty towards the ones you favour. If you have a problem with that, I believe you are at odds with the explicit provisions of your constitution, and you should openly declare yourself to be an anti-patriot.

      SF: I really don't know enough about Lebanon, but I'm starting to think this might be the key to the whole thing. I know that it absorbed many of the Palestinians that were involved in conflict with Israel during the '70s. Whom else did they take in? Demographically, I don't think there's been a straight-forward increase in Muslim proportion, it's wiggled up and down, hasn't it?

      Delete
  13. INBREEDING: Is the Islamic world just a massive version of 'DELIVERENCE'?

    https://en.europenews.dk/-Muslim-Inbreeding-Impacts-on-intelligence-sanity-health-and-society-78170.html

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    1. Jon,
      Excellent link! I hope that others here read it.

      Delete
  14. Islam is incompatible with our Western liberal democracy. That does not gainsay the fact that millions of moslems do well here. They contribute to society as doctors and scientists and shopkeepers, and they avoid the fervid superstitions, wild-eyed conspiracies, rapes, knifings, explosions, flamboyant hatreds, and nuthouse cultural perversions of the squalid and dystopian moslem culture.

    Islam is incompatible with the West. President Trump was right:

    We must ban all moslem immigration, and do our forthright best to drag the ones here out of their fetid, shabby slums of obscurantism and cultural rot. Drag them out! Out into the sunshine of Western Christendom, where they can shake off the chains of slavery and misogyny, where we can teach them manners and urbanity, and they can learn how to be decent human beings.

    If we cannot do this, we will become one more steaming, writhing scrum of poor souls, bombing, burning and murdering one another as they do in Lahore, Bangladesh and other moslem lands.

    God help us.

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    1. DIDADIN

      DETAIN - INTERN - DISEMPOWER - AND- DEPORT - ISLAMANIACS - NOW

      D-I-D-A-D-I-N!

      Those who would be kind to the cruel are sure to be cruel to the kind."


      "Those who expect to reap the blessing of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."

      ~ Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

      DIDADIN!

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  15. It's surprising that Westerners put so much emphasis on the Quran when the greater sources of conflict with Western culture are the Hadith and Sunna which are open to interpretation.
    Just another example of the ignorance we carry with us in the West.

    Why a literal interpretation of the Quran is much different than sola scriptorum escapes me. We spend a lot of time in the West blathering about our Judeo-Christian heritage rather than more appropriately describing our Greco-Roman heritage.

    But let's face it the topic at hand is really the attack in London. Pretty standard profile: native born, north African ethnicity, criminal record. His age was unusual.
    But what triggered him? Are we getting any closer to solving this serious problem by simply assuming it was Islam and not something else in his psyche possibly separate or in combination?

    We can go on being ignorant (FreeThinke's ignorance of the history of the Barbary pirates is an example) or we can accept that Islam isn't going to disappear, hold to our Greco-Roman, enlightenment values and help free the world from the curse of the Abrahamic tradition once and for all.

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    1. Duck,
      Why a literal interpretation of the Quran is much different than sola scriptorum escapes me.

      Well, there must be some difference because we see so many denominations within Christendom -- many of those denominations based on sola scriptorum. How many different denominations of mosques are there?

      But let's face it the topic at hand is really the attack in London.

      Not exactly -- although the recent attack in London meant that now might be a good time to think about some of what Shadi Hamdi has written.

      I've had this blog post in reserve since the essay first appeared in Time Magazine in June 2016.

      Delete
    2. Ducky,

      I don't need to try to understand why the hornets swarmed grandpa on his way to the outhouse. I just need to understand they are dangerous and we shouldn't have them around.

      Delete
    3. @ Ducky: "curse of the Abrahamic tradition" ???

      What in the hell are you talking about? Jewish people are a curse upon this earth? The Torah, the Talmud are a curse?

      Is Christianity--which grew from the fertile soil of the Abrahamic faith--a curse?

      Great Gaia! Screw your head on straight. We're all accustomed to your absurdities, but that one was way out there where the buses don't run...

      Muslims are outpacing Jews and Christians in beheadings, bombings, burnings and violent conflict.

      Yes, the US have done a lot of bombing and killing, but none of it in the name of Christ or religion.

      Yes, we have an anti-abortion murder once every ten years or so, but I defy you to name the hate preacher who inspired the latest murder that happened here in my town at the foot of the Rockies.

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    4. "Yes, the US have done a lot of bombing and killing, but none of it in the name of Christ or religion."

      Some of those bombs were dropped in the name of democracy and liberty, though. Perhaps Ducky is right, our Greco-Roman heritage deserves a more equal share of the rhetorical limelight. I reckon Boris Johnson is the man to do it -- a man so enthralled to classical civilizations, he'd probably be more comfortable conducting his business in Latin (at least that way fewer peoples would realise that they'd been insulted!)

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  16. I doubt that this essay will help much to advance the cause of Islam in America or the West. Those that do more to advance the cause of Islam and hurt or denigrate America are not identified in todays Main Steam Media.

    John Brennan the former head of the CIA in the Obama administration, a self-identified supporter of communism in America and a convert to Wahhabi Islam while station chief for the CIA in Saudi Arabia earlier in his career, is one who has done much damage to the country.

    But the child molesting pedophile elite in the media and Washington politics would abort any attempt to expose his treason, I'm sure. It's a rigged game.

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    1. It's surprising that Westerners put so much emphasis on the Quran when the greater sources of conflict with Western culture are the Hadith and Sunna which are open to interpretation.

      ____

      So you're saying the holy book of the religion, The Koran, carries less weight than mere sayings of the Prophet.

      I'd like to see some evidence not just blowing smoke out your ass, please.

      Delete
    2. It's clear that I'm not saying that at all. Don't be a sophist.

      I clearly state that the major conflicts with western culture are found in the Hadith and Sunnas. Those are open t interpretation.

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    3. oh Waylon, if you wish to educate yourself concerning the hadith, an interesting place to start would be music.

      Delete
    4. Debates over the koran and other muslim writings are futile.

      "By their fruits you shall know them."

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    5. Do you really believe that, silverfiddle?

      We are likely to be more successful acting from ignorance than knowledge?

      Delete
    6. Ducky,

      I have suffered through listening to such debates, and it makes my ears bleed, with both sides over-pronouncing KOOR-AHN and Hah-Deeth to death.

      To hell with it! Who has time for that crap?

      They need to take their debates to some muslim country where people are interested.

      The only debate we need here in the US is how far does the constitution allow us to go is quashing militant islam here at home and blocking more of it from getting in.

      Things changed after 9/11. Was it citizen hostility towards Muslims in our midst? Was it Bush and Obama carelessly letting in hate-filled Muslims hostile to us, or at the least, totally ignorant of our society and culture?

      Things were pretty good here pre-9/11. I still maintain we had the best Muslim population in the world: Doctors, scientists, entrepreneurs, military service members, patriotic Americans all. And we all got along.

      In summary, Osama bin Ladin won.

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    7. No, I disagree.

      Our meddling in the Middle East has come at a serious price and if we continue to see the entirety of Islam as an enemy to be destroyed, we'll continue to pay a price.

      Better to retain our secular values and allow muslims to integrate by understanding they can Westernize.

      Delete
    8. "Better to retain our secular values and allow muslims to integrate by understanding they can Westernize."\

      Yea, in your dreams!

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    9. Better to retain our secular values and allow muslims to integrate by understanding they can Westernize.

      Dream on!

      No such integration can occur for Islamic supremacists, who work to convert those who have secularized or would secularize. For Islamic supremacists, Western values -- including freedom of expression -- are toxic.

      I'm sure that all of us know secular Muslims. I certainly do. But I have also seen one secular Muslim, a good friend and next-door neighbor, became "revived" at the local Wahhabist mosque. Creepy change! And a change that I witnessed with my own eyes -- although I wasn't sure what I was seeing at the time (1998, when I was dumb as a door about Islam since the Iranian Revolution). Thank God he moved back to the Middle East! One of his frequent visitors here was arrested a few years after 9/11 because of funding Hamas.

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    10. Ducky,

      The threat, so stated by "good liberals," is we had better be careful criticizing Islam and Muslims, because doing so will radicalize the Muslims in our midst.

      Now, ask yourself a question: Do you really want such infantile and easily-manipulable people in your midst? People so easily goaded into violence against fellow inhabitants of the society in which they live?

      What does such a belief--that our mean, ill-mannered statements about their religion will spur them to violent jihad--say about the Muslims in our midst?

      We are in a very bad place. If militant extremist Islam is a societal arsonist's fire, empty-headed progressivism is the accelerant.

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    11. Ducky,

      Here is something else for the thinking liberal to chew on:

      Why would good Muslims--happy to be here and integrated into our free society--welcome the importation of sketchy people who threaten to bring the fires of Islamist rage, violence and bigotry with them?

      If I had escaped some distant land where sadistic Christian mullahs torture, burn and trample all rights, I sure as hell wouldn't want them following me to my new home and bringing those horrors with them.

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    12. SF,
      Excellent points!

      We are in a very bad place.

      Yes. I'm glad that I'm as old as I am.

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    13. I think there's a good body of evidence that eg. the Iraq war contributed to Islamist recruitment within Iraq; the effect on muslims within our midst is less clear. I don't think mere criticism contributes significantly to radicalization, directly; actual foreign policy does, though. To the extent that the temperature of the discourse affects the kind of policies that pass the legislature, it's an important factor.

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  17. Fabulous discussion.....I wish Silverfiddle was wrong with his last sentence but...alas...

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