Lynn Parramore: Islam Has Been Part of American History Since Its Founding

By Lynn Parramore, a contributing editor at Alternet. Cross posted from Alternet

Recently, just as turmoil in the Middle East erupted, New York straphangers were treated to hateful anti-Muslim billboards, courtesy of Pamela Geller, leader of “Stop Islamization of America.” The ads, which declared that radical Muslims are "savages" waging war on the civilized world, created a furor and resulted in widespread defacements (for a roundup, check out the Awl), the arrest of a journalist , and possible changes to the rules governing subway and bus advertisements that might incite violence.

Islamophobia is back with a vengeance. Geller, a self-appointed hate czar, catapulted herself to racist celebrity back in 2010 with shrill denouncements of an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan near the site of the World Trade Center. Since then, her repeat warnings of Islam’s foreign threat to America have resonated powerfully in a post-9/11 world where violent protests in the Middle East over a crude anti-Muslim film have triggered a fresh wave of anxiety. 

It would undoubtedly shock Geller and her Islamophobic buddies to know that Muslims have been in America for so long they could almost have formed a welcoming committee to the Daughters of the Revolution. 

Consider this: Anthony "The Turk" Janszoon van Salee, son of the president of the Republic of Salé in Morocco, was among the earliest and richest settlers of Manhattan island, a devout Muslim, and the ancestor of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the Whitneys, Humphrey Bogart, and, according to family lore, Jacqueline Bouvier. That's right: the Lady of Camelot apparently had a mixed-race Muslim as an ancestor! One of van Salee’s first properties was a farm in lower Manhattan acquired in 1638 located on the north side of the stockade along present-day Wall Street, just blocks from the Park Place Islamic center characterized by Geller as a foreign presence on sacred American soil. A defender of minorities, van Salee became the first settler of Brooklyn. Coney Island, which abutted his property, was known as "Turk's Island” until the 19th century.

Muslims are feeling unwelcome in America today, but followers of Muhammed were living here before the arrival of English in Spanish-controlled Florida and French Louisiana, where slaves were imported from the Senegambia region of Africa, home to a large Muslim population. 

Influenced by the tolerance of the Enlightenment, America's founders considered Islam’s place in the new republic despite widespread fear of Barbary pirates and a sense of European rivalry with the Ottoman Empire. As befitting a student of law in a religiously diverse land, Thomas Jefferson purchased a Quran to learn about the Islamic legal code – the same Quran that was used in the swearing in of Muslim Keith Ellison to the U.S. Congress. In 1776, John Adams published "Thoughts on Government," which praised the prophet Muhammad as a "sober inquirer after truth.” Ben Franklin set up a non-sectarian meeting house in Philadelphia, declaring in his autobiography that "even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service."

Tea Partiers occasionally know and distort these facts, but they are completely ignorant about another side of American Islam. Until recently, the study of the African transmission of Islam to America has been neglected, partly because materials are scarce, and partly because early observers were often ignorant of Islam or had reasons for downplaying the fact that God-fearing, literate people among the enslaved had to be written off as heathen and backwards in order to justify the institution.

And yet the numbers of enslaved Africans who were Muslims was significant: Conservative estimates put the number at 10 percent of all slaves, with some estimates running as high as 30 percent. A hodgepodge of sources –from plantation records to runaway slave advertisements to WPA interviews – show that Muslims went to great lengths to observe their religion; that Islam was a marker of status in the larger African American society; and that African American culture reflects the influence of early Muslims. On Sapelo Island, Georgia, for example, the congregation of the First African Baptist Church always prays to the east, the direction in which the church is pointed, and bodies are buried pointing to the east. The Nation of Islam may have been the 20th-century manifestation of a very ancient connection to a religion that had lived on in the South for centuries among African Amerians even though it was overtaken by Christianity. Historian Michael Gomez points out that Elijah Muhammad, born in 1898 in Georgia, grew up at a time when Islam may still have been practiced by African-born Muslims, and the children and grandchildren of early Muslims were likely aware of their Islamic heritage.

On plantations throughout the South, particularly in the early period of slavery, it would have been possible to see enslaved Africans with names like Mustapha and Fatima kneeling on prayer mats, their faces turned toward the rising sun. (Writing of “Arabic-Africans” along the coast of Georgia, Joel Chandler Harris called them “not the most numerous, but the most noticeable” type.) Some planters particularly sought slaves from Senegambia for their knowledge of rice cultivation, and some Southern slave owners considered Muslims superior to non-Muslims as workers, though others considered their education and literacy to be dangerous. 

A few enslaved Muslims achieved notoriety, such as Bilali, a “driver” who managed a large plantation on Sapelo Island, Georgia and who, when called upon by his owner to defend the island against the British in 1813, gave a reply that revealed his status and religious pride: "I will answer for every Negro of the true faith, but not for the Christian dogs you own.” (Bilali went on to defend the plantation with a force of 80 armed slaves.) In Fayetteville, North Carolina, a jailed runaway slave from Charleston, South Carolina, astonished locals with his princely bearing and the beautiful signs he made on the wall, writing from right to left. Omar ibn Said, a Muslim scholar, was bought by the brother of the governor of the state, who was intrigued by this highly literate man who eventually wrote his autobiography in Arabic, the only slave to do so in captivity. His Arabic Bible, procured with the help of Francis Scott Key, can be seen today in the library of Davidson College.

Polls show that Americans remain unfamiliar with Islam, and according to the ACLU, anti-mosque activity has bubbled up in more than half of U.S. states in the last five years. Yet Islam is inextricably woven into the fabric of American history, from the distinctive service of Muslims in all American wars, including the Revolution, to the legacy of their descendents, which include notable figures. (Abolitionist Frederick Douglass changed his name from Frederick Bailey, and it is possible that the name "Bailey" is a form of the Arabic common name "Bilali.")

Muslims wish to be seen as Americans, and a look at America’s Islamic roots proves that they have every right to be – even more, perhaps, than those who rail against them. It's time to clarify the confusion about the role of Islam in early America and remind ourselves that far from being a foreign presence, Muslims have exerted an influence on American culture even greater than their numbers would suggest from the very beginning. The real foreign presence is Islamophobia, which is completley at odds with America's founding principles.

For further information on America's Islamic roots, see Allan D. Austin's African Muslims in Antebellum America. Helpful articles include Michael Gomez's "Muslims in Early America" published in the Journal of Southern History and Thomas Custis Parramore's "Muslim Slave Aristocrats in North Carolina" published in the North Carolina Historical Review. I was aware of this history as a child because the last historian mentioned is my late father.

Print Friendly
Tweet about this on Twitter23Digg thisShare on Reddit0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Share on Google+6Buffer this pageEmail this to someone

149 comments

  1. Jim

    Muslims unwelcome?

    How many overt negative references to their religion do Muslims have to tolerate in the media, compared to Catholics?

    1. amateur socialist

      Beats me. How many muslim clerics have been forced to leave the faith for molesting kids?

      1. nun

        amateur socialist– Watch the bacha bazi documentary on PBS (or Networks) and then rethink your statement.

        1. skippy

          Pedophilia is attributed to dysfunctional family dynamics or social dynamics, victims become abusers in the next cycle.

          http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/deliver-us-from-evil/

          Religion is a corporation.

          skippy… As they used to say… keep it in the family, don’t want the neighbors to know, now, would we. Wouldn’t want the stock price / assets to go down… eh.

    2. Lyle

      When do you want to take that measurement. If before 1960 it would be a slam dunk in favor of Roman Catholicism being the most despised in the media. Recall that the 1920s KKK was more against catholics than blacks, the earlier incarnations having put the blacks in the south in their place. Of course a large part of the anti-irish sentiment was that they were Catholics (green) and not Protestant (orange). Or in the 1850s there was a political party the American party that was also known as the anti-catholic know nothing party. It is all a function of the rate of change of society, when it gets high some folks think it would be desirable to turn back the clock to the good old days.

  2. SteveLaudig

    For those whose identity is ‘white’ Muslims are the new “N***ers”. Somethings are that simple. Those who identify as “white” need an ‘other’ or they feel incomplete. Part of long history of bigotry that is evidence that the population residing in the country south of Canada and north of Mexico, was not, is not and will not be “one nation” in the sense that Japan is one nation; China is one nation; Italy is one nation; France is one nation; Russia had to shed the Soviet Union to become one nation. and so on. Romney divides it 47-53. But there’s other slicings that make more sense.

    1. Jim

      So, what do we call people who feel so incomplete that they feel compelled to denigrate Catholicism?

      Are the bigots who malign Catholicism so empty that they need to impugn the belief system of 1.5B people?

      1. RalphR

        You expect us to take this seriously?

        The pedophile preist problem, which is something the Catholic Church as a bureaucracy has continued to fail to deal with well (as in preferring to cover up the problem if it thinks it can escape liabilty that way) has nothing to do with Catholicism as a belief system.

      2. Ray Duray

        Re: “So, what do we call people who feel so incomplete that they feel compelled to denigrate Catholicism?”

        F.A.R.C.s

        Fallen away Roman Catholics. I’m one of millions of them.

        There’s only so much mendacity, moronic Jewish fairy tales and child abuse some of us are will to put up with.

        The greatest thing that the Church did for me was to give me a parochial education with just enough respect for the Enlightenment and science so I could see through the silly beliefs one has to accede to in order to remain a Catholic.

        Virgin birth? Sure, for today’s test tube babies. But not for Jesus. His Jewish parents and their faith-based doctors had no clue about gynecology beyond basic midwifery.

        Resurrection? Not likely after a good solid crucifiction. Or as in the case of modern day Mexico, would we say that the fact that the body of the head of the Zeta crime family is missing from the morgue evidence of a divine resurrection? I don’t think so.

        I could go on. But, jeez, anyone with some degree of intelligence can easily see through the fairy tales that the Catholic faith is based on. Unless it’s more lucrative not to.

        1. Nathanael

          It’s hard for people to see through the bullshit fairy tales of the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church uses very effective childhood brainwashing techniques. (The priests don’t *call* them brainwashing techniques, obviously, and they don’t even know that’s what they are, but objectively, that’s what they are.) See _Leaving the Fold_ for a catalog.

      3. Nathanael

        The Roman Catholic Hierarchy has become an organized system for raping children and covering it up.

        Respectable Catholics, both left-wing nuns and the very right-wing Vatican Exorcist (“the devil is at work in the Vatican”), have condemned this, but the hierarchy has yet to reform.

        Rejection of the Roman Catholic hierarchy is necessary, just as rejection of the coercive and violent Church of Scientology is necessary. That doesn’t mean the religion as a whole is wrong, but it needs to stop treating the gang of child rapists as if they are holy.

    2. Neuro

      Damned right, Steve. I for one am sick of people denigrating muslims for their beliefs. Where else can we find a religion that makes it legal to stone gays to death for coming out of the closet? And raping women for daring to be Jews? I’m starting to see why you like it.

      1. AndyC

        Neuro

        ….you should have said…..”for raping women for the CRIME of prevviously being raped.”

        Two wrongs make a right, perhaps that is the Koranic explanation for such ajudiciation of rape cases?

      2. Nathanael

        “Where else can we find a religion that makes it legal to stone gays to death for coming out of the closet? ”

        Try Christianity for 2000 years.

        “And raping women for daring to be Jews?”

        Try Christianity for 2000 years.

        Islam and Christianity are so similar it’s not funny.

  3. nun

    That’s a nice straw man argument but no one is claiming Muslims never lived in the US. The issue is what a faction of Muslims are doing today and how they’ve taken a leadership role in emphasizing an extreme interpretation of their beliefs. The fact that oil wealth is helping this effort is something that could never have been present 100+ years ago.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Ahem, your comment is pure projection.

      Have a look at the debate in NYC over the Muslim cultural center, proposed to be a 10 minute walk away from ground zero, and funded by a moderate Muslim with the intent of encouraging communication between Muslims and the rest of the community. A ten minute walk in Manhattan is close to being not in the same neighborhood; subway stops are 10 minute walks or less apart.

      It was inaccurately described as being a mosque and within eyeshot of ground zero.

      There are numerous examples of hostility towards ordinary Muslims, and that is based on them being (among other things) being depicted as recent and unwelcome immigrants, not part of the American “Christian” tradition. I don’t see how anyone with an operating brai cell could have missed the grotesque equating of being a proper American citizen with being Christian in the past decade. The Founding Fathers must be rolling in their graves. You’ve also got widespread profiling and surveillance of Muslims here, and plenty of bigoted commentary in the media.

      The bigotry is all on the side of the anti-Islam crowd in the US. The fact that we’ve had all of zero terrorist attacks since 9/11 despite having mere security theater in airports and lots of points of vulnerability (I can name dozens without thinking hard) is one of many proofs that the supposed dangers of radical Muslims are greatly exaggerated as far as the US is concerned.

      1. ebear

        “The bigotry is all on the side of the anti-Islam crowd in the US. The fact that we’ve had all of zero terrorist attacks since 9/11 despite having mere security theater in airports and lots of points of vulnerability (I can name dozens without thinking hard) is one of many proofs that the supposed dangers of radical Muslims are greatly exaggerated as far as the US is concerned.”

        Enough straw here to build an entire house

        Since when is the validity of a religion measured in the number of terrorist attacks it inspires?

        Can we speak some truth here?

        Muslims are indeed victims. Victims of a false doctrine that denies basic human dignity, especially the dignity of women.

        Here’s one woman brave enough to speak the truth.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqvskXCz-kk&feature=related

        Here’s another:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oVoLqjaKiw&feature=related

        So, when are you going to stand up and be counted?

        1. petridish

          I’ll stand up and be counted.

          “dignity of women”????

          Cretins Todd Akin and Paul Ryan sitting around a table slobbering about RAPE, LEGITIMATE RAPE and trying to find a way to make victims bear children conceived from vicious sexual attacks.

          Super creep and criminal Darrell Issa convening a panel OF ALL MEN to discuss whether women should be ALLOWED to control their own reproduction or whether the superior white males should do it for them.

          The criminal cartel known as the Catholic Church demanding the right to control access to contraception of its female employees as if its very existence depended on a steady supply of disaffected children to exploit and bugger.

          You call this DIGNITY???? Don’t make me laugh. I have no doubt that this aspect of Islam is the unspoken envy of the white male Americans who continue to wage war on women using biology as an excuse.

          “DIGNITY”!!!!!!! Buy a freakin’ dictionary you idiot.

          1. ebear

            The question was directed at Yves. It’s her blog, she opened the door, so why don’t you just STFU and let her speak for herself?

        2. Walter Wit Man

          Thank you for those links.

          I obviously disagree with the lunatic woman in the first link and I suspect she is acting anyway.

          But it’s interesting to see what is being beamed into the Middle East. Al Jazeera is a pro Western organization and it is stoking the flames in the Middle East as evidenced by your link!

          That MEMRITV org seems to have good stuff. http://www.memritv.org/

          They captured absolutely insane stuff being beamed into Syria to stoke the flames of war. An Imam was basically calling for the murder of families of people who supported the government.

          I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we are seeing an influx of these psy operations both there and here trying to stoke the clash of civilizations!

          Judging by the amount of crude propaganda out there now I would say war is imminent!

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Yes. Likely propaganda.

            A few years ago I never would have considered the possibility that Western forces assassinated her or maybe even faked this whole incident! Now, who knows.

            When dozens of school girls die at the hands or “our side” we don’t hear about it: http://tribune.com.pk/story/229844/the-day-69-children-died/

            But the girl you link to seems like she had a role created for her and her story was trumpeted in the media.

            Kind of like the young woman in Iran that was assassinated.

      2. AndyC

        …”a moderate Muslim with the intent of encouraging communication between Muslims and the rest of the community.”

        There is no “moderate” in Islam, for reference read the Koran, Hadith and Sura.

        1. Nathanael

          I’ve read the Koran. You obviously haven’t. Have you read the Bible? It’s much more bloodthirsty and intolerant. Yes, even the New Testament.

      3. Nathanael

        And in fact, there was an actual mosque — well, “prayer center”, but it was really VERY close to an actual mosque — INSIDE the World Trade Center. 17th Floor South Tower. :eyeroll:

        http://www.pensitoreview.com/2010/09/10/the-real-ground-zero-mosque-was-on-the-17th-floor-of-world-trade-centers-south-tower/

        The anti-Muslims have to lie, constantly, in order to make their bogus claims. They have to ignore reality. Islam’s just another group of religions, much like Christianity. Some sects are better than others, some are worse.

      4. Nathanael

        “The fact that we’ve had all of zero terrorist attacks since 9/11 despite having mere security theater in airports and lots of points of vulnerability (I can name dozens without thinking hard) is one of many proofs that the supposed dangers of radical Muslims are greatly exaggerated as far as the US is concerned.”

        I have to clarify this: all of zero terrorist attacks by MUSLIMS.

        We’ve had hundreds of terrorist attacks by self-professed CHRISTIANS. The Southern Poverty Law Center keeps track of some of them, Planned Parenthood keeps track of others, nobody seems to keep track of all of them.

        Right-wing Christian terrorists are a major problem in this country and one which we are not dealing with properly.

    2. Susan the other

      OK but lets not forget that for over 100+ years we, the West, have been sniffing around the Middle East’s oil like so many raccoons. And now we’re actually making a very bold play. We have intervened militarily in to insure our interests by controlling the distribution (and price) of oil. It is pure economics at this point. So how can Pam Geller, high priestess of “Stop Islamization of America” be so obnoxious as to pretend it is an Islam-wide religious fanaticism we are fighting? The Muslims should put up signs saying “Stop the Raccoons!” Don’t forget, the Donald (Rumsfeld) tried to call this new war a “crusade.” The sign of the cross. Or more accurately, the dollar sign. But at this late date nobody can tell the difference.

  4. Middle Seaman

    Even if a religion arrived at our shores yesterday, we have to respect it and its believers. There are no compromises on that. The recent ads are disgusting yet protect speech. This country objects to hate, any hate. Muslims deserve no less respect than Hindus, Catholics, Jews and Jews for Jesus.

    Its not clear from the title of the post whether Islam was here since the founding of America or its own founding. Actually, who cares (except some writers).

    Sadly, discrimination against minorities, e.g. religious minorities, is alive and well everywhere on earth.

      1. jake chase

        Seems to me we need more freedom FROM religion and less freedom OF religion. People can believe anything they want, but when they organize conspiracies to oppress those refusing to fall in line, the sacred cow of religion should not exempt them from prosecution.

        1. ebear

          Exactly! With rare exceptions, the history of religion is the history of imposing one’s will on others, often at the point of a sword. It is the history of proclaiming a truth unsupported by any evidence other than some allegedly “holly” book – in short, entirely self referential.

          Freedom OF religion does not mean that all religions stand as equally possessing the truth – merely that since none of them can objectively prove their so-called truth to the satisfaction of all, that it therefore has no place in Law – the foundation of secular society to which we are ALL subject.

          Toleration is not the same as acceptance. Attempt to impose your will on me and you’ll quickly learn the difference.

      2. Lyle

        Actually history teaches that it is not true that every religion would have to be tolerated. Assume a religion (such as the Mayan) that used human sacrifice to make the gods happy. It would not fly, just like the mormons were denied statehood for Utah until polygamy was done away with. (Recall that in the late 1850s polygamy was one of the twin relics of barbarism along with slavery)

    1. AndyC

      “Muslims deserve no less respect than Hindus, Catholics, Jews and Jews for Jesus.”

      None of the above will ever get any of this “respect” you preach of in an Islamic country…

  5. Paul Tioxon

    Not every one in America is as ignorant as the NYC Queen of agitprop. While the reptile brain of humanity often gets the better, not only of crowds burning American and Israeli flags on the nightly news across the Islamic world, but additionally, the idiot assassin of the neo-nazis who murdered Sikhs mistaking them for Muslims in Wisconsin or the Norwegian neo nazi mass murderer leftest youth political summer camps, most people know a friend when they see one. And the very first and oldest sovereign friend of America is the Kingdom of Morocco. Obviously before the Queen Mum and even before Israel, Morocco was the first nation to formally, diplomatically recognize the United States of America, legitimizing our newly found society as a nation among nations. This can not be overstated. The importance of recognition by other sovereigns is even more important the stated intentions of rising powers. The authority of liegitimacy by signing treaties is the hallmark of nationhood among other nations. And Morocco, in 1786, signed a treaty of Peace and Friendship, before we had even ratified our own US Constitution. Almost 3 more years would pass before the the government would be carried on under the principles of the US Constitution. But the the government ratified the treaty with the Muslims in Morocco in July of 1787. We did not even need a Constitution to be recognized as a legitimate nation. Perhaps it was not our values as enunciated in that document that made us great enough to become a nation, perhaps being a group of people organized to be a nation was enough. It was certainly, good enough for Islam. The oldest, unbroken treaty in history between 2 nations.

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/bar1786t.asp

    1. Lafayette

      This can not be overstated. The importance of recognition by other sovereigns is even more important the stated intentions of rising powers. The authority of liegitimacy by signing treaties is the hallmark of nationhood among other nations. And Morocco, in 1786, signed a treaty of Peace and Friendship, before we had even ratified our own US Constitution.

      Yes, it can be overstated and you’ve done so.

      You are making a mountain out of a molehill. Morocco wanted a peace treaty with the US because the Barbary Pirates were playing hell with trade-shipping along the entire northwestern coast of Africa. (See here.)

      The fact that Morocco signed a treaty meant little in terms of international law. It occurred before our country was “constituted” (key word) as a nation with a Constitution ratified by representatives of its people. Besides, American shipping had been protected by British treaties that were, of course, suspended during the Revolution.

      The Moroccan King was seeking two objectives. First, to get the US to interfere with the pirating. Excerpted from the above WikiP article:

      During the American Revolution, the pirates attacked American ships. On December 20, 1777, Morocco’s Sultan Mohammed III declared that the American merchant ships would be under the protection of the sultanate and could thus enjoy safe passage into the Mediterranean and along the coast. The Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship stands as the U.S.’s oldest non-broken friendship treaty with a foreign power. In 1787 Morocco had been one of the first nations to recognize the United States.

      Another excerpt from WikiP:

      Until the American Declaration of Independence in 1776, British treaties with the North African states protected American ships from the Barbary corsairs. Morocco, which in 1777 was the first independent nation to publicly recognize the United States, became in 1784 the first Barbary power to seize an American vessel after independence. The Barbary threat led directly to the creation of the United States Navy in March 1794. While the United States managed to secure peace treaties, these obliged it to pay tribute for protection from attack. Payments in ransom and tribute to the Barbary states amounted to 20% of United States government annual expenditures in 1800.

      So, secondly, for Morocco the treaty was all about money in the form of “tribute”.

      And therefore not pertinently recognition of American nationhood.

      1. Cocomaan

        I’m more than certain that no nation ever recognized another nation based on economic and security concerns. That’s never happened, like, ever, ya’ll.

      2. Nathanael

        The principles of the treaty were re-ratified in the Treaty of Tripoli — yes, under the US Constitution, signed by President John Adams and ratified by the US Senate.

        The Treaty of Tripoli takes pains to point out several things:

        “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen”

        The government of the United States is, of course, founded on the principle of *the consent of the people*, not on religious principles. (Modern governments based on religious principles include Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and of course Vatican City — and it always sucks.)

        The US was also firmly committed to *secularism* — tolerance of all religions — as stated in the “no religious tests” clause and the First Amendment.

        The Founders were absolutely clear on this point, though right-wing blowhards have attempted to confuse the issue as much as they possibly can.

  6. Lafayette

    Bravo! For a highly erudite recapitulation of the Muslim faith that, like other religions, has flourished in America throughout our history.

    What are the people contemptuous of Muslims today? How do we characterize those who blame all Muslims for the behaviour of a very few?

    Bigots …

    1. MRW

      I second that Bravo! And, oddly, the “behaviour of a very few” was determined on 9/11/2001 by 11:30 AM on BBC.

      Messrs. Ehud Barak and Richard Perle (together with Barak later that night for an hour on BBC) are the two who determined whodunnit. No court case. No investigation, unless you call that abomination held under duress two years later an investigation. In less time than it took to call in first responders at the WTCs. And an unthinking America never questioned it.
      Watch it yourselves:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4Zj1fnGtjk

  7. graham beckel

    Interesting and worthwhile. However,it is making a lot of very little. As they once said about finding proper lineage to join the aforementioned DAR, “Don’t worry,shake the family tree long enough, and someone is going to fall out”.

  8. Jack Stone

    “Civilization vs. Savagry

    Saw those ads on a recent trip to NY, and have mulled over them a bit since…

    It’s really an issue of Culture, not Religion. Mid-east nations, primarily Islamic, never went through the State/Church separation the West did. Muslims accept religion as political law, while the West has learned — the hard way — not to do that.

    There’s no denying Muslim/Arabs accept a level of violence & savagry which civilized people don’t. Look at the Shi’ite Ashura holiday, where they cut themselves — INCLUDING children — on the head, and parade around, dripping red all over. Or penalties under “Sharia Law”, like cutting off a hand for an accused thief. Or only accepting the legal testimony of TWO WOMEN, and even then not equal to that of ONE MAN.

    That’s besides the fact that every Muslim knows that Mohammed and Islam deny the Resurrection — without which, you don’t have Christianity (so much for Islam’s New Testament “heritage”).

    Plus, every “Imam” knows Mohammed never met the test of a prophet — short-term miracles to prove long-term prophecy (which belies the Old Testament “heritage”).

    Those aren’t the action of “the few”, it’s built into a “faith” created by a power-mad & wealth-hungry old pederast. So, I’d surmise that deep down, most Muslims know Islam is a sham, which readily explains their violent reaction to “insults”; it’s a natural human reaction to exposure of immoral & hypocritical behaviour.

    In any event, barring blow-back, they’ll push the limits, and the countries & cultures which harbor this behaviour will do nothing to curtail it. Until they’re given a severe, life-changing lesson in “Military Fear”. The Israelis know that, which is why they always meet force-with-force.

    Politically correct apologists like M. Parramore will continue, unless or until one of their own gets Daniel Pearl’d, has a daughter kidnapped and rape-converted to Islam, etc.

    1. Cocomaan

      “Plus, every “Imam” knows Mohammed never met the test of a prophet — short-term miracles to prove long-term prophecy (which belies the Old Testament “heritage”).”

      Though this might not get through your hard shell of ignorance, Muhammad did perform a miracle in the very recitation of the Qur’an. He was illiterate until Gabriel visited him in the cave.

      1. Jack Stone

        …Muhammad did perform a miracle in the very recitation of the Qur’an. He was illiterate until Gabriel visited him…

        Seems he was illiterate afterwards, too — “recitation” is just another word for “making stuff up”. He performed NOTHING; had he been capable of writing the original Koran by his own hand, it would have been kept & guarded as treasure by his cult.

        Besides, if he HAD been visited by an angel — an ARCHANGEL, no less — he wouldn’t have gotten so much wrong about the Old & New Testaments, not to mention basic facts, like where the sun sets.

  9. prostratedragon

    Thank you for picking up the article, Yves, it is very informative and, it appears, needed.

  10. Fred

    PC blindness is widespread. You people are proof enough of that. So hateful in your PC moral miasma. You refuse to see how Muslims have trashed the cities of London, Paris, Malmo, and Detroit, among many others. You refuse to see the utter evil that is perpetrated by the Muslims on all gays, on all women. You refuse to see them as they are, brutishly at war with all other cultures. They are intolerant of YOU, and you are too blind to see.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      You’re projecting Fred. You have the PC blinders on.

      Do you really trust your information about the Clash of Civilizations? Let me guess, you consume Western media.

      I missed the Muslim declaration of war I guess. In fact, you done got your facts completely backwards imho. The West is at war with Muslims.

    2. MRW

      Fred, every surgeon in every hospital in the world uses surgical tools designed by Islamic scientists over 1,000 years ago. Today. right now. Muslims invented universities. The oldest one in the world still stands in Cairo, founded in the 10th C. Optics, chemistry, and steam engines were designed by Islamic scientists a millennium ago while whoever lived in this country was proud of rubbing two sticks together to get fire.

      Islam invented the scientific method, if you would bother to research the idea.

      1. Nathanael

        Persians and Egyptians would of course claim credit for the inventions. :-) The “high period” of classical Islamic culture was not Arab-dominated, it was Persian-dominated….

        They know all of this in Iran (a.k.a. Persia). Here in the US people are seriously poorly educated.

  11. Conscience of a Conservative

    There’s a great deal of conflation and exxageration here. It’s not so much that Islam represents an integral part of American history but that the founding fathers believed in two very important doctrines, “separation of church and state” and “freedom of religion”.

  12. polistra

    A lot of mays and mights in the article, making an argument that really doesn’t matter much. America has lots of roots and lots of inputs over the years.

    Regardless of what happened in 1600 or 1700, we need to relearn economics from Islamic sources RIGHT NOW. If we had been following those broad principles, we wouldn’t have been susceptible to bubbles and speculators, and we wouldn’t have given up our manufacturing to foreigners.

  13. Eric

    “I will answer for every Negro of the true faith, but not for the Christian dogs you own.”

    I believe dogs are held in low esteeme by Muslims. That quote sorta says it all dosen’t it??

    The world’s religions seem to all get along with a lot less friction between each other except for Muslims Witness the blowing up of the Buddhist statues in Astan some years back

    1. Lafayette

      … except for Muslims Witness the blowing up of the Buddhist statues in Astan some years back

      Just think of Northern Ireland. The Huguenots in France. The Catholic Inquisition in Spain did not kill Jews? The Nazi Holocaust was not religious in nature?

      Goodness, what blindness. Read on here about religious persecution in America.

      1. Eric

        You left out Yugoslavia. Just about everybody was fighting the Nazis too, and Jews weren’t the only ones put into death camps. In the poster you guys are upset about. it mentions Jihad and not Muslims. Seems to me that you are linking Jihad with the general Muslim population by protesting this.

      2. Lyle

        Although this goes back a ways the iconclast controvery in the Eastern Church which destoryed icons. Or to go to a different story look at the attempts to weed out heresies starting from the worst thing IMHO that ever happened to Christianity Constantine making it the state church.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          I’m not apologizing for Islam. I’m wading through the bullshit propaganda we are subjected to and trying to decipher the truth to the best of my ability.

          Newsflash: Your media lies to you. What sources do you ‘consume?’ I bet it’s all the standard Western media crap.

          It’s apparent when one digs into the details that a psy op was going on re the Taliban in 2001. Like the story about the brutal Taliban cutting off internet access in Afghanistan in 2001. That story I link to is obviously fake. There is almost no internet in Afghanistan today for most people as it would take almost half a year’s worth of income to pay for the internet cafe rates for one day of access. So it’s extremely unlikely there was a group of hulking Taliban brutes sneaking outside women’s homes as they were surfing the internet.

          There were many other propaganda stories from this period as well. . . like the Taliban forcing Hindus in Afghanistan to wear a yellow ribbon, like the Nazis. Ha! Doesn’t this smell like BS war propaganda to you? Tom Lantos on the House floor in the summer of 2001 comparing the Taliban to the Nazis?

          These stories planted the seeds of war.

          What evidence do you have the Taliban destroyed the statues? Some bullshit grainy video and a sketchy “statement” from some alleged Taliban spokesman on Western intelligence controlled media?

          Maybe. Maybe it really happened. But I don’t trust lying murderous intelligence agents on faith alone. That’s silly.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Thank you. Yes, that does look good. I think I’ve seen some of it before.

            Reminds me a bit of James Burke’s BBC series “Connections” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcSxL8GUn-g

            I enjoyed Century of Self too.

            Dubious of BBC’s role though and of course of ‘exposes’ that come from within the system.

            Interesting on many levels though.

          2. Nathanael

            There’s some evidence that the Taliban really did destroy the statues. They were avowed iconoclasts.

            Of course, when it happened, archaeologists all over the world protested. George W. Bush said “Whatever, we’re cool with that, go ahead, blow it up.” Which was also his reaction to the reports of sexist atrocities.

            Bush was in league with the Taliban from day one. I don’t think the nasty behavior of the Taliban were psy-ops….

            I think the psy-ops were the claims by the right-wingers that they opposed the Taliban. We already know that the CIA funded the organization of the Taliban. Do you think they ever really stopped supporting it? They sure acted like they still supported it, as practically everything the US military has done in Afghanistan has been effectively in aid of the Taliban.

          3. Walter Wit Man

            Where’s the “evidence” and the “avowed” part?

            The Buddhist statues would indeed be a huge psy op if it is a psy op.

            David Copperfield proportions.

            If David Copperfield can make the Statue of Liberty disappear couldn’t they do the same to the statues? Ha.

            But seriously (not that I wasn’t before), what is the evidence?

            A grainy video and an alleged statement from a “spokesman.” There was more to the story that we don’t have.

            The other incidents I refer to are more obviously psychological operations–like staging the media story about the Taliban cutting off the internet and making the Hindus wear yellow ribbons on their clothes.

            Do a google news search before Sept. 10, 2001. Maybe I missed some good evidence.

            But on all the “news” out of Afghanistan, like the alleged destruction of the statues, or like similar “news” below, it’s based on weak sources:

            “ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, JULY 19, 2001 (Zenit.org).- In 1998 it was televisions. Earlier this year is was ancient Buddha statues.

            Now, Afghanistan´s ruling Taliban has banned playing cards, chess and musical instruments after declaring them un-Islamic. Lipstick is out, too.

            The radical Islamic movement placed bans on the import of 30 products that also include computer discs, movies, satellite TV dishes and cassettes.

            The Taliban´s supreme leader Mullar Mohammad Omar ordered the ban, according to the movement´s Voice of Shariat radio, monitored in Pakistan.

            Other items listed as banned for being “against the Shariah,” or Islamic law, include fireworks, statues, fashion catalogues, greeting cards featuring pictures of people, nail polish and neckties . . .”

            http://www.zenit.org/article-1995?l=english

            So notice they are “listening” to the radio from Afghanistan in Pakistan and the speaker is evidently passing along Mullah Omar’s “order.” They aren’t even bothering with an alleged statement this time!

            Much like the crap we see coming out of Syria now, for instance.

            But really, I’m interested in what “really” happened with the statues. Maybe the West destroyed them and blamed it on the Taliban. Maybe the Taliban did it to stop the West from making a big deal about them. Maybe it really was religious . . . but I doubt it.

          4. Walter Wit Man

            Lo and behold!

            Like David Copperfield, or a Phoenix, the Buddhist Statues of Bamiyan [or at least one of them] will rise again!

            “Archaeologists are working on restoring the larger of the two Buddhas [that were blown up] in a project that is expected to take a decade.

            VIDEO: BBC in Bamiyan
            STORY: Afghanistan today

            A local official in Bamiyan said the newly found statue had been badly damaged, but some parts of it, such as the neck and right hand, were in a good condition. He said measures were being taken to protect it, and it was hoped the statue would go on public display next year.”

            http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com/2008/09/buddha-statue-found-in-afghanistan.html

            Sometimes I even impress myself with my instincts. Ha.

            But then we get this somewhat conflicting report from a perpy pub that says the smaller of the two statues will be “reconstructed” (not that it was found):

            http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-03/01/afghanistan-buddhas-of-bamiyan-reconstruction?page=all

  14. amateur socialist

    The hilarious thing to me about the likeliest consequence of this rampant islamophobia is that it will probably make them all Democrats.

    The Americans of Islamic faith I work with at my Fortune 50 technology employer are in many ways likely to be sympathetic with broad swatches of the goopers “philosophy” – they tend to be very conservative socially, with strong religious and especially family ties into their communities. They also tend to be broadly skeptical of government social welfare programs etc.

    Like people of hispanic descent they are “republicans, they just don’t know it” as Reagan observed. But the way the loonies have taken over the GOP they are much more likely to either vote for Dems or simply not participate.

    1. Nathanael

      Yes, this is the political result.

      Most first- and second- generation Americans who are Muslim or Latino were brought up conservative — natural Eisenhower voters. But the Republican Party has no room for Eisenhower voters, and is spending its time appeasing raving neo-Confederate racists. The result is obvious.

  15. Eclair

    Well, I read Parramore’s post a few hours ago. I took a time-out to wash away the spittle sprayed out by a few of the piteous hate-filled commenters. Lordy, I would hate to be living in their disturbed brains. But, we all have our hot buttons.

    I returned to review all the comments and – know what – can we leave the adherents of those patriarchal belief systems, those assumers of some long-bearded, vengeful, ass-kicking male god inhabiting the stellar regions, to hiss and squabble among themselves, maybe to their inevitable doom?

    They can argue to the death over which system denigrates women more: “You make ’em wear burquas!” “You make ’em wear wigs!” “You won’t let ’em be priests!”

    But they’re all victims of the same unquestioned assumption: god is male, therefore all you second, inferior sexers have got to kow-tow in submission.

    And women – the bearers of new life, the givers of milk, the nurturers, whose voluptuous breasts, wide and billowy hips and dimpled buttocks have been starved into submissive skeletons by centuries of wild-eyed religious patriarchs – go along with the mythology.

    So, all you defenders of your male-dominated religion (and denigrators of the other male-dominated religions – Christians, Jews, Muslims, whatever – hear this! God is female! And, like your mother, she loves you in all your imperfections. And, by the way, why haven’t you called her lately?

    There now, I feel better.

    1. rps

      Ever wonder why priests wear long dresses during mass?!!! Yep, the male worshipping religions were unable to completely wipe out the “pagan” worship of the life creatress, Woman. Instead they incorporated the female-dress that symbolized the goddess- life giver, and instead usurped her power with the claim that the male ‘god’ is the creator of life.

    2. Garrett Pace

      Mormons believe in a mother in heaven; though she is not talked about much – certainly not as much as LDS feminists would like. Here’s the third verse of the LDS hymn “O My Father”:

      “I had learned to call thee Father, Through thy Spirit from on high,
      But until the key of knowledge Was restored, I knew not why.
      In the heavens are parents single? No, the thought makes reason stare!
      Truth is reason, truth eternal Tells me I’ve a mother there.”

  16. Wayne Martin

    The idea that Islam has been part of the meaningful cultural building blocks of the US since its beginning is ludicrous, on its face. Any serious reading of original documents shows that the US was Christian, and mostly Protestant, and strongly so.

    As to Islam, we may never know for certain, but it’s very likely that somewhere in the area of 250 million people we killed, or enslaved, by Islam, as it burned through the lands of the Middle East, North Africa, SouthEast Asia and even attempted to subdue Europe.

    In India, the estimates are somewhere between 80M and 100M in what was known as the “Hindu Holocaust”. Muslims seem to have had little respect for other religions, or human life outside their faith.

    It’s very difficult to find many Muslims willing to admit their bloody history. So—rejecting the mindless revisionism pushed in our faces by Muslims today—whether they are bomb carrying, or the “lawyer-up” variety that we see from CAIR—is necessary for our civilization’s long-term preservation.

    The reaction to various “insults against Islam”—like the Danish cartoons, or the so-called film “Innocence of Muslims” was so savage, so brutal and so mindless, that it’s difficult not to call those participating as savages. The call for outlawing speech “offensive to Islam” is another example of how Islam is simply incompatible with Western values, and should be seen as nothing more than a legal attack against our culture that precedes future bombings and killings of our people.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Maybe they deny it because you are focusing on one event from the Middle Ages?

      Don’t you think the last 100 years or so is a much better time period to compare the various crimes of the Great Clash of Civilizations?

      Frankly, Muslims don’t play much of a role in this clash as they have been pretty beaten down lately, especially since the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.

      Speaking of Holocausts in India, are you aware the British killed millions of Indians by starvation? And around 8 million Persians were before and during WWI?

      Of course Arab land was coveted and both World Wars were used as cover to subjugate these people. The new Jewish settlers used terrorism against the Arab people to colonize the lands. Since then, the West has committed coup after coup and secretly ran their governments.

      What you are responding to is the propaganda campaign and psy-ops that have bamboozled Americans into thinking Muslims and “terrorists” in general are this huge threat. It’s a complete lie to justify endless war.

      Hell, you’re probably part of the psy-op so mission accomplishes in riling people up.

          1. Harold

            Wayne Martin presented several and you waved them away with red herrings about the misbehavior of other people.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            I didn’t wave away his points. I’m simply trying to set the parameters for the board game known as the Clash of Civilizations.

            How far back should we go? Middle Ages? 2,000 years ago? Are we just comparing Islam v. Christianity?

            Anyway, my main point is the last 150 years of history is the most important so I was attempting to limit our debate to that period. All of Wayne’s examples are outdated and probably exaggerated (I don’t know how he got his total death toll for e.g.).

            His main piece of evidence is the Hindu Holocaust which from my research happened in the Middle Ages. Those numbers seem really high to me as I didn’t even know there were that many people on Earth at that time, but whatever, let’s admit millions were killed.

            His other examples seem to refer to the Ottoman Empire and Islamic people’s conquest of parts of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

            But how does this period compare the Crusades and Western Colonialism with this period of Islamic colonialism? So of the 700 years say, from 1,000 to 1700, what is the death toll from the respective empires and colonial terrorism?

            Even using this period of much greater Islamic strength I bet the numbers don’t even come close–was the Western colonization of Africa during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries really more human than the Ottoman rule, for e.g.?

            But again, the more important history comes from the last 150 years and here it’s not even close–after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire Islamic people have been subjugated and have not inflicted massive crimes like the West has.

            For instance, can you even think of one example of a mass “Islamic” crime from the last 100 years? Maybe the alleged Armenian Genocide? And this was during the fog of war and while the Allies were starving people and using concentration camps and forced removal as well.

          3. Harold

            How about the Armenian genocide? Is that recent enough for you?

            Nothing about Islam has changed since the middle ages, except for its ability to inflict that kind of harm on the world, which was greatly reduced with the fall of the Ottoman empire.

            Islam would cut your liberal infidel throat in a second if it got the chance.

          4. Harold

            Again, Walt you aren’t defending Islam at all. You are apologizing for its crimes on the basis that someone else committed crimes too.

            Why do so many liberals feel the need to apologize for this deeply illiberal religion? Just because American conservatives don’t like it? That’s a poor reason to stick up for a doctrine that despises everything you stand for.

          5. Walter Wit Man

            I already gave you the alleged Armenian genocide! Okay, that’s 1 million to 1.5 million.

            But Churchill the Christian Murderer and his gang of vicious Christian Colonialists killed around 8 million Persians during this time! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWc8-P29wIc&feature=youtu.be

            So does this mean that Christianity is 4 times as murderous as Islam?

            Oh, let’s not forget the British starvation of Germans as well:

            “I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas.

            I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.”

            http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHU407A.html

            Oh, and Churchill was baying for more Muslim blood when he advocated the terrorist use of WMD against Muslims:

          6. Walter Wit Man

            Harold. You are making a number of erroneous assumptions.

            1. I am not a liberal.

            2. I am not defending Islam.

            3. I doubt Muslims would slit my throat. That’s stupid. You watch too much tv.

            My main point is that trying to make sweeping generalizations against any religion of a billion plus people is silly. Plus, the people of the Islamic faith have very little power now so they couldn’t even commit much death if they wanted to. The people with the power are Jews and Christians, mostly. But they are not necessarily evil because of their religions. Religious influence is a much more nuanced inquiry than you are engaging in. You seem have a vested interest in this class of civilizations which is impacting your ability to impartially analyze these issues, imho.

          7. Wayne Martin

            > Don’t you think the last 100 years or so is a much better time
            > period to compare the various crimes of the
            > Great Clash of Civilizations?

            No .. not at all. Religions, like Islam, claim to be “immutable”—so they claim that the beliefs of the past must be borne into the future. If killing the “infidels” in the past was acceptable (and glorious)—why would not killing the “infidels” of today be any different? Religions are not really rational, or political, systems—at least for the most part. Islam means to “submit to the will of God”. Hard to see them negotiating “new rules” with the unbelievers.

            > Speaking of Holocausts in India, are you aware the British
            > killed millions of Indians by starvation?

            If you say so. (Care to provide a citation?)

            But how does this compare to the death by execution that seems to have been imposed on the defeated Hindus by the conquering Arabs that might be 80M, or more?

            And around 8 million Persians were before and during WWI?

            > where did he get his numbers:

            There are a number of sources, but the following is the main source—

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

            Prof. K.S. Lal, suggests a calculation in his book Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India which estimates that between the years 1000 AD and 1500 AD the population of Hindus decreased by 80 million.

            > For instance, can you even think of one example of
            > a mass “Islamic” crime from the last 100 years?

            Well, let’s talk a little about the 1M people killed during the Indian Partition of 1948.

            http://www.indianexpress.com/news/was-partition-inevitable–desirable-/505800

            The bloody partition of India is one such event that Indians, Hindus and Muslims both, cannot afford to forget. Not just because it was accompanied by the killing of close to a million people in a fratricidal bloodbath, the worst in India’s millennial history.

            It may not be fair to blame the Muslims for all of these deaths—but they certainly were responsible for a goodly portion. By the way, can you explain to me why Muslims need to their own State? Why can’t they live peacefully with others?

            As I prefaced my comments with “we can never know for certain”, it is inconceivable that anyone who claims to be “educated” would suggest that we should “ignore” the history of a nation, or culture, or religion, that has been as toxic to human life as has been Islam. Are you suggesting that we also should look the other way and ignore the 35M killed under Lenin/Stalin, or the 65M killed by Mao/and his minions—claiming, thereby, that Communism is really no different than “capitalism”?

            People often throw up the Crusades as evidence of Christian “misdeeds”. Well, to those folks—I ask you to tell us why Europeans found themselves going to the “holy lands” to fight Islam? Do you have any idea?

            Christian is not without its bloody period, tho. The 30 Years War resulted in the deaths/displacement of a significant portion of Europe’s population (many 15%-25%
            according to some sources). I certainly would not ignore these atrocities when discussing the history of Europe, or discussing differences (historically) between these two religions.

          8. Nathanael

            So, Harold, based on your (idiotic) methods for assessment of religions, Christianity is clearly the worst EVER! Since it’s “immutable” (yes, most branches of Christianity claim this — except for the liberal branches) it has to take the blame for everyone killed by the Roman Empire after Constantine, everyone killed in religious wars in the Middle Ages (including the Hundred Years War and the Thirty Years War), the whole of the Crusades, etc. etc. etc.

          9. Nathanael

            Oh, by the way, Harold, I know exactly why the Christians sent foreign troops to the Middle East to murder Muslims.

            You obviously don’t, so I advise you study some history. It was an unbridled outspring of sheer religious fanaticism in Europe. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m sure you’ve read some line of Christian apologist bullshit, but if you study actual history, you’ll find out the Crusades were 100% caused by the *extremely intolerant* Christians. The Muslim Empire of the time was actually very civilized by international standards of the period; the Christians were bloodthirsty barbarians.

            The Christians of the Crusades are the ones who coined the phrase “Kill them all (good, evil, Christian, Muslim) and let God sort them out”.

          10. Nathanael

            Well, OK, I realize I’m being unfair — historians have identified two other causes for the Crusades.

            (1) There was a problem of too many noblemen’s sons in Europe, and it seemed very convenient to the nobles to ship them off to foreign wars rather than having them fight over the land in Europe.
            (2) The Muslim world was growing wealthy off of peace, cooperation, and prosperity, while Europe was poor and barbaric, and the Europeans wanted to steal them some of that wealth.

          11. Nathanael

            The desire to steal stuff was the primary drive behind the *Fourth* Crusade, in which it was decided that fighting the Muslims was too much work, so they might as well kill some Eastern Orthodox Christians instead, and they invaded and conquered Byzantium.

            And then there’s the “Children’s Crusade”, which was basically a scheme for selling children into slavery….

            Christianity has a record of atrocities which is truly unmatched. It’s kind of impressive. Now, most of that is in the Middle Ages, so I don’t judge modern Christians by it, but if you bring up the Middle Ages, then it’s fair game.

      1. ebear

        “Maybe they deny it because you are focusing on one event from the Middle Ages?”

        You don’t have to go back that far:

        The year was 1699….
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cov1Qj8WoFc&feature=related

        From now on, you have become casteless. No ritual, either Hindu or Muslim, will you perform nor will you believe in superstition of any kind, but only in one God who is the master and protector of all, the only creator and destroyer. In your new order, the lowest will rank with the highest and each will be to the other a bhai (brother). No pilgrimages for you any more, nor austerities but the pure life of the household, which you should be ready to sacrifice at the call of Dharma. Women shall be equal of men in every way. No purdah (veil) for them anymore, nor the burning alive of a widow on the pyre of her spouse (sati). He who kills his daughter, the Khalsa shall not deal with him. –Guru Gobind Singh

    2. amateur socialist

      Sure sure. That Spanish Inquisition thing was just a big misunderstanding. Or poor advance and PR work. It’s always the details.

        1. Nathanael

          So you think Christianity is evil too?

          OK, I can accept that. (Myself, I’m an atheist.)

          It’s the stupid hypocrites who think Islam is somehow especially bad who I can’t accept. Those people are morons.

        1. ebear

          I’ve been expecting them daily for the past 30 years. It comes with speaking your mind freely without regard to whose precious beliefs might be offended.

  17. Hunter Acosta

    Any post on Islam or Muslims is guaranteed to bring out the ignorant, blind hatred of (mostly white, christian) internet bigots.

    The reason that bigotry is evil (not just intellectualy bankrupt, but evil) is because it erases the humanity of individuals and communities. It closes off posibilities of curiosity, friendship, respect and love and replaces them with unthinking hate.

    Every time a bigot claims that Muslims as a whole are violent, uncivilized, [insert steroetype here] etc., they erase the multitude of individual personalities, philosophies, religious practices, experiences and histories of a community of over 1 billion believers. This is stupid, but worse, it’s evil. Denying the individual personhood of billions of people, based on what is almost complete ignorance of people, culture and history of Islam, is disgraceful. Islam has centuries of history and culture, from Bangladesh to Indonesia to South Africa and Kenya and Morocco, the Middle East and Central Asia, etc. etc. To denigrate Muslims or Islam as singular entities is to say: Because nearly 100% of serial killers in US history have been white Christian males, therefore all white Christian males are evil. This is stupid. And if you really hated all American Christian males for this reason, you would be stupid and evil.

    “Christian civilization” is responsible for genocide of the Native Americans, both world wars, the Shoah, 2-3 millions dead civilians in Vietnam, perhaps a million dead in Iraq, imperialism and its affiliated tortures and murders in Africa, the Americas, and Asia, the Inquisition, centuries of intra-Christian warfare in Europe, the only use of nuclear weapons, etc. etc. Therefor what? All Christians are bad? We should take away the rights of Christians? We are justified in insulting, degrading and hating Christians?

    This line of thinking is asburd. The bigoted comments above demonstrate nothing about Islam or Muslims, they only reveal the stupidity and inner evil of those who revel in their hatred of one billion humans.

    1. Harold

      So it’s ‘bigotted’ to criticize Islam for its crimes, but perfectly acceptable to apologize for those crimes by criticizing someone else’s crimes? Got it.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Are the crimes of the United States Christian crimes?

        No one is denying historic injustice by Islamic people. But it’s an extremely weak point to argue that the Islamic subjugation of India from the Middle Ages is significant today.

        It’s funny that Western propaganda accuses Islamic people of holding centuries long irrational grudges yet the main examples the American anti-Islam brigade uses are from almost 1,000 years ago!

        1. El

          1) No they are not Christian crimes. Christ did not command his disciples to kill slaughter and force people to believe. I could call myself a communist, and kill a capitalist–would you call that a “communist crime” if I thought redistribution of wealth was a crock?

          2) I don’t need to look back 1000 years. I’ll just read the testimonies of fellow Christians living in Islamic countries and see how toxic and evil this thing called Islam is. You should go to a Muslim country like Egypt or Sudan or Iran or Saudi Arabia and call yourself a Christian and see what flavor of “subjugation” you will experience. You are setting yourself up to be an enemy to freedom if you are going to entertain the fact that Islam, in its complete form, is tolerable and good for human civilization. I can respect you standing up for Muslims who speak against terrorism and practise peace and civil harmony, but I find your defending Islam mind-boggling.

    2. Lyle

      If one were Jewish in 1700 the ottoman empire was the place to be you just paid your tax as a person of the book and went about your business. Recall that a lot of the bureaucrats in the ottoman empire were Greek, at the lower levels, again you just paid your tax and went about your business. In 1700 in Christian Europe Jews were discriminated against. Stories indicate that the Andalusia region of Spain under the muslims had far more freedom than Spain under the Christians. (Recall the Spanish conquered and then forecably converted the Jews)
      Partly the zenophopia arises when a religion feels under threat, as indeed the counter-reformation indicates in the Christian context.

    3. El

      1) Nobody is erasing the dignity of anything. Unless a Muslim plays fair and minds his own business and doesn’t persecute and kill anyone for their religion (which is pretty much fair game in Islamist states), they are free to pray 5 times every day and bow towards Mecca. Nobody is denying the personhood of Muslims–that is MUCH different from criticizing and studying the ideology of Islam and how it relates to Islamism and terrorism.

      2) The core of Christianity is to love your enemy and forgive people. So whatever those “Christians” did acted against what Christianity preaches. I don’t know if you can say the same about terrorists and Islamist colonizers and Islam. Perhaps you can give us a lesson on Islamic systematic theology and show us that what the terrorists are doing are contrary to the dictates of the Qu’ran and the Hadiths? I would love to read your research on this.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        I don’t care about the religious angle much at all.

        From what I know I think you’re wrong that Islamic ideology calls for more violence than the Christian ideology. Then you bring in the whole concept of ‘originalism’ and ascribe this thinking to all people when this is more of an American thing–do Islamic people look to the “original intent” of the Koran and are you accurately interpreting it the way they do (“kill all nonbelievers”)?

        I care more about actions. And you’re wrong to state Mulsims are subjugating Christians. If anything, it’s the opposite.

        But even though when pushed I will say Christians are currently acting more oppressively than Muslims (forgetting for a second whether they are following their respective religions), it’s a silly question. It’s not worth debating.

        Which is why it’s a psy operation now. Our masters (who probably happen to be Jewish and Christian, want us to have a Clash of Civilizations and they want to scare the West about Islam.

        Mission accomplished.

        1. El

          I don’t care about the religious angle much at all.

          From what I know I think you’re wrong that Islamic ideology calls for more violence than the Christian ideology. Then you bring in the whole concept of ‘originalism’ and ascribe this thinking to all people when this is more of an American thing–do Islamic people look to the “original intent” of the Koran and are you accurately interpreting it the way they do (“kill all nonbelievers”)?

          I care more about actions. And you’re wrong to state Mulsims are subjugating Christians. If anything, it’s the opposite.

          But even though when pushed I will say Christians are currently acting more oppressively than Muslims (forgetting for a second whether they are following their respective religions), it’s a silly question. It’s not worth debating.

          Which is why it’s a psy operation now. Our masters (who probably happen to be Jewish and Christian, want us to have a Clash of Civilizations and they want to scare the West about Islam.

          Mission accomplished.

          1) If you don’t care about the religious angle at all, why make such a comment like “From what I know I think you’re wrong that Islamic ideology calls for more violence than the Christian ideology”?

          2) Can you cite sources in the Qu’ran and the Hadiths that suggests that the core of Islam to tolerate other religions and to promote peace among people? What exactly is the original “intent” of the Qu’ran? Can you cite sources for that as well? Can you also show me in Scripture where Jesus unequivocally commands its followers to fight and kill disbelievers and force them to believe in Jesus? And can you compare it to verses like these from the Qu’ran?

          “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” ”

          “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”

          “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”

          “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.

          “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”

          “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-”

          “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

          “And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah”

          And much much more. In both the Qu’ran and the Hadiths. Go ahead. I would love to hear what the “original intent” was when Mohammad wrote this.

          3) “I care more about actions. And you’re wrong to state Mulsims are subjugating Christians. If anything, it’s the opposite.”–Bro..I suggest you go to Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, etc. and call yourself a Christian and fight for the rights of Christians there and stand up against the “terrorists” (no, it has nothing to do with Islamists right?). I suggest you go there and talk to the tyrants there and argue with them how what they are doing to the Christians is not what a true Muslim should do. Because apparently, you know better and know about the original intent of the Qu’ran right? I will support you and your moderate Muslim friends and stand with you guys in the fight against Christian persecution in the Middle East. Unless of course you are not suggesting to me that there is no real persecution of Christians in the Muslim world today. Are there “Christian” countries in the world that prevent Mosques from being built? Are there places in the world where Muslims can’t freely worship? If not, how can you say suggest a silly statement like what you said above?

          4) You cannot forget for a second whether they are following their religions or not because ideology is what fuels action (and everybody has an ideology whether they believe it or not). There are constant red herrings pointing us to the “fact” that Timothy McVeigh or that Breivik guy were “Christian” terrorists. What are we doing when we are calling terrorists Muslims and pointing out the fact that the Fort Hood killings or the genocide occuring in Sudan are acts of “Islamic” terror? Are somehow being racist (which is pretty silly because being Muslim is NOT being a particular ethnicity–a pasty white guy can be Muslim fer crying out loud)like what writer is suggesting? We say those things to point out that it is their IDEOLOGY and the commands of their holy books that are INSPIRING them commit acts of terror or to act unjustly against non-Muslims (in states where Sharia is the constitution). Similarly, when you say “Christian” terrorist, then I assume you are talking about the system or ideology that is inspiring Christian terrorist acts. If you are suggesting something along those lines, again, point me to different sections of the Scripture (besides the oft referenced Jesus quote “I come not to bring peace”, but if you want to bring that up, I can explain) that give “Christian” terrorists a platform to commit their religious acts of terror. But it seems as though this is not your position and we are talking at cross-purposes :).

          5) “Which is why it’s a psy operation now. Our masters (who probably happen to be Jewish and Christian, want us to have a Clash of Civilizations and they want to scare the West about Islam.” LOL. Are you sure this is happening? Michelle Bachmann and Allen West are continuously blasted by media and the government for being Islamophobes. Guys like General Boykin are banned West Point in speaking against Islam. Your masters (not my masters :)) have installed Muslims with deep connections to Islamists in terrorists in high governmental positions–Muslim Brotherhood guys are known to be invited to the White House. Don’t you think it would be more intelligent for the “Masters”in their war against the Islamic world to be more cautious in their associations with known Islamists? Man, the Obama administration aids and abets terrorists (they have done it before in Afghanistan during the Cold War, and yep they are doing it again) in their fight to bring down these tyrants and opening the void for Islamists to take over the country (yep, it happened in Egypt). Hell, Americans and the Sauds are tight as hell! You sure the masters are trying to get us to fight a grand jihad against the Islamic world?

          1. Walter Wit Man

            I appreciate the efforts of you and your comrades to have this debate.

            You’re wrong about treatment of Christians. There are lots of Christians already living in places like Palestine and Syria and Jordan. Jews in Iran enjoy many rights and Israel is constantly trying to turn them against the government to no avail.

            I don’t know about your quotes from the Koran but I don’t know any legitimate Muslim that calls for killing nonbelievers. It’s all make up BS. Sure, there are some CIA Muslims that go on tv and say crazy stuff (see the clips from MEMRITV above), but they don’t have any real following.

            But you nailed this point:

            our masters (not my masters :)) have installed Muslims with deep connections to Islamists in terrorists in high governmental positions–Muslim Brotherhood guys are known to be invited to the White House. Don’t you think it would be more intelligent for the “Masters”in their war against the Islamic world to be more cautious in their associations with known Islamists? Man, the Obama administration aids and abets terrorists (they have done it before in Afghanistan during the Cold War, and yep they are doing it again) in their fight to bring down these tyrants and opening the void for Islamists to take over the country (yep, it happened in Egypt). Hell, Americans and the Sauds are tight as hell! You sure the masters are trying to get us to fight a grand jihad against the Islamic world?

            They aid and abet their actor CIA “terrorists” because they are all one and the same and its an act. These are actors. Hell, the U.S. citizen Obama allegedly assassinated by drone in Yemen for his speeches had attended functions at the Pentagon!

            Btw, I also suspect the same thing with “Timothy McVeigh or that Breivik guy [who] were “Christian” terrorists.” Our masters are moving on to the right-wing bogeyman now. Did you see that group of geriatric right-wingers the FBI “busted” recently for some strange plot to drive their cars around a city committing terrorism?

            The Fort Hood shooter may have been real though. Don’t know about that.

            But the Sudan is fake as shit as well. George Cloony and gang ran psy operations to convince us to get involved there. And look at a map. The division of the country goes right through the oil! It’s the classic divide and conquer. Actually, that is probably where the U.S. is heading next–there and places like Mali. This whole Libyan ambassador thing is a psy op probably intended to get us involved more in Northern Africa. Same thing with the movie–fake as shit.

            You are being tricked into having a stereotype about Muslims.

            Put the tv down and stop reading propaganda. Go talk to a Muslim.

          2. El

            But you nailed this point:

            our masters (not my masters :)) have installed Muslims with deep connections to Islamists in terrorists in high governmental positions–Muslim Brotherhood guys are known to be invited to the White House. Don’t you think it would be more intelligent for the “Masters”in their war against the Islamic world to be more cautious in their associations with known Islamists? Man, the Obama administration aids and abets terrorists (they have done it before in Afghanistan during the Cold War, and yep they are doing it again) in their fight to bring down these tyrants and opening the void for Islamists to take over the country (yep, it happened in Egypt). Hell, Americans and the Sauds are tight as hell! You sure the masters are trying to get us to fight a grand jihad against the Islamic world?

            They aid and abet their actor CIA “terrorists” because they are all one and the same and its an act. These are actors. Hell, the U.S. citizen Obama allegedly assassinated by drone in Yemen for his speeches had attended functions at the Pentagon!

            Btw, I also suspect the same thing with “Timothy McVeigh or that Breivik guy [who] were “Christian” terrorists.” Our masters are moving on to the right-wing bogeyman now. Did you see that group of geriatric right-wingers the FBI “busted” recently for some strange plot to drive their cars around a city committing terrorism?

            The Fort Hood shooter may have been real though. Don’t know about that.

            But the Sudan is fake as shit as well. George Cloony and gang ran psy operations to convince us to get involved there. And look at a map. The division of the country goes right through the oil! It’s the classic divide and conquer. Actually, that is probably where the U.S. is heading next–there and places like Mali. This whole Libyan ambassador thing is a psy op probably intended to get us involved more in Northern Africa. Same thing with the movie–fake as shit.

            You are being tricked into having a stereotype about Muslims.

            Put the tv down and stop reading propaganda. Go talk to a Muslim.
            Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/10/lynn-parramore-islam-has-been-part-of-american-history-since-its-founding.html?replytocom=846487#5BZBRFFJoh2usIer.99

            Walt, this is my last time addressing you.

            1) They live there. But is it true that they enjoy the same rights as Muslims? Are you sure Jews in Iran are safe there as well? Go read this: “http://www.iranian.com/Opinion/2003/March/Jews/” Do you agree that it is only anti-Zionism, and not necessarily anti-Semitism that is occuring in Iran? What do you think of people being killed for leaving the Islamic faith?

            2) “I don’t know about your quotes from the Koran” Then by all due respect you really don’t know shit. These are the quotes that inspire Muslims to terrorize the non-believers. Since you don’t really know what you are talking about, I would love to meet your “legitimate” Muslim friends and have them explain to me what these quotes from the Koran really mean without resorting to “you don’t know Arabic” or “you are taking these out of context”. I would love for them to explain to me how these terrorists misread the Koran and why on earth they don’t stand up against these terrorists proactively and, say, fight for the rights of people in Sudan, Egypt, etc.

            3) “It’s all make up BS.” LOL what? You just said you don’t know about the quotes from the Koran. What is “all make up BS”? The quotes in the Koran?

            4) “They aid and abet their actor CIA “terrorists” because they are all one and the same and its an act. These are actors. Hell, the U.S. citizen Obama allegedly assassinated by drone in Yemen for his speeches had attended functions at the Pentagon!” All one and the same? Why the hell would Americans want to empower the Muslims so that the Muslims can overpower them and have them replace their constitutions, their style of economics, etc.?

            5) “But the Sudan is fake as shit as well.” Incredible, Walt. Incredible. I am not even gonna entertain this one.

            6) “You are being tricked into having a stereotype about Muslims.” Sigh…again. You paint me as some kind of bigot when I mentioned that I suggested all Muslims are radicals. Thanks for the discussion, Walt. I wish you all the luck in fighting the New World Order.

  18. avg John

    Every article about Muslims always seems to inspire a dual attack on Islamic and Christian faiths. As a Christian I am not going to try and defend the “church”. It’s an institution, and neither all it’s members nor all of it’s leadership necessarily have the same understanding of the teachings of the Master.

    Besides, Jesus’s ministry was built around attacking the church, as institution. The temple money changers and holier than thou priests came under scathing criticism by Jesus time and time again. If there was one thing that angered Jesus it seems to be hypocritical behavior.

    The examples he left for us to follow include turn the other cheek, love your enemy, and turn away from the temptations of power and money. If we all followed those principles it would be a much different world. Of course, we are all just human, and we all fail, if we are honest with ourselves.

    One last thing, regardless of your faith or lack thereof, he did caution us in Matthew 7:3-5

    “3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

    We need to separate government from church, but we also need to separate individual faith from the institution of the church. They are two different things, at least that’s how I see it.

    Now you can start going on about there is no God and faith is fairy tale and so on, I don’t care. It’s a big universe full of mystery and I don’t have all of the answers but I don’t believe any of you do either. We are all just puny humans.

  19. dSquib

    The most peculiar attacks on Muslims come from atheists like Bill Maher, Dawkins and formerly Christopher Hitchens.

    Setting aside that Maher has not bothered to distinguish Muslims from Arabs in his attacks, thereby nullifying any argument that his anti-Islamism is only part of a generalised anti-religion stance, and not a general bigotry. But for an atheist it’s weird to have such regard for the inviolability of the holy word of the Quran. That is, to treat it like a manual, a guidebook, rather than a text that will be endlessly reformed, skewed, partially ignored, changed, altered, deleted. See Testament, Old. Muslims are perfectly capable of ignoring whole verses of the Quran if they should want to.

  20. MRW

    Unlike the (other Abrahamic) Christian and Jewish religions, Islam doesn’t have a priestcraft telling them what to think. They have a book. That’s it.

    Certain Muslims may get together and say ‘we determine passages of the Quran mean this’, then give themselves a name for that interpretation: Sunni, Shi’ite, Wahabi, whatever. But it is not Islam in the sense that that is what the book says. It’s a bunch of humans saying ‘this is how we interpret it’.

  21. Rob

    I knew there were mosques in the early period of this country, but had no idea how interwoven the history of Islam was in America. thanks for the post.

  22. Garrett Pace

    Wow. I thought I had a good feel for the people who comment on this website. This thread makes me sad.

    My coworkers and friends who are (or were) Muslim are fine people. When I spent time in Turkey and Egypt I was well treated. They are just people, like everyone else. Their belief system has good and bad things in it; mine probably does too.

    “The Other” is always unfathomable, but it is our choice to make them so.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      I thought they immediately behead all Christians who enter? Glad you lived through the experience.

      Be interesting to have an obviously Islamic person asking for directions in New York, say, compared to a obviously Christian American or Jewish person asking for directions in Cairo or Tehran.

      My guess is the Middle East cultures would treat the foreigner with more respect . . . and this is not to say that Americans or New Yorkers are more evil, they have just been indoctrinated to hate more. And our capitalistic, imperialistic system so controls our population that it is easy to indoctrinate.

      Many commentators on internet sites like this are fake. This is a fake and contrived controversy created by our masters. In other words, a psychological operation.

      1. Nathanael

        “My guess is the Middle East cultures would treat the foreigner with more respect . . .”

        This is actually true according to people who’ve been in both American and Middle Eastern cultures.

        The tradition of hospitality to visitors (an ancient tradition predating all known religions) remains intact in the Middle East. It has been deliberately suppressed in the US for whatever reason….

        “and this is not to say that Americans or New Yorkers are more evil, they have just been indoctrinated to hate more. And our capitalistic, imperialistic system so controls our population that it is easy to indoctrinate.”
        Yep.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Meet Pam Geller the psy operative and darling of the [controlled] American media:

      She is beautiful, articulate, and controversial. But she is also fanatical, and even dangerous. Radical Jewish anti-Islamic activist and Fox News regular Pamela Geller said on her blog in 2010: “And I pray dearly that in the ungodly event that Tehran or its jihadi proxies (Hez’Ballah, Hamas, etc.) target Israel with a nuke, that she retaliate with everything she has at Tehran, Mecca, Medina……not to mention Europe. They exterminated all their Jews, but that wasn’t enough. These monsters then went on to import the next generation of Jew-killers.” By “Jew-killers,” she means Muslims: “This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now.” . . . .

      Geller’s website, “Atlas Shruggs,” shows her posed with House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). It says she has also posed with Newt Gingrich. Here are luminaries she says are also on her side:

      Ambassador John Bolton: “Well, I read Atlas Shruggs, Power Line, National Review blogs…Atlas Shruggs breaks more news than dozens of liberal blogs combined.”
      Mark Steyn: “I’m a fan.”
      Geert Wilders: “You do great work. You are a hero.”
      Veteran hate law foe, Rep. Steven King (R-LA) describes her as “a nationally- recognized authority on the threat of radical Islam.”
      Michael Freund of The Washington Post praises her at length.
      Her blog also lists her as a National Review, Human Events, American Thinker, and Big Government contributor.
      She has also received the Anne Taylor Award for Courage.

      Although some Jewish groups are calling for members to distance themselves, she is commended by the Jewish Southern Poverty Law Center. The Jerusalem Post also applauds her.

      http://www.truthtellers.org/alerts/PamGellerIsraelNukeEurope.html

      1. Garrett Pace

        That makes me sad, too. How do such things make the world a better place?

        Though Geller doesn’t use it in your excerpt, the phrase, “once and for all” is a dogwhistle for me. It reveals the speaker’s belief in the infinite virtue and power of their position, that evil can be done away with “once and for all” by actions that are strong enough and resolute enough. Hasn’t worked yet, though it has plunged the world in blood and fear.

        When I was a teenager I babysat for a Jewish family down the street so the parents could go to Synagogue. They were nice people.

        The older I get the more I realize that summary judgment on any group or way of life is not just incorrect, but a very pernicious wrong.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Yes, to me people engaging in such hyperbolic absolutes are either ‘crazy’ or acting.

          With Geller I’m going with mostly acting.

        2. ebear

          “The older I get the more I realize that summary judgment on any group or way of life is not just incorrect, but a very pernicious wrong.”

          The judgement here is not on the group, but on the philosophy that motivates its leaders and the sycophants who bow to them in blind obedience. Muslims in general are far more victimized by these rat bastards than any western bigot could ever manage. Your mission (should you chose to accept it) is to stand in solidarity with those brave muslims who, at great personal risk, struggle to overcome their domination, and hopefully, someday reform their religion.

          Besides, conflating bigotry with pointed truths about hateful doctrines will not get you into the NC hall of fame. Those dilettantes have already moved on. Haven’t you noticed? They only stir up hornet nests. They never stick around if there’s a risk of getting stung.

          1. Nathanael

            The western bigots are actually pretty damn effective, if you look at the Jerry Falwell types.

            But that pales compared to the effectiveness of the medieval Catholic Church. Now there were some oppressive monsters.

      2. Garrett Pace

        Ha ha ha! I just went to Geller’s website. Apparently the Atlas for our generation is a giant bronzed Venus who lounges on a cityscape and needs only a bit of her strength and attention to keep the planet aloft like a beach ball. Go ahead and shrug, lady. Looks like you got things well in hand.

        That’s all powerfully symbolic of something, but just what I’m not sure and also not very eager to find out.

    3. AndyC

      Garrett

      You are confusing judgement of an IDEOLOGY with judgement of a people.

      Should we make mealy mouthed excuses for Nazism because many Germans were nice people?

      Like you I also felt I had a good sense of the people that post here but from the opposite angle in that I am shocked to see people here taken in by political correctness and making excuses for totalitarian theological insanity.

      I could post 1000000 articles here straight from their own press that would make your head spin about the treatment of other religions, people, women, gays, you name it, in their countries but what good would that do?

      Islam is the most INTOLERANT ideology that has ever existed if you ask me, so dont demand I respect it.

      http://thereligionofpeace.com/

      1. Garrett Pace

        Andy,

        No, I do mean IDEOLOGY, but will apply it to people just the same.

        Did you know Josef Stalin’s daughter lived in Wisconsin and was alive quite recently? She wrote a memoir about growing up with daddy. A very uncomfortable experience, seeing one of the worst men of the twentieth century described in loving terms by someone who loved him. It made me view him as a human, with all the frightful baggage that goes with the human condition, when before I had not.

        There is extreme danger in condemning anything in this world completely, or justifying/praising it unqualifiedly. That danger is in taking such things as the holocaust as being sui generis, its own thing, something apart from humans and humanity, and therefore we don’t have to account for it, or look for our own potential to do such horrible things because, of course, we are good and they were evil.

        In fact such things get to the essence of humanity, that ordinary, stable and loving human life goes on even where the air is filled with the stench of burning human flesh.

        If I say that Germans are nice people, or that Stalin loved his daughter, am I in danger of ignoring or even approving of the horrible things done by them? I should hope not.

        Solzhenitsyn suffered as much from Stalin’s pernicious slave economy system as anyone. But he got it right when he said:

        “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

      2. Nathanael

        Andy, you don’t know anything about Islam.

        One of the most intolerant ideologies I’ve ever seen is promoted by the Church of Scientology — I suggest you look into that before you go around condemning every one of the thousands of multifaceted, different religious groups which call themselves “Muslim”.

        You might also consider actually learning something about Islam from actual historians and scholars.

        1. Nathanael

          Simple test: if you don’t know anything about the difference between Wahabbism and Sufiism, you shouldn’t be making any generalizations about Islam as a whole.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Wahhabism as we know it is a fake Western inspired religion:

            Although the origin of the Saudis’ current expansionist and extremist policy dates back to the religious and military alliance with the Wahhabi establishment, it was actually the British who initially provided the Saudis with the ideas of Wahhabism and made them its leaders for their own purposes to destroy the Muslim Ottoman Empire.[1] Indeed, the intricate details of this intriguing British conspiracy are to be found in the memoirs of its master spy, titled “Confessions of a British Spy” (For details see Sindi 2004). [2] In his memories, the British spy “Hempher” who was one of many spies sent by London to the Arabian Peninsula in order to destabilize the Ottoman Empire has stated:

            “In the Hijri year, the Minister of Colonies sent me to Egypt, Iraq, Hejaz and Istanbul to act as a spy and to obtain information necessary and sufficient for the breaking up of Muslims. The Ministry appointed nine more people, full of agility and courage, for the same mission and at the same time. In addition to the money, information and maps we would need, we were given a list containing names of statesmen, scholars, and chiefs of tribes. I can never forget! When I said farewell to the secretary, he said, the future of our State is dependent on your success. Therefore you should exert your utmost energy”. (Nabhani, see also confession of a British spy). [3]

            As a result, a small Bedouin army was established with the help of British undercover spies. In time, this army grew into a major menace that eventually terrorized the entire Arabian Peninsula up to Damascus, and caused one of the worst Fitnah (violent civil strife) in the history of Islam.[4] In the process, this army was able to viciously conquer most of the Arabian Peninsula to create the first Saudi-Wahhabi State.[5]

            http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2011/11/saudi-wahhabism-and-conspiracies/

  23. Jack Stone

    Let’s just put PAID to the apologists and eat humble pie, shall we? One merely need name just a few instances of Muslim “outrage” at the following:

    — Death penalty for changing religion
    — Fatwa against Salmon Rushdie
    — Afghan Budda destruction
    — 911 Tragedy
    — Daniel Pearl
    — Honor killings
    — Selling Children into sex slavery

    I only ask for a “few” instances, though there should be tens of thousands, at least. But you won’t find’em, for the simple reason Arab cultures were, and are barbaric, and that infects societies where Islam has taken hold. A thin veneer of erudition and oil money doesn’t make them civilized, and glossing over with a few historical anecdotes doesn’t change things. THAT is why the Arab cultures of the world seem to have a giant inferiority complex, thus demanding unearned respect from those they perceive as their “betters.”

    No doubt your Muslim friends & neighbors act in a civilized manner — while living under threat of law & punishment in societies where Islam is NOT a majority and Sharia “law” doesn’t reign. When that changes, watch out! Just look at what’s happening in England and France. The “average” Muslims in those places exercise no social restraint over their zeolots.

    Most people who are Muslim, and living in civilized nations, are no different than you or me: They got their religion along with their mother’s milk, wherever they’re born. But it has a poisonous nature (the Koran is filled with hate), you can’t change faiths (leaving Islamm carries the death penalty), they can’t rebel and they won’t protest. Can’t really blame them — most of us don’t protest the Financial/Corporate takeover of the U.S. Government, and we’re not even subject to death threats if we do.

    The problem of tolerating Islam is that it’s only part-spiritual. The other part is aggressive pursuit of political domination of the entire world. And they’re willing to act, sacrifice and die in the endeavour. The danger from “average” Muslims is that they not only don’t oppose this, they offer safe harbor as well. THAT is what bothers most sensible people, because — sad as it is to say — most folks would do the same.

    Appeasement doesn’t work. Any religion need to be kept separate from politics; Islam is just the most recent threat to the freedom of civilization.

      1. Jack Stone

        How interesting! Be curious about where it came from. I’d guess it has sentimental value.

        Am less concerned about his choice of religious passtime, than about what he DOES. Which ain’t been much. Silver-spoon fed Romney would not work out well, IMHO.

        But there’s no third choice…

      2. Nathanael

        “Allah” is the Arabic word for, uh, “God”. All Arab Christians pray to “Allah”.

        So that inscription means, literally, “There is no God but God”, which is actually part of Jewish and Christian doctrine as well as of Muslim doctrine.

        (Yeah, yeah, someone is going to tell me about polytheistic “Christians” and the historical polytheistic Jews. Corner cases.)

        Right-wing Christians deliberately misunderstand Islam.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          If you read the link, and the previous links to the Huffington Post, you will see that the inscription is likely the first of the 5 pillars of Islam. Usually you see the first two together, “there is no god but Allah, and his prophet is Mohammed.”

          Seems pretty clearly an Islamic ring. Now it very well could simply be a family heirloom or “charm” or something Obama picked up and he wears it for reasons other than religion.

          What I find interesting is that his law school classmates noted that he wore the ring on his wedding finger while he was single and didn’t say why.

          Your point about many forgetting what Christians and Muslims have in common is good.

          1. Nathanael

            Well, of course I know it’s part of the ‘5 pillars of Islam’, but it’s a part any Christian or Jew could agree with.

            So he probably does wear it for sentimental reasons. But, you know, if it had a religious message which *disagreed* with President Obama’s religious beliefs, he probably would have taken it off. It doesn’t.

          2. Nathanael

            Note that the complete, traditional Muslim version of the line is “There is no God but God *and Muhammed is his Prophet*”.

            Obama’s ring doesn’t have that second bit, apparently. Which makes it an ecumenical inscription.

          3. Walter Wit Man

            Well, it’s an ecumenical communication that is usually only communicated by Muslims in this way.

            Of course this is also the first commandment but you don’t see it phrased the same way nor does it appear selectively on Christian jewelry, afaik.

      3. Nathanael

        And while your points about aggressive political Islam have some truth to them… for the sake of all that is holy, look at the behavior of aggressive political Christianity. It’s exactly the same, and often worse.

        If you want a religion which doesn’t pull this sort of crap, you have to go quite far afield — Taoism, for instance.

        1. Nathanael

          But I guess you perhaps agree, since you want to keep all religion out of politics. (Large parts of the Republican Party are currently campaigning to establish “Biblical law”, and all our Presidents have been forced to make extravagant proclamations of faith in God for decades.)

  24. AndyC

    I vote for Nathaneal as the biggest blowhard EVER on a Naked Capitalism thread.

    Every response oh his is “if you had read the Koran, Bible, History, like I MYSELF have read you would know…..blah blah blah”

    How the fuck do you know what anyone here has read cementhead?

    I doubt you on all this scholarly research you claim to have done too since all of your arguments are lame brained and as for the Koran, I may not be an expert on it but I know Taqiyya when I am reading it

Comments are closed.