The Shotgun Blog
Monday, July 31, 2006
Does my rebuttal look big in this?At a time when the Middle East's only democracy is at war for its very survival, bombs are being lobbed from both sides daily, random Muslims are shooting up Jewish community centers full of women and Oliver Stone has made a 9/11 movie that doesn't paint a negative picture of America, it seems a little bit amazing that the Canadian blogosphere has dedicated so much time over the past ten days to... me. Ah yes, Wendy, always the center of attention. Somewhere in the afterlife, my parents are shaking their heads, having seen this oh-so-many times before. Careful everyone, all this limelight can ruin a girl's complexion.
Okay, snarky comments aside, I really am glad to have stirred up such controversy. People on both sides of the spectrum are discussing whether or not I should be drawn and quartered. The words Human Rights Tribunal have been tossed around. I have had to sit down with legal counsel to find out if there could potentially be a claim against me (and if, like some twisted version of Ally McBeal, I can actually sue an entire religion for promoting hate. Turns out that I can). You see, while the knee-jerk reaction of many was to immediately call me a racist (and then bigot, once they figured that the cult of Islam isn't a race), only a few commenters bothered to address the issue at hand: Is Islam a danger? Is it a threat? Should it be downgraded from legitimate religion to brainwashing cult?
There have been barbs from the secularists and the Islamic apologists pointing out that the Bible also has calls to arms. And they were then countered by the fact that as a group, Christians are not taught and tolerated to commit atrocities in the name of Christ. Kevin Libin of the Western Standard attempted (weakly) to point out that Andrea Yates killed her babies because she felt they were possessed by the devil. No Kevin. That wasn't Christianity. That wasn't anything that any religion might align itself with. And it was the Christian and secular West that cried out for justice for those poor kids. It wasn't Muslims, that's for sure.
I am not up for a debate over whose religion is better. I am simply stating my belief that one is not actually a religion to begin with. If I started a faith that worshipped Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer, and managed to get enough people to follow me, would that make my faith legitimate? Would I be eligible for tax deductions and protections under the Charter? What if the doctrines of my faith demanded that I kill starlets or eat gay prostitutes? Would I still be protected? Maybe, if I did it symbolically. If I just pretended to kill starlets and eat gay prostitutes, like in a ritual passion play, then maybe I could get away with it. But the day I actually go out and follow my holy doctrine to the letter, putting the lives of others in danger, I would have the wrath of society, the cops, the feds and socio-political pundits all over my ass. And rightly so. Why not with Islam?
In Canada and the United States, we are lucky enough to have freedom of religion and freedom of association - something Islamic countries do not subscribe to. So why then, are biker gangs (or gangs of any stripe) outlawed? Could it be because they are commiting illegal acts that put the lives of others in danger?
I've known guys in motorcylce clubs who do nothing except ride cross-country on Harleys. And I've known Christians.
I've lived in the East End of Montreal where the Hells Angels and Rock Machine ply their trade. And I've known Islam.
I know that the above examples are over the top, but think about them. Really think about them, and compare them to a religion that subjugates women, smites and beheads on nearly every page of its holy book, and blames everything - everything - on the Jews.
I truly hope for the sake of free society (of which many people have made me the enemy) you will continue to discuss some of the points I have put forward. I hope that you debate the points I have brought up, and decide for yourselves, free of political correctness, whether or not Islam can safely integrate with Western society. And if it cannot, I hope you will have the courage to be hated for trying to do something about it.
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Tracked on 2006-07-31 9:09:55 PM
I'm still not in, Right Girl. Islam is a religion by any denotational norm. Any, by any modern standard, it is a religion that is fraught with extremists. That's one of the reasons why so many nominal muslims are opposing the fanatical Islamic totalitarians.
Yet if you look at the history of all successful large-scale religions, they have all had some roots that have been extremist. It is to the credit of the progress of civilization that most religions have shed their most extremist elements, and it is now up to the muslims, with the help in the case of the moderate ones from the rest of us who have shed our traditional extremists, to embrace their own reformation and enlightenment.
To simply attempt some sort of in its own right totalitarian categorization of collectives that are not uniform is to set ones self up for a far more difficult battle than is necessary, compared to, on the other hand, collecting like-minded individuals, regardless of theological perspective, into an electoral force.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-31 8:15:23 PM
I can't answer your question whether Islam is a religion or whether it should be banned? I won't even try.
I will say that there is a virulent strain of violent adherents with whom no one can negotiate in good faith. As many will acknowledge, you just can't tell sometimes which ones are peaceful, which ones only harbour sympathies but would never support or act, or which ones are plotting as we speak to kill, maim, or subjugate their neighbours.
The bad ones are here, however. I have no doubts about it.
What is my point? My point is that pleas to just understand their point of view will not work.
What should be done? It's obvious that none of our leaders nor none of their defenders can provide even the minutest clue as to how to achieve multi-cultural nirvana with the lunatics while leaving alone the fine, upstanding ones.
It is the attitude of then burying their heads in the sand and pretending that those of us who are worried are the real problem that disturbs me most.
They have no answers. So they say in effect "trust me."
I don't. Especially when the pleas for trust are combined with certain members of the left who, for whatever reasons are so angry with Western Civ, would gleefully throw us to the wolves.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2006-07-31 8:20:43 PM
RightGirl said: "Islam must be labelled for what it truly represents: wholesale slaughter and a corrupt ideology of sex and death."
It would appear they, unlike us, enjoy the former to the latter. The only segment of Canadian society not aborting itself out of existence are the Muslims. So much for the ideology of death:
Total fertility rate by religious denomination, Canada, 2000-2001:
Total fertility rate
Other Christians 1.79*
No religion 1.41
Orthodox (Christian) 1.35
Now that we've established that Muslim Canadians have a life-affirming culture and everyone else, including Christians, atheist/agnostics/Buddhists/etc. can reasonably be described as suicidal death cults, let's proceed from there.
A secular humanist society inevitably will abort themselves to extinction, a Muslim one will not. Which of course explains the secular humanist's implicit support of illegal and open immigration, which apparently is less of a threat to western civilization than "islamo-fascism" and socialism.
Posted by: Bob | 2006-07-31 8:28:20 PM
It is not necessarily the case, Bob, that a secular humanist society inevitably will abort themselves to extinction, a Muslim one will not. The open question is how these societies will change over the next couple of generations.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-31 8:39:27 PM
And who will be left.
Posted by: RightGirl | 2006-07-31 8:43:34 PM
Who will be left? I predict, RG, that within 200 to 500 years there will be 2 billion people living on earth who, due to continuing advances in civilization and technology, will all be living in luxury. And they'll all be beige. (Unfortunately, I'm not at this point able to predict how many will be living off-earth.) The interesting questions, it seems to me, are: what are the correct kinds of strategies and tactics for the proponents of the slow, albeit non-monotonic, progress of civilization and technology at this point.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-31 8:51:42 PM
I'm sorry but my concerns are a bit more prosaic and immediate. Like 5 or 10 years from now driving through Toronto and taking a wrong turn into a neighbourhood that the police won't go.
Or going to a Canada Day celebration on parliament hill and while walking past the US embassy later losing a limb and my children just because Israel didn't lay down and die.
Or watching my daughter cry every night because she's being hassled in school by bullies calling her a slut, etc. because she's not wearing the hijab.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2006-07-31 8:58:25 PM
Or working downtown, and wondering every time you get on the subway. Or if your office is safe. Or whose backpack that is. Or if you will ever see your husband/wife again.
Posted by: RightGirl | 2006-07-31 9:04:23 PM
I agree, H20 and RG, the first part of my comment was only in response to the specific question of who will be left. As to the broader issues, I stand on the second part of my comment, namely "what are the correct kinds of strategies and tactics for the proponents of the slow, albeit non-monotonic, progress of civilization and technology at this point?"
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-31 9:10:14 PM
h2o, your illogical and fallacious assertions are insane. May i suggest you stop projecting and do something to improve your critical thinking department and while you're at it do something about your non sequiters...silly ass.
Posted by: sparky | 2006-07-31 9:11:33 PM
So here we are already changing our lives to accommodate a potential threat foisted on us by blunder or design in social policy.
And before someone chimes in with how I could be hit by a bus, or crossfire, or whatever, my response is simple:
My car could be stolen by professionals but I lock it nonetheless. It reduces the chances that irresponsible joy-riders will take it.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2006-07-31 9:12:42 PM
Hi sparky, thanks for the contribution.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2006-07-31 9:14:38 PM
Like Marxism or socialism or transnationalism, Islam is a socio-political way of life. The difference is that the socialists won’t admit they are a religion that worships at the Temple of the UN and the Muslims won’t admit that they aren’t a religion. Both are utopian, neither will work in the long run because they have an unrealistic view of human psychology.
Whether they are a religion or not is a moot point because there are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world and while only about 700,000 are in Canada they are the fastest growing segment of society. It’s probably no Mark Steyn joke that they will turn Notre Dame in Paris into a Mosque in 50 years. If 1.3 billion people think they are a religion, I don’t think there’s much we can do about that other than accept it.
What can we do? I know many of them who are just as worried about their religion as I am. I take comfort in that. It needs to be reformed. The only way is for them to do it, we can’t.
Do they need help? Probably, but they are going to have to ask for it – like a person trying to get over an addiction, they have to bottom out. I think many will and many won’t. But just as we don’t deport addicts we aren’t going to deport these people as long as they abide by the law of the land. Let me be clear, not all Muslims are like addicts, many are already reformed in their own minds but the Muslim Hierarchy hasn’t reformed yet. It will reform or die because it won’t work in a modern globally connected economy. It would have already failed and/or reformed if not propped up by oil money and despots.
Meanwhile, there are many Moderates who are no doubt scared as hell and we should do our best to be sensitive to that and help when asked.
This is a terrible problem and we need to quickly fix as much of it as possible. I don’t want my grandkids dealing with a problem 10x’s bigger than this just because we all acted more like Chamberlain than Churchill. We need to take out the oil-funded despots and continue with the democratization of the Islamic regions of the world.
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-07-31 9:16:42 PM
Sounds like Sparky's a bit of a damp squib. Sorry, that was rude of me to say that.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-31 9:16:44 PM
Once Islam gets over its problem with Jews it will probably be okay. Islam needs to come to terms with the fact that the Koran is a re-write of the Old and New Testament. The Koran takes characters from the Old and New Testaments, rearranges them and then says that the Jews lied in their book. For instance they claim that Abraham sacrificed Ishmael and not Isaac, that Miriam the sister of Moses was the mother of the man from Nazareth, that Haman of the Persian Empire/book of Esther was a contemporary of the Pharoah of the Exodus. The Koran could be charged with copyright infringement and so Islam has a problem with the existence of "those perfidious Jews"
Posted by: ex-liberal | 2006-07-31 9:31:04 PM
c'mon karolak, the boys had a hell of a thread going and then you come along...silly ass.
Posted by: knucklehead | 2006-07-31 9:31:23 PM
LoL. Have you seen today's National Post?
Posted by: shlemazl | 2006-07-31 9:32:11 PM
"LoL. Have you seen today's National Post?"
Yes. It was on a counter in a store I visited.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2006-07-31 9:34:57 PM
Look, Karolak, this thread is about the ongoing discussions of the relative merits of the position that RG has taken and the controversy that has ensued. If you are unable to cope with these condidtions without lapsing into remission, I suggest you take it up with your shrink, and not the Shotgun. And no, I'm not sorry to say that, it's not rude, it's simply an observation on normative social behaviour. There is no need for us to suffer your pathologies graciously.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-31 9:35:01 PM
Right Girl if you don't open it up to debate then western civ deserves it's imminent demise at the hands of the muslim extremists.
I think we should be talking, thinking debating these issues. It was our forte, one of the things our civ is built on.
You go girl!
Posted by: canadian freedoms fan | 2006-07-31 9:50:18 PM
Agreed, Fan. Modern civilization, the demos, is founded on the polity. If we do not debate these matters, then we have no just recourse if they do no go our way.
As with the matters of strategy and tactics for supporting the advancement of civilization, the more immediate matters of strategy and tactics for effectively debating our positions is of interest. And it's in this latter category that many have stumbled.
For if one is unable to express one's self in a form that is acceptable for political consumption with one's electorate, then one's efforts will at best be for naught. That's why, you may have noticed, I have never insulted or sworn at RG, even as we continue to consider these issues.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-31 10:00:25 PM
Certainly it is the responsibility of moderate muslims to take control of their religion. As a catholic who does not blindly follow the dictates from our pulpit, I believe that it is possible for moderates to ignore the intolerant direction from their religious leaders. But as almost all of the world's mosques are controlled by imams that preach intolerance and jihad I think that we need a "plan B" to protect our society from disaster.
Posted by: Bernie | 2006-07-31 10:03:21 PM
Take it up somewhere where it's relevant, Karolak. Surely there must be some sort of appropriate help groups somewhere in the totality of the World Wide Web.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-31 10:06:47 PM
Good debate ladies and gentlemen....
What can I really add? Well...again, I really can't agree to ban anything.....I believe in free speech.....even hate speech...However, when that speech intersects with death threats then you can start banning it....And Islam certainly meets that merit over and over again....
Folks....we are in a hell of a pickle...Liberals through multiCULTurism have got Western Societies in a horrible mess....we have imported the most brutal creed in the world in masses...that being Islam......and I really don't know what we can do outside of draconian measures...
I do see in the near future...15-30 years, civil wars across Western Europe and long before that, Islamic terrorist attacks in Canada and America....eventually something has to give if the Govt. and Media and Academia continue to lie for Islam and protect this delusional ideology...
Eventually the masses will wake up and take law and order into their own hand which is completely understandable and that will be ugly...
What I would like to see first from our leaders and media and schools is an honest telling of what Islam teaches and what it founder did and what its history has been for 1400 years...not some lying whitewashed filth from the likes of John Esposito or Karen Armstrong...
I'll know we are getting somewhere when we start talking about Islam honestly and not just referring to a few misguided souls in a great world religions which dhimmis constantly tell us...
Thank God for the Internet and to an extent, Fox News.....indeed, even in Europe we are seeing in some mainstream press honest accounts of Islam's inherent intolerance and brutality.....its slow but its some progress...
Will it be in time though??? I don't know...Even on this board, we have completely clueless people posting rubbish about Islam and how it is
'bigoted' to denounce this ideology....What rot!!!
Where muslims gain in number, you will see the true islam come to the fore.....not the nice Islam of Muhammed's meccan period but the later islam when the bully and thug muhammed gained power in Medina.....
Look at muslims in marches across the Western world....always in favor of tyrants and murderers from Saddam to Hamas.....the boldness of Muslims is gaining as they continue to breed like mad and incredibly are vile immigration lets people in from Islamic societies....
Their was some truth to Lenin's maxim about how we in the West would sell the rope to hang ourselves with...
I am sickened how we cannot see the evil plainly in front of us in the form of Islam....
Posted by: Albertanator | 2006-07-31 10:17:37 PM
I don't think it's the case that there is anyone here who can't plainly see the evil that confronts us in the form of Islamic totalitarianism, or for that matter, any of the other varities of totalitarianism that we have seen wash over the planet in the last hundred or so years.
Nevertheless, omphaloskepsis is not a viable plan.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-31 10:28:53 PM
"random Muslims are shooting up Jewish community centers full of women "
You might want to start with trying hard not to exagerate.
Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-07-31 10:28:59 PM
Yes, I did think that phrase was rather over the top, Ian. But then, upon reconsideration, I realized that since the perpetrator in the case at hand had no known affiliations to organizations, he was arguably random for at least one denotation of that word. And it could be argued that the plural form of the first proper noun was inappropriate, the singular would have been preferred. And I 'spose one could argue that the place wasn't full.
Still, considering that the phrase was a component of essay that was effectively delivered in an empassioned context, it was not, on the whole, particularly exaggerative.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-31 10:40:47 PM
ya, what he said...
Posted by: MarkAlta | 2006-07-31 10:53:53 PM
RightGirl has hit the nail right on the head. As Forest Gump said back in the roaring Clintonian '90s..."Islam is as Islam does". If you strip away the designation "great religion", and look at its actions, you see what it has always been for 1,400 years - a shield for despotism, imperialism, misogyny, divisiveness, and barbarian brutality. I am glad that RG has the courage to confront it, and I'm glad that Ezra has defended her platform.
As one columnist wrote in recent days: "We used to know what "civilization" means..." We're living in a self-destructive era that can't seem to understand that the barbarians are at the gates. We need modern-day Charles Martels, and neo-Winston Churchills. The sooner the taboo of Islamo-criticism is broken, the sooner they will appear.
Posted by: NCF TO | 2006-07-31 11:06:06 PM
In a sense, Right Girl certainly makes a valid point about banning Islam....it would work if it only had a few adherents....the problem with islam is that it has a billion adherents and a 1400 year history....in other words, it has deep roots...albeit, bloodsoaked roots right to the doorstep of Muhammed...
Something that big and historical simply can't be banned I don't think...
However, if EVERY muslim on earth and EVERY muslim inside our Western Democracies started taking every Islamic teaching to heart and applying that bloodthirsty code to its ultimate conclusion, then WE Would have to do something drastic like banning Islam....
Of course, thankfully, at least at this point, I daresay that most Muslims at least right now in the West are fairly mellow and practice a very very truncated form of islam....much like the Muslim family I grew up with from the 70's...very very liberal and truly moderate....
Again though, one wonders....if Muslims ever get to the danger point of being a high percentage in our Free Societies, will we then see the True Islam come to the fore of even those moderate muslims????
Certainly if one looks overseas, it is not encouraging....even in moderate Islamic societies like Turkey, parts of North Africa, Maylaysia and Indonesia, the masses hold to some of the most repugnant ideas from our Western pov.......
Again, we are heading to bloodshed...massive bloodshed if we want to save our freedoms....or we can go quietly into the night and see the likes of a dark ages never seen before....
All I can say is Thank God America resides beside us....I think the average Canadian has been so dulled with diseased liberalism that we will gladly extend our necks out for the Islamic scimitar......America will have no choice but to rescue our pathetic sorry asses....much to the credit of America and to the shame of Canadians...
I think we can all agree that with the rumblings of severe societal discontent already in Western Europe because of Liberalism and Islam, that WE should have NEVER allowed Islamic immigration into our shores....a horrific and fatal mistake for all of us....
Posted by: Albertanator | 2006-07-31 11:34:30 PM
NOTE-The Bible and the Koran are different as is Islam and Christianity. No doubt Christianity does have moral and ethics. Christianity is more tolerant than Islam. Excample->In Christianity God loves homosexual people too and homosexuals are most welcome at Christian churches although Christianity still acknowledges same sex-sex and group sex is immoral, not natural and unGodly but still Christians are to treat the homosexual person with care and love. Islamics would kill public homosexuals.
Posted by: Larry | 2006-08-01 12:19:32 AM
Actually, Right Girl, if you're going to sum up my argument in a few words, I think it would be fairer to address the substance of my point. Namely: I, personally, would much rather live in a world where I have to worry about what someone is carrying in their backpack on the subway, than in a society where I have to worry about you, or anyone else, deciding what beliefs I am permitted to hold, or which religion—or even which "cult"—I am free to belong to.
The difference between those Islamists who call for the murder of so-called infidels and those Canadians who would use the power of the state to enforce thought crimes is, to my mind, simply a tactical variation.
(PS: This concept of freedom of expression that we're all patting ourselves on the back about here at the Shotgun, just happens to be the very thing that we're debating whether to suspend or not. Irony rules.)
Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2006-08-01 12:24:19 AM
The threat of black on white crime is much greater than the threat of terrorism. Jared Taylor's Color of Crime outlines how blacks, in the US, are 56 times more likely to commit criminal violence against a white than was a white to commit criminal violence against a black. The black interracial rape rate was 38 times the white rate. A wrong term into a Muslim community, or threat of a bomb on a subway is much less immediate than the threat of black violence against whites, especially as the black community continues to enlarge. However, in both cases the threat comes because blacks and browns are here.
More importantly, is the threat to white genetic interests posed by blacks, browns and yellows. Dr. Frank Salter oultines the concern by calculating the number of immigrants it takes to reduce the genetic interests of a random white by one child.
"The relationship can be understood this way. A parent has a certain base-line kinship with his child no matter who the other parent is, but is genetically closer to his children if he marries within his ethny. This gain in parental kinship is foregone to some extent when the other parent is of a different race or ethny [ethnic group]. An average European white who has a child with a typical African foregoes 66 percent of the parental kinship he would have gained if he had had the child with another European. An Englishman who picks a Danish rather than an English spouse loses only one percent of the parental kinship to be gained from an English spouse. Choosing a Bantu mate would mean the loss of 92 percent of the parental kinship that would have been gained with an English mate. This figure, which is close to 100 percent, raises the theoretical possibility that if an Englishman has a mixed, English-Bantu child, the child will receive so many non-European genes from the Bantu parent that the Englishman is only slightly more genetically related to his own child than he is to a random stranger from his own ethny."
In other words mass non-European immigration to the West and potential miscegenation that may follow does not mean beigeness but extinction. One only needs to look to South Africa or Rhodesia to see the impact on disenfranchised whites.
"In the long run, only territory ensures survival, and human history is largely a record of groups expanding and contracting, conquering or being conquered, migrating or being displaced by migrants. The loss of territory, whether by military defeat or displacement by aliens, brings ethnic diminishment or destruction—precisely what is happening in the “multicultural” West today."
Posted by: DJ | 2006-08-01 12:35:09 AM
There is no need to enforce anything if the right to freedom of association was empowered. Unfortunately, association has long been abandoned and thought crimes penalties enforced. It is a crime to discriminate in the process of selling or hiring or renting, or writing exclusive covenants. A society that freely associates has the right to self-determination; it has the right to exclusion if it so choses. Even Mill recognised that liberty can only exist in a homogeneous state. The state already regulates thought. How is it any different?
Posted by: DJ | 2006-08-01 12:49:08 AM
"You might want to start with trying hard not to exagerate."
Right again, it should read
"random Muslims are shooting up Jewish community centers full of women, and airport counters in LA, and sniping at motorist near DC, and bombing nightclubs in Bali, and taking children hostages in Russia..."
Of course, I do have a problem with the word random here. Perhaps pseudo-random aligns better. I'll get back to you on that after finish decrypting the Toronto Police's "broad strata of society" comment.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2006-08-01 5:36:10 AM
"...Namely: I, personally, would much rather live in a world where I have to worry about what someone is carrying in their backpack on the subway, than in a society where I have to worry about you, or anyone else, deciding what beliefs I am permitted to hold, or which religion—or even which "cult"—I am free to belong to."
But wouldn't it be fair to say that you are going to get both anyway from the radicals in Islam. After all, I don't really think they want to permit you to hold those beliefs you espouse.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2006-08-01 5:52:59 AM
The threat of black on white crime is much greater than the threat of terrorism. Jared Taylor's Color of Crime outlines how blacks, in the US, are 56 times more likely to commit criminal violence against a white than was a white to commit criminal violence against a black. The black interracial rape rate was 38 times the white rate. A wrong term into a Muslim community, or threat of a bomb on a subway is much less immediate than the threat of black violence against whites, especially as the black community continues to enlarge. However, in both cases the threat comes because blacks and browns are here."
As I said, I still lock my car to prevent theft.
I also noted that the threat of terrorism is already changing our lives. Isn't that WHY they do it.
And isn't it the case that the fear may push us into restricting ALL of our civil liberties. Something in which I can agree with Kevin is a great concern.
I can't quanitfy which is the bigger threat at this moment but let me just add that if we do start restricting civil liberties in response to the terror threat and because some neighbourhoods are becoming no go zones, won't that tend to squash your concern regarding the greater crime rate in the black community.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2006-08-01 6:06:30 AM
In my opinion, Muslims have done a bad PR job on behalf of their religion. Muslims and Jews are similar in one respect: they are Muslims and Jews first, and whatever country they are from falls a distant second.
Whether people agree or not, Muslims THEMSELVES feel that they are in a war (wheter they be Iraqi Muslims, Afghan Muslims or Lebanese Muslims). However, by perpertrating these acts IN THE NAME OF ISLAM, they invite the question (from those who DON'T accept the Muslim explanation of war): "Is Islam evil (for flying planes into buildings, beheading foreigners or lobbing missiles at civilians". All because they do it IN THE NAME OF ISLAM.
Now, when the Nazis carried out the Holocaust, it was done IN THE NAME OF GERMANY (not Lutherans or Catholics). Likewise, when the USA levels a country, it si not done under the baner of a religion but by AMERICA (for whatever reason). This leads to rampant anti-Americanism but NEVER anti-Christian feelings. Likewise, Israel never does anything in the name of JUDAISM. Unfortunately, Judaism and Israel are intertwined, so any action by Israel (justified or otherwise) can generate hate against Jews (as we saw in Seattle). Still, most of the "anti" feeling we are currently seeing is specifically directed at Israel and not Jewish people in general.
The only other conflict I can think of where a RELIGIOUS group has invoked THEIR OWN name is the conflict in Northern Ireland. Though the IRA was decidedly CATHOLIC, it was seen as a domestic situation, so there was no animosity towards the Vatican or Catholics of other nations. Likewise, the strife in the former Yugoslavia was seen as an internal issue, so outside animosity was strictly directed at the Serbs and not Eastern Orthodox people in general.
So, I would say to a moderate person of the Islamic faith, that if they didn't want their religion to be tarred with the widespread derision that is occurring, ask people to fight their causes under a nationalistic one and perhaps not invoke the name of Islam.
It was not my intention to assume "moral equivalence" in the above examples. Whatever one's position is on any conflict, you will always have someone who feels THEIR side has "moral clarity". "Moral clarity" is subjective at best (no matter what people here, or protesting on behalf of Lebanon, may think).
Posted by: John Leningrad | 2006-08-01 6:58:31 AM
Libin: your pseudo-libertarian take on this issue seems to be a smokescreen to shield you from the "inconvenient truth" - that Islam, if nothing else, is a powerful incitement to violence (a self-evident point if there ever was one). Incitement is a criminal code violation, and the source of that incitement must be considered. If terrorist organizations (including Islamic groups like Hamas and, yes, "The Party of Allah" Hizb'Allah) can be banned in Canada, then clearly RightGirl's suggestion is not beyond the pale.
If you now argue that Hamas and Hizb'Allah should not be banned, I know you've lost it.
Posted by: NCF TO | 2006-08-01 7:36:54 AM
“they are Muslims and Jews first and whatever country they are from falls a distant second.”
Not true. It’s like saying they can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. It’s saying they can’t be assimilated. They have been assimilated. Do you think Ezra Levant is not assimilated? Rahim Jaffer is not assimilated?
Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-08-01 7:40:41 AM
Denying freedom through a "ban" is never the answer to anything.
Posted by: Liberty | 2006-08-01 7:42:57 AM
Liberty: Then you would like the ban on Hamas rescinded? This is where the logic of libertarianism goes from the ridiculous to the absurd. Modern society cannot exist without bans! What do you think "laws" are?
Posted by: NCF TO | 2006-08-01 7:48:28 AM
Of course there are some things banned by their very nature in modern western civilization, murder, fraud, and libel come to mind. But we don't ban thoughts, and a religion is simply a system of thoughts. No matter how you slice it, we prohibit way to much under our current nanny-state consensus. Don't forget the words of Roger Q. Mills, who in 1887 wrote:
"Prohibition was introduced as a fraud; it has been nursed as a fraud. It is wrapped in the livery of Heaven, but it comes to serve the devil. It comes to regulate by law our appetites and our daily lives. It comes to tear down liberty and build up fanaticism, hypocrisy, and intolerance. It comes to confiscate by legislative decree the property of many of our fellow citizens. It comes to send spies, detectives, and informers into our homes; to have us arrested and carried before courts and condemned to fines and imprisonments. It comes to dissipate the sunlight of happiness, peace, and prosperity in which we are now living and to fill our land with alienations, estrangements, and bitterness. It comes to bring us evil-- only evil-- and that continually. Let us rise in our might as one and overwhelm it with such indignation that we shall never hear of it again as long as grass grows and water runs."
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-08-01 9:00:10 AM
My point is that 1930s Toronto had no black threat, no threat from Islam and people were free to associate and discriminate on a number of levels. Why? It was an overwhelmingly WASP society. And while Islam has many positive traits, family values etc., it is largely a non-European religion. My point, simply, is that it is better to live separately. Then you won't have to lock your car or even house door.
Posted by: DJ | 2006-08-01 9:12:47 AM
Even in the 1930s it was a good idea to use locks.
Posted by: Speller | 2006-08-01 9:15:31 AM
If religion is merely a system of thoughts, then what do you think Hell's Angels are thinking about? Or car thieves?
Any antisocial group could claim religious freedom ie freedom to do as they wish without discipline from the larger group.
Therefore, religion has to at least uphold a higher standard than ‘I am free to do as I wish just because I think about doing it.'
Religion can only be a highly personal understanding of how we fit in to all that is around us. In striving to reconnect with the universal truths of creation, there can be only one person to be perfected ... the person striving for his own perfection.
Politics wrapped up in the cloak of religion, such as the prohibition example you use, is generally despised by both the left and the right.
Nobody likes know-it-alls who hide themselves in a group and lets everybody know how superior they are ... this is why Geoff H. did not fit and was quickly run out of here. Basically ignoramuses who use put-downs to drag people down to their level rather than trying to raise themselves above the fray.
Times, whether now or in the 30s, are fleeting ... yet human nature always remains constant. The world has never been a safe place and it has never been a perfect place.
I'm not sure apartheid is the answer.
Posted by: Set you free | 2006-08-01 9:36:34 AM
I said, SYF, that all religions are systems of thought. I did not say that all systems of thought are religions. Ergo, the Hells Angels don't enter into it.
Nevertheless, I fully agree with you that on the whole the world has never been a safe place and it has never been a perfect place. But I might be a bit more sure than you that apartheid is not the answer.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-08-01 9:41:55 AM
People say moderate is the way to go, BUT, there are moderates in power in Afghanistan.
What are moderates? Moderate in comparison to whom?
Do they simply hate jews just a little bit? Just symbolically?
When their fellow Muslim converted to Christianity, recently, the so-called moderates stated he must be put to death. They, in their moderate attitude, still believed they had a duty to kill him. You do recall our PM interceded, with others, and the man was saved. The moderates released him, and said that he was mentally ill, therefore they could not kill him.
Oh, like the derranged individual Muslim in Seattle was also called mentally ill?
OK, there is a difference. The Christian convert in Afghanistan was not going about murdering pregnant women and their friends and co-workers! In comparison, the Christian was nuts to stay amongst his countrymen. Not because he would hurt them, which he would not, but because they really were going to kill him.
No, I do not believe there is a difference between so-called extremists, and moderates. Neither view divorces ideas from the other.
The one group will behead you, say all manner of horrible things about you, torture you, burn you, impale you, treat you like second class citizen, even in your own homeland, throw rocks at you, throw bottles of gasolene onto your body, burn you alive, then chew on your arms, and drink your blood, just as they said they would.
The extremists on the other hand....
No, the term moderate is not appropriate.
The terminology that fits is westernized, or modernized. Modernized Muslims, or Westernized Muslims, are like modernized or Westernized Christians. They do not pander to any form of death cult, whether completely, or marginally so.
There are many Muslims who have had success in identifying themselves, as Muslims who do not buy into the death cult mentality. They are neither moderate, nor extremists. They are completely separate from the original doctrines and ideologies.
These people have divorced themselves from these desperate crimes against humanity.
It is these individuals and groups, who have the doctrines, that if successful, might be able to bring the moderates and extremists into the modern world.
In other words, they must rewrite their basic assumptions.
They need to know who they are, and they need to be able to be comfortable, and protected, knowing that their doctrines are the way of their future.
If they fail, their entire religion, could get lumped into a dangerous ideology, and treated as the dangerous cult that RG has put forward.
Would we tolerate a Judaism that existed on the same principles as adhered to by the so-called moderates and extremists of Islam?
Would we tolerate a Christianity that existed on the same principles as adhered to by the so-called moderates and extremists of Islam, or as is referenced in the past?
Is there such thing as a moderates and extremists view of anything, that has origins in war and death?
So, if there could be a modernized version, that is westernized, what does it look like? How can anyone tell the difference? Is it knowable?
Well, the difference is known to some, and practiced by many. It is clearly up to them to sell the world, on the differences, and to get the language right, as if they fail to, then the entire lot of violently derranged individuals, will provoke a backlash on the whole, that is nothing anyone would want to look forward to. And the affliction is being wound up through fear.
In the end, and after all, we are all human. At least some of us think we are all human. It is this matter of free will, and choice, that determines who we all are, and what we do in our lives.
Posted by: Lady | 2006-08-01 9:47:14 AM
Nomdenet, I said nothing about assimilation. That, of course, is another issue altogether and certainly a problem with Muslims. However, it is not restricted to them. In the Toronto area, with recent immigrants, it would be a problem with Chinese and South Asian communities. And going further back, there are still many Italians and Portuguese who arrived in the 1950's who still don't have a basic command of English (due to living and working strictly within their own respective communities).
My point was about identity. I don't know enough about Rahim Jaffer's personal views, but yes, I would submit that based on his columns, Ezra Levant is Jewish first and Canadian second. And IMHO there's nothing wrong with that - it's just a chosen identity.
Posted by: John Leningrad | 2006-08-01 10:01:23 AM
And one more thing.
We say we protect beliefs, according the Charter. But, if someone believes that another is the devil, and is destined to kill them, then the belief leaves the realm of belief, and enters the arena of dangerous ideology.
People who use their religion or say their beliefs are what they are, and protected by the Charter, are abusing the very principles on which the Charter was designed, and is defencible, in the free world.
In other words, no one can defend that which does not protect all with the same measure of value.
You cannot know what it is like to be me, in this country today, to live in fear that people might stand by, and watch a group of dangerouse ideological people who develop to the point where my life, and the lives of those I cherish, who are citizens of this country of ours, are condemned to death, just for being Jews.
Please, say it is not so. It is not just about being offended, as we are well beyond that. It is about living in a place, where people, by virtue of their belief, are protected in having that belief, to the extent where people are no longer treated as equal citizens.
They beat the drums of war. You would never see Jewish people brandishing around war flags, yelling death to the infidel, or commiting those kinds of crimes as we see terrorists committing. It is not in our basic assumptions, from our beliefs, to our ethos. And yet my concern does not end with Jewish people. It continues on throughout all peoples, excluding those who chime the war songs, and beat the drums of war, and wave about the flags of war, against all humanity.
And alas, I know, I do not stand alone, against these insufferable beasts!
Posted by: Lady | 2006-08-01 10:04:21 AM
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