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Check out this video, which has really got me freaked out!

The pertinent stuff begins at 2 minutes 28 seconds.

In this video, a Muslim speaker and his Sunni Muslim audience (by show of hands) make the assertion that all sorts of extremism, such as stoning people to death, judicial amputations, executing homosexuals, etc. are normal parts of mainstream Islam, and always have been.  

This goes against everything I've heard and read about Islam since 9/11 -- except for some of the criticism leveled by right-wingers like Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch.  

Most sources I'm familiar with say that Islam is a tolerant, peaceful religion, and that the violence we see in the Muslim world has nothing to do with the religion, but are the results of other factors, and of certain Muslims misinterpreting their religion.  Who is right?    

This video sent a chill up my spine.  They seem so matter-of-fact about how all of this stuff is supposed to be part of the mainstream religion!  

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is the first time... (21+ / 0-)'ve seen a militant religious extremist preaching hate?  

    Do you think this is unique to Islam?

    •  This just in--- (5+ / 0-)

      Christians crucify each other in horrifying self-abuse ritual
      Philipine crucifixion

      Christians  handle snakes to show their faith

      Christians in Uganda kill people with help from Christians in the US

      Christians allow their own children to die

      Buddhists are violent

      Peace and freedom loving Americans execute more people than all but 4 other countries.  I think Saudi Arabia was number three. The US incarceration rate is higher than any other country.

      My point is that culture, prejudice, economic issues, ignorance, tribal affiliation and all kinda other stuff are in the mix.  That said, if someone wants to find a reason to hate or harm, the holy books shared by christian/muslim/jewish faiths do give plenty material for justifying it.

      But those are just books.  People who won't or can't think for themselves are the problem.  And, unfortunately, they are everywhere.

    •  The video, which came from a Muslim youtube (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical

      channel, is advancing the argument that this preacher is not extremist, and that it's offensive to label him as such. It's from a conference in Norway.

      •  It's the largest Muslim student group in Norway (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noisy Democrat, Fishtroller01

        The video was posted on the Islam Net channel on You Tube, which is the group's site.  It has dozens of other videos showing some of the same clerics and speakers.  

        What made this one interesting though is that it explicitly shows the audience affirming their support of  the stoning of adulterers, amputations for theft, the execution of gays, etc.  They wanted to show that it wasn't just some extremist preacher.

  •  Maybe in dk5, we can have (24+ / 0-)

    a rule something like, "You have to be registered for at least a week before you start posting faux-concern hit pieces."

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:20:04 PM PDT

    •  still gives some of us a chance to educate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JDsg, CJB

      and suggest some sites that actually do discuss Islam

      •  Well, true dat. (0+ / 0-)

        This diarist doesn't want to know, though.  If they've gone to the extent to which they have to be this disingenuous, there's no telling them anything.  

        Not a bad thing to try, though.

        Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

        by CJB on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 09:02:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I figured that when he did not stick around to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          answer comments about his diary.  Sticking around and responding to comments by diary authors is sort of expected etiquette here.  However I did get to post a link or two so anyone who is interested could get more information, some from primary sources.  That makes it worthwhile, regardless of the intent of the diary's author, to possibly provide information to other Kossacks as this FNG may not be around too long

  •  Obvious troll diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming, Ducktape, bakeneko, Just Bob

    Can we kill it?

    I'd donut the tip jar myself to at least get things started except I'm a bit worried somebody might actually think it's for real and go after me and I'm not really in the mood.

    But come on.

    And please people, don't respond seriously.  

  •  Good thing Christians are never (18+ / 0-)

    militant. I mean, really :)

    A friendly tip: You might want to delete this diary, pronto.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:21:24 PM PDT

    •  Are we confusing the Westboro Baptist Church (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JDsg, karmsy

      with Islam?  Dang!  I'm always doing that!

      ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

      by slowbutsure on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 06:41:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Has this diarist printed something (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical

      that is unfactual or has no evidence for it?  Looks to me and sounds to me like someone who is alarmed at seeing (and by the way, posting a link to) an expression of Islam that counters the PR.  

      Where's the harm in this and why is everyone's PC reactions go to immediate banning of the diary???

      •  This diary focuses disproportionately (0+ / 0-)

        on one kind of Moslem believer, painting an inflammatory and inaccurate picture of the whole faith, one that plays easily into current RW stereotype.

        I stand by my earlier recommendation.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:23:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That it "plays easily into current RW stereotype" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          should make us uncomfortable.  It shouldn't cause people on the Left to hit the delete button and pretend it doesn't exist.  

          These are women's issues, gay rights issues, religious freedom issues, tolerance issues.  You know..good old liberal/progressive issues.  Why should the RW be framing the discussion?

        •  Nonsense. People do this kind of (0+ / 0-)

          painting of the religious right constantly (and I am NOT defending them)  on here and I see no complaints about it.  Everyone just has a field day with evangelical right wing Christians and lumps them all together for attack, but apparently that's a no-no with Muslims.  

          There are lots of fundamentalist Christians who are politically of the right wing who do not agree with the actions of other right wingers and they do not get any defense on here.  I'm using this as an example because I think all religious views deserve a thorough unabashed critical going over much more than they experience.  We are talking about ideas without any evidence that are used to shape all kinds of actions in the world.

          I frankly think that liberal/moderate believers in Christianity, Judaism and Islam have a responsibility to stand up much much more to their conservative/fundamentalist brothers in belief, but can't do that until they disavow the texts at the heart of each religion, which are the sources of authority for all kinds of horrible acts and ideas.

  •  Want me to find you similar "Christian" videos? (18+ / 0-)

    Frankly, my spidey senze is giving me a very strong whiff of "concern troll."

    Or have you magically found the video that speaks for all of the more than one billion Muslims in the world, right there on YouTube?

    Go get outraged over "Christians" like Fred Phelps and the Dominionists. They're a lot closer, and their beliefs are every bit as extreme.

    "I believe that some fine day, the children of Abraham
    will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem."

    by Ducktape on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:21:59 PM PDT

  •  All I can think is that compared to Christianity, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical, Noisy Democrat, marina

    it's about the 1400s for Islam. How barbaric and blood thirsty were the Christians then? But it is the 21st century. Barbarism should be on the way out. There's no excuse for it in an enlightened world.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes

    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:25:05 PM PDT

  •  Fixed the tags for this hit job from a "concerned" (6+ / 0-)

    citizen asshole.

    Spite is the ranch dressing Republicans slather on their salad of racism

    by ontheleftcoast on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:28:02 PM PDT

    •  I found your tag edits excessive (0+ / 0-)

      I removed the one called "lies" because their is no evidence  any lies have been made.  I added the common sense tags of "Extremists" "Islam" and "Muslims" that conform to Tag  guidelines.  I left the ones the other ones you added.  

  •  Bojo. Thank the robot (11+ / 0-)


    It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

    by poco on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:29:33 PM PDT

  •  Could the trolling be more obvious? (7+ / 0-)

    Freaking out over some shit posted 5 months ago on YouTube? And it's worth posting your second (and last) diary here about? Seriously, fuck off, troll.

    Inside of me are two dogs. One is mean and evil. The other is gentle and good. The two dogs fight all the time. Which dog wins? The one I feed the most.

    by bakeneko on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:31:10 PM PDT

    •  Oh, is there some sort of proper time frame (0+ / 0-)

      for posting information? Could it be that this diarist just saw this video recently?  What's your point, other than trying to impress everyone with the f-off language and the "troll" censorship attempt.

      Unfortunately, there are too many people like you on this site who give me the impression that they would vote FOR blasphemy laws if they had the chance.

  •  Here at DKOS it is normal to donut concern trolls (12+ / 0-)

    Other than that, we are a tolerant and peaceful blog.  Please enjoy the electronic pastry.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:31:29 PM PDT

  •  I live in the city with the largest population of (24+ / 0-)

    Arabs and Muslims outside the ME, Dearborn, MI.  Many of the families have been here for 50-80 years.  There are mosques and celebrations and observations of their religious holidays.  They are involved in commerce, government, the arts and education.  Their young are scholars, athletes, and have jobs in local businesses.  I have seen none who lack limbs and none carrying weapons except those who are police officers. They pray for the safety of relatives living in the war torn parts of the ME. Your concern trolling will not make me afraid of my neighbors.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 05:32:19 PM PDT

  •  Putting this out, in this way, is a complete (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    disservice to most Moslems in this world.  A video showing some angry negative people is not to be taken in any  way as representative of the majority of people of Islam.

    •  Did you watch the video? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noisy Democrat, Fishtroller01

      They didn't look particularly angry or negative.  They looked very ordinary and at ease.  
      I think that was the point the speaker was making,  These beliefs are portrayed as extremist, but are not.

    •  It originally appeared on a *Muslim* youtube (0+ / 0-)

      channel. It was promoted by them as an argument that the views expressed in the video are not extreme.

      •  Calling for the killing of gays and keeping women (0+ / 0-)

        subjugated in thought, word and deed is extreme and will always be going forward in history.  They looked indifferent to the so called casual words of the lead speaker.  This was an exercise in group speak with no dissent invited or volunteered.    

        •  Oh that's not big deal. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Noisy Democrat, Be Skeptical

          I've walked into diaries on here that are exercises in group speak with no dissent invited or tolerated.  The difference for me is that I volunteered my views anyway.

        •  So your view is that the people who raised their (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical, Fishtroller01

          hands didn't actually mean what they were agreeing to but were easily intimidated into pretending to agree? But you figure that if push comes to shove -- if there's pressure within their community to act on these "extreme" views -- that then we can figure they'll stand up and do the right thing?

          •  Some will do the right thing. As with any group (0+ / 0-)

            there are a few who will act out the most dictatorial demands of  the leaders,  We can not condemn a whole religion when not too long ago we were stringing up Mathew Sheppard to die on a  fence post in Wyoming because he was Gay.  Expressions of extreme violence has always been done in the name of religion.  It must be dealt with by the law whereever possible.

            •  Engaging in open debate isn't condemning (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Be Skeptical, Fishtroller01

              The Muslims in the video put forth their view that sharia law, including harsh punishments, is a very good thing and should be put into practice all around the world. The main point the video was making was that this is not an "extreme" view. They drive the point home that they're speaking for regular, ordinary Muslims. I'd love to hear what regular Muslims on this site think of the video, though so far on here only one has commented. In any case, if people are putting forth their view of how society should be run, we have every right to listen carefully to what they're saying, discuss it, ask questions, comment, etc.

              It seems very odd to me that Islamic groups can put forth videos like this and yet if we ask people to look at what they're saying or discuss whether we disagree with their views, that's seen as "condemning." I strongly disagree with the views expressed in the video. I strongly support traditional Western conceptions of human rights and the legal tradition that we have inherited. I would be pleased to learn that the people in the video are wrong and that their views are in fact seen as "extreme," but even if every Muslim in the world agreed with the video, we would still have every right to say that we disagree and that we don't want these views to be accepted in our societies.

  •  this video seems staged, however, there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    are extremists in every religion, including Christianity

  •  well just check out Pat Robertson or Hagee (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, libnewsie

    or Terry Jones or Jan Markell or Lou Engel or are you beginning to get the idea yet?  Do these people speak for you or does Bill Maher speak for you?

    Here is the guy who is doing the site:

    I also note he is London based, which is quite a bit different from being based in, say Pakistan or Indonesia to my mind.

    If you are truly interested in Islam, I would suggest this as a starting point:
    (warning this is a Shia' site as opposed to Sunni)    

    •  And just exactly who, within ANY religion, (0+ / 0-)

      is qualified to say what that religion actually represents? If the crap is in the texts and everyone carries the same texts around with them, then how do you disassociate yourself from those crappy parts?

      •  through the life you lead; in the final analysis (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        regardless of what you believe, you can only be responsible for yourself and your own actions.

        •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

          We are also responsible for our choices when they affect others' lives. If you belong to a club that causes mayhem in the world, then you are responsible for being a part of that mayhem.  Haven't you ever boycotted a company or group because of their actiions?  It's the same thing.  If you belong to a faith and that faith or its representative institutions or its leaders and spokespeople are complicit in crimes or other forms of adding misery in the world, then you have an obligation to decide whether you are going to be part of it either with your presence, implied agreement or with your financial support.  

          •  isn't joining the club in your hypothetical an (0+ / 0-)

            action on your part?  If so then you are responsible for that action.  If you belong to a cult that preaches hatred, then if you chose to join the cult, then you are responsible for that action.  However, I would hold that children, for example, would not be held responsible for that membership until they reached an age to decide to remain in the cult.  Until they are old enough to decide, they cannot be held responsible for their actions but their parents and elders may be.  I think you will find most moral systems and even English Common Law agrees on this

            •  This doesn't address my point and children (0+ / 0-)

              were not part of my argument.  But since you brought them up, it is religions in particular that force children through baptism or Sunday school or initiation into monasteries (Buddhism) who are the most guilty of cult like behavior.  Forcing a child to become a "member" of a faith (my child is a Christian for example) BEFORE they are able to even comprehend religious dogma or theory or philosophical ideas (gods, heaven, hell, etc) is wrong in my book.  And of course you can not hold them responsible for the actions of the adults.

      •  Every church has its own rules on who (0+ / 0-)

        is allowed to speak for others. Some have official offices of dogma, like the Catholic Church, or even a doctrine such as Papal Infallibility (under rare and unlikely circumstances), and some maintain that every individual must make his or her own moral judgments. Islam has a set of customs including reliance on the Qur'an and traditions (Hadith), and on scholarly opinions that roundly contradict each other, and have done so since the time of Mohammed's immediate successors.

        I am not clear how you missed the fact that every church, and every person you will find claiming to speak for any church, picks and chooses from the scriptures and tries to reinterpret the more unfortunate passages. I can point you to unfortunate passages in a wide range of scriptures, such as the commands given by God regarding genocide and slavery in Jewish scriptures, and the apparent glorification of war in the Bhagavad Gita. There are plenty of Jews, Christians, and Hindus who hold these works to be holy, even divinely inspired, while yet holding at the same time that we are not to follow what the texts plainly say.

        Similarly, there are plenty of people who pretend that their scriptures counsel or require much nastier behavior than the texts state.

        How? Why, there is no how. You just do it. Then you see who is able to convince whom, whether in open elections and public political pressures on office holders, or in recruiting suicide bombers and other violent terrorists. Or whatever other custom prevails where they are.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 01:25:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't miss the fact that everyone (0+ / 0-)

          within faith traditions cherry picks.  The problem is that the texts they are cherry picking are held up as "sacred", "divinely inspired", "moral authorities". etc etc.   This is what I object to. And only with religion can people find a statement like this completely acceptable despite its total irrationality...

          "There are plenty of Jews, Christians, and Hindus who hold these works to be holy, even divinely inspired, while yet holding at the same time that we are not to follow what the texts plainly say."

  •  Funny... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    libnewsie, poco, ontheleftcoast

    ...the Saudi Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, just said in this year's hajj sermon,

    “Islam does not allow terrorism at any cost. Islam condemns all violence and terrorism plaguing the world today. Muslims should demonstrate a love for peace and unity."
    You might want to check that out.

    Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

    by JDsg on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 06:50:37 PM PDT

    •  Hi! I was actually going to write to you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      because I had seen this video on another site -- apparently it's going semi-viral -- and I was hoping that someone who does Islamic apologetics on this site could tell me what he thinks of it. But here you are, so I'm asking you in a comment. The video was posted on an Islamic youtube channel as an argument that the views the speaker is espousing aren't at all extreme. I was wondering how that argument goes over.

      •  I think one of the key differences... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noisy Democrat, poco, CenPhx understanding hudud punishments is that they are there for their deterrent effects.  Moreover, the level of proof necessary to convict someone of a hudud crime is rather high; in certain cases, the level of proof is higher than that required by Western secular courts.  As a result, the application of hudud punishments is much less frequent than most non-Muslims imagine.

        But all societies have their own version of hudud punishments, and the US is no exception.  I view the original diarist's comments (and that of a fair number of other people here at DK) to be xenophobic.  There is this exceptionalist attitude among Westerners, and Americans in particular, that "our laws are the best and the standard by which other legal systems should be evaluated" with precious little understanding as to why other legal systems (and not just the Islamic legal system) work the way they do.  And I certainly don't expect a nuanced discussion on this and other topics here.  

        Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

        by JDsg on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:28:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          That already gives me more insight that I didn't have. I wish we could have a nuanced discussion on this sort of topic on DailyKos, for a whole lot of reasons. But I sincerely appreciate your comments.  

          I have trouble with the video not because I want to impose Western laws on Muslim countries, but because I want to see Western law prevail in Western countries. There is this exceptionalist attitude among sharia proponents -- as articulated by the speaker in the video, who was at a conference in Norway -- that "Sharia is the best and the standard which should be imposed on the entire world." I think that's the heart of the disagreement. Regardless of whether sharia works well in some Middle Eastern countries, it disturbs me that there are organizations throughout Europe explicitly dedicated to imposing sharia. I saw this video as demonstrating why there's so much support for their agenda, and that's why I found it disturbing.

        •  p.s. I notice you didn't say they were extreme (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical

          That doesn't mean you don't think they're extreme, but I'm surprised you didn't mention it. If a Catholic group got together and asked for a show of support from people who want to ban birth control for everyone and put gay people in jail, I think I'd say "Unfortunately, there is that element in the Church, but I vehemently disagree with them and so does every Catholic I know. There are crazy people in every group, and Catholics are no exception."  

          •  Off hand... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I don't recall the speaker saying, "Sharia is the best and the standard which should be imposed on the entire world."  But even if he did the fact is that shari'ah only applies to Muslims, and Muslims know this.

            Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

            by JDsg on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 07:39:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He said "[these] are the best punishments and (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Be Skeptical

              we should apply [it] in the world." The explanation that the Muslim youtube channel moderators posted beneath the video says that "They [conference participants] even supported stoning or whatever punishment Islam or prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) commanded for adultery or any other crime. They even believed that these practises should be implemented around the world." That right there is cultural imperialism. Even if only Muslims were going to be stoned to death in Europe or the United States, Westerners have a right to object to the importation of such practices as incompatible with our cultural norms.

              As for the idea that sharia applies only to Muslims, I'm getting the impression that it's complex -- after all, sharia includes provisions limiting Christians' ability to construct new churches, to wear or display symbols of their faith, to sing hymns, and even to talk about their faith. Unless there's some reason all of that is considered "not part of sharia."

              A Pew study found substantial support in the Muslim world for making sharia the law of the land in Muslim countries. The study also found that there are different understandings of what sharia entails, and that a majority of Muslims but not all believe it should apply only to Muslims:

              “The belief that sharia should extend to non-Muslims is most widespread in the Middle East and North Africa, where at least four-in-ten Muslims in all countries except Iraq (38 percent) and Morocco (29 percent) hold this opinion,” Pew explains. “Egyptian Muslims (74 percent) are the most likely to say it should apply to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, while 58 percent in Jordan hold this view.”
              So apparently the issue isn't cut and dried. But I appreciate that the majority of Muslims believe it should apply only to Muslims. If that becomes universally agreed-on, I think that will be a big step forward. But even then, Western countries should not be expected to accommodate things like stoning for adultery, lashing for rape victims, etc.
              •  A few comments... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                That right there is cultural imperialism.
                Only among those Muslims who might think that shari'ah applies to non-Muslims as well.  But, especially for the non-hudud components of shari'ah, which is the vast bulk of the law (and, once again, applies only to Muslims), I see no problem with Muslims wishing to be able to govern themselves under shari'ah.  Some countries (such as secular Singapore) accommodate the Muslim population in this regard.  I'd hardly describe that as being "cultural imperialism."
                Even if only Muslims were going to be stoned to death in Europe or the United States, Westerners have a right to object to the importation of such practices as incompatible with our cultural norms.
                Which most Muslims are fine with.  But I would also add, as I mentioned earlier, that Western countries have their own version of hudud laws, some of which are just as strict in punishment as anything shari'ah requires.  From my point of view you're quibbling over details.
                ...after all, sharia includes provisions limiting Christians' ability to construct new churches, to wear or display symbols of their faith, to sing hymns, and even to talk about their faith.
                No, none of these are in shari'ah.  As I alluded to below, the only Muslim country worldwide that prohibits Christian practices is Saudi Arabia; otherwise, the rest of the Muslim world is fine with the above. (At least from a legal standpoint; of course there are various incidents in some countries between the local Muslim and Christian communities, but this is not what the laws of those countries state, whether shari'ah-based or not.) You must realize, if you haven't before, that what Saudi Arabia says about Islam is often taken with a grain of salt by the rest of the Muslim world.  Their attitudes and practices toward Islam can sometimes be... odd.
                The study also found that there are different understandings of what sharia entails...
                Of course!  There are at least seven major schools of legal thought in the Muslim world, and each country will apply shari'ah as their government sees fit.  Just as within the US there are at least three different bases (English, Spanish and French) underlying the legal system.

                Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

                by JDsg on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 05:22:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Hilarious... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noisy Democrat, Fishtroller01

      this same Mufti last year issued a fatwa stating that all churches [i.e., Christian houses of worship] in the Arabian peninsula should be destroyed.  He doesn't need to worry about Saudi Arabia though, because Christianity is banned there, and there aren't any Christian churches to demolish.

      The Grand Mufti, who is the highest official of religious law in Saudi Arabia, as well as the head of the Supreme Council of Islamic Scholars, cited the Prophet Mohammed, who said the Arabian Peninsula is to exist under only one religion.

      The Sheikh went on to conclude that it was therefore necessary for Kuwait, being a part of the Arabian Peninsula, to destroy all churches on its territory.

      Slightly inconvenient for the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos and others who already labor under such splendid conditions in the countries that comprise the Arabian Peninsula.  But this guy is just a lone extremist, right?

      check it out...

      •  The thing is... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco, CenPhx

        The Kuwaitis (and other Muslims worldwide) are under no obligation to obey the Saudi Grand Mufti when it pertains to issues like churches in Kuwait or other Muslim-majority countries (just as Muslims worldwide ignore the Saudi position on Muslimahs driving).  But I suppose you'd rather see the Grand Mufti endorsing terrorism because it'd confirm your prejudices about Islam and Muslims...?

        Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

        by JDsg on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:37:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Terrorism isn't the issue, actually (0+ / 0-)

          A small minority of Muslims commit acts of terror. Terror is a tactic, not an end goal. What disturbs me are the end goals. When we see someone like this "non-extremist" Mufti calling for all churches on the Arabian Peninsula to be destroyed, or people in this "non-extremist" conference in Norway affirming that they would like to see sharia imposed worldwide, that disturbs me. Even if they achieve those goals peacefully, by voting and then carrying them out, the goals are reprehensible. Terror tactics are just a sideshow.

        •  JDsg, you brought up this Mufti (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          as a an example of a thoughtful Muslim leader who is not an extremist.  In about 2 minutes of research I found stories in the Arab and Western press about a grossly intolerant pronouncement by this same Grand Mufti.  A statement that was made to the media in explicit reference to a proposal to eliminate Christian churches in Kuwait.  He was asked because his opinions on such matters are tantamount to law in Saudi Arabia. His point was that Kuwait is part of the Arabian Peninsula and, therefore, should be under his enlightened oversight.

          So, JDsg, do you support the right of Christians living on the Arabian Peninsula to worship as they desire?  To have churches?  To speak openly about their faith?

          Maybe you'd prefer to talk about the views of the Muslim Brotherhood on women?

          •  No, I brought up the Mufti to... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...point out that a major figure like the Mufti, in a very important speech, said that terrorism is not allowed in Islam.  You're the one making other assumptions about the man.

            Whether he thinks Kuwait should follow his lead is irrelevant; in fact, Christianity is openly practiced in all the other countries on the Arabian peninsula already (the only exception being Saudi Arabia).  But obviously you didn't know that.

            Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

            by JDsg on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:23:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  On women.... (0+ / 0-)

            Just open up the Koran and you can find all kinds of horrible prohibitions on women, but don't try to get a Muslim apologist to discuss these passages with you because they will twist the words and add meanings not evidenced to the point that you don't recognize the texts at all.  It's a useless endeavor.  Believe me, I've tried it.

            •  Thanks for the laugh. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Just out of curiosity, have you ever read the Qur'an?  It's pretty obvious that you haven't.

              Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

              by JDsg on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:33:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have to admit that I found it so (0+ / 0-)

                anti women and so offensive in other ways that I did not complete my readings.  The bible was bad enough. I didn't feel the need to also spend my time on the whole bible part 2.   You and I discussed some passages in the past, and I found your apologetics for them got totally in the way of an honest conversation.   There are over 500 passages that threaten or condemn non-believers and people of other faiths, and I'd be willing to bet you have an excuse or explanation for each one of them.  And that doesn't even begin to address the passages on women.  

                As Sam Harris said, "I invite [those] who haven't read the Quran to simple read the book. Take out a highlighter and highlight those lines that counsel the believer to despise infidels, and you will find a book that is just covered with highlighter."

      •  Well, ignoring the nasty stuff, especially (0+ / 0-)

        in the Koran and talking around it with a lot of smoke and mirror apologetics is definitely a special talent for some people.

  •  get your head out of your ass (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, CJB, blueyedace2

    My heroes have the heart to live the life I want to live.

    by JLFinch on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 06:57:57 PM PDT

  •  Islam is.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, libnewsie, poco

    The idea that Islam exists somehow independent of the people who practice it is a strange one. Where is this objective existence of Islam?  It can only be in the mind of Allah.  To accept that Islam has some nature independent of Muslims is thus to accept Islamic theology.

    This is true of Christianity too.

    I for one do not accept this theology.

    Islam is what you see the mass of Muslims observing.  And yes, it is by and large reasonably peaceful and reasonably tolerant, about as much as any humans can be.  

    That however, does not change the fact that there are nasty, virulent strains of Islam, with powerful backing.  One such emanates as officially supported from Saudi Arabia, which is a US ally.  Another such emanates from Pakistan, another US ally.  

    •  As an example.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishtroller01, poco

      Does our Constitution "exist in the mind of God?"  Did it not start off as one that condoned slavery?  Did it not begin with the implicit premise that rights belonged to white males only?  Has it not in recent years given personhood to corporations?  etc., etc.?  Are we not tolerating as within the bounds of the Constitution things like waterboarding and NSA surveillance, where 20 years ago we might not have?

      What would we say about this constitution? It is what the American people make of it.  Any illusion of it having an inherent nature outside of the character of the American people is simply wrong.  

      It is the same with the Bible or the Quran.  The idea that they have some immutable inherent meaning is supportable only if you think that these emanated from an eternal, immutable God or Allah.  If there is no such objective entity outside of humanity then such a meaning does not exist.  The meaning is what people make of it.

  •  Crackpottery is universal. (0+ / 0-)

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 10:51:59 PM PDT

  •  All one has to do is pick up a Koran (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noisy Democrat

    and read it (just like the bible) to see that the texts do endorse an incredible amount of hatred towards "the other" (or infidel in this case).  So why would anyone be surprised?  

    The fact that many Islamists are peace loving and mild mannered people is only because they ignore what's in their own texts (or they super cherry pick like the Xtians do all the time).

    Bottom line for both and for all religions... when outrageous behaviors occur, most get away with it because the world makes the huge mistake of "respecting" their views or actions because they are religion based.  That HAS to stop.

    In my view, it is the duty of rational (well, partially rational) thinkers in every religion to condemn and put aside their faith's religious texts.  Until them, I think all liberal/moderate believers in Christianity, Islam and Judaism are tied at the hip to the radical fundamentalists within their ranks.

    •  I partly disagree but I'd be glad to discuss it (0+ / 0-)

      I think Judaism and Christianity have legal and theological frameworks which have already de-fanged a lot of the nasty stuff and provide a clear basis for dumping whatever's left. (To take a Jewish example, the rabbis 2,000 years ago disposed of the infamous commandment that a rebellious child should be stoned to death -- they tied it up in such legal knots that it could never be carried out, and actually declared "It never was and never will be.") Christianity did a wholesale dumping when it declared that most of the "Old Law" was no longer valid. Preachers who want to pick and choose a couple of laws to keep can rightly be accused, by other Christians, of cherry-picking to suit their prejudices.

      I keep getting the distinct impression that Islam hasn't done that work on its traditions yet, and that Muslims who don't want to see sharia imposed have little Islamic legal ground to stand on, but I'm still open to being persuaded otherwise.

      •  p.s. I want to own up to one oversimplification (0+ / 0-)

        I'm Catholic, and the Catholic Church still has this "Natural Law" argument about gay people which needs to be tackled head-on. I think it can be dismantled, and there are Catholics arguing against it already, but I want to be honest that I do believe Catholics still have work to do in this area. The fact that more than 50% of Catholics in the pews support gay rights indicates that we're likely to eventually do the right thing.

      •  All of that legal noise to cover their butts (0+ / 0-)

        on the texts is meaningless to me if they still offer up those books in full to the world as having moral or any other kind of authority.  When people swear on the bible, they don't swear on just parts of it!

        In my view the biggest cherry picking sin is on the liberal/moderate Christians who ignore the fact the Jesus was harsh and judgemental against those who didn't want to hear his messages (and actually threatened them with hell for it) when they try to portray him as an all loving, inclusive, peacefull community organizer!

        The only honest way to "de-fang the nasty stuff" in my book is to edit the book down to a new form and take it all out. Kind of like what Jefferson did.

  •  By the diarists's reasoning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Does the Westboro Baptists speak for all Christians?

    •  This is not the equivalent of the Westboro (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noisy Democrat

      Baptist Church, a group loathed by 99% of Americans.  Those lunatics certainly are convenient though for constant use as an easy counterexample when another religion's bad behavior is mentioned.  The intellectual weight of such arguments is pretty slight.

      The meeting in the video is the largest student and youth  Muslim organization in Norway. The video was posted on their own You Tube Channel, Islam Net.  

      Obviously, Muslims don't all speak with a single voice.  Mosques get blown up every day by people who think the wrong voice is being aired.  

      Show me a counter-example where a leader of one of the major Christian denominations in the US makes a statement that calls for the destruction of every Mosque on the North American continent.

    •  Yes they do, and here's why... (0+ / 0-)

      The Westboro Baptists point to the texts in the bible that back up their views. The rest of the Christian community carries around the same texts with those passages in them and has not bothered to cut them out or otherwise physically alter the books.  So they can't really condemn the Westboro people when they do nothing about the source of the immorality.  Plus, all Christians hang their hats on the character of Jesus, and he harshly threatened hell quite often, so I don't see the difference. Both sides play games with the texts to suit their needs and imaginations.

      •  Vast majority of Christians think (0+ / 0-)

        the Westboro Baptist people are insane. The other Christians simply haven't heard of them. So no, they don't speak for all Christians.

        •  Well that's part of the overall problem, isn't it? (0+ / 0-)

          No one wants to face the fact that the Westboro people present a face that is very evident in the scriptures... both in the Old and New Testaments.  The old is divisive because the god represented in those stories endorses and participates in killing anyone who represents "the other" (pagans, etc.)  The god of the stories in the new testament creates a system called "salvation" which is very divisive (believe this cosmic story or you are out of the eternal loop).  Even Jesus threatened people with everlasting torture and the phrase I love... "gnashing the teeth".  So in essence, despite all the nice stuff that this man was reported to have said, he is immorally countered by his endorsement of the concept of hell.

  •  evidences support the diarist (3+ / 0-)

    I lived and worked in Egypt for three years.  It is considered to be a moderate country, where the majority of Muslims have less extreme views than in other countries.  Yet, even in Egypt, according to surveys by the reputable Pew research, 64% of Muslims believe that anybody who personally leaves the Muslim religion should be put to death.

    For those of you commenting here that Islam on the whole no more liberal or conservative than Christianity, how do you account for views such as these? (And, by the way, I am not a Christian and I abhor the views of the Christian right.)

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