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Thursday, November 19 - 3:39pmSanction this postReply
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Take a look at this 4.5 minute long video - Extraordinarily powerful:

http://www.mrctv.org/sites/default/files/embedcache/127748.html

 

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Today, before I saw that video above,  I watched a clip of Hillary Clinton using the phrase "Radical Islamic Extremists" or something like that.  But she used the phrase to say there is a good reason why we shouldn't use those terms... because, she said, it is a needless offense to our allies who are Muslim and to the many, many Muslims who are peaceful.

 
I decided at that moment that we need to offend them.  And that we should say so.  Not out of meanness, but as a way of getting them to understand that they AND the terrorists are worshiping in same religion.  Both are believers in Islam.  And there are parts of their sacred scriptures that very clearly support terrorism.  So, either the good Muslims have to abandon that religion to the barbarians OR they have to join with the barbarians, OR they have to change Islam (reform it) so that the barbarians no longer have religious scripture they can point to.  And for their best Islamicleaders, scholars and spokespeople to put forth the equivalent of the 'excommunication' in the Catholic church.
 
Christianity went through a period where it was reformed.  Now it is time for the good Muslims to reform Islam and they clearly need to be offended a little bit since it is a project that is theirs to perform and it is overdue... and people are dying while they are remaining quiet and sitting on their butts. 
 
That women in the video was so right to ask that Muslim lady why she, as an American, and as someone who wants peace, why she wasn't speaking out about the deaths in Benghazi instead of getting all PC about Islam.  Political Correctness is just a minor thought-control attempt and it needs to be trashed, but the deeper and more important need is understanding that ideas matter and have consequences.  If the majority doesn't speak out, the minority will rule (or, as Ayn Rand stated, "When a political movement lacks a firm, consistent set of principles, it can be taken over by any minority that knows what it wants.")


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Friday, November 20 - 1:11amSanction this postReply
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I think Islam is difficult to reform due to the way in which the Koran is written in the present tense as well has the way in which it gives a nod to past prophets but places Moohahmed as the last and final prophet.  It seems to me that the religion really appeals to the most base of human behaviours.  I mean the promise of 72 virgins for being a martyr?  Whereas other religions frown upon sex outside of marriage.

 Also the way in which the religion/cult has written in it how non muslims are to be treated is pretty disgusting.  It's a pretty fascist system which places Muslims as a kind of übermensch over non believers that can be subjected to any horror they can dream up. 

Not only should it be ridiculed and insulted daily but should be considered an ideology antithetical to western beliefs, to the point where if it takes amending our constitutions to remove freedom of religion  just to stem its growth then the west should do so.  It would be far more effective than "homeland security" which screwed over everyone's freedoms...



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Friday, November 20 - 8:46amSanction this postReply
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Religions and their texts don't "reform."

 

People do. 



Post 3

Friday, November 20 - 8:50amSanction this postReply
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The resistence to reform is mostly based in their belief that Mohamed was capturing the words directly from Allah.  And you don't change his words.  But any religion is made of mystical beliefs and to believe those things literally means suspending reason.  Taking some parts literally but not others means selectively not-believing.  That's enough to tell you they can come up with a rationale that explains how they are removing those words that actually weren't directly from Allah.  Right now there isn't enough motivation to do so.  But more and more the brighter of the moderates (like the current president of Eygpt) are seeing that there will be a major world war that can't be avoided if they don't reform the religion.  And I'm sure they don't like the idea that their religion is the foundation of the constant wars between Sunni and Shia.  With going on 2 billion believers, that's a lot of peaceful people which means that most of them already don't believe the hostile parts of Koran.



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Friday, November 20 - 4:30pmSanction this postReply
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Perhaps when they are tired of dying and killing one another they might reform themselves.



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Friday, November 20 - 5:14pmSanction this postReply
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Those who are fundamental Islamists will never reform themselves, but I can see a movement rising up among the leaders and spokespeople for the moderate Muslims to reform Islam.  That doesn't get rid of terrorists or the theocracies, but it is a needed step to keep new Islamic terrorist groups popping up in the future.

 

I think the movement to reform the religion will start when many of the moderate Muslims are tired of being lumped in with the terrorists... (and when leaders appear and talk about reformation as if it were the natural thing to do - the right thing to do).   It will be fought hard by purists and terrorists, and I have no idea of what kind of time-line would be reasonable to expect.

 

Lumping the peaceful in with the terrorist is what Obama and Hillary get all righteous about, but I think it is exactly what is needed.  It IS the same religion they share even if they follow it differently, that is what needs to change.  Take Islam away from the terrorists and fundamentalists. 

 

Remember that back  before the PLO, militias and fundamentalists took over Lebanon, Beirut was a banking center of the world, a cosmopolitan city with religious freedom.  And Iran used to be fairly secular and modern before 1979 - that means that a great many of the Muslim citizens were happily NOT following Sharia.  We shouldn't let people tell us that a reformation of Islam isn't doable - I see the outcome of a reformation as the more natural state for Muslims.



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Friday, November 20 - 7:47pmSanction this postReply
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They also need to grow a thicker skin.  On the one hand they express rage when we insult the Prophet via cartoons etc and expect us to not do this.  Sure it is desrespectful, it is ment to be.  They attempt to bully us into submission through fear and threats when they feel they have the upper hand.  When they meet with OUR indignation and OUR demands that they stop pushing ourrr values they cry "Islamiphobia or racism/persecution.".   And yes some of their claims of such are true.  Some idiots cry out for us to just nuke the Middle East.  That's a worrying train of thought that won't solve anything.  The biggest thing that we cannnnn do though is simply enforce our laws.  A criminal is a criminal regardless of faith.  Maybe stop bending over to appease their demands for changes to our culture in order to accommodate thiers.

I mean the polite thing to do if for example one moves to Japan is to maybe learn that culture and language right?  Doesn't mean one has to become a Shintoism expert but you don't scream at the top of your lungs to insert objectivist values in its place while you are a guest there!

PS: Nice to see you again Steve!



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Friday, November 20 - 9:10pmSanction this postReply
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It's good strategy is to divide the peaceful Muslims off from the fundamentalists and their supporters.  The more we are successful at that, the more respectful and friendly we can be to the good Muslims, the more they will join us against the jihadists - and the more we can hunt down the Jihadists like mad dogs.  But it may take a little straight talk and some nagging before the good Muslims join us against the barbarians in open and effective ways.  The good Muslims know in their hearts that it is much better if we win.  Very few of them want to live under the radicals.  They know that if we win, life will better for them - life without the crazy people who don't just kill infidels, but also moderate Muslims.



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Wednesday, November 25 - 8:40pmSanction this postReply
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As I said on Galt's Gulch, this Brigitte Gabriel "failed to address the deeper questions of why the "good Germans" or "good Japanese" or "good Russians" went along with the atrocities committed by a violent minority. The fact is that the violent minority only acted out in real life the ideas held by those so-called "good" people. It has been cogently pointed out that the protests against the Bush Administration policies of war, torture, and bailout disappeared when the same policies were carried out by the Obama Administration."

 

Islam is just another kind of Christianity. Jesus is mentioned 25 times in the Qu'ran. He is called Messiah and Son of God.  Mary is cited 18 times. She is called The Virgin and The Mother of God.  The radical Muslims only want to create a world that would be very familiar to radical Christians: one where homosexuals are hanged and women are stoned for being raped.  

 

Who cared when Americans financed terrorism in Ireland? The "professional Irish" in Boston, New York, and other cities, funneled millions to Sinn Fein. (The Good Friday Accords were signed in 1998.) The difference is that their enemies, the British, did not carry out reprisal attacks to scare everyone into being deferential, reserved, and under-stated, or demanding that we use good grammar, eat bland food, and agree to keep a stiff upper lip. The British did, indeed, muddle on, while the Irish terrorists planted bombs in England, bombs financed with American money.

 

 Islam is in no way special from other religions. As Christopher Hitchens pointed out in god is not Great, we pay tribute to Buddhism as a peaceful religion only because we ourselves were not flogged by the priests of Lhasa.   

 

Brigitte Gabriel is right: we cannot defeat an ideology with bombs. Ayn Rand called this "the war for men's minds." It is the only kind that really matters.



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Wednesday, November 25 - 9:39pmSanction this postReply
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Once again Marotta makes some absurd statements.  The kind of statements that can only be seen as disconnected from reality.  He implies that that the 1.8 billion Muslims believe that all non-believers should be killed and that Sharia law should be fully enforced.  He seems to believe those 1.8 billion peaceful Muslims hold the same ideas as the terrorist, and are really only different that they don't act on those ideas.  Is there anyone who doesn't think that's absurd enough to be seen as totally disconnected from reality?   Why a peaceful majority doesn't act to stop a violent majority is a good question to pursue, but it is just nonsense to say it is because they really agree with the violent minority.
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Marotta believes that Islam is just another kind of Christianity.  Really?  He implies that there are radical Christians who are hanging homosexuals and stoning women for being raped.  I must have missed that news story.  Where has this been going on?  Again, this is disconnected from reality.
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Marotta asks, "Who cared when Americans financed terrorism in Ireland?"  What has that got to do with anything?  I have argued that it is important to cut off the flow of funds to the Jihadists.  Is Marotta saying that should not be something we should pursue?
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Marotta states, "Islam is in no way special from other religions."  Really?  How could he not have heard about the terrorism going on for so many years that is very unique to Islam?
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Marotta agrees that we cannot defeat an ideology with bombs.  True.  But we cannot defeat the existing Jihadists without going after them militarily, and economically.  Or does he disagree with that?



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Thursday, November 26 - 7:25pmSanction this postReply
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Steve, there is no cure for stupidity. 

😈

At least not MEM's form of it...

 

(Edited by Jules Troy on 11/26, 7:30pm)



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Thursday, November 26 - 10:04pmSanction this postReply
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I am in agreement with Mariotta. There's nothing especially distinctive about Islam as compared to other monotheistic religions.

 

The process of local cultures invading Christianity has also occurred in Islam. The Sufi traditions were full of that. But the effect is a bit more limited in Islam than in Chrisitianity, as Islamic reformers come through periodically and "purify" Islam by returning to the texts. When people say "Islam needs a Reformation" it shows they understand neither Islam nor the Reformation. Getting rid of "pagan" accretions and going back to the original texts was precisely what the reformation was about and occurs in Islam regularly. 

 

(Edited by Michael Philip on 11/26, 10:14pm)



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Thursday, November 26 - 11:19pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

 

There's nothing especially distinctive about Islam as compared to other monotheistic religions.

There are many distinctive differences, but that really isn't to the point.  The point is that Islam calls for the faithful to force others to convert or to be killed.  This is the root of the terrorism that the world is plagued with today.  This is what is behind the formation of ISIS - the new Caliphate. This is what the discussion is about.
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You are quite correct to point out that the Christian reformations were nothing like what some are currently desiring of Islam.  I have used the word "reformation" in a more general (and admitedly sloppy) fashion.  What we need of Islam is reform - change.  My reason for referring to Christian reformation was to signal that humans have choice and can choose to change particulars of their religion - religions have changed in the past and can do so in the future.  And where Christian reformation was about a more direct and pure connection between the believer and God, any move to a more 'pure' form of Islam has been about a more brutal application of force to impose Sharia.  I and others are calling for a change to Islam that makes it explicitly peaceful and explicitly denies jihad and Sharia.

 

And I wouldn't call much of what we've seen periodically in the history of Islam 'reformation'.  Theologians might call it that, but it would be better understood as warfare between sects where the disagreement might be stated as who has the most pure understanding of the Koran, when in fact the heart of the disagreement usually goes back to the original fight as to who should have succeeded Mohammed.  
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When people say "Islam needs a Reformation" it shows they understand neither Islam nor the Reformation.

When you say that, it shows you have dropped the context of the discussion.  You drop into a world of academic nuances of historical events in a way that totally ignores the problems we face today, and totally lose sight of the purpose of the discussion.  If the Muslim world does not bring about change in the religion (reform it), then the Jihadists will continue to use it as the moral foundation of their drive to force everyone to convert or die and they will continue to recruit and new terrorist organizations will arise.



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Friday, November 27 - 7:59pmSanction this postReply
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The roots of terrorism are complex. Boiling it all down to religion/religious belief is a large oversimplification of the problem particularly given the simple observation that some believers are very devout, but disinclined to violence while others are very violent but disinclined to devotion. 

 

jihad denotes a form of struggle that combines elements of violent fighting and non-violent struggle. Since Islam is first and foremost a religion about submission to God, so the most important struggle is the inner spiritual one. Generally, which version of jihad gets stressed to what extent is going to change according to purposes and circumstances. What we need against the jihad of the fanatics is a counter-jihad, one open both to Muslims and to non-Muslims–to anyone who stands to become a victim.

 

Sharia is what English common law would be if you replaced judges with law professors. Sharia is (or can be) evolutionary: it has the capacity for change, and it has changed.

 

As for dropping context, I have done no such thing. You need to understand the history to be able to advocate some sort of 'reform'. A hardy perennial in (failed) US policies has been ignorance of history. A status quo power has a tendency to live in an eternal now while a revolutionary power has a tendency to fixate on its own framing of social patterns and desirable outcomes. Add to that American exceptionalism, and you have a recipe for serial history-fails.

 

Moving to a 'pure' form of Islam, or to put it differently to pare “Islam” down to the bare claims of the Qur’an leads to any number of directions, some more violent (ISIS and other similar movements in Islamic history) while others more peaceful. To suggest it's just all violence is the ignorance of the religion I talked about when I mentioned that reformation is not what Islam needs. This claim often comes from people who have a poor grasp of the middle east as well the causes of terrorism and just want to boil it down to some ancient religious text or to hide the bigotry against individuals of muslim heritage. Seldom does anything have a single cause and the situation in the ME and the plight of muslims is no different.

 

As for the lady in that video (Bridgette), she forgot to mention that Maronite monastic orders supported the Phalangists in the Lebanese Civil War of the early 1980s. Here is some comedic criticsm of her being a so-called "expert": http://www.civilarab.com/where-do-i-apply-for-terrorism-expert/

 

 

Why haven't all Christians sent me personal letters condemning the Planned Parenthood shooting by now? I demand they thoroughly explain to me why their religious beliefs don't commit them to endorsing and carrying out these terror attacks. Your silence is deafening, Christians. Until you have met my demands I have a duty to condemn every last one of you as complicit in this violence.

 

(Edited by Michael Philip on 11/27, 8:19pm)



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Friday, November 27 - 10:19pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

 

The roots of terrorism are complex. Boiling it all down to religion/religious belief is a large oversimplification of the problem particularly given the simple observation that some believers are very devout, but disinclined to violence while others are very violent but disinclined to devotion.

I've written in more than one post that both the peaceful Muslims and the violent fundamentalists are all Muslims - they are both practicing Islam.  This is because the religion can and is interpreted that broadly.  And I haven't called for abolishing Islam, but rather to make changes in the religion or how it is understood - changes that will be effective in taking away the moral, religious motivation for forcing others to accept a set of beliefs or die.  Why do you not address?  And by the way, you presume that those inclined to violence are disinclined to devotion... that is so wrong.
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The Koran and Hadith are considered infallible and they are the source of Sharia law.  It is taking this religion and applying it as enforced rules.  That is the basic fact regardless of how many different views there are of the Koran, or how different Islamic sects apply Sharia.  It is mystical in its foundation and epistemology, collectivist in its practice, subjective and tyrannical in its application.  Your view of it is bizarre.

 

It is the means by which many Islamic authorities destroy individualism and liberty.... by this formulation of tyrannical laws that cover hygiene, etiquette, economics, diet, sexual practices, theological duties, marital laws, criminal laws, military laws, and even dress codes.  
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I'm well aware that peaceful Muslims believe that jihad means an inner struggle.  But when we are talking about terrorists, that is clearly NOT what we mean in these recent threads.  We mean the the violent jihad.  How can you not grasp that?  When you call for a counter-jihad to counter the fanatics, you don't make sense.  What does that look like?  Is it taking up arms to attack the would-be attackers?  Are you calling for a military approach?  You don't say.  On a thread that attempt to discuss the problem of Islamic terrorism you are proving to be as effective as the Obama administration.
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You claim that ignorance of history leads to failed US policies, but don't specify any specifics.  You act as if you understand history and therefore should be able to suggest a better path to solving this problem, but you provide no specifics.  You mock American exceptionalism, which if not explained, is sort of a non-concept whose only purpose is to be a rallying cry for Conservatives, and an attack dummy for the leftists.
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You make your proclamations from some undefined moral high ground where you imply that YOU understand history, YOU understand the religion, YOU understand the Middle East, YOU understand terrorism, while the rest of us are ignorant and probably racist.  My experience is that most of the people who make unsupported claims that they know best and that those who disagree with them are ignorant, and who supply no evidence, and then turn around and call their opponents bigots are usually progressives... or at least that is what they behave like (some anarchists and self-admitted Marxists have similar bad habits) - if this doesn't describe your current or past political philosophy then you'd be well advised to stop arguing like that.
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You asked why all the Christians haven't sent you personal letters condemning the Planned Parenthood shooting.  Why should they?  Are you someone important in the world of Planned Parenthood?  You "demand" all Christians explain to you why their religious beliefs don't commit them to terrorism against Planned Parenthood.  Are you Muslim?  And is that your outraged feeling of being a peaceful Muslim who is offended by references to Islamic terrorists?  Or is this just a very peculiar way of satirically calling any reference to Islamic terrorism wrong since you seem to be taking the position that Islamic terrorism isn't really Islamic?  If it's that, I don't think it is working.



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