Friday, September 15, 2006

Pope speaks on Islam: Muslims riot around the world!

In what has become a typical scene, Muslims are rioting around the world after the Pope had the following to say about Islam: The pope quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor´s hostile view of Islam's founder. "The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the Pope said. "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'" Benedict added "I quote" twice to make it clear these were someone else's words. Nevertheless this reference was undoubtedly the most provocative moment of a provocative lecture. In a sense, explicitly including the Muslim prophet by name, and citing the concept of jihad, was a flashing neon signal to the world that the soft-spoken Pope intends to make himself heard clearly on this defining tension of our times. This caused eruptions around the world. Instead of responding to what were relatively benign (and truthful) comments with words and debate, the answer was to riot and pillage. This proves the words re: violence correct! Oh, the irony! By rioting as a response to a suggestion that Islam is a violent religion, Muslims prove that Islam is a violent religion! I would laugh if it wasn't so freaking predictable. As soon as I read what the pope said, I KNEW that there would be rioting around the world, because that is always the response to something like this. TYPICAL. Rationality and discussion, why that would be haraam. But it's perfectly acceptable to proclaim all nonMuslims infidels. The hypocrisy just knows no bounds. Truly mind boggling.

52 comments:

Jason H. Bowden said...

Reason doesn't have the central place in the Islamic tradition as is has in the European tradition. These goons are getting violent to show how much they love the prophet Mohammed (pigs be upon him).

Hippies here don't mind. All you need is love, right?

Trusting logic and not God is the arrogance of man, many think. As a result, a lot of Muslims won't consider that by acting insane over every perceived slight, they verify the claims of those that criticize them.

Red Tulips said...

Jason:

I think you are onto something.

shlemazl said...

I am with you, RT. Terrific way to prove that the Pope is wrong.

Mrs Shlemazl thinks that the photo was taken in a nightclub and that the guy in the middle has been accidentally kicked in his nether region.

GayConservativeLiberal said...

Yo, clearly this is the issue of the day -- I am no fan of Benedict but he hasn't said anything false. The current incarnation of Islam has revealed itself to be nothing more than a rogue mentality of death and destruction. It takes NOTHING to set these people off.

Jason said...

""Trusting logic and not God is the arrogance of man, many think.""

Anyone who thinks that is brain dead.

Muslims make a poopie again.

Red Tulips said...

Shlemazl:

Hahahaha, I didn't see that, but now that you mention it, that is exactly what the photo resembles! I happen to think that the guy with his mouth wide open looks like he is going to soon have, um, an unmentionable placed inside. Hehehehehe.

And yeah, I TOTALLY think Islam is a religion of peace now!

Red Tulips said...

Conservative liberal:

AGREED! If you look at these people the wrong way, or don't look at them, or walk slowly, or walk fast, it doesn't matter, it's all an insult!

And overall, yes, I have to agree that I dislike the pope. I despise his attitude towards gay people. But this is RIDICULOUS. (predictable, but ridiculous)

Jason said...

All of this is evidence of the inferiority of religion.

Red Tulips said...

Jason:

I hate to use the word "inferior." However, certainly all thsi is evidence of Islam's violent tendancies!

Monkey Chops said...

I have to agree - the Muslim response was completely idiotic. But to say that is what Islam is all about - well, that's just as idiotic. What also struck me as pure dumb was that Muslims attacked Eastern Orthodox churches who have nothing to do with Catholicism! If the Muslims had any sense, they would have remembered that the Prophet forbade any Muslim from harming a Christian or Jew living under their protection - to the degree that he (the Prophet) said he would be a witness against such a Muslim on the Last Day.

But since you want to use this incident to prove some 'point' of yours, I suppose I may as well just shout at the wind.

Red Tulips said...

Monkey Chops:

I am a big fan of the Muslim people. Specifically, you and other wonderful Muslim people I think the world of. I am not a big fan of Islam the faith. At least not right now. I endeavor to keep learning more, but I see a faith that has violent tendancies, and clerics who do not do their part to speak against such violent tendancies.

I want this to be clear: I am not saying all Muslims are bad, and I do not agree with jason that it is wise to say that Islam is a patently inferior faith. However, I do think the evidence is in: there are violent tendancies in the faith that are NOT being reigned in, and the slightest insult results in mass rioting, whereas the BIG insults result in nothing. (see: wars in Iraq, Sudan, and terrorism in the Muslim name)

Jason said...

"""" I do not agree with jason that it is wise to say that Islam is a patently inferior faith. """"

I didn't say Islam was inferior. I said ALL religion was was inferior. I meant it was inferior to secular thought.

Thomas Forsyth said...

As someone who was a Catholic, and in fact a pretty conservative one at one time, I felt the need to add my two cents.

Benedict XVI is not a diplomatic Pope, but diplomatic Popes are not that great either, ie Pius XII. Bendedict's views on homsoexuals are backwards. He is by no means Fred Phelps or the imams he offended, but still very reactionary and spiteful.

The one big difference between many imams and Ratzinger (and his predecessors) is the reaction to criticism. Bob Jones called the last Pope the anti-Christ. I do not recall a Crusade launched against his University or fundamnetalist churches in New Orleans, Boston, and Dublin getting torched, or even a corpus being forcibly attached to a bare cross in any fundie church over that remark.

The reaction to quoting a Byzantine Emperor, who was probably losing porttions of his Empire to Mohammed's followers, is a very dark sign of oversensitivity. I also don't recall Carlos Mencia being excommunicated for making pedophile priest jokes and even that extreme act would pale in comparison to torching churhces in the Middle East. There is a reason why a lot of Plaestinian Christians are in Canada/US/UK and it's not just due to money. Also, there is something in the Koran about respecting people of the Book.

Benedict may be a reactionary and a Sith Lord, but compared to his recent critics, he is a barefoot hippie singing cumbaya on Berkeley's quad.

BTW, my old traditionalism was more substantive as I like the Latin language and cassocks. I also was amused by the picture of Benedict making the Eucharistic prayer with a giant pretzel and a mug of Bavarian beer.

Monkey Chops said...

As Thomas said, "...there is something in the Koran about respecting people of the Book." Absolutely right. This is why I deplore the reaction from Muslims. If they call for the Pope to apologise, they too should apologise for the way they've reacted. He did not say anything remotely evil. He was not saying he believed in what he was quoting. He was asking for open dialogue between the two faiths and I find that suggestion commendable from such a conservative leader.

But I will reiterate this: Islam the faith is not violent by nature. To view recent Muslim behaviour in isolation and suggest it is behaviour natural to Islam the faith is just plain ignorant/retarded. Islam the faith forbids violence except in self-defence and even then it has to be proportionate. This is not a case of self-defence and is thus disproportionate. It's quite embarrassing, really. I agree, RT, there are bigger things to riot about and Muslims should be out in droves for those things instead.

Ibrahamav said...

Monkey,

I would love to believe that, but it appears with the world wide riots over some cartoons, and now the world wide protests (and murders) over the Pope's comments show islam to be hopelessly violent.

Red Tulips said...

ibrahamov and monkey chops:

I view it as almost irrelevant as whether the TRUE teachings of Islam are violent or not.

The point is that the incarnation of Islam as it stands today has a violent face to it, and the moderates are doing little to nothing to take back their faith. Therefore, ipso facto, Islam is justifiably viewed as violent until something is done to change this.

Egypeter said...

Hi Tulip:

You said:

"I view it as almost irrelevant as whether the TRUE teachings of Islam are violent or not."

Check out this post. I think he makes a great arguement on your point. Let me know what you think :)

http://amillennialist.blogspot.com/2006/09/what-went-wrong-in-islam-allah-and-his.html#comments

Hope everyone's having a great sunday.

Red Tulips said...

Egypeter:

Well, I agree that as far as I see it, Islam is inherently violent. (see: agreement with the pope) But I also see it as irrelevant as to whether Islam can be made into a moderate religion or if Islam is a religion of peace in it's "true form." The point is that the face of Islam today is violent and nothing is being done to counter this. That is all that matters. The Koran can be interpreted in many different ways, but the point is that it is being interpreted in a violent way. Whether it CAN be peaceful is almost irrelevant unless actions are taken to PROVE that it can be peaceful.

Kevin said...

I think the problem with Islam at this point in time is that the likes of Bin Laden have sway over immpressionable muslim youth. And a lot of that has to do with repressive regimes in the middle east and the sense that the west is zionist in nature. Even the Zionist stuff is a load of old collywobbles which is used to prop up and ferment support for regimes like the ones in Iran. Islam it seems is gripped by the suicide bomb cult. That is inherently inhumane and has no justification whatsoever. Because innocent muslims have and will continue to be caught up in those attacks. The issue of the Palestinians and Israeli's needs to be resolved through peaceful means. Though it's unlikely to happen given the state of affairs at the moment.
Though those nutcase Christians in America who follow the book of revelations and the rapture are just as dangerous as radical muslims. In essence Religion has the ablity to push people into insane acts of violence when the conditions reach the right level.

Monkey Chops said...

Well said, Kevin. I agree.

RT: "I view it as almost irrelevant as whether the TRUE teachings of Islam are violent or not."

Like I said, I'm better off shouting at the wind. Violence and extremism will always exist in any ideology, whether or not it's correct. I thought that by referring to the classical Islamic teaching forbidding violence (which the Pope overlooked for whatever reason - and I find that alarming, since Catholics love Aquinas, the proponent of Just War theory), it would assuage your biased view of Islam. If you really want to engage in polemics without taking anything on board, I see very little difference between you and the people you criticise.

Egypeter: that link shows how, when completely ignorant of the circumstances in which those Qur'anic verses were revealed, people from either side can justify their anally retarded view of Islam. I'm not going to construct an apologia here because it's clearly a wasted effort. Suffice it to say, if Islam was spread by the sword, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism would have ceased to exist centuries ago.

Also, to the charges against the Prophet of paedophilia, read this: http://www.muslim.org/islam/aisha-age.htm

Though something tells me you've already made up your mind about the sand-niggers.

Monkey Chops said...

As a further point, if Islam is a violent religion, then I must be a bad Muslim for not killing the infidels. You've just proven to me, by authoritatively quoting from the Qur'an and Hadith, that I have to take up arms and kill everyone. I better go sharpen my sword....

Red Tulips said...

Monkey Chops:

You are the one calling Muslims sand-niggers, not me.

I said that whether or not Islam is violent to the core, and I think it is but my opinions are irrelevant, does not matter.

If in fact Islam is peaceful, then it has to prove that it is a peaceful religion. In other words, Muslims must unequivocably condemn violence and terrorism, and stand against the rioters and pillagers who acted in response to the Pope's words.

For every quote you will bring showing that Islam is peaceful, there are quotes (and ACTIONS of Mohammed) showing that Islam is a warring religion at its heart.

I will not deny that all religions have violence in their histories. But ultimately, what's relevant is what the interpretation of that religion is NOW, TODAY.

The POINT is that the current and prevailing interpretation of Islam is a violent intepretation, and moderates such as yourself are NOT in charge and are NOT letting your voices be known.

Anything you say pointing to an inherent peacefulness of Islam is hence completely irrelevant, unless the violent extremists decide that THEY believe what YOU believe.

I want to add that it is a proven fact that Islam was spread by the sword. Please read your history books and get back to me on this. Muslims speak of the Crusades, but in fact there was a Muslim Crusade on a very wide scale for hundreds of years, resulting in the pillaging and genocide of Christian towns, such as Constantinople, now Istanbul. Whether or not such actions were actions taken by extremists or were actions taken by "true Muslims" is up for debate, but ultimately irrelevant.

I view a religion as represented by the actions of believers, and not the words of the founders. While it is a proven fact that Mohammed was a warrior and did in fact lead an army of Muslims to kill Jews, that is actually not relevant. What is relevant is how people decide to interpret Mohammed's life and his teachings.

You decided to interpret his life and teachings in a peaceful way, and others decide to interpret his life and teachings in a violent way. Until your way is the majority way, and until moderate Muslims stand up against the barbarism of extremists, any peaceful interpretation of Islam is irrelevant. But because I know that there are people such as yourself (and others like you) out there, I am loathe to castigate all Muslims as bad or evil. I am NOT someone who likes to generalize.

Lest we forget, there were "moderate Germans" who were anti-Hitler. This did not prevent a genocide from happening.

Monkey Chops, if you want a peaceful version of Islam to be the prevailing view, then you should work towards convincing your fellow Muslims of the rightness of peace and egalitarianism. You certainly are in a great position to do so, as an educated and informed Muslim.

Red Tulips said...

P.S.:

Monkey Chops: This is an opinion, incidentally by a Muslim, that I wholeheartedly agree with:

http://cedarsawakening.blogspot.com/2006/09/basileus-resurrected.html

Red Tulips said...

One more thing.

Monkey Chops:

The Koran, like the bible and like most religious documents, contradicts itself. In other words, it says violence is okay in one part, and it says it's not okay in another part.

I can see how you can decide to accept only the part about violence not being okay, but you should also acknowledge that there is a section that says violence is perfectly fine as a means to an ends. Hadiths also confirm this.

The conflicts and illogic of religion is part of why I am an atheist.

Red Tulips said...

Monkey Chops:

One more thing.

The reason I view Islam as seeped in violence is NOT due to "recent actions."

The history of Islam contains with it a history of violence and genocide. So does the history of Christianity, and the BIBICAL form of Judaism (but no form of Judaism for thousands of years, since Jews have historically had no power to do anything). But the difference between Islam and Christianity and Judaism is that while the barbarism of Christianity and Judaism is part of the history books, the barbarism of Islam is very much seen in the present. I should add that Hindus of course have the caste system to answer for - and they are answering for it in their misguided Affirmative Action programs in India.

The point is that Christians have apologized for their genocides and not actively genociding in the present, and the Hindus in India are doing what they can to combat the caste system. The genocides and injustice of the Christians and Hindus are confined to the PAST.

In contrast, there are fundie Muslims genociding in Darfur, and terrorists who use Islam as their justification for their horrendous activities seen across the world. Imams and clerics in Western countries will condemn terrorism with one face and support it with the next. Imams and clerics in Muslim countries flat out, unequivocably, support terror.

In short, while the other major religions of the world have made enormous strides to move past their blood dripping origins, Islam has not.

And make no mistake about it. Islam has blood dripping origins. This is not some recent phenomenom. Read about the history of the Ottoman Empire. The pope chose his choice of quotes very carefully - it was written soon before the fall of Constantinople via genocide to the Ottomans. It was only after Constantinople was completely destroyed and people slaughtered in the most brutal of ways that the famed "dhimmi" laws were installed.

In fact, Islam has been spread by the sword historically. The history of the Ottoman Empire is a history that belies this. There is a whole history of Muslim conquests that gets wholly ignored in formal education.

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

And of course, in the 20th century, there was a genocide of the Armenians. This gets completely ignored - but about 1.5 millions Armenians were killed - by yes, Muslims. And, lest we forget, the Bosnian Muslims took part in a genocide of Jews during the Holocaust, led by Arafat's uncle, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

That is not to say that Christianity does not have a violent history. My own relatives fled from Europe in terror because of CHRISTIAN persecution. My grandmother was in the Holocaust, and it was the Nazis, who believed in an Aryan CHRISTIAN purity who perpetuated it. I have ancestors that trace back to the Spanish Inquisition - a bloody affair that was conducted by Christians.

Yet you do not see Christians today who call for death to nonbelievers. In contrast, you do see Muslims today who call for death to nonbelivers, and who kill nonbelievers.

Is Islam inherently violent? Debateable. Is the history of Islam violent? Unequivocably yes. The important thing to note, however, is how religions are able to move past their histories. Christians have done this. Jews have done this. Hindus have done this. Hence, I have faith that Muslims can do this.

There is absolutely nothing 'inferior' about Muslims, or any reason why Muslims in particular cannot reform their faith and join the world of freedom loving people. Muslims, like Jews, Christians, and Hindus, are human beings. And human beings are prone to anger, love, hatred, and redemption. There is a complex set of factors that is keeping the Muslim faith set in the Dark Ages in vast swaths of the world, but that does not mean that Islam has to stay this way. While I do believe that Islam is inherently violent, I also believe that all religions have inherently violent tendencies, and it is up to their followers to disavow the violence and proclaim a desire for peace. This is currently not the reality for Muslims, whose leaders are not unequivocably disavowing violence, and often are the instigators of violence.

I acknowledge that there are currently individuals such as Monkey Chops (and others like him) who are Muslim and advocate peace. But Monkey Chops, you are in the minority. It is a sad fact.

I hope that in a generation's time this will change, but sadly, things seem to be getting worse and not better.

Han said...

i just read the origional post. i found this quotation from you particularly interesting:

'The hypocrisy just knows no bounds. Truly mind boggling'.

generalizations over religion? i think you could apply your own quote to that.

try a bit of respect, research what boggles you, and talk to some real Muslims, before you genralize any other religions....

whatever you believe, people like you are only going to create more hate. now that's hypocrasy.

p.s. can we cut out the racist comments please (about the Prophet)and get some maturity. Truely pathetic. the world won't change for the better if people like you don't change your way of thinking.

Red Tulips said...

How did what I say about Mohammed count as racist? How is anything about what I said count as racist? I guess it is racist to point out facts.

The very same rioters regularly call for the death to Jews. They then get offended by a statement said by the Pope. THAT is hypocrisy personified.

It is debateable whether or not Mohammed had anything to offer the world other than violence - it is certainly not some clear cut fact that he was a man of peace.

The man was a warrior and led armies into battle. Islam, in fact, was spread by the sword.

That does not mean that it has to remain a violent faith. Read what I just wrote. I am not GENERALIZING anything. I am pointing out clear facts.

There is nothing that points to Islam being a religion of peace. What sort of facts would prove Islam's peacefulness? The supposed Islamic Golden Age? This was after Islam was bloodily spread by the sword, and also featured dhimmi laws that treated 'people of the book' in a lowly second class status. While Jews did not fare much better in Europe at the time, the POINT is that in terms of absolute levels, there was nothing of what I would consider true peace and justice during the "Golden Age of Islam."

And what about the Ottomans? A people that committed numerous genocides - totally unaccounted for.

There are some vestiges of hope. Lebanon, discounting Hizballah, is a modern nation that is pro-west and pro-thought. The UAE is pro-west and pro-thought. Malaysia and Indonesia are a mixed bag. Bangladesh is rising from poverty.

There is hope. Sparse hope, but glimmers of hope, nonetheless. Faint glimmers, but glimmers.

Reform is possible. 100 years ago, Christians were pillaging and raping Jewish villages throughout Europe. A little over 100 years ago, Alfred Dreyfuss stood on trial in France in one of the most egregious examples of modern antisemitism in the world. A little over 60 years ago, the world gasped in shock with the knowledge of the true extent of the Holocaust.

And yet, look at Europe today. It is not perfect, but it is worlds away from what it was. All in just a generation's time. So change is possible. This is proof that change is possible.

People forget that the barbaric antisemitism of Europe was not so long ago, because Europe has so radically changed in such a short period of time.

The world is undergoing a transition period right now. Hopefully a more peaceful version of Islam will be seen in the future.

Monkey Chops said...

What exactly does that wikipedia link prove? That Muslims conquered other lands? How does that prove Islam spread by the sword?

With regard to the definition of "spreading Islam by the sword" - the only disagreeable aspect of that is the implication of forceful conversion. I'm not going to deny that lands were conquered because that much is clearly obvious. That's the result of empire-building and has been for numerous nations. Islam, by definition, is a polity. But if you're actually suggesting that more often than not, people were forced to convert with a sword at their throat, you really are misguided.

To quote DeLacy O'Leary in "Islam at a Crossroads": “History makes it clear, however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”

If Muslims wanted to convert the 14 million Coptic Christians at the sword, we would have done it. Why didn't we? India was ruled for hundreds of years by the Muslims and yet Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs and Parsis are still in existence. Granted, you can name a few people for doing wrong things in the time of the Islamic Empire, but you cannot blame the religion for that. I can't say Christianity is bad because Hitler killed six million Jews. I can't say Jews are evil because Ariel Sharon obliterated Palestinian villages, nor would I ever.

To this day, people are converting to Islam. They're bearing witness to the fact that Islam isn't spreading by the sword. Not one Muslim army invaded Indonesia and yet it is the most populous Muslim nation in the world. Which Muslim army invaded the east coast of Africa? Who forced the Mongols to convert to Islam after they conquered Baghdad?

You're a fan of quoting Wikipedia, so let's see what it says about those villainous Ottomans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Empire#State_and_Religion)

"Largely for practical reasons, the Ottoman Empire was, in a broad sense, tolerant towards its non-Muslim subjects; it did not, for instance, forcibly convert all of them to Islam. The sultans took their primary duty to be service to the interests of the state, which could not survive without taxes and a strong administrative system. The state's relationship with the Greek Orthodox Church, for example, was largely peaceful, and the church's structure was kept intact and largely left alone but under close control and scrutiny until the Greek War of Independence of 1821–1831 and, later in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the rise of the Ottoman constitutional monarchy, which was driven to some extent by nationalistic currents. Other churches, like the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, were dissolved and placed under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Church. On the other hand, the empire often served as a refuge for the persecuted and exiled Jews of Europe, as for example following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, when Sultan Beyazid II welcomed them into Ottoman lands."

Man, those guys were really evil, weren't they?

Furthermore, to quote Thomas Carlyle: "“The sword indeed, but where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its starting is precisely in a minority of one. In one man’s head alone. There it dwells as yet. One man alone of the whole world believes it, there is one man against all men. That he takes a sword and tries to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must get your sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can.”

In other words, how on Earth could the Prophet have spread Islam by the sword when in the beginning, he had no sword to wield?

I get the impression that because you (and the Pope) read that the Prophet partook in battles, he was automatically violent. Have you even considered WHY he went to war? Quite clearly not. You seem to work on the crass assumption that he was the aggressor in each war he fought - nothing could be further from the truth. Look it up in Wikipedia. Each and every war he fought was in self defence. Like I said before, Islam was a polity, but in order for that to be realised, it had to defend itself from a hostile, barabaric group who sought to preserve the status quo. That was the situation in Arabia at the time. Do you honestly think a group of society which buried their infant daughters alive would allow the Prophet to practice Islam peacefully? I'm starting to see that you have a pseudo-understanding of Islam's origins, just like the Pope, in fact (but it's not really in his job description to know, is it? Heh).

The Qur'an (your insistence on using the outmoded colonialist spelling speaks volumes for your prejudices) states explicitly "There is no compulsion in religion. True guidance has become distinct from error..." in other words - let the teachings speak for themselves. So which sword was used? "The sword of the intellect" to quote Dr Zakir Naik.

If you want to talk about the "NOW", as you put it, then between 1934 and 1984, according to the Reader's Digest Almanac 1986, there was a 235% increase in conversions to Islam. Tell me, which war - which sword - caused that to happen?

If you want to talk about the NOW, why is Islam the fastest growing religion in the US and Europe today? Which sword are we using? Are the acts of terrorism from a misguided few really scaring our countrymen and women into becoming Muslims? Again I ask, which sword?

Your comments are not directly racist, but there seems to be an implication that because Islam is Arabic in origin, you have an inkling against it. Since the Arabs of the world today hate Jews for whatever reason, that must have always been the case. That in itself is a racist point of view (and RT, I've shown this link to non-Muslim friends who believe your comments to be the case).

With regard to this mythical majority of Muslims who love violence - you're saying there is an unqualified half a billion-plus Muslims who love war. Explain why that same majority happen to be law abiding citizens of whichever country they inhabit. Explain why this supposed majority has not risen up and obliterated every single non-Muslim neighbour in their beds. It can certainly be done.
I'm having trouble finding this supposed majority of people - are they at the end of the rainbow?

You say you don't make generalisations, but to suppose the majority of Muslims condone terrorism and murder is nothing but a generalisation. As for referring to "Muslim" leaders (the political leaders), they are not representatives of Islam. They are representatives for nationalistic agendas, far removed from Islam. I don't assume George W Bush to be a spokesman for Christianity when he invaded Iraq, even though he is Christian. With regard to religious leaders advocating violence - they're pandering to leaders who have a political, not spiritual, agenda.

With regard to the Pope's comments - I, too, am sorry for the reaction of Muslims. I've never said otherwise. I certainly take issue with what he had said, but the following article is mostly agreeable by me. The only thing I'd add to it is condemnation of Muslim reaction; but I've already said that a post or two ago.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1875582,00.html

Monkey Chops said...

Another point - to refer to dhimmis as "second class" is all well and good with the benefit of hindsight. But if you can show me a society of that time or a time before that which offered something better, I'd be more impressed.

The fact is, barring the actions of Cyrus the Great, no other polity except Islam insisted on tolerance and respect of other beliefs. Granted, Jews and Christians were still somewhat considered the outsider - such is the way of human nature - but no other political system existed which allowed them to practice their religions and designate their own judges and courts. Please feel free to prove me wrong on this. I'm not saying it was all unicorns and rainbows and Jessica Simpson, obviously.

Monkey Chops said...

And one last point: I hope a more peaceful version of Islam will thrive soon. But until we take our heads out of the sand, solve the Palestinian question and end the perceived attempt at reigniting the Crusades, people will remain angry and bitter. Optimism requires some degree of practicality to be effective.

Red Tulips said...

Monkey Chops:

Condoning terrorism is not the same as committing terrorism. Poll after poll shows that the majority of Muslims in the world condone terror. I never said that the majority of Muslims are terrorists - that would be untrue. But poll after poll has shown that the majority of Muslims are not "moderate" as I view the definition, in that they condone terror. Are they law abiding? Sure. Are they "moderate"? No. Do they hate Jews? Also yes. See: numerous public opinion polls.

Your version of history is totally different than mine - and I will have to get citations to back up my assertions. I will - later. Right now, I have to go to sleep and it takes extensive time to do the research necessary.

I want to add that the mere fact that Islam is Arabic in origin has nothing to do with my opinions on Islam, and I fail to see how I have implied this. I have nothing against...the Druze, Sufi Muslims, Bahai, Maronite Christians and Coptic Christians, and Hindus (admittedly Hindus are from South Asia, and not the Arabian peninsula) I also have nothing against Muslims who have nothing against me. Poll after poll after poll shows that the number of nonantisemitic Muslims is certainly a minority.

But you get my point. It is nothing against the concept of a religion of Arabian origin. Actually, Judaism is of Arabian origin! So of course this has nothing against a "race" of people!

I also want to reiterate that I have nothing against Muslims as a people except those that take issue with me and believe in violence and terrorism (and ill treatment of women and gays). Rather, I take issue with the notion that Islam is a religion of peace.

I will provide citations for this tomorrow.

As far as the notion you put forth that Islam was the best thing offered at the time for Jews - not that relevant.

I do not dispute the fact (and admitted as much) that life as a dhimmi under the caliphate was better than Medievil Europe. But the POINT is that this is not some notion of "peace." This is not some notion of something to be aspire to. And yet this is EXACTLY what occurs TODAY in Iran, and, to in many degrees, in much of the Middle East. It is something that the jihadists argue is a good thing in the 21st century. This is something to fight against.

Finally: I too hope that a peaceful version of Islam - such as the version you believe in - will be the mainstream version across the world. The world would be much better off for it. Hell, you are more peace loving and moderate than many Christians and Jews! I not only say that, but say that with pride that we are friends. I know that you believe in a peaceful version of Islam. I also know that your version is not the version that is exploding - literally - throughout the world.

Red Tulips said...

P.S.:

Chops, thanks for your insights! I appreciate your very thought provoking posts. This is what blogging is all about.

Red Tulips said...

Monkey Chops:

Citations one: India:

http://www.boloji.com/history/002.htm

Note the barbarism of the invasion, and the unnecessariness of it. It is not as if India was a threat to Muslims and was the aggressor.

This also proves that the reason why there was mass conversions was in fact because it was more in the interests of Muslims to charge a crippling jiyza taxes under Akbar. Later on, there was outright intolerance under Aurangzeb - which weakened the Mughal Empire. It should be noted that Muslim rulers had looted and destroyed Hindu temples in India throughout the years, and literature set ablaze. The reason why there was not a mass conversion of Hindus is that Hindus are very connected to their religion - just as, for example, Jews, despite attempts to wipe them out, have remained vigilent to their faith.

Please read the very well researched article about India. I will find more articles about the history of Islam and post them here.

I will also note that while I call the invaders of India barbaric, I am not saying all Muslims are barbaric or there is any inherent barbarism in Muslims.

Monkey Chops said...

I was expecting a non-biased analysis, but the author is a Hindu who criticises her sources for either being Muslim or Hindus supposedly pandering to their kings. It reeks of Hindutva, as far as I can tell. I mean, a person who writes this:

http://www.boloji.com/analysis/082.htm

isnt someone whose views I find remotely authoritative.

You like using Wikipedia for your arguments, so let's stick to that:

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

and:

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

In other words, historians contest to this very day over how exactly Islam came to dominate the Indian subcontinent. I already conceded there were a few black sheep from the Islamic community (like Aurangzeb or even Hajjaj bin Yusuf in this case) who did act contrary to established teaching, but this falls on deaf ears yet again. Your author even concedes that it was Aurangzeb's rule which ended the concept of moderate Muslim rule. I'm not too surprised by your article, to be honest. I have read of other biased Hindu authors who have even gone as far as praise those British people who oppressed their ancestors!

Now with regard to the supposed barbarism of Muhammad bin Qasim: I assume you're referring to the assault against Raja Dahar. Tell me why exactly they led the assault against him? You do know that Dahar persecuted Buddhists in the region? He was far from decent. I don't see how his end was a bad thing at all. Why has your well-researched writer failed to mention that?

Here's an article on a man I greatly admire, Amartya Sen:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1843345,00.html

I agree with a lot of what he's saying, mainly because he says it better than I ever can!

Red Tulips said...

Chops:

A case can be made that in fact the British in India helped the Hindus in the long run. There is plenty of evidence pointing to the British favoring the Hindus over the Muslims, hence preventing the Islamization of India. I might add that Pakistan once had a sizeable number of Hindus who lived within what is Pakistan's borders, and now does not. Why? The Hindus were pushed out - either forcefully or through threats or laws making it difficult to remain. India now has 20% of Muslims within its borders. They did not force out the Muslims. I am aware that there was a civil war, and both sides caused deaths. And yet, now there are issues with radical Muslims in India train bombing in Mumbai, and wrecking havoc nearly daily in Kashmir.

While the British may not have been great to India - in that they were colonial rulers and all - the author is not alone in praising Britain for the reasons I mentioned above.

Here is another citation about India - a citation that mostly agrees with my version of things.

http://members.tripod.com/%7EINDIA_RESOURCE/islam.html

This link also has many other articles written about Indian-Muslim history and is extraordinarily well researched.

I have used wikipedia in the past, but I do not like relying on wiki for this type of analysis of facts, because it can be edited by anyone and is not the greatest source for information. I view it as a starting point, as a place to get more citations.

Now I read the Guardian link...I am not sure what you are trying to say about it. There is a clash of civilization versus barbarism between those who are civilized and the head choppers. You are on the side of the civilized. It is not a clash of "east versus west." It is a clash between "civilized and uncivilized."

As far as what you contend is not authoritative re: the author's article on Iraq...please show me how this makes her not authoritative.

Finally, after doing more reading on the subject, I came to the unremarkable conclusion that some Muslim rulers of India, such as Akbar, were fair and just (one does question why - I question if he was fair and just simply to get more conversions), and some, such as Aurangzeb, were flat out horrible rulers.

Not a remarkable conclusion.

But the POINT is that brutal invasions were undertaken of India in the FIRST PLACE, by Muslim leaders. That is wholly uncontradicted by your articles or my articles.

http://www.wsu.edu:8080/%7Edee/MUGHAL/MUGHAL.HTM

Another article about this - well researched and which backs up my statements.

Onto other subjects, such as Constantinople and the Jewish traders that Mohammed slaughtered.

I will show that in fact early Islamic leaders in fact DID spread Islam by the sword. Through this I will show that Muslim violence is nothing new, and in fact Islam is NOT a religion of peace.

But lastly, I want to ask you, Monkey Chops, the following...

Please point me to a religion which actually IS a "religion of peace." Religion is inherently UNpeaceful, and inherently involves lack of thinking, and a belief in the supernatural. I am sorry, but I condemn all religion here. All religions have elements that say war and death is okay. The adherents of all religions, when they have had the power of a state to back them up, have committed atrocities.

The difference is that the Christian Church-backed atrocities ended hundreds of years ago. (though, Christians, in their zeal to spread Christianity, have of course done stuff afterwards - but not backed explicitly by the Church since the Inquisition) In contrast, mullahs, imams, clerics, and other Islamic leaders are stirring the shit pot of violence TODAY.

Monkey Chops, I do not argue with you that...a) Islam can be peaceful if interpreted a certain way, such as how you interpret it. b) Islam can bring peace and joy into a person's life if they interpret the religion peacefully.

I do dispute the relevance of this.

Until your version of Islam is the dominant version of Islam, then it is mere intellectual speculation concerning whether Islam can be peaceful or not.

I am glad that Iranian Americans spoke out recently against Ahmedinadinnerjacket.

http://cultureforall.blogspot.com/2006/09/protestors-were-at-un-protesting-iran.html

Protests like those - and more like it - will go a long way towards establishing to the world that Islam is not a violent faith.

To conclude: I disbelieve the notion that Islam is inherently peaceful, but I also disbelieve the notion that Islam has to be warring or violent.

We are all human beings. In the end, we are all just walking monkeys with larger brains. We have the capacity for incredible kindness, love, and reason, and also incredible hatred and violence. What separates us from the other animals is our decision to choose kindness and choose love and choose reason. This is not necessarily the easy choice, the obvious choice, or the 'inherent' choice. But it is the path that we all must take if we hope to remain citizens of Planet Earth.

Han said...

to red tulips..

if i may just say, i was referring to the racist comments 'may pigs be upon him' by jason h. bowden before you jump down my throat with an entire essay. maybe next time, read the commets to your origional post more carefully. if that's not racist, i really can't imagine what is. a view is a view, whether i agree or not, but to directly use something which is forbidden in Islam, against their Prophet is as low as it gets.

thanks.

Monkey Chops said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monkey Chops said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monkey Chops said...

I have been very patient up to this point, but I'm starting to get the feeling this whole conversation is going to become very circular as we spew various sources to back up our arguments. Unfortunately, the Internet has an abundant amount of links for that very purpose. So I shall attempt to rein it in.

I am arguing that if one wants to counteract the venomous interpretations of Islam purported by extremists on one side and Islamophobes such as yourself on the other, one has to explain the true application of Islamic thought. It's not a "peaceful" version of Islam. It is the classical and traditional version. It is the standard by which the people of Medina al-Munawara lived even when they faced hostilities from all sides. It is the standard the majority of Muslims live by today. It is the dominant version of Islam.

You presuppose that's not true, but like I have already said - most Muslims are law-abiding. Any poll that suggests that most Muslims condone terrorism is hate-mongering bullshit. To say "terrorism is wrong, but we ought to look at why there are terrorists, or perhaps consider what the terrorists are angry about" does not condone terrorism. It is a sensible suggestion - the late Mo Mowlam, as I recall, even went as far as to suggest that Blair should invite Osama Bin Laden to the negotiating table, like he did with Sinn Fein! Does that mean she condoned terrorism? Absolutely not. Another question, in the current political climate, in a time when there are constant reports about institutions like Guantanemo Bay or the events in Iraq, can one say such polls reflect a Muslim's true point of view? Hence, such polls are utterly irrelevant, as far as I'm concerned. They do not wash and they do not hold sway for right-minded individuals, of which there are many.

To also say most Muslims hate Jews is also utter, utter bullshit. Most Muslims live peacefully with their Jewish neighbours. I concede that they might take issue with Israel, but that does not mean they hate Jews. I take issue with Israel, but I do not hate Jews. I am starting to wonder how accurate these polls are!

In addition, the standard by which each Muslim lives is by emulating the way of the Prophet. To then say "he was a violent man, etc." is firstly grossly inaccurate if one is absolutely familiar with early Islamic history (which you and the Pope it seems are clearly not - but I won't begrudge the Pope something that wouldn't be in his job description). Not only that, but to repeat such a baseless charge is counterproductive and plain Islamophobic. It is those sentiments which help the extremists recruit new members on both sides. Having said that, it's not a new idea. I already quoted Thomas Carlyle, so it's quite clear this prejudiced view has existed for more than 100 years and has been argued against for that period.

I admit to being guilty of indulging in your arguments about Islam having a bloody history, when that was not my intention. But again, I state that such is the way of ANY polity, ideology or religion with perhaps the exception of pacifism. Europe has a bloody history; America has one; Israel has one; Kenya has one; India has one; Pakistan has one and on and on it goes. I can't think of one state or entity that does not have blood on their hands in their history. Not one. What does that prove? That human being are inherently violent? Possibly. Does that make an idea violent and to blame? Not necessarily. One simply cannot view any history in such a restrictive way.

However, the original point was against the Pope's choice of words regarding the Prophet. I conceded the Muslim reaction was so over the top, it was embarrassing.

RT, by proselytizing absurd Islamophobic notions so irresponsibly, you're essentially undermining any attempts Muslims such as myself, or good Muslims here:

http://shabina921.blogspot.com/

here:

http://desimonkeyhasspoken.blogspot.com/

or even here:

http://safrang.blogspot.com/

make at trying to talk about the best application of Islamic thought in the modern world. By constantly citing what are basically non-mainstream sources, in attempt to engage in circular polemics, you're getting anyone who seeks to understand Islam into a hopeless quagmire.

My main point - read it again - is that if the Prophet was here today, he'd strongly condemn the Muslims for attacking the Christians and Jews living under their protection. He'd strongly condemn suicide bombing. He'd strongly condemn the way Muslims bandy the word 'kafir' about. He'd strongly condemn any violence where the Muslim is the aggressor. He'd condemn any law-breaking a Muslim partakes in.

But don't take my word for it. I'll close with a couple of quotes from non-Muslims regarding the Prophet. Let's start with Gandhi, one of my heroes:

"I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life."

George Bernard Shaw:

"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."

“I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."

"I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”

Red Tulips said...

Monkey Chops:

You take it as a given that I accept or have reason to accept that Mohammed was such a great man.

Please provide me with proof of this, because I have read a history of his genociding a jewish caravan group.

Why am I meant to assume Mohammed is a good man? Where is the proof of this? Please, provide me some proof of this.

You mentioned "Jews and Christians living under protection."

That is key. So are you saying that Mohammed would be okay with actions taken against non-dhimmis?

I fail to see how I am "Islamophobic." That implies that I believe in something irrational. Au contrare, I am looking at the facts and I see the following...

a) Excuses for terrorism or outright condoning of terrorism across masses of Muslim populations in the world. This is highly documented and I can show you documentation if need be. I am not saying that all Muslims support terror, but I am saying that the vast majority of Muslims are fine with terror as a means to an ends.

b) Very large amounts of antisemitism in Muslim populations. While I believe that anti-zionism is basically equivalent to antisemitism, even assuming, arguendo, that it is not, I am not referring to Israel when I say this. What I am referring to is the hate document Protocols of Zion being a bestseller across the Middle East. I am referring to incredible Holocaust denial and conspiracy theories of Jews running the world that run rampant.

c) I see terrorists that call themselves Muslim and in fact quote the Quran. Now you say their interpretation is incorrect. Maybe. But it is ultimately irrelevant. As I have said repeatedly, the point is that there are terrorists right now who are acting under what they see as Quranic law. That is what they are doing. They call themselves Muslim. Why should I deny reality and say they are instead Amish?

You said that Islam is inherently peaceful. Where is the proof of it? Please, provide me some proof of it. I read a Quran that advocates violence. I see a history where Mohammed committed horrible acts of violence. I see a religion seeped in violence.

This does not mean every Muslim is violent or adheres to every aspect of the faith. But I am honestly asking a genuine question here...

Where is the proof that, specifically, the genocides that Mohammed performed were for any higher purpose? Where is the proof that Mohammed actually advocated treating his enemies with respect? Where is there proof that he did not advocate killing?

I am asking for specific citations to Quranic and Hadith law, if you have any.

And finally, I want to acknowledge the violence seen in the histories of all religions. But you are saying that violence is anathema to the Islamic faith. I do not see how violence is anathema to ANY faith because ALL faiths allow for violence in certain circumstances. It is easily debateable that Islam's history, however blood stained it is, is not nearly as bloody as the history of Christianity.

The only difference between Islam and every other faith is that the barbarism of the faiths is mostly contained in the history books. The violence of Islam is displayed TODAY.

And I fail to see how I am "Islamophobic" for pointing out that rioting and pillaging in response to being told that Islam is violent only shows that...Islam is violent!

Monkey Chops said...

Before I do answer your questions, pray tell what "genocide" you speak of? What "Jewish caravans" are you talking about?

Also - you are Islamophobic beyond the shadow of a doubt. Here are several definitions; you fit each of them like a glove:

http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/islamophobia-a-definition/

Red Tulips said...

Monkey Chops:

I do not generalize anything. I am merely pointing out FACTS.

I am not saying all Muslims are bad. But the majority are antisemitic. I am not saying that makes them evil. But it does mean I have no reason to like them and no reason to put up with hatred.

You are absolutely in a state of denial if you think that the majority of Muslims in the world are NOT antisemitic.

'Islamophobic' refers to irrationality. It is irrational to say that all Muslims are terrorists - which I am not saying. It is also irrational to state that most Muslims are not antisemitic - the facts clearly point to the opposite!

As far as the genocide I speak of - an example would be the attack on the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. I see that as clearly an unjustified form of warfare. This also was a genocide. I would like to see what justifications there are for what was an extreme brutality perpetuated by Mohammed.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=5195

http://www.answering-christianity.com/umar/banu_quraiza_stuff.htm

I realize the explanation was that the Jews broke some treaty. I fail to see how that justified a genocide - which is what happened.

So I ask you, Monkey Chops, please provide me with some Quranic and Hadith explanation for what was an extreme atrocity perpetuated by Mohammed himself. I would like to see how this comports with Islam being a religion of peace and I am NOT being facetitious.

Finally, I ask you this...

Why not accept the following...?

a) Mohammed was a violent military leader.
b) He also could be beneficent when he wanted to be.
c) Islam has an extremely violent foundation.
d) So do most religions.
e) A violent foundation of a religion does not mean that modern adherants have to ascribe to all the precepts of that faith or give in to the violence.
f) Hence, ultimately, it does not matter what religion you ascribe to, as long as you lead a good life.

Therefore, what I am saying is the following...

If adhering to Islam brings you personal peace, fantastic. I am sincerely happy for you. If adhering to Islam is what you need to get through the day, terrific.

Did Jews have a violent foundation to their faith? Absolutely yes. There was no justification for the killing of the Canaanites. And yet I do not argue otherwise! I am not saying that Jews had a peaceful foundation because my eyes are open as to the facts of history!

This is largely why I am atheist. However, the point is that Jews are peaceful NOW and Muslims are NOT.

Islam is not a religon of peace until apostates can proudly walk the streets of Egypt, Pakistan, or even the Muslim sections of the Netherlands (which are basically self policed nowadays). Islam is not a religion of peace while its leaders actively call for genocides. Islam is not a religion of peace while the biggest Muslim civil rights organizations IN THE WEST are headed by terrorists or active terror supporters. (see: CAIR, Muslim Council of Britain)

But Islam can be a religion of peace in the future. There are people like you who use the precepts of the Islamic faith as a way to live a peaceful life and get inner peace. I have some hope that in a few generation's time, things will be better.

But then again, things have been steadily declining and actually getting worse...

Red Tulips said...

Let me add this...

I am saying the following nuanced argument, for clarity...

Islam as a religion is inherently unpeaceful, as it has a violent foundation and I view Mohammed as having perpetuated a genocide. However, the same can be said for most religions today. (though Jesus was generally peaceful, Christianity is still based on Judaism, which did say the massacre of Canaanites was okay, and furthermore, early Christians committed some heinous and unjustified actions)

So I am saying that the foundations of most religions are violent.

In order for Islam to be considered a 'religion of peace,' then its adherents have to disavow the violence of its history and say "I only believe in this version of events in the Quran and hadiths and explicitly disavow THAT."

Please show me where that is happening. I see Saudi textbooks which claim the Protocols of Zion are a fact. I see that same book as a bestseller throughout the Middle East. I see imams and religious leaders preaching VIOLENT jihad. I see daily bombings and violence across the world in the name of Allah.

Does this mean that the majority of Muslims are terrorists or commit those actions? No. But this so-called "Moderate Muslim" that you speak of is largely silent through all this. Public opinion polls - well respected - such as recent Pew Research poll - show that the VAST majority of Muslims in the world do not even believe that Muslims were behind 9/11! A majority, according to this widely respected public opinion poll, are antisemitic. A very sizeable number also support suicide bombing as defending Islam.

http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=253

Am I supposed to conclude from this that Islam is a religion of peace? Given the violent foundation of Islam, it is up to modern adherents to prove they are peaceful. They are not doing so at the moment.

Where are the massive rallies against terror? There are rallies, but they have been sparsely attended compared with anti-Israel or anti-American or anti-British rallies. That is an absolute fact. Where are prominent Muslims who call for a jihad for peace? I read of ONE who said so. Where are the organizations that preach understanding and compassion? They exist, but are certainly in the minority.

I do not view Muslims as in any way inferior as people than Christians or Jews - we are all human. So why isn't the humanity showing through? Why is it that largely JEWISH and CHRISTIAN organizations are pulling for peace in Darfur? Why is it that Muslims are doing next to nothing to stop the killing of their fellow Muslims?

Chops, I am sorry that your co-religionists are this way. Hopefully, this is just a temporarily violent period in history, preceding a longer peace...

Monkey Chops said...

The only claim I will dispute vehemently is that the Prophet was violent since I take issue with that more than anything else. I had a feeling you were going to refer to Banu Qurayzah for your purposes. For that, refer to this:

http://www.globalwebpost.com/farooqm/study_res/karen_arm/qurayzah.html

"Genocide" is the most inaccurate term. There was no "plan" to eliminate the Jews. It was a result of a repeated breach of treaty - and the fact that this particular breach almost led to the complete decimation of the Muslims. What about that potential genocide? Would Banu Qurayzah be absolved by your standards if the Muslims were exterminated? I imagine so! The Prophet had faced severe casualties from his community as a result of this severe breach of treaty, but Front Page neglects to mention the severity of the breach, unsurprisingly. This was no minor, throwaway breach. It costed the Muslims dearly and for that, Banu Qurayzah had to be punished severely, but they were not punished in such a way because of their Jewry; nor is there any indication in the earliest records of such a motivation.

How is it, that when Israel decimates a village of Palestinians to nail down one person, it is OK? How come it is OK for Israel to attack civilian targets in southern Lebanon without reproach? This is happening now, by the very State you support. Why be so quick to sling the mud at us?

"The struggle did not indicate any hostility towards Jews in general, but only towards the three rebel tribes. The Quran continued to revere Jewish prophets and to urge Muslims to respect the People of the Book."

Front Page views Armstrong as an "apologist." Whatever. She is also qualified in the histories of Judaism and Christianity, but identifies closely with Buddhism. She has no reason to be an apologist for Muslims. She's not a best-selling author in the Islamic world.

Yes, the incident is a tragic one, but on the facts, the Prophet was left with very little choice if he wanted his community to survive further onslaughts from the polytheists. Reports from the time even indicate that Banu Qurayzah were initially reluctant to breach the treaty, but were eventually persuaded by the polytheists. If there was a campaign of genocide, why didn't such reports just state flat out they were always ready to break the treaty? It took some persuading for them to do so. If they were considered to be treacherous on the basis of their Jewry, than why haven't such reports been written with that idea at the forefront? Why weren't the Jews of Medina also exterminated, if it was genocide? Genocide, by definition, requires a plan to exterminate a race of people. Where was that plan?

Professor Robert Wistrich's arguments in the Front Page article are incredibly superfluous. For example, he neglects to mention that the Jewish lady who poisoned the Prophet, had invited the Prophet and his Companions to a meal and that the Prophet gladly accepted (why, if he hated Jews?), and that even after it was discovered of her attempt to poison him (and even after one of the Companions died instantly from being poisoned), the Prophet forgave her and ordered that no retaliation was to be made against any Jew for the incident. Why not behead her and everyone with the same beliefs as her? Why did the Professor not describe that incident in full?

Why was it, when the Prophet was asked to pass judgement on a Jew accused of stealing a coat of armour, when the Jew insisted it was his Muslim neighbour who was the actual thief, the Prophet found favour with the Jew? Why not just cut off his hand, since he's such a violent anti-Semite? Even if the Jews of Medina rose up against him, the Prophet could have exterminated them - so what did he have to lose by finding favour with the Muslim?

Why, when the Prophet witnessed a Jew and Muslim fight over which Prophet was superior, Moses or the Prophet himself, the Prophet said that he could never qualify such a claim seeing as how on the Last Day, Moses would be resurrected before the Prophet? Why not execute that Jew for insulting the Prophet?

Why, when Lady Safiyyah, the Prophet's wife and a descendant of Aaron, was insulted by one of the Prophet's other wives on account of her Jewish ancestry, did the Prophet refuse to speak to that wife for a long period of time and insisted on her apologising? He could have laughed it off, but he was disgusted.

You say the Prophet was beneficent when he wanted to be. I say, he was beneficent when there was no reason to be otherwise.

What are the Islamic rules of war?

* Do not betray the agreements you have made.
* Do not make any plundering.
* Wrong no one and exercise no torture.
* Do not touch the children, women and the old.
* Do not destroy fruit-trees and fertile lands.
* Do not kill sheep and cattle.
* Respect all religious persons who live in hermitages or convents and spare their edifices. (Ibn al-Athir, al-Kami fi al-Tarikh, Vol.3, p.227.)

But, the fact that you even referred to Front Page for your arguments just shows me how insidious your hatred for Islam and Muslims really is. Front Page is a renowned anti-Muslim site. RT, if you do not desist in these claims, I don't want anything more to do with you. I suggest that you visit any scholar of Islam in NYC and discuss your views with him or her. I seriously suggest that you do more research into the history of Islam using *every* resource and not just the Islamophobic/racist ones you've cited. You do a great disservice to those Muslims and non-Muslims seeking to enter into productive dialogue.

No Arab of the time was aware of the concept of anti-Semitism. If they hated the Jews, they would have just said it. Criticism of anti-Semites is a relatively new thing which has increased since the Holocaust (and rightfully so), in the same way it is frowned upon to call a black man a 'nigger' even though it was acceptable in the US for the longest time before.

The Qur'anic criticisms of Jews (and Christians) was based on events that are even recorded in the Bible. There is nothing anti-Semitic in that. One of the functions of the Qur'an was to confirm what had come previously. The Bible states that the Tribe of Israel - i.e. not just Jews, but members of the other tribes as well - killed their Prophets. The Bible states that God has repeatedly punished the Tribe of Israel as a whole, not just Judah's children. In other words, how the hell is that anti-Semitic? It was a warning to Muslims not to repeat the errors of their predecessors.

You want Muslims to disavow violent interpretations of Islam? Read up on Tariq Ramadan - a man who constantly calls for the Muslim Ummah to be law-abiding and anti-terror; but who cannot enter the US because his grandfather founded the Muslim Brotherhood, of which he has no ties. Read up on the works of Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, a convert to Islam and how he also disavows the extreme interpretation of Islam. Read more on Sheikh Ahmed Deedat, a man who entered into regular dialogue with non-Muslims about the inherently peaceful nature of Islam. Read up on Dr Zakir Naik and his attempts to encourage inter-cultural dialogue. Refer to the blogs I linked above. People are being heard, but because it's not in the way you want, everyone is automatically guilty. Why don't you try to visit mosques and enter into dialogue with Muslims near you, instead of sitting at your PC and spewing unhelpful criticism? What have you got to lose?

I'm sure you are referring to 'facts' but you are clearly selective with your facts. I say that if you want to understand Qur'anic injunctions or Hadith, you have to look at them in context, not isolation. It might work otherwise with Bible-reading, but it does not apply to Islam. Btw, which translation of the Qur'an have you read?

Red Tulips said...

Chops:

I did not go to Front Page magazine searching for the article. It came up in a search on this subject.

As far as your claims go...

I see a mixed history of Mohammed. I said he could be beneficent at times, but also violent at other times. It depends on which interpretation you read.

If Islam brings you personal satisfaction, I am happy. I am glad that you look at Islam in the way that you demonstrated. That is a good thing.

At the same time, on page THREE of the Quran that I have, it called Jews infidels. Page three.

So I think, ultimately, it goes to interpreting history according to whatever lens you would like to use. You use your lens, and see Islam as peaceful. I only hope others will follow your example.

However, the facts that I see show that as a matter of FACT, all of the men of that tribe - all of them - were slaughtered brutally. The women and children were sent into slavery. Nothing you show point to any justification for that. Disobeying a treaty does not justify this.

There are two possible paths to peace...

1) Disavow the violence in Islamic history, and work to building bridges in the future (this is what I am hoping will be chosen, and has been chosen by many Christians). It does not mean 'disavow Islam.' This means acknowledge that atrocities were committed, but making a firm stance that Islam in its modern form stands wholly against such atrocities.

2) Dispute that the violence ever occurred and use only the peaceful aspects of Islam (which I never disputed exists - I never said Islam is only about war and has no peaceful aspects) as a path to personal peace. This is what you are choosing.

I see option two as totally ignoring history, and I am NOT okay with that.

As far as Israel goes...I completely dispute your version of events...

Firstly, Israel does not dessimate a village to get one guy. They use precision weaponry. Secondly, Southern Lebanon was not destroyed and claims of destruction were wholly exaggerated, and Israel was in a struggle to SURVIVE. Yet, it still used extreme care in the way it fought the war. There are dozens of examples of how the AP, Reuters, and AFP literally made up facts out of whole cloth in the war.

Is Israel perfect? No. No one is. Is Israel better than most nations? I believe it is a giant among nations, considering what it has to deal with on a daily basis. In contrast, the only Muslim nation that still contains a distinct Jewish population of any consequence is Iran, and the Jews there are suffering miserably.

I do not view what Israel does - waging war against the jihadists who seek the destruction of Israel and using extreme care to avoid civilian deaths - as in any way equivalent to the suicide bombers.

Israel has two options. Surrender or fight. Jews saw what happened when they surrendered during the Holocaust - a Holocaust which included tens of thousands of deaths ordered by Arafat's uncle, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

And to that I have two words: never again.

Red Tulips said...

One more thing...

I never disputed the fact that a MINORITY of Muslims are actively working to make peace in this world.

However, I do recall that you told me that Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam of all people was a Muslim who should be emulated and/or is peaceful. This is the same Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam who called for the violent death of Salman Rushdie.

So my point is that many of the so-called peacers will say they want peace with one breath, and then call for jihad with another.

I do not view that as peaceful. This is how CAIR/Muslim Council of Britain operates.

I will look up the men you cited, and get back to you as far as whether or not they are truly men of peace.

Monkey Chops said...

I repeat the question: which translation of the Qur'an are you using?

Red Tulips said...

Chops:

These are the men you claim are so peaceful...

Tariq Ramadan:

http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA26606

He takes part in the double speak that I mentioned earlier.

Others you cited as peaceful...

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf:

http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/misc/shhamza_sep11.htm

Okay, I agree with him. I searched and did not find evidence of double speak. Yusuf is one scholar I agree with. He also in no way contradicts a single thing I have been saying.

Sheikh Ahmed Deedat:

http://www.inminds.co.uk/unity.html

Um...I have a problem with that. Death to Israel, Death to America - yeah, I have a problem with that.

Zakir Naik:

He believes death for apostacy is justified.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2355640483472559724

He believes polygamy is in the INTERESTS of men and women!

http://www.irf.net/irf/faqonislam/

In financial transactions and murders, women are inferior witnesses, according to the good doctor.

http://www.irf.net/irf/faqonislam/

He also said that it is haram to wish a Merry Christmas, a stance other Muslims disagreed with. (good for them!)

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=%5CForeignBureaus%5Carchive%5C200312%5CFOR20031224c.html

These are your spiritual guides???

Monkey Chops, you are only proving my point. It is quite astonishing that you would pick these people as great examples of the Islamic faith. And yet pointing this out makes me 'Islamophobic'???

Red Tulips said...

Chops:

I do not have a Quran in front of me. It is a Penguin Publishing version. I would have to go home to look at the version.

Red Tulips said...

One last thing.

I read the Quranic criticisms of the Jews, and it completely misses the point of Judaism.

The Torah is a morality tale. Basically, whatever Jews did in the bible is supposed to be the basis of a lesson learned. The Quran looks at it as proof that Jews are infidels - using the word infidels. It says "Jews perverted the message from God because they worshipped the Golden Calf." However, that makes no sense, because the Torah is a morality tale which explicitly included the Golden Calf reference to prove a point. And the Quran made it seem as if all Jews were hence perverting the message of God in the PRESENT because of a morality tale in the Torah that allegedly occurred (I believe the Torah and Quran are mostly fairy tales or insane delusions, anyway) in the PAST.

And thus, any notion that the Quran only uses 'bibical references' in its criticism of Judaism and Christianity strikes me as rather...misguided...to say the LEAST.

Red Tulips said...

One last thing for real...

I read the blogs you linked and I like them.

Later on, I will link to them on my main page. They are great voices and thank you for showing them to me.

I also have linked Muslim voices ALREADY on my main page - see every link listed as "Middle East" and not Israel.

I have been reading the voices of Moderate Muslims. I know they exist and I never doubted that, nor did I say 'all Muslims are bad' or 'all Muslims think a certain way.'

I found another great blog - in addition to the ones I link to already...

http://nazlikabir.blogspot.com/

Her blog is beautiful designed, and she has wonderful words to say.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say after reading the whole article.. even though I am just 17 I understand Monkey Chops.. RT you are specifically looking for the evil in Islam... why not look at Islam in the perspective of a Muslim... Learn it without a bias thought.. Then judge Islam.