This hit piece by Spencer Ackerman over at Wired is just another indication of one of the problems of the intellectually lazy: despite all evidence that apples are not oranges, they are unable to make meaningful distinctions because such distinctions are offensive to conventional wisdom.
As you know, I do not think Islam is inherently violent. I do not think we are at war with Islam.
But, one of the sure signs of laziness is generalized equivocation.
Such equivocation is apparent in Ackerman’s piece.
Christianity is a religion. Islam is a religion. They are the same. Therefore, any suggestion that one has more violent adherents than another must be motivated by bigotry.
Which is not just lazy, it’s a lie. We have reams and reams of data that show that Muslims are far more likely to support terrorism than Christians.
Now, I wonder why that is? Um, maybe it’s because mainstream Islam is much more tolerant of violence than is mainstream Christianity?
The problem with people like Ackerman is that they define ‘mainstream’ in a convenient way: the mainstream is simply what I like.
While this might be good for propaganda purposes, it is not an intellectually honest definition.
A lot of Muslims reject traditional notions of violence and oppression that have been part of mainstream Sunni and Shia Islam for as far back as historical records have been kept.
A majority of Muslims in the US reject these traditions. They are innovators. Many of them left their countries of origin because of they hated these very traditions. I’d love to see more Muslims like them.
But in my view, outsiders must treat religions as if there is no right or wrong way to believe. A religion is what its believers say it is. Anything more than this is theological inside baseball.
So, when outsiders claim that one version of a religions is the correct one and that another version is a perversion, we are imposing our own values on something that is not our own. Let Muslims duke this out. It’s their fight, not ours.
It’s like Buddhists picking Lutheranism as “true” Christianity and rejecting Catholicism as “deviance from the mainstream”.
At best we can only say that this is what the majority believes or this is what has traditionally been taught or this is what has been accepted as orthodoxy.
To say that Islam as it has been practiced for over a thousand years isn’t mainstream is a statement in the absurd.
Now, I expect politicians to say such absurdities. We pay politicians to lie. And, in this case, it’s a useful lie. The more Muslims that are convinced that Islam has always been peaceful and supported basic human rights the better every one will be.
Is speculation on the possibility of reforming Islam of value to FBI agents in counter-terror training? Um, no.
and here from someone who knows that their is a difference between religions first hand~~~~
Ex-Muslim Author: Koran Demands ‘Jihad’ and Teaches Believers to ‘Hate’ Christians and Jews
(TheBlaze) Al Fadi, a Saudi native now living in America, is setting out to educate the West about his former religion — Islam. His message, rooted in what he says are deep convictions and personal truth, is sure to inspire controversy.
Al Fadi converted to Christianity after coming to the United States for college. While he claims that he initially planned to convert everyone he met to Islam, something completely unexpected happened. After meeting Christians for the first time in his life, al Fadi became enamored. He explained his conversion to CBN’s Erick Stakelbeck:
“Basically, the more I met people who follow Christ, the more I realized that they are distinct and unique in their character. They’re kind, they’re patient, they’re loving, they have moral values, they don’t look at others with hatred.”
Before long, he abandoned Islam, leaving him to embrace Jesus Christ. His conversion, alone, would have led to a death sentence in his homeland. Even now, danger isn’t an impossibility (al Fadi is actually a pseudonym). But regardless of the dangers he faces for sharing his truth, he says that it’s worth it.
Now, al Fadi is making it a mission to correct what he says are the West’s misconceptions about Islam. In an interview with CBN, he explained, in detail, his interpretation of Islam and those who are not Muslims:
“When I lived in Saudi Arabia, not only did I look at non-Muslims as second class, you would look at non-devout Muslims as second class citizens.
If Islam has to prosper, be the superior religion, then certain steps must be taken by its followers, including spreading Islam at any cost, including the sword and killing any opposition.So you learn all of these things and then of course you learn that the Koran tells you to hate the Christians and the Jews.”
It is these messages that al Fadi desperately wants Americans, among other Westerners, to better understand. To address these issues, he has written a book called ‘The Qur’an Dilemma.”
In particular, he believes that the West has been fed a more favorable, less volatile picture of Islam in its entirety. One subject he covers in-depth is the Koran’s call for jihad, or “holy” war, against non-believers.
Read the full story here