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July 30, 2006

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Eric Sivula Jr.

Sorry to shatter that hope, Rivrdog, but these people are too dangerous to pretend they are anything but a serious threat to our lives and civilization.

I also used to hope that we might get the saner elements of Islam to point out the nutballs to us. But then I learned about taqqiyah and imams telling Muslims that they must always back a Muslim against infidel, regardless of the Muslim's crimes.

Rivrdog

I've clearly lost this debate, Eric. I guess it was a fleeting hope, but then I just read Al-Sistani's latest bluster, and so I've also put the idea of moderation to rest.

It was unlikely to happen, anyway. A nice dream, abetted by the antipathy of an old warrior who is SOOOOOO tired of seeing boneheaded and unreal rules of engagement placed on righteous combat.

Whatever rules of engagement we have placed on Israel should be immediately removed. Let the Islamists figure out how to use fused sand as a re-building material.

Eric Sivula Jr.

There is a difference, Rivrdog. Islam initailly spread through conquest. Islam says that going to war for god is the highest goal of human life.

Christianty did not begin to spread by conquest because it could not. It was an illegal sect in Rome. It was spread by missionaries, who died for their religion, not conquerors who killed for it. Christianity makes it explicitly clear that it is better to die for your family, or any other human being, than to kill for god.

And what you describe as "moderate" Islam is not Islam at all. You want this moderate to tolerate other faiths. That would be lovely, but the Koran does not allow it. And Islam does not accept a world where it does not rule all. Look at the name of the non Muslim world: Dar a Harb, the House of War. Look at taqqiyah, which is that Muslims are encouraged to lie to infidels. Or that fact the Koran never mentions a single peace between Muslims and non-Muslims, only Hudnas, temporary truces until the Muslims were ready to fight again. What other faith approaches other religions with the same degree of deception?

Aside from Christianity and Judaism, no tolerance is allowed. For those two, the goal is alienation, then persecution and eventual extinction. Neither religion could build new places of worship. Neither could seek converts. If a woman from either faith married a Muslim man, she became a Muslim, and all of her descendants with her. Chrisitans and Jews in Muslim countries faced, and still face, limited civil rights and special taxes that Muslims do not suffer. A non-Muslim's testimony is worth half of that of a Muslim. So, in a Muslim country, if you as a non-Mulsim are accused by one Muslim of a crime, with no evidence, and you deny it, with no evidence of innocence, you are guilty.

And the only way to escape the persecution is conversion to Islam. Does the Spanish Inquisition, which was the Inquisition most focused on non-Christians, equal that treatment? Does the fact that the Spanish Crown began and controlled the Spanish Inquisition mean that this institution should be classified as a Christian excess?

You speak of Christian and Jewish excesses as if they were the equal of Islam's. Did Christians or Jews kill enough people that they decided to celebrate it by renaming a mountain range after the slaughter? That is what Hindu Kush means. The Slaughter of Hindus. Do the Crusades equal that? How about the conquest of Judea. Does it equal the Muslim invasion of India?

Do the Christians or Jews, or ANYONE else, enshrine rules of conquest in their holy book(s)? Do their religious leaders issue ruling on how captured women may be sexually assaulted? As far as I can find, the answer is no. Not even the Aztecs, who sacrificed people captured in war as an integral part of their faith, treated their foes like the Muslims did.

And despite what the above poster states, this is not a "my imaginary friend can beat your imaginary friend" issue for me. I have no dog in the fight, as I am neither a Christian nor a Jew. I have a simple means of comparing religions. I look at the texts, and I look at the actions of the believers. I look at the historical record we have of what impact that religion has had in the world. And the only faith in the same league as Islam for intolerance of competitors/rivals/dissidents is Communism. Even the fascists were pikers compared to the Muslims. And I would not care one whit, except that Muslims believe that their nations *must* be ruled by Islamic law and tradition. The Koran demands it. And the Koran is the perfect word of God to them. They cannot reinterpret it. They cannot choose to put less emphasis on parts they don't like.

Your Sis

It's all about "my imaginary friend can beat your imaginary friend".

Rivrdog

Thank you for your interest AND your readership, Eric.

I've heard the interpretations of history that you cite, from the Christian side. Warfare was fairly basic in those Biblical or Qurannic times, and the raping, pillaging and taking of slaves was common on all sides.

Also common to the era was the fact that most warfare continued as a matter of blood feud well after the original reasons for opening it had lost relevance.

I'm also aware of the "Moorish" invasion of today's Spain and the south of France during this historic interval. At least the Spaniards got good horses out of the deal.

My personal belief is that thinking man can do without religion, since there are plenty of scientific things to debate without debating whose prophet was there firstest with the mostest. However, I have always seen a place for religion, in that some people have neither the time nor inclination to do intense self-examination, and prefer to have a "canned" belief system all ready to go. I'll admit to wishing for one a few times myself.

Given that, the spread of religions and the clash of same over matters of conversions seems to be with us always, just as in modern times we face the ugly spread of collectivist thought and government which tramples our individualist heritage.

If such religious controversy is inevitable, which I think it is, I believe it best that the most moderate religionists from each belief system compete, and not the most radical.

I could fill these pages with horror stories of the excesses of Christians and Jews as well as those of Islam, but my point is that if moderation prevails, everyone's idea of the Glory of God will be satisfied, and the rest of us who just want to think our way through life will be left alone without having to push any buttons to launch weapons of mass eradication of overbearing prophets of ANY stripe.

Eric Sivula Jr.

An interesting post. Too bad that the lovely speech your Moderate Muslim needs to make would, at a fundamental level, be a lie.

Particularly in regard to the spread of Islam, and the relations between Muslims and Jews. Islam was primarily spread by Mohammed through warfare. The situation was not "out of hand" before the Christian Kings arrived only in the sense that the Christian and Jewish populations of Arabia, the Levant and Syria had been overrun, oppressed, and in several instances slaughtered by the Muslim invaders. Mohammed himself led a battle in which Muslims killed the entire male population of a tribe of Arabian Jews, and then "took" the women, before selling them.

There is also the twinned problems of an utter lack of unified religious leadership in Islam, and the supposed perfection of the Koran. There is no Islamic "Church" to be reformed, and any attempt to re-interpret the holy texts, as members of both the Christians and Jews have done, is heresy, to be punished by death.

Another point your Moderate Muslim will likely need to explain to many is why Islam states that once a man converts to Islam, all of his descendants are automatically Muslims, and not allowed to leave the faith. Ever.

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