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Finally, finally, it's over. Mostly. Soon it should be safe enough for me to walk out of the house without dying of mortification, although as it is my niqaab hides my burning red cheeks pretty well, alHamdulillaah.For those who don't know what I'm talking about, I'm referring to the latest painfully embarrassing episode in the Canadian Muslim community's history: the two-year-long, agonizingly drawn-out case of the Canadian Islamic Congress vs. Maclean's Magazine.

The story, in short: In October 2006, Maclean's Magazine published an article by Mark Steyn titled “The Future Belongs to Islam.” This article – sprinkled with images that practically scream “be afraid! Be very afraid! It's the Muslims! Ruuuunnnn!” – is actually an excerpt from the author's book “America Alone,” and was the feature story of that month's issue.

In summary, the author used arguments we've often heard before: that the Muslim population around the world is increasing rapidly while the majority of non-Muslims continue to pop those birth control pills and keep their reproduction rate way down. This is the basic crux of the article, followed up by another claim we've heard – that in this way, by sheer strength of numbers, Muslims will dominate the world… slyly, implicitly, dropping suggestive words here and there, Steyn hints at the scary idea of bored Muslim youth joining the jihaad to establish the khilaafah on earth. Cleverly, he issues his disclaimers while at the same time pressing his point:

On the Continent and elsewhere in the West, native populations are aging and fading and being supplanted remorselessly by a young Muslim demographic. Time for the obligatory “of courses”: of course, not all Muslims are terrorists — though enough are hot for jihad to provide an impressive support network of mosques from Vienna to Stockholm to Toronto to Seattle. Of course, not all Muslims support terrorists — though enough of them share their basic objectives(the wish to live under Islamic law in Europe and North America)to function wittingly or otherwise as the “good cop” end of an Islamic good cop/bad cop routine. But, at the very minimum, this fast-moving demographic transformation provides a huge comfort zone for the jihad to move around in.

And so, continuing in this vein, going on about demographics and geopolitics, Steyn pushes readers into a corner, forcing them to admit to themselves that there is indeed a 'Muslim concern.' While never saying it in as many words, Steyn is warning the West that Muslims are already growing too great, too powerful; that our population numbers are giving us advantages, the ability to make demands of our own; that soon, the world will witness the beginning of a new era in which Muslims will be the majority and as such, will change the world to suit our purposes.

These are not new ideas, new claims, new warnings… I'm sure we all recognize them as being part of every Islamophobe's arsenal of hate speech. Which brings us to the next part of our drama: does Mark Steyn's article qualify as hate speech?

The Canadian Islamic Congress certainly thinks so: which is why they organized a campaign to respond to the article, to combat the Islamophobia it perpetuated and encouraged.

Unfortunately, the campaign had every sign of failing from the very beginning. According to Maclean\'s editor, CIC demanded that the magazine publish a response to Steyn's article, with the condition that the CIC be allowed to choose the cover image and the content of the rebuttal article itself. When Maclean\'s refused, CIC issued the following press release stating that due to the magazine\'s rejection of fair representation of the issue, the organization was taking action: launching complaints against Maclean\'s Magazine to the British Columbian and Federal Human Rights Commissions. The grounds of the complaints were that Maclean\'s published and promoted material that subjected Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt.

The case instantly became a source of a debate both fierce and furious regarding freedom of speech, freedom of press, and what constitutes hate speech in Canada. The case also caused the CIC, and Muslims in general, to become the laughingstock of the country. Not surprisingly to me (although right-wingers were surprised, and pleasantly so for them), both the federal and provincial commissions rejected the complaints; the former because it ruled that they didn\'t have the jurisdiction to hear the case, and the latter because it did not consider Steyn\'s article as being hateful or promoting hatred.

What have Muslims learned from this? Or rather, what should we learn from this?

1. To be mature and responsible when confronting material which we perceive as anti-Islam or anti-Muslim. Burning buildings doesn\'t get us anywhere; neither does cobbling together a barely-adequate team of student lawyers to face off against experienced lawyers in a trial that is, quite frankly, a waste of taxpayer\'s dollars. Both of them induce feelings of anger and annoyance towards those responsible… from your own community as well as those whom you\'re opposing.

2. Be reasonable and recognize our limits. Anyone familiar with Canadian conservatives, especially of Maclean\'s caliber, would immediately know that a demand such as that initially made by the CIC will be rejected, scorned, and fought against tooth and nail. Canadian conservatives, if not as downright dirty as American neo-cons, are still incredibly stubborn and stick to their guns.

3. Be smart. Do your research and weigh the odds. Take the time to evaluate the opposition, gauge what their reaction will be, and respond in a manner that they will be forced to respect: with dignity, intelligence, and competence.

To me, one thing that the entire situation revealed was our need to have better PR and to develop a more competent response team in dealing with issues of concern to the Muslim community.
Far too often, I see that in trying to deal with such incidents, we end up hurting our own cause rather than helping it. Our approaches tend to be either wishy-washy or whiny, rather than strong and principled. As a result, the media (and subsequently the public) has an image of the Muslim community that is split between seeing us as “radical fanatics” and overly sensitive whiners.

Even now, as I Google the latest reports and columns on the aftermath of the tribunal\'s conclusion, I see withering condescension being directed towards the CIC and the Muslim population for the way we handled and presented the case – an attitude which will extend far beyond the scope of this particular incident, and which will affect how the media will report on future cases regarding Muslims and our issues (especially with regards to hate speech and hate crimes).

Really, it\'s a lot like the boy who cried wolf; people get tired of hearing the same complaints being pursued in the same ineffectual manner (by taking people to court). I\'m not saying that we should just ignore it when material like Steyn\'s is published and circulated in such large circles; but rather, that we need to be a lot more careful and competent in handling the situation. We need to take care of our image – such as it is right now – and work harder towards promoting ourselves as a strong and principled community which, while we tolerate the values this society propagates, will not accept being treated in a manner which only perpetuates the stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination already aimed at us.

Even more important than whether others respect us or not, is that we need to be able to respect ourselves. Right now, when we\'re being constantly represented in the public by a group that may have the best of intentions but the worst of strategies, it\'s getting a bit hard to do that.

Let us hope that the Muslim community of Canada is able to not only take note of the lessons to be learned from this incident, but that we are able to implement those lessons in the future. If we wish to be a community which can have its concerns listened to and seriously considered by the government and the media, if we wish to be a community which can have a positive and significant affect on the society we live in, then we need to take the measures needed to be that kind of community: a community that is respected for its principles, its wisdom, and its strength – the strength which only comes from Allah when we obey Him and worship Him as He has commanded us. Insha\'Allah, in this way we will be able to not only achieve the secondary goals of having our own interests looked after in the best manner, but also the primary goal of spreading the message of Islam through both words and actions.

137 Responses

  1. Abu Umar

    Jazak’Allah khayr, I think much of what you said is sound and rational. If I may be so bold, but exactly who is the Canadian Islamic Congress and what is their agenda? They seem quite eager to embrace the victimhood mentality that I have spoken about in the past.

    As for Mark Steyn, the guy is a without doubt a jerk, but he is a fringe character who’s writings are only read by those who already agree with him. He is certainly is not the type of person that requires or deserves much energy, time, or effort from the Muslims (at least from my impression of the man). All this ruckus has served to do is make Mark Steyn look like a martyr for free speech and only serves to justify the perception that Muslims are some sort of threat to social order. I think this point is relevant now because of the recent publication of the smut novel “Jewel of Medina“.

    Muslims really need to sit down and think of productive ways to respond to attacks on our religion that don’t involve either the extreme of anarchy and violence on one hand or apathy and compromise on the other (or fool hearty attempts to sue people).

    Amir Butler has some video clips compiled of debate between Steyn and the CIC: see here and here.

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  2. Nahyan

    very nicely put sister.
    I saw a debate on TV about this and the ‘Muslim Lawyers’ team got crushed.

    InshaAllah we mature as a community through these experiences.

    Jazakallahukhair.

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  3. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    innalhamdolillah. mashaAllah, an excellent article. much needed. and a good complement to Iesa’s and Siraaj’s articles on MM.

    so, how about folks? will you digg this article and let the world know that Muslims do respond thoughtfully to public “setbacks” (i.e., media drubbings?

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  4. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. to believe the Maclean’s article, we’re out there in HORDES! just waiting to AWAKEN!!!

    so come all ye faithful and DIGG like you have never dug before.

    [see how generous i am to all of you readers? act/don't act, it will all be counted! you can digg this thoughtful article and help out our Maple-Leaf shaded sister (would Maple-Leaf patterned hijab be considered cammo up yonder?). or by your demonstrated indolence and recalcitrant silence, you can trash the premise of the Maclean's article by suggesting that the "Muslim community" is a figment of the imagination.]

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  5. Amad

    Abu Umar, you are right. We still haven’t quite figured out the “right” way to respond. This needs careful thought and needs involvement of people of knowledge (both Islamic and public relations). It is a very difficult one to balance from falling off extremes.

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  6. Mustafaa

    Steyn hints at the scary idea of bored Muslim youth joining the jihaad to establish the khilaafah on earth.

    Steyn SHOULD be afraid of that. Why are we so defeatist? What is ISLAMICALLY wrong with that. It would make any good practicing Muslim happy if the youth were actually doing such a thing. However, you here at MM want to portray us as wimpy and Westernized mass, which is sadly true in many cases. But what is wrong with the youth WAKING UP and establishing JUSTICE on earth in the form of a Khilaafah??? Please do not delete. Let’s discuss this. Why are we hiding ourselves?

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  7. AnonyMouse

    @ Abu Umar
    The Canadian Islamic Congress is a national Canadian Muslim organization – kind of like CAIR, but with a few differences. Here’s their website. Unfortunately, it is true that they do have a very weak attitude and I don’t agree with their methods of reacting to and dealing with the issues they handle. They tend to have a rather liberal/ apologist slant, which gets on my nerves.

    Muslims really need to sit down and think of productive ways to respond to attacks on our religion that don’t involve either the extreme of anarchy and violence on one hand or apathy and compromise on the other (or fool hearty attempts to sue people).

    Absolutely. My take on it is, as I mentioned in the article, that we need to develop a way of handling things in a strong, principled, competent manner that supports the image of an equally strong, principled, and competent community. Playing the victim card constantly does nothing for us and is indeed detrimental to both our cause, and our dignity.

    @ AbuAbdallah
    Maple-leaf-patterned hijaabs, while an amusing idea, are most certainly a fashion faux pas :)

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  8. Mustafaa

    No one is disputing the fact that we DO want our youth to embrace the Deen and stick to it strongly, and to contribute to the Islamic revival around the world.

    What do you mean by “embrace deen” and “stick to it strongly”? That is not what I said. I said that we should be encouraging our youth to go out in jihad in Allah’s path and establish His Law so that Islam will be uppermost in the land. The strong implication that you give in your piece above is that there is something wrong with that. We do indeed want people like Steyn to be very afraid of us because he opposes this deen and we are not embarrassed about the fact that we want to establish Allah’s law openly and proudly. The future is indeed for Islam

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  9. AnonyMouse

    What do you mean by “embrace deen” and “stick to it strongly”?

    I mean that if you look to the Muslim Ummah today, a shocking number of Muslims don’t know even the basics of the Deen. How can we expect the Ummah to grow stronger and Islam to spread if so many of us don’t even pray 5 times a day, or practice other rudimentary aspects of Islam?

    The strong implication that you give in your piece above is that there is something wrong with that.

    You’re reading things into my post that aren’t even there.

    We do indeed want people like Steyn to be very afraid of us because he opposes this deen and we are not embarrassed about the fact that we want to establish Allah’s law openly and proudly.

    There is something called Hikmah, and we need to learn to use it. Yes, we want to spread Islam – but the way to do it, in this society and in our current circumstances, is NOT by running around intimidating people but rather by giving da’wah in the best manner: by being a living example of al-Islam.
    Furthermore, at this moment our main focus is on educating the masses about Islam so that they do NOT fear Islam and Muslims, but rather grow closer to it and by the will of Allah, accept it. Those who hate Islam and spread that hatred must be responded to in a MATURE manner – which is the entire point of my article.

    This post has nothing to do with jihaad, and so any comments after this which try to beat the dead horse WILL be moderated so that the discussion can focus on the topic at hand.

    JazakAllahu khairan.

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  10. Mustafaa

    Why is it that ‘hikmah’ is equated to weakness? All I am saying is that we do not need to present a weak presentation of Islam and definitely do not need to deny tenets of Islam when refuting the Islam haters. THAT is hikmah.

    I did not say that we need to “run around and intimidate” anyone. But we should not insinuate that jihad is not a part of Islam when these people like Steyn say that it is. We can respond in a mature manner while being strong and proud of our deen.

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  11. Polytyk

    Disgusted, once again, by another defeatist article by Muslim Matters.org. Don’t you people realize, that we, as Muslims are the most honored people on Earth. This is the religion of Allah (SWT), and any true Muslim knows that this religion will be victorious. But not with the help of such self-oppressive mentalities as commonly seen here at MM.

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  12. AnonyMouse

    All I am saying is that we do not need to present a weak presentation of Islam and definitely do not need to deny tenets of Islam when refuting the Islam haters.

    Nobody is denying any part of Islam, especially not in this article. I did not, in any way, shape or form deny that jihaad is part of Islam. In fact, I didn’t touch upon the issue of jihaad at all… which is why I don’t understand why it’s being dragged into this.

    I agree with your statement “We can respond in a mature manner while being strong and proud of our deen” but I also get what you’re driving at – and that, I don’t agree with.

    Look at it this way: Steyn makes these claims and uses them to stir up more anti-Islam/ Muslim feelings. If we Muslims were to jump up and scream, “Oh yah, well, guess what? It’s a good thing! We DO want to take over the world! You SHOULD be scared!” do you think that’s going to help us in any way? Or have you realized that doing so would simply be playing into the hands of Islamophobes? What we’re trying to do is STOP and PREVENT further hatred, not increase it!

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  13. AnonyMouse

    @ Polytyk
    Honestly, I don’t get what’s so “defeatist” about this article when the whole point of it is showing how Muslims should be responding to anti-Islamic material in a STRONG and PRINCIPLED manner!
    *Shrugs*
    Ah well, you can’t please everyone (and I don’t aim to); and it can’t be helped if people choose to read things into it which aren’t even there.

    From now on, I’d appreciate it if the discussion focused on the actual article rather than going off on wild tangents. JazaakumAllahu khairan.

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  14. Amad

    Anonymouse, good responses. I think Muslims living in the West understand where you are coming from, and it reminds me of Iesa’s articles concerning knowing what you are dealing with before you delve into it. In other words, understand your own weaknesses, and the others’ strengths and proceed accordingly. There is so much more dawah we can at ground-level, and take our case directly to the people, instead of trying to silence others using the legal system, because that is a double-edged sword.

    Again, solid article!

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  15. Ali

    I am from Canada, and attended the trial. I sent an e-mail to the CIC President and told him I didn’t like the idea to begin with. These Human Rights Commissions are not even real courts. They are Kangaroo Courts.

    For example, a Lesbian Couple won thousands of dollars at the commission because a Catholic Hall refused to host their wedding. Imagine if they do this to Mosques!

    The tribunal is not even staffed by real judges.

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  16. Mustafaa

    Steyn makes these claims and uses them to stir up more anti-Islam/ Muslim feelings.

    People who hate Islam are going to do that. Our duty is to explain to common people why Islam and Muslims being in control is NOT a bad and scary thing (except to those who hate Islam) and we should not try to explain it away or “spin” it as I feel that you all do here. Yes, our Lord says that Islam is the way of life for all of mankind and YOU will be better off under the rule of Muslims than you are now. Spinning, twisting and turning only creates confusion and the impression that we are lying.

    In other words YOU (the common person) should NOT be afraid. But Steyn, Spencer, and Pipes are afraid for no reason other then their hatred of the truth. We as human beings are created to be under an Islamic rule and way of life and this is the most just.

    This is honest and straight forward way of dawah and it is not weak. Strength and honesty will attract more people to the deen

    Or have you realized that doing so would simply be playing into the hands of Islamophobes?

    Being dishonest or hiding and twisting things does not help. We have Allah on our side and we will be victorious by standing up to for this deen FULL FLEDGED.

    What we’re trying to do is STOP and PREVENT further hatred, not increase it!

    This is what I am talking about. Why would telling the truth about our deen increase hatred? People would be more attracted to a CLEAR alternative to the dead way of life they are living. By watering it down, people do not see a CLEAR difference

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  17. JKF

    I take great exception to any human being stating, as did Mustafaa, that “..you will be better off under the rule of Muslims than you are now.” What kind of bigoted supremacy is being promoted here? The idea that anyone will be convinced that their interest lies in being “under the rule” of any other group of human beings is preposterous! We each have the right to approach and worship God. It is not necessary that Muslims interpret Him or rule in His Name. Leave God to do his work. Ours is to worship Him and live so that others may know Him. We are not asked to “rule over others”, only to rule over ourselves, so that we control our own sinful natures. If you think that anyone will be won over by the argument that he/she must be ruled by Muslims in order to live as God intended, you are dreaming in arrogant technicolour!!!!

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  18. Concerned Christian

    I live in Australia. I followed much of the Maclean’s saga via the internet. I see nothing in the posts here, especially from Mustafaa, that would allay the fears people in the West have regarding Islam. The view that “one should be afraid, very afraid” appears to be unashamedly confirmed. I admire your honesty Mustafaa. You say that Islam does not exist to be inferior but to be superior. You will force your Sharia Law on to the west no matter what. (Go the jihad, that much misunderstood internal struggle.)

    I will do all in my power to see that Australia is never under the rule of Sharia Law. I want no part of it. There is much about Western culture that I do not like. There is the materialism, the sickening all-pervasive sexuality, the abuse of alcohol. All these are the signs of the godlessness of so many. They seek meaning where they will not find it. But I will work within the structures of democracy to change things. I will not try to force any others to live by my creed. Nor will I make them into dhimmis.

    I know that makes me a kufaar. I accept man’s law’s over Allah’s. But I would prefer that to living under the creed espoused in the Koran. I have read the Koran and read the ahadith. I will chose Jesus as my guide over Mohammed even if it means I burn in hell. I reject Islam and Mohammed.

    Fortunately I am free in my country to make such choices. People are also free to be Muslims here if they want. I am not sure if that is a good thing given the likes of you, Mustafaa. Your Islam is not the nice, candy-coated tolerant Islam that many Western apologists of Islam talk about, or the Islam that many Westerners like to think exists. It is the Islam or else. It is the Islam that seeks to take over the world. The Islam that shouts and makes demands and never gives any ground itself. The Islam that makes me afraid, very afraid. However, I am not going to run. Unfortunately, I fear too many other Westerners may run. You guys may well end up taking over because there are too many other Westerners who will meet your demands with nothing but appeasement.

    We shall see how things turn out. The coming years should be very interesting. And by the way, I try to follow the teachings of Jesus, and not hate Muslims or anyone else. I am not always successful there, but at my best I just realise that I do not want to live according to the supposed revelations of Allah to Mohammed. And, as I said, I will resist having them imposed on me and my country.

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  19. Christian

    From a ‘P.R.’ point-of-view, muslims in North America have to realize that non-muslims in North America take their cues on islam from what they see going on in Islamic countries. For example, Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow christian Bibles to enter their country. In Iran, gays are executed. In Egypt, people who convert from islam to christianity are attacked by mobs. Those actions reflect on muslims in North America. That’s a huge P.R. problem. The fact is, there isn’t one Islamic country on the planet that is a desirable country to live in. People around the World are not immigrating to muslim countries as choice destinations, because they aren’t. Islam needs to be able to show that it can create a society that will be desirable to live in, then non-muslims won’t be scared to have their society adopt islamic law.

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  20. ibnabeeomar

    @mustafa, et al – jazakallahu khayr for your non-defeatist comments. my question to you would be if the Prophet (saw) began his dawah on the same premise as you, particularly at the time when Quraysh offered him the position of leadership over their community. but then again, whats the point of all that dawah stuff when we’re going to be victorious anyway, right?

    @JKF
    Thank you for dropping by and reading the article (though I’d be more interested in what you thought about the article than mustafaa’s comments).

    in any case, since the issue was raised, the Quran says:
    “Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has the most piety (or consciousness of God).” (Quran 49:13)

    To develop this piety and God-consciousness though, requires worshiping Him alone without any partner or intermediary. This is the crux of Islam.

    @Concerned Christian
    Well I respect your candor, but it seems you and Mustafaa are 2 sides of the same coin in the brashness department.

    Say (O Muhammad SAW): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” (Quran 3:64)

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  21. ibnabeeomar

    Christian – it might sound like a cop out, but the merits of the religion itself can’t be judged by the actions of it’s people. i would venture to say most muslims would agree that none of the “muslim” countries are representative of a true islamic government.

    its quite unfortunate that this is the case, but the merits of the religion stand for themselves.to learn that though, i would say to study the religion itself.

    for people interested in studying islam, this is a good website to start with:
    http://www.islam-guide.com/

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  22. Muslimah

    “You shall certainly hear much that will grieve you, from those who received the Book before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who worship many gods. But if you persevere patiently, and guard against evil, then that will be a determining factor in all affairs.” (3:186)

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  23. h. ahmed

    Most ppl who talk about shariah have no real idea what it really means. Im sure Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other countries are trying to do their best by ruling under shariah law – but you will hear many Muslims say – that that isnt what Shariah really is.

    And the fact of the matter is – nobody really knows what an ideal shariah law – run state would look like in today’s society – and anyone who thinks they do is probably being naive and impractical.

    For a deeper study onto this subject matter I recommend reading the works of Dr. Sherman Jackson, Noah Feldman, and others on this topic. This may be the subject of a future post – maybe someone at muslim matters can review some of their scholarly articles/books and share them here on MM!!!

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  24. h. ahmed

    For those of you in the DC area:

    Is There a Role for Shari’ah in Modern States?
    Time: Oct 23 2008 9:30am-5pm
    Location: Leavey Center GU Conference Center
    Access: This event has been marked as open to the public.

    RSVP AT: http://www12.georgetown.edu/sfs/rsvp/index.cfm?Action=View&EventID=1972

    — 9:30am —
    Opening and Welcome: John Esposito
    Keynote: Noah Feldman, ‘The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State’
    — 10:45am —
    Panel 1: Rethinking Islam? Myths and Realities of Islamic Law
    Madhavi Sunder, ‘Women and Shari’ah in Modern Law’
    Sherman Jackson, ‘Can Shari’ah be Reformed?’
    Jonathan Brown, ‘Shari’ah Meets Reality: Giving Fatwas in Egypt’
    — 12:15pm —
    Break
    — 1:30pm —
    Panel 2: The Appeal of Shari’ah in Modern Muslim Politics & State Building
    Clark Lombardi, ‘Shari’ah and Constitution Making’ (Egypt, Indonesia, and Afghanistan)
    Intisar Rabb, ‘The Shari’ah Clause in Modern Constitutions’
    Nathan Brown, ‘Shari’ah and Constitutional Reform’
    — 3pm —
    Break
    — 3:15pm —
    Panel 3: Shari’ah in a Human Rights Era
    Abdulaziz Sachedina, ‘Islam and Human Rights: A Clash of Universalisms?’
    Mohammad Fadel, ‘Islamic Law and International Human Rights’ (Non-Muslim minorities and apostasy)
    Andrew March, ‘Shari’ah and Muslim Minorities in Europe’

    Contact
    Adam Holmes Program Coordinator Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding
    ach64@georgetown.edu (202)687-8375
    Sponsor: Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding

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  25. Concerned Christian

    H.Ahmed,

    I admit that I don’t know all the ins and outs of Sharia Law. However, when I see such punishments as stonings, amputations and floggings, in countries that say they are applying Sharia, then you would have to be an idiot not to have a vauge idea of what life is like in a modern country. I also know that it does not pay to change your religion from Islam to anything else in certain countries. As I said, this is not an issue where I live, and I want it to remain that way.

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  26. Christian

    Ibnabeeomar, will Islam allow itself to be truely studied? In the same way that Christianity allowed itself to be studied? In other words, will Islam allow itself to be dissected, criticized, challenged, mocked, argued against, by some of the brightest minds in the World? Christianity was challenged and mocked by the likes of DesCartes, Nietzche, Camus, etc…. Do muslims have the stomach to able to witness a strong scholarly challenge to the validity of the Koran? And what of the life of the prophet? Will muslims allow scholars to dig there? Muslims as a broader group haven’t yet demonstrated that they are capable of it yet. (Rushdie, VanGogh).

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  27. Amad

    “Christian”, are you like serious? Islam is the most “open” book ever. In fact, it was in the shade of the inspiration from the Muslim open access to the Qu’an, that the Reformation and the demand to open access to Bible took place. Please check the history of Reformation, and you’ll see what I am referring to, if you are not quite with me.

    Not only are critics studying Islam day-in, day-out (that is why the dirty dozen have a job– check out smearcasting.com), they are doing whatever it takes to create hatred against Muslims and Islam.

    For people to come in here, and take the comments of one or two persons (not the author of the post, just some random dude) and declare that somehow thse comments are representative of what Muslims believe is EXACTLY the problem. People, including Muslims, are free to speak their mind, and say whatever they want to say, with or without knowledge. It isn’t like you haven’t heard some Christians talking about oil pipelines in Alaska as being part of God’s will? In other words, there are kooks in every faith, and we aren’t spared those either. If you really are sincerely interested in knowing about Islam and Muslims, I am sure you would not be looking for answers in random comments on a random post for answers. Instead, people take this random comments only to amplify existing prejudices, if they are consistent with those prejudices, while ignoring the ones that are inconsistent (and hence, must be lies).

    In any case, I have no clue (well I kind of do) why this thread has turned into a “you must defend Islam against these miscellaneous charges that I found on Jihadwatch”?? Let’s get back to the TOPIC… that would be nice.

    P.S. Since some people took this personally, I should add that my reference to “kooks” is not to any particular poster here, but for anyone who treads the extremes, regardless of faith.

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  28. AnonyMouse

    Thank you, Amad and ibnabeeomar.

    Mustafaa, do you see what I mean now? Do any of the non-Muslim commentators here show any signs of understanding Islam or growing closer to it by reading comments such as yours?

    Now, as I said above, I’d appreciate it if we could go back to the original subject matter. Any other Canadian Muslims here w/ thoughts on the CIC vs. Maclean’s case?

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  29. Christian

    Amad, the Reformation had nothing to do with the Koran, or Islam. Secondly, muslims should not be embarrassed that they want to take over the whole World. It is the goal of every religion. I am Christian. I would like for the whole World to be Christian. Not by the sword, but through a free and informed choice. I am not ashamed to state that fact.
    But there is a difference between opposing a religion and its tenents and inciting hatred. Just because a muslim criticizes Christianity, for example, doesn’t mean he’s spreading hatred. Lot’s of aritsts, for example mock Christianity, it doesn’t mean they hate Christians, or that they’re spreading hatred. They’re expressing themselves.
    It’s the same in reverse. Just because someone against your religion doesn’t mean they hate you, or wish you ill will. It just means they disagree with your worldview, and they don’t want your worldview to one day become the predominant worldview that they will have to live under. If you use the term ‘hatred’ to describe all opinions contrary to yours, you’re being hypersensitive and irrational.

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  30. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. i admit it. there are moments when i wish all the people posting on MuslimMatters were people who agree with me 100%. that all the people who make me go “Doh!” and want to slap my forehead — that all those unnamed people would just disappear like so much dust settling after a the Huns have trooped by (some dictionaries say that the origin of the word Urdu is a Turkish word for horde).

    then i think about the Decree of Allah, and so many ayats come to mind, including from Surah al-Maidah:

    وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِناً عَلَيْهِ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجاً وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَـكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُم فَاسْتَبِقُوا الخَيْرَاتِ إِلَى الله مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعاً فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ
    48:
    (Sahih International): And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.

    then in gratitude and relief, i repent to Allah for my lack of patience. and i try to run to do something good. and every race has a judge, and Allah is the Judge of us all. so before you turn out the light, would you guys who love to post your comments here please also digg this article. so that even more people can appreciate what you have written? or are there only six live people in here?

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  31. Concerned Christian

    Dear AnonyMouse,

    Much of my knowledge of Islam is not based on the comments of people like Mustafaa. It is based on reading the writings of Muslim authorities on various Muslim websites. I have also found the film clips on the MEMRI site very instructive. Many of these apparently learned men say more or less what Mustafaa says. Are they misinformed about Islam? If they are, you would be better served by directing them to the correct understanding of Islam rather than being concerned about non-Muslims like me who have confused the true meaning of your faith.

    Regards

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  32. Mustafaa

    @ Concerned Christian, JKF, Christian and others like them

    Your hearts are not clean. That is why you do not like God’s laws. I am not the one who will guide you to the correct guidance. As for what you said about stonings and amputations, do not sit here and act as if Islamic law would allow any random person to go and cut off a person’s head. It is a form of punishment just as here in the west they have forms of punishment for those who break the law. The difference is that our laws are revealed from God Himself and we are instructed to carry out those laws. They are JUST laws and there are no man made laaws that are more just than the Laws of God

    As for Islam allowing itself to be MOCKED? Are you kidding me? Why should we be pleased with God’s religion being mocked? Why should we allow that? You all take the freedom of speech thing too far. We believe that our religion has honor that must be defended

    @ Amad

    You said in reference to me and others

    In other words, there are kooks in every faith, and we aren’t spared those either

    “Kooks” akhee? What EXACTLY did I say that is “kooky”? Point it out to me and let’s debate this upon the Qur’an and Sunnah. Are you now saying that jihad and establishing Allah’s law on earth is something “kooky”? Do not sit here and try to make me out to be some fringe figure in front of these kufaar. That was really low Amad. Let’s see who REALLY has the Kitaab and Sunnah on their side. Let’s see who has the classical scholars on their side! Let’s see if jihad and raising Allah’s banner is “kooky”. Will you accept my challenge?

    Mustafaa, do you see what I mean now? Do any of the non-Muslim commentators here show any signs of understanding Islam or growing closer to it by reading comments such as yours?

    3 or 4 people on the internet who already had their minds made up by people like Steyn are not exactly what I had in mind. I would have to speak to these people in person most probably as our brother Yousef Al-Khataab does in New York City on a regular basis about the reality of Islam. I will not shrink from these people and I am proud of Islam. Any person with a clean heart will see the truth

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  33. Abu Bakr

    Concerned Christian, just how did you end up in Australia anyways? I don’t remember Australia being a historical Christian land? Oh, forgive me, I forgot, you imposed yourselves there, didn’t you?

    Also, don’t Christians believe that Jesus will come back to Earth, initiate Armageddon, and establish the Kingdom of God. That is not much different from the Muslim view. Jesus will return to Earth as a leader for the Muslims, and bring the world under Muslim rule.

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  34. Christian

    Mustafaa, I know that the word ‘Kafir’ is a derogatory term for unbeliever or infidel. Your post is an example of the attitude that many muslims have towards non-muslims. Certainly this is the case in muslim countries where muslims feel superior to non-muslims, and treat them as second-class citizens. Here are a few Koranic quotes to back up what I am saying:

    -“Prophet make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home.” (Surah 9:73)

    -“It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith [Islam] to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters [non-Muslims] may dislike it.” (Surah 9:31-)

    -“Muhammad is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another.” (Surah 48:29)

    This is why non-muslims would not want to live under Sharia Law, or have an Islamic government.

    As for Christianity, of which I am a believer, Jesus will not return to Earth and ‘initiate Armegeddon’ as Abu Bakr has claimed. Christianity is the religion of love. Jesus did not pick up the sword. He did not kill. He offered himself up to be killed so that sins could be forgiven. We as Christians have the confidence to know that we are loved by God as our Father, and we call him Father. To return love to the Father, we obey his commandments, we love one another, and we love our enemies as Jesus instructed us to do. Some people call themselves Christians, and then make war. It is never to will of God to make war.

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  35. Siraaj

    Anonymouse,

    Liked this quote from the article, encapsulates much of what I think about “Muslims in the West” and Islamophobiamania:

    Far too often, I see that in trying to deal with such incidents, we end up hurting our own cause rather than helping it. Our approaches tend to be either wishy-washy or whiny, rather than strong and principled. As a result, the media (and subsequently the public) has an image of the Muslim community that is split between seeing us as “radical fanatics” and overly sensitive whiners.

    As for the rest of the comments, I think among all the Muslims in this discussion as well as our nonMuslim counterparts, I think we can agree that each of us has a belief system we believe has come down from God, that God wants us to live that system, and that God also wishes us to teach it and spread it to others, so there is no need to be shy about that – today’s society often makes this concept of saying one is right and the other is wrong as shameful and judgemental. It’s not, and we can respectfully agree to disagree with one another about which religion is the true religion or manner of living is correct, keeping in mind we have a similar goal for our own religions.

    As for the means spreading Islam specifically, each of us ought to look into the Qur’aan and Sunnah with guidance from scholars we trust about the means allowed and then work within the context of their own society and abilities and use the means available to them. Remember, the means is not the goal. The goal is that we spread Islam to ourselves and to others, that we are collectively practicing our faith. Whatever is allowable in a given context is what we ought to focus our energies on and take advantage of.

    This article is about one of the means taken, and providing constructive criticism about how that means can be improved. Maybe members of the CIC would disagree with it. Great! Let’s open up the discussion on better use of our resources to accomplish the goal of pleasing Allah subhaana wa ta’aala, and how we can move from a position of weakness to a position of strength.

    Siraaj

    PS – I’m one of those people planning to have many children to fulfill the hadeeth of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim of bragging of our numbers on the day of judgement and as well, to spread Islam where ever they maybe. 2.3 times 10 ;)

    Siraaj

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  36. Gohar

    The Prophet also said that whoever gives a snide look at a dhimmy earns his place in the hellfire.

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  37. anon

    Concerned Christian,

    I find your marriage between post-modernist liberal Western secular values and Christianity somewhat schizophrenic
    Maybe you should have a read of the OT before you condemn practises that you least admit God legislated for a time as being “barbaric”
    Unless that is you think you know better than God
    Your knowledge of the Book or Revelation seems quite poor

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  38. AnonyMouse

    i admit it. there are moments when i wish all the people posting on MuslimMatters were people who agree with me 100%.

    Me too! And jazakAllahu khair for the reminder.

    Let’s open up the discussion on better use of our resources to accomplish the goal of pleasing Allah subhaana wa ta’aala, and how we can move from a position of weakness to a position of strength.

    Siraaj, thank you also – it’s easy to get distracted and caught in the very traps we warn ourselves about. May Allah forgive us all for our weakness and strengthen us upon the Deen, ameen.

    So is there anyone here willing to focus on the actual topic at hand? Any ideas for how to present ourselves as a strong, principled community that can not only stand up for itself with wisdom, but be able to give Da’wah at the same time? How do we combat Islamophobia and highlight the prejudice and discrimination against Muslims without adopting the victim mentality?

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  39. AnonyMouse

    Also note that from now on, all comments that have nothing to do with the subject at hand will be unapproved. Yes, that’s my “dictatorial tyrannical Mozlem nature” coming out ;)

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  40. White Guy

    I read “America Alone” by Mark Steyn (the whole book, not just the MacLean’s excerpt) and I can tell you that the book is mostly based on what is happening in Europe, not Canada, and not Muslim countries. The book outlines the beliefs and laws held in some Muslim countries and demonstrates the efforts of immigrant European Muslim communities in establishing this within Europe. Many on here are saying it is not accurate but one commenter did his best to prove Steyn correct:


    Mustafaa said: But we can not lose sight that the ultimate goal is to make Allah’s word supreme and to dispose of the kufr laws. We can preach to the people about why the Islamic way of life is superior to all others. We can use means to dismantle to kufr infrastructure currently in place in the West. We can even – as you mentioned Siraaj – have more children than them. By all of these means, we can defeat the kufaar. However, we must teach our children that Islam is indeed superior. Too many of the youth believe that having disbelieving friends is permissible, joining the kaafir army is permissible and that Christianity and Judaism are proper ways to get into Jannah. It is all for naught without the proper Islamic tarbiyyah

    In that one paragraph Mustafaa verified that most of what Mark Steyn wrote is accurate. “Allah’s word supreme and to dispose of the kufr laws”, “dismantle to kufr infrastructure”, “we can defeat the kufaar”.

    Are you suggesting replacing Canadian society, built by and full of Christians, Jews, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness, Anglican, Baptist, Pentecostal, Atheists and Muslims, with an only Islamic ruled Canada.

    Those who choose not to believe are second class citizens?

    Mustafaa said: It is because they arrogantly CHOOSE to remain second-class citizens in a proper Islamically ruled land. You would be treated with respect and your property would be safe from confiscation if you pay the jiziyah.

    Yup, that’s what you said. If “we” don’t see things your way, it’s our fault. Oh, pardon me it’s not “your” way, it’s “God’s” way. Correct? BUT we will be tolerated via Jiziya?

    Mustafaa said:You similarly pay taxes to the kaafir state you live in now, so don’t even begin to complain about it.

    The taxes we pay are for our roads, our health & welfare. We pay taxes so those we put in charge can manage this great country we built. We pay taxes so we can bring in refugees and immigrants from around the world, looking for a better life, and help them get on their feet. We pay taxes so our government can offer programs and supports not all of us need, but some do. So yeah, we pay taxes and some of it is a waste but we do not pay taxes so the ruling government will tolerate us and let us live among them, not in support of them. Jiziya is a non-Muslim only tax – that is quite different from what we pay now.

    Mustafaa said: as a rule the Muslim is more noble in the sight of God and any human being can be part of the noble brotherhood by accepting Islam

    According to you, or your beliefs, Muslims have it right so the rules and laws set up in Canada, and the West for that matter, which have their origins in Christian teachings and have evolved through the application of rules for individual freedoms should be banished and Koranic (hadith, Allah, or whatever) rules put in their place. Is this correct? Because to me that is what it sounds like you’re advocating.

    Mustafaa said: We can preach to the people about why the Islamic way of life is superior to all others.

    And what if we don’t see things your way? Then what? Are we forced into submission or left among the believers to enjoy our own faith, beliefs, and freedoms as equals?

    I’m sure Concerned Christian believes his way is right. You are Muslim and you believe your way is right. I am an Atheist and I think you’re both wrong. The differences among us is that Concerned Christian and I are willing to let you have your own beliefs and live side-by-side with you. Are you willing to do the same with us? No, you’re not.

    Mustafaa said: “Too many of the youth believe that having disbelieving friends is permissible”

    You cannot associate with me unless I believe in what you believe. You are thus segregating yourself from Canadian society as a whole in favour of only having other Muslims around you. That is your choice and you are free in Canada to do so, however when we kufars see your attitudes and start to point out your bigotry, do not cry that we are being unfair or cry racism and claim we are being intolerant. We did not isolate you. This is your personal choice. The Amish live a life of societal isolation out of choice. There are others as well.

    AnonyMouse, you ask:

    So is there anyone here willing to focus on the actual topic at hand? Any ideas for how to present ourselves as a strong, principled community that can not only stand up for itself with wisdom, but be able to give Da’wah at the same time?

    You say the MacLean’s fiasco is an embarrassment. Mustafaa, the CIC and others with the same attitudes are the problem from a PR standpoint. They are the voices we hear in the main stream media and they are the voices which happen to support the themes Mark Steyn writes about.

    If you agree with Mustafaa then your PR problem becomes how to mask your intentions so they are not detected during implementation. That way you can avoid a backlash. If you disagree with Mustafaa then people of like mind need to isolate those voices and organize the true voice and let it be known. So far the media runs to people like Mustafaa and the CIC for opinions and all matters regarding Muslims. Do they speak for you? Do they speak for the majority? The minority?

    If you fall somewhere in between you need to decide where you sit. Do you agree with Tarek Fatah? Do you agree with Elmasry? Soharwardy? Where do your beliefs sit on the spectrum? Is there a voice being sought out by the media that you agree with?

    All we (non-Muslims) are hearing and seeing in the media is Mustafaa because there are no other voices out there from our perspective.

    How about the guys who wanted to storm Parliament and behead Harper? The Canadian ties to 9/11? The Khadrs? The countless apprehended “terrorists” in the Middle East who hold Canadian passports? This tells me there are “radicals” among your community. These Muslims are the ones making the news, not you. These are the Muslims who believe violence will be an end to the means. Do you buy into that philosophy? If you don’t a good PR move would be to isolate those in your community who are like this and alert authorities.

    Mustafaa said “we can defeat the kufaar”.

    AnonyMouse, ask Mustafaa by what means will he would suggest to defeat us for therein will be your first step in how to approach your perceived problem. Are we talking physical submission? Are we talking about conversion through acts of kindness and spiritual guidance as Christian missionaries do? Or are we talking a philosophical defeat in which the war of ideas is fought via words and ideas?
    That is what a free society does. That is the free speech that you feel is taken too far. Ideas cannot be exchanged without open discourse, where there are no subjects off limits except those which threaten violence, injury or death. This violence and death method is the chosen of your “brotherhood” overseas. Did you or your ancestors come to Canada to escape that or establish it here? Is that your way or theirs?

    What do you want?

    Other than that they are just ideas and ideas can be defeated or be victorious with strong verbal arguments. You need to look at which Muslims are making those verbal arguments and ask yourself if the message they are sending is YOUR message and how it could be better communicated so it is not misunderstood.

    I sincerely hope we can live side by side and get past these misinterpretations and outright fallacies; you with your God and Prophet, Concerned Christian with his Jesus and me without any. In Canada we embrace and encourage diversity. We are all part of that.

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  41. Christian

    The problem: how can Muslims present themselves as a strong, principled community. I believe that there are these ways:
    1. Engage in charitable acts for the wider community. So far, when it comes to helping the homeless, visiting the sick, etc… it’s been organizations like the Salvation Army- Christian Organizations that are doing all the work. Go to any downtown city in Canada. It’s the Christian organizations doing the outreach. Same goes for foreign aid. Saudi Arabia won’t lift a finger to send money to help the starving people of Africa. Saudi Arabia, Iran, those countries don’t accept refugees from Palestine, and give them a new life with monetary help. If someone attempts to claim refugee protection at the port of Dubai, they get shipped right back home. That has to change.
    2. Emphasize hard work and self reliance. In Europe, muslims have got themselves a bad reputation for being the first in line to collect welfare. In Canada, there is a welfare network of muslims who have multiple wives on welfare while the male is flying back and forth from the home country. These people are giving muslims a bad name, and should be spoken to by the muslim community.
    3. Stop allying with political entities like the NDP. The NDP is a socialist party run by atheists who’s objective is to eliminate religion from every part of life, and hook all citizens up to a socialist state that will take care of them from the cradle to the grave. Why are muslim organizations backing such an entity? Once again, hanging out with Left wing radicals is a bad P.R. move, because Left wing radicals like the NDP are professional complainers who spend their time whining and complaining about 1,001 grievances, and for more government handouts. Muslims should want to be seen as strong, and self-reliant, not whiny babies looking for money from the government all the time.
    /
    People of good will, including Christians will have a great respect for muslims if these things are done. In fact, I see the muslim community as a great benefit to Canada in terms of bringing some sense of morality back to our country. Perhaps there can be some alliances formed between Christians and muslims who want to turn back this present tide of mass consumerism and sexual revolution that is destroying our young people. Muslims, you are our allies.

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  42. AnonyMouse

    @ White Guy (and everyone else)

    It’s extremely important to keep in mind that the statements of a FEW Muslims do not necessarily reflect the views of MM or the Muslim population in general.
    WG, this lecture should answer all your questions, if you’re willing to take the time to listen to the “other side.”

    Thank you for your honesty, even if we’re on disagreeing sides.

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  43. AnonyMouse

    @ Christian
    Thank you for your response.

    1) I agree with this, although it should be noted that Muslims ARE very involved in such activities. You can often find members of MSA’s (Muslim Student Associations) at Universities, as well as in local mosques, organizing and participating in food banks, drives for the needy and homeless, etc. For the most part, however, the media tends to ignore these events because it’s just not exciting enough to sell the news.

    2) I have to dispute your claim about a “welfare network” of Muslims in Canada. I’ve been living here all my life, my father is the imaam of a Masjid, and my family has been deeply involved with the Muslim community for over a decade. The majority of Muslims in Canada ARE in fact extremely hardworking professionals (unfortunately their credentials aren’t always recognized here and means that they have to seek jobs as taxi drivers, security guards, and other areas that aren’t their field of expertise – this is a whole different issue that needs to be dealt with both politically and professionally), who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their children. The “multiple wives” thing is also a serious claim with little to no proof to back it up – it may occur, but if so, on an incredibly small scale that is not at all representative of the community at large.

    3) Again, gotta disagree with you here. The Muslim community doesn’t vote as a bloc; we’re like any other group – everyone has different political leanings and stances on various subjects, and they vote accordingly. As it is, Canadian Muslims don’t feature prominently on the political scene, nor do we depend on political parties to support us.

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  44. Amad

    I want to emphasize AGAIN, as is clear in our “Modus Operandi”: the opinions/comments of any commentator(s) on MM do NOT necessarily reflect positions or views or one or all of the MM authors. In fact, each author’s post is responsible for his/her own post, and it is not necessary that other authors agree with him/her.

    People who visit blogs and forums know how this works. And for people to take one or two comments as indicative of how the majority of Muslims think is unfortunate. Please review all the material on this very website, and those who are sincere will get a feel of what mainstream Muslims think and believe in.

    Someone mentioned MEMRI as an example of a good source for what Muslims are thinking. This again reflects the massive propaganda that has been dispersed far and wide by the smearcasters, all of whom are ardent Israeli supporters. So, no surprise that MEMRI is one of the main propaganda tools of spreading disinformation about the Middle East. It is easy to take excerpts of thousands of hours of programming to “prove” one’s point. It would be the same if I took a few clips from FOX to show what Americans think of Muslims. But we all know FOX only reflects the right-wingers, not all Americans.

    Here are some sources for those who want to be informed of MEMRI’s TRUE purpose:
    -Selective Memri @ Guardian-UK
    -Repressive MEMRI by Juan Cole
    -How MEMRI Doctored Norman Finkelstein’s Interview to Present him as a “Holocaust Denier” (an example of massive distortion)
    -Fake Saddam Interview Put Out By Israel Lobby Catspaw @ CounterPunch

    So, those who think MEMRI is a reliable source of Muslim opinion, and are fair-minded individuals, should take a visit to the links above and decide for themselves.

    For others, if you really want to know what Muslims in the world are thinking, check these posts out:
    Dalia Mogahed, author of the best book ever on Muslim opinion (“Who Speaks for Islam”). You can read MM’s book reviews of the book (through part 3) here: | Intro | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3a | Part 3b

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  45. AbuAbdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. i believe that what too often happens is that people elevate certain opinions (including their own) above others without respect to any criteria other than their own worldview.

    so while many people on this page have repeatedly pointed out that some people on this page speak only for themselves. other people have repeatedly gone back to those opinions because they want to believe that those opinions speak for Islam.

    and no one on this page has the authority to speak for Islam.

    and all praise is for Allah, the article does not speak for Islam, either. rather it thoughtfully addresses how one group of Muslims responded to what it perceived to be hateful speech. and its author has called on us to speak to what lessons we can take forward from the resolution of that case.

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  46. Christian

    Anonymouse,

    As to point 1) there are some muslim charities doing some good work to help the poor, I don’t dispute that. But let’s face it, the vast majority of charity work is being done by Christians. And on the international front, Muslim countries, even the oil-rich ones are doing very little to alleviate the situation of the poor in Africa. On the ground in Africa, it’s all Christian missionaries taking care of AIDS victims, etc… and on the refugee front, Canada takes in, approves, and grants citizenship to more Palestinian refugees than Saudi Arabia, or Iran does. In fact, the muslim gulf countries don’t take in refugees, despite all of their wealth. The emirs would rather spend the oil money in the casinos of the West, I presume, than to help out their fellow man.

    As to point 2),
    Here’s a link to a recent news story about muslims on welfare:

    http://www.awid.org/eng/Issues-and-Analysis/Library/Polygamous-Ontario-Muslims-collecting-multiple-benefit-cheques

    And here’s a quote from the article:

    “Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, said hundreds of members of his community in polygamous marriages have been collecting welfare for some time.”

    As to point 3) The Canadian Islamic Congress endorsed the NDP in the last election. The Muslim Canadian Congress did the same. This article talks about how the muslim vote is shifting from Liberal to NDP:
    http://www.stopracialprofiling.ca/2006/01/15/muslims-targeted-debate-hears-communitys-issues-ignored/

    It is on the above 3 fronts that in my opinion, muslims in Canada can do work to change the perception that’s out there of them.

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  47. AnonyMouse

    In keeping with what I stated earlier, all off-topic comments including debating the existence of God, how tolerant Muslims really are, and refugee problems are going to be deleted. Please find the relevant posts to put your comments in.

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  48. AnonyMouse

    1) Unfortunately, Muslim countries do little to truly represent Islam and Muslims – this is something which I think we can all agree on. At the same time however, there are many Islamic relief organizations which do amazing charity work all over the world – the trouble is, as I stated earlier, that their work isn’t as publicized as that of Christian missionary organizations or even the United Nations. Furthermore, a staggering amount of these charities have had their work hindered and even crippled by being accused (without proof) of being fronts for terrorists and having their assets frozen. This has had an devastating affect on what the Muslim community has attempted to do in terms of relief work and so on.

    2) The article is unsubstantiated. As for “the Canadian Society of Muslims” (which I’ve never heard about, ever), if you check out their website, it’s actually a study circle group that’s part of the University of Toronto – not a national Muslim organization. So, the quote is meaningless to me unless there is proof brought forward to back up the claim. There may be Muslims who abuse the welfare system, but they cannot be differentiated from the hundreds of non-Muslims who do the same.

    3) Thanks for pointing that out. However, it’s also my opinion that in this particular case, even if Canadian Muslims ally themselves with the NDP out of hope that our community issues will be better addressed, I don’t think that such a political alliance will actually affect how the rest of Canada views Muslims in general. The majority of the misconceptions about Islam and Muslims have to do with our beliefs and practices (as can be evidenced by the way this thread started to derail), not our national political leanings.

    Hmmmmm, this point actually requires a bit more thought on my part (I was thinking aloud in the above) – this is definitely an interesting thought, about whether or not (a) the rest of the country actually cares about who Muslims favour politically and (b) if re-evaluating our political alliances (such as they are; I’m personally not impressed with what CIC has been doing so far, as you can see from my original article) will actually have an affect on the Muslim community’s national image.

    Thank you for going back on-topic and contributing positively!

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  49. Olivia

    I don’t agree that more Christians due charity work. I do think that more Christians have charity foundations, because Muslims are afraid to operate them for fear of their lives (that they’ll be shut down, accused of funneling money to terrorists, and imprisoned for life). Also, obviously there are more Christians doing charity here in the United States because their are more of them and this is mainly a Christian country. I can’t speak on behalf of Muslims in Muslim countries, but I can say that the average Muslim living in the US is probably as charitable if not more so then the average Christian. Speaking as someone who was formerly Christian, the hospitality and charitably of Muslims is something I have yet to see matched.

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  50. Iesa Galloway

    Asalaam Alaikum,

    I don’t know about everyone else but I am VERY encouraged by the increase of non-Muslims engaging us rather than talking about us. So to all the non-Muslim readers I say welcome and kudos to you for reaching out!

    I think that it is FAR too easy for those with agendas to hijack the discussion and the original point of the article…

    However, I think the core problem is in what both sides of this tangent define as “PR.”

    We cannot really blame either side as most people and even many PR practitioners misuse public relations tactics and have little, if any integrity. Quite frankly it is a HUGE problem.

    On the one hand, Mustafaa is commenting on a related issue, that, as Muslims we DO believe our faith is superior. I would be hugely dismissive and disappointed of any so-called believer of any faith if they did not think they were right…

    The real issue is how we propagate our faith and values in specific circumstances. There are so many, many examples of religious expansion in history that anyone can “spin” their preferred or accusing method as what is “really” called for, I call this the “Sheikh Michael Savage and Imam John Hagee syndrome” for the non-Muslims and the “I pretend to be a scholar syndrome” on the Muslim side.

    To make it more clear why this issue is most definitely related to PR, let’s look at a few trends.

    Both contending parties are talking at each other and not to one another. This reveals not only ineffective communication but equally important, the assumptions that each side has of the other.

    Real PR starts with listening to your target audience, understanding their point of view, their experiences and their issues BEFORE engaging and presenting your pitch/side.

    Background: Public Relations is as old as civilization. Formal PR training traces its roots to the early Greek philosophers and the rhetorical traditions developed during that time. (Ahhh, Dreaming of the day that my craft will be elevated back to that status, over spin and trickery… OK I digress back to the point)

    A universally accepted value is to treat others as we would want to be treated… I do not see any application of this Golden Rule in telling a follower of another faith what they believe. However, it is also clear that our own flock are adding to the confusion.

    SO, let’s boil the whole thing down to its bare essentials. If Mustafaa wanted to establish his understanding of “Islamic Law” in any non-Muslim society AND he went about attempting to do so through the normal, accepted and legal channels and frameworks of that society, then what is the problem? You don’t like it, OK, mobilize and oppose it. IF, on the other hand, Muslims started invading countries via the historical western model (read: the Crusades, British, French + other European colonial powers as well as the Russian and US colonialism and invasions then you have a different situation altogether)

    What is really dishonest PR spin run a muck is the insinuation that the colonized are in a position to nation-build in the colonizers turf. Muslims are anywhere from +/- 2% of the total US population to approximately +/-5% of the French (largest percentage in “western” European populations… I mean REALLY… a Muslim take over??? This truly reeks of fear mongering, a caviler attitude toward one’s own naked aggression and MOST obviously the insecurity and weakness in self-confidence and fortitude of the accuser.

    As I have written before, commentators often reveal more about themselves than anything else.

    Because as Muslims we do (and should) believe that we are on the truth, we should fully embrace the marketplace of ideas… That said personal responsibility of ALL readers must be exercised in how much weight we give each commentator (esp. on blogs which is a VERY flat medium in that it puts your average Joe/Moe-hamad and real authorities on the same level…)

    The bottom line is that sincere, intellectually honest people will see the truth and others will try to distort it for their own goals…

    Our job is to help the truth shine and to correct Muslims and non-Muslims who try and hijack our faith or offer single quotes without their full context…

    In short let’s keep making Muslims a part of the discussion rather than sitting on the sidelines being talked about. And let us be the ones that raise the intellectual bar by keeping the conversation constructive.

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  51. Christian

    I too am encouraged by this conversation. Most of you are people of good will, as I am sure most muslims are. Just as a final thought on the issue, North America was very much founded and built up on a cultural phenomenon called the ‘protestant work ethic’. It is a strong current that runs underneath North American culture. Europe is far more tribal and classist. In Europe, you are still judged by your Father’s profession. In North America, you can make something of yourself regardless of your origins. North Americans have a special fondness and respect for hard work and success- to a fault. Looking back at the history of immigration, every new immigrant group has had to earn their own respect. There used to be signs up in Toronto ‘No dogs or Irish”, and Italians were discriminated against, etc…
    Despite equality laws, multicultural policies, etc…the reality on the ground is that respect is earned. Muslims are relatively new in Canada, and still proving themselves. Remember, for North Americans, you’re new to the party, which means that you’re still making your first impressions. Despite 9/11, 7/11, and Madrid; North Americans, I believe are still open minded, and willing to give muslims a chance to be part of things. If muslims continue to work hard, acheive success, and remain law abiding, I’m confident that muslims will earn Canadians’ complete trust and respect, and the fear of each other will dissapate.

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  52. Mambo Bananapatch

    “…we should be encouraging our youth to go out in jihad in Allah’s path and establish His Law so that Islam will be uppermost in the land…We do indeed want people like Steyn to be very afraid of us because he opposes this deen and we are not embarrassed about the fact that we want to establish Allah’s law openly and proudly. The future is indeed for Islam…”

    “Our duty is to explain to common people why Islam and Muslims being in control is NOT a bad and scary thing…”

    Thank you! This is why freedom of speech is so important in this country. You are free to openly speak of your intent to undermine our country, its people, and its values, and to force your beliefs on others; and we are free, despite your attempts to bludgeon and silence us with our own laws demanding tolerance and respect for others, to respond, and to be ready for you. And because of you, the day will come when accusations of “Islamophobe!” and “racist!” are seen as hollow and deceitful; and that will be a sad day for the vast majority of Muslims who don’t share your sick views, and don’t deserve to be lumped in with you, but who probably will be.

    The louder your words are shouted, the sooner even the idiot multiculti-obsessed left in this country will see the truth. Your words should be, and hopefully one day will be, on billboards, in letters forty feet tall, so that people can understand the reality of radical Islam and the terrible threat it poses to those who value freedom.

    I thank AnonyMouse for his/her thoughtful and courageous post (though the fact that he/she chose to remain anonymous speaks to his/her awareness of the entirely possible fate that awaits critics of radical Islam). I hope that, together, we can expose and marginalize the dangerous elements of Islam. Pretending they don’t exist or accusing those who call them out of “islamophobia” is to court disaster, for all of us. If I take Mustafaa at his word, and assume he means to do the harm that he says, am I an Islamophobe and a racist?

    People who hate and fear Islam feel that way because of Muslims like Mustafaa. Tiny minority or not, they’re the ones who need to be excised and pushed out beyond the perimeter, not Mark Steyn, who merely records what they say.

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  53. Iesa Galloway

    @ Mambo Bananapatch,

    Thank you for stopping by, as I said earlier it is VERY good that we are talking to one another! I hope that you read the many other articles here and benefit from them!

    I am now ready to read your similar posts on the far right-wing and/or radical Christian blogs about comments from the likes of Ann Coulter and her “We should kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity” as well as Jerry Falwell, John Hagee and Rod Parsley as well as all the hate I read for instance on littlegreenfootballs and countless other websites with far worse rhetoric than anything you will find here.

    You set a standard of self-policing and pushing those in our communities to fringes and marginalization so I am positive that you have a long track record in your own communities upholding what you expect from us as well.

    OK, so I am being sarcastic and I will be a little shocked if any of the concerned Christians and non-Muslims who again, are most welcomed and encouraged to continue to engage with us have done this.

    My point is two fold: 1) That the mainstream and authentic community assumes that extremism is seen as such and 2) that many Muslims feel threatened and are subjected to bias treatment and even prosecution for their faith.

    Simply put minorities have rights and responsibilities in society… not just responsibility.

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  54. CMAR II

    >>Be reasonable and recognize our limits.<<

    How about accepting this as a limit:
    **It is not a crime for people to say things you don’t like. You can protest. You can denounce. You can debate. But you can’t put them in jail for it or fine them or harrass them with nuisance suits.***

    Until the national spokespeople for Muslims make it clear that that limit is not up for debate, non-Muslims will (not unreasonably) presume Muslims are just biding their time until they can make us all sorry for disagreeing with them. In short, the CIC pretty much proved Steyn’s point for him.

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  55. Deborah Jones

    To all,
    It seems to me that the contributors of this string may have differing views on “how” Islam may establish “rule”, but do not differ on their wish and desire for Islam to “rule.” Therein lies the problem. America was founded on basic freedom of religion. Americans are prepared to defend this unique right. Separation of church and state was purely defined by the founders of our Constitution. Worship and rule, like oil and water, do not mix. The values of this country, whether you define them as Christian or not, are simple: The right of every individual in America is to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The only boundaries to this are not to take away this same right from your fellow man. What this means to me is that I do not care what religion or religious practices my neighbor observes, so long as he does not take my right to observe what I wish to define as religion, or atheism, for that matter. If he attempts to influence me beyond my willingness to hear him, then he must accept my decision and leave me alone. If he attempts to deliver what he perceives as “justice” on me, and attempts to harm me, then I will absolutely defend myself. If defending my rights and the rights of others requires some measure of offense based upon a reasonable threat, than so be it. Most of the self-identified Islamic contributors to this string have, in their expression of desire for “rule”, no matter how it comes about, have basically made Mr. Steyn’s case for him.

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  56. Ahmad AlFarsi

    Deborah, fyi, in an Islamic state, non-Muslims are allowed to live as non-Muslims… i.e. there would not be any forced conversions. Historically, Christians and Jews have lived very peacefully under various Islamic states of the past.

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  57. DrM

    The conspiratorial and paranoid mindset of the usual suspects always amuses me. Orwellian to say the least. What baffles me is how stupid these people are to be manipulated by a third rate neocon water boy like Mark Steyn(changed from Stein). Do a background check on the man and surprise surprise….

    Supporter of War in Iraq, WMD lies and all
    Supporter of Jewish terrorism, and zionist Eretz Yisroel fantasies rooted 5000 years in the past with God as their real estate agent.
    Insists that Obama is a Muslim
    Sees a Muslim conspiracy everywhere to take over the West(which is already compromised by zionism)

    Steyn was the first person acquitted in 40 years under the Human Rights Tribunals. Not because his writings were different, or any lesser degree of “Hate” but because of who Steyn targeted, and who he did not. In 40 years, there has been not a single acquittal of any defendant, and almost all of them have been guilty of offending Jews. You’d think people in the West would wisen up to see how the real enemy is. The same askheNAZI fanatics who are making them fight their wars for them.
    As a Muslim, I want to see Islam grow and prosper, this in no way means forcing Islam on non-Muslims. There is no compulsion in religion (2:256). Think about it, compulsion doesn’t make a true believer, it actually leads to a watering down of the forced faith, and eventually its spiritual demise. I’ve touched up on the whole Europe and immigration debate http://drmaxtor.blogspot.com/search?q=illusion
    Europeans need to quit whining and take responsibility for their actions. Any society which has lost the traditional nuclear family, the basic unit of society will decline. Who’s stopping you from having kids? Stop blaming Muslims for your short comings, and grow up already.

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  58. Iesa Galloway

    @ Deborah Jones,

    Just curious, are you pushing back those on the Christian side calling America or calling for America to become a theocracy of whichever definition of Christianity they ascribe to?

    I ask because you are absolutely right, the anti-establishment clause is a core foundation in our government’s structure. However your phrasing of: “The values of this country, whether you define them as Christian or not, are…” is vague. I hope that you are endorsing a unobstructed, unregulated market place of ideas as the battleground for religion in the US.

    However, many people use this vagueness to publicly express support for freedom of religion, then also try to push minority populations and their faiths into the fringes. This can also challenge the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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  59. CMAR II

    @ Ahmad AlFarsi (Author)
    >>in an Islamic state, non-Muslims are allowed to live as non-Muslims… i.e. there would not be any forced conversions. Historically, Christians and Jews have lived very peacefully under various Islamic states of the past.<>are you pushing back those on the Christian side calling America or calling for America to become a theocracy of whichever definition of Christianity they ascribe to?…However, many people…express support for freedom of religion, then also try to push minority populations and their faiths into the fringes.<<

    All of the pillars of Western society (education, media markets, pop culture, and yes government) push back on that teeny minority of Christians calling for a theocracy. Western art, literature, and movies are replete overt statements of contempt for Christian religion and its symbols. But those Christians calling for a theocracy are suiing anyone for hate crimes. People in the West are not afraid that Christians will kill a publisher or author for saying something bad about Jesus or Christians. Is the same true about Muslims?

    None of you guys have addressed the fact that the CIC proved that Steyn was 100% on the bullseye right in his article.
    If a Muslim majority in a Western country cannot be expected to suffer having their religion denigrated without having legal recourse, then Muslims should be treated as threats to the freedom of that country. Is that really the ultimatum you guys are seeking?

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  60. CMAR II

    Crap! Stupid WordPress. I repeat
    @ Ahmad AlFarsi (Author)
    ***in an Islamic state, non-Muslims are allowed to live as non-Muslims… i.e. there would not be any forced conversions. Historically, Christians and Jews have lived very peacefully under various Islamic states of the past.***

    “historically” non-Muslims have been allowed to live in an Islamic state if they pay a tax for doing so. Also, converting to Islam is fine but woe to anyone converting away from it or any non-Muslim suspected of influencing their conversion. A good example is the merely quasi-Islamic state Egypt and the treatment of non-Muslims there.

    @Iesa Galloway (Author)
    ***are you pushing back those on the Christian side calling America or calling for America to become a theocracy of whichever definition of Christianity they ascribe to?…However, many people…express support for freedom of religion, then also try to push minority populations and their faiths into the fringes.***

    All of the pillars of Western society (education, media markets, pop culture, and yes government) push back on that teeny minority of Christians calling for a theocracy. Western art, literature, and movies are replete overt statements of contempt for Christian religion and its symbols. But those Christians calling for a theocracy are not seeking to try anyone for hate crimes. People in the West are not afraid that Christians will kill a publisher or author for saying something bad about Jesus or the Apostles. Is the same true about Muslims?

    None of you guys have addressed the fact that the CIC proved that Steyn was 100% on the bullseye right in his article.
    If a Muslim majority in a Western country cannot be expected to suffer having their religion denigrated without having legal recourse, then Muslims should be treated as threats to the freedom of that country. Is that really the ultimatum you guys are seeking?

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  61. drM

    >None of you guys have addressed the fact that the CIC proved that Steyn was 100% on the bullseye right in his article.
    If a Muslim majority in a Western country cannot be expected to suffer having their religion denigrated without having legal recourse, then Muslims should be treated as threats to the freedom of that country. Is that really the ultimatum you guys are seeking?<

    Strawman argument, you don’t have or believe in freedom of speech. They didn’t “prove Steyn 100% on the bulls eye,” just their own hypocrisy. I’ll repeat what I posted earlier : Steyn was the first person acquitted in 40 years under the Human Rights Tribunals. Not because his writings were different, or any lesser degree of “Hate” but because of who Steyn targeted, and who he did not. In 40 years, there has been not a single acquittal of any defendant, and almost all of them have been guilty of offending Jews.
    Shabbos goyism, anyone?

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  62. Iesa Galloway

    @ CMARII

    “If a Muslim majority in a Western country cannot be expected to suffer having their religion denigrated without having legal recourse, then Muslims should be treated as threats to the freedom of that country. Is that really the ultimatum you guys are seeking?”

    First of all, I am the first to discourage legal action for a public relations problem. That is using the wrong tool for the job… but if all you think you have is a hammer then every problem will look like a nail. What is important to remember is that Muslims feel that they are under siege, in some ways only in our own minds and in others merely of suspicion and yet still in others in very real and threatening ways.

    This leads groups to feel that increased negative attention can and will cause a environment of hate and that is not safe. Furthermore, every rational human agrees that free speech should be curtailed if is inciting real dangers (i.e. classic example of screaming fire in a crowded theater).

    However, the author of this article did deal with how unwise it is to go strait to a law suite. Furthermore, it would be a threat to a society’s freedom to not allow minority groups the tools protect themselves through the civil, legal and social arenas. It has always been minority movements that are at the vanguard of promoting freedom and human rights in western society, see woman’s suffrage and civil rights activists of the 60’s.

    @ drM,

    I got to give you props for “Europeans need to quit whining and take responsibility for their actions. Any society which has lost the traditional nuclear family, the basic unit of society will decline. Who’s stopping you from having kids? Stop blaming Muslims for your short comings, and grow up already.” — Sounds a lot like many center-right non-Muslim activists, but it is true, core values are important… some are trying to use the fear of Muslims as a wake up call to return to those values….

    However, it should be clear that Muslims and Jews share many of the same challenges as we are both minorities in western societies. My problem is two fold. The first deals with the underlining tone in your posts and the second with what is a natural progression of that.

    We should not have contempt for other communities because they are effective. We should learn be more effective ourselves, by sticking to our Deen/faith/way of life and how it calls for us to interact with others and secondly that we must realize that while the Jewish activists have successfully merged a racial and religious identity into one in the minds of most North Americans and Europeans, that this is not who we as Muslims are. We Muslims are multi-ethnic and multicultural, united only by faith.

    Again, this is a very important point as when we Muslims start to realize that the pressure we feel is actually an opportunity to provide benefit to the whole society (protecting our rights is setting precedent and increased protections for the rights of others) then not only will our approach improve, so will our intentions and our image.

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  63. mike

    “It has always been minority movements that are at the vanguard of promoting freedom and human rights in western society, see woman’s suffrage and civil rights activists of the 60’s.”

    That simply is not true. Neo-Nazi groups are minorities, thank God, yet they are certainly not in the vanguard of promoting freedom and human rights in western society. And by the way, please tell me: what Muslim groups are lobbying for women’s rights and gay rights in Western society these days?

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  64. mike

    PS Iesa kudos to you for your calm and reasonable response to the blatantly racist rantings of one called “DrM”. It is people like that, and another intolerant bigot called “mustafa,” that give Islam a bad name and make Steyn’s thesis seem highly plausible.

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  65. DrM

    Salam Aliakum Lesa,

    I don’t have a problem with what you’re saying but the fact remains is that there is a very selective application of law when it comes to Muslims. A significant minority of Europeans do hold racist views, with France leading the pack. This is according to their surveys. It’s all too easy to claim that one is tolerant of “diversity” when everyone in society looks and acts the same way, but the real test comes when different groups emerge and assert themselves. Keep in mind, Europe has never had a civil rights movement, and it shows. European peoples have had hundreds of years of distinct ethno-history and shared culture which have created social consensus that is now being “challenged” by immigrants from what were, until WWII, “subjects” from their overseas Colonies. How do the children of former colonial subjects come to identify with and be proud of the history of their “adopted country”, which includes the oppression and exploitation of their ancestors, as recently as two generations ago? Oh, but Muslims have bent over backwards trying to “assimilate” into a “culture” which doesn’t want them unless they becomes slaves mired in ideological bondage. This draconian pipe dream may have worked on the immigrant generation but their children aren’t having any of it, and with good reason. The basis of mutual and beneficial co-existence is respect. This is not a racist rant as dimwits like Mike would have you believe.
    Take the best selling author Orianna Fallaci. Fallaci became the darling of the Uber right. She received the Center for the Popular Study of Culture’s Annie Taylor Award. FrontPage Magazine, the forum for right wing screaming sociopaths recognized her as their Woman of the Year. She became the Madonna of the neo conservative Islamphobic & conspiratorial circus think tanks, and the goddess of individuals such as Robert Spencer, Michele Malkin etc with lines like Islamophobic starlet who used to write ” Muslim immigrants in the West have multiplied like rats….”and who described the “smell & revolting physical aspects of Arab men…”. Europe needs to be wake up confront its own ugliness before lecturing anyone else.

    @Mike,
    You’re the one who’s a racist, Mike. Don’t project your insecurities on me, and pretend to be something you’re not. You have no counter to the points Ive raised, including Steyn’s history of unsubstantiated rubbish which only the ignorant and paranoid buy into. I’m sure its just a coincidence that Steyn belongs to the same criminal fraternity which is intent on waging endless wars on Israel’s behalf while perusing a domestic campaign of vilification against Muslim minorities in the West, tapping into deep seated paranoid and racism. I’ll ask you big bad defenders of western civilization once again : Who is stopping from having kids? Is there a Muslim conspiracy to “darken” the continent or is the failure of the local culture which no longer reveres the traditional family as the basic unit of society.
    Don’t presume to lecture Muslims on woman rights when you’re passing hijab bans right and left. Why in the world would I as a Muslim campaign or support for “gay rights” when my religion recognizes it as a grave sin? Are you daft, as well as a bigot?

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  66. CMAR II

    @Iesa Galloway
    ***This leads groups to feel that increased negative attention can and will cause a environment of hate and that is not safe. Furthermore, every rational human agrees that free speech should be curtailed if is inciting real dangers (i.e. classic example of screaming fire in a crowded theater). ***

    Look lets face reality. 1) The tone of the Authors here is that the legal avenue wasn’t so smart UNDER CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES. Steyn said that when Muslims are the majority, those circumstances will change and the woe to non-Muslims. So how is he wrong??

    No one squelches a book or movie related to any other religion for fear that some followers of that religion will kill people connected to that book or movie. That’s non-hostile media coverage based on probably the worst stereotype imaginable. But its a stereotype that has been cultivated by many Muslims. 2) Shout fire in a crowded theater? Many Muslims want to convince everyone else they are made of gasoline. How can that be good for a Muslim kid who just wants to thrive in Canada? That’s much worse than anything anyone would print in a magazine or book.

    90% of Muslims should be horrified that a very very large percentage of non-Muslims think that even Muslims who would not PREFER bringing the Egyptian-version of religious toleration to their new Western homes would HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH it either.

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  67. DrM

    “But its a stereotype that has been cultivated by many Muslims”

    Rubbish. Don’t scream fire and complain about being trampled. You do NOT want peaceful co-existence with Muslims, you want conflict and enemy to rally against. Europeans cannot allow Muslims to be different in the way that they love to believe they are different (barbaric, women hating savages with values that “are incompatible with our own”) but at the same time cannot abide the idea that Muslims are actually like everyone else. It’s a hypocritical position born of a need to feel superior which expresses itself through discrimination by people who at the same time self-righteously lecture the Muslims they are victimizing about “enlightened values.”

    “90% of Muslims should be horrified that a very very large percentage of non-Muslims think that even Muslims who would not PREFER bringing the Egyptian-version of religious toleration to their new Western homes would HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH it either.”

    What a ridiculous statement. “Egyptian-version of religious toleration”? What, the state sanctioned habit of throwing people who challenge the US supported client regime in town? How patently absurd. What 100% of Muslims is how in the world are Westerners remain so ignorant and clueless to the real threat in their societies. But what to expect from a people that has in the past shown such incredible disregard for Human Rights, human blood or life? That has pre-preemptively struck at perceived enemies (many, many times) and has actually proposed to make such behavior an official policy? That blows its own trumpet regarding Liberal Democracy at a time when democratic participation is at an all time low and where elections are increasingly a circus freak show? Where it’s mostly money that will buy you a seat at the top brass table? A culture in which lies, deceit, commercial fraud, corporate baby-speak, secrecy, propaganda, hypocrisy, double standards and more besides that, are ingrained?

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  68. Iesa Galloway

    @ Mike,

    I hope my main points don’t get lost. One, I never said all minority groups! :) When (speaking to other commentators) I endorsed the free market place of ideas, I apply that approach with the full belief that bad ideas will eventually die or be marginalized due to their very nature. So while some ideologies have minority movements, that in no way detracts from the point that minority movements have benefited the larger society.

    Again, the premise here is that the minority advocates for it’s own issues, and that benefits others. Need a concrete example? The ADL’s “No Place for Hate” campaign is most definitely rooted in self-interest, however, forward thinking groups banded together to speak on a broader platform of not stereotyping individuals based on their ethnic (including religion) backgrounds. So this initiative, while being very beneficial for American Jews, also benefits a host of other minorities. Need another more altruistic example? When Japanese Americans campaigned for a official US apology for internment camps, it gave them the ability to now speak out about the potential of history repeating itself. So yes, I stand by the historical record that a group advocating for its own legitimate interests does benefit the larger society. However to agree with this reality, we have to have room in our hearts and minds that minorities are equal to us (in human worth, rights and dignity, a teaching endorsed by Islam… in that the difference among humans is in their piety, not their race, wealth or lineage) and have gifts and benefit to offer. If this was so easy the minorities would not have challenges.

    @ CMAR II,

    You are making some HUGE leaps and assumptions here.

    You continually bring up the possibility of Theo Van Gough type of incidents. My point is that alienation and disenfranchisement BOTH lead to BIG problems for minorities. In Van Gough’s case in particular the killers note, which he stabbed into Van Gough’s chest was written in perfect Dutch. Many people should learn that while religious window dressing is applied to horrible actions, the actors are motivated by a multiplicity of reasons and indoctrinations. Primarily, a sense of hopeless disfranchisement and inability to better one’s situation. Don’t take my word for it, let’s go to University of Haifa scholar Ami Pedahzur http://www.eisenhowerseries.com/pdfs/final_05/pedahzur_ppt.pdf a leading expert on suicide bombing.

    So what is good for a Muslim youth trying to thrive in Canada, the US or Europe for that matter? Allowing him to be who he is AND be a respected, empowered and accepted part of society. This is precisely why more problems happen in places like France than in the US. Minorities in the US have so much more opportunity.

    Lastly, if “many Muslims” wanted people to think we “were made of gasoline” (interesting choice of words… explosive and flammable in nature and related to the world’s dependency on oil.. pretty crafty of you) would we be dialoging as we are right now?

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  69. Constantine Magildahyde

    Anonymouse,
    You have the answer to your question right in this comment thread. The reason muslims cannot present a reasonable, strong front in a Western society is people like Mustaafa. Yes, you have pointed out several time in these comments that not all muslims can be judged by the actions or opinions of a few bad actors, and that’s completely valid. The problem is that it isn’t a few. The fact that Mustaafa is posting that that YOU found him reasonable enough to allow his comments IS THE PROBLEM. Christianity (as well as all other religions) certainly has it’s kooks. No doubt there. But in the entire United States of America, I’d venture a guess that there are only 5 to 10 Christians that would make me concerned for my physical safety if I was in the same room as them. And those are people who would likely be worrisome no matter their religion. The same thing cannot be said for Islam. There is no way most people would ever want to be alone in a room with Mustaafa, because he comes across as VIOLENT and UNWEILDING. That being said, he is not the problem. You accepting his opinion as valid is the problem…
    I’m another athiest and just observing here, but this is what I see: Christians have crazies, just like Islam. But when a Christian gets violent or whacky, all other Christians say something along the lines of, “Oh heck no, that crazy guy has nothing to do with us, and we’ll help you arrest him.” When some Islamic guy gets violent and whacky, the muslim response is more like, “Yes, what he did was wrong, BUT [insert apologist remark here]“.
    It’s that “but” that is the crux of your problem. You accept the whacky guys as valid while Christians reject them. The Christians say that violence is wrong and leave it at that, while a muslims says that yeah the guy was wrong, but he had a right to be mad because of Palestine, Isreal, Iraq, Iran….. whatever. We’re tired of the excuses. The crazy guy is wrong. Period. No exceptions. And that includes Mustaafa. I understand your balancing act here with wanting to allow free discussion while not letting it get out of hand. I just want you to know that HE IS YOUR PROBLEM.

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  70. CMAR II

    @Iesa Galloway

    ***You continually bring up the possibility of Theo Van Gough type of incidents. My point is that alienation and disenfranchisement BOTH lead to BIG problems for minorities. In Van Gough’s case in particular the killers note, which he stabbed into Van Gough’s chest was written in perfect Dutch. ***

    Rather than Van Gogh incidents, I’ve been talking about Muslims who show an open-mindedness to tamping free speech liberty for the purposes of religion shielding their own religion (in the fashion of nations in the Middle East). For the majority of non-Muslims, IF the only choice is between inevitable eventual dhimmitude or to make Muslims feel so unwelcome they will leave, they will find the latter to be an easy choice. Given that, the CIC and CAIR (who took 5 months to condemn the 9-11 attacks) are the worst enemies of Islamic liberty in North America.

    The Van Gough incident was not on my mind, but the “perfect Dutch” does imply that integration is not a cure for the problem…whatever one thinks it is. It is absurd to argue that being Muslim or Middle Eastern is a ticket to disenfranchisement in Canada or the US. A short walk through the cubicles of any software development company will prove that.

    CIC and CAIR are not sponsors of suicide bombings or murder, but they do happily use that backdrop to squelch open criticism of the Islam or its practicers (ala claims that the Danish cartoons have killed people). My point is not about the freaks who kill publishers and producers. It is about Muslims who speak sympathetically toward such people (alienation and disenfranchisement) rather than with revulsion.

    **were made of gasoline” (interesting choice of words… explosive and flammable in nature and related to the world’s dependency on oil.. pretty crafty of you) **

    Actually, I had a picture in mind of a guy in crowded theater with cans of gasoline hooked to a suicide vest.

    Most of the oil in North America comes from Canada, Mexico, and the US and the gasoline is all refined locally. I have no problem with buying cheap oil from Saudi Arabia anymore than I mind having my tennis shoes made in Indonesia, although I don’t think we should make domestic oil artificially expensive or rare.

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  71. mike

    Iesa, thanks for your considered and thoughtful response. if only the blatantly racist neo-Nazi homophobic purveyors of hate like “Dr. M.” would listen to the likes of you and regain their lost sanity, there would be no problem. Unfortunately religion does have a way of making some vulnerable people completely crazy and dangerous. And I’m not just talking about Islam either.

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  72. Iesa Galloway

    CMAR II,

    Glad we are now more than 7-11 owners and have progressed to programmers in cubicles :) , maybe in a few years and after Muslim doctors save a few 100,000 more lives we will be recognized for our over representation of doctors!

    Integration from the minority’s side does not ensure that they are a respected, empowered and accepted part of society.

    “Inevitable eventual dhimmitude” is an irrational fear… Muslims in the US are around 2% of the population. Furthermore, you are assuming that there is some sort of universal clandestine takeover plot. Muslims in the US are as diverse as the US itself, spanning every race and culture. Those that are recent immigrants or even with second or third generations from immigrant families all came for many different reasons, from asylum, to education, to opportunity… and this does not even take into consideration those who are converts (aprox. 30% of US Muslims are African American, not to mention the rapidly growing Hispanic and Anglo demographics). Furthermore the logic that Muslims using legal action and social pressure to prevent Islam and Muslim bashing is going to lead to “dhimmitude” is very similar, if not identical to the under currents of DrM’s comments about American/European Jewry.

    It is natural to fear the unknown. While, I have to respect you for cognitively acknowledging Muslims are diverse, it is pretty clear that emotionally we are still categorized as a monolith… just make the transition to monotheism and you can then safely think of us all in one easy package to comprehend :) , but other than that were are just as hard to pigeon hole as any other group that makes up about one in five people on the planet.

    The ideas that ‘Muslims are not disenfranchised because cubicles in the west are filled with programmers and cheap tennis shoes from Indonesia along with cheap gas from Saudi…’ all sound like service read “Dhimi” roles me.

    “Actually, I had a picture in mind of a guy in crowded theater with cans of gasoline hooked to a suicide vest. ” — Please do read the pdf I linked above on suicide bombing!..

    I am pretty convinced that you are genuinely concerned for your own/and your country’s well being and not a simple hater… So please realize that this need for repeated condemnations and displays of “revulsion” is quite frankly VERY insulting as it questions the humanity of all Muslims. The Muslims track record of speaking out against atrocities is so clear that questioning it is a distraction and I believe VERY dishonest.

    On a lighter note I am very happy to learn and understand yours and other non-Muslims thoughts and concerns. I hope that the opportunities to befriend the Muslims at your places of employment, in your neighborhoods or cities are not wasted. If you are scared of all the inherent dangerous of interacting with Muslims, just remember that scolding hot teas (with mint, cardamon or milk) can be allowed to cool before you handle them and that the yogurt side dishes can help you temper those spicy items that reach chemical warfare levels in intensity. :)

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  73. DrM

    “if only the blatantly racist neo-Nazi homophobic purveyors of hate like “Dr. M.” would listen to the likes of you and regain their lost sanity, there would be no problem.”

    A typical response of anti-Muslim fanatics(CMAR’s in particular) unable to refute a single point I’ve made, instead opting for deluded projections and the adhominem attack route. I’m a “neo-nazi homophobe” b/c I refuse to entertain the trash of Zionists like Mark Steyn and his anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. Thanks for confirming that you indeed are a blithering idiot and hypocritical racist stooge, Mike. I don’t live my life to please the likes of you.
    Get back to when you find those mythical Iraqi WMD, boys.

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  74. DrM

    I’d also like to point out that there is no such word as “dhimmitude” in Islam, it’s an invention of anti-Muslim bigots(like Jewish extremist nutter Bat Yeor). The term “Dhimmi” refers to “people of the contract”, and indicates non-Muslim citizens of protected status extended special privileges in the Islamic state, including freedom from the tax known as Zakat, freedom of worship and protection from foreign enemies on an equal footing with Muslim citizens. Non-aggression treaties observed by treaties signed by the Ottoman Empire, for instance, refer to “Muslims and Dhimmi” as being protected on an equal footing from harm by other signatories. In Muslim Andalusia and elsewhere, such citizens often took positions high in government, one Jewish Dhimmi becoming foreign minster of Cordoba, while others such as Samuel the Nagid established new heritages in their religious culture while enjoying Dhimmi status.
    If you want to compare this treatment to the niceness of Christianity, one need only examine the fate of Andalusian Jews, or even heretical Christians, following the later conquest of Iberia by Christians, or that of the Jews of Jerusalem at the hands of the First Crusade.
    Use of the word “dhimmitude”, like that of “islamofascism”, is certain proof of ignorance and dishonest motives, not to mention stupidity.
    Better hit the history books hard boys.

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  75. mike

    Your own words have condemned you here, “Dr.M.” Racists always show themselves – they (you) just can’t help it.

    I am no “anti-Muslim fanatic” and in fact have personally aided Muslims who came to the west escaping oppression in their countries of origin. Nor was I a believer in Iraq’s non-existent WMDs; I fervently opposed the invasion of Iraq. So you can go back to your dank neo-Nazi cave and fantasize all you want about Jewish conspiracies and the glories of Der Fuhrer. If on the other hand you are simply a “troll” trying to give Muslims a bad image, you are succeeding.

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  76. mike

    “Furthermore the logic that Muslims using legal action and social pressure to prevent Islam and Muslim bashing is going to lead to “dhimmitude” is very similar, if not identical to the under currents of DrM’s comments about American/European Jewry.”

    Iesa, all of us secular-liberal-humanist leftie types are very very concerned about muslim-bashing just as we are about gay-bashing and jew-bashing. Anyone who goes around assaulting Muslims because of their religion or gays because of their sexuality should be subject to a lengthy prison term. But simply criticizing a set of beliefs is not “bashing” anyone. The harsh reaction to the whole MacLeans case was motivated by revulsion at a blatant attempt to undermine freedom of speech and press, which are core values in secular liberal societies. An open marketplace of ideas is the best way for societies to progress, as history shows.

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  77. DrM

    Thanks for taking of care oppressed Muslims(who probably came from countries run by one of Uncle Sam’s local client regimes), Mike. The “white man’s burden” is a tough job I’m sure. Seriously though, my words haven’t “condemned,” me, they’ve raised the bar to expose hypocrites who pretend to be something they’re not. Your response was laughable if not predictable. The usual ad hominem attacks only serve to demonstrate that you are not interested in dialogue, just hypocrisy, obfuscation and deceit. The only Nazi here is you, take that and chew on it with your copy of Mein Kampf. No wonder you’re so taken with this nonsense of Muslims wanting to take you over.
    You claim to have opposed the war in Iraq, and never believed in the WMD lies. Really? Then why are you so ready to believe the rubbish of Mark Steyn, the neocon charlatan who was promoting these lies in the first place? The same man who is :

    Supporter of War in Iraq, WMD lies and all
    Supporter of Jewish terrorism, and zionist Eretz Yisroel fantasies rooted 5000 years in the past with God as their real estate agent.
    Insists that Obama is a Muslim
    Sees a Muslim conspiracy everywhere to take over the West(which is already compromised by zionism)

    Anybody who says that PNAC, Zionism, Jewish extremism which rife in the western world is not a major factor is either an ignoramus, or a disingenuous person. Steyn belongs to the same fraternity of neocons who distributed 28 million copies of anti-Muslim propaganda DVDs. If you’re too dumb or afraid of connecting the dots, that’s your problem, not mine. I don’t have an inferiority complex, nor am I saddled with “white guilt” over the Holocaust to slavishly denounce any criticism of Israel and its amen corner in the West. I’m not going to play nice with racist Judeofascist bastards hell bent on slandering Muslim minorities with their conspiracy theories. If you had “freedom of speech” or a system worth a damn, such criminals would not have been able to infiltrate your institutions and corrupt them.
    I don’t live my life to please you or any “liberal secular humanists” with your one dimensional sloganeering and pseudo-intellectual clap trap. No wonder the necons started out as extreme leftists.
    Reread my earlier comments and try and refute me instead of wasting my time with childish ad hominem labels. Now if you’ll excuse me, Ive got a super secret meeting in a curry restaurant to attend, planning the mass cloning Muslims to take over western civilization.

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  78. mike

    Dr. Nazi, I am not a fan of Steyn, nor do I accept his thesis of Muslims trying to take over the world. Your words expose you as bitter and twisted hater, and that is very sad. Anyone who believes in worldwide Jewish conspiracies of world dominance is a Nazi by definition as that was the main theme of Mein Kampf. You are simply pathetic.

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  79. anon

    “Then why are you so ready to believe the rubbish of Mark Steyn,”

    Umm, DrM, you are aware that there are really no comments here by Mike even indicating that he supports Steyn’s writings. I’m really not sure what you’re so riled up about with regards to his comments. Maybe you should chill out about. Sheesh. Oh yes, don’t forget your token “jews are taking over the world” if you respond.

    What’s really amusing is that with your “Aaah, the Jews are coming run for your lives!” your comments demonstrate you’re no different than Steyn or any other of the crackpots out there. Just a different religion that’s all. Sorry to disappoint

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  80. Joe Mama

    As a staunch atheist, about half of the attacks above, by “both” sides, make me shudder. There are two fringe sides of the same stupid coin doing the same accusatory cyber-dance that’s grown so tiresome. Extremism, be it Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or anything else, is the problem. For folks who claim their religion is all about tolerance or love or peace, a lot of the talk above does those claims a real disservice.

    As far as the article goes, I thought it was solid. We’re I Muslim I’d be fuming at the CIC.

    Regarding MEMRI, I pose this to Amad: The 4 articles you linked didn’t really do much to debunk MEMRI. Sure, they have an angle. Fine. But you have to accept that the clips, which are what they are in all their repugnant glory, are the exact sort of ammunition that some in the West desire. It’s proves their bigoted point. Every clip of HAMAS TV with the little Disney-esque bee getting murdered by the Joooooos, every clip of a brainwashed child saying “Mama Killed Five Jews and She Is in Paradise” – those are the fodder that fuels some of the obnoxious, pompous Christians that are here arguing with you. Sure, 95% of the Arab media might be sunshine and lollipops, but nobody disputes the bile MEMRI highlights.

    No one is innocent.

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  81. Iesa Galloway

    @ DrM,

    Walaikum Asalaam,

    I am reminded of the classic story of Abu Hanifa and his son. Where Abu Hanifa forbade his son from debate. His reason was that when Abu Hanifa debated he was afraid of his opponents mistakes as it could/would lead them astray or further astray. In his son’s case it was that they wanted to win… i.e. they had no care for their opponents outcome.

    Let us make our points firmly, but as the Quran instructs in the best way. It is only God that guides and the hearts of men are in His hands.

    I guess what I am saying is that the human capacity for hypocrisy and double standards is enormous and our ability to rationalize it is even more staggering. (In no way am I implying that you are a hypocrite or that you should not debate) What I am saying is a lesson from PR and advertising, in which we learn that it takes multiple exposures to a message before it becomes something that people will even consider. Let us live up to the famous saying that a Muslim is like a date palm tree, it is tall (confident), provides shade, has deep roots (stable and durable) and when people throw rocks at it it throws back fruit. No, let’s not turn the other check as a rule of thumb… but let us show people truth and goodness and give it to them in a manner that is pleasing. This puts us in a better position if before God they should ever accuse us of not presenting real monotheism.

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  82. AnonyMouse

    My apologies for my absence on my own post thread! Real life has a way of interfering with even the most fascinating of online exchanges :)

    First of all, jazaakAllahu khairan to brother Iesa for picking up the slack and responding far better than I ever could.

    Now:
    It’s unfortunate that this discussion has taken a turn that I’m not overly fond of; that is, issues and arguments are being brought up that have nothing to do with the actual subject at hand, and moreover these are topics which have been addressed time and time again. While I appreciate the exchange of ideas, I personally find it tiresome that stereotypes, prejudices, and blatantly inaccurate and misleading statements are being thrown around in an effort to “prove” points.

    @ Constantine

    “The fact that Mustaafa is posting that that YOU found him reasonable enough to allow his comments IS THE PROBLEM.”

    I disagree with that. The fact is that I was hoping (in vain?) that readers would be intelligent enough to discern what reflects the views of the author, and what is views belong to the individual commenters. For those who claim to be proponents of free speech, it seems that they like it only when it’s in their favour – and they’re quick to twist things to make their own points, even if it’s clear that what you’ve claimed is tenuous at best, nonexistent at worst.

    “But in the entire United States of America, I’d venture a guess that there are only 5 to 10 Christians that would make me concerned for my physical safety if I was in the same room as them.”

    Hmmmm, I guess you haven’t been to the Bible Belt lately and had a similar discussion with passionate evangelicals and the like! Does Pat Robertson ring a bell?

    It seems that your main point is that the only way for Muslims to have good PR is for us to basically do whatever you tell us to: to think a certain way, to act a certain way. Not only that, but even sadder is that clearly you don’t pay enough attention to us anyway to realize that much of what you say would be better PR for Muslims (condemning violence, terrorism, etc.) *has already been done by the Muslim community* – so obviously not many people care enough to do their research before they throw around judgements.

    This is what *I* find unacceptable: that in your eyes, the only way we can be ‘accepted’ is to obey what you dictate to us.

    Yes, we want to show the West that we are a reasonable, law-abiding, contributing community to this society just as the Christian, Jewish, etc. communities are – but we will not do this by compromising our own beliefs, and at the risk of losing our own self-respect.

    It’s important to note that I, at least, don’t equate good PR with agreeing 100% with others or having them agree with me; rather what I have in mind is that despite our differences and disagreements, we can be taken seriously, have our concerns considered and addressed, and cooperate with others in building a better society for us all.

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  83. DrM

    You continue to prove my point for me, Mike. Not only are you a liar but a pathetic hypocrite to boot. You claim not to be a fan of Steyn, yet support his Hitlarian disinformation campaign. How Orwellian of you. I’ve presented FACTS, you’ve presented nothing but childish name calling which reveals your true colors as a gate keeper. Stupid as you are you’re unable to tell the difference between a Jew and a Zionist, or perhaps presenting them as synonymous is your intention to begin.
    Zionistm are real, no amount of screeching by their amen corner will make the facts go away. I’m sure if the neocons were Muslims, you wouldn’t be so petrified at pointing out their background. The Jewish roots of Neoconservatism are fully acknowledged even by Jewish writers like Thomas Friedman. When an uppity Muslim says it, you have a problem. Play your phony “white liberal” act on someone who can’t read between the lines, Nazi.

    @anon
    I’m afraid you haven’t been reading too well. Mike has bitten off more then he can chew. The problem here is zionism and the evident self censorship among self styled “free speech” champions. Reread my earlier comments and try and refute me instead of wasting my time with your silly straw man projections.

    @Lesa Galloway,
    I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Muslims don’t need loonies on the Right or the Left to speak for us. I’m not going to allow disingenuous cretins like Mike to misrepresent my views. I present facts, and the best they have to offer is “you’re a Nazi.” Zionist politcial correctness in action. This coming from the same people who use the same arguments “they are against our way of life” “they are worthless”, “lazy”, “they will take over”, “they need to be stopped”, “they are evil”, “they have conspired to erase our identity”, “our culture is greater than theirs”, “they are cancer”, “they breed like rats”: When attitudes like this become mainstream (both in right and left), it means that your society has severely changed. These people suffer of the illness called national-socialists ideology. It has both socialist and conservative ingredients.

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  84. Miako

    Shalom. I have been reading this discussion with interest, and sadness. Sadness for all the people who fail to listen to each other.

    If no one else will speak against the murders and terrorism of the Christian Right, I WILL! I will also speak against the idiots in the Jewish Right Wing, and against the Muslim idiots. I hope we can have a giant left-center paradise where no one wants to harm someone else! It is true that there are always crazies, everywhere.

    I am of a religion, being Jewish, that does not seek to convert everyone under the sun. There are such religions. Judaism, as much as it wants to be a racial as well as religious group, simply isn’t! More appropriate to understand it as ethnicity, a shared cultural system.

    I am hopeful that my Wiccan and Pagan friends would be allowed to live in peace under Muslim rule, should such a thing ever come to pass. Would that be possible?

    I’d rather not think of any religion as being right, but instead as being good. Good does not imply bad nearly as much as right implies wrong.

    In terms of good PR — The Israeli Red Cross (mogen dovid adom) did a good thing by helping out in the former Yugoslavia. Such expansion and help to those who are of different faiths than you would truly help [it also helps to have a favorable media, but that will come in time].

    I am quite aware of the good treatment of Jews in Muslim countries, for hundreds of years. I think we have found a better way, than separate laws for separate peoples — what do you all think?

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  85. Wakey Wakey

    This is an interesting discussion. I found it through a link from Mark Steyn’s site. I love Steyn. I think he’s great. I’m a Jewish-born atheist myself who’s spent considerable time since 9/11 learning about Islam. One thing that couldn’t be clearer is that Islam in any recognizeable fashion is indeed at odds with Western liberal values.

    Another thing, just as clear and which was pointed out by one of the posters above, is that Islam is terribly resistant to scrutiny. Open book? Oh my, that’s funny! The test of openness is that it allows for unflinching, critical examination by anyone, adherents or not. But I’ve never yet come across a Muslim who agrees with this approach. Put the Koran, Hadith and Sunnas up on the table for close examination by Muslim and non-Muslims scholars alike. Put the whole history of Islamic scholarship under the microscope. And then let’s look at all the various Islamic countries and societies and see where the responsibility for their features, good or bad, truly belongs.

    This kind of analysis will eventually occur. Muslims can huff and puff all they want, they can scowl and cry wolf or do whatever they think might distract the scrutiny but there’s never been a subject, which has withheld such examination in the history of the West. Free minds are like that. We think. We roam. We owe no fealty to imaginary gods and pretty much follow our interest. This Islamic thing is interesting alright. You bet!

    -Edited. Pls keep unsavory humor off the table.

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  86. ibnabeeomar

    Wakey Wakey – go ahead and put it up for examination, what exactly are you expecting to find? i have no issue with anyone examining it in that manner, the Quran says,

    “Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah , they would have found within it much contradiction.”

    My only issue would be whether this “critical examination” is approached from an objective viewpoint or not. and i think the objectivity itself is subjective. an atheist’s perspective will differ on what defines an “objective examination” from what a christian might say.

    even the core issue of the existence of God would never have an “objective” conclusion under the premises that you would propose. so what about everything else which is lesser than that?

    so go read the quran, study it, examine it, and pray to God for guidance to the truth.

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  87. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah.

    @DrM – it’s iesa (properly capitalized) not LESA (capitalized for emphasis).

    sister Anonymouse, another rebuttal to Constantine are the angry hordes of GOP voters who hurl very violent speech about Obama at televised rallies! and a lot of their hatred is evident precisely from their being Christian since they cannot stand that Obama’s father was a Muslim (stating their case as deferentially as possible for those hatemongers).

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  88. wa€key Wakey

    @ ibnabeeomar

    I’m bemused by the Koran asserting that it contains no contradictions when, at the same time, Muslims assert softer Mecca verses to counter the more militant Medina ones. Do you know Bill Warner? He’s a guy who runs a website called “Political Islam” which analyses and criticizes Islam as a political ideology which, of course it is as much as it’s a religious one. He’s written an article there called “The Five Principles” within which says the following regarding dualism in Islam:

    “The third principle is duality, and is unique to Islam. As an example, here is a verse from the Koran:

    109:2 I do not worship what you worship, and you do not worship what I worship. I will never worship what you worship, and you will never worship what I worship. You to your religion, me to my religion.

    This sounds very tolerant, but this verse was written later:

    9:5 When the sacred months are passed, kill the kafirs wherever you find them. Take them as captives, besiege them, and lie in wait for them with every kind of ambush. If they submit to Islam, observe prayer, and pay the poor tax, then let them go their way. Allah is gracious and merciful.

    Now we have absolute intolerance. This contradiction is normal for the Koran and is even addressed in the Koran. The solution to contradiction is called abrogation where the later verse is better than the earlier verse.

    The logic here is very important. Since Allah is perfect and the Koran is the exact words of Allah, then both contradictory verses are true, but the later verse is better or stronger. This leads to dualistic logic where two contradictory facts can both be true.”

    I think we could discuss this and other issues regardless of the fact that I’m an atheist and you’re not because, unlike you, I do believe in objectivity without which there is no logic. Yet I think this is a real problem for Muslims. Indeed, remember how outraged Muslims got at the pope’s speech where he asserted the necessity for logic in faith? This is just one area where clearly Islam stifles human nature. People are, by nature, hard-wired with a sense of logic and also a sense of universality. Islam denies both.

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  89. Suhail

    Wakey you seem to be too full of yourself. You may not know but there are soo many like you on the net that you are like a fish in the sea. There are innumerable web sites crying wolf about Quran and Sunnah. Go ahead search for Ali Sina and others. They are your brothers. So get off your high horses. What you are asking for has already been done and people like you are doing it right now over the whole internet.

    Go and check it out yourself. Quran has been scrutinized by hate mongers just like you and still the number of muslims are growing so go ahead and drown in your own anger.

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  90. White Guy

    Suhail – I guess I’m another one of those of which you speak. By the way, it has nothing to do with being on a “high horse”. The topic of this thread regarded a PR stance and we (Wakey, Christian, myself and a few others on this thread) are trying to help by offering views outside of your community. We are pointing out the problems WE see that must be overcome if you wish to embark on a campaign of making us see things the way you do, meaning Islam in a positive light. If you don’t get outside input, you are doomed to fail.

    Wakey Wakey – Fellow atheist here – Being an atheist, a Jew, or Christian will usually disqualify you from being deemed capable offering anything in regards to examining Islam beyond the light peripheral stuff. It means that no matter how valid or logical anything you say is, there is a built in excuse to shut off discourse as soon as it gets uncomfortable. I’ve been through it many times in comment threads like these on other sites. As soon as the hard questions are asked we are deemed intolerant, racist, hate monger, being on a “high horse” or whatever other label suits the purpose of shutting us down.

    Suhail – We see this name calling for what it is. Feel free to provide input so we can collectively come up with a solution. That is what open discourse is supposed to accomplish. That is what we have here in Canada when people are not using the Human Rights Commissions to try shut it down.

    Trying to shut down conversations with name-calling will accomplish nothing. In the marketplace of ideas the ones with the most merit prevail and those without are marginalized and cast aside. If Islam is indeed the “right” side of the argument you should have no problem standing up to scrutiny of any sort and your unwillingness to debate only shows that you are not equipped to defend your side of the argument or you’re not confident it will stand the test.

    To all – I’ve been in discussions about the inconsistencies before and here’s what you always end up with – the “nicer”, more “civilized” quotations are used when trying to calm the public outrage over things like this:

    Woman stoned to death for adultery after Somali court ruling
    MOGADISHU (AFP) — Thousands of people gathered Monday to witness 50 Somali men stone a woman to death after an Islamic court in the southern port of Kismayo found her guilty of adultery, witnesses said. Aisho Ibrahim Dhuhulow, who had been found guilty of extra-marital intercourse was buried in the ground up to her neck while the men pelted her head with rocks.
    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gDlw7zYhGCUujV64GSv-BEJdMkFg

    Just so you know that is from yesterday’s news cycle. Following the story a little further it turns out she was raped and didn’t commit “adultery” by choice, but rather by force.

    When the non-Muslim outrage hits the fan over displays such as this it usually happens in three stages. First, we experience genuine disgust at the inhumanity. Second we stare in amazement at the silence, indifference and lack of outrage displayed by “moderate” Muslims in the West. Three; Muslims quote soft verse (such as Wakey quoted) from the Koran, leaving out the latter more violent verses supporting these murderous acts. Most non-Muslims, not having too much info on the Koran, know no different and in the interest of being humane, polite and politically correct, they give the pass thinking we might be lacking some information. It’s been that cycle since 9/11 and will continue until the next attack on our soil. It’s Soft Jihad, or Sharia Creep. Yes, a label but it needs to be identified.

    So this article and thread is for the purpose of defining a PR stance and method to give Muslims a better image to the rest of us. The first step of any public relations campaign is to gauge public perception.

    Well, here’s a quick list of what “we” see thanks to our media: The Toronto 18 looking to behead Stephen Harper, the Khadrs, Elmasry and the CIC, Mohammad Momin Khawaja found guilty today, Soharwardy, the “sockpuppets”, the Canadian ties to 9/11 thanks to our weak border security and immigration policies, & Aqsa Parvez.

    That’s off the top of my head, the worst of the worst, but it probably just scratches the surface. THAT is your voice in the media. Does this represent your views and if not how can you get your message out there?

    A good start would be to denounce this stoning and the aspects of the Koran that support it and others like Parvez. Whatever verses are in the Koran which support this should be denounced. If you do that you are turning your back on Islam and could be seen as an apostate – you could be shunned by your community or killed. Maybe not in Canada but on that next trip overseas. Please correct me if I’m wrong but that leaves little room for moderation, doesn’t it?

    An argument often cited in defence of the Koran is the violence in the Bible. What is conveniently ignored is there was Reformation and these things were put out of common practice in Christianity – hundreds of years ago. Other than isolated occurrences, (i.e. whack-job anti-abortionists) this does not happen anymore. The same cannot be said of Islam. It is a daily occurrence in the Middle East. Not here in Canada, but in the name of your religion.

    *REMOVED REFERENCES TO NEOCON ISLAMOPHOBIC HATE SITES*

    I believe these are the voices Suhail speaks of but there again are other Muslims speaking for you and giving you a bad image in the eyes of the Western world, where you and your family chose to live.

    Do they speak for you? Where is your voice in these matters? How about Elmasry – the guy who claims all in Israel over the age of 18 are fair game?

    I’m not being facetious when I say this – the ONLY way there will be peace among us is if your religion goes through a similar Reformation. We all know that will not happen as the Koran is said to be perfect and thus could not be changed or parts of it ignored. Thus we are doomed to clash. It’s unfortunate but after the niceties and faux debate that’s what you end up with.

    If you only try to change us it will not work and we will push back. That is what happened with Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant. If you only move to change yourself, it will not work either as you will end up more divided than you are now. We all need to find a middle ground and it’s not too far off but you have to be willing to accept that parts of your religion are not compatible with Western Society and move to make compromises or in the marketplace of ideas you will become marginalized.

    I am overtly tolerant of all religions even though I am an atheist. I believe my views of tolerance are held dearly by the majority of Canadians, Americans and others in the West. I believe everyone should be free to practice their beliefs as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others to practice their beliefs. I am, however, intolerant of murder. I am intolerant of repression and mutilation of women. I am intolerant of threats and warnings of what is “not wise” to do or say. I am intolerant of people driving planes into buildings or blowing themselves up in crowded markets killing innocent people. I am intolerant of these murdered people being looked upon as fair game because of their beliefs. I am intolerant of gays being whipped or put to death for being gay. I am intolerant of “honour killings”. I am intolerant of a woman being buried to her waistline or neck and being stoned to death because someone raped her. I am ESPECIALLY intolerant when any of this is done in the name of any religion.

    Defeat that perception and you will have no problems building a positive Western view of Islam.

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  91. anthon

    Houstonian –

    so the angry GOP “hordes” hate Obama because his father was a Muslim, and they are Christians? this is all based on what?

    consider that people dislike Obama because he is a pro-abortion, socialist who seems willing to advance every Dem agenda

    your view of American conservatives is at least as stereotypical as many of ours is of Muslims.

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  92. Ibnkhalil

    The underlying assumption that “a few others” are making in this thread is that religion is man made thus it can be criticized and mocked. This philosophy may work in scientific analysis but it does not work with regards to the deen i.e. Islam. So all you need to understand is that Islam is not man-made and is sent to us by Allah. One more question all of you should be asking yourselves is, are you looking for the truth? If you are looking for the truth put that in your mind the next time you open up the Quran or a book of Hadith. If the idea of reading it is to just debate for intellectual pleasure then this is a complete waste of time. I leave you with the words from the Quran.

    قل يا أهل الكتاب تعالوا إلى كلمة سواء بيننا وبينكم ألا نعبد إلا الله ولا نشرك به شيئا ولا يتخذ بعضنا بعضا أربابا من دون الله فإن تولوا فقولوا اشهدوا بأنا مسلمون
    Say: “O People of the Book(i.e. Jews and Christians)! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah.” If then they turn back, say ye: “Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah’s Will). Surah Al Imran:V64.

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  93. Rifai

    White guy,

    Since you did post a link to the article it is incongrous with your commentary on it – there is no reference to any rape , and she insisted on it being carried out.

    “She was asked several times to review her confession but she stressed that she wanted Sharia law and the deserved punishment to apply”

    Do keep in mind that there are 4 witnesses that are required in cases of adultery to convict anyone of it ( without there being a cover in between to keep the act private from the witnesses). Even in cases of a women becoming pregnant from adultery, it comes to my attention that giveing them the benefit of the doubt might be the opinion to take in classical Islamic jurisprudence.

    Coming from the secular humanistic background that you clearly identify with these subtleties might matter little , since you no doubt view adultery as a popular societal pastime that needs no regulation , and i dont mean that to belittle your contribution to the debate , just to point it out.

    Coming to broader issue that you point out and its solution, indeed there is no scope for altering the Koran and coming up with reinterpretations that twist it into the western mold to garner acceptance. But the thing to keep in mind here is that when the Koran is studied in light of it true context , the understanding of the recognized classical scholars, you are hardly faced with the frightening notions that current day media gives us due to its biased reporting of alleged and real Muslim outrages. This is not to say that , in the final analysis, there can be a reconciliation with all aspects of secular humanism. There can be I believe be enough , however ,to warrant at least a respectable case of “agreeing to disagree”.

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  94. White Guy

    Ibnkhalil said: The underlying assumption that “a few others” are making in this thread is that religion is man made thus it can be criticized and mocked. This philosophy may work in scientific analysis but it does not work with regards to the deen i.e. Islam. So all you need to understand is that Islam is not man-made and is sent to us by Allah.

    Ibnkhalil, you are correct in your assumption and I didn’t look at it that way. Thank you for pointing it out as I feel you have given me valuable insight.

    I have no interest in offending anyone or mocking and that is not what I was trying to do. I believe that you believe, just as you believe that I don’t. I respect you for your strength of faith even though I don’t expect the same courtesy.

    Honestly the single most useful insight I have been given into your plight, on any website or book I’ve read, came from this website and a commenter on this thread:

    http://muslimmatters.org/2007/04/30/muslims-in-the-west-where-are-we-going-yasir-qadhi-in-london/
    Posted on May 4th, 2007 by Umm Reem

    If you can relay that message, many will understand.

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  95. Amad

    With reference to the comments by “White Guy”, the atheist, as composed to, for instance, Musa Maguire, the white guy who is Muslim (hope you get the point):

    At first I was planning to ignore your diatribe, because the familiar arguments and stereotyping have been refuted before. However, unlike other loud mouths, you chose to make your case in a relatively civil manner, so I think it deserves a reply, not because you have made any new or totally objective arguments, but because you rehashed old arguments “smoothie-style” that can be a bit like kool-aid ;) :

    So, let me break down your views:

    1) You claim to provide an outsider “cold-eyes” view on the Muslims, and that this outside input is so essential that if Muslims don’t accept it, we are doomed. Implicitly, you want us to believe that you are unbiased and objective.

    2) You claim that in the eyes of Muslims, being a non-Muslim makes you incapable of examining Islam. (Of course that didn’t stop you)

    3) No one can argue with your likes, except to resort to name-calling, and that we are not debating you because we don’t have substantive arguments.

    4) Just from “yesterday’s news-cycle”, you are able to find a woman who was stoned for adultery, even though she was raped (according to your “objective” news sources).

    5) Similar incidents of abuse and injustice are so common among Muslims, that it disgusts you, but Muslims remain silent.

    6) Even though you would rather not have, you are “forced” to throw in labels such as “jihad creep” or “shariah creep” because Muslims gloss over violent verses and just focus on the “kind ones”

    7) Off the top of the head, as an “average” Canadian, you can rumble off a list of “bad things” that Muslims in Canada have been involved in.

    8.) You want Muslims to denounce all these, and then denounce everything that goes on in the Muslim world, committed by Muslims (in the name of Islam or not is irrelevant).

    9) The bible has violent verses but since there has been a reformation, they don’t form a basis for comparison to violent verses in the Quran. So, Muslims need a reformation.

    10) Without a reformation and without denying that the Quran is the complete word of God, there is no chance for Muslims except to clash with non-Muslims.

    11) We should change parts of our religion and accept to compromise.

    12) You are “overly” tolerant of all religions but you are not tolerant of murder and a host of other evil things, which you believe (as is implicit in your argument) that Muslims are fine with. And until Muslims change that perception, and the West will have a positive view of Islam.

    I think that summarizes it well. So, let’s break it down REALLY:

    1) You do not represent the average Canadian, who can rattle off clearly Islamophobic websites, where you take your information from. You are a follower of the biggest creators of Islamophobia in the West. You clearly follow the “Islamic threat” closely, and you probably have nightmares about Muslims who are about to kill you.

    2) Despite your attempts to appear unbiased, you clearly have a strong prejudice against Islam. You really do believe that Muslims and Islam allow and accept blowing up buildings, oppressing women, and the host of other things that you can’t tolerate. It doesn’t matter to you of course that when Muslims follow their religion, there is no other nation that is more just than Muslims.

    3) “Being a non-Muslim makes you incapable of examining Islam”. Huh?? You ignore the fact that there are many, many intelligent, well-respected and illustrious non-Muslim scholars of Islam, who have written books and taught Islam at universities. One example that comes to mind is Dr. Esposito.

    4) Go ahead and look up the entire year’s news-cycle. Yes, please do that. Count the number of stonings, killings of all types, in the name of Islam, and any other injustices you feel like including. And when you are done counting, then please switch out of jihad-watch, and start counting the number of INNOCENT Muslim civilians killed every day in the name of “just” Western causes. And I don’t care what you call it, its still terrorism. For every person killed in a terrorist attack carried out by Muslims, there are tons of Muslims killed every day by the state-sponsored terrorism inflicted all over the world.

    5) When Muslims hear of the 30 odd children or other civilians killed in Pakistan or Afghanistan or Iraq or Chechnya or Palestinie, it disgusts the Muslims all over the world. And then we are more disgusted to see the West remain silent. The “disgust” sound familiar? Do you recognize how hypocritical you and others of your ilk sound for calling out Muslims, when your own double-standards doesn’t allow you to see the bloodshed of Muslims for what it is? Is Muslim blood so cheap? Why does it bother you so much that a woman is unjustly stoned (even if we were to believe you), yet it didn’t bother you that there are so many women turned into prostitutes in Iraq because of the US invasion? Where was your outrage then?

    6) When you start screaming about the injustices against Muslims all over the world, then I am sure you can have the moral authority to ask every Muslim to condemn every injustice committed in the name of Islam, even if it screams in the face of Islam, and has nothing to do with Islam. Of course you fail to notice that we did condemn the Aqsa Parvez killing, which actually turned out not to be even an “honor killing”, but of course you conveniently skipped the post-script.

    7) I also find it interesting that you first assume that all the violent interpretations of the Quran must be correct, and that all the peaceful ones are deceptive and “jihad creep” (where did you get that, from your friend Spencer whose vile site you quoted??). And thus based on this erroneous and ignorant premise, you then concluded that we must change the Quran and have a reformation? See the fallacy of your logic?

    8.) Do you even know what the Reformation stood for? Do you even understand what Christians fought for? Well, let me give you a one sentence answer: Christians fought for the right to be able to read the bible and take Christianity away from the control of corrupt priests. Newsflash: There is absolutely no historical comparison between Muslims and pre-reformation Christians. Pls get this little buzz word “reformation” out of your vocabulary until you know what it really means.

    9) What about the perception of Muslims? No doubt it is negative. And no doubt that some of the actions of ignorant Muslims feeds that. But that is not the entire story. It is not even part of the story. Rather, the reason that non-Muslims have a negative perception is because how the biased media, ably aided by Israeli-hawkish-right-wing-zionists, other extremist Jews, and as well as right-wing evangelicals (as in the case of the production of the Obsession DVD), are SPREADING Islamophobia. These Islamophobia manufacturers (such as Daniel Pipes, Styne, Spencer, Horowitz) spend day and night working on new creative ways to sensationalize any negative news coming from the Muslim world and then using guilt by association to marginalize everyday Muslims.

    It would be similar to a guy sitting in Pakistan, taking daily reports from America of rapes, murders, hate-speeches by evangelicals, etc. and sensationalizing it for the rest of the Pakistanis, as a “Christian thing”. If you had a hundred of these guys, well-paid and well-funded, you can imagine the harm they would do. Well, there you have it. There are a hundred or more of these well-funded individuals in the West, working to marginalize Muslims and create anti-Muslim sentiment everyday.

    10) Muslims have been and will continue to live peacefully in the West, while practicing their religions to the full. Peaceful co-existence is the norm, not a deceptive “jihad-creep” as your Islamophobic friends have brain-washed into believing. There is no secret agenda that I have or every Muslim I have known in this country (and I have come to know a LOT) have when we go to sleep every night in America; no secret agenda that includes planning and plotting the next stage of an Islamic invasion. You have to stop watching conspiracy movies AND FOX.

    11) The only “good Muslims” in the view of the dirty dozen are those who reject the Quran and basically become non-practicing “atheist Muslims”. That is the definition of the “moderate Muslim” per the dirty dozen who you follow (see smearcasting.com). So, when these radicals (in their own way) say that they are not against Muslims, but only radical Muslims, buyer beware. Radical Muslims equals every Muslim except those who don’t act, look or practice Muslim.

    12) Whether you like it or not, Muslims are here to stay. PLS GET THAT.

    Finally,

    13) Just like we have to work on defeating the Islamophobes, and educating non-Muslims who we really are and what we really believe, as opposed to what the dirty-dozen advertise, it is in the interest of non-Muslims to also appreciate and recognize mainstream Muslims. The more the non-Muslim community marginalizes mainstream Muslims, the more it strengthens the fringe radicals, who see it as evidence of the “war against Islam”. Your ALLIES against radicalism are indeed us– mainstream Muslims. But if you marginalize us, then you share the blame for every iota increase in radicalism.

    Hope that makes sense. If it doesn’t, then I hope that you will learn something from smearcasting.com. If that doesn’t help, then God help us all. May Allah guide you to the truth (I hope I am not a “radical” in saying that!).

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  96. Rifai

    wa€key Wakey , how interesting that u should quote someone who is obviously inept when it comes to the scholarship and indeed objectivity needed to understand the verses u have quoted…

    Frankly u dont need a degree in rocket science to understand why the quoted verses are not contradictory , but u do need an open mind.
    It comes down to know what the circumstances were during their revelation.And the message to be derived can be clear when the context is known.A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. It really shows in ur example.

    Do u have any idea when the 109:2 verses were revealed, that is, what context? No, most probably not – they were revealed to the Prophet (SAW) when the pagans tried to strike a deal with him where they would worship God one year and the Muslims would worship their gods the other. This Surah(set of verses) is clearly forbidding this.

    As for 9:5 they were revealed in a period of warfare with the pagans.Not during the time when the Muslims were in Makkah and were not fighting, though oppressed.

    What does a group fighting a war with another do ? Does it pelt the other side with flowers ? Do u want us to believe that our religion is calling for attacking a peaceful other rather than a disdainful , arrogant suppressor of faith?

    Before being so bold as to label a “contradiction” in the Quran please do a little research lest it comes across that you really dont know what you and your source are talking about.

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  97. Charles

    Perhaps I am a bit late to this string but I have a few questions and I would appreciate an honest response from the moderators of this site. I have read the Qur’an, Hadith, and multiple biographies of Muhammed (written mostly by Muslims). I do not read JihadWatch or any other site that is very critical of Muslims. I even watched the nine videos of the American Muslim detailing 5 questions that Muslims in the West should ask themselves.

    I was pleased with the presenter’s assertion that Muslims should not seek to end secular democracies because, for the most part, Muslims are allowed to follow Islam. I was displeased, however, by his statement that this should be so because Muslims are a minority. So here is my question. Do the moderators and Muslims commenting on this site believe in secular democracies? Would you maintain a secular democracy even if there was a Muslim majority, or would you establish an Islamic Republic? Within an Islamic Republic, I am assuming that I would be forced to pay an extra tax (Jizya) and accept inferior status (fewer rights compared to a Muslim), essentially Dhimmi status. Are these assumptions correct? If not, why?

    Just one final quibble. I keep hearing Muslims say that Christianity is wrong because Christians believe that God had a son. To be honest, I am tired of hearing that because it is simply untrue. If you understood Christian doctrine, you would realize that Christians believe that Jesus was God’s manifestation on earth. God did not have a son, he came to earth himself to give humanity his ultimate message. To believe Jesus was God’s manifestation on earth means Christians only believe in one God.

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  98. Ahmad AlFarsi

    Do the moderators and Muslims commenting on this site believe in secular democracies?

    Muslims do not believe in the legitimacy of secular democracies. Actually, in Islam, believing in the legitimacy of secularism is considered disbelief which removes one from the fold of Islam. This is because we believe that only Allah has the ultimate right to legislate.

    That being said, Muslims living in the West are not living here with the goal of implementing Shari’ah. Allah willing, the Muslims need to worry about implementing the Shari’ah in the Muslim countries… as it is hardly applied in our own Muslim-majority countries.

    Also, I used to be Christian before I became Muslim, and I was taught from both Catholics and Protestants that Christians literally believe God had a son (per the Nicene Creed). Are you a Jehovah’s witness (I know they do not affirm the Nicene Creed)? Furthermore, even if Christians only believed that Jesus was simply “the manifestation of God on earth,” Muslims would still consider such a belief to be polytheism, because this is belief is pure anthropomorphism (i.e. saying God takes a form of his human creation), so this is polytheism with regards to the Names and Attributes of God. On the other hand, Muslims affirm the Oneness of God in His Names and Attributes, which means that we believe that Allah is not like His creation in any way, and Allah’s creation is not like Him in any way, and that Allah has the most glorified Names and Attributes, which are infinitely greater and higher and more perfect than those of His creation.

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  99. Joe Mama

    @ Ibnkhalil:

    Believers deserve protection. Beliefs do not.

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  100. White Guy

    Amad, you are absolutely right about me in some ways and way off on others. I’m not going to answer to your comments point for point as that would be too long and I’m sure most here are tired of hearing from me. You seem to buy into your conspiracy theories regarding media or “Islamophobia” just as much as you claim I am being brainwashed.

    You also misinterpret my intentions. In pointing out all the things I did I’m saying THAT is what’s out there that I see. That’s what shaped my opinion. That is what is available to people who look around the web. Now I’m asking why isn’t someone Yasir Qadhi being sought out by the media instead of a windbag like Elmasry? Why isn’t someone from here being approached by the media?

    I have spent a lot of time on this site lately watching videos and reading columns and comments. I haven’t left yet and I don’t think I am a troll or troublemaker. Take that for whatever it is.

    Rifai said: Coming from the secular humanistic background that you clearly identify with these subtleties might matter little , since you no doubt view adultery as a popular societal pastime that needs no regulation , and i dont mean that to belittle your contribution to the debate , just to point it out.

    No, I do not condone adultery. It is wrong. My view isn’t based on religious beliefs but in respect for people (my wife) and the vows we took. I also do not condone it in my friends. Within the last year my wife and I stopped “hanging around” with two different friends because they were involved in affairs that we found out about. I wouldn’t suggest stoning either of them.

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  101. Wakey Wakey

    Charles and White Guy,

    I just wanted to compliment you both on your ability to post clear, intelligent and measured comments here, often in the face of rather provocative insults. It’s an inspiration for any non-Muslim trying to engage in discussions here. Thanks.

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  102. Abu Saifudin

    Well, the real question is: are you claiming that one MUST give up one’s own independent moral and ethical value system in order to be a citizen? In other words, if you wish to live in Canada or America, you are required to relinquish your right to think outside of their system, even if it be a moral disagreement?

    In that case, I think you’d have to be fair and exclude a large percentage of other ‘citizens’ who happen to disagree very strongly about aspects of the Constitution and how its interpreted today. There are many groups out there who disagree with democracy, or capitalism, or ‘mainstream American values’ and are trying, through LEGAL means, to change them. If Americans are so sure about the strength of their doctrines, they should not be challenged or threatened by such attempts.

    While I firmly believe that ‘Islamic law’ is superior to all other forms (although what precisely that Law says in any given situation is certainly subject to difference of opinion), I also believe that if we wish to live in any country, there has to be an OUTWARD acceptance of the laws of the land. This acceptance is not a hypocritical affirmation of something we believe to be false, but a realistic way of living in any political climate. We should openly state that we are loyal citizens but our religion comes first (just like all practicing Christians, Jews, Sikhs, etc. will say).

    As long as a citizen is not openly seeking to overthrow the government via illegal ways, I feel that a state such as America (or Canada) that claims to be ‘free’ must respect the rights of its own citizens if and when their freedoms leads them to disagree with the very foudnations of the State they live in. A secular state cannot take the place of a religious God, demanding ultimate allegiance in all matters from its citizens.

    Basically, a political state that prides itself as being free should allow moral and ethical thoughts to go unchecked and unpenalized, even if they disagree with those thoughts. It is only in the realm of illegal action that the State should intervene.

    In this regard at least, Muslims are no different from many other groups living in these lands who believe in alternative political, cultural, economic and ethical systems than the one America has to offer.


    -Edited to make sense as an independent comment (due to moderation of other comments that this was in response to).

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  103. AnonyMouse

    I’ve stated before that all comments which are unrelated to the topic at hand are going to be modded. Issues such as “would Muslims establish Shari’ah in Canada if they could?” have nothing to do with what I wrote about originally. Therefore, all previous comments and all future comments that go off onto tangents are going to be put in mod.

    Thanks for the interesting discussion and participation nonetheless.

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  104. Wakey Wakey

    Rifai,

    Your Model T metaphor is perfect. Yes, it’s true, you can have any colour you want so long as it’s black. You can practice any religion you want in Canada so long as you don’t seek to undermine Canadian society. If that’s not good enough, you shouldn’t be here.

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  105. Abu Umar

    The bible has violent verses but since there has been a reformation, they don’t form a basis for comparison to violent verses in the Quran. So, Muslims need a reformation.

    This is the common claim, but it is historically inaccurate. The reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin were Biblical literalists who were very intolerant, and used the Bible to justify their intolerance. Martin Luther was a vicious anti-Semite and called for the destruction of Jewish synagogues and copies of the Torah (the Nazis would later employed Luther’s anti-Semitic writings to incite hatred against German Jewry). John Calvin ran a theocratic state in Geneva, Switzerland and ordered the execution of the Spanish unitarian theologian Michael Servetus for heresy. The Reformation lead to numerous decades and centuries of sectarian warfare between Catholic states and Protestant states. The Reformation unleashed one of the bloodiest eras in European history. European Christianity did not become pacified by the Reformation, rather it became more fanatical and violent. It was the Enlightenment and the secularization of Europe that finally defanged Christianity in Europe.

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  106. Abu Umar

    For a deeper study onto this subject matter I recommend reading the works of Dr. Sherman Jackson, Noah Feldman, and others on this topic.

    What did Dr. Jackson write on this topic?

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  107. Siraaj

    LOL@Wakey Wakey. In theory, the tyranny of the majority can always trump the cries of the minority if the right (or wrong) majority is in place – for more witness France’s laws against the Muslim women’s hijaab because of the danger it poses to the religion of secularism.

    Democracies don’t guarantee anything except that the majority wins. If the majority decides to abdicate anything in favor of something they perceive to be better, then I see no problem with that. We each advocate for our own positions in the marketplace of ideas, and whoever wins, wins. Period.

    If a person doesn’t like the situation they are living in, then they can either proactively work from within to change that situation, or they can leave for a better situation. Muslims who advocate for shari’ah law are free to do so, and nonMuslims against it are free to do so as well. We are simply pointing out that Islam itself is not as dire or destructive as others portray it, nor would an implementation of shari’ah be so as well.

    If your contention is that Islam is barbaric due to punitive law, you’ll have to forgive us, we haven’t yet hired the million dollar PR firms that can spin infanticide into slogans such as “pro-choice” or “women’s rights”. Perhaps if we learned the art behind such excellent wordsmithery such turning civilian deaths into “collateral damage” or turning POWs into “unlawful combatants”, we’d be able to better sell you our ideas – what do you think?

    The secular value system you espouse has little, if any, base in values. Should one party come to power, taxes can be redistributed to favor the wealthy and simulate a modern day feudal system. Flip the coin the other way, and we are looking at socialism. There’s no compass guiding conscience of the masses, only the gifted speech of rhetoriticians to sway the electorate this way and that.

    This is why a discussion with a person like yourself by a person such as myself is fruitless – your personal value system is just that – your own. The vast majority of your countrymen may hold certain values true today, but there is no guarantee it will be true tomorrow. My value system is based on my belief in God, and that He knows what is best for mankind, so from my perspective, it is fruitless to justify why my system is better than yours because we are originating from different points, in this respect.

    The discussion we can have, I believe, is whether we believe in this God or not. If that doesn’t resolve itself, then all other discussions are unworthwhile. The back and forth between yourself and others on this thread will not cease save for one’s energy to continue the discussion without resolving this point.

    Siraaj

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  108. Wakey Wakey

    Siraaj,

    Fortunately for us all, human nature is far superior to Islam. Your arguments are specious and any fair-minded person would be shocked at the prospec of anyone thinking like you gaining any political force in this country. You don’t belong here.

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  109. Ahmad AlFarsi

    I think SIraaj was born here, Wakey Wakey. So was I. Maybe, if you can’t tolerate others’ viewpoints, so much so that you want them to leave, it is indeed you who does not belong here. May Allah guide you to Islam. I pray that you and all your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and beyond convert to Islam. Aameen.

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  110. Wakey Wakey

    Even IF Siraaj was born in Canada he doesn’t belong here if he can’t respect Canadian society. Hey, no one’s kicking him out but no one’s going to accomodate his wishes to impose his religion here either. Oh well, too bad eh?

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  111. Amad

    Actually, the only folks who really do “belong here” if the criteria is being “from here” as opposed to immigrantion (regardless of which generation), then the real inheritors of America are the native Indians, whose land, way of life, culture and religion were all usurped by the white masters; the natives who were killed and banished from their own lands. It’s tough to speak with moral authority as to who has what right to this land, and under which culture and religion, with that kind of historical baggage. Food for thought Sleepy :)

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  112. Wakey Wakey

    No, Amad, wrong. Whatever arguments you might have against the legitimacy of Canada’s establishment in the first place, the reality is that this country’s here and it has values which are non-negotiable. It is not now, nor will it ever be, an Islamic state. Nice try though! :)

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  113. Charles

    Ahmad,

    You’re a moderator right? Seems a bit strange you would respond to me just to have your friend say my comments are not appropriate. I’m just trying to understand; and to be honest, you guys brought the subject up by linking to that video (which I patiently listened to). Anyway, I think I have my answers.

    Take care all of you.

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  114. Siraaj

    Fortunately for us all, human nature is far superior to Islam.

    Thanks for clarifying that bunky – so tell me, is human nature for or against abortion? For or against the death penalty? For or against gun control? For or against universal health care? For or against trickle-down economics? For or against capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism, and any variants thereof?

    Tell me is human nature for or against cannibalism? For or against rape? For or against pre-marital sex? For or against adultery? For or against pornography?

    Explain to me human nature’s position so that it may be clearly contrasted against Islam’s position.

    Siraaj

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  115. White Guy

    Boy, it’s tough to stay on subject…


    Abu Saifudin said: Basically, a political state that prides itself as being free should allow moral and ethical thoughts to go unchecked and unpenalized, even if they disagree with those thoughts. It is only in the realm of illegal action that the State should intervene…

    Abu, you are free to have your moral and ethical thoughts to go unchecked and unpenalized. You can thank Canada and the US for that. Your beliefs do not break any laws in and of themselves. However if you had your way, would that right be extended to non-Muslims? I think not because anything said against Islam would be a crime and thus punishable by law. That’s the message these HRC cases were sending. Badmouthing Islam is off limits but we are free to speak against Christianity, or secularism. That is not a free society, so you can’t have it both ways. Either everyone is free or nobody is.


    Amad said: Actually, the only folks who really do “belong here” if the criteria is being “from here” as opposed to immigration (regardless of which generation), then the real inheritors of America are the native Indians

    That’s actually beneath your intelligence to argue that. To start with, it was 400 years ago and Western society has progressed quite a bit beyond what was happening then. There is absolutely a problem there that needs to be addressed but unfortunately few seem able to do anything or provide any answers as the sides are bogged down with grievance hustlers and people looking to line their own pockets first. All I can say is at least we’re trying to make amends, doing a horrible job, but trying.

    BUT – If you want to play by those standards by trying to evoke guilt the same can be said of Muslims in Europe, and the Ottoman Empire. At what point are the original inhabitants the inheritors? How long do you have to be “in power” to stake a claim? Do we need to trace all of our roots back to the Roman Empire, the Egyptians, the Greeks or before that? To find out where we should be and which lands we are “entitled” to? Should the Roman Empires’ decedents be forced to pay reconciliation for the dispossessed even today? If we go back that far then Muslims will have nothing (including Mecca) because Islam didn’t start until 600-700 AD.

    That, my friend, is what we call a slippery slope. If you allow one consolation you will inevitably have to allow others based on that precedent and the principle you established.


    Siraaj said: The secular value system you espouse has little, if any, base in values.

    Actually this is where you have it wrong. The Western value system was originally Judeo Christian and still holds many aspects of that. The core value over and above it all and the basis of Western society is individual freedom. Everything else branches off of that one “value”. Freedom to practice religion, freedom to start your own business, freedom to say or do anything you want.

    If your freedom infringes on someone else’s freedom, then there is a problem. That is where democracy comes in. The majority speak against the minority who see those views as hurtful. The minority then are free to persuade a change of opinion. If they fail to sway opinion they are marginalized from “mainstream” but are still free to do as they please as long as it does not infringe on every else’s freedoms.
    Democracy speaks to which laws need to be made and how they are to be enforced.


    Siraaj said: Explain to me human nature’s position so that it may be clearly contrasted against Islam’s position.

    In order to answer this you would need to write an essay. Your question is based in the “religion establishes morals” side of the equation. This is usually the second question thrown at atheists after “who created the universe”.

    My explanation would be scoffed at by you because it would be scientific and behavioral, not religious, in its basis so I won’t waste my time and will only summarize to say I believe much of it is an evolving belief system based on teachings, interactions and personal experiences whereby we learn what is acceptable based on the actions of others and the reactions to our actions – same way you teach a child what is right and wrong.

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  116. Siraaj

    Actually this is where you have it wrong. The Western value system was originally Judeo Christian and still holds many aspects of that. The core value over and above it all and the basis of Western society is individual freedom. Everything else branches off of that one “value”. Freedom to practice religion, freedom to start your own business, freedom to say or do anything you want.

    Free to buy, sell, trade, smoke, or grow marijuana? Commit suicide? Prostitution? Marry one’s siblings? How many are the “victimless” crimes that are judged by society to be immoral and damaging to society? Where is the vaunted freedom of which you speak, and why is it that Western Europeans scoff at your antiquated versions of freedom? What’s your take on all the above-mentioned items of interest – are you for them, so long as they don’t harm you?

    In order to answer this you would need to write an essay. Your question is based in the “religion establishes morals” side of the equation. This is usually the second question thrown at atheists after “who created the universe”.

    My explanation would be scoffed at by you because it would be scientific and behavioral, not religious, in its basis so I won’t waste my time and will only summarize to say I believe much of it is an evolving belief system based on teachings, interactions and personal experiences whereby we learn what is acceptable based on the actions of others and the reactions to our actions – same way you teach a child what is right and wrong.

    No, your explanation would be scoffed at by me because it boils down the philospher’s mainstay that man can on his own eventually figure out what is right and what is wrong. The proof? There is none, in fact, which is why in of itself, this is a faith-based argument – human nature doesn’t demonstrate cohesive thought, it demonstrates tremendous levels of disagreement from all walks of people even in a free-thinking and well-educated firstworld society, from the elite of mind to the beggar of provision.

    Perhaps what is most ridiculous is this paradox of both humility and arrogance – on the one hand, you wish to claim that you mankind can eventually arrive at what is right and what is wrong on his own, but you don’t quite know if you have yet “arrived” (and as demonstrated by the disagreements I have enumerated, you have not). On the other hand, you presume to tell me that I am definitely wrong when you’re not quite yet sure if you are definitely right, and perhaps, I may be right.

    Siraaj

    PS: The example you mentioned about children learning from interactions with adults – my God, there are people who exist today that believe that in order for one to pass on the wisdom of the elders, the children must ingest the semen of the elders directly from the source of emission – your perspective, sorry to say, has blinders that fails to see the big picture of the rest of the world. Before championing human nature, do yourself a big favor, flip on the Discovery Channel, and see how human nature is not just outside the door of middle class suburbia, but the world ’round.

    The only reason the West has a firm grounding of some sort is because of what you mentioned earlier – its origins in Judeo-Christian thought and morality (which, by the way, has punishments such as stoning to death within them).

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  117. White Guy

    MODS: I am trying to stay on topic but at the same time trying to answer questions brought up to me. If you want me to stop or go away, please say so here or in a private email. I will abide by your request.

    Siraaj said: Free to buy, sell, trade, smoke, or grow marijuana? Commit suicide? Prostitution? Marry one’s siblings? How many are the “victimless” crimes that are judged by society to be immoral and damaging to society? Where is the vaunted freedom of which you speak, and why is it that Western Europeans scoff at your antiquated versions of freedom? What’s your take on all the above-mentioned items of interest – are you for them, so long as they don’t harm you?

    First off, if Western Europeans wish to scoff at us they are free to do so. They are not without their own problems which is not the subject here, unless you want to pull Steyn back into this.

    I am personally against the things you mentioned and so are the majority of Canadians. That is why each item listed is against the law, except suicide. I am personally against suicide but how do you punish someone who kills themselves? We do try to help those who try and fail.

    From your earlier list, in basic principle without grinding it down to details: I am against abortion, & the death penalty. I am for gun control and universal health care although I think it needs to be reworked. I am for controlled trickle-down economics and full out capitalism because I believe it works.

    I am against communism & fascism. I am in favor of aspects of socialism in that I believe in helping those less fortunate than I am. I just don’t believe in propping them up and trapping them at that level which our present system seems to do.

    I’m against cannibalism and against rape. Pre-marital sex is a personal choice. I have previously outlined that I am against adultery.

    Now so you can really judge and hate me – I don’t mind selective porn once in awhile and the best man at my wedding, who remains a close friend, is homosexual.

    Please also note that you asked very personal questions regarding my beliefs and I was forthright and honest.

    Siraaj said: The only reason the West has a firm grounding of some sort is because of what you mentioned earlier – its origins in Judeo-Christian thought and morality (which, by the way, has punishments such as stoning to death within them).

    You are correct – the firm grounding has its origins in Judeo Christian belief system. I don’t dispute that and pointed it out. That is the point from which we can no longer debate.

    Look, I’m handicapped here for a few reasons. I’m surrounded by people with diametrically opposed views, even amongst yourselves in some cases. I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in Christianity or Islam but at the same time I’m not going to thrust arguments about the validity of having faith here because I think that would be disrespectful. The only negative things I have inferred about Islam are the actions of a small minority that seem to get the majority of press coverage. My message since my first post has been that you need to change that and get your voices heard.


    Siraaj said: PS: The example you mentioned about children learning from interactions with adults – my God, there are people who exist today that believe that in order for one to pass on the wisdom of the elders, the children must ingest the semen of the elders directly from the source of emission

    Show me someone in North America who practices and believes this and I will show you someone who is on the fast track to jail and being swiftly marginalized and outcast from Western society. The message would be clear that it is not tolerable.

    As for your shot at Christianity, for the year 2008, please show me Christians, in equal numbers to Islam, who are stoning people to death while using their belief system as justification. It’s not apples and apples.

    You must all note that I don’t think we have a perfect system here in North America. I think there are a lot of changes that can and should be made. My present mindset dictates that Islam is not a route I think Western society would wholly embrace. I really don’t know what route we should take. I have ideas but nothing fully formulated.

    At the same time the words I’ve been exposed to show me Muslims either wish to replace us or live side-by-side as equals or subjugate us or whatever. There really doesn’t seem to be a clear message being given anywhere. Maybe that means nobody knows where this will all lead and I’m looking for an answer that isn’t there yet.

    Anyway, if I’ve offended anyone, I apologize. I truly wish no ill will.

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  118. Siraaj

    White guy,

    Thanks for the input and your personal views – now, given all of you’ve shared:

    I am personally against the things you mentioned and so are the majority of Canadians. That is why each item listed is against the law, except suicide. I am personally against suicide but how do you punish someone who kills themselves? We do try to help those who try and fail.

    So since the majority are against these individual freedoms, then you must agree that the majority can overrule the minority and even take away individual freedoms as a result – THAT was my point in the first post to Wakey wakey. Furthermore, my point with the Western Europeans remark was to illustrate that what you consider “freedom”, others consider “restrictive”, and likewise, what we Muslims consider as “freedom”, you also consider as restrictive – it’s just a matter of what lines you’re willing to cross.

    Now, my point in asking all those questions was to take the discussion to higher level and note that “human nature” guarantees no truths or morality in and of itself. What I mentioned about the tribe was not meant to point a finger at North America, but rather, the human nature argument – that all truths and morality can be arrived at with the mind alone. There’s no doubt that some basic morality can understand, but as situations, circumstances, and contexts become more complicated, so too do the answers to solving such problems, and it is here where I say, if someone claims as Wakey wakey did about human nature (and you seemed to back him), well, then they’re in for a rude awakening.

    Siraaj

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  119. Jay Currie

    What a good conversation and article.

    Far more than amateur prosecutions of people you disagree with, hosting conversations like this one, is precisely the public relations which moderate Muslims need to be engaged with.

    A tiny bone to pick with Iesa who wrote,

    IF, on the other hand, Muslims started invading countries via the historical western model (read: the Crusades, British, French + other European colonial powers as well as the Russian and US colonialism and invasions then you have a different situation altogether

    I can’t help but point out that the Prophet conquered most of the Arabian peninsula in a little over 10 years (622-632) and that by 750 Islam had a colonial empire which rivaled the territorial extent of the Roman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was still trying to conquer Vienna in 1683 and the Ottomans attacked and took Sicily and most of the Balkans.

    The fact is that Islam has never been shy to employ the sword to expand its influence and the notion of colony is understood just as well within Islam as it is in the West.

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  120. White Guy

    Glad you stopped by Jay. I love your political commentary at your blog. This website has some very insightful commenters and essays. You should look around beyond this article.

    Siraaj said: So since the majority are against these individual freedoms, then you must agree that the majority can overrule the minority and even take away individual freedoms as a result – THAT was my point in the first post to Wakey wakey.

    The general premise is that if you infringe on someone else’s rights exercising your own, it is against the law. It doesn’t always work that way but you can walk in a park and are free to do so because it is public property – you cannot go walking around someone’s yard because it is private property. The problem is that if we lived in a village with 100 people it would be easy to establish and enforce rules. Unfortunately there are more than a hundred people and it takes time for things to get done.

    Siraaj said: Furthermore, my point with the Western Europeans remark was to illustrate that what you consider “freedom”, others consider “restrictive”, and likewise, what we Muslims consider as “freedom”, you also consider as restrictive – it’s just a matter of what lines you’re willing to cross.

    OK, I get what you mean. Really there’s nothing to agree or disagree with there as it comes down to personal choice. The issue then becomes how will you live in a society (Canada) when you have fewer freedoms than those around you? People will inevitably be doing things you do not agree with. Can you tolerate that? The temptations your children will be exposed to will be greater because of the freedoms others enjoy. I know that’s a huge issue for you guys and I fully understand this. At what point do you start limiting my freedoms in an effort to limit your child’s temptations? I think that’s probably our biggest stumbling block to living peacefully and I can say I’d be willing to help work on a solution so long as I maintain all my freedoms, I think most people would say the same.

    If you choose to live side-by-side, you’ll probably end up doing what I did. We moved to a small community outside a big city because I didn’t want my child growing up around crime and gangs and everything else. We made a sacrifice that accounts for 2 hour commute to work everyday and a big hit to the pocket with gas prices. It is more difficult to get together with friends in the city and a whole host of other social activities but we did this for our child and he will benefit from our “sacrifice” which really amounts to nothing more than inconvenience.

    Siraaj said: There’s no doubt that some basic morality can understand, but as situations, circumstances, and contexts become more complicated, so too do the answers to solving such problems, and it is here where I say, if someone claims as Wakey wakey did about human nature (and you seemed to back him), well, then they’re in for a rude awakening.

    I can’t say I agree with Wakey because he didn’t expand on the meaning. I believe you are a product of your environment. If a tribe was found deep in the Amazon I would guess (based on similar discoveries in the past) they would be different in social terms but still have basically the same “natural” instincts regarding family/tribe, treatment of others, family, friends, etc. You see it in animals – mostly mammals – ours just goes a little deeper because we’re capable of more physically and mentally. Why don’t cats like tigers regularly attack lions? Not many of the animal species prey on their own family although there are some – but how many “morals” could a snake have.

    Does it matter in God’s eyes how one animal treats another? Did God make them that way and what if they slack off? Do they have a choice in the matter? Is it learned behaviour or innate when animals are protective of their own families or don’t eat their own. They obviously display the ability to learn through experience.

    In short I could talk in circles about it because there are so many things that are common within humans and animals even in the absence of religious parallels. But I will stop there.

    I don’t believe “human nature” is whole without input and without that input we would be that Amazonian. We aren’t just born a certain way but I believe many aspects of our personalities and demeanor are innate in the sense that we come by them naturally through watching others around us and mimicking them. If a child were born in that Amazon village and immediately adopted to a family in Sweden I would think that child would be dramatically different by the age of two, with little language or comprehension skills because what that child does understand are the cues it gets from its parents and caregivers in regards to basic behaviors.

    My seven year old child is very caring and giving and was that way before he went to school and started hearing about God or Jesus in Religion class (which I am not against as I feel he needs to find his own path, not take mine). He got that from my wife and I and through his “environment” and what’s around him. In short, that is his “nature”.

    I am positive most everyone on this website is just as caring with their children and if you were to take our children, at 5 years old before they enter school, and put them together they would have more in common than differences.

    Going into adulthood beyond the basics of childhood I think that religion has played likely the most important role in developing us beyond the “primitive” Amazonian and into the societies we see worldwide. Different religions spawned different societies based on their teachings. Some have flourished; some have not in the sense of economic growth. I place importance on economic growth whereby some might think that as long as they have their faith, it doesn’t matter where they are or what they have. That doesn’t mean either of us is right or wrong.

    I don’t think “human nature” in 2008 BC looks anything like it in 2008 AD. What has become human nature has been a mixture of what we’ve learned from all sources that feed us knowledge and experience. That’s why someone’s geopolitical location can effect what their “nature” is yet we still all seem to have the same protect your own kind of foundation without any other input.

    As adults, what separates us from our children are our political and religious differences as well as life experience. Thus we can appear very different yet still have the basic similar traits of “human nature”. With that said when you have a society that encourages individual choice in religion and thought and have rules in place to ensure that freedom is respected at what point can we just agree to get along, be ourselves and enjoy the diversity? That’s the “grab a Coke and hold hands” model of the 70’s that sparked multiculturalism. Unfortunately in trying to create this harmony too much emphasis is put on diversity and not enough on the similarities and shared goals.

    As well, the emphasis of hyphenated identities (French-Canadian, Indo-Canadian, etc) has encouraged us to stay separate. That is a purely political issue as I feel certain politicians (Liberal) over the course of the last 40 years have encouraged this separation as a way of creating friction, voting blocs, and pandering to those divisions it created to win those votes.

    So to tie this conversation back into the subject, it is “human nature” to fear the unknown. As long as we remain separate and do not hear one another we will fear each other.

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  121. Wakey Wakey

    White Guy, thanks so much for your thoughts on human nature. I wonder, if I were to ask the mods to forward you my email, would you like to say hi? I’d appreciate that. I’d like to talk with you directly sometime. In fact, likewise to you if you’re reading this, Charles. Thanks.

    What I meant by saying that human nature’s better than Islam is that there are certain key aspects of human nature, as I understand it and as seems to be confirmed more and more scientifically, which, to me at least, are superior. Of course superiority, in this respect, is in the eye of the beholder but this is my subjective take at least.

    One area in which human nature trumps Islam, for me, relates to universality, the basic sense that all people are inherently equal and deserving of equal, mutual respect. The golden rule is a reflection of this principle and, I believe, it derives from our essential impulse to empathize and cooperate with each other. The field of evolutionary psychology which considers how and to what extent our psychology’s evolved has some very interesting and compelling insights in this regard. Islam, in contrast, is, as has often been noted, dualistic. It’s all Muslims vs. non-Muslims, with the former being supposedly superior in every way. In fact, frankly, the idea repulses me. I’m an atheist but was born a Jew and if I know that Judaism, what with its notion of a unique “covenant” between the Jews and God can possibly make some Jews feel superior to gentiles. I used to get a sense of that sometimes when I was a kid. But I never liked it and it was hardly ever said overtly and, as far as I can tell, that whole sentiment has faded and continues to fade more and more over time. And I can’t imagine any Jews publically saying anything of the sort of openly, consciously condoning the sentiment.

    Islam, on the other hand, seems to be premised on that duality. As Bill Warner of the Political Islam website points out:

    As mentioned earlier, the Koran has 61% of its text devoted to the kafir. The Sira (Mohammed’s biography) has about 75% of its text devoted to the kafir and jihad.

    **DELETED ISLAMPHOBIC WEBSITE REFERENCE… MORE EVIDENCE OF YOUR “OBJECTIVE” SOURCES**

    I don’t think anyone could argue that those many references to us kafir are very complimentary. :)

    Another way I think human nature trumps Islam is on the question of forgiveness. I believe we have an inherent impulse to forgive that goes far beyond anything Islam allows. One could argue all around the edges of this issue but, at the end of the day, Islam just doesn’t have much room for this kind of generosity. I think we’re born better than that.

    Yet another aspect of human nature I find superior is that concerning free thinking. We’re born to think, assess, be rational, make up our own minds, change them this way or change them back again. Islam doesn’t suppor that. Leave the faith and you should be killed. Mock it, same thing. Whoa, human nature is so much sweeter!

    Anyway, I could go on but these are some of the reasons why I think human nature’s better than Islam.

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  122. DrM

    I see the judeofascists and their loyal shabbos goyim protest a bit too much. Typical of the failed species.

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  123. White Guy

    Clarification to an earlierpost, made by me:

    Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was accused of adultery, but sources told Amnesty International that she had in fact been raped by three men, and had attempted to report this rape to the al-Shabab militia who control Kismayo. It was this act that resulted in her being accused of adultery and detained. None of men she accused of rape were arrested.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/child-of%20-13-stoned-to-death-in-somalia-20081031

    Is Amnesty International reputable or part of the conspiracy?

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  124. DrM

    Cherry picking are we, “white guy”? What does a crime like this prove? Isn’t Somalia the country you’re currently bombing through invasion by your Ethiopian proxies? I remember reading the case of a Somali woman who was raped by 12 Ethiopian solders. Ofcourse since the rapists aren’t Muslim and haven’t been arrested. its not newsworthy for anti-Muslim scavengers :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXj0Faxx4Gw

    What was 14 year old Abeer Qassim Hamza’s crime when she was gang raped, and murdered along with her family by US mercenaries? 3 of the bastards will be out in less then 10 years. Oh, but I forget it was an act of “liberation” by mighty whitey.

    Speaking of Amnesty International, Dr.Francis Boyle discusses the role of the organization :

    http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0004573.html

    Good luck on the Armageddonist Rapture acid trip. Joe Plumber types putting themselves on the line for a bunch of East European Khazarite terrorists living 5000 years in the past, hopped up on Hasbara nonsense thinking God is their personal real estate agent. Get back to when you and Steyn find those Iraqi WMDs. Billybob.

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  125. Joe Mama

    Dr M said: I see the judeofascists and their loyal shabbos goyim protest a bit too much. Typical of the failed species.

    My reply: Thanks for standing up and proudly announcing you are part of the problem.

    Disgusting.

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  126. Charles

    Wakey Wakey,

    If you’re still reading I’ve created a temporary address. It’s good for about a week, after that I will delete it. You can write to me there and I will give you my real address. WhiteGuy, pass it on to him if you like …

    stop_the_madness@live.ca

    -Charles, sorry, we didn’t get the opportunity to pass your email to “wakey”.

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  127. Wakey Wakey

    Joe Mama,

    You’re beneath contempt.

    DRM,

    Crimes, including the worst like rape and murder, are committed by all types of people for all types of reasons. The relevant question here is why. Why was the 13 year-old girl stoned to death? The answer is that she was the victim of Shariah law. She was killed because of Islam. There’s no getting around it. In fact, even some of the Muslims who post here admit that, with the right amount of proof and the right Islamic procedure, stoning is appropriate. In fact, most people would disagree. Most people would say it’s sadistic and barbaric.

    Sooner or later, the world will cast off its politically-correct blinders and see Islam for what it really is.

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  128. DrM

    @Joey Mama
    Thanks for confirming that you suffer from Shabbos Goyism. Pathetic, but amusing to see how Zionism owns you goyim. Easy on the “Jihad Watch” aka “JewHad watch” kool iad.

    @Wakey wakey,
    Wrong on all counts, putz. Politicizing rape and then pretending to care? What a low life you are. It is not Islam, but the lawlessness brought about the invasion of Somalia by Uncle Sam’s Ethiopians proxies. I’ve already explained this before but being the racist khazarite that you are, you just can’t let go of the spin. A crime happens anywhere in the Islamic world, and you pond scum stand ever ready to blame Islam. The world of course waking up to the very real threat which is posed by East European derived AskheNAZI terrorists. A century of terror and mass murder in the Middle East in the name of Zionism, which is not only a disease tormenting and decimating the Palestinian people, but also a cancer affecting Judaism. No more political correctness for racist scoundrels pretending to be eternal victims, despite the fact that doing so may land a few in jail. Speaking of idiotic Jewish diatribes, the funniest thing I read this week was that Obama is the secret love child of Malcolm X, according to Pamela Gellar of “Atlast Shrugs” fame.
    In 1935 an American, Ben Frommer, a writer for the ultraright Zionist-Revisionists, could declare of no less than 16 million of his fellow Jews that:
    “The fact is undeniable that the Jews collectively are unhealthy and neurotic. Those professional Jews who, wounded to the quick, indignantly deny this truth are the greatest enemies of their race, for they thereby lead them to search for false solutions, or at most palliatives”.
    What chutzpah!
    Get back to me when you find those Iraqi WMDs, Shlomo.

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  129. DrM

    Wrong as usual, wakey. The only vile thing here is your Judeofascist mindset which so desperately uses a murdered Somali as a crutch in your petty hatred of Islam, this after being refuted on all other points, including support for that charlatan Steyn. The Daily Mail? The third rate British tabloid known for its right wing propaganda, with a history of supporting Nazism and Fascism. LoL! Drop the act, you don’t give a damn about a Somali(unless killed by an “islamist”) any more then a Palestinian. Not a word about the Somali woman raped by 12 occupying Ethiopian soldiers(they weren’t Muslims so it doesnt count). Invade a country, destroy its infrastructure, kill as many of its people, let war lords run the show but blame the religion of the condition of the people. Typical judeofascists logic as expected from vile AskheNAZIs.
    So you’re not a racist b/c Muslims aren’t a race? Insistence that Islam isn’t a race and therefore representations of Islam cannot be racist is disingenuous rubbish. Religion is not only about faith but also about identity, background and culture, and Muslims are overwhelmingly non-white. In the mind of the hate mongers, Islam is a religion of non-whites and white race traitors. They see black skin and head scarves the same way. Being Jewish used to be simply a religious identity. With the rise of capitalism, it was transmuted into a racial one. What we are seeing today is the opposite process with Islam. If we must be so asinine as to insist upon using skin color as a determinant of race, I would ask why the Muslims represented in Islamophobic filth never EVER look like Indonesian Muslims, even though it is the most populous Muslim country on the planet. The reason is simple: Muslims are seen and stereotyped as a “race,” especially as dark skinned, unkempt Arabs and Pakistanis. Its obvious your projecting that depleted askheNAZI mindset of yours again. Judaism sounds more like an ideology given that you call your self a “Jewish atheist” and a typical Zionist clinging on to some notion that God is your real estate agent. Zionism is a racist & an anti-semite ideology. Zionism was a curious offshoot of racial anti-Semitism. The man who was supposed to replace Herzl at the head of the World Zionist Organization, world famous author Max Nordau, On 21 December 1903 Nordau gave an interview to Eduard Drumont’s rabid anti-Semitic newspaper, La Libre Parole, in which he said that Zionism wasn’t a question of religion, but exclusively of race, and “there is no one with whom I am in greater agreement on this point than M. Drumont”. Such Chutzpah!
    I’ve been told there are many “good” Israelis trying to help and many want peace and many are moderate! Now may I ask why we only get the extreme extremes of the filthiest creatures that had ever walked the earth on this blog?
    I wonder!
    Where are the intelligent ones who are genuinely interested in any sort of dialogue or debate without the hasbara BS and the racist Anti- Arab sentiments, which is by the way the only subsisting form of Anti-Semitism that is widely spread?
    Where are they? I suspect that they do not exist.
    Get back to when you, Steyn, and the rest of the Sabbos Goyim find those Iraqi WMDs, putz.

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  130. Joe Mama

    I’d like to add another embarassing moment in Canadian Muslim History:

    DrM is spewing bile at relatively passive visitors like me on the MuslimMatters website and nary a regular here bothers to call him out for his repulsive conduct.

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  131. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    bismillah. joe, i’m sorry i don’t think i have read any of your other comments here, but it’s a sad fact that a lot of threads get hijacked by a small group of people who do nothing but rip into other participants. here’s a thread with over 130 comments, and roughly 10% of them come from the person you identify. that statistic would be laudable if the comments and the responses to them were (a) civil, (b) scholarly, or (c) beneficial.

    but generally, that has not been the case.

    the best guidance is from Allah, and He commends the believers to speak words of peace in these situations and then move on.

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