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Response To Jordan Peterson’s Message To Muslims

Five Islamic thinkers weigh in on Jordan Peterson’s recent video message to Muslims, calling it patronizing and tone-deaf.

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Dr. Jordan Peterson

In a recent six-and-a-half minute video message, Jordan Peterson, clinical psychologist and professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, called upon his assumed Muslim audience to make certain changes. Specifically, he exhorted them to stop intra-faith Shia-Sunni animosity, stop hating Jews, to return to their religious roots and to embrace the recent Abraham Accord.

The tone was patronizing, and Peterson’s “call” ignores the larger political dynamics at play. Peterson expects, as he says, for “Muslims to reach across the sectarian divide – especially Shiites. Find a Sunni pen pal, communicate with someone on the other side.” He also urged that, “Sunnis, do the same and then, maybe, tentatively, reach out to a Christian, or heaven forbid, a Jew.”

In the message, Peterson welcomed his new Muslim followers. But his comments on sectarian differences, while perhaps well-meaning, were slammed as ill-informed, condescending, and crass by some. He invited a Muslim to build an “electronic system to bring people from the Sunni and Shiite community together,” and that he would promote it. On Facebook and Twitter, Muslims shared their views on Peterson’s ideas of Muslim relations. We have gathered few responses from some researchers, academics, and chaplains from social media on the issue:

Uthman Badar [PhD Researcher, Australia]

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Message to Dr Jordan B Peterson

Re: Message to Muslims

Dear Jordan,

Uthman Badar, PhD

Uthman Badar, PhD

Your presumably sincere intent to find solutions to world problems is admirable, but you’re looking in the wrong place. Your lack of awareness about developments in the ‘Western civilisation’ that you habitually extol is concerning. Something called ‘secularism’ happened some two centuries ago. Religion was subordinated and relegated to the margins of all that is important and influential in politics and public life. The Pope was made to retire to the Vatican and become a footnote to world politics that does little more than issue now predictable but impotent calls for peace…. Muftis and rabbis of officialdom too have been employed by secular power the world over.

This ‘enlightened’ way of life was then forced at the barrel of a gun—as only enlightened folk can—in Asia and Africa. All the states there now are secular too.

Your implicit diagnosis, then, of prevailing conflicts and problems as a function of interfaith clashes comes in naïve (or convenient?) ignorance of all this. It is, nevertheless, along with the corresponding prescription, woefully inadequate. Faith does not play such a significant role in the world affairs of a Secular Age. Secular ideologies do—manipulating faith when expedient.

But you should know this. Consider the left-right, conservative-liberal, woke-asleep debates that you’re routinely engaged in (and in increasingly commercialised fashion)—when not lecturing Muslims and Christians to sort themselves out. Are these not decidedly secular ‘squabbles’? The ‘culture’ wars are so-called for a reason, right?

Consider as well major examples of recent world conflict: the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Russian aggression in Ukraine, Israeli aggression on Gaza, the ‘War on Terror’ that gave us Guantanamo Bay and ISIS. What have any of these to do with interfaith conflict? Is the United States a Christian theocracy? Or a secular liberal democracy (with a sprinkling of Christian rhetoric at times)? Is Russia an Orthodox theocracy? Or a secular socialist regime? And so on.

Likewise, you may presume that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or Iran are Islamic regimes, but they are not. They are modern secular states with a sprinkling of Islamic rhetoric or embellishment.

The ‘Abraham Accords’ were signed by ‘Israel’, the UAE, and the US. Which of these is constituted or driven by faith? The ‘Jewish state’ built on a brutal dispossession of millions? The despotic gulf statelet run like a family mafia? Or the most violent state in the world, constituted by a ‘wall of separation’ between church and state?  Has that wall fallen down such that the US is now signing accords on behalf of the ‘People of the Book’?

You can’t celebrate secularism on the one hand, and then blame the problems on religion, on the other. What sort of conceptual gymnastics is that?

The fact of the matter is that secularism is the order of the day, mostly in it liberal iteration. Secular liberal states are the most influential actors on the world stage, and, in turn, are primarily responsible for the mess we see on that stage. It’s an old secular trope to construe problems as emanating from religious conflict/hatred and suggest more interfaith dialogue/harmony as the solution. This is a convenient depoliticization and dehistorisation of conflict done to essentialise it as religious (or ethnic/cultural). One must be shallow to fall for it, though.

If conversation is the way forward, then, I’m afraid you’ll need more ‘woke’ pen-pals to sort out your secular ideological squabbles. Stop hating’, start talking’ (ideally with less rhetoric, more substance). Better still, try focusing on the actual points of power in our world and we might all be better for it.

Yahya Birt [British-American writer and academic]

Yahya Birt

Yahya Birt

I feel like the circle is complete. JP addressed his considerable “Moslem” fanbase (how he drawls “Muslim”, rather fittingly sounding more like مظلم “oppressor” than مسلم “faithful submitter to God”) directly for the first time today, from his new platform at the Daily Wire. Some cannot contain their excitement: see the comment section underneath his video. One Muslim guy calls Peterson “my digital father”.

Peterson calls on his “Moslem” followers to put aside their (assumed, presumed) enmity towards Christians and Jews in particular in the wake of the Emirati-Israel-US-sponsored Abrahamic Accords of 2020. It is your inveterate anti-Semitism you “Moslems” must give up, Peterson avers (eliding opposition to violent settler colonialism and the dispossession of the Palestinian people). The real enemy is your ego, and the Luciferian woke neo-Marxist brigade, 20% of whom are irredeemable.

If I close my eyes I could have been listening to Sheikh Hamza albeit without his mellifluous fusha, which is indeed the point.

The circle is complete. The Venn diagram of the alt-right, the akh-right, the Zionists, the evangelicals, the neo-traditionalists and their Republican, Israeli and Emirati sponsors has now emerged into one.

Allahumma, save us from this heartless state-sponsored religious nationalism, whose true father is Firawn/Pharaoh rather than Musa/Moses who liberated his people from slavery and oppression. Amin.

Ahmed Deeb [Imam and Director of Religious Affairs at Islamic Center of Greater Toledo]

Ahmed Deeb

Imam Ahmed Deeb

Notwithstanding his potential genuineness, this was embarrassingly condescending and out of pocket. It felt like listening to a sermon that Islamophobes and most media outlets love to give: “Hey Muslims, why aren’t you condemning violence more? Why aren’t you reaching across the aisle more? Don’t you know you have the capacity for peace just like us?”

All the while never truly giving Muslims the opportunity to speak, and never amplifying the authentic voices that do.

To reduce our problems to sectarian conflict and then tell us—in the most superficial way—how to resolve them is at best the most hilarious show of naïveté I’ve ever seen from a self-proclaimed sincere public intellectual.

One rational explanation I can think of: now that he’s joined a notoriously right wing media company (the wire), maybe he feels he has to start showing some alliance to their narratives by parroting the common tropes, foremost of which in the years of Trump’s reign was how divided, dangerous, internally corrupt, and antagonistic the “Muslim world” is. Muslims are, we are told, a bunch of hypocrites unable to practice the Prophetic teachings they love to talk about so much, teachings which of course are best understood by people like him or heretics they choose to platform.

It’s videos like this that highlight the inconsistencies of his messaging and cast doubt upon his claim to sincere truth seeking and fellowship building.

No amount of “there’s truth to what he’s saying here” can justify such a tone-deaf video. I say that as someone who would wish him and everyone else guidance and call to the same type of intellectual collaboration he claims to champion.

(I have) so many more thoughts on this, and don’t even know where to begin. If I have time, I’ll do a fuller breakdown of his points here and what they highlight. I’m still processing it.

Here’s my personal takeaway reflection so far: what emboldened him to confidently be this condescending towards what he himself admits is one of his most loyal fan bases?

Imagine any celebrity public intellectual being brazen enough to say to any of their loyal fan bases the equivalent of: “as someone who has admitted he knows little to nothing about your faith and your people’s realities, let me advise you guys, through your own faith that I don’t know much about, on how you should get your act together.” Anyone who would try would be at the very least publicly corrected. Instead, Jordan gets comments from Muslims saying, “you are 100% right about us, we love you!”

The simple answer is us. We embolden these people by putting our uncritical hopes for a faith-driven existence in the hands of individuals who are clearly still going through their own messy journeys of exploration. We embolden these people by our insecurity, and we maintain that insecurity amongst our own people through our continued half-baked efforts in truly educating them about our worldviews.

This video is an affirmation of two consistent realities:  (1) People still consider us and our people utterly weak, and in need of saviours from outside our community (no surprise there). (2) We are clearly not succeeding in the public intellectual sphere when people like him are saviours for young Muslims and their faith.

We have yet to appreciate the task at hand and have little grip on proper priorities when we spend more time arguing with each other in our group think bubbles here than to work harder towards properly producing the infrastructure—institutionally and personally—that allows us to engage people like him at the highest level. At the very least giving our young people confidence to not have such blind trust in people like Peterson.

As Muslims, we are no strangers to defeat or embarrassment. Yet as people who believe we hold the Truth, is our Ummatic response—as arguably the most privileged Muslim community in the world in education and economics—representative of our legacy of triumph over any such defeat?

So yes, there’s certainly a grain of truth to what he said, and if we’re tired of hearing such bigotry-laced, condescending half-truths, we might do ourselves a favour to re-prioritize our energies.

“A believer does not humiliate himself.” -Prophet Muhammad

Allahu A’lam. I’ll let my far more qualified colleagues and friends who are well-known to you all share their thoughts, which I know will be insightful and piercing.

Sharif Abu Laith [Researcher, Speaker and Commentator]

Sharif Abu Laith

Sharif Abu Laith

Dr Jordan B Peterson, I appreciate that you have invited Muslims onto your show and sincerely engaged them to understand Islam. However, your latest video titled “Message to Muslims” frankly comes across as patronising and ignorant about the contemporary status of the Muslim world. The problem isn’t conflict between or within religions. The conflict exists due to colonial and neo-colonial policies that have had a lasting impact on the Muslim world.

Let me give you a few examples. Zionism was a political movement that started in the U.K., calling for a homeland for the Jews. Thirty one years after Britain occupied Palestine in 1917, they helped established a Zionist entity that resulted in the forced expulsion of about 1 million Palestinians. Israel then continued to expand its occupation of Palestine territory, causing resentment, anger and destruction of the way of life of the original inhabitants.

At the same time, we know that it wasn’t only a matter of Israel being founded (by the West) after the British occupied the region, but Western countries, in particular America, committed to supplying billions of dollars to the Israeli state (in the form of military aid) while turning a blind eye to the killings and oppression of Palestinians by Israel.

So why is there anger? Not because of some problem within, but a broader problem with colonialism and the continued Western support for regimes like Israel while turning a blind eye to their oppressive actions and killings of innocents.

Similarly, we see that Western states helped create the current political regimes that reside in the Muslim world. An easy example is the Egyptian regime, which receives military aid for maintaining a military-business dictatorship, thus not allowing the people to choose the type of governance they want. The Egyptian military not only controls politics, but also the economy, media and even education. As such, anyone caught criticising the military and its leadership faces imprisonment, torture and even death. To reiterate, this is a military regime that has close ties with Western states as seen through military aid and economic ties.

And these same regimes would stoke sectarian and religious conflict, like the false flag attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt in 2011 to secure their authority by distracting the people away from their egregious crimes of the regime and attempts to paint any Islamic opposition as potential threats to minority populations.

There are so many other examples, but one last one is the current sectarianism that plagues Iraq. It primarily resulted from the West’s invasion of Iraq in 2002 and the resultant fallout that saw sectarian militias, some of whom were directly supported by Western occupying forces, to police other sects and areas.

The point is that one cannot whitewash Western states and their political agendas within the Muslim world, considering their interventions have directly contributed to the current turmoil within the Muslim world. And as we know, this agenda is driven by largely capitalist interests.

If then you want to see stability in the world and foster real engagement of Muslims, my request to you is to introspectively look at Western states’ policies toward the Muslim world, not only over the last 130 years or so but also the current political interference we see today. It’s only by engaging in this honest introspection and holding powerful states like America to account for their actions in the Muslim world can we foster better understanding on both sides.

Samir Hussain [Researcher and teacher trained in Islamic Sciences]

Ustad Samir Hussain

Ustad Samir Hussain

Dr. Jordan Peterson just posted a ‘Message for Muslims’ on YouTube. I first spoke about how problematic it is for Muslims to blindly follow JP in religious discourse many years ago, and I’m sounding the alarm again, just harder this time.

Some notes:

1) We said that. On his message on unity and working together and letting Islam show in our actions, some of our top scholars have been saying the same thing he said for years. I teach the same ethos in my classes. But I wonder how many people will listen now only because their Sheikh JP said it. Unless you’ve been under a rock, scholars like Sh. Amin Kholwadia & Sh. Abdul Hakim Murad and all those scholars involved in anti-sectarian or interfaith dialogue have been saying the same thing.

2) Reductive. JP’s message is deliberately (or ignorantly) reductive and condescending. He omits the fact that much of our sectarianism has political roots. You can try to promote Muslim unity all you want, but you’re fighting an uphill battle against Saudi, Emirati (whose propaganda JP seems to be falling for) and Iranian petrodollars.

The same goes for having positive interactions with Christians and Jews. We’d love to do so, but that exhortation is Orientalist and racist (as research into our history keeps demonstrating). It’s very hard for Muslims to think positively of these faiths when their members are drone bombing Muslim countries, oppressing Palestinians, or when the far-right and conservative Christians are preaching ‘Muslim bans’ and Islamophobia. JP quotes the Abraham Accords, because apparently to be good to Jews (which we have repeatedly done throughout our history) we have to acquiesce to the crimes of Israel.

As I highlighted many years ago, not only is theology a weak point, but his grasp of geopolitics is also dreadfully poor. If you consider him an authority, you’re going to be misled. He’s a clinical psychologist, not a theologian, exegete or even a philosopher.

3)Misrepresentaton coming. It seems that all those who wanted JP to be more pro-Muslim got their wish. But now I’m anticipating more commentary by JP on Islamic theology and tafsir. Christians have already been critical of JP for his misrepresentations of Christian theology and biblical exegesis. We should expect similar misrepresentation.

4) We have our own thinkers. Lastly, JP deserves credit for ‘opening up’ and normalizing conservative, religious discourse in light of all the madness we are seeing from hard liberals. He also deserves credit for being sympathetic to Islam and Muslims in light of the radical Islamophobia of many popular online atheists and pseudo-intellectuals. It would be nice to see qualified Muslim scholars continuing to engage him.

Young Muslims, I once again warn you again from taking this person as an authority and considering him some sort of standout, towering intellectual figure. He’s not. He’s quite average for an intellectual, and the problem is that many of his followers (and at times it seems he himself) consider him to be above average or of an extremely elite level.

Become more familiar with your own high-level scholars and more fluent in your own intellectual tradition. There is a lot (to value and learn) there.

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Mehraj Din is currently working as an assistant professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the department of Islamic Studies, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora, Kashmir. He obtained his Ph.D. in Islamic Political Theology from Shah-i-Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies, University of Kashmir. His work focuses on the nexus of theology, ethics, politics and its manifestation and culmination of discursive Islamic tradition, with comparative interest in contemporary Islamic and Western thought. He is equally interested in diverse intellectual and political movements in the Muslim world and has keen interest on the question of Islam in Kashmir.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Zubeda

    July 17, 2022 at 8:15 AM

    Assalamualikum
    Please can you make YouTube audio videos of all the responses to Jordan Peterson. That way many more muslim and non muslim people can hear it anc learn a little bit more if the subleties.

  2. MMReader

    July 17, 2022 at 11:16 AM

    Thank you for covering this issue. There is a lot to be criticized in JP’s video. Even if he was well-intentioned, although I doubt it in light of his recent association with the Daily Wire, the video misses the mark in many places as the Muslim commenters have rightly illustrated.

    I’m curious though why Muslim Matters doesn’t cover other controversies like Yasir Qadhi’s infamous ‘holes in the Qur’an’ debacle (which had a far, far worse impact on Muslim da’wah and to the iman of Muslims) or the shameless defending of abortion by supposed Muslim leaders like Ilhan Omar and Linda Sarsour or Hamza Yusuf’s backing of UAE in normalizing relations with Israel. I’m confused as to what constitutes an issue worthy of coverage in the estimation of Muslim Matters editors. Please respond.

  3. S N Smith

    July 17, 2022 at 3:30 PM

    I placed many Muslim responces on my blog

  4. Timur Mamedov

    July 20, 2022 at 12:48 AM

    I found this to be relevant input as well.

    https://youtu.be/VKJyUaK38RA

  5. Guest

    July 21, 2022 at 9:18 PM

    @MMReader since when were Ilhan and Linda leaders in the Muslim community lol. Ones a politician the other is a political activist, nobody here has claimed they were leaders not are they. As for the Shaykh YQ comments this was a deliberate misquote taken out of context , and he has already deleted the video and offered a long clarification video about the qirat and ahruf. Admittedly not covered on MM but it also fallacious to say if you commented on one instance you need to comment about x, y, z. As for Shaikh Hamzas politics he’s been criticised in this article, as well as other articles here. Curiously wondering if this is DH.

    This is just my view as a reader, nothing else

  6. Guest

    July 21, 2022 at 9:22 PM

    Yahya Birt hit the nail on the head it’s a combination of all these Internet groups/ideologies being interconnected, and leading to people taking Peterson as some leader.

    For Shaykh Deeb, I would suggest you overestimated how much young Muslims know or care about Jordan Peterson, or about political or ideological struggles that aren’t always directly impacting them. 90% of young Muslims in the west have never even heard of this guy and the people commenting std not representing of the state of the community. Of course there needs to be a response from us a holistic one, but JP popularity is mainly from talking about hot button topics rather then a true intellectual movement.

  7. Samuel

    July 22, 2022 at 9:57 AM

    I am a Christian and after having lived in the Muslim world and studied Islam informally for many years I consider myself somewhat well educated about the faith. I continue to follow events within the faith seriously to this day.

    Here are my comments about Peterson’s statements and the five published responses from the Muslim thinkers.

    While Peterson is not very knowledgeable about Islam he knew enough to comment accurately. Here is my summary of his points:

    1) Muslims should stop fighting among themselves
    2) Muslims should stop regarding the Christians and Jews as their primary enemies.
    3) He encourages Muslims to fight the Satanic impulses towards violence.
    4) He encourages Muslims to live righteous lives so they are an example for non-Muslims to attract them to Islam.
    5) He states that Muslims have much in common with the People of the Book.
    6) He generously states that even most of his harshest critics are not monsters but could be reasoned with.
    7) He encourages Muslims to reach outside their circle and get to know non-Muslims in a friendly way.

    Uthman Badr only touches on Peterson’s points 1 and 2.
    1) He criticizes JP personally
    2) He blames “secularism” as the root cause for the problems within the Islamic community, and between the faiths, i.e. it has caused Muslims to be violent. (Tell that to the Shia who are often massacred by the Sunni in Pakistan).
    3) He states that Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia are secular regimes!

    Yahya Birt does not touch on a single one of Peterson’s points
    1) He criticizes JP personally. Other than that he says nothing about the actual points JP raised.
    2) He sees some sort of conspiracy in JP’s message and relegates to Pharaoh.

    Ahmed Deeb
    1) He likens JP’s points to what Islamophobes say.
    2) He criticizes JP personally.
    3) He twists JP’s points, (
    4) He does have enough courage and integrity to admit there is some truth in what JP stated.

    Sharif Abu Laith
    1) He criticizes JP personally.
    2) He blames “colonialism” as part of the root of the problem.
    3) He blames Western support of puppet-like rulers (e.g. Al-Sisi in Masr), as part of the root of the problem. (Please note that the Egyptian people, not the West, threw the Muslim Brotherhood out!).
    4) He’s ambivalent towards the attacks upon the Copts in Egypt).
    5) He blames the West for the rise of ISIS and other murderous Islamic terror groups.

    Samir Hussein
    1) He strongly criticizes JP personally.
    2) He acknowledges that JP is 100% correct that Muslims should stop killing each other.
    3) He states that the interfaith fighting is due to politics.
    4) He plays the “Orientalist,” “racist,” and “Islamophobe” canards instead of addressing the actual issues, both current and historical.
    5) He is generous in acknowledging JP’s even-handed position towards Muslims and encourages more interfaith dialog.

    My comments
    1) Not a single Muslim commentator here engages JP’s points fully. Only two had the decency to acknowledge that there was some truth in his points. This is a dismal and shameful embarrassment for a collection of “thinkers.”

    2) Several of the commentators played the cowardly “Islamophobe” card instead of addressed JP’s points head on. Today, even some of the most ardent liberals are acknowledging the glaringly obvious problems the world sees plainly, i.e. the violence in the Islamic world toward Muslim and non-Muslim alike. As Renard stated, “The first victims of Islam are the Muslims.”

    3) Most of the points JP made parallel exactly what Muhammad taught. For example
    points 1, 3, 4, and 5 are simple echoes of what Muhammad commanded his followers to do. Why then do these Muslim thinkers decry Peterson’s message? Is it because he’s a non-Muslim? Would it have been more acceptable if JP dressed like a Sheikh and wore a disguise to deliver his message. I’m willing to be that if he did, that many Muslims would have agreed wholeheartedly with the message.

    4) Notice the thinker’s immediate reactions to blame, “secularism, “colonialism,” “racism,” “Islamophobia” and the “West” for the root of these problems? You cannot blame these for the immediate divisions within the Islamic world following Muhammad’s death. Members of Muhammad’s family and closest friends were all at each other’s throats within one generation. You cannot blame the War of the Camel, the murder of Uthman, the murder of Ali, the battle of Siffin, etc. on any of these. Further, you cannot blame the persecution and killing of Shia in Pakistan, the GAS massacres in Algeria, the ISIS battles against fellow Muslims, etc. on any of those excuses.

    5) Islam is both a religious and political system and part of today’s problems stem from that Islamic root.

    6) Islam is fashioned to be a dominate faith and part of today’s problem’s, (e.g. the persecution and killing of the Copts in Egypt), stems from that historical Islamic root.

    7) These Muslim thinkers do not want to accept responsibility for the crimes Muslims, motivated by Islam, have committed. Yet more and more and more the rest of the world sees it clearly. Without the integrity to admit that the sun shines in the sky leaders and thinkers like these five will continue to lead the Islamic world downward.

    I know too many good and decent Muslim people to know that they deserve better than this kind of thinking and leadership. The people of Egypt deserve better than what Islam has given them.

  8. JustinT

    July 22, 2022 at 11:24 AM

    @Samuel

    “… part of today’s problems stem from that Islamic root.”

    Were I to replace ‘Islamic’ with ‘Christian’, would you be receptive to what I had to say?

    You’ve spilled a lot of squid ink here. What, exactly, do you imagine you’re trying to achieve with such a hostile tone? That Muslims need to ditch parts of their religion to solve ‘today’s problems’?

    As I see it, it is precisely these kind of condescending diatribes that do *not* contribute to interfaith peace.

  9. JustinT

    July 22, 2022 at 12:13 PM

    The #1 YouTube comment to JP’s video includes this statement:

    “you are a subject matter expert and you have been an inspiration to me and to countless others. I listen to you very carefully and I am proud of you and all the hard work that you do. I am only asking that you do not stretch yourself too thin. some topics such as islam and the muslim world which I have experienced personally (I grew up in a muslim country as a christian) are simply too complex. please tread carefully. Suni’s do not hate shia’s, islam does not hate jews or christians. I’m afraid that you might be falling victim to the same media that you are fighting against. there are a few radical, fanatic, extremist muslims who I’ve encountered personally, just like any other group. don’t get trapped.”

    Muslims constitute nearly 1/4 of humankind. Ironically, JP appears manipulated by the very media he routinely criticizes, projecting an image of perpetual conflict among Muslims that simply doesn’t withstand close scrutiny.

    What’s more, Islam was the first religion to codify religious liberty, which is why you’ll still find ancient churches and synagogues throughout lands that Muslims ruled for over 1,000 years. (Violations of this have always been an exception to the general rule.)

    Had Muslims contempt for other religions and their adherents, these houses of worship would not have retained their non-Islamic character to this day.

  10. Samuel

    July 22, 2022 at 8:27 PM

    Hello JustinT,
    Here is my response to you. I’m cautious in this because I respect this page and don’t want to turn it into a debate page. I’m not sure how the owners feel about that type of usage. Here are my responses:

    “Were I to replace ‘Islamic’ with ‘Christian’, would you be receptive to what I had to say?’
    – It would depend on the context of the statement. Christians, like Muslims, have been known to have done great things and terrible things. Not every evil thing a Muslim does is motivated by Islam. Not every evil thing a Christian does is motivated by Christianity. Further, the actions done by secular Western people should not automatically be identified as “Christian.”

    JustinT, please don’t forget that Islam is both a spiritual, and geo-political / martial faith. Politics and power are integral to the faith as Muhammad taught.

    Yes, my tone is aggressive, but honestly I expected a better, more honest response by the Muslim thinkers. The fact that they failed to truly engage JP’s points but instead spent a great amount of time criticizing him personally, actually makes JP’s points all the more true. Even you can see that. All these thinkers seem to turn a blind eye, or a near blind eye, to the violence within the Islamic world.

    “What am I trying to achieve?” Well, I am a Christian and I would like to see Muslims come to the light of Christ. That can be accomplished in a variety of ways including accurate criticism. You also asked, “That Muslims need to ditch parts of their religion to solve ‘today’s problems’?” Yes, absolutely they need to ditch parts of their faith that contribute to today’s problems. This is exactly what the Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah are saying, and doing, in Indonesia? If so many millions of Muslims there welcome and agree with their message should my similar viewpoint be discounted because I am not a Muslim?

    Interfaith dialog must be honest and frank. Muslims are never shy about bringing up the crusades, and rightly so, likewise Christian should be honest, and accurate in their criticisms of Islam.

  11. JustinT

    July 25, 2022 at 10:54 PM

    @ Samuel

    Well, there’s been some lag time here, but first of all, thanks for the response.

    Full disclosure: I’ve been a student of Islam for over thirty years, and a teacher of it for about one quarter of a century.

    First, Sam, it is never — and I mean, *never* — prudent to tell *anyone* that his religion is the root of a problem. That is much like criticizing a man’s wife in his presence. However convinced you may be of the ‘truth,’ the approach is more often ill-mannered and highly ineffective. Try reading some Dale Carnegie books and you might learn a thing or two about how to be an influential missionary.

    Second, Christianity provides rationales for martial action in “just war” theories. How else, throughout the course of history, could a predominantly Christian west delegate authority to standing armies and domestic police forces if killing were unequivocally anathema to Christianity? (BTW, the commandment is “Thou shalt not do murder,” not “Thou shalt not kill.”)

    Third, you lament that the writers in the article didn’t ‘engage JP’s points.’ I think it’s more obvious you simply didn’t like what they had to say, as they *did*, in fact, engage his talking points, a number of which evince terrible political ignorance or simply condescending, patronizing rhetoric.

    To wit …

    The Abraham Accords (AA) are *not* an indication that the greater Arab Muslim world (and even the Arab Christian world) is nigh upon peace with Israel. They are a carefully orchestrated PR campaign that favors both Israel and the Arab potentates running their respective countries. Those potentates leverage their treaty with Israel to obtain surveillance technology that allows them to play Big Brother, stifling dissent and locking away political opponents even when their criticism is entirely legitimate. The AA are much like a Potemkin Village: we see them and think, “Oh, how wonderful, peace is finally breaking out!” while millions, sight unseen, continue to suffer under those ‘normalizing’ regimes.

    For JP *not* to understand this reality of the accords speaks about his ignorance of world affairs. He looks completely uninformed, as if he’s just parroting Zionist talking points.

    If you think the AA means anything more than a concerted effort to preserve totalitarian regimes while throwing Palestinians under the proverbial bus, you’re simply not well read about the Arab street.

  12. NOS

    July 28, 2022 at 2:55 PM

    Samuel

    Thanks for inviting us to the light of Christ

    We’re here already! We invite you to join this light so you can be saved from the everlasting torment that await all who worship 3 persons, be they peaceful and law abiding or violent.

  13. Fajr Dua

    July 30, 2022 at 2:42 AM

    Thank you for sharing this video with us. Every young muslim brother should watch this video.

  14. Sana Khan

    July 30, 2022 at 6:04 AM

    I don’t think he has any right to give an opinion about our religion. Just because they are a public figure does not make them an expert for commentary over the matters they just don’t understand.

  15. samuel

    August 12, 2022 at 9:45 AM

    An update comment: yesterday it was made known that the primary suspect in the murder of four Shia Muslims in New Mexico. The suggested motives are that he objected to a Sunni woman marrying a Shia male or that he hated Shia Muslims.

    Jordan Peterson was correct in highlighting this inter-faith conflict, and those five “thinkers” all failed to acknowledge it.
    https://www.wfdd.org/story/sunni-muslim-held-connection-killings-shia-men-new-mexico

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