June 20, 2004


I am prejudiced.

Actually, I don't really think that's the right word, since the definition of prejudiced includes the phrases "formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge" and "an irrational attitude", neither of which do I think qualify in this instance. But there's no other word for having a negative opinion of an entire group of people based on two years of research.

So we're gonna go with prejudiced.

I don't know that many Muslims one-on-one. I am friends with one Muslim family from Iran who begs my husband to invade their country every time they see him. I know of a few Muslims in the Army, including one who is wonderful and one who scares the crap out of me. On an individual level, I'm sure I could like many Muslims. But on a larger scale, I have no love for Islam.

I personally don't care what someone believes in private, and I think everyone has a right to believe or not believe whatever he chooses. There is however a major difference in the way each religion presents itself to the world. What are the major current news stories dealing with Christianity? Whether the 10 Commandments should be in a courthouse or whether Christianity should be mentioned in the EU Constitution. What are the major news stories on Islam? Beheadings, suicide bombings, and honor killings. Those two things, to quote Jules, "ain't the same ballpark, ain't the same league, ain't even the same f*ckin' sport."

Den Beste just found a hazily-attributed speech on the Muslim world. One section addresses the fundamental differences in "common ground":

The civilized world believes in democracy, the rule of law, including international law, human rights, free speech and free press, among other liberties. There are naïve old-fashioned habits such as respecting religious sites and symbols, not using ambulances and hospitals for acts of war, avoiding the mutilation of dead bodies and not using children as human shields or human bombs. Never in history, not even in the Nazi period, was there such total disregard of all of the above as we observe now. Every student of political science debates how you prevent an anti-democratic force from winning a democratic election and abolishing democracy. Other aspects of a civilized society must also have limitations. Can a policeman open fire on someone trying to kill him? Can a government listen to phone conversations of terrorists and drug dealers? Does free speech protects you when you shout “fire” in a crowded theater? Should there be death penalty, for deliberate multiple murders? These are the old-fashioned dilemmas. But now we have an entire new set.

Do you raid a mosque, which serves as a terrorist ammunition storage? Do you return fire, if you are attacked from a hospital? Do you storm a church taken over by terrorists who took the priests hostages? Do you search every ambulance after a few suicide murderers use ambulances to reach their targets? Do you strip every woman because one pretended to be pregnant and carried a suicide bomb on her belly? Do you shoot back at someone trying to kill you, standing deliberately behind a group of children? Do you raid terrorist headquarters, hidden in a mental hospital? Do you shoot an arch-murderer who deliberately moves from one location to another, always surrounded by children? All of these happen daily in Iraq and in the Palestinian areas. What do you do? Well, you do not want to face the dilemma. But it cannot be avoided.

These are real dilemmas that we face because of the nature of radical Islam. Charles Johnson gets a lot of crap for Little Green Footballs, but most of what he does is just link to articles about what's really going on in the Middle East. Sure, he has his own opinions on the matter, but he's not fabricating these stories of bus bombings, crazy imams, or auctions of Jewish body parts. Those things are really happening in the world, despite what anyone thinks of Charles' weblog. And I do think that those things are disgusting and antediluvian; I won't apologize for saying so.

No, not all Muslims are terrorists; I have nothing but respect for Zeyad, Ali, Omar, Muhammad, and other Iraqi bloggers. But Muslims as a group have some serious problems, and when these problems cause them to fly planes into buildings and kill my countrymen, then they're walkin' on the fightin' side of me. And I will not apologize for enjoying Allah's t-shirt, especially when others in this world feel no shame at wearing a Burn Israel Burn shirt.

Yes, I have a real problem with Muslims, especially since very few of them are standing up and renouncing the horrible things LGF reports on. When the moderates start taking back their religion from the loonies, I will have more respect for Muslims, but until that day I will remain prejudiced.

(I'm sure that's not what Can't Win wants to hear when he asks, "Do you have deep-rooted hostilities towards Arabs and the Islamic faith?", but it's the truth. And I'm pretty sure a few of my regular readers agree with me.)

Posted by Sarah at June 20, 2004 11:57 AM

Huh. Do you think that possibly you prejudice is contributing to the cycle of violence? I mean do you really not see that all those t-shirts foster is *hate*? I haven't really been over to LGF much, but when I did, it wasn't the links that upset me, it was the seething hatred pulsing from the site in the form of comments. Is this really the face of the "good guys"?

Posted by: rfidtag at June 20, 2004 03:52 PM

I saw a professor at Cal-Irvine on TV the other night debating whether graduating seniors could wear Hamas armbands. He said that if Jews had problems with that, they should look at themselves first. I wanted to ask if he felt the same about people wearing a sign at graduation that said "Jesus is Lord." Would he feel Muslims who might be offended should first look at themselves? From his comportment, I doubt it.

The hate came from Islam first. Our response has been dialog for years, to no avail. At some point you have to act.

By the way, might I suggest you read the Quran and hadiths before supporting Islam as a religion of peace.

Posted by: m at June 20, 2004 04:30 PM

I do so loathe ALL religion, tis but a crutch for those unable to deal with reality. I have my reasons for this attitude chief amongst them is the fact that my sister died when I was almost 4 years old, she was all of 9 years, one month and 15 days old. The thing I remember most from her death is all of the "kind" people saying shit like : "she is in gods hands now", or the ever popular: "it was her time to go", and my favorite: "God called her home"
Now as an adult all I can say us WTF!? What does god want a nine year old girl for?? Is god a prdophile? I know this last will offend many christians, but hey they weren't too worried about offending my parents when it happened.

Posted by: Bubba Bo Bob Brain at June 20, 2004 04:59 PM

Ok....Regarding your first point, I really have no idea what this has to do with my cdomment. I am more libertarian on the idea of freedom of speech, so I say wear whatever you want. It is none of my business.

Second, I said nothing about how hated who first...I indicated a cycle of violence and hatred. However, I would like to see some citations supporting your theory. You mention dialog for years...I am not certain what dialog your are talking about. Israel? I think this bears some filling out.

............................................What? Now you have completely lost me. Please cite where I have ever said Islam is a religion of peace or are you referring to someone else?

Posted by: rfidtag at June 20, 2004 06:16 PM

You're right, it's not what I wanted to hear--but, sadly, it is what I expected to hear. However, I think prejudiced is the correct word for selective use of evidence.

Unfortunately, what I am hearing from you is a reflection of a common media bias. Actions committed by "Muslims" are used to tar the faith as well; similar actions by Christians and Jews are not.

Remember the spate of anti-abortion murders a few years back? Why wasn't there widespread condemnation from Christian leaders of these actions?

The ethnic cleansing in Bosnia a few years ago--where were the condemnations for the attempted genocide of the Bosnian people?

When hundreds of Muslims were wounded and killed in their mosque by a fanatic Jew, why didn't the media demand that Jewish religious leaders renounce the violence?

It's because, when it comes to other faiths, they assume that a few wacko sectarians don't speak for the religion. Unfortunately, because we don't understand enough about Islam, we take the loonies at their word that they are fighting "for the faith," and forget that 99.9% of the followers of that faith have no such violent tendencies.

These idiots have as much right to be taken seriously as spokesmen of an entire faith as the bombers in Northern Ireland or David Koresh and his "Branch Davidians."

You claim that you want moderate Muslims to "take back the faith." I greatly doubt that it was ever ceded to the loonies--no more than Christianity was ceded to the Crusaders or the Mormons. The main problem is one of coexistence--these groups still exist, and there's honestly no real way to root them out. [Think about all the fringe lunatic Christian groups that are still out there--and don't tell me they don't exist. Tell me how you can root them out--and perhaps you'll see how unreasonable a demand this is.]

By the way, moderates have spoken out against these barbaric acts--frequently. Unfortunately, because of the decentralization of the Islamic faith (which, from your "two years of research," I'm sure you must be aware of), there is no position of "international Islamic spokesperson" (like a Vatican spokesperson, etc.) who can speak on behalf of the billion or more Muslims who have no connection to this violence, and would like nothing more than to be left alone to live their lives in peace. So, since nobody speaks for a large enough group, the major national media sources don't show people speaking out against the war, and therefore people assume that moderate Muslims aren't speaking out.

[Also, if we're talking about problems with Christianity--the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church? The schisms over abortion and marriage rights? The right-wing nuts who want to hasten the "End Days?" The problems are there; you just seem more willing to grant dispensations for them.]

The three Abrahamic faiths all strive for peace--but have had their dark chapters as well (just have a critical look at the Bible, the Torah, and the Qur'an--and the history of the Middle Ages--if you doubt this).

One last comment--

"These are real dilemmas that we face because of the nature of radical Islam."

Not true. You are conflating "radical Islam" with nationalist sentiments. Iraq is not aflame because of radical Islam. We are being attacked in Iraq because we are viewed as an occupying army whose principal aim is to plunder the nation's oil reserves. [I am not saying that's what we're doing--but that's how we're being perceived.]


However, in the end, I suppose I'm just writing in vain here. You seem pretty well set in your views, and I doubt one response in a blog is seriously going to change your world view.

You say that you have nothing but respect for "Zeyad, Ali, ... and other Iraqi bloggers," but "you have a real problem with Muslims," because they "kill my countrymen." Christians, Jews, Muslims, you name it--they're killing your countrymen every single day. But, we only bring up faith as a factor when it's Muslims involved. It's an excuse, not rational behavior.

So, I suppose what I'm trying to say with all of this is please use a more critical eye before making pronouncements on an entire religion. The wider brush, the cruder the statement, the shriller the argument, and the greater the tendency towards hostilities.

Posted by: Can't win at June 20, 2004 09:29 PM

"And I will not apologize for enjoying Allah's t-shirt, especially when others in this world feel no shame at wearing a Burn Israel Burn shirt."

One more obvious point--a "Burn Israel Burn" shirt is just as reprehensible as the "Six Days" shirt you mention. No one wearing either shirt has any right to claim a moral high ground.

Posted by: Can't win at June 20, 2004 09:44 PM

I don't remember anyone decrying the Christian faith during the Abu Ghraib scandel, but a similar thing happens on the other side and now it's a problem with Islam itself. Here's an idea: Religion has nothing to do with it. Jesus didn't want people killing in his name and Mohammed didn't either. I mean, after all, they're both prophets in the SAME religion. How different can they be?

Maybe we should put religion aside for awhile and figure out this situation like rational human beings. Okay. Al Queda wants all Americans and their western influence to leave the Middle East. The West can't leave the Middle East due to its economic concerns and its alliance with Israel. Okay, that's the dilemma. Get some smart people in a room together to work on it and come up with some solutions. And every time someone in the room brings up religion, they get kicked out. Maybe then this mess will finally get cleared up.

Posted by: J at June 21, 2004 03:14 AM

Keep on Trucking Sarah. You're not going to impact some people, especially when it becomes obvious that their are either lacking in logic or ignorant, or simply deceitful.

To that I say, Can't Win, I remember the short spate of Abortion Clinic bombings and you are wrong about them not being condemned.

I remember the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia very recently, do you remember that we went to war to stop the masacre of muslims at the hands of christians? Have you notice that very little attention has been paid to that trend reversing or to the genocidal practices by Arabs in the Sudan?

The Catholic sex abuse scandal has been loudly and roundly condemned by Catholics, whereas the same scandal in Islam has been almost entirely ignored.

There is no schism over abortion, there is a schism over a woman's right to choose. I can't think of a single Christian denomination that supports abortion, though some support a woman's right to choose.

" But, we only bring up faith as a factor when it's Muslims involved. It's an excuse, not rational behavior."

Here is where you're either ignorant or tyring to deceive. "We" don't bring up faith as a factor when Muslims are involved, Muslims bring it up as a factor. When was the last time you recall a statement by an Islamist that was entirely secular?

As to your "moderate" muslim voices, by their number and their deviation from the majority of Imams, Ayatollahs, Muftis, etc, I'd say that they are the real extremists in a violent religion where the average/moderate supports killing jews and non-arabs.


Posted by: Kalroy at June 21, 2004 05:42 AM

J, I think you're just flat out wrong.

This has everything to do with religion and we can't just say that's a "no-no topic" because it might "insult" someone.

This new form of terrorism has everything to do with religion. They've taken a religion and turned it into ideology.

The basis for their terrorism is the fanatical religious goal of creating one large Ummah (Islamic state) headed by a Caliph (like the Pope) and ruled though Sharia (Islamic law).

This is terrorist doctrine. There's no denying that. Check out the works of Ibn Taymiyyah, Mawdudi, Qutb and the latest Jihad Encyclopedias. I have them listed on my blog under "Download central."

It doesn't end with wanting us out of the Middle East. That's not the point. It ends with everyone in the world being subjugated to their form of Islam. That point is often lost on many people.

Posted by: athena at June 21, 2004 05:59 PM

You really are clueless, fucktard dumb. It's pointless to try to reason with you.

Posted by: Marei at June 22, 2004 12:53 AM

I enjoyed greatly reading all of everyones comments. I can say it made me deffinetly think different about certain things that I've never really ever thought about before. One of you was speaking of the war that's going on in Iraq. I think it's stupid we're over there in the first place. I mean it was fine at first but after a few years you'd have to agree it's getting rediculous. Also, everyone thinks they're country is a pile of terrorists that hate us but when you look at it, we've gone over to there country and have done some pretty afful things to their people too. Just because they harmed us it doesnt give us the right to go and abuse their people. All we need to do is get the ppl that we need out of there and leave the rest of the ppl alone. What have they done to us? They've done nothing its just not right. Also, religion ,i think, has gotten way out of hand. Everyone is worrying about these terrorists but look around us look how strong religion has come it's taking over many ppl at a time. Some religions tell us not to do certain things. As i recall arent we supposed to be free? People are letting religion take over them and giving in to it imencly. I truly think that religon is not the best thing for our world. Look at what it's making ppl do. It makes ppl hate other ppl because of their beliefs, it's making ppl do suicidal and crazy things, making ppl get crazy ideas in there heads that they would have never thought of if it hadnt been for religion. Personally, I don't like religon one bit.

Posted by: Miranda at May 1, 2005 09:30 PM