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Thursday, 5 August 2010
Radical Socialist Front Allied with Muslims in Murfreesboro Mosque Conflict Bookmark and Share
Internet investigations on the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM) expansion project have revealed connections between a revolutionary socialist organization called Solidarity  and a Solidarity front group, Middle Tennesseans for Religious Freedom. Many thanks to both Ashley and Daryl H. for this information. 
Solidarity promotes itself as a ‘democratic, revolutionary socialist ,feminist, anti-racist organization’. We knew something was up when Solidarity protested the government’s conviction of New York radical lawyer, Lynne Stewart. She was counsel to the blind Egyptian Sheikh Abdul Rahman from Jersey City who was convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. She was convicted of providing material support to an Egypt-based terrorist organization affiliated with al-Qaeda.
According to its website:
Solidarity was founded in 1986 by revolutionary socialists who stand for "socialism from below," the self-organization of the working class and oppressed peoples.  We are feminist, anti-racist, and democratic.  Within our group, we are trying to foster cultural diversity, flexible practice, and straight-forward socialist politics.
We are activists in many grassroots movements.  We are members of unions, where we oppose corporations as well as bureaucratic "business unionism." We are involved in solidarity with the people of Central and South America, Indonesia, Iraq, the Balkans, Palestine, and many other countries, where we fight against U.S. aggression and imperialism.  We work for reproductive rights and other feminist demands.  We fight for an ecologically balanced society.  We support the struggles of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender activists.  We include activists of color and we work in solidarity with people of color organized independently fighting for dignity and power and self determination.
In these movements, we try to build broad coalitions, organize the unorganized, activate the apathetic, develop ties between movements and strengthen the rank-and-file democracy.
 
Solidarity has 25 branches across the US including one in the Murfreesboro-Nashville area.
Looking at the causes that Solidarity supports we noted a post by “Jase Short” about the counter protests of the ICM expansion plan that occurred on July 14th, entitled: “Middle Tennessee confronts Islamophobia”;
“Short” commented:
On Thursday, Middle Tennesseans For Religious Freedom (MTRF) delivered a blow to these Islamophobic right wingers and managed to pull out more people into the streets of Murfreesboro than the well-funded opposition. Roughly 450-500 showed up to defend the rights of Muslims against the 300 or so on the other side -- stunning organizers and the entire state of Tennessee. We made it on national and international news. The chances that the County Commission will reverse its decision -- especially now since the mayor has switched his position on granting the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro the right to construct its new facility -- have been seriously diminished.
[. . .]
After the event, folks from the Islamic Center and the community in general thanked us for our efforts; one local business even provided organizers a free meal. At least in this case, the forces of bigotry and hate in the American South have been met with a strong, vibrant force of democratic power. Although started by socialists, MTRF became a broad alliance of progressive folks. We do not know what comes next, as the opposition has been silent since their resounding failure, but undoubtedly they have not given up... and neither have we.
This is a bit of puffery by “Short”. Someone of interest who frequents MTRF meetings is Eric Allen Bell, a self described ex-Hollywood documentarian.  Bell attempted to disrupt a press conference by Laurie Cardozo Moore of PJTN concerning the controversial early burial on the contested ICM expansion site on Veals Road.  
Bell has engaged in a sinister campaign against FMU colleague Nonie Darwish. He has tried to insinuate that Darwish had colluded with local Churches opposing the ICM because of an appearance at the World Outreach Church (WOC) in Murfreesboro in early May. Darwish spoke at WOC before the Rutherford County Planning Commission gave approvals for the early burial and the ICM expansion project on May 19th and 24th. Darwish addressed the WOC on support for Israel and knew nothing of the ICM expansion project at the time of her appearance there. The ‘campaign’ by Bell against Darwish surfaced this week, when Darwish was contacted by New York Times Religion reporter, Laurie Goodstein. Goodstein was doing an article on the opposition to Mega-mosques around the country. Goodstein opened up the conversation with Darwish by commented about her alleged role in fomenting Church opposition to the ICM expansion project. Clearly Goodstein was responding to a call or email from Bell.   Darwish then discussed Goodstein the issues of human rights for former Muslims and whether Goodstein had read or written on the topic. The answer was no. Darwish hoped that perhaps Goodstein might have been provoked by the exchange to investigate the death Fatwas against apostates who left Islam and the FMU Freedom Pledge campaign. 
As for Bell, investigators are closing in on his weak bona fides as a documentarian. The suspicion is that his ‘sojourn’ in Murfreesboro could be as a paid agent provocateur. The question is who is staking Bell for this purpose. The investigations continue about Bell, Solidarity and MTRF.
Posted on 08/05/2010 11:29 PM by Jerry Gordon
Comments
6 Aug 2010
Send an emailEric Allen Bell

This comment will probably get deleted but I'll give it my best shot anyway.

I am not a Socialist.  Although I have filmed numerous MTRF meetings and have a lot of idealogical simiarlities, I am 100% independent.

I don't belong to a political party or a relgion.  I was not shipped in from outside of Murfreesboro to stir things up. I am making an actual documentary.  I am not neutral or unbiased.  I come to this with a point of view.

As for the claims that I believe Nonie Darwish and World Outreach Church to be connected to the recent wave of anti-Islamic sentiment in Rutherford county - yes, I do stand behind that. 



6 Aug 2010
Jase
We at MT Solidarity continue to be proud of our role in supporting grassroots movements in our community, especially the defense of the civil rights of our friends. I am sorry you folks cannot accept that religion is not the primary mover of social conflict, rather such conflicts are inherent about political struggle with religion overlaying it. I am sorry you cannot distinguish between sweet middle-class Muslim Americans & violent jihadist groups. Please know we hold no animosity towards you. Solidarity has branches that are autonomous. We are small--our nationwide numbers are around 300! We have NO money. We have TWO national staff members. All of the efforts around MTRF involved 5 branch members (of 13 total), as well as 15 other non-Solidarity organizers. Of those 15 there are Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats, & one non-Solidarity social democrat. Of the 500 or so in the street on the 14th, about 1/2 were MTSU students, the others were older folks (the meeting prior to the rally was 60 strong with only 11 folks under 30). If you have questions about our role, direct them to me at [email protected] Please take care.

6 Aug 2010
Send an emailEllen

 This blog is clearly anti-muslim, anti-immigrant, with a conspiracy theorist, fear mongering agenda.  

The protesters against the Murfreesboro Islamic center were nearly 100% white Christian evangelical fundamentalists, the same contituency that marched against the building of Murfreesboro's first Catholic church in the 1920's.  Then, it was the KKK, today it is the Tea Party.  Same people, same beliefs, same politics of fear and paranoia.



6 Aug 2010
Send an emailEric Allen Bell

More on Nonie Darwish - Your article here makes it sound like a wild conspiracy theory, the idea that Nonie Darwish could possibly have anything to do with fanning the flames of opposition to the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM).

I have email correspondence with her saved where she confirmed that her organization, FMU, paid for the billboard in Murfreeesboro, TN that says, "Stop the Murfreesboro Mosque".

So the New York Times asking her about it is not part of some kind of a frame up job on the part of the so-called liberal media.  Nonie Darwish actually did pay for the sign.  Hence the inquries on the part of the press.

 



6 Aug 2010
dumbledoresarmy

Bell; Ellen; Jase.

Have any of you three actually *read* the Quran, let alone any part of the canonical Hadith and the Sira (life of Mohammed, in which he comes across as something resembling a blend of Don Corleone, Chairman Mao, Stalin, and Blackbeard the Pirate?)?

Here is a verse from the Qur'an. Surah 48, verse 29, in the N Dawood translation published by Penguin.  "Muhammad is Allah's apostle.  Those who follow him **are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another**".  Here it is in the Yusuf Ali translation: "Muhammad is the Messenger of God, and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers (but) compassionate amongst each other".

The word translated 'ruthless' by N Dawood and 'strong' by Yusuf Ali is rendered variously by the other English translations, but all carry overtones of ruthlessness, cruelty, sternness, harshness.  

The verse thus encapsulates a contrast: *among themselves* Muslims are to be kind; but in Islam *does not teach* sincere and permanent love or friendship for a non-Muslim neighbour, let alone for anyone perceived to be an 'enemy'; rather, non-Muslims qua non-Muslims are supposed to be treated with harshness, severity, cruelty.  

There is a whole doctrine called 'al-wala we al-baraa', 'loyalty and enmity' that elaborates how this dual principle - be nice to Muslims, nasty to non-Muslims - is supposed to be worked out in practice.  If being nasty to non-Muslims is perceived as risky because a given group of non-Muslims is too strong to be domineered over, then Muslims are permitted to practise taqiyya, and to play nice and dissemble friendship, so as to protect themselves from attack; but behind the smiling mask, if they are serious about Islam, they are supposed to maintain feelings of contempt and hatred toward the very people they are smiling at.  In the most authoritative hadith collection, that of Bukhari, vol 7, p 102, one reads that "Abu al-Darda' said: 'We smile for some people, while our hearts curse (those same people)".

More.  From the earliest Muslim historian, Al Tabari - "Killing infidels is a small matter to us".  From the Sira, the canonical Life of Mohammed, by Ibn Ishaq: "Muslims are one ummah [community] to the exclusion of all men.  Believers [i.e. Muslims] are friends of one another **to the exclusion of all outsiders** [my emphasis added]".  And, again from Ibn Ishaq - "Men, do you know what you are pledging yourselves to, in swearing allegiance to this man [Muhammad]?" "Yes.  In swearing allegiance to him we are pledging to wage war against all mankind".

One of the great modern western scholars of things Islamic was the German Joseph Schacht.  In his tome 'An Introduction to Islamic Law', he stated, "The basis of the Islamic attitude towards unbelievers is the law of war; they must be either converted, or subjugated, or killed".

You three, lady and gentlemen, are making  yourselves janissaries of jihad; you are enabling the Muslim ummah in Murfreesboro to build what amounts to an advance fort or military outpost, a shrine for their arab god of blood and war, to whom so far a guesstimated 270 million non-Muslims (most of those, black African animists and Chrisitans, and south Asian Buddhists and Hindus) have been butchered in jihad fi sabil allah.  

Muslims are taught to view Jews and Christians as...among other things ...future sacrificial animals.  Here is something from another, very popular Hadith collection which may be bought from any online Muslim bookshop; which is being avidly read *today*, the Mishkat al Massabih, vol 2, no 5552 - "When judgment day arrives, Allah will give every Muslim a Jew or Christian to kill so that the Muslim will not enter into hell fire".

Oh, and let's remind you of something else: the Apostasy Law.  It is a flat fact that the canonical, authoritative Hadith, the Bukhari Hadith, states - Vol 4, Book 52, No. 260 - "the Prophet said, "If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill  him".  And this is still put into practice today.  In Dagestan, a Muslim-majority region of southern Russia, a former Muslim who had become a Christian pastor, was assassinated by Muslims.  Former Muslims living a public life, such as journalist and MEP Magdi Cristiano Allam, in Italy, require a bodyguard night and day to deter attack; apostates from Islam in the UK live in hiding, under changed names, like people fleeing from an organised crime gang.

Instead of sneering at and attacking Ms Darwish, you should read her books: "Now They Call Me Infidel" and (on sharia, the totalitarian law of Islam), 'Cruel and Usual Punishment".  Talk to her yourself and find out how many death threats she has received...from Muslims.  Ask her how the Copts, and those who leave Islam, are treated, in her former homeland, Egypt.

Then reflect that the Muslims in this Murfreesboro mosque will read exactly the same texts, and the same authoritative interpretations thereof, as the Muslims in Egypt (who burn down churches and kill Christians), the Muslims in Pakistan (who kidnap and rape Christian and Hindu girls, with the tacit connivance of the Islamic authorities), or the Muslims in Iran (who stone women to death for 'adultery') and the Muslims in Saudi Arabia (among whom, the life of a non-Muslim man is formally, legally valued at half that of a Muslim man).

Islam is dangerous.  Any cult or group that actively practises the killing of those who criticise it (see Theo Van Gogh) or who leave it (google Arthur Suleimanova), is dangerous.

The folks in Murfreesboro who are opposing this mosque are being perfectly rational.  Just as rational as it would be to oppose the building of a massive fort/ bunker in which to hold Ku Klux Klan rallies, or in which to teach the adoration and imitation of Herr Hitler.

Here is something that happened in a city in Australia, in January 2009.  It was described in a comments on a blog by one Carolyn Coverington, in The Australian newspaper.  

The commenter, calling himself 'Jonathan Whybird', described an anti-Israel rally, mostly attended by Muslims.  "On Saturday 17th January in Brisbane there was another demonstration in favour of Palestine at which anybody who bothered to do (I live in the city and they marched in my street, so I had a front row ground level seat as my fiancee and I had come back from a run) **would have heard Muslim Australians chanting "Kill the Jews"** (my emphasis - dda).

The commenter then added, "I even spoke to one protestor who confirmed he was Muslim and from Iran, who said there would only be peace when Israel and the rest of the west was destroyed.  Now this man was supported by many of his fellow protestors who screamed with him...When I asked the man why he hated the west, he said, 'Because you reject the prophet' ".  END QUOTE.

That's it, Jase, Bell and Ellen.  That's what it's all about.  Muslims are taught to hate us - to make war on us - because we 'reject the prophet'.  

Because we prefer our own faiths, or no faith, to Islam; because we refuse to live as dhimmis within a Muslim despotism, paying 'jizya' 'protection' money to be (sometimes) allowed to remain alive; because we live under our own laws rather than sharia; because our women don't cover their hair/ arms/ legs/ faces; because we eat pork, drink wine, play music, carve statues, paint pictures of living beings; because some of us forbid polygamy; because we don't allow the marriage of 9 year old girls, like Mohammed did; because we don't stone adulterers.  All of these things, and more, are in and of themselves, from the orthodox, traditional, classical, mainstream Muslim POV, a standing casus belli, irrespective of anything we or our ancestors may have done, or not done, to Muslims.

The Muslims will smile at you and flatter you today, Jase and Ellen and Bell, because you are useful to them.  The moment you cease to be useful, however...allow yourself to reflect on what Khomeini did to the Communists and Socialists in Iran, once he no longer needed them.

 

 

 

 

 



6 Aug 2010
Send an emailEric Allen Bell

dumbledoresarmy -

I have read the Koran actually.  In the process now of reading it through a second time.  

I hope I have been clear from the beginning that I am not here to defend Islam.  I will let Islam do that.

My documentary looks at the concerns from all sides, but admittedly I do have a bias.  I feel very strongly that as long as the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is obeying our laws, we have no right to deny them their Constitutional rights under the First Amendment.

That doesn't mean you cannot have strong concerns, or voice those concerns or even dislike this group of people for what you believe their religion to be about. 

But it is so very important that you not confuse your fears and your speculation with actual facts. 

Does this make sense?  I hear you on your concerns about what you perceive Islam to be.  Aparently you feel that radical Islam and more moderate Islam are more or less the same when it comes down to it.  I'm not sure I agree with you there, but more importantly they do have a right to build a place of worship so long as they are obeying the laws of the land.

Thank you for taking the time to read my response.



7 Aug 2010
dumbledoresarmy

 Bell

if you  have in fact read the Qur'an (which translation? not that it matters all that much, since they all pretty much agree on the essentials) then you should damn well know that my posting did not deal in 'feelings', or perceptions, or speculations, but about the plain reality of what is in the Muslim texts.

 I related what is right there in front of any non-Muslim with commonsense who reads what William Gladstone once called 'that accursed book'.  I also cited actual passages from other texts that pious Muslims take very, very seriously, and I stated several examples of facts - Muslim behaviours, in space and time and history, past *and present* - that are in perfect conformity with the teachings of Islam.

I had read the Qur'an several years before September 11. Let me tell you that it was because I had read the Quran that I was not at all surprised to discover that Muslims had hijacked and crashed those planes into the towers.  The first time I read the Quran I felt the hate, the violence and the sheer weirdness hissing off the pages like heat off bitumen in high summer.

Oh, and don't confine yourself to the Qur'an.  You *have* to read at least some of the Hadith (Bukhari, Muslim, Dawud, for starters) and the Sira - either the A Guillaume or the William Muir classic translations.  You will find out what was done to the Jews of the Khaybar Oasis, if you read those - and then you will understand why Arab Muslims today chant ecstatically, 'Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Mohammed shall return'.  And you really do need to find out about the Treaty of Hudaybiyya. 

And, sir, would you call the jihad genocide of the Armenian Christians, by Muslims, or the mass murders of Christians in the Sudan and in eastern Indonesia in the 1990s, and in East Timor, mere 'fears', or  'perceptions', or facts?  Would you call the murder of Theo Van Gogh by a Muslim who was merely carrying out the diktat of the sharia, a fear, a feeling, or a fact?  Did you bother reading, at all, the report of a conversation in 2009 between a non-Muslim and a Muslim, in an Australian street, in which the Muslim - a common or garden Persian Muslim - told the non-Muslim that his (the Muslim's) hatred was occasioned by the non-Muslim's decision 'to reject the prophet' (i.e. the refusal to become Muslim).

And I repeat: modern Muslims harass, and frequently kill, those who apostasise, who leave Islam.  Why do you think Ayaan Hirsi Ali has bodyguards? Just for fun?  Why do you think Ibn Warraq writes, and lives, under a pseudonym?  For god's sake, go ring up Canon Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, and Magdi Cristiano Allam, and 'Hannah Shah' author of 'The Imam's Daughter', and talk to them yourself and ask them what happens, all the time, to apostates from Islam - *here and now and yes, even in the West*.  Or google 'Lina Joy' and 'Mohammed Hegazy' and 'Al-Gohary' and 'Sabatina James'.  Or do you think I'm making all this up?  

 



7 Aug 2010
Jase

 To answer the question of whether I have read the Qu'ran (I have), have you read the Bible?

In the Bible, Yahweh commands his followers to ethnically cleanse populations, sequester women who are on their period, stone women to death for adultery, etc.

 

Are you concerned about that?

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul commands his followers to deliver the "flesh" of a man who has committed incest up to Satan...what exactly does that mean?

 

Christians today are committing violent acts, but we are not seeking to prevent the construction of their churches. The issue is this folks: radical violent Islam is as real as radical violent Identity Christian movements--the thing about it is that it is a matter of POLITICS, not the religion itself.

 

Religion can be made to justify anything. Consequently, we don't ban religions in the USA...we ban dangerous political texts.



7 Aug 2010
Send an emailEric Allen Bell

First of all I want to say that I am in total agreement with what Jase just said.

And again, I want to reiterate that I am not here to defend Islam.  The bottom line here is painfully simple.  Do we change the rules for Muslims?  Do we deny they their First Amendment rights under the Constitution just because of SPECULATION of what you THINK they MIGHT do?

Who are the brain police?  And who will they come for next?



7 Aug 2010
Send an emailLaurie Cardoza-Moore

Eric,

 

You are not a "filmmaker, nor documentarian."  Even your equipment was sub-par for industry professionals.  The unprofessional way you handled your questions during my interview is reflective of that.  I believe that the reason you are not in L.A. anymore is because your work does not measure up to the professional standards of the film industry.  You will not come to Tennessee an embarrass the film industry that has worked for years to acquire our reputation with your amateurish work.  I would strongly recommend that you go back to school and learn how to film, what equipment to use, and how to do legitimate research to produce a documentary.  I can assure you, I will contact the Tennessee Film Commission to report you.



7 Aug 2010
Send an emailEric Allen Bell

Laurie -

You are going to report me to the Tennessee Film Commission?  LOL  Why don't you explain to your readers who that is and what they do?  That is hilarious.  That would like, if say I ran a merry go round, you decided to report me to Disneyland.  Surely, your readers are smarter than that.

NOW ABOUT THIS "PRESS CONFERENCE" that this report here says I disrupted.  You made a 4 page written statement to the press.  When you were finished and said you would take questions, I asked a couple of questions you would rather I not ask.  Hardly a disruption.

I have the entire thing recorded on 2 cameras (sorry if the quality of my HD equipment does not measure up to your high professional standards).  You, as a paid lobbyist, stated that you were representing the "citizens of Rutherford County" (don't you live in Brentwood, by the way?)  I asked, "Isn't it true that you do not represent a few hundred thousand citizens but are actually resenting a small radical Evangelical group who seek to turn America into a Christian theocracy?"

Now we can argue about whether that question struck you as offensive, but it hardly quallifies as a disruption.

Does anyone actually read this crap you put out and believe it by the way?

 

 



7 Aug 2010
Send an emailamerikanbeat

dumbledoresarmy:

(1) You repeat the Islamophobic argument that Islam, or a given group of Muslims, are dangerous based on "naughty passages" in the Quran. This argument commits a fatal error in assuming that a religion is reducible to a holy text. Islam is more than just a "holy book" (or books). It is more correct to say: Islam is a holy book plus an interpretive scheme—a scheme embodied in traditions, auxiliary beliefs, and yet other texts, each with yet other interpretive schemes. This scheme is used to tell the faithful what the text means.

Actually, this expanded definition is still too narrow: There is no “Islam” to speak of, nor is there an interpretive scheme. There are only particular variants of Islam, each coupled with one of many competing interpretive schemes. (A religion is like a language: There is no “English,” just particular dialects of English.)

It follows that, if you want to establish the “danger” of an Islamic group, like the Muslims looking to build (actually relocate) the mosque in Murfreesboro, you have to do better than just cite these passages; you must show that they are actually interpreted and acted upon by members in a dangerous way. So far as the Murfreesboro believers are concerned, quoting passages that appear to endorse killing non-Muslims fails—because these worshipers simply do not interpret these passages as licensing them, in the present day, to kill non-believers. And that is that.

(Perhaps nonviolent Muslims have the wrong interpretation of these books; in this case, they are poor readers. But this is hardly the same as being dangerous.)

(2) As Jase suggested, an outsider to Christianity can find just as many ostensibly dangerous passages in the Bible.

For example, in Luke 19:27, Christ says: “Those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and kill them in front of me.”

“On its face” (whatever that means), this verse appears to condone murder of “infidels” too. It isn’t much further to say that being “Christlike” means His followers should follow suit. If Muhammad spoke these words, the protesters would be drooling over it.

Of course, we could add most of Mosaic law to this--the Old Testament calls killing your neighbor if he works on the Sabbath, etc. etc.

Yes, Christians will say in context the meanings of such verses are benign, or do not apply after the "new covenant" or whatever. They reserve the right to distance themselves from militia types, Christian Identity racists, and other radicals by invoking alternate interpretations of the identical text. And I'm not saying they don't have a good point! But it is irrational or worse to deny the same charity to Muslims. So what accounts for your differential treatment? Why can Christians reinterpret ostensibly naugty passages but nobody else?



7 Aug 2010
Kendra

Eric, you cannot just read the Koran and understand it alone. You must also be familiar with Islamic history and the traditions which make up the Sunna of Mohammad.  Reading the Koran alone and understanding what it means is impossible since it is not in chronological order (intentionally-- but this is another story).  When read in chronological order, it is clear that the violent passages Dumbledore's Army refers to abrogates the non-violent earlier passages.  The violence is what stands and supersedes the non-violent passages. 

AB: Islam is made up of the Koran, Hadith, and Sira, all of which make up the sunna of mohammad. Everything Mohammad did is considered worthy and perfect and should be emulated. This is not MY interpretation. This is Islam's interpretation.  While you may be able to get some Muslims to disavow the violent passages, you will rarely ever find a Muslim to admit that Mohammad was ever wrong-- even though it is clear he was a rapist, murderer, beheader, misogynist, pedophile, etc. 

You bring up the bible in a way you must believe clever.  Irrelevant. First of all, if you want to discuss the bible, you should do so elsewhere.  This conversation is about Islam, not Christianity.   One has nothing to do with the other since Christians aren't blowing buildings up while citing doctrine and when they wish to proselytize, they do so with love and kind words, not by violence and beheadings.

The Koran is considered the literal word of God in Islam.  The bible is considered the inspired word of God.  You had to quote a parable in the bible since Jesus never advocated killing others. Herein lies the difference. If one followed the footsteps of Jesus, they would be tolerant, loving, kind, patient and just.  Period-- since Jesus himself was this way.  However, if one follows the footsteps of Mohammad (which is considered the sunna, the way to emulate, the perfect path), they are a murderer, rapist, slavemaster, pedophile. 

Any violence done in the name of Christianity is a misapplication of theology since Jesus himself preached no violence. Any violence done in the name of Islam is a perfect application of theology since Mohammad himself took part in murders, beheadings, rapes, child molestation, and slavery. 

Furthermore, Christianity has had two major reformations. Islam will have none (I'd like to be wrong about this part) since the Koran is considered the literal perfect unchangeable eternal word of God that cannot be changed by mere man.

To go one step further:  Judaism has had ongoing reformation since its inception.  Violence in the OT was limited to a specific enemy during a specific time in a specific place. In Islam, the violence is specifically mandated for all time, towards ALL non-Muslims, everywhere. . . until the entire world is under Islamic law, or dar al Islam.  Until then, they consider the non-Islamic world dar al Harb, or the House of War.  It is specifically mandated throughout the Koran that one must further Islam until Islam reigns-- by whatever means will do the job, whether by pen, money, sword, etc.  

There is nothing remotely like this in the bible.

I suspect you like to think of Islam as tolerant and those who don't see it as tolerant are racists. Okay. I understand. However, that's not the case, that's your opinion.

I realize you don't like many of the comments on this page. However, I'm only repeating what is in the Koran and what makes up the sunna. If you don't like it, don't take it up with me.  . take it up with Mohammad. I don't like it either.



7 Aug 2010
Send an emailEric Allen Bell

Believe it or not I started studying Islam out of curiosity in 2000. My documentary is not out to prove or disprove Islam however.

I don't care if it were a group of people praying to the Teletubbies with a global objective of taking over the world and making us all pray to Tinkee Winkee (that's the gay one, right?). My only concern is that a group of people who are law abiding not be denied their First Amendment rights under the Constitution. Period.



7 Aug 2010
Send an emailamerikanbeat

Kendra writes: “Everything Mohammad did is considered worthy and perfect and should be emulated. This is not MY interpretation. This is Islam's interpretation.  While you may be able to get some Muslims to disavow the violent passages, you will rarely ever find a Muslim to admit that Mohammad was ever wrong--even though it is clear he was a rapist, murderer, beheader, misogynist, pedophile, etc.”

Fine, but so what? The Muslims in Murfreesboro (etc.) simply do not believe that emulating Mohammed means being they should, or can, be any of these things. Maybe this belief of theirs is wrong. Maybe these Muslims are inconsistent. That's an interesting question but it doesn’t bear on the topic of this discussion. Many in my old Catholic High School would never say the Pope was wrong on anything, but in practice they supported, even engaged in, birth control, abortions, skipping Mass, etc. The practice is what matters in “the real world.”

Kendra again: “Any violence done in the name of Christianity is a misapplication of theology since Jesus himself preached no violence. Any violence done in the name of Islam is a perfect application of theology since Mohammad himself took part in murders, beheadings, rapes, child molestation, and slavery.”

Again, interesting point, but what does it prove so far as the mosque-building (and related issues) is concerned? So you are saying non-violent Muslims “misapply” the Quran? Then good! To be allowed to build a mosque in our city, they shouldn’t have to meet the burden of being “proper textualists”—only of being non-violent. Let them think what they want. Let them think they are pink elephants or gods or tastycakes. The only thing that matters here is that they behave legally, safely, etc. And they have a 13+-year track record of doing just that at their present site in Murfreesboro.

In brief, to require that “Islam” be tolerant is as silly as requiring a movie or my class notes to be tolerant. It doesn’t matter whether Islam is tolerant so long as the Muslims in question are. If anyone has any evidence that they aren’t, you can supply it. But that’s what you need to be arguing, not this other stuff.

Kendra says: “Judaism has had ongoing reformation since its inception. Violence in the OT was limited to a specific enemy during a specific time in a specific place. In Islam, the violence is specifically mandated for all time, towards ALL non-Muslims, everywhere. . ..”

This doesn’t prove what you want it to. Islam’s claim to be valid for “all time” is precisely one of the parts that, in theory, could be “reformed.” Christianity claims the same eternality, and that didn’t preclude the Reformation. More important, Western liberalism has “reformed” the majority of Muslims (or their traditions) in the US—again, so far as their practice is concerned.

A foolish concreteness is also a hobgoblin of little minds (present company not intended). Segments of Islam, the ones we’re talking about, have seen reformation, if not ‘a’ reformation.

(Btw, you say Jase resorts to citing parables because Christ never advocates killing. Per my previous post, in Luke 19:27 Christ does just this. Also, Christ “advocates” the Tanakh, which does “advocate killing,” so on this issue we cannot distinguish between his words and its.)



7 Aug 2010
Send an emailamerikanbeat

A few more scattershot points about the article:

(1) I can assure you Solidarity is of a socialist tradition that eschews the use of “front groups” altogether. Nobody in that group has considered anything like this since the 1970s. Some of them left to form Solidarity to get away from that kind of thing. I understand this is not your mileu, but coming from somebody in the socialist tradition, who actually knows about the historical derivation of Trotskyist and neo-Trotskyist groups, what you allege is a joke. You might not know it (but you could learn it—read up on “left refoundationalism” or “left regroupment”), but all of us know it. And we’re embarassed for people who make this claim. We laugh among ourselves all the time on discussion boards--"Woah, how’s our biiiiig front group going? Lot’s of “outside agitators” being bussed in?, LOL".

I spoke with an MTRF member two days ago who is a hardcore anarco-libertarian-style capitalist who was put off to read that all of his work around the mosque issue was being credited in some fora to “a socialist group.” It just isn’t true—and moreover, even if it were, nothing this article says proves any such thing.

(Not to mention: What if it is a Socialist front group? What would this have to do with the facts of the debate?)

(2) Regarding Solidarity’s article on MTRF, the author says, “This is a bit of puffery by “Short”.

“Puffery” means exaggerated, undue praise, right? So which parts of Short’s piece are “puffed up,” specifically? Do we just have to guess what you mean?

I’ll speculate: The counter-protest numbers Jase gives are confirmed by the newspaper coverage. No big secret there. (Even Kevin Fisher accepts them; he just denies—with no more evidence than you give—that most of them come from Murfreesboro.) As far as the MTRF counter-protest diminishing the chances of overturning the mosque plan, why shouldn’t it? The Islamophobic protestors anticipated their numbers would influence an overturn (why else protest?), so why is it crazy that even bigger numbers should influence in the other direction—especially since we are already winning—the decision to run the mosque has been made—so we have a smaller burden to prove. The decision could technically be overturned; so could any ruling at any time. But so far, nothing the Islamophobes have said has impressed the comission. So of course this, coupled with our side “winning the numbers,” only confirms the likelihood the status quo will be maintained.

(3) This is just a logical point: I laughed when I read that you are “closing in” on Mr. Bell’s “weak bona fides as a documentarian.” I thought to myself, how does one know that one is "closing in" on facts prior to knowing the actual facts themselves? As if, "We are about to prove this about you but we don't know this about you yet." If you did know it, you would know how you knew it, so you would have that proof already. In other words, if you knew you were “closing in” on that information, you wouldn't be “closing in”; you'd be there already. (Else you wouldn't be in a position to recognize what "closing in" looked like.)

Also, what do weak “bona fides” have to do with the facts of the matter we’re discussing? So the mosque is a crappy idea and Nonie Darwish is cool because Bell has lo-fi equipment? While we’re ad homenim-ing, heck, I’ve got some scars and dress poorly. Jase can’t cook very well. I saw one disabled guy in the MTRF group. So the mosque must be a really, really bad idea.

(4) The article writes, “The suspicion is that [Bell's] ‘sojourn’ in Murfreesboro could be as a paid agent provocateur.”

Not to mention that this is pretty weak—I can crank out stuff like that (“the suspicion is that you are racist, an Israeli spy," etc.) all day long. It isn’t a subsitute for an actual argument. It allows you the gravy of getting in a “dig” against your opponent without having to do the evidentiary work or take the responsibility associated with a controversial position. (On the streets, we call this “dry snitchin’.” It has zero respect among the respectable.)

Anyway: If Mr. Bell is a crappy documentarian, his paying patron must be a heckuva good prognosticator. Bell has been in Murfreesboro for years, since before the mosque plan was hatched. Is he like a one-man terror cell, moves to a random town, waits until something--anything--happens which he can “provocate” about? Come on, now.



7 Aug 2010
kendra

AB writes: Fine, but so what?

If you cannot refute my comments but insead admit what I said is "fine",  and if you you understand the concept of dar al Harb and dar al Islam yet still say, "Fine, but so what? They still need to build their mosque", then I have little left to say to you.

If you recognize these facts but still wish to permit a meeting place (which the mosque is since, in Islam, a mosque is not only a prayer hall, it is also a meeting place, a political venue, etc.) for members of an ideology that openly claims it is Godly to dominate our culture and replace our legal system with Sharia law, then you are not worthy of being reasoned with. Nevertheless, I will respond again for the benefit of others who may be following this.

You've now admitted that there is nothing factually wrong with my post.  Yet, you still wish to hold on to your own belief system which is that the Muslims in question "simply do not believe that emulating Mohammed means being they should, or can, be any of these things [sic].  

You know nothing about Islam, AB.  I wish you did, because it's always easier to debate someone who argues from a position of knowledge rather than a position of ignorance.  If I weren't well-versed on the subject, I'd be reluctant to make the points you're making for fear of looking ill-informed.  It's interesting that you haven't been dissuaded from doing so.

Briefly, you have now admitted that Islam itself is violent.  Despite this fact, you still are in favor of the mosque being built because these people, you believe, are not violent.  However, since you know nothing about Islam, you know nothing about taqquiya and you know nothing about al hijra.  You don't understand the immigration doctrine.  You don't understand what charity/zakat means to those who adhere to Islam.  Since you are blissfully unaware behind your own limited prism, you fail to make any connection between these points.

You, without any knowledge, insist the idea that "Islam is valid for all time" could be reformed. That's your western thinking. Islam cannot be reformed since, any suggestion of any reformation of any portion of the Koran at all is considered blasphemy which, in Islam, is a crime punishable by death.  

In closing, you are a hypocrite. Rather than criticizing those of us against the building of mosques (since, INSIDE those mosques concepts that call for the demise of Western civilization, liberty, and culture take place), I believe you should be questioning the Islamic scholars (btw, respected Islamic scholars throughout history agree with MY take on Islam, not yours) and you ought to consider how your group which claims to be "a democratic, revolutionary socialist, feminist, anti-racist organization" can defend an ideology which preaches an anti-democratic, anti-feminist, and outright supremacist ideology.  The very definition of Islam is "submission (to Allah)".  The purpose of Islam is to spread Islam (that is the very PURPOSE-- it cannot be reformed, since this is one of the main tenets of Islam) and bring sharia law to all throughout the world (the purpose of their immigration doctrine).  The doctrine they are required to spread and defend by whatever means necessary is anti-feminist and misogynist.  Although Islam itself denies racial inequality there is unequal treatment and special laws reserved for women and non-Muslims, none which are positive. All non-Muslims living under Islam do not receive the same rights Muslims do and are forced to pay special taxes and live under special laws.

I don't think Islam can reform since that would take disavowing Mohammed's behavior.  It would take recognizing the definition of pedophilia and disavowing any form of it (even the form that hides under the cloak of marriage).  Reform would also mean repudiating sharia law.  Reform would mean nullifying apostasy laws, openly call for an end to honor killings (which would mean they would have to recognize they occur).  Reform would mean permitting Muslim women to marry outside the faith without fear, permitting women the same rights as men, permitting non-Muslims the same rights as Muslims.  Reform would mean recognizing homosexuality exists in the Muslim world and then letting gays live freely without fear of punishment.

When they can do this, I would support any mosque building. My lack of tolerance for their intolerance is sane and rational.  Your obscene tolerance for intolerance is hypocritical and revolting.




7 Aug 2010
Send an emailamerikanbeat

Kenya writes: “If you cannot refute my comments but insead [sic] admit what I said is 'fine,' and if you understand the concept of dar al Harb and dar al Islam yet still say, 'Fine, but so what? They still need to build their mosque,' then I have little left to say to you.”

Oh, stop. It is perfectly legitimate to both (a) accept the truth of an opponent’s “comment” while (b) denying that its use as a premise in a given argument makes that argument unsound. That’s all I did.

I don’t especially want to refute your “facts” that the Quran has ostensibly “bad things” in it. Indeed, I don’t deny it! More importantly, I don’t have to refute it, because nothing in my argument depends on its being true. My point is that the truth (or falsity) of your “comments” is irrelevant to the matter at hand—whether the Murfreesboro mosque should be built (actually just relocated).

By analogy: I could argue, “Kendra, the mosque should be built because 2+2=4.” By your logic, in order to argue that this mathematical fact is irrelevant to the mosque issue, you would have to first “deny” that it is a “fact” at all!

(This illustration also shows the futility of your alleging my ignorance of Islam. That is as if, after making the above "2+2" argument, I accused you of “knowing nothing about mathematics” when you proceeded to show its irrelevance to the issue.)

Nothing in this argument depends on extensive knowledge of Islam because it is a purely logical point. Just as knowing that ‘when I have two sharks and then I take one away, I have one shark left’ doesn’t require me to know about marine biology or even what a “shark” is.

Heck, the mosque could even be a crappy idea so far as a purely logical argument is concerned. The point is that your reasons don’t show it to be a crappy idea; nor will provision of any number of naughty verses in the Quran backed by any amount of Islam-knowledge.

All that matters to this debate is how these particular Muslims interpret and practice Islam—or rather, what they think Islam is (whatever it "really" is or whatever else it may be).

Along these lines:

You write: “You call the Muslims in question “members of an ideology that...claims it is Godly to dominate our culture and replace our legal system with Sharia law....”

and then:

“Briefly, you have now admitted that Islam itself is violent.”

Not quite. My whole point is that there is not ‘an’ ideology, nor ‘an’ Islam, at all. There are ideologies, and, in a sense, Islams. More important, there are ideological and Islamic practices. We are talking about one of these in particular.

You write:

“You, without any knowledge, insist the idea that 'Islam is valid for all time' could be reformed. That's your western thinking. Islam cannot be reformed since, any suggestion of any reformation of any portion of the Koran at all is considered blasphemy which, in Islam, is a crime punishable by death.”

Once again, how does this differ from Christianity? Christianity also claims eternal validity. Blasphemy was also punished by death in Reformation Europe. Its purpose was and is also to “spread” itself over the world. But Christianity was still reformed. Tell me specifically why these factors didn’t block a Christian Reformation, but are sure to block an Islamic one.

“I don't think Islam can reform since that would take disavowing Mohammed's behavior...recognizing the definition of pedophilia and disavowing any form of it... repudiating sharia law...nullifying apostasy laws, openly call for an end to honor killings...” etc. etc.

Yes, true. You do a great job of cataloguing the problem. This is not the same as showing why the problem is congenitally unsolvable—which is your position.

Plus, as I said, the general “irreformability” of Islam, or in Muslim countries, could be true and still would not affect the issue we are talking about here. None of that has a damn to do with the Murfreesboro congregants.

You can cite naughty passages, and the “Islamic” activities of some people somewhere sometime—but you have not shown what any of that has to do with the Muslim group we are talking about, who has coexisted for 30-some years in Murfreesboro without incident. They have worshipped at their current location for 13 years. They invite the public to all their functions. Are they magically going to start bombing stuff just because they move to new location (which, by the way, is far more prominent, central, and “monitorable” than their current one in an industrial park on the outskirts of town)? Sure, I guess they could. I guess anybody could do anything. The point is whether anything you’ve said should lead us to expect it.

“Your obscene tolerance for intolerance is hypocritical and revolting.”

Tell me right now what “intolerance” the Murfreesboro Muslims have actually demonstrated. Don’t tell me why they “should” be intolerant based on books they claim adherence to. “Should do” and “do” are hardly the same things.



7 Aug 2010
dl adams

"Amerikanbeat" wrote: >Not quite. My whole point is that there is not ‘an’ ideology, nor ‘an’ Islam, at all. There are ideologies, and, in a sense, Islams.

This "whole" point must be dealt with in parts.

To say that the "whole" point as espoused by the commenter is wrong or mistaken is not enough. As the whole point, which is entirely wrong, is built upon concepts that are also wrong, it is important to identify those parts that contribute to this mistaken conclusion.

Please bear with the numeric approach.

1. What is the purpose in the commenter spelling "America" as "Amerika"? I've always wondered about this. I think it suggests that the US is a totalitarian state, right?

2. The "whole point" as stated by "Amerikanbeat" is that there is no ideology of Islam and in fact no "Islam". There are a multiplicity of Islams, and Islamic ideologies according to the commenter. If only this were so, things might be different in the world. But it is not so. There is one Islam, and one ideology only.

2a. There is one Islam because Mohammed says that there is one Islam. There is one Islam because Allah says that there is one Islam. Amerikanbeat's denialism that this is not so is simply ridiculous and ignorant.

2b. The foundations of Islam are found in Koran, Sira, and Hadith. These are incontrovertible facts. All Muslims must adhere to the commands of Allah and Mohammed as found in these doctrinal texts. To do otherwise is to apostasize and that is not a pleasant thought for folks in a "religion" that punishes people with death who apostasize (i.e., leave the "religion"). This essential fact is ignored by the uber-tolerant yet profoundly ill-informed like the commenter. Why would any decent American, certainly one who professes to support women's rights, equality and tolerance support a religion that does not allow freedom of choice, freedom of thought, and kills those who try to leave and those who are homosexuals? Why would the commenter and his friends support a "religion" that victimizes women - punishing the rape victim for example, while the male perpetrator is not?  The position of the leftist Western fellow travellers and supporters of Islam is entirely nonsensical and illogical. The doctrine of Islam that the commenter supports is opposed to his world view and to his/her existence, yet the commenter supports it nevertheless. This uber-tolerance on the commenter's part is a kind of self-delusion and is self-destructive.

2c. Islam has never reformed. Those in the past who tried to reform Islam were unsuccessful (i.e., they were killed).

2d. All Muslims, Shia or Sunni follow the same Koran, Sira, and Hadith. All Muslims acknowledge Mohammed as the prophet and state that Allah is the only god.

2e. To suggest that Islam is not an ideology is to deny its undeniable political component which one cursory look into history (and the texts themselves) will show is factual.

2f. Because mosques are places in which this ideology is espoused and taught and because Islamic concepts of "houses of worship" are so profoundly different than Western concepts the activities there are not limited to prayer alone. Jihad activities are planned in many mosques - that should be a cause for concern for all Americans.

2g. As jihad is an obligation for all ahderents of this doctrine (says so in Koran, Sira, and Hadith), and it is true that jihad is war against the unbeliever until the entire world is under Islam and Sharia, then what Mr. or Mrs. Amerikanbeat is espousing is the destruction of his own country via support of the actions and beliefs of an inherently antithetical political ideology and its followers.

2h. Current events, and horrific attacks like 9/11 show that this ideology is very much alive and influential. Those who killed our countrymen on 9/11 were devout Muslims doing their duty as commanded by Mohammed and Allah. This is undeniable.

2i. The suggestion by Amerikanbeat that because some Muslims do not appear to implement the commands of Allah and Mohammed today does not then mean that these same Muslims will not do so tomorrow or next week. In fact, to not do so puts the adherent (you know "slave of Allah" and all that - remember Major Hassan at Fort Hood?) outside the religion and into the realm of apostasy. The term "Islam" means submission; the term "Muslim" means "one who submits". What are they submitting to? They are submitting to Allah and Mohammed not as the imagine them but as they ARE, as found in the Koran, Sira, and Hadith. The opinions and views of adherents are irrelevent; only the commands of Allah and Mohammed as found in the doctrine are relevant. All devout Muslims will concur on this point and history shows it to be so.

2j. It is known by our scholars that Islam advances in stages (doctrine of al-Hijra). This is validated by the history of Islam and by both Allah and Mohammed as found in the trilogy doctrine. Why do you suppose that the very first day of the Islamic calendar is the date of Mohammed's move from Mecca to Medina rather than say, oh, the birthdate of Mohammed? This is because Islam is an ideology of expansionism rather than "only" a "religion". The "religion is one component of a entire concept of civilization. What we see daily is its concept of war against the unbelievers - Jihad, which "Amerikanbeat" pretends is not so. The worship component of Islam is not of great relevance, as people in this country can worship in whatever way they wish so long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. However, because this "religion" is part of a much larger political ideology of violence, hatred, conquest, intolerance, and cruelty those are the issues that we must attend to especially after 9/11 and the thousands of subsequent successful and aborted Islam-motivated jihad attacks against us.

3. It is likely that the people involved with the mosque in Murfreesboro are nice people. This is not relevant. What is relevant is what they believe. We know what they believe because we have read their holy books and seen the horrors that their co-religionists do as they implement the commands of their deity and prophet as found in those holy books. If they believe what they say they then are a direct threat to the safety and security of our country regardless of the fact that Amerikanbeat views them as merely nice people with differing beliefs who deserve the same protections that other "religions" do. If they believe what they say they believe how can Amerikanbeat or any other supporter trust what is said due to the purpose of the ideology (conquest of all non-Muslims) and taqiyya (the sacred right to lie to non-believers to forward the purposes of Islam)?

3a. Nice people with abhorrent beliefs should not be supported because they are nice. Their abhorrent beliefs should be condemned, and the expansion of their belief system opposed. This is the foundation of the opposition to the mosque at Ground Zero, in Murfreesboro or anywhere else in this country. This is not at all a matter of tolerance or intolerance. This is not intolerance; it is a matter of national and cultural survival.

4. Where is the anger from the left at Islamic subjugation of women and homosexuals? Where is the anger and horror from the Christian community at Islamic atrocities against Christians across the world? Where is the anger and horror from the diaspora Jewish community at the almost daily attacks against Israel by Muslims, and the delegitimization of Israel by leftist countries of the West whose purpose is the eventual destruction of  Israel itself?

5. Any nation that does not defend itself against opposing ideologies that require active war against that country - whose purpose is the destruction of the host country's society, culture, government, and religions - is a sick, falling nation.

6. Those who oppose mosque building in the United States have the apparently unfortunate burden of living in context, knowing history, knowing current events, and linking actions with motive. It is unfortunate that Islam is the motivator behind Islamic hatred, violence, intolerance, and cruelty.

7. Support for mosque building on "religious freedom" grounds has been negated by the actions of those who follow said "religion" and kill innocent people because of its teachings. Such a religion/political ideology then is an active danger to all non-believers and to the country at large. When it is clear that terror attacks, honor killings, brutality, and intolerance are part and parcel of this ideology called "Islam" it is a rationalist position to stand in opposition to it.

8. Those who take a politically correct position of tolerance for all beliefs, even those that are opposed to the defender's right to exist, are irrational.



8 Aug 2010
Send an emailamerikanbeat

First, let me say that “amerikanbeat” is not intended to plug into the tradition you speak of. The whole “amerikkka” thing (not one k but 3) I associate with overleft Maoist groups in the US like the Maoist Internatioanl Movement (MIM). They are also fond of saying “United $nakes of” before "Amerikkka" and as you see using dollar signs for the ‘s’-es. I don’t like this tradition at all. I don’t buy that the US is totalitarian. My own use of ‘k’ is for aesthetics, uniqueness, and an inside joke I won’t get into now. I have used this for years and at my website amerikanbeat.net.

OK. If you prefer I speak of Islam as “one ideology with different interpretations and different practices” instead of “many ideologies as demarcated by those many interpretations and practices”—fine, you can have it. This is a semantic issue entirely. We could speak of one dog or two dog parts, a front and a back, stuck together if you like. It all depends on your purposes and so long as you define your usage at the start, and stick with it, either works.

The point, terminology aside, is that there are various practices under the name of Islam and none of the ones you seem worried about are displayed by the Murfreesboro Muslims in question. (I admit that these practices overlap, which is why it is intelligible, if somewhat misleading, to call them all "Islamic.")

You note my ironic or shameful “support” for “a ‘religion’ that punishes people with death who apostasize... does not allow freedom of choice, freedom of thought, and kills those who try to leave and those who are homosexuals....victimizes women - punishing the rape victim for example, while the male perpetrator is not...,”etc.

A “religion” actually does none of this—only people do. And the Murfreesboro contingent of people doesn’t do any of that, and nobody has ever accused them of doing anything like that in the decades they have practiced in our city. Again, if that makes them bad Muslims, poor interpreters of the Quran, etc. so be it. Maybe a poor Muslim makes for a good citizen—the latter is what matters.

“The doctrine of Islam that the commenter supports is opposed to his world view and to his/her existence, yet the commenter supports it nevertheless. This uber-tolerance on the commenter's part is a kind of self-delusion and is self-destructive.”

Again, I don’t care about a “doctrine” or the real or self-perceived adherence of the Murfreesboro group to it. I care about what they do. Let them think all kinds of crazy things. It is the worst kind of idealism to confuse “mind-states” will real, efficicacious behaviors. Same with your point, “jihad is an obligation for all ahderents of this doctrine”: Either this contingent of Muslims interprets this “command” differently that you, or than other Muslims somewhere, or is shirking the “command.” So be it—good.

“The suggestion by Amerikanbeat that because some Muslims do not appear to implement the commands of Allah and Mohammed today does not then mean that these same Muslims will not do so tomorrow or next week.”

OK. This is maybe the crux of the issue for us. All you are saying is that they might do something naughty in the future. Fair enough. Anyone could do anything naughty at any time. Christians have all the same violent injunctions and expansionist commands in their tradition and texts. I suppose the local Baptists could rise up sometime. However, the best indicator of future behavior remains past behavior—and we have a very long “past” to look at re. the Murfreesboro congregation. And it is stellar. You simply cannot violate somebody’s civil rights because you think they might commit some crime at a future point. You have to have evidence. You have to have a reason.

And statistically, the percentage of Muslims who actually commit “terror” or other crimes of an Islamic coloration is very nearly zero. This goes even moreso for Muslims in the US—the ones we’re talking about. (In Middle Tennessee, the number is zero, not just the percentage.) You are far more likely to drown in the bathtub or be the criminal victim of a non-Muslim American than to be victimized by “Islamic terror” in the US. This is simply not a serious concern, by any reasonable measure. You may "feel" that it is, but that's not what the numbers say.

“Where is the anger from the left at Islamic subjugation of women and homosexuals? Where is the anger and horror from the Christian community at Islamic atrocities against Christians across the world? Where is the anger and horror from the diaspora Jewish community at the almost daily attacks against Israel by Muslims, and the delegitimization of Israel by leftist countries of the West whose purpose is the eventual destruction of  Israel itself?”

Really? I don’t know what “left” you have in mind here. I don’t consider Obama or the Democrats “left.” As a socialist activist, I support the indigenous struggles of Muslim, etc. peoples against their governments, religious police, etc. so far as it concerns subjugation of women, etc.--to the extent that I can.

This being said, the reason I would focus less on on “Islamic subjugation” and “Islamic atrocities...across the world” is because I can’t do anything about them. I can’t help what Iran or a Saudi prince does. I can give them lip service, I guess. And I can forge very minimal ties with local activists, as mentioned above. But American atrocities, American oppressions, are mine. My government is partly answerable to me, and partly amenable to my protests. Surely you can see why I would focus my activist energies on protesting something in my own town of Murfreesboro rather than something Iran is doing. It isn’t a “contest” about who is the worst perpetrator. It is about where own responsibility lies, and who I can actually affect.



8 Aug 2010
old hippie activist

LOL at amerikanbeat's use of "naughty."  Naughty words in the sacred texts of islam that call for death to the non-muslim or kafir; naughty things that the believers do like blow up innocent people; naughty as in marrying a nine year old girl; naughty as in stoning of women for adultery; naughty as in the murder of apostates; naughty as in husbands beating their wives by allah's commandment; naughty as in flogging and death for gays. You know, that kind of naughty.

amerikanbeat is a moral relativist who can't discriminate between a child's bad behavior and barbaric sharia laws and ideology of a perverted madman.



8 Aug 2010
Send an emailamerikanbeat

old hippie activist :

By calling those words "naughty," I only mean to say they are that--just words--which at the worst can only be "naughty." I agree that words don't just stay words; they sponsor actions. I also agree that when these words do give forth to action, those actions are much more than "naughty"--they become tragic, horrible, etc.

Let me assure you I'm no moral relativist, neither in theory (I don't believe in the philosophy of moral relativism) nor in practice (I'm a particularly judgemental person). If you've been reading my posts, I've not denied the "badness" of any "Islamic" crimes or passages Kendra, etc. has brought up. I simply said they were beside the point of what we were discussing.

In keeping with the above, I would call "Sharia laws" "naughty" when considered as words, but indeed, as you suggest, "barbaric" when implemented.

How this relates to my overall argument is that, in the case of those Murfreesboro Muslims we are talking about, those ostensibly "naughty" words have remained just that, and not spilled over into horrible, tragic, actions--and that is what is relevant here.

I hope that clears up, and I suppose I can understand the misunderstanding. Sorry about that.

p.s. You didn't have to be a dick about it, either. At the least, I think my words were ambiguous. You could've asked before mocking.



9 Aug 2010
old hippie activist

No apologies, amerikanbeat.  Your sophistry and the use of the word naughty for blatantly evil concepts deserve mocking, as does your insistence on refusing to accept that words lead to action.

Islam has two faces, the face of Mecca and the face of Medina.  If you studied their doctrine, you would find that the Sunna or Mohammed’s example calls for the face of Mecca, the nice face, in these types of circumstances where the believers are outnumbered. Muslims call themselves “Believers” for a reason.  They believe the words that form the concepts of their ideology and hold these concepts as immutable, eternal and sacred above all others.

 

When the time is right, they will turn the Medina face, the face of war, and call for the submission of the kafir (that’s you and me, amerikanbeat) to their sharia laws.  It has been this way in history and will be forever, the believers say, until the whole world is under the rule of Allah.

Study history and see what happens when Islam invades a country, either by immigration or by the sword.  Pakistan and Afghanistan used to be Hindu and Buddhist.  Now they are hell-holes that follow the “words” of Allah and words and deeds of Mohammed.

Here’s what happened in a German mosque: “A mosque which used to be a meeting place for the September 11 attackers has been closed, German authorities said. Officials said that the Taiba mosque in Hamburg and a cultural association connected with it have been banned.

The prayer house, formerly known as al-Quds mosque, used to be a meeting and recruiting point for some of the September 11 attackers before they moved to the US.” http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hyrsJjzORazQqgEpyISuWZ2ESReA

If you google these subjects: honor killings; polygamy; the killing of and attempted murder of civilians, you will find out what Believers are doing in your country, all because their naughty words have become evil deeds.
 




9 Aug 2010
Send an emailEric Allen Bell

Old Hippie Activist -

Are you in Murfreesboro, TN?  I would love to talk to you on camera about your views if so. 

One of the most compelling arugments I have put forth so far is the one you are supporting, which is that it's all in the text and words lead to actions, etc. - and that history demonstrates this. 

I need somebody who can articulate this view for the documentary, but best if it is someone who lives or works in Mufreesboro.

Let me know,

Thanks,

Eric

[email protected]



9 Aug 2010
Send an emailamerikanbeat

Old hippie:

My “insistence on refusing to accept that words lead to action”?

To quote myself above: “I agree that words don't just stay words; they sponsor actions."

Even if I hadn't said this explicitly, talking about words is hardly to deny their role in actions; any more than talking about yeast is to deny its role in baking bread.



9 Aug 2010
old hippie activist

So amerikanbeat, we agree.  Words form concepts and ideas that lead to actions.

Some questions:

Why don't you think the words of the Koran and Sunnah can lead to violent actions?

The believers hold these words sacred, why are they not acting on them? 

Could it be there are only 200 of them and they feel outnumbered and weak? 

What about when they fill their new community center and mosque?  Will they follow the sacred dictates of their god and prophet then?  You think not.  I think, based on historical evidence, there's a good chance they will. 

By the way, did you read the article I posted?



9 Aug 2010
Send an emailamerikanbeat

“Why don't you think the words of the Koran and Sunnah can lead to violent actions?”

I don’t know where you got that from. I don’t believe that. I will repeat that “the words” alone don’t do anything; words plus a certain interpretive scheme “lead[s] to violent actions.” These schemes are many and various, if overlapping.

“The believers hold these words sacred, why are they not acting on them?”

Because—correctly or not—they interpret them in a non-violent way. At least, that's what all the evidence we have suggests.

“Could it be there are only 200 of them and they feel outnumbered and weak?”

It could be. Anything could be. The Baptists could have a nuclear bomb and are just waiting for me to print these words to detonate it. But there isn’t any evidence to suggest either. And there appears to be no correlation in the States beween mosque/community size and the likelihood of "Islamic" crime, such as your "emboldenment" theory would explain.

“What about when they fill their new community center and mosque?  Will they follow the sacred dictates of their god and prophet then? You think not. I think, based on historical evidence, there's a good chance they will.”

Actually, the “chances” are anything but “good.” Again, the statistical likelihood that a given Muslim in the states engages in or facilitates terror or other crimes of an Islamic coloration is virtually zero. The likelihood of drowning in the bathtub is greater than the likelihood that you will experience “Islamic” crime. The likelihood of being victimized by a white, ostensibly Christian, neighbor is greater.



10 Aug 2010
old hippie activist

amerikanbeat, here's a reading list for you and other social justice sophists.  You’ll find them all in the public library or on Amazon at reduced prices. When you've finished with these books, particularly the last three, come back and visit.

 

The Legacy of Jihad, Andrew Bostom
The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism  Andrew Bostom
American Jihad, Steven Emerson
Funding Evil, Rachel Ehrenfeld
Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The Caged Virgin Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Now They Call Me Infidel Nonie Darwish
Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law
  Nonie Darwish
Onward Muslim Soldiers
Robert Spencer
The Truth About Mohammad Robert Spencer

Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam  Robert Spencer
The Sword of the Prophet
Serge Trifkovic
Why I Am Not A Muslim Ibn Warraq
Virgins? What Virgins? and Other Essays
  Ibn Warraq
While Europe Slept
, Bruce Bawer
Because They Hate, Brigitte Gabriel
Among the Believers, V. S. Naipaul
The Dhimmi:  Jews and Christians Under Islam  Bat Ye’or
The Third Choice:  Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom  Bat Ye’or
The Grand Jihad  Andrew McCarthy

The Hadith of Bukhari, Vols I, II, III, & V
The Life of Mohammad 
I. Ishaq & A. Guillaume
A Simple Koran  Bill Warner



10 Aug 2010
Steve

 amerikanbeat, you say (Btw, you say Jase resorts to citing parables because Christ never advocates killing. Per my previous post, in Luke 19:27 Christ does just this.

You've made so many good points, but you're just wrong here.   The parable runs from Luke 19:11 through verse 27. Verse 27 is clearly spoken in the voice of the "nobleman" mentioned in verse 12 of the parable.

Argument over the point of the parable or that particular verse is certainly valid, but it IS a parable, a story, told by Christ to make a point.                                                                                                                        



10 Aug 2010
Send an emailamerikanbeat

hippie:

(1) About your list. I appreciate this, and I don’t deny the value in reading these. Maybe I will read some. But it tells me you are simply not getting my point. You’re like someone who asks the time and, realizing the stranger doesn’t speak English, merely increases the volume of the question. “More English” is still English. In the same way, if the Murfreesboro Muslims do not interpret Islamic texts/laws in a dangerous way, no amount of (a) lit-crit on these texts—cataloguing and detailing the dangerous interpretations—nor (b) anecdotes of other Muslims who do interpret these in a dangerous way, will refute (or even address) my argument. “More dangerous words” is just “more words interpreted non-dangerously.”

(Sidenote: Ideally, I would be more specific about how some of the “naughty” verses are contextualized by the Muslims we’re talking about. For now: In some cases, they are contextualized historically, as intended to apply only in the course of (say) the Meccan-Muslim war. Similarly, liberal Christians have softened some of the OT injunctions against homosexuality as a correlate of the ancient mandate to populate the earth—something that wouldn’t apply in our crowded age. In other cases, dangerous-sounding verses are qualified as applying in self-defense only. The point is: Whether you agree with these interpretations or not, the point is that there is no reason to doubt they are made sincerely.)

(2) Sophistry can be a way of being false, but also of being disingenuous. To call my ideas false adds nothing to your argument; the fact that you are arguing against me at all means I am false to you. Either you have demonstrated this falsity, or not; stating it does nothing. On the other hand, to call me disingenous means I’m knowingly presenting arguments I don’t actually believe are true. This charge requires evidence. Do you have evidence that I’m lying?

Let me make a comletely new point: One problem with the whole “there are naughty verses-period” approach is that the Quran is, like any other holy book, contradictory on the subject of violence toward infidels, etc. There are plenty of verses which suggest treating “enemies” well, and a “live and let live” attitude toward non-believers:

"If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear God, the cherisher of the worlds.” (5:28)

"God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. God loves just dealers.” (60:8)

"And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for God. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers.” (2:193)

"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy handhold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.” (2:256)

"Again and again will those who disbelieve, wish that they had bowed (to God's will) in Islam. Leave them alone, to enjoy (the good things of this life) and to please themselves: let (false) hope amuse them: soon will knowledge (undeceive them).” (15:2-3)

"Say, 'The truth is from your Lord': Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it):......( 18:29)"

"Say: 'Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger: but if ye turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and ye for that placed on you. If ye obey him, ye shall be on right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only to preach the clear Message.

"Say : O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine.” (109:1-6)

Point being, if we're going to argue "verse-->action," we've got two competing conclusions to draw. It is not a crazy idea that this contradiction would be represented in the Muslim demographic.

* * *

Steve: I originally brought up that verse as something that, minus context, ostensibly advocates violence. (This doesn’t mean it actually does.) I did this to draw a parallel with some of the Quranic verses that appear to advocate the same—and maybe even “just do”—but in another sort of context (a context many Muslims apply), they don’t. Every time I’ve used that example I’ve noted that Christians contextualize it to demonstrate that it is benign; and I’ve always added, in doing so “they have a point.” Clearly, I overstretched in the post you mention. My point was crap. I’m probably going to retire using that verse altogether because even when used in the way I’m OK with, it is weak. Thanks for the message.



11 Aug 2010
Send an emailold hippie activist

Amerikanbeat, thank you for pointing out the dualism or, seemingly contradictory nature of the Islamic doctrine.  Islam is a process, based on the life of Mohammed, which is made very clear in much of the explanatory material on the web by Islamic scholars.  In the Koran of Mecca, there are verses that are conciliatory toward the kafir.  These verses, however, are abrogated by the later violent Medinan Koranic verses such as the sword verse which I’m sure you know and other hateful diatribes against the Jews and Christians.  So we now have the “live and let live” and the “make them submit to the believers by any means possible” ideas that seem to compete.  But there is actually no competition.  Even though the nice Koranic verses  have been superceded by the “naughty” ones, all the verses are the words of Allah and, therefore, must be perfect.  This gives the believers a choice, which can change or not at any given moment, according to the necessity of advancing the way of Allah.  Coupled with the used of taqiyya, this gives Islam a formidable weapon of dawah.  

Back to the understanding of Islam as a process:  Please read the article from a website on the biography of Mohammed titled “The Honorable Civilized Principles of the Holy War (Jihad) of the Prophet” one of the websites recommended by the Islamic Center of Tennessee:  http://www.rasoulallah.net/v2/document.aspx?lang=en&doc=3832
where the process is explained and upheld by doctrinal quotes.



13 Aug 2010
Chris

@Jase

"In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul commands his followers to deliver the "flesh" of a man who has committed incest up to Satan...what exactly does that mean?"

http://www.biblebb.com/files/j92-31-1.htm

"Deliver this man to Satan" (v. 5). I have translated the Greek aorist infinitive paradonai (paradounai, "to deliver") as an imperative. Handing someone over to Satan is akin to the prescription Jesus gave His disciples: treat an unrepentant sinner as a pagan or a tax collector (Matt 18:17). The command to deliver someone to Satan has a parallel in another epistle where Paul writes about some people shipwrecking their faith. "Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme" (1 Tim 1:20, NIV).

Paul's command to hand over a person to Satan is the act of excommunication and is equivalent to purging the evil from the church (cf. v. 13). Believers are safe in the hand of God from which no one, not even Satan, can snatch them (John 10:28-29). But if a sinner is delivered to the prince of this world, he faces destruction. He no longer enjoys the protection that a caring Christian community provides. John C. Hurd puts it graphically: "The Church [is] an island of life in Christ surrounded by a sea of death ruled by Satan."



14 Aug 2010
Send an emailChris

@Jase

"In the Bible, Yahweh commands his followers to ethnically cleanse populations, sequester women who are on their period, stone women to death for adultery, etc."

@amerikanbeat

"Also, Christ “advocates” the Tanakh, which does “advocate killing,” so on this issue we cannot distinguish between his words and its."

These are passages that have an appropriate context in which they are clearly for a certain people at a certain time.  And if you think you can apply laws that were given to the nation Israel in order to function as a nation set apart from all the others, to the Church, then you simply do not understand the whole point of Christ.

@Jase

"Christians today are committing violent acts, but we are not seeking to prevent the construction of their churches."

Where are these?  Here in the US?  Can you run the numbers please?



20 Oct 2010
Send an emailEric Allen Bell

The video you are about to see is taken from an interview I did with Tea Party Congressional candidate, Geroge Erdel.  In Murfreesboro, TN he has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the new Islamic Center that has been the subject of much controversy in the media.

As I have mentioned in my prior blog “One Mosque Too Many?” the public backlash against the building of a new mosque in this Southern town almost makes you feel like we have gone back in time, rewinding the clock on civil rights by about 40 years.  Islamophobia, the irrational fear of Muslims, is on the rise in America and in Europe and this can be felt and seen powerfully right here in Murfreesboro, TN.  Religious groups and political organizations, such as the Tea Party, are having frequent meetings and lectures about the coming “Islamic takeover of America“.  These sentiments are echoed on Fox “News” and on the 700 Club regularly.  And more and more we are seeing right wing political candidates bringing this subject up in their campaign speeches as November draws near.

The theology of Apocalyptic Christianity is one you are about to hear articulated by George Erdel.  It is the main engine that is driving the sudden rise in anti-Islamic sentiment.  You will notice that this man is armed throughout the interview.  He talks about the arson on August 28th on a tractor at the construction site of the Islamic Center, while mocking a frightened Muslim woman.  You will hear about his hatred for what he terms “Islamists” while he talks about how “God” commanded “his people” to commit ethnic cleansing, back in the day, and how if they had just done what they were told, we wouldn’t be having the problems we are having in the Holy Land today.

I want to make something abundantly clear.  Having interviewed all of the key players here (I am in production on a documentary on this subject), including residents for and against the mosque, my very strong feeling is that this has nothing to do with Jewish Zionism.  That’s where I feel that a lot of the foreign press in the Middle East gets it wrong.  They blame the sudden rise in Islamophobia on “the Jews” and my research shows me that the facts just don’t support this.  There are only something like 15 million or so Jews in the entire world.  Some studies have shown that as many as 50% of them are not at all religious.  The myth of Jewish Zionism setting the agenda is really a front for something far, far more sinister.

So who then is really to blame?  There are a combination of factors that all add up to this xenophobic frenzy, reminiscent of the early days of the Nazi rise to power:

1 - BRING ON THE END TIMES: There is a racial Evangelical theology of Apocalyptic Christianity which says that we are living in the End Times and that, in order for the Messiah to return there is a certain timeline, involving Israel.  This is an Evangelical movement and not a Jewish movement.  There are an estimated 30 million Americans who not only support this movement, but their powerful political influence makes and breaks presidents, senators, congressmen, judges and on and on.  This fanatical religious group can even influence the world’s greatest super-power to go to war. Sure, I’m worried about Islamic terrorism, but this group really, really, really freaks me out.

2 - GROW THE BASE:  By sounding the alarm bells and announcing that a “Mega Mosque” is being built in the Bible Belt, the radical right is able to grow its base.  More people send in money to the 700 Club, the RNC, right wing candidates and of course more people go out and vote.  People in the South are not as concerned about a so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” up there in the North, but the idea that “Sharia Law” is going to take over in the Bible Belt is a real hot button issue during this election season.  Or course, Muslim Americans making up less than one percent of the total population in this country, the idea that one percent will arm themselves and take over is nothing short of paranoid and psychotic nonsense, but it sells.  With the right marketing, this could be the new Red Scare. 

3 - DIVIDE AND CONQUER:  The super rich, such as Tea Party backers like the Koch Brothers (the 5th and 6th richest men in America) and Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox “News”) want to keep us all distracted and confused and fighting each other so that we don’t organize against the very powers that took our jobs away, gave our tax money to the big corporations and are kicking us out of our homes.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, historically when times get tough, the power elite will always look for ways to pit tribe against tribe in order to prevent us from storming the castle.

4 - BOMB, BOMB IRAN:  President Eisenhower, in his cautionary final speech to the American people before leaving office, warned us of the dangers of the emerging “Military Industrial Complex”.  This is the unholy alliance between government and defense contractors and lobbyists to hijack our Democratic political system and use our tax money, to not only build more and more war machines, but also to find reasons to use them.  The sudden rise of Islamophobia in America is an effort on the part of the “Defense” Contractors, oil companies and other special interests to manufacture consent for the bombing of Iran.

(VIDEO of Eisenhower's speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY )

Throw in some good old fashioned bigotry and religious fanaticism and you have a movement, well-timed, well funded, urgent and spreading through the American psyche like a wildfire.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you George Erdel and the Murfreesboro, TN anti-mosque movement:

VIDEO of George Erdel:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqfhjUbEfzA

- Eric Allen Bell




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