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British Muslim Cleric Says Executing Gays Is Okay

I’m not shocked by this, but since some of you who think America is the enemy might be, I post this for your education.  This comes courtesy of an email from a real gay civil rights group — Outrage — based in London.

Manchester’s leading Imam has confirmed that he thinks the execution of sexually active gay men is justified. Mr. Arshad Misbahi, who is based at the Manchester Central Mosque, confirmed his views in a conversation to Dr John Casson, a local psychotherapist.

Dr Casson said: “I asked him if the execution of gay Muslims in Iran and Iraq was an acceptable punishment in Sharia law, or the result of culture, not religion. He told me that in a true Islamic state, such punishments were part of Islam: if the person had had a trial, at which four witnesses testified that they had seen the actual homosexual acts.”

“I asked him what would be the British Muslim view? He repeated that in an Islamic state these punishments were justified. They might result in the deaths of thousands but if this deterred millions from having sex, and spreading disease, then it was worthwhile to protect the wider community.”

“I checked again that this was not a matter of tradition, culture or local prejudice. ‘No,’ he said, ‘It is part of the central tenets of Islam: that sex outside marriage is forbidden; this is stated in the Koran and the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had stated that these punishments were due to such behaviours.'”

I don’t recall ever hearing a leading American Christian leader calling for gays to be executed.  But let’s not let the facts get in the way of the blind rage of the American Left that would rather use the US Constitution as a “suicide pact” than stand up for and protect this nation.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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108 Comments

  1. America is not the enemy, but religion certainly is. Fortunately, the Netherlands is granting asylum to gay Iranians.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 11:31 am - October 20, 2006

  2. America is not the enemy, but religion certainly is.

    So, you hate Christians. Do all Democrats share that belief, or just you?

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 11:40 am - October 20, 2006

  3. Christians aren’t a religion.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 11:42 am - October 20, 2006

  4. Do you hate Christianity? Buddhism? Judaism? If you think religion is the enemy, it’s fair to ask, ‘the enemy of what?’ Marx said that religion was ‘the opiate of the masses.’ Totalitarian regimes from Stalin, to Mao, to Pol Pot, to Kim Jong-Il have all fought to eradicate religion and replace it with worship of the state. So, I guess, if you mean religion is the enemy of socialist-totalitarianism, you have a point. But that would also suggest that you were on the side of socialist-totalitarianism.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 11:46 am - October 20, 2006

  5. So, you love Muslims? Do all Republicans share that belief, or just you?

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 11:52 am - October 20, 2006

  6. I hate radical Islam, yes, but I speak only for myself. But when a person like you, who positions himself as the voice of the Democrat left on this forum makes the blanket statement, ‘Religion is the enemy,’ it confirms in the minds of people of faith how your party really feels about us. And when you evade answering a direct question, it reinforces that confirmation.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 11:56 am - October 20, 2006

  7. “The OutRage! website includes information about OutRage!’s many celebrated protests for queer human rights, including:

    * naming 10 Anglican bishops who were urged to “Tell the Truth”

    * disrupting the Romanian National Opera’s performance of Aida at the Royal Albert Hall

    * Queer Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph

    * the distribution of gay sex education leaflets at school gates to counter censorship in the classroom

    * interrupting the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Easter Sermon in protest at his support for discrimination against lesbian and gay people

    * the attempted citizen’s arrest of President Robert Mugabe Of Zimbabwe on charges of torture and other human rights abuses.”

    http://www.petertatchell.net/outrage/outrageindex.htm

    LOL!!! This “real gay civil rights group” is a LeftLibDirectActionQueer activist group.

    Why don’t you also refer to other “latest articles & news releases,” such as:
    “Pope is Queen of Homophobia”
    “Sex Abuse–Calls for a British Megan’s Law Miss the Point”
    “Moscow Mayor police, fascists & Christians wreck Gay Pride”
    “Gay Muslim framed–Appeal against conviction”
    “The Foreign Victims of Criminal Injusice–Racism and Islamophobia”
    “Anti-war, pro-human rights in Iraq and Iran”
    “Born gay or made gay? Biology is not destiny”

    And in his piece, “We’ve come a long way baby…But,” Tatchell says:

    “Oh dear. Look what’s happened now. Whereas GLF derided the family as “a patriarchal prison that enslaves women, gays and children”, the biggest gay campaigns of the last two years have been for partnership and parenting rights. The focus on these safe, cuddly issues suggests that queers are increasingly reluctant to rock the boat. Many of us would, it seems, prefer to embrace traditional heterosexual aspirations, rather than question them.

    This political retreat signifies a huge loss of confidence and optimism. It signals that the lesbian and gay community has finally succumbed – like much of mainstream society – to the depressing Blairite politics of conformism, respectability and moderation.”

    Seriously, Mr. Gay Patriot, YOU calling this a “real gay civil rights group” is more than fabulous humor. It shows that you really just cut and paste without any knowledge of what you are talking about. Anything to smear LCR and other US gay groups in the US–people who are actually doing something about gay rights–satisfies you. Why do you HATE AMERICAN gay groups so much?

    Comment by sean — October 20, 2006 @ 12:04 pm - October 20, 2006

  8. I’m sorry, I forgot the other LINK to the articles: http://www.OutRage.org.uk.

    Comment by sean — October 20, 2006 @ 12:10 pm - October 20, 2006

  9. And it just gets better the more I read–Outrage ‘laments the gay retreat from radical idealism to cautious conformism.’ One wonders what Outrage would have to say about “(Gay) Male Sexuality & the Monogamous Ideal”!!

    “GAY PRIDE IS NOW RESPECTABLE, AND THE WORSE FOR IT

    Peter Tatchell laments the gay retreat from radical idealism to cautious conformism

    Today’s Gay Pride Parade & Mardi Gras Festival marks the 30th anniversary of the first Gay Pride celebration in Britain. I helped organise that first celebration in 1972, when 700 lesbians and gays marched from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park.

    There were no calls for equality; our demand was liberation. We wanted to change society, not conform to it. Our radical, idealistic vision involved creating a new sexual democracy, without homophobia and misogyny. Erotic shame and guilt would be banished, together with compulsory monogamy, gender roles and the nuclear family. There would be sexual freedom and human rights for everyone – gay and straight. Our message was “innovate, don’t assimilate”

    We had a beautiful dream, but it’s fading fast. In the 30 years since the first Gay Pride march, there has been a massive retreat from the ideals and vision of the early gay liberation pioneers. Most gay people no longer question the values, laws and institutions of mainstream society. They are content to settle for equal rights within the status quo.

    It was not always like this. The first Gay Priders saw the family as “a patriarchal prison that enslaves women, gays and children”. Three decades later, the theme of this year’s celebration is “We are family: partnership and parenting rights – now!” The focus on safe, cuddly issues like gay marriage and adoption indicates how gay people are increasingly reluctant to rock the boat and more than happy to embrace traditional heterosexual aspirations.

    This political retreat signifies a huge loss of confidence and optimism. It also signals that even the gay movement has finally succumbed to the Blairite politics of conformism, respectability and moderation.

    The leading gay rights group, Stonewall, is the gay wing of New Labour. It never condemns the Blair government, despite its shameful record of blocking gay equality 13 times – on issues such as pensions, hate crimes and protection against discrimination. In return, the government gives Stonewall exclusive, privileged access to the corridors of power. All other gay groups are excluded.

    The gay Blairites now dominate the gay movement. Few of them were involved in the early gay liberation struggle. They stayed in the closet or were born in a later era. But all of them benefited from the gains won by the radical pioneers. Now it is safe to be out, these arriviste activists are jumping on the bandwagon and hijacking the gay movement for their own middle-of-the-road agenda. The radical generation – the ones who created the conditions in which the Blairites were able to come out – are dismissed as extremists and marginalised.

    The first Gay Pride march was organised by volunteer, grassroots activists. Today, more and more gay organisations are run by career campaigners. These sharp-suited middle class professionals have infused the gay movement with their own cautious, respectable values. Craving acceptance and advancement, they rarely campaign on contentious issues, such the hysteria over consensual sex between under-age partners, the censorship of sexual imagery, the timidity of sex education lessons, and the criminalisation of sex workers and sadomasochistic relationships. It would be bad PR and might diminish their chances of OBEs and peerages.

    The unwritten social contract at the heart of the Blairite project for gay law reform is that gay people should behave respectably. No more cruising, orgies or bondage. In return, the ‘good gays’ will be rewarded with equal treatment. The ‘bad gays’, who fail to conform to conventional morality will, of course, remain sexual outlaws. Is that what we want? A prescriptive moralism that penalises non-conformists?

    Proof of the triumph of Blairism within the gay movement is the way equality has become the unquestioned political objective. But it isn’t the panacea that many claim. Equal rights for lesbians and gay men means parity on straight terms, within a pre-existing framework of institutions and laws. Since these have been devised by and for the heterosexual majority, equality within their system involves conformity to their rules. This is a formula for gay submission and incorporation, not liberation.

    As the first Gay Priders argued, accepting mere equality involves the abandonment of any critical perspective on straight culture. In place of a healthy scepticism, it substitutes naive acquiescence. Discernment is surrendered in favour of compliance.

    When campaigning for the right of gays to serve in the armed forces, the Blairistas never questioned the authoritarian nature of the military, nor its bloody history of human rights abuses. There was no attempt to make ending the gay ban part of a much-needed, broader democratisation of the armed services.

    On the age of consent, they settled for equality at 16, ignoring the criminalisation of under-age gays and straights. Don’t the under-16s have sexual human rights too? Equality has not helped them. All they got was equal injustice.

    In the push to win legal rights for same-sex couples, the gay Blairites back Danish-style registered partnerships. What a tragic lack of imagination. Why can’t we campaign for a more democratic, egalitarian alternative, where people can nominate as their next-of-kin and beneficiary any ‘significant other’, such as a lover, cousin or life-long best friend?

    Oscar Wilde once wrote: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”. Thirty years after the first Gay Pride march, the gay community needs to rediscover the vision thing. That means daring to imagine what society could be, rather than accepting society as it is.

    Copyright Peter Tatchell 2002. All rights reserved.

    A slightly edited version of this article was published in The Independent, 6 July 2002”

    Comment by sean — October 20, 2006 @ 12:14 pm - October 20, 2006

  10. “…who positions himself as the voice of the Democrat left.”

    Incorrect. I speak for myself.

    You get points for attempting to bait me and for attempting to equate thinking that religion is an enemy with being un-American.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 12:15 pm - October 20, 2006

  11. Kind of puts stuff in perspective – so your a gay guy and someone calls you a fag or a knob-shiner, so what!

    I can tell you why people hate American gay groups, because they are cry babies – who get their feelings hurt because someone was mean to them. The gays of the past should be turning over in their graves because they went through real diversity and hardship to triumph over evil, but now gays of today just want hand outs. Shame on us – yep I am a poofter. We should be the toughest most conservative group on the planet trying to destroy all evil and looking good while doing it.

    I stick with what I tell all my liberal friends – you go right ahead and embrace radical Islamic culture and when you pull them close they will GUT you!

    Comment by Mike — October 20, 2006 @ 12:15 pm - October 20, 2006

  12. AND Outrage has something to say about outing homophobes, too! Sounds like your buddy over at BlogActive coule get a job at this “real gay civil rights group”!

    OUT ONLY HOMOPHOBES

    PETER TATCHELL argues that outing homophobes is ethically justifiable

    OutRage! has never outed anyone. Four years ago, we urged 10 Anglican bishops to be truthful about their sexuality. Since they demand the rest of us tell the truth, surely we have a right to ask them to practice what they preach.

    Not according to John Lyttle. In last week’s Independent, he accused OutRage! of conducting a “reign of terror”, outing people left-right-and-centre. This is sheer fiction.

    Myself and OutRage! are, in fact, opposed to outing – except when public figures abuse their power to harm other gay people. In these limited circumstances, outing is ethically justifiable. Otherwise not. That’s why we condemned the outing of George Michael and Michael Barrymore. They were not harming the queer community.

    The outing of homophobes, in contrast, has substantial support among lesbians and gays. The reason is simple: outing has a cause and the cause is homophobia. If there was no homophobia, there would be no outing.

    For over 30 years, parliament has rejected every attempt to legislate gay equality. The only major legal change – Section 28 – increased discrimination. In 1994, MPs voted against an equal age of consent, and two years ago they voted to retain the ban on homosexuals in the military. There are still no legal rights for same-sex couples, and it remains lawful to discriminate against gay people in employment and housing.

    Faced with this scandalous ‘sexual apartheid’, queers are entitled to be uppity. We have a right to defend ourselves against the homophobes – straight and gay – who are wrecking our lives.

    Queer homophobes are hypocrites and their hypocrisy deserves to be exposed. Why should anyone feel sympathy for those who publicly preach homophobia while privately practising homosexuality?

    When closeted queers in positions of influence pervert their authority to harm other gay people, their duplicity and bigotry is a matter of legitimate public interest.

    Outing is not about persuasion. It is a measure of last resort when persuasion has failed. The aim is to discredit the perpetrators of discrimination by unmasking them as hypocrites. Because outing can help destroy the power and credibility of homophobes in high places, it is the right thing to do.

    The alternative – not outing homophobes – involves collusion with the oppression of other lesbians and gays. By refusing to out influential homosexuals who support anti-gay laws, we allow them to continue to hurt fellow queers. Our silence and inaction make us accomplices to their discrimination.

    Outing is queer self-defence against homophobia. Like every victimised minority, the gay community has a right to defend itself against those who cause it harm.

    Most people agree that a person who is attacked in the street is entitled to fight back. Well, that’s what the outing of homophobes involves. We are defending our community against those who attack us. Do the critics of outing expect queers to let themselves be bashed with impunity for another 2,000 years?

    Outing is provocative. But sometimes it is necessary to rock the boat to get social change. Lobbying parliament has not achieved any major gay law reform since 1967. Outing is on the agenda because orthodox political campaigning has failed to deliver equality.

    No movement for social justice has won human rights without being confrontational. The suffragettes proved that, and they are OutRage!’s inspiration. Although now hailed as heroines, the suffragettes used to be reviled as “extremists”, as some people today revile OutRage!. But their militancy put women’s suffrage on the political agenda. If they had confined themselves to lobbying parliament, they would have been ignored. It would have taken women much longer to win the vote.

    In contrast to the violence of the suffragettes, outing is totally peaceful. It is a measured response to the suffering caused by anti-gay discrimination. The real extremism is not outing, but the homophobia that makes outing necessary.

    Homophobes have a choice. If they don’t want to be outed, all they have to do is stop supporting homophobia, then no one will out them. The choice is theirs. If they choose to carry on bashing the gay community, they have wilfully put themselves in the firing line and have only themselves to blame if they get outed.

    Critics condemn the outing of homophobes as an invasion of privacy. That’s rich. These bigots invade the lives of gay people by supporting laws that rob queers of human rights. Then they and their apologists have the gall to demand that we respect their right to privacy. Do these hypocrites think we are fools? There can be no tolerance of intolerance. When homophobes invade the privacy of others, they forfeit the right to have their own private lives respected.

    Naming names does work. Within four weeks of OutRage! asking the 10 bishops to “Tell The Truth”, Anglican leaders began their first serious dialogue with the gay community and the House of Bishops condemned homophobic discrimination. The dismissal of gay clergy fell sharply. Churches all over the country discussed homosexual issues. According to the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement, naming the bishops achieved more in three months than polite lobbying achieved in 17 years.

    Published as “I’m out with the in crowd”, Independent, 30 April 1998.

    Comment by sean — October 20, 2006 @ 12:16 pm - October 20, 2006

  13. #10. I’ll take your evasions as an answer in the affirmative to my original questions.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 12:22 pm - October 20, 2006

  14. You’re baiting. End of story.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 12:23 pm - October 20, 2006

  15. #1 – Religion certainly is NOT the enemy.

    Islam: perhaps yes. Contrary to politically correct agitprop, Islam actually is not a “religion of peace and brotherhood”. Its founder, Muhammad, was a warrior and personally a killer. And Islam explicitly calls for war and violence against unbelievers in a way that goes far beyond anything found in any other major religion (certainly including Christianity / the Bible).

    The above are just facts. For an excellent introduction to these and other facts, see here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0895260131/104-2152995-5215947?ie=UTF8

    Christians, by contrast, are friends to gay rights and to America. First, some of those leading the charge for gay rights are, in fact, Christians.

    Second, even the Christians who oppose gay rights still have no desire whatsoever to imprison and murder gays – unlike their Muslim counterparts.

    Third – kids from heartland Christian families make up the bulk of our armed forces who protect us from Islamist gay-killers and make America, or gay rights, possible.

    So, while Islam MAY be the enemy, Christianity and Judaism most certainly are not.

    I may be secular, but I don’t fear the religious – except, of course, for the genuine, proven gay-killers: the Islamo-nazi terrorists.

    Comment by Calarato — October 20, 2006 @ 12:30 pm - October 20, 2006

  16. Sean, get your own blog or learn to summarize…

    Comment by keogh — October 20, 2006 @ 12:31 pm - October 20, 2006

  17. #14 – Daniel, your comment #1 was baiting. You should be grateful that people (such as myself) have swallowed it and granted you attention and response.

    Comment by Calarato — October 20, 2006 @ 12:31 pm - October 20, 2006

  18. Sean ignores the facts that you can agree with parts of what a group does, and disagree with other parts.

    The FACT is no American-based gay group is speaking out about the impact of World War III/War on Terror on gays. By contract, Outrage has been very proactive in this vein.

    If it weren’t for Outrage, the world wouldn’t know that Iran gets its jollies by hanging gay teenagers.

    So take back your barb, Stingray Sean.

    Comment by GayPatriot — October 20, 2006 @ 12:33 pm - October 20, 2006

  19. My comment was in response to the post, specifically implying that some Americans think America is the enemy. America is not the enemy. I am grateful Calarato that you’ve allowed me to post.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 12:42 pm - October 20, 2006

  20. It’s not up to me to allow or disallow you. Again, this blog has four designated contributors: Bruce, Dan, Nick, John. And the first two are the house owners, who allow or disallow people.

    Comment by Calarato — October 20, 2006 @ 12:45 pm - October 20, 2006

  21. Gheez, Bruce… I don’t know about the Imam’s views proving the danger of terrorism and jihadism to America. He’s got his bigoted, narrow views based on his interpertation of his religion’s spiritual text. In Islam, each Imam is entitled to interpert the Prophet’s writings… and it doesn’t stop just there. There is no Papal Bull to check excesses. He’s speaking about a pure and hypothetical Islamic state… not Britian, not the US.

    That’s his view of what would be required if there were gays and unmarried people having sex outside marriage in a world (albeit) he probably wants to come to fruition. By the same token, there are Brit Imams –home grown as it were– who contend that stable gay relationships are permitted in their interpertations of the Qur’an… like with Catholics, Muslims can do some cafteria lunchline selecting when it comes to “living da faith”.

    To argue that this kind of hatefilled bigotry is the same as the jihadist terrorists who target the West… I think we’re in danger of confusing others as to who the “enemy” really is here. The Imam and his views aren’t the enemy in the WOT –it’s those who use their religion to murder innocents and engage in hegemony.

    There’s a big –HUGE to me– difference to me between the terror of jihadists and the oppression of gays and other “sexual deviants” (their view, not mine) in that pure totalitarian, fascist state ala the Imam’s hypothetical renderings.

    The enemy of the West are jihadists like the terrorists who kill innocents. The enemy of the West isn’t religion, it isn’t even fundamentalist religion, it isn’t even the views of Imams like Arshad Misbahi –the real enemy are the terrorists and jihadists who subvert Islam to their political objectives… like OBL, the Taliban, Iran’s governing elite (thank you JimmyCarter) and others.

    I hear the Imam say that gay executions would be justified (with 4 witnesses to the sexual acts) because the sex occurs outside the sanctity of marriage. Granted, the bigot tosses in the disease angle against gays –which, given HIVPoz gay leaders like AndieSullivan promoting barebacking sex with anonymous partners makes some sense from the community health perspective– it seems to me that sex outside a stable relationship is a corrosive force in modern society. Should anyone who engages in sex outside the bonds of marriage or a stable relationship be killed?

    Of course not. And I think his comments (as reported) make the Imam a hate-speech talking monster and his interpertations are at odds with what many “rank & file” Brit muslims think about Islam. As late as last month, over 73% of Brit muslims thought that Islam can be compatible with a modern, multicultural, secular society.

    Let’s leave the Imam to have tea with PatBuchanan and MikeRogers and LouisFarakhan and the other bigots practicing their bigotry without a net. We need to stay focused on the real enemies in the WOT. If the Imam wants to expose his bigotry toward gays and others, so be it.

    Coming from a part of America where Islam looms large on the landscape (Dearborn is a stone’s throw away), I can tell you Arshad Misbahi is a bigot but he isn’t an enemy in the WOT because of his bigotry.

    I’d prefer to keep our eye on the ball >> the evil isn’t in the Imam’s bigoted answers to the leading questions… it’s in the terrorists and jihadists who use Islam to rationalize their political goals.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 20, 2006 @ 12:52 pm - October 20, 2006

  22. And I will respectfully part company –but not dodge– my friends here who think Islam is the enemy.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 20, 2006 @ 12:59 pm - October 20, 2006

  23. #14: If the definiton of baiting means, “Asking a simple direct question,” then, yes, I am baiting. You might even say I’m a master in the field.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 1:08 pm - October 20, 2006

  24. VdaK, we gotta get you dates, guy. Fast it appears.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 20, 2006 @ 1:11 pm - October 20, 2006

  25. V the K: So, I guess, if you mean religion is the enemy of socialist-totalitarianism, you have a point. But that would also suggest that you were on the side of socialist-totalitarianism.

    It doesn’t suggest anything of the kind. 🙂 You have not established that religion and totalitarianism are opposite polls in a consistent worldview, and it would be difficult to do so, because there have been (and are) many religious totalitarian states in the world.

    I am not a hater of religion, but I am non-religious. I do not believe in the worship of incorporeal spirits or of the state; my point of view is centered on the individuals around me. That is not meant as an insult to religion, but only an expression of my disagreement with it.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 20, 2006 @ 1:22 pm - October 20, 2006

  26. Sam Harris has written in his book, The End of Faith, that Islam is not a moderate religion, that Islam DOES want to subjugate (or kill) all infidels (non-Muslims). A simple read of many passages of the Koran reveal this to be true. I question any adherence to a religion, and I question adherence to Islam (while not letting Christianity or Judaism off the hook either) and its fatwa-issuing Imams (centralized or not).

    I do not trust Islam’s moderation (or Christianity’s or Judaism’s) as one should not subscribe to any religion at all if one is only going to accept the tenets that one finds palatable. Is one not betraying that religion if one doesn’t accept everything about it?

    One’s strength should come from believing in one’s self (and sometimes with the help of other humans) today, in the here and now, rather than hoping for something better in a supposed after-life or that strength (or weakness) is granted through a supernatural being.

    Finally, call up a friend for no reason other than to say hello and to find out how that friend is doing. That makes life better for the caller and for the friend. Donate time to homeless shelters or victims of domestic violence.

    In actions like these, one may find religion unnecessary and find what believers call God.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 1:28 pm - October 20, 2006

  27. I don’t recall ever hearing a leading American Christian leader calling for gays to be executed.

    For the record, I have heard of one Christian leader who said it, though I don’t know that you’d call him a leading American Christian leader. This was Gary Demar of American Vision.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 20, 2006 @ 1:29 pm - October 20, 2006

  28. 25: You believe whatever you want. But I pointed out the historical fact that tyrannical socialists regimes view religion as the enemy. Which is logical, because under totalitarian socialism, there can be no higher power than the state. Religious oppression was severe in the Soviet Union, and remains so wherever communist dictators rule: China, North Korea, Cuba. Similarly, left-liberals in the US and Europe also view religion, or at least Christianity, as the enemy. Exhibit A: The ACLU. You must also bear in mind that in the 20th century, atheistic regimes like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot killed hundreds of millions in the name of socialism, orders of magnitude more than those who were killed in religious strife.

    It is not necessary for religion to be the “polar opposite” of totalitarianism for totalitarianism to treat religion as the enemy, and I made no such assertion.

    If you want to make a case that, in the modern world, there are systems of government that are both totalitarian and religious, the challenge becomes finding a non-Islamic example of that.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 1:32 pm - October 20, 2006

  29. Not unlike many of you think that marriage equality needs to go through legislatures, people need to shed religion on their own. Atheism should NOT be imposed by the state.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 1:39 pm - October 20, 2006

  30. On the other hand, the state should state out of religion and it too should not be imposed. The main purpose of AU is to keep the wall of separation in place. The main purpose of the ACLU is to defend the Bill of Rights.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 1:47 pm - October 20, 2006

  31. Second state should be stay 😉

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 1:48 pm - October 20, 2006

  32. A little reminder on where liberal democrats stand on socialist totalitarian regimes, Ted Kennedy Offered to Help Soviets Defeat Reagan

    The main purpose of the ACLU is to defend the Bill of Rights.

    Oh, hold my guts while I laugh. The free speech rights of anti-abortion protesters? No help from the ACLU there. Second amendment rights? Nope, no help there, either. Property rights? No, not much help there either. If you bother to research the origins of the ACLU, it was basically founded to undermine the American system and promote communism. And, yes, the ACLU is at its core, profoundly hostile to Christianity. The Establishment Clause was never intended to prevent people from publically expressing their faith or prevent Nativity Scenes on public property.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 1:54 pm - October 20, 2006

  33. In all honesty, the main focus of the ACLU is 1.) stamping out all public expression of Christian faith and 2.) Making sure as many criminals and terrorists as possible are free to roam the streets and prey on innocent people.

    It’s Halloween, a time of year when some localities require convicted sex offenders to be either in their homes or in some supervised facility, to protect innocent children who may be trick-or-treaters from being molested, raped, or killed. The ACLU thinks this is a violation of predators’ rights.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 1:59 pm - October 20, 2006

  34. #21 – Matt: The Imam is speaking about what many, if not most, Muslim leaders WANT to implement, or WILL implement when they proclaim the Islamic Caliphate and Sharia in London or Washington, DC. Which is the whole goal of the terrorists.

    There is no difference between them. The imams are merely the terrorists’ spiritual advisors, and the terrorists are merely the implementors of the imams’ desires.

    Remember, terrorism is just a tactic. The so-called “War on Terror” is mis-named, because you (a country) can’t make war on a mere tactic. What’s the goal of the people using that tactic? The reign of Islamic Sharia – including the killing of gays.

    Misbahi’s views aren’t bigoted and narrow at all: they’re represent the mainstream of Islamic tradition (Quran and Hadith). Seriously – check into the book I recommended.

    Any Imam who allows gay relationships (as you suggest) is “post-modern” and outside his religion’s mainstream. “Muslims can do some cafteria lunchline selecting…” Yeah – And the ones who do are looked down on for it, as “not Muslim enough”.

    You suggested, “To argue that this kind of hatefilled bigotry is the same as the jihadist terrorists who target the West [is not valid]”… Umm, Matt, what else would you think is motivating the terrorists, except hate-filled bigotry (that they call religious idealism)?

    “There’s a big… difference to me between the terror of jihadists and the oppression of gays” – Why? How are they different? Remember, whether personally depraved or not, gays are innocents. No gay deserves death, any more than a child or any other innocent.

    Comment by Calarato — October 20, 2006 @ 2:00 pm - October 20, 2006

  35. #32 continued (if I may, V):

    Freedom from racial discrimination and bigotry? Maybe the ACLU was a big defender of that in the 60s – but today, they’re one of its perpetrators: promoting PC fascism and racial discrimination in education, for example, whenever they can.

    And I don’t know if EVERYONE involved in the ACLU’s founding was an anti-American Communist – Let’s not paint with too broad a brush, V – but it is a matter of public record that at least one of their very biggest founders was.

    Comment by Calarato — October 20, 2006 @ 2:05 pm - October 20, 2006

  36. “Oh, hold my guts while I laugh. The free speech rights of anti-abortion protesters? No help from the ACLU there. Second amendment rights? Nope, no help there, either. Property rights? No, not much help there either. If you bother to research the origins of the ACLU, it was basically founded to undermine the American system and promote communism. And, yes, the ACLU is at its core, profoundly hostile to Christianity. The Establishment Clause was never intended to prevent people from publically expressing their faith or prevent Nativity Scenes on public property.”

    To answer in part. I am aware of the roots of the ACLU. That is not what it is today. As for the second amendment, the NRA is there for that. As you probably know, the ACLU does not take up all issues, it takes up constitutional issues WHEN ITS HELP IS SOUGHT. Not everyone seeks the help of the ACLU and selectively decides to take up some cases, just like any other donor-funded organization.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 2:07 pm - October 20, 2006

  37. Some of the comments seem to imply that an organization or its principles cannot change. If this is so, then there is no point in lobbying legislatures for equal marriage because their principles cannot change and they cannot be educated on the issue. I.E. the effort is futile.

    The NAMBLA issue has been hashed and rehashed, there is no reason to go into it here. Others can speak better about it and it is not my battle.

    I find it interesting that one can support strict construction of the Constitution on one hand, yet say, “the founders never intended…” The establishment clause IS there to keep government out of religion.

    Finally, I assume that you are well aware that some states attempted to establish state religions in the past? This is a violation of the federal establishment clause. You may not think it is, but I do think it is. I have no issue with private displays of religion, but they do not belong on state or federal grounds and it was a mistake to allow Cecil’s ten commandment blocks on state grounds in order to promote a movie in the past as well. That’s why they’re mainly there in the first place and it was a mistake. They all must go!

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 2:17 pm - October 20, 2006

  38. I am sure all of that is going to make me real popular here! 😉

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 2:26 pm - October 20, 2006

  39. Also V the K, you said “The Establishment Clause was never intended to prevent people from publically expressing their faith or prevent Nativity Scenes on public property.”

    If the state allows one type of display on public grounds, in this case nativity scenes, it must allow ALL of them at all times on all days. The government should not be in the business of deciding what and when. That IS establishment and it is explicitly forbidden in the Constitution.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 2:37 pm - October 20, 2006

  40. Well, Dan, we already know you consider religion to be “the enemy,” so it’s no suprise that you support the ACLU in their efforts to eradicate it.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 2:43 pm - October 20, 2006

  41. Sigh. the blind rage of the American Left that would rather use the US Constitution as a “suicide pact” than stand up for and protect this nation.
    Yes, Bruce, because some of us think that warrants are good and torture is bad, we clearly don’t want to protect this nation. How far the conservatives have fallen…

    Comment by torrentprime — October 20, 2006 @ 2:45 pm - October 20, 2006

  42. When a political party advances the talking points and aims of the enemy by wanting American Constitutional rights for terrorists, then yes, I do believe you do NOT (if you agree with that party) want to protect this nation.

    Al-Qaeda did not have a 9/11 Commission equivalent to figure out why Flight 93 didn’t reach the US Capitol. They just went back to the drawing board and planned more ways to kill you and I.

    If we lived in a world where I thought Al-Qaeda had Terror Cabal Oversight Hearings, then I might agree with you.

    We don’t live in that world. Our way of life is threatened by a foreign enemy (many of whom are on our soil already)…. and one political party cares more about protecting them in Gitmo then protecting me in my own country.

    Comment by GayPatriot — October 20, 2006 @ 2:53 pm - October 20, 2006

  43. Daniel: As you probably know, the ACLU does not take up all issues, it takes up constitutional issues WHEN ITS HELP IS SOUGHT.

    Actually, no. Years ago, the ACLU refused to represent someone fired from Planned Parenthood because of their religion. The statement was made by the head of the Albany office was we never take cases against Planned Parenthood. More recently, they refused to represent gun owners in South California or to even join in helping minorities refused access to firearms in the LA. They have a very specific agenda and if the case doesn’t help that, they don’t care. In the latter cases, I believe the local response was we don’t think the 2nd Amendment is a good idea (paraphased)

    Comment by Kevin — October 20, 2006 @ 2:57 pm - October 20, 2006

  44. Yes, V the K, I am an American, entitled to my beliefs, and I strongly support the ACLU.

    I assume that you too are an American and strongly support some organization(s) too…and are entitled to believe whatever you like and should do so!

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 2:58 pm - October 20, 2006

  45. I also note that the First Amendment reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    To me, telling people they can only express their religion in private is prohibiting their free exercise. I guess the ACLU gets around it by having the courts, instead of Congress, restrict people’s religious rights.

    And as for #42, I can only add, ditto.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 2:59 pm - October 20, 2006

  46. Hi Kevin, you left off the rest of what I said. You could very well be right in the instance(s). I am not sure about all chapters of the ACLU, but a committee decides whether or not to take a case…and a laywer must agree to argue it as well.

    Even if the ACLU doesn’t take on every case one thinks it should doesn’t mean that it doesn’t defend the Bill of Rights, which it clearly does.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 3:02 pm - October 20, 2006

  47. Yes, V the K, I am an American, entitled to my beliefs, and I strongly support the ACLU.

    Then, by extension, you support everything the ACLU stands for, the right of NAMBLA to publish and distributed instructions for raping and murdering children, the right of child molesters to talk around unsupervised among children, the right of terrorists to plot mass murder without being monitored…

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 3:05 pm - October 20, 2006

  48. Let’s be honest, unless you’re a criminal, a terrorist, an atheist, a child molester, or some combination thereof, the ACLU really isn’t interested in your “rights.”

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 3:11 pm - October 20, 2006

  49. Oh V the K, we could exchange all day.

    45. It is your right to believe that. Free exercise does not entail taxpayer property or funds.

    47. As I already stated, the ACLU and Nambla issue will not be argued by me because people are firm in what they think that case was about…even if one thinks they’re wrong. It is not my battle.

    However, even if I THINK those things that you’ve written are okay, it is my right to THINK so…and you have a problem with that. So, you hate me for my freedom? I doubt it. You probably don’t like me because you don’t agree with my views, and that is okay too. THAT is the freedom of being an American.

    48. Incorrect. A simple read of the ACLU website will reveal otherwise.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 3:31 pm - October 20, 2006

  50. Off topic: someday we can have a spirited discussion about the merits and demerits of the ACLU, DanielFtL. I believe that the organization’s main goal is not to “defend the Bill of Rights”, I think it’s far more sinster and cynical. But you belong to it, OK. Unlike guys like MikeRogers, just because you belong to an organization that I think is inherently anti-American doesn’t make you anti-American by reduction (remove anti-American and insert anti-gay for the MikeRogers application).

    My view of the ACLU is far closer to VdaK’s and like his, it’s informed by a thoughtful understanding of the group’s actions, its leadership, its history in the last 20 years.–not some wild-eyed knee jerk reaction or following the approved script of the GOP or LC(R).

    But whether or not you think religion is good, bad, or indifferent is immaterial to the issue of the Imam’s statements and the threat of terrorism to the US. Your antipathy to religion and God matters not to a discussion about the Imam’s statements and WOT.

    Nor is the ACLU germane… except when it comes to the ACLU hiring lawyers to help ferret out tactical information and directions to terrorist supporters from imprisioned terrorists. But that’s for another day, eh?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 20, 2006 @ 3:36 pm - October 20, 2006

  51. To show you V the K that you are incorrect, I offer the following:

    “The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit to protect the right of veterans and their families to choose religious symbols to engrave on headstones in federal cemeteries. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two churches and three individuals to compel the government to approve the long-pending application for use of a Wiccan symbol on the headstones of service members.”

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 3:39 pm - October 20, 2006

  52. Indeed Michigan-Matt. V the K first mentioned the ACLU in post 28 and since the ACLU is near and dear to me, down the path we went! 😉 GP needs to post something about the ACLU to rile up the GP base.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 3:41 pm - October 20, 2006

  53. Calarato, fair enough issues to raise but I think there are lots of variations in the Muslim perspective and I would encourage you to reach out and make some Muslim friends… hell, make it gay muslim friends and get a 2-fer-da-price-of-1 thing going.

    I have problems with the “terrorism-tactic” notion because the seminal framing point of the WOT is that we’re fighting a terrorist network that is NOT a nation-state. Terrorism is a tactic; right. But I watched it used effectively for 3 1/2 years in Northern Ireland and in El Salvador to cripple those govts… we are at war with terrorists and disabling their tactical advantage is critical in the effort.

    What motivates the terrorist leadership is hate of Israel first and foremost. If tomorrow we were to elect a President who ran on the platform that Israel is Evil and needs to be pushed into the sea and all Jews in the world should be killed, the terrorist threat would evaporate. That’s an opportunity cost no one would pay in their right mind.

    They hate us, Calarato, because we support Israel. They hate the British for the same reason. And many of those Muslim leaders are out of step with the majority of the rank & file believers. Honest. The Imam is too. And I think he was set-up… remember, he was talking about the pure Islamic state where the Qur’an is supported by Islamic law.

    In the Muslim world there’s a hot debate ongoing about the influence of what are called “foreign” Imams –and the negative effect Muslims see them having on local communities. In the US and Britain, hiring an “authentic” Imam from Pakistan or elsewhere is thought of as creating credibility for the masque’s community. There are efforts to work within the Muslim community to cultivate their own locality’s Imam and offset the radicalization inherent in bringing 3rd World religious types into a secular, modern community. It’s a big debate and requires more sophistication than seeing all Muslims as terrorists or spiritual advisors for the terrorists.

    I am personally acquainted with Muslim religious groups here in the US and Ireland who believe gays can be part of the believing community and are NOT a threat to the Muslim faith. The Imam is just a bigot… no different than Pat Buchanan, MikeRogers or LouisFarakhan.

    That’s a whole lot different than being a terrorist.

    You bring up a lot of good points and I doubt I hit the ones you thought most important… but we’ve got some serious soccer to attend to this evening in our family and I need to run.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 20, 2006 @ 4:06 pm - October 20, 2006

  54. DanielFtL, “to compel the government to approve the long-pending application for use of a Wiccan symbol on the headstones of service members.”

    You do appreciate, don’t you, that many veterans and people who believe in mainstream religions would laugh at your face with this example of how balanced or fair the ACLU is… witches? The belief in wiccan practices isn’t religion, DanielFtL. Anymore than your antipathy toward religion is a religion.

    Gheez. OK, soccer Dads unite! Bye.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 20, 2006 @ 4:13 pm - October 20, 2006

  55. At no time did I say fair and balanced Matt! That wasn’t the purpose of the example I gave. The purpose of the example was to show that the ACLU takes on cases even when a “a criminal, a terrorist, an atheist, a child molester, or some combination thereof” is not involved.

    Would not mainstream religions fight to have their symbols on headstones? I think they would. Who is to say that wiccan practices are not a religion? You? Me? The government? Members of other religions? That hardly seems appropriate and it most certainly would be unfair and unfree. 😉

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 4:24 pm - October 20, 2006

  56. Big whoop. The ACLU takes a case to support Wiccan symbols while demanding that Christian symbols be removed from public view. And Wiccans are essentially atheists, so, it only supports my point.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 4:59 pm - October 20, 2006

  57. ACLU takes a case to support Wiccan symbols while demanding that Christian symbols be removed from public view
    From public view…. on public property? Placed there by public officials? In the execution of their public duties? Paid for with tax-payer money? You support this?
    So when a Muslim gets a position on a school board someday, or as a principle, and puts up Jihad-supporting materials for a Islamic holy day/war celebration, it will be these ACLU-led cases which get the stuff torn down. Not your “christianity is under attack” base-rallying.

    Comment by torrentprime — October 20, 2006 @ 5:13 pm - October 20, 2006

  58. whoops–spell check strikes again.
    principal, not principle.

    Comment by torrentprime — October 20, 2006 @ 5:14 pm - October 20, 2006

  59. 58. So it is only a religion when you say it is? Who left you in charge?

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 5:29 pm - October 20, 2006

  60. Sorry I meant 57!

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 5:29 pm - October 20, 2006

  61. #58 — Actually, the ACLU opposes religious displays even when privately funded. They have even sued to prevent, for example, the land on which the Mount Soledad cross stands from being sold to private owners because they wanted it torn down. Meanwhile, the Islamic Society of Boston gets a sweetheart land deal to build a mega-mosque, facilitated by the City Government, without a peep from the ACLU. In Hamtramck MI, the Muslims get to broadcast “God is great. There is no god but Allah. Mohammed is his prophet” five times a day on louspeakers throughout the city, without a peep from the ACLU.

    Even at that, a religious display on public land in no way “establishes” a state religion, let alone is an example of Congress establishing one. It’s pretty simple, really, the ACLU hates Christians. Like Daniel, they view religion as “the enemy.”

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 5:30 pm - October 20, 2006

  62. I doubt the ACLU views religion as the enemy. I however, do view it as one.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 5:33 pm - October 20, 2006

  63. “It’s pretty simple, really, the ACLU hates Christians”

    Are the Christians being persecuted again? Poor things.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 5:44 pm - October 20, 2006

  64. So, Daniel hates religion, but in a completely weird and unrelated coincidence… he wuvs the ACLU.

    Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 5:48 pm - October 20, 2006

  65. I know you want to have the last word.

    Please quote where I said that I hate religion. Come on, I know you can twist up something….you always do.

    My only love is my hubby!

    With that, good night!

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 20, 2006 @ 5:52 pm - October 20, 2006

  66. #53 – “I would encourage you to reach out and make some Muslim friends…”

    Again, Matt: Check out the book I recommended.

    Many Muslims don’t know their own texts (Quran and Hadith). Worldwide, many Muslims are non-Arabians who memorize/recite the Quran faithfully, in Arabic, without understanding a word. I know that’s hard for us to imagine. It’s so foreign to us, to think we should memorize the New Testament in ancient Greek, say, without understanding what we’re repeating. It’s not foreign to the rest of the world.

    My point is: Show me a Muslim who is genuinely peace-loving (and sure, there are some)… and I will show you someone who (a) hasn’t really read the Quran or Haditha very much, and/or (b) has “compartmentalized” their mind so that every time they come across an explicit infidel-killing command – and there are a lot, way more than the New Testament which actually has none – they just sort of “discount” it, or blank it out.

    “What motivates the terrorist leadership is hate of Israel first and foremost.”

    Sorry Matt, but that is naive. Take the analysis a step further. WHY do they hate Israel? Because Israel is really so nasty to them, or really affects daily life in Cairo or Jiddah or Jakarta so much?

    No. Because they are outraged that any land which was once part of the House of Islam should be part of it no longer. Plus, Israel is a comparatively well-run country that just shows them up all the time.

    Again, this is all part of history – and we as a people, need to learn that history and its lessons. It’s also part of why Muslims today still grieve – and are outraged by – the “Andalusian Disaster” when Spain was lost to the House of Islam. One of Osama bin Ladin’s actual, stated goals is to reconquer Spain!

    “They hate us, Calarato, because we support Israel.”

    So if we stopped supporting Israel, then they would stop hating us and the GWOT be over, right Matt? Right??? That’s what we should do, right?

    You can’t possibly believe that. If you do, you really, REALLY need to check out that book I recommended.

    They hate us because we have not submitted to Islam – or, equivalently, because we are free, have nasty brazen women and gay rights, etc.

    Learn about Sayyid Qutb. He is the modern (20th century) father of jihadism. He visited America in the 1940s and came away saying, Truly, I have seen the land of infidel perversion and illusion, that MUST be destroyed or converted. Matt, Israel didn’t exist at that time.

    Here is another must-read for all people who support America in the GWOT, which goes into Sayyid Qutb and the historical roots of all this: http://www.amazon.com/Looming-Tower-Al-Qaeda-Road-11/dp/037541486X/sr=1-1/qid=1161381237/ref=sr_1_1/104-2152995-5215947?ie=UTF8&s=books

    Comment by Calarato — October 20, 2006 @ 5:55 pm - October 20, 2006

  67. Daniel stated he views religion as the enemy, and dodged the question of whether he hated Christians, which he has still not answered. It is fair to conclude that he hates religion.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 6:00 pm - October 20, 2006

  68. #66 – Daniel – Get a little more self-awareness. YOU are “someone who wants to have the last word”.

    Comment by Calarato — October 20, 2006 @ 6:05 pm - October 20, 2006

  69. WHY do they hate Israel?

    I always thought it was because Israel built a better civilization in 50 yrs than the Palestinians did in 500.

    The other thing about the Palestinians is, the other Middle Eastern Arabs hate them. They are viewed as the White Trash of the Arab world. That’s why no one would take them in, and why the King of Jordan massacred 20,000 of them back when Jordan controlled the West Bank. But, scapegoating Israel and the “Occupation” is a convenient way of directing rage outward that might otherwise focus on the failures of despotic Arab regimes in the region.

    They hate us because we have not submitted to Islam

    Exactly.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 6:05 pm - October 20, 2006

  70. #67 cont.

    Matt, working my way through the rest of your comments… Thank you for making them, by the way… But most of what you’ve said implicitly supports (or is consistent with) my claims:

    “many of those [jihadist] Muslim leaders are out of step with the majority of the rank & file believers… [the Imam] was talking about the pure Islamic state where the Qur’an is supported by Islamic law… In the US and Britain, hiring an ‘authentic’ Imam from Pakistan or elsewhere is thought of as creating credibility for the masque’s community… I am personally acquainted with Muslim religious groups here in the US and Ireland who believe gays can be part of the believing community and are NOT a threat to the Muslim faith…”

    Just as I said.

    (1) The average Muslim you or I would know, is out of step with the jihadist type of Muslim leader.

    (2) Problem is: the jihadist leader’s Islam is, in fact, the version consistent with Quran and Hidatha. Muslims instinctively sense that getting a jihadist leader, who is clearly so steeped in Quranic study, “adds credibility” to their little mosque.

    (3) The Muslims who seriously think homosexuality can be reconciled with Islam are (drumroll) Western-ish ones, lacking such credibility and study.

    “The Imam is just a bigot… no different than Pat Buchanan, MikeRogers or LouisFarakhan. That’s a whole lot different than being a terrorist.”

    Again, Matt: HOW is it different?

    Terrorist actions don’t take place in a vacuum. They’re motivated by the “bigotry” you desribe (which I call, authentic and study-based zeal for Islam).

    Likewise, Imamic “bigotry” (or authentic zeal for Islam) doesn’t take place in a vacuum. It requests and inspires real-world actions… which we know as terrorism.

    They’re one and the same, i.e., 2 phases of the same basic project – which is to bring the world (us) to the House of Islam. Sayyid Qutb, Matt.

    Comment by Calarato — October 20, 2006 @ 6:20 pm - October 20, 2006

  71. I’m voting Republican again. I like Christian people. I’m gay. I love my country, The United States of America. Reading some of the spiteful posts in this message stream has only strengthened my resolve to vote right, to vote Republican!

    Comment by Dave — October 20, 2006 @ 6:31 pm - October 20, 2006

  72. P.S. On a roll here – Sorry about the extended ‘brain dump’ –

    Something characteristic and unfortunate about the U.S. foreign policy & intelligence establishments is their ethno-centrism, for lack of a better word: their belief that every negative development in the world MUST revolve around something America has done.

    Is America hated by the jihadists? Yup – and it MUST be caused by something we did, right? It MUST be caused by our support of Israel, or our removal of Saddam Hussein and liberation of Iraq, or whatever the latest excuse-of-the-moment is.

    Could jihad be caused, instead, by a set of (Islamic) values and concerns that far pre-date the 18th century and America’s very existence?

    Could it be that Islam has wanted to conquer the world from its inception, and Islam today looks down on America as a Johnny-come-lately who is merely the latest pit of sin and corruption to knock off?

    Nope. Completely off their radar.

    Comment by Calarato — October 20, 2006 @ 6:32 pm - October 20, 2006

  73. #28 V the K: I was responding to this statement of yours:

    So, I guess, if you mean religion is the enemy of socialist-totalitarianism, you have a point. But that would also suggest that you were on the side of socialist-totalitarianism.

    My point was that if A is your enemy, and B is also an enemy of A, it doesn’t follow that you have any special affinity for B, not in any way that matters. I am an enemy of leftists; so I Rick Santorum; but that doesn’t mean I’m “siding” with Rick Santorum in any way that illustrates an essential common feature between us. (Think about FDR and Hitler’s shared hatred of Stalin for another example.)

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 20, 2006 @ 6:45 pm - October 20, 2006

  74. #38: I am sure all of that is going to make me real popular here!

    Well, I agree with the main points you’re espousing. I’m not hostile to religion, but I think the wall keeping religion (or anti-religion for that matter) out of government should be a very tall and thick one. I don’t mind if individual government officials express their religious beliefs, including at their offices, but anything that could be interpreted as an institutional endorsement shouldn’t happen. I think a Nativity Scene would fall into that latter category. If I wrote a tract or created a display to discredit Christian faith, I wouldn’t expect that to be exhibited on government property, either.

    As for the ACLU, it’s certainly true that there are some important rights it does not defend, but that’s not much of a criticism of it: I can’t think of any entity that would withstand that level of analysis. What’s important is that the majority of cases in which they do take part are in fact defenses of real rights. It’s not surprising that most of those cases involve controversial expressions of those rights; noncontroversial matters rarely cause anyone problems.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 20, 2006 @ 6:59 pm - October 20, 2006

  75. #42: When a political party advances the talking points and aims of the enemy by wanting American Constitutional rights for terrorists, then yes, I do believe you do NOT (if you agree with that party) want to protect this nation.

    Without trials, there is no way that any of us can know they’re terrorists. If they are in fact shown to be terrorists, then throw away the key and do whatever you want to them — I won’t shed a tear. But there’s no way that any of us can know that they deserve to be imprisoned until they have their day in court.

    In short, we’re talking about the rights of suspects, not proven terrorists. And I am simply never going to simply take the government’s word on the matter and just trust that they all belong in prison. If you think I’m advancing the aims of the enemy by insisting that we show that individuals are in fact enemies before we destroy their lives, then you are entitled to believe that, but I couldn’t disagree more.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 20, 2006 @ 7:07 pm - October 20, 2006

  76. #72: Reading some of the spiteful posts in this message stream has only strengthened my resolve to vote right, to vote Republican!

    Well, it’s not like the spitefulness is limited to one side of this debate. 🙂 There are calm debaters on both sides of any given debate here, and there are also those on both sides who don’t seem to be able to discuss things in a completely civil manner.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 20, 2006 @ 7:13 pm - October 20, 2006

  77. #74: Note, I used the verb “suggest,” which means there is cause to infer that if A is one’s enemy, the enemy of A is one’s ally, not that it proves the enemy of A is one’s ally. But I also note that Daniel does not contest the inference.

    Comment by V the K — October 20, 2006 @ 7:27 pm - October 20, 2006

  78. Calarato writes: “(2) Problem is: the jihadist leader’s Islam is, in fact, the version consistent with Quran and Hidatha. Muslims instinctively sense that getting a jihadist leader, who is clearly so steeped in Quranic study, “adds credibility” to their little mosque.”

    OK, I didn’t complete the point there C. There are many within the Brit Muslim community –especially the College of Muslim Clerics who are concerned about the “uninformed, poorly trained” outsider cleric brought in for window dressing purposes… very knowledgable Brit Muslims note that it’s like the masque is looking for a grey bearded guy who speaks a foreign language and is rabid fundamentalist… to appeal to the smaller, more generous elements in the masque. The Brit Muslims decry that tactic, are working to create home-grown, in-culture clerics. And one other thing: the Brit Muslims also note that these guys come on “the cheap” to escape poor conditions in the 3rd world and are poorly trained in the Qur’an and Islamic law.

    C, the point is that in Britain… where this Imam Arshad Misbahi exists… the Muslim community is moderate (as in the US), believe that Islam can exist with a secular, multicultural society and are not Hell Bent on conversion. And they aren’t Hell Bent on hanging gays.

    Which gets us to this “submission or else” nonsense. My folks recall when the Catholic Church wouldn’t let my Dad –a Baptist– marry my Mom until he converted or promised to raise the kids in a Catholic environment. My Dad submitted and converted for the love of his life.
    My point is that 45 years ago, in our Country, in the Midwest we still had “convert or else” propositions running –is Islam’s tradition of seeking conversion much different? Is it any different than the sly strategy of money-prophets in the megaPx churches of today preaching that God loves you, She wants you to earn a ton of money and prosper financially so you can get it back to us? A cheap seat shot would be: “Yeah, but at least they don’t kill ya”.

    Come on, conversion is the tool used to expand the base of many religions; it’s a competitive world of numbers for religion. It happens in politics. It happens in colleges. It happens in the free market relative to brand identification.

    You’ve again brought forward a lot of good points, C. I have not read the book you noted but I promise to… I appreciate the reference. In the meantime, check out the website of a group of American Muslim moderates who are cool with gays. It might surprise you…

    http://pmuna.org/ Reader warning: they are social progressives.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 20, 2006 @ 7:46 pm - October 20, 2006

  79. 11: Do you consider murder, gay bashing, etc. to be “whining”?

    Comment by Kevin — October 20, 2006 @ 10:36 pm - October 20, 2006

  80. Doesn’t mateer what you all think. The neanderthal thought of i got mine and you can’t have any of it regardless of what my dad or grandpa did to secure your prosperity , is over. Look selfish up in the Bible.

    Comment by Samuel — October 20, 2006 @ 10:46 pm - October 20, 2006

  81. “Do you hate Christianity? Buddhism? Judaism? If you think religion is the enemy, it’s fair to ask, ‘the enemy of what?’”

    Just because one finds religion to be the enemy (of reason, liberty, good judgment, humor etc.) does not mean one hates the adherents. “Hate the sin not the sinner”. That being said, Islam needs to be recognized as an order of magnitude more religious than all but a few fringe religions.

    Comment by Chuck the Lucky — October 21, 2006 @ 12:04 am - October 21, 2006

  82. In addition, yes Marx hated (or at least understood) religion. Why does that mean opposing religion has any association with Marxism? Funny, I seem to remember hearing that atheism predates Marxism and that there are actually some athiests, agnostics and non-religious people who are not left-wingers.

    Comment by Chuck the Lucky — October 21, 2006 @ 12:13 am - October 21, 2006

  83. #72. Vote Santorum and contribute to OutRage!!

    Comment by sean — October 21, 2006 @ 2:53 am - October 21, 2006

  84. I don’t think that religion has any right to be free of criticism. Somehow, a majority of people seem to believe that religion sits upon a pedastal which cannot have its legs removed. Why is this?

    I have a view of religion that is not popular on this blog, and that is okay, but my view of religion (or lack of it) is only in contrast to your own. Nothing else. How I think about it, is not relevant to you, beyond discussion. Does it make me a bad person because I am an atheist and that I do think religion is an enemy? No, it doesn’t. Would you attempt to change my mind about religion? Probably not. Would I attempt to deny you your right to think religion is a force of good and to practice your religion? No. Would it be appropriate for me to come into your church or religious place and defame it? No. Is it appropriate for you to bring your religion into my place and exalt in it? No. Having said that, there must be a compromise place that we can both co-exist without treading on each other because we must interact for some reasons. That arena is this secular government, publicly-funded lands, and publicly-funded buildings, all of which we both pay for. I do not erect my religious* symbols there and neither should you.

    *Perhaps something like a sign which says, “There is no God.” I don’t know what one would use as an atheistic symbol, so I had to come up with something.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 21, 2006 @ 4:14 am - October 21, 2006

  85. “They hate us because we have not submitted to Islam.”

    No one wants to say it because it isn’t “politically correct”, but it is true.

    By the by, to please V the K, I don’t hate Christians and I don’t hate religion either. Now let’s move on.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 21, 2006 @ 4:29 am - October 21, 2006

  86. “in Britain… the Muslim community [as a whole, apart from Imam Misbahi]… are not Hell Bent on conversion. And they aren’t Hell Bent on hanging gays.”

    Well Matt, at least not yet… not openly.

    Really – I’m quite sure Muslims have a LOT of people among them who don’t care to oppress others. They’re human beings, after all. Most of of us prefer to avoid conflict!

    But why do Muslims have such a particularly hard time standing up to their “extremists”? Answer: Because they’re not really “extremists”.

    (a) Mohammed really was a warrior and a killer where Jesus was not.
    (b) Historically, Islam really has set out to conquer the world from the day of its birth – through NON-missionary / non-peaceful means. (Whereas Christianity took several hundred years to get around to matters of conquest and government.)
    (c) The Koran really does order believers to make the world submit through violent jihad if necessary. (In a way that the New Testament does not.)

    The above are facts. Ignore at your (and America’s) peril.

    “45 years ago, in our Country, in the Midwest we still had ‘convert or else’ propositions running –is Islam’s tradition of seeking conversion much different?”

    YES, Matt. MUCH, MUCH different! That is my point!!!

    What you’re talking about is: The religion doesn’t want to accept new people into it, via marriage, without having them convert first. The person then has to choose between conversion-and-marry-beloved-Angela, or no-conversion-and-have-to-find-someone-else.

    The point is: It’s all peaceful. No military conquest was involved. No slaying of unbelievers, hanging of gays, slavery, or terrorist acts on children’s hospitals were involved.

    The Islamic tradition of conversion is:

    (1) Call the target nation to submit to Islam. (Osama repeatedly issues such calls to us.)

    (2) If the target nation refuses, conquer it. Kill anyone necessary, military or civilian, to make it submit to Islamic Sharia.

    (3) AFTER the target nation has been militarily / politically conquered: Don’t do forced conversions as such, but, set up oppressive taxes (with consequences of slavery if they aren’t paid), special clothing reminiscent of Jews in Nazi Germany, and other measures to oppress those who don’t convert.

    Matt: The above is historical fact. What the terrorist and Islamic theocrats are doing today, is merely carrying out their 1400-year traditions. It’s worth learning about. Islam really is different from the other religions. We ignore that at our peril.

    Comment by Calarato — October 21, 2006 @ 2:12 pm - October 21, 2006

  87. Calarato, your passionate opinions are, as always, commendable. Your opinion about Islam –as a monolith with variation, deviation, aspects of difference– is based on a view and voice that exits from the radical 3rd world clerics, not from modernist Muslim Imams.

    Go back and read the Imam’s comments. He was speaking about a hypothetical, pure Islamic state. He wasn’t speaking about Britain. he wasn’t speaking about the US. He is one, single voice of authority limited to his masque –he is not the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury or even the Dali Lama.

    He is not our enemy. I think the good Doctor was baiting and leading in his querries –something readers of this blog well understand. The Imam is not a jihadist/terrorist… his masque is not one of nine known sites of pro-terror organizing in the UK. We need to keep our eye on the ball… the threat is from terrorists not (God, I hate this term) religionists.

    I think it is more important for the Western World to engage moderate Muslims in a “jihad” against the radical, extremist terrorist factions within their “community” –and I use that term advisely. We beat the communists in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union by working with reformist, moderates. We can do it again with Muslims.

    But it will take better glasses and a willingness to see variation within the Muslim community.

    There’s a lot of moderation there. It just isn’t getting the attention it deserves because the press likes to cover our own radical element here –the Democrats.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 21, 2006 @ 5:46 pm - October 21, 2006

  88. Anytime the Government strikes down the ability of people of faith the express themselves religiously, it does three things. 1.) It endorses one religious view, atheism, over all others. Since atheists are never told to keep their beliefs out of the classroom or any other public forum. 2.) It prohibits the free exercise of believers and 3.) It sends the message that in the eyes of the Government, religion is wrong. This is why those who hate religion love the ACLU.

    Matt and Cal, I have found your exchanges to be highly illuminating. I am very much on the fence as to whether Islam is inherently a flawed and violent faith, or whether it is a religion of peace that has been hijacked by evil and violent men. It has been interesting to read both your perspectives. Let me put out a thought and hear your perspectives.

    Consider that if we had a country that was entirely run by Islamic clerics — those most knowledgeable and devoted to the understanding of Islam — could we by judging whether this nation was fair and just, or violent and oppressive, have some indication of whether the nature of Islam is fair and just, or violent and oppressive. Of course, there is such a nation in the world, Iran.

    Comment by V the K — October 21, 2006 @ 7:03 pm - October 21, 2006

  89. #89: Since atheists are never told to keep their beliefs out of the classroom or any other public forum./b>

    Let’s say there was a teacher at a government school who spent time telling students that there was no God, and systematically offering his critique of religion. Or, let’s say he changed the words to the Pledge of Allegiance and led his students in saying “one nation in a godless universe.” Or, as someone else suggested, let’s say a group of atheists tried to erect some display on government property that said the equivalent of “there is no god.” Well, you can trust that those with a religious worldview would try to have the teacher fired, or the display removed. And rightly so. Government, and its agents when acting in official capacity (though not when speaking for themselves personally), must remain neutral on the issue, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t claim that the First Amendment necessarily demands this much, but I certainly do.

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 21, 2006 @ 10:17 pm - October 21, 2006

  90. (My apologies for the formatting error in the last post.)

    Comment by kdogg36 — October 21, 2006 @ 10:18 pm - October 21, 2006

  91. And if said atheist were fired, a team of NEA and ACLU lawyers would immediately file a massive lawsuit against the school district saying that his free-speech rights had been compromised, and the school would fold, pay damages, and institute mandatory atheist-sensitivity training.

    Comment by V the K — October 21, 2006 @ 11:25 pm - October 21, 2006

  92. kdogg36 writes:

    “Well, you can trust that those with a religious worldview would try to have the teacher fired, or the display removed. And rightly so.”

    Exactly.

    Comment by DanielFTL — October 22, 2006 @ 6:36 am - October 22, 2006

  93. #89 – V, I say “yes” to your question, as the example of Iran supports my case.

    #88 – Matt, as always I appreciate your opinions and willingness to disagree with civility. One last point I’d like to hammer in.

    You said, again: “Go back and read the Imam’s comments. He was speaking about a hypothetical, pure Islamic state. He wasn’t speaking about Britain.”

    Again I say: Yes, Matt. You’re right. And don’t forget: he and the terrorists have every intention of establishing that hypothetical, pure Islamic state – be it in Britain, the U.S., Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, France or elsewhere. That’s my point.

    Maybe he can’t seriously or realistically propose the reign of Islamic Sharia in Britain today – but it’s what he wants, and what the terrorists want. Maybe after 10 years and a few suitcase nukes, they’ll be able to propose it seriously for Britain.

    I need to correct that slightly: Right now, already, in Britain and other European countries, Imams are seriously proposing that Islamic Sharia reign at least in Muslim-dominated neighborhoods / enclaves.

    Such Imams are part of the terrorist project, and thus are our enemy. You keep trying to make a distinction between the terrorists and the “religionists” who spawn them. The distinction doesn’t exist, or (if it does) is no more than the distinction between parent and child of the same family.

    You said: “it is more important for the Western World to engage moderate Muslims in a ‘jihad’ against the radical, extremist terrorist factions within their community…”

    I agree with that. And we are. It’s called: The Iraq war. (And the Afghanistan war.)

    The purpose of the Iraq war is – and for you lefties, always has been – to take a terrorist-sponsoring country and turn it to democracy and freedom and sanity, by force if necessary. – Force being the one Western expression that the people of those countries respect in their hearts.

    “We beat the communists in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union by working with reformist, moderates…”

    AND, by standing up to the heart of the evil. Don’t leave out that part. 😉

    Comment by Calarato — October 22, 2006 @ 2:37 pm - October 22, 2006

  94. P.S. As for the Progressive Muslim Union website –

    Thanks, it looks interesting. But let me ask you a question.

    How much chance do you think Dignity USA has of persuading the Catholic Church to allow openly gay, partnered priests? Especially in today’s resurgent “gay=pedophile’ climate of thinking?

    That’s about how much chance the PMU guys have of reforming Islam.

    Unless, of course, the U.S. and others should progressively invade and reform Islamic countries… one after another, slowly… starting with, oh I don’t know, hmmm… Afghanistan… and Iraq…

    Comment by Calarato — October 22, 2006 @ 3:07 pm - October 22, 2006

  95. I don’t think that religion has any right to be free of criticism.

    I think religion shouldn’t be free from criticism, there is just a difference between saying “I don’t agree with the theological teachings of X religion” but declaring religion an enemy isn’t criticism it is a judgement and a fairly large generalized one at that, after all religious movements have been behind the majority of changes for good in the world.

    I think Michigan Matt and Calatro are debating the merits of Islam-they are actually having an interesting debate, and I think both have made excellent points-I do think Michigan Matt is correct that not every adherant to Islam is out to kill gay people (or other people who don’t fit morally in their worldview), but those people don’t appear to hold the bully pulpit and those committed to destruction are out to destroy the less extreme Moslem as much as the gays, Jew/Christians and others.

    I think a very interesting voice on these issues is Irshad Manji http://www.muslim-refusenik.com/index.html while I think some of her political views are bit to the left of me, her take on Islam and what she thinks are the problems within he own faith is very telling. I don’t think her goal as a muslim would be to hang gays-given that she is a lesbian.

    So, I would argue that Islam is facing its own reformation, and the people with the bully pulpit appear to be the guys who want a Caliphate and destruction of those that disagree with them-and that is a very scary prospect.

    Comment by just me — October 22, 2006 @ 5:53 pm - October 22, 2006

  96. Calarato, fair enough… I’ll continue to consider the points you raise.

    But remember, the overwhelming majority of Brit Muslims do not envision an Islamic state in the UK (it’s like 74% and a complete disconnect with their “hired” leadership of cheap-priced, low-skilled clerics and Imams), like the Bible the Qur’an has been translated and reinterpreted repeatedly and there are moderate mainstream views of it which are more in keeping with our secular world than the 3rd World states like Iran and Pakistan.

    Taking the WOT to Iraq was all about interdicting a state that supported terrorist jihadists. It wasn’t to wage war on Islam. And that is another fundamental difference between you and GWB –he understands we aren’t at war with Islam. We are at war with the terrorists who use Islam to justify their heinous actions to their followers, their allies, the world.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 23, 2006 @ 9:14 am - October 23, 2006

  97. I write “one difference’ because I know spending, taxes, etc are also on your list of differences with GWB.

    I give him and Rudy a lot of credit in the moments following 9/11… they continued to argue that Islam wasn’t the enemy and it had been subverted and misused by terrorists. They were right then; they are right now.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 23, 2006 @ 9:21 am - October 23, 2006

  98. #80: Of course not that is a stupid question. But really, someone getting called a name is not gay bashing. It goes both ways – remember the lesbians who stabbed that guy because he made a comment to them. Do you agree that he provoked them? And for the record, when a gay bashing occurs it is big news and the criminals are usually punished. You know what I am talking about when I say whining! “OH – my coworker got one more day off than me because he has kids”…big fracking deal!

    Comment by Mike — October 23, 2006 @ 1:59 pm - October 23, 2006

  99. #96 – jm, I agree. “Religion is the enemy” is a very different statement from “Religion deserves criticism when it comes to the grounds of A, B and C.”

    Just for the record: I’m not claiming all Muslims want to kill gays – that would be a wrong claim.

    I’m claiming, rather, that the “ideological DNA” of Islam – the tendencies in its central texts and key founder’s actions – really are more violent than the other religions (violent as some may believe the others to be). And that the today’s terrorists are, in fact, well aligned with historic Islamic traditions of war and conquest.

    #97 – Matt – Yes, I think GWB is wrong on this. In reality, we are at war with a certain traditional Islam – the one that set out to conquer the world again and again in the 600s, 700s, 800, 900s, 1000s, 1100s, 1200s, 1300s, 1400, 1500s and 1600s.

    The terrorists themselves think so and say so. With their better remembrance of history, they understand that Mohammad ordered world conquest for Islam, and that conquering (or at least damaging / weakening us) is Islamic tradition.

    If Muslim reformers can fight against that tradition: Great. More power to ’em. My point is, they are fighting Islamic tradition.

    The terrorists understand that we designed the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to slow them down and move the war into their base countries, away from ours – as Bush has basically said in speeches. (‘A country that harbors terrorists is the same as the terrorists and will be targeted’, etc.)

    Interestingly, the Crusades were designed to do the same thing from the point of view of medieval Europe – which had been suffering centuries of Muslim attacks.

    The Crusaders didn’t try to impose Christian religion – only Christian rule in certain areas which could then stop or pre-empt Muslim attacks. In that sense, the terrorists are correct to term us Crusaders. It isn’t a religious conflict for us… but, it is a religious conflict for them (the terrorists).

    Comment by Calarato — October 23, 2006 @ 3:11 pm - October 23, 2006

  100. Calarato, fair points all. So we agree, we’re in a fight with traditional Islam… the same type of Islamic culture that motivated Islam in the middle ages (I would add, “radical” to your qualifications). And so are the moderate voices within the Islamic community.

    There isn’t a day that goes by here in Michigan –where the largest concentration of Muslims outside of the Mideast lives– we don’t have an Imam or group of Imams decry the bloodshed in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Spain, in Asia and elsewhere. They call for their “brothers” to heed the words of the Prophet and put down their arms. They call for stability and political concensus. They call for healing. And they call for the cancer of radicalism within their community to be culled out, removed.

    Moderates are willing to engage. The power of the secular commerical West is a strong force for change within any culture –but it needs to happen a hell of lot quicker for my tastes.

    Islam isn’t the enemy in the WOT; the enemy are those terrorists using the religion in a subverted fashion to advance their political agenda and those who assist them in that effort. Like I wrote before, we need to keep our eye on the ball — ala JimmyJunkYardDogCarville “It’s the terrorists, stupid”.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 24, 2006 @ 9:55 am - October 24, 2006

  101. That’s good to know.

    Again, though – we should be forthright enough to admit the terrorists are using Islam in its traditional fashion, not a “subverted” one.

    Comment by Calarato — October 24, 2006 @ 11:49 am - October 24, 2006

  102. (Which does not mean, of course, that the Islamic traditionalists / terrorists are right – or doing what God wants.

    I think the Islamic modernists / progressives are way more in line with God’s desires. But I’m speaking from a Christianized, Western “bias”.

    Put it this way: From Mohammad’s words and actions while he was alive, we have every reason to believe that if he were alive today, he would side with the terrorists.)

    Comment by Calarato — October 24, 2006 @ 11:55 am - October 24, 2006

  103. So, this has been a long discussion – Matt, thanks again for your participation and great civility.

    Just for my own thinking, I’d like to summarize what I’ve tried to say:

    (1) The terrorist understanding of Islam is, in fact, conservative and traditional. (Not subverted / radical.)

    (2) Mohammad was a warrior and killer, unlike Jesus.

    (3) Mohammad did talk about peace – but he meant the peace of submission to Islam. Muslims fervently hope and believe the world will one day be peaceful and without war – because it will have been converted to Islam.

    (4) Muslim progressives, moderates and secularists who oppose the terrorists are wonderful, and I hope they succeed.

    (5) Based on everything we know about Mohammad, if he were alive today, I don’t think he would side with them – I think he would side with the terrorists.

    (6) Imams like Misbahi who talk about executing gays are indeed talking about a hypothetical, pure Islamic state – a state their Shiite brethren have established in Iran, and that they themselves have every intention of establishing elsewhere, by terrorism if necessary – as we see with Iraq.

    (7) “Why they hate us” – not because of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, nor even Israel – but because we haven’t submitted to Islam.

    Comment by Calarato — October 24, 2006 @ 12:30 pm - October 24, 2006

  104. Calarato, I’ll take all of #4, a little speculation out of #5, and leave the rest in disagreement. And I’ve taken your advice and are reading Spencer’s book; thanks… it’s the first book I’ve ever bought for 99 cents. Wow.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 24, 2006 @ 2:23 pm - October 24, 2006

  105. opps, and I agree with #102.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 24, 2006 @ 2:25 pm - October 24, 2006

  106. Similar to a Web document, the Spencer book is a fast read and its main value is the pointers it gives you to other documents.

    I have a trip to a Muslim country coming up very soon, and I hope to finish the Quran (an English translation recommended by Spencer) while I’m on it.

    Comment by Calarato — October 24, 2006 @ 5:17 pm - October 24, 2006

  107. Calarato, be sure to take a hundred prepaid cellphones with you –you can get a 10x markup for them bulk in any Muslim town’s marketplace. That alone will pay for the next trip to the Pines at Fire Island… safe travels.

    Thanks for the discussion, too.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — October 24, 2006 @ 10:40 pm - October 24, 2006

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    Comment by hakkı — December 5, 2006 @ 7:00 am - December 5, 2006

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