February 28, 2006
— Ace Pretty chilling stuff:
Everyone has seen the videos of beheadings that Muslim Jihadis release. You see that during the most despicable acts imaginable, which is the cold blooded murder of another human being, they invoke the name of their deity Allah. This shows that they do not perceive this dastardly act as wrong. On the contrary, this is to them an act of worship. Their compass does not tell them that they are doing anything wrong. That compass is set by the Quran which everyone, including the foolish non-Muslim appeasers respect and call "holy". So in the Muslim mind, what you and I perceive as heinous and evil is divine. Just as you don't consider yourself to be a bad person for eating hamburger [as a Hindu would, as he has a different moral compass], a Muslim can kill the non believers with no compunction and he does not believe that what he does is wrong.
The life of a non-Muslim to him is worth as much as the life of a chicken is worth to you and me. We don't go around killing every chicken we see. In fact we keep them and feed them as long as they are useful to us. But we don't lose sleep when we have to slaughter them. So it is not that Muslims will necessarily go around massacring every non-Muslim. As long as these non-Muslims are useful to them, they are granted protection. In fact dhimmi means protected. The non-believers will remain protected, as long as they pay the Jizzyah "with willing submission and feel themselves subdued."
Some of it you know, some of it you don't. Worth a read.
Thanks to Ogre Gunner.
The world of Islam is a world completely distinct from ours. Muslims have a different set of values. They look at the world through the contorted mirror of Islam and everything they see is warped. That is the only reality they know. Islam is their only point of reference. Therefore when they commit the most dastardly acts such as murder of school children, they genuinely don't know that what they are doing is evil.
This makes Muslims very dangerous. What distinguishes us humans from animals is our conscience. Once our conscience is gone we lose our humanness. Without conscience, humans can be far more dangerous than beasts. Beasts kill for food, humans kill for ideology. Beast kill just enough to eat. Humans can kill endlessly.
Too true. When an ideology displaces the inherited, evolutionary restraint against murder, watch out.
As a general rule, human beings only kill other human beings under extreme emotional duress, or if they're just missing the inborn restraint against murder (psychopaths, sociopaths, etc.). The US military has to do a lot of training to get soldiers to ignore or suppress this aversion to killing on the battlefield.
We've seen what an ideology that supplants the inborn code against killing can achieve. In such a culture, murders can run from six million to tens of millions.
I always use this caution, because I've seen similar stuff written about Christians and Jews. Remember that Islam itself is neutral, as religious faiths go -- it can be practiced completely peacefully, and most often is. Sufis, for example, are almost like American Quakers: they are pacifists, and fight a jihad against themselves, to purge weakness and confusion. To be Muslim is not to be some Koranic automaton.
That said, Islam is different from Christianity and Judaism in one fundamental way: it emerged from a conequering people rather than a conquered people. Thus, it has no real sense of the "secular" in the way that the Judeo-Christian ethos does. Jews and Christians, laboring under first the Egyptian and then the Roman yoke, learned early on to separate their spiritual and civic lives -- to separate church from state, in other words. This is something Islam never learned to do, because it never had to until very late in its development.
Islam, as practiced in the Middle East at any rate, is not just a religious creed. It is a blueprint for all of life: civic, moral, religious. The Koran, the hadiths, and the sunna govern every action. And these writings have changed little in the twelve centuries since they were codified, leaving much of the Islamic world in a terrible stasis, unable to come to grips with a rapidly modernizing world.
The problem with Islam generally, and Middle Eastern Muslims in particular, is an inability to adapt to a civil society. Aside from shari'a, there is no real concept of tort or criminal law -- nor is there much trust in such secular institutions where they do exist. Nepotism, corruption, and tribalism undercut civil society, and yet to many in the Middle East this is simply the way things are done. That it mires them in poverty and backwardness does not occur to them -- they blame their troubles on the Jews, on America, on the ever-present other.
Islam does not translate to peace; the more accurate term in English is submission. And it is this built-in fatalism that has kept much of the Islamic world in a terrible thrall for so many centuries.
Posted by: Monty at February 28, 2006 05:52 AM (UdJCa)
But certainly a load of civilized behavior is learned.
Posted by: S. Weasel at February 28, 2006 05:53 AM (rasT+)
Anyway, that's enough about Golding's work...I really hated that book...
I don't think there's an instinct within us not to murder, because as children we don't understand the concept until it is taught to us.
Posted by: bbeck at February 28, 2006 06:14 AM (qF8q3)
Posted by: Bill Honsberger at February 28, 2006 06:18 AM (/M3Xu)
As an imperfect comparison, only a generation or two ago, many a housewife thought nothing of wringing the neck of a chicken, dismembering it, disemboweling it, boiling it, plucking it and cooking it for dinner. I would be so totally not hungry after that performance. My point being that there is a level of empathy (or perhaps merely squeamishness) that's entirely learned and subject to the luxuries of the society we live in. I have to assume it wasn't too, too many generations ago my forebears would've had a similar sort of callousness toward members of another tribe.
Only, we got over it. Or rather, as my mother always reminded me, I simply let others do my killing for me.
Posted by: S. Weasel at February 28, 2006 06:27 AM (rasT+)
She was a tough old broad.
Posted by: Dave in Texas at February 28, 2006 06:35 AM (pzen5)
LOL! Uh yeah, I can agree there...but then, I've caught, gutted, and eaten fish all in an afternoon before, and I didn't think twice about it. The guts were yucky but I didn't eat THOSE. Maybe after that work on the chicken, you'd be ready to eat anything.
I have to assume it wasn't too, too many generations ago my forebears would've had a similar sort of callousness toward members of another tribe.
Hmm, I don't know, I DO think we have an inherent respect for our own species over other species; I think ALL species do. But, killing another human wouldn't necessarily be going against any instinct -- other than a basic respect for life in general, which takes a back seat particularly when survival's on the line.
Posted by: bbeck at February 28, 2006 06:38 AM (qF8q3)
Two things must happen: a) moderate muslims must rescue their religion from the fascists (not the fanatiques), and b) the Fascist elements of Islam must be shown to be doomed.
a is a tightrope of replacing religious sharia with secular humanist laws and traditions. The UAE (yes), Iraq, and Turkey are the models.
b is pretty straightforward - hunt them down and kill them before they kill us.
Posted by: DDG at February 28, 2006 06:38 AM (/3kwi)
Don't forget that the Crusaders marched off to the Holy Land under the motto Deo Lo Volt! (God commands it) The Pope sanctioned it, and the King carried it out -- it was an explicitly relgious admonition. Now, you can argue in hindsight if the real reasons were political and social -- I happen to think this is true -- but there is no question that the Crusaders themselves believed themselves to be performing a religious and not a secular duty. (And their Muslim enemies likewise, for that matter.)
Christianity, after the reign of Charlemagne, became politicized because the city-states and nation-states that adopted it were trying to meld Christian theology with politics. It was always an uncomfortable fit because the Judeo-Christian theology did not emerge with a tradition of statecraft -- in fact, just the opposite.
Yet in Islam religion and statecraft are the same thing. Politics has always been central to the practice of Islam. Never forget that most of the first Caliphs died of assassination, and usually for sectarian reasons. The basic split between the Sunni and Shi'a, in fact, is not theological so much as procedural and political. The problem with this outlook, of course, is that political dissent is thereby seen as religious dissent, with all that implies.
Christianity managed to fall back on it's acceptance of secular civic rule and reform itself during the Reformation and Englightenment, and became stronger thereby. The Jews, of course, have historically had no other choice than to accept civil rule of law. But Muslims so far cannot seem to make peace with any code of law that is not Shari'a -- in this sense, Iraq is an experiment to see if a functional civil society can take root in a Muslim Arab country. If the experiment fails, it will have grave repurcussions for the world's Muslims, I fear.
Posted by: Monty at February 28, 2006 06:45 AM (UdJCa)
I think Christianity was able to civilize itself because of the example that Christ set in his life and his teachings. Contrast that with Mohammed, a vicious, slave-owning, caravan robber, and you see there isn't a similiar self-correcting mechanism within Islam.
Posted by: Golden Boy at February 28, 2006 06:53 AM (wcpd8)
There is no other place on earth where two tribes will go to war with each other and then blame it on someone else. After all who really benifits from us killing each other, the joooos. I am starting to find their constant faluire a bit humerous.
Posted by: Mike Superior at February 28, 2006 07:03 AM (Zr5Yj)
Posted by: splashtc at February 28, 2006 07:12 AM (zlay8)
Of course, this was the way Christianity was, from the first century A.D. to oh, about 300 years ago, give or take.
Posted by: OregonMuse at February 28, 2006 07:15 AM (9J+06)
But when we moved to Idaho, we did what the locals do.
Free Range Chickens.... MMmmmm.
Posted by: Retired Geezer at February 28, 2006 07:16 AM (b8LOf)
Well, not really, OregonMuse. Much of this is a misperception of what went in in Europe during the so-called "dark ages" between, say, 500 AD and 1300 AD or so. The Church in those days was the strongest local authority and had the strongest heirarchy (in much the same way the Muslim faith does now in many third-world countries). It provided a much-needed scaffold for society in terms of structure, of authority, and -- above all -- of scholarship. Were it not for the Church in Europe in those days, the light of knowledge would have guttered and went out in the West.
And oddly enough, strong civil government grew out of the Church (almost by accident), in particular in England. Societies like the Franciscan and Benedictine monks, and the Jesuits, trained generations of students in logic and scholarship -- and these students went on to influence governments in France, England, and Italy. (The Germanic kingdoms never really did get their act together, which is why Germany was never unified until the 1800's.)
It would take a more intelligent person than I to understand why Islam has never produced the intellectual rigor that Judaism and Christianity did.
Posted by: Monty at February 28, 2006 07:28 AM (/V4PN)
Don't you mean from twelve million to tens of millions?
Posted by: John at February 28, 2006 07:31 AM (wg4FW)
As justified by Augustine and Aquinas' "Just War" (good article) - "When there is no command by God, war may be waged only by those with legitimate authority, and only for a just cause."
Yet in Islam religion and statecraft are the same thing.
Exactly. The tenets for expansion, ruling, and politicization are all laid out in the Koran. That's why Russell said that Islam has more in common with Bolshevism (Communism) than Christianity.
And to be clear, there is no "just war" because there is not "unjust war" under sharia. You do everything in the name of Allah. Islamo fascists have heightened their whims to the level of edicts, and they have just as much moral authority. But Islam is willing to defend these whims because no secular authority will speak out against them.
Posted by: DDg at February 28, 2006 07:36 AM (4uzEh)
Interestingly, Augustine said that you don't have to obey the Bible literally, giving as an example the admonition by Christ to "turn the other cheek." Augustine noted that this was a not a requirement of movement, but of spiritual stance.
I think Christianity was able to civilize itself because of the example that Christ set in his life and his teachings.
Christ's teachings and the import of the individual are important. But so was the ability to apply a rational discourse to Christianity (Augustine, Aquinas).
This was vital, because in its first instance, it allowed Christianity to protect itself - Christianity was considered pacifist and Augustine promulgated the just war theory. The simplistic notion that God gave us reason so that we could use it for our betterment was an astoundingly non-trivial concept.
Posted by: DDG at February 28, 2006 07:44 AM (4uzEh)
Posted by: Retired Geezer at February 28, 2006 07:59 AM (b8LOf)
However, the NT and more importantly, the coming of Christ, ushered in a new era of forebearance and leaving the vengerance to God. He spoke about us not judging, lest we be judged. The emphasis was on love, not revenge.
Also, the conversion of others was done out of love and if one was not receptive, then "don't cast pearls to swine". A preson not willing to receive the word was allowed to go their own way - the Christianly duty of conversion was attempted at least.
With Islam, Sura 9:29 states that a non-believer either pays a tax (jizya), converts or is killed. Not what one could call 'tolerant'.
Posted by: Pixelflash at February 28, 2006 08:18 AM (O+1/6)
I think that pretty much sums it up...and it's understandable in a way. Christianity had its share of violence, but that's in the past, partly because it's gone through a transformation due to rebellion as well as its spread to other countries and cultures. However, Islam has been more isolated over the centuries, and we're just now seeing its global effects. Just as Catholicism didn't tolerate "Infidels" at one time, Islam needs to progress and accept the practice of other religions.
Posted by: bbeck at February 28, 2006 08:26 AM (qF8q3)
Excellent discussion. I enjoyed the read.
Posted by: compos mentis at February 28, 2006 08:59 AM (xHpUK)
Or unless they're slaughtering the unborn, willy-nilly, and calling it "reproductive rights."
Posted by: Sailor Kenshin at February 28, 2006 09:13 AM (lc5gi)
If it didn't reject free-thinking then followers would begin to ask questions: Why is it that Mohammed can be depicted in Istanbul's Topkapi palace library or the Smithsonian and there is no protests? Why does Sura 17:90 state that Mohammed is anything but a man, a messenger, when there has always been a suggestion of the divine from followers (actually Mohammed is disqualified as a true prophet of God when Sura 29:27 states that Allah only recognizes the line Isaac or Jacob to be prophets and Mohammed is from the line of Ishmael).
Mohammed performed no miracles, made no prophecies (other than one that didn't come true regarding the Romans) and the Koran is a book that is not even laid out chronologicaly but by length of Suras. It is book that was 'written' by an illiterate, pedpophile who thought he could fool people into world domination thru military control.
It's time to end the era of PC and make a stand.
Posted by: Pixelflash at February 28, 2006 09:15 AM (O+1/6)
Thus Islam does not have a tradition of questioning as does Judaism and Christianity. Even the Dali Lama has said that if science ever disproves anything in the Buddhist scriptures that good Buddhists should then reject that scripture.
Islam is a totalitarian government pretending to be a religion.
Also keep in mind that the Crusades were not an offensive war, but a defensive war, in response to Muslim aggression (surprise, surprise). The Muslims lied about allowing Christians and Jews access to the Holy Land (and by extension Asia) forcing the Christians to try to retake the region to regain access to the Holy sites. And given that their supply line was literally years long, the Christians eventually failed.
Posted by: Iblis at February 28, 2006 09:32 AM (9221z)
Take that idea further, Iblis. Not just totalitarian but militaristic in it's fundamental beliefs. At the Battle of Tours, Islamic soldiers were crushed when they turned their backs to the Christian soldiers. They were turning to defend the tents that held their captured slaves and treasures they had sacked as they moved across Europe. If not for their attention being drawn elsewhere, they may have won the day and drove the French and Spanish to the sea.
Posted by: Pixelflash at February 28, 2006 09:39 AM (O+1/6)
Posted by: The Spanish Inquisition at February 28, 2006 09:48 AM (pzen5)
Ummm...not really. That's what the Crusaders were told, and many believed that, but the real impetus behind the Crusades was simple: too many noble sons and not enough land for them. Too many discontented nobles and Barons running around getting into trouble. Too many Earls and aristocratic pretenders fomenting trouble. Too many troublemakers suggesting that maybe the Church was wielding too much power over the affairs of state.
An attack on the Holy Land gave the Pope and the Kings of both France and England a very handy outlet for all their troublemakers. Until Richard the Lion-Heart took it seriously and got himself taken hostage by Saladin, that is. Who knew those damned Saracens could actually fight?
It's always fun to trace back the influences all those old Crusaders had on the Holy Land, though -- many stayed there, settled down, and raised families. In Syria especially, they left their mark for centuries afterward -- in both good and bad ways.
Posted by: Monty at February 28, 2006 09:50 AM (/V4PN)
One small point- the part about "Beasts kill for food, humans kill for ideology. Beast kill just enough to eat. Humans can kill endlessly" is demonstrably false. Studying animal behavior will provide endless examples of patricide, sexual competition, infanticide, etc. that have nothing to do with getting food. It's not limited to higher primates, either.
Posted by: Rob at February 28, 2006 10:03 AM (BFtAQ)
So in a real way, the Crusades helped open England to the rule of civil law for the first time ever, and limited the divine right of kings. We can thank Saladin in part for making it all possible.
Posted by: Monty at February 28, 2006 10:05 AM (UdJCa)
The lack of land for noble sons aspect behind the crusades might have been there, but the more important impetus was that the Byzantines were desperately besieged by the Moslems and begging Western Europe for help. The pope and others in 1091 were only then sufficently recovered from the Dark Ages to attempt more than a local defensive action. They had been at the mercy of Islamic invasions and slave raids for hundereds of years before they decided to try to re-take the Holy Land.
The author of the article is entirely correct when he points out that Muslims do not think or believe as we do. Their values and objectives have nothing in common with peace as that is understood in the West.
Posted by: BattleofthePyramids at February 28, 2006 10:07 AM (5Iiup)
And it is a defensive war when the other guy hits first.
Posted by: Iblis at February 28, 2006 10:14 AM (9221z)
I think most historians would say that the Crusades were about European politics than any religious motivation; and the Islamic response, especially under Saladin, was never all that religious in character either. (There was almost an agreement between Saladin and Richard the Lion-Heart to marry their families together: Richard offered his daughter Joan to Saladin's son, but nothing came of it.)
Posted by: Monty at February 28, 2006 10:24 AM (/V4PN)
Posted by: Bill Honsberger at February 28, 2006 10:25 AM (/M3Xu)
You stated that most historians saw the Crusades as offensive, that isn't backed up my college textbook. The First Crusade, according to many of the historians I've come across, was initiated by the threat to Christian lands by Seljuk Turks.
Apparently, lots of historians have lots of different opinions, there is no historical consensus.
Posted by: adolfo velasquez at February 28, 2006 10:40 AM (bn2XT)
Posted by: adolfo velasquez at February 28, 2006 10:59 AM (bn2XT)
I don't think Christendom really appreciated the expansive nature of Islam until it was almost too late. Had Mark Sobieski not stopped the Muslim army at Vienna.... Had Spain not conducted the reconquista.... Had Russia tilted to Asia rather than Europe....
That's why history is interesting, I guess. So many things hang in the balance; so much fate balancing on the edge of the knife.
Much of what I assert about the Crusades is clear only in hindsight, of course. It's just that I think people make too much of religious piety in political decision making because it helps to simplify what is otherwise a complex and often maddening series of decisions made by political leaders. (Richard the Lion-Heart is a fascinating character in this sense. He was a brave warrior and a kindly man, yet completely inept as a King. He didn't speak English, didn't like living in England, and was great friends with Saladin, who was nominally his enemy.)
Posted by: Monty at February 28, 2006 11:08 AM (/V4PN)
Communism and Islam have at least one thing in common: they are both evil. This might explain why the same people who sympathized with communist regimes that threatened us now apologize for Muslims.
Posted by: Van Helsing at February 28, 2006 11:24 AM (h/PtQ)
Posted by: Joan Lion-Heart at February 28, 2006 11:28 AM (pzen5)
Posted by: Iblis at February 28, 2006 11:31 AM (9221z)
That I strongly doubt, Iblis. Why would ideologies proposing their own preeminence and advancement take conscious guidance from a backward primitivism?
Posted by: Mastiff at February 28, 2006 12:22 PM (TUuB+)
"In fact, Hitler was very impressed by the Mohammedan faith as he saw its great advances in Europe. By contrast, he saw the Christian church in disunity, losing "millions and millions of inward adherents", and ineffective in its overseas mission efforts. However, we are not suggesting that Hitler based Nazism upon his admiration of the wonderful advancements of Islam in Europe.
How widespread the general disunity was growing is shown by an examination of religious conditions before the War. Here, too, a unified and effective philosophical conviction had long since been lost in large sections of the nation. In this the members officially breaking away from the churches play a less important role than those who are completely indifferent. While both denominations maintain missions in Asia and Africa in order to win new followers for their doctrine — an activity which can boast but very modest success compared to the advance of the Mohammedan faith in particular right here in Europe they lose millions and millions of inward adherents who either are alien to all religious life or simply go their own ways. The consequences, particularly from the moral point of view, are not favorable.7
It is coincidental that Mein Kampf means My Struggle or My Fight in English and in Arabic means My Jihad. Hitler's Jihad was both idealistic and militaristic; it was personal as well as social; it was national as well as international. The German translation of the Qur'an uses the term, Kampf, in various places."
Don't forget the Hitler had imams and other muslim leaders to Germany. The Baath party is actually the Arab Nazi party.
Heck Stalin even used Muslims to fight Hitler and Hitler used Muslims right back.
Posted by: Iblis at February 28, 2006 01:49 PM (9221z)
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