Documenting the experiences of a typical Midwesterner struggling to read the Qur'an, understand Islamic extremism and its effects on American politics.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Ban Islam?
From Instapundit comes this posting from Bjørn Stærk Blog where he would like to (nicely) paint all critics of Islam as racists and fools (or worse). I agree with his straw man premise that Islam should not be banned; of course I do because it is a straw man despite his claim otherwise.

Then you go looking for those words. Quotes from the Koran, statements by Islamic thinkers. The research bears fruit, proof is found: Islam is war - or peace, depending on who's looking.

I went looking and found a lot of verses on both sides. It is my opinion that the Qur'an is the rantings of a power-mad leader using God (or Allah) as a means to control his troops/followers/people. Others have found different meanings. Do I think this proves anything? No, of course not. I am not looking to prove anything to anyone, just to learn and understand.

The problem is that you can prove anything this way, and you'll still be no closer to describing the faith of actual Muslims.

I agree. I don't understand the actual faith of Muslims; I don't even claim to understand my own faith. Should I stop trying? What is the alternative? I refuse to let someone dictate my thought process, even more so when my life and my civilization is at stake.

We have to build our moral judgments on a solid foundation. You can't say if terrorism is good or evil without knowing what terrorism is. You can't say if Islam is good or evil without knowing what Islam is. And unfortunately, unlike a political method used by a small number of people, it is very difficult to know what a 1400 year old religion with 1.3 billion believers really "is".

If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck... 100% of the 9/11 bombers were Muslims; al Qeada is a Muslim organization using Islamic doctrine to justify killing thousands (and by their hopes Millions) of my countrymen. I wonder how I came to be suspicious of Muslims? Should I just "shut up" and hide my shame of possessing a life preserving emotion because it upsets the sensibilities of people who whould love to kill me? I think not.

You certainly won't find the answer in a few quotes from the Koran, or in the statements of a few Muslims. To describe something big and complex, you need a big and complex description, supported by a huge number of carefully assembled facts.

I agree. I started this adventure because I could not find this "big and complex description" that was not filtered by the spin-doctors for and against Islam or the PC major media. Where is it? I would LOVE to know. So would the Bush Administration and the Kerry campaign to name just a few.

"Real religions" supposedly don't do a lot of things Christians have done for a long time: "become governments, cause invasions, insurrections". And granted that they've mostly stopped doing it, why should whatever Christians do be the definition of "real religion"?

Long time readers of this blog will know that I have been critical of Christians and tend to lump the extremist Christians in the same category as al Qeada sympathizers. "Become governments" is something that I would agree that "real religions" shouldn't do. This is what the 1st Amendment's "establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" is all about. Not only are religions free from government interference, but government should be free from domination of religion.

I came over a disturbing thread on Little Green Footballs about the same story. I'm not saying these are the views of Charles Johnson, or of a majority of his readers

Here we come to the real reason of this posting. Unlike many LGF critics, at least he makes the disclaimer. The disclaimer doesn't stop him from vilifying the site.

Many replies were of the respectful "this is going a bit far but it's good somebody speaks up against Islam" variety. Only a very few came out firmly against the idea of a European country banning an entire religion.

Without using "hot words" or calling anyone names, he manages to paint the commenters at LGF as intolerant based on 8 out of context quotes.

Let's step back a bit here. The majority of LGF readers are probably Americans, vote Republican, and support the war on terror. These are people who - rightfully - admire the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Like many on the left, they probably believe that they're the ones who stand between their political enemies and the Constitution.

I am guessing here, but I suspect that this is a list of everything that he feels is wrong with America. Repuplican voters who support the war on terror? Ask around at LGF and you will find lifelong Democrats that will be casting their first Republican vote this year and other that will still be voting with the donkeys, very few of the latter but they are there. Of course, Charles does not need me to defend him, his blog or his vast readership.

Again, I'm not saying these views are shared by the owners of these websites, or the majority of their readers. But neither do I see many strong, principled objections.

And so it's time to stand up for the basic values of our democracies and confront those in our own ranks who want to abandon those values. Because if we don't, outsiders will be justified in interpreting this as silent approval or apologism.

LGF gets enough of this kind of criticism. While not using the same language as LGF Watch (I refuse to link there), it is the same argument. Since Charles or other readers don't actively denounce the fringe, we are all racists and bigots. I really hope that these people are never judged by their inaction or lack of denunciation of evil among them. The term GAZE works on both ends of the troll spectrum...

In conclusion, I agree that banning a religion is not the answer. I categorically denounce any attempt to do so in the US or anywhere else in the world. The answer is not, however, to make believe that religion does not play a part in terror or that religious sensitivity should be a part of the war on terror. I refuse to hand my safety and the saftey of my family over to the "more sensitive" terror warriors.

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