Howard Dean: Stop Referring To “Muslim Terrorists” In Describing Paris Attackers

220px-HowardDeanDNC-croppedFormer Democratic Party head Howard Dean has caused a controversy with his remarks on Wednesday criticizing people who call the murderers in Paris “Muslim terrorists.” Dean certainly makes a strong point when he says “They’re about as Muslim as I am,” he said. “I mean, they have no respect for anybody else’s life, that’s not what the Koran says.” It is easy to forget that most Muslims are as appalled and outraged as non-Muslims by these horrific crimes. However, I do not agree that we have to adopt another verboten term. The fact is the “Muslim extremist” or “Muslim terrorist” refer to the motivation and self-identity of the killers not their adherence to the proper reading of Islam. I have used it in publication as the most accurate descriptive term for those committing these atrocities.

While Dean is getting a lot of heat over this, I think that this is a fair point to raise, even if you reject the suggestion.

Here is the exchange:

HOWARD DEAN: You know, this is a chronic problem. I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am. I mean, they have no respect for anybody else’s life, that’s not what the Koran says. Europe has an enormous radical problem. I think ISIS is a cult. Not an Islamic cult. I think it’s a cult.

BRZEZINSKI: Interesting, yeah. Hmm.

DEAN: And I think you got to deal with these people. The interesting thing here, is we talked about guns the last time in regarding the United States, regarding how guns get in the hands of the kind of people that kill the two police officers here two weeks ago.

France has tremendous gun control laws, and yet these people are able to get Kalashnikovs. So, this is really complicated stuff, and I think you have to treat these people as basically mass murderers. But I do not think we should accord them any particular religious respect, because I don’t think, whatever they’re claiming their motivation is, is clearly a twisted, cultish mind.

Obviously, these murderers were motivated by their view of Islam, even yelling “Allahu akbar” as they fired and screaming that they have “avenged” Mohammed for being put into cartoons. Obviously, some Muslims agree with such violent action given the murder of dozens of non-Muslims after the Danish cartoon controversy in 2006.

The fact is that we would refer to Hindu or Christian terrorists if a crime were committed in the name of their faiths. Referring, as Dean suggests, to all such terrorists as “mass murderers” denies specificity in reporting and commentary on these particular criminals. The use of “Muslim” in stories like those coming out of Paris is meant to add specificity and distinction in the description of these terrorists from other terrorists. Unfortunately, we live in a world filled with such individuals of various faiths including stories on “Hindu terrorists” and other faith-based attacks. After all, shouldn’t Guy Fawkes be referred to as a “Catholic terrorist” for his role in the Gunpowder Plot (meant to to blow up the House of Lords over the persecution of Catholics)? Fawkes was motivated by his religion even though most Catholics are appalled at the notion of destroying Parliament.

Dean’s point is still worthy of discussion. There is a danger that these extremists will be taken for representatives of their faith. After all, it was a Muslim police officer who was gunned down begging for his life on the street.

However, that point can be made clear in the context of coverage. Indeed, I often refer to such individuals as “Muslim extremists” to convey not just their motivation but their position on the fringe of their faith. The concern is to add yet another prohibited term added to what seems an ever-lengthening list.

Dean’s comments however do serve to force a legitimate debate over whether it is far to refer to such extremists by their faith. I would be more convinced if the murderers were not expressly acting in the name of their faith and simply happened to be Muslim. It would then be inappropriate in my view to call murderers who acted for other purposes (like personal or economic crimes) by their faith. Yet, here you have extremists who acted clearly in adherence to their own warped view of religion. Notably, the New York Times, USA Today, NPR, and other major publications continue to use the terms “Muslim terrorists” or “Muslim extremists.”

What do you think?

481 thoughts on “Howard Dean: Stop Referring To “Muslim Terrorists” In Describing Paris Attackers

  1. Mike, nothing will. the essence of this blog is that Prof Turley refuses to dig deep, and many here, the veterans are like-minded.
    I appreciate your trying to raise the level of the discussion, and I hate to be pessimistic, but those moments are rare here.
    There are a great many people here however, and within the cacophony, some gems are overheard. Makes it worthwhile.

  2. Happy
    I’ll return the favor and give you the same advice you gave earlier, don’t join these people “…We live in a country that has transformed itself into one of the thinnest skinned, easily offended and offendable bunch of folks in the world. It doesn’t seem to matter what political affiliation, religion, race, gender, socio-economic group or Dodger’s fan a person is now days they are bound to be offended at something. ”

    Just catch yourself “I catch myself doing it from time to time and I stop myself because it makes me ashamed for being so childish.” 🙂

  3. Mike, thanks for the link, very enlightening. Since most won’t read it however (not everyone cares to speak from knowledge) here is an excerpt:

    “After the catastrophic partition of India in 1947 in the course of its anticolonial struggles and the formation of Pakistan as an Islamic state in 1947, and after the equally catastrophic (as Palestinians rightly term it) establishment of the Jewish settler colony of Israel, the militant Shiafication of the Iranian revolution was the most disastrous event of modern history in the region. Exacerbating and deepening the denominational and sectarian identity politics of the region, the Islamic Republic of Iran emerged to face the Jewish state of Israel, adjacent to the rise of Hindu fundamentalism in India and of Buddhist nationalism further to the East — all of course under the military suzerainty of US Christian imperialism. This is the terrorizing history of the last half a century that has afflicted millions of human beings living in the region.

    Yes we are all Muslim, but Muslim is not all we are. Yes Islam is integral to who we are, but it is not definitive to who and what we are. Yes Islamic law is integral to being a Muslim but not definitive to being a Muslim. There is more than one way to be a Muslim and no Imam, no Mullah, no Sheikh, no sect, absolutely no one and nothing has a monopoly over defining who or what is a Muslim. Muslims are the descendants of vast and successive world and worldly empires. A rich and diversified intellectual, discursive, institutional, spiritual, and symbolic history informs the transnational public sphere upon which Muslims can now articulate who and what they are. There is more to “Islam” than any fraternity club of Mullahs or Imams or self-appointed “leaders” can imagine or legislate in their Shariah.

    Just because there is a nasty streak of racism and Islamophobia in Europe and North America and all they see in us is being a “Muslim” (which for them is a coded word for being a “terrorist”) it does not mean we too should reduce and compromise the diversified plurality, the rich complexity, the life-affirming multiplicity of who and what we are to their common denominator of fear and loathing. We are a world and we have inherited a worldliness of which both the Islamophobes and the Islamists (two sides of the same nasty coin) are constitutionally ignorant and every day that passes their ignorance increases. In order to break the vicious cycle between the militant Islamists and racist Islamophobes and deny them the monopoly of the dominant discourse we need to expose them simultaneously—for the ugly mirror image of each other that they are.

    It is imperative for us to see Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Ayman al-Zawahiri for what they are, the fanatical counterparts and kindred souls of Anders Breivik, Geert Wilders, Pamela Geller, Bill Maher and Sam Harris. When a power-mongering Ayatollah issued a fatwa against a magnificent British Indian novelist and forever destroyed his literary career, Ayatollah Khomeini and Salman Rushdie became the doppelganger of each other: a militant Islamist and a fanatical Islamophobe. Khomeini now lives in Rushdie, and Rushdie died with Khomeini.
    – See more at: http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/16bc17df-a32f-4736-906f-6ad6ca3bd03d#sthash.nk5FUOtz.dpuf

    • @PO: Thnks for your effort here….If what Professor Dabashi outlined does not address some of the very concerns mentioned (and I said including Professor Turley himself) I am not sure at this what will….

  4. Po, you might have explained something I too was wondering about. It’s really not important in the scheme of things though. Life is too short to try to understand everyone’s personal idiosyncrasies.

    • Is there an echo in here – no? Well does one persons idiosyncrasies is another person’s insanities? idk – Ingo – You said you were the Psychiatric Nurse so I guess you will have to expound on that >>>>>

      “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

      “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

      “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

      “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”

      (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)

      ;0)

  5. Happy
    I accept that whatever you said came with good intent, and therefore will repeat rather certainly that I have no issue with you, your words and perspective.
    I have said nothing about you other than relentlessly trying to explain that I have no issues with you, before, now and moving forward.
    Whatever hissy fit I might have thrown, was not directed at you.
    I do hope with this additional testimonial that it is clear that I have no issues with you.
    Otherwise I might start thinking that perhaps you might be looking to find offense where there is none, hissy like 🙂

  6. Hey Po

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
    ― Voltaire

    I get tears in my eyes when I get going about peoples rights to be free.

    🙂

  7. HappyPappies said … (a tiny matter 🙂 )

    We all have free minds and free will here and no one is going to change anyones mind.

    The fact we have free minds here is testament to the fact that those minds can be changed, to one degree or another. You certainly have caused me to change mine. Others here have done so as well. If I thought my mind could not be changed or at least modified by the commentary here, I’d not come here. I have no use for places that do not offer me a challenge to my mind set. As I said, you have certainly changed my thinking on more than one occasion. Thank you.

    • @Aridog – Well – Thank you for the compliment – I need encouragement. the right kind. And I am really just trying to carry our what I think my purpose is left here on earth at this point strange as that might seem 😉

  8. Paul, English may not be my first language but logic certainly is.
    One fights against a law when they feel that law will lead to abuses by the system, not necessarily because they want to participate in that which the law targets.
    Then again, how do you explain the fact that christian and Jewish groups are against the bill to ban shariah law, do they also want shariah law applied?
    By your logic, if a law passes, as it did in France, that the face veil is no longer allowed, and i fight that law, that means I want people to wear the face veil? No, for I do not like the face veil, it just means that I don’t support the targeting of any group to restrict their freedoms.
    CAIR’s job is exactly that, to make sure that any law that is targeted towards Muslims, seeking to deprive them of their rights in combated.

    Again, I did not quote the Quran out of context, I quoted a statement by a third party. Your unwillingness to see that reflects what some may call intellectual dishonesty.

    Ad hominem? You attack Mike’s capitalizing of some words then dare to claim offense? That intellectual dishonesty has now fully morphed into downright moral dishonesty.
    Who wrote this:
    Paul C. Schulte
    mikepouraryan – I get nervous when people start capitalizing words like Hero and Brother and MUSLIM. Let’s me know they are not open-minded.

    you or Mike?

  9. Mike, don’t take it personally. That is Paul, he does it to most whom he disagrees with.

    Nice try Paul, I did not quote the Quran, I quoted another person’s comments, which include quotations of the Quran.
    Also, fighting against something is not necessarily fighting for the opposite of that something.
    Also, if Jews want to use Jewish law as a tool for mediation, I have no problem with that. Don’t Mormons and Amishes do it? Who has an issue with it?

    • po – your “logic” is not logical. If you fight against something happening, then you are fighting for that thing to happen.
      And po, you are the one who has complained about quoting the Koran out of context, so I find the irony of you doing that to prove your point, just a bit much.
      And I am fine with using any religion using their own religious codes for internal mediation for whatever. However, I take exception to using it in place of US civil law.

      And Mike and po – thanks for the ad hominem attack. I am trying to get 5000 by the end of this year.

      • @Paul C. Shulte: I will remind you that you attacked me and called me closed-minded. A response was warranted..and if you again took it personal…oh well….Wishing you and the entire contributors to the Turley Community (including all the W-End Contributors)..a fabulous week 🙂 🙂

  10. Paul C. Schulte says:
    po – are you unable to read? CAIR Florida is working to defeat anti-sharia bills. Do you not see the picture? Do you not think that CAIR Florida works hand-in-glove with CAIR DC?
    ————————————
    Paul, really?
    You made an accusation, offered a faulty proof that you claimed addressed the issue, then when challenged, repeat that actions speak louder than words!
    What actions?
    Give me one action CAIR Florida or CAIR DC took that proves your statement that CAIR is trying to implement shariah law in the US.

    So far, based on their actions and their words, what CAIR seems to be doing is to fight the passing of anti-shariah laws that will adversely affect every religious group that uses some form of religious mediation, which is all of them.
    According to your faulty logic, the Christian groups that fight these anti-shariah laws are therefore trying to implement shariah law?

    Speaking of action, CAIR is telling Muslims this:
    “There are specific and clear verses in the Quran that instruct Muslims to respond peacefully and with prayer to insults and mockery,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Free speech is at the core of Islamic beliefs.”

    Awad cited Quranic verses such as:

    “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error.” (The Holy Quran, Chapter 2, Verse 256)
    “Invite (all humankind) to thy Sustainer’s path with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the most kindly manner. For, behold, thy Sustainer knows best who strays from His path .. Hence, if you have to respond to an attack (in argument), respond only to the extent of the attack leveled against you. But to bear yourselves with patience is indeed far better for (you, since God is with) those who are patient in adversity.” (The Holy Quran, 16:125-126)
    “Be patient over what they say.” (The Holy Quran, 20:130)
    “For, [true] servants of the Most Gracious are [only] they who walk gently on earth, and who, whenever the foolish address them, reply with words of peace.” (The Holy Quran, 25:63)
    “A good deed is not like a bad deed. Repel that which is bad with that which is good. Indeed, maybe he whom you have an enmity with may become a close friend.” (The Holy Quran, Chapter 41:34)
    “Show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant.” (The Holy Quran, 7:199)

    • po – if they are fighting stopping laws, stopping sharia law, then they are actively pushing for the sharia law in the United States. They could not be any clearer if they drew you a map.

      BTW, you are quoting the Koran out of context. Shame on you!!! You know you have to quote the line above and the line below to get the true meaning of any line. And, you have to quote the lines above and below those, etc. Actually, you have to quote the whole Koran just to make sure anything is quoted in context. We have had this discussion before.

      Just so we are clear, I am opposed to the use of Jewish law for divorces and family law in US courts.

  11. Mike, I try to be objective in my observations, regardless of subject. But like a fish cannot act without being affected by the water it lives in, I can’t be entirely immune to the media around me. I’m skeptical, at a minimum, of what the media says about anything. Only about half of what they say is totally accurate, complete, or true, and then you don’t know which half. Except, whenever a politician says something, I assume it’s a lie until proven otherwise.

  12. I will second your last comment about actions speaking louder than words. People who have a political agenda will say anything, true or not, to get others to cooperate with them. Watch what they actually do to discover their true motivations.

  13. Paul, why don’t you enlighten us. Show us where Cair is pushing for shariah law from its offices in the WH.
    And I do expect an answer from you. That has been your favorite horse to whip lately, latching on to Karen’s fear of shariah law and her mentioning CAIR to throw it out as if you had tourette. shariah law…CAIR…shariah law…CAIR 🙂
    I wonder if you’ve ever even been to their website?

    From CAIR’s own website :
    ———————————————————–
    “Sharia’s ideals
    To start, let’s discuss sharia. Like jihad, it is a term that has been hijacked and turned into something scary.

    To assist our discussion of sharia I will turn to a scholar, Asifa Quraishi-Landes. She teaches American constitutional law and Islamic law at the University of Wisconsin and has a doctorate from Harvard Law School among other honors. Here is a short passage from her paper “Sharia and Diversity” in which she describes sharia as literally meaning “way” or “street”:

    “Sharia refers to the way that God has advised Muslims to live, as documented in the Quran and exemplified in the practices of Prophet Muhammad. In other words, sharia can be understood as the Islamic recipe for living a good life. But of course, no one can taste a recipe. We can only taste the product of a chef’s efforts to follow one. In addition, different chefs can follow the same recipe and still come up with quite varied results.”

    “So, sharia was and is developed to be flexible and dynamic in practice. This was done in order to achieve two main goals, and protect six main principles in society. The two goals are to bring good to humanity community, and to repel harm from humanity. Please note, this is not bring good to Muslims, and to repel harm from Muslims. It is humanity.

    All religious rules must be in line with these six principles of Sharia, presented here as written out by Sumbul Ali-Karamali:

    “The right to the protection of life.
    “The right to the protection of family.
    “The right to the protection of education (intellect).
    “The right to the protection of property (access to resources).
    “The right to the protection of human dignity.
    “The right to the protection of religion.”
    Sharia must then adapt with respect to the social, political, and cultural climate of a given place and time in order to ensure that these two goals are met, and these six principles are protected. In fact, sharia mandates that a Muslim practice their faith while respecting the law of the land in which they reside.”

    “Ibn al Qayyim, a notable medieval-era Islamic jurist put it this way, “The foundation of the sharia is wisdom and the safeguarding of people’s interests in this world and the next. In its entirety it is justice, mercy and wisdom. Every rule which transforms justice to tyranny, mercy to its opposite, the good to the evil, and wisdom to triviality does not belong to the sharia. …”

    So these are the ideals behind Islamic legal principles. We Muslims, like every other way of life with which I am familiar, do not always live up to our own ideals.

    Let’s think about one example. In Islamic inheritance a son gets a full share and a daughter gets a half share. This is done because the son is expected to pay for funeral expenses and support all family members. The daughter can choose to help, but it is not an obligation. Similarly, a man is obligated to financially support his family. Any money a wife earns is hers to do with as she chooses, she can contribute or not as she wishes.

    These are the ideals aimed at ensuring everyone is supported financially and it is clear who is responsible. Does it always work out that way? No.”

    “In 2011, the Fiqh Council of North America adopted a resolution titled “On Being Faithful Muslims and Loyal Americans.”

    Here are a few lines from that resolution:

    Like other faith communities in the US and elsewhere, we see no inherent conflict between the normative values of Islam and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
    Likewise, the core modern democratic systems are compatible with the Islamic principles of Shura — mutual consultation and co-determination of all social affairs at all levels and in all spheres, family, community, society, state, and globally.
    Islamic teachings require respect of the laws of the land where Muslims live as minorities, including the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, so long as there is no conflict with Muslims’ obligation for obedience to God. We do not see any such conflict with the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. The primacy of obedience to God is a commonly held position of many practicing Jews and Christians as well.”

      • Come on Paul! Come on, man!
        The more I want to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that I misjudge your intentions, the more you prove me that I was right all along!

        This is what you proposed:
        “po – you are not listening to your ‘leaders’ here in the USA. CAIR is pushing for sharia from the offices in the WH.”

        And this is what you offered:
        “Islamophobes in the Florida state legislature, namely Sen. Alan Hays, must think that THE FOURTH time is the charm.
        After anti-Shariah legislation was defeated in 2011, 2012, AND 2013, Florida lawmakers Larry Metz and Alan Hays are at it again, peddling laws to restrict OUR religious freedom.

        These cleverly-worded bills focus on family law, but are targeted specifically against Muslims and impact the religious family laws of everyone—Muslims, Christians and Jews. If passed, these anti-Shariah laws would restrict and/or deny the use of religious law for matters involving marriage, divorce, and child custody.

        Florida state senators Alan Hays and Greg Evers have sponsored SB 58: Application of Foreign Law in Certain Cases. Florida representative Larry Metz sponsored the companion HB 351. We need your help to defeats these bills.
        – See more at: http://cairflorida.org/advancedsubcategory?id=5039947cb79921fa5f00003f#sthash.OaQxwRHV.dpuf

        I know you are a smart person, and you certainly can understand what you read, unless you choose not to. Why? I wonder!

        • po – are you unable to read? CAIR Florida is working to defeat anti-sharia bills. Do you not see the picture? Do you not think that CAIR Florida works hand-in-glove with CAIR DC?

          • @Paul C. Schulte: It appears that you are not wanting to “hear” what po has to say…I suggest you look up some of the recent updates from CAIR-DC before “sitting in judgement”…as a courtesy, I looked the latest up..and have for your benefit and the entire Turley Community released it here: http://www.cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12812-cair-responds-to-growing-post-charlie-hebdo-islamophobia-with-quran-media-guide-giveaways.html///Wishing all a nice rest of the week-end and good week.

            • mikepouraryan – you actually believe in press releases? Does the tooth fairy still visit your house? As I said, actions speak louder than words.

              • @Paul C. Schulte: When I see the citations from the Quran noted, that’s what is ever so crucial to realize….Let me leave you with this (which I have also noted when I have been “in community” since Professor Turley released his column: I will take my queue from what the Brother of the Hero MUSLIM police officer said about those who undertake the crimes; they are pretend Muslims..that’s it. The debate has to happen to root out the deviants..and I hope my comments underscores the fact that it is happening……All of us need to do our part..without demonizing…I trust you and I will agree on this. 🙂

                • mikepouraryan – I get nervous when people start capitalizing words like Hero and Brother and MUSLIM. Let’s me know they are not open-minded.

                  • @ Paul C. Schulte: With all due respect, accusing me by implication that I’m not open minded is simply not correct. Please make sure you again review the comments I have made. Enjoy the rest of your day and thank you for your comments.

                    • @Paul C. Shulte: Well, then, let me say this to you: If anyone has shown themselves to be close minded it is you sir. I stand by mine as well in the strongest possible terms I could muster. We can disagree without being disagreeable..and If it makes you feel good to attack me and others who have tried to reasonably address your points, then so be it. Enjoy your week.

  14. Forget the post above,

    Tyger: “Regardless of which religion, if any, someone who carries out an act of violence claims to be supporting, I find that behavior to be wrong. And no matter what label anyone may wish to pin on me, I don’t feel that expressing fear of people who commit terrorist acts is unreasonable or irrational.
    —————————–

    Tyger (not Tyler, sorry) I hear you.
    I have certainly no issue with that. It is not only normal but sensible. My issue is only with those who, by laziness, ignorance or agenda, want to lump all muslims together, when they do not lump any other group together.
    When we have a muslim congressman, muslims in the military who have fought in our wars against their fellow muslims, muslim firefighters, police officers, in the Cia and FBI, prison guards, teachers, doctors and scientists…to link them to the ones who are conducting extremism is quite unfair and disrespectful. That is my single issue, one that tends to bring out my frustration.

  15. Regardless of which religion, if any, someone who carries out an act of violence claims to be supporting, I find that behavior to be wrong. And no matter what label anyone may wish to pin on me, I don’t feel that expressing fear of people who commit terrorist acts is unreasonable or irrational.

    Tyger (not Tyler, sorry) I hear you.
    I have certainly no issue with that. It is not only normal but sensible. My issue is only with those who, by laziness, ignorance or agenda, want to lump all muslims together, when they do not lump any other group together.
    When we have a muslim congressman, muslims in the military who have fought in our wars against their fellow muslims, muslim firefighters, police officers, in the Cia and FBI, prison guards, teachers, doctors and scientists…to link them to the ones who are conducting extremism is quite unfair and disrespectful. That is my single issue, one that tends to bring out my frustration.

    • Po I hear you repeating that your Religion keeps getting lumped together. Would you care to expound on that? Seriously? You only think Muslims get trashed on this Blog? I think you know better because the only time I see you on here is when something comes up about a Muslim and then everyone is supposed to tiptoe around you. I used to do it. There are certain books in my Bible where the author sounds like raving bloodthirsty lunatic. And I can say it. But If I say that here and apologize to you ahead of time, you have a hissy fit. This is the USA. Get over it. And Mike a couple of weeks ago, I cut and pasted something PO said about the Suras in a statement to him and you jumped on it like I was pretending knowledge which I wasn’t. I don’t know anything about Islam. I respect your right to worship though.

      No one controls anyone or how they think on this blog. That is why Paul C Schulte is irritated I am sure. He let me know about that right up front and I didn’t realize I was doing it until he did.

      We all have free minds and free will here and no one is going to change anyones mind.

      • ,,,and to humbly add to what @happypappies noted, we can disagree without being disagreeable…and I for one welcome that we have the ability to deliberate as we do–but we have to also make sure we are even keel and avoid misunderstandings…I have actually had fun in the deliberative process…and I hope all of you are smiling…wishing you all a beautiful week 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Mike – You don’t have to apologize to me. There is nothing to apologize for. It was a misunderstanding. I just want to be allowed to speak freely and not told I am attacking someone when I am doing so. You did not accuse me of that but you thought I was saying somehing about Islam as if I knew it and I don’t and I didn’t want to disabuse you…. 🙂

      • It’s quite interesting, Happy how quickly your turned on me the moment you thought I attacked your faith. One moment you are defending me and my faith, the next you misread my comment and now you are just itching for a fight.
        By the way, I have defended Christianity and I keep complimenting Christians. I have quoted Quranic verses that compliment Christianity…so perhaps it is time you back off a little.

        I am not demanding anyone tiptoe around me, far from it. I demand a sound argument. Paul can say whatever he wants as long as he can back it up. If he is allowed to throw things around that make little sense and when challenged respond with other non-sequiturs, then why bother?

        Did you read my discussions with Ari, and BFM, and earlier with Tyger?
        What exactly bothers you with my asking not to be lumped in me with terrorists? You think I should be ok with that?
        How many thousands of words have I written lately that explain exactly why I ask not to be lumped in with terrorists?
        What is it don’t you understand?
        When did I throw a hissy fit at you? How many times have I complimented you here?

        Does it seem to you that there is some familiarity between Nick and me? If so, it is because I have been commenting on this blog for a couple of years now, and on various topics, not just Islam.
        I , and others who were long time commentators left because the conversation went downhill from what it was before.
        Why do I seem to come back solely on things Islam? To counter the narratives that I hear from people spouting things that are false. for every Prof Turley blog about Islam, I know exactly how fast we’ll get to shariah law and the injurious and insulting comments. So I come back to counter the extremists and hopefully inform those who truly desire to know. In that, the extremists do me a huge favor.
        And as I see, it has gotten even worse.

        Have you been accused of being a vile antisemite yet? How will you respond to it when someone does?

        • Po You have a victim mentality. A lot of people on this Blog do. It is very unattractive and you should lose it. I used to have one myself. If you have been following this blog and my comments, you would know why. I no longer do. Nothing anyone says about me can hurt me.

          In fact, not that it matters, I have been called an anti-semite because I was not sure I approved of the Zionist State of Israel. I am rethinking my position on that.

          You have had a severe overreaction to what I said to you. I did not call you any names or disavow your character. You need to go back and re read the comment I made to to regarding religion – yours and mine because you had to have skimmed it.

          I said that in MY BIBLE that some of the OLD PROPHETS sounded like PSYCHOPATHS at times and God seemed very Cruel and I often wonder who really wrote that Bible when everyone was in Babylon.

          I am not asking you for information now. That is a rhetorical question to show you that I criticize my Religion. I also RESPECT it.

          When I made my comment to you a week or so ago, I prefaced if with an apology saying I wasn’t disrespecting YOU but I felt like Sura’s 31-34 were the Raving of a Psychopath. And I gave examples why. The God was angry and wanted blood.

          Now, I am not going to argue with you about this anymore and needling is not my style. I just know what is going on here. I am actually trying to help you. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t write back to you.

          I am never going to be able to understand your religion. It is written in a way that is foreign to my way of thinking. I could never understand the Catholic Religion as far as Eastern Orthodox. I don’t consider this a failing. I am working on my own Spiritual Journey.

          I think what that is is lets cut through the crap Christianity and reach out to others and tell them that it’s okay to say what you really feel.

          You saw my example above. The Catholic Pope even has a fit about questioning any faith. He considers that Profane. I consider that ridiculous. From time immemorial, Prophets and Sages have prostrated themselves and said – why – God ????? Certainly Abraham and Moses did.

          So, please, get off you high horse, come back to earth and realize that you are not alone in being insulted. We all get insulted. You don’t know me or what I have suffered or how much abuse I have put up with so it is absurd for you to make a supposition.

          I did not insult you. I made an observation. It is a free country. I apologized to you ahead of time and you have made an issue out of it.

          Let it go…………………………………………………. 🙂

          • Happy
            Am still not sure what is going on but seems to me that you do need me to have thrown a hissy fit in order to make your case.
            We can keep going on with this forever and I see we won’t get anywhere, that being the nature of misunderstanding.
            I’ll say it one last time in order to perhaps salvage something I thought was good.
            I do not know what you are talking about. You keep making the case that I threw a hissy fit and that I overacted to something you said despite your apologies beforehand, and I keep repeating to you that I had no issues with anything you said about Islam.
            Look, there are 2 types of people here for me, those who have shown to be open minded and logical, to whom i give the benefit of the doubt about everything they say, even when we disagree, and those include you.
            There are those who needle and throw non-seqiturs, offer accusations but no proofs, put words into people’s mouth then attack them for it…I have no patience for those.

            It is easy to see whom I view as part of the first or second group based on my tone with them. Now if you want to take my answer to someone from the second group as directed at you, it is a choice YOU make, for I certainly did not.

            • Po – I have read every one of your comments and considered what you have to say as an individual as I do everyone here. I see people as individuals and not in groups and on sides.

              I will not take a side as I don’t need anything but my own approbation.

              “Hissy fit” used to describe an adult tantrum but now has become an equal opportunity description, young or old, male or female. What they all have in common is no matter how severe the (alleged) offense, there is always some wounded pride involved, and usually an audience of bystanders along with the culprit who allegedly triggered the hissy.

              You deny that you do this????

              I catch myself doing it from time to time and I stop myself because it makes me ashamed for being so childish.

              I posted a smiley face here so it’s up to you to salvage the “relationship” that was never lost because if friends cannot disagree, they are not truly friends.

              I will leave you with some quotes I found on disagreement because I am not mad at you and I was simply trying very hard to make a point to you and you were dodging it imo.

              “The best practice is to be around people who absolutely disagree. Grace in conflict is a study in love.”
              ― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

              Maimonides
              “Truth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it.”
              ― Maimonides, The Guide for the Perplexed

              “Friends become wiser together through a healthy clash of viewpoints.”
              ― Timothy Keller,

              “Disagreement is part of being a person who has choices. One of those choices is to respect others and engage in intelligent conversation about differences of opinion without becoming enemies, eventually allowing us to move forward to compromise.”
              ― Ben Carson,

              Mahatma Gandhi
              “We must be ever courteous and patient with those who do not see eye to eye with us. We must resolutely refuse to consider our opponents as enemies.”

              “What America is, to me, is a guy doesn’t want to buy, you let him not buy, you respect his not buying. A guy has a crazy notion different from your crazy notion, you pat him on the back and say, Hey pal, nice crazy notion, let’s go have a beer. America, to me, should be shouting all the time, a bunch of shouting voices, most of them wrong, some of them nuts, but please, not just one droning glamorous reasonable voice.”
              ― George Saunders, In Persuasion Nation

              • happypappies – you should be offended by the use of the word “hissy” since it is short for hysterical, which is a condition only women can have and only when they are sexually frustrated. 😉

                • Paul C Schulte

                  well – you know we must be patient with the meanderings of the internet troll

                  We live in a country that has transformed itself into one of the thinnest skinned, easily offended and offendable bunch of folks in the world. It doesn’t seem to matter what political affiliation, religion, race, gender, socio-economic group or Dodger’s fan a person is now days they are bound to be offended at something. However, we now seem to live where almost everyone is offended at something and it matters not a whit what it may be, hell I even offend myself sometimes. There are some people who almost seem to live with a chip on their shoulder. They are the chronically offended who are quite often easily offensively offended. While most of the time trying not to give offense I have been known to offend the chronically offended, the merely offendable, and even the totally unaware with twisted or sarcastic comments and oddball humor which Judy tells me is not always as funny as I think it is. Nonetheless there are patently many people who are both chronically offended and very angry 😉

                  http://padresteve.com/2009/07/25/offensively-offending-the-chronically-offended/

                • Paul C. Schulte – that comes from a cut and paste I don’t know a Judy lol. it’s funny though. I am sick of it. lololol 😉

  16. I saw an excellent movie on Hulu recently, “Day of the Siege”, which depicted 300,000 soldiers of the Attoman empire laying siege to and attacking the city of Vienna in 1683. http://www.hulu.com/watch/715922

    Though it’s a glorified Hollywood epic film with gorgeous costumes, and was probably inaccurate in many details, it appeared to show the attitudes of both the Christian and Muslim sides believably: “My God is the only true God!” Typical human “mine is bigger and better than yours” argument.

    Even as a religious-neutral observer, I found the movie inspiring. Enough so I read up more on the history of the battle. Apparently, it could have been a turning point with disastrous results for the Christian religion as a whole, if it had not been for the bravery of the King of Poland and his 40,000 troops.

    Great entertainment, if nothing else.

  17. Po, from what you have said here, and how you have said it, you seem like someone with whom I could sit and discuss any subject, even this highly charged and emotional one, in a rational and intellectual way. I suspect we would come away simply agreeing that we disagree about much of it, though.

    What and who do I picture when I say Islam or Muslim? My perspective of the religion and its various sects and variations, and of the people who profess to practice those beliefs, are based upon the information provided by the main stream media and their news stories, discussions with friends from various different religious backgrounds, and from a great deal of historical accounts by watching videos and movies and reading history books over the last fifty years. Without a laundry list of detailed descriptions, I would answer that what I see is probably not unlike most average, white, non-Muslim Americans today.

    I do recognize that there are many differences between the Muslim people and how they practice their beliefs in their Islamic cultures around the world. And I do acknowledge that much of my information may be inaccurate, incomplete, and biased by the source of it, and consequently my attitudes toward Muslims may be inappropriate in many circumstances. The media and history books have changed over the years, as have their depictions of certain peoples, such as the Indians, now popularly referred to as Native Americans. I have gone from being taught that the US Cavalry were the good guys in the West, to realizing they actually were the agents of oppression by the US Government. I greatly sympathize with the indigenous tribes, particularly those here in Arizona, but their religious beliefs, which are poetic, colorful, and teach being in tune with the environment, are otherwise out of touch with reality to me. But so are all other religions. Islam just seems to be the most extreme.

    I admire people like you who want to solve the problems between peoples of different beliefs with discussions, with the ultimate goal of enlightenment, understanding, and agreement. Unfortunately, I don’t expect that to happen widely or soon enough. The conflicts between Muslims and the rest of the world have gone on throughout recorded history, and only the locations and tactics have changed. It most likely won’t end until one side wipes out the other. I don’t advocate such violence in any way, but that’s my prediction.

    • Tyler, I appreciate that you raise and accept the possibility that your view of Muslims is wrong, or biased. I think that is a very important first step in any discussion.
      The reason why I latched onto the words culture and appearance you used is that they seem to suggest a homogeneity to a great range of people, when in fact one can’t tell most Muslims in the US from other non-Muslims.
      There is no Islamic culture, no matter what the mainstream media tells you, and there is no universal Muslim appearance, other than the cultural dresses, which vary from place to place, and the hijab which is universal among Muslim women who do wear it.
      Most Muslims do not speak arabic, and it is safe to say that most muslims do not practice assiduously their faith. Most muslims do not attend the mosque and most muslims have not read the quran.
      Most Muslims I know who were raised in the US have no link to Islam other than their names. Most Muslims from elsewhere who live in the US have for sole main tie to Islam the cultural legacy they grew up with.
      Some pray sometimes but do not fast. Some fast but do not pray. Some pray and fast, some do neither.
      Some who read the quran read it literally, others read it metaphorically.
      Some rely on their own intellect to understand it, other rely on scholarly opinions.
      Some belong to traditions and schools, others refute traditions and schools.
      Some follow saints and the Prophet, others link only to the quran.
      My mosque has adherents from over 20 countries, including some from Africa, South America and Europe.
      My imam and I disagree on the most basic of tenet, which is how to pray.
      The women disagree on whether they should pray with the men or have their own space.
      The men disagree on whether the women should pray with the men or separately.
      Some vote democrats, some vote republicans, some vote third party, some don’t vote at all.
      My brother and I, who were taught the rituals the same way, do not pray the same way. We do not agree on the meaning of predestination, nor do we agree on whether the ritual lamb sacrifice can be replaced by grain offering.
      He did not vote for Obama while I did. He may vote for Hillary but I won’t.

      The shias don’t usually pray in a sunni mosque, not do sunnis pray in a shia mosque…

      Just to say that there is no culture, no appearance and Islam is as diverse as its adherents.
      However, the single universal thing I know about every muslim I have ever met, is that not one of them, not one single one has ever advocated for shariah law, whether here in the US or elsewhere.

      • @PO: A true person of faith is at home just as much in a Shitte Mosque, a Sunni Mosque, a Temple, A Church or a synagogue…it is about humanity…and it all begins with that…..

        • Sure Mike…I agree with that. There are many interfaith events that take place in the US where Muslims pray in a church…
          I am just expressing the variety of Islamic expression…
          “And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.”

      • Po, your descriptions of your beliefs and practices, and your description of the variety of beliefs and practices of others in the Muslim religion sound no different in substance than those of any other religion I’ve heard. It seems the only constant among most of them is some form of belief in a god, or gods, or higher power in the Universe. Standard operating procedure for most of Mankind. Everyone believes and behaves differently, but similarly.

        But violence is still violence by any other name, and whether it is a terrorist who blows up a magazine office and claims he is doing it defending Muhammad, or a terrorist who blows up an abortion clinic in the name of Crist, it is a despicable act that scares the spit out of people, regardless of their belief system. I’m just as concerned about either type of terrorist, and since it’s the former not the latter who is in the news these days, that’s where my comments are focused. If you are a fish, whether a shark or a trout, the world will appear as just water and rocks and other fish mostly. You won’t be able to see the world as a bird would. Our human intelligence and imagination allows us to try to see the world as a fish or as a bird might, but we will never KNOW, just the same.

        I try to be respectful of others, regardless of their religious beliefs, even though I disagree with them entirely. Even as an Atheist, which only means that I don’t think a god or higher power exists, my belief system is no better or worse than anyone else’s in regard to whether a god exists or not. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. Only an actual god could “know” for sure, and I don’t claim to be one, obviously. What really matters, so much more than what we believe about the nature of the universe, is how we treat each other individually. That’s behavior. One of my guiding premises is “don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want them doing to you.” Sound familiar? The negative twist means you aren’t compelled to act, but should constrain yourself from doing things that hurt others. And though I might encourage others to agree with me, I can only apply it to myself, my thinking, my behavior.

        Regardless of which religion, if any, someone who carries out an act of violence claims to be supporting, I find that behavior to be wrong. And no matter what label anyone may wish to pin on me, I don’t feel that expressing fear of people who commit terrorist acts is unreasonable or irrational.

        (And, ahem, it’s Tyger, not Tyler.)

      • po – you are not listening to your ‘leaders’ here in the USA. CAIR is pushing for sharia from the offices in the WH.

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