Have A Haramy Christmas: Islamic Leader Warns Wishing Friends “Merry Christmas” Is Worse Than Murder

We recently discussed how rabbis have issued warnings to hotels and other businesses not to display Christmas trees as offensive to Jewish values, even threatening to pull the kosher certification from businesses.  Now, a leading Muslim authority has declared that even wishing neighbors a “Merry Christmas is worse than murder. It is “haram” or forbidden. The view of Dr. Zakir Naik is not new (and he stated this view years earlier), but there is an interesting alternative take on the issue in The New York Times by a Muslim writer on the shared traditions between Christianity and Islam.

Dr. Zakir Naik warned on his Twitter account @DrZakirNaikFC that


“Wishing Merry Christmas to Christians is worse evil, worse than fornication or murder.”

“Please avoid it my dear Muslims. It’s a big sin. Retweet and spread the message.

“I hope no Muslim wishes or updates any status on Christmas because celebrating Christmas is against Islam, against Allah, against Prophet Mohammed [saw] so be aware of that very big sin.”

It is an odd position. I wish my Muslim neighbors best wished on Islamic holidays like Eid and I have enjoyed breaking the fast with Muslim friends. They do not think that I am converting to Islam but showing my respect and affection for them and their traditions. It is this type of intolerance that fuels the interfaith conflicts around the world as religious leaders seek to isolate their followers (and in doing so increase their control over their congregations). The commentator in the New York Times shows a more tolerant view and one shared by many Muslims.

272 thoughts on “Have A Haramy Christmas: Islamic Leader Warns Wishing Friends “Merry Christmas” Is Worse Than Murder”

  1. “Teenagers have superscribed to my philosophy. And the world has sucked since they’ve stopped.”

    I’m going to bow out now, Steve57.

    This statement of yours has me honestly worried about you.

    Respond if you want, and know that the world is all we have. I wish you well, and know that you are not alone in your thoughts.


  2. If teenagers subscribed to his philosophy much good could come about.

    Teenagers have superscribed to my philosophy. And the world has sucked since they’ve stopped.

  3. “I know how to love.”

    With a .20 gauge in your hands?

    It means I know how to pick up a firearm and use it to save a life.

      1. I know how to love. My God teaches me to love those who would do me ill. To give my cloak to those who would spit in my face. It hasn’t been easy. But, what are the two greatest commandments?

        To love your God with all your heart and all your soul.

        And to love your neighbor as yourself.

        The latter implies you love yourself. Which means you don’t willingly give up your life.

        1. “I know how to love.”

          With a .20 gauge in your hands?

          I’m convinced. I’m also convinced you know your weaponry, as 20 gauge is not .20 gauge. Confused between caliber and gauge? It seems so.

          Also, “No, di**wad. America has a divine right to the freedom of the seas”, combined with most of your comments lead me to believe you know nothing about love.

            1. Then you would know that 20 gauge does not have the (.) in front of the number.

      2. Curious; do you have a Red Cross card in your wallet, saying you’re a life saver? Not as if the Red Cross is the ultimate authority.

        1. Steve57 – I used to have a certification as a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor. I am sure it has expired after all this time. 😉

      1. Yes, Darren, let’s ignore the thrust of most of Steves57’s comments and concentrate on a video he provided. Tears after the blood?

        1. I have never advocated for hate, It is far beyond me to suggest you take that back.

  4. No, di**wad. America has a divine right to the freedom of the seas

    It’s kinda sorta what we fought the Barbary Coast Pirates for.

    And won.

    “From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli…”]

    I get to say this because I’m Navy owned, but Marine Corps trained.

    1. Save your breath, Po.

      You’re talking to a jarhead who thinks he’s the last barrier to Armageddon, not realizing his complicity in the rush towards the same.

          1. How much more detail do you need? I’m a proud squid. And I would swim through a sea of broken glass if I saw a Marine in trouble. My DI, and my Senior Chief Dad, would hound me to the gates of hell if I wouldn’t.

            1. Most people would do the same, this does not make you exceptional.

              What does make you exceptional though are these quotes from you:


              “As long as oil transits those waters, they’re mine.”

              “No, di**wad. America has a divine right to the freedom of the seas”

      1. Same thing it it comes down to it. Ask a Devil Dog about how he feels about his Corpsman.

        1. “Same thing it it comes down to it.”

          Sorry, I’ve lost my jarhead decoder ring. Maybe you could resend? English is prefered.

              1. Sorry, but ‘expection’ should be ‘expectation’.

                I’m sure you understand.

                    1. The only people who mattered to me, that I wanted to live up to their expectations, were the Sailors and Marines I led. Having done that for twenty years, it doesn’t matter to me what some guy on the internet thinks.

                1. “Sorry, but ‘expection’ should be ‘expectation’.

                  I’m sure you understand.”

                  Of course I understand. Neither one of us speaks English.

                    1. It’s astounding how many of your responses refer to weaponry.

                      Many of the billions alive today want nothing to do with your Arthurian perspective. Many believe that justice is based on law, however warped by culture, and not at the end of a gun barrel.

                      But thanks for saving my ass from the Grenada threat, the Panama threat, the Honduran threat, and most of all the WMD threat from Iraq.

                      I bow in my patronage.

                    2. Really? Weapons? Is it so astounding? Like I didn’t live on aircraft carriers.Like the Pressure point video wasn’t a clue.

        1. You said that right above.

          Why don’t you tell us, though; and then we’ll all see why civilian control (for what it is, today) of the military is a damn good idea.

    2. Steve,
      “No, di**wad.”

      Not necessary. Please focus on the arguments. Name-calling hurts your arguments. Why should he listen to you if you call him names? Same goes for anyone stooping to name-calling.

    1. You do realize that they are in Iranian waters, right?
      Looking forward to your reaction when the Russians clear their throat against Nato troops at their border… and Syria clears its throat against US troops on its territory…and China clears its troops against US navy in its water…
      I hope you will be fair then and approve of such throat clearing…right Steve?

      1. They’re my waters and me and my 25mm- chain gun and my K Bar says we’ll fight for them.

        1. You keep making my case, Steve 🙂
          Never knew America had a divine right to all energy sources worldwide, and could legally and morally sacrifice everything and everyone, including this country, its people and its future to the forceful or corrupt taking of such resources from everyone, everywhere.

          To think you spent a whole military career insuring the oil companies get richer!!!

          1. Like with your Quran, you go beyond what the text can support. I never said I had a divine right to oil. I said I have a divine right to navigate the oceans. Everybody does. Not just Americans.

            Oil transits the SCS. Everything does. People everywhere have a divine right to trade in those goods, and since America not only benefits from it but is in the best position to keep that commerce going, we enforce the freedom of the seas.

            But we’re not the only ones. Did you notice my videos of the Diggers playing their breakaway songs?

            I knew you were going to take this route, so I headed you off at the pass.

            1. steve, perhaps you are not reading yourself, as I suspected…
              you wrote this:
              As long as oil transits those waters, they’re mine., which, for any logical and rational person, assumes a claim to any oil (and thus associated resources) that cross those international waters…
              And the US energy policy of the last 50 years has put forth the same principles, any oil and associated resources anywhere is “national interest”. Hence the 1000 US bases around the globe, the propping up dictators and taking down democracies, the enabling of oppression and stifling freedom, the murdering people and associating with terrorist groups, if not downright building them up….

                1. Steve,
                  Po did jump to conclusions about your perspective. However, your comment invited questions to your meaning.

                  On a side note, I do not think it very polite to call someone amusing when he was not being funny. Your response regarding Iran and fighting piracy was great without it.

        2. Not anymore, Steve, the Chinese now own those waters…the tide has turned… divine rights no longer American.

          1. We’ll be back, po. I can be confident about the future because until I retired in 2008 I worked with the 18 year olds America keeps producing.

            I have no reason to believe they’ve changed since then. Nor do I have reason to believe Marine Drill Instructors have changed since then. As long as we have Sergeants, Staff Sergeants, Gunnery Sergeants, Master Gunnery Sergeants like Holt, we’ll be back.

            1. Sorry Steve, nope you wont. Every empire has a turn, greater nations have come and gone, Rome, Israel, Persia, the Arabs, the Mongols, the Franks, the Portuguese, Spain, Benin…etc…
              This is the end of the run for the US, the sooner we accept it, the better it is for all parties concerned. Rather than trying to force fate’s hand, let us focus on repentance, on self-awareness, on regaining morality and finding justice and real ideals, on being good to one and another, on distinguishing the real from the artificial, on being fair to the earth and to nature, on rebuilding a just society.
              There is nothing else.
              By the way, these 18 year olds are not the ones of old… 🙂

              1. “By the way, these 18 year olds are not the ones of old…”

                How would you know?

                One might ask the same of me, as I didn’t know the 18 year olds of old. But my dad did, Actually he joined when he was 17 so he could fight in WWII. And he thought pretty highly of the recent crops of the American teenagers joining the military.

                We are far from done. This isn’t political, but the universal reaction to Panetta’s comment following the Benghazi debacle (which would not have happened if I or countless others had been in charge) that the basic rule is “You Don’t Deploy Forces Into Harm’s Way Without Knowing What’s Going On” was contempt. Democrat, Republican, it didn’t matter (yes, I actually know some liberals, just not the campus Sandanista type). Going into harm’s way to find out what’s going on is our bread and butter. In the sandbox we’d send regular infantry to take a look see if we just heard a rumor of a firefight.

                As indicated by the deaths of Doherty and Woods we had SPECWAR types on the objective. SEALs do Special Reconnaissance for a living. If you need to send someone behind enemy lines, or if you need to leave someone behind if you withdraw, you can’t do better than a SEAL. So Panetta’s comment was just idiotic. Furthermore, nobody I know considered any potential action an assault. Given the fact that SEALs were already there, and I must speculate other former special forces types, it was at most a link-up.

                More to the point, and a marker to just how not done we are, consider the 2013 Algerian In Amenas hostage crisis. The Algerians considered that a successful special operation. At least 39 hostages were killed that day. Or, definitely more pertinent, the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis. At least 130 hostages were killed in that four day (!!!!) ordeal.

                The Russians, again, considered that a success. Because, like the Algerians, a success killing terrorists. Not even all the terrorists.

                We train to a higher level. We consider it a disaster if one hostage is killed. That takes money. And most countries don’t have the kind of money to train to that level. Not even the Russians, or the Chinese.

                We are so not done.

                1. Steve57 – the Russians were responsible for most of the deaths in the Russian theatre debacle. They forgot to tell the first responders that the unconscious should be put on their sides, not their backs. It was a failure to communicate.

                    1. Steve57 – the Russian special forces is probably as good as ours. The problem was that no one had a situation like the Russians had with that theatre.

                    2. It depends on what you mean. In the course of Shipboard Security Engagement Tactics, Shiboard Security Weapons, Harbor Defense, Visit, Board, Search and Seizure training, I probably expended more ammo than Algerian or Russian special forces.

                      And I’m no one special. Just ask Jose.

                2. Save your breath, Po.
                  You’re talking to a jarhead who thinks he’s the last barrier to Armageddon, not realizing his complicity in the rush towards the same.

                  I believe you are right, Jose.

              2. Po,
                While I am often very cynical about the direction our country is headed, as well as concerned about our financial health (and literal health) as a nation, why do you say ” This is the end of the run for the US,”?

                What informs your perspective?

                The 18-year-olds you have in mind is a different group of young people than the 18-year-olds who choose to join the military. Paul S. would have a different perspective from the two of you, too. I am concerned because my children’s generation is likely not going to outlive their parents because of the increasing chronic health issues already starting.

                As a whole, how does the next generation look? We do not have clarity.

                1. Po,
                  While I am often very cynical about the direction our country is headed, as well as concerned about our financial health (and literal health) as a nation, why do you say ” This is the end of the run for the US,”?
                  What informs your perspective?

                  Pr, my perspective is informed by history, theology and an attuned intuition. Such combination somehow welcomes one into the structure of the divine, and we start to see things before they arrive. That is the value of scriptures, while to many it is old writings, irrelevant and obsolete, to us they are history, the why of things, the key into the divine structure, why things happen, to whom, when, and how…which makes it a key to the future. It is why I knew Bush would president, and that something huge would happen under his presidency, and that is also why I knew Trump might be elected, though i caught all kinds of ridicule for it… 🙂 Here is a reply to a thread on another blog that might explain it somewhat.
                  Everyone has a method to their madness, mine is historical/religious. I knew this moment when Trump was running rings around his fellow republicans in the primary. Why? Because for the religious, everything is symbolic, and those symbols keep returning through time and space. When some speak of the return of the Reich, they are linking to that, however, they are not tying into the why. The religious always go back to the why, which leads to God, and that WHY is all of divine will as expressed in history. Where some see randomness or cyclical runs, we see causes and consequences, and they are always the same and can be mapped. There was a moment Trump crossed over, and it is a moment of rapture, one that binds crowds, binds the tongue of the opponents and becomes the single current around which everything revolves.
                  What some saw as skill in Trump’s hands, I saw as other forces working through him, which is why I kept saying this is greater than Trump, Hillary or even Bernie, and it is to be stubbornly unwise to make it about either. This is about all of us, this is about timing, this is coalescing of forces, this is about America and whether or not it has doom in store or blessings.
                  In that, it mattered little Trump was a bumbling fool, it mattered little the tapes and the taxes, it mattered little the “some are rapists” or “deport Muslims”, just as Rubio and Cruz were frustrated in the debates, so would all other opponents be.
                  This is why I never bought into Bernie because I knew he was cast into the play as a supporting actor, but it was not about him, it was about Trump. Of all the options available to him, Bernie could audition for the leading role, seriously, go against the democratic party and go independent, and I wondered whether he would, but he didn’t, and I knew even more where we were heading.
                  In that, it was always about Jesus, it wasn’t about the priests, or the soldiers, or the disciples. Though it was also about the crowd, it is always about the people.
                  And it became clear to me that it was not about Hillary either. It was about Trump, she was the necessary foil that Bush was to Obama. There was no Obama without that Bush.

                  Then came Wikileaks, then the media, then the FBI. And it was not about Assange, nor was it about Comey. It was still about Trump. It was about everyone doing just enough to feed the machine that would elect Trump. 10 years from now we will ask Comey, and as Rumsfeld was unable to make sense of his actions, Comey will struggle to explain these moments. When the fumes of the empire dying rises, everyone becomes intoxicated.

                  But, it was still about the supreme court, the FBI, the media and Hillary. It was about the hypocrites exposed, it was, as He says, using His evil servants one against the other, for otherwise they will keep seeding corruption into the world. In that, it was Bush taking out Saddam, and it was Hillary taking out Qaddafi. It is about Trump for he is the bad guy to take out the bad guys…but it is too about Bernie for he lacks the courage of the convictions he claimed, the pied piper.

                  But before that I knew it when Bush was running and everything conspired to give him the presidency, including the supreme court. And it was confirmed with 9/11, and it became clear it had to be Bush for it to be 9/11 which ushered Rome spreading and starving its city to feed its territories, which brought Flint, and unemployment and Detroit and Milwaukee and the micro of police warfare against its citizens for there was that macro of military warfare on the globe. Which brought Obama, the Messiah Black who sat in the master’s chair, used the master’s pen, spoke the master’s words, yielded the master’s tools to master the master’s slaves.
                  And it is Trump for it was Obama. The pendulum is swinging widely for these the eras of extremes, extreme winds and extreme floods, extreme wealth and extreme lack, extreme ideas, extreme actions, echoing extremely…
                  But in that, there is huge blessings. In that, there is the opportunity of the gathering of the oppressed, of the coming together and fighting for one another across gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, background… it is trench warfare for each other…it is opportunity for solidarity. That is the blessing and the challenge, either we take it and turn course or we don’t and sink forever.
                  And in that, it is not about Trump, it is about us, about agency, it is about the people.

        3. Steve,
          You and po have rapidly switched topics and I think you are talking past one another.

          What do you mean by saying the seas are yours? That international waters belong to everyone? Why emphasize oil? Do you mean American trade in general but that oil tankers make up the preponderance of passing ships versus ships hauling Oriental Trading trinkets? If oil specifically does not transit those waters then there is no reason to be there?

  5. Further my last, Hassan Al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood in response to Kemal Ataturk’s Destruction of the Caliphate. Not American bombs. America didn’t have much of a foreign policy in the Middle East (granted the Barbary Pirates but there was big gap) until the late 1940s.

  6. Prarie Rose said:

    “Steve, it is worth noting that of the two of us, only one is adamant in calling the other an enemy, and it ain’t me.”

    This is not a fair statement. Steve did call YOU an enemy. Steve said, “My interest in Islam begins and ends with understanding the motivations and goals of my enemies.”

    Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the totalitarians in Saudi Arabia all justify their behavior on the reading of the Quran. While you have stated that theirs is a warped view, they nonetheless have a particular perspective that must be understood. How can their views be addressed if they are not understood?… ”

    Fully understanding the danger of opening a second front…
    And realizing I may not fully understand where you are coming from…

    No, check that. I did not call po my enemy. I am careful with my words for a reason.

    I named my enemies.

    1. Steve,
      “Fully understanding the danger of opening a second front…
      And realizing I may not fully understand where you are coming from…

      No, check that. I did not call po my enemy. I am careful with my words for a reason.

      I named my enemies.”

      ???? I know you named your enemies and that Po was not one of them. I do not quite understand your response. I was a dope in my response to Po and left out the word ‘NOT’.

    1. Steve
      PR is very fair. I trust her to arbiter. Obviously we do need one, and she is of the few here I’d trust to do it fairly.

  7. The Catholic Church is the ONE true Church….it is a fact, without equivocation

  8. Po, you’ve out did yourself. I didn’t think it was possible I asked you to name someone who dances in the same disco as you, who is competitive with Zakir Naik.

    I get “Truth Jihad Radio. ” Which I’ve never heard of. And some nobody interviewing some nobody from the Carribbean.

    What did I tell you on January fourth?

    “…But for a start I’d settle for you to name someone who advocates your brand of Islam who is anywhere near as popular as Zakir Naik. I don’t mean a good speaker, apologist, debater, what have you. I don’t believe Zakir Naik is particularly good. I think Dr. Shabir Ali is head and shoulders better than him. But Dr. Shabir Ali is nowhere near as popular.

    This also should provide you with a hint that I’m familiar with all the top Islamic speakers and debaters so if you deign to respond with someone so obscure he couldn’t draw enough of an audience to fill a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop I’ll know. I’ve seen the kind of crowds Zakir Naik can draw…”

    What did you think, loser? Enough time had passed?

    1. STeve, either reread yourself or read me more carefully, you are operating out of a bubble right now 🙂
      First off, your challenge is odd

      1- Scholar who shares my views (generally?), Nouman Ali khan, from before, Hamza Yusuf, very very popular, perhaps more so that Naik, and even Naik himself with whom I agree on many other topics.
      2- You seem to be demanding a debater, which is what both Nail and Shabir are, well, I don’t follow debaters that much. Islam is not about debates…:)
      3- You seem to know only two debaters…How can you claim to know the top muslim leaders when you don’t know these people I named who are popular both domestically and internationally?
      4- As for the link I provided you with, this shows your ignorance. do a a search of Imran hossein and you’ll see who is is. Additionally, the host of the show tells you exactly who he is…listening is valuable for comprehension.
      5- Very, very odd, Steve, that you, a non-Muslim and biased against islam can claim to be a better judge of islamic scholarship??????

      Finally, how come you won’t answer my often asked question: do you believe the quran to be divinely revealed?

      1. I think I’ve answered it multiple times. No.

        If I thought so I’d be a Muslim. How many times and how many ways can I say no?

        1. You haven’t yet,Steve, just state it clearly so we can move on.
          stating it clearly would open the door to another doom in this house…so if the quran is not divinely revealed, how do you know so?
          And what does it make Muhamad AS?
          Do you then believe the Bible is divinely revealed?
          What about the Torah?

            1. hahahaha…you fought a couple of pirates and from them you gained the rights to all seas and all riches????

        2. Also, the quran states is plainly, those who believed in the Bible or the Torah who also believe in teh quran get a double reward. Many Christians and Jews throughout history believed in Muhamad As and did not convert to islam.

      2. Po,
        “Islam is not about debates…:)”

        While I recognize the truthfulness of your statement, it perplexes me. Jacob is a prophet in Islam, yet he wrestles with God (this can be understood figuratively). Abraham, another prophet, argues with God/God’s angel (Genesis 32:22-32) about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, chastising God even, saying “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18:23-25). These stories show that debate is okay, and, that they do not have to be read only literally for meaning.

        I realize I am jumping in late and will have to read the rest of the discussion.

        1. PR
          I did not meant it that way. I meant to say islam is not apologism, which is what the two people Steve offered do. They debate Christians mostly.
          Most islamic scholars,, and there are thousands of the, do no debate on a podium. But of course they discuss theology, as they have done for 1500 years. Click on any muslim blog or site and you’ll see an example of such.

      1. Welcome to my side of the swamp. I look forward to you refereeing this debacle.

  9. Po,
    Do you think that ISIS was concentrated in Aleppo?.
    Those are the kind of targets Syrian and Russians have been hammering.
    To the extent that the U.S. has a no fly zone in Syria, it’s been primarily to protect the Kurdish areas….that seems to be the extent of…

    Tom, not at all, but Aleppo was not the champ de bataille throughout the duration of the Syrian war, in fact it was the decisive battle as the “rebels” were displaced everywhere else.
    Furthermore, western Aleppo was always under Syrian army control while the rebels/Isis were in east Aleppo, which was protected by the western coalition against Assad. All of the countless US calls for negotiation was simply to protect the east aleppo terrorists from Syrian and Russian harm.

    AS for a no fly zone, if the US has planes in Syria (yes, a sovereign country,) and scrambles them everytime a Russian or Syrian jet is around, and threatens them with shooting them down if they come too close, that is a no fly zone.
    The siege of Aleppo lasted because the US not only protected the terrorists but also supplied them with armament and resources.

    1. Po,
      Sputnik News!!??? I’ll crosscheck their news with the Tass and Pravda accounts of the Syrian Civil War.
      There are, or where, numerous opposition groups against Assad in Aleppo.
      Lumping them all as “terrorists” is expedient for Russian and Syrian bombers.
      There is general universal agreement that ISIS is a terrorist group……the picture is far more muddled when categorizing non-ISIS anti-Assad opposition forces.
      As for the U.S. arming these Aleppo “terrorists”, there has been a ongoing, long term debate within the Obama Administration ( and elsewhere) as to the level of aid that should be given to non-ISIS opposition forces.
      One complaint from the more hawkish interventionist segment is that night vision googles, MREs, and light firearms are not that effective against carpet bombing.
      Aleppo was a major turning point and major focus of Russian and Syrian airstrikes……I’m not aware of an ISIS presence in Aleppo, and I haven’t seen comparable miltary action ( by the Syrian-Russian alliance) against ISIS strongholds.

      1. Pr, unless I am mistaken, I think that Steve’s argument has been so far that Islam as a whole is intolerant and violent. Which necessarily suggests that its adherents too are. Yes, he is attempting a certain distinction by referring to imams, emirs, mullahs, refugees… but sounds me that the general point he is making is that the quran, the hadith, the scholarship and the people in its great majority are a danger.

      2. Tom, at some point you ought to switch your news source. Where do you get your news from? What journals, blogs, tv stations do you follow?
        Obviously not all of the “rebels” groups were Nusra and al qaeda, but it is apparent and agreed upon that soon inn to the conflict all the true rebel groups were taken over by the terrorist groups. Which is why the weaponry and other support were in the hands of the terrorists, and which is why also we could not figure whom to help as there was no untainted rebel group left.

        Here is an extrait that combines wuite a bit of info, all of which documented, including the recording I posted previously where Kerry stated these same claims.
        The total number of bombs dropped was at least 3,000 higher than 2015, and at least 22,000 of those were in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State as well. The estimated total for the two years is almost 47,000 bombs dropped, which means the real total is likely over 50,000.

        The U.S. coalition has been questioned by many for its execution of the campaign because the U.S. allowed Islamic State to continue oil smuggling operations for over one year after the bombing campaign started in September 2014, until a change of policy in November 2015. U.S. officials said they would not attack much of the oil trade infrastructure because of the threat to civilians, who the US claimed played a significant part in the smuggling. This policy changed without credible public explanation, and during the same week that Russia began targeting ISIS oil. The strikes became part of a race with the Russians who began bombing operations in Syria less than 2 months before that in September 2015.

        The first reported strike by the U.S. on Islamic State oil trucks happened on November 16, which is at virtually the same time that the Russian airstrikes on ISIS oil were beginning. On November 18, Russia released video of the airstrikes from multiple days before, which likely means the U.S. airstrikes were after Russia began targeting ISIS oil. It is not proven which strikes were first, however Pentagon officials admit watching ISIS oil for over a year before they started bombing, but the first U.S. strike was likely within hours of the first Russian strike.

        U.S. officials have also been criticized by aid groups and western news media for not admitting to a credible number of civilian deaths caused by U.S. airstrikes in Syria. The official total civilian deaths admitted by U.S. officials was raised to 188 in the operation which is over 2 years old. Humanitarian groups and local sources say the number is much higher, with multiple estimates in the thousands.

        In July 2016, over 100 civilians were killed in multiple U.S. airstrikes in the town of Manbij, inlcuding 77 in one attack. One of the U.S. airstrikes hit a children’s hospital.

        Dozens of civilians were killed by U.S. bombs in Daquq, Iraq while attending a funeral in an area where there was said to be no ISIS presence.

        The U.S. bombed two hospitals in the same month, in the same city during operations in Mosul, Iraq. Both attacks caused an unknown number of civilian deaths.

        U.S. officials revealed in November 2016 that the military investigated 257 allegations of civilian casualties and deemed only 31 of them credible, just over 10 percent of the total.

        More than 60 Syrian soldiers were killed and over 100 injured in U.S. airstrikes on Syrian military positions near Deir Ezzor in September 2016. The Syrian soldiers were fighting a critical battle against ISIS when the attacks happened, which the U.S. called a mistake. The attack lasted for almost one hour, involved multiple planes, and warnings from Russian officials were ignored.

        The incident was part of a chain of events which led to the U.S. and Russia ending joint negotiations for a ceasefire in the Syrian proxy war in September. Russia accused U.S. officials of aiding the Islamic State in a United Nations Security Council meeting.

        It has become common knowledge that U.S. officials watched Islamic State grow for 2 years before taking action, based on leaked intelligence reports. Audio of a conversation between Secretary of State John Kerry and Syrian oppposition groups shows that the U.S. was allowing Islamic State to grow as part of a strategy to weaken the Syrian government. Hillary Clinton and others also knew that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were funding Islamic State, according to leaked emails published by WikiLeaks.

        The CFR report also showed that the U.S. dropped about at least 1,337 bombs in Afghanistan, where the U.S. is still fighting the Taliban after 15 years of war. Nearly 500 bombs were dropped in Libya as Islamic State fighters have moved into the country while other Al Qaeda groups have been fighting for control of the country since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

        There were 34 American bombs dropped in Yemen, where the U.S. is supporting Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign, despite continuous civilian deaths. Somalia was listed at 14, which is likely too low given the extended U.S. campaign against Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliated group.

        1. Po,
          From this point on, I promise to broaden my primary sources of news.
          Just as you follow, and frequently quote, Jihad Watch, The Jerusalem Post, and CNS NEWS.😉😏
          I currently tend to discount “news with an agenda” sources, but since you are so selective with sources like Sputnic News, I’ll go beyond my normal sources like the NY TIMES, RUETERS, CNN, L.A. TIMES, GOOGLE NEWS, SUNDAY A.M. TALK SHOWS, PBS NEWS, BBC NEWS, etc.
          And I know you’ll find The Jerursalem Post, Jihad Watch, CNS NEWS, etc. just as credible as Sputnik News, given your recommendation for broadening news sources.

          1. That’s your problem, Tom, Cnn and NYT are not valid news sources anymore. They are all fake news providers. Same as the BBc in some measure. I mean, they are all owned by the same corporations which control of the presstitude, which are also affiliated with the big corporations that profit from our wars. Those “news sources” provide you with the info their masters want you to believe.
            I don’t claim Sputnik is on the mark about everything or doesn’t have an agenda but I do know that they are more trustworthy than CNN, NPR, MSNBC or Fox…http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6

              1. Po,
                I have a healthy skepticism when it comes to media outlets.
                I would not recomment throwing them overboard for sources like Sputnik News.
                If you consider Sputnik News a better source for re-enforcing your beliefs, OK.
                The reason I “recommended” Jihad Watch, Jerusalem Post, etc.
                is that you said I need to “switch news sources” after I questioned your use of “Sputnik News” as
                a source.
                In the “same spirit”, I was just recommending that you need to switch news sources.

                1. Tom, I am naturally curious and optimistic…and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Once however I realize a news outlet is being deceptive, I can no longer trust whatever they say and therefore I stop wasting my precious time listening to them then spending hours trying to ascertain the truth of their false news.
                  I cancelled my NYT subscription, still listen to NPR but with only half an ear, and CNN is the worse of the lot.
                  I seek to ascertain everything I read, but the track record of Sputnik and RT is miles better than any of the mainstream media. At least with them you still get the facts though the slant is pro-Russia. With American MSM, you don’t even get the facts.

                  1. Po,
                    I personally do not rely heavily on state-controlled media outlets like Sputnik News or Tass.
                    I think the distortions are likely to be greater than the “corporation-affiliated” news outlets you avoid.

                    1. Tom, but they aren’t, at least when it comes to international events.
                      So far I cannot recall any fake news type coverage by those outlets, unlike the American MSM. They are the presstitude for a reason.

          2. Actually Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch is scrupulously honest. It does me, it does him, it does no one any good to lie. I’m the guy who would have told the crew of the riverine craft transiting from Iraq to Bahrain, what the hell are you thinking, does no one here have a compass, can no one here toll distance within 10,000 yards? I joined the Navy just after Operation Praying Mantis (now there[s a misspelling). How the hell do you not avoid Iran Island in in the gulf!

            A bit after the Gulf of Sidra.

            Po would have you think I don’t understand Ayman AL-Zawarahidri. Do I understand all Muslims? No, just the ones I needed to understand.

            1. Yeah, but the ones you need to understand seem to be the ones who don’t even represent islam, and yet they are the ones you force into representing islam so that you can make your islamophobic case. Robert Spencer is an avowed Islamophobe who has been caught in many many lies and deception…who passes as a scholar of islam when he has no degree in any religious studies…He doesn’t speak arabic and no legitimity…and yet he is the one you deem scrupulously honest…
              Better quit now, steve, you are undermining whatever case you may have had…

          1. I don’t know….50,000 bombs dropped in 2 years on 7 muslim countries….glad it has nothing to do with American bombs…imagine if it really did!
            And yet 15 years, millions of lives, trillions of dollars spent…all of American welfare and infrastructure sacrificed…by that logic, all of that has nothing to do with 9/11…:)

  10. As to what is going on, it’s simple. The reason Zakir Naik tweeted out the warning against the “sin” of wishing someone a Merry Christmas, the reason the vast majority of Muslim religious leaders in France and Belgium did likewise, is quite simple. This is not a refugee crisis, it’s an invasion, in Europe. And the religious authorities want to make sure these people remain a hostile, unassimilated fifth column.

    It’s no accident that Saudi Arabia is bankrolling Zakir Naik. The Saudi Ministry of Religious Affairs also founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs.

    The IMMA can best be described as the foreign policy wing of the Saudi Ministry of Religious Affairs. It’s mission, like Zakir Naik’s tweet, is to make sure Muslims in the West know it’s their religious obligation to remain hostile to the countries that have taken them in.

  11. “No wonder, Steve, that our foreign policy sucks so… with such faulty analysis as you offer, it all makes sense now. Sunni and shia conflict did not really start until 1979, and I have shown why.”

    I see you don’t know the difference between foreign policy and national security. At the beginning of the quote that you include in your comment I identify myself as a (former, now retired) Naval intel officer, so apparently you’re aware of that fact. Equally apparent you don’t know who performs what role. This is typical of the type of error you’ve been making throughout this exchange, and why I said we’re all better served by keeping the moderate Muslims out of the room lest they muck up the analysis. I’m not interested in reaching out to the Muslim world or building ties or whatever. My interest in Islam begins and ends with understanding the motivations and goals of my enemies. Which should be yours as well, but that remains unclear to me.

    “Additionally, as I keep saying, there is not one single “violent”verse of the quran that isn’t qualified either by the verses before it or the ones after it. It is that simple to ascertain, read the quran! Every single “violent”verse you would offer, I will respond with the qualifying verses showing exactly the who, why, how and when.”

    This is a post about Zakir Naik, remember? Not about you, po. And as I said Zakir Naik is not alone in this.


    “Most imams in France (and Belgium) forbid greetings at Christmas and New Year”

    The article is about a cleric swimming against this tide.

    “Hocine Drouiche, a French imam in Nîmes and deputy chairman of the French Imam Conference, slams this attitude and all those who claim that Islam is a religion of peace, but deem season’s greetings as “an insult”. The presence of “open-minded Muslims, who greet you with a big smile and wish you a Happy New Year” is important.”

    I wish him well. I wished you well, po. I also would have wished Mahmoud Mohammad Taha well but he as executed for heresy before I had the chance. But if I were still on the job would be to understand the tide, not the fish swimming against it.

    And you, po, insisting there is no tide, are being a hindrance to that effort. Do you or do you not understand that?

    1. Steve, it is worth noting that of the two of us, only one is adamant in calling the other an enemy, and it ain’t me. And therefore only one is a danger to the other, and it ain’t me. Only one is okay with dropping tons of bombs upon the other and invading other countries and justifying it, and it ain’t me. Only one is asking to live together in harmony and understanding, and it is me.
      The facts speak for themselves, Islam is 1500 years old, 1500 years during which it has been overwhelmingly peacefully coexisting. Muslims have lived in the West for over a millennium, in every single capacity, including currently as US national security officers. There were muslims slaves in this country before you family came here, am sure.
      You better just turn to God as for guidance, for as he says: “”21.84 And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good” (note the OUR)

      1. Po – are you absolutely ignorant of history? The Moors (Muslims) were in Spain until 1492 when they were finally driven out. The Grand Mufti of Palestine raised 3 SS Divisions of Muslims for Hitler. He is also responsible for the mess in the area right now. Muslim countries have attacked Israel from the day she was created. Where the heck is this 1500 years of peace you are talking about?

        1. Yes, Paul, and the Moors’presence in Spain ushered the most productive time and most exemplar period of coexistence the world has ever seen. My point exactly!
          As for the grand Mufti (boy how obsessed with one man can one be?), let me indulge you and accept for a split second your assertions about him (which I have debunked hundreds of times previously), how can one man with a symbolic post speak/act on behalf of, let’s assume 1B Muslims then?
          Are you asserting that his limited linking of Hitler is responsible for the fact that the zionists took over the land and keep taking it?
          How so?
          By that logic, how much responsibility do you assign the zionists for their agreement with the Nazis that enabled much of the exodus to Palestine and elsewhere?
          Also, which Muslim countries ever attacked Israel? And by attacked, you do mean attacked right?

          Once you answer all that, please reread my initial post and tell me where this “”1500 years during which it has been overwhelmingly peacefully coexisting”” wrong!

          1. Po – On May 15, 1948, the British evacuated Palestine, and Zionist leaders proclaimed the State of Israel. Neighboring Arab states (Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq) then invaded Israel, claiming that they sought to “save” Palestine from the Zionists. Each of those Arab states was Muslim and that was the reason it needed to be “saved.”

            1. Paul, please research then reread your history.
              Additionally, look up the meaning of “”invaded””.
              by the way how can a a state be “”Muslim””?

              1. Po – I am reading a very thick history of Rasputin right now so there is not time to re-read all of the history of the Middle East. I gave you the shorthand version and you know it is the truth.

                1. Paul, read it carefully please, lest you misunderstand it the way you did Middle east history 🙂

          1. Tom, you are more special than Paul…:)
            And if Paul can’t answer one question, I know he ain’t answering 12.

            1. No…..I think it’s favoritism, bloody favoritism😉, that motivates you to fire a dozen questions at me, and far less to others.
              In any case, the revival, or continuation, of the “Harmany Christmas” thread reminded me to answer the last dozen questions you asked me ( on 12-24-2016, at 4:07PM.

              #2 unknown…clearly a segment within Islam.
              #3. Multiple causes.
              #5.Numerous causes.
              #6. Dictators
              #7.Multiple supporters.
              #9 .U.S.
              #10. Turkey appears to have assisted ISIS in the past, but not currently.
              Putin and Assad are not directly assisting ISIS, but ISIS has not been their primary target in Syria.
              #11. Kim Jong-Un
              #12. Probably Hitler and Stalin.
              As you can see, I spent the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017 😏preparing the answers to your last set of question to me.

              1. Thank you for answering my questions, Tom, unfortunately I do not remember what they were.
                But I can address #10.
                Yes, Turkey assisted Isis, just as we, the US, did. http://thefreethoughtproject.com/leaked-audio-sec-kerry-reveals-us-allowed-rise-isis/?utm_source=getresponse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=savoymatt&utm_content=The+Free+Thought+Project+Newsletter
                Putin and Assad never assisted Isis, Isis’purpose was to take out Assad and create a sunni khalifate within syria on behalf of the Saudi, qatar and the US…and Turkey.
                Assad was targeting ISIS heavily but the US and Britain set up non-fly zones that basically prevented Assad’s forces from straying too far and effectively attacking ISIS. That changed when the Russians came in, they did more in a week against Isis than the US did in 6 years. Then Turkey took down a Russian plane. Then the US demanded various rounds of negotiation that allowed for the Russian to bomb everyone but the groups,we knew to be either Isis or affiliated.

                This is why you are more special to me than Paul, hence the 12 questions, you at least answer them.

                1. Po,
                  -Most of the reports I saw indicated the the bulk of Russian airstrikes were, byvfar, diercted at non-ISIS insurgents in Syria.
                  While Putin stated reason for going into Syria was tob”fight terrorism”, it soon became clear that theprrimary target was not ISIS.
                  – I gave you the date …..Dec. 24….and the time ….4:07 PM….of your dozen questions for me for you to refer to.

                  1. Sorry Tom, i think it is pretty established that the Russians were bombing Isis positions and the US were not. Additionally, the US were bombing known Syrian positions. It is also factual that whenever the RUssians targeted Isis and affiliated too heavily, the US would step in and demand a ceasefire and negotiations that would remove Nusrat and other ISis affiliated forces from the list of Russian targets. Makes sense in light o the kerry recording I posted above.
                    This helps, I think https://t.co/iikxCRCUnR
                    By the way, I can’t find that link you posted, only one thread was offered on December 24th and there was no 4.07 post

                    1. Po,
                      Do you think that ISIS was concentrated in Aleppo?.
                      Those are the kind of targets Syrian and Russians have been hammering.
                      To the extent that the U.S. has a no fly zone in Syria, it’s been primarily to protect the Kurdish areas….that seems to be the extent of

                    2. Po,
                      – The answers I posted were to your 12 questions you posted on 12-29-2016 at 4:07 PM.
                      When I jotted down the date and time, I did write 12-29……but I didn’t close the top of the number 9, so I misread it as 12-24.
                      My bad.

              1. tnash – all teachers have favorites. You cannot help it. Most faculty handbooks tell you how much you can spend on a gift for your favorites when they graduate. 🙂 The important thing is to make sure all students are treated fairly and the same.

      2. “Steve, it is worth noting that of the two of us, only one is adamant in calling the other an enemy…”

        No, po, I named the ayatollahs of Tehran and the “emirs” of AQ and IS my enemies. Not you. Then I said:

        “My interest in Islam begins and ends with understanding the motivations and goals of my enemies. Which should be yours as well, but that remains unclear to me. ”

        Do you count yourself among my enemies? I said my enemies should be your enemies. But I leave this up to you.

        This is yet another example of your inability or unwillingness to think or write with clarity.

        1. Do you count yourself among my enemies? I said my enemies should be your enemies. But I leave this up to you.
          Steve, why should your enemies be my enemies? It is apparent we have a different logical, historical, religious and cultural standard for deciding who are our enemies…My enemies are those, from any side, who use their convictions, religious, moral or political to target others.

          1. Bingo! Which is why the Mullahs and emirs should be your enemies as well as mine.

            1. The Mullahs and emirs who act according to that standard are my enemies, indeed, same as the American and other western and Israeli secular and religious leaders who act that way.
              however, who is a greater danger to us all? Those emirs and Mullahs whocontrol a tiny piece of the pie or those secular and religious western leaders who justify 7 ongoing wars on muslim countries?
              Are you ready to similarly condemn all of the above?

                  1. A thank you would do, Steve:)
                    You ignoring this one too as you ignored the previous one?
                    Look up Shaykh Hamza Yusuf too, the preeminent muslim scholar in the US.
                    Look yo Amina Wadud, a female scholar…
                    or Yasir Qadi
                    or Mufti menk…
                    There are literally thousands of them

      3. Po,
        “Steve, it is worth noting that of the two of us, only one is adamant in calling the other an enemy, and it ain’t me.”

        This is not a fair statement. Steve did call YOU an enemy. Steve said, “My interest in Islam begins and ends with understanding the motivations and goals of my enemies.”

        Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the totalitarians in Saudi Arabia all justify their behavior on the reading of the Quran. While you have stated that theirs is a warped view, they nonetheless have a particular perspective that must be understood. How can their views be addressed if they are not understood? Counterarguments and greater wisdom cannot temper their views if the particular aspects of their misinterpretations, ignorance, etc are not understood. Al-Qaeda, ISIS and any nameless person (like the San Bernardino shooters) who shares heinous views like the aforementioned groups and is not as enlightened as you or my other moderate Muslim friends they would be an enemy. They paint Islam in a horrible light, so they should be opposed.

        I try to change the minds of my conservative Christian friends (I am more-or-less Methodist) so their views are more tempered, too.

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