If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday, 13 December 2010

A Sign Of Things To Come?

I would be far more likely to accept the notion that Islam is a peaceful religion if I had heard loud and angry condemnation of terrorist atrocities from the many 'peaceful' Muslims that we are told constitute the majority. The fact that we don't hear anything of the sort leads me to believe, not that all Muslims are terrorists, but that most Muslims don't think that terrorism in the name of Islam is all that bad. Perhaps the bombers are mistaken, but the error is one of degree. Their crime is being too violent, rather then being violent at all. It's OK to hate the West, but these people are going about it the wrong way. I suspect that many Muslims will publicly disavow any Islamic terrorist attack, if pressed, but may secretly approve, at least slightly and in the privacy of their own minds. (If any Muslim reading this can show me evidence of widespread condemnation of terrorism from within the Muslim community, and thereby show me to be mistaken, I would genuinely like to hear it.)

What many peaceable Muslims don't realise, or choose to ignore, is that every time there is an atrocity in the name of the 'religion of peace', and a deafening silence from the Muslim community follows, it is building up a head of steam in the majority population which may one day- and very regrettably - bring the whole house of cards down on the heads of all Muslims, peaceable or not, and the results will not be pleasant. I want to hear Muslim condemnation of terrorism, loud and clear, because I don't want this to happen.

I was therefore encouraged to read this in the Telegraph, followed by this from the BBC:
"I talked to him and went through his arguments and countered all of them theologically and he accepted it. I thought that was the end of it but he carried on.

"So one day, before the end of Ramadan, when the mosque was full I directly challenged all his misinterpretations of Islam.

"He just stood up and stormed out. We never saw him again - but I heard he'd gone to the Islamic Society at the university and continued to preach his extremist views."
and
Mr Baksh said it was very rare for the Luton centre, which incorporates a mosque on its premises, to expel any members.

He said when people expressed ideas which were extreme "it's a matter of dealing with them, challenging their theological basis, and making them realise this is not the Islamic point of view, and is not the way we look at life and the situation of Muslims around the world."

In all cases, they had succeeded in persuading them not to further their ideas - "except in this particular one," he said, referring to Abdaly.
It's a start, and I am mildly encouraged. Well done, that man.

12 comments:

  1. If all the suicide bombers are Muslim, why do Infidels get harassed at airport security?

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  2. Joe, that's so we can't be accused of ethnic profiling.

    I was once trying to escape at night from Kennedy airport to LHR. I tried everything, the Last Exit to Brooklyn, the lot. I had no ulterior motive. I just wanted to get home to my bed. The flight was delayed, delayed, then delayed some more. Then, having frisked us, x-rayed us, kettled us all into a departure lounge they decided to do it all again. They set up a double line of partitions on wheels as a 'privacy corridor' and we all had to go through that. This in the departure lounge, already through all the passport and security. Am I repeating myself? So were they.

    Chap in front of me - obviously a squire of the Shire - tweeds, middle English as they look and sound and in his sixties, gets the full treatment. Me, I reek by now of ten large beers. I just get waved through.

    Hi Osama. That's how it's done.

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  3. I'm not sure that I see a few fanatics as representing the really important Muslim threat (if you want to call it that)to our society.

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  4. @ Joe: common sense, I would guess. If they started properly profiling who they search, it woulld be easy for the bombers to simply use more Western-looking carriers, and they would get through even more easily than now. I have no problem with profiling as such, just that in this case I think it would not work.

    @ Jim: you didn't look like a soft target. Mind you, that doesn't always work. I once went through customs at Dover in my brother-in-law's posh car, wearing a leather jacket and shades (just to annoy him). We were pulled over and got the full treatment, much to his annoyance.

    @Nikos: if you're saying that the main threat is cultural rather than violent, I think I would agree.

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  5. You are quite right about the "deafening silence". At least when it comes to giving shelter to extremists. Of course, the vocal Muslims tend to be the nasty kind. I suspect the reasons are quite diffuse. Muslims are more likely to be intimidated into silence. Either that or they all secretly applaud the bombers. Either way, it will not be Islam that deals with extremism, it will be us.

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  6. You could be right, although it won't be pretty if it happens.

    "Qui tacet consentiret" - silence gives consent. It's an old legal maxim, and the whole plot of A MAn For All Seasons turns on it. If you savagely murder a member of my family, and I meet your brother, and he says nothing about it, what am I to think?

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  7. I too was gratified to see a bit of Moslem condemnation of his views.

    I'm an atheist. I've got a bit of a grudge against Christianity for attempting to brainwash me as a child. Catholics at more effective with their child victims, and Moslems seem to be the worst.

    I really don't want to dislike Islam, that's too bloody predictable. But they don't make it easy for me.

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  8. I'd prefer to call myself an agnostic, but have similar views. If we regard the paedophile priests thing as an anomaly of the Roman Church's obsession with a 'chaste' male hierarchy and a culture of obedience and secrecy, then Christianity on the whole is pretty benign. Christians haven't been mass-murdering those who disagree with them for many hundreds of years now, and the core message is 'Love Thy Neighbour' which I am happy to go along with. So I avoid conflating all religions as equally evil. I don't think Buddhists have ever murdered anyone, and the Hindus and Sikhs tend to have a go at certain specific enemies. It's only the Muslims who seem to have a grudge, and a murderous one, against the rest of humanity. Again, if anyone can demonstrate that to be incorrect, please enlighten me, and I mean that. My point in the post was - this may only be a minority of Muslims, but until we hear the majority of Muslims condemning it, I'll take it that there is an attitude of quiet approval.

    Like you, I have no desire to hate anyone.

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  9. I wasn't referring to the child-abuse scandals, (an anomoly, as you say), just the very effective guilt thing that they program their children with.

    The test of a religion for me is, how hard it is to escape when you've been born in it.

    I just got background C of E, embedded in my education. But I'm inclined to agree with Richard Dawkins, there's something unpalatable about telling big lies to frighten children.

    The penalty for a child doubting Santa Claus is getting no presents. Doubting God has very scary consequences when you're young, though. He knows what I'm thinking, doesn't he?

    The chances of a god existing are like the chances of winning the lottery. I'm not investing in either of them. :-)

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  10. I'm quite lucky, in that my parents didn't force religion down me, and at school it was a formality which was taken very seriously externally, but which no-one expected you to believe in. I rejected it all at about age 14, and apart from a brief period of 'seeking' during a crisis many years ago, that's it. No guilt, no angst at missing confession for 40 years, nothing. It suits me.

    You don't go for Pascal's Wager, then?

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  11. Pascal's wager only worked when they thought there was only one god to believe in. Now we know there are several, you have to factor in the risk of believing in the wrong one. Most consider that a worse sin than believing in none.

    I'm familiar with the argument that an atheist can't prove an absence. But nothing can be proved, except in maths. I favour theories that are falsifiable.

    I suspect that there are fewer Catholic atheists than C of E. I think that the programming is stronger, making it difficult to get beyond agnostic. I don't speak from knowledge, I could be wrong.

    I'll tell you what puzzles me. Why do "Christians" not dump the Old Testament? It's values are the antithesis of JC's philosophy. Jehovah has not a single redeeming quality, and every bad one, if the book is half-true.

    It's a serious question. Don't tell me it's not for us to know. I'm not asking about God's mind, but that of the follower.

    Christians should denounce the Old Testament, not just cherry pick a few popular stories and gloss over the rest. There's some bad stuff in there.

    I gotta admit, a country of vaguely Christian believers is about the easiest one for me to live in. Maybe atheism should only be allowed to those capable of developing their own ethics.

    I dunno.

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  12. Good point. The God of the Old Testament is certainly a piece of work. Slaughtering the unbelievers, punishing the children for the sins of the parents, and always demanding praise and worship and loyalty. Sounds deeply insecure, if you ask me.

    In its current C of E form, Christianity is pretty easy to get along with. I respect the ethics and I love the ceremony and the history of great music. Unfortunately, I only go along with it as long as there is no evidence of sincere belief. Once you get Christians who really believe it all, I mean really believe it, it starts to get troubling. The Evangelicals scare me nearly as much as the Islamists. Notice I said 'nearly': the Evangelicals haven't started blowing up people they don't agree with, yet. Give me the cosy old CoE any time.

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