Who are the true Muslims – all or none?

Nov 17, 2014

By Matthew Syed

Who are the real Muslims? Who are the bona fide, authentic, true-to-the-core followers of the Islamic faith? Now, that might seem like an easy question. Surely, the people who are Muslims are those who say, when asked: “I am a Muslim.”

But there is a problem with this approach. As you may have noticed, Sunnis, many of them, tell us that they are the real Muslims and that the Shias are impostors. The Shias tell us the exact opposite. The Sufis have a quite different perspective: they reckon that both the Sunni and Shia brigades have it wrong, and that they have it right.

Some Muslims are pretty ecumenical. There are moderate Muslim groups in the UK who say that Islam is a broad church. They say they don’t really have a problem with Sunni or Shia. But guess what? They don’t extend this embrace to Islamic State (Isis). They describe its approach as “a perversion of Islam”.

Barack Obama and Tony Blair have it in for Isis, too. Blair said that Isis possesses “an ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message” while Obama went even further, saying: “[Isis] is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of [its] victims have been Muslim . . . [it] is a terrorist organisation, pure and simple.”

But what is their evidence for this? Members of Isis say that they are real Muslims. They say that they are inspired by the Koran. They say that they are killing and maiming people because that is what Allah wants them to do. They talk about their love of God and the glories of martyrdom. I reckon that, if we are going to take other Muslims at their word, we should take members of Isis at their word, too.


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111 comments on “Who are the true Muslims – all or none?

  • A religion as lived is what its adherents say it is.

    This is its awful risk and its chance of redemption.

    No religious person can be let off this hook. They must see the nice and the nasty and realise that even they can change.



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  • This takes us to the elephant in the room. The fundamental problem in
    the Middle East today is not with the Sunni or the Shia or even with
    Isis. The problem is with religion itself.

    This is the sort of hate that muddles peoples minds. It is not enough to be an atheist but you must find all that is wrong, is with religion. How do we explain Ukraine? Who is right the Russians or the west? Ov kors itz de vest comrade……



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  • But he doesn’t say that the fundamental problem with the world is religion he is just talking about the Middle East. Neither does he say anything about needing to hate religion. He develops his point more in the next sentence

    The problem is with religion itself. It is the idea of received
    wisdom, divine revelation, the notion that “I have heard the Truth”
    and that everyone else is deluded.

    It seems to me a valid point and one that goes broader than religion to include a number of other ideologies we saw last century that thought they had the revealed truth coming from History instead of God. Mind you religions usually have the advantage on secular ideologies as they can lay claim to understanding the whole of eternity not just human history.

    Michael



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  • He also said:

    Truth divorced from evidence (or anything that counts as evidence) is perilous. Religion is not the only cause of violence, of course, but it has a particular virulence.



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  • Ukraine has little to do with religious fundamentalism. The Middle East mess has a lot to do with religious fundamentalism.

    Your point? Who’s muddling what now.



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  • Micheal,

    This is just another way of saying that all Muslims are responsible for ISIS and asking for an apology. Ever since monotheism began, man has divided their god back into as many, if not more, gods than before.

    Some Muslims are pretty ecumenical. There are moderate Muslim groups
    in the UK who say that Islam is a broad church. They say they don’t
    really have a problem with Sunni or Shia. But guess what? They don’t
    extend this embrace to Islamic State (Isis). They describe its
    approach as “a perversion of Islam”

    Just because someone says they are part of a bigger group, it doesn’t make it so. Having a go at Obama and Blair for picking a side to support is hypocritical when that is what happens each and every time a struggle breaks out anywhere in the world. Calling it the middle east makes no difference.



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  • Thats it? Take out the bush factor and oil and the cold war and………….and…………

    I hate religion as much as the next atheist but refuse to be blinded by it.



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  • This is just another way of saying that all Muslims are responsible for ISIS

    No! Just that ISIS is within the capacity of religion. It is for all religious people to be mindful of the fire they play with. Thats why Tony Bliar steps up to say it ain’t religion. He plays with the same stuff.



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  • I don’t think the statement “True Muslim” is capable of having a meaningful answer. The descriptor “True” is decided by the adherent, so is a subjective judgement. It has the same weight as “True Believer” where you can insert any subject matter in place of “Believer”. It has about as much weight as a judgement on whether a wine is good, or a piece or art or music, or even whether a person is handsome or pretty. It’s a subjective personal judgement.

    The “True Muslim” (or any True Believer) statement is not the basis for mounting any argument or motivation to action. The fact that people use these statements as justification for anything reflects on the stone age tribal brain that inhabits most homo sapiens on the planet. That, sadly, is a problem for humanity that won’t go away. The trick is to sideline “True Believers” on any topic and substitute with rational evidence based decision makers. When thinkers are in the majority, the probability of “True Believers” getting off the leash is reduced. Not stopped, but reduced. So if you meet a “True Believer” back away. Don’t run. Quietly move off. Nothing to see. Just another idiot. True Believers can be dangerous.

    It reinforces my view that religion should be practiced by consenting adults in private. If that could be achieved, religion as a force for evil will have been overcome.



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  • Thanks David. Fits the football supporter example I gave perfectly. In the 70’s, a true football supporter stayed behind to fight the other teams supporters. We managed to distance ourselves from them and dubbed them hooligans. Now football supporters are ones who will pay half their weekly wage to watch a match so Obama and Blair are right in singling out ISIS and calling them terrorists.



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  • The pugilistic hooligans were not just hooligans.
    They were football supporter hooligans inspired to commit violence by their beliefs about how football supporters should conduct themselves, perhaps based on writings or some other “revealed truth”.
    No football, no football hooligans.
    Members of ISIL/ISIS are not just “terrorists”.
    They are Islamic terrorists, who base their actions on statements made in the Quran.
    No Islam, no Islamic terrorists.



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  • Not subjective, relative.

    A thing having a connection or a necessary dependence on another thing.

    Muslim to the Koran. The connection can be strict or tenuous and the book can be literally followed or liberally followed but with the ” motherload of bad ideas ” ( Sam Harris on islam ) self definition becomes self defeating.



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  • This is the sort of hate that muddles peoples minds. It is not enough to be an atheist but you must find all that is wrong, is with religion. How do we explain Ukraine? Who is right the Russians or the west? Ov kors itz de vest comrade……

    Hello Olgun,

    I’m aware that what I might say below may come across as rude, please know I’m in no such mood (quite cheerful in fact) anyway that said.

    Let’s re-phrase religion with belief systems dogmatically held. It is the fact that people adhere to dogma that we have problems be they secular dogma’s or religious ones. The belief in say Homoeopathy is now after years of it failing every scientific trial we can now say is irrational, and dangerous (in that it’s adherents often forgo or delay actual medical treatment while using it). So as dogma it is dangerous. Religions are all based at heart on Dogma, they celebrate it and it effects the rest of us as a result. If I were gay I would not for example be able to marry in my country, if I get a painful terminal disease the best I can hope for is that a doctor will nudge nudge wink wink overdose me with morphine, but to protect their job they are unlikely to do so until I am incoherent with pain. This is because some people choose to impose their dogma on me and mine.

    So I could easily turn your statement around. Is it not enough for you to be religious must you continually attempt to inflict your dogma on my life?

    I’m a little suspicious that you might be using the old trope of well the religious may cause suffering and death but what about Hitler, Stalin et al. I’d just point out here (if this is you point if not my apologies) that A) Stalin may have taken power away from churches but people of religion the day before he reached power would still have been religious the day after and b) You can be a communist and religious and an capitalist and atheist. Atheism ONLY describes you position in relation to your belief in god/s.

    And last point, I believe there are no god/s influencing peoples lives. Therefore all human good and evil is in that sense secular. What I find tragic is people locking themselves into a belief system and not being open to question. My father in law is an Anglican priest (I should note one who actually believes in god). He has spent a lifetime helping others, comforting them when sick, indoctrinating them when they are well. He genuinely cares, what I find sad is he doesn’t think he has this in him but for the belief in a non-existent god.



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  • Hi David,

    I think people need a broad picture of the history and preferably to have read the texts. I have finished the Quaran earlier this year and a couple of facts I think worth considering come to mind when these debates come up.

    In the Quaran which is meant to have been transcribed from the angel Gabriel Mohamed (that is Gabriel) has a series of massive rants against tribes who refused to fight with him in his many conquests. From memory there are several of these rants against those who fail to help him in his campaigns or refuse believe in him. Pornographic descriptions of the pain awaiting in hell for those who refused to follow him into battle follows. After reading these chapters I’m afraid I find it hard to swallow the opinion of those who state that a book which is self proclaimed to be the final word of god which contains evidence of Mohammed’s many military exploits make it very hard for me to believe that those claiming to be following the true word of Mohammed at least have a valid interpretation. Those claiming Islam to be a religion of piece IMO are ignoring an awful lot of the Quaran.



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  • Absolutely, but to a lesser degree because the tenet of faith is not often included as an essential attribute.

    This is why I do not aspire to ever be an idealist, why I cannot say I am a humanist or a socialist as much as I appear to act like one; why atheism must be utterly simple and shake off any attempts to load it with dogma and baggage of any sort, why “my country right or wrong” is wrong, why even my shiny example of a decent religion, Quakers will err with its dogma of pacificism one day when on that one day it is the wrong choice.

    I aspire only to betterism, the empirical process and the scientific method (itself subject to likewise amendment). Faith is an anti process. It is the very essence of Same-ism.

    Religion aspires to be the overarching ideology locked in with faith, the worst of the worst.

    Getting early communists to in effect accept that communism was what communists say it is, allowed an early fragmentation of the ideology with an increasing diminution of any faith like attributes…



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  • To blame for what? He is saying one of the causes of the problems in the middle east is religion. When people do horrible things and claim they are governed by religion other people have various reasons for denying the claim.



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  • Sectarianism

    A man is walking across a bridge, when he sees another guy about to jump off. Hey, man he says, you don’t have to do that.
    Why not? the other guy says, I’ve got nothing to live for. I lost my job, I’m bankrupt, my wife left me and took the kids, my car threw a rod, and my dog just died. My life totally sucks.
    But God still loves you, the man says, you believe in God, don’t you?
    Well, I guess so, the guy says.
    Tell me, are you a Christian?
    Yes the guy answers.
    Well, so am I! the man says. Catholic or Protestant?
    I’m Protestant
    Well, so am I!. Methodist, or Baptist, or Presbyterian
    I’m Baptist.
    Well, so am I. Northern or Southern Baptist?
    Northern Baptist.
    Well so am I!. Northern fundamentalist, liberal, or reformed?
    Northern fundamentalist.
    Well, so am I!. Northern fundamentalist eastern region, or Great Lakes region?
    Northern fundamentalist, eastern region.
    Well, so am I!. Northern fundamentalist, eastern region conference of 1898, or conference of 1912?
    Northern fundamentalist, eastern region, conference of 1912.
    Die, heretic! the man says, and pushes him off the bridge.

    ~ Garrison Keillor (born: 1942-08-07 age: 72)



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  • It seems odd the Sunnis and Shia fight over a minor succession squabble that happened after Mohammed was dead. They have no disagreement about the Qur’an or what Mohammend said on his own say so. They must have difficulty finding things to argue about. They agree on a canonical text of the Qur’an in the original Arabic.

    Compare that with Catholics and Protestants.



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  • @Title – Moderate believers argue that Isis has misinterpreted the Koran. But no one can determine who is right or wrong,

    The blinkers of faith, allow any interpretation of any text or view, including accepting self-contradiction and indulging in cognitive dissonance.

    Religious believers can behave in a moderate and tolerant manner, WHEN THEY ARE SUPERVISED BY ENFORCED SECULAR LAWS which over-ride their dogmatic ones!

    When in a theocracy, or in a position under cover of secrecy where fellow believers cover-up for their “tribal misconduct”, they revert to their self-serving disreputable and deceptive tactics.

    ISIS is running amok, because stupid plotting politicians, and clandestine agencies supplying weapons, undermined the “repressive” regimes and systems of law, which were keeping them in check!



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  • To be fair to the politicians, they really have no choice but to draw distinctions between ISIS and “True muslims”. To equate ISIS with Islam in general would be to open an even bigger can of worms. It’s a matter of political expedience to gloss over the fact that ISIS is as “true” a form as any other.



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  • No they don’t. The killing comes first and then it is justified by religion. It is retrospective because they feel the west is not listening to the real reasons and that the west is responsible. Football hooligans are violent people who live violence in other aspects of their lives. They used football to justify and recruit others to feed their need for violence. With ISIS the politics comes first then religion then the recruitment of violent men who perpetuate the lie. Get rid of the religion and they will use nationalism or capitalism, as in deed the west are using. You won’t allow McDonalds to sell in your country, then we are justified to bomb the hell out of you in the name of free markets. Change that to sanctions as you feel the need.

    To all that responded,

    What bothers me is the lack of conversation about these facts, that caused these events, on this forum and others. There are plenty of forums visited by muslims that have these conversations but it is amongst themselves and viewed as extremist by outsiders. There is no crossover because it is complicated. It makes my blood boil when I see intelligent people talking simplistically about such a complicated matter and sounding no better than muffled press voices. As much as I hate religion for its lack of fact I hate commercialism more. I see that as the biggest threat to our selves and our planet but it seems that no one seems to care that they are using religion to get what they want. We are acting in the same way as religious zealots in trying to be holier than Hitch in every utterance. I know it sounds much better to stick to one chant and when a conversation gets bogged down with reality and spreads its wings to include all factors, it usually ends up at a dead end with a coming together of ideas that make the whole thing fizzle and pop and die with no real answers at the end and everyone goes home feeling the conversation was a waste of time. We all feel much better going home half drunk with the knowledge that we said something profound. We seem to be playing a surreal game of Cluedo where Reverend Green gets the blame each and every time.



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  • 28
    Light Wave says:

    People don’t have a problem with what others believe…but when any belief system proclaims a self righteous edict than will harm or kill other humans….that’s just not okay…..the rest of the world, do not agree that we should all be rightfully killed if we are not Muslim…..So maybe Muslims everywhere would fare better in the world if they modernised their book and addressed the anti human aspects of its murderous rhetoric and we can all live together without religious war ??? but Political and Economic Power struggles will always be accompanied by war…even without religious bias….



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  • Ultimately, the choosing of belief over reality is always going to be a problem. When those beliefs are as toxic as demanding harm and death to dissidents and infidels they should be universally unacceptable.

    the other Abrahamic faiths lost much of their teeth centuries ago when we began to better understand how reality actually works, and most that still cling to a literal interpretation and usually not taken seriously. It takes an dangerously insular and private culture to keep this sort of vehemence towards learning and questioning so strong in its confines.

    This is not much different than the questions of which version of Christianity do Christians take seriously, as there are so many different takes on that one faith alone that reaching a consensus would be nearly impossible. so long as people are convinced they have a hotline to the word of the ‘one, true god’ and refuse to accept the possibility that it may not be even remotely true some version of this danger will always exists. Sections of Islam simply happen to manifest to most dangerous facets of this at present.

    Blind faith is the problem, as well as the lengths people are willing to go to fulfill it.



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  • 31
    Light Wave says:

    I find it strange when thinking of what terrorists are ?….most Americans would think – Muslim….but most Brits would think – Irish Nationalists who were – white Christian and Catholic terrorists …..Is Catholic Faith the problem In their case ? ….or the British Protestant invaders and Government planted settlers on Ireland’s soil ? they caused the problem by invading the land of another…every problem has two sides….desperate conditions of inequality in their own land drove those Irish people to commit those acts that would get them labelled as Terrorists…. not saying Isis is the same as Ireland …..Isis are the opposite of religion – they are a dictatorship



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  • Aa all religion is entirely imaginary, there is absolutely no chance of any two people having identical images in their minds of a particular religion irrespective of whether they have read the same texts, been brought up together etc. Obviously the more intensive their indoctrination has been, the more likely they are to see the broad ideas in the same way but even then the details would be understoof differently. Thats why in my opinion it is pointless trying to say who is a more genuine/true follower than another.



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  • I think some people care very much about what other people believe. A rational person wouldn’t care much I grant you. Jared Diamond gives an account of the behaviour of natives in Papua New Guinea. Apparently when strangers met it was their custom to exchange enough information about family, friends, tribe etc. to establish sufficient reason not to fight and kill each other. It seems to me that religion is another criterion by which the ‘I don’t need to kill you if you’re one of us’ decision can be made with little enquiry or effort. It’s all there in their books. They put their hatred into print.

    Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully.
    If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19



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  • 34
    inquisador says:

    Islam is a memeplex that has some unique and extraordinarily effective ways of propagating itself.

    Firstly, it has a standardised canon of literature: Koran, Hadith, Sira. Which, although the many thousands of haditha are fertile ground for varieties of different interpretation, there is a much smaller selection of them that are generally accepted as authentic.
    This standardised set of texts contains the basis of sharia law and the rules for living Islamically.

    Including some highly significant commands.

    It tells followers that they must never change the texts, to do so is a great sin as they are direct from God. This makes it hard for modern interpretations to apply. It is also the reason why Muslims who try to reform the religion are so often seen as apostates who deserve to be killed
    They must try to spread the word and especially the law of Islam as far and wide as they can; by whatever means.
    This includes by force if necessary. Followers who die in the attempt to conquer new territory or to fight in any way for the sake of Islam are the only ones guaranteed to go to paradise.
    There is a doctrine of abrogation, by which in the case of a conflict between the meaning of different Koran verses, the later verse, chronologically, is to be deemed preferred over the earlier. Interestingly, for those who aren’t informed about this, the story goes that Mohamed worked to attract followers for about ten years, based around the town of Mecca. In this period he revealed the verses that are often cited to illustrate his morally good teachings, that seemed to echo the ideas of Jesus to some degree.
    At the end of that time he had only about 150 followers.
    Then he had a change of direction; he started his career of pillage and murder, mass beheading, capturing and selling women into slavery, taking lives and property of anyone who refused to join him or submit to him. He revealed verses such as those in suras 8 and 9; he decreed 20% of booty to be alloted to himself; also many hateful verses against Jews, etc.
    The result was that he quickly acquired many thousands of followers, drove out all the Jews from Arabia, and became powerful, rich and morally corrupt. This was the period of Medina. The Medinan verses came after the more peaceable verses of Mecca, and have therefore been laid down as fixed and preferred for all time. This is the true Islam, according to the authoritative texts themselves.

    At the same time he established another fixed rule, by revelation, that he personally was, according to Allah, a beautiful example of conduct. A fine, morally exemplary model of conduct for all Muslims to follow ever after.

    Yes, even with the genocidal atrocities.

    The Islamic State are only the latest in a long line of true Muslims to take this religion to heart and follow the guidelines laid down by the founder.

    The terrorists are the true Muslims. They are working for the religion of peace. The peace of Dar al Islam, when all the world is under Islamic law.



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  • 36
    inquisador says:

    I think that the point is that in order to be a good or true Muslim you need to be a bad person, and you need to be a bad Muslim to be a good person.
    The problem is, how to convey facts to Cameron, Obama and co. Will they ever admit the reality or will they continue to fear the truth in case all the good people who are currently bad Muslims (like Olgun’s mum?) decide to follow Mohamed more literally and start beheading rabbis and postmen?



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  • There are millions of Indian take aways and now, probably, equal number of kebab houses and, every cafe has been taken over by Kurds or Turks. Super markets, Moroccan eateries and many more. Apart from a few cases of food poisoning, they have been serving the world, even with pork products, without incident. I would go back to eating fish and chips or bagels if I were you. No wait, fish and chips is now the Kurds and Turks domain.



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  • Reza Aslan puts it very well, “Islam does not preach peace or violence. Islam is a religion. It is the type of person involved that decides whether there will be peace or violence”.

    The quran has hundreds of verses commanding kindness, charity, tolerance and peace for all. It also has many tens of verses commanding war and killing.

    If I’m a violent person, guess what I will focus on? If im a peaceful person, I’ll ignore the violence (“it was relevant only at that time violence is not needed today”) and focus on the peace. Christianity doesn’t tolerate divorce, that doesn’t mean every Christian who’s divorced is not “bonafide” anymore.

    There is no such thing as a bonafide Muslim. You have violent muslims and peaceful muslims, just like Jews, Christians and Buddhists.



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  • It’s become easier since she is unable to wield a Zimmer frame and a machete at the same time. She relies too much on me praising her food for her to poison me so I am good 🙂



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  • Thank you in spades inquisador.

    I’ve tried to read the Qur’an, I have the translation by M A S Abdel Haleem, published by Oxford World Press Classics, and I found it alarmingly similar to, and just as unreadable as Mein Kampf.

    My estimation, for what it’s worth, is that these dogmas are cooked up by highly disturbed individuals, who nowadays would be given science based treatment.



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  • If I’m a violent person, guess what I will focus on? If im a peaceful
    person, I’ll ignore the violence (“it was relevant only at that time
    violence is not needed today”) and focus on the peace

    It seems there are some that suffer from the same affliction here.



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  • 45
    Katy Cordeth says:

    I wasn’t the last time I checked, Stafford. If you’re hoping I’ll do a Miranda Celeste Hale and post a topless picture of myself to prove it, think again.



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  • Hope in vain for the vote junkies to come off the fence; power needs to speak truth to power.

    Trouble is, when two hammers are smashed together everyone and everything in between gets very badly hurt.



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  • Selective verses rather than the violence. Not so clear on my post I agree. Picking certain violent verses to quote while most muslims ignore them. It seems like the pickings of some shyster lawyer going for a conviction no matter what.



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  • I know she goes off into the either of religion but maybe Obama should have had a speech written by this Jewish/British/American lady to distance ISIS (and those that insist on quoting from the Koran) from the rest.

    The perverse at heart will seek out the ambiguities trying to create
    discord trying to pin down meanings of their own. Only God knows the
    true meaning which is something to bear in mind the next time someone
    shouts with fundamental certainty “This is what it says”.

    Later on;

    If you have no feeling for metaphor, then fundamentalism is for you.
    If you are threatened by paradox, then fundamentalism is for you. If
    uncertainty drives you crazy, then fundamentalism is for you, but then,
    as I see it, you will not be religious. You will in fact be
    anti-religious because the essence of any religion surely lies not in
    dogma but the experience of it. It lies not in the letter of the law
    but the spirit of it. As St. Paul wrote to the corinthians in one of
    his better moments, ‘The letter kills. The spirit gives life’.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-hTxDvRVlo



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  • 57
    Light Wave says:

    If i take the book seriously or not is irrelevent and i dont …just the bit that involves any non muslim …who is me…….decent muslims must be able to see the wrong in parts of their book ….its not rocket science olgun……….I dont understand your logic…are you saying you are okay with people doing what an ancient book prescibes….dont they know murder is anti human – no matter what the people who read the book think…my view on their book is irrelevent….but I’ll always have opinions which we are all entitled to….



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  • 58
    Light Wave says:

    Sorry if you quote bible passages to me …my eyes glaze over …I didnt read your response because of all the commanding i could perceive jumping out at me …try again without the irrelevent quotes…



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  • 59
    Light Wave says:

    Have you heard of Isis Olgun …those muslims do not ignore violent verses…just shut up with your point.. you know the inferences meant and no one is against all muslims just the murdering ones….



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  • See comments and videos below Light Wave. If you keep pointing to the “bad” parts then that is all that will be seen to matter. People are not doing what the book says. Some are using it as an excuse to justify for and against. Most live by the Koran light (as in diet) you only empower the misusers by referring to it in general. Refer to the individual so they might be able to distance themselves from the misusers. The book is not the problem. That is my logic.



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  • You might know but those who hear you don’t. I will not shut up, as you have pointed out, we all have our views. Keep to your word. If you can’t see the damage you are doing then get out and talk to people and see for yourself.



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  • Thank you.

    I don’t want that to sound disrespectful to Light Wave, just that the Mods here show much more respect than most sites I have been on.



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  • 65
    inquisador says:

    Stafford, All I know about that is that representations of human or other living forms, as commonly in painting or sculpture, tends to be considered ‘haram’; from memory, the reason given is that such things may lead to idolatry.
    Some legal schools may be more disapproving than others.

    Plus we know that the prophet Mohamed is a special case, and to depict his image is so much more disrespectful and intolerable to many Muslims than that of other people, as we found out in the cartoons crisis in 2006. I don’t fully understand it and I doubt if many of the people who have killed or died for the sake of this understand it either. Sorry I can’t be more help.



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  • 66
    Light Wave says:

    I agree with you in principal but when I see ISIS type men I think they are seduced by the rhetoric in the book especially the violent parts and transfer that to their idea of their right to power in a region where the West seems to call the shots….but it seems like their revenge is mostly motivated by lack of political power – even if they are missing the point and targeting innocent people – in the end they are still human murderers at a basic level – but so is a soldier….as an individual you can always reject any group who promote murder



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  • @OP – Barack Obama and Tony Blair have it in for Isis, too. Blair said that Isis possesses “an ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message” while Obama went even further, saying: “[Isis] is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents , and the vast majority of [its] victims have been Muslim . . .

    If you believe that you will believe anything!! Cognitive dissonance of faith-blinkers personified. (Crusades, Spanish inquisition, Inca and Aztec sacrifices???)

    http://www.atheistmemebase.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/083-Religion-of-peace.jpeg



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  • Thanks a lot inquisador; it’s probably as meaningless as most if not all notions generated by blind faith.

    The only underlying reason I can think of is the control of people; so, par for the course probably.

    However, although my dad used to say “If you ask a silly question you get a silly answer.”, I think I can answer this silly one: “Who are the true Muslims – all or one?”.

    Most probably the one you ask to answer the question.

    That is if they’re not for some silly reason forbidden from doing so.

    I bet Mohammad must have thought that all his birthdays had come at once when people started to fall for all this self serving tripe.



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  • No religion condones the killing of innocents

    This is actually true. Religion, however, prescribes who is innocent and who guilty. This is a neat trick, facilitating the blow you actually wish to deliver, to better get our own way, whilst appearing just.

    (As original sinners, I guess, God could choose the least sinny, Noah and family, and legitimately snuff the rest….)

    It is essential that Islamic State are acknowledged as legitimately religious if we are to open the thing up to reformation like the other Abrahamic faiths. The Kurds know that these people if restrained or defeated militarily will still remain to be lived with politically. To disallow religious legitimacy will make any kind of peace impossible and is a rational nonsense. To allow it may conversely encourage some reciprocation of acceptance. It is politically crass and ultimately counterproductive to pretend a distinction of legitimacy exists where there is none.



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  • So its ok to allow for political reasons but not to disallow? Maybe room for both in reformation and maybe even vital? Makes Kopimism more legitimate in the destruction of religion. If you recognise something but think it lesser than your own recognition it cannot be a good thing and can only break down after a while, as is with all religions. I have seen nothing more ridiculous than when a meeting was held for all religions, to show some kind of understanding for each other, and they all turned up in all their regalia not really able to look one another in the eye.



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  • As far as I know, it was so only god is worshiped and not the profit. A generous gesture on the face of it but misinterpreted as usual. I read somewhere that some muslims are calling for Mecca to be dismantled for that very reason. I don’t know if the rule is supposed to include “Infidels” and calling for their murder is another misinterpretation.



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  • Politics has no place in religion, nor vice versa. The end.

    It is for the religious to allow others religious legitimacy in turn. (My pleas for religious legitimacy tolerance mean nothing if the religious don’t endorse this also.) It is for Politicians like Bliar and Obama to stay out of issues of religious legitimacy.

    Behaviours are what are policed and of legitimate political concern, not imputations of thoughts.



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  • The Kurds know that these people if restrained or defeated militarily
    will still remain to be lived with politically. To disallow religious
    legitimacy will make any kind of peace impossible and is a rational
    nonsense. To allow it may conversely encourage some reciprocation of
    acceptance.

    What does that mean then Phil?

    Trying to separate the two, in some cases, is futile, dogmatic and closed minded. If I were religious, allowing ISIS to be part of Islam is allowing more criticism and controversy so I could only do it for political reasons as you have above. And, if politicians are approached by religious leaders to make a statement in which they can then support, how can a political leader refuse?



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  • Olgun, I think you hit the whatsit on the thingamajig with the final sentence of your last contribution.

    You will know far better than I whether or not I’m even remotely near to making sense, but it seems to me that the sheer range of interpretations on offer in holy texts, means that within the hadith there exist passages, especially in the later period, which could accommodate and justify the actions of IS.

    How am I doing?



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  • Nzaar Nov 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    There is no such thing as a bonafide Muslim. You have violent muslims and peaceful muslims, just like Jews, Christians and Buddhists.

    The problem is the fallacy of the “NO TRUE SCOTSMAN” – religious bodies include members when it suits their purposes, and disown them as “not troooo believers”, when they generate criticism!



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  • Islamic State have every reason to call themselves Islamic. Westboro Baptist Church is undeniably Christian. Politicians have absolutely no place to argue these things.

    Islamic States behaviours are utterly unnacceptable and should be countered.

    If I were religious, allowing ISIS to be part of Islam is allowing more criticism and controversy so I could only do it for political reasons.

    Not religious reasons?

    If you were religious, why would you expect yours to be seen as a legitimate religion?

    Trying to separate the two [religion and politics?], in some cases, is futile, dogmatic and closed minded.

    Yet I strive to offer practical solutions rather than the dogmatic ones I see as locking up the situation. I attempt to circumvent the building of new dogma (Today Islam is only like thus and so. That old dogma is dead.); to spawn rather a multiplicity of views; to in turn encourage a yet further multiplicity of views about what Islam could be; to allow the warning of what it could be in fundamentalism; to establish reformation and ongoing change and defeat the concept that there ever could or should be an active (or passive) authoratitive view.

    Dirigisme is the very problem.



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  • I don’t know the Koran and don’t want to know the Koran Stafford. That is what I have been arguing all this time as an atheist. As it has been said many times here, why study the spaggetti monster if you do not believe he exists? Why quote from his book, written by some human, if you think he does not exist? Why be a mirror image of a religious zealot and invite conversation to that level when all you have to do is argue about the existence of god alone? God says gays are not allowed and you say they are because? ISIS is a product of political decisions that stem from commercial interests. Why make it any more complicated and taint the peaceful people whatever they worship? They may claim they kill for Islam but that simply is not the case. They kill first and then justify it through Islam. We simply have to say NO. Of course it is not easy for the west to hear what the real reasons are because it would mean they would have to accept some hard facts and even listen to these people, politically. Take some of the blame. REPENT. There are so many reasons why they can’t and are being aided in that weakness.



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  • And, if politicians are approached by religious leaders to make a statement in which they can then support, how can a political leader refuse?

    Secularism.

    Why would a political leader feel obliged to support a political act based on a religious argument? Religious legitimacy has no relevance to political merit.

    If our complaint of IS is that religion is driving political acts, then we counter by completely ignoring religious justifications as valueless.

    They may claim they kill for Islam but that simply is not the case.

    Evidence please.

    What of the Taliban?

    There is no taint on peaceful people. I’m with the Kurds. I’m with (in spirit) Massoud and all those Muslims who are like me in their moral concerns for fairness and peace.



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  • Islamic States behaviours are utterly unnacceptable and should be
    countered.

    With what? The anarchy you crave? Glass houses and all that. Look Phil, I cannot say I would ever survive in a country that was ruled by religion. I would most probably be the first to be lined up against the wall and shot but I am struggling to find much that I am happy with.

    If you were religious, why would you expect yours to be seen as a
    legitimate religion?

    Political relations??? You are either with us or against us. I am against ISIS.



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  • The anarchy you crave?

    What?!!!

    You are either with us or against us. I am against ISIS.

    Geert Wilders is also against IS but I hate him as a pale version of the same theocrats, wishing to direct what is culturally legitimate within his own country.

    Islamic States behaviours are utterly unnacceptable and should be
    countered.

    With what?

    Political action based only on the behaviours and not the legitimacy or otherwise of their religion.

    The point was entirely about “behaviours” and not beliefs.



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  • Why would a political leader feel obliged to support a political act
    based on a religious argument? Religious legitimacy has no relevance
    to political merit.

    It does when there are bullets flying around. Should we ban all trade or contact with religious countries? maybe exporting our religious hordes first?

    Evidence please.

    Posting the video where 160,000 Iraqis where killed in one night and the Russian and American involvement in Afghanistan do it for you?

    I have not had the inclination to muddy the waters with Kurds Phil but in Turkey they are sometimes called the “Mountain people”. The ones responsible for the stoning of women. The ones that get called Turks when it suits and Kurds when its not. I know well enough that the Turkish population is so mixed that if push comes to shove, you would be hard pressed to separate them except for their own identification of themselves so I have no problem with them. I have a sneaky suspicion that this is where you wanted this to go i the first place?



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  • I clearly haven’t understood you in the first comment. I’m sorry. My point is entirely the opposite of what you suggest is the outcome. Religious countries are not to be ignored but to be judged ONLY by their actions and political endeavours.

    The evidence I sought was for Islamic State. I understand they spare the vanquished if they acquiesce to their religious requirements.

    Many wars in the Middle East are simply political power struggles with a religious spin (Gott mit Uns.) But Islamic State’s is for a Caliphate and strict regressive sharia law implementations. This is about improving the morals of believers.

    My question of the Taliban was to ask about this same issue of the moral fabric of their society. Their stance against female education and emancipation is an ideological one, it is not about acquiring geography.

    My reference to Kurds was a repeat of earlier references from me and is not in anyway something personal or pointed.

    I join with Hitch in supporting their enlightened poitical efforts in the Western Syria and elsewhere.

    Here (again) is their “Charter of Social Contract” for Rojava.

    “[w]e the peoples of the democratic self-administration areas; Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians (Assyrian Chaldeans, Arameans), Turkmen, Armenians, and Chechens, by our free will, announce this to ensure justice, freedom, democracy, and the rights of women and children in accordance with the principles of ecological balance, freedom of religions and beliefs, and equality without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, creed, doctrine or gender, to achieve the political and moral fabric of a democratic society in order to function with mutual understanding and coexistence within diversity and respect for the principle of self-determination and self-defense of the peoples.”

    >

    “The autonomous areas of the democratic self-administration do not recognize the concept of nation state and the state based on the grounds of military power, religion, and centralism” (translation by author).

    These, surely, are our sort of enlightened Muslims? (Along with the many millions in Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia etc. etc.)



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  • Religious countries are not to be ignored but to be judged ONLY by
    their actions and political endeavours.

    As with ISIS and separate to others? Case by case?

    The evidence I sought was for Islamic State. I understand they spare
    the vanquished if they acquiesce to their religious requirements.

    How would you fight a dirty desperate war? They used to shoot deserters and pacifists in the first world war. Guess where?

    Many wars in the Middle East are simply political power struggles with
    a religious spin (Gott mit Uns.) But Islamic State’s is for a
    Caliphate and strict regressive sharia law implementations. This is
    about improving the morals of believers.

    Again, how would you recruit? once the apple is bitten into it reveals the worm.

    My question of the Taliban was to ask about this same issue of the
    moral fabric of their society. Their stance against female education
    and emancipation is an ideological one, it is not about acquiring
    geography.

    I refer you back to the Monty Python sketch and the “Popular people front of Judea”. I belong to an NGO and meet groups of NGOs with different idea. It is a struggle to put your ideas across as each seem to pull in different directions. If something happens to give one a leg up on the ladder then that will prevail. “Is it coz I is black” comes to mind.

    The Kurds in Turkey were the deciding factor for Erdogan to be elected. Seems they don’t all sign up for that declaration but they might, if it suits. We have many written scriptures and declarations that are misrepresented or ignored. Many more if UKIP get their way in the EU.

    Just looking for common sense and balance as ever Phil.



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  • How would you fight a dirty desperate war?

    But why are IS fighting in your view?

    Erdogan rather bought the Kurd vote. But how he did that may have been one of his few decent acts.

    My invocation of Kurds was only intended to encompass those fighting IS and those I had discussed in earlier threads.

    I am puzzled by what I take as sniping comments. But then my social comprehension is not the best. So I’ll stop now.



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  • 88
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    I agree. It is just as pointless and futile to try to determine who is a true believer and who isn’t as it is to try and determine who has the “right religion” and who has faith in the “right god”.



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  • My misunderstanding Olgun; sorry.

    I think it’s worth knowing about religious dogmas, especially Islamic ones, because it’s those which are motivating present day religious bully boys and thugs.

    And it makes it possible to counter statements about Islam being a religion of peace, and that no religion teaches people to kill.

    I think they’re dangerous generalizations, and are generated by ulterior motives, but thinking it isn’t enough, I need to know as much in order to counter them.

    To that end I’ve tried to read the Qur’an, but Thomas Carlyle was quite right in his description of it.

    It’s turgidly tautological; which makes me think that god’s not too sure of himself!



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  • But why are IS fighting in your view?

    The same reason the young men give for leaving the safety of the west to risk their lives, in fighting or aid, to go to these war-torn regions. They feel they do not belong and that they are second class peoples on the earth. The playthings of western commercialism. The religion unites in its own way. I can remember a time when the Jamaicans living in the UK were so passive and bullied in school. Further back, my wives nan used to tell me of a time when they would run across the street to rub the heads of black people for good luck. I will never forget the day at school when a particularly clever Jamaican boy rounded up his mates and they rampaged through the school beating up all those that had physically bullied them in the past. They suddenly realised their own size and strength and took control. That was a big awakening for me too as I am ashamed to say I thought of them as lower beings also. That incident, Mohamed Ali and Sidney Poitier all helped me get out of that mob mentality that black people deserved less than white or were less able to comprehend this life. I tell you this because I see the same look in young muslim mens eyes.

    Just to add a bit of drama: (Please excuse me)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irpJIIbpL4k



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  • He says a lot of good things, true things, but also a lot I think doesn’t really support the bigger claims he wants to make.

    Who are the real Muslims? Who are the bona fide, authentic, true-to-the-core followers of the Islamic faith? Now, that might seem like an easy question. Surely, the people who are Muslims are those who say, when asked: “I am a Muslim.”

    But there is a problem with this approach. As you may have noticed, Sunnis, many of them, tell us that they are the real Muslims and that the Shias are impostors. The Shias tell us the exact opposite. The Sufis have a quite different perspective: they reckon that both the Sunni and Shia brigades have it wrong, and that they have it right.

    This isn’t a problem with the approach, which you’ll note still works perfectly well for him. Or would he say he has a problem knowing who’s a Muslim and who isn’t because of what some other Muslim says? I don’t have that problem. They’ll both go under Muslim on my whiteboard. …shifty…

    Some Muslims are pretty ecumenical. There are moderate Muslim groups in the UK who say that Islam is a broad church. They say they don’t really have a problem with Sunni or Shia. But guess what? They don’t extend this embrace to Islamic State (Isis). They describe its approach as “a perversion of Islam”.

    A perversion of Islam doesn’t sound exactly like saying they aren’t Muslims. They’re just perverted Muslims.

    Barack Obama and Tony Blair have it in for Isis, too. Blair said that Isis possesses “an ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message” while Obama went even further, saying: “[Isis] is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of [its] victims have been Muslim . . . [it] is a terrorist organisation, pure and simple.”

    But what is their evidence for this? Members of Isis say that they are real Muslims. They say that they are inspired by the Koran. They say that they are killing and maiming people because that is what Allah wants them to do. They talk about their love of God and the glories of martyrdom. I reckon that, if we are going to take other Muslims at their word, we should take members of Isis at their word, too.

    What is his evidence that the US and its allies don’t think of Isis as Islamic? A political statement designed among things to sympathize with the victims of Isis and support the Muslims who oppose them? On another front the US and others understand Isis is Islamic. What of all the literature for counter terrorism about Islamic terrorism, religious extremism?

    You see, the idea of “real” and “false” Muslims is ephemeral. With something like science, people who disagree with each other examine the evidence. They debate, they argue, they perform experiments. Sadly, this approach is not available for religious disputes. People with theological differences tend to appeal to divine revelation and differing interpretations of manuscripts that were written centuries ago. This is a problem when it comes to resolving differences, particularly when those manuscripts contain passages that seem, on a cursory reading, to condone violence.

    The idea of “real” Democrats is also difficult. Ditto all other such categorizations.

    It is no good Blair or Obama, or anyone else, saying that Isis has got it wrong, or that it is distorting Islam’s “true message” because, when it comes to religious truth, there is no such thing as “wrong” — unless, of course, you happen to be the one person, one group, one faction, that is wired up to God. And think of the hypocrisy, too. Blair is a Catholic. He doesn’t believe in Allah (unless he is the same as Jehovah/Yahweh/the God of Moses). Nevertheless, he feels entitled to rule on the question of who are Allah’s chosen people. In other words, he is happy to second guess the views of a deity he thinks is fictional.

    It does a lot of good. It sympathizes with Isis victims. It lets other Muslims know we side with them. It encourages others to take a second look at who they support and why. I’m guessing that last part is the point of this piece. But he’s a bit all over the place and eventually goes -in my opinion- too far.

    Other western politicians are engaged in the same duplicitous charade, as the philosopher Daniel Dennett has noted.

    Senator Rand Paul, of Kentucky said: “I think it is important not only to the American public but for the world and the Islamic world to point out this is not a true form of Islam”.
    David Cameron and Ed Miliband have also jumped on the bandwagon, claiming that jihadists are motivated, not by Allah, but by hatred. This is surely untrue. To a man, the jihadists say they are motivated by faith.
    Instead of pontificating on who are the real Muslims, isn’t it time to acknowledge that the entire debate 
    is senseless?

    I agree the debate may be senseless. I mean, what is he up to? The US and its allies most likely see Isis as Islamic. They rightly in my opinion choose to say that they are either a perverted form of Islamic faith or else not Islamic at all. Meanwhile the experts whose job it is to deal with the problem take into account its religious nature as well as any other components they can find and analyze.

    Moderate Muslims would not like such a stance, of course. They would hate to be told that their interpretation of Islam is no more legitimate than that of Isis. But the alternative is far worse because it perpetuates the idea that there is a rational means of figuring out which of the subgroups has a hotline to God.

    No, I think when we say Isis is not Islamic we do not also say that anyone has a hotline to God; only that whoever your God is he’ll play by the rules and teach you to do the same. We’re just nice about it in the press.

    This takes us to the elephant in the room. The fundamental problem in the Middle East today is not with the Sunni or the Shia or even with Isis. The problem is with religion itself. It is the idea of received wisdom, divine revelation, the notion that “I have heard the Truth” and that everyone else is deluded. This is the corrupting, anti-rational, distorting engine of religious violence in the Middle East, just as it once triggered Christianity into a bloody civil war.

    I guess this is why the debate isn’t pointless. Perhaps someone could provide some expert opinions that also think the fundamental “Middle Eastern Problem” (ugh, what a book eh?) is down to religion? I wonder if there are even any that will say there’s a “fundamental” problem.

    Truth divorced from evidence (or anything that counts as evidence) is perilous. Religion is not the only cause of violence, of course, but it has a particular virulence.
    Members of my family have argued for jihad, not because they are crazy or unsympathetic, but because they think this is the will of God. They think this because the Koran, a bit like the Bible, has elements that can (rather easily) be interpreted as authorising violence.

    I’m sorry to hear about his family’s desire to wage jihad. I think it’s worth pointing out though that even cultural Muslims may be heard saying things like, Allah will help defeat Israel. People are strange.

    Christianity has improved its record on violence in recent centuries, but only because it has become less religious. The farther it has retreated from the idea of revealed truth, the less it has killed people who take a different view. Most Christians today associate truth with evidence, reason and other Enlightenment ideals.

    For all the debate over foreign policy, this is the only solution to the bloodshed in the Middle East, too.

    Well sure, the best solutions will be reasoned out and hopefully lead to healthier societies.



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  • No problem Stafford. Easily done on the NET. That is why I argue against those Text snobs having a go at abbreviations and emoticons. They help so much to communicate.

    I find no solace in telling someone who is peaceful that their preferred faith is not. I find great joy in telling someone who is violent that that is exactly what they are and they need no excuse for it. If you look, all over the Net there are just those conversations that just deteriorate into who knows more about the Bible or the Koran and tit for tat toing and frowing of verse or psalm like hand grenades out of the trenches. Seems pointless to me.



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  • So this wiki entry has it wrong? Or they misrepresented themselves?

    The group’s original aim was to establish an Islamic state in Sunni-majority regions of Iraq. Following its involvement in the Syrian Civil War, this expanded to include controlling Sunni-majority areas of Syria.[35] It then proclaimed a worldwide caliphate on 29 June 2014, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—known by his supporters as Amir al-Mu’minin, Caliph Ibrahim—was named its caliph, and the group was renamed the Islamic State.[6] As caliphate it claims religious authority over all Muslims worldwide, and aims to bring most traditionally Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its legislative control,[36] beginning with the Levant region, which approximately covers Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus, and part of southern Turkey.[37] Groups in Sinai and eastern Libya have declared allegiance to ISIL.

    To repeat my earlier point this holds a lesson for all wedded to religious dogma, not just the fervently Islamic.



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  • The first thing is that I sat and tried to write in Wiki years ago but had my points edited to suit whoever had more time than me to concentrate on the entries. Forgive me if I say Wiki is not a reliable source for anything and quote;

    “History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash,
    the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history
    books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered
    foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed
    upon?”

    The second, what difference is in that that any war has not?



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  • 97
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Forgive me if I say Wiki is not a reliable source for anything…

    Anything?…. Not even science nor art or geography or medicine or astronomy?… Wow and all this time I thought I was learning something from it. Thanks for setting us all straight on this one, friend. Guess I’ll stop visiting Wikipedia from now on and rely on you for my education instead.

    History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe….

    While this quote does bear some truth, one mustn’t forget that it was written at a time where the only media in existence was written media. With the advent of photography, live video coverage and social medias, it’s becoming much harder for the “victors” to “rewrite history”.



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  • The religious position of The Islamic State is that only it stands for true Islam. This is known as Takfirism. Any Muslim who disagrees with their fundamentalist approach is considered to be just as bad as an infidel. They originated in the chaos created by the American invasion of 2003 when the entire Iraqi army was disbanded so The Islamic State leadership also includes military officers from Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist party.

    An important element is the Sunni/Shia divide. The Americans assured the domination of the Shias in Iraq, so The Islamic State benefits from the support of Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq. The intervention by Obama enables the Islamic State to portray itself as the defender of Sunni Islam against an unholy alliance of infidels, corrupt Arab leaders and Shia heretics..

    At the moment, IS is an insurgent group. It’s unlikely to be able to transform itself into a state since its religious ideals would lead to something like Taliban rule in Afghanistan. It wouldn’t be a viable, modern state and would collapse internally or be defeated in conventional warfare.

    The Middle East conflict is a tangle of political and religious elements and accepting the IS position that they are the only true Muslims would cartoonify the situation and prevent a rational analysis of events. I base my remarks on The Islamic State by Richard Barrett, November 2014 The Soufan Group.



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  • Okay, so they don’t base their violent acts on their religious beliefs, but (as you say) they do use their religion to “justify” those acts, after they commit them, of course, because they are angry about some perceived injustice perpetrated on them by some “other”.
    Does this mean they are not Muslim?
    Does this mean they are not Islamic terrorists?



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  • Didn’t tell you to come to me friend, you keep learning from wherever you want, not that you need my permission. Just keep clicking on the links that might enlighten you even more. Good luck.

    I won’t go into detail as you have nothing to learn from me but, some entries rely on some people spending millions to keep the entries as they want them, when we have very little, there is always room for doubt in history. My own life has been set by these people and I don’t even recognise it. Nearly wiped me and mine off the face of the earth and when I complain to the EU and UN they know only whats in Wiki and other propaganda sources. So forgive me if I am cynical about the site. I spent decades having nightmares because of that history of mine but it doesn’t matter because Wiki says so. So many open signs on locked doors here.



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  • Lets go back to football for the answer, at least my answer.

    Those that were the ones who started the fights and, even organised them, were identified and banned from the club. The club disowned them and the fans disowned them. The police, the government and the people, dubbed them football hooligans. Are they still supporters or just hooligans. All I am saying is we refine what we say so that the more infirm of mind don’t misunderstand and those with power cannot use for their own benefit.



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  • Oh! By the way. There is no entry in Wiki about which I speak so don’t drive yourself crazy looking for it. Its called Realpolitik and only exists in the real world. Realpolitik being a word which is an entry of course.



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  • Anders Brevic was a Swedish christian terrorist. Sadly, the media in the west portray white christian terrorists as people with psychological problems that lead to abhorrent behavior while they portray any dark skinned middle eastern person of Islamic faith as a terrorist. They are the same. Christianity doesn’t hold the high ground. Northern Ireland as Light Wave points out.

    Didn’t some dude once say, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    All bad people who act on irrational ideas are identical. Their actions may not be, but the way they get there is. Ken Ham is no different from ISIS in his mental processes. He builds noah’s ark and pollutes the minds of Americans while ISIS kill. But their motivation both comes from religious fanaticism. In alternative universe, Ham will carry the Kalashnikov while ISIS carries the nails and hammers.



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  • Yet now clear statements of intent are given by all participants . The wildly present media transform this idea which flows from once limited accounts accessible to the victors. Accounts are there from all sides and in real time.

    However, in this case, it is exactly the intentions of the victors we are interested in. We go straight to their statement of June 30th (or shortly before) clarifying what they are about and read for ourselves.

    Wiki works because of the requirement of evidence from acceptable sources. This makes it possible to judge for ourselves if there is some merit (if not definitive merit) to an account. The wiki passage quoted is supported by sources 36 and 37 (Washington Post articles). This can start us off in our own investigations.

    We no longer need be passive in our acceptance or not of single accounts.



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  • Not sure I fully understand you again Phil. Sorry but..

    A statement of intent was issued to the UN by the ” president” of Cyprus that had no reality to the situation on the ground or to my past or present reality.

    Plus; Do you expect everyone to do the legwork?

    If it were that easy then global warming would be a thing of the past.

    Please note the way I have portrayed the ” president” of Cyprus. That is my reality.



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  • I am sorry if I offend Phil because, from what I have “seen” of you, I know you are a person I can truly respect and someone of true integrity. Sorry if that sounds mushy but was up till gone three this morning trying to wade my way through tons of information for yet another letter so, the uncertainty of some information is very prominent in my mind. As I have said before, I have spent ten years in politics and have become very cynical indeed. Science is such a positive profession that I cannot help sometimes thinking that if the real world was opened to some on this forum that that “WOW” of Rev. McLain (If that is right) would resonate from their lips as well.

    Off to install a video door entry system for my elderly parents because I am not sure of the intent of the next caller who says he is from the gas board.



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  • This was a post hoc statement of intent. The deed was done and this statement a justification of it. Flat out lying in those circumstances is astonishingly risky. The morale of troops and the drawing in of fighters from outside would founder without righteous zealotry. I note that Al Qaeda in disapproving of Islamic State do not question this (religious) aspect of their motivation. It would have suited them to do so. Taking the moral high ground is the most sympathetic propaganda position.

    I do expect anyone wishing to express their own opinion in public should do the due diligence of checking their facts. Teachers and lecturers in UK schools to a woman and man in my experience (well the experience of my kids, at least!) strongly discourage direct wiki useage without going to its references. Some encourage a review of the talk pages, as well, to understand where dispute might exist. Decent data acquisition/mining techniques and habits seem to be finding their way into UK education.

    If it were that easy then global warming would be a thing of the past.

    I’m not saying its easy. I’m saying it needs to be done by people who express an opinion in public. Check your facts or be prepared for dismissal. Opinion, unless it is to report on personal feelings in the face of statement or undisputed fact A or B, is a detriment to the quality of debate if you cannot give an evidenced account of the reliability of the data it contains.

    I am sorry if I offend Phil

    No you don’t (offend). And thanks for the reassurance. I’m a bit duff about these things and I wasn’t sure if I was giving offense. Like you, I mean none…



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  • A good and succinct summary aldous.

    I think it’s now time to stop stoking the fires of martyrdom, and leave the Islamic societies to their own devices; then, perhaps, they’ll leave us alone.

    Ducks down swiftly behind the parapet.



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  • @OP – Who are the true Muslims

    It seems whoever they are, if they are not closely supervised by secular authorities they get up to their old tricks!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30129645

    Pupils at six small Muslim private schools in east London are at risk of extremist views and radicalisation, says Ofsted’s chief inspector.

    Sir Michael Wilshaw said the pupils’ “physical and educational welfare is at serious risk” following a series of emergency inspections.

    He said all the schools focused too heavily on Islamic teachings.

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan says the schools will be closed down if changes are not made quickly.

    She said: “We asked Ofsted to carry out these independent school inspections and the findings are very concerning. While there is no suggestion of a co-ordinated plot, it is clear that these schools are failing children and this is unacceptable.

    “All schools must prepare children for life in modern Britain.”
    ‘Large number of failings

    At one school, inspectors found pupils did not know the difference between sharia and British law.

    And they said the curriculum at Mazahirul Uloom School in Tower Hamlets “focused solely” on Islamic themes.

    In a letter to Nicky Morgan, Sir Michael says: “I am extremely concerned about the large number of failings in each of the six independent schools inspected.

    “I am not convinced that the leaders of these schools have sufficient capacity to bring about the necessary improvements to safeguarding, the curriculum and the quality of teaching and learning.

    “I believe that, in all six schools, pupils’ physical and educational welfare is at serious risk.

    “Given the evidence gathered from these inspections, particularly in relation to the narrowness of the curriculum, I am concerned that pupils in these schools may be vulnerable to extremist influences and radicalisation.

    Mazahirul Uloom, a small secondary boys’ school that professes to teach the National Curriculum and Islamic Sciences, faces the most criticism.

    Women stay at home and clean and look after the children” – Mazahirul Uloom students

    The politicians really are dim! If you put faith-heads in charge of schools, what do you expect???

    The report highlighted the segregation of boys and girls in indoor and outdoor play areas and the risk of extremism.

    The six private schools are all in Tower Hamlets, where the council said it had no jurisdiction over teaching and standards at independent faith schools and that its powers were limited to offering safeguarding training and advice to schools.

    “We have repeatedly offered this assistance to independent schools locally but we cannot compel them to accept this help.



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