Tag Archives: Islam

Christian Zionists think they know Islam better than Muslims

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This can’t be good. A Christian Zionist group called Proclaiming Justice to the Nations is paying the legal fees of one the plaintiffs in a lawsuit trying to prevent an expansion of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro Tennessee. While there is nothing wrong with suing a local government over zoning issues the Christian group is trying to argue that Islam is not a religion. Christians seem to have a problem when the first amendment gets in the way.

Hiring legal representation is not PJTN’s only connection to the lawsuit. The group has been active in Murfreesboro, holding events at the homes of mosque opponents and selling copies of its movies. As noted by the Murfreesboro Post, at least two of the plaintiffs’ witnesses — witnesses who testified that teaching from the Koran is “breaking the law” and that approving the mosque would lead to future “dangers” — have attended these events and given money to PJTN.

The group, which is based in Tennessee, is run by Laurie Cardoza-Moore. Cardoza-Moore believes, among other things, that nearly all Muslims — including those in middle Tennessee — follow a strict interpretation of the Koran: beating their wives, marrying children and killing dishonorable family members.

“Do I believe that Muslims subscribe to those things? If they are good Muslims, they will adhere to the Koran’s teachings. Do I believe it’s happening here? Yes,” she told TPMmuckraker.

Christian Zionist Group Is Helping Fund Lawsuit Against A Tenn. Mosque

Christian Zionists are Christians who support Israel and Judaism in order to fulfil bible prophecy. It seems that Jews gathered in Israel is one requirement for the second coming of Christ so Christian Zionists do all they can to keep Jews in Israel fight Islam.

This particular group – PJTN – uses the silly logic that a mosque equals terrorism and that the religion with the largest number of buildings wins. PJTN also seems to think they know Islam better than people who are Muslim.

Book burning just makes you look like an ass

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Some Christian moron plans on burning Qur’ans on Saturday September 11th. Like other stupid Christian fundamentalists he has no real reason to do it but just because he can and he feels he should. I have no love for any religion but book burning? Really? You know who else burned books? Hitler.

Many religious and political leaders from all different religions have asked the moron in Florida not to have the event. Even the Pope asked him to cancel the show.

The event will could cause some problems with US troops in Afghanistan. General David Petraeus, commander of the forces there said:

Gen. David Petraeus warned Tuesday in an e-mail to The Associated Press that “images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence.” It was a rare example of a military commander taking a position on a domestic political matter.

Pressure rises on pastor who wants to burn Quran

It is true that national coverage of the Christian moron’s obvious disrespect will be used to incite more violence toward US troops and could also increase recruitment of insurgents.

What also pisses off Afghanis? US troops killing innocent civilians. But that is a different story…

Back to the Christian moron burning books. You know who also burned books? Hitler and the Nazis.

That’s why it is a bad idea. You can disagree with the contents, like I do, but burning a Qur’an makes no sense and is a cheap publicity stunt that might actually help get some soldiers killed in the long run. Book burning is also one of the first steps to dehumanizing a group of people and that can lead to other nasty events happening to that group of people.

There may not be a law against the burning but we don’t need to give the creep any more publicity for his moronic event. That is why I refuse to mention his name or the name of his church.

I wish the other media would do the same.

One reason why integrating religion and government is not good

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I try to be understanding of cultures formed around religious beliefs. Sometimes those cultures go too far. One is FGM done to women in Egypt and the other is religious justice for “crimes”.

Here is a story I read on the BBC website just today:

According to reports from a small village near the town of Wajid, 250 miles (400km) north-west of the capital, Mogadishu, the woman was taken to the public grounds where she was buried up to her waist.

She was then stoned to death in front of the crowds on Tuesday afternoon.

The judge, Sheikh Ibrahim Abdirahman, said her unmarried boyfriend was given 100 lashes at the same venue.

Under al-Shabab’s interpretation of Sharia law, anyone who has ever been married – even a divorcee – who has an affair is liable to be found guilty of adultery, punishable by stoning to death.

An unmarried person who has sex before marriage is liable to be given 100 lashes.

BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says the stoning is at least the fourth for adultery in Somalia over the last year.

Earlier this month, a man was stoned to death for adultery in the port town of Merka, south of Mogadishu.

His pregnant girlfriend was spared, until she gives birth.

Somali woman stoned for adultery

I particularly found the bit about how anyone who has ever been married – even a divorcee – can be stoned for adultery to be creepy.

Just another reason I am glad I am a non-believer and can live in country that has a secular government and I wouldn’t want that to change. That’s why I support separation of church and state.

Christians want Feds to close Islamic school

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I have posted here many times showing the hypocrisy of the religious right when it comes to religious liberty. Time and time again they want our government to provide special rights to their Christian religion but when it comes to liberty for all religions and the non-religious, they throw a hissy fit.

On October 18th, news outlets reported a federal panel wanted to see an Islamic school in Virginia, funded by the government of Saudi Arabia, to be closed because of reports of a textbook used at the school encouraged religious intolerance.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom singled out the Saudi-supported Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA) in Northern Virginia in a broader report that accused Saudi Arabia of promoting Muslim extremism and religious intolerance six years after the Sept. 11 attacks. The panel, created by Congress and authorized only to make recommendations, voiced concern about what the private school was teaching.

The commission report did not make specific criticisms of the school’s curriculum. Commission deputy director Tad Stahnke said the panel wrote to Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, who is chairman of the academy’s board of directors, asking to see the school’s textbooks but got no answer. Stahnke said the commission did not try to contact ISA staff.

Commissioner Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said he knew enough about ISA’s textbooks to be “very disturbed that this is going on within eyesight of the capital.”

The report relies heavily on a 2006 analysis of Saudi textbooks that found inflammatory passages against Christians, Jews and Shiite Muslims. One example for ninth-graders said that the hour of judgment “will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.”

Federal panel wants to shut Islamic school in Va.

Noticed how no one having an issue with the textbooks has actually seen one. I saw on CNN where a reporter got a student to give him one but since it was written in Arabic and they would need to have it translated.

Regardless if the claims are true, I need to point out that the school is a private school. Private school curriculum normally isn’t subject to oversight by the federal government and I have never heard of a school being closed because of what is being taught. As long as students are making progress according to state education standards then it is basically hands off.

Then there is the fact that the concern is religiously based:

A review of a sample of official Saudi textbooks for Islamic studies used during the current academic year (2006) reveals that, despite the Saudi government’s statements to the contrary, an ideology of hatred toward Christians and Jews and Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine remains in this area of the public school system. The texts teach a dualistic vision, dividing the world into true believers of Islam (the “monotheists”) and unbelievers (the “polytheists” and “infidels”).

Saudi Arabia also distributes its religion texts worldwide to numerous Islamic schools and madrassas that it does not directly operate. Undeterred by Wahhabism’s historically fringe status, Saudi Arabia is trying to assert itself as the world’s authoritative voice on Islam — a sort of “Vatican” for Islam, as several Saudi officials have stated– and these textbooks are integral to this effort. As the report of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks observed, “Even in affluent countries, Saudi-funded Wahhabi schools are often the only Islamic schools” available.

This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.)

Here is an example (translated from a book):

FIRST GRADE

” Every religion other than Islam is false.”

“Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________.”

The example was correct as of 2006 so it is probable the books used at the Islamic Saudi Academy might contain the same type of religious indoctrination.

If the people concerned about the school get the federal government to close it, then I want to see them close Christian schools that teach condoms don’t work, evolution is false, abortion is murder, and man lived with the dinosaurs.

Crap would hit the fan then wouldn’t it?

I say if the federal government isn’t going to close a Christian school for teaching lies about science then they need to leave the Islamic Saudi Academy alone.

Defending the Pope?

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You may want to print and frame this post after you read it. Why?

Because I am about to defend the Pope in his row with Muslims over a speech he gave last week when he quoted a medieval text which had some sharp words about Islam.

Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech at the University of Regensburg, entitled Faith, Reason and the University: Memories and Reflections. He did quote the medieval ruler Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus who did describe Islam in less than flattering terms.

What outraged Muslims and others failed to note is the context the quote was used. Like most leaders of the world, the Pope released a text copy of the speech to the press. Here is the offending part:

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read… of part of the dialogue carried on – perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara – by the erudite Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both.

In the seventh conversation…the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the “Book” and the “infidels”, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God,” he says, “is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats.”

Key excerpts: The Pope’s speech

Back in medieval times Islam and Christianity tried to convert each other by the sword so maybe the Pope’s mistake is he didn’t mention that fact.

Another blog, by Russell Shaw, pointed out Christians forced other cultures to convert.

After reading Pope Benedict’s apology, I then thought of the predominantly Catholic conquistadors who forcefully invaded the Americas five centuries ago. On horseback, subjugating and plundering the great cultures of the time by means of swords, guns, and perhaps unintentionally- germs as well.

That’s Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of the Incas, at the top of this post.

After the conquests of the Mayas, Incas, Aztecs and so many other wonderous cultures, the priests did the conversions to the church of the time. And while the priests did not carry swords, their actions were facilitated by those who did.

Sadly, a similar process was repeated in North America. Primarily Protestant Europeans came here, stole the land from the Native Americans, subjugated and in some cases destroyed their cultures. And while the missionaries did not carry swords, the ones who paved the way carried swords, guns, and germs. Don’t even get me started on the slave dealers, and slave owners.

Pope Benedict, Now Who Converted Who “By The Sword?”

The point I’m trying to make is that in context of his speech, the Pope was correct in what he was saying “the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable.” Islam shouldn’t get a free pass now. In fact it seems Islam hasn’t give up its violent ways in keeping its faith – noting the churches burned in the West Bank and a nun was murdered in Somalia.

Not that I give the Pope a free pass either even if I don’t agree with the outrage in the Muslim world. I have a problem with this bit of his speech:

In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world’s profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures.

Well, no that isn’t true. To do so would be to elevate religion where it doesn’t deserve to be. It also seems even trying to discuss the history of religion causes a block on a dialogue of cultures.

The time of religion has passed and when people finally come to that conclusion we will all be better off.

Borders didn’t ban conservative magazine that also published Danish cartoons

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On March 29th it was reported that the Borders bookstore chain had decided not to stock the April/May issue of the “Free Inquiry” magazine. (see: How ironic: Bookstore bans “Free Inquiry”)

The chain claimed it was concerned about the safety of their customers because the issue of the magazine would include a selection of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that had been published in a Danish newspaper back in September. The cartoons were the focal point of many protests by Muslims around the world and in some cases the protests became violent with the burning of the Danish Embassy in Syria.

I sent an e-mail to the company to complain and they responded with their same line:

“Borders is committed to our customers’ right to choose what to read and what to buy and to the First Amendment right of Free Inquiry to publish the cartoons. In this particular case, we decided not to stock this issue in our stores because we place a priority on the safety and security of our customers and our employees. We believe that carrying this issue presented a challenge to that priority.”

We can agree to disagree. They can choose what they sell and I can choose not to patronize a store that censors a magazine before reading it.

I would like to leave it at that but then while surfing the net this weekend I came across a blog that reported that back in February, the conservative magazine “The Weekly Standard” published an article on the cartoons AND published the cartoons. (I didn’t save the link to the blog – sorry)

I decided to see for myself if The Weekly Standard did publish and article and the cartoons in February. I donned my HazMat suit and swam into the lake of conservatism and sure enough there it was:

Oh, the Anguish!
The cartoon jihad is phony.
by William Kristol
02/20/2006, Volume 011, Issue 22

“U.N., E.U. and Muslims link in call to curb protests,” read the Financial Times headline last week. A “U.N.-brokered statement,” the paper reported, was issued “in an effort to curb days of protests, some violent some peaceful, at the publication and republication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. ‘The anguish in the Muslim world at the publication of the offensive caricatures is shared by all individuals and communities who recognise the sensitivity of deeply held religious belief,'” the statement said.

Oh, the anguish! And why not? You remember–don’t you?–the wave of bloody pogroms against Muslims living in Denmark following the Jyllands-Posten’s publication, on September 30, 2005, of 12 cartoons depicting (in most cases) the prophet Muhammad. (The newspaper was testing freedom of speech in Denmark, and challenging “the self-censorship which rules large parts of the Western world.”)

Oh, the Anguish! (02/20/2006)

And that article had a huge picture of the Danish newspaper’s cartoon page that was used to cause so much rioting.

The question then becomes – Does Borders stock “The Weekly Standard” and if so then their claim to be protecting the safety and security of customers and employees is a PR stunt. Appearing to ban a magazine that holds “offensive” material makes Borders look good while not looking bad on the balance sheet. I’m sure “The Weekly Standard” sells a lot more than “Free Inquiry” not to mention the less chance of a major political cock up had they banned a major conservative magazine.

How does one gain proof? I decided to call my local stores and find out.

In just a few minutes the stores reported they carried “The Weekly Standard”.

Now my point has been proven. If Borders applied their “security concern” consistently then I would not have a problem, but as I found out they don’t since we can assume they didn’t ban the February 20th issue of “The Weekly Standard” (I didn’t hear that they did)

If you would like to share your thoughts with Borders, call your local store and complain or send a letter or e-mail to their corporate headquarters with info found on their contact page