No, Really, We’re Tolerant of Muslims

Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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49 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    There’s a pretty funny point made here:

    One would think that more people would take on the role of the comic poets who did the most damage to Mohammed…Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    There are apparently enough bigots out there to make sure that the proposed building didn’t get funding.

    Which, honestly, surprises me. One would think that they would have gotten at least as much money as the proposed gay bar.

    Wait, does this mean that the gay bar won’t get built?Report

    • Rufus in reply to Jaybird says:

      @Jaybird, I don’t think their hearts were in the gay bar.

      Incidentally, I just found out that the nearby strip club that people keep bringing up in response to the protests (ill-advisedly in my opinion) is called “New York Dolls” after the great 70s rock band. I don’t really go for strip clubs, but the name? L-U-V!

    • Mark Thompson in reply to Jaybird says:

      @Jaybird, I wouldn’t be surprised if they lacked funding for the project. Something about the way they were conducting themselves in recent days suggested that they were not a terribly well-connected operation. I learned about the tweet you reference above last week, and it makes sense only as either self-parody or as an attempt to continue drawing attention to the project in the hopes that attention = funding. I think I even mentioned in the comments on Thursday that I expected this project would never get completed due to lack of funding.Report

  3. Andrew says:

    I suppose it’s pointless to mention the ways in which public schools adjust their practices for the benefit of Christians. Scheduling a Christmas holiday (sorry, “winter break”) and spring break over Easter are the prime examples, and are so internalized that not many people think about their Christiancentrism (if that’s a word.)

    School districts with Jewish majorities (or significant majorities) give the High Holy Days off. I guess you could argue that they’re forcing gentiles to bow to their customs, but sane people recognize that public schools try to fit the needs of their students.Report

  4. LauraNo says:

    Yes Andrew, I think it’s pointless to point that out. There is a fair amount of willful ignorance going on in addition to true ignorance.Report

  5. Robert Cheeks says:

    You people are so tolerant of Islam. The problem is that it’s probably not a good idea to “love your enemy’ that is until you’ve reduced him in circumstances. Never let a Muslim run things.
    The problem is that I don’t think you really understand that Islam is your enemy. There’s a disconnect that I think is both educational and cultural, or rather an example of the decline of both.
    One does not ‘tolerate’ an enemy who massacred a few thousand fellow citizens.
    I suggest that we remove the Muslim from our country and in so doing save American lives in the future. The alternative is the continuing murders of eight, or eighty Americans everytime one of these people, for whatever absurd reason, goes Jihad.
    My question is, which one of you clowns are going to assume responsibility for these murders?Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

      @Robert Cheeks,

      I have family in Poland who suffered under the Soviets, the Germans, the Prussians, the Russians, the Mongols…

      Where do I sign up for the revenge, my friend? We Poles have a long enemies list!Report

      • @Jason Kuznicki, [As I’m 3/4 Pole, I’m entitled to jump in here]….the Austrians, the Hungarians….

        Relatedly, I’ve been doing a good bit of reading on modern European history of late, and especially Balkan and Danubian history. The notion that “it’s probably not a good idea to “love your enemy’ that is until you’ve reduced him in circumstances” has a rather nasty legacy.Report

        • Robert Cheeks in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          @Mark Thompson, Jason, Mark, TPG: Guys are we falling off the ‘reason’ wagon? Whas up wid dat? Dudes, sometimes, now here it comes, you gotta recognize your enemy (say an enemy that massacres around 3, 000 of your fellows?) and act accordingly. You don’t ‘tolerate’ them, you kill enough of them that they don’t want to massacre anymore of your people….hello!
          And guys, this massacre didn’t happen 75 or 100 years happened real, real recently and its going to happen again just as long as there’s people like you who refuse, adamantly, to see the truth of things and act accordingly.Report

          • @Robert Cheeks, C’mon Bobbo! Surely you know the difference between the various brands of Islam, right? Surely you know that the overwhelming majority of Muslims (and particularly those Muslims who’ve emigrated here) are not committed to the destruction of this nation, right? Are we to exterminate 25% of the world’s population based on an absurd notion of collective guilt? Should that 25% of the world’s population treat us likewise in reverse, seeing as we’ve killed about 100 times more of them than they’ve killed of us? Or would it be better to recognize that there is only one very small branch of Islamic extremists who are our enemy and that we should do our best to focus on them without pushing more of that 25% into their camp?

            Moreover, even considering the role of Banat Swabians in WWII, would you say that it was good and wise policy for Commie regimes post-WWII to expel as many Germans who had been living in the Banat (sometimes for centuries) as possible, and otherwise make conditions for them particularly difficult?Report

            • Robert Cheeks in reply to Mark Thompson says:

              @Mark Thompson, Mark, dude, FDR (not my favorite pres) ‘moved’ the Japanese from the West coast because he/the gummint could not differentiate between the ‘good’ Japanese and those that served the Imperial Crown. And, no one can differentiate between those Muslims who might not participate in or contribute to jihad…so, in order to protect American lives, which is one of those rare obligations I’ll assign the federal gummint, I opt for sending them back. Now, if you’re sensitive about it, let’s start with the college kids, businessmen, and other ‘green’ card people. We’ll see how that goes and go from there.
              BTW, “Or would it be better to recognize that there is only one very small branch of Islamic extremists who are our enemy …” As I’ve said previously, there are three groups of Muslims: those who engage Jihad, those who contribute to Jihad, and those who are considering to contribute or not. And, I’m assuming no one knows how many Muslims, in America, are currently planning to kill Americans.Report

            • ThatPirateGuy in reply to Mark Thompson says:

              @Robert Cheeks,

              Your right that FDR did that. It is one of America’s great shames. Like the trail of tears, slavery, and many more. It isn’t something we should copy.Report

          • ThatPirateGuy in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

            @Robert Cheeks,

            The terrorists only kill small numbers of our citizens. Doing what you are talking about kills our civilization.Report

      • Robert Cheeks in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

        @Jason Kuznicki, If my historical memory is trustworthy you Poles got revenge on the Jews, except I’m not sure why? Also, you did pretty well kicking Russian ass following WWI. Nobody screws with the Germans.Report

  6. Mike Farmer says:

    Just as the right failed to confront the irrationality and illiberality of the fundamentalist Christians, the left is failing to confront the irrationality and illiberality of fundamental Islam. There are many fundamental Islamists who aren’t terrorists, but they talk about making the Constitution Sharia-compliant and they oppress women — it’s irrational ans it’s not liberal. The left should criticize these aspects of Islam if they are going to be intellectually honest — just like they criticized the worst aspects of Christianity. The sooner we can eradicate, through better ideas and priniciples, not force, the last vestiges of oppressive mysticism, the better.Report

    • ThatPirateGuy in reply to Mike Farmer says:

      @Mike Farmer,

      We do.

      What do you think lefty atheists just love them some islam because it ain’t christianity? No, we think both are terrible especially when fundamentalist. We advocate separation of church and state which means no Sharia.

      You don’t hear us discuss it much because it honestly isn’t much of a threat. We worry about the religious group that has power first.Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to Mike Farmer says:

      @Mike Farmer, I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with the left, but anyway, I would definitely oppose efforts to make the Constitution Sharia-compliant as well as the oppression of women. Is there some sort of oath I could sign to that effect?

      The problem, which you don’t acknowledge, is that Muslims make up about 0.8% of the U.S. population. (It’s about 2% in Canada and less than 5% in “Eurabian” Europe) So it’s hard to know exactly how the left, or the rest of us, should oppose whatever percentage of that 0.8% wants to impose sharia law in the U.S. Do we wait until there’s a serious attempt to impose sharia law and then oppose it? Or do we grandstand now about how, if they ever tried it, we wouldn’t stand for it? Or should we, instead, continue to support gender equality and the separation of government and religious institutions whenever the issues actually come up in public debate?

      Personally, I’ve supported the war in Afghanistan for the last nine years, donated for the last three years to a technical college for girls in Kabul, and sacrificed a decade of my life and taken on thousands of dollars in debt in order to teach the western tradition, and particularly the Enlightenment, to college kids who’d rather be shopping for a salary that rivals a shift manager at Wal-Mart.

      Also, you compare this to “the right” kowtowing to the Christian fundamentalists, but how munch pressure is there on Democratic politicians to mouth support for Muslim religious doctrines when running for office?Report

    • @Mike Farmer, “There are many fundamental Islamists who aren’t terrorists, but they talk about making the Constitution Sharia-compliant and they oppress women — it’s irrational ans it’s not liberal.”

      This needs a citation with reference to American Muslims, and I’m not talking about just a handful of anecdotes about individual actors, but a citation that shows that these problems are sufficiently widespread amongst American Muslims to warrant emphasis on the part of liberals to the exclusion of emphases on tolerance and inclusiveness. If you’re talking about Wahhabism and the like as they exist in other parts of the world, ok fine, but liberals have been on that beat for years.

      Finally, to the extent I’ve ever heard of a significant movement to amend American law to be sharia-compliant, it has always been limited to an attempt to loosen banking regulations – an effort that I think libertarians would support. I am not aware of any efforts of any note to amend the US constitution.

      Moreover, “sharia-compliant” is a far cry from “impose sharia on all Americans.” “Sharia-compliant” simply means “allows Muslims qua Muslims to follow sharia law amongst themselves if they so choose.” And of course there is the fact that the term “sharia” itself encompasses a rather wide-range of potential systems.

      To the extent you’re referring to the existence of sharia courts in the UK as an example of something to fear, it’s worth noting that those courts typically function in much the same way that arbitration panels function in the US – again, allowing this sort of thing would ordinarily be something that libertarians would approve of (it’s borderline Rothbardian, frankly). Admittedly, there are serious problems with some forms of sharia law that we would find unacceptable in the US even if imposed only on nominally consenting parties (eg, unequal treatment of women in inheritance decisions), and that is something about which vigilance would be required (and quite easily accomplished at that).

      “Fundamentalist Islam” does not equal “Islam,” particularly in the United States. Christian fundamentalists outnumber Islamic fundamentalists in this country by many orders of magnitude. They also have thousands of times more political power, to the point where worrying about Islamic fundamentalism as a political force within the US of any merit is a complete waste of time.Report

    • Robert Cheeks in reply to Mike Farmer says:

      @Mike Farmer, I think there’s a huge difference between a fundy Christian and a Muslim. I think you do too.Report

  7. Mike Farmer says:

    Islam is not Islam if it’s not fundamental. I will provide links to this idea among Muslims.Report

    • Rufus in reply to Mike Farmer says:

      @Mike Farmer, Right, there are fundamentalists who believe that… let’s call them ‘cafeteria Muslims’ aren’t real Muslims. That’s quite likely the case.

      Where I’m coming from on this subject is that I’m thinking of friends of mine who are Muslims. I’ve got about five of them, including one of my oldest and dearest friends, and indeed none of them would be accepted by your average fundamentalist. Hell, one of them is a drinking buddy, which is a huge no-no in Islam! And none of them are particularly fundamentalist- they’ve all been “Americanized” in that sense.

      My explanation for this has been that Islam is a religion of orthopraxy instead of orthodoxy and that being a Muslim actually only requires you to follow the five pillars, which aren’t exactly rigid behaviors in themselves. This is why it’s so easy to convert. So, if they want to call themselves Muslims, fine. Moreover, since four of the five came over as kids with their families from places like Pakistan and Iran, the fact that they’re so lapsed, to be blunt, is cause for having faith that America makes people more American. A melting pot and all of that.

      I realize that you’re going to say that people I’ve known for 20 years, one of whom was a roommate for five years, are clandestine fundamentalists, but I actually like this claim- that they’re not real Muslims- a lot better. It’s more plausible.

      So, if it’s just the case that they’re not real Muslims, according to fundamentalist Muslims and yourself, than that’s fine too. Because, it stands to reason that there are other cafeteria Muslims out there who we could peel off from the fundamentalist horde. Maybe we could strip that 0.8% down to say 0.6% of the US population. In which case, the fundamentalists would be outnumbered by nearly 200/1. And it’s hard to see anything bad about that.Report

    • @Mike Farmer, Is this one view, or is this the subject of much debate within Islam as practiced in the West? This survey of British Muslims says the view that Islam and secularism are incompatible is a minority position.

      More to the point, though, this doesn’t establish that fundamentalist Islam is remotely a threat to American pluralism. It just shows that there is a large group of Muslims that are opposed to secularism. Seeing as Muslims as a group make up a negligible percentage of the US population, I’m not sure why liberals should be just as concerned with the illiberal tendencies of some group of American Muslims as they are concerned with the illiberal tendencies of the various Christian Coalition groups that make up a politically powerful and influential voting bloc.Report

  8. Mike Farmer says:

    , Rauf believes that “(it) also would not be a violation of church-state separation to have a subsidiary entity within judiciary that employs religious jurists from diverse religious backgrounds to comment on the compliance of certain decisions with their religious laws and to provide guidance to their religious communities on how kosher or Shariah compliant these decisions are”Report

  9. Mike Farmer says:

    This is about Omar Shahin – imam from Phoenix

    Shahin has served as a Muslim community liaison with the FBI and the Phoenix police. A book released by Shahin last year advocated that Muslims living in Western society follow a strict version of conservative Sharia law.

    “A Muslim must try his best to abide by the rulings of Sharia whenever possible as much as he can. He should not allow himself to be liable to those western laws that contradict the clear-cut Islamic rulings,” Shahin wrote.

    Throughout the book, Shahin quotes an extremist Islamic scholar who studied under the man widely credited with inspiring al-Qaida. The scholar was a speaker at Holy Land Foundation events, prosecutors in the Dallas case said in court this year. They showed jurors photos of the man with Hamas and Hezbollah leaders and in videos preaching to kill Jews.

    Read more: