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Hi All

 

One thing I’ve come across on this forum a number of times is the idea that I can’t question certain ideas, that you will be offended if I do so, and we should just steer away from those topics.  Is that really how you believe rational dialog should be conducted?

 

I hold none of my ideas to that standard.  If you want to run down or rationally complain about anything I say please go ahead.  Question anything I say, question my lifestyle choices, my family values and my ideas on evidence, none of it is off limits and nothing you ask will offend me.  Not so it seems with Muslims.

 

I’ve suggested a couple of times here that Muhammad was, at most, just a man and people took great offence that I could even think that.  “I love him so you shouldn’t suggest such a thing” was basically one answer to me on that comment.  Another argument was that you would not even discuss anything with me if I didn’t accept up front that Muhammad was more than a man.  The idea that he was more than just a man is incompatible with atheism of course but that was ignored at the time.

 

Another idea I’ve expressed here a number of times that seems to cause problems is the church of Mickey Mouse.  I use that one to try to explain what an atheist sees when they walk down the street and look at all these buildings with symbols on them, crosses, moons and stars etc.  But think about it, given my view on god (I’ve already said I’m an atheist so this is no secret) how else should I see such symbols and the people who revere and worship them if atheism is the truth?

 

Now don’t get me wrong here, it’s the ideas I’m discussing, it’s the ideas I’m complaining about.  I understand that people come to these ideas for many reasons and that many of the people who hold them are intelligent rational people, that’s not at question here, but I do think we need to rationally consider the ideas themselves.  That Muhammad was just a man or that he may even be an invention are ideas which we should be able to discuss. Now this is the crucial point here if these ideas hold water you should be able to defend them and not have to pull the “you can’t question that idea” card.  Rationally that statement is an admission of the weakness of your position.  If you are incapable of defending a position maybe you should not hold it as true.

 

So what do you think, should rational enquiry be open to discuss any idea or are you really unwilling to truly examine the belief system that you hold to and if so why?  Does insecurity pay a part in that reluctance?

 

Russell

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Russell,

You need to understand why we welcome non Muslims to this forum. You should take advantage of being here to closely understand the basics of Islam and its beauty as a way of life.

 

You are here to ask questions about Islam, not to question Islam.

You are not here to help us understand our own belief system.

You are not here to prove us wrong.

You are not here to guide us anywhere near your route of disbelief.

 

Whenever we can help you understand the truth we gladly would. From there, you're free to take it or leave it. But you can't break it.

So please do not waste your time trying.

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Russell,

You need to understand why we welcome non Muslims to this forum. You should take advantage of being here to closely understand the basics of Islam and its beauty as a way of life.

You are here to ask questions about Islam, not to question Islam.

You are not here to help us understand our own belief system.

You are not here to prove us wrong.

You are not here to guide us anywhere near your route of disbelief.

Whenever we can help you understand the truth we gladly would. From there, you're free to take it or leave it. But you can't break it.

So please do not waste your time trying.

Well said, Dot.

 

Russell,

 

Why does anyone have to "defend" their Faith to you?

Edited by Gnosis
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Lol [at] Athiests.

 

I've always wondered does an athiest need justification as to why their parents 'need' respecting. It makes me wonder if i see someone father akin to mickey mouse do they have a right to be offended or are they just behaving 'off-limits'. 

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i dont know what is the question here

Hi Andalusi

 

“should rational enquiry be open to discuss any idea or are you really unwilling to truly examine the belief system that you hold to and if so why?”

 

That’s the question as stated above.

 

Russell

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Hi Dot

 

I’m not sure why anyone would think I was trying to “break it” rather I find it odd that while discussing these ideas people keep coming up to certain points and saying “That’s it, I’m not willing to go further because it hurts me to even consider that”.  Does that not strike you as rather restrictive?  If you have ideas you can’t examine how can you be sure these ideas are actually true?

 

Russell

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Hi Gnosis

 

I think you are suggesting something that is actually impossible, faith is, by definition, belief in things that can’t be rationally defended; belief in things that the evidence does not support.  But that’s not what I have been doing here is it.  I’ve been examining things that people claim to believe on evidence but then we come to these bits of the picture that these people don’t just say “I hold this on faith and that’s that” rather they claim that examining these ideas hurts, that it’s an insult to dig into this or that area of their faith.  That’s an idea that interests me as I’ve not come across it in other faith groups.

 

Russell

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Hi Shaidmahmood

 

I think respect always has to be earned.  Does the child of an abusive parent have to respect that parent?  How does that logic work?  As small children we have little choice but to respect our parent’s as a default position, we can’t get along in the world without them, but many of them don’t deserve that respect in so many ways.  How does automatic respect deal with parent’s who physically or sexually abuse their children, parent’s who’d force them into arranged marriages or any of the other forms of abuse we hear about all the time.

 

Do you feel that seeing my father as Mickey Mouse would in any way enlighten me on your view of the world?  That was the point I was making with my Church of Mickey Mouse comments.  Please if using Mickey helps you elucidate your views on the world then go ahead, it doesn’t offend me in the slightest and my old man has a good sense of humour so I doubt it would worry him.

 

Russell

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You are in their house; which means their rules.

 

I am here to listen and learn, not change their Faith.

 

I believe in total freedom to believe, or to not believe; and most of all to respect those freedoms of choice.

Edited by Gnosis
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Hi Gnosis

 

I agree their house their rules but sometimes the rules are interesting in themselves.  Why do these people have a problem with discussing certain ideas?  When they want to understand my position but they won’t let me describe it how should I proceed?  Surely if they actually want others to understand what it is to be a Muslim, which is a stated aim of this site, how can they expect that to work if they won’t discuss parts of their belief system?

 

Russell

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Russell, 

 

When you ask about Islamic ruling for example, you will be guided to the rule from Quran or the Hadith (Sayings of the Prophet). So What exactly are you referring to ? 

 

Also, you are an atheist, so I would understand that you don't believe in a creator, would it be valid topic to start discussing that there is a creator with you ?  

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Hi Nile_Salafy

 

I understand that you get you values from the quran or from the hadith’s but to me that’s not very interesting, as I’ve said before if all you have is “god said it, I believe it” then we have little to talk about.  To me what’s really interesting is to examine how such rules affect humans as humans are the focus of any humanist such as myself.  Many here seem willing to discuss the effects that such rules have on people and that is interesting.

 

You are right that I don’t believe in a creator but I’m always happy to discuss the idea and examine any evidence you can bring to the table to support such a view.  As I’ve said no topic is off limits with me, literally none.  So what would you like to talk about?

 

Russell

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Hello Russell, 

 

That's maybe a point, that you are free to chose to have no limits in any topic in your belief and you want to implement that on everyone. That in it self is trying to control others. 

 

What can be discussed in Islam is fine to discuss, what's off limits is off limits. So chose what can be discussed. 

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Hi Nile_Salafy

 

One of the advantages of my viewpoint and one of its greatest strengths is that it is an open system, anyone is free to discuss anything with virtually no exceptions.  As I said you can talk to me about anything you like and I’m up for it.  Islam is a far less open system by the sounds of it.

 

To date no one has ever said, “I have to stop discussing this because it’s against Islam” so I assume I’ve never crossed that line but I’d be interested to hear where those lines are.  Can you explain?  Our aboriginal peoples have such rules so I’m familiar with them, “secret men’s business” and “Secret women’s business” for example though there are many more gradations to it.

 

Russell

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Hello Russell 

 

Insulting God and his prophets not only Muhammad, should be off limits. Mocking rulings is an issue that is totally different than disagreeing with them and not following them.  

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Hi Nile_Salafy

 

Sounds pretty simple, I’ve never insulted got or his prophets, I have suggested that they don’t exist at least as you guy’s seem them but I’ve never seen a reason to insult them so I’m doing well so far.

 

Obviously I don’t follow these rulings as I don’t believe in their source but I also don’t mock them, disagree with them certainly but not mock them so I’m doing well by the standards you’ve presented.

 

So do you have any idea what problems people here seem to have with what I say because I’m still unclear on the  topic.

 

Russell

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Hi Gnosis

 

I think you are suggesting something that is actually impossible, faith is, by definition, belief in things that can’t be rationally defended; belief in things that the evidence does not support. But that’s not what I have been doing here is it. I’ve been examining things that people claim to believe on evidence but then we come to these bits of the picture that these people don’t just say “I hold this on faith and that’s that” rather they claim that examining these ideas hurts, that it’s an insult to dig into this or that area of their faith. That’s an idea that interests me as I’ve not come across it in other faith groups.

 

Russell

Russell,

 

When you start with the belief that any matter of Faith cannot be "rationally defended," then your mind is closed, and nothing could change your mind. If you come to a religious site with the view that you are changing them, but your view will never change; then you are the one that never moves from a rock solid viewpoint.

Edited by Gnosis
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Hello Russell, 

 

So what are you trying to inquire about then ?

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Hi Gnosis

 

Faith is, by definition, a belief not based in evidence, if you have evidence you don’t need faith.  That’s from the dictionary not from me.  Now if you have a belief for which you have evidence then we have something to talk about, if not then not.

 

Yes my mind is “Closed” to any idea for which no evidence or rational argument can be presented but then I’d have to suggest that everyone’s mind should be so closed, the world would be a better place.

 

My mind often changes, that’s what science is about, so I certainly don’t hold a fixed, unchangeable unalterable view on anything much but to change my mind you need rationality and evidence and I’m exploring here what evidence or rational support you can bring to bear in favour of the ideas you present.

 

Russell

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Hi Nile_Salafy

 

As I explained earlier here I keep coming across points that people here take personal offense to.  These blockages limit our discussion of issues and I’m trying in this thread to understand what it is that muslims hold to be untouchable subjects.  One such is the idea that Muhamad wasn’t real.  No one seems even to be able to contemplate that idea and some have taken deep offense to the idea as if I was insulting their mothers.  Another such was my description of what it’s like to be an atheist walking down the street seeing churches.  That’s the church of Mickey Mouse comments I mentioned above.  Again no one here seems to be able to think rationally about what I’m saying when I discuss these points so the conversation doesn’t really get to grips with these issues.

 

So I started this thread to see if you guys can explain these walls that everyone here seems to have to discussion these and other ideas further.  Can you add anything to that discussion?

 

Russell

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Hi Gnosis

 

Faith is, by definition, a belief not based in evidence, if you have evidence you don’t need faith. That’s from the dictionary not from me. Now if you have a belief for which you have evidence then we have something to talk about, if not then not.

 

Yes my mind is “Closed” to any idea for which no evidence or rational argument can be presented but then I’d have to suggest that everyone’s mind should be so closed, the world would be a better place.

 

My mind often changes, that’s what science is about, so I certainly don’t hold a fixed, unchangeable unalterable view on anything much but to change my mind you need rationality and evidence and I’m exploring here what evidence or rational support you can bring to bear in favour of the ideas you present.

 

Russell

 

Russell,

 

The problem with that concept is that you don't control the discussion. If people don't wish to convince you, or provide evidence that would satisfy you; then they don't have to.

 

This a discussion site. Which means a free exchange of ideas, not a debate site where there are declared winners and losers.

 

I came here to show that people of all Faiths can live together, understand, and fully respect each other; not to become a missionary.

 

I am not a mainstream Christian. I am a Gnostic Christian. My belief system, for the most part, does not coincide with the established churches. At some point, somebody may ask what my beliefs are; purely out of curiosity. I would explain my beliefs, so that people of other faiths could understand me, not because I wished to 'knock down' the pillars that support their beliefs.

Edited by Gnosis

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Hi Russel, 

 

I've read your "Church of Mickey Mouse" example, and I believe you need to come up with something more concrete than that. Mickey Mouse is fabricated. Muhammad (pbuh) was not. If your'e gonna use an example, I suggest something more believable. 

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Hi Gnosis

 

You’re right, I don’t control the discussion, but that was not the gist of my question here.  People seem perfectly happy to discuss all sorts of things with me but the discussions hit brick walls at certain lines of enquiry.  I’d just like to explore what those lines are and where they come from.  Why do people here take very personal offense when I raise the possibility that Muhammad was, at most, just a man.  I’d have thought they’d have known that’s how an atheist feels if they actually understood what the word meant without me having to point it out.

 

And some people here do seem very stuck on the idea that evidence can be presented in favour of the quran.  The evidence presented falls flat when examined in detail to date but they strongly hold the view that it’s there so discussion and debate are clearly part of this forum not all threads in this forum certainly but some of them.

 

I can’t say I know much about gnostic Christians, I’ve discussed these things with people ranging from the rabid fundamentalist Christians from the US to main stream Catholics and even the likes of scientologists and found them all interesting positions, all lacking in any real evidence to support them so far but interesting constructs to be sure.  Islam is one more such so far at least, an interesting idea to explore.

 

You raised the idea of knocking down the pillars that support someone’s faith which is specifically interesting to me.  Surely if the pillars are liable to be ‘knocked down’ then they could not have had any real foundation in the first place.  Solid pillars based in reality rather than mysticism could not be knocked down and that’s a critical point here IMHO.  Do you believe that the pillars of your faith or of the Muslims here are liable to be knocked down buy a bit of logic and evidence?

 

Russell

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Hi Sunnymaboy

 

Now you’re touching on one of the crucial points here, you see Muhammad as more than a made up character so you want me to pick a more believable example to parallel him but that was precisely the point I was making. To an atheist Muhammad, Jesus, Noah etc are all just made up characters just like Mickey Mouse.  In effect what you are suggesting is that I must change my point of view before you’ll discuss it with me which is illogical.  I believe that Muhammad, the a messenger from god, was a made up character exactly as made up as Mickey Mouse making Mickey the perfect example of how Muhammad or any such appears to an atheist.  It is an arguable point that there may have been a man behind that character in some way but that’s a separate discussion which I’m happy to enter into if you wish but the messenger from god called Muhammad must be made up in an atheist world view.

 

My point in using that specific example was to try to explain to people here how the world looks to an atheist and Muhammad does not look more concrete and less made up than Mickey Mouse.  My reason for starting this thread was to try to understand why Muslims take such offense to this line of discussion?  Why is it that even you can’t logically consider the implications of what I’ve said but rather want me to change my view, move closer to you, before you’ll discuss it or consider it.

 

Please note I’m not asking you to accept it, not for a moment, I’m just trying to get you to understand what the world looks like from my point of view.

 

Russell

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      “I don’t see Muslims as innocent people. They are all guilty as sin.
      It is not necessary to be part of al Qaida to be guilty. If you are a
      Muslim you agree with Muhammad and that is enough evidence against you.”

      “Muslims, under the influence of Islam lose their humanity. They
      become beasts. Once a person’s mind is overtaken by Islam, every trace
      of humanity disappears from him. Islam reduces good humans into beasts.”

      [Addressing all Muslims] “We will do everything to save you, to make
      you see your folly, and to make you understand that you are victims of a
      gigantic lie, so you leave this lie, stop hating mankind and plotting
      for its destruction and it [sic] domination. But if all efforts fail and
      you become a threat to our lives and the lives of our children, we must
      amputate you. This will happen, not because I say so, but I say so
      because this is human response. We humans are dictated by our survival
      instinct. If you threaten me and my survival depends on killing you, I
      must kill you.”

      “Muslims are part of humanity, but they are the diseased limb of
      mankind. We must strive to rescue them. We must do everything possible
      to restore their health. That is the mission of FFI [“Faith Freedom
      International”, “Ali Sina’s” primary website]. However, if a limb
      becomes gangrenous; if it is infected by necrotizing fasciitis
      (flesh-eating disease), that limb must be amputated.”

      [Addressing all Muslims] “But you are diseased. You are infected by a
      deadly cult that threatens our lives. Your humanity is destroyed. Like a
      limb infected by flesh eating disease, you are now a threat to the rest
      of mankind…..Islam is disease. What does moderate Muslim mean anyway?
      Does it mean you are moderately diseased?”

      “But there was another element in shaping his [Muhammad’s] character:
      The influence of Rabbis. Islam and Judaism have a lot in common. They
      have basically the same eschatology and very similar teachings…..These
      are all secondary influences of Judaism on Islam. The main common
      feature between these two faiths is their intolerance. This intolerance
      in Judaic texts gave the narcissist Muhammad the power to do as he
      pleased…..How could he get away with that? Why would people believed
      [sic] in his unproven and often irrational claims? The answer to this
      question is in Judaism. The Rabbis in Arabia had laid the psychological
      foundations for Islam among the tolerant pagans…..The reasons Arabs fell
      into his [Muhammad’s] trap was because of the groundwork laid by the
      Rabbis in Arabia.”

      “Muhammad copied his religion from what he learned from the Jews. The
      similarity between Islamic thinking and Judaic thinking is not a
      coincidence.”

      “By seeing these self-proclaimed moderate Muslims, I can understand
      the anger that Jesus felt against those hypocrites whom he called
      addressed, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will
      spit you out of my mouth.”

      “In Christianity, it wasn’t the religion that needed to be reformed but the church. What Jesus preached was good.”

      “The image portrays the words of Jesus, “the truth will set you
      free.” That is my motto…..After listening to this rabbi, I somehow felt
      sympathy for Jesus. I can now see what kind of people he had to deal
      with.”

      2. After Nathan Lean and Glenn Greenwald published the aforementioned Salon and Guardian
      articles, both “Ali Sina” and Robert Spencer rapidly wrote lengthy
      articles on their respective websites defending Richard Dawkins and Sam
      Harris. It would therefore be constructive for Richard Dawkins and Sam
      Harris to publicly clarify if they welcome or reject “Ali Sina” &
      Robert Spencer’s support. It would also be constructive for Dawkins and
      Harris to publicly clarify the nature and extent of their involvement
      with “Ali Sina” & Robert Spencer.

      3. Richard Dawkins’ anti-Islam/anti-Muslim narrative (including the
      stereotyped caricature and his own convoluted strawman arguments) is
      essentially identical to the hatred-inciting, theologically-,
      historically- & factually-distorted/falsified propaganda promoted by
      Far-Right groups such as the English Defence League and especially the
      owners of JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna. This is clearly not just a coincidence, considering Dawkins’ online sources of [mis]information.

      4. Richard Dawkins is now on record as making a series of extremely
      derogatory statements in which he bizarrely refers to Islam (a religious
      belief system) as though it were a conscious, sentient entity (see #5,
      #32, #36, #49). The nature of those statements suggests that Dawkins is
      actually referring to Muslims. (Also see #7).

      5. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly defending Sam
      Harris, including Harris’ claims about Muslims and Islam (see #42, #43).

      6. Richard Dawkins is now on record as enthusiastically praising the Dutch Far-Right politician Geert Wilders (see #50).

      7. Richard Dawkins is now on record as publicly claiming that
      “communities” has become code for “Muslims” (see #18) and that
      “multiculturalism” in Europe is code for “Islam” (see #19).

      8. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly praising &
      defending Ayaan Hirsi Ali (see #20, #26, #50). Hirsi Ali has been proven
      to have fabricated aspects of her background/experiences (as confirmed by the BBC). Hirsi Ali is also on record as
      revealing the full scale of her horrific beliefs, including the fact
      that she sympathises with Anders Breivik and blames so-called “advocates
      of silence” for Breivik’s mass-murdering terrorist attack.

      9. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly promoting the
      Far-Right conspiracy theory that British police avoid prosecuting
      Muslims due to fears of being labelled “racist” or “Islamophobic” (see
      #1, #24, #28, #45). Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller’s closest
      European allies, the English Defence League leadership, are amongst the
      most vocal advocates of this ridiculous conspiracy theory.

      10. Richard Dawkins is now on record as explicitly describing himself as “a cultural Christian” (see #54).

      11. Richard Dawkins is now on record as proposing what is basically
      an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy, specifically in terms of
      Christians vs. Muslims (see here and here.
      Also see #16). This raises questions about exactly how much support
      Dawkins has secretly been giving to certain extremist anti-Muslim
      individuals/groups, or at least how much he is personally aware that
      these groups are explicitly recycling Dawkins’ own rhetoric when
      demonising Islam & Muslims.

      12. Richard Dawkins is now on record as exhibiting very disturbing attitudes towards the British Muslim Member of Parliament Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and the British Muslim Independent journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown,
      including repeatedly making highly offensive claims that they are
      “tokens” with zero qualifications for their respective jobs and are in
      positions of seniority/influence solely because they are “female, Muslim
      and brown/non-white” (See #25, #29, #30, #31, #35, #53). Dawkins
      clearly shares the EDL leadership’s noticeable hostility towards
      Baroness Warsi in particular; furthermore, note Dawkins’ sneering “open
      letter” to Baroness Warsi (see #29), and also note the fact that the EDL
      leadership recently published a similar “open letter” to Baroness Warsi on their main website, written by an unidentified anonymous author.

      13. Richard Dawkins has published a lengthy diatribe by Robert Spencer/Pamela Geller/EDL ally/SIOE co-founder Stephen Gash.

      14. Richard Dawkins has enthusiastically republished a large number of viciously anti-Muslim comments originally posted on the discussion thread of a Telegraph
      article written by Baroness Warsi. Dawkins claimed that the only reason
      he was reproducing these comments on his own website was “because the Telegraph is apparently censoring them”.

      15. Despite the claims of Richard Dawkins’ defenders that he is an
      “equal opportunity offender” in terms of his criticisms of various
      organised religions, the aforementioned 54 quotes speak for themselves
      and Dawkins’ real pattern of behaviour is self-evident. Amongst other
      things, it raises the question of whether Dawkins was already perfectly
      aware that the anti-Islam/anti-Muslim propaganda he is basing his
      statements on originates in members of Robert Spencer’s extremist inner
      circle and their respective hate websites (which would have very nasty
      implications about Dawkins himself), or whether Dawkins has been
      astonishingly incompetent about researching his sources of
      “information”.

      16. Further information on Richard Dawkins’ other activities targeting Islam & Muslims is available here, here, here, here, here, and here.

      Examples of statements by Richard Dawkins:

      #1: [Quoting: “No
      I don’t think it was racist to feel that way. If you saw a European
      mistreating his wife in public wouldn’t you feel the same? “] “Of
      course. In that case I might have called a policeman. If you see a
      Muslim beating his wife, there would be little point in calling a
      policeman because so many of the British police are terrified of being
      accused of racism or ‘Islamophobia’.”

      #2: “Religion poisons everything. But Islam has its own unmatched level of toxicity.”

      #3: “Religion poisons everything, but Islam is in a toxic league of its own.”

      #4:
      “…..But let’s keep things in proportion. Christianity may be pretty
      bad, but isn’t Islam in a league of its own when it comes to sheer
      vicious nastiness?”

      #5: [Quoting: “He blamed ‘radical stupid people who don't know what Islam is,’”]
      “They are certainly stupid, but they know exactly what Islam is. Islam
      is the religion that wins arguments by killing its opponents and crying
      ‘Islamophobia’ at anyone who objects.”

      #6:
      “This horrible film deserves to go viral. What a pathetic religion: how
      ignominious to need such aggressively crazed defenders.”

      #7:
      “Muslims seem to suffer from an active HUNGER to be offended. If
      there’s nothing obvious to be offended by, or ‘hurt’ by, they’ll go out
      looking for something. Are there any other similar examples we could
      think of, I wonder, not necessarily among religious groups?”

      #8:
      “Paula’s letter in today’s Independent (see above) will doubtless
      provoke lots of fatuous bleats of “Oh but Islam is a peaceful
      religion.””

      #9: [Quoting: “But it has nothing to do with Islam.”]
      “Oh no? Then why do the perpetrators, and the mullahs and imams and
      ayatollahs and ‘scholars’, continually SAY it has everything to do with
      Islam? You may not think it has anything to do with Islam, but I prefer
      to listen to what the people responsible actually say. I would also love
      it if decent, ‘moderate’ Muslims would stand up and condemn the
      barbarisms that are carried out, or threatened, in their name.”

      #10: “What is there left to say about Sharia Law? Who will defend it? Who can find something, anything, good to say about Islam?”

      #11: [Quoting: “needed to respect other religions”]
      “That word ‘other’ worries me and so does ‘respect’. ‘Other’ than what?
      What is the default religion which makes the word ‘other’ appropriate?
      What is this ‘other’ religion, which is being invoked in this
      high-handed, peremptory way. It isn’t hard to guess the answer. Islam.
      Yet again, Islam, the religion of peace, the religion that imposes the
      death penalty for apostasy, the religion whose legal arm treats women
      officially as second class citizens, the religion that sentences women
      to multiple lashes for the crime of being raped, the religion whose
      ‘scholars’ have been known to encourage women to suckle male colleagues
      so that they can be deemed ‘family’ and hence allowed to work in the
      same room; the religion that the rest of us are called upon to ‘respect’
      for fear of being thought racist or ‘Islamophobic’. Respect? RESPECT?”

      #12: “All three of the Abrahamic religions are deeply evil if they take their teachings seriously. Islam is the only one that does.”

      #13: “Yes, Christians are much much better. Their sacred texts may be just as bad, but they don’t act on them.”

      #14:
      “Quite the contrary. I think the problem [with Islam] is with the
      MAJORITY of Muslims, who either condone violence or fail to speak out
      against it. I am now praising the MINORITY who have finally decided to
      stand up for peace and nonviolence.”

      #15: [Quoting: “Actually
      I think linking to every video this bigot releases does look like an
      endorsement, even if it's unintentional. Why not link to some news items
      by some other right wing bigots the BNP or the EDL, they're always
      banging on about Islam so it should qualify.”] “I support Pat
      [Condell]’s stance on Islam. It is NOT based on racism like that of the
      BNP, and he is properly scathing about so-called ‘Islamophobia’.”

      #16:
      “After the last census, Christianity in Britain benefited, in terms of
      political influence, from the approximately 70% who ticked the Christian
      box, whether or not they were really believers. With the menacing rise
      of Islam, some might even be tempted to tick the Christian box, for fear
      of doing anything to boost the influence of the religion of “peace””.

      #17: [Quoting: “What
      sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in the
      name of justice,” Mosammet's father, Dorbesh Khan, 60, told the BBC.] “What sort of justice? Islamic justice of course.”

      #18:
      “Just as ‘communities’ has become code for ‘Muslims’,
      ‘multiculturalism’ is code for a systematic policy of sucking up to
      their often loathsome ‘community leaders’: imams, mullahs, ‘clerics’,
      and the ill-named ‘scholars’.”

      #19:
      “Forgive me for not welcoming this judgment with unalloyed joy. If I
      thought the motive was secularist I would indeed welcome it. But are we
      sure it is not pandering to ‘multiculturalism’, which in Europe is code
      for Islam? And if you think Catholicism is evil . . .”

      #20:
      “I don’t think this is a matter for levity. Think of it as a foretaste
      of more serious things to come. They’ve already hounded Ayaan Hirsi Ali
      out of Holland and their confidence is growing with their population
      numbers, encouraged by the craven accommodationist mentality of nice,
      decent Europeans. This particular move to outlaw dogs will fail, but
      Muslim numbers will continue to grow unless we can somehow break the
      memetic link between generations: break the assumption that children
      automatically adopt the religion of their parents.”

      #21:
      “I said that Islam is evil. I did NOT say Muslims are evil. Indeed,
      most of the victims of Islam are Muslims. Especially female ones.”

      #22:
      “Whenever I read an article like this, I end up shaking my head in
      bafflement. Why would anyone want to CONVERT to Islam? I can see why,
      having been born into it, you might be reluctant to leave, perhaps when
      you reflect on the penalty for doing to. But for a woman (especially a
      woman) voluntarily to JOIN such a revolting and misogynistic institution
      when she doesn’t have to always suggests to me massive stupidity. And
      then I remember our own very intelligent Layla Nasreddin / Lisa Bauer
      and retreat again to sheer, head-shaking bafflement.”

      #23:
      “Apologists for Islam would carry more conviction if so-called
      ‘community’ leaders would ever go to the police and report the culprits.
      That would solve, at a stroke, the problem that has been exercising
      posters here. ‘Community’ leaders are best placed to know what is going
      on on their ‘communities’. Why don’t they report the perpetrators to the
      police and have them jailed?”

      #24:
      “Presumably we shall hear all the usual accommodationist bleats about
      “Nothing to do with Islam”, and “It’s cultural, not religious” and
      “Islam doesn’t approve the practice”. Whether or not Islam approves the
      practice depends – as with the death penalty for apostasy – on which
      ‘scholar’ you talk to. Islamic ‘scholar’? What a joke. What a sick,
      oxymoronic joke. Islamic ‘scholar’!

      It is of course true that not all Muslims mutilate their daughters, or
      approve it. But I conjecture that it is true that virtually all, if not
      literally all, the 24,000 girls referred to come from Muslim families.
      And all, or virtually all those who wield the razor blade (or the broken
      glass or whatever it is) are devout Muslims. And above all, the reason
      the police turn a blind eye to this disgusting practice is that they
      THINK it is sanctioned by Islam, or they think it is no business of
      anybody outside the ‘community’, and they are TERRIFIED of being called
      ‘Islamophobic’ or racist.”

      #25:
      “Apologies if this has already been said here, but “Baroness” Warsi has
      no sensible qualifications for high office whatever. She has never won
      an election and never distinguished herself in any of the ways that
      normally lead to a peerage. All she has achieved in life is to FAIL to
      be elected a Member of Parliament, twice (on one occasion ignominiously
      bucking the swing towards her party). She was, nevertheless, elevated to
      the peerage and rather promptly put in the Cabinet and the Privy
      Council. The only reasonable explanation for her rapid elevation is
      tokenism. She is female, Muslim, and non-white – a bundle of three
      tokens in one, and therefore a precious rarity in her party. You might
      have suspected her lack of proper qualifications from the fatuous things
      she says, of which her speech in Rome is a prime example.”

      #26: [Quoting: “Muslim
      extremists have called for Aan to be beheaded but fellow atheists have
      rallied round, and urged him to stand by his convictions despite the
      pressure.”] “For one sadly short moment I thought the ‘but’ was
      going to be followed by ‘moderate Muslims have rallied round . . .’ Once
      again, where are the decent, moderate Muslims? Why do they not stand up
      in outrage against their co-religionists? Maybe Ayaan Hirsi Ali is
      right and “moderate Muslim” is something close to an oxymoron. How can
      they not see that, if you need to kill to protect your faith, that is a
      powerful indication that you have lost the argument? It is impossible to
      exaggerate how deeply I despise them.”

      #27:
      “There are moves afoot to introduce sharia law into Britain, Canada and
      various other countries. I hope it is not too “islamophobic” of me to
      hope that the “interpretation” of sharia favoured by our local Muslim
      “scholars” will be different from the “interpretation” favoured by
      Iranian “scholars”. Oh but of course: “That’s not my kind of Islam.””

      #28: [Quoting: “Richard,
      I really dislike disagreeing with you. However, female genital
      mutilation is not really based on Islam. My wife is from Indonesia and I
      have asked around and none of them know of anyone who does that in
      their country. From all that I have read and seen, it seems like it
      predates Islam and is mostly found in Africa and to a lesser extent the
      Middle East.”] “Even if you are right (and I am not necessarily
      conceding the point) that FGM itself is not based on Islam, I strongly
      suspect that the British police turning a blind eye to it is very
      strongly based on Islamophobophobia – the abject terror of being thought
      islamophobic.”

      #29: “Dear Lady Warsi

      Is it true that the Islamic penalty for apostasy is death? Please answer
      the question, yes or no. I have asked many leading Muslims, often in
      public, and have yet to receive a straight answer. The best answer I
      heard was from “Sir” Iqbal Sacranie, who said “Oh well, it is seldom
      enforced.”

      Will you please stand up in the House of Lords and publicly denounce the
      very idea that, however seldom enforced, a religion has the right to
      kill those who leave it? And will you stand up and agree that, since a
      phobia is an irrational fear, “Islamophobic” is not an appropriate
      description of anybody who objects to it. And will you stand up and
      issue a public apology, on behalf of your gentle, peaceful religion, to
      Salman Rushdie? And to Theo van Gogh? And to all the women and girls who
      have been genitally mutilated? And to . . . I’m sure you know the list
      better than I do.

      Richard Dawkins”

      #30: [Quoting: “Blimey
      Richard! This really has got up your nose, hasn't it? Your comments are
      usually a great deal more measured. It's not exactly uncommon for a
      Minister to “rise without trace”. I think we can all agree that our
      political system is “sub-optimal” to put it politely. Tokensim is one
      possibility (though if the Tories were really just after the muslim vote
      its interesting that they opted for a female muslim token).”] “I
      didn’t mean to suggest that the Tories were after the Muslim vote. I
      think they know that is a lost cause. I suspect that they were trying to
      live down their reputation as the nasty party, the party of racists,
      the party of sexists, the Church of England at prayer. More
      particularly, the ceaseless propaganda campaign against “Islamophobia”
      corrupts them just as it corrupts so many others. I suspect that the
      Tory leadership saw an opportunity to kill two, or possibly three, birds
      with one stone, by elevating this woman to the House of Lords and
      putting her in the Cabinet.

      I repeat, her [baroness Sayeeda Warsi’s] qualifications for such a
      meteoric rise, as the youngest member of the House of Lords, are
      tantamount to zero. As far as I can see, her only distinction is to have
      stood for election to the House of Commons and lost. That’s it.

      Apart, of course, from being female, Muslim, and brown. Like I said, killing three birds with one stone.”

      #31:
      “Baroness Warsi has never been elected to Parliament. What are her
      qualifications to be in the Cabinet? Does anyone seriously think she
      would be in the Cabinet, or in the House of Lords, if she was not a
      Muslim woman? Is her elevation to high office (a meteoric rise, for she
      is the youngest member of the House of Lords) any more than a deplorable
      example of tokenism?”

      #32:
      “I too heard Paul Foot speak at the Oxford Union, and he was a
      mesmerising orator, even as an undergraduate. Once again, Christopher
      Hitchens nails it. It is the nauseating presumption of Islam that
      marks it out for special contempt. I remain baffled at the number of
      otherwise decent people who can be seduced by such an unappealing
      religion. I suppose it must be childhood indoctrination, but it is still
      hard to credit. If you imagine setting up an experiment to see how far
      you could go with childhood indoctrination – a challenge to see just how
      nasty a belief system you could instil into a human mind if you catch
      it early enough – it is hard to imagine succeeding with a belief system
      half as nasty as Islam. And yet succeed they do.”

      #33:
      “Orthodox political opinion would have it that the great majority of
      Muslims are good people, and there is just a small minority of
      extremists who give the religion a bad name. Poll evidence has long made
      me sceptical. Now – it is perhaps a minor point, but could it be
      telling? – Salman Taseer is murdered by one of his own bodyguard. If
      ‘moderate’ Muslims are the great majority that we are asked to credit,
      wouldn’t you think it should have been easy enough to find enough
      ‘moderate’ Muslims, in the entire state of Pakistan, to form the
      bodyguard of a prominent politician? Are ‘moderate’ Muslims so thin on
      the ground?”

      #34:
      “It is almost a cliché that people of student age often experiment with
      a variety of belief systems, which they subsequently, and usually quite
      rapidly, give up. These young people have voluntarily adopted a belief
      system which has the unique distinction of prescribing execution as the
      official penalty for leaving it. I have enormous sympathy for those
      people unfortunate enough to be born into Islam. It is hard to muster
      much sympathy for those idiotic enough to convert to it.”

      #35:
      [Quoting: “Why do any media outlets keep repeatedly inviting her
      [Yasmin Alibhai-Brown] (excluding more capable, intelligent, qualified
      guests) as if she is some kind of authority or expert on anything at
      all?”] “Do you really need to ask that question? Media people are
      petrified of being thought racist, Islamophobic or sexist. The
      temptation to kill three birds with one stone must be irresistible.”

      #36: [Quoting: “I'm
      surprised nobody has acknowledged the elephant in the room -- namely,
      multicultural appeasement of Islam. The fact that (a) the paper was
      accepted, and (b) it took only five days to get accepted, suggests that
      there's something funny going on here. Could it be that the referee of
      the paper was a subscriber to the popular opinion in Britain that
      anything associated with Muslims short of murder in broad daylight is
      somehow praiseworthy and something to be encouraged?”] “Yes, I’m sorry to say that is all too plausible. Perhaps the Editor decided it would be “Islamophobic” to reject it.”

      #37: [Quoting: “I seem to remember a very bright young muslim lad”] You mean a bright young child of muslim parents.

      #38:
      “Oh, small as it is, this is the most heartening news I have heard for a
      long time. What can we do to help these excellent young Pakistanis,
      without endangering them? If, by any chance, any of them reads this web
      site, please get in touch to let us know how we might help. If anybody
      here has friends in Pakistan, or elsewhere afflicted by the ‘religion of
      peace’ (it isn’t even funny any more, is it?), or facebook friends,
      please encourage them to join and support these brave young people.”

      #39: [Quoting: “The obvious question is: who cares, are we saying when it was a catholic school it was ok and a Muslim school is worse.”] “Yes. It is worse. MUCH worse”

      #40: [Quoting:
      “I was even accused of having converted and married into another
      religion. But I wasn't worried as I'm a true Muslim," says the feisty
      young woman.”] If only she were a bit more feisty she would cease to
      be a Muslim altogether – except that would make her an apostate, for
      which the Religion of Peace demands stoning. Indeed, you’ll probably
      find she’d be sentenced to 99 lashes just for the crime of being
      feisty.”

      #41: [Quoting: “Disgusting
      and hideous as this practice is, I think the article makes it quite
      clear that it's not limited to any one religion or community. It's
      common to Christians, Muslims, Hindus, yezidis and many others.”] I just did a rough count (I may have missed one or two) of the named victims Robert Fisk mentioned. As follows:

      Muslim 52

      Hindu 3

      Sikh 1

      Christian 0

      But of course, Islam is the religion of peace. To suggest otherwise would be racist Islamophobia.”

      #42:

      “Whatever else you may say about Sam Harris’s article quoted above, and
      whether or not he is right about the NY Masjid, the following two
      paragraphs, about Islam more generally, seem to me well worth repeating.

      Richard”


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