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probably a waste of time

Reader comment on item: How Many Muslims in the United States?
in response to reader comment: There is no place in Islam "Holy war" is mentioned. "Holy War" is not a muslim term by any means, but is Christian

Submitted by bos (United Kingdom), Mar 11, 2008 at 10:16

I did think that I would not engage in this anymore but im going to try something here

I'm stepping back from the rhetoric and would ask you to please read what i say very calmly as though i was saying it very amicably in the manner of a polite conversation/debate, perfectly happy to have you make reasoned disagreement with me. and in that vein i will respond to your points

1) the unity of christendom you describe is actully inacurate but to discuss the bretton code or cathars or celtic versions of christianity or north european paganism would be a tangent so i only note them and move on.:- The church under the pope was Catholic it means universal, they labeled themselves Catholic before papal authority was established, its why the popes part was still called Catholic when the byzantine churches split from the popes authority in 1054. As for the lutherian schisms, there was never a protestant 'Crusade' though there were crusades against protestants. Finally i'm not blaming any catholics for the crusades, everyone involved is dead, but it was an entirely catholic concept, nowadays as you highlight even the pope renounces the concept and it a has become a broad term used to refer to a personal struggle a bit like the greater jihad of sufism. So it confuses me when muslims get upset when public figures use the term. perhaps you could explain that to me?

PS. king richard of england was actually king of what has been called the Angevin empire/commonwealth, he didnt speak english and only came here for 10 months to consolidate authority and ensure taxation, england was a backwater of his empire by virtue of a battle his great great grandfather fought so his descendants wouldnt have been likely to be protestants, i include this only to illustrate that tiny slices of history are often picked up by those with an agenda and developed into huge myths that are eventually thought of as history.

2) I have tried to get you to asess the crusades in context. you highlight the popes apology for the excess's of the crusades. its a good point, so in that spirit i ask you when any significant muslim figure, or significant number of muslims will express regret for the excess's of there ancestors conquests, such as Omars order for mass murder when he invaded syria, and assess the history in context. in illustration i ask 'why are Couer de lion's executions at Acre terrorism while salah al din's executions at Hattin are no impediment to his righteous reputation.?

3)Jihad:- smiling and calm I must insist that Jihad means holy war. Sahih al-Bukhari, contains 199 references to jihad, and every one of them refers to it in the sense of armed warfare against non-Muslims"......."In the words of Majid Khadduri of Johns Hopkins University, writing in 1955 (before political correctness conquered the universities), jihad is "an instrument for both the universalization of [Islamic] religion and the establishment of an imperial world state" Forgeting the silly silly, very silly academic debate regarding the meaning of the word, common usage is much more pertinent and everyone engaged in what teh western anti islamist groups would call Jihad does in fact describe there military activity as jihad.

So please i'm being calm and honest with you, please think this through and decide what is relevent and what is accurate. islamists are killing innocent muslims and non muslims and calling it jihad and some people are arguing essentially about whether or not they have labelled their murder accurately? while you think perhaps you could read some of Mr Pipes comments on the subject here is one for starters

http://www.danielpipes.org/article/498

4) Spain; we cant just shout yeh it is, no it aint, yeh it is at each other. I have acknowledged a period of relative prosperity, i have denied that including as it did 'Dhimmitude' and being short lived and only on a small space it means what many have portrayed it as meaning, I would ask you if you can acknowledge, Almoravide and almohad persecutions, the massacre at Cordoba( check the Jewish virtual library of you like) the expulsions, the flight of miamondes the executions for blasphemy. I would also ask you even if the myth of spain were not a myth what relevence should it have to our perception of a chain of empires from spain to china across 1500 years of history?

Without conveying offence i would also suggest that when you cite the history of a place as evidence for yout opinion there is nothing strange in your audience percieving an intimation of some knowledge of that history otherwise you are just using soundbites to support an opinion born of something other than knowledge and evaluation.

5) The antichrist- the concept of the antichrist is not unique, i'm sure you are aware of the concept of ad dajjal who will come from syria/iraq, does that make them all enemies of islam for all time? of course it doesnt, nor does the believe in some people that the anti christ will come from the same region make its inhabitants enemies of christendom for all time. that was clearly my point. I just dont understand the need for victimhood, i recognise it as a tool of propoganda and recruitment, but why so many seemingly rational people are clutching to it bemuses me?

Also you should read the passages you cite, not many christians are going to exegitically disect them and decide that the anti christ is coming from assyria, also it is the old testament not the new and while christians revere it I thought muslims did to? al kittab isnt just the Quran? right? so even if it did say that, thats up to Allah right? no sarcasm, your a muslim so i'm asking you?

6) It was not the first mosque in greece, it was the first official mosque planned for athens.

The orthodox church leadership has backed a new mosque and interfaith dialogue, the greek governement is paying for i, the objections to the previous mosque were over location, i.e. It would be the first large structure people flying into Athens would see as they landed and left airport, Greece was busy selling a nationally proud classical history to the world via its Olympics (although i am sure there were some prejudiced objectors as well, after all greeks are only people as well). There are many 'unnoficial mosques' in athens with de facto official protection and cooperation, there are also many mosques in thrace were traditionally most muslim immigrants lived, there are more than 300 mosques in greece, all of this can be established in five minutes on a computer, using sites such as the bbc or abc I wont list sights as i am allready being verbose and if you arent interested enough to look you wont believe it just because i spoon feed it.

but finally i would again emphasise that Greece has been criticised regarding religious rights, by america and europe, but islamic criticism is hypocritical and no assessment should ignore the relatively recent historical factors, after all your still fairly angry about the crusades.

but I must state that the ottoman mosques were not shut down by the government, they were shut down by the rebelion that freed greece, and the flight of the occupiers.

7) The saudi clergy are whahabi, that should be enough said, even many muslims reject the ferocity of there doctrine. They are idealogically commited to the notion that it is not only there duty, but there privelage to to work towards the inevitable removal of all other forms of religion other than Whahabi or whahabi like groups. They like many muslims see christianity as a distortion of revelation making all christians Dhimmi ( it also means guilty). I dont pretend to know how people feel, i listen to them and reads what they say, I also read analysis of there positions by people I consider better informed than myself, in that vein i recomend you start getting translations of meccan sermons and read "two faces of islam" (by a muslim called Schwartz (go figure))

8) iraq, there are many things i could cite as evidence but it isnt that that would convince you, only a personal epiphany (for want of a better term) will do that. So to encourage that i ask ; are muslim militants killing up to two thousand muslims a month in iraq? are they bombing muslim pilgrims and blowing up pet markets? are they using mentally disabled women as human bombs? I havent asked if america is a good guy or bad, i havent asked you to support the original invasion,!

I am asking you, as a muslim are these people irelevant to you? how far will the militants go with murder torture, rape (and that is also well evidenced) before you decide they are responsible for there own actions? or at least before you think they should stop and denounce them? so very calmly I ask with sincerity, do you not fear allah brother?

9) with regard to my murdered nun comment, i was trying to illustrate the hypocrisy and silliness i saw in you antichrist comments. i think marginalised religious nonsense less relevent to peace than murder. somali muslims muredered a charity working nun by shooting her in the back while she cared for muslims, this was openly in response to the academic lecture by the pope in which he quoted charlegmane. You responded by raising the issue of the nazi's (genarally allied to muslims by the way), this is what i called obscurantist comedy. you cant respond to curent murder by stating the nazi's were bad and expect it to be a serious debate that ensues.

10) You wish peace upon me, so I will ask you a favour. I dont believe in Allah but i assume you do, so just in case you are right will you intercede for me and wish peace and an end to islamist violence against the iraqi people. Will you denounce the insurgency, solely because of there tactics and the irationality of fighting an enemy who will leave when you stop?

I have done what you have yet to do, i have made a reasoned response to more or less everything you said, i have not cherry picked or moved the goalposts, i have endeavoured to clarify what it is i would hope to inspire reflection upon (which is surely the point of peaceful debate). I have not offered in depth academic citation because i dont think that is where we are in this 'conversation' but neither have I mentioned anything obscure that you would have difficulty verifying.

there are points that have been raised and ignored but i have not sought to resurect this issue.

I dont think you will respond, and if you do i dont think it will be in kind. I hope i am wrong, i would enjoy it.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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