To Ianus - It boils down to just one difference of opinion
Reader comment on item: How the West Could Lose
Submitted by Michel (United States), Mar 4, 2007 at 14:08
Dear Ianus, Dobro u noz ( if memory serves me right - good evening?)
First of all, allow me to thank you for disagreeing with me, albeit never deteriorate to insulting or patronizing me.
Well, Islamism is such a tainted subject. I try to perform all the necessary ablutions every time I deal with it but still its nastiness remains. ( My personal experience )
You obviously managed to strongly disagree with me, yet I did not consider your response as "nasty".
Thanks. I try to do my best. But still I know my defects and weak sides too well.
That quite actually does seem to be unusual, and very refreshing, "the other side" considered. This kind of humility I have only encountered with Plato so far, but most certainly not with Dhimmi, Noah or Susan - people who could never concede any point or admit their own limitations. That is exactly, why a discussion gets so tiresome, as they argue from an ivory throne of utter conviction of their own righteousness.
Nice to hear that. I come from a country that was once the home of most Jews (Poland).
I visited your country several times and encountered much warmth, friendliness and tolerance, even during the communistic period. The memory of the polish ghettos definitely has had a lasting impact.
I presume that as a Jew you must or should be be doubly critical of both.
I do not know, Ianus, if I am doubly critical or not. I do know that - in light of my personal upbringing and family history – I became extremely critical, as far as any form of indoctrination, fanaticism or even religion is concerned.
Anyhow – my father did evidently suffer serious traumas, as he raised us in Switzerland as Roman Catholics in order to ensure that what happened to his family and friends could never happen to his children. As a practicing ( in secret) Jew, that was a terrible situation for him and ate him up inside.
The above is the reason, why I instinctively and reflexively oppose any effort from any side to "spread the gospel". As soon as someone tells me what I should do, what I should believe in, I will instantly become suspicious and will not let it stand. In business and personal I believe solely in leading by example - I try to refrain from exercising pressure, nor will I allow anyone to pressure me into any kind of action or thinking.
Whatever you mean , I hope that the subject matter or essence of any issue is your overriding consideration. I mean thereby that truth and democracy are a little different notions.
Republican with democratic stands means in my book, that I consider myself as an independent thinker and not slave to any party dogma or platform. As new US Citizen, I registered with the Republican Party, because I happen to support more of their objectives, yet for instance support the woman's right to choose and utter separation of Church and State, which happen to be democratic objectives, as far as standard US party lines are concerned.
As far as truth is concerned, I am a relativist. Truth is oftentimes in the eye of the beholder and, other than in mathematics, I can not find the ultimate truth in pretty much any topic. Especially when opinions or politics are concerned, reality ( truth) is always found somewhere in the grey zone in between positions. Noah, Dhimmi and Susan "own" the truth to their opinion and dismiss this simple fact of life. Another reason, why arguing or debating with them becomes futile.
To tell you the truth I read your covert defence of Islam's innocence (="moderate Islam") as quite unconvincing.
Ianus - I do not defend Islam's innocence in as much as I do not defend the innocence of Jews, Christians or any culture so ever. I am very much aware of some serious threats originating from Islam, but I am not prepared to condemn the entire 1.5B world of Moslems as a whole for it.
Yes I believe that there are moderate streams, progressive tendencies and a whole lot of a average people who do not intend to infiltrate or subvert our democracy. Even though such outspoken streams seem to be rare and mostly silent, denying its existence is not only counter productive, but surreal.
Well , I wonder how traditional rabid Islamic anstisemtism as based in the Quran and in the misdeeds of its inventor fits in your "democratic stand on this issue" ? You're well aware of the hard facts of Islamic history after all, aren't you ?
The keyword is "traditional", Janus. If the Quran stood in fact unquestioned by all of the world's Muslims, I'd certainly panic too. The phrases and quotes do sound terrifying. But so do many out of our own Bible. Cryptic, ancient texts which can not 1 to 1 be related to the 21st century and oftentimes even contradict themselves.
Heck, my own fatherland, Hungary, was subject to some of the hard facts of the Ottoman Empire. But how long will we continue to recite the evil of the past committed by all cultures or religions, including the Christians? Was Hitler a Muslim? Isn't it moot to compare casualty numbers throughout history? Isn't it time to look at the present and find ways to co-exist?
Does it ? What does it mean to be a Muslim for you , Michel ? For me it means accepting the Quran as the book authored by Allah , the impeccability of its last prophet as a paragon of all virtue and Islam as the supreme good. If you agree with this definition , then I can't understand why you disagree with Noah Wilk , dhimmi no more , Susan and other sober contributors on this forum ? You can't be a Moslem and remain unstained by the poison and perversity of Islam. You can't bathe in a contaminated pond and get angry when point to the fact.
You nailed the cause for our difference in opinion precisely. It is based upon your or my definition of a Muslim.
I see the Muslim much more pragmatically and much more similar to our own people. You ‘ll find some fanatic followers and you'll find mostly ( at least in the western World and domestically spoken) the same half assed average people to a way higher extent preoccupied with their secular day to day challenges. I call myself a Christian but the last time I read the Bible or was in a church, dates back to the last century
Believe it or not, Ianus – the very Muslim you define, is my enemy too. The religious fundamentalist, militant, fanatic and oftentimes terrorist Djihadist. If you read my posts, I promote harsh strategies to counter such tendencies.
....Actually, I myself can't imagine a "constructive dialogue" with a Moslem. By "constructive" I mean "sincere". As long as you refrain from asking direct and right questions you can converse with your Moslem in a pleasant way ... on football, the weather or the growing number of pilgrims in Mecca ... Ask him "Why do you believe Allah has written the Quran ? After all it is totally illogical and contradictory beside being criminal. "... Then you'll see why it's impossible to talk sincerely ("constructively") to a Moslem.
Well, how about the MM Canadian Gent? He was very outspoken in condemning the terrorist acts and I found several more such Muslim opinions on the Internet. In my book such people do deserve a constructive dialogue and respect, as they may, being still a minority within their own culture, face severe repercussions by their own fanatics.
No so bad idea , in my opinion. Let them taste some of the sixth hell they have prepared for us (For you too , Michel. Ask your moderate Moslems on the amenities and refinements of hell for all non-Moslems -kaffirs or what happens to a soul of a Moslem and of a non-Moslem after they die to see my point. If you want to learn some of these hilarious details take a look e.g. at :
Again – If we remain on a theological level, we'll never come to a result. By now I have been educated as to how exclusive and radical the Quran reads and can not disagree with your conclusions. Plato himself engaged in theological debates and asked brutal questions which have remained unanswered. Yes - I do agree with you all, that evidently this book is in dire need of reform, so It can no longer be used as cheap excuse for so many still committed atrocities.
But – my angle is simply, that we ( again in a domestic context mainly) should look away from this ancient book and look more at the people practicing the religion now and right here in our neighborhoods.>>>>> what happens to a soul of a Moslem and of a non-Moslem after they die
Speaking about exclusive in nature – I was ridiculed for an analogy and real life example out of our own Christianity. According to several so called Bible experts, Mahatma Gandhi would burn in hell, simply for one reason. He did not believe in the Christian God.
Only "hatred" ? You remarked once she's filled up to the rim with facts though ? There is much more than only "hatred" as you imply. As a woman she feels instinctively (and absolutely correctly) what Islam really means to a woman. I wish all Western women realized as Susan does what Islam implies in terms of women's horryifying degradation. I wish all Western women understood that women are going to be the first and most suffering victims of this monstrous beast on the rise. In one of the posts a reader on the forum described some common Moslem mistreatments of women ( revitalized domestic slavery) in the time to come. It was a heartbreaking reading for me.
Yes, Susan is a lost case. Obviously an educated woman, well –read, but obsessed and consumed ... Simply disagreeing with her conclusions is enough to drive her out of her mind. By now I am for certain as much of an enemy, as the ugly Muslim she sees, wherever she goes. But once again, you see a monster rise here and that precise monster is the same enemy for me too. I even found some evidence as to Muslim voices calling for equality for women and here domestically there is little evidence for the same oppression of women within the Muslim minority.
It's important that you used the verb "believe" here.
Yes – and so should in the pure sense of relativism all of you too. I have found some evidence for the existence of Moderate Islam, progressive tendencies and a lack of wide-spread unrest domestically. Therefore I believe that it exists and that I am fundamentally right to oppose strategies out of Goebbel's strategy book.
I appreciate your viewpoint and conclusion. You certainly have more evidence for your stands.
Yep – you repeat one of the main hypotheses here, shared by many experts on the topic. It is the basis for the entire argumentation of the Noahs. I can not dismiss the theory, yet, I can not adopt it either, as I believe that all Muslims are first and foremost human beings, driven by the very same basic motivators and not just religion. With primary focus on our own domestic Muslim Minority, I do not see evidence for what you say. You can not make a case beyond reasonable doubt, and therefore I can not sentence the defendant to death.
> Is it really an "objective" approach ? Do you imply that the Moslems proceed the same way ? There are no shortcomings in Islam - to the Moslem mind.
I draw strength from leading by example. I do not care, if some of them do not proceed the same way, as they can not touch us. Are you really that certain? Are all of these people so utterly different from us?
The idea of defective Islam is a blasphemy punished with death and the seventh hell. Islam is ideal. Otherwise Allah wouldn't be ideal. Saying people can make mistakes doesn't help much as you have the right "guidance" (the Quran and the hadiths) to establish what is ideal and what is not.
I am sure that these fanatics exist. I am not sure that they all are.
You can't understand Islam by applying our Enlightenment mindset and methodology, dear Michel. Islam knows nothing of Enlightenment and despises it, as it despises as inferior all kaffiri cultures . Islam is a cultural singularity -if I may call it so. Objectivity here requires a different approach than what we are taught by our cultural relativism. A different methodology is dictated here by the singular subject-matter.
For the ones who are like you depict them, it shall be said, that it would be in the might of the kaffirs to eradicate them. Osama and the likes have not scratched us. Needle stings in the skin of an elephant. Our own growing Muslim Minority makes us even stronger, as it undermines the easy depiction of the fanatics to call us Westerners "infidels".
Once again – our entire disagreement boils down to it – their deadly utopia. The ones who in fact understand it as such, will find that they try to oppose a tsunami. The ones who adapt to modern day principles will become part of it.
Saying Moslems are not Moslems (i.e. trying to make them "moderate Moslems") sounds so unrealistic and so soothing (=escapist) to my ears.
My realism is based upon acceptance of relativism. I do neither share your definition of Muslims, nor do I label all Muslims as moderate. As mentioned and outlined in many posts and never really contradicted - there are many shades and levels of Christianity. Why the same credit of the doubt is not given the slightest bit of consideration, when discussing Islam, is in my opinion neither realistic nor fair.
A kaffir is a kaffir to any Moslem, whether the Moslem is living in former Greek cities of what is now Turkey, or in former Indian towns and villages that are now Pakistan. There are more constant magnitudes in Islam than I or you'd like to admit. We have to face the hard and unpleasant evidence. Truth is rarely amusing and optimistic. The ancient Greeks knew it very well as their tragedies show.
See above – according to the letter of the book probably true. According to reality, as I experience it here every day, the statement does not hold water beyond a reasonable doubt.
What is now at stake is our fate and more than three thousand years of our civilization put at risk for a chimaera of some pseudo-multicultural utopia . This multiculturalism is a cunning misnomer for Moslem monocultural supremacy that is gaining ground in Europe. That we react to this perfidious game played by our Eurabian treacherous politicians violently is more than understandable and justified, Michel. Or perhaps you don't mind living a dhimmi in a third-world slums that once were called New York or Zurich ? What is more important for you -peace or liberty ?
From within your structure of arguments, above scenarios are of course plausible and logic. From within mine, above question will never have to be asked or responded to, as I support the harshest opposition to any intent of subversion and/or installing of Sharia as state law or religion as state religion. In my book peaceful co-existence is embraced, whereas any fanaticism is strongly and by all means opposed.
This is one of your gravest and impardonable sins , Michel. If you cared you would avoid much misunderstanding and unpelasant comments by people I personally appreciate. The Quran is not just an ancient book. For every Moslem it is the book written personally by Allah. I am not sure if you grasp all the dire consequences of this fundemental fact for any issue on Islam. One of the consequences of this fact fact is e.g. that your "democratic stand" on it is simply incredible, not too say absurd. Allah is not a democratic semi-god. It's an absolute metaphysical tyrant and what he "says" is valid for all times and climes. No one has a right to disagree. You can't discuss with a maniac Oriental tyrant (Allah).
I see once more where you are coming from, and can not deny plausibility of the argument. Is our own trinity a semi-god or democratic in nature? We nevertheless have to a vast majority learned to accept other religions and cultures, even though that makes us act in fact against the letter of the Bible. I foresee the same will happen in the Islamic world, as people always have a tendency to override dogma at some point.
I don't trust them personally. What counts is what is in the Quran. If you ignore the Quran you can't counter and refute all the abusrdities invented by the interpreters to mislead the gullible kaffirs.
I trust them to the same extent, as I trust our own people quoting the Bible on every occasion. As far as I can throw them. No offense intended to any reader, but these ancient books should all be burned by now, as they have caused so much grief throughout history. Let's make the 10 commandments and maybe the US constitution an overriding set of principles all people on this globe have to adhere to and get rid of all the rest other than considering them as historical documents of importance. These Books do no longer address the challenges we face. They are reason for confusion and misguidance. Denying African people condoms resulting in up to 70% Aids infection rates is to my opinion as criminal as calling for a holy war. I think religion and churches, mosques and temples should all be outlawed and many roots for war would be eliminated.
This "internal struggle towards betterment of onself" is indeed a fine concept! I wonder what is so wrong in onself the Moslems have to fight against so instensely ?
What's wrong with this concept? Don't we all experience this internal struggle? The fight against all the negative attributes in human kind totally transcends culture or religion. Greed, hatred, jealousy, anger, mistrust and those often mentioned deadly sins are concepts not foreign to any of us, aren't they? At least that's how I understood the "internal struggle".
In the end, Ianus, I can not come to any other conclusion than to accept that we part ways very early on. Your entire rationale, based upon the assumption that there is no Muslim per definition who can live in a peaceful way in our world, is logical in itself.
I on the other hand see Muslims as people first and foremost. The same boring average people who have as little knowledge about their own teachings as we have about the Bible. As opposed to the Bible the Quran admittedly has a dangerous component, as its radical followers must search for ways to combat the Infidel. The Jihad can and is being interpreted by dangerous people to legitimate violent, terrorist acts against peaceful civilians.
While that is a clear and present danger and must be seen and counteracted as such, I am still not convinced that all of 1.5 B Muslims globally are as one out to eradicate all of us by all means.
We differ solely in our definition of Muslims. Having said that, neither of us can prove the other wrong beyond reasonable doubt. A classic case of the fact that we respectfully agree to disagree.
Refreshing for a change.
My Regards to Poland.
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".
Reader comments (2098) on this item
Comment on this item
You can help support Daniel Pipes' work by making a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes