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Reply to Kurtlane- Sorry it's 8 months later

Reader comment on item: Identifying Moderate Muslims
in response to reader comment: Questions for Abed

Submitted by Abed Safah (United States), Jun 29, 2010 at 17:10

I appreciate your concern about how to word your questions. It demonstrates a real effort to have a discussion rather than a sniping session, and I commend you for it.

Unfortunately, I am a poor candidate to answer your questions, because I believe absolutely none of the nonsense in any religion. However, I will try my best to comment in the greater context.

You accusations about Mohammed's behavior are accurate, from what I understand, and there's also so much more that we would find unseemly. I cannot defend those actions, nor would I want to, frankly.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of adherents of Islam and every other "faith" out there have little understanding of the history and reality of their belief system. The saddest part of it is that those who do believe will do ethical and mental gymnastics to defend these unseemly and frankly disgusting behaviors that their religions condone. Some very intelligent people become almost insane in their logic, discarding common sense and their extra-religious morality to justify things we find horrific.

Because, I believe that our morality comes from somewhere other than religion. It comes from human solidarity and the notion that civilization benefits greatly from shared beliefs in honesty and decency.

That's why certain moral actions are universal. Killing is generally considered bad the world over, regardless of geographic and religious beliefs. Likewise, stealing, pre-marital sex, and lying, among other things, are all anathema to a harmonious society.

So, your examples of Muhammed's behavior cannot be defended, and they can only be explained one way: Muhammed was an opportunistic, charismatic guy who invented an entire belief structure to milk his contemporaries, in the same way that Joseph Smith of the Mormon church did. They were scam artists. And history is replete with that type of person using the general stupidity and gullibility of the population to advance their own personal goals.

Now, even with that realization, the fact remains that 1.6 billion muslims, or the other billions of christians and jews, are NOT culpable for the actions of their ancient founders. One can easily find examples of corruption and appalling behavior in the history of the leaders of all monotheistic faiths.

So what's the solution? A Global Renaissance. A massive awakening of humanity, to throw off the shackles of our superstitious past and embrace rationalism and the belief that we're all in this together, that we all bleed red, that we all have the same basic needs, and above all, that there IS NO higher power, no supervisory entity, that WE, Human Beings, are it, and we need to start taking responsibility for our planet and our species.

I hope I approached answering your questions, Kurtlane.

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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