Dear Americans,

I occasionally get Emails and comments from non-Arab people asking what they can do to help. Generally there isn’t much that can be done by outsiders as it’s my belief that sustainable change is only change that happens from within. However in areas where West collides with East there are things that can be done to either hurt moderate Muslims or help us.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an area that has a lot of impact on the growth and recruitment of terrorist Islamic movements. This is a previous post on how young Saudis come to hate the West as a result of it.

Now with the Park51 Mosque, things have come to a head. This is an area where you can help. To lump Islam as one single ideology and 23% of the world population as terrorists is a grave mistake. To fight Islam in general is the single best backing position for the West to take in aiding fundamental Islamists. When you don’t support people like Imam Rauf and Tariq Ramadan, then in effect you are supporting people like Osama Bin Laden.

When outsiders  lump Islam into this one narrow interpretation that must be fought, they are playing their part on Osama Bin Laden’s world stage. Fundamental Islamists, from the nonviolent to terrorists all use the same effective argument to recruit Muslim laypeople. It goes along the lines of “see, see they hate us. They want to wipe us off the face of the Earth. Where is their freedom and democracy?”

They use as examples for this argument America’s support for Israel, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and discrimination against Muslims in western countries. The opposition to and cancellation of Park 51 looks like a future addition to the list alongside the burning of the Qurans in Florida.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone born in a Muslim country who only speaks the language of that country and who has never been anywhere besides that country. Your religious leader, your school teacher or any other person you might have reason to be drawn to tells you about the Palestinian plight illustrated with photos of maimed children and refugee camps. He then talks to you about the innocent civilians killed indiscriminately by American tanks and bombs. Iraqi women raped by American soldiers. He shows you pictures from Abu Ghraib. He talks to you about how Americans hate Muslims and illustrates about how thousands of Americans opposed the building of a mosque and how an American priest is going to burn the Quran. How would you feel?

Do Americans really want to feed into that argument? Islam is the second largest religion in the world, second only to Christianity. It’s not going away, you either help moderate Muslims or you feed into the fundamentalists’ view of the world. Who do you want to be proven wrong?

136 Comments

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136 responses to “Dear Americans,

  1. Elise

    How long should tolerance go however? I support France banning the Burqa, as you yourself has said. You are asking us Americans to accept a Mosque at ground zero when it truly is a trophy to the Fundamentalists to put it there. Just as France is drawing a line in the sand, we Americans must as well. If Fundamentalist mormons were into hijacking planes and did 9/11, I would balk at a Mormon temple being built there – n0 matter that the LDS are NOT the FLDS. (I’m mormon- I know) A line in the sand MUST be drawn and I support the abhorance most Americans feel about a huge mosque near ground zero. If Muslims think they can turn America into another France because we Americans stand idly by they are wrong. I do not agree with your post, which is rare. Islam by its nature does not allow others freedom of religion and choice. Any LDS temples in Saudi? ;) Why in the world do I want that kind of a cancer spreading in a land which glorifies freedom?

    • Fulvio

      You say: “Islam by its nature does not allow others freedom of religion and choice”. Do you really think that christian religion allow freedom of choice? Have you ever read a history book? How many people have christians killed just because different? Here in Italy we still have problems because laws are mainly inspired by christian religion. As my mother said, before talking shut up and think!!

      • Issam

        Indeed Fulvio, Italian law prevents Muslims from even building a mosque in many parts of Italy. Whenever Muslims want to build a mosque massive protests erupt.

    • Issam

      Islam says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error” [2:256]

      “Say, “The truth is from your Lord”: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it)” [18:29]

      “Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.” [109:6]

      The only kind of cancer here is the intolerance displayed by you which should no place in a land that glorifies freedom.

      • Fulvio

        Issam, muslims are building several mosques here. There are protests, all led by a racist political wing, but not massive. The laws I was talking about involve every day life not religious issues. Anyway, in Italy we like to consider ourselves a modern country, we like to give other country lessons, but we are far away from being a modern tolerant society.
        What a better world it would be without religion!

    • Kay

      Elise,

      I appreciate your passion on this matter, but you seem to be mistaken about what the building is going to be! It is not “a huge mosque” – it isn’t even a mosque! It’s going to be a tall steel and glass building, kinda similar-looking to a lot of other buildings in New York City, and it really is a “community centre”, not a mosque. It has a swimming pool, basketball court, childcare area, bookstore, cooking facilities, art studio, *a memorial for the victims of 9/11*, and finally, a space for prayer – it’s that prayer space, out of all the other things in the centre, that makes people mistakenly call it a “mosque”. Furthermore, it’s two blocks away from Ground Zero.

      Elise, what do you think the people who attacked America on 9/11 were trying to do? They were trying to destroy your proud traditions of tolerance and diversity. What do you think the Muslims who want to build this community centre two blocks away, are trying to do? They’re trying to show that the fundamentalists didn’t win – by having a space built by Muslims which is open and friendly to everybody, of all faiths, which commemorates the victims, and provides great facilities that everybody can use. So what if there’s a Muslim prayer space on one floor of it? How does that insult the victims of 9/11? I would say the facility actually does their memory proud – because it will have Muslims and Christians and anyone else who wants to come in engaging in activities side by side; the facility will be contributing to the community.

      You know what I find far more insulting to the 9/11 victims? That there are adult entertainment places two blocks from Ground Zero. *That* is an insult to hallowed ground. A place of tolerance, acceptance, diversity and faith like the Park 51 Centre is aiming to be, is not an insult to hallowed ground.

      Tell me, if it is meant to be a trophy to fundamentalism, why will there be a *memorial* to the 9/11 victims there? And why when it is up and running, will it be filled with the very things fundamentalists hate – peaceful Muslims contributing to their community and integrating with their neighbourhood. Fundamentalists hate that. They use terror as a desperate tactic, because they know that peace and tolerance is all most Muslims really want. Don’t let the fundamentalists win.

    • Lisa

      Elisa, I’m a U.S. citizen, and a relative of someone who died on 9/11, and for the record, I have no opposition to the mosque being built. Indeed, I feel that if that mosque isn’t built, THAT will be a defeat of the American values we cherish and seek to preserve.

      Did you know that Muslims are now and have been praying on that very spot for several years without any harm to the memory of anyone who was killed on 9/11? Do you understand that this country’s founding fathers were fleeing religious persecution and simply seeking the opportunity to practice their own faith? If we yield to the mob mentality which opposes this mosque and community center, and it’s nothing more than that, mob anger and hatred, then that is an enormous win for anti-American extremism.

      You don’t speak for the majority of Americans Elise. You may speak for some, but the majority of Americans believe in freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and we aren’t ready to change the constitution – at least not yet.

      • sincerely…thank-goodness

      • ali

        I am sorry.. but anyone who believes that 9/11 was done by Muslims today.. after all the investigating and understanding is a DODO.. a FOOL and someone that is far away from reality. I do not support terrorism or force of any kind but neither do I accept garbage from media.. Those were not airplanes that hit the towers.. and the towers did not collapse because of them.. they were DEMOLISHED.. Seriously now!..
        I also disagree with Muslims living in Western Countries complaining about the local policy and regulation.. Muslims should be home, cleaning up the HUGE amounts of CRAP and HYPOCRISY, INJUSTICE, IGNORANCE and CORRUPTION in our societies.

      • ali

        Of course I am not talking about “american Muslims”..

    • Unimpressed

      Cancer?! Wow, this is emblematic of how westerners are pathologically ignorant, deceitful, hateful and retarded. You Elise, are worth your weight in bullsh*t. Sounds like you typical yankee teabagger. Ofcourse a leapord can’t change it’s spots, and the true racist nature of the European beast resurfaces over the false pretension of tolerance. Expecting civilized and fruitful dialogue with these primitive minded racists is like drinking water from a mirage. Anyone familiar with the history of the Europeans knows they are amongst the worst criminals who have walked the earth. While I’m not a Muslim, I sure as hell know who I’d want for a neighbor(hint : not a westerner).
      If there is a cancer on this earth, it is the white western disease which is ravaging the planet with its endless wars, exploitation, mass murder and slavery promoting banking system other forms of criminality.

  2. Here’s what non-Muslims don’t understand. Park51 and Imam Rauf go against everything that fundamentalists preach. Imam Rauf is an infidel in their eyes. Niqab on the other hand is a symbol of extremism, where-ever it is, extremism with gender apartheid and Islamic supremacy soon follows.

  3. Jerry M

    If I can trust Christopher Hitchens http://www.slate.com/id/2264770/, Rauf is just another fraud, someone who caters to powerful, whether those in power are US state department people who send him on trips, or the powerful in Iran. Yes, under US law he can build his fancy cultural center (maybe he will get some money from the rich Gulf Arabs), but we don’t have to like him.

    • Issam

      Every religious cleric is a fraud or radical according to Hitchesn.

    • Shai

      Chris Hitchens is atheist and sees all religions and religious leaders as flawed and hypocritical. He’s honest like that – I quite like him and wish him well. Americans don’t have to like Rauf. It’s usually harder for moderates to be accepted because they have to fight the fearful and fanatical from both their own groups and those with whom they are trying to converse with. That’s why its easier to act in ignorance. Peace is hard. Fear, ignorance and intolerance are much easier.

    • You can’t trust Christopher Hitchens, and really should know that by now.

  4. lark

    I love your blog. I am an American (non Muslim) and I have been defending the Park51 mosque (which is more accurately called a Muslim community center with a prayer room).

    I do not feel this is an instance of influencing global Islam by providing a place for moderate Islam in America.

    American Muslims are Americans and I want them to feel like Americans – they belong here. I see this as a place where American Muslims can define an American Islam, an Islam which is comfortable with American ideas of human rights, separation of church and state, religious freedom, and all the rest. If this American Islam influences Muslims elsewhere, that is their choice, to be influenced. The primary purpose is to provide a home for an American Islam.

    This is about the fundamental American traditions of freedom of religion and separation of church and state. To attack this center is to attack the essence of what America stands for.

    I say all this as someone who is firmly critical of things like niqab – I feel it does not belong in the west. This Islamic center is not about bringing niqab to Manhattan. It is the opposite sort of project.

    Go Park51!

    • Kay

      Can I quote you please? Because this:

      “American Muslims are Americans and I want them to feel like Americans – they belong here. I see this as a place where American Muslims can define an American Islam, an Islam which is comfortable with American ideas of human rights, separation of church and state, religious freedom, and all the rest. If this American Islam influences Muslims elsewhere, that is their choice, to be influenced. The primary purpose is to provide a home for an American Islam.”

      is the best writing / opinion I have heard from anyone during this entire controversy. Even Jon Stewart didn’t come close to this. So intelligent. I’m gonna have to quote you on my blog, on my facebook, to my friends…

  5. Anna

    SaudiWoman — I agree with the core of your post. I am not against the mosque, nor am I against the Islamic relgion at its true, peaceful core, nor Muslims. So that’s that. There are mosques all over NY that remain peacefully. None have been torn down nor attacked. All OK with me and the rights of the USA.

    “However, you state in your post
    When outsiders lump Islam into this one narrow interpretation that must be fought, they are playing their part in Osama Bin Laden’s view of the world. Fundamental Islamists, from the nonviolent to terrorists all use the same effective argument to recruit Muslim laypeople.

    The problem is not that “outsiders” have one narrow interpretation of Islam… the problem is that many Muslims — some whole countries even — have a narrow interpretation of Islam and live their lives by it. And as you and I know, that interpretation maintains a horrific objectification of its own women through force and at times through violence.

    That is where the disdain comes from and for many others — fear. Understandable, isn’t it?

    That is not to say that there are many, peace-loving, wonderful Muslims in the world. Of course there are. But there are entire Muslim societies representing and practicing objectification and superiority within their own borders and communities.

    In my opinion, if a religion can twist its own words into such an objectifying dogma against its own people, its own women, it is not a far leap to keep twisting dogma against other nations, races, religions etc…

    You ask non-Muslims to help moderate Muslims… I’d love to help, but I do believe that moderate Muslims need to do a lot more within the Muslim world as agents of very real change within Islamic states where whole-scale and nation-wide misinterpretations of Islam exist and forcibly rule as law of the land.

    • Tenley

      Anna, I like this post very much. SaudiWoman is a treasure and I am convinced that the oppression of woman in the name of Islam will indeed change, someday.

      But you make important points. Muslims need to change the interpretations of Islam that leave entire populations of women in slavery. Americans have reason to be wary — and a tradition of speaking out against oppression, no matter the rants of those most vocal agents of stupidity who have lately charmed a lazy press.

      Many thanks to both of you, Anna and SaudiWoman.

  6. anonymous

    I’ve enjoyed your blog for quite some time and I very much value the insights into Saudi culture and society that you’ve provided. This is yet another excellent post on an important topic.

    In all honesty, my first reaction to the proposed mosque was, “Please, not there.” It wasn’t based on any anti-Islamic sentiment that I’m aware of (I’m an American Catholic), but rather an awareness that this particular location would be painful to those who lost loved ones in the World Trade Center attacks.

    As a legal question, those who support the construction of the mosque would win any court decision – and rightfully so. I value the freedom of speech and worship and wouldn’t for a second dream of curtailing those rights we all share. My reaction was simply a request that those who are constructing the mosque respect the sensibilities and sensitivities of the community they are a part of.

    I’ve since come to change my opinion. The public discourse on the topic has transformed the issue – for me a straightforward request for sensitivity – into something much uglier. Politicians have taken a question of geography and compassion and made it into a referendum into the role of Islam in American society. That I can not and do not support.

  7. I’m not a Muslim nor Americn but I saw this post this morning and I support it 100%…perhaps you will too. We can talk of our differences or talk with each other.

    http://santitafarella.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/instead-of-burn-a-quran-day-how-about-an-international-have-a-meal-with-a-muslim-day/

  8. Elise

    I also think it’s important to note that the US is in a lose – lose situation with fundamentalist Islamics. No matter what we tolerate, they will find something to use against us. Allow the 9/11 mosque at ground zero, and they will find another reason to curse us. You cannot placate these people! The threat of fear cannot and should not be the reason we allow Islam to overwhelm our society. Already, in Michigan, Muslims have created ‘Arab days’ on public lands where outside such events Christians are arrested for ‘offering’ Bibles because it is offensive to Muslims. Do you want us to keep bending to Muslim beliefs while trampling on our Constitution and the freedoms of others to prosletize? In your own countries you allow no such freedoms, and therefore seeing what you offer your own people, Americans must be even more careful of bowing to Islam.

    If Islam were peaceful and allowed diversity, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, gender freedom, then it would be another matter. The proof of what Islam offers is found on your very own blog and it is terrifying to me as a woman who values my freedom. I stand firm in my objection to placating Islam because no matter if we do, they will want to take more and more freedoms away that ‘offend’ them.

  9. David

    Thank you Saudi Woman (this is the first time I’ve looked at your blog) *and* the writers of all the comments above: it’s good to see thoughtful comments about people’s perspectives.

  10. As long as we keep talking about the differences between moderate Islam and fundamentalist Islam, we will perpetuate the problems.

    As long as what we refer to as “fundamentalist Islam” is even recognized as belonging to Islam, we will perpetuate the problems.

    Peace between East and West depends upon an annihilation of “fundamentalist Islam,” an annihilation that must originate with Muslims themselves.

    Failing that, I wonder how many people who now call themselves Muslims will become apostates. How many Muslims reading this blog think they belong to the same religion as the terrorists who killed nearly three thousand people in New York?

  11. Jenna

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    We Stand with American Muslims

    At Friends Committee National Legislation, we’ve been sick at heart and concerned at the hate speech, confusion, and misinformation about American Muslims that has spread across the country in the last month. We expect another outpouring of bigotry and misplaced anger at the proposal to build an Islamic cultural center in downtown New York City.

    Please state publicly that you stand with our brothers and sisters in the American Muslim community. We support the proposal to exercise religious freedom by building an Islamic Cultural Center in downtown Manhattan, where Muslims have lived and worshiped for years.

    As of 9/9/10 more than 6,000 people have already signed this petition. We look forward to sending the petition to the organizations sponsoring the Cultural Center.

    http://action.fcnl.org/petitions/e_only/we_stand_with_american_muslims/

    Yes…. of course and sadly just as Americans only hear through media that Muslims are bad or etc. So do Muslims overseas hear through media that we hate and misunderstand them… at the heart of it most of us are normal people living out lives, loving our family and beating with our human hearts. Blogs like this one taken out of the monley making media paradigm work to create bridges rather than destroy them. As for me and my nonMuslim friends… we are sad about some stupid idiots in our country making all this sensationalist news in the same way progressive Muslims get upset whenever another Muslim does something dumb.

  12. countrygirl

    I’m wondering NY is a pretty big city why did Imam Rauf chose that particular place, why did he chose to start building on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, sorry but IMHO it’s a slap in the face of all the victims, none barred him to built GZ mosque but they are telling him please built it somewhere else, the Burling building was damaged by a large piece of one of the two planes. Radical islam could see the costruction od the mosque as victory.

    You can’t drawn up a cartoon of Mohamed because you could hurt the feeling of muslin, you can’t name a teddy bear Mohamed, you can’t criticize Islam because you will be labeled as an islamophobic, in UK in some busses a blind person was forced to left the bus because some muslim on board were making a fuss about the guide dog, a book about a wife of Mohamed weren’t pubblished because of death treath, as Elsie said during an arab festival in Michigan christian were arrested because they handed out bibles, in France festivals that promoted french food (pork and wine) was banned because it was to be held in a majority muslim part of Paris…I could continue with examples.

    Burning books is stupid, in my opinion is one of the greatest sins, but the pastor is in his right to do so. Where is all the uproar (here in the western world) where Christians simbols are desecrated, where churches are destroyed in muslim countries? Why Islam is becoming the “protected” religion here in the western world? the fear of a reaction from muslim is overtaking the freed of speech?

    • lark

      In America, in my view, no special dispensation for or against Islam. There is a separation between church and state.

      So, OF COURSE, you can have cartoons of Muhammad. You CANNOT have special laws for Muslims. And so on.

      Park51 is not at the site, it is two blocks away.
      It is being being proposed by an enemy of fundamentalists. It will support moderate Americanized Islam.

      America is an engine of assimilation.
      Europe has home grown Islamic terrorism.
      America does not.

      Park51 supports Muslim assimilation into American society. Build it!

      • Elise

        Lark, I don’t suppose you are aware of what “good muslims’ do to young college aged women IN AMERICA who create a facebook to draw Mohammed day? Go read what they did to her. They issue death calls and post where she lives/works on their sites. Sorry… you can say muslims are fine with freedom of religion/expression, but the minute one of us Americans does anything to ‘offend’ them our lives become in danger. This is not a religion of peace, no matter how many people overlook the parts the fundamentalists focus on. Until the majority of muslim states allow basic freedoms, I am going to be extremely adversarial to them trying to “PC” our western culture into extinction.

      • Jenna

        @countrygirl…

        Have you ever taken a look at Indonesia and Malaysia? Indonesia is majority Muslim but in fact is also multi-faith based with the majority of the population living in peace and in tolerance of one another. Countrygirl please read early Islamic history and you will see that Islam was a very peaceful and live and let live way of life all throughout eastern Europe and the Arabian peninsula. It was the Christians who decided to go basically nuts and do atrocious acts upon the multi-faithed people living in peace all along what is now Israel and Palestine during the Crusades.

        @lark I agree with you 100% I really feel that it is in America that a great Islamic rennaissance will occur where learning and open mindedness and polite discourse will reign again as it had throughout the Muslim World during the Christian dark ages.

    • David

      Bear in mind that just as you think burning books is stupid, any Muslim I’ve talked to about it thinks that e.g. making a fuss about the naming of a teddy-bear is stupid… Generalization > fog…

    • Delux

      You and plenty of other people keep insisting that having the park51 center (*NOT* a mosque, and besides there already is a mosque nearby) is a “slap in the face” to victims of 9/11.

      What about the Muslims who died there, and their families? Or who were first responders? People keep acting like Muslims are somehow not a part of New York. They are. How is what you are saying *not* a slap in the face to these people?

  13. coffee and cigarettes

    To all the people saying its a ‘slap in the face’..i would like to know, so do you think all muslims were rejoicing about 9/11???

    By your logic it seems so. the 911 hijackers were murderers and despicable human beings..but they were individuals, acting out on their own extreme violent interpretations of a religion. All muslims are not guilty for 911 by faith association.

    Are you aware that there is a mosque in the pentagon? or that there is a strip club also close to ground zero? how is an islamic cultural centre, which has a 911 memorial and a mission to aid interfaith understanding, less respectful?

    Saying that an islamic cultural centre shouldn’t be built TWO BLOCKS away from ground zero, is like saying a catholic church shouldn’t be built anywhere near an abortion clinic..or anywhere near a school of young boys..it makes no sense!

    It is NOT a slap in the fact to the 911 victims because muslims going to that cultural centre, with its prayer room that makes up 10% of the actual centre, would NOT be the type to rejoice over the 911 tragedy. As Saudiwoman pointed out, they are the exact opposite.

    Most muslims do not have terrorist sympathies, just as most catholics do not molest children, and most white people are not secret members of the KKK. Claiming that the centre is a slap in the face is a logical fallacy and screams of misunderstanding and xenophobia.

    • Countrygirl

      so you are one the equates being against the GZ mosque is to be islamophobic, racist whatever….this means that more 70% of americans are racist, islamophobic, whatever.

      Priest (a tiny minority) doesn’t molest children in the name of religiom and you CAN’T compare them to those terrorist.

      Those terrorist acted based on their distorted version of islam, as someone well said before me i would be against any religious building (nearby a zone devastated by a terrorist act) if someone that religion would have done somthing similar to 9/11.

      Are you aware that the building were sold at a bargain price only because it was seriously damaged by a pieco of a plane that crashed in one of the two towers?

      I hope that the people that is going to that cultural center/mosque is against any type of extremism but what about the radical ones, they for sure will see it as a simbol of victory.

      People around the US aren’t against the costruction of mosques but they are simply saying please built it somewhere else.

      • Elise

        Countrygirl… I’m glad your speaking your mind and using reason that any freedom loving American woman should have. I am terrified of Islam – yes, the RELIGION… not just some extremists, because the verses overlooked by the peaceful muslims are meant to kill Christians, destroy girls, and remove freedom of thought.

        There are muslims across the globe burning Bibles, American Flags, the Constitution. They’ve been doing it for decades. One man wants to burn a Koran here in Florida and the world condemns him due to fear of what the Muslims will do in retaliation! People are so terrified of muslims and they kowtow to every demand out of fear.

        I’m tired of living in fear and am surprised that Saudiwoman used a ‘fear tactic’ to try and convince us Americans to not voice our disgust, as is our right, at that horrible trophy for the terrorists.

        I believe one poster put it best: “Peace between East and West depends upon an annihilation of “fundamentalist Islam,” an annihilation that must originate with Muslims themselves.”

        I don’t see any overthrows of Shariah law happening in Saudi or anywhere else. In fact, everywhere Islam is dominant things are getting MORE extreme.

      • Where are the Muslims burning Bibles? That is impossible since Muslims believe it is a holy book. most passages in the Quran have very similar ones in the Bible, I don’t see Christians tearing them out. Moderate Muslims all over the world are speaking up and fighting and the increase of extremism in the news is a direct result of the resistance to it. extremists are growing louder because they are losing people. Open any newspaper in Saudi and you can see this for yourself, more moderate shiekhs speaking for women rights and there’s much less censorship in public dialogues. Annihilation of extremists is happening right now at every level from national security to family dynamics. Saudi today is different from Saudi a couple of decades ago. slow, peaceful and steady is much better than an all out civil war.

      • lark

        This is for ‘Elise’, for some reason her post had no reply link.

        Elise, if you ‘live in fear’ you should see a therapist. The notion that this mosque or American muslims should cause you to ‘live in fear’ is a personal failing.

        The fact that you ‘live in fear’ in America as result of this mosque or American muslims is not sufficient cause to stop the building of this mosque. If my little toe aches, it is not a reason to go to war with some distant country. The rational connection does not exist.

        It is a fantasy to hold that American muslims are a threat to you because in some other country some muslims do something to someone.

        There is a lot of violence in American society, but American muslims are responsible for only a tiny percentage. Be afraid of Americans – in gangs. Be afraid of getting in your car. But to claim American muslims pose a threat to you is absurd.

    • Lisa

      @Coffee and Cigarettes – Bravo!!!

      • ali

        I told you.. someone that believes that 9/11 was done by “External Muslim Elements” is a DODO.. Dodo was a stupid wingless bird that is extinct now.
        American Muslims are no threat to America or Americans..
        Ego and Stupidity is a threat to the whole of Mankind, Americans being part of it.

  14. Anonymous

    Although I have never seen a Bible burned in Saudi, I have seen them thrown in the trash along with garbage in the customs line coming from Bahrain. Same with a cross. So saying these things don’t happen in you country is a falsehood. They belonged to me and were so threatening to your religion they were desecrated.

  15. just a couple of thoughts:
    “It was the Christians who decided to go basically nuts and do atrocious acts upon the multi-faithed people living in peace all along what is now Israel and Palestine during the Crusades.”

    Very true even back to immediately post the Prophet however it is now 2010. It’s surely time to stop acting this way?! And book burning…well let’s look at whose done that in the past. And don’t know about you guys but no one good in my opinion. Do we really want to emulate that behaviour?

    “It is a fantasy to hold that American muslims are a threat to you because in some other country some muslims do something to someone.”

    Lark…I think you a bit unfair on Elise. Terrorists’ use fear because it works. And murdering civilians is a great way to make people in a Western country be it the States or Bali (I’m an Aussie that used to go there) be very scared.

    But just as relevant Elsie…it’s terrorists who make these threats and scarily Christian Americans are just as capable and do, send terrorist threats with regularity. It is not just people form the Islam faith. If you doubt me just ask a few of the folk in ‘climate change’ dialogue across the world.

  16. Saudi~LIBER~ALI~

    The mosque is a bad idea.

    It costs $100 million to build it in a “controversial place”. Muslims in Africa would do a lot with that kind of money.

    Americans don’t deserve it.

  17. Saudi~LIBER~ALI~

    My first post in English so help me god:

    To all those Americans who say “moderate muslims are not doing enough”:

    The modern militant islamist ideology is your creation. All what *** (and other islamic countries allied to you, like Pakistan) did was helping you recruit muslim fighters (in return for political benefits). When that eventually led to OBL and 911, you accused “muslims” of terrorism, and went on invading “islamic” countries, like secular Iraq, and replaced the regime there with a (shia) islamist one, to continue the game!

    Win-win situation to you, you gotta love the islamists.

    The word “Islamist” today is enough for convincing your average citizen of labeling national liberation movements as terroristic. As long as it serves you. Islamists in Afghanistan were ok once.

    Now what can the normal, “moderate” muslim citizen of ***** ****** do against a giant country with ruthless allies?

    Hmm.. Start a blog and get arrested?!

    In a country that doesn’t even have a constitution?

    I think the only people who fear the Quran burning day are muslims living peacefully within USA. It promotes hate and they’re the weaker part. That Elise fears nothing.

    **Changed my name**

    • Jenna

      I think we are all adults and everyone will go before God to speak his crimes and his good deeds… we cannot always blame someone else for our own actions though…. the west is always an easy scape goat for bad behaviour… if the west has to stand its own for its own crimes… so does everywhere else.

      • Saudi~LIBER~ALI~

        All I am doing is repeating well-known facts no one can dispute. No one is lying, exaggerating, or wrongly blaming the west when he says OBL was CIA. Ask them.

        So, I am not blaming someone else for our actions. We’re responsible for our actions just as you are. I was responding to those who blamed moderate muslims in the comments. I also wanted to say that USA’s mistakes were huge and they’re blaming others for it for obvious ideological (israel) and economic (oil) goals.

  18. monica

    The news: “A crowd of 10 thousand people have demonstrated in the streets of the city after the end of Ramadan. Some protesters threw stones at the NATO base and one of them was killed when soldiers opened fire, the spokesman said.”
    Now, I’m asking to myself: what’s the different between the idiot (integralist Christian) who decided to burn a copy of the Corano and the idiots (integralist Muslims) in the streets who answer to his provocation? What’s the different?

    • The difference is that one is the provocateur and the others are the provoked.

      • monica

        Dear Chiara, your answer is a dangerous answer. Are you sure to know who is the provocateur and the provocated? uh uh.. it’s depends on the situation. Is the murderous of Teo Van Gogh the provocateur? Or the provocated? Terrorists who destroied the Twin Towers, and killed thousands of innocents, who are they? Which category they get in? And American soldiers in Afghanistan who killed thousands of civilians? There are a lot of examples I could go on without end, but I prefer to stop myself here. There isn’t a black or white reality. There are a lot of shades of grey. And remember who answers to a violente provocation with another violence isn’t a better person. The right answer was: no different.

      • Om Lujain–you are probably aware but the Al Qur’an is transliterated in some languages, especially Romance ones, with a “c”: il Corano (Italian), el Corán (Spanish), and le Coran (French). The latter is how I first came to know about le Coran. :)

      • lol.. Thanks for the heads up… I have never heard of that one.. I have heard of the Coran (I have a french transalation at home)… thank you very much for enlightening me :) Take care hon

  19. Jay Kactuz

    I hate to break it to you, but in my opinion there are no moderate Muslims. There are those who kill and those who make excuses and blame others.

    The so-called moderates seem to have no problem with the hate, violence and discrimination against non-Muslims everywhere Islam dominates. The so-called moderate Muslims accept the Quran, a book that clearly tells them that non-Muslims are lower than animals. The so-called moderates accept Mohammad as a great moral example, when the ahadeeth are full of stories of unprovoked attacks on peaceful villages, looting, murder, enslavement of men women and children and rape of captives by this man. These are easy to find and in multiple hadith, yet this means nothing to so-called moderate Muslims.

    This is the bottom line. I see no reason to believe that Muslims in the West are any different from those in Muslim countries. I see no indication that Muslims accept basic values such as freedom of speech, religion, separation of religion and state and equality for all. Muslims in the West are either deceitful or in ignorant and in denial, and even if they are sincere: 1. they are too few to make a difference, and 2. They don’t speak up about issues with the content of the the Quran and hadith. When Islamic societies change their laws and ways and stop the discrimination and persecution of non-Muslims, than we can talk. Until then I see no reason the respect a people that doesn’t respect others. I see no reason to believe that moderate Muslims are really moderate.

    Take care

    Jay K.

    PS: To Saudi Liber Ali. Regarding the “modern militant islamist ideology is your creation” I refer you to the kharijites. They were known for their uncompromising radical theology based on the literal teachings of the Qur’an. In simple terms, even Mohammad’s companions and the first Caliphs were not Muslim enough for the Kharijites, so the so-called moderates and radicals killed each other by the tens of thousands. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, there was an extreme group within the extreme Kharijites called the Azraqi or Azariqah who considering all other Muslims to be Takfir or Kuffar to be killed with impunity. Note this was even before Karbala and the Sunni-Shia split. Ali, you need to learn Muslim history and stop blaming the damn infidels for every problem Muslims have.

    • Jenna

      Um dude… have you even READ the Bible?!?! Its just as… if not even MORE violent ordained by GOD to throw fire on a whole village while one poor woman looked back and turned to salt…

      Ye without sin cast the first stone.

      just FYI I am neither Christian nor Muslim or Jew… I am a Buddhist who has read a lot of religious history and can look at it with an objective eye.

      So all the Muslims, Jews and Christians can keep fighting in Heaven… I’ll stay in Hell and have some peace and quiet!!! :)

      • Issam

        Does this ignorant A’idah (Jay Kactuz) not get tired of the hate she spews against Muslims over and over on their blogs?

        “I hate to break it to you, but in my opinion there are no moderate Muslims. There are those who kill and those who make excuses and blame others.”

        Your opinion is worthless and non-authoritative. None cares about the opinion of an ignorant and arrogant person like you.

        “The so-called moderates seem to have no problem with the hate, violence and discrimination against non-Muslims everywhere Islam dominates.”

        That is a lie for 2 reasons:
        1. It is not everywhere that Islam dominates that you find hate and persecution etc… It happens in some parts of the Muslim and non-Muslim world.
        2. Moderate Muslims have always been outspoken against all forms of hate and discrimination. You can learn from them.

        “The so-called moderate Muslims accept the Quran, a book that clearly tells them that non-Muslims are lower than animals.”

        That is another lie. Nowhere is this mentioned in the Quran. Muslims and non-Muslims are equal in the Quran.

        “The so-called moderates accept Mohammad as a great moral example, when the ahadeeth are full of stories of unprovoked attacks on peaceful villages, looting, murder, enslavement of men women and children and rape of captives by this man. These are easy to find and in multiple hadith, yet this means nothing to so-called moderate Muslims.”

        Hadiths are medieval forgeries that have nothing to do with true Islam. Many of them even contradict the Quran. They were invented for political and sectarian reasons.

        “This is the bottom line. I see no reason to believe that Muslims in the West are any different from those in Muslim countries. I see no indication that Muslims accept basic values such as freedom of speech, religion, separation of religion and state and equality for all. Muslims in the West are either deceitful or in ignorant and in denial,”

        You are in no position to dictate what the bottom line is or is not. Ignorant fascists like you have no place in the civilized world, and nobody cares about your opinion. Yes we are evil, so why are you here stalking us?

        “and even if they are sincere: 1. they are too few to make a difference,”

        That is another lie. According to polls 94% of Muslims oppose all forms of terrorism. The percentage is of course higher in the “West” than in the Muslim world.

        “2. They don’t speak up about issues with the content of the the Quran and hadith.”

        There is nothing wrong with the Quran. You are just so stupid and ignorant to understand it. As for the Hadiths read what I said above.

        “When Islamic societies change their laws and ways and stop the discrimination and persecution of non-Muslims, than we can talk.”

        “Islamic societies” are not worse than any other society.

        “Until then I see no reason the respect a people that doesn’t respect others. I see no reason to believe that moderate Muslims are really moderate.”

        And we see no reason to respect you or even dignify you with a proper conversation. And if you do not respect Muslims then why do you keep bouncing around from one Muslim blog to another? Get a life, your inferiority complexes are obvious to everyone.

        “PS: To Saudi Liber Ali. Regarding the “modern militant islamist ideology is your creation” I refer you to the kharijites. They were known for their uncompromising radical theology based on the literal teachings of the Qur’an. In simple terms, even Mohammad’s companions and the first Caliphs were not Muslim enough for the Kharijites, so the so-called moderates and radicals killed each other by the tens of thousands. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, there was an extreme group within the extreme Kharijites called the Azraqi or Azariqah who considering all other Muslims to be Takfir or Kuffar to be killed with impunity.”

        Well the stories about the so-called Kharijites are fake because they were written 100 years after these supposed events. And they were certainly not based on “literal teachings of the Quran” as you would like us to believe. They were anti-Quran and that is why mainstream Muslims opposed them according to these myths. By the way, according to this funny A’idah when moderates fight extremists they are bad, and when they do not fight them they are also bad! We are facing a squared circle with this ignorant A’idah it seems.
        Internal fighting has been happening since the dawn of history. It happened in America with the civil war. It happened in Europe with its medieval wars and WWI and WWII. It happened in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The biggest bloodshed in history happened in America and Europe with their civil wars, medieval wars and WWI and WWII. Nazism and Fascism are European inventions and ideologies. Yet this ignorant and arrogant clown has the audacity to speak out against a mythological conflict that even if it was real it would pale in comparison to the tens of millions of innocent people who were murdered in America and Europe in the name of race and religion.

        And last but not least, what does all of this have to do with the original point that it was the US that helped and financed the Qaeda from the beginning?

        “Ali, you need to learn Muslim history”

        Muslims know their history very well. They do not need a stupid and arrogant person like you who reads third rate anti-Muslim books for anything. If there is anyone here who needs to learn Muslim and American and European history, it is you. Look in the mirror first and start with yourself.

        “and stop blaming the damn infidels for every problem Muslims have.”

        Yeah keep dividing the fantasy world you live in into infidel vs. Muslim, us vs. them, and then come accuse Muslims ans their religion of the same racist and supremacist attitude that fills you.

        So stop stalking Muslims. Stop blaming them for all the problems that the world has ever had. Go do something with your useless life. An ignorant and arrogant fascist like you is not welcome here. Stop stalking Muslims and just get out and go read Mein Kampf or whatever books suits you.

      • Issam

        It is a hopeless case, Jenna. She will tell you that the Old Testament is evil but that Jews no longer believe in it!! She will also tell you that Christianity is a “religion of peace” because Jesus said “love your neighbour” (As if every other religion including Islam does not have this very principle). She will tell that all the wars and the massacres that the Christians have committed were not because of Christianity but because of Vatican politics! This ignorant does not know that the Old Testament is the word of the Christian God himself, and that Jesus is the second person of this same God (The Father being the first and the Holy Spirit being the second). So it was Jesus, before getting incarnated, who ordered all those wars, massacres, rapes, sexism and evils in the Old Testament. She also does not know that Jesus in the New Testament said not to ignore the Old Testament: “It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law (Old Testament) to become invalid.” (Luke 16:17)
        “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)

        Both the New and Old Testaments are inspired by the Christian God: “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16). Indeed those Christian murderers throughout history justified their genocides and slavery policies by appealing to the Bible especially the Old Testament where there are hundreds of such examples.

        Even the New Testament, which this ignorant A’idah wants to convince us is the epitome of peace and tolerance, is filled with wars and genocides on non-Christians especially at the end of times: “Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.” (Revelation 6:4)
        “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:8)
        “The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.” (8:7)
        “The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died.” (Revelation 16:3)
        “And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.” (Revelation 9:15)
        “A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths.” (Revelation 9:18)
        “These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.” (Revelation 11:6)
        “At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (Revelation 11:13)

        So much peace!!

        Even Jesus in the New Testament calls non-Jews “dogs”: [A] woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about [Jesus], and came and fell down at his feet. The woman was a Greek, by race a Phoenician from Syria. And she started asking him to drive the demon out of her daughter. He responded to her like this: “Let the children first be fed, since it isn’t good to take bread out of children’s mouths and throw it to the dogs!” (Mark 7:25-30)

        So much tolerance and respect!!

    • sameer

      yeah and i am sure your torah and talmood really preach love and peace and mercy for all human beings just like ur practising it in palestine
      double faced hypocrite

  20. Jenna

    Isaam… you made me fall in love with you in this last post! :)

    very well put…

    Jay you just had your A** handed to you so gently and succinctly it was like Isaam is the Dog Whisperer and you are the dog.

    • Issam

      Jenna my dear your words humble me. You are an inspiration in a world filled with ignorant racists like A’idah (Jay Kactuz).

      Regards,

  21. lark

    I just want to repeat: this is not an issue of Islam versus Christianity.

    Which is better, or worse, or whatnot. That is a destructive diversion. Keep your beliefs to yourself.

    What we have is a very clear set of AMERICAN principles. Applying them is the AMERICAN thing to do.

    Fundamental to those principles is the separation of church and state.

    If you use a your personal judgment of Islam to deny Muslims their rights AS AMERICANS, you are violating AMERICAN principles.

    Shame on you.

  22. Saudi woman I don’t know how you feel about folk linking their own particular post here but I wish to do so.

    I believe if, as individuals, we each take responsibility and chose to enact this moral…which is in every single scripture I’ve researched from the last 5000 years…then things would be looking up for us all.

    http://leesis.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/i-only-have-one-moral/

  23. Monica–way up there–sorry there is no reply option up there.

    My answer was strictly limited to one scenario–the one you raised.

    Your expanding and distorting it is dangerous.

    The correct answer according to you is obviously not the same as the correct answer according to me.

    Please don’t presume to correct me on my stated view, even though it is different than yours.

    • monica

      Dear Chiara I really think we need a mental place where our roads meet. This meeting can’t happen if we both don’t walk to please each other. Are you agree? This is just the start point.
      Now I can try to change the situation and imagine that there’s someone who wants to burn some copies of the Bible (as the idiot in Florida who wants to burn some copies of the Koran). Well, probably I’d listen to the news troublesomely. That’s all. I wouldn’t attend a street demonstration to protest. Never! Someone wants to burn the God’s word? I have to think who wants make a so stupid action is just an idiot and don’t deserve my attention.
      Probably I take advantage of my being agnostic. A book is just a book, bible or koran or torah or Benares’ Sermon. Written thousands years ago for people who didn’t have the toilet paper and the aspirin. To tell you the truth, Chiara, I feel so free from all those things. The only universal law that I see is the respect for life and freedom. Let the idiot free to burn all copies he wants. He’ll go down like a soap bubble.

      • Monica–I am glad you feel so free. Not all are so equanimous. Of 1.5 billion Muslims a few are bound to react violently. I do not support the violence, but it is ignorance of Islam worldwide to think that all share in the unusually broad belief in American freedom of speech, religion, and action inculcated in Americans from primary school.
        A better analogy would be call for an international day to public burn Torahs with the stated intent to teach Jews a lesson.
        There may or may not be violence, but a hue and cry for sure.

  24. Saudi~LIBER~ALI~

    Thank you, Issam.

    Jay stay on topic. Kharijites are extinct today, and long time ago. And even if you wanted to refer to them, they were more like a political movement than a religious one. The religious part came later (so are shias, btw). There wasn’t a USA to blame back then.

    • Jenna

      arent the Kharijites still active in Oman?

      • Saudi~LIBER~ALI~

        Those in Oman are Ibadhi (they’re in a number of African countries as well). Some view them as a development of Kharejite school, but much less extreme.

        The original Kharijite state was in the same regions as the Wahhabis’.

  25. monica

    Chiara wrote: “but it is ignorance of Islam worldwide to think that all share in the unusually broad belief in American freedom of speech, religion, and action inculcated in Americans from primary school”.
    I found the point break of the matter. I found the point we should working on.
    Chiara, you know well that the idiot who wants burn the Koran has the right to do it, because in his country that’s permitted by law. He doesn’t break the law, beacause in USA you can burn all the books you want (if they are yours!). At the same time, Iranians have the right to stone (the poor) Sakineh. It’s their law. Every people in their own country has the right to write and the enforce their law.
    The error is to believe to have the right to protest and try to impose our law and ideas in other countries. So Muslims who are protesting against the American Pastor are wrong. And the west people (above all my compatriots) who are protesting against the intent to stone that woman are wrong.
    Every country has the law that people who live in, have choosen.

    • Monica–The USA currently lives under a series of laws instituted post-9/11 which are for security measures during the War on Terror. These laws abrogate the usual American civil rights for those suspected of being a threat to US security at home or abroad. Those in the know: INTERPOL, the US Secretary of State, US Secretary of Defense, the US President, the US embassies abroad, the heads of state of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq have all deemed the pastor’s initiative, threat, and planned action such a threat. He could easily have been legally silenced and held in preventive custody.

      Ever heard of the “flying carpet fallacy”? You are guilty of it here. I gave a specific response to a specific scenario, and off you fly around the world with irrelevant pseudo-analogies.

      That I am aware Pakistani-American Muslim (ie raised there since infancy) Jehanzeb Dar is the originator of the expression “flying carpet fallacy”. Totally apt.

  26. Monica…just one thing…can you truly in your heart equate the burning of a book with the murder of a human being?

  27. Clara

    I’m sorry but I heard from a muslim that is very very close to me that i’m inferior and not good enough, somewhere lower in the hierarchy because i’m not muslim. I respected the religion and I wanted to keep doing so but i get the impression that Islam doesn’t respect me (as illustrated above by my muslim friend). muslims demand respect for themselves, for their religion but they don’t give respect themselves. it just doesn’t seem to be fair, does it?

    and it’s horrible that there is no dialogue. every criticism of islam is nipped in the bud. why is it so hard to address the issues and fears that people have? the only answers i got were pretty much like this: you’re islamophobic, you are full of hatred of islam and muslims, you don’t want to understand etc etc. you don’t address concerns of non-muslims, you simply state the above and that’s the end of debate. it’s our fault.
    i think that if something is true and good, it will stand any criticism thrown at it, it will basically defend itself.
    i would like to see a debate between islamic scholars and someone who is fairly authoritative in islam from the west. but that could be considered as a criticism so i doubt it’s gonna happen.

  28. Pingback: Saudi Woman Links to International Have a Meal with a Muslim Day (Sept 17, 2010) « Prometheus Unbound

  29. Mouloud

    Tariq Ramadan was denied entry to Saudi Arabia because he criticized the Saudi government and Wahhabism ideology that oppresses women, it can not do his pilgrimage.

  30. Hi all

    You may be interested to hear of the 1st International “Have a meal with a Muslim day” on Sept 17. A friend started it with the idea to bring peace and understanding between people.

    http://santitafarella.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/instead-of-burn-a-quran-day-how-about-an-international-have-a-meal-with-a-muslim-day/

    Muslims can approach a non-Muslim, or vice versa. We don’t have to agree on everything to live in peace.

    Please share if you like this idea.

    Salaam

    Jonathan from Spritzophrenia

  31. Anna

    Monica says — “The error is to believe to have the right to protest and try to impose our law and ideas in other countries. So Muslims who are protesting against the American Pastor are wrong. And the west people (above all my compatriots) who are protesting against the intent to stone that woman are wrong.
    Every country has the law that people who live in, have choosen.”

    Really?? REALLY??? STONING WOMEN TO DEATH SHOULD NOT BE PROTESTED??? EVERY COUNTRY where STONING people to DEATH has been CHOSEN by ALL it’s peoples?

    REALLY?????????

    And so there it is! This is EXACTLY the “type” of violent thinking that free peoples absolutely despise and want no part of. Yes, VIOLENT. Stoning a person — to death — in public no less, is VIOLENT, archaic, barbaric and as far as I understand it, NOT part of Islam — UNLESS of course, some high-ranking-religious-politico-wannabe scholar makes it so. “Twist and Leap,” as I said in my earlier post. And then little by little or lot by lot, the “community” begins to AGREE or always has agreed.

    By the way — what exactly did the woman DO to earn such a horrible public and barbaric fate?

    WHAT DID SHE DO…?

    Monica, not only is it my RIGHT to protest against extreme brutality and violence against all human beings, it is my OBLIGATION as a human being to protest such atrocities.

    You see Monica, even though I despise what you wrote, if by some easy chance of “Twist and Leap” it is YOU who are to be stoned to death, I and people like me will protest, loudly and often, no matter what your religion or race. Yes, no matter who or what you are or think, there will always be people like me who are disgusted by and rebel against violent traditions.

    The fact that as a woman this fate of stoning is all OK with you points to a whole other problem as to why these traditions continue. If WOMEN won’t speak up against violence against them, especially when they CAN, why should Muslim men?

    I’m shocked, angered and saddened by this post.

    • monica

      Anna, I’m really sorry you are shocked and saddened by my post. I didn’t mind to make you angry or to be provocative. I know, I used a very hard example to explain my opinion. I was born and live in Europe and my native culture make me horrify to stone a human being. Why I wrote we don’t have the right to protest against this disgusting and barbaric act? To be fair. If I consider “out of place” people who are protesting (and to be killed) for the stupid american pastor who wants to burn a book, -The Book- for Muslims, I MUST consider a wrong interference against Iran, to protest against their (barbaric) law. Obviously if I see the matter by the women view, the view you are illustred with passion, my argument starts to have some cracks, I know that very well. But I had to decide the prevalence of my values: I can’t help women around the world if -first- I don’t defend the universal one: freedom and respect for the law that every people have choosen in every country.

  32. ringpoche

    People should be allowed to leave Islam if they want, without threats to their lives. The penalty in Islam for ‘apostacy’ is murder, so it’s very similar to the penalties for leaving violent organizations like the Mafia, or when people lived under a dictator like Sadaam Hussein.

    Until people can openly leave Islam and still be treated like equal human beings, then Islam doeasn’t deserve to be treated with respect.

    • Jenna

      dont forget Christianity also has penalties for leaving too…

      • Laura

        Which penalty? I did leave christianity and I didn’t get any penalty!

      • Jenna

        Laura… let’s see from our fine historic examples:

        All of Spain during the Inquisition and most of Europe.

        The “Witch” burnings all throughout Europe.

        Families and communities who are Christian renounce and throw out kids who dont love Jesus all the time… as someone who used to work for a runaway shelter… this was a common reason.
        .

        Throughout the US until very recently…forget a career, any political ambitions, or fitting in with society if you had openly denounced Christianity.

        Now: show me actual proof of a ligitimate law in another country where it states that the govt can kill someone for apostasy.

        And according to Christian doctrine you will end up in fiery hell… it’ll just take you longer to get there but I guess the Christians of today feel Satan has you anyway and you wont be slurping up their watermelon in tje fruit partied of Heaven.

        And: (drum roll) from the Book itself:

        Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

        They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

        1. If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

        Now…. tell me…. how is this different than the Quran, exactly?

    • monica

      Ringpoche wrote: People should be allowed to leave Islam if they want, without threats to their lives. The penalty in Islam for ‘apostacy’ is murder, so it’s very similar to the penalties for leaving violent organizations like the Mafia, or when people lived under a dictator like Sadaam Hussein.

      emh.. which country are you talking about? In Europe there is no offence which is punished with the capital punishment. We Europeans are oppositive to the daeth punishment. In every case!! Maybe you are talking about USA. But, remember that USA are not the only representative of the western world and no-muslim culture.

  33. hana

    I am a saudi young woman and I am AGAINST building the islamic center near ground zero. I think this will most likely hurt the feelings for those that have lost some people in 911 though I hope that americans can differentaite between good moderate muslims which are by far the majoirty and the extreemists. these sensetitvties are why I feel that this islamic center needs to be built somewhere else. it is so tragic that some crazy islam hijacking nut jobs caused the world to go against each other…
    for americans, so many people in saudi love the maerican life and want to hear only good stuff about your country. Yes…there are those that hate anything that is not islamic but why are you only focusing on them and foregting the rest of us…the majority…the bright side!
    isn’t each relgion has it is own ugly face?

    • S.

      “I think this will most likely hurt the feelings for those that”

      As an American a Muslim and a New Yorker I SUPPORT building the Islamic INTERFAITH COMMUNITY Center. This whole controversy has little to do with sensitivities, please focus on the problems in your own country, instead of commenting on something you know nothing about

      • Hana

        If it is about Islam then IT IS MY BUSINESS!

        That…and the fact that most of the money you guys are getting to build your mosques and centers is from MY COUNTRY….so how can this be not my business?

        Still NO to the Islamic center near ground zero!

        Your video…I didn’t see it and I won’t watch it.

    • S.

      there was a protest at ground zero this past weekend, please take a look at this video and tell me if this has to do with sensibilities.

      • Unimpressed

        Yes, this is a typical American, an uneducated, ignorant, hate mongering moron. The product of a broken school system, over medicated, psychotic war addicted society.
        Trash like couldn’t differentiate between a Muslim, Sikh or a non-practicing Hindu like me. It’s not the Koran, or any of the great works of the Divine which should be burned, its scum like this.

    • sana

      excuse me madam
      but no money from saudi is being used to construct that mosque and your just making that up. after 9/11, saudi govt. is very hesitant to donate money to build mosques/islamic centers in non-muslim countries and besides most of us american muslims dont need your stupid money. Use it on your own desperate and frustrated ppl who can find no jobs and where many ppl are begging for donkey’s meat and camel urine to survive (check youtube). BTW, you saudis dont own islam and most of us american muslims dont want to have anything to do with your anti-human,anti-common sense, rigid and backwards wahabi version of islam. keep it to yourself with all due respect. and believe me if i ever find out that indeed saudi money is being used for that islamic center, even a portion, i will be the first to oppose its construction on that basis. and last but not least, may i remind you that it was fifteen nutjobs from your “peace-loving” country that were involved in that attack.
      cheerz:)
      have a good day, in fact a good life!!

  34. ramesh

    why build a mosque when so much acrimony is generated.if built under the constitutional right umbrella,would for ever remain a mark of intransigence of the american muslim citizens.

  35. scheepshuid

    imagine building a church near the ka’aba,
    imagine building a german center near Auswitz.
    the result: you will hurt feelings.

    in the USA the laws don’t prohibit the building of that centre, but it is not a wise thing to do.

    • Jenna

      Forgiveness and allowance are the only was we as a people… as the human race… can move forward together in peace. Holding onto old hurts and crimes only builds on itself over time to create scars of remembered suffering which is the root of intolerance and hatred.

      Remember the crazy man in PA who came into an Amish school and shot and killed most of the Amish girls there? He was eventually killed by Fed agents. He was sick in the same way any terrorist who can kill is sick… The first thing the Amish did after the event? THEY FORGAVE HIM. Indeed a good percentage of the money that was raised for a new school by private citizens was given to the killer’s now widowed wife and children who were also suffering.

      The Amish believe that Forgiveness is the first step to alleviate suffering. Perhaps we as a people of this world need to learn this lesson… creating more barriers does only that… creates barriers. Aren’t we all adults? I am so tired of adults saying “well THEY are doing it… so we will too”

      • Laura

        About the penalty…I was talking about nowdays and I didn’t know that in US you can have problem in your carrier just because you said something against Christianity. If it was like this in my country (that in theory should be very catholic) I and most of my friends should be all unemployed!!
        However if you want to do an historical analysis I totally agree with you, but it’s a problem of all monoteistic religions…if you start saying “I’m the only God you won’t have any other God except of me etc…” the debate is already closed.

      • Jenna

        Laura…. sigh… you keep insisting on being angry and causing divisions and looking for reasons to keep the outsiders out instead of looking at the equally and actually more inherent points where Christians and Muslims are alike. Arguments like yours were said from protestants vs. catholic and christian vs. jew… incisiveness and indoctrination with a us vs them mentality is destructive and inherently incorrect.

  36. Christina

    So freedom of religion is important to you,huh? What have you done to ensure that Christians and Jews can have a place of worship in your country? How many churches or synagogue are there in Saudi Arabia? Zero, right? When was the last time you turned on your tv and saw a Buddhist beheading someone? Never. Child brides, female mutilation, honor killings and stonings all belong to Islam and until normal Muslims change the face of islam by doing good then what we see on TV every night will come to our mind when we think of islam.

    I think it’s great that you support a mosque/community center in NY but i don’t get why you don’t understand that building it next to the burial ground of thousands that were killed by muslims is just not ok. They could have picked any other place in NY yet they had to pick a place that is still a bleeding wound for many Americans. No one is saying that muslims can’t have a place of worship! We just don’t want it next to ground zero. Sorry you don’t get that.

    • Jenna

      chistina… I understand your very ligitimate concerns but they are in fact, not limited to Islam. (I am buddhist by the way so I do not claim either religion)…

      Go to Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt in fact any OTHER muslim majority country besides Saudi Arabia and there is a mixed faith with churches and synagogies and Zoarastrian temples in every one of them.

      child brides are a way of life for much of the developing nation.. it has more to do with ignorance and poverty than religion? Go to Utah and ask those dress wearing women what age they were when they tied the knot.

      female gential mutilation is nothing to do with Islam. it is by geolocation mostly northern Africa and Christians do it too… its part of an older culture there. so you cant blame Islam on this one either.

      honor killings happen at least as often in Hindu families when women cant provide enough dowry to her new family. Again, this is not tied to religion but rather ignorance and poverty.

      Stonings DO happen in muslim majority countries… unfortunately… it is something like everything above must be eradicated. Read the Bible or the Torah though… both books prescribe stoning as punishment, too.

      Most of what you write it is not tied to religion. It is tied to CULTURE… falliable, mortal human organizational systems.

      What I am trying to say here is that with greater education we eradicate all the false black and white lines yes or no good or bad… you know life is not an easy dichotomy like that… there is a lot of gray and at the end of the day we come to understand that the “other” person or people are sure as damn a lot like us.

      • Are you aware how christians are treated in muslim nation? Are you aware that a muslin can’t change his religion? Are you aware that it’s practicall impossible to built a new church?

        Granted in the Bible and in the Torah was a punishment (among other terrible things) but when was the last stoning?

        Why can’t i tell something that could upset the muslim fearing their reaction?

        The imam behind the GZ mosque said during an interview with that moving the facility could cause a violent backlash from Muslim extremists and endanger national security…..in my book i call this blackmailing…
        he keep on saying that he wants to built bridge but he’s burning it with those words…you can summarize his words with “if i don’t built the mosque here there will consequence”

  37. As Salaam Alaikum,
    Nice post i like it.
    I was just curious to know the reactions in Saudi Arabia about the Quran Burning on 9/11 anniversary.
    What is the current mood in Saudi Arabia?

    • a man in Australia burnt both the Koran and the Bible but guess what the outcry came only from the muslim community.

      Why there’s no violence when so called artists dessecrate the cross, bible or holy simbols of Christianity but when there’s some innocents cartoon about Mohamed violence errupt in the muslim countries, here in Italy it’s common to see cartoon making spoof of Christianity, Pope, or against them but no rioting, no violence

    • To be perfectly honest.. I don’t think anyone should be up in arms over this. Burning the Quran will NOT get rid of the Quran or Islam as one of the worlds most followed religions, the words are printed in the hearts of millions and over a billion people. Burning it will not make it extinct. More will be printed, and to kill ANYONE for such an act, in my eyes is plain and simply wrong. Let God deal with them.

      PS- You do know that the only way we are supposed to dispose of the Quran is to burn it right? I know I have PERSONALLY burnt a Quran that had reached its time.

      Take care and May Allah bless you all :)

  38. Anna

    Monica states: “Obviously if I see the matter by the women view, the view you are illustred with passion, my argument starts to have some cracks, I know that very well. But I had to decide the prevalence of my values: I can’t help women around the world if -first- I don’t defend the universal one: freedom and respect for the law that every people have choosen in every country.”

    Monica — you missed your own point… It’s NOT laws that are freely chosen by the people in every country. Do you really believe that everyone has FREELY CHOSEN STONING women — and men — to DEATH for silly crimes?

    Do you really believe that everyone has FREELY CHOSEN marrying little girls off to old men?

    I could go on and on with more examples of human, social destruction but I won’t. In some countries these are LEGAL in the name of some twisted version of Islam (and other religions as well). And even if every single person did vote yes (which is NOT true — many ARE opposed to these violent, destructive practices) other peoples and whole societies DO have the right and moral obligation to speak and protest against barbaric, violent, destructive practices.

    Your belief that these things are actually “freely chosen” laws of the people is naive and destructive and very, very scary.

    You’re not defending “the universal freedom and respect of the law” — I don’t think you even know what that is. You’re defending your right to close your eyes and look the other way.
    And I’m glad you posted it in a public forum. The point you are making needs to be seen and heard as it explains a lot.

    • monica

      In a past post Chiara wrote: “Please don’t presume to correct me on my stated view, even though it is different than yours”. Maybe I’d have to write the same thing. But I don’t. I wanna a honest comparison.
      When I write that these things are actually freely chosen laws of the people, I’m not referring to every single person. I’m referring to the majority of the people who live in that country. In my veins there is an European blood who come from the Inquisition, witch hunt, superstitions, unmerciful dictatorships and, without going so far, from the most disgusting example of racism in the whole world. In those far days the majority of the Europeans were firmly convinced of all those uncivilized and barbaric beliefs were the right way to live the life. Obviously there were a minority who didn’t. Then, very slowly, the law and the society is changed. People who believed in demons and witches dead out. But I don’t remember someone who came here in Europe to teach us how to live or to teach the real meaning of the word “democracy” or “freedom of speeach and religion”. Do you know why? ‘Cause it’s impossible to teach it. So I get really pissed off when Americans say that they’re fighting in Afghanistan or in Iraq to “bring” the democracy and freedom. It’s simply impossible to bring it. And Americans are getting quite the reverse! Every people in every country must to find the their own way . I don’t know how. I just know that sooner or later it happens. But don’t interfere! Just give them time.

  39. scheepshuid

    @Issam
    I’ve read some of your postings and wondered about your hatred (“Ignorant fascists”, “stupid and arrogant”) Why is that?
    You’re upset about some readers who mispresent islam and at the same time you’re mispresenting the christian faith.
    It is not that easy to understand each others religion. For me as a christian I smile when I read your interpretations of christianity. You still need a lot of study.
    Let us more struggle to understand each position. That’s the reason I started reading this blog. There are so many things about Islam I don’t understand.

  40. Laura

    @ Jenna

    first I’m not angry at all and I’m not angry with anybody this is a blog and I’m just expressing my opinion. I don’t this I said anything offensive nor distructive, it’s just my opinion and as every opinion there will be those who agree and those who are against. Nobody here has the wand to solve problems or the holy truth…it’s valid for me and valid for you. I think that using this approach the debate will be more constructive.

  41. ringpoche

    @ Jenna
    How many Christians do you know who actually believe that apostates from Christianity should be murdered? None, I should think. And how many countries threaten the death penalty to ex Christians? None. By contrast, there are at least 7 muslim countries where apostacy carries the death penalty.

    A survey recently carried out by a newspaper in the UK found that 36% of young muslims believe that people who leave Islam should be killed. Fancy that! Given the high number of muslims in my city, as an ex muslim I shudder with fear and loathing at the sight of them, knowing many of them would wish me dead, and some would actually try to harm me if they knew.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1571970/Muslim-apostates-threatened-over-Christianity.html

    • Jenna

      Ok… so you want to win an argument that basicaly supposes that all Muslims are backward and violent.

      Let’s say you “somehow” won this argument you and many other people on this board: then what?

      Bomb them all? clearly thats not already working.
      Ban them from western countries? US cant even keep Mexicans out, get real.
      Waggle your finger at them and tell them they are naughty until the magically come to their senses and leave Islam? Yeah thats NEVER going to happen.

      So basically the tree your barking up is a red herring it will go no where and will heal not a god damn thing.

      real change has never come from judging, condemnation and shame… it will only make people cling tighter to irgnorant beliefs because they feel they are being attacked.

      the only way to peace is to support and befriend the moderate muslims. the ones who are culturally “modern” and rather than pay attention to the parts of a religion which are negative, focus on the bits which are positive… that is the ONLY way out of this nasty conundrum.

      • ringpoche

        I want to win the argument? I’m just pointing out facts, and if facts win the argument, that’s the way it should be. I was simply annoyed by the myopia of apologists like you who would have us believe there’s nothing inherently more violent or dangerous in Islam than in other faiths.

        And no I don’t believe bombing muslims, or preventing them leaving their medieval, corrupt countries and coming to the west will help. The only thing that will help is to open up Islam, the Koran and the hadith and the prophet Mohammed to scrutiny and discussion in the light of scientific knowledge and human rights legislation. But it’s not gonna happen. Muslims don’t want to discuss and make a real valid analysis of their religion, and the Koran really escapes proper scrutiny because of the ever-present death threats made to anyone who dares to attempt to do so.

        Islam has had its day. Once upon a time it was a dynamic force in the world. But that
        was such a different world. In this new modern era, it is quite simply an anachronism, and its backward and violent ideology is utterly irrelevant and unworkable. It’s like all things that persist long after their sell-by date. They rot from the inside, and turn fetid and poisonous. Islam needs a wholesale reformation. It needs deep and radical surgery, and all the cancerous bits cut out. But I agree with this website
        http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2010/on-the-validity-and-necessity-of-atheist-criticism-of-islam/ that the sheer amount of hatred, violence and misogyny in Islam makes it incapable of reformation.

        Still, Islam is, sadly, not going to disappear – there is too much male privilege and entitlement invested in it for that to happen in what are still heavily patriarchal societies. So I don’t know. I see no solution. I’m all for love peace and harmony, but just being nice to westernized muslims is the not the answer. To some extent the internet is opening some aspects of muslim life up to scrutiny. At the moment I’m reading the blogs of some other ex-muslims, who appear to be the few who are being really honest and open. One thoughtful blog is this one, by someone who formerly taught at a muslim school.

        http://abooali.wordpress.com/ch-8/

        and this one is by a former convert to Islam, and hers is much angrier and more bitter but very revealing about life within Islam.

        http://ofglitnir.wordpress.com/

        So the internet is doing its bit to shine a light in the darkness, and open a few locked doors. Who knows how long it will take……

  42. melissa

    http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2010/07/molly_norris_draw_mohammed_day_1.php

    http://www.seattleweekly.com/2010-09-15/news/on-the-advice-of-the-fbi-cartoonist-molly-norris-disappears-from-view/

    This is why so many Americans have a negative view of Islam. A young woman is now in hiding for her life, and for what? Because she made a joke that people should be able to draw a cartoon of Mohammed? People calling themselves Muslims have actively called for her death over this, and that scares me. Disliking Islam or Muslims as a whole is not right but with these types of stories in the news can you blame us for being worried?

    • Jenna

      Melissa,

      I think you have a point. It seems to me that Muslims have a culture where they are afraid to criticize one another publicly in front of nonMuslims…. there is a tendancy to “close ranks” and while they condemn privately they do not do so in front of the nonMuslims. I think this is a mistake.

      Also in Muslim communities they are pretty insular here in the US…if Mosques were to become more community civic- active in the US within mainstream culture (like hosting boy scouts or host clean up efforts in a community , open a soup kitchen for the homeless…and so on) it would give nonMuslims more opportunity to see Muslims in a positive light. and interact with them.

      So I agree that American Muslims are not doing enough to mitigate the wrong ideas that is growing among Americans about them. What American Muslims seriously need is a PR campaign… get the word out and show people who you REALLY are… dont withdraw into only Muslim communities but be Muslims living within the current cultural paradigm. That way people will see you what for primarily are: loving of family, generous to the needy, pious and surrendering to God, all around good people.

    • Unimpressed

      So given your “logic” non-westerners, especially Muslims are well justified to HATE Americans for the terrorism they have done around the world. I can cite thousands of stories of Westerner criminality myself being a student of history.
      You have no right to continuously demonize, marginalize, and provoke 1/4 of the human race and then act like innocent victims.
      The problem with you Americans is you lack the ability to reflect, full of yourselves, acting like emotionally immature delinquent bullies.

      • Jenna

        unimpressed… I love how you use pseudo “intellectual” ( really the quotations is so clever and look wow you can use big words good for you!)
        use of styles of argument but when you start calling people names you nullify everything you say into a tirade of an angry, small minded bigot.

  43. Unimpressed

    Don’t worry about them. Americans are uneducated idiots, by and large. 9/11 was NOT done by Arabs or Muslims, intelligent people with discrete minds know this, including a minority of smart Americans who don’t fall for government lies and propaganda. I’m not a Muslim but have visitied the US many times from my native Trinidad, and everytime I notice the blatant stupidity and casual racism of Yanks is worse.
    The anti-Muslim movement in America and Europe is bankrolled by Zionist Jews, through their extreme Christian proxies, pushing for confrontation and wars to advance Israel’s agenda. American terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever else need to be condemned in the strongest terms. Enough is enough!

    • Jenna

      Unimpressed… I am sorry you feel that way… if you look to my posts above (which you will see I hold an opinion opposite of what you are describing I am an American and I am not a Muslim) you will see that you have fallen for the trap of stereotyping and that is a sad thing. yes it is easier to put everyone in “dumbass” category to make it easier to make decisions but don’t you see that you are doing the exact same thing the scared Christian Fundies are doing? You are no better than they when you allow yourself to make wide sweeping subjective, opinionated comments about a whole group of people in fact it makes you look ignorant. You are better than that.

    • Jenna

      and by the way…. my boyfriend is a Jew… and he and his whole family support park 51.

      • Unimpressed

        My post was not aimed at you in particular, but the countless western fanatics posting rubbish here. I’ve noticed pattern on numerous sites. It is not uncharitable or an exaggeration to say that Americans are amongst the most ignorant people, and dare I say stupid people on this earth. Not only that, I have yet to come across a people more uninformed as them, and this is what makes yanks so dangerous as they just believe about any lie their leaders feed them.
        Americans have been destabilizing and promoting terrorism in my part of the world for decades, everything from funding, training, installing militias, criminals, thugs and gangters to financing the drug trade. Just because many of you choose to live in a bubble doesn’t mean we aren’t privy to your crimes. These are cold hard facts which any honest educated person can testify to. I understand that yank apologists are not used to being subjected to such harsh truths but surprise, surprise : It’s not a small white world after all.
        Your boyfriend being Jewish and in support of Park51 is nice but doesn’t change the fact that Zionist radicals are behind much of the anti-Islamic hysteria in the US. Americans didn’t deserve to die on 911, but they sure as hell deserve to die in Iraq, Afghanistan and all the other nations they’ve mucked around with. And bury the lies that go along with them. I have zero sympathy for a country that rapes and slaughters children and carries on like nothings wrong.

      • Jenna

        If you think that American people are the stupidest people on Earth then I say you have not traveled enough or talked to enough people. Your hate is virulent and useless in honest discourse really where does it come from? Did some American woman break your heart? Did your American Daddy leave on the Islands? I feel so sorry for you… hate like yours will only turn against you and eat you up from the inside.

  44. Education will improve things abuse will not. My son and I spent three months in the States when he was eight and he went to their school. I was struck as an aussie by the fact that both education and media completely lacked information about the rest of the world.

    If you want folks to understand you though…well, yelling won’t do it.

  45. David

    Ringpoche, I’m interested in the idea that “Muslims don’t want to discuss and make a real valid analysis of their religion, and the Koran really escapes proper scrutiny because of the ever-present death threats made to anyone who dares to attempt to do so”. I agree that patriarchal societies, repressive governments and militant groups make ample use of Islamic principles. But people in the West clearly have their own agendas too. By “valid analysis” do you mean, for example, cartoons of Mohammed?

    Thank you for the link to the Abooali Blog. It’s thought-provoking reading, which also includes this extract, for example:
    “I know that Islam brings a great deal of guidance, comfort and worthy values to the lives of millions of people. I know that most Muslims are good and decent people. How could I possibly hate Muslims when my family are Muslims? When I speak to my older children about what I think, I tell them they must find out for themselves what they believe and if they feel happy being Muslims then that is what they should be.”

  46. Unimpressed

    This is what I always find on Muslim blogs and sites, the most ignorant, arrogant and vile ugliness coming from Westerners. It makes me sick. Make no mistake about it, these are the most intolerant, criminally insane, anti-freedom, murderous thugs on the planet. Read their history, they are projecting their own shortcomings on the Muslim people(many of whom are lifelong friends of mine) to justify their racism and bigotry. They were saying the same thing about Jews a century ago, and now it’s the Muslims turn.
    As I said earlier these people are idiots without a clue about how big and complex the world is. Why should the rights of American Muslims be based on what happens in Saudi Arabia? Don’t you Yank muppets have a constitution of your own? Why should the Saudis build Churches in a country which is 99% Muslim? Church attendance in America and Europe is a joke, so why are you obsessed with planting your Churches elsewhere? It’s because your aim is political, not spiritual. You uneducated idiots really ought do your reading before posting FOX news crap here. Where is your concern for the Palestinian Christians who have suffered under decades of Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing? I suppose they don’t count.
    And really, the hypocrisy of westerners to call stoning barbaric while they murder their own unborn, and commit countless wars of terrorism across the world is laughable in the extreme. Look in the mirror if you can stand the ugly demonic reflection staring back at you.

    The site http://www.loonwatch.com is an excellent antidote to poison of anti-Islamic propaganda.

  47. ringpoche

    @ David.
    Re: Valid criticism of the Koran: I mentioned in my comment that it should be in the light of scientific knowledge and human rights. I wasn’t including cartoons (I guess you’re referring to the Danish cartoons here) as ‘valid criticism’ – but cartoons can serve a useful role. There can be a lot of hypocrisy among the religious elite – and given their power over other peoples’ lives, definitely could use some scrutiny and light mockery in cartoons. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as they say. Witness the current priest paedophile scandal, and the cover-up by the Catholic church, and what has been happening in Iran to the opponents of president Ahmadinejad etc etc etc.

    Those cartoons of the prophet Muhammed were done I think just for the sake of making a point; namely that there should be no no-go areas for discussion and mockery. I don’t like cartoons that are just about stirring up hate, and mockery just for the sake of mockery without making a good point. But I don’t see why Islam or its prophet should be exempt from the same mockery that other religions and powerful institutions are subject to.

    I notice you pointed out the quotation from Abooali’s blog, where he said most muslims are good and decent people. Of course I agree with that, even tho’ I think they are also deluded. You included the bit where he gave his children permission to decide for themselves whether or not to remain muslim. Well, he only did that because he was an apostate from Islam. Practicing muslims would never allow their child the right to decide their own religion.

    • Unimpressed

      You’re a fine example of an American : uneducated, stupid, arrogant and despicable. Who in their mind studies a religion of over a billion people through shady blogs by anonymous authors?
      What rubbish secular fanatics delude themselves with.

  48. Unimpressed

    @Jenna,

    I guess it was matter of time before your yank stupidity surfaced. Americans are funny people, the moment the tables are turned you cry “hate.” Rather peculier for a people who excel at propagating hatred.
    You ignore facts and comtemplate why so many people around the world dislike you lot. Why theorize such things when you can pick up a history book and read up on your crimes, past and present? And no, unlike you I actually know who my parents are, nor did some white yankee slut “break my heart” in answer to your absurd attempts at humor.
    I usually ignore what an American says simply because in any discussion on morailty and ethics, an American has no right to point a finger at anyone considering he flies the flag of a country that was built on murder, pillage and genocide of the Native Americans. The only country that has used nuclear weapons on innocent civilians, the only country which has been involved in multiple wars for most of its history and the only country that is by and large universally despised for its role in contemporary history.
    As I said earlier, it’s not a small white world after all. Get off your high horse quietly before you’re kicked off.

    • Jenna

      Hahahaha… Unimpressed you are like a dog barking at everyone who walks by… your incessant babble is called Trolling. Unlike you however, I will not blame all Trinidadians based on your childish name calling. Please go seek counseling. I will no longer continue a discourse with someone who name calls, stereotypes and disrespect readers who may have a different opinion. You only act to inflame people and make them angry because your anger and hatred is so huge. You are part of the problem and nowhere near the solution. I will not engage in your trivial attempts at intellectual dialogue another moment. I come to this blog to have interesting and meaningful conversations with people, not braying donkeys such as yourself.

      • Unimpressed

        @Jenna
        Typical immature response from a yank illiterate projecting their nonsense when confronted with facts about the criminal nature of their empire state. They routinely defend this ignorance by resorting to childish tantrums and xenophobic slander. 10% of Americans can’t even find their own country on a map yet parrot racist war propaganda against entire nations and people. Many believe Obama is a Muslim after slandering him as a radical Christian! LOL And you wonder why the world dislikes you lot. What gave you the impression that I ever addressed you initially? We in Trinidad are a friendly bunch but not towards dirty, low down imperialistic yanks who have destablizied South America for decades killing millions. How many of you know that yanks run a torture school which trains terrorists to rape, murder and kill to keep the people in line?

        http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=School_of_the_Americas

        Americans and Europeans need to get acquainted with reality, you are a minority of the worlds population, your wealth largely the result of mass murder, terror and theft. The world will no longer put up with your white western “white man knows best” bullsh*t.
        Meaningful dialogue with normal people(i.e. non-Europeans) is possible, not unrepentent, genocidal criminals with the hearts of beasts thinking they are the masters of the world. I normally don’t use such harshness but reading the hate posted here comparing Muslim people to cancer, making up war inspired nonsense you expect decent people to view you as anyting less then scum? This isn’t radicalism just pure common sense. Not fun when the tables are turned eh?

      • Lisa

        @Jenna – you rock!

  49. David

    Well, I wish you guys all the best with identifying and addressing Unimpressed’s valid points while filtering out all the trolling :-)

  50. Madeleine

    Most American’s are not against the Islamic Center near ground zero. Most Americans don’t care. Especially in New York City where people are used to living with other people from many different countries, cultures, and religions. But our news media is largely controlled by people who like exaggerating and lying about facts. There are other places where the news is presented differently, but these are smaller, non-commercial outlets. It is not very different from the news in your country which presents a lot of selected information that makes people anti-American or anti-Semitic.

    • Unimpressed

      If most Americans don’t care, why are 60 to 70%(according to your own polls) against this center?
      Anti-Americanism is a global phenomenon thanks to decades of US imperialism and terrorism. How can Arabs be anti-Semitic when they are Semitic people themselves?
      The US media have it backwards. When you occupy a country it is not liberation. Liberation is when you kick out foreign occupation.

  51. Another American

    Nope, no Ground Zero Mosque is acceptable. That is sacred ground.

    If that Rauf guy wants to build a mosque, there are plenty of other places to build it. He can dedicate it to the people who died, and have all the exhibits, expositions and whatever else he wants to have in his mosque. Just do it away from Ground Zero.

    This Rauf guy is a self centered exhibitionist. It’s all about him. We don’t need intermediaries, and particularly not interlopers like him. Just go away and build your mosque, just build it somewhere else.

    I’m not swayed by those who will claim offense at this decision. If you don’t understand why it is offensive that a murder site where thousands were slaughtered, murders propagated by those acting in the name of a religion, isn’t a fitting place for that same religion to erect any structure having to do with that religion, then I’m sorry, but we’ll just have to let it rest with your lack of understanding, because there’s nothing more to talk about here.

    No Ground Zero Mosque.

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