On Faith: Faith in Egypt

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  February 6, 2011 — 61 Comments

My latest response at the Washington Post’s On Faith site is now up.

Here’s this week’s (about to be last week’s) panel question:

Mike Huckabee, the conservative former Arkansas governor, this weekend said that he is concerned about Islam’s role in Egypt’s future.  As On Faith panelist Reza Aslan this week noted, Huckabee has also called for Americans to “take this nation back for Christ” and, while running for president in 2008, declared that “what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards.”

In America and in Egypt, should a majority religion inspire political life? How will Islam play a role in the struggles for democracy happening now in Egypt and other parts of the Muslim world?

Here’s an excerpt from my response:

Mike Huckabee, who many see as a front-runner for the Republican presidential ticket in 2012, has been courting and celebrating the kind of Christians who, if ever presented with theocratic opportunities, would be the first to oppress and marginalize religious minorities. Huckabee calls himself a “fan” and “friend” of David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, who believes that“paganism and witchcraft were never intended to receive the protections of the Religion Clauses,” and is currently one of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s favored teachers for the freshman class of recently elected Republicans. Huckabee regularly allies himself with Lou Engle, whose rhetoric can “venture into bloodlust”according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Huckabee, like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and several other politicians, have sought to ingratiate themselves with a new kind of Christian right, one that, in the words of Bruce Wilson, has seen a “rapid reconfiguration [...] around the rising, highly militant but poorly understood charismatic wing.” This movement celebrates spiritual warfare, and is preparing itself for a renewal of Christian political and cultural dominance. So any “concern” from Huckabee about religion, or Islam, must be seen through this lens.

I hope you’ll head over to the site and read my full response, and the other panelist responses, and share your thoughts.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Tomb

    Really, Egypt and Iran have a solid bedrock of secularism in their societies. While in Iran it has been paved over by Islamic Fundamentalism, the Iran Protests last year have shown that it is there and the grasp of the Clergy is not absolute on their society. The same is of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, at worse they are the Republicans of Egypt (their organiztion is just as fractured too) while possibleto gain standing in a democratic election and they will push Islamic legislation a full out Islamic Takeover is unlikely to happen-especially given Egypt's economy is largely based in Tourism which means scaring off Tourists is a BIG nono! Though besides that if you have paid attention to he events you can see that the Muslims and Copts are standing together againsta corrupt political regime AND that alot of their signs shown on the news have been in…english. They know the eyes of America are on them and they know the fear that they will be labeled as Islamists which is something they have denied since day 1 pretty much.

    • Adon

      There's indeed a strong current of secularism in many Islamic countries, some religion critics in the Arab world are harsh on Islam to the extent that you'll never hear about them in the politically-correct Western media outlets (even on Foxnews), and some very prominent arab thinkers are denied the right to speak in European universities because they criticize and expose Islam.
      However, the problem is that Islamists are the only organized force, and were not just talking about the Islamic brotherhood, there are other smaller organizations that are much more dangerous like AL-Jihad which began as a schism in the Islamic Brotherhood in upper Egypt in the 60s and became later the strongest wing of Al-Quaeda.
      And saying that the Islamists don't want to scare the tourists is the weirdest thing i ever heard.

      • Tomb

        Capital always trounces everything else…look at Gaza residents who literally drove horses and camels into the Anti-Mubarak protesters because they were angry that the revolts were driving away tourists (income). The hinge of this revolution is on the leaders and people in how they decide to bring back the economic growth: Depose Mubarak and get it over with or put down the people…but Mubarak is fortunately not that of a key component in the grand scheme of Egypt's economy

  • Tomb

    Tell me then what do you make of the Roman supression of the Druids and the general disdain for Eastern Mystery Religions? Perhaps of the Ming Emperor Jiajing's supression of Buddhism.

    • Adon

      The romans didn't suppress the Druids because they wanted them to convert, they saw them as a threat to their imperial dominance on the land, the same thing for the suppression of Buddhism in China, it wasn't suppressed because the emperor thought they were Satan's minions but because he saw it as a threat to his power and the integrity of China.

      • Tomb

        Just like conversion of all the other people in another area would secure a ruler of a foreign ruler's kingdom from internal revolt? Notoriously throughout the ages religious circles have acted as focal points of opposition to opposing regimes, Its why in the old times anicent empires destroyed or incorporated gods of opposing city-states/empires.

  • Mojavi

    The way I see it, there is hardly any difference between Huckabee, and his ilk, and the Islamic Brotherhood. Both are political movements with religious fervor as motivation. Besides, in any country there will always be the off chance that a fringe group will grab some of the political seats vacated during upheaval.
    However, if one looks at the Egyptian unrest, it's more about police brutality, the poor, the unemployed, etc. This fight is highly secular. The Egyptian people comprises of Christians and moderate Muslims and want to keep a secular government.
    Instead of leaving Deity out of the fight, which the Egyptian people are doing, people like Huckabee and his counterparts are trying to radicalize fights like these, even in the US, to leverage their views into place.

    "God's standards"….who's god are we talking about? Excuse me for ranting.

  • http://www.thehighwayhermit.com highway_hermit

    Mixing religion and politics is a little like mixing ice cream and manure: the ice cream is ruined, but the manure looks a little better.

  • Lori F – MN

    Nice Analogy!

  • http://www.kmareka.com ninjanurse

    As an ex-Pentecostal I recall extreme language I heard in church during the late Vietnam-war years. Most Pentecostals are ordinary people more concerned with their personal lives than world domination, but they can be sold a very bad agenda if it's put in Biblical terms.

  • grimmorrigan

    His.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EdAHubbard Ed Hubbard

    Very well done Jason. You are becoming a articulate speaker, and find myself liking your ability to explain positions I share and agree with you on.

  • http://norsealchemist.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

    Jason, I'm a little concerned that your article is supposed to be about religion in Egypt, yet all you do is talk about Huckabee here in America. But that may just be what you've posted here.

    Mojavi, I'm sorry but I have to correct you slightly. You are correct about the "Hodown" in Egypt being secular, in that that's what the media has been showing us. The truth, on the other hand, is that there are several powerful factions moving around in the protests that are Highly Islamic and want Egypt to become a Caliphate (Islamic theocratic government that would eventually rule all Muslims. A Caliph is an Islamic position that basically functions as a Pope and an Emperor.) Similar movements have taken over Iran and are working on Saudi Arabia.

    Sadly, as much as I and everyone else would like to see what's happening in Egypt as the first steps to a free and democratic society, I don't see that happening. We often forget that there is something within the core of Western Culture, that has existed since Pagan times, that leads us to desire self rule and freedom for the individual. This something is not necessarily found in other cultures. This doesn't make us better, just as Democracy isn't the best form of government, but rather one of many equally useful options. We would like Egypt to show up with an American style democracy, but I think we're more likely to see something like the French Revolution, which rather than giving democracy, let to violence and bloodshed til someone stepped up and offered to provide order in exchange for power. His name was Napoleon, and anyone with Wikipedia can tell you what he did with that power. Anyone willing to step up and provide order in a chaotic Egypt is likely to be willing to do what it takes to make that order, and there are enough religious Islamic factions out there willing to see their religion in power to fund such a person to extravagance.

    Our experience with Islam is one of a Minority religion here in the US, where Christians are the dominant force that is all to willing to suppress anyone different from them. But we must remember that Islam controls almost as much of the world as Christianity does, it's growing, and it is cut from the same oppressive cloth as Christianity. Remember, too, that even with the Christians, pagan documents, myths, and customs have been preserved, even if they were suppressed. The same cannot be said of the pagan cultures that resided in Islamic lands, those were wiped out completely, and any knowledge about those cultures has come from archeologists working under extremely harsh conditions, especially these days.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Morgane-La-Fey/100000570995386 Morgane La Fey

    Sorry to disappoint you, Norse Alchemist, but the Egyptian people are extremely proud of their ancient (Pagan) past. Mubarak's thugs are attacking and looting museums, but bands of local people are coming together and fighting them off. It's not Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia. I'm not saying that fanatic elements couldn't take over and impose their will by force, but they would not be generally supported in the culture. Please don't paint everyone with the same brush.

    I agree with you that if either Islam or Christianity took over as a "state religion", that they would not allow Paganism to be practiced openly. However, just as the Church adapted Pagan holidays and made them their own, many pre-Islamic Pagan elements were in fact adapted and "re-interpreted" so as to absorb them into the religion (such as the Kaaba stone). Furthermore, during the rise of the Arabian empire, many of the ancient writings of Greek and Roman philosophers, doctors, and alchemists were translated into Arabic and studied for their wisdom. Crusaders brought back some of this knowledge when they returned to Europe, and those ideas eventually helped to inspire the Renaissance. Also, many of the Greek historians built upon ancient Egyptian teachings in the first place (such as Solon, who learned the story of Atlantis from Egyptian priests, as told to us in Plato's Timaeus and Critias).

    All I'm saying is that there has always been a cultural give and take between European, Middle Eastern and North African societies. It's not such a clearly defined "East" and "West". Whether we're talking about fanatic Muslims or fanatic Christians (as opposed to open-minded moderates) their level of ignorance knows no cultural or religious boundaries.

    Blessed Be, my friends

  • Adon

    As a Near Eastern polytheist i strongly agree with you concerning the danger of Islamists and the possibility of seeing a new Islamic theocracy in Egypt in the next 5 years. I also agree that Islamism in the Arab world is the most widespread current and is a threat to those who live under its grip and the entire world.
    But i strongly disagree with your view that the "desire for self rule and freedom for the individual" is a Western thingy. Liberty and self rule is of the natural order of things, an order made and maintained by the Gods and not one sane human endowed with their gifts would say otherwise, whether of Eastern or Western or whatever origins.
    It's true that Islam have had more success in wiping out ancient polytheist religions in its area of dominance, but that doesn't mean that my ancestors valued liberty less than yours, mine just had a fiercer enemy. It's not about East versus West, it's about natural order of things versus exclusive ideologies, we're are on the same side in this fight. Let's not forget that both Constantine and Julian the apostate were both western, and Mohamed and Porphyry were both Eastern.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    "[...T]here is something within the core of Western Culture [...] that leads us to desire self rule and freedom for the individual. This something is not necessarily found in other cultures."

    Just watching the news gives one plenty of evidence, in man- and woman-on-the-street interviews with protesters, that many Egyptians seek self-rule and freedom in more or less the same way we understand it. Some are different, who want Sharia, but we certainly have their parallels in the West. The thirst for democracy may be a recent import into North Africa but it is serious. These people are Internetted and know what they're missing, and a lot of them want it.

    That doesn't make me unduly optimistic about the prospects for a democratic outcome in Cairo. Our own US revolution came to a relatively soft landing in the Constitution (not for slaves and Indians, to be sure) and those in Central Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall were good on average if not unanimously, but the examples in France, Russia and Iran make it impossible to be an unalloyed optimist.

  • Tomb

    Actually the biggest knock to your statement about the "Obliterating Power of the Muslim Majority" are enfact the Monotheists themselves: The Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians ((pagans!)) (not to mention the Ba'hai, Alevis, Druze and so forth). They have lived in a Muslim majority situation for over a thousand years yet they have not been wiped from Persia or the Levant. Not to mention the Kush in the middle of freaking Pakhistan.

    I have the biggest opposition to those who can not believe that all religions CAN (and have) lived in peace with oneanother, while in the past the violence has been greater I feel as time goes on it has decreased, though certain extreame elements of ALL of the religions do not wish to see this their messages (which includes yours) is only self-destructive and will fade out in time.

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

    Until Mike Huckabee calls for killing anyone who is born Christian but attempts to leave that religion, he will still be a pot-smoking, flag-burning, free-loving liberal compared to the vast majority of Egyptian Muslims.

    Last year, Egyptian Muslims were asked what they thought of the death penalty for apostasy. Fully 84% of them said they thought it was a good idea. 84%!!!

  • http://norsealchemist.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

    Morgane, I'm sure the modern Egyptians are proud of their ancient heritage. I'm not sure I believe it's just Mubarik's thugs pillaging, but that's gonna be debated for years. As for extremists being supported by the majority of the culture, you'd be surprised what providing a little safety and order will do to win you friends. Even more when one by forcing them to be your friends.

    I'm sure there are also Pagan elements in Islam, that said, it would be hard to pick out which, unlike Christianity where it's pretty easy with a little know how of about Pagans. I am well aware though, of the knowledge that got passed around, however I would like to posit something I read that really deserves more research on all our parts, that Centers of learning in things like alchemy already had a long tradition before Islam showed up, and within a generation or two, stopped producing such knowledge in favor of pure Islamic study. Again much of the cultural sharing took place in the Pagan era, and some took place from people of knowledge fleeing Islam.

  • http://norsealchemist.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

    Adon, I didn't mean that individualism and desire for self rule is an exclusively Western notion. However, looking at a "West to East" axis, one finds a high emphasis on individualism in the West, and a high emphasis in community and collectivism in the East. This is not a hard rule, but a general principle I've noticed in my studies. This is also correlated in how strongly a pagan/polytheistic presence is found in a "society" so perhaps it is a religious thing, and the West preserved it's pagan past a little better than some in the east? Hard to say.

    I never meant to imply your ancestors valued liberty any less than mine, but rather that that desire for liberty was expressed somewhat differently.

  • http://norsealchemist.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

    Baruch, well said, I concede to your point. That said, it matches western ideals because a lot of it comes from Ideals found in Western Civilization.

    I think the hardest part of what I seem to have stirred up is that since the end of WW2, and the advent of mass communication and culture, we no longer have the "clean cut" lines of one society to another. This, I would argue is a good thing, but it does make it hard to sort out who was/is what. Arguably since Christianity started spreading, heck even before that, there has always been bleed over culturally. I was trying to speak generally, and working with what I have. I know Western Culture, I know Christianity and Islam to an extent, but I'm not as up on some Eastern as I might like to be. I thank everyone for their info and advice.

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

    Baruch: "… the examples in France, Russia and Iran make it impossible to be an unalloyed optimist."

    To France, Russia and Iran, one must add Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, both of which came about with mass popular support. Also the Chinese revolution of '49. And also the Mexican revolution of the early 20th century (which resulted in a one-party state for nearly a century). And the Vietnamese revolution. And the Algerian revolution …..

    Michael Mann, a scholar who specializes in the study of Fascism, has called mass popular support for totalitarian ideologies "the dark side of democracy". Unfortunately, Mann focuses almost exclusively on ideologies that appeal to ethnic hatred, but Islamism obviously represents a totalitarian ideology with widespread popular support, but which does not base itself on ethnic hatred.

    Now I am depressing myself, so I will stop.

  • Eir

    Let's not forget women didn't have the same rights as men either in the U.S. Constitution until recently.

  • Adon

    Thank you for your clarification.
    We're speaking in the same direction then.
    As for the discussion about the prosperity of sciences and philosophy in the early Islamic empire, it's important to note that it did indeed prosper but that was despite Islam and not because of Islam. When the Caliphates were done with their expansion wars, they dedicated themselves to annihilate all the traces of sciences and philosophy from their empire, that's why the prosperity was short lived. The book "why i'm not a muslim" for Ibn warraq dedicates whole chapters on this issue and debunks the myth of Islamic sciences and philosophy.

  • The_L

    Well put, Jason. It was heartwarming to see how many panelists agreed that theocracy in all its forms is wrong, and that Egypt should focus more on an egalitarian society than on a “Muslim nation.”

  • http://norsealchemist.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

    Well said. I shall have to find that book

  • Tomb

    Why do you not defend the Cordoba Caliphate? Or the Scientists and Philisophers of Baghdad?

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    To me the most striking aspect of the street revolution in Cairo is the emergence of anarchy in the best sense of the word — order without law. Household and neighborhood defense, volunteer militias guarding museums against looters, cooperative counter-strikes on camel-riding thugs instead of everyone just running away, even Muslims guarding Copt (Christian) worship on Sunday after Copts guarded Muslim worship on Friday. The contrast with what happened in Baghdad after the invasion is striking.

  • Pagan Puff Pieces

    NOW you're depressing yourself? I've been miserable the last few days at least!

  • Don

    "but Islamism obviously represents a totalitarian ideology with widespread popular support, but which does not base itself on ethnic hatred."

    I think anti-Semitism makes up a significant element of the Islamist agenda, though I am uncertain how central this is to Islamist as it was to say the Nazis.

  • Tomb

    Pretty much the entire events of Ramadan are THE pre-Islamic rituals done by Arab Pagans on pilgramage to Mecca's kaba.

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

    The thing about the US is that we have consistently moved in the right direction. At first our "democracy" was limited to white male property owners. Then we gradually dropped the socio-economic barriers, but only for white males. Then we removed the theoretical barrier based on race, but only gradually implemented that. Along the way we finally dropped the barrier based on gender. We still have all kinds of remaining inequalities and oppression in American society, to be sure. But as a nation we have both (1) gradually widened our vision of democracy, and (2) gradually improved the extent to which we practice what we preach.

    Specifically concerning women, the Constitution still does not explicitly guarantee equal rights for women. We still need the ERA.

  • caraschulz

    Woman STILL do not have the same rights as men under the US constitution. It is federal law that has helped make things more equal, but the ERA failed to be passed.

  • Adon

    Hi,
    It's not a black and white issue, Cordoba was once a lighthouse for tolerance and philosophy, and Baghdad was the capital of science in the world for more than a century, but i differentiate between what has happened despite Islam and what happened because of it.
    Saying that the scientific renaissance in the early Arabic empire was because of Islam is like saying that the late renaissance in Europe was because of Christianity. Most scientists, philosophers and poets during that period were heretics, Syriac and Mesopotamian Christians and atheists (and some were Pagans), and most of them were executed, imprisoned or exiled centuries before Rome started to burn scientists.

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

    Cordoba was never a "lighthouse for tolerance".

    But you are absolutely right to caution against crediting the ruling ideology of a society with any "advances" made during the reign of that ideology. Significant scientific advances were made during the Third Reich, and also during the period of one-party Communist totalitarianism in the USSR. And China has certainly advanced, in terms of infrastructure and technology, under the totalitarian regime that has ruled there since 1949.

  • Adon

    I agree, the Cordoba era must be revised, and the tolerance may turn out to be another myth, i need to read more on the subject to draw more accurate conclusions.
    The era of the Arabian reign over the Iberian peninsula is controversial, there was a brief period of tolerance because the different rulers were competing and several ones thought that it was better for them to win the Christian and the Jewish population by their side (this is the part that we find in conventional history book in European universities), but then the Islamic rulers were the first in Europe to ever expel the Jews from their kingdom (this is the part that we don't find in 101 history manuals).

  • Tomb

    So you se, he issue of tolerance rises and falls depending on the head of the political leader at the time. Its not so much the entire religion and people but just one person. It also a very bad thing to pave over and say "All Muslims are and were murderers" when A: We can never know what it was like on the personal level and if this was yay or nay and B: Muslims and Jews did continue to exsist in large numbers on the peninsula and in Granada until the unification of Spain under Ferdieand Isa…which we definitly know how that went.

  • http://norsealchemist.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

    That depends on how you look at it, there are ways of reading the constitution that grant everyone the same rights, it's just because of how the situation was that we felt the need to clarify and add extra wording. But that's just my thought.

  • Adon

    First of all, no one here is saying that "all Muslims are and were murderers", nor anyone is generalizing in any way, but when an entire ideology is violent and hateful we have to say that it is violent and hateful and no amount of political correctecdness can change that truth.
    and B: Muslims, on the political level, never lived peacefully with any other group in their history, the numbered exceptions in Islamic history (like in the Iberian peninsula) happened when Muslims weren't the majority or when Islam wasn't the source of political life and social ideology.
    It's not that hard really, for Muslims, Kuran is the word of Allah, and Kuran says "slay polytheists wherever you find them", so you either accept the statement as divine orders or you disobey Allah and become an unfaithful Muslim by saying that it's bullshit.
    Over 1400 years my friend, there's not one Muslim cleric that said that that sura about polytheist is plain wrong.

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

    You make an excellent point, Don. Anti-semitism is so deeply intertwined with Islamism that I overlooked it completely. Hmmm. So perhaps Michael Mann's paradigm of Fascism fits Islamism better than I had thought.

  • Tomb

    Giza not Gaza

  • Tomb

    A: I'm just saying that as a sadly common perception by people who do not understand Islam and Muslims.
    B: When has ANY religion of any people lived with one another peacefully? Please give an example, history is full of people conquering other people and the majority of it has been absent of pure religious reasoning. I hate it when Pagans attempt to cover up our collective violent past and think that history before Christ was all peaceful and eglatarian. From the Sumerian City-States to Babylon to Aryan India to Egypt's New Kingdom to Assyrian Domination to Alexander's March to Roman Conquest continued in the East as Polytheist died in Europa and the Middle East on a political scale (and has thus so far conitnued in the East)-not to mention the undocumented cases of animist vs animist when accounting pre-Colonial and Pre-Columbian Americas, Africa, Asia, Polynesia. Heathen religion is all about conflict and it can be seen in Greek and Egyptian if we look at Homer and the myths involving Horus, Set, etc.

  • Tomb

    It seems to largely say that you can;t have "Any Gods BESIDE Allah" so you can't worship Allah AND worship any other gods. Though given that their are still large numbers of Hindus in India given hundreds of years of Islamic Domination its a wonder why they 'as apart of their sacred duty' commit to killing non-stop all of the Hindus, therego all of those Muslims who didn;t and haven;t are not all Faithful Muslims-by your logic. Correct? Therego Man tends Not to listen to their deities.

  • Tomb

    Though it goes without saying that Islam is the Most Monotheistic though I ask you to stop taking things out of context "Kill Polytheists" bit in the Quran has to deal with the "War on Mecca", and in the end allegedly Muhammad wins and yet does not kill and slaughter the people saying that just because bad things were done to the Muslims it is not an excuse for Muslims to do so likewise.
    "whoever slays a soul, unless it be for murder or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew entire mankind; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept entire mankind alive; … (Quran 5:32)
    "
    It all I think boils down to what a Muslim interprets though, some (Extremists) say that Polytheists should be killed while others think that such Judgement will be passed on Polytheists in the afterlife.

  • Adon

    You need to read my comments better my friend, it's not my logic nor am i the one who said "slay all polytheists", it's in the Kuran, the Kuran in Islam is not like Bible for Chrisitanity because it doesn't just define theological and morale norms but also legal and political ones. I can't discuss Islam with you if you think it's similar to other religions, sorry.
    May be i invite you to my middle eastern country one day so you can see for yourself how tolerant they are when you say Pagan.

  • http://quakerpagan.blogspot.com/ Cat_C_B

    But, Tomb, quoting out of context is a perfectly acceptable rhetorical strategy when it is applied to monotheists by polytheists! It is only when the roles are reversed that it is wrong.

    Didn't you know that? (Seriously, thanks for giving a bit of context. Things are seldom as caricatured as depicted in the comments on an Internet forum.)

  • Adon

    So, is it a coincidence that you follow the typical Islamic debate tactics?

    Anyway, it's you who is quoting outside of context, the sura about killing polytheists was said way after Mohamed occupied Mecca, and there are more than 80 other suras that call to kill and slaughter those who don't believe in Allah and his prophet.
    In addition to that, there's a very important rule in Islamic Fikh that you missed to mention, the issue of replicating-substituting the verses (???? ??????): the rule is that if two verses talk about the same issue, the more recent verse chronologically is the one you take as correct, therefore when Mohamed says when he's 43 "don't slay a soul" and then says when he's 48 "kill all polytheists", the Islamic fikh will consider the latter verse as the correct one and not the first.
    Do you have any more apologies for Islamic barbarism?

  • http://quakerpagan.blogspot.com/ Cat_C_B

    Documentation? That's a big fat brush you're painting with, brother.

  • Adon

    I'll appreciate if you read my comment below to know more about "context".
    Blessed be

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

    Are you questioning whether or not Islamism (aka fundamentalist Islam, aka political Islam, aka extremist Islam) is characterized by pervasive anti-Semitism? This is hardly a well kept secret.

  • Don

    Seriously? Anti-Semitism among radical Islamists is as open and obvious as it was among Nazis. Come now.

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

    Sometimes I am willing to help others with their homework, but I am busy with other things right now. Try google.

  • Tomb

    Citations?

  • Tomb

    And 60 beats 48
    ""God does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of your religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely God loves the doers of justice. God only forbids you respecting and loving those who made war upon you on account of your religion, and drove you forth from your homes and backed up others in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them, these are the unjust." http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/060.asp

    "there is no compulsion in religion," (2:256). http://www.muslimaccess.com/quraan/arabic/002.asp

  • Adon

    LOL
    So you thought a simple copy paste will do the job?

    60 in the Kuran is the number of the sura (verse) my friend not the age of Mohamed (my example was about the age not the Sura number). The verses in the Kuran aren't organized chronologically, but are arranged from the longest in the beginning to the shortest.
    The two verses that you mentioned were spoken way early in Islamic history where Mohamed wasn't armed yet and had less than 200 followers, do you even know the difference between Mecca verses (where Mohamed was just a preacher) and Madina verses (where Mohamed became the head of a militaristic state)?
    You probably don't. I suggest that until you do some real Islamic studies instead of pasting the first google search, stop misinforming people here about Islam please.

  • Tomb

    I would hardly call Muhammad's time in Medina as a 'ruthless empire'.
    Would I suggest you actually show proof to me instead of making claims out of the thin air? As has been seen just because you live with a neighboring religion doesn't mean you actually know them.

  • Adon

    First of all Mohamed time in Medina was ruthless, unless executing 900 prisoner of Bani Kraida and raping their women doesn't count as ruthless in your dictionary.
    Second, It's not a neighboring religion for me, i live in a Muslim country.
    Third, anyone who knows beyond the Islam 101 knows what i'm speaking about, i studied Islam for 3 years in an Islamic religious institution and technically speaking, i'm an apostate in the eyes of Islam. If you know arabic, i'll be happy to lead you to some books to find in your local library because i studied in arabic and i don't trust the english books on this subject (too politically correct).
    Anyway, if you're really interested in finding the truth you can research for yourself, no one will do the effort on your behalf.

  • http://quakerpagan.blogspot.com/ Cat_C_B

    Thank you for clarifying your terminology. If you are referring to political and extremist Islam of the contemporary world, I would agree with you.

  • Tomb

    Then what is your solution to "The Muslim Question"?

  • Adon

    Simple; either some sort of a grand reformation takes place inside Islam and change it to something very different from what it is today (and that's unlikely), or one day you'll be fighting against apostasy laws in your home country as i do in mine.

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

    Adon: "either some sort of a grand reformation takes place inside Islam and change it to something very different …"

    I think that the history of Christianity over the last 5-6 centuries cautions against any hope for any "reformation" taking place "inside Islam."

    The Christian "Reformation" was led by people every bit as intolerant as the Catholic Church, and it spawned new mutant forms of Christianity that today are far worse than Catholicism.

    Another paradigm that is sometimes invoked is that Islam needs to have an "Enlightenment". But the Enlightenment did not come from "inside" Christianity, rather it was a movement against Christianity, and it succeeded (partially, but still to a significant extent) in reigning in the worst (or at least the most overt) aspects of Christian theocracy.