Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Some Muslims...

It is no wonder that many Americans question the dedication of normal Muslims towards weeding out and stopping terrorists that live in their communities.  Obama made what seemed to me like a logical statement/request.
"That does not mean denying the fact that an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities. This is a real problem that Muslims must confront, without excuse. Muslim leaders here and around the globe have to continue working with us to decisively and unequivocally reject the hateful ideology that groups like ISIL and al Qaeda promote; to speak out against not just acts of violence, but also those interpretations of Islam that are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity."

And some Muslims are angry about it...  I will never understand some Muslims...

Breibart Some Muslims...
WFDD Some Muslims...
MP Reactions to Trump Proposal

Seems like a good time for this quote. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."  Edmund Burke  Maybe that is why ISIS is flourishing?  All the good men ran for Europe...


Laurie said...

I really don't understand your point about "some Muslims are angry about it." I don't see how comments by a few random people should be representeative of some muslims.

I saw several of examples of patriotic Muslims fighting and dying for our country on the news today. I think this is more representative of some Muslims. I really don't get what you expect.

Maybe some white men should make stronger statements condeming the many random attacks by violent extremist white men on innocent movie goers and children.

Laurie said...

If you are going to post about a stupid topic you could at least include the most relevant link:

Some Muslim Americans Irritated By Obama's Call For Them To 'Root Out' Extremism

you could also include / quote the many Muslims in the article that are doing their best to assist law enforcement.

Maybe all people with mental illness should be asked to make a stronger stand to encourage mentally ill people who are prone to violence to seek treatment.

I think all of us, Muslim and nonMuslim should work together and speak out to educate the bigoted Trump supporters.

Laurie said...

Maybe rather than focusing on whether Muslims should speak out against terrorism we should discuss whether GOP leaders and voters should publically disavow Donald Trump.

There's Nothing Donald Trump Can Say About Muslims To Make GOP Leaders Reject Him
Republican lawmakers still say they'll back him if he becomes their presidential nominee.

Laurie said...

Here is a link to my favorite news essay today:

How ISIS and Trump Enable Each Other

and here is another very good one:

‘I’m Against the Muslims’: Trump’s Supporters and the Republican Divide

my thoughts, combining the info from both articles, are that I am more concerned with the need for nonbigoted Americans to speak out against widespread Islamophobia than I am for the need of moderate Muslims to speak out against ISIS.

I found these views disturbing:

"Yet 30 percent of Iowa Republicans said in a recent poll they think Islam should be outlawed. In another survey, 76 percent of Republicans—and 56 percent of all voters—said they considered the values of Islam “at odds with American values and way of life."

and from the first link I was struck by the idea that it is very hard to detect an alienated person who becomes radicalized and has very easy access to weapons. I think we should be strongly against alienating and ostracizing Muslims as a group.

Laurie said...

So here is one more link I found very interesting. I think you might like this one, John, as it gets into some very negative aspects of the way some practice Islam. I could hardly read about some of the things the Saudi's do. But try to get to caught up in this and miss the larger point, which is why the role os the Saudi Arabia is always ignored.

Why aren't we looking into the Saudi role in San Bernardino attack?

John said...

Really? I think this is the definition of some. "a few random people should be representative of some Muslims" (ie if one finds 3 blue marbles when drawing out of container, it is hard to disagree that the barrel contains some blue marbles) And by the way, no where did I say most or imply more than some... I do not know how many Muslims are supportive or ambivalent regarding ISIS, do you?

I would be happy to keep an eye out at church for outliers if there were some violent terrorism promoting faction within the ELCA. (not likely to happen... :-))

I am not surprised we disagree, however when Somalis are hesitant to take part in programs because they may be used by law enforcement, that seems odd.

Now I am not ready to block Muslim immigrants, however if American Muslims want to be trusted and respected it would be good if they were the most vigilant and out spoken about policing their own ranks.

They have the same problem as the Teachers/Unions, since they choose to shelter their own questionable members and be defensive many in the general population do not trust or respect them. Both groups could improve their popularity by being harder on their own than others.

I am a big fan of You ain't no Muslim Bruv. Especially watching the guy fall like a tree after being tasered. Now let's hear more Muslims speak out openly...

Laurie said...

so 2 more links before I call it a night:

What repulicans think about Muslims:

Donald Trump Isn’t the Problem
It’s time we face the fact that he’s just channeling the bigotry of the Republican Party’s base.

I thought the graphic was the interesting part, especially the 46% of republicans who believe the majority of Muslims support ISIS.

Clearly we are in need of Teaching Tolerance - American Muslims in the United States

I learned quite a bit such as the history of American Muslims goes back more than 400 years. I also learned that Many American Muslim leaders and organizations have repeatedly denounced extremist violence in the strongest possible terms.

John said...

Now as for Trump's ideas, it seems to me that many of the other candidates did say he was wrong... Not sure what else you would like them to do.

As for supporting the elected nominee... Do you really think the GOP should have a civil war over this if over 50% of the members vote for Trump? That wouldn't make much sense.

Especially when we know Trump could not pass 10% of what he says in our wonderful highly gridlocked government.

John said...

Now this is a fascinating read: Hoover Muslim Dilemma

Especially this section: The dilemma of the moderate Muslim

Laurie said...

I think republican leaders / candidates should be much stronger in disavowing Trumps views/proposals, including indicating they would not vote for him if he was the nominee, as he is completely unfit to be president.

John said...

The more I read, the more it sounds Islam has somewhat of a split personality going and no politically correct people want to acknowledge it.

" the past few weeks, both Russia and the United States have escalated their military campaigns against the Islamic State. As the brutal jihadist group continues to wreak havoc in Syria and Iraq, Foreign Policy’s Peace Channel, a partnership with the United States Institute of Peace, asked Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, and United States Institute of Peace acting Vice President Manal Omar, one of the foremost voices on peace and Islam, to debate what is behind this newest breed of extremism and how can it be defeated. In the age of al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and Boko Haram, is there a link between the violence these groups perpetrate and the faith they profess? (Read Manal Omar’s piece here.)

In the 14 years since the attacks of 9/11 brought Islamic terrorism to the forefront of American and Western awareness and then-President George W. Bush launched the “Global War on Terror,” the violent strain of Islam appears to have metastasized. With tracts of Syria and Iraq in the hands of the self-styled Islamic State, Libya and Somalia engulfed in anarchy, Yemen being torn apart by civil war, the Taliban resurging in Afghanistan, and Boko Haram terrorizing Nigeria, policymakers are farther away from eliminating the threat of violent Islamism than they were when they began the effort. In fact, Western countries are increasingly witnessing domestic attacks such as the murder of British military drummer Lee Rigby and the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, the shootings at Parliament Hill in Canada in 2014, the attacks at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and at a Jewish supermarket in Paris this past January, and most recently the terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on a military recruiting center and naval compound.

But does this violent extremism stem from Islam’s sacred texts? Or is it the product of circumstance, which has twisted and contorted Islam’s foundations?

To answer this, it’s worth first drawing the important distinction between Islam as a set of ideas and Muslims as adherents. The socioeconomic, political, and cultural circumstances of Muslims are varied across the globe, but I believe that we can distinguish three different groups of Muslims in the world today based on how they envision and practice their faith.

The first group is the most problematic — the fundamentalists who envision a regime based on sharia, Islamic religious law. They argue for an Islam largely or completely unchanged from its original seventh-century version and take it as a requirement of their faith that they impose it on everyone else. I call them “Medina Muslims,” in that they see the forcible imposition of sharia as their religious duty, following the example of the Prophet Mohammed when he was based in Medina. They exploit their fellow Muslims’ respect for sharia law as a divine code that takes precedence over civil laws. It is only after they have laid this foundation that they are able to persuade their recruits to engage in jihad."

John said...

"The second group — and the clear majority throughout the Muslim world — consists of Muslims who are loyal to the core creed and worship devoutly but are not inclined to practice violence or even intolerance towards non-Muslims. I call this group “mecca Muslims.” The fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts.

More recently, and corresponding with the rise of Islamic terrorism, a third group is emerging within Islam — Muslim reformers or, as I call them, “modifying Muslims” — who promote the separation of religion from politics and other reforms. Although some are apostates, the majority of dissidents are believers, among them clerics who have come to realize that their religion must change if its followers are not to be condemned to an interminable cycle of political violence.

The future of Islam and the world’s relationship with Muslims will be decided by which of the two minority groups — the Medina Muslims and the reformers — wins the support of the meccan majority. That is why focusing on “violent extremism” is to focus on a symptom of a much more profound ideological epidemic that has its root causes in Islamic doctrine.

To understand whether violence is inherent in the doctrine of Islam, it is important to look at the example of the founding father of Islam, Mohammed, and the passages in the Quran and Islamic jurisprudence used to justify the violence we currently see in so many parts of the Muslim world. In Mecca, Mohammed preached to his fellow tribesmen to abandon their gods and accept his. He preached about charity and the conditions of widows and orphans. (This method of proselytizing or persuasion, called dawa in Arabic, remains an important component of Islam to this day.) However, during his time in Mecca, Mohammed and his small band of believers had little success in converting others to this new religion. So, a decade after Mohammed first began preaching, he fled to Medina. Over time he cobbled together a militia and began to wage wars."

John said...

"Anyone seeking support for armed jihad in the name of Allah will find ample support in the passages in the Quran and Hadith that relate to Mohammed’s Medina period. For example, Q4:95 states, “Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home).” Q8:60 advises Muslims “to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.” Finally, Q9:29 instructs Muslims: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Mainstream Islamic jurisprudence continues to maintain that the so-called “sword verses” (9:5 and 9:29) have “abrogated, canceled, and replaced” those verses in the Quran that call for “tolerance, compassion, and peace.”

As for the example of Mohammed, Sahih Muslim, one of the six major authoritative Hadith collections, claims the Prophet Mohammed undertook no fewer than 19 military expeditions, personally fighting in eight of them. In the aftermath of the 627 Battle of the Trench, “Mohammed felt free to deal harshly with the Banu Qurayza, executing their men and selling their women and children into slavery,” according to Yale Professor of Religious Studies Gerhard Bowering in his book Islamic Political Thought. As the Princeton scholar Michael Cook observed in his book Ancient Religions, Modern Politics, “the historical salience of warfare against unbelievers … was thus written into the foundational texts” of Islam."

John said...

"There lies the duality within Islam. It’s possible to claim, following Mohammed’s example in Mecca, that Islam is a religion of peace. But it’s also possible to claim, as the Islamic State does, that a revelation was sent to Mohammed commanding Muslims to wage jihad until every human being on the planet accepts Islam or a state of subservience, on the basis of his legacy in Medina. The key question is not whether Islam is a religion of peace, but rather, whether Muslims follow the Mohammed of Medina, regardless of whether they are Sunni or Shiite.The key question is not whether Islam is a religion of peace, but rather, whether Muslims follow the Mohammed of Medina, regardless of whether they are Sunni or Shiite.

Today, the West is still struggling to understand the religious justification for the Medina ideology, which is growing, and the links between nonviolence and violence within it. Two main viewpoints have emerged in the debate on the causes of violent extremism in Islam. The difference between them is reflected in the different terminology used by proponents of the rival views.

Popular academics such as John Esposito at Georgetown and author Karen Armstrong believe that religion — Islam, in this case — is the “circumstantial” bit and that the real causes of Islamist violence are poverty, political marginalization, cultural isolation, and other forms of alienation, including real or perceived discrimination against Muslims. These apologists for Islam use words such as “radicalism,” “violent extremism,” and “terrorism” to describe the various attacks around the world committed in the name of Islam. If Islam is mentioned at all, it is to say that Islam is being perverted, or hijacked. They are quick to assert that Islam is no different from any other religion, that there are terrible aspects to other religions, and that Islam is in no way unique. That view is more or less the “official” view of policymakers, not only of the U.S. government, but also of most Western countries (though policy changes are beginning to appear on this front in some countries such as the U.K., Canada, and Australia).

But the apologists’ position has been a complete policy failure because it denies the religious justifications the Quran and the Hadith provide for violence, gender inequality, and discrimination against other religions.

Proponents of the alternative view, such as the late academic Patricia Crone and author Paul Berman, rely on different terms such as “political Islam,” Islamism, Salafism, Wahhabism, and Jihadism. All of these terms are designed to convey the religious basis of the phenomenon. The argument is that an ideological movement to impose sharia law, by force if necessary, is gaining ground across the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and even in Europe. In a speech this past July, British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “[S]imply denying any connection between the religion of Islam and the extremists doesn’t work, because these extremists are self-identifying as Muslims. The fact is from Woolwich to Tunisia, from Ottawa to Bali, these murderers all spout the same twisted narrative, one that claims to be based on a particular faith. Now it is an exercise in futility to deny that.” I agree."

John said...

"The view that the ideology of radical Islam is rooted in Islamic scripture understands fully the cause of terrorism; it takes religious arguments seriously, and does not view them as a mere smokescreen for underlying “real” motivations, such as socio-economic grievances. This school of thought understands that the problem of radicalization begins long before a suicide bomber straps on his vest or a militant picks up his machine gun; it begins in mosques and schools where imams preach hate, intolerance, and adherence to Medina Islam.

Western governments have tried to engage with “moderate Muslims”: imams and community leaders who denounce terrorist attacks and claim to represent the true, peaceful Islam. But this has not amounted to meaningful ideological engagement. These so-called moderate representatives of Islam insist that violence has nothing to do with Islam and as a result the intolerant and violent aspects of the Quran and the Hadith are never acknowledged or rejected. There is never any discussion about change within Islam to bring the morally outdated parts of the religion in line with modernity or genuine tolerance for those who believe differently.

Despotic governments, civil war, anarchy, economic despair — all of these factors doubtless contribute to the spread of the Islamist movement. But it is only after the West and, more importantly, Muslims themselves recognize and defeat the religious ideology on which this movement rests that its spread will be arrested. And if we are to defeat the ideology we cannot focus only on violent extremism. We need to confront the nonviolent preaching of sharia and martyrdom that precedes all acts of jihad.

We will not win against the Medina ideology by stopping the suicide bomber just before he detonates himself, wherever he may be; another will soon take his (or her) place. We will not win by stamping out the Islamic State or al Qaeda or Boko Haram or al-Shabab; a new radical group will just pop up somewhere else. We will win only if we engage with the ideology of Islamist extremism, and counter the message of death, intolerance, and the pursuit of the afterlife with our own far preferable message of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the author of Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now.

Laurie said...

about - how many Muslims are supportive or ambivalent regarding ISIS, all you have to do is ask google:

In nations with significant Muslim populations, much disdain for ISIS

on a different note, at a recent family get together I had a brief discussion of fear of terrorism with my brother. I said I had a greater fear of an anti Muslim extremist targeting my school than my being anywhere that was attacked by an ISIS supporter. He works for the federal govt and plans a yearly, large, well advertised event and this year he is thinking of adding extra security with thoughts that his event could be targeted. I think he had in mind a possible ISIS supporter, but his event could be be targeted by an anti government zealot as well. (in both cases are fears are very minimal) It's so great to live in a country full of 300 million weapons!

John said...

I think Sanders is completely unfit to be President... Are you willing to disavow him?

Laurie said...

Your comments are way too much for me to read tonight. If they are from a source I consider good I will look into it more tomorrow or this weekend (or find my own source.) Given the population I work with I really should know more about the Islamic religion.

Laurie said...

What makes Sanders unfit? You cannot be serious comparing Trump to Sanders. Go ahead post comments from all kinds of national and world leaders condeming remarks from Bernie.

John said...

According to google there ~1,600,000,000 Muslims in the world.

Based on your Pew survey results, it is possible that 5% of them support ISIS. That would be > 80,000,000 Muslims world wide. And a far greater percentage were unsure.

And there are > 5,000,000 Muslims in America. Now let's reduce that "supports ISIS" number down to 1%. That means there would be 50,000 American Muslims who support ISIS. Now I would definitely say 50,000 is "some". Nervous yet?

Now let's say that 5% more are uncertain... That would mean 250,000 are on the fence and could go either way...

Now I am happy that ~94% are against ISIS... They are not the ones who concern me.

Sean said...

Most Muslims, frankly, probably have nothing to add to counterterrorism efforts. These events are occurring in their own little cells. Even the families of the California killers appear to have been out of the loop regarding their radicalization (and have denounced the actions).

And, if we're going to put such requirements on Muslims, then it's worth noting that there's plenty of fanaticism (and violence) in elements of the Christian right that need to be weeded out as well.

For instance, Ted Cruz sent out a press release trumpeting the endorsement of someone who called killing abortion providers "justifiable homicide" and who met and discussed the use of violence with the man who killed Dr. George Tiller (while he was serving as an usher in his ELCA church).

John said...

I have no problem with folks asking that the ELCA folks police their own, and am happy to do so myself. If I ever suspect that my Pastor is ambivalent to or supportive of people killing abortion providers, I am thinking there will be a church meeting soon after.

Now would the family have seen the signs if they were aware and looking for them? That is the question.

If 1 out of 100 muslims are supportive of Medina Islam... And if 1 out 10,000 are open to committing terrorist activities in support of it... We have a problem.

Here is another interesting paper.

Sean said...

If you're interested in having non-radicalized Muslim communities, maybe the way to go about it is not to shake our finger at them and make broad indictments of the entire community. The American Muslim community is generally much more integrated (in terms of housing, education, and wealth) than Muslim populations in Western Europe (and in many cases, more integrated than other immigrant groups in our country). We shouldn't lose perspective on that.

John said...

"broad indictments of the entire community"

Which part of 1 in 10,000 is a "broad indictment"?

By the way, it looks like 1 of 5 Democrats support his idea to ban Muslims.

Laurie said...

It's dumb and dangerous when democrats support banning Muslims, too.

It is very certain that from time to time one or more people in America will go on a violent rampage. When it is a Muslim shooter it will be called terrorism. As I have already mentioned it seems very foolish to me to become so fearful and bigoted that we ostracize millions of people, thus making it more likely that more will be susceptible to support ISIS.

Why do Americans accept "non-terrorist" violence and masacres, but react with a much bigger freak out when it is a Muslim shooter. Take the San Bernardino shooting compared to the Charlston shooting? They seem somewhat similar to me.

Was the South Carolina shooting a hate crime or a terrorist attack?

John said...

Fear knows no party affiliation. As the numbers above show, some Muslims do pose a threat to normal Americans who are just going about their daily routine. That is pretty scary for many.

Since I happily accept the risk of riding my motorcycle on 494 during rush hour, I find it silly to worry about the random occurence of some crazy person (people) shooting or blowing me up.

Here is another view regarding hate crimes vs terrorism. I think some say PO TA TOH and some say PO TAH TO...

To reverse your question. Why do some people want to accept the small risk of accepting Muslim terrorists into the country while demanding Gun control and a stop to random crazy people attacks? Please remember that guns are not needed by terrorists, they are very good with Improvised Explosive Devices, car bombs, etc.

John said...

Of course with ~400,000 illegal immigrants and tons of contraband crossing the border each year this seems very silly all together. Why would terrorists take the time for a VISA when they can just hire a smuggler to get them in from Mexico or Canada?

Sean said...

No broad indictments? Really?

"It is no wonder that many Americans question the dedication of normal Muslims towards weeding out and stopping terrorists that live in their communities."

Oh, OK.

Sean said...

"Please remember that guns are not needed by terrorists, they are very good with Improvised Explosive Devices, car bombs, etc."

They are? The recent U.S. record doesn't really back that up, other than the Tsarnaevs. Far more failures (from San Bernardino to the white supremacist bomb in Washington to Times Square) than successes.

John said...

Now let's not be taking sentences out of context.

"It is no wonder that many Americans question the dedication of normal Muslims towards weeding out and stopping terrorists that live in their communities. Obama made what seemed to me like a logical statement/request."

blah blah blah

And some Muslims are angry about it..."

John said...

An Interesting List of Creative Terrorism

Anonymous said...

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Oh I don't know about that. Lots of good men work very hard on stuff, yet evil does seem to have it's successes.


John said...

True. However when good people flee the country or don't look for it in their midst, the evil has an easier time of spreading and growing.

Food for Thought

Anonymous said...

However when good people flee the country or don't look for it in their midst, the evil has an easier time of spreading and growing.

Was that the specific problem Burke was addressing in his speech?


Sean said...

Are you going to stay here?

It's easy to sit here and point the finger at innocent people caught in the middle of a three-way civil war and lecture them as to why they're not fighting for their country.

John said...

Thankfully we are very fortunate.

I faced a much less life threatening and yet similar choice like many Americans. When my children were going to enter Middle School, we had to decide if we wanted to stay in our pretty challenged and diverse school or if we wanted to escape to a much "better school" like many middle and upper income families. We chose to stay put, volunteer, donate, etc. I figured if we don't work to support our community... Who would?

Too bad more families don't do this, maybe their would be fewer failing local public schools...

Laurie said...

I can't believe you made that comparison. I think it would have fit better in the ESSA post.

John said...

Maybe... However imagine what the inner city schools and communities would look like if all those "successful people" had not run for the burbs when the going got tough.

Imagine if they had stayed in their home communities, paid taxes, gave to local charities, volunteered at the schools, fought for "their community", invested in the communities, etc.

Would our communities be as segregated? (by wealth, race, job opportunities, academic capability, criminal activity, belief systems, etc)

Would our inner city schools be full of unlucky kids in such a density level that educating them is very challenging?

In my simplistic view the challenges faced by the inner cities is because good people did what was good for themselves and their families, thus sacrificing what was their community. Choices, choices...

Laurie said...

If I lived in a region of Syria controlled by ISIS, in a region being bombed by one of the many countries dropping bombs over there, I'd get the hell out. Becoming a war refugee is an extremely difficult life, but it beats the alternative of staying.

IF I was a young man living over there, I don't know what I would do, fight ISIS? fight Assad's army? I think I'd still probably leave, with the possibility in mind of going back when the wars end. Let ISIS and Assad fight it out. With so many countries against ISIS it seems they will eventually be defeated, if Assad has a big enough army.

That decision is just a little bit different than should I stay in north Mpls. btw, I don't think I would raise my family in n. mpls.

John said...

Please remember that ISIS was not built in a day, as North Mpls did not decline in a day.

At some point ISIS was just the idea of a few crazy people, as at some point long ago just a couple of people fled a healthy Mpls.

It is at those times that evil and decay are most easily defeated. That is if people choose to stay and fight for their community.

Once evil and decay have a strong foot hold in a community it requires much more effort to clean things up.

Laurie said...

Obama warns: Discrimination against Muslims helps ISIS

I agree with Obama, the one thing I can do to fight radical Islamist terrorism is continue to be friendly and welcoming to Muslim Americans.

John said...

I support "friendly and welcoming to Muslim Americans".

Though I also support demanding that they fulfill their duties as American citizens in supporting peace and reporting suspicious activities.