Who speaks for Islam?

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    Aug 16, 2010 2:38 AM GMT
    Why don't the majority of Muslims denounce radical Islam?

    Expounding upon a tangent raised in another thread:

    fastprof> Hitler's manipulations also should remind the moderates what could happen when an extremist fringe becomes relatively large and vocal, and the moderates claim "...they're wackos....no one takes them seriously..."

    I think that's Wilton's point, that no one is taking seriously the radical Islamist threat.


    sxydrkhair> the terrorists are Muslims and they don't speak for the Muslim religion.

    Who does speak for Muslims and Islam?
    The silent majority? (And are they a majority?!)


    Commoncoll> the poll results I posted
    15% of Pakistanis look upon the Taliban favorably and 18% looked upon the Al-Qaeda as favorable.

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1338/declining-muslim-support-for-bin-laden-suicide-bombing

    In 2003, 33% of Pakistanis supported suicide bombings (74% in Lebanon).
    It actually went up to 41% in 2004 before dropping to 5% in 2009 (38% in Lebanon).
    [Hadn't noticed it before, but in Nigeria it stayed about the same, 47% and 43%]

    The turning point wasn't due to some moral revelation or Quranic teaching but due to the fact that around 2004-2005 the majority of victims of suicide bombings, rather than being Westerners, were Muslims.


    dantoujours> Across the Muslim world, opinion polls suggest his popularity has faded

    And yet 9 years later it is still disturbingly high.

    In 2003, 46% of Pakistanis supported Osama bin Laden, up to 52% in 2005 before dropping to 18% in 2009.
    In Indonesia, it dropped from 59% to 25%.
    In the PA territories, from 72% to 52%.
    In Nigeria, it rose from 44% to 54%.

    It's still a majority in some places, and certainly not just a "fringe".


    dantoujours> all I saw was that one tape from that one [Palestinian Arab] camp played over and over and over again.

    Again, 72% support for bin Laden in 2003 - and it's not like he ever did anything (positive) for them, despite his wealth.
    I'm pretty sure most of them had never heard of him prior to 9/11. They support him because of 9/11.
    (When they're not contradicting themselves and claiming it was an "inside job" or that the Jews did it.)


    dantoujours> AQ... initially had support because of the lack of options in the current regime.

    OK, let's assume we can accept that in Saudi Arabia (though a 2004 poll indicated that 41% supported close relations with America, going up to 69% in 2007).

    What about Pakistan and Indonesia?

    And why the initial support not just for OBL/AQ but for suicide bombing?!


    dantoujours> So everyone should be judged based on the action of radicals?

    When the "radicals" are 1/3rd to 2/3rds (or more!) of the population?
    No individual should be pre-judged on this basis, but the group...?


    Dantoujours> Do you feel a personal responsibility to protest every fuck up White people, Westerners or Americans do solely because you are a White person or a westerner? Did you counter-protest Timothy McVeigh's bombing, or the killing of Dr. Tiller?

    If 1/3rd to 2/3rds of "white people" came out in support of the burning of black churches or the KKK, you'd let them represent you and not come out and condemn the KKK - especially had they just murdered 3,000 innocent people?! In fact, when the KKK has come to town, while they muster about a dozen people, there are thousands of counter-demonstrators. This absent any major Klan attack in decades let alone anything ever of 9/11 magnitude.

    Yet following the failed underwear bombing of a flight headed to Detroit, the local Arab/Muslim community (of over 300,000) could only muster a couple dozen people to attend a protest of the attempted bombing of a plane they or their relatives/friends/neighbors could have been on?! Aren't they the "fringe"?

    Just as we see weasel words from the Imam building the NYC mosque (he claims he is "anti-terrorist" but won't say who the terrorists are), instead of unequivocally condemning Muslim terrorism many Muslims hide behind saying they have no need to condemn it or speak up (what they are really doing is circling the wagons around the "Ummah").

    Thus they have left the "radicals" as the only (or at least primary) party speaking for Islam.
    No wonder that is all that some people hear.

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    Aug 16, 2010 2:50 AM GMT
    Well Arizona is doing it's bit with Border controle; relevant and paramount.
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    Aug 16, 2010 3:21 AM GMT
    Well who speaks for Judaism? Or Christianity? Or Buddhism? Or Hinduism?
  • creature

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    Aug 16, 2010 3:26 AM GMT
    I was going to discuss this in another thread, but I left my response to two sentences as there was just so much to say. But I'll use this thread to expound my view.

    Here on RealJock, when some controversial matters centers around a Republican, I notice that it is the Democrats on here who promptly talk about it. Very rarely does a Republican member (or "Independent") discuss the matter. They are mostly silent about it. And if they do speak up, it's generally done to badmouth a Democrat, essentially an attempt to change the topic. It's a pattern I noticed for quite some time. I wondered why the conservative members on here reluctant to denounce the wayward Republican politician when their actions have been brought to light.

    The answer came to me when someone in the thread about the Mosque being constructed near ground zero asked where is the public outcry of Muslims condemning the acts committed by the extremists.

    And the answer is simple: They don't owe it to anyone. It is not the responsibility of the conservative members on here to speak out against the wayward members of the political party they tend to associate with it. And it should be of no burden of Muslims to publicly voice their opinion of Muslim terrorists. Every Muslim speaks for Islam, but no one Muslim defines it.

    If there was a religion where 99% percent of its practitioners engaged in terrorist activity, I will stand behind the 1% who follow the religion in a peaceful manner. No one should be judged by the actions of others.

    No one represents me but me.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Aug 16, 2010 3:31 AM GMT
    The news displays that which is attention worthy. Peace is never attention worthy.
    The Muslim world is in shambles. Many Islamic countries have weak economies, low standards of living, high poverty rates, continuous upheavals in government, low morale, and weak representation in areas which matter-politics. What happens in the West is secondary to all their other problems. Poor people without homes really don't care about America.

    You are correct. The Muslims are treating matters as if they hide their heads in the sand, the problems will go away. Muslims do not like to attract attention to themselves. You can also ascribe it to the policy that someone else can do it. In Muslim countries, people like to sweep things under the rug. When one sect kills members of another sect, there are no public apologies or demonstrations. It just simply disappears.
    On the other hand, just the way they live their lives should tell you something about them. Many US Muslims are more educated than the avg American. They earn higher incomes than the avg American. They are continually moderate on many stances which the West and the Islamic countries are deeply divided on. Does being an exemplary citizen count for nothing?

    How can 1.57 billion Muslims apologize for a small minority? To give a trite example, it would be like white people apologizing for evils that white people have done. Yet there have been fatwas issued against terrorism and suicide bombings. I went to live in Pakistan last year for six months. I remember seeing public campaigns given by Mullahs against terrorism in Pakistan. Committing suicide is forbidden in the Qur'an. Thus suicide bombings are too, especially as they are seen as murder. Famous Mullahs who opposed some extremist organisation in Pakistan have been gunned down. People-young men- are lured away to the extremist organisations because they are promised food and shelter. Of course, dying in the way of Allah is another matter. These organisations advertise on walls around the city. The promises of food and shelter were written in bigger texts than Jihad. Many Muslims don't think there is a Jihad against the West. Only the Caliph can call a true war Jihad. There has not been a caliph recently.
    Many people in these countries are not educated. They follow what is said to them by some extremist who makes it sound like the West is coming to attack them.
    As for early support of suicide bombings:
    Afghanistan neigbours Pakistan. Before the rise of the Taliban and Usama bin Laden in the 1990s and late 80s, the Russians were occupying the country. When the US started handing out weapons to the Mujahideen, the biggest way to kill the most Russians were in suicide attacks. As you can imagine, Pakistanis support Afghanis and thus understood that suicide bombings were the successful resorts to combat the West. Pakistanis too had battled the West before-the British. Thus the Taliban were heroes. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq made it sound like the West v. Islam. However, once more and more bombings started, more people opposed them. Even in 2003, sizable majorities disagreed with suicide bombings. It just took time for the rest of the people to see this.
    In Indonesia(1999), Christian East Timor was cut out from Indonesia and was recognised by the UN. The US was one of the first countries to support this dividing of Indonesia. There were intense civil wars.
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    Aug 16, 2010 3:35 AM GMT
    TigerTim> Well who speaks for Judaism? Or Christianity? Or Buddhism? Or Hinduism?

    An excellent question. Various religions have hierarchies and leaders.
    I'll leave it to our Muslim members to explain this aspect of Islam.

    With regards to Jews, we often joke: 2 Jews, 3 opinions.
    We're not very shy about telling people what we think.

    There is no single voice. Within the religious establishment, various Rabbis over time gain distinction through their opinions and writings. I'm going to pull from another example, though.

    As many may remember, last year there was an anti-gay hate-crime shooting in Tel Aviv in which 2 people were killed. What was the reaction in Israel?

    President Shimon Peres:
    The horrifying murder that was carried out yesterday in Tel Aviv, against teenagers and young people, is a murder that a civilized and enlightened people cannot accept. Murder and hatred are the two most serious crimes in society. The police must exert great efforts in order to catch the despicable murderer, and the entire nation must unite in condemning this abominable act.

    Prime Minister Netanyahu:
    we are a democratic and tolerant country and we must respect every person as he is.

    Opposition leader Tzipi Livini:
    the hatred exists and must be dealt with. ...awaken society to rid itself of prejudice. ...on this day deliver an unequivocal message against intolerance, incitement and violence, and to act against any manifestation of these.

    The "extremist" Shas party:
    [we are] shocked and bereaved, and denounce without reservation the murderous incident.

    A week after the shooting, 20,000 Israelis came to a rally to show support for the gay community.

    The politicos didn't "owe it" to anyone to say those things.
    It was not the [personal] "responsibility" of anyone to come to the rally.
    But they did. To move things in the right direction.

    I'm sure you are familiar with the saying:
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [and women] do [and say] nothing.

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    Aug 16, 2010 3:41 AM GMT
    Creature> They don't owe it to anyone. It is not the[ir] responsibility

    Of course not. But you think they would WANT to.

    For example, the Imam building the community center a couple blocks away from Ground Zero is outspoken and has gone out of his way to claim he and his colleagues are "anti-terrorist", yet he doesn't owe it to us to identify the terrorists?


    Creature> Every Muslim speaks for Islam, but no one Muslim defines it.

    But if the only Muslims who speak out are radical Muslims....


    Creature> If there was a religion where 99% percent of its practitioners engaged in terrorist activity, I will stand behind the 1% who follow the religion in a peaceful manner. No one should be judged by the actions of others.

    Right, no individual should be judged by the group. But if 99% of religion X were terrorists, would it be wrong to brand that religion?
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    Aug 16, 2010 3:52 AM GMT
    Commoncoll> The Muslim world is in shambles. Many Islamic countries have weak economies, low standards of living, high poverty rates, continuous upheavals in government, low morale, and weak representation in areas which matter-politics. What happens in the West is secondary to all their other problems. Poor people without homes really don't care about America.

    But they do care about cartoons in some 3rd rate Danish newspaper 6 months earlier and then they forget about being "without homes" and can take to the streets by the scores of thousands, burn down embassies and churches...?


    Commoncoll> Many US Muslims are more educated than the avg American. They earn higher incomes than the avg American. They are continually moderate on many stances which the West and the Islamic countries are deeply divided on.

    And still the vast majority of them are silent?!


    Commoncoll> How can 1.57 billion Muslims apologize for a small minority?

    It is only a minority that perpetrates these acts, but as we see from the poll data many (at times a plurality and even a majority in some countries) SUPPORT that minority.


    Commoncoll> Famous Mullahs who opposed some extremist organisation in Pakistan have been gunned down.

    They remain silent because they are scared?
    How can 1.57 billion Muslims be held hostage by a "small minority"?
    Is there a Stockholm effect?


    Commoncoll> Many people in these countries are not educated. They follow what is said to them by some extremist

    Which is exactly why the silence by moderate Muslims is so tragic.
    It perpetuates the problem, passing it on to the next generation.

  • creature

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    Aug 16, 2010 3:59 AM GMT
    Why should they want to publicly speak out against the terrorists? There is no compelling need to. I don't want to speak out to the media when a black man is convicted of rape or murder to convince non-blacks that we are not all alike. Rallying and appearing before the news cameras is just a song and dance number - a pr stunt. A person of reasonable judgment doesn't need that to convince them. And I don't think they should want to convince those who are unreasonable as it would be a waste of time.

    Radical Muslims are not the only ones who speak out for Islam. Don't you have Muslims in your community? Are there constant suicide bombings by every single Muslim? Probably not. They are probably law-abiding citizens who wish you no harm. Why isn't that speaking to you?

    Yes, it would be wrong to wholly brand a religion when such a brand does not apply to every one. Because I believe that every individual counts.
  • commoncoll

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    Aug 16, 2010 4:23 AM GMT
    Caesarea4 saidCommoncoll>
    And still the vast majority of them are silent?!
    They are not. Please see CAIR-Council on American-Islamic Relations' stance on terrorism. Then there is the Muslim American Society, and Islamic Society of North America. I have visited about 15 mosques in the US in 5 states. All of them had some type of education against extremism more than any other topic. Many times, the Khutaba-the lecture before the Friday prayer was against extremism. There were often pamphlets or something. There were several organisations formed by Muslims after 9/11. They just do not make the news.


    Commoncoll> How can 1.57 billion Muslims apologize for a small minority?

    It is only a minority that perpetrates these acts, but as we see from the poll data many (at times a plurality and even a majority in some countries) SUPPORT that minority.
    But these opinions are changing. Sizable groups did oppose suicide attacks. Indonesians have civil conflicts because of the Christian East Timor and the Chrisitan terrorist separatists Tamil Nado Tigers. LIbyans of course have Israel. Thus many support war against Christians/Jews. Tamil Nado Tigers employ public shootings and suicide bombings. I don't need to go into the bombings between Libya and Israel. You ignored my last comment about the real threat of war originating from Western sources against the Muslims. That should have explained the high numbers in that time period.

    Commoncoll> Famous Mullahs who opposed some extremist organisation in Pakistan have been gunned down.

    They remain silent because they are scared?
    No. What I meant was that more and more of them oppose terrorism. In fact, some are so famous, that the terrorists thought they were real threats and their deaths will attract attention. But the number is ever rising. Did you not notice my comment about the public announcements against extremism in Pakistan? People listen to the Mullahs before they listen to the government. Do you not notice the recent trends?
    How can 1.57 billion Muslims be held hostage by a "small minority"?
    Is there a Stockholm effect?
    How are they being held hostages? You said they are not speaking out. I have shown you a lot of proof that they are.


    Commoncoll> Many people in these countries are not educated. They follow what is said to them by some extremist

    Which is exactly why the silence by moderate Muslims is so tragic.
    It perpetuates the problem for generation after generation.
    Yes. But look at the recent polls. Education and experience obviously has worked.

    As for the cartoons, again, the media propaganda made it worse than it actually was. It was something I deeply disagreed about. The Muslims did overreact on that. It was a religious threat. Religion incites more violence than politics ever will. Whereas people may not care about the US they will care about Mohammad.
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    Aug 17, 2010 2:56 AM GMT
    creature> Are there constant suicide bombings by every single Muslim? Probably not. They are probably law-abiding citizens who wish you no harm. Why isn't that speaking to you?

    Of course there aren't suicide bombings by every single Muslim.
    No one ever claimed that and you're missing the point.
    No one claimed there aren't law-abiding citizens or even productive members of society.

    Why doesn't it "speak to you" that in some Muslim countries, still today, a large segment of the population (a plurality and in some places an outright majority) supports Al Qaida and suicide bombings? Or that nearly 1 in 7 Muslim youth in the UK (aged 16-24 in 2007) admire AQ and are prepared to fight the West? That 28% of British Muslims desire that the UK become a "fundamentalist Islamic state" while 1/3rd believe "Western society is decadent and immoral and that Muslims should seek to end it"? That nearly 1/4 (of British Muslims!) justified the 7/7 attacks in London?


    Commoncoll> CAIR... MAS... ISNA...They just do not make the news.

    And sometimes they make the news - in a bad way, linked to the terrorists they vaguely condemn.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_on_American-Islamic_Relations#Criticisms


    Commoncoll> People listen to the Mullahs before they listen to the [Pakistani] government.

    It's great that the Pakistani government has made "public announcements against extremism", but are you saying that message is being undermined by the "Mullahs"?

    Does the Pakistani government or the "Mullahs" speak for Islam?


    Commoncoll> Do you not notice the recent trends?
    ...look at the recent polls. Education and experience obviously has worked.

    Yes, there has been progress in the last year or two, and this is a good thing.

    At the risk of sounding like my dad, though, why wasn't there progress during the 7 years before that?
    What has changed in the last year or two?

    Is it because people are actually speaking out and educating against terrorism instead of saying "I don't need to say anything" (i.e. condoning it with silence) or making token lip service statements such as: "of course we're against terrorism, it even says so somewhere on our website" (while working with charities that contribute to terrorist groups)?

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    Aug 17, 2010 3:10 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]Caesarea4 said[/cite]creature>
    Commoncoll> People listen to the Mullahs before they listen to the [Pakistani] government.
    It's great that the Pakistani government has made "public announcements against extremism", but are you saying that message is being undermined by the "Mullahs"?

    I don't think he meant that. I think he meant that the Mullahs are working along with the government in speaking out against extremism. Which is why they are being gunned down.

    Commoncoll> Do you not notice the recent trends?
    ...look at the recent polls. Education and experience obviously has worked.

    Yes, there has been progress in the last year or two, and this is a good thing.

    At the risk of sounding like my dad, though, why wasn't there progress during the 7 years before that?
    What has changed in the last year or two?
    Well, like you said, more terrorism activity is taking place in these Muslim countries. For example, there was a bombing in Pakistan last month that killed over 100 people. Bombings have become common there in last 4 years or so. Since they are being affected, they are now against suicide bombings. Since Pakistan is losing support for Taliban who employed suicide bombing, they are also losing support for their tactics. There was constant progress in the past 7 years as well. Some surveys done in 2006 also show the same trends as those being seen this year.

  • creature

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    Aug 17, 2010 4:00 AM GMT
    Actually there was a point and you missed it.

    I never suggested that you or anyone claimed that there weren't law abiding Muslims. The point is that no one speaks for another. Telling me how many British Muslim youths support the terrorists is irrelevant to the discussion. You asked who speaks for Islam. I said that all Muslims speak for it as they practice the religion. However, no single Muslim speaks for it definitively.

    You can provide all the facts and figures you want about what segment of the Muslim populations supports Al Qaida, but I refuse to discount the importance of the individual voice.

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    Aug 17, 2010 4:12 AM GMT
    Do the pedophile priests of the Catholic Church speak for all Catholics?

    Do the Hassidic Rabbis who frequent prostitutes and bring home diseases to their wives represent all of Judaism?

    Do the Christian fundamentalists who think gays should be in camps represent all Episcopalians or Presbyterians.

    Does Aryan Nation represent all white people?
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    Aug 17, 2010 4:51 AM GMT
    Christian73 saidDo the pedophile priests of the Catholic Church speak for all Catholics?

    Do the pedophile priests of the Catholic Church threaten moderate and liberal Catholics? No. But the Muslim equivalents do. Moderate and liberal Muslims are constantly threatened. They need their voice to be strengthened and heard.


    Christian73 saidDo the Hassidic Rabbis who frequent prostitutes and bring home diseases to their wives represent all of Judaism?

    Hassidic Rabbis aren't prostitute addicts. They're drug dealers.


    Christian73 saidDo the Christian fundamentalists who think gays should be in camps represent all Episcopalians or Presbyterians.

    Do Christian nations have sodomy laws? Vastly, no. Do Muslim countries have sodomy laws. Mostly, yes.


    Christian73 said
    Does Aryan Nation represent all white people?

    Does Aryan Nation proliferate rapidly by having 8 babies per family, and spread it's insane dogma by taking over countries? No

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    Aug 17, 2010 6:12 AM GMT
    carmineastoria> Bombings have become common there in last 4 years or so. Since they are being affected, they are now against suicide bombings. There was constant progress in the past 7 years as well. Some surveys done in 2006 also show the same trends as those being seen this year.

    With respect to supporting suicide bombing, yes. The turning point was around 2005.
    But the decline in support for OBL/AQ is much more recent.

    There's one other piece of missing granularity and I wish the pollsters would address it.
    In 2002, when asked if they support suicide bombings, they were thinking "in the West" (where they were perpetrated).
    And they supported them.
    In 2006, when asked the same question, they thought "down the street".
    And they were against them.

    What if the questions were separated?
    A. Do you support suicide bombings of western targets?
    B. Do you support suicide bombings within Pakistan?
    How do you think that would break down?


    Creature> The point is that no one speaks for another

    No man is an island.


    Creature> I refuse to discount the importance of the individual voice.

    No one has attempted to discount the individual voice.
    Why are you discounting/ignoring all other voices?


    Christian73> Do the pedophile priests of the Catholic Church speak for all Catholics?
    (Etc.)

    I wasn't aware that Catholics (rightly or wrongly) point to scripture in support of pedophilia.
    I wasn't aware that Catholics around the world, instead of condemning this, spoke in favor of pedophila.
    Is anyone saying that Catholics have no "individual responsibility" and "don't owe it to anyone" to speak out against this?
    How ridiculous would it be if we compiled a list of a few dozen Catholics who spoke out against pedophilia, while the rest were silent?
    I wasn't aware that Catholics buy trinkets relating to the head honcho pedophile priest and name their boys after him.
    I wasn't aware that 25% of Catholics in the UK justified child abuse by Priests.
    Or that 33% of Catholics in the UK wanted to establish a Pedophile State.

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    Aug 17, 2010 9:11 AM GMT
    Caesarea4 said<
    Or that 33% of Catholics in the UK wanted to establish a Pedophile State.


    But 33% of Muslims living in the UK want to establish Sharia law on the entire country.

    HMMMM INTERESTING! icon_cool.gif
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    Sep 10, 2010 11:59 AM GMT
    Okay, so you've asked my opinion on this thread and again based on my upbringing all i have to go on is what my family has taught me.

    My grandfather being the head of the family before passing away. Aside from my father was the only one that people in our family would listen to. I think many knows how this goes, head of the tribe, family etc.

    Everytime i had conversations with my grandad with regards to the war.. What his views were on americans etc. He never said a negative thing. Now, he may have been biased because of my american mother. But he never lead me to believe and never said anything bad. All he said was "people are going to do what people are going to do. You can't stop someone once they have their plan set in motion".

    As children my brother and sisters got teased a lot by other kids (because of being half white). My grandad pretty much put a stop to that because he felt it was unfair. Now he didn't have to do that, he could have left it to progress to when we were adults and things may or may not have been what they are now.

    Everytime i've gone back the whole entire family hears about it and they're calling my dad constantly saying "when are we going to see sammy again?" Last time i went home was back in January of this year. And let me tell you i still get the chance to talk to them about 9/11. They all wish i never bring it up because they keep saying "they were not muslim" "no muslim in their right mind would have done anything like this at all, you know that". And it's true. Yes, muslims and arabs get angry, and have short fuses, however they're not going to just run up and kill someone...

    When i asked what they thought of americans and how they viewed muslims in general most of my family that i asked got quiet and didn't want to answer. What surprised me was the younger generation that spoke up and said "It's just like them to target everyone for the act of the few". I asked for more and all they would say is "we didn't do anything and yet we're assumed that we did it too.. It's the same thing up in Iraq, there are many civilians that are being murdered just because of the color of their skin. And yet we don't say anything lest we become a target too".

    When i heard this it completely changed my view on how people treate muslims. Tons of many use blanket statements to clump others they do not even know into a group of assassins and terrorists. And when Americans ask why the more moderate muslims don't stand up it's not because they don't "owe" anything.. no, well atleast not with my family...

    My father when i asked him about it (Which i hate because sometimes even his pride can't hide some of the tears).. He said it should be common sense that not every muslim did anything. "why should we have to say or do anything when it's common sense?" "why should we stick our necks out and become targets to the terrorists and assasins too?" I've never heard anything like this, i asked my dad what he meant and he told me people are actually targeted that speak out about other terrorists.

    The same as the canadian muslim woman that spoke out against the mosque, how has been targeted by terrorists over seas.. It's an endless cycle. I for one don't want my family to speak out because i don't want any of them hurt. However, i know in their hearts, they don't want any violence. It's common sense, it's written in the Qu'ran that if you kill an innocent you go to hell no if's ands or buts. Straight to hell.

    Thats what i was taught. My belief? I'm not muslim, yet when i hear people badgering muslims and saying things with out knowing a single thing about the religion.. IT makes no sense to me. All you're doing is speaking from hurt, from fear, not from common sense not from experience not from understanding.

    That's all.

    There's my opinion, i believe in my family and the goodness they are. And i'm done with this topic.

    Cheers.
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    Sep 13, 2010 5:51 AM GMT
    Samm77 saidAll i have to go on is what my family has taught me. ...they keep saying "they were not muslim" "no muslim in their right mind would have done anything like this at all, you know that".

    When Americans ask why the more moderate muslims don't stand up it's not because they don't "owe" anything.. no, well at least not with my family... My father when i asked him about it (Which i hate because sometimes even his pride can't hide some of the tears).. He said it should be common sense that not every muslim did anything. "why should we have to say or do anything when it's common sense?" "why should we stick our necks out and become targets to the terrorists and assasins too?" I've never heard anything like this, i asked my dad what he meant and he told me people are actually targeted that speak out about other terrorists.

    Your family sound like wonderful people and your grandfather was a strong and remarkable man.

    Here, though, is what I find confusing. On one hand we are told that it is just a small number, obviously not representative of Islam... yet the majority is afraid of them? The majority doesn't want to "stick out their necks" and side against the terrorists lest they, too, become their victims?

    What if everyone spoke out against them, wouldn't there be safety in numbers?

    Or is the problem that "half" (see below) actually agree with the terrorists?

    http://articles.cnn.com/2004-06-08/world/poll.binladen_1_saudi-arabia-saudi-citizens-bin?_s=PM:WORLD
    Almost half of all Saudis said in a poll conducted last year that they have a favorable view of Osama bin Laden's sermons and rhetoric, but fewer than 5 percent thought it was a good idea for bin Laden to rule the Arabian Peninsula.

    The poll involved interviews with more than 15,000 Saudis and was overseen by Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi national security consultant.

    It was conducted between August and November 2003, after simultaneous suicide attacks in May 2003 when 36 people were killed in Riyadh.

    Granted that's some 7 years ago, but I don't presently have more recent figures for Saudi Arabia.

    I wouldn't be surprised if that number has decreased, but doesn't it underscore the need of people to speak out? Not for the sake of Americans or Westerners, but for an internal debate? If I recall more recent poll data from other countries, there is still a large number (around 20%) of "undecided" people. If they only hear from those supporting the terrorists....
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    Sep 22, 2010 7:40 PM GMT
    TigerTim saidWell who speaks for Judaism? Or Christianity? Or Buddhism? Or Hinduism?


    Judaism: Nobody in particular, though you could probably find a number leaders within the many Jewish sects who might speak for their faith.

    Modern Judaism lacks a very centralized governance, but in general, it is turned deeply inward; they neither proselytize nor seek to war against other religions or nations because of any specific belief systems tells them to (granted, there was the ethnic cleansing nastiness about 3,000 years ago, but that was very limited to a very specific context).

    Christianity: The pope is a major figure, as are various evangelical leaders (especially in the USA). Various supra-church organizations (Southern Baptist Convention, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Missouri Synod, the Church of England, the German Evangelischkirche all have leaders who can speak for it. There are minority and independent churches as well, such as that one hateful church in Topeka, Kansas that protests funerals and keeps itself solvent through specious lawsuits; but the ministers of such churches can hardly claim to speak for the gospel of Christ.

    Buddhism: The Dalai Lama would certainly qualify, as would the head abbots of a number of different Buddhist sects in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and other places.

    Hinduism: Too many to even begin to think about, given the diversity of deities and strains of Hinduism.

    Thing is, the mainstream of all these above religions do not preach warfare (holy war) or threaten death upon rejection of a conversion offer; of these, only Christianity actively seeks to proselytize, and if faithful to the Bible, it does so with neither threat nor compulsion.

    Islam on the other hand, is molded upon a medieval culture that was very tribalistic and very warlike, and exceedingly revanchist, and has not really changed very much since its initial "revelation" to its messenger.

    It is extremely decentralized, and full of contradictions by so many imams and clerics who issue fatwas that are about as consistent as the surf of the angry seas.

    Individually, I've met many Muslims who are pleasant and peaceable people, but in masses... the picture is not so good.

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    Sep 23, 2010 3:26 PM GMT
    Why don't we ever hear the converse, "who speaks for Protestants?" and look for some Protestant authority to issue some official condemnation of the acts of Christian extremists and th people who brandish the book of Revelation?

    We do not leap to judgement about all Protestants based on the action of their VERY lunatic fringe, as many do Muslims.

    Just pointing out that the one-sidedness of the question itself suggests an implicit hypocrisy and willingness to spread blame.

    i submit the reason for the hypocrisy is as plain as the colour of our skin.
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    Sep 23, 2010 3:42 PM GMT
    JAKEBENSON said
    Christian73 saidDo the pedophile priests of the Catholic Church speak for all Catholics?

    Do the pedophile priests of the Catholic Church threaten moderate and liberal Catholics?


    Actually yes. Strangely, It is perfectly acceptable in modern society to make tasteless jokes about any and all catholic clergy that would be totally outrageous if they targetted blacks, jews, or gays. They are all assumed or quietly suispected of being child molesters.


    The failings of every individual among a minority takes on far greater significance when it reinforces preconceived negative notions of the majority prejudices. It does real actual harm.

    (That was the whole point I was trying to make very firmly with someone here recently.)
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14351

    Sep 23, 2010 9:59 PM GMT
    Who speaks for Islam, certainly not the violent muslim fundamentalists or Caesarea4.
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    Sep 24, 2010 12:10 AM GMT
    UpperCanadian saidWe do not leap to judgement about all Protestants based on the action of their VERY lunatic fringe, as many do Muslims.

    I think the key word is "fringe". Rev. Phelps, for example, is not representative of anyone.
    Pollsters don't find 30-80% of Protestants/Christians in various regions supporting him.
    Trinkets of him don't sell like hot-cakes, and there's been no dramatic increase in Protestants naming their sons "Fred" in his honor.
    Wouldn't you find it disturbing if not only the above did happen, but that the other 20-70% said: "not our problem" and walked away?


    UpperCanadian saidThe failings of every individual among a minority takes on far greater significance when it reinforces preconceived negative notions of the majority prejudices. It does real actual harm.

    Is the problem here the act of a minority or the prejudicial bias of the observer?
    After all, the act doesn't have to be a "failing". It could simply be a woman wearing a veil.

    We've had this discussion on RJ dozens of times. Some people freak out over gay pride because they fear that the drag queens and leather daddies will become the poster children (or "ambassadors") of being gay. The real problem being that - ostensibly because of those people - they will then be prejudged by others as "femme" or "freak" just for being gay.

    Yet the analogy can't be taken too far.
    Surely one isn't against terrorism simply because it will give him a bad rap, right?
    Hopefully people are against it because it is wrong.
    And if you believe that it is wrong, why not say so rather than hide it with a shell game ("I already condemned it at the office")?
    Because you fear the reaction of the non-fringe extremists?
    Then doesn't the silence strengthen them?
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 3384

    Jan 18, 2015 11:54 PM GMT
    pouncer saidHow to deal with the bigots:


    Completely ridiculous.

    > Richards everywhere

    There is no "community of people called Richard".

    There is a "community" of people who believe in the Quran.

    There is even a "community" called the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which has 56 member STATES.