June 23, 2009

Educating Stephen about Islam

In Armenian and Indian Genocides, reader Stephen made a bunch of false or misleading claims about Islam. As usual with Stephen's rants, these comments were almost totally unrelated to the subject at hand. If you ask me, he posted them primarily to demonstrate his holier-than-thou attitude to the world.

His main source of info seems to be the ultra-conservative TheReligionofPeace.com. I could go down the list of this site's claims and rebut them in detail, but they're irrelevant to the genocide issue. But here are a few quick 'n' dirty points:

  • The Qur'an doesn't say women are equal to men? Neither does the Bible.

  • Islam hasn't tolerated other religions? Neither has Christianity.

  • The 1,400 years of Muslim crimes aren't much different from the 2,000 years of Christian crimes. They tell us little or nothing about what Muslims or Christians believe today.

  • Islamic law is as complex and varied as the common law it's been compared to. Here, learn something about it:
    There is tremendous variety in the interpretation and implementation of Islamic Law in Muslim societies today. Liberal movements within Islam have questioned the relevance and applicability of sharia from a variety of perspectives; Islamic feminism brings multiple points of view to the discussion. Some of the largest Muslim countries, including Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, have largely secular constitutions and laws, with only a few Islamic Law provisions in family law. Turkey has a constitution that is officially strongly secular.
  • That slavery, terrorism, and totalitarianism may occur under Islam is equally true of Christianity.

  • In case you're as clueless as you seem, most Christian lands were ruled by monarchs and dictators for 1,800 of their 2,000 years. Most Islamic lands have been ruled by monarchs and dictators for only 1,400 years. In another 400 years, we can compare the average Islamic nation with the average Christian nation of the year 1800.

  • "The Qur'an only contains what is presented as the literal words of Allah"? Many Christians believe every word of the Bible literally comes from God.

  • As for your selective quoting of verses from the Qur'an, it's almost worthless as evidence. I might consider it relevant if you tallied the violent passages in the Qur'an and the Bible and expressed them as percentages of the whole. Until then, don't bother telling us what you think the Qur'an says.

  • After you tell us how much of each book is violent, tell us what percentage of Muslims believe the Qur'an literally and what percentage believe it figuratively. Because many Christians and Muslims don't take their scriptures literally, you know. If 1.3 billion Muslims think and act peacefully even when the Qur'an tells them not to, I'd say Islam is peaceful by definition.

    In conclusion, if your point was that Islam is as barbaric as Christianity, I'll agree. If your point is that Islam is worse, I can only conclude you're ignorant about the countless examples of rape, slavery, murder, warfare, totalitarianism, conquest, and genocide instigated by Christians. So which is it?

    More nonsense from Stephen

    Some responses to your ridiculous claims about Muslims:Here's the thing; I'm talking about Islam not muslims in generalUh-huh, sure you are.

    So what are you saying? That you understand Islam better than 1.3 billion Muslims? That 1.3 billion Muslims don't realize they practice a "religion of hate"? Or what, exactly?

    Since Muslims believe in Islam, the distinction you've made is worthless. How can Muslims be "good" if they sincerely believe in a religion that's "bad"? And if Muslims are "good" even though Islam is "bad," doesn't that prove the religion is harmless? Yes, it does.I think the movie the departed is stupid but I don't think departed fans in general are stupid, catch my drift?Yep, you're trying to dissemble about your prejudice so you won't look as bigoted as you really are. At this point, I think we all understand how you try to mask your "white pride" arguments as common sense.

    If fans continue to claim The Departed is good even after you've informed them it's stupid, bad, and causes real-world harm, how are you attacking the movie but not the fans? Whether you realize it or not, you're implying they're evil for tolerating an evil religion. And you're certainly implying they're stupid and ignorant for practicing Islam, which is an insult in its own right.

    That you're too cowardly to state your views upfront is consistent with your cowardly refusal to sign your full name. Luckily, I'm here to spell out the implications of your views for you.

    9/11 worse than Inquisition?Except that in at least one year more people were killed by Islamic terrorists (which is supported by their twisted book) than the Spanish inquisition.It's stupid and statistically invalid to compare events in the 1500s and in 2001 without considering the base populations. It's stupid, period, to limit Christian crimes to the Inquisition. Not when Christians were responsible for the two greatest examples of genocide in history.

    More to the point, your claim is apparently false on the face of it. Here, learn about the Inquisition:

    How many people were tortured to death during the Spanish Inquisition?Death tolls are given by historians such as Will Durant, who, in The Reformation (1957), cites Juan Antonio Llorente, General Secretary of the Inquisition from 1789 to 1801, as estimating that 31,912 people were executed from 1480-1808. He also cites Hernando de Pulgar, a secretary to Queen Isabella, as estimating 2,000 people were burned before 1490. Philip Schaff in his History of the Christian Church gave a number of 8,800 people burned in the 18 years of Torquemada. Matthew White, in reviewing these and other figures, gives a median number of deaths at 32,000, with around 9,000 under Torquemada. R. J. Rummel describes similar figures as realistic, though he cites some historians who give figures of up to 135,000 people killed under Torquemada. This number includes 125,000 asserted to have died in prison due to poor conditions, leaving 10,000 sentenced to death. (Death rates in medieval and early modern prisons were generally very high, thanks in part to inadequate sanitary conditions and a poor diet.) There are no death toll figures available for the massacres of 1391, 1468 or 1473. These numbers will likely never be known.Maybe you meant to say that Christian soldiers have killed more civilians in Iraq than Christian torturers killed during the Inquisition. If so, you'd be correct, finally.

    Jesus trumps God?Also Jesus clearly rejected the old testament teachings (ie let he who is without sin cast the first stone).You can't "clearly reject" the word of God. The Old Testament is still part of the Bible and many Christians still believe it. Having both books in one volume sends a mixed message at best. It lets Christians pick and choose whether they believe the word of God or the word of Jesus. They're free to make up their own religion based on their selective reading of both testaments.

    Homosexuality is a good example of this. The Old Testament condemns men lying with men, but Jesus said all you need is love. He didn't say one word about homosexuality, yet many Christians believe homosexuality is a sin. How can that be if Jesus's command to love thy neighbors is the final word?Well it is barbaric, what else do you call a religion that preaches bigotry, allows slavery (slavery existed openly in Saudi Arabia until the 1960s), tells people to kill homosexuals etc?"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them." --Leviticus 20:13.

    I call it Christianity. What do you call it?Except that the teachings of Christ don't support such actions (Islam does)"I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword." --Jesus, quoted in Matthew 10:34.

    Are you really as ignorant as you sound? Christians have used the Bible to justify 2,000 years of crimes against humanity. If you're too stupid to understand how Christian theologians and politicians have applied their religion to the real world...well, the rest of us aren't.and while it was horrible the deaths in Bosnia and Kosovo are dwarfed by the Armenian and Darfur genocides.Which in turn are dwarfed by the Christian-based genocides I mentioned above. Sorry, bud...you lose the battle of the genocides. And you lose the debate.


    What a surprise your comments were...not. The person who defends his white ancestors against charges of genocide is also bigoted against Muslims. The only real surprise is that I haven't caught you telling us how superior Western civilization is to Native civilizations. Maybe I just haven't been paying enough attention to your racist comments.

    For more on the subject, see Kill Those Towelheads! and Brotherly Love, American Style.

    Below:  Islam...

    and Christianity.

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