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Abdul Rahman Case

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The sheer savagery of Islam never ceases to amaze me.

KABUL, Afghanistan - Senior Muslim clerics demanded Thursday that an Afghan man on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity be executed, warning that if the government caves in to Western pressure and frees him, they will incite people to "pull him into pieces."

Some more quotes regarding Mr. Rahman's preferred fate from followers of the "religion of peace":

"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," said cleric Abdul Raoulf....

"The government is scared of the international community. But the people will kill him if he is freed."

Raoulf, who is a member of the country's main Islamic organization, the Afghan Ulama Council, agreed. "The government is playing games. The people will not be fooled."

"Cut off his head!" he exclaimed, sitting in a courtyard outside Herati Mosque. "We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left."

He said the only way for Rahman to survive would be for him to go into exile.

But Said Mirhossain Nasri, the top cleric at Hossainia Mosque, one of the largest Shiite places of worship in Kabul, said Rahman must not be allowed to leave the country.

"If he is allowed to live in the West, then others will claim to be Christian so they can too," he said. "We must set an example. ... He must be hanged."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060323/ap_on_...ristian_convert

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I do not understand why the United States, which supposedly supports individual rights, does not take action against this repressive regime.
Surely you really do, and it is contained in the word "supposedly"; but your primary error is in identifying the policies of the current government with the nature of The United States.

It's only fair to point out that Christianity used to be the same way.
Well, then, it's also only fair to point out that we all used to be chimps, millions of years ago.
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It's only fair to point out that Christianity used to be the same way.

The difference is that the Christians did this in spite of what thier book teaches. The Muslims do it because of it.

This case really makes me sick to my stomach. They are so bad that they are furiously angry when someone chooses something other than what they want. It's sickening really. I think that Donald Rumsfeld said it best: "they" (al-qaida and the others) do a better job of PR. I think it would be much more adventageous to do constant PR for freedom, peace and what their economic possibilities could be. I think (though I could be wrong on this) that we went in and basically assumed that they were going to accept our idea of right and wrong and that they wanted what we want. I am sure that some do but obviously their most respected leaders do not.

I really feel like the only hope is to do a lot of marketing of ourselves as a better way to live. All we really need to hammer home is freedom and it's importance and I think a lot of the rest will follow. This situation is sad.

EDIT:

Also what was that about the West respecting thier prophet and not printing pictures of him? Yeah I guess that makes sense, the Western world is evil for printing pictures but the Muslim world is just for executing dissenters... Maybe we ought to stop printing pictures and start killing dissenters (of the right to freedom that is).

Edited by fatdogs12
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Well, then, it's also only fair to point out that we all used to be chimps, millions of years ago.

I don't follow.

My point was that, while all religion is bad, it is dishonest to single out Islam for criticism because of what its followers do, while at the same time neglecting to mention the atrocities committed in the name of other religions.

I fully recognize that the Koran preaches violence, whereas the Bible does not (certainly not to the same extent). So, if we are to criticize Islam for being violent, we should use the books. Using the actions of its followers does not prove that Islam is violent anymore than the Inquisition/Crusades proves that Christianity is violent.

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I once tested for Mensa. It was shoddily organized and when I passed, I decided I didnt want to be a member after all. I decided that if they were really as smart as I had thought they were, they would have some actual marketable resources and decent organizational skills. Plus, my tester looked kinda like that guy in the middle lol

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I once tested for Mensa. It was shoddily organized and when I passed, I decided I didnt want to be a member after all. I decided that if they were really as smart as I had thought they were, they would have some actual marketable resources and decent organizational skills. Plus, my tester looked kinda like that guy in the middle lol
:) This must be more common than I thought! :lol:
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I don't follow.

My point was that, while all religion is bad, it is dishonest to single out Islam for criticism because of what its followers do, while at the same time neglecting to mention the atrocities committed in the name of other religions.

It is a requirement of Shari`ah that you kill the apostate, which alone justifies singleing out Islam. In addition, in the context of addressing this horridly uncivilized threat, your "fairness" comment is pure apologetics. It is not fair to excuse a barbarous act, period. So I cannot see in what way your comment is "fair". Are you really intending to say that since the Catholic Church aided and abetted torture and murder in the medieval past, it is acceptable for these savages to do so in the modern era? If you are not saying that, then what relevance does a remote historical fact have to the current question? Okay, you can mention unrelated historical facts if you'd like, so I'm saying that there are lots of other marginally related historical facts that can be mentioned that are as relevant -- such as that we used to be chimps. Throwing in irrelevant facts is not honesty, it is in fact the opposite, becuase it just clouds the issue.

It might be a better argument to say "Hey, you guys, you're always picking on those cute little Islamofascists and totally ignoring the contemporary horrors of the Christofascists. That's not fair". But I don't think you would make that argument because (1) there is as much denunciation of Christofascism here as of Islamofascism (2) the Islamofascists are vastly worse than the Christofascists. No modern government has threatened to execute a Christian for renouncing their beliefs, no even the Italians.

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I think you're misreading what I'm saying. I am as opposed to Islam as anyone else on this board.

Here's what I'm saying. It is intellectually dishonest to take the actions of Muslims and, from those actions, conclude that Islam is violent. The reason it is dishonest is because you could do the same for practically any religion. What differentiates Islam from other religions, is that its holy book explicitly endorses such acts. So, if we're going to argue that Islam is violent, we should use the tenets of the religion rather than the actions of its members.

I am most certainly not apologizing for Islam. I'm simply pointing out what I think to be flawed logic.

Edited by Moose
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I really feel like the only hope is to do a lot of marketing of ourselves as a better way to live. All we really need to hammer home is freedom and it's importance and I think a lot of the rest will follow. This situation is sad.
I wish it were that easy. Islam is a particularly virulent form of irrationalism and appealing to its followers' sense of reason hasn't proved to be terribly effective in the past.

My point was that, while all religion is bad, it is dishonest to single out Islam for criticism because of what its followers do, while at the same time neglecting to mention the atrocities committed in the name of other religions.
Surely in the context of our current era you recognize that the followers of Islam are THE most destructive and dangerous religious group. I can't see how it's dishonest to single out Islam and its followers for criticism. David Odden already did a nice job of explaining that mentioning the past sins of Christianity is really more of a distraction than it is honest in the current context.

.....not even the Italians.
Carefeul there. We make a mean dish of pasta.
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Here's what I'm saying. It is intellectually dishonest to take the actions of Muslims and, from those actions, conclude that Islam is violent. The reason it is dishonest is because you could do the same for practically any religion. What differentiates Islam from other religions, is that its holy book explicitly endorses such acts. So, if we're going to argue that Islam is violent, we should use the tenets of the religion rather than the actions of its members.
Certainly you can look at the Old Testament and find some pretty violent stuff there as well. Of course, the followers of Fundamentalist Islam are far more violent, far more dangerous and present in greater numbers than in any other religion of which I am currently aware.
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No modern government has threatened to execute a Christian for renouncing their beliefs, no even the Italians.

I don't think Italians are a good example - after all they're the guys that crucified the dude that started the whole Christianity thing, not to mention the diet of their lions. :)

Edited by Eternal
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Here's what I'm saying. It is intellectually dishonest to take the actions of Muslims and, from those actions, conclude that Islam is violent. The reason it is dishonest is because you could do the same for practically any religion. What differentiates Islam from other religions, is that its holy book explicitly endorses such acts. So, if we're going to argue that Islam is violent, we should use the tenets of the religion rather than the actions of its members.

It is true that any religion can find a moral sanction iwthin its holy texts when its members choose to initiate the use of force. Holy texts are notoriously vague and contradictory in many places (given the Koran was allegedly the work of one person, you'd expect more consistency).

But an ideology is not only what's written down. An ideology, in part, is what people belive, regardless of whether or not it is explicit or implicit. For example, if you were to condemn communism for the gulag system, does it matter whether or not Karl Marx's manifesto did or did not endorse forced labor camps? Plainly, spelled out or not, the gulag is an integral part of communism.

Consider apostasy. Most Christians would do little more than excommunicate any memeber of their church who converted to another religion (considering the member is leaving the religion, excommunication would not really matter to him). Perhaps they'd shun him socially, perhaps they'd try to convert him back. It is unlikely in the extreme they'd try to kill him. and it is certain in most majority Christian countries, no government would sentence him to death.

And that is true even if in the past there was an Inquisition, or Catholics were persecuted in Britain, or even if apostates were burned at the stake.

To be sure, there are some violent Christian sects today (look up the "reverend" Phelps). And to be doubly sure, there are Christian terrorists, too (those who bomb abortion clinics or shoot doctors who perform abortions). But these really are a tiny minority within their own religion, who do not receive any kind of widespread support -be it moral or material.

Christianity was vile and violent once. It isn't anymore. Islam was peaceful and prosperous once (indeed, for a while it even carried the torch of the West, while the geographic west lay mired in a Dark Age). It isn't that anymore either. Today, Islam is a violent faith.

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It is intellectually dishonest to take the actions of Muslims and, from those actions, conclude that Islam is violent. The reason it is dishonest is because you could do the same for practically any religion.
Well, I think what you must mean is that it would be intellectually dishonest to not hold all religions to the same standard, i.e. to only criticise Islam for its evil nature. But as I mentioned, we kick the ass of the fundy Xers on a regular basis as well. In addition, it is perfectly valid to reason from the specific to the general -- Muslim individuals have a significant tendency for irrational violence (foaming at the mouth type irrationality), therefore there is something bloody sick about that religion.
What differentiates Islam from other religions, is that its holy book explicitly endorses such acts.
This is certainly so, and if you're looking for a causal explanation of the conclusion that Islam is a fundamentally violent and irrational religion, then that would be basic place to look.
So, if we're going to argue that Islam is violent, we should use the tenets of the religion rather than the actions of its members.
No, we should use the written tenets of the religion and the behavior of its followers. Especially since much of the content of the religion is inaccessible. It's important to see how the Qur'an, Hadiths and Qiyas are actually interpreted and taught on Friday. One way to do that is hang out in Baghdad, Kabul, Qom, Karachi and such places and listen to the sermons (you first). I don't see that it's necessary: you can make the relevant inferences from seeing the repeated consequences, the behavior of the faithful.

And yeah, the Italians make great pasta, but let's not forget the baccala, sformati, and scungilli marinara. All because they decided to live in a free, secular society.

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Well, I think what you must mean is that it would be intellectually dishonest to not hold all religions to the same standard.

Perhaps there's something to be said about Scientology and Islam then? There are some striking similarities between them. For example neither of the two religions likes Cartoons.

Edited by Eternal
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Perhaps there's something to be said about Scientology and Islam then? There are some striking similarities between them. For example neither of the two religions likes Cartoons.
And there is something else to be said about the similarity of the two, involving the return of Chef.
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I see what you're saying David, but I still don't see the logic behind judging Islam based on the actions of its members. I, for example, do not consider Christianity a violent religion. Don't bring up OT stuff, b/c most Chrsitians will tell you that it doesn't apply anymore. However, if you were to go back to the middle ages and use the actions of its followers as the basis for judgement, you would conclude that it is violent.

That's why I hold that, when judging a religion, the only appropriate criterion to use is the teachings of the holy book. It's true that Islam can be called violent, no matter what you use as your criteria. I just think we should be in the habit of using the proper criterion. At the very least, this will prevent Muslim apologists from bringing up the Inquisition and the Crusades as a counter point. They would have a hard time using violence in the Bible as a counterpoint to violence in the Koran.

And there is something else to be said about the similarity of the two, involving the return of Chef.

That was the best episode they have made since the end of season 7. I'm anxious to see where they take the Darth Chef storyline...I think that has some potential for great comedy. It was good to see they were able to believably do away with Isaac Hayes and still keep his character. I also hope to see more and more lampooning of Scientology.

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