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Letters to the Editor

Fear justified

August 26, 2010

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To the editor:

Christy Kennedy (Public Forum, Aug. 21) claims “a few … fanatical individuals or groups who happen to be Muslim” are the problem, while those opposing the Ground Zero Mosque “rely on fear- and emotion-based, inflammatory and flawed arguments that lack substance.”

I admit I’m fearful. I’d feel better if:

• Islamic texts didn’t preach the goal of worldwide Islamic dominance,

• more Americans knew that Islam it isn’t just a religion but also a political ideology and war doctrine,

• more true Muslim reformers were speaking out, and didn’t have to fear execution as apostates,

• the doctrine of taqqiyah didn’t promote lying to non-Muslims to advance the spread of Islam,

• so many “moderate” Muslims hadn’t said one thing to Western audiences and the opposite to Middle Eastern ones,

• the Muslim Brotherhood hadn’t adopted a strategy of using mosques and Islamic centers in the West as incubators of “radical” Islam,

• the “moderate” Council on American-Islamic Relations wasn’t an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holyland Foundation terror-funding case, with former leaders and staffers now in federal prison,

• CAIR wasn’t pushing for European-style “defamation of religion” laws, used to silence speech critical of Islam,

• “moderate” Imam Rauf didn’t want sharia law for the U.S.,

• the press hadn’t been so wrong about much-touted “moderates” Imam al-Awlaki (now an al-Qaida commander) and Muzzammil Hasan (New York founder of moderate Muslim “Bridges TV” with his wife, whom he has since beheaded),

• more Americans knew what dhimmi status means.

• tolerance wasn’t so often synonymous with ignorance.

Comments

Hydra 4 years, 4 months ago

The Dhimmi is the Arabic term that refers to its non-Islamic embracing population that has the ignominious dishonor of living in Islamic conquered lands. In a similar manner to the Jewish reference to a non-Jew as being a goy, so too the term dhimmi refers to non-Muslims. However unlike the Jewish term, goy, and much more important, the dhimmi is a distinctly subjugated second class non-citizen almost slave who is subjected to dictatorial deprivation of any legal and human rights since he is a non-Muslim permanent resident in a Muslim state.

http://www.jewishmag.com/57mag/dhimmi/dhimmi.htm

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for enlightening readers who may not be aware of the meaning of 'dhimmi', Hydra. I was hoping somebody would let folks know that a dhimmi, as you accurately put it, is "a distinctly subjugated second class non-citizen..."

cato_the_elder 4 years, 4 months ago

In the context in which this informative and timely letter was written, it was entirely appropriate to use quotation marks in each instance in which they were used, either as a direct quotation or as an indirect comment on the real meaning of certain words that were employed. The fact that you apparently don't understand that underscores your naivete on many other issues, as you've often demonstrated.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 4 months ago

Ignorant, yes. Sarcastic, no.

Don't roll your eyes. They may stick that way.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Thank you for your succinct defense of my use of quotation marks, Cato. As you can see from my response to Vertigo, I had a reservation about using them.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Ha! I really do like the way you criticized my use of quotation marks, Vertigo: it's a witty way to make your point.

I had actually struggled with the use of quotation marks--I'd add them, remove them, add them again--and finally decided, "Aw, heck. I'll just put them in and leave them there." Then I read your comment and thought, "Ooops." Then I read Cato-the-elder's comment and thought, "Well, okay."

Regarding your response to Cato about my alleged sarcasm: I know quotation marks, especially when they are used a lot, can appear sarcastic and I can't blame you for coming to that conclusion. However, I didn't intend them to be sarcastic--that was actually why I kept removing them. Yet the reason I kept them was their use as a notifier that the word so marked has a meaning different than in standard usage. I would have preferred 'so-called', but I was trying to keep within the word count while maintaining as much information as possible.

thusspokezarathustra 4 years, 4 months ago

Your "alleged sarcasm"? Robert he was clearly referring to his own post as sarcastic. Is this indicative of your reading comprehension?

Bonkers823 4 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm...I think someone forgot how well informed answers work cough thusspokezarathustra cough cough

thusspokezarathustra 4 years, 4 months ago

Vertigo 8-26-10 9:10 a.m.

"Ya, nothing whatsoever sarcastic about putting quotation marks around every single word in a post.

rolling my eyes"

Sounds to me like he's referring to his POST and not the LETTER to the editor. But thanks for the completely pointless post, nice try to be snarky.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

I'm not convinced that my reading comprehension is any worse than yours. In response to Vertigo's initial post, Cato supports my LTE use of quotations marks "either as a direct quotation or as an indirect comment on the real meaning of certain words that were employed," then calls Vertigo naive for failing to recognize that. Vertigo responds, "The fact that you can't distinguish sarcasm underscores your naivete." It seems to me that the sarcasm Vertigo referred to concerns not his own response, but rather mine. If Vertigo is still following this discussion, I'd appreciate his or her input.

thusspokezarathustra 4 years, 4 months ago

His very next post was, "Ya, nothing whatsoever sarcastic about putting quotation marks around every single word in a post." Obviously referring to his own post since you did not put quotation marks around every single word.
Your use of quotations was mostly pejorative and not "a direct quotation or as an indirect comment on the real meaning of certain words that were employed". An example would be to call this letter "informed".

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

Vertigo, he "only" used them on "occassion," so your "exaggeration" is a bit "over" done, don't ya think"?"

jabean 4 years, 4 months ago

vertigo:

Nice to see that the whole point of the article wasn't lost on you. ... Now that was sarcasm. I doubt anyone was really distracted by his quotation marks. You must be easily distracted by shiny objects also.

Bonkers823 4 years, 4 months ago

Hey Jabean: How long did it take Vertigo to change a lightbulb? ~~~~

A: Wanna go ride a bike? OH! SHINY!

fester0420 4 years, 4 months ago

wow he used them twice and your complaining

BrianR 4 years, 4 months ago

Surely the radical Islamists must know that America citizens are armed to the teeth and there is no way they could ever rule here. If they try to subjugate me, I become the terrorist. They should do that math before thinking about world domination.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

I would think that radical Islamists would find the prospect of armed Americans daunting, too, if they anticipated a frontal assault. However, while armed jihad is definitely a threat to us, I believe non-violent 'stealth jihad'--the incremental advancement of Islamic influence within our institutions--being waged on political and cultural fronts is actually a greater threat.

The West's biggest vulnerability--both here and in Europe--is the lack of confidence in Western values and institutions, particularly among academics and politicians. Jihadwatch.com chronicles this battle for civilization in news updates from across the world, often updated several times daily.

BigAl 4 years, 4 months ago

Once again, I agree with Tom. However, I'm sure he will take this too far and go over board with it. But, I definitely agree with this post.

Good morning Tom.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Thanks, Tom.

Re: your question, "Does Rosie O'Donnell still think radical Christianity is as dangerous as radical Islam?"

Couldn't it just be shortened to, "Does Rosie O'Donnell still think?"

The burden of proof would be on her to prove that she's actually capable of rational thought, in light of her frequent hare-brained utterances.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 4 months ago

Like your avatar Tom. Especially since it's just like putting a big ol' "kick me libs!" sign on your back.

Fair and balanced.

jabean 4 years, 4 months ago

Awesome Kool-Aid mustache comment Tom! :)

fester0420 4 years, 4 months ago

it is. how about oklahoma. people are mad about a mosque in NY but no one got mad about a church being built next to the oklahoma building after it was blown up by a radical christian. it just shows the bigatry in the country. sometime im sad to be an american

Bonkers823 4 years, 4 months ago

Fester0420: This argument re: OKC and the Church is completely lacking. You'd have to find thousands of Christians and hundreds of priests who condone what was done during the OKC bombing in order for it to hold any water...so uhm yeah, good luck with that one! I figure anyone who's sad to be an American is also welcome to go over to the Middle East, with their same frame of mind, without a burka or a gun and see how sad you are to be an American then.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

I'm afraid it may, Grammaddy. Lots of mongerfyin' goin' on hereabouts, yes indeedy, especially about how those of us who distrust Rauf & Co. threaten 'intolerance' and 'hate' and 'racism' etc.

Bonkers823 4 years, 4 months ago

I was wondering the same thing about blind ignorance!

Flap Doodle 4 years, 4 months ago

When the Fear Monger in Chief moves back to his mob-financed Chicago mansion, things in America will get better.

Bonkers823 4 years, 4 months ago

HAHAHA! I'm so glad you pointed out the wrong form of "your!" I love when people try to put others down and make errors like, "your a moron." Oh really? Who's the moron? Would it be the person who doesn't know that there (not their or they're) are multiple spellings of what would seem to be the same word but have different meanings? Yes, yes it would. Aww I want to pinch the little cheeks of the typo...it's okay, you can't be corrected now you'll forever be remembered as the, "The Moron's Mistake." Cute wittle typo, now go hang out on the message board for all to point and laugh at!

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Thank you for your kind compliment, Apple Jack! I'm glad you found it thought-provoking.

ksjayhawk74 4 years, 4 months ago

I, on the other hand think you full of it. You're a fear mongering, ignorant bigot.

The United States has lost 1,000s of troops in the Middle East defending Muslims, do you believe they are fighting for the enemy?

Also, Muslims have been in our country since the beginning, why are they just a problem now?

Do you think all mosques should be shut down? What else should we do to control Muslims? Should we allow them to even pray? Should we make them all register as Muslims? How about concentration camps?

You're opinion is outrageously un-American. America is about accepting all people no matter their color, creed or religion. Remember people first came here to escape religious persecution?

I'm saddened that the Journal World would even allow you to publish this kind of hate speech.

christy kennedy 4 years, 4 months ago

A chosen form of worship, owning and improving real estate, and innocent until proven guilty still do not just to Americans who descend from European immigrants.

I admit I don't know the biographies of everyone involved in the community center project, so maybe you can tell us which of your bullet points apply to which individual, since these people are already being condemned by a segment of the press and the public.

Amy Albright 4 years, 4 months ago

Is Fox News complicit in this threat against us? Is Rupert Murdoch secretly part of this Islamic march toward global dominance?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/24/news-corp-executives-actu_n_692790.html

Seriously. How can you frightened folks not be up in arms about this?

ksjayhawk74 4 years, 4 months ago

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

christy kennedy 4 years, 4 months ago

That would be "still do not just APPLY to Americans . . . "

One more thing. Yes, we live in a scary and unpredictable world. But forging alliances with moderate and law-abiding groups is a lot smarter than vilifying them unjustly and pissing off the people we really need to be afraid of.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for this very useful information, Hydra. In light of sharia's provisions and Rauf's desire they be established in the US, it's very unsettling that so many people take this man at his 'moderate' word and villify those who don't.

Bonkers823 4 years, 4 months ago

Tony, are you speculating on their speculation? I just want clarification so I can know how to properly speculate.

grimpeur 4 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Babcock learned a few new words from the usual talking-point websites and thinks this cures ignorance. Were that true, however, the fear in this sad letter would not be so palpable.

Bonkers823 4 years, 4 months ago

Ignorance? I think it's ignorant to not know what Islam is truly about almost nine years after 9/11. Though, I must say Grimpeur has learned how to attempt an argument without providing any facts to back up his claims of fear and ignorance definitely does not show any evolution from the modus operandi of the left. Oh, let's call names and defile the person you don't agree but not show any facts to back up what you claim. Mr. Babcock certainly backed up his claims. But you just claim his ignorant, when in fact you make yourself look ignorant. golf clap Well done. Bravo. ENCORE!

ksjayhawk74 4 years, 4 months ago

GWB stood up for Muslims, saying that they are our friend and should not be feared.

The real imminent threat right now are people who are promoting these ideas which are leading straight toward actual Fascism.

cato_the_elder 4 years, 4 months ago

Vertigo, you apparently don't understand sarcasm either.

ivalueamerica 4 years, 4 months ago

The letter is filled with exagerations and falsehoods.

When when has to make up points to make a point, one is pointless.

The letter is bigoted because it is dishonest and is being used to promote hate to a particular group based on the dishonest comments.

Bonkers823 4 years, 4 months ago

I just want to know, is "ivalueamerica" the new Apple product coming out, like the iPad? Just curious. It was the lowercase "i" that threw me for a loop.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Please identify the exaggerations and the falsehoods to which you refer, ivalueamerica. Be specific. Another blanket assertion will not suffice.

The points in my LTE were not made up but rather were gleaned from multiple reliable sources. If you dispute their content, then show us your contrary evidence.

You breathless and unsubstantiated assertion about my supposed bigotry, dishonesty, and promotion of a hate group (?) provides no evidence for any character failing I may have, but speaks volumes about your own.

I really do get tired of ad hominem attacks such as yours. Hot-button insults are no substitute for honest, rational argument. If you're going to disagree, then do it with integrity. If you are unable do that, then please spare us the tawdry and tiresome exhibition of your rabid intolerance for those with whom you disagree.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Please identify the exaggerations and the falsehoods to which you refer, ivalueamerica. Be specific. Another blanket assertion will not suffice.

The points in my LTE were not made up but rather were gleaned from multiple reliable sources. If you dispute their content, then show us your contrary evidence.

You breathless and unsubstantiated assertion about my supposed bigotry, dishonesty, and promotion of a hate group (?) provides no evidence for any character failing I may have, but speaks volumes about your own.

I really do get tired of ad hominem attacks such as yours. Hot-button insults are no substitute for honest, rational argument. If you're going to disagree, then do it with integrity. If you are unable do that, please spare us the exhibition of your rabid intolerance for those you do not agree with.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, Robert, but the primary characteristic of this little jewel is muddled thinking expressed through equally muddled writing structure. A LTE doesn't have to be a quickly thrown together blog post as is often seen on this forum. Next time, have someone proofread your letter before submitting it. That way your fear mongering will come through even more loudly and clearly.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Do you truly believe that bullet points are a "muddled writing structure", Bozo? If so, just remember: follow the little dots.

I fail to see where my thinking is muddled. Please give evidence of muddled thinking.

You accuse me of fear-mongering. The accusation doesn't hurt because it's untrue and only reflects negatively on the source. But, gosh, it's getting monotonous hearing this kind of thing.

Jimo 4 years, 4 months ago

You have to admit:

You've got to admire this guy's ability to cram more propaganda per inch of type than any other LTE writer all year! Indeed, no wasted words constructing a rational argument at all. Knowledgeable critics are reduced to writing thousands of words per claim, leaving them far behind the swift machine-gun-like speed of this religious bigot, who will have reloaded on feces to fling before anyone else has caught up.

Mr. Babcock, may I suggest forwarding this letter to Fox? You have a career opportunity waiting for you! Staff writer for Glenn Beck. I foresee Mountain Dew and Cheetos in your future!

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Thank you for your backhanded praise, Jimo. I actually like what you said about my writing efficiency and my potential professional opportunities with Fox News.

My intent was not to directly construct "a rational argument", but rather to provide numerous points of factual information that the inquiring reader may use for further investigation. I would think that if one had not been aware of these things, they would prove interesting. I felt that, regardless of whether one's motive would be to confirm or disprove them, they would spur further learning about these generally unknown facets of Islam and its often spurious actors on the political/cultural front.

I don't fling feces, Jimo. But since you seem to prefer doing just that by accusing me of it, you need to know that after you've thrown it, the stench still clings to you. You need to wash up. Fight clean.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

I never claimed "radical Muslims" were likely to achieve world dominance. I said that Islam teaches world dominance. (I recognize that not all Muslims actively pursue this teaching.) It's unwise to dismiss the issue as laughable.

The 20th century experienced the rise of two other ideologies that claimed an inevitable domination of the world: German National Socialism and Communism. Although they failed to achieve their goal, the dedicated adherents of these ideologies caused massive civilizational upheavals which affect us to this day. Early on, these proponents were often dismissed as laughable, too.

To get a frequently updated account of events around the world concerning Islamic supremacism in action, go to www.jihadwatch.com.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

Today's WSJ opinion piece is absolutely excellent and the comments following this LTE are proof positive that the writer is right on the money.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703632304575451433090488678.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

Except that many religions have practices which might offend feminists.

Do we now have the right to require that Orthodox Judaism no longer separate men and women during services (just one example)?

It seems to me that freedom of religion includes the freedom of practices which may offend someone - if people don't like them, they're free to practice another religion, or another form of the same one.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

Who said anything about requiring anything?

The writer is a reformist Muslim, who is calling out the Imam for his call to dialogue and his hypocrisy.

"So far, the imam has rebuffed accusations of insensitivity. Yet he made those very accusations about the Danish cartoons of Prophet Muhammad. In a February 2006 press release, Imam Rauf announced that he was "appalled" by the drawings. He called it "willful fomentation" and "gratuitous" to republish them throughout Europe. In the following weeks, almost no U.S. newspaper printed the caricatures. "

He is calling for the same kind of dialogue that American society has demanded of religious institutions in the past, and some parity from the media and people like you.

When I was a teenager I went to a GWAR show where the band depicted a Catholic priest getting a huge crucifix shoved up his back side. As a person who had been raised Catholic I was offended, but it made me wonder why so many people hated Catholisism and Christianity, and it led me down a questioning path that I really needed to go down.

I wonder what would happen if a band now toured the US and Europe and a big part of their show was that same thing but for Mohammed. But I seriosly doubt I will ever find out, don't you?

Richard Payton 4 years, 4 months ago

Read today a cabbie in New York was stabbed after being asked if he was Muslim and responded "yes". Saw today a very graphic video of a young girl being murdered by refusing to marry an older man. Trying now how to make sense of senseless acts of hate and dogma beliefs. Just wish more love was around us at times!

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Stabbing the Muslim cabbie was an abhorrent crime. The perpetrator knew nothing of his victim but that the man is Muslim. For all that jerk knows, he may have just stabbed the kind of Muslim any freedom-loving American would be pleased to have for a neighbor. I hope they throw the book at the guy. A great big book.

You're right, Rtpayton: "Just wish more love was around us at times!"

I'm afraid this is incident is going to be used to tar anyone who questions the truthfulness of Imam Rauf, tactics of CAIR and MB, etc.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 4 months ago

From Allah's Holy Qur'an:

2:190-193 "Fight in the cause of God those who fight you ... And slay them wherever ye catch them ... And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression and there prevail justice and faith in God ..."

2:216 "Fighting is prescribed for you and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth and ye know not."

2:224 "Then fight in the cause of God and know that God heareth and knoweth all things."

3:157-158 "And if ye are slain or die in the way of God, forgiveness and mercy from God are far better than all they could amass. And if ye die, or are slain, Lo! It is unto God that ye are brought together."

3:169 "Think not of those who are slain in God's way as dead. Nay, they live finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord."

3:195 "... Those who have ... fought or been slain, verily I will blot out from them their iniquities and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath; a reward from the presence of God ..."

4:101 "... For the Unbelievers are unto you open enemies."

4:74, 75 "Let those fight in the cause of God who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of God whether he is slain or gets victory, soon shall we give him a reward of great (value). Those who believe fight in the cause of God and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil, so fight ye against the friends of Satan, feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan."

4:89 "They but wish that ye should reject faith as they do, and thus be on the same footing as they. But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of God. But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them…"

4:95 "Not equal are those believers who sit at (at home) and receive no hurt and those who strive and fight in the cause of God with their goods and their persons. God hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than those who sit (at home).

5:36 "The punishment of those who wage war against God and His apostle and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land. That is their disgrace in this world and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter."

5:54 "O ye who believe. Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily God guideth not a people unjust."

fester0420 4 years, 4 months ago

the bible has the same sh it when you read them out of context

mr_right_wing 4 years, 4 months ago

(excuse me for pulling a 'merrill' -- I've never done it before, but this in important)

8:12-17 "Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you. Give firmness to the believers. I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers. Smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger tips off them. This because they contend against God and his apostle. If any contend against God and his apostle, God is strict in punishment ... O ye who believe. When ye meet the unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them. If any do turn his back to them on such a day, unless it be a stratagem of war ... he draws on himself the wrath of God and his abode is Hell, an evil refuge (indeed)."

8:59-60 "Let not the unbelievers think that they can get the better (of the godly). They will never frustrate (them). Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of God and your enemies and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom God doth know ..."

8:65 "O apostle! Rouse the believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred. If a hundred they will vanquish a thousand of the unbelievers, for these are a people without understanding."

9:5 "... fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war) ..."

9:14 "Fight them, and God will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame ..."

9:29 "Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and his apostle nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth (even if they are) of the people of the Book, until they pay the Jizya [religious tax] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

47:4 "Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks, at length when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them) ... but if it had been God's will, he could certainly have exacted retribution from them (himself), but (he lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the way of God, he will never let their deeds be lost."

61:4 "Truly God loves those who fight in His cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure."

fester0420 4 years, 4 months ago

agan out of context. they only beleave this when they are threatend

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

If only radical Islamists and their learned imams knew, too, that these verses are out of context. Perhaps you can write them a strongly-worded letter.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for your exhaustive supply of evidence that should give pause to even the most rabid proponent of Islam as "the religion of peace". Good job!

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Babcock's underlying supposition is made clear in his last line: religious toleration is stupid. To justify his personal, pre-existing animosity towards our American fellow-citizens of the Muslim faith, he has compiled a pastiche of lies and misrepresentations drawn from the right-wing propaganda mill. Consider this counter-argument: Christian texts preach the goal of worldwide Christian domination. (See Revelation) Christianity isn't just a religion, but it has also served as a political ideology and war doctrine. (Crusades, European wars of religion.) Christians have executed "moderate" Christians and apostates. (Inquisition) Christian missionaries felt justified in lying to spread their faith. (colonization of Africa and the Americas) Christian leaders have said one thing to "public" audiences and another to their own followers. (Jerry Fallwell, Jews for Jesus) Christian churches have been used as incubators of radical versions of the religion. (KKK) Christian churches have helped fundraise for terror. (Ireland) Christians have tried to use laws to silence speech critical of them. (Inquisition, Calvinist Geneva) Christians have called for the Bible to be the basis of American law. (recent Kansas governor candidate) Christian men have murdered their wives. (recent case in Lawrence) *Christian countries have put non-Christians into second-class categories. (medieval Venice, Nazi Germany) Does this mean that we should be as fearful of Christianity as Mr. Babcock wants us to be about Islam? Not at all. Christianity has also been responsible for great good--as has Islam. Most American Christians are peaceful, law-abiding, and yes, tolerant (at least when they are not misled by deliberate propagandization)--just as most American Muslims are. The danger lies in radical religion tied to a violent political movement, and both Islam and Christianity (and other religions, too) have gone this route. The best antidote to such a direction is exactly what Mr. Babcock decries: religious tolerance--coupled with a strong defense of civil rights and protection of minorities.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Voevoda, you have mischaracterized some of my statements and you have made allegations that I must address.

My 'underlying supposition' is not that 'religious toleration is stupid.' My underlying supposition is that authoritative Islamic texts justify behaviors and seek ends that are hostile to the fundamental values and interests of our nation--indeed, Western civilization itself. In my LTE I listed a few of these facets of Islamic teaching and practices of those who seek to advance Islam.

You assert that I claimed something which I certainly did not: that 'religious toleration is stupid'. What I did say is that "so often" tolerance is synonymous with ignorance, because I believe that assertions made by Ms. Kennedy betrayed an ignorance of many aspects of fundamental Islam, and in this regard she has a lot of company.

I intentionally inserted the phrase "so often" because I do not believe that all tolerant people are ignorant, although many self-described tolerant people do display their ignorance in distressing abundance. This seems especially true of non-Muslims who seem determined to see Islam in only the most positive light and ignore any evidence to the contrary.

Ignorance--the specific word I used--is not the same as the specific word with which you seem to confuse it: stupidity. Ignorance is a dearth of knowledge of a given subject, whereas stupidity is something entirely different. I felt that the points in my LTE were most likely completely unknown to Ms. Kennedy and would likely prove enlightening to her and others.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

You haven't done a thing to alleviate "ignorance" by posting misinformation about Islam. You are determined to cast it in the most negative light, using misrepresentations and outright lies. I know a great deal about Islam and about Christianity (all from reputable sources) and I am tolerant, even appreciative, of both religions. And that's even though some of their followers have done horrific things. If you're not bigoted against Islam, why not balance your negatives with positives?

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Your assertion that I've done nothing to alleviate ignorance because I've posted misinformation would be true--if what I posted was misinformation. It's not.

I notice that you've again accused me of lying. I assume that when you began writing you very understandably may have missed the second part of my response; my comment had exceeded the allowable length for a post, so I split it into two parts. Since I've already responded to the charge of lying contained in your original post, I won't address it now.

You raise a good and reasonable question: "If you're not bigoted against Islam, why not balance your negatives with positives?" If one is pointing out what one considers faults or dangers within any institution, religion, or culture, is it necessary to point out that one does not mean that such faults and dangers are ascribed to all members of that institution, religion, or culture? I think not. To presume such a mass condemnation on the part of the critic is simply to presume to much.

Frankly, I would have liked to have talked much more about the all the topics I raised in my letter, and address others--including my attitude toward Muslims in general.

I certainly do not believe all Muslims are a threat. As my third bullet point implies, I support the efforts of "true Muslim reformers" (this does not include all Muslims who call themselves 'moderate'). Peaceful Muslims are fine with me. I may not be a member of their faith, but it is their right to practice it. If someone identified himself as a Muslim to me, I'd offer him cup of coffee and ask him if he had time to sit down and talk. I'd certainly like to hear him talk about his faith, and I'd like to ask him some honest questions and hear his response.

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

You say that I have used "lies and misrepresentations" to "justify [my] personal, pre-existing animosity [toward Muslims]". So you claim that in order to justify my supposed hatred for Muslims, I lied.

I did not lie: everything I claimed as a fact, I can document. What did I say, Voevoda, that is a lie? What truth did I misrepresent? Be specific. Remember, insulting and intellectually dishonest ad hominem attacks such as you engaged in do not count as evidence.

The rest of your letter is legitimate argument, but this accusation about lying and animosity is not: it's a cheap shot, in which you--whom I have never met--speak as though you know me well enough to belittle me with accusations of nasty ulterior motives, deceit, and prejudice. These are things no reasonable and ethical person would infer from a rational appraisal of my letter.

"Pre-existing animosity?" Just after 9/11, when I knew that many Muslims felt defensive and were wondering if there would be a nasty backlash, I wanted some Muslim--any Muslim--to know that I, a total stranger, held no animosity toward him as a Muslim. So, as I drove past the parking lot of the Islamic Center at 19th and Naismith, I saw a man headed toward the door of it. I pulled into the parking lot, got out of my car, and approached him. I explained that in spite of the WTC attack, I knew that those actions were not representative of all Muslims (I still hold that belief). I don't know if I made him feel any better; what I said didn't seem to mean much to him. Instead of engaging in a conversation, he broke into a harangue about the Jews and Palestinians.

I also wrote a LTE to the Journal World in which I claimed in a phrase now very common, that "a great religion has been hijacked". Over the years I have tried to learn more about that religion and, the more I've learned, the more I don't believe that Islam was hijacked. I know now that totalitarianism and hostility to Western liberalism are woven into the fabric of Islam itself. Thank God more Muslims don't practice these aspects of Islam.

I would like to respond to some arguments you made in the rest of your comment, but I have to go.

Bonkers823 4 years, 4 months ago

looks off into the distance I do believe I see Voevoda running off into the distance, tail tucked between legs. Darn, I was wanting to ask if their name was in reference to the Voevoda Missile. Shucks, now I'll never know.

fester0420 4 years, 4 months ago

amen lol. oganized religion is a froud. i quit beleaving in fairytails when i was a kid

thusspokezarathustra 4 years, 4 months ago

Except for Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson who both blamed the U.S. for 9/11. Pat Robertson called for the assassination of a foreign leader, illegally supported the Contra's in the 1980's, had extensive business dealings with war criminal Charles Taylor of Liberia in the 1990's and even in November 2003 accused George Bush of "undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country." All while Taylor was harboring Al Quaeda terrorists who were funding their activities through the diamond trade. In 2003 he said detonating a nuclear bomb at the State Department would be a good idea.

MyName 4 years, 4 months ago

Okay, I have a major problem with this: "tolerance wasn’t so often synonymous with ignorance"

I mean, WTF does that even mean? Maybe tolerance is due to factors other than politics. Like actually having friends who are Muslim and aren't any weirder than people of other faiths (and less weird than some). Or maybe it comes from not wanting to hold our own history of religious freedom hostage to people from other countries who actually are anti-American.

The LTE writer's response to an attack on America and on our American values seems to be ditch them at the first opportunity and turn on our fellow Americans because of what some people in other countries are doing because of fear. How can any person with a brain consider this a good idea?

ksjayhawk74 4 years, 4 months ago

"How can any person with a brain consider this a good idea?"

The ideology worked out so well for Nazi Germany, they almost were able to take over the world, without any real negative effects on the rest of their country at all, right? It worked out well for everyone involved right?... What that? Oh, it didn't work out for ANYONE involved? Then why didn't certain people learn a lesson from that?

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

I meant that people can be tolerant because they're ignorant of a threat. I'm not talking about ditching anyone, except those who are working against America and our American values through Islam-sanctioned lies and deceit.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 4 months ago

...Just think; all of this could have been avoided had Abraham kept his hands off Hagar. (Resulting in the birth of Ishmael)

Genesis 16:12

mbulicz 4 years, 4 months ago

Just think; all of this could have been avoided had we stopped believing in bronze age mythology and magic sky wizards.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

Isaac and Ishmael were reconciled at the funeral of their father Abraham. Genesis 25:9.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 4 months ago

In other Religion of Peace-related news: “Three Canadians arrested in an alleged terrorist conspiracy had bomb parts and plans and posed a "real and serious threat", Canadian police have said. The trio, arrested this week, were charged with supporting terrorism. Hiva Alizadeh and Misbahuddin Ahmed were jailed following a court appearance on Thursday. Also arrested was Khurram Sher, who according to the Toronto Star newspaper Our criminal investigation and arrests prevented the assembly of any bombs and the terrorist attack or attacks from being carried out” End Quote Serge Therriault Royal Canadian Mounted Police Police said Mr Alizadeh, 30, Mr Ahmed, 26, and Mr Sher, 28, face charges of conspiracy to facilitate terrorism, with Mr Alizadeh also charged with providing or making property available for a terrorist organisation and possession of explosives… “He said the group had sought to support anti-coalition fighters in Afghanistan. It was unclear whether the group planned attacks in Canada. Police said investigators had seized bomb-making instructions and more than 50 circuit boards specifically designed to remotely detonate bombs..” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11102833

mr_right_wing 4 years, 4 months ago

I've heard this the last few days, but I haven't been able to verify it.

Is the main guy behind this mosque issue the very same 'man' who commented, just a week or two after 9/11 that 'we' had done this (the attacks) to ourselves?

I"ve heard reports of a man coming into a mosque and shouting at the muslims there...another report of a muslim taxi driver being stabbed. Actions like these are flat out, indisputably wrong. People who do these kinds of acts aren't much better than the terrorists themselves. (...and before someone ignorantly posts "where they Christians?" no...that wasn't mentioned in the stories.)

thusspokezarathustra 4 years, 4 months ago

Imam Rauf, regarding 9/11 " US policies were an accessory to the crime"

Jerry Falwell regarding 9/11, "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'

Which one is the terrorist again?

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

Which one is the terrorist? Well, which one has aided or committed mass murder to further his cause?

Neither.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 4 months ago

And now this LTE has been undisappeareded.....

Robert_Babcock 4 years, 4 months ago

So you, too, noticed that the LTE & discussion disappeared, eh? I spoke with the paper this morning and it was all due to a software glitch that occurred following the correction of a minor typographical error, unbeknownst to them. Within just a few minutes after I called they had the LTE & discussion back online. They got on it right away. Hats off to JW.

wmathews 4 years, 4 months ago

True. There was a crazy tech issue Friday morning that caused us some problems for a few hours. We didn't lose any content or comments, but some links were unavailable for awhile (and may still be unavailable, so please let us know if something is missing).

Whitney Mathews Online Editor

booyalab 4 years, 4 months ago

Does anyone remember the American Muslim civil rights hero who beheaded his own wife? I wonder what this Islamic cultural center will say about the Muslim affinity for beheadings, or "honor killings".

moliemolie 4 years, 4 months ago

I would say that in this case fear is what is synonymous with ignorance. Not one mention of the fact that the people behind the center are sufi muslims. Sufis have never advocated violence and have in fact themselves often been the target of the radicals. Just a few months ago, 41 sufis were killed in Pakistan while at prayer. They were attacked by Al-Qaeda. Why is Al-Qaeda attacking the sufis if they share the same goals?

Educate yourself on what the sufis believe and you'll feel a lot better.

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

The truth is that all 3 major monotheistic religions are strikingly similar.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam have fundamental tenets which are virtually identical.

All 3 also have passages in their holy texts which can be used to justify violence - the Old Testament has a story in which the Jews are given land by God, but have to kill and conquer the existing inhabitants to get it, Christians managed to use religion to justify the Inquisition somehow, and the Koran contains passages which are being used to justify some sort of jihad.

There are liberal, moderate, conservative and radical groups in all 3 religions - I think it is clearly a mistake to claim that "Islam" is somehow the enemy here - it is a radical version of Islam, which many Muslims think is misguided and wrong, that is the problem.

And, yes, Sufism is a mystical and quite liberal version of Islam.

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

That's what I said - Radical Islam is the problem.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

Only one has a ruthless warlord as their most venerated prophet.

Only one emerged into the world as a political ideology, instead of merging into it later. Study the differences between the histories of the big 3, and you will find some striking differences that are very relevant TODAY.

Sufism is what it is, and seems intriguing to me, but stop ignoring the elephants all over your living room!

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

If you want to believe that Islam is the problem, that's your prerogative.

I think it's a big mistake, and misguided.

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

The whole point, which seems lost on many, is the distinction between the radical form of Islam and the whole religion.

seriouscat 4 years, 4 months ago

I DON'T THINK THAT ISLAM IS THE PROBLEM! My problem is the intellectual laziness that otherwise smart, educated people display when it comes to Islam.

Actually, I probably have a lot more admiration for the typical Muslim than I do for the typical American. People who actually care about morals and justice, and who dedicate their lives to being moral and just, and who practice self discipline and humility in that endeavor are the best actors we have in the world now and throughout history. I'm sure the majority of Muslims fit this description better than the majority of Americans, frankly.

But there are these aspects to Islam, and trends that have developed within Islam that must be highlighted and critisized, just like society critisized the church during the Enlightenment.

Lazily lumping Islam in to the religion category with every other faith, and supporting any actions that American Muslims make without questioning, (like the guy in the above article from Tennesse who donated money to the mosque without questioning whether doing so will actually be advancing causes that he personally believes in) based on an unthinking, knee jerk reaction to 'intolerance', seems to have become the modus operandi for liberals in this country.

Ignorance is the problem, and it's not exclusive to the right.

TopJayhawk 4 years, 4 months ago

And remember, the Crusades were in response to the aggression committed several centuries earlier by The Great Salimon. I think point set and match go clearly and easily to Robert.
Robert you shredded the opposition. When presented with specific facts, they could not refute. They resorted to plan A. They attacked and accused and smeared, and acted like third graders who say "You're not the boss of me."" (Too many quotation marks?.....LOL) And the quotation mark thing is just the eggheaded way to try and change the discussion to one that they feel they can control. You know, nothing pertinent to reality, just an academic discussion of nothingness.

thusspokezarathustra 4 years, 4 months ago

Presented with facts? 11 conjectured statements without a shred of evidence to back them up except some lame statement that the facts are ,"gleaned from multiple reliable sources." If this is so then give even just one reliable source.

Islamic texts didn’t preach the goal of worldwide Islamic dominance, (opinion no supporting evidence supplied)

• more Americans knew that Islam it isn’t just a religion but also a political ideology and war doctrine, (opinion, no figures quoted at all regarding knowledge Americans have about Islam nor proof that Islam is in fact a political ideology)

• more true Muslim reformers were speaking out, and didn’t have to fear execution as apostates, (once again not a single concrete example provided)

• the doctrine of taqiyahq didn’t promote lying to non-Muslims to advance the spread of Islam, (misinterpreted, actual definition of Taqiyya is "precautionary dissimulation whereby believers may conceal their faith when under threat, persecution or compulsion."

• so many “moderate” Muslims hadn’t said one thing to Western audiences and the opposite to Middle Eastern ones, (once again no concrete example)

• the Muslim Brotherhood hadn’t adopted a strategy of using mosques and Islamic centers in the West as incubators of “radical” Islam, (Most "radical" Islamic groups think that the Muslim Brotherhood is too moderate, Al Quaeda denounced the Muslim Brotherhood's reform through nonviolence and accused them of "betraying the cause of Islam and abandoning their 'jihad' in favour of forming political parties and supporting modern state institutions".

• the “moderate” Council on American-Islamic Relations wasn’t an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holyland Foundation terror-funding case, with former leaders and staffers now in federal prison, (1 of 300 unindicted co-conspirators, a prosecutorial trick to allow 3rd party testimony to be admissible and let's remember they are unindicted because there was insufficient evidence to indict)

• CAIR wasn’t pushing for European-style “defamation of religion” laws, used to silence speech critical of Islam, (no proof provided)

• “moderate” Imam Rauf didn’t want sharia law for the U.S., (Sean Hannity misquote, Rauf said The Constitution is ALREADY compliant with Sharia law not that he wanted to make it compliant)

• the press hadn’t been so wrong about much-touted “moderates” Imam al-Awlaki (now an al-Qaida commander) and Muzzammil Hasan (New York founder of moderate Muslim “Bridges TV” with his wife, whom he has since beheaded), (no proof that press had been wrong about either individual.)

• more Americans knew what dhimmi status means. (A contract between non-muslims and a state controlled by Sharia law exchanging rights for taxes, are you attempting to imply a darker meaning?)

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