The next time people want to lie against Islam and our feelings toward others….

Muslim scholars call for peace with Christians

More than 130 Muslim scholars called on Thursday for peace and understanding between Islam and Christianity, saying “the very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake”.

In a letter to Pope Benedict and other Christian leaders, Muslim scholars from around the world said finding common ground between the world’s biggest religions was not simply a matter for polite dialogue between religious leaders. “If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world; with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world’s inhabitants,” the scholars wrote. “Our common future is at stake. The very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake,” they wrote. Relations between Muslims and Christians have been under strain as al Qaeda has struck around the world and the United States and other Western countries have intervened in Iraq and Afghanistan. Using quotations from the Bible and the Koran to support their message, the scholars told people who relished conflict and destruction that “our very eternal souls are … at stake if we fail to sincerely make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony”. “So let our differences not cause hatred and strife between us. Let us vie with each other only in righteousness and good works. “Let us respect each other, be fair, just and kind to (one) another and live in sincere peace, harmony and mutual goodwill,” the scholars wrote. The letter was signed by Muslim scholars from around the world, including Algerian Religious Affairs Minister Bouabdellah Ghlamallah and the Grand Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomaa. It was addressed to the Pope and to other Christian leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the Anglican Church. Pope Benedict caused widespread anger among Muslims last year by suggesting Islam was violent, quoting a 14th century Byzantine emperor who spoke of the Prophet Mohammad’s “command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”. The leader of more than one billion Roman Catholics repeatedly expressed regret for the reaction to the speech, but stopped short of the unequivocal apology wanted by Muslims.

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14 Comments

  1. …and rightly so!
    The pope did not quote the Byzantine emperor to suggest or imply that islam was violent, he did it to indicate a way out of religious violence. To clarify this point he used a remark that the 20th century editor of the 14th century text had put in a footnote at exactly this point in the text.
    The footnote did not deal with violence, nor the question on islam and violence, nor even the question on religion and violence, but with the problem of voluntarism: is God bound to be righteous, or is everything God does righteous by definition, regardless of what humans think of it?
    The editor of the emperor’s text had noted in his footnote that the emperor did not realise that his -fictional- muslim spokespartner held the latter view and would thus be utterly unimpressed by the emperor’s arguments on God and righteousness.
    The pope stated that only the first view would be able to end violence; in fact, this was the point of his speech.
    It’s a pity muslims all over the world failed to notice that -rather useful- theological point.

    Reply

  2. Being an average American I would like to know how you, the Muslim community, plan to stop your extremist?

    It appears you want to ask the world for peace and harmony while you do nothing to stop the preaching of hate from your pulpits which incites your constituency to commit these hate crimes against those who are different from you.

    Do you see our problem? As long as a large portion of the Muslim world preaches such hate against those not Muslim, these problems will exist.

    To the average American it appears that Islam has two hands. In one hand there is the preacher of tolerance and peace. In the other hand stands the preacher of hate and intolerance. Neither hand will cut the other off to claim Islam for itself so Islam is this religion with two extremes and it shall remain so. It appears this is fine for Muslims, they can mostly live like that. To those not Muslim this two armed approach creates mistrust and danger.

    The world see this one handful of Muslims asking us to accept them and be peaceful, and this other handful of Muslims cutting off the heads of any non-Muslim’s they can catch while preaching that it is the Muslim duty to kill anyone who’s not Muslim.

    Where dose that leave us? I’ll tell you, you are asking us to die peacefully! It becomes apparent to us that if we are to stay alive and keep our freedom of religion and life style, we must defend it with our very lives, so we are.

    I have said all this in the hope you as a Muslim may gain the insight you are missing. If you don’t control your own extremist, we must if we are to live. Don’t ask us to die…

    The modern convention of Islam must realize the First World Countries are much different from the Third World Countries where Islam’s dictator-style government domination has met with some success. The sophisticated citizen Islam now faces can’t be tricked into believing this two armed approach must be tolerated, the world is full of options. To continue suggesting that the world must make peace with one arm of Islam while acting as if you are the only arm, fails to represent reality. Furthermore, the world will not separate these two arms, they are both Islam. Regardless of the pleading letters to the Pope, Islam is Islam. All facets must be considered when dealing with Islam.

    The fact of the matter is that if Islam cannot redefine itself to become a peaceful world citizen then it will always fact the hardships it always has.

    This is your house, you must clean your own house and stop asking us to excuse your mess.

    Reply

  3. AA, AA, 🙂

    “Being an average American I would like to know how you, the Muslim community, plan to stop your extremist?”

    Problem #1, you assume it’s the “Muslim community’s” responsibility. Sitting here in the nations capital, I’m just as responsible for “extremists” as you are. My being a Muslim makes me no more responsible or blameable for what other Muslims do, no matter how extreme then you being responsible for any other member of your faith groups action. Talk about double standards!

    “It appears you want to ask the world for peace and harmony while you do nothing to stop the preaching of hate from your pulpits which incites your constituency to commit these hate crimes against those who are different from you.”

    The irony is that this weak argument sounds no different than what the same “preachers of hate” overseas says about America. All Americans are …. because they do nothing to stop …. so the whole nation is responsible for … no matter how much good they do or what they say about peace…. Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me!

    “Do you see our problem? As long as a large portion of the Muslim world preaches such hate against those not Muslim, these problems will exist.”

    Of course I see the problem: Ignorance and Hypocrisy.

    Ignorance in the sense that the lie is continually told that a “large portion” of the Muslim world preaches hate, that is a lie. The largest portions of the so-called Muslim world, lives in peaceful societies that are oft allied with the west and friendly nation-states. No true analyst would even attempt to put a number greater than maybe a million or so that preach hate out of 1.5 billion who don’t. Hypocrisy in the sense that I would be wrong if I called all priests homosexual pedophiles because of some priests, or all Christians, war-mongering, greedy, hypocrits, because of the actions of some Christians and their leaders, yet it’s perfectly ok to single out a small group of Muslims and accuse the overwhelming majority of being like them and somehow to blame for their existence.

    Look it’s not even worth debating every point, because you start out on unreasoned, untruthful, biases. You want me and those like me to somehow feel or be responsible for people we don’t even know or affiliate with, just because they call themselves Muslim. Pure logic refutes this fallacy. If that logic were true, I’m also responsible for the actions of every black, American, Marine, etc. etc.

    Furthermore, even though Muslims shouldn’t have to, we still go out of our way to prove that we are not who we are being accused of, yet those like you either ignore or belittle our efforts. It’s not our fault that many accusers are too lazy to do 5 minutes of research to see how false their claims are.

    Just a cursory look on my blog exposes many lies you present. There is a banner linking to hundreds of declarations, fatwas, etc. against terrorism, there are dozens of fellow Muslim bloggers from all over the planet that I link to of like mind, who also link to others, you will see that I’m read all over the Muslim world, and yet I have only received two dissenting comments in almost two years!

    Not to mention picking up a map, history book, or even the CIA factbook would net some results and truth and back up my every claim.

    If you want to debate your postings, you have to do some research first, there is just too much on this site and others I link to, as well as Google and your local library, for me to debunk your every myth and illogical fallacy.

    Your more than welcome to call my show when I’m on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theamericanmuslim I have an entire hour Tues and Thurs just for this type of stuff.

    Reply

  4. Robert,

    Your response makes my point exactly! I’m sorry you fail to see the larger issue here, I did not post in order to argue points with you. I posted here hoping to present my understanding of a very current and important concern, that of Muslim aggression, in a manor that might attract a new solution.

    I know this characterization of my perspective is likely to offend you, I want to express these issues in terms and in views common within the Muslim world. In other words, I hope to turn around the situation so that it may disturb you as it dose the average American. Why? So there is a common dissatisfaction from which to converse. It is a very quick and clear way to demonstrate basic misconceptions we both may hold.

    My original post here was my attempt to portray common views held by the average American. From your responses I think I achieved my goal as well as proving my argument in the process.

    You made the timeless claim that there are two arms of Islam, one peaceful and one not.

    You claim no responsibility for the other arm while proclaiming your innocence.

    You basically spend your whole response offering the difference between yourself and the other side of Islam.

    You do all this while accusing me the whole time of ignorance and hypocrisy…

    I think you know better than I that the average American only sees one Islam, my whole point. There is no separation between the super aggressive arm and the peaceful arm in the mind of the average American. This means you, being an American Muslim, do bear responsibility for the actions taken in the name of Islam in the mind of a vast majority of this country.

    In fact, I think there is a lot of support for the theory that both of the arms of Islam are in fact working in concert to achieve their ultimate goal. What would that be? World domination of course, just look at the doctrine of these aggressive Muslims, convert or kill! It really would be an effective approach to use the peace arm to gain foothold in places not receptive to overt aggression, such as the United States. Once there is a significant network in place a gradual change could be implemented creating a place for extremist. It has already occurred in other countries, many times. In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center, even has classified the Nation Of Islam as a hate group. The extremist are already here!

    With Islam’s long history filled with so much international aggression, domination and oppression, it is not hard to see why the average American should be concerned in today’s world.

    Robert I had hoped you could offer more of an original solution. Disclaiming responsibility and diverting attention is an old and tired defense at best. There is only one Islam, either is will be defined in history as a very aggressive religion only kept in check by the sword or maybe the last word has yet to be written? To any objective observer it seems clear, based on history and current events, that the sword is and integral part of Islam and has so far been the only check for Islam.

    America will wake up one day, you know as well as I do, that is why I bothered to offer you this perspective hoping you may see the bigger picture and care enough to act.

    I hold no hatred for peaceful people but I demand the same respect from others, this is where the hate arm of Islam and the average American

    Reply

  5. This is where I believe you miss the entire ship.

    I am an Average American, you are an Average American, in truth, what is an Average American? See what you are merely doing is applying your understanding and noted biases to your theorem that you imply is representative of “Average American” thought? Which is false, because their is no true way to gauge such things. Primarily because you and I claim the same title yet hold two different views.

    My point in my initial diatribe was to display this myth that is perpetrated that Islam and Muslims can be placed in a selective box that non-Muslims such as yourself under the auspice of an Average American decide is the true “everyday” belief.

    Maybe the collective thought process of the groups you belong to believe that way, but I can tell you that the “average” black person in America doesn’t regard Islam in the way you do, as most of us have Muslim family members, and many of us regard Farrakhan and the NOI as heroes/leaders.

    So which “Average” America do you speak for? I completely disagree with your assessment that you know what Average Americans believe. Now if we were talking about the average middle to upper class white American, then we may have something. But minorities in America don’t see Islam through the prism that you do, and are closely alighned with my thought process Muslim or not.

    Now to speak to the Average America you represent, I believe your data and beliefs toward Islam and Muslims is biased and based on falsehood. Since it’s inception, Islam/Muslims have pioneered science, mathematics, medicine, trade, navigation, etc. Through these pioneering acheivements Islam spread to the world.

    Revisionist historians, aka Europeans, wrote his story to reflect nothing but negative ideas about culture(s) they did not understand or couldn’t believe were more advanced than themselves. This is reflected in almost every his storical text as it relates to non-European cultures from a European perspective.

    As such we see such negative commentary through Orientalist writings that have resurfaced today in major propanda approaches to shape minds. I believe most of your ideas find their root their.

    Prior to 9/11 Islam/Muslims were not viewed in the light they are today, only in “select” circles. That is because true to actual facts the majority of Muslims have been active participants in American society and culture. However, after 9/11 new claims and accusations were raised and implied on a group largely ignored previously in order to shape public opinion that somehow Islam is now a foreign-Arab concept, with no compatibility with the west.

    Those who took the bait were the “average American” the constituency I believe you represent. Based on a fear that was largely unknown to them, i.e. being the majority with power and control of all others, being now shaken it was easy to feed anything to this group, hence the idea that a religion and people that have been in America since it’s exception, are not all of a sudden “different”.

    This group has been groomed to ignore the reality that a good chunk of Western “advancement” and culture are bi-products of Islamic/Muslim influence. Not to mention the revisionist history about the relationship between Jews and Muslims, which in truth compared to that of Christians and Jews, is by far much closer and peaceful, but I digress…

    There is but one Islam, the sad truth is “average Americans” care not to examine what that is, but choose to define it according to their “needs”.

    However, like every religion, group, or nation, their are those who claim Islam as their faith that do good and do bad.

    The hypocrisy comes in when that truest of all truths is not recognized and wrongly applied to suit ignorant agenda’s.

    The hypocrisy comes in when it is easy to distinguish the actions of a Christian, Jew, Buddhist, etc. and be able to seperate them from the larger faith group or community, yet when it comes to Islam, people refuse to use the same logic.

    This refusal is blatantly rooted in an agenda based on willful ignorance. The justification to ignore logic is based on the false history…i.e. “throughout history Muslims…..therefore Muslims today are….” or “if you read verse….in the Quran…it is easy to see why Muslims…”.

    Now the question is how are such comments applied? When one already ignores facts and says that Islamic history is steeped in violence and aggression against others…contrary to the overwhelming reality that Islamic history is steeped in progressive ideas and peaceful relations with other cultures, then it’s easy to recognize the bias in it’s inception. Not to mention the idea that somehow you can isolate a verse or saying or two, or a historical event or two and apply it to over 1400 years of history, thousands of verses and sayings and a billion plus people and say your belief or understanding is definitive.

    Hypocrisy is when one doesn’t accept the same standard for themselves as they impose on others. If one can skew the truth about Islam and Muslims based on isolated understandings, then one should be able to do the same for other religions, groups, and nations.

    So the “Average Americans” should easily be able to apply their “logic” about Muslims to both Christianity and America and concede that in the former for almost 2000 years Christians have been a backward, isolated, supremist people, who want to shape the world in their image. This has included the destruction, enslavement, and colonializing of various peoples, meanwhile imposing their beliefs on others. In the case of the European strand, this meant to impose the idea of a Caucasian god and lord, that is superior to the cursed inferior races and ethnicities of other people and/or gods. In the case of the latter, throughout its several year history, this country has been responsible for the brutal enslavement of millions of Africans, the majority of Muslim majority nations, denied, killed and destroyed those peoples religion, culture, and history, and continously denied their descendants basic human rights, that while proclaimed in their government documents, were only meant to apply to white males. Not to mention this war loving country has not gone one century in it’s history without a war, conflict, or battle against another nation, people, or even itself. This nation while proclaiming superiority over the world is the only nation to ever use nuclear weapons on another, while staunchly ensuring only countries of it’s choosing have the right to posses said arsenals. This brutal Empire currently have military personnel in every corner on the globe in both temporary and permanent foreign military installations in order to project and maintain it’s strength….

    Now, like I said, if you want to deal in truth, I’m more then willing, but when you come to the table floating one-sided half truths, attempting to get the beam out of others eyes and not your own, then I am scripturally compelled to call you and those of like mind as they are.

    Reply

  6. Robert,

    So you know, you are a black Muslim, that means you are not an average American. According to the 2000 census around 75% of this country is white, so the average American is white, as much as that apparently bothers you. Furthermore, this country was founded by Christians and remains without question predominantly Christian. Even your religious preference excludes you from the majority.

    So say your “scripturally compelled” to take offence to those not like you? Sounds pretty consistent to the massive onslaught of Islamic extremist occurring everyday, “In the name of Islam”…(insert horrific news footage of your choice).

    I will admit, this last post of yours is more meaningful to the larger issue at hand. It surprised me a little when you align yourself with a documented race-based hate group, the Nation Of Islam. When the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies a black organization as a hate group, there can be no question in a reasonable person’s mind as the SPLC is renown for carrying the banner of racial discrimination and coming to the aid of minorities. The public support of the NOI you’ve demonstrated actually confirms the previously mentioned theory of the peaceful side of Islam working together with the hate filled side to achieve their ultimate goal.

    All it takes is someone like you standing in the pulpit of your “peaceful Masque” instructing your followers to embrace extremists like the NOI, even consider them as your “heroes/leaders”. There you have it, proof that this very strategy is being employed here in this country!

    The spreading of hate and intolerance will never gain you your ambitions, neither will subversion. Furthermore, reading your characterization of our great country, it is clear you have a great discontent for it. That is truly unfortunate as this, the greatest country to ever exist, has done more to help Muslim people than all the other countries of the world combined, including the other Muslim countries! Even today, our brave men and women are fighting and even giving their lives in order to provide a better future for Muslims in their very own country! You are an ungrateful people! Unworthy of our gift to you.

    Islam may have assisted mankind in the past evolution of technical advancements, but how long ago was that? Where are the new advancements this great religion claims to be capable of? Why don’t you explain how homosexual relations between men and boys are embraced as tradition in Islam, as well as the barbershop circumcision of 14 year old girls? These true but little discussed facets of Islam are the type of cultural differences that will always separate the average American and Islam. What is there that Islam has to offer? The only thing the average American sees is social, religious, gender and governmental oppression! Not enough to entice a freedom loving people into accepting!

    Hypocrisy… That is when you proclaim your peaceful intentions while assisting/perpetrating hate filled attacks! You present a letter to the Pope while you call a hate preaching raciest such as Farrakhan your hero/leader!

    Ignorance… That, is showing your nuclear ambitions. Can you not understand how the field will change? Currently, Muslim terrorist perpetrate their cowardly attacks and hide behind human shields of children and the innocent. Once your people gain their sought after nuke the game changes! The gloves are off! We will be justified in the eyes of the world to defend ourselves against the assured attack with the only means left! Is that good for the situation?

    Robert, my whole intention in engaging you was to try and find a new hope, one the current world relations have not found… I don’t think that is going to happen. I am not an extremists, however, I will protect my freedoms with extreme force. That is the very reason our all volunteer military is able to meet their staffing needs in this time of war. The average American understands what it takes to keep the freedom they love!

    Additionally, I truly hope you will consider denouncing that prison-based hate group, the NOI, and it’s leader, they are simply a black KKK and like the KKK they are beneath the support of good people.

    Reply

  7. The Proof is in the comments, my worldwide readership is not stupid! 🙂

    “So you know, you are a black Muslim, that means you are not an average American. According to the 2000 census around 75% of this country is white, so the average American is white, as much as that apparently bothers you. Furthermore, this country was founded by Christians and remains without question predominantly Christian. Even your religious preference excludes you from the majority.”

    So basically what you meant by “Average American” is white Christian? You said it, I didn’t. 🙂

    “It surprised me a little when you align yourself with a documented race-based hate group, the Nation Of Islam……..The public support of the NOI you’ve demonstrated actually confirms the previously mentioned theory of the peaceful side of Islam working together with the hate filled side to achieve their ultimate goal…”

    Context, context, context….I never aligned myself with anything, only pointed out what you eventually did, that you couldn’t have meant to include black Americans in your “Average American” mantra, because many black Americans of various backgrounds, religion, etc. don’t feel the way your “Average Americans” aka White Christians do about the NOI. As evidenced by black history even up to the packed NOI event last week in Georgia! So I guess in White Christian eyes, we black folk support a group of racists! Now what you haven’t explained is if this is a so-called “Islamic thing” then why are civil rights icons and Reverends making press statements and support the NOI? Oh that’s right, they are black Christians, they don’t count! 🙂

    “Furthermore, reading your characterization of our great country, it is clear you have a great discontent for it. That is truly unfortunate as this, the greatest country to ever exist, has done more to help Muslim people than all the other countries of the world combined, including the other Muslim countries! Even today, our brave men and women are fighting and even giving their lives in order to provide a better future for Muslims in their very own country! You are an ungrateful people! Unworthy of our gift to you.”

    It is better to be thought a fool, then to open your mouth and prove it! I am a veteran a US MARINE, when did you serve? My family has served in every conflict and war since WWI in every branch, how about yours? I have cousins in Iraq right now, hell my ex-wife was in Iraq twice! Apparently you don’t know what sarcasm or context is! 🙂

    “Islam may have assisted mankind in the past evolution of technical advancements, but how long ago was that? Where are the new advancements this great religion claims to be capable of? Why don’t you explain how homosexual relations between men and boys are embraced as tradition in Islam, as well as the barbershop circumcision of 14 year old girls? These true but little discussed facets of Islam are the type of cultural differences that will always separate the average American and Islam. What is there that Islam has to offer? The only thing the average American sees is social, religious, gender and governmental oppression! Not enough to entice a freedom loving people into accepting!”

    What’s your doctors last name? The majority of Muslims in this country are the in the top of the professions of mathematics, medicine, science, etc. TODAY!!! i.e. history repeating itself. Not to mention the 20,000 plus Muslims in the US Military TODAY!!! Or those supporting our country like me in a variety of ways. Seems like a major contribution, guess not to the average white Christian,….ur I mean American.

    Homosexuality? I know you are joking right? Nothing against Homosexuals, but they are more prevalent in the “Christian” West than anywhere else, but so is crime, rape, murder, etc…

    And FGM or Female Genital Mutilation, produce your proof, show me where in Islam it says this is OK, show me that Christians, Animists, and others are not doing the same thing, show me that Islamic Scholar after scholar has not condemned such CULTURAL practices! Key word: Cultural

    Now you talk a good one about DEFENSE, tell us, what have you done/doing to defend this nation against all enemies foreign and domestic? Put your cards and uniform on the table, I have! Don’t talk do.

    You support the troops? I am the troops!

    Lastly, as far as the black KKK comment, please find me anywhere in the annals of history an instance of a mob of black people Muslims or otherwise, lynching a white person while smiling for the camera. Specifically, show me any writing or speech where anyone from the NOI ever called for the death of white people.

    The only thing that you have proved today is what I suggested and you confirmed: That your idea of America = White Christian and as such, you only see through that limited prism.

    Reply

  8. Robert,

    First of all, thank you for your service to our country.

    Now, I’m sorry, I presumed you understood the meaning of average American. Of course I’m white and of Christian tradition, as is the vast majority of this country, please check the facts. The world is full of options, your choice to live here is yours alone.

    And yes, I too served this great country during wartime as a U.S. Marine, Semper Fi! Amtracker by trade, YAT YAS! Of course it was during the first Gulf War as I’m now almost 40 years old.

    I was however, just a reservist, you see, my real job was working as a correctional officer and supervisor of correctional officers in both state and federal prison systems. This is where I came to know of the Nation Of Islam. It is a marginal concern compared to other organized disturbance groups. Basically it is a prison gang style organization operating under and subverting the name of Islam in order to meet their own goals. Unlike other true religious groups within the prison system, such as Al-Islam, the Catholics, Protestants and so on, the NOI is a loosely militant disturbance group cloaked in the guise of a religion.

    Having over 15 years of experience dealing with this type of issue I will be glad to inform you why some blacks who go to prison join the NOI. Quit simply, prison is scary! All prison gangs rely on new inmates needing protection which the gangs pretend to offer.

    Most prison based disturbance groups such as the Arian Nation, Mexican Mafia, Bloods, Crips and so on, the NOI conducts business differently out side the walls, in the “free world” so as to be more effective in civilized society, but at the end of the day, they are what they are.

    The acceptance of homosexual activity between man and boy as tradition within Islamic countries as well as grown men walking down the street holding hands, as well as the routine beating of women in the street by “Morality Police” for “moral infractions” such as showing their ankle in public was all part of the training the USMC gave as during a cultural differences class before deploying to the Gulf War, you didn’t go? This was very important as the Islamic world’s value system is so far removed from the values Americans hold. It would have created a force hazard to send U.S. troops into a friendly Muslim country without and first giving them some understanding of what they were seeing as being culturally acceptable in that culture.

    The genital mutilation has been a common practice in Islam for centuries. Egypt only outlawed it a few years ago as too many young girls were dieing in the barber chair where the forced procedure took place. I have even seen a video documentary of this on the Discovery Channel or a similar channel a few years ago. The poor girl was struggling in the barber chair with all her might against 5 grown men where her own father had taken her to be mutilated, she screamed, cried and cursed them all to hell the whole time! You need to check your facts Robert.

    Louis Farrakhan has preached hatred and intolerance against the white man for many years, that Robert qualifies as racism. I don’t think this surprises you as your remarks prove evidence of years of indoctrination at the hands of religious and racially intolerant people, I fear you yourself my hold a vast amount of racist views. That’s unfortunate, if it is true, you have surrendered your soul to a way of life that consumes it’s victims.

    My idea of America is a place where anyone can do anything that is morally acceptable according to the majority as long as it is legal.

    When a group of people wants to force it’s religion, politics or values on others, that group is a treat to peace and the vary values America stands for. The FACT that this country is around 75% white is just the case, as is the Christian base. That will not never change in favor of Islam, the cultures are too different, the freedom loving people of this country would never submit to a new Iran, Syria, Iraq or any of those other third-world styles of government. I am surprised you seem so upset at the mere pointing out of simple truths. If you are the true black Muslim you claim to be, holding the extremist views you seem to be, then you have already accepted your resignation to the smallest fringe our society, it is all your choice.

    Reply

  9. Robert,

    It is clear that our conversation is digressing into a waist of time.

    I came here wanting to discover a new hope for Muslim-American relations as a whole.

    I hoped you would make me realize the American Muslim is different.

    I find it hard to believe and very concerning that the extremist have such a foothold already.

    If you know of any proof the average American could use in making their personal determination as to a separation between American Muslims and the Extremist committing such horror in the name of their god, please present it.

    Otherwise, my concerns have only been validated by our interactions.

    Thanks for your time Robert.

    Reply

  10. “First of all, thank you for your service to our country.”

    And Thank you…

    “Now, I’m sorry, I presumed you understood the meaning of average American. Of course I’m white and of Christian tradition, as is the vast majority of this country, please check the facts. The world is full of options, your choice to live here is yours alone.”

    I personally don’t look at “Average American” to mean specific ethnicities or religions within America, but to mean shared ideals and values that are broad across our diversified backgrounds. In other words “Average American” to me includes social norms common to the experience of us all. Otherwise, I would specify with “black”, “Muslim”, etc. hyphonated American. I thought most people looked at it the way I do. I’m sorry that I didn’t understand that you only define Americans and the average one not by our culture or values, but by our skin color and religion.

    “And yes, I too served this great country during wartime as a U.S. Marine, Semper Fi! Amtracker by trade, YAT YAS! Of course it was during the first Gulf War as I’m now almost 40 years old. ”

    Semper Fidelis to you too!

    “I was however, just a reservist, you see, my real job was working as a correctional officer and supervisor of correctional officers in both state and federal prison systems. This is where I came to know of the Nation Of Islam. It is a marginal concern compared to other organized disturbance groups. Basically it is a prison gang style organization operating under and subverting the name of Islam in order to meet their own goals. Unlike other true religious groups within the prison system, such as Al-Islam, the Catholics, Protestants and so on, the NOI is a loosely militant disturbance group cloaked in the guise of a religion.

    Having over 15 years of experience dealing with this type of issue I will be glad to inform you why some blacks who go to prison join the NOI. Quit simply, prison is scary! All prison gangs rely on new inmates needing protection which the gangs pretend to offer.

    Most prison based disturbance groups such as the Arian Nation, Mexican Mafia, Bloods, Crips and so on, the NOI conducts business differently out side the walls, in the “free world” so as to be more effective in civilized society, but at the end of the day, they are what they are.”

    This is still YOUR PERSONAL experience, mine is different. I never presumed you weren’t true in your experience, I’m merely pointing out that your experience is true for everyone, nor is it definitive enough to characterize an entire group.

    “The acceptance of homosexual activity between man and boy as tradition within Islamic countries as well as grown men walking down the street holding hands, as well as the routine beating of women in the street by “Morality Police” for “moral infractions” such as showing their ankle in public was all part of the training the USMC gave as during a cultural differences class before deploying to the Gulf War, you didn’t go? This was very important as the Islamic world’s value system is so far removed from the values Americans hold. It would have created a force hazard to send U.S. troops into a friendly Muslim country without and first giving them some understanding of what they were seeing as being culturally acceptable in that culture.

    The genital mutilation has been a common practice in Islam for centuries. Egypt only outlawed it a few years ago as too many young girls were dieing in the barber chair where the forced procedure took place. I have even seen a video documentary of this on the Discovery Channel or a similar channel a few years ago. The poor girl was struggling in the barber chair with all her might against 5 grown men where her own father had taken her to be mutilated, she screamed, cried and cursed them all to hell the whole time! You need to check your facts Robert.”

    I believe it is you who needs to check your facts. If you read my blog outside a post or two, you would know that I have frequently denounced such practices that occur within the “Muslim” countries. However, unlike you, I know that there is a distinct difference between what some people and groups do, versus what Islam teaches. It’s really not that hard to figure out what Islam says about homosexuality, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t homosexuals that call themselves Muslim. But the belief and practice of one or some doesn’t automatically qualify or is sufficient enough to define the teachings generally accepted by the whole.

    Futhermore, holding hands, is their cultural practice, their is not one verse in the Quran that says all male Muslims must walk hand in hand. We do have pictures of the POTUS holding hands with King Abdullah, are you suggesting that the POTUS is now gay for engaging in anothers cultural practice?

    Furthermore, as it relates to fact checking you will be able to note that FGM is not a Muslim phenomenon but a cultural one that exists in that region of the world and other places and is not unique to Muslims, but also practiced by Christians, animists, and others. It’s also noteworthy to announce that there are many governments that have outlawed the practice and many Islamic scholars that have as well as non-Islamic. Does that mean it doesn’t occur? Certainly not! But as a critical thinker I know that what a religion teaches and what those who say they believe do, unfortunately tend to be two different things.

    “Louis Farrakhan has preached hatred and intolerance against the white man for many years, that Robert qualifies as racism. I don’t think this surprises you as your remarks prove evidence of years of indoctrination at the hands of religious and racially intolerant people, I fear you yourself my hold a vast amount of racist views. That’s unfortunate, if it is true, you have surrendered your soul to a way of life that consumes it’s victims.”

    It’s never good to ASSume and I know you know why.

    “My idea of America is a place where anyone can do anything that is morally acceptable according to the majority as long as it is legal. ”

    Which is why I consider myself an Average American. I believe the same things.

    “When a group of people wants to force it’s religion, politics or values on others, that group is a treat to peace and the vary values America stands for.”

    Of course, which is why you and I took the oath to defend against that.

    “The FACT that this country is around 75% white is just the case, as is the Christian base. That will not never change in favor of Islam, the cultures are too different, the freedom loving people of this country would never submit to a new Iran, Syria, Iraq or any of those other third-world styles of government.”

    This is where your ignorance begins to shine through what appears to be reason and logic. You start with the premise that you know the future, then you add the negative commentary that there is a distinct culture that is Christian and one that is Islamic, and not only that, but also they are somehow “radically” different.

    A: I challenge you to define what is Christian Culture and what is Islamic Culture.

    B: Define the differences between the two illustrating their incompatibility.

    It is obvious you have been subjected to misinformation and indoctrination as you relate “Islamic culture” as equal to Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc. When the majority of Muslims don’t even live in that region or are from that region.

    “I am surprised you seem so upset at the mere pointing out of simple truths. If you are the true black Muslim you claim to be, holding the extremist views you seem to be, then you have already accepted your resignation to the smallest fringe our society, it is all your choice.”

    You pointed out what amounts to not much. I never said their was no FGM in “Muslim” countries, my blog bears witness to that, nor did I say the same for anything else present their like terrorism, war, “honor” killings, etc. etc. etc. I frequently touch these topics on my blog and radio show. The major difference is that I have not used these examples of immoral practice as a catalyst to label 1.5 billion people and define their beliefs by those actions.

    I utilize reason and a little research to see that these actions are not normative across the Islamic spectrum and in 15 minutes one can easily find that none of these actions are sanctioned in the religion of Islam.

    For the record, I taught many of those awareness briefings, I’m sorry you had poor instructors or those who didn’t point out the difference between culture and religion.

    The “black Muslim” thing? It’s no secret I’m Sunni. 🙂

    Reply

  11. Thanks a lot Robert,

    My whole effort here was to portray a typical American understanding of issues relating to Islam in a public format in hopes of furthering understanding.

    You and I went back and forth over common points of interest concerning this discussion in a pretty typical way from my point of view. Taken as a whole, our conversation has helped me more accurately understand the American Muslim. Your efforts have given light to some issues such as distinguishing between cultural tradition and religious tradition, information I may never have received elsewhere.

    I applaud you for your characterization of the average American being more about the values we hold as a country than about statistics. I like it! In fact it is that very value system that brought us both into national service, just as it is still filling the ranks today.

    It did take us a bit to see past each others semi-militant dialog, thanks for taking the time and effort. I guess I realize how you could be pretty defensive when talking with someone like myself. I act the same under similar circumstances. It appears we both expect some conflict when dealing with members of each other’s groups. I think that in my future dealings with Muslims I’ll make a great effort to consider the better understanding you’ve helped me gain. I hope that you too can gain from our discussion, at least know the average white Christian wants better understanding and better dialog with Muslims. It’s just tricky working through the preconceptions on both behalves. As you post on a blog called the American Muslim, I’m am sure you’ll encounter many other Americans wanting to know why there is such conflict in the world to day. I would encourage you to present your issues in a manor consistent with understanding and brotherhood.

    PEACE THROUGH UNDERSTANDING

    Good job Devil Dog!

    Semper Fi

    Reply

  12. And Thank you, for the non-Marine vets that are reading this, our exchange was actually typical of Marines. We go at each others throat, insult, maime, and maybe even draw blood, but in the end, we dust each other off and realize we are on the same team after all. Many call it crazy, we tend to call it training.

    Average American, I figured we would get to some sort of consensus on some things eventually. I just felt you weren’t understanding my position. I too was enlightened from your views as well.

    It is my belief that it will take these type of exchanges before we can realize progress. However, it’s going to take both Muslims and non-Muslims that are willing enough to go through it to get it there.

    That is why I have this blog and radio show, to at least get us talking. BTW, tonight I will be talking about the difference between the NOI and “traditional” Islam, you might want to check that out. 🙂

    Peace and Blessings,

    Robert

    Reply

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