Thursday, November 01, 2007

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

Jebediah Koogler wrote in Brown University Daily Herald and also Foreign Policy Watch There was an elephant in the room during Robert Spencer's provocative speech last Thursday night. Spencer, the director of the website Jihad Watch, spoke as part of "Islamofascism Awareness Week" and presented a simple but highly controversial argument: that Islam is a religion of violence and oppression. Citing passages in the Quran, Spencer suggested that the Islamic faith inherently condones misogyny, abuse of homosexuals, authoritarianism and the killing of non-believers. "I do not believe that Islam at its core is a peaceful religion," he said.

But while there is little debate that segments of the Quran could be read as a justification for bigotry or abuse, what Spencer left unsaid - a glaring omission that many in the audience later commented on - is that the overwhelming majority of Muslims don't actually follow the passages that he cited.

Perhaps not, but all of the people setting off bombs, cutting off heads, or otherwise doing violence, point to those passages as the reason they are doing what they are doing, and they say that Islam requires everyone to do the same thing, and the Muslims that do not follow those passages do not stand up and show the Jihadists where their interpretation is wrong. To the contrary, the clerics being sent to new mosques in western country encourage the youth to "join the Jihad", and there is plenty of literatire encouraging violence for them to read.
Throughout the Islamic world, there is little support for the notion that apostates should be killed,
There are news reports of it being done in many countries, and Sharia law calls for it.
that non-Muslims should be taxed separately
Even in Iraq the militias have insisted on Christians paying the Jizya or they would be killed.
or that women should be mistreated.
A woman cannot drive a car, or even leave the house unless accompanied by a father, husband, or brother, in Saudia Arabia.
As with all religions, most adherents of Islam view the Quran as flexible and open to interpretation. While certain passages are embraced and followed carefully, others are tacitly rejected and ignored.... Few would disagree, for instance, that the Bible contains many of the same intolerant elements that the Quran does. The Old and New Testaments include passages that could be read as condoning the objectification of women, violence towards non-believers, and the abuse of slaves. Take Samuel I 15:2-3: "Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys."
It does not say kill every unbeliever, just the Amalekites. And who were the Amalekites? The Amalekites attacked the Israelites without apparent provocation as they were travelling during the Exodus (Ex 17:8). "When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind" (Dt 25:17-18). They later attacked Israel during the time of the Judges (Jdg 3:13) and often raided the Israelites' land after they had planted crops, leaving them with nothing (Jdg 6:2-5). God punished the Amalekites by ordering Saul to destroy them (1 Sam 15:2-3) - over 300 years after they had first attacked Israel.
Or Ephesians 5:22-23: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife..."
It says the wive should be submissive to their husbands, but it does not say that the husband should beat his wife, as Qur'an 4:34 says Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
Or read Titus 2:9-10, in which it is stated that "slaves (are) to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them..."
The verse does not encourage slavery, but do you feel that slaves or other servants should not be respectful to their masters or employers? Let us look at the entire chapter of Titus 2:
1You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.
2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children,
5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.
7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness
8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,
10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
... Although Spencer was quick to paint Islam as flawed and incompatible with international human rights norms, the reality is much more nuanced, as events in the Muslim world over the past few years illustrate. Consider the following examples: a prominent Saudi cleric, and a former mentor to Osama bin Laden, recently argued that Islam rejects all forms of violence "regardless of what justification is given";
I m sure the nearly 3000 people killed when the buildings came down will take solace in that
the ruling Islamist party in Turkey has passed the greatest expansion of women's rights in almost a century;
And they are backtracking on them now that they have an Islamist as Prime Minister
Iranian citizens came out in huge numbers after 9/11 to protest against terrorism;
And gays are hanged regularly, and several women are in prison awaiting a death by stoning for extra marital affairs.
the Muslim king of Morocco has allowed women to become imams;
When these Imams take the Hajj are they terated as Imams in Saudia Arabia?
and Egypt's largest opposition political party, the Muslim Brotherhood, openly affirms pluralism, democracy and welfare for women.
It also says it is peaceful, yet it has spawned several terrorist organizations.
The ways in which Islam, with roughly 1.6 billion adherents, is understood and practiced vary dramatically across different cultures and regions. Citing harshly-worded parts of the Quran to suggest that Islam is inherently a religion of violence and oppression, as Spencer did in his speech, dehumanizes its followers and irresponsibly ignores the vast majority of Muslims who do not subscribe to such an interpretation. Regrettably, rather than building ties and commonalities between people of different faiths and backgrounds, Spencer used his appearance here at Brown to sharpen divisions and to perpetuate false and destructive stereotypes.
Spencer also suggests five ways to end “Islamophobia,” Muslims should:

  1. Focus their indignation on Muslims committing violent acts in the name of Islam, not on non-Muslims reporting on those acts.
  2. Renounce definitively not just "terrorism," but any intention to replace the U.S. Constitution (or the constitutions of any non-Muslim state) with Sharia even by peaceful means.
  3. Teach Muslims the imperative of coexisting peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis.
  4. Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.
  5. Actively work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.


Anonymous said...

Muslims Against Sharia congratulate David Horowitz FREEDOM CENTER and Mike Adams, Tammy Bruce, Phyllis Chesler, Ann Coulter, Nonie Darwish, Greg Davis, Stephen Gale, David Horowitz, Joe Kaufman, Michael Ledeen, Michael Medved, Alan Nathan, Cyrus Nowrasteh, Daphne Patai, Daniel Pipes, Dennis Prager, Luana Saghieh, Rick Santorum, Jonathan Schanzer, Christina Sommers, Robert Spencer, Brian Sussman, Ed Turzanski, Ibn Warraq and other speakers on the success of the Islamofascism Awareness Week.

Islamofascism (or Islamism) is the main threat facing modern civilization and ignorance about this threat is astounding. We hope that this event becomes regular and reaches every campus.

A great many Westerners do not see the clear distinction between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism). They need to understand that the difference between Islam and Islamism (Islamofascism) is the same as the difference between Christianity and Christian Identity Movement (White Supremacy Movement).

Original post

Terri said...

Pet peeve here: Using Ephesians to claim that Christianity advocates abusive treatment of women is simply poor reading, at best. Even if you just quote the one sentence, as many do (and as Mr. Koogler did), Paul calls on women to submit THEMSELVES to their own husbands, not for husbands to make their wives submit to them, or for any man to make any woman submit to him. I think that's a huge distinction. It is a voluntary act of love, modeled by the Savior, who submitted to His earthly parents when young, and to His Father throughout His life.

Also, earlier in the letter (chapter breaks were added a millennium later), all believers are called upon to, again, voluntarily submit one to another. And right after calling upon wives to submit to their husbands, Paul calls upon husbands to love their wives, as Christ loved the Church (Christ, the one who laid down His life for the church)! In the letter to the Philippians, Paul calls on all to "Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves."

It was a radical view in the ancient world that women could even be appealed to logically, let alone that they should have a choice as to how they would treat their husbands. Even more striking, that it was not the husband's job to see that she obeyed! The command is of God, so the obedience was to God, and between her and her God. According to the Bible, the husband has no recourse if his wife chooses not to obey that injunction. (Christian tradition says otherwise: the Church has advocated "discipline" which has no scriptural basis, unlike Islam.) Christ and His followers lifted women out of the degrading roles society placed them (drudges, whores, second-class citizens), calling them spiritual equals ("There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28), while affirming that different genders have different roles to play in life (that used to be obvious!).

Mutual submission, where each party considers the other better than himself, is not a recipe for subjugation, but for freely living within a loving community, building up, encouraging and strengthening each other as members of one body, equally loved, equally valued, with Christ as the Head. There is no comparison with Islam.

It failed when Greek-influenced church fathers and other sinful people, despite the clear text, read the words as though it says all women must submit to all men (which is what Islam says in the Koran). More recently, I think feminists hate that Paul didn't say that women were better than men, or that they should be the head. But it doesn't change the clear testimony of the Bible. Paul's been getting a bad rap for most of the last century, and it continues apace.

Mr. Koogler and others are anxious to draw comparisons between Islam and Christianity. Once again, they'll have to look elsewhere. Abuse of women has no scriptural basis in Christianity.

{deep breath} I'm better now.