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Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Featured, Islam, Secularism | 17 comments

Is Islam threatening the world?

I recently wrote a piece, “I am Rationally Islamaphobic“, which set out why I think Islam is a problem, and is a worldview to worry about. Well, it seems like areas of the world are self destructing under its dogmatic extremes. We could argue about defining Islamic extremism, but there is something going wrong. Well, let’s look at what has happened over the last week:

Need I go on?

I don’t want to whip up irrational Islamaphobia, but I don’t want to allow a definite risk to world security go untouched in the name of liberal sensitivity.

 

  • kraut2

    Is there irrational islamophobia?
    I think that term islamophobia is a very smelly red herring thrown out by those who want to stifle any discussion of the effects of Islamic influence on politics worldwide, its incompatibility with any secular government = undemocratic in its core, the fact that Saudi Arabia is responsible for a majority of the funding for any jihadist groups – including those at present terrorizing part of the population in Iraq and fighting against the secular Assad regime to force Islamic law onto the population and those trying to establish islamic law in Afghanistan and those groups tearing apart Pakistan.
    No there is no islamophobia, it is a term beloved by those advocating “peaceful” coexistence with a religion that is deeply theocratic and believing that any criticism is equal to racism.

    Fuck all those using that term, and fuck them hard. They are the enemy – and they are among us – white, brown, yellow, pink, green or purple. It is not a matter of race, it is a matter of ideology. The correct term to use is anti-islamic, the same way one is anti-capitalist or anti-communist.

    • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

      Yes, there is irrational islamophobia. After 9/11 more than 300 Sikhs were murdered because islamophobic maniacs thought they were Muslim. They weren’t. Sikhs have absolutely nothing to do with Islam. Their deaths are a tragedy born by irrational fear and bigotry.

  • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

    I don’t see Islam as causal of those things. If it were, then we should see that in every community of Muslims, or at least most of them. But that is demonstrably false.

    If we wished to, we could rack up just as many horrors and more caused in the name of Christianity by Christians: Inquisitions, Crusades, slavery, witch trials, 2000 years of oppression of women, beheadings and bombings in Ireland, etc.., Almost all of that is in the past. Not because the West stopped being Christian (though that is a process underway, quite recently), but because it developed politically, economically, and ethically.

    Until the Chinese army rolled in, the Tibetan Buddhists Llamas were brutal, violent warlords who reigned over a slave class and subjugated women (Siddhartha himself, the big B, was disgusted by the idea that women should be permitted to be clergy).

    So if pre–post-industrial/demo Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and just about everyone else I can think of all tend to share these phases of history, maybe it isn’t about the content of the scripture. That said, I do think religion magnifies problems that start for other reasons; it crystallizes bigotry, it is generally conservative by nature and induces resistance to progress. It makes a bad situation worse, and gives good people an excuse to do terrible things they quietly want to do for other, selfish, reasons.

    • http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

      Ed

      I agree things can be complex, especially when politics and history are involved.

      BUT

      It is interesting when the top 3 news items tonight on the national news were:

      ISIS massacres etc

      Mpeketoni massacres

      North Waziristan Taliban offensive

      It is rather pervasive at the moment. And the problem is that Islam is THEOCRATIC. I cannot emphasise this enough. Politics IS religion and viceversa. Sectarian violence in the are is based on theological/ religious belief and content. That is what defines the differences. Drop those beliefs and the differences all but evaporate.

      “The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called ‘hypocrites’ and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.

      Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence, the verses of violence in the Quran are mostly open-ended, meaning that they are not restrained by the historical context of the surrounding text. They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of Allah, and just as relevant or subjective as anything else in the Quran.

      The context of violent passages is more ambiguous than might be expected of a perfect book from a loving God, however this can work both ways. Most of today’s Muslims exercise a personal choice to interpret their holy book’s call to arms according to their own moral preconceptions about justifiable violence. Apologists cater to their preferences with tenuous arguments that gloss over historical fact and generally do not stand up to scrutiny. Still, it is important to note that the problem is not bad people, but bad ideology.

      Unfortunately, there are very few verses of tolerance and peace to abrogate or even balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. Muhammad’s own martial legacy – and that of his companions – along with the remarkable stress on violence found in the Quran have produced a trail of blood and tears across world history.”

      eg

      “Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief] is worse than killing…

      but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)” The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is thus disingenuous (the actual Muslim words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse). The actual Arabic comes from “fitna” which can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. Taken as a whole, the context makes clear that violence is being authorized until “religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.”

      http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/023-violence.htm

      The point being that the texts are less contextual than the OT, which we are happy to diss all day long. But The Qu’ran is arguably a far worse text. And it IS what drives the work of Al-Shabad, in their imposition of disgusting anti-woman rules, in killing their Kenyan infidel neighbours.

      We can try the No True Scotsmen approach; HOWEVER, that works both ways because I think there is a stronger case to argue that moderate and liberal Muslims are not true Muslims.

      The Qu’ran IS the word of GOd, not the interpreted word of God, so there is less lee-way.

      What Liberal Muslims do is give primacy to their own intuitive or culturally defined morality and social systems. But this goes against the diktats of the Qu’ran.

      I am as liberal as they come, these days, but I don’t tolerate the intolerant.

      • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

        “Islam is THEOCRATIC”

        Not really. Review the pre-imperialism era history of Islam. Clerical authorities were not political authorities. This separation persisted for centuries and is only significantly changed after western invasion and occupation. This doesn’t wash with the idea that it’s inherent to the Qu’ran. US Muslims don’t want theocracy.

        Meanwhile, Christianity was theocratic for centuries, imposing a de facto state religion and claiming the monarch and state were God-chosen. Blasphemy was punishable by death or mutilation.

        “The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule…”

        Yeah maybe, but there’s also the fact that each verse gets interpreted in whatever ways make sense to the current generation, that were not believed before. Other verses get ignored entirely or have their obvious meaning flipped. Just like Christians, the “correct” interpretation always seems to fall 100% in line with their instantaneous political and cultural needs and fears. That’s why many Muslims, millions even, in the democratic west do not share that view of those verses.

        “The point being that the texts are less contextual than the OT,”

        Yeah, except that the “context” explaining away of the OT is revisionist bullshit. For e.g. the OT treatment of people who don’t honor the sabbath (kill them), or gay men (they’re an “abomination” to God), or women (no commandment against rape). And I’ll add to that the prescriptions for war “in context”. All of these things describe God’s view of these people or tactics: they’re appropriate and correct. That part doesn’t change with context. That is, it must be okay to invade and kill a city of the godless, because OT God was cool with that. So that must always be true, assuming the city is godless. God’s description of gay men as vile is an emotional, subjective appraisal that in no way is changed by political development. Nonetheless, modern Christians ignore all this, and fabricate nonsensical mental gymnastics about intent and context because our political and cultural disposition changed.

        I see no cogent argument there is something special and different about Islam, and no answer to the obvious evidence that millions of Muslims who revere the Qu’ran are not violent or theocratic.

        This is not “No True Scotsman”. You’re saying A causes B where A is Islam and B is violence/theocracy. So I say, alright let’s check. In the US, is Islamic belief and faith correlated with desire for theocracy and behavioral violence: No. So, your claim is definitively, demonstrably wrong.

        • http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

          As wiki states, “For years, Islam implemented a theocracy, starting from the time when Muhammad established the Muslim territory in Medina in the 7th century all the way to the early 20th century when the Ottoman Empire was dissolved in Turkey. Caliphs (from the Arabic word Khalifah which means successor) although did not claim to receive revelation directly from Allah, as did Muhammad, claimed that they based their decrees on the Quran.”

          That is not to say there is definite quranic decree for such – that is arguable, but that it historically has been theocratic. It depends how you define theocracy. If by ruling a state and the religion demanding some kind of Shari`ah law, then there is even more reason to label it theocratic.

          Muslim scholar Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, deputy chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states:

          ” In an Islamic state, people are bound to abide by the decisive rulings of Shari`ah. It is for this that we cannot describe the Islamic state as being democratic…

          Second: the Islamic state has something in common with a theocratic one (here the best example of the theocratic state is the Christian state that was based in Europe during medieval ages) in the sense that both are ruled according to the teachings of a religion.”

          Ed: “Just like Christians, the “correct” interpretation always seems to fall 100% in line with their instantaneous political and cultural needs and fears.”

          Actually, this is precisely what differentiates the two, as I have stated in this podcast:

          http://www.skepticule.co.uk/2014/02/skepticule-063-20140120.html

          at 1:00:00

          What is special and different about Islam is variously:

          1) the holy book IS the word of God

          2) Islam adapts society to it (evidence, Middle East) whereas Christianity adapts TO the society (see my podcast)

          3) the Qu’ran is far less revisable – you cannot even properly access it in non-Arabic!

          4) Christians do ignore stuff, and this is better, because they adapt the Bible to moral intuitions. This can still go very wrong, just often less wrong than Islam. This is why there are 42,000 denominations of Christianity and not even remotely near that for Islam.

          Ed: “So I say, alright let’s check. In the US, is Islamic belief and faith correlated with desire for theocracy and behavioral violence: No. So, your claim is definitively, demonstrably wrong.”

          So any exception automatically invalidates a generalised rule? We could never make any generalised assessment of human behaviour in this case.

          Actually, my point was that the ‘Westernised’ Muslims are arguably bastardising a purer Islam. ie THEY are not true Scotsmen. Since they are not living under Shari`ah, they are not living by the demands of the Qu’ran.

          Democracy is absent from large swathes of the Muslim world, and where it does appear, the ruler tends to get 90% of the vote, amazingly…

          The question:

          Would you rather live in an Islamic, State, or the US?

          On you argument, you would not be afraid to live in an Islamic State.

          I literally would not be allowed to do what I do in an Islamic state. I would be afraid to live in one, more than here, ergo, I am rationally Islamaphobic.

          • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

            Medina also established explicit rights for non-Muslims living there, which would be considered anathema to Saudis or islamists today. Of course the Caliph’s would have said they were guided by the dominant religion. George W. Bush said the same thing, so what?

            1) the holy book IS the word of God

            2) Islam adapts society to it (evidence, Middle East) whereas Christianity adapts TO the society (see my podcast)

            3) the Qu’ran is far less revisable – you cannot even properly access it in non-Arabic!

            4) Christians do ignore stuff, and this is better, because they adapt the Bible to moral intuitions. This can still go very wrong, just often less wrong than Islam. This is why there are 42,000 denominations of Christianity and not even remotely near that for Islam.

            With respect JP, every one of these is 100% wrong. #1. Christians believe their book is the word of God. A quick google for the exact phrase “bible is the word of god” nets over 12 million results. #2. Just factually incorrect. Which Islam do you mean, I wonder? There are dozens of divisions, and within those even more. The Islam practiced in Indonesia, Egypt, and the US are all different from each other. One reason I know? I visited a Muslim community center in Illinois that caters to Muslims from more than two dozen nations and they have a hard time dealing with that because each nation (and even region and city) has its own ideas about what “proper” Muslim practice and beliefs are. In the US, there is an organization which interprets Islamic faith for this culture. For example, it is acceptable to millions of US Muslims to understand not every Muslim can attend worship on Friday because of obligations of work and school.
            As someone studying anthropology, the very idea that there is one religion that bucks the global/historical trend of morphing to conform to instantaneous sociocultural conditions/needs (albeit with some cultural inertia) would be totally amazing and the first ever such finding.
            #3 & 4. Except for the hadiths and the summah. Which are just interpretative opinions,of which there are thousands and new ones get made regularly. Which of the dozens of influential authors and clerics is the “right” set? Depends on who you ask. There is no central authority in Islam, no papacy. I’ve had conversations with Muslims about scripture. When asked about certain bits that clash with modern ethics, they answer exactly the same as Christians do about the OT. “Well, in context, it really means…”, “That applies only to…”, or “Correctly translated, it actually means something moderate and sensible not barbaric and brutal as you supposed.”

            It’s all the same. And yes there are actually thousands of shards of Islam. It is probably not as speciose as Christianity, but definitely, thousands across time and space.

            So any exception automatically invalidates a generalised rule? We could never make any generalised assessment of human behaviour in this case.

            It is not an exception we are speaking about, but a representative population of the people you are making a claim about. If I said smoking causes cancer, except in this study of 2 million people where it doesn’t, at all, the claim is wrong. 2 million people is not an exception. The entire contingent population of a group on a continent is not an exception to your purported rule “Islam causes X”.

            Would you rather live in an Islamic, State, or the US?

            I do not know why you would ask me such a thing. I would never wish to live in a theocracy, or anything approaching it. Not the Christian theocracies of history, nor any other. Christianity doesn’t compel theocracy any more than Islam. This has been aptly proven in polls of US Muslims, who overwhelmingly prize the separation of church and state and do not wish to see sharia type law introduced in actual legislature. This is also consistent with conversations I have had with American Muslims on these topics.

          • http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

            “With respect JP, every one of these is 100% wrong. #1. Christians believe their book is the word of God. A quick google for the exact phrase “bible is the word of god” nets over 12 million results. #2. Just factually incorrect.”

            From the Bible itself:

            KJV:

            2 Timothy
            All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

            New Living Translation
            All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

            Now we can argue over whether this means that the human writers were having the Holy Spirit work within them. But essentially you seem to be claiming that all Christians are inerrantists. They are not, and certainly most scholars today are not.

            As wiki ststes, reporting a Gallup poll:

            A 2011 Gallup survey reports, “A 49% plurality of Americans say the Bible is the inspired word of God but that it should not be taken literally, consistently the most common view in Gallup’s nearly 40-year history of this question.”[10]

            Perhaps you forget that some types f American Christianity are far removed from what we see around the world (such that famous inerrantist Norman Geisler wrote a book called Biblical Errancy: An Analysis of its Philosophical Roots to combat growing errantism). This sort of comment is interesting:

            “Your basic assertion, as I see it, is that much of what we have in the gospels are the thoughts, feeling, and experiences of the early Christian community trying to make sense out of Jesus. So some of what we have is history remembered and some (perhaps a lot) is entirely the product of those telling the story. I will say that, for me, this does not diminish the truths that I might find in scripture.”

            Mike Licona, for his views regarding Matthew 28, was kicked out of his job by the likes of Geisler et al who want to see the Bible more inerrantly.

            There are dozens of Islamic movements, for sure. But there are thousands upon thousands of Christian ones, form Prosperity Gospel, to that embracing homosexuality etc.

            my point is admittedly quite large. That those moderate and liberal Muslims who live within the cultural contexts of the West, for example, are not representative of a proper and pure Islam. As the fundamentalists will tell you. And the clue is in the name. Fundamentalism, since they adhere to the fundamental core principles.

            The connclusion to this piece states my case:

            “There is always the plight of context argument with Islam’s holy text Quran. The apologetic version is “Quran cannot be interpreted and understood except with its context.” This paraphrasing is constantly adduced by Islamic apologists whenever any argument against the violent verses within the text is raised.

            But the way Islam justifies the divine origin of Quran automatically exclude it from the use of historical method of exegesis. There is this dilemma for Muslims to face. The text in fact is contextual as understood by Muslim explanation of its historical formation. But it is not a version of facts Muslims want to subscribe when they are fomented to believe in the interminable status of the text. Quran is meant for the whole of humanity is the undisputed Muslim belief. The belief proceeds on as the book is pertinent to the end of times.

            Is not it implausible to believe in the infinite relevance of Quran and at the same time rise objections to critiques by embarking a context smoke screen? Should not Muslims give up the context excuse if they want to use Quran as a text which’s relevance is distended to the end of times?

            There is only an affirmative answer to these questions.

            Let us come back to the Quran. Allah spoke to a seventh century Arab in the latter’s language. And all what he said to this prophet is recorded to fructify a Quran. To sum it up, Allah sent his last message to this same prophet then stopped speaking downright. Because god sent his last message and promised to preserve it forever, he will not speak any more until the day of resurrection. He will not send any prophet, since sending a prophet will stir him up again. This is the end. God sent his final messenger, and even though he did not favor immortality to the messenger, he blessed the message with immortality.

            So, Quran, Islam’s holy text is not a pushover. It is the ultimate message of god. There is nothing to add or subtract in it. All of its components are divine, equally divine. All are applied to all and all.

            In conclusion, if there is a command in Quran, there is no need to look for its historical context since humanity from the formation of Quran to the end of times are living in the context of the text. It is the Muslim belief. God, Gabriel, Muhammad, three key figures formed Quran have infinite relevance, so the making (Quran) too necessarily possess the quality of being interminably relevant. If this is the common Muslim belief pertaining to Quran, there is no room for a context excuse in its case.

            Thus, the context excuse in the case of Quran is flawed in its fundamentals.”

          • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

            re: The Bible as word of God

            Why quote scripture? Scripture also says synthetic fabric is ungodly and (NT Paul) men should not marry. The question is what Christians believe and what they take their faith to mean.

            You quoted gallup, but the % you quoted is about Americans, not Christians. According to the 2014 Gallup poll, 89% of Christians describe the Bible as the word of God. 58% say actual, not “inspired”, but I prefer not to split such hairs. True, there are various scholars and apologists that differ in their view, we have a secular society and a declining Christianity. But the same pattern is emerging among westernized Muslims as well.

            The discussion of the contextless dominance and command of the Qu’ran does not impress me. The same was believed about the Bible for centuries, some still believe it. And why does a book so perfect, complete, and total need over 3,000 hadith to explain what it “really” means? Why are there thousands of sects, if it is so clear and inarguable?

            If you wish to speak of fundamentalism, then I share your views. But arguing that a particular religion is required to be followed with ultra-fervor because of its content is untenable. Muslims, like Christians and others, merrily explain away or interpret away whatever parts they don’t like.

          • http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

            In other words, the difference between islam and Christianity is that I think you can successfully argue for a contextual understanding of the Bible (although it becomes a slippery slope, and Christianity unravels).

            But you cannot/should not do that with Islam. The manner in which it was written and what it says means it cannot be contextualised, as that piece states, And because it cannot be contextualised, the violence of the Qu’ran becomes absolute in its decree; the violence of the OT is arguably surpassed by the Enlightenment of the NT and the new covenant of Jesus. Old rules out, new ones of loving thy neighbour and turning the other cheek are in.

            As such, Christianity can have a Reformation, Islam will struggle to have one.

            You may find different things in talking to liberal US Muslims. But come further East and you will find differences. The liberalisation of Islam, I claim, is theologically unjustified.

          • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

            This doesn’t seem any different at all to the trajectory of Christianity. Fundamentalists today still say it is inerrant and needs no special contextual view. Christianity has had to change to survive in the post-enlightenment world, and constructing increasingly elaborate and labored arguments about context and translation are one way to do that. The same is happening with Islam. Yes, conservative sects will argue to the contrary. So did conservative Christian sects. So do they still, just in smaller numbers. I have asked Muslims about scriptural inducements to attack disbelievers. In all cases I was told that I was taking it out of context. Funny how the importance of context magically materializes the moment it is politically and socially required.

        • kraut2

          http://www.onislam.net/english/ask-the-scholar/shariah-based-systems/imamate-and-political-systems/175712-the-islamic-state-democratic-or-theocratic.html?Political_Systems=

          “In the first place, it is to be noted that Islam is the main source of legislation in an Islamic state.

          An
          Islamic state bases its laws on the decisive rulings of Shari`ah. No
          ruler is authorized to administer whatever changes he likes to such
          rulings. Bearing this mind, we can make it clear that an Islamic state
          cannot be classified as democratic, since democracy means that people
          can choose for themselves whatever laws or regulations to abide by

          Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi:

          One
          crucial difference between the Islamic state and a democratic one is
          that under the democratic state people can choose for themselves any
          laws to abide by. In an Islamic state, people are bound to abide by the
          decisive rulings of Shari`ah. It is for this that we cannot describe the
          Islamic state as being democratic. Yet, it has some common features
          related to democracy such as standing for people’s freedom. Such aspects
          of difference and similarity are to be made clear so as to avoid any
          confusion.
          Second:
          the Islamic state has something in common with a theocratic one (here
          the best example of the theocratic state is the Christian state that was
          based in Europe during medieval ages) in the sense that both are ruled
          according to the teachings of a religion.”

          Which means basically that there is no development possible to change the laws ever unless a different interpretation is found by scholars – deeply undemocratic in a secular society where the laws develop according to societal changes, changing standards etc.

          Islam is democratic in only a limited sense, which is clearly shown by the latest developments in Malaysia and attempts in Afghanistan and what is happening in failed state like Pakistan.

          It is also noteworthy that most states at the bottom of the developmental index and indices for freedom within societies are islamic states.

          One also has to look away from the muslims in America and look at what the Muslims in Europe, especially england are attempting. I find it deeply disingenious to divert from those actual threats to education and polity in England by pointing to America, where muslims are in a very small minority – 0.8% of population vs. England with almost 8 times that percentage. The UK has 10% more muslims living in its boundary as has the US. Nice try to pull somebodies wool over somebodies eyes.

        • NoCrossNoCrescent

          As it happens, the very reason ISIS exists is to go back to the “glorious” days (rather, centuries) of the caliphate, when the mosque and the state were one and the same. Yes, christianity did all those things and worse, but then something happened-the Enlightenment. Islam hasn’t had it Enlightenment and with Saudi and Iranian money it won’t be coming any time soon.

          • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

            So you’re saying Christianity was theocratic and brutal, until there was a kind of social/intellectual revolution, and then it wasn’t? How interesting.

          • http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

            I think that is crucial. Christianity has the malleability to adapt to a moral zeitgeist, since brutality has moral dimension.

            Islam cannot adapt without calling into question the direct word of God.

            Many Christians, including a very close friend who is a theologian, have come to accept that the Bible is merely written by men. Thus is is very open to interpretation, and accepting that parts are just plain wrong or errant (unless you are an inerrantist).

            The Qu’ran cannot let this happen.

  • kraut2

    Well, let’s look at what has happened over the last week:

    Voters fingers are cut off by the Taliban in Afghanistan

    ISIS have caused massive destabilisation in the Middle East. They are very extreme.

    ISIS have massacred mainly Shia soldiers in Iraq

    Hamas kidnaps teenagers

    Karachi airport attacked by Islamic militants

    Somali women imposed dress code or get whipped

    Islamist militants attack Kenyan coastal town

    Trojan Horse scandal of Islamic Conservatism found in UK state schools

    Need I go on?”

    “I don’t see Islam as causal of those things.”

    Aha..

    We also have the failed state of pakistan, the brutality in saudi arabia, the influence of sharia law in malaysia, the failed attempts in chechnya, the growing influence of islam in turkey, the situation in nigeria, the situation in chinese provinces with muslim populations, the situation in afghanistan – Need I go on?

    “After 9/11 more than 300 Sikhs were murdered because islamophobic maniacs thought they were Muslim”

    No, they were murdered because of simple racism. If they were murdered because they were muslims – why were no white muslims ever killed? Because brown people have strange religions and are all suspect, so – lets kill them no matter what, not because religion, because of skin colour.

    Citing that example, you propagate the myth that anti islam is equal to racism. The folks who killed the Sikhs did not give a rats ass about religion – they cared about the skin colour.

    • http://www.skepticink.com/incredulous Edward Clint

      They weren’t killed because of their skin color. They were killed because both their skin color and their clothing resembled a mixed-up stereotype of the arab militant.

      Instances of xenophobia are not perfectly separated into types like race, nationality, religion etc.., so I am sure those people were racist, but they also thought their targets were muslim- they said so. They sometimes explicitly called them muslim terrorists. So no, it is not restricted to racism.