I find myself wondering who the "politically correct diehards" around here are. But then, I may be misinterpreting his remarks.
In this case, it's anyone who insists on the standard line about how good Islam is and how wrong criticizing it would be. I wasn't just talking about "around here" but also the rest of society at large, although that does include Ex Isle. For years now it's been strictly forbidden to ever have anything but praise for Islam, and anyone daring to speak contrarily to the standard line about what precious innocents they all are would be absolutely swarmed with outraged protests about how horribly evil it is to dare say such things about Islam. Saying negative stuff about some other beliefs or groups of people was fine because of that freedom of speech stuff, but Islam has had a special protected status. That seems to finally be cracking on the issue of these cartoons. They were created in the first place as a protest against Islam's immunity and untouchability, which means not only that the trend had been noticed and acknowledged but that somebody was finally willing to go against it. The public reaction to the Muslim protests over them is the first time I've seen much of the public appear willing to say that Muslims might ever misbehave (yes, there are some excusing it, but in the past that "excusing it" side would have been the only one heard and the cartoonists would be made out by everyone as the real villains). And this thread is the first one at Ex Isle where calling Islam on its own actions has been tolerated, even if debated, instead of ganged up on with a mob of angry hateful protests (perhaps because it's the first with enough people willing to speak up with such view; such lopsided numbers as this issue's had before, regardless of the issue, seem to usually encourage those in the majority to feel free to get nasty and hostile about whatever the subject is, while dissuading those in the overwhelmed minority from even bothering).
I've had nothing but contempt for militant Islam for many years--even before 9/11.
However, knowing a number of wonderful people who are Muslims, I make a firm distinction between militant Islam and Islam as a whole. Just as I make a distinction between militant Christian Identity nuts and Christianity. Hell, I make a distinction between Falwell, Robertson, and their follows and Christians.
So it seems that you believe that if two groups of people identify their religion with the same name, but believe, say, and do wildly different things, then they must actually have two different religions, which makes the name wrong for one of them because only one can be the "real" whatever-they-call-themselves; the same name can't apply to two such different things.
Applying that to Islam would make even more sense because the worst of those with the label "Muslim" are worse than the worst of modern American Christians.
But then, how to decide which so-called Muslims are using that label correctly and which are not actually Muslims but merely calling themselves by a wrong name? The Koran, like the Bible, is useless because both kinds can find their own kind of quotes in it. What about the teachings of the founder, then? Christianity began with a pacifist (or at least a handful of pacifists, if they made that original one up) whose use for his/their philosophy was to help people, especially the downtrodden; Islam began with a general, a conqueror, a military king-type no different from Ghengis Khan or Alexander the Great, whose use for Islam was to raise an army. Or what about ignoring origins and paying attention just to what a religion actually does here and now, to find the definition of of what the "true" nature of it is? But there's hardly even the faintest speck, barely detectable at all even if you're looking hard for it, of Muslim opposition to the bad things done in Islam's name and supported by the overwhelming bulk of those who call themselves its followers. Given a chance to express their own will freely, Muslim populations overall keep choosing the nastiest option they have, like putting Hamas in power and what you yourself described happening in Iraq. Not long ago, I saw a report on a survey of Muslims in England that found "militant" attitudes just about as prevalent among them as in the Middle East, and most of these were born in England. Here's a quote that highlights the problem:
I think it would be a very effective solution if all moderates clamped down on the radicals in their midst. However, the question is, how do we get them to do it?
More importantly, why haven't they on their own, in defense of their own supposedly peaceful loving religion? Quite simply, it can only mean that most of them aren't actually so moderate, and the true moderates don't have the numbers to do anything.
In determining which people are following the real Islam and not something else that gets labelled incorrectly as Islam, I can't find any sound basis for saying that the real ones are the ones in the tiny little minority who wish no harm to others and live their lives quite unlike the way Mohammed the conqueror lived his. The only possible bases for such a conclusion that I know of are just a couple of different brands of political correctness.
Edited by Delvo, 05 February 2006 - 12:07 PM.