Welcome to Blootstellen

Blootstellen in my language means “exposure” and it is a big part of what this blog is about.   I have a huge dislike for radicalism in all its forms and in the present polarized world we live in – radicalism flourishes – everywhere.  I simply wish to expose it, discuss it and debate it.  That is what this blog is about.

When we hear the word radical we think mostly of politics and religion and that in most instances is correct.  Often we in the west also assume that radicalism is harmless and fringe and that only outside the west does it dominate life.  In most cases that is also correct, but not always.  Memories are short and in today’s media and internet-dominated society, even small fringe radical groups with a budget and a clever blog supporter group not only gets a larger than deserved hearing but they can distract, muddle and confuse issues that are really important.  They can also add fuel to the fire and in some cases become the excuses and justification for the actions of those radicals that they target.

In this blog I will attempt to vent some opinions, expose examples of bloggers who willingly or without knowing it are pawns of real radical low-lifes and to give some examples of radicalism at its worst.

I am not interested in self-gratification or making something of a name for myself in fact I was not planning to make a blog at all.    Most certainly, I am not the topic of this blog but I do have experiences both professional and personal that are relevant and having lived and worked in many places prudent to this topic – it will come out.   

Included in my definition of radicalism, and thus a part of this blog will be racism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, islamophobes, fascists and self-claimed anti-jihadists.  I also place in the  same radical title radical muslim groups, genuine political-islam, anti-integrationist “euro-muslims”, fundamentalist evangelical christians, hard-line Zionists and  ultra-orthodox jews, neo-nazis and white supremacists.  I have no issues with political sidings, race, faith, colour or preferences – in fact that is the colours that make up this world – I do have issue when one of these groups either imposes their views on others or unjustly attacks others for the sole purpose of selling their own as the only alternative.

My own choices, preferences and faith is exactly that – my own.  I am of the centre-right of politics, I support common-sense conservative values but allow space for change when change is needed, not because it is possible as often many on the left like to do.  My agnosticism yet strong belief in God is a personal thing and though I support religious structure, so far I have found little but self-absorbing or closed-in organizations keen on nothing but control over its followers and hiding errors rather than repairing them.

So beware those with a radical view, even if your goal is to target an obvious danger and evil – fighting one evil with another has and never will work.  If you fight something radical, remember that the opposite of radicalism is normality and thus it is only with normality as the focus and the tool that you can fight it.

You will hear from me many times over  two phrases that I consider important and reflective of my views.  The first is “that two wrongs never make a right” and that radicalism in religion is summed up as “a willingness to alter their faith to suit their politics and not the other way around”.   Understand these two points and you understand me completely.

Grootjes

Donny van den Helm

Rotterdam

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About donny2811
Trots Nederlands, goed gereist en een begerige politieke centrist met een speciale afkeer voor basissen.

10 Responses to Welcome to Blootstellen

  1. London Jim says:

    Very interesting Donny. I can’t help but give a nod of respect to the the strength of your conviction in the way of peace, and to the dedication that impels you to keep on ploughing that furrow. Yes, we have plenty of contention on some issues, but I believe that even chalk and cheese can, when blended correctly, impart some medicinal qualities for ailments various.

  2. Natassia says:

    So beware those with a radical view, even if your goal is to target an obvious danger and evil – fighting one evil with another has and never will work. If you fight something radical, remember that the opposite of radicalism is normality and thus it is only with normality as the focus and the tool that you can fight it.

    A few questions:

    1. Who gets to determine what is “radical” and what is “normal”?

    2. Is radicalism necessarily “evil”?

    3. Who defines what is “evil”?

    • donny2811 says:

      Hi Natassia, welcome.

      We all live in a world of laws and standards, that itself is a good enough start to answer your questions. I do not know if your active Christian or not, it does not matter, but in the west the value system steams from the Judaic-Christo-Islamic world (the Ten Commandments etc).

      Thus what is right and wrong can come down to what is evil, repugnant, criminal down to what is correct, respected and even praised.

      The term radicalism means out of the normality, thus it is what determins “normality” is the question. Normality is those that are “accepted”, “agreed” or within the boundaries of the laws, standards and morals set by society. Radicals thus are those that do not what is accepted, agreed and outside the boundaries of laws, standards and morals.

      Arguments such as those ancient breakthroughs by Carpernicus and so, whom were condemned as radical and killed do not in fact fit the term radical as it was based on beliefs only, thus by that definition, the right to one’s belief was abused by those in Authority and we can say for certain that the standards and morals of society were never actually known.

      I would say that radicalism is not necessarily evil but evil is most certainly radical. I support the right for anyone to believe what they like, but not to necessarily act upon them, and that collectively and if promoted can also be wrong. Examples of that is racist views, when pushed as a group and promoted for me is illegal. Racism has been outlawed and it simply has crossed into the public domain and thus laws.

      So to answer your question, 1) it has already been defined as mentioned above, 2), no and 3) the law and the standards of society in fact does.

      Our laws are actually based on our religious heretage and interestingly, especialy since on the other thread you have claimed without evidence (yet) that there was no Islamic Golden Age), the western and in particular the British/American legal system actually has its roots in Islamic Law. That is no evidentuary only now even though many historians have been saying so for years. The Norman legal system introduced in 1066 into Britian was in fact based on the Andalusi system. Things like presumption of innocence, a professonal judge, right to council, a legal library, actual written laws following standards, independant witnesses etc, all come from there.

      A last couple of comments Natassia. I have looked at your blog, your obviously from the strong conservative right, you do not like Obama and much of your politics is about the white vs black issue and yet interestingly not about racism.

      You link yourself to the hate-bloggers Robert Spencer and Logan, which explains the un-supported nor backed up comment about Islamic Golden Ages and the combination of Logan and those very nice photos of England (I love English history and Architecture as well) tells me that your very much into the anti-immigration stance.

      It is possible, like myself, to desire to protect cultural identity, dislike and condemn mass immigration and yet not attack the people themselves like Spencer and Logan both do. I dislike mass immigrants because of economic and social reasons, the latter because you cannot get integration as part of the package and it opens our countries to outside influences. England and my country The Netherlands are very good examples of that. You know when in a blog situation we often see the situation that when someone argues a point that another replies not by an alternative argument but attacks the character of the author instead, we can say the same about Spencer et al and Logan. Spencer goes through huge efforts to attack Islam for his own self-absorbing agenda (and that he is still angry that he is rejected by real academics that he strives so hard to be part of) and is really only a “blogger” which he throws tantrums at when told. Logan puts lovely suedo-intellectual arguments for what in the end is racism, extremist quasi-nationalist garbage and is incapable of supporting anything other than a “radical” view, which means he fails.

      I am actually from the centre-right of poltics and have actually spent two years as an elected official for my city of Rotterdam. I fought both for the rights of my large immigrant community as well as battled against the radicals amongst them for pushing non-integrationism and argued to a level that I got support from the council to push the national government to slow down immigration as well as be more forceful on demanding integration efforts from immigrants. I was condemned by the left for being to far right and by the far-right for being some appeaser. When I was at Erasumus University I studied Erasmus himself. He correctly argued that normality is the road in the middle and that nature, life and advancement (as well as God’s directions) is that middle path and that life’s effort for success is attempting to head in that direction. As my professor said (and in those days he was condemned by some for saying it but now is applauded for getting it right), the most extreme far right and the most extreme far left are the same and facism is from the right and not the left.

      Normality is the answer. One cannot fight an evil with another evil and as Karl Popper says intollerance is uacceptable except in regards to intollerance itself.

      Cheers

      • Natassia says:

        We all live in a world of laws and standards, that itself is a good enough start to answer your questions. I do not know if your active Christian or not, it does not matter, but in the west the value system steams from the Judaic-Christo-Islamic world (the Ten Commandments etc).

        Thus what is right and wrong can come down to what is evil, repugnant, criminal down to what is correct, respected and even praised.

        1. Depending on where you live, the laws and standards vastly differ.
        2. Judeo-Christian beliefs have very little in common with Islam except for what Muhammad tried to hijack (before twisting and contorting it into something completely different.)

        The term radicalism means out of the normality, thus it is what determins “normality” is the question. Normality is those that are “accepted”, “agreed” or within the boundaries of the laws, standards and morals set by society. Radicals thus are those that do not what is accepted, agreed and outside the boundaries of laws, standards and morals.

        Then normality is relative and has nothing to do with true morality since laws, standards, and morals change in a society over time. Or are you are arguing that morality is also relative? What was considered by the mainstream to be abnormal and radical 50 years ago is now considered to be normal and, dare I say, moral today. One example would be openly homosexual relationships. In fact, if you don’t agree with this stance, one is often labeled a bigot and a homophobe, which would have been unthinkable 50 years ago.

        I would say that radicalism is not necessarily evil but evil is most certainly radical.

        Interesting point-of-view. I would argue that evil is rather mainstream but sometimes manifests in “radical” ways (like serial killers). Elective abortions, for example, are pretty normal and mainstream, but I would argue that they are acts of evil.

        If I am understanding your way of thinking, then that means evil is relative and completely subjective to a society’s current laws, standards and morals.

        A last couple of comments Natassia. I have looked at your blog, your obviously from the strong conservative right, you do not like Obama and much of your politics is about the white vs black issue and yet interestingly not about racism.

        It is too difficult to even try to define “racism” anymore.

        You link yourself to the hate-bloggers Robert Spencer and Logan, which explains the un-supported nor backed up comment about Islamic Golden Ages and the combination of Logan and those very nice photos of England (I love English history and Architecture as well) tells me that your very much into the anti-immigration stance.

        What is a “hate-blogger”?

        I am very much amused by your attempt to interpret my personal views from some photos I took while visiting England to attend a wedding, a blog linked through my blogroll, and a small comment I made regarding the farce of the “Islamic Golden Ages.”

        First of all, I am not “anti-immigrant.” This is a stupid label. There is nothing wrong with an indigenous population desiring to keep their society indigenous. However, I am not concerned with keeping things “indigenous” in America, but I want assimilation and I don’t agree with mass immigration from backward third-world countries since they bring disease, ignorance, and conflicting belief systems. I am more concerned with what a person will contribute to society rather than what they look like.

        Secondly, your label for Robert Spencer and Christopher Logan is ignorant…and impotent. The hate word is thrown around so much nowadays that it has lost its potency (kinda like “racist”). There is certainly nothing hateful about people who are fighting against an ideology and its followers who treat women and non-followers like second-class citizens, who torture and kill homosexuals, who persecute apostates, and who promote a barbaric penal code worthy of 7th century illiterate pagan Arabs, not a Judeo-Christian Western civilization. I have yet to see them “attack” (whatever that means) “the people” (whoever they are) like you claim they do.

        I don’t like the clique-atmosphere of Pam Geller and Robert Spencer, nor do I like his repetition, however, he makes his points and they are grounded in facts. And I do like facts, no matter who tells them.

        The only time anything could ever be considered “golden” while under Islamic rule was when the rulers and their Muslim citizens weren’t too worried about enforcing shari’a and they allowed the Christian, Jewish, and sometimes Muslim (many of whom enjoyed alcohol and hashish) inventors and scientists and artists and writers to express themselves and discover things without having to fear retribution for blasphemy and other offenses against Islam.

        Normality is the answer. One cannot fight an evil with another evil and as Karl Popper says intollerance is uacceptable except in regards to intollerance itself.

        Unless you qualify as a “hate-blogger”. Relativity cannot be the answer. That’s what got us into this mess in the first place.

      • donny2811 says:

        Natassia thanks for your comments again. I will try and get to each point you made:

        “1. Depending on where you live, the laws and standards vastly differ.”

        Not really, I would not confuse what some radical groups and those in the media/blogosphere think are the same. The reality is that most countries in the world have pretty much the same standards, rules and laws. Murder is murder, rape is rape, fraud is fraud. At a smaller level of course there are differences and what happens in “lawless areas” is just that.

        “2. Judeo-Christian beliefs have very little in common with Islam except for what Muhammad tried to hijack (before twisting and contorting it into something completely different.)”

        I would say that is completely wrong and that is just propoganda. As with the Golden Age comment you made before and below, I suggest you come up with evidence to back up your claims, until then, I would rather stick with evidentury examples, academics and proven history.

        “What was considered by the mainstream to be abnormal and radical 50 years ago is now considered to be normal and, dare I say, moral today.”

        Yes to a degree that is correct, but I would argue that these standards that come (and go) are what comes out of the constant battle between the move out of the norm (either to the left or the right) or out of reactionism to events. Much is also out of progression and knowledge. None fly in the face of the main direction and principles of what is considered “good or evil”.

        “I would argue that evil is rather mainstream but sometimes manifests in “radical” ways (like serial killers). Elective abortions, for example, are pretty normal and mainstream, but I would argue that they are acts of evil.”

        Interesting point. I tend to believe that mainstream is not evil but that radicalism and extremism pushes man towards evil. Those absolute evils, such as the serial killers, are always unfortunately there. I am anti-abortion as well, as evil as it is, it is not a new event and does not sway the global balance or trends.

        “If I am understanding your way of thinking, then that means evil is relative and completely subjective to a society’s current laws, standards and morals”

        No, that is not what I believe, as you are also basing your view on there are great differences in varying societies, which I disagree totally, and under the basis that there is in fact not much differences, thus the definition of what is evil and radical is clear enough.

        “It is too difficult to even try to define “racism” anymore.”

        Not sure I agree with that as well. Racism as a term only exists alongside discrimination. When one talks about or accuses of racism, we are almost always talking about discrimination.

        “What is a “hate-blogger”?”

        Someone who is pushing hate towards a group or entity to support an agenda.

        “There is nothing wrong with an indigenous population desiring to keep their society indigenous.”

        That is an interesting point, when can a country do that? Closing the door to outsiders is an interesting and risky business, it has social and economic factors and there are not many countries with no or little outsiders based already with in it to go down that route. If one has already an immigrant population, going down the track you have mentioned leaves the immigrants without rights or aspirations – family migration. I am all for integration and even forceable contracts. Mass immigration, as I have mentioned, creates all sorts of risks (disease is not one of them, there are health standards….. in case you do not know that) and false expectations or bringing unacceptable standards. Having said that, I have no problem and accept the reality of immigration continuing (if anything for labour-economic reasons) and again, I would put rules on it clear enough.

        “There is certainly nothing hateful about people who are fighting against an ideology and its followers who treat women and non-followers like second-class citizens, who torture and kill homosexuals, who persecute apostates, and who promote a barbaric penal code worthy of 7th century illiterate pagan Arabs, not a Judeo-Christian Western civilization.”

        Speaking of well-used excuses. The twist of what you said does not stick. The phrase makes sense but in reality there is no such thing. The reality is (and I will use your sequence) that Islam does not treat woeman and non-followers as second class citizens, you are confusing the very backward cultures that, as all societies tend to do, claim it is in their faith to justify it. Dhimmitude is a word used by Spencer and Co and is in fact unknown of in the Muslim world except by historians. The equivilance of dhimmitude was also used by Christians during that very same time period it was used. It simply does not exist anymore. The torture and killing of homosexuals is a matter again of culture and it should be reminded that if the Ugandan government had its way it would also make homosexuality a capital offence (thanks to American evangalist missionary efforts), in other parts of the non-Muslim world, the neighbours and even the families just kill them first. It only takes a few hate-bloggers and organisations by Spencer and Geller to imply it is the religion and only in Islam.

        The Penal Code as you refer to is only in 7 of the 56 countries, partially in 6 others and not at all in the rest. That is the lunacy of the propoganda and hate spilled by such bloggers to alter opinions and have people like yourself falling down this farce. In fact Sharia Law is not in most Muslim countries, they count for less than half and of those that do have it, for family courts only. If anything, we can read that the majority of Muslims and Muslim nations have in fact chosen not to have Sharia systems in place. Appostacy is also something that is debatable. It is not true that in all Muslim countries apostates are killed or executed. It is not Koranic at all, but it gives examples of how at that time apostacy created termoil within a tribe or family which in the 7th century could mean their destruction. Thus for those people at that time, it was a very serious offense, as was adultery. That hard-liners who take things literally is very sad indeed. But as I said, it is not everywhere, most do not care unless the apostate makes a thing about it and uses their ‘ex-muslim” status to either attack Islam or to attempt to convert others. The rest is again tribal.

        “he (Spencer) makes his points and they are grounded in facts. And I do like facts, no matter who tells them.”

        I like facts as well and Spencer plays a “facts game” as does FitzGerald. Spencer is very clever in quoting, totally abusing context, and then when challenged will stand up straight and tall saying everything I have said is a genuine quote. That does not really work and is a moral ponzi scheme that is doomed to failure. If it was about accountable goods or about something with intellectual property rights, he would be in jail or sued into poverty. He quotes historical records as being divine instructions and visa versa, quoting a war command by Mohammed of “Kill them All” and implying it is an instruction for today. What keeps him going is that there is a war on terror and very dangerous radical Islamists and thus a public anger and fear. What he has also started to do, and I find the perfect example of his hypocrisy and malicioucness, is that he is siding with radical extremists by pronouncing them as the “real Muslims” and thus the others are not serious Muslims – ie the other 90 per cent of 1.6 billion Muslims.

        “The only time anything could ever be considered “golden” while under Islamic rule was when the rulers and their Muslim citizens weren’t too worried about enforcing shari’a and they allowed the Christian, Jewish, and sometimes Muslim (many of whom enjoyed alcohol and hashish) inventors and scientists and artists and writers to express themselves and discover things without having to fear retribution for blasphemy and other offenses against Islam.”

        That, with all respect, is totally incorrect. There were two Golden Ages under the generally accepted terminology. In Al Andalus at that time, there were twice Jewish Grand Viziers (prime ministers), Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars studied together. They lived in a period of enlightenment, debate about anything and everything and Cordoba, Grenada were the most livable, clean places on earth whilst its European neighbours to the north and east lived in squaller, disease and often shared their rooms with livestock. What some hate-mongers with agendas (the Spencers or some in the evangelical crowd) have attempted to do is the context abuse, by looking at the end of those periods when things fell down and claim that was representative of the whole, avoiding the peak which is what represents the period. It is like the rubbish about Muslims killing Jews and forcing converts on mass when in Christians did so not only at the same level but in fact far more than the Muslims ever did. I pointed out on Jihad-Watch a falicy about the Crusaders and Infidel conversion and reminded him that in the First Crusade that was announced by Pope Urban II was the start of the second and last official Jihad (in response to the Holy War against Islam declared first) and that the first year of this Holy War against Islam did not even leave Europe and what they did was in fact purge two countries of its Jewish populations and had nothing to do with fighting Muslims at all.

        “Unless you qualify as a “hate-blogger”. Relativity cannot be the answer. That’s what got us into this mess in the first place.”

        No, as I have pointed out, there is a clear enough definition of what is hate, evil and radical and I follow Karl Popper very close, I have even had the pleasure many, many years ago of sittinig in a lecture of his at my University. I do not tolerate the intollerant, such as the hate-for-profiteers like Spencer.

        May I ask you what is your experience with Islam and Muslims? Do you know many, how many Muslm countries have you visited? Have you studied Islam? What is your source of what you believe? These are important questions, because if your source is the bloggosphere and the books of haters, then it matters. I am not going to attempt to be an egoist but I am not a Muslim, I am very much an agnostic from a Catholic background. I am very much Dutch but was born in Jakarta as my father was posted there. I have lived in London and Paris and I know and have socialised with Muslims all my life. Two of my relatives are married to Muslims. I have travelled much of the Muslim world for work in the past and at present I own my own small business that has offices in Casablanca, Tunis and Istanbul (and a representative in Beirut). I travel to these places regularly. I have studied Islam to a point that I have a diploma, only out of interest of the history and to support my understanding of the people I work with. That is my basis, what is yours?

        Cheers

        Donny

  3. Natassia says:

    Okay, this thread is getting incredibly long. Whew.

    Not really, I would not confuse what some radical groups and those in the media/blogosphere think are the same. The reality is that most countries in the world have pretty much the same standards, rules and laws. Murder is murder, rape is rape, fraud is fraud. At a smaller level of course there are differences and what happens in “lawless areas” is just that.

    I must respectfully disagree. Although murder is generally agreed upon, who is murdered and why often affects the end result of a case. For example, in Islamic countries, Muslims are generally let off completely or receive a very light sentence for “honor killings.” Also in Islamic countries, people can be arrested and charged with blasphemy. Depending on the severity of the charge, upon conviction they can be punished with flogging, life imprisonment, and even death.

    And contrary to what you might think, these are not areas where anarchy reins. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. These are areas with strong governments and penal codes in accordance with shari’a.

    I would say that is completely wrong and that is just propoganda. As with the Golden Age comment you made before and below, I suggest you come up with evidence to back up your claims, until then, I would rather stick with evidentury examples, academics and proven history.

    This has nothing to do with propoganda and everything to do with a basic study of the religions and history in question. The timeline goes: Torah–>Tanakh–>Judaism–>Christ–>New Testament–>Christianity–>Muhammad–>Quran–>Hadith–>Islam as we know it today

    Unless one truly believes that Muhammad was a prophet of God, then you have one of two options: Muhammad was delusional, and therefore Islam is based on a delusion or Muhammad was a liar, and therefore Islam is based on a lie. Or maybe you can have a combination of both. It probably is more likely that Muhammad was a delusional liar.

    History shows 1400 years of invasion, conquest, and jihad by Muslims. The only reason Europe (other than the Iberian peninsula) was not overtaken by the Muslims in the 8th century AD was because of Charles “the Hammer” Martel and the Franks who stopped the marauding mujahideen at the Battle of Tours (aka Poitiers). Did you ever think to ask why the Muslim armies left the Arabian peninsula in the first place?

    Funny, the Enlightenment certainly didn’t take place in an area formerly possessed by Muslims, did it? The abolition of slavery certainly didn’t originate in any Islamic areas, did it? How about the idea of a free and equal people under the law choosing their representatives and governors?

    I’m not sure what you think is so golden about being a second-class citizen under an authoritarian theocracy, but I’m not going to try to sugar-coat something that is a pile of manure no matter what kind of icing you want to put on it.

    Or maybe what you mean to say is that for ISLAMIC citizens of ISLAMIC empires, it was a “Golden Age”?

    See what this guy had to say about it:
    http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/ChancyIslam.php

    I took world history classes in high school and college…and we never really explored the reality of Islamic expansionism. I can pull out one of my college history textbooks right now and open it up for a good laugh–talk about dumbing down and applying a thick coat of sugar. I never really learned much history until I stepped out of the classroom and began reading books and attending conferences not on the “approved” list.

    I would argue that these standards that come (and go) are what comes out of the constant battle between the move out of the norm (either to the left or the right) or out of reactionism to events. Much is also out of progression and knowledge. None fly in the face of the main direction and principles of what is considered “good or evil”.

    This is illogical because eventually you have to ask what was the original “norm” which means there must be some absolute. So, what is that absolute normality from which we continue to evade? Or does technology and scientific discovery alter it? This really makes no sense, sorry.

    Interesting point. I tend to believe that mainstream is not evil but that radicalism and extremism pushes man towards evil. Those absolute evils, such as the serial killers, are always unfortunately there. I am anti-abortion as well, as evil as it is, it is not a new event and does not sway the global balance or trends.

    Oh, it very much sways global balance (whatever that is) and trends. Once a society willingly considers its unborn offspring to be tumors worthy of surgical excise and disposal, our entire outlook on life and humanity changes.

    Besides, “mainstream” and “radical” are neutral. It all depends on WHAT is being considered “mainstream” or “radical.” If serial killing was considered “mainstream” then it would be evil. The fact that something is considered to be mainstream or radical has nothing to do with its inherent goodness or rightness or lack thereof.

    No, that is not what I believe, as you are also basing your view on there are great differences in varying societies, which I disagree totally, and under the basis that there is in fact not much differences, thus the definition of what is evil and radical is clear enough.

    In our society, it is not considered to be evil to have premarital sex. Try doing that in Pakistan. In our society it is considered evil for a grown man to have sex with a nine-year-old girl. In Iran and Saudi Arabia, nobody blinks at such a thing. Definitions of right and wrong differ all over the world.

    Not sure I agree with that as well. Racism as a term only exists alongside discrimination. When one talks about or accuses of racism, we are almost always talking about discrimination.

    Mmmm…would you consider it racist for a black woman to discriminate between two potential husbands based on the color of their skin? Let’s say she prefers black men. She is discriminating against the white man because of her own personal preferences. Is that racism?

    Someone who is pushing hate towards a group or entity to support an agenda.

    Well, by labeling someone as a hate-blogger, aren’t you instigating hatred towards him because you don’t agree with his stance? Besides, neither Christopher Logan or Robert Spencer are encouraging hatred of Muslims, and the only “agenda” they might have is to see shari’a no longer practiced in the world and Islam to be just another religion like Hinduism or Christianity. Fat chance that will ever happen, though. That’s why I prefer the traditional conservative stance because we are willing to admit that you can’t “fix” Islam without destroying what Islam is.

    Oh, and by stating that there is nothing wrong with an indigenous population wanting to keep its population indigenous, I meant that there is nothing inherently immoral about that. It’s actually pretty natural…and normal. 🙂 Oh look, there’s that word again.

    Speaking of well-used excuses. The twist of what you said does not stick. The phrase makes sense but in reality there is no such thing. The reality is (and I will use your sequence) that Islam does not treat woeman and non-followers as second class citizens, you are confusing the very backward cultures that, as all societies tend to do, claim it is in their faith to justify it. Dhimmitude is a word used by Spencer and Co and is in fact unknown of in the Muslim world except by historians. The equivilance of dhimmitude was also used by Christians during that very same time period it was used. It simply does not exist anymore. The torture and killing of homosexuals is a matter again of culture and it should be reminded that if the Ugandan government had its way it would also make homosexuality a capital offence (thanks to American evangalist missionary efforts), in other parts of the non-Muslim world, the neighbours and even the families just kill them first. It only takes a few hate-bloggers and organisations by Spencer and Geller to imply it is the religion and only in Islam.

    This argument, which I have heard robotically repeated time and time again, makes me want to pull my hair out.

    Islam, an entire WAY OF LIFE (just ask any Muslim), has permeated those “backward cultures” for the better part of 1400 years. And yet they are still backward. Weird.

    I love the word “dhimmitude.” It encompasses what would normally take a full page of writing to explain.

    The second-class status of the dhimmi is INSTITUTIONALIZED by Islam. You can’t help but notice that just reading the Qur’an, nevermind the hadith and tafseer and later historical accounts of the Islamic doctrines put into action. Forget Spencer and company. Go to the scriptures and ancient Islamic writings themselves.

    The reason “dhimmitude” doesn’t “exist” anymore is because most Christians and Jews and other non-Muslims are either persecuted beyond belief by the Islamic societies they live in or they hightail it out of there. But you are mistaken if you think Christians and other non-Muslims aren’t treated like second-class citizens in Islamic countries. Just take a look at the restitution amounts for injuries committed against Muslims as opposed to non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia.

    Torturing and killing homosexuals is also institutionalized within shari’a. It is apart of those nations’ PENAL CODES. Or are you calling all Islamic nations barbaric and backwards?

    You are ignoring the reality that many Muslim apostates, homosexuals, and heretics have gone through at the hands of their communities and governments. This is not a “culture” thing since it encompasses North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and southeast Asia. Different regions, different languages, different customs, different ethnicities. And yet they all agree on shari’a.

    The Penal Code as you refer to is only in 7 of the 56 countries, partially in 6 others and not at all in the rest. That is the lunacy of the propoganda and hate spilled by such bloggers to alter opinions and have people like yourself falling down this farce. In fact Sharia Law is not in most Muslim countries, they count for less than half and of those that do have it, for family courts only. If anything, we can read that the majority of Muslims and Muslim nations have in fact chosen not to have Sharia systems in place. Appostacy is also something that is debatable. It is not true that in all Muslim countries apostates are killed or executed. It is not Koranic at all, but it gives examples of how at that time apostacy created termoil within a tribe or family which in the 7th century could mean their destruction. Thus for those people at that time, it was a very serious offense, as was adultery. That hard-liners who take things literally is very sad indeed. But as I said, it is not everywhere, most do not care unless the apostate makes a thing about it and uses their ‘ex-muslim” status to either attack Islam or to attempt to convert others. The rest is again tribal.

    There you go spouting the typical rhetoric: “It’s not in the Qur’an.” Who are you to determine what is truly Islamic and what isn’t? Do you honestly thing that only what is in the Qur’an is Islamic? lol Qur’an-only Muslim sects are persecuted in Islamic countries as heretics, you know. The Sunnah is just as important as the Qur’an. In order to submit to Allah, you have to know HOW. The Sunnah is HOW.

    Most apostates are killed or ran out of the country by their own family members, so the government doesn’t have to get involved. Where the government does get involved is blasphemy. Why don’t you research blasphemy laws in Islamic countries…and see how they are enforced, hmmm? I can help you get started if you like, just let me know. 🙂

    Goodnight and God bless.

    • donny2811 says:

      Yes the thread is long but a very important subject – what is reality and what is perception/agenda/propoganda.

      You talk about murder and then start giving examples of what you assume is the case in “Muslim” countries and in Islam. I suggest you look through my blog about honor killings to get a cold-hard reality check on reality. I will not go into it for length but what you are showing is the error of assumption. The assumption that 1) honor killings is Islamic and only/mostly in Muslim countries and 2) that somehow anything corrupt, dangerous, illigal or immoral in a Muslim country has to do with the religion and ignore the rest of the developing world. That theme seems to appear in most of what you have written in this reply, that Muslim countries are poor because they Muslim, yet somehow the other half of the poor developing world have a jutifiable excuse. If I generalized in any of my writings it is because I assume you have an understanding of why the developing world is poor (and thus suffer corruption, ingorance etc).

      So I would like to correct what I think is a problem with some of your assumptions and errors in language. “Some” Muslim countries arrest and even kill for blasphemy – in fact between 5 and 7 of them would do that for certain and as I mentioned about half the Muslim countries will arrest and prison someone who publicaly pushes their apostacy and/or blasphemy if made public and pushed, not simply because they are or said something. They do so for the same reason that more than half the nations on this planet do the same for anti-government or other perceived sedicious rhetoric – to keep public harmony. They are, after all, not first-world western liberal democracies. So to answer your first comment, try the word ‘some’ and you start to get the picture.

      “Unless one truly believes that Muhammad was a prophet of God, then you have one of two options: Muhammad was delusional, and therefore Islam is based on a delusion or Muhammad was a liar, and therefore Islam is based on a lie. Or maybe you can have a combination of both. It probably is more likely that Muhammad was a delusional liar.”

      In a way you are correct, Jews would follow the same option, Jesus is delsusional, etc, etc. I rather do not go down that path, and look at the subject dispassionately, accepting that there are 1.6 billion Muslims and that my comments have to be based on fact and not my own faith-based biases.

      “History shows 1400 years of invasion, conquest, and jihad by Muslims. The only reason Europe (other than the Iberian peninsula) was not overtaken by the Muslims in the 8th century AD was because of Charles “the Hammer” Martel and the Franks who stopped the marauding mujahideen at the Battle of Tours (aka Poitiers). Did you ever think to ask why the Muslim armies left the Arabian peninsula in the first place?”

      Actually 1400 years have shown development mostly like the rest of the world, with habits and expansion like the rest of the world except for two factors only – 1) sea travel and dominance and thus conquest ended up on the side of the Christian World and 2) that lead later to the industrial revolution and thus liberalization. If you know anything about Islam and Islamic history, there was only two sanctioned Jihads (as apposed to lower-case “j” jihads claimed today by unsactioned clerics), the one at the creation of Islam witih Mohammed and then the second in response to the declaration of a Holy Crusade by various Popes). Invasions have happened in the history of man since day 1 and from all sides and for all sorts of reasons including under the banner of God. Thus saying that Islam is somehow 1400 years of invasion and Jihad is very incorrect in both senses.

      I should add two other mistakes in your history. The Battle of Potiers was won because half the Moorish Army left due to an important death back in what is now Morocco. If they did not leave, things would have changed. As to why the “Arab-but mostly BERBER Armies” crossed into Iberia, why not ask the Question about Alexander the Great crossing into Asia, why not ask about the Spanish crossing the Atlantic into the New World? Why, I should ask, do you chose to look at one (and condemn) and not look at everything else. I was taught at school and at university that historians must not be selective and if one aspect is opened, thus all must be.

      “Funny, the Enlightenment certainly didn’t take place in an area formerly possessed by Muslims, did it? The abolition of slavery certainly didn’t originate in any Islamic areas, did it? How about the idea of a free and equal people under the law choosing their representatives and governors?”

      I am not sure what the comment means, it appears you have avoided the question all together, by changing the topic and the tone. Again, you put rules and standards on Muslims that at the time was about the same on the Christian world. Thus yous are judging the historical Muslim world on today’s standards but not our own Christian world during the same period. That simply fails in logic. The subject was Golden Ages and you denied it without evidence and still have failed to provide that idea. But I will continue to explain to enlighten you. Golden Ages are times of rapid advancements in science, technology, philosophy and social life. During the time of Andalus, though yes there was to a degree slavery as there was in the west for hundreds of years more and in fact put to factory production levels later on, Islamic scholars also excelled and advanced the subjects of pure sciences, astronomy, medicine and even law, let alone they saved the works of Plato and Aristotle from becoming extinct.

      “Or maybe what you mean to say is that for ISLAMIC citizens of ISLAMIC empires, it was a “Golden Age”?”

      As I mentioned in a previous response, go back to that time and judge the life of non-Christians in the Christian world and come back to me, double standards or as I have said here, judging life of non-Muslim in Muslim countries in the middle-ages by today’s standards and then not doing so for anyone else is frankly an academic failure that will only confuse yourself.

      I” took world history classes in high school and college…”

      I studied European and Greek/Roman history at University and later studied Islamics. There are enough history books by credible real academics that do not pull punches on the realities on all sides, and not those by “wannabe” academics or those who alter their works to fit their own religous biases.

      “Besides, neither Christopher Logan or Robert Spencer are encouraging hatred of Muslims, and the only “agenda” they might have is to see shari’a no longer practiced in the world and Islam to be just another religion like Hinduism or Christianity. ”

      I disagree. Spencer and Logan are deliberatly creating anamosity towards Islam and Muslims by altering the perception and understanding of that faith and pushing a negative line. It is like racism, years of pushing racist ideology against blacks and Jews created over centuries (millenia in the later) that resulted in segregation, injustices, murders and again the later, worse. It starts with the agenda-driven haters who push a line to dehumanize. You will never see reality come out of these people, by saying simply that the Muslim world is in the developing world and thus prone to ignorance and abuse and currently has been to a large degree radicalized or hijacked by radicals. If they said that, then they would be correct and their pointing to examples (even though they reflect still a small portion of life in those countries) would be more accurate and noone could bag them for it. They chose not to, why is that?

      “The second-class status of the dhimmi is INSTITUTIONALIZED by Islam. You can’t help but notice that just reading the Qur’an, nevermind the hadith and tafseer and later historical accounts of the Islamic doctrines put into action. Forget Spencer and company. Go to the scriptures and ancient Islamic writings themselves.”

      Yes go to the scriptures and read it as a Muslim would and not as a non-Muslim with preconcieved ideas would. Koran if read by a non-wahhabist/salafist will tell you that it is in three formats, a historical record of the time, a set of examples to make a point and then a message. The term dhimmi actually means “protected” if you ever look it up, and it is a contract and responsibility, as given in the Koran, to the Muslims to ensure that the “people of the Book” (Christians and Jews) are not abused but yet must partake in society. The examples are from the 7th century and again if you assume it in a 21st century manner then you have failed, or taken the rather extremist/fundamentalist view of the wahhabis and salafists. Again, I repeat, give me examples of 21st century Muslim nations that have “instutionalized” a dhimmi program ‘as perceived by Spencer’. If you talk, as he does, about taxes, I will remind you that most taxes quoted by him (jizya) was in fact to ensure that Jews paid the same amount that Muslims paid in compulsary Zakat. After that, the Ottomans put on extra taxes, but did so in the same habit that Byzantine leaders did on non-Christians. I should add that the Salt Tax on Jews that become common was in fact first done in Byzantium and that Jews in Amsterdam paid extra housing and trade taxes until the 19th century. Perspective is always needed, right?

      “The reason “dhimmitude” doesn’t “exist” anymore is because most Christians and Jews and other non-Muslims are either persecuted beyond belief by the Islamic societies they live in or they hightail it out of there. But you are mistaken if you think Christians and other non-Muslims aren’t treated like second-class citizens in Islamic countries. Just take a look at the restitution amounts for injuries committed against Muslims as opposed to non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia.”

      Totally incorrect. For example, Jews left Morocco and Tunisia in lesser numbers than in other countries to Israel and they both still have strong communities. They left to join Israel, not to escape some persecution. Why is it that the chief advisor to the King of Morocco is a Jew if what you say is true? Why is it that in Tunisia, a deputy PM and four government ministry heads are Jews? The blog-rats and some of the media never likes to point out the good, just the bad. Do not confuse modern day anti-semitism in Arab-nationalism because of the Israel/Palestinian question with what is Islamic.

      As I said, I travel the Muslim world regularly and not just the four countries I go to. The myth of dhimmitude and Eurabia are just that. Yes radicals will do what they can but they are still in most countries a fringe minority whom themselves are frowned upon or even to a degree illegal.

      “Torturing and killing homosexuals is also institutionalized within shari’a. It is apart of those nations’ PENAL CODES. Or are you calling all Islamic nations barbaric and backwards?”

      Torture is not part of any penal code, that is frankly a rediculous statement, though torture in many places does occur, globally. Yes homosexuality is an issue, but it is an issue in Non-Muslim countries as well based on their ultra-conservative Christian values. Go to most of Africa and you will see that. Homosexuals are beaten to death in Brazilian and Phillipino prisons, for example.

      “You are ignoring the reality that many Muslim apostates, homosexuals, and heretics have gone through at the hands of their communities and governments. This is not a “culture” thing since it encompasses North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and southeast Asia. Different regions, different languages, different customs, different ethnicities. And yet they all agree on shari’a.”

      No, wrong. Sharia has to a great degree been rejected by most Muslim nations as a theocratical run legal instution. Read my previous reply.

      Since you obviously are not aware of the reality on the ground and how people practice Islam, I think it best that I explain to you some things. The Islamic world is not just Iran, Saudi, Sudan and Pakistan. There are 7 hard-line countries, and 5 to 6 very strong-conservatives, the rest are a mixed bag. Technicaly speaking the Sunnah are examples of the life of Mohammed and his followers that are to be used as a guide. From that, Sharia appeared. Now, having said that, remember we are also talking about people from developing countries, often illiterate societies and the power of the Imam, Mullah or Ayatollah is powerful in these places were they are obliged to respect him and he may be the only educated person around (if in fact he is). Interpretations vary from place to place and what is Sharia Law in a Malaysian family court (it is only in family law there) to what is judged in Iran or in Libya are in fact very different. Only three Sharia courts will stone a woman to death or cut off a hand, the others have rejected it, why is that Natassia? Most countries have in fact no Sharia court system but a secular one. Certainly laws passed in Parliaments are created and voted on by the Muslim populations, thus they have aspects that automatically follow a sharia-like direction, but it is not the same thing.

      The reality is that the bearded guys walking around in the long dress-like clothes and the skull caps are strongly practicing a more conservative line of what the Sunnah and Haddiths say, but the vast majority just follow the messages from the Koran and more than that, what their parents and school teachers told them, nothing more.

      Natassia, you are generalizing and are far from what is the reality of the life of the average Muslim and non-Muslim in the actual Islamic world. You are putting 21st Century values and judgements on the historical Muslim world without doing the same to the rest of the world. You are judging and condemning the the social status and economics of the Muslim world based on it being Islamic and forgetting or ignoring that they are part of the developing world. To you Egypt is a poor country that is backwards becaue it is Muslim, but Zimbabwe is forgiven because they are not? No, that does not stick.

      The only justifiable criticism that I can make are three:

      The middle-class educated Muslims in the Muslim world (as apposed to immigrants) are also the civil servants of these countries and they do not stand up against the clerics and extremists. They have no excuse other than fear, and yet that silence only makes it worse. They need to stand up and push the general community into action against these clerics and radicals. They have successfully done so in the Maghreb, but the rest fail.

      As most Muslim countries are poor and suffer illiteracy, they are run by “cliques” and families whom bleed these countries dry – like their non-Muslim developing country equivilants. The reality is those Muslim countries with higher ililteracy and stable governments, have less problems with radicals and their laws, social standards and social interactions develop accordingly.

      The immigrant Muslims are the real problem. As the anti-radicalism in the Muslim countries increases, they immigrate to the west. In the west you have groups that abuse the liberal laws of countries to push their own agendas and you have the incredible situation of having these groups demanding standards that are in fact not acceptable in most of the real and actual Muslim World. There is no vocal movement towards a global Caliphate inside the Muslim countries, that is rejected as both impossible and offensive to the governments, yet it is shouted out on the streets of London and Amsterdam by radicals. As I said, most Muslim countries do not have Sharia Law and yet the are demanded by these groups in the west. They demand christmas trees to be taken down in department stores in Europe and yet shopping malls and even local souks (bazaars) in the Mddle East and North Africa are putting them up. Why is that?

      Yes there are many isses in the Muslim World and it all oomes down to man, not faith. Horrible things happen and many times they are done in the name of God. Mankind has done that from the day he started believing in divinity and as we know, most of it was an excuse for human needs, not divine. Why does one have to assume that a Christian zealot abusing the name of God is just a crackpot and yet a Muslim one is just being “Muslim”? Why is it that Arab-Turkic sexism is confused with Islam? Why is it that everyone assumes only the radical wahhabist way is the real Muslim and the rest do not exist, even if the rest are the majority?

      I take it your a person with strong Christian beliefs and that is great, no one is expecting you to accept Islam as God’s faith, I do not. Because one does not believe, does that mean one must skewer and condemn based on false, generalized or blatant context abuse? Of course not. I am a history and sociology buff, I always remember the importance of allowing the facts presented to draw conclussions, and not look for facts based on a pre-conceived conclussion. I recommend you do the same.

      Cheers and God Bless

  4. Natassia says:

    I think this will be my final comment on this thread. (It is getting way too long, and I think any more commentary on this issue will be redundant and dull.)

    I pointed out on Jihad-Watch a falicy about the Crusaders and Infidel conversion and reminded him that in the First Crusade that was announced by Pope Urban II was the start of the second and last official Jihad (in response to the Holy War against Islam declared first) and that the first year of this Holy War against Islam did not even leave Europe and what they did was in fact purge two countries of its Jewish populations and had nothing to do with fighting Muslims at all.

    Muslims declared holy war FIRST the minute they left the Arabian peninsula carrying weapons and making threats. And that holy war continued as they invaded the rest of the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe.

    Why did the Franks go on the First Crusade? They had already dealt with the Muslims 300 years prior at Poitiers. It had nothing to do with the Byzantine Emperor asking for help, did it? I mean, what right did he have to complain about the Muslims bringing an Islamic Golden Age to his empire?

    Regardless of what wickedness the Crusaders may have committed while waging war throughout the conquered Muslim territories, it doesn’t negate the FACT that the Muslims were instigators of the Crusades in the first place. And no one ever talks about the slave trade that the Muslims were famous for…capturing Europeans from as far north as the British isles, for pete’s sake.

    Golden Age, my arse.

    And really, what makes you think this had ANYTHING to do with Islam? Aren’t you the one preaching about culture this and culture that? Perhaps the reason the Iberian peninsula was in relatively good shape compared to the neighbors to the north had to do with the cultures of the people living there. Funny how anything positive you attribute to the influences of Islam, and yet when we discuss the ugly realities of Islamic nations today (and in the past), then those bad things are purely due to culture, not the religion. Besides, when one is a minority in power, it doesn’t make sense that one terribly abuse and persecute ones subjects. Muslims were the minority in power. But despite the fact that the dhimma were relatively better-treated than they might have been elsewhere or at other times, it doesn’t negate the fact that they were second-class citizens thanks to ISLAM. But that relativity isn’t going to work anymore thanks to places like the United States where citizens, regardless of religious affiliation, are free and equal under the law.

    No, as I have pointed out, there is a clear enough definition of what is hate, evil and radical and I follow Karl Popper very close, I have even had the pleasure many, many years ago of sittinig in a lecture of his at my University. I do not tolerate the intollerant, such as the hate-for-profiteers like Spencer.

    And Spencer doesn’t tolerate the intolerant, either. So, where are your priorities? What is more intolerable? The intolerance towards intolerable shari’a? Or the intolerable shari’a?

    May I ask you what is your experience with Islam and Muslims? Do you know many, how many Muslm countries have you visited? Have you studied Islam? What is your source of what you believe? These are important questions, because if your source is the bloggosphere and the books of haters, then it matters…..I have studied Islam to a point that I have a diploma, only out of interest of the history and to support my understanding of the people I work with. That is my basis, what is yours?

    I typically avoid discussions like this. It ends up being a pissing contest of who is more multicultural than the other. I like talking about the merits of an issue, not the personal stuff.

    But if it makes you feel better, I studied Islam two years ago for the purpose of conversion. Can’t get any more open-minded than that.

    • donny2811 says:

      A short few comments because yes the thread has reached its limit in my mind as well.

      A Jihad was not declared first in the Crusades, there was no declaration, it was just an invasion and war, Urban II made it official after a claim for aid. Read my comments in the other reply about Potiers.

      As for your arse’s innability to see a Golden Age, and still you have failed to provide details to support yourself, again read my comments in the other reply.

      I rather find it ironic that you talk about the religion and then about culture to suit yourself but are not willing to accept that perspective from others. Almost all the leading contributors in Al Andalus for that period were in fact not even born there or had simply revised and improved on what was previously wasted infrastructure.

      I am not after a “pissing contest” but the context on the basis of the notions and attitude that you have – otherwise, since none of the material you have given is based on actual academic or non-generalized examples (and no sources to back up claims). If you studied with ultra-conservatives and was approached by Islamists then that may explain much. I grew up with Muslims all my life, so I have also come accross them. One thing is for certain, if the Muslims you came accross that sparked your interest and study talked about dhimmitude or second class citizens, then you were in contact with wahhabists, salafists or some other form of radicals and not typical or average Muslims. That is for certain.

      It was nicef discussing this with you, regardless of the opinions of your “arse” 🙂

      • starmomi says:

        I really am heartened to see that there are non-Muslims such as yourself in the bloggosphere. It seems like everywhere I look there are Robert Spencer groupies.

        Thank you.

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