Interview With a Muslim

 

Q: Charlie Hebdo. Muslims go in, shoot up the place, yell Allahu Akbar.

A: I’m a humorist. I’m a satirist. I’m a journalist. I’m a writer. It’s terrible.

 

Q: Have you condemned the attack?

A: I’m sorry, what?

 

Q: Do you as a Muslim condemn this attack?

A: Well yes. But.

 

Q: Why do you hesitate?

A: If I condemn the attack I could make it seem like I’m justifying a collective guilt. That worries me.

 

Q: CNN is asking Muslims to condemn the attack. It’s not just me.

A: I didn’t see CNN ask anyone to condemn the bombing of the NAACP office in Colorado. But that happened too.  I guess it didn’t matter as much. #FrenchLivesMatter more than #BlackLivesMatter.

 

Q: It’s not the same thing.

A: Three mosques were attacked in Sweden in the last three weeks. One was set on fire, with people inside. Just recently thousands of Germans gathered against ‘Islamization.’ Somehow I don’t think they mean a handful of radicals.

 

Q: So you’re saying you don’t condemn the attack.

A: I already condemned it. What else do you need to hear?

 

Q: Well maybe Muslims should go out in the streets, to protest, to show people they don’t agree. To make it clear.

A: I should think when thousands of French are gathering in solidarity and #KillAllMuslims is trending on Twitter that being visibly Muslim in public would not be a good idea.

 

Q: Well then condemn it in print. On the radio. On TV. Where, for example, are the Muslims condemning ISIS?

A: You mean other than the tens of thousands of Muslims who are fighting them, being killed by them, and trying to stop them? You mean the 140+ children who were slaughtered in Peshawar by the Taliban? Most of the victims of Muslim violence are Muslim.

 

Q: So you’re saying Muslims are more violent than other people?

A: I never said that.

 

Q: Well why does it look that way?

A: When’s the last time you saw concentration camps for Muslims on the news? But that’s happening, in Myanmar.

 

Q: So you’re saying Muslims are innocent?

A: I’m saying the world is a complicated place. And just as I condemn the attack on Charlie Hebdo I condemn attacks on all people. I fear what this selectivity means. It betrays a structural bias so powerful we can barely see it.

 

Q: Are you saying this attack is justified?

A: No. Of course not. I’m saying let’s not make this an occasion to empower still more people with violence on their minds.

 

Q: Context can be mistaken for justification.

A: It’s a good thing CNN isn’t providing any context right now.

 

Q: So where does this leave us? Do Muslims condemn terror?

A: If I speak, it is used against me, and if I do not speak, it is used against me. I condemn violence against the innocent. I think what happened in Paris was horrible. Do I need to say more?

  • Gregory Peterson

    A mosque in Albuquerque, NM was attacked in late Oct, with a Molotov Cocktail. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s been caught. Fortunately, the wannabe terrorist was as inept as the Colorado Springs NAACP terrorist.

  • Al_in_SV

    Condemning something is not the same as justifying a collective guilt. It shows the kind of values you hold and what you stand for. When such cartoons are published muslims are quick to get out on the streets and show their anger, but are generally silent when acts of violence are committed in the name of their faith. All muslims should condemn this if they value freedom of speech and are against such acts of violence in the name of their faith.

    Also I find the the tone of questioning quite interesting. Sounds more like finger pointing.

  • Khan Asheek

    That is a generalization, you’re using the idea of a collective identity to deal in absolutes. I’m positive those that do show their anger in the streets are fringe groups and people influenced by anti-west propaganda and extremism. But if you pay attention, from twitter to any credible news source, heck go to your local mosque and ask them yourselves, You’ll find tons of muslims denouncing acts of hate and violence like this one.

  • Rico Alexander

    Nice article.

  • DKeane123

    A whole lot of misdirection in the post. Look we are being abused over here and also doing some good stuff over there – therefore don’t criticize Islam about its record on free speech issues.

    They have friends, family, and a community that likely knows what they stand for. They have to be indoctrinated by their Mullah or over the internet. Their entire community is are complicit in allowing these ideas to remain valid. Islam needs to clean its own house and do the bare minimum of standing up for free speech and human rights, which is going to be difficult. It is stuck with this old book that at face value endorses all sorts of violent acts (and yes the OT has the same problem). So many will see these acts as the will of God and help create even more distrust of the entire faith – really very sad.

    If this was a one off-event – I can see , but too often criticism is met by violence – at what point is it a trend? Anyone notice the horrible backlash against the Onion for producing one of the most profane religious images of all time several years back – no? It didn’t include one particular religion.

  • Rmj

    Which “entire community” are you imagining? The 1.7 billion Muslims of the world, most of whom have probably never been to France? All Muslims in France? In Algeria (the brothers were reportedly from Algeria, which already has a fraught historical relationship with France, which could have provided much of the energy for this assault)? In an arrondissement in Paris?

    Your generalizations are no different from a white supremacist denouncing a shooting in an American city as something what needs to be denounced by all American blacks everywhere, and failure to do so proving African Americans don’t value life the way “white” Americans do.

  • GeniusPhx

    If a Muslim condemns terrorism publically, where people can see them, terrorism will come to their door. Terrorists will find them and kill their whole families. They are that sick.

  • Jim Reed

    These are religious issues, and religions make their money by convincing people they are better than other religions, and other religions are worse. Christian regions will see things one way, and Islamic regions will see things a different way. If religions weren’t polarized they wouldn’t have reason to exist. Imagine a world where all religions got together in a brotherhood of peace. That would be dumb.

  • http://www.devonnollforpresident2012.org Devon J. Noll

    I teach from an interfaith perspective, and as such, often have occasion to pull lessons from a variety of religious texts, including the Qur’an. Like the Bible, many religious radicals today use selected texts to justify their beliefs, but as is pointed out, what we cal jihadists are political, not religious zealots as they claim. They have political agendas. Unfortunately, the true meaning of jihad in Islam texts is not one of external killing, but of the battle between good and evil in ourselves.

    One of the primary tenets of Islam that I have found in my reading is “living a righteous life”, meaning being compassionate and caring, following religious rituals regularly, and being just to all. Modern Muslims, not radicals, but the other 99% of Muslims, worldwide live righteous lives, more or less, the same way that Christians or Jews live their faiths. They are not out there killing people and falsely claiming some religious reason for doing so. But to hear and read our media, you would think that they were all members of ISIS. Even when they condemn these atrocities, they are either ignored or their condemnations, which should put an end to speculation, only seem to fuel the “if it bleeds, it leads” meme so popular with modern media. Even this article shows the mentality of the interviewer and the unwillingness to accept that the interviewee is actually condemning these attacks by twisting the responses to try and make something into something it is not.

    Muslims are in a unique position as far as protesting, because as has been pointed out, many of them have family still in countries where such liberties are not allowed and who would be endangered. Even within their own communities here, they may be at risk. Comparing them to protesters over civil rights here is a false argument because protesters here know their families will not be put at risk for their actions, at least not yet anyway.

    This article was an interesting one in that it showed just how hard it is for Muslims to condemn such attacks without being put on the defensive by interviewers who only want to show Muslims in one way. Nicely done.

  • Aza Azahari

    Anyone can shout allahuakbar and blames Muslims. In asia, christians followers are fighting to use Allah as theirs god name

  • bintalshamsa

    Yes, America does use such opportunities to kill entire families of Muslims with their drones. You’re right. They are THAT sick.

  • doug sery

    I’m only posting this at the request of Naeem Mohaiemen, something I posted in his response to Haroon Moghul’s post. I’m a publisher, so have certain biases. Make of it what you will.


    I think the NAACP bombing is a poor example to use. There were no
    injuries, minor damage, no eyewitness accounts of who the perpetrators
    might have been. The Waco debacle and the Oklahoma City bombing
    certainly drew condemnation. The NYT, Guardian, WSJ,
    Le Monde, etc., continue to provide some coverage of the violence
    outside of the “privileged” west. Al-Jazīra has seen pretty amazing
    growth in an age of media decline. I live in Sweden and there has been
    extensive coverage of the Mosque bombings here, along with reports of
    Swedes uniting against this violence, as Muslims have against the
    attack on Charlie Hebdo. I agree with the second sentence of your post:
    “And just as I condemn the attack on Charlie Hebdo I condemn attacks on
    all people.” Can’t we just leave it at that for the moment?

  • Jim Reed

    I don’t think we can leave it at that. The world has advanced to a place where religion is struggling to stay relevant, and religiously connected disaster is a prime opportunity to continue the struggle. If we could reach a point where it was Islam vs. humanity Islam would lose. As long as the battle lines remain Islam vs. Christianity Islam can’t lose.

  • ugluk2

    What an incredibly bigoted thing to say. If the bigots like you want to make it seem like it is Islam vs. humanity, all the decent non-Muslim humans will side with the Muslims.

  • GregAbdul

    Nice Job!

  • JCF

    “When such cartoons are published muslims are quick to get out on the streets and show their anger”

    I think you mean Western media are eager to BROADCAST such Muslims out on the street showing their anger. Are they representative of all Muslims, even in their locale? How would we know? It’s not like CNN (much less FOX!) is going to tell us…

  • cranefly

    “Their entire community is complicit in allowing these ideas to remain valid.”

    An easy assumption for someone to make who doesn’t belong to a religious community. If someone in my church were planning to do something crazy, I would have no way of knowing. I know like 10% of the parishioners by sight, at most.

  • jk

    What an abysmally poor interview. It reads much more like a disgruntled lover trying to prove their Muslim partner wrong by twisting everything they say and putting words in their mouth. I, an agnostic, condemn this interview.

  • Jim Reed

    As you get deeper into the issue it becomes more complicated. This is religious war, driven by Christianity gaining control to fill the void after the fall of the Roman empire, and ruling with an iron fist, plus a large dose of deception. Muslims can’t solve the problem by being nice because the problem was started by Christianity and is still driven by Christianity. The ultimate solution is for the world to grow beyond these religions, starting with Christianity. I was raised as a Christian, and so I know what they are doing. They are trying to push their religious deception to world domination, and the only solution to the problems that causes is to recognize it and understand the world would be better without it.

  • Babs

    I agree this was a terrible interview. The questions asked and twisted assumptions made by the interviewer on the replies of the person being interviewed were ridiculous.
    Did the interviewer want an different answer than the one given?

  • bnank

    I assume that this was not an actual interview, but the writer using the format to present her view of some the questions that she hears in the media and elsewhere.

  • DKeane123

    Noticed a comment from Bill Maher recently – beheadings are regularly conducted in Mecca – one of the most holy of sites in Islam. If the Vatican was beheading homosexuals in Rome – think you might speak out pretty loudly about it? Today, in the same country an Atheist started to receive his punishment of 50 lashes for starting a website advocating for freedom of thought and rights for women. They can’t do it all at once, cause he might die. The violence is baked right into the text – and of course with no “Pope” type figure there will always by some preachers that have all the authority they need to advocate for literal readings.

    Of course a sophisticated reading of the book (which very few followers of any religion will pay attention to) is more peaceful, or the beheadings are because of imperialism. I am so happy I arrived at atheism so I don’t have to run through these mental rationalizations.

    BTW – I do realize as an atheist I tend to bias toward religion being on the negative side as opposed to positive. But this problem is Islam’s – seems as if schoolgirls and cartoonist are a real threat to Allah, who can’t do any of its own heavy lifting.

  • cgosling

    It seemed to me that the one interviewed could have been more forthcoming, explicit and creative in his condemnation of Muslim terrorists. Those who believe murdering someone for depicting a diety are as radical and guilty as those who do the actual act. A religion has no right to proclaim universal laws which effect the rest of the world’s population. Do Jews have the right to murder any Muslim who looks at a jewish woman? Or do Catholics have the right to murder anyone who uses a condom? This is silly and savage.

  • cranefly

    DK, I don’t know what to say, except that you astonish me with your contempt for any intellectual discussion on the world of Islam. I thought Atheism was supposed to be Team Smart, with “Intellect” and “Higher Learning” as its highest values, yet you insist on parroting this boneheaded fundamentalist-caliber ideology that attributes everything happening in the Middle East (which is no small town) to a cherry-picked once-over of the Koran, as if Muslims were naturally dumb as rocks and twice as bloodthirsty. And you wonder why people call you racist? As if a thousand years of colonial violence, Christian-instigated holy war, Western imperialism, political instability, American-backed totalitarianism, and myriad other complexities – social, political, economic, and psychological – aren’t part of the story? Why does being an Atheist mean you don’t have to think about these things, while your nation’s finger is on the button of nuclear weapons in the context of a decades-long war over resources, power, and ideological control? Where’s the science and reason? Why are you listening to idiots like Bill Mahar and believing whatever they say?

    Are you saying that Saudi Arabia is a totalitarian state with an unjust death penalty, is the fault of a billion non-Saudi people who may or may not know the first thing about it? And it’s NOT the fault of Americans or the US, one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest allies? Do you really think the American media would make sure you knew about it if Muslims actually were vocally outraged? Give me a break. Most victims of Islamist terrorism are Muslims, and most opposition to it comes from other Muslims. If you can’t tell the difference, that’s nothing to brag about.

    To answer the comparison to the Vatican, it’s important to be clear – the Vatican HAS committed crimes against humanity. We have video of Pope John Paul II kissing a known child rapist on the face, and the average Catholic is far more officially connected to the Vatican than the average Muslim is to whatever Bill Mahar is talking about. Yet no one expects daily marches of child abuse condemnation from Catholics, and Catholics by and large are NOT apologetic ober clerical abuse. They don’t explain or apologize for the crimes of sick perverts of which they themselves were the victims. It’s obvious that normal people oppose child rape, and Catholics (unlike Muslims) can count on being seen as normal people.

  • cranefly
  • DKeane123

    You mischaracterize a few things:
    – I’ve never represented atheists being anything but average human beings.
    – I do not think in any way that people from Islamic countries are somehow inferior in any way. I do think that Islam does contain many inferior ideas when compared to enlightened principles.

    I also find this idea of, “it’s not their fault” for these actions because of imperialism or whatever, to actually be a very Soft version of racism.

    I am very much an empiracle evidence kind of person. If without imperialism (Or whatever disadvantage) Islam would thrive as a forward thinking and enlightened religion, then there must be someplace in the world that we can point to where this is the case. At this point, I really can’t think of one.

  • cranefly

    I certainly vented on you a lot of my frustration with movement atheism’s rhetoric in general. Sorry.

    In any case, maybe the fact that you can’t think of a forward-thinking Islamic society says more about you than it does about Islam. Do you really know enough about the experience of Islam all over the world to judge that Muslims are as sexist and violent as you’ve been told? Seven or eight Muslim countries (Senegal, Pakistan, Turkey, Bangladesh…) have broken the glass ceiling ahead of the US and elected female heads of state. The fact that the Middle East under Islam had a notable and profound intellectual Renaissance, to which we’re indebted for algebraic concepts, is common knowledge.

    If you’re convinced that scripture has such an unavoidable impact on whether or not terror is going to be permanent in a religious society, I have to wonder why Mormons are so peaceful. To reveal my own prejudice, I think the Book of Mormon is much worse than the Koran, and it tends to be taken very literally, yet Mormons are widely regarded as the friendliest people on earth.

    I’m just saying that intellectual honesty requires us to treat this as a complicated issue that’s not just about Islam. The idea that all of this instability in the Middle East could be blamed on a few lines in the Koran is just absurd to me. It doesn’t seem to be supported by history, or my experience as someone who has been to a few Muslim countries, worked with Muslims, dated Muslims, and paid attention to the collateral death-counts of the so-called War on Terror. It doesn’t seem supported by my experience as a student in France some years ago, when an Arabic friend and I were turned away at the doors of bars, literally because Arabs weren’t welcome. Speaking of France and their commitment to “freedom of speech,” we’re talking about a country where burqas are illegal in public places and hijabs have been banned in schools. How forward-thinking is that, really? It certainly doesn’t justify terrorism, but it does chip away at the narrative we’ve been given of Evil Muslims v. Heroic Defenders of Freedom.

  • http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk IftikharA

    To borrow a thought from Bertrand Russell: “We are born ignorant, not stupid. It’s education that makes us stupid”.

    He might have added… and it’s the media that maintains that condition.

    The news has been dominated recently by events in France. Reports say that about ten people who worked in Paris for a satirical magazine, “Charlie Hebdo”, were gunned down in their offices by a group of Muslim extremists. Apparently the magazine is well-known for satirising
    Mohammed (and other religious figures) and its staff have received numerous death threats in the past. Thousands of French took to the streets in support of free speech, many with placards saying “Je Suis Charlie”.

    Although the gunmen escaped from the scene of the crime, the French authorities released photographs of two brothers they said were responsible. The following day, yesterday, it was reported that the two brothers had been found. Hundreds of police immediately surrounded the
    location and after an hour or two the almost-inevitable happened: the brothers were gunned down.

    One other interesting little detail was reported. When the French authorities announced they were looking for the brothers they also said, presumably with equal conviction, they were looking for a third man. Within hours of that announcement the third man walked into a
    police station. We have not yet heard what happened to him, but presumably he
    has not yet been gunned down. His story is interesting because it suggests one
    of two things: either he is an innocent man and had nothing to do with the
    murders, or it’s a clever way of ensuring that a murderer is not himself
    murdered, and will live to have his day in court. If he was an innocent man, it
    makes you wonder about the accuracy of the authorities’ certainty about the
    guilt of the two brothers. I mean, if the authorities name three people they’re
    looking for, one of whom turns out to be innocent, what chance they were equally
    mistaken about the other two? If, on the other hand, he was not innocent and
    turned himself in as a good way of increasing his chances of staying alive, why
    did the others not do so too? It seems unlikely to me that the terrorists staged
    their attack as a suicide mission, knowing they were unlikely to escape from the
    country and would therefore eventually have to have a showdown with the police –
    otherwise why not have their showdown at the scene of the crime?

    The only thing that’s reasonably certain about these appalling events is that it’ll be a long time before we learn the truth – if we ever do learn it. Even then, we’re unlikely to learn the whole
    truth.

    Whilst it’s perfectly possible that this terrible event was just what it seems – an attack by Muslim extremists with a genuine sense of grievance about the activities of Charlie – it must also be clearly understood that things might not be quite so simple. The French
    authorities are, after all, vastly experienced in black operations from the days of running their own empire, and are now close allies of the new Empire, which is known to be very conversant with black operations, including the staging of false flag events.

    We can, of course, speculate with countless conspiracy theories, but certain facts are quite well understood, facts which should not be overlooked in trying to make sense of what actually
    happened.

    One such fact is that the Empire
    and its main attack dogs have been murdering innocent and defenceless Muslims in
    industrial quantities for decades – something which quite understandably has
    driven many otherwise peace-loving Muslims to become extremists. Another hard
    fact is that the Empire and its main attack dogs have been arming and training
    Muslim extremists for many years – for at least as far back as the Russian
    occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. This is an ancient trick of empire,
    called “divide and rule”, and allows empires to either control hostile territory
    without using too many of their own forces to do so; or, if resistance to
    occupation is too strong (as has recently been the case in Syria where this
    technique was employed), the resulting mayhem makes it very difficult for others
    to control and profit from the area, or for people to lead normal lives there.
    It’s a highly effective tool of empire, which is, of course, why it’s been used
    for thousands of years.

    The horrific tragedy that played out in
    France over the last few days cannot be condemned too strongly, but reaction to
    it must be carefully balanced with the far greater tragedy that has been played
    out for many centuries, and continues to be played out daily with no apparent
    end in sight: the on going tragedy of empire-building.

    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

  • DKeane123

    No problem on the venting – we all get caught up in the debate on occasionally.

    One thing we likely agree on, is that the US should stop supporting highly questionable regimes such as Saudi Arabia – as it is never in our best interest. And I agree that there are other factors at play with respect to violence and Islam. But, if you remove the Islamic text as the authority of God, you remove much of the justification for violence – you no longer have the potential support from a supreme being.

    Couple of thoughts:

    On Women Leaders: England had a reigning queen in the 16th century. It wasn’t because England was big on equal rights. It was because she was the king’s daughter. Same deal most likely for Benazir Bhutto and the other ladies – more about bloodline and politics. Turkey is a bit better – as it was founded specifically as a secular nation – although recent actions/quotes by their leader. I suggest looking up Women in Turkey in Wikipedia. I agree that it is unfortunate that the US has not had a female President. I would vote for Fiona is a heartbeat.

    But the real question isn’t what is happening at the top – what is happening among the population? You look at surveys of what many people within Islam believe with respect to women, laws for blasphemy, and so forth – I think you will find the general population not as enlightened. I find this poll very scary, and if we were intellectually honest, we would do our best not to sweep these results under the rug, but attempt to address them.- http://www.pewglobal.org/2010/12/02/muslims-around-the-world-divided-on-hamas-and-hezbollah/

    Particularly stoning for adultery, sharia and the number that didn’t say “never” when it comes to suicide bombing. Polls from the US look much better – which they had included it in this one as a counter-point.

    I am not at all familiar with Mormon doctrine with respect to violence. But a great example of how religious ideas inform actions might be:
    – the unwavering support of many evangelicals for Israel, hoping to bring about a war and eventually the rapture.
    – Pushing for creationism in science classes (as a geologist this REALLY bugs me)
    – Attempts to ban things like IVF due to the immortal soul.

    As far as discrimination is concerned, I agree that being turned away at businesses is horrible. Although I can understand some bans associated with anything that covers the face – potentially a public safety issue. France tends to be hyper-sensitive when it comes to religion and government regulations.

    I’ll let you have the last word, thanks for the conversation.

  • Craptacular

    “Muslims are in a unique position as far as protesting, because as has been pointed out, many of them have family still in countries where such liberties are not allowed and who would be endangered. Even within their own communities here, they may be at risk. Comparing them to protesters over civil rights here is a false argument because protesters here know their families will not be put at risk for their actions, at least not yet anyway.” – Devon J. Noll

    Wow…way to ignore decades of civil rights history in your little summation. Lynchings, dog attacks, water hoses, vandalism, false accusations, etc. were all used by local, state, and even federal authorities in an attempt to control the participants (and their families) of the civil rights movement (some are still being used)…even today, driving/walking while black seems to be enough of an excuse for police (and the neighborhood watch) to use deadly force with impunity.

    And it is not hard to condemn the violence…what is difficult is to condemn the violence without condemning the underlying issue regarding the violence: blasphemy. Until the religious can accept criticism, in whatever form it takes…even offensive criticism, they will have a difficult time condemning the extremists using those same ideas as an excuse for violence…as A did in the above:

    “A: If I condemn the attack I could make it seem like I’m justifying a collective guilt. That worries me.” – from the “interview”

    Because islam, like other religions that utilize blasphemy laws/codes/commandments to oppress and control its critics, is complicit in the acts of its extremists.

  • Abdull

    I do not personal support terrorism in any shape or form, however, profet mohamed scw is more dear to the Muslims than any thing in this world that includes our parent children , sisters and brothers, so imagine if some one insulted your parent and put it in a paper and show it to whole world and again they are encouraged and supported by the most power full countres in the world.

  • EqualTime

    FWIW, I unequivocally condemn any attack on any Mosque, NAACP office, and the slaughter of innocents everywhere. That being said, if the attackers were consistently coming out of my particular environment, to a far greater degree than comparable attackers (to the extent they exist) were coming out of other environments, I wouldn’t be worrying about the appearance of collective guilt. I’d be taking action to see that my particular environment was doing absolutely everything possible to prevent the next attack.

  • cranefly

    Late response, busy week. Sorry.

    Essentially, my opinion is that justification for violence is arbitrary. As far as I can tell, any religion or non-religion will do. I can see the fact that Islam is a tool in “their” terrorist recruitment, but I don’t see secularism protecting the West from tribal hatred, or from self-interested, self-righteous violence against the innocent. My concern is that we (Americans) are eager to believe anything we’re told about Islam, because Muslims are our military enemy, because we’re absorbing propaganda, and because unjust American political/economic forces are exploiting our fear and hatred for their own gain. I doubt we’re really going to disagree much on that. So my last word is just this: I admire skepticism. I think it’s important to keep being skeptical when it’s inconvenient for our own tribe.

  • CHANDRA

    First of all no religion teaches to kill.
    IF WE GO THROUGH ALL THE HISTORICAL BOOKS (QURAN, BIBLE, GITA etc) MOST OF THE THINGS WILL BE SIMILAR(GOODS AND BADS). BUT WHAT MOST OF THE PEOPLE FOLLOWS IS THE CONTRADICTION IN EACH OF BOOKS WHICH IS THE MAIN REASON FOR COMMUNAL WAR.

  • Aravis Tarkheena

    “Rev” Noll is shockingly ignorant, both of history and of religion. I have called her out on numerous howlers, many regarding Judaism, but truly all over the map, but have never, once, received any kind of response. The only conclusion I can draw is that she is one of the many phony “reverend”, “doctors”, and the like, who, unfortunately, can be found sprinkled across both the Left and the Right wings of religion.

  • Aravis Tarkheena

    You know nothing about Christianity, worldwide. What you know about — barely — is one tiny sliver of it, called “American Evangelicalism.”

    You also don’t know any history. If you really think that the clash between Christendom and the world of Islam is a simple matter of “Christianity starting it,” then you need remedial education. I would be happy to walk through the relevant history for you, if you are actually interested in learning something.

  • Jim Reed

    Before there was an Islam, I think Christianity was working to install their political empire in the void left by the Roman empire. I think back then, before Islam, Christianity was at war, mostly with itself. It is just the nature of the beast.

  • Aravis Tarkheena

    Again, you don’t know what you are talking about. This history is very easy to learn — especially with the wonderful internet you waxed so enthusiastically about in another thread.

    Islam dates back to the 600’s AD. Rome only converted to Christianity with Constantine in the 300’s AD. By the 400’s, the Western Empire had fallen to the assorted “barbarian” tribes from Europe and all that was left was the Eastern Empire, which was hardly dominant vis a vis Islam. Indeed, by 750, this was the extent of Islamic conquest:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_conquests#mediaviewer/File:Map_of_expansion_of_Caliphate.svg

    So, your comment makes zero historical sense. Indeed, I have no idea what point it is you think you’re making.

  • Jim Reed

    If there wasn’t a Christianity, I don’t think there ever would have been an Islam. The world needed Islam to block Christianity from becoming dominate.

  • Aravis Tarkheena

    In line with all the other things you “think” without bothering to do your homework, this is also incorrect.

    Pre-Islamic Arabian religion ranged from polytheistic religions to Judaism to Gnosticism to Nestorian Christianity. There is zero evidence that it arose in order to counter Christianity.

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    You hit the nail on the head, Aravis, although I wouldn’t necessarily call”Rev”Noll a phony.I have no doubt that she actually believe the tenets of her muddled”New Age ” pablum; the trouble is, as you’ve found out, is that they shrink from serious challenge since their”beliefs”wither under scrutiny,and cannot be defended in rigorous debate. No; Ms.Noll doesn’t have the courage to try to defend her”Rabbit-Hole” pseudo – theological constructs, woven out of the foggy web of her own imagination.Save your breath, and move on; Ms.Noll doesn’t present a valid challenge to clear-headed thinkers like yourself. You will simply find yourself swimming in the gooey pool labeled”Interfaith”, a word that means little, if anything.

  • Joan59

    Beautifully argued.

  • DKeane123

    Read this recently, and it discusses the theology of ISIS. Just thought you might find it an interesting read.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/