Look, Islam is not the enemy

Spinoff from this thread. Yes, Islam has some problematic and intolerant elements baked into its DNA, elements which will always make for a difficult relationship with the infidel world. But the last thing the world needs – and the very thing ISIS longs for, and the very thing a lot of RW Americans also seem to long for – is a “Clash of Civilizations” between Dar al-Islam and the West. If Islam as such is the problem behind terrorism, then why don’t we see just as much terrorism coming out of Indonesia or Bangladesh as out of Syria?

I’m not sure why people need ‘enemies’ — as distinct from having them forced upon one by circumstance or the enemy’s choice — to function, but Islam has been around long enough for most of the world to get along with it.
I find it singularly annoying, more so than other religions I don’t follow, probably because of it’s smugness and assertiveness, but although it is perhaps ultimately merely an illusion of the Adversary, it is not an Enemy. No more than mormonism or unitarianism.

Nobody but the fringe loonies think that all of Islam is inherently evil, IMO. But elements are “problematic,” eh? Yeah, I’ll say. The ones who chop off cartoonists’ heads, fly planes into buildings, and want want a war with the infidels, in the name of Islam, those are the guys that concern me.

Why is this so important, by the way? I asked my brother, who is a pretty left-leaning guy, why the refusal to use phrases like “Islamist terrorist,” why the constant apologetic tone to the Islam world, lest we give them offense? He shrugged his shoulders and said, damned if he knew. I ask this in sincerity, why is this so important to you? Why is it so critical to acknowledge unambiguously at every juncture that “Islam is a religion of peace” and all the usual sound bites?

And do you see anyone who has the authority to do so actually waging a war against some monolithic (as they see it) Islam?

Islam isn’t the enemy.

Certain radical Muslims are a problem. Most Muslims are cool.

Lots of muslim women are very gorgeous, even under the scarf. I noticed.

Because there are a lot more “fringe loonies” than you seem to acknowledge. Just look at the wave of deranged Islamophobia that washes through the most ignorant and/or cynical elements of American society every time something like the Paris attack happens. Look at this sort of thing, for instance.

Man is wonderful, very wonderful
Look at him
Beware the future

:confused: If that’s haiku, the syllable-count is off.

free verse haiku

In fact scarves are quite nice, actually. Silly to wear them for religious reasons, but they do look rather natty.

What the hell does that have to do with anything.

Stay on topic.

This is part of the reason:
Meet the honor brigade, an organized campaign to silence debate on Islam

When “the Troubles” in Ireland were at their worst, nobody hesitated to speak of “Catholic gunmen” or “Catholic terrorists,” so why be shy about calling ISIS “Muslim terrorists.”

…because then we are just as bad as ISIS.

…or some similar trash argument bandied about by the liberal apologists.

Because these sort of people — and many on this board — hate the white western patriarchal colonialist civilisation of their fathers much more than than they mislike those they consider it’s innocent victims, and strenuously believe that without the former the natural goodness of humanity will cause muslims, and everyone else, to spontaneously evolve to match liberals’ own perfection, all instantly discarding their present retrograde beliefs and demanding all the democratic/gender/anti-religious etc. policies of Berkeley.

Meh, sound and fury. No-one takes vulgar nutters seriously, not even the US government. For the rest of us, we have a saying in Britain:

**Ils sont fous, ces **Américaines !

I spent two years in a community that was probably 50% Muslim, 40% Christian, and 20% traditional religions. It was a quiet, calm, peaceful place. I lived in a poorer Muslim neighborhood. I spent my days teaching, visiting with neighbors, and learning. I’m sure there was a lot I didn’t see, but I never felt religious tension. Now and then the subject would come up, and people would always accept my explanation that I wasn’t Muslim because my parents are not Muslim. I was fully accepted in the community. I was friends with a range of people-- hosuewives, prostitutes, teachers, activists, ladies who sold food on the side of the road…everyone. It wasn’t a perfect place-- child marriage was still a major issue-- but things were changing.

I enjoyed the rhythms of Islam. My day was structured around the calls to prayer. The years were punctated by religious holidays, which brought everyone together (even me). Above all, people were calm, dignified, respectful and, I hate to say it, peaceful. Now and then, I’d face street harassment, and all it would take was a quick rebuke (“is this how you are supposed to treat a guest?”) to stop it immediately.

That region is under attack by Boko Haram. They have been using adolescent girls as suicide bombers. NGOs have pulled out with safety concerns, severing the main connection to the larger world. Commerce has ground to a halt and already poor people are getting poorer and poorer. People who have never had reason to be afraid before are now afraid for their lives. It’s horrible.

How could I possibly hate them? What is there to hate? Their region is being destroyed not by Islam, which has been there peacefully for hundreds of years, but by crazed maniacs and Nigeria’s screwy politics.

What percentage of Muslims would have to support the execution of ex-Muslims for apostasy before you would say the problem is not just “certain radical Muslims?” If you can ask a Muslim in Egypt or Pakistan whether ex-Muslims should be put to death and have a better than even chance that they would agree, I’d call that a problem.

It must have been very crowded.

I don’t believe you :slight_smile:

There are more than one and a half billion Muslims in the world. If they were all the enemy, the rest of us would probably be dead. Or at least very busy beating off enemies. A lot more busy than we are now.

Also, Islam has been around since the 7th century (a.k.a. a long-ass time at this point), and has shown itself perfectly compatible with enlightened golden ages. Nothing to prove there.

History and geography: Go look them up. Actually, I think they even teach them in school.

And if that’s not your thing: How about go hang out with some Muslims, of the regular, non-blowing-people-up sort. I’m guessing most of them won’t make you feel very upset.

Islamic terrorists are our enemies. That’s fine. I’m all for bombing every last one of those into oblivion, because they really piss me off. And if more pop up, keep bombing them. I’m not particularly tolerant or non-violent when it comes to those fuckers, and I don’t bother with PC niceties when talking about them. The whole Paris thing literally makes me feel sick.

But look, Islam is not the enemy. And saying “Islam is not the enemy” isn’t being a sucker, a collaborator or a bleeding heart liberal. It’s just being, you know, not stupid.

There’s no Clash of Civilizations. If there were, trust me, you’d all notice. And there probably won’t be one unless all of us around here decide to kick one off, which I think would count as a Very Bad Idea. So can we all get some perspective, and stop sounding like morons when it comes to this subject? Thank you, absolutely everyone out there right now, much appreciated.

Yeah, I guess I needed to get that off my chest. Thanks for the opportunity.