01 August 2012

More Muslim Censors

Well, I wasn’t going to post here until I finished the next task that I’m working on, but as the incomparable Robbie Burns wrote:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley…
Anyway, this time the disruption arose from the website loonwatch.

It’s quite a website.  I first visited it a couple of months ago, after hearing about an atrocious comment that was posted there by an Egyptian, basically saying that Robert Spencer (of JihadWatch) should be killed.  And they call people who criticize them “loons”!

To form opinions about loonwatch, readers should visit the site.  If you should be inclined to comment on some of their “stories”, however, then once again in the case of dealing with Muslim websites, be prepared for some heavy-handed censorship.  The purpose of this post is to provide an example of such censorship, to which I (“Nick McConnell”) just finished being subjected.

Below, I’ll first quote the relevant “story” and then quote the comments, as they now appear.  In addition, though (and in a simpler time sequence), I’ve added (and colored) my comments that are still (after two days!) “awaiting moderation”, i.e., the Muslim censors are apparently too afraid to permit them to be posted.  The “story” follows:

Lou Ann Zelenik Uses Abacus to Figure Out Islam is 15% Religion, 85% Political
OK, so I don’t know how Zelenik came up with these numbers, but she’s sticking to them:
 Zelenik: “15% Of Islam Is A Religion, 85% Political.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The question of religion is playing a major role in one of the most heated congressional primary races in the country.
Republican Lou Ann Zelenik is challenging incumbent republican Diane Black in the sixth congressional district. When asked if she believed if Islam was a real religion, Zelenik said she believed it to be mostly political.
“I consider 15 percent of Islam a religion, 85 percent political. It’s a total way of life. The only ones who do not call Islam a religion are the Muslims because it’s not a religion,” said Zelenik.
News Channel 5 Investigative reporter Ben Hall asked Zelenik if she felt Islam was a real religion or something else Zelenik was clear.
“I will tell you I don’t agree with everything that they say in the Islamic religion or ideology or whatever you want to call it, but I think it has been established by the Federal government and it’s protected as a religion and that’s what I am going to abide by is the law,” she said.
The entire interview of both candidates, including their take on the negative ads that have been such a big part of this campaign will air on Inside Politics on News Channel 5+ at 7 p.m. on July 27 or at 5 a.m. Sunday, July 29 on News Channel 5.

17 Comments For This Post

Sir David (Illuminati membership number 5:32) Warning Contains Irony Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 10:37 am

I’m confused.  So she thinks the federal govts job is to decide what a religion is? Then she decides Islam is 15% religion and 85% Political (not sure what that means by political)
mmmmm sounds like she is nuts to me. 
Sir David

Steve Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 10:47 am

most religions are political

Fred Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 11:36 am

Orthodox Jews also consider Judaism to be a complete way of life, too. (The Jewish Halacha is analogous to Shariah.)
 I wonder if she would make the same argument regarding orthodox Jews?

Mohammad Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Don’t know what she’s smoking, im a muslim, I call it a religion.

CriticalDragon1177 Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I wonder how she came up with those numbers, probably just pulled them out of thin air.

Nick McConnell Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Well, Steve, I can agree with you that “most religions are political” (or maybe better: most organized religions have been and continue to be involved in politics), but there are features of Islam that distinguish it from “approved” political activities in Christianity.

Thus, writers of the New Testament seem to have adopted the ideas of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, whose book “The Discourse” states (Book Three):

“But the soul will never reject the manifest appearance of the good, any more than persons will reject Caesar’s coin… When then the coin which another uses is a different coin, if a man presents this coin, he receives that which is sold for it.”

I expect that the above idea is the origin of the famous line in the New Testament (e.g., at Luke 20, 25) that starts, “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”, which is interpreted by many (if not most) Christians as support for the separation of “church and state”.

In contrast, fundamentalist Islam doesn’t recognize a distinction between “mosque and state”. For example, as “the right-hand man of the founder of Pakistan” and “prominent Islamic scholar” Allama Pervez (1903-85) wrote:

“Islam is not a ‘religion’ in the ordinary sense of the word. ‘Religion’ is the English equivalent for the Arabic word Mazhah, which does not occur even once in the whole of the Holy Quran. The Quran has, instead, used the word Addeen for Islam, which means a particular way of life.”

Thus, the basic document of Islam (the Quran) seems to make it clear that Islam was never meant to be “just” a religion; instead, it was to be an all-encompassing ideology, similar in extent to Communism. That many modern Muslims seek to separate “mosque and state” is an innovation welcomed by “secular Muslims” but abhorred by Islamic fundamentalists.

mindy1 Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 2:10 pm

WTF is in the water in that state D:

Nassir H. Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

@Nick McConnell, you’re probably one of the best Islamic scholars on the web, Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Wikipedia and all. We can tell from the misleading quotations you got straight from the Wikipedia article about Allama Pervez.

In contrast, fundamentalist Islam doesn’t recognize a distinction between “mosque and state”. For example, as “the right-hand man of the founder of Pakistan” and “prominent Islamic scholar” Allama Pervez (1903-85) wrote:

“Islam is not a ‘religion’ in the ordinary sense of the word. ‘Religion’ is the English equivalent for the Arabic word Mazhah, which does not occur even once in the whole of the Holy Quran. The Quran has, instead, used the word Addeen for Islam, which means a particular way of life.”

Please do tell where you got the quotation describing Allama Pervez as a “prominent Islamic scholar.” There’s a reason why you didn’t try back up your nonsense with evidence; the Wikipedia article you got your “information” from actually says Pervez was a “prominent Quranist Islamic scholar.” Note how you left out “Quranist” because it clearly indicates that his views were largely rejected by the Islamic mainstream

You insinuate that he is a “fundamentalist,” yet you don’t really back up this claim with anything other than huffing and puffing about what he thinks about the word “mazhah.” In fact it is clear that he is anything but a fundamentalist: he rejected Hadith, denied that ‘Aisha was 9 when she married the Prophet, criticized the Jamaat-e-Islami, and was palpably anticlerical. He thinks premodern Muslim rulers fabricated the Hadith.

Your quote describing him as Jinnah’s “right hand man” is again from the Wikipedia article – although it’s worth mentioning that no citation is given for this in the article itself. Personally, I had never heard of Allama Pervez before your rant. Not that him being associated with Jinnah would matter. As mentioned, he was quite unorthodox in his views. Jinnah himself was liberal when it came to Islam. In fact, the loony “Ibn Warraq” claims (falsely) that Jinnah was an atheist. (Yet another case of loonies contradicting each other left and right, but that discussion is for another time).

Now, a word about Pervez’s claim about “mazhah.” I think he means “madhab” (i.e. doctrine, which is also used to describe Islamic schools of jurisprudence) not “mazhah”—I have no idea where he got that word, though it’s probably related to the fact that South Asians sometimes pronounce the Arabic “dh” as “z.” As for “addeen,” both my Arabic dictionary and Google Translate render it as “religion.” But apparently it’s more complicated then that.

Anyways, congratulations, you’re a moron.

Nick McConnell Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I may be a moron; others can form their own opinions. In that regard, I invite them to check out my website (at http://zenofzero.net/ ), where they’ll find that, in fact, at least some others don’t consider me to be a moron, e.g., I do have my Ph.D.

Meanwhile, though, your response has resulted in a more significant charge against you (than your claim that I’m a moron), namely, that you’re impolite. As a result, I’ll not communicate with you further.

Yet, for others, there’s another point that might be worthwhile considering. Whereas a religion is probably best defined by the people who practice it (rather than via assessments by any “scholars”) and whereas I wouldn’t be surprised if roughly 85% of the Egyptians who voted in their recent elections expressed their desire for Islamic parties (and about 15% for secularists), then perhaps such results are the basis of Zelenik’s statement.

Anj Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Ouch nasser!
That’s gotta hurt. Nick next time remember your arse from your elbow!
Good job Nasser!

Octane Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 7:38 pm

[“Well, Steve, I can agree with you that “most religions are political” (or maybe better: most organized religions have been and continue to be involved in politics), but there are features of Islam that distinguish it from “approved” political activities in Christianity.”]

This is an odd statement to make. Since really Christianity especially now and certainly in the past has been the very essence of a political ideology. Much of which we see displayed in political policy from abortion, gay marriage, political imagery/statements made by politicians to governmental operations wars, holidays. The list goes on. Here Christian belief is a system it dictates reproductive rights, who you sleep with, has a legal system that states its based on Judeo-Christian law, Sundays are a day of rest so everything should be closed technically etc. To summarize Christian beliefs dictate, marriage, sex, work, war etc. So to state that Christianity is not a system by itself is incredibly misleading.

[In contrast, fundamentalist Islam doesn’t recognize a distinction between “mosque and state”. For example, as “the right-hand man of the founder of Pakistan” and “prominent Islamic scholar” Allama Pervez (1903-85) wrote:  “Islam is not a ‘religion’ in the ordinary sense of the word. ‘Religion’ is the English equivalent for the Arabic word Mazhah, which does not occur even once in the whole of the Holy Quran. The Quran has, instead, used the word Addeen for Islam, which means a particular way of life.”]

By your classification Vatican City is pretty much done in for because here we have no separation of church and state. So does that mean that Christianity is a political system? Especially since the Vatican is considered a country/state.

[“Thus, the basic document of Islam (the Quran) seems to make it clear that Islam was never meant to be “just” a religion; instead, it was to be an all-encompassing ideology, similar in extent to Communism. That many modern Muslims seek to separate “mosque and state” is an innovation welcomed by “secular Muslims” but abhorred by Islamic fundamentalists.”]

Ok here is a question what exactly makes Christianity a religion? What is the criteria for making or constituting a religion?
List those down and lets compare. I await your reply.

Octane Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Oh and the above was directed @Nick McConnell

Nick McConnell Says:
July 30th, 2012 at 3:04 am
[Note:  I’m inserting this post, here, at an earlier time than the next post, so the reading would be a little easier.]
I agree with your first paragraph. Note, however, that I didn’t write (nor even mean to suggest) that: “Christianity is not a system by itself.” I agree that making such a statement would be “incredibly misleading”, but again, I didn’t make it!

What’s important is that, during the past few hundred years (in large measure thanks to the intelligence and bravery of, initially, such people as Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison), most Western nations have erected a “wall” to separate religion from politics. To be sure, it’s a wall that religious fundamentalists (of course including Christian fundamentalists) continuously attempt to breach, but in general, the wall continues to hold. Unfortunately, though, such “secularism” has yet to be established in most Muslim countries.

I also agree that your example of the Vatican conflicts with the general trend of secularism in the West. But the Vatican is a relic of the past, the last holdout of Europe’s Dark Ages, now withered to only 44 hectares, and surely it won’t be much longer until it vanishes with the ignorance that created it.

As for your questions, “what exactly makes Christianity a religion?”, and “what is [are] the criteria for making or constituting a religion?”, my opinion is that, fundamentally, it’s the same as the source of all organized religions, i.e., as the French writer Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle, 1783–1842) wrote: “All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.”

With respect to your request for a “list” (of details) for “making or constituting a religion”, I’m sorry, but responding to your request would be, not only onerous, but (I think) rather superfluous. The essence of all religions is dogma (i.e., “principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true”); the essence of secularism (or humanism) is to base decisions, not on dogma, but on evidence.

Thus, in the viewpoint of secularists (or humanists), i.e., those who realize that in the open system known as ‘reality’, the best we can do is ascertain the probability that some claim is true (see, e.g., http://zenofzero.net/docs/T1_Truth_&_Knowledge.pdf), dogma doesn’t belong in the public forum. If a claim is made in the public forum (e.g., about “abortion, gay marriage… wars, holidays”) then secularists demand to see data that support the claim, and if no evidence (only dogma) is offered to support it, then we reject it as religious rubbish.

Garibaldi Says:
July 29th, 2012 at 10:57 pm

It’s good to see you commenting again Nassir.

Sir David ( Illuminati membership number 5:32) Warning Contains Irony Says:
July 30th, 2012 at 1:07 am

I wonder if Ms Zelenik knows that 48% of statistics are made up!  Also nice one Nassir.  I like the University of Wiki line 

As for Nick McConnel you may have a point in where Ms Zelenik got her figures from although I dont see the connection myself and would not votes for someone who does not understand mathermatics never mind she is obviously a nut, nice to see you do have a brain when you try.  We like people who have their own opinions here and dont like those who just copy from wiki or the works of Robert Spencer , TROP or other sites with out giving their sources.  If you have a Phd ,why drop your standards?

Sir David
Vice President
Leftwing Mooslim Alliance
West Anjou Branch

Submitted but Censored (i.e., it sat there, “awaiting moderation”, but never appeared):

“Sir David”

Re. your apparent suggestion that I don’t supply sources (for quotations), realize on the one hand, that many websites that permit comments don’t permit links (or, as seems to be the case here and is definitely the case at Al Jazeera, adding links delays the appearance of comments; e.g., here, my comments don’t appear for hours, “awaiting moderation” – and at Al Jazeera, sometimes the comments with links never appear!); consequently, I tend to avoid providing links.  And on the other hand, when I put quotations in quotation marks (as I did, for the quotes you mention), then it’s easy to find the source using a search engine such as Google’s (as what’s-his-name apparently, easily did, who also apparently has troubles with Wikipedia – which is something he should take up with Wikipedia, not me).

In sum, then, I reject any suggestion that I have dropped my standards.  I do admit, however, to modifying my normal procedure (e.g., see my online book) to conform to the changing reality of the internet world.

And whereas you apparently appreciate math and question if I do have my Ph.D., I trust that you’ll have a satisfying experience if you’ll read the following chapters in my book:




Incidentally, if you are competent in Bayes’ method, perhaps you’ll alert me if you know if the material at the start of the third chapter (referenced above) has been published.  I don’t think it has been – and I obviously consider it important.

Hatethehaterz Says:
July 30th, 2012 at 2:21 am

@Nick McConnell: Well according to your website, your PhD is in aerospace engineering; not religious studies or anything else which would serve to qualify your statements here on the topic of Islam. So Nasser does have a point when he critiques your statements as lacking legitimate knowledge of Islam or Muslims (getting info from wikipedia for example). Furthermore, I noticed that you frequent the site of richard dawkins (or at least you thanked people you interacted with on his site). His understanding of Islam is ignorant, biased, and highly misleading. If richard “Islam is an unmitigated evil” dawkins is a source of info for you, then I’m not surprised that your comments make little to no sense (I too had never heard of Allama Parvez until your comment).

As far as labelling Islam “political,” you do understand what Zelenik and like minded people are going for here, don’t you? They have been trying for some time now to frame Islam as a “political ideology” as oppose to a religion; because then it would lose its protection under the 1st amendment (or that is their belief anyways). It is an attempt to deny American Muslims our right to practice our faith. So I find it problematic and counterproductive to label Islam in such a fashion.

Islam is indeed a complete way of life. But that doesn’t make it any less of a religion. In fact it makes it more than a mere set of rituals to be practiced one or more day a week.

I also don’t follow the comparison to communism. Which “communism” are you referring to? The egalitarian ideal of communism, which favors an equal distribution of wealth? Or the reality of communism which is (or has been) practiced in modern times in the form of authoritarian regimes? Islam does favor a more equalitarian distribution of wealth, but beyond that, I see nothing in common between the two. Unless that was just meant to be an insulting comparison?

Submitted but still “awaiting moderation”, i.e., it, too, was censored:


Your line of reasoning leads to interesting consequences.  By your reasoning, failure to have formal education in a specific topic disqualifies comments.  That’s interesting.  Given that even clerics describe “God” as unknown and unknowable, then all comments about “God” should be terminated.  Sounds good to me.

Re. your question, “you do understand what Zelenik and like minded people are going for here, don’t you?”  Yes, I think I do, and it’s not “an attempt to deny American Muslims our right to practice our faith.”  I, for one (and, I expect, other “like minded people” as well) have no interest in perversions people practice in privacy (provided that innocents aren’t molested, e.g., by indoctrinating children in religious balderdash).  Instead, I see American efforts to identify Islam as an ideology as attempts to protect the American Constitution from being overthrown by a backward ideology.

You state that you “don’t follow the comparison [of Islam] to communism”, “unless that was just meant to be an insulting comparison”.  There are many similarities between the current threats to the American Constitution by Islam and prior threats from Communism, including  1) both are complete ideologies, 2) based on dogma, 3) funded by foreign governments, and 4) that seek to replace our Constitution with their ideologies.  Another similarity will be:  failure.

Sir David ( Illuminati membership number 5:32) Warning Contains Irony Says:
July 30th, 2012 at 5:57 am

Nick McConnel
I had a look at your website and came across this  “Actually, when clerics controlled some society (and still control many Islamic societies).”

Would you care to list these many Islamic societies?

You seem to know or have you been mining wiki again lots about philosophy but I am not sure how much you know about Islam. Have you read the Quran?

You also wrote “ That’s one way that “truth” and terror can be intertwined, described brilliantly by George Orwell
(Eric Arthur Blair, 1903–1950) in his 1949 book entitled 1984, e.g.,
If all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed… then the lie passed into history and became truth.”

The trouble is you have seem to accepted the truth of Ms Zelenik. Read the lessons of history ,read what happened to the Jews 1930′s and 40′s europe. Then think about what is happening to muslims now.

What is the lie and what is the truth?

I am not a muslim I just believe that people should be allowed to believe what they will. If rationality as you think it is to triumph it will do it by force of argument not force of lies.


Submitted but once again the Muslim censors at loonwatch had their way:

So, loonwatch censors are busy, are they?  As a result, at one of my blogs I’ll post my response to Hatethehaterz and to David’s first comment, both of which I’ve already submitted (and which sat there, awaiting moderation/censorship, for hours).  At my blog, I’ll also post my response to David’s second comment, which I haven’t submitted here, yet, but I assume that it would be to no avail, at least until the censors permit the first response to him.  And I suppose that the censors won’t have the courage to post this, but that’s okay, it’ll display their colors better and I’ll still post my other responses (along with this explanation) at the referenced blog, which will eventually be noticed and reflect appropriately on loonwatch.  Of course, if the censors do have the guts to post this, then I’ll resubmit my censored responses to see what happens.

Response to David’s second comment (Not submitted:  What’s the point?!  I expect that the cowards at loonwatch will, once again, be too frightened to permit it to be posted.)

Well, David, my response to your first question is:  It depends on what’s meant by “control”.  Of course, Iran is a case of “complete control” by Islamic clerics, but even in the case of Saudi Arabia, ostensibly controlled by the King, the clerics (e.g., the religious police) obviously have a huge amount of “control”, not only over the people but even over what the King is willingly to attempt (e.g., research the trouble he got into by permitting coeducation in his new university).  Then, think of Afghanistan, where neither the Taliban leaders could nor Karzai can stray far from “the Islamic party line” without clerics moving the people to react.  Similarly in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Egypt (and throughout North Africa).  Now, even Indonesian and Malaysian politicians are kowtowing to demands of the clerics.

Re. your “have you been mining wiki again”, I’d suggest that you find yourself a better mentor from whom to learn internet etiquette than what’s-his-face.

With respect to your second question (about how much I know about Islam and if I’ve read the Quran), I’ll refer you to my book.  In particular, see chapters Qx25 – Qx29 (where I go through the Quran, line by line) and see chapters Yx33 – Yx35 (where I survey Islam).

Re. your “The trouble is you have seem to accepted the truth of Ms Zelenik”, my response is:  Where the devil did you get that?!  I don’t even know who she is – nor do I care to know!

As for your recommendation to “read the lessons of history”, have a look at my Chapters Yx1 – Yx39:  those are my notes from “read[ing] the lessons of history” about “the God Lie”.  And as for “what is happening to Muslims now”, in my view, what’s happening is that a dying religion (Islam) is being pumped up by petro-dollars.

I totally agree with you that “people should be allowed to believe what they will” (besides, they’ll do it, anyway, no matter what’s allowed!), but I’m not so sanguine as you apparently are about the efficacy of rationality:  witness the God Lie, which is irrational emotionalism in its extreme.  As Goethe said:  “Feeling is all.”

That’s why I suggested (in Chapter X27) that, to eliminate the God Lie, perhaps the best way is to stimulate people to experience the feeling of shame for having adopted such “patently infantile ideas” as the existence of any god.  When progress is made with that undertaking (emotionally), then maybe additional progress can be made “rationally” (or, more explicitly, by getting people to practice the scientific method in their daily lives, thereby to hold their beliefs only as strongly relevant evidence warrants).

In sum, what a bunch of cowards such Muslim censors are!  I’ve now shown examples in four recent posts.  What, I wonder, are they afraid of:
•  New ideas? 
•  That some of their impressionable readers will be “led astray” by the new ideas? 
•  That they’ll lose their Middle Eastern sponsorship money if they permit ideas at their websites that conflict with the “party line”? 
•  That if they don’t show their support for Islam, then Muslim killers will turn on them?
But of bigger concern to me is the question:  Why aren’t our elected leaders investigating such organizations as loonwatch that so forcefully and deceitfully promote Islam?

Islam isn’t just a religion; it’s a totalitarian ideology that runs on fear, fear that’s now greased by foreign pertro-dollars.  Devout Muslims don’t tolerate criticism, doubts, or questions:  Muslim killers ensure conformity by instilling fear (mostly, among fellow Muslims).  Islam doesn’t respect individualism; like the Borg, its mantra is:  “Resistance if futile; you will be assimilated.”  

As a totalitarian ideology, Islam is similar to Nazism and Communism.  It’s also called “Islamofascism”, a term described by Christopher Hitchens as follows:
Both movements [Islam and fascism] are based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind. (“Death to the intellect!  Long live death!” as Gen. Francisco Franco’s sidekick Gonzalo Queipo de Llano so pithily phrased it.)  Both are hostile to modernity (except when it comes to the pursuit of weapons), and both are bitterly nostalgic for past empires and lost glories. Both are obsessed with real and imagined “humiliations” and thirsty for revenge.  Both are chronically infected with the toxin of anti-Jewish paranoia (interestingly, also, with its milder cousin, anti-Freemason paranoia).  Both are inclined to leader worship and to the exclusive stress on the power of one great book.  Both have a strong commitment to sexual repression – especially to the repression of any sexual “deviance” – and to its counterparts the subordination of the female and contempt for the feminine.  Both despise art and literature as symptoms of degeneracy and decadence; both burn books and destroy museums and treasures. 
There isn’t a perfect congruence.  Historically, fascism laid great emphasis on glorifying the nation-state and the corporate structure. There isn’t much of a corporate structure in the Muslim world, where the conditions often approximate more nearly to feudalism than capitalism, but Bin Laden’s own business conglomerate is, among other things, a rogue multinational corporation with some links to finance-capital.  As to the nation-state, al-Qaida’s demand is that countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia be dissolved into one great revived caliphate, but doesn’t this have points of resemblance with the mad scheme of a “Greater Germany” or with Mussolini’s fantasy of a revived Roman empire? 
Technically, no form of Islam preaches racial superiority or proposes a master race.  But in practice, Islamic fanatics operate a fascistic concept of the “pure” and the “exclusive” over the unclean and the kufar or profane.  In the propaganda against Hinduism and India, for example, there can be seen something very like bigotry.  In the attitude to Jews, it is clear that an inferior or unclean race is being talked about (which is why many Muslim extremists like the grand mufti of Jerusalem gravitated to Hitler’s side).  In the attempted destruction of the Hazara people of Afghanistan, who are ethnically Persian as well as religiously Shiite, there was also a strong suggestion of “cleansing.”  And, of course, Bin Laden has threatened force against U.N. peacekeepers who might dare interrupt the race-murder campaign against African Muslims that is being carried out by his pious Sudanese friends in Darfur. 
This makes it permissible, it seems to me, to mention the two phenomena in the same breath and to suggest that they constitute comparable threats to civilization and civilized values. There is one final point of comparison, one that is in some ways encouraging. Both these totalitarian systems of thought evidently suffer from a death wish. It is surely not an accident that both of them stress suicidal tactics and sacrificial ends, just as both of them would obviously rather see the destruction of their own societies than any compromise with infidels or any dilution of the joys of absolute doctrinal orthodoxy. Thus, while we have a duty to oppose and destroy these and any similar totalitarian movements, we can also be fairly sure that they will play an unconscious part in arranging for their own destruction, as well.
Nothing that an “outsider” (such as Hitchens) could write about Islam, however, would be as damning as what has been written by insiders.  Some examples follow.

•  As written more than 600 years ago by the Muslim historian and philosopher Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406): 
In the Muslim community, jihad is a religious duty because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.  The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the jihad was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense.  But Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.
•  Consistent with the above-described historically-verifiable Muslim mission is the recent (14 August 2007) statement by the current President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
There is no truth on earth but monotheism and following tenets of Islam, and there is no way for salvation of mankind but rule of Islam over mankind.
•  Another recent example is the following excerpt from a 2007 speech by the acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative council, Ahmad Bahr:
“You will be victorious” on the face of this planet.  You are the masters of the world on the face of this planet.  Yes, [the Koran says that] “you will be victorious”, but only “if you are believers”.  Allah willing, “you will be victorious”, while America and Israel will be annihilated, Allah willing.  I guarantee you that the power of belief and faith is greater than the power of America and Israel.  They are cowards, as is said in the Book of Allah:  “You shall find them the people most eager to protect their lives.”  They are cowards, who are eager for life, while we are eager for death for the sake of Allah.  That is why America’s nose was rubbed in the mud in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, and everywhere…  Oh Allah, vanquish the Jews and their supporters.  Oh Allah, vanquish the Americans and their supporters.  Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them all, down to the very last one…
But more to the current point about an expanding Muslim menace in America, the following examples are illustrative.

•  In the first example below are statements made by senior members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):
CAIR chairman Omar M. Ahmad… in July 1998 told a crowd of California Muslims, “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant.  The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”  In a similar vein, CAIR board member Imam Siraj Wahaj calls for replacing the American government with a caliphate, and warns that America will crumble unless it “accepts the Islamic agenda”.
Co-Founder and CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad added (consistent with Muslim claims of superiority):
Address people according to their minds.  When I speak with the American,
I speak with someone who doesn’t know anything.  
•  The second example is from a policy document written by a member of (and for) the Muslim Brotherhood in America.  The entire document was entered as evidence by the U.S. in the 2008 trial against the Holy Land Foundation (HLF).  As stated in the referenced Wikipedia article:
The memorandum was written in 1991 by Mohamed Akram, a senior Hamas leader in the U.S., a member of the Board of Directors for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America (also known as the Ikhwan) and one of many unindicted coconspirators in the HLF trial.
Pertinent paragraphs of the document (Note:  the English translation starts on hand-written page 15) include the following:
In order for Islam and its Movement to become “a part of the homeland” in which it lives, “stable” in its land, “rooted” in the spirits and minds of its people, “enabled” in the live [sic] of its society and has firmly-established “organizations” on which the Islamic structure is built and with which the testimony of civilization is achieved, the Movement must plan and struggle to obtain “the keys” and the tools of this process in carry [sic] out this grand mission as a “Civilization Jihadist” responsibility which lies on the shoulders of Muslims and – on top of them – the Muslim Brotherhood in this country. 
The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means.  The Ikhwan [members of the Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.  Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet.  It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes…
To “oppose and destroy these and any similar totalitarian movements”, active in “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions”, a sensible first step would seem to be for our elected leaders to investigate them, find out who’s funding them, determine if any laws are being broken, and if necessary, recommend new laws to constrain such crazies.  Questions that I’d like answered include:

•  Who funds loonwatch?

•  Is it correct that loonwatch is a front for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)?

•  Who funds CAIR?

•  Who funds the Muslim Brotherhood in North America?

•  Who has funded all the new Muslim indoctrination centers (also known as ‘mosques’)?

With respect to the final question listed above, readers may find interesting a CAIR representative’s response to the assessment by Shaikh Hisham Kabbani (a Sufi “spiritual figure” associated with the Islamic Supreme Council of America) that 80 percent of the Sunni mosques in America are controlled by the radical, extremist Wahhabi sect of Saudi Arabia. 

And if investigations determine what I expect is occurring (i.e., that Middle Eastern petro-dollars are funding Muslim attempts to replace our Constitution with Sharia Law, so Muslim leaders can rule America), if appropriate political and policing actions are not taken by our government, and if you don’t want to become assimilated by the Islamic Borg, then an obvious next step is to replace our elected officials with those whose oaths means something when they swear to “support and defend the Constitution” or to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States”.  And if that fails, too, then subsequent steps are also obvious:  follow the footsteps of America’s founders.


Subsequently at loonwatch, others have directed comments to me, but once again, loonwatch (CAIR?) censors won’t let me respond.  So, below I’ll first quote comments/questions posted by “approved” people and then present my responses – if censorship at loonwatch were eliminated.

moosern Says:
July 30th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

@Nick, Where in Christian doctrine does it call for a separation of church and state? The establishment cause in our Constitution is there for the very reason that throughout European history the blending of Church and State was destructive. Our founding fathers were very much aware of this, having seen and known about centuries of warfare in Europe which had monarchs often invoking religion as a means to rally their troops and fill the coffers of themselves and the clergy. The influence of the clergy in Europe up until the 20th century led to corruption of both church and state (very similar to bank and state today). Nick, actually research the limits placed on rulers under Islamic law. The political aspect of Islam is limiting on the state. Religious minorities are not allowed to be persecuted, are allowed to worship, are allowed to manage their own affairs, pay less in taxes than Muslims, are exempt from military duty, and don’t have to follow sharia law.

As of 2000 75 nations that have state religions 29 are Muslim, 40 are Christian 4 are Buddhist 1 Hindu and 1 Jewish. That means Christianity is the state religion of over half of the nations with state religions, those numbers don’t include the many countries, mainly in Europe, that have official religions meaning that the state has to approve religions before they can either be active or receive the benefits that the official religions enjoy. Caesarropapism only exists in Christianity today, the Pope being the head of state of The Vatican and the head of the Roman Catholic Church and Queen Elizabeth being the head of state of the countries of the British Commonwealth and the head of the Church of England. Iran is close to having this, but the Supreme leader of Iran is not the head of Shia Islam.

Yes, there is influence of clergy on politics in Islamic countries. There is also influence of clerics in Christian countries, Buddhist countries, Hindu countries, The Jewish country and any country where religion isn’t outright banned. Just look at the influence the extremist Christians are attempting to lever in the US at present.

My response would probably be something similar to the following, if loonwatch censorship were “deactivated”. 

With respect to your first question:  as far as I know, there’s no “Christian doctrine” that calls for a separation of church and state.  I didn’t suggest that there was.  I suggested only what many others have suggested, namely, that support for separation of church and state can be found in the New Testament, e.g., at Mark 12, 17:
“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
And yes, I agree with you that it was an important innovation of “our founding fathers” to promote separation of church and state, a separation that’s still resented by many Christians.

Your recommendation that I “research the limits placed on rulers under Islamic law” is challenging, but it seems rather pointless, since ~1400 years of experiences have shown that Muslim rulers can relatively easily ignore any such limitations. 

Further, I think the fact that Muslim leaders have been able to ignore any such limitations reveals major failures of Muhammad as a political leader.  Thus, and unlike Jefferson, Madison, et al., Muhammad incorporated neither the rights of people to choose (and to reject) leaders nor “checks and balances” within the governmental system, able to constrain excesses.

As for your claim that in some (ideal?) Muslim state:  “Religious minorities are not allowed to be persecuted, are allowed to worship, are allowed to manage their own affairs, pay less in taxes than Muslims, are exempt from military duty, and don’t have to follow sharia law”, I’ll respond only:  doesn’t it show you how inadequate Muhammad was as a political leader, when his “ideal” has not only never been realized but also:  the antithesis of his ideal (persecution of minorities, denying them basic human rights, confiscation of their property, brutal “dhimmitude”, enslavement, etc.) has been the norm for essentially all “Islamic” countries?

And yes, I agree that clerics attempt to influence politics in all countries.  For the past 10 years, by writing my book, I’ve been doing what I can to stop them.

Octane Says: 
July 31st, 2012 at 6:21 pm

{Octane Says: 
July 31st, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Cripes I keep forgetting to put the @ sign. My apologies. The above [now, below] post directed at Nick.}

Well the initial implication of this discussion is that Islam is not a religion. This notion is then fortified by an argument that because Islam is all encompassing it cannot constitute a religion.

My point here is that all religions are systems and are all encompassing whether or not you choose to observe those rules/systems is a personal choice. But that certainly does not negate those systems from existing.

Your initial argument in which you were responding to Steve stated that “but there are features of Islam that distinguish it from “approved” political activities in Christianity.”  But you haven’t formally stated what those “approved” political activities are. Really no inference is needed as to what is meant here based upon the article. Which Im sure you know as the argument you are putting forth is that Islam is a political ideology.

Again to reiterate Im pointing out that it isn’t and if you hold Christianity to the same yardstick it would be considered the same or any other religion for that matter.

While you do put forth an argument stating that there is separation of church and state. Based upon the aforementioned biblical passage. There are many others that dictate common decorum of social behaviour, political behaviour and economic behaviour in the Bible (the 10 commandments come to mind). Now we can debate the merits of the interpretation of the passage you put forward to be quite honest I think that passage does not insinuate anything at all about separation of church and state and if it did then it clearly contradicts many other passages depicting how a society should be run.

So if you accept that Christianity is a system then it is in fact not a religion but a cleverly guised ideology being hewn into manifest political ideology as tool for whoever wields it most effectively. Again Im sure you have clearly seen this in American politics where faith Christian faith is professed and used as a tool to govern the masses and sway their vote to be under Christian rule. Why? Because they do not want non-Christian or anti-Christian laws in place. i.e. Gay marriage, abortion, etc etc. You get the idea. So really Christianity is coming up more as a political mores than simply a religious one.

While to be sure you are stating that there have been walls erected. Those walls that separate religion from politics is more like a fence. It is porous and religion has infiltrated it perfectly. In fact if that was the case why would there be such a need for politicians to show how religious they are? Major politicians having a particular Christian minister praying for them, consulting them showing how “Christian they are”. So what you are saying is actually not correct. In fact I do remember Pat Robertson praying for GW Bush quite a bit. And the Christian right has had quite the impact on politics. Im not sure how you can argue otherwise when we can all see it clearly. =/

With respect to your statement of secularism and you stating that a Muslim country has yet to establish that. I give you Turkey. Muslim country. Secular.

As per the list or the criteria. There are basic tenants of what constitutes a religion. The fact is just because a few political hacks are trying to convince the world that Islam is not a religion is frankly ludicrous. While you have stated you are a PhD, I have to ask you if your leading institutions Ivy Leagues, Europe with its unbiased secular based government and institutions and respected scholars in the field of religion accept that Islam is a religion. Then really how is the word of a politician not trained nor vetted in the field of religion able to state with confidence that Islam is not a religion. In fact one has to wonder how anyone can even latch on to this idea is beyond me. The poster above gave a quick rundown of what constitutes a religion and we have it above. Islam fits the bill.

That’s my two cents.

My response would probably be something similar to the following, if the loonwatch censors weren’t so fearful.

With respect to your “two cents”, I’m glad that you didn’t have a nickel!

Re. your “Islam is not a religion”, I don’t know who has (foolishly) made that statement.  I expect I wrote, “Islam is not JUST a religion”, which is a different idea.

Re. your “But you haven’t formally stated what those “approved” political activities are”, what I was referring to is that, in the U.S., clerics can’t preach politics from their pulpits – or their organizations will lose their tax exempt status.

Yet, in general, I agree with your indictment of Christian influences on U.S. politics.  I’ve been fighting it for years, e.g., see here.

You state:

“With respect to your statement of secularism and you stating that a Muslim country has yet to establish that. I give you Turkey. Muslim country. Secular.”

You’ve misquoted me.  I stated:  “Unfortunately, though, such ‘secularism’ has yet to be established in most Muslim countries.”

Re. your final paragraph, again it seems you are ignoring the “just” in the statement “Islam is not JUST a religion.”  I assure you that I agree that Islam is a religion, in the sense that, similar to cases in Judaism, Christianity, etc., adherents claim (without a single shred of evidence to support their claim) that some giant magic-man-in-the-sky (“God”) made the universe, is still in control, demands obedience, and respective (con artist) clerics are his spokesmen.  I also agree with:

•  Joseph Lewis’ assessment of such nonsense:
It is the last of the great schemes of thievery that man must legally prohibit so as to protect himself from the charlatans who prey upon the ignorance and fears of the people. The penalty for this type of extortion should be as severe as it is of other forms of dishonesty.
•  Henry Mencken, who wrote:
God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos:  He will set them above their betters. 
•  And especially with M.M. Mangasarian, who observed:
Religion is the science of children; science is the religion of adults.