So mathewrjames was kind enough to respond to my #notbuyingit post and I wanted to respond. However, my response got a bit bigger than I usually like to put in my comments, plus I needed to write another post. So I figured I’d give it more of a response worthy of their comment. Here we go.
Rubbish! There have been countless muslim condemnations of terror attacks over the past few decades and especially after this latest attack, not to mention all the middle eastern countries joining in the bombing of ISIL. so spreading vicious bile like this article does nothing but stir up anti-muslim sentiment that helps to fuel the violence that the far right perpetrate on innocent victims. For someone who has just spent months claiming polytheists are being persecuted because of the words of a humanistic pagan, I find this absolutely hypocritical!
First off, yes there have been “condemnations” by Muslims of nearly every Islamic terror attack out there. These are usually press releases by major Islamic organizations and some Imams. Perhaps, indeed, these condemnations are countless.
However, if you look at my posts #notbuyingit and Bellum Iustum: Just War you will note something. My Issue is not primarily with lack of condemnation by Muslims of acts of Islamist Extremism.
My Issue is with the lack of action.
The United Nations puts out hundreds of condemnations a year about various bad actions all over the world. It is also universally acknowledged that a condemnation by the UN holds about as much water and action as a newspaper boat in a storm tossed river, with said boat having greater integrity.
And what have all these “countless” condemnations gotten us over the last fourteen odd years? Well…the Islamists have their own country, which is rapidly growing by accounts, committing huge war-crimes against nearby populaces, and which just leveled a pretty major act of war on the civilian population of a distant nation (France). Said country is rapidly gaining other Islamist allies who are joining their nation, meaning that ISIS has managed to create a national power with territories all over the middle east and Africa. With Major success in recruiting coreligionists to come join them from all over the world.
What these countless condemnations have not gotten us is any lowering in the violence levels. The whole of “moderate” Islam condemns the actions of these extremists and yet…the extremism is only growing.
Why? Because words lack power.
Simply saying something isn’t enough to make it happen. Protesting against a violation of ones beliefs by others in your religion isn’t going to make them stop “violating” your beliefs.
Since Mathew mentions a certain “humanist” pagan I’ve been debating with, we’ll use that as an example. Halstead can protest and condemn me and other polytheists all he likes for not practicing a paganism he recognizes and for violating what he believes paganism is. But as mine and the actions of other polytheists show, his condemnation does nothing to stop our practices or our preaching. The same is true for us in regards to Halstead, we can condemn his beliefs and actions all we like, but our words have done nothing to stop him and his practices either.
Condemnations alone, do not work. It can be one, or countless, but the simple fact is that simply saying “do not do this bad thing” is never going to stop people from doing that bad thing. Especially when it comes to matters of faith and those doing the “bad thing” believe a literal and textual interpretation of their faith that says the “Bad thing” is in fact the “Good Thing.”
Now, are some Middle Eastern countries joining in waging war against ISIL? Yes, a few. And this is good. But a few nations does not the whole of Islam make. And it is the governments of these countries that is acting, people with vested interests in saving their own hides (which there is nothing wrong with) but they civilian populations often have large numbers of people who go out and celebrate these terrorist attacks in the street. so really, mixed bag for me here. For those acting against, there are a great number celebrating for.
But to matthew, my insisting that Muslims and Islam step up and own their bad actors the way that every other religion has to is “Bile” which “stirs up anti-muslim sentiment.”
So I have three honest questions about Mathew’s position here.
1) Muslim families have no need to police and check their relatives for extremist behavior which can and does lead to the violent deaths of innocent non-muslims? Despite the fact that Christians, Jews, Heathens, Pagans, and every other religious group does the same to their members.
2) Muslims are not to be held responsible for the bad actions of their fellow coreligionists, despite the fact that Christians are nearly universally held responsible for the bad actions of their coreligionists past and present, as are Heathens and Jews?
3) Islam, despite containing the violent, supremacist teachings of a violent, supremacist mass murdering pedophile, is in no way responsible for the violence committed by those recreating a fundamentalist form of violent, supremacist Islam in which they rape and murder?
See, there’s a double standard here that I find very often when I talk to people about Islam. It is okay to completely blame Christianity for the violence of the Crusades, despite the fact that there’s not all that much in the Bible I recall which supports Crusader ideology/theology. But it is completely unacceptable to blame Islam for the violence of Jihad, despite the fact that Jihad is a literal commandment in the Koran, with fairly clear rules to follow (which ISIS does).
It’s okay to demand terrible punishments on Catholic priests who engage in pedophilia, but the instant you start talking about the fact that the prophet mohammad married a six year old girl and “deflowered” her when she was nine is a topic that is somewhere between verboten and “well, that’s just their culture.”
Equivalent behaviors, but nonequivalent culpability.
I’m pretty sure if it was Christians blowing people up for not being Christians, Mathew and a great many others would have no problem scourging all of Christianity for the violence of those “Extremists.” Why am I certain of this? Because I’ve seen how people treat all Christians when a single Christian protests outside an abortion clinic, or refuses to give gay people marriage licenses. Suddenly, the bad actions of one Christian is a perfect reason to condemn all Christians.
But a Muslim blows up and kills 50 non-muslims? #NOTALLMUSLIMSYOURACISTS!!!!!
So you’ll excuse me for not agreeing to such a double standard.
Now, can the viewpoint I am espousing here cause “far right violence against innocent victims”? In as much as the same viewpoint aimed at other groups can inspire “far left violence against innocent victims.” Claiming that a group bears responsibility for the actions of its members can lead to violence against said group. Generally because the members of that group are no longer considered “innocent.”
I mean, the GLBT community talks about how all heterosexual people are to blame and are responsible for the violence committed by a few homo/transphobic individuals. And generally, I don’t see anyone on their side going #notallstraightpeople.
So really, Right or Left, it’s getting done. The issue seems to me that Mathew thinks muslims are “innocent” and do not deserve such hate. But I’m pretty sure there’s at least one group out there that Mathew would have no problem using this same concept on. Like “far right” people.
But let’s give some thought to his last point. Is it hypocritical of me to hold this position in light of my recent joining in of the debate against Halstead’s “atheist paganism” definition of Paganism as a whole.
Well, let’s start with defining Hypocrisy.
hypocrisy (plural hypocrisies)
- The contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, esp. with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretence, sham; an occurrence of this.
- The claim or pretense of having beliefs, standards, qualities, behaviours, virtues, motivations, etc. which one does not actually have. [from early 13th c.]
- The practice of engaging in the same behaviour or activity for which one criticises another; moral self-contradiction whereby the behavior of one or more people belies their own claimed or implied possession of certain beliefs, standards or virtues.
- An instance of either or both of the above.
And…okay. I need some help here from the audience. Looking over these definitions, I can’t figure out where I would be violating any one of them and being a hypocrite.
Is it in holding Muslims and Islam to the same standard Heathens and Heathenism is held to?
Is it in calling out those I view as bad actors like Halstead with his narrow definition of what “good paganism” is, the same way I’m insisting Muslims do to their supremacists?
It it in insisting that words are not enough sometimes, that actions must be taken? I’ve taken actions against those who have acted badly and harmed others within Paganism both by word and by deed. I’m not asking Muslims to do anything I haven’t done within my own religion.
So…I’m confused. Honestly.
So there we go. I hope mathew feels I’ve given his comment it’s due diligence. I wanted to speak with him honestly, because there are many who have his position, but I wish to be clear in my position and why my position is not in fact rubbish.
I’m going to say one last thing though. Since the attacks in Paris, I’ve repeatedly checked the Islam tag here on WordPress, scrolling down as far as I could each time. I found a fair number of posts.
I didn’t find any condemnations of the attacks from Muslim blogs.
Ok, lets me respond first to those three questions you have….
1) How do you know that Muslims are not policing and checking their relatives and those in the community who resort to extremism? What evidence have you got to make the allegation (which is the basis of your entire argument) that they are not intervening? The British PM said that 6 terror attacks were stopped by intelligence services in Britain this year – where do you think that intelligence come from, if not from within the Muslim communities? Its very likely, and I would argue, almost certain that the Muslim communities ARE policing and checking against extremism – but that will never be enough to stop everyone getting through the net.
2) If no Muslims were condemning the attacks then perhaps yes they should be held responsible, but the fact is that the vast majority of Muslim organisations have condemned these atrocities and therefore no, they shouldn’t be blamed. Just like when that nutter in Norway claimed to be a Christian and killed over 100 youth a few years ago, we did not blame it on “all Christians” because Christians rightly condemned it.
3) All religions have within their scriptures (except possibly Jainism), the means to create a violent and extremist interpretation of their faith. It is down to how one interprets their scriptures and if we want to go around condemning entire religions because of some words in their books then we would have to condemn almost all the world’s population. If Mohammed was as you suggest then that’s a problem for Muslims to deal with, not us.
Finally, why did I react so strongly to your post – fear. Fear of what is going to happen now to thousands of innocent Muslims who will be victims of violence because it will be so easy now for the political right to whip up fear against the “outsider” or “the other”. Fear for the lives of hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees fleeing violence in the middle east who will now all be considered suspected terrorists and prevented from entering Europe – yes even the women and children. Fear that our governments will use this as the perfect opportunity to pass more draconian legislation taking away our civil liberties and people will not be able to think logically about it because they think they will be the next victims of that muslim family who lives down the road and is apparently a terrorist or a terrorist sympathiser coz they read so on some unaccountable blog.
Regarding hypocrisy, I refer to point number 3 in your definition. You claim your minority group is under threat by John, and then you go and write a blog attacking another minority group.
Lucius Svartwulf Helsen said:
In regards to question #1 and your response.
Rotterham and every major city in the UK has what’s known as a “grooming gang” where in Muslim men draw in thousands of young non-muslim girls over the course of decades with drugs and alcohol and rape them, repeatedly. Gangs like these extend into other European nations as well. The info and witness accounts have been passed around the internet for years. I knew about Rotterham and spoke out against it a full decade before the British Police even acknowledged it. And it had been going on for over a decade at that point.
Sweden is presently the rape capital of Europe and leads the world as well. I have seen the statistics and police reports. It is due to the influx of Muslim immigrants. I’ve even got a post about it somewhere I think.
People in every European nation, in every major and a few minor cities, report being harassed, threatened, and attacked in their own neighborhood by gangs of Muslim youths.
I’ve read that nearly every Jew in France has left for Israel because of experiencing the above behaviors and worse.
Extremism isn’t just acts of mass terrorism. Extremism doesn’t just mean bombs and guns. Extremism can be found in the reasons behind such violence as I have mentioned above.
And this really relates to points 2 and 3.
It isn’t just the bombings, the shootings, the “god is great” events we see on tv. It is the quite, everyday, overwhelming violence, rape, and terror that the little people experience.
Sure, maybe Muslim families police themselves to an extent and help the various governments stop a bombing. But where are they when their husbands and sons go off to get a bunch of girls drunk and rape them for the 200th time? Where are they when their children go off to scrawl racist slurs, break windows, harass and beat people in the street? I have not seen efforts to stop that. I have heard not the condemnation from Muslim Organizations who insist that “that is not Islam” and that governments crack down on those responsible.
But I have heard them call those Governments racists when they do try to arrest and detain rapists and murderers.
So you fear the harm that comes to innocent Muslims. Then have that fear, I shall not take it from you or demean your concerns. But what you consider innocent, and what I consider innocent, are very different things. The Muslim community in Rotterham, for example, is of a size where everyone in there knew about that grooming gang. And they did nothing, for over 20 years, as over 1200 girls were repeatedly raped. This is a story all to familiar over all of Europe. Would then say that that community is “innocent”? They who knew, and did nothing?
When I say “Muslims are not doing enough to police their extremists” this is what I mean. Because every gang of rapists, or harassers, or even just individuals who go and do these things by themselves, is doing so based on a version of Islamic Culture that says they can do these things to the infidel. And that is a proven fact whose evidence I have seen with my own eyes.
Oh, and by the way, there are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. They are the second largest religion in existence. They are not a minority.
Non-Aligned Politics said:
It’s a shame that some folks who point out that Muslims are condemning such, but fail to realize that those same Muslims aren’t doing anything about it either.
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