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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/15962/ideas-can-overthrow-regimes/

Ideas Can Overthrow Regimes

March 10, 2011 by

These tell-tale signs of a dictatorship all reinforce Mises’s observation: the regime can only last if it maintains the illusion that it is beneficial to the masses. Mere physical strength is not sufficient, because it is ultimately ideas that determine which way the soldiers and police point their guns. FULL ARTICLE by Robert P. Murphy

{ 100 comments }

Brian March 10, 2011 at 9:52 am

“Everyone the world over longs for freedom, and no one enjoys living under a brutal dictatorship.”

That is such an incorrect statement it seriously places into doubt whether you deserve to be writing for this website. It actually made me sad to read that.

Fephisto March 11, 2011 at 1:36 am

Are you sick?

J. Murray March 10, 2011 at 11:18 am

It’s important to note that consent doesn’t mean disagreeing but going along anyway. Begrudging consent is still consent. That kind of consent means you’re willing to discard conditions of agreement, but you still agree. You may disagree with a system, but you still give consent by going along with it. This would explain why dictators can maintain power despite dissatisfaction.

fundamentalist March 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

“We can interpret events in the Middle East through this prism.”

I’m not so sure. Having lived in the Middle East twice and studies Arab culture, I don’t see the longing for freedom except among a tiny minority of Western educated young people.

I would interpret the “revolutions” in Egypt and Libya as power grabs. Arabs don’t want liberty as much as they want someone else in power. Arabs admire powerful dictators.

Mubarak lost the support of the military when his son reorganized the banking industry, privatizing some of it and stealing a lot. In the process he told the generals they could have no more loans that they would not have to pay back. The generals had built nice houses and bought companies with bank loans that they never paid back and never intended to pay back.

newson March 11, 2011 at 5:14 am

to fundamentalist:
i believe you’re correct. here’s a paper that offers a theory as to why that might be the case.
http://is.gd/7FLnhA

The Fresh Prince of Darkness March 11, 2011 at 9:54 am

newson, I suspect there’s one group of Middle Eastern people for which fundamentalist will not appreicate MacDonald’s analysis.

Walt D. March 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

“Everyone the world over longs for freedom, and no one enjoys living under a brutal dictatorship.”
Most people who live under brutal dictatorships do not know what freedom is. What people know depends on their education and their life experience. This is why the control of the media and the education system is seem as so critical to oppressive regimes.
In poll after poll in the US, when people are asked the 10 questions of “Are you a libertarian”, without telling them where the questions are from, most people will answer “correctly” to more than 50% of the questions. In other words, most people are libertarian without even knowing it, like the gardener in the Moliere play who did not know what prose was, even though he had been speaking it all his life. Most people living in brutal societies do not know they are living in brutal societies, because as far as they are concerned, they have not experienced anything different.
I do remember “the Quiet Revolution” in Quebec, where the Province went from being controlled by the Catholic Church to being a secular society, so revolution can take place without violence.

The Anti-Gnostic March 10, 2011 at 11:59 am

It also depends on the regime. If the junta contents itself with keeping the streets safe and beating up the Marxists, most people will get along under it just fine.

Gene Callahan March 11, 2011 at 11:56 pm

“In other words, most people are libertarian without even knowing it…”

And I bet you Marxists can devise a questionnaire to show that most people are Marxist without even knowing it!

fundamentalist March 10, 2011 at 11:49 am

My experiences in the Arab world taught me that Arabs distrust and fear their neighbors more than they distrust dictators. They will always want a strong government to protect them from their neighbors. Of course, socialists have a similar way of thinking.

Michael Wiebe March 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Kavka’s “Rule by Fear” would seem to provide a counterexample to Mises’ argument.

The Fresh Prince of Darkness March 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Since your link only provides the first page of this essay, can you be bothered to provide a useful overview of the main idea?

Ralph Fucetola JD March 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm

In America, as Lysandor Spooner taught, political power is a matter of money power and as Ron Paul has been telling us, if the Fed Debt Ceiling is not raised, the Fed Reserve cannot as easily play its fiat games. Thus, in America, regime change means stopping the fiat games.
I’ve just posted a YouTube video about the Foundation’s No Debt Increase Action Item.
It’s here: http://www.youtube.com/v/Y-h6o1tGlL0?fs=1&hl=en_US
Please help take this video “viral” by forwarding it to all your contacts. Previous Action Items in our Educate Decision Makers System have generated millions of messages to Congress. We know PUSH BACK works from those successes. Please help us do that with this!
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Ralph Fucetola JD
Trustee, Natural Solutions Foundation …
Action item: http://tinyurl.com/NoDebtIncrease

Walt D. March 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Follow the money.
I wonder if Obama will be so vocal in his criticism of the Saudi regime when protests start in Saudi Arabia tomorrow, as he was of Mubarak and Ghadafi?

Allen Weingarten March 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I concur with Robert Murphy, Ludwig von Mises, Étienne de la Boétie, Thomas Jefferson, and others, that governments and their leaders are dependent on mass support, and must conform to the ideology of the public. It is unfortunate that the current ideology is liberalism (which supports our social-democratic form of government). I also agree that “If the human striving for freedom is ever to be realized, a necessary first step will be promoting a sound ideology” (even though [as Fundamentalist notes] many have more motivational aims than liberty).

One might add that “promoting a sound ideology” would require a world view (rather than be confined to economics & politics) and would have to be moral and understandable.

Gene Callahan March 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm

“I concur with Robert Murphy, Ludwig von Mises, Étienne de la Boétie, Thomas Jefferson, and others, that governments and their leaders are dependent on mass support…”

And Karl Marx!

Mark Luedtke March 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Hunger can too.

Walt D. March 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm

It is nice to romanticize.
Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, police are firing on protesters:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/10/AR2011031003269.html
Time to call the speech writer and get the teleprompter ready? Or do 12 million barrels of oil a day trump humanitarianism?

Jacob Steelman March 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm

As much as I would hope and want the events in the Middle East to be inspired by a longing for freedom I doubt that is the case. At best it is frustration with the long established tyrants. From my more cynical side I suspect that it has been encouraged by outside forces wanting regime change sooner than the local citizens. This does not alter Mises’ view that even tyrants must have the consent of the citizens if they are to keep their power. The best example of this was the former Soviet Union which collapsed when it became obvious to all (including the ruling elites of the Soviet Union) that the country was nothing but a hollow shell. Thus, there was no longer anything of any value which the ruling elites’ government structure could provide to the citizens. The shelves of Moscow’s largest department store, GUM, were literally empty (even in the years following the collapse). The government no longer had anything to offer consumers and citizens. It was replaced or more correctly it was restructured in another form much like a corporate restructuring sells off assets and reorganizes the management. Unfortunately only lip service was given to terms such as “freedom”, “liberty”, “democracy”, “markets” and “individual rights”.

Dagnytg March 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Most people don’t consent to their government. They co-exist with it and without much thought. This occurs because most people focus on living (i.e. feeding themselves, taking care of their families, working etc.) This is true in the US and throughout the world.

Unless the government gets in the way of these basic life pursuits, there is never a majority involved in revolutionary change. History shows that conclusively.

Most of the comments on this thread fail because of the inability to understand human nature and it’s inherent qualities (which Mises, by way of human action, understood clearly.)

Looking at the world through the prism of political philosophy may be intellectually and psychologically satisfying, but it’s a far cry from the real world.

Stranger March 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm

The reason that most people merely “coexist” with governments is that governments have made every effort to destroy all alternative sources of order and justice through which people could act. Alienated from any other form of force, people have nothing left to do but obey government.

D. Saul Weiner March 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

Wouldn’t the American Revolution be an exception to this? The colonies did not wait to revolt until things had deteriorated to the point that Britain had made it nearly impossible for ordinary people to survive. Also, there doesn’t need to be a majority involved, just a sufficient commited minority. But as we know, the colonists were far better educated in matters of liberty than those living in the Mideast today (or elsewhere, for that matter).

Gene Callahan March 13, 2011 at 10:25 am

“The colonies did not wait to revolt until things had deteriorated to the point that Britain had made it nearly impossible for ordinary people to survive.”

Where do you get the idea that ordinary people were having trouble surviving due to something Britain was up to? In fact, Edmund Randolph wrote at the time that the American rebellion was ‘without an immediate oppression, without a cause depending so much on hasty feeling as theoretic reasoning.’ For instance the Tea Act, which prompted the Boston Tea Party, *lowered* the price colonists were paying for tea.

D. Saul Weiner March 13, 2011 at 10:37 am

Gene, that was exactly my point.

Gene Callahan March 13, 2011 at 10:42 am

Oh, yes, sorry, I misread your comment!

Dagnytg March 14, 2011 at 2:41 am

D. Saul Weiner,

I’m somewhat confused with your comment as Gene was, but I don’t see how the American Revolution was any different (in initial participation) than any other revolution.

Revolutions don’t occur because conditions are horrible. They occur when a small minority wants a larger stake in the gifts of gov. Conditions may deteriorate after the fact, but that blame is to be shared by the revolutionaries as well as the gov.

The point I am trying to make is most people assume a body politic equals a majority of the population. That assumption is wrong. There has never been a majority in any revolution. Thus the body politic consists of a minority who stands to gain the most from government.

Everybody else (the majority) doesn’t care and at most consider government a nuisance or a cost of doing business. (In many ways, I look at these people as anarchists.)

On top of that, even if gov. gets in the way of “basic life pursuits” most people are not going to fight. They’re just going to pack up and leave. In 1776, that may not have been an easy thing to do. Today it is and is manifested by immigration to western countries and refugee camps.

c.harrison kugel March 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm

When are the US citizens going to convince our federal and state governments, that their fiscal policies are placing us in uncontrollable deficits. Most US citizens have a balanced financial statement. The congressman and senators sit in washington and spend our money recklessly, without any intention of paying it back. Its time to go to Washington, and ask the legislature to have hearings on the budget with the input of the common working citizens. I know I need to express my opinions on financial matters of this country to Congress.

Stranger March 10, 2011 at 7:57 pm
Michael March 11, 2011 at 4:31 am

I really enjoyed this article.TY.

Tom Puckett March 11, 2011 at 6:37 am

I think a better question would be-Does democracy necessarily produce governments that resolve to protect individual rights? In the case of the Middle East I would emphatically say no. Democracy in the Middle East will result in a Shariah based government. A country full of Muslims will vote for a non-secular Islamic government. The problem then becomes dealing with the aftermath. Women’s rights will continue to be suppressed, disdain and persecution of non-Islamic religions will become government policy. Any government that has a Shariah based foundation is going to institutionalize Islamic ideals and dogma. Think Jihad will be abolished? Think women will be given equal rights? Ideas can overthrow regimes but that doesn’t make them moral. Popular uprising of bad ideas promulgated by the majority gave us the genocides of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. We cannot continue to pretend that there are tenets of Islam that must cease to be and we need to stop hiding behind the notion that Jihad, violent religious discrimination and the denial of women’s rights are protected under freedom of religion. Advocating for a discriminatory theocracy doesn’t seem any better to me than another Mubarek. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Tom Puckett March 11, 2011 at 8:14 am

Sorry, “we cannot continue to pretend that there are tenets of Islam that must cease to be” should read “We cannot continue to ignore the egregious human rights violations within the religion and pretend that terrorism at present is not a problem inherent within the religious dogma.”
Thanks

Allen Weingarten March 11, 2011 at 8:27 am

I agree with the skeptics of the demonstrations in the Middle East. The demonstrators are not motivated by liberty, where for example over 90% in Egypt want a greater role for Islam, and most want the death penalty for Muslims who convert to another religion. In particular there is no movement for economic freedom, but justifications for aggression. Even if they wanted freedom from their own leaders, have we forgotten the French, Russian, Chinese, Cuban, and Iranian revolutions, that resulted in greater tyranny than previously resisted? (We may also consider the ‘democratic’ elections that gave power to Hezbollah and Hamas.)

*However, that discussion is misplaced, for it does not relate to the view presented by Robert Murphy* (and many other fine intellectuals) of the causal influence of the ideology of the public, and the consequent importance of “promoting a sound ideology”. Are the skeptics claiming that because the demonstrators are not desirous of liberty, that changing the ideology of the American public will not change America’s policies? For example, if the public understood that government intervention was immoral and counter-productive, would they continue to vote for those who claim the opposite? So I reassert (along with Robert Murphy, Ludwig von Mises, Étienne de la Boétie, Thomas Jefferson, and others), that governments and their leaders are dependent on mass support, and must conform to the ideology of the public. Why else do we participate in the von Mises blog, if not to influence the beliefs of the public?

Gene Callahan March 12, 2011 at 12:01 am

“The demonstrators are not motivated by liberty, where for example over 90% in Egypt want a greater role for Islam…”

Yes, because “liberty” most emphatically does NOT mean being free to embrace Islam: freedom means that you are free to adopt the secular Enlightenment values Allen likes. If you don’t do what he thinks you should, you are by definition not free!

newson March 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm

k.o.

Bruce Koerber March 11, 2011 at 8:53 am

How Can The Oppressed Find Ethical Government?

It is probably true that the regions of the world which have little philosophical connection to the Western civilization will not be able to readily adopt the principles of classical liberalism without another link to their culture. Religion is one such link.

And so religion will play a major role in the transition from these Dark Ages of economics to the bright future of a peaceful, prosperous, world culture and civilization composed of various classical liberalism societies. Divine economy theory is extremely helpful in this regard!

fundamentalist March 11, 2011 at 9:08 am

Good points! We have only recently begun to learn about the connections between institutions and development, which require freedom, and the connections between culture and institutions. For people to have freedom, they must have the right institutions, formal and informal. The values necessary for those institutions to exist come from culture and religion is the primary factor in culture.

It took the devastation of the Reformation to change Christian culture and persuade them that religious freedom is better than war and mass murder. Islam will need its own reformation before Muslims value religious freedom, and that comes before any other kind of freedom will be possible.

Allen Weingarten March 11, 2011 at 10:02 am

Fundamentalist, you presume that Islam can be reformed. Do you also presume that fascism and communism can be reformed? If the fundamental tenet of Islam is that Dar al Harb must be replaced by Dar al Islam, where that end justifies any means, can we have a moderate form of tyranny?

fundamentalist March 11, 2011 at 11:17 am

There already is a tiny reformed Islam, mostly in the West, that embraces Christian rights and liberties. It’s a very tiny movement, much like libertarianism in the US.

The Fresh Prince of Darkness March 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm

An oldie but a goodie from The Last Ditch:

http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/lights78.htm

JohnnyV13 March 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Spare me.

This article is more soft science clap-trap. Sociologists, historians, psychologists and Misean Economists (who are soft science guys just like sociologists and historians), like to inflate ideology because it also inflates their own self importance.

People really don’t care about ideas. They care about RESULTS.

That being said, ideas DO play a role in political upheavals and political order. But, the influence of ideology is more a 2nd or 3rd order influence over human behavior. The Civil War is a perfect example of how little ideology means.

The ideological justification for the Civil War was freeing the slaves. Northern abolitionists and Lincoln waxed philosophically how they fought a terrible war for the sake of the poor oppressed negros. Poppycock. Northern industrial society didn’t work with an aristocratic superclass that segregated work from education. Proto tycoons like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Jay Gould and Pierpont Morgan built their skills through labor in the industrial marts of the North. A social order where elites could substitute slave labor for northern industrial machines prevented spread of their industrial empires. A stratified social order where land owners could replace workers with slaves, prevented ambitious telegraph operators and shoe shine boys from ever making anything of themselves. They would have no mechanism by which they could rise from humble beginnings.

Hence, the war for the North was really about power. Power for the industrialists, hope for power from the middle class and the working masses. We can see the naked power grab nature of the war, since allowing the South to seceed was simply unacceptable. Such a result would limit the potential empires of the budding railroad barons, and remove raw materials from the reach of their industrial might.

But don’t think that the Civil War was a battle foisted upon an ignorant northern public by Abraham Lincoln’s cynical ideological rhetoric. Thousands of common laborers and farmers volunteered for the war. The power of southern democrats, with political numbers swelled by the 3/5′s rule (for political apportionment purposes, slaves counted as 3/5′s of a person) outstripped their true numbers. This artistocratic society threated the growing meritocracy that northern cities actually believed in at the time. Hence, the true reason the northen masses fought the civil war was to protect their ability to make themselves wealthy and powerful (or at least, raise their economic standing) through achievement.

Here we see revealed the true (and much more limited power) of ideology: the ability to connect achieving certain goals and conditions today with the belief that they will lead to the desired results tomorrow. However, if at any time that it becomes obvious that those goals WON’T lead to the desired results, those ideas are blasted away into nothingness.

We can see how the “free the slaves” ideology meant practically nothing after the civil war. Almost immediately after the north won the war, the southern gentlemen instituted a set of jim crow laws and social conventions that virtually reinstituted slavery through social repression and sharecropping practices. Did all of those fine northen altruists really care? No. It took more than a century for blacks to achieve any semblance of equality (and only then by dint of social coersion). Instead, the northern masses almost instantaneoulsy went back to pursuing their economic goals: a contest largely won by men like Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan and Gould.

We can also see the meaninglessness of ideology when we look at the cold war. Look how millions screamed about freedom and democracy, when in fact they cared about power and social dominance. Notice how no one cared about “freedom and democracy” in Rwanda despite all the massacres. Notice how quickly we supported dictators when they served our geopolitical interests but excoriated the Eastern block for their totalitarianism.

Many times, “ideology” is litle more than pretty wrapping paper by which we can justify our avarice. However, Miseans can’t see that because they don’t understand sociobiology, and instead use Human Action’s a priori theory as their model for human behavior.

You can see this truth in some of the more ridiculous Misean concepts about the origins of private property. For example, I’ve seen a number of articles here which excoriate intellectual property law based on the “undeniable” postulate that the “natural law” of property is the “first possessor” rule. Such individuals seem to think that the western Homestead Act was the eternal model for property acquisition when man transitioned from hunting gathering tribes to an agrarian model society.

Guess what, the “first possessor” rule might be a fairly reasonable postulate with respect to chattel, where the raw materials used by primitive man were, in effect, non scarce goods in any meaningful sense. Hence, the labor invested in turning staves of wood and flint into primitive spears and axes represented the most scare resource invested in the product.

However, even a rudimentary understanding of a hunting gathering society, and basic animal behavior biology, tells us that the “first possessor” rule is a completely ridiculous model for private real property.

Early human agrarian efforts most likely required far larger groups than “nuclear” families to effectively raise crops. The earliest forms of property REQUIRED AN ENTIRE COMMUNAL GROUP TO HOLD THEM AGAINST COMPETITORS. Sizes of hunting gathering tribes are very much like lion prides when you study them; they are based on maximizing the group’s ability to hold territory rather than to maximize caloric value pulled from the environment by each individual. In essense, these groups are as large as they can be while still feeding everyone, in order to maximize their ability to fight off competing groups.

Today’s concept of individually held private propety ONLY came about after the man invented the state. The reason why is only then was there enough 3rd party force to protect private property on the behalf of an individual based on the “social contract” formed by law. Without the state, how long do you really think it will be before squatters and roving gangs seize Bill Gates palatial Seattle estate? Individual private real property is purely the creature of both the state, and the modern specialized society, where people focus on singular jobs to earn their living and depend on commerce to fill the thousands of needs and wants they can’t make for themselves. Hence the “individual liberty” so prized by Miseans is, in fact, produced by the institution they most profess to hate: the government.

Allen Weingarten March 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Fundamentalist:

If that is the case, that movement does not hold to the Koran, as written by Mohammed. It would be as though there were: a reformed communism that believes in the right to own private property; a reformed Nazism that held to all peoples having the same rights; or a reformed libertarianism that believes in a totalitarian state.

There is also ‘Hudaibiya’, the practice of lying & deception, which today pretends to sharing values with Christianity and Judaism. One can locate the practitioners by asking why they do not criticize the other Muslims who engage in the practices against women, gays, Jews, etc. Has the group to which you refer criticized the Muslims who engage in those practices?

I do know of the Sufis, who are ostensibly Muslims, but they follow a mystical (and other-worldly) direction, rather than a political one.

fundamentalist March 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Well, you’re thinking in terms of Protestant sola scriptura and the priesthood of the believer giving you the authority to interpret the text yourself. Muslims don’t think like that. No good Muslims assumes the right to interpret the Koran for himself. They’re more like Catholics in relying upon officials for the proper interpretation, and like Jews in that they have a huge body of traditions and scholarly interpretations called the Hadith to draw on. The Hadith carries about the same authority as the Koran itself. Some of those authorities and traditions emphasize peaceful Islam, even though that interpretation contradicts what appears to be a straightforward reading of the Koran.

I agree. If you read just the Koran as a Protestant reads the Bible, Islam is a very violent religion. But no self-respecting Muslim would do that.

Allen Weingarten March 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Fundamentalist, as you say the Islamist does not interpret the Koran, but relies upon the officialdom. Yet *it is the officialdom who gives the interpretation of which I speak.* To my knowledge, no official has denied the interpretation about Dar al Islam needing to replace Dar al Harb by the means of violence and treachery. Sometimes they quote the early passages of the Koran to show peaceful sentiments, which was when Mohammed was fooling his opposition (until he defeated them). Yet the officials tell their people that the later passages take precedence over the earlier ones. To my knowledge there are statements of pacifism, but they are not the same as what is said in Arabic to the true believers.

Do you know of any official who has taken a single statement from the Koran, and said it was mistaken? My understanding is that it cannot be done in principle, since what Mohammed
wrote is taken as their definition of truth.

I do not know of any Muslim who has denied that a Muslim’s loyalty to Islam overrides his loyalty to any country. Wafa Sultan who was brought up as a Muslim maintains that the statements in English about the Koran shield the meaning given to the faithful.

Gene Callahan March 12, 2011 at 9:16 am

“It would be as though there were: a reformed communism that believes in the right to own private property; a reformed Nazism that held to all peoples having the same rights; or a reformed libertarianism that believes in a totalitarian state.”

Why, fundamentalist, it’s as though you seriously believe that there could be a reformed Judaism, that no longer believed in stoning people for eating shellfish, or a reformed Christianity, that no longer believed the end of the world was coming in the first century AD! Obviously, such things can not exist.

Allen Weingarten March 13, 2011 at 3:06 am

Gene, you are presuming that Judaism & Christianity were ever comparable to Islam. Neither ever had the doctrine of coercing the rest of the world to conforming to their religion. Moreover, both permitted people to leave their religion, rather than requiring the killing of converts. Perhaps you believe that Jews & Christians were comparable to the mass communist and Nazi murderers, but even they chose to hide their horrors from their public, unlike Muslims who openly celebrate beheadings, suicide bombings, and 911.

newson March 13, 2011 at 4:54 am

i think every successful ethnic group has its darker side and the odd skeleton in the closet. some de-accentuate this, others revel in it.
http://is.gd/lNwV5w

Gene Callahan March 13, 2011 at 8:53 am

“Gene, you are presuming that Judaism & Christianity were ever comparable to Islam.”

Say what? When you offered a series of analogies purporting to show how groups cannot change their beliefs, you included, e.g., “a reformed libertarianism that believes in a totalitarian state.”

In doing so, were you “presuming” that libertarianism was once “comparable” to Islam? (Of course, any two groups of people are going to be alike in some ways and not alike in others, but never mind that.)

Given that you were not, then what is the point of your “comparable” remark, other than as a dodge?

“unlike Muslims who openly celebrate beheadings, suicide bombings, and 911.”

Of course, what is accurate to say here is SOME Muslims. But you are aware of dozens of passages in the Old Testament such as:

“Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children.” — Isaiah

That’s pretty “open celebration” of mass murder, hey?

Allen Weingarten March 13, 2011 at 11:40 am

Gene, I doubt that you understood what I was saying. My point was that *something that is fundamental does not become reformed to become its opposite.* Thus, we do not reform cancer to aid someone’s health. So I was not presuming that libertarianism was comparable to Islam in terms of being totalitarian, but only in the sense that what was fundamental to its nature does not become reformed into its opposite.

I am surely aware of extreme passages in the Bible, including that of killing the Amalekites. Moreover, I know of the Crusades, and the burning of heretics. But none of that goes to the *fundamentals* of Judaism or Christianity.

Gene Callahan March 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm

“But none of that goes to the *fundamentals* of Judaism or Christianity.”

Of course, anyone interested in inspiring hatred and bigotry against Muslims, as you seem set upon doing, will decide that the violent passages in the Koran are fundamental to it, whereas the violent passages in the Bible are merely incidental little gaffes.

newson March 14, 2011 at 4:55 am

the 9-11 muslims certainly were well chaperoned. nor were they the only to celebrate.
http://is.gd/MoIfjy

Tom Puckett March 13, 2011 at 9:42 am

Mr. Callahan
Regurgitating a descriptive context of a horrible act in the Bible and comparing that to the open call by Muslims then and now to kill non-believers is quite a stretch. There is a big difference between Christians and those who practice the Islamic faith. Christians want you to accept Christ into your life and if you don’t the worst they will do is pray for you.The danger of Dar al-Islam is that if it comes to be reality will change for everyone. If you want to live in a Muslim country and fail to convert to Islam you would eventually be forced to pay the Jizya(slave tax) and live as a dhimmi(slave) and then finally if you refuse to capitulate it is considered a reasonable alternative to have you killed. I am not sure how there can be a rational comparison based on those parameters. It is loosely estimated that 10% of Islam prescribe to the radical jihad based mindset. Out of a billion Muslims worldwide, that would account for 100 million people. Thats 100 million people who take the Koran and the Hadith literally. The Koran says, “Bind the hands of the non-believer behind his back, force him to his knees and strike his head from his shoulders with all your might.” Curious as to how that could be rationalized.
I took particular offense to your quote from Isaiah regarding the” rape of the wives”. But not for the reason you think. Lara Logan was raped in public almost a month ago in Egypt. The practice of gang rape by male Muslim immigrants across western Europe was and is still being ignored by the “media” to this day. The duplicity of attacking a passage in the Bible and then ignoring a front page headline to the point of absurdity has led me to believe that no one is interested in having Islam assimilate into civilized society. With Islam you erroneously presume that those who practice the faith subscribe to the same laissez-faire moral ambivalence that so many on the left hold as a value. Right or wrong the Islamic population do not marginalize their faith. It is this commitment that should give everyone pause for concern when the subject of Dar-al Islam rears its ugly head. Islam has not changed in1300 years. Christianity has. That is the comparison that should be noted. And worried about.

Gene Callahan March 13, 2011 at 10:16 am

“Regurgitating…”

Most people call what I did “quoting.”

“a descriptive context of a horrible act in the Bible and comparing that to the open call by Muslims then and now to kill non-believers is quite a stretch.”

An open call to kill non-believers? Do you mean like this:

“If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him.” — Deuteronomy

“There is a big difference between Christians and those who practice the Islamic faith.”

Of course. Who said there wasn’t?

“Islam has not changed in1300 years.”

Absurd. Of course Islam has changed a great deal over the last 1300 years. It would be completely mind-boggling to discover a single instance of any social institution which remained exactly the same for 1300 years.

Allen Weingarten March 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Tom, I concur with your views, and would only add that the 10% to which you refer are not attacked by the vast majority of Muslims. (Rather they find that behavior ‘understandable’.) Why don’t they oppose the crimes of that minority? Simple, they don’t want to go against their religion.

Conversely a sizable number of Germans opposed Hitler, and some attempted to murder him. Similarly, a sizable number of Russians opposed Stalin, and were placed in Gulags. Do you know of any Arab movement against the crimes committed in the name of Islam?

Abhilash Nambiar March 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm

There are two types of minorities. There is the minority that acts against the wishes of the majority and then there is the minority that represents the aspirations and wishes of the majority. Unless you understand which is which you cannot have a meaningful conversation on this issue.

Gene Callahan March 13, 2011 at 10:19 am

Oh yeah, and:

‘I took particular offense to your quote from Isaiah regarding the” rape of the wives”.’

Do you think *I* wrote the Old Testament? Do you think *I* put that in there? If you are offended, take it up with Isaiah or Jehovah, not with me.

Abhilash Nambiar March 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Mr. Callahan, I usually try to avoid discussing theology on these threads. Added to the fact that I am not a Christian and usually debate Christians, I find this position of defending Christianity from slander extremely awkward. A Christian as the name implies believes that Christ is the final savior of all mankind. To him what Christ and his apostles quote is of much more significance despite the fact that their stories make a very small part of the big book we call the Bible. The New Testament is more important than the Old Testament because there is no Jesus in the old Testament. Whatever he understands from the Old Testament is ‘as revealed through the New Testament’. So the New Testament is like an ideological filter for the old.

In short an Old Testament based criticism of Christian unscholarly and unfair only displays one’s ignorance of the Christianity.

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

“In short an Old Testament based criticism of Christian unscholarly and unfair only displays one’s ignorance of the Christianity.”

Why do you think I was trying to criticize Christianity? Look, someone said, “These statements calling for violence are right in the Kora.” Well, they’re right in the Bible as well.

Abhilash Nambiar March 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Ok, so do Christians and Muslims use their holy books in the same manner while practicing their faith? Obviously not. Christians understand the Old Testament as revealed in the New Testament while Muslims consider the Koran to be the perfect word of God. It makes a world of a difference. It guides them to act in remarkably different ways. What you are doing is playing a game of misdirection.

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm

“What you are doing is playing a game of misdirection.”

What the hell are you talking about? What am I “misdirecting” people on? I now say for the third time: I am illustrating that both the Bible and the Koran contain passages advocating violence. This is obviously true, so how can it be “mis-directing” anyone to note the obvious truth?

If you want to claim that I contended somewhere that Muslims and Christians “use their holy books in the same manner” than show where I said anything like that. Otherwise… shut up?

Abhilash Nambiar March 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm

I am illustrating that both the Bible and the Koran contain passages advocating violence. This is obviously true, so how can it be “mis-directing” anyone to note the obvious truth?

Obviously the passages themselves do not offer the full picture. There is context and then there is understanding of the faiths which both goes into how the passages are interpreted and consequently the actions they inspire. Plenty of relevant aspects are missed when you compare just passages. Hence your comparison facilitates misdirection.

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm

“Obviously the passages themselves do not offer the full picture.”

Right. Did I claim somewhere that I was offering a “full picture” of Islam or Christianity? If someone is silly enough to think that a couple of quotes can offer a full picture of traditions that are many centuries old, is that really my fault?

Abhilash Nambiar March 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Did I claim somewhere that I was offering a “full picture” of Islam or Christianity? If someone is silly enough to think that a couple of quotes can offer a full picture of traditions that are many centuries old, is that really my fault?

Debatable.

In fact a couple of quotes properly picked can offer a pretty decent picture of an ideology. Which is what people are trying to do when they quote violent verses from the Koran and Jesus from the New Testament. Your contribution blurs the understanding that thus results and thus has a negative impact.

Allen Weingarten March 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Gene, you wrote “Of course, anyone interested in inspiring hatred and bigotry against Muslims, as you seem set upon doing, will decide that the violent passages in the Koran are fundamental to it, whereas the violent passages in the Bible are merely incidental little gaffes.”

You have presumed that your method of argumentation is the same as mine. I did not state violent passages for my argument, whereupon Muslim Imams would say they are not representative. The belief that Dar al Islam must replace Dar al Harb by all means necessary is not denied. Similarly, communists do not deny the imperative to outlaw private property, Nazis do not deny the imperative to subordinate inferiors, and Muslims do not deny that loyalty to Islam supersedes any loyalty to a non-Muslim country. *Such matters are not based on selected passages, but are taken by Muslims as fundamental.*

If you can find Imams who will reject those teachings, not only will you have refuted my position, but it will be of aid to George Bush. After 9/11 he had a conference at the White House with selected Muslim leaders who were deemed moderate. He tried to get those statements, but they did not oblige.

Conversely, Jewish leaders will assert that God calls for mercy and harmony with other peoples, while Christian leaders will assert that God is love. Both hold to the Golden Rule, and will deny that the statements you referred to are fundamental to their religion.

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 6:50 am

“If you can find Imams who will reject those teachings, not only will you have refuted my position…”

http://www.islamfortoday.com/terrorism.htm

A quick google search turns up LOTS of material like this.

Position refuted, as you said.

Abhilash Nambiar March 15, 2011 at 7:03 am

Taqiyya means you can never be sure about these things.

Allen Weingarten March 15, 2011 at 8:45 am

On the contrary, what I wrote was “The belief that Dar al Islam must replace Dar al Harb by all means necessary is not denied.”

*Try to get a Muslim to deny that statement, or to quote a comparable statement in the Koran and claim it is wrong.*

I have heard, and attended a meeting where ‘moderate’ Muslims claim all sorts of peaceful intentions, but that was never at issue.

Allen Weingarten March 15, 2011 at 8:52 am

Allow me to add that there are always nice sounding statements from totalitarians, such as fascists and communists, which are designed for the gullible.

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 11:03 am

“Allow me to add that there are always nice sounding statements from totalitarians, such as fascists and communists, which are designed for the gullible.”

I see. So you claim no Muslim EVER denies the legitimacy of “all means necessary” to achieve Dar al Islam. Then when the obvious is pointed out, that many Muslims DO deny that, your story changes to, “Well, of course, they are lying!”

Utterly immune to evidence.

And, in case you have any doubts, I am NOT carrying on this conversation for your benefit or trying to convince you of anything — I can see that would be a lot like trying to convince a rock to float on water. I am just making sure that anyone in any doubt can see your position for what it is.

Abhilash Nambiar March 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Being immune to deception superficially seems a lot like being immune to evidence. To tell the difference between the two requires understanding, which in this matter you unfortunately lack. You can only convince yourself. You cannot be convinced by someone against your will.

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

‘On the contrary, what I wrote was “The belief that Dar al Islam must replace Dar al Harb by all means necessary is not denied.”’

Right. And if someone abjures the use of violence, then they DO deny that it is legitimate to use “all means necessary.” So you have been refuted. But you don’t care — you hate Muslims, and are set in your hatred. No evidence will budge you.

Oderus Urungus March 15, 2011 at 11:19 am

Gene Callahan is the intellectual equivalent of a hairy musket.

Tom Puckett March 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Mr. Callahan
I am not offended by what was written in Isaiah. I find it offensive that the brutality of Islam is so often given a pass and that taking the entirety of Christianity to task based on a passage written centuries ago doesn’t seem to give you pause. However, the current rape of Ms. Logan is ignored to protect Islam even though thus far there doesn’t seem to be any hint of apology from the moderates or those who would advance this faith warts and all.
And oh yeah, would love to hear about those changes. Having spent a fair amount of time in the Mideast working with Kurds, Shia and Sunni, I would say that you are letting what you hope to be cloud your objectivity. And instead of taking the whole of Islam to task based on its past and present behavior as you seem to have no problem doing with Christianity, I would submit that this duplicity on your part and others who share your belief is why Islam does not change.
Lets put it into the context of the market. Your brand loyalty to Islam regardless of its failure as a product(Jihad,Honor Killings, Denial of Women’s Rights, Stoning, Beheading,etc) is troubling. Its failings have been a consistent part of the religion for centuries and are going on with startling frequency to this day. All the things that the left complain about in America(racism, religious oppression, denial of women’s rights,etc.) are currently going on in the Mideast. If you want other sane people to buy this product don’t you think it would behoove you and the other advocates for Islam to petition the company to stop the gang rape, blowing up churches, oppressing females, racism in the Sudan and the general totalitarian nature of Sharia that they would foist on the rest of us infidels? Complaining about something in The Bible that happened centuries ago that doesn’t happen today and ignoring what Islam called for in the past and still advocates for today is absurd. The lack of objectivity in your argument would lead me to believe you work for CAIR.

Abhilash Nambiar March 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm

It has got to do with the nature of Islam. People are personally scared of criticizing. Not scared of losing their rights like in the case of Christianity. Nor scared of being defamed. People are personally scared for their lives up to the point that law enforcement won’t be able to do anything about it. In addition, muslims are always careful to cloak their behavior within politically correct narratives while at the same time portraying their critiques in a politically incorrect one. Why the people of LmVI encouraging such tendencies is beyond me.

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 6:52 am

“that taking the entirety of Christianity to task based on a passage written centuries ago doesn’t seem to give you pause…”

Why in the world do you think that’s what I was doing? I was merely illustrating that, like the Koran, the Bible too has passages that appear to advocate violence.

Tom Puckett March 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Mr. Callahan
I am not offended by what was written in Isaiah. I find it offensive that the brutality of Islam is so often given a pass and that taking the entirety of Christianity to task based on a passage written centuries ago doesn’t seem to give you pause. However, the current rape of Ms. Logan is ignored to protect Islam even though thus far there doesn’t seem to be any hint of apology from the moderates or those who would advance this faith warts and all.
And oh yeah, would love to hear about those changes. Having spent a fair amount of time in the Mideast working with Kurds, Shia and Sunni, I would say that you are letting what you hope to be cloud your objectivity. And instead of taking the whole of Islam to task based on its past and present behavior as you seem to have no problem doing with Christianity, I would submit that this duplicity on your part and others who share your belief is why Islam does not change.
Lets put it into the context of the market. Your brand loyalty to Islam regardless of its failure as a product(Jihad,Honor Killings, Denial of Women’s Rights, Stoning, Beheading,etc) is troubling. Its failings have been a consistent part of the religion for centuries and are going on with startling frequency to this day. All the things that the left complain about in America(racism, religious oppression, denial of women’s rights,etc.) are currently going on in the Mideast. If you want other sane people to buy this product don’t you think it would behoove you and the other advocates for Islam to petition the company to stop the gang rape, blowing up churches, oppressing females, racism in the Sudan and the general totalitarian nature of Sharia that they would foist on the rest of us infidels? Complaining about something in The Bible that happened centuries ago that doesn’t happen today and ignoring what Islam called for in the past and still advocates for today is absurd.

tom puckett March 15, 2011 at 8:59 am

The fundamental difference between the two is that the violence advocated by the Koran since its origin has not ceased Nor have the targets of this violence(women and other religions). Do you then propose that we leave these atrocities to simply fall away to the passage of time and continue to minimize their significance? That hasn’t worked for 1300 odd years. DO you really think having the expectation that Muslims follow the rule of law and remove the violent aspects of their religion inspire racism and bigotry? It is mind boggling to me how in the USA people think that a woman not making the salary as man is front page news, but when a middle eastern woman is beaten or stoned for the accusation of a crime, it is an interference in religious freedom.
You weren’t illustrating that the two books appear to advocate violence, you were trying to infer that Christianity today is as violent as Islam. It is not. Drawing on an example centuries old that doesn’t currently occur and ignoring the daily violence of Islam suggests an unreasonable prejudice on your part. I will leave you with this-A few days past I was having a conversation with a Muslim man. He told me of an argument with his wife which ended in him striking her. I told him that in America this was a shameful act and that he should not do this. That it was in fact the act of a bully and a coward. He then said this is not America my friend. Would that it were. Be careful what you overlook, Mr. Callahan. Not for every noble deed, but also for every idle silence shall man be held to account….

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Tom, will you try, just for a minute, to look at what I actually wrote and ignore the words dancing in your own head?

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm

“You weren’t illustrating that the two books appear to advocate violence, you were trying to infer that Christianity today is as violent as Islam.”

That is absolutely moronic. I said nothing remotely resembling that.

Abhilash Nambiar March 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I agree, you did not say anything like that. What I inferred you to be saying was not that Christianity today is as violent as Islam but rather that Islam today is as no more violent than Christianity.

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Those are synonymous statements. I did not say either of them. Your inference is unfounded.

Abhilash Nambiar March 15, 2011 at 10:38 pm

They are not synonymous statements. Perhaps I can clarify with an example

* To say Christianity today is as violent as Islam is like saying Christians today like Muslims believe homosexuals must be condemned to death.

* To say Islam today is as no more violent than Christianity is like saying Muslims today like most Christians believe religiously motivated violence has no place in civil society today.

To put it layman’s terms, the narrative goes like this – ‘I know there are awful things written in the Koran, but see, all the awful things in the Bible? But the Christians are not so bad right? Muslims are just like that.’

JohnnyV13 March 15, 2011 at 11:55 am

Mr. Puckett, perhaps praying is the worst Christians today will do to someone who refuses to convert. Unfortunately, that has not always been the case. Not only did Christians fight Crusades in the middle east; they also fought extensive, but lesser known crusades, in eastern europe over the course of 3 centuries. During that time, among the Holy Roman Empire’s germanic heirs, the Catholic Church wiped out the eastern pagan slavs and compelled conversion by force. Similiarly, the Spaniards slaughtered native peoples throughout their extensive possesions worldwide, converting the natives by force and stripping their gold from them (research the life of Bartholome de las Casas to get a capsule summary of Spanish behavior in the New World).

tom puckett March 16, 2011 at 2:13 am

John V13
Am well aware of the negative history of Christian religious acts of totalitarianism. It is a sad history that it appears we have moved past. I am glad to compare and contrast equally the historical abuses of both Christianity and Islam. However, as you stated the worst a Christian will do to someone who refuses to convert is to pray for them. I would say that is a healthy evolution away from the abuses of the past. I have not seem that with Islam. The intractability of the religion and the way it weaves itself into markets and the law give me great pause for concern.
Will Shariah compliant financial entities carry over their social bias into business? Will women be able to start business the same as men? Will there be different sets of rules for Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims? If you have spent time within this culture, you already know the answer to all of these questions.
I have tried to point out the problems that I have personally seen within the Muslim culture in hopes that the evolution that Christianity has worked through would come to Islam.
Instead what I see are people who want to put PC culture ahead of common sense without any notion of what this will cost in terms of lives and liberties down the road.

Allen Weingarten March 15, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Gene Callahan wrote:

“Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children.” — Isaiah

This was to show that the Jews celebrated their viciousness, in a comparable manner as do the Muslims. Yet what it referred to was Isaiah’s prophecy about the violence that the Median Empire would inflict when they come to conquer the Babylonia Empire. And the Median-Babylonian violence occurred.

This was not celebrated, and not done by the Jews.

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 9:10 pm

“This was to show that the Jews celebrated their viciousness, in a comparable manner as do the Muslims.”

Allen, why do you kep lying about what I was saying? (Hint: you have no case otherwise.) Here’s what I said: ” I was merely illustrating that, like the Koran, the Bible too has passages that appear to advocate violence.”

Now, the violence is being “stirred up” by the Lord. Do you think the Jews thought the Lord was screwing up here?

In any case, how about Numbers:

” And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. (31:7)
“As the Lord commanded Moses, they slew all the males.”
Did the Israelites kill every male in Midian?
31:8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.
31:9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. (31:9-10)
“And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones … and they burnt all their cities.”
They took the women and children captives, and burnt all their cities.
31:10 And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire.
31:11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.
31:12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.
31:13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.
31:14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. (31:14-18)
“Have ye saved all the women alive?”
Was Moses meek?
What the Bible says rape and abortion
31:15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. (31:17-18)
“Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”
What the Bible says about Pedophilia
31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”

So, kill all the enemy males, all of the male children, and any non-virginal women. Then force yourselves on all the virgins?

That work for you, Allen?

Gene Callahan March 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Ah, sorry about the quote above — someone apparently interspersed their own commentary with the Biblical passage. But it’s pretty clear which parts are in the Bible.

Allen Weingarten March 16, 2011 at 4:37 am

Gene, let me address the first passage. You say “I was merely illustrating that, like the Koran, the Bible too has passages that appear to advocate violence.” *On the contrary, you were responding to my claim that that the Muslims celebrated their crimes, by showing that Judaism was comparable to Islam.* But instead of showing Jews celebrating, you now say “the Bible too has passages that appear to advocate violence. Now, the violence is being “stirred up” by the Lord. Do you think the Jews thought the Lord was screwing up here?”

When the Muslims slit the throats of 5 Jews the other day, their compatriots celebrated in Gaza. So by your reasoning a prediction that they would do so (as Isaiah made) means it was enjoyed. By that reasoning, my prediction that Muslims will continue to celebrate murders, beheadings, suicide bombings, etc., means that I like it. And if I said that God told me that if the Muslims are welcomed, they will act this way, means that the Lord favored it.

You ask if your passages will work for me. NO they don’t. What will work is when you illustrate historically that Jews or Christians celebrated the murder of slitting the throat of a baby.
As I said before, I do not deny massive slaughter, and we did so in WWII with regret. Do you know of a celebration of those killings, as in Hiroshima?

Apparently, you believe that Judaism & Christianity were comparable to Islam, and that your selected quotes are representative of those religions. Is that a lie about your view? Or will you have another ad hominem response?

More significant is that you accused me of using selected passages in the Koran, while in fact it is you who were using selected passages in the Bible. My claim, again and again, is that *the fundamental belief of Islam*, is that Dar al Islam must defeat Dar al Harb, which is not denied, but affirmed by Imams.

tom puckett March 16, 2011 at 8:07 am

Allen
Getting the general public to believe in Dar-al Islam when they won’t even acknowledge the existence of violent oppression of non-Muslim religions or the denial of women’s rights may be a stretch. The genocide in Sudan which is directed at black Christians is an example of Dar-al Islam which has been ignored for 20 years and has claimed the lives of 2 million people. That is 1/3 the number of Jews killed by the Nazis. And still there is no response, in fact there is barely acknowledgment. Well into my second year of working in the Mideast, when I come home and try to convey what I have seen and experienced to people I know, their response is actually quite similar to Mr. Callahan. There is something going on that is terrible in the world akin to the actions of Stalin, Mao and Hitler. And sadly it appears that the same lack of concern, apathy and closemindedness that led to the deaths of 100s of millions of people is still with us despite all current evidence to the contrary. Ideas may overthrow regimes, but so does ignorance. Sad…

Abhilash Nambiar March 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm

There is more than ignorance going on here. There is also self-delusion and deception.

Allen Weingarten March 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Tom, I agree with you and appreciate your efforts.

Gene Callahan March 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm

It turns out it’s obvious who is gullible:
http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/03/14/fox_nation_pakistan_padded_bras/index.html

“is that Dar al Islam must defeat Dar al Harb, which is not denied, but affirmed by Imams.”

That is not what you said the first time. You said “by any means possible.”

And I clearly stated what my stance on comparability is: any two groups whatsoever will be alike in some ways and different in others. You’re repeated yes/no as to whether Judaism and Islam are “comparable” is a nonsense question.

But the interesting question is why you can’t simply address what I’m saying, and why you instead keep making up your own version of it? The answer is projection, Allen. This hostility and violence are inside YOU, and Islam is merely a means for you to project that outward and deny they are your own. THAT’S why you actually can’t understand the very simple things I’m saying: to do so would be a threat to your projection, and that anger might come collapsing in on you.

Abhilash Nambiar March 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Is the genocide of Christians by Muslims in Sudan also a projection of tom’s innate hostility? An expression of the violence and hostility inside of him? Is Islam merely a means of projecting it?

tom puckett March 17, 2011 at 2:03 am

Abhilash
Funny I don’t feel hostile…If all that Gene was trying to point out were passages of violence in the Bible, I do not understand the point of saying you hate Muslims and that you are set in your hatred. I re-read the whole thread twice and I cannot find any inference to that notion. Pointing out problems in Islam, Christianity, Buddhism or Judaism doesn’t make you a hater it means that you are hopeful. Objective critical reasoning exists to improve ideas. It would be easy to write anyone off with an insult or an ad hominem response instead of looking at the facts, but sadly that is what debate today has come to. Trying to bully a position is childish when the subject matter is as inconsequential as sports or product preference. But to choose a bully pulpit on a subject that facilitates genocide, abuse of women and religious oppression is a rejection of decent morality and the premise of individual liberty. If we were just talking about dogma and trying to pretend that philosophically Christianity and Islam were two sides of the same coin, it would be impossible to move that argument very far because of the inherent violence that is an integral part of Islam. Ignore it or not, since Lebanon in 82 to the Beltway Sniper to 911 to the Fort Hood Shooting, violence and Islam are inextricably intertwined. Out of 226 current DOJ terrorism cases pending, 188 of the are Islamic. In the face of all this, Americans for the most part are still willing to give Muslims a chance. However, at some point if the violence against non-Muslims does not stop I would suggest that this should eventually serve as confirmation for the non-believers and apathetics that Dar al-Islam is a reality and not some conspiratorial notion.
I leave this thread with this observation-I recently had a conversation with a well educated Afghan fellow. I asked what other religions were represented in his country. He said there were Shia, Sunni, Buddhist, Hindu,etc. I asked him if there were any Christians. He said firmly, “no”. I was a bit saddened but not surprised to hear his answer. In the world where all religions are supposed to be the same I would imagine that the presence of Christians would be as common as anything else. Diversity before common sense, right? SO I asked the young man, “why are there no Christians here?” His comment was a stern, “Because we are a Muslim Nation”. Does this mean that if America is Muslim nation as someone once said, that there is no space for Christians? Muslim reformation is a moral imperative. We ignore the obvious at our own peril.

Allen Weingarten March 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Gene, you are correct that I left out the rest of the statement, which was “by any means possible”, and I stick with it. I will add that it is also expected to be carried out by any individual Muslim who believes that Islam is at issue (such as when someone makes a portrait of Mohammed).

As to your statement that hostility and violence are inside me, that is the ad hominem response which I predicted.

As to predictions, I wrote “By that reasoning, my prediction that Muslims will continue to celebrate murders, beheadings, suicide bombings, etc., means that I like it. And if I said that God told me that if the Muslims are welcomed, they will act this way, means that the Lord favored it.” By your reasoning such predictions are tantamount to appreciating the violence. So I and Isaiah and God are consequently haters, and you can always find some bit of evidence for whatever you wish to believe.

Allen Weingarten March 17, 2011 at 10:48 am

Those of us who are accused of hating Muslims have no wish to harm them. We have no statements or policies aimed at doing so, but only for protecting us from them. Conversely, Muslims have statements and policies for harming infidels, Jews, and Christians, and subsuming the world to Islam. How does one understand those who criticize people who legally want to restrain Islamic aggression, but will not criticize the Muslims for their crimes?

Tom Puckett March 17, 2011 at 11:34 am

In a world where Islam does not reform the only way to avoid the violence if you are a man is to convert. It is impossible for a woman to avoid this regardless. So the choice will be to give up what you believe (Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism,etc) for self -preservation. This path to safety will lead you to violently decry the legitimacy of other religions and deny the individual rights of your wife and daughters. I wonder what the diversity above reason crowd will do when Islam is the only choice? For centuries Islam has used the violence of jihad to advance its political will. Perhaps the fear of more violence is what keeps people from confronting the problem. Perhaps it is a fear of accepting responsibility for ignoring the problem in the first place. Stop trying to understand irrationality and pray that when reality eventually does slap them in the face that they can forgive themselves for what there apathy has wrought. God Bless you and go easy.

Allen Weingarten March 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm

“Perhaps the fear of more violence is what keeps people from confronting the problem.”

Tom, I think that liberalism is a contributing factor, where it is comfortable to believe that all people are good, and are fundamentally alike. Consequently, there are no irreconcilable differences, but only problems which can be settled by reason, understanding, and self-sacrifice.

I think of the film “Godfather Part II” where people are night clubbing, and a few minutes later are walking to protect their lives.

Abhilash Nambiar March 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Don’t you wish you could believe that? That all people are fundamentally good and that there are no real irreconcilable differences? I still have a hard time accepting that it need not be the case.

Allen Weingarten March 18, 2011 at 6:46 am

Abhilash, as you say it would be pleasant to accept it. Perhaps there is a way to preserve that view, without engaging in the wishful thinking that rewards aggression.

In this article by Robert Murphy, the view is presented that ideas are puissant. So it needn’t be the case that people are genetically doomed to evil, but that if different ideas hold sway, man can be guided by concepts such as spontaneous order and liberty. I think that this blog is dedicated to that vision.

Abhilash Nambiar March 18, 2011 at 7:18 am

Agreed.

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