Why I Hate Muslims

Under roof in Mendoza, Mexico, summer 2006, two young men have stolen from the man across the street, but a book is all they have taken.

Excerpted from The Quran:

2: 191-193 – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out.”

“But further elaborated, no doubt,” says young man number one, “by 2: 216, ‘Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it.  But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you.  But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.'”

Two young men are under a blanket, under a ceiling glowing with stars.  They are reading a book, a sacred text that defines a religion of “peace”.  This is the peace they locate between pages worn thin by an old man’s rubbing thumbs, the same thumbs he once used to concoct jihad.  The next day, he will retrieve his book, but the two young men will not forget what they have read.

Found in a text taken from a caliph, the son-law of Muhammad, named Muawiyah.  This text is hundreds of years old.

There is a painting.  It is of fig trees and shades trees, it is of a family praying to Allah upon the grass.  They face a new Mecca, a revelation, a revolution, and this before a caliph who has been given his throne from the ashes of nothing but violence.  There is war on the road around the corner, and bodies in the ditch, but this family prays and rises only when the caliph enters their laneway with his soldiers.  He inquires of their devotion, what they have done, what they believe.  When he is given unsatisfactory answer, he beheads the father and casts naked the mother so that his soldiers may enjoy her.  The children are forced to eat rats; they are left behind as their mother is dragged by a horse over the road aside which the dead are choking the ditches now.  Her skin is being removed with every foot of travel, but with every step, she is praying, praying to Allah – though her children under the tree cry for her.  She hears their wailing down the road, but Allah soothes her and takes her away, and by the next village she has forgotten that she had children, for she is with Allah now.

In the Swat valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan, a girl was born.  Her name is Malala Yousafzai, and she protested the local decree against the education of Muslim girls.  The Taliban removed her from a bus and shot her in the head.

“Is this to be a treatise on freedom, or a lecture on repentance?” asks the professor of his class.

A tentative hand rises into the air, and a girl asks a question she has been chewing on.  “This girl is a hero.  A truth-fighter.  A revolutionary.  A visionary.  She is an activist.”

The professor sips tea.  “Truth is about misconception and unravelling its weight from about your shoulders before you cast judgment against that which you do not understand.  You are a white woman.  You are unmolested.  You are free.  This girl, this hero you note, raised her voice against hundreds of years of tradition and spat upon them without regard for those who had come before her, who had lost their lives to provide the freedom to create those traditions in the first place.  What gives you the right to cast judgment upon the customs of the Swat valley, and those who live there?  How dare you decry their methods to be wrong?”

And the white girl goes away, and thinks later to herself: these are Muslims.  And extremists.  These are Muslims.  And extremists.  These are Muslim extremists.  These are extremists.  These are Muslims.

The Face of Allah is a book written by a man named Tom Joad.  It has no words but the title.  It is three hundred pages of handdrawn sketches of Allah and the Prophet Mohammad.  It was not published but it can be obtained through various means for those who are interested.

Let me explain a spiritualist.  A bloody depiction of an old man, one who as you leaf through the pages turns from revolutionary to child molester and unrepentant rapist: one whose wrinkles and creases are earned in gold-weights of blood and pockets of flesh.  A stark raven-eyed man who refuses to have his picture depicted, or so say the Sunnis, perhaps because he has done such evil in his time that people will know him for what he is if they see him: this is Allah, the Prophet, this is tyranny, the death of Christians, the bringer of death unto infidels.

This book rests upon my lap.  It is leafed over and over, every page worse than the one before.  And I read it with the shades drawn, the lights out but for the glimmer that dips its hips in the dampness above, made of secrecy and blasphemy.  I do not want anyone to know that I am reading this book, for they will come unto me and manhandle me if they know… this is forbidden text, and the Sunnis will have my head if they know that I so blaspheme their beliefs.  It is said and written that if I disagree with them, they will condemn me.  This is written in every crease and wrinkle upon this man’s face, the one staring at me from ancient sheets permeated with blood.

September 11, 2001, Muslims destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City.  Have you forgotten this already?

I am a traveler.  I am a businessman.  I have three children.  I hate to leave them, but I always bring them back gifts from wherever I go.  Because they have so many toys already, I do not buy them trinkets.  No, I bring them back rocks from the cities I visit, and on the airplane, I etch the names of the cities that I have visited into them, using a carving rock.  Many are those who sit beside me and watch a movie or read a book or try unsuccessfully to sleep; but I – I carve rocks with the names of Tulsa and Big Rock and New Orleans and Rome and Toronto.  When I return home, I put these rocks into the hands of my children, and they take them into the garden, where there is a rockpile that will one day speak of the entire world.  It is a million miles and a thousand visits; it is places that I never thought to see, that I cannot bring back to my children.  But this I can do.

And today is Los Angeles.  And today is Boulder.  And today is Emeryville.  And today is Spokane.

And today is a rumble up ahead in the airplane, and some man raising his fist and some other raising his voice.  And here I am, but a businessman, but a father, a carver of rocks, a bringer of gifts.  The plane lurches.  It spins, it falls, it does things that should not be.  And we are falling.  And I am falling.  I hold onto my rocks.  I hold onto them to whom I will never now present these gifts.

106

Why I Hate Americans

Because you believe the above.

Why I Hate People Who Generalize

Because you believe the above.

Why I love People

Because the young don’t care about you.  Because the young don’t listen.  Because the young don’t obey.  Because the young have broken away from our prejudices and old-school misconceptions, because they don’t honour our opinions, because they don’t propogate the madness.  They might be wild.  They might be insane.  But they are smarter than us, and I love them for it, everything they break apart about what we old people think.  Fucking Muslims.  Fuck them.  Nary a young person does say this on these streets, not these days.  Our children will redeem us.  Believe it.

Muslims are Americans.  Americans are Muslims.  We hold these truths to be self-evident.  Hug a Muslim today – do you think he will stab you for the affront, or perhaps just return the favour?  Jesus appears in the Qu’ran, just not as the Son of God.  Christian priests molest children.  This noise is fucking killing us. Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head but survived, at the very least hear this: she is a Muslim.  She is a Muslim girl, a hero, a person of courage and conviction.  A Muslim.  A hero, a leader, a survivor – and a Muslim.  She did not decry her religion; she decried traditions made by sick people.  Can traditions be bad?  Can customs and culture be evil?  In deepest parts of Punjab, when a husband dies, they still throw the wife upon the funeral pyre as she lives.  Of course culture and tradition can be evil – and we should say so.  But that is not the same thing as thinking Muslims are all bad, or accusing their religion for the sickness bred into some tiny minority within them.

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Tell me when and how we forgot that extremists don’t represent the groups from whom they came?  I once read a story about Westboro Baptist Church, and made my mind up about Christians.  But they are not Christians.  Any more than the Taliban are Muslims.

If we want to hate, let’s hate the extremists.  Let’s hate those who take religions genuinely made from peace and corrupt them in our minds.  These are the people who make the world darker; these are the people who take young girls out of buses and shoot them, these are the ones who stone women for adultery.  These are the evil people of the world, they are not me and you; but if we start to believe the message that they represent some majority out there, we have allowed them to win this war.  And that can never happen.

Who are you?  A fighter?  A lover?  A compatriot?  Are you a brother or sister?  Are you complicit in propogating hatred, or are you hell-bent on ending it?  There is a common understanding we have tucked in a breeding ground constructed of our ignorance.  This is a bastion of loneliness and spite levelled at a bunch of people that we regard as all the same.  This is an etching; a breathing; a desultory snowstorm descending on our homes, blanketing us under the fiction of our intolerance.  It is a principle that we would never allow to be levelled at us, for we know better who we are.  Our children already do.  We can learn from them.

So let me ask, at the last: why do you hate Muslims?

100 thoughts on “Why I Hate Muslims

  1. I read this just after I commented to you on my blog that we hardly knew each other. And as I read the first part I thought, oh, my, that is a good thing. But I read further. I don’t know why, but I did. To find the person I thought I had glimpsed before. The one who wrote the second half.

  2. I’m beginning to realize that every time you post something, my response is “WOW!” that was formidable, Trent, and completely true! I know you hate the limelight, but I’m gonna repost it, and blow some people’s minds!!! it’s all so horribly gone wrong! it’s also one of the few things I actually lose sleep over, because people seem to have their heads in the sand, hating others for the wrong reasons, or no reason at all…just hating….just makes me sick at heart! thanks for having the nuts to post this!!! lol

  3. I just read this for the third time. It’s so impossibly good.

    This is how I want to write, Trent. But I don’t think I ever will.
    So I’ll just have to content myself with reading your work.
    I want to know what authors you’ve read, and about a million other things. This is really good. This is probably the best.

  4. Hahahaha!!!! *Applause. Touché, sir!

    And I beg to add:
    WHY I “HATE” THE PROUD AND IGNORANT?
    Because they choose to dwell on ” These are the evil people of the world, they are not me and you”

    If anything, Trent, we all be humans. With probably similar tendencies for good or evil to DIFFERING DEGREES.

    This was top notch, sharp, witty.
    Sadly, I should ask: If some of these same young people (who are supposed to be our redemption) are prejudiced against their socially awkward peers, or their parents, are they not also on the

    • on the path to blind prejudice… maybe Doc. I think we decry the manners and sensibilities of the younger generation, but if there’s any place to put our faith, it’s there. Kids are interestingly open to people who are different from them, I find. I think that’s encouraging.

      We are all human, Doc, as noted. What is being human about though? We often talk about ourselves as being only human to indicate a limitation or a ceiling; but shouldn’t we be cognizant of all the good things that we can do?

      Glad you liked the post, and that you are around. You have been quiet on your blog.

      • Indeed. Better to put one’s hopes, if at all, there.

        Ha!!!! Yes sire. Indeed I acknowledge that we are not all rotten. In fact, I have higher hopes than you may probably ever know. I guess we interact more at these levels where we need to discuss those limitations. Maybe we will have more writings that speak to the good things. (And you may remember I once acknowledged that you paid attention to the little things that mattered in relationships -in your post about the man who got fired from work and spent his days on his sofa with the TV?)
        Further, do we even truly acknowledge these limitations? Maybe YOU do. But, what do you think causes our pride or self righteousness mostly?
        Hope to be back soon. Thanks.

        • I acknowledge no limitations when it comes to writing, Doc. More’s the pity. It swells my head and sweetens the sandbox, until I hardly have any objectivity left about my own artistic pretensions. It’s a good think I drink heavily, is all I can say. Oh, and that I am privy to the inner workings of a certain monkey, who punches almost as many keys as I do.

  5. If religions were taken away, those who truly live in peace will remain in peace.
    Or should I say, *when* religions are taken away…

    Some children’s hearts are open and loving towards people, and some aren’t. How did this happen? Did they absorb the views and beliefs of those whom they depend on for their life? Or did they rebel against the kindness of their guardians? Did they find some pleasure or reward in badness?

    May your heart always be open, may your children be clothed in peace, and your love radiate outwards, wherever you may go. May you and yours receive a great reward for your goodness.

  6. Things go horribly wrong when hundreds of years of tradition are co-opted by sick minds and bent to a evil intent. What’s the answer? There isn’t one. I think there’ll always be religious hatred. Read any history book. It’s an indelible part of mankind.

    My 12-year old daughter just finished Malala Yousafzai’s book and I think it had a profound effect on her. I’m glad her attitudes are being influenced by a Muslim. It’s enough to give you hope, despite what I said above.

    • Hundreds of years of tradition also resulted in me drinking scotch on my front porch. And going to the farmer’s market Saturday mornings. And other things I guess. But I suspect you’re right. There are no answers here but those we scrunch up into balls and launch into the river, and they’re hopelessly fucked anyhow.

      Hope on.

  7. I will cast aside my usual preference for restrained complimenting and say that this is extraordinary. No extremist is representative of an entire group. That’s why they’re called Extremists, for fuck’s sake. I hate hateful people.

    • They all suck, Weebles. I would condemn them to Trent-hell, where everyone plays ping pong 24/7, with occasional breaks to have their asses reamed by an elephant. The noise is awful. But that’s where extremists should go, especially the ones who hurt others.

      I like love. Love makes me so happy that I prance through fields of flowers in my Trent-thong. What is a Trent-thong? Stay tuned…

      But seriously. Nelson Mandela, where is your younger self when we need you?

  8. Powerful Trent. Too-well said.

    I had a similar chord play in my head as well, me thinks. After Boston. When all the bombasts and talking heads(-up-asses) started puking about “the truth” before anything was even known.

  9. Good post, very well written. Still there are aspects of Islam that are disturbing (as there are of Judaism and other world religions). We shouldn’t generalise but I guess we sort of survive by generalising ‘tigers eat people therefore this tiger may eat me’.

    • Thank you. Yes, I guess most religions have a sore spot hiding in there somewhere, something that can be taken in quite a negative way. But I do like tigers. Except the ones that may eat me.

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  11. I started reading this with wondering doubt. Great post, Trent. You might be surprised to know I don’t hate Muslims either. I hate Jihadis. They’re the problem. We’d have them too, if Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons and Scientologists got off their La-Z-Boys more and actually cared. Sad. It’s everywhere.

    • Yup, I agree. It’s the people who take things too far that make a mess of it for everyone else. But I do love Mormons. I think they got it right, if anyone did. I learned this from South Park.

  12. This is fantastic. Thought provoking and profound. I don’t know if a post has ever verbalised exactly how I feel so much. If it were up to me, my points would be expressed through cat gifs, so it’s better that you did it. Wow.

    • Thanks, and glad you liked. I’m often angry about things I can’t control, so I write them out, and this is what happens. I wish the world were a better place. I try to make sure my kids can carry that along.

      But I’m down with cat gifs too. Perhaps in limited numbers, but all the same…

  13. You could say that I should hate the religious extremists who pervert the religions – but what they are really doing is that they are cherry-pick their holy books for justification for violence that’s already there, and, admit it, “God told me to kill unbelievers” is a pretty powerful justification.
    I am not just talking about Muslims here. And, unfortunately, there a huge gray area between extremists and the people who eschew and disclaim violence in all forms: there are those who don’t commit the acts of violence personally, but send money to extremists; those who shelter extremists; those who don’t technically help the extremists but pray for their success, and so on.
    So I make a different generalization and dislike religion in principle. And, once again, not just Islam.

    • Valid point. I think there are good people who subscribe to religions, and that do good things as well. Generally, I think religion has had its day. It was a nice way to explain the unexplainable, but we have other methods for discovering who we are and why we’re here now. Not that we’ve figured any of that out, but at least we’re on that journey. I don’t think religions are perverted that often, honestly, or that the perversion of religion is supported in a widespread manner by most people, but when it is, it taints any good stuff.

  14. Asalaam ‘alaykum to all.

    My name is J.D., but my Muslim name is Yusuf Ali, and I would like to share my thoughts to the above expression made by our brother Mr. Trent Lewin.

    The word hate is a very hard word to swallow let alone speak. It is a word that weighs heavily upon the conscience when the human heart forget itself, when the human heart refuses to obey everything in life that preserves humanity, everything that is diametrically opposed to the Christ in the Christian scriptures teaches: “Love your enemy too.” I am a Muslim. I take it personal when people tell me that they hate me and hate my religion. It hurts me deeply within the depths of my soul to know my fellow neighbor despises me simply because I am Muslim and equating what had taken place on 9 Sept. 2011 as the exact same nature of who I am as a human being, or hate me simply due to what they hear from a xenophobic and vitriolic Westernized media which demonizes all Muslims because of the actions of a bunch of mindless, heartless murderers. Was I the Muslim who flew planes into the World Trade Center Towers or flew a plane into the Pentagon. No. I had nothing to do with those atrocities. I do not believe nor do I condone killing innocent people. I was shocked, dismayed, petrified and fierce-fully angry as the next American when I witness the tragic attack on American soil by the hands of lunatic, radical, fundamentalist Islamo-facist jihadists who have the nerve, the audacity and the effrontery to call themselves Muslims. I do not condone certain precepts of my religion as much as I refuse to accept certain precepts of any other religion when it calls for the total obliteration of another people. Nevertheless, Muslims dies right along with everyone else in the Twin Towers. Innocent Muslims dies too. Yet, we can find the same hate and insatiable need to obliterate entire races in the Bible, but I am not trying to point fingers here, just trying to make a point. But I also believe that when a person falls down, it would be ridiculous and hypocritical to extend a hand to him while you refuse to extend it to someone else. People hate and fear what they refuse to want to understand. The Qur’an propagates war and other necessary precepts and statutes that many may find horrendous, yet, in every religion there is contradiction, and with this contradiction one can also find some of the most beautiful of laws. In Islam, fir instance, it teaches to fight and kill those who are out to harm you. Yes, but it also teaches that if you can make agreement do so. It also teaches that if a person kills a man, it is as though he is killing all humanity. Yet, if he saves a man’s life, he is saving all of humanity. Simply reading a few passages from the Qur’an to make erroneous conclusions about the entirety of the Islamic religion is ludicrous, prejudiced, unfair, hateful and unjustifiable in every sense of these words.

    Love one’s enemies came from a divine man, who Christians revere as their Lord and Messiah. Jesus surely understood the essence of the word Love. Once mere men as us learn to understand the essence of Love then we would no longer have the need to use the word hate, let alone feel it, especially when we feel and use it for all the wrong reasons. I implore my fellow brother and fellow American Trent Lewin to first filter out all the propaganda that he has allowed to influence his better thinking, then take the time to research the religion of Islam before making such prejudgments against it. All my life I have researched and studied Christianity and Judaism as passionately as I have my own religion of Islam. All these religions has taught me great things, each have sacred value to them, each has become a way of life for me to fill the voids and gaps created by ideologies to maintain a scheme of divisiveness and sectarian violence among the masses. We must join minds and bring forth dialogue that does not accuse but respect and uphold each others faiths. We must do this, for the time of emergency calls for it, the objective conditions screams it out with voluminous volume, beseeching us to live together in peace and harmony. Mankind deserves more from all of love.

    • Your response, my friend, is heartfelt, but betrays the exact problem that plagues us all: ignorance. You only the read the title to my post. You didn’t read the post. My point is exactly the same as yours – if you had read the post, you would know that. I agree with you. Please have a read, and let me know what you think. I’m happy to discuss one you have assimilated all the words.

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  16. Hmmm, interesting post Trent. I agree whole heartedly wth the concept you present – love thine enemy. Yes, I know that’s not it exactly but I do have a concern. I was thinking about the concern as I was reading the comments until I came to butimbeautiful’s comment. Aha – I was thinking sabre tooth tigers (as an image of caveman days) but nonetheless, tigers it is. How do we survive when currently the large majority of international terrorist actions are perpetuated by those who claim to be Muslims? It may only be 1 in 10,000 that is a danger, but I have no way to tell the one from the other 9,999. How do I keep myself and those I love safe?

    From my perspective, survival means avoiding Muslims and hating terrorists, The only way clear of this predicament that I can see is if faithful Muslims root out the evil in their midst using their religion as a cover to kill innocents. I have read the Qur’an and it is no different than the Bible in the fact that there are violent and disturbing images. However, that being said both scriptures admonish against taking any piece out of context. The Bible even has a scene where the Devil and Jesus are out in the desert and the Devil is quoting scripture trying to get Jesus to do his bidding. Reminds me of some preachers and terrorists. Jesus basically tells the Devil to F.O. in a nice way.

    Same is true for the terrorists, they are manipulating religion to achieve their own ends of violence and I hate that. but I don’t know how to address it. It’s easy to say to embrace Muslims, but one will eventually be a poisonous snake, and there is no way to know which one. Suggestions?

    • Well, this is a funny comment Paul. I know you to be a conscientious, dedicated commenter. I think you are intelligent and not without some level of snark. So I will respond with snark, because to think you are serious with that comment is fundamentally impossible for me.

      For me, the key to survival is avoiding white people. They are much more likely than other groups to a) hit me with their motor vehicle while driving drunk b) molest my children whether they are a member of the clergy or not (but more likely if they are) c) steal from me as part of an orchestrated set of white collar crimes d) go into a public school and shoot kids and their teachers e) sell drugs to young people f) perpetrate mass fraud etc.

      Please tell me – how do I avoid these white people in order to feel safe? To add to that, how do I deal with the situation where these white people justify their crimes in the name of their religion?

      • Oh, the dealing with white people who use Christianity for bad ends is easy. I rail against them. i take every opportunity, be it written or verbal or through actions to out them publicly, to challange their positions, to deny them power, to reduce their numbers through any means except violence. I actively do that, everywhere – even the supermaket if the situation enables it. And have for many years. I am culturally Christian and have a great deal of Faith in God, but do not trust religions of any kind. Because I am culturally Christian, I feel it is necessary and my responsiblity to destroy the Christian factions (by publically denouncing and by disbanding) that promote violence and hatred. Otherwise I get tarred with the same brush.

        My point (and I was being a bit tongue in cheek) is how can I tell violent Muslims from non-violent Muslims? Obviously I can’t. But Muslims can, because they see their brethern in daily life, in the community, in their house of worship – they know who’s who and which ones are violent. You know that there are established Imams who preach violence even here in Canada and in the US. The community knows who they are and do nothing to stop them. This is what I’m railing against for it is the peaceful Muslims who are the only ones who can affect the violent ones who are hiding behind Islam. Out them and have the authorities deal with it. This, to me, is the answer to rooting out terrorist organizations that use religion to justify their actions.

        Oh, and most of those white folks, like the other races and religions who commit crimes do not use religion to justify it. They are just common thieves and muderers and such – they’ll always be with us across all racial and religious divides.. It is the ones who torture and kill in the name of religion that I am out to get. The really dangerous ones who do mass killings of innocents and try to justify it by naming God. That’s bullshit and I don’t feel enough Muslims or Christians for that matter, do enough to address it – they hide from it. And you and I know that evil is enabled by those good people who choose to say and do nothing.And that applies across all human behaviour (not just religious) and is the very problem that poilce run into with corralling drug dealers.

        Anyway, that was my point. Good discussion Trent. Thanks.

        • Interesting. How do I tell the violent white people from the non-violent ones? Do white people also intrinsically know the violent from the non-violent? There are like a few hundred million Muslims out there, Paul. I don’t think they have any inherent understanding of who’s doing what any more than the rest of us do. There are hidden whack jobs in any culture and in any religion and in any race, and ANY of them can bite you in the ass. So you better watch out. To me, using religion to justify or not does not change the blowhard bullshit that leads to violence or intolerance. Same result. Don’t really care about the motivations.

          • You put forward an interesting question Trent – for you are right, I find violence done in the name of God to be of more concern than regular violence. I hadn’t realized that about myself before – good catch. Muslims make up over 1.5 billion of the 7 billion world population – compared to Christianity which has over 2 billion adherrents. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations Between them they represent more than half the people in the world.

            Individuals commit regular acts of violence or other negative activities against others usually to benefit themselves. It is rarely random and I can often diminish its affects on me by taking appropriate precautions. I have some control.

            However, acts of violence commited in the name of God are random and I can do very little about them – hence my chances of being harmed are increased – I have no control. I am hated and struck in the name of that which I believe has created this world – including myself. I find that unaccepatble – far more egregious than normal violence. Regular criminals rarely do mass murders unless they are mentally unstable (and often that has been previously noted and not acted upon). There is little or no benefit for them to destroy the very people they prey upon.

            Terrorists however, act for what they consider a higher power and even when faced with personal destruction will continue. For instance how many suicide bombers do you think have non-religious reasons for their actions? I’m willing to bet none – it defeats the purpose. I think the Isrealis would agree that religious violence is far more dangerous than domestic violence. You can say that is a special case, but I think if you are honest with yourself (whether you believe in God or not) you have to acknowledge that many actions that affect your world are controlled by those who do believe , and if you want to face reality, you have no choice but to look at life through that lens.

            To that end, Trent, I feel that religiously supported violence is paricularly heinious. And to address your comment that there are so many Muslims that they would not be aware of what others weer doing – I disagree. Regular violence is often done by individuals seeking to benefit themselves – it can be tricky to root them out for there is often no one else aware of their actions. Not so religious violence. It is grown and supported by a faith that requires a conspiratorial factor. That means that each act has in its roots an infrastructure of believers and teachers and community. This is one of the weak points of this problem and why terrorists are now trying to operate in small cells that do not communicate. I know that in my job in logistics, I was always aware of those who were doing the same in that professional field in my immediate area and even some as far away as the other side of the world. I suspect you are the same. This is a direct result of the fact that what we do is within a context that requires others to have input and effects. Same is true for terrorism. Within a local community, Muslims are often aware of the beliefs and reputations and actions of their communitty members. I have a number of Muslim friends – one of whom is an Imam – and they will acknowledge that is true. When I ask why they do not object to violence within the community, the answer is that they are afraid – because they will be targetted by the violent members as being non- believers. Their families and loved ones and friends are at risk from the offenders if they try to object.

            We have to do something to support those who would help to identify terrorists and violent offenders who use religion to perpetuate their beliefs. Using the community to address the these issues in the most efficient and effective way to reduce the relgious violence. Outsiders, like myself have very little ability to affect this problem.

            Anyway Trent, sorry to be so verbal on your site, but the issue of religious violence is one of my soap-box topics. I suspect that if you think this through , regardless of your religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs, you will see that the answer lies with looking at the problem through the eyes and belief systems of those who are perpetuating the problem

            Thanks for the thought provoking discussion.

          • “To that end, Trent, I feel that religiously supported violence is paricularly heinious. And to address your comment that there are so many Muslims that they would not be aware of what others weer doing – I disagree. Regular violence is often done by individuals seeking to benefit themselves – it can be tricky to root them out for there is often no one else aware of their actions. Not so religious violence. It is grown and supported by a faith that requires a conspiratorial factor.”

            Paul, I’m assuming you’re white. Were you aware of crimes to be committed by white people who had religious convictions? Why didn’t you stop those crimes? Why didn’t you advocate, and put a wedge in that very conspiratioral factor? I don’t know what my neighbours are doing, friend. I don’t know what people around the block of a similar faith are doing. Muslims, like the rest of us, are not some uniform membership who have intrinsic linakges and routine meetings to fully inform themselves of what everyone else is doing. I mean, that’s just ridiculous, isn’t it? I know many many Muslims. They are zero different from the rest of us. No more aware of the terrorists within their faith than the rest of us are of the terrorists within ours. Muslims are NOT often aware of the beliefs and reputations and actions of their community members – any more than you or I are of our own. I think this type of thinking is very simplistic, to be honest, and renders a very diverse (and I mean culturally, religiously and geographically diverse) group of people into a uniform blob that they simply are not. I don’t know about you Imam friend, but the message you’re delivering here is simply not the one I get. Hell, most of the Muslims I know don’t ever visit a Mosque – so how on earth would they know who’s up front and who’s not?

            They are just people, man. Living their lives as the rest of us do.

          • Umm, that’s actually not so here in our city Trent.I pondered this and realized that the vast majority of Muslims here are recent immigrants, mostly from Afganistan, Iraq and Iran. They are often extended families that are organized around their Mosque. Although they particiate fully in our society, their religion is their touch – plate, so to speak. They are virtually all linked through either family or their Mosque. This is the only place where I have encountered Muslims and my view may very well be colored by the type of Muslim found here. This experience is the basis of my comments. It is quite possible that my views are narrow and simplistic because of my experience. Although I still get the feeling that Muslms are, in general, more interconnected through their faith than Christians. Is it possible that you have ignored an organizational factor in your experience with Muslims? I really don’t think that the guy next door who is a non-practising Muslim is the issue. The terrorist factions are often taught and encouraged as groups organized around pariculaly violent Imams. In my experience it is not possible to run such a organization without some external awreness. Comments?

          • My friend, I have gone to school with Muslims, lived in the same house as Muslims, drank wtih Muslims, celebrated with them – organized or not. I live near Toronto, and there is a huge immigrant community here. I employ Muslims! The ones who go to the Mosque or not. I am just telling you that this theory that they are somehow much more connected than the rest of us is largely bunk. If not simply becuase that’s not really all that likely (it’s more of a stereotype, I think), then because there are different factions and sects within Islam too, and they don’t really talk to each other anyway. I’ve been to Mosque. It’s just people, same as us. It’s nice I guess to think that somehow Muslims are more interconnected and thus responsible for allowing the whack jobs in their midst, but it’s no different than Christianity or any other faith. There are connected elements, there are unconnected ones. And whack jobs exist in any religion. And quite frankly, I don’t think it’s Islam that is close to the issue. As you said previously I think, there is just as much spite in the Bible as the Koran. It’s the cultural interpretation and the personal bias brought to bear that influences how certain people act.

            Violent Imams, sure. There are preachers in other faiths that preach intolereance and violence, too. This is not unique to Islam, it’s just not. But it’s easy to target Muslims, I think, almost easier than it is to target anyone else. And it’s always easier to colour entire religions as though they are uniform, for some reason, or problematic, while at the same time ignoring the pretty stark parallels that run through our own existence. Seriously, let’s have Catholic priests engage in serial abuse of young kids, and let that go – it’s the Muslims that are the problem. Let’s have evangelicals rail against science and tout creationism as though it should be taught in school – but it’s the Muslims that are the problem. I’ll say it again. You are so much more likely to be affected by zealots and fools in your own faith than you are ever to be affected by someone who is a Muslim – I think the math would overwhelmingly support that. And yet it’s the Muslims who are the problem and are worth talking about?

            You said it yourself – you can’t tell which Muslims are good and which are bad, which are the ones that are going to get you. Ooooh, the horror – they are boogeymen, no doubt, a wall of possible evil that willingly allows the evil in their midst. I’m going to say again that you can’t tell which devout Christian is going to inflict much more likely on you or your family. I bet you won’t see them coming. But they are much more likely to get you, and that is a far far bigger issue. We have terrorists in our lives, every day. The fact that they are part of our culture and society doesn’t excuse their crimes.

          • There is undoubtably some truth in what you say Trent, but the bottom line is, returning to the original argument, that the majority of international terrorism is currently being perpetuated by those who claim to be Muslims. I would be naive and a fool were I to ignore that fact. It is a reality in my life at this time in the world. Whether acting on this fact is reasonable or not may be up for debate. I prefer to err on the side of caution. To be honest Trent, I commonly look for the best in everyone. Religons of any type don’t sway me much and I am aware that there is as much if not more abuse perpetuated by Crhistians as by any other religion – people are similar the world over. I will give anyone the benefit of the doubt and tend to judge people by their actions. That being said – it does not affect the fact that the majority of intenational terrorism is done in the name of Islam. How can I ignore that? Is it not sticking your head in the sand to say that is of no consequence and hence should hold no weight?

          • The majority of domestic terrorism, which is far far more likely to affect you, is conducted by people who subscribe to western religions. Why ignore that? That is is the ultimate means of sticking one’s head in the sand, in my opinion.

            What is the likelihood that you, a Canadian, is going to be affected by a Muslim terrorist? What by comparison is the likelihood that you are going to be affected by some wayward Christian who perpetuates abysmal crimes? I’m not saying stick you head in the sand. But I think you are doing just that by dwelling on supposed Muslim-based crimes while ignoring the ones that your fellow people perpetrate every single day around you.

            Err on the side of caution… you’re not erring on the side of caution. You are less likely to be killed by a Muslim terrorist than you are a great white shark. Will you stop swimming? If you are more apt to be killed by another stupid white drunk driver, will you stop driving? Why dwell on some hypothetical danger that has statistically insignificant chance of affecting you? Why ignore the real dangers, some of which are perpetrated by people of your own faith?

            I see good in people. But I believe in justice. And I don’t believe in villifying religions or cultures. I have no problem calling out cultures and religions for despicable practices, because those exist. But Muslims are good people, and painting them as somehow misguided or bad or a threat because of a few bad apples amongst them (and who probably wear religion as a convenient guise rather than anything that they believe in) is totally wrong and contributes to the growing wrongness in this world. I think this type of thinking is a huge part of the problem, and fixes nothing.

            The majority of terrorist acts are conducted by Muslims… no they aren’t. They’re conducted by whack jobs and insane people, by nutters who deserve little to no respect. You saying that is roughly the equivalent to saying that most school shooters are Christians. It has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with the insanity of a very few select people, whose net effect seems to be us brushing them all with the same stroke of paint – in that respect, maybe the nutters are winning. Because if we aren’t going to call those select few criminals for who and what they are, we are giving away this battle very readily, and I think we are playing into their hands by forwarding their agenda.

          • If it’s any consolation, by the way, I meet more people who hold your view than the opposite. I have yet to meet a Muslim who rails about Christians and how much of a threat they are. I don’t know Paul, I am pretty well-travelled, I’ve met a lot of people, I just can’t see myself judging hundreds of millions because of what a few dozen are doing. That really really seems to be giving in to those few dozen, who I think are criminals and just wearing religion as a guise – and I think they want to create divisions along ethnic, cultural and religious lines – they want those distinctions because it perpetrates strife, and that’s where these individuals live. In the chaos.

        • I honestly don’t like having this view, but to me it seems unavoidable. If every crime were committed by a guy in a blue hat, wouldn’t it be reasonable to be suspicious of any guy in a blue hat? Even if there were only 2 guys doing it all and a million who were innocent blue hat wearers? I know the logic precipitates prejudice but it seems unavoidable. I can understand that if you’ve had daily dealings with Muslims that your perspective would be more informed. Your experiences would be categorized as far from normal – most of us have only a passing knowledge of Muslims and their culture. And our reaction has to be to avoid. I will take your comments into consideration and try to be more comfortable in my dealings with Muslims. .

          • Sorry about being argumentative, Paul. This topic means a lot to me.

            I’m going to ask you again, for the sake of being more direct: if the majority of crimes in North America are committed by white people, should we not unavoidably be suspicious of white people too? Why are you drawing the line at one group of criminals? Is this not a really large double standard?

          • The difference, for me Trent is that I distinguish between crimes commited for personal gain and crimes done in the name of religion. I find the second to be more dangerous, more hateful. I have some control over regular crime – and the criminals don’t hate me, they just what what I have. I can deal with that, it’s seldom personal. Terorists, however, hate me in particular and judge my life to be valueless as one of a group. That, I rail against and have difficulty not hating them back as a group. And that group is composed almost exclusively of Muslims – here in North America at this point in time. That the majority of Muslims are normal (non-terrorist) people living their lives daily as you and I do, is irrelevant to the fact that virtually all terrorists (here and now) are Muslims. If we were living in Spain during the Inquisition, I would stay the hell away from Caucasians – even though most were innocent victims.

            This topic is an exception for me. I generally give everyone the benefit of the doubt and think ill of no one until they act in an unacceptable way – and even then am quick to forgive and forget. The recent (last 15 years) of terrorist activities directed against first world nations and committed almost exclusively by Muslims, has given me cause to make an exception to my usual way of treating people. Before it was everyone got the benefit of the doubt until they proved they were dangerous. Now Muslims are considered suspicious until they prove they are not dangerous.

            I am sorry that I am that way, but it seems to me to be naively ignoring reality to be any other way at this place and time in history. I don’t like this but I am willing to reconsider. It is a double standard based on the fact that virtually all terrorist actions recently have been committed by Musilms.

          • I don’t think this is correct. These acts are undertaken by madmen who peripherally wear the guise of Muslims. These are not Muslims. These are not religious people. They are criminals, that is all. You are generalizing in a very dangerous way, in my opinion. Child molesters are Christians – is there any more validity to that statement than the one you have made? I think in fact that you are heavily ignoring reality in the most naive fashion possible, and you are just perpetuating urban mythology. And honestly, this is just part of fear-mongering. No Muslim terrorist is ever going to hurt you, Paul. You are more likely going to be adversely affected by the next hypocrite Christian white collar criminal who may in fact be engaging in their crimes on the basis of religious ideology – but you are happy to let them get away with that? What gives?

            I don’t understand the implementation of your thinking. Should I walk down the street and avoid anyone who is a possible Muslim because of some infintesimal chance that they are a terrorist? Again, I think you are giving the true terrorists exactly what they want. You are helping them to define and draw lines between good people.

          • I don’t walk down the street and avoid Muslims, apart from the fact that many Middle Eastern complected people are Christians (after all, that is where Christianity began), I don’t judge others until I am informed. And I do personally give others the benefit of the doubt.

            I think that the P.C. attitude that all is nice and we are all equal, colors some people’s minds to ignore blatant facts The fact is that most terrorist acts are committed by those who proclaim that they are Muslims. That is a fact in my world – perhaps not in yours. And I do abhor violence and hatred of all kinds – not just terrorism – but I reserve a special rage for terrorism and crimes committed in the name of God (which includes the priests who are child abusers).

            You are right, I will likely die of something other than terrorism and am more likely to die of domestic violence or disease than terrorism. I am not comparing domestic violence and terrorism, I am saying that I have one piece of information about terrorists – most currently call ,themselves Muslim and they have decalred their hatred for me and my life style, to the point where they have publically vowed to destroy me and those like me. How the hell can I ignore that? Would I not be a fool to turn my back on that and say everything is OK?

            This does not mean that I lose respect for individuals, it means that I know that the next major terrorist act, pehaps in my country, will be staged by those who call themselves Muslims. Note that I did not say it would be Muslims, I said “…those who call themselves Muslims”, How can I honestly and in good conscience ignore that?

            Which brings me back to my original statement – I can’t tell the difference between violent and non-violent Muslims. But because of the faith based infrastructure that terrorists use, some people can tell the difference and most of those are real Muslims.

          • I hate to say it, Paul, but you and this awful, outdated attitude are the basic part of the world’s problems. Not en-masse the terrible Muslims. This has nothing to do with PC attitudes. This has to do with your narrow-minded bigotry – there is no other word for it. I hate calling names and being judgemental but I am very angry about your views. I consider you an intelligent person, but this sounds like an inadequate sophistry at best. What is your hang-up with Muslims, man? It sounds like you have a beef with them, and are using bullshit arguments (only Muslims are terrorists!) to justify your dislike. I’ll say it again and again and again – I am more likely to be ripped off/gunned down/etc by a fucking Christian than any other denomination. Do you not understand this? Are you really this fucking hell bent on chastising one religion? Really? What kind of enlightened age do we live in that we think like this? If you are so fucking enlightened, go chastise Catholics for their fucking priest child abusers – that’s a far far more pressing concern, my friend, a far greater, more widespread and more numerous evil than anything the scary Muslim terrorists have done. But do you call them out? No, of course not, because the real problem is the Muslims. Your hypocrisy is awful. I’m sorry, I don’t know how to say this any other way.

            You accuse others and ignore the crimes of people in your own race and native religions. This is an unforgivable sin. I CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A VIOLENT AND NON-VIOLENT WHITE PERSON. OR CHRISTIAN. WHAT THE HELL DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE RIDICULOUSNESS OF THAT STATEMENT AS IT COMPARES TO YOUR OWN STATEMENTS ABOUT MUSLIMS?

            Plus, you are wholeheartedly misinformed. There are terrorist acts going on all around the world, and they are NOT perpretrated in the majority by Muslims. Seriously man, get out and learn something. In your own country, you had the FLQ perpetrating violence – were they Muslims? You had Air India – were those Muslims? Those occurred on your own soil There has NEVER been a Muslim terrorist incident perpetrated in your own country, but hey, you better watch out and be suspicious of all of them? Come on. Seriously man. The Sikh temple thing in Wisconsin… was that Muslims? Sandy Hook – was that a Muslim doing that? Was Timothy McVeigh a Muslim? What the hell is wrong with you?

            Honestly, go find a rock and hide under it. Of course, take action against the impending Muslim onslaught and prepare yourself, because of course you cannot ignore the reality that the Muslims are coming. They’re probably hiding in your garbage can waiting to gun you down. That’s how they work. What kills me is that you have no action attached to your basic viewpoint. You keep saying that you can’t ignore the fact that the majority of terrorist acts are caused by Muslims (I totally disagree – and I think a casual survey of, I don’t know, actual information would prove that), but what do you intend to do about it? What is the point of going on and on about how you must be suspicious and how you can’t ignore this obviously stark fact? Do you have a plan of action here, or is this merely upfront casual biogotry and venom for no reason other than to be spiteful?

            You are not informed, my friend. You are merely judgemental. I’m sorry to say that. I hate to sound mean, but I am not good at curbing my passions. I believe that people are essentially good, and that your statements that we have to be careful about Muslims is inflammatory, misguided, and counter-productive to what I think you genuinely want – some good will between people. Maybe even peace. Maybe a better world, for all I know. You will not achieve it by throwing around this type of opinion, that much I know. Yours is, to me, the type of thinking that spawns intolerance, that gets twisted by agenda-makers, and ultimately creates hatred. If that’s your goal, you are no better than the people you are railing against.

            Okay, that is enough for me. I do consider you an intelligent person, and a great commenter hereabouts, and I fully recognize that I don’t have to agree with the viewpoints of people I interact with. On this, I will never agree with you, period. And that’s fine. I hope you resolve your worries in some reasonable way.

          • Yep, and that’s the way I feel about myself too. Which is why I’ve never mentioned it to anyone before this discussion. And no matter how many times I use the same arguments to disabuse myself of the notions, the feelings stay the same. That doesn’t justify them, but perhaps there is something wrong with me. That’s entirely possible and something I’ve been accused of wrt to other matters.

          • My apologies if I was over-aggressive with my viewpoint, Paul. I don’t respect your opinion on this matter, I just can’t, but I do respect your honesty. And if it’s any consolation, I think you’ve sufficiently moved me to post about this topic.

          • Should I pack up and move out of WordPress? I’m new here and you are respected so if you attack, I don’t have a chance.If you’re going to do that please let me know as I have a couple of Guest Posts lined up and I’ll have to cancel them rather than embarrass the site owners..

          • No Paul, I’m not going to attack you, not my style. I would not do that. As I said, I respect your honesty, however much I disagree with your opinions. I will probably just write some snarky post about Muslims, I do go off on rants now and then, but I will not be mentioning you in it so no worries. You are not alone in your views, my friend.

            Glad you’re doing some guest posts, it would be good to hear more from you.

          • Peace, my friend. If you would like, I can erase this discussion, it’s really no problem. I did whip up a post, and in typical fashion my anger has been translated into snarky humour (which I hate by the way).

          • I’m happy to let the discussion stand Trent, as long as you are. I think we both made significant points, including our emotional responses. If you wish to take it down, that’s fine too – it is your blog sir.

          • Don’t want to make anything uncomfortable for you, Paul. The new post, when it comes, won’t link to this one anyway, it’s long-forgotten. Up to you.

          • Leave it. If nothing else it is a testament to how two people can have a strong disagreement and still remain friends with respect.

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