Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ ISIS

July 8, 2015 • 11:25 am

In today’s Jesus and Mo, Mo tries to exculpate his religion as being responsible for ISIS. And the inspiration for the strip was sent by the author in his/her email:

Tom Holland’s article in the New Statesman is the inspiration for today’s strip.

2015-07-08In truth, I’m not sure the videos have damaged ISIS’s cause. Perhaps their barbarity have in fact inspired youths to join the movement in hopes of killing infidels. Who knows? At any rate, what can’t be denied—at least by those who aren’t osculating the rump of faith—is the Islamic inspiration for much of ISIS’s actions and agendas. That’s the subject of Holland’s article, which you should read. One excerpt:

Salafism today is probably the fastest-growing Islamic movement in the world. The interpretation that Isis applies to Muslim scripture may be exceptional for its savagery – but not for its literalism. Islamic State, in its conceit that it has trampled down the weeds and briars of tradition and penetrated to the truth of God’s dictates, is recognisably Salafist. When Islamic State fighters smash the statues of pagan gods, they are following the example of the Prophet; when they proclaim themselves the shock troops of a would-be global empire, they are following the example of the warriors of the original caliphate; when they execute enemy combatants, and impose discriminatory taxes on Christians, and take the women of defeated opponents as slaves, they are doing nothing that the first Muslims did not glory in.

Such behaviour is certainly not synonymous with Islam; but if not Islamic, then it is hard to know what else it is.

. . . It is not merely coincidence that IS currently boasts a caliph, imposes quranically mandated taxes, topples idols, chops the hands off thieves, stones adulterers, exec­utes homosexuals and carries a flag that bears the Muslim declaration of faith. If Islamic State is indeed to be categorised as a phenomenon distinct from Islam, it urgently needs a manifest and impermeable firewall raised between them. At the moment, though, I fail to see it.

 

123 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ ISIS

  1. I would hardly say that ISIS is behaving in the way that Muhammad (SAW) did. While, yes, it is true that many of the actions of the prophet are similar to the actions of ISIS, the key and most distinctive difference is that ISIS perpetuates violence to enforce what they believe is Islamic law. ISIS believes they are the authority figure of Islam, when in actuality, they are just a different sect of Islam altogether. ISIS is seeking out “infidels” (as you so gracefully put it) in order to force Shariah on them, and force them to convert or die. This includes Muslims that ISIS sees as unfit to call themselves Muslim.

    Whereas, Muhammad (SAW) did many of these acts in a manor that was defending himself and other Muslims against Pagan and other religious attacks. The Quran is clear, in that, under Islam, you are only permitted to acts of violence, when violence has first been done against you.

    The flaw in ISIS’s argument is that, they may believe that violence has been done against them first with America going to war in Iraq and Assad’s violence on Syria, but this has not been a literal attack on Muslims. Muhammad (SAW) was literally facing attacks from others who opposed him. They literally were trying to kill him. This fact is what warranted ruthless brutality from the prophet.

    But I wonder, how is Muhammad’s (SAW) war times ANY different from ANY other religious groups actions, especially, Christianity and Judaism. From the point Professor Reza Aslan makes in regards to violence and Islam, every religion has peaceful people and non-peaceful people. Anyone could justify their actions by their holy book, but it does not make their actions representative of the whole or even a majority of the religion. People who are violent will act violent, and people who are peaceful will behave peacefully.

    I find it ironic that in the comic, Muhammad (SAW) is defending himself against Jesus (AW). Considering the commonly held belief in Christianity is that Christ = God. That being said, if Muhammad’s (SAW) actions were not warranted, then how is MANY instances in the Bible where God (or Jesus, according to Christian ideology) sanctioned mass killings acceptable? What is the difference here? I suppose it would be that Christians view the people who were killed in the Bible as guilty and barbarous individuals who deserved death. Whereas, Muhammad (SAW) must have only killed good people.

    1. Really? Apologetics or what? Christians TODAY are NOT slaughtering infidels while using the slaughter stories of the bible (PBUI -the I is for “the bible”) as an excuse, and making videos about it and posting them on the Internet for the glory of god (PBUH – the H is for Him or Her – whatever you wish) and to increase recruitment. You are comparing the crusades of pre-enlightenment times (i.e. pre-scientific times for jeebus (PBUH) sake) with what ISIS is doing TODAY. There is a reason the dark ages were called the dark ages. I thought we were not living in them today. Get some perspective!

      1. There is no comparison between Muhammad (SAW) and ISIS. But, as the article suggests, you cannot deny that ISIS has some religious basis. Does that make their actions justified? Absolutely not! But comparing ISIS to Muhammad’s (SAW) actions, would be as ignorant as saying that any act of violence committed today by Christians can be justified by what Jesus (AW) or the Bible sanctions of early Christians and Jews.

        I simply point out the obvious difference between what Muhammad (SAW) did in HIS TIME, and what ISIS does today. These are vastly different acts and the intentions and reasoning is not even comparable. Therefore, if you wish to attempt to compare apples to oranges, then you cannot deny the fact that every religion has violent people that justifies their brutality by their religion and/or Holy book.

        Additionally, I would urge you to visit https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/tens-of-thousands-of-muslims-flee-christian-militias-in-central-african-republic/2014/02/07/5a1adbb2-9032-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html.

        I think you must have mistaken and underestimated the brutality of SOME Christians in TODAY’s time. Just to list a few beginning in history, the crusades, the inquisition, witch-hunting, slavery which has a large religious (Christian) basis to it…Oh, and to fast forward closer to TODAY’s time, the Holocaust, Rwanda, Uganda, and MANY other genocides and wars fought in the name of Christianity.

        As I said, EVERY religion has individuals who choose to interpret that faith in a violent way. That does not make it permissible, but it makes every religion a reality, in that, every person has their own interpretation of their faith.

        1. “slavery which has a large religious (Christian) basis to it”

          Slavey today and in the past does indeed have significant basis (not to mention justification) in religious belief, I’ll agree but why in the world you think it is solely Christian is beyond me.

          1. I never said solely Christianity. I was referencing slavery to make my point that some Christians are also responsible for violence, like any other religion.

            1. “I never said solely Christianity.”

              Actually, you did. But no mind, I’m sure it was just a typographical oversight. I know why you cited slavery, the Crusades, witch hunting and the inquisition and you’re right; those are all bloody stains that can be laid at one religion’s feet.

              But I also suspect the reason you parenthetically included Christianity as the basis for religion inspired slavery was perhaps to deflect attention from the fact that the people who are responsible for much slavery *today* are acting, at least in part, on their Islamic faith.

              1. No, I parenthetically cited Christianity because of the reason I just provided.

                It was also not to deflect from common day slavery. I cannot deny the acts of ISIS. I also cannot deny that ISIS uses Islam to justify their actions. What I have consistently said, is that, any action can be justified by ones religion, if that person wants to interpret their religion (any religion) violently, they will.

                See how I parenthetically cited a something as a clarification for my point.

            2. You are very unlikely to find anyone here defending Christianity. Or anyone that isn’t aware that Christianity and Islam are in the same category.

              What you are unlikely to find is anyone who will be swayed by your apologetics into accepting that ISIS is not a legitimate expression of Islam.

              1. I never said it isn’t a legitimate expression of Islam. I cannot speak to how Muslim one person is over the other. But, I can say; first, most Muslims denounce ISIS as a legitimate interpretation of common practice Islam, and second, each person will interpret their religion in their own way, violent or not.

              2. each person will interpret their religion in their own way, violent or not.

                In other words, you are each your own gods, perverting the words of other gods to your own divine dictates in order to bolster your own authority by stealing from theirs.

                b&

              3. Then what are you saying? The literal meaning of your claims here in this response may be accurate*. But, so what?

                * However, opposing your claim, significant majorities of muslims in many countries consistently indicate by poll that they support many of the same beliefs that ISIS does that. Such as death for those who leave the faith, death for those that blaspheme, etc.. Yes, many of those indicating they agree with such beliefs are unlikely to ever act on those beliefs. But, so what? In the unlikely case that such people found themselves hanging out with ISIS and given an opportunity to act on their beliefs against a person they don’t identify with, how many then wouldn’t act on their beliefs? Besides, even just supporting such beliefs perpetuates the barbaric, unethical behavior.

              4. Incorrect. ISIS is obviously based on Islamic ideas which is why we associate them with Islam. However, majority of their acts and extreme beliefs majority of Muslims denounce. Obviously there are many ideas they have that Muslims believe in, which is part of being Muslim. There are certain fundamental beliefs that if you call yourself a Muslim, you cannot deny, such as, the belief in one God and Muhammad (SAW) being his messenger.

                But, that does not mean that majority of Muslims agree with the actions ISIS takes against those beliefs.

              5. Correct, actually. I wasn’t talking about my impression or feeling on the matter. I am talking about data, evidence. Below are some links in support of my statement.

                Here is a link to a fairly extensive Pew Research Center report, The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society

                Of specific relevance from that report.
                Favor or Oppose Making Sharia the Law of the Land?

                Stoning as Punishment for Adultery

                Death Penalty for Leaving Islam

                Is Homosexual Behavior Moral?

                Must a Wife Always Obey Her Husband?

                Also take a look at the graph on page 112, Converting Others is a Religious Duty.

                Clearly, as I said, “significant majorities of muslims in many countries consistently indicate by poll that they support many of the same beliefs that ISIS does.”

                You are either being misled, fooling yourself, or you are saying that these values which are very common among nearly all groups of Muslims, including ISIS, are indeed what you, what Islam, considers to be right and proper.

                I agree with that last. Present day Islam does indeed consider those values to be right and proper. And that is why Islam is such a problem. It is not unique in that respect, but it has the distinction, currently, of being arguably the most significant obstacle to creating better societies for Muslims especially, but everyone around them as well.

                Also, in contrast to your implications that ISIS does not have significant support among Muslims, this Al Jazeera survey, “Do you support the organizing victories of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)?”, 81% of 56,881 respondents said “Yes.” There are plenty of other sources easy for you to find that demonstrate that support for ISIS is clearly not insignificant among many groups of Muslims.

        2. “As I said, EVERY religion has individuals who choose to interpret that faith in a violent way. That does not make it permissible, but it makes every religion a reality, in that, every person has their own interpretation of their faith.”

          Sounds like a very strong indictment against the folly of faith. Fortunately, because of secular ethics, we’ve been able to overcome the atrocities committed by religious zealots (be they Christian, Muslim, etc). Hope you can continue visiting this site and contributing to the dialogue.

          1. Keith,

            I certainly think that Islam is a strong proponent of agreeing with the Folly of Faith. Islam consistently teaches science and religion are, in fact, compatible.

            1. Then Islam’s definition of science is incompatible with science.

              In no even vaguely remotely hypothetical context are any of the truth claims of the Q’ran anything that anybody old enough to count her age without removing her shoes should believe in, let alone scientifically credible.

              I mean, really? Riding a flying horse into the sunset? Aren’t all y’all just a wee bit too old to even pretend to respect such palpable bullshit?

              b&

              1. Seriously? I need to put forth evidence that the heroes only fly off into the sunset in childish faery tales, or that any of the other nonsense in the holy texts is true?

                What next? Do I need to put forth evidence that ships don’t fall off the edge of the Earth, that diseases aren’t caused by demonic possession, that you were neither brought by the stork nor started life as a blood clot?

                Lot of nerve you’ve got, to be tossing ’round that “evidence” word in the context of faith. Pro tip: if you had evidence, you wouldn’t need faith. Faith is what the conmen use to seal the deal; everybody knows that, save those afraid to admit to themselves that they’ve been conned.

                b&

              2. I fell asleep reading Mehdi Hasan’s article this morning, and have only just come back to this thread. Now, I discover the need to provide evidence that horses can’t fly before my comments are acceptable. I’m obviously still asleep, and this is a dream.

        3. “There is no comparison between Muhammad (SAW) and ISIS.” There is every comparison. You seem to be an expert/apologist, but your blind spots nearly overwhelm your powers of reason in this regard. Time to read more history. The excuses you make for Mohammed (with the endless tiresome SAW nonsense) don’t wash, particularly in a forum of skeptics, atheists, rationalists, and scientists. It may work with the Resa Aslan cult, but not here.

            1. Oh, that’s too easy.

              You’d have us believe that there are no gods but Allah and his Messenger, right? And the Q’ran is their Message, yes?

              And yet you would also have us believe that everybody can “interpret” that Message however they like.

              If you expect me to take that second bit seriously, you’ll have to show up at my place on your very own flying horse, and your presence damned well better be announced by a voice from the heavens.

              I mean, really? Muhammad was as wonderful as you gush about but he was such a fucking piss-poor Messenger that nobody can even come close to agreeing on what the Message actually was?

              And you call yourself a Muslim?

              Sorry, but that’s such transparent flim-flam bullshit that I’m surprised you’d be willing to say it in public. Either Muhammad was the Ultimate Messenger, in which case the very notion of “interpretation” is incoherent; or else the Message itself is so incoherent nobody can even agree on what it says, in which case Muhammad is the Ultimate Con — and you’ve already come down on the latter side, so why are you bothering to pretend you’re a believer?

              b&

              1. Also, I recently had a rather nasty debate with an *ex* muslim, who insisted that indocrination in Islam is *so* persuasive that until you get out the whole way you won’t even *think* of interpreting passages differently than the supposed official ways (of which there are, admittedly, more than 1).

              2. That much I can believe. We see it with Christians, too…how many fail to realize that Genesis is a story about an enchanted garden with talking animals and an angry wizard, Moses is a reluctant hero who gets magic wand lessons from a talking plant (on fire!), or that Doubting Thomas fondled Jesus’s intestines through a gaping chest wound?

                To believers, those stories are all warped up in mystery and beauty and allegory and what-not…but you’ll not find anything remotely so noble in the texts themselves.

                Fascinating, innit? Richard sure got it right with the premise behind Unweaving the Rainbow. I’ve spent the past few years or more essentially doing that, literally unweaving the rainbow, and only from the perspective of color perception — and that much only in an effort to get accurate color reproduction from digital cameras. I’ve barely scratched the surface, and yet the deeper and deeper I go down this rabbit hole, the more amazing it becomes. (If you’ve never looked at the output of a blacklight through a large, high-resolution spectroscope, you’re much the poorer for your omission.)

                Yet, all you have to do is barely scratch the surface of the holy texts…and you quickly discover the most childish and poorly-written bad faery tales with worse-than-dubious morals, with the only option for more depth being to either invent it yourself or to look to the inventions of others.

                I think that may be a big part of why people are afraid to look behind the curtain, to truly search for answers and defensible explanations: there’s but no doubt that doing so with religion instantly leads to the whole house tumbling down…and that’s all they have experience with, so there’s the natural assumption that the same must be true for the real world as well.

                Such a shame.

                b&

        4. “TODAY” does not include what you list at the beginning, and unless I misremember, there was not a world-wide attempt by Rwandans, Ugandans, and “many others” to claim a Christian caliph as they chopped up people while filming it with Gregorian chants in the background and flags bearing ancient Hebrew or Aramaic biblical quotes.

          1. Steve, there is NOT a world wide attempt to claim a caliphate. You obviously do not know what you are talking about. 99% of Muslims are Sunni who already believe and FOLLOW the line of succession or the caliphate that has been followed throughout history. You are literally talking about less than 1% of Muslims.

            Rwanda and Uganda are great examples of a group of savage people, like ISIS, who attempted to spread their religion regardless of if they had to kill someone to accomplish their goal.

            My list at the beginning was to show that throughout ALL of history there are people on all sides of this argument, even Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, etc.

            1. 99% of Muslims are Sunni who already believe and FOLLOW the line of succession or the caliphate that has been followed throughout history. You are literally talking about less than 1% of Muslims.

              Why do you lie? And so transparently? Do you think us ignorant, and unable to check facts? Are you unaware of just how easy it is to check such facts these days?

              As of 2009 Shia Muslims constituted 10-13% of the world’s Muslim population, Shias comprised 11-14% of the Muslim population in the Middle East-North Africa region, and between 68% and 80% of Shias lived in four countries: Iran, Pakistan, India and Iraq.” Follow the link for the reference to the original Pew data.

              It’s amazing. Religious people of all stripes so desperately want us to believe that nobody does morality better than anybody else…and, yet, you’re so typical of the mold: you lie, you beat children, you disrespect your own gods, and likely a great deal more. And then you wonder why you don’t get any respect.

              I’d urge you to grow up already, but I have little hope you’ll come to your senses any time soon. Were you a decent human being, you’ve already have long since told your wretched imaginary friends to go fuck themselves — but here you are, doing the exact opposite.

              b&

      2. I don’t know… some pretty bad stuff has gone down in Uganda, Nigeria, etc. Some Christians certainly have bloody hands directly because of religion today.

        As do Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, you name it.

    2. Really? Apologetics or what? Christians TODAY are NOT slaughtering infidels while using the slaughter stories of the bible (PBUI -the I is for “the bible”) as an excuse, and making videos about it and posting them on the Internet for the glory of god (PBUH – the H is for Him or Her – whatever you wish) and to increase recruitment. You are comparing the crusades of pre-enlightenment times (i.e. pre-scientific times for jeebus (PBUH) sake) with what ISIS is doing TODAY. There is a reason the dark ages were called the dark ages. I thought we were not living in them today. Get some perspective!

    3. The Quran is clear, in that, under Islam, you are only permitted to acts of violence, when violence has first been done against you.

      Nope. The Quran orders you to commit acts of violence for non-violent actions. For example–

      Sura 24: “Strike the adulteress and the adulterer one hundred times. Do not let compassion for them keep you from carrying out God’s law…”

      This is the problem here. *You* might “interpret” that as meaning something totally different to what it says, (and I assume that thankfully you do), but you can’t then say “the Quran is clear…”

      1. Yakaru, the examples you reference are completely different.

        My argument was on the basis of killing infidels and specifically in regards to Islamic holy wars. Whereas, you reference punishment for sins committed. Again, you cannot compare apples to oranges.

        If the article had been about punishment, then I could see your point. But, most would argue that Islamic law is extremely clear in what is requires. Take Saudi Arabia for instance, who take the laws in the Quran literally, the only ambiguity that is established is in regards to laws that had no historical context in the Quran. For example, someone who smuggles drugs, where the Quran does not even reference drug use.

        The difference is that we are not talking about ISIS’s punishments, but about their entire ideology for why they enact violence. Yes, ISIS enforces Shariah Law, but ISIS also takes their actions MUCH further.

        The original post compares Muhammad (SAW) to the actions of ISIS and in fact, suggests that Muhammad (SAW) is to blame for these actions. Where, you cannot draw a similar conclusion among ISIS and Muhammad (SAW) because they live in different times, under completely different circumstances. That would be like me saying that the Holocaust is representative of Biblical Christians or Jesus because God destroyed early sinners with a flood. Obviously, the two are completely unrelated.

        1. That is flagrant back-pedaling/goal-post-shifting.

          You explicitly stated that according to the Koran “you are only permitted to acts of violence, when violence has first been done against you.” Only.

          Only.

          Then you start in with baloney about apples and oranges. So in the case of punishing sin it’s ok to commit acts of violence against those who were not violent against you? That’s not consistent with the “only” from your earlier comment.

          And just a tip in general: do not go the route of claiming Islam gets more criticism here than xianity. I’d bet my house that there are more total posts and comments critical of xianity than of Islam at this site, and I’ve been a regular reader since almost this site’s inception.

          1. Punishment is not acts of violence. When you spank your child are you committing violence against them? No, instead you are committing an act of discipline. Therefore, they are completely different categories.

            I never said Islam gets more criticism.

            1. No, spanking is an act of violence, even if it is intended as punishment and even if it is less severe than, say, stoning.

              I don’t know about you, but I prefer to teach my children lessons without resorting to corporal punishment. It can be done, you know.

              1. I find it perfectly acceptable to spank my child. I teach him lessons without spanking, but I also teach him lessons using spanking to punish him. God teaches us punishment and I display my punishment based off of my beliefs. That certainly doesn’t make me barbaric.

                But no, spanking is not violence. The dictionary defines violence as physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something. I use physical force not to hurt, but to punish and teach. I never spank out of anger or to try and hurt my son.

              2. A punishment doesn’t necessarily entail violence, but spanking is violence. It actually is physical force intended to hurt, even if it’s not intended to hurt much. From where does spanking derive its deterrent power if not from pain?

                There are better deterrents out there. Please consider using non-physical forms of punishment. Spanking your child only perpetuates the idea that physical punishment is an acceptable way of dealing with domestic disagreements. I wonder how many abusive husbands are abusive because the acceptability of striking someone as a form of punishment was reinforced in their childhood.

              3. So spanking doesn’t “hurt” then?

                Riiiiight.

                Pain as teaching doesn’t stop it from being pain.

            2. I have no idea where you live, but you need to be made aware that in much of Europe, beating children is illegal. In the UK, “reasonable chastisement” is permitted, however if you leave a mark it becomes “assault with actual bodily harm” and risks imprisonment, so if you’re there you’d better be careful what you hit them with.

              Why not just follow the umpeenth law of decent human behaviour and simply refrain from beating children?

              Actually, I find your distinction between “violence” and “punishment” rather chilling. You’re saying it’s OK to use violence if it comes under the category of punishment? That begs the question of how to quantify the level of the former when used to carry out the latter? I suppose the Quran and Hadiths help by providing guidance on, for example, which particular thief has which specific digits lopped off as punishment for carrying out what particular crime and how it’s to be done.

              ISIS, in their publication (Dabiq) subject the reader to closely argued rhetoric, taken from the Quran and Hadiths which justify, among other things, the rape and enslavement of captured Yazidi females because they’re polytheistic and therefore not a protected religion under Islamic rules. Similar “logic” allows them to present “justification” for throwing people off buildings, burning people alive, and so on. All taken from the words written in the Quran and the Hadiths.

              Now, the views of certain Muslims (for example Mehdi Hasan), take the same set of words used by ISIS but reach a more peaceful and civilised conclusion, which I would refer to as a “fluffy” version of Islam, presumably because they’re simply, deep down, nicer people than those within ISIS.

              Therein lies the basic problem of all religions and it’s almost like an internal and fundamental disease at the core, and Islam has this disease particularly badly. The disease takes the form of the unarguable believe that the “Book” is regarded as the word of God. Islam is the worst because it treats the Quran as the actual, unequivocal and literal word of God. Consequently, whatever behavioural ruleset is drawn from those words, it is just as “valid” as any other ruleset.

              So our fluffy Muslims could wake up one morning and reinterpret their readings from the Book and turn into nasty ISIS supporters. Don’t imagine this is far-fetched, there are enough cases of “quiet hardworking nice” people in the UK who disappear and get reinvented as murdering ISIS bastards in the Caliphate to show that it does happen. Same Book, same Words, different outcomes.

              I gave up all hope of reconciling my view of the world with that of Islam’s after the Charlie Hebdo murders, when a chap interviewed on the radio who, after condemning the murders, but adding the caveat that they shouldn’t have insulted the Prophet said, “I love the prophet Mohammed (mumble, mumble) more that I love my Mum and Dad, more than I love my children, more than I love myself …”

              That’s just plain immoral.

              And dangerous.

              1. Let me second Musical Beef on that.

                Chilling, and very illuminating. Not unexpected mind you. Just chilling to see in real life, as it were, from a woman who is obviously intelligent and likely to be a fairly decent person. This is a glimpse of how religion inspires people to do that thing that Steven Weinberg said so well.

                “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
                ― Steven Weinberg

            3. Punishment is not acts of violence? You offer a dictionary definition of violence that includes the intention ‘to hurt, damage or kill someone’ but (irrespective of the fact that other definitions of violence may be found in dictionaries) this definition says nothing about WHY you intend to hurt someone. In the case of you spanking your child we can allow that your in your own mind your action is for the good of the child but we can hardly doubt that you do intend to hurt him. How else is the punishment supposed to work?
              When sharia judges condemn adulterers or apostates to death by the most brutal, medieval methods imaginable are you seriously suggesting that that falls outside your own proffered definition of violence?
              The truth is that the Quran and the Bible are both full of awful exhortations to commit appalling violence on anyone who transgresses various arbitrary rules. ISIS are very enthusiastically implementing this at the present time but they are far from being alone in the Muslim world in doing so.

              1. When most reasonable people spank their child as punishment, they are not intending or actually inflicting harm on their child. When I spank my son, for example, it is because he is little and he is not old enough to reason that he should not do something. Therefore, I have to pop him gently enough not to mark him, but hard enough for it to surprise him, so he realizes he has done something wrong. This is the major difference between violence perpetrated by ISIS and punishment inflicted by a parent.

                I would be interested in knowing what sort of evidence you have about “brutal” methods that Shariah judges condemn. There are few countries that allow Shariah judges to rule and I would argue that you have absolutely no real evidence or legitimacy in speaking on these countries.

                Throughout time, every country has been involved in violent and brutal laws, but currently times are much different.

              2. When I spank my son, for example, it is because he is little and he is not old enough to reason that he should not do something.

                No, it’s because you’re too brutal and sadistic and not intelligent nor creative nor compassionate enough to come up with a better alternative than violence.

                I mean, seriously? Your son has no toys you can lock up, no TV you can turn off, no corner he can be told to stand in? And you’re really so inarticulate that you can’t think of any way at all of explaining why childish misbehavior is unacceptable?

                And you’re proud of the fact you’re such a bad parent? And bragging about it in public?

                My favorite word of the day today really would seem to be, “wow.”

                b&

              3. “I would be interested in knowing what sort of evidence you have about “brutal” methods that Shariah judges condemn. There are few countries that allow Shariah judges to rule and I would argue that you have absolutely no real evidence or legitimacy in speaking on these countries”.

                I see from your bio that you are married to a Saudi. Are you unaware of the cruel and brutal punishments inflicted in that country on the basis of Islamic law? Beheadings, limb severing etc. How about the sentence to repeated lashings of Raif Badawi for the ‘crime’ of publishing a critical blog?

            4. Wow.

              Just wow.

              So, here you are with a child. And with everything you’ve got over the child — far more brute strength, way more education and experience, likely a good amount more intelligence, and so much else — the only way you can come up with to stop the child from acting uncivilized is to be radically more uncivilized yourself with an overpowering display of naked brutality?

              And you seriously expect respect, admiration, and praise for being so fucked up?

              Wow.

              b&

        2. YOU already further up did suggest the Holocaust was one of the sins of Christians. And anyway, drowning the whole world save Noah and a few is not what would have inspired Hitler to gas Jewish people and work/starve them to death; whereas the acts supposedly recorded about what Muhammad did and what he said should be done with certain classes of people (infidel, sinner – which you equate with adulterer etc), ARE explicitly stated by ISIS (clearly Koranic Muslims to turn your phrase) as the reasons for what they are doing.

          So no its is not like (“(you) saying…..”

          Oh – and to repeat even if adultery is a sin, that’s no reason to throw rocks at someone until they die. Do I even need to say that?

          1. Steve, I do not suggest that violent acts of Christians are due to other Christians. The point I make is that anyone who enacts violence could justify their sins through their holy books, such as Hitler. While MOST Christians would disagree with his philosophy and justification, Hitler felt justified due to social upbringing AND his religion.

            In case you forget, in ALL Abrahamic religions stoning is justified in the holy books. It is not a matter of IF those acts took place, but IF we follow them today.

            1. Rarely is such arrogant hubris on display as forcefully as you’re demonstrating here.

              So, the last time the most ultimate authority imaginable deigned to directly interact with humans, it made perfectly clear that stoning was the preferred response to adultery and so on.

              And yet, here you are, telling those gods that they’re full of shit, and that you’ve decided for yourself that you’re going to completely ignore them and do exactly what you were going to do all along.

              …and, then, to top it all off, you have the nerve to suggest that your “interpretation” is the same one the gods originally intended from the start.

              It’s one thing to be gullible enough to think that your ancient all-powerful superfriends are really real. But to think they’re really real and shit all over them and tell everybody they like being shit on?

              “Wow.” Again again. You continue to amaze and flabbergast me.

              b&

            2. Except of course, that Jesus is “recorded”, as saying “he who has not sinned; throw the first stone.” which is of course AGAINST stoning.

              And secondly you can so compare apples and oranges. They are both fruits, roundish etc. That saying is useless; if you could only compare things that were the same, then there would be noting to compare.

              Similarly all the arguments made above that you disparage as being “apples and oranges” arguments. Yes, yes they are …. and so what?

              1. Steve,

                If you are familiar with Christian ideologies then you understand that JESUS = GOD, in Christianity. Therefore, while Jesus said “He who has not sinned can cast the first stone”, God (JESUS) also says that if a man and woman lie together in adultery, they should be stoned. I’d be interested to know how you justify that logic…Last time I checked, ALL religions have some element of barbarism, but MOST people acknowledge that those are practices before a more civilized time period.

                Yes, ISIS stones people, but I do not see how that is any different from a radical Christian doing the same thing. It is hardly indicative of the entire religion, just because it is in the Quran/Bible/Torah to do so. In fact, the Quran does NOT speak of stoning at all. The only reference to stoning in the Islamic religion is how social practices where handled at the time of the Prophet. So comparing the Bible that has MANY instances of stoning and the Quran which does not; or Christianity, where stoning was widely practiced in early times, and Islam, where stoning is only specific to SOME Muslim cultures is like comparing apples to oranges…they are both religions but vastly different.

                But, I guess you cannot see a flaw in your own faith right before your eyes…in fact, I think JESUS was talking to you when he says “don’t point out a spec in your neighbors eye, when you have a log in your own”.

                If you need more wisdom in regards to what the Bible says about stoning I would visit the following:
                http://www.openbible.info/topics/stoning_to_death

              2. Either you’ve never actually read the Q’ran, or you’re a liar for Muhammad. Or both. Very likely both.

                011.082 YUSUFALI: When Our Decree issued, We turned (the cities) upside down, and rained down on them brimstones hard as baked clay, spread, layer on layer,- PICKTHAL: So when Our commandment came to pass We overthrew (that township) and rained upon it stones of clay, one after another, SHAKIR: So when Our decree came to pass, We turned them upside down and rained down upon them stones, of what had been decreed, one after another.

                …and…

                007.084 YUSUFALI: And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): Then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime! PICKTHAL: And We rained a rain upon them. See now the nature of the consequence of evil-doers! SHAKIR: And We rained upon them a rain; consider then what was the end of the guilty.

                …and…

                026.173 YUSUFALI: We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)! PICKTHAL: And We rained on them a rain. And dreadful is the rain of those who have been warned. SHAKIR: And We rained down upon them a rain, and evil was the rain on those warned.

                …and…

                027.058 YUSUFALI: And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)! PICKTHAL: And We rained a rain upon them. Dreadful is the rain of those who have been warned. SHAKIR: And We rained on them a rain, and evil was the rain of those who had been warned.

                To the uninitiated, that may look like a copy / paste error, but they’re from disparate parts of the Q’ran. It’s the Q’ran that’s a giant copy / paste error, endlessly repeating itself ad nauseum.

                But, even were I to grant you the Q’ran, which I won’t, what of all the Hadith? Dozens upon dozens of examples there…here’s just a random sampling.

                Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar : The Jew brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from amongst them who have committed (adultery) illegal sexual intercourse. He ordered both of them to be stoned (to death), near the place of offering the funeral prayers beside the mosque.” Sahih Bukhari 2:23:413

                …and…

                ‘Ubada b. as-Samit reported: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Receive (teaching) from me, receive (teaching) from me. Allah has ordained a way for those (women). When an unmarried male commits adultery with an unmarried female (they should receive) one hundred lashes and banishment for one year. And in case of married male committing adultery with a married female, they shall receive one hundred lashes and be stoned to death. Sahih Muslim 17:4191

                …and…

                Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah: A man committed fornication with a woman. So the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) ordered regarding him and the prescribed punishment of flogging was inflicted on him. He was then informed that he was married. So he commanded regarding him and he was stoned to death. Abu Dawud 38:4424

                …and…

                Malik related to me that Ibn Shihab informed him that a man confessed that he had committed adultery in the time of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he testified against himself four times, so the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave the order and he was stoned. Ibn Shihab said, “Because of this a man is to be taken for his own confession against himself.” Al-Muwatta 41 41.14

                Need I continue?

                Pro tip: never argue theology with an atheist. Most of us know your holy texts better than you do, and those of us who don’t have better research tools than you do.

                As to why that should be so…well, isn’t it obvious? The best way to turn a believer into an atheist is to have the believer actually read their holy texts. Academic seminaries are well known for being the ultimate atheist-making institutions.

                Cheers,

                b&

              3. Literally not a single example you gave was of stoning. That is referencing Gods punishment, not mans right to stone (which he doesn’t have).

                The haddiths do reference stoning but shariah law is based on the Quranic law not haddith law. There are thousands upon thousands of haddiths and while there are some that are more widely accepted, there is not a set list that is representative of Islam and accepted by all Muslims. Which is why I only discussed the Quran and not the haddiths.

                Here is where atheists fail in “knowing my holy text better than me”…you don’t understand the historical context and you read the holy books based on criticism not with the intention to learn.

                You may be skilled in theology, but I assure you, you do not know or understand any holy text better than I do. You may be able to google stoning to use as examples but your examples are invalid if you do not know how to explain them. Being atheist doesn’t give you credibility, just like being Muslim doesn’t give me authority to talk about Islam for all people. Luckily, being well educated in the subject and having a degree in the field and years of experience does.

              4. So, if I interpret my holy book(s) within its historical context (as I must also interpret that to be), then you essentially cannot disprove anything I have to say about it, right? Only I and my co-religionists can have a say and not you.

                Sounds like a perfect setting on which to stage a carousel of circular reasoning.

                As for the stoning, I see your point regarding Koran vs Hadith, but your point that sharia doesn’t include hadith doesn’t hold water. You admit you cannot speak for all Muslims regarding all the hadith, and we have video evidence, thanks in no small part to daesh, that stoning is being done as part of daesh’s version of sharia.

              5. Docatheist,

                No, it isn’t that if you are not Muslim you cannot give any opinions or legitimacy on these issues, but they are religious texts and are interpreted based on their religious element. Without believing in God or the religious legitimacy to some capacity, then you cannot claim to interpret the books the way other Muslims would. For example, I may know the historical context of the Hindu Vedas, but because I do not believe it, I am not interpreting the book any other way than historically, and this is incorrect.

                Yes! Stoning certainly takes places in SOME places due to their interpretation of Shariah and the haddiths, but you cannot generalize all Muslims following these laws, or majority, or even classifying Islam as being apart of this.

                For example, in Saudi Arabia they have in the pasted practiced stoning. (Stoning is no longer practiced there, but is still written into the law. Additionally, Saudi Arabia uses Shariah law to guide them). But, in Saudi Arabia where one could previously be stoned based on Saudi interpretation of Shariah, in India they disregard any basis for stoning even though majority of the people are Muslim, and it is one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. Therefore, what may work for Saudi Arabia based more so on social law, is not acceptable for a different place. Therefore, you cannot claim that this is part of Islam because in all actuality, Saudi laws are cultural not religious, even though they hold a religious element to them.

                This would be like saying that American laws are indicative of Christianity just because they hold an element of Protestantism to them.

              6. For example, I may know the historical context of the Hindu Vedas, but because I do not believe it, I am not interpreting the book any other way than historically, and this is incorrect.

                When you understand why there’s no doubt in your mind that Hinduism is pure bullshit, you will come to understand why Islam is equally pure bullshit.

                Without believing in God or the religious legitimacy to some capacity, then you cannot claim to interpret the books the way other Muslims would.

                Who gives a flying fuck what the deluded think of their delusions, save as an exercise in anthropology or abnormal psychology?

                The real question is whether or not there’s any truth to be had in the holy texts — and anybody old enough to realize that snakes don’t talk, zombies aren’t real, and horses don’t fly knows — or damned well should know — that the holy texts are, again, bullshit.

                You know, there’s a tradition here. Theists are generally required to put for the evidence they have for the reality of their gods. Not their reasons for believing, but the actual independently verifiable evidence for existence. You would do a great deal to advance your arguments by giving us such evidence. And it doesn’t even have to be evidence that horses fly, though I’ll admit that that particular one would really grab my attention.

                Cheers,

                b&

              7. Simply put, your opinion means nothing to ISIS/Daesh, nor do you, for that matter, as they have no respect for women. There are, however, far more of them than you, and their actions give them a far louder voice than yours. You might as well be a cricket chirping in the wind — as is the will of Allah (PBUH) who made you exactly that, right?

              8. Your sexist statement is equally as insulting as ISIS devaluing women. But you wouldn’t know anything really about ISIS besides what you see on tv because you are extremely narrow-minded. I could care less if my opinion matters to ISIS, considering Islam and ISIS have little to do with each other. Just like I wouldn’t suggest that you and any other atheist are similar in thinking. You are two different individuals.

                This conversation is not for media spectators and Islam bashers. It is for educated religious theologians who can debate on similar playing fields. I do suspect you would deny religious theology as you call yourself an atheist. Therefore, you should stop interjecting an ignorant opinion where it is unneeded.

                I’m not here to debate you on if Islam is correct or if it should be your religion. The topic at hand is to do with ISIS being related to the Prophet, which it isn’t.

              9. This conversation is not for media spectators and Islam bashers. It is for educated religious theologians who can debate on similar playing fields. I do suspect you would deny religious theology as you call yourself an atheist. Therefore, you should stop interjecting an ignorant opinion where it is unneeded.

                Were your delusions private affairs, that would be perfectly reasonable. But, here you are, making your privates public.

                You don’t want people telling you to grow up, stop believing in imaginary friends, and start acting your age? Then grow up, stop believing in imaginary friends, and start acting your age.

                Nobody gives a damn about the “education” you or your handlers have in the perverted depths of your fantasies, any more than you give a damn about the schematics of starship engines or the recipe for Harry Potter’s love potions or the best type of cookie to leave for Santa. Any “education” anybody might have in theology is utterly useless outside of that particular play-pretend world.

                Out here in the real world, you will behave in a civilized manner, or you will be excluded from civilization, forcibly if need be.

                b&

              10. So, if I’m not a player in the game, I cannot fairly interpret the rules of the game. This is what you are saying? I’m afraid I don’t buy it.

                Also, you contradict yourself both against your previous comment and within the recent comment I am responding to, when you say some stone based on Koran and Hadith, yet repeatedly argue that stoning is not Islamic. You do see that, don’t you? Or does being a player so deeply involved in the game blind you to the whole picture of the game itself?

              11. I never said that stoning is in the Quran. Stoning is only in the some hadiths. I do not contradict myself. What I said, stoning is not my Islam and cannot be claimed to be Islamic because it is not in the Quran. Even tho there are hadiths that talk about stoning, these practices were social and cultural not a decreed of Islam.

                Furthermore, it is not that you cannot give your opinion on the subject, but Islamic issues such as violence in society and the question the original post raised is meant for Muslims to solve. Period.

              12. Even tho there are hadiths that talk about stoning, these practices were social and cultural not a decreed of Islam.

                Every time you lie so blatantly, all you do is cement the public perception of Muslims as untrustworthy liars who’ll say anything they think people want to hear.

                All those hadiths I quoted earlier are alleged eyewitness and firsthand reports of Muhammad commanding that people be stoned. And we’ve already established that your gods were fond of stoning humans.

                Islamic issues such as violence in society and the question the original post raised is meant for Muslims to solve. Period.

                Yes, that’s your fantasy, shared with your coreligionists — especially DAESH, for whom you’re now quite clearly conducting a propaganda operation.

                But, in the real world, society doesn’t give a flying fuck which of your imaginary friends tells you to be violent, and it’s not a matter for the crime lords to determine the response to their crimes. That would be the case were Sharia the law of the land, but it’s not and won’t ever be anywhere civilized.

                In civilized lands, violence is a problem for the state to solve, and violent criminals — including child abusers, of course — are typically forcibly separated from the rest of the society until they have been rehabilitated or otherwise can be reasonably assumed to no longer present a threat.

                Muslims are constitutionally incapable of solving the problem of violence. You yourself have demonstrated this: you beat your own son. Who the fuck are you, a proud child beater, to even pretend to lecture the rest of the world on violence?

                b&

              13. Go back and re-read your previous comment, about two comments back, now. You should find the one sentence in which you paired Koran with hadith as sources of stoning.

                As for Muslims fixing their own situation, I’m afraid that can be rather like “Doctor, heal thyself.” Closed-mindedness to advice from others, without even considering their input, could lead to many more deaths while waiting for the violence issues to be solved.

                I’m not suggesting outsiders actively intervene, only that outsiders might, by their very perspective, see things that insiders might not, things that could help solve said violence.

                Otherwise, all the insiders can see is all they’ve ever seen, without religious freedom to imagine better.

              14. Literally never said anything about the Quran having stoning in it. That was my whole point to begin with. You may want to reread.

                You need to go to YouTube and see what Muslim scholars are saying about ISIS. You clearly are unaware of the Muslim world tackling this issue. You really shouldn’t jump on blogs and give your opinion when you have no knowledge to legitimize your arguments.

              15. You do realize that this isn’t YOUR “blog”, don’t you? So, again, who dropped dead and made you god?

                Is it true you beat your son? Then you must expect he will grow up to beat his wife and daughters. How dare you provide beatings that will amplify through generations to other women? How dare you?

                As for YouTube, you should tune into UNWatch and see what your Muslim elders really do say, when they think only like-minded audiences are listening. Oh, how they go on about proper ways of beating one’s wife, what deserves stoning, and based on where it was written. Open your eyes, or risk leaving it for one of your religious compatriots to close them for you forever.

              16. Respectfully, you are a very ignorant human being. I would say that your opinions on subject matter, especially religion is not only wrong but comparable to foxnews. That’s a great reputation to have.

              17. Ad hominem attack much? Well, that’s alright. It does break Da Roolz of the person who really does own this blog, but it also means you have no legitimate argument and have run out of illegitimate ones. Trolling isn’t welcome, here, so time for you to take your leave.

              18. I’m trolling… That’s funny considering every single argument you have put forth has absolutely no basis, no evidence, and no warrant. Your arguments are opinions, while well thought out, they lack a proponent of evidence and informative elements to them. I could put forth extremist arguments about atheists but that wouldn’t make them legitimate or correct in any capacity. This is what you’re doing.

                Every question that has been raised I have answered with response of ignorance, disrespect, and misinformation. It is wrong and literally ignorance to misquote people to further your own agenda.

                I certainly understand you believe differently than I do, and that is your right. I am not trying to convert you. What I am trying to do is show people that in my religion and my holy book, ISIS has interpreted the religion and texts incorrectly by majority of Muslims standards. If you knew the first thing about Islam besides what you see on tv then maybe your argument would hold volume. Unfortunately, you can only respond with pure ignorance.

                The original blog post was an educational discussion which you and your friend Ben had no business being apart of.

              19. I’m trolling… That’s funny considering every single argument you have put forth has absolutely no basis, no evidence, and no warrant.

                “Evidence.” You keep using that word. I’ve been the one to provide copious amounts of evidence — text of relevant original sources, links to survey data, and the like. You’ve not offered even the slightest hint of any, even after I explicitly challenged you to present evidence that your imaginary friends are real.

                The original blog post was an educational discussion which you and your friend Ben had no business being apart of.

                I do not think that the owner of this Web site would agree with your assessment of who does and doesn’t have any business here.

                Cheers,

                b&

              20. I would say that your ignorant statements about my parenting is considered trolling..but I guess you’re sin free. My friend, you know nothing.

              21. On second thought, you did write: “When you spank your child are you committing violence against them? No, instead you are committing an act of discipline.”

                Where do you draw the line between spanking and beating? How is corporal punishment not violence? Men who beat their wives think they are merely applying an act of discipline, as well. What would you say to them?

              22. There is a huge difference between spanking your child and abusing your child. If you are spanking out of anger, or spanking hard enough to leave bruises then you are not disciplining your child but “teaching them a lesson” that does not need to be learned.

                62% of all parents spank their children, and I think it would be completely wrong and ridiculous to say that 62% of people are doing anything comparable to beating a woman.

                You cannot categorize all forms of corporal punishment to be the same. Canning someone is vastly different than lightly popping your child on their butt.

                The vast difference is that when an adult male thinks that he has the right to discipline his adult wife, he has already committed an act of abuse. It is not the responsibility or place of an adult to teach another adult about discipline. That is why when some people use corporal punishment on other adults, it is not an act of discipline but an act of retribution. I do not teach my son that he is being spanked to atone for his wrongdoings. Instead, I spank my son to discipline him because he is not old enough to reason that when he touches a plug he could get electrocuted. In fact, in Islam, we can this an act of love, not even punishment. When my son gets old enough to be punished for wrongdoings, it will be time to stop spankings.

              23. The rest of us — that is, the civilized sort — love our children by filling those unused wall plugs with protective blanks and keeping close enough watch on our children to keep them away from outlets in use.

                Whether you see the physical damage or not, pain is proof that the tissues you are “spanking” are being violently damaged. Love the violence all you like.

                Children learn by example. You set the example for your child that violence is acceptable.

              24. Literally not a single example you gave was of stoning.

                Every example I gave was of humans being killed by being pelted with stones. If that doesn’t fit your definition of, “stoning,” you need a new dictionary.

                That is referencing Gods punishment, not mans right to stone (which he doesn’t have).

                Oh, I see. It is right and good for the gods, the ultimate paragons and exemplars of moral righteousness, to stone humans; however, humans should follow your personal interpretation rather than the plain words of the gods because, clearly, the gods are mere worms compared to you.

                b&

              25. Number one problem you have: gods…therefore, I’m not sure what you are debating…you have no legitimacy in this argument.

                But I guess you would argue that Soddom and Ghomorra would be an example of stoning.

              26. mandymontgom, who dropped dead and made you lord of the game? You won’t allow Ben to play because he doesn’t believe in any gods? Seriously? Then you’ve just kicked virtually every other person on this website out, leaving you to play your nearsighted little game alone. How very sad and lonely for you.

                By the way, you’re wrong about India. As a matter of historical fact, the Brits carved Hindustan up, when they left, separating the geographic regions which had, over time, become majority-Muslim, into what we, today, know as Pakistan and Ceylon/Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, leaving India much smaller for it, but India was created as and where it is exactly because it was the majority Hindu region.

              27. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Islam is as polytheistic as they come.

                Messenger gods are very popular second-tier gods who receive special worship; Mercury and Hermes are notable examples, as is Jesus in his form of the Logos (the “Word” of John 1:1). Then there’s Gabriel and the rest of the Heavenly Host, as divine as any Olympian; Satan as one of the gods of the afterlife; all the djinn and houris and other minor gods; and, especially, the souls of the ancestors. That’s been one of the big appeals of religion since forever: that you become a god yourself after you die, and the Islamic expression of the sentiment (your own harem of perpetual virgins) is simply a frustrated teenaged boy’s interpretation of the same thing we see in every other religion.

                You can protest all you want that Muhammad isn’t a god and that you don’t worship him, but that makes as much sense as protesting that bottled water isn’t wet and you don’t drink water because you don’t drink from the tap.

                b&

    4. I am far from able to debate finer points about how to interpret the Quran, but I hear over and over that the key parts under discussion here are often interpreted to mean violence is offered with caveats and restrictions like you say. But when viewed in context those passages really mean that violence is prescribed against people whos’ only crime was to oppose the imposition of Islam.

      For example:
      ” Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)” (Translation is from the Noble Quran) The verse prior to this (190) refers to “fighting for the cause of Allah those who fight you” leading some to believe that the entire passage refers to a defensive war in which Muslims are defending their homes and families. The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, however, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). Verse 190 thus means to fight those who offer resistance to Allah’s rule (ie. Muslim conquest). The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is disingenuous (the actual Arabic words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse). The word used instead, “fitna”, can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. This is certainly what is meant in this context since the violence is explicitly commissioned “until religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief. ”

      There are many other passages like this.

      It seems to me that ISIS has taken these parts of the Quran to heart. They say they are, and I for one would take them at their word.

      1. I would agree with you that there is times in the Quran where violence is called for. You could compare this to Jericho being destroyed in the Bible. There may have not been an impeding threat at that moment, but they were going through a continuous war.

        Additionally, fitna is commonly referred to as a temptation. This is where people oftentimes get Jihad from. Jihad is not like we think today in the media, but instead is used to explain a personal temptation, struggle, or dilemma. In this context, each person has some sort of Jihad they face. Therefore, Muhammad (SAW), when relocating to Medina, was still facing struggles or fitna. Therefore, it is not as you think it may appear that Muslims are attempting to kill people who disbelieve in Islam. It is much more complicated than this. Just a side note: infidels are not referring to Christians and Jews, but those who specifically oppose monotheism and who seek to destroy monotheistic religion. ISIS, of course, believes that destroyers of faith are those who oppose their exact ideology.

        But of course, every person who interprets their holy book will do it differently. There are common beliefs and common misconceptions. I cannot say that I have all the most correct answers, but I can say that ISIS does not either. ISIS, of course, takes the entire Quran to be a literal translation, but I fail to see how that is representative of Muhammad (SAW), or encompassing of his entire prophet-hood.

        The most distinctive separation among Muslims is the belief in who’s interpretation and caliphate we should follow. But, I would say that majority of Muslims agree on the interpretation we should use and what is intended.

        1. OK, I’m convinced. Now all you need to do is hop on a plane to Syria and persuade Mr al-Baghdadi and his followers that they’re doing it all wrong. If it’s all as clear as you say it is, you can probably put everything to rights over lunch.

        2. But of course, every person who interprets their holy book will do it differently.

          Congratulations; you’ve just identified one of the key bits of hard evidence that all holy books are human-crafted bullshit with no divine source whatsoever.

          I mean, even the least of modern authors can figure out how to issue a press release to reply to critics…and the most ultimately imaginable powerful entities in all of existence leave it all up to every human interpreting their ultimate messages differently?

          Just a side note: infidels are not referring to Christians and Jews, but those who specifically oppose monotheism and who seek to destroy monotheistic religion.

          See, this is why you and your coreligionists are the enemies of civilization.

          You yourself oppose the monotheism of all the other single-god religions. And, ironically enough, you do so whilst bowing to one god, Muhammad in Mecca; pledging fealty to another, Allah above; and committing yourself to battle another, Satan below.

          And before you protest that Muhammad and Satan aren’t gods, I suggest you recollect Mercury, the Greek Messenger, and Hades, the Greek Adversary. Any argument you might present that claims that they’re gods but Muhammad and Satan aren’t is going to rest on the tiresome special pleading that your own imaginary friends are real but everybody else’s are really imaginary.

          And, seriously? You missed the whole “ride off into the sunset on the back of a flying horse” bit? And failed to recognize that as the very signature not just of a god, but a fictional character?

          Cheers,

          b&

        3. “Just a side note: infidels are not referring to Christians and Jews, but those who specifically oppose monotheism and who seek to destroy monotheistic religion.”

          (Apart from the points Ben Goren has already made above.) Is that supposed to make it OK? In my mind, killing anyone for their beliefs is wrong.

          Muhammad spent the last ten years of his life at war. Islam was spread by violence, forcing others to make it their religion or die. It is irrelevant whether or not other religions did that too – that doesn’t make it any less wrong. It’s an excuse a child uses.

      1. My guess is that it stands for Sala Allah `aleihi Wa-sallam, i.e. Arabic for PBUH. (literally “blessing of God on him and salvation”) I do know the language fairly well, although I’ve never seen anyone use the “SAW” acronym while writing in English.

        1. I’m more naive than I thought, I had to look up PBUH. Seems bass ackwards to me, shouldn’t you be giving d*gs blessing to people ala “bless you” after a sneeze, instead of giving peoples blessing to d*g? Why would a d*g or prophet or whatever they are need blessings?

          1. As Mandy has so eloquently demonstrated, every believer is her own god, and bestows her blessings upon her creation: the gods she interprets into existence.

            If Mandy did not bless Muhammad, Muhammad would cease to exist.

            b&

            1. No wonder they need sophisticated theologians, religion isn’t just confusing, it makes no sense at all.

      2. Paul,

        When speaking about a prophet it is respectful and recommended for Muslims to say sallaho-alayhe-wasalam (horrible translation I’m sure). SAW is the shorthand for the phrase I just wrote. SAW means peace and blessings be upon him. Some people write PBUH which is the English translation for SAW. They both mean the same thing.

        1. The character Robbie from the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” has an obsessive-compulsive tick: he has to touch his food to his chin before he eats it. Every time.

        2. The ultimate argument from authority.

          I have no reason to treat these guys with respect that their ideas haven’t earned.

          There is no “prophet”, real or not, that I have ever found worthy of the word!

  2. sorry both are me but sometimes “steve” won’t post which is what I thought happened here (but then they both posted)

    1. Lately I make it a point to hit ‘reload’ several times to check my posts, since it can sometimes take several seconds –> over a minute for the post to appear.

        1. Sometimes in the past I’ve got the message, “Ooops it looks like you’ve posted that before,” or something like that, but that doesn’t seem to happen with the weird stuff WordPress is doing lately.

      1. Thanks. I will try that.

        (leaves quietly as his comment fizzles over technical difficulties 🙂 )

  3. To imagine that religious motivation can somehow be isolated from the complex swirl of ambitions, fears and desires that constitute human nature is to fall for an illusion: that religions, contingent as they are, and as subject to evolution as any other manifestation of culture, exist platonically as abstract ideals.

    But illusion is so very comforting.

  4. I was going to say that Mandy is just showing off, using an arabic acronym for PBUH (pasta be upon him), which of course isn’t really arabic because its an english transliteration.

    What many perhaps don’t realize is that Mohammed is just as mythological as Jesus, maybe more so. The first biographies, which contain much fable and many inconsistencies did not appear until around 200 years after his supposed life. the Qu’ran itself was not written down until long after his “death”.

    Few here would give any credence to arguments based Jesus’s supposed words or any other part of the Bible, so why argue with a muslim on the basis of what islamic scriptures say or don’t. That’s just accepting to play at the bottom end of a 45 degree playing field against the wind.

    As Ben says – it’s all made up.

    1. Yes – it’s only recently it’s become well known Jesus almost certainly didn’t exist because we’re questioning more. Islam has been pretty good at shutting down debate about its origins, so most don’t even know that Muhammad is just as unlikely to be real.

  5. The most accurate comment I know about all religions (and many other things, including most statements by politicians) is from Bertrand Russell: “It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true.”

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