43 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Brussels

  1. Not exactly a cartoon full of laughs – poor Islam or poor religion. Is there any other kind?

      1. Not speaking in terms of money or you would be correct- that’s where the money is. Poor meaning in terms of quality or usefulness.

  2. Poor Islam indeed. How should we respond when religious ideas are given greater rights than people? Stress that beliefs trigger actions and so life-destroying ideas embedded in Islamist faith motivate this carnage. It’s an inversion to think that such concepts should be given greater respect and dignity over human life.

    1. “How should we respond when religious ideas are given greater rights than people?”

      Get some of your own 😉

      1. Ha Ha! By that logic: hard drugs lead to violence, so take drugs; marriage leads to domestic abuse, so get married; chocolate cake leads to obesity, so eat cake! 😉

        1. “chocolate cake leads to obesity, so eat cake!”

          Many things lead to obesity. You might as well get there eating chocolate cake.

          1. So sayeth Queen-cum-dietitian Marie Antoinette. Of course, you had to hear it in proper Académie française French to appreciate it fully.

  3. When the allied forces defeated nazi-Germany, they also defeated the ideology of nazism. Similarly, the IS ideology is tied to the caliphate. The defeat of IS will also be a blow to the idea of a caliphate.

    1. Yes, for a time. But the legend will of course live on in the minds’ of the true believers. And those who have tasted the promise of a despotic totalitarian calliphate will have spread to the corners of the earth. We will not forseeably be done with this mess.

      1. The defeat of Hitler did not banish Nazism as an ideology; nor the defeat of Mussolini, fascism. But they were a damn fine step in that direction.

        So, too, with ISIS and jihadist Islamism. They must, at length, be denied a safe-haven for operations and a lodestone for new recruits.

        The devil, of course, is in the details of the doing.

    2. I’m doubtful it will go away as an idea, and even whether we should be working towards that. But it may rise and fall and rise as a violent extremist movement, the same way other territorial/independence groups do. Some examples: Shining Path goes away but there is still a big push for native rights in Peru. ETA goes through cycles of violence and non-violence. And there are a lot more people in the US who think the Federal government should have less control than there are McVeighs or Amon Bundys.

      How to decouple an ideology from the violent methods for achieving it is the million dollar question. I don’t think anyone’s figured out a good answer to that yet. In other cases, we seem to have done it with a combination of a few parts negotiation, more parts law enforcement response, but even more parts luck and dogged patience (IMO).

      1. Islam is a religion thats 1400 years old – its more deep rooted than any secular ideology and I know people say its become uncharacteristically extreme but it was founded as a very immoderate religion, and unlike Christianity and Judaism it hasn’t had chunks taken out and edges knocked off. Yes theres occasional extremists (like below) but even majority of conservative US Christians less conservatives than majority of conservative Muslims. Ditto Jews tho in US great majority are liberal. As for Christians and Jews in Europe …. far far milder.

        The Muslim sects fought each other to blazes from a few decades after the Prophets death and ever since. Initially over leadership. The tribal norms of Islam are more resistant to change than other patriarchal religions. The tribal system respects authority – family head, clan head, clerical, secular ruler. The Islamic rulers belonged to clans not family succession as in feudal countries. They kept the state together by using slaves and sometimes dhimmis as administrators and slaves as palace guard loyal only to the ruler and utterly dependent on him for pay, promotion or to avoid execution. These people had no conceivable right to rule in their own right so were a good buffer against rival clans and tribes.

        1. I don’t see why being 1,400 years old makes Islam “more deep-rooted than any secular ideology”. It may be, but not for that reason. The roots of an ideology exist only in living minds, not one of which is 1,400 years old.

          People make a similar mistake when they declare peace impossible in some part of the world or other because the people there “have been at each others’ throats for centuries”. Well, no, none of the individual people there have; no individual really remembers anything further back than their own grandparents. From the point of view of current social inertia, a millennium of conflict, or ignorance, or anything, might as well be only a few decades.

          The pessimistic side of this is that a few decades might as well be a millennium.

          1. I personally think we need to be really encouraging modernisation of the religion – not making endless excuses – whether for Islam within the West or forms of Islamic extremism in Muslim lands. That’s not to say the west doesnt do bad things but ultimately they are not going to change if they can always blame someone else. Religion has a place and I don’t think insisting on atheism is helpful but its got to respect people not just a changeless system that reflected realities of the past.

          2. Somer wrote “I personally think we need to be really encouraging modernisation of the religion”

            You and a few million Muslims. The problem is that it is defined as being unchangeable. There is not and cannot be a prophet after Mohammad, he said so.

            The Catholics have a vaguely similar problem with regard to celibacy. If the infallible pope declared it, then it cannot have been in error, so to change it now means the pope is fallible after all and if that’s the case, what else is wrong? So, they’re stuck with it. But that inflexibility “built on a rock” is attractive to many people. Anglican (Episcopalian) is so flexible it oozes. It can be pretty much whatever you want it to be; and because of that, why bother?

          3. On the other hand, being defined as unchangeable hasn’t stopped other religions. The Bahai, for example, claim to be a successor of some sort. Christianity also claims that doctrine cannot be added to the scripture and yet we have ten gazillion sects, and the Latter Day Saints who even have a sequel scripture.

            So maybe people being inconsistent can be worked with for a change 😉

          4. Keith Douglas “On the other hand, being defined as unchangeable hasn’t stopped other religions…”

            …that are not defined as being unchangeable. Yes, that would seem obvious.

            Christianity isn’t exactly a well defined religion; it is many religions with less in common between sects thereof as compared to certain of those sects and Islam.

            “Christianity also claims that doctrine cannot be added to the scripture”

            Not quite correct. Three books of the Bible each make the same assertion, the first being somewhere in Deuteronomy (*) long before there was a “Christ” or Christianity. So it would be improper to add to Deuteronomy but I suppose you are free to add to the Song of Solomon.

            * http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/4-2.htm also http://biblehub.com/revelation/22-19.htm (emphasis on *this* prophecy, not the “bible” which didn’t yet exist).

            There is no equivalent in Judeo-Christianity that God will cease speaking to humans, as there is in Islam.

            It is also clear that situational ethics exist in Judeo-Christianity; the mired ox being an example. Things CAN be wrong yesterday and right today (or vice versa).

      1. It’s being kept alive by groups on the fringes of society. The appeal of nazism is gone because it’s closely tied to a territory. The same principle applies to IS. Without territory, the IS falls apart. The idea of the caliphate can and should be discredited.

    3. Yes! Fareed Zakaria wrote the same immediately after Sept. 11 – that Islamism, like Nazism, is an armed doctrine, and armed doctrines can be discredited only after being defeated by force.
      I think that the reluctance of the West to go to war against militant Islam only helps to convince the Islamists that God exists and supports them, and now is the time to conquer the remaining unholy lands.

    1. Yes. Ted Cruz is a creepy character.
      He also attended a “Religious Freedom” conference introduced by a pastor who repeatedly called for gays to be executed.

      GOP Hopefuls Speak At Anti-Gay Conference | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC – YouTube

    1. Nope. The threat of Islam is not the number of casualties (although if one goes through history it is substantial, lingering in the top 5 at least).
      The threat of Islam is ‘taking over’, something the fundamentalists are not shy to admit particularly if speaking to a ‘home crowd’ in Arabic, Turkish or other medium not readily available to ‘Westerners’.
      And taken over they have, only Spain (at the terrible price of the Inquisition) and partially the Balkans have pushed Islam back.
      Many of European inner cities *are* Islamic, Brussels but being one example. Islam -not a tender pussy to start with- has been radicalised by Wahabist and Salafist extremism. This is paid for by Saudi Arabia (and some vassals). And Saudi Arabia gets its fund from our thirst for fossil fuel.
      If only a fraction of the trillions spent on the war in Iraq had been spent on making electrical-solar energy more available, also outside the USA, we would have won half of the war.

      1. BTW, not all Balkan countries could push Islam back on their own. My country regained its independence as a side-effect of Russia’s attempt to take the Bosphorus. The West supported the Ottoman Empire and was OK with its oppression of Christians, as it is OK now with the oppression of Christians in Muslim countries and ISIS’ mass killings of Christians. I suppose that, if Russia had not liberated us in the last possible moment, we would soon suffer a genocide like the Armenians.

        1. Exactly. All societies are based on territory or territory plus kin or sometimes mainly on kin (jews in exile) looking for territory. People only secure in a territory and need a home base for their system of living and surviving – their culture. You cannot get rid of borders and live in the real world, which is not to say you don’t have migration, refugees etc but you control it.

          Which is not to equate muslims with invasion like in posts to other topics – we are pretty good at invasion or supporting dictators sometimes. But we should not be naive about the religion either. Most Muslims just get on with their lives and are good citizens but theres that constant irritation from too large a minority unless you keep raising the issue that the religion needs to modernise.

          Its a religion that enforces a union of kin and religion loyalty and reflexive obedience to religio-kin authority. Its heartlands are all the arid and semi arid areas of ME, NA and central asia and parts of south asia that historically have had a large tribal component. The religion is the tribe, and that can be transported anywhere. Its also got elaborate scriptures to back up the mullahs, who are authority figures and “good” muslims are supposed to cooperate in upholding the religion. Thats why similarly patriarchal religions like Hinduism are liberal abroad and tend to happily integrate – they only have the caste system to keep them in place and they can’t import that abroad.

      2. And while too many on the left are Islamophilic too many on the right are Saudi friendly and addicted to Saudi and rich Muslim Oil or property and other investment. We need to be more serious about alternatives to fossil fuel transport (tho theres no getting around chemical use of oil but we could considerably reduce our oil use and cut out Saudi). Obama has made some steps toward this but the “developed” world needs to do more.

        We also need to call out these business affiliations as antithetical to the national interest and finding alternatives to oil transport (unless theres no alternative as in diesel in remote areas) as patriotic.

    2. That’s some best-in-class concern trolling there, M2.

      Let’s never talk about Nagasaki, because Hiroshima.

      1. Ken Kukec: “That’s some best-in-class concern trolling there, M2.”

        Thanks! It helps refocus attention; you don’t have to look all the way to Nigeria to find dead Nigerians.

    3. ““In 2015, Chicago recorded 2,987 shooting victims and 488 homicides.”

      Clearly there is something worse that Islam.”

      Depends on how you look at it. Despite the occasional mass shootings (which statistically are a small part of all gun deaths, though they get all the attention), most US shooting deaths are gang-related (including instances such as the TX biker shoot-out), alcohol-related, and/or domestic violence related. Consider also gun deaths from accidents and suicides. In general the victims aren’t random, innocent humans slaughtered en masse for greatest fear-generating effect.

      Terrorists, of course, purposefully target innocent crowds like the Boston marathon bombers did, killing adults and children alike, creating anguish in the hearts of millions.

      Just a quick factoid I got from Googling my own state, Michigan:

      In all, there were 6,729 gun deaths in Michigan between 2008 and 2013. Of that, 3,647, or 54 percent, were suicides; 3,015, or 45 percent, were homicides, and 67, or 1 percent, were accidental shootings.

      While it’s tragic that more than half of the gun deaths were suicides, those are not cases that are going to terrorize communities.

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