Lowe's, "All-American Muslim," And Living From The Inside Out

Culture, Politics & Current Events

Part One: Lowe's Decision

This week home improvement mega-chain Lowe's pulled its advertising from the TLC channel's show All-American Muslim. TLC describes the show like this:

All-American Muslim takes a look at life in Dearborn, Michigan–home to the largest mosque in the United States–through the lens of five Muslim American families.

Each episode offers an intimate look at the customs and celebrations, misconceptions and conflicts these families face outside and within their own community.

To some Americans — for example, the Florida Family Association — this portrayal was unacceptable. Does "All-American Muslim" portray Hamas suicide bombers sympathetically? Does it glamorize calls for the destruction of Israel? Does it suggest that honor killings are a rational method of maintaining good family order?

No. All that "All-American Muslim" does is fail to depict such issues. The quarrel of people like the Florida Family Association is that "All-American Muslim" portrays a group of Muslim-Americans as regular folks, faced with regular challenges, with blowing people up and imposing Sharia Law on the West not among them. This, to the Florida Family Association, is necessarily propaganda:

The Learning Channel's new show All-American Muslim is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law. The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.

One of the most troubling scenes occurred at the introduction of the program when a Muslim police officer stated "I really am American. No ifs and or buts about it." This scene would appear to be damage control for the Dearborn Police who have arrested numerous Christians including several former Muslims for peacefully preaching Christianity. Dearborn Police falsely arrested Nabeel Qureshi and Paul Rezkalla in 2010 and Sudanese Christian Pastor George Saieg in 2009 for preaching Christianity at the Annual Arab International Festival. Information on these two arrests are posted below.

The first two episodes start off with Muslim youth complaining about non-Muslim Americans’ perception of them as extremists after 911. The show then reports on these youths’ daily, weekly and monthly prayer rituals. Many Imams who are at the head of these prayer rituals believe strongly in Islam and Sharia law. This TLC show clearly failed to connect the dots on this point but then again that appears to be their intent.

In other words, the FFA believes that it is propaganda to portray some American Muslims as regular people without mentioning that there are also some Muslims who are extremists. Imagine, for a moment, applying this logic to other religious groups. Imagine arguing that it's propaganda to portray a Jewish family without mentioning Baruch Goldstein or Irv Rubin or the USS Liberty "for balance." Imagine attacking any of the many television shows portraying Catholics on the grounds that they do not depict clerical molestation of children. Imagine saying that "Big Love" is propaganda not because of its portrayal of polygamy but because it fails to spend enough time depicting Mormons like Ron and Don Lafferty. Imagine saying that it is propaganda to portray conservative Christians (like those in the Florida Family Association) without mentioning people like Eric Rudolph.

Well, actually, it's not too hard to imagine any of those. America is full of nuts saying stupid, stupid things about popular entertainment.

But it is hard to imagine a major company like Lowe's caving to such an argument about other faiths other than Islam. And make no mistake — spin as they might, Lowe's did cave here:

While we continue to advertise on various cable networks, including TLC, there are certain programs that do not meet Lowe's advertising guidelines, including the show you brought to our attention. Lowe's will no longer be advertising on that program.

Our goal is to provide the best service, products and shopping environment in the home improvement industry. We appreciate your feedback and will share your comments with our advertising department as they evaluate future advertising opportunities.

Lowe's is now desperately trying to pretend that it didn't cave to the FFA, and that it just sort of coincidentally decided that "All-American Muslim" is unsuitable:

Lowe's spokesman Katie Cody clarified, insisting that the reason why they stopped their ads was not solely the Florida Family Association.

'We understand the program raised concerns, complaints, or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum, which we found after doing research of news articles and blogs covering the show,' she said.

'It is certainly never Lowe's intent to alienate anyone,' she continued.

The Florida Family Foundation, triumphant, can wander off to pester other advertisers for buying ads on shows that fail to portray homosexuality as an E-ticket ride to Hell. Lowe's, having caved to the FFA, is now reaping the whirlwind and trying desperately to please everybody:

It appears that we managed to step into a hotly contested debate with strong views from virtually every angle and perspective – social, political and otherwise – and we’ve managed to make some people very unhappy. We are sincerely sorry. We have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, across our workforce and our customers, and we’re proud of that longstanding commitment.

Lowe’s has received a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible. Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lighting rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance.

Lowe's apologia merely hands a roadmap to anyone who wants them to pull advertisements from shows in the future. It's also bringing out the attitudes of their supporters, and the supporters of the Florida Family Association. The comments on their Facebook post show off the folks who support them and the FFA. Take Dr. Dan S. Gilliam, Sr., apparently a psychologist in Wildorado, Texas, who says "I guess it is time to return to Lowe's. At least they can hear and analyze what customers say about promoting a race that would like to kill Americans. If you don't believe that, then you have your head in the sand." Personally I wasn't aware that Muslims are a race, but then I'm not licensed in Texas. There's Billie Jo Connor of Berwyck, Pennsylvania, who is either confusing Muslims with Latinos or is trolling me: "Welcome to america everyone comes from different backgrounds but i for one believe if u come here u should learn english and we should not press 1 to hear someone who i can understand im not gonna learn another language to live in the good ole USA! Merry Christmas!" Or there's Mary Calkins Malone of Yelm, Washington, who has grasped the core message of the FFA that Lowe's has endorsed through its action: "Yay, Lowe's! I don't think All-American and Muslim should be in the same sentence."

Part Two: Americans Living From the Outside In and From the Inside Out

The Florida Family Association is wrong. Lowe's was wrong to yield to it.

Earlier this year, when I wrote about the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I discussed a theme our pastor emphasizes that has become very significant to me:

A life lived from the outside in is a life defined by what has happened to me. A life lived from the inside out is a life defined by how I conducted myself in reaction to what happened to me. We should not define ourselves as the nation that was attacked on 9/11. We should define ourselves as the nation that stood up again, dusted itself off, looked to the injured, honored its dead, and persevered after 9/11.

It is beyond question that some Muslims are violent religious extremists who will kill Americans if they can. It's even beyond question that some such Muslims are here in America. It's clear that some Muslims favor imposition of Sharia law — antithetical to American values like equality and freedom of expression and worship — upon societies, and that some harbor a grand ambition to impose Sharia law here in America.

But those Muslims — however many of them there are — are powerless to change America's nature by themselves. The most horrific terrorist act, the most aggressive campaign to impose their religious values upon us — none of that can, by itself, alter fundamental American traditions and values. Those traditions and values were born in rebellion and deprivation, raised on the frontier, toughened through slow and painful progress from wrong towards right. They include hard work, fair play, due process, equality before the law, liberty, and individuality. Terrorist bombs cannot quell them.

But Americans' reactions to terrorist bombs could.

Americans could live from the inside out — we could define ourselves as the people who defend equality and free expression and freedom of worship and freedom from government interference no matter what, in good times and bad, come what may. Our we can live from the outside in. We could define ourselves as "the country that was attacked by Muslims and now is at war with Islam." God knows that's how people like the Florida Family Association wants us to see ourselves — a fond wish they share with both actual Muslim extremists and lip-service-paying dictators in Muslim countries, who dream of the power they would reap from America declaring war on all Muslims. By doing that, we'd not only commit ourselves to total and endless war, we'd change what America is in response to the threat of Islamic extremism. Muslim fanatics wouldn't have to destroy America — we'd do it for them by turning it into something different, something else, something small and ugly and inglorious. We would abandon consistent and ordered liberty for the vain hope of safety. "Liberty," said Learned Hand, "lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it." (Thanks to Mike for reminding me of that quote.)

We've flirted with doing this, after 9/11. We've allowed the government to assume much broader powers, unreviewable powers, upon the premise that "9/11 changed everything." That danger is not past. And the mindset displayed by the Florida Family Association and endorsed by Lowe's threatens to push us much, much closer to the abyss. People like the Florida Family Association believe that there is no such thing as an "All-American Muslim" — that "Muslim-American" is an inherently contradictory term. They might agree in theory that America is a land of freedom of expression, but they will employ some categorical dodge to explain their position on Islam — like the increasingly popular "Islam is a political agenda, not a religion." (Note that this appeal to the categorical is exactly how the government convinces us to hand it more and more power over us — by saying things like "this belongs in the 'terrorism' box, not the 'freedom' box.")

So, such people want to affix an asterisk to "Muslim-American." That asterisk is indelible and stains us all, as surely as if we agreed "there is no such thing as a Jewish-American, because Jews have divided loyalties to Israel" or "there is no such thing as Catholic-Americans, because Catholics have divided loyalties to the Pope." No doubt there are some Muslims divided between American values and the values of Islamic extremists, just like there are some Jews divided between American values and the best interests of Israel and some Catholics divided between American values and papal edicts. But it is a central tenet of the mighty American experiment that we should treat people as individuals based on their abilities and acts, not based upon their origins or creeds. If we accept the proposition "we welcome all religions except Islam" or "we recognize freedom of religion for everyone except Muslims" or "we treat everyone equally except for Muslims, because of what some Muslims have done or want to do to us," or even the milder "any Muslim must be viewed with suspicion; no Muslim can be portrayed without a reminder that some Muslims are grave threats," we become a nation that lives from the outside in. We re-define ourselves based on wrongs done to us, rather than continuing to define ourselves by what we are capable of doing in the face of any challenge or any wrong.

It's fashionable, in some quarters, to call words like these naive. Islam is different, we're told. Sharia law is on the march, they cry. You're a fool to extend protections to people that they would never offer to you. But if hewing to these values is naive, I'll live with being naive. Frankly, I think that the mindset of the Florida Family Association and their ilk offers far more fertile soil for Sharia law than tolerance. I'm not worried about secular humanists (or "liberal" Presbyterians like me) yielding to Sharia law some day. I'm far more worried about the sort of people who invoke "America is a Christian nation!" to every social, cultural, legal, or political issue. These are the people, I fear, who are already susceptible to the belief that dogma trumps everything.

Make no mistake: the Florida Family Association and its members have the freedom to call for boycotts of anything they want. Lowe's can cave to the advertising-related demands of any cultural group they want; they're a private entity and they have rights too. But the rest of us also have freedoms. I submit we should use those freedoms to criticize Lowe's and defy the mindset of groups like the Florida Family Association. Let's define ourselves by continuing to defend core American values even when facing tremendous threats. Let's live from the inside out.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

91 Comments

90 Comments

  1. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 10, 2011 @5:40 pm

    I hereby extend the following offer to Lowe's:

    In exchange for the very in-expensive fee of $200 a day ($73,000 a year), I will review all marketing/PR efforts of Lowe's – including all reactions to such campaign – and advise them so as for Lowe's to not look like fucking retards.

    Certainly $73,000 a year is far less than they pay currently for such service from people in their Marketing and PR departments, and without a doubt will not be as poorly rendered.

    Seriously, do they have chimps in charge of this shit?

  2. Laura K  •  Dec 10, 2011 @5:46 pm

    Thank you, Ken. I will tell my UU congregation and I have a feeling Lowes will start loosing some business.

  3. C. S. P. Schofield  •  Dec 10, 2011 @5:52 pm

    I am increasingly unhappy with the Establishment's discomfort with showing the downsides of Islamic Extremism. "Honor Killings", however rare they may be in the U.S. and Europe (and I gather they aren't all that damned rare, though I may be wrong), should be a major scandal. Any depiction of the Muslim Immigrant experience should include at least some mention of this.

    At the same time, I am hopeful that depicting moderate Muslims will make them feel accepted, and encourage them to tell any wild eyed nutters in their midst to shut the f*ck up … or to speak openly rather than plot in shadow. The country can absorb almost any amount of loudmouthed radicalism – of pretty much any flavor – so long as it doesn't kill people.

    What worries me is that I don't think that, even now, the real Islamic squirrel food has any grasp of how unpleasant life could get if they made this country seriously angry. And because they don't understand that, I fear that they are stupid enough to find out the hard way. I don't want to see us nuke Mecca and Medina. I don't want to see us round up all the loudmouths and sling them into jail so hard they bounce (along with their ACLU lawyers). I don't want to see us become an Imperial nation, because we don't have the temperament to do it well, and because much of what I value about this country will vanish if we do.

    Oh, well. I'm 50. I won't have to deal with the worst of it.

    *sigh*

    I believe that it is possible, if unlikely, that a moderate Islamic society could be as pleasant to live in as ours. I don't believe that any society put together by Islamic Fundamentalists would be even as good as one put together by Fundamentalist Baptists. I think we have gotten where we are by, for decades, nit-picking at actual moderate Islamic societies (OK, the Shah of Iran practiced rather 19th century "justice". That was still a net improvement on 12th century.) while appeasing (read rewarding) the extremists. And I have few ideas about how to go back.

    I'm sorry that Lowes knucked under. I'm not all that sorry that the FFA had a tizzy.

    And, on a tangent, I don't think that Islam will ever be full accepted into American society unless they find some way to come up with a gaudy holiday where their neighbors can get drunk with them. It worked for the irish; there's something wonderfully American about a bunch of cultural mongrels gathering at a bar called Havana's to get drunk as skunks on St. Patrick's Day.

  4. Christina  •  Dec 10, 2011 @6:00 pm

    I pulled a book off the new releases shelf while browsing at the library the other day that speaks to the specific point of (the lack of) Muslim extremism: The Missing Martyrs by Charles Kurzman.

  5. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 10, 2011 @6:12 pm

    I believe that it is possible, if unlikely, that a moderate Islamic society could be as pleasant to live in as ours.

    Hell, it's happened in the past – in places like Constantinople, shortly after the fall of the Byzantine Empire, Christians, Jews and Muslims all lived in the city, each practiced their own faith (one large church/nunnery building was converted to a mosque, but a smaller attached chapel was still used by Christians for worship), and in the Jewish sections of the city Jew-owned banks were allowed to charge interest for profit (Muslim banks can not make a profit from interest, but can still charge interest).

    A far cry from what we have now, granted, but it has happened in the past.

  6. C. S. P. Schofield  •  Dec 10, 2011 @6:36 pm

    Scott Jacobs,

    The goalposts have moved since then. Not only did Islamic society regress, but we (in many ways) advanced. But at the end of the Second World War there were at least two Islamic or partially Islamic societies that were making promising progress; Lebanon and Iran. And we failed to support them when the wreckers attacked them. Now Lebanon, for all intents and purposes, doesn't exist, and Iran is run by lunatics.

    And the Intellectual West is still flirting with Romantic Radicals. Foo.

    Regarding your earlier question; hell no! If they were relying on Chimps, they decisions would be better.

  7. Mike De Lucia  •  Dec 10, 2011 @7:23 pm

    Nicely said, Ken. Nobody calls shenanigans like you do.

  8. Matt Raft  •  Dec 10, 2011 @8:48 pm

    Schofield: you might want to broaden your horizons and visit Penang, Malaysia. Or maybe Dubai if that's more your style. Or study up on the Mughal Empire.

    Also, discussing stoning in the Middle East is like discussing segregated proms in the South–yeah, it happens, but it's only something that 'tards do and refer to when trying to make a point.

    Your view that "Any depiction of the Muslim Immigrant experience should include at least some mention of this [extremism]" is like saying that any mention of America should also include references to slavery, Kent State, Matthew Shepard's death, etc. 'Tis something only a 'tard would do, sir.

    Cheers,
    A "Muslim Immigrant"

    P.S. Ken, thank you for this early X-Mas present.

  9. Laura K  •  Dec 11, 2011 @7:13 am

    Hi CSP

    My previous comment was deleted by an internet fail, so this may be seeded with massive irritation not directed at you…

    I believe that the infrequency of the discussions of 'honor killings' in American media is historiographically irresponsible. They do take place in the west. They are a shameful, disgusting thing.

    Having said that, as an Irish-Jewish American I used to feel–and will always likely believe-much the same about the IRA. I grew up in a city where people regularly sent the IRA money and even weapons. I hated that. I still do. The IRA sank to the same sub-level as the pig-fracking, spear-chucking Anglo-Saxons; they killed non-combatant men, women and innnocent children to prove their point. I wanted the people I descended from to be better than that. I did not want to lie and pretend that the IRA and their American support never occured, but I wanted (and am lucky to have seen, often) historical/documentary programing that talked about the Irish who did not foward their country or their ancestral country's independence through English tactics. I also wanted to see documentaries that didn't pretend the Palestinians just moved out happily, and talked about Jews OUTSIDE the events of the Holocaust, before and after. Again, those are coming along.

    I have only seen a few episodes of 'All American Muslim.' It does not seem like any of the families participating belong to the sects that support honor killings. Of course I could be wrong; of course there could be a conscious decision not to cover that.

    The Muslim immigrants who do not support honor killings need and deserve some space and representation. This cowardly and inane debacle on tha part of LOWES should be sufficent proof of that.

  10. andrews  •  Dec 11, 2011 @7:45 am

    Is it my imagination, or do groups called the [whatever] Family Association tend to be hate groups as a rule?

  11. piperTom  •  Dec 11, 2011 @7:47 am

    Lowes has a big section on their "Social Responsibility". There is a "Contact Us" in the upper right; I would include more detailed link, but it looks like they have made some assumptions based on my zip code there.

  12. C. S. P. Schofield  •  Dec 11, 2011 @8:18 am

    Matt Raft ,

    I would like to point out, in my defense, that pretty much any televised discussion of American history or culture does "include references to slavery, Kent State, Matthew Shepard’s death, etc". The Western Intellectual Twits absolutely LOVE to spend time chewing over old injustices, and talking about them as if they happened last Tuesday. Annoying, and overdone, but it does have a point. What makes the Western Intellectual Twits, twits, is that they don't provide much context. When they wring their hands over slavery, they don't talk much about how badly everybody else in the world was treating minorities at the time. The WITs are overly interested in polishing up their Moral Superiority, and at at all interested in history.

    For one thing they desperately need to distract people from the degree to which they spent the 20th Century playing cheerleaders to the likes of Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot…..often long after due diligence would have told them that their heroes were mass murdering swine.

    I'm rambling. Sorry. Just consider; any documentary on PBS or the history channel that deals with American History is certain to dwell on slavery, Jim Crow, the KKK, etc. this is not an accident, it is a point of view.

  13. miltonf  •  Dec 11, 2011 @1:54 pm

    Great Post- The kiind of intolerance expressed by the Florida Family Foundation as well as the lack of courage Lowe's exhibited is exactly what has given rise to the Patriot Act ( a misnomer if ever there was one) and other erosions of our civil liberties. Your pastor has it right- after 9/11 we should have shown the world that America still stood for reedom and openess. Instead we have moved to become more like those we criticize.

  14. Laura K  •  Dec 11, 2011 @4:16 pm

    CSP Schofield, I can certainly see why you ignored my argument to respond to Mr. Raft's. It's a great deal better phrased. And I agree 100%. I think if you're going to say "in my defense" you should come up with one that uses a few more specific details and a few less opinions…

  15. Laura K  •  Dec 11, 2011 @4:19 pm

    Just to be clear –in my defense, I failed to notice some ambiguous wording–I agree with you, Mr. Raft, 100%.
    Mr. Raft my father now lives two blocks from a park that used to have an "Irish and Dogs keep off the Grass" sign. I believe the sign came down the year his older sister was born.

  16. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 11, 2011 @6:26 pm

    a park that used to have an “Irish and Dogs keep off the Grass” sign. I believe the sign came down the year his older sister was born.

    That's good to hear…

    Discrimination against dogs is just wrong.

    :)

  17. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 11, 2011 @6:27 pm

    Too soon?

  18. Igotbupkis  •  Dec 11, 2011 @7:04 pm

    >>> The Muslim immigrants who do not support honor killings need and deserve some space and representation.

    No, they need to MAKE THEIR OWN.

    I have a cousin's husband who is an actual "moderate muslim" — but he is too much of a coward to speak out AGAINST this crap. And he, and others like him, need to do so.

  19. Laura K  •  Dec 11, 2011 @7:09 pm

    Good one, Scott!–I agree. You shouldn't have to face discrimination like that even if you likely do squat to defecate in public parks…

  20. Laura K  •  Dec 11, 2011 @7:10 pm

    Too sneery?

  21. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 11, 2011 @7:12 pm

    Nah…

    Though I think you have me confused with someone from the OWS protests. :)

  22. Laura K  •  Dec 11, 2011 @7:19 pm

    Yes, many of them did bring canine companions. It's an honor sparing with you. (but I'm not sure what kind).

  23. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 11, 2011 @7:21 pm

    I'm so glad that the people here have a sense of humor… :)

  24. Laura K  •  Dec 11, 2011 @7:22 pm

    YES :-)

  25. Igotbupkis  •  Dec 11, 2011 @7:53 pm

    The fact is, we're TOO understanding and patient with Islam. Considered in terms of the "iterated prisoner's dilemma", we've been practicing the strategy of "endless forgiveness" with followers of the meme, which is the worst possible strategy with Islam, because they perceive it as weakness, and run roughshod all over it.

    It's time to be rude back to Islam, until the followers of it start to openly ack where its flaws are, and start clearly speaking out against it when it behaves badly.

    The problem isn't that there are not moderate muslims, the problem is that they are a silent majority, assuming that they are, in fact, a majority. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

    They should be the very FIRST ones out in the street when some fanatic hijacks their religion, protesting it.

    If some Xtian bombs an abortion clinic, the Xtians are the first ones to smack them down, marking that as unacceptable behavior.

    Islam's moderates need to be doing the same, and, until then, I'm going to hold them utterly and completely accountable for the evils that Islam does.

    "If we remain silent in the face of evil, then we are complicit in the evil actions themselves".

    This is true of Islam just as it's true of Nazi Germany. The Germans who remained silent and forced the rest of the world to solve the problem of their out of control elements were complicit, and thus partly guilty, of the acts they performed.

  26. Shylock Holmes  •  Dec 11, 2011 @9:22 pm

    I always think it's such a gutless move to protest a show by targeting the advertisers with boycotts. If you don't like a show, switch it off, or complain to the station making or airing the show – they're the ones responsible for its content. But the 'boycott the advertisers' move is just designed to maximise the pressure on people only tangentially related to the underlying (perceived) problem, usually in order to make an example out of them. And that's cheap, no matter who does it. The more people do this, the more every business transaction is going to become political, so that we're forced to choose between the Democrat-supporting hardware store and the Republican-supporting hardware store? Who wants that kind of society?

    If I were Lowes, I would have just responded with something like the following:

    'Lowe's decision to air a TV advertisement is to send a message to the audience, and does not constitute a political endorsement of that show. We think that all TV viewers deserve to hear about Lowe's great serve and low prices, and accordingly we advertise across a wide range of shows.'

  27. Aufero  •  Dec 11, 2011 @10:06 pm

    It isn't that moderate Muslims fail to speak out against extremism – it's that it very rarely gets reported when they do. (Just like Christians. Seen a moderate minister interviewed for the Christian perspective lately? When it happens, it's generally one short interview following a week of bizarre ranting.)

    Hate speech, intra-family murder and bombings sell advertising space. Advocating tolerance and understanding, not so much.

  28. Matt Raft  •  Dec 11, 2011 @11:40 pm

    Igotbupkis, I totally agree with you. Whenever a religious person does something outrageous, it is the obligation of people within that religion to speak out. Otherwise, by not speaking out against outrageous behavior, they are tacitly promoting the agenda of the small number of religious people who conduct themselves in outrageous ways. So when a Christian-American participates in the Mahmudiyah killings, the failure of Christians worldwide to condemn this behavior loudly and actively means they condone it. When you and other Christians fail to knock on the doors of Muslim families in America to apologize for Lynndie England's behavior in Abu Ghraib and her lax sentence, clearly, you are tacitly responsible, through inaction, in making Muslims believe their own country feels they are second-class human beings. When churches across America fail to ensure that the majority of Muslims worldwide differentiate between Charles Graner ("The Christian in me says it's wrong, but the corrections officer in me says, 'I love to make a grown man piss himself.") and non-hypocritical Christians, their failure to actively and consistently preach against Graner must mean that churches accept torture. Only an idiot would think otherwise.

    Verily, it is reasonable to expect a religious minority lacking any meaningful ownership of American mass media outlets to ensure that its moderate members' opinions reach the majority of American homes. Also, when a single show about mainstream Muslims generates such controversy (within America) to the point where a publicly traded corporation pulls its advertising–well, that just reveals the obvious ease with which Muslims are able to get their message across to a broad audience.

    I say unto you, it makes no sense to take the reasonable path, i.e., that 99.9% Muslims do not believe that the actions of a few whackjobs represent their religion; see no connection between themselves and said whackjobs; and therefore see no obligation greater than anyone else's to condemn something they had nothing to do with.

    When you incline your ear unto wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding, it is obvious that everything I've said here is absolutely true. Godspeed to you.

  29. EH  •  Dec 12, 2011 @2:23 am

    it's the true religionists who are always first to disown violent acts by their lambs, Christian or Muslim. trying to use "the silent majority" is just a euphemistic appeal to tyranny.

  30. PLW  •  Dec 12, 2011 @7:19 am

    As usual, I agree with CSPS completely. It's the same reason I couldn't stand watching the Cosby Show. It was such bullshit. That's not what they are really like!!!1

  31. C. S. P. Schofield  •  Dec 12, 2011 @8:07 am

    PLW,

    And here I have to distance my self from you. I have known a number of middle to upper-middle class Black families that were at least as like the Cosby show family as White families are like White families in sitcoms. Cosby admitted then and later that the show had a point of view, that he was sick of using "Black culture' as an excuse for his fellow Blacks acting like slobs and jerks, and he wanted to hold up a different mirror. The show, BTW, talked about less than admirable Black behavior patterns, and not with admiration. That was a lot of the point, for Cosby.

    I didn't watch the show because, on the whole, I don't like TV all that much. I had no problem with the content.

    In fact, thinking about this reply to you has clarified to me how I feel about All American Muslim. I remain tired of the "gods forbid we admit that the Muslim community has problems" current I (rightly or wrongly) perceive in the broadcast media. I think the show could do a valuable service by coming to grips with some of the less attractive aspects of even moderate Islam. I think that the FFA is within their rights to raise a stink if they want to; God knows over the last fifty years every flavor imaginable of Leftwing wingnut has felt comfortable with throwing public tantrums over whatever bee they had in their collective bonnet. I remain disappointed in Lowes for caving in so quickly; if they are that sensitive to criticism or the threat of minority boycott they had no business sponsoring anything more controversial than a test pattern in the first place.

  32. Mandy  •  Dec 12, 2011 @10:36 am

    CSPS –
    "I would like to point out, in my defense, that pretty much any televised discussion of American history or culture does “include references to slavery, Kent State, Matthew Shepard’s death, etc”. "
    But "All-American Muslim" isn't a show about Islam's history or culture. It's a "day in the life" thing, a reality show. So, while a discussion of American history may mention slavery (most likely), Kent State (maybe) or Matthew Shepard (may not), reality TV, not so much. I don't recall the somber discussions about the three-fifths compromise or campus unrest on the latest episode of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta."

  33. Julian Hung  •  Dec 12, 2011 @10:40 am

    I was wondering who would write such a stupid thing, and then I saw it was Pamela Geller; the women has also written crap defending Slobodan Milošević.

  34. Earle  •  Dec 12, 2011 @12:59 pm

    I'm in the middle of one bathroom renovation, will start the second in the spring. Lowe's has been my go-to store because I find HD to be a festering boil in need of lancing. Went to the Lowe's web site and posted this on their Conact Us page:

    Sirs,

    It is with great disappointment that I write you regarding your recent decision to withdraw financial support for the show All-American Muslim. I typically view boycott campaigns such as the one driven by Florida Family Association as ideological posturing and not worth giving them the time of day. I was thus shocked to discover that Lowes's has caved in to the demands of this organization.

    Please understand that I choose to spend my home renovation dollars exclusively with Lowe's not because of selection or price, but because of Lowe's customer service. This faith in Lowe's commitment to customer values is severely shaken. In the past I viewed your orange-clad competitor as a soulless corporate giant willing to sell the cheapest products without regard to their long-term impacts on customers when the cheap products inevitably fail. With Lowe's recent decision I am inclined to view your corporation in the same light. No longer will Lowe's be my first stop when buying tools, lumber, and other supplies. Rather, you have supplanted Home Depot as my store of last resort.

    This situation can be remedied by a timely reinstatement of support for the show. Anything less will likely have the effect of reinforcing the perception you have created for yourselves in the minds of millions of Americans, whether they be Muslim, Christian, atheist or agnostic.

  35. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 12, 2011 @3:38 pm

    It isn’t that moderate Muslims fail to speak out against extremism – it’s that it very rarely gets reported when they do.

    Oh, Equine Excreta. Find me a reference ANYWHERE that is a vaguely reliable source (like in a blog with a number of pictures of the actual event) wherein moderate Muslims have gotten out and protested against the actions of extremist people in the name of their own religion.

    I'll be impressed if you can actually point me to a SINGLE EVENT, much less any evidence that it's happened on anything resembling a significant basis and just never got reported.

    When you and other Christians fail to knock on the doors of Muslim families in America to apologize for Lynndie England’s behavior in Abu Ghraib and her lax sentence

    Oh, geez, could you GET any more intellectually dishonest? To compare what happened at Abu Ghirab with BLOWING UP BUILDINGS killing thousands, with MURDERING individual people in cold blood on the street (need I list off multiple examples?), with suicide bombings killing dozens (and, worse still, kidnapping someone, killing them, loading their bodies insides with explosives, dumping said bodies in public and then detonating them when emergency worker and other first-on-the-scene caregivers are surrounding the body), with threats to and calls for the cold-blooded murder of dissenting individuals, and with crowds of thousands marching down streets screaming "death to freedom" and destroying embassies for the contents of frigging CARTOONS….

    OK, Q.E.D. — you're nothing but a walking example of two bit apologist scum that figures this kind of behavior needs to be excused. I can see why you want shows like this to exist, and why it ticks you off when people actually complain because it attempts to gloss over all the things being done — around the world — in the name of Islam.

    that 99.9% Muslims do not believe that the actions of a few whackjobs represent their religion; see no connection between themselves and said whackjobs; and therefore see no obligation greater than anyone else’s to condemn something they had nothing to do with.

    Dude, really? 99.9%?? Yeah, right. Pull the other one.

    Try not MORE than 90%, and the number could be as low as 25% and I would not be the least surprised. That's one of the reasons the elections in Egypt have defacto failed, just like the ones in Palestine, and more than likely the same will happen in Libya — because there isn't a mere .1% whackjobs, there's at least a good 10-20% or more of them in any general group, possibly, if not probably, substantially more. If the numbers WERE higher than that, then there WOULD be many more willing and ready to protest against such depictions that did so in a manner that wasn't itself challenging basic human freedoms — protests that weren't loaded down with posters demanding "death to free speech" and similarly anti-western ideological sentiments.

    Islam lends itself to barbarians. I don't think everyone who follows it is one, but there's an awful lot of attraction built into it — just as communism appeals to a certain loopy mindset, so, too, does Islam appeal to a certain variety of barbaric individual. And both lend themselves to handing power off to a small cadre of two bit self-serving sociopathic demagogues.

    Moreover, sorry — when someone attempts to hijack my religion claiming that it gives them the moral authority to perform evil, then yes, it IS my job to call them out on it — the more immoral and unacceptable it is the more important it is that I DO speak out, because they are perverting its message to those outside of the religion, and making those people misunderstand what it stands for.

    I personally don't like hanging out with most Xtians simply because many of them are moralistic prigs who think that their being saved gives them some kind of a reason to hold their noses in the air about anything of which they don't approve. And I'm not unwilling to call them on it. I am relentlessly amused by idiots who can't grasp that Creationism isn't a defense of God but an indictment of their own faith in Him.

    Being Christian does not make you better than others. It only means you hopefully are able to earn the chance to be better after you're gone. But you certainly still need to prove it by living those Truths every day. Note that this does not mean you need to stand around being someone else's doormat, though. No matter what their religion.

  36. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 12, 2011 @3:46 pm

    Thanks, Earle. I went and did the same, offering my support for their actions. :D

  37. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 12, 2011 @4:00 pm

    Mandy, the problem is that it's an attempt to sell Islam as "just like us". Sure, some of them are. Guess what? I don't care about them, they don't create any issue with me, so neither I, nor anyone else, needs a show telling us that.

    It's the problem ones that are, yes, the problem, and they are all too numerous.

    Frankly, I can't imagine what the eph anyone watches the "Real housewives of Atlanta", or "Jersey Shore" (or whatever it's called. It's even more asinine than watching half-competent talents compete on Dancing With The Stars or American Idol. The chances of actually encountering anyone who will actually do anything of great significance in music or any other form of artistic expression is so vanishingly close to zero it's laughable. You aren't going to find the next Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney, or Little Richard, much less the next Kurt Cobain

    But I digress — the show is obnoxious because it attempts to downplay the significance of radical Islam in terms of what Islam is to the world, to lull people into believing that the problem with "Coexist!" isn't the "C" in the word: A casual review of the inter-national strife around the world notes that, while there are certainly intra-national groups that create substantial problems — the Catholics and the Protestants in Ireland, the Tamil Separatists in India — for the most part, Islam is one of the two "problems" in EVERY problem-area around the world. If they were getting a report card to take home to mommy, Islam would be getting a failing grade in "plays well with others".

    One reason there is so much more hate in the world than love is that it takes two to love — it only takes one to hate — and Islam lends itself quite well to people who want to hate.

    Therefore, anything which attempts to downplay its adherents' tendency to be in the group which advocates violence, hatred, and religious extremism is defacto telling a lie.

  38. Laura K  •  Dec 12, 2011 @7:40 pm

    IGotBupkis:

    You have a very appropriate ID. My ancestors survived people like you. The muslim Americans will too.

    I recall that at least one primetime TV drama took on honor killings in the late 90's: Judging Amy. Law and Order has also done an episode or two. Now yes, I realize that these shows are FICTION.–but they were each attempting to discuss relevant social issues through the context of fiction.

    Also. You are a troll. No. Wait. I can't insult the Troll community like that…

  39. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 12, 2011 @11:39 pm

    I'm not gonna lie… I love Laura just a little bit right now…

  40. Julian Hung  •  Dec 13, 2011 @5:20 am

    IGotBupkis:

    You were asking for proof of Muslims protesting against extremism?

  41. Laura K  •  Dec 13, 2011 @6:19 am

    Yaaay Julian!
    And thank you, Scott…laura blushes, twists toe in ground a little and giggles. –no, just kidding, I never do that. :-).

  42. John Burgess  •  Dec 13, 2011 @11:57 am

    @Igotbupkis:

    Here're a couple of links for you.

    Free Muslims

    antiextremismallianceblog

    I've spent over 40 years living and working in either Islamic countries or where Muslims represented a sizable minority. I've also had well over two dozen friends and colleagues killed by acts of Islamic terror. I know that there are 'bad Muslims' out there.

    One thing I do know for absolute certain is that extremism is not the norm in Islam. It's not even a large minority of the Islamic population of the world who support it.

  43. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 13, 2011 @2:34 pm

    They are, however, the most willing to use violence, and therefore the ones who usually end up running things.

    And don't forget, while the Koran does set forth the idea of violent jihad ("Jihad of the sword"), it is the LESSER of jihad. The Koran teaches that it is much better to win by gentle debate and conversion (Jihad of the mind).

  44. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 13, 2011 @4:04 pm

    I recall that at least one primetime TV drama took on honor killings in the late 90′s: Judging Amy. Law and Order has also done an episode or two. Now yes, I realize that these shows are FICTION.–but they were each attempting to discuss relevant social issues through the context of fiction.

    a) Namecalling only shows the kind of rhetorically-challenged person you are. Troll that.

    b) NYPD Blue did an episode about it, too. So what? That's one minor aspect of the vileness that is at the heart of Islam, and, more oddly, ISN'T EVEN ONE I DEALT WITH, at least not in the NYPD Blue case I seem to recall. Calling it "Honor" killing is a pandering, pussyfooting name for MURDER. You offended me, so I get to KILL YOU? And I'm "trolling"? LOLZ!! Be happy I'm not Muslim. :D
    Dr. Sanity, an MD Psychiatrist, wrote these two pieces about such behaviors:
    THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF "HONORING" WOMEN IN THE RELIGION OF PEACE
    YES THEY HAVE NO BANANAS (OR CUCUMBERS)

    c) I find it most interesting that you didn't deal with a single one of my actual comments about the evils inherent in Islam. Because we both know the behaviors and actions in question are literally indefensible in the mileau of modern civilized people.

    d) Leftards have a strong connection with Islam, one reason they are so enamored of it, they both live in a childish "Shame" culture. If no one knows about your actions, then it's ok, no matter how reprehensible it is. Modern, balanced, Adults live in a "Guilt" culture — you should feel bad about having done evil even IF you're the ONLY person who knows about it. Much more here:
    SHAME, THE ARAB PSYCHE, AND ISLAM

  45. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 13, 2011 @4:15 pm

    >>>> You were asking for proof of Muslims protesting against extremism?

    BWAAAAhahhahahhahaaaaaa!!!

    Geez, notice that it's all close ups. We're talking about a couple DOZEN people. Boy, I can see how the fanatical thousands are just quaking in their boots at how strong their opposition is.

    This is good — don't get me wrong — but the reason it's not on the news is that, as I note, it's a couple dozen people.

    In a religion with roughly a BILLION adherents, do you think it might be possible to find more than a couple DOZEN supporters of moderation? Just MAYBE? And to get them together somewhere so that they can make their voice and opposition heard?

    I'm not asking for a Million Man March, here. Just a few thousand. Maybe ten thousand, in one place? Perhaps?

    Or don't you think Islam actually has that many moderates in one area of ANY country? Or that they actually DON'T support it enough to get out and march in force in favor of opposition to those who are blatantly hijacking their religion?

    Again, your efforts to apologize for fanatical Islam and equate the actions of a literally TINY group of moderates vs a much, much larger and more visible group is laughable.

  46. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 13, 2011 @4:21 pm

    >> One thing I do know for absolute certain is that extremism is not the norm in Islam.

    Define "norm". and "extremism". I'd like to hear what you consider "normal" and what you consider "extreme". Is keeping a bunch of teenage girls inside a burning building to die a horrible death because they don't have on their hijabs "the norm" or "an extreme"?

    Is having a young girl killed for protesting being raped by her father or uncles "the norm" or an "extreme" — because it does seem to happen an awful lot for something that's "an extreme"… to the point where you're fuzzing the line with the term "the norm". This, by the way, usually only happens when "the extreme" and "the norm" are totally indistinct. But then perhaps that's what we're actually talking about…?

    >>> The Koran teaches that it is much better to win by gentle debate and conversion (Jihad of the mind).

    Yeah, it can "teach" that all it wants, it does not resemble the history of Islam in practice.

  47. Laura K  •  Dec 13, 2011 @5:37 pm

    IGBpk:

    I gave you popular culture examples for your last point. Much more with-it and research-skilled commenters Burgess and Hung then shared with you specific instances from REAL TIME that effectively shot your previous comment and these massive generalizations that you have just crapped onto the screen off to the water treatment center.

    I can't read Arabic. I am capable of admitting that therefore, when all the posturing and pissing contests are done, I will never have an accurate understanding of the Qu'ran–Koran? Qu'aa'ran? because I can't even read the alphabet it is written in.–And there's Scott Jacobs' wonderful point about themes in the book that contradict your interpretation–because it's a complex primary source, you could both be right and wrong….um, he seems to understand what a primary source is; too many syllables for you?

    Oh, and is the sewage imagery coming on strong? It's meant to.

    I am not the manager of the site, obviously I have no authority to ask you to stop posting here. But by the Great Green Thighs of the Goddess–or the merciful and compassionate Allah, or even the Standards of Basic Intellect–could you at least TRY not to sound as if you had less imagination and thought-processes than evolution has invested upon the common cabbage leaf?
    Oh, and yes, IGBpk, you ARE asking for the million man march. You will shoot down every example we cite. That's what people with tunnel vision do. You see, we're trying to demonstrate that there is more than one position in Islam, and you have zeroed in on ONE interpretation of the entire faith, so that's really your best rhetorical option. But if a silly little cultural history/theology geek can spot that, the trained lawyers on this cite are going to serve your ass flambe–if they bother. I don't even want to waste time accenting the word flambe.

    Now. As to name calling. And being rhetorically challanged…
    I think I will go with the 13th Warrior here.
    After all, he's a Muslim character played by an actor from a formerly Muslim-ruled country… A country that in fact, had gas streetlights in the 9th century and (in marked contrast to its 'Christian' reconquistadores) did not persecute or forcibly convert non-Muslims. –Spain, in case you've been banned from that big room with the books in it, you know, a middle-eastern innovation known as a LIBRARY.

    "I at least know who my father is, you pig-eating son of a Whore."

    And my father knows better than to insult my intelligence.

  48. Laura K  •  Dec 13, 2011 @5:39 pm

    Oh, and Ken: in the interests of trying to help with this FAA assininity, I've done the best thing I could think of; I've started telling Unitarians.

  49. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 13, 2011 @7:56 pm

    >>> I gave you popular culture examples for your last point.

    You gave ONE example, thanks for attempting to conflate it to multiple examples. So ONE time in 20 years one show did it. Another show also did it about the same time, in an example *I* gave *you*.

    >>> Much more with-it and research-skilled commenters Burgess and Hung then shared with you specific instances from REAL TIME that effectively shot your previous comment

    You just LOVE to equate apples and oranges, don't you? Do you REALLY lack the discrimination capacity to understand that they are not the same thing, or are you just lying through your teeth because you imagine that that's a valid way to win an argument?

    Comparing a tiny little protest with 20-30 odd people with *numerous* filmed anti-West marches with hundreds, if not thousands, of people demanding "down with free speech" and the like IS apples compared to oranges.

    Throwing out one or two cases where fictional TV shows said "bad things" about Islamic honor killings does NOT compare to dozens of alternatives where the same media have expressly avoided using Islam as a bad guy when they are currently and rather clearly "a bad guy", and particularly appropriate for use in the fictional context. Ignoring the facts, or sweeping them under the rug, that someone is Islamic and that their religious beliefs specifically impinged on — drove, in fact — their actions is blatantly wrong. It's bad reporting.

    I never, ever said there were no moderates. I even identified one with whom I have close, regular association. I said they were, and are, powerless and ineffectual, and are likely to remain such without pressure to become a force for recapturing their religion. Unlike moderate Christians, who act to limit the actions of Christian Fundamentalists, Islamic moderates have close to no such effect on Islamic Fundamentalists.

    Your few random exceptions does not a pattern make, nor does it excuse the endless and outright deliberate avoidance of naming Islam as a possible culprit in all manner of contextual uses in a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction media.

    A particularly notable example in fiction is the film adaptation of Tom Clancy's Sum of All Fears which quite laughably trades in Palestinian terrorists in the book as the bad guys for "neo-Nazis" as the bad guys… because, hey, Nazis are a resurgent power base in the world, aren't they?

    The endless non-fictional examples where you have someone openly acked as shouting "Alahu Ackbar!!" or its equivalent while killing a half dozen or more people and yet the press avoids using any variant of the term "Islam" anywhere in the story (or at least buries it in para 20) is outright legion.

    So one or two examples in about two decades as being "proof" that such a bias does not exist in the media is a ludicrous assertion on your part, in blatant contradiction to observable facts. Unless you categorically fail to comprehend the difference between citrus and a pome. "Too many syllables for you, there?"

    >>> there’s Scott Jacobs’ wonderful point about themes in the book that contradict your interpretation

    They don't contradict "my interpretation". The Koran is no different from the Bible — there ARE contradicting sections which say and imply mutually exclusive behaviors. They also allow for alternate interpretations of the same segments due to differences in what certain words mean. Wars get fought over stuff like this. The Iran-Iraq war was largely based on Shiite-vs-Sunni differences in Islam.

    The difference is, I GRASP that the majority of extremists, and a very large percentage of ALL adherents of Islam, choose to believe the ones which enable hatred and violence, and which call for forcing others to submit to their interpretation of the will of their God, and not the ones which call for proselytizing and convincing others of their Faith.

    And that this is clearly a very large percentage of the whole is highly pointed out by the almost absolute lack of anything resembling Islamic "missionaries". Offhand, I can't recall EVER hearing of such. Convincing others by reason and devotion is not common in the Islamic faith. "Converting" someone by overt force, that, however, is a VERY common theme in Islamic history.

    That's not to say Christianity has been perfect in this regard, either. But Christianity has made a serious effort to get beyond such primitive and barbaric interpretations of its memes, something which Islam, with numerous cases of public stonings and hands being chopped off in recent times — as in the last month — has failed to do.

    >>> too many syllables for you?

    Again, you make an effort to presume that the ONLY reason that someone fails to agree with you is that they are oooooohhhh soooo clearly soooooo much less intelligent than you.

    Sorry, my IQ is probably about 10 points higher than yours, at a guess, possibly much more than that. My vocabulary is almost certainly far larger than yours. And I've been reading voraciously on a very WIDE range of topics for a number of decades, possibly decades longer than you have.

    MY reading list doesn't come solely from what my libtard professors told me to read, nor do I get advised on what to read by semi-literate, half-educated talk show hosts and celebrities. It includes general history, military history, economics, and science.

    And I don't attempt to silence people who disagree with me (see below) as a means of defending my own points of view against opposition. Unlike yours, MY point of view sees regular fact checking and consideration against opposition points of view.

    So take your arrogant snark, fold it into a tesseract, and use it as a deep, deep suppository. Use an applicator. Perhaps you can get it up there where your cranium spends all its time, even.

    >>> I am not the manager of the site, obviously I have no authority to ask you to stop posting here.

    TYPICAL libtard response. "Shut them up!!"

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    SERIOUSLY ashamed.

    Really.

    >>> could you at least TRY not to sound as if you had less imagination and thought-processes than evolution has invested upon the common cabbage leaf?

    Could you perhaps demonstrate the reasoning processes greater than that of a common cabbage leaf by actually ADDRESSING issues rather than name-calling and lame, juvenile "I know you are, but what am I?" grade school responses? Or would that involve the use of more than the two words "Shut up!", and thus represent more brainpower usage than the common cabbage leaf?

    >>> Oh, and yes, IGBpk, you ARE asking for the million man march. You will shoot down every example we cite.

    As long as they are as absolutely worthless and crappy as the garbage you've managed to come up with so far, you're right.

    One or two examples used to counter a thousand the other way. A couple dozen protesters in ONE case to counter an easy DOZEN cases involving thousands, ooooooohhhh, Daddy! You just go girl! You KNOW exactly how to win arguments in libtard circles, don't you?

    You're wrong and you can't win on the merits — and deep down inside, you realize this — which is why your biggest response is want to shut me up.

    >>> You see, we’re trying to demonstrate that there is more than one position in Islam, and you have zeroed in on ONE interpretation of the entire faith

    No, that's why you don't grasp the problem. YOU want to see it as a million different people all with different views, which is a "nominally correct" way to look at ANYTHING, yet uselessly vague and ineffectual, while you're attempting to pigeon hole ME as though I had a monolithic view. I ACKED the existence of the moderate. I expressly criticize that position as being both cowardly (it avoids facing the problems represented by fanatical Islam and forces everyone else to deal with it instead) as well as defacto irrelevant, since it currently has NO effect on the course that Islam is on.

    Islam is, in essence, in the same general place that National Socialism was in in Germany in the early 30s. A casual review of history shows that there were any number of moments when determination and willpower on the part of the forces in opposition to it would have prevented it from becoming the destructive force it became. They instead kept looking the other way and trying to reason with it, instead. The end result was about 40 million or so dead people.

    So you can keep ignoring Islam. You probably won't pay the price. I guarantee you, your children and grandchildren will. And they will HATE you for your indolence, apathy, and outright cowardice.

    And if you don't ever have any children, then don't worry, the children and grandchildren of OTHER PEOPLE will hate you, just the same. And rightly so.

    Because I'm going to say this, if you keep delaying, two differences between Islam and National Socialism are that:
    a) Islam will have nuclear weapons
    b) Islamic leaders are often not rational in their goals. They see the destruction of billions of people (leading to Allah's Caliphate) as a good thing.

    There will be no reasoning with them. It will be a genocidal slaughter on both sides — with a probable death toll in the hundreds of millions, possibly in the billions.

    The only way moderate Islam will ever become a force in opposition to fanatical Islam is when people demand that they do so or be lumped in with them.

    And yes, that IS just. To remain silent in the face of evil — and yes, fanatical Islam IS evil — is to share complicity in everything it does.

    This is true regardless of the evil. If a Christian bombs an abortion clinic "in the name of God", then I will be among the first to stand against them — openly and clearly, without hesitation. If I find out that the American government is doing something I believe wrong and evil, I will speak out against that, and have done so.

    >>> A country that in fact, had gas streetlights in the 9th century and (in marked contrast to its ‘Christian’ reconquistadores) did not persecute or forcibly convert non-Muslims.

    Yeah, you need to read some actual history books instead of your romantic fantasy novels if you think they got in power by being all nice and fuzzy and "Can't we all just get along?" Islam got into Spain by CONQUEST, nothing less. Otherwise the Spanish would have still considered themselves Romans. Or some sub-offshoot that wound up being in charge there as the Western Roman Empire fell apart.

    And just curious. You DO realize that Islam springs from the middle east, right? How DID you figure that the Moors got in charge of Spain, over TWO THOUSAND MILES AWAY?

    Offerings of beads and trinkets, perhaps?

    You need to look up the limits of the Roman Empire, ca. 200 AD. Then look at the limits of the Western, and Eastern Roman Empires, ca. 600AD. Then look up the limits of the Byzantine Empire, ca. 900 AD. Then figure out what happened to Byzantium, and how they lost power over a huge region between Islam and Spain.

    Hint: It wasn't offerings of beads and trinkets.

    More critically, the problem with Islam does not lie in its behavior a thousand years ago, when it was not much better or worse than the alternatives. It lies in the fact that it hasn't changed its behavior in a thousand years.

    Here, I'll give you a great single example of the wonderful influence of modern Islamic rule on a civilized people:
    Afghanistan in the 1950s, In Pictures

    A simple question: What the eph happened there? Hmmm?

    >>> But if a silly little cultural history/theology geek

    You got the "silly" part of that description correct, anyway. Appears to be about the only thing in all your comments so far in this thread that's had a high probability of factual value.

    ======================
    John:
    From "free muslims":
    "Read Kamal's speech on Fighting Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims."

    Hmmm, so rather than being solely against Islamic Fundamentalism warping the supposedly peaceful basis of Islam, this organization has clearly got a major focus on the vaaaaaast array of "Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims" in the world. Because, there are so many cases where a Muslim has been killed someone for daring to preach the word of Allah in our society, as opposed, to, say, Christian Missionaries killed for preaching the word of God… Ah-huh.

    Sorry, since the primary cause of any such "intolerance and discrimination" happens to be Islamic Fundamentalism, I think the problem and the solution are somewhat tied together.

    You have identified two blogs. Which is, in itself, good. When they accomplish something, and/or when they become commonplace and outspoken, then I'll be more impressed.

  50. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 13, 2011 @8:08 pm

    BTW, John, got any actual reliable data on the number of "hits" to those two blogs? That would go a long ways towards arguing that they're a lot more significant than I'm betting they are. How do they compare, say, to the hits on this blog, much less to a "big" poliblog, like, oh, Hot Air or The Daily Kos?

    With a billion possible visitors, I'd think they ought to be able to get a good number of hits if there was any serious moderate activity going on.

  51. Ken  •  Dec 13, 2011 @8:40 pm

    I don't know, IGot.

    1. I've read the Bible, and I've met a whole lot of Christians, and I know that it's entirely inaccurate to assume that I know what a self-professed or even churchgoing Christian believes just because of what it says in the Bible. I'm not clear on why Muslims are different.

    2. I don't think that "extremism" — at least in any way that matters — is as prevalent among the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, or the world would be a considerably more violent and dangerous place than it is.

    3. I don't buy the notion that it's propaganda to portray a member of any particular racial or religious group as a regular person.

    4. I don't think that Muslims in, say, Pakistan are in the same position with respect to protesting extremism as are Christians in, say, Alabama.

    5. I don't buy that "most" Christians protest self-described Christians guilty of extremism any more than "most" Muslims protest extremism by self-described Muslims. In fact, I don't think that "most" members of any identifiable ethnic, religious, social, or political group tend to protest the extremists amongst their number. And I've never seen any credible attempt to support the empirical claims made about such things.

    6. As far as I can tell from your comments, you probably view me as "laughable" "libtard" "leftard" "childish" "intellectually dishonest" "apologist scum" dhimmi. So I have to ask: why are you here? Wouldn't you feel more comfortable at someplace like Pam Gellar's blog? Aren't we really all just beyond hope, beyond even the help of insight into world events as piercing as yours? Why do you sully yourself by interacting with the likes of us? What if the libtard is catching?

  52. Laura K  •  Dec 13, 2011 @8:41 pm

    IGotBuptkis,

    Well, you have clearly and repeatedly stood by your approach to this issue, and I can see you feel the superiority of your intelligence and cause very strongly.

    Do have a pleasant evening.

  53. Laura K  •  Dec 13, 2011 @8:44 pm

    Oh, and do have the phlem and foam glands in your mouth checked out. Any more on your comments and my computer screen may have shorted out. Would have been a shame to miss such a thoroughly repeated opinion.

  54. Laura K  •  Dec 13, 2011 @8:45 pm

    Ken, I think I'm going to have some very genial company in hell from your comments and I am grateful for it.

  55. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 13, 2011 @9:37 pm

    When you get there, be sure to stop by my Villa… I'll be down the street from Ken, I suspect.

  56. Laura K  •  Dec 14, 2011 @4:45 am

    Yep. I'll bring Matza ball soup and birch beer

  57. Grandy  •  Dec 14, 2011 @6:46 am

    It is in the sincere hope of reaching out to the poor, the marginalized, and those unfortunate enough to have been labeled as unambitious by Alderman IGotBubkis Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis, Esq.'s propaganda machine that this letter is offered to an intelligent and discriminating public. Without going into all the gory details, let's just say that finding the best way to speak out against behavior and speech that is intended to incite young people to copulate early, often, and indiscriminately is a challenging problem indeed. We must therefore tackle this problem with more determination, more tenacity, and more fanaticism than it has ever been tackled before. Only then will people realize that IGotBubkis maintains a "Big Brother" dossier of personal information about everyone he distrusts, to use as a potential career-ruining weapon. Is your name listed in that dossier? A complete answer to that question would take more space than I can afford, so I'll have to give you a simplified answer. For starters, IGotBubkis owns drawers and boxes full of legal documents, which he is convinced prove his position. Need I say more? I don't think so, but this I will say: IGotBubkis is a serial exaggerator. If I were to be less kind, I'd say he's a liar. Either way, by denying citizens the ability to become informed about the destruction that he is capable of, IGotBubkis is telegraphing his intentions to drag men out of their beds in the dead of night and castrate them.

    My goal is to draw an accurate portrait of IGotBubkis's ideological alignment. I will not stint in my labor in this direction. When I have succeeded, the whole world will know that IGotBubkis's attempts to cast ordinary consumption and investment decisions in the light of high religious purpose are much worse than mere adversarialism. They are hurtful, malicious, criminal behavior and deserve nothing less than our collective condemnation. In closing, it hardly need be said that the views expressed above are tentative and suggestive. You should now go off and perform a thorough study of your own. Of course, this will be an exercise in futility unless you accept the fundamental premise of this letter, namely that Alderman IGotBubkis Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis, Esq.'s convictions are an abomination.

  58. Laura K  •  Dec 14, 2011 @7:31 am

    Grandy…why bother? Why feed him? His comments are an abomination. I just kind of feel sorry for him, at this point, though, because think about what his life must be like.–and believe me; the realization was a shock when I realized I was contemplating just that. Uttering the spontaneous prayer that I did last night for him was also a shock, a deep one. I am not a christian, Druids are under no obligation to turn the other cheek–neither are Unitarians and I am both, and an Aspiring minister to boot. I am not always forgiving, and I do not forgive him. I do not have a long fuse and he has been unspeakably bigoted, rude and dishonest. But I honestly felt sorry for him and still do.
    Anybody reading Popehat is surely capable of understanding that those who go on about their intelligence, IQ and education like IGBPK has are either not very smart at all, or unwilling to use their self-lauded prowess to any positive, healthy or wise end. They are, in short, bullies. Or trolls, although I still feel it's an insult to the troll community to say so.
    Even if you're just kidding–and please take no insult; humor is such a subjective thing–and especially if you're not, I'm moved to urge you. Avoid the mistake I let my ego and temper make. Don't feed the troll…

  59. Ken  •  Dec 14, 2011 @8:30 am

    All right. Let's not pile on.

  60. Ken  •  Dec 14, 2011 @8:42 am
  61. Laura K  •  Dec 14, 2011 @9:06 am

    Sorry if I piled anything. It was an honest response to grandy, but it may not have been appropriate.

  62. Tam  •  Dec 15, 2011 @4:28 am

    "Otherwise the Spanish would have still considered themselves Romans. Or some sub-offshoot that wound up being in charge there as the Western Roman Empire fell apart.

    And just curious. You DO realize that Islam springs from the middle east, right? How DID you figure that the Moors got in charge of Spain, over TWO THOUSAND MILES AWAY? "

    As someone who is interested in history, I would like to point out that:

    1) By the time the Umayyads showed up on the Iberian peninsula and changed the name on the title to Al Andalusia, the Visigoths had mopped up the last of the Alan and Suevian kingdoms almost two centuries prior, and they had in turn wrested it from Rome a hundred years before that. The, as you put it, "Western Roman Empire" was a hundred years frther in Spain's past than Spain is in Florida's.

    2) The Moors were there because Moors are Berbers from the Maghreb, parts of which are now known as "Mauretania", and "Morocco", with its old imperial capital at "Marrakesh". Note the etymology? So I don't know how being 2000 miles from the Middle East figures into that at all.

  63. Saoili  •  Dec 15, 2011 @6:24 am

    If we accept the proposition “we welcome all religions except Islam” or “we recognize freedom of religion for everyone except Muslims” or “we treat everyone equally except for Muslims, because of what some Muslims have done or want to do to us,” or even the milder “any Muslim must be viewed with suspicion; no Muslim can be portrayed without a reminder that some Muslims are grave threats,”

    Actually, from what I know about the FLorida Family Association, this doesn't sound like them either. More like "we welcome all religions except those significantly different to ours. And by religions, we mean flavours of Christianity", "we treat everyone equally except for Muslims, gays, transgender people … well, basically anyone significantly different to us", "everyone who is not like us must be viewed with suspicion, just because".

  64. SPQR  •  Dec 15, 2011 @11:45 am

    Laura never did explain how they keep the Irish off the grass at the park in her father's neighborhood.

  65. Laura K  •  Dec 15, 2011 @1:40 pm

    SPQR
    I think they used a fence and a lot of intimidation–it would have been the early 1900's up to even 1920, or thereabouts…

    Tam, from college and grad school, I would agree absolutely on the Spain comment. Further, it was my understanding that Muslims occupied many countries without requiring conversion. Jerusalem for example, where thousands of Christians Jews and Muslims got along (proportionally speaking) until Christian crusaders slaughtered as many civilians of as many different religions as they could find, circa 1095. And 1194. And 1204… Also, I notice that the persecution of Jews in Spain went up astronomically after the Christian driven "reconquista."

    Oh and who ARE you? I am so psyched that somebody's discussing the Visigoths of Spain, even in passing reference. –If this question is impertinent, I withdraw it.

  66. Dwight Brown  •  Dec 15, 2011 @1:46 pm

    Laura:

    You don't know Tam, two-time winner of TIME Magazine's "Person of the Year" award?

    (Okay, to keep this post from being a total waste of time (and TIME) I'll ask if Ken or anyone else saw yesterdays LAT story about Kayak withdrawing their advertising from the show, with the comment "Mostly, I just thought the show sucked.")

  67. Laura K  •  Dec 15, 2011 @2:08 pm

    I should have just hit the link on the lady's name but no, we are not acquainted.

  68. Dwight Brown  •  Dec 15, 2011 @2:34 pm

    Laura:

    I apologize. I thought there was a small joke there, but apparently it was so small as to escape detection except by an electron microscope. It was not my intent to make you feel bad.

  69. Jason  •  Dec 15, 2011 @2:41 pm

    I think that pulling advertising from a show because it sucks violates my First Amendment rights!

    Or something like that.

  70. Laura K  •  Dec 15, 2011 @4:51 pm

    Dwight,

    not at all. sent you an email.

  71. SPQR  •  Dec 15, 2011 @5:49 pm

    Laura, I was just kidding of course. And I would endorse visiting Tam's blog – she and her roommate are an astonishing font of misc. knowledge and quite entertaining.

  72. Laura K  •  Dec 15, 2011 @7:04 pm

    Yes! Noticed that!

  73. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 17, 2011 @11:46 am

    >>> I know that it’s entirely inaccurate to assume that I know what a self-professed or even churchgoing Christian believes just because of what it says in the Bible. I’m not clear on why Muslims are different.

    I believe the issue here is fanatics. Christian fanatics believe in "the literal word of the Bible", or some variant interpretation of it and that statement. I see no reason to presume this kind of fanaticism is unique to either Christian fanatics or Islamic fanatics. Pretty much any fanatic is likely to be outside the bounds of reason and operating on pure gas 24/7. Ergo — Islamic fanatics, and I argue that this is a much larger percentage of Islam than Christianity at this point in time, are much more likely to follow certain specific passages in the Koran, and much more likely to submit to the arbitrary authority of Imams and other significant religious figures.

    >>> I don’t think that “extremism” — at least in any way that matters — is as prevalent among the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, or the world would be a considerably more violent and dangerous place than it is.

    Define your terms, please. When you have Egyptian voters putting a clearly pro-Sharia, anti-women's rights faction into power, when Palestinians are voting for Hamas and Fatah, exactly what "percentage" of these people are you thinking qualifies for being "prevalent"? And these two locations are hardly atypical — support for Sharia is widespread and prevalent even in the UK, for, ah, "Allah's" sake. Sharia is anathema to freedom and democracy and Rule of Law. Because it supplants Law with religious edict.

    >>> I don’t buy the notion that it’s propaganda to portray a member of any particular racial or religious group as a regular person.

    It is propaganda because it's all part and parcel of an effort to reject or obfuscate Islam as a major source of problems in the world, to force those "regular persons" to take responsibility for the actions — the evil — done by their religious brethren. When these people don't act against those fanatics themselves, they become a hiding place for the fanatics… and then, when you DO go after those fanatics, and there is the inevitable collateral damage that results which harms individuals not in the target group, THEN you hear endless complaining and caterwauling about the poor, poor innocents. It's one thing when the innocents don't have the power to out the fanatics (as in, say, Palestinian territories, where they routinely hide rocket launchers in schools and hospitals), it's another when they do have the power and just don't want to take the same risk everyone else has to take to deal with the problem.

    When they don't show these "regular people" openly confronting the fanatics, when they don't show them deliberately doing things to stop them from committing evil acts, they become propaganda.

    Because, like it or not, most shows have a deeper purpose — they show us all the behaviors society deems good and right and proper — either directly by having its primary actors behave in positive ways, or indirectly, by having it's "bad guys" there to hiss and boo at. This is largely true of many so-called "reality" shows, too. We see Russell on Survivor, and we boo and hiss at his treachery and Machiavellian manipulations of people. Even on something as "non-social" as something like, say "America's Got Talent", you still have interviews and such which encourage you to have a liking or disliking of the individuals which has little to do with the exercise of whatever talent they have.

    Shows like "American Muslim", by avoiding important religious aspects of being Islamic are defacto propaganda because they suggest that Islam isn't a relevant force in our social mileau, and, by dint of its actions — blowing up buildings, suppressing women's rights, attacking civilians and military personnel (outside of the theater of war), being a directly open and violent advocate against free speech, liberty, and the right of self-determination — its fanatic element very much IS anathema to everything America believes in and stands for.

    As practiced by fanatics — which, as above, I argue is a currently inseparable part of the religion — it is a barbaric meme and a danger to all of modern civilization. People worried about Reagan being some kind of idiot Bible thumper who sought to bring down Armageddon on us all, well, I have news for you — When it comes to people like Ahminajad, and the Islamic equivalent, the "Second Khilafah", that's not just idle speculation or fearmongering. He's openly stated he believes in it and if the chance falls to him to bring it about he will do so. It is a key reason why he seeks nuclear weapons.

  74. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 17, 2011 @12:05 pm

    >> I don’t think that Muslims in, say, Pakistan are in the same position with respect to protesting extremism as are Christians in, say, Alabama.

    So what? My problem is that they don't do it in either freakin' place. Hell, they pretty much don't do it any place.

    I made an open challenge for someone to show me a bunch of Muslims openly protesting the push for Sharia and Islamic extremism, and the best anyone in opposition could come up with was a single pitiful demonstration with 20-30 people, maybe.

    Out of a BILLION adherents??? A Billion. Says a heck of a lot right there. I could find you a larger group of Christians and non-Christians protesting Terry Jones burning the Koran. And that's one relatively trivial and minor instance of so-called "Christian fanaticism".

    >>> I don’t buy that “most” Christians protest self-described Christians guilty of extremism any more than “most” Muslims protest extremism by self-described Muslims.

    See Terry Jones incident mentioned above. And this is an act which did no harm to anyone. Now go look up the news and events following any abortion bombing in the last two-three decades.

    >>> So I have to ask: why are you here?

    LOL, I have to ask, why do you feel this is a problem? I'm expressing myself reasonably and fairly honestly, I back up all my arguments with explanation and reason. If I apply those terms you're having a problem with, it's almost always associated with a specific cause, and not merely a name thrown out to discount someone's opinion or idea without a justification for why it is wrong (not saying this applies in every case possible, no).

    As far as "Why I'm here", I was first pointed here by some other blog or commenter of said blog where I frequent (likely one of several law blogs I visit regularly but not daily). This is, so far, the most liberal position I've seen expressed here, and I happen to, so far, respect the commentary sufficient to be willing to express my own contrarian opinion. I think that, while it is unlikely to ever get through the heads of some of the commentariat, it may well be that some will listen and think about what I say.

    And then there's the important reason — If my own views can't stand up to the fire of opposing scrutiny, then what good are they? So far, no one has offered significant evidence that my position is actually wrong. I've learned a couple things I did not know about (the two sites offered above by Burgess, for example) which are at least relevant to my thesis, if not weighted heavily at this point. There's also the protest, which is more than I'd seen before despite my arguments that it is, at this point, insignificant in comparison to the throw-weight of the other side.

    I'm not looking solely for concurrence that my POV is right. I'm looking for Truth, and that won't always result in my POV passing the test. An intellectually honest individual does not flee or shut down rational dissent, it welcomes it.

    Bertrand Russell's 10 Commandments for Philosophizers
    Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

    Do not think it worthwhile to produce belief by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

    Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.

    When you meet with opposition, even if it is from your family, endeavour to overcome it with argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

    Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

    Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do, the opinions will suppress you.

    Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

    Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

    Be scrupulously truthful even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

    Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise, for only a fool will think that is happiness.

  75. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 17, 2011 @12:14 pm

    >>> Oh, and do have the phlem and foam glands in your mouth checked out.

    You see, this is the kind of thing I'm referring to above. She offered a reasonable, mature end to her disagreement, but that wasn't enough. She had to — just HAD TO — come back and childishly denigrate and deny any reason or ration to my statements, despite her lack of ability to come up with a single valid argument against them which stood up to the barest nubbin of rational scrutiny.

    So she reverted to name-calling again. This is a childish, ludicrous, and foolish defense mechanism. It's common among liberal circles, where the first move against opposition is to censor or belittle the opposition, rather than apply any sort of valid argumentative tactics to actually win over the audience with facts and reasoning.

    (You'll find similar behaviors when it comes to religious reasoning about things like abortion, euthanasia, and evolution amongst the farther reaches of right-conservatives, mind you. But that's not the subject at hand, and, more critically, those behaviors are found among a much smaller group than those whose positions qualify as "left" or "liberal").

  76. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 17, 2011 @12:19 pm

    Grandy, see what I note about Laura, above.

    Clearly, the only way to respond to my comments and observations is to attempt to belittle and deride me as nothing buy some whacko tinfoil hat type who has no capacity to reason, since I clearly — clearly — cannot paaaaaahsibly be capable of such… After all, I disagree with everything you assume as Pre-Ordained Pravda!!

    This is called "projection". You realize you can't win on facts or reasoning, so you attack the commenter in every way except the facts and the reasoning.

    Two words: "Ad Hominem". Learn 'em. They reflect a failing critical analysis system on your part. And that calls into question all that "Pre-Ordained Pravda" nonsense you hold so dear.

  77. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 17, 2011 @12:38 pm

    >>> By the time the Umayyads showed up on the Iberian peninsula and changed the name on the title to Al Andalusia

    And whaaaaat part of "Or some sub-offshoot that wound up being in charge there as the Western Roman Empire fell apart." did you figure was not covering that? In other words, there WAS a government there already, and the Moors came in and conquered them.

    That's not even all that critical of them for it — that was the nature of things THEN. The problem lies in the fact that it's NOT in the nature of things NOW. And Islam does NOT recognize or accept that notion, or even grant the possibility of it.

    >>> 2) The Moors were there because Moors are Berbers from the Maghreb…

    Which does NOTHING to explain how it is that Islam, borne about 700 years before, made it through… what, shall we reduce it to 1800 miles? of almost entirely Christian territory (aka, the Byzantine Empire, aka "Romania") to gain control of and dominance over the Mahgreb.

    Nice try at misdirection.

    Hint: It wasn't offerings of baubles and beads.

    ================

    Note, of course, the effort to challenge minor points having almost nothing to do with the actual problem, which is Islam's "Conquesting Nature".

    At one point, no question: Islam was one of the two or three most enlightened social constructs in history.

    So what? The difference is, it hasn't enlightened any more since that time. Even the Chinese have managed to enlighten in the last 50 years, while one of Islam's most advanced nations has managed to produce exactly one single Nobel prize in physics. It has taken a fairly civilized set of nations — Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq — and reduced them to pauperhood and social and financial stagnation, despite some of them having huge wealth sitting underground for the taking (Afghanistan is pretty resource poor, yes, but so was Japan 200 years ago.

    Having a vast array of your own resources is not required to make a nation wealthy. It requires not subverting your people into following a barbaric and primitive social meme that openly advocates the subjugation of women, the following of relentless patterns of conquest and destruction as the sole means of "winning the game", and rejecting all the things that have made humankind obscenely rich in the last four centuries).

  78. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 17, 2011 @12:47 pm

    >>> Further, it was my understanding that Muslims occupied many countries without requiring conversion.

    It was my understanding that it wasn't generally acceptable argumentative technique to make a random claim that is mere naysaying of the opposition without actual justification of it by, say, listing at least one or two examples. Then it would be in my court to offer a counter-argument, say, by listing a number of examples to the contrary, and suggesting thereby that, even if they did not do this in a few cases, it certainly represents a overarching pattern of behavior.

    But that, of course, might require actually investigating one's claim and finding the truth level of it, and then applying reasoning capabilities somewhat greater than the common cabbage leaf to compose a number of words of greater than two syllables to demonstrate a point.

    Wouldn't it?

    Much easier to just naysay things and throw out randomly created factoids that one made up out of whole clothe. Saves wear and tear on the cabbage leaves and the syllabicator.
    :-D

  79. Ken  •  Dec 17, 2011 @12:49 pm

    Igot:

    You're totally right, and we're all totally wrong.

    You're superior, we're inferior.

    You're fact-based, and we're emotion based.

    You're courageous and truth-telling, we're cowardly and lying.

    Surely you're wasting time on us, yes? I mean, you could generate more and more and more paragraphs of elaborate rationalizations for thinking that people are inherently dangerous and suspicious and blameworthy because of a religious label — but really, what's the chance that our dull little minds, our cowardly little souls, will ever accept it?

    Isn't it time you walked slowly away, to sad piano music like at the end of Incredible Hulk episodes, to try fruitlessly to enlighten someone else, to blast the scales from their eyes with the pure force of your Bertrand Russell brilliance?

    I mean, you've moved on before, haven't you? I have the sense you have.

    Haven't you done everything you can possibly do here? It was a mighty effort, but IGot, the clay here was just to weak for the mighty potter.

  80. IGotBupkis, Sailing the Economic Seas Betwixt Scylla And Charybdis  •  Dec 17, 2011 @12:52 pm

    P.S., the term "conversion". You DO grasp the meaning of the term "dhimmi", do you not?

    You get to "keep" your religion (as long as it's Christian or Jewish — no others allowed to exist, no exceptions), as long as you
    a) pay dhimmi tax to your lawful masters, the Islamic authorities
    b) do not attempt to convert anyone to your religion
    c) do not attempt to create any new houses of worship (why should you need them, with the tax and the lack of proseletyzing, your religion is a short-timer anyway, with a declining population)
    d) anyone who is Islamic and attempts to convert TO your religion is to be put to death without appeal.

    N'kay, nuff said. Sounds like a wonderful place for being "unconverted".

  81. Al  •  Dec 17, 2011 @6:18 pm

    Achievement unlocked: Filibuster!

  82. Laura K  •  Dec 17, 2011 @7:00 pm

    IGot. Guess the blatant sarcasm in my " reasonable, mature end" to my disagreement". Now I'm glad I was more obvious in my phlegm advisory. Which is alive and well. You've been rather busy talking trash about me haven't you?

    I think your life must, in some fundamental way, include terrible pain. As someone who has endured it myself, I'm truly sorry for whatever has hurt you. Mother Goddess and all Holy ones bless you. –Seriously.

    Oh…I have to thank you for one thing. Nobody has ever spewed the hateful misinformed filth that you have AND inspired me to feel sorry for them.

    And so despite your best efforts, I have learned something about hatred that includes moving beyond it. Medgar Evers really was right "Most people who you hat don't even know it. And teh ones who do know usually do not care."

  83. Laura K  •  Dec 17, 2011 @7:02 pm

    Igot:
    Ah. I meant to say that I guess the blatant sarcasm of the first statement went awry. Oh well. I stand by the rest of my last comment.

  84. Laura K  •  Dec 17, 2011 @7:02 pm

    Oh and Igot? Dhimmi still sounds better than "reconquista"

  85. David  •  Dec 17, 2011 @7:05 pm

    He genuinely seems unaware of how he's presenting himself, and of how far afield of his stated rhetorical ideals fall his actual discursive endeavors.

    Sort of pitiable in the same way the famed civil engineer Harold Camping is pitiable.

  86. Laura K  •  Dec 17, 2011 @7:09 pm

    Yes, David. But I'm curious and will go google the Camping fellow. Whilst regretting my typos in my last comments. Knitting orgy for Christmas gifts is in full swing and my right wrist is disturbingly tingly….

  87. Laura K  •  Dec 17, 2011 @7:12 pm

    OOO, ZAP, David, just realized why Camping sounded familiar. Honestly, I will continue to find Igot more pitiable as long as he has taken monry from less gullible people…

  88. David  •  Dec 17, 2011 @7:16 pm

    Money thing aside, the pitiable factor is that he's so enmeshed in (a) his own self-mythology, and (b) his fully rationalized pet theory. While propounding the virtues of a rational methodology — a little Voltaire here, a little Russell there — he hunkers down in a dialectical foxhole of his own devising where no seasoned reasoner will join him.

  89. Laura K  •  Dec 17, 2011 @7:27 pm

    David I agree–but I also think that Voltaire and Russell, and reams of scripture in Torah and Gospel, –and the discourse of Talmud and Apostles' letters–have been mis-used since they were first written down. Thy're strong enough to get past it. Torah survived over a thousand years of unrelenting hatred and persecution, after all, and THEN survived Hitler. Don't see why Camping or Igot have much of a shot.

  90. John A.  •  Dec 21, 2011 @5:53 pm

    Nobody seems to have picked up on the fact that the "Florida Family Association" is just one bigot. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/us/on-religion-a-one-man-war-on-american-muslims.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=florida%20family%20association&st=cse

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