January 31, 2007
Obsession Shown At Cedar Park

Last night, talk station KTTH combined with Cedar Park Church to give a free showing of Obsession, a documentary on the threat of radical Islam.  The crowd, the introduction, the movie, the collection, and the discussion were all of interest.

While people were still gathering, I asked two of the ushers for a crowd estimate; they guessed about 900 were there.  Before the movie started, they had so many extra people that they arranged for a simultaneous showing at another building in the complex, which can accommodate about 200 more.   As the discussion was beginning, I asked the head pastor, Dr. Joseph Fuiten, for an estimate of the total attendance; his estimate was somewhat higher.  All in all, there might have been as many as 1500 people there.

The movie was supposed to begin at 7 PM, so that means that most of those in attendance had had to drive through rush hour traffic to get there.  I live only a few miles away and it took me almost an hour to get to the church, though I did take the back way.  The drive must have been longer for many, perhaps most, of those who came.

The people there were, I would judge, mostly working class and middle class.  There were few people wearing suits, and almost no one dressed ostentatiously.  For a Seattle area crowd, there were fewer visible minorities than usual, and almost no piercings.  In short, the crowd looked like the people who were the backbone of the Democratic party forty years ago — the people who now get little respect from the McGovernites who have taken over the party.

During the introduction, one of the early morning hosts — I'm not sure whether it was Dan Sytman or David Boze — said that the movie had been banned by Pace University as hate speech.  That is, I would say, a bit exaggerated.   But it is certainly true that Pace administrators put very heavy pressure on the Pace Hillel chapter to keep them from showing it.

Obsession is a straightforward account of the threat that radical Islam poses to the West.  It explicitly compares the rise of radical Islam to the rise of Hitler, and shows the similarities between the propaganda efforts then and now.  (The script goes farther than I would in finding parallels, though I agree that there are parallels, and that the 1930s still have lessons for us.)  Some of the most effective parts of the film are the speeches of radical Islamic leaders.  They are not shy about telling us their long range plans.

Obsession makes one crucial point again and again:  Most Muslims do not support the extremists, and these moderates are often victims of the radical Islamists.  (It does not get as much attention as it should, but radical Islamists have murdered far more Muslims than Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, or Jews.)

Obsession has a point of view that not all experts would agree with.  But I did not see any factual errors or any great exaggerations, though I hasten to add that I do not consider myself an expert on Islam or the Middle East.  On the other hand, I see factual errors in news accounts almost every day, so I do have some ability to spot errors.  On the whole, I would recommend the movie to anyone who wants to understand the threat we face — and will face for the next century, I fear.

After the movie, a collection was taken to pay for the cost of the movie and, if there was money left over, to contribute to two charities.  The average donation appeared to be more than five dollars, so those who attended not only fought rush hour traffic and gave up a week day evening, they spent real money to see this movie.

The two charities that benefitted (I hope) from the contributions may surprise those who have a little grey in their hair, as I do. Medved at Cedar Park  Half of any extra money was to go to Bridges for Peace, a Christian organization that tries to build better relationships between Christians and Jews, and strongly supports a secure Israel.   The other half was to go, as I understood it, to an organization that provides services to soldiers in the Israeli Defense Force.  In other words, much of the money raised in this mostly Christian crowd was to go to Jewish causes.  I'm not saying that never happened thirty or forty years ago, but it was much rarer.

KTTH talk show host Michael Medved led a discussion after the collection (and after an introduction that should have embarrassed him).   Near the end of the discussion, a young man stood up, said he was from Pakistan, and said that he wanted to live in peace with Christians and Jews, though not in just those words.  He received loud applause, several times, and I think it fair to say that most of the crowd responded very warmly to what he had to say.  And remember, this crowd had just watched a movie that showed frightening scenes of evil Muslims, radical Muslims, but still Muslims.  Several other Muslims there echoed his sentiments.  (Jeff Siddiqui was there, but did not speak, which may be just as well, since he irritates me almost every time he does.)

What do I conclude from that exchange?  That moderate Muslims can find partners for peace among Christians and Jews, if they try.

There were, as far as I could tell, no reporters at this event.  Which is unfortunate, because they might have learned something if they had come.

Cross posted at Jim Miller on Politics.

Posted by Jim Miller at January 31, 2007 06:58 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Maybe that sycophant David Matthews was there. I doubt it though - he chooses to be the local voice of Al-Jazerra and Bagdad Bob.

Sounded like a worthwhile event. Hope they continue to show this movie at more locations. The masses are thirsting for truth in the midst of MSM deception and misinformation and need to be enlightened.

Posted by: KS on January 31, 2007 07:32 PM
2. I drove up from Renton for this event. A big thanks to Cedar Park Assembly for hosting this. Apologies to Michael Medved for buying a book mainly with coin....

re: Pace Univ. www.obsessionthemovie.com links to this article.

The young Pakistani Muslim who spoke toward the end made a interesting point that he possibly never intended to. Here he was, at a conservative American event where the vast majority of the audience supports the war on terror. Yet, even as a professed Muslim, he was listened to and accepted. On the other hand, if the roles were reversed and a young Christian or Jewish man would dare to stand in the midst of radical Islamists, such a man would not leave alive.

I highly recommend this movie. I don't know how many hundreds of DVDs they brought last night, but they were sold out before the show was over.

Posted by: Seabecker on January 31, 2007 07:36 PM
3. right seabecker--

try this at any university in America where they (mission statement only) "promote tolerance" and "free exchanges of ideas"--yea--right--

sadly, MSM will ignore this or devalue it. not as sexy as global warming or some Tent City.

praise to all involved. & thanks for the "other views." every story as 2 sides. whether you like them or not.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on January 31, 2007 08:22 PM
4. Thank you for the coverage of this event. I would have liked to go but was unable. Sounds like getting a seat would've been tough, anyway.
You are right; moderate muslims CAN connect with jews and christians. And they must work to distance themselves from and condemn those islamofacists who blow themselves up and behead people.

Posted by: Michele on January 31, 2007 08:39 PM
5. Islam needs their version of a Martin Luther to save the religion and keep the world from the next world war. Time is running out. Anyone who reads the European papers knows that the younger generation is embracing radical Islam. The Saudis are funneling billions into the spread of radical Islam.

Posted by: WVH on January 31, 2007 11:02 PM
6. A convoy of concerned ex-military and spouses made the pilgrimage from anti-American Bainbridge to Pastor Feiton's brave showing of Obscession. Talk about traffic !! The movie was bold and obviously the producers have their major medical, life insurance and umbrella politices paid in full. The documentary did not use any "liberal" gause over the lens -- it was stark.

A question rose about the distribution plan for the movie and it was stated the producers had not secured a distributor and it wasn't looking good for one. Watching the movie you can see how CAIR and fanatics would threaten the movie houses and distributors.

My suggestion to the group is to use the network of public-access cable for playing the documentary. On BI cable access (and every other public-access), one can watch Amy "Osoma-Mama" Goodwin and Democracy Now night after night. The left has perfected using the public-access and NPR/state school system radio stations for their programing.

Excellent movie. Find a copy and get it kicked into your library movie circuit, public access or civic group.

Bravo Zulu to Pastor Joe Featin for bringing this movie to the public. He is an outstanding civic leader who knows that it means to stand up. He also brought us May Day for Marraige at Safeco Field and Michele Malkin lecture several years ago.

And thank you KTTH for your leadership also.

Posted by: James M. Olsen on February 1, 2007 06:26 AM
7. Maybe that sycophant David Matthews was there. I doubt it though - he chooses to be the local voice of Al-Jazerra and Bagdad Bob.

Nah ... I'm on the other coast, by the Gulf of Mexico.

The Muslims that I see on a daily basis are not violent. Nor have I ever found any reason to fear a Muslim. So I am opposed to prejudice and bigotry against Islam and the Muslims.

Plenty of Americans are violent. Those Americans who carry guns do so because they are afraid of Americans.

The statement, radical Islamists have murdered far more Muslims than Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, or Jews is true. I am opposed to all violence. Muslims killing Muslims is as offensive to me as Americans killing Muslims and Muslims killing Americans. I am in favor of peace.

As a matter of fact, did you know that more Americans are killed by Americans every year than by any of our enemies. Murder is a crime which often occur among family and neighbors.

All this anti-Islamic talk doesn't serve to make the world a more peaceful place. Killing Iraqi civilians hasn't made the world a more peaceful place, either.

Those who really want peace ought to live peacefully. Love your Muslim neighbors. Live at peace with all people. Practice mercy and tolerance in your own neighborhood and throughout the world.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 1, 2007 08:26 AM
8. Hey, David:

I'll gladly practice mercy and tolerance--the moment Muslims stoop trying to kill my fellow non-Muslims. Until then, all bets are off.

Posted by: libertarian observer on February 1, 2007 08:42 AM
9. Nah ... I'm on the other coast, by the Gulf of Mexico

Well, this says it all.

Thanks David. Now we know why your such LOONE!

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on February 1, 2007 08:53 AM
10. So you guys are ok with showing a movie that depicts all Muslims as radical terrorist suicide bombers but your not ok with a showing movie that explores the subject of a middle age guy having sex with a horse.

Talk about double standards. =)

Posted by: Cato on February 1, 2007 09:13 AM
11. #10. Cato

When was the last time you saw horses getting together to kill everyone who doesn't follow their belief?

Nice try, but no winner!

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on February 1, 2007 09:23 AM
12. I see Mr. Cato is having his stereotypes exploded in his face. Perhaps, he should talk to Mother Pelosi and ask her what she told Maliki the other day. It went something like this, "Don't pay attention to our minor disagreements on the Iraq war we are having with the Republicans, because we will never desert you and will fund your efforts all the way."

Mr. Cato, the movie was about the creeping war we are facing. The radicals have hijacked this religion and have found plenty of wordings in their bible to support their plans for world conquest and domination. Right now and right this minute, there are plenty of moderate Muslims, but they choose to hide. That is the real danger, Mr. Cato.

Posted by: swatter on February 1, 2007 09:25 AM
13. Cato -- nice try. The documentary Obsession no more made the point that ALL Muslim was murderous crazies with suicide laden REI vests than the Horse Man-Love movie made it out that this is the new moveon.org prescription for overpopluation. Both movies deal with bizzare destructive behavior. However because of the shortage of horses worldwide and the popularity of Islam fanatacism around the world, I find Obsession to be the far more threatening to humans.

Posted by: James M. Olsen on February 1, 2007 09:26 AM
14. Cato, read again, and you may be able to absorb the observations that the movie itself and the presentation took care to state just the opposite, that Islamic fanatic terrorists are NOT ALL MUSLIMS. Take it slow. I know it's a challenge.

Posted by: katomar on February 1, 2007 09:27 AM
15. Cato -- nice try. The documentary Obsession no more made the point that ALL Muslim was murderous crazies with suicide laden REI vests than the Horse Man-Love movie made it out that this is the new moveon.org prescription for overpopluation. Both movies deal with bizzare destructive behavior. However because of the shortage of horses worldwide and the popularity of Islam fanatacism around the world, I find Obsession to be the far more threatening to humans.

Posted by: James M. Olsen on February 1, 2007 09:27 AM
16. RE: David Mathews # 7--I'd relax if the Muslims lower their guns. On the other hand, if I were an American Jew, I'd arm myself.

Posted by: John425 on February 1, 2007 09:32 AM
17. RE: David Mathews # 7--I'd relax if the Muslims lower their guns. On the other hand, if I were an American Jew, I'd arm myself.

Posted by: John425 on February 1, 2007 09:33 AM
18. This
is the best response I have seen by anyone to the silence of peaceful Muslims:

Posted by: Peggy U on February 1, 2007 10:18 AM
19. swatter @ 12

There are plenty of Christian extremists too who are hell bent on shoving their version of morality down peoples throat. They tend to do it through politics which seems a more peaceful way but the end result is still the same.

Mr. Cato, the movie was about the creeping war we are facing.

Maybe you should watch Jesus Camp and see there are numerous Christian radicals who would be prepared to train and go to war in the name of Jesus.

the popularity of Islam fanaticism around the world

What about the popularity of religious fanaticism here at home? You have Pat Robertson telling people that God told him of a future terrorist attack would cause a "mass killing" on US soil in 2007. People actually believe people like this, heck Robertson even gets to chat with the Dubya on occasion.


Posted by: Cato on February 1, 2007 10:27 AM
20. Sure you didn't mean he "channels" Bush like the lefties like to do?

Posted by: swatter on February 1, 2007 10:36 AM
21. This is what I meant, and I hope it works ... still learning!

Posted by: Peggy U on February 1, 2007 10:37 AM
22. Robertson is criticized in the press and by the public often and loudly - and most times he speaks he only sounds like a jackass.

I haven't heard him advocate strapping a bomb to your body and going into a crowded grocery store to kill innocent children, or anything about lopping the heads off of people that you've kidnapped off the streets.

There's some muslim clerics out there that do call for that kind of thing, and the silence in response to them is kind of deafening.

If you don't see the difference between these two situations, you really should lay off the hard drugs.

Posted by: Johnny on February 1, 2007 10:44 AM
23. Left out the colon ... I'm going to go work on improving my skills before I screw up any more! Here is the link:

http://benningswritingpad.blogspot.com/2007/01/numbers-and-humanity.html

I thought it was interesting.

Posted by: Peggy U on February 1, 2007 10:45 AM
24. What the heck are you talking about Swatter? "Channeling" Bush?

All I'm just saying is that he's a loon who has access to the President. People respect him and don't think he's a loon. Yet he can publicly make vague comments about terrorist attacks on this country. Not a man I would want hanging around any President.

Posted by: Cato on February 1, 2007 10:45 AM
25. This?

Posted by:
Peggy U on February 1, 2007 11:01 AM
26. to Dave and Cato et.al,

So supposed, unverified, unscientific theories of global warming is the one real threat to humanity and muslim fanatics blowing up, shooting, beheading,
burning, hanging, school girls, christians, jews,
teachers and other ordinary peaceful people, every day, is just neocon fear mongering.

You'd better hope that the Christian right stays around in this country because if they don't, nature abhors a vacuum, and you won't like what rushes in to take its' place.

Posted by: dan on February 1, 2007 11:47 AM
27. To Cato

re: #10. Thank you for showing your ignorance and prejudices regarding this film. By your statement you have declared that you have not seen the film. It begins with a clear declaration that there are millions of peace loving Muslims in the world, and "THIS FILM IS NOT ABOUT THEM!" And, again, the tolerance that was shown to the Muslims in attendence is a testimony to who the real intolerant folks are.

re: #19. Every group has their radicals. What you don't acknowledge (or won't acknowledge), however, is that within Christianity, radicals are NOT tolerated by the group as a whole. You see, Christianity is about free will, and most folks recognize that. There are no suicide bombers, murderers, or facists within Christianity. Islam teaches you kill the unbeleiver. Christianity says to preach the Gospel, but where you are not accepted, shake the dirt off your sandles and move on. Jesus Camp is a hate movie with a leftwing political and anti-Christian agenda - it is fiction. Obsession is a movie which shows the agenda of radical Islam, in their own words.

Posted by: Seabecker on February 1, 2007 11:57 AM
28. My wife and I attended this showing, and it was remarkable how many people showed up. We had seen an earlier screening last year on Mercer Island and bought the DVD ourselves, but it was heartening to see the type of response that this past showing generated.

To expand on Jim's point, we also gave $20 towards the charities, as they seemed a good cause.

As a resident of Fremont, I thought it was ironic that at one point in the movie, it shows a statue of Lenin being pulled down in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. I said sotto voce "Now, if they'd only do that to the one down in Fremont!"

Posted by: chunkstyle on February 1, 2007 12:02 PM
29. DM 7--great idea on paper. unfortunately, like the paper of Chamberlain. sounds good. dosent work in real world. tell that to those who jumped out of the Towers on 9-11. they still get no decent coverage nor mention in the MSM. ostrich principle. denial.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 1, 2007 12:04 PM
30. I always ask those who want "peace" to define "peace" western definition or islamic definition?

The world will be at peace when the world is under Islam - although they are going at each other in Iraq right now.

So, sorry, while I know there are moderate muslims and I do understand somewhat why they are staying quiet, any time a muslim wants to live in "peace," I wonder what he/she means.

Posted by: Sandy P on February 1, 2007 12:17 PM
31. Bush talking to Robertson? Heck, he's also been known to talk to Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, even the coach of last year's Super Bowl winning team.

Posted by: Tyler Durden on February 1, 2007 12:21 PM
32. chunkstyle @ #28: I thought the exact same thing when the film showed the statue of Lenin coming down; I thought about Fremont.

IIRC, the Fremont statue was from Poland, and it too was toppled in the 1989 revolution. Unfortunately, it was rescued. Lenin was a truely evil man, and was personally responsible for the murders of many members of my own family.

Posted by: Seabecker on February 1, 2007 12:25 PM
33. #32 Seabecker,

I just don't get the whole idea of using the statue of a mass murderer as an icon of cultural kitsch. The message that comes across is, "Look at us here in Fremont, we're so wacky, we put a Santa hat on Lenin at Christmas".

The only way that statue could be redeemed (other than melting it down for scrap metal) is if they carved an opening in its backside and put in an ATM. The ultimate victory of capitalism over communism.

Posted by: chunkstyle on February 1, 2007 12:31 PM
34. Yeah, I remember when I moved up here and saw the Lenin statue in Fremont. It was like, "What the heck? Don't these people know or care how much murder and misery this guy caused?

The same loonie-left bozos that think the statue of this leftist menace is "cool" would probably protest if someone were to put a statue of Jesus Christ in the same general area.

Proof - as if we needed any - that the schools today are eager to teach about the supposed "evils" of our capitalistic society, but work pretty hard to bury the true evils of communism.

Think there might be a political motive there? (I sure do.)

Posted by: johnny on February 1, 2007 01:02 PM
35. I am interested in the Islamic scholars comments about the Koranic concept of hudna:

"hudna: Honest Reporting has a good definition of the Arab/Muslim concept of hudna:
Hudna has a distinct meaning to Islamic fundamentalists, well-versed in their history: The prophet Mohammad struck a legendary, ten-year hudna with the Quraysh tribe that controlled Mecca in the seventh century. Over the following two years, Mohammad rearmed and took advantage of a minor Quraysh infraction to break the hudna and launch the full conquest of Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.
In essence, this is religious license to renege on ones word, and to regroup, rearm, and reorganize to attack when ones enemy is lulled into thinking that one will be honest and fulfill ones side of a truce. This is tactic has been used over and over in Islam's history, and is used to great effect today by Yasser Arafat, Hamas, al-Aqsa, and other Islamic terrorists all over the world. Recent examples include Fallujah and Najaf. What Westerners need to do is to read Islamic scripture and learn that in Islam there is no concept of permanent submission to any other power than God's. Treaties mean nothing."
http://clarityandresolve.com/lexicon.php

Posted by: WVH on February 1, 2007 01:06 PM
36. Statues of villians should be displayed in museums of art and history. They should not be displayed in the public square.

Posted by: Seabecker on February 1, 2007 01:30 PM
37. Mohammed is one of history's scam artists.

Posted by: swatter on February 1, 2007 01:48 PM
38. Dear Seabecker,
Maybe you should hang out over at Little Green Footballs, you will see in many conservatives eyes there's no such thing as a peaceful Muslim.

Me personally, I think there are radicals in every religion. Look at the Evangelical nut jobs in this country who blow up Planed Parenthoods. Are they terrorists or saviors of unborn children? I think Michelle and others here would say the later. Are the majority of Christians right wing nut jobs who blow up Planed Parenthoods? Nope.

Posted by: Cato on February 1, 2007 03:06 PM
39. Stretchhhhhhh!!!! I had to rubberneck that one, Cato. Do you really believe the rubbish you are putting out?

When was the last time Planned Parenthood was blown up? In fact, how many have been blown up? Nothing, nothing like the Islamofascists. Aw, go put you head back in the sand next to your political comrade- Pat Buchanan.

Posted by: swatter on February 1, 2007 03:28 PM
40. Cato: Quick, put hands over ears, close eyes, and sing la, la, la, la, very loud. You'll feel better.

Posted by: katomar on February 1, 2007 03:35 PM
41. Cato-
So when was the last time that a planned parenthood was actually bombed?

I didn't look deep, but the most recent one I can find was in 97. A little less than 10 years ago. I found maybe a handful. in the last 25 years and most were done by two individuals.

I don't discount that it has happened, but I'd bet you more people died yesterday at the hands of muslim extremists than died in the history of Planned Parenthood.

Your thinking seems to lack perspective Cato. It's a bit pathetic really

Posted by: johnny on February 1, 2007 04:00 PM
42. When was the last terrorist attack on the US...the most recent one I can find is 6 yeas ago. Some (extremely conservative mind you) religious nut jobs crashed a bunch of planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. I found maybe a handful of these attacks in the last 25 years or so as well. Yet the US spends tons of money trying to prevent another one (see yesterday in Boston).

Point being, just because they haven't happened recently does not mean it's not going to happen again. There are lot's of loony Christians out there (the Jim Jones incident comes to mind). =)

I'd bet you more people died yesterday at the hands of muslim extremists than died in the history of Planned Parenthood.

Depends on how you calculate those figures, if you include natural deaths and aborted fetuses then one could easily argue that in it's lifetime Planed Parenthood has killed more people than the Muslim extremists did yesterday. =)

BTW, Pat Buchanan ran for president and carried this state. This was the beginning of the end for the GOP in this state. That and Ellen Craswell being chosen to run for Senate.

Posted by: Cato on February 1, 2007 04:29 PM
43. Please, Cato, just do the la, la, la, la thing. It works better for you.

Posted by: katomar on February 1, 2007 05:39 PM
44. Cato @ #38: Why do you and your liberal friends ALWAYS AND CONTINUOSLY bring up "blowing up Planned Parenthoods"? This is nonsense, a fantasy.

Violence of any level against abortion clinics is extremely rare. Very rare. It is almost (but not totally) non-existant. But when it does happen, the responsible parties are CONDEMNED, publically and privately, by Christians. Two weeks ago, tens of thousands of ProLife supporters marched in DC. There were NO acts of violence or civil disobedience. Compare that to the approximately same-size crowd that marched on DC last week, and defaced the Capitol.

Posted by: Seabecker on February 1, 2007 06:20 PM
45. Hello Everyone,

All these comments amount to nothing much more than irrational fear, prejudice and bigotry against Muslims. Christians have a long history of prejudice and bigotry: See America's treatment of the slaves and decades of segregation. Christians also have a long history of genocide: The Native Americans did not donate this land to the United States of America. Americans killed the Natives and stole the land.

It is not proper to draw any sort of comparisons between the modern secular post-Christian West and modern day Islam. There was a time when Christians did possess political power and militaries. Christians were plenty violent during that era and this is one of the primary reasons why America has separation of church and state.

During the century and a half that America was a nearly-exclusive Christian country there were some serious acts of violence: The Civil War, for example, and also the persecution of the Mormons which drove that religion from New York to Missouri to Utah. The Christians spilled a whole bunch of blood. Christian America was by no means a peaceful place.

As to the behavior of America today: The American military has killed plenty of Muslim civilians. Thousands of them. The American military has murdered more Muslim civilians than Osama killed American civilians on 9/11.

We don't care too much about America killing Muslim civilians, either. The military calls these events "Collateral Damage" and doesn't even bother to count all the blood which it sheds.

The United States of America has a long history of killing civilians in warfare. Over 100,000 filipinos died during America's colonial control over that country. Over 1,000,000 Vietnamese civilians died during America's involvement in the Vietnam war. The United States of America killed more than 1,000,000 civilians during World War II.

So we are not a peaceful nation. Not by any means.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 1, 2007 06:49 PM
46. "So we are not a peaceful nation. Not by any means."

ok...well...still waiting for your vanishing act from this evil country to that "better place" than the USA...Madonna did it. your guilt is overwhelming, but--luckily--not contagious.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 1, 2007 08:37 PM
47. Hello Jimmie,

In a free country the citizens have a right to notice that their country is not peaceful and struggle politically against the forces of prejudice, bigotry and irrational fear. Otherwise these negative forces will lead to unrestrained violence and perpetual warfare ... you know, sort of like the very situation that presently exists in the United States of America.

The United States of America has killed plenty of civilians, that much is certain. The United States of America is still killing civilians, read the news reports every day.

Who in their right mind is going to claim that the United States of America is a peaceful nation?

Citizens of other countries which have directly experienced (and suffered from) American military or CIA violence have an entirely different opinion of the United States of America. These people don't trust America because they have too many and too recent memories of American violence.

How then can anyone say that America is a peaceful nation?

Posted by: David Mathews on February 1, 2007 08:45 PM
48. Hello David:

Please comment on hudna?

Posted by: WVH on February 1, 2007 09:31 PM
49. Hello, David:
In a free country, citizens have the right to notice when they are being threatened and attacked. And then they have the right to protect themselves. And because we are such a great nation, we protect other nations as well. We have done it time and time again, unless you believe revisionist history. All of the examples you give throughout history were times I would gladly live in. Those were times when men were real men, not sniveling cowards crying in their hankies for less violence. They knew the best prescription for living was to not let anyone kill them or theirs.

Posted by: katomar on February 1, 2007 09:39 PM
50. Hello katomar,

> Those were times when men were real men, not sniveling cowards crying in their hankies for less violence.

Those American soldiers committed mass murder against the civilians of other countries were real men?

These real men were behaving just like the terrorists of today. The Jihadists defeated the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and they are in the process of defeating the United States of America today.

These Muslims are real men aren't they?

Posted by: David Mathews on February 2, 2007 04:43 AM
51. Hello WVH,

The definition of hudna from your source:

> In essence, this is religious license to renege on ones word, and to regroup, rearm, and reorganize to attack when ones enemy is lulled into thinking that one will be honest and fulfill ones side of a truce.

Another definition of hudna:

> "Typically covering 10 years, a hudna is recognized in Islamic jurisprudence as a legitimate and binding contract. A hudna extends beyond the Western concept of a cease-fire and obliges the parties to use the period to seek a permanent, nonviolent resolution to their differences....
"This offer of hudna is no ruse... to strengthen our military machine....
"We Palestinians are prepared to enter into a hudna to bring about an immediate end to the occupation and to initiate a period of peaceful coexistence...."

http://www.answers.com/topic/hudna

You people are becoming terrified over a different language and nothing more. Ceasefires are common in warfare. Treaties are also common, too.

As to the question of Muslims breaking their treaties -- The United States of America has broken treaties numerous times. There is nothing at all remarkable about treaties and ceasefires coming being broken.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 2, 2007 04:52 AM
52. DM--yet more self loathing. the tone is always far beyond patriotic/constructive criticism. it borders on loathing.

find me any other country now or in the past that has not caused innocent or purposeful deaths. for that matter, one that has created more or helped the world more. this is still the best place for me & millions who still WANT to come here. you think otherwise, yet will not move out.

you dont have to leave, but remember that despising the country that gives you freedom and the chance to hate it also has its price--you very well may be shunned by others. not bad, considering other 'enlightened' countries like North Korea, Cuba or China (that you presumably love) would likely jail you or worse. would you have said the same living in the former Soviet Union about them with such vigor? i wonder.

move over, Hanoi Jane. another one for the gun seat.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 2, 2007 06:48 AM
53. Cato, I think Buchanan still calls himself a Republican, so does that mean you are one or one that believes in isolationism to the nth degree?

Posted by: swatter on February 2, 2007 07:07 AM
54. Hello Jimmie,

> find me any other country now or in the past that has not caused innocent or purposeful deaths.

All countries engage in violence and warfare. How then can you spread prejudice, bigotry & irrational fear of the Muslims?

At the present moment, the United States of America is killing Muslim civilians every day. Our bombs & bullets have not generated freedom & democracy rather chaos & civil war.

The Muslims can legitimately say that the United States of America is a destabilizing force in the Middle East. American militarism has resulted in over 150,000 dead Iraqi civilians. How then are we the peaceful people of the world?

Americans are hypocritical to an extreme degree. We've killed millions in our expansionism, colonialism, slavery, and militarism. Americans are by no means a peaceful nation.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 2, 2007 08:06 AM
55. David M-

"May the Day Come When All the People of the World Choose to Live in Peace with God, Nature and Humankind.
Until That day Comes I Choose to Live at Peace with All and Refuse to Hate Anyone"

You may recognize this little phrase. It's from your own web page. Sounds nice, except that you seem to hate America and all the GOOD that it stands for. So much for not hating anyone.

America, and Americans, are peaceful, whether you want to believe it or not.

The rest of what you said was just - stunning in its stupidity.

Posted by: Michael H on February 2, 2007 09:24 AM
56. Hello Michael,

> Sounds nice, except that you seem to hate America and all the GOOD that it stands for.

What sort of good are you thinking about? Are you thinking that America's culture of greed & gluttony & eternal consumerism is a good which the rest of the world ought to emulate?

> America, and Americans, are peaceful, whether you want to believe it or not.

The children of Hiroshima & Nagasaki met an entirely different America, didn't they? The great flash in the sky and the civilians vaporizing away into the atmosphere.

Do you suppose that a peaceful nation drops nuclear bombs on civilians, women and children?

Posted by: David Mathews on February 2, 2007 09:32 AM
57. Cato splits hairs again.

So there hasn't been a terrorist attack in this country, so we're all exaggerating.

I bet he hasn't been robbed lately but i bet he locks his doors at night.

The man is a boob.

Also, to whomever up there is trying to tie christians to slavery, they ought to check their facts a little. It takes just a bit of mental reach to remember that way back when just about everyone in Europe and the emerging U.S. thought of black people as less than people. It was a Christian group in England that is widely credited for working to change that perception and create the case that slavery was wrong. Also on this subject you could find christians among the numbers that ran the "underground railroad" that helped slaves in the south escape north.

I guess just to say it one, it was a republican (not democrats) that were in charge when the slaves in this country were ultimately freed.

Some people want to blame religion for everything, but check out the "godless" people.

Stalin, Trotsky and their ilk killed and starves how many tens of millions?

Ever hear about what happened in the killing fields of Cambodia when the communists took over?

Take a look at some of the things that the Chinese and North Koreans do to people that don't agree with their views.

You want to look at any philosophy that millions of people subscribe to, and some bad things are going to happen - but to my knowledge "godlessness" has really only been around for about 100 years, and in that amount of time its probably led to more murder, misery and mans' inhumanity to man than all the other "isms" ever created.

It's too bad they don't teach this kind of thing in school.

Posted by: johnny on February 2, 2007 09:47 AM
58. Hello johnny,

> Also, to whomever up there is trying to tie christians to slavery ...

Christians were slave-traders, slave-owners, and defenders of slavery. After slavery came to an end, Christians did engage in prejudice, bigotry, segregation and violence against African-Americans.

In addition to that, Christians did commit genocide and eradicated civilizations in the New World. They enslaved the Native Americans, too, until the population of Native Americans were so depleted as to necessitate importing slaves from Africa.

Christians did all of these things. That's merely a historical fact and it is beyond dispute.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 2, 2007 09:53 AM
59. DMathews

forget it--your red star, beret and Che Guevarra t-shirt are so indelibly burned into your psyche that it's useless to point out anything positive about the country to you. it's your right. but we are oil & water.

your glass appears permanently half-empty. and my suggestion stands--hate it so much here? go to Canada or go elsewhere. why tolerate your guilt and this terrible place? lots of countries out there to join as a citizen.

my guess is that every team you joined in life was hard for you to stay in or for you to pull as one. perhaps the teams you wanted did not want you--who knows. maybe you're a great independent thinking mind among the commoners, or maybe just a plain negativist that most people don't like to be around with the same droning--an Eeyore.

just my opin.--thanks for yours in the past. i agree with none, but they are well composed. best to you. over & out.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 2, 2007 11:29 AM
60. Hi David:

Doesn't the Koran state that it is OK to lie to a non-believer or non-Muslim? So, if that is true, then a contract or treaty is meaningless? Then it is OK for you to lie here as well?

Posted by: WVH on February 2, 2007 11:46 AM
61. I can't keep quiet on this one. David, its about context and perspective. I think we all can agree on one thing. If the U.S. military's purpose was to kill civilians, they'd be DEAD...in the hundreds of millions. The countries they inhabit(ed) would cease to exist except as glowing fields of irradiated earth. Where the U.S. continues to show its civility and morality in its armed disputes is that this eventuality doesn't come to pass, and I would suggest that it will continue to be this way. If we were fighting the global war on terror the way we (and all other countries involved) fought world war two, there would be no green zone. There would exist only a pile of shattered clay bricks stretching as far as the eye could see. The difference in this conflict is that we're not fighting an army clearly delineated by dress or conduct. An individual may act as a civilian one day and a combatant the next. In that environment, I have no doubt that there will be "collateral damage" however diligent or negligent a soldier is. We're not fighting for destruction or demise of a "country" here, we're fighting the culture and ideology that would prevent that country from surviving and succeeding in providing a stable platform on which society (read: social order) can be sustained. Hopefully for us that society will be one that understands the need to live in peace in a world environment. There are those on both sides that don't want this to come to pass.

I'm trying not to get into the religious aspects of the argument as I don't see that they provide any value in terms of "why war?" from our perspective. Though I would suggest though that if you feel that the U.S. is on a religious crusade to convert all other nations, consider Japan, Turkey, India, Israel, etc. Point being, its a non sequitur. Its not about religious affiliation, its about a consensus peaceful nature.

I admit, I give the U.S. as an entity (note: not any single politician or agency) the benefit of the doubt regarding our motives for action. This country was founded and continues to act in the best interests of its people and the world community. That said, individuals have faults, organizations can be led astray. As such, not everything that is done in "our" name is going to come off squeaky clean or with no collateral damage. I would however hope that those acting in "our" name, do so with an intense passion for democratic principles, liberty for all and respect for self-determination. I continue to pray that this will be the case.

Posted by: k2 on February 2, 2007 12:09 PM
62. K2:

You should read religious texts and yes, you do want to get into the religious aspects. Part of the reason that it will be a 100 year war is the religous aspect. Hudna and Al taquita (sp), the deception of non-believers are two extremely important concepts. Let Mr. Mathews or whatever his name is answer.

Posted by: WVH on February 2, 2007 12:20 PM
63. I said "I didn't WANT to get into the religious aspects" not that I didn't understand them. I am fully aware of the relationship delineated in the Koran between devout Muslims and Kaffir and all that that implies. My point was that U.S. actions in Iraq stem from 14 unfufilled U.N. resolutions, documented ties to terrorism (note that I didn't say 9-11), and a laundry list of other issues...NOT FROM THE COUNTRY'S RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION (I love caps lock). From the outset, this was not a religious conflict from the U.S. perspective. It is, however, on the other side.

Posted by: k2 on February 2, 2007 12:34 PM
64. K2:

I am glad that you understand, no caps lock. I think,in my opinion, it is not productive to keep putting a happy face on some very deep cultural differences. We are really splitting hairs. Just because some want to say their perception is this is not religious doesn't make it so. My thesis is this: Islam, in my opinion, needs something akin to the Reformation. If that does not happen, then we, meaning the world, are in for a very long haul.
The type of Islam being spread by the Saudis is not compatible, in my opinion, with contemporary world civilization. Trying to put a happy face on it, is in my opinion, like putting lipstick on a pig.
I suppose the next comments from David are that I am paranoid and a bigot. Now, that we have got that out of the way. Address my comments about Hudna.

Posted by: WVH on February 2, 2007 12:45 PM
65. WVH-
We're absolutely on the same page. That David fella was trying to make the whole thing into a religious war from the beginning. I was attempting to show that, from our perspective, it was not. On the other side, of course, it always was.

I'll back you up...you're definitely not paranoid, I don't believe you're a bigot and yes...the whole situation is one hell of an ugly pig.

Posted by: K2 on February 2, 2007 12:52 PM
66. Dave -
RE: All those nasty things Christians have done.

You missed the first part of my point.

As I said, imagine a time when most of the world was pretty un-enlightened. People - jews, christians, muslims, etc. ALL saw blacks as less than human. Everyone participated in this kind of thing.

(Even blacks and native americans have some history of enslaving their own people - so its safe to say that it was a pretty universal sin that everyone was committing.)

Now, somewhere along the lines, some group came to a higher conclusion. "These people of a different color and the ones we found when we went to the new world - are people. Just like us - and we shouldn't abuse ans enslave them."

That wasn't an agnostics idea. That wasn't a moslem idea. It came from the christian church.

Now, you can paint Christians as horrible for something that just about every race and nation in the world at that time ws doing and point out the Christians alone as terrible, but that would be pretty stupid and wrong. (Which probably wouldn't stop YOU from having that opinion now that I think about it.)

Or you can say "Yeah, life wasn't fair then. Good thing someone came to their senses and worked with governments and men to change things so that people of all color would have a chance at happiness."

If you take a look at the way that prisoners are treated in Russia, China, and North Korea, you could say that slavery exists in those goddless countries too. (If you don't believe this is true, do a little research. Prisoners in labor camps in those countries would give their right arm to be in a place like Gitmo where at least they get some amenities and regular meals.)

Slavery still exists in a big way in Africa, in moslem countries in middle east, and even some places in Latin America (or at least thats what i've heard).

Unless you come from outerspace, your own ancestors probably had some slavery and inhumanity in their backgrounds as well. If you're african or native american, your people probably enslaved other tribes. Romans were terrible to jews. English treated the irish like slaves for a while there. I could go on.

You will be pretty hard pressed to find slavery in a christian country. If you do, I'm going to guess it's not Christians doing it.

Posted by: johnny on February 2, 2007 01:09 PM
67. Slavery, in deed, does exist in Africa. To the western consciousness, we, many of, us easily divorce the practice of religion from daily actions. In many other cultures, it is difficult to separate the religion, and practice of religion from the core of the individual person. That is why Europe is headed for an implosion. We are dealing with one very strict interpretation of one of the great religions. This version is being sent around the world by Saudi billions. In my opinion, people need to confront that reality.
Where are the secular progressives regarding the spread of the Wahabbi sect? Cultures are very different and putting a happy face on some very real differences is not going to make the world safer. In my opinion, Islam needs to undergo its own version of the Reformation.

Posted by: WVH on February 2, 2007 02:22 PM
68. Hello WVH,

> Doesn't the Koran state that it is OK to lie to a non-believer or non-Muslim?

No.

> So, if that is true, then a contract or treaty is meaningless?

No.

> Then it is OK for you to lie here as well?

I am not lying.

You should quote from the Qur'an when attempting to slander the Islamic religion, otherwise your assertions ammount to so much uninformed bigotry.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 2, 2007 06:26 PM
69. Hello k2,

> I think we all can agree on one thing. If the U.S. military's purpose was to kill civilians, they'd be DEAD...in the hundreds of millions. The countries they inhabit(ed) would cease to exist except as glowing fields of irradiated earth.

You are speaking about genocide in the sentence above. I have not accused the United States of genocide. I have accused the United States of killing Muslim civilians.

If the United States began dropping nuclear bombs on Iran or elsewhere then I would accuse this country of committing genocide and behaving in a fashion similar to the Nazis. There are certain Nazi-esque elements in America who advocate genocide against the Muslims.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 2, 2007 06:31 PM
70. Hello Johnny,

> As I said, imagine a time when most of the world was pretty un-enlightened. People - jews, christians, muslims, etc. ALL saw blacks as less than human. Everyone participated in this kind of thing.

Justifying the reprehensible behavior of Christians by appealing to some sort of "universal racism" of the past is rather bizarre, johnny.

The Christians of that era committed genocides, atrocities, and a host of other crimes, too. Will you use the same argument to justify these behaviors, too?

If Christianity is such a weak religion that it is compatible with racism, slavery, genocide, atrocities, and the extermination of cultures ... well, the religion ain't worth that much, is it?

Christianity also committed these same sorts of evil acts against the Muslims, too. The Muslims have encountered violent, militaristic, colonial Christianity at several points over the last several centuries. Christians have spilled a lot of blood in the Muslim lands.

That might explain why the Muslims consider us the violent menace which terrorizes them.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 2, 2007 06:38 PM
71. Hi David:

Now we're getting somewhere:

1. How do you define Al-taqiyya? Does that mean that it is OK for Muslims to lie to non-muslims?

2. There are 164 passages from the Koran, a few below.

http://www.answering-islam.de/Main/Quran/Themes/jihad_passages.html

A few exerpts:

Excerpt K 4:074-077
Set 15, Count 38-41 [4.74] Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world's life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward. [4.75] ...fight in the way of Allah... [4.76] Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Satan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Satan... [4.77] ...when fighting is prescribed for them...Our Lord! why hast Thou ordained fighting for us?...
Excerpt K 4:084
Set 16, Count 42 Fight then in Allah's way...rouse the believers to ardor maybe Allah will restrain the fighting of those who disbelieve...
Excerpt K 4:089-091
Set 17, Count 43-45 [4.89] ...take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back [to their homes], then seize them and kill them wherever you find them... [4.90] Allah has not given you a way against them [Allah supposedly does not allow Muslims to fight people friendly to Muslims]. [4.91]...seize them and kill them wherever you find them...
Excerpt K 4:094-095
Set 18, Count 46+47 [4.94]...when you go to war in Allah's way... [4.95] ...those who strive hard [Jihad] in Allah's way with their property and their persons are not equal...Allah shall grant to the strivers [i.e., Jihadist] above the holders back a mighty reward.
Excerpt K 4:100-104
Set 19, Count 48-52 ...whoever flies in Allah's way [forsakes his home to fight in Jihad], he will find in the earth many a place of refuge and abundant resources, and whoever goes forth from his house flying to Allah and His Apostle, and then death overtakes him [in Jihad], his reward is indeed with Allah...[4.101] Rodwell: And when ye go forth to war in the land, it shall be no crime in you to cut short your prayers, if ye fear lest the infidels come upon you; Verily, the infidels are your undoubted enemies! [4.102]...let them take their arms...let them take their precautions and their arms...there is no blame on you, if you are annoyed with rain or if you are sick, that you lay down your arms...[4.103] Khalifa: Once you complete your Contact Prayer (Salat), you shall remember GOD while standing, sitting, or lying down. Once the war is over, you shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat); the Contact Prayers (Salat) are decreed for the believers at specific times.[4.104]...be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy...
Excerpt K 4:141
Set 20, Count 53 Sher Ali:...If you have a victory [in Jihad] from Allah...
Excerpt K 5:033
Set 21, Count 54 The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned [Pickthall and Yusuf Ali have "exiled" rather than "imprisoned"]

Posted by: WVH on February 2, 2007 07:02 PM
72. Hi David:

1. I don't speak Arabic and it is my understanding that to get a full understanding of the meaning of the Koran, one has to read Arabic.

2. The following link is from a discussion on the Larry Elder program about understanding passages of the Koran:
http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/whatyropou.htm

"Elder: You write, "Muslims must present non-Muslims with the three choices of Sura 9:29 of the (Koran): conversion, submission with second-class status under Islamic rule, or death."

Spencer: Correct. This is a deeply rooted tradition in Islam. Islam is unique among religions in having a developed doctrine theology in law that mandates violence against non-believers. Not all Muslims take it seriously, but the radicals do, and they are working to recruit and motivate terrorists. So . . . whenever anybody says we want to institute Sharia Islamic law in a country, they mean these laws. They do not provide for the equality of rights and dignity of non-Muslims in a Muslim society . . . (but) mandate just the opposite -- that non-Muslims are not to be given equality of rights, but denied various jobs because they're not allowed to hold authority over Muslims."

I believe this discussion refers to a specific passage in the Koran.

Posted by: WVH on February 2, 2007 07:15 PM
73. Hello WVH,

> 1. How do you define Al-taqiyya? Does that mean that it is OK for Muslims to lie to non-muslims?

Here is a non-bigoted definition of the term:

The word "al-Taqiyya" literally means: "Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury." A one-word translation would be "Dissimulation."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taqiyya

As to the question: Are Muslims allowed to lie?
The answer: Of course. Christians lie all of the time. Christians are also often hyporcrites, too. Christians occasionally conceal their faith, too. There isn't any sin that the Muslims commit that Christians do not also commit.

> 2. There are 164 passages from the Koran, a few below.

There are only 164 passages from the Qur'an? The Bible has considerably more. The Bible is also considerably more violent and also more graphically violent than the Qur'an.

Shall I quote 164 violent Biblical passages for you?

For example, there is Israel's judge Samson who boasted:

"With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey, I have killed a thousand men." (Judges 14:16)

Or consider David, a man "after God's own heart", who was honored by the Israelites with this song of praise:

"Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his ten thousands.
" (1 Samuel 18:7)

Israel's original king, Saul, wasn't an especially peaceful man, either. He was explicitly commanded by Yahweh to commit the following act:

"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." (1 Samuel 15:2-3)

Consider the disconcerting ending to the otherwise beautiful Psalm 137:

"O daughters of Babylon, you devastated one, how blessed will be the one who repays you with the recompense with which you have repaid us. How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock." (Psalm 137:8-9)

The Bible is a violent, bloody book. I have read the Qur'an and Bible numerous times and can assure you that the Bible is both more violent and also more graphically violent than the Qur'an.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 2, 2007 08:12 PM
74. Hello WVH,

> This is a deeply rooted tradition in Islam. Islam is unique among religions in having a developed doctrine theology in law that mandates violence against non-believers.

The above statement is an expression of pure bigotry & prejudice and nothing else.

Christians have killed considerably more people than the Muslims. This is simply a historical fact and not a matter of speculation or Christianity-bashing.

Also, the greatest act of violence in the history of humankind was committed by the Christian nations of the world. During the 20th century the great convulsions of the West claimed over 100,000,000 lives. The Muslims have never engaged in such a horrendous orgy of violence throughout their history.

So all this fear of the Muslims is a product of ignorance and prejudice and bigotry. The Christians are more violent than the Muslims and it has been this way for the last fourteen hundred years.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 2, 2007 08:18 PM
75. Hi David:

I note you quoted Old Testament which is indeed part of the Bible. You mentioned on one thread that you were Christian.
1.Are you familiar with the New Testament and the fact that there is a new covenant? Are you familiar with the new covenant?
2. Also, I am by no means an Islamic scholar, but is there an old and new covenant in the Koran? If so, what is the difference between the old and new covenant? As a Christian, I am sure you can state the difference between the Old Testament covenant and the New Testament covenant?

3.Based upon your understanding,as you stated you were a Christian, can you compare the covenant(s) of the Koran with the New Testament covenant? From my research, those 164 passages represent the theology for Islam and I understand that to be the evolved theology in total.

4. Is the understanding from the Elder quote correct? As a Christian is this your understanding of how Christianity would operate based upon your upbringing as a Christian?

Posted by: WVH on February 2, 2007 08:28 PM
76. Hello WVH,

> 1.Are you familiar with the New Testament and the fact that there is a new covenant? Are you familiar with the new covenant?

Yes, there is a New Testament and a New Covenant, but Christians have never repudiated the Old Covenant. More importantly, Christians have never behaved in a manner incompatible with the violent commands and examples of the Old Testament.

> 2. Also, I am by no means an Islamic scholar, but is there an old and new covenant in the Koran? If so, what is the difference between the old and new covenant? As a Christian, I am sure you can state the difference between the Old Testament covenant and the New Testament covenant?

There is no "Old Covenant" nor any sort of "New Covenant" in the Qur'an. From the Islamic perspective the religion of Allah has remained the same since the beginning of time and Allah's prophets have included Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jesus and Muhammed.

As to the distinction between the Old & New covenants in Christianity: This is a theologically complicated subject which is rendered irrelevant by virtue of Christianity's long history of violence.

> 3.Based upon your understanding,as you stated you were a Christian, can you compare the covenant(s) of the Koran with the New Testament covenant? From my research, those 164 passages represent the theology for Islam and I understand that to be the evolved theology in total.

You don't know Islam, WVH. Nor do you know Islamic theology. Your prejudice & bigotry against Islam is based altogether upon your own ignorance & irrational fear.

> 4. Is the understanding from the Elder quote correct?

No, it is not correct. The elder is likewise suffering from prejudice & bigotry made possibly only by his extreme ignorance & irrational fear.

> As a Christian is this your understanding of how Christianity would operate based upon your upbringing as a Christian?

As a Christian, my obligation is to love the Muslims and protect them from prejudice, bigotry, intolerance & persecution. For that reason I have made a small effort at understanding the Islamic religion and reading the Qur'an and observing Muslims in my neighborhood and appreciating Islamic art & architecture.

The Muslims are no worse than the Christians. That's my conclusion based upon many years of studying the history of both faiths.


Posted by: David Mathews on February 2, 2007 08:45 PM
77. Hi David:

You are clueless about Christianity. I suspect that you are Muslim but haven't the guts to admit it. There is nothing wrong with revealing one's true identity. Anyhow, a lot of posters here like to respond to you and I think you get out one perspective. I am not anymore bigoted about Muslims than you are about Christians. Anyhow, discussion is healthy. I can let others carry on the discussion with you.

Posted by: WVH on February 2, 2007 08:59 PM
78. Quick correction for David Matthews:

I've heard muslims say many, many times that "Christians" practiced slavery in the past and that muslims didn't and this is an example of Christians acting in an evil way. David Matthews said as much above.

However, since its beginning in the US, pious Christians vigorously oppposed any form of slavery and it is through their strong and persistant effort that Lincoln decided to initiate war against the South to end slavery.

There were slaveowners, such as Thomas Jefferson, who called themselves Christians, but they were never considered by their contemporaries to be pious. In fact, Thomas Jefferson established the first US university that was not affiliated with any church to further the cause of "seperation of church and state" realizing that that seperation was the greatest chance for sourtherns like himself to keep slavery.

After the US invaded and defeated the South and abolished slavery, many other nations throughout the world continued to practice slavery including Brazil which even invited southern slaveowners to bring their slaves to Brazil to establish farms and grow Brazil's economy. But nowhere was slavery practiced as much as muslim countries in North Africa. Despite this, the US continues to get the most flak for slavery and ignorant fools like "David Matthews" propogate mixtures of truths, half-truths and lies to further the acceptance of the cancerous cult known as islam.

Posted by: Correct David Matthews on February 2, 2007 10:43 PM
79. Hello "Correct",

> However, since its beginning in the US, pious Christians vigorously oppposed any form of slavery and it is through their strong and persistant effort that Lincoln decided to initiate war against the South to end slavery.

You do know that the Bible never condemns slavery, don't you?

There are substantial biblical arguments from both the Old & New covenants on behalf of slavery.

The Christians who practiced slavery were well aware of these passages. There were also some Christians who justified slavery by means of prejudice & bigotry against the Africans.

Simply stated: Christians practiced slavery, and after slavery these Christians practiced bigotry, discrimination & oppression against the African-Americans.

And what does our constitution have to say regarding these slaves?

"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."
(http://www.law.du.edu/russell/lh/alh/docs/slaverycon.html)

So, you see, Americans were consciously aware of the existence of slavery and protected the practice in the constitution. Christians were certainly engaged in slavery and the slave trade.


Posted by: David Mathews on February 3, 2007 03:42 AM
80. DM--Mr Open Mind--for another perspective read Robert Spencer's works.

understanding arabic is a red herring argument to the West. the book in question is translated into many languages and followed/practiced by millions of illiterate faithful--even to literal extremes.

the "truly understand it in arabic" argument is a diversion to downplay the exact words/contexts in the text. the words are what they are. so are the additional sources. they need to be taken in context and in the whole. when they are, it's quite enlightening to a Westerner.

just like other religions' texts, many have violent episodes and advice. what everyone is missing/avoiding to address is the REFORMATION over time and application of such words to fit in with other cultures and societies. most other religions have reformed. some have not to this day.

just as you despise the views of a consistent rightist person that do not waver, people grow tired equally to your constant negative drum of our country's "faults" and Christian/Jewish/other religions' shortcomings. last time i heard, perfection is not on earth.

if it's such a downer for you, take the gas pipe. perhaps you just like to argue. i've met many people like that. the actual fight/argument is more interesting than the resoulution. peddling wares like an arms dealer. easier to find fault than work at fixing something.

in fairness, perhaps your dialougues ARE your version of the work at fixing. if so, thanks for the honest efforts.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 3, 2007 08:22 AM
81. Robert Spencer's book is politically incorrect, but has been well documented. Unlike Spencer, Matthew's comments consist largely of half truths and Al-Jazerra propaganda and his lame attempt to defend the indefensible.

He hasn't answered whether or not he is Muslim. You have lost all credibility you have left, which is very small, if you don't answer that basic question.

Posted by: KS on February 3, 2007 08:35 AM
82. Hello Jimmie,

> DM--Mr Open Mind--for another perspective read Robert Spencer's works.

I have read two of Robert Spencer's books. I have even engaged him in a conversation via e-mail.

Robert Spencer isn't a scholar. His books are not scholarly. He promotes prejudice, bigotry and irrational fear.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 3, 2007 01:21 PM
83. Hello KS,

> Robert Spencer's book is politically incorrect, but has been well documented.

Documentation alone does not serve to prove that a book is truthful or accurate. You should read objective scholarly writings rather than rely upon Robert Spencer.

> He hasn't answered whether or not he is Muslim.

I answered this question a long time ago: I am a Christian.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 3, 2007 01:24 PM
84. Hi David:

1. Do you attend a Christian church on a regular basis? For example 2 or more times a month?

2. What is the denomination? I sure would love to correspond with your Pastor or Priest.

Posted by: WVH on February 3, 2007 01:46 PM
85. Hello WVH,

> 1. Do you attend a Christian church on a regular basis? For example 2 or more times a month?

No, I am not the sort of Christian who attends church.

> 2. What is the denomination? I sure would love to correspond with your Pastor or Priest.

I have no denominational affiliation whatsoever.

Since I have no pastor or priest you have no choice except to speak directly with me. I answer only to God.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 3, 2007 01:57 PM
86. Hi Again,

It is a rainy afternoon and I am just wasting time.
"Documentation alone does not serve to prove that a book is truthful or accurate. You should read objective scholarly writings rather than rely upon Robert Spencer."

1. Having just recently written a dissertation. What do you mean? If one can document the thesis, doesn't that mean it is truthful or accurate in regard to a particular thesis? If one uses a standard like APA? Doesn't the totality of sources lead to truth?

2.When you define objective, does that mean that the material has to agree with your analysis?

3. Are you a part of a larger organization? I
wonder are you part of a group like CAIR?

Posted by: WVH on February 3, 2007 01:59 PM
87. David:

As I have said many times before, only God knows the heart. Given my human knowledge, I suspect that your claims to be a Christian are a convenient device to lessen the critics regarding your bias toward Christians. As least we all know where you stand. Maybe, you should strengthen your Christian faith by joining a Bible believing fellowship and praying for the success of the rest of us who are trying to fulfill the Great Commission.

Posted by: WVH on February 3, 2007 02:04 PM
88. David,

"You do know that the Bible never condemns slavery, don't you?"

So what? Does that mean Christians should have the right or obligation to commit sins that are not referenced in the Bible? Once again, your tactics in argument are to use accurate, but irrelavent points. What about the koran? Does it prohibit the enslavement of people? If not, shouldn't muslims be condemned for practicing slavery far longer than the US or the confederacy? If the koran does prohibit slavery, than they should definitely be condemned not only for having slaves, but for their hypocrisy.

"There are substantial biblical arguments from both the Old & New covenants on behalf of slavery."

That is entirely subjective, but again who cares? We are talking about Christians and so-called muslims, not the texts which those individuals use to guide their personal lives.

"The Christians who practiced slavery were well aware of these passages. There were also some Christians who justified slavery by means of prejudice & bigotry against the Africans."

That's interesting that you consider yourself such an authority on Christianity that you can personally judge who is a real Christian and who is not. I would never be so arrogant. I would simply argue that those who owned slaves weren't practicing Christian values. John Adams, our second President and firm abolitionist, was very public about this. In contrast, Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves, was constantly defending his "Christianity" since obviously most people at the time did not believe slave owners could be Christians. In fact, they weren't really considered Americans since they wanted to secede and form their own country! In addition, given that more Americans died in the civil war than in all other military conflicts put together, one could argue the US and Christian Americans did more to end slavery in this world than anyone else.

Finally, today, there is nobody who kills others because they believe the Bible tells them to kill non-Christians. In contrast, there are several thousand (perhaps millions) who kill because they believe the koran guides them to do so. There many millions who support such killers and their beliefs.

Anything that causes a man to kill another is a terrible thing whether it is drugs, alcohol or a so-called religion like islam. I believe alcohol should be legal, I even thing some drugs and perhaps the practice of "islam." But I think we should also be honest about the effect of these problems on society as a whole and have an open dialogue about how to keep these problems from causing some people to kill others.

Posted by: correct dave matthews on February 3, 2007 02:07 PM
89. Hello WVH,

> 1. Having just recently written a dissertation. What do you mean? If one can document the thesis, doesn't that mean it is truthful or accurate in regard to a particular thesis? If one uses a standard like APA? Doesn't the totality of sources lead to truth?

Documentation alone does not serve to prove a thesis. This is especially true in cases in which a non-scholar (i.e., Robert Spencer) writes a prejudice-pandering book addressed to people who are ignorant and bigoted.


> 2.When you define objective, does that mean that the material has to agree with your analysis?

No. I have read plenty of books written by objective scholarly authors whose views nonetheless differ drastically from my own.

Regarding Robert Spencer: He is not objective nor is he scholarly.

> 3. Are you a part of a larger organization? I
wonder are you part of a group like CAIR?

I am a member of no organizations. I speak only for myself. I express only my own views. I answer to no one except God Himself.


Posted by: David Mathews on February 3, 2007 02:10 PM
90. Hello WVH,

> As I have said many times before, only God knows the heart. Given my human knowledge, I suspect that your claims to be a Christian are a convenient device to lessen the critics regarding your bias toward Christians. As least we all know where you stand. Maybe, you should strengthen your Christian faith by joining a Bible believing fellowship and praying for the success of the rest of us who are trying to fulfill the Great Commission.

If I say I am a Christian that is only because I am a Christian. I don't suppose that I am under any sort of obligation to prove my Christianity.

If you want to read my writings about this subject, you can do so easily enough:

The Islamic Religion

I wrote that a long time ago and at the request of a fellow Christian. It was written long before 9/11 back during the brief era of optimism following the fall of the Soviet Union.

I am not the sort of person who needs or desires to join any denomination or congregation. My Christianity is a personal religion and not an organizational faith. My Christianity is between myself and God, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 3, 2007 02:19 PM
91. Hi David:

Thank you for your link. I will read it. Just a cursory glance, is this a cites ommitted document?

Posted by: WVH on February 3, 2007 02:44 PM
92. Hello WVH,

> Thank you for your link. I will read it. Just a cursory glance, is this a cites ommitted document?

It is a document without citations. Just a little something that I wrote in response to a request.

There are several substantial differences between my opinions today and the opinions expressed within the document. I no longer am under any sort of obligation to draw distinctions between the two religions now. The differences which I concentrated upon in the document appear trivial to me today.

But the document does demonstrate that I have spent a long time examining this subject and approach it from a Christian perspective.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 3, 2007 02:49 PM
93. Hello David:

1. Your writing is interesting, but it is from
1997. Quite a bit must have happened in the
interim to refine your views.

2. As I said before, only God knows the human
heart. As a Christian, you are no doubt
familiar with the following Scriptures:

a. Matthew 13: 1-43

b. Matthew 7: 15 - 20

c. Isiah 29:15

May you be granted the peace that passes all understanding.

Posted by: WVH on February 3, 2007 08:14 PM
94. David: You answer to no one but God himself. Well then, Onward Christian Soldier. You go, Dave. And try to explain to Him why, when you have meekly lost your noggin at the hands of Islamic fanatics, you refused to defend Him.

Posted by: katomar on February 4, 2007 09:56 AM
95. Hello katomar,

> And try to explain to Him why, when you have meekly lost your noggin at the hands of Islamic fanatics, you refused to defend Him.

This is merely an ignorant statement of prejudice, katomar, and nothing else. God insists that I protect the Muslims from people such as yourself.

Plenty of Muslims have died because of American militarism and the American CIA. America has spilled a lot of Muslim blood. America is still killing Muslims today.

You are speading prejudice against the Muslims for the sake of violence against the Muslims. Christians who hate Muslims will spend eternity in Hell for the sin of hate. Christians who advocate warfare and violence against the Muslims will spend eternity in Hell for the sin of murder.

If you love Jesus you must love the Muslims.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 4, 2007 11:22 AM
96. You very conveniently failed to acknowledge the "Islamic fanatics" part of my comment. That does not mean all Muslims, but then, since you chose to stereotype them all together, I guess that makes you the one suffering from prejudice.

Posted by: katomar on February 4, 2007 12:35 PM
97. Katomar:

1. Only God knows David's heart.

2. If one googles David Mathews there are several, including one who writes on Islamic topics.

3. For the murder mystery fans out there, let me propose the following storyline. Our Mr. Mathews is really a PR front for a group. All one has to do is pick a very common name that has numerous individuals with that name.

3. The ruse is that since only God knows the human heart, then this group/individual can claim to be Christian.

4. Since they/him are "Christian" then any anti-Christian statements carry more weight. This is a great mystery. I bet that there is or was in fact a Christian David Mathews. For those readers from Arkansas, is there a cemetery that has been the final resting place for Mr. Mathews since the late 90s?

Posted by: WVH on February 4, 2007 12:37 PM
98. Hello katomar,

> You very conveniently failed to acknowledge the "Islamic fanatics" part of my comment.

Yes, I did. With reason, too. Bigots seldom draw a distinction between "fanatics" and the vast majority of Muslims who are by no means fanatical. Therefore when I hear a conservative say "Islamic fanatic" that usually means "all Muslims."

Posted by: David Mathews on February 4, 2007 01:12 PM
99. Hello WVH,

> 4. Since they/him are "Christian" then any anti-Christian statements carry more weight. This is a great mystery. I bet that there is or was in fact a Christian David Mathews. For those readers from Arkansas, is there a cemetery that has been the final resting place for Mr. Mathews since the late 90s?

This is about the most bizarre thing anyone has ever said about me in my life. Did you spend a long time thinking this up or are you a naturally creative person?

Posted by: David Mathews on February 4, 2007 01:14 PM
100. David: Not only do you sterotype Muslims, now you sterotype Christians. That's a double whammy. Whoever you answer to, they're probbly not happy. As far as WVH saying "the most bizarre thing" about you, then you haven't heard enough.

Posted by: katomar on February 4, 2007 02:08 PM
101. Sorry for the type. that should have been "stereotype".

Posted by: katomar on February 4, 2007 02:09 PM
102. Hi David:

I'm naturally creative and I just love a good mystery. You like pulling our legs, so to speak.
Readers of this blog are pretty good at finding out facts;

1. You say that you/they have a connection with
South Florida. You/they live near the gulf coast.

2. One of one google hits indicated some connection with Arkansas for the written piece you posted.

Since you like pulling our legs, does anyone want to uncover the real David Mathews singular, plural or group?

Posted by: WVH on February 4, 2007 04:18 PM
103. Mathews at 81, 82--

Nice try with the "scholar-only" argument. Spencer addresses this in his book. (I'm sure his interpretation is the basis of mine--attributions to him properly given.) Your wholesale dismissal of his "un-scholarly" work is equal to my wholesale dismissal of "art" that shows a crucifix in urine, a-la a Midwest art exhibition. Am i also allowed to feel rage like a recent distastetul Euro cartoon? Can I justifiably loot/burn something now?

Here is my view: I call it the "decoder ring argument." That is, anyone without the official decoder ring is wrong or does not get the REAL message. (And sorry, only limited number of rings in limited number of cereal boxes!)

If so, let's toss our Bibles & other books, since only officially-sanctioned "scholars" (that you/someone approves of) can accurately really read & interpret the literal words, themes, basic ideas and gist of the messages.

That's a poor position/argument. Let's disregard any reading of any holy book, tractate or writing, since only the anointed "scholar" knows what it means. Ergo, books or copies of books are rendered useless. Only someone's interpretations are TRULY correct.

No judges, lawyers, accountants or engineers needed. Only "scholars" can really tell us what something means. Like the scribes of Egypt. It may look like a word to me, but it's really gibberish, since I'm not an official scholar, correct?

Sorry, too convenient. Your logic would suggest that any translation of any holy book is NEVER accurate or true; hence, any non-scholar will never know the truth. A sorry state of affairs for any poor soul who wants to read something religious.

Or do you mean only certain religious scholars? Again, if so, why bother to translate any holy book into any another language? Many are doomed to get it wrong by reading it themselves. What a nice control mechanism. Like OPEC--control the supply of oil--(scholars).

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 5, 2007 05:51 PM
104. Hello Jimmie,

My comments were specifically about Robert Spencer and his particular lack of qualifications to speak authoritatively about the Qur'an, Islam and Muslims.

Those who write books are judged by their own words. Each author is handled independently and judged on his/her own merits.

There are plenty of non-Muslim scholars (who are real scholars) who have written excellent, informative books about Islam. I appreciate such books when I encounter them.

Robet Spencer is worse than unqualified, he is an egregiously ignorant bigot who is pandering to his audience's prejudices.

That's my objection to Robert Spencer. Have you read any other books regarding Islam?

Posted by: David Mathews on February 5, 2007 08:00 PM
105. Hello David,

I think you need to go back to history class and take a refresher.

Those "innocent" civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were responsible for the rape, pillage, and plunder of China, the Phillipines, Hong Kong, Indochina, etc. Or have you forgotten all those "collateral damage" of the Japanese war machine?

Yes, American Christians were responsible for slavery in this country. But you forget that those slaves were captured and sold to them by Arab Muslims. And while we fought a horrible war amongst ourselves to end the practice, the Arab Muslims are reliably reported to still indulge in it.

While your assertion that America has killed more civilians that Bin Laden is true, its also true that we haven't killed nearly as many as Sadam Hussein or the mullahs of Iran (and that's not even counting the ones lost in that idiotic war). In fact, in recent times we have fought or given aid to SAVE Muslims in Bosnia, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

You object to Christians who recognize the danger in militant Islamism. How then do you account for the fighting in Bosnia, Russia, Chenya, India, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Thailand, the Phillipines, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, Algeria, and other places? These are conflicts between Islamic fudamentalists and Hindus, Communists, atheists, and animists, but mostly those who are insufficiently Muslim. How can you possibly blame Christians in the US for these conflicts?

You want to cherry pick your historical references and weigh them on some kind of moral scale of your own device. Have fun, but also have the courage to weigh those actions in their historical context and also against the actions of other nations and cultures. You'll find that we aren't the only ones to have slipped morally but we're among the few that have tried to correct our past mistakes.

Posted by: Andy Eckhardt on February 6, 2007 12:25 PM
106. dm 104--thanks for the clarification on that author. have read some other books on said topic. & will read more. fair point taken. multiple sources are better.

sidebar--still have a problem, though, with your disdain of our Country. move out if it's that offensive or such a bother to your conscience. i dont understand those who spew hatred & guilt for us and yet live here comfortably enjoying our freedoms and rights and opportunities while spewing. i don't see mass exoduses to Cuba, China or France. why not?

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 6, 2007 01:34 PM
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