Osama bin Laden and the Dalai Lama

Here’s a puzzling finding from the recent Gallup Poll on the attitudes of Americans towards different religions. Only two percent … Continued

Here’s a puzzling finding from the recent Gallup Poll on the attitudes of Americans towards different religions.

Only two percent of Americans say they have a great deal of knowledge about Buddhism, and 14 percent report feeling some prejudice towards Buddhists. Meanwhile, only three percent of Americans claim they have a great deal of knowledge about Islam, and yet 43 percent claim some prejudice towards Muslims.

How is it that a little knowledge about Buddhism correlates with broadly positive feelings towards Buddhists, but a little knowledge about Islam is linked to frighteningly negative views of Muslims?

Here’s my theory. In the minds of most people, entities as abstract and amorphous as religions are represented by something more concrete and manageable: the symbolic individual.

Ask folks to name a famous Buddhist and they’ll say the Dalai Lama. Ask them about a famous Muslim and what name comes to mind? You got it. Public enemy number one: Osama bin Laden.

So how do we combat the prejudice that nearly half of America feels towards Muslims? Introduce them to another face of Islam.

Meet my friend Rami Nashashibi, who I believe is the most impressive Muslim of my generation. Rami is a father and a husband, a PhD student at the University of Chicago and the Executive Director of the Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN). IMAN is a community-based nonprofit on the South Side of Chicago that works for social justice, delivers a range of direct services, and cultivates the arts in urban communities.

Like many American Muslims, Rami gets the primacy of the Osama narrative. When asked about prejudice against Muslims recently, he said, “I think the American population, all of us, are susceptible to what happens on a daily basis on the news. And quite frankly, over the last couple of months the news hasn’t been quite great when you think about the three-second sound bite you hear that talks about Muslims.”

But Rami is exceptional because he gets that there is more to be done than shout from the rooftops that this narrative is wrong. He dedicates his life to lifting up and acting on the shared values of service and community building between Islam and America. He says “The best antidote to apprehension, fear and mistrust comes from the uniquely American tradition, a uniquely Chicago tradition, of community engagement for real solutions around real problems.”

I hope the next time someone whispers Muslim in your ear, you think of Rami first.

About

  • Navin1

    So, yet again, does one man stand for islam or does a history?I am sure there were good Nazis. Do they stand for Naziism of the history?The reason is that the muslims not attached to Bin Laden also want to destroy us. Thus far, we have not heard of any Buddhists trying to destroy our culture.Could Mr. Rami go to Mr. Bin Laden and please explain to him that islam is a religion of peace and that Mr Rami, not Bin Laden, is the true face of islam before he tries to convince us that he is the true face. I am happy to take your example, but are the Afghanis, Saudis, Iranians, Egyptians, Turks, Malaysians, etc also willing to stop funding Al qaeda, etc. hariaum

  • PSolus

    “Only two percent of Americans say they have a great deal of knowledge about Buddhism, and 14 percent report feeling some prejudice towards Buddhists. Meanwhile, only three percent of Americans claim they have a great deal of knowledge about Islam, and yet 43 percent claim some prejudice towards Muslims.”Could it have something to with the fact that Buddhists generally do not fly airplanes into buildings or blow up embassies, hotels, clubs, markets, airplanes, etc.?

  • halozcel1

    *Introduce them to another face of Islam*How many faces of Islam ?If there are many faces of islam,how can one trust one of faces ?Real solution around real problems(first,they shall not create problems) are Contemporary Values.

  • yasseryousufi

    Good Point Eboo!Its never too hard to whip up hate frenzy amongst the ignorant masses who usually follow propaganda like blind sheep. American are stuck too much in their Super Bowl’s and Tea Parties to take out time and find about people who they hate just becoz their media asks them to hate. Staying on the topic, another face of Islam could be the dervish like social worker of Pakistan; Abdul Sattar Edhi! How many Americans would know that he started with a sum capital of about $50 and today is running one of the biggest charity service in the world including the biggest private ambulance service according to Guinness. His organization recently donated 1 million dollars in releif efforts in Haiti. This kind of news probably doesnt titilate the muslim haters enough so it never gets reported over there and Osama continues to remain the face of Islam.

  • edbyronadams

    To quote Warren Buffett:The bombings continue on a daily basis. Rami better get many Muslims to work with him on building the reputation of the religion because there are several members who are wrecking it constantly.

  • arkns

    Islam, in particular the Koran, is in dire need to a major revision. As i always said, in my book–the Hindu-Buddhist tradition, EVEN GOD MUST MAKE SENSE. HE CANNOT SAY I AM GOD AND I CAN SAY WHATEVER I WANT. IN THAT SENSE, GOD IS LIMITED EVEN WHILE HE IS INFINITE. The problem with the Koran is that it is extremely intolerant with regard to non-Muslims and it preaches violence. Besides, it has a number of (pardon me) extremely stupid ideas such as dividing the world into “believers” and “non-believers” into the region of Islam (the faithful) and the infidels and so forth. This is extremely stupid ideas and there is no other way to put it. Until you stop dividing man and man, there will be no peace. This philosophy of intolerance and love of violence permeates relations among the Shia, Sunnis, Ahmadias, and other Muslim sects. They are intolerant of each other so much so that there are daily bombings and murder. I must therefore conclude that the religious texts must be thoroughly revised in favor of tolerance and peace. No, God does NOT have a license to say whatever He wants. What He says must uphold the sanctity of life and must promote tolerance of diversity. Differential treatment between the faithful and the “infidels” is a stupid idea. God or no God.

  • clearthinking1

    Eboo, “He dedicates his life to lifting up and acting on the shared values of service and community building between Islam and America.”Islam is a religion, and America is a country – get it. We all see that Islam is a political religion – its more about politics and power than about sprituality and personal evolution.That’s why Buddhism is more liked and likeable. Everyone understands this intuitively.

  • bg24955

    Dalai Lama is Buddhist version of mujahadeen. Charlie Wilson’s War is still on.

  • YEAL9

    From Google: “No results found for “Global Islamic Society for Peace n Love”.As noted previously:Until the Koran’s passages that call for world domination, female oppression and death to all apostates and infidels are deleted, no non-Muslim would ever think about opening a copy of the Koran.Hopefully someday soon, we will hear GISPL786, Mr. Rami and Mr. Patel demand these deletions.Case in point:”Fri, Feb. 5, 2010 Blasts kill 40 at height of Iraq Shiite pilgrimageThe Associated PressBAGHDAD – Twin car bombs tore through a crowd of Shiite pilgrims packing a highway as they walked to a holy city south of Baghdad on Friday for a major religious observance, killing at least 40 people and wounding 154 others, Iraqi officials said.

  • tenzins106

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama works everyday to make sure to teach the core essence of Buddhism to the world and is in the public’s face, on the internet, in the news, in blogs and etc. This is current and the most recent knowledge of Islam or even the questioning of what Islam is has just recently been generated due to Bin Laden and September 11th. It is sad that Islam has been associated with Bin Laden, but as a news reporter and a journalist, you should know that people and news always focus on what is most current and what impacts everyone the most. I am a Tibetan and emphasize with this article for it states one important point. American, Muslim,Tibetan, Chinese or African, gain knowledge before making general assumptions. I have met the best of Muslims in my short lifetimes and i have met the best Buddhists as well, but they are only the best in their interpretation of their religion and their practices which is both for the cause of peace in the world. As you can see by the response in comments to your article, it has ended up dividing people’s opinion and brought out more problems. To minimize harm, i suggest you write a profile on Rami and his organization which is a wonderful organization by the way, i’m very familiar with IMAN. In doing so, you will adhere to people’s curiosity and introduce a new perspective on Islam and Muslims in general. Forget the gallop pole, write what you know and we will listen.

  • AKafir

    Eboo, it is not Bin Laden that is the problem it is who Bin Laden emulates: it is Muhammad that your Quran declares to be the perfect man Now your perfect man had people who disagreed with him assassinated, he killed and tortured people who opposed him, he raped, he married a six year old and had sex with her when she was nine. Sharia to this day cannot have a lower age for marriage for girls because the example that perfect man set. That is why only last week a poor child of 10 married to an 80 year old in Saudi Arabia and her mother succumbed to pressure and withdrew their attempt to annul the marriage. As long as a culture will insist on calling that ruthless 7th century warlord as the perfect man, people within that culture will have problems living peacefully in this increasingly small world.

  • GISPL786

    First of all I want to say God Bless America n I condemn terrorism. I am a spiritual muslim. I believe muslim poet RUMI is more popular in America than Dalai Lama. You can see in any bookstoreJesus said if you have faith like a mustard seed you can tell the mountain to move n it will move. God has given faith far bigger than the mustard seed. Mohammd A Mughal

  • GISPL786

    WE ARE ALL BLOOD RELATIVES THRU ADAM N EVEGod says in Bible, if you will knock the door, it shall be opened. In Quran, it says: Those who strive towards God (Allah), doors will be opened for them (men/women).Most of the debates and arguments are unwinable because if a Grade 1 student is arguing with the University student. They can never reach conclusion because of the difference of knowledge between them. When the Grade 1 student reaches University level, he will find out what the other student was talking about. That is what happens on these boards. But if the Some people don’t even believe in God. While the others have a regular communications thru prayer n different media. Some people don’t believe in the next life or hereafter, while the others God has enabled them to experience things of the other life, like paradise or people who left the world. So how can they debate or argue. It is like someone telling Neil Armstrong I don’t believe America can land anything on the round ball like moon. So the key is to pray to God n serve fellow human beings n help others. Instead of negatives we focus on positives. Obey the laws. If anyone says negative things about Jesus, Moses or Muhammad or Buddha, Mohammad A Mughal

  • arkns

    The problem I have with the Muslim world is this: they talk about Allah in every breath–Allah hu Akbar, Allah this and Allah that. Then in the very same breath, Muslims also vent their anger against all and sundry. They see themselves as separate from the rest of humanity. So this division has been created in their minds. If someone draws a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad, Muslims become violent. Where is the tolerance? Osama Bin Laden is considered to be a hero in the Muslim world. If Muslims love humanity why don’t they hand over that evil character to the nearest police station? So just saying something does not make it so. If you say you love humanity then show through your actions. Forswear terrorism, recognize the right of Israel to exist, stop supporting terrorists. And get rid of hate mongering mullahs. Separate your religion from affairs of the state. Recognize and grant minority rights. Follow and defend secular principles. No, Muslims have a long, long way to go. And strike out all intolerant and contradictory passages from the Koran. Remember, EVEN GOD HAS TO MAKE SENSE. NOT JUST NOW BUT FOR ALL TIME. HIS WORDS MUST BE UNIVERSAL TRUTHS CLEAR AS DAY AND NOT SUBJECT TO MISINTERPRETATION.

  • arkns

    Rejoinder to Mr. MungalLoving God means you love his infinite diversity. You are completely indifferent between His different manifestations. A fellow Jew, a Hindu, a Christian, is as dear to you as a fellow Sunni. You do not see any difference between animals. They are no “dirty” animals either as there are no infidels. Nothing is outside God because God is infinite. IT IS COMPLETELY FALSE TO CLAIM TO LOVE HIM BUT AT THE SAME TIME DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN HIS INFINITE MANIFESTATIONS. WHEN YOU CAN SHOUT FROM THE TOP OF A ROOF THAT YOU LOVE A INFIDEL AS MUCH AS YOUR FELLOW SUNNI, THEN YOU CAN TRULY CLAIM TO LOVE GOD. I THEREFORE TOTALLY REJECT THE ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY. IT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE TO ME. THIS IS A PHILOSOPHICAL POINT ON WHICH I CAN ARGUE AND WIN AGAINST THE MOST LEARNED MULLAH YOU CAN FIND.

  • yasseryousufi

    “I THEREFORE TOTALLY REJECT THE ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY. IT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE TO ME. THIS IS A PHILOSOPHICAL POINT ON WHICH I CAN ARGUE AND WIN AGAINST THE MOST LEARNED MULLAH YOU CAN FIND.”Dear Crazy Hindu!Its a bit rich for Hindus to come here with their equality of mankind crap. What do you say about the status of women in hinduism? Which religion asks women to burn themselves if their husband dies? Which religion asks a widow to never wear colorfull clothes once her husband dies. The Brahmin amongst you would kill an untouchable if he as much as touches an upper caste hindu. They cant cross your paths, shake hands with you, go to your temples. Why dont you round up that racist thug Bal Thackeray and take him to the nearest Police Station? Frankly, hindus are by far the most racist people on the face of the earth. I can prove that against the most learned hindu pandit you can find me~!

  • AKafir

    @YasserYousufi:You called me a hindu as well. Why do you call Arkns a hindu? Why are Pakistani Muslims so obsessed that they call anyone they disagree with a hindu? Do you understand that all religions, christianity, judaism, hinduism, buddhism, sikhism, etc. change with time because none claim that their scriptures are the literal word of God. They discard and reinterpret their religions as man’s knowledge increases. Except Islam. Muslims are stuck with the Quran and take pride in that not one dot can change because it is the literal word of Allah. And anyone with half a brain can easily see that the Quran is stuck with the knowledge of the 7th century and as people learn more it becomes more and more obvious that the Quran represents what man knew 1400 years ago. Is it surprising then that the muslims trying to live by its rules appear as barbaric as the 7th century arabs?

  • yasseryousufi

    Kafir,I’ve been around these blogs long enough to know all hindus who go around with their fake ID’s. I think most of your hatred is directed towards us because we’ve ruled you for so long. The fact that Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism etc. couldn’t stand the test of time has no bearing on us. The Holy Quran is as relevent today as it was 1400 years ago. All religions have their share of terrorists, including hinduism. If you got half your brain left, pick up the real Quran and read it for yourself not some excerpts taken out of context from some hae islam websites. Or read Mr. Mughal’s post below for reference to instances where Allah (SWT) talks about love for mankind. Chill out on that Arab Barbarism thing, try to look for the beam in your own eye!And FYI, these fake Indian websites you quote fools no one. Shazia Masih, a dirt poor girl working in the house of a high profile lawyer was the biggest news in Pakistan for atleast 2 weeks. Her employer is behind bars and has been charged with the murder of the girl, so whats your point. And pray tell how the hell does Islam come in all this issue. Are you trying to say that every crime that happens in a muslim country has something to do with Islam? Do all those under age sex workers in India exist because of Hinduism?

  • daniel12

    The problem with Islam that Western people do not understand is that Islam although called religion is more political philosophy than religion. Islam is identical with laws and we can see in the great Islamic writers of the Golden age–writers such as Averroes–that in defending philosophy or another religion with respect to Islam one must reconcile such philosophy or religion with the laws of Islam.This is why Islam is such a problem from the Western standpoint. It is political philosophy rather than religion in conflict with the West. Political philosophy by divine creation. This means that Islam cannot possibly be reconciled to democracy–democracy is a completely other political philosophy. A religion such as Christianity is compatible with democracy (admittedly only to a degree) because Christianity is not so much political philosophy as dogma and the need to believe in such, such as the belief in Christ as the savior.And it must be added that precisely the terrorists are the true Islamic people because they seek to impose Sharia law everywhere, seek the clear laws of Islam–the political philosophy which it is under the guise of religion–to be imposed on all people. Islam cannot be Islam apart from the laws of Islam. The laws of Islam are more foundational and identical to it than the ten commandments are to Christianity. We are not speaking of a religion that can flourish within democracy or any other political structure but a political philosophy which intrudes on any other type of society. This is why Islam is such a problem everywhere. And why we have the face of men such as Bin Laden as representative of Islam. Bin Laden knows Islam is political philosophy and seeks to realize such philosophy. The religious leaders of all other religions make no pretense to political philosophy. Their religions are not equivalent to such. They are honored and they and their religions can exist in any political structure which allows them without harming the structure to the degree Islam does. Islam is incompatible with any other political philosophy than its own laws. It will contine to be a problem until its laws go. But that will also be the end of it as a religion.

  • arkns

    Eboo’s point is pathetic. The point is Muslims are finding it difficult to live with others across the world. They are fighting against the Hindus in Kashmir saying they want a separate country or align with Pakistan. Muslims are also fighting against the Philippines because they want to separate. They are also fighting in Thailand for the same reason. Then of course, there is Russia where the Chechnya wants to separate. The Muslim Ughurs are fighting against China. All I can say is that if you are fighting against one, I can give you the benefit of the doubt. But if you are fighting against the whole world, the problem is not with the world, the problem is with you and your religion, your thinking and your way of looking at the world. May be the mullahs here have not thought of that. Then Eboo wonders why Muslims get a bad name? Is this fellow serious? The Koran recommends that when Muslims are in a majority, they should form their own country to be ruled under the Sharia. What a wonderful recommendation for living peacefully with the rest of humanity! I don’t care which God said it OK? It’s pretty stupid.

  • AKafir

    @YasserYousufi:Mughal rambles without ever quotng the Quran and he even mangels the hadiath he gives. As someone pointed out his Global Islamic Society for Peace n Love does not even exist. So why don’t you show where in the Quran Allah talks about his love for mankind. I have studied the Quran for years and there is no love in the Quran.

  • arkns

    Dear Daniel12:I loved reading your post. It is right on the mark. Please read my post. I gave examples from across the world. These are facts that no Muslim can deny. And we cannot spread democracy in Iraq, Afghanistan, or any other Muslim country. Democracy and secularism are incompatible with Islam. Muslims have no concept of these things.

  • arkns

    One of the fundamental disagreement I have with Muslims and Islam in general is this feeling that one can love God without loving his creation. According to my book and my philosophy that is IMPOSSIBLE TO DO. If one has not passed high school, how can he go to college? Grade 9 is loving yourself, Grade 10 loving your immediate family, Grade 11 loving your community, Grade 12 loving all, including those who do not belong to your community. If we have not passed these tests, it is foolish of us to say we love God. That’s like a high school dropout saying he loves University! LOVING GOD IS VERY DIFFICULT. So the next time you hear a Mullah, any of your political leaders, your political parties saying “Allah hu Akbar” (God is Great!) and then inciting you to hate “infidels” tell him/her to go to hell. You say THERE IS NO GOD BUT GOD. I SAY THERE IS NO GOD BUT MAN! Learn this before you practice anything else before you learn the Koran by heart. IF I HAVE TO CHOSE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN, I WILL FORSAKE GOD AND CHOSE MAN KNOWING FULLY WELL THAT TALKS ABOUT LOVING GOD WITHOUT LOVING ALL HIS CREATION IS LAUGHABLE!! It is like failing in school and wanting to go to University. These stupid mullahs need basic education. So love everything–dogs, cats, pigs, so-called “infidels”, roads, bridges, buildings, trash cans, etc, etc….for only then can you love God.

  • coloradodog

    Why are you so puzzled?I don’t recall Buddhist teachings including killing those different or who won’t convert, or mistreating women and gays.This is a no brainer.

  • RobertKundrally

    The answer is right there; daily reports of intolerance, hatred, and unspeakable terror pracised by many Muslims all over the world. And we know it has to come from their source- quran; otherwise why would young Muslims be blowing themsleves up for 72 virgins?

  • GISPL786

    Re: Post by AKAFIR: 1)Mughal rambles without ever quoting the Quran….2)Show me where in the Quran Allah talks of love for mankind….3)I have studies Quran for yrs n there is no love in the Quran.See here the Love in the Quran:There are many more places in Quran the Love is mentioned. So Akafir my friend I can help you see and feel the Love of Allah n Love for all mankind. Love of GodMohammad A Mughal

  • GISPL786

    Re: One of the fundamental disagreement with muslims n Islam is that you cannot love God without loving mankind. Loving God is very difficult.I am a spiritual muslims who is focused on the Islamic Path of Loving God n His creations. So I am saying this from experience n not from Theory. LOVING GOD IS AS EASY AS BREATHING. GOD HAS PROMISED HE WILL MAKE lOVE SO EASY IF ONLY ONE IS INTERESTED. Prophet Muhammad says; On the day of judgement there will be people who will have prayed too much but God will say to them you did not care for me. They will say we prayed to to day n night. God will say remember one poor person came to your door for food n you rejected him but I was with him. You didn’t care for Me. There was one who came to you for clothing. I was with him but you didn’t care for Me. there was one who needed shelter I was with him but you didn’t pay attention you were too busy in praying. In Quran, there is God’s attribute Al-Wadud which is Loving, Love, Source of all Love. Actually is more than the word love.So when one Loves God, He CREATES LOVE IN THE HEART OF THAT PERSON FOR LOVE OF MANKIND. Islam teaches to love people because of WHO IS THEIR MAKER N CREATOR. Mohammad A Mughal

  • shalshah

    Islam needs a facelift? More like it needs to be wiped off the face of the Earth…. A false, violent, contradictory faith that preaches hatred, breeds terrorism and lacks moderation.

  • Rubiconski

    Who cares what war mongering Americans think?The Empire must expand, violently, no matter the cost. We must sacrifice education, health care, infrastructure, and common decency and humanity to ensure that every resource on the planet, no matter how obscure, and every ruler of every country is within our scope of influence and readily available for exploitation–either by bribery or by force–by the greedhead capitalist war mongers and profiteers. We must ensure that nobody on the planet can resist our brutality, murder and mayhem. We will stop at nothing, NOTHING, to make the rest of the world conform to our needs, our greed, our way of life. We must “defend” that way of life no matter what. RAH RAH RAH!!! USA! USA! USA! KILL KILL KILL!!!

  • TooManyPeople

    I wonder what the Islamic-invaded Europeans would have to say about Islam. I’ll bet it wouldn’t be nice. In America, the concept of “freedom of religion” was developed before all this global Islamic madness. The founding fathers are spinning in their graves. They would also be astounded & disgusted at the sheer number of irresponsible people receiving public assistance. With the corporate thieves, the foreign invaders and the domestic deadbeats, it’s just a matter of time…

  • PSolus

    “Perhaps some education about the good parts of Islamic history and art would be in order.”Sure, I’ve got five minutes; go right ahead.Don’t confuse a religion with the people on which that religion is forced.

  • Christian1941

    What does the poll taken in Muslim countries state about Christians? Since Muslims appear to be very willing to burn & loot Christian’s churches/homes, etc in Islamic countries, I’d venture a guess that Muslims don’t like Christians much, if at all. Where’s that million Muslim march for peace we’ve been waiting for since 9/11?? Be afraid Americans, be very afraid!!

  • yasseryousufi

    Kafir,I cannot convince the person who has locked up his mind and denies even the most clearly spelled out words. Where is the confusion in the Surah you quoted about killing innocents being the most abhorrent crime and saving an innocent life being the most rewarding one? You said you’ve read the tafsir of Quran many times. Why didn’t you bother to put the context of the next Surah you quoted?How many dissenters/spies have actually been executed by Iran? Every state has a responsibility toward safeguarding its populace. Ahmedinejad won the Iranian election in a landslide majority. Those few American backed people masquerading as pro democracy protestors cannot change the will of the people. The overwhelming majority of Iranians love the Islamic Revolution of Imam Khomeini. Find me one single poll that indicates otherwise. Don’t we know that CIA has invested billions to bring about a rebellion in Iran. They failed! So now they must try again through propaganda.You keep posing as a humanist in your posts pinpointing bad things done by muslims. What don’t you speak out against the excesses committed against muslims. Your Indian government has killed more than 70,000 Kashmiris since the freedom movement started in 1989. What about those half a million dead Iraqi children murdered by Americans and Brits by not allowing even life saving drugs and powdered milk to enter Iraq. What about the dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Beirut, Chechneya and Bosnia. If you take off your hate islam glasses ever, you will see that all of Islam’s suicide bombings, beheadings, kidnappings etc don’t even equal a fraction of the terrorism that is directed by non-muslims against muslims.

  • rcubedkc

    Islam needs a facelift?No, it needs a beheading.

  • datdamwuf2

    Patel, I will believe what you tell me when the majority of Muslims stand up and condemn Bin Laden publicly AND call on on all “moderate” Muslims to root him out and bring him to justice. Condemning acts of violence is not enough, Muslims are not going out and DOING anything about it. Like you, they say we are about peace and love, there are only few extremists. But I clearly remember the huge riots and violence Muslims all over the world participated in when certain cartoons were published. It was so bad the media is afraid to print anything bad about Islam and many pulled the cartoons due to the high number of death threats they got.

  • barferio

    Really, Mr. Patel, what planet do you live on? The worst, most violent thing I ever saw a Buddhist do was set himself on fire to protest the war in Viet Nam. And I have to go back more than 40 years to find that.Every day, Muslims are blowing each other up in Iraq and Pakistan. This is when they aren’t trying to kill people who *aren’t* Muslim.The metaphor you’re using, the face lift – done to fight the affects of aging – it does nothing to change the underlying fact that the person with the face lift is still getting old.A facelift for Islam is meaningless until the slaughter ends. Deal with that first.

  • AKafir

    @Mughal:Can you see the Problem?

  • yasseryousufi

    “Its never too hard to whip up hate frenzy amongst the ignorant masses who usually follow propaganda like blind sheep.”Sure isn’t – it’s especially easy right after Friday prayer.Or right after you’ve taken your daily dose of Robertson, Buchanan, O Riley, Beck followed by the Ann Coulter Kool-aid~!

  • aka2

    Islam doesn’t deny Prophet Jesus or Prophet Moses.It is deplorable to note total stigma against Islam.Looks like every stupid person on earth is writing garbage in Eboo’s column

  • jm125

    Alert islamist scum Patel, Buddhists aren’t blowing up Buddhists and other people on a daily basis.Islamist scum like Patel are incapable of logic or rational thought. Tolerance of this islamist filth and its imported muslim brethren will be the death blow for what is now left of Western civilization.

  • Kingofkings1

    Mr Patel, you’re wrong. Islam doesn’t need a facelift. People need more education about what Islam stands for. Osama Bin Laden need not represent the Islamic faith just as John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Adolf Hitler, and Pope Urban who called for mass slaughter during the first crusade need not represent christianity or Meir Kahane and Baruch Goldstein need not represent Judaism. Second, the entire media and the western society should stop ganging up on Islam which has been their goal since the first crusade. Third, I have heard Mr Rami several several times in person, and he seems to be a good individual, but you are clearly wrong when you say he is the most qualified or the best muslim to represent US Islam or Islam in general at present. A little education can be dangerous. So please don’t give your readers a little education. Give them more than that.

  • Navin1

    All muslims are human, as humans they are the beloved of god. Just as all humans (Hindus, animists, pagans, christians, buddhists, atheists, communists…) are the beloved of God. We do not hate muslims.All monoideologies, that claim that they are the one and only way to god that all men must follow, are the creations of men with greed in their hearts. These are to despised (regardless of scriptural origin). But, if the human insists on the execution of the ideology, that human suffers the karma of that choice. (not a koranic eternal damnation, but a karmic lesson plan from Tat Sat – the way it is.)So let the muslims rise up and say to their brother islamists: there is no hated of god, there is no infidel, there is no jihad but the spiritual one, there is no right by birth to being an Imam or a king, there is no right of men over women… And then we infidels may well say: cool, thanks, welcome. I have met many a muslim that believes much of this, now belief has to be translated into governance.hariaum

  • Navin1

    I am sure that the Pakistanis killed by Bin Laden, and the civilians killed by their car bombs are spurring other pakistani to hate islam. no wait.I am sure that the Pakistanis killed by American drone, and the civilians killed by their car bombs are spurring other pakistani to hate America. yes, the latter is true, the former is false. I wonder why the dichotomy. Could it be that hate from within is excused while hate from without is not. Perhaps we would have a better society if hate from wherever was not excused. The number of muslims killed by their more islamic muslims is far greater than the number of muslims killed by the West. Then intolerance of muslims by their more islamic brothers is far greater than the muslims killed by the West. Yet, the west is blamed for being unfair, inhuman, etc. Islamic imperialism rides rampant wherever islam goes, yet western imperialism is the evil one.Yet, the west is blamed.Hinduism is the oldest extant religion in the world, yet muslims claim Hinduism doesn’t have staying power, while islamist kill muslims and refuse to let them get education in universities while playing volleyball. EP, You need to change the face of islam to the muslims. When they stop killing each other about the right way to be muslim (say by Sufi teachings), they might appear more tolerant to us infidels. You need to change the image of islam to the muslims in the middle east, say for examply, that they should demand democracy now in the name of allah (which, btw, the Malay muslims have shown is a name not a word). So hitman and yussef can hate all Hindus, feel all Hindus hate muslims, though Muslims in India and America have more personal freedoms in those states than in most islamic countries. But how will you change the face of islam if the muslims don’t want to change it? When sect kills sect, men oppress women, children’s minds are closed by their enforced lack of education, when the recurrence of polio in the world is due to islamists that refused to take a few drops of vaccine? How will you change the face of islam if you don’t first hold up a clear mirror?hariaum

  • lcyoon

    To those saying Buddhists are not pushing violence upon the world where some Muslims do and therefore one is worse, please study Sri Lanka.

  • Kingofkings1

    Mr Patel,

  • batigol85

    hey i have a better theory. Buddhism enjoys relatively lower negative prejudice because its not waging a war on the west! Call it a hunch! No suicide bombers, hijackings, beheadings etc that require little more than 3 seconds to deliver their message. I have a good one that recently popped up in the news: “Turkish girl buried alive for talking to boys”

  • skealh

    Islam does have a figurehead – it is the Islamist in a ski mask holding an AK47. Islam has allowed the Islamists to define the narrative of Islam in the modern world. The majority of the Muslim world is at least sympathetic to this narrative because I suspect they see it as a way to break the Infidel hold on the real levers of power: economic, educational, political, technological, etc. It is a vain hope that a discredited interpretation of the Quran will result ultimately world domination. They hope that people will be dense enought to believe what they say rather than what they do. I suppose living in denial is a kind of faith.

  • Spiritof761

    Islam only needs a facelift among Islamophobes and the enormous Islamophobic propaganda machine flooding us with daily dosages of hate and lies about Islam. But that won’t happen unless there is a heart-transplant first.

  • awabnavi

    “The worst, most violent thing I ever saw a Buddhist do was set himself on fire to protest the war in Viet Nam. And I have to go back more than 40 years to find that.” HMM! Have you ever heard of POL POT?

  • yasseryousufi

    Kafir,The Quran is a guide book where one can find references to every aspect of ones life. The Hadith and Prophet Muhammad’s life compliments whatever is written in the Quran and clarifies those things that are not clearly stated in the Quran. So in the Quran muslims are asked to do good deeds and yes that includes serving other humans (go and look for tafseer of the Surah’s Mr. Mughal quoted). There’s a widely quoted Surah that says “If you killed one innocent human it’s as if you killed the whole mankind and if you saved the life one innocent being it is as if you have saved the entire mankind”. We have lots of stories from Prophet Muhammad’s life of mercy towards non muslims and its an obligation for all us muslims to follow Prophet Muhammad’s example. There are also details of punishment in the Quran reserved for those (muslims and non muslims) who stray away from the righteous path as in those who kill innocents, commit rape/adultery, who defalcate etc. In that the Quran is no different from other religious books that are considered to have brought the message of God.Wherever that paper is from, its obviously not a reliable one. Why couldn’t you find that story in a mainstream newspaper? There are too many false publications when it comes to Islam on the internet for haters like you to gobble up. The fact is that the case is being fought by very able lawyers and there is no way that Shazia’s murderer will escape punishment. You can bring your inherent hatred into it and condemn Islam for every crime committed by a muslim but that doesn’t change the facts. @ARKNSI thought you were gonna take on us muslims with your “Philosophical Points”. I see no response to my post yet?? Are you the news CCNL of this blog? All bluster no substance!And you seriously need to take some history lessons. Muslims aren’t killing hindu’s in Kashmir, it’s the other way round. India illegally occupies Kashmir (according to UN resolutions) with the largest concentration of troops in the world. Mindanao has been illegally occupied by the Philppines. And you are OK with Tibetan’s seeking independence from the Chinese and not the Uyghurs? Aren’t those typical racist double standards? East Turkestan was never part of China traditionally. The UN and all other Human Rights Declarations allows occupied people to resist occupation. Why aren’t you OK when muslims resist their inhumane occupation.

  • snowy2

    How is it that a little knowledge about Buddhism correlates with broadly positive feelings towards Buddhists, but a little knowledge about Islam is linked to frighteningly negative views of Muslims? ————This column is a joke. I am a new Christian and have read this column several times. The articles I’ve read were nothing but antagonistic to the Christian faith.

  • csforst

    Spin it any way you want. Islam is a monster religion bent on world domination. Is anybody else hijacking planes and flying them into buildings. Every time I have to go through security at an airport, I think of the “religion of peace”.

  • tjhall1

    Islam is a gutter ‘religion’ that glorifies death, violence, and the subjugation of women.

  • hit4cycle

    Islam is more a barbaric cult of violence than a religion. Any country that allows Muslim immigration invites trouble. They will not assimilate and barely conceal their contempt and anger as they wait for the day they can impose Shariah on their hosts.

  • JonathanHess

    Face lift is an artificial surgery. You just want Muslims to be like Buddhists (example you gave in your article) and stop killing civilians every day(and worshipping bin laden and other terrorists). So according to your article Muslims should stop being Muslims and be more like Buddhists. I will second that.

  • Brad_81

    Eboo, I know a few Muslims, and work alongside one I consider a friend every day – but you know what my picture is of Muslims and how they relate to the west? It is not OBL, it is not my friend at work, and it is not even his imam who, from my friend’s struggles, seems to constantly speak against the government. I know that basing opinions on individual people can skew perception in any way.My image, the one that is burned into my mind, is of all the Muslims celebrating and cheering when informed of the 9|11 attacks, of the mass celebration at the death of so many non Muslims. This was not one or two people skewing the perception, this was (and is) entire communities and traditions celebrating in the pain and suffering of those who don’t believe what they do. This ‘faith’ is not a group of people who cherish all God created life, but a group who celebrate and participate in it’s ending.This cannot be fixed by a face lift of the religion, an entire culture change is needed, one that I fear will never happen.

  • FredinVicksburg

    The problem is not with religion. The problem is with fanatics that hide behind religion to commit evil deeds. That has been the case for about 1,500 years. Christians have had fanatics much longer than Islam has had fanatics. Medieval Christians had their own form of Taliban – they were called Crusaders and roamed about Europe killing heretics long before they went to the Holy Land to take it away from Muslims and Jews (a heretic was anyone who had a different viewpoint than the crusader). They also burned people accused of being witches. People should put their own house in order before criticizing someone else’s religion.

  • uzs106

    I am happy that there is still some opposition to the American way in the world. China will make the U.S. look like a dwarf in some years. Lift your own faces as long as you want but dont apply your dream to others.

  • jaysue

    Muslim integration into our society is much more further along than in many other places and consequently being Muslim is not as important as being American. Having said that never forget that religious intolerance was a major factor in the pursuit of our independence and the creation of our country. At those times when being Muslim is a higher duty than being American and is used to justify killing attitudes will harden in a very negative way, and very quickly.

  • hipshot

    Its wise to be on good behavior when you are a minority.Still don’t know the real Islam.

  • SchaulRonny

    Here’s is another example that Islam is not just in need of a face lift: as a few among 150,000 others, my family had to flee Iraq twice, in 1948 and then for good in 1951, for being Jewish. Period. No other reason. Also please check how the current version of the Koran refers to Jews: as “najas”, a word that has no equivalent in English and means “unholy filth”.

  • RichardHode

    Could the difference in attitudes toward muslims and buddhists have anything to do with the number of suicide bombers associated with the respective religions? Could it have anything to do with the fanatic, screaming muslims who carry posters of old bearded men and burn our flag while the buddhists are peaceful?Naaah, I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with that at all. I guess we Americans are just plain racists as the muslims accuse us, even if muslims are not a race. Oh yes, and thanks for reminding us that Islam is “the religion of peace.” For some reason, and I can’t imagine why, it’s easy to forget sometimes …

  • JOSEPH2006

    Well, as a moderate muslim who respect all religions and after I travelled to the region of the middle east spesifically state of Qatar and after I saw how muslims treat each other and how they treat their women, I have so much doubts about this religion and I am thinking seriously to change to christianity as a religion of peace, believe me you have no idea how this culture and religion work in the real world in the middle east until you live their and see for your self.

  • dahozho

    Um, hey, could it be because jihadis make NO EFFORT to hide the fact that THEY WANT US DEAD?? (Pick any “us,” even muslims from other sects want to kill muslims with different views.) Add to that the fact that they try to do this often, and the large majority of muslims don’t seem to have a problem with it? And even distribute candy and dance in the streets when jihadis achieve their goals?And when was the last time Buddhists set out to kill Americans….. hmmmmm. I mean Buddists as *Buddhists*, not as part of say, the Viet Cong. When was the last time a Buddhist acted weirdly on your flight, wouldn’t listen to the flight attendents, and ended up being escorted off by the FBI? Hmmmmm.Its old, Eboo. Getting really, really old. Why do we have a negative view? Shouldn’t one have a negative view of people who just want them DEAD???Eyes open, NO SUBMISSION!

  • asmith1

    How is it that a little knowledge about Buddhism correlates with broadly positive feelings towards Buddhists, but a little knowledge about Islam is linked to frighteningly negative views of Muslims? Although a few radicals are responsible for giving Islam a black eye, billions of Muslims who “follow the teachings of peace and love Islam” refuse to do anything to take back their hijacked religion. The only time we hear the Muslim community speak out against the radicals is AFTER they commit an atrocity – and that is more out of self-preservation than to denounce the radicals. One has to presume the silent majority who allow radicals to overshadow the true teachings of Islam are dominated by the radicals or quietly support the radical philosophy. It is the quiet majority who are the true threat because no one knows who they really are, or when they will become a weapon for the radicals. Until the followers of the Islam of Peace and Love stand up and publicly renounce the radicals, it is not unreasonable to presume they are not our friends.

  • csforst

    What a crock that some Muslims write. Mohammed was a murderer, child molester, deceiver and robber among other “professions”. His religion very much follows in his footsteps. When you strip out the God part, Islam looks a lot like Nazism.

  • joe803

    Like the New York Times and other publications, I believe the Washington Post should be revewing the content of these comments before they are published and if they do, the Post should do a better job. I’m all for freedom of speech, but some of these comments are way out of line. Thank you Dr. Patel for your insights.

  • qqbDEyZW

    US Christian Religions should look in the mirror before attack any other religion. We see the Church support the man who murdered Dr. Tiller. We see Priest who not only molest kids but have father children with woman of the church. We see Priest havingn sex with men. The Church supports torture of innocent Foreigne men/woman/children. Resently we’ve seen Christians stealing kids in Haiti for money. Rick Warren used the Oral Roberts trick of saying God wanted people to give him 1 million dollars by the end of the year. Those with no sin case the first stone and the US Christian Religions can’t toss that first stone.

  • RobertKundrally

    Ha, ha. Any criticism of Islam is seen as hate speech and have Muslims and secularists calling for censorship by media before those comments are published. Remind me of Nazi era.Meanwhile Muslims are free to spew their hate venom on Jews/ Hindus. Not only that they regularly massacre them, along with Americans, of course (9/11).

  • AKafir

    @YasserYusufi:”Where is the confusion in the Surah you quoted about killing innocents being the most abhorrent crime and saving an innocent life being the most rewarding one? You said you’ve read the tafsir of Quran many times. Why didn’t you bother to put the context of the next Surah you quoted?How many dissenters/spies have actually been executed by Iran?”The confusion that you cannot get rid of is that Ayet 5.32 tells you that do not kill a human (except for murder or spreading mischief in the land)was told to the jews and they even disobeyed that. Do you see the constant and continuous hatred of the jews in the Quran? The jews are portrayed disobeying Allah all the time and spreading mischief on this earth. They are not allowed to have their own religion at all. The second verse is a continuation of the 5.32 and the punishment for “waging war against Allah and Muhammad” is given as death by crucifixion etc. What is waging war against Allah? Is a non-muslim who refuses to accept Allah as God waging war against Allah? Is a non-muslim who does not accept Muhammad as a prophet waging war against Muhammad? Read the commentaries of the Islamic scholars through the ages and they tell you that the only acceptable position for the non-muslims is to accept the superiority of Islam and the Muslims and to pay Jiziya with “humiliation” to show that they accept that subservient role, and if they do not then they should be killed. That is what your Quran 5.32 and 5.33 are saying and you want to tell the kaafirs that these verses means that Allah loves Mankind? Can you see the confusion now? Iranians have killed in the many hundreds under the provision of “waging war against Allah” since the revolution of 1979. The real sad part is that muslims have killed more muslims than the number that the west has killed in the various wars in the muslim lands. How many muslims did saddam kill? How many Bangalis did the pakistani army kill (I know you being a pakistani will deny the millions that the Bangladeshi claim)? How many did Assad kill? How many iraqis did the iranians kill? How many kids did the mullahs of iran send through the mine fields fighting iraq? How many muslims have been killed by the jihadis in pakistan over the last 10 years in the sectarian warfare? How many muslims have been killed by the chechans? How many muslims have been killed in Darfur by other muslims? You see not once has the OIC or any muslim country ever condemed the killing of muslims by other muslims. Why? Think about it. Open your mind a little and think and read and see how many muslims have been killed by other muslims through out Islamic history?

  • Dugus

    Imagine no religion…All religions have a dark side, fanatics who think they hold the truth and use their Holy Books to back them up. However, that said, I would also appreciate more media coverage of prominent Muslims coming out against the terrible treatment of women, use of terrorism, and such in the world. Believers in Islam need to present the progressive face of their faith more often or most will continue to view Islam with prejudice.

  • arkns

    A Kafir:You miss my point. I am not painting every Muslim with the same brush not am I bigoted. I am merely pointing out facts as they stand in the world. What is bigoted about that. You say that Muslims are trying to bring democracy. What will that achieve until the nature of the parities themselves change? In Pakistan, are the parties all that different among each other? I don’t think so. The true strength of democracy is measured by the plurality of views among the parties. In the United States, the Democratic and the Republican parties have quite different philosophies. In India, the sheer range of political views from extreme left to extreme right is amazing. I am not sure that kind of plurality of views exist in Islamic cultures. They do not and cannot think outside the box imposed by their religion. So minority rights have suffered. There is nothing bigoted about these facts. Also, in this blogs people draw some cultural tendencies and practices among the majority of Muslims, not among every single one of them. Just read the posts. I think the posts are basically correct and well balanced. The kafirs are all angry but they are rightly angry. They cite facts why they are angry. Now does that mean we accuse every single Muslim of these charges? No, we do not.

  • rcubedkc

    eboo said “Ask folks to name a famous Buddhist and they’ll say the Dalai Lama. Ask them about a famous Muslim and what name comes to mind? You got it. Public enemy number one: Osama bin Laden.”I actually think the percentage of people holding a negative of islam is far too low, and this is the reason.If you as a Buddhist who they look up to, they’ll tell you the Dalai Lama. Ask a muzlum who they look up to and you got it. Public enemy number one: Osama bin Laden.”

  • Ombudsman1

    “Here’s my theory. “Is this columnist living under a rock? He wonders why people have feelings towards Buddhists and don’t like Muslims?Seriously?I mean he gets close to the answer talking about Osama Bin Ladin, but then he jumps away like that was merely bad spin by the press.If he wants to see the answer, look in the mirror. A failure to acknowledge the problems being created by Muslims and no accountability by the mosques is the answer.What can’t the local imams get together and take a strong stand that these guys who shoot up army bases, blow up buildings, run planes into building, blow themselves up is wrong, teach their followers that it’s wrong, actively stop this sort of subculture within their ranks.You can’t have it both ways here. Right now, you’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.

  • rgv1129

    Please, these disingenuous discussions about religion are rather silly. This is not a religious issue, it is is primarily an ethnic divide. Personally, I don’t care what you worship. However, there are certain behaviors, such as the recent “marriage” of a 12-year old girl to an 80-year old lecher in Saudia Arabia, that are beyond the pale. This is not a matter of religion, but fundamental issues of human dignity and human rights. I don’t condemn this deplorable attempt to “save” the girls family from the shame of her sleeping with someone out of wedlock on religious grounds, but rather because it is so deliciously hypocritical. Really, let’s not shame the family, but instead the whole nation or group (in this case Saudia Arabia — which was, incidentally, the country of origin of the majority of 911 bombers) that condones such a base perversion. For God’s, or Allah’s sake, an 80-year old man who has three pre-pubescent wives already? I have a name for that: sexual predator.Many religions, and ethnicities, use their peculiar world views and creeds as excuses to do atrocious things to other groups. This probably stems from conflicts over resources. Come to think of it, resource conflict isn’t an old issue, now is it?

  • MM55

    This columnist needs to read headlines and take his meds. Wash Post you are out to lunch to even publish such lunacy on line.

  • halozcel1

    awabnavi and those who think like awabnavi(because,same sample being given by some posters over and over again)Pol Pot was a Communist(Red Khmer).Pol Pot did in the name of Communism,not Buddhism.Pol Pot never said *I’m doing for Buddhism*Correction:Invasion,wrongly written as invesion in my last post.

  • allamer1

    So, all of the news reports about Muslim terrorism around the world is just bad PR? We infidels should ignore or disbelieve news reports? They are just prejudiced reports? I see. What we should believe is commentary that ignores the violence and intolerance actually perpetrated by Muslims and simply praises Muslims as good community organizers.

  • Robert2008

    Mr. Patel is clueless as always. It’s not only Osama bin Laden, it’s the demented hatred that streams out of almost every corner of the Muslim world. Hatred against Jews, Christians, gays, apostates, independent women, Hindus, you name it.Islam does not need a face lift, Mr. Patel, Islam needs open-heart surgery.

  • shewholives

    One out of a few million?

  • rcubedkc

    The Holy Quran is as relevent today as it was 1400 years ago.Yup, toilet paper in book form. Handy for camping.

  • iamredwolf

    This journalist is clueless. I trained

  • carl29098

    Eboo, your smarmy denial of the crimes committed by Islamic terroists is typical of the muslim community in general. The overwhelming silence of muslims regarding the atrocities committed in their name is a fact, not a media invention. Your piece suggests our negative perception of muslims is a branding error that needs to corrected by the marketing dept. Face reality – Islam is NOT a religion, it’s a political system.

  • shewholives

    Poor, misunderstood Islam. The usual whining Muslims, heaping blame on everyone else for not understanding their glorious religion. The problem is, we understand it all too well.

  • AKafir

    @ARKNS:It is obvious that you think of the “Muslims” as the other. This world is increasingly small and in reality it is impossible to wall off anyone off from others. When you don’t have a democracy then you don’t have political parties. Muslim countries do not have democracies and do not have developed political parties. Obviously you have not lived in muslim countries or very likely know many muslims. I have spent a life time in muslim countries and most of my family are still observant muslims. It is not a question of “every single Muslim” for you are condemning “Most” Muslims. If you would have bothered reading Farhat Taj’s article whose link I provided you would have read: “I would now draw the attention of the US to the Peshawar Declaration, a joint statement of political parties, civil society organisations, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, teachers, students, labourers and intellectuals, following a conference on December 12-13, 2009, in Peshawar. The declaration notes that if the people of the war-affected areas are satisfied with any counter-militancy strategy; it is drone attacks that they support the most. Some people in Waziristan compare drones with the Quran’s Ababeels — the holy sparrows sent by God to avenge Abraham, the intended conqueror of the Khana Kaaba.” At least acknowledge that ordinary muslims are publicly praising the killing of the Jihadis via Drones and totally contradicting the official position of the Government that Drones are hated by the muslims. At least accept that these brave people are voicing this in the face of actual terrorists bombings and killings taking place around them in Peshawar on practically daily basis.

  • AKafir

    cont’d:In this small world the muslims are part of “us” and are not the “others”. They have not been able to bring their religion into the modern world and have never learned how to deal with open criticism of their religion like the other religions. At least recognize that there are fanatics in other religions as well except they are marginalized because the majority of people are no longer willing to follow the rantings of the loony fundamentalists. Most muslims around the world what all other humans want but they have the additional handicap of having to deal with the violence and hate embedded in Islam. They really do not know how to deal with it, and there are many different intellectual ways that are being attempted but none really successful so far. We have to accept that it is not going to be possible to wall off one fifth to one fourth of humanity, and it really is “immoral” to even try. What we can do is be honest to ourselves and to them. Treat them as equals and talk to them honestly and truthfully. We cannot give into stupid PC mores and limit free speech to examine any religion including Islam. People who criticise Islam and Muhammad may be wrong, but they must have the freedom to speak their minds without fear of getting killed. The best indicator of whether we are succeeding is to see how the minorities are treated in muslim countries. Historically and at present the minorities are treated worse than second class citizens. As long as the muslim countries treat their minorities as less than equals, we should know that they are still stuck in the middle ages and we need to keep our guard up.

  • arkns

    Dear A Kafir:You say that there are many, many examples of Muslims who want democracy and secularism that even in Pakistan they want these things for their children. Great–then how is it that they never manage to get those things anywhere in the world. Point to me ONE Islamic country which truly practices secularism (such as minorities in positions of power) or democracy (with free and fair elections). I am hard pressed to come up with just ONE such country. Their bastion of Sunni religion and culture–Saudi Arabia–is a barbaric state living in the Middle Ages. Their other bastion of Shia faith–Iran–well we all know what those mullahs are up to. Let’s forget about these two–even Indonesia and Turkey–examples of Islamic liberalism that Muslims love to uphold–are a far cry from true democracy or secularism. In Turkey, it is impossible to get a government job if you do not have a Muslim last name. In Indonesia, attacks against minorities are common and the courts cower against radical parties. So if we have all these liberal Muslims wanting democracy and secularism, how come they are not able to make their voices heard anywhere? The reason is simple–people get the government they want. I must remind you that in Pakistan, their love for democracy and secularism is so strong that they routinely let go the worst offenders against “infidels”. Sorry, I don’t buy your argument.

  • Robster1

    Islam denies Jesus. Therefore, it is a damnable lie. Islam is of the devil.

  • patriot0523

    Mr. Patel: You ain’t kidding. As a Muslim, you are compelled to defend your religion. But, please, please do not equate Islam with Buddhism. You are comparing crab-apple to apple. Mohammad was a murderer and a thief among other things, who talked to God while he was not otherwise engaged. Buddha was the most humanitarian who never harmed a single living thing less alone a human. You do not hear about Buddhists blowing themselves up in a crowd to please their God. While every day, dozens of devout Muslims do just that to reach Allah, and the virgins. So, you can cut this crap trying to impress the rest of us about how mis-understood your great faith is. We understand it perfectly; you are the one with the problem. Why don’t you and your islamic leaders go on a real jihad to re-write your Koran and your Friday sermons to re-educate your people about everyone’s civil rights, say – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, instead of trying to impress us with your barrage of nonsense on WPO? It ain’t going to be easy nor pretty. It’s either this, or you can remain under your rock to crawl out once in a while complaining how much it hurts to be despised by everyone else. Good luck.

  • arkns

    And the worst thing is no Muslim is allowed to question any aspect of their religion. If anyone does, he/she will be branded a heretic and then off with the neck. You enter but you cannot get out. The price for just wanting to get out is also death. The whole cult/political system/”religion” is run Mafia style.

  • hitman2

    Islam is practiced by 1.7 billion Muslims.

  • hitman2

    To those writing in favour of Islam.Pls note there is a difference between a believer in Quran and a non-believer. Leave them in the darkness because they have chosen it.

  • maroon2

    I just wanted to address the issue of the posts suggesting we go to war against Islam and disparaging one of the three major monotheistic religions of the world that encompasses one fifth of the world’s population-let me start by stating that I am a Christian myself and I have been guilty of the same bias and prejudice; however, what we are dealing with is not Islam itself but rather prejudice, ignorance, fundamentalism and the legacy of conflict between the Christian and Islamic faiths that goes back to the Crusades; as for those who post that Islam is inherently violent or irrational, I want to remind them that it was the Arabs under Islam in the Middle Ages who preserved the Greek classics and taught the Europeans about medicine (Avicenna, or Abu Sinna), mathematics (including Algebra, or Al Jabr, and the concept of the zero), astronomy, etc. Arab civilization under Islam was advanced far beyond European civilization and included concepts of personal cleanliness and individual freedom, including property ownership and inheritance rights for women. The Arabs introduced the first university in Europe that sparked the Renaissance in Italy. The current state of many in the Islamic world is the result of backwardness, fundamentalism, ignorance, poverty, radicalism, lack of opportunity, and the domination of a conservative clergy that gains their strength in large part as the only alternative to repressive governments (by the way, we supported some of the most corrupt and violent regimes in the Islamic world, including Sadam Hussein and Osama bin Laden-they are our creations). These regions have been in constant conflict and war for decades. I in no way condone terrorism-I believe in the Rule of Law-the posts advocating the destruction of a religion shows the same stupid fundamentalist mentality they purport to abhor-these are the same stupid people who led us into a war in Iraq without even knowing at the time that the country was populated by two major schisms in Islam, the Shiites and the Sunni, obviously the height of arrogance and stupidity-enough of the stupidity, this kind of arrogance and ignorance needs to be challenged before these ignoramuses get us all killed-by the way their brilliant overseas maneuvers are destroying our economy as we are paying potentially trillions of dollars for the privilege of killing people overseas without getting any tangible benefit other than further radicalization, a nuclear race (do you think we would have invaded Iraq if they had nuclear weapons?)and greater influence in the region for Iran, China and Russia.

  • AKafir

    @Hitman2:”Pls note there is a difference between a believer in Quran and a non-believer.Why is it that any criticism and any examination of Islam is always met with this incredulity by Muslims? Yasser automatically tries to call everyone a hindu, and here you are suggesting that people (most likely I, since I am the one who is actually quoting Quran’s verses) are being paid. I have never received a penny from anyone for ever posting or talking about Islam anywhere. I would not risk the harm to my close family to begin with. But more importantly, if the Quran is such a sure guide for humanity and simple as it claims, should it not be easy for educated and dedicated muslims like yourself to easily and trivially refute any criticism that is being leveled even by paid “agents”? Why cannot you show the “paid agents” to be illogical and simply wrong? It should be trivial for you, should it not? Instead you advise hiding in shadows. Why?

  • AlibiFarmer

    While it’s an effective rhetorical device to pit one individual against another, the real issue for Islam is the sum of its believers overall.NO other religion has fostered the hatred, violence, or terror that Islam has in the 20th century. It need not be this way, but it certainly has been. Islam will have to cure itself. Islam will have to cast out the murderers. Until the teachings of Islam are overwhelmingly interpreted for peace, something that cannot be said now, it will continue to be suspect – and rightly so.

  • dcmowbray1

    It is really, really hard not to stereotype Muslims and every day you read the proof in the news. What kind of religion is it that condones violence against women, their fellow co-religionists, and we “unbelievers”? If it were just one or two isolated incidents it would be one thing, but it isn’t–it happens all the time. Face it, Islam lives in the Middle Ages…this is like living in 15th Century Italy. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but the vast majority of terrorists are Muslims. You people have a very long way to go to join the modern day community of man.

  • patriot0523

    Dear hitman2:While it is perfectly all right for men to molest females of other faiths, it is forbidden for Muslim females to even touch other males. With the sanction to have as many wives as he wants, a man is free to produce as many children as his wives are capable of producing. Every family I know, there are at least 15 children per father. That’s why their brood keeps on multiplying at geometric scale. That’s why there are 1.7Bn of you, and you keep on growing. Again, most of these 1.7Bn live in slums and with no education whatsoever. That’s why you cannot change them or improve their minds. A closed mind is a death trap. That’s why you can get a healthy teenager to go out and blow himself up for 70 virgins. You know that. We all know that. Except that you don’t like to admit that. Right?

  • rico745

    Without love the people perish.Love is absent in political Islam. The Sufis could teach the Wahabists a thing or two about love.Love your enemy and you defang them.Christian militarism, political Islam, Han and Zionist nationalism will all implode. It is just a matter of time.The greatest threat to mankind is ethno-nationalism dressed up as religion. Get a grip– resource scarcity is driving the geostrategic re-mapping. It is a foot race.The problem with Islam is that it is revenge filled and void of love of those not of them.Had we loved and forgave the Wahabists and Salafis that attacked us on 9/11 (unfathomable) we would have begun to demonstrate the Truth.Forgive us for we know not what we do.Translation – lock and load for a loaf of bread.I think we’d all be better off loving our neighbor as we love ourselves (think self perservation and then why…)Selflessness my friend, there we begin.

  • acpress

    No one can disagree that Muslims ( and all others ) need to engage in positive lifestyle. More than 15000 Muslim MDs in the US and a contingent of volunteer Muslim doctors in Haiti are taking care of the sick right now. But Muslims have a right to request that they be left alone and not be asked to fight and finance wars for the colonial designs of the West (eg. Afghanistan against Russia, Pakistani soldiers in Iraq & Somalia, Turkey in NATO, Saudi money everywhere etc. );they be not dispossessed from their lands and resources (eg. oil)and their wealth be not transferred to Western banks via corrupt leaders supported by the West ( read Browning New York Times- 1/19/09 & 2/3/10).Ask not Muslims to give more to you , rather ask yourself when to stop taking from Muslims. New york Times reports this morning that India alone receives 15 billion dollars every year from Muslim lands for their supply of labor. And talking about the positive things, India yesterday successfully launched a nuclear capable missile able to reach half of the world away from New Delhi with the help of US supplied technology..

  • GISPL786

    Two decades earlier Osama bin Ladin n Afghnese jihadese were fighting the SOVIET UNION. These guys were supported as “freedom fighters” by the President Reagon n they were financed by the CIA. It is a historic fact. The great American President Reagon invited Afgani leader in the white house at the end of Soviet defeatNow these guys are bad guys n terrorists.Maybe 10 years from now China challenges America n then the CIA will re-recruit Osama bin Ladin n taliban to fight china.So now, my friend, what about YOU n MEWe know American justice, once they find a crime, it doesn’t matter if it is Marth Stewart or Govt or CEO, they put him or her in jail. If we didn’t do what God wants us to do or we break His laws. There is prison in the world, I have seen it in the vision. SO HOW COMPARISON OF OSAMA BIN LADIN WTIH DALAI LAMA GOING TO HELP YOU N ME N MR PATEL??? JUST THINK FOR A MOMENT?

  • paultaylor1

    The media, simply reporting incidents, cannot be blamed for public prejudice due to the attitudes and actions of militant Muslims. Without doubt, antipathy toward Islam, and Muslims as a people, is far more prevalent than is reported in any poll. Not just in the United States, but around the world. Many people will not publicly voice such prejudice. If moderate Muslims were to stand up to the growing militancy of Islam, not in a shy way, perhaps non-Muslims would find some credibility in the claims of a gentler, humanitarian Islam. It is telling that they do not. One of their own scholars, Salman Rushdie, learned that lesson.

  • angelbug

    The world would be a far happier place is there was NO religion at all – and yes, that includes Christianity, which teaches that it’s ok to enslave your neighbors, sell your daughters, invalidate a marriage if the woman isn’t a virgin – after executing her – and on and on. All these “holy” books were written when people still thought the Earth was flat, so why do people insist they have any value in the modern world? I am an atheist and I lead a purer life than many so-called religious people. I don’t need a book to tell me how to lead a moral and conscientious life. More killing is done in the name of religion – whether defensive or offensive – than for any other reason.

  • PaulKMurray

    I agree with Navin1. The reason Muslims get such a bad wrap is that the extremists produce videos and commentary about how they want to kill Westerners and showing it, while the non-extremists simply complain about how Islam has a negative image in Western eyes. They are so busy defending their good name that they forget that those who would do the West harm have a much better publicity machine. It’s simple marketing. Al Qaeda tells us what they want to do and the non-extremists expect us to simply understand that they don’t mean us harm. Actually, this column is a perfect example.Like you said Eboo, when asked to name a Buddhist most Americans name the Dalai Lama. When was the last time he produced a video showing Buddhists cuttng of the heads of the unfaithful and exhorting his followers to kills Westerners?

  • MumboJumboo

    Americans equating muslims to terrorists becasue of benladen is same as muslims equating americans with serial killers becasue of jeffry dahmer

  • AKafir

    @yasseryousufi:”So in the Quran muslims are asked to do good deeds and yes that includes serving other humans (go and look for tafseer of the Surah’s Mr. Mughal quoted). There’s a widely quoted Surah that says “If you killed one innocent human it’s as if you killed the whole mankind and if you saved the life one innocent being it is as if you have saved the entire mankind”. We have lots of stories from Prophet Muhammad’s life of mercy towards non muslims and its an obligation for all us muslims to follow Prophet Muhammad’s example.”Yasser I have read the Tafsirs for many a years and I have not found any that talks about serving other humans. There is about being good to other muslims but nothing on serving and absolutely nothing on being even kind to nonmuslims. Please show the many many hadiaths where Muhammad was good to non-muslims. There are one or two daef hadeeth about not being able to smell the perfume in heaven but not much more. There are a lot of claimed stories that muslims tell the kaafirs but without any hadiath references. Now the Sura you reference to is You see “spreading mischeif in the land” and “fighting Allah and Muhammad” has been explained by Islamic scholars include those who voice opinions against Islam. Right now in Iran the dissenters are being labeled Moharrab (against Allah) and hanged to die.

  • edzed

    To all of the apologists for Islam, I have only one request! READ THE KORAN and then try to make the case that Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion that is consistent with human rights and equality. LOTS OF LUCK IN YOUR IMPOSSIBLE TASK.

  • abhab1

    Yosufi says:Those references to love in the Quran were not absolute but conditional. They all revolve around Mohammad and those who are willing to fight for his cause. You never hear a verse that says Allah loves women, for example, because women could not join Mohammad armies. Forget about Allah’s love for the “infidels. The whole cult was mobilized to give its prophet the wealth and power he sought. The fact that over a billion people can’t see through that even today is a tribute to the power of brainwashing.

  • AKafir

    @Arkns:”Great–then how is it that they never manage to get those things anywhere in the world. Point to me ONE Islamic country which truly practices secularism (such as minorities in positions of power) or democracy (with free and fair elections).”There is no muslim country that is either secular or democratic truly. The closest to being that is perhaps Turkey at the moment but even there the treatment of the very tiny minority is atrocious.

  • martymartel3

    Just the introduction of some guy by the name of some moderate Muslim like Rami Nashashibi by Iboo Patel is NOT going to whitewash the fundamental jihadist character of Islam.Ever since its inception in seventh century, political arm of Islam has been waging a terrorist holy war against non-believers all over the world. Islamic jihadists have perpetrated innumerable massacres all over the world in the name of spreading the word of Koran. The world knows even if Iboo Patel does not, that Afghanistan was all Buddhist before Islamic invaders forcibly converted it to Islam.The massacres perpetrated by Muslim invaders in India are unparalleled in history. In sheer numbers, they are bigger than the Jewish Holocaust, the Soviet Terror, the Japanese massacres of the Chinese during WWII, Mao’s devastations of the Chinese peasantry, the massacres of the Armenians by the Turks, or any of the other famous crimes against humanity of the 20th Century.In the aftermath of the iIslamic nvasions, in the ancient cities of Varanasi, Mathura, Ujjain, Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi, and Dwarka, not one temple survived whole and intact. This is the equivalent of an army marching into Paris and Rome, Florence and Oxford, and razing their architectural treasures to the ground. It is an act beyond nihilism; it is outright negativism, a hatred of what is cultured and civilized. In his book The Story of Civilization, famous historian Will Durant lamented the results of what he termed “probably the bloodiest story in history.” Muslim invaders “broke and burned everything beautiful they came across in Hindustan,” displaying, the resentment of the less developed warriors who felt intimidated in the encounter with “a more refined culture.” The Muslim Sultans built mosques at the sites of torn down temples, and many Hindus were sold into slavery. As far as they were concerned, Hindus were kafirs, heathens, par excellence. They, and to a lesser extent the peaceful Buddhists, were, unlike Christians and Jews, not “of the book” but at the receiving end of Muhammad’s injunction against pagans: “Kill those who join other gods wherever you may find them.”The perpetrators of these massacres were not military thugs disobeying the ethical teachings of their religion, as the European crusaders in the Holy Land were, but were actually doing precisely what their religion taught. And one may note that Christianity has grown up and no longer preaches crusades. Islam has not. As has been well-documented, jihad has been preached from the official centers of Islam, not just the lunatic fringe.

  • sperrico

    Islam is nothing more than a combination of Arabian tribal religion, where black stones, never seen before in the Arabian Peninsula, were worshiped and Ebionitism, a Jewish-Christian religion. The latter religion was what Mohammad founded Islam upon.

  • krankyman

    “Facelift” is a most apt metaphor because it changes the appearance without changing the substance.Patel should commission a survey of those of us who do know something about Islam; my guess is the favorable rating would be even lower.Islam has always been a religion of violence. When the prophet was forced from Mecca he and his adherents buckled on the sword and began a series of wars butchering those who opposed the prophet.This same pattern was repeated as Islam spread around the Mediterranean Basin. Those who opposed Islam were put to the sword. Those who succumb to the onslaught became slaves and second class citizens unless they converted to Islam.Consider the Crusades; the Crusades were not an unprovoked war upon Islam but rather a plea from the Byzantine Empire for help from the West to defend themselves against Islam.When the Muslims finally captured Constantinople, once the capitol of the Byzantine Empire, the Sultan commanded three days of pillage, rape, and enslavement of the population, because they dared to defy Islam.Without leaders such as Charles Martel and nations such as the Hapsburg Empire all of Europe would have fallen to Islam.This same belief and action continues to this day. On September 11 the Muslim world rejoiced when the Trade Center Towers were bombed. Although Muslim governments may have appeared sympathetic to America, the Muslim “street” celebrated this great Muslim victory throughout the Muslim World.Bin Laden doesn’t want to just drive Westerners from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim World. Rather he sees that as the first step in converting all mankind to Islam by force if necessary.Even here in the US if Muslims should ever gain a majority we would see the end of the US Constitution and the imposition of Sharia.

  • ak_ra

    How is it that a little knowledge about Buddhism correlates with broadly positive feelings towards Buddhists, but a little knowledge about Islam is linked to frighteningly negative views of Muslims?because Buddhists are not terrorists, and Muslims are, you stupid!

  • hipshot

    I am still trying to sort out the real Islam. Is it a religion of peace? I read articles claiming that Christians are being persecuted and encouraged to leave “Muslim countries.” If that is true, then perhaps we should discriminate against Muslims in our immigration system and take care of Christians instead.What is the real Muslim world?Still puzzled.

  • halozcel1

    Associate Professor,What you call Golden Age is bedouin invesion in Spain.Can Invesion Period be named as Golden Age ?Islam/Submission is not only problem from Western(right word is Civilization) standpoint,but,from India,Africa,China and within muslim countries as well.Islam is problem in Pakistan,India indeed.

  • barferio

    During the days of 9/11 I saw Palestinian mothers dancing in the streets.Blowing up discos, attacking hotels full of tourists, blowing up trains, planes, and automobiles in other countries.Only the Muslims are doing this today, they will do it again tomorrow.Once upon a time there were people in Islam who created … well, here, the Book of Fixed Stars: What happened to Islam? Why is it so barbaric today? Certainly it is not the fault of the other religions.Just painting a new face on it isn’t going to do it Patel. You moderates are going to have to stop the barbarity. We don’t owe you sh!t until you do, we do not owe you a positive view of your religion.

  • AKafir

    Allah loves those who love him, do good deeds, who ask him for forgiveness, who purify themselves,who fear him, who are steadfast, who rely on him, who are just, who follow Muhammad’s example, who are righteous, @Mughal,What is so special about loving someone who loves you, who does good deeds, who asks your forgiveness, who keeps himself ‘pure’, who relies on you, who is just, who does the ‘right’ thing? Even the worst tyrant in human history would have no problem with any of these conditions. So why is it such a big deal that Allah does it? Now you quote 2:143 and that is what it says:Here Allah is saying that he has made the Muslims into an ummah and he changed the direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca to divide Mankind into followers of Muhammad and the non-muslims. And then the Quran is filled with Allah warning and hating those who do not want to follow Muhammad. So tell me where is the love for Mankind? The perpetual division of Mankind into Muslims and the hated Kaafirs (non-muslims) is not love. Where is the love for the sinner? Where is the love for the lost soul? Where is the love for ignorant? You quote 7:156 and here it is:In this verse it is Musa (Moses) who is asking to ordain for the jews that which is good, and what does Allah say: “My punishment I visit whom I will”. First scare with punishment and the punishments are certainly awful in Allah’s hell. And then his mercy is reserved for those who beleive in his signs. Is this love for Mankind for you? So tell again where is the love for Mankind that you think exists in the Quran? I suggest that you ask a christian or a buddhist or a sikh or a hindu about how their Deities Love Mankind and you might find a bit more subtle answer.

  • Martial

    Perhaps some education about the good parts of Islamic history and art would be in order. The story of King Babar should be required reading for all high school students. Persian art should be part of the education of one’s first art course.

  • RobertKundrally

    There is no act that speaks of jealousy and hatred for others than blowing up a whole bunch of civilians in the name of your Allah- as Muslims seem to do every day (speaking negatively or even abusively on Islam on this board does not even come close).And there is nothing more insulting than calling yourself an Islamic republic and openly insulting any non-Muslims who still happen to be living inside that country.

  • steveboyington

    It is simple. Everyone knows fundamentalist Christians. They are in just about ever town. When a fundamentalist Chrisitian does something horrific (murder, for instance) just about everyone can say to themselves “That person is a loony, and is not like the other fundamentalist Christians I know.” He doesn’t represent fundamentalist Christians to people, because they KNOW he is not the norm.Many many people in the US don’t know ANY Muslims. None. When they see a fundamentalist Muslim do horrific acts, it is very easy for those Americans to think “They are all evil. I don’t know a single ‘good’ Muslim.” It is simply stupid to think that all Muslims are evil or terrorists. Blindly stupid. It is slightly more understandable, though, when you realize that the most xenophobic, small-town, buck-toothed Americans don’t know any better.

  • AKafir

    @YasserYousafi:You quote another Tafsir. I quoted ibn Kathir. Now the incident that your Tafsir is referring to is mentioned in the hadaith. Sahih Bukhari tells it as: Narrated Anas: Some people from the tribe of ‘Ukl came to the Prophet and embraced Islam. The climate of Medina did not suit them, so the Prophet ordered them to go to the (herd of milch) camels of charity and to drink, their milk and urine (as a medicine). They did so, and after they had recovered from their ailment (became healthy) they turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away. The Prophet sent (some people) in their pursuit and so they were (caught and) brought, and the Prophets ordered that their hands and legs should be cut off and that their eyes should be branded with heated pieces of iron, and that their cut hands and legs should not be cauterized, till they die. and the next hadiath in Bukhari adds:What is fighting against Allah and His Apostle? It is turning away from Islam. It is because they became apostates. The other fascinating aspect is the cruel and barbaric punishments of the Quran. Killing them was not enough. Their eyes had to be branded, and they had to be bled to death, and water had to be denied to them. You can choose to believe whatever you like but I have shown you what “fighting against Allah” means from the Tafsirs and from your Hadiaths. The iranian Mullahs have not doubts about what “fighting against Allah” means because they have charged many many apostates with that and hanged them.

  • dmfarooq

    Mr. Patel, I do not agree with you that Islam needs a face lift . I believe that major religions or faiths have advanced their causes based on extra ordinary messages . There is a common message and appeal of goodness in all major religions . They agree to disagree , and there is a war on territory and area of influence . It is a very profitable business for a very large number of people . A God for some one , is just a thing or a symbol for another person . A number of wars have been fought in the name of religion , and resulted in killings of hundred of thousand of innocent people . It is about time that we all stand up against all religious’ fundamentalists and fanatics . Since we have a curiosity to know and learn about our neighbor , co worker , a fellow PTA member , a business person in our community , I believe that should be our best point of first contact to learn about Islam or other faiths . Like many renowned world leaders of the 20th century, as believers of a faith and secularism , Mr. Jinnah , the founder of Pakistan , was a Muslim of Shia faith and also great believer in secularism for Pakistan . We should all seek common grounds , strengthen and work for secular societies , with freedom and tolerance for people of all faiths .

  • steveagnew1

    It is clear to me that religions that espouse a creed with a kind of unique path to “salvation” all have a fatal flaw. Eventually all such religions generate sects that believe non-believers are not only evil, sinful, and subhuman, but that they deserve to die. Once vilified, the poor misdirected non-believers and apostates then become easy targets for denigration, slander, vilification, and murder…all justified by some higher good…I just can’t figure out what that higher good is. Frankly, these strongly held beliefs were often a vital part of the glue of primitive societies and are an unfortunate relic of human behavior and survival. Modern society needs to develop improved paradigms for belief to get past these relics of our past.

  • steveseo

    There is none so blind as he who will not open his mind. We may not know a lot about Islam, but we do know certain truths. Not only is Islam not a religion of peace, but it is clearly just to opposite. To have a poor opinion about Islam is the rational response to this religion of intolerance, hatred, and terrorism. It’s certainly not prejudice.

  • AKafir

    @YasserYousufi: KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia — A recent fatwa posted on a popular Islamic Web site in Saudi Arabia explains when a Muslim may mutilate the corpse of an infidel.The ruling, written by a Saudi religious sheik named Omar Abdullah Hassan al-Shehabi, decrees that the dead can be mutilated as a reciprocal act when the enemy is disfiguring Muslim corpses, or when it otherwise serves the Islamic nation. In the second category, the reasons include “to terrorize the enemy” or to gladden the heart of a Muslim warrior. ……The Islamic history is filled with mutilations of the Kaafir opponents. You need to go read a bit more about Islam.

  • hitman2

    Akafiryou wrote:My reply to you:Do you think this is a proper forum for a serious discussion? Where I do not know your indentity but should gift you with the grace of “cross-examine” me and my religion.?Are you a kidding?

  • aka2

    Useless people

  • AKafir

    @hitman2:Why would you consider telling the meaning of the verses of the Quran a cross examination? At least six different Tafsirs are now online and redily available to anyone. Why do you need to know my identity to tell where my analysis of the Quran is wrong?”The examination and critism of Islam for your own sake? That I am sure you have already done. But alas when the darkness is within, you cannot know the truth.”That is a very Islamic attitude. Allah does promise that he seals the heart, and the ears and covers the eyes of the Kaafirs. This has implications about the nature of Allah.”Your writings points out probably your origin is in india, which is also evident by the cramps and pain that you feel about the partition and the birth of Islamic republic of Pakistan.”You are mistaken. I am not an Indian. I am a Pakistani American. And I have never expressed any pain or cramps about the partition and birth of Islamic republic of Pakistan. However, I do agree with Altaf Hussain of MQM that Pakistan turned out to be a mistake for the muslims of south asia. It has been a boon to the non-muslims of India. If there had been no partition, the muslim population of south asia being 40 to 45%, the chances that India could have sustained either democracy or secularism would be practically nil. The sectarianism in Pakistan has created choas in pakistan and if india had not been partitioned, that chaos would have been across all of south asia. So from the Indian view point and with 20/20 hindsight, partition was the best thing that happend for them. It is the unfortunate people in pakistan that are up the creek without a paddle.Is this the correct forum? I write here because many of my fellow citizens visit this forum and do not know about either Islam or Pakistan. I hope some of the things I say will help someone make sense of what is happening.

  • yasseryousufi

    Kafir,I have been blogging on WaPo for almost 6 years now and during that period I have only called out three Hindus (Clearthinking, yourself and this new kid on the block ARKNS) who were masquerading with fake ID’s. I have been correct 100% on all three counts so you’re being true to form when you falsely accuse me of calling everyone I disagree with a Hindu.Im am not a religous expert, neither have I ever claimed to be one. Its obvious from your posts that you arent one either. The points you bring up are childish at best. You have said many times that you’ve read tafseer of the Quran. Either you’re a Pathological Liar falsely claiming to be an expert on something you know nothing of or as Hitman suggested, a paid agent provacateur. Did you actually read the tafseer of these surahs? I hadn’t read it before you pointed it out but its perfectly clear to me after reading the tafseer the context in which it is spoken. Creating mischief on the land does not mean killing anyone who criticizes Islam. It might be a fetish for haters like you but no tafseer has mentioned as such. There is no hatred for Jews in Islam. I can only cite you facts in this regard. The Islamic Empire constituted almost 3 quaters of the known world for hundreds of years. Jews enjoyed unprecedented equality and freedom during this period. They had high posts in the muslim caliphates rising to vizirs and grand vizirs frequently. Most Jews persecuted elsewhere in the west seeked refuge in the Islamic Caliphate. Can you cite me a single instance of mass killings of Jews done by muslims during the 1000 year ascendency of Islam (700 AD till the breakup of Ottoman Empire). It’s only after the diabolical creation of Israel that the seeds of discord were sowed amongst muslims and jews.You said,”Read the commentaries of the Islamic scholars through the ages and they tell you that the only acceptable position for the non-muslims is to accept the superiority of Islam and the Muslims and to pay Jiziya with “humiliation” to show that they accept that subservient role, and if they do not then they should be killed.”Again, as I said, your thesis is childish as best. Hundreds of thousands of your fellow hindus are currently living in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring Gulf States sending billions of Dollars back home to their poor relatives in India. How many of them have been killed for not paying Jizya? Do you even know what kind of treatment was meted out to occupied people in Middle Ages? Jizya system was by far the most just system talking in relative terms. Occupied people were given guaranteed safety of their life and property. They were even exempted from military and didn’t have to fight wars for the State. In return they had to pay a protection tax. The muslim subject of the state on the other hand had to pay the Zakat Tax (which the non-muslims didnt) in addition to performing non paid military service.

  • yasseryousufi

    test~!

  • yasseryousufi

    KafirOn different feuds in the Islamic World:you wrote,”The real sad part is that muslims have killed more muslims than the number that the west has killed in the various wars in the muslim lands.”and then you had a whole laundry list of different feuds in the Islamic world. So according to your logic, it would be ok for muslims to attack Ireland because Catholics and Protestants are locked in blood feud going on for ages. How many Christians were wiped out by their fellow Christians in the 2 World Wars? The Hutu’s and Tutsi’s killed over a million people on either side. What about the Croats and Serbs? Really by justifying the murder of innocent Iraqis and Palestinians you have pretty much bared you true class. There is never any justification for murder of innocents. Im always ready to condemn the innocents killed by muslims. You are obviously a heartless hatemonger who will look the other way when muslims are being killed in droves by non muslims and only focus on the reaction by the muslims.

  • honorswar26

    Islam needs much more than a facelift. It needs a true Reformation that will ditch the violent rhetoric of “The tree said there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” and the hundreds of similar calls to violent Jihad, and move to a faith of peace that willingly coexists will all faiths without demanding social, religious and political supremacy over all. If Islam is not a true faith system built upon God’s word and will, then it will not stand up in the peaceful struggle for the hearts and souls of humanity in the free interchange of ideas. Do the followers of Islam have the courage to let their wives and children choose what faith that they will follow without the threat of violence if they choose a path other than Islam?

  • LutfiUSMC

    As a Muslim who have served in the Armed forces,I say we have a long way to go to change the narrow narrative of Islam that is taking hold in the US, and the conflict in the Middle East and Central Asia does not help matter in any way, for they are Muslim, Jewish, and Christen who welcomed this conflict for there owens reason’s and profit, and by changing the tone, we start by being involved in our community, and caring about our neighbour or friends, get involved in Chambers, advisory board,PTA, PTSA, and politics be a good citizen, and invite people to our community and our mosque, and show all the good things that was done not by good people , but a good person who habend to be Muslim, lets be assured other religion are very involved in all the things that are mention or not and be sure they will care about everyone else in the world unless they are Muslim or middle easterns, so we need to lead this change for its effecting us as well as our children and there children. Thank you.

  • tbarksdl

    Once more, we see Muslims shoot themselves in the foot by offering stale arguments from past history as current proof of their tolerance. Please, spare us the stuff of how Muslims treated Jews and Christians one thousand years ago. Americans will feel better about Muslims when they provide satisfactory answers to the following questions:Why has Islam never produced a liberal democracy in its nstive soil anywhere, anytime? Why are Muslim societies today the only ones still ruled by kings, queens, princes, sheikhs, emirs, etc.? Why is there no respect for basic human rights and civil liberties in virtually any Muslim country?Does Islam allow for separation of church and state?The answers to those questions will determine whether Islam is reconciliable with modern democracy.Oh, yeah. Don’t wait for answers from Eboo Patel. Like most Muslims, he’s good at one-way lectures on how the rest of us misunderstand Islam. But engage in dialogue? As a child of Allah, he’s too good and pure for that.

  • OhMy

    Muslims need more than a face lift. When I was in college I took 15 hours of Middle Eastern History so I have more than a passing knowledge of Islam. I find the people and culture of the middle east very fascinating but there is no doubt that there is also a culture of honor that leads muslims to kill their wives and daughters if they do not adhere to religious dictates. The way that al-quedah treats women may not be entirely typical of all of the Muslim world but unfortunately I don’t see other Muslims trying to change the way that such an organization treats those over whom they have power.

  • aka2

    Like You, the followers of Islam too have the courage to let their wives and children choose what faith that they will follow without the threat of violence if they choose a path other than Islam?Each Individual has the Right to choose Islam as their religion & they are accountable for their actions on the day day of judgement.

  • aka2

    15 hours of Middle Eastern History is not equal to 15 hours of passing knowledge of Islam. O.K

  • aka2

    Americans will feel better about Muslims when they provide satisfactory answers to the following questions: For the Benefit of our fellow Americans Why are Muslim societies today the only ones still ruled by kings, queens, princes, sheikhs, emirs, etc.? It is a cleaner form of governance without currupt polity.Why is there no respect for basic human rights and civil liberties in virtually any Muslim country? There is full respect for Human Rights and Civil LibertiesDoes Islam allow for separation of church and state? It is already seperate. People dont come to Church for settling State affairs

  • hitman2

    Islam is a worldview and an outlook on life. It is based on the recognition of the unity of the Creator and of our submission to His will. Everything originates from the One God, and everyone is ultimately responsible to Him. Thus the unity of the Creator has as its corollary the Oneness of His creation. Distinctions of race, colour, caste, wealth and power disappear: our relation with other persons assumes total equality by virtue of the common Creator. Henceforth our mission becomes a dedication to our Creator; worship and obedience to the Creator becomes our purpose in life. The Creator has not left us without guidance for the conduct of our life. Ever since the beginning of creation He has sent down Prophets who have conveyed His message to humanity. They are the source from which to discover God’s Will. Thus we have the chain of Prophets beginning with Adam (peace be upon him) and ending with Muhammad (peace be upon him). Abraham, Moses, Noah, John, Zechariah and Jesus (peace be upon them) all belong to this golden chain of Prophets. The Prophets David, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (may peace be upon them all), brought revealed books of guidance with them. The Qur’an, the Book revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), is the last and final of these books of guidance.

  • shewholives

    I am so tired of Muslims and their moral equivalence. They justify their atrocities by comparing Israel and their treatment of the Palestinians and India and their treatment of the Muslims. We are tired of this weak and dishonest argument as we know Muslims use this to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their terrorism.

  • abhab1

    Alibifarmer says;This is the gridlock; No way Islam can be interpreted for anything but violence, injustice and intolerance. Any other interpretation and it would no longer be Islam. It is a supremacist ideology adopted by a large numbers of people who truly have no reason to feel superior except for what a 7th Century desert warlord brainwashed them to believe. They bought into that then and are buying into it now. This is a tribute to the power of brainwashing.

  • ThishowIseeit

    Eboo,

  • shewholives

    yasseryousufiGood luck trying to manipulate, influence or change the American public’s opinion about Islam. Even though Eboo Patel quotes that American’s do not know much about Islam, he is really saying we do not view Islam the way he wants us to. But believe me, we know all too much about Islam and it is not a pretty sight.

  • aka2

    Lets start by askingWhy don’t Israel treat Palestinians and India treat the Muslims as their fellow citizens.

  • rddynar

    I think, Islam brainwashes Muslim children from childhood. So their minds when they become adults are not open to other ideas. A Muslim college told me his people of are of-raid of going to hell if they leave Islam. They don’t like Islam but they can’t leave due to fear of hell. Most Muslims are peace loving does not mean Islam is a peaceful religion. Most people of this world do want to live in peace until some thing compels them to violence. Since terrorists are mostly Muslims these days and Islam in the beginning spread by the use of the sword and all Islamic terrorists quote Quran in defence and since no declared a Fatua on any terrorist including Bin Laden, we have to believe Islam does approve of violence against no Muslims.

  • aka2

    Islam doesn’t approve of violence against no Muslims. And I know there is a declared Fatua on any suicide bomber terrorist.

  • aCitizen3

    Well, these are sweet thoughts. Why not take a tour of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan and bring them these insights? The sad part is that as a brown-skinned indian-origin muslim, with a hindu-origin last name to boot, you are not likely to be taken too seriously. My guess is that you would be treated as an american apostate from islam – I understand the punishment of that is death in islam.

  • AKafir

    Hitman2 says:”Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who reject faith do battle for the cause of Evil. So fight ye against the friends of Satan; feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.” 4:76Note the “those who reject faith do battle for the cause of Evil.” And Quran is explict on faith.003.019003:085So much for interfaith dialog and multiculturalism. No non-Muslim should plead ignorance on where they stand with Allah and his Muslims.

  • csintala79

    All religious fundamentalists brainwash their children from birth. Actually, almost all the religious do so; it is just that fundamentalists are more obvious in their teaching of dogma. What, exactly, do you think, is the purpose of Sunday School? Other than some very liberal sects, e.g., Unitarian Universalists, it is not a forum for examining all the possibilities for faith. You won’t find Trinitarian Christians discussing the possibility of Christ being solely man or solely God. Baptists will not be objective in their answer to their children asking what is wrong with infant baptism. Many of the fundamentalist Christian sects hammer into their childrens’s heads that the only acceptable English translation of the Bible is the King James’ version. This is seemingly a fairly innocuous belief, but the fervor with which this trivial (except to the fundamentalist) notion is pushed by the members of these churches indicates the extremes they might go in defense of more weighty articles of faith. One only has to consider the number of abortion providers that have been killed or assaulted by fundamentalist Christians serves to conclude that this is not an idle concern. Koran citations about non-believers suffering the wrath of Allah are often offered to demonstrate the fanaticism and potential for violence of Muslims. If this be true, then what about fundamentalist Christians preaching that non-Christians or Christians not of their sect are damned? Was Pat Robertson being any less fanatic than a rabid mullah when he attributed the recent disaster in Haiti to their ancestors calling on a non-Christian deity for assistance in throwing off the shackles of slavery (and why shouldn’t they as believers in Christ were the ones who had enslaved them)? All religions have their intolerant fanatics that tolerate no deviation from their dogma.

  • theopaine

    Islamists routinely brutally assasinate the Buddhist village elders,teachers,etc. in southern thailand.

  • theopaine

    While it is cetainly true that all religions have intolerant fanatics, only the muslims slaughter other human beings for religious reasons.

  • arkns

    A Kafir:Thanks for the clarification. If Muslims in Pakistan’s tribal regions support drone attacks, good for them. I did not know (I must say) that there was support for such strikes. I thought the majority of the population there are angry about the strikes. Anyway, the Muslims there must recognize that the United States has no intention of killing innocents. We gain nothing from that. The United States has always stood up for freedom and liberty around the world. We are not a force for domination of other peoples. This country has NEVER COLONIZED any country. NEVER. So what we are doing in Pakistan and Afghanistan is to take out terrorists who are plotting not only against Americans but against the whole world. US Armed Forces are fighting valiantly against these scumbags on behalf of mankind. Young American boys and girls are laying down their lives in this just and moral war. America has come in aid of the world before (to fight the Nazis for instance) and we will do so again. We are a force of good in this world and I am PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

  • edbyronadams

    The violent jihadis do not exist in a vacuum. There is much support or indifference to their activities in the Ummah. How then, is this not the face of Islam?

  • HughJassPhD

    Here’s a little PR tip for Islam: Stop killing people for NOT being Islam. That might help a bit.

  • aka2

    This is UntrueWhile it is cetainly true that all religions have intolerant fanatics, only the muslims slaughter other human beings for religious reasons

  • ChrisEverett

    Here’s a puzzling finding from the recent “Eboo Patel is an A$$” Poll on the attitudes of Americans towards different religions.Only two percent of Americans say they have a great deal of knowledge about Buddhism, mainly that it involves meditation and values non-violence above just about everything else, and 14 percent report feeling some prejudice towards Buddhists.Meanwhile, only three percent of Americans claim they have a great deal of knowledge about Islam, such as the constant murdering of thousands of innocent men, women, and children around the world every year; the almost total subjugation of Muslim women; and the passionate desire to establish a global theocracy, and yet 43 percent claim some prejudice towards Muslims.How is it that a little knowledge about Buddhism correlates with broadly positive feelings towards Buddhists, but a little knowledge about Islam is linked to frighteningly negative views of Muslims? It defies explanation. It boggles the mind! There must be some grave misunderstanding!Ask folks to name a famous Buddhist and they’ll say the Dalai Lama. Ask them about a famous Muslim and what name comes to mind? You got it. Public enemy number one: Osama bin Laden.So how do we combat the prejudice that nearly half of America feels towards Muslims? Introduce them to another face of Islam. My wonderful friend, Rami Dupyurass, who is the most wonderful man ever, says “I think the American population, all of us, are susceptible to what happens on a daily basis on the news. And quite frankly, over the last couple of months the news hasn’t been quite great when you think about the three-second sound bite you hear that talks about Muslims.”Yeah, that’s right, the last couple of months, that’s it. And those three-second sound bites on the news. Forget that one million New Yorkers saw three thousand of their neighbors, friends, and family killed right in front of them with their own eyes. Forget the charred cinders of the Trade Towers and the Pentagon and the people inside. The problem is the susceptibility of Americans when they watch TV.So I ask the media to be fair and to promote understanding of Islam. The next time Muslims kill thousands of innocent people, please show a clip of my wonderful friend, Rami Dupyurass, delivering a range of direct services and cultivating the arts in urban communities instead.

  • Hellene2

    Oh, my. Where to start? The American people in their great common sense have weighed Islam in the balance and found it wanting. Unfortunately, a billion people have bought into the ravings of a 7th century bloodthirsty desert barbarian. If you look at the historical Mohammed, you find another Jim Jones and David Koresh, a controlling, charismatic, violent, sexually predatory cult leader. Islam’s default is violence. The Koran contains 123 passages that praise war and killing. Mohammed specifically refers to the enslavement of non-Muslims as a reward that God gives to Muslims. Compare the Koran to the New Testament where there is only one act of violence. When the servants of the Temple came for Jesus, Peter drew a sword and cut off the ear of one of them. Jesus stopped him, told him to put up the sword, and healed the wounded man. To compare, Mohammed took the surrender of a Jewish tribe, and as he was raping the wife of the Jewish chieftain, had all the adult males behedaded in ditch, and the women and children sold off into slavery. Religion of Peace, indeed. Who thought of that line? George Orwell in 1984?Beware of Islam. It is as predatory a philosophy as communism and fascism and a lot more durable. It is also much more subtle. It rides under the radar because of the benevolent tolerance we have learned to exercise in America. Yet, its message is essentially political, to gain preference everywhere, and when they reach a critical mass to begin to use violence to gain more power. Koranic warfare relies upon terror not for its insintric value but because it is the tool by which Islam achieves a moral ascendency over its victim. The traditionally accepted tenets of Koran warfare are based on the premise that those weak in their faith or without faith are most susceptible to terror, but that those strong in their faith are immune to its effects. Now, think a minute and reflect on which end of the American political spectrum is more vulnerable to Koranic warfare, which has little or no faith in the religion of their ancestors or in us as a people and nation. Which end of the political specturm was the most easily influenced by our old Soviet enemies?It is no accident then that the Left and Islam have the same enemies: Western civilization, Christianity, and the United States of America.

  • nuke41

    Islam is an empty well that offers nothing of value to Western civilization, all this “Islam is a great faith…” talk is complete nonsense. Islam is primitive, tribal, aggressive and completely repressive to women.

  • yasseryousufi

    yasseryousufiGood luck trying to manipulate, influence or change the American public’s opinion about Islam. Even though Eboo Patel quotes that American’s do not know much about Islam, he is really saying we do not view Islam the way he wants us to. But believe me, we know all too much about Islam and it is not a pretty sight.Posted by: shewholives | February 8, 2010 8:16 AM ————————————————-looks like the whole bunch of redneck, high school dropout, foaming, hatefilled middle america has converged on Eboo’s post. Dont worry gringo’s we dont need to convince people with brains about the size of a pea. I for one dont give a damn about your opinions. Im looking for educated, well meaning and mature americans who im sure are out there somewhere.I guess as always they’ve been silenced by all the fundo’s down here who as usual make the most noise~!

  • abhab1

    Below is a demonsration of the most common way Muslim children are brainwashed into hate before they even understand what that term means.

  • aka2

    During 23-year period of Prophethood, the Prophet, in extremely

  • FRIENDENEMY

    Someone who a layperson would consider having a great deal of knowledge about Bhuddism, would not answer that they have a great deal of knowledge about Bhuddism.Surveys can be deceiving and I doubt that question in general.I have read about Islam, have Muslim friends, and have read parts of the Koran.It would be relative to who was asking the question if I have great deal of knowledge in Islam. I would certainly answer no to any survey…no, I wouldn’t answer the question…

  • APaganplace

    Ok, the below was less-than gentle. Please, good people. This won’t get any better if this is all we hear when Mr. Patel speaks, though.

  • Navin1

    Isn’t it odd that some muslims believe that because the enemy of my enemy is my friend (the CIA and the Taliban) that that somehow excuses the killing of civilians by al qaeda, that islamic terrorist that targets civilians is the same morality as the US military that targets killers hiding amongst civilians. How many of the college students in Pakistan were CIA agents?Are you so afraid to face yourself that you can’t see the difference between Bin Ldaden and yourself. And if you are no different than bin Laden, then isn’t the US quite reasonable in wiping you out who threaten it.No, the US governement has supported your governments (more often than it has over thrown them), the US people have supported the rights of your people more than you have yourselves. Muslims are free to be muslim in India and the US because these countries, though imperfect, in general value the individual. Muslims are less free in the islamic world because they don’t rise up to fight for their justice. The Afgahanistani who is so proud of not giving in to England, the Russians, and the US, proudly gave into the islamists that stopped schools, supported sharia, the stoning of women, the killing of thousands of civilians in a far off land…. The Afghanistani people, and the Pakistani people, and the people of Saudi Arabia, and the people of Iran (as much as they are trying)…. these need to stand up to their true oppressors: their own governments and their own imams. If what you want is human freedom, we Americans will support you (if you want money and weapons, then you should wonder perhaps you really don’t have the will to fight your own fights and just want someone else to bear your burdens to freedom). If what you want is power, we Americans will fight you, not because we want to oppress you like your own have oppressed you, but because we don’t sit by while you talk and act hate towards us.hariaum

  • YEAL9

    Until the Koran’s passages that call for world domination, female oppression and death to all apostates and infidels are deleted, no non-Muslim would ever think about opening a copy of the Koran.Hopefully someday soon, we will hear Caliph, Mr. Rami and Mr. Patel demand these deletions.Case in point:”Fri, Feb. 5, 2010 Blasts kill 40 at height of Iraq Shiite pilgrimageThe Associated PressBAGHDAD – Twin car bombs tore through a crowd of Shiite pilgrims packing a highway as they walked to a holy city south of Baghdad on Friday for a major religious observance, killing at least 40 people and wounding 154 others, Iraqi officials said.

  • AKafir

    @YasserYousafi: You say Tafisirs do not support what I said about 5.33. This is what ibn Kathir says:[إِنَّمَا جَزَآءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَسَاداً أَن يُقَتَّلُواْ أَوْ يُصَلَّبُواْ أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم مِّنْ خِلَـفٍ أَوْ يُنفَوْاْ مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ](The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land.) `Wage war’ mentioned here means, oppose and contradict, and it includes disbelief, blocking roads and spreading fear in the fairways. Mischief in the land refers to various types of evil. Ibn Jarir recorded that `Ikrimah and Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that the Ayat,”Do you see that he says “it includes disbelief”? Go read it for yourself. You can believe what you like about who I am. It matters little. What matters is whether the other Kaafirs who visit this site start understanding the lie of Islam.

  • infrederick

    I think this analysis is way off base. There is no puzzle here. People are well able to discern real threats. What you call prejudice by 43% of Americans is a reality based realistic appraisal. In multiple regions in the world, where majority or close to majority Muslim and non-Muslim populations interact, from Sudan to Nigeria to Malaysia to Pakistan there is a recurrent patterns of grassroots level violence from Muslims attacking their neighbors. In Muslim countries there are severe anti-Muslim laws. Add to that a long term pattern of massive bomb attacks all around the globe by Muslims. People who fear Muslims have solid evidence based reason for their fear and that is not prejudice.

  • Kingofkings1

    Mr. Patel, You are wrong because you choose to ignore the forest for the trees.Therefore, your article reminds me of high hypocricy when you tell some loony, misinformed individuals to behave (and more importantly, wrongly equate that with the faith in general), while not addressing the root of the problem and the state terrorism which is a million times worse

  • hitman2

    Fake blogger writing under three names:Muslims believe that all human beings were created equal in the sight of God. None are born with the slur of shame on their faces, nor has anyone come into the world with a mantle of honours hung around his or her neck.The one who is high and honoured is the one who is God fearing and serves the people with good words and deeds. Distinctions of birth and glory of race are no criteria of greatness and honour. No consideration is given to one’s pedigree or parentage.The Islamic concept of well-being promotes brotherhood, insists on socio-economic justice and seeks to fulfill both the material and spiritual needs of all human beings. The reason for avoiding discriminations is that all humans are considered God’s vicegerents on earth, hence fellow beings or brothers to each other. A brother can hardly be happy, if his fellow brothers are not leading a life of happiness and tranquility.”O Mankind! We have created you from a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you in the sight of God is he who has most righteous among of you. Verily, God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.”

  • hitman2

    The personality of Prophet Muhammad as seen by Non-Muslims:

  • hitman2

    Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – Untainted and Pure

  • hitman2

    YaseerYousafiWhat a surprise? you are innocent, trying to argue with those who are void of any faith. These people are stubborn in their own foolishness,you cannot set a dogs tail straight even if you keep it in a pipe to set it straight, for several years.

  • yasseryousufi

    @HITMANPoint taken~!

  • hitman2

    Hate mongers like akafir are paid workers.

  • hitman2

    “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls. . . his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.

  • hitman2

    It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.”

  • hitman2

    “His readiness to undergo persecutions for his beliefs, the high moral character of the men who believed in him and looked up to him as leader, and the greatness of his ultimate achievement – all argue his fundamental integrity. To suppose Muhammad an impostor raises more problems than it solves. Moreover, none of the great figures of history is so poorly appreciated in the West as Muhammad.”

  • clearthinking1

    Muslims have more freedom, opportunity, and justice in non-muslim nations like the US, Europe, and India than in their own majority nations. Non-muslims and all women are horribly discriminated against in all muslim nations.

  • clearthinking1

    The epicenter of Islamic Terrorism is PakistanThe real name of the country is the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN. This tells you a lot. How many non-islamic countries name themselves after a religion. What does this say about respect for minorities, other religions, tolerance and plurality that is necessary in a modern democratic state?Experiments in political science are difficult, but Pakistan and India are a rare example. People of the same DNA and genes that share common languages, rituals, and cultures (e.g. Punjabi, Sindhi, etc..) are separated by religion. In just 60 years, there have been clear results.

  • edbyronadams

    The Han took over Tibet. The Dalai Lama and many other Tibetans are in exile. The Jews took over Palestine. Many Palestinians are in exile.Compare and contrast the reactions of the two groups. Buddhists and Muslims.

  • AKafir

    @hitman2: I asked you to show some sahih ahdiat or quote some early Islamic scholar. Anyone who wants to know the truth about Muhammad then go to the original sources. Go to the writings of the muslim scholars, the earlier the better. The Apostate Zaki Amin who link I give quote some of these early sources. Muslims like Hitman2 are raised on the lies that have crept into the biography of Muhammad because the muslims could not face how horrible and awful the charachter of Muhammad was. Nearly all the time when they tell you something nice about Muhammad, ask for the original source and nearly always you will find that it is fabricated after the 14th century.

  • yasseryousufi

    “The Han took over Tibet. The Dalai Lama and many other Tibetans are in exile. The Jews took over Palestine. Many Palestinians are in exile.Compare and contrast the reactions of the two groups. Buddhists and Muslims.”—————————————————Have the Chinese caged the Tibetans with an aparthied wall yet? When was the last time Chinese dropped 2000 pound bombs on densely populated areas of Lhasa using F16′s, F16 and Apache’s? Does China cuts off electricity, medicines and food supplies to Tibetans? Have the Chinese ever used white phophorous to burn innocents people to death? Did the Chinese drop Cluster Bombs on Tibet making sure Tibetan children continue to long after the war is over?Is there any limit to the stupidity of the hate islam crackpots on this blog?

  • clearthinking1

    The epicenter of Islamic Terrorism is Pakistan and a good example of the effects of Islam.The real name of the country is the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN. This tells you a lot. How many non-islamic countries name themselves after a religion. What does this say about respect for minorities, other religions, tolerance and plurality that is necessary in a modern democratic state?Experiments in political science are difficult, but Pakistan and India are a rare example. People of the same DNA and genes that share common languages, rituals, and cultures (e.g. Punjabi, Sindhi, etc..) are separated by religion. In just 60 years, there have been clear results.

  • tbarksdl

    Please go immediately to the Post’s editorial section here on washingtonpost.com and go to the link provided to Christopher Hitchens’ latest article in Slate dealing with the very subject in this blog. Read how Muslims in Malaysia are raising hell about anyone but Muslims using the term “Allah” to refer to God–even tho’ that’s the word for God in the native language. Read once more about mobs and rioting, etc., because some Muslims have found something to be offensive. But do not expect Eboo Patel to report it. Stand by for his next missive on ignorance about Islam in the U.S.–the country that grants Muslims more freedom than any of their native countries.

  • hitman2

    Akafir Only you remember all the original sources of reference and that too after 2001 when such people like you were hired and full time paid workers to do a smear work on islam on the internet.

  • hitman2

    Clearthinking1You wrote”And your epiceter is in Maharashtra where moive star Shah Rukh is locked in with RSS/shive sena.

  • AKafir

    @Hitman2:”Only you remember all the original sources of reference and that too after 2001 when such people like you were hired and full time paid workers to do a smear work on islam on the internet.”I do not get paid a dime, but would love to get paid if anyone wants to pay me for exposing Islam and Muhammad for they really are. So if you know anyone who is willing to hire me for doing this let me know, please.”What stupid arguments you float are already available on many a websites like ali sina and the ibn ul waqt(ibn waqqar) whose book comes after 2002. where all you pseudo intellectuals were sleeping before being hired for this job.The original sources are available on line now and via the internet it is trivial to find them. Ali Sina’s site is good but not comprehensive, and ibn Warraq has quite a few books already and anyone can go to Amazon.com and look them up. I have read nearly all of them and he is very good. He is far more scholarly than Ali Sina. Ali Sina also has a book that is available at his site. It covers a lot of ground but it is in Ali Sina’s style and not everyone likes it, but it is brutal on Muhammad with a lot of speculation on Ali’s part. Zaki Amin’s book that I linked to earlier is also very good. Whether Islam is forever or not is really up to its followers. For example, consider yourself. You quote three Kaafirs who say nice things about Muhammad and you think that is something special. Now think, if these Kaafirs really were taken in by Muhammad, why did they not become muslims? The bottom line is that they rejected Muhammad as a prophet and Islam as their religion. Why? So what you show to the muslims is that even Kaafirs who were very impressed with the lies and half information spread about Muhammad could not really be sold on Islam or Muhammad. Think about what that says about your psychology.

  • abhab1

    Hitman asserts:This is history according to Hitman. This other man had at least 9 wives and one concubine and each had a house and its retinue of slaves. What became of what he inherited from his first wife Aisha, probably the richest person in all of Arabia? What became of all the lootings of the Arabian tribes and their caravans? What became of all the Jewish agricultural lands of Khaibar that he considered a gift from Allah to his person and which his daughter claimed after his death? Such allegations of extreme poverty to “the Prophet of Allah” insult the intelligence of any thinking person.

  • hitman2

    akafirYou avoided my point,where were you pseudo intellecuals mounted to tell the others what your research work proves from your books and bloggings, before 2001?

  • Arif2

    HitmanArif – He read the koran and hadith for proof; you can do it too!

  • djmolter

    Americans — at least most Christian Americans — get miffed when someone usurps “their” god. But let a few Buddhists blow up some stuff, and we’ll hate ‘em just as much as we do Muslims.

  • aka2

    Clear Thinking!The people who force their women to commit Suicide(Sati) upon death of their husband. The people who demand large sum of money from girls parents to marry. The people who pray to female sexual organ as their lord….. are today advocating women’s rights.

  • abhab1

    “What became of what he inherited from his first wife Aisha.”

  • aka2
  • clearthinking1

    Hitman2,Thanks for the threatening post against Hindus in India. It shows the true colors of Islam, which is violent and angry like you.BTW, your reference to the muslim Bollywood star shows how pluralistic Hindus in India are compared to Muslims. The Muslim movie stars seem to enjoy much more freedom to live their lives and make movies. They seem quite rich and comfortable, especially when compared to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, & Pakistan.A few people protesting in India is morally equivalent to Pakistani Muslims’ support for Taliban, Al Queda, and Lashkar-e-Taiba in your mind. The thousands of murders of innocents are equivalent to protest of a movie in your islamic mind.We all get it. We all see the truth. Do you?

  • AKafir

    A norm of how non-muslims are treated in muslim countries:A court in Faisalabad, Pakistan, sentenced to life imprisonment Imran Masih, a young Christian, for having insulted and desecrated the Koran, according to the Minorities Concern newsletter.On July 1, 2009 Masih, a shopkeeper by profession, was brutally tortured by a group of Muslims, then arrested by police on charges – allegedly fabricated- that he had burned pages of the Koran.On January 11, 2010 the judge sentenced him to prison for life, which he will serve in the federal prison in Faisalabad where he is currently confined.The court also imposed an additional penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and payment of 100 thousand rupees (just over 800 euros), under provisions of the law prohibiting blasphemy against Islam.Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the National Commission on Justice and Peace, sponsored by the Catholic Church, while not openly criticizing the ruling, speaks of “not a good verdict ” and “lack of freedom” of the judiciary.

  • AKafir

    @Hitman2:You quote a RamaKrishna Rao on Muhammad? It should be trivial for you to show some Sahih hadeeth on this. Is there any mention of this in Bukhari, Muslim, Dawood, Sa’ad,etc? Take this as a personal challenge and go look up the original references and see whether these claims have any basis in reality or whether this is the Indian “creativity” at work. When you find some real sources, please let me know for I really would like to see them. If this is true then I have made a terrible mistake in my life and would like to correct that. Do you know how many lies the muslims tell about Muhammad and without any basis at all?

  • aka2

    Akafir is a Kafir(Denier of the truth)

  • aka2

    THE MIRACLE IN THE ANT (Part-1)Islam not only honors Human Beings but all its creation

  • aka2

    THE MIRACLE IN THE ANT (Part-2)

  • aka2

    The Miracle in the Ant (Part-3)The Role of Touch in Chemical Communications

  • aka2

    THE MIRACLE IN THE ANT (Part-4)The ability of an ant to understand what the other one wants by a short antenna contact shows that the ants may, in a sense, “speak” among themselves. How this “antennal language” used among ants is learned by all ants is another subject to think about. Are they undergoing training on this subject? To talk about the existence of such training, we must also talk about the existence of a superior Almighty Who provides it. Since it cannot be the ants who can provide such a training, this Almighty is Allah Who, by way of inspiration, teaches all ants a language with which to communicate.

  • harshpandya

    AKA2; Do not tell us about Islam by using Ants as an example. You are insulting the ants.

  • abhab1

    Hitman pontificates thus:If you truly believe this book was written by the Creator of the Universe, I have a bridge here in the Midwest I would like to sell you.

  • AKafir

    @Aka2: “Akafir is a Kafir(Denier of the truth)”For muslims are not all non-muslims Kafirs?Wikipedia states:

  • halozcel1

    Hitman2,You say *The Creator has not left us(who us? very little part of Humanity at that time) without guidance*No,The Creator has left Chineses,Indians,Africans,Japaneses,Red Indians and American Natives,Russians,German Tribes,Turkic Peoples and many others without guidance.And,Jewish people perverted from Creator’s guidance(as islam asserts),if so,Creator should sent a Hebrew speaking prophet to Hebrew people,but,He sent a Arabic speaking,unlettered man to Bedouin groups.Is this reasonable ?And,*brought revealed books*Evil,in islam/submission mentality,means non-islam.To wit,True Believer Muslims have to fight versus non-islam.It summarizes present situation in the world.

  • RichardHode

    Where’s spidermean2 when you need him? He’ll be sorry he missed this one.

  • arkns

    Yasseryousufi needs to do some basic reading about Myanmar. He says “violent monks” are killing Muslims in Myanmar. The claim is laughable. When someone does not know about a topic, one should just shut up because saying something so silly only reveals one’s ignorance. The military junta is killing off and repressing all kinds of opposition. Religion does not have anything to do with the way the military junta is behaving. |

  • yasseryousufi

    Persiflage,You keep sidetracking from the real issues. That’s a turnoff for me. If you’re looking for a dialogue, im all for it. If you’re looking for a monologue where you keep asking questions without responding to any, don’t bother replying to this post.I asked you to define terrorism to me. You clearly cannot. Because any definition you’ll come up with wont suit you Americans and your European allies either. So you’ll keep trying by throwing around your terrorist cries. Let me tell you as clearly as I can. Suicide bombing is an abhorrent, hateful and disgusting crime. An overwhelming majority of muslims believe that a suicide bomber goes straight to hell. There are numerous fatwa’s in this regard. But let me ask you once again, what would you feel like if in one single night there are 1700 sorties over New York City including 504 Cruise Missiles, killing as yet unknown number of civilians (probably in thousands) and absolutely blowing up the whole infrastructure of your city to smithereens. And then your if your wicked, deceitful lying enemy and its media instead of calling it terrorism comes with an imaginative new term “Shock and Awe”. I bet you’d be shocked out of your skull. Try to look at this whole situation objectively. Who is the bigger terrorist, those amateurish suicide underwear bombers or these morons thousands of feets up in the air dropping 2000 pound bombs on cities filled with people. None of your Gandhi’s or MLK’s or Mandela’s ever faced this kind of savagery. So I ask you, how would the New Yorkers and Americans reacted to such an attack and how should the Iraqi’s have reacted to this cruel attack on their country by the combined power of Christian world on a pack of lies.

  • arkns

    “….illegally occupying the muslim state of Kashmir”A load of bull. “Occupying” means a country has forcefully taken over another country and occupying it. Go check the dictionary. Kashmir was always a princely state ruled by the Maharaja who signed an agreement to join India. What do you mean “occupation”? Just because Muslims are in majority in an area does NOT make it a Muslim state. It’s idiotic reasoning.

  • arkns

    And another flaw in Islamic thinking. The Baluchis are in majority in Baluchistan as are the Sindhis in Sindh. These ethnic groups have been clamoring to separate from Pakistan ever since the creation of Pakistan. They do not feel that they are adequately represented in the Pakistani government or that their needs are met. Now if you are asking that the majority’s demand should be accepted to form a separate country (as in Kashmir), why doesn’t Pakistan allow Baluchistan and Sindh to separate from the country?

  • arkns

    These mullahs see Hindus under every rock. I have no intention of revealing my religion. That does not matter on this blog. Argue like a human being if you have human values and if you have knowledge.Don’t tell me about Myanmar. None of the Islamic propaganda can whitewash what is happening there. It is the height of stupidity to claim that the military junta is persecuting Muslims for their religion. They persecute anyone including Hindus and Christians if they feel that they are a threat to the junta. For your information, the junta is particularly targeting Buddhist monks and this fact is all over the media. But I suppose the mullahs are too busy memorizing the Koran to read newspapers.

  • yasseryousufi

    ARKNS,You can jump up and down like your Monkey God all you want, that doesn’t change the fact. The Buddhist monks have been involved in deadly organized attacks on muslims, calling for their ouster, razing their mosques, burning their homes. The infor I cite is from respectable sources like Human Rights Watch and UNHCR. Calling it all propaganda is the best you can do i guess. As I said, dont take on people with facts. You’re good at your well rehearsed anti-islam rant. Keep doing that. No one is bothering to read it. Just try to avoid people who know a thing or two about the stuff you’re writing. Coz then you’ll get found out like you did and its never a nice feeling.

  • yasseryousufi

    and finally,“Why is Islam so intolerant. Buddhist in general are not vindictive like Muslims.”In general, all people are essentially the same. It’s a racist point of view to condemn just one group of people. The Buddhists in Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka have committed atrocities against its minorities. The Japanese atrocities during the WW in the places they occupied is well documented. And lastly who can forget the most fearsome Buddhist of all, Pol Pot.

  • arkns

    Yasseryousufi has ESP. I wonder why he does not use his powers to make millions in the stock market instead of ranting on this blog. Buddhist monks attacking mullahs. Nice joke. I have to remember that one. Thanks.

  • yasseryousufi

    “Why Muslims around the world from Pakistan to Saudi, Indonesia to Nigeria have come to avenge the war in Iraq.”You moron! should we forget that the 42 country alliance of the Crusading Christian Nations called ‘Coalition of the Willing’ ganged up to rape and plunder a totally innocent country widely supported by their hatefilled populace.

  • aka2

    ARIF 2:Looks like you come from family of perverts who are blinded to real good things in life. Clear Thinking:Introspect your own community before commenting on others. Is it not true your people who force their women to commit Suicide(Sati) upon death of their husband. The people who demand large sum of money(dowry) from girls parents to marry. The people who pray to female sexual organ as their lord….. are today advocating women’s rights. When truth is revealed it becomes threating to you Akafir:Akafir is a Kafir(Denier of the truth). What ever the source you provide. His religion is denial funded by dollars not dime.

  • tbarksdl

    A common type of faulty thinking and lack of logic and common sense that one would think people would be aware of–and, therefore, avoid–is all too evident on these pages. It shows when people attempt to make a point that all religions are guilty of committing violence and atrocities. Thus, Muslims attempt to counter charges that Muslims are uniquely prone to violence against their opponents by raising the comparisons of Nazis (Christians) against Jews, Chinese (Buddhists) against Tibetans and Pol Pot (Buddhist) against his political opponents. At least, we’ve managed to avoid that truly tiresome canard, Americans (Christians) against Indians.What makes all these comparisons totally irrelevant: None of those non-Muslims were explicitly acting in the name of their religion when they committed their atrocities. No human being who can tie his shoe lace, I assume, believes that the Chinese Communists who repressed Tibet or the Cambodians who slaughtered their countrymen were acting in the name of Buddhism. Or that Nazis were simply following through on the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Nazis went after their Christian opponents as ferociously as they did the Jews. The American genocide against the Indians, whatever its twisted origins, did not march forth under a Christian banner. People who happen to be Christians and Buddhists have, in fact, committed atrocities. But their acts plainly and palpably violated the basic precepts of their religion. Muslims, on the other hand, have all those Koranic verses about jihad and slaying their enemies to rationalize their violent acts in the name of their religion.To make the point, one simple fact that most people–especially Muslims–tend to ignore. How did Christianity survive and prosper during the first 300 years of its existence? Not by violence. Not by raising armies. Not by having the backing of powerful governments and states. Christianity spread by appealing to the better angels of human nature. Islam, from the git-go, followed the sword.

  • arkns

    Contradictions in Islam1. When a country is formed using religion as its basis (such as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan), that country’s constitution is based on theocracy. As such, it obviously grants second-class status to minorities, those who do not belong to the Islamic faith. But this is an inferior and narrow minded constitution when others do not enjoy equal rights. The contradictions here is that Muslims want equal rights in Western and other democracies (like India). They are forever complaining against what they see as discrimination even though the rights they enjoy in secular democracies are often far greater than the rights they enjoy in theocracies like Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Muslims want rights but they do not wish to grant non-Muslims the rights they want. 2. The word “infidel” means those who do not believe (in Islam). Now, the concept can be applied equally to Muslims. If I am an infidel with respect to Islam, then Muslims are also an infidel with respect to any other religion. I am not saying that other religions have this concept. I am just applying the same standards that Muslims apply and trying to demonstrate the absurdity of this philosophy. So pretty soon we have a world full of infidels because somebody is an infidel with respect to somebody else. Now obviously we will have an unstable world because it is much easier for friends to get along in this world than infidels (none of us can settle on the moon–yet). Therefore, I must conclude that this is a stupid and inferior concept. (QED)3. Now let’s take Dumbo concept number 3. This involves the mixing of religion and politics. This is a big mistake which has imposed a huge cost on Islamic countries in terms of continuous political strife such as in Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. 4. Dumbo concept no. 4. Lack of womens’ rights has forced Muslim women to lag behind their counterparts in the rest of the world. I can go one but the contradictions in Islam are profound and serious. And they say this is the word of God!

  • aka2

    When you talk of Non-Islamic, progressive, democratic, modern state like INDIA – You talk hipocracy – The Muslim population in India is not less than 18% and what is the percentage of Muslims in Government Jobs…. less than 1%. Why??It used to be 40% at the time of partition 1947. The pregress you have made is from to more than 40% to less than 1% muslims now in state Jobs!! Great Achievement…Talking of Equality in India especially with minories is far from reality. Although PAKISTAN reserves seats in parliment for minorities there is no such in Indian side. Who is fair & who is not, now you decide.

  • persiflage

    ‘In general, all people are essentially the same. It’s a racist point of view to condemn just one group of people. The Buddhists in Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka have committed atrocities against its minorities. The Japanese atrocities during the WW in the places they occupied is well documented. And lastly who can forget the most fearsome Buddhist of all, Pol Pot.’The difference here is that totalitarian despots in Buddhist countries don’t proclaim religious beliefs or religious founders i.e. the Buddha, as the substance and foundation of their dictatorships and inhumane treatment of their fellow countrymen. It’s very likely that these narcissitic individuals don’t follow a religious tradition of any kind….as such despotism is completely contrary to Buddhist precepts. The Japanese in WWII never proclaimed an affiliation with Buddhism – if anything, Shintoism was much more aligned with the nationalist fervor of that era of Japanese history.And the fact remains – global terrorism today is deeply identified with Islam, even though Islamic supporters of terrorism consist of a small minority of believers……perception is everything, and arguments to the contrary are without substantial gravity. In fact, the Muslim world must work very hard indeed, in order to overcome the negative image and deep impact perpetrated by the actions of a relatively few zealots. It’s all about fear, and that is the most powerfully unreasoning emotion of all.

  • arkns

    AKA2:I have no intention of defending anybody who is wrong. If there is discrimination against Muslims anywhere then it is wrong. That was not what I was saying. A secular democracy is superior to a theocracy based on fundamental principles. In the former, discrimination is forbidden and subject to challenge. In a theocracy, discrimination is inherent and is not subject to challenge. Even in the United States, it is not as if all discrimination against blacks and other minorities has come to an end (even with the election of Barack Obama as President). Discrimination is still very much there. But the important difference is that this society is constantly evolving to a higher, more equal, plane. It is not languishing in terms of those human values. That same thing can be said for India which has millions upon millions of Muslims who are doing extremely well. Now does it mean that all discrimination against Muslims has ended? Of course not. But their society is secular by founding principles just like ours. And that fosters a just society (even as it struggles against flaws). Now take this Islamic law stipulating that one Muslim witness is equal to two non-Muslim witnesses. This is an openly discriminatory legal system which goes against basic human values and decency. No matter which “God” says so. As I said at the beginning, even God must make sense. I have not given Him a blank check to say whatever He wants. No, peace and overall benefit to mankind stands above my need to believe in any particular religion. I reject all forms of discrimination in the name of religion. If it means rejecting my own, I do so too. And here is another problem with Islam. It is a package deal. A Muslim has to agree with Islam in its entirety or risk being labeled a apostate (and put to death). He/she cannot reject any part of the religion and still claim to be Muslim. This straight-jacket system of “good Muslim” “bad Muslim” is not there in the other religions. Infidels can reject parts of their religion without being called “bad Christians” or “bad Jews” or “bad Hindus” or whatever and risk being ostracized by their infidel societies. This package deal business and punishment of those who raise serious questions makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to reform Islam.

  • arkns

    All religions and spiritual philosophies must foster an expansion of consciousness involving an ever-widening circle of love and compassion. At the core, the inner-most circle of a system of concentric circles, lies love of oneself. This love then expands to the love for ones family, expanding further to the love of one’s community, yet further out to the love of other communities, and finally to the entire world. There is another ring that lies even beyond–love of one’s enemies. When one crosses this outermost ring, one can truly claim to love God. In fact, there are very few people in the world who can truly claim to love God. It is very hard to love God and saying does not make it so. And so we have Jesus Christ, the Master. Even when nails were being driven into his body, He said “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”.

  • yasseryousufi

    Persiflage,I don’t think you paid attention to the point I was responding to. Lets get the perspective clear. Here’s what I responded to“Why is Islam so intolerant. Buddhist in general are not vindictive like Muslims”I stand by what I said, that you cannot accuse just one group of people for vindictiveness. Its human nature to respond to injustice, occupation, killings, rape and torture. That’s the way whichever God you believe in has made us humans. So whether it’s Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists, Pagans or Muslims if you keep attacking and occupying their lands, keep murdering their children, raping their women, they will fight you back. I will accept your point that violence is somehow inherent in Islam only if you can prove to me that a great deal of violence, much much more than what muslims are accused of doing, is not being perpetrated against muslims as well. So whether it’s the Serb Orthodox Christians trying to ethnically cleanse their country of Bosnians just because they’re muslims (although mildly), or the hindu’s in India illegally occupying the muslim state of Kashmir claiming its an unseparable part (atoot ang) of their mother India and killing 70,000 Kashmiri muslims in the process, whether it’s the violent monks in Myanmar killing defenseless muslims in the name of their religion, or the Jewish Israelis driving out innocent Palestinians from their homes and taking over their farms citing biblical evidence for the ownership of the land they occupy, we should forget the religious affiliations in all these cases and just focus on Islam. To me this smacks of double standards and islamophobia which is rampant on this blog and in the wider world. Don’t you remember that George Bush said “God came in my dream and ordered me to attack Iraq” or something along these lines. Same with Blair. Religion and Nationalism have been the refuge of scoundrels for ages. Whether its Pope Urban or Osama bin Laden. We muslims never elected Osama to be our leader. If he were to ever stand for election he’ll get a hiding of his life. You elected Bush! Twice! Don’t you realise that amongst 54 Islamic countries in the world, there isn’t even one that will give him refuge. Doesn’t it say enough of how an overwhelming majority of muslims rejects extremism. He has been hiding in a tiny strip inaccessible mountainous area for the last 10 years. How the Americans haven’t been able to nab him yet is another mystery of huge proportions. In my country, Pakistan the religious parties hardly ever get more than 5% votes even though Pakistan is an Islamic Republic as a lot of posters here love to point out.You say global terrorism remains deeply identified with Islam. I would like you to clearly spell out what terrorism means to you. What do we muslims call atrocities that are committed against us by you? Do you believe it’s a just reward? Why this one sided terrorism accusation hysteria.

  • yasseryousufi

    And about Japan: There isn’t much difference between Shintoism and Buddhism. Shinto derives a lot of its practices from Buddism and according to wiki more than 80% Japanese associate themselves with Shinto-Buddhist religion.

  • arkns

    Pakistani Muslims have this fixation that Kashmir belongs to them. Well, let’s explore this absurd claim.If you look at the history of Kashmir, you will find that the majority of Kashmirs were Hindus when it was ruled by Maharajas. There is even a particular sect of Hinduism known as Kashmir Shaivism (a form of Tantra). I know this because I am a student of Indian philosophy. Now, the region was invaded by Mughals and converted to Islam in the 18th century. Since then, the demographics of Kashmir has shifted as Muslims came into majority.Now there was no Pakistan before 1947. Pakistan was carved out of India. The Indians gave them the land because Muslims felt that they could not live with Hindus in India. Just read the history of India. To now say that they also want Kashmir because Muslims happen to be in the majority there has no merit. Just because you are in the majority somewhere does not entitle you to a separate country. If that were the case, then the Chinese should give Tibetans their independence, the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka should grant the Tamil their own homeland. Does that entitle Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan to ask for a separate country? But look at this absurd logic. Muslims everywhere in the world are fomenting trouble and violence because they feel that it is their right to ask for independence by virtue of the fact that they are in the majority there–just look at what is happening in Thailand, the Philippines, Chechnya (Russia), China with the Uighur, etc. The Jews are not asking for a separate homeland in New York. The Christians are not rebelling and asking for a separate homeland in some parts of Southern India where they happen to be in majority. In fact, many parts of the world have certain groups which are in a majority somewhere (e.g., the aborigines are in majority in some parts of Australia). That does not given them the right to demand a separate country! I really don’t understand this nonsensical Islamic logic.

  • abhab1

    For those who do not see the logic behind suicide bombing among the Jihadists here is a summary of the justification according to a Muslim imam.The privileges that are bestowed upon the one who dies for Allah and mentioned in the hadith are: No comment!

  • yasseryousufi

    ARKNS,Do you enjoy being insulted? Or do you have a problem understanding English language? I doubt if you went beyond 5th grade. Your nonsensical posts certainly seem like they’re by an uneducated crackpot. Read what I copy paste below carefully. Ask your mum to help you out if you have difficulty understanding it.——————————————————1997 Anti-Muslim Riots in MandalayOn 16 March, 1997 beginning at about 3:30 p.m. a mob of 1,000-1,500 Buddhist monks and others shouted anti-Muslim slogans. They targeted the mosques first for attack, followed by Muslim shop-houses and transportation vehicles in the vicinity of mosques, damaging, destroying, looting, and trampling, burning religious books, committing acts of sacrilege. The area where the acts of damage, destruction, and lootings were committed was Kaingdan, Mandalay.[34] The unrest in Mandalay allegedly began after reports of an attempted rape of a girl by Muslim men. At least three people were killed and around 100 monks arrested.[35]———————————————————–Anti-Muslim Riots in Sittwe & Taungoo (2001)The violence in February 2001 flared up after an incident in which seven young monks refused to pay a Muslim stall holder for cakes they had just eaten. The Muslim seller, a woman, retaliated by beating one of the novices, according to a Muslim witness. He attested that several senior monks then came to protest and a brawl ensued. One of the monks was hit over the head by the Muslim seller’s husband and started to bleed. Riots then broke out. A full-scale riot erupted after dusk and carried on for several hours. Buddhists poured gasoline on Muslim homes and properties and set them alight. More than thirty homes and a Muslim guest house were burned down. Police and soldiers reportedly stood by and did nothing to stop the violence initially. There are no reliable estimates of the death toll or the number of injuries. More than twenty died according to some Muslim activists. The fighting took place in the predominantly Muslim part of town and so it was predominantly Muslim property that was damaged.[144]In 2001, Myo Pyauk Hmar Soe Kyauk Hla Tai, The Fear of Losing One’s Race, and many other anti-Muslim pamphlets were widely distributed by monks. Human Rights Watch reports that there was mounting tension between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in Taungoo for weeks before it erupted into violence in the middle of May 2001. Buddhist monks demanded that the Hantha Mosque in Taungoo be destroyed in “retaliation” for the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan.[146] Mobs of Buddhists, led by monks, vandalized Muslim-owned businesses and property and attacked and killed Muslims in Muslim communities.

  • arkns

    I think Yasseryousufi got his information on persecution of Muslims in Myanmar from Wikipedia which talks about Buddhists mobs attacking Muslims there. He got confused between mobs and monks. What can I say? The result was a story about attacking rabbits. The fellow is a good comedian.

  • yasseryousufi

    So hindu’s are now telling us that wikipedia is a muslim propaganda website~! As I said before there is no limit to the stupidity of these hate islam scumbags~!

  • yasseryousufi

    test~!

  • yasseryousufi

    kia huwa beta?? bolti band hogaee?

  • arkns

    This yasseryousufi is a joker. he cites ten year old posts from some Muslim propaganda website and calls them authentic. Utter garbage. Even if the Buddhists mob (not monks) have rampaged, it is due to the destruction of Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan as one of the propaganda posts clearly acknowledges. It is always first the Muslims that engage in some atrocity. When people react, they cry foul. The basic point is the stupid Islamic philosophy of “us” Muslims as separate from “them” infidels. Well, they have succeeded in creating a 5 billion strong “them” that is quite turned off at everything Islamic. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot! Islam is its own worst advertisement.

Read More Articles

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.