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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The toady's blindness

Piers Akerman in yesterday's Daily Telegraph:

"...though the Koran does contain some verses of great poetry on tolerance and respect, it also contains a plethora of extremely virulent exhortatory suras condemning nonbelievers, apostates, Christians and Jews, to violent deaths and unending misery in the hereafter."

All those sections in the Bible about death, stonings, murder and incest clearly read like a children's fairy tale. No wonder Akerman is Howard's favourite commentator/toady. ABC TV's Insiders calls him a "highly experienced journalist and a columnist." Notice the omission of respect. Why the hell is he on that show again? Yet another tortuous bow to "balance."


Blogger J F said...

I don't hear any Christians using the words of God and Jesus as bin Laden and associates used the words of Allah and Muhammad: "Praise be to Allah, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism, and says in His Book: 'But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)'; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-'Abdallah, who said: I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but Allah is worshipped, Allah who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 10:05:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Since when do the vast, vast majority of Muslims, or Christians for that matter, take their holy books literally? Basically, nearly, never. We can always quote extreme comments in the Bible or Koran (or Torah), but how it's interpreted is the main issue, surely....

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 10:07:00 pm  
Blogger J F said...

Is it possible to be a Muslim and not accept the Koran as the literal word of God?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 10:22:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

As possible as being a Christian and not taking the Bible as gospel. People of many faiths are much more complex than simply living by, or ignoring, their chosen books....

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 11:07:00 pm  
Blogger J F said...

Central to Islam is acceptance of the Koran as the word of Allah. It is not possible for a person to be a Muslim and not accept this. Such a person is certainly not regarded as a Muslim by true Muslims.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 11:26:00 pm  
Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

I love the way all these non-Muslims become experts on Islamic theology when it comes time to condemn. Amazing. I wonder whether they can actually read Arabic and translated it into English.

Um, 'jf', ever heard of abortion clinics being bombed, even health workers who conduct abortions being murdered? What about the armed-to-the-teeth ultra orthodox Jews of Israel and the Occupied Territories? Remember that dude who killed Yitzak Rabin? No he wasn't a Muslim with long sideburns.

Not to forget the RSS and Bajarang Dal of India, a fascist Hindu sect who model themselves on a range of fascist icons including Hitler and Mussolini. They've even committed acts of genocide. In one instance killing around 2000-3000 Muslims in Gujarat.

These episodes prove that fanaticism isn't the preserve of any one ethnic or religious group but requires more rigorous analysis of complex social and political situations.

As for your "Such a person is certainly not regarded as a Muslim by true Muslims" comment. Well that's certainly only true in the minds of those arrogant and deluded enough to think they are the only 'true Muslims'. But that notion is not unique to Muslims.

But more importantly than any of these diversions, and they are diversions, how on earth does any of this actually solve any of the problems we (we, humanity) face? What's your solution jf?

Thursday, July 21, 2005 12:17:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Iqbal, Praise be for your common sense. These Islamophobes come out of the woodwork, don't they? Notice, also, how we've started hearing calls to question Australia's multiculturalism...?

Thursday, July 21, 2005 12:25:00 am  
Blogger J F said...

Easy boys, I'm simply responding to the premise of the original post by AL. As the quote from bin Laden's original fatwa indicates, at least some who claim to be Muslims are using the Koran to justify violence. You'd have to be blind not to be able to see that.

Thursday, July 21, 2005 12:59:00 am  
Blogger Me said...

I wonder about the broader paranoia that seems to be setting in about 'multiculturalism' in general (Terry Lane's comments in The Age recently)'s the other term at the moment being blamed for fostering extremism. I suppose people need to blame something - and wrapping up all their fears in a word seems the easiest response. But a robust assimilationist policy does not rid a country of simmering tensions or extremists...if anything, it pushes certain poeple to be more extreme.

Thursday, July 21, 2005 10:06:00 am  
Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

Thanks Ant!

jf – you began by stating that Islam could be distinguished as a religion of violence by virtue of theological references to that effect. But now we are lead to believe that all you meant to say is that “some who claim to be Muslim are using the Koran to justify violence”. That’s a significant qualification.

I don’t think anyone here is refuting bin Laden’s (et al) use of the Koran. The point is it’s too simplistic, and easy, to merely blame Islamic theology. It is equally simplistic and easy to blame Judaism for modern Zionism, Christianity for the Christian right, etc.

People always seek authority from some higher source (eg seeking UN approval for invading Iraq) when they try to resist the status quo. But what people invoke, and why people do what they do are two separate questions.

Thursday, July 21, 2005 12:34:00 pm  
Blogger J F said...

iqbal khaldun wrote: "jf – you began by stating that Islam could be distinguished as a religion of violence by virtue of theological references to that effect."

No, I didn't.

Thursday, July 21, 2005 7:40:00 pm  

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