Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Quick Post: Only Muslims are violent towards other religions, right?


Some Catholics in Ireland started a riot at a Protestant parade.  But I thought religious tensions and violence only existed between Muslims and Christians?  Now, my whole world-view is shattered knowing that violent tensions break out among Christians.

/end incendiary sarcasm


Silverfiddle said...

Tee hee hee, so witty.

If only our worst concern about violent islamists were them upsetting a little parade...

Damien said...

Regardless of any intended sarcasm, religous violence is in fact political-social violance with the aim of power and control with the religion as the excuse/trigger factor.

History has clearly shown that violence has been done by members of every major faith towards either those that break away or from other faiths. The Catholic/Protestant battles in Ireland was/is about one community dominating another. We can still see examples of how certain monarchies must be either Catholic or not and constitutionally heirs and thier spouses must be of the correct faith. During the partician how many Muslims and Hindus killed each other. Even this last year Christians in Ossira in India were killed and forced from their villages by Hindus. Serb nationalists used faith as the basis of thier ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Catholics. The list goes on. We know of the Islamists and the terrorism, but simply put that is just one of a multitude of political and social ugliness this world has and will face....

Silverfiddle said...

Without a doubt, religious violence crosses all sectarian lines, hence my sarcasm at this bald-faced strawman.

But no religious violence exceeds the muslims in magnitude

Jack Camwell said...

Bold faced straw man eh? How far back into history am I allowed to go in order to show that Christians have historically been just as violence in order to prove you wrong?

Silverfiddle said...

You can go back as far as you like, it's your blog.

Show us the history, and it will only serve to illustrate how Christendom had learned to moderate itself somewhat while the Muslim world has not.

btw, what in the world would have made you think this?

But I thought religious tensions and violence only existed between Muslims and Christians?

Harrison said...

Jack, I think you missed the key part of that article:

Sporadic violence erupted across the British-ruled province on the culmination of a season of parades by pro-British Protestants to mark a 17th-century military victory, a tradition many Catholics say is provocative.

Notice how many times "British-ruled" appeared there? Could it be, perhaps, that when the British invaded and forced their subjects to no speak, read, write, or learn Gailic that this might have been the source of tension?

In Islam, if you convert to a different religion, you're getting your head cut off.

You heard of Any Protestants doing that?

Harrison said...

Like this from today:

IranianPastor Sentenced to Death Could Be ExecutedifHe Doesn’t Recant, Says Verdict

Damien said...

I will agree with Silver on his comment here.

If you open all the pages of history yes there has been more violence and killing on behalf of Christianity and that should not be ignored, hidden or died. Having said that, yes, it continues in the Muslim world when in general the Christian world pushed that aside.

We should ask ourselves about the reasons and the excuses and when does the factors involved overide one or the other?

The Muslim world is in the developing world and the non-Muslim countries are just as much prone to violence so we can argue that it is not religous in reality but socio-economic. That argument is very sound and I support that to a level BUT as the world gets smaller and the influences on each other are there the excuses diminish rapidly.

A last comment, if a Muslim converts to another face society rejects him and only in hard-line countries (about 7, there will be someone who will kill you), but again that is also social, in many African nations you disagree with the tribe/community they kick you out or "someone will kill you", you have to leave.

I dislike refering to cutting off of heads is Islamic as the French cut off heads with a machine until the late 70s and banned it in 1981. Chopping-off heads was the only legal way in Sweden until just 100 years ago but most of all cutting of heads is "unofficial" punishment in Latin America (Catholic), rural India (Hindu) and in Indochina (Buddhist and Christian). Of 56 Muslim countries, all but 3 hang officially.

Jack Camwell said...

All very valid points. I can't deny that the progression of time has left a good portion of the Muslim world behind, and that the violence perpetrated by Muslim societies now is worse than what Christian societies are doing.

I do agree with Damien, however, that the violence has more to do with socioeconomic and political conditions rather than the religion itself. Of course this article was meant to be a sarcastic barb, because I know that the riots in Ireland aren't as bad as some stuff that's been going on in the Middle East.

But we can't pretend that Islam has a monopoly on violence.

Harrison said...

Ah the old terrorists are poor and disadvantaged. Too bad this has been studied and debunked:

It takes some sophistication to die for an idea or belief vs. just feeding your family.

Islam does not have a monopoly on violence nor does Google have a monopoly on searching but who uses AskJeeves anyway?

Damien said...

Harrison, when we talk about socio-economics this actually means the general population or what is often called the "vulnerable mass of population". Sure many of the terrorists and their leadership are highly educated but that is the point, they are fringe, radicalised, dangerous but they target the class of vulnerable masses as the support base - ie the poor, less educated and dissenfranchised eleemnt of society.

Salafism for example gets almost all its support out of poor neighbourhoods, Al Qaeda out of madrasas in Egypt, Pakistan, Somalia and over the internet they target the angry youth whom though they may have worked hard to get education are unemployable or outcaste if they are in some western cities.

Jack Camwell said...

Thank you Damien. THe suicide bomber are most assuredly not rich, well educated people. They're the poor and marginalized members of their society who feel they have no other recourse than to give their lives for Allah.

Any orginzation that wishes to succeed must have intelligent, affluent people at the top running it, but that doesn't mean the majority of the members, the common rank and file foot soldiers doing the dirty work, are cut from the same socio-economic cloth.

Damien said...

There are alternate views but it should be pointed out that both those that Abadie's is not fully supported and I will take you to taks over the Krueger-Maleckova quote.

Alberto Abadie studied the Basque example, which is terrorism relating to nationalism and not global ideology (ie the Baskques are not at war with an idea or any other nations than Spain and France. That has been the main criticism of his work - please not I am both British and Spanish and I read both his work and his regular items in El Pais.

Alan Krueger and Jitka Maleckova's study does not talk about the root cause but about the spread of terrorist influence in developing nations.

The popular belief in academic and government strategic circles (which I believe) is that in general terrorism requires a core mass support based on ignorance and dissenfranchism.

The operating system, as you put it, is not an ideology but a message that is accepted by the mass support. I think it is wrong to consider Islam as the operating system because, as has been proven countless times, simply put the bulk of Muslims do not support it. It is always a message, which can be a genuine ideology or it can be as simple as screwed-up message or a blatant lie.

It is when the terrorist message is spread that we get to the expansion phase with leadership and dissemination that those whom are educated (but yet still dissenfranchised in thier society) joine that cause.

Damien said...

Al Qaeda is a political "message" and not Islamic in the pure sense. It is supported by those that believe that the West is on a crusade and therefore Islam is in a formal state of Jihad (though all five schools of jurispudence do not endorse and are the only ones who can declare a jihad.

It is only poltical because Bin Laden and the main leadership are Wahhabi and Salafists whom follow two more haddiths and ignore seven that most Muslims (Sunni and Shia) do. Remember that Bin Laden himself later said that the Muslim Brotherhood was corrupt and unclean and that the Taliban were "barbaric".

Thus from a Islamic perspective, they are incompatable so why do they join forces? The reason is simple, it is the political "message".

The basis behind the message's acceptance is post colonialism, that the vast majority are dissenfranchised, poor, lacking education and most of all, that the message was given to a mass that wanted (or "wished") it was true because they wanted to vent their frustrations on a target.

Politically, there are many in developing countries who are well educated and politically minded whom still consider their country is in such a state because of post colonialism and western countries bleeding their nations dry. This view is not only in the Muslim World. Believe that to be the case or not, that view is very real.

Harrison said...

I will respond to your other points later but it is inconceivable for anybody to think that al Qaeda's message is not religious. The name of the organization itself, "The Cave" itself carries a deeply religious message to Muslims. To not understand this point makes me wonder about your other topics.

Jack Camwell said...

You're right that it is, in fact, a religious message, but I think the point that both Damien and myself are trying to make is that it is not indicative of the entire religion of Islam.

I don't think it's even indicative of anywhere close to a majority of Islam. There are some billion Muslims on the world, so don't you think if they all believed it was their duty to kill every infidel that the planet would be in utter chaos and ruins by now?

The fact is that a majority of Muslims societies live peacefully.

A question that I pose is that if there were no separation of church and state in America, would fundamentalist Christian communities be any less brutal or ridiculous than fundamentalist Islamic communinities? I think not.

Harrison said...

How many murderous Christians do you find in the world where there is no separation of Church and State? I can't think of any.

See how peaceful Muslims are for yourself:

Not all Muslims are terrorists but most terrorists are Muslims.

You do the math.

Mecca, we have a problem.

Damien said...


Two issues here and I do understand how you come to your conclusion.

Sure, there is a huge issue within the Muslim global community and much is condemnable, particularly the principle one above all - the majority keep their mouths shut. Having said that, as Jack pointed out, the majority and almost exclusively all their governments condemn terrorism and groups like Al Qaeda are on their wanted list, albiet with sympathisers within some of them.

Sure the "message" of Al Qaeda is using all the words of religion, that it is "Islamic" etc, but that is a show piece and though I know you do not understand this, in fact if you know Muslims and Islam correctly you would. Example, the average Muslim will always in their daily language say "inshallah" when talking about anything in future-tense, anything suprising, dangereous or good will say "allah-akbar" including in accidents and others. Thus the language of Muslims is religeous. That does not mean that the subject is. Saddam Hussein, Iran's President and Gadhafi use what we think is over-the-top religious language but in fact they are talking to thier people in a language style.

Al Qaeda is a political message with lots of religous excuses. It actually avoids religous topics, if you read thier propoganda it says nothing religous that normally say an Imam in a mosque does. If it did then it would cave-in instantly because it is run by Wahhabists, Salafists and some Brotherhood members. Add to it, Al Qaeda is run by militants and right now a doctor, not scholars and Imams. Note what I mentioned, all five schools of jurispudence condemns them, does not support Jihad which they believe they are the only ones who can declare it and the last sanctioned jihad was during the last "crusade" 800 years ago.

Damien said...

Though not an excuse because the majority of the Christian world has advanced and progressed socially, it was not that long ago that our own faith was the catalyst behind barbarianism, violence and terror.

If one thinks that Christianity spread alone by example and pacifism then one is sadly mistaken.

South America had my Catholic faith forced upon it. Though I am half-Spanish and Catholic, I do not deny the inquisition. The history of the Phillipines prior to the American arrival is one of brutality and though the media points at the Islamist insurgency in the south of the country, there has been a Christian militia enforcing "correctness" over the entire country in rural areas.

We can add that Serbian Nationalism is not only supported but spurred on by the Serbian Orthodox Church that blessed the forces as they murdered over 8,000 men and boys in Srebrenica, let alone the other war crimes. Though the Rwandan Genocide was inter-tribal of those convicted in the War Crimes Tribunal, so far a third are Catholic Clergy who claimed that the kilings were sanctioned by faith.

A last comment. If that website religionofpeace is your source of data then I highly recommend you go to something actually factual and academic and not agenda-based and out of context.

Jack Camwell said...

How many Christian theocracies exist today, Harrison? Sure, Britain has the Church of England, but we can hardly say that the country is a theocracy.

We stopped having theocracies because we saw how horrifying they could be, even under Christianity. Look at the Salem Witch Trials. Salem was a theocratic community, and that led them to madness.

What if today America was a fundamentalist Baptist theocracy? Homosexuals would surely be imprisoned, we'd likely have more stringent alcohol laws. Abortion would be illegal and more women who need to terminate their pregnancies because of health reasons would probably die in childbirth. Evolution and much of science that goes against what the bible says would not be allowed to be taught anywhere. All laws would be legislated based on the Bible.

Actually, laws would be legislated based on a radical and ridiculous interpretation of the bible. There would be little left of the freedoms we enjoy today. I dare say what would happen to atheists.

Of course all of that is speculation, but do you think that I'm off base with that? Clearly I have a very dim view of human nature, but it's a view born out of observing the insanity wrought by humans upon their brethren.

Damien said...

Jack, well put comment.

We have many examples even of mild socio-religeous impacts in modern western Christian civilisation. Switzerland gave women the full vote on 7 Febuaray 1971. That was the same year that married women in the United States could get a passport without their husband's signature. That was also the same year that Aboriginals in Australia were considered "citizens" and allowed to vote.

Spain and Belgium are "Catholic Kingdoms" which is a level above the Church of England's status in the UK.

Only one Muslim country is an actual "theocracy" but in a very strange way also has very democratic elements (not that it is working), which is Iran. Only half the Muslim countries consider themselves to be "Islamic States" and that is only to certain levels. Many self-proclaiming anti-Jihad websites ignore simple facts like the majority of the 56 Muslim countries do not have Sharia law, of those that do again the majority only have it for family law that is subject to a secular Appeals Court.

It all shows that yes the Islamic world today is stuck with typical developing world corruption, is suffering a huge radical and ultra-conservative insurgence (remember this is only since 1978 and pushed more after 9/11) and because that radicalism is at war with the West, the media and other agenda groups have milked it for all they can get.

Harrison said...

In a 2007 University of Maryland poll (PDF), more than 60 percent of the populations in Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, and Indonesia responded that democracy was a good way to govern their respective countries, while at the same time, an average of 71 percent agreed with requiring "strict application of [sharia] law in every Islamic country."

Similar results were found in Egypt last month with a vast majority of Muslims being in favor of beheadings, cutting off hands, etc.

Muslims want to establish Sharia in Egypt, Libya (where al Qaeda backs the rebels), Jordan, Sudan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia where massive spending on religious "schools" is the only thing preventing it from being established.

And, if anything, the press plays down the role of Sharia in the ME. Hence the term "Arab Spring."

Look at what Muslims have done in England establishing a Sharia legal system next to the Imperial one. Read Londistan if you disbelieve me.

Your story sounds great but reality is different.

Also of note:

In those Muslim countries where Islam is the official religion listed in the constitution, sharia is declared to be a source, or the source, of the laws. Examples include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates, where the governments derive their legitimacy from Islam. In Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, and Iraq, among others, it is also forbidden to enact legislation that is antithetical to Islam.

What secular Muslim countries are there? Not a lot: Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Chad, Somalia, and Senegal.

Reality is very different.

Damien said...

Harrison, you can interpret as you like.

55 per cent of the 56 Muslim countries are secular legally, the remainder has sharia. Of those that are Sharia, 60 per cent is for Family law only and subject to a secular Appeals Court. This is reality.

When working out statistical polls, it comes down to in what area you asked the question, how the question was asked and how they got access to the respondee.

The REALITY is far from what you are "wishing" it was or interpreting to suit your view, I read it differently and I am in line with the mainly supported view.

The strange example that you have given here in the UK is something that needs to be understood instead of conextually abused in certain blogs that we now know you frequent. The Sharia committees in the UK (which I personally think is wrong to do) allows a community supported committe to decide what is called "minor family, social and local disputes" that fall under the generally accepted view of Sharia AND that is totally in compliance with English, Scottish, Welsh, British and local laws and ordinances. It is EXACTLY the same as Highland Village Councils in Scotland and Welsh Rural Councils in Wales that have for social/cultural reasons decided to meet out their own solutions. Again, I do not support it because the majority of Muslim nations do not use Sharia.

Damien said...

I should add that almost every nation on the planet is inspired by thier faiths in law including American and European law (I am a lawyer and that is first year ethical origins 101). Thus Sharia which is just a word that means Islamic principles is the guide behind laws in most Muslim Countries.

Now having said that, Sharia Courts means having a Theologian arbitrate or judge and then of those countries that use it, each "code" is different. Malaysias Sharia Family and Social Courts's interpretations are nothing like the Sharia Courts in Saudi or Iran or say Kuwait - they are all different.

Most countries have Islam as their basic morale guide but remain secular, follow international jurispudence standards and even are carbon copies of western legal systems with modifications to reflect the general Islamic beliefs of the people or the nation.

Morocco's laws and legislation is almost identical to Frances in 1956when it gained independance, and from that point both nations have altered their laws according to their standards.

If your looking for some Islamic conspiracy of a global quest for a Caliphate then sure, read Spencer and other hate bloggers and you will remain in a fictionalised dreamworld forever and not a reflection of this real one. Oh, do not try and talk law and Shari to me, I am a lawyer for over 30 years now and I am a co-chair of a EU/ASEAN Forum on legal frameworks based in Malaysia.

Harrison said...

We will agree to disagree.

Damien said...

Agreed and if anything that is the true hallmark of civilization and exactly what radicalism does not allow....