For the sake of brevity, I’ve omitted the original parts of this post which can be found here.
In response to brad-t:
Firstly, if you read my blog, you’ll note that I am totally against radical or irrational responses to the slander that is heaped against Islam and Muslims. So for you to be embarrassed for my part because of my supposed defense of the above action is for one thing pompous (there’s that word again) and for another grossly misinformed.
Believers often find non-believers to be pompous, and vice versa. It is easy to say that you are against radical reactions, but you retroactively justify them, however subtly.
Secondly, actually you cannot “disprove just about everything mentioned in the holy books of said religions” because you’re obviously again misinformed in believing that the Quran contains the same scientifically proven inaccuracies of the bible. If you take the time to read the Quran, you’ll note that there are a number of accuracies contained therein, so much so that present day scientists cannot explain how such accurate detail could have been contained in a scripture from the desert penned by an illiterate man over 1400 years ago. So in fact the reverse of your statement is actually true. Embryology, big bang theory, orbital paths of the planets, origin of the moon, etc. Look it up. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that the Quran explained these concepts when the church was still burning people at the stake for opposing the flat-earth view.
I’ll state now that just because there is a smidgen of truth in a book of lies does not vindicate your belief system. Furthermore, many of the “scientific facts” espoused by the Quran were either already discovered by the Greeks or are very clearly being retroactively applied to fit the mould of the Quran’s text. Just like in the Bible, much of the text in the Quran is vague enough that you can apply many different meanings to it successfully. Even pro-Islam Big Bang interpretation arguments are not at all convincing.
Yes, Muslims did know that human conception requires sperm. I can’t imagine how they deduced it.
Thirdly, I will never defend a Muslim or anyone else if their actions are blatantly contrary to Islamic beliefs, and obviously extreme. Again, read through some of my posts and you’ll note that I am not in any way supportive of extremism, and in fact, neither is Islam which dictates that we lead a life of moderation. Killing of innocent women and children, suicide bombings, cowardly acts of terror, disproportionate use of force, scorched earth policy, etc. are all hallmarks of warfare of the western powers and other non-Muslim organisations like the Tamil Tigers that Muslims have unfortunately adopted for themselves. Just because it’s carried out by Muslims these days does not in any way imply that it is sanctioned in Islam. It’s not!
This gives me hope, but …
As for your final paragraph, there is actually some truth in there. Again, read my posts and you’ll see that I fully encourage the reformation of Muslims before we complain about the perception of the West on Islam. Muslims have tainted the image of Islam, and not the other way around. If you read my original response to this post again, I suspect you’ll note that I did in fact raise concerns about both sides and not just one, unlike you that appear to be making the publisher a victim in all this. The Muslims were wrong to firebomb the building because it was a cowardly act, and the publisher was wrong to be deliberately insensitive on what is obviously a very volatile subject. Act in the extreme, and you can expect responses in the extreme. Again, that is not a justification, simply stating the facts because it’s obvious that this world is not full of rational people, be they Muslim, non-Muslim or otherwise.
What this newspaper did was not extreme. It may have been insensitive, but so what? Are we to coddle Muslims like babies because we should anticipate their tantrums? No. Grow up. We live in a free world where we can criticize what we want, however we want. I am anti-conservative, and while I may wish that Fox News be wiped from the surface of the Earth, I know that is not the way to do things.
You call both the press and the Muslim reaction “extreme”, equalizing them, but that is like equalizing a drop of water to the world’s oceans. So even though you say you do not defend the violent reactions of Muslims, you implicitly justify it by equalizing the response to its provocation.
The publisher is the victim. Whether or not you agree with what they think about Islam, they did not do anything wrong. Insensitivity is not a crime. Muslims should condemn their perverse sense of “justice” to the caverns of the world’s dark past.
I get what you mean about “this isn’t what Islam is about,” but to be frank, I don’t really care what Islam is about, nor do I care what any other religion is about. I don’t really care what dumb god(s) anyone decides to believe in. I do care about my fellow progressives making half-apologies (by acknowledging the “importance of” a specific image/being) and exceptions for “othered” religions (Islam especially).
Any religion should be free to be as dumb as they want, but there is no excuse for firebombing or otherwise intimidating or crusading against those who challenge/make fun of/disagree with your belief system. Whether or not this is the “real” Islam, it is being done in the name of Islam. As far as I’m concerned, it is up to Muslims to correct their public image, not up to me to look for the good through all the murder, violence, and sexism. I don’t respect non-existent beings, and I don’t respect their followers until they respect humanity.
Please don’t mistake this for intolerant/hateful speech against Muslims or Arabs. I believe that all religions are equally poisonous and undermine the fabric of modern society.