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Dialogue of the Deaf: Europe's Muslim "Problem"

By Jørgen S. Nielsen

Copenhagen, Denmark -- In Europe we are anxiously awaiting public reaction to the controversial public showing of a film attacking the Koran, produced by the Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders.

This comes on top of trouble already brewing over the republication of the notorious Muhammad cartoons in several Danish newspapers. More than two years after the cartoons’ original publication, it seems we are back where we started, with protests simmering and sometimes descending into violence in various parts of the Muslim world.

Beneath the myriad reasons for these events appears to be a fundamental inability of people whose beliefs vary to understand how the other side thinks and feels. We have here a dialogue of the deaf, although paradoxically both sides share the same motivation: fear.

European culture and public discourse has become so secularized in recent generations that there is little comprehension of people whose religion holds a central place in their lives and identity. European nation-states were constructed through centuries of struggle and conflict in which religious differences and oppression were often explosive. People today fear that they are in danger of losing what was won with so much suffering: their freedoms and their collective sense of identity.

Behind these fears lie the rapid changes of globalization, the increased powers of the European Union and the uncertainties of geopolitics and climate change. But in Europe the fears focus on immigrants and ethnic minorities - which in many places means Muslims.

Muslim demands to be taken seriously are interpreted as a threat to the hard-won rights of freedom of expression. Those who feel threatened fear not just the small Muslim minorities in Europe - in most countries less than three percent of the population - but also the hundreds of millions of Muslims beyond their borders in the broader Muslim world, where the so-called "new enemy" is to be found.

Many parts of the Muslim world also fear uncertainties such as globalization, international instability and, closer to home, unemployment and arbitrary governments - not to mention random violence. But there the fear is focused on the heirs of the old imperial powers: the West, which is again seen as wishing to dominate and thus undermine Islam. In response, respect for the religion and its symbols becomes a central focus.

One side is talking the language of freedoms and rights. The other side is talking the language of respect for the sacred.

At the end of February, in response to the re-publication of the cartoons and the promised Dutch film, the ambassadors to the United Nations of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) issued a statement against Islamophobia. In it they affirm their support for freedom of expression, balanced by respect for religious feelings. The question left unanswered is how that balance is to be achieved.

For its part, the Danish government responded to the initial controversy with major investments in cultural and political dialogue, as well as by expanding its efforts in support of development, especially among Palestinians in Jordan and the occupied territories.

Wilders managed last week to find a London-based web site to host his film, which was criticized by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who called it “offensively anti-Islamic”. A spokesman for Wilders said Monday that he will re-edit portions of the film to remove the controversial cartoon of the prophet Muhammad.

The OIC emphasized the need for dialogue and education at its summit in December 2005. In light of the repeated incidents, the organization has now hardened its line and is demanding legislation, though minimal, in the form of additions or amendments to international human rights statutes.

There is no way that European governments will accept any wording that crosses the line into legal commitments. Not only would it compromise those valued freedoms, it would also too closely resemble laws such as Turkey’s notorious paragraph 301, which criminalizes "public denigration of Turkishness, the Republic, the parliament, the courts, the military or the security forces," or Pakistan’s laws against insulting the Prophet. Both of these have been widely and mischievously used to harass rivals and pursue personal vendettas.

But European governments could certainly do more to encourage dialogue and education, which would make the gratuitous issuing of insults against people’s core beliefs unacceptable public behavior. And governments in the Muslim world could do more to show that their expressed respect for freedom of expression is more than empty rhetoric. Until then, the dialogue of the deaf is, sadly, set to continue.

Jørgen S. Nielsen is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. This article was written for Common Ground News Service (CGNews).

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Comments (183)

osmanli:

European attacks on the Prophet S.A.S aren't a knew phenomenon. Some documents from the Ottoman archives show that Sultan Abdulhamid stopped a French writer from showing a play called "Mohammed" in 1890. This actor didn't quit after all. He tried to play it in one of London's most prestigious theaters but failed because the Sultan intervened with the British authorities. The French writer tried again three years later but failed again.

In 1900, a play by the name of " Mohhamed's Paradise" was about to be performed. Sultan Abdulhamid intervened and the played was shown after its name and contents, which were anti-Islamic, were changed.


Ed:

parlaksari:

"Who has used the Atom bomb and killed many innocent people? Who could dare to use that kind of bomb? Did Muslim have made this?"

The Muslims did not invent the suicide bomber in modern warfare. That honor goes to the kamikaze Japanese in WWII. The attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki gave the fanatical Japanese a psychological out to surrender, preventing annihilation of their country and a million US casualties. The fanatical Muslims should take note of the rational decision to use atomic weapons. When faced with mass casualties from fanatics, we will use our superior technology to defend ourselves.

bcsal:

Muslims can't have it both ways. If you want to live in Western countries, then don't expect them to conform to your crazy beliefs. If you care that much about living in the stone age, then stay in your own country.

Taymooor:

IF YOU HAVE ANY DECENCY, REMOVE THE COMMENTS WHICH DISRESPECT PROPHET MOHAMMED PEACE BE UPON HIM

Obserever:

Asim:
You report a story about a Jewish boy throwing garbage at your prophet, and your prophet visited him when he was sick.

Ali Sina commented on this story several times.

Quote:
Such story does not exist in any hadith or anywhere else. This is a new fabrication. This has happened to Abdul-Baha about 1868 (?) when he and his father were exiled to Akkah and has nothing to do with Muhammad

Quote:
I have not seen that hadith that say a Jewish person used to dump garbage at Muhammad though I heard this story from childhood. But it cannot be true. Muhammad was never living in the Jewish neighborhoods. Jews in Medina had their quarters. Muhammad was such a vengeful man that he ordered the assassination of Abu Afak, a 120 year old man who was a Jew and whose crime was to compose a lyric ridiculing Muhammad and his claim. Muhammad asked one of his followers to get him rid of this man. Asma bint Marwan who was a poetess became so angry that wrote a poetry cursing the men of Medina for letting a Meccan kill an old man and do nothing. Muhammad asked one of his followers who volunteered to kill her. He entered in Asma’s home and pierced her chest with his sword while she was asleep with her five children beside her, the smallest was a nursing baby. How can such a man who could not bear someone criticizing him in poetry forgive someone throwing garbage at him? These stories of grandeur of Muhammad along with those attributing miracles to him are all forgeries concocted by over zealot believers. Even today the followers of diverse cults make stories such as these and attribute them to their gurus.

Anonymous:

When Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country they will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone:
United States -- Muslim 1.0%
Australia -- Muslim 1.5%
Canada -- Muslim 1.9%
China -- Muslim 1%-2%
Italy -- Muslim 1.5%
Norway -- Muslim 1.8%

At 2% and 3% they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs:
Denmark -- Muslim 2%
Germany -- Muslim 3.7%
United Kingdom -- Muslim 2.7%
Spain -- Muslim 4%
Thailand -- Muslim 4.6%

From 5% on they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population.They will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves -- along with threats for failure to comply. At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves under Sharia, the Islamic Law.
France -- Muslim 8%
Philippines -- Muslim 5%
Sweden -- Muslim 5%
Switzerland -- Muslim 4.3%
The Netherlands -- Muslim 5.5%
Trinidad & Tobago -- Muslim 5.8%

When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they will increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions (Paris -- car-burnings) . Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats (Amsterdam -- Mohammed cartoons).
Guyana -- Muslim 10%
India -- Muslim 13.4%
Israel -- Muslim 16%
Kenya -- Muslim 10%
Russia -- Muslim 10-15%

After reaching 20% expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings and church and synagogue burning:
Ethiopia -- Muslim 32.8%

At 40% you will find widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks and ongoing militia warfare:
Bosnia -- Muslim 40%
Chad -- Muslim 53.1%
Lebanon -- Muslim 59.7%

From 60% you may expect unfettered persecution of non-believers and other religions, sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels:
Albania -- Muslim 70%
Malaysia -- Muslim 60.4%
Qatar -- Muslim 77.5%
Sudan -- Muslim 70%

After 80% expect State run ethnic cleansing and genocide:
Bangladesh -- Muslim 83%
Egypt -- Muslim 90%
Gaza -- Muslim 98.7%
Indonesia -- Muslim 86.1%
Iran -- Muslim 98%
Iraq -- Muslim 97%
Jordan -- Muslim 92%
Morocco -- Muslim 98.7%
Pakistan -- Muslim 97%
Palestine -- Muslim 99%
Syria -- Muslim 90%
Tajikistan -- Muslim 90%
Turkey -- Muslim 99.8%

100% will usher in the peace of "Dar-es-Salaam" -- the Islamic House of Peace -- there's supposed to be peace because everybody is a Muslim:
Afghanistan -- Muslim 100%
Saudi Arabia -- Muslim 100%
Somalia -- Muslim 100%
Yemen -- Muslim 99.9%

Anonymous:

Parlak - From where in the world do you imagine Christians were responsible for the Holocaust?

Really. From where?

The holocaust was perpetrated by pagan nazis - whose closest relatives are - imagine this - muslims.

The grand mufti was in communication with the nazi government because he was just beside himself to have found a kindred spirit who also wished to eradicate the world of Jews.

Nobody really wants to rid the world of muslims - although it would demonstrably make the world a safer place. It is the muslims who demand obiescience to an irrational, violent imaginary entity. Lacking that - you die or live in subjugation - end of discussion.

Wake up parlak. Spit out the qat.

You have not debated my points in any rational manner.

Go back to the mosque, pray and consult the imam for a better spin.

Then try again.

Good luck.

parlak:

Posted on April 1, 2008 20:17

to Anonymous:

Why it is so hard for you to understand that not all Muslims did get angry or wants to kill Danish cartoonist, believe me most of them do not care about their cartoons. So don't blame all Muslim's. I do not have any desire to burn the Danish flag!! really.

By the way who is responsible from the Holocaust? Can we say that Christian people killed the Jewish people? This is the answer of your question. So can we say that all Christians hate Jewish people, according to your blind approach? (Your question: Do you see Christians or Jews raging in the streets, murdering and burning flags when egregious things are said, or clearly anti Jewish and anti Christian things appear in print or on film?)

You don’t look like an objective person. Your comments reveal yourself, your thoughts are blindfolded. So I don’t think that they are valuable and do not deserve any more attention.

Anonymous:

Posted on April 1, 2008 20:17

to Anonymous:

Why it is so hard for you to understand that not all Muslims did get angry or wants to kill Danish cartoonist, believe me most of them do not care about their cartoons. So don't blame all Muslim's. I do not have any desire to burn the Danish flag!! really.

By the way who is responsible from the Holocaust? Can we say that Christian people killed the Jewish people? This is the answer of your question. So can we say that all Christians hate Jewish people, according to your blind approach? (Your question: Do you see Christians or Jews raging in the streets, murdering and burning flags when egregious things are said, or clearly anti Jewish and anti Christian things appear in print or on film?)

You don’t look like an objective person. Your comments reveal yourself, your thoughts are blindfolded. So I don’t think that they are valuable and do not deserve any more attention.

Anonymous:

When Pastor Jeremiah Wright made a misrepresentaion of Christianity, almost all Christians were appalled by his diatribe. Nobody was angry over who uploaded that video on the net.

Well said. Notice there were no demonstrations, beheadings, idiotic placards, or any of the usual islamic drama.

Big difference between a civilized democracy and a 7th century fascist mob.

spiderman2:

When Pastor Jeremiah Wright made a misrepresentaion of Christianity, almost all Christians were appalled by his diatribe. Nobody was angry over who uploaded that video on the net.

On the other hand, when some muslims "misrepresented " Islam and somebody (Wilder) uploaded them on the net, what we see are all muslims clamoring for the head of Mr.Wilder. What did Mr. Wider do? He just compiled the video so you muslims would censure those people who are "misrepresenting" you.

All of muslims' reaction mirror those of the barbarians seen in those videos. Instead of making speeches condemning those barbaric act, they are all clamoring for Mr.Wilder to be punished. WHAT COULD BE MORE STUPID THAN THAT?

I think there would come a time when after all the dust of the coming greatest war settles down, the surviving muslims will burn the book which caused all this Grandest Stupidity to occur.

*******

Is there anything wrong with FITNA? It just showed the videos of muslims recording themselves and their actions. If you want to stop another FITNA coming out sometime in the future, then restrict all muslims from having a video camera. Simple as that.

I thought that only a few muslim have this "terrorist tendencies" but after hearing former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad issued a threat of banning all Dutch products, it seems like this "terrorist tendency" is actually endemic in ALL muslims.

What if the rest of the world bans Malaysia's products coz it has a stupid former prime minister? Is that reasonable? Judging from the threats he issued, he would probably say that it is reasonable.

The man is a doctor so I'd like to ask him this question. Hey doctor, is there a medicine for the kind of illness that you have? Better find a cure before this world comes to an end. And I'm talking about your world. Stupidity is self destructive, you know. You could be pointing that hammer you're holding now towards yourself.

Anonymous:

Gerard - don't give up - try again.

Perhaps you can explain your reasoning.

You seem to professing frustration at what you perceive to be intolerant views. You suggest that is it is only a small minority (my words) of muslims committing these acts, yet all muslims are being blamed.

How, then, do you accept - and one has to believe you are accepting through your silence - the idea the the MUSLIMS are blaming entire cultures and countries for a cartoon or a documentary made by only a few people?

Isn't it the Danish flag which is being burned? Are not the threats made by muslims against the west in general? Was not the attack on 9/11 perpetrated against Americans in general - as well as the attack on 7/11 on Brits in general - as well as the Bali bombing on, well, humanity in general?

I would love to hear what you have to say to that. Since I now understand English is not your language - I will be more patient. You see, that is a hallmark of the west - patience.

We have lots and lots of long range bombers - but they are still on the ground....

Gerard:

@anonymous

lol

ok, I give up. This is not my native language.

Anonymous:

gerard - post a coherent question and someone will answer it.

Gerard K:

@Wyatt April 1, 2008 6:23 PM

Why don't you just judge ALL people by their deeds. Your neighbor by his own deeds, and not by those of some radicals who happen to have the same religion.

What we see in the clip is some of the words and deeds by SOME of the followers. The images are not new and well known. The only upsetting thing about it, is the vicious suggestion that this is characteristic of ALL muslims.


@Anonymous April 1, 2008 5:39 PM

You say about the european muslims: "Muslims who are not part of the problem, ARE part of the problem through their acquiescence".
This is outrageous. Can you be precise ? In what respect have non-muslims in Europe set up any activities where euromuslims have stayed out ? How can one and the same political party acquiesce for its muslim voters, and not consent for its non-muslim voters ?

Wyatt:

Judge Islam by the words and deeds of its followers. The fact that some of the words and deeds are on film for all to see is what upsets so many Muslims.

Anonymous:

parlaska - you are missing the point of all of this.

Muslims who are not part of the problem, ARE part of the problem through their acquiescence.

It is the muslim denial of what muslims are doing in the name of allah that creates the violence over something as mundane as a cartoon or a documentary using footage of muslim acts and audio of muslim statements.

Do you see Christians or Jews raging in the streets, murdering and burning flags when egregious things are said, or clearly anti Jewish and anti Christian things appear in print or on film?

Of course not. It is because, while there certainly there is violence in the beginnings of all these religions, at some point civilization kicked in.

Not so with islam. That is not the viewpoint of some "islamophobe", hater, or any other ridiculous label attached by the desperate - but rather the view of anyone who is watching world events in an objective manner.

Its hard to hide the violence in Europe, the beheadings, the mutilations, the violent and unforgiving zenophobia, the subjugation of females - the list goes on and on.

It is interesting that the only time islam portrays any from of a religion of peace is after they have crushed any form of alternative social or religious structure.

I would use the kind and gentle acceptance of alternative religions in Saudi or Yemen to illustrate my point.

While muslims occupy the Holy Land and desecrate Christian and Jewish Holy sites - all but muslims are banned from Mecca.

Nice people - those muslims.

Really sort of what Hitler was after. Once all except pure Aryans were cleansed from Teutonic lands - then the glory of the Third Reich could be realized.

But then, civilization kicked in.

Funny how that works.

Elizabeth Renant:

"In it they affirm their support for freedom of expression, balanced by respect for religious feelings. The question left unanswered is how that balance is to be achieved."

Prof Nielsen: the problem here is not how that balance is to be achieved, because the very root of protection for free speech is that even unsophisticated and disrespectful free speech is protected. You slide in the issue of "respect for religious feelings" as if it were relevant to free speech: it's not. If speech is to remain free, that means that people like the cartoonist at Jyllands-Posten are able to print their cartoons without having to get bodyguards to protect themselves. You seem to have forgotten that the same cartoonist who did the cartoon about the Prophet with the bomb-turban was ALSO taken to task for an earlier cartoon in which he showed Palestinians with yellow stars on their arms. Lots of Danish Jews got upset. Did you see them demonstrating in the street calling for the death of the cartoonist? Did you see Jews in Israel or anywhere else shrieking and screaming for blood and burning Danish flags and calling for jihad against Danes and Denmark? No. The fact is, these people do-not-belong in westernized cultures. They can go back or emigrate to countries where no one will ever insult the Prophet or Allah - of course, their sisters may be gang-raped by the village elders, and then threatened with flogging in the public square for telling their story alone in a room to a male journalist, or see a group of young girls roasted alive as they flee from a burning school because the guard wouldn't let them out without their veils on. And we can all remember how wonderful a life Muslim women had in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Please spare me the conversation that tries to shift this discussion to Israel (how wearisomely familiar a tactic is that) while the same folks ignore Darfur, the corruption of the Saudi and Egyptian regimes, the nonsense coming out of Iran on a daily basis, and scream indignantly that it's just the Zionist-controlled western media that's at fault. The only reason that gang-raped woman wasn't given 100 lashes in public was because the west, the same west that clings to its right of free speech, kicked up a fuss. Let's hear "Simon" tell us all that the Saudis never really imposed that sentence, and the "Zionist controlled media" made it up!

If Muslims want to live in the west, free speech is one of the things they will have to swallow - and that means disrespectful, not particularly polite, sometimes insulting free speech. But to say that "free speech" should somehow be "balanced" by "respect for religious feelings" is already to undermine the free nature of that speech. The reason no balance has been reached, is because there IS no balance possible except on as individual entities exercise their own judgment. But if they choose not to, they still have the right to do so. Any other "balance" (read: someone else deciding what's free and what isn't) is unacceptable and undermines the concept itself. This cannot be tolerated. If Europe is not careful, it will lose hundreds of years of progress as it allows the tail to wag the dog, in a craven boot-licking that will cost far more dearly later on.

parlaksa:

If you were me, I guess you would probaby write that "and Allah created the cave" but I would not do that since it would not help to solve anything.

Whether I believe in God or Allah, doesn't matter. I believe in 1 thing that this world does not belong to me and I would pass it to the other generations so I should protect it.

Whatever these fanatic Muslims are or the others doing, they are just destroying the world. As a Muslim originated person I would be agains it. Thats why I don't want anyone think that all Muslims are like those fanatics because it will only create hate and no peace. Please don't help those people that has just hate in their heart.

Anonymous:

Nothing wrong with being born in a cave. The one true God was born in a cave - and his name is not allah.

parlaksari:

Not all the Muslim's are same. Stop stereotyping please.

How could someone defend an Atom Bomb? So you think that it was the best way to stop tyranny. I wish others are not thinking in the same way as you do, otherwise everyone would do the best for themselves.

parlaksari:

To Anonymous

Thats good that you did not born in those caves otherwise probably you would be a fanatic muslim too :)

Anonymous:

To Anonymous

Thats good that you did not born in those caves otherwise probably you would be a fanatic muslim too :)

Anonymous:

For those who keep bringing up the Jews and Palestine: Would you support kicking the muslims out of Palestine? They are the true occupiers. The Jews and the Christians predate the muslims by some time.

If there is to be a right of return - can there be a right of return to all the people dislocated by force by the muslims?

With regards to the US "occupying" Iraq, the US will be there only as long as the foreign forces (terrorist muslims from terrorist muslim states) are determined to force the Iraqis' hands in forming their future.

Ask the French about the American occupation of France after WWll. Ask the Japanese about the America occupation after WWll. The only Americans occupying those countries rest in graves - after giving their lives to destroy tyranny.

Yes, Truman (a democrat) made the decision to use atomic weapons on Japan. It saved the lives of millions of both Japanese and Americans, which would have been lost during the inevitable invasion - and ENDED the war.

Had we gone into Iraq with the same agenda - crushing the opposition and quickly ending the war - there would probably have been less Iraqis killed, compared to the present total after 5 years - and it would have been over very quickly.

I am not suggesting we should have used nukes - far from it - but we should have used overwhelming, brutal, final force.

But, evidently, the powers that be were afraid of inciting muslim wrath. So, instead, we have a president who is hesitant to use our military for what it was designed and ad nauseum, ad infinitum, tells the world what a religion of peace islam is - while seeing the affects of their butchery, and their absolute preference of attacking and killing civilians.

And now the world cowers in front of the staged, perpetual victim hood of a 7th century bunch of savages.

Where do we go from here? Do we allow these fascist, misogynist, brutal cave people to set the table for the civilized world?

As long as the civilized world is led by neutered, spineless, little boys and girls - it would appear so.

I really feel sorry for the people who have allowed their countries to disarm them and instill a sense of dependence upon their weak and insipid leaders. They are going to pay a heavy price for their depending upon the doctrine of timidity.

Their leaders are too frightened to protect themselves - let alone their constituents - or subjects....

Gerard:

@ Non-Religious

By implying that van Gogh's killer is representative of the second generation of North African muslims, you are making the same mistake as Nora: Something is wrong, and the whole group is guilty.

Non-Religious:

To Gerard:

"Picking up, and go from whence they came is easily done for many: many muslim youths were born in Europe, they just need to pack and go back to the neighbourhood where they used to live, before they had their current jobs. The Dutch muslim van-Gogh-killer in Wilder's video was born in the Netherlands. He lived exactly there, where he had come from."

This is funky logic. It is a fact that Muslims are immigrating to the West in great numbers. Why do they want to leave their country, culture, religion and general way of life. It seems to me that their way of life, which is largely dictated by their religion, is disagreeable enough to leave it all behind. To say that the Dutch Muslim van-Gogh-killer in Wilder's video was born in the Netherlands indicates clearly the clash of cultures, even for a second generation Muslim. Not very encouraging.

Gerard:

The list of comments to this article, is a nice confirmation of the author's impression of a dialogue of the deaf. Here is my contribution.

@Nora April 1, 2008 11:43 AM

You say

" If Muslims in Europe find our way of life so appalling and insulting to their core beliefs, they should pack up and move back from whence they came.", and talk about " never ending onslaught of "outrage" from Muslims about perceived slights to their "way of life"."

Error : there is no way you can find evidence that Muslims in general, have trouble with our way of life. You are talking about a small minority, and project the problem which we, and muslims, have with it, onto the whole muslim population.

You will not be able to find evidence that the majority of muslims are eternally complaining about perceived slights to their way of life without reason. The majority simply feels bad about it, and tries to vote the right party in the next elections. Simple as that.

Picking up, and go from whence they came is easily done for many: many muslim youths were born in Europe, they just need to pack and go back to the neighbourhood where they used to live, before they had their current jobs. The Dutch muslim van-Gogh-killer in Wilder's video was born in the Netherlands. He lived exactly there, where he had come from.

Needless to say, there is a number of radicals in most EU countries, and fringe groups, which may become susceptible to their ideas. We know that. They are being handled by police and secret service. You may remember that the extremists who planned an attack on UK's Heathrow airport, were tracked by the police, thanks to signs from within the muslim community itself. People (muslims) just had the impression there was someting going on there, which was not right.

If you listen around at schools and in workplaces, you'll notice that most of those dreaded headscarf-wearing muslima's are doing exactly the same thing as all of us in their daily lives, with of course, for some of them, a difference in fashion and food because they practice religion. Or are you bothered that your canteen offers halal next to your own choice of food? You have no obligation to buy it, and if ever you take it by mistake, you wouldn't even taste the difference.

For the mosques, indeed, you have a problem. Freedom of religion is guaranteed in many EU states. I do not know what kind of requests you are confonted with. But as long as proposals comply with building regulations, you will have to give permission, whenever you get a request for permission to construct a mosque. Actually, you do not specify WHY you have had it with petitions for more mosques.

Local costums ? Is there a local custom here of veil-prohibition? Or is Europe a free part of the world where you wear whatever you like ? Even in countries with a lot of hot-headed radicals, most other people understand, if westerners dress in our usual western way.

Actually, we are ahead in this respect. When you visit a major temple in Thailand you are not allowed to go sleeveless as a woman, even when it is hot. In Europe, we have advanced beyond these things. And it works.
Should we return to forcing a particular style upon others, or do we continue being the example of, what we think, is right ??

MY_PREDICTION:

MY PREDICTION:
In 3008, Muslims will have grown in numbers inside Europe, enough to then demand a separate European Muslim state. The ethically and morally muddled media and intelligentsia will be unable to correctly parse that issue, and will generally go along with the separatist demand- painting it as a unavoidable outcome of a century of religious oppression.

toshiro, united states:

This cultural war is probably only in the 3rd inning, so there's a long way to go. There will be many beanings and bench brawls on the way to the finish line. In the end, we'll all agree to "live and let live", but given how strongly people feel, I don't see us arriving at said end anytime soon. So, let us continue the brawl...

Gaby:

I've tried to post a link to the video. It's being held by the blog owner.

If you want to see it, just google "Fitna", I found that way on several sites.

Elizabeth Renant:

To Simon: the answer you people always have to reports on how Hamas and Hezbollah talk about Jews is to call the reports "false" and blame the media. Since those cartoons the reports referred to, for example, are demonstrably visible on television in the Middle East, you are, as usual, hiding behind bald-faced lies. The charters of Hamas and Hezbollah are easily available on the Internet - I've read them. Anyone else reading them can see the truth of what these two branches of the Muslim Brotherhood are interested in and what they believe. I repeat: when Muslims and the Muslim world stop operating on a double standard (no mention of what Arab Muslims are doing to black Muslims in Darfur, for example, but obsessional repeats on "Palestine") I might stop and listen. Meanwhile, Europe would do well to cease all Muslim immigration before they lose all their cultures and values. These people only know one way to dialogue: murder and blood.

Dutch Treat:

"The West is hell-bent on denigrating Islam by any way necessary to promote their agenda. I find all this film horrendous blasphemy against Islam and a modern crusade.Mind you, this is gonna pass too."

The West has no need to denigrate Islam. Anyone with any blood in their brains and the ability to read can draw the appropriate conclusions concerning the religion of peace and its precious followers.

parlaksari:

First of all, the title is inappropriate "Europe's Muslim "Problem"". Why Muslim's showed as a problem. Lets look this from an another aspect. Who has used the Atom bomb and killed many innocent people? Who could dare to use that kind of bomb? Did Muslim have made this? US invaded Iraq because of a reason that they even couldn't prove. What I see from all those comments that people do not see those kinds of illogical attitudes but instead they attack a religion. You all talk about freedom, but you don't even respect other people's religion, it is ok for you to despise their beliefs and make fun of them. Is this the freedom of speech? There are many cultural differences, not all the people are thinking or behaving the same way. For Muslim’s it is not ok to make fun of their religion or despise their religion. If you respect freedom, please respect their beliefs. I am a Muslim and a woman, and no one had forced me too wear a scarf (I am not wearing it and I am still Muslim) my family always encouraged me for my education and spend most of their earning for that reason. So why should I let you talk about them in this highly mean attitude.

I accept what you see on media about Muslims mostly contains violence in it, but it is not true. Problems start, when people force other people to believe in their religion. This is all true for every religion. Every fanatic religious people does it, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. So please do not insult only Muslim’s. Some Muslim’s misinterpreted their religion and uses fanaticism which I don’t approve. Every man is for themselves. Let the God judge people not the poor creatures like us, so that may be this violence can come to an end.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Usama says
“The Quran has no contradictions; no document in the history of mankind has more internal coherence as the Quran is; there is one and only one Quran: the absolute words of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The bible is mostly authored by men and clerics and hardly resembles the original revelations to Moses and Jesus’”
Two main claims:
1. The alleged internal coherence of the Quran.
2.The Bible does not resemble the Original revelation
Let us discuss the second claim first.
Muslims throw that accusation with out batting an eye even though they have not a single shred of evidence. The Jews and Christians, on the other hand, have many proofs that their scriptures were not tampered with. The scrolls of Qumran(Jordan) and Naja’ Hamadi(Egypt) are the latest scrolls unearthed that show conclusively that not a word was changed. That is beside all those scrolls found in the big Museums of the world such as in London, Rome, Paris and Istanbul. Some claim that the “alterations” happened after Mohammed’s time i.e. after the 7th Century, since their Prophet used to quote from the Bible. But the New and Old Testaments were spread throughout the known world by that time. How could any individual or group introduce changes in all the texts in use? Besides all the stories of the prophets in the Quran are embellished accounts of what is in the Bible. I am not surprised that Muslims do not know much about other religions because the average Muslim does not know much about his religion. Every time you want to carry a dialogue with any of them they will admit their ignorance and refer you to a Muslim cleric.

As to the first claim of no contradictions in the Quran sample the following;

Examples of Internal contradictions:
How many angels were talking to Mary? When the Qur'an speaks about the announciation of the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary, Sura 3:42,45 speaks about (several) angels while it is only one in Sura 19:17-21. Further numerical discrepancies; Does Allah's day equal to 1,000 human years (Sura 22:47, 32:5) or 50,000 human years (Sura 70:4)? --- According to Sura 56:7 there will be THREE distinct groups of people at the Last Judgment, but 90:18-19, 99:6-8, etc. mention only TWO groups. --- There are conflicting views on who takes the souls at death: THE Angel of Death [32:11], THE angels (plural) [47:27] but also "It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death." [39:42] Angels have 2, 3, or 4 pairs of wings [35:1]; but Gabriel had 600 wings. [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 455]

Examples of External Contradictions:
And We have (from of old), adorned the lowest heaven with lamps,
and we have made such (Lamps as) missiles to drive away Satans, ...
-- Sura 67:5
We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars,
(for beauty) and for guard against all obstinate rebellious Satans.
(So) they should not strain their ears in the direction of the Exalted Assembly but be cast away from every side.
-- Sura 37:6-8
See also Suras 15:16-18, 55:33-35 etc. which seem to speak about the same thing.
The stars are closer to Earth than the planets and were created by Allah as missiles to throw at the devils? In order to not let them eavesdrop on the heavenly council? Not exactly a "scientific" world view.

Example of Historical Contradictions:
The Qur'an says that the calf worshipped by the Israelites at mount Horeb was molded by a Samaritan (Sura 20:85-87, 95-97). Yet the term `Samaritan' was not coined until 722 B.C., which is several hundred years after the events recorded in Exodus. Thus, the Samaritan people could not have existed during the life of Moses, and therefore, could not have been responsible for molding the calf.

"According to the Quran (Surah 18:89-98) Alexander the Great was a devout Muslim and lived to a ripe old age. Historical records however show that Alexander the Great died young at 33 years of age (356 - 323 B.C.), and believed he himself was divine, forcing others to recognize him as such. In India on the Hyphasis River (now Beas) Alexander erected twelve altars to twelve Olympian gods.
Once again the Quran shows errors in historical and religious fact.

There are plenty more from where these came and will be glad to cite many more.

mani subramanian:

judaism, christianity and Islam are all full of uncivized entreaties to their followers.
People should study Budhism, jainism and hinduism to know the difference between maturing of religious philosophy with time. Hinduism is thousands of yearsold and permitted a philosophical interpretation and that helps many followers to avoid bigotry. There are eeptions ,but they are a small minority. Perhaps Islam Should learn from Hinduism, at least in allowing open discusiions instead of damning any criticism , with threats of violr=ence

Nora:

I completely concur with John and Non-Religious. If Muslims in Europe find our way of life so appalling and insulting to their core beliefs they should pack up and move back from whence they came. I have absolutely had it with the constant petitions to construct yet more and bigger Mosques, the never ending onslaught of "outrage" from Muslims about perceived slights to their "way of life". Well, if you currently reside in a EU country then THAT'S your way of life. It would never even occur to me to move to another country and expect them to adhere to my native culture and/or religion. When visiting Egypt I didn't wear my hair long and open; I covered it with a hat out of respect for local customs. Show us some of the same courtesy.

Paulc37:

The Washington Post will not let me post the film links on this blog. Thats what I call Islamic.

John:

QQ wrote:
OK Insult the muslims any which way you want, but how about doing a smidgen of justice in Palestine? How about un-occupying Iraq?
-------------------------------------------------
That is a very good point. If we each left the other alone the world would be a more peaceful place.

QQ:

Saw the picture in today's WP about a young girl and her grandfather strafed to death in Iraq by our forces? Oh! Don't worry. They are just muslims. Must be Islamofascists.

QQ:

OK Insult the muslims any which way you want, but how about doing a smidgen of justice in Palestine? How about un-occupying Iraq?

Paul:

Understanding the problem is simple. If a segment of any of the organized religions of the world behaved like Muslim extremists, there would be mass protests on every street in every nation denouncing the extremists. They would all be shouting "Not in our name!"

Where are all those tolerant Muslims? I begin to feel that the posting signed "Mohammed the Prophet" is more true than anyone is willing to admit. Get them goats.

spiderman2:

When Pastor Jeremiah Wright made a misrepresentaion of Christianity, almost all Christians were appalled by his diatribe. Nobody was angry over who uploaded that video on the net.

On the other hand, when some muslims "misrepresented " Islam and somebody (Wilder) uploaded them on the net, what we see are all muslims clamoring for the head of Mr.Wilder. What did Mr. Wider do? He just compiled the video so you muslims would censure those people who are "misrepresenting" you.

All of muslims' reaction mirror those of the barbarians seen in those videos. Instead of making speeches condemning those barbaric act, they are all clamoring for Mr.Wilder to be punished. WHAT COULD BE MORE STUPID THAN THAT?

I think there would come a time when after all the dust of the coming greatest war settles down, the surviving muslims will burn the book which caused all this Grandest Stupidity to occur.

Asim MA, San Antonio:

Four Critical Points to be noted by Muslims and non-Muslims alike:
one: As a Muslim,I Lived and worked in Holland-Amsterdam and Bergen an Zee-and found the Dutch people really nice,liberal, freindly and accomodating. This deranged Wilders deos not at all reflect the truth about the Dutch people and he certainly is doing more harm to Holland than to Muslims.The Dutch government ought to legislate laws not gag the press or the freedoms of experssion but hate crimes, racism, disturbance of the civil peace and insulting any faith,Islam, Christianity etc.

two:Mulsim should not fall into the trap of reacting violently at all:that is exactly what this "film" is after,to incite Violnece and then turn around and blame on Muslims and say:"I told u the Quran teaches violnce."

three:Muslims should follow in the steps of the Holy Prophet;what would he had done if confornted with this situtation?? I am sure he would at least do two things:
(1)Quote the Quran:Al Qasas, 28: 55, “The righteous say:” And when they hear VAIN TALK, they turn away there from and say: “To us our deeds, and to you yours; Peace be to you: We seek not the ignorant.”
(2)He would remind the Muslim Faithful of the story of the Jewish boy who was his neighbour which I will sum up,first by stating a verse from the Quran about turning the other cheek:

Fussilat, 41:42, : “Nor can goodness and evil be equal. Repel evil with what is better: then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!” The following story illustrates the exemplary character of the Prophet as it sheds light on the meaning of the above verse:
"The Prophet used to have a Jewish neighbour boy who would habitually throw dirt and garbage at him-at the Prophet-every time he passed by the neighbourhood; the Prophet’s response was always to turn the other cheek and pray for the guidance of the boy; one day the Prophet passed by without the usual bombardment of garbage from the Jewish boy, so he wondered what had happened to him-when he found out that the boy had fallen ill. The Prophet immediately went and visited the mischievous boy at his home to enquire about his health and wish him well-to the astonishment of the shocked boy who hid his head under the bed covers so as not to look him in the eye because he was so embarrassed by his behaviour and regretted it; the Prophet invited the sick boy at his death bed to accept Islam for his own salvation, when the boy glanced at his father who was at his bedside to get a green light from him and where the father nodded affirmatively and told the boy to go along with the Prophet and repeat after him the confession of faith:” There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”
Let us emulate the example of the Prophet/pbuh.

four,which is the most important of my points is: As Muslims we should look at this blunder as an opportunity to show the true face of Islam by holding Media events on TV, the Press and the internet as well as writing to the Dutch governemnt and Pariliment and by holding peaecful-I mean really peaceful-and Silent demonstrations in Amesterdam and other European cities to protest such blunders.

The Dutch and Danish governmnets can not keep hiding behind "freedom of expression," instead they should legisltae to put an end to such hate crimes and incitemnet and abuse-they can do it.

John:

Dear European Muslims,

If you are offended by western ways and western laws, and wish to live by Sharia perhaps you should think about moving back to the Middle East where this is the accepted way of life. Why is this such a difficult concept? When we are in your countries we are expected to show respect and assimilate to your way of life, which is completely understandable. Just remember, that works both ways.

Gasmonkey:

Baloney. This issue is not failure to listen to each other, but intolerance by Muslims. They expect nonbelievers to act as believers, to revere as believers, to hold sacred that which they hold sacred, and to act in a manner that in no way offends their beliefs. That is simply BS. Religious "freedom" includes freedom not to be religious, and as such a nonbeliever has no duty of treat as sacred someone else's beliefs. For years Roman Catholics labeled films and books as basically "off limits" because they were in conflict with, or mocked, fundamental Catholic beliefs. Fine; don't go to them. I don't recall the Church ever advocating that they bomb movie theaters or kill film directors though. Many Muslims are completely different. They believe that violent responses should be invoked to force the infidel to repent for his actions, and while the argument may be made that these violent few taint the nonviolent many, it is also true that the nonviolent many Muslims stand by in silence and let these violent few become the spokesmen for them. Why? Because though they would not do the dirty deed themselves, they believe it is good nonethless.

John:

Usman II wrote:

It is ironic that one can see Jihadi videos on web but not so called 'anti Islam' film. It tells us something about fear Islamists have created in western world.
-------------------------------------------------
Well said my friend. Islam is in need of a reformation, they have been in the 7th century for far too long. The double standard they demand is laughable at best.

Simon:

I like to reply to the lady talking how Muslims talk about JEWS. Have you seen how JEWS in the occupied land of PALESTINE talk about Muslims and even Christians???
When you get your facts together, then you can post your comments. Your views are shaped by the false media that works for Israli cause and nothing else

Non-Religious:

"BH:

I totally agree that belief in any and all religions needs to be put to the test of logic and see whether it stands."

It has already been done many times over and the result is always the same: fairy tales.

"But the debate needs to be serious and focused, cartoons and callous, wholesale assignment of blame to a religion and people is hardly objective or intelligent and serves no purpose whatsoever."

Once the violence stops so will the cartoons.

Elizabeth Renant:

With all due respect, Professor, Muslims are NOT talking "respect for the sacred". They are talking bending over backwards to kow tow to THEIR sacred. I have also noticed that the Muslim world is less than respectful toward the sacredness of OTHERS. Just take a look at today's article in the New York TIMES about the way Hamas and Hezbollah talk about Jews - not Israelis, Professor: JEWS. They demand total respect for themselves but tolerate the spreading of extreme hatred toward others. When the Muslim world shows itself to be a bit less hypocritical toward the sensibilities of others, and recognizes that when Muslims move to western countries, they have to adjust to their new lands, not the other way around, I'll listen to their point of view. In the meantime, from where I sit, Muslim outrage looks extremely selective. We don't kill people over cartoons in the west. I have little respect for a sense of the "sacred" that thinks murder over cartoons in a country where free speech is a mantra, is perfectly all right.

Usman II:


One of the arguments some Muslims are making is ‘so and so Christian leader 100s of years ago was vey intolerant. And when West ruled Muslim world, they exploited them’. It is all true and nobody is denying these facts. Howe ever what it has to do with 2008?

India and China were similarly exploited and look what they are doing now?

Another thing: ad nauseum reference to Quran . What about your own thoughts about freedom, humanity and rights of other to chose or change religions? Do you think a Muslim who embraces Buddhism should be killed as Quran dictates?

Muddy Buddy:

Its of course igorant for any one in the West to believe that all who follow Islamic are violent or hate the West, the non-islamic West at least. However, it also approaches an act of war to suggest that any Western Citizen should be killed for defaming Islam. In the West, it is assumed that any true Religion, or belief system can defend itself in the open market of Ideas, and any belief that fails in that open market is a false belief almost by definition. The Attacks on Islam may often be unfair, but so are many attacks on Judism, and the West in Middle Eastern Papers which are often tightly controled by the governments there, unlike the media in the West.
The UN's Human Right Con. rescent attack on Free Expression, the most basic of Human Rights, is a very serious stain on all of Hummanity's Honor which must be cleansed, but not with Blood of course since Blood has never removed a single stain on anyone's honor. Blood just makes the stain deeper and darker!

BH:


I totally agree that belief in any and all religions needs to be put to the test of logic and see whether it stands.

But the debate needs to be serious and focused, cartoons and callous, wholesale assignment of blame to a religion and people is hardly objective or intelligent and serves no purpose whatsoever.

Vigge Boll:

M Burke//

The patriotc act and the europen anti-terroristlaws and different western secret services are a far greater enemy to the freedom of speech and the freedom of press then all the muslims in the world. Also, they are a great threat to the fair justicesystems we have.

Martinfiero//

So whinin about muslims are whiners are cool, but not the originall whining?

Most of the whining here are done by non-muslims...


I do find it facinating that americans are so afraid of things they don't acctually need to be anywhere near.
The muslims, the russians etc.
But thats the way people in general works i guess.

Michael D. Houst:

"One side is talking the language of freedoms and rights. The other side is talking the language of respect for the sacred."

The author misses the point in his discourse. 95% of Islam has NO respect for the sacred beyond their own. And they gleefully and angerily trample the freedoms and rights of holders of other religious beleifs.

Poster Asim MA from San Antonio is also incorrect. Extraordinary reverance of a founder of a religion IS worship of that person. The rules and requirements associated with the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, ARE a form of worship.

The basic fact of the matter is the OIC is demanding special treatment. To treat Islam differently than any other religion is wrong. NO religion has the Ultimate Truth. NO religion has the Only Way. NO religion has the lock on The Path to Enlightenment.

Any religious group that demands special treatment and is willing to resort to force to gain their demands should be allowed to be informed of the error of their ways; and failing that, should be forcibly, and decisively, eradicated. Otherwise, they fester like an infection, and spread like a cancer, poisoning and killing the body Human.

Muddy Buddy:

Note Spain, and a host of Christian Countries in the Middle East, and Eastern Europe were "Enslaved" by Islamic Countries, and all but those of Eastern Europe were attacked first!!

M. Burke:

The argument that we respect someone’s religious beliefs is rubbish. Belief in the supernatural should be challenged and shown for what it really is which is superstitious nonsense. The more religion is left unchallenged the more our societies remain trapped in irrationality and primitivism which has no place in the modern world. It is time to challenge myths of floatations to heaven whether Muslim of Christian.

Usman II:

Non-Religious:

It is ironic that one can see Jihadi videos on web but not so called 'anti Islam' film. It tells us something about fear Islamists have created in western world.

Asim MA, San Antonio:

Mr.Nielsen,
It is not about the alleged :"freedom of expression," rather it is about haterd and not accepting a different culture or faith which is against freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

Generally, the Europeans know Islam and ISlamic culture not because of geographic and historic proximity but because they colonized and exploited and enslaved the Muslim world for centuries:ALegeria, Egypt,the Levant and more relevantly Indonesia which was invaded,occupied and expolited by the Dutch esepcially. Europeans know how sacered Islam and the Prophet to Muslims:that is exactly why they haild their insults at it under a false excuse of freedom of expression.

If there is such a freedom of expression why Roge Gaoudi,the French Philpsopher was imprisoned for contesting the details of the holcaust??? Is an event such as the holocaust the recent genocidie of Bosnian Muslims more sacered that the Holy Prophet of Islam??

A French civil servant was fired for crticisiung the attorocities of the racist jewish entity in Palestine-where is the European freedom of expression-it is all hypocarcy.

How should the Muslims react to this rabbies infected dog by the name of Wilders who gets his ideas from israel which he visted over forty times-they should ignore him all together because he is unworthy of any attention.All he is after is cheap publicity and he should not be allowed to get any.

The Quran says about how Muslims should deal with the ignorant:
Al Qasas, 28: 55, “The righteous say:” And when they hear VAIN TALK, they turn away there from and say: “To us our deeds, and to you yours; Peace be to you: We seek not the ignorant.” This means that a true Muslim is averse to getting involved in pitiful argument, debate or confrontation with the ignorant. The great fourth Caliph Ali once said: “I always won a debate with the learned but always lost such a debate with the ignorant.” The ignorant and those who went astray from the true faith should be avoided by the Muslim faithful yet left to dwell in peace.

Vigge Boll:

S.Senator 31/3

I could show you 1000nds of places in stockholm alone that doesn't smell like kebab...

And the numbers of immigrants in Europe are similar to those in n.america, bout 10 percent of the population. In southern Europe like spain far more.

Simon:

Before you complain about other, look at the history of Europe and the Church, and how violent there were, and they are still violent. Look at the colonisation, and what Europe did in that Era, they killed innocent people, robbed countries and destryed cultures. For the church, I do not want to start picking on it, not only the church and christianity has violent history, but look at the crimes and child molestation.
It amzed me to see people pointing fingers at other and not looking at themselves. I am sure this idiot Wilder is HOMO and was molested in his church by his priest

maneno:

There's the Talmud, the Quran, and the Bible. Each of them claims to reflect GOD's Word. Which God anyway? Allah, Yehowa, GOD ? Each one claims, that there is one GOD only, and it's the one decribed in THAT book. If there is really only one GOD by different names, and he is no liar, then he must have told the same stories to Abraham and Moses, as well as to Jesus or Mohammed. And since HE is supposed to be the only creator, one must assume that HE was not out for fight or violence amongst HIS creatures. So from this we can deduce, that all the preachings of hatred and violence, no matter against whom, derives from the intentions of the so called Prophets. They must have tried to usurp their God and use him against a people they personally considered as enemies for whatever reason. Taking into account human nature, then it was most probably greed and lust for power. Not much has changed from ancient times of the origin to modern times of enlightenment. The human mind of sheepleness and desire for protection is still prone to endless manipulation by the modern times prophets disguised as 'elected' leaders and 'polititians'.
And of these - one who thinks he needs to fight (of course not himself but his underlings) has first to make himself an enemy, a patsy, a scapegoat, to detract from his own evil. People who have never seen each other before and are supposed to shoot each other, have actually no reason to do that. If it were not just for the order from 'above', they would rather have tea and a good chat.
I'm sure it wasn't GOD's intention to have so stupid creatures.

Martinfiero:

Only Islam has the right to insult all other religions but when its the other way around, people die, cars blow up, general chaos happens. Muslims are whiners and hypocrites, need to mind their own business and leave everyione else worship and do as they please.

M. Burke:

The politically correct West again is bowing in fear to the will of Muslims. The first casualty is freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The Muslims do not like what is being shown about their extremists in this film but they had no problem with Iran convening a conference of holocaust deniers. Whether we like it or not, the West is under assault in Europe. The assault is on our basic human rights and decency. It is time that the West showed some back-bone to defend its freedoms and tell the Muslims who hold up signs saying “To Hell with Freedom” to go back to where they came from.

BH:


This is to CKO. Please check your facts before you set out to malign a religion about which you seem to know very little but seem to have very strong views.

There is nothing in the Quran that calls for the murder of a person renouncing Islam, a "Murtad".

Here is what the Quran says about renouncing the religion of Islam:

Those who believe then disbelieve (kafaru), again believe and again disbelieve, then increase in disbelief, Allah will never forgive them or guide them in the (right) way. (Quran 4:137)

And say: The Truth is from your Lord; so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve. (Quran 18:29)

The proponents of the death penalty for a Murtad in Islam base it on a Hadith (Saying of the Prophet) which is disputed on its authenticity and not accepted by a large segment of the Muslim jurists.

Last point, Mahmood Ahmedinejad or the King of Saudi Arabia hardly qualify as role models for Muslims much as George W. would for Christians.

As for second class citizenship, persecution and special taxes, which century are you living in buddy?

David:

The author of this article correctly characterizes this conflict as an argument of the deaf. He then goes on to recommend...further dialogue. Albert Einstein once said that a true sign of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Yes, there is a clash of civilizations. Islam and the West have irreconciliably opposed values. Wilders film deals with Muslims living in the West. He believes it unlikely that they will ever subscribe to Western values as the Quran champions values that oppose ours. He provides ample evidence of this. His message: a) understand the threat, and, b) keep Muslims out of the West. Seems undeniable, doesn't it?

cko:

"Muslims respect all religeons and expect that Islam must be respected equally."

Unless, of course, a Moslem decides to convert to Christianity. Then he must be killed.

Please, this posturing by a religion that preaches the murder of people who choose to change faiths is preposterous. Tell me about that great freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia and Iran. "Respect" for religion does not mean second-class status, suppression of expression, persecution, execution of converts and burdensome taxation.

Non-Religious:

Usman II:
"To readers who are saying this film is ' horrendous blasphemy against Islam":
Have you seen this film? If so where? Can you post a link to it?"

I have seen the film on LiveLeak. Unfortunately, it had to be taken down after threats of violent retribution. I'm sure I don't have to mention who made the threats.

Asim MA, San Antonio:

Jennifer in U.S.A.,
U say,:"There are contradictions in Islam just as there are in other religions. The Koran was authored by humans just as the Bible was."

The Quran has no contradictions;no documnet in the history of mankind has more internal coherence as the Quran is;there is one and only one Quran:the absolute words of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The bible is mostly authored by men and clerics and hardly resumbles the original revelations to Moses and Jesus.

The Quran is eternal and can not be reformed;but Muslims have the freedom thru the vehicle of Ijtihad to reinterpret it accoriding to new circumstances and times as each group of Muslim jurists-Doctors of the law and those are not clergy as there is no clrrical hirearchy in Islam-brillinatly reinterpreted the Quran in the light of ever changing times. That Quranic and Islamic flexibility is refelected in the diversity of Islamic schools of law-Madahib-who are all within the bounds of Islamic orthodoxy.

It is misleading to impose the legecy of the Catholic Church abuses and repression in the medieval times which produced the modern secular democracies-misleading to impose that leagecy on Islam for a very simple reason:Islam has no church at all.

Roman Catholic:

Jennifer only proves my point. Muslims believe the Quran is the word of god handed to the Prophet Mohammed. It is not subject to change, but can be interpreted differently. The radical interpretation by the terrorists is what the war on terror fights against. When the Indian and Philipino workers in Arabia, Kuwait and Dubai are treated equally as the Umma, then complain to me about the Muslims of Europe. The pot is calling the kettle black and people should clean up their house before criticizing someone elses.

Ed:

Roman Catholic has one thing perfectly clear. The failure of the west is the failure to reproduce. That spells doom. That's Darwin, not Mohammed or Jesus or John Stuart Mill.

Ahmad Zubairi:

Very nice article and after reading majority of comments it seems like either people did not read the article or the article was on target when it spoke of "dialogue of deaf". Good job professor.

Roman Catholic:

To all the fools writing about how the west oppresses the brown muslim people, lay off the hooker and face reality. If the west was out to destroy Islam it could simply cut off the food exports to Islam. The west can function without Islam's oil, can Islam function without food (over 10% of Islams food is imported from the west). Anyone that has listened to Al Jazeera or read Muslim papers know how Islam denigrates other religions. We don't kill Umma because of this, like Islam does for the smallest slight. If America treated Islam like Islam treats other faiths, I would agree we are out to destroy Islam. Do we stop the Saudi's from their faith like they do us? Do we not allow Turks to own Mosques? Do we kill the millions of Farrakan's converts? Do we make muslims pay an extra tax?

Jennifer in U.S.A.:

Is it time for a peaceful Islamic reformation?

There are contradictions in Islam just as there are in other religions. The Koran was authored by humans just as the Bible was.
Perhaps it's time for some revisions?
It's time for religous (and secular) people the world over to take stock of their heritage: cherish what is positive and uplifting and weed out the violent and opressive.

A little humour would help. Stereotypes do not.

Usman II:

To readers who are saying this film is ' horrendous blasphemy against Islam":

Have you seen this film? If so where? Can you post a link to it?

I suggest you see the film yourself and decide its merits/demerits. Otherwise you are nothing but a sheep.

Non-Religious:

First, the Wilders film was made to warn Danes and Europe in general about the lack of human rights and freedoms that Quran promotes. Second, nothing in the film is made up, every scene is real.

So, to address the first point, why are so many Muslims moving to non-Muslim countries? Wouldn't they be happier if they stayed in their own Muslim countries? If they did not emigrate, secular Europe wouldn't feel threatened by religious extremism and none of this would take place. Second, every scene depicted is the truth, nothing is made up, why are Muslims so afraid and insecure about the truth?

Why is it that so many Muslims have left their own Muslims countries to go live in secular countries? Isn't that a form of repudiation of their religion? Is it because secular countries offer a better life?

Maybe immigration should be re-considered. Immigration between peoples of similar cultures works fine, such as across Europe and North America, but it may not work with others since cultural and religious differences are so great and lead to violence.

But what is truly perplexing is the fact that a movie about a violent Islam leads to violent reactions in Islamic countries.

Paulc37:

Does anyone read the news. Muslims are killing people in every nation in the world right now. Stupidity and ignorance reigns.

Islam is a terrorist organization masquerading as a religion.

There is no word as Moderate Muslim and that come from Erdogan the Prime Minister of the Islamic State of Turkey.

Wake up you fools that think Islam is a religion or your families heads will be handed to you or they will just roll down the street.

Three months ago peasants in Kenya were breaking bread together in their homes and a day later the Muslim neighbor turned into a barbarian slaughtering his next door Christian neighbor because Rail Odinga (Barak Obama's, yes that one) half brother called for a slaughter of the Christians by his Muslim followers.

If you belong to the Mafia you are tarred with all its exploits. So it is with Muslims and Islam. Barbarians even if by the tactic of Silence ie 9/11's response.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:


Yasser Ezzi
You say:
“Mohammad is the prophet of peace, mercy and enlightenment. If you read the history of Islam and Mohammad, you, westerners, will know how Mohammad built a fair Islamic state that spread in most earth during a few years.”


" Qur'an:9:5 "Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war."
Qur'an:9:88 "The Messenger and those who believe with him, strive hard and fight with
their wealth and lives in Allah's Cause
Qur'an:9:112 "The Believers fight in Allah's Cause, they slay and are slain, kill and are killed."
Qur'an:9:29 "Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission."
Ishaq:325 "Muslims, fight in Allah's Cause. Stand firm and you will prosper. Help the Prophet, obey him, give him your allegiance, and your religion will be victorious

You call that peaceful? Fair Islamic state? You are joking! What is fair about the way the Muslims treated the non-Muslims amongst them? What is fair about Jizia (Poll tax) and the many other codified practices intended to humiliate the non-Muslims? You must really think that the readers here are idiots.

Roman Catholic:

Islam is the fastest growing religion, not because of conversion, but because of reproduction. The people destroying Islam the most are the terrorists. Moderate Islam has not taken their power from them and while the Quran tells you not to hurt your fellow believer, they kill all Umma that don't believe the evil viewpoint. The fastest growing religion in America by conversion in the 70's was Islam. Now the opposite is true and too many in my country believe all of Islam is evil because of the terrorists. The reason many in Islam don't recognize the holocaust is it can be seen as the Quran's second punishing of Jewish sins by Allah. You can't call for the destruction of Israel if the Jews were punished twice. The quicker the west understands Islam, the faster we and moderate Islam can give them back their religion from the terrorists. Jihad is against those that want to destroy Islam (Serbian cleansing), not against non-believers. A question for the jihadists, If Allah did not let the Great Prophet be caliph over a whole world converted by war, why would he find any amongst you to be worthy?

Peter van Leeuwen:

Holland is best ignored for now, until it has gone through the process of resolving its culture clashes. Wilders, a prophet of fear and war, currently resonates with some 10% of the population, who sees their environment changing fast and fear the unknown. Because his statements tend to become ever more outrageous and, at last, moderate Moslems in Holland may start to find their voice, Wilders’ support will dwindle and we will only need to focus on some cultural problems between immigrant Moslems and Dutch. Then we will end up with a liberal variant of Dutch Islam, just like we have a liberal variant of Dutch Catholicism.

Ceferin:

I watched ’Fitna’ the same day as it was on the net. I was expecting something near ’nazi’ propaganda. But to my astonishment it just shows videoclips, that different muslim organisations have put on TV or the net. The so called breaking news is that Wilders has put these videos together with extracts from the Quran. And then you realize how dangerous fanatic muslims can be. What wonders me, is why on Earth moderate muslims don’t stand up against their fundamentalistic faith brothers. Are they all so dull? Or is it that in their heart they agree with their violent siblings? Another thing that wonders me, is when a man as Jørgen S. Nielsen, from Copenhagen, says that muslims demand to be taken seriously. Seriously about what? About the right to kill? He also mentions that many fear the globalization. Is that really true? They live in the West but have their TV antennas directed to the East. He further on continues writing that in European countries the public discourse does not leave much space or comprehension for peoples religious feelings. I believe he hasn’t followed the Spanish political situation, or for that sake the Italian, where the Catholic church is a heavy player in politics. Another thing that ’amuses’ me is the stereotype about the West as an old imperial power. I can to some extend agree upon this, but only upon some. The West colonized many countries, among them some muslim countries, but they were before under the Ottoman’s for many centuries and before that under other eastern imperialist. For please remember it is not only the West who was imperialist, also the East. I agree that we need to look with fresh eyes upon islam, but islam also has to do the same with other religions. For the time being what really sucks me is the victimization that European muslims show.

Roman Catholic:

The Vatican has said religious fundamentalism is bad for the world. How true, whether it is Bush or Bin Laden. Strict sharia produces the wonderful life of the Taliban Afghan, the dropping standard of living in Iran (Sunni and Shia hurt themselves) and telling people what they can think, as if Allah did not give man free will to choose right or wrong. Muslims living in secular societies like Turkey and India have a higher standard of living because women are educated and take part in their economies. Modern Islam can live peacefully and productively with western society, while extremists blame the west for their own failure to provide for their people. The secular Shia in Pakistan are educated better and live better than the Sunni fundamentalists in the west. When will Islam accept the knowledge to be shared for the benefit of mankind? Answer: When fundamentalism is ended as a belief system.

Ali:

While reviewing the comments, I was surprised that none of my fellow Muslims questioned the authenticity of claims that Muhammad married a six year old or his sayings preaching violence. There are Muslim scholars (unfortunately maligned by a majority amongst us) who argue that the Quran should be the guiding source and sayings which are contrary to its spirit should be rejected. That is mainly because the sayings attributed to Muhammad were compiled at least 3 generations after his death. Marriage to a six year old would be very much against Muhammad's character if you take it in the context of his life and achievements. It is tragic that Islam, as it stands now, is a garbled mess whose adherents are unable to take a reasoned approach. Its worse that people like Wilders are allowed to exploit the situation instead of advocating reformation in the Islamic world.

Willy:

Gays in Iran are being executed, is that better than highlighting it in a movie? I don't think so.
Wilders big mistake is not highlighting the terribe things of extremists it is his vision that moderate muslims don't exist so that there is NO difference between moderate muslims and extremists. THAT is what this is all about, he wants to create fear towards ALL muslims!!!

Washington Military Man:

If every newspaper in every city and town in this, and every other Western nation were to publish those Muhammad "cartoons" at the same moment, along side "cartoons" of Jesus and of Buddha, wouldn't the score be even? Let's do it. They can't come after all of us. They need to see that the world is not going to be their religious proving ground. They don't have a monopoly on piety, why do we let them act like it?

Will:

I believe any government should be secular. Your religion should be the relation between you and your interpretation of god. I dont mind what you eat, wear, believe as long as it is in compliance with the law of your country and doesnt affect me (maybe that is an egoistic cosmopolitan way of thinking). If you can't deal with the laws of your country then please go to the country that embraces your ideas. Freedom of speech is important but you shouldn't be allowed to discriminate, so Wilders is disproportionate.
Another point to make is that Iran doesnt decide what kind of drawings or movies we make, we have our own culture,humor and propaganda and so does Iran. Gays in Iran are being executed, is that better than highlighting it in a movie? I don't think so.
Wilders big mistake is not highlighting the terribe things of extremists it is that he sees no distinguision between moderate muslims and extremists. THAT is what this is all about, he wants to create fear towards ALL muslims.

Roman Catholic:

It would be nice at some point to see Islam practice what is in their Quran. They don't by any stretch of the imagination. While it says not to make friends with non-believers for they will corrupt you with their practices, it also says to help them to make your life better. Desecration of churches and temples is sinful and done all the time. The duty to help your fellow believers is not done and the sins done to gain personal or tribal power has gone on since the Great Prophets death. When the US takes a just revenge against those that killed innocents in our family, we are criticized for killing the women and children in the terrorists family. Has Islam offered sactuary to their women and children away from the war in western Pakistan? Has anyone read about the fake muhhadin? Our pope has recently converted a believer. If the terrorists do manage to kill him, expect all Islam in Europe to receive what Islams extremists have done for centuries, kill non-believers. Take back your religion from these terrorists before Christianity stops turning the other cheek. Islam will lose an all out war with the west and will be destroyed if your can't peacefully live with other faiths.

TruthSeeker:

Ding-ding-ding, we have a winner. Please scroll down and read the post by Nev from 4/1 at 5:28am.

vaconservative:

I would think that a responsible journalist would say something like: Wow, this film may anger Muslims - but nothing he has said in it is not true.

Rather than ignoring the terror and violence ridden aspect of islam and jumping on the dhimmi bus

But then, the author of this hatchet job is not being responsible or truthful - is he?

Jim:

About Wilders movie fitna. He meant to show a Dutch terrorist he didnt, he portayed a rapper. He will be sued for that, he also used the Danish picture without asking or paying. He will be sued for that too. Lastly he refers to the Quran rejecting gays. Did anyone know the Quran comes from the Bible and that the Bible does the same? In the Netherlands the majority doesnt even know the bible so he can influence the unkown easier. Also he refers to the fact that there is according to the Quran only one good people and those are the muslims. The Bible makes that distinction too. So what intellectual message is he giving? He shows only extremists from the Middle East, with the terrible things they do.
That is shocking but not new so it is just 100% propaganda. Muslims can also make a movie of Iraqs thousands of children that have died because of US troops, and the miserable circumstances of Palestine and blame all jews, is that getting us anywhere? Osama bin Laden killed less inocent Americans then Bush has killed inocent Iraqies is a fact, Hamas and Hezbollah have killed less Israelies than Israel has killed Palestines, another fact is that Iraq's citizens have never chosen Bin Laden nor Sadam Hussein (in fact Bin Laden is not even Iraqi and had no links to the Baath party, while Americans have chosen George Bush twice in a row. You see Muslims have the same right to hate the West as we have to hate them, BUT THAT ISN'T IN ANYONES INTEREST!!!
Polarization will do all of us more harm than good

Ceferin:

I watched ’Fitna’ the same day as it was on the net. I was expecting something near ’nazi’ propaganda. But to my astonishment it just shows videoclips, that different muslim organisations have put on TV or the net. The so called breaking news is that Wilders has put these videos together with extracts from the Quran. And then you realize how dangerous fanatic muslims can be. What wonders me, is why on Earth moderate muslims don’t stand up against their fundamentalistic faith brothers. Are they all so dull? Or is it that in their heart they agree with their violent siblings? Another thing that wonders me, is when a man as Jørgen S. Nielsen, from Copenhagen, says that muslims demand to be taken seriously. Seriously about what? About the right to kill? He also mentions that many fear the globalisation. Is that really true? They live in the West but have their TV antennas directed to the East. He further on continues writing that in European countries the public discourse does not leave much space or comprehension for peoples religious feelings. I believe he hasn’t followed the Spanish political situation, or for that sake the Italian, where the Catholic church is a heavy player in politics. Another thing that ’amuses’ me is the stereotype about the West as an old imperial power. I can to some extend agree upon this, but only upon some. The West colonized many countries, among them some muslim countries, but they were before under the Ottoman’s for many centuries and before that under other eastern imperialist domain. For please remember it is not only the West who was imperialist, also the East. I agree that we need to look with fresh eyes upon islam, but islam also has to do the same with other religions. For the time being what really sucks me is the victimization that European muslims show.

Iftikhar Jogezai:

Muslims respect all religeons and expect that Islam must be respected equally.We claim that our religeon Islam is true because it is the most fastly growing religeon today, even Vitican is worried about the groth of Islam as being reported in the press.
The Jews and christians are jelous because they themselves neither practice their religeon nor do they have any knowledge about their own faith.
Now, that if you don't practice your own religeon you cannot see and tolerate Muslims practice their religeon. We have churches all over Pakistan where you will hardly find few christians on sundays or on x'mas or easter. Now no one can force them to go to the church and on the other hand we go 5 times to the Masjid ( our worship place )with our free will where there is no force involved accept the ORDER OF THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH in which the muslim believe and have faith in. Now it hardly matter to us as to which or whoes country or city it is.

Muslims are a threat to capitalism:

Muslims believe you should not charge interest, and it's one of the underpinnings of capitalism. How far do capitalists want that trend to go? As well, Muslims believe that God is the highest authority. In the US however, consumerism is seen as our highest authority. We do spend more time and money in shopping malls than churches. We spend more 'buying' for ourselves and less helping others.

Our architecture in the US also reflects these beliefs. For example, our tallest buildings used to be community built churches, but now it's the ultra-high rises constructed by big business that tower well over church buildings.

But Muslims are adaptable. They now out-number Catholics in the US, and they do take out mortgages on private homes, but not mosques. Their mosques serve as a community center as compared to churches that are only used one day a week. And, they don't mind driving around in flashy cars, and going mall shopping.


Sam Amsterdam:

Hey guys, I live in Amsterdam and for Americans that don't know (the capital of the Netherlands)and can tell you that the public opinion about muslims is so negative that discrimination is almost justified. Wilders says muslims are stupid, idiots, all of them should be deported, prohibit the construction of mosques and that the Quran should be prohibited, some of his speeches have been used by a muslim just to see whether he could get away with it, he changed the words muslims into jews (dangerous thing to do) so the police arrested him and he might get punished. Europeans believe (especially the Dutch) that we are the most tolerant and broad-minded ones on earth, that Americans are narrow-minded just look at Bush, but I start to think that all that is a desillusion. Apart from the dramatic world views of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld look at the opportunities women and minorities have in US politics! Hillary & Obama are serious president candidates, we have never had that. If Democrats win, I'm gonna seriously consider NY to live.

Nev:

If humanity could overcome its silly religious beliefs we would not be in this situation. ALL religions are equally to blame for intollerance and if we could remove silly ignorant beliefs from our lives we would move ahead as a species and not be in a constant state of tribal warfare. I am sick of the status all religions have, and that it is regarded as something no one can question. There has been more slaughter in the name of religions than anything else in our history. God's are not real. Just like the tooth fairy. It's time to leave the stone age behind and look after one another better, we all look the same on the inside. And on the exterior we may have different colours but we are family!
How about moving foward this century and embrace cultural diversity and leave the tooth fairy's in the past!

BH:


Couple of important points here:

The tendency of an outrageous number of bloggers to brand 1.5 billion muslims (based on the 9/11 attacks and a bunch of crazy Mullahs) as stupid, backward, terroristic and some sort of a menace to the whole of humanity is shocking. Contrary to the understanding of these experts on Islam and Muslim Culture (which they refuse to accept as Culture), an overwhelming majority of the Muslims are in fact peace loving people with families and children who actually do have respect for the life and dignity of people of different faiths. I can say this with slightly more authority than these experts as I live in that "most dangerous" country on earth, Pakistan, and actually do enjoy my life here. What might also be of interest to the Mulsim bashers is the fact that in the recently held elections in Pakistan, it is two left leaning secular parties (Bhutto's PPP) and ANP that have actually swept the polls and annihilated the Mullahs in the NWFP, the province where the tribes are located and which are the hotbed right now of the War on terror and Taliban and Nato activity. So here's some news for the bashers which they do not want to hear, an over-whelming majority of the Muslims do not subscribe to the myopic views that are often associated with Islam and Muslims in the West.

What is equally disturbing is the ignorance of the Western mindset (by and large) towards the havoc caused by the US foreign policies in a large part of the world with Muslims being at the receiving end in most of the cases. And if someone says that it is what? whining, I'd say that it is a disgustingly ignorant thing to say. Ever heard of Palestine eh?

As far as killing innocent people of any faith goes, many around the world feel that the Cowboy from Texas wins this hands down from OBL.

Now, coming to Fitna, I saw it the day it was uploaded and here are my comments as a moderate Muslim, the kind some of the Westerners really like, hell the the only kind that some of them like. Geert Wilders obviously has a serious problem with Islam and he is not afraid to express it. However, the film is factually incorrect and dangerously provocative for two kinds of audiences, one the happy-go-lucky Muslim bashers, who, considering Geert Wilders to be some sort of an expert on the Quran and Islamic ideology, will turn around and bash Islam with greater fervor, two, the ignorant Muslims and I must admit that we have no shortage of these, who would beat their chests and shout slogans and probably burn a couple of hundred vehicles in different Muslim cities around the world. And my problem is exactly this with this film, these are exactly the two audiences that Wilders wants to address through this film. He does not want to have an intelligent discourse on lets say the concept of Jihad or on Islam's views about world polity or the rights of non-Muslims. He would have found many willing people who would be ready to have a debate on any of these topics. The fact that the words of any scripture (including Quran) if taken out of context and reported as independent directives or universal orders to its followers can practically be used to justify anything by anyone does not deter him. He has made this film to fan hatred, for Islam in the West, and consequently, for West in the Muslim world and that is exactly what might happen. The film cannot serve any other purpose. It is not meant for anything else.

Last point, it is astonishing to see the inability of the "civilized| European community (by and large) to understand a different culture and agree to the basic tenet of respecting other peoples' beliefs. And let me also point out that having sacred religious beliefs is not exclusive to Islam. The fact that religion is practically dead in Europe does not give the Europeans the license to heap all sorts of scorn on other religions, it is absolute nonsense. It is a difference in culture between the West and the East. The fact is that the Prophet of Islam does have a special place in the hearts and minds of Muslims and is a person worthy of respect for them. Now, you have a problem with any of his sayings, his life, his six year old wife or the Quran and want to have a debate over it, great, by all means!

But what grave harm would it cause to the great human experience if the said person is not ridiculed in bad taste? If this is an idea that the Western mind is incapable of understanding, it can at best be described as arrogant stupidity. At the same time, it is equally stupid of Muslims to engage in the kind of chest-beating we have now been accustomed to seeing. Wilders really does not deserve this kind of attention! And it must not be given to him.

Anonymous:

Salman Shoaib, your suggestion might happen when Jews start acting like muslim terrorists. So far, they're still the victims and not the aggressors. Tell your muslim comrades to tame themselves so you could have the same privilege.

arrey:

Can muslims hold a dialogue like the one on this blog? Post these comments on a magazine or make a video of it and you will hear all kinds of "death to America"
Osama in this blog said "Why should a Muslim follow those who foment conflict and servitude to Western Man?"
I am an African leaving in the USA. Why have we black people not revolted against the white man for enslaving us? Is it because we love peace so much? Perhaps the muslims should lend us the Koran so we can be enlightened.
Christianity has ordergone its reform, its time for the muslim religion to undergo its own, otherwise there will be another crusade and the muslims will not win it, it will be a disaster for them...I will be one the bombers if they want it to come to that.

Salman Shoaib:

My question to this is the veil of Anti Semitism that jews use across Europe. How can the Europeans criminalize the open discussion or denigration of anti-semitism and why not the points like the Prophet Muhammad's cartoons and films like these? Where is the argument of open expression and freedom of speech when it comes to anti-semitism and rejection of the so-called holocaust in Europe? This has been the double standard of Europe since early days to have different ethics for one group and different for others. So please spare me the thought of freedom of speech in Europe!!!

Steamboater:

Read today's New York Times article on Hamas and it's anti-semitic rants wrapped in the guise of religion and you'll see this kind of hatred works both ways. In Saudi Arabia, one of the most popular books is the "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", a tsarist forgery and a grossly anti-Jewish tract. Why doesn't Nielsen, Ignatius and Zakaria report form the other side so we have a balanced view?
Muslims may be a small minority europe for now but a Jewish friend of mine in Germany says when he goes out, he doesn't wear his Star of David for fear of getting beaten up by Muslim thugs/gangs. This isn't an irrational fear. It happens and not just in Germany but in The Netherlands and Great Britain.
As far as I'm concerned, all religions have a facade of peace and goodwill. Behind that facade however is intolerance, fear and hate.

Yasser Ezzi :

The problem of the West is that they do not know who Mohammad is. If they read more about the real Islam, then they will appreciate Mohammad. Mohammad is the prophet of peace, mercy and enlightenment. If you read the history of Islam and Mohammad, you, westerners, will know how Mohammad built a fair Islamic state that spread in most earth during a few years. Moreover, Islam is considered the religion which most people convincingly convert to. You should ask yourself why?
Because those people studied Islam deeply and discover the greatness, tolerance, enlightenment of Islam. If you want to judge Islam, you should at the beginning read more about Islam. I am sure anyone looks for the truth , he will find in Quran and Islam.

Omar Aziz:

Not ALL Muslims adhere to a literal interpretation of the Koran. And not all Muslims accept as legitimate the intolerance and barbarism depicted in the film Fitna and defended by so many people of my faith. Sadly, I too am a victim of Islam's intolerance as are many of my fellow Muslims, but not by "The West" but rather by my own people. It should be known that not only is female circumcision commonly practiced in many Muslim nations and not only is homosexuality perceived as an evil sin, homosexuality is widely, albeit secretly, practiced in all Muslim nations of the world. At the age of eleven I was gang raped by three men, one my own uncle and two of his friends. Ironically, these men do not consider themselves homosexuals. Rather, they curse homosexuality. But this was not an isolated act. It is commonplace in the Muslim world. Islam, unfortunately, is obsessed with sex and desperately tries to control our sexual desire and behavior. This is the root of Islamic violence and anger. Islamic men, deprived of sex, of female socialization, of homosexual identity, turn their frustration on others. Not only is male rape common in my country, so is beastiality. Not until Islam deals positively with sexuality will my civilization become civilized.

tony:

Funny, why were the brown peoples of Asia, who were under colonial rule far longer than the Muslim nations (who did plenty of colonizing of their own when they were more powerful), able to do so well while the muslim nations fall further and further behind?

Also, I'm not defending colonialism, but the cost of maintaining the colonies was often greater than any economic benefits they offered.

Anyway, my point is this. Muslims blame others for all their problems. When you blindly follow the word of some violent medieval man with a SIX year old wife, don't you think that just might be to blame for many of them?

Nym:

Islam is most associated with blood, death, and terror. That's no one's fault but Muslims.

Muslims seem to like to blame everyone else for problems they've made, and then pick up guns and start shooting people to avoid confronting responsibility for their own bad results.

Aware and ready:

I have seen the FITNA short film and I think it should be made a requirement for all 6th grade elementary classes in the US. It is informative, factual and to the point. There are those elements present in the nation today who wish to do great harm all who do not subscribe to their philosophies. We have a duty to make sure the populace is informed.

Wallace:

David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, said “we hold fast and firm to European values of freedom of speech”. He added, at a meeting of the EU in Slovenia, that “in each of our countries there are legal and judicial systems to ensure that freedom is not used to incite religious or racial hatred”.

"Extortion" is a criminal offence whereby an individual obtains desired behavior from another by wrongfully threatening or inflicting harm to his person.

Death threats caused LiveLeak to withdraw fitna from its servers. Will the British hold "fast and firm" to criminal justice and investigate those who used extortion to obtain the removal of Fitna from the public forum?

SouthAsian:

In most western countries muslims are at the bottom of the socio-economic scale. Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh are heavily involved in crime and have lower education compared to fellow south asian hindus and christians. Why? It is their religeon that keeps the women at home and men pursuing lowly jobs with no education. Same is the case in Europe. Muslims are at the botom of the pecking order because they choose that lifestyle, but then are quick to blame everyone around them for their situation. Even in the US, non christian groups such as Jews and Hindus have the highest per capita income and educational achievements while the muslims are again at the bottom of the barrel. Is it not time the muslims started to understand why that is the case that other minorities are able to climb the ladder of success but not them, and that there is no concpiracy holding them back. Muslims are quick to blame everyone around them for their situation. Violence comes easy to them. Europe by continuing to import large muslim populations who do not assimilate is heading for disaster. Even second and third generation muslims are not assimilated and are worse off than the first generation. This is a serious problem indeed.

In the long run, when oil runs out, there will be no muslim country left with any wealth unless they modernize and encourage free thinking, encourage education and science and education for all including women. Only then there is hope, otherwise they can only continue to feel victimized by everyone around them.

The Distinguisher:

All,

Please not the following:

1. All three books - Bible, New Testament, Quran - are old. So, regardless to whether you accept the fact they were written by human cultures or not, their writing style shouldn't taken out of context in terms of when it was written. This should be emphasized when we judge wordings and such from the 21st point of view.

2. That leads to the human factor - the one which is always there but so many try to avoid admitting its accountability in so many creative ways. As it always come down to to this: What us - humans - make out of these texts and what are willing to carry out and exercise in our lives... Is it love and prosperity or hatred and destruction (BOTH ELEMENTS ARE MANIFESTED IN ALL THREE BOOKS).

3. And finally, I would take the argument up to the current days Muslims: Islam holds under its title so many diverse groups and interpretations... why is it that the stage is left for the extremists - triggering the hatred out of their own followers and (as seen sometimes on this Blog also) people from other cultures and believes? Why Muslims let their religion be hijacked by those people who use to it to built up their own power (as was done many times in Christianity and Judaism)?

And.... please note that it is such an old tactic for some to divert the discussion from its course by trying to aim at a 3rd group, unfortunately as happened so many times in history - at the Jews.

Sober Up Jørgen:

The USA has become so PC that it could not judge evil if its survival depended upon it which it does. I like how all these so-called experts on Islam want us to to think their is no problem with the Qur'an.

Jørgen, go ahead and use your free speech in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and see how long you last. The Islamists have their own version of globalism it is called the triumph of Islam over the whole world. If that happens you will not be writing articles like the one above anymore. Have you ever read the Qur'an? Have you ever read the haddiths? Muhammamd said:

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 196:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah 's Apostle said, " I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' and whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' his life and property will be saved by me except for Islamic law, and his accounts will be with Allah, (either to punish him or to forgive him.)"

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him."

Jørgen you have now cleared everything up I now understand that what Muhammad said is no problem. His words do not influence anyone to commit murder. We just misunderstand Muhammad's words. We need to understand that Islam is peaceful and tolerant. Thanks for straightening me out Jørgen I just do not understand Islam. It is all our fault that a few misguided Muslims are attacking the West. No Muhammad has nothing to do with all this violence.

You fool you cannot see the forest for the trees.

Steve S:

"Muslim demands to be taken seriously...?"

Part of being taken seriously is to show the ability to ignore sarcasm and caricature, however hurtful and uninformed it might be. This is something many in the Muslim world do not grasp.

Make Tea not War:

There is a longer tradition of examining the hypocricies and contradictions of Christianity in Europe. This is a fundamental aspect of the freedom of speech: to challenge any and all belief systems, whether they are sacred or secular. In a free society one should expect to be offended by others' beliefs, indeed tolerant of them. We should not travel back to the middle ages to accomodate the wishes of Muslim or Christian fundamentalists. We have come too far.

Jeff:

I urge everyone to read what the Muslim Brotherhood has said for more than eighty years. Also, if they are brave to try to bring a Bible into Saudi Arabia, or try to print the Bible in Turkey, or go to church in Pakistan. It seems to me that the West ignores the anti-Christian attitude that is prevelent throught out the Moslem world. If this was not bad enough, the Organization of Islamic States wants the United Nations to make Sharia Law the bases for international law on matters relating to human rights. If they get their way, say good-bye to freedom of speech, women's rights, and much much more that everyone in the United States takes for granted. Samuel Huntington and Bernard Lewis are right there is a clash of civilzations taking place and most people in the west are ignoring this frightening reality.

BarneyM:

Joe. What you say was true then but this is now, except for Bush’s fiasco in Iraq. Thanks to that misguided war many Muslim leaders have been provoked into speaking of converting western nations to Islam by jihad and 9/11 convinced many of us to believe what they say. I do not agree with Bush about anything, but when he says we may wind up fighting jihad in the streets of America he had the right of it, but immigration of great numbers of Muslims will allow it to happen.

The Truf:

I love the Muslims on here beating their breast over the evils of the west.

.... and all along they move to the west where apparently all these evil people live. Meanwhile, they're sucking at the teat of the west.

Accommodate these dolts? I think not. It's time for the west to say "You will assimilate or you'll leave."

That can't be too much of a hardship, after all, we're so *evil*.

As to the bonehead JRLR, the reason we're not that concerned about the bible is because they're not flying planes into buildings, they're not beheading people in the name of Jesus, they're not declaring a "jihad" (idiots) against anyone who believes differently.

Time for muslims to grow up. They're in permanent victimhood and believe it gives them cart blanche to do whatever they want. I'm personally sick of it.

I will not use violence. But I will pray to jesus for something horrible to happen to anybody who whines about the muslims. Unlike a lot of other religions, jesus actually delivers when you pray to him. He doesn't make you face a certain way, and make you do stupid stuff. As if a god would care about the way you face when you pray. Think it through. If you're a god, and your main concern is whether people face the right direction when you pray. Ha! Maybe that explains the muslim condition pretty well. God's major concern is how humans kneel. Har-d-har. And he cares that women put on veils. Or that you eat pork.

It's almost like God is bored so he tortures people with pointless rituals for his self-amusement. Yeah. I want to follow a god like that [rolling eyes].

Joe:

History has shown many times that the so-called Christians used their fate to kill, steal and plunder. The examples are numerous, south america, north america, south-east asia, sub-saharean africa are examples. The Portuguese and spaniard used mission to steal people and sale them as slaves to "white christians". Voltaire, considered a humanist in the west has racist writings. His writings justified slavery because negros have dark skin, therefore not humans. Hegel (the great german philosopher) had similar views.
What aches the west (jews and christians) is that islam can be viewed as an ideology that stands in the way of the white (jews/christians) to continue to steal and plunder.

BarneyM:

Recent history and current events demonstrates that Islam is an implacable enemy of western Democracy, even worse than Communism. If Muslims keep immigrating to Europe and the U.S. then jihad will surly come to the streets of western nations. They continually demonstrate that NO COMPROMISE with them is possible.

spiderman2:

Roy wrote : "Oh, sorry, that already happened in Iraq and Afganistan"

Yup, the the killings were done by the muslims themselves.

Fitna. Watch it and understand it.

Roy:

Maybe someone should make a film portraying Christ in a bad light. That would be excuse enough for a bunch of neochristians to go out and kill 200,000 Muslims.

Oh, sorry, that already happened in Iraq and Afganistan.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Halimablue says:

"For the Muslims, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are but three forms of one religion, which, in its original purity, was the religion of Abraham."

This “original purity” is a polite way of saying “altered”. Muslims do not believe in the Gospels or the Torah because they believe they were adulterated. Muslims throw that accusation with out batting an eye even though they have not a single shred of evidence. The Jews and Christians, on the other hand, have many proofs that their scriptures were not tampered with. The scrolls of Qumran(Jordan) and Naja’ Hamadi(Egypt) are the latest scrolls unearthed that show conclusively that not a word was changed. That is beside all those scrolls found in the big Museums of the world such as in London, Rome, Paris and Istanbul. Some claim that the “alterations” happened after Mohammed’s time i.e. after the 7th Century, since their Prophet used to quote from the Bible. But the New and Old Testaments were spread throughout the known world by that time. How could any individual or group introduce changes in all the texts in use? Besides all the stories of the prophets in the Quran are embellished accounts of what is in the Bible. I am not surprised that Muslims do not know much about other religions because the average Muslim does not know much about his religion. Every time you want to carry a dialogue with any of them they will admit their ignorance and refer you to a Muslim cleric

Jamshed:


It shows that Islam is tough. How do someone test a religion status through discussion? By showing the film Fitna, the guy who did this, shows that he is weak. He is not able to debate. I learned a central lesson from y faith, if someone insults you, keep praying for the only ONE. I do not mind if he did this, but I do mind that he just took some pictures and clips of Islamic radicals representing all Muslims. Can he ask himself where is from? How did his country's history treat the humans? How can as mankind he lives by fame? He needs to learn first about the Dutch history? And then, he is welcome to talk about Islam.

spiderman2:

Is there anything wrong with FITNA? It just showed the videos of muslims recording themselves and their actions. If you want to stop another FITNA coming out sometime in the future, then restrict all muslims from having a video camera. Simple as that.

I thought that only a few muslim have this "terrorist tendencies" but after hearing former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad issued a threat of banning all Dutch products, it seems like this "terrorist tendency" is actually endemic in ALL muslims.

What if the rest of the world bans Malaysia's products coz it has a stupid former prime minister? Is that reasonable? Judging from the threats he issued, he would probably say that it is reasonable.

The man is a doctor so I'd like to ask him this question. Hey doctor, is there a medicine for the kind of illness that you have? Better find a cure before this world comes to an end. And I'm talking about your world. Stupidity is self destructive, you know. You could be pointing that hammer you're holding now towards yourself.

Herbert:

Dozens of Islamic websites gleefully show the same pictures of violence shown in Fitna, supported by the same warfare quotations from the Quran.
So where is the big offense now?

egalois:

Wow, the Washington Post should have invited Rory to have written this column! I couldn't have said it better myself. But let me add a few things ...

I see that we have the usual apologists and nutters who try to counter by saying that somehow we who are free haven't been 'educated' (i.e., not brainwashed) about Islam and/or they just out-and-out lie.

Here are some facts:

(1) A Muslim cleric declared "The Jews are the Jews. They are the ones who must be butchered and killed."

(2) Interspersed with images from the July 7 bombings in London are pictures of the placards of radical British Muslims. "Be prepared for the real holocaust" is the slogan carried by one woman in a burqa.

(3) Another Muslim cleric gives us a REAL education about his religion: "The day will come when we rule America. The day will come when we rule Britain and the entire world."

Notice: These are MUSLIMs saying this (NOT Jews, Christians, Zorastorians, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, Homosexuals, et al.). The idiots who are attacking Fitna or the Danish cartoons or just about anything that point out indisputable facts are saying how hateful it is when it is Muslims themselves -- including the Koran -- that are spewing this hate.

I'm an American ex-pat living in Europe. I've witnessed first hand how this is threatening to tear apart Europe and its liberal democratic values. Canada isn't immune either ... judging from the Mark Steyn / Maclean's row:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7273870.stm

'Moderate' Muslims are actually trying to BAN an op-ed in a respected newsmagazine as hate speech when (a) the op-ed wouldn't have been out of place in the Post or the NY Times, and (b) when Maclean recently had an article about getting rid of Jesus from Christianity nobody tried to censor Maclean much less threaten them harm.

You can see the 'offending' op-ed for yourself (before it gets yanked off by Muslims): http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=20060410_124576_124576&source=srch

BTW, Fitna got pulled from the website ... why? Because people received several serious death threats. Surprise, surprise (sadly, not really).

Wake up! How many more Theo Van Goghs (who was actually murdered), Salman Rushdies (who is a Muslim), 9-11s, 7-7s (London bombings), etc. have to be before we wake up to what is really going on ...

As the Muslim cleric tried to 'educate' us: They're going to take over and take away our freedoms. They are going to force innocent young girls into a life of slavery (forced marriages, etc.), torture (genital mutilation in the sub-Saharan part of the Muslim world, stonings and whippings and even gang rapes in most of the other parts), and being murdered in the name of 'honor.'

Do we want this kind of life? Isn't this the 21st century?

People complain about the Christian Right in the U.S. Even many of the so-called 'moderate' Muslims make the most extreme fundamentalist in ANY OTHER religion look like a bunch of hippies. Many of these Muslims make Pat Robertson look like Gloria Steinem ... yet when Muslims say things that are completely crazy, no one says a peep. No one bans their websites that regularly advocates terrorism and murder. Yet, we who are free are accused of being hateful when we point out what THEY THEMSELVES say!

I've said this before and I will say it again: I'm more concerned about the so-called 'moderate' Muslims who try to hijack our liberal values of democracy and tolerance in order to destroy and subvert those things than their terrorist brethren. At least Al-Qaeda has the 'decency' to only hijack planes and trains ... their so-called 'moderate' counterparts (and their, as Lenin might have put it, 'useful idiot' apologists) are also hijacking our laws and freedoms.

One last thing: To you Muslims out there who are so fond of giving us advice (when you're not threatening us and/or carrying out your threats) ... why don't you read books on the Enlightenment, logic, rationalism, history, liberal democracy, etc.

Better yet, look at WHY people comment the way they do ... why there is even the need for a Fitna or the cartoons or Salman Rushdie ... read what Rory wrote ... THINK ... THINK ... stop blindly following some cleric, tradition, etc. Listen to what MUSLIMs are saying (about slaughtering Jews, Christians, et al., about taking over the world, etc.). Please THINK. Not only for the sake of freedom loving people, but for your own sake. THINK.

marctrain1:

But isn't being "offensively anti-Islamic" one of the fun parts of foreign policy. The muslim world can kiss my red, white and blue arse.

Ed:

Several points:

1)Muslims do not respect every religion, only those of the book. Being a practitioner of one of the beyond the pale religions makes me aware of that.

2)While Muslims can emphasize one part of the Koran over another, they are not free to ignore any portion. Ignoring the final prophet is apostasy.

3)Muslim majority countries are backward in so many respects. They have not advanced human knowledge much in any discipline for many generations. They have not gotten to the point where the secular and spiritual are divided as we have in the West. It hamstrings their efforts in so many ways.

4)Having reached this hard won position of intellectual freedom, I see no reason to kowtow to and intellectually inferior position of the Islamic fundamentalists.

5)While I don't associate myself with people who go out of their way to insult people of other ethnicities or religions, I recognize the right they have to make asses of themselves. I resent the fear engendered by the Umma that keeps any publication or broadcast from happening in countries that claim free expression.

Mike D.:

Rory is right on the money. He didn't say this, this one's mine: Where religion goes, death, misery and destruction follow. Increasingly you can substitute "knee-jerk political correctness" for "religion" in the above statement. I don't know about Europe, but this is America, and I hearby exercise my constitutional right to proclaim Mohammed can smooch my hindquarters. Deal with it.

S. Senator:

When the gratuitous issuing of insults against people’s core beliefs becomes unacceptable public behavior, governments (you know, those people who run intelligence agencies) will issue defamation against individuals. After all, what better way to camouflage a hate crime than to try to use vast powers to frame individuals. The gratuitous issuing of insults against people’s core beliefs can be left unsaid even though the nature of the hate crime is thinly disguised.

The USA is the land of immigrants. Europe is not the USA and should never be allowed to become so. The author talks about "the small Muslim minorities in Europe." Show me one intersection in Europe that doesn't smell like kebabs.

Europe is not the land of immigrants. Why are foreigners from the third world being counted as a percent of the population. Texans may make only three percent of the population of Iraq but that doesn't mean they have the right to be there. The author fears the hundreds of millions of Europeans living in Europe and considers any street corner without a kebab stand to be the "new enemy."

Obviously most Muslims are smarter than Jørgen S. Nielsen and they will bring him to justice for his blasphemy. They know that Denmark has no right to be in Afghanistan, where the so-called "new enemy" is to be found.

HalimaBlue:

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

There is no inferred judgement for other religions in Surah Al Fatiha. Your interpretaion is extreme and erroneous. The Qur'an repeatedly claims to be the confirmation of the truth of all religions.

Just to level the playing field . . .

Of old, tolerance had existed here and there in the world, among enlightened individuals; but those individuals had always been against the prevalent religion. Tolerance was regarded of un-religious, if not irreligious. Before the coming of Islam it had never been preached as an essential part of religion.

For the Muslims, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are but three forms of one religion, which, in its original purity, was the religion of Abraham: Al-Islam, that perfect Self-Surrender to the Will of God, which is the basis of Theocracy. The Jews, in their religion, after Moses, limited God's mercy to their chosen nation and thought of His kingdom as the dominion of their race.

Even Christ himself, as several of his sayings show, declared that he was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel and seemed to regard his mission as to the Hebrews only; and it was only after a special vision vouchsafed to St. Peter that his followers in after days considered themselves authorized to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. The Christians limited God's mercy to those who believed certain dogmas. Every one who failed to hold the dogmas was an outcast or a miscreant, to be persecuted for his or her soul's good.


All those years in Catholic school have paid off ;-)


HalimaBlue:

Rory wrote:

"I've NEVER, EVER, not ONCE seen, heard, or read anything about Muslims EVER accomodating any other religion,. . ."

I encourage you to read more books and step out of your comfort zone to meet new people. Below are some examples of Muslims accomodating other religions, past and present.

In Spain under the Umayyads and in Baghdad under the Abbasid Khalifas, Christians and Jews, equally with Muslims, were admitted to the Schools and universities - not only that, but were boarded and lodged in hostels at the cost of the state. When the Moors were driven out of Spain, the Christian conquerors held a terrific persecution of the Jews. Those who were fortunate enough to escape fled, some of them to Morocco and many hundreds to the Turkish empire, where their descendants still live in separate communities, and still speak among themselves an antiquated form of Spanish. The Muslim empire was a refuge for all those who fled from persecution by the Inquisition.

In Egypt the Copts were on terms of closest friendship with the Muslims in the first centuries of the Muslim conquest, and they are on terms at closest friendship with the Muslims at the present day. In Syria the various Christian communities lived on terms of closest friendship with the Muslims in the first centuries of the Muslim conquest, and they are on terms of closest friendship with the Muslims at the present day, openly preferring Muslim domination to a foreign yoke.

There were always flourishing Jewish communities in the Muslim realm, notably in Spain, North Africa, Syria, Iraq and later on in Turkey. Jews fled from Christian persecution to Muslim countries for refuge. Whole communities of them voluntarily embraced Islam following a revered rabbi whom they regarded as the promised Messiah but many more remained as Jews, and they were never persecuted as in Christendom. The Turkish Jews are one with the Turkish Muslims today. And it is noteworthy that the Arabic-speaking Jews of Palestine - the old immigrants from Spain and Poland - are one with the Muslims and Christians in opposition to the transformation of Palestine into a national home for the Jews.

Mark In Irvine:

If Muslims find the film offensive, they should have no trouble disavowing the offensive violent acts perpetrated in the film by their Muslim brothers. Until they do that, their protests ring hollow.

Rory:

"Jørgen S. Nielsen is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark."

There's your answer right there. Just when I thought the Washington Post had hit rock bottom, it starts trotting out these spineless "house dhimmis" from Europe. I've NEVER, EVER, not ONCE seen, heard, or read anything about Muslims EVER accomodating any other religion, and yet every time someone calls them on their violence, repression, and murderous spasms of terrorism, the person pointing out the obvious is derided as "racist" or "stirring up trouble." Really? Is it racist to wonder how Muslims managed to pick fights with Thailand? Or the Phillipines? Or to point out that the old reel about how people who question the average Muslim's tendency to immediately fly off the handle and start killing people whenever their "sacred" beliefs are questioned just need more "education" about Islam falls on its face when it turns out the more you learn about Islam, the move obvious the roots of terrorism become?

I could fill a library (which would probably be immediately burned down by suicide bombers) with all the failed rationalizations spewed by Western apologists for Islamic terror.

1) Terrorism is "just caused by poverty and lack of options." Last sighting of this excuse: sometime around when a bunch of British Muslim doctors tried to blow up Heathrow.

2) Terrorism is a "natural" reaction to things that may or may not have happened hundreds of years ago, like the Crusades or the "loss" of Spain. Last sighting of this excuse: Right around the time Muslim terrorists started attacking Thailand, which contrary to some accounts actually did not join King Richard in his march on the Holy Land.

3) Terrorism is a response to the invasion of Iraq. Last sighting of this excuse: Right around the time Muslim terrorists started attacking the Phillipines, which doesn't exactly have a huge presence in the Middle East (unless you count all the Filipino housemaids trapped in servitude there).

The list goes on and on. The excuses keep changing, but the blazingly obvious tie between Islam and terrorism remains the same. Why? Well, as Fitna points out, the Koran REQUIRES it of Muslims. This is quite different from the "Uh, the Bible has bad stuff too" saw - the Bible recounts ancient historical detail, while the Koran mandates violence of its modern day adherents. That's precisely why Islam has cornered the world market on terrorism in a way that would have world monopolists like Microsoft or ALCOA green with envy. And, of course, if you point it out then Muslims prove your point by killing you over it.

But you knew this. Really, the interesting question is why Westerners are so insistent on avoiding the obvious and twisting themselves into little knots about how there is some secret reason for constant Islamic violence besides, you know, the ISLAM part. My suspicion: cowardice. After all, if you acknowledge the problem, you might have to actually confront it, something that was bred out of Europeans in the 1950s. It's easier to just pretend it's the fault of the tolerant, open society, rather than the repressive 7th century political ideology that respects nothing but its own edicts. Fools like Mr. Nielsen are betraying centuries of Western enlightenment out of some perverse "respect" for a violent movement that has zero respect for them. It'd be hilarious if the end results aren't sure to be so tragic.

colorado kool aid:

"You will NOTICE that Muslims ae NOT insulting Christins in their Media. It is Christians that are insulting Muslims in the mediza in order to make Muslims angry so that the murderous white people can have their WORLD WAR THREE.

Muslims didn't call for a war. It is Christians who are hunkering for a war that they have been deceived into by the jews of Israel and America who hate Muslims!!!"

Your first paragraph comment is an out-and-out lie. Muslim media insults Christians and Jews everyday in the most vile ways.

Your second paragraph is also a lie. Muslims have called for a war against the West, the United States, Christians and of course, against all things Jewish.

"decieved into mby the jews (notice the lower case spelling -- intended to be derogatory) of Israel" -- you can't help yourself can you?

nickste:

Talmud reader, the truth!

No one takes your quotes seriously.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:


I said:
“You (Muslims) do not have to wait to defame Christians and Jews. Your cult has been doing that since its inception.

Talmud Reader answers:
“Ibrahim Mahfouz You are a pathetic Lier.”

Moi:
The Muslims defame Christians and Jews every time they pray, since they always start their prayers by reciting the Fatiha. Part of which is shown below, referring to Christians as those who went astray and the Jews as the ones who won Allah’s wrath

The first Sura in the Quran which is called the Fatiha or the Opening Chapter
(Quran 1;6-7)
Show us the straight way.
The way of those on whom
Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace,====Meaning Muslims
Those whose (portion)
Is not wrath ==============Meaning unlike Jews
And who go not astray =======Meaning unlike Christians .

They refer to Jews as apes and Christians as pigs and cross worshippers
(Quran 2:65)
And well ye knew
Those amongst you
Who transgressed
In the matter of the Sabbath:
We said to them:
“Be ye apes,

Vigge Boll:

It's somewhat odd that people that put an "evil-stamp" on islam in their next breath pukes out tons of hatred towards muslims.

I do suspect that the vast majority of the comments prior to mine are made by people that are somewhat insane. Or at least lacks any kind of sense. Or just plain stupid...

Michka:

I like Garak's idea and pray for that.

Gerard Kroode:

The Dutch (Wilders' country) government was prepared for major violence. Nothing happened, which is more evidence for the prejudiced attitude, Moroccan immigrants (Dutch often tend to think 'Moroccan' where 'muslim' is involved) are confronted with. The public seems to have difficulty to distinguish between fundamentalists in the Near-East and the average muslim in Europe. On top of that, many politicians project the dangers of islamic radicalism onto the muslim population as a whole. This poses the biggest challenge for the future at this moment.

One commenter here correctly remarks "what about MY fears ?". These are the fears which are being fed by, precisely, this video clip made by the Dutch right-winger, or books like Bruce Bawer's "While Europe Slept". The clip associates horrible radicalist actions to koranic verses, koranic verses are read by every muslim, so, the implicit conclusion... Cheap propaganda, but effective.

For Bawer's book, you would be surprised to read a review on Amazon Books, starting with "things like the car-burning riots in Paris, areas of Netherlands ruled by Sharia and not Dutch law, etc., left me quizzical". Now, there we go. The car burning riots were started by the death of 2 North African youth by police, in an environment where the North-African immigrant population had major complaints about police brutality and racism. No islam. Next, there simply are no areas in the Netherlands where any law is practiced, which goes against Dutch law.

Still, these things stay in people's minds, and determine their attitudes towards immigrants. How do they get there ?

Take Bruce Bawer's book.

Bawer has a talent for embellishment. He correctly observes that muslim immigrants have grown more confident in Europe. In the 1970's North-African immigrants just had to keep their head down under racist jokes. Since then, the majority of the population has come to accept that racist behavior is not done, and immigrants also have the courage to insist on it. Also, in the Netherlands, relatively more assertive Moroccan muslims are coming in, next to modest turks and Indonesians. True.

However when Bawer talks about 9/11 "celebrations" in muslim enclaves in the Netherlands, he omits police findings, that the one known incident involved provocative youth. He also fails to mention the non-negligeable number of anti-islamic incidents at the time.

An eye-opener was my finding, that the so-called "mainly muslim" neighbourhood in Amsterdam where Bawer had settled, was not any of the notorious neighbourhoods in the city, but the neighbourhood where I have lived myself for 25 years. I (christian and white) have seen everything happen, but to call this a muslim neighbourhood, is outrageous. His perception is very selective! He has seen women, invariably in Muslim head covering. I do not know where he has looked, I see several of them, too, but I see even more muslim women which dressed in a way Beyoncé would be jealous of! I am not the only one who is surprised. For a very simple, spontaneous, down-to-earth example (and picture):
http://www.nieuwsuitamsterdam.nl/English/2006/06082801.htm

So that is, how fears get into the world. Half the work about "MY" fears is done with better information, and cross-checking facts underlying political views.

smokberry:

As a secular person born into the Shiite faith I say send all those Moslems back to where they came from if they dont like the Western culture of personal freedom and that of free expression.

For the life of me I do not understand why Westerners put up with this hypocisy. Do you think they would extend the same courtesy to you? I dont think so.

What Moslems need is the same reformation Christians went through several centuries ago.

All religions must be defanged for the sake of sanity and humanity.

Rosabel Goodman-Everard:

As a Dutch-born American citizen I follow what is happening with the Geert Wilders film ("Fitna"). I even managed to see it. Apart from my view that as a film it is a seriously unoriginal piece of work, I should point out that Wilders is not a film maker. He is a "parlementarian", a member of the Dutch House of Representatives, an elected official. I get the impression that while the Dutch Government is falling over its own feet right now to make sure nobody is going to be offended and to keep the peace at all costs, i.e. going into the subject of the Wilders film, it doesn't seem to notice that Wilders is usurping the power and visibility of his office to disseminate his personal views. Whether one agrees or disagrees with these views, this issue needs to be addressed first. In my opinion the Dutch Government may on that basis require that Wilders be relieved of his duties in parliament, and sidestep the substantive issues.

Garak:

The worst thing the Muslims could do to this clown would be ignore him. The silence would be deafening. It would incense and frustrate Wilders to no end.

Wilders expects and hopes for a violent response. Why reward him? Or do Muslims refuse to fight with their brains?

AHRO:

I would like to see the dutch make fun of the jew and the holocaust and see how fast the author/autors end up behind bars and get ostracized or become a public pariah. i challenge the the dutch or anyone in the western world to try and criticize the jews and see how far their careers will go. Please check with Gibson, Cynthia Mckinney et,al and then get back here and discuss this same issue under this new light....

Chad:

So the problem lies not with the Muslims who commit savage acts of violence in the name of Islam, but with the filmmakers who point out that Muslims commit savage acts of violence in the name of Islam? And the solution is to ban freedom of expression in the name of protecting freedom of expression? What a fascinating exercise in double-think!

michael murphy:

"Let me repeat my question: WHY, in that overall context, are so many people, in the West, more particularly in Europe (more so in Denmark and in The Netherlands, apparently) obsessed with the Koran, but not with the Bible? Why “attack” the Koran but not the Bible?"

The trifling cartoons of the Prophet are nothing in comparison to the denegration Christianity and the Bible have received at the hands of western "artists" for a generation. Not many mobs rioting either because for the most part the people attracted to the Bible versus the Koran are not medieval in their viewpoint. that is why.

Anti jihad:

"A vast majority of Muslim states are poor and the Muslim masses despite the huge nnumbers are poor and marginalized in their own countries."

Why don't the saudis spend their money helping these muslims instead of financing madrassahs in Pakistan that will only create the next generation of jihadis?

Why didn't Mohammad Atta target the dictatorial muslim rulers who are most responsible for keeping such muslims poor? How many jihadis were lining up to kill Saddam? Saddam killed more muslims than almost anyone else. Where was the rage against Saddam?

pgr88:

Who cares about "their" fears? What about MY fears????

DOES IT MATTER:

Lynn:
"What isn't mentioned is how excluded the Muslim populations in Europe are economically, socially, and politically. Look at the unemployment figures, look at the housing, look at where they tend to be housed, look at levels of integration, look at who has and doesn't have a voice in government, business, the media -- and you will understand some of the explosive frustration of European Muslims."

Lynn, Lynn , This is a favorite line of argument the Apologists for Muslims use in their defence!

Here is a counter-point. The Hindus and Sikh immigrated to Europe (especially UK) at about the same time as Muslims. They come from the "Dharmic" tradition. Much more removed from the Judeo Christian tradition as compared to Muslims! So in fact they should feel even more isolated and excluded, right?
But you do not see them having assimilation problem. You do not see alienation in British Hindus or sikhs. You do not see them getting angry and turning on the west!
In fact the markers are reversed. They are generally wealthier and atleast equally or better educated than the native whites often times!
They are EXACTLY the same peoples as are Muslims ( from South Asia) with one thing different. They have kept their mind open. They have bought into the universal pre-requisites for progress; an open mind, a logical and critical approach, reverence above all to education, science and technology!

why could they do that? Because they did not let their "creed" their "religion" rule their entire lives!

Somali:

Your article is trully dihonest. You talk of Muslims and the govrnmnts of the west that are militarily mass murdering Muslims in a half a dozen Mulim countries are equal in power. We are NOT.

A vast majority of Muslim states are poor and the Muslim masses despite the huge nnumbers are poor and marginalized in their own countries.

For you people to claim that there is an ogoing "dialoguue of the deaf" is wrong. There is absolutely NOOOOOOOOO Dialogue at all. WE Muslims are being hAted in your mdia. Period. That's what's going on. And the Muslim media isn't replying in kind by insulting jesus th way the White media have insulted our prophegt Muhammad. Do you see any cartoons in Muslim media call jesus a terrorist?

It is a hoax to claim there is a dialogue between Muslims and Christians. Muslims have NOOO problems with christians. It is Christians who are trying to ignite what your murderous, criminally insane politicians and mdia elites have called WORLD WAR THREE!! You people are tring trying to ignite this war that your elites and politicians soooo badly want you will do anything icluding insultying Muslims and baiting them into anger.

You will NOTICE that Muslims ae NOT insulting Christins in their Media. It is Christians that are insulting Muslims in the mediza in order to make Muslims angry so that the murderous white people can have their WORLD WAR THREE.

Muslims didn't call for a war. It is Christians who are hunkering for a war that they have been deceived into by the jews of Israel and America who hate Muslims!!!

Idolator:

Two interesting articles in WaPo yesterday: One about culture of violence and drugs in NWFP of Pakistan and from where the next attack to U.S. will come and secondly a review in Book World of Steve Coll's new book on bin laden (born to a 15 year old Syrian-following prophet's footsteps) family.

His father married numerous time and produced 54 children (definition of diversity in Islam). An educated, succesful businessman left about 3 percent to his male children and about 1 percent to his female offsprings (equality in Islam).

bin laden, when 17, married a 14 year old cousin and has produced numerous children and divorced umpteem times... (hero of the Islamic world)..

I agree with the Dutch politician- Only allow Muslim immigration from countries that are diverse and tolerant of all humanity (zero)

oberle:

If the Muslims in Europe feel so bad about the way they're treated, why don't they move to a Muslim country? Oh yeah, that's right, they prefer the freedoms of western society.

Talmud Reader:

Talmud teachings:

Sanhedrin 58b. If a heathen (gentile) hits a Jew, the gentile must be killed.
Sanhedrin 57a . A Jew need not pay a gentile ("Cuthean") the wages owed him for work.
Yebamoth 98a. All gentile children are animals.
Shabbath 116a. Jews must destroy the books of the Christians, i.e. the New Testament

Talmud-Reader:

Ibrahim Mahfouz You are a pathetic Lier. In fact he is talking about the TALMUD, the jewish book.
I challenge anyone to read the Talmud and find out how all non-jews should be treated like cows, how women should not live in the family house because they are "dirty", mass killing of civilians is ok such as in gaza right now.

Ibrahim Mahfouz:

Bill says:

"BUT DEFAMING ISLAM, THE QURAN? OH YEA, EUROPEANS LOVE THAT BECAUSE ITS FREEDOM OF SPEECH
CANT WAIT FOR THE DAY WHEN THIS WILL BE OPPOSITE"
You do not have to wait to defame Christians and Jews. Your cult has been doing that since its inception. You defame the "People of the Book" every time you pray, where you describe them as “those who went astray” for Christians and the “accursed” for the Jews. Furthermore you Book describes the Jews as monkeys and the Christians as pigs. Is that not enough for your taste?

bill :

so i can say holocaust is a fake right, MR. I AM FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THE WEST!
NO I CANT, EVEN THOUGH I BELIEVE IT IS UNFORTUNATELY VERY REAL, BECAUSE IT IS AGAINST MY RIGHT TO DO SO. I CANT EVEN WEAR A SWATSIKA, A SYMBOL OF PEACE, WITHOUT BEING LOCKED UP.

BUT DEFAMING ISLAM, THE QURAN? OH YEA, EUROPEANS LOVE THAT BECAUSE ITS FREEDOM OF SPEECH

CANT WAIT FOR THE DAY WHEN THIS WILL BE OPPOSITE.

James Buchanan:

I love the standard Muslim protest.

"Islam is a religion of peace, I'll cut your throat if you say otherwise!"

If they were intelligent enough to actually be human, I might find this saddening. Instead, its just funny as heck.

Dance, little monkeys, dance!

Observer:

JRLR says:

"Let me repeat my question: WHY, in that overall context, are so many people, in the West, more particularly in Europe (more so in Denmark and in The Netherlands, apparently) obsessed with the Koran, but not with the Bible? Why “attack” the Koran but not the Bible?"

You quote from Deuteronomy, a book in the Old Testament, and is the Godfather of the Quran. This is not Christianity! Argue its “stories” with a Rabbi from Israel. Why the West is obsessed with the Quran? Because Jihad or terrorism for the sake of spreading the Muslim ideology is a core tenant.

“Fight those who believe not
In God nor the Last Day,
Nor hold the forbidden
By God and His Apostle (meaning Mohammad)
Nor acknowledge the Religion
Of Truth,(even if they are)(meaning Islam)
Of the People of the Book, (meaning Christians and Jews)
Until they pay the Jizia (poll tax)
With willing submission
And feel themselves Subdued(humiliated)”
(Quran 9:29)

DAN78:

Islam deserves the same degree of respect as any other religion, meaning, it's an *opinion* that can be respected in the same way that we respect a man's belief that his wife is beautiful and his children geniuses.

I believe LESS respect toward major religions in general and Islam in particular is needed. Why do we give so much respect to beliefs which have no basis in reality? If I say I don't eat the flesh of the pig because aliens beamed messages into my head telling me that pork is toxic, you'd think I was crazy. If I say I avoid bacon because Moses or Muhammad said "no pork" thousands of years ago you'd call me "devout".

I hear a lot about "Hurt" and "Offense". Whom does criticism of Islam deprive of life or limb? (Unlike Islamic terrorism).

Like Samuel Huntington said, Islam is at it's core not compatible with Western Civilization, Religious Freedom, Individual Liberty, or Democracy.

As to violence caused by malcontents and firebrands, lock 'em and throw away the key. And deny them access to their holy books!

Ibrahim Mahfouz:


There is something in Islam that is called Taqiyeh. It simply means it is allowable to lie to further the cause of Islam. Some of the Muslims who post on the Faith blog sneak in false claims such as Islam does not discriminate against non-Muslims, and preaches equality between all people and allows freedom of religion etc. Yet when I, for example, refute their claims with referencing to their Quran they would block my posts. They simply can’t get used to the freedom of speech bit, especially by the other. They give themselves the freedom to demonize the Christians and Jews in their news media and Friday sermons, yet when someone tries to talk back they censor him/her by any means at their disposal.

bala srini:

most terrible of all crime is crime of IGNORANCE
more so when that is being perpetuated and propagated in the name of the guy who establishes it as a religion and the preachers of that gospel of ignorance help magnify it by trying it on angry gullible illeterate inmates of prisons in this land.any religion which regards mothers sisters and daughters as dirty and not equal to their partners in the construct of a family fails the very foundation of the concept of origin of any religion.the sad truth about the history of religion is like history of human civilisation.the oldest religions of the world,such as hinduism and budhism have gone thru violent and turbulant upheavels to reach their pacifism of today.same goes for christianity which went thru the same a millinium ago to reach its semblance of rationality and reluctant acknowledge of the existance of other great religions and that all religions are man made hence the inherent imperfections.so it is but natural for the youngest and immature of them all has to undergo its turn of turbulance proving yet again the limitations of man and his tunnel vision of anything on earth leading to destruction.enlightenment comes only with information properly,logically consensually discussed frankly and honestly.till then we have to go by what the lord said five milleniums ago;"TOPROTECT AND PRESERVE THE RIGHTUOUS AND TO DESTROY THE MIsCREANTS I SHALL RETURN AGAIN AND AGAIN.

Allen Braun:


Islam deserves all the respect of a major religion, however, for that respect to be prevalent it must FIRST clean up its own house. The west has suffered to gain hard won freedom of expression which amongst other things prevents concentration of power in the hands of the few.

Europe had the same problem early in the last millennium, a Catholic Church bent on dominance as the "one true faith" and they violently persecuted through inquisition and crusade to achieve total dominance. They ultimately failed as people became more educated and as communications became widely available and very fast. It is this communication and education that many Muslim clerics fear as it leads to loss of control (as it did for the Catholic church).

Muslim societies that focus only on religion need to educate their children for a secular world. This is not at odds with faith.

The most damage to Islam has been done by the oil royalty in the Middle-East. With oceans of money to spend they chose to spend it on baubles, palaces and yachts rather than education for men _and_ women. Saudi Arabia has squandered the chance to lead by example and become the beacon of hope for Muslims. Instead they practice power politics within Saudi Arabia and against their Muslim neighbors.

The Sunni-Shiite rift is also very damaging to all Muslims.

Until Islam sorts out its own destiny, it has no place criticizing free expression anywhere.

Lynn:

What isn't mentioned is how excluded the Muslim populations in Europe are economically, socially, and politically. Look at the unemployment figures, look at the housing, look at where they tend to be housed, look at levels of integration, look at who has and doesn't have a voice in government, business, the media -- and you will understand some of the explosive frustration of European Muslims. If they are not accepted as Europeans, then they will return with a vengeance to what the Europeans are NOT (because so many Europeans see Islam as irreconcilable with Europeanness). To separate the question of fundamentalism from socio-political realities only serves to fan the flames of tensions. If you take fundamentalism out of context, we are left with nothing but holy-book thumping and name-calling because we have no rational way to figure out how to deal with problems that favor the development of fundamentalism. Witness the rise of Christian fundamentalism in our own country.

Islamophobia = anti-semitism:

Islamophobia "fear of muslims" is prevalent in the west, it is more prevalent than anti-semitism "fear of jews". There are many laws to protect against anti-semitism, but islamophobia passes as freedom of expression.
It is disgusting to see western leaders give lectures to china about human rights in tebet, while at the same time they trample on western muslim's human rights.

D. Rodriguez:

When civilized people have had enough and have been pushed to the brink, THEN is when we finally have to say- ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I will not let a fundamentalist, violent, vocal, raucous minority of people- whether they are muslims or christians or whatever- take away my freedoms. Sure, there are moderate, secular, reasonable muslims, but WHAT is being done about the rest of the muslims who are destroying western values and freedoms. This disaster didn't happen in one day and it has been a growing problem in Europe and now it is becoming apparent in the U.S. Giving "special" rights and considerations is the slippery slope. People need to wake up and see that allowing fundamentalist, who want to go back to the 7th century, with their sharia law and hate, are going to destroy our civilization as we know it.

An informed reader:

For your information, Nick Berg's execution was not faked. It really happened and it will happen again and again and again. I work for the government.

truth-serum:

The European union claims freedom of expression when it comes to insulting muslim's beliefs. Did you know that it is a gainst the law in europe to express your opinion about the HOLLOCAUST.
In european countries if your research leads you to publish that the hollocaust numbers are exagerated, you would go to jail. Where is the freedom of expression?
EMPTY SLOGANS and WHITE SUPRIMACISM is the issue here and not freedom of expression.

Soleman:

This is no film, and does not deserve all this attention.

Just some news clips and stolen material.

Take the beheading of Nick Berg for example, every intelligent person knows it was faked.

In short this is disgorged TV trash.

Rockin Rodney:

Can't we all just learn to live without contact with each other? There are fundamental differences between our cultures that cannot be resolved. We should, therefore, treat each other as they do not exist on some levels. At the same time, the US should start a new cold war and be at the ready, willing and able to use such weapons. No economic contact, no religious strife, no immigration. Let's sever all ties for as long as this religion exists.

We can give Israel a bunch of nukes and call it a day with them.

Then, we should concentrate our work on maintaining a sound, stable energy policy and removing all religious influences from our own domestic crazies.

We don't need them, not at all.

Kris Thomas:

Suppose for a minute that Islam as a religion does have some references to violence in its scriptures, then where does a logical mind go from there?

1. Is it the only religion that does have references to war and violence in its scriptures?

2. Is it appropriate to take those references to war and violence and present them in the most provocative manner?

3. Aren't there 2 sides to every story, especially if it is supposed to be non-fiction and not a fantasy? so where is the balance to allow one to make an informed decision?

4. Has the world become so civilized that it is now time to start going backwards, by promoting hatred and persecution for those who hold certain religious beliefs?

5. Historically, how much death and suffering has been caused by those purporting to follow the Islamic faith compared to those who have followed other faiths?

If you want to take the easy route, join the mob and practice in some psychological violence and hatred of your own as promoted by Wilders. If you want to take the high road, take a deep breath and tell yourself you are mature than this lowlife

Don:

In the U.S. most newspapers aren't even carrying this story because the editors are fearful that in reporting this story they would forfeit their lives. Such cowardice! I have no problem with any people any where, but Islam is a scourge on humanity that should be wiped out! Poorly educated people flock to Islam because it allows them to practice their prejudices acknowledged by God. To borrow a quote from Farrahkan it is truly a gutter religion.

xoxo:

all the musims do is complain, everyone is against them.. its their screwed up religion that is at fault. There is nothing peaceful about all the hatred that is preached in the koran.. yes I have read it

FunTravelAdventure:

I will now make it a point to buy Danish products, especially Danish hams. You should try some mohammed.

I wouldn't give a puddle of p-ss for all the world's religions, but the muzlum so-called religions is the worst of them all and should be eliminated from the face of the earth.

Push the muzlums out of the civilized areas of the earth and back to their own backward cesspools of ignorance and fanaticism.

Jack KT:

Your argument doesn't hold a teaspoon of water.

The point is that the author has an agenda which is malicious and apparently he has many willing accomplices.

The same people who value so highly the freedom of expression seem to have found a way around it by taking an entirely opposite view when it comes to anything that touches on anti-semitism. In fact, you can hold a personal view that the earth is flat without much problem in Netherlands. But if you question the extent of jewish suffering in historical context in world war 2, you can be sent to jail not only in that country of Netherlands that values free speech, but the entire continent it is in.

Something smells rotten in Denmark

Yes Johnny part of being a good citizen is respecting the views of your neighbors, and the views they hold sacred even if you don't agree with them. Taking those views out of context and inciting hatred may cause you to be labelled an individual with malicious intent and sometimes cause large scale suffering such as Milosevic or even Hitler.

Someone please stop this guy who seems to be out of his mind. We don't need another ethnic or religious cleansing. There are other ways to persuade others to be more like us, but vilifying them is not one of the ways.

Christy:

Geert Wilders is absolutely terrifying in his relentless lack of logic. He cannot possibly believe that Islam is the only religion that has been used to justify violence. Hitler used Lutheranism and coopted the church authority to justify his evil. Catholics have been killing Protestants and Protestants returning the favor for over 500 years. In fact during 1500's in Spain, when the Jews were cast out they went to Muslim countries where they were frequently sheltered and valued for their skills. It was a Turkish ambassador that saved many Jewish lives in Greece. There are evil people of every persuasion and blessed people of every persuasion.

Steve G:

So the Dutch reaction to the cartoons was to pile on Israel?
Sure sounds like the typical European reaction.

Anne Frank would be so proud.....

JRLR:

To paraphrase I WILL WATCH THE FILM: I do not think I do not decide whether (a religion) is violent by watching a film. I decide whether (a religion) is a peaceful religion (or religion that incite violence) by watching (the) deeds and words (of its faithfuls), including those that I see on the Internet... and I think many people would be the same.

I know this is unpleasant, yet legitimate to ask: does anybody here know how many hundreds of thousands of people (amongst them how many of them Muslims?) have been the innocent victims of those of us that let themselves be led, in that "crusade", by some "born-again" lot who had "committed (their) heart to Jesus"?

For the record (The Christian Science Monitor, from the September 19, 2001 edition, by Peter Ford -- "Europe cringes at Bush 'crusade' against terrorists"):

"As Europeans wait to see how the United States is planning to retaliate for last week's attacks on Washington and New York, there is growing anxiety here about the tone of American war rhetoric.

President Bush's reference to a "crusade" against terrorism, WHICH PASSED ALMOST UNNOTICED BY AMERICANS (my emphasis), rang alarm bells in Europe. It raised fears that the terrorist attacks could spark a 'clash of civilizations' between Christians and Muslims, sowing fresh winds of hatred and mistrust.

"We have to avoid a clash of civilizations at all costs," French foreign minister Hubert Vedrine said on Sunday. "One has to avoid falling into this huge trap, this monstrous trap" which he said had been "conceived by the instigators of the assault."

On Sunday, Bush warned Americans that "this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile.""

WHY are we so weak in mathematics when it comes to victims accounting?

WHY are we so blind when it comes to admitting to what extent Judeo-Christianism has been genocidal and remains, to this very day, "violent"?

i will watch the film:

I do not think I do not decide whether Islam is violent by watching a film.

I decide whether Islam is a peaceful religion (or religion that incite violence) by watching Muslim people's deeds and words, including those that I see on the Internet.

and I think many people would be the same.

I have seen many Muslim women wearing veil, some of them completely hide their face. I know from my experience that they are quite closed-minded. They won't make eye-contact. They won't talk to you. They are not interested in the outside world.

You can tell a lot about a person from the person's appearance--what kind of clothes, color, style, make-up, you wear--really shows the state of that person.

I want to live in the world where women and men can exist equally. I want to live in the world where women do not have to worry if her skirt length is too short. I want to live in the world where women can speak up against men.

The fact is: Islam segregates women and men. Islam discriminates against women. Koran says: FEAR GOD. OBEY GOD. It forces people to submit to God.

In short, Islam oppresses people.

I am against any religion that oppresses people.

i will watch the film:

I do not think I do not decide whether Islam is violent by watching a film.

I decide whether Islam is a peaceful religion (or religion that incite violence) by watching Muslim people's deeds and words, including those that I see on the Internet.

and I think many people would be the same.

I have seen many Muslim women wearing veil, some of them completely hide their face. I know from my experience that they are quite closed-minded. They won't make eye-contact. They won't talk to you. They are not interested in the outside world.

You can tell a lot about a person from the person's appearance--what kind of clothes, color, style, make-up, you wear--really shows the state of that person.

I want to live in the world where women and men can exist equally. I want to live in the world where women do not have to worry is her skirt length is too short. I want to live in the world where women can speak up against men.

The fact is: Islam segregates women and men. That means Islam discriminates against both men and women.

I am against any religion that denies people to be who they are.

Q-bert:

The Dutch are the first to exhibit a holier than thou attitude toward U.S. policies.

I hope they enjoy their dhimmitude.

Mohamed Alkilani:

The cold north wind is blowing in vain
Danish an Dutch futile attacks on Islam


The North Wind was trying to demonstrate its stronger power over that of the sun by blowing so hard to make a man wearing a coat to take it off. Instead of removing his coat the man held tightly onto it. When the sun had its turn it just had to send warmth to make that man willingly take off his coat. From Aesop's fables.

With the republishing of the so called "Mohammed cartoons" most Muslim websites and newspapers now exhibit signs displaying "except Mohamed" urging visitors and readers to boycott all Danish products. This public campaign has worked to the extent of making people detest any Danish product.

Privately many Muslim leaders or Imams are gleaming with joy for the reaction that such provocative moves have caused and many of them can not remember any thing like it. They wonder whether is it a rekindled love or dormant emotions or feelings that have been awakened.

These Imams have never seen such a show of love by the masses for prophet Mohamed, and now the stage is set for the anti-Koran film which perhaps would also reignite the interest in reciting the Quran.

At the end of the day if these provocations turn out to be counter productive, should Muslims be thankful ? Certainly but not to Jyllands Posten or Geert Wilders. Instead they should be thankful to Allah who put at their disposal such an arrogant and ignorant enemy whose actions only served to strengthen their beliefs.

Denmark has chosen to embrace the role of the whipping boy to whom all angry emotions are vented and Denmark is probably taking over the USA in one area, the country which has its flag suffer most frequent flag desecration or burning. So the previously respected Danish flag is now being widely used as a floor mat.

Denmark followed by the Netherlands have chosen to be the football players who score the auto goal, or the soldiers who carry the guns that backfire.


While Muslims are not happy with such provocations and do not appreciate these actions they are certainly grateful for the result. So why shall they pray for the replacement of conveniently placed players or soldiers?

Obviously the source of these irresponsible provocations is not the cunning British or the sly French but rather they originated from the land from where the north wind blows or the land of the blond which proves that blond stupidity does have certain merits. Shakespeare was thoughtful in saying: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark"

But why did the Danes or the Dutch choose this time? Probably it is just miscalculation on their part. They may have thought that this is the best time to defeat Islam morally as it has so far resisted all attacks militarily.

A similar situation where attacks have backfired was mentioned in the Quran in the chapter of light or "Sura Noor". There is a verse that refers to an incident when Aisha the wife of prophet Mohamed was accused of adultery. The verse says:


"Those who have brought forth the false accusation were a group from within you. Do not think it is bad for you, for it is good for you. Every person amongst them will have what he deserves of the sin. And as for he who had the greatest portion of it, he will have a great retribution."

This systematic attack on Islam has so far been directed towards the most sacred person in Islam; the prophet Mohamed and to the most sacred book the Quran.

We should expect the next attack to be directed towards Makkah (Mecca ) the most sacred place for Muslims, where the Saudis would not welcome that attack publicly but privately would love to see millions of Muslims flock to Makkah exactly as the man wearing the coat was holding it tightly as the north wind blows stronger.


One can not help but ask the question: What have the Danes or the Dutch gained from all of this? And have they ran out of other ideas to demonstrate the right for free press?


Mohamed Alkilani
Benghazi Libya

Steve:

The Washington Post is a political mouthpiece for the Communists and muslims.... open your eyes Whitey! Islam killed more than 80 Million Hindus .......

JRLR:

Noam Chomsky has stated, quite rightly, I believe: “The BIBLE is probably the most genocidal book in the total canon.” (“Noam Chomsky on "Concision" in the US Media” ***)

My question is this: WHY then are so many people, in the West, more particularly in Europe (more so in Denmark and in The Netherlands, apparently) obsessed with the Koran, but not with the Bible?

Agreed, Chomsky’s is a “pretty startling comment” which calls for “a lot of evidence”. After all, as some might quite reasonably ask: “Why did he say that? I never heard that before!”

Here is part of the evidence provided by one of the greatest mythologists of our time, Joseph Campbell, in his “Myths to Live By” (Bantam, 1973, p. 179-184):

“The two greatest works of war mythology in the West are… the Iliad and the Old Testament… when we turn from the Iliad and Athens to Jerusalem and the Old Testament… the enemy… no matter who it may be, is handled… in a manner in striking contrast to the Greek, pretty much as though he were subhuman: not a “Thou” (to use Martin Buber’s term), but a thing, an “It.”… we have been bred to one of the most brutal war mythologies of all time… I have chosen a few characteristic passages.

“… you must utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them and show them no mercy… For you are a people holy… the Lord your God has chosen… to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 7: 1-6).

… in the cities of these people that the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them… (Deuteronomy 20: 10-18)

… they utterly destroyed all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and asses, with the edge of the sword… And they burned the city with fire, and all within it… (Joshua 6:21,24)… there was left none that survived or escaped… (Joshua 8: 22, 25) He left none remaining but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded.” (Joshua 10: 40).”

We have next the Book of Judges…The earliest hymn of the Bible, Deborah’s song, is a war song, (Judges 5). In the Book of Kings we have those utterly monstrous bloodbaths accomplished in the name, of course, of Yahweh by Elijah and Elisha…

But above and beyond all this there soars that beautiful ideal of an ultimate and universal peace, which, from the time of Isaiah onward, has played so alluringly through all the leading war mythologies of the West… Isaiah 65… “the wolf and the lamb shall feed together…”… However, just a little earlier: …”the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste… they shall call you the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 60: 10-14).”

Now it was strange, and not a little threatening and awesome, to hear echoes of these same themes emanating from the jubilation of victory in Israel, just following the six-day Blitzkrieg and Sabbath on the seventh, of recent date.”

Let me repeat my question: WHY, in that overall context, are so many people, in the West, more particularly in Europe (more so in Denmark and in The Netherlands, apparently) obsessed with the Koran, but not with the Bible? Why “attack” the Koran but not the Bible?

Seems to me some of us continue to be frighteningly selective about what they are prepared to perceive, and about who they choose to provoke repeatedly, in the name of what they keep calling, abusively, their "valued freedom of speech”.


***
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cceC3DeFcY&feature=related

Bynum:

The West is hell-bent on denigrating Islam by any way necessary to promote their agenda. I find all this film horrendous blasphemy against Islam and a modern crusade.Mind you, this is gonna pass too.

Usama:

European nationalism is not new. It has led to countless wars over the past centuries and gave life to imperialism. Dutch imperialism inlcuded.
It may be bad for business today though....

Usama:

The GDP of the Netherlands is more than that of Egypt. That spells most of the the problem- that 250 years of colonialism built Europe on top of the necks of the Muslim people and 3rd world in general.

You suck the blood and drink the milk shakes of billions of 'brown people' and then you wonder how they could have animosity towards you?

Islam stands for liberation for the Muslim world from the virtual servitude to the West.

Leave the Quran?
Why?

Why should a Muslim follow those who foment conflict and servitude to Western Man?

Freedom Lover:

The point of the film was that Muslims should reject any words of the Koran that promote violence. Exactly which part of that idea do you find unacceptable?

Or was it the fact that Fitna was entirely composed of real news footage and actual quotations that you found so offensive to the core beliefs of others? In my view, you prefer dialogue of the blind to dialogue of the deaf. Good luck with that!

Sorry, I prefer not to sing "Kumbaya" with people who would like to behead me for my religious beliefs. But that's just me...

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