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Who is the enemy in Colgne?

Dean has written short, strong article about the recent demonstration in Cologne.

Some observations:

Please note that we're talking about Turks here; Turkey has been at least theoretically peaceful and democratic for several generations. More specifically, Turks living in (generally) pacifist Germany. While the above link quotes the slogan "Hand in Hand for Peace and Against Terror," it is obvious from the article that the primary motivations of the organizers derive from fears that political assassinations such as the recent van Gogh murder will spread to Germany, as well as concerns about the peaceful assimilation of foreign-born Muslims into German society. I certainly didn't see any banners, signs, or quotes about the vicious murders in Iraq.

Also please note that most Muslim religious leaders have either stayed mum, or (the minority) have encouraged terrorist acts. Take Palestine, for example. There's a healthy minority who still think bin Laden is some sort of Jesse James/Robin Hood outlaw, defying the oppressive West.

After that, please note that the image of holy war is still very popular in Islam, whereas most of the Christian churches burned that out of their system back in the 17th century.

So I have to conclude that Dean's position -which insists that Muslims are just misunderstood peace-lovers- does not correspond to the facts.

Or, if I wanted to be snarky, I could say something clever like "I'll see you Cologne, and raise you 9/11, the Indonesia bombings, and all the Arabs who danced in the streets after 9/11. But that wouldn't prove much.

On the other hand, this doesn't mean that "Muslims are all bloodthirsty jihadists" is true. I would have to say that most contemporary Muslims are more susceptible to that kind of bloody imagery than most Christians or Jews; I suspect that Christians are more resistant (or at least, less enthusiastic) because we had our faces rubbed into the filthy results of holy war four centuries ago, while the only historical memories Muslim Arabs have are of Saladin driving out the Crusaders.

Iraqis are getting a faceful of those kind of results right now, especially in Fallujah. I suspect that vicious behavior displayed by the animals in Iraq and Russia repel most normal Muslims, and force them to ask themselves what they really believe in. In fact, I believe that many bloggers -including Dean- have linked to the beginning of several public dialogs on that point; Muslims are starting to ask themselves "Just why are most of the terrorists in today's world Muslim?"

Citing Cologne as an example that Islam is a peace-loving religion is neither statistically nor rhetorically accurate. I could just as easily find enough Christians to hold a demonstration in support of Ann Coulter's suggestion that "we kill them all, or convert them." A more reliable analysis would examine Muslim attitudes around the entire globe. And, as I pointed out above, the majority of Muslim religious leaders are -at best- silent about terrorist actions.

Also, let me repeat that disagreement with Dean doesn't mean that I accept the obverse claim that Islam is a religion of blood and holy war. Oh, it can be, but that's not necessarily a fundamental element of Islam. Let us recall some of the marvelous civilizations which came from a blend of Arab Islam and European Christianity, such as southern Spain before the reconquista. In fact, Arab Islamic interest in learning helped preserve many works from Classical civilization, which were later transferred back to Europe through Italy and the Renaissance.

It's a complex question, and a simple, binary definition of the question -whether Islam is a religion of blood, or peace- doesn't do the topic justice.

Still, I believe that Dean's inclinations point toward what will become true in the future. Modern Islam is looking into a mirror, and I suspect that most Muslims don't like what they see.


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Comments (1)

Still, I believe that Dean's inclinations point toward what will become true in the future. Modern Islam is looking into a mirror, and I suspect that most Muslims don't like what they see.

That's what I really think and hope.

I want to encourage those guys, and people like freemuslims.org.

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