Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Marrakesh Declaration


This last week, a beloved church sister took part in an important conference in Marrakesh, where this vital declaration was signed by Muslim leaders re-affirming a traditional Islamic belief in religious liberty. Important, history-making stuff, this.

The Marrakesh Declaration

WHEREAS, conditions in various parts of the Muslim World have deteriorated dangerously due to the use of violence and armed struggle as a tool for settling conflicts and imposing one's point of view;
WHEREAS, this situation has also weakened the authority of legitimate governments and enabled criminal groups to issue edicts attributed to Islam, but which, in fact, alarmingly distort its fundamental principles and goals in ways that have seriously harmed the population as a whole;
WHEREAS, this year marks the 1,400th anniversary of the Charter of Medina, a constitutional contract between the Prophet Muhammad, God's peace and blessings be upon him, and the people of Medina, which guaranteed the religious liberty of all, regardless of faith;
WHEREAS, hundreds of Muslim scholars and intellectuals from over 120 countries, along with representatives of Islamic and international organizations, as well as leaders from diverse religious groups and nationalities, gathered in Marrakesh on this date to reaffirm the principles of the Charter of Medina at a major conference;
WHEREAS, this conference was held under the auspices of His Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and organized jointly by the Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs in the Kingdom of Morocco and the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies based in the United Arab Emirates;
AND NOTING the gravity of this situation afflicting Muslims as well as peoples of other faiths throughout the world, and after thorough deliberation and discussion, the convened Muslim scholars and intellectuals:

DECLARE HEREBY our firm commitment to the principles articulated in the Charter of Medina, whose provisions contained a number of the principles of constitutional contractual citizenship, such as freedom of movement, property ownership, mutual solidarity and defense, as well as principles of justice and equality before the law; and that,
The objectives of the Charter of Medina provide a suitable framework for national constitutions in countries with Muslim majorities, and the United Nations Charter and related documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are in harmony with the Charter of Medina, including consideration for public order.
NOTING FURTHER that deep reflection upon the various crises afflicting humanity underscores the inevitable and urgent need for cooperation among all religious groups, we
AFFIRM HEREBY that such cooperation must be based on a "Common Word," requiring that such cooperation must go beyond mutual tolerance and respect, to providing full protection for the rights and liberties to all religious groups in a civilized manner that eschews coercion, bias, and arrogance.

BASED ON ALL OF THE ABOVE, we hereby:
Call upon Muslim scholars and intellectuals around the world to develop a jurisprudence of the concept of "citizenship" which is inclusive of diverse groups. Such jurisprudence shall be rooted in Islamic tradition and principles and mindful of global changes.
Urge Muslim educational institutions and authorities to conduct a courageous review of educational curricula that addesses honestly and effectively any material that instigates aggression and extremism, leads to war and chaos, and results in the destruction of our shared societies;
Call upon politicians and decision makers to take the political and legal steps necessary to establish a constitutional contractual relationship among its citizens, and to support all formulations and initiatives that aim to fortify relations and understanding among the various religious groups in the Muslim World;
Call upon the educated, artistic, and creative members of our societies, as well as organizations of civil society, to establish a broad movement for the just treatment of religious minorites in Muslim countries and to raise awareness as to their rights, and to work together to ensure the success of these efforts.
Call upon the various religious groups bound by the same national fabric to address their mutual state of selective amnesia that blocks memories of centuries of joint and shared living on the same land; we call upon them to rebuild the past by reviving this tradition of conviviality, and restoring our shared trust that has been eroded by extremists using acts of terror and aggression;
Call upon representatives of the various religions, sects and denominations to confront all forms of religious bigotry, villification, and denegration of what people hold sacred, as well as all speech that promote hatred and bigotry;
AND FINALLY,
AFFIRM that it is unconscionable to employ religion for the purpose of aggressing upon the rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries.

Marrakesh
January 2016, 27th

196 comments:

Marshall Art said...

Your "beloved church sister" seems somewhat the fool, as do any who believe this "important conference" re-affirmed what you claim it did. Did she actually read the Charter of Medina, or did she simply take the word of others as to what it actually said and did? Go ahead and read it yourself and then try to tell me that it protected religious differences? Seems to me that it plainly bases everything on devotion to the state and that nothing gets approved if not approved by muhammad or allah (as if they have a direct line).

Without actually needing to, as the very real problems with re-affirming the charter of a despot seemed quite plain, I came upon this explanation of what the charter actually says and does. Can't see anyone with a lick of sense thinking re-affirming this does the world any good. But then...

And then there's the following from Robert Spencer speaking of Qasim Rashid:

"Rashid also doesn’t mention that the Constitution of Medina is of doubtful authenticity. Like so much of what we “know” about Muhammad, it is first mentioned in Ibn Ishaq’s biography of Muhammad, which was written over 125 years after the accepted date for Muhammad’s death. Unfortunately for Rashid, Ibn Ishaq also details what happened to three Jewish tribes of Arabia after the Constitution of Medina: Muhammad exiled the Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Nadir, massacred the Banu Qurayza after they (understandably) made a pact with his enemies during the pagan Meccans’ siege of Medina, and then massacred the exiles at the Khaybar oasis, giving Muslims even today a bloodthirsty war chant: “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return.” Funny how we never hear Muslims chanting, “Relax, relax, O Jews, the Constitution of Medina will return.”"

This study assumes authenticity, but shows that the Jews were not so much separate, but meant to be considered muslim. That is, that the intention of including them was to eventually win them over to islam. When this was eventually shown to become impossible (in a very short period of time when this document was supposed to have been written and implemented), alterations were made or the document was suppressed. Nonetheless, the document points to a muslim-superior theocracy, not a true democracy and equality of faiths.

So the question then, is whether or not this Marrakesh thing is beneficial and in what way it will pave the way toward a rejection of the goals of ISIS-like groups? I'm wagering it will have no true effect of any kind, other than for some to feel good about themselves. What supporters of such impotent gestures refuse to acknowledge is just how firmly and to their core the ISIS types actually believe what they preach. That seems clearly to be to the extent that they will continue to do whatever they can to force their beliefs upon the world, subjugate the world or bring it to its end in the name of their god. Any happy dance over this Marrakesh thing is premature and worthless.

Dan Trabue said...

What a bitter and sad man you are.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

-Jesus

Dan Trabue said...

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned.

~St Paul

Marshall Art said...

What's so bitter and sad in one who doesn't swallow every superficial feel-good act that accomplishes nothing but to instill a false sense of improvement regarding the evils of the world? Division already exists, you fool, between those who do evil together with their enablers and appeasers, and the rest of us.

Did you even read any of the links I presented, or do you just satisfy yourself with castigating those who actually look deeply into a situation?

Rhetorical question. I know the answer.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, what is bitter, sad and divisive is here is a large group of Christian and Muslim believers, coming together to promote peace and religious liberty and all you can do is try to take a dump on it. Be a blessed peacemaker, Marshall. Abandon this divisive, destructive, hateful and graceless path you are on.

We need more peacemakers and fewer dump-takers. Do you have any helpful comments on the actual Declaration? On Muslims uniting with Christians to promote actual religious liberty in Muslim areas where there it is lacking?

Dan Trabue said...

Yes, I did review at least your first source (an anti-Muslim site). And yes, I had read the Charter before, finding items like this...

Those Jews who follow the Believers will be helped and will be treated with equality. (Social, legal and economic equality is promised to all loyal citizens of the State).

No Jew will be wronged for being a Jew.

Etc.

So, it appears that you want us to think that you - Not a scholar of Islam or an expert in the Koran or Islamic studies, is that safe to say? - and some anti-Islam site are better experts than actual Muslims and other Islamic scholars with decades of experience working alongside Muslims in the real world?

This is the problem that conservatives have that make it hard to take you seriously: You want to say that you and only you are able to read the Bible and decide what it means and not only that, but you and only you are the "experts" in Islam, as well?

The people who worked on the Marrakesh Declaration are actual Muslims who are actual scholars and well-versed in Islam. My friend is an actual scholar who has lived for decades in a Muslim nation studying, working and living alongside actual Muslims (of all stripes).

IF you want to be taken seriously, Marshall, and not as a mere disruptive and divisive pissant operating from a place of ignorance and bigotry, please provide your scholarly background that warrants anyone taking anything you say seriously. Short of that, perhaps you can step aside for a moment, take a look at what you've said and done, and at least recognize how others can only take you for a crank.

So, Marshall, I will welcome you providing your scholarly bona fides or, failing that, I will welcome your admission that you are speaking literally from a place of ignorance - that you have never spent even weeks studying Islam among Muslims and working along side Muslims, much less engaged in scholarly study of the topic - and that yes, you recognize we should take your ignorance with a grain of salt.

If it turns out you have years of experience with Islam and Muslims in a scholarly setting, I will gladly admit I misspoke and apologize for making a presumption. I'm hoping you are man enough to do the same.

Marshall Art said...

"Be a blessed peacemaker, Marshall."

I am a peacemaker by destroying those who refuse to live in peace with those unable to resist their despotism. This is called, "protecting the innocent" or "laying down one's life for others". Appeasing despots never results in peace. Never has, never will.

"Do you have any helpful comments on the actual Declaration?"

Yes. Burn it. It is worthless except to muslims promoting their notion that no other religion should exist. Even as this was composed by Muhammad before he went total despot, it was slanted to his benefit as can plainly be seen by anyone who cares to read it honestly. I did that. You might want to find someone in your area who can do that for you, as you clearly are incapable.

"On Muslims uniting with Christians to promote actual religious liberty in Muslim areas where there it is lacking?"

Yes. They need to be treated by psychologists for their self-delusion. Nothing they will or can do will have any effect on those they hope to persuade, because the very fact that they want to engage peacefully is insulting to the despots who only recognize and respect greater power. People like you refuse to realize that they have no desire to "work with you". They only want three things from you: that you convert to islam, that you pay them heavy taxes if you do not, which makes you subservient or that you die, preferably by their hand. There is no fourth possibility that does not include using superior force to the extent that they are no longer willing to die for their cause.

"Yes, I did review at least your first source (an anti-Muslim site)."

You say that like it's a bad thing. Of COURSE it's "anti-muslim". It makes no bones about it as those who run the site, former muslims all, raised in the faith and the culture, have rejected it for the lie it is. Your sneering is no different than if you were to rip on a site exposing pedophiles as "anti-child love".

Worse, is the implication that because it is "anti-muslim", that it isn't speaking the truth and providing facts about this evil and because it is "anti-muslim" that it must be rejected at the start. This is "anti-truth" on your part, something I've come to take for granted with you. Try going to the "about" page on that site and learn something about those who run the site. Then tell me they aren't expert enough to inform us on this issue.

More later on the rest of your last comment.

Dan Trabue said...

So, you think someone who has come out of a tradition and has noted the problems within that tradition is or at least can be a reliable source? Duly noted. I hope you'd extend the same wisdom to folk like me who have come out of the conservative Christian background and have learned something of its errors.

Regardless, I do not know those fellows, whereas I do know (and support) my friend and her family and comrades, I know the dedication to peacemaking and justice and the education and wisdom they have. The decades of in person study of Islam and Muslims and I do trust efforts at peacemaking and find your dismissal to be arrogant and divisive.

What have YOU done to promote peace and justice with our Muslim neighbors? How many years of study and devotion and hard work have you put forth to bring peace?

You'll pardon me if I dismiss your dismissal as coming from a place of ignorance and personal moral bankruptcy as far as coming up with any real solutions.

When you come up with some actual helpful works on this front - some years of effort and serious scholarship, then come back and dismiss this important and - time will show - historic work. Until then, go away.

Marshall Art said...

"I hope you'd extend the same wisdom to folk like me who have come out of the conservative Christian background and have learned something of its errors."

I might, if anything you've ever said reflected reality and the truth about what conservatism and "conservative Christianity" looks like. You dont'. As I've said many times, you've never provided anything that demonstrates you ever understood conservatism during the time you claimed you were conservative. To what little extent you've spoken of it in all the years we've engaged on the web, none of it resembles any conservative or "conservative Christian" I've ever met or known.

As to the site, it isn't a matter of "someone", but a collection of those who have come see islam for the sham it is. What's more, it stands as but one of many who, based on the words of islamic scholars and apologist highly respected by muslims, can clearly support the FACT that islam is NOT a "religion of peace" at all...and that's setting aside the fact that it ain't much of a religion so much as a political ideology.

Dedication to peacemaking and justice does not guarantee wisdom in the pursuit of either. Doctorates do not equate to wisdom. Believing there is any way of getting through to the people that are the most devoted to islam and its foul teachings indicates a fatal lack of wisdom. Believing that those perceived to be "moderate" muslims represent true islam confirms a lack of wisdom. While I applaud muslims who reject the violent mandates of islam, they must reject far more than that in order for there to be any true peace and justice.

"What have YOU done to promote peace and justice with our Muslim neighbors?"

I don't need to have done anything to know true idiocy when I see it. Pretending progress is being made because your deluded friends sit down with muslims too fearful to be truly devoted to their "faith" does not impress. I tend to listen to those like the ex-muslims from the site to which I linked. I tend to listen to former terrorists like Walid Shoebat. I tend to listen to women who have suffered at the hands of the most devoted to islam. I tend to listen to those who now must live life underground because they dared expose islam for what it truly is. What have you and yours done to deal with the people who have put the lives of these at risk? Answer: Not a f*cking thing!

I don't need your pardon in dismissing your absolute stupidity (not mere ignorance) and personal evil in pretending there is any hope of changing the hearts and minds of those you pretend are corrupting an evil ideology that doesn't include the most devastating display of force to eradicate it from the face of the earth.

You want helpful works? Name just one what has ever been shown to work with a muslim extremist. Name just one that has turned such a demon into something close to a civilized person tolerant of the differences between his "faith" and the faiths of others. When you can provide any such example, then you will finally, at least on this issue, successfully pulled your head out of your own ass.

So let's see some "hard data" that shows this isn't all a pipe dream, that it has ever produced the results that are exemplified by the outlawing of female genital mutilation, the tossing of homosexuals off of high buildings, the murder by beheading of those who disagree. Just one. Until then, there is nothing to suggest that this kumbaya nonsense isn't just more wheel spinning. In order for this to be "historic", there must be some hint of successful achievement of goals.



Dan Trabue said...

I don't need to have done anything to know true idiocy when I see it.

No, you can sit around and anonymously take dumps on blogs saying "they're stoopid, they're not helping..." and never lift a finger to work for peace. You can demonize people you do not know who are first hand experts on Islam and the Muslim world who are actually working for peace and justice and actually making a demonstrable difference in the world.

But you can't do that here and expected to be taken seriously or anything but a pissy little blowhard. Go away, pissyboy.

Marshall Art said...

"pissyboy"? What a perfectly effeminate choice of epithet. It totally matches the worthless efforts of those at this worthless conference at Marrakesh.

What makes you think I do nothing for the cause of peace? Merely studying the situation is a first step toward that very goal. Honest study informs me of just how evil islam truly is, what a power hungry despot their central figure was and how the very same rhetoric we hear today from the strongest adherents of islam is the exact same rhetoric from the 7th century.

Knowing full well the dangers of expecting these animals to actually and sincerely negotiate a true peace, it is clear that the only road to peace involves force against those who would see us dead or enslaved. As they only respect force, and are totally unswayed by impotent John Lennon give peace a chance crap, they must be hunted down and destroyed to the extent that any who have managed to survive our fury will be far too fearful of ever daring to attack us again. They are emboldened by people like you and your first hand fools...not persuaded to lay down their dull head-hacking blades to live and let live. This has been demonstrated time and time again.

Thus, I support a strong military and a stronger military leadership (including a commander-in-chief who isn't flaccid and spineless, like Obama) who understands the threat and what is necessary to eliminate it once and for all.

These bastards have been at it since muhammad began his reign of terror 14 centuries ago. We've seen what happens when "peace" is brokered as had been in Israel over and over again with the Pallies. We see how they respond to the welcome they've received in all those European countries where they have raised the rate of rapes and other crimes. Nothing ever changes, except that some move away from true devotion to islamic teachings, some, like those who run the site to which I linked, totally leave religious faith altogether.

And then there are those like the people your deluded friend thinks have any pull with those who are doing harm. These fakes simply pretend they are practicing the true islam, when so many prove they are simply, much like progressive christians, rejecting that which they find inconvenient (and in their case, freaking dangerous), and try to convince idiots on the left that the thugs are the ones corrupting "the faith". It's all crap and people like you dine on sandwiches of it.

So...what have YOU done? And be specific. How has anything YOU'VE done had any positive effect on the despotic assholes who would toss your homosexual friends off buildings, rape your womenfolk (as well as your young boys), kill you for perceived insults against their faith and "prophet"? Instead, you merely pronounce yourself caring and "working for peace" in a very self-satisfying manner without accomplishing anything substantial. I'm sure you're all very impressed with yourselves. You want peace? You won't get it trying to run this weak sh*t in any of those muslim countries.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, there are a billion+ Muslims in the world. We can not bomb or kill our way through all Muslims to live at peace. The idea is immoral and irrational.

The ONLY solution out there is to appeal to the vast majority of moderate Muslims so that Christians, Pagans, Muslims and Jews are all united against violent people (be they Muslim extremists or Christian extremists or otherwise). That is the one and only solution that is moral and rational.

I and my church regularly reach out to Muslims, here in the US and abroad. We work with our friends in Muslim nations like this lady. We work hand in glove and side by side with Muslims all around the world so we can all see that working together is the answer, not some appeal to bomb, kill or militarily "resolve" the problem with Muslim extremists. We are doing that, day in and day out (more so my friends like the one mentioned in this story, but here, too, in our own small ways and by supporting the work in the middle east). This effort is historic, time will show, and it is exactly the sort of thing that must be done to promote peace.

So, given that we are working for peace, actively and from a place of personal firsthand knowledge, you will have to pardon us if we find people who go around and try to undo real work when they are doing nothing and are coming from a place of only second hand scare stories and no real scholarship. Again, go out, find some real work to do to promote peace and do some actual scholarly research, THEN come back and we can talk about the efficacy of this approach.

In the meantime, you just have no credibility and appear to be only trying to piss on other people's actual work. I do not care what a know-nothing, do-nothing fella thinks about this actual work so your concern (from a place of ignorance) is duly noted. Move on until you have something substantive to say from a place of actual knowledge and with a history of actual work on the topic.

Craig said...

I didn't want to comment much on this without doing some research, but it sounds like the declaration doesn't address the actions of legitimate Muslim governments against their Muslim citizens.

At this point my problem in research is that virtually every site that has covered this is either fawningly pro Islam or from the perspective of ex Muslims who are understandably not necessarily unbiased either. I realize that if you leave a religion where the penalty for leaving that religion is death, that it would tend to make you less than objective when writing about people who would kill you if given a chance.

One specific thing that I haven't found so far, is whether this Charter of Medina was intended to be a pattern for Muslim/Non Muslim relationships throughout the world or if it was specific to the conditions in Medina as they existed at the time. The other question I am trying to research is what the goal of this declaration is. Is there some sort of metric that will measure success or failure, and if so what that metric is.

Obviously, I am all in favor of anything that involves Muslims trying to limit the violent acts perpetrated in the name of Islam and from that perspective if this is successful if doing that I don't see the harm. Given my close contact with numerous Muslims and watching the local Muslim community dealing with the radicalization of it's youth at a disturbing level, I am always glad when there is an effort from the Muslim community to speak out and engage in concrete actions to curb violence.

If I can find some unbiased reporting I hope I can get my questions answered and my comment further.

Dan Trabue said...

Knowing my friend and her friends, I know them to be objective. They live in a Muslim nation and have for decades. They know the very real problems of Muslim extremists, as do the Muslim friends and colleagues they have. They have NO investment in sugarcoating the problem of violent extremists. They have NO investment in religious practices that oppress women. These Christians and their Musliim friends and colleagues are objective and want to find peaceful solutions.

They also recognize the rather obvious notion that the way to solve the problem of extremism is in appealing to rational moderates and, together, marginalizing the violent extremist minority and any religious tenets they suggest support oppression and violence.

This is just reasonable, I don't know why there'd be any debate on the merits of this effort, even if it were only a partial effort (as all such grand efforts are).

Craig said...

Again, I would like to actually look at some unbiased coverage of the event and try to determine based on that what to think. I don't know your friend or her friends. Quite honestly I have no way of knowing with any degree of certainty how well you know these people. (No offense intended, it's just that the internet is a fairly anonymous place and in many cases there is just no way to verify some things. Not casting aspersions, it's just the facts of the situation)

I have to admit, I'm a little troubled/puzzled by the lack of unbiased coverage of this, which (as a trained journalist) causes me to question things. But, until I see something unbiased, I'll just have to stick with some qualified support for the effort if nothing else.

Dan Trabue said...

Here's Christianity Today's report on it...

For years, Texas megachurch pastor Bob Roberts has been building relationships with Muslims... This week, Roberts traveled to Marrakesh, Morocco, alongside more than 250 Muslim religious leaders, heads of state, and scholars, for a groundbreaking summit. On Wednesday, the Muslim leaders released the Marrakesh Declaration: a 750-word document calling for religious freedom for non-Muslims in majority-Muslim countries...

“I’m blown away,” Roberts told CT from Morocco. “This is a Muslim conference put together by the top sheiks, ministers of religion, the grand muftis of the top Muslim majority nations, and they came up with a declaration, literally using the language of religious freedom to declare that violence cannot be done in the name of Islam.”

...Other evangelicals that attended included Rick Love, the president of the Denver-based Peace Catalyst International, and Travis Wussow, who directs international justice and religious freedom at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.


http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2016/january/marrakesh-declaration-muslim-nations-christian-persecution.html

I couldn't find CNN or Time or Fox or other major coverage of it either. That's interesting, I wonder what's up with that? Poor reporting, it would seem. Still, CT can hardly be called a bastion of liberalism.

Dan Trabue said...

You're a trained journalist? Care to elaborate?

My initial degree pursuit in college was journalism, by the way. I won a few awards for reporting and editing, but at a small scale. After 2 years of journalism, I switched to education/special education, but enjoyed working on the college newspaper.

Craig said...

My undergrad degree was Journalism, back when Journalism was about the 5W's and 1H.

Dan Trabue said...

What is it about now? The 3 Rs? Rage, Ridicule, Rampage?

Craig said...

No, it's more about advancing an agenda. The last time I talked about this with my cousin (Until recently she was a professor at the MU J school and an editor at the newspaper), her reason for going into journalism was because she wanted to influence things. Personal example, I was at an event years ago when Bill Clinton spoke. That evening I watched the local and national news coverage of the event and was mildly surprised at how the reporting was done in a way that almost the complete opposite of the facts of the event.

So, yes I'm old school. When reporters were supposed to be objective and report the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Not try to advance an agenda.

Dan Trabue said...

It's true, Fox and other outlets too often have too obvious of an agenda. To some degree, it can't be helped and hopefully, there is enough pressure to be unbiased enough to get a fairly decent representation of the news, but given human nature, it will never be perfect. Still, many groups do a decent job of reporting news, even with an agenda. Fox often gets many things right, CNN and NPR does an even better job, in my estimation. Oftentimes, reporters are only as unbiased as the (generally conservative) owners of the company allow, but we can hope for the best and in the meantime, find news in a range of sources to balance things out.

Myself, I have no problem with your cousin going into journalism to influence things. Hopefully, though, it will be to influence things positively by reporting the truth, not slanted journalism or out and out fake, attack, or just plain goofy "journalism" like WND or these PP attackers.

Dan Trabue said...

"For instance, currently 45 percent of the claims we’ve checked from NBC and MSNBC pundits and on-air personalities have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire.

At Fox and Fox News Channel, that same number is now 58 percent.

At CNN, it’s 22 percent."

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/article/2014/sep/16/fact-checking-fox-msnbc-and-cnn-punditfacts-networ/

Yes, there is bias. But there always has been. Take news with a grain of salt but recognize that there is real news out there, what else can a fella do?

Craig said...

It's a complicated issue, made more so by the advent of cable/satellite and the internet. Having said that I personally would find it unacceptable for a news reporter covering a news story to allow bias to influence the way the story is covered or presented.

Without digging further it appears that your "fact check" article does not differentiate between news and opinion.

For example both Fox News and MSNBC offer some shows that are clearly labeled as news and presented as such. They both also offer shows (O'Riley,Sharpton, etc) which are not and do not claim to be news.

As a bit of a traditionalist, I'd suggest that the shows labeled and presented as news are analogous to the "News" sections of a newspaper (National/Local etc) while the other shows are analogous to the opinion or editorial pages of a newspaper. So while the "news" sections should be unbiased the editorial section is not so constrained.

The problem is that there are theoretically different standards established by the FCC for "over the air" (public airways) and "print" with cable and satellite falling somewhere in the middle.

As to influencing things, I suspected you would support that goal (at least as long as it was to influence things in a way that you agree with), I would argue that the role of a journalist is to report the facts in as honest and unbiased way as possible to give people enough accurate information to form their own opinions. I would argue that a journalist with an agenda is not providing the service they claim to provide.

Dan Trabue said...

As to influencing things, I suspected you would support that goal (at least as long as it was to influence things in a way that you agree with), I would argue that the role of a journalist is to report the facts in as honest and unbiased way as possible to give people enough accurate information to form their own opinions.

You do not want people to be influenced by data and facts? I fully support trying to influence people with data and facts. I do NOT support reporting non-facts as if they were facts or in ways that undermine facts.

Craig said...

No, I want data and facts presented in an unbiased way. I want to see it all, both sides with no bias or slant.

Don't you? Do you support omitting facts from reporting if they are contrary to the bias of the reporter?

Are you really suggesting that you will always be able to look at the facts and to follow them to a conclusion even when the facts go against your previously held views?

or

Are you saying that you have never held a position that is contrary to objective fact?

Dan Trabue said...

There aren't "sides" on facts. There are facts and there are opinions. I'm fine with people being influenced by facts.

Craig said...

I never said there were "sides" to facts, my point was that there are almost always some facts that will support one side or the other and that a good honest reporter will report all of the facts clearly and completely. A good reporter will not omit facts in order to slant a story.


Dan Trabue said...

I repeat: I am fine with people being influenced by facts. I can't imagine you'd disagree.

Craig said...

I've never said otherwise. As long as all the facts are presented honestly and completely. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the norm.

Dan Trabue said...

And I repeat: It has always been that reporting is a mixed bag. You glean what you can and take it all with a grain of salt. I don't know that we're disagreeing about anything here.

Marshall Art said...

"I don't know that we're disagreeing about anything here."

But you are dancing away from the distinction Craig is trying to make: that news must be a totally objective and bias-free reporting of facts alone (to the extent that it is humanly possible). It is not "fine" that reporters tasked with providing information to the masses are influenced at all. We don't need to know how they might be influenced by any "facts". How do we know they are influenced accurately? How do we know they regard actual facts as factual? How do we know they don't reject that which they find inconvenient, as is so true of people like yourself? All we need is for them to objectively report all they can learn about a story without regard to their personal biases and beliefs, to the best of their ability to do so.

What we do with those facts is quite another thing.

"They also recognize the rather obvious notion that the way to solve the problem of extremism is in appealing to rational moderates and, together, marginalizing the violent extremist minority and any religious tenets they suggest support oppression and violence.

This is just reasonable, I don't know why there'd be any debate on the merits of this effort, even if it were only a partial effort (as all such grand efforts are)."


--February 3, 2016 at 6:23 PM

It would be obvious if there was any way to reason out that appealing to "rational moderates" would have any positive effect on the problem of violent extremism. What need is there to appeal to "rational moderates"? Do they not already "marginalize" the violent extremists...you know...being "rational" and all? How can they be "rational" and not already see the problem with violent extremists?

Appealing, then, to "rational moderates" is hardly reasonable. It is redundant, assuming that by "rational" one would assume they already see the problem with the violent extremists. What's more, those that are called "rational moderates" allegedly already assert that any religious tenets the extremists suggest support oppression and violence do not exist. That islam is totally a peaceful religion and does not mandate oppressive and violent actions against anyone. They do this contrary to so many experts that say otherwise, including their own apologists from long ago, who first put to paper the teachings and history of their prophet.

So as to the merits of this effort, there seems to be none. Appealing to those who would seem to already agree, based on the notion of what constitutes "rational" to actual rational people, is an impotent gesture at best. Indeed, it should be wholly unnecessary if they are actually "rational" in the sense you want us to believe the word implies. Indeed, they should already be involved in putting down those who engage in violent extremism, or at least have already "marginalized" them in some way. So what merit, then, is there in doing what most would expect "rational" people are already doing? THAT is the debate about which you wonder. What merit exists in this self-satisfying dance of worthlessness?

Marshall Art said...

So, at this point, I feel it necessary, though it shouldn't be as it never has to be when dealing with reasonable and honest people, that my position is not to destroy all muslims wherever they exist. My position is that I have no problem destroying anyone who is intent on destroying, enslaving or by force converting me or anyone. It's not as if they are unaware of our desire to, at the very least, live and let live. This is not a secret in any way. It is not as if in the last 1400 years that generally peaceful people have not tried in vain to live in peace with these people.

It is also my position that it is unnecessary to constantly affirm that there might be some muslims who are not devoted to islam as they should be and as such are willing to live in peace with non-muslims. They are akin to progressive Christians, but in this case it works to the advantage of more people who are not muslim.

It is also my position that these so-called "moderate" muslims are not doing enough to separate themselves from the violent extremists and that it is primarily their duty to do so, up to and including warring with extremists if necessary, which it plainly is, given the unwillingness of the extremists to live and let live. As their "holy book" speaks of a time when even the rocks and trees will say, "Here is a Jew...come and kill him", I expect the moderates should demonstrate that they can say "Here is an extremist...come and kill him" with greater prejudice.

It is also my position that due to the tenets of islam, we have no concrete way of knowing when a so-called "moderate" is actually opposing the extremists or if they are simply biding their time to impose their own version of sharia or whatever fascistic intent may be lurking behind a facade of "moderate muslim". Thus, if an extremist surrenders, we can never assume he will remain humbled by his defeat...if a moderate claims he is a moderate, we can never assume he indeed is. Their own religion allows for lies to non-muslims. True respect for this religion mandates we never trust them.

My position is that this is the reality as has been demonstrated time and time again over the last 1400 years...and I haven't even scratched the surface of what that reality looks like in any detail. I shouldn't have to, but the Dan Trabues of the world exist to expose their own people to destruction by their abject stupidity.

My position is that it is good, noble and Godly to promote peace...to ensure peace...to do all that is possible to bring about peace in a less than peaceful world. But my position insists that such efforts have some basis in reality, not in the fantasies of fools who think somehow appealing to those suspected of having a like mind has any tangible impact on the situation at hand. It. Does. Not. And there is no evidence that can be put forth to suggest the contrary.

And finally, it is my position that it is childish, stupid and without basis to suggest that there is no place for violent action in the quest for peace. History has shown that violent action has always preceded peace between nations at odds, and that the threat of violence, the willingness to employ violence, is what maintains the peace between peace loving people and those who would destroy or enslave them. This is the sad fact of life and there is nothing rational, reasonable, and certainly nothing Christian about pretending it isn't so.

Marshall Art said...

Back to the Charter:

You said (in your comment of January 31, 2016 at 6:33 AM),

"Those Jews who follow the Believers will be helped and will be treated with equality. (Social, legal and economic equality is promised to all loyal citizens of the State)"

You totally ignore the qualifier and pretend true equality is bestowed upon Jews. It states clearly:

"Those Jews who follow the Believers..."

What of those who don't? What does it mean "those who follow the believers"? It seems quite clear that in order to be treated with equality, one must "follow the believers". We see this implication screaming out from every line that mentions Jews or non-muslims. Muhammad is expecting all of Medina to submit to his ideology. He just hasn't started forcing them to do so at this point. So there is no true religious plurality with this Charter.

Also from that comment:

"IF you want to be taken seriously, Marshall, and not as a mere disruptive and divisive pissant operating from a place of ignorance and bigotry, please provide your scholarly background that warrants anyone taking anything you say seriously."

Why don't you provide YOUR credentials, Dan? What makes you think those you cite are more knowledgeable and truthful about islam than are those I cite? The correct answer is: you don't have any. You only have what you want to be true about your foolish "experts". In the meantime, I have the evidence of history that back the experts I cite. My anti-islam site (and I don't use parentheses for something that is nothing about which one should be ashamed) is the work of those who were raised in the faith, took the time to studying it themselves beyond the "guidance" of those YOU call experts, that ignore the history of the faith and the despot that invented it out of whole cloth. Don't you dare condescend to me. The TRUTH, you liar, is that you will only accept that which comes from those YOU insist are the only credible sources for info on islam. But I'm not a sheep like you who follows any unsubstantiated pretense of peace. I actually look at facts and you've provided not one shred of evidence to support the contention that this conference at Marrakesh is any more than just another circle jerk of wishful thinking and no truly workable plan that will bring about the end of muslim terrorism and despotism.

Craig said...

Just trying to see if you can come straight out and condemn reporters who twist or omit facts in order to advance an agenda, I guess you just can't go there.

Craig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Trabue said...

? When have I EVER failed to condemn reporters who twist facts if asked directly about it? You're making up crap, Craig. Honesty, Grace. I guess you just can't go there.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

It is also my position that these so-called "moderate" muslims are not doing enough to separate themselves from the violent extremists and that it is primarily their duty to do so

So, here are many moderate Muslims (not "so-called..." Not, "moderate..." actual moderate Muslims) DOING SOMETHING along with the rest of the world and yet, it doesn't meet your whimsical and graceless criteria of "doing enough..." You, who are doing nothing.

Understood. Perhaps you'll understand that we who are doing something are not that impressed with the petty complaints of those who are doing nothing. Go away, Marshall, Come back when you're a scholar or actually doing something helpful. Seriously.

Craig said...

" When have I EVER failed to condemn reporters who twist facts if asked directly about it?"

Maybe when I commented;

" A good reporter will not omit facts in order to slant a story."

and you responded;

"I repeat: I am fine with people being influenced by facts."

To which I replied;

"I've never said otherwise. As long as all the facts are presented honestly and completely. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the norm."

and you responded;

"And I repeat: It has always been that reporting is a mixed bag. You glean what you can and take it all with a grain of salt."


Looking at your responses to my comments, I was somehow convinced that you were suggesting that reporters who slant or omit facts were simply part of the "mixed bag". I guess I just misunderstood your the condemnation implicit in your responses. My bad, I'm sorry I drew the wrong conclusion, I'll try to delete the comment.

Marshall Art said...

"Perhaps you'll understand that we who are doing something..."

But you aren't doing anything. That's the point. Holding hands and making declarations about a charter that benefits muslims over everyone else is not doing anything of substance. Again you condescend, but I have a hard time being cowed by condescension from impotent fakers. So why don't you list a few results from your "helpful" activities. For example, which group of terrorists have laid down their weapons or turned them on their terrorist superiors as a result of your "helpfulness"? Which terror-supporting muslim government or entity has forsaken their terrorist ways as a result of your "helpfulness"? Which Jew-hating muslim entity has repented and embraced the Jewish world in loving brotherhood as a result of your "helpfulness"?

If all you've got is self-satisfying drivel about meeting with "moderate" muslims to use "the language of religious freedom to declare that violence cannot be done in the name of Islam.”", then you've pretty much got bupkis. And that's not doing anything but making yourselves feel good. That's the thing about lefties...you do nothing while feeling satisfied that you're making a difference. One would think making a difference comes before giving yourself a hand.

Oh yeah...so nice that you chose not to actually address any of my comments. You do nothing to defend yourself against legitimate objections or to respond to questions that expose the flaws of your "doing something helpful". Pathetic.

And once again...YOU'RE credentials in islamic scholarship are....?

Craig said...

Dan,

If you and your friends are looking for an opportunity to do something tangible and concrete, how about if y'all work with the folks in the Twin Cities to stop the recruiting efforts of ISIS among the young men of our large Somali Muslim community. I just saw a news story about how there are groups that need funding and I'm sure they could use other help as well.

Dan Trabue said...

As to your suggestion that I work with Twin Cities effort, it sounds like a fine thing, but we have our hands full already doing a good deal of work. One small group of people can not and should not try to do everything, you do what you can. We support local Muslims, befriend them, open our lives and homes to them, work with them. We support our sister and her family and work in Morocco. In addition to the daily work with the homeless and mentally ill in our city, our justice work in our city, our interdenominational work, our music ministries, our various jobs working for justice, the poor, education, the mentally ill, the environment, etc.

I am fine with people in Minnesota supporting that if it's good work, though, and others who have the time and resources.

If you'd like, we have an ongoing project we do where we send funds for Christians and Muslims working together in Morocco on various projects. I know they can use additional funding, too, if you'd like to send some resources their way, I'll get you the info.

Dan Trabue said...

And, to further elucidate the point I was/am making about facts, where I said:

I AM FINE WITH INFLUENCING PEOPLE WITH FACTS (as opposed to non-facts or twisted facts). WITH FACTS.

I would think it should be obvious, but to spell it out directly: By supporting influencing people with facts, it should be clear that subverting facts by half-truths and twisted facts is not influencing people with facts, but with efforts at misleading. I am opposed to that, as should be obvious in what I'm saying, but is now spelled out even more directly.

Dan Trabue said...

so nice that you chose not to actually address any of my comments. You do nothing to defend yourself against legitimate objections or to respond to questions that expose the flaws of your "doing something helpful".

I do nothing to "defend" myself against a naysayer who is coming from a place of ignorance and doing nothing because there is nothing to defend. I encourage you to educate yourself and begin to do some actual work on the topic, then we can talk.

I think it wisest, as a rule, to just ignore the ignorant who wish to remain so and those who do nothing but criticize when they have nothing important to say. This is what I shall do with you.

Craig said...

Wow, three comments to complain about the inadequacy of my acknowledgement of my misunderstanding and apology, that's grace in action right there folks. I guess pointing out the ambiguity of your responses wasn't going to get me any benefit of the doubt. OK, thanks.

I brought up the Minneapolis things to suggest that that would be a concrete domestic situation where you could actually engage in peacemaking in a very real current situation.

Craig said...

Art,

Are you really surprised that Dan has not responded to your comments, why would you think he would.

Dan Trabue said...

The purpose of this post, Craig, is to praise some actual real work being done to make the world a better and more peaceful place. Marshall has had nothing constructive to offer about this effort beyond his hunches (from a place of ignorance) that these people aren't "real" Muslims and that it will do no good. I let him voice his ignorant opinion and let it stand for what it's worth. What more would you have me do with an ignorant opinion coming from one who is doing nothing to improve Muslim/Christian relationships (and indeed, is doing his damnedest to undermine them by making up stuff)?

I think the best thing you can do for voices coming from a place of ignorance and hatefulness is to leave them exposed to dry and rot in the sun.

My mother always said, if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all. Marshall could stand to learn from that wisdom (and that IS a nice thing to say).

Do YOU have anything constructive to add about this important work? If not, move on.

As to your suggestion about Minneapolis, we ARE doing concrete things, domestically and abroad, to improve Muslim/Christian relations. You?

Craig said...

"You?"

Stupid question. Ask the hundreds of Muslim families locally that own their own homes because of what I and the organization I work for have done. Or is that not as real as making a "declaration"?

I'd guess that our idea of what constitutes "real work" on these issues might be a little different. At this point, this declaration is at best symbolic and a PR move. I'll agree that getting any Muslims to come out publicly and make this type of statement is a step in the right direction, but until there is some identifiable concrete result it's just a symbol. I'm not saying that symbolic gestures aren't worthwhile, just that to ascribe more than symbolism to this seems premature.

You didn't choose to acknowledge this when either Art or I brought it up, but the biggest hurdle in this is the presumption that the Medina Charter was even intended as any sort of global code of behavior instead of a local solution to a local problem. This also does not even begin to deal with the oppression of Muslims by Muslims including what the declaration identifies as "legitimate" governments. Nor doe sit address the Shia/Sunni divide.

Again, I'm not saying this has no value, but it's at best a limited symbolic gesture that hasn't actually made any peace anywhere. maybe it will have some actual concrete results at some point which would be nice, but just like P-BO's Nobel peace prize, all this self congratulation seems premature.

Much like the various hashtag campaigns that give people the illusion of engaging in some kind of real action, but which are mostly symbolic, and I'd guess the girls kidnapped and still held by Boco Haram would question the effectiveness at getting them released.

Maybe I'm too cynical, but this seems like one more symbolic gesture that will eventually be spun into some sort of "real" tangible accomplishment and soon forgotten.

I'm not saying it's worthless, but I'm just trying to realistically assess the likely impact, and just think that the real impact is being exaggerated at this point. It's almost as if this is being treated as the end of something rather than the possible beginning.

Only time and unbiased reporting of the results will tell, so I am hopeful that good can come from this first step, but cautious that it not be made into something that it clearly isn't.

Dan Trabue said...

The point of this post, as a reminder:

Here is a group of Muslims and others, working together;

They have crafted a challenge directed towards, primarily, extremist Muslims AND those who might be influenced by them;

The challenge is to say that peacemaking, religious liberty, freedom, non-violence are all legitimate and important parts of Islam and that ALL Muslims should embrace this;

This is especially true and a special call for those Muslim nations that currently do not support religious liberty;

What, specifically, in that call is wrong? Nothing, right?

Do you have ANY data to support a claim that this will not be helpful? Factually no, correct?

Have you done ANY scholarly research into best practices for dealing with the problem of Religious Extremists who'd deny religious liberty and/or oppress? No, duly noted.

That is the point of the post. If you have no scholarly research to offer reasons why this is a bad idea, if you have no personal experience working with extremist/fundamentalist Muslims and those they impact, then negative criticism of this work is unjustified by data and just a no-nothing, do-nothing response that is not helpful or rational. If you have constructive opinions on why this is a good thing or what might be done to make it even better, and they're coming from a place of informed, scholarly knowledge, feel free to share. Otherwise, you have taken your dump here and shown your colors. Move on.

Dan Trabue said...

You didn't choose to acknowledge this when either Art or I brought it up, but the biggest hurdle in this is the presumption that the Medina Charter was even intended as any sort of global code of behavior instead of a local solution to a local problem.

Are you a Muslim scholar? Is Marshall? No? No?

There are actual Muslim scholars who say that the violence of the fundamentalist types is NOT in accordance with Islam. Muslims (and others) who've spent their lives studying their faith tradition.

I am unimpressed with Marshall or you (or myself, for that matter) stating as if we know "THIS charter is not speaking about a global form of behavior..."

You are correct only in that it IS a step in the right direction. No one is suggesting that this is the only work. But taking steps in the right direction IS the right thing to do. Obviously. It IS concrete work.

The more Christians who stepped up and said that slavery and racism and Jim Crow laws are wrong, the less acceptable it became in Christian circles. "Symbolic" affirmations and declarations are concrete steps. It worked in the South in the US regarding slavery and racism. It can work with dangerous people from other religions as well.

Of course it is a concrete step. Of course it's not worthless.

Do you think the words demanding justice from Dr King were only "symbolic" and nearly "worthless..."? Why would you think that the work of King and others - even their "symbolic" work was meaningful and that very similar work with Muslims is weightless?

Because changes didn't happen overnight? It took our nation hundreds of years to shed itself of slavery. Does that mean that declarations made in the 1700s were worthless and not concrete and important? The Harlem Renaissance activists made declarations in the 1920s and the worst of the Jim Crow and racism didn't end for decades later. Does that mean their work was meaningless and "merely symbolic..."?

Change doesn't happen overnight. It takes a thousand bits of effort, continued over time, to make progress. Thank God almighty that those brave women and men convened the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848... even though women didn't win the right to vote and other important freedoms until decades later.

Damn, you guys are petty. Embrace grace. Embrace progress, even when it comes one step at a time.

Educate yourselves on how to make change in an imperfect world.

Dan Trabue said...

Stupid question. Ask the hundreds of Muslim families locally that own their own homes because of what I and the organization I work for have done. Or is that not as real as making a "declaration"?

Well, seeing as how I DID NOT KNOW you did that, how is it a stupid question? Should I have guessed that you were doing that sort of work?

It was a legitimate question. Thank you for the work you do. It IS concrete and helpful. But why then, do you have to dump on others doing real work in the real world because they're not doing the same thing as you? Do you know nothing about how progress has happened in our world, about how social movements have made/continue to make positive change in history?

I have to believe that at least you, Craig, are aware of the Seneca Falls Convention, of the Harlem Rennaissance, of the Civil Rights Movement, of the LGBTQ movement (even if you disagree with it)... change happens for many reasons but "symbolic" declarations by those directly involved are vital stepping stones to concrete change and the change can almost not happen without these "symbolic" declarations and efforts. What if churches had NOT joined in efforts to end racism's worst actions/policies following the Civil War... how quickly would things have changed?

I think you're just not thinking about history and how movements have made progress in the past on other topics. Now that I've reminded you, perhaps you can take a more gracious and appreciate tone on this important work.

Craig said...

"What, specifically, in that call is wrong? Nothing, right?"

Had you read my comments I specifically noted that this was a good first step, and that it was a good thing as long as it's limits are understood and it's not over sold.

"Do you have ANY data to support a claim that this will not be helpful? Factually no, correct?"

Once again, I never made a claim of objective fact that this will not be helpful. I specifically pointed out the positives in this while also trying to realistically assess the potential negatives as well. You know, take a balanced look. Do you actually take the time to read things or do you just skim and respond based on your assumptions?

"Have you done ANY scholarly research into best practices for dealing with the problem of Religious Extremists who'd deny religious liberty and/or oppress? No, duly noted."

Given the fact that you chose to answer this question for me based on nothing but your assumptions, why should I bother to correct your preconceptions. Given your lack of accurately assessing my positions it's becoming clearer (as this demonstrates) that you'd rather just answer these questions for me.

"If you have no scholarly research to offer reasons why this is a bad idea,..."

Do you realize that I've never actually said that this is "a bad idea", those are your words, not mine, I see no reason why I should defend words that I didn't say.

Craig said...

"Are you a Muslim scholar? Is Marshall? No? No?"

Of course neither are you. Nor are you really qualified to speak authoritatively to the actual scholarly qualifications of anyone involved in this (with the possible exception of your one friend), but that hasn't stopped you. Why do you expect others to be what you are not?


"You are correct only in that it IS a step in the right direction. No one is suggesting that this is the only work. But taking steps in the right direction IS the right thing to do. Obviously. It IS concrete work."

OK since you agree with me why spend 3 comments making up things to disagree about?

"Of course it is a concrete step. Of course it's not worthless."

Once again, I never said either of those things. Who are you disagreeing with, or are you just choosing to be divisive?

"Do you think the words demanding justice from Dr King were only "symbolic" and nearly "worthless..."?"

I think that the words of MLK in and of themselves were symbolic and had MLK not backed up his words with action then it is possible that they would have had little worth. This is exactly my point, MLK combined words with action and had great success, in this case you have a lot of words but (so far) very little concrete action. Lust like MLK went into some of the most segregated areas of the south and risked life,limb, and freedom, these folks should do the same if they want to see similar results. As I clearly said, this is a good first step. It's not the end. Only time will tell if these words are backed up by action as with MLK.
"
Why would you think that the work of King and others - even their "symbolic" work was meaningful and that very similar work with Muslims is weightless?"

Because at this point they haven't done the same work as MLK. Ask me this when they organize a protest march through downtown Tehran or Damascus or Mecca, then we can reassess. For now it's a good beginning, that's all so far. Since I didn't make the above claims either, I'm left to wonder who you are arguing with and why I should be expected to defend positions I have not taken, any reason?

"Does that mean their work was meaningless and "merely symbolic..."?"

Again, you make a false comparison. In all of your examples the symbolic declaration was followed or preceded by actions. A declaration without action is symbolic, that not necessarily negative (you are assuming that I am using the term negatively when I an not) it's just how it is.

"Damn, you guys are petty. Embrace grace. Embrace progress, even when it comes one step at a time."

You are right, saying positive things about this, while withholding judgement on the future is petty.

"Educate yourselves on how to make change in an imperfect world."

Once again, you make too many assumptions.
1. You assume that I am uneducated (I'm actually pretty extensively trained and have helped put together an on site service learning curriculum that is used across the country)

2. You assume that the way you think things should be done is the only right way.

Why are you so comfortable making these kinds of assumptions, and dealing with others based on your assumptions?

Craig said...

"Well, seeing as how I DID NOT KNOW you did that, how is it a stupid question? Should I have guessed that you were doing that sort of work?"

then you've just never paid attention when I've told you this in the past. But even if you had forgotten, what makes it appropriate for you to make those kinds of assumptions and to base your attacks on conclusions on your erroneous assumptions?

"But why then, do you have to dump on others doing real work in the real world because they're not doing the same thing as you?"

I've never done so. Although I could say (with justification) that until these folks have some real measurable results (as I do) to show for their efforts that they still have something left to prove.

"Do you know nothing about how progress has happened in our world, about how social movements have made/continue to make positive change in history?"

Again, I was involved in creating and implementing a curriculum focusing on how change is effected, so I feel fairly comfortable saying that I know a little. Having said that there is no one way this stuff happens and I'm all about people doing other things. Although, I'm also a believer in some sort of measurable tangible results as a means of determining the effectiveness of things, aren't you? I also got a pretty good idea hanging out with John Perkins (over dinner and while driving him around). So, you just keep assuming you know more about me than I do.

"I have to believe that at least you, Craig, are aware of the Seneca Falls Convention, of the Harlem Rennaissance, of the Civil Rights Movement, of the LGBTQ movement (even if you disagree with it)... change happens for many reasons but "symbolic" declarations by those directly involved are vital stepping stones to concrete change and the change can almost not happen without these "symbolic" declarations and efforts. What if churches had NOT joined in efforts to end racism's worst actions/policies following the Civil War... how quickly would things have changed?"

I am aware, it's hard not to be when you hear it over dinner first hand from someone who lived it. But, you still are ignoring the fact that all of your examples involved symbolic words as well as concrete actions. So far, all we have with the Marrakesh thing is symbolic words, we're still waiting to see if this will be followed up with actions. Had you read my comments, you might have picked up on this.

"I think you're just not thinking about history and how movements have made progress in the past on other topics. Now that I've reminded you, perhaps you can take a more gracious and appreciate tone on this important work."

I think that you entire conclusion above is based on your assumptions about me, and not on what I actually wrote. Had you based it on what I wrote you would have been aware that I said numerous positive things about this declaration, while taking a more cautious view about what (if any) tangible results come in the future.

Craig said...

Dan,

Have you actually read the text of the Charter of Medina? It seems like maybe it doesn't have peacemaking as it's #1 goal.


Just saw something else, which raised this question. If the Medina Charter is adopted and used throughout the Muslim world would non Muslim women be required to wear the hijab? Chador? Be allowed to drive? Vote? Walk unaccompanied by a close male relative? Be pressured/required to undergo FGM?

"Those Jews who follow the Believers will be helped and will be treated with equality."

Seems to say that Jews will be required to follow Muslim (Sharia) law in order to be treated with equality. Maybe there is a Muslim scholar with a definitive interpretation on this.

"When you differ on anything (regarding this Document) the matter shall be referred to Allah and Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)."

This clause also seems a bit problematic in terms of being practical today.

"The Jews must pay (for war) with the Muslims."

This (and the other provisions regarding war) seems out of step with a document designed to promote peace.

"A woman will be given protection only with the consent of her family"

I guess women with no family will be SOL.

"In case of any dispute or controversy, which may result in trouble the matter must be referred to Allah and Muhammed (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) of Allah will accept anything in this document, which is for (bringing about) piety and goodness."

Again, this seems unworkable. I'd guess that you'd be hard pressed to get Sunni and Shia to agree on if (let alone who) would be the current "prophet".

"Quraysh and their allies will not be given protection."

This is seeming less and less like a document intended for use outside of Medina in 622 AD.

I have to note that the Charter does not mention Christians, nor give them rights.

Craig said...

If one looks at the history of Medina post 622 (when the Charter seems to date from), it's the site of a fair amount of battles and a base for attacks by Muhammad. I'm not an Islamic scholar (I don't think it's really required to read history), but it doesn't seem like the Charter of Medina designed with peace (other than internal) in mind.

I don't want to argue with any Islamic scholars or anything but just doing a little bit of reading of the actual document as well as the history of the area doesn't lead me to believe that resuscitating this charter is going to give the Muslim world cause to rally around it for peace. Especially since it still allows/requires war with unbelievers.

Once more, I genuinely applaud anything that will inspire Muslims to exert control over the radical elements of Islam and slow down or stop the violence and persecution that exists throughout the Muslim world. I further applaud anything that encourages Muslims to work together with (and not kill) those of other religions. These are good things and potentially the first steps on a journey that will revolutionize Muslim/Non Muslim relationships, and to open the door for freedom and equality for women and slaves throughout the Muslim countries. I sincerely hope that much good comes from this symbolic gesture. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what comes of this.

Marshall Art said...

"There are actual Muslim scholars who say that the violence of the fundamentalist types is NOT in accordance with Islam."

There are actual muslim scholars who insist upon violence to spread the word and make islam the only religion in the world. Now what? Your scholars are more accurate than these? Your scholars are more knowledgeable than these? By whose reckoning?

You need to believe I'm speaking out of ignorance. The facts say otherwise. The facts say that 1400 years of trying reason with muslims have done nothing to cleanse the world of the violent and serious devotees of islam. What more scholarship do I need than a plain reading of history, Dan?

In the meantime, I'm still waiting for examples of success with the types of strategies you Pollyanna-types continue to insist have any true value with the extremists of the muslim world. All I've ever seen thus far is attempts followed by heads separated from their bodies. The facts thus far show that the only way to truly "marginalize" such savages is to imprison them for life or to kill them. There is no history of persuasion that isn't that which came from their own personal awakening, as with the hosts of the site to which I linked, as with former terrorists like Walid Shoebat, who was not persuaded by people like you, but by his own reflection on what he was doing and his own realization of the evil of it.

As such, the true ignorance is in you. I'm the one being totally objective here.

Craig said...

Art,

For the most part I agree with you that Islam has a long history of violence, coercion, oppression, and slavery to overcome, but the fact that there are actually Muslims who are willing to sit down and have this sort of conversation at all seems like a move in the right direction. Time will tell where this first step leads and if something positive happens or it ends up a punch line like P-BO and the Nobel prize but I think it's too early to completely dismiss it. Lord knows, there are certainly a lot on unanswered questions and no apparent plan for the next steps, but it's at least a start. It will certainly take action to accompany the rhetoric and I'm sure it will be a slow process, but maybe something will emerge that will actually make life better for people all over the world

Dan Trabue said...

Been dealing with my parents' ill health. I'll come back when I have time.

Craig said...

No problem, hope things go well. Thanks for letting us know.

Marshall Art said...

Craig,

"...the fact that there are actually Muslims who are willing to sit down and have this sort of conversation at all seems like a move in the right direction."

My point is that there is nothing unique about this "conversation", and thus nothing the least bit "historic" about it. What might make this "historic" at all is if it had any significant effect on the actions of those they hope to "marginalize". As I've stated, I'm unaware of any point in history to which we can look and find examples of moderate muslims, either alone or with the help of non-muslims, talk their way into the hearts and minds of true believing muslims that resulted in a laying down of arms and any attempt to live and let live with those who either see islam different than the true believers or didn't believe at all. It just hasn't happened.

Thus, as history shows nothing but the futility of these peaceful attempts to come to terms, I find no reason to pretend there is any hope that this conversation will have better results, if any results at all. Indeed, I suspect it will be as it appears...totally meaningless with regard to its goals, and provide nothing but self-satisfaction for the deluded participants that they're doing any good at all.

And of course, the pretense that the Charter of Medina is legitimate model upon which to pattern any true pluralistic culture among and within muslim nations is the biggest joke of all. It wasn't that when muhammad composed it. It won't be now without pretending it isn't muslim-centric, serving to put islam above all. The declaration speaks of it as if it is something other than what it is.

And the conference only include those "scholars" that are in complete disagreement with scholars that support the extremist views of the most violent, repressive and fascistic muslims. These "scholars", then, must announce publicly the rejection of much of their "holy books" that clearly mandate the actions of the violent. They can't attempt to explain them away as if they are being misunderstood by all those who insist otherwise, including non-muslims and former muslims who work to oppose the violent, as well as the violent themselves.

In short, it's all a sham, whether intended to be so or not. Too many people are suffering and will continue to suffer to waste time on that which history has shown is impotent and totally worthless in affecting change, just so some leftists can again pretend they are "doing something". They could all sit in a circle and smear themselves with jello and accomplish as much as they will with their "conversation". The people causing the suffering simply do not respect efforts such as these and only respond to pain and brute force. These people at the conference, and those that support them, are engaging in the same idiocy as is common amongst leftists...that this time it will be different. Doing the same thing and expecting different results? There's a word for that.

Craig said...

Again, I agree with much of your comment, but I still think that this is a worthwhile (not historic) first step that could (I repeat) could, if followed with some concrete action, slowly shift the momentum in the Muslim world.

I get the history, unlike Dan, I see it in our local news on a regular basis. But I also see the beginnings of a vocal minority who is willing to speak out against the terrorists and is willing to try to work with others to move away from violence.

I suspect that this will be tough, and that there may already be fatwa's on some of the folks who engaged in this Marrakesh declaration.

So, while I agree that it is a first step, even a symbolic first step, I still suggest that this is something to be encouraged, not discouraged. I do agree that there are plenty of people who are perfectly willing to oversell the significance of this, and that's not helpful, but neither is the opposite extreme.

My view on this is probably colored by personal relationships and understanding what a huge hurdle Islam has to overcome it's 1,400 year history of violence, slavery, conquest, coercion, and subjugation of women but I still believe that even small steps in the right direction should be encouraged.

Craig said...

"AFFIRM that it is unconscionable to employ religion for the purpose of aggressing upon the rights of religious minorities in Muslim countries."

I missed this earlier. I'd be more impressed it this included those of the Muslim faith who are systematically oppressed by those who share their religion.

Marshall Art said...

83 percent of Palestinian Muslims, 62 percent of Jordanians and 61 percent of Egyptians approve of jihadist attacks on Americans. World Public Opinion Poll(2009).
5 Million British Muslims support the Islamic State, about half their total population. ICM (Mirror)Poll 2015.
Two-thirds of Palestinians support the stabbing of Israeli civilians. Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research(2015).
6 percent of Western Muslims believe 9/11 attacks were justified. Gallup(2011).
45 percent of British Muslims agree that clerics preaching violence against the West represent “mainstream Islam.” BBC Radio(2015).
38 percent of Muslim-Americans say Islamic State (ISIS) beliefs are Islamic or correct. (Forty-three percent disagree.) The Polling CompanyCSP Poll (2015).
One-third of British Muslim students support killing for Islam. Center for Social Cohesion(Wikileaks cable).
78 percent of British Muslims support punishing the publishers of Muhammad cartoons. NOP Research.
80 percent of young Dutch Muslims see nothing wrong with holy war against non-believers. Most verbalized support for pro-Islamic State fighters. Motivaction Survey(2014).
Nearly one-third of Muslim-Americans agree that violence against those who insult Muhammad or the Quran is acceptable. The Polling CompanyCSP Poll (2015).
68 percent of British Muslims support the arrest and prosecution of anyone who insults Islam. NOP Research.
51 percent of Muslim-Americans say that Muslims should have the choice of being judged by Shariah courts rather than courts of the United States (only 39 percent disagree).The Polling CompanyCSP Poll (2015).
81 percent of Muslim respondents support the Islamic State (ISIS). Al-Jazeerapoll (2015).

That's a lot for "moderate" muslims to overcome, assuming there really is such a thing and to say nothing of making "moderates" not even close to mainstream islam.

Dan Trabue said...

So, we need to support moderates all the more (even if your polls reflect reality). What of it?

What's the alternative, Marshall? Kill all Muslims?

There's no moral alternative but to try to encourage and support moderate Muslims. As is happening in this effort in Marrakesh.

Craig, I never said this was the one thing that needed to be done and our/their work is now done. Of course, more needs to happen. But this was not the first time something like this has been done and it won't be the last, it's been an on-going effort and needs to continue to be one.

Again, slaves lived hundreds of years on American soil with many attempts over decades by Christians and others to say "This should not be..." before slavery eventually went away. Beyond that, overt, oppressive racism lived for centuries here before it toned down to where it is now. Women were denied basic rights and liberties for centuries. Gay folk endured oppression for centuries and only recently have begun to attain basic human rights.

Does that mean that when people spoke out against these awful injustices, that they were not doing enough? No, as you agree. It takes many efforts and declarations and speeches and actions all combined over time to make systemic change like we've had here in the US to help us to progress to where we are today. Similarly, it will take time and sustained efforts over years for Muslim extremism to go the way of slavery, oppression towards women, towards gay folk, etc.

I certainly understand the impatience towards injustice and oppression as expressed by some few Muslim extremists. Still, we need to remember, with Dr King, that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” So, perhaps at least you and I (if not people like Marshall) can applaud this as another needed and important step along the journey towards a more just and peaceful world. Similarly, you and I can agree that this alone is not enough, but that it is a good step to make.

Craig said...

"Of course, more needs to happen."

Which raises the question of why when I said the exact same thing you felt the need to foment a disagreement about it?

"Does that mean that when people spoke out against these awful injustices, that they were not doing enough?"

No, I've never suggested that at all. I simply pointed out that when you invoke MLK etc, your comparison was incomplete and I pointed out the flaws in your comparison. I've been 100% clear that this is a first step and that we will have to see what happens in the future. The fact that I pointed out the flaw in your comparison doesn't justify you making assumptions that are clearly contradicted by my actual words.

"Similarly, it will take time and sustained efforts over years for Muslim extremism to go the way of slavery, oppression towards women, towards gay folk, etc."

How about some effort to get rid of the above list in what the "moderate" Muslim world? Can anyone really argue that societies that still systematically oppress women and minorities as well as practice slavery are really "moderate"?

"I certainly understand the impatience towards injustice and oppression as expressed by some few Muslim extremists."

You do realize that when you talk about a "few" Muslim extremists you're talking about millions, right? You also realize that much of what you are against is practiced by many "moderate" Muslims, right?

"...can applaud this as another needed and important step along the..."

I've already acknowledged multiple times that I applaud this as a first step so why my earlier comments are ignored confuses me. Obviously, there are plenty of steps that are "needed", I'm not sure this one is "needed", but it's certainly worthwhile. As far as "important", I guess that remains to be seen.


Marshall Art said...

Dan,

"So, we need to support moderates all the more (even if your polls reflect reality). What of it?"

First, I wouldn't be surprised if those polls, from a variety of sources, are generally conservative in their numbers and percentages. But regardless, support "moderates" how, exactly? Support what, exactly? What are they doing to suppress the violence, exactly, that would compel my support? There's no profit in supporting lip-service, Dan, and there's definitely no profit in supporting a Charter that is clearly favorable to muslims and not the democratic pluralism you and the conference delegates are implying it is. If I need to support this Declaration in order to support "moderates", it ain't gonna happen, since the Charter is crap for the purpose of dealing with either the extremists or the Quaranic teachings that say there can be no other religion but islam.

"What's the alternative, Marshall? Kill all Muslims?"

Hyperbole much, you liar? But until we start getting medieval on the extremists, I see no progress in achieving peace, since the extremists aren't up for playing nice with those who do not see things their way. We only have 1400 years of proof of that fact.

"There's no moral alternative but to try to encourage and support moderate Muslims."

Encourage them to do what, Dan? The conference at Marrakesh does nothing but encourage them to put islam above all else by insisting that the Charter of Medina is the way to go. Is that what you think is best for even the moderates who are at risk as much as non-muslims are? When will you people start paying attention and dealing in reality? There is nothing moral about enabling bad behavior, and here you are doing it yet again with regard to another topic. It is indeed moral to put down evil people when they refuse to listen to pleas for peace and brotherhood. When their goal is subjugation, murder, maiming, extortion and global domination for the cause of a false religion, it is immoral to let them take another breath for that cause. Too many suffer as a result.

"Craig, I never said this was the one thing that needed to be done and our/their work is now done. Of course, more needs to happen."

Like what, Dan? Assuming everyone is holding hands and singing "Up, Up With People", what's the "more" that needs to happen that will actually result in an end to violence, murder, terrorism, FGM and pederasty? Sing louder?

Marshall Art said...

"But this was not the first time something like this has been done and it won't be the last..."

Exactly. But the definition of insanity is fatally defined in this way.

"Does that mean that when people spoke out against these awful injustices, that they were not doing enough?"

Yes. Eventually, the nation went to war to end slavery after many people risked their lives to free slaves through means such as the Underground Railroad. These people did more than talk. What are the "moderate" muslims doing?

Women marched and lobbied and got a Constitutional Amendment passed. They did more than talk.

"Gay" folk lied, demonized good people, corrupted Scripture and found morally bankrupt enablers in the courts and government to achieve what they didn't deserve. They didn't just talk.

So what are "moderate muslims" doing besides talking?

"Similarly, you and I can agree that this alone is not enough, but that it is a good step to make."

Then you and Craig would be agreeing to that which isn't the least bit true. Doing what has been done many times in the past 1400 years, to no effect whatsoever, isn't at all a good step. It's a useless step that makes people like you feel all warm and cozy as if you're actually doing something. The people who are dying, having body parts forcibly removed or irreparably damaged, having liberties denied in ways your whiny homosexual friends couldn't imagine...these people can't wait around for more talk. The course is clear. The moral alternative is ignored for the sake of impotent, feel-good platitudes and declarations. If the "moderates" don't know who the bad guys are, or they are too timid to risk their own lives to purge their community of them, how are we to ever achieve peace? Happy talk won't get it done. It is NOT a step worth taking anymore. Talk can resume when the evil are pleading that we stop destroying them and prove they are willing to repent of their evil ways.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, feel free to embrace killing more people as the "best" way to achieve peace. You'll have to pardon me if I reject that as insane and not Christian and support people like this. You've taken your dump on people who actually know something who are actually doing something. Now move on. Short of something helpful and constructive, you are done on this thread.

Dan Trabue said...

As to your unsupported claim that this is a "useless step," I'd just point out that you are ignorant of history, then. It took many steps over many centuries to make progress on other issues. Change didn't come overnight, but it has come and each of those steps taken on that path to change is an important one, or so history shows us. Without the big and little steps and declarations and speeches and movements and actions, nothing changes. Together, they all make a difference. Read history.

As to Muslims "doing nothing besides talking," that's just not supported by reality.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/12/22/muslims-protected-christians-from-extremists-in-kenya-bus-attack-reports-say/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/muslims-form-human-chain-pakistan_n_4057381.html

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/nigeria.200.young.muslims.protect.christians.from.attack/45069.htm

Read current affairs.

The moral alternative is ignored for the sake of impotent

Says the guy who is quite literally doing nothing but complaining about those who ARE doing something, regularly, daily, and at some risk to their lives and the lives of their families.

There are none so impotent as those who do nothing.

Start actually helping, Marshall. Repent.

Dan Trabue said...

Your posts were deleted Marshall for calling human beings "savages." I won't tolerate that sort of language here. Move on.

Marshall Art said...

You're absolutely right. I'm so terribly sorry, Dan. I was merely ranting. I should have used better words, and maybe referred to these human beings as:

Scum
Clowns
Madmen
white washed tombs
serpents
blind guides
gnat-straining, camel-swallowing, hellspawn-making Blind Fools

...but "savages"? I can see how calling those who hack off heads while the victim is bound and unable to resist, who throw homosexuals head-first off of tall buildings, who mutilate the genitalia of their women, who beat and stone them to death for the crime of having been raped, who chop off limbs of thieves...yeah, calling the "savages" is totally beyond the pale. That's going way too far. What was I thinking?

Oh, I know. I was thinking of what word is most appropriate and accurate to describe the type of "human being" who would perpetrate savageries such as those I listed upon their fellow man and woman.

I just can't keep up with your strict and to me, very unusual standards for when insults and epithets are appropriate on your blog. It seems pretty much as "do as I say, not as I do rule" for you (which is why you delete my comments after just having whine to Craig that he deleted yours). In any case, I now re-post my comments with alternatives in place.

Marshall Art said...

"Marshall, feel free to embrace killing more people as the "best" way to achieve peace."

I would, if that was my position. It isn't, despite how badly you need to paint me in the worst possible light so as to avoid responding to the implications of your impotent proposals. In this case, killing the right people is indeed the best way to achieve peace.

"You'll have to pardon me if I reject that as insane and not Christian and support people like this."

No can do, Danny-boy. For it is neither insane nor unChristian to destroy evil people intent on destroying, maiming and enslaving others simply for not kowtowing to their evil religion. Allowing them to continue on their path to world domination is what is insane and not Christian. But then, you have a very corrupt and heretical notion of what constitutes Christianity.

"As to your unsupported claim that this is a "useless step," I'd just point out that you are ignorant of history, then."

Really. Which history would that be? Distant past or recent events? Neither case presents us with examples of these types of kooky characters putting down their arms and living in peace without having them being forced to do so by those with superior numbers and determination. No change has come by any other way, as we've seen this scum (I kept this word as it follows your example) spread everywhere they've had the opportunity to do so. For example, we leave Iraq and terrorist activity increases there. We do nothing in Libya after removing Qaddafi, and terrorist activity increases there. We do nothing about Assad crossing the line that Obama drew as if anyone was really scared, and ISIS moves in to oppose Assad.

Conversely, remember how the Ayatollah took hostages when Carter was president, and released them when Reagan was elected. This pattern has existed since muhammad lived. It hasn't changed.

"Without the big and little steps and declarations and speeches and movements and actions, nothing changes. Together, they all make a difference. Read history."

Try focusing on the history of islamic hegemony, Dan. Don't try to compare this issue to any other, as even amongst the despots of the world, those of the islamic persuasion stand apart for their wacky treachery and unwillingness to appease.

Thus, declarations, speeches and movements are cheap, pointless and impotent. Only severe action has ever made any real progress in bringing peace to those areas infected by islamic despotism. This is what history shows, Dan. Not your fantasies about happy talk.

Marshall Art said...

"As to Muslims "doing nothing besides talking,"...", your examples do not make your case. To wit:

Example 1. This story has some conflicting information when you actually read the links it had within it. However, it confirms my position quite well.

To begin, we must consider that all reports (the story and the links within) seem to refer to the same witness (I could be wrong about this) and thus we are forced to deal only with his version of events. Assuming muslims did protect non-muslims (and I do hope that is the case), we are not sure why the terrorists fled. One angle suggested it was the fear that an oncoming vehicle was the police. The other is that the protests of the muslims compelled the terrorists to abandon the attempt. Note, however, that forcible action, or the threat of forcible action were the police actually about to arrive, led to the terrorists to abandon their action.

Here's what we don't know based on the story you presented: were these ten or so terrorists low level minions acting on orders? If so, the next set of orders could very well be (indeed are likely to be), shoot them all if anyone tries to interfere. Since they were trying to separate according to religion, it could be that they were ordered by their superiors to leave the muslims alone, and thus, not being sure who was who decided the best course for them was to resist shooting them all.

Example two: This one from HuffPost does not describe an incident of direct action against any real threat. It was actually an after-the-fact act of symbolic solidarity. While technically an action, it is doubtful that it will have any true impact as such cannot be measured without a legitimate threat present. That is, if the terrorists were there to attack this church as they did the other church, would they form that human chain? I would hope they'd do something other than simply die.

More notable, however, is the signs appearing in a few of the photos that agree with my position totally. Two of them read: "No more dialogue: Only action". I would hope the extent of their call to action isn't limited to only human chains, that frankly won't stop committed terrorists one iota. But it does demonstrate that even some of them know that the time for talk is over.

Example three: Scant details in this story as to just how these 200 youths joining others to protect Christians hoped to accomplish that defensive act. Were they armed? Were they about to talk the terrorists out of their attack to join hands in brotherhood? Were they intending to form a human chain? No idea. But, note again that at least there is a suggestion of action of some kind.

None of these stories suggests a widespread, concerted effort to address the problem of islamic terrorism, or for that matter, the violent teachings of islam. They are isolated incidents greatly overwhelmed by both the successful attacks of terrorists and the many examples of islamic torture, maiming, murder and oppression.

"Start actually helping, Marshall. Repent."

I have done nothing for which I need to repent with regard to this issue, Dan. But you do. Pretending more talk moves us toward any real resolution of the problem results only in more people dying. I, on the other hand, support any who actually do something substantial, which unfortunately requires arms and military or covert activities to kill so many terrorists that those who survive are too frightened to go on. That's not "doing nothing". This is how peace is achieved in the face of murderous cuddly puppies intent on global domination. Supporting more talk is not "doing something". It is not "helping". It never has with these people. It never will. It isn't "Christian" to let people die just so you can maintain the fraud that you are truly Christian.

Marshall Art said...

I think it's crystal clear that your sensibilities weren't so much threatened by the appropriate use of a single term, but by your cowardice in dealing with the truth in my comments. Certainly nothing new with you.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, I respect that you want - as do I - an end to the violence of a tiny minority of extremist Muslims who commit atrocities. Just as you and I want an end to the violence of any people acting with violence against innocents.

I strongly disagree with you in suggesting that blaming all Muslims (or most Muslims) for the actions of a tiny minority is helpful. I think words that group all Muslims together, as if there were no moderate, reasonable Muslims, but only "savages" are terribly unhelpful and immoral. I disagree with your use of those terms here because it sounds like you're grouping them all into one group. Thus, I insist that you do not use them. My blog, my rules.

Beyond that, you've made your post. You don't think actions like this at Marrakesh are helpful or effective. I disagree. Time will tell.

So, you've made your point, and I have disagreed with your tone and your point. Please move on to the next topic.

Craig said...

"...tiny minority of extremist Muslims..."

Could you clarify what you mean by tiny minority? Given that the Muslim population is somewhere north of 2 billion even 5% of the total Muslim population could hardly be referred to as a "tiny minority". We're talking millions at a minimum.

Dan Trabue said...

"Even if all terrorist attacks were carried out by Muslims [and they're not - read the link], you still could not associate terrorism with Islam: There have been 140,000 terror attacks committed worldwide since 1970. Even if Muslims carried out all of these attacks (which is an absurd assumption given the fact mentioned in my first point), those terrorists would represent less than 0.00009 percent of all Muslims."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/omar-alnatour/muslims-are-not-terrorist_b_8718000.html

Less than .000009% of all Muslims is, by any measure, a TINY, INFINITESIMAL percentage of all Muslims, agreed?

What percentage of terrorists do you suspect were/are Christians (ie, identified as Christians)?

Regardless, even if it were a full 1% of Muslims who go violent, we can't blame all Muslims for that 1%, any more than we can blame all Christians for the tiny percentage of Christians who kill or terrorize, or all white conservatives for the tiny percentage who kill or terrorize.

Fair enough?

On the other hand, Muslims can and should encourage their own small minority to abandon violence. Which is what they're doing with this Declaration. Again, I don't see anything to do but offer praise for these steps (with the caveat that it not end here, but it hasn't ended here already, so we can only encourage continued steps in this direction).

Marshall Art said...

Two problems with Dan's attempt to mitigate the truth:

1. Of those 140,000 terrorist attacks since 1970, what percentage was perpetrated by muslims? That's a far more important stat than to simply group them all together, as if trying to distract from the point. That is to say, saying there were that many since 1970 doesn't require insisting that they were not all committed by muslims. That's a given and no one would even make the suggestion. But to know how many were is far more relevant and signficant.

2. Assuming a far smaller percentage of muslims considering the noted likelihood that non-muslims committed acts of terror in that time, that smaller percentage only speaks of those who committed such acts, not those who failed to carry out acts, who were prevented from carrying out acts and those who support in any way acts of terror on behalf of islam. The reality is that the "tiny" minority is far less tiny than you need it to be to defend the entirety of islam.

3. You could cut off the first ten years of the period and find an even greater percentage of those acts being perpetrated by muslims, as such acts have increased since Iran took hostages.

I presented my stats, taken from various polls. It presents a picture that is of far greater concern than you possess the honesty to acknowledge. Trying to pretend that muslims are no worse than anyone else, which your stats clearly seek to imply, is deceitful and self-delusional.

Craig said...

Your 140,000 terror attacks and resulting percentage seems to suggest that the ratio is 1 Muslim per terror attack, which is obviously not the case. It also doesn't really define what constitutes "terror attacks". Nor does it seem to account for the "terror attacks" that have been thwarted. So, I'd maybe suggest that a source with a bit less bias may be worth looking at. But, lets assume that number is correct. If we were to allot 1/2 of the 140,000 terror attacks to Muslims, and to surmise that (using 9/11 as an example) there were at least 19 Muslims per attack (which seems low if you count the support staff), that suggests that 1.4 Million Muslims were involved in these attacks. A small percentage, to be sure, but not a small number. How does your source account for the "non terrorist" violence perpetrated by Muslims? For example, in the ISIS conquest of a significant amount of territory there have been a number of individual acts of violence. So, is the ISIS invasion counted as 1 "terrorist" attack, or as an accumulation of hundreds or thousands of "terror" attacks? Or, when terrorists beheaded approximately 10 people on a beach does that count as 1 act of terror or 10? I also didn't see anything relating to the numbers of people killed in terror attacks. It seems as though it is possible that the numbers of attacks may indicate one level, while the number of deaths indicate that the attacks are more efficient. The problem is that according to the open source (This is why no one takes Wikipedia as a serious reference site, because there is no real vetting process to the data) site we just don't know.

To be fair, no one has ever suggested that all Muslims be held accountable for the acts of a percentage of Muslims. It is interesting that you are perfectly fine with restricting the more than 99% or gun owners who commit crimes, but don't seem willing to treat law abiding Muslims in a way that is consistent.

The problem with the entire premise is that it tries to suggest that there is not a stream of violence within "moderate" Islam. It ignores the systematic oppression of Shia in "moderate" Sunni countries. It ignores the mistreatment of women in "moderate" Muslim countries. It ignores the fact that anyone who converts from Islam (or attempts to convert a Muslim) is subject to the death penalty in "moderate" Muslim countries. It ignores the fact that Gays are routinely killed simply for being gay in "moderate" Muslim countries. So, if one looks at a slice of Islam that is larger than some questionable "open source statistics" from a HuffPo article, it does seem that there is a violent, oppressive streak that runs through what most would consider "moderate" Muslim countries.

Craig said...

"Fair enough?"

Fair enough. But 1% of 2 billion is still 20 million people. I don't know about you but 20 million people is a large number of people, fair enough?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-30086435
http://www.statista.com/statistics/202864/number-of-terrorist-attacks-worldwide/

"As to who was responsible for the attacks, START said it only had information on the alleged culprits about a third of the time, but in those cases the most prolific named attackers were the Taliban, followed by al Qaeda in Iraq or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/04/state-17800-plus-people-killed-globally-in-terrorist-attacks-in-2013/

Based on a quick search, I'm not sure I'd just blindly trust your one open source spread sheet without a significantly better understanding of their methodology.

To be clear, I'm still not diminishing a right understanding of what is being done by this small group of people. I'm just pointing out that 1% of more than 2 billion is not a lot of people and to try to minimize the actual numbers maybe isn't the best route to take.

But, I think you did answer the question. You were referring to percentage rather than numbers.

Craig said...

Dan,

Before you respond any further, I felt like I needed to clarify something. I think that Art would probably agree with this as well.

It seems as though, given your personal connection with one of the participants, you have some degree of personal investment in this story. It also seems like you are responding as if I (and Art) are engaging in a personal attack on you or one of your friends. If you have gotten this sense from me I apologize, I did not intend to come off that way. I believe that it is possible to support (to some degree) the actions taken while also trying to realistically asses the larger picture and to have questions and concerns on a broader scale. I do not hold all Muslims responsible for the terrorist acts of a percentage, yet I also believe that there is much more for Muslims to accept responsibility for beyond simply terrorism. Obviously no one is responsible for the acts of others yet much of what passes for "moderate Islam" is still pretty reprehensible.

So, before you respond, I just want to assure you that I do not intend any type of personal attack on your or on your friend.

Marshall Art said...

I echo Craig's last to the extent that while it is true I cannot know full well ANY of the people involved in this move, it is quite legitimate to attack the move itself as, at least, not the tangible action that they and Dan can reasonably expect to accomplish any more than any previous attempt to deal with extremists in the last 1400 years. Indeed, there isn't even any indication that they themselves have any hope of greater success, how it would be measured and why anyone should give it the time of day.

We can all talk about how we're doing something, but if doing something bears no substantial fruit, you'll pardon me if I'm not impressed by current or future attempts that compel no reason to believe real and obvious consequences will result.

Dan Trabue said...

Those in the civil rights movement dealt with Christian extremists quite peacefully and successfully by marginalizing the minority who supported racism by saying that it wasn't part of Jesus' teachings. If it worked with Christian extremists, why not with Muslim extremists?

No, Craig, I did not think of it at all as a personal attack on me or my friend. But thanks for the consideration.

No, I took it as an attack by one who is doing nothing to promote peace/justice in the Muslim world on those in general who are doing something positive in many different ways, including this one, which I consider a vital one.

Look, when dealing with religious extremists (Christian, Muslim or otherwise) who believe that killing/oppressing in the name of their religion is acceptable or even good, then the very first thing we have to do - that has worked in the past - is to begin the process of marginalizing the violent ones as being NOT true to that religion. The reason for this is because that if your religion/bible/god tells you to go kill people, then no amount of other reasoning will suffice, we've got to stop this "god ordered killing/oppression" first and foremost. It is a basic starting point.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Thanks for your continued dishonesty and graceless, unChristian judgementalism. I can always count on your consistency.

Trying to draw parallels between islam, including islamic nations, and so-called "Christian extremists" during the civil rights movement is dishonest as well as inappropriate. American government is based on principles not practiced by islam and islamic nations. Thus, your "Christian extremists" had no governmental support any more than they had Biblical support. Just the opposite of islam and islamic nations. As a result, it was easy enough to arrest and imprison the worst of your "Christian extremists", most of whom rejected true Christianity in the furtherance of their racist beliefs.

All of this is totally opposite of the situation within islam and islamic nations, where both the government and their "holy" books unambiguously promote the very behaviors you think you have an ice cube's chance in hell of affecting. Again, you're not the first in the last 1400 years to mitigate these unholy beliefs and the behaviors they provoke.

So then, the issue, and the concerns and objections I've expressed, are more than merely valid...they are an clearer view of the reality that those like yourself happily ignore in your self-satisfying waste of time and effort.

Pointing this out is promoting peace and, most certainly, justice, by exposing the impotence of such initiatives so that fewer people buy into them, which leads to continued or increased suffering at the hands of those you aren't affecting by your "marginalization".

And again, this attempt to marginalize them has also been an ongoing practice for the last 1400 years. So you're not doing anything that hasn't already been tried and failed.

I also promote peace and justice by supporting those who continue to maintain and use a strong military to destroy the worst elements of those you think aren't already marginalized.

There is no possibility of stopping the islamic "god ordered killing/oppression" without totally revising their "holy" books that unambiguously teach this very tenet, destroy all those who continue to preach their "truth", because to them it istruth, and arrest and imprison all who try to interfere with such a purge. Good luck with that. You are no more likely to get islam to revise their religion to remove "god ordered killing/oppression" than you could get Christians to allow revisions to add that teaching to Scripture. You're also going to have to wipe out any vestige of their most respected koranic scholars and apologists having existed as they validate the perspectives and beliefs of those you think you can "marginalize" any more than they already are.

I will continue to attack anyone who insists on investing time and money on worthless and impotent initiatives that leave those who suffer vulnerable to more suffering. The time for talk and "marginalizing" has long passed. Support action that makes a difference. Otherwise you're only fooling yourselves at the expense of the oppressed.

Craig said...

"If it worked with Christian extremists, why not with Muslim extremists?"

1. Because Christianity and Islam have significant differences in how the view the value of human life.
2. Because the "christian extremists" weren't advocating that Christianity dictated that blacks be viewed and treated in a certain way.
3. Because the "christian extremists" weren't advocating for America to become a theocracy.

"...is to begin the process of marginalizing the violent ones as being NOT true to that religion."

There are problems with this when it comes to Islam.

1. Islam both historically and scripturally (Koran) is based on killing those who will not submit.
2. If one looks at the actual laws in the "moderate" Muslim countries you will find that this attitude is not a minority attitude, but codified as law.
3. There has never been any sort of mass movement where Christians advocated that "god tells you to go kill people,".
4. There is absolutely no "christian" equivalent to any/all of the Muslim terrorist organizations. Certainly not in size or scope. Certainly not with the objective of killing entire nations/ethnicities/religions of people who do not share their beliefs.
5. You still are ignoring the violence/oppression that is part and parcel of what the Marrakesh folks refer to as "moderate" Muslim states.
6. Can you name a Christian theocracy?
7. Can you name any Christian country where people are killed for converting away from Christianity?
8. Can you name any Christian country where slavery is still openly practiced?
9. Can you name any Christian country that systematically oppresses women?
10. Can you name any Christian country that practices FGM and accepts honor killings?

Look, no one is suggesting that trying to stop Muslim terrorists is a bad thing, but honestly to focus on that while not addressing the violence and oppression that are part of day to day life in Muslim countries seems a bit myopic.

"...we've got to stop this "god ordered killing/oppression" first and foremost. It is a basic starting point."

Great, so how (in the US where freedom of speech is a constitutional right) do you stop Wahhabi imam's from preaching exactly that?

How do you stop the active terrorist recruiting over social media, without infringing on freedom of speech?

Or how (in Saudi Arabia) where that government supports Wahhabi mosques and madrasas do you silence the imams who are preaching "god ordered killing/oppression"?

How do you force Muslim countries to renounce sharia law and adopt a less intrinsically oppressive legal code?

Do you really think that one declaration is really going to stop any of the violence/oppression inherent in the Theocratic "moderate" Muslim countries?


Craig said...

"If it worked with Christian extremists, why not with Muslim extremists?"

Where exactly do you see "Christian extremists" beheading people who disagree with them and posting it on you tube?

Where exactly do you see "Christian extremists" who are actively engaged in an all out war with the two sovereign nations in order to impose a particular version of religious law?

Where do you see "Christian extremists" specifically and intentionally targeting random innocent civilians with artillery, suicide bombs, and car bombs?*

Where do you see "Christian extremists" engaging in genocide?

* Before you trot out Timothy McVeigh let's get a couple of things clear. His bombing was a protest against the federal government and he limited his target to a federal building. While there were "innocent" people killed, he did not intentionally target random innocent bystanders who just happened to be on a bus. He also did not blow up the building as a means of furthering any sort of "Christian" agenda. In fact, there really isn't any evidence that religion played any role in the bombing. Now, I'm sure you'll try to suggest otherwise. But even if you can come up with one example that pales in contrast to the thousands of terror attacks perpetrated by Muslims, so if you want to argue some sort of equivalence between McVeigh's single attack and the years long terror campaigns by Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, ISIS, and all the rest go right ahead. It will just make you look like an apologist for Islamic terrorists.

Dan Trabue said...

Trying to draw parallels between islam, including islamic nations, and so-called "Christian extremists" during the civil rights movement is dishonest as well as inappropriate. American government is based on principles not practiced by islam and islamic nations. Thus, your "Christian extremists" had no governmental support any more than they had Biblical support.

Of course, this is total bs.

You DO recall, don't you Marshall, that it was legal to discriminate, to practice racism, to enslave, to deny rights to women, black folk, gay folk? Nay, not only was it legal to discriminate, it was required by law to discriminate. If you tried bringing your black child to a white school, you would be violating US laws. And who were these laws supported by? Traditionalist, conservative Christians.

Thus, the comparison is apt and you clearly are forgetting or whitewashing history.

Marshall, again, as one who is doing nothing to help make the world better as it relates to Muslim/Christian relationships, I simply don't care how pissy-pants you get about people who ARE doing something, so short of something significant (or at least historically factual), go away, you've tried to take your dump on these people who ARE doing something and you've been exposed for nothing more than a whiner, a complainer, a bitchy do-nothing who only gossips and slanders and otherwise does not take part in the realm of God.

Repent, or, failing that, go away.

Dan Trabue said...

Where exactly do you see "Christian extremists" beheading people who disagree with them and posting it on you tube?

Where exactly do you see "Christian extremists" who are actively engaged in an all out war with the two sovereign nations in order to impose a particular version of religious law?

Where do you see "Christian extremists" specifically and intentionally targeting random innocent civilians with artillery, suicide bombs, and car bombs?*

Where do you see "Christian extremists" engaging in genocide?


World history, Craig. Fortunately, most Christians (except for a few troglodyte conservative extremists) HAVE accepted that such violence is not part of God's realm. Today.

But there were Christian conservatives who engaged in murder, rape, oppression, theft, false witness and otherwise marginalizing racial minorities in our past. We've gotten past that, by and large. We need to help Muslims get past that, too.

And the way to do that is NOT by killing more Muslims (which as anyone can tell you, will only fan the flames of hatred and give more credibility to the extremist few), but by winning them over to the side of peace and justice and human liberties.

As is being done, in part, with this effort in Marrakesh.

Craig...

1. Because Christianity and Islam have significant differences in how the view the value of human life.
2. Because the "christian extremists" weren't advocating that Christianity dictated that blacks be viewed and treated in a certain way.
3. Because the "christian extremists" weren't advocating for America to become a theocracy.


1. So, Muslims do not value human life? Is that what you are saying? Because I know Muslims who do value human life. They are not monsters, Craig, and if you know Muslims, you know that to be true.

2. ? Of course, they were. Christian extremists in this nation said that blacks were not worth the same as whites. That black people should not be allowed to marry white people. That black people should not be allowed in white schools, in white hospitals, to drink out of fucking white water fountains! How is that NOT treating black folk with the most evil of contempt? As less than fully human? And they did this quoting the Bible and their preachers all the way. I don't know what you're talking about here. You ARE aware of US history, yes?

3. Thank God, by and large, this is true (with some very notable exceptions). But then, not all Muslims are advocating nations become theocracies! That is the point, here.

What are you arguing against, Craig?

Dan Trabue said...

Religious defense of slavery, justified by Christianity, by Christians:

http://www.kingscollege.net/gbrodie/The%20religious%20justification%20of%20slavery%20before%201830.pdf

Craig said...

"World history, Craig. Fortunately, most Christians (except for a few troglodyte conservative extremists) HAVE accepted that such violence is not part of God's realm. Today."

But, that's the problem. You are comparing "world history" to current events. Even though I'd bet you can't provide any sort of exact historical parallel to modern terrorism, the fact remains that Christianity "grew out" of this sort of behavior hundreds of years ago, while Islam still considers it appropriate. If you really look at history there are no parallels where a Christian theocracy attempted to use violence to impose hegemony over those of a different religion. Certainly no examples where there were claims of genocide where those doing the killing shouted "Glory to God".

So, your actual answer is that you cannot present any current evidence where "Christian extremists" are engaged in the sort of terrorist jihad we see from Muslims. In point of fact, there is nothing in the history of Christianity which justifies anything remotely similar to the notion of jihad.

"1. So, Muslims do not value human life? Is that what you are saying? Because I know Muslims who do value human life. They are not monsters, Craig, and if you know Muslims, you know that to be true."

What I said is that Islam as a religion does not value human life in the same way that Christianity as a religion does. Obviously there are examples to the contrary, but that doesn't change anything. Since I never said "they" were "monsters" why would you suggest that I did?

"3. Thank God, by and large, this is true (with some very notable exceptions). But then, not all Muslims are advocating nations become theocracies! That is the point, here."

Yet virtually every single Muslim nation is a theocracy, and there are elements of the US Muslim population who are advocating for sharia law. So, I'm not exactly what your point is, of course people aren't advocating that Muslim nations become a theocracy, they already are.

"2. ? Of course, they were. Christian extremists in this nation said that blacks were not worth the same as whites. That black people should not be allowed to marry white people. That black people should not be allowed in white schools, in white hospitals, to drink out of fucking white water fountains!"

Of course there were a minority of people who may or may not have been Christian who used all sorts of excuses to engage in things that the Bible does not support. There were also many Christians who actively engaged in changing things. The difference is that one must twist the Bible in order to justify that treatment of people, while the Koran clearly teaches the kind of thing we see from the terrorists. Ultimately, the problem is that this is not an apt analogy. Those "christians" you speak of were not randomly kidnapping, killing, and bombing innocent people with the sole purpose of terrorizing them. They were limited, repudiated, prosecuted, and ultimately we fought a war to begin to eradicate them.

Craig said...

"What are you arguing against, Craig?"

I'm not so much arguing against anything, I'm pointing out that your attempted equivalence between Islamic terrorists and "christian extremists' is a false equivalence.

I'm also trying to get you to acknowledge the oppression and violence inherent in "moderate" Islam.

"How is that NOT treating black folk with the most evil of contempt?"

I'm not sure how you define the "MOST EVIL OF CONTEMPT", but that doesn't matter as I did not suggest anything of the sort. You are conflating people who misused the Bible to support something in which they had a personal interest, with people who are actively engaged in genocide. But that's the same thing, right?

"As less than fully human?"

If your talking about the 3/5ths of a person stuff, then read your history. If you're talking abut something else, then yes there have always been people with aberrant behaviors. The difference is that in the Christian world we stopped this kind of thing, in the Muslim world it's still going on.

"And they did this quoting the Bible and their preachers all the way. I don't know what you're talking about here. You ARE aware of US history, yes?"

I think you meant misinterpreting the Bible. Again, for you to try to draw this false equivalence between something that was eradicated in Christian society hundreds of years ago with current events is the Muslim world is quite a stretch to say the least.

Craig said...

You know it's interesting that you get more FUCKING upset at what happened hundreds of years ago in the US, that you do about what's happening today in the "Moderate" Islamic nations you think we should encourage.

Craig said...

As far as your link, I never suggested that the Bible wasn't misused to justify slavery. Just that it was not ever considered part and parcel of the very essence of what constituted Christianity or western society.

I can see how one can use the term "slavery" which denoted one specific kind of arrangement in the context of the OT theocracy and Hebrew Kingdom, as a pretense to justify an entirely different sort of arrangement in other societal contexts.

But either way, you have to go back 186 years to find an example to counter what see see on the news today. Even then, it's not anywhere near the same sort of thing.

Craig said...

Sura 5:33. The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.

sura 8:12. (Remember) when your Lord inspired the angels, "Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes."

sura 17:16. And when We decide to destroy a town (population), We (first) send a definite order (to obey Allah and be righteous) to those among them [or We (first) increase in number those of its population] who are given the good things of this life. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction.

Dan Trabue said...

Just one thing at a time:

I'm not so much arguing against anything, I'm pointing out that your attempted equivalence between Islamic terrorists and "christian extremists' is a false equivalence.

Christian extremists (who were pretty much the mainstream at the time) supported slavery, race-based oppression, gender-based discrimination/oppression, and legislation and violence to support "enforcing" these faith-based rules (which they supported using the Bible and Christian tradition).

Muslim extremists do so, too.

What is a false equivalence?

Dan Trabue said...

Okay, two things:

I never suggested that the Bible wasn't misused to justify slavery. Just that it was not ever considered part and parcel of the very essence of what constituted Christianity or western society.

Many Muslim scholars would say that the Koran is being "misused to justify oppression." On what basis should your hunches/interpretations/opinions about what the Koran means trump Muslim scholars?

Do you think those hostile to Christianity and the Bible should get to say, "The Bible supports rape and slavery because it's right there in the text... we see it as being clearly there, therefore, the Bible/God/Christianity support rape and slavery..."? Or are they not reasonably suited to decide what the Bible "really" says?

Craig said...

"What is a false equivalence?"

1. The "christian extremists" were not engaged in attempting to establish a theocracy.
2. The "christian extremists" were a minority who had to misinterpret the Bible to make their point.
3. The "christian extremists" were not actively engaged in kidnapping, torturing, beheading, and bombing random innocent people while screaming "God is great".
4. The "christian extremists" were not engaged in a centuries long war of aggression designed to impose their religion on others.
5. The "christian extremists" were around for a relatively short period of time over a hundred years ago, not on the evening news.
6. The "christian extremists" did not murder people because they drew a cartoon of Jesus.
7. The "christian extremists" did not subjugate, mutilate, and kill women.


"Many Muslim scholars would say that the Koran is being "misused to justify oppression." On what basis should your hunches/interpretations/opinions about what the Koran means trump Muslim scholars?"

Yet many Muslim scholars are actively involved in preaching exactly the type of Islam you claim to want to stop. Why should I believe your Muslim scholars over those Muslim scholars?

Great, so how (in the US where freedom of speech is a constitutional right) do you stop Wahhabi imam's from preaching exactly that?

How do you stop the active terrorist recruiting over social media, without infringing on freedom of speech?

"Do you think those hostile to Christianity and the Bible should get to say, "The Bible supports rape and slavery because it's right there in the text... we see it as being clearly there, therefore, the Bible/God/Christianity support rape and slavery..."?"

I think that those who are hostile to Christianity are not going to be interested in any sort of accurate interpretation of what the Bible says. So why would I look to those hostile to Christianity for help with Biblical interpretation. On the other hand I could drive less that 10 miles from my house and find plenty of people who are not hostile to Islam who are actively engaged in interpreting the Koran as it is written. They are also recruiting young people to go to the middle east and join the jihad or (if they're girls) to go to the middle east and have sex with the jihadists.


How will this Marrakesh Declaration stop the recruiting I mention above?

Look Dan, had you not tried to force this false equivalence between these alleged "christian extremists" and "Muslim extremists", this conversation would have been over by now, but not only did you go there but now your so committed to it that you can't back away no matter what. The fact that the bast you can do is to compare something from hundreds of years ago to current events should say it all.

Oh, while your jumping on the "christian extremist"s who engaged in the slave trade, it's convenient that you don't mention the "moderate" Muslims who rounded up and sold the Africans into slavery to begin with. Those "moderates" must get off the hook because they don't fit the narrative you've chosen to advance.





Craig said...

8. There were only about 385,000 "extremist christian" slave owners in the American south, if 1/2 of 1% of Muslims are "extremists" that means there are about 10,000,000 of them. If the Muslim extremest number is 1/4 of 1% that only gets to 5,000,000. So there are obviously significantly more of the Muslim extremists than "christian extremists".

"Many Muslim scholars would say that the Koran is being "misused to justify oppression." On what basis should your hunches/interpretations/opinions about what the Koran means trump Muslim scholars?"

Or we could look at how actual real human beings are treated in "moderate" Muslim nations. I could be wrong, but I'd call things like; FGM, Honor killings, being banned from being educated, being banned from voting, being banned from driving, being killed for being gay, being killed for converting away from Islam, "oppression". Maybe you don't. But if that kind of oppression is practiced in the "moderate" Muslim nations I think that it is completely possible to draw some conclusions about how oppression is not just justified, it's the law of the land. Oh, what's that system of law called?

Yes, I do think that looking at how "moderate" Muslim countries treat their citizens might be a good way to observe their tolerance for "oppression". Or does that take an Islamic scholar to do?

Craig said...

I have to clarify something. Do you believe that the Charter of Medina should be adopted as the governing document of all Islamic nations? Do you believe that if the Charter of Medina were adopted (and lived up to) that it would result in peaceful relations between Muslims and non Muslims? Do you believe that the Charter of Medina would eliminate oppression within the Muslim world?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, I don't think you understand how comparisons work. If one does a comparison or makes an analogy, the two things being compared don't have to be exactly alike on every point. If I said "He is as sweet as a newborn babe..." one doesn't say, "But a baby is only 8 pounds and he weighs 200. Also, babies are generally nearly bald and have no beard, he ISN'T bald and he does have a beard. Babies can't walk and he can. Babies poop their pants and he doesn't..." That's not how analogies work.

With that said, let me remind you of the point I had made.

I. Marshall was claiming that these people are doing nothing constructive. (Marshall, who is doing nothing whatsoever in his life and is not taking a single risk by writing that sentence anonymously on the internet, which seems to be the sum total of what Marshall has done to help the situation...)

II. I responded that those within a group speaking out, saying, "No! This is NOT what our belief system is about. Our belief system does not support violence towards or oppression of innocent people..." is a vital step in minimizing those within that system who do support evil in the name of that system.

III. I further responded with an example from history, "JUST LIKE US Christians began speaking out more and more in favor of civil rights and against atrocities like denying women, black folk, gay folk and others basic human rights."

IV. In the real world, many many Christians supported slavery, racism/sexism (denying basic human rights to people because of race, gender, sexual orientation) and they did so by quoting the Bible, saying God was on their side, that this slavery/denying of human rights WAS consistent with following God.

V. Thus, those who spoke out against a god/bible/belief system that supported oppression and said "this is NOT what our religion supports!" helped (over time and with repeated efforts and continually preaching of that message) marginalize those who held the pro-slavery/pro-denying rights positions, to the point where slavery is no longer accepted as moral (by and large) in the Christian world, where women DO enjoy liberties in the Christian world (by and large), and increasingly, where gay folk do enjoy basic human liberties.

The comparison, then, was to the reality that
a. Many Christians supported slavery, racism, sexism, etc hundreds of years ago (and even more recently), and did so using the Bible/their religion, and
b. Many other Christians increasingly spoke out against that view, and
c. Thus, that sort of oppressive Christian viewpoint has almost died out.

And, in so pointing out that reality, noted that Muslims who are doing this SAME THING (speaking out against other Muslims who are pro-oppression) are helping matters in a similar manner to this other, earlier reality.

I did not say that Christian support of slavery, oppression, denying of rights was exactly the same in every aspect as Muslim folk. IF I had said that, you might have a point. But no, I spoke specifically of some basic fact-based points and made a comparison to the practices I specifically spoke to.

Now, having clarified all of that, in what way is that a "false equivalence..."?

Did many Christians (and NOT just slave owners) NOT support slavery and other race-based/sex-based discriminations?

If you think not, then you are just not familiar with history and that is the problem. I suspect, however, that you probably are familiar with history and the reality of Christian support for these oppressive practices, but you tell me.

Dan Trabue said...

Sorry for the bad grammar typo in point II, and any others I may have made.

Craig said...

Dan,
I do understand how analogies work, and the one you have tried to force just doesn't. I pointed out a number of problems with your analogy and from what I have seen you have done nothing to demonstrate that any of those points are not accurate.

1. So what. You are assuming that you are knowledgeable about everything that Marshall is doing and basing your response on that assumption. The fact that he hasn't given you specifics about what if anything he is doing is immaterial. Not only that, but on what planet is one required to be "doing something constructive" (as defined by someone who is hostile) before being allowed to express an opinion?

2. I'll give you that it's a step. I'm not 100% sure that it's vital, but it's a step. But, neither you nor this group has dealt with the violence and oppression inherent in "moderate" Muslim countries. Nor have you dealt with the fact that the Charter of Medina doesn't renounce violence or oppression.

3. Again you miss the point being made. The speaking out is not what made the changes it was the actions people took that made the changes. The speaking out is fine, and is a good first step, but is not what actually forced change.

4. I'm not denying the fact that that happened. I've given you multiple examples (none refuted) that demonstrate why that which happened hundreds of years ago is equivalent to what's happening today. I just spent some time in Charleston at a really well done museum covering what led up the the civil war. There was a lot of stuff about slavery and property rights and states rights etc, but the notion that "God commanded us to have slaves" was never mentioned. If it really was as central as you are trying to claim don't you think that somebody who curates the museum might have mentioned it?

5. Yes, so? As I keep pointing out and you keep ignoring, it was a lot more than just speeches that brought those things about. Also, you keep pretending that the continuing of slavery, the oppression of women, the killing of gays and the denial of basic human liberties are being perpetrated by the very "moderate" Muslim countries that the Marrakesh folks explicitly say are the example to be followed. Why do you keep ignoring this basic fact?

Craig said...

a. Just because some christians accepted this viewpoint does not mean that it was ever the majority or official Christian position. Nor was it ever the law of any Christian theocracy.

b Yes they did. They also took action. They took risks. They went into the south and helped slaves escape. They went to jail. They were injured or killed. Until the folks wanting to change Islam take those same steps there will be very little change.

c. Thus, that view point was never the official Christian viewpoint, the fact that it was a viewpoint that was held by people who identified as Christians does not automatically make it the Christian view point.

"Did many Christians (and NOT just slave owners) NOT support slavery and other race-based/sex-based discriminations?"

I have absolutely no way to know how many of the supporters of those things were Christians or if they supported them primarily because of their faith. So, it's possible, if one accepts your premise that those attitudes were primarily driven by Christian faith and not just an example of people using the Bible to give them license to do what they want. You do realize that people actually do that, right?

OK, so now that you've managed to simply repeat yourself twice in one comment (which I've responded to), do you have any plans to deal with what I've said, to demonstrate that the specific points I've made are false (as opposed to simply re asserting your position), and to respond to any of the questions I've asked.

If you do plan to engage in a two way conversation, interacting with specific points and questions, that would be great. If all you plan to do is to continue to repeat the same things over and over again as if I have not offered specific rebuttals to your points could you please just let me know now? I am perfectly willing to interact in a two way conversation based around specific points and questions and answers, but have little desire or time to simply repeat the same responses to the same unsupported assertions.

Craig said...

"...but by winning them over to the side of peace and justice and human liberties."

If the "moderate" Muslim nations are not willing to provide the above, who do you suggest will?

Craig said...

I know you've been trying to make an equivalence between Muslim terrorists and "christian extremists", with little success. I also know you haven't yet dealt with the violence and oppression rampant in "moderate" Islam. Why don't you take a look at the story below and let me know where in the world (in the present, not hundreds of years ago), you will find a "christian" country doing this. If this is the kind of thing we get from "moderate" Muslim countries how can you suggest that the only problem Islam has is "extremists"?


http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2016-02-25/egypt-sentences-4-coptic-teenagers-for-contempt-of-islam

I know you have stuff going on, but if I see something relevant to the discussion I'm going to comment and I guess we'll see what happens on your end.

Dan Trabue said...

I know you've been trying to make an equivalence between Muslim terrorists and "christian extremists", with little success.

Craig, I think CLEARLY those Christians who thought and used the Bible and Christianity to justify slavery, oppression and any other harmful behavior are comparable to Muslims who think the Koran and Islam can be used to justify their harmful behavior. If you want to disagree with it, feel free. There IS an equivalence, whether you agree with it or not, it's there.

Disagree if you want. I have no desire to go back and forth with you on this.

Craig said...

I've got it, you simply want to make an assertion that you believe something to be true, without actually interacting with the multiple problems that have been pointed out with your assertion. I understand that you think that it is clear, but you thinking something doesn't make it so. Further, every single thing you've attributed to "christian extremists" is currently practiced by "moderate" Muslims, yet you ignore that as well.

Look, go back and forth or not, I really don't care. Just don't pretend that you repeating and assertion about something erases the many problems that have been pointed out. There are numerous problems with your flawed equivalence that I have specifically enumerated, and I see no value in simply pretending they don't exist, if you are serious about making and supporting your point. If all you want is a pass on whatever assertions you make and just want your assertions to be accepted uncritically, just say so.

Look, I don't expect you to respond to any of this with all you have going on, so it seems like it would make much more sense for you to take a break, get through your family stuff and then decide if and/or how you want to work through this stuff. As I said, if I have something to add I will (so I don't forget it), and will wait for you to get to a point where you can devote an appropriate amount of time to however much of this you decide to address.

Dan Trabue said...

Perhaps you didn't understand....

I think CLEARLY those Christians who thought and used the Bible and Christianity to justify slavery, oppression and any other harmful behavior are comparable to Muslims who think the Koran and Islam can be used to justify their harmful behavior. If you want to disagree with it, feel free. There IS an equivalence, whether you agree with it or not, it's there.

Disagree if you want. I have no desire to go back and forth with you on this.

Craig said...

I understand that you think CLEARLY, I also understand that you thinking CLEARLY does not magically make the problems you're pretending don't exist aren't real flaws in your opinion. I also realize that you have no desire to deal with the flaws pointed out to you and would prefer to simply have your assertions accepted without having to actually deal with the flaws in said assertions. Obviously you don't want to go back and forth addressing the specific flaws I've raised. Obviously it's easier to simply announce that you CLEARLY believe something and that your CLEAR belief is immune from challenge because it's CLEAR to you.

By all means, feel free to attempt to insulate your CLEAR beliefs from being challenged and exercise your right to presume that your CLEAR beliefs are somehow too special to be defended.

Craig said...

Of course,even if I uncritically accept your CLEAR belief, it still doesn't help you deal with all of the other problems and questions presented in the above comments. But again, it's your choice whether or not to engage in a two way conversation, I'm willing to wait until you can.

Marshall Art said...

Dan has been saying all manner of nasty things about me for the crime of speaking truthfully about the impotence of this conference. He could have done us a service by providing a list of intentions that are meant to deal with the most violent believers of islam, rather than simply suggesting muslim countries should reconsider the Charter of Medina, which can't possibly make any difference.

But he says the following:

"(Marshall, who is doing nothing whatsoever in his life and is not taking a single risk by writing that sentence anonymously on the internet, which seems to be the sum total of what Marshall has done to help the situation...)"

First of all, I am not anonymous in my blogging, as anyone who clicks on my name can see. There, on my profile, one can find out who I am quite easily as well as find out my email address. That I choose to use a nom de plume is merely the consequence of unfamiliarity with the whole blogging thing at the time I was first encouraged to create a blog of my own, or to visit the blogs of others. I saw that so many used pen names and I thought it a fun idea to create one for myself. But I am hardly anonymous.

Secondly, I find it unsurprising that Dan would dare judge my level of involvement in addressing the situation of terrorism in the world. I am too old for military service, and too poor to fund a mercenary insurgence of my own. What's more, Dan assumes that I am physically capable, never choosing to consider that I might be severely crippled. Now, I'm not crippled, but the point is that I'm not in any way obliged to satisfy Dan's standards for what constitutes "doing something", nor those of anyone else. Simply put, I could be doing absolutely nothing and still have the right to voice my opinion regarding the worthlessness of the conference actions. Worthless is worthless regardless of whatever degree of action or results of actions I might take. The two have no relevance to each other. Dan simply squawks at any mention of disagreement with what he considers a blessed and valuable thing, regardless of whether or not it is fact either.

Marshall Art said...

In any case, there is also the question of Dan's lie in making comparisons to Christianity and islam, to which Craig has alluded. Without reading through all the comments to find it, I'm certain I mentioned a stark reality:

There Is No Comparison Whatsoever!!! The "extremeist Christian" would be one who adheres fervently to the concepts, principles and teachings of the Christian faith. Such a person would then never engage in violent behaviors to force conversions or in dealing with heretics or those who believe in another religion. There's simply nothing in Scripture that could honestly be interpreted in such as way and those who have sought to use Scripture to justify unChristian behaviors have abused Scripture.

But the ISIS types are as simply devoted to the teachings of islam. Dan would insist they are perverting it. But the moderates he believes exist (to whatever extent they might) are not the most devoted to those teachings at all. They are the islamic version of people like Dan, who reject the clearly revealed teaching of the faith to support that which they prefer.

In support of this honest and truthful position, I offer this link which is one of many I could have chosen to demonstrate that the terrorists and jihadists are acting on a devoted adherence to the teachings of their faith. It is the moderates who have corrupted islam. That's a good thing if they can be believed, which is not something one should just do without proofs.

Dan ignores that islam is diametrically opposed to Christianity. To "do something", then, one MUST begin by acknowledging the truth about islam rather than pretend it is the jihadis that are corrupting islam.

Preaching that fact is doing something far more tangible than the kumbaya initiatives of the Marrekesh conference.

Craig said...

Art,

I have to applaud your point about the "extremist Christian". If one takes the actual teachings of Christianity to their logical extreme, then one ends up with the exact opposite of slavery and oppression. One ends up with "Love the Lord your God with all you heart, mind, soul and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.".

If one takes Islam to it's logical extreme, we get "The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.", quite a difference.


Craig said...

Art,

One other thought about those "extremist Christians" who supported slavery and oppression of people because of their skin color, they all represented one particular political party. I guess it's OK to broad brush and overgeneralize by presumed religious affiliation, but not by political party.

Craig said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3470877/ISIS-executes-eight-Dutch-members-desertion-bringing-total-number-people-executed-Syria-group-3-967.html

Just one more example of how Muslim "extremists" are just like "christian extremists", because you are constantly hearing news about people being executed for leaving various "christian extremist" groups.

Dan Trabue said...

Yes, Craig, that's what my claim is: that Muslim extremists are "just like" christian extremists and you have now made a salient point.

Craig said...

Really, where can you show us "Christian extremists" are killing people making headlines. So, yes I have made a salient point. The point is that there are no "Christian extremists" engaged in anything even close to Muslim extremists, he'll even the "moderate" Muslims are doing worse things than the elusive "Christian extremists". But you keep pretending you've established your assertion as true. I'm sure you'll be dealing with the backlog here at some point when you have time.

Craig said...

"Look, when dealing with religious extremists (Christian, Muslim or otherwise)..."

You're the one who is trying to establish that "christian" and "Muslim" extremists are two sides of the same coin, not me.

As I was looking for your first shot at making this equivalence I realized that there is really quite a lot of material that you have been unable to respond to. I completely understand why you haven't and I am not being critical, but I'd really appreciate a straight answer. Are you really going to go back and deal with everything here (or even a significant portion of it)? If you are, then I will gladly be as patient and understanding as you need to allow you ample time. If you're not, then I understand that as well. I am not trying to push you one direction or another, but I'd just like your best honest answer as to what your plans for this are.

I know that you've got plenty to do and would never expect you to put this in front of family obligations, but if you really are going to continue I'll wait.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, I have not said that Christian extremists are just like Muslim extremists. It has not happened.

I have not said that Christian and Muslim extremists are two sides of the same coin. It has not happened.

I made the simple factual statement that (what we would NOW call) Christian extremists especially in the past used the Bible to defend slavery, sexism, oppression of minorities, women and gay folk. Fact.

I made the simple factual statement that Muslim extremists now use the Koran to oppress others. Fact.

I stated those two facts as the facts that they are. I went on to say that, JUST AS more progressive/less oppressive Christians began to speak out and say that THIS oppression is not what Christianity is about, so, too, Muslims saying the same thing is a good thing.

Agree or not, I don't care. There is nothing really to debate here, nothing that I can see needs clarification. You appear to agree that Muslims speaking out against Muslim oppression is a good thing. If you don't, fine, I don't care. I think clearly it is a good thing for them to do just as Christians have done on this point...

What is there to "continue..."?

Dan Trabue said...

The point is that there are no "Christian extremists" engaged in anything even close to Muslim extremists, he'll even the "moderate" Muslims are doing worse things than the elusive "Christian extremists"

The point I am making is that there have been Christians who were hellishly just as evil in their treatment of others as some Muslims are today. Yes, just as close.

Christians have strung up black men, beat black folk, blown up black children all in the name of Jesus. That is comparable to the sorts of evil done by Muslim extremists.

What about that is not clear? Don't bother answering, I'm not debating this with you, the facts are what they are. If you don't find lynching and killing black people to be comparable to cutting off heads, that's on you. I'm stating that it is one and the same thing, as far as being evil. I don't care whose name you do it in, it's evil.

What is there to "continue..."?

Craig said...

Other than questions unanswered,examples of problems with your assertions, and other unresponded to comments absolutely nothing.

I guess this means you are not willing to defend your assertion, just repeat it.

Gotcha, I'll probably move most of the unresponded to stuff over to my blog and expand on the "Christian extremist" foolishness just to make things more coherent.

Thanks for being honest about not dealing with all the earlier stuff. I appreciate it.

Dan Trabue said...

So, Christians DIDN'T kill and oppress and enslave people in the name of Jesus? If that is what you're saying, then you do not understand or know history. If you agree with me on that point, then we agree (which is to say that you agree with reality).

I do not wish to argue with you on facts. They are what they are.

Craig said...

I've asked you of examples which are analogous to what we see from Muslim groups today, and the only specific example you've come up with is people who (mis) used the Bible to justify slavery in the American south. Is that the best, closest analogue that you can come up with?

To answer your specific question there were a small minority of people who used Biblical passages to justify their behavior. To the best of my knowledge that behavior did not include killing random innocent people chanting Jesus is great, thinking that the killing of innocent infidels got them a guaranteed trip to heaven. To be historically accurate you can't exclude the Muslims who rounded up and sold the slaves, but you do.

The problem you have is that I've pointed out all manner of facts which you've chosen not to refute or even acknowledge. But, you're right there's not one single thing left because you've addressed everything specifically.

Since you've made your pronouncement, I don't see any reason to continue here as lon as you won't allow any questioning of your premise. So, I'm going to move this elsewhere and lay things out in a more coherent manner. I've asked nicely if the southern slave owners is your best analogue, if you have any better please bring them out now. If you don't I am left to assume that since you only gave one example, that it's your best.

I'm only doing this to prevent you complaining later that I ignored your examples.

So, again, I'm sorry about your dad. Mine was a bit older and died suddenly so I have some sense of what it's been like for you.

As always I'm willing to keep this going if you want to get caught up,but if your position is that you have nothing at all to address, then I don't see any point in you just repeating your premise as if it were unassailable fact.

Craig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Trabue said...

I've asked you of examples which are analogous to what we see from Muslim groups today,

I guess you missed this direct answer. I'll post it again:

Christians have strung up black men, beat black folk, blown up black children all in the name of Jesus. That is comparable to the sorts of evil done by Muslim extremists.

Not sure what you're missing. Do you think that people did not do this in the name of their Christian faith? If so, read history. If you recognize that reality, what is your beef? That I'm not citing people acting EXACTLY like some Muslim violent extremists? That is not the way analogies work.

the only specific example you've come up with is people who (mis) used the Bible to justify slavery in the American south. Is that the best, closest analogue that you can come up with?

I don't know if it's the best analogue I could come up with, but it IS an analogue and an apt one at that.

Do you actually disagree? If so, based on what?

It's almost like you're defending slaving, racist, oppressing Christians as being, "well, gee, they weren't ALL that bad, at least they didn't cut off heads and yell 'allah be praised...'" as if that somehow undermines the analogy. If that's what you're saying, it doesn't undermine the analogy, only your credibility.

But as I said, Craig, I do not want to argue with you on this. It IS an analogy, it is an apt analogy. What is your beef?

Marshall Art said...

"Christians have strung up black men, beat black folk, blown up black children all in the name of Jesus."

I doubt this very much and insist some citation be submitted for perusal. I won't deny that racists like to believe they have Biblical justification for enslaving blacks, and some even think there's a Biblical basis for believing the races shouldn't mix. They're just as wrong as those who believe there's a Biblical basis for supporting SSM.

But to insist that anyone murdered or attacked blacks in the name of Jesus? I need proof for this wild allegation. I'm saying it's blatant crap. Indeed, if there are ANY examples of this, I would wager it is not even something the typical racist would regard as beyond the pale for racism and wildly uncommon.

Craig said...

I agree it's an analogue, I'm trying to make sureally that you are saying it's the best one you have.

My "beef" at this point is that I've given you example after example and asked questions upon questions and you pretend as if simply announcing that you don't want to argue about something somehow makes the objections and questions go away.

The reasons I disagree with your analogue are many and have already been mentioned, if you can't be bothered to read them and respond that's your problem not mine.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, I have absolutely no idea what problem you are having with the simple facts I've stated and the analogy I've drawn. Christians DID support slavery as biblical as a point of fact just as some Muslims have supported oppression. The analogy is sound and re-reading what you've written, I don't know what your disagreement is over. Feel free to make a brief case as to what is wrong with the analogy. My best guess as to what your problem is comes from what you said here...

There was a lot of stuff about slavery and property rights and states rights etc, but the notion that "God commanded us to have slaves" was never mentioned. If it really was as central as you are trying to claim don't you think that somebody who curates the museum might have mentioned it?

It appears you are saying that support for slavery was not a widespread Christian viewpoint. If that is your problem, I believe you are simply uninformed and thus, mistaken. If it isn't, feel free to clarify.

Dan Trabue said...

To the point of church support for slavery, some data:

The Quakers spoke out against slavery during the colonial period but they were the only religious movement to do so. Anglicans worked among the slaves and attempted to Christianize them.

Mainline Protestantism tried early on, but without success, to deal with the slavery issue. In 1784, the Methodists voted to expel members who bought and sold slaves but they decided to give slaveholders a year to free their slaves on penalty of expulsion. Methodists found such statements unenforceable and they withdrew them.

Virginia Baptists denounced slavery in 1789. Kentucky's Elkhorn Baptist Association tried to draft a resolution against slavery in 1791 but it proved a hot potato and the association dropped it.

Presbyterian synods in New York and Philadelphia as early as 1787 called for members to gradually end slavery. By 1792, the Presbyterian General Assembly voiced concern over the institution and most Presbyterians agreed slavery should end. At the same time, Presbyterians felt gradual emancipation would work best. By 1815, Presbyterians declared the buying and selling of slaves "inconsistent with the Gospel." In 1818, George Bourne, a fiery anti-slavery preacher, insisted on slavery's cessation. Bourne's Presbytery felt his attitudes degraded the minister's office and they removed him.

William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) helped form the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. Garrison, a Massachusetts native, worked with Benjamin Lundy, a Quaker, to put out a small Baltimore newspaper. True to his Quaker principles, Lundy took a quiet opposition to slavery. Garrison grew dissatisfied with Lundy's approach and quit the paper. Returning to Boston, he began publishing The Liberator. Garrison's paper hit the streets on January 1, 1831. Garrison set the tone with a strident anti-slavery editorial. The Liberator spread around the country as the radical voice of abolition. So powerful was his message that Georgians offered a $500,000 bounty to anyone who brought Garrison south for trial. Proslavery postmasters burned copies of the paper as soon as they arrived.

Religious support for abolition came from perfectionist churches. Abolitionists were not "liberals" such as the Unitarians, Transcendentalists, and so on. Most Abolitionists belonged to strong Methodist and Baptist churches.

Slavery embarrassed many southerners at the beginning of the century. More southerners than Yankees called for emancipation before The Liberator began publication. Once Garrison started publication, southerners became defensive. Attempting to justify their position, they pointed out that God sanctioned slavery in the Old Testament. The Bible did not condemn slavery, they argued, so it must be all right. Northern clergymen countered that southerners based such interpretations on extreme literalism. The south reacted so strongly to radical abolitionists that when Elijah Lovejoy died--1837--anti-slavery organizations no longer existed.

http://www.christianchronicler.com/history1/slavery_and_the_churches.htm

Dan Trabue said...

Quaker exertions were successful only within their own ranks, although they persevered with citizens’ petitions to the newly formed Congress to free the slaves. To be sure, the Methodists under the leadership of John Wesley and some Baptist churches proclaimed slaveholding an evil. But the expansion of these faiths in the Southern states during the cotton boom of the early nineteenth century gradually stifled their antislavery convictions...

When, in his hymn, “Amazing Grace,” he claimed that God’s mercy had “saved a wretch like me,” he meant it. Newton converted to his cause William Wilberforce, a member of Parliament from Hull. The latter soon joined forces with Cambridge-educated Thomas Clarkson and Anthony Benezet’s friend Granville Sharp, long an advocate for black—and American freedom. All three were devout Anglican evangelicals with considerable social standing. Their writings, meetings, and speeches spread the word against the highly lucrative African slave trade and merged their efforts with those of wealthy and pious English Quakers. They included the factory-owner, Josiah Wedgwood, maker of Wedgwood china. Under Wilberforce’s shrewd leadership, the anti-slave trade reformers convinced Parliament to close the African traffic in 1806. The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, founded in 1787, set a standard of religious work in politics that would be imitated across the Atlantic many years later...

In 1824, an English Quaker, Elizabeth Coltman Heyrick, published a bold tract titled Immediate, Not Gradual Abolition. She was the first of many devout women to defy the more conservative male leadership in the antislavery cause in both countries. Her influence was instrumental in the eventual passage of the Emancipation Act of 1833, which began the liberation of West Indian slaves...

During the 1830s, the majority of abolitionists were Northern white churchgoers and their clergy. No less active were African Americans, within the denominational system and outside it...

http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/nineteen/nkeyinfo/amabrel.htm

Dan Trabue said...

Were there efforts such as these, especially and often coming from inside the church? Yes, thanks be to God for progressive types of justice seekers! BUT, you have to understand that these people/groups were the exceptions.

They were the ones speaking out JUST AS THESE MUSLIMS ARE DOING in favor of ending oppression and saying that this ought not be! What they did was important because of their exceptionalism... They were speaking out to the mainstream of the church who either outright supported slavery as a valid Christian practice or just preferred to ignore the question.

This makes the point for me, that speaking out against oppression - as these Christians did TO other Christians - is comparable to Muslims speaking out in favor of religious liberty and ending oppression.

So, again, I have NO IDEA what your problem is with this analogy. HOW is it not sound? Now that you have been reminded of historical facts, if you want to still make some case that my analogy is poor for some reason, please make it, briefly. But if your case is built on the notion that support for slavery or racism or other oppressive behaviors was nearly non-existent in the Christian church, well, you are simply ill-informed.

Craig said...

Thanks so much for your specific addressing of the specific problems I've pointed out with your equivalence. Your continued repetition of your premise in addition to your comprehensive refutation of my specific previously enumerated problems with your underlying premise is incredibly helpful. Of course your specific and comprehensive answers are,as usual, helpful and clarifying. I especially appreciate how clear you have been on "moderate " Islam and the continued presence of the very things you complain about from "Christians" from hundreds of years ago.

I believe that I will address this at my blog in a more coherent way, as opposed to how this is going.

Dan Trabue said...

Feel free to do as you wish. I am telling you the truth that I have absolutely no idea what you are speaking of or what objections you have to my analogy and, seeing as how you have opted not to clarify here, I suppose I won't here, which is fine.

My point stands, so far as I can see:

In the real world, the many Christians who supported slavery and other oppressive behaviors/attitudes were wrong and other Christians who spoke out against that oppressive belief system, saying it was not part of Christianity, did a good thing.

IN A SIMILAR MANNER, those Muslims who speak out against other Muslims who embrace oppressive behavior are doing a good thing.

The analogy remains entirely sound and undisturbed by your questions so far as I can see.

Craig said...

"They were the ones speaking out JUST AS THESE MUSLIMS ARE DOING in favor of ending oppression and saying that this ought not be!"

Then how do you explain their support of "moderate" Muslim countries which are engaging in oppression?

"So, again, I have NO IDEA what your problem is with this analogy. HOW is it not sound?"

If you have no idea, then it's because you haven't bothered to read my multiple objections. As long as you pretend that the only definition of "sound", is that you believe it to be sound, then you can live in your little cocoon outside of the rest of the world. You just spent three comments making an argument for the fact (which I acknowledged) that the Church was one of (if not the) driving force to end slavery. You still have not proven you claim.

"Now that you have been reminded of historical facts, if you want to still make some case that my analogy is poor for some reason, please make it, briefly."

Or you could read and deal with what I've already said.

"But if your case is built on the notion that support for slavery or racism or other oppressive behaviors was nearly non-existent in the Christian church, well, you are simply ill-informed."

I've never even suggested the above, but thanks for trying to put words in my mouth instead of taking the time to pay attention to what I've actually said.

"I am telling you the truth that I have absolutely no idea what you are speaking of or what objections you have to my analogy and, seeing as how you have opted not to clarify here, I suppose I won't here, which is fine."

Of course you don't, as long as you ignore anything beyond your own premise you can tell yourself that you "have absolutely no idea". The problem is not that I haven't provided objections, it's that you have chosen to ignore them.

"My point stands, so far as I can see:"

And as long as you choose not to look far enough to see my objections and questions, you're point will stand. Not because it's a good point or because you've actually defended it,but because you've just chosen not to engage.

"In the real world, the many Christians who supported slavery and other oppressive behaviors/attitudes were wrong and other Christians who spoke out against that oppressive belief system, saying it was not part of Christianity, did a good thing."

Once again, stating the obvious doesn't make your point. You also, I guess, choose to ignore the fact that a big part of what changed slavery in America was not talking, but acting. There was a whole election thingy about slavery (remember, when the anti slavery Republican party defeated the pro slavery Democrat party), and then there was something else. Darn it, I just can't remember exactly. Oh, that's right there was some kind of conflict. I think one side argued very persuasively and convinced the (Democrats) that they should release all of their slaves immediately which, of course, they did.

"IN A SIMILAR MANNER, those Muslims who speak out against other Muslims who embrace oppressive behavior are doing a good thing."

Again, I've never suggested otherwise. But if you'd prefer to start an argument about something with which I agree, go right ahead.

"The analogy remains entirely sound and undisturbed by your questions so far as I can see."

Finally, the problem is you lack of vision, not my lack of questions or objections.

Dan Trabue said...

Of course you don't, as long as you ignore anything beyond your own premise you can tell yourself that you "have absolutely no idea". The problem is not that I haven't provided objections, it's that you have chosen to ignore them.

Again, I've read your words (contrary to your repeated claim). I still have no idea what it is you are objecting to. So, if you want to make your case again, please do so. I am open to reasonable objections that I understand. At this point, I fail to see how any points you have made are salient to the point I've made.

I took a guess (not "putting words in your mouth" - clearly, I said "IF YOUR CASE..." giving you the option to clarify) as to what your problem was and you tell me I guessed wrong. Rather than me continuing to guess at what problem you have or why you find the incredibly sound (in my estimation - and absent any reasonable problem offered so far) analogy to be problematic, at this point, you could try again or you could not, I don't know what else to tell you.

Perhaps I'm not as intelligent as you are. Make it easy for me. Like this...

"Dan, the problem with your analogy that historically, some Christians have oppressed and other Christians began to publicly say that isn't what Christianity is about as compared to Muslims who have done the same thing is..." and fill in the line.

Or not. I'm just telling you that I have, as a point of fact in the real world, read your words and I do not, as a point of fact in the real world, see what you are objecting to.

Do with it what you will. I bear you no malice, I just don't understand or "get" what point you're trying to make. That's the fact of it.

Craig said...

"(Marshall, who is doing nothing whatsoever in his life and is not taking a single risk by writing that sentence anonymously on the internet, which seems to be the sum total of what Marshall has done to help the situation...)"

I just have to point out the utter hypocrisy this statement represents. In point of fact you have absolutely no earthly idea what Art does or does not do, but are willing to allow your prejudice and assumptions lead you to make personal attacks like this.

What a load of crap.

Craig said...

"I made the simple factual statement that (what we would NOW call) Christian extremists..."

To be factual it should read "what I (Dan) would NOW call)..." I haven't seen one other example of anyone but you trotting this trope out.

"Christians have strung up black men, beat black folk, blown up black children all in the name of Jesus."

Please oh please show me one verified unbiased report of anyone "blowing up black children all in the name of Jesus.". Please, just one.

"Again, I've read your words (contrary to your repeated claim). I still have no idea what it is you are objecting to."

Then I can't help you. If you can't understand simple statements and questions, I doubt me be repeating myself will help.

Let's try one simple one.

You said; "...we've got to stop this "god ordered killing/oppression" first and foremost. It is a basic starting point.". Those are your exact words copy/pasted exactly as you said them.

I responded by asking the following.

Great, so how (in the US where freedom of speech is a constitutional right) do you stop Wahhabi imam's from preaching exactly that?

So, what's your answer?



Dan Trabue said...

please show me one verified unbiased report of anyone "blowing up black children all in the name of Jesus.". Please, just one.

Are you serious?

How about this one by those old school Christian extremists, the KKK...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16th_Street_Baptist_Church_bombing


You said; "...we've got to stop this "god ordered killing/oppression" first and foremost. It is a basic starting point.". Those are your exact words copy/pasted exactly as you said them.

I responded by asking the following.

Great, so how (in the US where freedom of speech is a constitutional right) do you stop Wahhabi imam's from preaching exactly that?

So, what's your answer?


What does this have to do with my point about the analogy, which you have suggested is a poor one with as of yet, no solid support?

As to the question, we can legally stop people from inciting violence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandenburg_v._Ohio

But what does that have to do with my point? It seems to be an entirely unrelated question.

The point remains: I have no idea what you are objecting to. [gr]

Craig said...

Are you suggesting that the KKK (an offshoot of the democrat party) was intentionally blowing up children? OK, that's one, how many Muslim bombs have killed children?

"What does this have to do with my point about the analogy, which you have suggested is a poor one with as of yet, no solid support?"

It is simply one step in a process of demonstrating the problems with your premise. You made a claim, and I asked you how you would make your claim reality.

"As to the question, we can legally stop people from inciting violence."

That wasn't the question.

The case you cited specifically cites specifically speech designed to incite "imminent lawless action". So it's clearly not a precedent to stop anything but the most specific and imminent statements.

So, how would you do what you say we've "got" to do?

"But what does that have to do with my point? It seems to be an entirely unrelated question."

1. It's a question that was asked and not answered.
2. It's intended to ascertain some details about what you actually know about Islam and what specifically you consider to be "extremist".
3. It contradicts your "There's nothing to discuss" claim.

Craig said...

Of course your citations doesn't address your claim that we've "got to stop..." it addressed what can be done after the speech has already happened.

So, again, how do you "stop" Wahhabi imams from preaching?

Dan Trabue said...

OK, that's one, how many Muslim bombs have killed children?

Again, I fail to see the point.

To answer that apparently unrelated and irrelevant question: I don't know how many children have been killed by Muslims. Too many?

I do know that 12.5+ B-B-Billion humans were enslaved often by Christians. That's not counting the countless millions (?) that were killed in the process of being captured.

What of it?

"What does this have to do with my point about the analogy, which you have suggested is a poor one with as of yet, no solid support?"

It is simply one step in a process of demonstrating the problems with your premise. You made a claim, and I asked you how you would make your claim reality.


Okay, answered. Make your point.

how would you do what you say we've "got" to do?

We've got to do just as Christians have done in the past: Say to the violent Christian ones... NO, that is NOT what our faith is about. NO, oppression is not acceptable in our religion. Muslims and people of all faiths need to stand strong on that. That's one of the things we need to be doing.

Which gets to the point of my post and supports the analogy I've made.

Do you have more?

So, again, how do you "stop" Wahhabi imams from preaching?

So, again, non-violent Muslims and others who support religious freedom speak out in favor of religious freedom. As one step. Education, protest, preaching, teaching, etc.

Craig said...

Great, essentially your strategy boils down to wait and hope that someone actually has the courage to do something. What number of innocent casualties are you willing to tolerate while you wait?


"Do you have more?"


"How do you stop the active terrorist recruiting over social media, without infringing on freedom of speech?"

Dan Trabue said...

I have no plan.

How does this relate to the point at hand? I've tried to be patient, Craig, but you don't appear to ever be getting around to the actual topic and the actual claim that you made that my analogy is somehow weak.

Again, I have no desire to argue with you, nor do I have any desire to continue to answer meaningless questions that are off topic. Make your case or I will just quit the conversation, as it appears to be going nowhere.

I hope you can understand.

Craig said...

OK, great you have no plan, no idea for a plan, you just hope someone else will actually do something. Now I understand why you don't like questions.

"How do you encourage Muslim countries to renounce sharia law and adopt a less intrinsically oppressive legal code?"

You made the choice to ignore the questions the first time around, so now you answer two whole questions and get all pissy.

You have no desire to do anything but make assertions then repeat them over and over again as if that gives them validity.

Look we both know that there is absolutely zero chance of getting you to answer the questions you've been asked or to deal with the already enumerated problems with your premise.

Why don't you just admit that you can't/won't deal with what is already on the table and stop pretending otherwise.

You get all worked up when people wonder why you ignore so much of what people write the questions they ask and the counters to your premise, yet you won't change your behavior, and you wonder why people come to conclusions about your behavior that are unflattering.

Answer, don't answer, I don't really care. The simple fact that you won't and that you go to such lengths to avoid answering says more than I ever could.

Craig said...

"How does this relate to the point at hand?"

Well you made the point that we've "got to stop this God ordered killing and oppression", so if we've got to stop it, then asking how you propose to do what you claim we've "got to", seems to relate quite nicely to your point.

Unless you are suggesting that when you said; "...we've got to stop this "god ordered killing/oppression" first and foremost. It is a basic starting point.", that you really meant something entirely different.

Maybe you meant "they" instead of "we".
Maybe you were using a non standard definition of the word "stop".

I don't know, but since you made the point, it seems relevant to try to tease out some specifics of how you propose to accomplish what we've "got to" do.

Dan Trabue said...

I made that comment in response to attacks on these people for their efforts. I was saying that we need to, as a first step, get them off the notion that God is NOT supportive of oppressing people. Here is the quote in context:

the reason for this is because that if your religion/bible/god tells you to go kill people, then no amount of other reasoning will suffice, we've got to stop this "god ordered killing/oppression" first and foremost. It is a basic starting point.

The point was to deal with the belief that God supports oppression. Yes, in general, we need to stop oppression, but that was not the salient point I was making.

Some other day, I might deal with the larger problem of oppression, but I still believe that stopping the notion that your religion is supportive of oppression is a vital starting point and that speaking out against it in your own religion is a vital starting point (and ongoing point) to make.

Understand now, in context?

How do we stop it? Well, to BEGIN WITH, we stop saying God ordains it.

Dan Trabue said...

"How do you encourage Muslim countries to renounce sharia law and adopt a less intrinsically oppressive legal code?"

You made the choice to ignore the questions the first time around, so now you answer two whole questions and get all pissy.


See above. As a starting point, you begin speaking out against the notion that God/Allah supports it. Which is the point of this post.

That question was not ignored, it was answered and re-answered in various ways. Not getting pissy, I was telling you that I was not answering the question AGAIN.

Look we both know that there is absolutely zero chance of getting you to answer the questions you've been asked or to deal with the already enumerated problems with your premise.

Why don't you just admit that you can't/won't deal with what is already on the table and stop pretending otherwise.


See above. Nothing to admit. I've answered/dealt with your question.

I can explain the answer to you, but unfortunately, I can't understand it for you.

Craig said...

Got it, your answer is still wait and hope. This whole concept of answering a specific question with a specific answer still seems a but foreign to you .

Dan Trabue said...

No Craig, you don't "got it." Sorry.

Craig said...

Really? So far all you've offered is how great an accomplishment this Marrakesh declaration is. With nothing concrete to follow. I've asked this before, but have you read the document the declaration praises as a path to peace and harmony?

Look, I get that you'd like to think that declarations and speeches and symbolism will effect drastic change, and you're apparently willing to wait for that to happen (or at least unwilling to put forth any concrete path to actually achieve change). Further, you are willing to wait for "moderate" Muslims to do the work, while ignoring the oppression inherent in the governance of the "moderate" Muslim counties the Marrakesh declaration holds up as examples.

So, as much as you might not like it, talk, declare, hope, and wait is a pretty reasonable summary of where you are.

Dan Trabue said...

No, Craig, you STILL do not get it. Look, anytime you say, "This is where you are... this is what you say... here is your claim..." you can almost certainly bet that, no, that is not my position, not my claim, not where I am.

I had a little time to try to deal with your lack of understanding and I've put forth a great deal of effort to clarify for you. You still don't understand. I am sorry, I have tried. I don't know what else to do.

Again, I'm not trying to argue with you, I'm just trying to help you see what I'm actually saying, which is none of what you are "hearing" me say. My best tip for you: If you THINK I am saying X, Y and Z, then just assume you are mistaken and that I almost certainly do NOT think X, Y OR Z, and you will be much closer to the truth and fact of the matter.

Craig said...

So, when I copy/paste your own words and enclose them in quotation marks, I'm not representing your position.

See when I ask "Dan what is your solution to this, or Dan how would you solve that problem" and you respond with "I have no plan" or "Well, to BEGIN WITH, we stop saying God ordains it." and " you begin speaking out".

It seems reasonable to conclude that you literally mean that you have no plan other than to "stop saying" something.

So when I conclude that you have no plan, but that you are content to all about speeches, waiting and hope, it seems that I have fairly accurately summarized your actual literal words.

Look, I understand that you're invested in this symbol. I understand you're invested in this equivalence that you've theorized. I understand that you can't point to any actual measurable change in behavior that has resulted from this. I understand that the text of the Charter of Medina isn't actually quite the call to peace and harmony that you'd like it to be. I understand that it's hard to criticize Muslim extremists as oppressive while giving a pass to the systemic oppression built into the legal system of the "moderate" Muslim counties the Marrakesh Declaration holds out as examples. I understand why you haven't engaged on any of these issues, and still won't. But to try to pass all this of as simply my inability to comprehend your wisdom is just more of the same old crap.

Marshall Art said...

Been trying to keep up with this conversation, and while it seems Dan lacks the courage to address anything I've said, except where he ungraciously attacked me personally for daring to criticize the work of his "beloved church sister", as if doing so is inherently wrong, sinful and criminal, there are some stark problems with the exchange between the two of you.

The first that comes to mind is the link to the bombing of the Birmingham Church fails to support the contention made by Dan. Craig kinda lets it go. But unless Craig was merely concerned with whether or not Klansmen blew up a black church and killed kids in the process, I find it hard to believe that Craig was unaware of this event, particularly as Condie Rice mentions it as a part of her own childhood.

But most specifically, it does not address the claim that anyone acted in this manner...that

"Christians have strung up black men, beat black folk, blown up black children all in the name of Jesus."

Reading through the entire Wiki link provided by Dan about this story, there is absolutely no indication that any of those accused and eventually convicted of perpetrating this crime in any way did it in the name of Jesus. This is important considering the moral relativism of Dan's comparison. I would wager there would not evidence of lynchings and beatings of black people being committed in the name of Jesus, either.

Yet, we constantly here of muslims murdering with loud vocalizing of their intention being to commit their crimes in the name of allah.

The analogy Dan tries to force ignores the realities. Not only is there no Biblical justification for lynching, beating or blowing up black people, no one ever tried to make the case. It's patently false, while it is absolutely true that muslims use their "holy book" to justify their murderous ways.

The reason for this is crystal clear. There is no Biblical verse that suggests anyone should murder anyone, regardless of the race of the victim. It just isn't there, and it is a stretch of impossible magnitude to suggest anyone could take any part of Scripture and insist there is, without such person being mentally challenged in an obvious way.

On the other hand, the list of verses and passages that directly encourage murder in the islamic "holy books" is well known and easily researched, given all those hiding for their lives as a result of merely pointing it out.

Thus, to insist that the first step is...

"we've got to stop this "god ordered killing/oppression" first and foremost"

...means that islam has to purge all the aforementioned verses and passages from their "holy books", their histories and their sermons and teachings. How can that be accomplished without full compliance by the entirety of the islamic world? These verses cannot remain intact and expect that serious and prayerful study of said books and histories will result in anything less than continued murder and hatred of anyone not the right kind of muslim.

Dan Trabue said...

You all don't get to speak for Islam any more than you get to speak for God.

You two can't even read MY words and understand them aright, written in the same culture, same century, same language. What makes you think you get to tell everyone what ancient words mean with any authority?

My point remains valid and the two of you are just making your side seem petty and pissy, emotional and graceless. You have nothing. Go on home and find something productive to do.

We adults will be busy doing the work of justice and peacemaking in the meantime.

Marshall Art said...

The bottom line is that unlike Christianity, islam is truly NOT a religion of peace. It is a religion of total compliance and oppression and subjugation (or murder) of those who do not comply. It's what they do. Those who don't aren't the conservative muslims. They are the muslims who aren't willing to truly live their faith.

But the conservative Christian, as opposed to who Dan believes that is, are those who fought slavery, who fought to free people and support liberty, as we all have the liberty to believe or not believe what Christianity teaches. Those who live in strict accordance with Biblical teachings are the true conservatives, as the term is used nowadays, and conservatives would not enslave people, would not align themselves with racist groups. And while they wouldn't throw them headfirst from tall buildings to murder them, they oppose homosexuality in all its forms.

But Dan has always had a problem understanding what conservatism is and commandeers the work of true Christians to whom he applies the term "progressive" when speaking of slavery and such things.

So there. Dan's analogies are crap, once again. His comparisons of what constitutes "extreme" is horribly flawed if not an outright lie, and he failed to support his claim of what racists did in the name of Jesus, and worse, failed to retract it.

Dan Trabue said...

Here, though, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll take another tack, since neither of you all appear able to understand my words or have anything positive to say about this work being done as cited in this story... here's your chance:

You've been placed in a position of authority for a week to work to resolve the problem of Muslim/Christian/World relationships. What is one thing you'd do to make the world a better place as it relates to this issue? Noting that there are already efforts in place to find and stop actual terrorist acts... so I'm speaking more of what to do to improve Muslim/other relations.

Go, stop the complaining about others, make your best suggestion/plan.

Craig said...

Art, I did kind of let it go because my question was worded in much more broad and general terms when I typed it than when I thought it.

You are right that there is really no demonstrable religious motive present, and one wonders why "christian extremists" would blow up a church and kill Christians. Of course Dan continues to ignore that fact that all of this "christian extremism" could just as accurately be called Democratic party extremism. I realize it's inconvenient, but it's the truth. Now that I think of it Dan is a Christian Democrat who lives in one of the states where slavery was legal and practiced, does that make him an heir to tow streams of extremism? Not making any claims or anything, but it's an interesting coincidence.

"You two can't even read MY words and understand them aright,..."

Really where did I go wrong with "I don't have a plan." and ""Well, to BEGIN WITH, we stop saying God ordains it." and " you begin speaking out"." Are you suggesting that you were using those phrases in nonstandard ways? You haven't shown me where the mistake in concluding that "I don't have a plan" means that you have no plan.

"What makes you think you get to tell everyone what ancient words mean with any authority?"

What makes you think you can make false claims like this with any authority?

"We adults will be busy doing the work of justice and peacemaking in the meantime."

Back to this pompous rehashing of the "Only liberals are actually doing anything" load of scubala. Look, when you can single out one person or group of people who have received justice or some armed conflict that "you adults" have stopped, let me know. But if all you've got to brag about is a declaration based on a charter that you haven't even admitted to reading just quit the crap right now. Look,I've said symbolism has value =, but don't go making claims about bringing "justice" or making peace before you can back them up.

I addressed this steaming pile of liberal hypocrisy at my blog and can't help but note the acquiescence your silence there signals. so before you get to feeling to proud of what other people have done, consider this.

In a one week period last month a group of rich dedicated conservative white Christians sacrificed their time talent and treasure in order to quite literally follow the example of Jesus by bringing literal sight to the literal blind, and providing medical care to people who are literally the least of the least of these in this hemisphere. Not only that but much less of this would have happened had it not been for the generosity of other individuals, groups, businesses, and even large corporations.

So, I'll stand with the real literal accomplishments of a bunch of adults (and kids), rather than to tout some symbolic declaration which, so far, hasn't led to one concrete improvement for anyone.

To be fair, I'm sure that not every one on this particular team was politically conservative, but I can say this definitively without the passion, support, and leadership of rich, conservative adults (and also the very active participation of their children) that this trip and the medical care it provides would not happen.

So, how about we drop the whole holier than thou shtick and acknowledge some reality.


Craig said...

"I'll take another tack, since neither of you all appear able to understand my words or have anything positive to say about this work being done as cited in this story... "

How about you stop bearing false witness and correct the lies in the above sentence.

Craig said...

"You've been placed in a position of authority for a week to work to resolve the problem of Muslim/Christian/World relationships. What is one thing you'd do to make the world a better place as it relates to this issue? Noting that there are already efforts in place to find and stop actual terrorist acts... so I'm speaking more of what to do to improve Muslim/other relations."

"Go, stop the complaining about others, make your best suggestion/plan."

You know, if you had the intellectual honesty to answer the questions you've been asked and the spine to have said something besides "I don't have a plan.", this might have been an interesting thought experiment, although the arbitrary limits would give me pause. Just asking for one single simplistic answer to a complex problem strikes me as pointless.

However since, you are unwilling to do what you ask of us, I think I'll pass. If you want to exhibit some consistency, and spine, I might reconsider, but why would I engage in something that you won't.

Dan Trabue said...

It. Was. Not. The. Point. Of. This. Post. To. Offer. A. Comprehensive. Plan. For. Dealing. With. Muslim. Extremists.

My point was simply to point out this historic and important event for the valid step that it is. I've done that. This act echoes other acts in the past when Christians stood up to oppressive Christians.

You are the one trying to make it about something that I am not posting about.

I am offering you the opportunity to do what you are demanding me to do off topic on my blog. I'm passing on going down that off topic trail, but giving you the chance to do just what you were asking me to do.

You are passing.

Duly noted.

These people, then, living in the places where the danger exists, are doing something, something important. It is not the only step, nor is it the only thing they are doing, but it is an important thing they do.

You're offering nothing but complaints and bad understandings of my words.

Duly noted.

Craig said...

"It. Was. Not. The. Point. Of. This. Post. To. Offer. A. Comprehensive. Plan. For. Dealing. With. Muslim. Extremists."

No but you were asked at least twice to give details about what concrete steps you would take, and you said "I have no plan.".

So, you have a problem. You are either asking us to make off topic comments, or you are asking us to do something you have been asked to do and refused. Either way it's not good.

"You are the one trying to make it about something that I am not posting about."

Actually I have been trying to explore the extent of how "historic and important" this event really is. Since you can't even confirm that you've read the Charter of Medina, I'm not sure you can even accurately judge how "historic and important" this is.

"I am offering you the opportunity to do what you are demanding me to do off topic on my blog. I'm passing on going down that off topic trail, but giving you the chance to do just what you were asking me to do."

As I said, you want us to do what you refuse to do.

"You are passing."

As did you. To be accurate, I'm not definitively passing, I'm waiting to see if you are willing to be consistent and do what you ask of others. So far not only are you passing, but you're attempting to cast aspersions at others for behaving in exactly the same manner you are. But being inconsistent like that has never bothered you before, why would it now.

"These people, then, living in the places where the danger exists, are doing something, something important. It is not the only step, nor is it the only thing they are doing, but it is an important thing they do."

Ah, back to the old 'nobody else does anything" trope. Maybe you could at least come up with something original when you want to diminish what others do.

"You're offering nothing but complaints and bad understandings of my words."

It fits in so well with your not answering questions and unwillingness to demonstrate where said "criticism" is wrong and to acknowledge where it might be right.

You could have so much more credibility, if you'd spend more time engaging in an actual two way conversation and less belittling those who don't uncritically buy your regurgitated talking points.

"You're offering nothing but complaints and bad understandings of my words."

There are three conclusions I can draw from the above false statement.

1. That you have chosen (intentionally or otherwise) to ignore the many positive things I have said about the Declaration of Marrakesh.

2. That you are unable to distinguish the many times when the understanding of your words are not only good, but supported by your words.

3. You made one (actually more than one) more "typo".

I'm going to choose not to conclude you just intentionally lied.



Craig said...

"I'd suggest that if we spent less time criticizing the other side for not "doing anything" and looked at things that are being done without preconceived biases and evaluated things based on real measurable tangible results; that we could support the effective, discard the ineffective, and focus on results, we'd be much better off."

Dan Trabue said...

And as a rule, I do support taking actions that have measurable results. However, not every justice action projects have results that are so easily measurable, at least in the short term.

consider the gay rights movement. We have done an amazing job over the last 30, 20 years changing people's minds. By doing just as the Muslims did in Marrakech, speaking out and saying No, discrimination against gay folks is not acceptable, nor is it part of the realm of God.

Now, I would say indisputably, over the years we can see the results. Your side is losing the case. In the popular culture, our side has successfully made its case. Increasingly, this is true in the church as well. Outright discrimination and didn't ization of gay folks is just no longer culturally acceptable even in most churches.

But at the time we started working for gay rights, these actions, these speaking out in defense of gay folk, may not have had demonstrable, measurable results.

So, while the rule is look for results, it's not always possible.

But then, all this only supports my point in this post.

Dan Trabue said...

And as a rule, I do support taking actions that have measurable results. However, not every justice action projects have results that are so easily measurable, at least in the short term.

consider the gay rights movement. We have done an amazing job over the last 30, 20 years changing people's minds. By doing just as the Muslims did in Marrakech, speaking out and saying No, discrimination against gay folks is not acceptable, nor is it part of the realm of God.

Now, I would say indisputably, over the years we can see the results. Your side is losing the case. In the popular culture, our side has successfully made its case. Increasingly, this is true in the church as well. Outright discrimination and didn't ization of gay folks is just no longer culturally acceptable even in most churches.

But at the time we started working for gay rights, these actions, these speaking out in defense of gay folk, may not have had demonstrable, measurable results.

So, while the rule is look for results, it's not always possible.

But then, all this only supports my point in this post.

Craig said...

Had you not been accusing me of "You're offering nothing but complaints and bad understandings of my words.", perhaps you would have recalled that I said virtually the same thing dozens of comments ago. As I've said multiple times in this thread, while this is a step in the right direction, it's still to early to make any sort of definitive evaluation of it's significance. If this all ends here, then it will have been neither "historic" nor "important", if it somehow moves people to action, then that analysis might change.

But, just because it's a start, maybe a good start, doesn't mean it's perfect or that it should be immune from criticism. I've addresses numerous issues that, while not necessarily fatal to the whole thing, are issues (or are similar to issues) that will likely come up if there is any action that results from this.

My opinion is that you are a little to caught up in the excitement and are unwilling to look at things from any position other than how "historic" and "important" you consider this to be. As a general rule, it always seems wise to temper our enthusiasm with caution and wisdom, as well as to minimize broad brushing and over generalizing.

Dan Trabue said...

just because it's a start, maybe a good start, doesn't mean it's perfect or that it should be immune from criticism.

I never said it was perfect, nor immune from criticism.

But what is there to criticize? The only thing you might criticize is what you might guess they might do or might not do in the future, but I'd just as soon not criticize based on guesses of what might or might not happen.

It's a good step, that's all I've ever said. A likely historic step, although that remains to be seen. But it's not significantly different than similar efforts by Christian progressives in the past who spoke up against slavery and racism and oppression of women and homosexuals... which is to say, it's important now, just as it was then.

Craig said...

"A likely historic step,..."

So is it a "important" and "historic" step or is it a "likely historic step".

I'd say there is plenty to criticize (maybe question would be a better term), you may not familiar with this kind of thing but I'm in the midst of something kind of similar right now. (actually in a couple of different contexts)

The process that usually happens when you are trying to engage in any large ongoing effort is that before you roll it out you study, you question, you criticize, you try to anticipate questions and criticism, you prepare contingencies for the unknown, you try to make guesses and to come up with answers and solutions for anything that might happen. The fact that you are so unprepared for this step to be questioned or criticized leads me to wonder if you've really thought this through beyond this first, largely symbolic step.

For example, I've asked sever times if you've read the Charter of Medina, and if you think that is is designed to promote peace on a broad scale. This in the kind of question/criticism that is bound to come up and if there is no answer it could be a problem.

The people involved in this are going to get criticized from all sides, and to get worked up because some guy on a blog (with a significant amount of experience with Muslims and who's studied (and is continuing to study) the topic, brings up some reasonable common sense questions and criticism, seems a bit out of proportion.

Look, I wish them well. I hope they survive the fatwa's that will probably be issues, but this is way bigger than extremists and they've got a lot of work to do if they want to see something more than symbolism.

Marshall Art said...

The absolute truth is that Dan is hateful toward anyone who dared do something other than laud and praise his "beloved church sister" for doing little more than breathing along side those thought to be moderate muslims. How sad that Dan cannot be objective where his "beloved church sisters and brothers" are concerned. Apparently they are without flaw or blemish, and every move they make is holy, perfect and unworthy of criticism. But the very first sentence of the post alone is worthy of scrutiny:

"This last week, a beloved church sister took part in an important conference in Marrakesh, where this vital declaration was signed by Muslim leaders re-affirming a traditional Islamic belief in religious liberty. Important, history-making stuff, this."

--The importance of this conference can only be judged after the fact on the basis of any results that flow from their efforts, such as they are. Thus, the "importance" can be no more than mere assertion at this point, and such assertion is incredibly premature and pridefully self-congratulatory.

--Considering what the Charter of Medina actually was, as described in the link I offered in my first comment, it would be far more reasonable to find it vital that the Charter never be cited again.

--The signing of this declaration affirms no historically supported tradition of islamic belief in religious liberty, especially considering how soon after the composition of the Charter did its author engage in despotism against those who rejected his newly invented fantasy religion.

And there is plenty to criticize from the first brief paragraph. I would be just as dishonest as Dan to pretend that there is anything to suggest that this "step" is significant in any way, given it does little to differentiate itself from current "steps" being taken to "marginalize" the violent, assuming being marginalized means a damned thing to the violent in the first place.

To suggest that pointing out flaws in a plan is "doing nothing" is just Dan's way of saying, "Shut up or join me in praising my beloved church sister because she's my beloved church sister and if I say she's doing something important and historical then by golly she is and that's all there is to it!!"

I feel ya, dude. She's a friend and you think the world of her. No issue there. But try to keep that in your pants when someone makes an objective observation and instead deal with the observation.

Dan Trabue said...

I've asked sever times if you've read the Charter of Medina

Craig, I answered this question in the FOURTH comment I made on this post.

And yes, I had read the Charter before

So, please, stop asking what has already been answered.

Craig said...

Which explains why you haven't pointed that out the last few times I've raised this as an issue.

Since you've read the charter, do you believe that it is a blue print for peace an tolerance throughout the entire Muslim world? If you do, what specifically leads you to believe that?

Dan Trabue said...

I hold no opinions about what Muslims may or may not believe about the Charter. The Charter is not part of my faith tradition and I would defer to Muslims on the topic. I hope to hear more and more Muslims speak up in support for religious liberty for whatever reason. If those Muslims who see in this charter additional support for religious liberty cite it as a source to make their case, good on them.

I believe the case for religious liberty in the Muslim world is best made by fellow Muslims, if they are willing to make it. Those in Marrakech appear prepared to do so and I say, Good for them.

Dan Trabue said...

Look, Craig, I don't think you are understanding my position. I support religious liberty. I support an end to oppression. To the degree that a religion - ANY religion - has documents that those in that particular sect of that particular religion cite as being supportive of oppression, I reject their interpretation as having any place in the modern world.

I support religious liberty, liberty of conscience, an end to oppression NOT because it is argued for in any ancient faith literature, but because it is right and good and conduce to a better, moral world. Those who interpret ancient text - ANY ancient text - as a support for oppression, I reject that belief and will work against it. That's true if it's Christians who'd deny liberty to women or gay folk, or if it's Muslims who'd do the same.

If one finds, in one's faith's holy texts, reason to support religious liberty, good for them, I support that effort. If one finds the opposite, I oppose it. Pure and simple.

Craig said...

"If one finds, in one's faith's holy texts, reason to support religious liberty, good for them, I support that effort. If one finds the opposite, I oppose it. Pure and simple."

Where in the Koran or Sharia do you find religious liberty?


Craig said...

I didn't ask you what some anonymous group of Muslims think about the charter, I asked you.

You have consistently included yourself as part of the group promoting the Marrakesh Declaration, yet now you are prepared to distance yourself and leave it up to Muslims as if other faiths have no part in this discussion.

So, do you have any opinion on whether or not the Charter of Medina is a blue print for peace and tolerance throughout the entire Muslim world?

You have opinions on virtually every other subject under the sun, why not an opinion on this?

Dan Trabue said...

"Although the broad thrust of the Qur’an and hadith supports religious liberty, many parts of these texts can be, and traditionally have been, interpreted as denying it... These problematic texts are outweighed by the bulk of the texts and instruction provided by the two most important authorities in Islam, the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad’s actual practice. Both are remarkably supportive of the idea of individual and personal religious freedom.

The bedrock of the Islamic case for religious liberty is the Qur’an’s vision of the human person. The Qur’an’s anthropology ”which is shared by Christianity and Judaism” views every human being as a creation of God, blessed with intellect and free will. God created humans “in the best of molds” (Q 95:4) and in doing so honored humanity and conferred on it special favors (Q 17:70). The Qur’an emphasizes that human beings have inherent worth and dignity. Further, it holds that God gave humankind the intellect and ability to discern between right and wrong (Q 17:15 and 6:104).

The Qur’an emphasizes free choice. “The truth [has now come] from your Sustainer: Let, then, him who wills, believe in it, and let him who wills, reject it,” it says (Q 18:29). And also: “Whoever chooses to follow the right path follows it but for his own good; and whoever goes astray goes but astray to his own hurt” (Q 17:15). Resoundingly, the Qur’an declares that “there shall be no coercion in matters of faith” (Q 2:256). Belief is an individual choice” or, rather, it is a choice involving the individual and God. Therefore forced conversions are simply unacceptable, and anyone who would use force rather than persuasion to promote religion must ignore the view of the person central to the Qur’an.

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2011/11/the-islamic-case-for-religious-liberty

Dan Trabue said...

I didn't ask you what some anonymous group of Muslims think about the charter, I asked you.

Because what I think of the Charter is not as important as what Muslims think of the Charter. In case you missed it, I am not a Muslim and neither are you.

now you are prepared to distance yourself and leave it up to Muslims as if other faiths have no part in this discussion.

AS I HAVE BEEN SAYING, Muslims stepping up and leading the way in saying "THIS is not what Islam is about..." is a vital starting point and that is why this is an important event. You or me getting up and offering our WASP opinions about what Islam is or what Muslims should do is not going to hold much weight and in fact, may make matters worse.

I am all about self-determination, so long as it is non-violent self-determination. Is that unreasonable?

do you have any opinion on whether or not the Charter of Medina is a blue print for peace and tolerance throughout the entire Muslim world?

I repeat (and amplify):

I hold no opinions about what Muslims may or may not believe about the Charter, whether or not they think it is a blueprint for peace. The Charter is not part of my faith tradition and I would defer to Muslims on the topic - what you or I think is irrelevant, isn't it? I hope to hear more and more Muslims speak up in support for religious liberty for whatever reason. If those Muslims who see in this charter additional support for religious liberty cite it as a source to make their case, good on them.

Marshall Art said...

I find it unsurprising that Dan cites a source that supports his notion of what "true" islam is all about. But now that I once again cite from a site hosted by former muslims, raised in the tradition of islam, who know a thing or two about the faith and its history, he will surely refer to it and dismiss it as merely an anti-muslim site. So where we find ourselves is pitting a pro-muslim site against an anti-muslim site and Dan favors the former just because.

The link I offer is in direct response to Dan's, which attempts to portray islam and muhammad as tolerant of other religions. I also offer this. I could offer more, but Dan regards all that speaks the truth of the islamic teachings of intolerance toward anything non-islamic that I would be wasting my time to do so. Only that which suggests islam is the religion of peace and love toward non-muslims are authoritative as far as Dan is concerned.

To Dan, it seems, there is no way any religion with the population of islam could possibly be worthy of complete opposition. To Dan, it seems, because islam is regarded as a religion, then, by golly, it must be a good thing and can't be bad in any way.

I would like to believe that there is some way we can feel confident in joining with muslims who claim they want to live in peace. But as long as they claim to follow islam, how can we have that confidence given what we know about the teachings of their "holy book" and central figure? The onus is on them to prove themselves to be sincere, and that's a tall order. It's a tall order not because of "islamophobia" or some such crap. It's a tall order because of what islam has always been for the last 1400 years. Dan is free to risk his life and the lives of his family. For the sake of my family, friends, my nation and its allies, I need something more than just a declaration. And I certainly need more than a declaration that has the Charter of Medina as a possibility.

Dan Trabue said...

Dan cites a source that supports his notion of what "true" islam is all about.

You do not understand my point, Marshall. I'm not saying that my source represents "true" Islam and your cite doesn't. I'm saying that no one person/group gets to say what is and isn't "true" Islam.

Some people think Islam is a religion of peace, and I support them in that.

Others think that Islam is a deeply problematic religion - with oppressive elements - and have, thus, left it, and I support them in that.

Still others say that they represent Islam and that in their opinion (which they - like Marshall - equate to "god's will" or "fact"), it IS okay to oppress. I do not support them.

I am not a Muslim. I do not agree with much of what Islam is known for (just like I don't agree with much of what fundamentalist Christianity is known for - like the conflating of their opinions with facts/God's will and their "my way or the highway" approach to disagreeing) and find many parts of the tradition troubling. I have no desire to become a Muslim and won't, any more than I'll become a "fundamentalist" Amish guy, given the way they treat women, or a fundamentalist Mormon for a host of reasons, etc). I'm just saying that to the degree that some people want to embrace Islam, I'm fine with it - so long as it's not a harmful, oppressive version of it.

Clearly, there are parts of what I'll call "fundamentalist" Islam that is simply wrong and harmful. We need to oppose the harmful, while supporting the progressive, peace-loving parts of Islam.

This is simply reasonable, what else can you do short of start trying to kill off or imprison some portion of a billion people?

Craig said...

Dan,

I see your quote, but it doesn't seem to take into account the doctrine of abrogation, perhaps you should check that out before throwing all your eggs in one quote basket.

"Because what I think of the Charter is not as important as what Muslims think of the Charter. In case you missed it, I am not a Muslim and neither are you."

So,

1. You are not answering the question asked (which you get really upset when others do)
2. Again, I understand that you are not Muslim, that doesn't prevent you from answering with what you (as a non Muslim) think.
3. Are you saying (as Muslims do) that the reason you must be Muslim is that the only way to understand Muslim writings is in the original Arabic?
4. This just sounds like one more excuse not to answer.
5. Or it sounds like you are not willing to answer specifically because you are concerned about getting pinned down to one position or locked into one answer. I realize this is something that you try to avoid, but at some point you just need to be specific and direct.

"You or me getting up and offering our WASP opinions about what Islam is or what Muslims should do is not going to hold much weight and in fact, may make matters worse."

1. Again this just sounds like an excuse to say that you offering an opinion that virtually no one in the Muslim world will read of pay attention to is justification not to answer the question.

2. According to you there are already non Muslim voices in discussion, why are you afraid of adding yours.

3. How can there be any conversation between Muslims and Christians when you insist that Christian (or at least protestant) voices are not welcome.

"I am all about self-determination, so long as it is non-violent self-determination. Is that unreasonable?"

Yes it is, why would you presume to put limits on how others react to and change their situation? Why would you limit others options toward self determination to a method that has never actually worked? Why do you feel comfortable making pronouncements like this, but not giving your opinion about a topic that involves a significant portion of humanity?

"I repeat (and amplify):"

Once again, instead of following Jesus and "letting your yes be yes, your no be no" you throw out some verbose obfuscation designed to make you sound thoughtful and magnanimous, yet actually saying nothing.


"The Charter is not part of my faith tradition and I would defer to Muslims on the topic - what you or I think is irrelevant, isn't it?"

1. If as you and the originators of the Declaration suggest, the Charter is a document designed to provide a blueprint for Muslims to leave in peace with other faiths, then it certainly is related to if not part of your faith tradition.

2. As you and I (and others) are going to be affected by the outcomes of this dialogue I fail to see how anything that will affect our increasingly interconnected world is irrelevant.

3. As some who lives in a city with a large population of Muslims and a very active terrorist recruiting presence, I'd suggest that as someone who deals with Numerous Muslims on a day to day basis, that any discussion about how Muslims interact with other faiths is extremely relevant. Not in general, but to my day to day life.

Look, I get it. You're not going to answer, no matter what. That's your prerogative. But, just a friendly suggestion, why not just be honest and direct about it. Just step up and say you're not going to answer. All the excuses and obfuscation just make you look like you're afraid or something. Again, just a friendly suggestion.

Dan Trabue said...

Looking at the Charter as a simple historical document, like the Magna Carta, I find it to be cool, ahead of its time in terms of human rights and liberties. DO I believe it is a blueprint for peace? I believe it is a historic document way ahead of its time in terms of promoting liberties.

It makes no claims to be a blueprint for peace and I have no reason to consider it that, personally. It is an ancient document laying out some rights/rules that were very advanced for their time. Scholars disagree if it would have been considered a treaty at the time, but it rather reads like a (for the time) progressive treaty, giving due consideration to human rights.

I have answered in multiple ways. The question was rather off topic, it seemed to me, so I was at first answering in the context of THIS POST. But now, I have provided you a more direct answer treating it as a simple historic document. Hopefully that gives you the answer you're looking for. I don't see how it's related to this post, though.

Dan Trabue said...

Some further questions of yours...

Yes it is, why would you presume to put limits on how others react to and change their situation?

We do not have a right to oppress others. We can reasonably put limits on those who would oppress and harm. I think. If you disagree and think we should ignore those who would cause harm to others, well, feel free. I doubt you think that so I don't know what it is you are disagreeing about.

Why would you limit others options toward self determination to a method that has never actually worked?

I don't know what you mean or what you are asking. What "method that has never actually worked..."?

I repeat: We can reasonably expect and demand that people not kill, harm or oppress or otherwise deny basic human rights to others.

Why do you feel comfortable making pronouncements like this, but not giving your opinion about a topic that involves a significant portion of humanity?

Because it is, as some have said, self-evident that we have a right not to be oppressed, a right to life, liberty and self-determination.

Do you disagree?

As to why I am reluctant to talk about the faith texts of other traditions, one thing that I think our more fundamentalist/conservative Christian friends fail to understand is how arrogant they come across, presuming to speak with authority as to what a document or text NOT from their tradition "should" or "does" mean to those within that tradition. I am striving to treat others' religious texts with respect and not suggest I am an authority on others' traditions, when I am not.

Further, it is not really the point of this post, which is about the agreement in Marrakesh in 2016, NOT the Charter of Medina from 622.

Hopefully you can understand that and respect it. If not, alas, too bad, it is my reasoning, nonetheless.

Craig said...

Good lord, getting you to answer one simple question is like pulling teeth. How about if you would have just answered it the first time without all the dodging and excuses. Hell you're still trying to rationalize your dodging and excuses even now.

I find it interesting that you don't understand how a question about the Charter of Medina is not relevant to a post celebrating a declaration based entirely on the Charter.

"It makes no claims to be a blueprint for peace and I have no reason to consider it that, personally."

So, when you said, "...doing the work of justice and peacemaking...", were you talking about some other work besides the Declaration of Marrakesh? Because if the Declaration of Marrakesh is a work of "justice and peacemaking" and it's primarily based on the Charter of Medina, then someone obviously believes that it is a document that can be used to produce peace. I'm just confused could you clarify?

Oh my goodness actual answers! I apologize for getting excited. I also apologize, but these answers are not clear in some aspects. I know how important it is that you get your point across clearly, so I hope you will indulge some additional questions so I can try to understand as accurately as possible your position.

"We can reasonably put limits on those who would oppress and harm."

Who are "we" and by what authority do "we' presume to put limits on anyone? What limits have "we' currently placed on "moderate" Muslim countries that execute those who convert from Islam?

"I think. If you disagree and think we should ignore those who would cause harm to others, well, feel free."

So, if a group of oppressed people were to choose to rise up in armed rebellion to overthrow their oppressors, are you saying you would oppose their right to do so? Do the oppressed not have at least some right to defend themselves? Are you concerned that a rebellion like this would unduly harm the oppressors? Are not the oppressed already being harmed? By what standard do "we" judge which harm to limit?

"What "method that has never actually worked..."?"

Strict nonviolent pacifism.

"I repeat: We can reasonably expect and demand that people not kill, harm or oppress or otherwise deny basic human rights to others."

I repeat. Who are "we" and what are "we" doing to stop those who kill, harm, oppress, or deny basic human rights? For example, what are "we" doing to actively prevent the execution of homosexuals in "moderate" Muslim countries?

"...self-evident that we have a right not to be oppressed, a right to life, liberty and self-determination."

I agree. I just don't consider myself qualified to place limits on how people choose to exercise their rights. I'm willing to believe that the people most directly affected by oppression are able to choose the way that they believe to be the most successful in eliminating their oppression. I don't see where any outside group has the standing to oppose arbitrary limits.

"Do you disagree?"

I agree that everyone has the right to self determination, I do not agree to arbitrary limits imposed by people who have no authority.


Craig said...

"I am striving to treat others' religious texts with respect and not suggest I am an authority on others' traditions, when I am not."

If, as you suggest, the only people qualified to speak authoritatively on various faith traditions are experts and scholars, then what qualifies you to speak for any aspect of Christianity but your own personal experience? The problem you have is that you are assuming that you are being asked for something beyond your own opinion. I'm sorry, but I see this a just a cop out. You have no problem expressing opinions on any number of issues (some of which you admit you are ignorant about), you express opinions of the sacred texts of the Jewish faith, you express opinions on the sacred texts of other ancient faiths, why is this different. I'll suggest one way it's different. There is absolutely zero chance that a Jew is going to kill you for saying negative things about his sacred texts or about his revered religious figures.

"Further, it is not really the point of this post, which is about the agreement in Marrakesh in 2016, NOT the Charter of Medina from 622."

That's interesting, given the fact that the Declaration of Marrakesh makes numerous references to the Charter of Medina and is based on applying that Charter as a tool to improve relations between Muslims and those they oppress and kill.

From the third paragraph of the Declaration.

"WHEREAS, this year marks the 1,400th anniversary of the Charter of Medina, a constitutional contract between the Prophet Muhammad, God's peace and blessings be upon him, and the people of Medina, which guaranteed the religious liberty of all, regardless of faith;"

Fourth paragraph.

"WHEREAS, hundreds of Muslim scholars and intellectuals from over 120 countries, along with representatives of Islamic and international organizations, as well as leaders from diverse religious groups and nationalities, gathered in Marrakesh on this date to reaffirm the principles of the Charter of Medina at a major conference;"

Sixth paragraph.

"DECLARE HEREBY our firm commitment to the principles articulated in the Charter of Medina, whose provisions contained a number of the principles of constitutional contractual citizenship, such as freedom of movement, property ownership, mutual solidarity and defense, as well as principles of justice and equality before the law; and that,
The objectives of the Charter of Medina provide a suitable framework for national constitutions in countries with Muslim majorities, and the United Nations Charter and related documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, are in harmony with the Charter of Medina, including consideration for public order.
NOTING FURTHER that deep reflection upon the various crises afflicting humanity underscores the inevitable and urgent need for cooperation among all religious groups, we..."

Fully a third of the Declaration references the Charter as it's underlying document and as the "suitable framework for national constitutions". If Talking about the document the framers of the Declaration consider so vital and crucial is "off topic" in a post about the Declaration, then what is on topic?

"I am striving to treat others' religious texts..."

Fortunately for you the Charter of Medina is not a "religious text" so you should have no qualms about expressing your opinion of it.

"Hopefully you can understand that and respect it. If not, alas, too bad, it is my reasoning, nonetheless."

I respect that it is your opinion. I am trying to better understand the areas where I don't quite understand.

I don't know that an imperfect human can do any better than to try.

Dan Trabue said...

If, as you suggest, the only people qualified to speak authoritatively on various faith traditions are experts and scholars...

Not what I've said. I've said that YOU do not get to speak as an authority on what God wants. YOU do not get to speak as an authority on what Allah wants. YOU do not get to speak with authority for what is and isn't Christian or what is and isn't Muslim. Nor do I.

The AUTHOR of Christianity can speak authoritatively, the rest of us are offering our opinions. Same is true for Islam.

Understand?

Dan Trabue said...

when you said, "...doing the work of justice and peacemaking...", were you talking about some other work besides the Declaration of Marrakesh?

I was speaking about the people who are doing the work of justice and peacemaking. Including those working on this Declaration. And they ARE doing the work of justice and peacemaking. They are calling for an end to the notion that Islam endorses oppression.

Thus, when I said that, I was not speaking of the Declaration, nor the Charter, but of people doing work for justice and peacemaking, like these people are, like the Christians before them who IN A SIMILAR WAY, stood up to other Christians who accepted slavery, killing and torturing "heretics," oppressing and denying rights to black folk, gay folk, women and other minorities.

Understand?

Dan Trabue said...

Who are "we" and by what authority do "we' presume to put limits on anyone? What limits have "we' currently placed on "moderate" Muslim countries that execute those who convert from Islam?

We, the good people of the earth, can stand opposed to oppression. Do you disagree?

As to authority, well, that is a good question. In our nation and other similar liberty-loving nations, by the authority of our Constitutions that take a stand in favor of human rights and liberties. We righteously and rightly limit people from drinking and driving because of the possible harm they might cause. We rightly limit people from killing and maiming others.

Do you disagree?

As to nations that are outside of Constitutions and agreements, it becomes trickier to enforce an end to oppression. What we do there is pressure them into joining and agreeing to be amongst the nations that affirm human rights and liberties. We pressure them into agreements to that end. We support those within those nations who'd work for an end to oppression.

And ONE WAY we can start doing this is supporting actions such as the action at Marrakesh. And you know who would say that? Moderate Muslims who don't want to be oppressed.

But what does that have to do with this post? Are there imperfect nations in the world? Of course there are. Do I have perfect solutions to fixing all of them? No, nor do you, nor does anyone. But many reasonable people would agree that the notion of encouraging nations to support human rights because of their common religion is a good starting point, as you agree.

So, what is the point of this question?

Dan Trabue said...

"What "method that has never actually worked..."?"

Strict nonviolent pacifism.


And where has that come up in this post?

Regardless, NOTHING has every actually fully worked. Not war, not pacifism, not just peacemaking, not deciding to nuke cities... this is an imperfect world. We take small steps and big steps and progress towards a more peaceful world. ONE THING that we can do (which gets us BACK to the actual point of this post) is to encourage our religious groups to disavow the religious fanatics who say god supports killing and oppression.

Everything you're asking seems unrelated to the post and yet, everything you're asking leads back to the importance of actions like this by Muslims and actions like the similar ones in the past to stop Christian oppression. So, even though it's not directly related, I hope you can see how the answers reinforce my actual point.

Dan Trabue said...

Last one I'm answering, because it's just repeating what I've already answered:

Who are "we" and what are "we" doing to stop those who kill, harm, oppress, or deny basic human rights? For example, what are "we" doing to actively prevent the execution of homosexuals in "moderate" Muslim countries?

We, the people of this world who believe in human rights.

WE, the people like Christians in the past who've stood up for gay rights and WE, the people like the Muslims supporting this Agreement that are saying that Islam does not endorse oppression, that Islam nations should support human rights.

What are you doing to stop the execution of homosexuals in Muslim nations?

Craig said...

"Not what I've said. I've said that YOU do not get to speak as an authority on what God wants. YOU do not get to speak as an authority on what Allah wants. YOU do not get to speak with authority for what is and isn't Christian or what is and isn't Muslim. Nor do I."

I've never actually done so, claimed to do so, nor asked anyone else to do so. How about we live in the real world for a change instead of constantly arguing against straw men?

"Understand?"

I understand that I've never done what you claim I've done.


"I was speaking about the people who are doing the work of justice and peacemaking. Including those working on this Declaration. And they ARE doing the work of justice and peacemaking. They are calling for an end to the notion that Islam endorses oppression."

Why aren't they calling for an end to actual Muslim oppression? These people appear to be trying to use a document (which doesn't necessarily affirm justice, non oppression, or peace in a general sense) as a basis to work toward justice, non oppression and peace. Why not pick a foundational document that better matches the goals they are working towards.

"Thus, when I said that, I was not speaking of the Declaration,..."

I understand. In a post dedicated almost entirely to the text of the Declaration, said declaration which devotes approximately 30% of it's total text the the Charter, you claim that you were not speaking of either one. I completely understand that.

"We, the good people of the earth, can stand opposed to oppression. Do you disagree?"

No, but you were pretty specific about limiting the way on which people should be allowed to pursue self determination. "We can reasonably put limits on those who would oppress and harm."

Do you understand the difference between "standing against" and imposing "limits" on people?

Craig said...

"As to authority, well, that is a good question. In our nation and other similar liberty-loving nations, by the authority of our Constitutions that take a stand in favor of human rights and liberties. We righteously and rightly limit people from drinking and driving because of the possible harm they might cause. We rightly limit people from killing and maiming others."

That's all well and good, except you're not talking abut limiting US citizens, you're talking about "we" imposing limits" on citizens of other countries. So, where do "we" get this authority?

"What we do there is pressure them into joining and agreeing to be amongst the nations that affirm human rights and liberties. We pressure them into agreements to that end. We support those within those nations who'd work for an end to oppression."

This still leaves you two problems.

1. You quite clearly specified "limit" not "pressure".
2. You still haven't established where the authority for the limits you seek comes from.

"So, what is the point of this question"

The point of the question is to try to gain some understanding of where you will find the authority to "limit" the actions of people. It is based on statements that you have made that I was unclear about. I find it strange that you somehow would like to portray questions that specifically pertain to specific points or statements you have made are some how "off topic". You complain that I don;t understand you, then get critical and defensive when I ask questions to try to understand you.

"And where has that come up in this post?"

When you brought it up. You were quite clear and emphatic about it when you said.

"I am all about self-determination, so long as it is non-violent self-determination."

Again, don't complain that I don't understand you, if you aren't willing to help me understand when I say I don't. It seems to me that if you say it in a comment at your blog it should be open for discussion or clarification (or as I noted about some stuff I said that was going away from the topic, that I would be happy to discusses it elsewhere, just not in that thread).

"Regardless, NOTHING has every actually fully worked."

I've never claimed otherwise. That doesn't mitigate the fact that you are attempting to mandate a course of action that has never worked. You are also trying to impose limits on people without allowing them to determine what might be the most efficacious for their particular circumstances.

"Everything you're asking seems unrelated to the post and yet,...". everything I'm asking is directly related to trying to understand various things you have actually said. Don't you want people to understand you?


"What are you doing to stop the execution of homosexuals in Muslim nations"

Right now I've got my hands full building houses for Muslim immigrants. Working with medical professionals to restore sight to the blind in Haiti. Helping to fund the ongoing operation of the hospital that we built in war torn Goma, Congo. Helping to feed hundreds of starving children good nutritious healthy food.

What, that's not enough for you? I'm "not doing anything"?

For the record, the actual question I asked was; "...what are "we" doing to actively prevent the execution of homosexuals in "moderate" Muslim countries?"

So, what active concrete on the ground in Muslim countries steps are you taking to keep homosexuals from being executed?

Craig said...

I doubt this will be read and responded to, but I'm going to paste the summary of an article relating what research shows actual Muslims believe. I will post the link to the article

"Palestinian Areas. A poll in 2011 showed that 32% of Palestinians supported the brutal murder of five Israeli family members, including a three-month-old baby. In 2009, a poll showed that 78% of Palestinians had positive or mixed feelings about Osama Bin Laden. A 2013 poll showed 40% of Palestinians supporting suicide bombings and attacks against civilians. 89% favored sharia law. Currently, 89% of Palestinians support terror attacks on Israel."

"Pakistan. After the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the Gilani Foundation did a poll of Pakistanis and found that 51% of them grieved for the terrorist mastermind, with 44% of them stating that he was a martyr. In 2009, 26% of Pakistanis approved of attacks on US troops in Iraq. That number was 29% for troops in Afghanistan. Overall, 76% of Pakistanis wanted strict shariah law in every Islamic country."

"Morocco. A 2009 poll showed that 68% of Moroccans approved of terrorist attacks on US troops in Iraq; 61% backed attacks on American troops in Afghanistan as of 2006. 76% said they wanted strict sharia law in every Islamic country."

"Jordan. 72% of Jordanians backed terror attacks against US troops in Iraq as of 2009. In 2010, the terrorist group Hezbollah had a 55% approval rating; Hamas had a 60% approval rating."

"Indonesia: In 2009, a poll demonstrated that 26% of Indonesians approved of attacks on US troops in Iraq; 22% backed attacks on American troops in Afghanistan. 65% said they agreed with Al Qaeda on pushing US troops out of the Middle East. 49% said they supported strict sharia law in every Islamic country. 70% of Indonesians blamed 9/11 on the United States, Israel, someone else, or didn’t know. Just 30% said Al Qaeda was responsible."

"Egypt. As of 2009, 87% of Egyptians said they agreed with the goals of Al Qaeda in forcing the US to withdraw forces from the Middle East. 65% said they wanted strict sharia law in every Islamic country. As of that same date, 69% of Egyptians said they had either positive or mixed feelings about Osama Bin Laden. In 2010, 95% of Egyptians said it was good that Islam is playing a major role in politics.which contains links to the source material."

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2014/09/04/myth-tiny-radical-minority/

Craig said...

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2014/09/04/myth-tiny-radical-minority/

Dan Trabue said...

Not sure how this helps anything. If there are larger numbers of Muslims who might be more supportive of some violence than we'd like still only argues in favor of doing that which supports and encourages moderation, just as we've tried to discourage and moderate the violent Christians out of existence, fairly successfully.

Unless you're making the case that Muslims, as a group, are violent and evil and irrational. You're not making that case, are you?

Anonymous said...

On your blog, you cite this same information (roughly) as if it makes a point, including a citation about 13% of US Muslims supporting violence against civilians in some circumstances. To put that into perspective, here's another stat...

"NEW HAVEN, Conn. | A majority of Americans surveyed think dropping atomic bombs on Japan during World War II was the right thing to do, but support was weaker among Democrats, women, younger voters and minority voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

The poll, released Tuesday, found 61 percent of the more than 2,400 American voters questioned think the U.S. did the right thing; 22 percent called it wrong, and 16 percent were undecided."

So, while 13% of American Muslims justified violence against civilians sometimes, 61% of the general population appear to think the same thing as it relates to at least Hiroshima.

The point stands: We ought to be encouraging moderate people of all religions and marginalizing the minority who sometimes support violence.

fyi,

Dan

Craig said...

It makes the point by demonstrating that your insistence that the numbers of Muslims who support violence is tiny and insignificant.

As to your Hiroshima equivalence.

1. You cherry pick the US % while ignoring the much higher % in the so called "Moderate Muslim" countries. The ones you think will embrace peace.
2. Your survey, is imposing a 21st century worldview on a twentieth century event.
3. I have no idea if your survey brought up the context of the Hiroshima bombing.
4. To compare a biased hindsight based out of context view of an event that happened 71 years ago to a study based on events that are currently happening is like comparing apples to iron ore.

"The point stands: We ought to be encouraging moderate people of all religions and marginalizing the minority who sometimes support violence."

The point stands. The numbers of people advocating the violence and oppression is significantly larger than you believe it to be.

I have to note that while my citation contains a link to the article referenced which contained multiple links to the actual studies, Yours does not, has no context, and appears to be cherry picked.

I'm not suggesting that we not support those who don't advocate violence. The studies suggest that the "tiny minority" narrative (Remember P-BO claimed that 99.9% of Muslims didn't support terror) is full of crap.

Craig said...

"Unless you're making the case that Muslims, as a group, are violent and evil and irrational. You're not making that case, are you?"

I'm simply pointing out actual evidence that disproves your claim. No more, no less. Think of it as trying to help you base your opinions on a broader array of data. Or think of it as me trying to be helpful.