The Scatterbrained Syncretist

out of group







Friday, January 10, 2003

I received an email from a cloudcuckoolander who raised several good points. Although I agreed with Eddie, I found his observations disturbing...and wrote a disturbing reply.

Eddie said:

After reading Ms Fallaci's article, I'm afraid she's right when she mentions that it will get even worse if the US attacks Iraq. I'm kind of worried that Anti-US sentiments will probably increase 10 fold.

I replied:

I'm worried too.

But I think it is strange.

Nobody likes Saddam. He is a catastrophe for the Iraqi people. If America rescues them from his cruelty, we will be doing them a favor. So, why wouldn't Muslims thank us?

I think it is because of a kind of pride. Would people rather see Muslims (Iraqis) suffer than allow non-Muslims (Americans) to control events? Many Muslims think that Islam should rule. And that is more important than anything. More important than the well-being of people. To me, that is wrong. But, I realize that many would rather see Muslims suffer in Iraq or the Palestinian areas than see non-Muslims exercise power. Should I be willing to sacrifice fellow humans, just so people around the world will like me? I ask you why anybody would protect a mass-murderer like Saddam?

What is the morality of his supporters?

The blood of over a million people is on his hands. He tortures and oppresses his own people today. He repeatedly attacks his neighbors. If the US can remove him, everybody will hate us more.


Certainly, Iraqis will be more secure and happy without him. Why will people hate us for bringing Iraqis freedom and safety? The US cares more about the lives of Iraqi Muslims than the Ummah does? Please explain why helping the people of Iraq will earn us the hatred of the world.

Eddie continued:

I've also been reading some articles that either make fun of or ridicule certain Islamic practices, like covering the head and stuff. I think these articles are wrong in doing that. Believe it or not, some people actually want to cover their head and live a very strict Muslim life. I say that's fine and they should choose to live the way they want. Things like this are for each individual to decide. What's wrong is not the practice, but the fact that some people want to force these decisions and rules onto people who don't want to live like that.

I replied:


I agree completely.

Well...almost completely.

If people want to pray a certain way, or dress a certain way, or avoid certain foods...that is their choice. And I respect that....even though I live differently.

Ridiculing those practices is stupid and narrow-minded.

However, some of the Sharia practices in the Muslim world are not so easy for me to accept. The system of justice is cruel. Amputations and executions debase human dignity. (I oppose executions in the US too). I am disgusted by a legal system that allows slavery (still practiced in Sudan), that encourages allows honor killing, that allows rape to go unpunished since you need four witnesses to get a conviction.

As much as I want to respect different ways of life, that is too much.

Another way that Sharia leaves women powerless....if a woman accuses the criminal who raped her, but doesn't have witnesses, she may be found guilty of adultery and can be executed.

That is oppression.

I don't care if some old book (that people believe is divine) says that is how to do things. I think it is more important to respect people than books. Islam values a book more than a person.

How can I be expected to respect a religion that abuses people so much?

Furthermore, Koranic instructions about business and government contribute to poverty and lack of freedom in the Arab world. Muslim countries are more successful when they disregard those ancient rules. I used to feel sorry for Arabs living in poverty and ignorance, but believed that it was their right to choose what to believe and how to live.

That changed on September 11.

If poverty, ignorance and oppression in the Middle East lead to attacks on the people of New York, Bali, Moscow etc...Arabs have forfeited the right to freely choose their way of life. So, I no longer can accept many practices of Islam. They bear evil they are evil beliefs and customs.

I am very sorry to say these things, but what am I to conclude?

Some say that this is not the real Islam...but many others say that it is. Really, there is more than one "real Islam"...and Muslims (Sunni/Shiite) kill each other by the millions and call each other kaffir. I am told Islam is a religion of peace, but I see killing and war almost everywhere Muslims have neighbors communities. Should I believe Prince Bandar when he says "Islam is peace" or do I believe all the dead bodies? Algerian Muslims have killed over 100,000 in the name of Allah, Jordanian Muslims killed 10,000 Palestinians and there was no Muslim outcry. The list is endless. Muslims in the Middle East frequently say that they love death more than Westerners love life. Should I believe Islam is peace...or should I believe that Islam means death? 1,000,000 were killed in the Iran/Iraq war, tens of thousand killed in the Afghan civil war. This is the solidarity of the Ummah? I read the words of Muslims around the world and I read about their actions.

It looks like Islam means murder.

Yet, the whole Muslim world is angry about the Israelis. They say that Israel is committing genocide...even as Muslims kill Muslims a hundred times more often that Israelis kill Muslims. This is literally true. (Actually, the ratio is closer to 1,000 Muslims killed by Muslims for every Muslim killed by Israelis.)

But I have hardly read a word by a Muslim writer or speaker criticizing the murder of thousands in Algeria etc. Is that because it is OK for Muslims to kill Muslims but somehow wrong for non-Muslims to kill Muslims? I read about how evil Israel is for refusing to give Palestinians a home. Did even one Muslim criticize Kuwait when they expelled 500,000 Palestinians after the Gulf war? So, it is OK for Muslims to mistreat Muslims but wrong for others to do that. Certainly you don't expect me to feel respect for that bigoted concept of Muslim dignity.

Let's give a moment's thought to the non-Muslims who are murdered in the name of Allah. Beheadings in Indonesia, Bombings in Indonesia, Church Bombings in Pakistan, Church bombings in the Philippines, apartment bombings in Moscow, missionaries murdered in Yemen, Christians murdered in the hundreds, airport workers shot in LA, sniper victims in Washington, countless bombings in Israel, children shot in bed in Israel, trainload of Hindus set on fire in India (The Hindus killed a thousand Muslims in horrible revenge)....I can't complete this would take days just to list what I know about...and there is plenty more that I could discover by doing research.

How much concern should I feel about articles that wrongly ridicule Muslims? I can not believe that Muslim leaders are being truthful when they claim that human dignity is an important Muslim value. Arabs and the Koran talk a lot about dignity and say that it is very important. They talk a whole lot about humiliation and express great rage at the success and happiness of others.

That is 100% bullshit.

It is a lie.

You rightly complain about some articles that ridicule Muslim practices. I spend all day reading what Muslim leaders say. They say I am a pig and ape.

They say I am a Satan.

They have no respect for my dignity (or my right to be alive). What they really value is their own prestige. Unfortunately I can't respect them until they behave in a respectable way. Sure, there are obnoxious articles that say insulting things about Islam. But those articles are by individuals who don't represent mainstream beliefs or official policy.

In the Muslim world, the important authorities...clerics who run important mosques and political leaders encourage hatred, intolerance and violence against others. Jerry Falwell may be an offensive idiot, but he doesn't call for the murder of Muslims. When I read the text of Friday sermons in Riyadh, Damascus, etc...I read that Muslims are being instructed to kill others. And when I read the news every day, I read that Muslims obey those instructions and commit murder all over the world in the name of Allah.

What should I think when I read about the filthy hatred being expressed as true Muslim values and then I read about the same hating people being outraged by a stupid news article in Nigeria and killing hundreds in their anger? I read their praise of the "operations" in Bali and Moscow. I see them dancing in the streets to celebrate the murder of children. I am expected to show sensitivity to the delicate feelings of people who are trying to kill me and destroy everything I value?

Gimme a break!

I will respect the human dignity of these people when they stop acting like animals. I will respect these people as equals when they apply the same standard of criticism to their own actions that they apply to the actions of others. Until then, they are liars, hypocrites and murderers. They are oppressors who keep their own people ignorant, illiterate, impoverished and in slavery.

This is the face that Islam shows to the world.

Maybe someday, they will smarten up and start acting with decency, honesty and kindness. Until that day, I will offer little sympathy to those who complain about insults to Islam. Personally, I do not ridicule others. I think that is childish and stupid. BUT every time I read about a fatwa against somebody for insulting the Prophet, I say, "Who gives a damn about the injured feelings of murderers".

Am I wrong?

Am I being unjust in my opinion that people who arrogantly demand the murder of infidels (like me) and the destruction of my world are not worthy of respect and consideration? You know that I know that not every Muslim is a terrorist or a bad guy. I am sorry to say such unpleasant things to you, my friend. If you think I am wrong, please correct me.

I am willing to listen.


Monday, January 13, 2003

I chatted online with Eddie this morning. He said that he was surprised at the length of my reply. Hahaha. I was too. He had a couple things to add to what he said in his email.

super-secret cool handle says:

The Islam I was taught when I was a kid also opposes mistreatment of women and stuff.

But we are pretty much very multiracial and women here occupy positions of power in business and govt.

I mean, I don't agree with everything Fallaci says, which make Muslims look like evil beings.

...It's really too bad that extremists get all the news (like that's all they want to report) and Muslims like me "don't exist".

I feel certain parties, either from Muslim side and non-Muslim are really trying to wedge the 2 sides apart and want War between the sides.

I mean my mom is an example, she's an educated women and chooses to live a Muslim life and I don't see anything wrong with that. She is very religious.

Sometimes the other guy gets the last word.

After that, we talked about Excel Saga...and the computer animation in The Two Towers...which neither of us has seen yet.


Thursday , May 1, 2003


Russ from BC, Canada found this notes and was kind enough to email me. Here is my reply.