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Sat Apr 11, 2015, 06:20 PM

Is Christianity to blame for Islamophobia?

Damn right! They invented it.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

The Crusades were military campaigns sanctioned by the Latin Roman Catholic Church during the High Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages. In 1095, Pope Urban II proclaimed the First Crusade with the stated goal of restoring Christian access to holy places in and near Jerusalem. Following the First Crusade there was an intermittent 200-year struggle for control of the Holy Land, with seven more major crusades and numerous minor ones. In 1291, the conflict ended in failure with the fall of the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land at Acre.



George Bush's Crusade:
President George Bush has claimed he was told by God to invade Iraq and attack Osama bin Laden's stronghold of Afghanistan as part of a divine mission to bring peace to the Middle East, security for Israel, and a state for the Palestinians.

The revelation comes after Mr Bush launched an impassioned attack yesterday in Washington on Islamic militants, likening their ideology to that of Communism, and accusing them of seeking to "enslave whole nations" and set up a radical Islamic empire "that spans from Spain to Indonesia". In the programmeElusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, which starts on Monday, the former Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath says Mr Bush told him and Mahmoud Abbas, former prime minister and now Palestinian President: "I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.' And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George go and end the tyranny in Iraq,' and I did."

And "now again", Mr Bush is quoted as telling the two, "I feel God's words coming to me: 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.' And by God, I'm gonna do it."

Mr Abbas remembers how the US President told him he had a "moral and religious obligation" to act. The White House has refused to comment on what it terms a private conversation. But the BBC account is anything but implausible, given how throughout his presidency Mr Bush, a born-again Christian, has never hidden the importance of his faith.

From the outset he has couched the "global war on terror" in quasi-religious terms, as a struggle between good and evil. Al-Qa'ida terrorists are routinely described as evil-doers. For Mr Bush, the invasion of Iraq has always been part of the struggle against terrorism, and he appears to see himself as the executor of the divine will.
Another telling sign of Mr Bush's religion was his answer to Mr Woodward's question on whether he had asked his father - the former president who refused to launch a full-scale invasion of Iraq after driving Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991 - for advice on what to do.

The current President replied that his earthly father was "the wrong father to appeal to for advice ... there is a higher father that I appeal to".

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Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is Christianity to blame for Islamophobia? (Original post)
Cartoonist Apr 2015 OP
Igel Apr 2015 #1
Cartoonist Apr 2015 #4
Leontius Apr 2015 #6
okasha Apr 2015 #10
Leontius Apr 2015 #12
okasha Apr 2015 #18
Leontius Apr 2015 #24
Cartoonist Apr 2015 #14
Cartoonist Apr 2015 #22
Cartoonist Apr 2015 #15
Leontius Apr 2015 #23
Bluenorthwest Apr 2015 #2
Cartoonist Apr 2015 #3
rug Apr 2015 #5
okasha Apr 2015 #7
rug Apr 2015 #8
Leontius Apr 2015 #9
Cartoonist Apr 2015 #16
rug Apr 2015 #17
Major Nikon Apr 2015 #20
okasha Apr 2015 #25
Cartoonist Apr 2015 #27
okasha Apr 2015 #30
Cartoonist Apr 2015 #37
Major Nikon Apr 2015 #31
okasha Apr 2015 #32
Major Nikon Apr 2015 #33
Cartoonist Apr 2015 #36
rug Apr 2015 #38
pinto Apr 2015 #11
Cartoonist Apr 2015 #13
rug Apr 2015 #19
haikugal Apr 2015 #21
DustyJoe Apr 2015 #26
Cartoonist Apr 2015 #28
haikugal Apr 2015 #35
Starboard Tack Apr 2015 #29
cbayer Apr 2015 #34
hrmjustin Apr 2015 #39

Response to Cartoonist (Original post)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 06:53 PM

1. When I was in high school we studied history.

Briefly.

On Friday, we tested on Byzantium. It stretched along the Mediterranean. It was, when not fighting with Persia and debating silly theological points, reassembling the Roman Empire.

On Monday Byzantium had retreated and we studied the horrors of the Crusades. The map now showed Islam had spread over the weekend across North Africa, had displaced the dominant religion in most of the Middle East, and had pretty much wiped out the culture and language spoken there.

This was done without a word being said about the Islamic conquest or the fates of the Copts, the Greek-speaking population, the rights of both, or what had happened to the bastions of learning that had continued in N. Africa and in the Middle East.

It was a few weeks later we learned about the attempts to drive Moors out of Spain and the Ottomans out of SE Europe. Somehow the Ottomans just happened to show up at Vienna in order to be attacked. Only incidentally was their religion mentioned, and only then as the subject of repression and oppression by Xians. The execution of Xians in Andalus for daring to preach, the restrictions on Maimonides, the devshirme in the Balkans, the ghettos that were necessitated by many of the interpretations of Islam simply weren't mentioned.

We learned of Muslim traders in the steppes. We didn't hear that one of their primary trade items was Slavic slaves--that these are similar words is no accident.

We learned of nationalist movements in SE Europe. We didn't hear that there was a religious element to them. We learned of the Armenian genocide. We didn't hear that the Greek genocide was nearly as bad--the Greeks hadn't hired the right PR agent, it would seem. (Plus Greeks weren't much liked in American society at the time; Armenians, at least, had scant present in the US "melting pot" in the 1910s.)

"Islamophobia", largely, is mentioning all the things that my high school history class left out, and daring to point out that what happens today isn't that much different from what's happened, at different times and places but with very similar features each time, from Spain to SE Asia, from Kenya to the Balkans. The problem is as pronounced in India, which suffered greatly as part of various Muslim empires, as in Thailand and Burma--neither of them renowned for being outposts of Xian thought.

The "problem" is Islamophobia is that there is only one Islam. When the adherents in the name of Islam kill 50k Xians because of a military defeat hundreds of miles away; when it imposes the same oppressive policies in Egypt and Andalus 400 years apart, and then repeats these in Iraq a few hundred years later and Serbia a few hundred years after that, one starts to think perhaps there's some juridical tradition that is part-and-parcel of Islam that causes this reappearance in detail of oppressive, aggressive, expansionist, and imperialist policies. That these policies change at times, that some times they're rejected and sometimes embraced as a requirement, might seem to indicate a diversity of thought in the faith that should be acknowledged. Then some parts of "the" religion, some branches, some streams of thought can be soundly and roundly denounced as the hateful, tendentious, supremacist toxic waste that they are while others can be accepted as tolerant and allowing coexistence.

This is precisely what needed to happen in Xianity, which is not a coherent system of thought except in the most general of senses and freely admits that there are a lot of schisms and contradictions in it. Even the most wild-eyed ecumenist is forced into this position within a few seconds, however lamentable he may find it.

Such a fracturing happened in Buddhism. And Hinduism makes no great claim to be a unitary system, except mostly when contrasted to outsiders. However, while some Muslims take pains to distance themselves from some kinds of thought, they also insist on the unity of the faith. That leaves the only honest Muslims as the takfiri, who at least have the balls to say, "They over there call themselves Muslims but do not believe as we Muslims do."

However, many, upon hearing that, would denounce it as Islamophobia. I think it's common sense. The alternative is to bowdlerize history to avoid offense. And that's just stupid.

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Response to Igel (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 07:39 PM

4. Tit for Tat

Thanks for the History lesson. I'm not saying that sarcastically. I think religion brings more evil into the world than good.

The thing about the Crusades is that they weren't a defense against Muslim incursions. They were simply one Pope's hatred of Islam. It wasn't even a land grab, as there were no plans to resettle the middle east with Europeans. It was just an act of religious privilege.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 09:36 PM

6. Too bad you haven't learned anything from his history lesson.

 

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Response to Leontius (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 09:58 PM

10. He also missed the part

about the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the other Crusader states.

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Response to okasha (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:36 PM

12. Well the Germans did turn to the east and Baltics, the Templars to banking, the French to killing

 

the English and the English to killing the French and each other didn't leave many to go to or stay in Outremer.

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Response to Leontius (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 11:00 PM

18. Yes, they did all those things--after the fall of Acre

almost two centuries after the First Crusade. For two hundred years, there was a viable European presence in Outremer, which further attracted adventurers like Fulk of Anjou. It was also a good destination for criminals whose execution would cause a row, but who could be exiled to the far end of the Mediterranean in the hope that they would not survive to return.

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Response to okasha (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 11:30 AM

24. But the drying up of recurits for maintaining the forces necessary to defend the states was

 

as major a factor in their fall as the political ineptness of the rulers.

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Response to okasha (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:47 PM

14. I didn't miss it

Religion is the bane of humanity. I suppose you think they were just land grabs and that religion had nothing to do with any of those crusades.

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Response to okasha (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 09:54 AM

22. Let's talk about some other Crusades

I see a pattern here.

The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade (12091229) was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc, in the south of France.

The Aragonese Crusade or Crusade of Aragon, a part of the larger War of the Sicilian Vespers, was declared by Pope Martin IV against the King of Aragon, Peter III the Great, in 1284 and 1285. Because of the recent conquest of Sicily by Peter, the Pope declared a crusade against him and officially deposed him as king, on the grounds that Sicily was a papal fief.

The Northern Crusades, or Baltic Crusades, were crusades undertaken by the Christian kings of Denmark, Poland and Sweden, the German Livonian and Teutonic military orders, and their allies against the pagan peoples of Northern Europe around the southern and eastern shores of the Baltic Sea.

Of course, some here will say religion had nothing to do with it. Another will say that Pope Innocent III and Pope Martin IV are long dead and that their crimes against humanity, in which people were killed, aren't as bad as Sam Harris being a bigot today.

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Response to Leontius (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:48 PM

15. I learned that I was right about religion

It is Humanity's worst idea. Have you learned it?

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 11:21 AM

23. I have learned that a closed mind begins with a C.

 

It leads to ignorance and bigotry.

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Response to Cartoonist (Original post)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 07:09 PM

2. It's laughable to start with the Crusades which followed years of Muslim incursions and occupations

 

I mean, Rome was sacked by Muslim raiders, St Peter's pillaged in 849, Iberia vanquished and occupied in 711, for the love of Mike. It's basic history. A whole lot of wars, going both ways, going in other directions, with other enemies than one another.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 07:30 PM

3. You're right

We'd have to go back to the first priest to see where bigotry officially started.

To newcomers, or those unfamiliar with this group: I post this in response to one of the regulars here who put this up on the board:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1218191625

I find this to be abhorrant in its suggestion, as the root of Islamic bigotry predates any atheistic movement.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 09:27 PM

5. Atheism predates Islam.

 

It helps to get your facts straight.

But, now that you mention it, it's perfectly clear that Christianity explains Sam Harris.

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 09:40 PM

7. How, I wonder, does one

"look like he or she could conceivably be a Muslim?",

Skin color? Oh nonononono--it couldn't possibly be anything like that.

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Response to okasha (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 09:45 PM

8. Sam sets the bar high. Not "probably", simply "conceivably".

 

Reminds me of the Sikhs attacked after 9/11 because of the (non-Islamic) turban.

No one ever said bigotry was subtle or nuanced, let alone knowledgeable.

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Response to okasha (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 09:46 PM

9. Muslims have a distinctive skin color, I did not know that.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:51 PM

16. Sam Harris is the atheist Pope

No he's not. Nice try. Too bad you can't pin similar crimes by the real Pope Urban on Harris.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:55 PM

17. No, he's an Iislamophobic bigot which has nothing to do with Christianity.

 

Considering he's peddling his bigotry now and Urban's been dead nearly a thousand years, I'd say you're the one deflecting from reality.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 05:14 AM

20. Never heard of him

The idea that anyone speaks for atheism in the same way the pope speaks for Christianity is kind of ridiculous to begin with. You also don't have to go back that far to pin hate on the pope. Some people can't even manage to pin homophobia on the current pope even after he calls gay marriage the work of the devil.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 12:03 PM

25. The Pope speaks for the Catholic Church,

which is one branch of Christianity. He does not speak for Christianity as a whole.

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Response to okasha (Reply #25)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 12:32 PM

27. And neither does

Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Joel Osteen, Ted Cruz, etc.
But Sam Harris and Dawkins speaks for every atheist on the planet.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #27)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 03:50 PM

30. If you want to repudiate his bigotry,

click the "reply" button and do it.

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Response to okasha (Reply #30)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 04:46 PM

37. Done

So when have you repudiated Pope Frank?

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Response to okasha (Reply #25)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 03:55 PM

31. I didn't claim that he did

He is the anointed head of a Christian organization that speaks for millions of Christians.

There is no parallel with atheism. Atheism is not a religion, and those who pretend that it is generally fuck up while doing so.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #31)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 03:57 PM

32. Read your own post #20.

First sentence.

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Response to okasha (Reply #32)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 03:59 PM

33. I'm quite sure what I wrote

If you have any questions about it, you should ask instead of making false assumptions.

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 04:45 PM

36. I officially repudiate this

Sam is not nice.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #36)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 04:54 PM

38. Thanks. We agree on this at least.

 

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:26 PM

11. Come on Cartoonist. The member posted the article, as published and titled, for discussion.

Discuss the article and the issues it brings up, which you can do well. Please step aside from personal asides.

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Response to pinto (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:44 PM

13. What discussion?

I see a poster who puts BS articles up here with BS arguments, and just leaves them there without any comment. He then goes on to call them serious "unravelling the threads" when it is clear that the article is just another BS attempt to apologize for religion. The article I was responding to by putting up this thread is justified because atheism predates Islam? Please, I'm not seeing any serious discussion, just more of the same old BS from this poster.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #13)

Sat Apr 11, 2015, 11:12 PM

19. I suspect anything you read, that disagrees with you or is uncomfortable, you consider BS.

 

Hardly an intellectually coherent stance.

It's led you to the bizarre conclusion that an atheist criticizing Islamophobic atheists is, instead, churning out a defense of religion.

Oh, and Agence France-Presse is in on it too.

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Response to Cartoonist (Original post)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 06:56 AM

21. This has to be the onion, LOL

Crusader Rabbit rides again! What could possibly go wrong? ( ie George Bush )

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Response to Cartoonist (Original post)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 12:17 PM

26. Well of course it is

Yes yes, Christians bad, muslims good. We need to get a good Christian privilege and Christian guilt theme going so these damn Christians will stop beheading people, burning people alive, massacring students by the hundreds, killing mall shoppers and hotel guests by the hundreds.

oh wait !!!

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Response to DustyJoe (Reply #26)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 12:38 PM

28. I'm an equal opportunity religious foe

While Christians no longer burn people at the stake, some have been known to tie people to fences, beat them, and leave them to die. I think you miss the purpose of my OP which was a response to an OP by someone who posted an article that had no merit.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #28)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 04:26 PM

35. Indeed..

All too true. There are way too many apologists. Good OP, thanks.

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Response to Cartoonist (Original post)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 12:42 PM

29. In a word, NO!

Fear of the other is to blame for all bigotry. Fundamentalism feeds on fear. Same with theophobia?

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Response to Cartoonist (Original post)

Sun Apr 12, 2015, 04:13 PM

34. Sure, except for all the non-christian islamophobes.

Hatred of the "other" runs rampant throughout history.

There is no need to make it about one party being solely responsible for the hatred and bigotry expressed towards another party.

There are and always have been christian islamophobes.

There are and always have been muslim christophobes.

And there have been hindus and buddhists and and non-believers who are bigoted towards people not like them.

The article you are responding to didn't say all atheists were islamophobic nor did it say that atheists were responsible for islamophobia.

It highlighted three atheists who I agree show a significant degree of bigotry towards islam. Frankly, I don't think there bigotry really has anything at all to do with atheism. If anything, they are figureheads, but they sure don't represent atheists.

Unless you are also bigoted towards muslims, why would you take this personally or point the finger elsewhere?

Why not just take those who do appear to be bigoted to task, whether they be atheist or christian or scientologists?

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Response to Cartoonist (Original post)

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 07:45 PM

39. Oh Lord!

 

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