Category Archives: Muslim and Non-Muslim Dialogue

Not All Muslims are Terrorists, But All Terrorists Are Muslims

In my debate review of, “Is Islam a Threat to Modern Society,” I provided citations to prove the above assertion incorrect. To further my response, I would like to provide a complementary quote from Chris Hedges:

The Afghans, the Iraqis, the Yemenis, the Pakistanis, and the Somalis know what American military forces do. They do not need to read WikiLeaks. It is we who remain ignorant. Our terror is delivered daily to the wretched of the earth with industrial weapons. But to us, it is invisible. We do not stand over the decapitated body and eviscerated bodies left behind on city and village streets by our missiles, drones and fighter jets.

We do not listen to the wails and shrieks of parents embracing the shattered bodies of their children. We do not see the survivors of air attacks bury their mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. We are not conscious of the long night of collective humiliation, repression, and powerlessness that characterizes existence in Israel’s occupied territories, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

We do not see the boiling anger that war and injustice turn into a cauldron of hate over time. We are not aware of this very natural lust for revenge against those who carry out or symbolize this oppression. We see only the final pyrotechnics of terror, the shocking moments when the rage erupts into an inchoate fury and the murder of innocents. And willfully uninformed, we do not understand our own complicity. We self-righteously condemn the killers as subhuman savages who deserve more of the violence that created them.

This is a recipe for endless terror.

He continues:

Manning, by providing a window into the truth, opened up the possibility of redemption. She offered hope for a new relationship with the Muslim world, one based on compassion and honesty, on the rule of law, rather than on the cold brutality of industrial warfare. But by refusing to heed the truth that Manning laid before us, by ignoring the crimes committed daily in our name, we not only continue to swell the ranks of our enemies but put the lives of our citizens in greater jeopardy.

Manning showed us through the documents she released to WikiLeaks what all Iraqis know. They have endured hundreds of rapes and murders, along with systematic torture by the military and police of the puppet government we installed. None of the atrocities from the leaked videos and documents were investigated. Manning provided the data showing that between 2004 and 2009 there were at least 109,032 “violent deaths” in Iraq, including those of 66,081 civilians, and that coalition troops were responsible for at least 195 unreported civilian deaths.

In the “Collateral Murder” video, she allowed us to watch as a US helicopter attacked unarmed civilians in Baghdad and as a US Army tank then crushed one of the wounded lying on the street. The actions of the US military in this one video alone, as law professor Marjorie Cohn has pointed out, violate Article 85 of the First Protocol of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits the targeting of civilians; Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which requires that the wounded be treated; and Article 17 of the First Protocol, which permits civilians to rescue and care for the wounded without being harmed.

These quotes were taken from Chris Hedges’s, Wages of Rebellion, pages 186-188.

and God knows best.

Missionary Mishap: $50,000 Bet Lost

Many missionaries offer money as a means of demonstrating that their beliefs or arguments are true. One such person made a challenge and I duly responded. You can see the notifications of his responses to me here:

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Unfortunately, asking for the rules and conditions of his challenge, caused him to suddenly block me.

In the above photo you can see that only my comments are available, despite him having commented and replied to me as indicated by my notifications. I suppose blocking real challengers to your challenge is one way of keeping the money…

And God knows best.

Missionary Mishap: Doubting the Bible Makes Me an Atheist

During a conversation on Facebook on a post by our esteemed Br. Yusuf Ismail on the presevation of the New Testament, a missionary decided to mention the Quran. I indicated to him quite kindly that this was the tu quoque argument, to which his response was negative:


Apparently, he does not understand how dialogue works and that not everyone who rejects his scripture is an atheist:

  1. And God Knows Best!

 

Christmas: A Unique Birth?

During the Christmas season, many celebrate the birth of Christ, the incarnation of God as something unique and unprecedented. It’s an incarnation of God that brought about the new covenant, allowing Christ to die for our sins and grant us eternal life. Or so that is what is said. There is however, nothing unique about God becoming incarnate from a Christian perspective, theophanies or the appearance of God in various forms throughout the Old Testament is a common and well-known theme, therefore it begs the question as to why any Christian should consider the incarnation to be a unique, once in a lifetime event.

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As already established in an earlier article, the date of Christmas itself is not Biblically based1. Those who hold to the December 25th date are merely doing so out of tradition and culture, as opposed to Christian beliefs or rites. While some may believe that there is some religious, Biblical basis for the celebration of the birth of whom they consider to be God, at no point in the New Testament (or early Christian documents) do any of the authors ever indicate that the disciples, apostles, presbyters, or patristics ever commemorated the birth of Christ himself.

Perhaps though what is more confusing is that according to Christian beliefs the incarnation was not unique. It was not unique in the sense that Christ had come to earth in an incarnate form previously, and it was also not unique for in the same incarnate form he also bore no sin. One Christian author argues:

Divine manifestations and revelatory experiences of the latter sort are commonly called theophanies (i.e., appearances of God). One of the most important forms that theophanies take in the OT is that of the Malak Yahweh, commonly translated as “the Angel of the LORD” or “the Angel of Yahweh”. According to the Old Testament Scriptures, this figure is an appearance of Yahweh in human form.2

The author identifies this Angel of Yahweh as being Jesus in no uncertain terms:

The earliest Christians, as well as many other Christian worthies throughout the centuries, have also viewed the Malak Yahweh as a distinct divine person within the Godhead, further explicating it as a Christophany, that is, an appearance of the pre-incarnate Logos or Word of God – the Lord Jesus Christ.3

In the Book of Genesis, it records the myth of Abraham’s meeting with three men who were the God (the Lord) in human form:

The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest time of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing across from him. When he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. He said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. – Genesis 18:1-3.4

In conclusion, as it pertains to Christmas, the celebration of a unique incarnation of God is unremarkable. According to Christian beliefs, Christ was already incarnate in an earlier time and so the advent of the birth of Christ is not and should not be considered unique or something worthy of celebration unless one were Muslim. In the Islamic case, we do have reason to believe that Jesus’s birth was unique, that his birth manifested itself through the will of God, a birth without a father. While we do not celebrate Christmas under false pretenses, we do however have more of a reason to consider his birth unique and miraculous than our Christian brothers and sisters.

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and Allah knows best.

Sources:

  1. Three Reasons Why Christians Should Not Celebrate Christmas.
  2. The Malak Yahweh: Jesus, the Divine Messenger of the Old Testament.
  3. Ibid.
  4. NET Genesis 18:1-3.

The Rise of Modern Christian Extremism

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The following are quotes from Christian author and journalist, Chris Hedges’ book “Wages of Rebellion”:

The breakdown of American society will trigger a popular backlash, which we glimpsed in the Occupy movement, but it will also energize the traditional armed vigilante groups that embrace a version of American fascism that fuses Christian and national symbols.

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Gabrielle Giffords, a member of the US House of Representatives, was shot in the head in January 2011 as she held a meeting in a supermarket parking lot in Arizona. Eighteen other people were wounded. Six of them died. Sarah Palin’s political action committee had previously targeted Giffords and other Democrats with crosshairs on an electoral map. When someone like Palin posts a map with crosshairs, saying, “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” there are desperate, enraged people with weapons who act. When Christian fascists stand in the pulpits of megachurches and denounce Barack Obama as the Antichrist, there are messianic believers who believe it. When a Republican lawmaker shouts “Baby killer!” at Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak, there are violent extremists who see the mission of saving the unborn as a sacred duty. They have little left to lose.

The kind of extremism that Hedges refers to, can be seen in the vitriol of Christian extremists such as Robert Spencer and Jonathan McLatchie. The next quote more accurately refers to these two missionaries:

Left unchecked, the hatred for radical Islam will transform itself into a hatred for Muslims. The hatred for undocumented workers will become a hatred for Mexicans and Central Americans.

More specifically, their self-delusion in referring to groups they dislike, as in the case of Jonathan McLatchie referring to Muslims as a cancer in European civilization speaks to their extremism. Hedges further says:

The ethnic groups, worshiping their own mythic virtues and courage and wallowing in historical examples of their own victimhood, vomited up demagogues and murderers such as Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic. To restore this mythological past they sought to remove, through exclusion and finally violence, competing ethnicities. The embrace of non-reality-based belief systems made communication among ethnic groups impossible. They no longer spoke the same cultural or historical language. They believed in their private fantasy. And because they believed in fantasy, they had no common historical narrative built around verifiable truth and no way finally to communicate with anyone who did not share their self-delusion.

In conclusion about these extremists, he says:

Those who retreat into fantasy cannot be engaged in rational discussion, for fantasy is all that is left of their tattered self-esteem. Attacks on their myths as untrue trigger not a discussion of facts and evidence but a ferocious emotional backlash.

That last quote reminds me solely of Sam Shamoun. Rather than engage in intellectual dialogue, he copy pastes articles, and insults those he disagrees with. Thus, the rise of Christian fascism, and its role in spreading hatred and violence towards Muslims is a growing pattern among polemicists such as Robert Spencer, David Wood, Sam Shamoun and now recently Jonathan McLatchie. The result of this hate can only be expressed as follows:

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and God knows best.

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