This is a taste of what could happen should America or any other Western country be taken over by the Islamists. Right now France, Italy and Spain all have large Muslim populations and have birthrates way below that required simply to maintain their populations. The UK is just about breaking even. Couple that fact with the realization of the huge birth rates of the Muslim populations in these countries, and it’s pretty easy to see that in a generation or so Muslims will outnumber non-Muslims. These Muslims will be citizens, will have the ability to vote, and will most likely vote in some kind of Muslim government. If so, these kinds of lectures could become daily fare for the citizens of those nations, should they be so lucky as to even be allowed ownership of television sets. A tip of the hat to Andrew Sullivan for the link.
A serious Islamic lecture
I am speechless.
Thanks for the link.
I was speechless myself. I won’t tell you MD’s reaction.
If you want an education on the ‘religion of peace’ you should visit Littlegreenfootballs. Muslims are not our friends and they never will be, unless we convert to Islam. Do not trust the main stream media to tell you the truth about Islam.
The ‘religion of peace’ indeed. I do dip into Littlegreenfootballs from time to time. It’s always interesting.
Dear Dr. Eades,
It’s possible I’m misreading your post, but are you equating vast numbers of moderate European Muslims with fundamentalist factions in the Middle East? Are you implying that these freedom loving non-gender biased followers of Islam, once they achieved a majority, would somehow all morph into extremists and establish an Islamic state- a state with all of the suppressed freedoms/gender issues generally associated with such an entity?
The thought that wife beating could be portrayed in such a matter of fact, state sponsored manner is truly chilling, but the proposal that this type of lecture could ever become ‘daily fare’ for these Western nations is more than a bit far fetched, imo.
I think the bigger threat is that America is overtaken by freedom depriving, woman suppressing Christian extremists/fundamentalists, not Islamic ones. Oh, wait, that already happened.
Yep, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Go spend some time in Amsterdam or Brussels maybe. Read the Wall Street Journal article today about how the 15% Muslim portion of the 1 million population of Brussels are going nuts because they can’t sacrifice sheep in their back yards to celebrate Eid al-Adha. It’s against the law, but they do it anyway. It is estimated that 25,000 sheep had their throats cut this past weekend in Brussels alone. A big part of the problem is in how the ritual sacrifice is carried out.
These (how did you put it?) freedom loving non-gender biased followers of Islam don’t seem to be assimilating real well into Belgium society. And these are not all new immigrants–many of the people discussed in this article were born in Belgium. They are all demanding their rights to pursue their religion as they see fit, but the conflict comes because they are only 15% of the population. In not too many years, given the discrepancy in birth rates between the Muslims and the Belgians, the Muslims will be a majority. Then, who knows what will happen.
As to our living in a “freedom depriving, woman suppressing Christian extremists/fundamentalists,” I don’t recall Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, or any of the other oleaginous television preachers giving a serious lecture on how to beat one’s wife according to scriptural law.
Given even your totally slanted descriptions of the two situations, I would much prefer to live under the current “freedom depriving, woman suppressing Christian extremists/fundamentalists” here in America than I would live under the “freedom loving non-gender biased followers of Islam” here or anywhere else. And, if the truth be known, I’m sure you would, too.
Ah Mike it had to happen … (yes we disagree) why are the actions of extremist Muslims so worrying? (no one is suggesting the average Muslim wants a law to allow, or for that matter is brave enough to beat his wife … are you?) – or no more so than the deplorable domestic violence statistics in western, supposedly civilized, ‘Christian’ democracies) And weren’t you arguing recently we should have the right to buy meat slaughtered in accordance with your views from your local farmer?
In my dotage I confess to being less tolerant generally, and since those who favor the irrational belief in pretend friends/Gods don’t accommodate my views, I say why not? After all it is tolerance of “moderate” Muslims, Christians, the Moon is Made of Green Cheeseians that give religious extremists of any kind the air to breathe … and yes, I would love to live in a world where that wasn’t the case.
The crux of the problem from my perspective is not the so-called moderate Muslims, but the extremists. In every society the extremists end up being the ones who end up in charge because the moderates are busy living their ‘moderate’ lives. In recent history this has happened in Afghanistan and Iran. In both those countries the extremists were held at bay by brutally repressive regimes: Communists (supported by the Soviet Union) in Afghanistan and the Shah and his secret police in Iran. Once these regimes were overthrown be the extremists with moderate help those countries shifted from a rule by secular (although oppressive) law to Sharia, law administered by the Muslim extremists. We had to save the Afghanis from the Talaban, but Iran is still laboring under rule by the clerics, although there have been signs of a student-led movement to at least weaken the clerics’ hands.
I’m not an Islamic scholar but I suspect that deep inside every moderate beats the heart of an extremist trying to get out. A while back a poll of Muslims in the UK revealed that a majority would prefer to live under Sharia than under the much more enlightened laws of the UK. This majority had to have included an enormous number of so-called moderates. That is my worry.
I know that there is an unfortunate amount of domestic violence in the US and in the UK, but it is UNLAWFUL. Should the victims decide to press charges, the perpetrators can and do go to jail. Under Sharia, as the video clip shows, it is perfectly okay within the tenets of Muslim law to beat one’s wife as long as it is done correctly.
The reason I used the example of the sheep slaughter for religious reasons is not because I have anything against the humane slaughter of animals for food (and these animals were consumed throughout the religious holiday), but to show how different the Muslim culture is from that of we Western people. In my opinion, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for them to assimilate into our (or Western Europe’s) culture. They have a lot of babies; we don’t. Europeans have even fewer children than we do. Just from a demographic perspective, they are soon going to outnumber us (or at least the Western Europeans). When that happens, the extremists will gain a toehold politically and things will change for the worse. I hope I’m wrong, but it has me greatly worried.
People constantly throw up this notion that all fundamentalists are bad, and that Christian and/or Jewish fundamentalists are just as worrisome as Islamic fundamentalists. I do not believe that and don’t buy into it for a second.
Probably the worst thing that either Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell said (I can’t remember which one of them said it) was that AIDS was a curse from God against homosexuals. Compare that to the treatment of gay people (should they ever identify themselves as such) under the Talaban or in Iran right now.
Sure, the Catholic church had people burned at the steak and tortured in all kinds of ways too brutal to imagine, but that was 400 years ago. Islamists are doing it today. And doing it in accordance with Islamic law. I read about a guy in Iran last year who was found guilty of abducting and killing a couple of kids (a heinous crime, no doubt). He was sentenced to 100 lashes with what looked like a heavy electrical cord, then had a rope put around his neck and was hoisted into air by a crane and left to hang until he had suffocated. As he was being moved from the post where he was tied during his public lashing to the crane for his hanging, a relative of one of the victims ran from within the huge crowd and stabbed him in the back. These people are different. Can you imagine something like that happening in the US? Also in Iran last year a 16 year old girl was sentenced to death by a cleric for sex with an unmarried man.
Another website describes the rationale for her hanging according to the clerical judge who sentenced her:
This is Sharia. This is what a majority of Muslims stated they would like to see imposed in the UK. This is what the video clip I posted was all about.
I believe that the vast majority of Americans would probably consider themselves ‘moderate’ Christians. I seriously doubt that, were they polled, a majority would like to see our government replaced with a ‘Christian’ church government run by the likes of Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. The same doesn’t hold with the Muslim population.
Dear Dr. Eades,
I know that the WSJ article you quoted would like to portray an image of tens of thousands of angry Belgian Muslims rising up and ‘defying authority.’ Sensationalism sells a lot of newspaper. Come on, though, this is hardly a blip on the rebellion radar. Did you know that I drive 65 in a 55 mph zone? Yup- don’t tell anybody! I break the law every day. Am I a threat to freedom? If I breed a host of fast driving spawn, are these offspring to be feared? Animal sacrifice is distasteful, I’ll give you that. But outlawing it? How many Americans hunt every year? How many animals are ritually sacrificed under Kosher law? Other than the sheep, I fail to see who this act might be harming. There’s a big difference, imo, between disobeying a questionable law outlawing a harmless religious act and condoning wife beating/supporting the overthrow of secular government.
You’re a worldly fellow, a bit of a celebrity, yes? If it’s not too personal of a question, have you had any Islamic friends? A Muslim doctor acquaintance, perhaps? Assuming you have, let me ask you this. Did they beat their wives? Did they long for a church sponsored state? Of course not. If you’re telling me to go visit Brussels, I’m telling you to either befriend an American Muslim or spend more time with the Muslim friend(s) you’ve got. You’ll quickly see that they’re normal people just like you and me. They have families, they love their spouses, they love their kids, they want to earn a good living, live long healthy lives, etc. etc. The only difference- you go to a church, they go to a mosque. Big deal. This describes the majority of Muslims in Western nations.
And, should these moderates ever be elected to office, you’d have nothing to fear.
The threat isn’t Islam nor is it Christianity. It’s religious extremism. I’ll take a moderate anybody in office. Heck, if I had the choice between voting for a moderate follower of Satan and a fundamentalist Christian, I’d vote the for the Satan worshipper every time. If the Loch Ness monster was running on a moderate platform, I’d even vote for him (it?). Moderates don’t wage holy wars, don’t drive planes into buildings, don’t threaten the right of a woman to choose and they don’t impede potentially life saving stem cell research. Nor, might I add, do they play a role in the barbaric execution of the leaders of other nations.
Let’s give a big hip hip hooray for the middle of the road.
I’m with you for the middle-of-the-roaders. I’m not with you though on not caring which kind of extremism I live under. Were I to have the choice (and I fervently hope I never have to make this choice because I don’t want to live under either) of living under a fundmentalist Christian regime or a fundamentalist Islamic regime, I’d take the Christians in a heartbeat. Better yet, I’d take the Jews. Christians used to burn people they didn’t agree with alive and torture them unmercifully, but they’ve evolved beyond that over the past 400 years, Muslims haven’t. See my comment to Malcolm’s comment.
Oh, and I don’t know any Muslims right now, but I did know and work with many when I was in engineering school. I found them rude, disrespectful to women, totally disrespectful to the idea of waiting in line for anything, and seemingly unwilling to adapt to the culture they found themselves in. This last is a real pet peeve of mine about anyone. I travel a lot, and I always try to blend in to my surroundings. When I go to Europe, I don’t wear the same clothes I do here because Europeans dress differently in subtle ways. I even have my weird (to our tastes) European shoes that I wear over there. I try my damndest to be a European while I’m there. I hate it when Americans talk loud and act like, well, Americans, when they travel. When people come here to visit or live, I expect them to try to hew to our culture just as I would to theirs were I in their country. The Muslims (they were Arabs from Saudi Arabia, so I assume they were Muslim–I didn’t ask) I knew certainly didn’t live by that maxim.
I’m really saddened by this attitude. Every religion has it’s extremists and its moderates. Really I don’t want to live under ANY religious state, no matter the denomination. But this sounds a lot more like religious bigotry and fear-mongering than anything else. Does slaughtering a goat equate with wife-beating? Also, part of the problem, as has been reported, with the Muslim communities in Europe, is that they are not well integrated into the mainstream culture. They exist in ghettos and segregated to a great extent from their fellow countrymen. This isolation can breed extremism. Luckily, in the U.S., we don’t practice that degree of segregation anymore. But if the fear-mongering takes over, maybe this will change.
In any case, what is your “solution” to this issue? Would you have us export our Muslim residents, expatriate our Muslim citizens? Restrict voting to only non-Muslims? Or should we just be encouraged to have 8 or 9 children each? I guess I just don’t understand the point of your entry other than to get people scared and angry. What do you propose we do?
You can see my thoughts on most of these issues from my replies to Malcolm’s and Scott’s comments.
I put up the post so that people could see the magnitude of the difference between Muslims, at least ones living under Sharia, and Westerners. The matter-of-factness on this perfectly calm lecture on the fine art of wife beating by a cleric of a major religion flabbergasted me. I assumed it would everyone else, but I can see that I was mistaken.
If a poll had been taken in the UK (which has a large Muslim population) asking Muslims if they would prefer to live under Sharia (the Islamic law that condones wife beating as long as the rules are followed and only for good reason), and the answer had been a loud NO, then I would feel much less threatened by the idea of a large Muslim population. But that’s not what happened. The answer was a resounding YES from a majority.
Were this lecture on wife beating given by some satrap of some minuscule sect somewhere I would have found it sad but kind of amusing, but since it was a serious lecture given by a cleric of a major religion, I found it sad and frightening. I don’t want to live under Sharia (even though, on occasion, it might be nice to be able to beat MD when she misbehaves), and I predict that within our lifetimes the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy or Spain will do so simply based on demographics.
This is sad but not surprising, especially after the Danish cartoon uproar. I think it’s clear that the beliefs and preferences of most Muslims are incompatible with the ideals of autonomy, free speech, and equality under the law, which we at least try to live up to here in the U.S. (Check out Bruce Bawer’s book, “While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West From Within.”)
That said, I’m a little more optimistic about the U.S. than Europe. Compared to European Muslims, Muslims in America tend to be more educated, affluent, employed in mainstream jobs, and in general have more of a stake in mainstream existence.
I agree with you on the Muslims in the US. I don’t think we’re going to be taken over any time soon. The birth rate in the US (at least based on the last stats I say) was slightly above replacement levels, whereas the birthrates in Italy, France and Spain are way, way below replacement levels. Plus the Muslim population of France, Italy and Spain is huge compared to ours here in the US. I worry about Western Europe, not about the US. But if we had a Western Europe that was under cleric control, even though the US wasn’t, I wouldn’t feel real comfortable with things. And I also agree that Muslims in the US seem to be more educated, affluent and moderate. If they simply went to their mosques, did their jobs, raised their families — in essence, assimilated — I wouldn’t have the least problem with them. It’s when they want to rule based on their religion, and their religion doesn’t recognize a secular government, that’s when I worry.
Oh, dear, this just brings up so many bad things for me as a bicultural person. I’m of Cuban descent, so that means that I’m of European catholic descent also–all my ancestors are Spaniards.
As much as I love my relatives, those who stayed in the Miami/Dade area have really changed the character of that place. Democracy is not something that was ever developed in Cuba, and in Miami you now encounter incidents of retaliation against Miami Herald journalists for printing the facts. People given jobs because of affiliation and not merit, both in private and governmental positions. It’s not you don’t find this in other parts of the country, it’s that the way it’s done really comes from an attitude of not knowing it’s corrupt in the first place. When a Louisiana politico does something corrupt, he probably knows it’s wrong. When a Miami politico does the same, he thinks he’s entitled–there’s no room in that attitude for correction. Elderly Cubans are actually afraid to voice their opinions in public, just as if they were still in Cuba, for fear of retaliation.
There really is a difference. After 45 years, I have relatives that still don’t understand that the rights they want for themselves also must apply to the people they don’t agree with. If I can say this about people of European Christian descent who supposedly share in the inheritance of the Enlightenment, why wouldn’t I be afraid of Mid-Eastern Muslims who have had no experience similar to the ideas of the Enlightenment?
An Arab historian, and I’m sorry I can’t remember his name, has said that many muslims in Middle Eastern countries want a one man, one vote, one time–that is, they want to vote in Sharia law and do away with democracy, using that one time vote!
Scott, a moderate Muslim who never speaks up is worth nothing against an extremist. I would equate this with the Cubans who are afraid to speak up, therefore letting old style Cuban corruption flourish in a new country, the US!
People who emigrate to other countries must give up certain attitudes in order to assimilate. If you have to leave a country in order to have a better life, chances are that that society didn’t work well. As I tell my own relatives, “If your political ideas are so good, why did you have to flee your own country? DON’T BRING YOUR BAD IDEAS HERE.”
We’ve done a sh*tty job in Iraq. But 12,000 doctors haven’t fled the country directly because of the occupation. 2000 doctors have been assassinated by their own people because of Sunni/Shiite religious differences. In other words, the Iraqis have turned on each other as a response to occupation. In no way can this be seen as a civilized response to an occupation, and I don’t see how people capable of such behavior would have something positive to add to American or European democracies.
It must be acknowledged that many cultures in this world aren’t ready for the responsibility of democracy, and that when citizens of those countries emigrate to democratic places they must be helped to assimilate to the differences.
A survey of Muslims was taken in Britain not too long ago, and the results were distressing. A majority of Muslims polled believe that Sharia law should be established in the UK!
Niceness and tolerance don’t defend democracy. Accommodation must have its limits, as the Dutch and the British are finding out.
Brilliant analysis; I couldn’t have said it better. Will you marry me? Wait, I’m already married.
Your paragraph here sums it up:
Thanks for the thoughtful addition to the debate.
Religion is such a sensitive topic for so many people. That’s why we need to reinforce the barrier between church and state. 1 small step is to only allow individual churches to decide who can and cannot get married in them. I can’t imagine any church allowing the state or federal gov’t dictate who can or cannot receive their sacraments.
You’ve hit upon my problem with Islam. You, along with most Americans and Western Europeans, believe in the separation of church and state. Islam demands that the church be the state.
Sam Harris’ book “The End of Faith” does a very nice job examining the threat posed by Islamists in particular and all of the “faithful” in general.
MSII, Oregon Health Sciences University
It’s on my list of must-read books.
I have to admit I was expecting something worse, on reading the preamble. You don’t have to go too far back to find wife beating of a far more brutal nature in many Western households. Indeed in the UK, the police hate being called out to a ‘domestic’ as so many women are scared to actually have the police deal with their husband as the revenge is often worse on his return home. So, their response to an incident is an unsatisfying waste of time. Lots of psychological issues involved I’m sure, which I don’t have the qualifications to discuss.
I feel the issue is more of men hitting women rather than many from any particular religion hitting women.
I do believe that if you go and live in another country, you should abide by their laws etc, but hey, that never bothered our ancestors did it? I’m not particularly keen on my neighbour killing a sheep in her back garden, but then food animals are on the whole not treated well at the time of their death by our food industry. (No I’m not a veggie by the way).
What the future holds as regards immigration or emigration, I’ve no idea, but I don’t find ordinary Muslims any scarier than ordinary Christians or Jews. Fanatics and fundamentalists of ANY persuasion are the ones that worry me. So certain they are right and eager to get everyone round to their point of view.
Thanks for your thoughts. I’ve pretty much laid out my thoughts in previous comments on the issues you’ve raised in yours.
OH MY GOSH!
Couple them darn Muslims with the influx of Hispanics, and us good-ol’ white boys will be a thing of the past! Heaven (MY heaven, not their abomination of heaven) forbid!
Hmmm there is a lot there and I might come back to it in more detail later, but I did like the bit about “extremists with moderate help” (which was my point). I think irrational behaviour that is foisted upon us as a result of any form of superstition should make us much more critical (and less tolerant)of all religions and the so called moderates who provide their support base both in theology and in more tangible form (eg. American Catholic funding of the IRA was a little more recent than 400 years).
Make no mistake I am no more an apologist for Islam and the extremes within Sharia law than I am for those Christians who seek to influence US policy in the Middle East to further their insane goal of bringing about “the Rapture”.
The UK poll you cite is interesting. First of all The majority of Muslims surveyed did not support the imposition of sharia law (40% did, 41% didn’t and the other 19% didn’t care or didn’t venture an opinion). More importantly they were suggesting the introduction of some form of sharia law, not for the whole country but only for the Muslims living in largely Muslim communities (not for non Muslims living in the same area). Again tellingly the question didn’t distinguish what parts of sharia law were envisaged. As you know there are applications of sharia law which could apply to solving civil disputes in much the same way as Jewish courts in the UK (I’m not sure if you have them) have limited rights in this regard. It is certainly possible that many of the respondents had this in mind – perhaps probable when you consider that a higher proportion of women supported sharia (43%)- you would have to say it is unlikely they were thinking of stonings, beatings, beheadings etc.
More revealing (but not apparently newsworthy) is the exceptionally high proportion who supported the idea of Muslims fitting into the Western society in which they lived (80% to 7%) and as this survey was taken soon after the London bombings and the subsequent reprisals against ‘ordinary’, ‘moderate’ Muslims you might have expected a higher proportion wanting to express their anger at real or perceived persecution, and particularly at this time the idea of retreating to the safety of Muslim enclaves with at least some of their own rules might otherwise have had more appeal than it normally would.
I guess like medical papers it does pay to examine the detail, not just what the tabloid media are prepared to report for their own sensation seeking ends!
I’m not sure we’re talking about the same poll, but, if we are, and if I have overstated the percentages, I apologize. But, even at 40%, given what’s involved in Sharia, I find it both amazing and frightening.
As I mentioned in a response to another comment, I don’t have a problem with Muslims who go about their business, go to their mosques, raise their families, and in all ways assimilate with the indigenous population. Despite numerous comments to the contrary, I just have misgivings that this could be the case. I would love to be surprised.
I’m just stunned that I can post a video of what is obviously a serious lecture by a cleric (who is not out of the mainstream of his religion) of one of the world’s major religions describing the appropriate way to beat a wife, and have so many people basically jump to the defense of the religion. I figured most people would be as repelled as I was when I saw it.
And to say, well, that guy doesn’t represent the majority of the practitioners of this religion, so therefore it doesn’t really matter, or he’s an extremist, or most followers of his religion disagree, or all the other things people have said in their comments, I think shows a naiveté of how Islam is practiced in Islamic countries. As long as it stays in those countries, I’m fine with it–I don’t agree with it, but I don’t lose any sleep over it. When I worry about it spreading to Western Europe (I’m not worried about the US), I do become concerned.
Oh, and I forgot to mention – please do your math… “and it’s pretty easy to see that in a generation or so Muslims will outnumber non-Muslims”??? There are, what, 200 million so-called Christians in the US? Even if 2 million Muslim breeders came into the US, they’d have to have (lets see, 200mil divided by 2 mil) 100 kids each for that to happen in a generation. Make it two generations and we are down to, oh, 20 kids per generation (assuming half boys, and half girls who aren’t beaten to death).
I was referring to Western Europe, not the US. Pick a country there, use the birth rate figures of 1.3 children per non-Muslim couple (which is about the average in Western Europe–worse in Spain and Italy, a little better in France) and 4.6 for Muslim couples, then do the math.
It’s possible I’m misreading your post, but are you equating vast numbers of moderate European Muslims with fundamentalist factions in the Middle East?
A recent poll in Britain found 40% of Muslims in that country wanted to implement Sharia law. If that is moderation, it isn’t moderate enough for my taste.
Little Green Footballs does have a lot of articles on the European Muslim population you can sift through. After you are done, I doubt you’ll feel very reassured by the moderation of the community.
If those are the figures, I overstated the percentage in a previous answer to a comment. I’m with you, though, even 40% isn’t moderate to my taste either.
Well Dr. Eades, I hope you are wrong about Europe, because it would mean that I would have to leave my beloved UK and go back to Oz where I come from and I don’t really want to. From a women’s perspective though this video is indeed chilling and horrifying, what made it so dreadful for me was the very placid, calm way he stated the procedure. It is my observation and I have read extensively on this subject that women are nothing in the Arab world mere possessions and often treated worse than animals his whole demeanor said that and more.
I hope and pray that I’m wrong. I spend a lot of time in Europe; I love it there. I spend an inordinate amount of time plotting and scheming on how I could live there–at least for a while. I would hate to see it destroyed. The climate is pretty much the same in Tehran as it is in many European cities, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
Malcolm brought up the point we didn’t know what kind of “Sharia” law the poll respondents voted for. Well another poll in Britain, specifically identified Sharia Law as practiced in countries like Saudia Arabia and Iran. The percentage for Sharia law dropped to 30%. 30% is a long way from 50%, but still a sobering number. I have to do some more thinking.
(link to poll)
It is indeed more frightening, even if it were only 30% that voted that way. And these aren’t people who live in Saudi Arabia; they are folks who have had a taste of what the Western world has to offer. And they would still prefer to live under a rigid form of Sharia.
Thanks for the link to the poll.
Dr. Mike and LC,
Amen to both of you!
“If your political ideas are so good, why did you have to flee your own country? DON’T BRING YOUR BAD IDEAS HERE.” I think this sums it up nicely.
It was a brilliant response. Do you want to marry her, too?
“Well another poll in Britain, specifically identified Sharia Law as practiced in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. The percentage for Sharia law dropped to 30%. 30% is a long way from 50%, but still a sobering number.”
It’s not that sobering. I’m sure if they tracked those respondents by age, the vast majority would be quite a bit older. The generation gap for Western Muslims is massive. You have old country, religious fuddy duddy elderly and internet porn surfing, telly watching, beer drinking, rap listening, completely westernized, non religious kids. The old people look at the kids and throw their hands up in the air. These elderly vote for the possibility of hardline Sharia Law because they feel like their kids are out of control.
If and when the Muslim population overtakes the non-Muslim population, these elderly hardliners will all be dead. The countries in Europe will never be taken over by Muslim extremists.
Dr. Eades, cultivate a friendship with a Western educated Muslim or two, preferably a young Muslim, but any age will do. Hang out. Get to know them. Then come back and talk about the Islamic threat to Western Europe. If you’re going to make broad sweeping statements about Muslims, you should at least know one or two.
Because of your vast amount of knowledge and celebrity status, your opinion carries a tremendous amount of weight. Most of us don’t have to worry about being wrong, as our influence doesn’t extend that far. You do.
Get your head out of the newspaper and get to know these people.
Hmmm. The statement that “you are sure if they tracked those respondents by age, the vast majority would be quite a bit older” implies that only older Muslims are extremists. First, you don’t know whether or not the age of those wishing to live under Sharia is older, it’s just a guess. Second, I can’t recall a single perpetrator of 9-11 who was elderly or, as you called them, an old fuddy duddy. Same with the Madrid train bombings, same with the bombings in London. In fact, I can’t recall a single suicide bomber that was anything but a young person. And don’t tell me that you’re referring only to those Muslims living in the West. Every single Muslim involved in all the 9-11, Madrid, and London atrocities lived in the West, a number of them for many years. And were all young, and would, I’m sure, vote to live under Sharia.
If and when the Muslim population takes over, I fear that it will be the young extremists, and that the moderating influence of the older people will be gone because they will have all died off.
I would be more than happy to cultivate a friendship with a Western Muslim. How do you propose I do it? Put an add in the paper?
I am back, still trying to decide. First, 70% voted against Sharia Law. That is good and encouraging. And follow up polls should show an increasing support for western law as the older fuddy duddys die out.
Second, I am concerned, but what should we do about the western Muslims?
I don’t think we should build a fence around a group of people that is 70% with us. I can’t think of a quicker way to alienate those Muslims who think like us. I think Scott’s desire to know the muslims is a smart way to go. I don’t know but one Muslim well, and I enjoyed knowing him and respected him. It is very hard for me to imagine him flying airplanes into buildings or recruiting suicide bombers. He was my boss and he very much enjoyed and deserved the success he was having in America.
These problems might blow over if we keep our cool and don’t make things worse. Things might very turn out like they did with the IRA in Ireland. That war is over because the guys involved got too busy with their success. Ireland became a successful rich country with opportunities. So the IRA guys started running successful businesses, taking vacations in Spain, just didn’t have enough time to gather up some explosives, creep out in the night and blow some stuff up. Plus, if they went to jail, they would lose their businesses. Too much to lose. An easy choice to make-giving up the dangers of revolution for the joys of making money.
So, I am thinking that treating western Muslims with courtesy and respect, and seeking their support in finding malcontents is the smart thing to do. Which hopefully is what we are already doing.
Were I to meet any Muslims I would certainly treat them with respect. And I do hope that they all start making a lot of money and start focusing on career and family. But, remember, Osama bin Laden, an engineer, came from a very wealthy family and Ayman al-Zawahiri, a trained surgeon, came from a well-to-do family, so careers and wealth don’t always mean squat. And both were young, not old fuddy duddies, when they started their careers as terrorists.
I think the older Muslims are a stabilizing influence on the younger ones, who I think are more prone to be fundamentalists.
I heard a statistic recently that 15 percent of Muslims were fundamentalists. Thats about 150 million people. Even if thats way exaggerated, there’s still at least 100 million people who don’t think you and I are “all that.” Remember seeing pics and live news feeds after 9/11? There were many people cheering about what happened and I don’t think the feeds were from downtown Kalamazoo. I don’t think Mike is being unrealistic or biased, he is observing the facts and commenting on them based on his knowing the history of persons involved. We can sit and have coffee at a nice little place and get along fine but where is that individuals ultimate loyalty. Now you could say the same thing for the average American. He may put his God before his country but his God doesn’t demand “killing of the infidels”, ie: you and me.
I heard you and MD lecture for Boulderfest 2004 I believe. That was a great lecture both of you gave. I loved the idea about uncoupling of proteins and talking about thermodynamics, great stuff. Your wife’s pretty sharp and her recipes make my mouth water when I read them. So I think you should stay with that smart beauty queen from Arkansas(?) lol
The talk was about uncoupling proteins and thermodynamics, so you must have been paying attention.
I probably will stick with the smart beauty queen from Arkansas–she’s a keeper. Every now and then she could use a little applied Sharia to keep her in line, but most of the time she’s perfect.
I think it’s really interesting that so many commenters have brought up the threat posed by fundamentalist Christianity to moderate Western democracy as somehow comparable to fundamentalist Islam. As kooky as fundamentalist Christians are, (and just to dispel any confusion, it’s pretty clear to me that any and all religious belief is proof positive that this species is probably not up to the job – of looking after ourselves , one another and the fragile planet we inhabit) there just isn’t the moral cachet to violent martyrdom or (equally violent) sexism that fundamentalist Islam is predicated on. No wonder Islamic youth is so enchanted by the noxious tenets their fundamentalist mullahs espouse. What youthful mind isn’t intoxicated to some extent by the idea of violence. It’s in our genes. We all have several utterly compelling reptilian cortices that almost guarantee that violent acts are just below the behavioural surface. Any religion that embraces ritualized slaughter of sheep, people, or anything else that gets in the way of their particular brand of (holy book sanctified) prejudice just has to be the most dangerous kid on the block. And beating up your wife by the numbers defined by your local mad Mullah is just the tip of a very big, and very violent iceberg.
Appealing to ideas of ‘moderate Islam’ as the effectively controlling influence on the spread of the Sh’aria fuelled Islamic fundamentalist menace is about as naive as Nazi appeasement was not that many years ago. Which isn’t to say that the Iraq debacle is not totally deplorable. Or totally avoidable. It’s no accident that George Bush Jnr. is seen by the analysts I respect as a gift from Allah to fundamentalist Islam.
I think Mike’s point about the education, sophistication, family affluence and youth of the major architects (not to mention a sizable proportion of its foot soldiers) of Islamic extremism is paricularly pertinent to this whole debate.
These guys just think there’s a violent (and usually the more violent the better) solution to any and every affront against their particular flavour of religious gobbledygook.
The Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of this World are just not (and never will be) in the same league.
Religious tolerance has nothing to do with tolerating the excesses of religion. It’s about not insulting people for being superstitious, but making sure that religious nutcases don’t reverse even a single step of four or five centuries of Western secular jurisprudence. Fundamentalist Islam is more than capable of doing just that. Mainly because it most definitely does appeal to the younger generation.
I agree totally.
Robert and Dr Mike
Thanks for your support of my analysis. Personal experience has taught me how hard some people find it to assimilate. A traumatic emigration like the one that happened from Cuba in the sixties, leaves great numbers of the immigrants “shell shocked” and not ready to accept having to assimilate. That’s why I have had to stand up and not so gently remind relatives that after many years of being here, they have to accept the fact of assimilation and the fact of their political failure in their own country… try doing that when you’re in a room of twenty plus people and you’re the only one saying it!
As a person who is privy to conversations taking apart mainstream Americans when none are present,I know that some of those conversations can be pretty frightening. If it were only rhetoric, like with Cubans who can be wordy and dramatic, I wouldn’t care. I can’t speak for other cultures, and would be very wary of young men from various cultures having conversations like the ones my relatives have. Please remember, as Dr Mike has already said, all the terrorists are young men. The nineteen 9/11 terrorists were all middle class and educated.
Regarding the UK Sharia law polls, I apologize if I misrepresented 40% as a majority, but I still find that number quite disturbing. 40% takes in some of the younger population, not just the old fuddy duddies.
I don’t know that I would have the courage to confront 20 of my relatives at once over such a sensitive issue.
I was young and stupid and ignorant of one of the most fundamental laws of self preservation:
Don’t talk sh*t when you’re outnumbered!
It’s probably a lesson I’ve yet to learn.