Voices of Compassion, Freedom of Faith

Brunette here (Trigger warning may apply. Or not. Reader discretion advised.) 😉

Trying to wrap my head around the subject of Islam, and what its increasing presence means to the West, has been daunting. Clearly Muslims are humans first and foremost, and deserve to be seen as individuals like anyone else. It would be a shame to totally ban immigration from Muslim countries, and turn away people like Anni Cyrus and Brigitte Gabriel, who sought sanctuary from Islamic abuse in their home countries, here in America. But does it make sense to welcome Imams who seek to radicalize western youth, and jihadists who hate western infidels?

I have to admit that one of my childhood heroes (probably, my first crush) was Cat Stevens, whose songs I loved. It’s hard for me to come to grips with a religion that turned Cat Stevens into THIS — (Yusuf Islam, advocating the murder of Salman Rushdie). It’s also sad to think that Vin and I may have lost a few friends in the process of trying to arrive at some semblance of truth, via research and soul-searching . . . so be it. Sometimes finding your way through life means losing former fellow travelers. The road less traveled, and all that. 😉

It seems the left has rushed to embrace Islam, to prove how tolerant and broad-minded liberals are, but on a purely collectivist basis — confounding a theocratic ideology with issues of race. Even libertarians often reflexively rush to the defense of Islam, when I’d think they’d want to defend the rights of individual Muslims against the Islamic collective, and not the other way around. Critics of Islam (Muslim or otherwise) have every right to disagree and criticize an ideology they’ve found hostile, brutal, and oppressive. It’s unjust to accuse them of racism or intolerance for doing so, to punish them for speaking out instead of applauding their courage.

The alt-right comes closer to the mark, in recognizing and identifying the true threat that Islam (radical or no) presents to the west . . . but in some instances, without appreciating the nuanced differences between groups or sects of Muslim adherents and the conflicts that arise between them. It’s important to recognize that many, many Muslims suffer under Islam and probably do wish to live in peace like the rest of us. If only we can tell who’s who — so, how to distinguish between peaceful Muslims and Islamic extremists seeking to immigrate? Nonie Darwish has a sensible answer here on The Glazov Gang: Americans who’ve lived among radical Islamists and lived to talk about it can tell, far better than anyone who hasn’t.

I’ve assembled a few video links of talks by former or currently practicing Muslims, who reject violent extremism but also plead for honest conversation about the problems of radical Islam and extremism in general. I do believe that there must be peaceful Muslims, probably many of them, who aren’t vocal or whose voices aren’t heard loudly since the MSM ignores them. However, I can’t believe that Islam is a “religion of peace.” Not when so many of its scholars tend to be among the most radical Muslims, recruiting even children to violent jihad. Not when so many former Muslims tell of leaving Islam after actually studying the Koran and other holy books of Islam. (Here’s one example.)

What We Don’t Know About Europe’s Muslim Kids and Why We Should Care: Deeyah Khan, TEDxExeter (20 min.)

“Aged 17, Deeyah fled from Norway confused, lost and torn between cultures. Unlike some young Muslims she picked up a camera instead of a gun. She now uses her camera (. . .) to shed light on the clash of cultures between Muslim parents who prioritise honour and their children’s desire for freedom. She argues that we need to understand what is happening to fight the pull to extremism.”

Reclaiming Jihad: Manwar Ali, TEDxExeter (17 min.)

“Concern about our young people leaving this country in the name of Jihad is never far from the headlines. Manwar Ali, known as Shaikh Abu Muntasir, is a former committed pioneer of Jihadism in the UK. In this moving, personal talk he reflects on his own experience of radicalisation and violent Jihad and makes a powerful and direct appeal to anyone drawn to Islamist groups who claim that their violence and brutality are Jihad: it’s time to reclaim true Jihad, now.”

Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Karima Bennoune, TEDxExeter (20 min.)

“One day, Karima Bennoune found herself wondering whether she could protect her father with a paring knife. She tells the stories of individual Muslims struggling against fundamentalism and terrorism.”

To be continued, perhaps . . . this post is a start, but doesn’t even begin to cover half of what I’d wanted to say. Time constraints, furry (and fretful) distractions. I’m too tired to search for graphics, or more links, now — but may add one or two in the morning. 🙂


5 Comments to “Voices of Compassion, Freedom of Faith”

  1. Leslie Fish Says:

    One way to tell the reasonable Muslims from the Jihadists is to ask the basic question: “Do you believe that a) Mohammed wrote the Koran, and b) every word in the Koran is absolutely and literally true?” Anyone who says anything but an absolute and unequivocal “Yes” can be reasoned with. Even if he’s lying, and secretly Believes, you can at least talk to him about the contradictions in the Koran — starting with the fact the Mohammed himself admitted he was illiterate — and get him to start thinking rationally about Islam.

  2. MamaLiberty Says:

    Excellent, Cat! Some great things to look at and ponder. I would suggest, Leslie, that a far more important question would be: “Who owns your life?”

    My experience over the years, working with Muslims and some others of various (mostly eastern) religions, is the stark lack of understanding – and outright rejection – so many have of individuality, of self ownership and liberty in any form. And far too many I’ve met seem to have no concept of the ultimate value of life in general.

    Such people cannot be reasoned with or taught to assimilate into any culture that does value life and liberty. Unfortunately, that is becoming less and less true of most “Western” cultures. And that’s the real problem, I think.

  3. R. Hartman Says:

    Have to concur with Mama here. Only yesterday I received a tweet that propertyrights were the root cause of the current melee. I asked the sender who owns his life and body, and never got a response.

    Propertyrights are at the root of any civilization, as the only alternative is slavery, and most people agree slavery is barbaric… yet they don’t seem to get you cannot have propertyrights (and thus must be a slave) in a democracy or any other state form which limits your natural freedom with arbitrary rules, based on the whim of whomever happens to be in power at a certain time and date…

  4. v ardis Says:

    sorry leslie,that question about mohamid writing the koran is incorrect, it wasnt put on paper until after he died – and it wasnt really compiled as a full book until about 200 years after he was dead ,so the people who really wrote the koran never talked to mohamid once because he had been dead for many decades. and the problem with your question idea is, if they are lying about their faith in allah and islam ,under their system lying to you is fine, if it advances the cause of islam to bring islam to the unbelievers/infidels thru either conversion or death or dhimmie status which is permanent less then second class status for all who dont convert to islam – and thats only for peoples of the book I.E. the bible , strange as it may seem muslims consider the bible and torah to be part of the koran inferior parts but parts none the less of what they consider the perfect word of god,the koran the book that comands that they kill or convert all who dont submit to islam
    islam is a cult

  5. Vin's Brunette Says:

    Thanks, Leslie, Mama, René and v ardis — it sounds like each of you has had more experience personally interacting with Muslims than I have. I’ve had to make up for my lack of it by reading blogs and articles, watching videos, podcasts and such . . . which I initially set out to do in an unbiased way and open to all points of view. Thank heavens for the internet! 🙂

    I think it’s *possible* to reach almost anyone, if not through reason, then through the heart — not to say that it’s easy, or a practical endeavor for most people — but I honestly think that may be the western world’s best hope, as Manwar Ali’s talk indicates. Change comes from within, after all. 😉

    Despite being agnostic, I have to say that I really ENJOY David Wood’s videos . . . and could probably devote more than one post exclusively to them: here’s his Youtube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy5H0uunC2qMk0iOF4SHKUw — and here’s his Twitter page: https://twitter.com/Acts17 . . . Dive in and have fun, unless you’re hopelessly opposed to Christianity — which I am not. I suppose I’m more of a Christian than I would have thought. 😉 David probably converts more Muslims in a month (either to Christianity, or atheism — away from Islam) than most could do in a lifetime. Here he deals with Islamic death threats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE6Af7f9MBE — seems he gets lots of them. He may yet convert me. 😉 His blog is here: http://www.acts17.net/

    As far as property rights, I agree — and that’s one big reason I’m truly baffled by freedom lovers who defend Islam. Under Sharia, women have little (or no) property rights — they ARE property, either as wives (often distressingly young wives) or daughters, or as concubines (slaves.) See thereligionofpeace.com on women’s worth or lack thereof here: https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/women-worth-less.aspx

    (Quote) “At best, Islam elevates the status of a woman to somewhere between that of a camel and a man. Muhammad captured women in war and treated them as a tradable commodity. The “immutable, ever-relevant” Quran explicitly permits women to be kept as sex slaves. These are hardly things in which Muslims can take pride.” (End quote)

    Note, that’s AT BEST. Also note, it applies to MUSLIM women — NOT to unbelievers who (regardless of sex) are considered more akin to cattle, to be sold, raped, or slaughtered UNLESS they convert to Islam, and pay the Jizya tax — https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/jizya.aspx — as a token of inferiority and submission. And you thought government taxation was bad? (It is, but if you’re paying attention, bonus points for acknowledging that things could be worse.)

    Anyway, I appreciate all your thoughts and contributing to the conversation. 🙂