Questions for the “moderate” muslims of CAIR

Investor’s Business Daily recently asked some pointed questions and waited for answers from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR):

Is Islam the only religion with a doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates warfare against unbelievers?
Is it true that 26 chapters of the Quran deal with jihad, a fight able-bodied believers are obligated to join (Surah 2:216), and that the text orders Muslims to “instill terror into the hearts of the unbeliever” and to “smite above their necks” (8:12)?
Is the “test” of loyalty to Allah not good acts or faith in general, but martyrdom that results from fighting unbelievers (47:4) � the only assurance of salvation in Islam (4:74; 9:111)?
Are the sins of any Muslim who becomes a martyr forgiven by the very act of being slain while slaying the unbelievers (4:96)?
And is it really true that martyrs are rewarded with virgins, among other carnal delights, in Paradise (38:51, 55:56; 55:76; 56:22)?
Are those unable to do jihad � such as women or the elderly � required to give “asylum and aid” to those who do fight unbelievers in the cause of Allah (8:74)?
Does Islam advocate expansion by force? And is the final command of jihad, as revealed to Muhammad in the Quran, to conquer the world in the name of Islam (9:29)?
Is Islam the only religion that does not teach the Golden Rule (48:29)? Does the Quran instead teach violence and hatred against non-Muslims, specifically Jews and Christians (5:50)?

IBD is still waiting to hear from the “moderates.” What a surprise.

As knowledge grows, understanding grows

In a survey published on Friday, Cornell University called 715 Americans on the phone and asked them their attitudes toward Muslims. Some of the respondents indicated a willingness to impose certain restrictions on Muslims in America, but even more respondents opposed any restrictions on civil rights at all.

In all, about 44 percent said they believe that some curtailment of civil liberties is necessary for Muslim Americans.
Conversely, 48 percent of respondents nationally said they do not believe that civil liberties for Muslim Americans should be restricted.

When you see headlines in the next few days bemoaning the news that “nearly half” of Americans favor “curtailing the civil rights of Muslims”, try to remember that even more Americans do not favor any restrictions at all. By a 4% margin. In a poll with a margin of error of 3.6%. Got that?

The survey also examined the relation of religiosity to perceptions of Islam and Islamic countries among Christian respondents. Sixty-five percent of self-described highly religious people queried said they view Islam as encouraging violence more than other religions do; in comparison, 42 percent of the respondents who said they were not highly religious saw Islam as encouraging violence. In addition, highly religious respondents also were more likely to describe Islamic countries as violent (64 percent), fanatical (61 percent) and dangerous (64 percent). Fewer of the respondents who said they were not highly religious described Islamic countries as violent (49 percent), fanatical (46 percent) and dangerous (44 percent). But 80 percent of all respondents said they see Islamic countries as being oppressive toward women.

This isn’t surprising. I’d bet a pile of cash that if you do a survey of people who seriously practice Religion A, and ask them about their perceptions of serious believers in Religion B, there’s going to be a marked difference in perception as compared to the general non-religious population. By definition, serious believers think that they’ve found the truth. It’s no shock that they’d have misgivings about serious believers in a different religion, especially if the two groups make mutually exclusive claims about topics essential to one or both belief systems.

[James Shanahan, Cornell associate professor of communication and a principal investigator in the study] notes: “Most Americans understand that balancing political freedoms with security can sometimes be difficult. Nevertheless, while a majority of Americans support civil liberties even in these difficult times, and while more discussion about civil liberties is always warranted, our findings highlight that personal religiosity as well as exposure to news media are two important correlates of support for restrictions. We need to explore why these two very important channels of discourse may nurture fear rather than understanding.”

Duh.
If you’re convinced that Jesus is the unique Son of God, if you think Muhammad was no prophet, and if you pay attention to news reports of beheadings and suicide bombings carried out by self-professed followers of Muhammad, you’re probably going to feel some trepidation about Islam. Plus there’s that whole 9/11 thing, which probably matters to an American or two.
Next week, Cornell will report on the inexplicable correlation between committed belief in Judaism, knowledge of 20th Century history, and fear of fascism.

More coverage:
Jihad Watch
Little Green Footballs

Don’t cross the Dutch

The Netherlands are very friendly and quite liberal. Multiculturalism’s got a lot of fans among the Dutch, who are a polite and patient people. But when you repeatedly stomp on their toes and their collective fuse finally burns down … step back. They are not passive.
Theo van Gogh was a distant relative of the famous painter. He made movies, and his newest film, Submission, criticizes muslim attitudes toward (and abuse of) women. An Islamist recently demonstrated his disapproval of Van Gogh’s movie after spotting him on the street.

His attacker was a Dutch Moroccan who wore traditional Islamic clothing. After shooting van Gogh, he stabbed him repeatedly, slit his throat with a butcher knife, and left a note containing verses from the Qur’an on the body.

By “left a note”, Spencer means “pinned a note to the victim’s chest with two knives.”
Note to Islamists: don’t screw with the Dutch. See here and here and here and here and here and here and here … get the point?

UPDATE: Pieter Dorsman of Peaktalk is an American of Dutch extraction who’s covering the van Gogh murder and its fallout, and he’s doing it quite well (thanks for pointing this blog out, Arthur). Give Zacht Ei a look, too.
UPDATE 2: Professor Goose gets it.

Muslim death cultists aren’t subhuman

Again with the beheadings.

Today the Islamists have sawn off the head of Jack Hensley of Marietta, Georgia. Yesterday they sawed off the head of Eugene Armstrong of Hillsdale, Michigan.
I’m not surprised. Hopefully we’ll preserve our collective outrage over this, but I suspect this kind of thing’s already becoming blas&#233 in our jaded and media-saturated culture. Amid all the outrage expressed in the blogosphere, I’ve noticed a theme that needs correcting if we’re going to keep the right perspective. My blogging brethren often express their fury with epithets like “animals” and “subhuman scum” when they refer to the evil men who saw off captives’ heads in the name of a “merciful Allah.” It’s understandable to use those labels, but it’s not right because it lets these evil muslims off the hook for their actions.

We feel anger when we find out about these slaughters precisely because these evil men are more than just animals. They’re people, and that means they know better. When a cougar mauls a child, we hunt it down and kill it without much passion because it’s a dumb animal with no sense of morality. When men shoot fleeing children in the back or saw off the heads of helpless civilians, they earn our undying enmity because they know they’re committing evil.

For you left-leaning readers who feel uncomfortable with arguments based on right and wrong, think of this from a legal perspective. The Model Penal Code (which forms the basis for many states’ criminal codes) breaks down most crimes into four categories, asking whether the perpetrator committed the crime negligently, recklessly, knowingly, or purposefully. If a man fires a gun through a flimsy backstop in his backyard and the bullet accidentally kills his neighbor’s child, we’ll likely prosecute him for negligent homicide. But we hold him less culpable than the man who recklessly fires his gun into the air and kills the child playing in her yard two streets over. Worse still is the man who fires his rifle over a crowd of children, knowing he’ll probably kill someone. Worst of all is the man who fires a bullet into a fleeing child’s back for the purpose of killing her. Even our legal system emphasizes degrees of culpability and the importance of the perpetrator’s state of mind. It’s about as close to moral condemnation as our relativistic legal system ever gets.

I think the moral argument and our inherent sense of right and wrong provides the strongest foundation for holding these evil muslims responsible as people who consciously choose to do evil. You might find the legal approach more comfortable. Either way, intentions count for a lot.

From now on, I’m going to try extra hard not to understate the depths that these men have sunk to. I’m not going to call them animals or subhuman scum; these muslim death cultists are evil, and that’s why I’ll smile when they die violent and painful deaths.

I hope my fellow bloggers will do the same.