CFI Wants Ground Zero to be Free of All Religion

The Center for Inquiry is opposing the building of Park51 — the (close to) Ground Zero Mosque (and Community Center). Their reasoning is rather interesting:

it would be inappropriate to build any new house of worship in the area immediately around Ground Zero, not just mosques. “The 9/11 attacks were an example of faith-based terrorism, and any institution that privileges faith above reason is an affront to those who were killed and injured in those attacks,” observes Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of CFI.

CFI fully supports the free exercise of religion; protecting the rights of believers and nonbelievers is central to CFI’s mission. Accordingly, CFI endorses President Obama’s recent statement reminding the country that Muslim Americans enjoy the same rights as other Americans and should not be treated as second-class citizens.

Faith will continue to harm and kill, whether it is in Oklahoma City or New York City, until people stop basing their conduct on imaginary divine commands and accept their responsibility to reason together. To honor those killed by faith fanatics, Ground Zero and its immediate vicinity should be kept free of any newly constructed house of worship — of any religion.

There’s a lot wrong with those paragraphs. To say that any religion whatsoever is an “affront” to the victims of 9/11 is grossly exaggerated. And it seems like a very fine line between supporting the free exercise of religion while opposing any house of worship being built in that region.

CFI says it’s inappropriate to build houses of worship “in the area immediately around Ground Zero.” So at what point is it appropriate? After a three block radius? A mile? Is there a difference between placing a church or mosque a few feet before or after that magical boundary line?

What about all the churches and synagogues already in the region?

(Would a CFI office in that vicinity be ok? I wonder…)

What about areas in which Christian terrorists did something horrible? Would CFI support the right for a synagogue to be built anywhere near the area where Dr. George Tiller was killed by a Christian extremist?

CFI could’ve easily said they oppose religious thinking that places faith above reason without opposing Park51 in particular and leave it at that. They could’ve also could have done more to say they support the right of people to build religious houses, while still wishing none were built anywhere in the country.

But what was offered in the press release is confusing and makes it sound like CFI is going against its own values.

Orac vents his frustration while still wanting to support CFI overall:

… This press release is bad enough to make me seriously reconsider whether I still wish to continue my membership in CFI or be affiliated with the national organization in any way. (I like the local organization and am sorry to see it tarred with this nonsense from the mothership.) I will wait until my anger resolves before making a decision. It may take some time, though, because this press release really did infuriate me, all the more so because it is a betrayal of the commitment to reason and critical thinking that CFI stands for. I joined CFI because I respected its commitment to critical thinking and promoting reason and secular values, admired its work, and wanted to be a part of it, even if only with financial support.

***Update***: It seems that CFI will soon be issuing a revised press release.

***Update 2***: Here’s is the revised press release:

CFI fully supports the free exercise of religion; protecting the rights of believers and nonbelievers is central to CFI’s mission. Accordingly, CFI endorses President Obama’s recent statement reminding the country that Muslim Americans enjoy the same rights as other Americans and should not be treated as second-class citizens. There should be no legal impediment to the placement of an Islamic community center near Ground Zero, just as there should be no legal impediment to the placement of a church, temple, or synagogue near Ground Zero.

Further, CFI laments the effort by some to turn the proposed Islamic center into a political issue. Government officials and candidates for office should not intervene in disputes over the alleged offensiveness of a place of worship. Such conduct violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the Establishment Clause. Government officials should not be deciding who is a “moderate” Muslim any more than they should be deciding who is a “moderate” Christian or Jew.

A number of private individuals have protested the proposed Islamic center. The tone and substance of these protests covers a wide range. Some protesting the Islamic center have raised legitimate questions, but to the extent the objections to the Islamic center mistakenly equate all Muslims with Muslim extremists, CFI condemns them.

CFI maintains that an Islamic center, including a mosque, near Ground Zero, in and of itself, is no different than a church, temple, or synagogue. It is undeniable that the 9/11 terrorists were inspired by their understanding of Islam, and that currently there are far more Islamic terrorists in the world than terrorists of other faiths, but those facts are not relevant to the location of the Islamic center, absent evidence that terrorists are involved in this endeavor, and there is no such evidence.

CFI’s unequivocal support for the legal right of Muslims to place a community center near Ground Zero does not imply that CFI views the new center as an event to be celebrated. To the contrary, CFI is committed to the position that reason and science, not faith, are needed to address and resolve humanity’s problems. All religions share a fundamental flaw: they reflect a mistaken understanding of reality. On balance, CFI does not consider houses of worship to be beneficial to humanity, whether they are built at Ground Zero or elsewhere. [Hemant says: emphasis here is mine.]

This statement supersedes any prior statement issued by CFI regarding the Ground Zero controversy.

I think this is a far better statement than before. That said, I have no idea what the purpose of it is, other than to make amends for the confusing/harmful-to-itself release that was put out a couple days ago. That aside, what’s the point of it?

The same press release could just as easily been written like this:

We at CFI will not be celebrating the building of Park51.

That is all.

Meanwhile, Pat Condell still seems over the top on the whole issue:



  • Brittany

    It’s not like a joke or anything? I took it as being snarky, but if they’re being serious, it’s a bit ridiculous.

  • bob

    I thought it was tongue and cheek as well. I assumed that they were making the point that it is just as ridiculous to blame all Muslims for the actions of a few as it is to blame all Religions.

  • muggle

    Well, I just lost a lot of the tremendous respect I had for Pat Condell. What a shame. Uh, yeah, Pat, the first amendment applies to everyone. And, no, I don’t know it’s true. Since when have you ever resorted to that kind of lame non-argument to wrap up your You Tube speeches before? Could it be because this one had no basis in fact or sound reasoning?

    I’ve scorned CFI years ago. They are biased and bigoted and when I found that out I never renewed my one-year membership. So I must say this really does not surprise me on their part. Not one iota.

    But it pisses me off. Because now all the theists are going to point to them to say this is how all Atheists are and they most decidely are not me.

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    Thank you Mr. Condell – an atheist who doesn’t seek suicidal destruction of Western civilization.

  • Claudia

    This whole non-issue has brought me more disappointment from people I respect than any in a long while. The first CFI statement is unbelievable, though I’m glad to see they revised it. My hope is that they felt the blowback from the community in response to the first statement and quickly walked it back. The second statement is perfectly legitimate, but I simply think that if that’s all they have to say they should have stayed out of this mess.

    As for Pat, he’s been losing it for a while. I’m still subbed to him, but his paranoia is becoming tiresome. It’s deeply ironic to see a member of a small, despised religious minority viciously stereotyping and going after a different religious minority. I’m no fan of Islam, but this kind of frothing at the mouth strikes me as totally counter-productive.

  • JD

    Is there a map of of all the strip joints, “gentlemen’s clubs”, adult stores and other ports of sin and debauchery near the WTC? That might be a good antidote to all this “hallowed ground” poppycock that pops up.

    All this might not have been an issue if Gov. Pataki didn’t make a mockery of the rebuilding project, we might have had a finished building by now if he didn’t try to make it a project to prop up a presidential bid.

  • JD

    Watching that video, I don’t know, it seems like several points are twisted to suit his aims.

    I saw a video where George Bush praised Islam and said that he wasn’t fighting Islam, just the militant extremists, nobody called him a Muslim. Several founding fathers of the US also praised Islam as well, are they Muslims? I think much of the conservative reaction is more about scoring political points than sober reasoning.

  • ihedenius

    Here is Hitchens take on the issue (Slate aug 23). He doesn’t oppose it, its a first amendment right, but points out the odiousness of Iman Rauf who for instance support the Islamic dictatorship in Iran. I like Hitchens take on it.
    http://www.slate.com/id/2264770/

  • littlejohn

    According to a conservative FB friend of mine, this video is circulating among the Teabaggers to show how even atheists hate the “Ground Zero ‘Mosque’.”
    I think that Condell, as a Brit, doesn’t understand how he’s being used by people here in the States that he wouldn’t even allow in his house.
    It’s a shame.

  • ASD

    I still say that a nice memorial park should be put at Ground Zero. Nobody can be offended, unless there’s some jerk who is offended by plants.
    And it will make the city look nicer too. Parks make any city look better.

  • SeekerLancer

    Pat is entitled to his opinion and I happen to seriously disagree with him on the issue here. I think he’s a bit misinformed and allowing his own emotions about Islam to seep into his judgment.

    The fact of the matter is it’s not up to me, or Pat, or anyone else to decide if a religion can build a place of worship on their own private property or not and it doesn’t matter who it upsets.

  • http://assohum.org/ Yanik Crépeau

    Thank you for this. I feel outraged by the Paul Condell’s comments. This is a sad display of intolerance and prejudice. We don’t know what are the deep motives behind this project. We can not assume bad intents and hidden agenda simply because some extremists somewhere in the world will brag about this with triumphalism. That would make innocent people guilty by association. Such a bigotry is unacceptable.

  • Ben

    I happen to agree with Pat Condell. Islam is a religion of hate and violence. It’s extremely dangerous to Western values and American values. I do fear the day when we can’t speak negatively of it without being branded as an “Islamophobic” / Racist. Oh, wait.

    As if an attack on a religion is an attack on an ethnic group. What a load of shit.

  • alice

    I thought it was tongue and cheek as well. I assumed that they were making the point that it is just as ridiculous to blame all Muslims for the actions of a few as it is to blame all Religions.

    I agree with bob’s take on this;I think (or hope, rather) that this position was only made to point out how absurd this “controversy” is. I don’t have a problem with the center being built or the building of any house of worship; I might not need such a building , but recognize that others do and have the right to.

    Also, like JD I’d love to see a “debauchery map” of the area.

  • rbray18

    never been much for pat myself,and look,he’s turning into a poster boy psa for Phil’s don’t be a dick talk :)

  • Dan W

    Well, that first statement from CFI was crappy. Glad they realized that and revised it.

    Meanwhile, I’ve lost my respect for Pat Condell over this. He doesn’t seem to realize that here in the U.S. we have freedom of religion, which includes letting people build houses of worship even if some don’t like their religion. Pat Condell also has been fooled into believing the right-wing pundits who claim it’s a mosque, when it’s more like the Muslim version of a YMCA. And he appears to think that all Muslims are just like the ones who were responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He’s acting like an idiot about this whole thing.

  • ManaCostly

    Yeah, show me the moderates that disagree with the extremists…

    Oh snap!

  • http://yetanotheratheist.net Yet Another Atheist

    I’m frankly ashamed to have Pat Condell as a fellow atheist. As atheists we generally should ignore hollow emotional arguments, which Condell has apparently given into above. He is absolutely wrong on this issue.

  • qwertyuiop

    I don’t see how anyone can disagree with what Mr. Condell said about Obama’s speech. Such a speech is completely idiotic considering the kind of news that comes out of Islamic countries on a daily basis.

    Also, his last statement, that if something was directed against Islam, it would never move forward.

    Respect and tolerance should go both ways, but as it stands now, Islam receives tolerance and respect, but gives absolutely none.

    Oh, and as for freedom of religion, as far as Islam is concerned, there can be no other religion, therefore it undermines freedom of religion. Just thought I’d point that out.

    Time for Americans to wake up, methinks.

  • rbray18

    um qwertyuiop,what about oh say Christianity?which is bout yay close to Muslim any given Sunday far as intolerance for other religions go.are you against the churches near ground zero?or near schools for that matter?or hell anywhere near america Africa Europe,middle east so on? do you or condell demand churches to be demolished and a banned placed on anymore being built?

  • bigjohn756

    I think that Condell is absolutely correct. His invective is too strong, but his analysis is spot on. Of course, the Muslims have a legal right to build anywhere they want, but their motive in building at Park51 is clearly intended to rub our noses in it. If this were not the case then they would build someplace else after the outcry that has occurred even though the outcry is bigoted and uncalled for.

  • Rob

    That video of Pat is at least a month and a half old. It was made long before the facts about the Islamic community center were made commonly available. Remember, is was first reported to be a Mosque at ground zero to be opened on 9/11. None of which is actually true. I think he was as much of a victim of misinformation as the rest of us, myself included. He also is an eyewitness to the damage being caused by over sensitivity to Islam. He has a very different perspective than we do. Britain has a higher percentage of Muslims per ca pita than the US. By proximity alone, it is much easier for Muslims to enter Britain than the US. So, the aforementioned danger to him is very real. Pat is British and therefore shouldn’t be expected to fully understand the law in the US. No more than I should fully understand British law. Would it have been prudent of him to delay comment of not comment at all? Probably. He obviously felt that there was some urgency in warning the citizens of the US of the dangers he had witnessed first hand. I’m going to chalk this up to misinformation. I’ve seen most of Pats’ videos and he has always been very sound in judgement and spot on in his critics. Lets see what he posts for a follow up before condemning him altogether.

  • Neon Genesis

    On the bright side, the Freedom From Religion Foundation supports the community center: http://ffrf.org/news/releases/islamic-center-not-a-state-church-violation/

  • JD

    I do fear the day when we can’t speak negatively of it without being branded as an “Islamophobic” / Racist. Oh, wait.

    Ben, I don’t agree, I think you have it seriously backwards.

    What those words really say is that you want the right to say anything you want, but think that other people do not have the right to say they disagree with your comments. That’s called special pleading.

    What you really should fear is a day when people aren’t legally allowed speak about their disagreements.

  • Claudia

    @Rob, you’re mistaken. Pat’s video was posted just yesterday, and it is his second video on the subject. Though he could possibly be excused as merely ignorant the first time around, this last one is inexcusable, given the abundance of information around.

    Pat is an extremist, and very much an Islamophobe. Not every concern about Islam is illegitimate Islamophobia, but that doesn’t render every concern about Islam legitimate and not prejudiced either. No amount of factual refutation will move Pat on this subject. He is beyond reasoning with, unfortunately.

  • Miko

    I still disagree with their updated statement. Before the project became a stupid media circus, I wouldn’t really have cared one way or the other. But now, if we’re able to come together and build this community center despite some of the most irrational and mean-spirited opposition that I’ve ever seen to anything, I’d say that that is definitely a worthy cause for celebration.

  • http://vancouvermoose.livejournal.com/ VancouverMoose

    “CFI laments the effort by some to turn the proposed Islamic center into a political issue.”

    It is a political issue overflowing with propaganda. CFI is just using the same propaganda techniques that other organizations are using.

    Which is good! Fight fire with fire. Confront christianists with their own arguments.

    The timing of CFI’s statement is quite good. If they had released their statement a month ago, then they would be included in the “some” who have turned this into a political issue.

  • sailor

    “I happen to agree with Pat Condell. Islam is a religion of hate and violence.”

    I think you need to study the situation a bit more. You have been fed by the main stream media which gives far from thorough analysis.

    Try reading Morten’s books http://www.gregmortenson.com/
    He has built many GIRL’S schools at the behest of local Muslim communities – not exactly the woman-hating stuff we have been led to believe.

    Much of the horrific stuff that gets plastered on the net and news about Islam is true, but it is the work of dictatorial religious leaders who use extreme religious violence as a means of oppressing the populations under their control.

    Keep in mind several dozen innocent Muslims died in 9/11. They were victims just as much as all the others. They were Americans, they were attacked also. This idea that this center is an “in-your-face” boasting about 9/11 really does not make sense.

    But even if it did, should you really jump to attention and behave just as such people would want you to behave? Would it not be better to stand up for freedom of religion. After all religion has to be practiced within the law of the land. This center is not being put up by the people who bought you 9/11, any more than you local vicar is responsible for killing abortion doctors.

  • Defiantnonbeliever

    I thought the map showing all the churches in the vicinity of the WTC was useful for perspective, and so a community center would be little more out of line. Overall I’d have to go with the basic sentiment in this quote from Richard Dawkins.

    “My respect for the Abrahamic religions went up in the smoke and choking dust of September 11th. The last vestige of respect for the taboo disappeared as I watched the ‘Day of Prayer’ in Washington Cathedral, where people of mutually incompatible faiths united in homage to the very force that caused the problem in the first place: religion. It is time for people of intellect, as opposed to people of faith, to stand up and say ‘Enough!’ Let our tribute to the dead be a new resolve: to respect people for what they individually think, rather than respect groups for what they were collectively brought up to believe.” ~Richard Dawkins

    Can all faith based buildings and groups be barred from Manhattan island, I’m not sure how, but I like Dawkins see the fake solidarity of faith groups as stupid since the rabid type displayed by stabbings and other violence as more illustrative?

  • http://twitter.com/achura Rooker

    Very good CFI, hopefully now you understand why you don’t grab onto the coattails of an emotionally-charged controversy to ride the publicity like an attention whore. Both of those statements are absurd, unnecessary and added absolutely nothing but more stupidity to the issue.

    As for Condell, I started to watch that video last night but had to stop about halfway through when I realized he was reading a script that might as well have been written by Fox News. Then I unsubscribed from his YT channel because I can’t deal with his vitriol anymore.

    Some people are atheists because they believe it makes more sense than the alternatives. Some people are atheists because they hate the religious. Pat Condell seems to be the latter.

  • Militant Atheist

    Mehta,

    there is a difference between 9/11, the nation’s biggest terrorist attack, and Dr. George Tiller’s murder. It is completely fine to build a church near Tiller’s place of murder or even a Mosque near the site of the Fort Hood shooting. Both the aforementioned examples were not terrorist attacks. They were shootings done by religious fanatics, no different from myriad other shootings which have happened each year.

    9/11 is strikingly different. It’s a terrotist attack — the biggest on the nation. It does evoke stronger feelings for people. The proposed mosque is a symbol of conquest for Muslims. Pat Condell is right.

  • Militant Atheist

    @JD,

    There is a reason why Bush wasn’t called a Muslim. For one, he had no Islamic background (that is, none in his lineage). Two, he was the son of a well known fundamentalist Christian president, Bush 41. Three, he was a southern Anglo Saxon white Protestant. That’s enough to expel any doubts regarding his faith.

    Obama stands out. His dad was a Muslim; Obama was raised in the most populous Islamic nation, Indonesia; he went to the middle east, giving speeches quoting the Quran. Plus, he is the least church-going president since…Lincoln?

    Lincoln was called a Catholic. Obama is now called a Muslim.

  • Jonesey

    I’m pretty fond of our Constitution. Even if everything he said about the Muslims behind this project is true, I see no reason to abandon the Constitution over it. It’s really a no-exceptions kinda deal. However, if they ever tried to install Sharia courts here, I’d fight that tooth and nail–and for the same reason.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    I want the world to be free of all religion.

    Unfortunately my opinion counts only for me so there is nothing that gives me the right to impose that view on anyone else. I also want my views to be heard and I want the right to express them. I must extend that same right to others if I expect them to allow it of me. That means that I must support the right of free religious expression even though I believe that religion is by and large dangerous and wicked. To do otherwise gives licence to those who would silence me and those who hold similar views.

  • Neon Genesis

    “9/11 is strikingly different. It’s a terrotist attack — the biggest on the nation. It does evoke stronger feelings for people. The proposed mosque is a symbol of conquest for Muslims. Pat Condell is right.”

    Should non-believers be banned from forming organizations in Oklahoma City because Timothy McVeigh was an agnostic?

  • Claudia

    His dad was a Muslim;

    No, his dad was an atheist. In any case this is totally irrelevant since his father left him when he was 2 years old and he was raised by his mother and grandparents, who were nominally Christian but effectively secular. He had a nonreligious upbringing.

    Obama was raised in the most populous Islamic nation, Indonesia;

    No, he spent 4 years there as a child. from the ages of 6 to 10. Though that’s long enough to be influenced by the culture, he went to a largely secular school and you could hardly say he was “raised” there.

    he went to the middle east, giving speeches quoting the Quran.

    Yes, very suspicious.

    Plus, he is the least church-going president since…Lincoln?

    And your source for this is….? I double dare you to come up with a scholarly document tracking the statistics on church going for even the past 10 presidents, let alone every one since Lincoln. No, that phrase came straight out of where the sun don’t shine, believed because it fits a preconcieved narrative. Besides, even if it were true, how in the hell does this indicate Muslim faith?

    If anything, his life history and parents indicate a decidedly nonbeliever influence. I guess we should be grateful that they decided to make Muslims the boogeymen, or we’d be hearing vicious lies told about us atheists and how the president was a secret atheist (i.e evil person).

  • Pingback: Don’t oppose the “mosque”, oppose islam | Thinking Critically

  • Andrew Morgan

    I’m still stunned, not over other atheists’ opinions here, but over how poor some of this thinking is.

    First of all, the fake question of “How far is far enough” is a red herring. Just because an easy line can’t be drawn between “too close” and “far enough” doesn’t mean the concept of “too close” doesn’t exist.

    Second, the fact that there are pre-existing religious structures in the neighborhood means nothing. That something stupid may have been done in the past doesn’t justify it in the future.

    I’m surprised anyone even considers these two arguments to carry any weight.

    Third, what’s so wrong about saying “We don’t think this is a good idea, but we support their right?” Since when is it bigotry to have the nuanced opinion of “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it?”

    What about areas in which Christian terrorists did something horrible? Would CFI support the right for a synagogue to be built anywhere near the area where Dr. George Tiller was killed by a Christian extremist?

    Um…honestly, what the fuck does that even mean or have to do with anything? I’m guessing they probably would support it, given that they fucking support the mosque/Park51.

    Really. I’m mystified as to what’s going through your heads. I just don’t get it at all. Here’s an organization that has the clarity of thought to both 1) criticize the decision thoughtfully and 2) support it anyway, and all you people can do is get your panties in a bunch?

    What the hell is happening here?

  • Josha

    I am confused by people’s characterizations of Muslims. They are a diverse people from many different nations and ethnicities who have different relationships with their faith. I don’t respect faith and I have a great many issues with religion and Islam, but I still unequivocally support someones right to believe whatever the hell they want. I live in a Muslim community abroad and my friends are not hate-filled or disrespectful to those of different faiths and even though they have issues with the US, they do not support terrorism in any form and are just as disgusted as we are by those who carried out the terrorist acts on 9/11.

  • muggle

    they would build someplace else after the outcry that has occurred even though the outcry is bigoted and uncalled for.

    You mean just like those uppity blacks who weren’t content to ride on the back of the bus? Or how about all those Atheists having the gall to complain when some teacher makes their kid pray in public school?

    if we’re able to come together and build this community center despite some of the most irrational and mean-spirited opposition that I’ve ever seen to anything, I’d say that that is definitely a worthy cause for celebration.

    Definitely. And something to mourn if it’s stopped.

    I want the world to be free of all religion.

    Unfortunately my opinion counts only for me so there is nothing that gives me the right to impose that view on anyone else. I also want my views to be heard and I want the right to express them. I must extend that same right to others if I expect them to allow it of me. That means that I must support the right of free religious expression even though I believe that religion is by and large dangerous and wicked. To do otherwise gives licence to those who would silence me and those who hold similar views.

    Applauding that. This is why I look forward to your comments, hoverfrog. You cut through the crap quite nicely.

  • jose

    I’ve read several times that there is an actual mosque near ground zero right now. Is that true? Could you point it on the map?

  • Claudia

    I’ve read several times that there is an actual mosque near ground zero right now. Is that true? Could you point it on the map?

    Yes, it’s the Masjid Manhattan, in operation since 1970. It’s just out of the range of the map, one block up from the proposed community center, on 20 Warren St.

  • jose

    Thank you Claudia!

  • ATL-Apostate

    Sorry Hemant, but I agree with everything Pat Condell said. Islam is the most vile, debased religion on the face of the earth.

  • Ben

    @JD….no, I think you’re mistaken about what I said or I didn’t make myself more clear. I was referring to the unmistakable predictability of the “PC Left” to wildly throw around “Islamophobe” & “racist” whenever anyone disagrees with them about this subject. I’m interested when people disagree with me & reevaluate when it’s necessary.

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com CycleNinja

    Pat Condell is turning into a joke. We need firebrands, but not bigots. It’s clear he’s of the latter stripe.

    I agree with Hemant’s point about a line of demarcation: There isn’t anywhere in America that one could build a mosque that a bigot wouldn’t find too close to Ground Zero.

    And here’s my question: When are we going to see something go up ON ground zero? That crater has been there for 9 years. We need to heal that scar, for goodness sake.

  • sailor

    For all those who seem to think there is something terrible about Mulsims. You all seem to be very bigoted. May I suggest you try meeting some real life Muslims and get to know them a little. Most you will find love the US, and one reason they love it is because they are freer than they would be in some theocracy, from whence many of their families came.

  • http://secularshawshank.wordpress.com Andy

    Is there a coherent definition of “Islamophobia”?

    I don’t agree with Condell on this, for the record. Not at all. But I wonder whether there’s a distinction to be made between Islamophobia (whatever that entails)and and simply being generally opposed to the religion of Islam. Pat’s obviously opposed. But that isn’t phobic, in the strict sense. I’ve been called an Islamophobe for daring to state in polite company that I was somewhat alarmed by the skewed morality of some Islamic teachings, especially those regarding the autonomy of women. Having that word hurled at me felt icky, and I sensed that part of what the person meant to imply was that I was somehow racist. As much as I think Pat’s off-base here, I haven’t seen evidence that his posture toward Islam is motivated or exacerbated by race. (Note: I say I haven’t seen such evidence; if it exists, then I’m obviously mistaken.)

  • sailor

    “I was somewhat alarmed by the skewed morality of some Islamic teachings, especially those regarding the autonomy of women.”

    I wonder if you have ever studied the bible, and how women are to be treated? Also slavery?

    These religions dated back to time when humans thought very differently. Some in both religions are either in those times or would like to be. Others have moved on. Christianity has many of different flavors from Quakerism to Orthodox. Islam is no different.

  • muggle

    Islamophobia is more akin to being anti-Semetic than racist. Assuming all Muslims are extremists. I think Pat’s displaying that assumption.

    Both the Koran and the Bible teach horrible things. Let’s be glad that there are those willing to pick and choose what they follow out of those vile books. Do we really want to discourage such picking and choosing? Do we really want all theists to be extremists?

  • http://blog.bluebec.com Rebecca

    It is undeniable that the 9/11 terrorists were inspired by their understanding of Islam, and that currently there are far more Islamic terrorists in the world than terrorists of other faiths

    Citation needed.

  • ATL-Apostate

    Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s “Nomad.”

    Islam, in it’s current form, in all stripes, is an enemy to Western civilization. Condell is right.


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