ISIS vs. Islam

ISIS Cartoon Dan McClellan

Daniel McClellan made the cartoon above, and I wanted to make sure more people see it. He makes the same points that are made in multiple other places around the web, but less succinctly. For instance, Mark Jurgensmeyer writes:

ISIS has not been doing well these days. On the day before the attacks the strategic town of Sinjar has been retaken by Kurdish and Yazidi forces, cutting off the ISIS supply line between their main town in Syria, Rakka, and Mosul, their largest conquest in Iraq. The amount of territory controlled by ISIS has shrunk considerably in recent months.

They are also not as attractive to young Muslims activists as they used to be. Two of their most famous recruits, notorious around the world for beheading ISIS captives, have themselves been killed by target strikes. The number of young people volunteering to join the ISIS forces have dwindled and scores, perhaps hundreds, have been trying to return home, weary of being used as cannon fodder. ISIS, it appears, is on a downward slide.

But perhaps this is precisely what explains the Paris attacks. ISIS is desperate. It needs a victory, a vivid show of force to bolster the morale of its supporters, attract new volunteers, and with luck, intimidate its foes.

The attacks in Paris may have been calculated to achieve all of these goals. Moreover, if its actions could goad the French and other Western powers into further military action against them, this would fit perfectly into the image of the Western Crusaders waging war against the forces of Islam. No matter that the Islamic forces of ISIS are terrorists and despised by most Muslims around the world, to their supporters and potential volunteers, they are able to project an image of Muslim resiliency if Western forces do in fact become more militarily engaged in Syria and Iraq.

And Giles Fraser writes,

“How do we stop young Muslims becoming radicalised?” is the question we now continually ask. But it’s a deeply misleading question because it points us in the wrong direction. Why? Because it contains a hidden assumption that it is radical ideas, specifically Islamic theological ideas, that are the root cause of turning a young lad from West Yorkshire into an Isis suicide bomber in Iraq. According to the radicalisation hypothesis, it’s conservative Islam and the dangerous ideas contained in the Qur’an that motivate murderous behaviour.

To me this is about as convincing as arguing that the murderous bits of the Bible were responsible for the brutality of the IRA. For many of the young people who have been persuaded to go off and fight in Syria and Iraq have hardly got past the first chapter of Islam for Dummies. They often know next to nothing about the Qur’an and are about as motivated by reading the few passages they have as the average republican terrorist was motivated by Saul’s genocidal destruction of the Amalekites in the first book of Samuel. Yes, the language of violent jihad may borrow its vocabulary from Islamic theology – it’s a useful marker of shared identity – but root motivation is as it always is: politics. The IRA weren’t Bible-believing Catholics, they were mostly staunch atheists. Catholicism was simply a marker of who counted as “one of us”. And the same is true of Islamic terrorism.

The visual depiction below of the number of Muslims worldwide, compared to the number of terrorists, also makes an important point, perhaps even more clearly than the #notinmyname hashtag is able to:

Muslims vs terrorists

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  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    “The amount of territory controlled by ISIS has shrunk considerably in recent months.”

    -In Iraq, clearly. In Syria, not at all; in fact, it has grown. The IS isn’t desperate; it’s thriving.

    Also, those dots should have circles drawn around them indicating the extent of their rule. And that picture does look scary. Warriors are fish that swim among the people.

    And last time I heard, the IRA didn’t call itself the “Catholic army”. Clearly, religious ideas matter in the case of fundamentalist Islamic movements. The idea that most IS soldiers are atheists is so contrary to the truth that I can only conclude no word of this author is to be taken seriously.

    So both these quotes are dead wrong.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      So you would accept that the Orange Volunteers (because the Orange Order is a Protestant organization) were motivated by Protestantism and tell us something about Protestantism itself, correct?

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        Sure.

    • Andrew Dowling

      It has been a net decrease. To call a shadow government controlling some towns and cities amidst a completely chaotic civil war “thriving” is humorous . . most of ISIS’s “territory” is uninhabited desert.

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        The IS still controls the second-largest city in Iraq and most of Syria and is at zero risk of losing it. I’d say that’s “thriving”.

        • Nick Gotts

          Try to keep up! The Assad regime, with Russian air support has just retaken two strategically important towns in western Iraq from Daesh. The latter seem to be doing their best to unify the world against them. This may even be deliberate: their ideology includes the belief that Muslims should not live among non-Muslims*, and according to some reports, that an invasion of Syria by “Rome” will culminate in a final battle near the town of Dabiq, at which Issa (i.e., Jesus) will descend to scatter the forces of evil. Until recently, Daesh have flourished because everyone except the Kurds gave priority to defeating some other enemy (ordinary Iraqi Sunnis in the case of the Iraqi Shia militia, the Assad regime in the case of the west and the Arab monarchies, Kurdish fighters in the case of Turkey, western and Saudi-backed rebels in the case of the Assad regime and its allies). Daesh are certainly by no means finished, but they are undoubtedly on the back foot in their home territories.

          *Now, where else have I been hearing that sentiment recently?

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            Western Syria, not Iraq. And those towns were captured by IS after the Russian airstrikes began, so restoring them to Syrian government control isn’t something to clap about. And, in any case, what I said was true when I wrote my comment.

            And it’s not just “the Kurds”, it’s the Syrian Kurds. The Iraqi Kurds hadn’t been doing much taking back of territory against the IS before a few weeks ago.

            And, indeed, I am impressed by how much the Syrian Kurds (allied with Syrian rebels) have accomplished in the past few weeks in Hasakah. In terms of raw territory, it’s more than the SAA has in the same time. Presumably, this is due to the entrance of U.S. military advisers into the war. Presumably, this is another save-Kobani sort of thing.

          • Nick Gotts

            I didn’t say restoring the towns to the Assad regime was something to clap about; I said it happened. Your claim was that:

            The IS still controls the second-largest city in Iraq and most of Syria and is at zero risk of losing it.

            Obviously, they are – and were, when you wrote your comment – at non-zero risk of losing parts of Syria that they then controlled, since they have now done so.

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            They’re still at zero risk of losing most of Syria, which is what I wrote.

          • Nick Gotts

            If you’ve lost some of what you hold, in an ongoing war, then clearly you are not at zero risk of losing more of it, or indeed all of it. Particularly if you appear to be doing your best to unify the world against you.

  • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

    In attempting to de-stigmatize Muslims and their motivations, Giles Fraser simply trades one mindless stereotype for anther. He says:

    “The IRA weren’t Bible-believing Catholics, they were mostly staunch atheists.”

    Baloney! One IRA faction out of many – the self-titled “Official Irish Republican Army” (no other IRA faction considered them “official”) – incorporated some Marxist ideology, which hardly makes even this one faction “mostly staunch atheists”.

    • Andrew Dowling

      I was going to raise this up . . .most of the Provos were definitely Catholic.

    • Nick Gotts

      “Bible-believing Catholics” is slightly odd terminology in any case; certainly Catholics value (their version of) the Bible, but they don’t generally give it the kind of prominence many Protestants do.

  • Chappie

    Differences in religion, per Terror Management Theory, motivate aggression in an effort to ameliorate mortality salience.

    J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Mar;74(3):590-605.
    Terror management and aggression: evidence that mortality salience motivates aggression against worldview-threatening others.
    McGregor HA1 Lieberman JD, Greenberg J, Solomon S, Arndt J, Simon L, Pyszczynski T.

    The hypothesis that mortality salience (MS) motivates aggression against worldview-threatening others was tested in 4 studies. In Study 1, the experimenters induced participants to write about either their own death or a control topic, presented them with a target who either disparaged their political views or did not, and gave them the opportunity to choose the amount of hot sauce the target would have to consume. As predicted, MS participants allocated a particularly large amount of hot sauce to the worldview-threatening target. In Studies 2 and 3, the authors found that following MS induction, the opportunity to express a negative attitude toward the critical target eliminated aggression and the opportunity to aggress against the target eliminated derogation. This suggests that derogation and aggression are two alternative modes of responding to MS that serve the same psychological function. Finally, Study 4 showed that MS did not encourage aggression against a person who allocated unpleasant juice to the participant, supporting the specificity of MS-induced aggression to worldview-threatening others.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9523407

  • Michael Wilson

    I am skeptical these days of people that reassure us that ISIS is on the run, as they have consistently underestimated this group since the beginning. Every attack and conquest is supposed to be a sign their done for.

    On the theory that they hope for an over reaction, that’s reasonable, hey could hope to squeeze France’s unhappy Muslims a bit more, to make them choose between liberal Islam, apostasy in their minds, or war. But was this the reason for the bombing in Beruit, Sinai, or their reported interest in attacking Iran? I think it is not all social upheaval they want, but the hope to deter foreign attackers and reassur the home team they won’t take foreign interference without a fight.

    I don’t think the issue is a lack of foreighn intervention but a lack of it. ISIS won’t be defeated by their barbarity and backwardness unless some one challenges them. The locals are not doing great. Rather than another round of assurances that this will go away on its own, we should think about what we can do to make it happen and stop it from continuing. Because at first people said, well it’s just Al Queda and the Taliban but now we have them plus Boko Haran and ISIS among others. And we are always told that their interest is only local, not ideological but material, until they figure out away to strike at their ideological foes abroad. Sure, 120 people is a bad night in Chicago but if nothing is done and this becomes the new normal how well will civil life hold up? How much security are we willing to tolerate to spare us from tackling the root causes?

    On those too causes, I disagree with the above on belittling ideology and theology. Should we deny the role of Nazi ideology on convincing Germans to pursue war and ethnic cleansing? Should we not look at ideology for American racist terrorist? People can be poor and alienated but ideology turns them into an army. The ignorance of the recruits is irrelevant. These young Jihadis don’t bliw them selves up for fun or material gain, they believe they will reap spiritual rewards. Most Klansmen aren’t bible scholars eithier, and even if you don’t think they represent true Protestantism we cannot deny they think they do, nor should we forget militant Protestantism seen in the wars of Luthers time, English Civil War, and others. As much as we might agree with their theology, they were Protestant and found comfort in scripture promoting war.

    I agree completely that we are not at war with the concept of Islamic religion any more than the Baltic Crusades mean that Catholisism is always at war with pagans, but we are at war with an interpretation, very popular, that Islam can be spread by war, that government must be Islamic.

    • Andrew Dowling

      You seem to be implying that suddenly ISIS has more power now than they had 6 months ago. You couldn’t be more wrong . . .they have less territory and the Kurds are continually encroaching further.

      I do not feel any less safe today than last week and if you feel less safe because of a singular terrorist incident in Paris you have fallen victim to the media fear koolaide.

      “Because at first people said, well it’s just Al Queda and the Taliban but now we have them plus Boko Haran and ISIS among others.”

      Who are “these” people? Do you know how many different factions of Islamist groups that have existed in the past 40 years? The difference is 20 years ago most people didn’t get their news from the Internet and no one gave two sh^&s about what happened in Nigeria (perhaps unfortunately, but it sure does show how the world has shrunk that Americans are acting like an attack in Paris was an attack in New York or DC . . in the 1980s the public reaction would’ve not been at all like this.)

  • Major kangaroo

    The “scholars” wrote the commentary are seem to suffer from several issues. The first being , they believe everything they think ,Second in all likelihood also suffer from Dunning Keurig syndrome . The Third they live an a fantasy world were hashtag social media campaigns are a reflection of real opinions or facts .

    As for Mark Jurgensmeyer who can argue with such a mind reader with the gift of prophecy .?

    Did Giles Fraser consider the possibility the tweets are lies the entire campaign contrive to paint a culture of victimization of muslims by Islam ? A tactic that has been going on for years ?

    But giving Mr. Fraser the benefit of the doubt and assuming the hashtaggers are sincere What does the quran say about it ? It says they have fallen outside the pale of Islam. They are no longer muslims . So are they lying for effect ? Why assume otherwise when their is an actual existential threat involved ?

    Why does he doubt the devotion of muslims to the principle doctrine of Islam ?

    He denigrates the faithful with slurs ignoring the fact that they are infact knowledgeable to what submission to allah means .He ignores that LEO world wide are arresting people who are trying to join the caliphate everyday .

    Concerning Mr Fraser’s doubt as to there being any message that may be the driving force .
    The quran is a plain book not filled with meaningful poetry or allegory or contradictions. Understanding Nashk (abrogation)
    There is no compulsion to accept Islam >>>http://islamqa.info/en/34770<<<&lt;

    The messages to all muslims concerning non muslims is simple .

    “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allaah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allaah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zaalimoon (the polytheists, and wrong-doers)”

    [al-Baqarah 2:193]

    “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allaah), and the religion (worship) will all be for Allaah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allaah), then certainly, Allaah is All-Seer of what they do”

    [al-Anfaal 8:39]

    On should know what fashad (mischief means as well .) From the universally accepted tafsir (exegesis of the quran ) Ibn Kathir

    http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=436

    Fighting the Jews and Christians is legislated because They are Idolators and Disbelievers

    http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2565&Itemid=64

    I try to live my life keeping two simple ideas at the front of my mind that I freely pass on to the authors . Don't believe everything you think and don't hold strong opinions about things your don't understand .

    • Nick Gotts

      Second in all likelihood also suffer from Dunning Keurig syndrome

      It’s “Dunning-Kruger”. Of which you have been giving a magnificent illustration, culminating in this demonstration that you can’t even get its name right!

      • Major kangaroo

        Oh no, It’s definitely a coffee thing .

  • Helmethair

    The pie chart shows us how few people there are ready to kill. But it ignores those Muslims who approve of their actions or are at best indifferent who I suspect number in the 10s of millions if not 100s of millions. It’s like saying there are 300 million Americans and 299 million aren’t involved in the military therefore the US military doesn’t *reaaaally* represent America.

  • Andrew Dowling

    It’s not just politics; it’s also culture. Middle Eastern culture has a huge problem with violence (and to make a comparison, so does much of “Southern” culture in the U.S.), and Islam serves as a cover . . whether that cover reinforces that cultural narrative or more acts as a veneer is a question I’m not prepared to answer definitively, but I do not think it’s a simple yes/no answer.

    Look at the % of Middle Eastern Muslims who see no moral/ethical issue with killing civilians in the name of God; it is significant. An IRA comparison is apt . . .Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland were living in an environment of constant discrimination and vulnerable to random sectarian violence from Unionist paramilitaries. But the civilian population did not tolerate the targeting of civilians, and thus the IRA (usually but not always) made a concerted effort to limit civilian casualties, and the bombings which did kill a number of innocents resulted in a decrease in their support.

    Then look at Muslims from Palestine to Saudi Arabia dancing in the streets when Israeli children are blown up in a bus. The targeting of civilians does not result in decreased support; it’s accepted by a majority of the population. Conservatives foolishly want to broad-stroke a whole population of religious adherents, but many liberals foolishly want to ignore that this is not just a problem with a few extremists but a deep rooted cultural problem shared by many Middle Eastern Islamic countries.

  • Major kangaroo

    If you don’t like ISIS, you don’t like Islam.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      If you don’t likw Westboro Baptist Church, you don’t like Protestantism. If you don’t like the IRA, you don’t like Catholicism. If you don’t like Major Kangaroo (when did you get promoted from Captain?), you don’t like blog commenters.

      • Major kangaroo

        Yeah , get back to me when Catholicism , Protestantism primary doctrine calls for the death of all non members .

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Well, the Hebrew Bible does, at least within the land of Canaan, according to Deuteronomy and Joshua. Quite different from the Qur’an which explicitly prohibits fighting other than in self defense or in a fight to eliminate injustice.

          • Major kangaroo

            The commands for genocide in the OT stood for a certain time a certain place and certain people not open ended .

            Putting aside that What you said about the quran is wrong .9:29,9:5,8:39,2:193. Please see the information provided in my initial post to review the facts again .

            In the Islam Injustice means among other things disbelief in muhhamed being a prophet which is also considered an an act of aggression.
            A forbidden thing .Al munkar not to be tolerated and according to ‘Umdat as-Salik wa ‘Uddat an-Nasik killing is permitted to stop it ,permission of a caliph is not required .

            The call for genocide (based on islamic supremacy and its failure of recognizing freedom of conscience as a basic human right .) in islam is opened ended for all time .

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

            This is simple whitewashing of texts you want to say favorable things about, while refusing to allow a comparable interpretation of texts you have chosen to reject.

          • Major kangaroo

            You are trying to create a false narrative and in doing so have created a complex logical fallacy . What I like to call “A Redstraw herring man agreement “. There in no moral equivalency to be had, nor intellectual relevance to be made .
            You provided no texts to compare and then made claims about my motives in ignoring them .

            There is merely misconceptions and lies about Islam to be cleared up .
            The authors were wrong and your misrepresented the facts about what the quran says .
            I have provided what Islam says.
            You do not have to agree or believe me .
            I provided the source of where to look to satisfy yourself or anyone who chooses to look further .
            In general you seem an affable fellow and are able to express your thoughts without being uncivil ,so that is a plus.

          • John MacDonald

            1 Samuel 15:2-3, God commanded Saul and the Israelites, “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'” God ordered similar things when the Israelites were invading the promised land (Deuteronomy 2:34; 3:6; 20:16-18). God had the Israelites exterminate an entire group of people, women and children included. The problem isn’t that religious texts contain possible models/justifications for violence, it’s when people show a complete lack of moral compass by proof-texting these passages. A religious text can contain all manner of violent nonsense in it – It is the responsibility of the practitioner to sift out the bad stuff.

          • Major kangaroo

            I would call that definitive proof that no moral equivalency exists, as creepy as that is . The quran unequivocally demands individual muslims to fight until disbelief is eradicated and only muslim remain on earth .
            I object and I believe that lying about it doesn’t help . The truth shall set you free .

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

            The Qur’an only “unequivocally” demands that if you make the interpretative move of defining disbelief as a form of injustice, an interpretative move that many Muslims, historically and today, would reject. And even then it could at best be applied to idolaters and not people of the book.

            Lying about Muslims and the Qur’an is indeed inappropriate, as is failing to treat their texts the way you want your own to be treated. It is the Golden Rule, nothing more.

          • Major kangaroo

            I do not have any texts outside of Islam .
            The Qur’an only “unequivocally” demands that if you make the interpretative move of defining disbelief as a form of injustice, an interpretative move that many Muslims, historically and today, would reject.

            Proof ?

            As Islam matured the “people of the book” found themselves on muhammad’s bad side of course .

            As explained here for brevity

            Fighting the Jews and Christians is legislated because They are Idolators and Disbelievers.

            http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2565&Itemid=64

          • Nick Gotts

            As Islam matured the “people of the book” found themselves on muhammad’s bad side of course .

            Oh, right. That’s why so many Jews, and Christian “heretics”, fled to Muslim-ruled lands to escape persecution.

          • Major kangaroo

            I’m interested in reading more about your opinion on this , do you have any specifics you would like to trot out ?

          • Nick Gotts

            As far as Christian “heretics” are concerned, for the most part I would have been more accurate to say they stayed where they were when Islam first conquered large areas, and flourished under Muslim rule, rather than flee to Christian-ruled lands where they faced persecution. Many Nestorian Christians had already fled the Eastern Roman Empire for Sassanian Persia, and remained there after the Arab conquest; others were in Roman-ruled Syria, and stayed there after the conquest. “Monophysite” Christians (I think they don’t care for this term, but it’s how they are normally known in historical texts) were concentrated in Egypt, where many still live – the population of Egypt is around 10% Coptic Christian. Both Nestorians and Monophysites could worship as they wished under Islamic rule, while they could not do so in Christian-ruled states. They, along with Jews and other non-Muslims, were prominent in the 8th-9th century “Translation Movement” which translated works of ancient Greek philosophy, mathematics and science into Arabic, primairly in the House of Wisdom. Throughout Islamic history, Christians, although subject to various restrictions and disadvantages, have been free to worship openly in most Muslim-ruled states; until at least the 18th century, the converse was seldom the case.

            As far as the Jews are concerned, the best-known example is the flight of large numbers of Sephardic Jews to the Ottoman Empire and other Muslim-ruled states following the edict of expulsion of all Jews from Spain, promulgated by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. Many of the ancestors of these Jews had previously moved to Muslim Spain from Christian Europe, as their freedom and opportunities were much greater there. Some Jews also fled to the Ottoman Empire from 19th and early 20th century pogroms in the Russian Empire, although much larger numbers went to Britain, the USA and elsewhere.

          • Major kangaroo

            Did you want to comment on how that early church in Persia fared under Tamerlane ?

          • Nick Gotts

            No, not particularly, since it does not conflict with anything I have said. In particular, I said that Christians have been free to worship in most Muslim ruled states, not in all Muslim ruled states.

            But since you raise the subject, for there to be Christians for Tamerlane to massacre in Persia in the late 14th century, the Christian community there must have survived some seven centuries of Muslim rule. Can you point to any comparable Muslim community that has ever, at any time, survived seven centuries of Christian rule? Did you want to admit that you are wrong, as you undoubtedly are, in your general contention that Islam has historically been more intolerant
            than Christianity?

          • Major kangaroo

            When I was referring to islam maturing, I was referring to the process of muhammad’s thoughts on islam as it when from tolerant of other ideologies to the insistence that all other ideologies be subjugated and destroyed . This process happened with in muhammad’s lifetime .This is pretty clear from the way the statement was written .
            It was you who decided to go off with your tangent .Your first example the Nestorians were not welcomed by muslims they were given refuge by Christians in persia and it ended in obliteration at the hands of muslims after muslim invasion .

            As to the myth of Islamic tolerance, No I’m not wrong.
            Have there been moments of time muslims have acted like human beings , yes, in spite of islam, not because of it .

            The golden age of Islam a lie , the tolerance of jews in morocco a lie .The tolerance of christians and jews in “Andalusia ” a lie .
            All rewrites of history funded by modern petrodollars and reiterated in universities swimming in the same blood money .

            The early histories of muslim rule detailing its brutality are still in existence .What was known and true about islam is still true today .

            I do not call the status of dhimmi that the early church lived under as tolerant or acceptable then or now .

            That any muslims exist is a testament to stupidity, not tolerance.

          • Nick Gotts

            I notice you provide zero evidence for your claims of lies and conspiracy theories. That would be because you can’t. It is simple fact that communities of Jews and Christians, while certainly subject to considerable disadvantages and at times to vicious persecution, were able to survive and worship in most Muslim ruled states. It is also simple fact that Muslims and Muslim-ruled states made considerable contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the early Islamic period. I’m not sure why you put “Andalusia” in scare-quotes. The word denotes a province of Spain. The Islamic name for Spain was al-Andalus, and that name may derive from that of the Vandals, who ruled most of the Iberian peninsula before the Islamic conquest. Evidently you are as ignorant about Spanish history as about pretty much everything else you bloviate about.

          • Major kangaroo

            Please try to conduct your dialogue without the frustration and hostility . There is no need for ad hominem .

            The historic claims Islam makes on science philosophy and math are a result Islam of conquering other cultures claiming their accomplishments for Islam .There was no heliocentric Islamic astronomy ,original math, architecture , medicine or philosophy coming from born muslims. Those “discoveries “were expropriated from conquered Assyrians and Babylonians, Hindus ,Greeks and Copts .Those are knowable facts ,easily obtained .

            A notable exception to history is Islam’s contribution to warfare and tactics. Perhaps the families of the conscripted Janissaries could illuminate Islam’s tolerance .

            Zablon Simintov or Fishel Benkhald could tell you about how how faith’s survive under Islam .Perhaps you could ask one of the 7 remaining jews in Baghdad ,where they had a home for 2,500 years ,now essentially gone because of violence ,those who stay are forbidden to seek brides or converts.

            How exactly is a faith that cannot legally proselytise or reproduce going to survive ?

            Under the rules of dhimmitude conditions of life as a protected person can be well understood .http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/jewish/1772-jewsinislam.asp Rules designed to humiliate and and demoralize non-muslims encouraging them to become muslims while ensuring the other to dies off .

            You may call this survival ,but it is in reality suffocation , genocide. That is is slow and may take some time does not change what it is .

            I am interested in having my ignorance of history alleviated and look forward to learning the names and time periods of the people who survived/suffocated under Islam that you extol for its tolerance .Try to be specific .

            I have to go out of town for a few days, so I won’t be able to respond to your reiteration of myths , but look forward to reading them.
            Thanks for reading my post .

          • Nick Gotts

            Invincibly ignorant bigotry is always frustrating, and I make no apology at all for my hostility to it, particularly when my views are deliberately misrepresented: I do not “extol Islam for its tolerance”; but have demonstrated, by specific examples you have been unable to controvert, that it was less intolerant than Christianity for much of their joint history.

            There was no heliocentric Islamic astronomy ,original math, architecture , medicine or philosophy coming from born muslims.

            This is quite ludicrously false. It is quite true that Arabic science, mathematics, medicine and philosophy (meaning, those activities carried on in the medium of Arabic) built on and began with the work of non-Muslims (how could it have been otherwise?), but “born Muslims” (actually, “raised Muslims” – no-one is born a Muslim, a Christian, or an atheist) soon became prominent – although non-Muslims continued to contribute, which a rational person would see as a positive feature of the culture. If you really wish to amend your ignorance you can start by consulting the wikipedia article on medieval science in the Islamic world, and proceed to the wikipedia articles on specific topics and individuals, and to the other references given. I will just mention a handful of individuals:

            1) ibn al-Haytham (965–1040), also known as Alhazen. Primarily known for achievements in astronomy and optics. Regarded by some as a pioneer of scientific method.

            2) al-Zahrawi (936–1013) an Andalusian surgeon, also known as Abulcasis, who produced a medical Encyclopedia used for centuries in Europe.

            3) Ibn Sena (908–946), known in Europe as Avicenna. Author of a medical text used in Europe until the 17th century, and of original work in physics and geology.

            4) Omar Khayyám (c. 1038/48 in Iran – 1123/24). Best known as a poet, but made advances in the solution of cubic equations, building on the work not only of Greek mathematicians, but earlier mathematicians working in Arabic, such as al-Khwarizmi. While it is true that Arabic mathematics was primarily a matter of synthesis and transmission of Greek and Indian work, it also made significant advances in algebra and trigonometry.

            I have chosen thinkers who were known and highly respected in medieval Europe, where their writings, translated into Latin, played an important part in the development of philosophy, medicine, mathematics and science. Even if work in these fields under Islam had been purely derivative, it would still have had great importance, but modern scholarship, much of it by non-Muslims, shows that this is not the case.

            Perhaps you could ask one of the 7 remaining jews in Baghdad ,where they had a home for 2,500 years ,now essentially gone because of
            violence ,those who stay are forbidden to seek brides or converts.

            I unreservedly condemn the antisemitism now prominent in Arab and other Muslim states, but more that 1200 years of that time was under Islamic rule, which shows again that you are simply reiterating bigoted nonsense, and attempting to distract from the obvious falsity of your wider historical claims.

            You may call this survival ,but it is in reality suffocation, genocide. That is is slow and may take some time does not change what it is .

            More absurd and indeed offensive nonsense. Communities surviving for over a millennium have quite obviously not been subjected to genocide, and you spit in the faces of the victims of actual genocide by claiming that they have.

            I am interested in having my ignorance of history alleviated and look forward to learning the names and time periods of the people who survived/suffocated under Islam that you extol for its tolerance .Try to
            be specific .

            I don’t believe for a moment that you are interested in having your ignorance alleviated, as you could very easily have alleviated it yourself. I have already given speciifc examples, which you have ignored, and now dishonestly pretend I have not supplied. You have even given examples yourself, such as the Jews of Baghdad. There are Christian and other non-Islamic communities in a number of Arab Muslim-ruled states, Jewish, Christian and Zoroastrian communities in Iran. Jews, Christians, Druze, Mandeans, Samaritans, Yazidis and others all lived for centuries in the Ottoman Empire and the Muslim-ruled states that preceded it. Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and others continued to live and worship in the Mughal Empire and other Muslim-ruled Indian states. Now I have little doubt that you will once again pretend that I have not given specific examples.

          • Major kangaroo

            You may as well listed JoJo and Pungmaliny as masters of the modern art movement as list the “islamic thinkers”They are footnotes and sideshow acts . You can read wikipedia yourself to “prove” that .

            We just disagree on what islam’s supremacy policies mean. They are genocidal That it takes some time doesn’t change anything .

            Islam founding documents states everyone is born a muslim.

            As far as your original assertion of Islam’s relative tolerance compared to ” christian States” Well we disagree on that as well based on the fact they were not Christian states following doctrine, nor shariah compliant islamic states there have recently been 2 examples of shariah complaint governments . The Taliban and the Islamic state .Not exactly tolerant .

            Im not a hostage to your logical fallacies and personal attacks .We will forever disagree .

          • John MacDonald

            Ethical Objectivists have to demonstrate there is an objective criteria humans use for determining what is right and wrong. The problem is that there is no such criteria. Different cultures at different times use different criteria. Ours is something like “you know something (like murder) is wrong because you wouldn’t want that done to you.” Judgments of right and wrong are determined “relative” to your culture, your biases and prejudices, your values, your evolutionary history, etc. If you and I had been born in ancient Roman times, we all would probably have an enjoyable day of watching the Christians being fed to the lions in the arena. To us, fundamentalist Islam is “bad,” but they are acting in a perfectly holy manner from their own perspective. In the end, a “mosaic of perspectives” is all there is, not a “melting pot of perspectives, each perspective approximating objective morality.”

          • John MacDonald

            For instance, one of my “prejudices” is that every human life is precious. I don’t even believe in capital punishment. This (my prejudice that every human life is precious) is an emotional response, conditioned by my culture, sentiments, point of view, values, etc. There is no rational basis for this prejudice. Many people, and even entire cultures, would disagree with my point of view.

          • Major kangaroo

            You a fan of the walking dead ?

          • John MacDonald

            I am not sure who you mean by the walking dead. Do you mean the suicidal terrorists? I am an agnostic secular humanist, so I believe religious talk is no different than talk about trolls and goblins. That said, I am horribly offended by the acts of the terrorists. But why should my horror and offence carry any weight? Nobody knows what happens after you die. Maybe the 9’11 terrorists are in paradise right now with their 40 virgins each. I certainly hope not, but no one knows what, if anything, happens after death.

          • Major kangaroo

            It’s a TV show . One of the characters has the same opinion that every life is precious .He currently is holding a homicidal maniac in a cell of sorts endangering dozens of innocent people .It will be interesting to see how it plays out which it will sunday night or next year .

            Here is a bit of back story on Morgan http://variety.com/2015/tv/opinion/walking-dead-heres-not-here-604-eastman-morgan-1201631227/

          • John MacDonald

            “As for committing violence, early Christians shrank from it in horror. Blessed are the peacemakers who turn the other cheek, after all, their savior taught them. Roland Bainton found no sources before the Era of Constantine that countenance Christian participation in warfare. No Christian served in the the Roman army until 173 CE, and Tertullian wrote sternly against military service. Christian thinkers like Athenagoras and Justin Martyr recommended not resisting evil, not defending oneself, not even notifying the police if one was robbed, and happily dying for Christ instead of killing for him.”
            ——- David Eller

          • Major kangaroo

            Agreed ., a society requires unspoken rules like “I wont kill you for what you think or believe” to work .We enjoy freedom of conscience .
            Once enough people are introduced into that society that do not adhere to the unspoken rules the society it falls apart .
            Islam has a rule for everything ,disagreement is forbidden. Islam is the ultimate pissing contest to find out who is the most muslim .There can be only one .