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"[T]he real insult to Islam is not a line from a papal speech or a cartoon about Mohammed. It is the violence, terror, and bloodshed that Islamist fanatics unleash in the name of their religion -- and the unwillingness of most of the world's Muslims [which I read as referring primarily to influential Muslims, not the average Muslim who's not in much of a position to do much -EV] to say or do anything to stop them."

Harry Eagar (mail):
Well, the average Muslim is always in a position to stop being a Muslim, is he not?

You are among the last people I would expect to be making 'good German' exceptions.
9.20.2006 1:52pm
MnZ (mail):
Well, the average Muslim is always in a position to stop being a Muslim, is he not?

Not really. There are plenty official and unofficial "barriers" that stand in their way.
9.20.2006 2:00pm
Steve:
Good point, Harry. After all, if some extremist Christians do terrible things in the name of their religion, we'd expect all moderate Christians to renounce the religion, right?

I'm not sure how much the moderate Muslim leaders can really do to counter the extremists - I mean, these people are effectively following a different religion by the same name, and it's likely impossible to "convert" them - but I've seen a number of speeches in the past several years by moderate Muslim clerics renouncing the extremist ideology and making the case that the religious underpinnings of that ideology are misguided, i.e. the extremists are misinterpreting the Koran.

In addition, of course, a large number of Muslim nations have been very helpful in fighting the war on terror.

I can only speculate as to why comparatively little attention is paid to these sorts of things.
9.20.2006 2:02pm
Mark Field (mail):
It's always curious to me how some people find it so easy to group together people for purposes of demanding that they disavow someone else. What defines a group which requires disavowal? For example, most of the terrorists have been men. Am I, as a man, obliged to disavow them? Some terrorists are American; am I personally at fault for not denouncing them? I'm a San Francisco Giants fan. If another Giants fan does something awful, am I obliged to go public?

I find this particularly disturbing when the "group" consists of people who have little choice but to belong: putting the onus on ethnic groups is particularly offensive, but most people aren't going to change their religion either just because some wacko claims that he too follows it.

Personally, I think individual responsibility is a good thing, collective not so much.
9.20.2006 2:19pm
Gordo:
I knew someone would chastise Eugene for not lumping most if not all of the 1 billion Muslims in the world into the al qaeda camp. And, right on cue, the first commenter did exactly that!
9.20.2006 2:20pm
Gordo:
But back to the main point, I'm sure the irony is lost on those Muslims who respond to the Pope's statement, that a 14th century Byzantine Emperor called Islam a vuikebt religion, with - violence.
9.20.2006 2:22pm
Gordo:
Oops, that's "violent." Finger misplacemnent. By the way, has anyone used code based upon misaligned hands on a keyboard?
9.20.2006 2:23pm
MarkM (mail):
Gordo, I thought it was some Yiddish word I hadn't heard before.
9.20.2006 2:31pm
Norman:
Mark Field,

Your point is a good one, but I wonder whether a distinction could be made between men/American/Giants fans and militant Islamists. For the latter group, their actions are done insofar as they are Muslim and they say that they are acting "in the name of" Islam, as representatives of their religion. For the former group, I don't think it's accurate to say that the man/American/Giants fan are acting in their capacity as man/American/Giants fan, on behalf of all men/Americans/Giants fans.
9.20.2006 2:33pm
Mahlon:
Of course, the "average" Muslim also faces a dilemma: "If I pubicly and vehemently denounce Islamic violence, my misguided and violent Muslim brothers might murder me and my family." Decisions, decisions.

I truly question the ability of anyone other than a Muslim to really understand Muslims. Their entire outlook is so foreign to me (a Christian) that I can't fathom their world view. When someone questions or criticizes Christianity, the Christian fundamentalists pray for the souls of the critics. On the other hand, when someone questions Islam, they die (or are at least threatened with death). How do you understand that?
9.20.2006 2:34pm
Al (mail):
What defines a group which requires disavowal? For example, most of the terrorists have been men. Am I, as a man, obliged to disavow them? Some terrorists are American; am I personally at fault for not denouncing them? I'm a San Francisco Giants fan. If another Giants fan does something awful, am I obliged to go public?

Mark, can we assume, then, that you would have no problem whatsoever with a leader of the pro-life movement who refused to condemn violence against abortion providers?
9.20.2006 2:36pm
Ken Arromdee:
Of course, the "average" Muslim also faces a dilemma: "If I pubicly and vehemently denounce Islamic violence, my misguided and violent Muslim brothers might murder me and my family." Decisions, decisions.

For the peaceful Muslims to be unable to speak against violence reflects as badly on Islam as if they're unwilling, though for different reasons.

If the violent Muslims have enough influence to intimidate other Muslims, then the violent Muslims have enough influence to be a concern to us.
9.20.2006 2:53pm
Mark Field (mail):

I wonder whether a distinction could be made between men/American/Giants fans and militant Islamists. For the latter group, their actions are done insofar as they are Muslim and they say that they are acting "in the name of" Islam, as representatives of their religion.


The problem with this is that any nutcase can claim to act "in the name of" X. Are Christians required to disavow Jerry Falwell or James Dobson (or Daniel Berrigan or William Sloane Coffin)? Should they cease being Christians in protest? There are a billion Christians in the world and lots of them say and do stupid things in the name of religion. I can't see any point in demanding that the average person keep track of them all and issue a statement each time. Their only real responsibility is to reject the wrongful conduct in their own lives.

Same with Americans. George Bush, IMO, does horrible things. While I do denounce them, I'm not sure why that would be considered a requirement. And I really don't see why I'd have to renounce my citizenship in protest.


Mark, can we assume, then, that you would have no problem whatsoever with a leader of the pro-life movement who refused to condemn violence against abortion providers?


Absent other facts, no. Obviously, the smaller the movement, the more voluntary it is, and the closer the nexus between the doer and the speaker, the closer we get to some responsibility to speak up. Using my baseball fan example, I'd expect the owner of the Dodgers to speak out if the general manager made racist comments. I wouldn't expect every Dodgers fan to be held responsible for failing to do so.
9.20.2006 3:05pm
jimbino (mail):
As an Atheist, I find it heartwarming that the Catholics are now suffering murder and mayhem at the hands of the Muslims, who along with the Catholics themselves, have always been at the vanguard of persecuting Infidels. Giodano Bruno is getting his revenge!

I say let the religionists of the world duke it out!
9.20.2006 3:22pm
Norman:

The problem with this is that any nutcase can claim to act "in the name of" X.


Mark,

I agree that we shouldn't be expected to denounce every nutcase who acts "in the name of" X. But I think it's slightly different when you have the prominent leaders of X, political and religious, supporting an outrageous position. (For Islam, there are many religious (probably dozens of imams around the world) and political leaders (eg, Iran, Taliban Afghanistan) supporting the outrageous position of violence. If your leadership is taking your entire organization down an illegal or immoral path, shouldn't you speak up?

Maybe a better way of considering this is to add a few more factors to your "nexus": you proposed that the smaller movement, and the more voluntary it is, the closer we get to a responsibility to speak out. Perhaps add the factor of the more outrageous the statement, the more responsibility to speak out: your Dodger owner wouldn't be expected to speak out if the manager made a snide insult to Giants fans, but he would be expected to speak out if the manager made a snide racist insult. I'm proposing a third factor: the more that the outrageous statement is identified with the general leadership of an organization, the more that the members of the organization should speak out.
9.20.2006 3:41pm
PaddyL (mail):
Ken Arromdee is the first person I am aware of to have identified the primamry objective of radical Islamists when rioting. It is to intimidate and silence all opposition among Muslims. The rioting is a demonstration of power. When we in the West sympathize with or tolerate this criminal misconduct by these monsters, we show weakness that can become terminal.

We cannot win the hearts and minds of these barbarians. But, if we show resolute strength and use force against the effectively, they will fear us. From fear will come respect.

If the public and people or like mind with jimbino knew and understood our Islamic enemies, they would be scared enough to support an effective strategy to overcome them.
9.20.2006 3:43pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Let's agree there are moderate Muslims.

What does a moderate Muslim do wrt the WOT? Moderately oppose it? Moderately support it? Keep his head down until he can see who wins? Strongly supporting the terrorists wouldn't be "moderate" from our point of view. But what about strongly supporting the west in the WOT? Would that be immoderate? Strongly support the west in the WOT but restrained as to techniques?

Anyway, what good are moderate Muslims doing us? The folks in Iraq fighting against the terrorists don't seem to be moderate, considering the shari'a that will be in place shortly.

It is unfortunate that Muslims not in Islamic countries still have to face the real possibility of violence and death at the hands of their home-grown zealot co-religionists.

If the buttheads have so much influence in various ways, then as a practical matter the existence of the moderate Muslim may not be particularly important.
9.20.2006 3:50pm
Adam:
Prof Volokh's editorial comment in the quote below strikes me as wrong.
"...and the unwillingness of most of the world's Muslims [which I read as referring primarily to influential Muslims, not the average Muslim who's not in much of a position to do much -EV] to say or do anything to stop them."


On it's face it's wrong because Jacoby says "most of the world's Muslims" and makes no thoughtful limitation on that phrase like Prof. Volokh has done. And in the context of the article, Prof. Volokh's editorial is also inaccurate. Much of the article is spent describing violence perpetrated by Muslim fanatics who may or may not be influential, and the article specifically references Muslims who "demonstrated outside Westminster Cathedral," hardly conduct for influential people. The article's last paragraph is seeking to lay blame (right or wrong I do not know) on "most of the world's Muslims" for failing to speak out against or do anything to prevent Muslim inspired violence.
9.20.2006 3:53pm
LTEC (mail) (www):
Let me say something that I think many others are too polite to say.

The problem is not merely that most Muslims and almost all Muslim leaders fail to speak out against Islamic extremism. The problem is that most Muslims and almost all Muslim leaders ARE Islamic extremists. They oppose the existence of Israel, they support almost every genocidal, Islamic terrorist group, they support the monsters that are trying to take over Iraq not in order to institute freedom and democracy, but in order to create some horrible form of dictatorship.

How do I know this is true? Listen to the few Muslims who, through their statements, have proven themselves to be truly moderate. Every single one of them that I have read or listened to has said something like the above.
9.20.2006 4:14pm
MnZ (mail):
Let's see:
-Cynical, power hungry leaders
-Toxic loyalty among adherents
-Terror and threats of terror to maintain discipline those within the movement and to cow those outside the movement
-Prepackaged violent responses with prepackaged justifications for them
-Doublespeak and/or farcicial manipulation of the obvious truth

I could go on, but haven't we been here before when we faced Fascism and Communism? How did we prevail against them? Certainly not by being willing to always compromise our values out of fear, a desire for expediency, or a desire to be loved. Certainly not by always seeking to blame ourselves and our civilization for most of the world's ills.

For example, most people in the West (or at least the US) can agree that the freedom of speech is one of our bedrock values. Therefore, we shouldn't be implying that we are willing to curtail it in order to just get along.
9.20.2006 4:14pm
Mark Field (mail):
Norman, I agree with you that the more outrageous the conduct or statement, the greater the need to speak out. I'd still want to evaluate each case on its own and to be careful how I defined the group. For example, Bob Jones says (or used to say) some pretty outrageous things. Should he be considered (a) Christian, (b) Protestant, (c) his own particular sect, (d) American? How do we decide which group he spoke "in the name of"?

I have a similar problem with the complaints about generic Muslims. I don't know enough about the religion or its "organization", but it doesn't seem to be like Catholicism, where the Pope speaks for all. Instead, it's more like Protestantism, where each congregation runs itself. Or maybe some other example is right; I don't know. In any case, unless a worshipper's own imam is the one making the statement, I'm not sure that the relationship is close enough to justify speaking out as a requirement. Obviously, I think that those who do speak out should be honored for doing so.

All this is aside from whether people there ARE speaking out and we just don't read about it. I have no idea whether this is the case, but I suspect Jeff Jacoby doesn't either.
9.20.2006 4:21pm
Bizarro_MnZ (mail):

haven't we been here before when we faced Fascism and Communism? How did we prevail against them? Let's see:
-Cynical, power hungry leaders
-Toxic loyalty among adherents
-Terror and threats of terror to maintain discipline those within the movement and to cow those outside the movement
-Prepackaged violent responses with prepackaged justifications for them
-Doublespeak and/or farcicial manipulation of the obvious truth


9.20.2006 4:24pm
Steve:
I'm glad you made the bracketed addition, Prof. Volokh, if for no other reason than to cause the LGF crowd to come scurrying out into the light.
9.20.2006 4:39pm
unhyphenatedconservative (mail):
"The problem with this is that any nutcase can claim to act "in the name of" X. Are Christians required to disavow Jerry Falwell or James Dobson (or Daniel Berrigan or William Sloane Coffin)? Should they cease being Christians in protest? There are a billion Christians in the world and lots of them say and do stupid things in the name of religion. I can't see any point in demanding that the average person keep track of them all and issue a statement each time. Their only real responsibility is to reject the wrongful conduct in their own lives."

1. Lumping Falwell and Dobson in with Islamic terrorists is disingenusous at best. Or did I miss them running airplanes into folks buildings and cutting the heads of non-believers.

2. When conservative Christian leaders say stupid things, you often hear other conservative Christians criticize those stupid comments. And for some reason, the critics don't get holy wars declared on them.
9.20.2006 4:45pm
SG:
Moderate Mulsims are not relevant. The Muslims speaking out aginst violence against the unbeliever, the hatred of Jews and the opppression of women are not the moderates; they are the radicals. They are the ones seeking to overturn centuries of tradition and interpret the Qu'ran in a new manner. And these radicals do exist.

Of course moderates don't have any meaningful role to play in this struggle within Islam. By definition they are moderate. Go along to get along, don't make waves. That's what moderate means. Why do people expect moderates to drive a revolutionary shift in Islamic theology?
9.20.2006 4:53pm
Russ (mail):
2. When conservative Christian leaders say stupid things, you often hear other conservative Christians criticize those stupid comments. And for some reason, the critics don't get holy wars declared on them

This is an important point. When I see CAIR or Muslim student organizations denounce the violence, I'll buy the theory that they don't need to speak out. However, at nearly every occasion I can find, not only do they not denounce them, they defend them.

By doing so, they become the enemy we have come to detest.
9.20.2006 5:00pm
magoo (mail):
In my experience, most Muslims want to love their families, worship God, earn a living, help their neighbors, and better their communities, just like most Catholics, Jews, Hindis, and atheists.

Eugene, can you reconcile your dinner-table-discourse civility standard with this lovely sentiment: "I find it heartwarming that the Catholics are now suffering murder and mayhem at the hands of the Muslims, who along with the Catholics themselves, have always been at the vanguard of persecuting Infidels."
9.20.2006 5:01pm
LTEC (mail) (www):
SG --

The term "moderate Muslim" can mean two different things:
a Muslim who is moderate, or a Muslim who is moderate for a Muslim. I use the first definition, since the second is uninteresting.
9.20.2006 5:05pm
Houston Lawyer:
These "moderate" Muslims always seem to complain loudly whenever we kill of a few of the extremists in their midst. There are true moderates out there, but their voices are easily drowned out by the venom and hatred spewed forth by their co-religionists.
9.20.2006 5:17pm
Mark Field (mail):

Lumping Falwell and Dobson in with Islamic terrorists is disingenusous at best.


Since I didn't do that, I guess I'm relieved to find that I wasn't disingenuous.


When conservative Christian leaders say stupid things, you often hear other conservative Christians criticize those stupid comments.


I don't hear any such thing. I guess I just don't read the right blogs. It's barely possible that Jeff Jacoby hasn't looked in the right place to find the condemnations he seeks.
9.20.2006 5:23pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
magoo. In your experience, most Muslims want to live what you consider normal lives. Big surprise there.

The question is under what circumstances do they wish to lead normal lives. A land free of Jews? Burka'd women? No worship allowed but Islam? Miniscule punishment for honor killing?

Isn't that the more important question?
9.20.2006 5:33pm
Jefe:
"Let's agree there are moderate Muslims."
There are moderate Muslims.
There is no moderate Islam.
9.20.2006 5:36pm
marc:
SG --"The Muslims speaking out aginst violence against the unbeliever, the hatred of Jews and the opppression of women are not the moderates; they are the radicals." And, like the mutazilites and the Sufis, such Muslims have always been outsiders, 'radicals': but they certainly have influenced Islamic history.
9.20.2006 5:45pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
I used the term 'good German' for a reason. There were other ways I could have expressed myself.

Looking back from 1945, I bet there were lots of Germans who had been unenthusiastic about Hitler in the '20s and '30s who said to themselves, Maybe it would have paid to have spoken up 15 years ago.

When the activist Muslims provoke the Americans into replacing the appeaser Bush with some hard man -- as they are determined to do -- it will not be only activist Muslims who are punished.

It would not be easy or safe for the inactive Muslims to reject their religion. It would be possible to be more passively resistant, to back up the few (very, very few, so far) activist Muslims on the other side of the equation, the ones who are committed to peaceful coexistence with infidels. To quietly withdraw support for the crazies, to refuse to be the 'sea' that the activist 'fish' swim in, to borrow an idea from Mao.

When Benedict said what was only the truth -- Islam has been violent -- the self-proclaimed moderate Muslims jumped him. Perhaps it was too much to ask them to endorse his statements, but they could at least have kept their mouths shut.
9.20.2006 6:48pm
Steve:
There's going to be a genocide of the Muslims, and it's going to be their own fault for not rejecting the extremists sooner. I've seen this argument before, but it doesn't get any less appalling with repetition.
9.20.2006 9:49pm
Justin (mail):
Words can't describe how scary and insane some of the people who are posting on this thread are.
9.20.2006 10:17pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
You should take a look at our opponents.

I do not recall any Americans calling for the destruction of German cities in 1939, but by 1945 it was accomplished anyway.

People inclined to shrug and excuse the inactive Muslims are not doing them any favors.
9.20.2006 10:35pm
K Parker (mail):
Justin,

Go ahead and give it a try, if for no other reason than the commenters here are coming at this from quite a few different, even contradictory, angles, and so no one reading your statement can possibly have any clue what it is you find objectionable.
9.21.2006 2:23am
Lev:
LTEC (mail) (www):


The term "moderate Muslim" can mean two different things:
a Muslim who is moderate, or a Muslim who is moderate for a Muslim. I use the first definition, since the second is uninteresting.


What does "a Muslim who is moderate" even mean?
9.21.2006 2:29am
Ken Arromdee:
In my experience, most Muslims want to love their families, worship God, earn a living, help their neighbors, and better their communities, just like most Catholics, Jews, Hindis, and atheists.

That is a meaningless statement. Most Nazis wanted exactly the same thing. We even have a phrase for it: "the banality of evil". You can't expect evil people to go around acting like B-movie mad scientists with a light shining underneath their face, ranting about how they're going to destroy the world. Most of the time they do perfectly ordinary things.
9.21.2006 3:28am
David M. Nieporent (www):
"The problem with this is that any nutcase can claim to act "in the name of" X. Are Christians required to disavow Jerry Falwell or James Dobson (or Daniel Berrigan or William Sloane Coffin)?
But this isn't just "any nutcase." This is huge numbers of nutcases, without significant dissenters, meaning they can credibly claim to act in the name of X.

Christians are not required to disavow Jerry Falwell or James Dobson precisely because they already do disavow these people without needing to be required to do so. Falwell can't credibly claim to speak for all Christians because we know that there are thousands of other Christian leaders, and millions of other Christians, who disagree with him regularly on issues of religion and politics.

(But someone from, say, Liberty University should indeed be expected to denounce Falwell if he says or does something akin to what these nutcases say/do, because he can credibly claim to speak for Liberty University.)

It's an empirical question.

Oh, and while we wouldn't expect people to "cease being Christian" (or Muslim, as the case may be), we might legitimately expect them to cease being members of that particular congregation, if the head of it did something outrageous along these lines.
9.21.2006 5:07am
Donald Kahn (mail):
Falwell and Dobson, not to speak of Coffin or Berrigan, have never killed anyone, so far as I know.

The violent Islamists by the way are diffent from any predecessor: they have atomic bombs.
9.21.2006 5:45am
Public_Defender (mail):
Why are so many American conservatives supporting the Taliban, Hezbollah, and Ahmadinejad? There is a fight within Islam, and American conservatives are taking the side of the brutal thugs.

There are Muslims who are opposed to the thugs. I don't know if they are 5% or 75%, but they exist. Many American conservatives seem to want to prove that the reasonable Muslims are wrong and that the Taliban, Hezbollah, and Ahmadinejad are right.

Of course, the thugs who commit violence in response to verbal slurs deserve condemnation, but the reaction of some conservatives is giving a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Taliban wing of the Republican Party."
9.21.2006 7:37am
Harry Eagar (mail):
Please explain. I don't know in what way 'American conservatives' are supporting Taliban etc. Who are you talking about?

I have read an allegedly moderate Muslim commentator say that, eg, remarks like Benedict's play into the hands of al-Queda, but that commentator is not an 'American conservative.'
9.21.2006 12:34pm
Mark Field (mail):

This is huge numbers of nutcases, without significant dissenters, meaning they can credibly claim to act in the name of X.


Both your factual predicates are wrong, so your conclusion fails on that basis alone. There are a billion or so Muslims in the world today. Perhaps a thousand or so are terrorists. That's one in a million. As for dissenters, I see no reason to believe you're the least bit familiar with the private or public opinions of most Muslims.


Christians are not required to disavow Jerry Falwell or James Dobson precisely because they already do disavow these people without needing to be required to do so.


This misstates my argument. First, there are Muslims who disavow terrorists too -- there were many of them on September 12. Second, the issue was the responsibility of all group members to speak out. Since all Christians have not denounced Falwell, I must therefore conclude that he speaks for them? That's ridiculous. Third, what evidence are we talking about here? Do I personally have to hear the denunciation? I've never heard you denounce torture; does that make you complicit with torturers?


It's an empirical question.


Agreed.


Oh, and while we wouldn't expect people to "cease being Christian" (or Muslim, as the case may be), we might legitimately expect them to cease being members of that particular congregation, if the head of it did something outrageous along these lines


Agreed. I said this above.


The violent Islamists by the way are diffent from any predecessor: they have atomic bombs.


Yeah, but Bush just loves those Pakistanis. What are we to do?
9.21.2006 12:48pm
A.C.:
Who cares about denouncing this or that? That's all a media pose. What I'm hoping to see is groups of Muslims who set about the job of cleaning their own house -- fighting corruption, improving education, building economies, and so forth, and without all the craziness we've been seeing in recent years. The terrorists are devoted to preventing such things for other Muslims as well as ato ttacking (reasonably) successful institutions in the west. So they SHOULD be the enemies of normal Muslims who actually want economic development and all the benefits of modern life.

Why don't normal Muslims see them that way? Some people invoke Iraq and Israel as explanations, but I wonder if the problem goes deeper than that. It certainly predates Iraq, at any rate, and elements of the problem predate the creation of Israel.
9.21.2006 2:05pm
Mark Field (mail):

What I'm hoping to see is groups of Muslims who set about the job of cleaning their own house -- fighting corruption, improving education, building economies, and so forth, and without all the craziness we've been seeing in recent years.


I assume that most Muslims have the same interests you or I do in having our mail delivered, our trash picked up, access to clean water, etc. It will be interesting to see if the more radical groups can maintain their radicalism in the long run in a government faced with demands for more prosaic services. Could this be a case where the demands of everyday life actually civilize people (analogous, perhaps, to the argument that trade tends to break down despotism)?
9.21.2006 2:49pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Mark, I think if you examine the record (I suggest starting with the problem of guinea worm; the Carter Center has a good summary), you will find that clean water, for one, is not a priority for Muslims generally.

We westerners didn't start disinfecting our water until 1904 (in one place, Middlekerke, Belgium), and if Islam is about 800 or 900 years behind, then I wouldn't count on an uprising in the name of public utlities in our lifetimes.
9.21.2006 10:53pm
Mark Field (mail):
Harry, you're taking my examples a little more literally than I intended. I was merely using examples of the daily needs of people; change it to food if you prefer. The point is, the actual experience of governing forces would-be radicals to focus much of their attention on delivering those daily needs. Every such minute spent is one that can't be used blowing people up.
9.22.2006 12:35am
Lev:
Mark Field


There are a billion or so Muslims in the world today. Perhaps a thousand or so are terrorists. That's one in a million.


How do you figure that?
9.22.2006 1:39am
Harry Eagar (mail):
Well, Mark, I am a literalist. Would you care to describe how having to govern forced the radical Communists to deliver on the daily needs of the Russians?

Remember, we'd have wiped out polio except for imams. Muslims really are not like us; they do not respond to the same stimuli we do.
9.22.2006 2:17am
Sailorman (www):
I am especially interested to read dear old non-inflammatory Jeff's response to this:




By IRWAN FIRDAUS, Associated Press Writer Fri Sep 22, 6:45 AM ET

PALU, Indonesia - Christian mobs torched cars, blockaded roads and looted Muslim-owned shops in violence touched off by Friday's executions of three Roman Catholics convicted of instigating attacks on Muslims.
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Some 200 inmates escaped after mobs assaulted a jail in the town of Atambua, sending guards fleeing to the nearby jungle. By midday only 20 had been recaptured, deputy national police chief Lt. Gen. Adang Dorodjatun said, calling on the others to turn themselves in.

And on the island of Flores, the executed men's birthplace, machete-wielding mobs ran through the streets Friday, sending women and children running in panic, police and witnesses said.



Because, you know, only Muslims (never Christians) get violent and form mobs.
9.22.2006 12:30pm
Mark Field (mail):

How do you figure that?


How do I figure which part? My estimate of the number of Muslims was low; the actual figure is 1.3 billion. My estimate of the number of Muslim terrorists was pretty much a guess, but I don't think it's unreasonable. Unless you increased to an unreasonable level, it wouldn't change my point.


Would you care to describe how having to govern forced the radical Communists to deliver on the daily needs of the Russians?


The Soviet Union eventually bankrupted itself trying to provide both guns and butter. I don't think there's much dispute about this.
9.22.2006 1:23pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
It didn't provide much butter in the early decades.
9.22.2006 8:53pm
Mark Field (mail):

It didn't provide much butter in the early decades.


Nor in the later ones either. That's ultimately what caused its internal collapse.
9.23.2006 12:13am
steve_g:
As a conservative Christian, I'd like to publically repudiate the actions of the Christian mob described in Sailorman's post. That behavior is contrary to the teachings of Christ and the values of mainstream Christianity.

I just thought someone should say it.
9.23.2006 1:05pm