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"It Is Unclear What Role, If Any, Religion Played in the [Planned] Attack [on Ft. Dix],"

reports the New York Times. Is is true that it's unclear whether religion played any role in the plan? The Times itself reported,

As the suspects were charged before a United States Magistrate Judge, Joel Schneider, prosecutors described a complicated operation that was at once ambitious and meandering, marked by deadly weapons and a certain lack of sophistication. The suspects alternately declared themselves eager to sacrifice their lives in the name of Allah and expressed ambivalence, worrying about getting arrested or deported for buying weapons or possessing a map of a military base.

But one of the suspects was a former sniper in Kosovo, the authorities said. And as they sought to amass the machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades they intended to use in the attack, and members of the cell trained with automatic weapons at a shooting range in Gouldsboro, Pa.

"When it comes to defending your religion, when someone is trying to attacks your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad," Eljvir Duka, 23, who also went by the nickname Elvis, is quoted as saying in the complaint.

Likewise, the criminal complaint asserted, "CW-1 consensually recorded two meetings with ELJVIR DUKA. In summary, ELJVIR DUKA stated that they would need to receive a 'fatwa' before they could attack." "During this trip, ELJVIR DUKA and DRITAN DUKA discussed the need to train so that they could go overseas on 'jihad.'" (That's connected to the Eljvir Duka quote mentioned in the earlier article, but it highlights that the "jihad" discussion involved two of the conspirators.)

Are the earlier Times account and the criminal complaint mistaken? If they are accurate, then how can it be accurate to say that "it is unclear what role, if any, religion played in the [planned] attack"? I'm sure one can argue that it's unclear precisely what role religion played in the planned attack -- such estimates are always a judgment call -- but it does look like it played some role, no?

Thanks to NewsBusters for the pointer.

Steve:
The paragraph as a whole makes clear that the reference was supposed to refer to organized religion.

It is unclear what role, if any, religion played in the attack Mr. Shnewer and the five other men are charged with planning. (The sixth suspect, Agron Abdullahu, had no apparent connection with Al-Aqsa or the South Jersey Islamic Center.) The authorities have described the suspects as Islamic extremists, but the lengthy criminal complaint summarizing the F.B.I.'s 15-month undercover investigation of the group does not mention where — or how often — they prayed. Certainly there is no evidence that they picked up radical ideas at either mosque.


You might say, "Well, who cares if they picked up these ideas about fatwas and jihad from their local mosque or from some webpage on the Internet, it's radical Islam either way." So true! But the focus of the article was not on the suspects, but on the mosques that some of them attended, with the thesis being that these nice, mainstream mosques are now coming under suspicion of being linked with terrorism and radical Islam.

So yeah, poor writing, but I think the context makes it clear what the point was. Newsbusters, at least, was forthright enough to quote the whole paragraph, although they boldface the final sentence as though they have some evidence to debunk it (which they don't).
5.14.2007 4:23pm
elChato (mail):
Isn't it funny how they will go out of their way to insert "hate crime" overtones in depicting some alleged incidents (Duke Lacrosse), but go out of their way to deny the obvious in others like this one?
5.14.2007 4:23pm
neurodoc:
You might say, "Well, who cares if they picked up these ideas about fatwas and jihad from their local mosque or from some webpage on the Internet, it's radical Islam either way." So true!

Steve, I'm not clear what you mean by "So true!" Do you think it of no consequence whether they were "inspired" by what is on the Internet or by preaching and/or other encouragement from their local mosque and community? Both would be bad, but wouldn't the latter be still more worrisome, since it would imply more reason for fear of a fifth column?
5.14.2007 4:32pm
ed o:
they are doing it because they think that if Islam were pointed at, all the armed americans would get in their pickup trucks and go get the muslims.
5.14.2007 4:32pm
EvanH (mail) (www):
I'm sorry but given this administration's record I'm giving the Fort Dix Six the benefit of the doubt until the evidence is presented in open court.

How sad is that?
5.14.2007 4:36pm
Steve:
Do you think it of no consequence whether they were "inspired" by what is on the Internet or by preaching and/or other encouragement from their local mosque and community?

Absolutely I think it makes a difference. But if you feel like tilting at windmills, you'll find plenty of folks in the VC comment section who see every mosque as a terrorist training camp, the quotes in the NYT article from the FBI and the Philadelphia Police Department notwithstanding.
5.14.2007 4:39pm
The Drill SGT:
Just "Youths", like in urban France. "Youths" cause all the problems, not Muslims.
5.14.2007 4:48pm
Random Commenter:
"I'm sorry but given this administration's record I'm giving the Fort Dix Six the benefit of the doubt until the evidence is presented in open court.

How sad is that?"

Perhaps not as sad as your apparent preparedness not to give them the "benefit of the doubt" were some other administration in place. It's a bit early to looking for a rope, whoever might be president.
5.14.2007 4:56pm
r78:

so that they could go overseas on 'jihad.'"

Does this mean that they were going to leave the US to go on jihad? If so, and if it is basis for the argument that the attacks were motivated by "religion" then that doesn't make sense.

Anyway, I thought we were fighting the terrorists over there so we wouldn't have them over here. Hmmmmm.
5.14.2007 5:02pm
EvanH:
Point taken.
5.14.2007 5:02pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'you'll find plenty of folks in the VC comment section who see every mosque as a terrorist training camp'

I've been scanning the VC Islam threads for a while now, and I cannot recall any poster saying anything like that.

At least one -- me -- however considers that Islam has a program that is anti-infidel and that this program is in operation wherever there are Muslims. There is more to it than bombs and guns.
5.14.2007 5:14pm
arthur (mail):
Hmmm. Cho Sueng-Hui taped himself saying, "Thanks to you I died like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and defenseless people." Agree or disagree: It's unclear what role, if any, his Christianity played in his attack.
5.14.2007 5:37pm
neurodoc:
if you feel like tilting at windmills, you'll find plenty of folks in the VC comment section who see every mosque as a terrorist training camp, the quotes in the NYT article from the FBI and the Philadelphia Police Department notwithstanding.
Would you call out their names, since I don't know any of those "many." And I would point out that while it is not the case that "every mosque (is) a terrorist training camp," neither is it true that none are or have been (e.g., the one presided over by the "Blind Sheikh," who numbered among is worshipers here in the US Nosair, who murdered Kahane and participated in other terrorist plots).

BTW, this is not the first instance in which there has been remarkable reluctance to identify acts of terrorism carried out by Muslims as in any way "religiously" motivated, e.g., the Pakistani-American (Haq?) who killed at the Jewish Community Center in Seattle, and the illegal (undocumented?) Egyptian immigrant who murdered at the El Al counter at LAX.
5.14.2007 5:40pm
Randy R. (mail):
Regarding the Fort Dix guys: From what I understand, they had no real plans to blow up Fort Dix, but were talking in general terms about some ambiguous violence that they wanted to perpetrate. Then they were infiltrated by an informant, and it was the *informant* who suggested that they get actual weapons and start the real planning for this.

If this is true, this is yet another one of the Bush Administration's trumped up charges against a despised group of people.

At this point, I don't trust anything that comes from this administration, and I certainly don't trust their version of the facts.
5.14.2007 5:42pm
Bored Lawyer:
In the Humpty Dumpty world of the NY Times, planning a "juhad" in the name of "Allah" has nothing to do with religion.


the lengthy criminal complaint summarizing the F.B.I.'s 15-month undercover investigation of the group does not mention where — or how often — they prayed.


Yes, that's certainly something you expect to see in every indictment -- where and how often the accused prayed.


Certainly there is no evidence that they picked up radical ideas at either mosque.


Since we have not heard all the evidence, this in and of itself is not surprising.

Of course, for all we know the conspirators "picked up [their] radical ideas" on the internet, or at home, or through some other medium than the local mosque in South Jersey. Why this is supposed to be significant is puzzling.
5.14.2007 5:44pm
Bobbie (mail):
People might claim different motivations for doing something. The fact that at one point they said "religion played a role in their decision" doesn't make it clear that religion did in fact play a role.
5.14.2007 5:45pm
Eric Muller (www):
It could be the case that some or all of the government's allegations in the complaint are false. If they are false, then it might in fact be true that religion played no role at all in the planned attack.

(This analysis, however, probably proves too much: by the same reasoning, it is also possible that the allegations of the very plan to attack are false -- and in that case the Times would have had to say that it is unclear whether attacks were planned at all, and if so, whether religion played any role.)

In any event, it seems that an additional interesting question lurks behind this post: why would the Times reporter desire to efface a religious motivation for the attack? (Note: I am not arguing that a Times reporter would have no such desire; I am asking why s/he would.)

One hears a great deal these days about our "liberal mainstream media" minimizing and diminishing the religious motivations of those in the Muslim world who wish to harm Americans. You can't listen to an episode of the Michael Savage show, or check Michelle Malkin's blog, without seeing some media outlet or other excoriated and mocked for doing this.

The explanation that the Savages and Malkins of the world offer for this is invariably that the liberal media is unpatriotic and even traitorous, that the liberal media dislikes (even hates) the United States and supports our enemies, etc.

Yet this always strikes me as wrong. I know lots and lots of very liberal people, in the media and elsewhere, and I've never sensed that a single one of them hates this country or likes or admires al Qaeda.

I guess I've always assumed that the desire to wait until a religious motivation is proven -- even to wait a little too long, as this reporter appears to be doing -- reflects some perhaps subconscious wish to avoid contributing to an atmosphere of retributive hostility toward Arab and Muslim aliens, and American citizens of Arab ancestry or Muslim faith, in the United States.

Given the nation's history, this strikes me as a rather understandable thing. (Note: I said "understandable." Not "good.")

And of course, in the realm of the subconscious, this would surely not be the only wish/fear kicking around. Even the most liberal of liberals spent the months after 9/11 looking as askance at all faintly Middle-Eastern-looking people in airports as did the most conservative of conservatives. Members of the media are as subject to national fears and anxieties as anyone else.

So what, exactly, is all the fuss over? Could anyone in the climate we currently live in seriously maintain that the nation as a whole has an erroneously favorable and compassionate attitude toward Arabs and Muslims?

This Times reporter does appear to be deemphasizing the allegations of religious motive. Eugene performs a valuable function by pointing that out.

But does this shading work a significant harm -- a harm, that is, greater than the abstract damage to absolute truth that shaded reporting inevitably causes? Many seem to think it does, but I'm hard-pressed to understand just what it is.
5.14.2007 5:56pm
SeaLawyer:
Randy,

Then they were infiltrated by an informant, and it was the *informant* who suggested that they get actual weapons and start the real planning for this.

If this is true, this is yet another one of the Bush Administration's trumped up charges against a despised group of people.


Try reading this and then comment on it.
5.14.2007 5:58pm
Josh_Jasper (mail):
Meanwhile, while everyone is looking at the Keystone Mujahideen, real terrorists are planting real bombs in the USA

But all they'll blow up is a bunch of abortion doctors and pregnant women who deserved it anyhow, right?

And, because the Austin bomber probably went to a Christian Church, it's not really threatening to any of the right wingers here, is it?

Evans was charged with violating federal laws banning the manufacture of explosives and interfering with access to an abortion clinic. He appeared before a federal magistrate, and was being held without bail.

No further arrests were anticipated in the case. "The threat is over," Carter said.



Now go back to fearing Muslims like good citizens!

Four incidents of attempted bombing or arson were reported in 2006, the NAF said. More than 40 abortion clinic bombings have occurred since 1977, with the last reported in 2001.



But the THREAT is OVER, right? And if you buy that, and buy that the real threat is from people like the Fort Dix Six, you're probably cheering for the abortion clinics to get bombed anyhow.
5.14.2007 6:02pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
IT IS UNCLEAR WHAT BENEFIT, IF ANY, MAY BE DERIVED FROM READING THE NEW YORK TIMES.

Regarding the Fort Dix guys: From what I understand, they had no real plans to blow up Fort Dix, but were talking in general terms about some ambiguous violence that they wanted to perpetrate. Then they were infiltrated by an informant, and it was the *informant* who suggested that they get actual weapons and start the real planning for this. -- Randy R.


That would be of some interest, if true. What is the source of your understanding?
5.14.2007 6:02pm
wooga:

Hmmm. Cho Sueng-Hui taped himself saying, "Thanks to you I died like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and defenseless people." Agree or disagree: It's unclear what role, if any, his Christianity played in his attack.

Arthur,
That's a nice example of begging the question there. How do you know Cho was a Christian? After all, everyone knows Jesus died, and the use of the word "Christ" is not an endorsement of Jesus' divinity (i.e., even some imams will use it).
5.14.2007 6:05pm
wooga:

buy that the real threat is from people like the Fort Dix Six, you're probably cheering for the abortion clinics to get bombed anyhow.

Wow, with such a brilliant use of logic there, I'm surprised you are capable of typing and breathing at the same time.

Here's a test: How many Americans have been killed by Islamic terrorists? How many by Christian terrorists? How about animal rights or environmental terrorist groups?

How many Christian terrorist groups have vowed to use nuclear devices in American cities? How many Islamic groups have done so? Animal rights or environmental terrorist groups?

Which is the greater threat to Americans?
5.14.2007 6:15pm
arthur (mail):
Wooga: the answer is Google. Way to miss the point.

"After hearing about the deadly Virginia Tech shootings, the Rev. Yong-Ho Cha immediately thought about the quiet, withdrawn boy he mentored at Bible study years ago: Seung-Hui Cho."
5.14.2007 6:16pm
Steve:
I've been scanning the VC Islam threads for a while now, and I cannot recall any poster saying anything like that.

Would you call out their names, since I don't know any of those "many."

This is hilarious. Nope, there are no commenters here who scoff at the very notion there could be such a thing as "moderate Islam." You guys are right.
5.14.2007 6:25pm
Freedom Fighter (mail):
Clinton brought in the Seatle Shooter and several of the Dixie Six under the refugees from Kosovo program or from other locations involved in this war which was unauthorized by the UN. Blame Clinton and his administration for Dix, not Bush. Also, note Hillary's comments on praising the bringing in of these refugees.
5.14.2007 6:44pm
wooga:
arthur,
Your link doesn't cay Cho was a Christian. His mom was, and she got Cho to play basketball at the church. Basketball =/ religion. That has about as much weight as the people referencing the "Ax Ismael" on his arm as demonstrating Cho was a muslim. You are unjustified in saying "his Christianity."

Yet the Dukas were admitted muslims, seeking to murder Americans because of, and in furtherance of, their own religious beliefs. Cho's rambling video only 'justified' his murders based on some twisted anti-capitalist, class warfare belief.
5.14.2007 6:55pm
ed o:
again, why bring christianity into this thread. question-what religion is involved in approximately all of the terrorist attacks in the world today? which one transforms Mickey Mouse into an instrument of genocide? which one has vast numbers of people who would happily destroy the world and kill untold millions? think of that and then on with the christian bashing-it probably is easier to sleep at night.
5.14.2007 7:02pm
ed o:
again, why bring christianity into this thread. question-what religion is involved in approximately all of the terrorist attacks in the world today? which one transforms Mickey Mouse into an instrument of genocide? which one has vast numbers of people who would happily destroy the world and kill untold millions? think of that and then on with the christian bashing-it probably is easier to sleep at night.
5.14.2007 7:02pm
Brian K (mail):
Wooga,

if he wasn't a christian why would he be mentored in bible study? how many non-christians go to bible study? Or is this another case of "he did something wrong so he can't be a christian"?
5.14.2007 7:07pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
In other related news, it is unclear why Willie Sutton chose to rob banks. Although there are allegations that he has said he did so because "that's where the money is," nevertheless it is unclear if money were the primary motivation for Sutton to want to rob the bank.
5.14.2007 7:10pm
steveH (mail):
Brian K,

Someone taking Bible studies, or even mentored in them, is not the same thing as being or even becoming a Christian.

No more than reading the Book of Mormon or the Koran makes one a Morman or a Muslim.
5.14.2007 7:29pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
ed o writes:

again, why bring christianity into this thread.
Because liberals want to believe that Christianity is the greater menace to freedom than Islam.
5.14.2007 7:54pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
How many Christian terrorist groups have vowed to use nuclear devices in American cities? How many Islamic groups have done so? Animal rights or environmental terrorist groups?

Considering how many copies of the "Left Behind" novels have been sold, there are apparently quite a few Christians who are looking forward to worldwide nuclear war. As for Christian terrorist groups who advocate mass murder, google the Aryan nations or Christian Identity for the answer to that. They can't wait for some signal to trigger a race war that will wipe out the minority population of this country and return this nation to its rightful owners free of the ZOG and the sub-human blacks and other minorities.
5.14.2007 8:11pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
again, why bring christianity into this thread.

Because it is a legitimate question whether if the videotape had been of a bunch of white guys firing off automatic weapons and yelling "in the name of Jesus" and "die, agents of ZOG", whether the FBI would go to the time and effort to plant two infiltrators in the organization to see what they were planning.
5.14.2007 8:16pm
Randy R. (mail):
1. First, I'm not sure that my information is correct about the Fort Dix six. I read it somewhere, I don't recall where, and who knows if it's true? That's why I stated "if true."

2. Nothing in The Smoking Gun contradicted my understanding (which still may be incorrect, but may be correct). We don't know who actually suggested that they obtain weapons, and who first suggested it. As we know from crimlaw, conspiracy begins not with just talk, but with action to actually carry out the plan.

3. Since Islam has about a billion adherents, anything that you say about Islam is absolutely true. It is a peaceful, gentle, religion that seeks no harm, and it is a violent religion that wants to destroy America. And everything in between. As Christians are about another billion or so, anything you say about Christians is absolutely true as well.

4. Liberals are generally do hate Christians, but only the extreme right wingnuts, such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Fallwell. In fact, as I recall, those two specifically blamed 9/11 NOT on Islam, but on gays and feminists and liberals. So please, let's stop calling the kettle black. Liberals, at least the ones I know of, do not hate moderate Christians, such as the Prysbeterians, Episcopalians, and so on. In fact, many, if not most, members of the CAtholic Church considered themselves liberals, especially when it comes to gay rights, women's rights, and so on. Liberals generally do NOT like the Catholic Church, especially the Vatican or the Pope, because they are so conservative.

5. Conservatives, on the other hand, generally hate atheists and liberal Christians. I know of few conservatives who show any love for muslims of any political stripe. And yes, conservatives Christians are a menace to freedom, because they want to outlaw gays, evolution, stem cell research, limit divorce, and ban certain religions such as Islam. (Quite a few want to institute "god's law" in America, whatever that means, but I don't think it means freedom!) These, in fact, are the very Christians that liberals hate.

With good reason.
5.14.2007 8:18pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'scoff at the very notion there could be such a thing as "moderate Islam" '

If 'moderatee' means 'not actively killing infidels,' then there are some moderate Muslims.

If 'moderate' means 'advocating a theology/ideology of living in harmony with infidels,' then there are not.

The program of Islam is that the world will be totally Islamic. God has promised it.

Some Muslims are willing to wait, others are in a hurry.

But, Steve, I'd be more than happy for you to direct me to a statement from ANY Muslim that rejects the doctrine that dar al-Islam is not destined to dominate dar al-Harb.
5.14.2007 8:23pm
wooga:
Because it is a legitimate question whether if the videotape had been of a bunch of white guys firing off automatic weapons and yelling "in the name of Jesus" and "die, agents of ZOG", whether the FBI would go to the time and effort to plant two infiltrators in the organization to see what they were planning

The FBI has been doing that for years. The FBI has no problem infiltrating these groups, or the Hell's Angels for that matter. The FBI is very adept at infiltrating and breaking up any collection of jittery paranoid white guys. That's why we used to hear a lot about 'militia movements' in the early 1990s, and then it sort of trailed off by the end of the 90s, despite the events of Waco and Ruby Ridge. Using 'multicultural' logic, Waco and Ruby Ridge should have led to 1,000 Timothy McVeighs. Lo and behold... it didn't.

Increased press coverage and scrutiny revealed these groups as wackos with an intellectually bankrupt philosophy, leading to a general ostracism from society and decline in recruits (a similar case study could be done linking the holocaust speech laws and perseverance of nazis in europe) Now if we could do the same thing to the Islamic radical groups, we would probably have similar results. But we can't, lest we wake the wrath of CAIR and be labeled islamophobes. No, no, we must appease the gods of multiculturalism, and insist that all religions are equally bad.
5.14.2007 8:33pm
KeithK (mail):

Because it is a legitimate question whether if the videotape had been of a bunch of white guys firing off automatic weapons and yelling "in the name of Jesus" and "die, agents of ZOG", whether the FBI would go to the time and effort to plant two infiltrators in the organization to see what they were planning.


As far as I know, no Christain terrorist organization in this country has ever actually killed thousands of Americans in a single attack. Islamic terrorists have in the recent past. Christian terrorists are not (as far as I am aware) recruiting people to attack the US military in a foreign land. Islamic terrorists are. As a result, it is rational to consider Islamic terrorists a larger threat than Christian groups and to apply greater resources to investigate potential Islamic terror groups.
5.14.2007 8:35pm
keypusher (mail):
Because it is a legitimate question whether if the videotape had been of a bunch of white guys firing off automatic weapons and yelling "in the name of Jesus" and "die, agents of ZOG", whether the FBI would go to the time and effort to plant two infiltrators in the organization to see what they were planning.

No, it's not a legitimate question. Of course the FBI would investigate such a group.

To answer the question posed higher up, if someone wrote, "It is unclear what role Cho's religious beliefs played in the attack, but they clearly influenced him" I think that would be completely legitimate. Pretending that there is some question whether religion played any role in the Ft. Dix attack, though, strikes me as silly.
5.14.2007 8:36pm
Clayton Fan (mail):
Clayton E. Cramer wrote:
ed o writes:

again, why bring christianity into this thread.

Because liberals want to believe that Christianity is the greater menace to freedom than Islam.
----------------------

Absolutely. Seems that Ed O and J F Thomas require - as does the socialist/leftist edifice in Europe - a denial of the reality of the Islamist threat, and the best way to do that is to change the subject. The fact of the matter is, the existance of far right groups, Aryans etc. is indeed a real and true threat. We all understand that. But at the moment it is not nearly as big a threat to western civilization as Islamism. In 1933, the Nazis were a bigger threat to western civilization than the Communists. The threats to our world change from decade to decade, as we defeat one enemy, another rises. Be it far left or far right (and who can hardly tell at this point), our obligation is to clearly see the threat and respond.
5.14.2007 8:52pm
neurodoc:
Steve at 5:25PM today: This is hilarious. Nope, there are no commenters here who scoff at the very notion there could be such a thing as "moderate Islam." You guys are right.

Steve at 3:39PM today: you'll find plenty of folks in the VC comment section who see every mosque as a terrorist training camp

If there are "plenty of folks in the VC comment section who see every mosque as a terrorist training camp" as you asserted earlier, why don't you call just a few of them out to support that contention? You don't dispute, do you, that Sheikh Omar's mosque was if not a terrorist training camp, then a place to recruit terrorists and plan attacks? (BTW, how about Islamic charities, are they all devoted to unarguably good works?)
5.14.2007 8:58pm
wooga:
Or is this another case of "he did something wrong so he can't be a christian"?

Brian K,
"Another case?" I'm sorry, but the folks who claim "because he uses violence he can't be a true believer" tend to fall squarely in the islam apologist crowd. I bet that there is not a single person on the planet who actually believes the perverse statement quoted above.

See, every sane person admits Rudolph was a Christian terrorist. Even though people typically claim his denomination was heretical, his acts were nevertheless specifically motivated by his faith in Christ, and he felt it was his religious duty to carry out his attacks. But Cho was no Rudolph, and there is no evidence Cho was a Christian.

The Dukas are like Rudolph. Maybe they were 'bad muslims,' but they are still wannabe Islamic terrorists.
5.14.2007 8:59pm
Brian K (mail):

Because it is a legitimate question whether if the videotape had been of a bunch of white guys firing off automatic weapons and yelling "in the name of Jesus" and "die, agents of ZOG", whether the FBI would go to the time and effort to plant two infiltrators in the organization to see what they were planning.


I think a better question is in order. if it had been white christians instead of brown muslims would conservatives be claiming that christianity is a religion of violence? or would they just ignore the story all together because it doesn't fit their predetermined worldview?
5.14.2007 9:20pm
Brian K (mail):
SteveH,


Someone taking Bible studies, or even mentored in them, is not the same thing as being or even becoming a Christian.

No more than reading the Book of Mormon or the Koran makes one a Morman or a Muslim.


Reading the bible is not the same as attending bible study. A person attends bible study to further themselves spiritually, not to learn how the bible is referenced in classical british literature of the 17th century. Bible study is a religious NOT a secular activity. The simplest way to different the two is that bible study does not include a critical evaluation of the bible.
5.14.2007 9:26pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
I've said it a million times before, but I'll say it again. Religions should be strictly liable for the acts of their followers done in reverence to and in furtherance of the religion. A Catholic blows up an abortion clinic, sue the vatican. A muslim blows up an airplane, all mosques worldwide are responsible. Preaching hate all day long only to say "oh we don't support that" when a follower kills people in the name of the religion is simply intolerable. Religion is a product just like any other and those who make and sell it should be held responsible for the nutty thoughts they implant into the minds of those in the stream of commerce.
5.14.2007 9:37pm
wooga:
if it had been white christians instead of brown muslims would conservatives be claiming that christianity is a religion of violence?

Again, look to the Eric Rudolph example. Conservatives agree that Rudolph's sect was violent and evil. Frank and open discussion is had as to the merits/flaws of Rudolph's beliefs... and nobody is decapitated for engaging in said debate!

So why can't we say that Islamic sect/group "X" is violent and evil without being labeled bigots and islamophobes?
5.14.2007 9:42pm
arthur (mail):
A successful troll! Re: Christian violence. The leading recent example is of course Timothy McVeigh. The most successful Christian terrorist organization in United States history was the early Ku Klux Klan, which killed more Americans than Al Qaeda, although not all at once.
5.14.2007 9:49pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Slightly--but not too much--o/t:

A moderate Muslim is one who is moderately Muslim. He is about halfway between the whackjobs and the slackers. The distribution is probably normal, which means in the area of 85% of Muslims are moderately Muslim.

Unfortunately, what we need are moderates who are Muslims. Is there a necessary correlation? Nope Possible? Yup. Demonstrated? Nope. The product of wishful thinking? Damn' straight.
5.14.2007 10:21pm
Der Lunatic:

Could anyone in the climate we currently live in seriously maintain that the nation as a whole has an erroneously favorable and compassionate attitude toward Arabs and Muslims?


Well, let's see. The guy who reported the tape didn't do so until talking to his manager, because he was concerned that his worrying about it was the result of racism. So these guys almost went free because of an erroneous attitude that, while perhaps not "favorable and compassionate", certainly breaks in favor of Muslims. If they'd been white KKKers, do you think he'd have had any doubts?

As far as a "religion of violence", I note (as an atheist, myself) that of the major religions with definitive founders (Baha'iism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism), only one had a founder who personally waged war to spread his religion. Followers of religions vary and can talk themselves into all sorts of things that would horrify their founders, of course; the root does not dictate the fruit. Still, I'd personally feel safer in the presence of someone who seriously takes Baha'ullah, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Vardhamma Mahavira, Guru Nanak, Lao Zi, or Zoroaster as their model of right conduct than one who looks to Muhammad.
5.14.2007 10:57pm
BladeDoc (mail):
Considering how many copies of the "Left Behind" novels have been sold, there are apparently quite a few Christians who are looking forward to worldwide nuclear war. As for Christian terrorist groups who advocate mass murder, google the Aryan nations or Christian Identity for the answer to that. They can't wait for some signal to trigger a race war that will wipe out the minority population of this country and return this nation to its rightful owners free of the ZOG and the sub-human blacks and other minorities.



By this logic there are untold millions of Harry Potter fans who are looking forward to the coming of an evil magician wielding his black arts to stalk students at a boarding school. And the fact that I enjoyed Silence of the Lambs means I want Hannibal Lecter over for dinner. This is the Chewbacca argument isn't it?
5.14.2007 10:59pm
neurodoc:
If the Dukas et al. are found to be guilty as charged of plotting to kill as many American military personnel as they could, then to put it all in proper perspective, we ought to remember that it was a non-Muslim who recently went on a spree killing 32 in the course of a couple of hours at Virginia Tech?!

It seems Cho was born into a Christian family, at some point in his life he participated in Bible studies, and his mother turned to a Christian minister for something like an exorcism of her son. Furthermore, in a video soliloquy before he embarked on his murderous rampage (where in the world could he possibly have gotten the idea to make such a video while ranting and brandishing his weapons?), Cho invoked the memory of Jesus, a victim of evil. Ergo, Cho may be seen as a Christian who all by himself committed that outrage? (Why not cite for these purposes the case of Reverend Jim Jones, a Christian minister of some sort, responsible for the murders one morning of more than 30-fold the number of Americans Cho managed? Or how about Stalin, who started out as a Christian seminarian and went on to murder countless millions by diverse means over the course of decades?)

How to respond to a line of argument (the crimes of "bad" Christians offsetting the crimes of "bad" Muslims) so absurd ab initio? Out of curiosity though, may I ask if it has occurred to anyone who would cite Cho's case that he was almost certainly psychotic, so that had he been captured alive, he might have been sent off to a mental institution for the criminally insane rather than a prison for the rest of his life? What does it mean to talk about the "motives" of a person acting alone who lacks the necessary mens rea to be convicted of a crime? Any hint that any of the Dukas et al. Muslims lacked the mental capacity to be held criminally accountable for their conduct?
5.14.2007 11:00pm
EricH (mail):
"The leading recent example is of course Timothy McVeigh."

Who didn't attend Church and stated that he was an agnostic. Compare and contrast with the case above (based on the early reports).

Try again.

And, of course, McVeigh was soundly denounced by Christians everywhere.

It's interesting to compare folks on the left who often refer to McVeigh's reputed religious beliefs but are equally often loathe to mention the religion of members of other religions. See above.
5.14.2007 11:06pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
That's about right, Aubrey. Or as some anonymous person once said, the only good Muslim is a bad Muslim.

If we can have denazification and debaathification, why can't we -- why shouldn't we -- have deislamization?
5.15.2007 12:45am
Brian K (mail):

How to respond to a line of argument (the crimes of "bad" Christians offsetting the crimes of "bad" Muslims) so absurd ab initio?


Of course you can't respond to that argument. IT IS NOT THE ONE WE'RE MAKING. That was you and your strawman. I'm not arguing that there are no bad muslims or that all christians are bad.

I was pointing the double standard applied to islam. if a muslim does something wrong it gets generalized to "islam is the religion of violence". if a christian does something wrong it gets rationalized away. Take wooga's eric rudolph example which proved my point. a christian did something wrong. did he use that example to say that all christians are evil? no, he said they belonged to a particular sect that holds extremist views and thus isn't truly representative of christianity. why didn't he apply this same logic to islam?

Or take all the people calling us "muslim apologists" for having the audacity to say that not all muslims are terrorists. has anyone called wooga a christian apologist? or take that person up above who denounced CAIR for having the nerve to defend their beliefs. why isn't he denouncing anyone else for defending their christian views?

The hypocrisy on this board is amazing.
5.15.2007 1:19am
K Parker (mail):
No, Brian K, it's not because of a double standard, it's because when a Muslim does something bad his Islamic critics are so few and far between we can barely hear them. Contrast that to Rudolph, or the scumbag (whose name doesn't even need to be mentioned) who murdered the abortionist Dr. Slepian, who were widely (and very rightly, imo) denounced far and wide within American Christianity.

Sure, there are definitely moderate Muslims as you and I understand the term "moderate"; I've read and even corresponded with a few of them. The problem is, there as slim a majority within the Muslim world as the Christian terrorists are within Christendom.
5.15.2007 2:22am
neurodoc:
if he wasn't a christian why would he be mentored in bible study? how many non-christians go to bible study? Or is this another case of "he did something wrong so he can't be a christian"?

Brian K, did I misstate your evidence to support treating Cho as a "Christian" for the sake of this discussion? It seems Cho was born into a Christian family, at some point in his life he participated in Bible studies, and his mother turned to a Christian minister for something like an exorcism of her son. Furthermore, in a video soliloquy before he embarked on his murderous rampage (where in the world could he possibly have gotten the idea to make such a video while ranting and brandishing his weapons?), Cho invoked the memory of Jesus, a victim of evil. Ergo, Cho may be seen as a Christian who all by himself committed that outrage?

You do not except Cho, so when you say, "if a christian does something wrong it gets rationalized away," I take it you are building your case at least in part with the example of this psychotic individual acting on his own with no help or encouragement by anybody or any teaching, especially not any of religious nature, who unlike those acting in the name of radical Islam was applauded by none of his "co-religionists."

Some case you have there. Absurd for any number of reasons that seem lost on you. (BTW, you ignored my proffer of Reverend Jones and Stalin, both who must have engaged in Bible studies along the way. How about Hinckley, another paranoid schizophrenic "Christian," to complement Cho?)
5.15.2007 2:55am
Brian K (mail):

because when a Muslim does something bad his Islamic critics are so few and far between we can barely hear them.


that's not true...muslims are constantly denouncing terrorism. you don't hear about it for several reasons: 1) MSM and conservative punditry doesn't routinely pick up the denounciations and 2) muslims lack a well known and listened mouthpiece in the US. individual mosques routinely denounce terrorism but no attends them besides the small number of muslims they preach too.

use google if you want to see the denounciations...don't be lazy and say "if i can't hear it, it doesn't exist"
5.15.2007 4:17am
Brian K (mail):
neurodoc,

there is a difference between doing something bad and belonging to a religion and doing something bad in the name of a religion.

What help did the fort dix six have? it appears from the news reports i've read they've only had help from an FBI informant...hardly a religious motivator.

What about the people who bombed abortion clinics? they were applauded and ecnouraged by some christians.

How can you say christianity had no influence on Cho when he likened himslef to jesus christ? Would you say the same thing if a muslim terrorist likened himself to allah? The response of many above posters suggests no.
5.15.2007 4:34am
Mongoose 388:
Did anyone else point out that at least one of the Dix Six was a Kosovo refugee, brought to here (the Dix area) to save his ungrateful *ss from being killed because he was a Muslim? These fanatics will never get it.
5.15.2007 8:09am
johnt (mail):
Brian K, time to toss in the towel. >" there is a difference between doing something bad and belonging to a religion and doing something bad in the name of a religion".
You were to quick to drag Christians into it, to eager. But apart from the now ridiculous comparisons between Christian and Islamic extremism, ridiculous both in scope and nature, you have the words of the "did something wrong and belonging to" people themselves. Read the initial post;" the suspects alternately declared themselves eager to sacrifice themselves in the name of Allah"," when it comes to defending your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad".

Granted, evidence is a small thing but it's still worth a moment or two of thought.

The Times has no trouble locating the devils and evil, usually in the listings of class, gender, race, and of course Christianity. elChato's post,5/14 3;23 is short but captures that now degenerate papers errant priorities and pet fixations.

Allowing for the rise and expansion of a brand of murderous Islam through out the world it may be time for you to find and choose some other scapegoat, other than Christianity, to help divert your attention from the Islamic threat, prove your moderation to yourself, justify your adherence to the Times and MSM line, and whatever else cause you to make bad comparisons.
5.15.2007 8:09am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
I am told that the Wahhabis are in the minority and are spread with the artifical help of Saudi funding. IOW, the message is not sufficiently attractive by its own sweet self.
If we are overrun with moderate Muslims who are moderate and Muslim, then why are Wahhabi mosques attended at all?
Christians who want to separate from a congregation either go to another congregation or start their own. At first, they may be renting the local school auditorium for services before they can finance their own building. It's not impossible.
Shouldn't the Wahhabi mosques be echoing and empty?
So. Look up the Tulsa mosque issue. I was told, before being banned for asking, that the locals were starting another mosque. Later reports explained that the guy was offered a chance to rejoin if he recanted. Also he wouldn't be threatened. No other mosque, as far as I can find out.
5.15.2007 8:51am
Al (mail):
>>5. Conservatives, on the other hand, generally hate atheists and liberal Christians. I know of few conservatives who show any love for muslims of any political stripe. And yes, conservatives Christians are a menace to freedom, because they want to outlaw gays, evolution, stem cell research, limit divorce, and ban certain religions such as Islam. (Quite a few want to institute "god's law" in America, whatever that means, but I don't think it means freedom!)

Randy, do you realize how silly you sound? Just for fun, please name, specifically, the conservatives who seek to "ban certain religions such as Islam."
5.15.2007 10:08am
rarango (mail):
Perhaps I am oversimplying or don't understand the problem. Should some extreme follower of any religion use that religion as a pretext to do something terrible doesnt reflect on the religion. It reflects on the individual. The fact remains, however, that some whacko did use his or her's personal interpretation of that religion to do something terrible. It seems to me that that is newsworthy. Mentioning it should not be construed as an attack on that religion. Does anyone recall that Ghandi was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist? Should that reflect badly on Hinduism? Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist? Does that mean there is a problem with Judaeism?

Lets get a grip folks. But thats just me.
5.15.2007 10:44am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
rarango.
You may be right about reflecting badly on the individual.
The problem is the sheer numbers of attacks of various kinds. Eventually, you run out of time to insist that it reflects badly on the individual when, for example, five hundred "individuals" at the behest of their local imam assault a bunch of Christians who, it was thought, might be planning on building a church. (Egypt, recently)
When it is organized by the local religious officials, and when the sacred texts seem to justify it, that's different from your other examples. Judaism's sacred texts don't suggest murdering prime ministers, nor did the Jewish religious establishment take up the cause of the murderer.
5.15.2007 11:06am
whit:
"Conservatives, on the other hand, generally hate atheists and liberal Christians. "

HATE?

rubbish.
5.15.2007 12:31pm
whit:
"Perhaps I am oversimplying or don't understand the problem. Should some extreme follower of any religion use that religion as a pretext to do something terrible doesnt reflect on the religion. It reflects on the individual. "

not really. when islam AS UNDERSTOOD AND PRACTICED results in a far greater (on a per capita basis) acts of terror and terrorists, murder and mayhem than christianity, judaism, buddhism, etc. than it reflects on BOTH.

also, there is a problem when there is complete and utter fear (justified) in criticism of islam. christians didn't riot and murder when piss christ was put in a musuem or the virgin mary painting covered in dung. thousands of muslims, otoh, rioted and killed when some frigging cartoons were published.

the point is that, for a large %age of muslims - killing in the name of their religion is not viewed as extreme, either on an ideological or numerical basis.

killing, and advocacy of same is frequent and the advocacy is public and common. sorry, but the comparison to (most) other religions is not there, except to demonstrate that there is little comparison
5.15.2007 12:37pm
ed o:
islam is not just another religion-it seems to currently be the well from which much of the misery, terrorism and violence in the world today springs and has goals which should make one shudder. in response, rather than criticizing it, the great intellects here quiver over christianity. the logic of moral equivalency never ceases to amaze me.
5.15.2007 12:56pm
johnt (mail):
It's no use fellows, the liberals{?} know who the real enemy is, while only fools suspect it's Islam.
They know and perhaps fear the dreaded Christian Right, those crusaders of intolerance. They know it because that's what they're told by a objective media with no political ax to grind.

And if you push them hard enough they will bring up the Inquisition, that old standby of the desperate, while ignoring or minimizing what's going on in the world today.

Carefully cultivated and long grown hatreds are hard to give up, no matter how blind or nuts.
5.15.2007 1:22pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
johnt.
I don't think the issue is carefully cultivated and long grown hatreds. I mean, they exist and were a staple of the left for years.
But the point is having some way to duck the (scary) obvious, which is the reason for checking back in with Torquemada.
5.15.2007 1:24pm
ed o:
stoning of homosexuals versus not allowing gay marriage-in the left viewpoint, these are equally as bad with the former being somewhat benign by comparison as it is being done by brown skinned individuals, a sure sign the doer is a victim, not an oppressor. If all we had to worry about from islam were the stray eric rudolph, we could all sleep soundly at night. unfortunately, we instead have tens of millions of practitioners who would commit mass murder and hundreds of millions who likely would not care or who at least wouldn't speak up if it did occur. with those numbers, I guess I would rather be frightened over the insidious nature of faith based initiatives.
5.15.2007 1:37pm
Aaron J (mail):
Whether Seung Cho was a Christian or not, the supposedly religious component of his crime was nothing more than metaphorical rhetoric. He said, in effect, that his crime and suicide would inspire the oppressed as the death of Jesus did. To say that this makes his crime an explicitly Christian one would be like saying that the members of the Beatles were Christians, and that their body of work is explicitly Christian because John Lennon once compared the band's popularity and influence to the popularity and influence of Jesus.

Seung Cho was using Christ as a reference point to express his message.

If the current reports about the Dix Six are true, then the crime that they were planning was motivated by religious doctrine that says that jihad is the duty of every Muslim, and interprets jihad as waging war against non-Muslims who are "oppressing" Muslims.

The Dix Six were apparently engaged in jihad, which is so important in Islamic theology that Muslims themselves call it a pillar of Islam. Some interpret jihad in a non-violent context, but many also interpret it in a militant context. It seems pretty clear that these guys were among the latter.
5.15.2007 2:01pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
Speaking of McVeigh and the other guy Nichols, I always wondered how those guys, without any real means of income, could afford to travel to the Phillipines on several occasions. I am an attorney, and trips like that would hurt my budget big time.
5.15.2007 4:32pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Brian.

McVeigh's lead attorney wrote a book about the case called, "And Others Unknown". I haven't read it. Some friends who have say it's unclear if the others really are unknown or if Jones thinks it's better--or safer--to be circumspect.
5.15.2007 4:55pm
steveH (mail):
Bryan K;


Reading the bible is not the same as attending bible study. A person attends bible study to further themselves spiritually, not to learn how the bible is referenced in classical british literature of the 17th century. Bible study is a religious NOT a secular activity.


That certainly explains those who engage in extended Bible study, and end up choosing to not convert. For example, a friend of mine who studied for several years, with a number of different teachers/mentors of different branches of Christianity (and Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.). Who is now a practicing Sikh.

You may be confusing your own experience/intent with a much wider experience of many other people.


The simplest way to different the two is that bible study does not include a critical evaluation of the bible.


Again, I really think that you're projecting here. I only say that because I know too many people, personally, who have engaged in Bible study with a "critical evaluation of the Bible". Some convinced in the end, others not.
5.15.2007 5:15pm