Xander/Kevin seems to be claiming that this thread and the other one that I started a couple of days back attack him out of the blue, without provocation, that he'd been saying nothing at all about me.
I'm pretty sure what I said is that I haven't started new threads about you (this one will be the first in a long, long time). You've started two threads about me, clearly breaking the rules on multiple levels (making personal threads and starting a war between boards), all the while trying to convince us all that you've been ignoring me all this time. Well, as far as you ignoring me, you clearly suck at it.
You said I had gone on a "rampage" in attacking you based on a comment I made in a thread started by someone else, on the subject of FAIR/FARMS hit pieces and their contempt for dissidents. I was hardly the only person to respond with specific examples, but for some reason you felt the need to single me out and create a new thread which essentially misrepresented the basic facts, along with what I actually argued regarding the JP Holding debacle.
The fact is these are tough times for LDS apologetics. A General Authority pulling your publication because it was too harsh, can't be good news for you, no matter how you try to spin it and rely on the "but no one has even seen it" play. For many years now you and Hamblin have been in denial over your involvement in orchestrated hit pieces that are designed to do harm to others, and it is good to finally see someone in authority stick their nose in your little hate-mongering publication machine. No matter how many times we present solid examples of your mockery and hypocrisy towards other authors (and now the podcasters), you end up claiming victimhood because we had the audacity to call you out, which is clearly something you're not used to.
You guys are simply in denial and will never admit wrong-doing, no matter how obvious it is you were wrong. So when Hamblin does his "Metcalfe is Butthead" thing, you blame Metcalfe for not having a sense of humor. Likewise, when you are informed of the Ritner situation and his rejection of your claim, you attack me for doing basic research in verifying your repeated claim. You attacked me saying I was trying to ruin your life, your financial security, your son's inheritance, etc, which was a pretty pedantic reaction given my stated request to Ritner not to seek legal recourse, even in light of your libelous charges against him. And of course, now you refuse to admit being wrong on your previous position about Jihad, because now you've conveniently changed your position by saying you agreed with me all along! OK, so why create a thread attacking me if you agree with me? Because as with all of your other hit pieces that attempt to discredit your critics by getting personal, this is the only way you know how to respond.
Dan, you know very well that you supported this notion that Islamic jihad always referred to self defense. It was in Hauglid's review which you edited and gave your stamp of approval. You told me that you agreed completely with it or else you never would have allowed it to be published. So for you to go over to MAD and claim you never said this is just duplicitous.
Roughly 98% of the mafiosi that I've heard of come from Italian backgrounds. This fact wouldn't really justify being warily observant every time I met an Italian-American, though, just waiting to see whether he'll try to whack my kneecaps or cut off my right index finger. And, happily, I've known Italian-Americans all my life as individuals. Very few of them, I'm reasonably confident, have belonged to the Mafia.
Cute spin, but it is still not applicable to anything I've said. Lost in your muddled analogy is the fact that there is no evidence that 98% of Italians are in the mafia. By contrast, here is ample evidence to suggest a majority support among Muslims, of many of the intolerant aspects of Islam that I've spoken about.
At least 98% of the modern Americans that I hear about who live in polygamous compounds are believers in Joseph Smith. Fortunately, I know several believers in Joseph Smith myself, personally, so I tend not to assume, every time I meet one, that he or she lives in a polygamous compound.
Another misleading analogy because it is avoiding the real issue yet again. The fact is 98% of believers in Joseph Smith do not practice polygamy, so there is no reason to assume a 98% chance that a follower of Joseph Smith is a polygamist. It boggles the mind how someone as intelligent as you obviously are, thinks he's going to be able to reverse engineer my argument to suit such ridiculous "gotcha" parallels.
Look. There's no question that contemporary Islam, particularly in its homelands, still hasn't really adjusted adequately to democracy, modernity, and etc.
And there is no particular reason to believe that it should, or even that it could
. As long as Sharia prevails in the hearts and minds of the hundreds of millions of devout Muslims around the world, there is little room for Islam to undergo the type of transformation that you fantasize about. It would be nice if they all decided to rid themselves of sharia, but as El Fadl from your alma mater said recently, it is impossible to divorce sharia from Islam. If you are talking about Muslims who reject sharia, you are essentially talking about a new religion altogether, very much in the way the RLDS Church is considered a different religion from Mormonism.
There's no disputing that much of the Islamic world is seriously dysfunctional right now. There's absolutely no doubt that there is enormous instability and violence in the region, and that such things are overflowing the region's borders.
True, but largely beside any point I have tried to make.
But it's still a fundamental mistake to reduce the faith of al-Ghazali, Ibn Tufayl, Rumi, Rabi‘a al-Adawiyya, Hafiz, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), al-Biruni, Ibn al-Haytham, Firdawsi, Ibn Rushd (Averroës), and al-Shafi‘i to -- or to conflate one's Muslim neighbor's or co-worker's or cardiologist's faith with -- that of 'Usama b. Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Sayyid Qutb, and Abu Mus‘ab al-Zarqawi.
This is also beside the points, however, I have already proven you are incorrect when you say the Islam of Al-Ghazali didn't resemble that of Al-Qaida's belief that the killing innocent civilians is justified. Al-Ghazali (I misspoke earlier by saying Avicenna) argued that it was completely justified to use catapults even if there were innocent women and children on the other side of the wall.
But then who really cares about how Al-Ghazali interpreted Islam? You seem to want everyone else to engage in this romantic adoration of past Islamic philosophers, as if they are the ones who truly represent "real Islam," and as if they had more authority over Islam's founding Prophet, Muhammed. This is pure nonsense. I've already explained to you how intolerant Muhammed was, and while you never denied the basic facts, you've chosen to spin the situation by coming up with a new definition of intolerance, simply because, as you said, other dictators were far more ruthless than Muhammed. Thus, slaughtering hundreds of Jews, raping women, taking slaves, etc all becomes "tolerance" by comparison, or so the argument goes.
In any event, the scientific data provided today refutes the pervasive myth in academia that only a "tiny minority of extremists" practice an intolerant form of Islam. Just because they're not all in their backyards learning how to detonate bombs, doesn't mean they agree with Western notions of human rights. And just because they're not all planning to kill a non-Muslim who criticized their faith, doesn't mean they do not support those who do.
This is what I try to focus on, because the intolerance of Islam is far more complex than a simple question about who engages in terrorism and/or supports Osama bin Laden. You always like to focus on the support for bin Laden because that tends to yield the most negative results among the polled Muslim populations. I am more interested in Muslim support for things like sharia law, which is the foundation of numerous institutionalized practices of intolerance (stoning adulterers, amputations, killing ex-Muslims, denying non-Muslims equal testimony against Muslims, etc). Al Qaida didn't come up with sharia, in fact Al Quaida is a product of sharia and Quranic principles that are also enshrined their ahadith
, as you well know. But even if we focus strictly on the question you like to raise so much, the results from scientific surveys aren't exactly comforting. Considering the following; and understand that places like Pakistan and Indonesia represent two of the largest Muslim populations in the world, so we're talking about hundreds of millions of Muslims just in these few countries:
In 2006 the Arabic News Network Al-Jazeera polled its audience. More than 41,000 repondents participated in the poll and roughly half of them (49.9%) expressed strong support for Osama bin Laden. (http://terrorism.about.com/b/2006/09/11 ... -laden.htm
A 2007 Pew Research poll showed that only 58% of American Muslims rejected Al Quaida, but only 51% of them who claim "high religious commitment", rejected Al Quaida outright. The rest either supported organization's goals or they had mixed feelings and couldn't make up their minds. (http://pewresearch.org/assets/pdf/musli ... df#page=60
In a 2009 World Public Opinion poll, only 17% of Egyptians had negative feelings about Osama bin Laden. That figure was 26% in Indonesia and only 15% in Pakistan. (http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/ ... 09_rpt.pdf
Just last year 35% of Canadian Muslims said they refuse to reject Al Qaida. (http://www.torontosun.com/2011/11/01/st ... -in-canada
According to Zogby last year, the six Muslims countries surveyed all said they viewed the USA less favorably after the killing of Osama bin Laden. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/che ... _blog.html
Last year al-Arabiya said 36% of Arabs polled said the 9/11 attacks were morally justified; only 38% disagreed and 26% were unsure. (http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/ ... 66274.html
In 2008 Gallup said the 9/11 attacks were to some degree justified according to 38.6% of the Muslims polled. (http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2008/0 ... slims.html
So clearly a minority of Muslims strongly support bin laden and Al Quaida, but it is hardly a "tiny minority." It is quite large in fact. Even if only 10% of Islam supports them - and the actual figure is much higher than that - we're still talking about more than a hundred million Muslims who strongly support Al Quaida, which is more than twenty times larger than the global (active) Mormon population. But when we turn our attention to support for sharia law, which is what concerns me more, suddenly that large minority becomes a very large majority.
World Public Opinion: 81% of Egyptians, 76% of Pakistanis, 49% of Indonesians and 76% of Moroccans want strict Sharia imposed in every Islamic country. (http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/ ... 09_rpt.pdf
Pew Research (2010): 82% of Egyptian Muslims, 70% of Jordanian Muslim 42% of Indonesian Muslims, 82% of Pakistanis and 56% of Nigerian Muslims favor stoning adulterers. Whereas 77% of Egyptian Muslims, 58% of Jordanian Muslims, 36% of Indonesian Muslims, 82% of Pakistanis and 65% of Nigerian Muslims favor floggings and amputation
(http://pewglobal.org/2010/12/02/muslims ... hezbollah/
Two-thirds of young British Muslims agree that 'honor' violence is acceptable.
(http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... veals.html
Policy Exchange: 61% of British Muslims want homosexuality punished
(http://www.civitas.org.uk/pdf/ShariaLaw ... ForAll.pdf
NOP Research: 62% of British Muslims do not believe in the protection of free speech;
Only 3% adopt a "consistently pro-freedom of speech line"
(http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/08/ ... 2011-04-06
For these reasons, Islam is by far the most intolerant religion on the face of the earth. The most tolerant religion is probably the Ba'hai faith.