The curse of religion 20

No religion can argue with any other religion about the truth of its doctrine because none can prove its truth. There’s no point in opposing one irrationality with another irrationality.

There’s little enough point in anyone’s trying to reason with the religious, since they haven’t come to their beliefs by reason.

The logic of any religious belief can only be that any other religious belief is wrong. To pretend otherwise is foolish. If a person of some particular faith says that other faiths are also true and that he respects them equally with his own, he’s either lying or he’s an idiot. Why does he believe what he believes if all other faiths are equally true? Perhaps only because his daddy told him to – the amazing excuse that the otherwise really impressive and amusing philosopher Kierkegaard gives for believing in (a personalized version of) Christianity.

There can be no wonder that Christians and Jews who live in Muslim lands are persecuted. The Muslim faith includes commandments to make life hell for Christians and Jews, by taxing them exorbitantly and murdering them at will.

The same must be said about Jews living in the old Christian lands. Christians were terrible persecutors, almost every branch of the Christian Church as intolerant and cruel as every other, until in very recent times – since the Second World War – Christianity began to bore most people in the West.

The ancient Jews, according to their own mythology, were intensely intolerant – far more than were the Greek and Roman pagans. What’s remarkable is that in the modern Jewish state, Christians and Muslims are not persecuted. (No, despite the propaganda, Muslims are NOT persecuted in Israel in any way whatsoever, and that eccentric break with custom is an historical anomaly, bound to irritate world opinion.)

Of course we sympathize with the unjustly persecuted, even though we think they should know it’s coming to them; and, in the case of Christians, even though their own doctrine reveres suffering.

This is from Front Page, by Raymond Ibrahim:

No matter how violent or ugly, no matter how many Islamic slogans are shrieked — thus placing their behavior in a purely Islamic context — Muslim violence against the West and Israel will always be dismissed as a product of the weak and outnumbered status of Muslims — their status as underdogs, which the West tends to romanticize. …

They may be screaming and rioting, firing rockets and destroying property — all while calling for the death and destruction of the “infidel” West and/or Israel to cries of “Allahu Akbar!” Still, no problem. According to the aforementioned array of pundits, apologists, academics, and politicians, such bloodlust is a natural byproduct of the frustration Muslims feel as an oppressed minority, “rightfully” angry with the “colonial” West and its Israeli proxy.

Indeed, that is precisely how even the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. by al-Qaeda were rationalized away by many “experts” — even as al-Qaeda’s own words exposed their animus as a direct product of Muslim doctrine not temporal grievances.

Most recently, the New York Times, in the context of the rocket attacks on Tel Aviv, asserted that Israel “needs a different approach to Hamas and the Palestinians based more on acknowledging historic grievances,” thus taking all blame off the “aggrieved” and “underdog” Muslims and Palestinians.

But if Muslims get a free pass when their violence is directed against those currently stronger than them, how does one rationalize away their violence when it is directed against those weaker than them, those who have no political influence whatsoever? Consider the most obvious of these scenarios, the growing epidemic of Muslim persecution of Christians. From one end of the Islamic world to the other — whether in Arab lands, African lands, Asian lands, or Sinic lands, wherever Muslims are a majority — the largest non-Muslim religious group, Christians, suffer untold atrocities.

These Christians are often identical to their Muslim co-citizens in race, ethnicity, national identity, and language; there is no political dispute, no land dispute. The only problem is that they are Christian—they are the other—and so must be subjugated, according to Sharia’s position for all “others,” for all infidels—including Israel and the West.

Such is the true nature of Muslim rage throughout the world: it is a byproduct of doctrinal intolerance if not downright hatred for the other, who must always be kept in a state of subjugation and humiliation, according to the letter of the Quran. …

Consider: Christians and Jews are both constantly castigated in the Quran: Muslims are admonished not to befriend either of them (5:51) and to fight and subjugate them “until they pay tribute with willing submission and feel themselves brought low” (9:29). Christians under Islam are suffering accordingly—as despised dhimmis, abused and “brought low,” routinely plundered of their lives, dignity, and possessions.

[But] Israel — the dhimmi that got away—actually has authority and power over Muslims. Now, if dhimmis are supposed to be kept in total submission to Muslims, how then when one of them actually lords it over Muslims? Hence Islam’s immense and existential rage against the Jewish state.

It could hardly be more obvious that if organized religion were to be universally abandoned, a major cause of human strife and misery would be removed. Which isn’t to say that strife and misery would cease. There will always be a rich store of other causes. But few as superfluous and absurd as religion.

In the light of all this, the efforts of some non-Muslim believers to make peace between religions, to bring sweetness and light where there there has always inevitably been hatred, fury, disgust and fear, strikes us as a particularly futile endeavor. It can only be attempted by clergymen keeping themselves in the rankest ignorance of what “the other’s” faith teaches.

This is also from Front Page, by Hillel Zaremba, who has become understandably exasperated with such efforts:

While it is all well and good to encourage the commonalities that unite Americans of all faiths –

What commonalities would those be, we wonder? We’ve not been able to discover any (unless secular values and loyalties are meant).

– it is equally important to inquire into the bona fides of organizations that only claim to promote tolerance. Philadelphia presents a sorry but enlightening example of how groups whose agendas directly challenge American values get a free pass from the interfaith establishment due largely to the firmly held belief that “diverse” (and disquieting) viewpoints must be respected — as long as they are Muslim.

A prime example of this is the Mayor’s Office of Faith-based Initiatives (MOFI), “the primary liaison between the Office of the Mayor and Philadelphia’s diverse communities of faith and their leaders.” Despite being provided with evidence of the U.S. government’s case against one of its partners, the terror-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the office’s interim director, Reverend Malcolm Byrd, declared: “We will engage with CAIR. … We don’t have to endorse you to work with you.” After reviewing the evidence, MOFI decided to maintain the relationship. According to this twisted logic, MOFI [welcomes] the Nation of Islam, whose leader Louis Farrakhan unabashedly declares Jews to be part of “the Synagogue of Satan.”

A similar approach is exhibited by the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia (ICGP), “dedicated to interreligious dialogue, education, and community building.” It seemed reasonable to assume that the organization would want to vet its members to some degree, to be sure they truly embrace tolerance and respect for diversity. The ICGP … soon disabused us of that notion.

By ignoring the ideologies held by Muslim groups, the ICGP and others afford cover for those whose beliefs would otherwise be abhorrent to them, like the Villanova-based Foundation for Islamic Education (FIE) … [whose] leaders and faculty have sanctioned suicide attacks against Israeli civilians, defended the execution of Muslims who convert out of their faith, and threatened Copts for questioning the Qur’an. …

Another Walk congregation is the Quba Institute (QI), aka the “International Muslim Brotherhood, Inc.” (IMB). … According to QI’s old website …  the IMB “forged partnerships with the Muslim Student Associations [MSA] of local Universities” in the late 1960s, an organization identified by federal investigators as subscribing to the goal of teaching Muslims “that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands.”

This interfaith partner has hosted major Brotherhood ideologues … An older version of the mosque’s website referenced the congregation’s core principles [as] including a commitment to U.S. law and rejection of terrorism … with one important caveat: armed jihad is permitted “in the context of self-defense or guarding the sacred, holy lands of Islam.” This is the same rationale used by Hamas to target Israel since it considers the entire state’s territory to be sacred to Islam. Bin Laden similarly justified his attacks against the U.S. in this way, viewing any American presence in Islamic lands as a form of infidel “occupation.” …

Interfaith organizations ought to, at the very least, probe the statements and associations of their constituent members or facilitate others’ attempts to do so.

The same admonition should be heeded by the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia (RLCGP), another interfaith group which includes important Christian and non-Christian clergy, such as the archbishop of Philadelphia, the head of the Southeastern PA Lutheran Synod, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania … , [and which] welcomes into its fellowship … Imam Isa Abdulmateen …. [who has said]:

“Today, Arabs, Pakistanis… and other immigrants use the Qur’an [and] they tell us “Islam means peace” because they are afraid to upset the status quo, so we abandon jihad. … Our great leaders have become tame after 9/11. … When black men think of homos we think of weak, effeminate, flaming fags who disgust our sensibilities but are relatively harmless to all except themselves. Wrong! Homosexuality for whites is their heritage. … For blacks, homosexuality is crippling. … A black homosexual will never support revolution against the capitalist, racist republic because the capitalist, racist republic protects his homosexual lifestyle. …”

… What is particularly maddening is that key players in these interfaith groups were presented with this information and the best they could muster was a vague assurance that they would look into it.

The moral bankruptcy at the heart of such feel-good organizations is clearly on display. Like their fellow travelers in government and the mainstream media who ignore all available evidence, the collegial world of interfaith do-gooders burnish the credentials of bad actors, in an increasingly one-sided sense of tolerance, embracing the very haters they would otherwise oppose.

Our advice to all these feel-good organizations is, give it up. Interfaith dialogue never has, never will, never can achieve anything worth achieving.

And don’t say that ignorance of this or that faith breeds intolerance of it. The more a reasonable person knows about any religion, the less tolerable he is sure to find it.