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Yes is inclusive, No is divisive

The words speak for themselves, but I shall return to them briefly…


Christians are Terrorists too

It’s a good thing that most Christians don’t believe everything the Bible teaches. If they did then wholesale slaughter and gratuitous violence would be the order of the day. Take Luke 12:51-53 for example, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother.

Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that Jesus is the Son of God. So, here we have Jesus promoting family division.

In the Old Testament (which is part of the same Bible), it’s much worse. Take Exodus 21; 15, 17, And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

So, children who curse their parents should be killed.

Finally, the pick of the day is in Proverbs 20:30, “Blows and wounds scrub away evil,
and beatings purge the inmost being.

So, a good thrashing cleanses us of evil, it says. Is this not a great endorsement for family violence?

Why am I, an Atheist, writing this? Well, it occurred to me while reading an article in New Matilda by Michael Brull this week concerning Andrew Bolt’s apparent obsession with things Islamic, that with all the anti-Muslim sentiment that seems to be the fashion these days, it’s worth pointing out that the Qur’an is not the only Word of God and yes, the Bible advocates violence and terrorism too.

The similarities between what Christianity teaches and what radical Muslims believe should be discussed and compared more frequently. If that happened, those who profess to be Christian might want to think twice before they agree with Bolt when he says, “… Muslim clerics should open a debate on reforming Islam so fewer followers believe it preaches that nonbelievers should submit – or risk death.

Reforming Islam! How about reforming Christianity. Christians believe that salvation is possible only through accepting Jesus as their Saviour and fundamentalist Christians believe it just as passionately as jihadists believe the teachings in the Qur’an.

In the article, Bolt makes mention of recent jihadist attacks on soldiers in Canada, on police in the US and civilians in Israel and goes on to say, “In the end, we must actually stop the production of jihadists. That means reforming the creed they say licenses their violence. It means destroying the Islamic State, now inspiring such losers. It means preaching pride in this country.”

Reform the creed, really? Perhaps we should ask the same of Catholic Bishops. Would they be prepared to reform (I presume that means rewrite) the gospel that says it is okay to engage in family violence? While we deplore jihadist terrorism, might we ask the question, “How many good Christian women and children have died at the hands of a good Christian father, or brother or son? How many Christian men actually believe that it is okay to bash and brutalise their spouse and their children?

violence I’m sure Andrew Bolt would agree with my sentiments about family violence and he may well have written about it. But I would be surprised if he advocated limiting the number of Christian immigrants to this country. Or, limiting the number of Christians living in particular suburbs the way he does with Muslims.

He writes, “It also means slashing Muslim immigration (already being done) until we better integrate those here. And it means ending the enclaves that inhibit integration. It is dangerous to have suburbs such as Lakemba in Sydney and Dallas in Melbourne where half the residents are Muslim.”

Dangerous to have suburbs where half the residents are Muslim? Really? What would be the alternative? Does Andrew seriously think that separating Muslims and limiting their numbers in some areas would reduce the number of jihadists? And what exactly does he mean by ‘integration’? Should we also separate Christians and integrate them with Atheists?

I don’t normally read Andrew Bolt’s column although I have regularly contributed comments to his blog. Perhaps I should read him. He’s a man on a mission and has a very large following. But I wonder how many of his followers are Christian and engage in anti-Muslim ‘hate speech’.

I wonder how many Christians abuse Muslim women for doing nothing more than wear the hijab, chador or niqab in public places. I wonder how many protagonists of family violence are Christian.

It is a bit rich advocating the reform of one particular group to eliminate terrorist activities, when another group is just as prone to violence and their actions just as evil.


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  1. mars08

    “The first step in a fascist movement is the combination under an energetic leader of a number of men who possess more than the average share of leisure, brutality, and stupidity. The next step is to fascinate fools and muzzle the intelligent, by emotional excitement on the one hand and terrorism on the other.”
    ~Bertrand Russell, 1940

  2. Rotha Jago

    John Kelly is right to draw attention to the ugly side of his chosen quotes. How does it help,though?
    Christians as well as Jews and Moslems can be very patronising when it comes to commenting on
    The other ‘People of The Book’. Unfortunately it is part of the human condition to criticise and denigrate .
    Atheists are not necessarily better. We are apt to disregard the effect of having lived in a war zone while wars over oil or gas or gold are fought at the expense of the resident populations.
    The present barbarities are shocking when seen from Australia. If we had lived with the obscenities of war close at hand the present ghastly attacks would still terrify but not surprise us. Our own attacks, massacres,
    Poisoning and abuses of Aborigiinal Australians still cause extreme discomfort to us, so that we still cannot negotiate a peace with the descendants of the survivors of the horrors. Best to blame those who are left.
    Best to see them as victims of some forgotten disasters. But what if the victims of war do not accept victimhood? What if they insist on using whatever they have at their disposal to die fighting? What if
    The tanks and bombs and horrendous mistakes and incredible corruption have deprived them of their humanity? Who are we to judge while we drive our cars in air conditioned comfort. And we still suck up their oil as if it were mother’s milk?
    I was one of the many who marched against the American War in Iraq, and so many of the placards read
    ‘No blood for Oil’.
    So now we have to decide if we are going to come to terms with Moslems or try to isolate ourselves from them. Wake up Australia it is too late. We have no choice. We use Oil, we are a part of the problem already we can choose to be part of the solution or? Or nothing. We can follow Tony A off the edge of a cliff if we
    Are that stupid.

  3. M-R

    I find your arguments somewhat specious, John: we’re talking of two totally different circumstances … NOT, I hasten to add, that I have the slightest, faintest, teeniest wish to be seen to be supporting Bolt in ANYTHING !!!!
    But the fact is that today’s christians don’t believe in all that crap for one moment.
    Whereas today’s radical islamists believe fervently in all of theirs.
    Still, if push came to shove, I’d have to be on the side of the (ugh !) christians rather than the (UGH !) radical islamists …

  4. mars08

    What I find find “somewhat specious” about John,s article is that he (like so many others) tries to draw a parallel between Islam and Christianity. That’s not really a valid comparison.

    While militant Islamists claim to be driven by religious dogma… or use theology as an excuse, we in the west are not strong on religious belief.

    Instead we are persuaded by ANOTHER gospel. We justify out violence, cruelty and terrorism by claiming we do it in the name of our (current) popular ideologies. We launch needless wars of aggression and torture people in the same of security, freedom, stability, our way of life, resources, personal safety, democracy and capitalism. THOSE are our articles of faith. Those are the excuses WE use to kill our fellow human beings!

    Interest article, John. But you are not comparing apples to apples…

  5. DukeCwej

    As an atheist, I won’t attempt to attack or defend Christianity as a faith, or the concept of faith as a whole. But if you’re going to criticise Christianity, reserve your ire for the church’s real failings rather than those some militant atheists invent.

    It seems unfair to look at the Old Testament as representative of Christian beliefs. In fact, it’s a straw man argument. Christianity has issues to confront, but encouraging domestic violence is not among them. The Old Testament is just that, old, superceded by the New. You’ll be hard pressed to find modern Christians who believe that the Bible permits – or encourages – domestic violence. The New Testament, the attitude of Jesus as recorded therein, and the practice of the Christian church from very early on, is actually far less misogynistic than the culture of the time.

    “How about reforming Christianity”… this has already been done. See I don’t want to defend Andrew Bolt at all; his argument about “enclaves” is not so much faith-based discrimation as it is racism. However, he has the edge of a point when he talks about the unreformed status of Islam. Islam is a faith closer to the violent, supremacist, misogynistic and racist viewpoint of ancient Judaism – the actual religion based on the Old Testament. Christianity is a more reformed, and ever-evolving, theology that is open to talking about the role of women, about passive resistance to violent aggression, about inclusiveness. New Testament teachings – from “turn the other cheek” to “love your enemies” to “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing…” – are steeped in pacifism. To argue that “the Bible” encourages violence, genocide, slavery or any of the other practices that were endemic to the time in which it was written, is to completely ignore the revolutionary redefinitions that the New Testament began.

    Islam does not have a New Testament. It doesn’t have two thousand years of struggling with the conflict between exclusivity – “This is the way to heaven” – and acceptance, in the way that Christianity does. It’s hardly surprising that some elements of Islam hold to the literal truth of their holy books; Christianity is struggling with the same problem when it comes to issues such as abortion and homosexuality. It is deserving of respect and dialogue that a large portion of Islam, despite its lack of a reforming pacifist Christ-figure, is trying to redefine itself as a religion of peace and love.

  6. mars08

    Along with examining HOW some people use the militant form of an ideology to justify brutality… we should also be asking why.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Another aspect is cultural differences. The way of life in large parts of Africa and the Middle East, and the world for that matter, is different to here in a great many ways regardless of faith or lack thereof.

    We cannot understand what it is like to live with carloads of men driving around shooting guns in the air for fun. We cannot understand what it is like to live with famine and no clean water. We cannot understand what it is like to be at the mercy of corrupt governments or despotic tyrants.

    We should welcome people here, help them to adjust to life in a different culture, make them feel safe, and respect and value the diversity they bring.

    You want to talk enclaves of dodgy people, Earls Court in London used to be full of drunken Aussies and Kiwis who I am fairly certain caused more trouble than Muslims do here.

    And YES mars08, let’s talk about why this is happening and what we can do to help fix it. Building schools and hospitals would probably win more support than bombs or beheadings.

  8. Bilal

    People who know nothing about Islam, pontificating on the superiority of Christianity, is rather common in the Australian context. People who know nothing about Islam who set themselves up as “Islamic experts” in order to promote the cultural superiority myth are increasing like carp in creeks.

    The drug deadened criminals flocking to ISIS/Daesh are not a sign of “Islamic” bloodthirstiness but rather of a deep problem in immigrant communities in the West. That some takfiri fringes have been able to exploit them and lure them to their deaths is partly to our shame.

  9. corvus boreus

    I think anyone claiming absolute knowledge of the existence, form, sex, intentions and preferred name of any divine underpinnings/oversight to this unfathomable universe, and the existence and life therein, is wallowing in a shallow and hollow pit of their own hubris.

  10. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    We cannot understand what it is like to live with carloads of men driving around shooting guns in the air for fun. We cannot understand what it is like to live with famine and no clean water. We cannot understand what it is like to be at the mercy of corrupt governments or despotic tyrants…

    That’s pretty much what I meant. Although I’m not sure that “cultural differences” is the way to describe it. More like different circumstances and history.

    We have no idea what it’s like of have our nation’s institutions and infrastructure destroyed. We have no idea what it is like to have other nations openly meddling in our domestic affairs. We have never had foreign troops camped in out capital. We’ve never endured years and years of cruel economic sanctions.

    Then there’s poverty, power vacuums, dislocation, corruption, inequality, education, unemployment and economic problems, military coups and other social issues.

    Substitute Islam with another ideology… Communism. Why did the Cuban and Vietnamese people take up THAT particular banner? Was it a cultural similarity between the two nations? Was it because they shared the same religion? Was it strictly about Communist doctrine, or was there more to it?

    To look at the various militant Islamist movements in SOME countries, and try to explain their actions from a simplistic, illusory common interpretation of Islam, is probably just a waste of time.

  11. Kaye Lee

    That’s what I meant though I agree ‘cultural differences’ isn’t quite the right phrase. Islamic communities will be different everywhere depending on the society in which they exist. Individuals within communities will differ greatly as in any other community. The more tolerant a society, the more diverse views will be heard.

    I feel we have let down our young people that they can be tempted by the propaganda. We need to listen on how best to help rather than reacting to threats. I know ISIL are doing really bad things. In my view our priority should be to offer safe haven to those dislocated during this temporary madness. We should recognise our own role in allowing this to happen – Iraq war, strict sanctions, sectarian discrimination, corruption.

    ISIL is one threat to our youth – as are drugs and gangs and depression and self-harm and anorexia and suicide and all those pressures that can happen during adolescence.

    Kids need direction and help rather than labels and condemnation. They need to be listened to and respected if we want them to do the same. We have laws to deal with criminals. Use them. Stop the scare campaign.

  12. mars08

    Have you noticed how many stories about misguided Muslim youth mention that they were “recent converts” to Islam? Doesn’t that suggest that they did not feel accepted and anchored in their communities? Doesn’t that indicate that they were looking to make themselves heard… no matter what? Doesn’t that imply that they already considered themselves misfits?

    Maybe it’s more complicated that Abbott’s “goodies and baddies” model. Maybe this government and it’s MSM supporters are NOT the suppository of all wisdom,.

  13. Miriam English

    mars08, what you mentioned about community is central to this whole problem. If we make our communities good and welcoming places to live then religion has little to offer. Religion only really flourishes where life is brutal and difficult. If that vile creature Bolt wants to reduce the attraction of Islam and help it to moderate then he should champion things like a generous social security safety net, free health care, free education, and so on. It is no coincidence that the most peaceful, and safe places to live are also the Nordic countries, with their generous social security safety net, free health care, free education, and the most atheist societies in the world.

    I have always been a great fan of multiculturalism. Bringing in many different cultures revitalises a society. Many of the greatest cultures in history became so because they were cultural melting pots where new ideas mixed. And here I find myself paradoxically agreeing with the disgusting Bolt on something. We should discourage the formation of ghettos, but not by force (as the detestable Bolt would have us do), but by incentive. It’s natural for birds of a feather to flock together, but if you allow that in society then you have the people inside the ghetto insulated from larger society and feeling threatened by them, and you have the people outside feeling suspicious of them, or worse, developing hostile, racist feelings toward them. Either way ghettos prevent the mixing of cultures that brings the great benefits of multiculturalism.

    One thing I learned from my wonderful parents when I was very young was that it is extremely difficult to be racist about any group of people if one or more of them is your personal friend.

    I’ve had friends from the muslim community, and I have friends from the christian community, but quite frankly both religions scare the willies out of me. Historically the christians have been far more violent than the muslims (Hitler and his crazy Nazis were Catholics, the mass-murder in the former Yugoslavia was conducted by christians, the child soldiers in Africa are recruited by christians, the Rwanda genocide was facilitated by christians, the invasion of Iraq was done by loony, greedy right-wing christians), but the muslims are potentially almost as dangerous, and the koran is like the old testament on crack-cocaine. As Voltaire said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

    One further point I’d like to make is that christians and their apologists are fond of saying that christians don’t follow the old testament, saying it’s viewed as a kind of quaint period piece no longer applicable, but this isn’t entirely true. Any religious group is able to cherry-pick whatever they like from the rotting, festering mass of worms that is the bible. The whole argument against abortion reduces down to a single absurd line in the old testament about the point when the soul enters a new human. It is utterly ridiculous (especially when it is trivial to prove there is no such thing as a soul) but it has caused doctors to be killed and women to be harassed and persecuted by ‘good’ christians even today. Most of the christian argument against homosexuality comes down to the old testament (although the repellent Paul of Tarsus added some unclear passages in the new testament too). Weirdly, christians ignore the gay marriage between Jonathan and David celebrated in the old testament (1 Samuel 18:1, 3 – 4 and 20:41) and the loving devotion of Ruth for Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17), also in the old testament. But we must be thankful for small mercies. It is a good thing they ignore the passage about it being their duty to commit genocide in Deuteronomy 13:12-16.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Kids have always gravitated towards group acceptance. When I was a kid there were sharpies and skinheads and bikies and scary evangelical groups. Most people grow out of it when they find a path, or someone to love, or that someone that recognises your potential and encourages you on the road to achieving it.

    Adolescence is a hard time for many kids. The toughness is usually skin deep.

  15. dennis

    Isn’t it Christians that have made all the most weapons of mass destruction, boy the above comments shows how easy it is to make excuses for religion. Religion is possibly a very good thing, but not on this planet with this human race, very easy for me to say this, sitting here with a full belly and shelter and all the comforts money can buy, what if I could not read, could not do anything about confrontation coming from others for no apparent reason, I imagine I would need some sort of superstition, something to believe in to help me cope and retaliate, so if there is a mob of people who have something to believe in that appears to be appeasing their ills I guess I might join them, and if the confrontationist seem to have all the food they want even to the point of great waste and myself and people I know have nothing but empty bellies, I will follow their leader even if no one has seen him/her/it also there are lots of good stories that people have told me about it, surely if it appears to be helping, I will believe. hallelujah brother and Allah Akbar.

  16. John Kelly

    Some excellent points there, Miriam. Thank you.

  17. Matters Not

    Kids have always gravitated towards group acceptance

    It’s not just the ‘kids’ Kaye. We are all social beings up to a point. Generally speaking, we all depend on the ‘other’, broadly defined to include the socio-cultural, historical context and the like to ‘gravitate’ us. Thus:

    ‘Self concept’ as a ‘concept’ can and should be explored using this concept as a starting point.

    I am not who I think I am. I am not who you think I am. I am who I think you think I am.

    Just suggestin …

    In short we all want to ‘belong’.

  18. stephentardrew

    John I do agree with the thrust of your article however:

    Religion is a problem full stop. Point is what do you replace it with because there needs to be something reflecting the general trend for a subjective feeling of, hope, meaning, mystery awe and wonder in many peoples lives. It cannot be generated form hard empirical facts because they lack judgment, emotions and even nominal choice. The following articles give some idea of the complexities involved and it must be remembered that human traits are demonstrably genetic when it concerns conservative and progressive ideas. Often opinion does not represent the facts and especially magic, myth and religion cannot be founded upon facts since they are indisputably subjective pre-scientific beliefs. The point is that religion and conservatism are, in general, synonymous and the question must be asked why a belief system would promote self-destructive bahaviours (climate change) and unconscionable greed along side unwarranted suffering in the name of God and love.

    The lack of logic and rationalism in religion leaves it wide open to usurpation by the wielders of power, greed and intolerance. My religion is better than your religion just because mine does less overt harm while conservative dogma leads to all types of cruelty and negligence in the name of, wait for it “free will”, and the only way this can be justified is through selective advantage, and therefore Social Darwinism. The current relationship between religion and facts is paradoxical and illogical and, while I do not want to turn people from their desire for God, for heavens sake make it a God of rationality love and forgiveness.

    There is a state of awareness that is strongly science based and rational yet steps beyond the constraints of pre-rational religion while keeping the door to wonder and mystery alive. But to do that both ideologues and deterministic logical empiricists (because thats what atheists are) have to give up any notion of certainty because in science there is not truth only relative proof. A purely deterministic universe would not allow choice because there is absolutely no reason why reality could not do exactly what it needs to do minus self reference. It is a philosophical argument based upon the notion of non-self-referential zombies (empirically determined) and self reflective zagnets who evolve nominal choice and a subjective realm of creative potentiality. Whichever way you look at it choice is not compatible with determinism and therefore an atheist beliefs is not intelligent decision making it is just predetermined by causal conditions of the universe. Too much sloppy thinking for my mind and not enough foundational facts and rational reasoning. Two hundred, a thousand or a million years further evolution and we are the future ants every one of us. A bit o humility leaves the door open to possibility and closes the door on deterministic reductionism which can be easily demonstrated to be philosophically unsupportable. You cannot derive the complex whole from the reductive constituent parts. Seeing that every moment is conserved in block time for all time we are missing what it is that flows through as time. It cannot be found in quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, entropy, Hubbies constant (the rate of expansion of the universe or mind which are the only models that we can apply to time as of this moment. Somehow time is mind and mind is time yet try to separate it out and it is lost.

    The articles if read with openness will challenge many beliefs people hold which are profoundly mistaken. Philosophers admit what they do not know whereas dogmatists and atheist assume to know what they cannot know. A classic example is one of the most brilliant physicists of our times Leonard Susskind, who I will paraphrase, when asked about life after death said: look I don’t know because it is not my area of expertise but I hope so. Now that is how a true scientist views knowledge, proof and truth.

    Can We Cure Violence?

  19. Florence nee Fedup

    Where did the ten commandments come from. Suspect Old Testament.

  20. stephentardrew

    I love that you are now moderate moderator Michael. Great addition.

  21. Annie Byam

    A good piece of writing John …. and a lot to think about in it.


    To DukeCwej ,,,,,,

    The Bible is what it is – two books in one – the Old and New Testaments – as you have pointed out. ….. I guess you realise that the Gospels, written about Jesus’ life, and about Jesus himself, were written about a Jewish man – who went out and preached to the people who knew nothing of a higher power.

    Jesus was Jewish ….

    therefore the Old Testament was relative to him, as he had been raised on the teachings now written there, and also taught those beliefs and rules, to his followers. The 10 Commandments which Christians are supposed to follow, are taken from the first of the commandments in the Old Testament given to the Jewish peoples. ( Exodus 20 : 1 > 17 )

    The 10 commandments for Christians are more or less paraphrased – made shorter for better understanding.

    But they come from the first of the 600+ commandments given to the Jews.


  22. mars08

    When the Algerians fought for independence… were they following the Quran or were they trying to establish a caliphate?

  23. ungodly

    @ M-R
    “But the fact is that today’s christians don’t believe in all that crap for one moment.”

    There would be an equal amount of extremist christians as extremist any other .. it wasnt a muslim who invaded iraq based on lies saying “God told me to” –

    theres also a documentary called “jesus camp” nothing short of brainwashing.

    The USA today is responsible for most of the worlds terror.. according to some.. well, many..

    in god we trust. pffffft

    religion is BS

  24. Alexander T.

    John, You are really all over the place on this. Ultimately it seems that all you have to say is “Bolt is an arsehole.” Well, we already know that. And if you wanted to find some weird shit, you really could have quoted Paul. At least he was a Christian, unlike the Old Testament writers. Beyond that, this writing is typical of the kind of apologetic claptrap dished out by ‘progressive’ thinkers that are confused about where the intolerance actually lies in this debate. It is easy for you to keep blaming the ‘bogans’ and the ‘racists’, but you are way off the mark here. Yes, Christianity is as flawed as Islam, and both of them are mythologies that really should have run their course and gone the way of the Olympian Pantheon by now. However, as much as some–mostly American protestant–sects have reinvented Christian thought over the last two or three decades to focus on old testament values, the biggest difference is that islam actually advocates the killing of apostates and non-believers and Christianity does not! You can’t sugar coat this. And worse, there are perhaps millions of Muslims in the world that are actually happy to accept this idea. You can’t sugar coat this. Listen to some of the clerics (self appointed or otherwise) who are leading the charge in the current calls for a global caliphate and their open contempt for the (Western) concepts of democracy and human rights.You can’t sugar coat this! As a progressive thinker, you should be appalled by the world view of this religion. At least as contemptuous of it as you rightly are of the Catholic Church and its filthy record on child sexual abuse. You wouldn’t sugar coat this, would you; so why sugar coat Islam?

  25. ungodly

    @ Alexander..

    “the biggest difference is that islam actually advocates the killing of apostates and non-believers and Christianity does not!”

    and yet, the christians seem to be doing a remarkable job of killing muslims.. iraq/afghanistan hundreds of thousands recently, men women and children who were never a threat to anyone. not to mention the hundreds of thousands more, maimed, poisoned, orphaned, displaced.. you can not sugar coat this..

    how many muslims take the koran literally and go around killing non muslims on a daily basis? to pretend any religion has a monopoly of good or evil over any other.. is ridiculous.

    by refusing to demonise muslims the way the media and political leaders have been since 911.. ( by the way, it wasnt muslims ) – does not equate to sugar coating.

    the biggest difference between a bucket of islam, and a bucket of christianity… is the bucket.

  26. probe

    This would have to be the laziest attempt at moral equivalence, and least intelligent article I have ever read on this site.
    There are holes the size of the Grand Canyon in these arguments!
    For a start, please tell me how many documented acts of violence have been committed in the name of Christianity just since 9/11/2001?
    Would it even get close to more than 23,000 that have been committed by moslems in the name of islam? I think not.
    The qur’an is considered to be infallible and eternally imperative by all moslems.
    Love is never mentioned in the qur’an.
    Hatred for all things and people non-moslem is mandated and absolute.
    Special hatred and violence is demanded against Jews and Christians.
    If you are too ignorant to read the qur’an and study its meanings, do not assume to make blind comparisons such as this drivel.

  27. mars08

    the biggest difference between a bucket of islam, and a bucket of christianity…

    Again… the BIGGEST difference is that the west (generally) does not try do justify brutality in the name of religion. Rather it uses hazy excuses such as national security, democracy, stability, our way of life, freedom, resources, personal safety, and capitalism. And bigotry. And fear. And ignorance And lies.

    The west does not NEED religion to justify it’s violence. It can find a bunch of other excuses.

  28. ungodly

    true mars08, i agree, it doesnt need religion as an excuse.. but it does still use it.. i mean, we start every sitting of paliament with the lords prayer, and in the usa, ive never heard a presidential address that doesnt end with, gawd bless amerika..

    dont need to rub our noses in their hypocrisy, but they still do.

    tony abbott..( crusader rabbit ) religiously anti-immigration – “Jesus knew there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia”.

    he is the best argument around for late term abortion. –

    i dont think this article is trying to do any more than show its disingenuous to be complaing about the muslim religion and whats written in the koran, without mentioning equal absurdities in the bible.. there are bits in there where it advocates beatings and killings as well… but we dont expect people to take that literally and worry about little old ladies with purple hair streaming out of churches on a sunday morning with blazing torchers and pitchforks all hellbent on doing jesus work in their own religious struggle, or jihad.. and we shouldnt expect someone is likely to behead us on a bus simply because they wear a headscarf.

    as far as the trouble in the middle east goes.. i seriously doubt it would be on a scale such as it is today, without interference and meddling by the west.

  29. Kaye Lee

    “the biggest difference is that islam actually advocates the killing of apostates and non-believers and Christianity does not!”….not so sure about that. Ever hear of the Army of God?

    But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.–Luke 19:27

    Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us. Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks. – Psalm 137

    Deuteronomy 17
    If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant; 17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel; 17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.

    “…take not life, which God hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.”

    [Al-Qur’an 6:151]

    “…if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”

    [Al-Qur’an 5:32]

    Islam prohibits Muslims from showing aggression towards people who do not show aggression towards them.

    “None of you truly believes until he wants for his brother what he wants for himself.”

    Extremism in any form is dangerous as are ill-informed stereotypes.

  30. ungodly

    in case they feel left out, and to level legitimate criticism wherever it is deserved, being guilty of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the subject of countless un resolutions.. let us not be remiss… and state unequivocally that jews are terrorists too

    i once saw a hare krishna step on a snail once.. he said it was an accident. hard to know, i wasnt going to argue, hard to say what sort of weapons he may have been hiding under that orange sheet..

    i think atheism should be law.. ive never been bothered by an atheist knocking on my door, and never seen a general leading his troops in prayer, to no god.. before embarking on wholsale murder and slaughter.. what a peaceful world it would be.

  31. Kaye Lee

    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people living for today

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace

  32. mars08

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
    ~ Voltaire (1694-1778)

  33. John Kelly

    Alexander T., and Probe:
    Yes, I was having a go at Bolt in the nicest way possible. His obsession with things Islamic blinds him to the fact that there are verses in the Bible that can just as easily be misinterpreted as verses in the Qur’an.

    However, Christianity does advocate killing of apostates. Example: Luke 19:26-27
    • 26 The king replied, “Those who have something will be given more. But everything will be taken away from those who don’t have anything.
    • 27 Now bring me the enemies who didn’t want me to be their king. Kill them while I watch!”

    Verse 26 is the justification for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. Verse 27 is unequivocal. Kill your enemies.

    Do not doubt for one moment that the violence advocated in the Bible is just as virulent, and as frequent, as that in the Qur’an. Christians, however, are less likely to take it literally because their lives are comfortable. And we have the rule of law which overrides any religious law.

    Western civilisation has seen to that. In Western society that same rule of law applies and is accepted by the Muslim community. It does not necessarily apply in countries where Islam is the law.

    That young Muslim men are currently drawn to, and radicalised by, organisations such as ISIL and Al Qaeda is a reflection of their perceived marginalisation and their inability to grasp the inherent evil that is synonymous with these groups.

    These groups hide behind Islam and use it to achieve secular objectives. Just as the Crusaders of the 11th and 12th centuries hid behind Christianity to achieve their wealth creating objectives.

    I have no desire to sugar coat anything and I’m sure you are aware that we do have Christian fanatics who have murdered doctors in abortion clinics, acts which are recognised as a form of terrorism. Anders Breivik’s murderous rampage was motivated by his Christian beliefs. I could go on.

  34. Annie Byam

    Mars08 ……..

    ( your comment :” Again… the BIGGEST difference is that the west (generally) does not try do justify brutality in the name of religion.”

    No it doesn’t in fact …….. it just HIDES behind it !!!.


    And there ARE indeed extremists in Christianity ….. not at all a nice lot either. A bunch of radical and very dangerous nuts.

  35. Dagney J. Taggart

    Oh Ungodly, you almost had me until I followed your links. 9/11 was a controlled demolition (by the Jews), WWI (the Jews), the holocaust (massive fakery by the Jews), the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (master plan for world domination by, you guessed it, the Jews). I couldn’t find my car keys this morning – I assume the Jews were behind that as well? Clearly I have been lulled into a state of docile compliance by those dastardly Jews and their chem trails. Or fluoridated water… no, that was the Reds. Who are controlled by international jewry. That’s right.

    Religion has its place. The human condition seems to yearn for something spiritual or mystical. Always has. If it is not religion in the classic sense, it is the cult of personality (Stalin and North Korea spring to mind). We are prone to follow the mob, whether atheist or religious.

    Christianity has had some appalling things done in its name in ages past. Unfortunately, this is still happening with certain elements of Islam. It needs to stop, but how is the big question. The one Muslim I know is concerned as well – he views the Middle Eastern brand of Islam as political not spiritual and extremely dangerous. Too many young people listen to Imam Google and Sheik Youtube.

    Everyone needs something to believe in. I believe I’ll have another beer (a tasty Weizen from Zierholz here in the very heart of the People’s Republic of Canberra. No point risking my precious bodily essence with tap water. Take that, Zionists!

  36. Kaye Lee

    It’s like that Youtube video of that 17 year old kid that they keep replaying to justify removal of our rights. I watched it and thought “Oh you poor deluded kid”. Admittedly I am watching it from the safety of my home in Australia. The thing that worries me is that idiots like Brandis and Abbott are changing laws in MY country because of stuff that angry teenagers on the other side of the world are threatening to do. I am far more worried for those kids that have been sucked into this dispute than I am for the safety of me or my family and I am saddened to think that we have failed these kids so badly that they were vulnerable to this crap.

  37. mars08

    If the literal interpretation of parts of the Quran is the driving force behind militant Islam… Christians, Buddhists, Jews etc are totally screwed. By some estimates there are 2 billion followers of Islam across the planet. It’s astounding that there aren’t worldwide suicide bombings and beheadings every day!

  38. mars08

    Um… “using Anzac and Remembrance days as photo opportunities and ADF members as extras in a Liberal Party promotional film” is not an exclusively LNP thing. Although is appears that the Coalition has more of a uniform fetish than most…

  39. Annie Byam

    I find it very difficult to deal with the likes of Lambie on our TV screens. She frankly gives me the horrors … it’s a personal thing I think.

    BUT .. I have to acknowledge her standing up ( if indeed she REALLY does so ) against the political kudos grabbed eagerly by the LNP in photo ops, and the fact that they do not want to increase the pay for soldiers more than by a miniscule amount – which is the grossest of insults by the LNP to our Armed Forces. How DARE they.

    If Lambie does what she claims she will – good on her …….. we will have to wait and see ! Our Armed Forces ( it is claimed ) are among the highest paid in the world. I don’t know who dreamed that up …. ( the Libs ? ) …. but compared to, say, the U.S. Armed Forces, it would not be difficult to work out that our guys and girls ARE paid more. ……. Because, across the board, WE are paid a lot more for what we do, whatever that might be – as workers – than the Yanks are.

    Then again, anything purchased is very much cheaper over there – commensurate with the pay structure, than it is here.

    Can only hope Lambie comes good on her promises …….. she’s a loose canon though …. and therefore, I reserve more thoughts.

  40. mars08

    “I will vote to defeat all Abbott government legislation until they stop using Anzac and Remembrance days as photo opportunities and…”

    So…. oookay… now we’re negotiating a price for being used as props in government propaganda. The principle of being used to promote the Abbott government isn’t an issue??? I suspect that tells us quite a lot about Lambie’s values.

  41. Probe

    John Kelly and Kaye Lee, your uninformed arguments astound me!
    Kaye, have you never heard of the islamic ‘law of abrogation’?
    The so-called ‘peaceful’ verses of the qur’an you quoted are from muhammed’s early days as a ‘prophet’, when he was leader of a small and struggling band of followers. He had to appease a large number of people by appearing to be tolerant, yet his later teachings are far more violent and intolerant. They come from the period when he held absolute power. The moslem law of abrogation teaches that the later ‘revelations’ of muhammed are more authoritative than the earlier, therefore holding absolute authority as islamic imperatives. The earlier verses are used by moslems to perform taquiyya, which is the deliberate lying to infidels (you and me) in order to further the cause of islam.
    John, your quote from Luke 19 is completely ignorant!
    This is the parable Jesus told about a rich but ruthless ruler.
    A parable is illustrative, not dictatorial.
    It is a parable about working hard for your reward, and that shrinking from that work gets you no reward.
    It has nothing to do with advocating the ‘rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer’ as you suggest.
    The line about the ruler killing his enemies is indicative of the ruthlessness of the ruler, it has nothing to do with any moral or instructional imperative.
    Please, both of you, do better than that.

  42. Kaye Lee


    My point is that quoting from religious texts is ridiculous no matter which one you use. You can find verses to say whatever you want.

    “The moslem law of abrogation teaches that the later ‘revelations’ of muhammed are more authoritative than the earlier, therefore holding absolute authority as islamic imperatives. The earlier verses are used by moslems to perform taquiyya, which is the deliberate lying to infidels (you and me) in order to further the cause of islam.”

    I think you fail to understand the differences between societies. Much has been written about how Muslims living in predominantly non-Muslim lands should interact with people of different faiths and laws.

    Islam prohibits Muslims from showing aggression towards people who do not show aggression towards them. Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah told American Muslims:

    “These people here are allowing you to call people to Islam. They are not prohibiting you. If you go out and proselytize, they don’t come and arrest you; they don’t punish you; they don’t torture you. This idea here should be understood, and the verse from the Quran that we should take as the overriding verse in our relationship with this people is where Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says concerning those who neither fight you because of your religion nor remove you from your homes that He does not prohibit you from showing them birr: righteousness. “Birr” in the Arabic language is the highest degree of ihsaan-it is the ‘aala daraja of ihsan. Allah does not prevent you from showing them excellence-moral excellence-in your transactions with them nor from sharing with them a portion of your wealth.

    We can learn a lesson from the western people who have individuality as one of the foundations of their culture. They respect the rights of people to explore their individuality. There is some good in this understanding, and the Muslims should learn from this even though it is originally from our own tradition. We should see that part of their strength lies in this ability. What this will enable us to do is build bridges. Despite the fact that there are two different opinions which place us in two different positions, this love and mutual respect enables a bridge to be built from one perspective to another perspective, and this creates contact; this creates the ability for us to visit each other, to be together.

    We also have to be good citizens because an excellent Muslim is also an excellent citizen in the society that he lives in. This does not mean that we lose our distinction, that we become completely immersed in the dominant society to where we no longer have our own identity-that is not what I’m calling to. We have to maintain those things that are particular to us as a community, but we also have to recognize that there are other things that are not particular to us but rather general to the human condition that we can partake in; and these things are not things that we should be ignorant and neglectful of but things that we should be engaged in. We have to maintain our roots. We have deep roots in our faith, but at the same time we have to be open to allow others to come into that deep-rootedness.

    Another thing that is very important for us to remember is the moderation of Islam. This is a deen of wasatiyyah: it is a deen of moderation. We are a moderate community. We are between the two extremes of excess and deficiency. We are in the middle. The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Those people who go into matters too deeply will be destroyed.” [The shaykh is an expert in the Arabic language, and he said, “those people” are people involved in “tatarruf” or extremism. That is what “tanata`u'” is.] The Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “The extremists are destroyed,” and he said, “Beware of extremism in the deen.” The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, warned against extremism, and he did not like it. Notice that one of the things that extremism does is that it causes you to lose your rational component so that you are not able to weigh things rationally. Once you have gone to an extreme, you can no longer see things in any balanced way. You have lost that balance of the middle way. This makes you think that what you are doing is right even though it is clearly wrong to others. ”

  43. stephentardrew

    Anyone can dissemble any apparently rational or irrational beliefs from highly subjective texts and use them as guides to human action and behaviour. This is just plain promotion of ignorance and interpretative relativism. Be great when people start thinking for themselves. Why is any one interpretation more or less valid than another when someone simply says so on the basis of those opinions that are purely subjective. The arguments are paradoxical and contradictory yet those who peddle them cannot see the wood for the trees. These dogma riddled texts are the problem. Point is can you have faith without the need for someone to tell you how to think and act. Are you so insecure you cannot trust in your personal understanding of ethics and goodness and then believe in your God of goodness, agnosticism, atheism or whatever else?

  44. Probe

    Kaye Lee, you quoted from the qur’an, therefore that is the basis of your argument. You cannot wriggle out of that fact. Therefore this is, as the original article states, a discourse on religions.
    Your response above is entirely indicative of classic taquiyya.
    moslems are extremely adept at this form of open communication in minority moslem countries, so to use their public discourse in this fashion is lazy and dishonest.
    Research what the qur’an actually teaches, in context of its realities, not your assumptions based on the apologetics of a public-facing moslem spokesperson.
    Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, leader of IS, holds a BA, an MA and a PhD in islamic studies from the University of Baghdad. Please explain how he has got islam so wrong, and those spouting obvious taquiyya are correct?

  45. mars08

    Given the policies and behaviour of Abbott and his goons… I have to wonder how an ex-seminarian and assorted church goers got Christianity so wrong!!!

    Now piss off, Probe. You are an idiot…. I didn’t see Kaye Lee trying to defend ISIS. But I did see YOU trying to twist her words. You are not welcome here.

  46. Probe

    mars08, unintelligent insults will get you nowhere. You are obviously incapable of rational thought or debate, and only resort to pathetic diatribe. I suggest you take your own advice!
    That is, of course, if you could come up with one worthwhile argument instead of unfounded insults.
    FYI, Kaye Lee has supported IS by defending islam. Yes, it is that simple, but I don’t expect you to be able to understand that.

  47. mars08

    So Probe…. are you a wanker in real life… or is it just part of your online persona?

  48. Annie Byam

    Probe …..

    NO … Kaye has NOT supported IS by defending Islam. Not in any way whatsoever. Who the HELL could support an iota of the thought and brutality behind the rebellious, murderous and radical IS … which has in such a short time sprung up, more or less out of nowhere, or maybe as some off-shoot of the original extremists which we know as Al-Qaeda.

    I hear Kaye saying that there are many many Muslims who are NOT extremists, they do not hold extreme views, and enjoy being a part of ( our ) community, or if you like – Western communities. And I suspect those respectful and respected Muslims, do want to build bridges – as long as WE don’t proselytise to them …. and vice versa. ….. And if we have a modicum of good sense, we should start building bridges as well.

    Living each day, does not have to have anything to do with religious dogma. It is and should be of good intention, neighbourliness, and assistance to one another – no matter what religion one is ( or isn’t ). ………

    Where religion is concerned … ” to each their own” is a good tenet to hold – and understand.

    I trust you have another look at her post …….. would be much better if you did.

  49. Annie Byam

    stephentardrew ( your comment : November 8, 2014 at 10:58 am )

    Totally agree with every word there. ….. you have summed it up so very well.

    I have only had discussions with Christians and Jews. By far and away, the Christians ( the fundamentalists mostly ) are the people who will argue black is blue, and force their opinions, based on a subjective assumption. …. It could be just one of the thousands of verses in the Bible – and an argument breaks out. …….. The Jewish people simply don’t argue.

    Been there, done that, and for me – no more.


    Thanks Stephen, for a perfectly appraised summation of the situation.

  50. Möbius Ecko

    So Probe you support fundamentalist Christians who have bombed buildings, wear white pointed hoods and commit racist atrocities, attack abortion clinics, homosexuals and those US Christian sects whose elders marry under-age girls because you defend Christianity?

    I started to post this bit last night but pulled it as I know where discussions with religion always end up but here goes anyway.

    “Please explain how he has got islam so wrong…”

    Abu Bakr al Baghdadi didn’t get it wrong. He like those leaders in many religions, including Christians, chose to put his own interpretation on it to further his terrible goals. He is using a religion as a tool not as a faith and will twist it anyway he chooses to achieve his goal.

    Just as you put your, or something Christian you read, interpretation on Luke 19. There are an awful lot of translations of the bible and many more of select parables and texts in the bible. Luke 19 is an example. Many of the translations can hold to the tenet of the earliest copy but some alter the meaning, just as the higher role of women was altered out of the earlier translations by the all male Church. So Christian leaders pick and chose the meanings of translations of texts that are mostly works of fiction in the first instance, or at the minimum are very loosely based on some event and altered to suit the meaning the author wanted to convey. But they aren’t truths.

    Indeed The Inquisition from the 12th through to the mid 19th centuries undertook some of the worst atrocities perpetrated on humanity based on interpretations of selected parts of the bible. After that long history of inhumanity by the church it lost political power and influence, though remnants of that barbarism still clung on for a long time afterwards. Islam still has political power and influence in those countries dominated by it, so in some of those countries you see it being used for power and domination by a few, just as some in the Christian church would misuse political power if they were given the influence by removing the separation of State and Church. The examples of that can be seen in pockets of fundamentalist Christian institutions around the world, but mostly in the US, where women have to dress from neck to feet it heavy cloth with a head covering, and when walking around no man or woman can publicly show affection to each other, like holding hands. All based on select interpretations of cherry picked pieces of a text that has most likely had its meaning changed over history and was a piece of fiction to begin with.

    Probe you are doing what you accuse Kaye of, you need to do better than that.

    “The Christian resolve to find the world evil and ugly, has made the world evil and ugly.”
    – Friedrich Nietzsche

  51. Probe

    mars08, please make sure both hands are above the table while you type.

    Annie Byam, just as the millions of peaceful Germans were made irrelevant by their silence in the face of the Nazis, and millions of peaceful Chinese were made irrelevant by their silence against the communists, so the many peaceful moslems are made irrelevant by their silence against the jihadis.
    To try to suggest there is some sort of legitimacy in comparing peaceful moslems with jihadis as if this somehow lessens the impact of the jihadis or to suggest they are somehow interpreting the same qur’anic texts differently is a furphy and illegitimate.

    Mobius Echo, your argument belongs in kindergarten. “But he did it too Miss!” You need to do better than that.

    Nobody has answered my original question!
    Is it too difficult?
    I think not.
    Please name any other religion whose followers have committed over 23,000 documented and verified atrocities in the past 15 years.
    Only islam qualifies. Please prove me wrong, I would be very happy to be proven wrong on this point.

  52. Florence nee Fedup

    Seem to be ignoring the elephant in the room. There is a minority of those who follow the Muslim faith killing the majority. This mob are telling the west to keep their noses out of the region.

    This tells me, that the majority of Muslims do not believe or support what this minority is claiming

  53. Florence nee Fedup

    Ii was bought up with the belief that the Irish problems was a war between Catholics and Protestants. The truth is, only to the intent, that the Catholics were poor and had no power in their own county. The protestants had the money and power, along with loyalty to another country.

    The penny dropped when I got to know two such families living next door to another in Villawood. Yes, they were great friends and had no problem getting along.

    Religion obviously was not the problem.

  54. Pingback: Blanc, Bernardi, visas and free speech | Love versus Goliath : A Partner Visa Journey

  55. mars08

    Please name a religion whose followers…

    Encouraged the growth of the international jihadist movement by arming and funding them in a guerllla war against a rival superpwoer.

    Armed and supported a dictator who used illegal chemical weapons against his own people and in a war of aggression against a neighbouring state.

    Imposed cruel sanctions on a nation which was suffering after years of war. And kept those sanctions in place even as they were causing the deaths of 5000 children per month.

    Launched a needless war, based on numerous lies, against a essentially disarmed nation… leading to the deaths of over half-a-million people and the destruction of a society.

    Supports and arms militant Islamic insurgents in a frightfully unstable region and then is stunned when those insurgents dare to follow their own agenda.

    Continues to support undemocratic Muslim leaders who oppress and behead their own citizens.

    That’s quite a lot of nastiness, isn’t it? What religion could be responsible for such fools and maniacs?

    Probe, it’s time for you to crawl back under your rock….

  56. Probe

    mars08, you are functionally insane!
    Nobody is discussing America within this topic.
    You are so desperate to prove me wrong you’re clutching at any straw you can, now go and put your crayons away and get back in your rubber room.

  57. mars08

    You don’t get to say what does and doesn’t get discussed.

    The text of the Bible has as much to do with American wickedness and stupidity as the Koran has to do with Islamic terrorism.

    That is… next to nothing.

  58. Möbius Ecko

    Probe gives a non-reply. Why am I not surprised.

  59. Kaye Lee

    “Kaye Lee, you quoted from the qur’an, therefore that is the basis of your argument. You cannot wriggle out of that fact.”

    I also quoted from the bible and John Lennon. The basis of my argument was in fact that I think basing an argument on religious texts is silly.

    “Your response above is entirely indicative of classic taquiyya.”

    Your response is entirely indicative of ill-informed paranoic xenophobic stereotyping.

    “to use their public discourse in this fashion is lazy and dishonest.”

    Right. So I am not to listen to what Muslims say, or read what their scholars write, but I am to accept what YOU say about Islam based on your view of passages from the Qur’an because they are all liars. Is that it?

    “Kaye Lee has supported IS by defending islam”

    What I am supporting is tolerance. See how polite I am being even to you. I’m a tolerant person…until some pissant bully tries to tell me what I mean when they obviously have no idea. 🙂

  60. Kaye Lee

    “mars08, you are functionally insane!
    Nobody is discussing America within this topic.”

    Am I to assume that Muslims have been responsible for “23,000 documented and verified atrocities in the past 15 years” in Australia?

    By the by,

    The public record of violent deaths following the 2003 invasion of Iraq

    Documented civilian deaths from violence

    132,191 – 148,743

    Total violent deaths including combatants


    The question of legitimacy and illegitimacy, when it comes to the use of force, is not one that has an easy answer. Everyone claims to be justified in using their forces and weapons and all sides kill civilians. States and non-states. Iraq, the US, the UK, the IS, Al Qaeda, the Mahdi Army and many others over the years. The principle of universality is never entertained, as each side believes it and only it is justified in its actions, it and only it has been provoked to act in this way, it and only it has the right to strike, to kill, to defend, or to change the status quo. To apply the same logic to the other side is inconceivable.

    In the midst of all the legitimisations, the justifications and divine references, the innocents are blown up and gunned down every day. Mortared, shot, beheaded. Young, old, infant, male and female. Over 13,000 since the start of this year.

  61. mars08

    @Kaye Lee…

    The numbers are of the REPORTED violent deaths in that needless, illegal, contrived, avoidable war.

    The stats do not cover those deaths that occurred indirectly, owing to easily preventable diseases such as dysentery and measles, respiratory infections, as well as malnutrition.

    Death rates are aggravated by the collapse of basic health infrastructure, adequate food and shelter, clean water, electricity and other basic needs.

    Study: Iraq War Resulted in 461,000 Iraqi Deaths

  62. Kaye Lee

    Yes mars08. They are the documented deaths so the reality is much higher. Plus, as you point out, we destroyed their infrastructure, their homes and schools, and imposed such strict sanctions that we caused a great deal more suffering.

    I deplore violence. It never addresses the causes of problems. Jews fought hard to carve out the state of Israel and fight even harder to expand and defend it, with many civilian casualties along the way. It isn’t all that different to what IS say they are trying to do though I cannot fathom how they think they will achieve this through beheadings and suicide bombings. This is actually an argument between Sunni and Shia Muslims and a reaction to sectarian oppression.

    Tolerance, choice, respect for diversity, fair representation, addressing inequality, education – there are better ways to co-exist than testosterone-fuelled battles for supremacy.

  63. Jason

    Probe by name, suppository by nature

  64. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    This is actually an argument between Sunni and Shia Muslims…

    Yes. It’s an tragic argument which WE arrogantly and thoughtlessly fuelled…

    The sectarian myth of Iraq
    17 June, 2014

    We coexisted peacefully for centuries, and need neither brutal dictators nor western intervention…

    Until the 1970s nearly all Iraq’s political organisations were secular, attracting people from all religions and none. The dividing lines were sharply political, mostly based on social class and political orientation…


    Goodbye, Baghdad
    28 April, 2007

    They go on and on about Iraq’s history and how Sunnis and Shia were always in conflict and I hate that. I hate that a handful of expats who haven’t been to the country in decades pretend to know more about it than people actually living there.

    I remember Baghdad before the war — one could live anywhere. We didn’t know what our neighbors were — we didn’t care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now…


    Can Christianity Survive in the New Iraq?
    23 July, 2013

    By 1979 various Christian factions came together to create the first secular Christian political party in the region — the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM). “Ideologically,” Teule explained, the theory was that “Assyrian should not be limited to one specific community,” but “Assyrian should refer to a common ethnic identity” of all the four or five church communities in Iraq.

    “In this way they created in Iraq a third ethnic group, next to the Arabs and to the Kurds,” he said.


    A historical view of the divide between the Shia and Sunni in Iraq
    29 July, 2014

    One of the key historical differences between the Shiites and the Sunnis has been their attitude towards government. The Shiites have always rejected earthly authority, whereas the Sunnis have had a much closer relationship with those in power. In the aftermath of the two world wars, Shiites once more found themselves on the outer.

    ‘The Shiites of southern Lebanon, the Shiites of Iraq, Bahrain, of what became Saudi Arabia, all faced a new situation in which they were being incorporated into modern nation states, most of which were dominated by Sunni politicians and in which the Shiites were often very poor and marginalised,’ says Professor Cole. ‘So the history of modern Lebanon or modern Iraq has in some sense been a history of Shiites struggling back against this marginalisation and seeking greater political participation.’


    Matthew 7:3

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

  65. stephentardrew

    Probe: You have been probed.

  66. Probe

    Jason, please grow a brain cell and double your intelligence.

  67. Probe

    I will not argue any further with people on this page or this topic.
    There are none so blind as they who refuse to see.
    Please continue in your myopic fog people.
    Happy 3%.

  68. Annie Byam

    Probe ……

    You have been shot down in flames, and you have underscored that with your last two pathetic replies to Jason and mars08.

    You posted a link to mars08 which I read …. IN FULL …. but you apparently – – DID NOT. Best not to post links that you only ‘think’ will underscore your fractured arguments …. best that you read them properly.

    from the link you posted :

    …………. ” Within the global Muslim community, there is a civil war between those who want to adapt their faith to the modern world, and those who want to wage war in order to recreate a lost past of Muslim dominance. We do the former no favor by indulging Islam’s more unsavory aspects, since those aspects are exactly what need to be changed if Muslims want to enjoy the freedom and prosperity that come from political orders founded on human rights and inclusive tolerance. Raymond Ibrahim’s Crucified Again is an invaluable resource for telling the truth that could promote such change. ” ………..

    THAT was the final summation paragraph in that article.

    You obviously were attracted by the first few paragraphs – written in “Jews News” and which obviously would, naturally, point up the problem of radical Islam in Palestine… because they fight against it, in and over the Gaza strip. …. Which is … Israel vs. Palestine.

    To my knowledge, there is no radical Islam in Israel ……. but by HELL there is in the Gaza Strip.

    The damned thing is 360 square kilometres in size. The Israeli’s want it back, not that it is worth much at all to them economically or agriculturally, but they want to rid themselves of the ever present threat of the Hezbollah which flourishes there.

    ……….. “At 360 square kilometres, Gaza is home to a population of more
    ………….than 1.5 million people, including 1.1 million Palestinian refugees.”

    Surely THAT tells you something ?

    Please ponder and reflect upon the words in that paragraph posted ,,,,,,, ending with – ” on human rights and inclusive tolerance. ” …. which it would seem the majority of peaceful living Muslims want. They are as much against the jihadist ( extremist, fundamentalist ) groups as anybody else in the world.

    I seriously do not know where you are coming from ……. and frankly, I don’t think you know either.

  69. Florence nee Fedup

    Could it been probed and found wanting.

  70. Annie Byam

    @ Probe ……

    You made a statement which is so utterly incorrect – – attributed to something I had allegedly written….. This goes to prove that you will say anything – about anybody, if it suits you to try and prove some point or other.

    Your comment – posted on November 9, 2014 at 8:22 am …. states ( to me ) :

    …………” To try to suggest there is some sort of legitimacy in comparing peaceful moslems with jihadis as if this somehow lessens the impact of the jihadis or to suggest they are somehow interpreting the same qur’anic texts differently is a furphy and illegitimate.” ….

    I suggested NO SUCH THING … and you damn well know it.

    There are moderate, peaceful Muslims – and there are jihadists – and never the twain shall meet.

    The same applies to Christians ….. moderate, peaceful Christians – and the inane ravings of fundamentalist Christian sects, and their mentors, who use blatant brain-washing to convert moderate Christians ( and lost souls ) to their way of thinking.

    And if you want ( as you suggested you did ) …. some form of proof as to the cruelty of Christians over the centuries – here is a bit of reading for you :

    I guess, if you are going to describe Muslims as the ‘worst’ perpetrators in terms of murders and killings – you would have to include the Muslims that have been killed by other Muslims ? That in itself is an abomination. But I gathered you were banging on about how many “other” people – of any other religion or way of life that have been killed by Muslims. In that case, please provide a link !!

    Wake up to yourself, Probe. …… .

  71. Möbius Ecko

    I will not argue any further with people on this page or this topic.
    There are none so blind as they who refuse to see.
    Please continue in your myopic fog people.
    Happy 3%.

    And with that Probe runs away and comprehensively loses the argument after posting a bunch of non-replies telling people to grow either up or a brain, whilst amply demonstrating Probe can not posit a mature argument and is sorely lacking in acuity.

  72. mars08

    Taqiyya is a Shi’a Islamic term for “concealing one’s faith in dangerous circumstances… However, in no way does this suggest that it is to be used as a means to promote the religion.

    But, by God, doesn’t the word sound mysterious and sinister “taqiyya”… taqiyya, taqiyya. Rhymes with shari’a! And we all know THAT is evil! Oooooh, good lord… don’t the wingnuts love it!

  73. Mrs Beardsley

    This is what we need and crave is public debate. Good post. Great commentary. Islamic doctrine differs from Christian doctrine in many ways. I will cite 3 differences.
    KILLING: Islam tells its followers throughout the Koran, the Hadith and the Sira to convert, tax or kill unbelievers. Christian doctrine states that killing is wrong. Islamic doctrine teaches that killing infidels (unbelievers) will send the killer straight to paradise. Christianity teaches that all life is sacred and that killing another will ensure you go to eternal hell. Mohammed beheaded hundreds. Jesus killed nobody.
    LYING: Islam teaches that lying is permissible or even obligatory in circumstances to further the cause of Islam. Christian doctrine teaches that lying is wrong and that it is sinful.
    ADULTERY: Islam allows 4 wives, and sex slaves. Christian doctrine teaches that adultery is a sin.

    Allah is not God. These are two very different deities.


  74. Gwendoline Blake

    Christians are people who follow the teachings of Christ. He was a Jew and he turned the Jewish doctrine upside down. For example he said ‘You have heard it said an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth but I tell you do good to those who treat you badly’. My quotes are not perfect here but he also said that if someone strikes you you should turn the other cheek. His teachings are very difficult to follow. No-one wants to be abused and then not retaliate but that is what he said. It has lead to our law system – no-one is permitted to kill as payback – they have to abide by the law and permit an offender to have a trial.

  75. Anniebee

    Gosh – this article goes back a long way – 2014. !!

    To : Mrs. Beardsley – While I am absolutely NOT an Islamic sympathiser, nor do I have anything to do with the Islam ( Muslim ) faith – I do know, from research – that the Q’ran and the Bible have much in common with one another. … They both exhort goodness, kindness, honesty and empathy – and they both exhort brutality, barbarism, and admonishments of cruel form death for wrong doings.

    You seem to have ‘cherry-picked’ that which suits your christian beliefs – in that you lambast the Q’ran and praise the christian Bible. Are you aware of the accolades given to Jesus .. in the Q’ran ?

    Here is an excerpt from on line research : ” In the 114 chapters of the Q’ran Mohammeds’ name is mentioned in 4 places, however Jesus is mentioned in 25 places. Chapter 3 Verses 45-55 Calls Jesus “Word of God”, “Spirit of God” “Jesus Christ”. The Quran says that Jesus began speaking 2 days after being born. …. “

    Also ” In Islam, ʿĪsā ibn Maryām (Arabic: عيسى بن مريم‎, lit. ‘Jesus, son of Mary’‎), or Jesus, is understood to be the penultimate prophet and messenger of Allah (God) and al-Masih, the Arabic term for Messiah (Christ), sent to guide the Children of Israel (banī isrā’īl in Arabic) with a new revelation: al-Injīl (Arabic for “the Gospel”).[1][2][3] Jesus is believed to be a prophet who neither married nor had any children and is reflected as a significant figure…. ” … ( I can provide links if you wish ).

    The penultimate prophet and messenger of Allah (God) – as shown above.

    Allah .. and God … are words to signify THE highest power of all time. In that regard, they are identical.

    I suggest you do a whole lot more of research before making such high-handed statements. …

    You have shown your bias here.

    and to Gwendoline Blake …. Jesus teachings to those who needed to feel hope and spiritual knowledge and growth, are indeed difficult for us – today – to follow. But in the days that Jesus lived, perhaps it was more easily understood. Perhaps his words ( centuries ago ) did lead to the law system – even in part, as we know it today, but the legal system has had many many changes over the centuries – due to legislation by government(s) … and perhaps is not so based now, on Jesus’ teachings.

    Perhaps rather, a secular concept – and a good one at that – that inhumanity to humans, gross indulgence in brutal slayings, et al – can lead to anarchy – and therefore must be stopped, by judicial decision of just punishment for a crime – one ( or more ) persons, against another person. That may sound cynical to you and other readers, but I do think parliamentarians are more concerned with judicial outcomes, than with religious ideals – in passing legislation – and ultimate court considered punishment.

    Just a few thoughts …

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