Sincerity, what is it and how do we identify it from bald-faced lies and zealous ignorance? In two ways Virginia, in two ways; analyze what they say and compare it to all available facts; and judge them by their fruits, one of the most useful concepts to come out of Judeo/Christianity.
It is never more important to identify real sincerity than when the speaker claims a religious moral high-ground. Most religious traditions cherish a core principal of truth and honesty; a self-serving lie perverts the most noble cause at its very core – *Living* this belief distinguishes the true clergy of God, no matter their faith.
Unfortunately the extremes of the religious/partisan/tribal spectrum believe the opposite; so sure are they of the holiness of their cause that eventually any lie will come to be seen as sanctifying, instead of perverting, when applied in any fashion that can be rationalized as in service to “The Cause.”
To be sure, this trait is not confined to religious bigots, there are political movements on the Left, and Right, who share this same “holy” zeal for their vision of “how things must be.”
Here is a piece from the Great Falls Tribune in Montana that straddles both the religious and the political art of faking complete sincerity.
Part of Islamic teachings is mutual respect and acceptance, according to Hussam Ayloush, a speaker at the Islam in America symposium in Bozeman in February and a Muslim-American from Anaheim, Calif.
Why would anyone hold a symposium on Islam in America in Bozeman, Montana (pop < 30,000)? Maybe so no-one undesired is likely to show up and attend to what is actually said?
With that said, “part of Islamic teachings is…”? That is about as vague as you can get. A part? A large part? A powerful part? How about a dominant part? We will let that one go for now…
“Some Muslims disagree with American policies, Ayloush said, but that doesn’t mean they hate Americans.”
Disingenuous, thy name is partisan! “Some” can be read as most according to virtually all polls I have seen, whether by US-based, Judeo/Christian religious, or Muslim news agencies!
As to the “hate American policies[sins]” bit, sorry, the Christians use that one too; what they hate is America’s Un-Muslimness, and that means hating non-Muslim Americans; just as a radical Christian who hates homosexuality hates the gays, not just “their sin.”
“There are lines by the thousands in Muslim countries for visas to come to America,” he said. “People are proud to visit here. There’s no shame — it’s the opposite.”
MSU Adjunct Professor Thomas Goltz has spent years traveling in Muslim countries. “I have never, not once, felt uncomfortable going around the Muslim world because they were Muslim,” he said.
This is probably because Goltz is known for uncritically pro-Muslim, and anti non-Muslim, statements and articles:
Goltz’ remarks were in response a question from the audience on how to convince Armenians of Nagorno-Karabagh to stay within the “current boundaries of Azerbaijan.” Goltz, who teaches at the Montana State University, replied: “By building a forward-looking democracy you will be able to let the garlic-growing Armenians beg to join you (Azerbaijan).”
… Goltz accused Armenians of perpetrating “ethnic cleansing” in Khojaly and said the Armenia argument that the Khojaly operation was a necessary pre-emptive and defensive measure to relieve Nagorno-Karabagh’s capital Stepanakerd from relentless shelling from Khojaly was “nonsense”.
The most dramatic moment of the lectures occurred when Aris Babikian from the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) successfully refuted two controversial statements by Goltz.
At the Newsmaker Breakfast lecture, Aris Babikian, executive director of the ANCC, confronted Goltz and mocked him for his “command performance of misrepresentation and revisionism.” Babikian exposed Goltz’ hypocrisy by pointing out that the American journalist had “conveniently forgotten to mention the Sumgait, Baku and Maragh massacres of Armenians by Azeris… and that had it not been for the Russian Navy 230,000 Armenian inhabitants of Baku would have not survived.”
Ayloush explained that al-Qaida is so unwanted in Muslim countries the terrorist organization must hide. “Eight out of 10 victims (of al-Qaida) are Muslim,” he said. “Every political leader has spoken out against (them).”
Of course, to be fair he would have mentioned that BEFORE most of their victims were Muslims support for al-Qaida in the Muslim world was much, much higher… but that has nothing to do with anything, right?
This next bit is so outrageous that I am going to take it piece by piece:
“Jihad” is a term used to describe “inner struggle” and striving for the sake of God, according to Ayloush. It is “not holy war,” Ayloush stresses.
The inner struggle means controlling one’s passions and avoiding vices.
Here Ayloush is being at best sloppy and rash, and at worst a completely disingenuous dispenser of bovine produced fertilizer. Doesn’t he understand that to tell such easily refutable lies helps his cause in the uncommitted hearts NOT ONE BIT? Here is a piece that brings together some interesting quotes from the Quran:
“Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them):
thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom. (47:4)This one states the goal of the fighting in terms that also make clear that the war is religious:And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. (8:39)And this one establishes that he warfare is against the People of the Book, that is, Jews and Christians:
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (9:29)”
Back to the article…
Arabic has no word for “holy war,” and the phrase was developed as a way to translate the word “crusade,” a Latin word and Christian idea.
Stunningly untrue: the Crusades began only after 300 years of ISLAMIC military aggression against Byzantium and the Holy Land (mostly Christian at the time), including the attacking and enslaving of pilgrims as a “religious right and duty.” Only a mind that thinks that when Muslims murder it is sanctified by God can think that the Crusades taught MUSLIMS how to fight a holy war!
The Quran surfaced about 1,400 years ago, Kia said, and there are no verses about the United States because the country did not yet exist.
The United States has gone to war in Afghanistan and Iraq because of those countries’ policies, not religion. They just happen to have a majority Muslim population, according to Kia.
And? So? What does that have to do with anything? The Koran, Hadith, and especially the Sharia’a, clearly deny the right of humans to create their own laws and institutions; this puts traditional Islam squarely AGAINST everything that Western societies, including America, are based on.
The Sept. 11 attacks were committed by a minority group of extremist Muslims affiliated with the terrorist organization al-Qaida, which has small networks all over the world.
And Muslims danced the world over, wherever they were more than a tiny percentage of the population! Can anyone tell me of any event involving the murder of over three thousand people that would bring out huge numbers of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Shinto, Buddhists or Neo-Pagans out to dance in joy? Such compassion! Such a peaceful outpouring of warmth and sympathy!
Christians have committed acts of terror both present-day and throughout history.
That is nice Professor, but we live NOW; tell us about the thousands murdered every day by Christians – shows us the yearly toll of thousands of Fellow Christians (but not Christian enough), and non-Christians who offend by merely BEING non-Christian. Show us where they live closer than your great-great-great-grand mother’s lifetime! You remind me of a Mafia Don excusing 30 murders committed in a year to consolidate his power because thuggish cops killed two people randomly over ten years.
In defense of a political movement that attitude is sad; in defense of a religion is it disgusting.
“The irony is that Christianity fought its holy war against Islam in the middle ages,” Kia said. “There was a Christian ‘holy war,’ there was a Christian ‘jihad.'”
You keep beating that horse, but it will never get up and run… how is it ironic that only after 300 years of murder, raid and military assault culminating in closure of access (at peril of life and freedom) to pilgrims the Christians FINALLY took up arms, and came and kicked some butt to take that formerly CHRISTIAN land back? Jihad is only bad if it is Christians? (note that I have not addressed, and certainly not defended, any excesses of the Christians involved; we are just addressing motives for now)
There are terrorist organizations throughout the world. A full list of designated groups can be viewed at http://www.state.gov/s/ct/list/, and a list by country at http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/terrorist-groups.cfm.
I am not going to spend a huge amount of time breaking down the numbers of dead by the religion of the murderers; go here and look for yourself at how utterly stupid this argument is:
The country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia.
And also the country with one of the fastest growing Islamist problems!!!
And that concludes our lesson in how to be truly sincere at *appearing* to be Morally Superior to your opponent.
Less than 20 percent of the 1.6 billion Muslims (according to a Pew study in 2009) in the world are Arab, Ayloush said. “It’s a religion,” he said. “Not an ethnicity.”
And let us not forget it; I don’t expect to hear Ayloush calling anti-Islamist groups racists!