After Boston, Little Change in Views of Islam and Violence

0

The public’s views of whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence have changed little in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.


Currently, 42% say Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers, while 46% say Islam does not encourage violence more than other religions.

These are similar to opinions about Islam and violence for most of the past decade. But in March 2002, six months after the 9/11 attacks, just 25% said Islam was more likely to encourage violence while 51% disagreed.

The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted May 1-5 among 1,504 adults, finds sizable demographic and religious differences in attitudes toward Islam and violence. And the partisan gap is as large as ever: 62% of Republicans say that Islam encourages violence more than other religions, compared with 39% of independents and just 29% of Democrats.

Written By: Pew Research
continue to source article at people-press.org

NO COMMENTS

    • In reply to #2 by 1bewildered1:

      Truly depressing- why do so few people know what the koran teaches?

      Go on mainstream liberal websites e.g. NPR, where one would hope to find fact and evidence based thought to prevail, and try posting a comment with a Koran verse or two while asking if anyone notices the similarity between the violence being urged on infidels in those holiest of texts and the violence perpetrated by those who claim to be devout readers of those texts.

      Watch yourself be accused of racism, inciting hate, islamophobia, bigotry and get shouted down with “What about the bible?”, “What about Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot?” If their moderator even allows your comment to appear in the first place.

  1. Beyond violence, I find the problem with Islam is that it is just not compatible with a “live and let live” ethos.
    Not many people realize this, but we are so lucky to live in the West. Here most Christians practice their faith privately: they keep their God, their Jesus, their Bible to themselves. Excellent. In the Muslim world, so many of the believers want to literally force Allah, Muhammad, and the Quran down your throat.

    I really liked the January 2013 Ipsos poll for “Le Monde”, entitled “France 2013: les nouvelles fractures”. It shows 80% of the French think Islam “tries to impose its mode of functioning to others”, versus 26% for Catholicism and 21% for Judaism. 80%! The French have a lot of experience with their minorities, and I really trust them on that.

    Cultures and religions are so different… I didn’t hear a French person complain about the Vietnamese in France yet! They do complain A LOT about some other minorities though. And I don’t blame them…

  2. There are many problems here:
    1) People not having their views swayed by a single violent crime is a GOOD thing.
    2) West Borough Baptist Church =/= Church of England. Islam is also diverse.
    3) Maybe the corrispondents know lots of violent christians. The question is relative after all.

    And once again in the comments we have the Dawkins Site Delusion. Christians supposedly take what the want from the bible to justify their own pre existing views, but Muslims have no pre existing views until corrupted by the evil and terrible koran, which is all bad. I call BS.

    • In reply to #7 by ANTIcarrot:

      There are many problems here:
      1) People not having their views swayed by a single violent crime is a GOOD thing.
      2) West Borough Baptist Church =/= Church of England. Islam is also diverse.
      3) Maybe the corrispondents know lots of violent christians. The question is relative after all.

      ” And once aga..Christians supposedly take what the want from the bible to justify their own pre existing views, but Muslims have no pre existing views until corrupted by the evil and terrible koran, which is all bad. I call BS.”

      Seems one has forgotten christains were just like this once.

  3. Irresponsible mainstream media played a vital role in preserving the masses ignorance about the koran and it’s hideous teaching of violence,politicizing what is clearly a religiously motivated terrorism is not helpful to effectively deal with the menace of hateful religious indoctrination.

    • In reply to #8 by kamel:

      Irresponsible mainstream media played a vital role in preserving the masses ignorance about the koran and it’s hideous teaching of violence,politicizing what is clearly a religiously motivated terrorism is not helpful to effectively deal with the menace of hateful religious indoctrination.

      Though we have to admit Dawkharrhitch’s underplaying the sociopoliticoculturaleconomicmilitary factors is not ideal either.

  4. The fact that a slim majority think Islam is NOT “more likely than other religions” to encourage violence just indicates that they’re all pretty bad. Hindus being violent in India, Orthodox Jews in Israel, Buddhists against Muslims in Myanmar, Christians murdering doctors who perform abortions or trying to execute gays in Africa…

    Religion is the problem, not just Islam.

  5. This a vexed question.

    The debate must concentrate on the one element common to all religions to a greater or lesser extent: blind faith.

    We are all susceptible to influences outside ourselves, be they political, sexual, or what ever, and it’s vitally important to exercise self discipline no matter how tempted we become; I’m embarrassed when I think back to some of the crackpot ideas I’ve had in my time!

    But if from infancy you’ve been caught up in a web of woo it will be extremely difficult to escape it.

    So the individual Muslim probably feels too intimidated to speak out against the violence committed in their name.

    There’s also appears to be one particularly strong characteristic of this religion, and that’s mass histeria. But it has applied to both sides in this case with the internment without trial of Muslims at Ghantanomo Bay; reminiscent of what happened to Germans, Italians, and in the USA the Japanese during the second great slaughter which emanated from Europe.

    I have to admit that I find myself tempted to slip into prejudice mode now and then, and having to slap myself down.

  6. In reply to #12 by Stevehill:

    The fact that a slim majority think Islam is NOT “more likely than other religions” to encourage violence just indicates that they’re all pretty bad. Hindus being violent in India, Orthodox Jews in Israel, Buddhists against Muslims in Myanmar, Christians murdering doctors who perform abortions or trying to execute gays in Africa…

    Religion is the problem, not just Islam.

    Intolerance is the problem, in conjunction with social injustice and man’s innately violent nature. Religion just greases the wheels, and convinces those who would commit monstrous acts that they’re the good guys. Militant nationalism frequently fills the same role, but love of country makes no more sense as a motivator for acts of barbarity than faith does.

    We need to stop thinking of religion as the cause of conflict and recognise that it’s a symptom of a greater malaise. Someone lower down says:

    …Not many people realize this, but we are so lucky to live in the West. Here most Christians practice their faith privately: they keep their God, their Jesus, their Bible to themselves. Excellent. In the Muslim world, so many of the believers want to literally force Allah, Muhammad, and the Quran down your throat.

    But does religion in the West have fewer teeth because of the more benign nature of Christianity? History might take issue with such an assertion. I would suggest that there may be a direct, and I hope I’m using this term correctly, negative correlation between the level of social justice in any given population and the prevalence of aggressive organised religion.

    In other words, if you’re able to put food in your family and a roof over their heads, and the lord of the manor doesn’t have droit du seigneur over your daughters and the ability to demand ninety percent of your meagre income in taxation; and your enfranchisement isn’t determined by how much land you own or the nature of your genitals or skin pigmentation… when these and similar criteria are met, it’s less likely there will be a void in your soul which religionists will be only too happy to fill up for you.

    The West has enjoyed greater prosperity than the rest of the world in the last few hundred years; in fact often at the expense of the rest of the world. As our lives have gotten easier, our susceptibility to religion has diminished. We don’t care as much about inheriting the earth because we’re happy with our materialism and our nice houses; our iPads, plasma screens and whatnot. It has nothing to do with Christianity being nicer.

    To blame Islam alone for acts of terror committed in its name, or rather to reduce the argument to Islam = all kaffirs must be murdered. It’s that simple is to ignore not only almost two millennia of conflict between the Muslim world and the West, but also the oppression which continues to this day of indigenes by ghastly potentates and warlords, often installed or kept supplied with guns, instruments of torture and chemical weaponry by Western governments more concerned with keeping the price of a barrel of gas low than troubling themselves with pesky stuff such as human rights violations.


    For no other reason than that I can’t think of a good line with which to end my post, I give you these images:

    rdf richard

    rdf richard

    rdf richard

    rdf richard

  7. When one considers the number of muslims living in the west the question has to be if obeying the koran leads inevitably to acts of violence against the infidel then just what the fcuk are the fidels doing, where t f are they?

    Truth is, nearly every muslim not using islam to preserve his own power realises, like every moderate christian, that the hatred and out of group prejudice preached in their holy books is tosh and choses not to act upon it.

    Katy, if it weren’t for the fact that Blair and Gadafi were both criminals responsible for thousands of deaths you could launch an hilarious caption competition. But that would just be in too bad taste.

  8. The USA illegally invaded and occupied two countries. It ignored the Geneva conventions. It used torture. It ignored its own constitution. Surely America should prepare for some retaliation for that. Look what happened to Germany when it pulled the same stunt.

    The Boston bombings were an amateurish attempt at retaliation. I am quite amazed there have not been hundreds more. The Homeland Security people must be doing one heck of a job. This has little to do with religion other than that the two countries the US invaded were Muslim.

    The Wahabi fruitcakes have been around since the 1700s. If they were going to attack purely on religious grounds, they would have done it long ago.

    • In reply to #19 by Roedy:

      Hi Roedy. If is true that .terrorist attacks targeting innocent civilians are exclusively a retaliation to american foreign policy then why all the terrorists involved are deeply religious and commonly connected to islamic jihadists? a pure coincidence?!.

    • In reply to #19 by Roedy:

      The USA illegally invaded and occupied two countries. It ignored the Geneva conventions. It used torture. It ignored its own constitution. Surely America should prepare for some retaliation for that. Look what happened to Germany when it pulled the same stunt.

      The Boston bombings were an amateuri…

      ‘Look what happened to Germany…’
      Outrageous! Equating Nazism to US misadventures. Two quoque???

      ‘This has little to do with religion’ Rubbish-
      “My brother wanted to defend Islam from attack,” said Dzhokhar [Tsarnaev]

      ‘The Boston bombings were an amateurish attempt at retaliation’

      Well, 3 dead, 14 amputations, 180+ ‘injuries’… so what would you consider a ‘professional’ attempt?

      Roedy, there are quite enough apologists and liberal ideologues trying to cover up the facts, even wishing [prior to the truth emerging] that the culprits would be white non-aligned terrorists!

  9. The ignorance of a couple of the comments here is absolutley breath taking. It is very true that Islam is itself not a monolith, and I am at times bothered by those who paint it as such. But to assume that the violence committed by the wahabbi-takfiri sects is somehow a product of western action or socio-political factors is absolutely ignorant.

    And hey Roedy, though modern Jihad is an offshoot of Wahabism, its roots are from the writings of Sayid Qutb. He is the father of today’s modern Jihadism. Until all you flippant liberals realize this we will never be able to identify and show solidarity to the true victims of this fascist ideology, other muslims…

    Before any of you fatuous pseudo intellectuals try to argue, go read “The Looming Tower” by Lawrence Wright and “The Black Banners” by Ali Soufan. They will by no means clear all of the rampant misconceptions held by the masochistic elements of western societies, but its a good start.

    And anyone who will refer to the removal of the Taliban as an illegal act may be too deluded to see anything clearly, ever.

  10. “We need to stop thinking of religion as the cause of conflict”

    http://godandwar.wikispaces.com/List+of+Religious+Wars
    includes an interesting definition of ‘religious war’

    “Watch yourself be accused of racism, inciting hate, islamophobia, bigotry and get shouted down with “What about the bible?”, “What about Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot?” If their moderator even allows your comment to appear in the first place”

    One can be informed about the contents of holy texts without having to publicly express any opinion, though…

    “Beyond violence, I find the problem with Islam is that it is just not compatible with a “live and let live” ethos” Well, yes- muslims are commanded to reject friendship with kuffar-

    ‘O you who believe! do not take for intimate friends from among others than your own people; they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater still; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you, if you will understand.’
    Qur’an 3:118

    “And once again in the comments we have the Dawkins Site Delusion. Christians supposedly take what the want from the bible to justify their own pre existing views, but Muslims have no pre existing views until corrupted by the evil and terrible koran, which is all bad. I call BS.”

    I think you’ll find that whilst both religions are guilty of evildoing, the essential difference is that christianity has evolved and islam has not, broadly speaking. Atheists will not defend either and they are not ‘equal’ in any way; most obviously, suicide bombers are absent in christianity nor do ‘christian madrassas’ inculcate children in the way islam does. Fatwahs cannot be issued and cruel and inhuman punishment has been mostly abandoned in christianity [AFAIK].

    • In reply to #22 by 1bewildered1:

      “We need to stop thinking of religion as the cause of conflict”

      http://godandwar.wikispaces.com/List+of+Religious+Wars
      includes an interesting definition of ‘religious war’

      “Watch yourself be accused of racism, inciting hate, islamophobia, bigotry and get shouted down with “What about the bible?”,…

      There have been Christian suicide bombers. As for the idea of religious war, in the “Encyclopedia of Wars,” Phillips and Axelrod survey nearly 1800 violent conflicts across history; only 7 % were religious.

      • In reply to #24 by The Grapes of Roth:

        In reply to #22 by 1bewildered1:

        “We need to stop thinking of religion as the cause of conflict”

        http://godandwar.wikispaces.com/List+of+Religious+Wars
        includes an interesting definition of ‘religious war’

        “Watch yourself be accused of racism, inciting hate, islamophobia, bigotry and get shouted…

        Yes, there have been christian suicide bombers but were they around the time of the crusades? Not sure about any great number of recent cases. As for ‘religious war’ it depends on the definition used; I see some consider the Northern Irish ‘troubles’ as non-religious but that seems a stretch…
        Point is that religion defines in-out groups, setting the conditions for disagreement and possible conflict and even if ‘only’ 7% of wars are religious, that is 7% too many for peace and love promoted by religion.

        No comment on the other issues raised??

        • In reply to #28 by 1bewildered1:

          In reply to #24 by The Grapes of Roth:

          In reply to #22 by 1bewildered1:

          “We need to stop thinking of religion as the cause of conflict”

          http://godandwar.wikispaces.com/List+of+Religious+Wars
          includes an interesting definition of ‘religious war’

          “Watch yourself be accused of racism, inciting hate…

          The PFLP in Palestine; and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party and Hezbollah in Lebanon have had Christian suicide bombers. Going back a little further, the Luftwaffe also used suicide squads. Interestingly, in 1804, an American captain Richard Somers of the US Navy strapped bombs onto his ship and drove it into a harbor in Tripoli (now Libya). Unfortunately for him, as it often happens, the bomb exploded prematurely. Since then, the US Navy has named six ships in Somers’ honor. Talk about a culture of suicide and martyrdom!

          • In reply to #30 by The Grapes of Roth:

            The PFLP in Palestine; and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party and Hezbollah in Lebanon have had Christian suicide bombers.

            The Chicago Project On Security And Terrorism, which documents all suicide attacks between 1981 and 2011, lists only one suicide attack carried out by a Christian.

            Do you have a source for your claims about other Christian suicide bombers?

          • In reply to #31 by skeelo:

            In reply to #30 by The Grapes of Roth:

            The PFLP in Palestine; and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party and Hezbollah in Lebanon have had Christian suicide bombers.

            The Chicago Project On Security And Terrorism, which documents all suicide attacks between 1981 and 2011, lists only one suicide attack…

            Sure, have a read of Robert Pape “Dying to Win” Pages 89, 130, 205 and 206.

          • In reply to #32 by The Grapes of Roth:

            Sure, have a read of Robert Pape “Dying to Win” Pages 89, 130, 205 and 206.

            I’m confused, since, according to the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ‘Pape founded the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, which he still directs.’

            As I said, the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (which Pape founded and still directs) lists just one Christian suicide attack in the 30 years between 1981 and 2011. Does the book that Pape wrote, which was based on the Chicago Project database, contain information contradictory to this?

            If we assume for the moment that Pape’s database is wrong, but that Pape’s book based upon his database is right, what is the correct number of Christian suicide bombers over this period? Since you clearly have the book to hand, perhaps you could enlighten me?

          • In reply to #33 by skeelo:

            In reply to #32 by The Grapes of Roth:

            Sure, have a read of Robert Pape “Dying to Win” Pages 89, 130, 205 and 206.

            I’m confused, since, according to the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ‘Pape founded the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, which he still directs.’

            As I said, the…

            Dataset Lebanese suicide attackers 1982-86 is on about page 15-16.

            http://jtac.uchicago.edu/conferences/05/resources/pape_formatted%20for%20DTRA.pdf

          • In reply to #34 by The Grapes of Roth:

            Dataset Lebanese suicide attackers 1982-86 is on about page 15-16.

            Thanks for the link. Believe it or not, I was already aware of Pape’s claim that the ideology of 8% of successful suicide attackers in Lebanon between 1982 and 1986 was Christian. Here’s the story:

            There were 12 groups identified in the aforementioned attacks: one of the groups involved was the Vanguard of Arab Christians who have carried out, to date, a grand total of one attack (a car bomb attack against Christian Militia leaders), involving a grand total of one attacker. 1 group out of 12, in percentage terms = 8.3%. As it happens, thanks to Pape’s data, we know the religious affiliation of 27 of the attackers: one Christian out of 27 = 3.7%. I guess 8% sounds more impressive than 3.7%, so I can understand why he might have decided to run with the higher figure, even if it gives a rather misleading impression.

            So there you have it, Pape, a much celebrated authority on the subject, along with his Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, would seem to confirm that from 1981 to 2011 there has been just one Christian suicide bomber. Pape could certainly be wrong, of course, but make of that what you will.

          • In reply to #35 by skeelo:

            In reply to #34 by The Grapes of Roth:

            Dataset Lebanese suicide attackers 1982-86 is on about page 15-16.

            Thanks for the link. Believe it or not, I was already aware of Pape’s claim that the ideology of 8% of successful suicide attackers in Lebanon between 1982 and 1986 was Christian. Here’s the s…

            Even if we allow that 8% of suicide attacks being christian [which as you point out is a biased interpretation], which belief system accounts for the other 92%?

            Besides, which bible verses advocate killing unbelievers?

          • In reply to #36 by 1bewildered1:

            Even if we allow that 8% of suicide attacks being christian [which as you point out is a biased interpretation], which belief system accounts for the other 92%?

            Pape, in the powerpoint file Grapes of Roth linked to (and in Dying To Win, I believe) puts Lebanese suicide attackers in 1982-86 at 71% Communist/Socialist; 21% Islamist; 8% Christian.

            According to Pape’s database, for the same period (1982 – 86), in terms of religious affiliation of individual attackers, where such information is available, it’s: 15 Muslims, 11 ‘Secular’, 1 Christian. 56% Muslim; 41% ‘Secular’; 4% Christian.

            Suicide attacks were very much in their infancy at that point. According to Pape’s database there were 33 suicide attacks worldwide from 1982 to 86, killing 1054. As of 2011, the Taliban alone have been responsible for 390 attacks, killing 3278. Al-Qaeda: 153 attacks, killing 6113. From 1981 to 2011 there has been, according to the database, one Christian suicide attack (which took place in 1985), killing 10.

            Robert Pape’s Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism really is a great resource – I’d urge anyone interested in these matters to check it out.

          • In reply to #37 by skeelo:

            In reply to #36 by 1bewildered1:

            Even if we allow that 8% of suicide attacks being christian [which as you point out is a biased interpretation], which belief system accounts for the other 92%?

            Pape, in the powerpoint file Grapes of Roth linked to (and in Dying To Win, I believe) puts Lebanese sui…

            The dataset for suicide attacks in Lebanon 1982-1986 lists 3 Christians. The names of the Christians, as listed by Pape in Dying to Win, were Norma Hassan, a school teacher, Elias Harb, a factory worker and, as previously mentioned, a bomber from a group called the Vanguard of Arab Christians.

          • In reply to #38 by The Grapes of Roth:

            The dataset for suicide attacks in Lebanon 1982-1986 lists 3 Christians. The names of the Christians, as named by Pape in Dying to Win, were Norma Hassan, a school teacher, Elias Harb, a factory worker and, as previously mentioned, a bomber from a group called the Vanguard of Arab Christians.

            I see. So your figure for the number of Christian suicide attackers between 1981 and 2011 is three? I wonder why you didn’t say so earlier?

            Well now, I understand that there is considerable doubt about Harb being a Christian: indeed, the Chicago Project lists him as a Shia Muslim. I had heard of Norma Hassan, previously; she was almost certainly from a Christian background but has been variously described as ‘Secular’ or as an ‘Atheist’. So I can certainly imagine why these two no longer show up as ‘Christian’ in Pape’s database, even though they may have done so in the past.

            But, if we assume that Pape’s database, which has been updated many times since the publication of Dying to Win in 2005, is wrong, and the information presented in his book is correct, then the grand total of Christian suicide bombers may indeed be three, rather than one.

            This is to say that from 1981 to 2011, according to Pape, Christians may actually have committed 0.13% of all recorded suicide attacks rather than 0.04%.

          • In reply to #40 by skeelo:

            In reply to #38 by The Grapes of Roth:

            The dataset for suicide attacks in Lebanon 1982-1986 lists 3 Christians. The names of the Christians, as named by Pape in Dying to Win, were Norma Hassan, a school teacher, Elias Harb, a factory worker and, as previously mentioned, a bomber from a group called…

            That’s interesting about Harb. It is possible he may have converted to Islam. There is apparently a copy of his will online somewhere which I’m going to try and find, as it may give some idea of his religious affiliation. Norma Badwi Abi Hassan of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party who undertook a suicide mission on 17/06/1986 is still listed as a Christian on the CPOST online dataset. A Lebanese Christian suicide bomber case which I am having trouble finding in Pape’s dataset is Loula Abboud.

          • In reply to #36 by 1bewildered1:

            In reply to #35 by skeelo:

            In reply to #34 by The Grapes of Roth:

            Dataset Lebanese suicide attackers 1982-86 is on about page 15-16.

            Thanks for the link. Believe it or not, I was already aware of Pape’s claim that the ideology of 8% of successful suicide attackers in Lebanon between 1982 and 1986…

            The data in Dying to Win ascertained the ideology of 38 of the 41 attackers. 27 came from nationalist, communist or socialist groups such as the Lebanese Communist Party, the Lebanese National Resistance Front, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Amal, the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, the Arab Socialist Union, the Arab Egyptian League and the Baath Party. 8 attackers were Islamists.

  11. “almost two millennia of conflict between the Muslim world and the West, but also the oppression which continues to this day of indigenes by ghastly potentates and warlords, often installed or kept supplied with guns, instruments of torture and chemical weaponry by Western governments more concerned with keeping the price of a barrel of gas low than troubling themselves with pesky stuff such as human rights violations”

    1400 yrs is near enough to 2 millennia; interestingly the 4 gentlemen/ “ghastly potentates and warlords” pictured are muslims, are they not?

  12. “We need to stop thinking of religion as the cause for conflict”

    Bad idea

    “Phillips and Axelrod survey nearly 1800 violent conflicts across history only 7% were religious”

    Did it ever cross your mind that Charles Phillips a bishop and a member of the church MISSION society and his accomplice have motivations to be disingenuous.Think about it.

    In reply to #24 by The Grapes of Roth:

    In reply to #22 by 1bewildered1:

    “We need to stop thinking of religion as the cause of conflict”

    http://godandwar.wikispaces.com/List+of+Religious+Wars
    includes an interesting definition of ‘religious war’

    “Watch yourself be accused of racism, inciting hate, islamophobia, bigotry and get shouted…

    • In reply to #25 by kamel:

      “We need to stop thinking of religion as the cause for conflict”

      Bad idea

      “Phillips and Axelrod survey nearly 1800 violent conflicts across history only 7% were religious”

      Did it ever cross your mind that Charles Phillips a bishop and a member of the church MISSION society and his accomplice hav…

      I think you are thinking of a different Charles Phillips. This author is not a bishop.

  13. After all the to-ing & fro-ing re suicide bombers there remains nothing but the odour of ‘clutching-at-straws’ desperation of the Islamic apologist. Enough, already! Now we seem to be overdosed on the deception that the Religion of Peace is, in fact, peaceful; even though the evidence says otherwise.

  14. In reply to #29 by 1bewildered1:

    In reply to #19 by Roedy:

    ‘The Boston bombings were an amateurish attempt at retaliation’

    Well, 3 dead, 14 amputations, 180+ ‘injuries’… so what would you consider a ‘professional’ attempt?

    One’s efforts can be amateurish and still produce the required effect. Anybody with internet access can find out how to build a working bomb with just a few clicks of a mouse button; you don’t need to be James Bond.


    Roedy, there are quite enough apologists and liberal ideologues trying to cover up the facts…

    There are a fair few on the other side who would prefer any analysis of the Tsarnaev brothers’ motives to remain only skin deep, too, as you can see from this recent thread:

    An Atheist Muslim’s Perspective on the ‘Root Causes’ of Islamist Jihadism and the Politics of Islamophobia

    Is covering up or ignoring the available information acceptable if doing so benefits your own side of the argument? The thread is still open if you want to express your opprobrium.


    …even wishing [prior to the truth emerging] that the culprits would be white non-aligned terrorists!

    Is this so strange? If I were a Muslim, or for that matter a Sikh, living in a Western country, I think I’d cross my fingers every time there was a report of a explosion on the news and pray to whatever deity I believed in that it was accidental or at least wasn’t carried out by a Muslim; lest I be shoved under the wheels of a subway train or attacked in my place of work or worship the next time I left the house.

    • In reply to #43 by Katy Cordeth:

      In reply to #29 by 1bewildered1:

      In reply to #19 by Roedy:

      ‘The Boston bombings were an amateurish attempt at retaliation’

      Well, 3 dead, 14 amputations, 180+ ‘injuries’… so what would you consider a ‘professional’ attempt?

      One’s efforts can be amateurish and still produce the required effect….

      Well, new evidence suggests that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote a note inside the boat where he was discovered, citing America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as motive for the deadly attack. But that’s just cherry-picking.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57584771/boston-bombings-suspect-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-left-note-in-boat-he-hid-in-sources-say/
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/16/dzhokhar-tsarnaev-message-boat-cbs-news

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/16/dzhokhar-tsarnaevs-note-says-american-attack-musli/

      • In reply to #44 by The Grapes of Roth:

        Well, new evidence suggests that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote a note inside the boat where he was discovered, citing America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as motive for the deadly attack. But that’s was just cherry-picking.

        Cherry picking, you say? From your first link:

        The note — scrawled with a marker on the interior wall of the cabin — said the bombings were retribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, and called the Boston victims “collateral damage” in the same way Muslims have been in the American-led wars.“When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” Tsarnaev wrote.

        Tsarnaev said he didn’t mourn older brother Tamerlan, the other suspect in the bombings, writing that by that point, Tamerlan was a martyr in paradise — and that he expected to join him there soon.

        No serious person would pretend that all (or even most) acts of terrorism are mono-causal, or that even Islamist terrorists do not have actual political objectives which they hope to advance, or that some terrorists do not harbour real outrage about US, UK or Israeli foreign policy, but it is often blatantly obvious, as it is in this case, that both the political objectives and the sincerely held (and murderously expressed) outrage are to some extent (as Harris puts it) the product of theological concerns.

        Lots of American citizens object to US foreign policy, but not many of them decide to express their objections by killing and maiming innocent men, women and children with pressure cooker bombs filled with nails. (While thinking such behaviour will secure them a martyr’s reward in Paradise.) A crucial part of the Tsarnaev brothers’ motivation really was their religion: they have made this perfectly clear, but many people seem absurdly and dogmatically determined to ignore the writing on the (cabin) wall.

        • In reply to #45 by skeelo:

          In reply to #44 by The Grapes of Roth:

          Well, new evidence suggests that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote a note inside the boat where he was discovered, citing America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as motive for the deadly attack. But that’s was just cherry-picking.

          Cherry picking, you say? From your firs…

          Many US Muslims object to US foreign policy, but not many of them decide to express their objections by killing and maiming innocent men, women and children. Many millions of Muslims express sympathy with al-Qaida or other forms of violent political expression, yet relatively few willingly use violence. A Gallup study estimated that 7% of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims thought that the 9/11 attacks were “completely justified”.

          http://www.gallup.com/poll/104941/what-makes-radical.aspx

          That’s roughly about 100 million people. But of these many millions who express support for violence, there are only thousands willing to actually commit violence. Now, why is that? Also, why is it that when we see terrorist attacks from radical Muslims in Western states the attacker is pretty much always from the same demographic (men aged 18-30)? If we want to find convincing answers, we are going to have to do a lot better than ‘it’s theological concerns’.

          • In reply to #47 by The Grapes of Roth:

            That’s roughly about 100 million people. But of these many millions who express support for violence, there are only thousands willing to actually commit violence. Now, why is that? Also, why is it that we see attacks from radical Muslims it pretty much always falls into a specific age range and sex ( men aged 18-30)? If we want to find convincing answers, we are going to have to do a lot better than ‘it’s theological concerns’.

            Are you just thinking aloud now?

            In my previous post I said, “No serious person would pretend that all (or even most) acts of terrorism are mono-causal” and yet, in reply, you attempt to dismiss any consideration of Islam as an important factor as if this were equivalent to a claim for mono-causality. This is desperate stuff.

            I shall now pose a few questions myself (forgive me if I pre-empt your answers, but they are rather uncontroversial, and I’m rather short of time, so I’m sure you won’t mind)

            a) Are men more likely to commit acts of violence than women? Yes!

            b) Are young men, aged, say, 18-30, more likely to commit acts of violence than older men? Yes!

            So, if it were indeed true than Islam is more likely to encourage violence than other religions (and, as you note, 7% of Muslims worldwide thought that the 9/11 attacks were “completely justified”) would you expect the Muslims who actually commit such acts of violence, rather than just support those who do, to be largely a) male and b) aged 18-30? Yes!

            It would be ridiculous to expect violence inspired by Islam to be committed, to any unusual degree, by anyone other than young men, would it not? Would there have to be a shift towards elderly female jihadis before we can consider Islam to be an important motivating factor?

          • In reply to #47 by The Grapes of Roth:

            Many millions of Muslims express sympathy with al-Qaida or other forms of violent political expression, yet relatively few willingly use violence. A Gallup study estimated that 7% of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims thought that the 9/11 attacks were “completely justified”.

            This shall have to be my last post on this thread – I have to dash and will not be near a computer for a few days. But I wondered about this:

            Imagine a world where less than 7% of the world’s Muslims fully supported the 9/11 attacks or similar atrocities; imagine that, in this other world, the Quran was a much better book than the one we’re familiar with, and its contents really did make it impossible for Muslims to support, condone or engage in such acts of terror and feel that they were staying in Allah’s good books.

            In such a world, would acts such as those carried out by the brothers Tsarnaev be more or less common than they are in this one?

    • In reply to #43 by Katy Cordeth:

      In reply to #29 by 1bewildered1:

      In reply to #19 by Roedy:

      ‘The Boston bombings were an amateurish attempt at retaliation’

      Well, 3 dead, 14 amputations, 180+ ‘injuries’… so what would you consider a ‘professional’ attempt?

      One’s efforts can be amateurish and still produce the required effect….

      ‘Amateur’ [or 'Professional'] are unfortunate words to choose in this context, is all.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-a-rizvi/an-atheist-muslims-perspective-on-the-root-causes-of-islamist-jihadism-and-the-politics-of-islamophobia_b_3159286.html

      Reading the entire article we see that Ali A. Rizvi supports the general consensus 100%—-no ‘opprobrium’ required:-

      [They couldn't have been a response to American imperialism (the start of the conflict precedes the presidency of George Washington), U.S. foreign policy, globalization, AIPAC or Islamophobia. Yet his words are virtually identical to those spouted ad nauseum by jihadists today who justify their bellicosity as a reaction to these U.S.-centric factors, which were nonexistent in Adja's time.

      How do we make sense of this? Well, the common denominator here just happens to be the elephant in the room.

      In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings and the foiled al Qaeda-backed plot in Toronto, the "anything but jihad" brigade is out in full force again. If the perpetrators of such attacks say they were influenced by politics, nationalism, money, video games or hip-hop, we take their answers at face value. But when they repeatedly and consistently cite their religious beliefs as their central motivation, we back off, stroke our chins and suspect that there has to be something deeper at play, a "root cause."

      The taboo against criticizing religion is still so astonishingly pervasive that centuries of hard lessons haven't yet opened our eyes to what has been apparent all along: It is often religion itself, not the "distortion," "hijacking," "misrepresentation" or "politicization" of religion, that is the root cause]

      “If I were a Muslim, or for that matter a Sikh, living in a Western country…”
      NO, these were western apologist journalists primarily. What’s your point?

      I understand you wish to support, defend or deny Islamic terror but find your argument less than convincing.

  15. In reply to #46 by 1bewildered1:

    “If I were a Muslim, or for that matter a Sikh, living in a Western country…”

    NO, these were western apologist journalists primarily. What’s your point?

    I think it’s called… empathy. It basically means that you’re able to imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes. It explains how people who are not themselves gay can identify with victims of homophobia, and how men can hold feminist views, and so on.


    I understand you wish to support, defend or deny Islamic terror but find your argument less than convincing.

    I do love Islamic terror; I can’t deny it. Oops, I’ve said it now! Oh, if only my old mate Nodhimmi could hear me say that. You remind me of him, 1bewildered1, in some strange, spooky way.

Leave a Reply